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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I went to Forbes Mill this monring getting there earlier than usual. Jake was already out running so I ran an up and back in 23:30 and change, jogged over to the track at the high school and back. Then I ran back up the trail, saw Jake and ran back with him. Jake told me he was running the last loop hard but not all out. Tempo Minus he called it. I decided to go up with him. I hadn't run tempo in months. I just followed him up. We hit the top in 10:40 made the turn and came down pushing the pace all the way back. Not all out but TEMPO. We came in at 20:22. Including the last loop, I ran 57 minutes and change.

I went back in the late afternoon and ran 4 x 800 with the club but frankly I was creaky through the whole run. Another two miles but I am not sure it did any good.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Something at a seven minute pace

I got out early today. Ran 51 minutes. Legs felt good for the first time in a while. No ankle pain what-so-ever. In the middle of the run, I dropped by the De Anza track and ran a test 800 meter in 3:19. The goal was just to see if I could handle something (at all) at sub seven minute pace.

I ran solo. No HRM.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

60 minutes of Slow

I ran an easy 60 minutes this morning up the RR tracks and with a swag down to Sunnyvale Saratoga and back up to the tracks again. The right ankle held throughout the run but I kept it woefully slow to keep the pounding at a minimum.
I feel the injury more when I am not running then when I am running. I am doing trigger point massage and I finally took some Advil to see if that would speed things along. As I sit here writing this, I would not know I had an injury at all so that is good news. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I ran around 6 miles in the morning from Forbes Mill. I am guess I am eating enough because my legs and body felt good. I went back out in the afternoon and ran another 3 miles with the club. Legs continued to feel good but my right ankle started bothering me. So what is that about. I drove up to see Tarr and had him adjust my legs just in case. I can still feel it though. Just like the calf injury. I find myself running around the backyard or in front of the house to see if I can "feel" it. But it's mostly hiding. I feel it afterwards. After the run. It's sneaky that way.

I will try to run Friday to test it out. I would hate to take more time off but if it's going to be a problem then I will not run for several weeks. My body is betraying me but that's what happens with aging. All those years and fairly few problems and now they just seem to line up one after the other and just come on down the pipe.

Old runners. You see the young guys prancing around the track or on the trails and I can remember what that was like. They are figuring out their strength and speed and they can get faster. We're out there for another reason. Habit maybe or perhaps, as I have said in the past, just to get faster than I was last week or last month. It's not much.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Over A Glass Of Wine

My long suffering wife looked steely eyed at me last evening over a glass of wine and said that he thought I was under eating. She doubted it was all the other things I had cataloged as reasons for my bonking running performances. She may well be right. I do tend to over regulate my calorie intake at times when I am either not running or if I am trying, once again, for the elusive 5 pounds.

I know that endurance athletes need to eat and that carbs need to be heavily in their diet (or at least in mine). Knowing and doing are two different things.

I have 2-3 days off from running to ponder the great question and then start running again on Wednesday. I am at an off site for one of my clients. I may be able to get in a run on Tuesday but that will depend on sleep and especially scheduling that is not in my control.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

High Noon

I dragged myself out of bed today at 7:15 AM (I could have slept longer..MUCH longer). I never got out to run. I went down and had breakfast with my club instead. I finally got out the door just after high noon and ran for about 60 minutes. No HRM today. Just me and the stop watch. This was not a good run. I generally felt like I was wasting my time and body out there. I finally added in 4 x 100 striders to liven things up (20-20-19-18) but still jogged home afterwards feeling very, very tired.

Maybe I am not eating right. Maybe I am just beat up from work stress. Maybe my body has run the table and running just isn't in the cards for me right now. Maybe I am still dealing with that month I took off to heal up the calf strain.

Whatever it is, I am not enjoying the sport much these days.

Negative self talk doesn't help but my body has always told me the truth and right now it says this is way too hard.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Jet Lagged

I ran a very easy 45 minutes this morning. Kept the pace slow. I only slept 6 hours last night, I stayed up late reading Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing and I didn't roll into bed until after midnight. I still woke up at 6:30 AM with that sort of empty, out of body, jet lagged feeling.

I have this tendency to stay on the computer until around 10:30 or 11 PM at night and then read for an hour. It is no big surprise that I cut into my sleep due to this behavior. I don't sleep in. Not like the old days.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Good To Go

Today was my first BIG day since I came back from my calf injury. I ran 55 minutes and 5 seconds this morning up by Forbes Mill. I was Roughly two minutes faster than I was on the same course last week. Jake walked while I ran. I was not the fastest guy on the dam trail. I was blitzed by some stocky runner on my way up saw tall, skinny, blond gal whipping up the trail on my way down the second time. She must have gone up the face of the dam because I expected her to blow by me on way back to the parking lot. I could feel her back there but she never came by.

In the afternoon I drove out to WVC and played at the track with the club running another 3 miles. I felt good to go this morning but by the afternoon my back was bothering me and I was feeling creaky. The good news is that I am going to see Bill Tarr on Thursday to get straightened out.

Interesting dinner with Dimitri. We chatted about training and I came to the realization that the mental part of my training effect seriously lags behind the physical side of things. This means I can be physically ready well before I have convinced my mind that I can do a certain level of workout or race. I guess this is the way I have always been now that I think back on things.

The biggest deal these days is well past the mental side. Physically, running has become very tough. It's as if my body only wants to run every 3rd day or maybe 30-35 minutes 3-4 days a week. I am not sure yet. The last time I faced this was at age 45 when I finally shifted to every other day running. The question on the table is do I keep running every other day or do I accept another change?

Don't know yet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No Country For Old Men..Again

I got up early and was out running before 8:30 AM (early for me). I dragged myself through 60 minutes of something, being very unmotivated and sluggish throughout.

Maybe it is the month I took off or maybe it is working too much but whatever it is my life is not set up for running. I know I have said that before but I simply feel out of sorts with the whole idea of running out the door.

Nick came by at 11 am and we drove up to AT&T Park to watch the Giants play nine innings of A-1 stink-o baseball. They lost 8-2 and it was never that close. The park, the weather, the garlic fries, they were all great so we just hung out and enjoyed the sunshine, the half filled stadium and the whole experience of just being off work. We sat in the mezzanine which meant less crowded bathrooms and access to food. Also what a difference to the last time I was there when Rick got drunk and started yelling at me because I was booing the then, 2002 pennant winning Giants who were dropping a game to the Angels. I can remember that game because Rick spent most of the game playing corporate kissy face with some work guys that were sitting next to him.

Two guys in the row just in back of us alternately booed and cheered loudly. Remembering the Rick incident, I laughed and high-fived them.

Bottom line. Choose carefully who you go to a game with. Nick was a great gamer today. We both enjoyed just being there.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Again, not the club...

Saturday morning. I didn't make it to the club workout. I ran 60 minutes from the house up the RR tracks, cutting back along Stelling and a loop around the college before heading home. Kept my HR in the 140's most of the way. Drifting really more than running. The day was going get warm (80's) but I got out before all that happened. Not many folks out except Asian couple walking the streets. Finally a gold class at the school. More people like me but not running. Swinging, putting but not running.

had a l;ate lunch with Dave. I told him I was going on a work fast (didn't keep that quite very long did I?) In situ.

That is hard to do, he said.

Watch me, I responded.

By the time we walked out of the restaurant around 3 pm, it was a heater. Like summer but not summer.

Bonking and work fasting

I really bonked on Friday morning. I think I was just stressed out from consulting (AKA..Work) and I cut my 60 minute planned run short and came in at 50 minutes. I strapped on the HRM and my heart rate was immediately up in the 80's and 90's and I had barely moved. In HRM land that usually means, don't run but since I don't care that much I went out anyway. I felt sluggish and out of it from the very beginning.

I am thinking about a work fast in situ. That is not an easy thing to carry off. It means that I stop thinking and talking about work and just do the minimal necessary to get through the next week or two. It's really a mental vacation rather than a physical one. It means setting up some basic rules and following them quietly. Of course your client can't know it but you know it.

I have often said my life these days is not set up for running and there is truth to that. I only have so much energy to spread around these days.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Last Full Measure

I drove over to Forbes Mill this morning. It was cold. The temp said low 50's but with a slight wind it felt even colder. Maybe low 40's. I rolled out of the car feeling like a slightly lumpy fat cat. No longer that lean mean running machine that I once was. I keep looking down to see if I was wearing a money belt around my waist. OK, to be truthful I feel a bit like the before photo of a "before and after" ad. I have posted the "before" picture of Angela (that's what her name is said to be on the Fat Blaster Ad). Angela, thanks to Fat Blaster, is quite sleek and thin these days. I admit that even a fat Angela looks better in a bikini than I do.

Anyway, I feel fat!

Jake was already out on the trail. I strapped on the HRM and ran the first loop in about 26 minutes and change staying around 65% the whole way. On the second up and back, I ran my HR up close to 70% and covered the same course in about 25 minutes and kept on going over the high school and back for a total of 57:07. Ka-Ching!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Game of Patience

I jacked things up to 60 minutes wearing the HRM. I was able to just cover 6 miles. I may be in the worst shape of my running life. I know it is mostly because of the time I had to take off for the calf injury but there is no doubt that this will be a game of patience. On a scale of 0-10 I would say that I am a 2 or 3. Most of that is "I am glad to be running again" points.

The weather was nice enough. I ran up the RR tracks all the way to Sunnyvale-Saratoga and back with my HRM reading 65-70%. I had to slow down significantly on the way back to stay under 70% so the meta-message was plain.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Dragging Ass

I dragged my ass all morning and finally got out to run at around 1:30 PM in the heat of the day. Well, maybe it was not that hot but it was warmer than my morning runs.

I strapped on the HRM for the first time in months and ran for 50 minutes having to slow down the pace in the latter several miles just to stay under 70%. I came by the house in 44:04 on what used to be my short 5 mile course. It was the awful truth but at least it is a starting point. I didn't push the early minutes of the run so this wasn't the real 70% test run I normally do.

I am going to run 4 days a week.

I will doubles if I want to add miles.

It would be nice to avoid frying myself.

Friday, April 04, 2008

45 minutes

I ran 45 minutes this morning. My pace was sluggish. Since I wasn’t running a month ago I guess I should be happy that I can get out on the roads and trails again. I ran right up the railroad tracks swung back on Prospect and then cut back up to the trail again. The trail was basically empty except for several folks walking their dogs. I passed by the woman in the hat who always smiles and waves. Her dog was skittering back and forth on the trail picking up rocks.

45 minutes wasn’t that easy. Maybe it is time to strap on the HRM. I might be running too hard for my present conditioning. 45 minutes. Maybe 5 miles. Maybe not. A month off. At my age, it might take twice that time to get back in shape. Was I ever king of the trail? My mind plays tricks on me telling me that I can be faster but my physical self doesn't want to cooperate.

Saturday is another day Scarlett and frankly I do give a damn. 50 minutes or bust on Saturday. It's less than an hour away.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

40 minutes and smoking girls

I drove over to Forbes Mill and finally went up to the dam and back in around 24:30 and then added on another 15 minutes to make it 40 minutes even. I ran into Jake in the last part of the run. He was walking after destroying himself this past Monday running with his high school kids.

"I am back to 3 days of running," he said. Jake likes to bash himself and then walk for recovery. He enjoys it more that way.

I went by the car to change into a dry t-shirt. There were a group of high school girls who had parked right next to me. The windows were down and they were smoking.

"Is this the designated smoking area," I asked jokingly. One of them whipped her head around with a really nervous look on her face. She was probably thinking, I AM BUSTED!

The others got it and started to laugh.

Hey, I'm not the cops!

Jake and I went to breakfast.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

36 minutes: The adventure continues

I woke up, grabbed some coffee and was on the phone early trying to make things happen in the world of work. By 8:30 things felt under control. Usually I run first and do the work stuff second.

I finally got out on the roads just before 9 am and jogged 36 minutes. So the big buildup continues. I ran down the railroad tracks to McClellan and then took a hard left down to the college for a couple of laps around the track. The school was post apocalyptic (as in empty). Well, except for the two Asian girls walking around the track counter clockwise while I ran the reverse direction.

I didn't feel very semi-retired today. I am a recruiter, an interim head of staffing, coach and account manager all rolled into one. It's the last year of doing this so I may as well have some fun until the plugged is pulled.