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Monday, October 26, 2009

The week that was


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.



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.


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.!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


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.


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.

I had to settle for Cupertino.


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.

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


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.


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


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.


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.