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Dave

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Everything posted by Dave

  1. Dave

    Odds and ends

    Slowly adding miles in. 5 yesterday that went pretty well. Switched to morning runs because it's been in the 90s. The catch with morning runs for me is the bowel processes that never seem to decide what they're going to do until half way through my runs. Code Abby! But, I'm running and except for the first mile that seems to take more of to get into the flow than it does in the afternoon, my normal paces have returned. Was even flirting with sub-8 yesterday before I had to stop abruptly to make sure there wasn't a mess to leave on the sidewalk. Ew. For the present, I'm content with just building up until I can do some double digits again. After that, we'll see what the landscape looks like for the new racing normal. I got an email for an Independence Day 5K that had a wide start window for everyone to distance. It was only $20, too. But it was also over an hour's drive and I'm not feeling up to racing yet anyway. I didn't feel the need for the admittedly minimal expense or the 2-plus hours in a car on Saturday morning. Instead, I decided (after my 5) to touch up the fence. There are a few pickets that could be replaced and maybe some fresh paint. Sadly, Home Depot had different sized pickets than they did when I built the fence. Hoping they were just out of them. So, I've been meaning to put something permanent around the peonies on the north side of the house. Peonies seem to have bloom too heavy for their stalks, so once they get near the flower stage, they fall over and look sickly. Every year I've just wrapped some twine around them and anchored it to the fence and that holds them up reasonably well. I had several pieces of the old pickets in the garage left over from original fence building (10 years ago). I cut a bunch of them down to 12 inches and made a matching mini fence for the flowers. This will both square off the area and support the plants. Since I used the same material as the main fence, from the street it will look like the flowers are sort of popping up from the middle of the fence. And when there flowers are gone, it will look like part of the fence. Cut the rest of the dead branches from the cherry tree in the back. I do this all by hand with a bow saw. It's basically the only cross training I ever do. Works up quite a sweat and my arms get really tired. I cut the larger pieces into firewood for an emergency. Normally, we never use our fireplace because I hate cleaning up after. But you never know when the power might go out some cold winter. Anyway, I was down to the last few pieces - the largest - when my neighbor asked if I wanted to borrow his sawzall. At first I begged off because of my cross training regimen, then accepted and turned what was going to be another hour of sweat into 5 minutes of noise. Headed to Denver this coming weekend for a mini vaca. T-Rex wants to see her BF and we just want to get away. The kids haven't seen each other in person since Christmas because school's been closed. I'll try to get a couple of runs in.
  2. Dave

    the new thing

    Mrs. Dave (cardiac nurse) had all kinds of questions about this. Mostly, you need to get through the testing phase to see what's really happening. Best of luck.
  3. Dave

    Joyful June

    Your dad's hair! We all know I'm the worst at XT, so when I come back, it's a always a long, slow process. You're the best at it, obviously. An eliptigo around here would be a dangerous idea, but they look sort of fun. My only experience with beets was with a pickled variety that my mom made when I was about 8 years old. I seriously gagged because they were horrible. My dad (old school military) tried to force me to finish them, but I couldn't do it. Even today the trauma makes me refuse to even try again.
  4. Dave

    Seems so slow.

    I could also title this "I seem so slow." Coming back from a layoff is painfully slow. On the plus side, this is not an injury layoff, so there are no phantom pains and the ever present fear of re-injury that comes with those. My hip - was that a twinge in my hip? Did my hamstring just pull again? I could keep this list going for a while. Happily, nope. None of that. Just slow, plodding, one foot in front of the other re-building the old leg and heart and lung muscles so I can call myself a runner again. So I can leave the thoughts of how to turn in my IRUN26.2 vanity license plate since I can't run marathons anymore. Double digits seem like a long ways out from where I sit today. And where do I sit today? At the dining room table, which is my office since the middle of March. My latest puzzle, a 2,000 piece of Van Gogh's Starry Night lays on the other side of my TV screen/computer monitor. I'll leave it there for a couple of days as a tribute to the 49 hours I spent putting it together over the last two weeks. Officially started running again two weeks ago, on the 12th of June. That was a 2-1/4 mile, 9 and a half minute pace struggle. But better than the run before that, when I was still a walking covid-19 case. (2 miles at 10 and a half). Nice to breathe normally for the first time in a couple of months. Since then, I've kept it to 2 miles except for last Saturday and Monday, when I did 3. Have to remember how long it takes to get back everything I've lost. I'm encouraged by how the paces are improving, getting back into the neighborhood where 9 minutes is an easy run. Monday's 3 featured two good splits - 8:40 and 8:30. I've done a few morning runs, thanks to the short mileage and my old man's inability to sleep much past 5:00 am, in addition to my daily work commute being the 12 feet from the kitchen to the dining room. More than enough time to do a couple of miles, cool off and shower before heading to the office. The advice to new runners is always to expect 6-8 weeks before you feel the benefits of running and things start to feel good. Same with runners who are just out of shape. I've done this many, many times and will likely do so again. I'm also fortunate that I hadn't signed up or even planned on any races this year, except the one marathon in May. The way things look around the country, fall will probably be a zero in the race calendar and next spring isn't a sure bet, either. I expect that virtual racing will be the norm for some time to come. What will that do for my 50-state quest? If all races become virtual, do I register for one in each of my states and run from home? I think I need to actually run IN the state for it to count. So then do I register, travel to anywhere in that state and count it? For example, would I sign up for Chicago and run a virtual marathon in Joliet? I imagine someone (several someone's) will find a way to survive and thrive in the marathon making business even with the realities of the post-covid world. Stay healthy, my friends.
  5. Dave

    Disappearing - EDIT

    Sort of a magic trick, I guess. Last blog post was April 28, reporting on Dave's Double Dog Dare Distance Covid-19.3 Challenge. That was a tough couple of races. Hamstring in the early miles of the 10K, then a wall smack late in the pikermi the next day. I took three days off, then figured to run another month of good miles before doing a triple for the May Covid-19 races. On Wednesday, I ran tried to run an easy 4 miles up to the Home Depot. It was a pretty crappy run, despite the near perfect weather. Normally on the back half of the HD route I run 30-60 seconds faster than the first part. That day it was barely even and I felt AWFUL. So, I supposed the weekend took more out of me than I thought. This made no sense to me, because through April I'd kept up pretty close to my original marathon training plan, thinking at the time that my late May race might still happen. But, fine, I'll take another couple of days and then do some easy runs. Saturday, I got a mile out at 10:30 pace and walked home. Rested Sunday, then went for a couple on Monday. Better, finishing over 2 miles at 9-ish, but this was not what I was used to, even on a bad day. More rest? I ran another few days, a couple of miles each at the same pace. And felt no better. Took a week and a half off. For the May Covid-19 races, I did a 5K and felt pretty accomplished to finish under 30 (28:47). This included a MONSTER kick at 8:50 pace. Of course you're thinking the same thing I'd been thinking for most of this time. Did I have Covid-19? Mrs. Dave had tested positive for C-19 antibodies, so she had had it at one point (her only symptom was loss of taste and smell). Obviously, she had brought some of the little menaces home from the hospital at least once since the whole mess started back in March. Surely I'd been exposed. But testing was still on a "need to know" basis, and my symptoms were pretty mild compared to many. Mild headache all day, every single day, and I rarely have headaches. A little tightness in the chest. I wouldn't say I had breathing difficulty, but my short little runs would have me sucking wind more than normal, despite the slow pace. And there was this lethargy, a deadness in my legs (only) when I tried to run. No fever. I FaceTimed with my doc after those first two weeks, asking if I should get tested. He said it was up to me, but he didn't think so. I had something, but it probably wasn't C-19. I'd be fine in a couple of weeks. So, I stayed home even more than the Governor (and my new girlfriend), Big Gretch, advised. And waited for the 2-3 weeks that this thing (if that's what it was) was supposed to need to take its course when I'd be as good as new, well-rested and ready to start putting in some miles again. Except 2-3 weeks stretched into 4, then 5. They finally extended testing to anyone who wanted, and I went last Sunday. Just in case, I isolated from the girls until the results came in, which they did last night. Negative. Did I have it early and now it's no longer active? Possible, but why then am I still having these symptoms? My last run was on the 30th. A slow, difficult 2 miles. Still the headache. Still the tightness in my chest. Planning to go for serology this afternoon to see if I have developed antibodies. Between that and my upcoming doc visit, I'm 2 weeks out from knowing anything more. EDIT - Visit to urgent care yesterday for serology. So that's in process. But, as I was reviewing my symptoms (granted, I was playing it up a little bit to make sure they approved my request for serology), the "tightness in my chest" phrase was a trigger. The NP immediately ordered a chest x-ray while she asked me a bunch more questions that pointed to heart trouble. The heart attack line didn't go anywhere, but the x-ray showed the real problem (still to be confirmed by a radiologist) - pneumonia. Well, well, well. Light at the end of the tunnel now, anyway. In the past I've always kept writing even when I wasn't running, but this time I haven't felt like it much. Fixed the kitchen and dining room chairs. Most of them had legs or spindles that had loosened or broken over time. I have done some good puzzles in the last few weeks. I like a challenge, so I do 2000 piece ones. That's about as large as my dining room table has space for and takes 40+ hours of work to complete. Lately, that's only about a week's worth, since I'm not running or going anywhere. Good hobby for the Time of Covid.
  6. Dave

    Five Days a Week

    I've always preferred 6 days running per week. It's the best grounding habit I ever developed and keeps me from looking back on any day thinking I've accomplished nothing because there was always a run. Right now I only have hard jigsaw puzzles and the occasional car repair.
  7. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn is the only match we have this month. Found a ho-hum movie of it on Amazon a couple of months ago starring Charlize Theron. She seemed much too old for the part. Fun riding adventures, and congrats on becoming a bicycle mechanic.
  8. I admire your dedication to all the XT (I'm the worst) and study of the mechanics. That should keep you running long term. Best of luck.
  9. This is certainly the roughest patch we've seen in our lifetimes. Praying we can all get through it. Those daily runs sure help.
  10. Dave

    Spring is Here !!!!

    Stoopid hip. And what's the deal with getting old, anyway?
  11. I like that shirt. A lot. Way to attack those hills.
  12. Dave

    A Change of Plans

    Thank you for crossing out "unprecedented." I know it's technically correct, given the circumstances, but I'm a little tired of the repetition by now. We get it, news media and ad agencies. Congrats on upping your mileage (since that's what we're all talking about here).
  13. BTW, of all the things in CO, I miss Long's Peak the most.
  14. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn is the only one on your list I've read. Liked it much better than I thought I would. This has been such a weird "injury" - coming out of seemingly nowhere and sidelining you for so long. Suppose you couldn't have picked a better time, since everything is cancelled anyway.
  15. Dave

    Don't Drink and Blog

    Kale salad does nothing to love handles. Nothing can cure love handles. This is a battle you cannot win. Once you have them, you have them. Forever. In the afterlife you're going to have love handles. The lesson? Don't eat kale salad.
  16. By my count, that's over 9 miles for a 5k challenge. Yowza. IDK, positive messaging is important, whatever the source. And what's the alternative? Nothing? "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."? I spent a good numbers of years on the other side of the poverty line, and it makes a difference there, too.
  17. It's good you took that bag. The YP were just going to go into the recycling and the bag complicates the process. But, OMG, that's a brutal weekend schedule just to participate fully in the DDDDDCC. You did that AND the other challenges. Not sure that's what the committee had in mind when we came up with the various ideas for April. Anyway, I think you win OA BA.
  18. Dave

    virtual 5k and some more

    We've got one of those blacktop tracks in town next to the rec center, where there used to be a high school. Think they did it because there's zero upkeep required. I've seen people jogging on it, but there's a couple of schools with better surfaces closer to me so I won't. I've seen Garmin do the wonky diagonal before (once during a marathon) but not Strava. Interesting. And I also find the miles keep getting harder. Not happy about that at all.
  19. Dave

    Racing in a Costume

    No skydiving? Tyranny!
  20. Dave

    Double dog

    Sounds like a win to me. You should get that foot looked at as soon as you can, though.
  21. I forgot to age grade my 10K. 40:42. Without Sammy, that would have been a fine effort.
  22. Like all my routes, I've run up that hill a ton of times. It really only feels tough the last 50 yards or so from the top.
  23. It’s been two weeks since my last entry. That’s longer than normal for me. One would think with the lockdown since mid-March, I’d have more time to be writing. Although, if I’m not doing anything, there’s not much to write about. I’m not a deep thinker. But I did run a 10K yesterday, as part of the Loop’s Covid-19 series of virtual races, so I should put that down. Last month I ran a half marathon, since I was about half way through my training for what was going to be the Sugarloaf Marathon in May. Lost my mojo for marathon training after that, so I haven’t been putting in the mileage for more than a half, but I’ve kept up speed work for the most part and I wanted to do something a little more exciting for April, so I proposed Dave’s Double Dog Dare Distance Covid-19.3 Challenge, with a 10K and a half marathon on back to back days (the “.3” was added by my friend, Bangle – get it?). Haven’t doubled up on races since college, so this was new. Did something else I haven’t done in I don’t know how long, and that’s taper for a race that wasn’t a marathon. I ran 6 miles on Monday, with 4 tempo (7:30-7:54 – not super happy with the slower last mile). Tuesday was an easy 6, running past a local middle school. The parking lot was packed! No idea where all those cars came from or what so many people were doing at the same place. Had to have been 50+ cars. Wednesday was my first farlek in I don’t know how long, either. A real fartlek. No plan, no specific distances or times; just running fast or slow for however long I felt like for 5 miles. Then I rested on Thursday. So, the 10K. Wasn’t particularly interested in getting any hills or not. Just stayed in my traditional directional rotation and headed up to the north and west for 3.1, then back. There’s no loop that would give me 6.2 miles in this direction. There was 126 feet of elevation on the way out, all slow and steady, which I got back on the way home. Jogged out a half mile to the park entrance and started from there. The first mile felt a little ragged, and it took my a little to get the pace where I wanted (just under 8:00). My plan was to stay there for the out and see if the gradual descent on the way back would give me some juice to finish strong. It was a nicer day than most of this week has been. Temps in the mid-50s but finally a day with not much wind. It’s been 15-25 mph the last couple of weeks. Just past mile 1 (looking back at the Garmin data), I felt Sammy the Hammy making a little tug. Are you kidding me? I hitched for a few strides, then jogged for about a 10th of a mile, deciding whether I was going to even be able to do the full 6.2, albeit at a decidedly slower pace, or if Sammy was going to shut up and let me race. I slowly built back up to 8:00 pace for about a quarter before dropping off again. There were two young women on the other side of the street who had started a run from the rec center when I made my first turn onto Eight Mile; of course I wanted to look impressive on my side, but Sammy wasn’t having much of that. I did manage to regain my 8:00-ish pace over the next half mile. Maybe. Mile 2 was 8:23 (paces ranged from 8:00 to 9:15). Maybe not. Sammy and I made another half mile before he gave me more trouble. Slowed from 8:00 to almost 10:00, and it wasn’t getting any better. So I stopped for a minute, and gave him a long, slow stretch. Technically illegal to pause the Garmin, but, as the RD, I gave myself a pass (feel free to give yourself one if you need it). After that he seemed to settle down enough for me to finish getting to the turnaround, which was also the top of the climb, where I hoped gravity would help me out at least a little. Mile 3 – 9:03. 126 feet over 3 miles isn’t very steep, but it was just what Sammy needed apparently. He didn’t shut up completely, but he also didn’t scream all the way home. Once I got back into a rhythm, I was able to get back to and under 8:00, then hold it. Mile 4-6 – 7:57, 7:44, 7:47. And the final push (although it wasn’t much of a push, really) at 7:25, for a final time of 50:26. That’s an average of 8:07. Not quite what I was going for, but decent. Assuming I’d have been able to run the whole way without the hamstring issue, I estimate I could have finished sub-49:00. Perhaps another day, when I don’t run with a whiney hamstring. Also, there’s a new blister on my toe, which I haven’t had issues with the Hokas before. That’s annoying. Anyway, some ice for the evening and some heat Saturday morning, hoping to have a go at 13.1 that afternoon. I felt better on Saturday than I expected. As for Sammy, it was behind the opposite knee that was bothering me. Just another of those old guy aches and pains, I figured. If the hamstring was good, then I figured the rest of me would be. So, about 2:30 PM I suited up and ran a half marathon. I was disappointed in the first mile, which was 9:16, but only because I really thought I was moving better than that. Since the goal was 8:30s, I spent the next half mile trying to calculate how much faster than 8:30 I needed to go the rest of the way to get there. 4-5 seconds per mile was what I thought, to make up for the 45 seconds I’d lost. And, since I’d decided to run the Meadowbrook Hobo Camp route, I was going to need to do it on a net uphill in the first 7 miles. Miles 2 & 3 were both 8:28. Not quite but close enough, given the elevation, getting behind Target and then the hill between Eight and Nine Mile on the bike path. I rarely see anyone on the bike path when I run on it, but today there was about a dozen riders on the nine miles I was there (miles 1-1/2 to 11-1/2). Some were friendly, some not. No other runners, though. The weather was about perfect. 53o and a moderate, cool wind from the NE. Mile 4 had a steepest, longest hill of the day. 8:41. Like Friday, I wasn’t feeling great, but good enough to at least give it a solid effort. I was still somewhat confident I could go faster on the second half. (Spoiler alert: I couldn’t). From 5 to the half way point, it was either flat or only slightly uphill, so I kept the pressure on and did OK, running 8:23 and 8:25 before losing some steam right before the turnaround. The few times I come up this way I still expect to see signs of someone camping out beside the trail but it’s pretty abandoned now. Guess the local sheriff keeps a close eye on the area. The old Garmin sight used to let me see my cumulative time anywhere along a run. Sad it doesn’t anymore. I couldn’t tell you where I was exactly when I turned around. I do know it was almost a half mile later when I remembered that I had a Hammer gel in my pocket. I certainly needed it, because I was starting to flag. Not a good sign for just over half way. But it was going to be mostly downhill, right? Mile 7 was 9:15. More time to make up. So, I pushed the next mile (8:20), but it was a losing battle. Miles 9 and 10 were 8:30 and 8:31. And the tank was pretty much empty at that point. Mile 11 was 9:20. It included the last hill – the only significant one of the second half and I was completely toasted. 8:52 and 9:04, with a :51 second finish (8:19 pace). Kind of disappointed. But, you’ll notice I didn’t mention anything about Sammy the Hammy or his whiney little brother, Louie. I thought there was going to be a problem at 11, after a quick stop at a traffic light, but I guess I was going slow enough by that point it was not a trigger for either one. Final time – 1:54:24. 8:44 average pace per mile. Two minutes slower than March’s Covid-19 half, which had just a little less elevation to the Phoenix Lake route. Granted, there wasn’t a hard 10K the day before and Sammy was on vacation in the Bahamas. Bangle said I could use an age calculator for our head to head match up. Plugging my geezer-age into the boxes gives me a 1:32:44 (RW & USATF), or a 1:31:41 (mastersathletics.net). Either of those sound a lot better. I’m going to need a day or two or five to recover from this weekend. I seem to recall mentioning that I just haven’t been feeling 100% this spring. Not too much, though, because it only seems logical that the next step for May’s Covid-19 races is to do a triple. 5K-10K-HM over Memorial Day weekend. Anyone?
  24. Dave

    not running much..

    I see more people out on my runs than usual, but I don't have to do much swerving. Michiganders aren't nearly as physically active as Coloradans. And, like Run2BFit, the cool spring has helped keep the riff-raff off the streets. WFH has been smooth for me as well, so we're pretty blessed. I hate big groups anyway, although I am missing baseball.
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