The heavy lungs jog

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 4
Time: 0:40:47
Pace: 10:08
Temp:  50º
Air quality: Pollen
Weather: Clear, cool, pleasant
Things I saw: My friend, Adrienne Wilson, lots of birds on the trail
Pain/injuries: Just sick. Lungs are at about 60%, so I was pretty miserable. Did not walk. Not sure if that’s anything to brag about. Maybe I should have walked.
Weight: 182.5 (sickness has dropped me about 7 pounds.

Notes: Woke up, decided to try to run. It didn’t go smoothly. Very difficult to get going and once I did, very slow. No energy, not getting full breaths (too deep of a breath sends me into a coughing fit.)

3 stiff miles along the flooded Provo River Trail

Location: Provo River Trail, west, to first gate
Miles: 3
Time: 30:16 minutes
Pace: 0:10:00
Temp:  50º
Air quality: PM 2.5, 0.4 µg/m3
Weather: Sunny, cool
People I saw: Dan! He said he’s just “getting back into it” after this winter.
Pain/injuries: Left hamstring, abates after a mile. Super stiff from Saturday
Weight: 188.5 lbs

As soon as I started running from my driveway, I could feel how stiff my legs and back were from Saturday. Fortunately, within a mile or so I loosened up and started to feel a little more like myself.

The water level is up pretty high on the Provo River, due to the water they’re letting out of Deer Creek. Just like on Saturday, I spent way too much time photographing interesting water levels. 🙂

Long run, inhale bug

Yesterday began my first long run in a six month program which will hopefully lead up to my finishing the Pony Express 100. Up to this point, I’d only had a 10 mile run in the last two months, as far as long runs go, so I knew I was sort of pushing things, 10% Rule be damned.

The weather could not have been better for Spring (67 degrees), so I started off in a pretty chirpy mood, up the Provo River trail. I wanted to sort of scout it out, because for the first time in seven years we have flooding on the trail. Deer Creek is at 97% and we have quite the snowpack that needs to have a place to go.

The first few miles went well, as I kept a 0:9:30 pace for most of it. At the halfway point (8 mi.), I felt a little tired but not horrible. I had managed to keep finding water (the drinking fountains are all open again, after a long winter), but I also took a pit stop at the Riverwoods public bathroom.

Getting going again, I kept telling myself that the stopping and starting in training might do me well in simulating the stops and starts that are sure to come at Pony 100.

At mile 13, I inhaled a bug of some sort into my lungs and immediately started coughing. It took me about a mile to feel that the bug had “passed”, but I never really recovered after that. Miles 13-16 were uncomfortable (The last time I ran 16 miles was in October, during St George Marathon.)

This was a decent run.

No real pain. Some hip discomfort, which reminds me I need to be doing leg lifts at night. The usual left-hamstring pain, which abates after a few miles. The heat. It was only 67 degrees but it was hot to me. Need to keep drinking.

I had only eaten .75 of a bagel, so I know I could have eaten more. A banana wouldn’t have killed me.

My good friend, Patrick Phillips is coaching me for this season, for Pony Express, so these posts are also going to be for him, so that he can help me stay on track, goal-wise, as well as notice consistent problems that fall through the cracks for me.

Thanks, Pat!

Midnight penance

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 5
Time: 41:50
Pace: 0:8:32
Temp:  47º
Air quality: Unknown
Weather: Cool and crisp, moonrise
People I saw: None
Pain/injuries: No pain or injuries
Weight: Probably 185

Notes: Last night I got a sudden urge to run. Maybe it was because the Sharks lost their game against the St Lois Blues, or maybe it was because I felt fat. But it was probably both.

I’d just completed my core for the day, including 10 burpees for the first time since I don’t know when. I’d been reading about burpees for years, but never took them seriously. But I’m 42, now, and you either use it or you lose it. So now we do burpees.

I left at 11:50 pm. The first mile was casual and easy (but faster than my last run’s first mile.) From there things got progressively faster. On my trip down to the lake I saw two sets of footprints that had come from the river, ran down the path, then disappeared (on my return trip those prints had dried up, so I know I was within minutes of some kind of scurrying animal.)

I reached the lake and turned around, just to notice that the moon was now rising over the east mountains. I took a couple of horrible pictures, then ran toward the moonrise.

My last two miles were tough. I really pushed myself and my heart rate was intense. But I felt strong as I finally arrived home at about 12:30 am, showered, finished watching Colbert, some Homeland, then went to sleep.

Creaky, cracky bones run

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 4
Time: 0:35:40
Pace: 0:8:46
Temp:  39º
Air quality: Clean and clear
Weather: Clear and crisp
People I saw: Angela and Nicole
Pain/injuries: Just the 42 year old stuff, nothing new
Weight: 188

Notes: A fine run. The first 1/2 mile felt like it took 30 minutes. Sometimes getting to the path takes way too long in my mind. As the run progressed, I felt how I weighed too much and how it was sapping energy from a simple run.

Otherwise, it was great to start my day off right.

Full moonlit run by the Provo River

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 4
Time: 38:00-ish (Apple Watch lost my run)
Temp:  37º
Air quality: PM 2.5, 9 µg/m3 (Good, none recorded on Air app, but it was clean)
Weather: Clear, chilly, Full moon
People I saw: Adrianne
Pain/injuries: None, but was sluggish, slow and uncomfortable, nearly the entire time. Asthma issues.
Weight: 189


This was a nice moonlit run. With a full moon, everything was reflective. Despite how I felt, it was beautiful.

15 degrees of glory on the Provo River Trail

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 4
Time: 0:35:52
Pace: 0:8:57
Temp:  15º
Weather: Cold and clear
People I saw: Michael!
Pain/injuries: Fat and slow
Weight: Very fat

Notes: I woke up at 5:57 am, hoping that I had another hour or more to sleep. Unfortunately my alarm was set for 6, so there was no point in not getting up right away.

Having my running clothes laid out was key, as my motivation was low to jump into the frigid morning air. I checked the thermometer before I left and was alarmed/excited to see that it was 15 on my back deck.

Yesterday I’d told a train friend that as long as you stay out for 1/2 a mile, you’ll warm up and be ok. But this morning it took about a mile (so about 9 minutes) to warm up to survivability and not turn back to cut the run short.

At the halfway point (2 miles), I turned around and worked my way home. I met Michael along the way and we cheerfully greeted each other. I was surprised to see him out in such cold weather, but I guess I remember that last year he trooped through some ridiculously cold air. It’s always better to suffer with friends.

I’m on the train, now, and am happy that it’s 8:13 am and I’ve already done the hardest thing I’ll do today.

Chasing rabbits on an icy, 10 degree run

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 4
Time: 35:07
Pace: 0:8:44
Temp:  10º
Weather: Cold, not icy
People I saw: Jane, Nichole, Angela
Pain/injuries: Hamstring, but not as bad as yesterday
Weight: 184, pre-run

Notes: This was a decent run. Ran faster than I have been. The no-ice situation helped, greatly. At some point, I chased an animal as I ran West toward the lake. I could barely see it. It might have been a rabbit.

It was hard to keep a pace. I’m definitely a bit out of shape. I feel good now that I’m on the train. Also my hamstring stretch was a little more rigorous than normal, but it felt really good.

QA testing Nathan’s lungs

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 4
Time: 36:14
Pace: 0:9:00
Temp:  19º
Weather: Cloudy/clear
Air Quality: Green
People I saw: Jane
Pain/injuries: Left hamstring soreness
Weight: 185 (guessing)

Notes: Stepping outside, it wasn’t fun getting used to the cold, again. But within about 1/2 mile, my chest and arms were warm enough. My legs were warm on the inside, chilled on the outside. It was definitely runnable weather.

My lungs were unhappy through this run. Even now, on the train, I can still feel the tightness. I’m not back to 100%, but I’d say I’m at 80% and not susceptible to getting sick again (relapsing.) I’m not saying that I won’t get sick again, but not from this past illness.

I never really fell into a rhythm and I was slow. Nothing felt great, but I did feel good knowing I was doing the right thing by getting out. The fun part of running will take some time to return, but until then it’s something that I need to do.

I saw Jane out on the trail and I let her know that the next time she sees me, I might be wearing a mask for pollution. I just didn’t want to freak her out because this mask Wendy bought me is a little intimidating. People call me “Bane” when I wear it.

Running with Matt in the snow on the Provo River Trail

Location: Provo River Trail
Miles: 5
Time: 49:53
Pace: 0:9:57
Temp:  30º
Weather: Snowy, cool, wet
People I saw: Ran with Matt, saw Michael
Pain/injuries: None
Weight: Utah Valley

Notes: This run was born when Matt texted me last night, to ask if I was running on Monday morning. From there, it was pretty much set in stone.

We started off at a comfortable clip, around 0:11:00 a mile, and then slowed a bit, since Matt is getting back into running (if I have anything to do with it). We chatted and enjoyed the snow (I will say, this was some pretty wet snow) as we ran.

At the 2 mile mark, Matt turned around and I continued on to get my goal of five miles a day in. I met Matt later on the trail and we headed back in.

From Strava, I can’t help but notice that Matt cut down his pace by about two minutes a mile from his last run, which is pretty remarkable. I’m pretty sure that if he wanted to, he could get to where he could run a 10 minute mile comfortably.