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Scratch

13.1 Miles, documenting my way to the Half-marathon in Philadelphia

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Scratch
Way to Go Scratch!

 

While it may seem that you are not getting hits, the reality is that we're all just a bit awed at your progress since your first post. I'll bet that you are feeling and experiencing all kinds of side benefits of all the training, even to the point of liking that almost daily run.

 

I already liked the running long before now. If I didn't, it would be harder to keep going, harder to be doing like I'm doing sometimes, getting up at 4:30 AM so I can make a quick cup of coffee and drive to a nearby high school track where I can run without worrying about cars being unable to see me in the darkness that's overtaking the northern hemisphere as we are now in autumn.

 

But it's been a fair bit of progress since that Saturday in April when I mixed in a few laps of running with some walking at the track. It's a good thing too, because the closer I get to November 18th, the more I realize just how far of a trip it's been. Even now sometimes I'm looking at everything and thinking it would have been better to do a lot more running before doing a half-marathon, maybe have waited til fall of 2008.

 

I mean, barring something unforeseen, I'm going to make it and should likely be able to run all of it or the great majority of it, but it's going to be near the outer bounds of my endurance still in 2 months. That's okay though, I think there's an important idea in that, where we all need to try to see that exercise and activity needs to be seen as something long-term, building gradually. Don't expect results inside of a week or two weeks, it's a gradual accumulation that after a few months you can look back and almost scratch the noggin about the progress that has been made, if the work has been put in.

 

But I don't think anyone should be awed by my progress. For reasons I can't always verbalize or internally comprehend, I've got the motivation in me and it keeps pushing me to do these things.

 

At times, it isn't easy. It's frustrating as all heck when the diabetes throws a curveball I didn't see coming or I think how much nicer, how much easier it would be to do all of this if I weren't a type 1 diabetic. It'd be nice to just go for a run without having to stab a finger and draw blood.

 

But I'm getting there. One mile after another, one test strip after another.

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Scratch

Track workout this morning. A bit nervous going into this one, but still I felt good about how the ankle has done this year and I carefully read up on conducting intervals in Jack Daniels book. So I went to the track this morning to do 1 mile warmup, then 3x800m intervals with 400m of recovery in between, with a half mile of cooldown at the end.

 

In the dark and fog, it was a bit hard to gauge my pace and like my tendency in 5K races, I bolted out too fast during the first interval. That would have some carryover effect into the next two intervals, but overall I'm pretty happy with my first go at doing intervals as a way to put some beneficial stress on my vo2max capability.

 

I need to get about 5.5 miles in on Thursday, so I'm thinking of avoiding the track in the morning and doing an afternoon run in a park that's close to where I work. Don't really feel like doing 22 laps of easy pace in the dark like that.

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Scratch

Well I hope that's the last time I've had to run in heat this year. Took a water bottle with me and drank or splashed all of it on me before the 5th mile was done.

 

It was a bit odd returning to run in the little park where December 21st last year my tibia broke. Although once I got running I didn't think about that all that much, I just tried to keep moving despite the misery of the heat.

 

I don't like running in heat. I should have started pouring water on my head earlier in the run and probably should have come with an extra cache of water to use too. Will try to remember those lessons for next year and summer when the heat returns.

 

Take tomorrow off from running and get ready for Saturday. Big day coming, my first run that'll go up into double digits for miles. It'll either be 10 or 10.5 miles depending on how I feel at the 10 mile mark.

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Scratch

10.6 miles is what I ended up running today. It took a while, that's for sure, but it was good that I was able to progressively pick up the pace throughout the run and finish strongly.

 

It seems absolutely unbelievable almost that I just went over double digits in miles on a run.

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Scratch

I just got back from my final run of the month, it felt good. Finished off my biggest week and biggest month.

 

September highlights:

This week: 23.7 miles

This month: 79.2 miles

New 5K PR of 29:11 on 9-15

Longest run of 10.6 miles on 9-29

 

I'll be taking an easy week this coming week with plans to run a 5K race on Saturday.

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Scratch

You're going to have good runs and you're going to have bad runs. This afternoon's was a bad run. Had some struggles with my blood sugars mid-afternoon, the weather got unusually warm and sticky, I never felt a good rhythm while running.

 

But I got my miles in, 6.6 of them, and I'll hope the next run goes better.

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Scratch

Yesterday I ran a 5K race which had some disappointment to it. Maybe because of the weird warm humid weather around here, I didn't go as fast as a pace as I would have liked and finished about 50 seconds slower than 3 weeks ago. That was the disappointment.

 

But on the other hand, there were some good things too. I went with my plan of keeping myself reined in during the first mile, trying to avoid the "it feels like I'm dying in the last mile" feeling, the trying to hang on effect. So after the first mile I worked on picking up my pace throughout the last two miles and pulling in runners who had been ahead of me. Over the last 1.8 miles or so, nobody passed me as I would work my way up. That was a nice feeling.

 

Also set a new highwater mark for highest heart rate average ever for a 5K race yet, which should be a good sign that my anaerobic threshold has been pushed up a few beats higher.

 

Went out and ran 3.8 miles this morning, finished the week up with around 15.5 miles. This was a cutback week, tomorrow the new week starts and I'm looking to go around 26 miles by the time it's done with a long run that goes over 11 miles.

 

We're six weeks away from Philadelphia.

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Scratch

Once again I will hope this was the last hot weather run of the year. One good bit of fortune was the cool front passed through while I ran and it was noticeably cooler and drier at the end than the beginning.

 

6.25 miles today, 20 more miles to do this week.

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Scratch

A tempo run yesterday after work. About 1 mile of warmup, 2 miles at tempo pace, a brief recovery interval, 2 more miles of tempo pace then a cooldown of about a mile. Total distance of 6.25 miles.

 

It seems amazing that it wasn't til the end of June that I did my first run lasting over an hour. It wasn't til the end of July I did a long run of more than 6 miles. So far this week I've done 2 runs each over 6 miles and going for more than an hour. Tomorrow I'm going to go around 11.5 miles and that should probably take me over 2 hours. The buildup has been slow and conservative, but even so, it's amazing how much more I can do now over 2.5 months ago. You just got to be persistent.

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Alice

Scratch, I just caught up with some of your runs...you have amazing dedication and I can tell you really enjoy running. My knees are terrible, so I just walk...but you are inspiring me to get out and explore my new neighborhood.

 

Yesterday I went for a short 1 mile walk...I was buzzed by 3 joggers in the first 5 minutes. Then, I was passed by another walker...so I guess I better pick up my speed!

 

I try to walk 3 miles, but need to map out a new course with my car. I like to have a 1 mile, a 2 mile and a 3 mile.

 

My new favorite lunch spot is 1.8 miles from my home, so I'm going to start walking on low-humidity days (otherwise I'll look like a drowned-rat from humidity!)...I'm looking forward to my winter in Florida. Chicago, I'd go to the gym and walk on the treadmill...not the same!

 

Question: I know you keep glucose tabs (so do I)...have you ever dropped really low during a run? I haven't had much problem with walking...I always walk above 100 though.

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Scratch

My general principle is that I try to have my blood sugar somewhere between 120 and 150 mg/dl before the run, if it's just a run for training and I'm not going to be going all out in a 5K race. Racing because of all the stress it puts on the system causes my blood sugar to spke high and 30 minutes before 5K races now I usually inject with 1 or 2 units of insulin.

 

So far, I've been either fortunate or well calculated enough that I haven't had a hypo while running yet over the last 5.5 months. I think I'm helped by one important feature of my present metabolic state -- I'm about as insulin sensitive as I can be and because I exercise in some form almost every day of the week, there is little variation caused by the activity when it's being done. I know some diabetics have terrible difficulties with exercise and their blood sugars plummeting, which I think may be caused some by how if you aren't normally active on a consistent basis, the activity will greatly affect how sensitive the body becomes to insulin.

 

But if you're already near maximum sensitivity, then the effect isn't as dramatic.

 

I do have enhanced sensitivity after exercise generally, where my I:C ratio goes to around 1:20 for a few hours instead of my usual 1:10. I think this is because the muscles go to pack away glycogen that got used up while I was exercising.

 

Still, it can be a great struggle sometimes. Yesterday, I was riding uncomfortably on some strange metabolic fluctuation and calculations to figure out how to run for yesterday afternoon --

 

I had to do a somewhat uncomfortable dance with the diabetes yesterday to accomplish getting my run in. For unknown reasons, something got miscalculated or my liver decided to go bonkers for a bit early yesterday afternoon after lunch. I was in good shape before lunch and eating a lunch of known effect. At noon, I gave myself 8 units with plan of snacking at around 2 PM to get my blood sugar to a comfortable number by 4 PM.

 

At 1:45 PM, I test and it’s 215 mg/dl. That’s not what I anticipated, I was expecting 100 to 120 mg/dl. I calculated bolus remaining and it seemed like it should get me to 150 mg/dl around 4 PM, but the fact that I was way above where I should be made me decide to inject 3 units more bolus. At 2:55 PM, I test again and get 231 mg/dl. Now I’m getting in a bad position, the blood sugar is above 200 mg/dl which I don’t like running at and I’ve got 1 hour old bolus in the system that’ll be affecting my run if I do it. I felt like I’m just guessing, but I go for 4 more units of Novolog.

 

3:55 PM, 153 mg/dl. Great, the blood sugar is going in the right direction at least as far as what it should be doing according to how much active insulin I have in my system. Bad, because in the next 1.5 hours I can expect about 3 units of bolus insulin to be used which without activity would probably drop me to around 50 mg/dl. To counteract that effect, I decide to eat 35 grams of carbs, all the while sort of crossing my fingers that those won’t end up causing me to go super high instead of just covering the insulin that’s going to be active while I’m running.

 

At 5:27 PM, my run is finished and I get blood out of a freezing finger. 81 mg/dl. Shew. The calculations ended up working. But keep in mind that was after the calculations up til 3 PM hadn’t been working. I hate, hate, hate being a diabetic sometimes.

 

----

 

So I have some issues sometimes. But beyond all the good cardio and strengthening benefits of the exercise, all the testing and observation has made me much more familiar with how my body and its metabolism operates. I feel that provides direct benefit to the management of being a type 1 diabetic.

 

It's a pain in the arse at times. Man, if there's ever a cure, I can hardly imagine how good it would be to go for a run without stabbing a finger prior and stabbing a finger afterwards.

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Scratch

11.5 mile run this morning, nice and cool and it felt great to run without sweat pouring off of me.

 

It's amazing how much stronger my legs are beginning to feel now. I haven't ever really struggled too much with being able to breathe, my bigger limiting factor has been how my legs fatigue. But if you get to where you're taking runs over 10 miles and 2 hours in length, it's like every bit of fiber in the muscle gets worked and the rebuilding of the muscle comes back with it improving.

 

I'm also now well within reach of half-marathon distance, I could probably go out and run one if there were one on my schedule in the next 2 weeks. But I've got plans for Philly and I can go out next weekend, run 12.5 miles, take a week of less running and more recovery, then go for long run that'll take me to half-marathon distance all by myself on the 3rd of November.

 

It's been a journey of 312.7 miles of training since April 21st. A whole lot more too and it's been so far one of the coolest things I've done. At some level in me, it's my way of saying "F- you!" to diabetes. Over 22.5 years of being diabetic, it feels good to say that.

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Scratch

Just a short run this morning, ran out for 15 minutes then turned around and came back a little bit faster. A run to get the legs some circulation and finish out the week.

 

I like this cool fall weather. But I do miss the long daylight hours of summer.

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Scratch
You really are covering some miles. well done and keep up the good work. Hope to be back ontop of fitness soon myself.

The miles are kind of piling up some.

 

Went out for 6.25 miles yesterday afternoon after work. I liked it better in the summer when I could run in the morning light hours before work, but daylight is too short now and there is a small park that is convenient to me after work and not from home.

 

Sometimes November 18th seems super far away and others times it feels like it's coming too fast. But overall it's cool. I've been having a good time doing my runs to get ready and that's the big thing. I like running. I especially like the way it starts feeling on the longer runs going up over an hour. When I get to running that long, often I end up getting to a mental state that's more alive than most anything I know from daily life. My body comes to life and I can feel the parts moving and synching up, the world is brighter and more intense.

 

Guess that's the old runners' high that gets referred to and the experience of it is great to get.

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Scratch

6.25 mile run this afternoon at an easy pace.

 

It's remarkable how with just slowly building things up, after a while things really start adding up.

 

With today's run, these past 2 weeks I've had 5 runs lasting an hour or more. In contrast, my first run lasting more than one hour was on June 30th and it wouldn't be until August 18th that I ran my 5th run going over one hour.

 

When I complete this week of training, I will have about 55 miles over these last two weeks. In all of July I ran 50 miles total.

 

To think that it was just about 6 months ago that I took that first lap around a track, weird.

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Ronin

Hi Scratch!

 

It is amazing how our bodies respond to regular exercise, regular being the key-word in the sentence. You have learned what a lot of people have failed to learn in our society -- regualr exercise has benefits.

 

In an article I read recently one person dismissed running because he found that "jogging a mile only consumes [an additional] 100 calories." Yeah-Right! A one mile jog probably takes less than 10 minutes so the benefit doesn't extend far beyond that 10 minute period, a one mile jog is just the beginning of adding muscle tissue with more glucose receptors, using the stored fat on the body, et cetera.

 

I think you have finally reached the state of self-motivation.

 

Yesterday Linda and I took off on our longest "front door route" (the routes we ride from home) that is 35 hilly miles. It was a windy day and we still finished with a respectable 15.3 mph average speed and we actually passed a single cyclist going uphill no less -- not bad for a pair of 60+ folks who have been tandeming for 13 years. Today (Sunday 21 October) is a rest-day as we have symphony tickets for the PM and our legs are really worked from all the climbs yesterday

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Scratch

It's an interesting question about how and when motivation sticks. I don't know if I've got a good definitive answer about why it's happened this time.

 

Anyhow, I did get one of those Lesson Learned runs yesterday. I was planning to do 12.5 miles and after 3 miles my legs were feeling super tired after starting out tired. I began mixing in some walk breaks but after 5 miles were done I knew it wasn't do me any good to try to grind out another 7.5 miles on legs that weren't going to like it at all.

 

It was pretty easy to figure out why it happened yesterday. Friday I had taken a vacation day from work and went out for a walk, a long walk. 10.5 miles in about 3 hours. While walking predominately uses different muscles than running, my legs were tired and they weren't recovered from that walk. So that was kind of silly of me doing such a long walk on Friday, although I enjoyed it.

 

Went out for another run this morning and did 3.8 miles. Legs were still a bit tired, but much better than yesterday.

 

It's 4 weeks away now. This next week I'm using a recovery week to keep the mileage down and rest the legs some more, although I will do a 5K race on Saturday.

 

The next weekend after that I'll go for that long run again, maybe try to extend it all the way to half-marathon distance so I can experience the feel of the length. After that I'll use the two weeks between the 3rd of Novemeber and the 18th to get my legs fully rested as possible while still getting some running in so I don't lose any fitness.

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Scratch

Just a short progression run after work today. 3.3 miles, started off easy and increased the pace as the run went on.

 

I'll probably do around 4 easy miles on Thursday and run a 5k race on Saturday.

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Scratch

5 miles run after work today, felt good. It's easy to stay cool when the temp hangs around 50 degrees and that's also cool enough to motivate one not to lollygag too much.

 

I'm not sure what it is now, but my legs on the good runs get a feeling of strength and power that they've never had before. I feel more like a runner, I guess, versus someone who just jogs to get some exercise.

 

Hopefully everything goes well on Saturday and I can run a good race to measure my fitness level.

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Scratch

I didn't do the 5K race scheduled today. Heavy rain with some embedded thunderstorms made me decide to not do this one and instead I plan on going to another local 5K being held tomorrow morning.

 

As a consequence, I did the run I had been planning for tomorrow just a little bit ago and ran 4.8 miles at an easy pace.

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Scratch

The 5K race went very well this morning, I'm very happy with my effort and result. But right now I have to head off elsewhere and will come back later to write about today's run.

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Scratch

I posted a RR thread at another forum for people who run, so I'm going to copy and paste what I wrote in that thread over to here with a bit of editing to correct some errors in its original posting.

 

Okay, my last 5K was 3 weeks ago down on the Wilmington riverfront, which I will say is an excellent place to run if you want a flat course. Not always that pretty when you’re out running around the parking lots, although the section along the river itself is fairly nice.

 

The last one I worked on pacing myself to finish strongly and that combined with humid conditions saw me for the first time ever not improve upon my 5K PR. I had been considering again running today’s 5K as a microcosm of how I want the half-marathon in Philly to go, start off easy and pick up pace as the race progresses. Still, with almost perfect weather except for some strong wind, by the time I was as the start line I had made up my mind to give this 5K an all-out effort with hopefully nearly even splits.

 

My legs were feeling decent during my warm up jog of about 2 miles. Not tired although not super springy or light, maybe an effect of having run 4.8 miles early yesterday afternoon. I was okay with that, I had wanted to get those miles in, and I figure it’s a good sign anyhow that I could run almost 5 miles the day before and my legs feel fairly fresh. My conditioning has improved a lot over the last 6 months.

 

I had my watch on, but was also doing this without the heart rate strap. I’ve been experimenting on running a bit more by feel alone. My latest training had been given me some good feedback there in another way, as I’ve been running in a park that has a path with .1 mile incremental markers.

 

The start went smoothly, a bit jumbled with the large turnout but not too much difficulty with dodging slow people starting off too far up front. I went a bit easy in the first 5 minutes just to keep me from blowing out too hard in the first mile. The wind wasn’t too bad in the first section, although coming into the face much of the first mile.

 

I was pleased as punch when I hit the first mile marker sign and the split was 8:52. I wasn’t feeling too stressed unlike prior times where I’ve hit around 9:00 minute miles. At some point during that first mile I had heard a couple of guys conversing behind me with one saying the old guy in the hat up ahead usually ran his 5Ks about 28 minutes. Perfect! If I could just stay on that guy’s tail, I had a perfect pacer, assuming everything was going well. It sure looked it after that first mile split.

 

The second mile runs along the river itself. I was going to lose the guy who I thought was my pacer though. Old guy in hat seemed to be slowing up to me, and I was working on maintaining pace. I elected to pass by him and run it on my own. Eventually the last bit of river running showed itself and I looked at my watch with the right turn coming and knowing the 2 mile marker would be around that corner. 17:48, an 8:56 second mile and I’m really really happy. I’m feeling some stress, but not feeling tanked. Just going to have to keep it moving.

 

Keep it moving right on out into a turn into a headwind again. This was going to be the tough part for the next half mile or so. The wind was much harder in this more exposed section. I tried to remember that my feet felt light and I just wanted them to dance along the surface softly. At one point, a woman passed me quite easily, she must have been hanging back for a while.

 

Finally a couple more turns and wind behind me. Running past Frawley Stadium. I see the 3 mile marker. Can I hit it before 27 minutes? Nope, lost a bit too much pace and ran a 9:14 third mile, and cumulative split of 27:02. But I’m cranking up again. I’m determined to pass a guy and a gal who has also passed me a bit ago. I get by both of them and I hear the guy try to pick it up. I just keep cranking harder.

 

Interestingly, I now see another old guy in a hat that perhaps I can catch. I go for it, hard. So hard. He hit the line just in front of me although my momentum carries me by him and then the guy in the stall instructing me to move behind old guy in hat.

 

I finally punch my watch about 2 seconds after hitting the line. The watch shows 27:51, so it was probably more like 27:49 with a 47 second sprint in the last tenth of a mile.

 

Sweet. A PR by amount 1:23 from my last PR on the 15th of September. I think maybe I got a bit lazy during that third mile until the woman passed me.

 

I had thought I should be able to get a 28:xx 5K along with some optimism that if I ran well I could tuck in under 28 minutes. Done.

 

Best thing about it maybe was how my legs felt at the end. The last few 5Ks my legs felt very pounded on by the ends of them. Today, my legs still feel very strong.

 

That’s the quickie detailed version and impression. When I get a chance to think more and sit down at the computer, I will add more thoughts to this.

 

Summary of miles:

 

1st mile — 8:52

2nd mile — 8:56, 17:48

3rd mile — 9:14, 27:02

.1 tail — :47, 27:48

 

-----

 

This week will be my last big week of training for Philly. I hope to do about 30 miles with a 13 mile long run on Saturday.

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