November 27, 2010

My rest week ended with a 3-mile run/walk

My total distance for this week is 7 miles. During my run this morning, I extended the running phase from 96 left-foot-steps to 100 lfs, a 4% increase in running before I walk. The walking phase is still 66 lfs.

The sky was overcast (expecting snow tonight and tomorrow), and the temperature during my run was about 32 (F). Most of the path is clear, but there are still places where the path is covered with ice. I could tell that some of the ice has melted since my last run on Thursday. I didn't see any other runners on the path, but I did see several walkers. One guy was stopping often to look at birds through his binoculars, and he had a paperback bird guide in his pocket.

I had a breakfast of French Toast and orange juice about an hour before I left, and I could tell I wasn't ready to run. I need at least two hours after eating before I run. However, my run went OK. I didn't feel nauseous, just sorta bloated. However, I felt fine towards the end of my run.

My wakeup heart rate was 61. That is almost 20% higher than my "normal" of 53, and I decided before I left I would only do 2 miles instead of my planned 4 miles. However, after I had done 1 mile, I felt fine and decided to add another 1/2 mile (giving me 3 miles for the run). I felt fine during and (so far) after the run, but I'm glad I didn't go for 4 miles. My goal is to feel fine at the end of my run, and I reached that goal today. If I had run 4 miles, it is likely that I would have been tired at the end.

Before my blood clots in January 2009, I could run three or four miles and not even think about the distance. Then, after my blood clots, it was a struggle to do anything. I've been slowly increasing my distance by alternating running and walking, and I've noticed recently that I'm able to run 2-3 miles without even thinking about it. This indicates that my endurance is getting back to my pre-blood clot levels. I have my distance up to 5.5 miles, half running and half walking, and I hope to be up to 6 miles or maybe 6.5 miles by the end of the year.

November 25, 2010

My first ever Thanksgiving run

This week is a rest week, and I decided to do a short run on this Thanksgiving Day. My wakeup heart rate was 54, and I felt great. The temperature was 0 (F) when I got up, but when I left for my run it was 17, and when I returned it was in the mid 20s.

We've had a blizzard and some snow during the past two days (mostly two days ago), but the Parkway path had been plowed, and the path was around 80% clear and dry. There was ice on the path, mostly in shady spots, and most of the ice was covered with a thin layer of snow that was blown onto the path. I ran on the dry spots, jogged on the snow covered ice, and walked on the bare ice.

I ran my planned 2 miles and enjoyed the cold crisp air and wonderful sunny sky. I wore my normal three layers for winter running, and I used a dry pair of stockings for my hands. I wore my wool ski cap, and I pulled it over my face when I started to run. It was a nice way to begin this Thanksgiving Day. During my run I saw two pairs of runners and two walkers, plus two runners on the street as I drove to the Parkway. My wife was concerned about me being alone on the path if I should slip on ice and fall. I assured her there would be other runners there, and I was glad to see them. I always wave hello at the other people I see while I'm running.

You Can Always Come Home

We have been blessed to belong to families. Hopefully, our families love us and care for us. But, not always. Some of us have parents, siblings, children who don't always treat us in love. Some of us have not always treated them with love. Let us always remember that we were placed in families for a reason. Let us always keep bonds with our families. Let us find ways that we can be together in the love, the sharing, the joy that God would have for us.

September When It Comes

I plan to crawl outside these walls,
Close my eyes and see.
And fall into the heart and arms,
Of those who wait for me.

I watch the clouds go sailing;
I watch the clock and sun.
Oh, I watch myself, depending on,
September when it comes.

So when the shadows link them,
And burn away the clouds.
They will fly me, like an angel,
To a place where I can rest.
When this begins, I'll let you know,
September when it comes.

-- Rosanne Cash

Thanksgiving Day is a time when we reflect on life, what it means, what it has done for us, what we have done for it. I'm 75 and it is not September yet. This is my Summer. This time is the highlight of my life. Not the highlight of my achievements, but the highlight of my appreciation, of my gratitude for others who have helped me in my life, and my gratitude for others who have let me give them service in the Summer of their lives. When my September comes, I will fall into the heart and arms, of those who wait for me. But, now it is Summer and I still have mountains to move, I still have to run.

November 24, 2010

Wendy: Delayed Recovery from Injury

Happy Thanksgiving from Korea. We are keeping on eye on the turkey and one on the news, but so far all is well.

I was excited to be at the end of my prescribed rest from running, but my foot didn’t feel completely healed so I went in to see the orthopedic surgeon to be on the safe side. Unfortunately, he told me exactly what I DID NOT want to hear. 6-8 more weeks and then another doctor visit before running again. Oh yes, and walking is okay, but NO HIKING! I nearly burst into tears on the exam table. The doc was very sympathetic and concerned, and understood how I felt. He has seen me at the gym enough times to know how committed I am. I had warned him at the start that I would probably heal slowly due to the rheumatoid arthritis and medications that go with it, but he was still surprised and how true it turned out to be.

It can be hard to be at the low end of the bell curve, taking longer than your peers to heal, longer to make gains in strength or speed, having to work harder to control weight or reach physical goals, but it doesn’t mean we have a free ride to give-up-city. Yes, this will likely be a 6 months break from running instead of 2 or 3, but that is what it is, a break. Not a permanent end and not a reason to quit working out. I still have the gym, spin class, and belly dancing (awesome for core work and hip flexibility). It is up to me to stay motivated and moving forward to try to minimize the losses. 6 weeks puts me on top of New Year’s Day so now I’m probably the only person I know that is anxious for the holidays to be behind me. I hope everyone has a joyous end to the year and a bright new beginning for 2011.

PS For those of you who don’t feel up to the task of holiday cooking, here is proof that I’m a worse cook than any of you.

November 23, 2010

I ran 2 miles in a cold wind

My wakeup pulse rate was 61 this morning, and I limited my run to 2 miles. The air temperature during my run was in the mid 40s (F), but it was windy with wind gusts of 50-60 mph. Between the gusts the wind was about 25 mph. I had three layers, which was enough, but my middle layer should have been a thicker long sleeved T-shirt instead of the thin short sleeved one that I've been wearing. Also, the wind gusts were brutal to my face, and I should have worn my wool ski mask that can be pulled over my face. I didn't have gloves on, but I kept my hands tucked inside the sleeves of my nylon wind breaker, and they were OK.

About half the run was in trees, and I didn't feel much wind at all. I thought, "This isn't bad; maybe I'll keep on going." Then I would reach an open space, and the full force of the wind, especially the gusts, would hit me. I decided that 2 miles was enough; time to give my body more rest.

My high wakeup heart rate indicates this week should be a "rest" week of about 8-10 miles (maybe less). That low mileage will be helpful to my busy schedule of Thanksgiving. We're staying home for Thanksgiving, but two of our four children will come for Thanksgiving dinner.

November 20, 2010

I did it! 16 miles of running/walking this week

I ran 5.5 miles again, giving me 16 miles this week in three days of running/walking. This is the largest weekly distance I've had since my blood clot attack in January 2009. I did 22 miles the week before the attack.

My body felt tired as soon as I started running, and I switched to running 50-66 left-foot-steps and walking 40-50 lfs. I completed the run without out much difficulty. I did sit down for a couple of minutes on the way back. There was a 20-30 mph south gusty wind that made my going out more difficult, but on the way back the tail wind pushed me, and I enjoyed that. There were a couple of times that a large gust tried to push me faster than I wanted to go, and I had to put on the breaks, so to speak. Even though I had my hat pulled down on my head as much as possible and had the chin strap tight, a large gust blew off my hat. I was worried that the wind might blow the hat down to the Jordan River, but the hat stopped at the edge of the path, and I was able to retrieve it. I carried it the rest of the way.

The sky was overcast. We're expecting rain later this afternoon and possibly snow during the night. The temperature was in the mid 50s, and it was a warm, pleasant day to be outside.

November 18, 2010

Jason Lester, a fine athlete and a fine person

If you want some motivation to help you in your running, check out a new book by Jason Lester. My review of the book is at

Jason has a paralyzed arm (given him by a hit-&-run driver) and has completed the Ultraman World Championship (that's like two Ironman).

November 17, 2010

With all of the ups and downs in running, it's nice to be on an up

I ran 5.5 miles again. Instead of going south, as I've been doing, I went north. It is 1.5 miles round-trip going north, and I ran that three times, for 4.5 miles. Then I went south for 0.5 miles and back, giving me a total of 5.5 miles. I used my normal ratio of 96 left-foot-steps running and 66 lfs walking for the whole distance. I did sit down several times for a minute each, not because my body or legs were tired, but because my hips and later my shoulders were a bit sore. I think I went a little faster than I've been doing, but I didn't have my GPS with me and, I don't know my actual pace. I'm not pushing my body to go faster; my body sets its own pace.

My wakeup heart rate was 55, and I felt fine (energy and legs) before, during, and after my run. The sky was cloudy, mostly overcast, and the temperature was in the mid 40s (F). There was a 10 or so mph wind blowing. The wind wasn't much of a problem, though, due to trees and bushes that line most of the path on the northward segment that I used.

The dog that I rescued on Monday ran past me while I was doing the 0.5 miles southbound. After I got back to my car, the dog appeared again. I whistled at him, and he came, sniffed my leg, and galloped away in the direction of his home. The 5-foot leash wasn't connected to him. I'm beginning to think that his owner turns him lose on purpose, because the 5-foot lease was fastened to his collar with a sturdy clip that wouldn't likely come lo0se by itself.

November 15, 2010

Ran my "rest" run of 5 miles

I felt pretty good this morning. I ate breakfast soon after getting up, and I waited a couple hours before leaving for my run. My body had sufficient energy and felt fine, but my legs started getting tired after about 3 1/2 miles. As I had done on Monday, I switched from 96 left-foot-steps to 45 left-foot-steps, and I finished the run. After I reduced the number of my running-steps, I stopped counting my walking steps, and I just walked until I felt like running again. I probably walked for about 60 or 70 steps (sometimes more). Instead of following the route I used on Saturday, I ran north for 1.5 miles (round trip) and then south for 3.5 miles (round trip). Changing my routes gives more variety to my runs.

The weather was typical Fall weather -- cloudy sky, a 5-8 mph wind, and temperatures in the mid 40s (F). I wore my nylon wind breaker during most of the run. During a mile in the middle of the run, I took the jacket off, but on the way back I put the jacket back on because the headwind felt colder than it had during the first half when it was a tail wind. I took three short rest breaks on benches near the path -- one going out and two coming back. I don't mind sitting for a minute or so when I feel tired, because I'm not training for any particular race. I'm just running for enjoyment.

Right now, the 5-mile run isn't much of a rest. But, when my mid-week medium run is 7 miles, and my Saturday long run is 10 miles, the 5-mile run will be a true rest.

I picked up several pieces of litter on my way back.

I rescued a dog during my run

Shortly after starting to run south from the parking lot, a big dog ran past me. He was dragging a 5-foot lease. I thought to myself that the owner of the dog was probably coming down the path, and I forgot about the dog. However, a mile later as I was nearing the Mulligan Golf Course, I saw the dog, still running and still dragging the lease. Later after I got back to the parking lot and was finishing my stretches, I saw the dog come up the path. I whistled to it, and it came over to me. I held the dog by its collar, and I phoned a number that was on his dog tag. The owner, who lived not far away, came over and got the dog. The owner said the dog loves to run. The dog has a wire "run" that allows the dog to run back and forth across the back yard, and somehow the dog had gotten loose. The owner thanked me for rescuing the dog, and I replied that it was my pleasure, that I was glad I could help out.

November 13, 2010

An OK run for 5.5 miles

I ran/walked the same route that I used on Wednesday. This time, however, my legs felt tired during the run, especially the last half. When I started feeling tired, I reduced my running from 96 left-foot steps (slightly more than a minute) to 45-50 lfs. A few minutes after I reduced my running, I stopped counting steps during my walks and just walked until I felt ready to run again. Running for shorter periods helps a lot when I get tired.

It was about 10:00 when I started running, and the temperature was in the high 30s (F). The sun came out, and I had to take my nylon jacket off due to getting too warm. However, about half an hour later, the sun was back behind clouds, and I put my jacket on and kept it on for the rest of the run. I didn't record my wakeup heart rate this morning, but it was 56 yesterday.

While driving home, I heard a radio report of the storm that hit the midwest with 10 inches of snow. I was glad that I wasn't running in that snow. The Utah ski resorts opened their new season today, and a lot of people are enjoying the 15-24 inches of snow up there.

I saw quite a few geese in the field that I mentioned in my previous post, but not nearly as many as I saw there on Wednesday. I'm surprised that the geese are staying here this late in the year. It will be interesting to see if they spend the winter here.

November 10, 2010

A great run! Added 10% to give me 5.5 miles

I didn't run last Friday or Saturday or Monday because of a quick trip to Phoenix for the commissioning and pinning ceremony that made my son a Second Lieutenant in the Arizona Army National Guard. He completed the 8-week OCS in Pennsylvania and Virginia. He is 41 and had to be commissioned by his 42nd birthday in January. This was the last class he could attend and be commissioned. During the past year and a half he worked really hard to lose about 130 pounds. He ran every day. He biked every day. He worked out in a gym every day. He had an unbelievable schedule. I'm glad he wasn't injured. He is going to continue his physical exercises, but on a reduced schedule. He also will continue his 5-mile road marches with a 45# ruck sack on his back.

My wakeup heart rate was 56. I felt really good and looked forward to my run. I didn't run until mid afternoon, and I was home before dark. I felt great during and after (so far) the run. The temperature was in the low 40s (F) during my run and was 39 when I returned home. It was a cold day. A few snow flakes fell in the morning, but the "storm" was over when I went running. The sky was overcast, and a cold breeze was blowing. I wore my long pants, a T-shirt and my nylon jacket (plus underclothes, giving me three layers on my core). I was warm and comfortable while running. I did forget, though, to drink water before I left, and I forgot to have water in my car to drink upon finishing the run. I got thirsty, but because of the cold weather, I didn't get very thirsty.

I drove to the East Pavilion at 108th South (approximately) and ran about a quarter mile past the tunnel under 123rd South. There were a number of runners and cyclists out today.

During my run I saw lots of geese preparing for the night

During my run I passed a big field that had at least 100 Canadian Geese in it. The area occupied by the geese was about an acre, and they were everywhere in that area. It was late afternoon, about 2 hours before dark. I passed the field going out and again coming back, and the geese were there both times, although some of them did move to another area in the field. I've noticed this in the past. The geese seem to like open fields, even big lawns.

November 6, 2010

Wendy: The Fountain of Youth Korean Style: Staying Young and Fit on Buraksan Mountain

Koreans are a hardworking, dedicated people and their drive to stay strong and healthy does not wane with age. Every day I see older Koreans out power walking in track suits with big sun visors and running or hiking shoes. On the street to our house I frequently see a tiny little old lady on her daily walk, scooting alone with her walker. She is smiling and waving to friends, but determined in her march up the hill. I am a terrible judge of Korean age, but I dare say that they age very well and that little old lady is likely a centenarian or close to it.

Korean culture and everyday life contribute to this awareness of fitness with endless opportunities to exercise. Every block has a small park with pieces of exercise equipment we normally only see in a gym. However, Koreans do not need a special place to work out, I’ve seen cab drivers doing push-ups against their cars while waiting on fares and people doing push-ups on low walls or fences waiting for busses. They never seem to stop moving.

All of this has been reinforced by my outings to Buraksan Mountain.

It is a small peak in the middle of a bustling city with a surprisingly technical trail that has a huge open air fitness center in the middle of it.

You can bench press, crunch, pull up, elliptical, or do a variety of other exercises, some of which I haven’t quite figured out, (like hanging from a wheel and twisting back and forth).

With places like this, there is truly no excuse for anyone not being in shape.

Buraksan Mountain also encompasses several burial areas. It makes me wonder: Were they put there so family members could get in a healthy hike while visiting their ancestors, or to remind us what happens if we don’t take care of ourselves?

(In all honesty, the burial mounds are likely one of the reasons this hill has not been turned into apartment complexes.)

A few weeks ago, I was on the military base and samples of Ginseng were being given out in hopes of selling very expensive boxes and vials of the stuff. I found myself talking to an older American man who was raving about how Ginseng was the secret to Koreans being so healthy, fit, and aging so well. I was looking at him and thinking that the enormous beer gut he was sporting suggested that Ginseng could not cure gluttony or sloth! I have no doubt that Ginseng is healthy or at least won’t hurt you, but I’m pretty sure the secret to health and youth in Korea can be found on Buraksan Mountain.

Live, love, stay fit, and be happy!

For my runner take on this day and a few more pictures, please see my main blog: Rustedrunner

November 3, 2010

John: Road Trips Revived: A Running Road Warrior's Top "Run Stops"

Like many Americans, I am constantly traveling from coast to coast for business. Because of the many small town I visit and the rather short distances between them, I spend a great deal of time in my car.

Recently, my business has required me to travel the eastern seaboard. As an avid runner and fitness enthusiast, I've found a great way to exercise and stay fit while on the road. I regularly research running trails either online or through local parks and recreation departments and find trails that are right off the highway! Not only am I able to explore new places on foot, but it is a welcome break during my long road trips.

I've spent a good amount of time on I-95 in the past year. Being cramped in a rental car for long periods of time is certainly hard on the body. Seeing the sign for the Palmetto Trail when I pulled over for gas one day gave me an idea. Why couldn't I plan ahead and fit in a run on these trips? I decided to start leaving a little extra time so I could stop and check out some of these opportunities. There is simply nothing better for refocusing your energies and priorities than jogging outside, taking in the fresh air and sounds of nature. This interstate has a lot to offer as it meanders from Florida, through the Carolina lowcountry, the Virginia countryside and continues north passing within easy reach of many quaint New England towns. Whether Palm Trees and Live Oaks in South Carolina or golden cornfields in Virginia, there is certain to be scenery that will take your breath away. Though I have visited many, here's a short list of some great "run spots" I've explored on my treks on I-95:

Virginia: James River Park This park area is built into the city/urban area as a nature area for the residents to enjoy. While not exactly the raw nature that I crave and usually go for, it does have its charm in being a very pleasant piece of manicured nature inside of the city. The trail runs along the James River Waterway where you can observe fishing and small recreational boats. There are great views of the city skyline and a run at sunset allows you to watch the city light up in preparation for the night to come.

Virginia: Powhatan Trails (Wildlife Management Area) Virginia is interesting because instead of numerous national parks, they have an array of wildlife management areas. This trail is approximately 12 miles long with a variety of scenery. It begins in the forest and then opens up to wetlands and fields filled with large hedges. I was fortunate to not only see a woodpecker but I was lucky enough to also spot a Buck in the distance during my run.

Florida: Retro River Run (Jacksonville Area) An old friend and fellow runner took me on this route while visiting Florida. It's a city trail, which I usually don't prefer, but this route crossed over three bridges to two different sections of Jacksonville so I was able to see a lot of the Historic City. The trail starts appropriately at the statue of “the Runner” and goes down the Acosta Bridge. After two miles it loops back around Main Street Bridge. In total, this is a four mile city loop which allows you to observe the interesting and intricate architecture the city has to offer.

South Carolina: Palmetto Trail (Capitol City Area) South Carolina is home to the Palmetto Trail, a combination of trails in the state that run across its entire length. This section was by Capitol City; a good 7 mile trail that's a lot easier than its nearby cousin, the heavily wooded Fort Jackson Trail. This is a paved trail which uses the sidewalks of downtown Columbia. There are trail heads laid out that will guide you through different neighborhoods of Columbia as well as historical sites such as University of South Carolina and the State Capital Building grounds. And of course, if you are really ambitious you can follow this trail east to the sea or west to the mountains!

Helpful Tip: Purchase a small portable GPS with a “create a marker” function, so you can mark where your car is and also mark the path you took. That way you can find your way back if the trail ends up being a little to rough or underdeveloped. Though I don't rely on other electronics, such as heart monitors, timers, or even watches, if you're exploring a new area you should be prepared. Besides being a great way to squeeze in a workout, jogging in new areas is also an excellent way to kill time when the inevitable traffic jam hits!

Heather: Take the Road to Fitness, and Stay the Course

I took the fitness route a little late in life; although I did play basketball and just about every other sport all through school and college, it was more on a casual basis and not in an effort to increase my stamina or get healthy. The last thing on your mind as a teenager is the drive to play a sport as a form of exercise or to get fit. It’s when you reach your late 20s and begin to see the gradual changes around your hips and thighs, when friends teasingly comment on how round and chubby your face looks these days, when you see a stranger looking at you from the mirror, when the button on your jeans refuses to shake hands with the fastener on the other side, and when the bathroom scales groan even as you walk past them, that you realize you must do something drastic to regain the figure you carried all those years ago.

And so I looked around for the best ways to lose weight; I tried dieting, but that didn’t seem to last long – it’s extremely hard to gulp down bread and soup when those around you are gorging on delicious food with nary a care in the world. For a while you tell yourself that it’s ok if you’re a little plump, and forget your resolution to lose weight. But when you huff and puff to climb the stairs to bed every night, the nightmares of looking like an elephant wake you up at 5 am and you hit the roads for a jog. Things were on track for a day or two, after which the toll of waking up before it’s daylight and the aches and pains in your legs lull you to shut off the alarm and turn over to go back into the land of slumber.

I realized I needed a plan, one that would enable me to stick to my resolution to lose weight, come hell or high water. I looked around for a sport I could play and found a squash club on my way to work. Not satisfied with my daily hour of the game, I cajoled a friend into joining me during my morning jog. The power of two was definitely greater than one, as each of us motivated the other and had bets going on who was going to register the first 5 lbs loss. I also invested in an exercise bike and combined my TV times with at least 10 miles of cycling.

The biggest motivator of course was the reading on the scales – when I saw that I had lost a couple of pounds more than my target, I cut down on my calorie intake in an effort to expedite the reduction process. I started eating just fruits and salads for dinner. I did reap the rewards of my labor a year later when I found that I lost around 40 lbs. Changes in my life did not allow me the freedom of devoting more than an hour to exercise every day, but the new me balked at going back to the pudgy person I had been a year ago. I had to decide which of my activities I wanted to keep and which I had to sacrifice. It was a tough choice, but I went with squash and gave up the rest.

When someone asks me how I stayed motivated all year long, I have only this to say:

  • Choose something you love – I enjoyed squash the most, which is why I chose to retain it as a part of my life.
  • Vary your routine so that it does not get monotonous – I had more than one activity going simultaneously, so if I got bored with one, I would just spend more time at the other.
  • Don’t give up until you start to see a change in the way you look and feel – once you reach this stage, you’ll never look back.
  • Get someone to exercise with you – it’s harder to stop when you know someone else is dependent on you.
Go ahead then and exercise; it’s never too late to start, and always too soon to quit before you’ve seen results.

5 more miles toward my lifetime goal of 1,000,000 miles :)

Today's run was a duplicate of Monday's run. Almost the same wakeup heart rate. Same route. Same distance. Same performance, getting tired after 2 miles. Same weather, sunny, temperature in the low 60s (F), and a nice day. More people on the path, though. I didn't carry water with me, but I had a bottle of water in my car and took drinks at the beginning and ending of my run.

I saw a garter snake in the rocks at the South end of the tunnel under 106th South (probably one of the snakes I saw a few days ago). It disappeared in the rocks and then stuck its head out of another hole and looked at me. The snake is about the diameter of my little finger and about 2 feet long.

I saw a cross-country skier. We have no snow, of course, and he had wheels on his skis. He was pushing himself with his poles, the same as he would do with snow. He should have strong arms by the time snow arrives and he does it for real.

While I ran, a muscle became tight and a little sore

I've noticed during the past few runs, that a particular muscle in my left leg became tight at around 4.7 miles. In previous days, the tightness only lasted a couple of minutes. Today, the tightness came at about 4.8 miles and didn't go away until I was home. As soon as the tightness occurred today, I stopped running and tried to stretch it out. It remained, and I walked slowly the last 1/4 mile to my car. Before getting in the car, I did my usual post-run stretches, but the muscle was still tight. After I had been home for an hour, I noticed the tightness was gone. The muscle is on the back of my leg, right where the ham strings join my buttocks. I don't think it is an injury; probably a muscle that needs more time to adjust to the 5-mile distance.

To run or not to run, that is the question!

While running today, I was thinking about my training. My wakeup heart rate has been high for the past couple of weeks, usually 60-63. Monday for example, it was 63. Today it was 62. My base wakeup heart rate is 53. A 20% increase would be 63.4, and my basic philosophy is not to run when my wakeup heart rate has a 20% increase or higher. Based on that philosophy, I should not have run on Monday and today.

I did run, however, on both days. I thus had an important decision to make.

a. I could not run and thus give my body extra rest.
b. I could ignore my wakeup heart rate and push on with my normal training.
c. I could run but give my body extra rest during my run.

On both days, I chose option c. I did keep my normal running of 96 left-foot steps, but as my body got tired, I increased my normal walking of 66 left-foot steps. Sometimes I took 70 or so left-foot steps, and other times I took 96 left foot steps. Also, sometimes I didn't count steps and just walked until I felt ready to run. I also took rest stops, sometimes standing and sometimes sitting on a bench. By giving my body extra rest, I was able to complete my planned distance of 5 miles with about half of that distance while I was running and half while I was walking.

In terms of injury, the safest option is option a, not running at all and giving my body extra rest. The next best option is option c, running but giving my body extra rest by increasing the amount of walking, or (which I didn't do this week), aborting the run when I started getting tired and walking/jogging back to my car.

The worst option (one which many runners choose) is to ignore my body telling me it's getting tired and pushing on with my normal training. That option puts runners on the path to injury. It's better to lose a little running and avoid injuries rather than to lose a lot of running after an injury occurs.

November 1, 2010

Another 5-mile run is in the log

Today is a beautiful day. Temperature in the 60s (F), a few clouds, and lots of sun. The visible peaks in the Wasatch mountains are snow covered (about 1/3 of each mountain). I ran 5 miles again, going south from 100th South.

I felt fine during the first half but was tired coming back. I kept my ratio of running and walking of 96 steps running and 66 steps walking for most of the run, but during the last half mile I switched to 46/33. Running the shorter distance before I walk helps, because I walk before getting really tired from running.

I haven't been carrying water with me, because I've been getting drinks from the fountain at the East pavilion. However, I found out today the fountain has been shut off for the winter. I knew that would happen, but I hoped it wouldn't happen for a couple more weeks. I had eaten a banana, two energy bars, and two small packages of gummy fruit just before I left, and I needed some water. Oh well, I'll start carrying water again.