Trolled by a skunk, or, a painful 4 miles

I’ve seen better runs in a pair of…well, never mind that.

Mile 1, 0:9:40 pace:  Brutal.  By the time I’m running past the Tubbs house (right next door to me), I know this is going to be a tough one.  I’m slow, achy (left hamstring), and doing about an 11 minute mile.  I just feel so stiff and inflexible.  I know that some of this will pass.  This is the benefit of having run for 12 years.  I know when to keep moving and when to stop (don’t I?)

Mile 2, 0:8:54 pace:  I’ve finally set into a pace and am able to hold a slightly faster mile.  I start to relax and enjoy the scene unfold in front of me.  I had to get up at 5:50 am for this run, because my work (OC Tanner) is taking us to the new movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, this morning, at 8:30.  So it’s darker than normal and I’m reminded that when the winter descends on us in Utah, I’ll be running in the dark almost every morning.  A pre-eminent shiver moves through me.

While taking this all in a rustling on my right side catches my attention.  I have startled a skunk, who is staring me down, daring me to get closer.  By the time I’ve registered the potential threat, I’ve moved past it.

Mile 3, 0:8:33 pace:  It takes me over a few minutes before I can calm down and get over it.  Do I stink?  Is it ok to stop another runner to ask (‘No’ is the correct answer.)  I’m moving better, but I still deal with that hamstring.  I start to wonder if tomorrow’s long run is going to really hurt, or if tomorrow will be a new day, body-wise.  It occurs to me how many times I’ve been surprised by a run.  Like the day after a brutal run, sometimes I feel great.  Other times I might have taken a couple of days off, but the day I go for that first comeback run, I can barely finish three miles.  So I take a leap of faith and decide to complete all for miles (I’m sort of passed this point, but these are the thoughts I think.)

Mile 4, 0:8:40 pace:  Just got to finish this up.  My watch reports that I have plenty of time to get home, shower, dress and head for the train, which will take me almost right to the movie at The Gateway in Salt Lake City.  I try to relax, but man, my hamstring.  My mind diverts for just a moment as Will Ferrel’s voice echoes in my head “HAMBONE!!!”  Not sure why.  I’m tired.  My mind is wandering.

I finally arrive home and sneak in the house.  It’s barely 6:40 am and I know that everyone’s asleep.  My day has just begun, but at least I’ve got a decent 17 miles for the week.  Tomorrow will determine what my total week’s mileage comes to.  I’m sure I’ll hit my goal of 25.

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Provo River Trail cleanup

Sometimes, as a scoutmaster, I have no idea how  to keep a group of 12-13 year old boys busy for an hour and a half.  Make them mow my lawn?  Drop them off at an arcade and wait outside?  Answer:  “Yes” and “yes”.

But yesterday afternoon, in a flash of brilliance, I realized that I had minions at my disposal.  So off we went to the Provo River Trail to pick up trash.  We walked from the Geneva/Center Street corner of the PRT, toward the lake (west).  We picked up all manner of junk.

My faith in humanity was destroyed as I saw cans, bottles, wrappers, a pair of pants (a pair of pants?).  Then it was restored as I watched my boys pick up this crap and haul it off of the trail.  They were happy to do it.  I didn’t hear one word of complaint.  These are good kids.

So now, when I go for a run tomorrow, there will be a one mile stretch of road that will be clean.

Next week we’ll see about two miles of clean trail.

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I’m a walking phonebooth at mile 2.3

20140730-095508-35708169.jpg

My awesome toe socks. Vibram might be going down, but these socks work great for keeping my toes from blistering up.

Sort of a weird run.  We’ll get to that in a minute.

Mile 1, 0:9:07 pace:  Started off a bit faster than I did yesterday.  I didn’t do this conscientiously.  I just felt good enough to run a bit faster.  The weather has been overcast, so maybe I was just in a good mood.  I just felt strong and good.  My hamstrings (both) were immediately aware that I was running.

Mile 2, 0:8:43 pace:  I have already settled into a good pace, by now.  I’m feeling strong, my breathing is even and I notice that the river is just not so pleasant to look at, these days, because it’s low.  Green, slimy stuff has taken over.  We really need more water this coming year.  Pray for snow pack.

Mile 3, 0:8:30 pace:  I feel great (sans hammies) and push just a bit, only because it feels good to.  Here’s where the run gets weird.  A guy stops me at the end of the trail, right before I can turn to head to the park for my turnaround.  Asks if he can borrow my phone.  I hesitate but relent, because…I vote democratic, sometimes?  Because I’m LDS and want to be charitable?  Because, it turns out, I’m a pushover.  He chit-chats about nothing for almost FOUR minutes, while I plan his imminent demise.  There’s no one around and if I hang up his call first, there will be no witnesses.  I’d push him into the river, but it’s too low to really accomplish my goal, so instead I stand there like an idiot, while I hear short phrases like:

“…Provo” (Is he saying where he is?)
“…Nelson” (Surely this has nothing to do with me.)

and finally

“…a runner…I…I gotta go.”

He spent most of his time just listening to the other end of the convo.  I couldn’t help but notice that what little I could hear on the other end of the phone matched his voice.  His dad?  A brother?  No idea.  Hopefully not someone so dimwitted as to stop a runner for a non-emergency.  The next time this happens, I’ll ask “Is this an emergency?”

Mile 4, 0:8:25:  After I got my phone back, I slipped it back on my waist and started running.  Too fast.  I was a bit angry and felt that I’d missed time (I hadn’t, because I’d at least stopped my watch for this non-essential reunion, which I’d facilitated).  So I look down at my watch and I’m at 0:7:40.  No good.  Too fast for a recovery.  Out loud I admonish myself, “Slow down, slow down…”  I click off this mile, still trying to figure out why I handed my phone to this guy.

Mile 5, 0:8:23:  My hamstrings are somewhat hurting, so I make the decision to skip a run on Thursday.  Maybe a short run on Friday and a long on Saturday.  Who knows.  I change my mind so easily that it makes it hard to plan.  I arrive home, where Roxie gives me a big, long hug and I’m ready to start my day.

5 miles, 0:43:21, 0:8:37 avg pace.  0:46:57 if you count phone call time.

 

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Four miles on the PRT, two hamstring issues?

Today I started off at a 0:10:00 pace.  Nice and slow.  All the way down 2770 (1/2 mile), then sped up a bit.

Miles 2-3:  Ran pretty comfortably, but noticed that, with each mile I was gaining some speed.

Miles 3-4:  Ran well and finished a 1/2 mile very fast (0:7:30).

Both Hamstrings have some soreness.

I think the next run needs to be hills or very slow four miles.

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Converting MapMyFitness to Strava

http://www.mikepalumbo.com/2014/06/24/mmr-converter-update

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4 miles, slow, fast, hamstring

Started off with a slow 1/2 mile down my street.  As soon as I hit the PRT, I picked things up to an 0:8:00 pace, which I was able to keep for about a mile.  Then my calves just wore out and I had to walk.

Miles 2.5-3.5:  Run walk run walk, etc.  A little rough.

Miles 3.5-4:  Something funny happened here.  My calves relaxed and I picked.  Up.  The.  Pace.  Ran a 0:6:45 pace (somewhat comfortably, even) the rest of the way home.  Felt very strong and surprised myself.  I think that if I tried, I could run a 0:6:00 minute mile.

After the run:  No time to stretch or do my usual routine, since I had a meeting at 9 am, in SLC.  Sprinted through the shower, said goodbye to my family, drive to the station and was 10 minutes early for Frontrunner.  Stretched on the platform, while waiting, until I noticed that a guy was praying? facing east.  I stopped stretching, just in case someone thought I was praying east, also.

I’m 39 and apparently I care very much about what people think about me.

Encounters:  Saw Guy Randle, who looked very strong when we ran by each other.  Saw the girls with their dogs, down by the river, with some ducks.  A man with a baby stroller was gaining on me during this run, which was embarrassing.

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12 miles on the Provo River Parkway, 1:47:31, 0:8:57 pace

Miles 1-3:  Not a problem.  Ran up the Provo River trail until I hit mile three and then turned around.  A dog barked at me (this dog and I have been acquainted for years) as I crossed the far side of his property.  I actually said, out loud, “You’re too late this time, dog.”

Miles 4-6:  Still felt good.  Felt a little stress in my left knee (ITB), but it never materialized into anything significant.  Pace was good; kept at a 0:8:45 for most of it.

Miles 7-9:  When I got to my house (halfway point), I stopped to use the bathroom (stopped my watch to do this) and ate some grapes Wendy’d left on the front stairs.  Drank the accompanying water and headed off toward the lake.  Felt pretty darn good.  By the time I’d entered the park, I knew my reserves were running down.  No matter.  I stayed positive and tried to keep my 0:8:45 pace.

Miles 10-12:  Starting to wear down.  Running back from the lake, I kept trying to pretend that I was on a normal, five mile run, since this is part of my course.  It was difficult, but I managed to keep my pace down in the low eights.  Legs are feeling hammered, but I make it home and immediately walk to the park for an 8 minute cool-down.  Which is probably not enough, but more than I normally do.

When I get home, I pour an ice bath and ease in.  Staying with the theme of “not enough”, it’s probably not cold enough.  But more than I normally do.  Light stretching and we’ll see how I recover, today.

12 mile run

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Timpanogos Foot & Ankle 10k

Two weeks ago I ran a 10k with Lee and Jeff.  That’s about it, though.  I keep running 1/2 and full marathons, but not much else.

So when I realized that I might want to race a 10k, I had to hurry, in order to do so online.  Otherwise I’d be stuck waking up REALLY early to go and register, then race on Thursday morning.

It’s rare to race on a weekday, but when it’s a holiday, I get to do such unusual things.  So yesterday morning, I woke up and headed up to Charleston, Utah, eating only a handful of grapes and drinking some Propel.  I was unsure of this nourishment, but it was all I could scramble at the time.

When I got out of my truck, I realized this was going to be a small race.  They combined the 5k and 10k start, which normally is a disaster in larger races.  But because there were only a combined 145 racers, this was totally viable.  I see my swimmer-friend, Josh Green, who’s company is doing the timing for this race.  We chat for a bit, but I let him go back to work, because he’s got a lot to do.  After a small boy scout troop led us in the pledge of allegiance, a the race director gave us short instructions (10k- follow the yellow arrows; 5k- follow the green arrows).  Then a large gunshot and we are off.

Trying to hang on to my race etiquette, but also get as far to the front of the pack as I could, I weaved around runners and made my way to the front third of the pack and waited for the inevitable thinning.

Mile 1:  0:7:54.  Felt great.  I had jogged a 1/2 mile on the road before this race, so I was a little warmed up.  My confidence was decent and I fell into a good pace for how many people I was running around.

Mile 2:  0:7:43.  Still feeling good.  I am able to pick it up a bit as the crowd thins.  It’s cool enough, so I skip the first water station.  I know I’ll need it later, but don’t want to cost the time unless I have to.  I thank a police officer for manning a street corner.

Mile 3:  0:7:48.  I’m steady.  I know I feel good, but also know that from experience, if I don’t slow down, I’ll burn up too quickly.  I decide I don’t care- I’m going for broke.  I keep my speed and pay no attention to the warning lights on the dash.  I realize I’m taking a chance, here.  I have a short conversation with a UVU hockey player, who tells me that he just played a game, last night.  He’s still tired from the game, so he’s not sure how he’ll do.  Eventually he drops back and I move on.

Mile 4:  0:8:10.  There is a slight uphill, which is almost indiscernable, except that my quads feel it a bit and my watch confirms the slowdown.  My watch reaches 0:8:15 for a bit and I realize I have some work to do once things even out.  I notice that I’ve been following a man and woman, who are about 100 yards in front of me, but I can’t catch them.  I can’t help but notice that the woman’s right foot comes out a bit when she runs.  It just flips out to the right, then comes back in.  Her left foot doesn’t do this.  Because we were instructed to run around a barn (and property) loop twice, I come up on that same water station, but this time relent.  However, I spend about 40 seconds drinking (way too much) and lose valuable time.

Mile 5:  0:7:44.  Finally a bit of flat and downhill (slight) again.  I use it and realize that my lungs are breathing hard.  I wonder if I can sustain this.  I think positively, that if things go well, I’ll be done with this race in just over 14 minutes (I am thinking clearly enough that I can calculate a bit in my head- unusual for me in a race).  I try to relax and think positive thoughts.  I do not let up on my pace, even though there is slight IT band pain on my left knee’s outside.  The man that I mentioned, earlier, finally slows down and I’m able to pass him.  Honestly, both he and the woman had looked so strong, that I wondered how much faster they’d cross the finish line before me.

Mile 6:  0:7:21.  I make a conscious effort to pick up my speed slightly and just trust that the end is coming up.  My watch tells me that I have less than a mile to go, but I see that runners are turning a corner up ahead, which means I can’t see the finish.  Normally I find this very discouraging, but this time I make sure to trust my watch, that this thing is almost over.  I’m pretty tired, uncomfortable and feel like I’m going to burst.  I do not let up.  I pass the girl who’s been leading my small group and feel great about this.  She has been tough.

Mile 6.1:  0:6:46.  Once I realize that I’m not in danger of being passed for the rest of this race (I did mention that it’s a small race, right?), I concentrate on a strong finish.  I run under the finish line banner and Josh compliments me as I come through.  This has been a great race and for the first time in years, I wonder if I’ve placed in my age group.

And it turns out I have:  8th overall in the 10k, 3rd in the 18-39 age group.  There were 35 of us.  I’m very happy about this.  I drive home, satisfied in my accomplishment and ready to spend Utah’s Pioneer Day Holiday with my family.

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I will never have to listen to The Pretender, by the Foo Fighters, again

There have been too many times that, while I’m in my truck, I have to listen to the Foo Fighters.

It usually happens when I make an outgoing phone call.  I’ll barely get someone on the other end of the line, when suddenly The Pretender starts playing.  Loudly.  The other end of the phone call can’t hear this, but when I’m using my truck’s Bluetooth, it blasts the other party’s voice, plus this one song, all at the same time.  It’s incredibly annoying.

My solution:  Remove the one song I have left in my iPhones Music app.  It didn’t show up in iTunes on my computer.  But it sure has heck couldn’t be removed from the phone, from the phone, if that makes sense.

Found an article online that suggested repurchasing the song, adding it to the phone, THEN removing it from iTunes and re-synching.

I did this.  Now, over a year later into my truck ownership, that stupid song is gone.  I used to thing it was a decent song.  Now I hate it.

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A nice, fast run with Ryan Wilson

This morning my intention was to run 3 miles, very slow.  Last night I signed up (spontaneously) for a 10k in Charleston, near Deer Creek, which is tomorrow.  So I didn’t want to waste my energy.

But within seconds of starting off (maybe even before I left my property) I saw Ryan Wilson, running south on 2770 West.  He was running at a comfortable pace, so I fell in after him.  I never really caught up to him, but I stayed close as we ran a 0:9:00 minute pace down the road.

When we turned west and headed toward the Provo River Trail, he picked up his pace.  Could he see me?  I had no idea.  I thought that surely he’d hear my heavy breathing and either go a different direction, or just take off and leave me in the dust.  He didn’t.  It turned out he had earphones in, so he was oblivious to my pace or anything else I was doing.

He picked up his pace to an 0:8:00 minute mile, so I followed suit.  But soon we were running a 0:7:30 pace, so I did my best to hang on.  Which I did.  Until I hit the mile and a half mark.  Relieved, I turned around and headed back, letting Ryan go and finish up a four mile run.

I made it back in 24:13, for an 0:8:03 pace.  Not bad, considering we started off at a 0:9:00 minute pace.  I walked over to the park and got a drink of water, then slowly ambled back toward my house, just in time to see Ryan finishing up.  He came over to me and asked me if I was the red shirt he saw out there.  I told him I was and that I’d been chasing him until my turnaround point.

We chatted and I found out that he’s racing in the Speedy Spaniard (he’s from Spanish Fork) tomorrow.  We chatted for a bit, shook hands and then we were off to start our individual Wednesdays.

This was a good run.  I clearly ran faster than normal (thanks, Ryan!), but feel good and energized.  We’ll see, tomorrow, if I went too fast, today.

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