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Training Log: PG

In the last 7 days:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  trail running3 1:43:09 9.21(11:12) 14.82(6:58) 893
  road running3 1:38:36 11.29(8:44) 18.16(5:26) 500
  track2 12:54 1.99(6:28) 3.21(4:01)
  Total5 3:34:39 22.49(9:33) 36.19(5:56) 1393
averages - weight:136.2lbs

Tuesday Oct 21 #

12 PM

trail running 18:21 [3] 1.98 mi (9:16 / mi) +76ft 8:56 / mi
weight:136.5lbs shoes: pegasus 4

Warm-up checking out the south edge of the Amherst College grounds.

track 6:12 [5] 1.6 km (3:52 / km)
shoes: pegasus 4

So, under the assumption that the way to get the legs moving a little faster is to go out and move them faster, back to the track for a short but quicker workout. At least that was the plan, 4 x 400 with a good rest in between, with the quarters in the range of 90-95. Meaning, sadly, full effort.

I'd finished the warm-up with a couple of quicker 200s to stretch the legs, but now was the time to put up or shut up.

First one in 92.4, hard work, felt like it was as fast and as far as I could go. But then a nice gentle walk for the remainder of the 5-minute cycle.

Second one in 90.0, this was really was as fast as I could go. And also exquisitely bad mental tactics. Because it hurt. And I had two more to go. And I really really didn't want to do that two more times. And when you are by yourself, it's easy to shift to plan B.

Not that there was a plan B, so I had to make one up real quickly, how about scratch the last two 400s and do an 800 a little slower, say 3:15. Oh, good idea, won't hurt so much.

So off on the 800, pace was about right, but after about 300 it was crystal clear I didn't want to run an 800 either, so beeped the watch at 400, 98.5 and had another walk. And thought, that was a bit of a wimp job. And thought furthermore, well, that one didn't hurt, so now there's really no reason not to put out for one more 400. Just don't start too fast.

And so the 4th one, 91.2, remarkably good, hurt some of course, but knowing it was the last made the difference.

And the whole workout? An interesting mental see-saw, and a good enough physical effort to accomplish what I wanted. Not so bad. :-)

road running 8:51 [3] 1.0 mi (8:50 / mi) +52ft 8:25 / mi
shoes: pegasus 4

And a short jaunt around the neighborhood afterwards.

Monday Oct 20 #

3 PM

trail running 46:00 [3] 3.8 mi (12:06 / mi) +398ft 11:01 / mi
shoes: pegasus 4

Off to Litchfield, so the usual opportunity to run someplace different. This time I thought I'd have a go at Zack's Nassahegon Loop, Zack being Charlie's son and Nassehegon being a state forest between Litchfield and Hartford with lots of mountain bike trails. I figured I had an distinct advantage over Charlie in that I didn't have to drag a bike around the loop, but also a distinct disadvantage as I didn't have Zack waiting for me at junctions to point me the right way. Also, I had the advantage of having a map of the GPS track of the route, but the disadvantage on an overcast afternoon of not having a compass.

Clearly my navigation was far from perfect, since my covering his 4.2-mile loop in only 3.8 miles is not a sign of success. I figure I found, and then lost the trail at least three times, maybe four. Lost it pretty soon after I started, went down a reentrant but it was a little overgrown so I turned back. That might have been the correct one after all. Meandered on a bike trail for a while, possibly back on the correct route again. Maybe lost it again. Definitely found it again, but then lost it again and had to do a bit of bushwhacking to get back to where I needed to be.

But eventually I made it back to my car, despite being quite sure early on that I had no idea where I was. In such circumstances you do the only reasonable thing -- keep moving, preferably at a good pace. :-)

Legs felt pretty good, though there was only one hill of any substance and it wasn't much.

And the highlight, a fine AOWN -- while I was meandering along, quite lost, mostly concentrating on the twisty bike trail which was quite hard to follow, I happened to look up, and there about 20-30 yards in front of me was a fine specimen of the American black bear. It was sideways to me facing downhill, a little left of the trail, and it hadn't seen me or heard me or smelled me yet.

I stopped, had a good look, seemed to be a lone adult, no sign of any others around. Just a perfect sighting. And then I made a move, and it looked my way and then -- well, this bear knew how to move in the woods and a little scruffy vegetation wasn't going to slow it down. It took off, heading downhill at a high rate of speed, quite a noise, branches breaking, small tress swaying. In 5 or 10 seconds I could no longer see it; in 10 or 15 no longer hear it.

Very very cool. And I'm not sure if it a good or a bad thing, but yours truly, normally full of anxiety about everything, wasn't the least bit scared. Though, of course, if it has been a western bear, I would have at the very least peed my pants. :-)


So here are the GPS tracks, Charlie in red that I was trying to duplicate and me in blue. Hmm, not so good. Seem to have lost the trail at least four times. Oh well. The bear, by the way, was on the hillside just south of the State Fish Hatchery.

Sunday Oct 19 #


Wedding day yesterday for Sam and Ross. I've been to a few weddings over the years and I can't remember one where the vibes were so good. A great pleasure to be there.

And also, to be honest, a bit of reflective thinking on my part about how old I have gotten. Many good memories, for sure, but now, a lot of years have passed.

There were stories about S&R's adventures. There were photos of people really enjoying themselves. There was the presence of a couple of wonderful families and some very cool friends. It got me thinking that in life, when you have the opportunity to do things that are fun, you darn well better do them. Even if, or maybe especially if, the old folks around think you should be focussing on the so-called serious things in life.

Fun, adventures, and especially good friends and family -- those are the important things. As the saying goes, no one says on their deathbed that they wish they had spent more time at the office.

It was a very fine wedding.

10 AM

trail running 38:48 [3] 3.43 mi (11:19 / mi) +419ft 10:09 / mi
weight:136.5lbs shoes: pegasus 4

Bike trails near Eaglebrook School plus a couple of sections of old woods roads that I hadn't been on before. Nice morning, but cool enough that long pants and a long-sleeve shirt seemed called for. Legs a little tired, but all the hills were gentle.

Saturday Oct 18 #

10 AM

road running 1:11:17 [3] 8.28 mi (8:36 / mi) +382ft 8:15 / mi
weight:136lbs shoes: pegasus 4

Old familiar road loop, around both Sugarloafs. Got it done. Much more humid than I would like, but what can you do.

Had to get it done this morning because we are off to Florida this afternoon.

Friday Oct 17 #

10 AM

road running 18:28 [3] 2.0 mi (9:14 / mi) +66ft 8:57 / mi
weight:136lbs shoes: pegasus 4

Warm-up, first on the bike path that goes by the Amherst track, and then a couple of laps of the track with a pair of quicker 200s to get the legs moving.

track race 6:42 [4] 1.0 mi (6:42 / mi) vdot: 42.8
shoes: pegasus 4

Last year I had the bright idea to celebrate my 69th by going out and riding my bike for 69 miles. Doing that again with an extra mile thrown in didn't seem like a bright idea as I hadn't been on my bike for a month and a half. So something else was needed, since spending part of the day in a eye surgery place didn't really do it. And the doc had said yesterday that running was OK.

So the plan this morning was to go to the track and see if I could break 7 minutes for a mile. Doesn't exactly tie in with 70, but close enough. I'd given some thought to doing it two mornings ago, actually on my birthday, but it was wicked humid and just seemed like a stupid idea (not that that has stopped me before). This morning was much more pleasant.

I figured 7 should be doable, maybe with a little room to spare, 4 laps in 1:45 or a little better, but you can figure all you want, it's only the doing that matters. But the plan was to shoot for quarters between 1:40 and 1:45 and adjust depending on how I felt.

And the legs felt pretty good. First quarter (and a real quarter, not a 400m) was 1:41.6, just starting to breathe hard. Second in 1:41.9, breathing steady but under control. Third quarter was always the hardest doing these things, hard to keep the pace up, today was 1:40.9, a very nice surprise and all of a sudden 6:45 seemed in the cards. And then the last lap, always a good effort, that seems unavoidable, 1:37.6 this time. Pretty well spent, but guessing that there was a little more in the tank because it never really hurt the way I remember miles doing. And the watch said 6:42.0. Delighted.

For reference, looked back in my records. When I first started running in the early 70s in my late 20s, one of my goals was a mile in under 6 minutes, got that after a while at the old cinder track at Georgetown University in DC.

Slowly got the number down as the years went by, 5:15 in 1984 (age 39),
5:09 indoors in 1989 (age 44), then 5:02 and 5:01 outdoors in 1989 in a attempt to break 5.

Then started the long decline. 5:12 indoors in 1990. 5:20 in 1992. 5:18 in 1994 (age 49). 5:37 in 1996 (age 51). 5:46 in 2006 (age 61) indoors. 5:59 in 2009 (age 64). I think in 2011 I was doing about 6:20, will have to check.

And now this. A little faster is possible, maybe 6:30 with proper training. But that may be too much to ask.

Regardless, this is just fine.

And the eye is better. :-)

Thursday Oct 16 #


So this eyesight stuff is an interesting voyage, one where I really don't know what the outcome will be. I know a little more today, but not much.

Woke up this morning and vision was very blurry, couldn't read my watch (all such comments refer to the "fixed" left eye), was not particularly happy about that. But I have pretty well got myself convinced to give this process some time, though that is not easy -- you want instant results.

At some point this morning, as the vision got much less blurry but still not as good as the other eye, I was starting to think, well, maybe it won't get any better, but maybe this also will slow down its rate of getting worse. Looking for a half-full glass wherever I might find oneā€¦. :-)

I had an appointment with the doc early afternoon. By then it seemed like I could see just about the same with both eyes, progress. His assistant put me in the chair, covered my old eye, put the eye chart up on the wall, how much could I read with the new one?


I shit you not.

She adjusts it, a vague form appears at the top, really big but really blurry, I take a guess at "E" and I think I'm right, but no hope for anything else.

Now realize that I have been near-sighted all my life, have worn glasses almost all my life, and I am quite happy with that. Had a good discussion with the doc about that prior to surgery. And so the plan is to keep me near-sighted -- in O' terms, able to read a map, need a contact to see in the distance.

But barely able to read the big E?

I shut my left eye, opened the right, no problem with the E or at least 2 or 3 lines below it. Not real sharp, but something.

Put my glasses on -- could read a bunch of letters now, and the two eyes seemed about the same. What gives? And, I must say, I forgot to ask what gives, so I don't know what was going on.

By then the assistant had put the reading chart in front of me and I did good on that one, next-to-the-bottom line, pretty small print, almost able to do the bottom line. So that seemed OK.

Then hung out for a while until the doc showed up to have a look. He peered through a couple of his machines and then declared that everything looked excellent. The various cuts were healing up, both where the lens exchange had been made and where he'd sliced me with a laser to help with astigmatism. At this point he was clearly much happier than I was.

So we chat a little, and he says it takes time for the eye to settle down, and improvement will come. Of course we don't know how much. But give it a little time. And in the meantime, take the eye drops, wear the shield at night, and no lifting heavy weights, no swimming, no hot tubs, no gardening. But running is fine, even today. I asked about running on trails, he was cool. I didn't ask about orienteering.

So now I do the drops every few hours. The dilation of the pupil is just about back to normal. And, I'm sure rather often, I pick up a map, or look at something in the distance, and cover up one eye and then the other, and see how things compare.

And at this point I would say that the new eye is starting to nose ahead. :-)

A long ways to go. And the right eye starts its journey two weeks from now. But very modestly hopeful.

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