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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Intensity Vs. Duration For An Old Athlete!

One of the things that you learn from your running as you approach 40 years, is that every age is different. I was reading this book over the last week, and it teaches you some things that you didn't want to learn, along with some things you do. Your 60's are the decade with the greatest performance loss of all of your decades, with an average 31% decline in performance over those ten years. You can't combat this with higher mileage or running more days, but only by including more intensity into your running.....more short intervals, more tempo work, and especially short and long hill work. You need to include this in at least two of your runs per week. Since I live in pancake village,the hills will have to occur on treadmills. Anyway, one of the things that I had really not thought about that was covered extensively in the book was the relationship of intensity vs. duration when you are running the same race distances at substantially slower paces. In my 30's when I ran over 60 5K's in the 17:45 to 18:20 range, I could run them with absolute abandon due to their short duration. Running a 5K now in the 26-28 minute range, I can't run like that, because the event just lasts too long. I would probably need to find a 3K race in order to duplicate that intensity. Similarly, in my 30's, I covered around 25 10K's in the 37-38 minute range. When I now run them in 57-58 minutes, I clearly can tell that I am holding the intensity back and running them like the 15K's and 10 milers I also did in my 30's. Your brain can calculate how hard you can run in anticipation of how long you will be running.....it is an incredible computer, especially when it has almost 40 years of data that allows it to use your breathing intensity and muscle contractions to redline in relation to expected duration. So if I was running against 30's Tom, the only way I could match his intensity is bye running for the same duration....old Tom would just be way the hell further down the road.....
Bride is home and doing dandy. She has surely had a rough three years. I sure hope, that in similar fashion to my last 10 months, she gets a good period of health and comfort over the rest of this year....

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Two Upcoming 10K's!

Last year, my dwarf peach tree produced only 5 good edible peaches. Two years ago, it produced around 50. Kind of like my melon seasons....you just never know. Now depending on weather and wind, I will hopefully get at least an average of the previous two years crops. The picture above is of some of the first flowers forming on the tree......
With my bride suffering from her current maladies, it has been difficult getting all of my workouts in, but I have managed to reasonably keep up. Last sunday, the day after my 5K race, I struggled thru 13 kilometers in an hour and a half to insure a long run two weeks before my first of two 10K's. On tuesday I ran 8K, 5K easy and 3K at around current 5 mile race pace. On thursday I ran a brisk 10K at around 30 seconds per kilometer slower than expected 10K race pace. Yesterday I ran 11K, 9K easy and 2K at the same exact pace as tuesday. Today I will do an easy 8K. Tomorrow I will head back into las cruces after a workout at the gym, and check on my bride. So, all in all, I think I am ready for back to back 10K's. Having a good base over the last 10 months without any injuries has made me feel stronger than at any time in the last three years. The first 10K is a road race in Las Cruces over undulating terrain. Hoping to run somewhere between 57 and 58 minutes. The second 10K is a trail race on narrow paths where there are no age group awards, and the course climbs over a thousand feet up, and then a thousand feet down. Hoping just to get in a good workout, and finish somewhere around an hour.
Still getting some conflicting information about Deb's condition, and she still doesn't seem that much improved for having spent 11 days in two hospitals. When I called her this morning, she said there still isn't any kind of exact time line for when she may be released. They are taking her off intravenous fluids, and she was eating lightly this morning. The only thing I know for sure, is that once she is home and has a chance to get stabilized for a week or so, we need to look at getting her a colonoscopy. No fun there, but something that has to happen......

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Bride Goes Down!

On Wednesday evening, my bride started getting abdominal swelling, pain, and lower back pain. By Thursday morning, she thought she might be suffering from a heart attack, so we rushed her to the ER. After arterial blood tests, cat scans, xrays, and an abdominal ultrasound, they found that her pancreas numbers were way out of whack. Normal amylase numbers are generally in the 200's, and Deb's was 1190. So, they sent her to a regular room, restricted all food and water, and began filling her with all kinds of medicines. She will probably be in the hospital into early next week. Met with a digestive health surgeon, and he said he doesn't believe any kind of surgery is currently warranted. If it doesn't self correct, she could end up with gall bladder surgery. As I jokingly said on facebook, I got out of taking her out for dinner for valentines day!
Got up early to run a race this morning before heading in to see the bride. It was the cupid chase 5K in Las Cruces. There were about 500 folks, and it was a chip timed race. Another dangerous narrow start thru the start chute along car lined narrow streets for about 200 yards, and then a left turn, then a right in another 200 yards, before spreading out for a mile on a long uphill road. As usual, there were all kinds of walkers and folks that sprinted for a quarter mile, and then started walking. Semi tripped and pushed a women into a car, and almost ran over a couple kids. Once on the mile stretch, things smoothed out. Finished in 27:30 for an 8:51 pace. I actually out sprinted a guy to hit the timing pad, and beat him bye one second, but he was in the 50-59 age group. Ended up 2nd of the 60 to not dead age group. Now, I registered late and didn't get a shirt, but the shirts were white if you were "unavailable", and red if you were "available". Sort of a hook up race. My shirt said "sweat more bitch less". Now, I can honestly say, I have never seen so many large women wearing red, pink, or pink camo tights in my life. Not a good look for a hefty gal. Go with black or navy blue. A woman came over after the race and took a picture of my shirt. She said it was for her husband. I told her I got it a leftlane sports on clearance for 11 bucks. She was gonna get it for him for the gym. Anyway, beautiful 66 degree sunny day, with a week ahead that looks pretty nice. Sorry for all my friends in the midwest and the east for your luck......

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Socks, Shoes, Shorts, And Shades!

First shirtless running day of 2015. Weather looks good for two more days, and then another of those damn California fronts moves thru which is supposed to give us 4 days of 50's and potential rains. I am starting to dislike those folks in California for giving this crap too us......
Monday was a gym day. On Tuesday I ran 12K, Wednesday a fast 8K. Thursday I took deb in for her third round of spinal injections and trigger point injections. For three days after, she is instructed to drink lots of caffeine to ward of horrible headaches, BUT to also get plenty of rest. Besides those headaches, she swells all over from the steroids, and gets a nice pink face. On Friday I really ran well, covering 10K at a pace only 19 seconds per kilometer slower than race pace. Today I just did an easy 8K. Tomorrow I will just run whatever my recovery allows.
Have been under a bit of stress this week as I do battle with our home owners association, trying to force a homeowner vote that they keep finding ways to deny me, to allow the homeowners to require the HOA Board to settle this 8 year old lawsuit. This suit, which could have been resolved in 2009 for $28,750, has now spiraled to a total on both sides approaching $150,000. The Board is pushing to spend another $20,000 to appeal for the 4th time, after having been rejected by the New Mexico Supreme Court. I love it when Boards want to work out their personal vendettas against homeowners utilizing homeowners funds. I have provided my best bud "Ernie The Attorney" with a letter I want to present to the HOA Board for their February meeting and have basically asked him if I stated anything in the letter that could get me sued. I am sure he will protect me from myself.
I have the chance to run two more races in February.....a 5K on Saturday Feb 14th, and a 10K on Saturday Feb 28th. If the weather is reasonable and my body continues to hold up, will probably give them a go.....

Monday, February 2, 2015

Humiliated By The New Old!

On Sunday I ran my 2nd Super Sunday 5 mile race. Last year I finished 1st in the 60 to not dead age group. They changed the course by moving the start/finish to the bottom of the road a half mile or so from Centenial high school. The course rolls up and down while it climbs 2 1/2 miles, and then rolls back down. It was very cold, but I felt pretty good. I am a generally poor hill runner, and training somewhere that is pancake flat doesn't help much, but I felt strong all the way thru. I warmed down for an extra mile after the race, and then headed back to the finish area to see the posted results.....There were 4 guys from El Paso that all smoked me. Three of them had just turned 60 since last years race, and the one I finished a half minute behind was 66. I saw them all after the race and had never seen a one of them before. Very humbling experience. I know that as more folks age into the 60-69 year age group, I will start to finish more often out of the money, and since I will probably stop competing in the next year or so, it is o.k. But on a more difficult course than last year, I ran a few seconds faster, so all in all, it was a good performance.....
Technology of late has been driving me insane. Doesn't matter if it is windows, the apple laptop, the iphone, or the two versions of the ipads. Everything you do on each one seems to have some different process than the other. Even the two damned ipads, one a version 2, the other the air 5, have very different ways of accomplishing things. Apple products to me see to have lost some of their intuitive feel as these software systems evolve. Maybe it is just that I am an old fart.....hey kid, get away from my Ipad!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Alternating Weather!

Weather continues to alternate two days at a time.......60's and sunny, and high 30's/low 40's with rain and snow. The ten day forecast remains similar. All part of the ugliest winter in the 7 years we have been here. Storms roll thru southern california, and then cross Tuscon, and start to move north thru New Mexico. Don't know when it will stop.
Ran 12K tuesday and 8K wednesday, but it was just a physical drag. Don't know if it was from the dental procedure diet or just needing to recover from racing on sunday. After hitting the gym yesterday, got in 10K today, with 8K easy and the last 2K at my hoped for race pace for a week from sunday when I do the hilly super sunday 5 mile race. Felt better today. Need to run today thru monday, based on doctor's schedules for Deb and I, as well as tapering into the race.
Finally begining to be able to expand my diet a good bit. Tooth is pretty well settled down, and tongue is about half way healed. Hoping to get back to spicy by a week from sunday, so I can stop at papa murphy's pizza on the way home from the race and get a couple of cook at home pizza's with jalapenos and other hot toppings.
Here is a picture of me crossing the chip pad to record my race finish, and standing with a big loser from some season getting my award. Still am amazed how these people get treated like celebrities for finally taking control of their obesity......

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Dental Procedure Diet!

I said in my New Years blog that I had gained about 5 lbs. over the holidays, and wanted to get that off before spring of 2015. But then I decided to go on the dental procedure diet, and was able to do it in just 10 short days!
On friday morning the 9th, while eating a bowl of special K tree bark, I cracked the molar farthest back on my lower left side. Had to stop chewing, spit out the cereal, and suck down some kefir to finish the meal, and then headed to the gym. When I got home, I did some examination, and could see the damn crack. The dentist had closed at noon, so I left a message and spent the weekend eating soup, yogurt, scrambled eggs, and copious amounts of bourbon. On monday morning I got a call to come in. The dentist took Xrays and said "yup, it's cracked, but I cant tell how deeply for sure until we get in there". So on tuesday morning, I got in, and he began to work on it. Now my mormon dentist to the stars is not the greatest, but then again, this is Deming. It took 6 shots to finally numb the tooth, and he began bye pulling out the broken piece next to an old filling, the filling, and drilled out the tooth. Part way thru the process, he asked me if I was on Cumadin, because there was so much blood. Once he swabbed out the area, he realized that he had sliced the side of my tongue with the burr cutter, and the next thing I know, he was in my mouth with a needle and dissolving thread stitching up my tongue. So when he got to the bottom of the tooth at the gum line, he said that it didn't look like it had cracked below that, so he suggested we do a temporary crown and see if I have any nerve pain or hot or cold sensitivity. When the novocaine wore off, my swollen tongue began to hurt bad. I could not eat anything spicy, acidic, or salty without looking like a hunched over constipated man. Yesterday I went back and got the permanent crown put on, and the tooth seems pretty good, with just a bit of throbbing and tenderness of the tissue around the area. My tongue, on the other hand, is still tender and unhappy with almost any kinds of food that aren't bland. Dentist apologized profusely, and said although your mouth and tongue heal quickly, it will take two weeks for the stitches to dissolve, and probably that long before I can start to eat normally again. So, I already dropped my 5 lbs. and may drop a few more before I can eat normally again!
Had my biggest loser race again this year on Sunday. Weather was cold and windy, but at least clear and sunny. I got in the front of the second paddock this year in hopes of not running over and hurting a walker like last year, but there was still a lot of weaving for the first third of a mile or so. The venue was changed to the field of dreams stadium complex where I have run 7 different 5K races over the past 5 years, and it is to my liking. A bit hilly, but out and back over a mixture of side roads and gravel bike trails. The only problem is that every time I have run it, the course is long, as they somehow can't figure out how to let you finish on a track without including that in the distance. This year was no different. When I came down the side alley into the stadium, My garmin already said 5.01 kilometers, so our spin around 2/3rds of the track added an extra 330 yards or so, or about a minute and a half at the pace I was going. So I went thru the chute in 28:08, even though I was at 26:33 when my garmin said we had run 5K. I was 77th overall of about 850 folks. Oddly, my time was good enough for first over the 7 guys in the 55-59 age category, first over the 5 guys in the 60-64 age group, etc, but I was actually beaten by a guy aged 75 who ran 25:33......so if you take off a minute and a half for him also, that is around 24 minutes flat! Remarkable for someone that age! He must have been in a later one of the 8 paddocks, because I never saw him until he came up to get his award. Tiny little whippet of a fellow......anyway, so when the pictures are available, I will post them. Meanwhile, when you are able to eat something spicy and tasty, think of me.......