Sunday, December 06, 2009
The mercury has been hovering at about 5 degrees F. I think 5 degrees is colder than a freezer. Since it was so cold, I decided to workout on my elliptical trainer today. I think working out on the elliptical is actually good for me. I put in a hard 53 minutes on the elliptical with my heart rate up at 130 to 140 bpm. Unfortunately, the elliptical is boring
I bought a Garmin FR60 with Footpod. I didn't like the buttons on the FR60. I took the FR60 back and got a Forerunner 305. I like the GPS feature on the 305.
I also lost 2 pounds. That has been months since I have lost any weight. I am pretty happy.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
I May Be Too Big and Too Old to Be a “Real” Runner:
I bought a Runner’s World magazine while waiting for my flight at the San Francisco airport. I am not sure when Runner’s World was first published but it was a long time ago. I noticed right off that all pictures in the magazine were of runners that were a lot leaner and a lot younger than me. This, of course, makes me wonder if I am really a runner! The jury is still out on that one!
Looking Slow and Running Fast:
There was an interesting statement in the magazine, “Not everyone who looks fast really is, and not everyone who looks slow really is.” I am sure I fall into the category of “Looks slow, is slow.” Sometimes I am fast. “Fast” is a relative term. I mean, sometimes I am faster that really slow. I think to get really fast I need to lose another 35 pounds. I am pretty old and battered. My kids call me the “BOM”, which stands for Broken Old Man! As Indiana Jones said in Raiders of the Lost Ark, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”
High-Tech Running Stuff – I am Doomed:
There were other distressing items in the magazine. I saw an advertisement for CW-X Stabilyx running tights. I really had no idea that such high-tech running pants existed. The advertisement really slammed sweatpants. My sweatpants are worn out and have a million miles on them. I consider this stylish. My sweatpants have my college logo on them, which is probably pretty nerdy.
Now That Is Something I Could Use
The magazine also had a review of high-tech running watches. Now this is something that I could use! Garmin makes some pretty cool timers that suit my general desire to instrument, measure and analyze every step I take. $200 is none too high a price to pay for a device that will confirm that I am indeed slow. My wife would likely question such a purchase, which is putting it mildly. She is a lean and tireless runner that couldn’t care less about times. As a matter of fact, she rarely opts to be timed during a race. She tells me she runs for fun. I have a hard time with that concept.
$100 Shoes and $1 Socks
I bought a fleece pullover running jacket while in San Francisco. I wanted a light jacket for my last run along the bay. I bought a “value priced” (meaning cheap) Champion brand pullover jacket at Sports Authority. A lot of my running stuff is “value priced”. As I was walking out of the store I grabbed some really nice Under Armor brand socks. Most of my good running socks have seen better days. I do have a plethora of "value priced" socks. I don’t think it makes sense to have $100 running shoes and 95 cent socks.
Time to Quit Lifting Weights – Maybe
I have determined my upper body is too heavy to allow me to effortlessly run long distances. The Runner’s World magazine depicted runners with lean, toned and well-defined muscles. I am, well, a bulky guy with heavy muscles. I have a book on cross-training for runners. This book recommends a weight training program has lots of reps with not much weight. I like to lift heavy weights to build lots of muscle strength. I also want to improve my running endurance. I really don’t think I can have both.
Friday, December 04, 2009
LOCATION: San Francisco, CA
DISTANCE: Not Measured
COMPANY: Alone (As Always)
TOTAL TIME: 1 hours and 15minutes (Mostly Running and Some Cool-Down Walking)
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Fair, Temperature 49°F, Feels Like 48°, Wind 4 mph WNW, Humidity 69%.
ELEVATION: 53 ft
I arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday, December 1st. When I first got to the Bay Area, I had a terrific run (see last blog entry). On Wednesday I used the hotel exercise room and spent about 35 minutes on an elliptical machine. I also did a lot of stretching to improve my flexibility.
I went for another run the next day. My super human status was pretty much gone! My legs were sore! I forced myself to run at a good pace. Unfortunately, my legs decided to they had had enough and abandoned me after an hour.
The Olympic gold medalist marathoner, Frank Shorter said he liked training at high-altitude because it kept him from beating himself up. I hear you, Frank!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
LOCATION: San Francisco, CA
DISTANCE: A Long Ways
COMPANY: Alone (As Always)
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours and 15minutes (Mostly Running and Some Cool-Down Walking)
PACE: Fast (Really Fast!)
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny (Clear) Temperature 60°F, Feels Like 60°F, Wind 4 mph NW, Humidity 52%
ELEVATION: 53 ft (7939 ft lower than Bailey, CO - where I usually run)
I am currently in San Francisco on business. I brought my running shoes with me. After I got settled in my Hotel, I sailed out the door for a run. There is a gorgeous boardwalk around the end of an inlet nearby. I decided to do interval training for about 45 minutes. When I started running I found that I could breathe! I felt like I was drinking the air. Oxygen flowed into my lungs in huge cool gulps. I picked up the pace. I expected to hit the wall where I would be completely out of breath. There was no wall! I picked up some more speed. There was still no wall! I hit the gas and felt like I was flying. I was in a time warp! I am not bragging. (Well, maybe a little.) My ability to go really fast surprised me! I mis-timed my run. I thought I had been running for 45 minutes. When I got back to my room the clock showed that I had been running for 1 hour and 45 minutes!
I am pretty sure that good citizens of San Francisco thought I was kook! I was dressed in running shorts and a sleeveless shirt. Everyone else looked like they were outfitted for an arctic expedition. I did get some odd stares. The temperature was 60°F, which would be a veritable heat wave where I live.
I mean no disrespect to those lucky runners that live in warm climates and low elevations. Running takes hard work and dedication anywhere.
I wanted to find out if there was an explanation for being able to run so fast. I did a Google search and found out there are actually high-altitude running camps for competitive runners. These camps are typically located between 7000’ and 8000’ in elevation. Runners spend quite a bit of money for a couple weeks of training at high-altitudes in hopes of increasing low-altitude performance. I live and train at 8,000’ and it doesn’t cost me a dime.
I am sure if I moved to San Francisco I would soon lose the high-altitude training advantages. I know I would revert to be my pokey self!
Where I normally run every breath burns like fire. Sometimes a white frothy stuff comes up from my lungs that I have to spit out. (Sorry, I know that is gross). I can feel my heart pounding in my chest. I don’t breathe as much as I wheeze. My wind conks-out way before my legs. I get tired just trying to breathe. I actually kind of like the strain. Once when I was in college I gave blood. The nurse told me to avoid physical exertion and alcohol. Of course, I went running and then hit the bar! I am a glutton for punishment! (I have never claimed to be a grown-up!)
Why could I run faster than a speeding bullet? Here are some high-altitude adaptations I found on the on the web:
1. 30 to 50 percent more red blood cells than at sea level.
2. Diphosphoglycerate (DPG) increases within the blood cells. (This is an organic phosphate that helps oxygen to combine with red blood cells producing higher concentration of oxygen in the blood.
3. More capillaries in response to altitude improving the diffusion of oxygen to muscles tissue.
4. Since I have lived most of my life at high-altitude I likely have at least a 20% increased in lung capacity. (I have wondered why I am able to blow lung test devices off the scale.)
5. Changes within red blood cells that makes them more efficient at unloading oxygen to the tissues.
I have to go back to the frozen high-country on Friday. For now I am going to enjoy being a far better runner than I actually am.
Monday, November 30, 2009
DATE: November 29, 2009
LOCATION: Platte Canyon High School Track
COMPANY: Alone (As Always)
TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes (Stretching, Running and Walking)
PACE: 12 min/mile
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Cloudy, Temperature 24°F, Feels Like 18°F, Wind 6.1 mph NE, Humidity 54%
ELEVATION: 7991 Feet
I am kind of following Couch-to-5K program. I decided to adjust the intervals for distance instead of time. I set a run/walk pace that would allow me to cover 400m in 190 seconds. I ran for 70 to 90 seconds, which I followed with a brisk walk for 120 to 100 seconds. To keep the pace and make up some time, I had to run a few 400m laps all the way. Unfortunately, on the last lap the LCD on my timer froze and went blank! Rats, I hate it when it does that!
I rediscovered my stride. I let my left foot crosses in front of me, which is a natural quirk in the way I run. My left foot also points inward as I run. My right foot lands straight. I have a slight heal strike but I roll quickly to the ball of my foot and give a good push with my calves. I let my calves do a fair amount of work to push me forward. I had been trying to get my left foot strike the ground “properly”. I think my attempt to make my left foot land straight may have contributed to my left hip injury.
This run felt very good. I walked for 5 minutes to warm-up. I stretched after the warm-up. I walked a lap after the stretching. I wanted to get my muscles warm. The temperature was so low I wanted to be sure I was good and warmed-up. The wind and cold was stinging my face.
My wife is a runner. We never run together because we run so differently. I am faster. She has more endurance. She did not run today. She draws the line when the mercury drops to the low 20’s. She stayed inside and used our elliptical trainer for her workout.
I really enjoyed running in the frozen wasteland. I was the only thing moving. Except for the wind, everything was so quiet and still.
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