June 30, 2011

Free giveaway to end on July 9, 2011

Just a reminder that the free giveaway of the book Running on Empty, telling the unbelievable achievements of Marshall Ulrich, will end on the evening of July 9, 2011. I was slow in posting a notice about the giveaway in my training site, and I've extended the date for the random drawing. See the Giveaway page in the Welcome to My Blog section at the top of the left-sidebar for details.

June 29, 2011

A great mid-sized run of 5.1 miles

I ran my normal route that begins at the East Pavilion in South Jordan and turns around at the bridge under 12300 South in Draper. I had a good energy level, and I enjoyed the run.

Due to a storm front that was moving through north Salt Lake City, the sky was overcast, and I appreciated not having the direct sun and not drinking quite as much water. I did have a head wind of about 20 mph, but I slowed down and didn't have much problem with the wind. I was looking forward to the return phase so the wind would be a tail wind. However, as often happens, the wind mostly died down during my return. There was a tail wind of about 3 mph for most of the return. There were a couple of rain showers of about a minute each. Not heavy rains, just sprinkles.

I am continuing to practice bending my knees more. I'm a natural shuffler, and I often hear my shoes scrape the ground as I run. I'm using that sound to tell me that I'm not bending my knees enough. During today's run, I only heard the sound a couple of times of 2 or 3 seconds each.

There is a particular rock at the north edge of the bridge at 12300 South that I use to gauge the height of the water in the river, and the river was about an half an inch lower than it was last Saturday. The river is supposed to peak sometime this week, The Snowbird ski resort is planning on having skiing through July 4, so there is still snow in the high Wasatch mountains that hasn't melted.

Saw the feet of the black birds that I saw last week

I saw 7 of the black birds, and several were standing on rocks. A white duck was with the black birds, an I was able to compare the feet of the ducks with the feet of the birds. The birds do not have webbed feet. They are larger than male Mallards. Their bodies aren't coal-black, because there are areas of dark gray mixed with areas of black. There is a thin white strip near the ends of the wings.

June 27, 2011

Ran my rest-run of 3 miles

My wakeup heart rate was 56, and I felt pretty good. It was 11:30 AM when I started my run. I said I felt pretty good, but I didn't feel as good as I did last Saturday. I wasn't particularly tired during the run, but it was hot and I was drinking a lot of water. I stopped for a break twice when I saw a bench that was in the shade. It's amazing how a one-minute rest will rejuvenate ones body.

At the end of the run, I stopped to talk with a runner who had passed me a couple of times. He is 51 and has been running for about 25 years. He had run 12 miles and was preparing to leave in his truck. He said he runs a lot of races (marathon time is 3 hours). It's nice that he has continued to run during the 25 years!

June 25, 2011

Finished the recovery week with a 5-mile run/walk

My wakeup heart rate was 56, and I felt pretty good. I ran my medium run of 5 miles, going from the South Jordan City East Pavilion to the tunnel under 12300 South and back to the East Pavilion. It was hot! The sun temperature was in the high 90s (F), and the shade temperature was in the high 80s. There was a slight head wind on the way back, and that helped cool me a bit.

The Jordan River was higher, probably an inch higher since last week. There was more water under the 11400 South bridge than I've seen before. The water people who watch the water levels have predicted that the rivers and creeks will peak during the next week. I hope they're right, but it sure looks like a lot of snow in the mountains.

I saw two black birds in the Jordan River. Their bodies were completely black. They were slightly larger than male Mallards. Because their feet were in the water, I couldn't tell if their feet were webbed or not. I think their feet were webbed, because the birds looked like ducks.

Dogs and kids know what to do when walking or running

On my way down to the 12300 Bridge, I came to the 11400 South bridge and stopped running while I walked around the water that was covering the path (more water there than last week).  I saw two ladies walking their dogs, and the ladies thought they would walk through the water. However, they realized the water was deeper than they had thought, and they turned back. However, the dogs had something different in mind.

One lady had a big dog, and that dog sat down in the water and wouldn't move. The lady stood there trying to get the dog to move, but the dog stayed put. The other lady had two small dogs, and she stopped to wait until her friend got the big dog to get up and walk out of the water. The two small dogs were happy with the water, and they started to drink from the river. When I got around the water and continued my run/walk, the dogs were still in the water. However, when I returned to the 11400 South bridge on my way back, the dogs were gone.

On my return visit to the 11400 South bridge, I saw a lady and two children on bicycles. The kids (ages about 7 and 10 years old) rode their bikes through the water, giggling as the water splashed on their feet. After they exited the water, they stopped and rode back though the water. I watched them while they made four or five trips through the water. I told the mother about the two dogs I had seen on my first visit to the bridge, and I remarked that both dogs and children know what is best on a hot day! When I resumed my run back to my car, the kids were still riding through the water.

June 21, 2011

Began my recovery week with 1.5 miles

I ran 1.5 miles as the beginning of my recovery week. I got really tired during the 5K due to running longer before I walked, and I need the recovery week.

The Jordan River is about the same height that it was last week. People around 4500 South are having problems with the river flooding, but I live far enough south and on higher ground such that I won't have any problems with the river. The river is higher in the Salt Lake City area due to creeks that empty into the river -- the creeks are at flood stage.

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June 18, 2011

Ran the South Jordan City Summer Fest 5K

Today was the target of my taper-week. I wasn't in very good shape, though. I only had about 5 1/2 hours of actual sleep, and my wakeup heart rate was 62.

At 6:30 AM, the Summer Fest 5K started. During my training I've been running 1 minute and then walking 1 minute, but I knew if I was to beat my time of 48 minutes set last fall, I would have to do more running and less walking. I thus set my timer for 1 minute 30 seconds running and 30 seconds walking. I kept that up for the first mile but realized I couldn't continue that amount of running. I thus cut my running time and lengthened my walking time. I finished in 49 minutes plus some seconds that I don't remember. In retrospect I should have run for 1 minute and walked for 45 seconds. I did get a 2nd place medal for my age division of 65-99. I didn't earn the medal, though, since there were only two of us oldies in the race.

It was a nice day for running. The temperature was probably in the 50s due to the early start of the race. Since I did  lot of walking, I could have worn long pants and not suffered from heat buildup.

Unless the group sponsoring my grandson's swimming classes sponsors another 5K next fall, this is the only race I'll run until next summer. I just run for enjoyment rather than for racing. I do like this particular race, however. The course is on the Jordan River Parkway where I run each week. My wife's niece was at the race, and I talked with two friends who were there. There were about 150 runners in the race.

June 16, 2011

Running Obsession


By Wendy

Runners have a propensity for being obsessive. Maybe one needs an obsessive streak to be a runner, or maybe the payoffs of running create obsessiveness. I don't know which it is, but I've see many runners let the obsession take over and drive them to injury or burn out.

One thing I have been working on lately is running for the fun of it and not letting running run my life. Being on the verge of marathon training, I’m looking at my 18 week plan and realizing this will be a focal point of my life for the next 4 ½ months. Often, after a course of marathon training, people are burnt out and swear they will never do it again. Many eventually forget their negative feelings and start up the next year, but my goal is not to get to that place. I want to enjoy my training and finish my marathon thinking about the next one. I want to work my training around my life so that I don’t feel like I am giving up living to run. Part of the way I am doing this is by picking a less aggressive training plan than I had originally intended and rearranging the days so that my long run is on Friday, I can cross train by doing an extremely easy run/hike with a fun group on Saturdays, and take Sunday totally off to be ready to start again on Monday. I’m also learning not to be a slave to a schedule. I love to count things, nearly to the point of being obsessive so it thrills me to see my miles adding up, calculate my averages, and fill in the pages of my log. Unfortunately, I often get lost in the numbers and fail to listen to my body because I don’t want to fall behind on my mileage goals, but this is a recipe for disaster. I will track my training miles, but if I miss a run, oh well, I’m not going to let it make me a worried wreck about race day. I know I can finish a marathon, training is just about how fast and how I’ll feel the next day. Yes, I’d love to set a personal record, but more importantly I want to ENJOY the process and race. Running is good and promotes health. Obsessions, not so much!

June 15, 2011

Ran 3 miles to continue my taper week

I ran 3 miles instead of my medium run of 5 miles. I forgot my 2-phase timer, so I just ran until I felt tired and then walked. After I had gone one mile, I could tell I was running too far, and I reduced the time of my running phase.

June 13, 2011

Began my taper-week with a rest run of 3.2 miles

My wakeup heart rate was 56, and I felt great. I had 7 hours of sleep, and that always makes me feel good when I wake up. I went running (9:30) soon after I got up, because I wanted to miss the hottest part of the day (afternoon). I ran 3.2 miles, and I practiced squatting more and bending my knees more.

The stick that I've used to gauge the level of the river is completely covered with water. Last week the stick was about an inch above the water, so the river height is probably 2-3 inches higher than it was last week. The newspaper said the ski resorts nearby still have at least 10 feet of snow, so there is a lot of melting to take place, and the river will continue to rise. There is a law that prohibits the Jordan River from rising more than a specified amount, and eventually the gates that control the amount of water that leaves Utah Lake and enters the Jordan River will be closed. This means Utah Lake will start to rise, and that may cause flooding of nearby homes. The increase in water that I'm seeing in the Jordan River is small compared to the increases in the Mississippi River, but is is large for Utah, especially in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. As the Jordan River passes through Salt Lake City, It is significantly higher than it is where I run, because several creeks dump water into the river, and those creeks are at flood-stage due to the melting of the snow.

I saw a lot of red, pink, and yellow blossoms that I haven't seen before. The red and pink blossoms are big (4-5 inches in diameter), and the plants having the blossoms looked like poppy plants. The yellow blossoms are small and look like they come from a weed. The blossoms lasted for about 1/4 mile, and they made a pretty sight.

I saw a Pelican eat a fish

During the last half-mile of my run, I saw a white bird in the sky. At first I thought it was a Seagull, but as the bird approached me, I recognized it as a Pelican. The bird was about 100 yards away when it disappeared behind some bushes and landed on the Jordan River. I could tell the bird had something in its mouth, but I couldn't see what it was. When I reached the spot where the Pelican had landed, I saw it in the river with a fish in its mouth. The bird ducked its large beak into the water and held it there for about three seconds. Then, the bird raised its head, and the fish was gone. Apparently the bird needed water to help it swallow the fish.

June 11, 2011

I stretched myself a bit and ran a long run of 6.5 miles

I wasn't in great shape when I started my run. My wakeup heart rate was 60. I mowed most of my lawns last evening and finished them this morning. On Thursday, my wife and I moved (wheelbarrow) 2 yards of mulch from the front of our house to various places in the back yard. All of this means I was tired when I started to run about noontime today. The shade temperature was in the low-mid 70s (F), although the temperature with direct sun was probably in the low 90s. Unfortunately, most of the route I was using is in direct sun. There was no breeze on the way out, but on the way back there was a breeze of 5-7 mph. Even though the breeze made it harder to run, I was glad for it, because it helped cool me off. By the time I finished my run, the sky was clouding over, and that gave more shade during the last part of the run. I felt OK during most of the run, but I was getting tired by the time the run ended. I drank about 8 cups of water during the run. My Fuel Belt carries 5 cups, and I filled the cups at the Draper City playground on my way back. I take a swallow of water during each walking segment.

The Jordan River is still rising, because there was more water under the 11400 South bridge. However, there is still dry ground under the bridge, and I had no problem passing under the bridge.

I ran all 6.5 miles with more bend in my legs. I noticed that as long as I had better form by keeping my knees bent and lowering my hips by squatting a bit, I ran without much noise. A few years ago, I tried to run with a lighter touch and less noise, I referred to it as stealth running. However, I noticed then that when I was tired, my shoes made more noise, especially from the toes of my shoes hitting the ground. I noticed today that when I had good form, I ran with almost no noise, not even the scraping noise I've frequently had due to my shuffling, and no noise from my toes slapping the ground. Keeping my knees bent means my mid-foot and fore-foot of the shoes are already on the ground, and there is no tendency for my toes to slap the ground. Bent knees also make it difficult to do a heel-strike. I'm glad I read about keeping my knees bent, and that is turning out to be a significant improvement in my form and in my running.

I will be running the Summer Fest 5K next Saturday

I signed up yesterday for the South Jordan City Summer Fest 5K. It's a small race, about 50 runners, and runs along the Jordan River Parkway where I do much of my running. I've run the race twice, and I like the small-town atmosphere of the race. I set my current PR of 30:43 four years ago during this race. However, the blood clots I had in January 2009 have really slowed me down. I ran a 5K 6 months ago and finished in 48:02. I'll be happy if I run the 5K in on Saturday in 48:00 or better.

June 10, 2011

Free Giveaway on July 4, 2011

I recently read the book Running on Empty, and my review is posted in my training site. The book is the story of the unbelievable achievements of Marshall Ulrich. I would like to pass the book on to a runner, and I've decided to do it via a random drawing to be held on July 4, 2011. See the Giveaway page in the Welcome to My Blog section (in the left-sidebar) for details.

June 8, 2011

A great 5-mile Medium run

My wakeup heart rate was 56 again. I started my run about noon. The sky was sunny with clouds, but by the time I reached the turn-around point at the 12300 South bridge, the sky was getting black with lots of wind. A few drops of rain fell during my return to my car, but nothing to cause worry. No thunder.

When I reached the Draper City playground (with 1/4 mile to go to reach the 12300 South bridge), I stopped to get a drink of water. I then proceeded to the bridge and returned to the playground. While walking to the water fountain, I saw a few pieces of trash on the ground and picked it up. One lady was embarrassed by the trash her kids had left on the ground, and she wanted me to give her the trash I had picked up so she could deposit it in the trash bin. I said the trash bin was close to the water fountain and that I would deposit the trash before I got a drink. I'm glad she was embarrassed; maybe she will teach her children to use the trash bin instead of dropping the trash on the ground.

While I was filling my water bottles at the water fountain, a young girl about 5 years old asked me why the bottles were so small. I explained that each bottle held one cup of water, and the bottles were spaced around my body to keep me balanced while I ran. After I left the playground and proceeded north towards my car, I thought it would have been nice to have let the girl try on my Fuel Belt to see how it felt. Oh, well, maybe there will be another girl wondering about the small bottles.

I've been reading a book by Barefoot Ken Bob in which he emphasizes the importance of one bending his or her knees to insure a heel-strike is not used and to insure the foot hits the ground behind the knee. During this run, I tried bending my knee more instead of trying to raise my knee. Doing that really works! I ran faster and didn't get as tired during my run. I will continue trying to have more bend in my knees.

The Jordan River is a couple of inches higher that it was last week. There is significantly more water under the new 11400 South bridge. I noticed on my way back that the swallows are busy getting mud from the river bank and building mud houses on the north side of the bridge.

June 7, 2011

50 Best Running Blogs

I was just notified that Old Man Running has been selected by Online Classes.net as one of its 50 Best Running Blogs.

June 6, 2011

Ran a good 3 mile rest run

My wakeup heart rate was 56, and I ran a good 3 mile rest run. I ran twice the north-bound segment of the Jordan River Parkway. I was out about 10:30, but the temperature was in the mid 80s (F). Ironically, due to a cold front passing through, during the afternoon the sky clouded up, the wind increased to 40 or more mph, and the temperature dropped to the middle 70s (F). I got out "early" for my run, because two workmen were here during the day to repair a concrete wall that is in front of my house, and I wanted to get my run in before they got into the difficult part of the repair.

According to the tree-limb I use to judge the level of the water, the river has gone done about an inch at the point where the limb is sticking out of the water. The cooler temperature we had in the afternoon and evening will help slow the melting of the mountain snow.

June 3, 2011

Had a good 5-mile medium run

My wakeup heart rate was 56. Yesterday and the day before it was 58. The temperature was in the 50s (F), and the sky was cloudy with lots of sun. It was a great day for running. I ran my 5-mile route, going south from the East Pavilion in South Jordan City to the tunnel under 12300 South.  I felt good during the run, but I became a bit tired during the last half. Being tired that way is normal and nothing that would cause concern.

The tunnel under 11400 South had more water on the path than it has had in the past, indicating the river has risen a couple of inches. As I've mentioned before, that part of the river is very wide, and a two-inch increase in the water level implies a big increase in the flow of water.

I saw a group of about 20 young girls on bicycles and three women as chaperones. They were probably a church group or maybe girl scouts, although none of them were wearing scout uniforms.

June 1, 2011

Ran a tired and shortened rest run of 1.5 miles

Yesterday was a real workout for me. I moved about 700 pounds of sand and Soil Pep off the shelves and onto a cart. I then pushed the cart around Home Depot and then to my car, and I moved the bags to my car and then from my car to our garden. The 700 pounds included two bags at 80# each and 6 bags at 50# each. We have a "recipe" that uses sand, Soil Pep, and gypsum that converts clay into loam. After unloading the car, I rototilled one of our gardens while my wife spread the "recipe" on a second garden. I then rototilled that garden. After finishing the rototilling, I mowed my lawns. When I was finished with the lawns, I was really tired. I felt much worse than I felt after completing a marathon (of course I'm 29 years older than I was when I ran marathons).

I had wanted to go running after finishing the yard work, but I was too tired for that. However, I felt better this morning, and I went running. After 1.5 miles, I could tell I was too tired to do more, and I went to my car and drove home.

We had beautiful weather today. No rain and lots of sun. The air temperature was in the high 70s (F). My next run will be on Saturday.