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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


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.