February 28, 2011

Ran my rest-run of 5 miles

I had an enjoyable run today. I ran a mile to the tunnel under 106th South, and it was flooded due to drainage from the grass area next to the tunnel and to high water in the Jordan River. I knew the tunnel under 123rd South would be flooded due to the high water, so I wasn't surprised that the 106th South tunnel was flooded.

I turned around and went north until the path ends at the West Jordan City boundary, and then I went south again to finish my 5-mile run.

The temperature was in the mid 40s (F), and it was a pleasant day to be outside. The sky was mostly overcast with very high clouds, but there were moments when the sun peeped out for a few minutes.

While running, I saw a beautiful view of the Wasatch Range

The Salt Lake valley is in a bowl with the Wasatch mountains on the east, smaller hills on the north and south, and the Oquirrh mountains on the west. Because of this bowl, the Salt Lake valley frequently has winter temperature inversions that make the valley seem like it is in London fog. Today, though, the air was clean and crisp, and as I ran along the Jordan Valley Parkway, I had a beautiful view of the Wasatch mountains, all covered with snow. Going from south to north and from highest to lowest, there is Mt. Timpanogos (11,500 feet), Lone Peak, Twin Peaks, and Mt. Olympus that is in the center of the valley. The hills around Salt Lake City are lower and not particularly attractive. The four peaks I mentioned are a spectacular site, and today's view was especially nice due to the fresh snow on the mountains. I'm sure the skiers at Utah's world-famous ski resorts are having fun in the snow.

There is a joke about a visitor to Utah who saw the snow-covered mountains and asked if the mountains were covered with salt from the Great Salt Lake.

February 26, 2011

Through rain, sleet, or snow, the runners will go

Today was my day for snow. I ran 5.5 miles, using the same route I used on Wednesday. There was a light snow falling during most of my run. The temperature was 34 (F) when I left home and 30 when I returned. I forgot my gloves, and even though I kept my hands in the pockets of my nylon jacket, my fingers were so cold that when I finished the run, I had a hard time pressing the "open" button on my car remote. I finally got the door open and started the car, using my hands not my fingers to turn the key and start the motor. While the car was warming up, I nibbled on an energy bar. I arrived home about 15 minutes before darkness.

I ran 126 left-foot-steps and walked 66 lfs for about 3 miles, and then I switched to 66 lfs running and 50 lfs walking. I only saw two people on the path, a walker with two big dogs and a cyclist. The path was bare but wet and the running was good. We had about 3 inches of snow during the night, and the light snow during the day.

I wore the iZUMi long sleeved T-shirt instead of my long sleeved cotton T-shirt. I was curious to see how warm the iZUMi shirt was. The shirt seemed to do OK, and my body, legs, and feet were fine; only my fingers were cold. My Saucony shoes handled the wet asphalt OK. All in all, it was a nice run and a nice day for running.

The Jordan River is still high. This is the highest I've ever seen the river.

February 23, 2011

A good 5.5 mile run in great weather

My grandkids have ended their visit, and things are getting back to normal. Today was a wonderful Spring day. Sun temperature in the mid 50s (F), and shade temperature in the low 40s. A slight breeze that was a head wind going out and a tail wind coming back.

I drove to the East Pavilion in South Jordan and then ran south and back. There was a lot of trash along the path in the Draper section, and I picked up a big bag full. The Jordan River was high, and the path going under 123rd South was flooded and I had to turn around before my planned turn-around point (I made up the 1/3 mile at the end of my run). My legs did start to feel tired on the way back, and I switched from running 125 left-foot-steps and walking 66 lfs to running 66 lfs and walking 40-50 lfs.

I wore my new Saucony shoes for this run, and they performed well. They felt comfortable, and I have no blisters. I also wore my new Pearl iZUMi T-shirt for the first time. Being a turtle neck with a zipper, it felt warm, and I actually had to unzip the shirt to allow for air to flow under the shirt and cool me off a bit.

The Jordan River was very high

The water-level in the Jordan River was high today. The water in the river comes from Utah Lake, and there is a pumping station at the north end of the lake. The level of the river is controlled by the pumping station. My guess is that they are trying to lower the water-level in Utah Lake to make room for the Spring runoff. Normally, the water level wouldn't rise until April or May. The same thing happened last year at this time, and that scheme seemed to work, because there was no flooding of the river during late spring and early summer last year. Today, the water was flowing faster than I was going, because sticks in the river were passing me.

Two long-haired German Shepherd dogs

I saw a man sitting on a bench who had two big dogs of a breed that I'd never seen before. I asked him what breed of doges they were, and he said they were long-haired German Shepherd dogs. He said the dogs were being trained to be rescue dogs. His wife is a certified dog trainer, and she is training them. He is a "walker" and takes the dogs for walks. They were beautiful dogs.

February 21, 2011

A 2 mile run in my new Saucony shoes

I received today via UPS a pair of Saucony ProGrid Triumph shoes that I'll be testing. I wore them on a 2-mile run, and they felt fine. I've started a review of them in my training site.

I've had three grandkids here for the weekend, and I chose to delay my run until the kids left (we played games all afternoon, and my 7-year-old granddaughter won 6 straight games of Sorry). It was a few minutes from being dark when I started my run. However, that part of the Jordan River Parkway has enough secondary light from a golf course, nearby buildings, the moon, etc. that I had no problems seeing the path. I've run that part of the Parkway several times after dark, and the darkness gives a pleasant but different atmosphere to the run.

The temperature was 32 (F) when I left home and 30 (F) when I returned home. It was a nice evening for a run, the new Saucony shoes felt fine, and the run was a nice conclusion to a nice Presidents Day. I alternated running 124 left-foot-steps and walking 66 lfs.

February 19, 2011

Had a nice 5.5 mile run during rain

I ran the same 5.5 mile route that I used on Thursday, only this time it was raining during the run. Not a heavy rain, just a light rain that didn't stop (temperature was low 40s (F)). I need to get a can of Silicone and spray my wind breaker to restore the water repellant on the jacket, pants, and hat. Water did leak through the cloth and got my long sleeved cotton T-shirt damp. My feet stayed dry, though, because my new Pearl iZUi shoes kept the water out. I used a ratio of 123 left-foot steps and 66 lfs walking, doing that for the first 2 miles. I could tell my body was getting tired, so I dropped to 66 lfs running and 50 lfs walking. After about half a mile I felt better, so I went back to the 123/66 ratio, but after doing that twice, I dropped to 80 lfs running and 55 lfs walking and finished the run while using that ratio. Even though it was raining, there were quite a few runners and walkers on the path.

February 17, 2011

A nice 5.5 mile run

We had a lot of wind yesterday (20 mph gusts) and an inch of snow during the night, but today has been a nice day: low 40s (F), a gentle breeze, and clouds and some sunshine. The Parkway path and roads are clear of snow, and most of the snow on lawns and in bushes has melted. I added 0.5 miles to my run, doing 122 left-foot-steps running and 66 lfs walking. I did take short rest stops three times, but I could have omitted them if I'd had to. The 122 lfs is close to 1/10 mile.

February 15, 2011

Take Care of Your Feet

One thing we all must have if we are to be walkers and runners is healthy feet. I just put a new page in my training site about healthy feet. The article from nursingschools.net was so well written that I copied it verbatim.

February 14, 2011

Ran another 5 miles this morning

Today is the day for my rest run. I ran in the morning and had a nice run. I ran 121 left-foot-steps and walked 66 lfs. The temperature was in the low 50s (F), and except for a 20 mph gusty south wind, it was a great day for running. I wore running shorts, a thick cotton long sleeved T-shirt, and my wind breaker, giving me two layers. On the way back, I took off my wind breaker. There was lots of sun in the sky (and some clouds, too). Because of the headwind, I slowed down to the point where I could complete my running segment. I was looking forward to a 20 mph tail wind, but as I neared the turn-around-point, the wind died down to a 10 mph gusty wind. I kept the running/walking ratio that I mentioned above, and I didn't stop to rest. So, it was a nice run on a beautiful morning. Quite a few people were out walking or running. One guy was on inline skates and was being pulled by a big dog.

One walker passed me while I was walking. I found that my running phase kept up with her, but I fell back from her during my walking phase. I know I'm going pretty slow when the walkers walk as fast as I run.

My new PI shoes still feel great!

February 12, 2011

Did my first run in the Pearl iZUMi shoes

I ran 5 miles in the new Pearl iZUMi (PI) shoes that I'm testing. I decided that, instead of making comments in this blog and later adding a formal review to my training blog, I would add the review now to the training blog now and update it every so often as I put mileage on the shoes.

The temperature was in the high 40s (F) during the run. I still wore my long pants and three layers, and I got too warm on the way back and tied my windbreaker around my waist.

During the run I ran 120 left-foot-steps and walked 66 lfs. During the middle of the run I started getting tired and dropped down to 80-90 lfs running, but during the last mile I felt better and went back to 120 lfs.

I'm still having problems not eating breakfast. I've noticed on days that I do eat breakfast, I have more energy. Today, my only food after getting up and later going out to run was a bowl of Cheeros with 1% milk and a banana; this was about two hours before I started running. Also, I needed more water due to not drinking before I left home. And, my five hours of sleep last night was not enough. All of this drained my energy, and I took several brief rest stops during the run.

Put a review of LOCO running shoes in my training site

During the next few months, I'll be doing reviews of several running shoes. I just put my review in my training site of the LOCO shoes I've been using for several years.

February 11, 2011

Tomorrow will try a new pair of Pearl iZUMi shoes

I received a pair of new Pearl iZUMi Syncrofloat IV shoes today. I'm testing the shoes and will report in my training blog my experiences with the shoes. I'll use the shoes in my 5-mile run tomorrow.

I also received a Pearl iZUMi technical long sleeved T-shirt. It is red and black and has a turtle-neck with a zipper down the front. It looks like the type of shirts that are worn by cyclists, but it is advertised as being for runners. Because of the turtle-neck and long sleeves, the shirt looks warmer than regular T-shirts. I'll wear the shirt later in the Spring when it is warm enough for a T-shirt but cool enough that the long sleeves and turtle-neck will feel fine. I've started a review of the shirt and will add to the review as I use the shirt.

February 9, 2011

I had a great run during my 5 miles

I ran 5 miles again, leaving home about 4 pm. The temperature was in the high 30s (F), with lots of sun and clouds in the sky. All of the snow from the storm on Monday evening that was on the Parkway path is gone, although the snow off the path is still on the ground.

I still had about a mile and a half left to do when the sun went down, and the temperature began to quickly drop. The temperature when I got home was in the low 30s or maybe the high 20s. I've temporarily moved my outdoor thermometer into my basement to see if the water pipes might be subjected to freezing temps, so I don't have an exact temperature for outside (the low last night was 14 when I moved the thermometer, but the temperature in my basement was 51 in the early morning and 53 during the day).

I had a great run. I felt strong and ran faster for a mile and a half before I slowed to my normal pace. One good sign is that I'm getting used to the distance, and the 5 miles doesn't seem as long as it used to. My runs are starting to feel more like they did before my blood clots two years ago. During my run I used a ratio of 119 left-foot-steps while running and 66 lfs walking.

I passed a guy fishing in the river. I asked about his fishing, and he said, "It's terrible!" I replied, "Well, you're having fun anyway." He didn't respond to my comment.

Saw lots of geese during my run

During my run, I must have seen several hundred geese walking around a large grassy area. Most of the geese were within 25 feet from the path and, maybe, 50 feet from the Jordan River. The large grassy area is about a quarter mile long and contains quite a few picnic tables. It's part of the South Jordan park system. I always see geese there and at similar places. I don't see geese picking at things on the ground; they are just standing still or walking around. I don't know if the geese just like open spaces or if they find more food there than in other places. I don't know if the geese eat insects, worms, etc. or grass. What ever the reason they're there, it is nice to see them up close -- they are beautiful, majestic birds.

February 7, 2011

I have a guardian angel watching over me as I run

About 15 minutes after I finished my 5-mile run this afternoon, it started raining, then hailing, and now a snow blizzard. My wife knew I was going running, but I was finishing some changes on a family-history web site and was procrastinating going out. She reminded me a couple of times that a storm was coming, and I decided I'd better heed her warning and leave. Now, as I look out the window at the snow (flakes almost falling horizontal) I'm glad I'm not on the Parkway path.

During my run the temperature was in the low to mid 40s (F), but it is now 37. During my run there was a stiff south wind blowing, probably with gusts about 15 mph. The half of the run in which I was running north wasn't bad, because the wind was a tail wind. I kept a ratio of 118 left-foot-steps running and 66 lfs walking. The other half of the run was a different story. I could tell I was getting tired trying to maintain my pace against the wind, so I slowed down and did more walking. When I first started, there was some sun mixed with dark clouds, but as my run progressed, the clouds increased and it started to sprinkle. Not much rain, but enough to make a noise as the drops hit my wide-brimmed hat.

I only saw two people on the path -- a walker with a big dog and another runner. I hope they made it back to their cars OK. I picked up several pieces of trash. Most of the trash out to about 20 feet from the path is gone. Next, I'll work on the trash further out in the tall grass and bushes.

My wife commented a few minutes ago that she is glad we have a warm house. I agreed and also thought I'm glad to have her as my guardian angel!

February 5, 2011

Ahhh... ran a great 5 miles

Today was a warm day. The temperature high was 51 (F) and was 49 when I left home around 2:30 pm. It was 41 when I returned. I felt good and had a good run. I did the 5 miles using a left-foot steps of 117 for running and 66 for walking, and I did the run using that ratio all the way with no rest stops. When I finished, my legs and body felt a little bit tired but not enough to cause me to take a rest stop or decrease the number of lfs. I saw a couple of cyclists and a walker or two on the path but no other runners. Lots of ducks and Canadian geese in the river and on the lawns. Even though the temperature was in the mid 40s, I wore long pants and my usual 3 layers. I felt comfortable, and it was nice to run in warmer weather. There was a gusty south-wind of about 4 mph.

The sky was mostly cloudy with bits of sun here and there, due to a storm front that is passing through. The forecast said we might get some rain or light snow this afternoon and evening, but nothing happened. I picked up quite a bit of trash that had blown in by the wind. I see very little trash dropped by persons using the Parkway -- they are pretty good in using the trash bins.

February 4, 2011

Running Beats Rheumatoid Arthritis with a Big Stick!

by Wendy

My mileage is slowly creeping back up with the occasional set back. Sometimes I feel like I am always 2 steps forward 1 1/2 steps back. Which is okay since it still means moving forward! We all have things that interrupt even the best laid training plans, slipping on ice, travel plans, etc. so it is important to be able to let those times when you can't exercise go so you don't stress over the missed workout, but you also have to see them only as a pause and not let it spiral into a new routine of making excuses.

After a 3 day break from running, I was feeling pretty low. I woke up with a serious RA flare that had even my jaw so inflamed I couldn't open my mouth to eat breakfast. RA also saps your energy so the last thing in the world I wanted to do was run, but I hauled myself into the gym anyway.

On the other hand, I know full well that a good run will knock the rust off and get things moving again. I stepped onto the treadmill and long story short, I managed a light 10 mile run.

The best part of the story? My RA flare subsided as effectively as if I had gone to the doctor for a Kenalog shot! Endorphins are very powerful drugs, we just have to reach out and grab them with both hands. It has taken me over 3 years to get to the point where I can run for over an hour and a half and still be productive, but every step has been worth it. This is why I run.

Wendy Nail (a.k.a. The Rusted Runner)

February 3, 2011

Did 5 miles again

My wakeup heart rate was 57, and I felt pretty good. There was a lot of sun today, but the temperature was still cold, although not as cold as the last couple of days. When I left home at 3 pm, the shade temperature was 32 (F), and it was 27 when I returned. Most of the path is in the sun, and that sun felt good! I ran 116-left-foot-steps and walked 66 lfs, and I kept that ratio for the whole time, including the last mile. I did take several short sitting breaks, though. Overall, I was significantly stronger than I was on Monday. The one bad thing was that I missed breakfast and lunch and just had a few hand fulls of Cheerios, an energy bar, and some water immediately before I left. I'm sure my energy level was lower than it would have been if I'd had proper meals during the morning and noon-time.

February 2, 2011

Utah isn't so cold after all

Last night the temperature outside my house hit a low of 1 (F), and the temperature right now is in the mid 20s. My wife and I are sitting in our warm house thinking it is too cold to do anything outside. However, we're fortunate to not be living in the mid-west. The poor folks in Chicago and that area are really having cold weather: below zero at night, teens in the day, and two feet or more of snow everywhere. I lived in Massachusetts for 17 years and experienced a lot of Chicago-like weather, especially during the mini-ice-age of the 1970s and 1980s. I think we're having it pretty good right now in Utah. Yes, it is cold, but we have no snow in the valley where people live. Those who ski, though, are having a great time 20 miles from here in the ski resorts. During the hot summer I think it would be great to live in Park City. But, right now, I'm glad to be lower down in the Salt Lake valley (our elevation is 4400 feet compared to 7500 feet in Park City).