Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finished the week with a medium run

I wasn't able to go out running until late afternoon, about 5 pm. I completed my medium run of 1 hour 40 minutes, although I was tired and only did 4.75 miles instead of the expected 5 miles. Because I was running in the late afternoon, it wasn't as hot as it was on Thursday. In addition, there was a 8-10 mph headwind on the way back, and that helped cool me down. Also, during the last mile, the sun was low enough in the sky to be behind clouds, and I ran/walked that mile in shade. I was tired, because I spent three hours on my feet during the morning helping a neighbor spray his yard for weeds.

I'm expecting a large crop of mosquitoes

Because of the river Jordan flooding the low areas next to the river, there are large bodies of water that have become stagnate as the water level in the river drops below the bottom of the ponds of water. Stagnate is just the type of water needed for mosquitoes to breed. According to Wikipedia, it takes 5-14 days for mosquito eggs to become adults. Thus, we may see swarms of mosquitoes during the next 10 days. We have about 2 1/2 months before our first frost, which will kill the mosquitoes, and that is enough time to get quite a few generations of mosquitoes.  Because Utah is a desert area, we normally don't have much of a problem with mosquitoes. So, it will be interesting to see what happens.

When I moved from Phoenix to Massachusetts, I had problems with the large populations of mosquitoes in New England. Then, one day I realized I wasn't bothered by mosquitoes any more. The females would poke me and suck my blood, but I had no reaction to them.

My two sons and I had heard that if one flexed his arm muscles, the mosquitoes wouldn't be able to remove their needle-nose (proboscis) and would keep sucking blood and pop. So, one day my son and I decided to test that theory. We offered our bare arms to the mosquitoes, and when they started sucking blood, we tightened the muscles in our arms. The mosquitoes (female) got their fill of blood and flew away. We thus concluded that the story we had heard was false. This experiment was held after I had stopped having reactions to mosquitoes, and I went into my house with no problems occurring from the many mosquito bites I had experienced.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another HOT long run of 2 hours 20 minutes

My wakeup heart rate was 56, and I felt pretty good. I decided to run my long run instead of my medium run of 1 hour 40 minutes. I was late getting out, and I suffered through the hottest part of the day. I drank 6 cups of water, but my urine was quite dark when I returned home. Because of the heat, I ran slower than I did on Saturday of last week, resulting in my running about 1/2 mile less in distance for the same amount of time than I did on Saturday. That is the beauty of running for time instead of for distance. In the same amount of time, I may run more distance or less distance, depending on how I feel. This helps me avoid pushing myself to meet a goal even though I'm tired of a certain distance. I still have a temptation to push myself to do a certain number of minutes, but that is easier on my body than pushing to meet a distance-goal. I took a good rest at the Draper City recreation area about a quarter mile after my turn-around point, and I took a shorter rest when I reached the picnic tables near the East Pavilion.

I met a man named Harry who was painting a picture while enjoying the shade of one of the small picnic tables near the East Pavilion. He is two years younger than me and was raised in Southern Utah about 100 miles from the town I was raised in. We enjoyed talking with each other for a few minutes. He was still painting when I finished my run and returned to the East Pavilion, and I visited with him for a few minutes. The picture is of his son standing next to his motorcycle. It is a beautiful picture, and I think his son will enjoy getting it (he hasn't seen it yet). Harry said that several men who have motorcycles have asked him to paint their pictures with their motorcycles. Harry doesn't run, but he and his wife do mall-walking, and they do cycling together. His wife also does cycling without Harry, because she likes to go longer distances.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A super rest run today

My wakeup heart rate was 55, and I felt great when I got up. I was out earlier to miss the mid-day heat, and Mother Nature helped in that regard. The sky was cloudy and the temp was 80 (F). Not a great temperature for running but better than the mid 90s that I've been experiencing. As I ran I focused on bending my knees more, and I noticed that I ran faster than I've been running. My goal of 1 hour for my rest run, which has allowed me to run 3 miles in the past, allowed me this morning to run 3.3 miles, a 10% increase. As with my previous runs, I didn't intentionally run faster; my body just did that on its own. I'm glad I was out earlier, because the clouds broke up, and the mid-day temperature right now is 92.

And to top it all off, I found another golf ball. The path goes by a golf course, and all of the balls I've found were from drives that went way off the fairway and over the fence onto the Parkway. I found a golf ball last week on the Draper City side of the Jordan River. I was surprised to see the ball in the grass next to the path, because there are no golf courses nearby.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Free ID tags

If you like an ID tag to identify you in case you pass out while you're walking or running, here is a link to free tags. I have mine.

It was HOT, but I did my long run

My wakeup heart rate was 56, and I felt pretty good. I left home planning to run my medium run, but as I ran, I decided to do the long run.

I ran/walked for 2 hours 20 minutes on the Jordan River Parkway, using the same route that I used last Saturday. The air temperature was in the high 90s (F), but the direct-sun temperature was probably about 110. Unfortunately, almost all of my route was in the direct sun. I drank about 9 cups of water. In fact, on the way back I drank so much water that I felt bloated. I sweat a lot and need to drink a lot to replace the sweat. I felt fine for most of the time, but the heat really got to me in the middle of the run; I didn't know if I would make the half-mile to the recreational area in Draper City. Obviously, I did make it since I'm at home writing this post and am not in a hospital suffering from heat exhaustion. I took a long (several minutes) rest in the shade at a picnic table after I refilled my water bottles. I felt fine after that.  In fact on the way back, it felt like there was a slight head-wind, but I didn't see any tall grass moving in nearby fields. The cooling from the head-wind or what ever it was felt great and helped with the heat.

I didn't see many walkers, and I saw no other runners. I did see a lot of cyclists, though. As I was stretching at the end of my run in the shade of a picnic place, not far from my car at the East Pavilion, I saw a young girl who was about 3 or 4 years old riding her tricycle and carrying her younger brother. I didn't see a parent nearby, and I was worried about her safety. However, her father came out of the East Pavilion and escorted her back to a party that was going on at the pavilion. Had the father not appeared, I would have walked to the girl to ask where her parent was. I'm glad the father came before I approached the girl -- he might have thought I was stranger-danger.

The water level in the river is significantly lower than it was a week ago. I guess that most of the snow in the high mountains has melted. In about another month, the water level will be down to its normal Fall level. When that happens, the tunnels under 10600 South and 12300 South won't be flooded, and I'll be able to start all my runs at the parking lot at 10000 South. I'm currently doing my rest run from that parking lot, but I'm doing my two other runs from the East Pavilion at about 10800 South in South Jordan City. During the Fall, Winter, and Spring I will, though, start some of my longer runs from the East Pavilion or the Draper recreational area to allow me to run further south than I usually do, thus bringing some variety into my routes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Had a great rest run

I ran my 1 hour rest run and felt great. My wakeup heart rate was 56, and I felt pretty good. I started the run at 11:05 am and ran north of the 10000 South parking lot. Because I felt good, my body naturally ran a bit faster, and I finished the "normal" route in 55 minutes. I ran an additional 5 minutes to complete the 1-hour time. I didn't push my body to run faster; it just did that because it was rested and full of energy.

The run was hot. There was no breeze, and there wasn't much shade on the path. However, I did enjoy the brief amounts of shade that were still there. I should have been out running earlier in the morning (there would have been a lot more shade) but I yielded to temptation and looked at my email and other things on the computer and started running about an hour later than I should have started.

When I end my run at the parking lot at 10000 South, I do my stretching after the run in a corrugated steel tunnel under 10000 South. The path through the tunnel is in the shade and there is almost always a breeze blowing through the tunnel. It's a nice place to stretch and finish my cool-down from my run.

The water level in the Jordan River is down a few inches. As I've mentioned before, there is a certain dead branch in the river that I use to gauge the height of the water. For the past 5-6 weeks, that stick has been covered with water, but this morning the branch was sticking an inch or so out of the water. The river is a couple hundred feet wide at that point, so that the 5 inches or so decrease in the level of the water represents a lot of water.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Completed my long run and reached my 7-mile goal

I ran and walked for 140 minutes (my goal for my long-run), and I also reached 7 miles. I began running at 11 am and missed the hottest part of the day, although it was still pretty hot. I drank 8 bottles of water (8 oz each). There were quite a few people on the Parkway. Not many runners but quite a few walkers and cyclists.

The Jordan River has really gone down during the past two days. The path under the 11400 South tunnel is partly dry such that people can stay on the path as they go through the tunnel. The place in Draper that I mentioned in a previous post as being completely covered with water is almost all dry. On Wednesday of this week it was about half dry.

On the way back I saw a white-tailed deer (a doe). It was grazing in a field and was about 200 feet from me. As I got close to it, it hopped across the field to a grove of Russian Olive trees. It's unusual to see deer this close to civilization at this time of the year -- they are usually in the higher mountains during the summer.

I felt pretty good during my run. My wakeup heart rate was 54, an indication I was well rested. Today was the third time this year that I've reached 7 miles. Previously, I quickly discovered that I couldn't maintain the 7 miles, and I dropped back to 5 miles. Hopefully, I will be able to keep the 7 miles this time. We'll see how I feel on my next long-run.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the actual storm

I'm starting to have second thoughts about continuing to run when I hear thunder in the distance. From my reading, I've learned that lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the storm itself.  I'm doing more reading to help me formulate a plan of action when I hear distant thunder.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Had a great medium run of 100 minutes

Today was my first day to run by time instead of by distance. I ran for 100 minutes, going south from the East Pavilion in South Jordan (about 10800 South). My estimate of 50 minutes going south was right on, and I arrived at the turnaround point I've been using for my 5-mile route. However, I ran slightly faster going back and got a little more distance in my time-allotment.

I ran faster going back because it started to rain, and I was in a heavy rain for about 15 minutes.  The cloudy sky and rain drops cooled the air and made for nice running. On the way down, I drank three bottles (1 cup each) of water, but on the way back I only drank one bottle, and that water was before and after the rain. I heard some thunder during the storm, but it was up high in the clouds and south of me, and I wasn't worried about lightning. When I hear thunder and see lightning flashes that are close to me, I count seconds (5 seconds per mile), and if the thunder is less than 5 seconds behind the flash, I look for some place to take shelter.  If I were running in a residential neighborhood, I would go to a house and ask for permission to sit on their front porch until the storm passed. However, the Jordan River Parkway is away from houses and mostly in open fields, and I'm not sure where I would go if I had to take cover. I might end up laying flat on the ground so I wouldn't attract the lightning. During the rain storm, the wind, which was a tail wind, increased to 20-30 mph, and that helped me run faster. Before the story, the wind was about 10 mph. The rain drops were cold from being high in the sky, and I felt like I was in a cold shower during the storm. As soon as the rain stopped, the sky cleared, and the heat came back. When I got home, I took a hot shower and dressed in dry clothes. I've felt fine during the day.

On the way down, I passed two women who were walking. On the way back, I passed them again. One of them asked me what I was training for. I answered, "to stay alive". They laughed and apparently thought that was a good answer.

The Jordan River is lower than it has been for several weeks. There is one place in Draper City where, during the Spring, about half the path was covered with water. Then during June, the river increased its height, and all of the path at that place was covered with water -- about 2 inches deep. Today, however, only half of the path was covered. It looks like the river has peaked in its water content, and it should slowly decrease during the summer and early Fall.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Drawing for a book giveaway to be held on August 20, 2011

A book that I read a few months ago is 50/50 by Dean Karnazes. He ran 50 marathons in 50 days, one in each state. I enjoyed reading about his exploits as a runner and how he solved the problem of needing to do a marathon in a particular state when no marathon was scheduled in that state for that date. I will be giving the book away via a random drawing -- see the giveaway page in the Welcome to My Blog category in the left sidebar for details.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A great 3.3 mile rest run

I had a good seven hours sleep last night and was out at 9 am to avoid the mid-day heat. My wakeup heart rate was 54 and I felt good during the run. There was a slight head wind when going south that didn't hinder my speed but did help to keep me cool. Because the run was short and earlier in the morning, I didn't take any water with me. I did fine without the water and without any rest stops.

I'm going to run time instead of miles

I've been running a particular number of miles for each run. When I'm tired I run for more minutes because my pace is slower, and when I feel good my run takes less time due to a faster pace. That is just the opposite of what I should be doing to protect my body from injury. When I'm tired, I should be running fewer miles, and when I feel good I should be running more miles. I've decided to return to running for a certain number of minutes, referred to as running time,  instead of a certain number of miles. In doing this, I'll give my body more protection against injury. If I'm tired, I'll run slower and do fewer miles, and if I feel good I'll run faster and do more miles. This is discussed in more detail in my training site.

Reverting to a time-base means that I'll have to change my goals. Instead of having goals for certain number of miles, I'll have goals for certain number of minutes, as follows. The specified minutes are minutes moving not total minutes. The total minutes is longer if I take rest breaks.

Rest run: 1 hour (60 minutes)
Medium run: 1 hour 40 minutes (100 minutes)
Long run: 2 hours 20 minutes (140 minutes)

These new goals correspond approximately to my previous goals in miles.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

5 hours sleep doesn't hack it for running

I only had 5 hours sleep last night and was tired when I left home to go running. After two miles, I tossed in the towel and returned home. Also, it was hot and that didn't help.