December 30, 2010

Last run of 2010

It was after dark and during a snow storm, but I did 4 miles in neighborhood streets. I drove to the Jordan River Parkway, hoping the city had scraped the paths and the paths would thus only have an inch or so of snow, but the paths had about 6 inches of snow. So, I drove home and ran around the neighborhood. I wore my ice shoes and had no problems with packed snow from car tires or from ice. There was a 10 mph wind blowing, and I wore my ski mask on my face and my heavy winter mittens on my hands. I did 107 left-foot-steps running and 66 lfs walking.

December 27, 2010

My wakeup heart rate was still high but I felt fine

I ran my rest run of 5 miles during the late afternoon. I finished not too much before dark. The temperature when I finished was a degree or two above freezing. My resting heart rate was down a couple of points to 63, but I had a good energy level and did 106 left-foot-steps running and 66 lfs walking. As usual, I didn't wear gloves, and my hands were cold. I put my hands in my jacket pockets during my walks.

There were a lot of ducks in the Jordan River, bedding down for the night. The river is very low, compared to its level during the summer, and there are a lot of sand bars in the river that the ducks inhabit during the night.

December 25, 2010

Gave myself a 4-mile run as a Christmas present

For those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas. I hope all of us have a great 2011.

I ran 4 miles along the Jordan River, doing 105 left-foot steps running and 66 lfs walking. My wakeup heart rate was high (61), so I was expecting to reduce my run from 7 miles to something less. There were quite a few runners and walkers out this morning. The sky was mostly clear with a temperature around 40 (F). A great day for being outside! Today ends a 16-mile week of alternating running and walking.

Now, it's time for me to peel potatoes for a family dinner at 4 pm (MST). Two of my children and their kids will be here. Last night we went to a brother-in-law's house and had a traditional Norwegian dinner that has been going on in my wife's family for more more years than I've been married (47 years).

Maybe I could call myself one of Santa's Elves

One of the walkers I saw during my run said that at a distance I looked liked Santa Claus. My nylon wind breaker is red, and my running pants are red. My white long-sleeved T-shirt wasn't tucked in and hung a couple of inches below the jacket; at a distance it probably looked like a white wool bottom to Santa coat. We do have a Santa suit, so maybe next year I'll wear the Santa hat and add a "Ho Ho Ho" to my "Hello" that I say or wave to the people I pass.

December 24, 2010

My wakeup heart rate is down to 55

My wakeup heart rate (WHR) was down to 55 this morning. It has been around 61, and that decrease is significant, especially with the 7 mile run I did yesterday. That run was more stressful than it would have been due to the big hill in the middle of the run.

I've learned from experience that getting sufficient sleep is critical to my having a low WHR. For most of my adult life I've felt that 7 hours sleep per night was sufficient for my body. But, as I'm getting older I'm finding that 7 1/2 hours is a good amount for me. Last night I got 9 hours.

December 23, 2010

Ran my medium run of 7 miles on a cool but nice day

My wakeup heart rate (WHR) has been high the past week due to insufficient sleep, but I've been getting normal sleep the past couple of nights, and my WHR is coming down. I didn't measure my WHR this morning, but I felt pretty good when I got up, and I ran my medium run.

I drove to the big pavilion in Riverton at about 120th South and then ran 3.5 miles south and returned. My run took me past the big hill that was the turn-around point when I ran 15 mile long runs a few years ago (starting at 98th South, my usual starting point on the Jordan River Parkway). My turn-around this morning was about a quarter mile shy of the end of the path at 146th South. I only saw one other runner and one cyclist, but I saw several walkers. The sky was cloudy, and the temperature during the run was in the mid 30s. We've had about a foot of snow during the past week, but it is almost all gone due to above-freezing temperatures yesterday and during the night. One of the reasons I didn't run during the past week is that I used up my energy shoveling heavy, wet snow and didn't have any energy left for running :)

I enjoyed the run today, and it was interesting to visit parts of the path that I haven't been on for two years. During my run, I used a running/walking ratio of 104 left-foot steps running and 66 lfs walking, although during the last 3/4 mile I changed to 66 lfs running and 50 lfs walking.

December 16, 2010

Ran a reduced distance due to being tired

My wakeup heart rate this morning was 61 and I felt tired. I did run/walk, but I reduced the distance to 3.5 miles instead of the 7 miles that I'd hoped to run. I did, though, increase the number of left-foot-steps of running from 102 to 103, keeping my walking at 66 lfs. About half way through the run I could tell I was getting tired, and I reduced my running and walking to 66 and 46-50, respectively.

The sky was overcast and the temperature was in the mid 30s (F). Not a bad day for running, but it was cold for an old guy like me who was tired. The good news was that the path was free of ice.

At noon I had a check-up on my surgery (last week) for a Basal Cell skin cancer (the skin graft is doing fine), and I went running in the mid afternoon.

December 13, 2010

Walked/Ran 5 miles as a rest-run.

My wakeup heart rate was 54, and I felt pretty good. My son, Chad, broke his ankle two weeks ago, and his family is staying with us until he can do more for himself. He and his two-year-old daughter sleep in my computer room, and that means that I can't stay up late at night working on my blogs. The result is that I'm getting 7 1/2 to 8 hours sleep each night, and that is really helping my wakeup heart rate to be down.

I'm not supposed to be running until Thursday of this week due to surgery for a Basal Cell skin cancer last Thursday. I did want to run some today, so I reversed my running and walking and walked for 102 left-foot-steps and ran for 66 lfs, hoping that small amount of running wouldn't cause my surgery to start bleeding. Monday is my 5-mile rest run, and that is the distance I did this morning.

The temperature was in the 50s (F), the sky was cloudy, and it was relatively warm. In fact, about half of the runners who passed me were wearing shorts. I did wear my long pants and the three layers that I use in cold weather, but I took off my wind breaker (nylon jacket) on the way back. I was still too warm with the two layers that were left on me.

If I run/walk 7 miles on Wednesday and 7 miles on Saturday, I'll have 19 miles for the week, and that will be the most miles I've done in a week since my blood clots on January 19, 2009. I'm capping my Wednesday/Thursday run/walk at 7 miles, so all of my future increases in distance will be in my Friday/Saturday long run. When that gets to 10 miles, I'll cap it and not make further increases in distance for a while. That will give me 22 miles per week, and I want to run that for quite a few weeks so my body gets used to it. During that time, I'll slowly increase the number of lfs I run while keeping my walking lfs at 66.

December 11, 2010

Walked 6 miles today

In my post last Wednesday, I mentioned I would have surgery for a Basal Cell skin cancer. I had the surgery on Thursday. The surgery uses the Mohs technique of removing the cancer in layers and inspecting each layer with a microscope. My surgery required three layers and a skin graft using skin from my chest. This was the third time that surgeon has removed skin cancers. A few years ago, I had 10 skin cancers removed by a different doctor.

I was told to not run for a week to decrease the risk of bleeding but that I could walk. I thus walked today. I decided to walk for the same time I ran last Wednesday, and I walked 6 miles. I felt fine during and after the walk. My walking pace was 21-22 minutes per mile. Normal walking is 20 mpm, so I was walking a bit slower than "normal". My walking seemed pretty fast to me, but my wife says I am a slower walker than she is.

The temperature during my walk was in the low 50s (F) and the sky was overcast. In the summer 50 degrees would seem like a great temperature, but in December, 50 degrees (today at least) is cold. I wasn't wearing gloves, and I had to tuck my hands under my windbreaker to keep them warm.

December 8, 2010

Wow! My wakeup heart rate was 52 and ran 7 miles

That's the lowest heart rate I've had in two years! I had planned to run 6.5 miles again, but I decided that with the lower heart rate I might be able to do 7 miles. I did run 7 miles and had a great run. At around 3 miles I started getting tired, and I took a rest break for a couple of minutes at the 3-mile marker. On the way back, I took another break at that same bench. I took a third rest break with 1.5 miles left to go.

I'm not pushing for speed, but I did run about a minute per mile faster during the first two miles and last two miles. I did about 3/4 of the run at 102 left-foot steps running and 66 steps walking. During the last part of the run I changed to 66 lfs running and 45-50 lfs walking. I was getting tired by that time, and reducing the length of my running and walking segments helped a lot. I finished the run OK, in fact my last two miles were faster than the two miles that preceded them.

Today was a great day for running. During my run, the temperature was in the high 30s (F). The sky was cloudy. Most of the snow had melted, and for several miles it was like I was running in the early Spring. The path was clear of ice and was mostly dry.

In looking back on my run, I'm not quite ready for the faster pace that I ran during the first two miles. However, that is the pace my body set, and I went with it. The fact that I was able to maintain that pace for the first two miles and the last two miles was a good sign. However, I was pretty tired when I finished and climbed into my car. I ate an energy bar before I drove away; the energy bar (hopefully) helps my body begin its recovery.

Tomorrow I go in at 8 am for surgery for a Basal Cell skin cancer, and that might set my body back a bit.

I drove to the South Jordan East Pavilion to begin my run, and I was able to get into the territory that I ran when I was in half-marathon training three years ago. It was nice to revisit the area of the path than I ran back then. There is a large, empty concrete silo that is at the bottom of a large hill. Today, I didn't quite make it to that silo. I stopped in the middle of an area that will become at some future time a wetlands for wild birds.

New trees planted along the Parkway

I forgot to mention that during my run on Monday, on the 1.5 mile segment (round trip) that goes north from the 9900 entrance to the Parkway, I saw about 20 or so new trees that had been planted along the path. I'm guessing they are Cottonwood trees since Cottonwoods are native to the area. Right now there are a lot of Russian Olive trees along the path, but those trees aren't native. In about 15 years the Cottonwoods will be big enough that the caretakers of the Parkway can start to thin out the olive trees.

I also saw during my run today quite a few trees that had been planted along the path. However, these trees are on the other side of the fence, and the trees left the path and followed the fence away from the path. That is an open area that gets a lot of wind, and the land-owner might have planted them as a wind-break.

December 6, 2010

Today is the day for my weekly rest run -- did 2 miles

When I woke this morning, I didn't feel very energetic. My wakeup heart rate was 57. I hoped to run 5 miles but when I reached 2 miles, I could tell I was getting tired, and I aborted the run and drove home. I could have pushed fore 5 today, but then I would probably be tired on Wednesday. This way, I'll get extra rest today, normal rest tomorrow, and (hopefully) be ready for 6 miles on Wednesday. I did continue running 101 left-foot-steps and walking 66 lfs.

We had rain during the night, and the ground was wet when I started the run. However, by the time I returned to my car, the sky was clearing. There may be rain or snow tonight, though. The temperature during my run was in the high 30s (F).

December 4, 2010

Ran 6 miles again -- getting my body used to that distance

I was surprised when I measured my wakeup heart rate this morning at 54. I consider 53 my "normal" rate. This means that my body recovered from my long run on Thursday. I've been getting 7-7 1/2 hours of sleep each night, and that helps a lot.

I mentioned in my last post that I was considering making small weekly changes in the number of left-foot-steps before I walk. I was considering adding 2-3 steps each week. After thinking about it, I decided to do it differently, and I tried out my new scheme on my run this morning. My new scheme is to add 1 lfs on my Wednesday/Thursday run and another lfs on my Friday/Saturday run. The total for the week is the same both ways, but my new way smooths out the change during the week. I tried the new way this morning and ran 101 lfs and walked 66 lfs.

The weather during my run was cloudy with temperatures in the mid to high 30s (F). Most of the ice on the Parkway path has melted, and I only encountered three patches of black ice. When I first started the run, I carefully looked at each wet spot to see if it was water or ice, and they were all water. I thus gave up looking for ice and just ran and enjoyed being outside. Then, all of a sudden my two feet slid. I immediately stopped running and recovered my balance. I didn't go down. I started examining the wet spots again and found two more spots that were ice. I stopped and walked across the ice (these spots were pure ice with no snow on them).

As I did on Thursday, I ran the full 6 miles with no rest stops.

December 2, 2010

Extended my run to 6 miles

I ran 6 miles on the Jordan River Parkway this morning. The temperature was 27 (F) when I left home and in the mid 30s when I returned. My wakeup heart rate was 58. I thought it would be lower since I've been getting about 7 1/2 hours of good sleep night. Apparently, my body is still recovering from my snow shoveling a few days ago. I left home just before the sun came over the Wasatch mountains, and most of my run was in the sunshine. I only saw one walker (saw him at the beginning of my run) and one runner (saw her about 3/4 through my run).

Most of the Parkway path was clear, and it was a pleasant day for running. I wore my usual three layers, but I didn't wear gloves. Instead of gloves, I kept my hands inside the sleeves of my windbreaker. My fingers did get cold, as expected, but after I had gone 3 miles, they felt fine. It usually takes about 2 miles for my fingers to begin feeling better and 3 miles for them to feel fine. I wore my wide-brimmed hat instead of a knit cap, and my face and ears felt fine. In my previous run, I started running for 100 left-foot steps (I had been using 96) and walking my usual 66 lfs. During this run I continued the new number of lfs while running. I've been thinking that instead of increasing my lfs by 5 or so every 3-4 weeks, I would make a smaller increase each week. I may try 102 lfs next week and see how it goes.

Looking into the future, I should be running 6 1/2 miles by the end of the year, and I might be running 7 miles if things go well. My Monday/Tuesday run is capped at 5 miles as a rest run, and my Wednesday/Thursday run will be capped at 7 miles as a mid run. My Friday/Saturday run will be capped at 10 miles as a long run. Eventually, I'll move the mid run up to 90-10 miles and the long run up to 13+ miles.

Saw a "million" Canadian Geese in the Jordan River

During my run, I saw something in the Jordan River that I hadn't seen before. Over a mile of the river was full of Canadian geese! Usually the river has a lot of ducks. The sun was just coming over the Wasatch mountains when I saw the geese. On my way back, the geese were all gone from the river, but I saw a hundred or so of them on the lawn near the East Pavilion. Apparently the geese spent the night on the river and then left for the day. I think of Utah having cold winters, but apparently our winters are warmer that Canadian winters, warmer enough that the geese go south to Utah for the winter.

The following picture is from the web, but it shows what the geese looked like this morning as they left the river as I ran past them.

Lots of snow during the past three weeks

The Salt Lake valley has had over two feet of snow during the past three weeks (significantly more than we usually get in November). The first storm dumped about 15 inches of wet, heavy, snow on a Sunday morning. I spent almost four hours shoveling my walks and driveway. I took it slow and paced myself while shoveling, but I was really tired when I finished. The second storm dumped about 15 inches of light, fluffy, dry snow, and I was able to finish my shoveling in about two hours. I was tired, but not like I was the week before. I had enough energy left that I was able to help my neighbor shovel her driveway.

During the past two weeks, the low temperature during the night was about 0 (F), and the daytime high was in the mid 20s (F).

I don't like to run on ice, and I was glad that the cities quickly removed most of the snow from the Jordan River Parkway. I do have my ice shoes that I made last year if I have to run on ice.