August 31, 2009

For a few seconds I felt like the world was coming to an end

Yesterday morning I was walking into my kitchen when, all of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain in my right hip. The pain was so intense that I had to sit down and lean to my left for a few seconds. I felt the pain on and off for the rest of the day. I put Arnica cream on it in the evening to help me begin the healing process. I don't know what caused the pain. I hadn't run for four days, and I felt fine during that time. I don't think running caused the pain -- if it did, there was a four-day delay before the pain set in.

I felt fine during the night and for two or three hours this morning, so I went out running. However, after a quarter mile I felt the pain a bit, and I turned around and walked/jogged back to my car. I felt the pain on and off during the day. I put Arnica on every three or four hours. In the beginning, the pain was in the front of my body, about where my leg connects to my pelvis. By night, however, the pain had moved to the rear of my hip, and I began to wonder if it was a problem in my buttock. I began doing my exercise for the buttock. I felt pretty good as I prepared for bed.

August 26, 2009

Aborted my run after half a mile

I felt fine before I started running. My wakeup heart rate was 58. The temperature was in the low 70s (F) when I left home. As soon as I started running, however, I could tell this was not a running day. My energy level went down, and I had a hard time continuing to run. I knew that I had to mow my lawns when later this morning and needed to conserve energy, so I aborted the run and mostly walked back to my car.

August 24, 2009

I had a wonderful run/walk for 2 miles

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 57, and I felt great! I ran my 2-mile route again. It was about 9:15 when I left home, and the shade temperature during my run was in the low 70s (F). I ran more of the distance than I've been doing. My run was like the great one I had on August 15. My first stop was to take pictures of the Heron. My second stop was to walk up a small hill, and my third stop was the turn around point.

Pictures of the Heron that I've been seeing on my runs

Herons are waders, and I got pictures this morning of him wading in the Jordan River. When I saw him before, he was standing on the dead branch that was sticking out of the water. I hoped he would wade to the branch and stand on it, but he flew away. Click a picture for a larger image.

August 22, 2009

Wow, a great day for my feet!

I began the day measuring my wakeup pulse rate at 62. I then ran and walked my 2-mile route. I felt a little more energetic than I did on Thursday. After my run/walk, my wife and I took our four grandkids up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Brighton Ski Resort and hiked around Silver Lake. About half way around the lake, we took a side hike up to Solitude Lake. After returning from that, we continued around Silver Lake. The total distance on our hike was 3.2 miles, giving me 5.2 miles for the day. Silver Lake is at an altitude about 8400 feet, and Lake Solitude is at an elevation about 9100 feet. Here are some pictures I took towards the end of the hike. The last picture is of a stream that feeds the lake, and there is a Beaver dam in the stream. The next to the last picture is of the trail, and my wife (in the red shirt) is walking down the trail. Click a picture for a larger image.

August 21, 2009

Good news: my wakeup heart rate is down

My wakeup heart rate was down to 55 this morning. It has been 61-62 during the past week, so the drop to 55 is significant. Wakeup heart rate is a guage on how hard your body is working while you sleep. A lower wakeup heart rate means your body is not working as hard while you sleep due to your body being in better condition.

Another good sign is that some slight swelling in my ankles has gone down.

August 20, 2009

Ran/walked 2 miles again

I did the 2-mile course again. I was tired but still had reasonable energy, and I ran when I felt like it and walked when I didn't. I didn't get out until 10:20 this morning, and even with less shade I didn't get overly thirsty. My wakeup heart rate was 62. It has been 60-62 for the past week, even though I'm sleeping well at night.

I was tired today because yesterday was a very busy day. My wife and I took four grandchildren on the commuter train to Salt Lake City to see the new library and the Beehive and Lion houses, two of the houses next to Temple Square that were used by Brigham Young and his wives. On of the grandkids is working on the requirements for his Bear award in cub scouting, and our trip was to visit old pioneer homes and other historical places. Even though I did some sitting yesterday, I was on my feet a lot, and my body needs extra rest today.

The water level in the Jordan River is quite a bit lower than it was during the spring. Most of the ducks are gone, but I still see a few in the river and a few who are hanging around waiting for food from people.

Saw the Heron again

I saw the Heron again on a dead tree in the Jordan River. In fact, it was at the same place as before. I need to carry my cell phone with me when I run so I can get a picture of the bird. It is beautiful!

August 17, 2009

Extended my run to 2.0 miles

I ran 2 miles this morning, giving me a new max distance for my running ABC (after blood clots). I didn't have as much energy as I had on Saturday, but I felt pretty good. I walked more than I did on Saturday but less than I've done in previous weeks. I was out early and enjoyed the cooler temperatures and increased shade.

August 15, 2009

My greatest run since January

When I left to go running this morning about 8:30, it was raining pretty hard. The temperature was 57 (F), and it was almost a perfect day for running. I started running and was surprised that my legs didn't get as tired as they've done in the past. I ran the 0.75 miles to the turn-around point with only one segment of walking. On the way back, I did more walking, but not as much as in the past. I ran and walked a total of 1.8 miles, my longest run since January. The rain was heavy when I started but was just a drizzle when I finished. I saw three other runners on the path and two cyclists. The two cyclists were stopped in the tunnel under 100th South and were waiting for the rain to stop.

August 13, 2009

Ran the 1.6 miles early this morning

I was on the path by 8 am this morning. The temperature was in the mid 70s (F), and there was lots of shade due to the sun not being very high in the sky. I was hoping to make the 1.8 miles that I ran earlier in the week, but I stopped at 1.6 miles. I'm still recovering from the 2 hours sleep I got Sunday night. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to recover from a sleep deficit like that. My wakeup heart rate was 62.

Still getting lots of visitors

For the past four days I've had 800-900 visitors per day to this blog. That is significantly less than the peak of 6,000 visitors I had last week, but it is significantly more than the 30-50 visitors per day that I had before this blog was listed in Blogs of Note. Tomorrow is the last day this blog will be listed on the home page of BoN, and then my blog will drop off the end and will be gone from the home page. I'm interested to see how much my visitor-statistics will decrease when that happens.

Being listed in the Blogs of Note has brought about 20,000 visitors to this blog, and many people have left kind remarks about the blog. I appreciate all of those who visited, and I hope my blog has left a positive influence in their lives. The important thing is not me as a person but the influence my blog has had and is having on those who visit. Many people have influenced my life in positive ways, and I hope I'm doing that to others.

We saw a Heron in the River Jordan

On Tuesday while I was hiking with my wife and four grandkids we saw a large heron perched on a dead tree that was in the river. I tried to take a picture of it with my cell phone, but the photo memory in the phone was full, and I didn't get the picture. It was nice that the kids got to see the bird. That is the second heron that I've seen on the river. It looked like the bird was 4 feet tall.

August 11, 2009

Did a rest 1.3 mile hike with my grandkids

Four of my grandkids are visiting for a couple of weeks, and one is a Cub Scout who is nearing his birthday 10th birthday. We went on a family hike to fulfill one of his requirements. We had talked about what to do if they become lost on a hike or in a department store [stay where you are; don't move unless you need to for safety reasons], and we practiced that during the hike.

A couple of the grandkids walked ahead of us until they were out of sight. They then had to decide if they would stay put until they were discovered or if they would keep walking trying to find their way back. They had a whistle that they blew to make a noise. The rest of us walked down the path looking for them until we found them.

As we neared the end of the hike, I disappeared without telling the rest what I was doing. They reached the end of the hike and waited for me, but I didn't show up. So, a couple of the kids walked back along the trail looking for me, and they found me.

August 10, 2009

No running today

Today was a planned no-running day due to my having a colonscopy this morning. Except for two small polyps, everything looked fine in my colon. The polyps were removed and are being sent out for a biopsy. I have some neat pictures of the inside of my colon which I will post as soon as I scan them. Here are pictures of my colon taken 11 years ago.

August 8, 2009

Did a 1-mile rest run

I woke up this morning and felt fine with lots of energy. As I was getting ready to go out running, early to miss the mid-day heat, my wife commented that it might rain in the afternoon. I decided to mow my lawns before it rained, so I did that instead of running. I only stopped to rest one time while doing the lawns. This was a big improvement from the 5 or 6 times I've been stopping in past mowing sessions.

After I finished the lawns, I went running. However, after about a third of a mile, I knew I was too tired to run much, and I reduced the run to a 1-mile rest run. I was glad I had changed the run, because I was pretty tired during the one-mile and did a lot of walking.

In the past I've tried to mow lawns on a day without running, but once in a while I end up doing both on the same day.

August 7, 2009

My old body is hanging in there...

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 55, much better than the 61-62 that I've had during the past week. My energy level is good, and I feel like I'm 45 again. I'm considering going to four and maybe five times a week for my running. My normal strategy is to do one long run and one medium run per week. Additional runs are rest runs. So, if I follow that strategy, my long run would be the 1.8 miles that I ran two days ago. My medium run would be 1.5 miles, and any additional runs would be 1 mile. I'm using the word "runs" but right now the "runs" are combinations of running and walking.

I've been thinking about this as I type, and I think my fourth day, for a while at least, will be just walking with my wife. The 1-mile goal is a good goal for our walking.

August 5, 2009

Making a change in my running

As I've mentioned a number of times in this blog, I was attacked by blood clots last January. After I left the hospital, I started walking, and I got my walking up to 1 1/2 miles. I then started to mix in small amounts of running. I continued with that distance and over a period of several weeks got the running portion of the distance up to a max of 1 mile and typically about 0.8 miles. I would run for .05 to .1 mile or so and then walk for about the same distance to recover. I then would repeat that sequence. However, recently I haven't been able to get much of an increase in the amount of running. It's as if I have reached a plateau in my running for that distance.

I thus decided to try a different approach to regaining my running. I'm no longer concerned about the amount of running I do in my exercise. I'm just alternating running and walking in a way that feels comfortable for me. I am, however, increasing the total distance. About a week ago I increased the distance, and I made a second increase today. I'm making small increases so my body can better adjust to them. So far, I've enjoyed this new approach. I like being free from any psychological pressure to run for longer stretches before I walk. I just run until I feel like I should walk, and that is enjoyable to me.

Extended my run to 1.7 miles

Today I made another small increase in my distance. I used my GPS to measure the total distance (1.7 miles). I left home about 9:30 am and enjoyed the cooler temperature (high 70s in the shade) and more shade on the path. I purposefully didn't take water with me due to the lower temperatures. Since I had my GPS with me, I checked my pace while I was running. The pace was 14 minutes/mile, which is slow but not bad for an old guy recovering from blood clots :)

My wakeup pulse rate has been 61-62 during the past week. Normally, with a pulse rate that high I wouldn't even go running, since my normal is about 50, but my energy level has been OK and I've gone out. I felt great this morning. This run was one of the best runs I've had for several weeks.

August 3, 2009

Just a touch of dizziness during my run

It was about 1 pm when I started my run (the same 1.6 miles that I've been running), and it was hot. The shade temperature was in the mid 80s (F) and the sun temperature was probably close to 100 (F). Most of my run was in the sun. I forgot to carry water, and I hoped the glass I had just before I left home would carry me through.

That glass of water did carry me through most of the run, but I had a touch of dizziness during the last 500 or so yards. Two of the early signs of heat exhaustion are dizziness and headaches. When those happen, I usually stop running and head for a shady spot to rest for a few minutes before I walk home. Today, the dizziness was slight and didn't last long, so I continued my running and walking until I finished.

Runners need to be careful when they run when it's hot, because heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke, and heat stroke is a precursor to death! Literally! In heat stroke, ones body can no longer control the internal temperature of the body, and the temperature goes up and up and begins to cook ones brain and other internal organs. It is important to know and recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here is my page about running in bad conditions.

I live in Utah, and the Jordan River Parkway, where I run, is at an elevation of 4300 - 4400 feet. That high altitude means runners get less oxygen with each breath and thus experience fatigue more than they would at a lower elevation. I was raised in Southern Utah (elevation about 5500 feet), but I've lived most of my adult life outside of Utah at relatively low elevations. When I moved back to Utah in December 1992, I experienced a lot of dizziness due to the higher altitude here. I would be walking down a sidewalk and would have an attack of dizziness. I would lose contact with the ground, and it would feel like I was walking in the air. It was hard to walk without feeling the ground. After about two years the dizziness went away. My low blood pressure (115/60) probably was a factor, too. Another factor about living in the desert is the low relative humidity of about 10%. That dryness means runners lose more moisture due to evaporation and thus need to drink more. It also means that runners cool more from evaporation of their sweat.

August 2, 2009

Before you start a walking, jogging, or running program

Quite a few folks have indicated in their comments that they are motivated to get out and walk or jog. Before you start, spend some time reading about walking and/or running so you don't make mistakes and get injured, or if not injured get discouraged and give it up. You are invited to browse my tutorial site, That site has a lot of good suggestions from my 36 years of running, from comments from many runners, and from my reading of the running literature. Set a goal to walk, jog, or run pain free and injury free.