Tuesday, November 20, 2018

More than a week.

Race report and the upcoming holiday put me off my blooping schedule. That and another thing I'll get to in a minute.

I'll start off by noting that the added four miles I was planning for after the race didn't happen. Mrs. Dave had a few things she wanted done and by the time I got home from the race it seemed better to get busy with those than make her wait another hour. I did run hard, so I guess it was a fair trade for ten easy miles.

Then there was last week. To sum up, it was 38 miles. Returning again to the theme of 2018, that's the most I've done in a single week since last December. I was pretty tired by the end of it. Running more miles makes a body more tired in my experience. But, it's what I like, so I'm willing to be tired.

Monday: Tempo Time. Seven miles total. Tempo miles - 8:18, 8:03, 8:03, 7:54, 7:56. After the first 1-1/2 it was mostly a gentle down slope, which is my favorite. 41 degrees - also my favorite. Every day now I get to wear shorts I think it may be my last run of the winter without tights.

Tuesday: Easy 4 and strength work (pretty sure I didn't skip this day - too long ago to remember for sure). Windy and cold.

Wednesday: This is where the race and everything else caught up to me. 6 miles with 3 x 1600. In was in the zone I wanted, but it was really hard. 7:30, 7:35, 7:39. Normally the first repeat is the slowest, while I get a sense of how things are on a day. This time I was just more and more gassed. Really wanted to skip the last one.

Thursday: Snowed lightly most of the day, leaving me a half inch of cold, wet, slush everywhere. Not a good running surface. Really slow, but that was what I needed anyway. Really slow. Four miles felt like four-ever. Ugh.

Friday: Seven miles easy. Heart rate on the YTBNW went all weird in mile 6. At least I'm assuming it was the watch. Jumped from about 150, where it was for all of the run until that point, to 170 bpm from one step to the next. Stayed there for almost the entire mile, then dropped almost as suddenly back to 150. When I took my shoes off I noticed a bright white spot under the ball of my foot. Gum? No, it was the next layer of the outer sole. I've NEVER worn through that part of the tread before on a pair of shoes. Fortunately, last winter there was a sale at asics.com where I'd bought two pair of my Cumuluses for the price of one. Wore them around the house and on a few shopping stops that evening and they were good to go for Saturday's long run.

Saturday: Another distance marker. Eleven miles. (insert repeat of 2018 theme here)  Of course by then I was feeling even more worn down. Splits were kind of all over the place - 8:45-9:25. It was 41o again, but for some reason it didn't feel like shorts weather. One of those runs where you just keep your head down and put one foot in front of the other because there's no other way to get home. Started snowing lightly about half way in. Beautiful and peaceful. Tried to enjoy it as much as I could, considered how lousy I felt.
We're in a spot where holidays can be a little strange. It's just the two of us most of the time, and the kids are far enough flung that it's not practical to expect them to all gather back at the old homestead. This year we're heading to Seattle, but wanted to see Connor. He has to work on Black Friday so we invited him and a few friends over Saturday for an early celebration, with turkey and all the other traditional eats. There was pie. I was hoping for a nap after that long run, but dinner pre-empted me. Long day. Long week.

Monday: This was supposed to be a repeat of last week's seven with five tempo. I was tired before I even started. Ran an easier route but that didn't help much. 7:52, 7:56, 7:47, 8:01, 8:00. Now that I write down and look at the numbers, I guess it was pretty close. Sure felt harder, though, especially those last two. So I guess that was a good one after all. 

The real problem last week was my mental state. Found out I'd hurt someone's feelings. I try not to do that, but like everyone I have my days. I forget that the world is mostly made up of other people (do the math - me=1, other people=7.7 billion) and their ideas, plans, feelings, etc. are just as valid and important as mine. Part of it was projecting what I would want in a situation and assuming they would want the same thing. Part of it was just thinking selfishly. Neither of these events were very recent, so the hurt was compounded by the passage of time without an appropriate apology. Let me also be clear that this is not a plea for sympathy. I messed this up. I was the bad guy. Writing this just helps me process my mistake. Please don't leave any, "You're a good guy, Dave," comments. That's not what this if for. If you want to take something out of this, just remember that we need to be nicer to each other. Sometimes that takes just a little more thought, a little effort, maybe a little sacrifice. Making another's life a little better (or at least not making it worse) should be worth whatever trouble you go to do that.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Big News!

Not big like, "I got engaged!" That happened so long ago that engagement rings were made of charcoal. Don't expect another of those anyway. Not big like, "BQ!" I may get another one of those someday, although with the new qualifying times even my new AG is going to take some work. No, that's not it. Not even big like, "I put $1 in the vending machine and got TWO Snickers bars!"

A few weeks ago I noticed this little pimple thing on my gums above tooth #8 (that's the front right one, if you aren't up on your dental terms). Some discoloration around and above that tooth, too. I've seen this before, so I knew what it was. I smacked my mouth on the edge of a school desk in the 8th grade and chipped it. Over the years, it's needed a crown, a root canal, a replacement crown and what they call an apicoectomy (a nasty procedure where the endodontist digs into the gum above the tooth and cuts out a piece of the top where an infection has developed. That little pimple and discoloration meant that there was another infection. A round of antibiotics failed to do the trick, so I was up for another apicoectomy. Not my favorite thing.

It took about an hour last Tuesday, and they encouraged me to take the day off work and sit around with ice on it. Bonus of this was that my client had the day off as a holiday for the election, but my employer did not. There was some boring training planned for most of the consultants, which I'd already attended and wasn't interested in another round. I'd originally planned a vacation day, but now I could use a legit sick day and save my vacation for trips and races. It also meant no running or exercise on Tuesday and since Tuesday is a strength day, it meant no squats or lunges or the rest of that silly stuff. Double win!
I rarely get a day of total rest. I finished the latest Jack Reacher, watched a couple of movies, took a nap. Pretty glorious. I also voted, although I bucked the trend of facebook posting the event. (In case anyone was wondering.)

Wednesday, I'm sitting at my desk talking to someone. I go to shift my leg, as part of the habit I've developed to help my knee not hurt like crazy when I get up to walk after sitting for more than 10 minutes and notice something so, so very strange. It doesn't hurt.

My knee doesn't hurt. At all. There's no pain in my knee. Zero. None. Absolutely nothing. Wait. What? How? Crazy, right?

This lasted the whole day. When I get home, I know I have intervals planned for the second time since before Rehoboth last year. A bunch of 400s, although as usual I can't exactly remember how many. I'd been sort of worried about them because of Louie, of course. Now I'm not so worried. I'm afraid to be excited because injuries don't just go away.

Anyway, I was so flustered I didn't bother taking time to program the workout and load it to TWYTBN (The Watch Yet To Be Named). With Hal, I could program it directly on my wrist - a real backward step with the newer generation if you asked me. I just started running the 1.75 miles to the track. Pretty chilly (41o), windy (17 mph from the west). Whatever. My knee didn't hurt. On the way I still couldn't remember how many 400s I was supposed to be doing - 8? 10? 12? - but eventually settled on 12. I knew I was going to have a little more than my planned total of 6 for the day, but didn't do the extra math to figure out how that would translate into the right number of repeats. Since I'm training for Rehoboth's pikermi now, it stood to reason that more was probably better and since Louie didn't hurt (I may have mentioned that), it wouldn't be doing me any harm. I could always cut it short and hobble back home. I half expected that to happen, to be completely honest.

I like to run my intervals on feel, not checking the pace until after each rep at the earliest, and sometimes not even until after the whole run. I tend to press too much. At this point in my comeback that would be extraordinarily bad. So I kept TWYTBN under my sleeve until I got home, and these splits were just as much a surprise to me as anyone else. I'll get to those in a minute.

About 4 reps in, a guy ran past the track. A few minutes later I see him on the track, getting ready to do some rounds. Run together? I'd have been open to that, I guess. But while I was still a hundred meters from the end of the 400, he lined up at the start line and took off, tracking a just a tad faster than I was going. Intervals? I tried to guess by his pace, then by how many laps he did. But he never stopped. One, (800s? Nope.) two (1200s? Nope.), three (1600? Nope.), four, five. Eventually I gave up. He did pass me once while I was on a recovery 200. Only had to say, "Hey," without actually engaging in conversation (score!). He was still going when I finished my 12 and trotted home.

Did I mention my knee didn't hurt?

Left calf got a little tight, as did the right adductor. Had to be careful through the last few reps instead of pushing, which I guess is a good thing. They bothered yesterday, too, so I'll need to give them some stick/foam roller attention the next couple of days. But there was no trouble with the knee (I may have mentioned that).

OK, splits.
  1. 1:38.4 (6:34)
  2. 1:40.7 (6:43)
  3. 1:43.6 (6:55)
  4. 1:47.0 (7:08)
  5. 1:49.9 (7:20)
  6. 1:48.5 (7:14)
  7. 1:45.6 (7:02)
  8. 1:46.5 (7:06)
  9. 1:47.8 (7:11)
  10. 1:50.3 (7:21)
  11. 1:48.9 (7:15)
  12. 1:48.5 (7:14)
Average 400 - 1:46 (7:05)

Jogged easy home and saw my total for the day was 7.75 miles. The plan was six, with 8 x 400. Oops.
Mondays tempo was also a success. 6 total with 4 @ 8:00, including 7:34 for the last one. Not expecting a PR in four weeks, but 1:40-45 seems reasonable.

image.png.273f13b57f87ee03a43c8d90f49cb898.pngLet's talk about Saturday (last), too, shall we? This was my first double digit run since you know, and I'm finding adventure in most of my running again. Ten miles means I can run to some of my fun places to run. I can get to where the hills are, for one thing. The city's Turkey Trot was Saturday, and I thought about running it, because it's starts at the park across the street and if I was in shape I'd be among the leaders. But I really wanted to run ten miles. So I ran the Power Road Footbridge. It's ten miles and has some climbing and the weather was beautiful and I ran a nice easy pace and it was the most amazing thing. 
Got back near the house just a few minutes before they started the race, so I hung around and soaked up the atmosphere.

Going to run a 5K tomorrow, though. It's the one at the high school where the boys ran. I've done it several times in the past when it didn't interfere with marathons. I normally win the Master's title, but didn't defend my crown last year while getting ready for Rehoboth. It's a cutback week so only 8 miles on the schedule. Just a few more before/after the race and we'll see how the competition is this year.

Did I say anything about my knee not hurting? So, that's a thing now.

Hey, wasn't the New York City Marathon something? I'm not one for repeating marathons, but I'd make an exception for NYCM.

Oh, and I suppose I should also note here that the decision for Rehoboth was made. Sort of gave that away with my note about a time goal up there. Free flight. House just a mile away from the main group. And I'm running well enough for a decent pikermi. This will be fun (duh!).

Only four weeks to go. And then we can start looking at spring marathons for real.

Friday, November 2, 2018

A Week of Running Adventures.

Being injured for a long time hurts. And by "a long time" I mean anything more than a couple of months. Any time you're hurt as a runner, it's likely to flash through your mind that you're never going to run again. But when the days turn to weeks and the weeks turn to months and there's no end in sight, that flash becomes a slow, painful burning in your heart, at times smoldering quietly, and at others (like when you see a high school cross country team running down the bike path, or have an ad for a marathon pop up on your social media feed), it flares into a wildfire of self-pity. We talk about "quality of life" and how important that is for everyone. A runner without running is a shadow, a partial person.

Feels like that to me, anyway.

Suppose that means I should have a better life outside of running. Suppose I do, to be honest, but when that piece is stripped away suddenly, it takes some getting used to.

Back at the beginning of September, when I took those first few tentative strides for a half mile or so, I fully expected my knee to blow out at every step. Louie still hurt most of the time, and it was hard to believe that I'd ever stretch out that half mile to a mile, then two, three and more. Run fast again? Not bloody likely, mate.

But running (fine, it was more jogging than running, but whatever - I never found a dead body, so...) seemed to actually help, so I kept at it. Still scared, still tentative, but consistent. I may have trouble remembering to do that cross training crap or floss my teeth, but I can run every day. It was still summer, warm and humid. I felt so dreadfully slow and heavy and my legs would go weak and my heart would race. Walk breaks every mile, sometimes less. None of those runs made me very confident that my running career would resurrect much past a vegetative state. Quality of life? This feeling is obviously why most people don't like running. It sucked a lot.

Mrs. Dave encouraged me, as she usually does, by reminding me that I needed more than a couple of weeks of hot summer running to feel good running again. She's wise like that. She was right, of course, so I embraced the suck as cheerfully as I could and prayed for fall. Of course we all so that every summer, amiright? Near the end of the month, I think, there was one day where the temp was 65 instead of 85+ and it felt so nice. I felt like my three miles was three miles, not 13 and that I wasn't going to die before I made it back home. The next day was warm and sucky again, but I had renewed hope. Sort of like when I used to golf, and once or twice in a round of eighteen I'd hit a ball that when straight and medium-ish far and that would be enough for me to believe I could actually learn to play golf.

Anyway, I'm not going to rehearse the whole month of October, but I feel safe in announcing that I'm feeling like a runner again. This knee is not 100% better. I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that it may hurt from time to time for the rest of my life. But running doesn't seem to bother it any more than not running - in fact it seems to help, and it's at a level I can accept. We'll see what happens when I try to put some serious miles on it, but for now I'll take what I can get.

So, about this past week.

I've been stretching out my long run by a mile each week since the end of September and did seven a couple of weeks ago. Last Saturday was supposed to be eight. Not that there's been an actual  plan or anything. Just that I looked at ten miles as a milestone for deciding that I could start training for something. During the week I'd had one run (Thursday) where I went five miles instead of my normal weekday four. Adding things up for the week I mistakenly thought I was going to get to thirty. Even posted it somewhere. Then realized that my math was off and I was going to be only at 29. Probably no one else would notice and 29 is practically 30. Could have left it there, but no.

There was a minor internal debate about 8 vs. 9 for Saturday, but it wasn't very spirited. I knew I was going the extra mile. What I didn't know was how I'd feel as I neared the end. The previous week's seven had given me quite a smackdown in the last mile and a half. It was about all I could do to finish. As the temps have become more fall-like, my pace has been better, and I thought if I was careful with it early one that I'd be good for the whole nine. It was cool and cloudy. Had the whole morning free, so I waited until after sunrise. 8:45-9:00s for most of the way.

Then, about seven miles in - just over an hour of running - it happened. All of a sudden, it felt SO GOOD to be running. I wanted to run ten, twelve, fifteen miles. I'm not quite that silly anymore, so I satisfied the urge with a mile that was 30 seconds faster than most of the others I'd run that morning. Then I eased home a little slower, but still floating. Almost two months to get high. Worth every mile.
After running nine whole miles and feeling great, I decided that I can probably do a halfmarathon now. But where? Well, why not Rehoboth? There will be Loopsters there, after all. Mrs. Dave is on board. Just have to figure out logistics and finances. Turns out I have some miles on Delta I can use. Turns out that RunEatRalph volunteered to taxi a Loopster or two from and to the airport at the days and times that I would be traveling. All I need to do is find a place to crash Friday and Saturday night (since the party house is already full - bound to happen since I was so late pulling the trigger on this). I decided that if three things aligned today it would be a sign from the universe that I should run Rehoboth (provided the knee holds up).
  1. The race is still below capacity.
  2. There are still seats on the flight I want.
  3. I can find a hotel/airbnb within my budget.
 Final decision will be this afternoon or evening.

Couple of weeks ago I'd run one fast mile in the middle of one of my three milers. I had to walk some for mile three that day. Since I've now sort of penciled in a half in five weeks I figured I ought to get some quality workouts in, so I did five on Monday with three tempo miles. They were 8:00, 8:19 and 8:17, which I suppose it about as good as I should expect about now. But it was the first real effort run other than all the effort that went into those sucky days of September and the first half of October. Didn't die.

Tuesday was an easy four and then I carved the 2018 Schultz Jack'o'Lantern. I may have forgotten to do strength training, but it wasn't my fault. They've been laying cement in front of the fire station and I didn't notice a section of sidewalk they'd done at the corner and stepped in it. I stopped, went back and apologized for messing up their fresh work. The foreman sent a guy over to smooth out my damage and it was all good. But since I had to wash it all off my shoe and then dry it after, the other stuff slipped my mind and there you go.
Wednesday was my first interval day since last November. I had chopped up the training plan I used for Rehoboth last year and made a six week "get ready to not die in Delaware" schedule. This had 400s for the week but somehow I had 800s in my head (probably because I didn't actually look at the schedule that day) so I did 4 of those with 400 recoveries (ala Yasso), and a total of five miles. 3:49, 3:40, 3:41 and 3:42. Good enough for QR #2. And a good set up for a night of handing out candy. A decent number of trick or treaters, but more were older this year than previous, and I only gave out half of the bag Mrs. Dave had given me to use. Should have been more generous.

Yesterday I felt like I was recovering from the 800s, but still did my four with a short break when I saw a car in the street with it's flashers on. At first I ran past. Everyone has a phone and no doubt they'd called somebody to rescue them. But it was about 5:00 pm and there was a lot of traffic. Not a safe place to have your car sitting in the middle of one of the two eastbound lanes. So I went back and asked if they were OK. A woman and her daughter, on their way home from work at the Embassy Suites and they were out of gas. So I offered to help get them at least to the next street corner and out of the way of all the cars zooming by at 45-50 mph. It was only 25 yards or so. We got it going just fast enough to get the rear end of the car around the corner. After that I did most of my strength stuff, but figured pushing the car was a good replacement for the squats.

And there we are. Hope your Halloween was appropriately spooky and that your running is not.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday Review

And here we are at the end of another week.

I spent several years in retail and don't miss it very often. The time I miss it least is probably around the holiday, but every Friday I'm reminded just how that industry is a demanding one. God bless the people who do it. Not many of their customers seem to. All that to say I'm happy to be at the weekend.

Sadly, it looks like rain most of the day tomorrow. I don't mind rain too much, of course, but it's fall and it's cooler than normal this year. Rain and chilly temps aren't my favorite. I thought briefly this morning when I heard the forecast about just taking Saturday off, but I'm too grateful right now to be running again, so I expect to just layer up a little and run between the drops. Shouldn't be too bad.

Yesterday was a weight day and I wasn't looking forward to it. At all. Kept wondering about cancelling it and just running. Then I did something I haven't done in a long, long time. I ran more than I's planned. At least, officially planned. As soon as the idea to go five instead of four - even on weight day - popped into my head, I sort of knew it was going to happen. So, I ran five miles. After complaining as recently as last week that I was still feeling sluggish and heavy and gee I'm never going to be in good running shape ever again, this was a pretty sweet run. Cool and sunny and a perfect fall afternoon. I still have that thing in my mouth (learned this morning it's called a fistula, which I'll probably forget by the next time I need to know that term), and need to consult an endodontist next week, but the Z-pak seems to have restored my staying power. Or maybe I'm just finally getting there.

Shout out to the several drivers who stopped and even backed up from intersections and parking lot exits to let me keep running without stalling for them. Reminded me that I live in a pretty nice town.
So, now that my shorter runs seem to have settled into a comfortable 8:30-ish pace, I feel like I'm safe to bump up to the next level. Not ready for any marathon training or anything crazy like that (sorry, Rehoboth), but maybe I'll see about a local 5k or 10k in a few weeks. And check the spring marathon schedule again.

Seventeen miles so far this week. Four today and eight tomorrow (as long as the rain isn't too heavy). That adds up to 30, right?

Going to have to bring T-Rex home again for winter. She dropped her Anatomy/Physiology class and lab after bombing the first two tests. It's so frustrating to see her go through this.

For the record, I did the strength work after my run. It wasn't terrible. Just icky, like I expected. Maybe if I had a good gym buddy. Of course, that would require me to go to a gym. Never mind.

Friday, October 19, 2018

OK, here's one theory.

I'm such a whiner.

Seven weeks since I started running again consistently.

Mostly what I've done in those seven weeks is complain that it's hard and I'm slow.

Beginning the first week of September:
Week 1: 12 miles, 9:53 avg, LR 2 miles (9:41)
Week 2: 14 miles, 9:17 avg, LR 4 miles (9:22)
Week 3: 20 miles, 9:24 avg, LR 5 miles (9:25)
Week 4: 20 miles, 8:55 avg, LR 5 miles (8:55)
Week 5: 24 miles, 9:15 avg, LR 6 miles (9:27)
Week 6: 24 miles, 9:05 avg, LR 6.5 miles (8:55)
Week 7: 16 done, 8:48 avg (10 more planned, LR 6 miles)

I'm looking at the numbers now, and they show a nicer picture than how I remember the last month and a half. After all, I'm coming off an almost seven month layoff, and the six weeks before that were a slow build up following a full month of post-marathon rest/recovery. Seven weeks to feel decent running again.
Not so bad, really. I should feel good about where things are at this point.
So I will.

It's fall, the best time of the year for running. And I'm running.

Yesterday I didn't feel like going. A little stress from work and worry about T-Rex (as always). I just wanted to take a nap and pretend everything was fine. But I went out anyway, because runner. And because it was 50 degrees and sunny and I know I'll appreciate it a couple of months from now when it's ten. Also, Thursday is weight day, which I hate. I skipped Tuesday because I got distracted with some early fall yard stuff when I finished running and then it was time for dinner and Mrs. Dave and I had an appointment at the temple so there was no time and I'll take just about any excuse I can think of to not do weights.

Where was I?

Of course my mind told me that a run when you don't feel like running is usually a good thing, so me and TYTBNW (the yet to be named watch) took off. No trouble with the knee. I'm calling Louie at about 95% most of the time now, btw. Most of my warm up miles have been between 9:30 and 10:00. This one was 9:06. Nothing worth dancing, but improvement is always nice. This is an out and back route past the high school to the Mobil station on the next corner. It drops slightly all the way out, so I figured it'd be slow coming back. 8:21, 8:23, 8:22.

Did not expect that. 

Last week I noticed something in my mouth while I was brushing my teeth. Some discoloration and a big zit-looking thing on my upper gum. As a lad I hit my face on the edge of a school desk and chipped off a good portion of the front tooth. Ever since it's been a trouble spot. I had surgery to remove a large abscess there back in the late 80s. My dentist has been watching it on the annual x-rays forever. Anyway, I went in and he took another x-ray, which didn't show much change, but it's still there and there's another round of infection. So, I'm on antibiotics for a week and then we'll look at it again at the end of the month. Hopefully won't need surgery again.

My point in mentioning this is that it could possibly be related to why even though my endurance is slowly building (about like it should), I haven't felt great. My running times included much more walking than I ever remember doing in my previous comebacks. I'd get a mile or two out and my legs would go dead and my heart rate would ratchet up. Talk about discouraging. If this infection has been enough to give me trouble, then once it's beaten down with the z-pak, maybe I'll actually feel good on the roads.
Just a thought.

Mrs. Dave sent me out early last Saturday. Granddaughter #1 was getting baptized, so we made a quick trip to Kentucky. The ceremony was Sunday evening, and we spent Saturday afternoon with Connor in Louisville. Ran in the dark for 6.5 miles and didn't feel half bad. Then we hit the road, had a nice weekend and came back Monday morning.

My social media skills seem to be dying. I took zero pictures and posted not a thing the whole weekend. Is that bad? I still scroll through regularly and see what my peeps are up to, make a comment now and again, but mostly just give a quick "like" and move on. If it weren't for the Loop and Loopsters I might ditch FB and IG altogether. I've already left Twitter, and am not at all interested in any of the other SM apps out there.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Feeling like a runner again.

Bits and pieces of the long slow road to recovery. No, I'm not 100% yet. Maybe I never will be. Worry about that later.

Someone suggested I do my strength work AFTER running. Duh, Dave. I also googled how often I should to them, and it looks like a couple days a week is about right. So much better than boring my skull out every day. I pick Tuesday and Thursday for it. The other four days (M/W/F/S) will be running days, and Sunday (as always) off. Careful, meticulous even, with the after run stretches.

No great improvement in how much Louie hurts and he still looks like he belongs on some other guy's leg, but every run feels OK, and if I think back over more than a few weeks, there's definite progress.
Fall weather in my neighborhood has descended. Sorry for anyone still suffering. I need this. The cooler weather and my (finally!) increasing endurance gave me confidence to try another 5 miles on Saturday for my long run. After two weeks at the 3 per day plateau, I'm starting to itch for longer stuff. Here's where I go off on a tangent about the joy of floating through double digit miles for one, two or three hours, watching the leaves turn and drift across the paths and sidewalks. Not yet. The numbers need to go up slowly.

But five is pretty nice if they feel good. And these certainly did. Mrs. Dave is in Seattle visiting family. I had my 9:00 am duty at the church for clean up, but nothing before, so I waited until the sun was up before starting. The news said it was 45 degrees, but I'm pretty sure it was chillier than that in the neighborhood. I almost wore long sleeves. Almost wore gloves. The first two miles I wished I had, but it wasn't terrible. Heading through the park I saw a bunch of cars off where they start the weekly ParkRun. I've thought about joining them in the years since they started doing this, but a 5K XC run, even though it's free, just never fit into my Saturday morning plans. I'm in no condition to race a 5K right now anyway. Nor am I in the mood. Just give me my five miles.

Still digging the new watch. Although, I'm not convinced the VO2max and race predictor calculations are accurate.

First mile slow, then ran the way I felt. I have the audible alerts off since I don't want it beeping for every phone call, text or news notice it gets, and I find I often miss the mile splits, since there's only a slight shake. Need to look into if I can have the beep for just the running. Anyway, I did catch #3 and it was 8:39. Not bad.

More importantly, I was feeling pretty good, and that hasn't really happened since this whole mess started. I was worried about a crash before the end. While #5 was a little tougher, there wasn't a crash. A good five miles.

And the splits were icing on the cake. 9:55, 8:39, 8:39, 8:39 and (wait for it!) 8:39.

Yes I did. Not blazing fast, just perfectly consistent.

Plan for this week: Add a mile to the M-W-F runs, and six on Saturday.

Spent the rest of the day working on a landscaping project in the back. I'm tired of fighting the bushes on the south side of the house. But I need the shade they give in the summer. So, I'm trimming back the grass and putting in brick edging along that side, then covering it all with mulch. Pics coming.

And I'm sort of thinking about Glass City next spring. At least a couple of Loopsters will be there. It's close. And I need to get Ohio off my list.

Monday, September 24, 2018

FIVE MILES! More on the new watch. Hood to Coast.

So, the new yet-to-be-named Forerunner 235 and I had a good week. Monday through Saturday we ran every day. A couple were short of the planned 3 miles, but that's because the route was a tad short and I'm not in the mood yet to be a stickler for the numbers. 19.71 total.

This makes three weeks in a row I've run without a miss.

People who lift/XT regularly know this already, but I'm discovering that weights just before running makes running harder. At least, when you're almost 60 and trying to get back into shape. Also doesn't help that summer was trying it's best to suck the life out of me before fall arrived Saturday. I'm assuming it was personal, anyway. Maybe not. It's the sort of thing you have to keep in mind, though.. Otherwise, you think there's something wrong, like congestive heart failure or cancer or some other health issue that's barely allowed to be discussed lightly these days. My point is, watching my heart rate (which I can actually do now with the new yet-to-be-named Forerunner 235) zoom up to 180-190 bpm on what was supposed to be an "easy" 2-3 miler, when less than a year ago I was still thinking about a possible BQ ... sort of makes you wonder about all sorts of worst case scenarios.

I had a couple of runs that weren't terrible. In one case it was 70 degrees outside instead of 90, so I figured it was just the weather. Except then I had another day that wasn't broiling and it pretty much sucked, so I needed a new theory. Two Saturdays ago I stretched my "long" run to 4 miles. Since it was Saturday and I needed to finish before starting a full day of other stuff, I skipped most of the intense exercises. Surprisingly (😒), it went better than most of my 3 milers had that week.​​​​​​​

Brings me to this past weekend and after going 3 miles each day instead of 2, I was also planning on trying for 5 on the long one. Got an email on Friday that a divorced woman at church needed some help cleaning up her large yard Saturday morning for an hour. Since I already was committed to cleaning the church at 9, I had to bump my run ahead the extra hour. First dark run in quite a while. I'm no longer fearless about running in the dark. Age has given rise to paranoia about stepping on a rock or the edge of a curb or something, setting back my recovery another who knows how long. So I grabbed one of the knuckle lights I got from Ms Ritz a few years ago and ran one of the better lit routes I know.

Fall came that evening, astronomically speaking, but the weather was ready first thing in the morning. You know how sweet 48o tastes after a long hot and humid summer? It's like candy, my friends. With the knee feeling pretty good, I skipped all the normal work before and just ran. Wise? What do I know about wise. No issues with Louie, though, so it must have been an OK idea. Before 6:00 on a Saturday morning, there's not much traffic, automotive or pedestrian. There was one guy I exchanged greetings with twice as our out and backs overlapped, but other than a couple of cars passing, it was nice and quiet. The best part was I was able to run the entire 5 miles without a break.

I assume as I get used to the weights and whatever, and obtw just get into shape again, it will be less sucky to run after doing them. I've read that 2-3 days a week is optimal for weight training anyway, so doing those Tuesday and Thursday, with just the lighter stuff the other days isn't cutting any important corners. As they get easy I also assume I'll need to get heavier weights?

Since the new yet-to-be-named Forerunner 235 does the heart rate thing, I decided to wear it most of the day to see what it says about that. I also sort of like getting notifications for calls/texts/etc. on my wrist. Didn't think I'd like it, but I do. Funny getting used to wearing a watch again, though. Mrs. Dave asked me once what time it was, and as I reached across the table to get my phone and look, she reminded me that I probably had that info in a handier spot.

For the benefit of inquiring minds, I stopped at Home Depot in the afternoon and picked up some grass seed. The back lawn has never recovered from a hot dry spell in early July when we were out of town, so I thought I'd try boosting it now that fall is here, as well as getting some grass over where I cut down the mulberry tree this summer. Also priced out some landscaping material to redo an area along the side and back of the house that I haven't been happy with for a few years, and started clearing that out.

Lastly, next week is the registration time for the 2019 Hood to Coast Relay. So far there's 6-7 who've said they want to be part of the team. A team is 12, so if you're still thinking about it, there's room. I considered abandoning the idea, but then figured this is my dream and I'm not going to be swayed by a lack of interest in our now tiny community. I'd prefer to have all Loopsters, but that's not a requirement. And there's still almost a year to put the full team together. Besides, I've missed out on the lottery twice already. There's no guarantee that we'll even get in.

Have a great week, everyone.

More than a week.

Race report and the upcoming holiday put me off my blooping schedule. That and another thing I'll get to in a minute. I'll star...