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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.