Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Run - B+

Some observations from today's run-

1. A marked change in the effect on me due to hills. Wasn't doing that crazy cheek flapping breathing on the way up and my recovery once I reached the peaks was very quick. Nice.
2. No rum the night before. Hmmm..., connected to #1? Nah!
3. Sue recently said she thought it was really neat that I was sticking with it so long (been a month and change!). This made me think about thoughts that once thought can't be un-thunk. This whole traveling around on a sailboat was something that looked do-able and once we had that thought we just couldn't not do it! Didn't want to live into old age and try to tell people how we really could have sailed to the Caribbean but we jus didn't. No. Similarly, now that I've had the thought to run the 2010 marathon and I've passed all my heart check tests and cannot now un-think it! it's a really nice (and tall!) long range goal. Once past 60 I doubt that I would go for a first marathon but if I make this one AT 60 I may run more. Who knows and only one way to find out!
4. Got to get new shoes!
5. Funny how I felt like I might be able to make it the whole way today including the bitch of a last hill. My mind said keep running but then suddenly my body vetoed that and just started walking. No conscious thought like "think I'll stop now". Weird and probably a good thing!
6. I miss running with music. iPod won't charge but I may look for a 'shuffle' soon.

OK, next run Thursday. Think I'll stick with my hills.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Run

A good little work out today. I ran my usual route (hilly) but added about 200 yards to the end. From there it is long and gradual uphill run for about a quarter or half mile. So I did that and the other uphill parts by sprinting (well, what I call sprinting) at about 3/4 top speed to a mark maybe 50 yards ahead and then walking another 50 or so yards and repeat. Good way to get the hills out of the way and get my legs moving a little more than they do on just my regular (slow) pace. Ran that regular pace on the flats and downhill parts back to the finish. Felt pretty good today. Cooler here today than usual and that helps a LOT!

Next run is Tuesday. Maybe run up that long incline from the turnaround point.

A note on shoes. . . I'm wearing a worn out pair of my son-in-law's that I got more than a year ago. The stuffing is coming out of the insides and the soles feel like I'm running on 1/8 inch thick cardboard. Can't wait to get some new kicks when I hit Chicago in 11 days! I'll probably start snapping of 6 and 7 minutes miles!


Finally, good luck said son-in-law Jason as he finishes up his training for an upcoming half marathon. 1:59 Jason! You can DO it! (Oh, the link is to Leah and Jason's running blog. . . but it's mostly about babies right now!)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lesson Learned

I take (long chemical name in this spot) for high blood pressure. Yesterday, I forgot, semi-on purpose to take the meds. This allowed for an experiment that I've been needing to do which is see what my blood pressure is without the meds. So last night I measured my blood pressure (I have my own device). Nope. Still high - 140/97.

This morning then I took my medication and THEN went out running. Usually I take the medication later in the morning but what's the diff, right. Well, the diff is that these pills are apparently somewhat acidic. Mix that with a cup of joe and some orange juice and I got some nice acid indigestion while running! Ouch! Stopped running after about 10 minutes and then ran/walked for another 30 or so until I got back.

So not a complete waste as I gained some information. I'll keep the experiment going of not taking meds on Wednesday and measuring BP Wednesday night. Trying to remove all salt from my diet and eat lots of fresh meat, fruits and veggies. Some people CAN lower their own blood pressure this way but some can't. So, I'll just keep plugging away and see what I can do. Next run Saturday. Hope that's a better one.

Other thoughts while running/walking. . .

In two weeks we'll be back in Chicago. We are so excited about our return and about being grandparents. I'm trying hard to really enjoy my Caribbean lifestyle, weather, and my boat for these last several days. On that note I am wondering how I take some of this lifestyle back with me or - KISIC -Keeping It Simple In Chicago! What would that be?

1. Time spent down by the water watching the boats. This is what we do whether we like it or not down here and I want to keep at it! Shouldn't be too hard. We'll be living with a view of the Lake and a short walk to the shore and to Belmont Harbor.

2. Reading. Just because we will have a TV in the apartment doesn't mean I have to give up my hours of reading.

3. Enjoying a day. Not filling a day off with a thousand errands but rather just going for a walk in the Chicago neighborhoods.

I can probably add to this list and will do so as things occur to me. That's all for today mon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Made it!

First of all I made passing grade on my stress test. I'm good to go! My parallel goal with this training is to knock down my blood pressure via diet (goodbye Pringles, Gardettos, french fries, canned hash. . . sniff) and the training. Blood pressure is good now WITH the medication. So, doc suggested not taking it on an off day and see what my blood pressure is now. Hopefully I can begin to bring it down and dump the medicine or at least lower the dosage. Stress test was fun. Running on a treadmill with a bunch of wires hanging off of me. Based on age, weight, height, etc. the machine predicts a peak heart rate for me of 161. I reached that after running on the treadmill up 'hill' for a bit. Doc says that as I get more fit it will take longer and longer to reach that heart rate. When I get to the states I think I'll invest in one of those heart monitors. Seeing that increase in time to the peak would be a nice carrot to put in front of me. I need those. Now on to today's run. . .

I made it! Finally got out that at 6 as is my goal. Ran to my far point in 14:45 and completed the course and ran all the way (DAMN hills) in 29:54. Thursday I may just run past my far point as it looks like it stays flat for a long way and run to 30 minutes and then walk/run back. So I guess this all means. . .


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sleeping In

I have to get up! Living on a sailboat in the Caribbean we don't exactly have very tight time schedules. OK, we usually aren't sure what day it is and we never know the date. But now I'm getting serious about running again but running here after the sun get up even a little in the sky is brutal.

So, my run on Saturday was just so so. I have this route that has hills but they all do. I go up a little at the start and then up steeply for a bit. Then up some gradual. Now there's a long down and up, some flat, and one more up followed by a long easy down or flat to my turnaround point which is at about 15 minutes into the run. I made it there ok but pooped out on the first up I came to! Damn. I nearly completed this course the first time I ran it and now it's been about two weeks and I'm stuck! I have to get out here at 6AM and NO LATER. I can only hope that this hill work will serve me well in the future.

Monday is my stress test at the doc's. I've read that the only people who have died from running or training for a marathon are those who had heart problems and didn't know it. So, I've had an EKG (normal) and an ultrasound (creepy - results at the end of the week) and just have the stress test to do Monday. So assuming that I pass all of this I'll feel like I can start to press myself a little harder and maybe drag my sorry ass up those hills whether I like it or not!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Crappy Run

Yes it was a crappy run but not as crappy as it might have been.

It's the rainy season in Grenada and while that makes things nice and green down here and cleans my deck and fills my water tanks it also causes us close the forward hatch and things get a little hot and close in our forward berth. So I tried to sleep in the cockpit (I live on a sailboat if you just got here) on a folding chair. That worked a little but lots of waking and turning. Back to the actual bed later and then I over slept. It's the rainy season but it's also the it's-hot-as-hell-after-about 7AM season. So I overslept.

Up at 6 when I usually try to get running. So I had a quick cup of joe, a toast and some pear slices and headed ashore to put in my run knowing it might not bet the best. The running routes from the dinghy dock are all up hill. Of course. I'm starting at sea level! I've found a fairly flat track but it goes through a bunch of industry and it's not very pretty. A more hilly but nicer route takes me up and toward the airport. Nice blacktop path on the road shoulder.

So, up I went. Didn't feel too bad as I climbed the first couple of hills. I reached the peak of the last hill out bound and headed into the nice long downhill/flat hunk. Then as I neared my farpoint I felt some pressure from the nether regions. This isn't good. I'm far from the boat. I started walking thinking about the Notre Dame victory march . . . " Shake down the thunder. . . ". You get the idea. My body was turning against me in a most uncomfortable way! I considered the woods but having done some rough camping I wasn't really prepared for that endeavour. So I tried walking and then running a little but running doesn't really describe it. More like mincing which is all you can do while squeezing your buttocks together at about 400 psi. Mostly I 'quickwalked' back to the dinghy and threw myself aboard the boat . . . in time.

Today's run was a bust so I may run tomorrow instead. I know what to do before I leave the boat too! Maybe put toilet paper in my hat too!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Here We Go

Here is LeahC. Daughter of Scott. Future mother of Lucy or Jack (we'll know which tomorrow morning if the baby behaves!). I have run the Chicago marathon three times and have taken the last two years off of marathon training because of PhD thesis writing last year and being pregnant this summer. So next summer is my come back year.

My dad said, "Hey Leah, I think I want to run the marathon in 2010".

So I said, "Cool, I'll make you a training plan"

Then I thought...well I'm going to be a few months post partum, and probably won't be down to my fighting weight or speed and so realized that my Dad and I would be at the same pace for training. So I told him that not only does he get a training plan, he gets a training partner!

I have lots of ideas for our training and some goals in mind. It should be fun to run the Chicago marathon with my dad after all those years looking for him as a spectator. I hope I can be inspirational and not too "run your ass off"...thus not being disowned. So here's to a summer of training. Stay tuned for tales from the Chicago streets and trails.

running in Grenada

Well, here I am in Grenada - the southern most island in the Caribbean chain. I live on my sailboat with my wife and cat. Not much sailing right now as we are preparing the boat for living in the boat yard for about 16 months while we go back and work and take care of new grand baby coming in November. So . . .'

Might as well get running again!

I used to run quite a bit. Then I'd stop. Then I'd train again. Went like that for years. Running was always there or just over the horizon. Now that I'm sneaking up on 60 I thought I'd make one more push to do what I've not done yet. Run a marathon. I've been a spectator to several Chicago Marathons watching my daughter and her husband run them. It looks awful. I want to feel awful too!

But, it's like one of those things that you can't unthink. This sailing adventure is like that. We just couldn't un-think the idea that we could sail from Chicago to the Caribbean. You can. We did. Now I think I can run a marathon. I can't un-think it. So I'm starting to train.


No. Slower.

I started by running 5 minutes and then run/walk back. That was about 4 weeks ago. Now I'm running 15 minutes outbound and am nearly running all the way back. it is VERY hilly here which is probably good training but a little frustrating as well. My daughter and I call this 'moving the stick'. One time I began to train while we were in Michigan on vacation. I couldn't run very far but I dropped a stick at my far point. Each day I'd pick up the stick on my way by and drop it further down the road hence - 'moving the stick'. Some days the stick didn't move very far and, OK, some days I just kicked it once and started walking but as long as you try to move it forward a little bit you're distance increases.

But now I'm 59 and haven' run seriously in 4-5 years. I'm going to go in for a heart check soon (medical care is excellent and cheap in Grenada) before I run into trouble. My reading shows that no one dies from running a marathon unless they already had undetected heart problems. So...there. I already have high blood pressure and take some pills for it. I'm hoping that via this training and diet (I'm probably around 195 right now but hope to get down to 180-185 by race time) I can lower my blood pressure naturally and get off the pills. This can be done.

So come back often and see how WE are doing. Daughter, Leah, will be training with me and will also be my coach. She is a master at designing training schedules...but she's tough too!