Monday, June 29, 2009

A man with a plan

It's not that I've been sitting on my behind all day doing nothing but there just hasn't been a lot of news to share lately. Our Father's Day race last weekend went really well with about 70 runners in the 5 miler and a dozen or so kids in the shorter races for them. That's a picture of my running friend Sylvio Bourque who is also race director of the highly successful Grand-Digue 15k in south eastern New Brunswick. He did well at our race clocking 35:49 for the 5 miles coming 2nd in his age group. In breaking news, Sylvio just won 2 national titles at the Canadian arm wrestling championships in Summerside, a good guy to have on your side!
Meanwhile, my walk-running has progressed to mostly run-walking with the latest run of 4.3 miles with only a stretch break after 1 mile (as for all runs) and a 1 minute walk break at the 3 mile mark. You can see the details of my runs in the sidebar of the blog under 'My latest workouts' if you're so inclined... Over the past 2 weeks, the progression has been from mostly walking (with 1 minute running each mile) to now mostly running with 1 minute walk breaks at every mile or so. My running heartrate is still much higher than I'd like for the paces and for some reason my easy pace is dialed in around 8:00-8:30 or so. I'm not able to run any slower and will just have to work on that. Maybe Super Andrew will have some hints the next time we meet.

Speaking of which, I've penciled in at least 7 Boyden long runs with Andrew in my latest attempt at a marathon plan as shown here. Do you like all the pretty colors? I think 'quiet' Grellan appreciates it. The yellow days are my rest days and I'm trying to give myself at least 2 per week in order not to do "too much too soon". The green shows my scheduled holiday travel trips where getting a workout in might be more difficult than usual and flexibility may be required. The trip to Sweden in August for my son's wedding will be the big one and the whole family is anxiously awaiting that adventure.

The red letter days are planned races and most of them are 'coach' approved but I might try to slip in another one if things fall into place. I wonder if there are some races in Sweden?? The trickiest one will be the Saint John marathon on Sept 27 which was scheduled as a 22 mile run in the Pfitzinger plan. I'm hoping that I can run it as an easy long training run with some marathon paced bits and then just jog it in at the end but my record at doing that is not very good. I've also got the Canada Day 5k race in just 2 days in Saint John and the plan here is to just do the distance and leave the competitive juices for another day. Again, that remains to be seen. I think this plan is quite do-able, the mileage build is gradual, lots of rest days, slow build of tempo stuff over the weeks and long runs which are frequent and long enough. The overall weekly mileage is low (max 51) but again I have to go carefully with this and see that rest and recovery comes 1st. I'm not looking at setting any PR's this year and just want to get back at it and enjoy the process.

Speaking of enjoyment, we're off to Ontario to visit our 2 sons and most of Jo's relatives. Besides the usual scheduled running on Ottawa trails and Orangeville country back roads we've booked a B&B in Vermont which sits right on the Green Mountain marathon course. The plan will be to run and document the course using my usual camera and video tricks for all to see and enjoy. The nice feature of this marathon is that it's an out and back and so I only have to run 13.1 miles to get it all in. It should be a fun run!

Well that's all I got for now. I'm feeling almost 100% (which can be dangerous) and looking forward to the next two months of travel, holidays and some running too! Take care and have a great week!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Moving along

It's been six weeks and now the restrictions on my activities are starting to loosen up just a little bit. I'm still limited from lifting much over 10-20 lbs or riding my bike but can now start up with some easy running at last.

During the past week I've been walking 4-5 miles every day outdoors and have started mixing in a short jogs during each mile. It began with 1 minute running and have worked up to 4x5 minute running during today's 4 mile treadmill run (because it's pouring rain today)

One thing I have noticed is how much out of shape I've got in just 6 weeks. My resting heartrate is now approaching 50 where it used to be in the low 40'ies. I'm also seeing my exercising heartrate shoot up to near max while just doing easy running. The 4 minute runs above were at an easy pace of 8:30 to 9:00 but with 140-160 heartrate which is 80-95% of max. I'm expecting some improvements here in short order though.

On the home front things have been fairly quiet. I'm been spending most of my time on the computer, watching sports on TV and lots of reading. However, with the freeing up of many of my restrictions there are now a number of honey-do chores to be tackled. It looks like my painting and carpentry skills will come into play as we spruce up the yard and house.

This weekend is going to be busy with our local 5 mile St. Andrews Fathers Day race being held on Sunday. This is the 31st edition of this race and it's part of the Run New Brunswick racing series. Typically we get about 100 runners with some impressive speedsters and age groupers showing up every year. My job this year is to take care of the registration and results and will also find time to snap as many pictures as possible for the website. The only thing to worry about is the weather with heavy rain forecast for the overnight. Hopefully it will slow down to just a few light showers by morning. My co-race director affirms that we've never had rain in the 30+ years during our race but I seem to remember getting wet over the years! We can hope though, so wish us good luck!

That's it for now. The plan for next week is to gradually extend the running while reducing the walking so as to get back to continuous running in a few weeks. I must say that the little walk breaks are getting to be rather pleasant and might be hard to give up totally as I go forward.

Also, be sure check out Garry's progress tomorrow at his 3rd full Ironman at Coeur d'Alene in Idaho. He's ready willing and able and I'm hoping the weather will co-operate this time.

Have a nice week all!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good
news is that my doctor has given me the all clear at my latest follow-up visit. The results from the pathology report showed that the cancer was confined to the prostate alone and had not spread beyond to adjacent tissue and or lymph nodes. What this means is that surgery has removed all of the cancer and no further radiation or chemo treatment is required. Yay!! I will need to monitor my PSA levels at regular intervals (6mo or so) just in case there was some microscopic escape and to make sure it doesn't come back (or at least we will watch for it).

The Bad
news is that my doctor still forbids running for 2 more weeks and my do not do list remains long and detailed including no lifting of over 10 lb, no bicycling, no horseback riding, or activities that put pressure on the sensitive area where the surgery occurred for at least 2 more months. The nurse we talked to on a separate appointment also made it very clear that not following directions and inviting a 'setback' could be very discouraging and not to be done. Message was received loud and clear!
The Ugly
Just kidding, there is no real ugly to speak of and this was the closest thing I could come up with for an ugly picture and that's only if you don't like bugs or bees. The closeup of the flower makes it look a little scary with all those strange looking protrusions with pollen for the bee to rub up against. The real ugly if you care to peek is this photo showing the after picture or my scar which is healing very nicely on the outside. The issue my doctor and nurse has is the healing on the inside which can take much longer with a risk of nasty consequences if I don't follow orders and take it really easy for the next few months. Yes, yes I heard that!
So, I'm feeling very good but find that I tire easily and need my rest, often including short afternoon naps. Simple things like a trip to the doctor in Saint John (a 1 hour drive) and then a few hours of shopping at the mall can just wear me out by the time I get home several hours later. Yesterday, it was straight to the couch for an hour or so but then felt nicely refreshed and was able to stay up late to watch the exciting game 6 Stanley Cup finals hockey.

So, the plan is to do the things I'm allowed to do like walking on the treadmill, easy activities with no lifting around the house and of course some scheming and dreaming about a training program for my fall marathon. The clock is already ticking down to only 18 weeks and I'd usually be started by now! Not this time. Looks like another abbreviated plan after a build-up to 'normal' running by early September but I won't be stressing about it and will be taking it one day at a time.

Take care an good training out there!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A new month

Closing in on 750 miles for the year so far with only 63 last month for good reason. The last few weeks have been just walking on the mill with totals of 11, 15 and 18 miles. The walking keeps me active but is getting boring on the mill when the weather is so nice outside.

As you might guess my recovery is coming along nicely with no problems to speak of and each step is a step forward to getting back to normal once again. The doctor has put very severe limitations on me for 4-6 weeks with no lifting of anything heavier than my dinner plate (5lb), no running, no driving, no biking etc. While this has been quite limiting, I'm still allowed to walk as much as I want and so the daily treadmill routine. I'm now up to about 3 mi/day at 4mph and get a nice healthy sweat on by the end of it. However, I still get tired and need my naps in the afternoon! On Monday we get to see the doctor for the 1st time post-release from the hospital and I will get to beg for permission to do more things. The request list is long including driving car, motorbike, biking, running, lifting, and all sorts of other regular activity. Let the fun and games begin!

Speaking of which, "The 3 Blind Moose" have been busy scheming for our fall 2009 running get together and have narrowed the choice down to the Vermont Green Mountain marathon on Oct 18. Over the past few years we have done Wineglass (below), Mount Desert Island and PEI and after much discussion we picked Green Mountain for it's scenic venue, small but fast field and it's history as a good marathon.
As always the main plan will be to have fun, tell bad jokes and to run as well as we can. It should be an easy goal to complete. Have a nice week and keep on moving forward!