To reach me via email

If you wish to reach me:

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.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Running for lunch

A friend is coming out to visit Saturday. He of the 100 mpw. His wife is up to 100 miles too. Both of them live and breathe running. They are like running pit bull-terriers. The incredible thing is that my friend is turning 60. His wife is about 20 years younger than he is.

When I was running my best I had no desire to run 100 mpw. I did spend years in the 60-70 mpw range but as insane as that might seem, that was about an hour a day and maybe 90 minutes on Sunday. Mostly it was lunch. At work, while others went out to lunch, I ran for lunch and had something to eat back at my desk. It really was easy. I would leave the office around 11:25 and be at my friend's office about 8-10 minutes later. A quick change in the bathroom and we were out the door. Usually there were 3-4 of us and we ran at about a 6:30-45 minute pace. In an hour we could easily cover 9 miles.

Back in the office, wet towel down (sorry, no shower) and back to work.

When I wasn't running with these guys I taught myself to run from my car. I didn't wear underwear. I wore running shorts so stripping down and getting into my running clothes was easy even in a parking lot. I won't describe the reverse process but yes, i could get back into my work clothes and not miss a beat. Often there was a bathroom handy but if not then I made do. I learned not to tell people how I did this. Women particularly couldn't GROK it.

"What no shower! I couldn't do that." Of course this was followed by, "I have to lose weight." There is a "Duh" factor in there someplace.

The goal was to run and not to let things like location and shower availability stop me. Even if my legs give out tomorrow, I made it work for 38 years. When I needed to run miles, I didn't let things get in the way.

Now the rules are the same but it's every other day. But I am known at times to still run from my car.

Monday, July 10, 2006

90 minutes

I took off just after 8 am this morning and ran 90 minutes with some hills. The pace was sub-slow if there is such a thing. It started to warm up in the latter part of the run. Not too bad though. I did not wear my knee strap but started the run at little more than a walk. I had almost no trouble in the area. The knee seems to be getting better.

Talked to Jim via email this weekend. He is starting to go back to exactly what injured him but on the other hand the guy is fast for a 60 year old. He doesn't really compromise. He wants to run 6-7 days a week with 2-3 hard days. The hard days may not be all out. More in the AT/LT area but he still is very injury prone. I am glad if I can do one of those workouts in a week.

Oh, let's face it. I rarely do one a week much less one very two-three weeks. I keep waiting for the speed and strength to come to me.

Just staying in the game of running, even in the minor leagues, is tough these days.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I ran a 3 mile warmup with the club and then paced Jake to a 38:32 for the 4.76 mile Triangle. The weather was moderate but it was heating up and most of the run, with it's long uphills and downhills was done in the low to mid 70's. For Jake it was a tempo run (plus) while for me it was a faster than normal training run.

I am thinking more and more of going to a three day running week. It was tough in 1990 to go to very other day and it took me a year to get my mind around it. Sheehan and Foster and Turnbull did it with great success. I would be happy with modest success. I would do something on a fourth day. Maybe a 4-5 mile walk.

So it would be two big days. 10-12 miles. Maybe more. I would double as much as possible. One day I would run a club run, race or do a threshold workout or just go out for a longer continuous run. If my AT runs became faster over time then I would know it was working. Like 1990, it is a gamble.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Coaches and 3 days a week

I ran an easy 45 minutes this morning. Both my knees were slightly sore afterwards.

38 years, no real knee problems until now.

I was thinking the other day that I have gone through as many coaches in the several years as George Steinbrenner used to go through managers of his Yankees. I am not proud of this but on the other hand I also find it humorous. I have always been somewhat uncoachable. Gasp!!!!

Even back in my best days my friends tried to coach me with little or no success. These days I have approached coaches, not the other way around. The one who has tried to help me most is Dwight (he of the 100 mpw). But another friend , Jim (he of the many injuries) has tried too. Not so much coach as much as share his approach with me.

The truth is all have helped me but I have also found that their "way" is not mine. Somehow in the last few years I lost myself as far as running is concerned. Thyere s no question that my fast approaching geriatric body no longer responds the way it used to (but who's does?).

I may have already entered the 3 day a week running phase even though I may not like it yet. I have been basically running 4 days a week since late 1990. 1990-1995 was a bit of a renaissance because of two factors. The introduction of the HRM and the adoption of every other day running. Sheehan shiften to 3 days a week in his 60's with great success. Derek Turnbull and Jack Foster were running 3 days a week by the time they hit their 50's and 60's. Now these were 3 big days. Turnbull crossed trained by working on his sheep farm and Foster rode his bike at least once a week. I am thinking of pool running 1-2 days a week. Even Jack Keston who just crossed 80 years of age has shifted to two big days (12-14 miles) with 4 days of walking.

Three big days might make sense. Two days of 10-12 miles often doubling and one longer day or a race like effort. Keeping legs fresh is the key. Now I could still run 4 days but keep one as a strictly minimalist day running those 9 x 100 with a short warmup and warmdown and walking in between sprints. Right now I do these at the end of a very long day so my legs are tired.

I am at that same point I was in 1990 when I was still running 6-7 days a week. I kept dinking around with the idea but just couldn't make the switch. And even after I finally did it took 4-6 months before I saw the benefits. When they came (and boy did they come) I wondered why I waited.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Magic 5

In the morning I ran 6 miles at the usual slow pace keeping my HR at 140 and under.

In the afternoon I came back and ran with the club. Another 5 miles with 9 x 100 starting in the 18's and gradually taking it down to the 16's on the last two.

Dave Garcia was in town and came by to say hello. Back in my salad days it was John, Jake, Dave, Roger and myself for close to 10 years. We were all in 32-33 minute 10K range and 4 of us broke 26 for 5 miles. John, Jake and I were ranked in the top 35 runners in NorCal back in the late 1970's during the boom years when that was tough. Roger might have made it too as a Master's.

Together we were magic (magic 5) but when we stopped running together in the mid 1980's we all began to lose it. Dave went last. He held on a bit longer than the rest of us. Us not training together broke the spell. But at least we had it for a time.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Short Daves

Russ, Danny and I ran short Daves. This is a throw-back run. This was the first time the three of us have run in 4-5 years.

Now Daves is a short 10 miler and short Daves is a short 7 miler. Danny and I are short too even though Russ is tall.

The pace was slow. Well over a 9 minute pace. My legs felt stiff and tired but at least my left knee didn't bother me. I couldn't figure out why they would be tired. I took yesterday off. These days exactly how my legs feel is a crap shoot. Years ago if my legs felt tired I knew the reason. These days it is a mystery. Mostly it is caused my aging and mileage. Years and years of miles. But at least I can still run.

Danny is overweight by at least 10 pounds. Russ, getting over knee problems, is overweight too but he is gradually getting back into shape. Overweight here is relative. I am referring to "over their best running weight". I am right around my best weight but it means that my weight is a neutral factor. It neither helps nor hinders.

Can't complain though. The weather was cool and overcast. Maybe 60 degrees.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I ran 5 slow miles on Friday morning and another 6 miles this morning also very slow.

Believe me, I have slow down pat.

Jake is back from Texas. He, I and Dimitri talked training at breakfast. Blah, blah, blah. It is fun though. I begin to think of that elusive 6 minute mile. Do I want to go work for that again? Do I want to go work for any race time again?

30 mpw isn't much but at least I am steady and I know right now that I can maintain it until my knee goes or something else happens. If i look back the one consistency since 1990 is that any decent running has come on less and more of less.

I have less down pat too.