Archive for the ‘10 min miles’ Category

4th run in 6 days

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Like the title says, 4th in 6. Feels pretty good with some oddities. I wasn’t sure I was going to get the run in today as I was feeling a bit run down and sore from working in the yard yesterday and having a desperate food need forcing me to go grocery shopping this morning. But after getting back from the store I decided I should really do this, so off I went. Pretty typical run in that I did my normal 5+ mile route with a sub 10 min mile pace.

Now for the oddities. My awesome excuse for not running on Thursday was that I just didn’t feel like doing anything after my visit to the urologist for a cystometrogram. Basically the test fills your bladder up with saline as well as your rectum (to offset the pressure on the bladder), when full the pressure is checked on the plumbing and how well it deals with the full bladder. I was under the impression that this was going to reveal some insight into some of the bladder issues I have been having over the years (both frequency and incontinence issues, which was confusing to the doc as usually it is one or the other, but ms works in mysterious ways). So the first step is a catheter is inserted into the urinary track to empty the bladder with the help of some numbing gel. Off we go. The PA inserts this first catheter without issue. Now comes the fun, after the first one is removed a second catheter is then inserted into the bladder. It was smaller (thank you) and flimsier. Well she tried and tried and tried without success and asked me if I could feel it kinking up. Well I was feeling something, but kinking wasn’t it. So she stopped and called the doc. She came back and asked me how bad my symptoms were to which I said “well bad enough so that I am here!” to which she replied that the test was just to establish a baseline to test against in the future to track any further complications. She said it was a really good sign that I was able to completely empty my bladder via the first catheter and that I could come back in three months to try again. Ugh. Or, (and usually the “or” is a worse situation, but not this time) I could blow it off and she would give me a prescription for whatever symptom direction I felt was worse (frequency or difficulty urinating). Finally, this is what I was hoping for in the first place four months ago when I first saw the urologist. She gave me two weeks of samples of a med called Rapaflo. I was told to not expect to see anything for a week or so while I built the med up inside my system. If I see positive results and want to continue, then she would write a prescription.

So off I go, hopefully “going” in more ways than just that. I looked onto the side effects and see that there are a few somewhat rare side effects. One of the more common ones is dizziness due to lowered blood pressure, one of the odder and less frequently mentioned (I wonder why) symptoms is what is known as retrograde ejaculation. Wtf? Basically it means when a male orgasms the semen doesn’t leave the penis and instead goes into the bladder. Supposedly the person still orgasms, just not outwardly. It is not a huge deal and you just urinate it out. Great. Something to look forward to. Well I didn’t have to wait long and it happened the next day after I took the first pill. It didn’t have quite the same feeling either. Not a fan, but I will give it a week and some more research to see if this is temporary or permanent before I say no to rapaflo.

Another thing I noticed after a couple of days is that it seems to be effecting my running as my HR is elevated and I feel quite a bit more tired once I hit about 40 minutes of running. I have had to stop and walk these last several runs at times. I am not sure if this is due to the lowered BP, but I suspect it is. Looking at my Garmin numbers I see that my avg HR is a bit higher, but not nearly as high as I thought it would be. Today my HR hit 182 at one point before a walking stretch. The effort to get there didn’t seem that crazy, so again I suspect the low BP. Something to watch out for for sure. Yesterday working in the yard I experienced a similar bout of tired as well. I am going to make an appointment with my GP and see if there are some different solutions. I am sure there are.

A run

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Well my editor skills are suffering today as I could not for the life of me figure out a post title for this post. Should it have been something witty? Maybe a bad “spring” pun? Ugh, just don’t have it in me today. A day where I don’t have a bad pun in me? I may need to call the doctor.

Today was the second run in a row for me after yet again allowing for another somewhat lengthy running break. For the first part of my break I was recovering from a pulled back muscle, well that’s not really it, more of a pinched nerve? When this happens to me it really puts me down and my entire back seems to get stressed out and painfully tight. My doc has given me a prescription for what I had hoped were muscle relaxers, but really were more a heavy duty anti-inflammatory. They worked pretty well but seem to have lost their potency, the pills are probably four years old or so so I guess it is not surprising. Then I was housebound for a week while my wife was in AZ (don’t ask it is how we roll, one vacation at a time). I could have gone for a run then, but I used my isolationism and house guarding as my excuse. The flip side of that was that while I was home that week I go quite a bit of yardwork done, so that was very cool.

So yesterday I decided to go for a run even though I had a rehearsal that night. I figured it would be a part of my exhaustion experimentation that I have been doing. I thought I’ll just go for a short run. Good plan, but it didn’t last and I went for nearly five miles. It was just so good to be running again! We are going through a tough allergy season in the NW and my breathing was really labored. But I slogged through it and just enjoyed myself. After I felt great, but as rehearsal approached I started to get really tired. I laid down for a little bit and that seemed to help somewhat. During rehearsal I was a little spacey but I found myself able to concentrate, at least enough to play my normal bari parts. Overall it was a good practice and I am really glad I didn’t use it as an excuse to not run. And that makes today’s run two in a row!

Today’s run felt a lot better, especially in the breathing department. Beforehand I was feeling a little bit of tightness and pain in my hips. As the run went on the tightness still nagged at me. So I attempted to straighten my posture and get my hips aligned with my steps and that seemed to help quite a bit. So I think I will focus more on that in the days and runs to come. Also when I got back I made an extra effort to be more precise on my hip stretches that I do after every run. Everything feels pretty good at the moment, so I think I may be on to something. Now I just wish I could solve my foot pain issues. I am not convinced that I don’t just need a little toughening up and that if I keep at the regular running that it will lessen. I am also considering using my hepi-pad inserts instead of the ones that came with my new shoes (this is only the third or so run on my replacement Altras, so I am somewhat skeptical that I need to replace them. I actually think I will give it some time first before switching.) BTW, I ran a sub 10 min mile pace today, made me happy.

Tomorrow I go to the urologist for a cystometrogram that is used to measure the pressure in the bladder to give the urologist some insight into what is happening with my plumbing. He is confused by my symptoms as I seem to be all over the place. I was hoping that my neurologist would send me to someone who has some experience with ms, but he (aptly named Dr. Richard which cracks me up to no end) apparently doesn’t and was even a bit irritated with me. I am not looking forward to the test, but it should be over somewhat quickly. And hopefully he will have a better idea of what I can do to get my bladder issues taken care of (frequent urges, difficulty passing urine, rushing to the toilet but not all the time). Very annoying.

Sunny run

Monday, January 25th, 2016

I didn’t think I was going to be able to run today as I had to go into the office of a client for a big meeting that could have taken all day, turned out it took 30 minutes. As I was sitting in my office I realized that the same reasons I used as an excuse to not run had been changed to a reason to run. And it was sunny out as well! With nothing keeping me from the streets it was time to gear up and make it happen.

I have been working on trying to have a better attitude in general and not succumbing to anger with people. Basically I am hoping to ignore things that just don’t matter. If someone isn’t paying attention or is inconsiderate my hope is that I can let it roll off me. I had a couple of people attempt to push me, but I managed to mind my business and focus on my happy run. I spend way too much time being irritated with people on my runs. Not today, sorry home team but Marco: 1 Portland: 0.

Physically the run felt reasonable good. I was dragging a bit but I kept my pace under 10 min miles for the entire run averaging a 9:49 pace. I am still liking my new Altras. One thing they need to work on is the glue they use to keep their logo on as it peeled off of one side, not that I care. Actually much better this way!

2016 running

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

As I run my way up to being 50 I am excited to get back into a regular routine. I want to be able to think of myself as a runner again! This last year or so I have felt like I am lying when I tell people I run. That is gonna stop, even if I have to stop saying I am a runner. But I’d rather reconnect with my fitness and feel like I am doing some positive benefit to my body.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks has been the music. I can’t play for extended periods of time (re: rehearsals and performance) on days that I run. My concentration gets really unfocussed and I just feel too exhausted. I experimented with running short distances on music days, which was actually doable. But I don’t like to run for short distances so that doesn’t really work for me. But I am not going to need to worry much about that as one of my bands is taking a hiatus and curtailing regular practices. Sad to leave the band, but not so sad to be able to wrangle my life back!

The other big stumbling block for me has been excuses. I have just been accepting them too much. Life often gets in the way, so not all excuses can be ignored but I want to be able to get past them more often than not. I have thought about a race to build a training regimen around but I am just not feeling that, my interest in participating in races is low. I sort of feel I need to find the ambition within myself rather than relying on something external. Some people are great with external input, but personally I’d rather not. Plus if it is just me that is involved and just my fitness that is being improved then I think I have more flexibility to be myself. if I want to take a Zumba class (as if!) for example, and not run, then I can.

So I started running with Altra zero-drop running shoes about 3 years ago. I love them, well loved cause my second pair was a completely different model and I have struggled to enjoy them. They are heavy and bulky and Altra really outdid themselves in the ugly dept. But I bought them and committed to them so I have been using them. As I was thinking about restarting running last week I decided that I had enough and I bought a new pair. I went with one of the lightest cushioning models as they looked a lot closer to my first pair (which by the way have become my favorite pair of daily shoes. I can even put up with the duck look (Altras have a larger toe box so they look a tad funny.) Today was my first run with them and so far I love them. The model is Altra One 2.5. Looking forward to the next run with them!

Another impediment to my running has been my damn Garmin watch. I have had it now for 5 years(?) and it does still work but I have had several issues with it. I have a Forerunner 405. I love the data and have become addicted to the stats. A couple months ago a person would not move on a path and despite my hugging the right side I ran into her. My watch flew off and the band had pulled off. Garmins are designed to be able to swap out the bands with different colors(? Are runners really that focussed on how they look? Ha, what am I saying of course we are!) I say designed to swap them out, but I never said easily. Or even remotely possible for that matter. My Garmin is now held together with duct tape, awesome. Around the same time I sent their tech support and email to inquire about editing my runs as I often forget to restart or the power dies or some other issue and I need to add on an extra mile. They responded that I could do it with the new online system and it is true, you can. However the online system doesn’t work that well IMHO and I have trouble getting the watch to sync with the computer which keeps me from seeing my stats. Oddly, the previous run will be there but not the most recent one. I may have figured it out by changing the “force send” setting. We’ll see as I just did that.

Today’s run, first in a month or so, was almost 4.5 miles at a 10:02 pace. It felt really good to run, but I did get pretty pooped and had to will myself to keep going. My feet got a bit sore towards the end of the run and they are a bit achey right now. I attribute this to my lack of running and new shoes (should have done a much shorter first run, but I always ignore that fine advice.) I am looking forward to a solid night’s sleep tonight!

I keep running, if not blogging

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

It has been awhile since I last blogged here. The last post I said something about it being hot. Well its still hot, so it can’t have been that long ago. Today when I ran this morning it was actually really nice out. I got a good sweat on, but I didn’t manage to wreck myself. Sunday, however, was a different story in terms of wreckage. I added an extra mile to my normal (these days 5+ miles) route and felt terrible afterwards. I also didn’t really have enough to eat to support any kind of run, so i am sure that had a lot to do with it. Ok, I also did some yardwork before and after I ran. Oh yeah, and I didn’t sleep well that night. And… Ok that’s enough. The run sucked and that was that. But I made the best on it on Monday and went out again and even pushed away the initial thought of doing a short run to accommodate the previous day’s exhaustion. I am really glad I hit the streets and left that crappy run in the dust where it belonged. I even managed a sub 10 min mile pace (which didn’t happen on Sunday!)

Today was the third run in a row and it felt really good. No signs of the pains of Sunday and I even brushed up against my goal pace of 9:30 (9:31, dang it! Five seconds off!) I was in a really good mood too after have several positive transit experiences (unusual due to my usual curmudgeony running bias!) I had done 30 minutes of qi gong before I ran and then several times I have done that before running I have noticed an improved running experience, both mood-wise and physically speaking. And to top it off I am actually blogging about it!

One interesting/different thing that is going on with me right now is that I have taken a break from medical cannabis. Partly to keep a clearer head while by wife recovers form a minor surgery she just had, but also it has been something I have been thinking about doing. It has been a week now which may not seem like a lot of time, but for someone who had gotten used to enjoying his meds every night it makes a difference. Positives I have noticed: waking up is a bit easier (though not as much as I would have thought), I go to bed earlier (though the cannabis seemed to help me sleep better), I wake up earlier (see go to bed earlier), I read more as opposed to watching tv. Negatives I have noticed: foot pain, cramping and discomforting sensations appear to have increased, bad TV seems really bad, slight rise in general irritation with people (very slight, people often already irritate me!). Overall it has been pretty easy to deal with not having the habit, and I enjoy not having to look forward to medicating (oh, let’s call a spade a spade: getting high. I really hate the concept that it is just “medicating”). Oh another positive raises it head, I can be justified in my disdain for potheads (a big reason I do it by myself and don’t really like socializing)! The lessening foot sensations issue has been a major benefit for me with cannabis and I think it is going to win out, the benefits are too high (ummm, pun intended?) I’ll finish out the week with a clear head (and lungs) and then decide if I want to continue. I am leaning to no.

Sick and quick

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

I am a huge proponent of the concept of listening to your body. If your body says don’t do something you probably shouldn’t. This goes against the nike logic of “just do it” and listening to your body has the potential to keep one from doing what they should and want to do. Our bodies and minds should be the best indicator of whether or not we should or can do something. Our bodies and minds should know better about most things than any doctor, real or googled. If only we’d just listen.

So today I woke up from a crumby night’s sleep after an evening when I overate late with the feeling of a cold’s onset squeezing my head like a dog’s squeaky toy. I hadn’t run yesterday and I didn’t want to start falling into the pattern that I have been of late of missing several days, then weeks, then… in a row. So against my better judgement, with my body saying don’t run and head throbbing from sinus pressure, I geared up and walked out the door to hit the streets. How does this jive with my emphasis on listening to my body? Doesn’t. At all. Obviously the decision to run was a blatant slap in the face of my exercise/health philosophy. But my desire to run had won out. Valid mind and body arguments to take it easy be damned! So I decided to embrace the fool-hardy nature of pushing my body and just go with it. What the hell, a slow sloggy run would at least amount to something good. If I took it easy on my run, then maybe the destruction I would wrought wouldn’t be so bad. I had some good arguments in mind as I took those first initial steps along my route.

The first thing I should say is that it was a beautiful day out. The kind of day that has no place in the Pacific NW in early March. The kind of day that we and the region will be paying for this summer when the droughts hit from no winter rain/snow. But for the moment (and aren’t we all supposed to live in the moment? Who cares if it rocks right now?) So embracing the now and ignoring the future I relished the warmth and soon stripped off my jacket after the first mile or so. My pace at the start of the run felt ok. Nothing great but it certainly didn’t feel “sloggy” (whatever that is?) I took a peak at my watch and it said I was clipping along at 9:15 pace! WTF? I am supposed to feel crappy. Why am I moving so well? I thought it was an anomaly, perhaps brought on by the slight downward slope into East Moreland. Then my first mile past and I got notice from the watch that I had done it at 9:36. Huh? Second mile came through even quicker as I was now embracing my quickness rather than a potential bonk, 9:18. Damn, I was cooking, so I just kept it up. Third mile – 9:18 again. Consistency seemed to now be the word of the day. Great, but my fourth mile was coming up, a normally slower paced portion of my normal route due to some twists and turns, exhaustion and unaware students at reed. All I had to do was keep it up until the hill out of the reed campus and up to Woodstock. I had decided that would walk that as I have been prone to do of late. I hit the hill portion with a few tenths to go before I hit a mile marker to check my pace and what did I see?



After the walk up the hill I just had to crush the final mile. The first portion of it was up hill and the watch said I was on track for an 11 minute mile. While I would certainly come in under 10 (first time in awhile) I really wanted better, so I pushed it. It didn’t take long before my avg pace dipped below 10, then below 9:30. And as I made my way through Woodstock Park and the fifth mile clocked I was at 9:14. Wow. The last quarter mile back to the house dropped me even further overall as I managed a 8:21 pace (didn’t seem like I was trying that hard, I just mostly wanted to get home). Overall for the day, a 2015 PR on 10k(ish) of 48:18 with an avg pace of 9:20.

All I have to say is that today my mind and body listened to me instead of the other way around. I had no idea I was speaking so loudly.

9:22 (need I say more)

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

I guess I could seeing as this is my blog and there is supposed to be more than a entry title. Today I managed to complete my 5+ mile run at a 9:22 avg. This is the fastest I have run my regular route this year, feels pretty darn good. I have been so happy with my running these last several weeks, its pretty encouraging, now to make the tight red shirt look a little better. So far it does fine under my jacket, but today I had to tie the jacket round my waist. Not really a pretty sight! I don’t know that I’ll ever actually get to “pretty” but 15-20 pounds from where I am right now will look a lot better! For me the extra weight I am carrying around makes my speed increase even more impressive (to me). It certainly has been an encouragement.

I am thinking the next challenge I face will be increasing my mileage a bit. The five milers are feeling somewhat easy. Perhaps I should get back to doing a longer lower run like I used to do quite regularly. It would certainly help me increase my miles in terms of a weekly running amount and it could allow me to gracefully and purposely break the string of sub 10s before I do it myself on an exhausted run.

Chilly sub-10

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Funny thing about today’s run was that I have become so focussed on running faster than 10 minute miles that when I felt a bit lethargic this morning the fear of not being able to run under 10s almost kept me home. How freakin’ ridiculous is that? Add on 32 degrees and I am very surprised to be writing in the blog today. But I managed to get myself out the door. Mostly it was a recognition that if I didn’t go now that I might not later in the day despite the promised 20-25 degree increase in temp. If I had sat around I would have eaten lunch and more than likely that would have been it. So in many ways I had no choice but to try for another sub 10 run. Actually I told myself that it really didn’t matter and that I could look past the stats and take the good I would get from a run at any pace. My first mile seemed really slow. I just felt like I was plodding along. But in reality I was right on track and managed a 9:50 or so. Once I realized that the rest of the run fell into place. I had forgotten to take a half an aspirin before the run and I was feeling a little tight in the chest (all in the head I believe) and my lungs were feeling somewhat congesty. But all went well. The run felt like it was a tough one that required a pretty substantial amount of effort and I feel it.

The bottoms of my feet have been feeling angry at me for starting running regularly again. Today I was thinking maybe I should change out my insert especially since they gave me two sets with the shoes, but I don’t think it has been that long since I got the new shoes. I just don’t think the new models of Altras are as comfy as the last ones I had. Story of my life, new and improved is usually anything but.

Picking up the pace

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

I hadn’t intended to be writing about increasing my pace but after my fourth sub 10 minute mile (three days in a row too) run I guess I don’t really have a choice! The first time I was like oh look, 9:50! The second day I surprised myself again. The third day I was efforting the sub 10s and today I pushed through some tired legs and busted out 9:30 over four miles. It is feeling good to see an improvement in my conditioning, now I just need to keep it up which I am feeling like I will. The desire to loose some pounds is too great! Running will be a big part of that, all I really need to add to that (or subtract as the case might be) is stopping eating at night which I have sort of been doing though failure has its way of losing out to the munchies.

Last week I took off from running cause I had that pinched back thing again. This time it didn’t seem too bad (though it still hurts and I am slow in the morning). The first couple of days after it happened I took some pain pills my doc prescribed (vimovo) but then migrated to acetaminophen, but only for a couple of days. I also took advantage of my medical MJ to enjoy/use some indica which also helped out I think.

I don’t think I want o push the pace much more than 9:30. Right now it feels like a good balance of effort and conservative running so I think I will stick to it. Slower will be ok, but faster no, not for now.

Sub 10 min miles becoming the norm

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Today I ran the fifth or sixth sub 10 min mile pace run in a row. I am starting to feel like it is the norm for me and that I need to set another goal for myself. Perhaps I should shoot for 9:45s as a goal instead of the uncannily consistent 9:57 with an occasional 9:56. I have been really surprised at how steady my pace has been, seriously with the exception of a 9:42 all of these runs in the streak have been 9:57 or super close. My run today managed to get completed before the rains returned which despite my love of running in the rain was really nice.

I ordered a new pair of Altras the other day and I was super excited when my new pair of Repetitions arrived. A couple of disappointments some no big deal and others easily repairable. First off I went with the Repetitions as they were a new model that offered up more cushioning (yet still zero drop) something I really want in my current worn out pair of Instincts. When I opened the box I though their bust of been a mistake as I ordered running shoes and not boats. They were huge with a gigantic looking sole. But not a big deal, I don’t really care about looks when it comes to my running shoes. As I said to a friend (who replied I said the same thing to a coworker the other day) Altra really could use some of Nike’s designers on staff. The second disappointment was in addition to the boat-like stature of the shoe they were also huge, like at least a size if not more large. This went against everything I read in peoples comments which generally complained about the new Altras running small. But easily repairable, free returns at Zappos. I only went a half size smaller as I think my pair may have been mistakenly sized at 13 (more like a 15). So my 12.5s should arrive by tomorrow, hopefully they do the trick.

I also need to get some new running shirts. I haven’t bought any new ones since my favorite Brand InSport went out of business. Plus I am feeling cheap and the shoes were more than enough of an expenditure.

After my run I did my normal set of hip stretches and thought to myself that this has really solved the hip issues I was having last fall. I have been pretty consistent about doing them and they have worked well into my regular after run routine. Initially I blamed the issues I was having on the zero-drop shoes and the way my shorter leg (>.5 inch shorter on the right side) was striking. I was greatly disappointed as I really liked the zero-drop running thing and it worked really well with mu mid-strike. I am really glad to have them! I can’t find the page I found these on, but I think I speak of them on another post I did on my hips…