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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)

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

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


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.


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


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.


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.