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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.