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Sunday, December 31, 2006


I am at a crossroads (again).

I will give 2007 a chance but it will have to be my way or the highway. It is not about running. It is whether I will compete at any level again or just give it up and just become the junior jogger I often resemble. I mean I am good at giving up on things and moving on. I gave up on Skiing and climbing after 1979. I gave up on flying this past year. I gave up on the idea of being an employee of any company in 2002. I give up when it doesn't fit it my life anymore. I am a bit of a bastard about things like that. It has helped me move on though.

I don't give up easily but running, while still fun at a social level and also as a way of burning calories, has also become a burden. I keep thinking, well maybe there is one more season in me. I am 61 going on 62 and last year I ran several races and trial efforts that indicated that I was in 20:40 5K shape.

Lousy? Not too bad but at best I am that 8-8 or 7-9 NFL fringe team and I am not sure I want to be that. Sure I make the playoffs now and then but I go quietly in the first round. I never accepted that in my best days even though at times I was just that, meaning 8-8 and out in the first round. But I was a fighter. Now I am not. I get there because I am better than than most runners my age. Not because I am competitive.

So here's the plan and this is really it because there is no other way I am going to get back to see what is there.

Every other day for the most part. (Boring..More of the same old, same old).

AT test runs every 3-4 weeks to see where I am. I would like to get under 20 minutes for 3 miles. I was down to 20:15 in late August.

No speed work. It just doesn't work for me. 6-8 x 100 is fine but that is about it.

I will get back up in the hills once a week. This can be a steady hill run or circuits.

If I see some sizable improvement by the spring I may do cross country next fall.

If my body can't handle it anymore I am going to "give up" and move on.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pacing Chores

I ran a broken 8 miles this morning. Typical club workout with 2 x Valley Vista and another 2 miles added on. My main goal was to help with pacing chores for Walt who said he would be ecstatic if he broke 27 minutes for 3 miles. He ended up running 26:34 and he did seem happy afterwards.

It was in the low 30's and seemed frozen until the sun got high enough to warm us up.

Even though I ran a very slow 4 miles yesterday, I was a bit tired. 3 days in a row.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Almost Walking

I ran 40 minutes very slow late in the morning. I kept my HR down around 120 most of the run thinking to myself that I was almost walking. I am not sure whether running 3 days in a row is a good idea but it looks like little lost running-hood is going to do it anyway. The plan for Saturday is for me to pace Walt through a 3 miler (Valley Vista), a hilly club course. He said he would be ecstatic to run under 27 minutes so given the fact that I ran 23:14 last week with no undo discomfort, I should be able to accomplish this job. With a warmup and warmdown or a run later in the day I should be back on schedule.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Grey Zone Workout

I finally got out of the house to run at about 11 am this morning. It was in the low 50's, sunny and windy. I felt rested after several days cooped up.

I ran over to De Anza track which was still closed for the holiday and opted to do my 7 x 800 meter workout on the path that ran around the Gym, Pool and Track. According to a rough Gmaps pedometer calculation I ran .52 miles each rep. This is 832 meters. I kept the effort at 75-77% of max and averaged in the mid 4:20's. I jogged an easy 80 seconds after each rep. Given the fact that a good part of the very beginning and the whole long last straight were gradual uphill, I guess it wasn't too bad. I would have preferred to do this on the track but with the wind that was gusting out there today, I would have been blown to a stop on the back straight of each lap. Plus I would have had to jump the fence to get on the track in the first place.

The truth seems to be that I can't measure this effort against a track workout so in the future I will keep this workout ON the track.

With the warmup and warmdown this was somewhere between 8.5 and 9 miles total.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ok, So I Was A Coward

Ok, so I was a coward. It was blowing holy hell today and the power went out (all day). It was in the low 50's with a windchill of about 30-35 degrees. Except for going out to get some coffee in the morning and meeting a friend for lunch I stayed in and read books. Two days, no running. I will be back out on the roads on Thursday.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A day Off and Some Resolutions

OK, one of those pesky days off. Xmas is now in the rear view mirror. Sue is more back to her happy self. My legs actually are feeling decent (or maybe pre-decent). made eye contcat with a woman at Starbucks. She looked a bit like an older version of a girl I dated back in the 1970's. BUT IT COULDN'T BE! She kept glancing at me though.

Just for ID purposes, I do look like an older version of my 1970's self.

My wife asked me about resolutions for New Years.

OK here goes.

This is my last year working at what I am presently doing or maybe better said, this is the last year i am going to do it this way.

I am going to do my version of Lawrence of Arabia combined with Howard Roark. Should be interesting.

I may try to run the cross country series next fall. I will run with the 45-49 team or the 50-54 team if they will have me. The 60 plus guys are not interested as far as this is concerned. I grok that. It means plenty of traveling and I won't score for the team unless everyone but our two top runners fall down during the evnt and can't get up. Anway, no talking anyone into doing this. I will just run as many of the races as I can and see what happens.

I am going to use Brian's program to build my tempo and hill running abilty. Mostly easy-easy running with sub AT until the end. I figure I can wrangle two racing seasons out of this. One in the sping and one in the fall.

I will probably think up a couple of other resolutions as time goes on. I have never bracketed myself by calendar years anyway.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I have no idea how far I ran

A Foggy and gloomy XMAS morning. Temps in the low 40's.

But LSR (Last Runner Standing) went out running anyway going very slowly at first and gradually feeling better and better as I ran. This turned out to be a "I have no idea how far I ran" workout. I was out about 75 minutes. It might have been 7 miles of it might have been 8. Part of my course went by the track but it was closed and empty. An Asian girl out running tried to get in to the bathroom by the pool but that was all closed off too. I felt sorry for her. I can just stand by a bush and piss ( and look very casual about it) but she has to pull down her tights and squat. How do you look casual about that? Well, you can always smile.

Photo OP!

Rampaged through the book Brian sent me. "Running By Feeling". Great read. He had a real comeback at 50 which is strange because that was the age I had my last comeback. Now we're in our 60's. Time for one more. First I will have to truly settle for the runner I am now, not what I think i should be.

James Bowie: You know, if you live five more years, you might just be a great man.
William Travis: I think I will probably have to settle for what I am now.

"The Alamo": 2004

Sunday, December 24, 2006

XMAS eve

The last runner standing is sitting down right now. It is XMAS eve. The last runner standing is Jewish and is more of an atheist than a religious guy. The last runner standing is kind of spiritual and believes that the power comes from within, not from without. The last runner standing enjoys the holiday season but thinks most of it, at least where he lives, is commercial rather than religious. Still people try to act nice. XMAS makes my lovely wife depressed. She misses the BIG family but can't come to grip with the fact that she does miss it. She actually missesd what she thought XMAS was like rather than what it was really like but that's OK. We all miss THAT.

The last runner standing did not run today. He will run on XMAS day.

Happy Hannukah uh err XMAS

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I Was Not Very Fast But......

I was not very fast but my legs felt really good. I ran the 3 mile club warmup and then ran the same course as a progressive workout hitting 75-77% during the first uphill mile, 80% during the second mile and 85% over the last downhill mile. The end time was 23:14. Nothing to sneeze at or to celebrate. Just a workout I can try to improve upon as time goes on.

The temperature was in the 30's during the warmup and climbed into the low 40's during the "race".

Warmed down around campus afterwards.

Maybe 8 miles total.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Cable Guy

I had a breakfast meeting planned this morning and it ran late. Then I spent the afternoon waiting for the cable guy. He hasn't shown up yet and it is getting dark and cold outside. Looks like I won't run today. Now I understand what the Seinfeld episode was about. Kramer (Pre-Racist comments) won't let the phone guy in so he gets a sample of what it is like to wait..forever.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dick Broadmoor

I ran 2 x 5 miles in what is supposed to pass for a long day. My morning run was another frozen ultra slow run and the late afternoon run was a two mile warmup with ray and 12 x 400 as slow as I could stand them.

Hence: 10 miles. The good news is that my IT band continues to feel MUCH better. Not there yet but better than before.

Ray, Dimitri and I: We decided my porn name should be Dick Boradmoor. Dick was my nickname when I was a a little kid and my parents first home was in Broadmoor, California right next to Colma and Daly City.

So now we have Ray "Boots Meridian", Dimitri "Yanni Monroe" and me "Dick Broadmoor".

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ultra Slow

I ran 5 miles ultra slow this morning. The temp hovered in the mid 30's. It was sunny though. The schools must be closing for Xmas because there was damn little traffic. The track was inhabited mostly by walkers. The near turn is in continuous shade and moss is growing on the all weather surface.

I ran clockwise to take some pressure off of the IT band.

Two layers of gloves
Wool Cap
Two T's.

I took me around 47-48 minutes to get this run in. HR mostly around 130.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dark Coffee

I took today off. I woke up early (5:30 AM) thinking about a meeting at one of my clients. I tried to fall back but it was no deal. My wife was restless too. So finally I gave in to the coffee gods and sat out on the couch in the early morning half light sipping the dark stuff until I woke up enough to shave. Amber, our 11 year old golden retriever did her pee run and slunk back in the house curling up on her warm bed. She peered at me for a moment just to see if there was any treat in it for her and then seeing that it was hopeless, would herself tight into a primordial ball of fur.

I think of myself as retired but let's face it. I am not. Not if I still wake up on edge due to a meeting. You can take me out of work but not work out of me.

Cha Cha Cha!

The temperature was in the mid 30's while I was driving in. I was just ahead of the school traffic.

Merger talk and power point slides lay waiting for me.

I put myself on autopilot. Just get in there, do it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I ran a 38 minute and change re3covery jog this morning keeping my HRM at 130 and under. So this was about as slow as I could run.

The weather was sunny but cold (under 40 degrees) but warming slightly throughout the run. I ran over to DeAnza which was basically deserted except for several walkers and some older guys standing near the far side of the straightaway peering at some papers on a table they had set up there. I had no idea of their purpose and was too frozen to go ask.

The alternative was to go up to Lake Merced and run around the lake while hundreds of runners participated in the Xmas relays. Last year I was on the winning seniors relay team but went unasked this year. With Howe, Chimenti, Schmidt and Hurtado I was just the odd man out. If I go to the relays again, I will have to earn my way back. I had entertained the idea of blasting a lap and showing them I belonged (it would have been eloquent) but with my pegs (read...legs) would not have been up to it.

If I can get clear of sore legs and being generally tired and beat up maybe I can make a long run at the event. These days I don't plan things long term. My physical self is just not that reliable.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Brian Clarke Workout

No running Thursday and Friday. Thursday was a planned day off but Friday's run was cut off by the rescheduling of a lunch time meeting to 9 AM. That wasn't so bad but we all agreeed to get in early to review a presentation that we were going to give so that became 8 AM. The idea of getting up early ear;y to run just didn't float so I let it slide.

I slept in Saturday morning but joined the club for breakfast. Finally in the cold windy early afternoon I went out and tried a Brian Clarke workout. Who is Brian you ask????

Brian didn't get too many decent reviews except the one from George Beinhorn who is a very knowledgeable runner and writer about sports and other subjects and it is his remarks I respect.

Anyhow, when I read Clarke and when he talked about runners who had dug themselves into a big hole, he seemed to be speaking about me. So I decided to give one of his recommended workouts a try.

2 miles easy.

3-4 50 meters striders

6 x 800 at 155-158 HR which is about 75% of max. Each 800 was followed by a 200 meter slow jog. This is what might be termed a tempo interval workout but vsub-anaerobic by design so that the runner does not get too tired.

2 miles slow and easy back home.

The six 800's totaled 23:41 or an average of 3:57. Nothing to get excited about but a beginning of something or nothing. We'll see.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I ran 4 miles this morning. It was slow as planned. My legs felt ok.

This evening's 5 miles with 2 x 800 in 2:59-2:54) was not as good. I struggled and my left leg was bothering me along the IT band below the knee. I came home and iced and took some advil. The torque of running fast causes it to flare up. I may have to usde a less stressful type of workout to build powert and stay away from the fast stuff. I have been reading Brian Clarke's book on 5 & 10K training and he has what seems to be a decent approach.

Strange (but maybe not so strange) after all of these years finally the wear and tear is showing up in constant leg problems. So far I have had issues with my knee and IT band on the that side.

I know...

I know...

There's always rest and if all else fails then time off it will be.......

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not Dragging-For Once!

The rained cleared out so that Monday morning was rather nice. I planned a shorter run but ended up running about 7 miles at an easy (light) pace. I felt good for the first time in about a week or two. For once I wasn't just draggin along.

I believe I have been paying the price for "fooling around" with my training. It sucked me into my lastest down period. Every time I run well it is been after a long period of very slow running with either some 100's or that 1 mile of speed. If I look back over this last prelude, I was doing quite a few longer tempo runs pacing Jake on Saturdays or the 10K tempo, DSE run in November. I was also not running Wednesday evening workouts at an easy pace. They were secret hard runs because as I felt decent I would push them down in pace.

The results were simple. I had trouble sleeping, felt beat up and sore and my tempo runs fell off drastically. I really had no choice but to cut way back last week and keep taking it easy for the immediate future.

My idea of running 2 x 800 on Wednesday evenings is not bad as long as I recognize that this is my hard run of the week. I am well into what Van Aaken called the 20-1 territory. I can do about one mile hard in 20. Now and then I can run other stuff but that has to be it for the week. No 800's on Wednesday and then tempo on Saturday for example.

I have been reading Brian Clarke's book 5K and 10K Training. He, who once ran a 4:06 mile under Bowerman back in the 1960's. The book makes good sense. I amy email him. I sound very much like his once a week hard day runner. Brian believes in every day running and things a runner can adjust to it if he or she keep recovery days short and very slow. He does not believe in hard training as such but rather at keeping easy days very easy and hard days at sub-tempo. he would have a veteran runner like me not going over 75% of max HR in the early going on my hard days. That would mean workouts like 6 x 800 at 75% with a short 80 second jog. Eventually after the runner adjusts, they can add in a hill circuit days also not exceeding 75% on the uphill portions.

75% for me is 155-158 HR.

His program calls for daily evaluation of workouts so that the runner can handle the next workout successfully.

I am not keen on every day running but would rather shift two of the recovery days to morning runs on days where I either run hard in the afternoon or do two easy recovery runs or...OR...just stick with 4 days aweek with 3 of them being BIG days.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Friday & Saturday

I ran 4 miles on Friday and 30 minutes on Saturday. My legs still tired from Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

2 x 800

I finally felt decent enough to go run a few miles this evening with the club. I opted for a 2 mile warmup and 2 x 800.

The first one was close to 3:00 minutes and I struggled with the first lap coming through in 92. There was no magic pickup. I just pushed harder and got an 88 for my 3 flat. I ran this one all alone (always tougher) with Ray and Dimitri far ahead in the darkness and with Jim Bordoni closer but not within reach.

On the nex one I hung closer to Jim and came though in 86. The second lap was the same as i fought for control and form over push. So 2:52 which was more than fast enough.

I walked down a lap.

This might have been 3 miles total.

Wednesday now becomes the KING of all workouts and any others will be submissive to that evening run. Next week I will run a another 2 x 800 with no other goal than to run in the same neighborhood that I did this evening.

All my other runs will be short and slow. 2, 3 or 4 miles. This will be it for now except for a 7-8 miler once a week.

100 hours of not running

I haven't run since Saturday morning. My legs were just too beat up. I have to admit that after 100 hours of not running, my legs feel MUCH better. I can actually walk. So maybe I will go out to the club workout late this afternoon and resume my march towards destiny.

By the way, today is the 26th wedding anniversary for Sue and I. We actually celebrated last night with a nice dinner at a local eatery. I had THE BIG STEAK and THE BIG GLASS OF WINE!

Let's see. In 1980, the year we were married, I could run the following give or take 10-15 seconds.

5K 15:46 minutes
5 miles: 25:45
10K: 33:16 minutes (32:34)
10 miles: 55:11 minutes (54:45)
Half Marathon: 73:54 (73:39)

I would get faster ( )

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I ran 8 miles today but felt leg sore and tired throughout.

Not a great experience.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Another cold morning. I stayed inside until 9 AM and finally decided to go out and run. It had warmed slightly but was still in the 40's. I did a variation on my B-O-R-I-N-G five (5) miler with several miles on the track. That little spike of a girl was out there as I hit the tartan and I just wooshed by her (total opposite of my Monday run) but after a short while she stopped and I figured she was calling it a day.


She then ran straightaway sprints while I continued to circle the track. So I figure she had already ran hard and I "wooshed" by her during her warmdown. No BIG victory there. :-(

I finally headed home. By this time I could easily have been in a long sleeve and shorts because it warmed up quickly.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Works

It was in the low 40's when I went out for a slow 5 mile run this morning. So it is THAT time of year.

The good news is that I was once again the fastest guy during my mile portion on the local track. It was all walkers and slow, slow runners so I (running a sizzling 9:30-10 minute pace) was king of the track. This is what aging is about. I am now truly running paces that I never imagined I would subject myself to. 20-25 years ago this would have been an 8 minute pace run. That was my really, really slow pace. My dialy pace was 6:30-45.

I am recovering from latest bout of 3-days-in-a-rowitis. My legs feel good again and I slept well last night.

I still have tonight's club workout. I plan to wear the works. Tights, gloves and cap. The works!

And later......

OK, back now from my evening 5 miles with the club. I ran 8 minute pace the track and felt very decent. It was cold but "the works" kept my ass from freezing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

7 miles slow

Glad I took the extra day off. I slept well Sunday night and felt OK on Monday. I took off at about 8:30 AM and ran one of my 7 mile courses that includes about 3 miles on the track. There was a little slender, spike of girl (under 5 feet tall for sure) who showed up about the time I got there and took off running what looked to be a fast pace. I figured she must have been running close to 7 minute miles (as she blew by me several times). Finally I timed one of her laps and was surprised that she was running an 8 minute pace.

So what was I running? I decided not to find out. It was way too horrible to even speculate. 9 minute miles? 10 minute miles?

Oh the horror.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

At my age

I decided not to run today. Felt slightly washed out. At my age, how I feel wins every time.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Coldest Yet

Coldest morning so far. I went down to the Saturday morning workout and ran an easy 6 miles while the club did 1200's on the track. Joe, Bob and Jim dueled each other whenever they came into contact. There is no "off" switch with these guys. It's what makes them so tough in races. I am such a wuss ;-)

It warmed up nicely later on but frankly I threw away my plans of running anything hard (even though I am due) because of the cold weather. I keep eyeing my running tights but haven't worn them yet.

Jim and I walked around the track and had our usual discussion about long timers who just didn't value competing anymore. In football terms Jim is a playoff team in our age group. Maybe 10-6 or 11-5. Porteous is a 13-3 or 14-2. Goldman is a solid 11-5 or 12-4.

I am a 9-7 (if things go right) or 8-8. Sometimes I am a 7-9.

What does that make Jake and Tim?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Run

Joined the club for our traditional 7:30 AM Thanksgiving day run. It is 7.25 miles. Even though this was my 3rd running day in a row I felt very strong and covered the distance in about 60 minutes. When I feel like this I know my slow-slow (sub aerobic) running approach is a good one. My legs just felt good throughout.

There was a fun moment about 6 miles into the run where Dimitri said that this was a tough course. "Tough," I shot back. "It is pretty normal." You know. Some hills. Some gradual up and downs but mostly nothing too challenging. Then i realized it was my legs. They just felt good. Of course Dimitri ran some hard 400's the night before.

I am going to take Friday off and run Saturday and Sunday if I feel decent.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Month of Terror

Cool and quiet this morning. I took off at around 10 AM and ran 5 miles at a very easy pace (again). This is a great time to run. The commute traffic has had time to bleed off and I am not dodging cars whipping around corners filled with desparate parents and half asleep kids.

In the evening I went to the club workout and warmed up for 2 plus miles with Dimitri and then ran two miles on the track in the form of 8 x 400 in 2 minutes each. My legs felt really loose and decent. I really can't complain. Not many people there. Thanksgiving tomorrow whcih means many of them are headed out of town or are entertaing family and friends. So begins the month of terror. Thanksgiving, XMAS and New Years. In another world I would disappear from town and go someplace where people didn't really care about the holidays and all the craziness that goes with it. Luckily Sue and Alex are low key about it so we work hard at keeping the stress to a minimum. I know Sue misses her family but whenever I say to her, let's go to Seattle, she makes it plain that the trip is not worth the cost.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mini-Ed Whitlock

Took Monday off and ran today for 75 minutes. As usual my legs felt tight the first several miles and then began to loosen up. The 61 year old body does not want to run but if I can fool myself through the first part, then I actually want to run. I went out in the mid morning so I was feeling pretty rested. Got stronger as the run went on and finished strong.

This week should be interesting because the plan is to run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, take Friday off and then run Saturday and Sunday. I hope to hit 35 miles in a gradual build up to 40 mpw. I am taking the Mini-Ed Whitlock approach with plenty of slow miles and then I will use tempo runs for relative speed. The goal is to burn more calories, not faster racing.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Rocketman Mile

It was the Danny dowhill mile again. Danny Moon ran 4:57 the last two years on this course to keep his 26 year streak alive of breaking 5 minutes for the mile. This year it was not to be. Injuries, lack of training and a significant weight gain finally slowed Rocketman down. He still ran 5:35. This made sense given his 5:59 at Hollister. Last year he ran 5:23 at Hollister and then ran 4:57 at the Downhill mile. The same the year before. Danny gets about 24-26 seconds advantage on this course.

I warmed up by jogging to the start and then paced Jake down the hill running 6:10. I then warmed down with Dimitri. I felt fine before, during and after the run. I check my HR during the mile and the highest it got was 168 and that was in the last 440 and I didn't kick.

Danny and I took everyone out for breakfast afterwards.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I ran 7 miles on Monday, 9 miles in two runs on Wednesday and 8 miles on Saturday. I was going to run Friday but had a lousy nights sleep Thursday and decided to shelve it for a day.

My legs felt washed out so I am taking it easy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


This morning I drove up to SF with my buddy Shedon. We ran the DSE Embarcadero 10K which I decided to do at an AT effort. The conditions were just about perfect. Cool with a bit of a headwind going out and tail wind coming back. After running the previous two days I got about what I expected. Even though both previous days were easy runs of 4-5 miles my legs were still tired (and maybe my body too) because the first sign I had that I was not "with it" was that I could not get my HR up to 90%. It took 4 miles to finally get there. Now one might say "well you are in great shape and so it should be harder" but that is not the way it works for me. Usually it takes a mile or maybe a mile and a half but I was still in the low 170's at the turn around point and finally reached 180 because it simply was warmer heading back with a slight tailwind plus I was wearing a long sleeve cotten shirt. Generally my legs were tired while my breathing was OK throughout.

All in all I ran 45 minutes and change. If I age graded the effort it would have been like running a low 36 minute 10K at age 30. Maybe a minute or more off what I would consider to be par.

So what did I do that might have contributed to this sub par effort?

1. I ran 3 days in a row.

2. My sleep has been spotty. Several good night surrounded by nights where 6 hours was norm.

3. I ran too hard wednesday evening at the track. I did some grey area runs as Jack Daniels call them.

What do I plan to do about this?

Nada. It is what it is. I will get back on my program and try to stick with it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Two easy days

Friday: 4 miles very slow. Felt sluggish and "off". I might have run further but decided that it was best to cut it short.

Saturday: 5 miles easy. Felt better than Friday but it was cold and raining lightly. My legs took some time to loosen up. Promised Joe that if they need me for the X-country championships or the Xmas relays that I would be there.

This is one of those rare 3 days in a row. I am running a 10K DSE run on Sunday. I plan to take Monday off.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

10 mile day

I ran 5 miles Wednesday morning keeping the HR at or under 140. It was balmy. Incredible weather for November. The wind picked up throughout the day by the evening run it was in the high 50's but with a cold, sharp wind blowing. I ran another 5 miles with 3 miles on the track cruising an 8 minute pace, keeping my stride short and quick and running very compact.

My legs felt tight but not tired. I think it was the relative cold snap. I could have actually worn tights, gloves and a long sleeve short. Kathy, the long-legged, drink of a girl intimated I was a whimp. Can't say I don't agree with her. But I do believe you have to protect those legs or you are out of business.

There is something soothing in running in the dark around the track. I will have to figure that out one day.

Dimitri and I went up to The Diner and I had a big bowl of chili.

Danny didn't go again. The gap widens.

Monday, November 06, 2006

90 Minutes Easy

90 minute easy run this morning. Beautiful weather! My back held together throughout the run so I guess I can wait until my regularly scheduled Thursday appointment to go in.

I am going to have to deal with Wednesday nights. I keep picking up the pace during the rep portion which for me is not at all productive. I really need to just take it easy and save my harder runs for the weekends. I was OK doing 100's on Wednesday's and I may go back to that but running sub tempo during the week (big gray area workout..No benefit I can see) serves no real purpose. I just don't have that much gas left in the tank.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I woke up early Saturday morning, grabbed some coffee and sat on the couch tring to shake out the cobwebs. When I got up my left hip seized up (OUCH!). I snuck back into the bedroom and went into the master bath and got some advil. 800 mg later the hip felt passable so I decided to go to the Saturday club workout.

I ended up running about 8 miles including a 2.75 sub-tempo run in 22:06 with Jake.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I ran 5 miles this morning under slate-gray skies and drizzle. It was another of those "how slow can I run" runs that I seem to specialize in lately. Still I was fast enough to pass the super-thin Asian woman who is always on the track running in the outside lane in high tech gear. I tried to match her pace for a about 100 meters but had to slow so much that I was almost walking. I won't give up though. I know with work and time that I eventually will be able to run her pace.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Life on hold

A very quiet day. It's like my life is on hold.

The only thing I "did" today was to go out and have lunch with Anne (formerly from the Labs at Sun). She was Rif'd in the last wave. All her underpinnings were knocked out. Ivan went to teach at UC and her job slowly became uninteresting so I am sure that over time she became a target. I've been there more than a few times.

We went to a Japanese place run by Koreans located in Los Altos. She wanted to pay but I told her the rule was she pays when she gets a job so for now, I pay. So we ate Bento Boxes and caught up on life. She seems sturdy enough but I will keep tabs on her until she lands somewhere. She tends to be a loner who inhabits dark places (like me). We socialize nicely but at heart we like our "dens".

The Wednesday night workout was strange. Ray cut out and didn't mention dinner. Probably because Dimitri (he of the 5:11 mile) wasn't there. Danny doesn't go out anymore in the evening. I think he is either tired of it or tired of balancing between me and Madelyn. There's a gap there where there wasn't one before. In any case our friendship isn't the same. It's broken just enough that we have spun off in our own directions.

I found myself finishing the workout and jogging off into the dark quietly with no good-byes. It felt right evn though it was weird. The Danny downhill is in several weeks and I am not sure will do it this year. Danny is not in sub five shape. Injuries and fat have slowed him down. Somehow sub-six doesn't seem that exciting. A friend knows when they are needed and when it is time to leave.

I think I need to leave for now.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I went out this morning and ran my slightly short five miler "summer" course in 39:42. I kept my HRM in the 148-152 mode most of the way which is a 70% of max run. This is a decent time and shows that I am in recovery/building mode. I have been known to run this in the 41's & 42's at this same HR effort when beat up. One day that may be a decent time but not right now.

I plan to run another 4-5 this evening at the track.

Weather forecast for this evening: DARK!

Watch-word....Don't blow it. Keep your own counsel.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I took my usual day off from running. Actually I mostly hid out and only left the house to have lunch with Dave. Otherwise I did nada unless surfing the internet and watching TV are considered something. Amber has diarrhea so I did take her over to the vets just to make sure it wasn't serious (seems not to be). I don't
mind scooping poop but scooping diarrhea is something else.

Hey let's eat!

Amber seemed non plussed about the whole thing......Appetite is good and her nose is wet and she is playful. The only thing she hates is the HOUSE OF PAIN (aka..the vets).

It's Halloween and I brought down two big bags of candy for the kids who will be "mobbing" our house tonight.

I thought some on slowly increasing my running (every other day) and seeing if I can slow the slow that way. But I don't trust myself. Now why do I do 25-30 mpw. It's because I WILL do it almost without fail. It was the same with 60-65 mpw in my best days. I would do it. That was key. I can play the I will run more game but I know it's a losing cause. I just wonder how Ed Whitlock talked himself into running 2-3 hours a day. I mean life is good but 2-3 hours on a one-third mile loop over and over?

I can't imagine running 2-3 hours a day every other day which would be about 45-50 mpw average. I guess I could try and see what it is like. All slow of course with races as speedwork.

Monday-Wednesday-Saturday: 2-3 hours of running

Friday could be one hour. That would be the easy day. GULP!

Or just go every other day literally for months. 2-3 hours every other day.

I could call it Every-other-day-Whitlock.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I ran 75 minutes this morning. It was tough at the beginning. A bit like running in molasses (cool morning) but I warmed up and began to find my stride about half way and then ran fine.

At Jollyman Park some Asian woman was in the middle of some sort of workout experience that caused her to bellow like a wounded animal. It shattered the natural quiet of the place and she kept at it the whole I was there so I scooted down to the college and finished the bulk of my workout there. The track was crowded with walkers spread as usual acorss half the track. I negotiated the minefield and out ran most them. Eventually most of them disappeared and then it was just me and a little stump of a young woman who runs there almost every day. She tends to stick to the outside lanes so I do run into her much (excuse the pun).

The Japanese-hatted runner showed up again and plowed around the track first clockwise and then counter-clockwise. There must be a method to his madness. When the rain comes we'll see how many of the summer "normals" will still be out there.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I cruised 8 miles Saturday morning while my club ran a track workout (I am self-prohibited from doing these for the time being).

Should I really feel this good? It was in the mid to high 40's at the start and I just motored along pushing the HRM up in the 140's. My legs are starting to respond to the prohibition of intervals and anything else too hard. They are feeling pretty good. I still have a few tweaks but who doesn't at this point of the game? I mean I am 61. Knuckle-baller Joe Niekro died yesterday at age 61. Who am I kidding?

From now on it's LSD and sub-tempo for the bulk of my training. I will do a test AT run when I think things are right.

I have nothing to lose seeing how far I can go. The other path certainly hasn't worked.

I am thinking of making this blog less of a running diary and more of a personal diary. Can my few very few readers stand that? Just writing about running is getting monotonous. I look at other blogs and I realize that incomparison to them I am just not that nice of a person. There is a darkness to me that derfines what I am and why certain peiople are drawn to me. I will never be a "kiss the girls and hug them" sort of guy. Joeness is an attempt to mask this and see if I can be something else. I told Dimitri I need a break or a down week from Joeness every now and then because I have to recover. It is just too far away from the core of what makes me what I am.

Of course a Xanax makes me pretty mellow to everyone but myself. I keep them around just in case i need to be nice. otherwise, I am what I am. At best I have a flexible morality. I am not as bothered by things that others consider immoral. I believe in people's right to freedom and not interfering with that right but I also believe that if I have to influence or spin things to get a necessary outcome, I will do this.

Running is pure in a way. The fastest wins. Simple. But if you are the fastest you had better enjoy it while it is there because age and time will rob you of this and so there had better be a another reason for your happiness. I still enjoy running (blah..blah...blah) but so many of my friends try to define my running by my being faster than someone else. That never was the definition of running as far as I was concerned. It has always been just being able to run that has defined the experience. At the beginning of running I always knew two things. One is that I would get much faster (and I did) and also that eventually I would get slower again (and I am doing that too). So today as I tooled around the West Valley Campus at an 8 minute mile pace it felt the same as when I used to run at a 6:30 pace. I felt fast and smooth and strong. But it didn't make me want to race. I just enjoyed the process.

At breakfast, after the run today, the talk was of heart disease and high school runners (coached by several of my buddies). Not much about us. Our running seems to no longer be the focal point.

Running is something we do. The fast running is done by others or we talk about dying. Not directly but indirectly. It's starting. Pretty soon all we'll be talking about is dying. I am just not there yet. The last time I looked I was still alive and ticking and running.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Quick 4

Ran a quick 4 miles this morning. Had to go early (for me) because of a 9 am breakfast meeting. Makes me wonder how I ever got up at 4:30 AM to go run 4-6 miles before going into work at Stanford years ago. Then a 12 hour day and back out for another run in the evening.


Well, I was motivated. Very, very motivated.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

10 miles

I ran 10 miles today in two runs. One in the morning (my legs felt strong) and another in the evening with the club at the track. 400's at an easy pace with a few at the end to test my right foot.


Yes. :-)

My foot felt good (MFFG). First time in almost 4 weeks.

Now why did my legs feel strong? No real fast stuff for weeks now. I feel like I am coming around.

"Truly for some nothing is written."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fun Running

I realize as I spend time reading Cool Running and a few other forums that most runners either have little talent or the drive to make running anymore than a small part of their busy life. I can't say I blame them. Balance is OK. In a way I have slipped down the ladder as far as commitment is concerned. In the 70's it seemed like everyone who ran was trying to get faster. I know that wasn't totally true but the "we're all winners" concept was not in full force.

I mostly run every other day

I have really lost intererst in running hard.

I don't run races much anymore. When I do go, I wear my HRM and don't go over 90% which is at best a tempo run. Also I don't have to sandbag before or after a race. I know I am not going to run hard so no excuses are needed.

I don't particularly want to coach, especially kids. Way too flakey just the way I was at their age. Ju-Nut did me in with her lack of focus and commitment. She is running this year but slower than last. She has run through coaches who care more than she does so one is pushing her. If she runs at BYU, either her commitment will need to change or she'll be a bench wafrmer and in running that isn't good.

Marathons are futher away from me than climbing Everest. I have no plans on climbing Everest.

All in all, I feel OK about where things are these days. I was fast on a local level. I had my time. I have slowed faster than the curve and won't and can't do anything about it. I am faster than almost all my peers from the 1970's and early 80's and generally slower than the runners in my age group who came up much later (fresher legs).

So from here on out (seriously now) it's long slow running with club runs or races at sub-AT or AT efforts. If I get faster than I am right now by going down this path, then fine. If not, the inevitable will happen anyway. Age is a relentless competitor and always wins.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Big Loops: The Winter Route

What a day off and some advil can do...LOL

This morning I went out and ran a winter route which basically means streets and the local track (many big loops). It the type of course I will have to run when the rains come. I was out about 80 minutes with my HR around 140 BPM on average.

My legs felt much better than they did Saturday afternoon. The soreness was pretty much gone and I was able to run tirelessly (whatever that is).

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Beat Up

Saturday afternoon my left hip and my left leg hurt. I had taken a cold water shower to soak my legs but as the day wore on I realized that I was beat up so I finally gave in and took some ibuprofen and about an hour later I felt much better.

On Sunday I woke up and hopped out of bed (yes, hopped). Everything seemed ok.

Probably a combination of the Tuesday-Wednesday back to back, running a bit harder than normal on Wednesday evening and also running the harder effort on Saturday. I will try to avoid this triple header in the future. Once again (yawn) i run best when I take it very very easy during the week and run something a bit faster on the weekend. Slower is better. I can never do enough slow stuff.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


The club ran the Triangle course (4.76).

After warming up for 3 miles I decided to pace Jake. The conditions were bordering on cool but the sky was clear. If there was any wind, I didn't notice it. Jake took off fast and I didn't really catch up to him until we were out of the college and heading down Fruitvale. My HRM was in the 150's pretty quickly but stayed there for about a mile and half. On Saratoga the course begin to climb very lsightly and so did my HR. It still stayed in the high 150's all the way to Highway 9 where the hills get steep. Then it gradually climbed into the 160's and stayed there up the long hill. Jake ran a pretty even effort because my HRM did not vary much once we settled in to a section of the course. Tim had passed Jake just past the mile and gapped him but gradually Jake made up the difference and by the time we turned on Fruitvale with a little over a mile to go, Jake really began to push and my HRM repsonded by going up to 171-173 which is 85% of my max. Tim seemed to sense it and pushed too. I just stayed back slightly watching these two duel it out all the way down to the college. 23 years ago this would have been at a sub 5 pace but these days it was sub 7, BUT IT LOOKED THE SAME.

Finally Tim pulled away but only slightly and I glided up next to him and we finished together with Jake a few seconds back.

For me this was at best an 80-85% run but that was OK. It fit in well with how I wanted to run. Sub-AT.

Afterwards we jogged slowly around the campus so the day's total was around 9.5 miles.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Unremarkable 5 miles

5 miles today in the late morning. It was unremarkable except that the fall wearther is not here yet. It was warm and going up to 80. I ran very easily. My right foot is still bothering me especially when I toe off so I am surrounded at last and have to stick to slow running (or just stop running). If i keep relativel;y flat footed (as in slow running) it doesn't bother me much at all.

I am still running and that is what counts.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back to Back

I ran another 8 miles today. 4 in the morning and 4 more in the afternoon with the club. Actually I felt OK even with the 10-8 back to back. The weather is (was) beautiful. Clear sunny conditions. Cool in the AM and warm in the afternoon. I stayed close to Stacy in the afternoon and got in a decent sub-tempo type workout.
3 x 1600 in under 8 minutes with two in the low 7:30's. Maybe this isn't the race workouts I should be doing but right now but I love this type of running. Easy is very easy and hard is not really that hard.

I am out tinning the Tinman. Well, sort of.....

Ray and Dimitri, in the quest for the 5:20 mile ran a 4 minute 1200 meter trial. of course Dimitri ran a hard workout the day before, sure that he would recover. He didn't and he had to push the last lap to hit his time. Ray could have gone on around the bend which is the true nature of this effort. The feeling that you could have gone on a bit. Ray felt it but Dimitri admitted that he was used up.

My right foot is better but still aches now and then. I notice that my almost departed toe problems have caused some residual issues with my right leg but the easy running will bring it back to normal. So right now I am being very careful. No choice. Can't force my way through this. Not at this point.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Monday...OFF. Had to do an all day offsite.

Tuesday: Doubling up. 10 miles today in two runs (5-5)

I will run on Wednesday. I GIVE myself permission because I took two day off prior to today.

I feel like I am drifting again. The mile didn't take hold. Just doesn't grab me anymore. I should know the obvious. I don't want to compete. I just want to run and now and then test myself at 90% of max.

I have known this for 11 years.

Cool Running...The marathon is back with a vengeance but this time no more Mr. Nice Guy. No, this time it's Mr. Mediocre. I always figured we were pretty clueless back in the day but these guys (and gals) are worse. They have more information at their fingertips than we ever had but they don't access it. Two marathons in a three week period. God! The eternal rush to make sure that the world is well stocked with 4-5 hour marathoners. Reading their posts is painful. Only my buddy Jim and this Sun Raider guy make any sense but no one listens to them.

The good news is that unlike flying and climbing Everest they only hurt themselves.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


I went to to see Big Bill, my chiro on thursday. My big toe on my right foot was "out" of alignment. It was causing a strain on the whole foot.

Bill asked me what the hell I had done (lol) and then he popped the toe back in place and as soon I came down off the ceiling I could actually walk again without limping. The toe is still very sore but I ran an easy 4 miles on Friday and did not push during 8 miles of running on Saturday. I paced Jake through 3 x 1600 in 6:56-6:55-6:48 and the only time I felt any discomfort was when Jake picked it up on the last lap of a rep.

So how did this happen?

I finally figured out that it must have been when I stubbed my toe several weeks back we moved back in to the house after it was painted. I hit (stubbed) my big toe against a piece of furniture that had been moved during the process. I was barefoot so I must have really slammed it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My right foot

This morning I chugged through a slow 5 miles. In the late afternoon I did another 5 with the club but I did not run anything hard. My legs felt GREAT! but I am still having some issues with my right foot. The good news was that I had no problems scooting along at a a sub 8 minute pace chatting with Stacy about weird movies. I just didn't put the pedal down. I will see Tarr my chiro on Thursday. I think something in that foot is out of alignment.

Not doing speedwork feels good though.

Dimitri, as always brings up the sub 6 minute mile which I just don't care about that much.

I am on my new quest which is "Joeness". More on that later.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


My wife and I escaped to the coast for a Sunday-Monday mini-vacation. We stayed at Seascape or as I like to call it Sea Escape (pun intended).

On Monday I ran a 72 minutes on my big loop around the lodge and adjacent dog park. It takes roughly 20 minutes a loop and much of it is soft trail. So three times around and then I scooted around the big oval at the dog park several times to make 72 minutes.

I passed my wife on loop number 3. She whistled at me and later told me that I looked slow. I would have taken it personally but I was running slow. HRM mostly in the 130-140 range.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dinged Up

I ran 5 miles in the morning Friday and another 9 miles on Saturday. My legs feel good. Not tired at all. But I am dinged up. My right instep and my back both were bothering me. So even though I haven't rested, I have stayed away from anything hard.

No complaints. Dimitri thinks I was all set up to run the quintessential 6 minute mile and now I have lost my way. From my perspective (500 plus races and a thousand or more hard workouts) I am glad just to be still running. It's just not all about racing for me. As a matter of fact it's just not about racing at all. I am 61 and I am glad just to be running and enjoying the sport. Being the last runner standing is more zen than anything else. It is a meta answer to why I run.

I you don't get this I can understand why. I didn't years ago, or I really did get it years ago and lost it amid competition and striving for big goals. Nowadays, it's being there.

Sometimes that is at races. Most of the time it is me, alone, running. Just like it was in the beginning back in 1968 when I headed out my door and ran 2 miles to my friend's house. I just called him and told him I was on my way and would he drive me home.
That began it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

First Rain

The first mini-storm hit yesterday. My morning 4 mile run was fine but but my so called late afternoon track workout was a done in a steadily inceasing drizzle turning to showers. I had planned to run 2 x 800 at 5 seconds under pace but I ended up whimping out and just running medium easy for 5 miles. The track was slick and I felt as if I were running on a surface that had been lathered in butter. I know...I know...It's an all weather track so it may have been "in" my head rather than "on" my feet.

9 mile day.

Monday, October 02, 2006

70 minutes

Another good night of sleep. I was out by 8:30 AM running for about 70 minutes. It was cool and overcast so I had to drive the pace to get up in my HR range.

It may rain this week so that will be a big change. My railroad track route muddies up and can be rather nasty once it gets soaked. It's not so much the mud but rather the small rocks that I am constantly kicking up into my shoes. Pretty soon I am running with a layer of gravel between my socks and my insole.

Not fun.

Haven't heard from DC - He of the one hundred mile weeks. I would guess my email saying I wanted to hear about races not how many miles he and his wife were running may have sent the message. I am just not impressed with miles. I am impressed with results. Otherwise why else run 100 mpw?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

8 hours zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz:-)

Slept 8 hours last night. Usually Amber (our Golden) comes in and nudges me around 6:30.

GET UP, she is saying.

But she slept in too.

Rain may be coming next week.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sleepless in Silicon Valley

We moved back home Friday afternoon. The house is newly painted inside. Pictures stacked against the walls. The slight tinge of acrylic water based paint wafting through the house. The weather is cooler. It actually seems like fall.

I went out and ran 5 miles as slow I could around 1:30 PM. I was tired but I think it is the sleep problem.

Saturday (on 5 1/2 to 6 hours sleep) I went back out and ran 8 miles with the club including the warm-up, a modest Valley Vista (3 miles) in a little over 23 minutes and a warmd-own around campus. Dimitri was back from Toronto. Wondered what happened a week ago Wednesday with the 1600 trial effort.

Why am I suddenly having problems sleeping? When I get to bed (late usually because I simply don't feel sleepy) , I sleep straight through but I don't sleep in. I wake up around 6-6:30 AM (yawn). It's the dropping off to sleep that is the problem. Could be the moving out to the hotel, sleeping in a strange bed and then moving back home again. It may have disruppted my sleep pattern. Who knows for sure. Ok I have to get off the computer and begin to sleep (like I can force it).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Track Again

I am not getting enough sleep. Living in a hotel is, to say the least, strange. I shook off the cobwebs this morning running around West valley College for 4 slow miles.

I came back in the afternoon warming up for two miles and then joining the club for 12 x 400's on the track. I went retro to 1995 running one hard and two easy throughout. In other words, repetition running.

My fast 400's were 79-79-79-73. The first fast one left me sucking wind but the second and third felt much better. The last felt best of all. I could feel the old acceleration (just slower). This was much better than last week. Sleep deprived or not, I responded well. I wanted four of them in 79-80. I got my 79's with a 73 at the end.

Mark's ex showed up again. Tall and slinky in basic black power clothes. Her daughter runs with us. Ray bailed after 8 of the 400's and spent the rest of the workout hitting on her.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rancho again

First night at the Courtyard was not good. The room was nice. It was the heat. 92 degree day and warm at night. I awoke around 5:30 AM in a sweat. Couldn't get back to bed so I got up, had coffee and drove over to the house and opened it up for the painters. Then I went to Rancho and ran for about 70 minutes (Maybe 7.5 to 8 miles) with rolling hills. It been a long time since I ran there. Every time I run there I always wonder why it has been so long since I last ran there.

Rancho is a zoo on the weekends.Parking is hard to come by unless you get there very early so that is out. During the week there is plenty of parking but it is still crowded.

The run woke me up. About half way through I began to really feel decent. Plenty of walkers out. Not many runners. As usual things don't quiet down until you get past the farm and then it gets really quiet. The highlight might have been me passing two African Runners. Kenyans by the look of them. I blew by them but then that is explainable. I was passing them they came by me going in the opposite direction. They were flying but they nodded as they went by. Wooosh!

Later a tall blond came by me (once again going in the opposite direction). No eye contact. Just another wooosh and grabbing the middle of the trail as if no one was there. I had to move to the far right.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Went up to the DSE race in Golden Gate Park with Shel. It was the old Polo Fields loop but clockwise. We both ran our PR's on this course (counter clockwise) in May, 1979. Those days are long gone.

The field was small with 18 minutes and change winning it. Shel and I ran in the back in 28 minutes give or take. I kept my HRM at 140-150 most of the way. The course is not flat. It is either up or down and rarely level. For every foot you loose, you have to regain it again. So how did I ever run 15:46 on this baby so long ago?

This was the May Day Run Race where I was running right behind the two leaders as we headed up the last hill and one leader said to the other "how far" (gasp..gasp) The other said (gasp)..."Don't know." (gasp, gasp). That was the moment I knew I had to go RIGHT THEN! I knew the course quite well and knew exactly how far we had to go. We had perhaps 400 meters to the tape but you couldn't see the finish line just yet. I pulled out slightly to the right and went by them hard sprinting all the way in.

Won the race outright.

Today I was 15 minutes slower.

With the warmup, 5 miles.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Easy day

I ran 3 miles easy with the club this morning. That was all because I am running Sunday. This will be my first 3 in a row in a long time so one of the days had to be very easy.

Monday we're vacating our house for 5 days while the inside is painted and with meetings at work and all, I probably won't be running that day. So it may be Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday next week.

I have been following several of the forums on Cool Running. My friend Jim is on it all the time. I have to stay off of it. I am not as kind as he is to either myself or others. A great deal of reinvention of the wheel goes on there even though the wheel is already rolling around and invented. Still, they are runners and many are much more motivated than I am these days. Jim is going to Paso Robles for the Masters 10K championship. His goal is to break 40 minutes. That is no small thing for a 60 plus runner. His 5K's say "no" but he is a strength runner and get stronger as the race distance moves out. I am going to say he'll be in the 39:50-40:20 range. It depends on how smart he is during the first mile and whether he can hang with the guys who can break 40.

Years back I had the goal of breaking 26 minutes for 5 miles and during the race I hung with the guys who could do it. In the end, I ran 26:12 but it was hard for me to believe I had not done it. Some months later a friend called and told me that he had heard that the course was long. Any course being long is unusual but I had to find out. I recalibrated the club wheel and went out one cold evening when there wasn't much traffic and measured the damn thing.

It was 144 yards long! I had not only broken 26, I had broken 25:50. The next time they ran the race, the course had been shortened by that distance but I didn't get to run it. I had come down with a bad case of the flu and was just recovered enough to go out and watch my good buddy John run it in the 25:20's.

Bottom line: All Jim has to do is hang with those guys (whomever they are).

Friday, September 22, 2006

7 miles slow

I was having some stomach problems Wednesday and Thursday along with a stiff neck. I think the "thing" might have been a slight case of stomach flu or it could have been something I ate. No fever but I was tired and I had other symptoms that I won't bother to describe. I know that I did not feel decent Wednesday and probably should not have even tried to run faster. Usually I am quite business like and just go do my workout but that evening I kept procrastinating.

There is a message there.

I felt well enough today to run a slow 7 miles.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

salami and cheese

I thought about running a sub 6 minute 1600 today. I woke up with a neck ache. Hadn't had one of those in years. I still ran an easy 4 miles this morning. My legs felt ok.

In the afternoon I warmed up for several miles and ran 3 x 1600 meters with the club but I could tell from the first 1600 that this was not my day. Whatever extra energy had been there in the last few weeks was NOT there tonight. I ran the first two 1600's at an easy pace but still felt sluggish. It was warm and humid and that didn't help things. Finally on the last one I took off running a 90 seconds first lap which quickly threatened to become a 95-100 second second lap so I dropped the effort and jogged the last two laps.

After everyone had left I went back down to the track in the cooler, less windy early evening and tried to run a six pace again albeit alone. It just wasn't there. I didn't feel badly at all. It's just that a 90 second pace wasn't in the cards.

I have learned something about me over the years. Either it comes to me or it doesn't come. No amount of hard work or effort will make it come.

I came home and built myself a bagel, salami and cheese sandwhich with a good old fashioned coke. I don't usually eat like this but it tasted like steak. I sat outside and ate the sandwhich while the family golden retriever kept a close watch.

Monday, September 18, 2006

8 miles & the BIG Blond

I went out before 8 am (early for me) and ran my 8 mile course. My legs felt sluggish going out because I was trying to run as slow as I could but as usual, on the way back, I picked up the pace and felt much better.

I chased the BIG Blond over the last mile. She shows up from time to time on my runs. I never caught her. She was too far ahead and she turned around and was just heading back as I was approaching Stevens Creek Blvd. Either she makes me feel really tiny or I make her feel very big. I am not sure. She's not fat but she is big and tall. Never makes eye contact so today I didn't look.

Once again I slid into the invisible, older guy role.

Read the Banana Chase results of yesterday's 5K. Len Goldman won again just breaking 19 minutes. Last year he ran a sterling 18:31. No Don Porteous to challenge him. There was a 10K too. I could have jogged that race and won my division. The talent was all in the 5K. Schmidt beat Hurtado again. It's been a thing with him since Joe passed him in the last several yards of the mile on the track.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

6 x 100

Saturday was cool. Low 50's but clear and sunny. I warmed up for 4 miles and then ran 6 x 100 (18-17-17-17-16-16). My legs felt decent during the warmup so I knew I could go do these.

Easy 1.5 miles warmdown.

7 total

No, I am not running the Banana man 5K up in Golden Gate Park. Just not where I want to be right now. Maybe next year given that my mile workouts progress. Or maybe not. It is a BIG race. 1400 last year. Very crowded during the first mile. I was running with 500 of my closest friends as we hit the funneling, hairpin turn at about 800 meters. Gasp!

Friday, September 15, 2006

4 miles easy

I ran an easy 4 miles this morning. My legs were still tired but not sore from Wednesday. It wasn't the 4:23 (blah..blah...blah) time trial. It was the 11 mile day.
Whether I run 100's on Saturday will be based on the warm-up. If my legs feel good I will go run 6 x 100. If not I will just jog around and try to look slow.

DC sent me the requisite monthly "look how many miles my wife is running" email. No race times though. The last race he had her doing hard 400's the day before. She bonked badly the next day. That was smart. So far he has coached her into the ground. 100 + mpw. Doesn't make sense for a gal who can't break 38 minutes for 10K (or even 37 minutes). He has her drinking the CoolAide.

So in response I said "send me some racing results". As usual he went quiet. That is normal for him too in an obsessive way.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

4:23 1200 meter


4:23 1200 meter trial. Reads like sub 6 minute mile potential.


It is all happening too fast. I wasn't supposed to here for months.


I may be one of the top dozen 60 plus milers in the NorCal right now.

OHHHHHHH! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

But I need to slow this down. I am moving way too fast. I need to be there next spring and there is the long cold winter in the way and I need to be smart about this.

In the meantime, 11 mile day. 4 in the AM and another 7 in the late afternoon with the 1200 meter trial. Dimitri led and Ray followed. If I am a low 6 minute miler right now, before the dark cold winter closes down on us, then I could be in the 5:40's by next summer.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Empty Track

Got up early this morning but mostly I lazed around the house for two hours before finally going out for a run around 8:30. Traffic was heavy with everyone in Cupertino trying to get to school. I finally decided that I would run down to the college (with a side trip to the park) and run on the track. By the time I arrived at the track I had been out over 30 minutes. The track was basically empty except for the Japanese runner who circles the track clock-wise and never makes eye contact. He wear this odd jungle hat with a bill and flap in the back of material to protect his neck. Actually it looks like the head-gear that Japanese soldiers sometimes wore during World War Two. I am probably the only guy who notices it.

A couple walked on the track but stayed to the outer lanes. I think they were from someplace east of Suez. She wouldn't make eye contact with me (either) but her husband did.

"Don't look at my woman," his eyes said. "I will kill you if you look at my wife."

"But she is the best looking woman on the track. Oh, sorry, she is the only woman on the track."

He babbled at her in some indistict language. I couldn't make it out but it wasn't English. I could have said hello to them. Maybe had coffee with them. But the reality wasn't as much fun as my imagination.

I kept running, circling the track, shutting out the others, until I know I have covered 6 miles (give or never can be sure unless I go out and buy one of those Garmin's GPS units). Then i head back. Another 2 miles and I am in.

8 miles (maybe).

I thought about my friend Phil Rosenzweig during the run. 5 years ago, he was on Flight 11. The plane took off from Logan Airport in Boston and landed in one of the World Trade Towers.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I am on to something

I am on to something. My legs are recovering. The day I run hard I feel the soreness but the next day they are much better. However, I don't run. I am sticking to every other day for the most part. The biggest issue is whether I can balance my Wednesday workouts with Saturday sprints. When this phase all began I was looking to take the 100's down into the 15's but the plain fact is that my Saturday morning legs aren't there.
Maybe they haven't recovered from Wednesday or maybe it's just my realization that it may not be necessary to run them that fast.

There is also the option of working on reps for 2-3 weeks and then shifting to 100's for 2-3 weeks and so forth. It gives my legs a chance to recover. Or just do both but don't worry about the 100's.

I will figure it out. There critical thing is for my legs to be rested so no longer harder runs. Everything else is slow and easy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

6 x 100

The club workout was the very hilly and tough short six so I opted for a 4 mile warmup and 6 x 100 on the track with a warmdown around campus afterwards.

The weather was generally cool. A bit tough to get things going on the track. 18-17-17-16-16-16. Not as fast as a month ago but I don't know if I need to run that fast. Just faster than my goal pace should do it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How slow can I run

4 miles this morning of how slow can I run. The key is to put off sweating as long as possible. HR mostly in the high 120's and low 130's.

My legs feel Ok after Wednesday so that is a plus.

Will decide tommorrow on whether I will go do some 100's or not.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wednesday Workout

I ran 4 miles easy this morning. It was cool and overcast but quickly cleared up and heated up so that by this afternoon it was around 85 degrees at West Valley Track. I warmed up for about 20 minutes, did some striders and proceeded to run the club workout. It was 6 x 800. I jogged the first but ran the second one is 2:55 which surprised me. I felt very strong. I jogged several more and then ran the 5th one in 2:49 and felt very strong throughout. By the time it was all done I had covered 5 miles.

I am running ahead of myself. I expected to run 3:00 to 3:05. I need to be careful but if this continues, my quest to become a decent 60 plus miler may be ahead of schedule. I want to be there next summer so I need to last.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Keys To The Kingdom

A day off. Weather is perfect for running but I am cooling my feet waiting for Wednesday.

Jim ran 40:24 for 10K in Labor Day weekend race . I believe this is his best so far since coming back. His goal is to break 40 minutes. Tough goal but doable. He never seems to take a day off. He talks about it but can't bring himself to just go do it. So his very strength is his weakness. IMHO he would run much better doing 5 bigger days a week and giving his legs some rest. of course PR's rule even for me. if you run an age group PR don't change what you are doing. If it ain't working ditch it because as an older runner the chances of you adjusting is nil. So Jim, keep doing what you are doing.

The biggest single mistake I have made over the years was changing what was working for me at a given time.


With me it is every other day running with those weekly 100's. Maybe a small amount of reps now and then. My recent age group 3 mile AT run best says that is the way to go. I may think it is something else but that is doubtful. It hasn't proved out over the last 10 years. These are the keys to the kingdom for me. It would be nice to go under 20 minutes for 3 miles or the equiavlent while doing an AT run.

Monday, September 04, 2006

8 miles

My wife and I drove up to San Francisco for dinner last night. We stayed at a nice little dowtown hotel, the Monaco, and came back this morning in very light labor day traffic.

As a result I didn't run early so I took off today at about 11:30 and ran somewhere around 8 miles. It was still cool enough to get in a decent run up the trail next to the railroad track.

There was a runner up ahead of me as I hit the trail who just moved away and left me in the dust (literally).

My legs felt good and I wore my extra wide Supernova's to see if I had any adverse effects. The last time I wore them I had some nagging leg and hip problems going on but I wasn't sure it was the shoes. Anyway, I have two pairs, one of which I have been wearing around the house and a second pair in the box. My plan is to rotate them with my regular Supernovas and see what happens.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

More sprints

Saturday morning: Cool, overcast. Perfect!

7 miles with 8 x 50 meters sprints. Some more work on pure speed. My legs felt ok while doing them. Sprints are tougher in the morning than in 90 degrees on Wednesday evenings. Watched Danny run 200's. I guess he is better.

Friday, September 01, 2006

5 miles

5 miles this morning out and back on the trail. I went out easy and came back faster.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

OK. Forget Bowerman for now

OK, forget Bowerman for now. I realize that the reason I got faster was just running easier for a very long time but getting stronger and doing once to twice weekly 100's. I know it runs against all the popular training theories but that's the way it is with me. So it's Joe Henderson LSD with 100's. OK, I admit it. That's the way it has always been for me.

So today, with this in mind, I ran 5 miles this morning keeping the effort very easy and then this afternoon, in the 90 degree heat, I went back out for another 5 with 6 x 100 thrown in at 16 second average. My legs felt very good so DON'T F-*-*- K IT UP NOW.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Back to School Run

I ran 8 miles this morning. It was cool and overcast so no complaint there. The traffic on Bubb-McClellan hub was backed way up. The schools are sequentially opening now that summer vacation is over and the first few weeks is generally bad. Once I crossed McClellan I was pretty much home free on my trail.

My legs didn't feel to badly after Saturday's workout but I spent most of the run thinking about whether I should be doing any intervals at all. You can see I am really sick and don't know what to do ;-0. The great AT run a week ago Saturday came from not doing speedwork. My runs were starting to feel very good again and the question (to myself) is whether I want to risk this. I think it works like this.

I get beat up.

I bonk (triathlete word)

I run easy

I feel good

I start adding in speedwork

I get beat up

I bonk.......

That sub 20 minute 3 mile AT run is out there waiting for me. Why not go seek it now.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pain Relief

On Wednesday I carried the timer clock from the upper parking lot down to the track. A big NO NO for me. I can do a short lift (clean and jerk) but not long lifts and this was a looooooong lift. After that neither my left knee or back were right. Yesterday I had to wear the ProTech knee brace and my back felt creaky all day. Finally I just pounded down some advil and hoped it would help.

I woke up this morning and I felt ok again.

So much for core training and straight legged knee lifts. I won't stop doing them but I am at that point in my running career where I pay the price for stupidity immediately.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Date Pace- Goal Pace

Got up in the AM early and hauled my butt over to the club workout. JimH showed up to run Farwell. D&M were there too. D looked a bit leaner but still not running.

After a 3.5 mile warmup I went to the track with Dimitri and ran a Bowerman type workout.

6 x 400 in about 95 (date pace) with a full 400 jog and then 4 x 200 in 44 (goal) with a 200 jog. Then we ran 3 x 100 in 19-18-18 with a 300 meter jog between. Not sure the last part was needed. My legs were tired and these are best done on fresher legs. Walked a lap afterwards.

Maybe 8 miles total.

Afterwards at breakfast Walt showed up and looked flushed. Given his heart problems, we think he was having an attack of agina. Damn age is a bitch. The attack passed and he had his high fat breakfast. Well, the guy has guts.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Easy 4 miles

An easy 4 miles this morning. I felt ok.

Tomorrow is Bowerman date pace intervals. The journey begins.

Much of the club will be up running cross country in Santa Rosa. If we had a decent 60 plus team I might be up there too.
But NOOOOOOOOO. No team to speak of. I guess if I were faster I could run with the 50 year olds but that isn't in the cards right now. Reversing history is tough.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


A day off again. As much as I believe I would like to run every day the reality is that I no longer want to. It's a bit like the old game we used to pay way back when. Would you want to be rich and famous.

Yes, if I can walk outside and not be mobbed.

Would you like to be a world class runner?

Yes, if no one tells me what races to run.

On the odd side of my life, DC, who could be one of the best 60 year old runners in the country is beset with his usual obsessive behavior. 17:47 might not be that exciting to the casual Santa Clara open class runner but at 60 it is something else. He can't turn off the 100 mpw voices and the "I have to run hard all the time" endless loop tape. Of course he has innoculated his better half with the same disease and God knows what sort of life she has with his 46 muscle tests every day, running 90-100 mpw and ice water baths.

Let's see, I am obsessive so you have to be obsessive.

I guess I was obsessive for about 60-70 minutes a day back in my best years. That often added up to 60-70 mpw. But it was an hour or a little more and then I moved on with my day.

D and M were not at the workout again. He is getting fat. 150 I would say. I doubt he'll break 5 minutes for the mile this year. Not unless we drop him off the Eiger. Too many injuries and too much poundage. the curse of aging. Same with Ray. He raced best at 145-150 lbs and now he tips the scale at 185.


And he has a plan to be a good runner at age 50 which is about two years away. Since the plan began he has gained 10 lbs!

Ok....There is still time. I am rooting for him. But 185 lbs!

I gained ten pounds last year and spent all that summer and early fall losing it. It sort of creeps up on you. When people other than runners tell you that you are looking good, that's when you are in trouble. Then you have to step on the scale.

We have a high school girl who has joined our group on Wednesdays. Well, she'll be with us until school starts in September. Her mother shows up too. "The Pick" has been over there hitting on her. It is often said you can tell how a young girl will look in twenty years if you look at her mother. The mom looks good. Slinky and slender and injured. No wedding ring either. I don't know. I stay away.

God, running is great.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Leaking badly

I ran a slow 3 miles this morning and came back in the afternoon and ran 6 miles with 6 x 100 in the 17's and 16's. It was hot today (mid 80's). I was just not hydrated enough and I leaked badly. But I got through the workout. I will take Thursday off and and an easy day Friday.

Russ joined the club afor the afternoon workout (3 x 1600) and ran hard. He sat in the shade for a long time after the workout was over. Whetver we were 10-15 years ago, we're not that anymore. Still, I consider it ok if I can circle the campus after a run with the younger, faster guys. I mean what am I still doing out here after almost 40 years BUT I AM STILL OUT HERE. That is the key.

Danny was a no show.



Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My so called long run

Monday was my long day. It was overcast and cool. I stayed mostly on the trail by the railroad tracks running about 8 miles. I went out very easily and picked it up coming back. I was dinged up a bit but generally it was a good run.

Based on Saturday's AT run I am now theoretically faster than last year or anytime this year. Based on my training "less is truly more". It flies in the face of conventional thinking but every decent run I have had in the last 10-15 years has come off less.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

AT Run

Friday I ran an easy 4 miles.

Saturday I went over to the club handicap run (3.06 miles) in the morning, warmed up for several miles and then proceeded to run a 20:41 AT run (85-90%) which was 46 seconds better than last year's effort. This run shocked me because I didn't expect to run anywhere around this time. Actually I ran 2 seconds faster then the official time because I didn't get off the start line for 2 seconds. So actually my running time was 20:39. This was my fastest AT effort in 5-6 years.

Where did this come from?

25-30 mpw and once to twice a week 100's?

I celebrated by warming down for another mile, had coffee and eggs at the Collins' house with everyone else who ran or helped to put on the annual event.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Test Effort

Here we go again.


I ran 3 miles this morning keeping it easy. I wanted to have plenty of oomph for this afternoon’s test effort 1600 meter.

I warmed up for 2 miles. Dimitri showed up as he often does when I need a pacer. He asked me what I wanted to run and I said 6:40-7:00 pace just to draw a line in the dirt so to speak. I went out under control and passed the 400 in about 97-98 seconds. Dimtiri was about 10 yards in front and I felt good enough to just play “catch up with him and stay there” which I did. We went through 800 in about 3:14-15 and I began to think about 6:30. At 1200 we were 4:48-49 and I began to think faster. Still I held back until the final 200 and then picked it up.

We crossed in 6:20, which was much better than I expected.

I ran 6 x 100 cruising them in the 18’s and 17’s and picking up the last one and running 16 and change. Then I warmed down around 2 miles.

It was a good start.

Next week I start doing 8 x 400 in about 95-96 seconds. Date pace.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Today starts the Bowerman approach to the mile. Bill died in 1999 so he's going to have provide inspiration from the grave.

I ran for about 70 minutes this morning at 140-150 HR. The run felt good. In his book, Bill said that milers need to run one long day a week. Right now 7-10 miles is long.

Wednesday, I will run a 1600 meter three-quarter effort to establish date pace. Bill liked his runners to run one of these every 3-4 weeks to adjust my date pace workouts. After the 1600, I will do some cut down 100's.

Goal pace is 6 minutes so anything under 7 minutes for date pace will serve a purpose. I just need a starting place.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Friday and Saturday

Two uneventful days. Friday was 4 miles easy. My legs felt ok even though I didn't sleep that well. Sue's in Seattle and I am falling into this habit of going to bed late but waking early.

Saturday I ran an easy 4 mile and then went to the track and ran 6 x 100 cutdowns. 20-19- 18-17-16-16.
300 meter jog recovery. This was followed by two laps easy jog and then Dimitri and I ran around campus for an easy jog. Maybe 12K total for the day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mini heat wave

Another 8 miler. I started very slow but gradually upped my HR to 145-148 by mid run.

Mini heat wave in for a few days and it was already getting warm as I ran another of those "Gee, I wish it were cooler" runs.

Dwight (he of the hundred mile weeks) sent a strange email saying that things were not going well for him and running. I recommended he cut back his miles for a time and lay low on the speed work. It went over his head. I then told him that I had to get back to the planet earth :-)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Like the old days

Jack Foster once intimated that his runs in his 60's and 70's felt like the runs he had done at his peak, as long as he didn't look at a watch. By the way Jack died in a bike accident in 2004. He was one of the greats of running when he was competitive. He loved running and loved cycling.

Lousy end though. A car ran into him. He was just finishing a ride.

Today's run was a throwback run for me.

8 miles this morning (give or take). It was cool and overcast and the HRM wasn't constantly bumping up at 70%. There was this magic moment coming back where I felt I was really moving along smoothly. It didn't feel slow and it didn't feel like a jog. I searched my memory banks and realized that is what it running used to feel like.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Back to Running

Meanwhile, back to running.

Today I ran about 7 miles slow as usual. Part of it was spent watching the club mile races on the WVC track.

Jake ran 6:41 and was happy about it. 6:41: An easy day training pace for 7-8 miles twenty years ago.

Tom missed breaking 5 minutes. He ran 12 x 400 in 75 on Wednesday. The bet was that he would not recover. He didn't. Still a good race and a PR but he left a sub 5 on the track by doing those 75's.

Joe (65) and Bob (64) ran their usual "twins" race with Bob leading the whole way and with Joe catching him with a a few yards to go. Joe came inside and caught Bob unaware. Joe won by a step. Bob wanted to see the photo's of the finish. It was a joke. No one photographed it.

Dimitri reminded me that I could have beaten Bob and Joe. I reminded him that I doubted it. I am not in the mindset for racing.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Track & The Neutral Zone

I went out just before 8 am and ran 5 miles. I kept my HR in the 145-148 range. I ran normal course over to De Anza Track and back.

There was a guy walking on the track in the innermost lane. There was a girl trying to run intervals but she had to go around him. I came by and said (to her) "They never move." She laughed. The walker started talking about a sign by the gate to the track which said joggers should stay off the inside lane. I told him not to take it personally but thought to myself, does he really think the inside lane is for walkers?

I headed home.

The track can be a weird place sometimes.

I vegged the rest of the day. Breakfast with Ron (Oatmeal) and lunch with Sue (Sea Food Rissoto).

I am beginning to think about not working next year or at least not the way I work now. I am headed into the neutral zone. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

William Bridges, a life coach, explains the neutral zone this way.

Phase 2 – The Neutral Zone

It would be much easier if a transition, like a change, could occur within an hour or two. To
replace one leader with another, reorganize divisions and departments or realign reporting
relationships are all changes that can happen overnight. But the inner shift—the transition – does
not happen as quickly as the outer shift – the change. We call that transitional phase, the neutral
zone. It is a term that the traditional language of change doesn't recognize.

In the neutral zone, the old reality is gone but the new reality isn't functional yet. Even so, this
may be a time full of activity.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A workout that fell short

I ran 5 miles Wednesday morning. I felt a lack of energy all during the run. In the afternoon I went out and ran another 4 miles at the track. My goal was to update my max heart rate by running some hard 400's. It didn't work out well. No matter how hard I ran the 400's I couldn't get my HR above 180 and mostly it stayed in the mid 170's. I did only 4 of the 400's before calling it quits and just jogging an easy mile warmdown very slowly. Afterwards I thought to myself, "Why did I even do this workout?"

It could be that going out and blasting max workouts is a thing of the past anyway. I don't seem to be able to or want to race hard so what should I expect.

On the analytical side, usually when this happens it is a sign of lack of fuel (carbo's) or just being tired or a combination of both. I also know that my max is higher than this having run the last mile of the Xmas relays at 189-191 back in December and even then I wasn't all out. I may make an executive decision and just say that my max is 190 for now and adjust my training heart rates downward.

It would mean 70% (easy effort) would be 148 and 90-92% (AT) would be 176-78. 95% (VO2 max) would be 183. It might make sense for now. It's not that my max may not still be 195 but since I am not training for max efforts, it may no longer be pertinent.

So even though it will be hard to "listen to the messenger" I will go out and run an AT 3 miler soon. I will proabably use the club handicapped run on August 19th. It is 3.06 miles so it is close. I just won't go over 176-178 during the run.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

90 minutes

Monday morning.

My legs were still tired from my 70-75% effort of Saturday but I went out very slow and very easy and ran as much dirt and trail as I could find. I admit that as I ran along my legs began to loosen up and at the end, I felt good.

The run was 90 minutes. Maybe 9-10 miles. I am not sure. I really wandered around criss crossing and combining several courses. I didn't want to think about how far I had run, just how long I had run.

Mission accomplished.

My left knee was bothering me (again) so I wore the ProTech brace and I had no discomfort during the run or after. I think sitting seems to exacerbate it the most and I did a great deal of sitting around this weekend.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Running with Jake

The club run this monring was Farwell-Horseshoe. After a 2 plus mile warmup I ran with Jake as he slugged his way to a 36.27 hilly 4.68 miler.

Most of the way my HR was in the 150's bounding back and forth between 70-75%. Going up the last hill the HRM read in the 160's but I felt easy and smooth the whole way. Jake bonked with about 500 meters to go when he thought the finish was bu the baseball field. I yelled at him that he still had 500 meters to go so even though he had stopped, he started going again and ran in.

As he told me afterwards, "I guess this wasn't an AT effort. I didn't go all out but it wasn't easy either."

Dimitri, Dino and I ran around campus for a very easy warmdown.

As for me, this was an OK run. It wasn't a true recovery effort but it wasn't hard.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Standard 5 mile course

I ran my standard 5 mile course this morning. The conditions were the best in weeks.

8 am, cool (low 60's), overcast, no wind.

I ran along at 140-150 HR and completed the course in 40:21. The weather was the reason I felt so good. Weeks of heat had beaten me down. After Wednesday's 12 miles plus the 100's, I thought I had about had it for the week. Friday usually ends up being a slug run but not today.

Danny ran one lap Wednesday night and didn't run at all Thursday. He has had a rough year health-wise and I can see him slipping away. He is 15 pounds overweight and just not very interested in running. Dimtiri thinks he'll be back when he is ready.

I hope so.

I ran into Bert Johnson at the all comers meet. He is not running. After 30 years his knees went on him. He had has several operations including cartilidge inplants. One knee was bone on bone. The other has a miniscus tear. But he hopes to run again.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

15's at last

Another hot afternoon. Cooler than it has been of late but still in the low 90's.

I ran 7 in the morning and then went back out and ran another 5 this evening including 8 x 100. Tough again given the heat. But my first 100 was in the 16's and that pretty much set the tone throughout. I was beginning to think that I can run 16's on tired legs in hot weather on auto pilot.

16-16-16-15 (yes my first 15 sec 100!)

Then another 16. On the 6th one I let up slightly feeling that I could cruise to a 16 and instead ran a low 17. Ok, it's not that easy. I still have to work a bit to get a 16. So I really focused (no let up) and ran 16 again. On the last I really "lifted" my way to a 15.9. So two 15's.

12 mile day. You should love that.

I was really tired plus I drank two bottles of water, a coke, two glasses of lemonade and another glass of water plus ate a bowl of chili for dinner. The added in a health bar. Then more water.

Help! I am floating. :-)

Monday, July 24, 2006


I was out running a little after 7 AM this morning. Trying to beat the heat. I went slow for 70 minutes. No doubling back in the afternoon. It is a 100 degrees again and like a furnace. The weather people keep saying it is cooling but like always, I have to ask "when?"

Heat is the enemy of heart rate running. I tried to stick to the shade but by 8 AM it was plain getting hot.
The good news is that the HRM kept me honest and I was not beat up by the effort. 140 HR give or take is the same no matter what.

I was covering for the VP of HR at work today and I drove in around 10 AM. The temp guage on my car read 85 degrees. It is strange. As I sat in the comp committe meeting it was as if I had never left. I didn't say much. My job was to take notes for Doug. We did take a break and as I was coming back into the room one of the board members was asking what the hell my role was. Can't say I blame him.

Who the heck is that guy anyway? Wasn't he supposed to be gone.

I have a mantra. "It's not about me" so don't take it personally.

I hope to do 100's on Wednesday evening but if still burning, I may put them off until Saturday morning.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Incredible day. The heat wave continues. It is the desert in Silicon Valley. 100 plus degrees and night has fallen.

I got up early trying to beat the high temps. I made some coffee which I ended up drinking in the back yard. I tried drinking it in the house but I was already beginning to perspire. At least outside it was moderate. maybe mid 70's.

After that I left early for West Valley.

I ran 8 plus miles total doing about 2.5 before the club warmup and then another 3.25 warmup with the club. I was already soaked with sweat. I ran the club workout of 2.75 at 140-150 HR finishing towards the back of the pack. I did not push at all. It wouldn't have been worth it.

The best part was the drive down to the restaurant for breakfast with the car's air conditioning blowing on me.

At Carrows the air conditioning was working very well and I was actually able to have some coffee without breaking out into a sweat.

It is just after 10 PM. It is totally dark outside and the air conditioning is still running.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I went out this morning and ran about 7 miles easy. It was already warm and humid. The run was a drencher. By this I mean that when I was finished I was a wet as if I had been running in the rain.

Late this afternoon I joined the club at WVC track to do my 8 x 100. By the time I showed it was hovering in the mid 90's and was probably closer to 100 down on the track. I didn't do much of a warmup (it just wasn't necessary with the temperature being what it was). I think we did a mile.

I then ran my 100's with a 300 meter jog. I would say that the workout was brutal. The heat was unrelenting and I kept thinking to myself that I really didn't need to do this workout in those conditions. I guess I am pig-headed because I ended up running them in the 16's again. The 100's weren't so tough. It was the recovery jog.

All in all and eleven mile day.

The heat is supposed to hang around for a while. I believe most of the country is locked in a heat wave. Adapt or die. I hate the heat but I won't let it beat me.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Philosophy of Older Runners

Wow! Dwight and Kari dropped by from Colorado to run part of the club workout while I jogged around and did some quick strides with Mark. Mark helped me with my form.

5 miles total.

I talked long and hard with Jake and Dimitri about training, as we always seem to do during and after breakfast on Saturdays. Jake's legs are dead. He ran a two mile time trial in over 15 minutes and had to stop. A year ago this was 14 minutes. I continue to believe that as aging runners it is all about balance and recovery. Balance in the sense of being able to run and not have your legs feel tired "at any time". This may mean you'll have to run very slow on some days and not worry about miles and relative time. I originally thought, well I am running less days so load up those days. I don't believe this anymore.

If we are lucky we can run what we used to run daily but run it every other day. In my case that is 7-10 miles on a running day preferably in two runs with a now and then single run.

Do what you have to do to keep your legs feeling fresh.

Use the damn HRM. It is a terrible mistress but it tells you to run slow enough to recover.

When your slow runs get faster at the same HR then you are recovering and improving.

Do some sort of AT test every now and then to see if your training is working. My favorite is a 3 mile or 5K time trial at 85-90% of max. If this gets faster, then you are getting faster. This workout does not lie.

Limit speedwork. If you want speed then go race. Speedwork breaks you down. 100's are ok but 8-10 of those are enough.

Forget long runs. This is just another secret hard workout that breaks you down. if you have been running as long guys like Jake and I have been, we have all the miles we need. We need to trust this.

Take every other day off. No cross training. Sorry Galloway, but what I often see is runners killing themselves on some bike ride, the exercycle or in the pool. Recovery is king. Now that being said, pool running in deep water on an off day may work but make that run an easy day, not a "let's see how fast I can churn because i am bored" day.

This last one may be the toughest of all. I believe that older runners like me, need to take 6-8 weeks off (yes, O-F-F) every year to get complete recovery. The only thing a runner should do during that period is watch their food intake. No walking, cycling or other secret workouts. It will take 6-8 weeks to build back up and another 6-8 weeks to get back in racing shape. In fact you can race yourself back into shape. So the whole process is 18-24 weeks. The rest of the year is yours. 6 months . Maybe 10-12 quality races. maybe more.

You could skip this last part but then you will have to be very good at all the rest and even then you will not reach your potential. My last 3 best racing seasons were all preceded by 2-3 months off. The time off was not planned. Twice my back bothered me so much I could not run and the 3rd time I had non running related foot surgery.
Each time I had to cool my heels until I could run again. Each time I came back stronger than before.

You know, maybe it is a month for a runner who has done all the other stuff right. I am not sure but I do know that total rest is a key component.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Running with my pregnant niece

Got up and ran a short two mile by myself. My niece who was visiting want to join me afterwards so I ran another short 4 miler with her. She is pregnant and just beginning to show. We have run before. I figured that if I kept the HRM around 120 she could stay up which she did easily. On the way back she asked me how fast I normally ran and I told her I would show her. I gradually raised my HR into the 130's which was still very easy but she quickly told me to slow down. It was just too fast for her.

It puts my running into some sort of perspective. I am faster than someone who does not run much and is pregnant. :-)

The surprise was the weather. It was supposed to be barn burner today but the morning was cool and overcast and the temperatures stayed in the 70's. As I write this at 9:35 PM, the temp outside is about 62.

I spent the day thinking about reinventing myself into a 400 meter runner. Dwight had casually thrown out a 60 second goal the other day. I age graded it and it works out to a 47 or 48 second 400 as an open runner. That brought me up short. I think that Dwight always thinks this way. Hey, Rich. Why don't you just go run a 60 second 400. It's only been about 20 years since you could last do that. So slowing it down, I have decided just to see if I can get under 70 seconds for a starter. I can do that on Wednesday evenings after my system gets used to running fast again. I did run in the 64-65 range back in 1998 but that's 8 long years ago.

Brick by brick.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another (Yawn) ten mile day

Another ten mile day. 5 miles in the morning super slow and another 5 in the late afternoon with the club.

The club was doing 800's and I ran them sprinting the last 100 meters on eight of the 12 laps. 18-17-16-16-16-16-16-16. The rest I jogged easy and slow. The delta between slow and fast seems to be widening as i age.

Best yet in years. It amazes me that 20-25 years ago I could do this same workout in the 14's and 15's and after all these years I am only about a second or two off. If I don't pull something I believe I can get back down in the 15's. The BIG difference is that I am only doing these once a week right now rather than twice.
I may do 50's on Saturday. We'll see.

The Team That Was Not

Our 60 plus team threatened to be awesome this year. It won the championship last year but with the addition of several committed runners, this could have been the 1927 Yankee's of Pacific Association Super Senior Teams.

Right now it looks not to be.

I turned out to be a non starter. Work stress and my own supposed interest in being a competitve racer turned out to me fooling myself. My plan was to get down into sub 20 minute 5K shape but all I have run so far was a very unispired 21:54 at Zippy's. A year ago at the same race I ran 21:07 and just before Zippy's this year I ran a club race that worked out to a 20:40 not all out 5K. Several weeks after Zippys 9this year) I ran a 5K in 21:08 as a 90% AT run. Go figure. In any case, I have been all over the map with none of it close to the vaunter sub 20 minute barrier.

At best I am deep bullpen to be used only when the team can only field 2 runners. In fact that came up this past Sunday and I couldn't make it so I wasn't even very good at that.

Jim turned 60 and reeled off some great races, peaking at Zippy's with a 3rd place 60 plus finish, but over trained himself into injury city. He is fighting his way back into shape but seems to be doing the same training program that got him injured in the first place.

Neil, who lives in Reno doesn't seem to have the ability to buy a Pacific Association card, or even remember you need one to score so he has turned out to be a no op. The club is going to buy him a card.

The steady guys have been Dick, Joe and Bob. But Dick has an achilles problem and missed the last mile race in Davis and 7:30 miler walt had to step up so we would have a 60 plus team. In another race Bob went off to support a friend of his who was running some ultra and he missed. The team was designed to be deep enough so we could handle that. What has happened is that none of us is stupid as all of us.

Our best runner, he of the 17 minute 5K's and 100 mpw lives and runs in Colorado. He gets out here now and then but never on Pacific Assdociation race weekends.

Teams like Tamalpa and Pacific Striders are closing fast or finishing ahead because of the failure of our so called depth.

Next year Bill comes up to the 60 plus ranks. He is steady when not injured. Right now he is flirting with the high 18's for 5K.

If Jim can stay healthy and Bill is uninjured, then the two of them, along with Dick, Joe and Bob can keep us competitve.

I don't know if I have the will to go compete again. I may stay deep bullpen for local races only.