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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bad Day At WVC

The original idea for this morning was for me to go to the track and run either 1200 meters or a mile trial effort. I was warming up and realized that I was having one of those acid-reflux days and it wasn't good. I ate potato chips late yesterday afternoon and it seemed to have kicked off a bad reaction. I paid for it today. I did not take Zantac and Prilosec before chowing down and while that has been OK some evenings it did not work last night. I ended up playing it smart and running about 6 miles at a slow jog.

I am just going to have take this condition (burp) much more seriously and watch it. Funny thing is, once again, Saturday seems to be my regular bad day. I may have to get up earlier or bag running until later in the morning (not my first choice).

Jake was back in town and is running with the HRM and keeping his runs slow. He knows he is in a recovery stage and seems very focused on getting himself back to a point where he feels good running. We're going to run Wednesday but play what we do by ear.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I did Actually Run

I actually did run today even though it seemed trivial. I went out around 10:30 this morning. I ran as slow as I could stand it for about 38 minutes. The track at the local junior (aka community) college was closed. Graduation day. The stand was set up and everything. So I added a figure eight around my normal campus loop. This was strictly a recovery run. Plenty of sweat but slow and plodding. A calorie burning run at best. The club mile on the track is tomorrow (Saturday). I may do it but I am not highly motivated.

Danny says he is going to run 6:20 give or take. He ran 6:37 for 1600 meters a month ago and he is improving. He may do it. Jim is headed to the Masters Meet to try and break 40 minutes for 10K. The race is at 7 AM (ugh). Jim just ran an 8K last weekend that says he is close. It will be smart pacing that gets him under. if he goes out too fast, it will be another 40 plus race.

Just What The Doctor Ordered

A rest day. I went in at 5 pm and met with the CEO of one of my long term clients and pitched my approach to leadership development and change. I told him that I wished he were coming to me rather me coming to him. It may be too late to retrieve the situation. It happens. Whenever I don't listen to my very experienced "gut" I find myself in these types of situations. My gut said two things in the past 7-8 months.

1. 2006 should have been my last year doing work with that client. I do better when I leave. I know when that time is. I stayed. My mistake. It's a gentle mistake but a mistake none the less.

2. Our consulting approach was not succeeding with the CEO. We had stopped "listening" and were just "doing". What we knew got in the way of what we needed to learn. My warnings that this was happening were ignored and I felt myself getting pushed off into a corner by my own colleagues. No one was evil here.

I feel a bit like Ney walking across the last bridge as the last man out of Russia after Napoleon's invasion had failed. I am facing the enemy and I moving backward rather calmly.

I am ready to move on if we don't get the leadership work. If we do, I will go in full force.

Afterwards, needing tons of fresh air, I decided to go to the all comers meet and watch the boys run. Dimitri hit a 5:31. He wasn't happy but for a first mile I didn't think it was too bad. Dennis, after running 3 x 1600 meters hard last night at WVC, came back and ran a 4:57 mile. The guy has talent. Afterewards we all went to dinner.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bird of Prey

Morning Run:

I went out early for me (around eight AM) and ran 45 minutes at an easy pace. It was relatively cool but it seems like it may end up being a warm day. I ran out to the college, did 4 laps and ran back. The campus has shifted to summer-mode. Few students around and a girls soccer camp getting kick started.

I felt a bit carbo deprived. Yesterday seemed like it was mostly mocha's and frappuchino's with some fruit and health bars thrown in the mix. I did have chicken last night with a yam, bread and veggies. Well balanced by normal standards.

Afternoon Run:

Back to WVC as usual for a Wednesday late afternoon run. I ran another 5 miles. Danny and I kept each other company during the 3 x 1600 meter part of the run. We ran in the 8:30-45 minute range. Dennis was circling Stacy like a bird of prey before and after the run. I wonder if she knows what is happening? The weather was warm but not hot. No complaints there.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Long Run

Brian Low and I hooked up at 9 AM for a long run. I ran about 5-6 minutes beforehand and then we proceeded to run up the railroad tracks to the baseball fields beyond Cox and near the RR overpass at Saratoga. We came back by a slightly different route running 81 minutes together. I think my total run was closer to 90 minutes but I am not sure. We stopped once to hit the rest rooms and I forgot to restart my watch. My best guess is that I missed about 2-3 minutes.

It was slightly warm but we both felt good and we flowed along through the whole run.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Day Off

A day off. I am eating badly having already downed a large frappuchino, part of a pastry, and several pieces of sour dough white bread. I did have a banana and a yogurt health bar in the morning after a big cup of coffee. Tomorrow I am going to meet Brian and we'll run long. Maybe 8-10 miles. I asked him via email to keep it easy. My legs feel fine but I am having some plantar issues with my right foot. This seemed to just show up. I am adviling and taping my way through it.

I may run some of the two milers at the all comers meets on Thursday evenings. Heat will be the main modifier. If is hot I will just not do it. I will have to adjust my schedule so that I don't end up running too many days in a row. Maybe shift to Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday-Sunday. I am not sure I want to do this. Somehow running them alone of with a pacer makes me stronger. Doing it in front of crowd makes it is a performance.

In any case, I am really beginning to think about pushing my trial times down. The key is not to kill myself off and make them too race-like.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I drove over to the Saturday morning workout.

Warmed up with the dog meat group for 2 miles and then through in another half mile with some striders. Dimitri, true to his word, paced me through a 1200. I asked for a 4:45-4:48 and got a 4:39 for no extra charge. 97-3:13-4:39. Felt very strong even though the last lap was 86. Could have run the 3rd lap 4-5 seconds slower and kicked a 4th if need be.

We then jogged around the campus.

I was satisfied seeing that I had not run a time trial for 3.5 weeks. I am back in the saddle (so to speak).

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sex On The Track

A quiet Friday. I jogged over the the college, ran around the track and jogged back. 5 miles.

Chinese girl was skipping rope when I showed up but transitioning to situps. As she progressed through these she began to make deep breathing sounds like she was having sex.

I wonder if I am the only one who notices.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

An Agreement Over Veggie Burgers

I hit the roads relatively early this morning (for me). 4 miles untimed and with no HRM. How brave I am! I ran over the the college, dicked around for 3 laps and came back home. I still felt Monday's effort so I kept my pace at the "no discomfort" threshold. Summer school must have started because there were students walking around. Asian Woman was on the track in her usual workout outfit. Calf length tights and orange warm-up. She was just transitioning from running to skipping rope when I showed up. I could hear the soft hum of the whirling rope each time I ran by.

Tim sent me an email that Shasta had been put down. She was a 16-17 year old cat. I took care of her when Tim was traveling. I'll miss her whining mew outside our house when she wanted to go inside to eat. Oh well, Olso (the other cat) still lives. Still time to be a cat-sitter.

I went back out to WVC in the late afternoon and ran another slow and easy 5 miles. I did not run that time trial I had promised myself I would do. No one was running near the pace I was looking for and frankly I knew that I would not go it alone. I have become a real time trial wimp. Danny was there without his "guardian". It was nice. Like old times. Old times that won't really ever come again. But nice anyway.

At dinner (veggie brugers)I talked to Dimitri. He is running a 1200 meter trial Saturday and I offered to help him over the last 300-400 meters if he would pace me through part or all of a 4:45 1200 afterwards. We agreed to take lots of rest between efforts so he could recover and so could I.

So unless things break down we're on for Saturday. After the trial I will decide about whether I will run the club mile the following weekend.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

We Are Training

Bill Dunn made a very important comment the other day (when I missed Saturday's breakfast).

He said that we older runners are training when we take a day off. It is a good thing to remember. I ran hard yesterday or at least the workout felt very difficult at the end. I had run 3 days in a row which was a a mistake. I had not eaten very much in the way of carbo's the day before so I was fueled optimally. Now the workout was only a stake in the ground. A place to measure myself somewhere around 4-6 weeks from now. It takes 6 weeks minimally for the body to adjust to new levels of training. It's not so much that I am doing anything different though. I am not building miles and I am not running less. I am just running as I always do. I just can't make the mistake of running 3 days in a row again and have the 3rd day include some sort of test run. I also am running too hard on Wednesday evenings. When I don't run some subset of the workout hard, I tend to chunk down the pace. It feels very doable while I am in process but I pay the price later on. I need to stop doing this too.

So if I want to see the fast side of myself again I need to tweak some habits and I think after that my running will be a better experience.

As Jake always says (but doesn't do), I have to take care of business.

Monday, June 18, 2007


3rd day in a row. A big NO NO but I did it anyway.

I ran this HADD test workout at the De Anza track. I took a two mile easy jog before and then I ran the following:

Heart rate: Distance: Time

140: 1600: 9:21
150: 1600: 8:51
160: 1600: 8:05
170: 1600: 7:30
180: 1600: 6:50

I took a 90 second walk between each. Hadd recommends that the reps be 2400 meters but I knew that that was just too much for me right now.

The idea is that I am supposed to do this every 6 weeks to see if the times comes down.

Warmed down by running a mile back to my house. 8 miles total

It was getting warm and I could feel the heat. I was not rested like getting ready for a race as HADD recommends. I had a big protein day yesterday and did not really fuel up on carbs. Regardless, I felt OK until the last 1600. That was tough. The job back to my house was tough.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

DSE Run & Don Again

Ran a 1 mile poop run at home and then drove up to GG park warmed up another mile and ran a 5K DSE Race very easily in 27 flat. Warmed down another mile. 6 mile total.

The race was held up near the Conservatory at the east end of Kennedy Drive. Bob met me there wth Don (my retired dentist) and his daughter Loyce out from Colorado. It was great to see Don who is really battling Alzheimer. He recognized me and I was grateful for it. I gave him the big bear hug and he was glad ot it. He evn ran the race (with Loyce shepherding him). He obvioulsy has not given up the fight. The sense of humor and the wry smile was still there.

I ran easily surrounded by slow folks who talked amongst each other as we ran. I knew none of them unlike years ago when I knew all of them (except all of them were different runners. Not these people). The wheel had turned another spoke. Twenty-seven years ago I would have been up front leading or fighting for one of the top 5 spots. Now, I was just trying to fill in some miles, burn some calories and go have breakfast afterwards at the Beach Boy. At least the breakfast part hadn't changed.

If Don, Bob and Loyce hadn't been there, I would not have known anyone. There is comfort in that. Don't ask me why. It was ok.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blew Off Breakfast

I drove over to the club Saturday morning workout. I did the 3 mile plus warm up with little or no Saturday Morning Syndrome. Tom and I ran towards the front which is almost unheard of. I then took a long tour (1.8 miles) around the outside of the campus and finally ended up running 12 laps on the track with Tom.

After the run I stood around talking to Art and Bill and basically had such a good time that I blew off breakfast. That was a first. I never miss breakfast but frankly today it didn't bother me. What in the hell was that about? I think I am feeling disenfranchised and disengaged from the normal group I hang with which means that I being partially paranoid. Dimitri hangs with Ray and talks running strategy and Danny and I can only talk in passing because his partner has the "hates" for me. First she was in the banshee stage where she would openly attack. Now she has moved to the glazed eyes, vacant smile approach. Practicing for Alzheimer I guess.

How strange this has all gotten.

As I drove home I realized (again) that I need to get back in the saddle and start my trial runs again. I was at 13:25 for 3200 meters and 6:18 for 1600 meters. It's been about 2.5 weeks since I did anything so I have lost momentum and I may have to drop back a bit and come on again.

8 mile total (or so I believe)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Later that same day: HEATER!

It was close to 100 degrees at the track late this afternoon and that about wrecked any workout plans I had so I hung back and ran 5 miles including 6 x 800 at about an 8 minute pace. This was really the first very warm day of the summer. I am sure it won't be the last. I was smart and hydrated before the run so even though the heat slowed me down (and scorched my will power) I was still able to run the workout withour totally going down the toilet.

10 mile day


I went out just after 8 AM and it was already warming up. I ran my 5 mile course and around De Anza College. Bumped into "Ohio" and we talked about sports (like we always do) for about 10 minutes. Ohio State lost two national championships in the last 6 months. Football and basketball. Now the Cav's are on the verge of being swept in the NBA championship. Then we started to chat about the great Browns and Indian Teams of the 50's. Of course I love doing this but finally I had to move on and finish my run. Another five minutes and I would have walked home and made some coffee.

I did finish my run. Track was semi-deserted. I expect that some sort of summer exercise class will begin staking out their territory pretty soon or... Mike warned me....

The school will close off the track and resurface it.

As predicted it was will be a warm one at the track tonight. Not sure exactly what I will end up doing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


My friend Al died in Charleston on May 25th but I just found out today. Marla called me and left me the sad message.

Al worked his whole life to finally get the type of place he loved. Out in the country with no fences and buried in the deep old south surrounded by remnants of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. He finally got there but cancer found him too and snuffed out his life. It isn't unfair. It is the way of things. Death comes when death is ready. It rarely comes when you are ready.

Al and I were staying in touch by email but he went silent in mid May. Now I know why. He died alone. His sister was one day from going out from the West Coast to see him.

He died alone. Maybe that is the unfair part. Someone should have been there who cared about him.

Al: Generous to a fault.

Monday, June 11, 2007

75 minutes

I was out on the roads shortly after 8 AM this morning. No coffee beforehand to further test the Saturday Syndrome. I ran about 75 minutes keeping my HR in the high 130's and low 140's. No problems except slightly tired legs. The best part was that there was not even a hint of heartburn. So next Saturday I will skip the coffee (damn!) and see what happens.I will take a Prilosec and Zantac before I go over to the college. It may be overkill but I do not want another repeat of last Saturday. I am hopeful.

It is supposed to heat up over the next few days. Could be interesting on Wednesday. I may shift my harder running to the morning.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Coffee-less Test Run

I made coffee this morning but decided not to drink it. I poured it out in the sink.I then went out for a two mile run. The goal or test was to see if the Saturday Morning Syndrome struck me down. I went easy for about 3/4ths of a mile and then picked it up slightly. My legs felt surprisingly good for having a hard 6 on Friday and almost 8 miles yesterday.

No problems.

Next Saturday I will pass on the coffee but take my heartburn cocktail anyway and see what happens.

35 mile week

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Saturday Morning Syndrome

I went over to WVC to run with the club this morning. I planned to run the warm up, the 2.75 club course and a warm down. Maybe 7.5-8 miles total. It was a struggle but I completed my workout. It was two days since I taken my last Prilosec and I was stopped 3 times by heart-burn. Once again it was the Saturday morning syndrome and I just can't quite a get nail driven into the center of the problem.

Why only Saturdays? I literally have almost no symptoms on any other running day. In fact I hardly ever have symptoms at any other time during the day.

My suspicion is that coffee followed by a run within less than an hour is is the culprit. During the week I have much more time between drinking coffee and the actually beginning of a run. Tom recommended that if I was having symptoms then my drug was being effective. He recommended that I add Zantac to my morning cocktail. Prilosec, Zantac and then go run. He 's been down this road. I stopped by the drug store and purchased some tablets. We'll see how it works.

Next Saturday my plan is to take the cocktail with water first thing in the morning and skip the coffee until after the run. If this doesn't work then it's back to the doctor for some advice. Maybe a stress test too just to make sure it's not something else.

God, this is getting to be like medical center.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Clipping Along

I met up with Brian Low and we headed out to Stevens Creek Reservoir. He told me that from his house it was 5.4 miles round trip so it was probably closer to 6 miles for me because my house is about a third of mile further down the road. The course climbs in steady stages up to the reservoir and Brian set a pretty fast pace on the way out. I was running 70-75% of max right off. I literally never do that when I run alone. I was admittedly gulping air. Brian was running along like he was shot from a cannon.

Up at the lake, I finally caught my breath and felt comfortable. On the way back I felt stronger and helped set the pace. It was the exact reverse of going up so the course was mostly downhill. By the time I dropped Brian off I was "clipping" along at a decent effort.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Double Day

I was very slow getting out this morning. It was one of those "do I really want to run" types of days. I pushed myself out the door anyway and slogged down the road. After about 100 yards I realized that I actually felt ok and so I went ahead and ran an easy 45 minutes. There was a nasty head-wind coming back that gusted now and then. It blew me to a stop about a half mile out. All in all (though), not a bad run.

Went back out this evening to the track. I warmed up for 2 miles and ran the club workout of 12 x 400 running every 3rd one in around 89-90 seconds and jogging all the others. So, it was 4 x 400 in 89-90. The fast pace felt fairly comfortable. I figured I would map it into my mind for the last lap or two of those time trials I am doing.

This evening's workout was interesting. We had a higher than normal turnout of women of all ages, shapes and sizes including Danielle who brought along her friend from her days at UC Santa Cruz who looks like she could be her sister. They were roughly the same height and both are carrying a few extra pounds. They could also grind out 400's in under 90 seconds (or faster) so I was left in the dust as usual. Russ showed back up wearing double knee braces (come to think about it, I had my Protech on this evening too). He looked very fragile and gimpy until we began to run fast and then he reeled off a series of low to mid 90 second 400's.

I ran my slow 400's with Chris who used to be cheerleader back in the day. I asked several months ago if she had been a cheerleader in high school and she looked at me strangely (not weirdly) and then smiled and said yes and how did I know.

The fact is I know my cheerleaders past and present.

10 mile day

Dinner with Ray and Dimtiri at the Diner.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Feeling Very Lazy

Went out the front door around 8:45 AM and ran 90 minutes with most of it along the railroad tracks. It took me a while to get into this run. I was generally feeling lazy and not very inspired but the longer I was out the more I got into it. I am keeping my pace down but my legs are not responding (or perhaps I just have the plods). I haven't decided what I am going to do Wednesday. Either I will continue to run time trials or I will go to the track and run a few fast reps to get my legs used to going at a quicker tempo. The goal of fast reps is simply to enable faster time trials. One of the traps I fall into is doing too many of these for too long. My next major goal for the 1600 is sub 6:10 so I have to be able to run 3:05-3:10 for several 800's and not be at max. So maybe the next 3-4 weeks looks like this.

Week One: 4 x 400 in 90

Week Two: 2 x 800 in 3:05-3:10

Week Three: 1 x 1200 in 4:45

Week Four: 1 x 1600 in 6:15

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mission Accomplished..Barely

The Saturday club workout was the short six course. I did not want to go that far so I ran the 3 mile warm up with Dimitri and Ray and then set out on my own for another 5 miles. Mission accomplished. I ran 8 miles total instead of 9. Sort of like saying I don't want to run a marathon so I will stop at 25.2 miles.

It was one of those low HR days where as I ran I got stronger and had to push to get my HR up into the 130's. I had my typical Saturday INDIGESTION and I still can't figure out why that happens mostly on Saturdays and not other days. It's a work in progress.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Slow Run

It was the day after "the day after". I ran 4 uninspired miles in the morning. No HRM or stop watch. I just ran slow.

I briefly considered running another 4 when I got home from an afternoon of consulting but decided that a big piece of a Hershey's chocolate almond bar was more inviting.