Monday, December 12, 2011

Running with the Lights in the Parkway

I was always envious of the people running along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia across from Bow House Row and I realized we have some pretty cool places to run right here in Allentown with the annual Lights in the Parkway.

Mileage to date 2011.
Run 664
Walk 403
Bike 341
Ski 36

Hoping for 1500 miles for the year.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ran 3.5 miles in 20:15. 5:47 pace!

36 years ago.  I came across an old piece of notebook paper from the summer of 1975, part of my training log I thought was long gone.  One of the entries, dated July 20 tells me I ran the 3.5 mile Bethlehem City Festival race in 20:15, not too bad for a 22 year old bicycle racer.  I also made note that  it was hot and humid.  I now remember that race, back then there were not too many running events and it was hot that day because I took my shirt off on the home stretch for some relief from the muggy conditions.  Other entries from that log are runs with my good friend Len Vreeland and club runs with the LVAA (Lehigh Valley Athletic Association).  The LVAA and the Emmaus Road Runners combined to become the Lehigh valley Road Runners of which I am now a member.  Anyway back to the race, after finishing remember large quantities of beer being consumed by the members of my party and falling asleep under the trees in the park near the Bethlehem YMCA.

So, save your logs, they are nice to look at later in life and bring back pleasant memories.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The doctor tells me I drink too much coffee.

I recently went in for my annual checkup and nothing wrong other than my doctor left the practice, can’t compete for a year so I had to see her replacement, Dr. Jekyll.  This guy and I will not meet again. He told me I am too fat, OK, I could lose a few pounds, my resting heart rate is too high (68?) and that I drink too much coffee, I knew that the caffeine issue was coming and he is on the mark with that one. So while I was having a Grande over at Starbucks, I did a little research. I had been way over the recommended intake so I have switched to decaff at home, one 16 oz regular at work and one cup of regular green tea per day. No withdrawal symptoms although I do look forward to getting in to work and having the regular coffee. It is too early to tell but I think my heart rate is a little lower on my runs so this may help my running. OK, I am off stalking my old doctor on the Internet to see where she ends up so I don't have to go 19th century medicine again.



Monday, September 12, 2011

VIA Marathon relay

I received another picture today from one of my team members.  Here I am ending my relay and handing off to another member.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

VIA Marathon relay

Our team finished in 4:14.  I averaged 9:52 for my 4.8 mile leg, more later.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Getting ready for Via Marathon tomorrow.

I just got back from a 5 miler in the Parkway and after taking a shower I tried on the new team shirt FLSmidth, my employer, bought us for the relay.  I am running the 4.8 mile leg.  The company sponsored us at the last minute so we have not really trained for it but we are doing it to have fun and enjoy the day, wish us luck.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Running in the rain.

I took a day off today for some family business so after it was done I decided to go for a run down to the Lehigh Parkway.  When I came to the Lehigh Parkway North bridge I could not get on the path because it was under water so I continued on to 15th St. and entered the Parkway there.  Lots of trees down in addition to the ones from last week that the crews were not able to get to yet.  I had to run on the road and even climb over a tree that had fallen accross it at one point.  In all the years I have been running, walking and bicycling in the parkway I think the last two weeks have had the most damage I have seen in a long time. 

Down at the Rose garden I took this picture at the bridge over Jorden creek, a large tree fell and has blocked the view of the creek.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Misty morning run

I went out at 05:55 this morning for 5 miles, what a beautiful sunrise and a great way to start the day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cross training during the heatwave.

It seams like we have been getting a lot of heat waves this summer which has me running even less than during a normal summer. I prefer to run in the cooler/colder months and usually ride my bike and walk more during the summer months. A few weeks after I ran a 13.1 marathon I was feeling good on a 4 mile run, my heart rate was on the low side of zone 3, I was cruising along at a 9 minute pace so I thought why not crank it up a bit. I gradually increased my pace until I was just below a 7 minute mile and all of a sudden my abdomen felt like someone stabbed me with ice pick (not that I know what that feels like). Anyway, you know what I mean. I immediately stopped and walked which made the pain go away. Good, it was just a side sticker I told myself, always being in denial about injuries, and proceeded to start running again. Well to make a long story short, it did not go away. So I walked/jogged to the end of my scheduled run (no wimping out) and went straight to Dr. Internet and diagnosed my pain as either an abdominal strain or a sports hernia. Next day, it hurt while I stretched in bed-not a good sign, but I soldiered on, went to work and went for a walk after returning home in the evening. I could not feel or see a bulge so I thought I would wait until my annual physical in a few weeks and see what a real doctor said. Real doctor; "I can't feel anything, stop running, and let's wait and see what happens in the next few weeks". That was mid June, over the last month I could see progress, a little less pain when I ran (no, I did not stop running), stretched, etc. It also felt more like a recovering strain (I have lots of experience healing from muscle strains), and I even refrained from a few of the local races I had my eye on. Last Saturday I ran over 5 miles and all I could feel was a little discomfort but no pain so I think I missed the bullet this time and will be OK. I did learn something or was reminded that walking and bicycling are great ways to keep in shape and since they increase your circulation they help you heal faster.

My mileage totals so far for 2011;
Running 334
Walking 203
Bike 231

for a total of 768 miles.

Next post I am gong to write about my exercise program I am designing to help me stay in shape and minimize injuries.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Walking,running and bicycling.

I just finished a one hour, twenty-two minute walk. This brings me to thirteen days in a row that I ran, walked or rode my bike at least one hour every day. I am doing this to stay in shape during the hot, humid weather and lose a little weight so I am ready to step up the running when at the end of the summer. Also I would like to run a 13.1 or 26.2 marathon in the fall.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

500 miles for the year.

Last night I went for a 2.5 mile walk which puts me over the 500 mile total for running,walking and bicycling as follows:

Running 280
Walking 121
Bicycle 101

The above totals are a little light, I am finding out, since I got my Garmin Forerunner 305 last week. Some of the trails I run/walk/bike I estimated on the low side.

I am the caretaker for my elderly mother. Last night I had to admit her to the hospital and did not get home until late and almost missed my planned walk. However JoAnne said she would go for a walk with me and saved the day! When I woke up today I had a little pain in my back which may have been from trying to pick up my mom last night. I did my Tai Chi, including the warm up and afterwards I did a quick Yoga for runner's routine; back feel fine! Although Tai Chi took me 7 months of 2 to 3 sessions a week at class it was worth it. As a fellow Tai Chi practitioner once told me "it is a good thing to own, once you learn it you have a valuable skill for life"!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

96º real feel temperature!

Ran a little over 3 miles tonight. Getting hot, it was 90º but the real feel was 96º. I have decided it is too hot to run the club race tomorrow in this heat. I am trying to run 3x's/week and walk 3x's/week during this hot weather. Also on my runs I am keeping my heart beat in the 65 to 75% of maximum heartbeat range.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Runner's knee

Since the 13.1 on May 1st I have been running 6 miles on the weekend (long and slow) and 3 or 4 miles during the week- long and slow with some short, fast intervals. On the 6 mile runs I have been getting a pain in the knee, short runs were OK. Today I started getting the pain on my 6 mile run so I tried running faster and it went away? I think when I use the Chi Running method (which is a faster pace for me), I have a different stride and that must be why the pain in my knee goes away. Any who, I am going to try running faster next week on my short runs and see what happens.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2011 St. Luke’s Lehigh Valley Half Marathon

Last Sunday I ran the half marathon with my daughter Jessica (her first half). We ran it in 2 hrs. 25 minutes which was 14 minutes faster than I did last year. More importantly I did not incur any injuries this year! We started out with a plan to complete our run in 2 hours and 30 minutes. As I need a good 10 to 15 minute warm up before running I contrived this elaborate strategy where we would walk the first mile then start running 30 seconds, walk a minute and continue increasing the run interval gradually, slowly increasing our speed and my heart rate to the ultimate cruising tempo until we were overrun by the 2:30 pace group and hang on to them until the end. Ah, the well laid plans of mice and men….we had to run from the start or be trampled to death, so for the first 5 or 6 miles we ran from the gun and my heart rate went way above the red line 85% of maximum I had set on my watch… so at that point I still felt great and we were even ahead of the 2:20 pace group so I set the interval timer to 1 minute run/30 second walk. We kept this run/walk interval to the end, were passed by the 2:20 pace group around mile 10 and were able to keep them in sight until the finish. We were never overtaken by the 2:30 pace group. So we were happy with our injury free run which was a PB for me and a first for Jessica.

Running longer than 10 miles is a new experience for me. Although I have been running since age 12, have been an avid bicyclist and have enjoyed walking, hiking and backpacking all my life I only recently have been participating in longer distance running. At first I approached the longer distances the same way I handled the shorter distances; run as fast as you can, gasping for breath, sprint for the finish. This worked for about 3 months and then turned into a laundry list of injuries and a constant cycle of train hard, injury, heal and repeat. After a few years of this I realized I was not having much fun so with the power of the Internet I researched what I was doing wrong and came up with a plan, which leads me to the next chapter. Tune in next week as I document what has been working for me, an aging athlete in quest of running longer distances and running for the rest of my life.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sneak preview for the half marathon tomorrow.

I took a little walk today at 06:00 and took this picture of the blooms on Ott St., we will be running here before heading east through the park at the beginning of the race. Note the yellow-green sign for pedestrian/bicycle crossing on the right hand side and the white cross walk; this is part of the bicycle and walking initiative in Allentown to make it safer for those activities-go Allentown!

Friday, April 22, 2011

One week to the half marathon! and a few days.

The last three weeks we have been tapering doing 11,10 then 8 miles last Sunday. Tomorrow we are going to run 6 miles as we continue to throttle down for the May 1st St. Luke's Lehigh Valley Marathon. Here is picture of me as I am about to cross the finish line last year. I feel pretty good but I am not going to try to run the entire course. I have been using the run/walk in my training along with the heart rate monitor and I am going to continue as this seams to be working well. As I go into the last week I am going to make sure I hydrate well every day, watch my diet and use the foam roller. Oh, and I must pick up a case of Yuengling Black and Tan for after the race!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Latest run

Yesterday I did a 10.68 mile run/walk and had no problems with my recent calf strain. I am slowly increasing the run duration and decreasing the walk duration. Last week I was in Florida and while running I could feel my calf muscle get tight and sting a little bit so I am being cautious this close to the half marathon. I had been on pace to run the half on a 2:20 pace but that looks too aggressive at this time-better slow go than no go. I have been using arnica gel on my leg,using the foam roller and the stick(I take the stick to work). This is the first time using arnica gel so I am not sure yet if it is helping.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Stick and the foam roller saved my training!

A few weeks ago I strained my calf muscle and was worried that I would not be able to keep up my mileage for the May 1 half marathon. But with regular use of the Stick ( as shown in the picture ) and the foam roller I was able to complete the 7 mile training run with our group today. I had a similar injury last year just before entering a half marathon and at the race expo there was a vendor selling "sticks". The man gave me a demo while talking to me. I was leaving the expo and felt so good I bought one and have been an avid user ever since. If you have not seen one of these tools go here

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jessica's first race.

Here is a picture of my daughter, Jessica and her friend Joe. Jessica just finished her first race, the Gasparilla Distance Classic 15k. She had a time of 1:43:23. Way to go Jess!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl 10k

Had a nice run yesterday in the Superbowl 10k. This is the only picture I have which is after the race as JoAnne and I were walking to the car. I ran 1:3:36 a PR for me (my first 10k)! Due to the ice on the roads the course was modified to an out and back two times. I felt good so with a mile to go I pushed the last mile (mostly down hill). I was glad when I got out of bed today I had no pains!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

St. Luke’s Half Marathon Training Group

I ran with the training group on Sunday morning, we did about 4 miles at a conversational pace. According to my heart rate monitor I ran mostly between 65% and 75% of my maximum heart rate. This is a great way to get in a good run with a nice group of people. Laura Michaels is the organizer and is very enthusiastic. Little over 12 weeks to the half!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Family run.

Last Saturday my daughter Jessica and her husband were visiting from Florida so Jessica and I decided to run in the Lehigh Parkway for a five miler. She really appreciated the 6º weather :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yoga and Tai Chi

I just finished doing Yoga and Tai Chi. Every day I have been doing a little Yoga routine, including some foot stretching, before getting out of bed. While the coffee is brewing I then do my Tai Chi. I think this has helped me recover from plantar fasciitis and I feel it is a great way to start the day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

38 minute run in the rain.

Tonight I ran for 38 minutes. It was raining and the roads were slippery so I ran over to Cedar Crest College and ran around their campus which is well salted and lighted. Very little traffic on the roads and the campus, nice run!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Clear running ahead!

Today I went for a walk to the Rose Garden in Allentown PA, good news for runners and walkers; the city plows the paved path so you do not have to walk in the streets when there are snowy/icy conditions!