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If you wish to reach me: lastchancerunner@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quite sense of quiet

Cold but not wet. I ran an easy 62 minutes this morning. My legs felt good but no flickering sense of speed. Just a flickering sense of slow.

The track was mostly empty and quiet. Old folks scattered here and there. The clapping woman except she doesn't clap much anymore. I ran the perimeter of the soccer field and the big loop around the track. The new years resolutions haven't been made yet (only to be broken). I expect more temporary folks after January 1st.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hung

Cold and overcast. Ran 60 minutes very slowly. Thought about cutting it short more than once but I hung in there until I knew my return trip would get me to an hour.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Skipped Club

I ran an easy 58 minutes on Saturday morning. Skipped the club breakfast so I ran later in the morning.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Back to back

I did a back to back running again today. I waited until mid morning before going out. I did another 60 minute run slow and plodding as usual but my legs felt OK and the weather cooperated with low 50's, sunny and little or no wind. I ran around the neighborhood and then headed over to the college. I did my usual combination of big loops around the track and soccer field before heading back home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another cold run

I got out early again this morning. Temps in the 30's. At least there was no wind. I was dressed to the "9's". Ran 62 slow slow minutes. Legs felt fine, just old and cranky. Over to the college and back. The track was almost deserted. I passed an Asian guy who i often see running there. It is rare that I pass anyone. We chatted for a few moments and then I moved on.

Monday, December 21, 2009

60 minutes of nothing

We had out annual Xmas dinner Sunday evening. I didn't drink very much but I ate a hell of a lot of food. Slept poorly. Woke up early (5 am) dozed a bit and then finally rolled out of bed at 6 am. Poured coffee down my gullet and tried to get myself going on all 4 cylinders.

Alas it was not to be. I ran anyway but it was on two cylinders (clunk..clunk...) under relatively clear skies. The rain was supposed to come but it was late morning by the time it came down in sheets. I had already completed 60 minutes of nothing running at barely more than a walk. I have found, Brian Clark foretold, that if i run slow enough, I can get it done.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two day running week

Thursday


Yes, that's right. T-H-U-R-S-D-A-Y! I didn't run Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Sore right achilles and calf dictated some rest. So on Thursday morning I drove up to Forbes Mill and ran for 75 minutes. I fired up the HRM and kept my effort in the 65-70% range. The whole run felt good. Not that fast but good! My average for both up to the dam and back was 25 minutes each trip. I also ran over the high scool twice by various routes adding more time.


My calf tightened up after the run but nothing that seemed dangerous.


Ice, advil and massage should keep me on the path.


Saturday

Cool with a heavy mist in the morning so I passed on running until noon. The sun was breaking through and it was warming up nicely when I went out and ran 65 minutes of easy stuff keeping my HR in the 135-140 range. It is supposed to rain Monday so I may go back to back and run again tomorrow.



Monday, December 07, 2009

24:02

Monday

It dropped below freezing last night and while it was rain hitting the streets in front on my house, it was snow up in the hills. I got out just around 8 AM after drinking a gallon of hot coffee. I was dressed to the 9's and 10's wearing my new compression tights, my old high tech Gortex rain jacket, hat and gloves. I slogged an easy paced 60 minutes over to the college and back and called it a day.









Wednesday





I ran early so I could get to work for a meeting that ended up being postponed. GRRRRRRRR!





I felt like I was running in soft concrete. It was about 30 degrees out so I lumbered along for 62 minutes of very slow stuff. The good news was that it was clear and there was no real wind. The correct definition was that it was "crisp" outside.



Friday



I took the last two days off. I will run again on Saturday and again on Sunday. The plan for Saturday is a 45 minute easy slow run and Sunday will be a 5K AT run up in Golden Gate Park. The course is far from perfect. Slightly uphill and rolling going out and the reverse coming back. This will be a "truth" run. It will tell me more about myself and my present conditioning than anything else I am presently doing.



So what does AT mean? It means that I will run the 5K with my heart rate in the 88-92% range with an emphasis on 90%. This is far from an all out effort. In fact it gets easier as it goes along because if done right, the runner (in this case moi) will have to slow down to stay at or under 90%.

Saturday

Wet and windy this morning. I went out for a light breakfast with the club and then ran too soon afterward. I had to stop several times early on to digest the toast I had eaten an hour before and finally settled down for a 50 minute very easy run.

Sunday

I drove up to Golden Gate Park with Shel to run a 5K (Dolphin Club). Conditions were Dwight-like. Wet and cool. The course was not an easy one with gradual up hill and rolling going out, a nice surprise hill about half way and then a gradual coming back down to the finish highlighted by a nice "quartering" head wind coming in from the ocean.

I have run most of the Dolphin course but I have never run this one (at least so I remember). Frankly, not a good course for an AT run. It started on JFK drive and climbs up to the top of the park and then swings up a side street (uphill) and then swings back onto JFK & back to the finish.

I warmed up for 21 minutes. My legs felt fine.

I got off to a good enough start but it took about a mile for my HRM to read accurately. It could be a weak battery. Going out it was stuck on 95 for a long time so I was guessing whether I was running at AT or not. After about 7 minutes it suddenly kicked in gear and read 173 which was about right. Then coming back we had that surprise hill and my HR edged up to 179-180 but I was actually running without any undue duress. As we came back on the main drive back to the finish the wind slowed me down and I basically fought to stay at or under 180 all the way in.

When I saw the clock at the finish line I was not not too shocked to see 24:02. Pretty pathetic but given the wind and the hills I really didn't beat myself up too much. The plain fact is that I am a heck of lot slower than I was 2-3 years ago when I could still run an AT 5K around 21 minutes give or take (on a flat course).

The good news is that running in the high 170's felt very much like an AT effort has always felt so my best guess is that my max HR is still well over 190.

The less than good news is that either the course and conditions were tough but also that my body is having its usual singularly "Rich Stiller" reaction to any sort of continual speed work. It slows down. I think it is a combo of all of the above.

I am nursing a slightly sore right achilles tendon but that was not a slowing factor today.

Monday, November 30, 2009

15.8!

Monday




The secret of Monday's, especially after a hard Saturday, is the willingness to run as slow as you can stand it. That's exactly what I did this morning. I rambled for 63 minutes, thought briefly about going to 65 and put the breaks on and promptly stopped. I ran in the no pain mode which meant that I ran so slow that jogger-slugs on the track were blowing by me and walkers were gaining steadily.

It is what it is.


Wednesday


Cloudy, overcast sunless morning. Cold but no wind. I drifted up RR Tracks and over to the college. There was a group of students walking on the track. Another group was doing strides under the watchful eye of a coach. I stuck to the outside edge of the track and then rounded out my loops on the soccer field seeking a quiet uneventful run. All in all, 60 minutes of nada. It was a just do it sort of day.

Thursday

I didn't rush into work. I drove up to Forbes Mill and ran 60 minutes on the trails. It was sunny and cold but the weather began to warm up during my second loop. Ran into Debbie Brassfield (The Pink lady) and we ran together and talked. Hard to believe she is closing in on 50. She slowed her pace to run mine which as always was very slow. Enjoyable run. Cleared my head up nicely.

Saturday

I passed on a morning run and focused on the afternoon doodad at Gunn High School. It was in the low 50's but the wind died down as we showed up and then it was just hazy sun and perfect conditions. D and I ran a 22 minute warm up and then carved out a 20 minute AT run on an unmeasured course. I kept my HR in the low 170's throughout the effort but still wonder if this is really AT. We then went to the track and blasted 6 x 100 averaging in the 16's with the last one at 15.8. With a very slow warm down, the total was around 50 minutes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Creating a load

Monday

I dawdled around this morning sipping coffee. No work this week. The Titanic is shutdown for Thanksgiving.

It was bright and sunny. Not too cool. I went out and ran (yes, ran) 63 minutes. My legs felt more than decent which was a big surprise given how I felt after Saturday's slash and burn workout at Gunn. I wore my tights anyway which kept my legs toasty. It tells me that I should give those compression tights a look see. I selected my usual course. Down the RR tracks and over to the college doing big loops around the soccer field and the track.

Wednesday

Rambled out of the house after 8 am (well, maybe a long time after 8 am) and did my usual. Legs were OK but not great. At the college I suffered the humiliation of being passed by a woman who was jogging in a workout outfit but carry her purse. She blitzed me good and simple. The only redeeming factor was that she was obviously breathing hard. I guessed she was late for a class because she did a hard left into the gym and pool area. Then there was the hefty girl on the track going by me laughing as she chatted with her boyfriend. I finally wandered off to the soccer field which was bereft of other runners and gave me peace of mind.

The weather was outstanding. Cool and sunny. Cooler than Monday but my gloves still came off about half way through the run as I warmed up.

Thursday

This morning I ran the traditional club 7 miler. I use to be able to blitz this in the 40's but today I got off slow, dropped to the back of the pack and ran with Danny and Dimitri. We ended up cutting the course short and running the old Farwell-Herriman gig. 4.68 miles. Luckily I had extra, reserve minutes in the cookie jar and covered my usual 60 minutes.

Saturday

It rained Friday so Saturday was blow dry city as the winds picked up and cleared the skies. I tested my achilles in the morning with a ten minute easy run. My achilles had been swollen on Friday but between icing and Advil it now seemed to be OK.

I came back in the early afternoon and met D over at Gunn. I decided to do a creating a load run. We warmed up for an easy 20 minutes and then launched into an out and back AT run of 18:30. No idea how far the course was but it was nice enough because it mostly consisted of bike and walking path with a wind in our face net downhill going out and a wind at our back gradual uphill coming back. Then we went to the track and ran 6 x 100 averaging 17 seconds (walking back to recover). The slowest was in the 18's and the fastest was in the 16's. I then slow jogged around to hit 60 minutes for the day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Death by dying

Monday


Got up early Monday morning. It was cool and sunny. No wind at all. I drag-assed down the road for 65 minutes running as slow as I could. I could feel the effects of Saturday afternoon's workout. No way to escape it. I ran the RR Track to the college and did big loops around the soccer field and stadium sharing the place with a gym class that mostly walked and several Asian girls (One tall, one short) who walked and ran exactly alike (from behind). They changed me up because they were walking out separately for a time. Later, when they joined up I realized that they must be related. Sisters probably. Either that or they were taking "how to walk fast" classes from the same instructor.

Wednesday


I did my usually early morning 60 minute run heading up the RR tracks and then down to the college. "The Gym Class" was there walking the big loop around the track. Taller, Asian girl was also present hop stepping it up and down the stadium steps. As for me. I slogged along feeling a bit better than Monday but still leg weary. It could be the way I ate on Tuesday. I got off to a good start but didn't have lunch substituting snack food. Dinner was a filet mignon stake with a sweet potato and bread. The food was washed down by a glass of wine. My guess is that it was not enough to refuel my body but it sure tasted damn good.


I was going to go out for a shorter lunch run but voted against it. There is only one vote and I own it.

Thursday

I met Jake at Forbes. He was walking (recovering from a cold). I ran 60 minutes. I wore tights, long sleeves, a hat and gloves. Even though the sun was out it was near freezing in the shade along the trail and warmer down on the track where the sun could have its way.

Saturday

I didn't run this morning. I chose to go out in the early afternoon when it had warmed up a bit. The problem was that the wind had picked up too. Dimitri and I met at Gunn High School Track and warmed up for 20 minutes. It was cool, crisp with a pesky breeze. There were skinny flags flapping around at the top of the goal posts. They told us that the wind seemed to be coming in from the northwest.

The workout was varied. 200-300-400-200-300-200. Equal recovery.

It went 37-58-77-37-57-37. Truth be told, it was hard but my legs stayed strong and snappy. But when I was finished I was truthfully finished. I lunged around the track for a 10 minute warm down but I was done in.

Death by dying.

I walked out to the car feeling slightly sick . Not sick-sick but that nauseous feeling you get when you have pushed to the limit. A drive home, an energy bar and a hot shower followed by a seafood pasta dinner set me right again.

http://www.corbisimages.com/images/42-15313144.jpg?size=67&uid=95588B6E-F701-4ACE-B093-33013FB4462E

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting used to getting faster

Monday

I got up early and ran 65 minutes. It was all slow. I felt tired and a bit washed out. I feel like I am fighting off some sort of flu bug. The weather has turned. Low 40's but windless. I wore a ski cap and gloves. I probably could have worn tights. My legs were cold. Blocks of granite. Not good for running. However, I am very skilled at slowing down to whatever pace allows me to complete the workout.

I am beginning to realize that I am running on empty. It seems that I am either fighting off a cold or the flu and it is taking its toll. So far I have not come down sick so that is good news. I am going to back off for the next week or two and shorten my runs back to 45-50 minutes and keep them slow until I feel right again. Work isn't helping. Yes, I am still there. Despite all my bluster I am hanging in (by my neck). But I did meet with my boss and tell her that there needs to be an end date. Right now it looks like April of 2010.

Frankly, knowing that it gets deadly quiet between Thanksgiving and New Year, I may be able to squeak through but I am getting tired of just squeaking through.



Wednesday

I ran 50 minutes at lunch today. It was in the low 60's, sunny and with a slight quartering wind. For the first time in about a year I wore my HRM. I sailed along in the high 120's and low 130's for about the half the run and then picked it up so I was running in the low to mid 140's the rest of the way. The run felt good. Of course I am not so sure that mid to high 140's are 70% of max anymore. I will have to find out if I continue to use it.


Thursday


I met Jake over at Forbes in the morning and ran 50 minutes at an easy effort. Cutting back my running was a good idea. I am beginning to feel stronger again. I may have had a bug but I also exacerbated things last week by running a semi-hard effort on Thursday and coming back with 200's on Saturday. Jake ran hard last Thursday and then added in an extra 6 miles that evening. He told me that he wasn't right for a whole week. The message is clear.


Pick your day and make that your hard effort. The rest of your training days need to be easy.

Saturday

It threatened to be cold in the morning so I settled for a 15 minute shakedown run and met D at 1:30 PM at Gunn High School for our regular workout. We warmed up for 20 minutes and did a few striders.

The workout was a new one for me. 3 sets of 300-200 with an equal walk-jog afterward. The goal was to do the 300's in 63-64 and the 200's in around 40. It was sunny and cool with a slight breeze but the track was dead empty. We took off and ran the first 300 in a hair under 65. Then we walked 100 meters and jogged 200 meters launching into a 200 in 40 flat. The next set was 62-38. Much faster plus I felt much stronger. The last set was 61-37 with a sub 18 last 100. I jogged down for 10 minutes while D ripped off a 61 second 400 followed by a 46 second 300. So a good day for both of us.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Carb Crash

Monday

Early morning 70 minute run over the college, seemingly endless loops and back home. My legs were tired from Saturday but responded well enough to bit faster than usual pace. I could feel the water spraying up as I ran the astro-turfed carpeted soccer field. The sun was up and warming the day but there was still a remnant of the cool night air. I wore a long sleeve top but could have escaped with a t shirt.

Wednesday

Tough run. Got out early but was tired and listless. I coaxed myself through the run by stopping often, walking now and then and generally drifting myself to 60 minutes of slow. Can't figure it out. Sleep has been good. Nothing hard since Saturday. Maybe it's not enough carbs. Will go down that road.

Thursday

After carbing up yesterday, I felt much better during my morning run at Forbes Mill. I ran total of 58 minutes including one up and back in 22:06. So all in all stronger.I had Oatmeal for breakfast after the run and pasta salad for lunch.


Saturday

Cool and sunny. Slight breeze.

Over to WVC track early for some track work. I warmed up for 25 minutes, ran a few creaky striders and then went to the meat of the workout.

The beef was 6 x 200. An old Danny Moon favorite.

With D leading we ran 39-39-39-39-37-37.

Recovery was a 200 meter walk.

I then warmed down for 12 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The week that was

Monday

Felt lazy and so I did not run in the morning. Instead traded emails with a friend of mine who lives in Colorado. I ended up running at lunchtime. The day was more like spring than late fall. 70's, slight breeze and very sunny. I took off at a pace that was little more than a walking-jog but as the run progressed and my legs "warmed" up, I picked up the pace slightly.

Still, everyone who was behind me at any point of the run but in shouting distance, passed me. I hung in for 65 minutes and felt better at the end. Could easily have gone on.


Wednesday


Cool and windy morning but I went out anyway for about 50 minutes. My legs actually felt good so I moved along (which is relative these days). I ran variations of my college route which minimizes the time I have to spend with a head wind plus it gives immediate access to bathrooms (if needed). Small numbers of students scurrying around campus heading to classes were the only distraction. Outside of that, it was a quiet run.

Thursday

I ran with Jake over at Forbes in the morning. 60 minutes of medium paced running. It was "gloves" weather. Cool with a slight breeze but after a time it (or I) warmed up. We went to breakfast afterward.

Saturday

Cool and overcast. Drove over to WVC to meet "D".

25 minute warm up. Threw in some striders at the end to get ready for the hard stuff.
We did 4 x 400 alternating 1500 and 800 pace.

88-83-88-81

My legs finally seemed warmed up by the last 400 and I decided to end up with a 300 at 60 second pace. But I felt better than that (finally) and ran a 58.

Warmed down for a total of 45 minutes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not quite what I had in mind

Saturday

WVC Track.

I warmed up for 25 minutes and then ran the following with D leading all the way.

  • 1 x 400 shake down in 90 flat.
  • 1 x 800 in 2:59
  • 1 x 600 in 2:11.
  • 1 x 400 in 82.

I then jogged down about 20 minutes for a total workout of 50 minutes.

The workout generally hit the times I had in mind with the exception of the 600. I was thinking of 2:07 but we came through the 400 off pace and there was just no way to make it up without a gut wrenching sprint. Really D was protecting me because I had a slight achilles problem and I got through the workout without further damage.

I seemed to have flattened out a bit either physically or emotionally. Right now I can't tell the difference. But D and I agreed that even if we focus on 90's it is better than where I was before.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Good Week

Monday

I ran 62 minutes this morning just ahead of some light rain. Great day weather-wise. Yeah it was overcast but the wind was low and it was cool. Good for running. I dropped onto my normal course up the RR Tracks, down McClellan and looping around the soccer field and the track. My legs felt little of Saturday's 5 x 300 effort.

Wednesday

I walked Amber this morning and put off my run until lunch. It was the right decision. A slate gray sky gave way to bright sunshine, low 70's temps with a slight breeze. I ran 50 minutes with the workout framed around 8 x 100 meter strides. I warmed up for about 20 minutes and then ran a stride every 3 minutes. I did not time them. I focused on moving my legs quickly with a strong upward motion of my legs. If I can handle it, this mid week workout will be most accurately labeled as running drills.

Thursday

I met Jake at Forbes in the morning at around 8 am and ran 50 minutes. My legs felt good and seemed to have no immediate problems after the strides on Wednesday. Weather was cool and overcast. Very little wind so almost perfect.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Breaktime (again)

I read Breaktime back in the late 1970's and was inspired to take a year off. I was in a toxic job and needed to break out. Unmarried, no debts, I had just sold a condo I owned and made a small profit. I walked away from an offer of a promotion with more money.

The department I worked in had just been through a corporate pogrom. I had survived but back then I was genuinely immune to money as a motivator. Either I had enough or I didn't. Enough was relative. Enough was just that. Enough to walk away.

I walked.

It took me a month to detox. I was still rattling on about work until a friend caught me up. "You are still there," he said one night after dinner. That was it. I stopped talking and thinking about work. I stepped into the non-workasphere (is that a word???). It wasn't perfect. I dabbled in helping my parents out in their real estate development business. I got tangled up in program managing the building of their house. I realized that I had simply replaced one misery with another so that by Thanksgiving, 3 months into my "break" I had to tell them I was "out".

I became a road racer. Running that is. I had been training and racing since 1972 and now seven years into it, I was peaking as far as any talent I had.

It wasn't perfect but then what really is. I was generally the happiest I had been in years. By January of 1980 I was running some of the fastest times I had ever raced. Then a month later I met the woman (Sue) who would become my wife. I could devote myself to that relationship and my running. But I could also see the end. If we married, I would have to go back to work. We decided to get married in the late spring and that summer I found a job. 10 months had passed.

I was back behind a desk. I would remain behind that desk and many other desks in many other companies almost without a break for the next 22 years. This was followed my 7 years of consulting and contracting which gave me various shades of independence. I ended that by going back inside late last year partly because of the economy and partly to improve our medical benefits coverage. Well, mission accomplished.

Now I am going to break free again. My so-called career has always been non linear and I am sure it will continue to hurtle along this winding path.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

5 x 300

I met D over at a very deserted WVC track. My back and shoulders were feeling much better after Big Bill worked me over on Thursday afternoon. I decided to do some cut down 300's. Five seemed like the right number. We agreed to start out at goal mile pace and drop it down to goal 800 meter pace. I warmed up for about 25 minutes, did some strides and met D by the start line.

The first was toughest (always is). We ran a weak 67 and then walked 300 recovery. The next was a much smoother 64 as was the one right after that. The 4th one was a blazing 59 so we agreed to let off a bit and ran the last one in 61.

I jogged down for 15 minutes for a total run of 45 minutes.

All in all a good workout.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Departure

Today I finally put back on my consultant, "freelancer" hat and asked my boss to put me on the "time to leave" list. The VP of HR has left and the department has been thrown to the dogs. If I stay I will be in a slightly variant but similar version of the 3 month gig I did last fall.

[Phil+Eaten+alive.jpg]

Departing is not sweet sorrow. It is simply overdue. I was dragging myself into work for weeks.
I apologize (to myself). I don't usually let things like this happen to me.

I am trying hard to sound like Howard Roark in The Fountainhead.

He is talking the Dean.

"I owe you an apology. I don't usually let things happen to me. I made a mistake this time. I shouldn't have waited for you to throw me out. I should have left long ago."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Rains Came

Monday

I ran an easy 62 minutes in the morning. My legs actually felt good and so I had to hold back. Nice breezy morning. Supposedly the rain & wind comes on Tuesday.

Tuesday

http://cdn-www.trails.com/Cms/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/229/146271-main_Full.jpg

Wednesday

The rain cleaned up the air something awful on Tuesday. Like many, we lost power yesterday evening. In the morning things had cleared out but I decided to put off my run until lunch. I got out around 12:30 and ran 50 slow minutes. A group of 3-4 guys charged by me as I headed down the Baylands Trail asphalt path next to Highway 237.

In fact they blew by me. They got me coming and going. I think they were running long repeats. Not sure. I didn't stick close enough to find out.

Work is starting to creep back in with Bill gone and Pgs in command. I don't want to let her down but I want less work, not more. As it is I am on fumes just trying to get to the end of the year. She is a good friend but I am close to the bottom of the tank. This is not burnout but rather burndown.

Thursday

I met Jake at Forbes Mill. We ran two loops in 52 minutes and small change. The air was clear and I ran effortlessly but still slow. Jake and I didn't chat much because I was plugged into a business meeting via my cell phone and hands free ear piece.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mixed day

AM: 40 minute slow run. Went to breakfast. Will have to revisit 800 meter trial effort. It was cold and I felt sluggish.

PM: Ran 10 minutes over to DeAnza and did some striders. Then ran 6 x 100. First one in the 18's then a mix of 16's and 17's. Recovery was a walk back to the start. 12 minute jog back home. Upper back tightened up. Weather was just about perfect. Warmer but breezy.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Jordan Hasay Grows UP

Good news. Much heralded runner Jordan Hasay finally has breasts. You can barely see them poking out in the picture below. The Oregon freshman, who resembled a prepubescent 11 year old girl throughout high school is finally is beginning to look like a young woman. Can dating be far behind?

By the way, that's her second from the left.

http://www.dailyemerald.com/polopoly_fs/1.631547!image/3423091390.jpg



Meanwhile Lolo Jones shows "the path" ahead for a world class runner. If I was a woman and had a body like this, I would pose too. Especially for $$$$!!!!

Lolo Jones poses for ESPN The Magazine's 10/9/09  issue

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Monday

I trotted out for 50 easy minutes this morning with my legs feeling very good. No residual soreness from Saturday. The morning was fall-like. Cool and clear. Used gloves for the first time in a long time.

Wednesday

Got out early for 50 minutes of luvin' the road type running. Tromped down the RR Tracks, to the college and ran loops around the soccer field, the track and the campus. Never sure I was really awake throughout but I was on autopilot so it worked out fine. I wore a long sleeve shirt but frankly it wasn't near as cold as Monday seemed.

I don't normally wish I were someplace else but this morning I would have been happy to be on the beach with the sun just coming up.

http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/files/Members/alesha_thorpe/articles_stories/asimages/dawn_beach_runner.jpg

I had to settle for Cupertino.

Thursday

I ran early morning shift @ Forbes Mill pitty pattying up and down the dam course for 50 wonderful minutes of how slow can I run and not have my legs hurt. I was so slow that several times I broke into a walk, so slim was the delta between running and walking. Jake was out there too pounding loops in the mid to low 20's (he staggered to breakfast afterward and back to the car again). Great day. Cool, overcast and breezy in sections.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Getting Out

It is strange even to be thinking about this.

My whole Silicon Valley work life since 1977 has been about networking, staying connected and helping others. This has resulted to 16 jobs, numerous consulting assignments and a continuous flow of cash.

Now, I am thinking of getting out. Probably not forever but maybe forever from this field of work.

One thing I have learned from studying history of people and nations is that you can just walk away. But if you want to leave in an orderly manner you need some time.

1. Stop looking for new work. If work comes your way pass it quickly to others.

2. Stop networking. Just stop.

3. People may reach out to you but don't reach out to them.

4. Be less available.

5. Make them come to you.

6. Give advice but not help. This needs esplainin' as Ricky Ricardo use to say. It means you can give advice but don't offer to connect people. Give them their contact information and tell them to use your name. Don't do the connecting for them.

7. Cut yourself off from any networking sites for job's sake. Like Linkedin for example. Just go cold turkey.

8. People won't generally understand all of this so create a reason to be gone. I am writing the great American novel. I have to take care of sick relatives. I used that one in 1979 but back then it was true.

9. Leave your cell phone off. Use it when you want to call someone. Think outbound and answering center rather than 24-7 inbound.

10. Stop discussing jobs and careers. This is crucial. Learn to change the subject or make an excuse to get away. You have to train the your network that this is no longer something that interests you. Be kind about it though.

11. Work may come your way that interests you. That lures you back in for the moment. Charge heartily for it. That way if they can't afford you fall back on #1 and pass the work forward.

12. Act dumb about what's out there. After all you are busy writing the next great American novel. You just don't know what is out there.

13. Focus on other passions. Don't read about business or specific companies.

14. Create or seek a qualifying event that takes you of the workaday world. Hawaii is a nice idea. That strip of beach down near Santa Cruz. Who cares about work there?

15. Don't be blabbermouth about what you are doing. Just go quietly.

16. Read Breaktime by Bernard Lefkowitz if you can find a copy of it. It is the bible of the stop working (or caring about it) world. It was published back in the late 1970's but it still is relevant today. You can generally find it on the internet at rather cheap prices.

If all else fails use the card below.

http://www.happyworker.com/files/image/get-out-of-work-free.png

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Limit (for now)

I hit my limit this morning.

After warming up for 25 minutes D and I ran an 86 shakedown 400. Faster than normal but it made sense given our workout.

Then we ran 3 x 400 at goal pace for 800 meters. 80-81-81.

It was fast as I could go while staying relaxed and not losing form. The message was simple. My recovery was relatively quick so I just didn't have the muscle memory to be able to run much faster. Rather than run another 400 I elected to run 2 x 200, both coming in at 38 and change. Not fast enough to hurt but enough to push the barrier.

I jogged down for enough time to get 45 minutes total.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Rolling Kenyan

Monday

I run very much like the Kenyans. They are known for starting their runs very slowly. I do the same thing but with one major difference.

I never really pick it up.

The wages of wear and tear for a runner with around 100K on his legs. This morning I jogged 60 minutes on legs that felt surprisingly fresh but I also had early morning low (low) energy syndrome.

By the way, I am not as thin as Kenyan runners are. I am 5' 6" and around 140 pounds. If I were a Kenyan I would weigh in around 120. The last time I weighed that little my girlfriend of that long ago era made me walk right down to the local donut shop and stuff my face with glazed everything.

Anyhow......

My 800 meter oriented workouts mostly look like this right now.

Monday: 50-60 minutes
Wednesday: 45-50 Minutes
Thursday: 50-60 minutes
Saturday: 40-45 minutes including one of the following each weekend:

3-4 x 400 at 800 meter goal pace

2 x 600 at 800 date pace.

1 x 800 time trial to find out were I am

Wednesday

http://synergy-athletics.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/ankle-278x300.jpg


I woke up to an early alarm forgetting that I didn't have to run in the morning but could go out to the Baylands @lunch. It was sunny and breezy (typical). I covered 60 minutes of nondescript jogging. The one negative was that for the first time in a long time I went over on my right ankle.

OUCH! Followed by a deleted expletive!!!!!

But it was a half roll so while there was some pain it quickly passed and I was able to continue my run. I guess all of those one leg balancing drills I have been doing in the shower are finally paying off.

Thursday

I went back to Forbes Mill this morning and ran variations of the dam course for 55 minutes of activity. One my interior up and back's was in the very low 24's. My legs felt good (too good). Now I need to rest up for Saturday's 400 workout.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Walkin' A

Walkin' A.

I scooted over to West Valley College to meet D and run 2 x 600 at goal 800 meter pace. We warmed up for close to 25 minutes. It was cool enough but the sun was coming up and the track was heating up.

We ran a shakedown 400 in 90 seconds. Not too bad. It felt OK so we walked a bit and then launched the first 600. I just settled in and followed the big guy around for a 2:06. Between the 200 and 400 I was thinking of excuses to get out of this but by then we only had 200 to go so I hung in there.

Pain is good. Pain is good.

Well, except I really wasn't in pain. I actually felt strong so we recovered with another walk and shot off the second 600. This one was 2:05 and change. All in all a 2:47 800 meter pace workout.
Three weeks ago I ran this same workout in 2:09-2:06.

I jogged for 15 minutes.

Heading back to our cars we decided next week would be 400's and the following week would be an 800 meter trial.

Pain is good! Pain is good!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tall, tan, slender and fast

Monday

The next two-three days are supposed to be barn burners. I am hearing mid to high 90's so no lunch running for a while. I got out early this morning while a layer of fog still blotted out the sun. Easy paced 60 minutes over to the college and back. There was some young gal zipping around the track and soccer field. Tall, tan, slender and fast. I believe those are the big 4 athletic attributes, aren't they?

Wednesday

The fog blanketed the sky again this morning keeping the temps cool. I ran 50 minutes on legs that felt unusually decent. I thought about doing some striders but laziness and my lack of valor got the best of me. I just ran.


Thursday

I ran 61 minutes mostly at Forbes with Jake. Cool and overcast. Nice reminder of what fall can be like (whenever it gets here).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reentry Workout

Finally back at the track with D. This was a reentry workout with all due respect for the bout of stomach flu from a week back. I warmed up slowly for about 20-25 minutes (not sure), did some strides and then ran a soft cut down workout of 400's.

94-88-84-81. Each one felt slightly better than the prior 400. The last felt the best.

I then jogged 15 minutes for a warm down.

D gutted out a 1:44 600 meter. I will doing that soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If I stopped for every ding....

Monday

Three days of rest and back at it. I ran at lunch for the first time in months. The Baylands remains unchanged. Just me. Feeling creaky until I got going. I ran 50 minutes of wind-blown slogging and enjoyed every minute of it. It was nice to have the mid day break away from work. My back is bothering me "still". Lower left side. Not enough to stop running but there never-the-less. I took some ibuprofen in the afternoon.

If I stopped for every ding, I wouldn't run.

Note to self: It is amazing "how" slow I am. There was one brief point in the run where I began to unintentionally pick it up and actually felt like I was flowing along. It came out of no where as if some spark connected in an oiled up spark plug and my body surged. Then it was gone and I was back at the plods.

Wednesday

I ran in the Baylands at lunch again. It was in the high 70's with a nice breeze. My legs felt peppy but my lower back on the left side was achy. Not enough to stop me from running 55 minutes. I found that if I took a short walking break my back would feel better for a while. I think this is combo of the way I sit at the computer (at home) and the way more than normal lifting I have been doing as of late. I will give a few days and if it still is bothers me, I will go see Big Bad Bill and get another adjustment.

Friday

OK! My back is much better. I iced the exact spot that had been bothering me last evening and it seemed to respond. I ran a sluggish 40 minutes this morning knowing that Saturday is my "game" day. It feels like the weather is going to heat up again. The sledge hammer that is summer isn't gone yet.

I talked to Shel the other day who is on a similar program. He complained that his legs are tired but then they were tired before. Get use to, it I told him. At our age our legs are always going to feel tired.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reminder

Status: Recovering from 24 hour stomach flu.

I need to remind myself that I am 800-1500 meter runner now.

At age 64 I don't need mileage for its own sake. I have somewhere around 100K lifetime miles on my legs. Old runners with old legs just beat themselves up trying to do what they used to do easily.

4 days is enough each week. 3 easy runs of 45-60 minutes and one day on the track.

http://www.yourrunning.com/files/yourrunning/teg_attachments/hartshorne_start.jpg

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Not So Distant

This may seem speculative but perhaps, in some not so distant future, a man on a horse will come upon this sight.




Let us say this is a thousand years hence. That is a blink in the history of our world. A millennium ago we were at this level. Who is to say that we will not come that way again.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How Sweet It Is



http://fog.ccsf.cc.ca.us/~jfowler/US_Flag_Animated.gif

Monday
(Memorial Day)

How sweet. A week off from work. I slept in until around 7 am (that is sleeping in these days) and then sloshed down a magnum of coffee. I finally got out around 8:30 and ran for 60 minutes keeping it slow and cool. My lower back is acting up. Hope to tailgate in with Danny on Tuesday and see Big Bad Bill.

Note: My back is better after seeing Bill (my chiro). Danny and I made it up to Menlo Park to get adjusted on Tuesday and then went to breakfast.

Wednesday

I ran 50 easy minutes this morning after walking Amber. I beat the heat even though I didn't get out that early. Thought about doing more today but I am going back to back with a run tomorrow with Jake at Forbes.

Thursday

Forbes Mill and two up and backs and a bit more to make it 62 minutes of slow running.

Hard to believe that Forbes Mill use to look like this.


Forbes Mill

These days all that is left is this.
http://img.groundspeak.com/waymarking/display/a5d3ed75-652c-4516-be59-e0f690cb61f8.jpg

Friday

I hit the wall on Thursday evening. Not exactly sure what it is but it seems to be stomach flu or minor food poisoning.

Where did that come from????

I have no appetite and I am canceling my weekend runs. First, I have to feel like eating. Then I can run again.



Saturday

Feeling much better. Must have been the 24 hour variety. However, I did not run. Will wait another day or two.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Taking of Sun

My old company, Sun Microsystems is about ready to get devoured by Oracle. The SEC has approved the deal but the ponderous and unwieldy EU has decided to step in and delay the merger because of anti-trust concerns.

Well, yeah. DUH!

Of course Oracle wants to dominate and Sun has been offered up to them on a platter. Sun is doing its best to look the Byzantine Empire in its latter stages and Oracle is doing its best to do an imitation of the Ottoman Turks circa 1453. It really was all over but the looting. Sun customers are pealing away because right now many of them don't trust Oracle's business plan.

By the way, Oracle's business plan is simple.

Besiege, take the city, loot and burn what they don't want and sell of into the slavery of unemployment those who are not useful.

What Oracle wants is Java and Solaris. Oracle doesn't innovate. It buys innovation. 7 billion and change is a cheap price for the 20 billion dollar empire of Larry, he who lacks any sentiment.

It's sad. Larry is what they deserve. All Jonathan the Almost had to do was to cut headcount back under 20,000 and eliminate hundreds of projects that were not making Sun any money. He couldn't do it and either could Scott the Maverick. He must be a maverick because he named his first born that very name and held him aloft at hockey games so we would all know it was true. They both abdicated to weekly and monthly executions (layoffs) that demoralized the populace and froze the will of its very strength. It's creativity and innovation.

But for the moment the course of empire is delayed in the tangled web of the EU. The attempt to salvage Sun is further destroying it through the loss of customers who have lost faith and the resultant lost revenue.

It was a glorious city and empire once upon a time but now the time of Larry is at hand.


For the moment things look a bit like this but not to worry.
http://www.realfuture.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/cole_thomas_the_course_of_empire_destruction_1836.jpg


Eventually peace will return.
http://alloilpaint.com/cole/7.jpg

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Body Shock! 2:09-2:06

It's been 3 weeks since D and I ran 4:31.9 for 1200 meters. Except for several 100 meter workouts I have not been back to the track for a session of specific pace related work.

Today I went back to Prospect, warmed up for 23 minutes and decided I was good to go on 2 x 600 meters at 800 pace. I ran a shakedown 400 in 90 and was a bit breathless afterward. Of course I had not been down around 90 seconds for anything for 3 weeks. I walked, picked up Glen who asked to join me (he who is training for the marathon). I told him I was very glad for the company.

The first 600 was a 2:09 (86-43). It might have been faster but I felt a slight twinge in my left foot off to the side of the achilles so I decided to keep pace and not push. I walked 600 in between.

On the second 600, I drove the 400 in 84, felt really good (no twinge!) and ran the last 200 on 42 for a 2:06.

I was happy enough and after a recovery walk, I jogged 16 minutes to make the total workout 45 minutes.

I drove over to the club handicap race and had a great breakfast with the gang. Had a long talk with Jim afterward about how he was recovering from marathon training related injuries.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Recovery Week

Monday

I got out early on Monday and ran 50 easy minutes. My legs felt rested. It was cool and overcast. The sky was the color of slate. It felt good NOT having to run Sunday even though Saturday's run was on the easy side. I still have some residual soreness in my lower left leg but nothing that actually hurts when I run. I generally feel it before and after. I plan on an easy week. A couple of 50 minute runs on Monday and Wednesday, maybe 30-35 minutes Thursday or Friday and a brief rep workout on Saturday. I may not be fast but I have decided to be an age group 800/1500 meter runner. So I need to act like it.


Wednesday


I was jolted awake just before 6 am by the vibration of a heavy vehicle rumbling by our house. I tried to fall back but finally rolled out of bed and made coffee. I went out around 7 am for another 50 minutes of easy running. This every other day is feeling good. I double back on Thursday but probably for no more than 30-35 minutes.

Thursday

Did what I said I would do. I ran 35 minutes total most of it slow with Jake (who, by the way, is back running 60 minutes a day). It was quiet at Forbes Mill and the lot was just about empty. A young gal running with her boyfriend and dog blew by me going up to the dam. Jake said "I just don't care anymore!" and of course he is right.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Heat Is On!!!!!

The heat is on! It cleared 100 yesterday. It looks like it will be in the 90's today.

I got out early jog-walking for 15 minutes with Amber. I then went over to WVC and ran slowly covering 65 minutes overall. The club ran short-six. It was an excruciating experience for most of them. Think death march! Danny was still talking about the heat during breakfast in the air-conditioned confines of Carrows an hour later.

http://www.weather.gov/om/heat/images/CHART05.JPG

Thursday, August 27, 2009

16 FLAT!!!!!



Tuesday:




AM: I ran 45 minutes early at an easy pace. Putting in place a 4 day running plan to revive my legs. It was overcast and cool. Almost fall-like. Traffic increasing as schools begin to sequentially open up for the term. The plan is to get my ass over to Saratoga track this evening and run some striders and hook up with Danny (who by the way is the identifiable hero of Saratoga cross country). Everyone knows his name. It almost Cheers-like.


PM: Met Danny at the track. The weather felt hot and sticky. Not used to it. I have been a morning runner for months now. The track was crowded. The football team was working out and then Pop Warner showed up. These guys were all over the inside lanes. Danny almost collided with one player on his last rep. I ran around 30 minutes with 4 x 100 in 17-17-16-16 (drafting off Danny's 200's). Last one was 16 flat! Slight flare in the right groin. I need to be careful. The speed is there but the body needs to catch up. Iced when I got home.

75 minute day.

Thursday:


I was supposed to meet Jake at Forbes at 8 am but my car wouldn't start. I ended calling my auto service (CSAA) and had to wait for them to show. God, they were prompt. The problem was my battery so I bought a new one (installed by them on the spot). Then I drove up to Forbes, had coffee with Jake and Wally before heading off for a 60 minute painfully slow run. My legs are still sore from Tuesday. Things held together and I got the run in before the heat descended on Bay Area. I am definitely paying the price for the fast 100's.

DOMS-R-US

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Time to change (again)

D is gone to Toronto so I drove to WVC and ran 50 minutes with 6 x 100 meter strides. I averaged 18 seconds. The club was running the infamous 36 x 200 meter 3 man relay. I checked in to find that 4 club runners, including me, had pulled their calf's in the past year so we're sort of a club within a club. Two of my colleagues wrap their calf muscles with an ace bandage. Several asked me how my achilles was doing (except it wasn't my achilles that took half of last year out, it was my calf).

Small turnout. The Pacific Association Cross Country season just began so many of the "studs" were over in Santa Cruz running the first of the series. It crossed my mind that I should consider running the series but then I reminded myself that {{{focus}}} will be critical for me to run a fast mile next year.

Sunday:

50 minutes. Legs tired. Stopped several times. Didn't really want to be out there today. It is time to cut back to a four and maybe even on occasion, three day training week. 5 days a week or even three in a row just beats me up no matter how slow the pace is.

Time to change again.

A couple of sounds bites from the past and present at Sun:

I ran into Smita, my old buddy from Sun. We hadn't talked in a year or more. It was good to catch up.

I also ran into another colleague who is still as Sun and is positioned to make the Oracle transition. He told me that he was in a meeting the other day and "Larry" called in on the phone to tell the group the direction they should be taking. After pontificating he left them with these words.

"Either you make it happen or your replacements will!"

Good Larry?

Evil Larry?

As for Sun.....

They're coming!

http://www.andrewchase.com/uploads/war%20of%20the%20worlds%20teaser%20shot.jpg



http://www.waroftheworlds.com/downloads/desktops/tripodart/wp_t1_1280x1024.jpg

Friday, August 21, 2009

Adventures in Legs

Tuesday:

My legs felt better this morning. Not great but better than Sunday. I ran an easy 50 minutes. Not much going on. Traffic was light but I know it will go nuclear in the next several weeks as the local schools go back on line.

I am really thinking about going back to every other day running (or 4 days a week). I would rather run further the days I do run versus more days. I am a bit beat up. I hate to change anything because I have had steady improvement but I think I am running into the proverbial wall.


My heroine, Maggie Vessey went down yesterday in the semi's at Berlin. Looked like she was sleep walking through her heat. She ended up dead last. I am going to have to find another big blond to follow. :-(

Wednesday:

Ran 60 minutes this morning. Very quiet preschool year track. Almost empty of walkers and runners. Some of my college routes are cut off by construction going on. These temporary fences suddenly go up so I have to run other routes.

Legs OK but I am tired. Slight headaches during the day. I think I am over trained. Hard to believe because I seem to do so little but whatever it is, it is too much for right now. I have some nice momentum. Don't want to crater it. I will adjust. I have been thinking about 4 days a week and that may be the move that is necessary. I haven't been doubling but I may have to once or twice a week. I haven't run at lunch for months. As the weather cools I may go back to the Baylands.


http://completerunning.com/photos/2007Feb26-TiredRunner.jpg

Friday:

I took off with some trepidation. My right achilles was slightly sore last night even though it had not bothered me at all in recent memory. I taped and iced. The run turned out to be the usual. I slow jogged 60 minutes. My legs felt OK (as in O-K). No achilles problems. A tiny bit of tightness in my upper right calf right behind and just below the knee. I will need to be careful about that. Will The adventures in legs ever end?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

4:31.9

Saturday:

Goal workout was 1200 meters in 4:30-33.

The place was Prospect High School. This might be the last run there for a while. WVC track is back open so I will drift back there for the time being.

Warmed up with D for a total of about 25 minutes including some strides. Then we ran a shake out 400 in 92. I admitted to feeling sluggish (or sluggo). I asked that we go out a bit slower and ramp up the pace as we ran.

The first lap was 94. I can't say it was easy. I wasn't totally into it. At 600 meters I thought to myself that if I was going to be a miler, I needed to run the planned workout regardless and tough it out. D had already decided that we had to pick up the second lap if we were going to hit out target time range. He told me later that he had decided to run a 90 and just hoped I would still be there.

We came through in a scintillating 3:04 and I was still there. Not maxed out but my quads were feeling it even though my breathing was fine. Down the backstretch I said to D that I was there which meant I didn't know if I could go any faster. Turns out I could. With 200 to go the pace quickened and I just went with it. I figured that I was fighting to get under 4:36 which is what we ran the last time we did this workout.

When we flashed across the line the time read 4:32. Actually 4:31.9 but who's counting. I was glad to get away with a workout inside my target range. I jogged down for 12 minutes and was surprised that my legs actually felt OK.

Bottom line. Breathing fine. Legs tired. I believe the 1000's last week plus the 60 minute run the next day ran me down a bit. I need to be more discreet.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_rELR4F15yRY/SinxJFs46BI/AAAAAAAAArE/rDlsfRQI59k/s400/GASP.jpg

Sunday:

A very slow (S-L-O-W) 60 minute run. I was the slowest guy on the track. I would like to say this was by design but really it was just because.

Because why?

Because my legs were tired.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

work...WORK...WORK!

Tuesday:


Oh God, I woke up way too early. Too much on my mind (work...work...work).
http://armoredsquirrel.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/06/WorkInProgress%5BMallet%5D.gif

4:30 AM. That vacant, empty time of summer twilight.* The sky just beginning to lighten in the west. I sneaked back under the covers, hiding. Maybe I would fall back.

No deal! I rolled out of bed around 5:15 (with a groan) after an unsuccessful attempt to fall back to sleep. Started the coffee and laid out on the couch. Amber came over and nuzzled me. The wonder dog, all 13 1/2 years of her was awake! I finally went out for a run at 6:30 having shaken myself awake. I jogged for 50 minutes coming back by the house at 25 minutes to get Sue some hot water and close the windows. By the time I finished the 2nd 25 minutes and walked back in the front door she was brewing coffee for herself. The rich, pure smell filled the house.

Showered and took Amber out for a walk.

*The diffused light from the sky during the early evening or early morning when the sun is below the horizon and its light is refracted by the earth's atmosphere.

Wednesday:

Good night sleep. Didn't want to get up (just beat the alarm). Had a mug of coffee and then went out and ran a sluggish 55 minutes of slow..slow including big loops at the college. I guess it's the day after syndrome. My legs felt OK yesterday but less so today. I did get stronger as the run went on. Low energy in the beginning and decent energy as things progressed. Amber didn't get her walk :-( and she gave me sad, guilty looks.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_RvJo_rOUVdc/SBsZiAt3CJI/AAAAAAAAAAs/sdSbEPECYwk/s400/DSC_0043.JPG

Thursday:

I drove over to Forbes Mill this morning. I hadn't been over there in months. Construction City going on near the parking lot and around the high school. My normal path was blocked so I had to take a circuitous route to get to the track and decided to take the "secret" trail back to Forbes. I finished off running a Dammit up and back for a total of 50 minutes.

Legs tired. No snap. Aggravated by early morning heat. A prelude to and warning of a 90 degree day.

Decided not to over analyze why I am tired. I just is.



Sunday, August 09, 2009

Good "Enough" to Great

risk and performance

I read an interesting article on breakthroughs. I realize that even though I very committed to breaking 6 minutes for the mile (Good enough) , what I really want is a higher level of performance (Breakthrough). I will need to do some mind-work along with my regular training to get there. I am faced with doing more intelligent running, like it or not. But it won't mean much if I don't work on my systems of belief.

Gung Ho!

2 x 1000



Saturday

We ran over at Prospect High Track. Soccer players practicing. Runners on the track. A bit crowded for my taste.

Between running at home and on the track I did 25 minutes of slow jogging followed by striders.

The workout was 2 x 1000. Goal was 3:48-52. D lead perfectly and we did the first one in 3:47. It wasn't easy though. We didn't do the shakedown 400 and as usual it took me several laps to warm to the pace.

Walked 600 and then did another one. Got distracted by kids playing in the fast lanes between 400 and 500 meters. They barely moved out of the way. But it came back to haunt us when they were back there on the next lap. No track-sense. Parents did nothing to corral them and I lost my cool and my focus. We were able to get back on pace over the last 400 and run another 3:47. I felt better but still, the workout was tough. I checked. It was statistically slightly better than the 800's I ran last week.

Warmed down for 40 minute total.

D wants to shoot for sub 4:30 for the 1200 meter time trial next week. So coming through close to 3:00-3:02 and pushing that 3rd lap. I would be happy with 4:33 or under.

Sunday

Shel and I drove up to GG park and ran a DSE race. I jogged a very easy, sore legged 25 minutes before the race. I kept Shel company during the 5K which we ran in 29 minutes and change. Afterward, we ran back to the car. 60 minutes all in all.

Exciting highlights included the following:

Two young gals ripping by me on my 25 minute pre-race warm up.

Hearing some guy in black shorts tell his girlfriend that they were running slower than a ten minute pace. I was behind them at the time.

Catching and passing two young, tall gals in the last mile only to be caught by a woman we see all the time at these events who chants reaffirmation phrases to herself.

Way to go


Feeling good


Let's get going (as she unintentionally cuts me off..but then I am running as a bandit and don't plan on coming anywhere near the finish line).

Friday, August 07, 2009

Hum Drum Week and Maggie Vessey

Tuesday: Another call-in meeting. I couldn't stand it so I ran ahead of time. 50 minutes of easy jogging (I am a jogger!). I was lucky. I woke up early and quaffed some coffee and bolted out the door. Walked Amber afterward.

Wednesday: Another early morning run. 55 minutes under the stark calm of a a slate tinged overcast sky. I ran the usual route. Over to the track, big loops and then back adding on a bit extra to net 5 more minutes. The tall guy was down on the tartan blowing down 7:20-7:30 miles. He kept lapping me over and over. he on the inside lane, me on the outside lane and adding in the par course hill. But still.....

Thursday: I walked Amber (skies still very gray). I then went out and ran the usual route. The funny thing is that it started to drizzle heavily enough that I had to take off my sun glasses. They had beaded up and were choked with droplets. Anyway, 55 minutes. Legs felt sluggish. Short, tiny Asian girl moved away from me as I circled the track. Makes me once again think if every other day would be smarter. But then....I keep improving. Don't screw with it. It's not about these runs. It's about Saturday.


Went to the last All Comers of the season last evening to watch the action. Maggie Vessey, tops in the 800 in the world, showed up to run, coasting to a high 53 second 400 as a tune up for the 800 that will take place shortly in Berlin. She is world class looking. Tall, blond, slender but not skinny. Stood out. Striking.

McKayla Plank was there too. What ever happened to the Fast Woman rising star of 3-4 years ago? I meant to say hello but didn't. I know her but not that well. She didn't look like that gazelle of several years ago. Could be again with the right coach. Someone told me that she is injured.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Paying the price

I paid the price of Saturday's workout on Sunday morning. I ran 60 minutes very slowly. Legs were heavy but at least they were not sore. A very unremarkable run. I am sure Galloway would have rightly had me running 3 minutes and walking 1. It probably would have been smarter. There is a method to his jogger madness.

Sunday's are often the toughest workout of the week. It should be Saturday but I am usually well rested so outside of the pace, the reps are done on fresh legs.

The day after. That's the one.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

2:58-2:55

Prospect High workout.

Goal was to run 2 x 800 in 2:58-3:00. Warmed up 25 minutes and did some striders. Then we (D, Jake and I) ran a shakeout 400 in 93. We walked a 400 and then launched into our first 800. As usual it was a slight struggle to get used to the pace (I am always sluggish at first) but we came through in 90 intact and ran the last lap in 88 for a 2:58!

We walked a lap and then did the second 800. D later told me that we came through 400 in 88 which was amazing because Jake (running one lap) was right with us. His fastest of the year. I had to admit that I felt very good. I guess was I was all shaked out. We ran the last lap in 87 for a 2:55!!!!

I warmed down with D for 10 minutes.

We averaged on the high side of 2:56.

Talked to Missy after the warmdown. She has become the typical devoted soccer mom except that her kids swim. She turns 40 later this year. If she trains she could be a force in her age group.

Gigantic group at breakfast. Took over the back room in Carrows.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Conservation Run

Friday: 45 minutes very slow trying to conserve all the energy I can for Saturday's workout.

I ran up the RR Tracks to the lake and circle it once. Then I jogged down to the college running through a typically It's end of the week, semi-deserted campus.

The days continue to be overcast in the early morning making for nice conditions.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

55 minutes for putting one foot in front of the other

I got out early this morning and ran 55 minutes (again). Nothing unusual about the run. Just putting one foot in front of the other. Mr. 7:30 pace was at the track (That use to be a really easy day back when...). He grooves around the circuit lapping me regularly and this is not helped by the fact that I do big loops. I hardly ever walk the short hill anymore.

The cool morning continue.

Had lunch with Susan today, a colleague from my days at Sun. She is interested in the too long still open HR Director at Guidewire. It all came back in a rush. It was just about a year ago that I got roped into spending 3 months of my life at the personnel factory.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cool Grey

Monday was the usual off day.

On Tuesday morning I walked Amber and then ran around while waiting for the call-in business meeting to kick off. So a repeat of last week. Running again with my cell phone in one hand and ear pieces and wire connectors flopping around. Did 55 minutes of slow running under cool, grey skies. The sun started to knife through the cloud cover just as I finished my jaunt.

The good news was the soreness in my left hamstring has disappeared so maybe it was just a slight case of DOMS.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Running Week of July 20th-July 26th 2009

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Dropped back to 50 minutes running very slowly while holding my cell phone. I was dialed into a work related conference call. Holding the cell wasn't too much of a distraction but having the ear piece and connecting wires flopping around is a bother. I know...I know...I should wear my blue tooth wireless ear piece but frankly it does a lousy job if filtering out street sounds.

Wednesday: Rolled out of bed and left my brains on the pillow (or at least that is what it felt like). I punched the coffee "on" button on the brewer and then tumbled onto the couch. I laid there for a few minutes listening to the coffee slurp it way down into the carafe. I peaked up over the couch and there was Amber staring at me with that "what's in it for me" look. That means her vitamins and and hasty exit to the backyard to "relieve" herself. I settled down and sipped from my tankard of coffee.

The run itself was another colossal 50 minute affair. It actually felt pretty good, all in all. I ran over the college and did big loops on the track and then headed back. Cutting back minutes seems to be working. I felt decent.

Thursday: I took a wild gamble and chose not to run. Instead I walked Amber in the morning, took a long late lunch with my friend and former co-worked, Jeanie, played hooky from work and went to the All Comers meet in the evening. Hobnobbed with Bert and Jake. We were all good club level runners back thirty years ago. Ran into Art, he of the cut physique. Met Maria who is a friend of D's. She talked to me but kept glancing at Art's pectorals. I could have been a radio personality for all she knew. A disembodied voice. She listened to me but Art is whom she gazed at.

Friday: I ran an easy 45 minutes. Ran into Jack who told me that Mike had had a hip replacement. Even power walkers get injured. Of course Jack in 79 and Mike is 82 but both were fast walkers. Jack still is. This tells me that while there are no rules, age is a wearing down process and I have to use my present time intelligently. Hips, knees. Whatever. They can just go.

Meanwhile I can hear my next door neighbor in his garage on his pneumatic stair-stepper working the hell out of himself. At least I think it is him. However, it could be his wife.

Saturday: Another session over at Prospect High. Ran 25 minutes very slowly as a warm up. I did some striders and then joined Jake and Dimitri for 4 x 400. First D and I did a shakeout 400 in 90 which was pretty fast. Then we launched into the main workout. Jake plastered himself to us. He is one tough guy. His legs were feeling heavy because of biking and...well, life.

The first 400 was an 82. I had to admit, it felt pretty good. In this reiteration of my running life, this was the very fastest for the first serious 400.

We walked a lap and did the second one in the high 83's. Once again, I felt strong. Upper legs a bit tired but nothing that was getting in the way. Just the faster start to this workout.

The third one felt sluggish and was a solid 84. D told me we had reached the 200 in 42 and he had just strided in.

The last was a go for it rep. We went out under control but fast. We hit the 200 in about 40 and kicked in a 38 for a 78 overall. This last one felt the best.

Jogged down for 9 minutes for a 40 minute total workout.

Last time we did this workout it was 88-85-83-82.

Big improvement!


Sunday: 60 slow minutes jogging around Cupertino. I could not run my usual big loops on the track. There was a breast cancer event going on so I ran the furtherlands of the campus and also around the small lake near McClellan and the RR Tracks. My hamstring was a bit sore and my right achilles bears watching. No pain but tight at times during the run. The latter could be because I wore my red racing shoes yesterday the reps.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can 64 be the new 62?

I dropped back this morning and ran only 60 minutes. All in the interest of conserving energy.

In looking back at yesterday, I realize that I have somehow climbed back into roughly the same shape I was in, back in 2007. It seems strange. Can 64 be the new 62?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Negative Splits

Ran 5 minutes at home this morning to shake things out. I then drove over to Prospect and warmed up for another 17 minutes with "D" and Jake. I did some strider and passed on the shakedown 400.

The workout was a rare 1600 meter trial at around 95%.

I felt a bit lethargic but I had decided that I was going to do it regardless. I started my watch but didn't look at it the rest of the way. I tucked in and stayed behind D.

The first lap was like rolling out of bed in the morning. I knew I was going to do it but if someone had brought me a cup of java, I would just have soon have stayed put. I found out afterward that this was 96.

The second lap was a total change. I actually started feeling very good so I knew I was "into" it. In fact, several times, I felt like I was going to run up D's back. Later on I found out we had run a 99. In other words D had fallen asleep and of course because I wasn't clock watching, I had no idea that were behind pace.

3:15 at the 800.

The third lap was faster. I could feel the speeding up but I felt fine. I had expected that the last two laps would be quicker. We arrived at 1200 in 4:49 so we had run a 94.

On the final lap everything changed. We pushed down the backstretch and then really began to "drive" with 200 to go. I could finally feel the effort. As we hit the last 100 I came up on his shoulder and I worked at relaxing as we hammered our way to the finish.

As we came across the line I hit my stopwatch and heard D say "damn!". I figured that we hadn't broken 6:18 but I glanced down (finally) and saw 6:16!

We had run the last 800 in 3:01!

D felt bad because we hadn't broken 6:15 but frankly I could have cared less. My goal was to break 6:18. That had been my time trial PR for the last 26 months. Beating a time from two years ago was a major accomplishment so I was pleased.

I slow jogged for 12 minutes and called it a day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

6:18 hanging out there

Walked Amber again for a warm up followed by 50 minutes of slow running.

I want to have fair amount of energy for Saturday's trial effort. I hope to break that 6:18 for 1600 meters that has been hanging out there since May of 2007. It's not that 6:18 is that fast but it is faster than any of training has indicated for the past two years and two months.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hesitation Stop

The day was somewhat cooler than yesterday. I could feel it right off. I walked Amber "The Wonder Dog" to shake out my legs for the main event.

Yes, you guessed it. Another 55 minutes of slow running. In fact I almost stopped at 50 minutes not because I was tired but because it seemed enough. I came to a hesitation stop at a stop light near my house and after a half a minute (or thinking about it) I decided to continue via a slightly elongated route which adding five big minutes to the run.

I felt no different at the end of the run with the added time than I had at the hesitation halt.

I thought about adding threshold intervals to my weekly routine. It could add some 3-5K strength to my workouts. It could also be a bridge too far. Daniels would say I should do these at a 7:10 pace based on where I think I am right now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Emotional and Physical Fartlek

The weather has turned hotter than a barbecue. The moment I stepped out the door this morning I could feel that someone had turned up the blast furnace. I was glad I got out early. The plan was to run 55 minutes and keep the tempo at a snail's pace. I am happy to say that in this I was a total success.

I waddled over to the college track by the usually long route. I even ran around the astro turfed soccer field before touring the campus. Once on the track (Asian City as usual), I did big loops including short hill. At various moments I felt really good and at others not so good. The run was varied in this manner. Sort of emotional and physical fartlek. As I headed back home I kept saying to myself "I feel good!" I sounded like some motivational tape.

The truth was I sometimes felt good.

These days, I will take it. No legs pain and no big issues.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

70 minutes of Galloway

I got out early or at least so my wife says. Anyway, I ran 70 minutes with short walk breaks thrown in for seasoning. Sunday has been a tough run given the fact that I run fairly hard on Saturday. I figured if I did a Galloway version I might feel better, go further and actually recover from the workout of the day before.

I started with 1 minute of walking and 4 minutes of running until I finally got to the track. Once there, I ran big loops walking the "hill". I began to actually feel pretty darn good and picked up the pace a bit (BIG MISTAKE!). Then I slowed things back down (VERY SMART!) and ran home.

Feeling good or too good is the moment to be very careful. Easy should be easy. Good rule of the road for older runners of a certain age.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Can Rich? Yes he can!

Prospect high track again. Warmed up a bit more than normal. 25-26 minutes with strides. Then we ran a shakedown 300 in 70. Shakedown in that it shakes out the cobwebs.

The workout was 2 x 800 in under 3:02 (which is what we did the last time we ran this).

I just followed "D" and we cruised to a 3:02. I felt OK but not strong like last week. As "D" said this is an adversity workout. I want to be able to run my goal times whether I am in top shape or not. Feeling strong is not always optional.

The second one felt much better but that is because we went through the first 400 in 94 (oops!) and scorched the second lap in 86 for a 3:00 flat. "D" fell asleep at the pacer wheel, he told me afterward. He was thinking, can Rich run 86???? Well, we did and I could have run faster. 2:58 was in the offing had we really burned the last 200.

I never felt in any sort of trouble.

With the warm down, I did around 40-41 minutes.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Getting monotonous

50 more minutes of slow running this morning. This getting monotonous (in a good way).

My legs feel great. It's the really slow running. I know it. I know it. I actually believe that I could ratchet things up quite a bit. Very Van Aaken-like. He would tell me, were he alive to tell me, that I should run a great many miles each day at a very slow pace with perhaps 3 x 500 of faster stuff added in every 2nd or 3rd day. It must have really burned Prefontaine to get out kicked by Norpoth given the polar opposite way both of them trained.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

55 minutes of stuff

Another quiet early morning run. I ran (as always) over to the college just as a fitness class was gathering in the bleachers next to the track. I circled, running big loops and then headed back home.

Unremarkable 55 minute run but the stuff that my stamina is built on these days.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Business Meeting Run

This morning I combined my 55 minute run with a work related conference call. It was a nice distraction. The time went by in a flash (or so it seemed). I can't tell you what the call was about because if you knew I would have to send you to Siberia or worse, Fresno. Given that these meetings may become a regular thing, I may have to get used to not remembering the experience of my Tuesday morning runs.

I do remember vaguely running over to the local college track and circling the big loops several times. I believe there were other folks out there. Maybe even an early morning, summer golf class on the astro turf of the soccer field. It all blurs into insignificance next to the droning words of THE MEETING.

My legs felt OK even though the pace was little more than a crawl. But if this is what it takes for the age group, wannabe, world class miler to recover then so be it.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Linda dies: I run 55 minutes

I checked my email this morning while having coffee. Linda died in the early morning after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Nothing I could do but go out and run so I drove up with Shel to the city and ran for 55 minutes along the south embarcadero near the ball park. There was a 5K DSE run going on so I tagged along for most of it but I also ran 25 minutes before and a few minutes afterward. Most of the run was very slow with the exception of a 9 pace while I hung with Shel during the race.

Legs felt OK.

Somber mood.

Enjoy life.

Detachment is good but don't get attached to even that.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Best yet

Friday: I laid around like a cat all day yesterday (it was a work holiday). My body ached from running on the grass at Los Gatos. Advil and rest and pasta.

I slept well and woke feeling pretty refreshed. Drove over to Prospect and warmed up with Jake for 20 minutes with some striders. D was over on the artificial grass getting his barefoot warm up. Then we added in something new. 2 x 800 at an 8 minute pace with a one minute rest in between. Nothing too hard but the goal was to create a "load".

After the last 800 we waited one minute and then ran a 400 in 88 seconds. After that we went to our normal run a 400, walk a 400. The second 400 was 85 and I immediately knew I felt very good. The 3rd 400 was 83 and last was 82. My best workout yet. D was killer in how he led through the 400's. Each had a slightly negative split and each was slightly faster than the last.

I decided to walk several laps with Jake instead of doing my usual 10-12 minute easy jog. Not so much because I was tired but really because I had run my 4 miles which is my Saturday allotment for right now.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

45 minutes of junk

I ditched the idea of running in the cool of the morning and traded it to become warm up buddy at the local all comers meet. So, 45 minutes of junk running, banter and a nice dinner (the Greek salad) at the Diner after the meet. It was warm but not "warm". Mid to high 70's at best but a real shift from the pre-9 am running that I have been doing of late.

Anyway, it was a choice not to run Friday and get it done today so I could have a day off. A rest day before Saturday.

The all comers crowd never ages. Only I do. They are mostly forever young. 31 years ago I ran a 9:44 two mile at this same event. Dust now, swept under the carpet of 3 decades of running.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I know every line

I did not sleep well last night. Visions of people who had lost their jobs ranged through my consciousness. This RIF did not go quietly into the night. Finally fell off very late. Must have slept some because I actually woke up this morning about 15 minutes ahead of the alarm. Sleep...Wake. So must have slept.

Coffee (Big Mug)

Let Amber out

Go run 55 minutes and I am surprised at how good I feel.

Faint impression of a PE Class sitting quietly up in the stands down the back stretch waiting for an instructor to show up.

Asian girl stretching after her run. She really works the crowd (if there was one). Very limber. I know every line of her body and I am hardly paying attention.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

For now, this will have to do

It seemed cooler this morning. I blended into the pavement while trotting around Cupertino for 55 minutes. Eventually I ended up on the track doing big loops. That little par course section gives me the momentary feeling of being on a trail in the woods. Of course it is an illusion. It's just some dirt and trees at one end of a junior college track in the middle of suburbia Silicon Valley. But right now it's all I got. The price of getting onto some really great trails is the need run up some decent hills and I don't trust either calf to hold up.

For now, this will have to do.




Dirt and Trees lower part of the photo

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Stumbling through 68 minutes of slow

The weatherman has really turned up the heat. Even though I got out the door by 8 am it was already very warm. I ran as slow as I could (almost falling asleep several times in the first few miles) taking a long route to the track. Once I arrived, I spotted Charles and Donna and ran with Charles for a while chatting about heart rate monitors (He wears one now. I rarely do). By the time I got back home I had stumbled through 68 minutes of hell bent for leather slow running.

Actually, once I started to match strides with Charles my pace picked up ever so slightly and my legs felt better. Second wind of some sort.

>On the "thinking what the hell I have to do going forward" stream of consciousness.

>I would like to get down to 135-36 but I have not been paying very much attention to my weight.

>I NEED TO START! I believe I will run faster if I take this step. 5-7 pounds under what I am today.

>I need to eat better. These protein days will kill me for sure. More carbs.

>Don't fiddle too much with my training. I can add slow minutes bit the rest has to remain the same.