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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Snapping Cold Run

It was in the mid 30's this morning at Forbes. It was cold enough for the air to have a snap to it. I was double gloved and wearing tights and a ski cap. But no complaints. The wind storm of the last two days had finally backed off and the sun was out (even though down on the trail the sunlight was hidden). Jake and I took our time getting up to the top on the first loop. We hit the marker in 15:06 but came down in 12:16. We were beginning to warm up. The second loop was faster at 24:39. Nothing spectacular but I felt strong. Adding in my around the neighborhood 10 minute shakedown run, my total was right around 62 minutes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Same ol'

Quiet day all around. No clients, no work to do. I drank coffee and hung out until after 8:30 AM and finally got myself going. It was another one of those run as slowly as you can stand it slogs. The skies were clouding up and it felt like it was in the high 40's or low 50's. I slow jogged over the college and did my usual Big Loops (over and over again). My legs were not at their best but I started feeling better as the run progressed. I added on some time and came in at 70 minutes.

My runs are very much the same these days. Not eventful. Same route, same terrain. I probably need to shake it up a bit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mission Rock

 Shel and I drove up to the city to run the DSE, Mission Rock 5K.

Between my usual dump run around the house and the city (SF) I warmed up for about 23 minutes total. I then ran 26:22 for 5K. Nothing spectacular. I didn't push which was good because the energy level wasn't there. I could feel the results of my tactical dieting over the last few weeks. As usual even if I eat just the right number of calories, it results in me bonking. Go figure that out.

So I bonked but had fun regardless.

I ran into Bob Anderson, an old friend from the 70's and 80's when he ran Runner's World and I just ran. We caught up. He ran a decent 21 minute 5K. Not too bad for a guy who is about ready to turn 63. At 63 that was about my conditioning too.

This was the area (below) close to the start and finish of the run. The photo is from 1954 but the big terminal (the white area in the foreground) looks the same. AT&T Park now occupies the area just north of it.
Aerial View of San Francisco

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hill Charges

The weather cleared up for a few days. I had coffee and lazed around the house until about 11 am and then I finally went out. My legs felt great. I breezed down to the college by a longer route and ran my usual boring super loops. At about 48 minutes I did two hill charges, except the word charges may be too strong. I did pick up the pace for about the 8-10 seconds it took me to get up to the "summit" but I smartly did not run all out. Then I ran back home. Had to hold back. I cut the run off at 60 minutes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Running between storms

I am glad I didn't run Sunday. It was an all out rain and wind storm (or at least a bay area version of the real thing). I took Monday off as a matter of course and was rested and ready to go this morning. I got out before 8 am and ran an easy 60 minutes. The weather held nicely. Cool but no rain. I went over to the college and did super loops. At 50 minutes I picked up the pace (don't ask me what the pace was..I have no idea) and ran moderately back to the house for the next ten minutes.

I am de-emphasizing  both the distance and days I run in a week and focusing on getting some controlled quality in the mix.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Leap of Faith Plan

I have decided to cut back to three days a week running through the end of March. I guess it is the next logical move for the aging runner. I believe that I have already long since passed any adaptive benefit I get from mileage. It just isn't there anymore.

So three days....

To begin with my training will constitute the following:

Long run. Easy pacing until the last 10-15 minutes at which time I will pick it up all the way in. Of course this is given that I feel okay. No pushing through tired  or dead legs.

Easy run of 30-40 minutes followed some hill strides. Nothing long. Maybe 8-10 seconds. If I am running them at the college then I will jog home for 10 minutes afterward. If I am running them at Forbes I can do them at the very end.

Tempo day which will include a warmup and a warmdown. The tempo will be either a continuous run or segmented effort. So I might run the 2.7 mile loop at Forbes at 85-90% of max or break the run up into two segments with a tempo run up, 1-2 minute rest and then a tempo run back down.

There are two test efforts possibilities:

1. 5 x 1K at 5K date (two minute rest interval)

2. 3 mile 88-92% run

These are not to be done too often. Maybe every 4-6 weeks.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Minimalist 2 minutes

Did the usual. Slept in, had coffee and went to breakfast with the club. It has been raining since Thursday evening. I feel like I am in Seattle for God's sake! But a warmer gentler Seattle. In Seattle you get the rain and the lead gray skies but also a perpetual 38 degrees.

I went out for an easy run around high noon. My legs felt good so I moved it along. Just steady. Nothing hard. After doing my usual college route, I came back by the house at 50 minutes, dropped on my racing shoes and ran a minimalist 2 extra minutes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Forbes Mill Thursday

It was Forbes Mill Thursday and man was it cold. Temps dropped into the 30's so I wore long sleeve top, tights, two layers of gloves and a wool ski cap.

I ran my usual 10 minutes around the neighborhood and then drove over to meet Jake. We did the first loop at 27:44. Slower than last week but who cares. On the second loop we got to the top in 13:13 (not that fast) and then I told Jake I was going to push the downhill. I was thinking sub 10 minutes which up until recently I didn't think I could do because of the lingering after effects of the same sciatica I have been dealing with Since Early August.

But there were no issues. I purposely kept the pace at tempo and not race-like. Hit the last maker at 21 flat and picked it up, covering the last section in 2:03. My final time was 23:03. So 9:50 coming down.
If you check back to April 15th of this year, I ran 19:30. A long way from where I presently stand.
 I also caught a cold after that run. Not right away but within a couple of weeks. I tend to run myself down into colds rather than catch them. So I need to be careful...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

65 minutes before a busy day

Yesterday morning's run was a slow 65 minutes. It was not that cold and I was able to get away with shorts, cycling gloves, a hat and a long sleeve T.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

AT at the track

Overcast and light drizzle again. Today was supposed to be a "Day of Sun" according to the weather folks. No such luck.

I strapped on my HRM. A rare event these days. I did my usual shake down and then headed down Steven Creek to the college (aka, the other route). At 21 minutes I found myself on the backside of the track at the 200 meter point. I then ran 3 x two super loops driving my HR up to the 169-172 range and recovering by letting my HR drop back under 148. So up to 85% of max and back down under 70% of max. I then slow jogged home running a total of 55 minutes.

As near as I can tell a double super loop is about .642 miles or 1033 meters. I average just over 5 minutes a double loop. There is a short hill that I had to go up each time around. Not sure what this all means except that I am slow. Around 7:50 pace a loop.

The good news was that my hip did not bother me one iota and that stands for something.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

35 instead of 60

I promised myself that I would run 60 minutes today (even if it meant doubling) but ended up running 35 instead. I ran in the morning before breakfast. It was drizzling lightly and actually quite pleasant.

I almost went out again around 1 pm but got to the door and turned back. It was simply the "will" to go out again.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Soft Rain at Forbes

Soft rain this morning. Not cold at all. Did a ten minute shakedown around the neighborhood before heading over to Forbes. Met up with Jake. Morphed into old men running up the trail. We covered the first loop in 26:30 which was faster than last week and didn't feel badly at all. On the second loop we ran up in 12:48 and then Jake told me he was gonna AT it back down. I stayed with him most of the way but then grew too impatient and ran on ahead to finish in 23:30. Nothing spectacular but I felt strong.

Wally came by and we went to breakfast. The Persian Girl is getting big (very pregnant) but still looks great. She told me that the baby is kicking now but mostly at night when she is trying to sleep. We laughed. It is all part of the preparation I told her.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

60 minutes flat

Got up early and sucked down a giant cup of coffee before going out.  It was clear and cold. I dressed to the "nines".  Hat, gloves. The works. I ran around the neighborhood at first and then down in back of the office buildings off Bubb to McClellan and on to the college.

Same old, same old.

I slow jogged super loops before heading home again.

60 minutes flat.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Way To Slowtown

I ran another 60 minutes this morning ahead of some dark clouds that "might" mean rain (actually it's raining as I write this). My legs felt good so when I got over to the track I added in some easy striders. Otherwise the run was uneventful. Just another milepost on the way to slow town.
Dark Clouds

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Grooved in a rut for 60 minutes

It threatened to rain today. Honestly it did. I decided not to run until early afternoon which gave me time to laze around the house, drink coffee and then go out to breakfast with the club. I finally got out the door close to 1 pm and jogged an easy 60 minutes. I was kind of punkish early on but then began to feel better as the run progressed (late energy). I never did get rained on.

I am in a rut. It seems that I have grooved into this railroad track, college, super loop course.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Arguing our way to 67 minutes

Cold Silicon Valley morning. low 40's. Could have been worse.

I ran a 17 minute shakedown around my neighborhood and over at Forbes. Then Jake showed up and we argued ;-) our way through a 26:30 first loop. The time surprised us both. On the second loop we ran a bit harder coming in at just under 24 minutes.

Total running was 67 minutes.

Oh, yeah. Jake and I were arguing about school politics. Jake had been presiding over informal training sessions with his runners when the league rules say give it a break until the end of January.  So the AD got on him and Jake decided to just to back away.

Damn, it is like a job!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Hour

It was in the mid 30's when I trotted out the front door this morning. My intention was to run for 65-70 minutes but I ran into "Ohio" and we chatted for way too long.  I had to hard step it back home just to get in an hour or running. I had a late morning meeting and so I was basically out of time. Thought briefly about going out again in the afternoon but realized that I would gain nada from it so I passed.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Slow with walk breaks

The rain disappeared and the overnight temps went down into the 30's. I went out before 9 am and ran 70 minutes with Galloway walking breaks peppering my efforts. This was the second day of back to back but my legs held up well. The walk breaks and the general slow pace seemed to preserve my energy level.  No complaints.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stormy Weather

The rain had come back so I put off running until around 1 pm. I joined the club for breakfast though listening to the stories of how bad the weather was for Farwell. Dimitri had a terrible run coming in around 27 flat for 3.54 miles. He wondered what it was worth for a 5K equivalent. I took out my iPhone, dialed up the club website and looked it up.

"Low 23's," I said.

"You're too slow to train with me," I joked, "but don't worry, I'll help you."

It was raining when I finally did get out the door. I ran for an hour and in the meantime the rain stopped and the skies actually cleared up.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Run

Thanksgiving day run with the club...NOT!

I woke up early and decided to run from the house and then head over to Carrows for breakfast. So I ran 65 minutes in sub 40 degrees (might have been closer to 35) but at least it was sunny and not very breezy.  I got over to the restaurant and found Jake sitting in Sue's old car in the parking lot. He didn't end up running with the club or running at all. Legs dead. May be "coaching firing time" again.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

65 easy

It was raining this morning but I went out anyway well before 8 am. Did my usual combo of neighborhood and college routes. Not much wind so it was pleasant. Kept things easy running for 65 minutes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Running with Charles

I got out the door in the morning trying to beat the rain but it caught up with me anyway about 27 minutes into the run. I did the neighborhood for a time but then headed over to the college where I collided with my friend Charles and so we hung together doing repeat super loops. I finally headed home while the weather continued to be intermittent. Rain, sun, clouds. More sun. More rain.

I cut the run off at 65 minutes.  My legs were okay but not as fresh as yesterday. Back to back days remain a challenge.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Nines

I was lazy this morning so I slept in. I then went over to Carrows for breakfast with the club. A good crowd showed up including several of usual racers. The XC finals for the Pacific Association are on for tomorrow in Golden Gate Park. Rain is expected so it will be muddy and slippery on the course.

It was beginning to rain by the time I finally got out around 12:30 PM and pretty much was a sprinkler the whole 60 minutes. I was dressed to the nines so I really didn't suffer. I ran slowly as usual but my legs felt good so I just enjoyed the trip. It was my usual course. The track was empty because of the wet conditions. Given a normal winter this is what it is going to be like until spring.


Thursday, November 18, 2010


Got up early and ran 12 minutes of "shakedown" around the neighborhood and over at Forbes Mill. Then Jake and I hooked up and ran a loop in just over 28 minutes. He was dead on his feet so I did the second loop alone. I pushed up to the top, running a steady and even effort. I hit the turnaround in 11:50 and thought that if I kept the same effort going down, that I would run in the mid to high 22's.  So I pushed the downhill sections figuring that this would give me a slight chance at sub 22 without slicing and dicing myself. I passed the last marker in the mid 19:30's and pressed the gas pedal down a bit to finish in 21:55.

Went to breakfast afterward. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Galloway 4-1

I threw in Galloway from the start running 4 minutes and walking one. I stayed with this formula right through 50 minutes and then I shifted to 20 minutes of continuous running until the end.  The total time out on the roads was 70 minutes. My legs felt good  and strong but I kept the pace slow anyway. I had to make some change in my approach. I was beginning to get that beat up feeling again. My plan is to run continuously on Thursday and then shift back to 4-1 on the weekend. The goal now is to extend my time out on the roads but make the time spent out there the workout. Not the intensity.

No one our age is getting any faster at this point of the game. We're all just trying to hang on and maybe beat what we did last year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sissy Running

I ran a very slow 62 minutes on Sunday. It had no rhyme or reason but I was tired and lacking energy. In other words, flat lined.  I helped things along in the latter part of the run by throwing in some one minute walks (Galloway) and this did help. 4 minutes of running and one minute of running. After a few of these I did begin to feel better. I think that I am beginning to struggle with 4 days of running which has served me well since shifting to that sort of schedule almost twenty years ago.  More and more I think about three (3) day running weeks. I remember going through this when I went from 6-7 days of training to running every other day. Of course running every other day eventually became four days a week.

So either I go back to every other day (literally) or make one of the four days, half of what I run on the other days. But then I think to myself, is that worth anything? Just go to three. It is inevitable. Every other day has certain guidelines.

  • Run every other day. 
  • If you are happen to run back to back days either take two days off before or after.
  • Run more on the days you do run.

Aging ain't for sissy's.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The HRM Again

I decided not to run until midday. I dropped of the XC stuff with Jake over at Lynbrook (now the season is really over) and was almost run over by hundreds of cars whipping around the parking lot. The cars vomited out parents and kids of all ages. Turned out it was Asian School. I dumped the stuff and got out of Dodge as quickly as I could. I drove over to the relative peace and tranquility of the Carrows' Parking lot for breakfast with some of my club members.

It warmed up nicely and was in the low 70's by the time I went out the door for my run. I wore the HRM to see where I was. I snapped it on and my resting was already at 70 after quaffing coffee and moving around quite a bit. That is a good number by the way. For some reason if I am fit my resting heart rate actually drops in the late afternoon. But 70 at noon is good. I went out and ran my usual college course. It took a long time for my HR to get up around 130. I wasn't pushing but I also wasn't plodding and tripping over myself.

I ran for a total of 68 minutes, picking up the last mile and getting my HR up around the mid 140's. I topped out around 148 (my theoretical 70% of max).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Route for 66

I upped my running minutes to 66 today. A slow climb back up into the 70's or so I hope. I tried to vary my route heading up the RR tracks to Rainbow, back through Jollyman Park and then a few laps around the college before heading home. 

 I am paying the price for stupid training (see past posts) and had to run very slowly (as in really, really slow). It is what it is. I run as slow as I can to avoid fatigue and pain. Dare I strap on the HRM and become dangerous again?

Jollyman Park

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Compression Run

I ran 65 minutes yesterday morning. Nothing fast. I wore my compression tights because it was in the low 40's and I wanted to protect my legs. The run went okay. Nothing dramatic. I kept it slow and easy. No hamstring issues.

Basically running slow and now and then extending the duration seems to be the key to not getting injured.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Rain Man

A {{{mild}}} rain storm swept into the Bay Area. I got out around 8 am which was really 9 am because of the time change. It was another 55 minute jog with more than few bathroom stops. My energy level was better than yesterday but I was still sub-par. My guess is that I picked up some sort of minor flu bug. Nothing serious but enough to slow me down. As I was finishing the run my right hammie tightened (shades of August) and I had to slow down even further.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Should have mailed it in

I was out on the roads just before 8 am this morning. The warm weather of last week has cooled down nicely. Not too cold yet. But the run was not good. Multi bathroom stops, walk breaks and generally a body that was unresponsive. It would have been better if I had just mailed it in. I guess this is payback for feeling so good on Thursday (or not). In any case it was just a poor run. I got back to the house in 55 minutes and decided that going on for another 5 minutes was a waste of time.

After I got back home from breakfast I looked up "Bad Run". Of course I know it is not a phenomenon that I experience. I have had hundreds and hundreds of bad runs. Dozens of articles popped up. The bottom line is get over it and move on. Yeah, I knew that. I have been getting on for 42 years (of running).

After all, tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Surprising effort

Forbes Mill with Jake. I had to get up early, down some coffee and run a 5 minutes shakedown run. Then I drove over to Forbes. Jake and I ran the first loop in 27 flat. Way faster than the last several weeks. Sort of surprising in fact. On the second loop I went out slightly faster but did not push. I got to the top in just under 13 minutes and came back down to finish in 23:51. That was a surprise too. My hip was sensitive but didn't bother me. I stayed away from anything resembling torque. I kept it nice and steady.

Now, did I run this fast because I took it so damn easy on Tuesday or was it a combo of running hard twice last week  and then backing off? My guess is that it was the former. Easy running generally leads to faster efforts for me. That's because I am ass backwards training-wise.

56 minutes all told.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pay the Price

My right leg was bothering me again on Monday. Probably pushed too hard last week. I figured I would have to recycle and rehab all over again. But Tuesday I ran 60 minutes with little or no problem. The lesson is engraved in my mind. Push now, pay now. So I can run but I have to keep it easy. Once a week seems not to be the issue but I went relatively hard two days last week and paid the price. It is hard to see that a 7:30 - 8:00 pace is hard but these days it is. Age grade it and it is a 5:30-6:00 pace back when I was in my early 30's.

This afternoon was my last XC meet as a coach fro 2010. It was the league finals at Crystal Springs. It was unusually warm for November. Temps climbed up towards 80 and some of the runners suffered. Finally a few collapsed and someone called the fire department. Then the police came and emergency response vehicles. Pretty soon there vehicles lined up all over the place. The last race of the day was canceled and the teams were sent home. Luckily the last race wasn't for CCS. That had already been decided. But still, there were some disappointed runners standing around with no place to go (except to the buses).

The results indicate that both the boys and girls made CCS. The head coach, Jake will motor on without me.

The Lynbrook camp

Monday, November 01, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Another memory run

I was lacking motivation on Saturday and ended up not running. I did go over to watch the finish of the club workout and drive down to breakfast. Throughout the day after breakfast, I kept thinking, Well I could go out and run now and later on, Well, I could go out and run NOW. But the truth was that I simply did not want to run.

Sunday was no different but I forced myself out the door and aimlessly ran the neighborhood using the least excuse to stop and break up the effort. Eventually out of those same excuses,  I slow jogged over to the track and decided to do a memory run. A memory run is where I incorporate something from the past into my workout. In this case it was 400's at a 7:30-8 minute pace with 80-100 meter walks for recovery. The 400's weren't meant to be tough but when age graded they were like running 90 seconds back in my fast days. I did 10 x 400 in this manner and then jogged home.

My legs were tired so it wasn't that easy. 65 minutes of actual running.

An veteran cheetah doing a memory run

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The day after

This was the day after a XC meet. Being on my feet for 3.5-4 hours straight is something like a workout.

Jake and I ran at Forbes this morning. Jake, who was meet director, was pretty tired. I was moderately tired.  We did the first loop in 28:33. Actually given how we both felt, that wasn't too bad. Jake decided to walk the second loop while I ran a steady effort reaching the top in 12:30 (which surprised me to no end). Then the burden of truth was upon me and as I started back down, I calculated whether or not I could break 23 minutes without gutting myself. I decided that up tempo was fine but that pushing the pace was O U T as an option.

The key was to reach the final hump near the ramp in around 22 minutes which I did nicely. I just cruised in from there in 22:49.

The total for the day including my usual 5 minute shake down run was around 56 minutes.

Lead packs for the varsity boys and girls in yesterday's meet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Running for a time

I waited to go out this morning. It was just after 10 am when I hot the roads. Sunny and a bit windy. I did my usual course with a loop around the pond thrown in. It ended up being 62 slow minutes.  The track was busy with a fitness class (running, drills, walking, more drills). I gave them the track and kept to the outside lanes. Very different from the old days when I was timing my runs. Now I just run for a time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Much Better Than Saturday

The Giants won the Pennant last evening beating Philly 3-2. I was home watching the game and consumed mass quantities of beer and wine in celebration. In my case mass quantities was 2 glasses of wine and one Corona but it was enough to give me a hangover this morning. It took me a giant (no pun intended) cup of coffee and about an hour and a half of lazing around the house before I finally got out for an hour of running. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good as in MUCH BETTER THAN SATURDAY!  The weather was threatening to rain but it never really got going during my run.

San Francisco Giants Catcher Buster Posey And Relief Pitcher Brian Wilson Celebrate

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another very slow 60

I got out early but ran from my house rather than drive over to the club workout. I did a very slow 60 minutes. As slow as I could stand it. My legs had not recovered from Thursday's sub-tempo effort and probably some hangover effect from last Sunday's run. The conditions were near perfect. Cool and overcast (rain coming in). I ran my usual college course.

Todd informed us at breakfast that Chris Nunez had died of cancer on the 17th. Chris, in his heyday ran a 2:35 marathon. Good all around guy. I wasn't close to him but we did have a chance to train together on some Sunday long runs years ago and chat. He was always battling weight but when he was in shape he was a "dangerous" competitor.

Jake was running the varsity today at 11 am but I decided not to go. They are a good group but they really listen to Jake and I am an afterthought.  I decided that by the time Friday comes around I am pretty much topped off as far as cross country goes and need a break.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

21:43: the road back

I drove over to Forbes and ran 2 loops. The first was a very easy just under 29 minute jog. The second one was a sub-tempo 21:43 which was about 70 seconds better than last week. I gave Jake a lead, caught him before the first hill and then at the turn I picked it up and "powered" away. With my usual 5 minute shakedown at the house I ran 5 minutes. Total for the morning was just about 56 minutes.

That afternoon there was a three way cross country meet held in the Sunnyvale Baylands Park, my old training grounds. After the event were over I ran the course and collected the directional flags and returned them to the Jake. Maybe another "cheap" ten minutes of running.

The high point of the afternoon was getting the opportunity to demonstrate the correct way to cross the finishing line. My WVJS club mate Ken urged me on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dead Legged 60 minutes

I ran early this morning. My legs were tired from Sunday's effort so today I had to pay the price. I dragged-ass as slow as I could stand it. I ran 60 minutes on the dot.  I did my usual "I can close my eyes if I want to" up the RR Track to the college and back course. I did the super loops super slow.

It was cooler and overcast but then winter is coming and there is a threat of showers later this week.
I did my usual look back and every time I have felt strong and run well I have run really easily for weeks and month before.


There is an insane quality to me in the expectation that I can do what always beats me up to get stronger. I am opposite-man! Slow and long makes me faster. There's no other way around it. The HRM does not lie.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Back to work

I went back to work today.

In the morning I ran a very slow 22 minute warm-up and then did 4 x 10 minutes (200 meter walk recover) at sub tempo pace. I really wasn't into it. I almost decided not to do it. But life is short and I enjoy running faster than my usual 10-11 minute a mile pace. Most of the 10 minute runs were super loops around the college throwing in the par course hills into the mix. My very educated guess about pace was that they were in the 8:00-8:15 range.

How do I know???? On each loop I did at least one lap around the track and was able to get a rough idea of my pace.

Ray Russell used to call efforts like this, memory runs. In this case the pace I could run about ten years back. Age graded, the effort was similar to running 6-6:15 pace back in the day.

The rule is of these runs is I more along at a steady pace but I can't be breathing hard or pressing.

Commander Sciatica was pretty much asleep. I felt him turn over several times and felt his kick. But no pain.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

PW on Triangle & a postscript

I ran a shakedown in my local neighborhood. Maybe 4 minutes before heading over to WVC for the club. I was running, walking and chatting with my colleagues when Wally came by and asked if I wanted to run the 4.76 (Triangle) with him.

"It'll be 11-12 minutes a mile," he said.  Since I had not run sustained hills for a long time I decided to pace him. Tom who was walking with me when Wally came by asked the question: "I wonder why he didn't ask me?"

"Tom, he want to run not walk the thing!" Of course the real reason is that Tom is too fast and Wally wanted a pacer that would be happy to really run slow. That has my name written all over it.

I ran a bit more to get in a total of 10 minutes before the club run started.

Years ago I set what was then a club record on this very course, being the first WVJS runner to break 26 minutes. I believe I ran 25:40 in what was basically a solo effort after the first two miles. Today we hit the two mile point a minute faster than my all time PR so we were going really slow. Once we started up the big uphill we got even slower with Wally verging on a fast walk at times. I wish I could say I minded but frankly the glacial pace was good for my calf that I pulled 4 times in 2008. Today, I felt nada. No problems. I even drifted off course preferring to run the walking trail that runs roughly parallel to highway 9.

But I kept Wally in site and finally led him back downhill to the finish in a hair over 51 minutes. It was an all time PW for me.

My running total was 61 minutes of slow. Tomorrow if the warrior God Sciatica is willing, I will hammer a bit.

Wally suffered some chest pains after the run and drove himself to the emergency room at Kaiser. Turns out he was kept overnight for observation which pissed him off because he wanted to make breakfast on Sunday with the guys. Found out today that he had suffered a mild heart attack. He already has six stents and may have already had a heart attack some years back. But he fighting against genetics. The male side of his family dies of heart disease and he has already lived longer than any of them.

Chance of a a bypass in the future.

This is one tough guy. Six stents, several heart attacks. He'll be back out there, running.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Steady Effort at Forbes

Beat the heat by getting out early and running with Jake over at Forbes. My "injury" is getting better. I ran an easy loop at just under 28 minutes and then did the second one in 22:52 (12:30 at turnaround). I had to hold back on the return trip because I could feel some tightness on the right side below my hip. So I stayed on the safe side of any pain and completed the run with no big issues. All told with a short shakedown in my neighborhood, I ran close to 58 minutes.

I have a way to go before I can try to get under 20 minutes again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It is still summer!

It is still summer!

I tried to get out early to avoid the mini-heat wave engulfing the Bay Area.

This was one of those gut check mornings. Legs tired & tight. I ran anyway clumping out 60 minutes. Some folks love this weather (see below).  I got my run in and was finished right around 9 am. Our high school runners went out around 3:30 in the afternoon in 90 degrees and dealt with it while we coaches hung out in the shade spitting out directions, jokes and some friendly abuse.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

52 minutes: Recovery continues

I got out around 8:30 this morning and ran 52 minutes. My legs felt okay so I ran over the college and did big loops. It was crowded. Soccer game going on and a swim meet (kids!!!). The track wasn't too bad and I decided to test things by running 2 x 10 minutes at a steady effort. I ran one of them on the track doing big loops including the par course section. The last one was on the trip home. When I finished I thought briefly about going on for 60 minutes but decided against it.

I held up fine. Some sensation on the right side but nothing that could be mistaken for pain.

I can sense that I am on recovery road but need to be careful regardless.

Another heater coming our way next week. It peaks around Tuesday and Wednesday and then drops off. And just when I thought it was fall.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

My Butt Gets Better

I drove over to the club workout and actually ran a truncated version of it. Wally convinced me to do 2 x 1600 in a relay with him while the rest of the club did 3 x 1600. My first 1600 was around 8:30 and actually felt fairly decent. I picked up the second one and broke the 8 minute barrier. The sciatic pain never really kicked in. The total run with warm up and warm down was 48 minutes and change. I could have run some more but decided against it.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Back at the Little Bighorn

I did a 5 minute shakedown run by the house and then drove over to Forbes and met up with Jake. We sow trotted a loop. he then went on to run a second loop while I ran another on and off seven minutes for a total of 45 minutes. Running is exhausting because of the sciatic problem. Yes, as long as I keep it slow I am pretty much running pain free. But if I go at all the pain unsheathes its dagger and plunges it into my back.

So dramatics aside, I can run but have to keep it easy for now.

In the afternoon I forwent the school bus for obvious reasons and drove up to the Crystal Springs Invite. It was old home week since I used to race and train on this course back in the day. The weather was moderate and good for racing.

Once again, it hit me how much the terrain reminded me of the Little Big Horn Battlefield.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


I ran s-l-o-w-l-y this morning for about 45 minutes. It was on the dam  trail at Forbes.

Maybe it was overkill. I had to stop several times but not because of any real pain. Mostly because I felt sluggish and heavy legged.

No question though, the sciatica is still there. Lurking, I think is the right word. Big Bad Billy can keep me running but I need something in the way of exercises to try to keep this from happening again (and again).

Well, don't try to change a tire in 15 minutes for one.

Don't get guilted into sitting on school buses for another.

Let me OUT! My back hurts!

Monday, October 04, 2010

40 minutes walking and some running

I got out for 40 minutes this morning. I threw in 16 minutes of very easy running broken up into 1-2 minute increments. The rest was walking. A decided improvement from last Thursday where the walking was still uncomfortable. Not getting on a school bus and riding down to Pacific Grove and back was the right call. I have decided to stick to my own car for the remainder of the season.

I believe that I will be able to ramp up fairly quickly as long as I don't do something stupid.

The weather has shifted. Feels like fall.

Giants made the playoffs yesterday. First time since 2003.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gatorade and Ibuprofen

I handled the heat at the XC meet on Wednesday. At least better than the Stanford meet. I was still wrung out. I stayed in the shade as much as possible and drank some water when I could get it. But four plus hours on my feet plus a surprise school bus ride over and back on bench seats did a job on my dormant sciatica. I was in a fair amount of pain on the way back. I had Gatorade and ibuprofen in my car and I downed both. I was totally washed out by the time I had negotiated the commute traffic and rolled into the driveway of my house. Had some wine, more Gatorade, ate dinner and then slept the sleep of the damned. My back was better in the morning but still sending some errant, random shooting pains up and down my spine. I was walking around like an 85 year old.

Tough but no more buses for me, Not right now. Not until my back is right.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beating the heat

Big Heater today. Close to 100 or so they say.

I awoke in the dark and slipped out of bed and made a cup of coffee to help me wake up. It was already warm in the house but I opened the back door and let some of the cool early morning air bleed into the kitchen and living room. I brought Sue her wake up cup of warm water (don't ask) and then began getting ready to go out and run before it got too hot. By the time  finally had circled the neighborhood and got out the door the final time it was closing in on 7:30 am.

 I ran over to the college and did big loops. Nothing new in this. I kept it slow. It was relatively comfortable but the morning air was that like a kettle just beginning to boil. The temperature wasn't that high but you knew in a few minutes it would be rolling. The track was crowded with runners and walkers who usually get out later in the morning. They too were fleeing before the coming heat.

By the time I arrived home it was closing on 60 minutes. I could have easily gone further. But I was in shut down mode. Not exhilarated but not tired either. Just finished. An hour was enough.

We have a XC meet this afternoon. If not for this I would stay inside and let the air conditioning keep me on ice. But that seems to be out of the question. I don't envy the kids. If we had any sense we would cancel this thing. Too bad because tomorrow begins the cool down.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Broke Up Sub-Tempo

I drank a tankard of coffee and then flung myself casually out on the roads this morning trying to get a good workout in before the sharp bladed scimitar of heat descended on the South Bay.

And I almost made it.

I ran a slow and purposely lethargic 20 minute warm up and then began a succession of 3 x 10 minutes steady with each followed by a 200 meter walk.  I did run into Charles so I jogged what was supposed to be a fourth steady session but in the end that was probably wise. All in all, I ran 66 minutes with 30 minutes of steady running shoehorned in there.

I am still not quite sure what to make out of this type of workout but the short walk breaks allow me to run stronger and I seem to recover (faster). It is all sub tempo so the run never really gets that hard. I'll get a better idea of the sustainability of this sort of thing over the next few weeks.

No sciatic pain so that was all good.

The heat wave continues

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Double Header

 I got over to WVC early and ran a very 75 slow minutes. There was a big meet today (see below) but late enough I had a chance to both run and grab breakfast.

 Today was the big Stanford Invite XC Race. The last time I had been there was back when I was coaching Julianne Hansen. It was as hot and dusty and crowded as I remembered. But also very well organized given the teeming masses that deluged the place. Here is the varsity team getting their numbers pinned on. Jake is giving them last minute instructions.

Couldn't see much of the races. Unless you are willing to sprint around the course to key vantage points you are best just camping out at one spot and watching the runners go by. I was very warm and had a tough time cooling down. Finally after our two races I hightailed it to the car and embraced air conditioning. I think I was a hit dehydrated from my morning run.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not quite an hour

I ran 6 minutes around the neighborhood to shake things out. Then I drove over to Forbes and met with Jake who caught me sitting in the car doing email on my iPhone.

Damn that is addictive. 24-7!

We ran a pedestrian first loop in just under 27 minutes. Much faster than last weeks slogging 28 minutes and change. The second loop was just under 25 minutes. We had to pick it up over the last section from the ramp to Forbes. I could feel a tightness in my right hip but it wasn't painful. Just a reminder that "it" is still there.

The total running time was about 58 minutes.

Heat wave coming. Not too bad but still mid to upper 80's.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another De Anza Session

I got out early this morning. At least early for me. I chose to run over to the local college and do big loops over there. School has started back up (fall semester). The track was busy with plump Indian woman in her dark sweat suit and "you can't see my eyes" sun glasses, several guys and other mostly asian women endlessly circling the track.

I ran and walked for about 70 minutes with 5 x 10 minutes at a steady pace with each run followed by a 2 minute walk. I was a bit more tired than Sunday but still I felt relatively strong. I will probably bring the HRM the next time to monitor (excuse the pun) my effort when I am running my ten minute sessions. I can see running easy most days and picking up the effort one day a week but cutting down the duration. There are many ways to work myself into the ground so I need to be careful.

I can still feel the buttinitis but no real pain. I had a mid morning coffee meeting over in Santa Clara afterward and I drove over there with a tennis ball lodged between the car seat and my sciatic nerve. It seems to help but who knows for sure.

The competition

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Van Aaken on the track

Varied workout today. I was out for 75 minutes total with 40 minutes of running and 35 minutes of walking. I walked over to the De Anza track and then ran 3 x 10 minutes at a relatively strong pace broken up by a 200 meter walk (very Van Aaken). Then I decided to head home doing my last 10 minute run on the way. This mornings run felt very different than yesterday's heavy legged affair. Maybe the walk got me going. Each of the ten minute sections felt strong and where I cannot tolerate a short sprint, my sciatica didn't bother me much at all when I stuck to a steady pace.

I can see where going more to this type of program might help me both recover more effectively and also allow me to do some stronger workouts.

More typically would have been 60-70 minutes of 2,000 meter runs with a short walk recovery.

Oh well, who gives a flying ----! Only moi.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not Ready For Prime Time

I did a 61 minute easy run today over at WVC. I did try a couple of 50 yard pickups down on the track but my sciatica said "not yet." My right legs still feels weak even though I am no longer dragging it around like a sack of garbage. I can run steady and that is something given where I was two weeks ago. But I am not ready for prime time.

I sat on la pelota de tenis on my way down to breakfast. So there were three "globes" down in that general area but only one was doing some work.

Conversation at breakfast ranged from high school cross country categories to the Tea Party. Politics that is. Maybe there is not that much difference between politics today and the tea party in Alice in Wonderland.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sitting On A Tennis Ball

I must be back. I ran 60 minutes this morning. 5 miles of shakedown at home and another 55 minutes with Jake at Forbes Mill. Only minor discomfort and most of it was from sitting on a tennis ball in the car on the way over. It is supposed to provide trigger point massage for my sciatica problem.

Blueberry pancakes at the Southern Kitchen afterward.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Self Talk for 45 minutes

I went up to see Big Bad Billy. He said things looked good (as he dug his elbow into my piriformis). He really believes that if I am conservative for the next several weeks I will be fine.

When I got home I went out for an easy mid day 45 minute run and had little indication of problems. Every time I thought about walking I said to myself, "Self, you really are okay so why not keep running." And so I did. I just kept the pace slow.

Dare I hope that I can train for the 800? I'll have to be a bit more conservative and smart about it.

Not-A-Cheetah, yet.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I ran and walked 90 minutes today with at least 40 minutes of running. To be truthful, much of it was broken up by walking breaks especially in the afternoon session. Yes, I did two sessions but much of the running was in the morning and the nooner was mostly walking. The never ending sciatica was minimal as long as I stayed slow. And those who know me best, know that slow is easy for me.

Had breakfast at Bill of Fare this morning with the coaches. Jake wasn't happy with his varsity girls because they were not aggressive enough in getting out early in their respective races. So he'll punish them by doing some interval work on Monday. Okay, it isn't actually punishment. The goal is to teach them to get out faster. My opinion is that they have all had enough work. I would focus on their mindset, not further working their bodies. I would go talk to them both as a group and individually and co-op them into putting out more early on.

Of course I was not unhappy with their performances at all. But that's why I am an assistant coach.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Toro Park

I drove down to Toro Park outside of Salinas for the Early Bird Invitational. Left the house and 7 am and arrived down there before 8:30. Not a bad drive. Luckily ran into Becki who showed me the way in. Could not find my team but that is because they were still in line waiting to pay the toll at the Ranger's gate while I walked past them because I parked on a side road outside the entrance.

This isn't the first time I have been to the park. I used to go there in the late 1970's to run the long uphills to Toro Peak. Really different days. When I showed up mid week back then the place would be damn near empty. Also I was a good deal younger and stronger. Today it resembled that Indian Village I wrote about. Different teams (tribes) camped all over the place.

The races were disappointing. Hard to see as a spectator unless you charged all over the place. And of course spectators and runners were charging back and forth to follow the competition. I finally planted myself in a decent spot which gave a good view of the race with about 400-500 yards to go.

I actually had more fun talking to some of the parents and other coaches. Didn't see Jake too much but we get a chance to talk a bit.

After the last race I jumped in my car and headed home. Lunch consisted of some "health" bars and Gatorade.

This is the upper meadows and trails of the regional park. This is where I would prefer to be. It seems to go up forever.

Down below where the action is. This from 2009 but it looked the same this year.
Hoka Hey!