April 25, 2011

An enjoyable but wet weekly training run

I ran my 5-mile training run in the late afternoon. There was a slight drizzle during most of the run and a heavier run during some of the run. I parked at the East Pavilion In South Jordan and ran north to look at the tunnel under 10600 South (still flooded and more water in it than last Saturday). I then ran South into Draper City and then ran back to the East Pavilion.

Quite a few trees have been planted along some pastures in Draper. With the warmer weather we've been having, these trees have taken off, and the trees have a lot of new leaves. The trees are in the open and get a lot of sun. The trees that were planted north of 10000 South have new leaves but not nearly as many leaves as the trees further south in Draper. These trees have more shade during the afternoon.

I saw two large, white Pelicans in the lower fishing pond in South Jordan. A year ago there were two Pelicans that hung around for a couple of weeks in the Spring. It's nice to see them back again (of course, these might not be the same ones that were here a year ago). The following picture is from the web.

My runs are dedicated to Bruce

My running friend, Bruce, who comments frequently in this blog has been diagnosed with cancer. Tomorrow is his first treatment of chemotherapy. For the next several weeks, he isn't able to run, and a bunch of us in the forum at running.about.com decided to let Bruce know he has our love and support during this difficult time in his life. My run today, and all of my runs during the next few weeks are dedicated to Bruce.

April 21, 2011

Five miles at dusk

My wife and I spent an hour in the morning pruning the rest of our roses. This past winter was really hard on roses. I had to prune the sticks down to almost ground level before I found green wood and leaf-buds.

After we finished the roses, I was busy all day helping my wife get ready for an Easter party for our grand kids. I spent a good part of the day on my computer printing Easter pictures for my wife. Last night when I started printing pictures, I could tell the blue color wasn't printing. I spent a couple of hours this morning trying to get my ink cartridge filled and then finally going to a different store and buying a new cartridge. My wife had glossy card stock that I used for the pictures, and the pictures looked like they had been printed on photo paper. The glossy card stock is less expensive than photo paper. The pictures are old fashioned pictures of kids, rabbits, and similar things and look really cute. The pictures are on a CD that my wife bought a few years ago.

During the day we had a terrific storm pass through the area. Southern Salt Lake County, where I live, only had rain, hail, thunder, and lightning, but northern Salt Lake County and the mountainous areas east of Salt Lake City had stronger winds that blew over trees, knocked out windows, and shut down the power-system. I waited until the storm was over and I had most of the pictures printed for my wife, and then I went running. The sun was just going down when I started, and it was dark when I finished. The tunnel under 10600 South was still flooded, and I ran back and forth from 9400 South to 10600 South, as I've been doing for the past few runs. Actually, the water in the tunnel was down to about 2 inches, even though the water in the Jordan River is about four inches higher than it was last week.

I had a pretty good energy level for 3.25 miles, and then I started getting tired. I stopped to rest twice during the last mile, and the rests of about a minute each really rejuvenated me such that I felt fine. My wakeup heart rate was 62 this morning, higher because I only had about 5 hours sleep for two nights this week. I went to bed at the same time I usually go to bed, but I woke up after 5 hours sleep and couldn't go back to sleep. I did have 7 hours sleep (my normal amount) last night.

April 18, 2011

Nothing like running in the rain

I ran my weekly 5-mile rest run this morning, and it was one of the best runs I've had in the past month. I had a good energy level during the run, alternating 1 minute running and 1 minute walking, and I kept a pretty constant pace during the running segments, probably running around 14 minutes per mile. It rained (sometimes a drizzle and sometimes a light rain) during the whole run. The temperature was around 50 (F).

As I've mentioned in past posts, my nylon jacket needs to be sprayed with Silicone because it doesn't repel water very well, and when I finished, my Pearl iZUMi shirt was damp. I'm glad I didn't run longer, because I was starting to get cold due to a stronger breeze that came in during the last part of the run. As soon as I got home, I jumped into a hot shower and enjoyed the heat. However, I drained the water tank, and when the water started to get cooler, I got out. I ate a bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast, and I've been comfortable during the day. I wore running shorts during the run, but my legs didn't feel cold. I've never had problems with my legs getting cold. In Massachusetts, I would wear shorts until the temperature got down to freezing. I remember one run in shorts while the temperature was down to 27. Now that I'm older, I switch to long pants when the temperature is in the low 40s.

There is still water in the tunnel under 106th South but not as much as in the past few days. I guess the two pumps that are running 24/7 are slowly draining the tunnel. A lot of water, though, is coming into the tunnel through several pipes along the west wall of the tunnel that catch water draining from the ground around the tunnel.

April 16, 2011

Spring is a great time for running 6.5 miles

I did 6.5 miles today. The first 1.5 miles was walking in my neighborhood while two of my grandkids drove our electric jeep around. Later in the day, after half an hour nap, I ran 5 miles on the Jordan River Parkway. I'm really enjoying the two-phase timer that I bought. I have each phase set for 1 minute, and it beeps at the end of each minute, telling me I need to change pace. The tunnel under 106th South is still flooded, and I ran the 5 miles back and forth between 94th South and 106th South. I had planned on stopping at 4 miles (so my total for the day would be 5.5 miles), but I felt fine (although a little bit tired) and I continued another mile.

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. It means the bitter cold of winter is gone. Leaves are budding on the trees, and blossoms are appearing. The ducks are leaving the river and going off somewhere to have babies. Today was that way. Temperature in the low 60s (F), lots of people and dogs on the Parkway. Lots of sun and almost no breeze. Another great day!

April 14, 2011

I was tired today but got in 3.5 miles

I woke up feeling pretty good. Three grandchildren are staying with us for 10 days, and they wanted to drive a battery-operated plastic jeep that we have, so I postponed my run and went with the kids. We made two loops around the neighborhood where I live, a total of about 1.5 miles. My grandkids took turns driving the jeep, and I walked behind them. I felt pretty good during that walk -- high energy and a peppy feeling. About three hours later, I drove to the Jordan River Parkway for my mid-week run. Instead of feeling peppy, I felt tired, and when I reached the Parkway, I sat in my car for a couple of minutes wondering if I really wanted to run. I finally got out of the car and went south. I'd gone about half a mile when I decided the two miles from 100th South to 106th South and back would be all I could do. On the way back, I did mostly walking. It was a nice day to be out, pleasant temperature and sunshine, but not a nice day for me to be out. I also walked the 1.5 miles yesterday while the kids drove the jeep, so yesterday wasn't a full rest-day. Maybe that caused me to be tired today. What ever the reason, I'm glad I didn't push myself to go further today.

April 13, 2011

Book release: "Running on Empty" by Marshall Ulrich

A new book on running is being released tomorrow. The book is Running on Empty by Marshall Ulrich. Marshall is not just an Ultramarthoner. He is a superman in running and mountain climbing. In addition to many feats that surpass understanding, he ran across the US, 3063 miles, in 52.5 days! That's an average of 2 marathons and a 10K each day for 52.5 days. I've posted my review of his book in my runninginjuryfree blog.

Marshall is having an unusual promotion for his book. Persons who buy the book in the first 52.5 hours after the book is released will receive a special gift(s). See his web site for details.

April 12, 2011

I had a wonderful 5-mile rest run

I ran my weekly 5-mile rest run. The tunnel under 106th South was full of water again, and I ran back and forth north of 106th South to get in my 5 miles. The temperature was in the high 50s, the sun was shinning, and I enjoyed being outside. I planned to do some shopping after my run, and I wore my long running pants and my wind breaker. I walked for a few minutes and chatted with a walker. He said I looked like I was thin. I thought that was interesting, because I'm about 10 pounds heaver than I was before my blood clots two years ago. I guess I looked thin to him.

Even though we're still having rain and some snow, we're past the really cold temperatures, and I'm enjoying my running more than I did in the winter. Spring and Fall are the times I try to improve my running. Summer and Winter are the times I reduce my attempts at improvements and just run to survive. I used to really enjoy the extremes of weather, but I'm finding as I get older that I don't enjoy the extremes as much as I used to.

I've been using my Saucony shoes, and I now have 100 miles on those shoes. I've updated my review of the Saucony shoes to reflect my opinion of them after 100 miles. Starting with my next run, I'll be using my Pearl iSUMi shoes for a few months.

I saw two quail running across the path. In a month from now, the quail will have babies following them.

I found 4 golf balls and added them to the 2 that I have at home. I'm hoping to give them to my grandson, Erik, although I haven't offered them to him yet. If he wants to, he can sell them to his neighbors who golf.

April 9, 2011

Running in the snow, yes, running in the snow...

This is the second week in April, and it is supposed to be Spring. However, the Utah weather is a bit mixed up, and we've had colder weather and snow flurries for the past several days. In fact, it was snowing when I left home, and the snow continued for about half a mile. Then the snow changed to snow/rain flurries for the rest of my run. The temperature was in the mid 30s (F), so there was no danger of ice on the path. There was a slight breeze blowing from the north, but it didn't amount to much.

I ran 5.5 miles, and this run was another nice ending to a nice week. I felt fine during the run, and reducing my running segments by 10 seconds seems to be keeping my energy level higher as I run (not so tired at the end of a running segment). Because the tunnel under 106th South is now mostly free of water, I ran south for 2 3/4 mile and then returned. The second pump that was installed in the tunnel is really putting a lot of water back into the river. In fact, the older pump is putting more water back into the river than it had been doing (maybe the workmen cleaned a filter on the pump, or something). I saw a couple of walkers and a few other runners on the path, but the "running" traffic on the Parkway was significantly lower than it normally would be on a Saturday.

I saw two large birds take off from the Jordan River. They were larger than a Canadian goose, and they had a smaller head and a thinner and longer neck than a goose. They were a light brown color and made a strange noise (compared to ducks or geese) when they flew past me. In fact, it was that noise that brought them to my attention.

April 7, 2011

The Devil chuckled in Hell

Most Utah storms occur when the sky is completely overcast. However, once in a while a rain-cloud won't cover the whole sky, and rain will fall when the sun is also shining. When I was a kid and we saw both rain and sunshine, we said the devil was laughing in Hell. That happened today during my run, although the rain didn't last very long -- I guess the devil was just chuckling.

When I started my run by going north from 100th South, there was a nice tailwind of 10-15 mph. It was nice having that wind push me. However, as soon as I turned around and headed south, the wind was a headwind, and I slowed down a bit to conserve my energy. Rain and later snow were forecast, and I wore my long pants. I felt comfortable with the headwind, but I was a bit too warm with the tailwind.

On the way back, the sky got darker and a few sprinkles came down. I finished my run (5.25 miles), got in my car and headed home. I had driven about 1/4 mile when it started hailing pea-size pellets. The ground was white when I got home. A couple of minutes after I got into the house, the hail turned to rain. I'm glad I wasn't caught in the storm. The temperature wasn't particularly cold, and the hail would have been mostly just a mess for running.

My wakeup heart rate was 57. It has been 57 for the past several days. I felt pretty good during the run, and to cap it all off, I found a golf ball. I'm saving the balls to give to my grandson, Erik, so he can sell them. The Parkway path goes past two golf courses, and I usually find 6 or 7 balls during the golfing season.

The water is gone from the tunnel under 106th South

The tunnel under 106th South has been flooded for several weeks, due to the high water in the Jordan River. When I reached the tunnel this afternoon, I saw three South Jordan City employees working on the pump that is supposed to remove water from the tunnel. They were apparently having success, because most of the water in the tunnel was gone. Instead of turning around as I had planned, I continued going south for another 0.75 miles. On the way back, I stopped to talk with one of the workmen. He said the pump that was trying to keep the tunnel dry was too small, and they had temporarily installed another pump to assist the original pump. He said the two pumps were able to keep the water out of the tunnel, and they will, if they can find a pump of the right size, replace the existing pump with a larger pump that will be able to handle the water in the tunnel. I hope they are successful.

April 4, 2011

A new week, an old 5-mile run

I ran south of 106th South and completed my 5-mile course. While going out, there was a brisk headwind with gusts up to 15 mph. I was looking forward to having a tailwind coming back, but, as often happens, the wind died down, and I only had a few gusts of tailwind. I wore my long pants and three layers, and I felt fine going out due to the headwind taking heat away from my body. Coming back, though, I was too warm, and I took off my windbreaker during the last half-mile. There was a lot of sunshine, and the temperature was in the high 40s (F). The ground is covered with the snow we had a couple of days ago, but the path was clear and dry.

I've noticed that after about 2 miles, my legs start getting tired, and I've changed to walking about 10 seconds or so before the timer beeped. I decided to change the timer to reduce the time I run, and I now have the timer set for 1 minute running and 1 minute walking. By running a bit less, I hope I won't get as tired.

I passed a herd of cows grazing in a field. At the same time, I passed two walkers going the opposite direction, and the man said I was like that black calf we saw in the field -- running around the country. The man was an older man, like me, and he gave me a nice compliment.

April 2, 2011

A nice end to a good week of running

My wakeup heart rate was 54, the lowest value I've had in a while. I've been getting 7 hours sleep (my normal amount) each night for over a month, and that sleep is showing itself in the form of a lower wakeup heart rate. The temperature when I left (about 8 am) was in the high 50s (F) and in the low 60s when I returned two hours later. There were a lot of people on the Parkway path during my run. I passed three girls who were walking the opposite direction, and one of them said, "Hello Uncle Allen". I stopped and looked back at them but didn't recognize them (rear view). My wife has a couple of nieces who live in the south end of the Salt Lake valley, and the girl who said hello was probably one of those nieces.

I enjoyed the run. I completed 5 miles and felt pretty good during most of the run but did get tired during the last mile and a half. I'm still catching myself mentally counting steps, although the counting is mostly during the first part of a phase. I noticed that the beeping of my timer sounds like birds chirping in the nearby trees. I'm glad the timer beeps twice, and the second beep helps me recognize that the beeping is not from birds.

In order to set the record straight, I thought I'd mention that all of my April Fools post is true except for the last paragraph. What really happened during my checkup on March 31 was that no skin cancers that need to be biopsied were found, and about 4 or 5 pre-cancers were frozen. The dermatologist said that visit was one of the best checkups that I've had in quite a while. I'm grateful that all of my skin cancers have been Basal Cells.

April 1, 2011

Had my quarterly check for skin cancers

Yesterday, I had my quarterly check for skin cancers. Both of my parents had skin cancers. My dad was of the older generation who always wore a hat everywhere he went. Even with the shading from his hat, he still had skin cancers on his head. I was of the new generation who took pride that we didn't wear hats at all. So, for 41 years, I baked my head in bright Utah and Arizona sunshine, happy to be a member of the "liberated" generation. But, eventually, mother nature caught up with me.

I had my first skin cancer removed in 1976, a few months after I moved from Arizona to Massachusetts. Each year I got a few more skin cancers. Not only was mother nature catching up with me, she was getting her revenge on me.

For the past several years, I've had quarterly checks for skin cancers. I usually have a few pre-cancers that are frozen by liquid nitrogen, and I sometimes have a skin cancer or two removed by surgery and the resulting skin grafts. A few years ago, I had a skin cancer removed that was bigger in diameter than a golf ball and 1/4 inch deep. The skin graft, using skin from my shoulder didn't work, and the doctor used pig-skin for another graft, and that one did work. I think that may be the reason why I have warm, fuzzy feelings whenever I walk near pigs.

Anyway, back to my checkup yesterday. The doctor did find one skin cancer, a Basal Cell that was so big the doctor wasn't sure he could safely remove it and have a skin-graft cover the hole. In fact, he decided the only way to remove it would be to cut off my head and sew on a pigs head. I agreed to it, and I'm scheduled for surgery next week. I'll be the worlds first running chimera. Maybe they will create a new category for me, the Chimera Category. I'm hoping I get big skin cancers on my legs so I can get a set of race-horse legs....