January 31, 2013

Lots of Cross Training This Week

We've had snow almost every day for the past two weeks. I live in the south end of the Salt Lake valley, and the snow hasn't been deep at my house, but in Salt Lake City it has been very deep. In one storm, for example, there was 3 inches at my house and 20 inches in Salt Lake City. Except for the past couple of days, the daytime temperatures have been below freezing and the nighttime lows in the single digits. I wasn't expecting to do much running this week, because we've had two grand children staying with us, and one of them is three years old and is into everything. Instead of running, I've been doing cross training shoveling snow. I read a science report this week that said that as long as it accumulates to half an hour, raking leaves (and I assume shoveling snow) is as good for your body as going to the gym.

January 26, 2013

Worked Out for 45 Minutes at the Gym

The temperature today had a high of 40 (F), so the ice on the Parkway path should be melting. However, the air quality has been "red" all week. When I got up this morning, the fog was so thick that I couldn't see any trees from my window. Later, as the air warmed up, the fog thinned so I could see about 200 yards or so. I decided to go to the gym again due to the inversion and resulting air pollution that we're having.

I ran/walked for 15 minutes, about one mile, and then I rode the Expresso bike for 4 miles. I tried to slow down a bit and not push for speed. The 2-mile route I took had slight variations in elevation, and I shifted gears when ever peddling was too hard or too easy for my legs. I did the route twice, and my bottom was saddle-sore when I finished. My son said it takes about a week of cycling for one to get used to the hard saddle on the bike. When I finished the route for the second time, I was ready to stop and go home. I'm glad the daytime temperature is getting above freezing. Now, if the inversion will go away, I'll return to the Jordan River Parkway.

January 25, 2013

Rode the Expresso Bike for 7.4 Miles as Cross Training

Today is a non-running day, and I thought I'd go to the community gym and ride the Expresso bike as cross training. I rode that bike for the first time on Wednesday. My cross training is supposed to be restful, but I found today that I pushed quite hard trying to go as fast through the courses as I could. When I finished I was huffing and puffing, and my legs were tired. Next time, I'll go slower and make the rides more restful. During warmer weather I do a lot of yard work, including mowing lawns weekly and rototilling during the Spring and Fall, and that serves as my cross training. During the Winter I'm not in my yard, and I need to do something for cross training. Cycling, if I take it easy, is good cross training, as is walking. When I was younger, I ran about half the distance that I did for my stressful runs, but as I've gotten older, I reduced my running to 2-3 times per week. Right now, the Expresso bike is an attraction to me because it is something new. Eventually, I'll tire of it and will look for something else to do for cross training.

January 23, 2013

Another 58 Minutes at the Gym

Today is a "red" day meaning the air-quality is bad. In addition, the temperature 24/7 has been below freezing all month, and I'm worried about ice on the path where I usually run. So, I went to the gym again.

I ran/walked for 30 minutes, doing 1.5 laps running (about 2 minutes) and 0.5 laps walking (about 1 minute). Then, I went on an Expresso stationary bike and road the Alpine road for 3 miles, finishing in 28 minutes. This was my first time on an Exresso bike, and I was experimenting to learn the bike. I wasn't registered as a rider, so I was a Guest while I rode. Expresso bikes are interesting. A monitor screen shows the route I have chosen. I have to steer the bike and shift gears according to the terrain. The Alpine road has a lot of up and down hills, causing me to shift gears a lot, and it was a hard route to take on my first time on the bike. After I returned home, I went to Expresso.com and signed up as a rider so the computer will keep track of my times and routes for me. Riding the Expresso bike was an interesting experience. I haven't ridden a bike for about 30 years, and I'm not in great shape. I used to ride a bike to work when I lived in Phoenix, and I rode it in Massachusetts to a friend's house and then took a Van Pool to work. I think that in future visits to the gym, I'll mix running and walking on the track with riding the Expresso bike. At least for now, 30 minutes on the bike is enough. Using the bike was fun today and gave me a pleasant change from my usual routine.

My wife went to the gym with me and walked the track for a mile and then read a magazine while I finished my workout. Having a free membership to the gym is beginning to be a nice perk.

January 17, 2013

Ran/walked 60 minutes again at the Gym

I went to the gym in the late afternoon and ran/walked for 60 minutes (about 3 miles). I forgot my timer, so I ran 1.5 laps and walked 0.5 laps. The temperature when I left home was 29 (F) and 17 when I returned. I saw an old lady walking very slowly around the track, accompanied by her daughter. I stopped and talked with them for a couple of minutes. The old lady is 83. I told her it was wonderful to see her walking around the track. They asked me my age, and I told them 77. I said that I hoped that when I became 83 I would still be running.

The daytime shade temperature today and yesterday was just under freezing, meaning the sum temperature would have been above freezing. The snow and ice melted a bit while the sun was shinning. I think on my first run next week, I'll drive to the Jordan River Parkway and see if the trail looks ice-free. I don't mind running when there are patches of ice that I can see. I've been going to the gym this week, because the ice was covered by a thin layer of snow, and the cold temperatures prevented the snow from melting. I thus couldn't see the ice. If I were younger, I would wear my ice shoes and stay with the Parkway. But, since I have a free membership in the gym (thanks to my medical insurance), I'm going to the gym this week. I'm old enough that I don't want to risk falling on ice and breaking bones.

January 15, 2013

Ran/walked for 60 Minutes

Daytime temperatures are still below freezing, so I went to the gym again today. I exercised for 60 minutes, doing 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking. The afternoon temperature when I left was 23 (F) and 19 when I returned. In 2 minutes of running I do 1 1/2 laps of the indoor track. In 1 minute of walking, I do 1/2 lap. I stopped twice to get a drink of water, I took 2 brief rest breaks (standing) and watched some guys play basket ball on the floor below the track.

January 13, 2013

I Walked To/From Church Again

I walked to and from church again today. The temperature going was about 14 (F), and it was about 27 while I returned home. Its a nice walk, and I enjoyed it. Several people stopped and asked me if I'd like a ride, and I thanked them for thinking of me and explained that I was out for my exercise.

January 12, 2013

Ran for 40 Minutes in the Gym

We've had snow and cold weather since the first of the year. I think we went for 10 days straight with the daytime temps being below freezing. I wasn't sure the towns had plowed the Parkway path, and I didn't want to risk having ice under a dusting of snow, so I went to the gym and used the indoor track. It's too noisy there (basketball and soccer games) to use my timer, so I just ran until I felt I needed a walking break.

January 7, 2013

Did a short run/walk of 1.5 miles

It's been over a week since I ran. When I was in my 40s and ran marathons, it took me about as long to come back from a layoff as the layoff was. Based on that I will need this week to get back to where I was. However, I'm older now and probably need more time to come back. So, for now, I'm assuming I'll need two weeks to come back. That's this week and next week. So, today's short run is the beginning of the comeback.

The daytime temperature was in the mid to high 20s (F) when I ran. I could have pushed myself to do another half-mile, but since I'm planning on two weeks for the comeback, I kept today's run/walk to 1.5 miles. This was my first run of 2013.