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If you wish to reach me: lastchancerunner@gmail.com

Monday, December 31, 2007

Penance Run

Sunny but cold windy day. I got out around 10 am and drifted up the railroad tracks. I cut over to the streets and came back to the college doing loops around and on the track. I kept the pace as slow as possible with my HR in the 130's the whole way. It was 70 minutes of jogging. I guess you could call it a penance run and I am not religious.

I have this cycle I seem to go through over and over again.

Run slowly>>>>>Get faster>>>>>Do something stupid>>>>>Bonk>>>>>Penance Runs

On other fronts: Jake is injured which is a rare event. The hills that we have been running might have done it but he also had drifted back into this "I want to run every day because I love it" phase. I vant to run...

My friend Jim is mired in post the marathon recovery blues (Hi Jim!). He is finding out the longer term price one pays when one tops off their great racing season by just running that little old thing called a marathon. It was a Bridge too Far. Plus he can't stop trying to validate himself through racing. Instead of taking a good 30 days off from any hard running he raced twice, extending the damage.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday Morning

I got to bed after midnight. I fell asleep over my book on the couch and woke up feeling sluggish and ready for the real thing. I patted Amber good night and slipped into the bedroom. Sue was curled up and buried deep in her blankets. I woke up several times during the night but fell right back off to sleep. Finally I got up at just before 7 AM and made coffee. My back was sore. I am beginning to believe this is caused more by my laptop than the running. Of course that is another story.

On running: I know I falling back to the normal. My life isn't really set up for anything more. 25-35 miles per week. A now and then AT run. Maybe a weekly 70% 4 or 5 miler and a sometimes a 75% run. Just ways of seeing if I am getting faster. Faster than last week or last month. My goal will be (gulp) to improve or maintain my age grading. Every other attempt to improve has caused me to bonk. I ran under 20 minutes for Valle Vista in 2002 just before I turned 57 and I was very happy about that performance. I may set that as the standard. That same goal would be equal to a 21:27 at age 63.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

5 miles@70% in 43:18

I slept over 8 hours last night. I finally woke up around 8 am totally missing the club workout. I still got over to Carrows for breakfast. I just figured I would run later on. I knew that I needed the rest more than the run.

I finally got out on the road around noon and ran a 5 mile 70% run. I did 43:18 which was better than I thought I would do given my recent training. That nagging "you are getting run down" cough I have had on and off for the past week was telling me that like it or not, I was over-training. On my old quarter mile shorter course this would have been around 41:08 which is marginal. But at least it another starting point and it tells me that what I was doing (the 1200's) were beating me up more than they were making me stronger.

So the good news. My legs generally never felt tired during any of my runs over the past 4-6 weeks. It was the links that were going. The achilles and knee.

I am re-learning the old lesson. In my case, speed and strength needs to come to me. I can't go to it. When I can run the 5 miler in 40-41 minutes at 70% (if ever) then I will simply be faster overall.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Terror

Sleep was sub par last night. I made two mistakes. First I stayed up on my computer until about 11 pm and then continued to read The Terror by Dan Simmons. The book is consuming me. It won't just let me go to sleep. I finally had a couple of shot of Baily's and fell asleep around 12:30.

I didn't just bounce up out of bed and go run but hung out until around 10 AM before going out for a lazy 50 minute low HR jog. It was around 40 degrees and the sky was the color of slate. No wind though so it wasn't too bad. I went over to the college by a longish route and ran on the track for several laps before heading back home. The place was deserted.

Knee and achilles felt ok.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

100 minutes

Met Jake at Forbes Mill at 8 AM. We did a double loop he designed with nice hills in the middle. I felt really good even though it was cold and windy over parts of the course. The sun just doesn't reach enough of the trails at this time of day to warm you up. I worked at keeping my HR in the 130's and 140's coming through in 47 minutes. But during the second loop my HR began to climb and I had to slow down to stay at or under 150. I guess my body was just tired even though I felt decent. However, I paid attention to the HRM Gods and played along. Strangely I came by the second loop as quickly as I had run the first loop. I sneaked back up the trail for another 6 minutes getting my 100 minutes.

Jake ran 85 minutes. He began to tire during the second loop and peeled off to head back to the parking lot by the old mill.

Breakfast afterwards. Restaurant crowded. A guy who reminded me of Buffalo Bill sat nearby. Hat, boots, goatee, the works.

Monday, December 24, 2007

75 minutes Easy

Stayed up late last night. We had a dinner party at our house and our guests didn't leave until after 10 pm (late for old folks). I slept in until 7:30 this morning (once again, late for old folks).

I finally got out for a run around noon and stayed out for 75 minutes with my HR mostly in the low to mid 130's. The sun had come out and there was a 5-10 mph wind blowing in my face at various points of the run. I ran over to De Anza and did endless loops around the campus and the track skirting some young sprinters who were there with a coach.

Both the knee and achilles felt OK. I stepped on the scale today and saw 140 so maybe the 144 I saw the other day was just an anomaly. I still plan to watch it.

I realize that easy days (my specialty) have to be just that.

Easy. It's one of the secrets of running old.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

7 x 1200@WVC

It was very cold this morning. Temps dropped down into the low 30's. I went over to the track at WVC and warmed up for 20 minutes.It was cold enough that the inside of my nose was stinging. I guess the key was not to breath in out.Needless to say I was fully decked out. Tights, double gloves, ski cap...The works.

Anyway, while the club ran Valle Vista I went down to the track (it is really cold down there) and found that I owned it. Not a single other runner was there.

The planned workout was 7 x 1200 at 75% of max. I started out keeping the early reps down in the high 140's and low 150's and then gradually worked my way up to 75%. My overall average was 5:57 per 1200 with the first and last rep being the slowest. The continuing good news was the quick return of my HR during the 80 second walk in between reps. It usually dropped down under 120 pretty quickly.

I can't say that the workout was a tiring one. I felt decent throughout. The bigger problem was the cold weather which just made it hard mentally to get into the swing of things. Also I ran the complete workout alone. Sometimes just having someone else on the track, even if they are running ahead of you, helps.

Afterwards I jogged an easy 10 minutes. Went to breakfast.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Oddly Quiet

The rains swept out of the Bay Area yesterday and the cold weather returned. I got out at around 9 AM and ran 60 minutes all at an easy recovery pace. I was dressed for it. Tights, double tops, double gloves and ski cap. I ran in my brand new white Supernova's. They fit like slippers. The college was almost deserted because school was out. There was a men's soccer team working out next to the track but otherwise it was oddly quiet. I felt recovered from Wednesday's long run but haven't decided whether I will do the 1200's tomorrow or Sunday.

My training seems to be back on track (no pun intended) but I am up a few pounds more than I was last week. I will have to take a siege mentality to this losing weight. Right now I am just trying to get back to 140. It would be much easier if I just gained height. It should bother me more but I have to put it in perspective. I will lose the weight. It's a nuisance. I just hate dieting. It's balancing the whole thing. Last week I deficited too much calorie-wise. This time I have to find the middle.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lucked Out For 95 minutes




Originally it was supposed to rain this morning so Jake and switched our Wednesday Tempo Interval to a long run in the hills and trails above Los Gatos. My achilles had been feeling good enough to give it a try.

It turned out to be sunny and cold with the rain pushed out to later in the day. We took off up the trail to the dam, ran the dam and then across the same dam (dam..dam) and the cut left up the Jones trail. My achilles held out but left lower back was bothering me. Coincidentally, Jake's back was bothering him too and strangely for both of us, on the uphills. We found that walk/running the uphills worked better for us and as a result we ran faster on the flats and downhills. My HR stayed low though so I realized happily that cutting back on training and eating a bit more (duh) was helping me run better. In fact I felt great but Jake felt tired from remodeling his house.

We ran into Christine Kennedy coming back across the dam. The picture above is the exact spot we ran into each other. She is getting ready for her next assualt on the Olympic Trials qualifying time of 2:47. She is thinking Boston even though she has been invited to Rock and Roll in Arizona in January. It's fast course but she doesn't feel she would be ready. Boston is a mixed bag but as long as it's not one of those rare hot days and she gets an elite start, she should run well.

By the time we arrived back at Forbes Mill it was just a tad under 93 minutes so I kept going up the trail for a minute before turning around and coming back to the gate. That made it 95 minutes even.

Afterwards we walked up to Main Street and had a big breakfast.

38 minutes

The rains came and finally I had to run in it. 38 soaking minutes at a very easy pace yesterday morning. No complaints though. It warmed up a bit and the wind wasn't too bad. No knee pain on the left side and no achilles problems on the right. I have been feeling a bit run down since the weekend but I think it's the diet and not the workouts. I have decided to back off slightly on the calories but less so than originally planned. If I lose 5 pounds over 6 months that is fine. Right now feeling decent during the workouts is more important.

Adjust, adjust, adjust.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mission Rock 5K

I was slightly sleep deprived when I rolled out of the sack at 6:15 this morning. Cold and colder. DARK! Staggered into the kitchen and made coffee and gradually warmed up. 12 year old Golden, Amber always bouncing up at moments notice. I let her out and cradled my silverine, Starbucks mug.

About an hour later I got in the car and drove up to Shel's in Foster City. He drove the rest of the way up to the very low key Dolphin Club, Mission Rock 5K start-finish area. So where is Mission Rock. Couldn't see it. After signing up I went out and jogged (and I do mean jogged) for 20 minutes. The race itself was OK because I kept the pace slow and ran with Mort and Shel. It was an out and back course. On the return trip I looked behind me and saw very few runners.

The runners are slow and they are me.

Shel pulled ahead and Mort and I finished in a virtual tie. I hated getting up that early but have to admit that once I was out there, I had a good time. It's just that my easy, no pain pace is getting slower and slower. We were around 28 minutes start to finish. My legs felt fine but then the effort was glacial.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Double Easy

I ran a double workout today. I hit 34 minutes this morning in cool conditions and another 36 minutes in the mid afternoon. I short sleeved it for the second workout.It was in the 50's but almost balmy when I was running in the sunlight. I decided not to use the HRM and just go by feel and the stopwatch but I still kept it easy for both runs.

My legs felt recovered from Wednesday's workout. Of course seeing the chiropractor and getting a massage yesterday helped too.

Ran into Masood at work today. He looked at me like he had seen a ghost. He was very friendly but was surprised to see that I was still around. Can't say I blame him.

"Are you still here?" he asked. Weren't you gone he probably thought. I thought, damn, I am best when not noticed. I couldn't hide this time. I was right out there and for a moment it was just the two of us. Achilles and hector meeting outside the Scaean Gate. The walls of Troy looming to each side.

"Think utility infielder," I answered. Every now and then I get called up. He smiled and then allowed himself to get sucked back into his meeting.

As I walked out I was remembering that I could have saved the place but that was no longer on the table much to my own miscalculations as any ones.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

6 x 1200

Today was one of my several weekly BIG days. The weather was cold (30's) and alternately overcast and sunny. I met Jake at WVC and we warmed up for about 2.5 miles before heading down to the track for our workout. The goal was to run 6 x 1200 meters and not exceed 75% of max. 100 meter job/walk in between each rep. Jake led me out and I stayed with him as long as I could before I finally began to max out and had to hold the pace rather than pick it up. Jake, who was fresh last week was making that breathing sound he does when he is tired (he ran and did elliptical on Tuesday and delayed his recovery). He later told me he could have quit at 4 but hung in there. I didn't focus on timing and just played the effort and run by feeling game. Under an 8 minute pace is my best guess. Maybe even 7:50 on some of them. At this point it really didn't make a difference because I am still loading* the workout. Jake and I jogged around campus afterwards for another 1.5 miles. I figure the whole workout was close to 9 miles.

My right achilles held up. No problems. I took out the extra inserts. They were causing back problems. I wore my knee strap and that kept things under control on the left side. I am starting to look like Ron Nelson. He had so many braces and straps on his legs that he once told me that if he didn't wear them, he would come apart.



* Loading: Adding distance or pace to an existing workout

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Running "Old"

I wake up a few minutes before the alarm goes off. I swing out of bed to start turn on the heat and get the coffee going. My wife snores softly still burrowed down deep in sleep-ville. As I stand up I can feel my back. It's tightened up over the night. My right achilles has been bothering me so I inserted extra lifts in each shoe during my 90 minute run yesterday. Now I pay the price. Not for the 90 minutes but for the two inserts. It throws my stride off just a nano-nth but enough to cause back problems. My achilles feels better and is only slightly tight. My left knee is mildly sore. That has been ongoing for the past month.

As I stagger into the kitchen I bump against the table and I feel a sharp pain shoot up from my hips.

I keep moving. The pain passes. I am already thinking Advil.

There is one thing I know. I ran yesterday and I will run tomorrow. This is what it is to run old. I know that. I am 62 and it's not going to get better unless I stop.

Somewhere during the thousands of miles I have run since 1968, my 30 year, 60,000 mile warranty expired.

You're on your own now.

That was about 25 to 30,000 miles ago.

It's like another old runner said to me. It's not what it used to be but I am not ready to give it up.

I get that.

I am running out of secrets though. Those little adjustments that I have made that have kept me running way beyond most of my peers from the old days when we were all fast and capable of running day after day, 8, 10, 12, 15 miles a day. I ran 60-70 miles per week. Sometimes more. Others ran up to that magic barrier.

One hundred miles a week.

These days I run the same. 60 to 70 miles but it's over two weeks and if I am really beat, it may take me 3 weeks.

A friend of mine said mentioned recently that he could no longer break 26 minutes for 5K. I asked him how much he ran in a week. This to a guy who often run 70-80 miles per week. Turns out he ran 40-45 minutes 3 times a week and one day he ran for a half hour. Maybe 15-18 miles a week. He used to do that for a long run on Sundays back in the day.

You won't break 26 minutes on 15 miles a week, I said. You need to run more. Maybe 25-30 a week and even then you might not do it. I could see that look on his face. He was comfortable doing what he did. He came up with a dozen reason why he could no longer run that many miles.

25-30 miles per week. Nada. Nothing in the old days.

"Then just accept that you're going to be slower," I said to him dispassionately. "Let it go."

We were driving to a race up in the city. A 5K. The car got quiet. We were lost in the past. We were going to run a version of the course where once, in May of 1979, we had both PR'd. But back then we had been young and strong. Now we were just lucky to still be running.

Old legs.

Hard to explain. You either have young legs or old legs. Depends less on age and more on how many pure miles you had on your legs. My friend and I had plenty. We weren't used up but we are towards the end of the line. Oh we can still run but getting faster was probably no longer an option. Not just running as fast as we had been in 1979 but running faster than we had last year.

Tough.

If I had retired at my peak, I would have given it up in 1986. That was my last year of running at a level close to where I had been running at for the previous 10 years. Bill Rodgers was right. You get about 8-10 years at your peak and then it gone.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Toughing it out in Silicon Valley

OK, it's finally winter in Silicon Valley. That doesn't necessarily mean rain and snow but it can mean temps in the 30's in the early morning and cool, cutting winds during the day. I admit to dragging my heels most of morning and not getting out until around 11 am. I almost wore my tights but finally settled on a long sleeve and gloves and just toughed it out. I had already decided to run 80-90 minutes so I drifted up the RR tracks all the way to Sunnyvale-Saratoga with some side loops to extend the time. By the time I headed back along Prospect and finally Stelling I had warmed up but a steady breeze kept things cool. My HR mostly was in the 60-65% range but bounced up close to 70% now and then.

I finally rolled onto to Lomita Avenue and finished at 90 minutes on the dot. I walked it off feeling a bit tired but OK otherwise. The gardeners were there having lunch in their van. My neighbor was out and we chatted a bit. But even standing still for a few moments was uncomfortable. I was wet with perspiration and knew I needed to get inside and shower.

90 minutes easy running

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lynn Jennings and the Last Runner

In 1999 I stumbled On Lynn Jennings email address. At the time she was one of the top women runners in the USA. I asked her what she planned to do to handle the normal slowdown that happens to most of not all competitive runners in the early 40's. My actual message just asked how she would adjust her training. Of course she didn't know me from crap and being a highly independent person she simply could not grok what I was saying. Or maybe it was simply that she didn't need to hear that message from an aging master who had stopped competing about 4 years back.

She struck back at me like a whip with metallic, tongs on the end, pretending (or maybe actually believing) that she didn't really expect to slow down at all.

My message was not meant to be nasty but she was. I had hurt her unintentionally but was probably more like a branch that had scratched her cheek as she ran by. She simply flailed out with her sharp claws and pushed it aside.


Lynn Jennings Makes Retirement Official



By FRANK LITSKY
Published: March 23, 2006
In the 1980's and 1990's, Lynn Jennings was America's star female distance runner, winning three world cross-country championships and an Olympic bronze medal in the 10,000 meters. She has not run since 1999, but never retired. Yesterday, at age 45 and speaking in a teleconference from her home in Portland, Ore., she finally did.

Jennings will be in New York for Sunday's More Marathon, a race in Central Park that is the first marathon in the world for women 40 and older. Although she runs 65 miles a week, Jennings will not compete here or, she said, anywhere else.

"I have accomplished everything I wanted to in this sport," she said. "At 40, I realized there is a lot to do in life and it doesn't include running 100 miles a week."


Somewhere out there Lynn still runs, like I do. I am not as fast. She is 15 years younger. She runs for the pure joy of it, like I do.

Sorry Lynn, I saw the future. My bad as they say. Sounds like you saw it too.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A New Name

I ran 45 minutes easy on Friday and came back on Saturday and ran another 50 minutes easy. My right achilles tendon acted up a bit after the run on Friday but seems fine today. I inserted extra lifts in both shoes and taped my foot. I finally figured a name for the fact that my left knee and right achilles have been acting up lately.

Kneechilles

Both seem manageable. I plan to stay off the hills and just be extra cautious and see if I can run through it.

It has turned cold again now that the rain has cleared out. Down in the 30's this morning so I wore tights, ski cap and double gloves.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

8 x 800

Jake was back in town so we met over at WVC on a cool, damp morning. The fog was in thick and hung over the track. The jogging class was there just like most of last spring, just new runners and walkers. The instructor was the same.

We did a 25 minute warm up and then ran 8 x 800 with a 100 meter recovery. Once again, I kept my HR at or under 75% max and despite feeling sort of tired the last few days actually ran well today. Afterwards we ran wround campus for a warm down.The workout totaled 81 minutes.

This must be the shock effect that Brian Clarke talks about in his books when applying harder running to a program. He was spot on about keeping the early tempo intervals at a reasonable effort. Jake, who was ahead of me on each rep, still ran within himself and mentioned that he enjoyed this workout. Of course there is no exhaustion or pain associated with this type of run. At least no at this point. Somwhere down the line, I will begin to adapt.

Monday, December 03, 2007

SHOCK!

Well, really not that bad. Just didn't feel too spiffy today. I didn't get out until around 11 am. I kept putting it off. First I was a going to go out at 9 AM. Then it was 10 AM. That won't work too well when I return to work next week. However, I did get in 79 minutes of slow running. My legs didn't feel excessively tired but my HR rode up in the mid to high 140's most of the run and didn't come back down too quickly when I stopped. I ran up the RR tracks taking it very easy. I had the wind in my face all the way out to the 3 mile point. Coming back I started to perk up and went down Prospect and Stelling just fine. I felt decent enough to stop off at De Anza and do 4 laps on the track before finally heading back home. There was one of those fitness classes taking up the inside lanes but I stayed to the outside in lane's 8 and 9. Saw Little Spike down in the slot. Hadn't seen her for months. Also saw some really overweight junior college women trying to work it off.

My achilles held up well. So did my knee (no Protech today).

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cold Front

A big cold front came in and froze things last night. I actually defaulted to tights, wool ski cap and double gloves for my 35 minute morning run. I didn't get out in time for the workout which was Farwell (3.54 miles). I got up late, had coffee and rolled over the WVC at around 8:15. This is getting to be a bad habit.

The afternoon workout was somewhat better. Felt like it was in the 50's but there was still this wind blowing in my face on the way back home. 4 miles I think. My HRM stayed down in the 120's and 130's during both runs. Maybe 8 miles total.

One other little thing. When I got out of bed this morning I felt a slight pop in my right achilles tendon. Nothing painful and I felt little or nothing while running but it was a bit tender after the morning jaunt so I stuck an extra heel lift in each shoe, took some Advil and will ice shortly. Felt nothing during the afternoon workout. Keeping an extra lift in my walk around shoes too until this goes away.

Friday, November 30, 2007

45 minutes

I was tied up in morning meetings today as work continues to heat up. So much for retirement. I finally got out the door at about 3 pm and ran for an easy 45 minutes (no HRM). My legs felt good so no complaints. I took my usual route to the college and ran some big loops clockwise and then came back home. School was getting out and there were a line of cars backed up and down McClellan. The college track was occupied by several student and two women who were walking the outside lanes. I was like the proverbial ghost. Came, ran and disappeared back in my hole. Walked around outside with Amber. She got to sprint our front yard and roll on the grass. She may be 12 years old but she rolls like a puppy. As I write this she is tired, pooped and sleeping on her side and snoring.

The weather is cooling rapidly. Warnings of a freeze tonight and perhaps tomorrow night too. I rummaged through the closet and found my tights. Haven't worn them since last winter. Can the wool caps be very far behind.

Ed Zander got fired by Motorola today. He left Sun in 2004 to become a CEO. Scott wouldn't support him as his successor. Chose Jonathan instead. Ed flew high briefly but Motorola is one of those old cultures and as the business began to flounder Ed didn't have the relationships to sustain his kingship. 3 years give or take and he is fired. Of course the board said they really appreciated his...oh well read it for yourself.

Samuel Scott, lead director on Motorola's board of directors, said, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Ed for his vision, expertise and tireless commitment to Motorola.

The usual bullshit. What it really says is thanks but no thanks. The truth is that Ed was always a sand bagger but a capable sand bagger. This time his sand bagging caught up with him. He couldn't cover the numbers. In the past he was always was able to do better than the sand bagged numbers he gave the street. Eventually it catches up with you. Today it caught up with Ed. At Sun I stayed clear of him (mostly). He always had this entourage wherever he went. I am always suspicious of a man who can't walk down the hallway alone. McNealy (SCOTT) always slithered down the hallway. But he could slither alone.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Headwinds and 7 x 800

I ran 76 minutes this morning. The wind was kicking up down the backstretch of the track and in my face on the way home. It wasn't all that bad but it was a nuisance.

I ran a 20 minute easy warm up heading over to the college and around the track and then did 7 x 800 at no more than 75% of max with a 100 meter jog recovery in between. Untimed as before. Just focusing on the effort for now. My legs continue to feel good. I certainly wasn't staggering on my way back home. In fact I felt OK.

The two women (the two blonds) were there walking the track when I showed up and were still there when I departed. A few others came and went. Briefly I was the fastest runner on the track.

Monday, November 26, 2007

82 minutes and Big Loops

Cool sunny, hazy morning. I got out around 8:30 AM and ran for 82 minutes doing my usual trek over to the college which I extended to 20 minutes. Then I did big loops for 50 minutes keeping my HR in the 130's and 140's. My legs felt fine. No soreness or tiredness. I scampered up the short hills with no problem.

The track was fairly uninhabited but eventually two women showed up who I often see walking together. Then the elder couple showed, he alternately running and walking raggedly and her staying to the very outside lane and slowly walking. A women showed up in tights. She had a rather compact build and light blond hair. She ran a couple of quick laps as a warm up and then did wind sprints up and down one of sidelines of the football field.

I headed back home by a shorter route. It was a decent run. No big hurry. Plenty of time to loaf before lunch.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

2 x 30 minutes

I slept in and sat around drinking coffee until I finally drove over to WVC arriving around 8:15. Wally was still trying to figure out the handicaps for the relay. It was cool and crisp and not windy like yesterday. I looked down at the track and for once it was full of club runners. No big Pac-Assoc race this weekend so the guys and gals were out for their weekly dose of speed.

My job (if I chose to accept it) was to run for 30 minutes and that is exactly what I did. My prime directive was to be able to run 2 x 30 minutes today and recover from yesterday's workout.

Later in the day, at around 3 pm, I jogged another 30 minutes and felt damn decent about both runs.

So far so good.

Friday, November 23, 2007

6 x 800 at 70-75%

It may not have rained much yet but the weather is getting colder.

I drove over to WVC. It was sunny but there was a nice breeze blowing in from the east. Just enough to make the run uncomfortable (uh...err challenging) in places.
I ran around the campus for 70 minutes throwing in 6 x 800 on the track at 70-75% of max with a 100 meter jog in between. Brian Clarke was right. Running dead alone on a cold,windy track at 75% of max is enough to emulate the feel of faster running in the early part of a race. I didn't really settle in until about the 4th rep. By that time my HRM was reading 75% and I held it there for the last two 800's. I didn't time them but will later on.

For now it is enough just to go do something faster than easy.

No problem with the workout. The goal is simply to begin to slide into doing something that helps me physically and mentally run faster later on.

I jogged around campus afterwards.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

65 minutes And Change

I got out later this morning. It is getaway day for Thanksgiving and the track was less crowded. My guess is that everyone is either hiding out, still at work, driving someplace out of town or crushed against thousands of their closest friends in some airport. Anyway, I ran 65 minutes and change and could easily have gone further but held back because I think I am going to be running with the club on Thursday and back to backs are always dicey.

I continued to feel really (really) good as I rang up the usual series of clockwise big loops over at De Anza. I guess nothing was stopping me from traveling over to Los Gatos or Rancho to run off road but frankly I was lazy and I sort of tumbled out the door and just let my feet take me someplace. No knee problems today.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just A Buck Short of 80 Minutes

I ran just a buck short of 80 minutes this morning. Over to De Anza for all sorts of big loops and then back again. The weather was cool and sunny. My legs are feeling really good even though my left knee is a bit stiff in the early part of the run (but then it goes away). I may have to wear that Protech brace and see if that helps. It's a ding more than a real injury but I still want to be careful.

I have been reading Brian Clarke's books again and thinking if there is some way to add in harder work without chancing a breakdown. I am feeling so good now that I hate to screw with it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Two Uneventful Days

So this post covers two days of uneventful running.

On Friday morning I scampered through 5 miles at 145-150 HR effort.

On Saturday morning I ran for 67 minutes at varying HR mostly alone except for the last campus loop with Dimitri. I admit to feeling really good. Probably the absence of tempo runs and speed work. If I ever wanted to race again, it would be a tough road. I would have to sneak up on the whole thing because my mind doesn't grok the idea of running hard. Let's face it, I have trained myself to run slow.

I am almost invisible now as far as the faster runners of any age group are concerned. I did chat briefly with Bob Schmidt who has taken a big dive in the last 6 months literally dropping off the edge of the table. Grasping desparately at straws he has decided to run ultras. I mentioned to Bob that he has succeeded (relatively) in slowing over one year at a similar rate of drop off that took me 20 years to accomplish.

Today was Asian Day at the track. This same group shows up for one day a year, descends onto the track and literally take up all the lanes without the slightest awareness of other runners. Whether they run or walk makes no difference. I took one look and decided to stay out on the roads until they left (they never left).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

China Girl And Me On A Lonely Track

I ran early today. I was actually out on the road at 8 am, running for the track. It was empty except for China Girl finishing her workout. She was skipping rope and doing situps. I had the track to myself as I ran some big loops. My legs felt ok so no complaints. China Girl never makes eye contact. She is wholly self sufficient even though we have been circling each other for years now.

60 minutes total.

Obviously she can see that I am an imperialist pig who wants to savage her and move on. Oh well, at least I made a breakthrough with Lina last Sunday. We actually talked.

Mostly I tried to keep my mind off the fact that I had cracked a wisdom tooth and was headed off to the dentist in two hours. I wondered if he would end up yanking the damn thing but fortunately he recommended that we cap it so I got off without having to nurse a sore jaw for a few days and traded that for a temporary cap until the real one shows up in several weeks.

In the early evening I went back out to the WVC track for the first time in a month or more and ran a social 4 miles with the club. It was almost summer-like. Very balmy. Had a good long catch-up talk with Stacy and Chris. My legs still felt good even though I wasn't very fast. 62 has been a definite slow down year. I am doing what I have always been doing (at least for the past 10 years) but the truth is that I am simply slower. It is inevitable. Age is relentless.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back To Back Monday

I got out early (for me) and ran 70 minutes of the usual easy stuff. It was a back to back Monday having run yesterday.

It was Veterans Day (observed) and the streets were quiet. I ran over to the college and did BIG loops. The track was empty for much of the time until the De Anza Track team started to drift in for a Monday workout. School was closed so the coach probably told his runners that he would be around if any of them wanted to show up.

With all the great running trails in my area it is strange how soothing I find this course. I can reason it out and don't feel the need to. It is repetitive but not boring. I like because I don't have to think.

After my run, the kid across the street came by. He ran in the 16:20's at Crystal Springs in CCS. His PR from last year was 20 seconds slower and he ran 40 seconds faster than his best time this season. So this was his all time PR no matter which was he cut it. He came by last week and asked me what he should do and I told him to back off and take it easy. So my mini-coaching had some effect.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

25 minutes And A Cloud Of Dust

Shel and I drove up to the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park to run a 5K DSE race. The weather was almost perfect. Cool but sunny after an evening of rain. We ran into Ernie Rivas who was one of the really big stud runners back in the 1970's and 80's. A good full level ahead of me. We reminisced quite a bit before and after the race. The race itself was uneventful. I warmed up for 15 minutes and ran the 5K loop in 25 minutes (on the dot I believe). Running this course clockwise is tougher than counter which is the direction I ran it in 1979 when I set my all time road PR of 15:46. The way we ran it today meant a long mile plus uphill. I typically decided to stay at or below 75% of max and I really had to slow over the section of the uphill to stay under my target HR. Still, I ran close to an 8 pace (about 8:04 actually) which isn't too bad. As near as I can figure this course adds 20-25 seconds to a flat run so I really have no complaints.

I was passed in the last 50 years by this dark hair gal who I often see at DSE races (she is a fixture). She is exotically pretty. I have always thought she was from the Middle East but we have rarely talked. I kidded her afterward about passing me and she said I had made her day.

Now my run is complete, she joked.

Afterward Shel and I went down to the Beach Boy for breakfast and she dropped by our table and chatted. Her name is Lina and she is from Damascus. We actually talked for some time. My food got cold but I didn't mind. With her hair down she is a knockout. It's funny. That spot near the finish where I first met Sue back in 1980 must be magic for talking to good looking women.

Shel and I had a great time as we always do.

Friday, November 09, 2007

65 Minutes With Dark Clouds On The Horizon




I had one of those busy morning and so I didn't get out until around 1:30 PM. There were dark clouds on the horizon to the far west (a forerunner of rain to come) but otherwise it was sunny. I ran the railroad tracks up to Sunnyvale-Saratoga, added a mile loop through some side streets and came back down the same way I had gone out. 65 minutes in all. Legs felt good. I kept my HR in the 140 range most of the way except at the end when I allowed it to drift up into the mid to high 140's.

Even though the run was easier than Wednesday I felt much better. I strive for consistency but as a runner ages it becomes harder to attain.Racing or just plain hard training requires a high level of consistency and sameness. It has been years since I could say that my training makes sense except (and this is a big except) when I run slow and easy. If I throw in hard work the rest of my running begins to deteriorate. That's what happened to me in the late winter and early spring of last year. My intervals were great but my few races were horrible. As soon as I backed off and reestablished consistency (as in easy running) my 90% AT runs got faster. Faster than my race efforts.

So go figure.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

An Imperfect Machine

Jake, who hasn't left for Texas yet, sent me an email yesterday asking if I wanted to join him over at Forbes Mill for an early Wednesday run. I was down there by 7:30 and ran 3 progressive loops over our usual course. I actually felt OK on the first several loops but on the last loop, I found myself having to really slow down to keep under my planned HR. While I wasn't exactly sure of the problem given the almost perfect conditions, I figured it had to be the fact that I cheated on meals yesterday eating a very light breakfast and sucking down a frappuchino for lunch. I was heading up to client's for an afternoon of meetings and basically and unintentionally, I skipped lunch. I can remember being in the car while driving up 101 and thinking, "Why do have slight soreness in my throat." Not the I am going to get a cold soreness but rather that "you are wearing yourself" down soreness. It never lies.

I did catch up, having pasta last night for dinner but obviously I didn't get in enough carbs to fuel my very imperfect machine.

So it's catch up time on the eat enough ranch.

The highlight of the run was scaring the beejesus out of some redhead walking with a friend on the trail. I simply "honked my horn" letting her know that we were coming by at which point she let out a scream. I apologized on my way back but she let me off the hook.

"I am a screamer," she said.

I will remember that if I am ever single again.

Monday, November 05, 2007

82 minutes of feeling good

I actually got out early this morning, running 82 minutes. I ran up the RR tracks to McClellan. As I was turning left I was thinking, My legs feel really good. Don't screw this up. I ran down to Jollyman Park and back to the college and a series of big loops until I finally decided to head home. 82 minutes in all. HR in the 140-150 range with no trouble keeping it there. The beginning of the run was shrouded in fog and in the low 50's but that gave way to filtered sunlight.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Another Saturday Workout

Another Saturday workout. For once I actually ran with the club instead of off by myself. I did a 2.5 plus mile warmup and then ran the 2.75 club race but hung back with Jim Myers keeping my HRM at 70% or under. We were close to last barely breaking 24 minutes. Then I warmed down around campus with Jim Howe. I felt OK. It was a tad chilly but I can't complain.

Jake showed up at breakfast. He is falling back into his old habits and beginning to kill himself off again. It's too bad. He hit his goal of breaking 20 minutes on our Dam loop and then went back to his old habits. This means more days running and hard workouts over and over.

He's heading off to Texas for 2-3 weeks so we'll catch up later in the month or early December.

As for me, I may build my running time slightly but I intend to stay the course with the HRM.

Friday, November 02, 2007

36:01!

I slept in to 7:30 this morning, lazed around the house drinking coffee and finally went out just after 9:30. My legs felt great and I clipped along with my HR in the 140-150 range running a total of 36 minutes and one second. The front door to door time ended up being about 90 minutes because I stopped the college to chat with Ohio and then ran (no pun intended) into John my "across the street neighbor" as I was headed in and jawed with him for God knows how long.

I can feel myself getting stronger. The longer I go without hard running the stronger I get. The long hills on Wednesdays and a now and then tempo run are enough.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Hilly Run

I met a very beat up Jake at Forbes Mill. He had fallen back on evil times and had run 5 days in a row. We did a warm up loop together and then I took off alone ran the Dammit course with some extra distance thrown in to make the total time of the run around 72 minutes. The dam was excruciating as was the backside of Jones Trail. But after hitting the summit it was mostly down hill all the way back into Los Gatos. Sections of the course was littered with stay at home moms with and without baby's. It seems to be a cult in down town Los Gatos.

Mid run, as crossed the dam I looked over at Lexington Reservoir. The water was way, WAY down and two sculling crews appeared to have had to clamber down a gradual bank of dried mud to launch their boats. The lake was about a low as I have seen it in years.

Jake ended up running two loops. He felt better once he got running but felt that out 24:44 pace for the first loop was too fast. I felt he was just tired from running too many days in a row. We had run in the 23's on several occasions in the past month and he had no problems at all.

As for me, I stayed at or under 70% even with the steep hills thrown in and my HR came down nicely once the course flattened out or went down hill. So I seem to be recovering.

Monday, October 29, 2007

4th day in a row

I ran again this morning. It was my 4th day is a row which was of course very unusual. I ran an easy 67 minutes including 8 big laps around the college track. The cross country coach was there working with one of his best runners. The guy was knocking off 400's in the mid 70's with a short rest. I stopped to chat briefly and went on running. My legs were mildly tired. I am looking forward to taking the day off on Tuesday and getting back to my schedule.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hollister


I got up early and drove down to Hollister for the mile (except I was not running the race). My job was to pace Jake to a sub-6:40 (woe, have the mighty fallen). It is a strange race. Mostly, very young school age kids and master level adults. I jogged down to the start. Just before the gun went off I ran down around the corner and waited for the leaders to come by. I was unofficial and didn't really want to be anywhere around the start or finish lines.

As the runners began to come by, I picked up Jake about 200 meters out and ran off his shoulder. Jake was breathing very hard and it felt to me like we were jogging.

This isn't a 6:40 pace, I thought.

But it turned out to be almost exactly that. We were weaving our way past young kids who were beginning to die off and Jake, who was almost gagging, kept pressing and passing people. I dropped off with about 100 meters to go and jogged to the side of the road. With my lasik improved vision I peered at the clock and saw that Jake was just crossing the line. The readout clicked to 6:33. That give or take was his time. I jogged back with Jake to his truck afterwards. All together I may have gotten in 3 miles.

We went to the San Juan Oaks afterwards for breakfast.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

60 minute ordeal



Ken Napier (to the left) these days.....


I had a lovely 60 minute Saturday morning run over at WVC hanging out with Tom and Jake while the club ran a searing set of 800's. Of course we avoided the workout and just vegged at an easy pace. My HRM was rarely above 130 throughout the ordeal.

Ken Napier was down for tomorrows mile race in Hollister. He hopes to hit an 8:30 pace give or take a few seconds. This from the 1972 NorCal master's runner of the year. This from the guy who I chased for almost 5 years during the 1970's before I finally caught and beat him in a race.

My job tomorrow is to pace Jake and have a nice breakfast afterwards. Tough job.

Coffee Haze 4 miler

Friday was basically waiting around the new HDTV delivery man in the morning and running an easy untimed 4 miler in the mid afternoon. No HRM either. I just drifted up to the half way point on the RR trail and returned. I had consumed a frappucinno about an hour before the run so I was in a coffee haze.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Seventy-Six & Hills




I drove over to Forbes Mill to meet Jake. He showed up with a bad cold and decided to walk. I ran up the trail but cut left and followed the switchbacks on a rocky dirt trail that often was single track. Two girls were coming down towards me one laughing loudly as she slipped and slid. The one in the back saw that I was coming through and stepped aside with a friendly smile. I thanked her briefly ignoring the other one who was lost in her laughter. The trail kept going up and grew steeper eventually coming out into an open space where the trees dropped away. To the left was the quick way back down but I ignored it and allowed myself to be drawn up to the trail on the right. I could feel the angle of the ground and could hear my breathing border on ragged except that a glance at my monitor told me that I was still under 70%. There was a wooden gate up ahead, or maybe a portal and I passed through without a second thought following a path leading up to the Novitiate trail and then Jones trail. By the time I summited, I could look down on the Lexington Dam far below. Another runner came by going the other way. A woman. She was followed by several more. Women too. Were there no men out here? Oh, of course. They were all working so that the women could play.

It was a very clear, cool and sunny morning. I could see the cars backed up on highway 17 headed towards Los Gatos.

I followed Jones trail down to the road and then crossed the dam and headed back to Forbes on the usual route. A half dozen women runners going in the opposite direction. It never seemed to stop. I passed through the parking lot, didn't see Jake and kept going to the high school, ran once around the track and then headed back up for a normal loop. 76 minute all together.

Legs felt strong. My HR stayed down around 140 most of the early part of the run and then after coming down the dam I kept it constantly in the 140-150 range.

Slight soreness above the right knee. Have to watch that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

65 minutes and why the hell....

Racked up an easy 65 minute run this morning. I ran over the college and ran a series big loops around the track going clockwise to balance things out. Nice cool morning but the word is out that the weather is going to heat up some over the next few days. I thought I would go back out in the afternoon again for another 3-4 miles but in the end "why the hell would you do that" won out over "you need to do that".

My legs felt decent throughout the run. I kept my HR in the 130's and 140's. I should be nice and fresh for Wednesday at Forbes Mill.

The probable plan is to run the 2.75 miler on November 3rd at AT (85-90%) and see where I am. Then go from there. The longer term plan is simple. 3 times a week I am going to run an easy 60-80 minutes and one day I will go 30-50 minutes. Every 3-4 weeks I will do an AT run. Every week I will try to do at least one 70-75% run to see if I can chart some progress. If the 75% run comes down and the 90% run drops than I am progressing. Everything else will be at 70% or less.

I admit that the two weapons I am adding are less work stress (as in less work) and hopefully better sleep.

Over time, if I feel stronger I will go up towards 80 minutes on my runs. otherwise, I will stay down lower and focus on being rested and recovered.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

60 plus minutes, steady

Got up late(for me), had coffee, relaxed and then headed over to the Saturday workout. I would guess NOT doing the Wednesday hard made a huge difference because I felt rested and proceeded to reel off 60 plus minutes of steady running. I ran a good deal of it on the track watching Jake and Dimitri do their respective interval workouts. Jake was still tired from Wednesday (no big surprise there).

I didn't miss having to do a specific workout.

It was nice just to show up.

I am in my letting the speed come to me phase.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Easy Run

I ran an easy 5 miles this morning. Over to the college, around the track 4 times doing the big loop (including the par course) and then back home. I kept my HR in the 130's and low 140's.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sterling Run

Back to Forbes Mill this morning with Jake. We ran an easy warm up loop and then I took off and ran the second loop at 70-75% of max hitting the top in 11 flat and coming across the finish in 21 flat. Jake was 15 seconds behind me. I then jogged the last loop as a warm down starting early. Jake caught me on the way up and blew by me on the way down. He said that he had reached the top in 10:36. By the time I got back to the parking lot Jake was in recovery mode. He had finally broken 20 with a sterling 19:56 so he was very happy.

The weather condition were decent. Cool, some wind and a threat of rain.

We celebrated by having breakfast.

Monday, October 15, 2007

80 slow minutes to heck

I ran 80 slow minutes this morning. The rain is coming later today but the sun was still out when I was doing my workout. I ran over to the track and just did big loops including the par course hill. I was following that little spike of a girl who I have seen now and then. Her loop consists of running the stadium steps so it takes her longer to get around.

I am trying to get back my slow mojo. I have been feeling beat up lately. I am sure it is a combination of those Wednesday runs with Jake and some work related stress. I eliminated the extra stress by dropping out of the start up I was involved (unhappily) in. It was one of those million dollar job. Pay me a million dollars (grossed up) and I will do it for a year.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

65 minutes While The Club Did Something Else

It took me two days totally off to recover from Wednesday's progression run. I ran for 65 minutes Saturday morning while the club did yet another track workout. I felt OK but not great. Luckily it was cool and clear so the conditions were alright. I just don't recover very well from that harder runs plus this is not getting me any closer to breaking 13 minutes for 3200 meters. I told Dimitri that once he has run the Hollister Mile at the end of the month, we'll get back at it. I will back off on the Wednesday runs and keep them at the 70% level for the most part with a now and then 75% test effort.

I have to keep reminding myself that I need to get faster at the slower stuff to be faster at the quicker runs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Progressive Run

I met Jake at Forbes Mill. It had rained during the night but the trail was firm even though there were some low lying puddles here and there. We ended up doing a progressive 8 miler with the first loop in 23:38, the second in 22:22 and the last in 20:57. Very Kenyan of us. No question that the second half of the last loop was an AT level run.

Afterwards we went for breakfast and then went up the running store to congratulate Christine Kennedy on her gutsy 3:02:04 marathon at Chicago. It was 85-90 degrees with heavy humidity during the race. She won her division and was second masters overall. She was happy to see us but was disappointed that she didn't run 2:47 which is the "B" standard for making the women's trials. She will probably go to Tuscon or Boston and try again.

Monday, October 08, 2007

1 + 1 = 90

I moped around Sunday, not feeling very good. Mostly I was tired and slightly wrung out. I played it low key all day and began to feel better in the late afternoon.

I woke up feeling pretty decent on Monday morning. I decided to divide my workouts up instead of doing one monster run. I went out around 9 AM and ran 48 minutes slow and easy. I then went back out again in the mid afternoon and ran another 42 minutes also very easy. My total was 90 minutes of slow stuff.

Jake sent me an email. He did do the monster workout today on the dam trail. He ran it 5 times (about 13.5 miles total) with each up and back loop faster than the prior one. He said he felt sick and exhausted afterwards. I sent him an email in response saying that I was really glad that I did not run this workout with him.

He should be really fun to run with on Wednesday.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

75 minutes

I slept in an extra 15 minutes, had a cup of coffee (buffered by Tums) and still made it over to the club workout to run around the campus and track for 75 minutes while the rest of the runners were doing the "step up, step down" track workout. I finally felt decent again. It was a cool, clear morning and my HR stayed low while I motored along at a comfortable pace. When I pushed it, my HR went up around 140 but when I let off, it dropped down into the low 130's.

The Cubs lost to the Rockies tonight and were swept out the playoffs, keeping my 62 year hex alive. They have not been to the series since losing to Detroit the year I was born which was 1945. They haven't won a world series in 99 years (1908).

Friday, October 05, 2007

4 miles and the wind in my face


I ran 4 miles this morning and felt ok. There was a good wind in my face on the way back but outside of that not any real residual soreness. Still tired. Napped for the third straight afternoon. I plan to take it easy until the energy level comes back.

Marion Jones has fallen from grace. The web and the news is full of it. She admits to lying about using performance enhancing drugs so she will more than likely go to jail. She is broke (or so they say). I would say that she is still young and can do the time and rebuild if she is smart. The world loves redemption. She just has to figure the path back to self repect and stop being a victim.

I chose this reproduction of a painting done of her naked with her head turned away because it best represents her current state. Stripped naked, by her own confession, for the world to see and her head turned away in shame or maybe she is looking back at what could have been.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Maintenance

I went up to Bill Tarr's to get an adjustment this morning. After that I walked down the hall to his wife's "office" and she gave me the penultimate massage. It was a bit like car maintenance. I just felt better when I walked out the door. My legs could move and the soreness was pretty much gone. This and yesterday's ice bath are making me feel like I can run again. I realize, going forward, that I am going to have get a massage whenever I get that creaky feeling. Bill is keeping me aligned so that is working out very well. I plan to add in the ice baths as often as I need them. I have been doing them after my hard runs but I realize that soreness is cumulative so I may have to do them more often.

One has to pay a big price to be the "Last Runner Standing".

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hoka Hey!

Last night on my way home from a client, I took a sharp right turn, banged my tire against the curve and heard a loud POP sound. I pulled over and took a look at my right front tire which was a dead flat (or flat dead). It took me about 15 minutes to change it. Luckily I was on a side street and out of major traffic but it was still tough to get the flat off and get the spare on. It's not the doing it but the tugging, lifting and pulling that beat me up. Sue and I were supposed to go out to dinner but she took pity on me and went out and picked up a pizza. So I came home, bloody (I scraped arms up), dirty and sweaty but ready to go out but we ended up staying in and watching TV having dinner on the bed.

When I woke up this morning I felt like I had played a tough, hard hitting game of soccer. My legs and arms were just plain sore. Jake and I were scheduled fora trial run so we warmed up 2.7 and then came back to our starting point. I stood there for 30 seconds while Jake got a head start. Then I went. I could tell within a quarter mile that things were not right. I felt like I was dragging my body along instead of running for a fast time. It took a long time to catch Jake. I went by him and hit the turnaround at 10:17 which was around 17 seconds behind goal. I did a short run in place as Jake came up and I paced him back in. I ran 20:10 and Jake was in the 20:40's.

Neither of us hit our goals. Jake did not break 20 minutes and I failed to break 19. We both admitted afterwards that it had not been a good day to die. Hoka Hey! We staggered through the warm down and went for breakfast.

I went home and soaked for 10 minutes in an ice bath. I get a massage and chiro on Thursday. It won't be too soon.

Monday, October 01, 2007

79 minutes

I was felt dragged out Saturday and Sunday. Not sure why. I certainly didn't burn up the roads last week while training.

I got out just before 9 AM this morning. It was cool and overcast and I ran easily, feeling much better overall. I did have to come back by the house to visit the "john" but then was out again running the railroad tracks down to Sunnyvale-Saratoga and then back by way of Prospect and Stelling to De Anza College and then home. 79 minutes total running time.

Al Oerter died today at age 71. He won the gold medal in the discus at the 56-60-64 and 68 Olympics and set a record each time he won. In 1980 he came back and just missed qualifying for the team again at age 44. He set his personal best that year. Anyway, 71. Life is getting shorter.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Short Six

Actually the club didn't run the short six course. I ran just less than 6 miles this morning. I did a 25 minute warm up and then ran Valle Vista with Tom, Ken and Jim.

We were running slow just missing breaking 28 minutes. 10-12 years ago we would have been gutting each other and running around 18 minutes. Ten years before that I would have been flirting with 16 flat. Kat came by us about half way (she had gotten a late start). Ken said, "We're getting lapped." In a way it felt true. We were close to dead last. We did catch Don who was fast walking the course and had started ahead of us.

The four of us mostly talked sports. The talk drifted to the 1955-56 Brooklyn Dodgers and between Jim and I we named the starting lineup. We then went through the mainstays of the pitching staff but neither of us could remember Carl Erskine. Just drew a blank on his name. I had to look it up when I got home.

Lest I forget again: (Apologies Carl)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Erskine

Back to my run. It was hard to get going today. I felt rather sluggish. I guess all of that "feeling good" running had to catch up with me sometime. Or maybe it was too many glasses of chardonnay last evening and that big steak I had for dinner. If I simply look back on it, I probably should have just shelved running until later in the day or let it roll until Sunday.

Note: Dimitri returned from his 3 week trip east. Good to have him back. One of these weeks we'll begin the process of getting us under 13 minutes for 3200 meters.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Railroad Track 5 Miler & Barry






Got out of the house before 9 am this morning and ran the railroad track 5 miler. My legs felt good! I didn't time myself but I had the HRM on and most of the way I was in the 135-140 range. The weather was perfect. Overcast and cool. I felt like I could have gone another 5 miles (but didn't).

Barry dropped by last night for a beer. He is
really bummed over the way the Giants just released him. He wanted one more year of playing time with them (and maybe one more year after that). He just wants to get to 800 home runs and 3000 hits. I mean he has feelings too.

You know Barry, once he has a beer of two he starts
feeling sorry for himself. Of course there were tears.
He got really maudlin. We sang the Giants fight song.
He really has a bad singing voice. Goes ff key all the
time.

I mean 15 years of greatness. Oh well.

I told him to go play in the Carribean Leagues. He
can be a big star down there for years. Maybe play
into his 50's. Maybe hit another 700-800 home runs.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Strong

I drove over to Old Forbes Mill to meet with Jake. he showed up a bit blue in the gills. He had already run 6 miles. It was his long day he explained. We went up and back along the trail running in the 24's for an easy loop. My legs felt decent enough and the pace was faster that it was normally for a warm up run. Jake told me that he felt tired so I told him to set the pace. I felt that we were holding back on the second loop but we ended up running in the low 23's and frankly I felt like it would be no problem going up for one more round. My HR stayed in the 65-70% range through both runs. This run and Monday's double give me hope that I might be on the path. I feel good. My legs are strong. I did the right thing last week in cutting back on my running when I was feeling tired.

We never ended up doing it though. I could see that Jake was tired and I knew I was going to run at least 3 miles with Rick at lunch (which I did) so we opted for a run over to Los Gatos High and back to the car. Jake thinks we did about 6.5 mile total. With the lunch time run I probably did 9.5 for the day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Homer Latimer

Got the news this evening that Homer Latimer has cancer. Homer was one the very good Bay Area runners back in the late 1970's. He also was the coach at Leigh High School.
He disappeared in the 1980's and was said to be in Central or South America. He may have been but he ended up living in Sonora California. He was always an independent guy so even now he lives alone.

The word is that his prognosis isn't good. I emailed him and said hello after all of these years. He might remember me. I don't know. Life is getting shorter and Latimer situation asks me once again, how much of my life do I want to waste doing things I don't care about. As my friend Tom said today, we all want two hour lunches.

Dipsea

Homer won this tough race twice.


1977-Homer Latimer

1976-Homer Latimer

Homer Latimer '61, distance runner: Teaches fourth and fifth grades in the Columbia (Calif.) Union School District. Resides in Sonora, Calif.

11 miles?????

I ran an easy 5 miles this morning at a "my legs can't hurt" pace. This is usually very slow. I was out 50 minutes. It might have been further than 5 but I wouldfind that hard to defend.

In the mid afternoon I went to Rancho for the first time in a long time and ran 6 plus miles with Jake and some of his cross country team. It was the not the fast guys. This group would stop and walk whenever the opportunity presented itself. So it must have been the "B" team because the "A" team was off running somewhere else. Anyway, I ran easily with Jake going out. He was beat up from three hard days last week. The course was the usual one which went by the farm, staying to the right, and with graduated hills which led up to the big one mile hill, which we didn't end up running.

Coming back we took a slightly different route (the dry pond) with some rolling hills. I felt good and picked up the pace. I came back by myself deciding to just run the 6 and not go over over the hump and make it 8 miles.

11 miles all told.

Enough for even the greediest runner.

What the afternoon workout told me was what such runs always tell me. I run best when I run in the hills.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

70 minutes

I drove over to the club workout over at WVC and ran about 70 minutes around the campus while the club ran half tennis court loops. It rained but really more of a heavy drizzle than a steady downpour. The sky was the color of slate. It wasn't cold though.

The workout was not well attended. Many of the club runners were heading down to Paso Robles for Sunday's Pacific Association 10K and Jake was over at Los Gatos High running intervals. Danny and Madelyn were up in Oregon. Dimitri is still back east.

My legs were OK. I felt recovered from last Wednesday's trial run.

Friday, September 21, 2007

50 minutes

I almost bagged it today out of pure laziness but finally got out in the early afternoon for a 50 minute easy (easy) run. It was slightly on the warm side with a thunder shower threat (which never came). I missed the commute and school traffic so the run was uncharacteristically quiet. There was very little traffic and noise.

My legs, which were pretty beat up Wednesday, actually felt good today. Maybe the ice bath helped.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

19:07

I met Jake at Forbes Mill. We warmed an easy 2.7 and then we both ran the a second 2.7 with the hammer down. I got up to the turnaround in 10:08 and came back down in 8:59. Good but not good enough to break 19 minutes. My HR through most of the run was at AT so I wasn't all out but I did push it with about a 1/3rd of mile to go but could not get in under my primary goal. Still, a PR for this year. I am close.

My HR over the last section was up around 185-187 and I wasn't in any discomfort. Tells me that my max is still way over 190 and that there is room to push harder.

Jake ran a 2007 PR on the course too. 20:25.

We warmed down over the same course. About 8 miles total.

In the afternoon after a late lunch I took my first ice bath. Whoa!
Janet's recommendation. It wasn't bad which probably means I need to put in more ice.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ice Baths

I ran another easy 50 minutes this morning. I was dragging and still not recovered from Friday's workout. I had planned to come back in the afternoon and run another 4-5 miles but ditched the idea. I would have been pounding sand.

I did get my first sports massage this morning from Janet Tarr. Janet, who's husband Bill is my chriopractor recommended that I take ice baths several times a week. Shades of Dwight (he of the 100 mile weeks). I realize that I have to be more agressive if I want to stay in this game.

Sit in the tub and turn on the cold water. Let it run until it covers your legs. Dump in a bag of ice cubes. Remain seated in said tub for 10 minutes. At the end of this time period, if still alive, then get up and get out of the tub. Let your body warm up.

Janet's sister, Nancy Ditz was on the 1988 Olympic marathon team. We used to race against each other back in the day. I beat her far more often than she beat me but at the time she was faster. I just had her number in head to head races. She ran a 2:30 marathon (or so I remember) but it was in the shorter events that I had her number. I was in that transition period of becoming something other (slower) than the runner I had been during most of my 30's and she was on her way up. But after 1988 she retired from racing and I went on until 1995 at age 50 when I ran my last real competitive race. By then I had fallen to the low 18 minute level for 5K and 5:19 for the mile. It was a good time to step out.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Mail Man's Quandry

I didn't run Saturday. My legs were still recovering from Friday. I watched the club run and then went to the restaurant and had breakfast afterwards.

After eating we were walking out to our cars and Mail Man told me that his running has not been good as of late and that he couldn't figure it out. Before I could ask he told me that he had been sick several weeks back.

"Well, that's the reason," I said. "You're older. It takes longer to get over that sort of thing."

I had the feeling that he didn't quite get it.

Sunday: I ran an easy 50 minutes. My legs felt OK especially when compared with yesterday. I ran into Annette (no pun intended) one of the women on our club. She was out running with her boyfriend Randy. Hadn't seen her in awhile. Turns out she's been having hamstring problems but is back running now.

I will more than likely run another easy day Monday so that I can bash Wednesday. I would like to get under 19 for the dam loop which means I will have to get up to the top near 10 minutes flat and come down under 9. We'll see.

Friday, September 14, 2007

12 x 100

Jake and I met at WVC and warmed up 2.5 miles around campus (the BIG loop). Jake had decided to run 16 x 200 with a 200 meter recovery jog-walk and I decided to run 12 x 100 with a 300 meter jog/walk. It worked out well because I could jog the first 100 meters of Jake's reps and then try to run him down in the second 100. It became a slingshot run. Jake is stronger and his 200's quickly moved down into the 43-42 second range while my 100's dropped from an early 19, down to 2 18's and then 17's the rest of the way. At first I couldn't catch Jake at all but once I settled into the 17's I was catching him in the last 25 meters give or take a few yards. I avoided going all out but it was still a tough workout.

I jogged another several laps while Jake finished off his last four 200's and then we went around campus again but this time by the inside loop. It was a good workout for me but better for Jake. If he had done this same workout 2-3 months ago he would have been in the 46-48 range. This 3 power running days a week with cross training on the other days is working very well for him.

Next week we will probably go up to the Dam Trail in Los Gatos and do a time trial.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

8 mile day

I did all my running in the afternoon around WVC. 5 (plus) miles on the road and another 3 miles or 800's with the club on the track. The Wednesday group seems to have shrunk as of late. Not sure of the reason.

Monday, September 10, 2007

80 minutes


Today's run had all my favorite elements. No HRM. Streets (yes, streets!). Hills and trails. I ran 80 minutes including some time jogging around my neighborhood and then I took off up McClellan to Foothill Expressway and Stevens Creek Dam (picture above). I kept the pace on the easy side but found the hills challenging. The reservoir was just about empty but finally I ran into 2 other runners who both mentioned how crowded it was up there (3 runners total and a 2 dogs). During the week that is crowded. On my way home I ran into Ed, our UPS guy and he and I talked Raiders football (they lost yesterday's game).

Sunday, September 09, 2007

6 miles and a cloud of dust

Saturday. The less attended workout. Walt headed off to some event. Dimitri gone to Toronto. Danny and Madelyn at a wedding somewhere in we're going to be divorced in 10-15 years, we just don't know it yet land. A good portion of our club up in Golden Gate Park running the cross country race. The rest of the club ran the short six course. I gave out the trophy to some guy who had set a course PR and hadn't received the trophy as of late.

I got in 6 miles including an easy 3 mile warm up with Tom and general running around campus to fill in the rest. No plantar fascia problems. I taped my foot. Didn't seem to need Advil.

Small breakfast crowd. Jake showed up beat to crap from hard workouts. He always finds a way to kill himself no matter what the training load is.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Downsizing My Hard Days

Easy 5 miles this morning. I kept my HR in the 130's most of the way. The run was generally uneventful. I ran over to De Anza and rumbled around the track and the par course so each loop was 400 plus meters. The weather has turned cool. The latest heat wave has subsided. Smoky skies though. The fires in Henry Coe Park have sent a cloud of residue which covers the South Bay like a diaphanous, filmy blanket.

I will definitely need to be careful. I have some lingering heel pain which could be a plantar fascia problem. If I have it, it's coming from the type of workouts I did this past Monday so I need to be vigilant. That's how I got PF back in the mid 1980's. Long hard tempo runs. I am taking Advil, icing and taping my foot. It doesn't hurt when I run but I can feel it afterwards. I think I can run through it but I will have to downsize my hard days. I am not an NFL football player but I watched a special on the physical price many of these guys are now paying for the punishment they both took and inflicted back in their playing days. My favorite running back Earl Campbell can barely walk and even then he needs help.

I guess in running terms these guys played like we run 80-100 mile weeks. I think on of the reasons why I am still standing is that while I loved running, it was a love that ended at about 60-65 minutes a day with a now and then 80-90 minute run. So I ran 60-70 mpw rather than 80-100. I also cut back later in my racing career to 30 mpw (running basically every other day). It saved me so that I can still run when I want to. I can still do a ten mile day now and then. If I forget myself now and then by pounding up the Los Gatos Dam Trail then I get a message. This time the message has arrived in the form of some pain on the very bottom of my right foot.

Slow down, the message whispers, or I will ground you.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Two 5's

The day ended up being a heater so I broke up my workouts into two runs. In the morning I ran 5 easy miles. My legs were tired and I was dragging from Monday's monster workout. In the afternoon I went back out to the club workout and ran another 5 miles. My legs felt much more lively despite the 90 plus temperature and what appeared to be an inversion layer of clouds keeping the heat "in". I made sure I was hydrated and fueled up ahead of time and that made all the difference. Still, I had to shut it down or I might have run 2 more miles making it a twelve mile day.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Big Tough Day

Ran the dam with Dimitri and Jake. We took from the high school parking lot and warmed up on the first loop. It was crowded with Labor Day walkers and runners so we had to weave around folks up and down. On the second loop from Forbes Mills Jake took off fast but Dimitri and I caught him coming back down and we ran 20:48. MY HR was in the 150's most of the way. On the 3rd and last loop we got to the dam in 10:26 and came back in 9:11 for a 19:37. My HR spiked up to 181 (AT) on the way back. I was strongest on the last loop but didn't want to make it a VO2 max run so I held back slightly. Jake was totally trashed at breakfast but I felt OK. I am sure I will be sore and tired later on. If necessary I will take several days off. It depends on how I feel on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Easy Day

The usual Saturday. I drove over the club run but avoided any of the planned workouts. I ran around the campus and the track until I had covered around 7 miles. My legs felt better than mid week and I think I may be able to get them back in shape so I can try another run down to sub thirteeen for 3200 meters.

Jake struggled to run a sub fifteen minute 2 miler. Of course a few weeks back he couldn't even do that so maybe the three day plan is working. It certainly felt better running three days a week to me but just like my seven day plans and my five day plans and my four day plans, I can handle about one hard day a week. Why I need to re-learn this annually is beyond me. It seems that I can run 8-12 x 100 one day if I don't make it into a sprint workout and then I can perhaps run some thing else. For some reason 100's don't tear me up. Dwight, he of the 100 mile weeks, we right. if you can't handle speed work do 100's.

Went down to Carrows for breakfast afterwards. The manager dropped by and apologized for the group having slow service last week.

Huh?


I found out Big Mac complained to Carrows CEO and he made a call to the restaurant. The funny thing was that Big Mac didn't show for breakfast and so we had to field the apology, one that most of us didn't want. Hell, they give us a table, good service, separate checks and we have it waiting for us every weekend! For once Madelyn and I totally agreed that we were sending the wrong message if we complained. Free world. I know. It was done for the greater good just not ours.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Easy Running

30 minute easy run. It was already getting warm.

There was a fire up on Montebello Road yesterday. It is under control but it burned 300 acres of scrub. No one had to evacuate. No property damaged. The saving grace was even with the heat and dry conditions, there was very little wind.

Easy Running

30 minute easy run. It was already getting warm.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

12 x 100

I met Jake at WVC. We did a slow big campus loop, ran some strides and then he went off to do 12 x 400 while I ran 12 laps of 300 jog, 100 stride. I seemed to do most of the 100's in the 19-20 second range with a few down in the 17's towards the end. Then we ran around campus. Jake cramped up half way around and we jogged and walked back to our cars.

A weak 7 miles at best.

No complaints on my side of things. I am back on my program to get under 13 minutes for 3200 meters. I just to need to rebuild slowly and see if I can get there by years end or sooner. Jake was dead legged at coffee and was headed home for a nap. My legs were tired but nothing like his.

The morning was warm as summer belches its last flame. Frankly things have so mild that I can endure this. It will be fall soon enough. I will look forward to the cooler running weather. It should help me get my times down.

12 x 100

I met Jake at WVC. We did a slow big campus loop, ran some strides and then he went off to do 12 x 400 while I ran 12 laps of 300 jog, 100 stride. I seemed to do most of the 100's in the 19-20 second range with a few down in the 17's towards the end. Then we ran around campus. Jake cramped up half way around and we jogged and walked back to our cars.

A weak 7 miles at best.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dead Legs and Dead Head

I am going to have to back off again, being dumber than dirt. I was on the verge of getting under 13 minutes for 3200 meters and blew it again snatching defeat from the arms of victory. Yeah, I was bored with my training. Those 9-10 minute training miles were driving me crazy but in the last year my two fastest runs came on slow running with some 100's thrown in to the mix. That and the time trials were getting me there. I can run one hard day a week of something and that is it! I have to choose what it is. Last week I ran 3 semi-hard days and by yesterday I was pretty beat up.

I will eat crow and go back to what I was doing (except for one hard day a week). I may run in the hills one day to handle the boredom.

All I know is that I have to turn around and quick.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Whoa!

I went out of the house Monday morning at a good clip. I was surprised that my legs actually felt good but it didn't last long. I ran my two mile loop to the college and began to feel pretty tired as I hit the track. MY HR, which was around 150, zoomed up to the 160's and stayed there. By the time I was ready to head home I realized that I had to slow down the place. There was nothing much in the tank. I just pulled back the pace and dropped my HR to under 150 and got in.

5 miles

At noon I met Rick at Burgess and ran 33 minutes (flat). It was warm and our run was ugly. We cruised the streets on Menlo Park mostly running on concrete and asphalt when we could get it. Afterwards we went for lunch at MacArthur's Park and I drank several Arnold Palmer's and had pasta.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mid-Tempo







I took two days off resting so I could pace Jake this morning. I ran the 3 (++) mile club warm up and then stayed with Jake during Farwell. It's basically a very hilly 3.54 mile course that once upon a time I ran in 18:22. Today it was 26:43. Roughly equal to a sub 23 minute 5K. Jake looked stronger than he had in months but he was far behind the guys he wants to go head to head with. We were in the low 7:30's though and for my purposes that wasn't bad. My legs were a bit tired but I never struggled. Afterwards we ran the campus loop.


Maybe 8 miles total

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Long Day




Jake and I met over at the Old Forbes Mill in Los Gatos. This is what it used to look like. Now only the lower building in front is still standing.

We then ran an easy out and back for a warm up. Then we went up again at a what was tempo for Jake and about 70% for me. The time was 22:07. On the last up and back Jake went out hard and I just followed. My HR quickly went up to 75% of max and stayed there for most of the run except for a weird bad patch of about 2 minutes where it dropped down into the 130's and 140's. I couldn't figure out whether the HRM was acting up or whether there was some sort of interference that caused a poor signal. One thing was for sure. During that 2 minutes I did not feel very good and thought about dropping out so maybe my body was sending "The Big Message". I actually dropped back about 10 yards behind Jake. After that everything equalized and I began to quickly feel much better. I pulled right up alongside of him and began to flow along. On the way back I kept the HRM at 75% of max plus or minus and ran the loop in 21:07. Jake was struggling and had dropped back about 10 seconds.

The highlight of the run back was passing the Los Gatos Girls Field Hockey team running up the trail and carrying their sticks. There must have been 50 or more of them. We passed one girl limping back to the school. I asked her if she was OK and she smiled saying that the bottom of her foot hurt. Sounded like plantar fascia. I told her that she needed to work on having a more pronounced limp to convince her coach that she was really injured.

I am now on a three day training program. The main elements are the following:

1. Long run at long tempo pace. So this is not easy.

2. Short tempo run of 2-3 miles.

3. Mid tempo run of 3-4 miles.

4. Intervals at roughly 5K pace.

My plan is to do 2-3 of these runs every week and not run easy, jog-type recovery days but just walk or take the day off. So every run has a purpose. It is the Run Less, Run Faster in approach but with some modifications. Perhaps more effort based than exact time based. I just don't trust all of their recommended paces.

My primary motivation was around the fact that I was simply not enjoying my running. As slow as I can run was beginning to get to me. So I will become a workout whore.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Run Less, Run Faster

I did not begin today's run under optimal conditions. This was my 3rd day in a row running. I ran harder than normal both Saturday and Sunday. They weren't hard days but they weren't easy either. This morning I jogged over to the track did some easy strides and then ran 3200 meters in 14:37. This is called short tempo. It wasn't that easy. I then jogged back. Maybe 5 miles total.

At noon I met Rick and we jogged an easy 30 minutes running from Burgess park into the edges of Stanford University. Ugly run. Had to deal with lights and traffic. For Rick and I ugly runs are the norm. We love it.

I am taking Tuesday off. I need it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Another Pacing Job

I went with Shel to the Dolphin Race up at the Marina Green in SF. I ran another 3 miles trying to pace him to a sub 26 minute 5K. Actually the goal was to find out where he was. The course turned out to be long (closer to 3.22 miles) but it still worked out to a mid 26 minute 5K equivalent. So two short falls this weekend. Neither Jake nor Shel hit their goals and I ran in the grey zone (too fast for easy and not fast enough for tempo) on both runs. I am running with Rick on Monday at noon plus whatever I decided to do in the morning. So that will be 3 days in a row. I will take tuesday off and get back to every other day running by mid week.

I have always liked the Marina district. If I had to live in SF, that is where I would want to be. Shel told me that he could not be single and live there because he would get into too much trouble. I asked him why. He said too many nice young women around. I replied that we were too old to play in that game. He came back with his take on this subject. If you have money you can play.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Handicap Run

Today was the club handicap race which is 3.06 miles. Last year I ran 20:39 as a tempo run (and was elated) but this year I ran unofficially and paced Jake. We went through the first mile in 7:30 and it was downhill (for Jake) from then on out. I stopped at the 3 mile mark running 23:13 with my HRM mostly in the 70-75% range. With the warmup I probably got 5 plus miles.

The run was inconsequential to me but gave Jake another message that his training is too hard. Of course he read it as he isn't training hard enough day to day. I read it as he is doing way too many miles and is running too hard on the days he goes for quality. As for me, I just don't have the mindset to run hard very often so I didn't mind doing pacing duties no matter what the pace.

In the old days I would have blasted this course under 16 minutes and have been in a dogfight with guys like Jake, Dave, Tim, Bill and John and it would have been bloody. I am a million miles from being in that shape anymore.

Breakfast at the Collins' house was good as always and it was just fun to sit around with, have a nice conversation, tell off color jokes and enjoy the coffee.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We're All Different

I drive over to Los Gatos and ran 55 minutes with Jake up and down the dammit trail. I had also run 6 minutes at the house to shake things loose. So in the spirit of everything counts when I move forward, I totaled 61 minutes. Volleyball girls showed up for pre-season practice. Some of them were very tall and already had cellulite. I mean they are only in high school. jake and I had a discussion about dating tall women when we were single. My tallest girlfriend was 5'9". But we were free falling here. If we were young and single and confident, would we go out with 6' tall women? Jake said that if you think small you'll come across as small. I agree. But we're 5'6" at best these days. 5'7" back in "the day".

I went out again in the late afternoon and ran another 3 miles of 800 meter repeats with the club. I was last or close to last on each reps. 8:30-9:00 pace.

The day totaled somewhere around 9 miles. Now I get to rest until the handcap run Saturday morning. "No more running," he said convincingly. I don't feel as strong and fast as last year at this time but I know I am fit as I can possibly be for my age and mileage. 62 has weighed on me. I can feel the difference that a year has made and yet, perversely, I also believe I can be faster than I am now. I mentioned to Dennis Kurtis who is 53 or 54 that when I ran the times he is now running (low to mid 17's for 5K in my mid to late 40's) I could not do the workouts that he is presently doing. Well, we're all different.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Double Four

I ran a double 4 today. 4 slow miles in the morning and another 4 in the late afternoon. The afternoon run was done in warm conditions. Not hot like baking or sizzling. Just warmish. Maybe 80 degrees. I kept close to an 8 pace during this run. It wasn't hard but it wasn't easy either. I had to focus on staying on pace. I wasn't just skimming along. Hard to believe that a few years ago this might have been a 7:30 pace and a few years before that, close to a 7 minutes flat. I can see how far I have fallen away from being able to run a steady tempo. I get the age part but I also get that years of staying away from steady or tempo have sped up the process. I have no idea if the afternoon run did squat for me but I enjoyed it more than the usual slow-slow pace that my HRM forces me to run.

I doubt that the run was good for me. Not as a stand alone workout. Age graded it was a low 25 minute 4 miler back in the day. Since I often ran a 6:30 pace back then, a 33 minute 4 miler would have been a more accurate age graded equivalent. I would be betting the farm to try to run faster during my daily runs. If I didn't break I would more than likely be faster IN TRAINING with no guarantees that it would carry over to racing. Since I don't really race, it might be worth the attempt. I would still have to face the effect on my time trials. I might end up being faster or I might have the Jake effect. In the Jake effect a runner does races and trials at about the same pace as they train at.

Bottom line: The runner is overtraining.

The key is to seek something in between, adjust and then move down, adjust and so on....

The other is to let the speed come to you which means letting the HRM dictate the pace. I generally follow this path but not purely. I have been sneaking in speedwork which I already know has the opposite effect on me than is intended. I generally get slower. If I follow the path (THE PATH) then I do get faster. Not faster than I was last year or the year before but faster than I was last month or the month before. If this all is confusing the reality is that I am tired of slow training (maybe bored) but if I stick to it I get faster. If I train harder, I get slower. MUCH SLOWER.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

6 x 600


I paid the price for drinking way too much wine last night. I drove over to the club workout which was 12 x 600 relay on the track. Each runner runs 6 of them and the recovery is the time it takes their partner to run their 600. Plus you have to walk or jog 200 meters to get ready for the hand-off. I was feeling pretty woozy and sort of out of it but I did a long warm up of close to 3 miles and then went down to the track and offered to pace Jake. He was shooting for a 6:30 pace which is 2:30 per 600.

Jake, I said, that is 3:15 800 pace. I had not seen him run that fast in a few years.

Rich, I am not running 800. I am only running 600.

OK, so we took off and I stuck to a 2:30 pace as exactly as I could. I figured I had better be able to do this given that this is goal pace for 3200 meters somewhere down the line. It had better feel easy. Not easy, easy. Just very doable.

And after shaking the cobwebs out, it began to feel very normal. I glanced at my HRM and it never was much above 171 until the last one which spiked to 175. Very low level AT, at least perceptually. Jake was in back of me struggling in the mid to high 2:30's but finally got down to his goal time on the last one.

A new girl was on the track. Her name was Wendy. Very tall, leggy and rather slender. She had an Elvis tote bag and I kidded her about it. She smiled. Afterwards she was talking to club members about joining. I am not asure she'll actaully join. She was walking and jogging and despite her body build she looked like she was not in running shape. But the club let her know she would be welcome. But then women are always welcome. Especially tall, leggy women. Danny and I agreed that he could get on my shoulders and then he would be about her height. My guess....6 feet.

Afterwards Jake, Dimitri, new guy..Jon and myself jogged around the campus.

Probably close to eight miles overall.

Lesson learned: Chardonnay is not a good pre-workout beverage of choice.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Speed Dating

Friday was an off day but I decided to double up anyway. A mid morning beakfast with friends followed later on by an interview with a perspective client for an interim HR VP job. I arrived at the clients at 2 pm and was led into a conference room. The CEO wasn't there yet so I idled by going over some notes from a meeting with another client. Finally the CEO walked in. He looked intense right off. He was looking at a copy of my resume.

Are you consulting now? he asked.

I said, yes and for the past 5 years.

What makes you want to come back inside?

I don't, I answered.

Oh. I only want people who are looking for full time regular jobs. He seemed to be chewing on his words.

That's not me I said flatly.

I smiled and he smiled. We exchanged business cards.

5 minutes had passed. I was in the lobby and headed for my car.

Something inside my gut told me that even if this had gone an hour, I would not have wanted to work for him. There was something rigid there. Not inept. Just rigid.

Double Day

Doubled on Thursday keeping the pace easy during both runs. I admit to feeling sluggish during the morning run. My legs were heavy and I dragged through the run. More than likely a result of Tuesday. The afternoon run was better. My legs felt good but it was warm and my HRM kept me from going very much above a jogging pace. I was soaked in sweat by the time I arrived home. A ten mile day though if anyone is counting.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Running With The Middle-Agers

I ran for about 45 minutes this morning and came back in the late afternoon and ran another 4 miles (give or take). Most of my afternoon run was a warm up with the club Tuesday night group which included Jeff, Tom, Mike and Becky. My legs felt good despite the back to back of running Monday and Tuesday. I just floated along hardly glancing at my HRM. Once, after we had come up a bit of a long hill I noticed that it was reading 155-56 but it dropped back down under 150 when we flattened out.

These runners are all faster and younger than I am. They are all about where I was when I was in my late 40's or early 50's. This is about their age range are too except Becky who is 41. We talked Bill Walsh and Niners a bit and then they switched to discussing the upcoming cross country season. I could feel the tug of wanting to be part of this but then I saw Danny down on the track and I came back to the reality. They moved on to some sort of hill repeat workout and I stood around with Danny and chatted about his upcoming 60th birthday. I was fine with it. But I could see the road back. It is the same as it was in 1975 when I began to train with John and Jake. Attach yourself to faster runners and hang on until you are faster. Believe you can run faster and then you are faster. It doesn't happen quickly. It is a change in a runner's belief system. You have to be smart about it but after awhile the momentum just carries you through.