To reach me via email

If you wish to reach me:

Saturday, May 31, 2008


OK, I may have paid the price today for running too hard Monday and running easy on Friday. Jake and I met over at WVC and did our 25 minute warm up run. Then we hit the track for 2 x 800. I was uninspired and so ran the first two laps with Jake. I pulled away from him with about 100 meters to go.

My time was 3:21 which was truly underwhelming. Jake was 3 seconds back.

We did a two lap jog-walk and as we approached the second rep I told Jake that I was going to hang back and let him take off first. I figured I would just use him as bait to draw me along a bit quicker because I was definitely disengaged. Jake took off and I let him get through the first turn before I launched myself.

I caught Jake at about the 300 meter point and went through the 400 at 91. I picked it up slightly. It was an effort but I held back something in reserve most of the way around finally letting it hang out in the last 100 meters. I cleared the finish in 2:59. Jake ran 3:20.

Sooooo..... 3:21-2:59.

3:10 average. One second per 800 faster than the last time. I guess it was sort of a full court shot with 3 seconds left on the clock.

Jake grumbled at breakfast that he was thinking about firing his coach again and adding in a couple more days of running.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Forty minutes that became fifty minutes

I woke up and my legs felt spiffy so I decided to break my rule and go out for a 40 minute run. I wore my HRM just to make sure I kept the effort slow. When I clicked on the display my HR was 58 which is about 15-20 beats lower than it was reading 4-6 weeks ago. My normal resting is in the high 40's or low 50's but by the time I wake up, drink coffee and get going, my HR is usually in the low 60's.

Anyway, this was a good sign.

I jogged down the RR tracks and turned left heading towards the De Anza College track. It was fairly empty so I decided to run a couple of BIG loops and head back home. On my second loop I could hear someone coming up on me rather quickly. It was that sleek thirty-something Korean gal, Nadia who slowed down to say hello. We ran about a mile together before I had to peal off and head back home. By the time I stopped I had run for 50 minutes which was a 10 minutes over my budget.

We'll see how this shakes out on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best Yet

Forbes Mill progression run. 3 up and back's. Cool weather. Only a little breeze. Almost perfect.


Best yet. Could have been better.

Jake dropped out during the 3rd loop. I never saw him. He was behind me from the beginning. The early pace on the first two loops plus the fact that he did not really rest on Tuesday sunk him (again). I paid the price for running too hard on Monday. I was slightly leg weary but was strong enough to handle it. The thing was, had I not run so aggressively Monday I might have run the last loop today even faster.

Next Monday I either run without a watch on a course I know or I run by the clock and not the watch. Once I click on the stopwatch, I seem to want to run faster than the last time which is nice, but is not the point.

I am getting the sense that Jake is going to get drawn back into coaching which could put a crimp in our Wednesday running. With me perhaps going back into an interim job for one of my clients, it could be a two way street.

Maybe we just move the days around and keep the spread. We'll see.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The game is afoot

I ran my 6 mile course up the RR tracks to Sunnyvale-Saratoga and back. I waited until 11:30 to go out. Just felt like lazing around the house.

Kept the pace steady (but didn't push) which these days seems to be an 8:51 pace. 53:07 when all was said and done. On my way out, I ran into Hank Lawson who was off-road biking. He had his knee operated on and is hoping to run again. Puts my situation in perspective.I thought about going another mile or two but then decided to cap it at six.

Age graded the run was a 41:22. The run felt good. It felt fine to move along except it wasn't really moving along. Not pace-wise. Only effort wise. Is there the chance I could get back into the low 8's? I have no idea. I realize that not running fast has made me slow. That and aging. They are the twin-towers of slow running.

“Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot,” instructed Holmes.....

It's a fool's game but I will play it out anyway.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Reps on the Track

Cool morning. Overcast. Threatening to rain. Wind blowing down from the hills.

Jake and I met at WVC and were very businesslike about the workout. Not too much sandbagging. I had grabbed an extra 5 and half minutes warm up going to the bathroom and back. Jake rolled in and we ran our loop. I was at 28 minutes upon reaching gate to the track. The club was running tennis court loops so we saw very little of them.

We did some striders. Jake made a strong recommendation that we start at our normal 200 meter mark so we would be running into the wind when we were fresh and with the wind at our back down the home stretch.

I did the first one in 88 and as usual my body asked me the question. What the hell do you think you are doing? We walked 400 (no walk-jog today). The second was a bit easier. I ran off Jake's shoulder and picked it up down the backside to get an 87. Still labored breathing afterwards telling me that, like it or not, this is new territory. The next one was 86 but by now I was in the mood. The last was 83 with a strong last 100 meters.

So 88-87-86-83.

My average was 86 courtesy of the final 400. If I age graded the workout it was like running a 66 second average back when I was 30.

A vast improvement over two weeks ago when I averaged 91 with an 84 on the last one. Still, the workout was tough enough and Jake owned most of the 25 minute jog back to where we had parked our cars until he tripped over a root within shouting distance of the final stretch. He bounced back up with only a cut knee but his hands were good thanks to the gloves he was wearing.

I seemed to have recovered from Wednesday's workout well enough to run an improved time on all 4 reps today. I will stay the course for now. Tempo on Wednesday and reps on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Forbes Mill Again

I showed at 8 AM. Sunny but in the low 50's. It was almost perfect weather. A slight breeze blowing up the trail but not enough to slow you down.

Jake was already there having done his usual warm up run ahead of time. We quietly did the first loop in 24:45 a much more sensible effort that last week when I ran in the low 23's. I could tell Jake was sucking wind though. Another tough night's sleep. He eventually related to me that the drama around the coaching situation over at Mitty continues. He was grinding it up in his mind and it was screwing up his sleep and sapping his energy. Just like the rest of us!

He stuck on his headphones and we headed up for our second loop. I felt like I was just gliding along but he continued to suck that wind. This one was a hair over 23 flat and I felt better than I did on the last one.

"That's it for me," Jake said after we stopped.

"OK," I said, "I will be right back," and launched myself up the trail for that last up and back. I hit the turnaround in just under 11 flat (just ghosting along) and kept the same effort all the back to the last 400 and then picked it up coming in at 20:40.

I felt all around, pretty good and at least after we had had breakfast and got up to walk out of the restaurant, I felt little or no stiffness in my legs. But then there is always that delayed muscle soreness thing which creeps up later on.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Asian Girl

Today was supposed to be run as easy as I could stand it but I ran a bit faster especially over at De Anza track where I finally caught up with Asian Girl. Turns out her name is Nadia and she likes pushing the pace. I was running BIG loops clockwise and noticed that we came by each other at roughly the same point on each circuit so I reversed direction, did a few 100 meter pickups and caught her going up the hill. She immediately surged as I came up on her shoulder and I finally said "You surged!". She laughed and asked what that meant but I knew that she already knew. After I told her anyway she laughed again. Then she introduced herself and we continued running doing a few hard laps together while chatting away.

I finally told her that she was wearing me out. Actually I was feeling OK but was thinking about Wednesday's run and how I was really not running a recovery effort. I said good-bye and headed back to my house. 65 minutes total.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Welcome To My World

Jake and I met on Douglas across the street from the college. At least for now the days of my buying a parking pass seem to be gone. The weather was already warming up before I had dropped a foot on the pavement. We slow trotted Douglas-Saratoga while Jake regaled me with his tale of being paved over as the boys track and field coach at Mitty. Seems that they were going in another direction. It meant he could continue as the boys cross country coach but he was out as far as track and field were concerned.

Neither of us had had a great last night's sleep. Jake kept rolling the coaching situation over and over in his mind and I was up and down much of the night thinking about my own problems. The fact that it was warm hadn't helped.

We arrived at the track and did some striders and launched our first of two 800's. I ran the first lap in 98 feeling very sluggish. I then picked up the second lap but the plain fact was that I was simply running harder for the same time. I came across in 3:16 and leaned over breathing rather hard. Jake ran 3:24.

We jogged and walked two laps and went at it again. Whatever it was going to be the relief was that it was only two of 'em.

Once we started, I immediately felt better going through the first lap in 96. Then I just gradually picked it up ghosting away from Jake and running a 3:06. Jake came in 11 seconds later.

So 3:16-3:06. Not very uniform. Sort a negative split rep workout. 3:11 average. That made it about a 6:31-6:38, 1600 meter trial level effort. I guess it could be called progress. Better than the 4 x 400 I ran last week but definitely leaving room for improvement.

We reversed our warm up and jogged back to our cars.

The breakfast group was sparse. We were in and out in under an hour.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Another heater!

Another heater. Already in the 80's and it's not even noon. Supposedly will climb in to the 90's today. Haven't slept well in two nights. I decided to take today off which actually was planned. The goal is to fresh for the 800's on Saturday. If it had been cooler (much cooler) and I had gotten my ass off the couch I might have run 3-4 miles.

Now it's just veg and go out to a late lunch with Sue. Not running is training. This is not the first time I have said that.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Progression Run

Maybe this was not smart but I ran a progression workout up on the up and back out of Forbes Mill.

The first loop was 23:20. I then ran over to the high school track and back to sync up with Jake who started After me. The second was 22:51 with Jake. The last was 21:41. Jake trailed me in but not by much.

I felt strong throughout.

Jake locked his key in his car so I lent him a dry shirt and we and had breakfast. Then I drove him up to his house where he found the key in his running shorts where he had put the key in the first place. He had been wearing them all the time. It had occurred to me to ask him if he had checked the key pocket in his shorts but my lactate addled brain didn't hang on to the thought long enough to actually bring it up. Well, at least I got to see his house. The picture above is where Soda Springs Road forks to the right. Jake's house is in that direction.

Monday, May 12, 2008

60 minutes on back streets

They say that the heat is coming later in the week.

They say....

Who is they?

In any case I got out in the morning for a 60 minute ASAIC run effort. My route was mostly back streets with long gradual uphills. For once, I stayed away from the trail. The idea was to relax and stay fresh. The roads seemed strangely empty of the usual traffic. I went to Linda Vista Park. I hadn't been there in a year or two. It was a good test for my left calf. The park was basically deserted. Two women in black sweats walking some loop. Otherwise the park was mine.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Long Way To Go

I ran an easy 3 miles on Friday. I was going to run 4 but felt so good at a mile and a half that I turned around saying to myself, save it for tomorrow.

On Saturday morning Jake and I met up at WVC and did a very easy 25 minute warm up jog followed by 3 x 100 meter striders. Jake said "Wow!" after the first one. I figured we had run an 18 or something in that neighborhood but it was a 21 after all but Jake was happy. Good sign I guess. The club was doing relay so we mixed it up with them as we ran 4 x 400 with a 400 meter walk-jog in between.

I ran 96-94-93-84 which was a decent workout. Jake ran in the mid 90's on the first 3and then dropped the hammer and ran 87 on the last one. In fact he ghosted up next to me on the last on at the 200 meter mark and said very plainly, "Rich! Faster!". Haven't heard that in a long time. It was his best in a long, long time.

We jogged down for an easy 26 minutes afterwards.

So the 3 day a week program shows early returns for Jake because he took the 2 days before today's workout off. I felt good too. In fact I was actually quietly elated for both of us. I have a long way to go but not being focused on miles and just running stuff that prepares me to run a faster 1600/3200 is enough.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The first day of the rest of my running life

Today was the first day of the rest of my running life. Took an easy run with Jake starting from Forbes Mill and going up to the dam and back and then over to the track in just under 30 minutes. Then Jake and I did some easy striders and ran a 1600 meter trial. It's been months (and months) since I last did this but I just followed the man for 3.5 laps and then ran 6:59 doing the last lap in 95 seconds. Jake, who later admitted that he had run 7 miles easy yesterday, faded to 7:06. There is no seven miles that are easy. Not in this program.

Secret Miles!

We're both in the dumpster but it's a start. The effort was not startling and it wasn't painful but it wasn't easy either. I simply am not used to running anything this fast.

I checked back to last year and I ran a solo 6:18 last spring so I am a long way from there. I was there and then abdicated for some reason. I can remember my meta-goal was to get back under 13 minutes for 3200 meters and down close to 6 for the 1600. I might have been there by now and then some. I actually peaked in July with a 13:13 and then stopped running the trial efforts. Now I have to go do it again.

Monday, May 05, 2008

ASAIC for 72 minutes

Back up the railroad tracks this morning at around 9 AM without the HRM. I ran in ASAIC* mode. This is a very different way of running. I stayed out for 72 minutes coming by most milestones at new slower than ever times. I just have to get used to it. The reward was feeling really (really) good when I finished. Once again as if I could have gone on.

I recommended a 3 day running plan to Jake. Given that I am a happy camper just running slow, I may be doing it for him (or secretly for me to get me jump started).
When you read the workouts below you need to understand that at one or time of the other all have worked well for me but usually I did only one weekly hard day. Of course I have never offered to commit to a three (3) day running week. The last resort of the slow and old. Nothing is too hard that I couldn't adapt. No diets. No worrying about weight (well, hardly ever).

Anyway, here it is.

One long run very much like today.

One tempo day. Maybe 2 miles on the trail or track a good 30-45 seconds per mile slower than mile date pace.

One Danny day. One mile of reps a week. Either, 4 x 400 (5-10 seconds faster than pace) or 2 x 800 (5 seconds faster than pace) or 1 x 1200 (at pace).

A mile test run every 3rd to 4th week in place of the reps or tempo run. No other running or cross training that involves the legs. Easy for me but tough for Jake. Probably a deal breaker for him. He is not a relief pitcher by nature. He can't just sit out a day much less 3-4 days a week. We'll probably talk about this Wednesday.

*As Slow As I Can

Unemployed Atlas

Someday I'll walk away and be free and leave the sterile ones their secure sterility. I'll leave without a forwarding address and walk across some barren wilderness to drop the world there. Then wander free of care like an unemployed Atlas

James Kavanaugh, Someday

This is how I am feeling about work lately.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Let the speed come to me

I was still pretty beat up Friday but I got out for a 45 minute run. It was one of those why amd I still doing this runs.

Why and I still doing this?????

I slept in Saturday, missing the club workout but I made breakfast. In the early afternoon I went out for a 60 minute very easy run and felt somewhat recovered. Jaske was complaining at breakfast that he was beat up too. In his case he runs very hard when he can and then recovers by doing hilly 90 minute walks. In other words, he does not recover.

In a moment of clarity during my run today, I knew once again that the slower I was willing to run, the better I would feel. Wednesday was a nice place marker to see where I am but a regular diet of that sort of stuff will simply beat me up. Dwight is right. Letting the speed come to me is the key and of course the HRM can let that happen.