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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dump Week

After trying to run through numerous colds through the years I finally learned a valuable lesson in 1984. I took six whole days off, recovered rather quickly and was running and racing with little loss of time within several weeks.

Before that, I would always try to run through the cold and end up extending it into another cold or the flu with a fever and all that goes with it. 1981 and 1982 were particularly bad. I spend most of the summer of 1981 dealing with a recurring cold and flu until finally I had to take a month off to get things right. In 1982, I had a similar situation. A cold, flu and weeks lost while kept trying to come back too soon.

Colds are only warnings. For whatever reason you come down with one of the buggers, it is sign that your body was not able to resist the virus. I have had a pretty good run of 14 months without being sick.

I last ran on Sunday. I began to feel the first symptoms (sore throat) on Monday afternoon. I may well not run again until next Monday. I was running well before this thing got me. I will come back much faster if I just handle this as a dump week.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On the shelf

I have caught a slow moving head cold. Sore throat last night and the beginnings of a runny nose today.

I am on the shelf.

I figure I will take some time off from running and then see how I feel. My recovery from this sort of thing is usually related to how long I take off. If I take the rest of the "work" week off generally my recovery will be faster.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Acai..I am hooked!

As I contentedly sit on my couch sipping my acai-cranberry-pomegranate flavored Vitamin Water, I can in all honestly say "Job well done!" This past weekend I ran 70 minutes on Saturday and another 60 on Sunday. Sue and I drove over to Seascape on Friday afternoon to get a few days of R & R. Seascape is perched on some pretty steep bluffs overlooking the Pacific. The first morning was sopped in with fog but today was bright Sun.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sun's Back....70 easy minutes

Back to Forbes Mill. The "weather" has cleared out and it was sunny and cool (but not cold).

I had done an 8 minute shakedown at home and then ran another 62 minutes going up and down the dam trail with Jake. 70 minutes total. Legs felt OK. Glad I didn't have to bash a loop today. Jake wanted to run slow and I was glad to stick with him. First loop in 27 and change. Second in 25 and change. Mostly we caught up on Jake's high school team and discussed my chances of going under 19 minutes for one up and back. Jake recommended that I sneak up on it. As we age it is harder to run hard. But some do it. I have club full of guys who can still push the envelope. Whether I ever can again is another issue but I know last Thursday certainly replicated the feeling of running hard.

So what's working?

  • No work stress.
  • I am mostly running within my limits.
  • No speedwork except some strides once a week.
  • Mostly every other day running or about 4 days a week. I am playing with the idea of five days a week if I continue to get stronger but am not wedded to it.
  • I don't run anything that doesn't make sense to me. I am through fooling myself.
  • PR's these days are defined as beating what I did the year before.
To top this off I have an awareness that things can change in an instant. Injury, illness. Whatever. You have to roll with it and then rebuild. It goes with the territory.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Winter in Springtime

It may well be spring in the Bay Area but not today. Today it was winter. Rainstorms fueled by high winds are strafing the Santa Clara Valley. I got out during a quiet period this morning just after 8:30 and ran 70 minutes. My legs felt recovered from last Thursday. I did big loops over at the college sharing the track with Asian Girls. They seem to be the only other runners and walkers who make it out when the weather looks dicey. I was on my last loop when I looked over at the local hills and could see a heavy veil of gray coming on rather fast. I could barely make out a curtain of showers leading the way. It caught me about ten minutes out but it wasn't too bad. At least I was dressed for it. Got wet but not soaked.

The rain came in right over these hills. The college track is somewhere down below.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sore legs and recovery

I ran both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's 60 minutes was a study in sore legs and my constantly stopping for the littlest excuse. Adjusting my cap, retying my shoelaces. You name it and I stopped for that reason. About mid run I began to feel relatively decent and from then on the effort wasn't too bad. Obviously, I was still recovering from Thursday's triumph of will.

Sunday was a relatively normal run. I was still slightly sore-legged but felt much better. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being much better, I would say I was a 7. I ran an easy 45 minutes and finished up with 6 x 20 second strider's on the street in front on my house.

I know this was a five-day run week. It will be interesting to see how I recover over the next week.

I am beginning to think about how fast I can get. This is dangerous, no?

This is the back of the pack at Zippy's 5K run today up in Golden Gate Park.
This may have been where I would have found myself had I raced today.
DSC00926 by tsoconnor.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Old Man Ran Up The Hill

I drove over to Forbes this morning to run the hill. I was Jakeless. He was over at Lynbook running a regular coaching session for his kids who are on Spring Break.

The place was near deserted. One other car in the lot when I drove up. I warmed up for 20 minutes alternately jogging over the high school track and back and then up the trail a bit and back down to the parking lot. My legs felt excellent so I decided to see how fast I could do the outbound uphill half of the loop followed by a short rest at the top and then a push back down. My goal was to break 10:20 going up and crack 9 minutes going back down. In my mind, I allowed myself a 2 minute rest at the top.

I went out rather fast hitting the first mark at 2:13 (Don't ask me what the exact distance is. It's just a mark with a pylon). The next pylon is supposedly a mile up the trail and it is just beyond that point that I turn around.

I hit the crest of the first very serious hill in just over 6 minutes so I know I had a good time going. One thing for sure. No one was passing me.

When I hit the turnaround I hit the stop watch and glanced down to see 9:58! I walked for about 40 seconds, felt recovered and just turned around and head back to the lot. Not much rest but more time trial-like. I kept the old man throttle to the floor but worked hard at staying relaxed. If this wasn't a race it certainly was a serious time trial.

I hit that 2:13 pylon in 7 minutes flat and realized that I would have to break 2 minutes coming in to break 9. I picked up slightly and then ran hard the last 30 seconds in.


I jogged down for 21 minutes to round things out to an hour of total running.

So: 9:58 + 40 seconds recovery + 8:52 = 19:30 which is my fastest time in two and half years. The hard sections equaled 18:50 so now the question looms on whether I can run that same time without stopping?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back to back

I ran back to back going late Tuesday morning and doing 65 minutes. I ran some old course variations including a loop around the small lake on the other side of McClellan in back of the 7-11 and then a tour of Jollyman Park before finally ending up running big loops over at the college. I was fine until I was coming home. There was a steady headwind that wore me down and knocked me back but finally I just slowed the pace and settled in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

An easy hour in the rain

I took yesterday off. Not because it rained but because of the wind gusts. I told my wife that I was running Monday no matter what it was like outside and I can say in all certainty that it was raining (still) but the wind had died way down.

I did an easy hour this morning dodging puddles and people walking with umbrellas. My legs felt fine. I ran into Ohio and we chatted for several minutes. It was good seeing him but I began to cool down and being soaked, this was not too good so eventually I said good-bye and sped on trying to regain that cocoon-like warmth that had cloaked me so effectively for much of my time out there.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ready to runble

I slept in this morning missed my umpteenth club workout but made breakfast. I finally digested my morning meal and went out around half past twelve noon. I clipped along for 63 minutes. There was a nice quartering wind that buffeted me around on the way out but could not keep me from running rather quick. My legs felt very (very, very, very) good. I reached one point on my run that is usually around 13 minutes but I was in the low 11's. The whole run was me keeping under control because I felt ready to run hard ( rumble).

Thursday, April 08, 2010

That something

Forbes today as usual. I did a 5 minute dump run at home and the drove over to meet the new Jake by the dam trail. It was chilly but warmed up after a while. We did the first loop in 25:40, rested for a few minutes and then went up and ran 24:27 for the next loop. Jake seemed pretty knackered after that one so we agreed on a 16 minute easy jog as a warm down. Everything (for me) totaled around 74 minutes. Of course that was really counting everything.

I continue to be surprised at how really good I feel. As Jake said as we walked back to our cars after breakfast, "You've figured something out. Don't lose it."

Of course that something is not working. At least not at a you gotta be there sort of job.

I am beginning to toy with the idea of trying to run in the low 19's for the dam loop. Of course I haven't broken 19:30 much less 20 flat so I have a way to go.

This is turning the clock back sort of stuff.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Run, adjustment, breakfast

I had to get out early this morning because Danny was coming over and we were going up to Menlo to see Big Bad Bill (Bill our Chiro). The rain that had been hovering around for several days had cleared out and while on the cool side, it was almost perfect for running. I was out by 7:30 AM (Yes, A-M). As usual I kept the pace on the easy side and was able to run 75 minutes. It was the usual. Down the RR tracks, over the college and then a series of numbing but enjoyable big loops around the track and soccer field.

Danny showed up at 9:30 and we drove up to Menlo Park. It was 8 weeks since my last adjustment and my lower back was bothering me a bit. Bill set me right and then Danny and I went next door for breakfast.

So it was run, adjustment and breakfast. The perfect training day.
Big Bad Bill

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Passed Twice

I ran 70 minutes midday Saturday. My legs felt so good that I had to hold back. Sunday was another 50 minutes run in the morning to avoid the supposed incoming storm front. I added in 6 x 100 meter strides. Once again it was hold back time. I really felt great! But to put it in perspective younger Asian guy blew by me during about mid run and later on stocky Indian guy lurched by me as he finished his run. It the wages of still running at the sunset of my 64 years on the planet.

But my legs felt great!

Said it once again and now I will let it go.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Forbes 76

It was the usual stuff in the morning at Forbes Mill. I ran a 10 minute shakeout beforehand at the house and then did another 66 minutes up and down the trail with Jake. It had rained the night before but the trail held up well. A few puddles but outside of that, smooth sailing. My legs continued to feel good. 76 minutes total. I know I said I would keep to around 60 but I have decided that I will make a game day decision instead. If I feel good I will keep on going.