On Iffley Road Track, Oxford 2 weeks ago

Click on this link for the Audio Podcast Version of the written word below:

Two weeks ago I stood in my street clothes on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, where Roger Bannister first broke the four minute mile. I had resumed training, and became aware that I was way past due for posting on my running, writing, and traveling blog.

Since I last posted, I have had 2 eye operations. The first one involved an artificial lens that was implanted after my cataract afflicted natural lens was removed 13 years ago.  For some mysterious reason, on the flight back home from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco,  the artificial one decided to relocate and began to wander around my eye’s sclera instead of fixed under my pupil. Here a link to an eye diagram if you may just happen to be curious: 

National Institute Of Health Eye Diagram

My good eye was still 20/20, but I quickly tired of squeezing my 20/450 afflicted eye shut to see properly, so I bought a black patch for it and spouted a lot of Pirate “Arrrrrghs” for the next 10 days.  I was pretty grumpy.

Anyway the first operation went okay and when I went to the doctor week later I could see pretty well. But the very next day the lens decided to take another hike, so they had to schedule a do-over, 2 weeks later. 

As you might expect, those 2 weeks passed really slowly. The 13 year old lens gave up the ghost during the second operation, losing its connectors, so they doctor retired it to the open road and implanted a brand-spanking new one.  This time he not only sutured it in, he glued it in!  “That lens is not going to roam anywhere,” he said. 

So far, it hasn’t even hankered for greener grass.

Anyway during all the time, the doctor prohibited me to run, lift weights, play golf, or anything more strenuous than walking. So I walked, but it was hard when you are used to running.

So I finally resumed running just over 3 months ago, at the end of June. For the first 2 weeks I did nothing more strenuous than easy runs.  Then during the next 3 weeks, I introduced a 1x 5 minute tempo run and fast striding, along with an easy run each week.  I was resting 1 to 2 days between runs, doing only push-ups and crunches on the “off” days.

Then in August, I started a few interval sessions. Here is an excerpt from one of them:

“1 mile w/u (about 15 minutes); about 7 minutes of stretching (45 second bent knee stretches each leg, 45 second straight knee, turned-in foot, stretches each leg, 20 hamstring and quad full leg swings forward and backward each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings each foot); 2 x 20 step fast strides (4:51 seconds, rest 71 seconds, 4:50 seconds), rested 1:31, then 1 x 22 step fast strides in 10:52 seconds; rest 3 minutes, then 3 x 200 meters (45:11, 2:00 rest, 46:00, rest 3:30-the time it took my heart rate to drop back to 120, 42:94);  about 1.25 miles w/d in 20:42  Average HR 120, peak HR 159, burned about 450 calories.  These fast strides are about the fastest yet!”

Also in August I ran a 2 x 400 meter interval workout at race pace and upped my 5 minute tempo runs from 1 to 2 repeats, with a 5 minute rest between. I also continued doing push-ups and crunches on my rest days.

Then this month, I upped my 200 meter interval repeats to 5, with a 2 minute rest interval between. The last one I did was last Sunday at the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, where Roger Bannister first broke the 4 minute mile.  It was truly a spiritual running experience!

Running on Oxford’s Iffley Road Track!

I am still resting 1 or 2 days between my interval, tempo, and long runs.   I am tired, but most importantly still injury free.  I will continue to gradually increase the workload and reduce the time interval between my repeats, but always with an eye to preventing injury.  This is a very fine and difficult line to perceive when you approach it.

If all goes well, I will race 800 meters in November.

Before I close, I wanted to add that I have been repeating my affirmations daily through all of the ups and downs, and I am increasingly a believer that affirmations work to improve my life.  I would encourage you to revisit my Episodes 12 and 15 for more details.  Here are the links:

Episode 12

Episode 15

In closing, I wanted to share with you one of my daily affirmations that I believe has improved my life. It goes like this:

“I enjoy doing my chores, and I complete them easily, with a smile on my face.”

I have been repeating this affirmation, along with many others, for several months now, and I can tell you that I really do feel better about doing my chores, they easier to do, I am doing them now, when the need arises, rather than later, and I actually catch myself smiling from time to time.

If you want some diversions from your life’s chores, please take a look at my Thriller, Slaves on Horseback, or one of my Mr. Wugidgem fantasies.  You will find links to both book and podcast versions by clicking on the Books or Audio Podcast tabs on my website:

Thanks for joining me today. I will try to make my posts more frequent.

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