May 29, 2014

Another 1.5 miles chalked up

My wife and her sister went to a class on herbs and essential oils, and I went running. I've been using a run:walk ratio of 20 seconds:20 seconds. During this run, I changed the ratio to be 30 seconds:30 seconds. I did fine with the new ratio. I changed, because 20 seconds seemed a bit short for my current condition. Running 30 seconds and then walking 30 seconds seemed "about right" for my current condition. Each person has to find out for himself or herself the ratio to be used. When I first started using walk-breaks, I walked for 1 minute each mile. Later, I changed to 30 seconds each half mile. As I got older, I found that I needed to walk more and run less, and I've experimented with various ratios. One ratio that I like a lot is 1 minute:1 minute.

The temperature during my workout was in the mid 70s. I was out in the early evening, and the temperature was going down as the sun went behind the Oquirrh mountains. During the past week, the temperature has been in the 90s (F). Today was cooler, but the temperature is supposed to climb back into the 90s. The following picture, taken from the web, shows snow on the Oquirrh mountains in the late Spring, with the south western part of the Salt Lake valley at the base of the mountains. Antennas for the local TV stations are on one of the peaks of the mountains.

May 26, 2014

Ran/walked 1.5 miles in the late afternoon

My workout was uneventful, except for the warm temperature. I didn't check the temperature when I left or when I returned home, but I was sweating when I finished the 1.5 miles. Quite a few people were out enjoying the evening outdoors. The Jordan River looked higher, but a dam was not far away, so the higher level of water may be due to the dam and not to more water in the river.

Quite a few ducks and ducklings are in the river. I saw a garter snake next to the path, and I saw one last week, too. The snakes aren't very large or long. They are harmless to humans, and they eat a lot of insects. I've seen a few adult quail but no young quail, so far.

May 24, 2014

Ran 1.5 miles again

The sky this morning was cool, dark and cloudy, and it looked like a storm might occur. However, by the time my wife and I went out, the sky was only partly cloudy and the temperature was nice and comfortable. I think I will do 1.5 miles again next week; I'm not ready for an increase.

I've been thinking about my abilities as a runner as I've gotten older. When I was in my mid 40s, I ran four marathons, the times ranging from 3:59 to about 4:12. I ran weekly long runs of 15 miles, at a 7 minutes/mile pace. I could work in my yard all day and then run 15 miles in the evening. After I stopped running marathons, I began a slow downward slide in my distance, but I maintained a long run of about 10 miles. In May 2004 (age 69) my wife and I were in a serious automobile accident. I was in intensive care for three weeks, much of the time in an induced coma. Twice my family was called in, because the doctors didn't think I would make it through the night. I did make it, though. The night before I left that hospital to go another hospital for physical therapy, the technicians got me on my feet, and I was able to support my body weight for about three seconds, and then I had to sit down. During 10 days of therapy, I learned to walk again, first using a wheel chair, then a walker, then a cane, and finally without any support, although I had to use a banister and pull myself upwards when going up stairs. During the first year after my accident, I had my gall bladder removed, surgery for a double hernia, and surgery for 10 skin cancers (one skin cancer required surgery 1/4 inch deep and about 1.5 inches in diameter.

I had good running for four years. In 2006 and 2007, I ran half marathons and had hopes of working up to a full marathon. However, in January, 2009, my running came to an abrupt end, literally. I finished a 22-mile week with a 7-mile run on Saturday. On Monday, I could only walk about 100 feet. I was in the hospital for 5 days, while doctors tried to find out what was wrong with me. It took several months for the doctors to discover that the problem was a vein-filter that had  been placed in me during the three weeks I was in intensive care but was not removed when I went into 10 days of therapy. The filter had quit working and blocked most of the blood returning from my two legs to my heart. I had blood clots during this time, but none of the clots reached my lungs, thankfully. During the months following my hospital stay, I ran short distances, and my strength and distance slowly came back as my body created new veins around the filter.

By this time, I was in my mid 70s, and I was beginning to suffer the effects of getting older. Now, I'm almost 79. My balance and coordination are going down. My mind and memory are still good, though. I'm running short distances at a slow pace, and I'm using Galloway's run-walk-run method of alternating running and walking. Am I sad that I'm running slow and short distances rather than the half and full marathons I would like to be running? No, I'm still alive and am enjoying my running. I take life as it comes and try to make the best of each day. I'm currently serving a service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, giving 10 hours or more each week to my missionary calling, answering feedbacks from users of an app called Gospel Library (the app runs on iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Android, although I'm not involved with the Android version). I still have hopes of running and walking until I reach age 100, and if that happens, I'll keep running and walking as long as I can. My heart is strong, and my upper body is relatively strong. If I reach the point where I can't run or walk, I'll let a wheel chair be my legs and keep on going. Life has been good to me, and I'm trying to be good to it.

May 20, 2014

Rest week this week: did 1.5 miles again

I ran/walked the first half of the workout and part of the way back, and I walked the rest of the way back. Both my wife and I were tired and took it easy. We did our workout in the late afternoon when the temperature was nicer, and we finished just as the sun was going down.

Thursday is going to be a busy day, and I don't know if I will get my workout in. Hopefully, on Saturday I'll go out again.

May 17, 2014

Ran 1.5 miles in the late afternoon

I ran my 1.5 mile route in the late afternoon. The temperature was in the low 80s (F), and it was hot. On my way back, I had a slight head wind and that helped cool me a bit. Quite a few people were on the path, skating, cycling, walking, running.

I saw a BIG fish or something in the river. I heard the water splashing, and I looked through some bushes at the river and saw a big something in the water. The object was mostly submerged, but every couple of seconds or so it broke water and made a splashing sound. At first I thought it was a dog. I walked back about 20 feet so I could get a better view of the object, and I decided it was a big fish.  The river is only a couple of feet deep, so the object was having a hard time remaining submerged. I heard the splash again on my way back, but I didn't see anything.

I've had good running the past two weeks, and I thought I'd take a rest-week and do 1.5 miles again during the coming week.

May 14, 2014

Ran/walked another 1.5 miles

I ran my 1.5 mile course again. The late afternoon temperature was in the high 60s (F), with only a light breeze, and it was a great day for running. I'm still using the 20:20 second ratio of running to walking. I didn't have much energy and took two or three short rest stops on the way back, because I had no breakfast or lunch. I had an energy bar on my way to the Parkway, but that didn't help any during my workout.

I saw one quail on the path but no quailettes.

May 12, 2014

I ran/walked 1.5 miles

My wife and I drove to the Jordan River Parkway for our workout today. I went 1.5 miles and she went 2 miles. I used a run/walk ratio of 20 seconds: 20 seconds and felt pretty good. The temperature was in the low 50s (F), and there was lots of sunshine. I would have been more comfortable if I had worn my nylon windbreaker, because there was some wind blowing, but I felt OK after I warmed up. For younger runners, today would have been a "perfect" running day.

There weren't a lot of people on the path, but I did pass a few cyclists and walkers and one or two runners. Last week my wife saw some ducklings in the river, and we should soon see some young quail on the path. Spring is a great time. Not only do we see baby animals, but the trees are all leafed, and the earth is renewing itself. The river is still low, though, and will probably be that way during the coming year. Utah is beautiful this time of year, but it is still a desert.... The following picture, taken from the web, shows the playground at the East Pavilion in South Jordan. I've gotten a lot of drinks at that fountain.

May 10, 2014

Ran/walked 1 mile at the rec center

It was late afternoon (after 6 pm) when my wife and I left to running and walking. It was starting to sprinkle, and thundershowers were forecast for the evening. Because of this, we went to the local recreation center instead of going to the Jordan River Parkway. Our workout was uneventful, and during most of our workout we were the only persons on the indoor track (two guys came on the track when I had two laps left).

May 8, 2014

Ran another mile

My wife and I went out running and walking in the late afternoon. I did another mile, and I wasn't as tired as I was last time. We have a busy schedule on Saturday, but if I go out, I'll do another mile. My goal for next week is to do 1.25 miles each time. Last time when I ran, I ran 15:15, and today I ran 20:20, where the numbers are seconds.

The swelling in my left leg is going down! As I've explained in past posts, my swelling came right after I started taking a new OTC remedy for joint stiffness. I'm not completely sure if the OTC remedy was causal or not, but I don't think running was causal. What ever the reason, I'm glad to see the swelling go down.

The following picture (taken shows what my legs looked like, although my left leg wasn't swollen quite as much as the leg in the picture. Today, my left leg was slightly larger, but the shape of that leg was normal. My right leg hasn't swollen at all. Well, my right leg hasn't swollen, but both my feet get swollen during the day.

May 3, 2014

Ran 1 mile on Jordan River Parkway

About two months ago, my left leg swelled. My right leg was fine. It happened concurrently with my taking a new OTC remedy for joint-stiffness. I stopped the remedy, but the swelling didn't go away. I don't think the swelling was due to a running injury because there was no soreness or pain of any kind. My activities weren't limited. I decided to not run for a while to see if the swelling would go down. During this time while I wasn't running, I had a lot of activity walking around the yard and with my grand kids around the block, so I was getting aerobic activity of some kind. The swelling finally went down, although it isn't quite gone away, and I'm back to running. I'm limiting my distance today to give my body a chance to adjust to the running.

I'm glad I only went 1 mile today, because I was tired when I finished. When I was younger and stronger, it would take me about as long to come back from a layoff as I was off (a one-week layoff followed by a one-week recovery, for example). Now that I'm much older, and not nearly as strong, it is likely taking longer for a recovery than I was off. Being off a month probably means that I'll need two months for recovery. This means that May and June will be recovery months, and I can look forward to July as a continuation of my 3-mile long runs. This means that I can add 2 miles to my long run during the two-month recovery. This translates to about 1/4 mile per week. After one month of recovery, I'll freeze my Monday run at two miles, and this will be my rest-run. After two more weeks, I'll be up to 2.5 miles, and I'll freeze my medium run at that point. After another two weeks, my long run will be at 3 miles, my medium run at 2.5 miles, and my rest run at 2 miles. This looks good on paper; time will tell if it is good in real life. I make goals and form a plan, but often my body thinks differently than my brain, and my body always wins out.

I've been doing Galloway's run-walk-run method of alternating running and walking. I've been doing 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking. I read via tweeter that Galloway and his wife had completed a marathon using a ratio of 15 seconds running and 15 seconds walking, and I thought I would try that ratio. I will need to use the new ratio for several workouts before I make a decision about it. It seemed OK today. I think I'll try 20 second cycles next week.

Experienced runners won't need to use run-walk-run, because they are likely used to running long distances, but the method is good for beginner runners and older runners, like me, who have bodies not as strong as the experienced runners.