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That is as fast as I go

Saturday, January 09, 2010

TIME: 4:00pm
LOCATION: Thunderridge HS Track-- Highlands Ranch, Colorado
5K TIME: 27:46:12
AVERAGE PACE: 8:54 min/mile
FASTEST PACE: 5:01 min/mile
SLOWEST PACE: 11:37 min/mile
TOTAL TIME: 90 minutes ( Warm-up, Timed Run, Slow Run and Cool-Down)
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear, Temperature 38.5 °F, Feels Like 38.5 °F, Wind-Calm, Humidity 33%, Patches Snow


I decided to drive down to Denver for a 5K timed run. I normally run in the mountains at 8,500 feet. I wanted to see what I could do at the lower elevation of 6595 feet.

I ran wearing shorts since the temperature was a balmy 38.5 °F. I enjoy running with bare legs. I wore my light fleece pullover on my upper body. I also had new shoes! This was the maiden run for my new Nike Air Pegasus +26 shoes. The shoes felt great.

I felt good. I started off slowly and picked up the pace. My Garmin 305 told me I was running well. I passed the 2.5K mark well under 13 minutes. I was pretty pleased. I just couldn't keep up a sub 8 min/mile pace. I started to slow down.

My pace was erratic. I did a good burst at a 5 minute per mile pace. My slowest pace was 12 minutes per mile. I need to get more consistent.

I managed to run the 5K in just under 28 minutes. I was surprised! I have not been able to run much due to the cold weather. I may push too hard when I can see my pace on the Garmin. I will leave the Garmin at home tomorrow. I want to do a nice long and slow run. That stupid Garmin won’t let me go slowly.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DELRIO1 1/10/2010 12:02PM

    Sounds like a great day to me. Good run and you learned alot about what you want to do for the next run. Keep up the good work!

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HARRINGTON5 1/9/2010 11:23PM

    I loved your blog. You are a maniac! I don't think I have met anyone else as driven as you. You are really doing super, especially after having to take time off. That is much faster than I run, believe me. I am trying to get ready for a 5K in Feb. (my first of the year) I'm complaining because it is 30 degrees out....and this is Florida for heaven sakes! I'm a sunshine runner, I don't know how you do it! Great job!

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I scare me!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I know this is really odd. I weighed myself this morning. During a weigh-in I wear just shorts. I want to weigh me, not my clothes. My scale is in my home gym. There is also a full length mirror in my home gym.

When I saw myself in the mirror I was shocked! The guy in the mirror didn’t look like 52 year-old me. He looked like 32 year-old me! For reasons that escape me, the image in the mirror was terrifying!

32 year-old me is gone. He is a memory. But there he was looking back at me in the mirror. I know this doesn’t make any sense. I think most people my age would love to turn the clock back 20 years.

I don’t want to be 32 again. I find this confusing.

Over the years, as a gained weight, I became comfortable in my skin. When I hit 275+ pounds my health was going downhill fast. I had high blood pressure, joint pain, and my feet hurt all the time. I decided I needed to lose weight. I kind of thought I would just become a thinner version of me. I didn’t expect to become a younger version of me.

32 year-old me was athletic. He was strong and fast. He had a six-pack and well defined muscles. He didn’t have to suck in his gut because he didn’t have one. He was also impatient, cocky, fearless, and quick-tempered. 32 year-old me scares me.

What really worries me is that if I keep going to my goal weight, I may end up looking like 22 year-old me! 22 year-old me was highly-competitive and had a bit of a mean streak.

I know this make zero sense. When I look in the mirror, I see a ghost.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Interesting...very interesting. I'm always intrigued by the unexpected emotions that pop up as we change our outward appearances.

This really brings up some interesting food for thought...

I know I'm TERRIFIED of my 30 year old self. She made some very risky choices back then and I'm know I don't want her to be back in my life...at least not ALL of her.

Thanks for sharing an "unconventional" thought!

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IRONGRANNIE 1/7/2010 8:20PM

    I know what you mean!! Unfortunately the woman in my mirror has grey hair and wrinkles but apart from that looks very much like 43 y.o. me! I like it and you should too!

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GSCOTTC 1/6/2010 7:47PM

    This made me laugh because when looked in the mirror yesterday I saw my father.

Explanation My father is 6 ft 4. Maybe 150-160lbs tops, skinny as a rake and not in very good health. Me, I am 6 ft even and 226lbs in great shape. As I lose more and more weight I keep seeing my father in my face. I am not sure if I am looking younger or older.

You may be looking younger, but you still have the wisdom of the ages!


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Running On Empty

Sunday, January 03, 2010

This blog is just a collection of random observations.

(1) There is nothing wrong with excess as long as it is done in moderation!

I just made that up! However, I am sure that someone said it before me!

(2) I will not give up my favorite foods just to lose weight; even if my favorite foods are unhealthy. I mostly like foods that start with "B". These are:

- Beef;
- Beer;
- Beans;
- Bread; and
- Brownies.

(3) I promised myself I could drink a beer if I spent an hour on my elliptical machine. I know SparkPeople does not recommend food as a reward. I am lucky that beer is not really a food!

(4) I saw a flier for a class posted on the door of a running shoe store. The title was "Injury free running." The class was to teach runners to use a short stride and land flat-footed. Firstly, I think messing with my natural stride is a good way to screw-up any hope I have of being speedy. Secondly, I am a bit over 6 feet tall and have a 28" inseam. My stride is short enough already!

(5) I wish drivers would use turn signals more. I have a friend from New York that insists that using a turn signal is a sign of weakness! I am an old guy so I drive with my left turn signal on all the time. Eventually I will turn left. I just like to surprise people!

(6) I had more to say on this blog. Unfortunately, before I could write it down I forgot what I was going say!

Bruce out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    ROFLMAO!!!! emoticon emoticon
I'd stop for a beer with you....you're a hoot! Baaa hhhaaaa!

Thanks...I needed that!

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NANCYLEE46 1/4/2010 8:36AM

    Ty for sharing so honestly
I loved it and makes me remember what I like about Spark - It is an individual program
Happy new year


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CHARGER25 1/3/2010 11:12PM

    Hmmm, 'B' food I like it! Or should I say "All of it"!

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Running Slowly - But I have Excuses!

Friday, January 01, 2010

TIME: 4:00pm
LOCATION: Bailey, Colorado -- Burland Ranchettes
5K TIME: 34:28
PACE: 11:71 min/mile
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes (Running + warm-up and Cool-down)
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Cloudy, Temperature 28.3 °F, Feels Like 15.9 °F, Wind 16.1 mph, Humidity 34%, Patches of Frozen Snow and Ice.

ELEVATION: 7909 to 8350 Feet above Sea Level (Hilly)


I am finally feeling good. I kicked the nagging case of Bronchitis and can breathe better.

Time to run! Hooray! Or so I thought. My time still sucked! I think I need to lower my expectations. I live in a place where it is kind of hard to run. I have a bunch of excuses, though.

I live in the mountains of Colorado and there are a lot of hills. I decided to do some hill running today. I started my run at 7,838 feet elevation. I finished at 8,350 feet. The total vertical rise was 512 feet in 3.1 miles. The steepest hill had a vertical rise of 220 feet in 0.2 miles. The vertical rise was 20 feet for every 100 feet of running distance. I got to tell you that is a steep hill!

My Garmin told me I was barely moving at a 13 to 14 min/mile pace while I struggled up this brutal hill.

Besides a series of heck-for-steep hills, I got more excuses. The temperature was below freezing and I had to run against a 16 mph wind. I was wearing some pretty heavy winter clothes. I also had studded snow tracks on my shoes so I wouldn’t slip on the hard packed snow and patches of ice.

The excuses just keep coming!

There just ain't a lot of air at 8,000 feet! There are a whole lot of bad things that happen at 8,000 feet to slow you down.

At high altitude the partial pressure of oxygen is reduced. The ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen is dependent upon the pressure exerted by oxygen on the alveoli (tiny air sacs in the lungs). The reduction of oxygen pressure at high altitudes means less oxygen is driven from the lungs into the blood.

Here is a list of the top six bad things that happen due to the reduce pressure of oxygen:

(1) Breathing rate increases during exercise as compared to sea level.

At 8,000 feet the breathing rate has to increase to try to compensate for the smaller number of oxygen molecules in a given amount of air. The higher breathing rate contributes to an earlier onset of fatigue.

(2) Oxygen diffusion decreases.

At sea level the oxygen exchange between the lungs and the blood is unhindered. At 8,000 feet the oxygen saturation in the blood drops to less than 90%. Less oxygen means a reduction in athletic performance.

(3) Exchange of oxygen between the blood and active tissue is reduced (This is really bad!)

At 8,000 feet the partial pressure of oxygen in the arteries is reduced by 70%. Far less oxygen passes (diffuses) from the blood to the active tissue. This means whatever small amount of oxygen is in your blood doesn’t get to the muscles that really need it! I get tingling in my fingers and lips sometimes. My vision blurs and I have trouble running in straight line. These are usually signs I need to walk and catch my breath.

(4) VO2 max decreases.

Maximal oxygen uptake decreases significantly at high altitude. At 8,000 VO2max drops by 11%. VO2max measures the body’s ability to sustain aerobic activity. As VO2max drops endurance also drops.

(5) Maximal cardiac output decreases.

During exhaustive exercise both maximal stroke volume and maximal heart rate decrease with altitude. The reduction of cardio output hinders endurance. You have less oxygen in your blood, and the muscles have trouble absorbing the oxygen. You also have an oxygen delivery system that is slower to boot. This actually is painful. The heart just pounds away and very little blood is getting where it needs to go.

(6) Lactate Accumulation Increases.

Lack of oxygen at altitude causes an increased reliance on the anaerobic system to provide energy. This reliance on the anaerobic energy system results in increased concentrations of lactate. Lactate gives up hydrogen ions which causes increased acidity of in the blood called acidosis. Acidosis slows the ability of the muscles to contract. Slow muscles equal slow running.

In summary, my excuses for my abysmal 5K time are: I was running up steep hills against a 16 mph head wind on a slippery surface in freezing temperatures wearing heavy clothes and snow treads at 8,000 feet elevation with no discernable oxygen getting to my muscles that were nearly paralyzed by acidosis.

Did I also mention I am out of shape?

Studded Snow Tracks

This is cold and Icy. Lots of fun!

My Footprints in the snow. Did I mention that the wind picks up icy snow and sandblasts you?

This is a hill.

Home again! Nice warm house. The ladder is a permanent fixture during the winter so I can knock snow out of the satellite disk!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Ok...you win. Really.

More snow, WAAAAYYYYYY steeper hills, and the whole oxygen deprivation thing.

Oh, yeah, and then there's the bronchitis.

Mmm hmm.... emoticon That's me running the other way when you ask me to join you for a jaunt on the MOUNTAIN.

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CHARGER25 1/1/2010 11:51PM


You are a stud......stop with all the excuses...... we don't believe you anymore. I was in the Mid West this week and was whining about the fact that it was 27 degrees.

Yea..... and it is flat and trying to snow....Oh yea I worked out inside....but then again I am from Cali.....(there is my excuse!)


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HARRINGTON5 1/1/2010 11:21PM

    Bruce, You are amazing! Under all those conditions and you say your time sucks? You beat my best time in the warm, sunny, Florida weather, so now I really feel like a wimp. I complained so much the day it rained and said I would never run in bad weather again. Good thing I don't live where you do or I would stay a couch potato!

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SMARTIEBEE 1/1/2010 11:19AM

    Oh gosh, and here I was complaining about the wind and rain yesterday, it was only 41F out there! Makes me feel like such a wimp! Good for you for getting out there!

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NANCYLEE46 1/1/2010 8:46AM

    You are an inspiration!!!
Could use you in the team I lead, lol
Happy New year.


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GBOOMER 1/1/2010 7:58AM

    Without any of those excuses, my time isn't much better. However, the important thing is that one is out there doing it! Being healthy and active.

I love the pics! (I wish SparkPeople let us post bigger pictures, don't you?)

Happy New Year!

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IPA-RAY 1/1/2010 7:11AM

    Good excuses! That altitude is a killer, for sure. My wife has done 2 100 mile trail runs and the very hilly 70.5 mile Laurel Highlands trail run twice. On our first run during our week in Estes Park, CO, she walked on an uphill during the first mile!


Doing that run under those conditions will make you stronger!


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IRONGRANNIE 1/1/2010 3:40AM

    You are NOT out of shape!! That is awesome! I can't run that fast at sea level in summer !

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MARMALADESKY 1/1/2010 2:27AM

    Bailey. Hah. Two of my roommates at CSU were from Bailey.

I used to gain upwards of 20lbs over the winters when I lived in Boulder/FoCo because I absolutely could not run in the cold air. My lungs just refused to work. You are a stronger man than I am, that's for sure.

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  Maybe you can take me there one day? ;)

Comment edited on: 1/1/2010 2:23:06 AM

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Comment edited on: 1/1/2010 2:22:48 AM

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First Run in Many Weeks

Sunday, December 27, 2009

TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: Bailey, Colorado -- Platte Canyon High School Track
2 MILE TIME: 19:48
PACE: 9:45 min/mile
COMPANY: Sons - Ben 29 yrs, Scott 23 yrs.
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes (Stretching, Running and Walking)
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny, Temperature 29.2 °F, Feels Like 29.2 °F, Wind Calm, Humidity 41%, Patches of Frozen Snow.
ELEVATION: 8047 Feet

I am nearly cured of Bronchitis but not quite. I still had a little difficulty breathing. I had to walk more than I wanted to. Even with a bit of walking, my training pace has improved. I think if I pushed it a little more I could have been a little closer to a 9 min/mile pace. But I decided to take it easy. Taking so much time off has really impacted my ability to run.

I am still trying to figure out a good training regime. I think I am back.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GBOOMER 12/28/2009 8:59AM

    For me, because of old injuries, every run is like a first in that I have to be mindful.

It is good to have company. Let's "run together" (virtually, at least)!

Spark on!

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NETGUNNY 12/28/2009 6:07AM

    Your times sound good, especially as you are still in recovery mode. Don't push too hard, too soon. I am sure you will regain everything you lost, and more.

My hat is off to you, and anyone, who works out in what I consider completely inhospitable conditions. No envy here, just respect.

Take care . . .


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HARRINGTON5 12/27/2009 11:34PM

    Bruce, good for you. So glad to hear that you are feeling better. I think your time is great, you don't want to push too hard. You will be back up to speed in no time. I'm still doing 12 min. miles, but I went eight miles today, so I felt good about that. You are a trooper, but don't over do it! Give the Bronchitis the time it needs to completely go away. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you! Cynthia

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CHERRIERUNS 12/27/2009 6:22PM

    Nice job. I ran my first run in along time too. I ran 1.5 yesterday at a 9:15 pace. I had been sidelined for a bit with what they thought was a herniated disc. Turns out to be a very very tight muscle. I started to feel the leg stiffen up right after I hit a mile so by 1.5 I decided to stop. I want to recover not re-injure. Slow but sure and you will be back to running what you like and at the pace you want.

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