Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Week of November

I got in two decent jogs while I was in Santa Barbara, California.  My heart rate is still much higher than it used to be, and my ankle bothers me, but I am determined to make a go of it.  The first jog was done on Tuesday afternoon.

The second jog out there was done Friday morning.  It was actually too hot Thursday afternoon ... like upper 80s!  So, I got out there and it was around 50°, much preferable.  I accomplished another first - crashing.  My left foot got stuck behind an invisible "speed bump", so I hopped on my right foot, and went down like a ton o' bricks.  I took most of the impact on my right palm, and had little grill marks on my lower right leg.  Good thing I'm not a cyclist!  Oh, and of course this happens four minutes into the 35 minute jog.  (Oh wait, I was a cyclist and that's when I drove off a cliff and broke my elbow.)

Finally, on Sunday the 7th, I talked Elaine (age 8) into a little fun run with me.  We did 1.3 km, which is a distance record for her.  She sure can talk a lot while she's running.  "I'm tired!", "Oh, look at the birds!", "How much longer?", "Cute doggie!" ... you get the idea.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Goblin Gallop

Between blog posts, I went jogging a whopping three times:

10/9 - 1 km with the kids (training them for Goblin Gallop)
10/10 - 2 miles in the neighborhood
10/14 - 2.18 miles in the neighborhood

After a good, seventeen-day taper, I knew monumental achievement was within reach!!  It was a brisk 48° at 8:10 as the kids got their bibs for the 1 km fun run.

Before the race #1

Before the race #2

The picture above was immediately before the race, and as you can see, I could not talk them out of their hoodies.  Tami and I got out of the way and they were off.  I practiced taking photos of moving targets as they started finishing.

During the 1 km fun run

Hmmm ... there was really something primal about Thing 1 and Thing 2.  And when the kids came flying through I got the blurriest pieces of crap pictures of all time.  But, here they are post-race happy with finisher's medals:

Then it was my turn, the pressure was on, and the bathroom lines were too long, so I just got in the back with the stroller people.  Tami got a blurry picture towards the beginning, but a decent picture of me near the finish:

I didn't turn my Garmin off after finishing, but I was able to get my time from printed sheets they taped to the registration tables.  It said I took 38:13, and I managed to run 3.16 miles on the 3.11 course.  My max heart rate was 180.  I've really lost a lot of ground in the 14 or so weeks that I've been mostly inactive.  To put it in perspective: on the last day of July I ran 6.2 miles at an 11:14 pace with an average heart rate of 148.  Today, with about the same temperature, I went 3.16 at a 12:06 pace with an average heart rate of 166.  The course did have a couple of hills, but they weren't steep.  I'd run this race again in a heartbeat.  In fact, as soon as Max finished he jumped up and down and asked "Can I do this next year??"  I had a plearsurable time out there today (and had popped some aspirin ahead of time), but what makes me feel the best is that my kids did well in their first race.

Gobblin Gallop 5K Route

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Once more, with feeling

I got out today, in a breezy 62° afternoon, and managed 5K in the neighborhood.  My ankle hurt for awhile, and at 1.5 miles, the ball of the left foot (behind the big and index toes) felt somewhere between numb and mushy.  But, I was able to squeak out a 5K without a whole lot of mental gymnastics. (My time was only 38:09, so I wasn't asking for much.)  I stretched the ankles afterwards, and iced the inside of the left ankle pretty good.  Hopefully, I can get another run in over the weekend.

Also, the kids have agreed to participate in their first training run for the Goblin Gallop (Oct. 31st) this weekend.  This should be entertaining - I can hear the excuses and complaints already. :)

Keep your fingers crossed for my feet and ankles!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hopefully I'm Back

Well, this afternoon I said to heck with it and went for a jog.  I took a few Advil thirty minutes prior, and I got through it.  I had a little pain, like an outline around the bone on the inboard left ankle.  But it wasn't acute, and after a few minutes it receeded.  At about a mile and a half, the inside ball of that foot felt a little numb.  But, I made it the 2.17 miles I was aiming for.  Sadly, I had left my HR monitor belt back in California in July, so another is on order.  Hopefully, I can get going again.  I was very happy that taking such a long break didn't completely kill my (limited) ability to breathe.  If all goes well, I'll run the Goblin Gallop on the 31st.

And, naturally, I'll be at the Restore Sanity / Keep Fear Alive Rally in Washington DC on 10-30-10!!!

Okay, here is the run stuff

Yep ... still have that awesome, fast pace :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

L11 Day 15 - More Melodrama

Okay, it's been awhile since I have posted.  It has also been awhile since I have been jogging.  But, that last jog I had was pretty sweet - out in California near Santa Barbara with temperatures in the mid to upper 50s.  I set a best 10km time, and I wasn't really working very hard.  It was so chilly, my heart rate monitor couldn't complete a circuit through me on that first quarter mile.

In all, I jogged 6.75 miles.  I did the first 2 miles with a friend at work, Brad.  He's ridiculously young and in shape, but was very nice to plod along with me for a bit.  Then he got bored and ran back to the hotel at a considerably faster pace. He ended up doing 4.25 I think, which is a distance record for him.  I think that's the first time I actually went jogging with another person.  Such a lovely flat route out there!

Sweet Jogging Trail

Goleta Beach

I got my 10km time down under 1:10 for the first time at 1:09:41.

The neatest thing is that I wasn't working awfully hard.  My heart rate was in the 140s, my breathing was easy.  I had the whole week in California to get in fast 5K run, and basically clock another 18 miles.  (I was in a July mileage contest and would have placed second, darn it!)  But when I tried to jog the next day, I couldn't.  After about three steps, my left ankle made me limp and hurt so bad, that I just walked back to the hotel.  It's been two and a half weeks now, and it isn't one iota better.  So, I'll be going for help.  My aim is to go to a foot and ankle medical doctor who is also a runner.  I hope they can fix me up, because I've been turning into a hobby-less slug.

Friday, July 23, 2010

L11 Day 13 & 14

This jog was good because I finally conquered Cotton Mills Road.  Its hills aren't that bad, but there are several of them, and combined with the heat and humidity, I hadn't been able to put it all together.

Then I went back to Burke Lake.  This time, I had my #$*&# handed to me.  But, it was one of the hottest days on record, so I decided to cut myself some slack.  (Nevertheless, my *(&$#% was most certainly handed to me!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

L11 Day 11 & 12 - Night and Day

After my weekend jogs, I kept going with jogs on Monday night and Tuesday morning.  For Monday night, I decided to make it short (5 km / 3.11 miles) and easy (140 avg heart rate):

It rained on me the last quarter mile or so, but just a light sprinkle.  Too little and too late for any cooling effect.  If I recall it was 86° when I started.  Then, early the next morning, I embarked on my first ever interval workout.

I programmed it on my computer and then exported the workout to my Garmin.  Then, it spent the next hour telling me what to do and when to do it.  Sadly, I misprogrammed the warm-up and cool-down to say "try to stay in zone 2".  So the watch beeped at me for the 1.4 miles to the track and the 1.4 miles back (I can't jog with a zone 2 heart rate!).  But, the important stuff went well: jogging six faster quarter-mile intervals separated by 2:15 minute recovery jogs.  If you click on the stats picutre, you can read what my pace was for each of the six.  It ranged from an 8:45 pace to a 9:15 pace.  All of them well below my 5K pace of 10:23.

On the last interval, I was thinking "Make it good, because I may not do anymore workouts like this one."  But, five minutes later on the jog home, I was thinking "Hmmm, that wasn't so bad."  This is certainly the most distinctive HR chart I've produced to date:

I've got to read a book to figure out what this workout is supposed to do for me.  But, in the meantime, I've got to confess a mistake I made on the way back.

After I got off the track, I started to jog across the street.  I had my hand up ... I think I was thanking the lady in the truck for slowing down so I could scamper across.  Well, then she slams on her brakes and started doing the "I'm not happy with you" thing.  Oops, guess I only imagined that she was slowing down for me. So, I pantomimed the "Please forgive this sorry idiot" thing.  She readily accepted and I jogged on without a concern in my head.  Had I just been walking, I would have been shaking or something.  But, after six quarters, it seemed to be inconsequential.  Note to self: don't run out in front of vehicles! In all, I did 5.25 miles, and decided to take Wednesday off.  Both ankles were a bit sore immediately after the workout, but after a few hours they both felt peachy and my legs are revved and ready for Thursday.

Here is how often I've been jogging lately.  The calendar is starting to get a little red!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

L11 Day 10 - Monumental

To start this day's jog, I drove all the way to just north of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, to a park called Gravelly Point Park which is along the Mount Vernon Trail.  I got there right at six, and the entrance had a sawhorse across it, but the exit was not blocked, so in I went.  At this point, you're only a few football fields away from the planes, but it was early enough that there weren't any landing.  (They were taking off to the south.)

I had read online that there were facilities, so I ... um ... came prepared to use them.  Horrifically, there were only about five extremely used porta-potties.  Yours truly did not touch anything except the door! I managed to escape without barfing, so I decided to think things were off to a good start.

I jogged a couple of miles, under a slew of bridges, past the Navy and Marine Memorial, to the Arlington Memorial Bridge.  This bridge symbolizes the North and South reuniting after the Civil War; and it points directly to the Lincoln Memorial.

I would go right around the Lincoln Memorial, right past the World War II Memorial, touch the shadow of the Washington Monument, and go around the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial.

But first, I've got to tell you about this weird creepy feeling that I got.  I was running through trees on the south side of the Lincoln Memorial.  In the heavy shade, I see these oddly dressed people standing stone still.  I knew what it was, but it still gave me all-over goosebumps.  It's the Korean War Memorial.  The picture below does no justice to the angle, light, and feeling I felt.  I'll have to go with a camera someday.

I have to advise people over four foot tall to not attempt to jog right around the edge of the tidal basin.  Turns out those Cherry tree branches are pretty low.  Also the sidewalks are very slanted, and water occasionally covers most of the concrete.  After going around the south side of the Jefferson Memorial, it was time to merge onto the 14th Street Bridge.  (It's the left-most one in the picture.)

After the bridge, you're right back on the Mount Vernon Trail about a mile north of Gravelly Point.  Even in the last mile I didn't pick up the pace.  I knew I was going super slow, but I also knew I was going to go all the way without stopping.  In this muggy weather (75°; 85% humidity) that is victory enough.

Because I believed this park had real facilities, I brought a change of clothes.  Needless to say, there's zero chance of me even looking in the direction of those porta-potties.  I probably shouldn't say a whole lot about how I managed to dry off and change, but I will volunteer that the passenger seat of my Audi goes way, way back.

In all, I did six miles without a walk break and without getting lost!  My average heart rate was only 142, so I was nice and comfy the whole time.  (Except for the buckets of sweat dripping off me.)  Here is the standard set of jogging documentation:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

L11 Day 8 & 9 - STOP-N-GO

Well, on occasion I STOP during a run with all the heat and humidity - and Thursday was no exception.  But today (Saturday), I was able to GO the distance.

Thursday's Jog

I just tooled around the neighborhood for four miles.  It was dusk when I got back home.  There was actually a slight breeze, and during my walking break I got a creepy cool/clammy feeling.  Jogging the 1.25 miles back home was easy.  Always easier when the direction is homeward.  It was 85° with 72% humidity. 

Saturday's Jog

I didn't really pop off the pillow on this morning, and I decided to jog a little bit later in the morning: 8 AM.  I went back to Burke Lake for the first time in 2.5 months.  If you are ever nearby, I encourage you to check it out (link).  The temperature started at 80° with 80% humidity.

At about 2.5 miles in, I started arguing with myself a bit over whether or not to take a little walk break.  I won the argument, and jogged all the way around the lake.  My legs and breathing were always comfortable, but it was around that time (2.5 miles) that my hat began a nice steady drip.  The drip always seemed to hit my right hand.  There were a ton of people jogging and walking around out there.  And, jogging through the trees around the lake is very pleasant.  I shouldn't have waited 2.5 months to be back out here.  But the reason I waited is that I had taken a walk break out here and had felt kind of jinxed.  But, this time, I took it easy and talked myself into a jog I could be content with.  Here is a history of my outings to Burke Lake:

As you can see, I went faster this time - and I most certainly was not trying to be faster.  The first three April sessions were done in the mid-50s; the 4/18 jog was at 72°; and the 5/1 jog was at 83° but the humidity was only 45%.  And lastly, my heart rate was only 146 on average.  That's right where I want it.

I jogged five days this week, and racked up 21.2 miles.  One highlight was jogging across the Wilson Bridge from Virginia to Maryland, and the other was my successful reunion at Burke Lake.