Saturday, December 28, 2013

Time to get back into running

During the holidays, I had a lot of activities that made it difficult to do some running. Now, it's time to get back into running. The air is bad today, so my wife and I went to the local Rec center, and I ran/walked a mile. Next week, I'll run/walk up to 2 miles, although New Years is on Tuesday, and my children and their families will be visiting us. My goal is to get back to 3 miles and then work up to 5 or 6 miles, but I need to do all of this in small increments of time/distance. The running literature says that you can be off running for up to a week and not hurt your performance much. It's been almost two weeks since I last ran, and I can tell my ability to run longer than a mile has decreased. In addition, my age makes it even more important that I get back into running via small increments of time/distance.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bad air so went to rec center

My wife and I decided to go to our local rec center due to really smoggy air outside. She walked for about 1.5 miles, and I ran for about 2 miles.  The indoor track is small is about 0.1 miles long. I much prefer being outside, but winter months in northern Utah are full of bad air. The Salt Lake valley has a lot of temperature inversions, the result being bad air.

I would have liked to have ridden the Expresso bike, but it was being used by another person. We went to the rec center in the morning so we would miss the students who come after school. The center was still busy, though.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hoped to run on Thursday but didn't make it

I had hoped to run on Thursday, December 12, but I didn't make it. I awoke about 5 am on Thursday with a dizzy spell. It went away, and I went back to sleep, but I was dizzy when I awoke about 8 am. This time it didn't go away for a couple of hours. I called my doctor and was told to head for the emergency room at the local hospital. I spent most of the day in the ER on Thursday. My blood, urine, and heart all checked OK. The doctor decided it was just a case of vertigo, likely due to my age. He gave me some medicine to take whenever the dizziness occurs. Also, I'm supposed to go to a dizziness clinic for more tests. I haven't felt dizzy since Thursday morning, and I hope to be back to running next week. The perils of getting old....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ran 60 minutes (3 miles) in snow and ice

I had a nice run today. The temperature last night was about 4 (F) and was in the low 20s during my run. I parked at the South Jordan East Pavilion and went south for 1.5 miles and then returned. The sun was shining and ice on the trail was beginning to melt. The city of South Jordan plowed the snow from the path, leaving patches of ice on the path, but the city of Sandy did not plow their portion of the path. Other runners and walkers had created a "path" through the snow, and I actually felt safer in Sandy than in South Jordan, because snow isn't slick; snow turns to ice only when vehicles have driven on the road or lots of people have walked and run on the path. The path in Sandy was still mostly snow, and I ran without worrying about patches of ice. Of course, I ran flat-footed to maximize the contact of my feet with the path.

A couple of runners passed me. They looked to be in their 30s, and they were going pretty fast. I hope they didn't fall down while on the South Jordan portion of the path. Probably not. It's mostly us older folks who fall down on ice....

When I ran 2 miles last Thursday and today, I ran the 2 miles with no walking. Today, after I had gone about 2 miles, I started getting tired and walked a bit, less than a minute of walking each time I walked. It's been a long time since I ran 2 miles without walking, and I felt good about that accomplishment. Doing that is a sign my body is getting stronger.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ran 2 miles on an icy path

My wife and I went out in the late afternoon, and we each did 2 miles, going south from 100th South. She was walking, and I was running. The city of South Jordan had scraped snow from the path, but there was quite a lot of ice on the path. The shade temperatures have been below freezing for several days. The high today was in the mid 20s (F), and the low last night was 9.

I thought I'd pass on a few suggestions about running on ice. The suggestions are listed in the order I think of the suggestions, not by importance.

1.  Don't do it. Perhaps run in the late afternoon after the sun has had a chance to melt some of the ice. If the weather is really bad, consider going to a gym if one is available.

2. Don't heel strike. The edge of your heel gives little friction on the ice, and using a heel strike is a path to falling down and possibly being injured. Instead, take smaller steps and run flat-footed. Maximize the contact between your shoe and the ice.

3. If the path or road is slick, run along the edges that haven't been packed by vehicles or humans. Loose snow isn't slippery.

4. Wear ice shoes that have been equipped with studs. Commercial studs are available, and you can make your own ice shoes using screws put into the sole such that the heads of the screws make contact with the ice.

5. Slow down. Consider walking or jogging through patches of ice.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Didn't Have Much Time So Ran/Walked for 35 minutes

My wife and I went to the 100th South entrance and ran and walked south. We were limited for time and I only ran for 35 minutes. Also, I pushed myself more than I should have, and I was happy to reduce the length of the run. This was supposed to be a rest run, and I shouldn't have pushed myself. However, I wanted to catch up with my wife (she leaves while I'm waiting for my GPS to locate satellites), and I pushed for more speed. My distance today was 1.9 miles.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ran for 66 minutes, 3.76 miles

Today was a cold day (temperature in the high 30s (F)), cloudy but no wind and no rain or snow. We've been having light rain and snow flurries throughout the past few days. The sky is expected to clear tomorrow and for the next few days, and the temperature is expected to warm up a bit.

I felt really good during my run today, and I ran noticeably faster for 66 minutes. This is my current long run. I'm adding about 5% to my distance every week or two, until I get to a time of 100 minutes. At that point I will cap the run for a while while my body adjusts to the distance. My long run is usually on Saturday, but I missed my medium run on Wednesday this week, and did the long run on Friday instead of Saturday. Monday is my rest run capped at 60 minutes. My medium run on Wednesday will increase with my long run, as explained above, and when it reaches 80 minutes, I will cap it and let my long run on Saturday continue to 100 minutes.

I ran in the late afternoon and finished about half an hour before darkness. There were  few other runners on the Parkway, and I saw a family taking pictures of their children and a parent.

Here is a picture (taken from the web) of the playground at the South Jordan City East Pavilion. Today I ran from the entrance at 100th South past this playground about 1/4 mile and then returned to my car at 100th South. You can see a bit of the path I was on to the left of the playground.

The East Pavilion is shown in the next picture (also taken from the web). The pavilion is about 100 feet to the right of the playground. When I drive to the East Pavilion, I park my car directly in front of the camera that took the following picture, and I walk about 1/8 mile to the path and begin my run, usually going south into Draper City.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ran/walked for a 60-minute Rest Run

My wife and I drove to the South Jordan East Pavilion and went south. I forgot my GPS so I'm not sure of the exact distance, but it was around 3.1 miles. I used my regular watch to measure the 60 minutes. When I reached 60 minutes, I still had about 1/4 mile to go, and I stopped my 2-phase timer and walked to my car. I took a one-minute rest stop when I had 0.7 miles left in my run.

My wife walked 2.6 miles.

Today was a beautiful, sunny day with temperatures in the mid 50s (F). During the first half, there was a 20 mph (or so) head wind that made running a bit difficult. I wore three layers. As soon as I turned around and headed north, I could tell it was warmer, and I took off my nylon windbreaker, leaving me with two layers. I could have worn running shorts and been comfortable, but I decided at the last minute to wear long running pants.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ran 64 minutes for 3.25 miles

Went running in the late afternoon. The sky was overcast due to snow flurries this morning. However, during my run/walk, the sky started to clear up, and I had some sun for about half of the way back. I don't remember the temperature, but it was cold, although my 3 layers was fine once I warmed up. My hands were the only things that didn't warm up much. I had the trail to myself for most of the run. Towards the end, I saw a cyclist go flying past me.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ran 3 miles in another great day

My wife and I were out relatively early in the morning for our run and walks. We went north 1 mile from the parking lot at 100th South and then returned. I then ran back and forth going south for 1/4 mile to get my total of 3 miles. The run and walks were uneventful but enjoyable.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ran 3.35 miles (63 minutes) Again

Today was a wonderful day. My wife and I were out in the early afternoon, and the temperature was in the low-mid 60s (F). My run/walk and her walk were uneventful but nice!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ran 3.35 miles in 63 minutes

My wife and I went to the Jordan River about 9 am. She did her usual 2 miles, and I extended my run by 3 minutes and did 3.35 miles in 63 minutes. The temperature was 44 (F) when we left home and 48 when we returned. The afternoon max temperature is expected to be about 60. I've recognized that I do better in the mornings than in the afternoons. When I was younger, I could run at any time of day or night, but as I get older, I'm finding out that my energy-level goes down as the day progresses, and that morning runs are better because my energy level is higher.

We parked at 100th South and went south. There was a strong headwind (10-20 mph) that made running harder, and I looked forward to having that wind as a tail wind on the way back. However, as often happens, the wind died down shortly after I turned around, and the tail wind was about 5 mph. Oh well, running against wind is a good experience, as long as it isn't every run.

Not many people were on the path today. A few walkers and one guy on roller blades. He skated like he was skiing, and he used ski poles to push him on his skates. I assume he is a cross-country skier who is keeping in shape during off-skiing times. He was going fast when he passed me; it seemed like he was going as fast as the cyclists go.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ran 3.26 miles in 60 minutes

Today was a cold day with snow flurries during the night and early morning. I went running at 4:30, and since we're off daylight savings time, the sun was behind the Oquirrh Mountains when I started my run. I was back to my car an hour later and it wasn't quite dark yet. Because of the mountains, the Salt Lake valley has a long dusk period.

I wore three layers, two short-sleeved t-shirts and my long-sleeved nylon jacket. I didn't check the temperature before I left home, but the temperature when I got back was 33 (F). My body felt fine, but my hands were cold because I didn't wear gloves.

I had a great run, my best run in several weeks. I felt strong during the run and took no rest stops. I'm still running and walking for 60 seconds each.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ran/walked 61 minutes and did 3.1 miles

My wife was busy planting tulip bulbs, so I went running by myself. I parked at the 100th South lot and went south on the Jordan River Parkway. Quite a few walkers, cyclists, and runners were out on a beautiful afternoon. The shade temperature was about 58 (F), but the sun temperature was in the 60s. Not a cloud was in the sky. There was a lot of wind blowing from the south. That wind, a headwind, made it harder to run, but it kept me cool. I originally started with 3 layers, but after about half a mile, I took off my nylon windbreaker and tied it around my waist. I had a nice run/walk.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ran/Walked 2 miles

My wife and I parked at 100th South and went north to the bench at the Sandy golf course and then returned to our car. I had planned to go 3 miles, but I stopped at 2 miles. My body felt strong, but my legs were starting to feel tired, and I wanted to rest my legs in preparation for mowing and fertilizing my lawns tomorrow. I mowed and fertilized about half the lawns yesterday. I was glad for some rain during last evening and last night to help the fertilizer soak into the ground. The fertilizer is for winter application and helps the lawn roots survive the winter.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ran/walked for 64 minutes

I had a great run in the late afternoon. I went north from 100th South one mile to the bench in the Sandy golf course, and then I returned to 100th South and went south slightly past the 0.5 mile marker to a bench and took my first and only rest stop. Then I returned to the parking lot for a total of 3.2 miles. I was back to my car just a few minutes before it got dark. During most of my run, I saw nobody else on the Parkway path, but I did see a couple of cyclists and a couple of other runners on the path in the vicinity of the golf course bench. They looked like they had been out for quite a while and were trying to get to their car before the rain started. During my run, I used my usual 1 minute running and 1 minute walking.

The weather forecast for today and tomorrow is for rain. The sky was overcast all day, but it only sprinkled during my run. Just before I got to the bench in the golf course, the wind picked up to 30-40 mph gusts, and some rain came down. But, by the time I got back to the parking lot at 100th South, the wind had died, and the few sprinkles of rain had ceased. During my last mile, there were only gusts of 3-5 mph and no rain. I'm expecting it to rain during the night and tomorrow morning, or maybe tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Missed running today

I planned on going running early in the morning, but before I left, my wife fixed breakfast, and I chose to eat with her, thinking I would go later in the afternoon. During the early afternoon, I put my two vegetable gardens to bed by rototilling the corn stalks, tomato vines, and other plants so they would decompose during the winter. When I finished, I was too tired to go running, and I stayed home and rested.  My rototiller weights about 70-80 pounds, and it is a struggle to control it when the ground is soft. Doing the rows themselves aren't a problem, but I struggle to turn the machine at the end of each row. When I was younger, I could handle the machine pretty good, but as I get older, I'm finding that my physical ability to turn the machine is limited. As I tilled today, I began to wonder what it would be like in about five years from now, and I realized that in just a few years, I may have to hire someone to do the tilling for me.

The following picture of a troybilt tiller is from the web.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ran/walked another 60 minutes

I had a nice run/walk this afternoon. I went out at 5:30 pm and finished about 15 or 20 minutes after the sun went behind the Oquirrh mountains. I forgot to charge my GPS, and the battery was too low to power the GPS. I thus don't have an exact mileage, but the distance was close to 2.8 miles. I took five rest breaks, one going down and four coming back. Each rest break was 1-2 minutes.

During my last quarter-mile, I passed a group of men and women who were going south. At first I thought they were from Bingham High School, because they had new running shorts and t-shirts, but I realized they were older than high school students, and I decided they were from the Police Academy. When I finished my run, I asked a man who was timing if they were from the Police Academy, and he said "yes". While we were talking, the first runner finished the 1.5 miles, and the timer gave the time of 9 minutes and about 15 or 20 seconds. The runner was really pushing to finish the run. A second runner came in about 30 seconds later.

The temperature was in the mid to high 50s (F) during my run, and I wore long pants, because I knew the sun would be down before I finished, and in the desert, the temperature plummets as soon as the sun goes down. I wore my old nylon jacket for about half the run, and tied the jacket around my waist during the rest of the run.

The following view of Salt Lake City and the Oquirrh mountains was taken from the web. The camera is facing South-West. It isn't very noticeable due to the snow on the mountains, but the Bingham openpit copper mine is in the picture, slightly to the left of the center of the picture. Local TV stations have their antennas on Farnsworth Peak which is just to the right of the picture but not shown in the picture. Ham radio operators also have repeaters on that peak. Click the picture for a larger image.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I Didn't Run Today

I thought I had pretty good sleep last night, but when I got up my heart rate was 67, and I felt tired. I thus didn't go running. Later in the day I took a 1-hour nap and felt better when I woke up. My son and his family came for dinner, so I didn't run in the late afternoon. Whether I run on Monday or not depends on how I feel and how high my wakeup heart rate is.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ran/walked 60 minutes (3 miles) again

My wife and I drove to the South Jordan East Pavilion and went north. Judy did her usual 2 miles walking, and I did my 3 miles running and walking. I went north until I reached the parking lot at 100th South (where we usually park), and then I turned around and returned to the East Pavilion. When I reached 60 minutes, I turned off my GPS and walked (about 1/4 mile) to my car. The temperature was in the high 40s (F) when we started and in the high 50s when we finished. I wore two layers, my normal t-shirt and my old nylon wind breaker. About half a mile before I reached the turn-around point, I took the windbreaker off and tied it around my waist. A lot of people were on the path, enjoying the warm day.

I slept well last night. My wakeup heart rate, which has been in the low to mid 60s, was 59 this morning, and I felt fine.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ran 60 minutes (3 miles) again

My wife and I drove, in the afternoon, to the East Pavilion, and we went south. She walked her usual 2 miles, and I ran/walked my usual 60 minutes (3 miles). I wore my old nylon jacket as a second layer, because the temperature was in the low 50s (F) and there was a slight breeze blowing. I felt comfortable while I ran/walked, but I would have been cold without the jacket. We thought it might rain while we were out, but, instead, the sky cleared up. We're expecting a hard freeze tonight.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ran/walked for 60 minutes

I drove to the East Pavilion in South Jordan and ran for 30 minutes going south and then returned for a total of 60 minutes and 2.82 miles. It was a nice day with temperatures in the mid 60s (F). My right quad has felt fine for the past couple of weeks. My right leg, though, is swollen, compared to the left leg. The swelling seems to be going down.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rain, rain, we pray for rain

Last evening, my wife and I discussed the rain we've had this Fall. We both agreed that we've had more rain than usual during the Fall. I hope so. We live in a desert and need all of the water we can get. The level of the water in the Jordan River, where I run, has been low for the past year. The level of the river is so low that bushes are growing out of the water in the middle of the river. I'm happy to go running in the rain, because I know we're getting precious water. Of course, if the rain is a downpour, I might go to the local rec center and run, but I enjoy running in a light rain.

The following picture was taken from the web and isn't the Jordan River in Utah.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ran 3 miles in the rain

I ran 3 miles this morning, during a rain storm. It was raining when I left home, and the rain continued until I reached the turn-around point on the Jordan River Parkway. The rain then decreased but lasted while I finished my run/walk and drove home. There was no thunder or lightning, just a nice Fall storm, although the rain was cold. The air temperature was in the mid 40s (F) during my run. After I got home, I took a nice, hot shower and then left for Evanston, Wyoming to visit my daughter and her family and to celebrate the 12th birthday of my grandson. In the evening we attended a nice concert by the Evanston Civic Chorus and Orchestra, and we had rain most of the way back to the Salt Lake valley. We need the water, so I'm not complaining about the rain.

The following picture was taken from the web, and it shows puddles from a light rain. In order to keep my feet dryer, I moved around the path to dodge the puddles.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ran 2.5 miles

My wife and I started our workout about 9 am, going north on the Jordan River Parkway. When we left home, there was a brisk breeze blowing, but when we started our workout, the breeze was gone. However, I noticed it was back as I did the last half-mile. The sky was almost clear, and the sun felt good. The temperature during our workout was in the high 40s (F).

I noticed my right quad was a little-bit sore when I knelt down to do my situps or my pushups, but it felt fine before, during, and after my run. This is the third run in which I haven't had to stop and stretch my quad. However, my right leg is swollen compared to the left leg. The swelling started at the same time that my right quad felt tight. I've been taking a natural remedy for joint-stiffness and soreness, and I've temporarily stopped that to see if it is the cause of my right leg being swollen. So far, I haven't notice any change.

I've mentioned in previous posts, there is an old apple tree about at the 0.7 mile mark on the path. I stopped at the tree to get an apple and found that all of the apples I can reach are gone (apparently someone got there before I did). There are some nice looking apples up high, but I can't reach them. I did get a small one to eat, and my wife, who can reach higher than me, got another one for me. The apples taste good. In previous years, I've gotten quite a few apples from that tree.

The following picture, taken from the web, shows a wild apple tree by a river.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ran/walked 3 miles

My wife and I were out early (for us) this morning, about 9 am. It is a beautiful day, and we enjoyed being outside. The temperature during our workouts went from 49 (F) at the beginning to 67 at the end. My right leg felt fine so I went for my normal 3 miles. I did notice, though, that my right knee is swollen, and that might be the result of what ever has been causing my right quad to be tight. I noticed yesterday when kneeling down to pick up leaves, and again this morning when I knelt down to do my 10 pushups, that my right quad was tight and slightly sore. I'm being more diligent in doing my stretches, and I hope the stretches strengthen my quads.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ran 2 miles this morning

My wife and I were out this morning about 10 am. The temperature was 41 (F) when we left home We each did 2 miles, her walking, and me jogging/walking. My knee felt tight when I did my stretches before we left home, but it felt fine during my jog/walk. The temperature was 55 when we returned home. Quite a few runners and a skater or two were on the trail but not many cyclists. If my right quad continues to feel fine, I'll do 2.25 miles or so next week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ran for 34 minutes

My right quad is still tight when I run, and today I stopped every two minutes (one run/walk cycle) to hold my leg in the air for 10-15 seconds. Later, I changed my running from 90 seconds to 60 seconds to see if that affected how long I could go before my leg got tight (I went more cycles but my leg still got tight). My leg feels fine before and after my workout and all day on my rest days.

My wife walked her two miles. We intersected each other when I was about 0.16 miles from the one mile marker. I turned around and went back to our car, getting there a few minutes after my wife got there. In the 40 minutes, I ran about 1.7 miles. I didn't run further, because my wife had to get home and then leave for Salt Lake City.

My wife said she saw a large flock of quail on the path. I didn't see the quail, though. I have seen the quail on other days. Most of them were born this spring, and now they are adults.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ran two miles in my neighborhood

My wife and I were planning on going down to the Jordan River, but my son and his family stopped by for a visit a few minutes before we were to leave. When they left there wasn't much time left before darkness, so we did loops around the streets in our neighborhood. My right quad was still tight, and I had to stop frequently to stretch the quad. The stretch that helped a lot was just the raising of my leg to let gravity provide resistance. My quad provided the energy to keep my leg suspended in the air. Each time I stopped, I would hold my right leg in the air for 10-20 seconds.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ran for 60 minutes

My wife and I drove to the South Jordan East Pavilion, and we went south from there. My wife walked about 2.5 miles, and I ran about 3 miles. We ran in the late afternoon, and it was just getting dark when I finished. The temperature was in the low 60s (F) during our outing, although the sun was down before I finished, and I started getting cold. I had anticipated the cool evening and brought my new windbreaker, but I left it in the car while I ran. After I finished my run, I put the windbreaker on while I drove home.

My wife saw a red fox, but I didn't see it. I did see a stray cat; the cat hid in some bushes while I ran past.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ran for 1 mile and aborted my run

I didn't have a lot of energy when I began the run, and after 1/2 mile I decided to abort. My wakeup heart rate was 55, and I felt pretty good (energy wise) this morning, but when 5 pm came and I left to go running, my energy was gone. I ran this afternoon instead of this morning so my wife could come for her 2-mile walk. Hope I feel better on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ran for 3.1 miles

I finished the week with a 3.1 mile run in 60 minutes. I've completed the first part of my goal -- a rest run of 60 minutes. The next part will be a medium run of 80 minutes, and I will pursue that goal by making 10% (approximate) increases in time to my mid-week and end-week runs. Next week, I'll aim for 60 minutes on Monday and 66 minutes on Wednesday and Saturday. Depending on how I feel, I might achieve that next week, or if not the week or two after. I'm still using a run/walk ratio of 90 seconds running and 60 seconds walking. I measured my stride rate at 136 steps per minute. I used to do 175 steps per minute, so I'm getting slower as I age. All runners should aim for a stride rate of 170-180 steps per minute. Doing this will help avoid shin splints and will help runners use a midfoot strike instead of a heel strike.

The sky was cloudy when I began my run, and it rained for about 10 minutes. Then the sky cleared up and the remainder of my run was a nice fall run. I only saw one other runner on the path, but I saw several cyclists.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ran for 60 minutes

I had a good run today. I felt strong and went very close to 3 miles (2.92 miles). My wife accompanied me to the JR Parkway, and she walked 2 miles and then read her book while I was finishing my workout. The sky was overcast, and the temperature was in the high 70s (F). Later in the day, the sky cleared, and the sunshine came out -- I was glad to have finished my run about noontime.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 2 of this week: Ran 2.8 miles

My run took me about 56 minutes. I'm using the same run/walk ratio that I've been using: 90 seconds running and 60 seconds walking. I started running at 6:30 pm, and the path was mostly shade, especially on the return half. My wife came with me to the Jordan River Parkway, and she walked approximately 1.8 miles. I didn't carry any water with me and used the fountain at the parking lot at the beginning and end of my run. When I do carry water, I use a fuel belt that holds six 8-ounce bottles.

On the way back, I saw two flocks of quail. I was closer to them than I was on Monday, and I confirmed in my mind that they were quail. There were about a dozen in the first flock and about 6 or 7 quail in the second flock. The younguns are getting pretty big, so they are finding sufficient food to allow them to grow. I don't remember seeing quail during the winter, so they must migrate south or somewhere. They can fly, but I usually see them when they are walking on the path.

On my way back, I was passed by a younger runner ( probably in his later 30s), and he asked how I was feeling. I replied, "tired". And, then I added, "I'm getting old". He replied with, "You're doing good".

I was tired during my run. Not from running but from mowing my lawns this afternoon. I cut some of the lawn on Tuesday evening. Then I cut some more last evening, and I finished it this afternoon. Mowing my lawn takes more time than I spend on running, and it takes more energy than running. I'm glad that tomorrow is a rest day. I water my lawns via a sprinkling system that turns on during the night, every other day. So, I don't have to spend time or energy watering my lawn. When I lived in Massachusetts, I never watered my lawn or garden -- I let mother nature do it for me. Here in the Utah desert, I have to water everything three or four times per week.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Free Book

Here is a message from Joe Ellis.

My name is Joe Ellis. I'm a longtime distance runner and novelist. My work has been featured in Runner's World and reviewed in the Washington Post. I wanted to get the word out that I'm offering my latest novel, The Old Man and the Marathon, for free to distance runners and walkers. It can be downloaded for free at for Kindle, Nook, iPad, computer, etc. or at or for 99 cents. I consider this novel a labor of love and my gift to distance running community. It is modeled after Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. It's about an old man who takes on the challenge of a marathon despite a history of sciatica.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Began my running week with a LSD of 2.6 miles

My run took 54 minutes. I'm not breaking any speed records, because I'm a lot slower than I was in my mid 40s when I ran marathons. But, I'm still alive, healthy, and moving....

I ran during the mid-day, and because of this there wasn't much shade on the path. I zig-zagged across the path to pick up the patches of shade. I carried and used 2 bottles of water (each bottle = 1 cup). My ratio of running and walking has been 60 seconds of each, but about two weeks ago I changed (and am still using the new ratio) the ratio to be 90 seconds running and 60 seconds walking. The mid-day temperature is in the high 80s (F) to low 90s, a big improvement from July when the mid-day temperature was high 90s to low 100s.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ended the week with a 2.5 mile run

I started running at 6:40 pm MDT, and there was a lot of shade on the path. On my way back, the path was almost all shade, and the shade felt nice. The temperature during my run was in the high 70s (F).

I didn't see many other runners on the path, but I did see several walkers and a lot of cyclists. On my way to the turn-around point, I passed two men walking. On my way back, I passed those men again, and one of them asked my age. I replied "77", almost "78". He said he hopes, when he is my age, that he will still be running. He said he runs half-marathons, and he asked me if I ran marathons -- he said I looked like a marathoner. I said I used to run marathons, but I'm a lot slower now. When we were talking about my age, I replied that I had 22 more years to reach my goal of running until I'm 100.

After I got home, my wife and I sat on our patio for a while and enjoyed the coolness and peace of the evening. There are a lot of crickets chirping in the bushes. I can hear them now as I type this. When I was a boy, I learned how to get the temperature from the number of chirps, but I don't remember how it went. So, while I was typing this, I went to the fountain of all knowledge and found the following formula.

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature.
Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F
The following picture is from the web.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ran 2 miles again

It was late afternoon when I went running, and the shade temperature was 80 (F) when I left. Because of the lateness of the day, there was more shade on the path. The shade felt nice as I ran or walked through it. Most of the path is in direct sun, and it was still hot even though it was in late afternoon. The high today was about 90. I didn't see many people on the path, mostly cyclists. I did see two older men walking. They asked me if there were any convenience stores nearby. I told them "no" and that they should go back to Redwood Road to find the stores. I don't know if they have a car parked somewhere, but they may be doing a long walk....

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ran 2 miles on a "cool" day

The temperature was in the high 70s (F) during my run. We're having several days of cloudy weather and showers, and today's temperature may be the "normal" for this week. I didn't run much during the past 2 weeks, and I'm giving myself 1 to 2 weeks to get back to my "normal" runs of 3 miles. I ran 2 miles today in 43 minutes.

The Jordan River is low, and there are bushes growing out of the water in the middle of the river. Several ducks were swimming among the bushes when I went past. When I returned, the ducks were on a sand bar in the middle of the river enjoying the sun. At  the point where I saw the ducks, the river is about 100 feet wide and probably only a foot or so deep. Normally, the river is about 3 feet deep.

The following picture was taken from the web.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Spent the week at Education Week at BYU

This week was spent at Brigham Young University in Provo attending classes at the annual Education Week. All of the classes my wife, one grand daughter, and I took were religious classes, but there were other classes that covered food and investments as well as religious topics. We drove an hour each way to BYU, and we didn't get home each night until late. I only got about 5 hours sleep each night, and I walked around 7 miles during the week.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Aborted my run after 2 miles

On Monday, I started running with the hope of doing 3+ miles, but I was tired and aborted after 2 miles. Last week was stressful, and I guess I'm not fully recovered yet. During the rest of the week, I didn't run, but I did take walks with my grandchildren who were visiting for the week, and I probably walked about 2 miles total during the week.These were slow walks that covered some distance but at a slow LSD.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A week of hiking

I didn't do any running this week, but I did a lot of hiking. My wife and I joined our daughter and her family and drove on Monday to Southern Utah to see Shakespeare plays and visit national parks. I hiked about 10 miles during the week. We met our daughter at Cove Fort, and we toured the pioneer fort.

On Tuesday, we visited several places in Cedar City where I had lived and played as a child. We planned to go to "boys cave" next to the red hill, but the access to the hill containing the cave is now private property, and I decided to not try and get permission to pass through their back yard. We thus aborted our hike to "boys cave". Boy's cave is not really a cave. It is just a wind-swept indention in the side of a rock. To us boys, though, it was a real cave and was large enough to allow several boys to sit in the cave  and look to the red hill east of us.

On Wednesday, we hiked Kolob Canyon, and I covered 4 of the 5 miles of that hike. The trail, if I may call it that, followed a creek and went up and down and up and down and... I can handle hikes on relatively level ground, but I'm not in condition for hiking up and down hills and climbing over rocks. The hardest part was at the end of the hike when I had to go about 100 feet up a cliff by climbing a million stairs. At the beginning of the climb, I could go about 10 steps before I took a rest. In the middle, I was going about 5 steps before a rest, and at the end I was going three steps before a rest. The afternoon was hot, and I had used up all my water and was thirsty. I was glad to finish that hike. During the hike, I wished I had brought my walking stick with me. I've never had good balance. As I get older, my balance is worse, and I have a hard time climbing over rocks and jumping from rock to rock to cross creeks. Having the walking stick to provide a third "leg" would have helped a lot. During my 11-years as Scoutmaster in Massachusetts, I found that the walking stick was helpful in giving me better balance as I hiked rough trails. After I finished the hike, I sat in my car and waited for the rest of our group. After they arrived, I got out of the car and was immediately attacked by cramps in my left leg. Usually, cramps only last a few seconds, but this cramp didn't go away. I couldn't move my leg, so I massaged the leg. The cramp shifted to the other leg but didn't decrease in intensity. Finally, after about 5 minutes the cramp dissipated, and I was able to drive back to our home for the week in Cedar City

On Thursday, we drove an hour to Zion National Park and completed a 2-mile hike along the Virgin River (Riverside Trail) to the beginning of the Narrows. The trail was mostly flat and the path was paved and easy to walk. The rest of the afternoon was spent lollygagging around the Lodge. We happened to see Gary, my brother-in-law, and part of his family who had just completed a 17-mile hike through the Narrows. The following picture was taken from the web (click picture for a larger image).

On Friday we returned to Zion and hiked a dirt, rocky trail to a swimming place in Zion. It was only a mile each way, but I never made it. I did fine during the first half-mile, because the ground was relatively level and there weren't a lot of rocks in the path. But, during the second half-mile the trail went up-hill more, and I realized I was getting tired, and I turned back. My wife said it was good I turned back, because there was a 10-foot climb up several rocks, and she said I never would have made it. I didn't bring my fanny pack that holds two bottles of water, so I was carrying one bottle in my hand. On the way back, I had to climb over a big rock to get from the creek to the bank, and I tossed my water bottle into the sand on the bank so I could use both hands to climb the rock. When the bottle hit the sand, the top came off, and all of my water and ice cubes spilled onto the sand. I still had about 1/3 mile left, and I had no water. The temperature was in the low 90s (F), and I got pretty thirsty before I finished the hike. After I reached my car, I drove to the visitor's center to get water, but the parking lots were full, and I returned with no water. However, when I returned I found that my wife was in my daughter's car -- she had turned back, too. She shared her water with me.

After leaving Zion, we stopped at Kolob Reservoir, and we saw a California Condor flying above the water. There are only about 150 of these birds in existence. We later looked at the photo my son-in-law took of the bird, and we could see the tag put on the bird to track its flights. The tag was #75. The condors have a wing-span averaging 9 feet. The following pictures of a California Condor (#4) and Kolob Reservoir were taken from the web (click the pictures for a larger views).

This morning, on our way back to the Salt Lake valley, we stopped at Bryce National Park, and my daughter's family and I hiked a short way into the canyon and back. I went about 1/4 mile each way. I could have gone farther, but the descent was all switchbacks, and each step downhill was 3-5 steps (in effort) uphill. During that descent, I changed elevation by about 200 feet.  The elevation at the top is about 9000 feet, and hiking at that elevation is more difficult than hiking at lower elevations.

The following pictures of Kolob Canyon and Bryce were taken from the web. The picture of Bryce shows the switchbacks I hiked (click the pictures for larger views).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Very tired, aborted at 2.2 miles

I started out for a 3 mile run, but I was very tired and aborted at 2.2 miles. I could have kept going to meet my goal, but that would have made me even more tired. I only had 4 hours sleep last night plus 1.5 hour nap, and I hadn't eaten anything all day. It was late afternoon when I went out. The good news for the day was that, due to the late hour of my run, there was a lot of shade. The daytime temperature, though, was in the mid 90s (F).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ran/walked for 69 minutes and did a bit more than 3.5 miles

We've had some visitors for the past couple of days, and one of their cars was parked in our driveway blocking my car which was in my garage. I could have had my daughter mover her car so I could get mine out of the garage, but I chose to leave the cars as they were, and I thus ran the maintenance road next to a canal, because the road wasn't far from my home. I walked about 0.1 mile and then started running. I was out early (7:30 am) and the cool temperature felt great. Lots of shade. Our afternoon high hit 95 (F), so getting out early was nice.

I saw lots of ducks and geese on the maintenance road. Usually, the geese are browsing the fields, but this morning they were on the road. On my way back, I approached a flock of geese that were on the road, maybe 30-40 geese. As I approached them during a walk-phase, they didn't fly away. They just stayed on the path. There was about 10 feet separating us when they started to walk towards the field. I started a run-phase while I was surrounded by geese, and that startled them, and many of them flew away while the others continued walking to the field. After I had passed them and had gone about 50 yards, I turned around and looked at them, and they were back on the road.

On my way out, I passed a field full of birds that were browsing the field. The birds were black and were smaller than a Mallard duck. They had long necks, small heads, and relatively long beaks. They looked like water-birds. I couldn't get close enough to see if their feet were webbed.

It's been over 5 years since I last ran this maintenance road, and it was nice to be back on the road. The road is dirt with some gravel on it, but it is relatively level and easy to run. I saw lots of ducks that were born in May or June, and they were now almost as big as their mother and were independent of her. They were, however, still sticking together as a "clan".

I took a nap when I got home, and the nap and my sleep last night meant I got 7 1/2 hours of sleep.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ran 3.5 miles this morning

I got out earlier than I've been doing, but not as early as I would have liked. The shade temperature when I returned home was 95 (F) and was probably about 90 when I left home. I carried my usual 4 cups of water and used most of it during my run/walk. In addition, I had a good drink of water at home before I left, at the start and end of my run, and at the turn-around point. I used my normal ratio of 60 seconds running and 60 seconds walking.

I felt pretty good during the first half of my run,  but I got a bit dizzy during the return phase back to my car. The dizzy feeling was slight and occurred during the last half mile or so. It was, I assume, due to the heat, because I've felt fine since then. After I got home, I took a half-hour nap. There was a south breeze of 5 mph or so, and that felt good. I didn't take any rest breaks on the way out, but I did take 3 breaks on shady benches on the way back. During these hot summers, I run for survival and give no thought to trying to increase my distance much or my pace. I save performance improvements for the Spring and Fall and just try to survive during the summer and winter.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ran 3.5 miles in about 70 minutes

Today was a hot day for running, but I made it thanks to water I carried and several  benches that were in some shade (the shade temperature was 90 (F) when I returned home). I only had 5 1/2 hours sleep last night and my wakeup heart rate was 58. I didn't have as much energy as I had last week.

There were quite a few cyclists and walkers on the path and one skater. I saw a few other runners, too. Most of the people where out today were out earlier in the morning or will be out in the evening. It doesn't get dark until 9 pm. I would have waited until then, but two of my grandchildren are coming over, and I wanted to get my run in before they came.

I drank 3 1/2 cups of water and had good drinks at home before I left, and at the beginning, turn-around, and end of my run. I had about half a cup of water left when I finished, and I poured it on my head and let it run down my t-shirt. There was a 3-5 mph breeze coming from the south, and it helped cool me as I ran during the first half.

We had rain showers during the night, and more showers are predicted for this evening. My wife says we are living in Camelot -- sunny in the daytime and showers while we sleep.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My wakeup Heart Rate was 57 this Morning

Even though today is a rest day, I measured my wakeup heart rate to get an idea how extra sleep is affecting the heart rate. A drop of 3 points from yesterday is significant. With me, at least, wakeup heart rate is sensitive to sleep. I had 6 1/2 hours sleep last night and will take a nap this afternoon that should bring my sleep for the past 24 hours up to 7 hours.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ran/walked another 3 miles

I didn't leave home until a bit after 11 am, so I ended up running in the hottest part of the day. The temperature was 89 (F) when I left home and in the low-mid 90s when I returned. I carried 4 cups of water and drank it all, plus a good drink from the fountain next to the path when I started and also after I'd completed 1 mile. I went south from 100th South for half a mile and then returned to the parking lot. After a good drink, I ran 1 mile north to the Sandy golf course and then returned to the parking lot. I did 2.9 miles in 63 minutes plus about 1/8 mile walking after I stopped my GPS timer.

Last week we had a lot of rain (for a desert area, at least) and the resulting cooler temperatures, but this week will be all hot sun. I only had 5 1/2 hours sleep last night, and I took a long nap after my run to bring me up to my desired 7 hours of sleep.

I've been using a run/walk ratio of 60 seconds each, but last week I ran 80 seconds with 60 seconds walking. Today, due to the hot weather, I went back to the ratio of 60 seconds each.

After I reached the Sandy golf course and my 1-mile point, I took a several mention on a bench next to the path. I saw two women walking and pushing two-wheeled golf carts. After I started running, I passed the ladies and mentioned to them that I was glad they were walking and not riding golf carts. One lady remarked "we do anything to keep moving". I replied that the guys who ride the carts are heading for heart attacks as they get older. After I had passed the ladies and was about 20 feet in front of them, I heard one of them say, "When I grow up I want to be like you". I thought to my self, "good luck". I'm an old geezer and have all kinds of personality oddities, but I do run/walk outdoors 12 months of the year.

Friday, July 12, 2013

My wakeup heart rate is down

Today is a rest day, but I checked my wakeup heart rate to see which way it is going. It was 54, down 4 points from yesterday. Two days ago I only had 4.5 hours of sleep, and I've been expecting my HR to go up. However, it was down yesterday even though I only had the 4.5 hours of sleep the night before plus an hour in two naps later in the day (after my running). It is common to have a delay between a night of insufficient sleep and a rise in my HR. Last night I had a good 7 hours sleep, and that probably accounts for the drop in my HR this morning. Sufficient sleep is critical to ones performance as an athlete and to good health for everyone.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ran 3.4 miles in about 68 minutes

Boy, I had a great run this morning! My wakeup heart rate was 58, and I felt strong. I've learned through all my years of running that how I feel during my 30 situps before I run is a good indication of the energy-level of my body. I felt great today and did the situps pretty fast.

The sky was cloudy (showers forecast for tonight and tomorrow), and the temperature was in the mid 70s (F) during my run/walk. I didn't carry water but had good drinks before and after my run. I kept the length of my walk phase to 60 seconds but increased the length of my run phase to 80 seconds. I took no rest breaks and felt strong for the full 3.4 miles. There was no detectable breeze. A few rain drops fell during the first part of my run, but they didn't amount to anything, and the "shower" only lasted for a few minutes.

I didn't see other runners on the Parkway, but I did see cyclists and walkers and dogs.

For several years I thought quail couldn't fly, because I only saw them walking on the asphalt path. However, in recent weeks, I've seen quail fly. I saw one this morning perched on a tall (7 feet) wooden pole. It flew to the ground as I passed the pole.

The Jordan River is very low. Sand banks that usually are covered with water are growing nice crops of grass and small bushes. I hope we get rain tonight and tomorrow -- we need the water, and the relief from the summer heat is nice.

Notice, in the following photo of Italy taken from the web, that you can see rain coming down. Look at the left-center of the picture. This is how the sky looked at my run earlier this week. Today the sky was cloudy but I saw no rain coming down.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ran 3 miles

I ran during the mid-day and completed 3 miles. I went north from 100th South for a mile and then returned to the parking lot. Then I went south for half a mile and returned. After I finished running/walking, I sat in my car and ate a protein bar and then drove home. It started sprinkling when I started driving, and it rained heavily while I drove home. I could tell a storm was coming, because I heard thunder in the distance and saw rain clouds north of me. During my run, I used a technique I used in Massachusetts. I didn't run on the right side of the path as most people do. I didn't run tangents as if I were in a race. Instead, I ran "shadows", cris-crossing the path to run in the few patches of shade that were on the path. The good news is that during the last half of my run, the sky became cloudy, and I lost the direct sun that had been shinning in the sky. This reduced the temperature a bit. In addition, there was a 5-10 mpm breeze blowing, and that helped cool me some. All in all, it was a nice day and a nice run!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ran/walked 3.25 miles in 65 minutes

I'm glad I ran this morning instead of late afternoon, because we had a heavy rain and big hail stones and high winds. The storm only lasted a few minutes, but it was a fierce storm while it lasted.

I ran in late morning, going out about 11 am. For most of the run, the sky was overcast, and not having direct sunlight helped keep the temperature in the low 80s (F). My run was uneventful. There was a slight wind from the south, and that helped keep me cooler, too. On the way back, it was a tail wind, but it didn't do much to push me, and I felt the heat more than I had on my way out. I carried and drank three bottles (cups) of water. All in all, it was a nice way to end my running-week.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Nice run/walk of 64 minutes for 3 miles

My wakeup heartrate was 58. It's coming down, and it's up to me to get good sleep each night so it will continue coming down. Because of the heat, I delayed my run until 7 pm. When I left home the temperature was 89 (F), down from a peak of 102, and it was 81 when I returned. I took it easy and just enjoyed myself as I ran. After 2 miles I started getting tired, and at 2.2 miles I took a short rest break. There was a lot of shade, due to the late hour I was out. In addition, there were clouds in the sky that diffused the sunlight to almost shade. When I finished the run, the sun wasn't quite behind the Oquirrh mountains. There were a few walkers, cyclists, and runners on the path but not many. I thought we would have thunderstorms this evening, but it looks like the storms will be delayed until tomorrow evening. I drank about 3 1/2 cups of water during my run.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tired but ran 3 miles in 60 minutes

The forcast for today is 104 (F), so I got up early and was on the trail by 7:30. There were lots of shady spots, some as long as 100 yards. I went north from 100th South for a mile and turned around and returned and went  for half a mile south from the parking lot at 100th South. After 1 1/2 miles I started getting tired, but I took a couple of brief rest breaks and felt fine. I only had 5 hours sleep due to wanting to get out early. During the high heat outside later today, I'll take a long nap and (hopefully) catch up on my sleep. There were a lot of people on the path enjoying the cooler temperature. The temp was in the mid 60s (F) when I left home and 80 when I returned. I'm still using my run:walk values of 60 seconds:60 seconds.

On the way back, I stopped at a bench for a rest break and watched about a dozen geese in the river.
They were swimming against the stream and were paddling their feet just enough to overcome to river, causing them to remain in the same spot. Every few seconds they would poke their head into the water to catch something that was floating by. About 5 or 6 black birds (ducks?) were doing the same thing. These birds were all black, including their heads, except for a large white spot on their breasts. I took the following picture a few years ago, and it shows the type of duck I saw today.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ran 3 miles in 65 minutes; felt like an oven...

I had a great run/walk today! My wakeup heart rate was 60, still high but lower than last week (yesterday, it was 61). I didn't get out until 12:30 pm, and by then the summer heat was here. The shade temp when I left home was 95 (F). The temperature in direct sunlight was probably 105-110. Most of the trail was in direct sun, although there were a few spots of shade. As I ran, when I saw a bench in the shade, I stopped for a couple of minutes. I wasn't tired like I've been in the past; I stopped to rest due to the heat and to give my body a chance to adjust to the heat a bit. Instead of the 3 cups of water that I usually carry when I do 3 miles, I carried 4 cups. In addition I took a nice drink before I left home and another nice drink next to the path before I started. I was glad for the extra cup of water that I carried. I drank a couple of swallows each time I walked (every 2 minutes), and the extra cup meant I drank a bit more than I would have. When I finished, I used the fountain next to the path to get water, and I poured a cup or so on my head and let it drip down my face and t-shirt. There was a slight breeze blowing, and that breeze was a head-wind on my way back, and it helped cool me. One of the first signs I get of heat exhaustion is a headache, and that didn't happen to me. My energy level stayed relatively high during the run. All in all, I think I handled the heat OK. I went slow and enjoyed being outside.

I had the path mostly to myself. I didn't see any other runners until I was half a mile from the end and I saw several members of the police academy out for a training run. I could tell they were from the academy, because they all had blue shorts and white t-shirts with the academy logo. When they passed, I was sitting on a bench, and they all called me "sir" as they passed me. While I ran, I did see 4 walkers, a couple of cyclists (one a boy about 11 or 12 who was sitting in the shade with his bike on the ground next to him) and a girl on skates. She gave me a thumbs up as she flew past me. I frequently get thumbs up from others on the path. I guess they aren't used to seeing an old geezer out running.

When I got home, I changed into dry clothes and took an hour nap. In another hour and a half, the temperature will be below 90, and I'll just have time to mow my lawns before it gets dark. I started the lawns yesterday but stopped due to the heat after doing about 1/3 of the lawns.

I've been walking but not running

I haven't done much running during the past week, but I've done some walking. My wife and I walked to and from church the past two Sundays (about 2.5 miles for the two days). Some of my grandkids walked with my wife and me to the nearby canal and fed the ducks and looked at the new ducklings (about a mile for the loop). Mowing my lawns each week takes me about an hour -- all walking and pushing my old mower. So, I haven't been sitting on a couch all day....

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I'm mostly running for health and enjoyment of running

Yesterday, I read in a report stating that if one is exercising for health, the important thing is the total minutes run during the week, rather than the schedule of when the exercising took place. Of course, if one is running to be faster or go longer, the schedule is important.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Another 3 miles

I ran 3.0 miles this morning in 61 minutes. Because I was out a little earlier than I've been doing, there was more shade on the path. There were a lot of people out today. Cyclists, runners, walkers, skaters, and one man on skates who used ski poles to push himself. I thought maybe he was keeping in condition for cross country skiing. I took one 2-minute rest stop on the way back. The bench was in a lot of shade, and it was nice to sit for a moment and enjoy the shade. We've had a lot of hot weather, but the past few days have been more moderate -- sunny and nice but cooler.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ran 3 miles again

I ran for 3 miles this morning, and I felt fine for the first half and then I started getting tired during the last half. My wakeup heart rate was 58. I only had 6 hours sleep last night. I've been having trouble getting dehydrated due to not drinking enough water, and that has affected my sleep at night and probably my wakeup heart rate. I'm trying to drink more water during the day. I do carry water with me and drink one cup per mile, but when I get home, I get busy and forget to drink.

Water, water, my kingdom for a drink of water!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Took a rest day today instead of running

I had planned on running in the late afternoon, but my heart rate was high all day, so I didn't go out. Because of my age, I'm taking more rest days than I did when I was younger.

Today the temperature was in the 80s (F), and for the next few days the temperature will be in the 90s. We'll get some rain in the middle of next week, and that will cool things down a bit.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I ran/walked 3 miles again

My wakeup heart was 58, and I had a good 7 hours sleep, but I didn't run until late afternoon. I was pretty tired during my run, and I did more walking on the way back than I did on the way down. I took one short rest on the way down and one on the way back. I faced a 5 mph head wind on the way back, and that sapped my energy, too. Yesterday, I mowed and edged my lawns, and I drove to Salt Lake City and edged my mother-in-law's lawn. The edging wasn't particularly hard, but the mowing was hard, and I was pretty tired when I finished. I didn't get my lawns mowed last week, and the grass was longer than usual when I mowed it today. I need more than one day of rest after I do my lawns, and I was tired during my run. I'm going to try to mow my lawns on Thursday so I will have two days of rest before my Saturday run. Because of the lateness of my run, there was quite a bit of shade on the path, and that helped. The temperature was in the high 70s (F), not very high for running but high when I was already tired from the day before.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I did it -- Ran 3 miles again

I just got back from my run. Today is a beautiful day. No clouds. Lots of sun. The temperature when I got back was 78 (F). Almost no wind was blowing. Lots of runners, walkers, cyclists on the trail. In fact, the parking lot at 100th South had about 15 cars, significantly more than the 5 or 6 cars that are usually there. At first, I thought the police academy was having a qualification run, but I didn't see any police cars in the parking lot, and I realized the cars were all civilian cars.

I ran the same 3-mile route that I used on Wednesday. I didn't keep track of my time, but the run probably took about 55 minutes. I used my Fuel Belt for the first time this year, and I followed the same schedule I've used in the past -- one swallow of water each time I started walking, that's a swallow every two minutes. Each bottle in my Fuel Belt holds one cup, and I empty the bottle every mile. I also got a drink from the water fountain at 100th South at the beginning and end of my run/walk. The temperature wasn't particularly high today, but I was glad I carried water with me. After about 1.5 miles I started sweating, and the water helped replace that lost via sweating.

Now, after I eat brunch and take a short nap, I'll mow my lawns. The picture shown below is the belt I have (6 bottles). It isn't very visible in the picture, but the belt has a nice pouch that I use for my cell phone.

My wakeup heart rate is going down

My wakeup heart rate was 58 this morning, after a good 7 hours sleep. It was 63 or 64 last week. If I continue getting good sleep, my heart rate should continue going down. I'm leaving in about an hour to go running so I get my running in early. I'll be working in my yard for most of the day, mowing lawns and trimming trees, and if I don't get my running in now, I probably won't get it done at all.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Finally, ran 3 miles

I ran south from the 100th South parking lot for 1.5 miles and then returned. I didn't have my GPS with me and didn't record the time when I left and then returned to the parking lot. I've been trying to get more sleep at night, and my wakeup heart rate on Monday was down to 54. But, I only had 3.5 hours of sleep last night plus some naps during the day today. I didn't record my wakeup heart rate this morning, because of the lack of sleep, but I felt relatively fine during my run. I've been using run/walk times of 60 seconds/35 seconds, but I read that Galloway recommends having the two times the same, so in the middle of the run, I changed the timer to give 60seconds/60 seconds. I'm not concerned with overall speed, and the extra 25 seconds of walking helps me recover for the next 60 seconds of running.

My basic problem with lack of sleep is that I really enjoy doing things at night. I've always  been a "night owl" in this regard. In the summers during high school, I was a bellhop at a resort hotel, and I worked 18 hours out of 24 (two 9-hour shifts) and then had the next 24 hours off while the other guy worked his two shifts. During my 24 hours off, I stayed up late at night making ham radio contacts all over North America and the Pacific islands. I would sleep in late until 10 or 11, and then I would get ready for my two shifts. But, as I've gotten older, I'm finding it harder to sleep in late but still easy to stay up late. I'm having to go to bed earlier to get my seven hours of sleep before I wake up. Mornings are for sleeping and nights are for doing things...too bad society doesn't realize that :)

Top 20 Sites

I just learned that this blog has been added to the Excite list of the top 20 healthcare sites.  It's an honor to be on that list.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Family schedule comes before running schedjule

Well, I didn't get my run in today. My wakeup heart rate was down to 59 and I was planning on running, but a last-minute change in my family schedule prevented me from going out. Actually, I could have gone running as it was getting dark, but I was too tired to go that late in the evening. Darkness comes about 9 pm Mountain Daylight Time. When I was younger (mid 40s), I had no problems running late in the evening, but I can't do that anymore. One of the problems with getting old :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I had hoped to run today but wakeup HR is still high

My wakeup heart rate was 61 this morning. A couple of days ago it was 65. I probably could have run a mile this morning, but I'm taking a rest day to give my body additional time to adjust to the extra sleep I've gotten the past several days. Tomorrow is a normal rest day, so my next run will (hopefully) be on Saturday.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ran 1 mile and was glad I got that far

My wakeup heart rate was 63, and that is high enough that I should have stayed home. But I went running with a hope of doing 2.5 miles. However, at 1/2 mile, I turned around and went home. My legs felt like they were made of lead, and I had no energy for walking much less for running. I took a nap and felt better. I've been seriously sleep-deprived for the past couple of weeks, and it finally got to me. I did have the last two nights of good sleep, but my body still sent me a loud message that I need to change my behavior.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Riffle Books

An interesting web site is Riffle Books. People who enjoy reading can create lists of books they've read, are currently reading, would like to read, and recommend for reading. The site is a great place to learn about books that would make a nice companion for an evening of reading before the fire, so to speak.

I've joined the site (free) and have listed my books. Becky, one of the bloggers at Riffle, has featured one of my book-lists in her blog, and she conducted an email interview with me. Click here to read the interview.

Here is my list that is featured in Becky's blog.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Better sleep & ran/walked 2.25 miles

My wakeup heart rate was 58, and I felt stronger when I went running. I ran about 1/4 mile with a run/walk of 60/25 seconds. Then I changed to 60/30 and then to 60/35 and finished my run with that ratio. I did take a couple of short rest-breaks. One guy asked me, as he ran past, if I were OK. I said, "Yes, just taking a rest break". The temperature was 84 (F) when I left home and 81 when I returned. I think Spring is gone and summer is here.... This warm weather is not good. It may melt the snow in the mountains and cause flooding in the valleys and then a drought in the summer.

I ran in the late afternoon as the sun was going down. Due to the late hour, there was a lot of shade on the trail, and that felt good. There was a slight south breeze blowing, which helped cool me and didn't offer much opposition to my running. A lot of people were on the trail while I was there, including a couple of kids on skateboards.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Did another 2 miles

My wife and I went to the Jordan River Parkway in the late afternoon. She walked 2 miles, and I ran/walked the same distance. The temperature when we returned home was in the low 70s (F).

In the past I've run 3 minutes and walked 1 minute. The thought occurred to me that I might do better with more frequent but shorter walk breaks, so I ran 1 minute and walked 20 seconds during the first half of today's run, and I ran 1 minute and walked 45 seconds during the second half. I meant to walk only 25 seconds, but I think I set the timer incorrectly. I'll change it to walk 25 seconds on my next run.

There were a lot of cyclists out today. Not many walkers or runners, though. Had we gone out earlier, we might have seen more walkers and runners.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Busy but not much running

Yesterday was yard work and today was grandchildren day, so I haven't done much running. Between yesterday and today I did about 1 mile of walking. Most of it was on the Jordan River Parkway. We took two grandkids to the South Jordan East Pavilion so they could play at the playground there, and we walked about 1/2 mile round trip to a fishing pond south of the pavilion. Yesterday's yard work was rototilling and lawn mowing. Not a lot of distance but more energy used that just sitting around. My 10 year old grandson and I got in two games of chess today. He still makes a lot of dumb moves, but he has improved a lot in that past couple of years.

I won't be running tomorrow so I'll be able to run on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ran/walked 2 miles

My wife and I went to the Jordan River Parkway, and we went north 1 mile to the Sandy golf course and back. My wakeup heart rate was 59, and I felt pretty good. It is a beautiful day today. Lots of sun, temperature in the 70s (F) and not much wind. A guy passed us on his bike. A big dog was pulling him, and he said he does little peddling. He didn't get much exercise, but the dog had a good workout.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ran/Walked 1.5 miles

I went running in the late afternoon. I knew before I left that my body and legs were tired from doing yard work, including rototilling, and I decided before I left to only go a short distance. I took a nap before I did the rototilling, and I felt fine for 0.75 miles. I turned around at that point and went back to my car. I felt tired on the way back and took a short 1 minute rest stop with about 0.4 miles left. The temperature was comfortable, the path was dry, and it has been a nice day to be outside. Tomorrow is my Sabbath day, and I never run on Sunday. So, we'll see how it goes on Monday.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ran/walked 2.4 miles in 46.5 minutes

My body and legs are still tired from yesterday's marathon work in moving 5 cubic yards of compost/mulch. However, I had a good 7 hours of sleep last night and a short nap early this afternoon, and I decided to go running. I went north from 100th South and ran for 22.5 minutes and returned to my car. The temperature was in the high 50s, and a 15 mph north wind was blowing. I had two layers (T-shirt and wind breaker) and felt fine when going north into the wind but was a bit warm on the return phase. I'm glad that tomorrow will be a rest day.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ran/Walked for 2.5 miles

I ran south from 100th South on the Jordan River Parkway, going out for 1.25 miles and then returning. I've forgotten the time it took, but it was around 45 minutes. My wakeup heart rate was 58 and is going down as I get more sleep at night. There were lots of people on the path. The temperature is in the 60s (F), and Spring is definitely here. Also, South Jordan City has turned the on the fountain at the 100th South trail head, and I was able to get a drink at the beginning of my run and another drink at the end of the run. The canals have their summer water, and this is the time of year that ducks and quail hatch their young. It's a nice time of the year.

Time to check out my sprinkling system and repair any damage from winter frost.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Not much running this week

This week is turning out to be mostly a no-run week. My 95 year old mother-in-law died last Saturday. We held her viewing (wake) last night and the funeral is today. I've spent most of my spare time working on a slide show of her life. We used the slides last night at the viewing and will show them today during a viewing before the funeral. The funeral and grave dedication and family dinner at my mother-in-law's church will take up most of my time today. Visits with the rest of my kids will take up the rest of my time. I'm hoping to run either tomorrow or Saturday, but we'll see.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sleep really helps!

I've had good sleep the past two nights, and my wakeup heart rate was 56 this morning. If I can continue to get good sleep, my WHR should come down even more. My 95 year old mother-in-law died on Saturday, and I'm in the middle of creating a slide show of her life to show at the viewing (wake) tomorrow night and the funeral on Thursday. I hope I don't have to be up late tonight finishing the slides. I wake up at the same time regardless of when I go to bed (an aspect of getting old), and staying up late thus means sleep deprivation.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ran/Walked 1.5 miles in 26.5 minutes

I didn't do any running, walking, or biking last week, so today I eased into it and did half of what I normally would do. I felt fine during the run and could have kept going if I had wanted to. The temperature during my exercise was 52 (F), The sky was cloudy, and there may be showers later in the day. A wind of 10 mph or so was blowing from the north. I only wore one layer (T-shirt) and could have worn a wind-breaker. I'm still using a run of 3 minutes and a walk of 1 minute.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bombs at the Boston Marathon

Yesterday two bombs were exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The clock time when the bombs went off was about 4 hours. It's a sad day. Watching the videos of the bombing and hearing the reports makes me want to cry. I don't understand why people have such little respect for human life. It's obvious to me that the massacre was planned to maximize the civilian deaths. I hope the police can identify the people responsible for the bombing.

Ran/walked and biked at the gym

We've had snow showers for the past several days, and the daytime temperature has been in the 30s (F) and 40s. My wife suggested we go to the gym today, and that is what we did. I didn't get a good measurement of how long we were there, but it was about 45 minutes to an hour. It's kinda boring to go around the small jogging track in the gym; I'd much rather be outside on the Jordan River Parkway path. I've only been getting about 6 hours of sleep each night, and I was tired today.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Francie: Definition of Determination

Part three of three in a series

If you missed my first two posts, Running as Grace and No One Knows You Better, I can catch you up to speed: Girl trains for third Ironman, has breast cancer surgery three weeks before race, scratches race, running is (again) her saving grace. You can read the full story in The Competitor in Me II: Conquer Fear.

The week following my last radiation therapy, I had a follow up appointment with the radiation care team. Katy the RN went through her list of questions, to make sure that I was able to be released from their care. I enjoyed this nurse. It was a little sad that I wouldn’t be able to hear about her progress with learning to swim, but I was on my way and she would do absolutely fine without me.

“Do you feel any fatigue?”

“No. I feel good.” I smiled. The shoe never did fall on me.
“Hmm. That’s good. You know, two out of three people experience fatigue.”

I did know that statistic. In fact, I had heard it so many times from this place that I think I may develop fatigue on account of hearing about it so much.
“I really thought I’d be one of them, but I lucked out.”

“Are you still working out?”



“My theory is to keep moving. Now that this is over, I can build up again.”
“You know, you are quite…exceptional.”

I didn’t think so. “Um…” I squirmed…
“Really, you worked so diligently and it has paid off. You really are exceptional.”

“I don’t feel it, but thanks.”
“You should be proud of your efforts. This was hard. You took good care of yourself and sailed through it. How did you do it?”

I paused. I had no idea what I was doing! Well, yes I did. I’ve been a runner since I was 15. I knew exactly what I was doing.
“Katy, every day was a battle with fear, even just to drive to this place.”

“I can only imagine. What worked for you?”
“If I think about how I would prepare someone else to sail through it, I would tell them it takes two things: prayer and determination. And a few great supporters. So, three things.” I found myself smiling. Yes, I was smiling about how I handled breast cancer. What a moment this was!

“Your determination is beyond most people’s determination.”
“This may sound sassy, but I mean it honestly: maybe most people don’t have the definition right.”

Do you have your definition of determination right? I’m not saying everyone can continue running through a major illness, but when you are 100 percent determined, and excuses are few and far between, things will fall into place for you.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ran 4.2 miles in about 80 minutes

Today I did a split. I ran/walked 50 minutes in mid afternoon and another 35 minutes in the evening going to and from a ham radio meeting in preparation for the State of Utah Shake Out on Wednesday the 17th. The shakeout is an annual drill for earthquakes. I'm a member of a ham radio group that will provide communications within the LDS (Mormon) congregations in the area in which I live. We provide radio communications when telephone and cell circuits aren't available.

My wakeup pulse rate was 58, still high but lower than it has been. I've been getting more sleep at night, and that has helped bring my pulse rate down. The temperature when I left home to go running was 33 (F), and there was a stiff wind of 30-40 mph. It was OK when I was going south, because the wind was a tail wind, but it was hard when I was going north and had to face the wind. My nylon jacket and long pants did a good job of breaking the wind, but my face was cold while I was going north. It felt fine when I went south. The wind chill was about 17 (F). In terms of body strength, I felt pretty good, because I had breakfast earlier in the day and thus had energy when I ran/walked along the Jordan River. When I ran and walked to and from the evening meeting, the air temperature was still in the low 30s, but the wind was almost gone, and I felt fine both ways.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Rode the Expresso Bike for 3.5 miles

My wife and I went to the community rec hall this evening. She walked her mile while I rode the bike for 3.5 miles. The route I used is flat, and I choose a gear that gave me relatively easy peddling. I wasn't concerned about speed and wanted an easy ride.

Ran/Walked for 61 minutes (3.25 miles)

Rain was forecast for this evening and the sky was dark and cloudy when I left home. It didn't rain, though, during my workout, but it started to rain as I drove home. I felt pretty good during the workout and went a bit faster than I did on my last run. I didn't check the temperature before or after my run, but it was nice. I felt a bit cold for the first mile, but I felt fine after that. There is standing water under the 106th South bridge, but it is only an inch or so deep, and I walked through the water.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ran/walked 60 minutes (2.9 miles)

Today is a really great day. Temperature in the low 70s (F) and no wind. I went south from 100th South, using the same route that I've used for the last two or three workouts. I was tired during most of the run, and I took two or three short rest stops on the way back. My 60 minutes ended with about 1/5 mile left, and I stopped my GPS and walked back to the parking lot. Lots of people on the path.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

No running, walking, or bike riding today, but ...

I really had a workout today, a workout called "yard work". I changed the oil in my lawn mower and edger and got my lawns ready for an Easter party on Monday for 10 grandchildren. I had the mower set as low as it would go, and I scalped the back lawn so my grandchildren could do "golf putting" on the lawn. This was my first cutting of the new season, and I normally cut it lower on my first mowing to get rid of some of the dry grass. Then, during the summer I raise the mower to yield about 2 1/2 inches of length to the blades of grass. Today, I had the mower set so low, that I had to push the mower to get the machine to move through the grass, even though the motor on the mower was trying to move the machine. It took me over an hour of such work to finish my lawns, and I was really tired when I finished. My grass is Kentucky Blue grass, and it won't go green for another month. People around here use a lot of rye grass that goes green in April.

The guy in that cartoon looks like I felt. The picture could be of me, except I wear a wide-brim hat to protect my face from UV, and I wear long sleeves and long pants for the same reason.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ran/walked for about 62 minutes

Today was a beautiful day! The temperature when I left to go running was in the mid 60s (F), a faint breeze that kept me cool, and lots of sun and beautiful clouds. Quite a few people were using the Parkway today for cycling, walking, and running. When I say "quite a few" people, that means about 9 or 10. That seems like quite a few people, but when you remember that I was out for an hour, that number of people is actually small.

I did about 3.3 miles. I felt fine for the first 1.75 miles, and then I got tired and took two rest stops on the way back. The first one was at about 2.2 miles, and the second one was something more than that, but I don't remember where I was when I sat down for a couple of minutes. I did have my GPS with me, but I forgot to restart it after my first rest-stop, and I ran about 1/4 mile before I discovered the GPS wasn't running. Thus, I'm estimating that 1/4 mile and the time I probably took doing it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring snow in Utah

We've had snow for the past several days. The good news is that daytime temperatures have been above freezing, and the snow hasn't stayed very long on the ground. As long as fresh snow isn't deep and is not covering ice, it isn't slick. It gets slick when vehicles pack it down.

Riding the Expresso Bike

I've been on youtube watching some videos, and I thought I'd show one to you.

I have my Ghost set to be my PB, so I don't beat it very often.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rode the Expresso bike and ran/walked at the gym

We had about an inch of snow this morning, but the air temperature was above freezing, and by mid afternoon, the snow was gone. I only had five hours sleep last night, so I took a two-hour nap before my wife and I went to the gym. I rode the bike for three miles and then ran/walked the indoor track for about 10 minutes (approximately 1/2 mile). I didn't push for speed on the bike and just did enjoyable rides.

Even though I had a total of seven hours sleep, I still feel tired. A shorter sleep at night plus a nap isn't as good as a longer sleep at night and maybe a shorter nap. When I was younger, I had no problems sleeping in until 10 or 11 am, after having stayed up until late. But, no more. Come 7:30, I'm awake and ready to go, even though I was up late.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Francie: No One Knows You Better

Part two of three in a series

If you missed my first post, Running as Grace, I can catch you up to speed: Girl trains for third Ironman, has breast cancer surgery three weeks before race, scratches race, running is (again) her saving grace. You can read the full story in The Competitor in Me II: Conquer Fear. Though I had running for strength, facing treatment for cancer wasn’t easy. Staring down 31 days of this therapy, I had to take stock in a few things: my faith, and that no one knows me better than me.

Halfway through my sessions, I met with my doctor to talk about progress, side effects, and ways to stay as healthy as possible through the process. Over and over, I was told how two thirds of all patients experience fatigue some time after the halfway point. I was waiting for the shoe to fall but now halfway through my 31 therapies, I had great energy. “How’s your energy?” She asked, though she looked at my chart, not me.

“Good. I have been trying to be conservative with my workouts. It’s working.” “Tell me more. What does that mean?” She asked, her physician’s assistant sitting beside her.

“I limit my training to an hour and fifteen minutes or less; then everything stays in balance. Except swimming. I only do 45 minutes of that.” I was a little worried that telling her this would somehow cause me to be benched.

“That’s a lot of working out.” She looked at me, eyebrows raised. What part of me training for Ironman did she miss? All of it. We talked about all of this before I began radiation, but now it was clear Dr. Gray wasn’t listening. The physician’s assistant, who had followed my story, smirked. “How often do you do that, Francie?”

I hesitated with a crooked smile. “Six days.” “Exceptional. But that is a lot of working out.” Spoken by someone who sees a lot of sick, not healthy people. And by someone who wasn’t listening to me from the get-go. “My theory is that if I am a moving target, I will be harder to hit. Just keep moving.” Dr. Gray went on to say I had to be careful about listening for signals from my body. How ironic that she was telling me to listen to my body when in fact she could not listen to me! Yes, of course I would listen for those signals. I am an Ironman and a mommy. Signals are my life.

I hope you see the signals in this post. You must know your body in order to know your limits during times of stress and illness. There is a time to play hard, and a time to rest hard. Miss out on the signals for either one, and you are missing out on taking care of you. Trust me, no one else will do as good of a job of taking care of you.