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Saturday, July 31, 2010

No intervals...70 minutes instead

I decided NOT to run any speed work today. The hammie felt better but I thought to myself, who am I kidding, play it safe. Safe was 70 minutes of running around the WVC campus. The club had scheduled a mile race but the track was closed so most of them hightailed it over to Saratoga High where track awareness is at an all time low. Dimitri decided to do his two mile trial over there despite the warning of the oracle (me). He ended up deep-sixing it at a mile because of the cross traffic (like folks walking in the fast lane listening to their iPods).

I really hate the ambiance of that track. Not the layout, location or the surface. That's more than fine. It's just so happens to be a socializing place and has a greater than average share of local people who treat it like walking down the sidewalk.


My HR basically grooved in at 130-135 but I was able to push it up around 145-148 on several occasions (going uphill) . Nothing anaerobic. I felt strong.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

70 minutes

I ran 70 minutes around Miller and Rainbow this morning. Jake was tuckered out from his Wednesday workout ans wisely stayed on the sideline. My run was interesting. It was tough to drive up my heart rate above 130-133 so I stayed in that range for the duration of the run. I didn't feel tired and perhaps my HRM battery is wearing out, but I think my usual 145-148 HR would have trashed me.

Several times I pushed my HR up and even got a reading of 140-141 but then dropped back. I wasn't panting from the harder effort but my body (so, so use to slow) seemed to want the lower range.

Who am I to argue?

Felt a slight tug in my right hamstring towards the end of the run. No pain but enough of a sensation to keep my eye on.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Drumming Out 75 Minutes

Danny was coming over to pick me up at 9:30 so we could see Big Bad Billy our most excellent chiropractor. That meant I had to get out early if I wanted to chalk up some decent running time. I was out on the roads before 7:30 AM running slowly and easily (they are one in the same) doing variations on my usual boring courses, which by the way, I never really notice. It was overcast and on the cool side for mid summer. I drummed out 75 minutes but it was almost 70. I did a hesitation stop when I arrived home at Seven-O but decided to keep going for 75. That still gave me enough time to cool down, change and have a banana to tie me over until breakfast.

Jack Tatum died. Great (GREAT) football player. One of the best defensive backs ever but tarnished by his very hard but clean hit on Darryl Stingley in 1978.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

80 minutes of shaking it out

I staggered out of bed this morning and lay on the couch for almost an hour checking my email (of which there was very little) and sipping coffee. After a time I finally rolled onto the floor to wake up.


Works every time. I was finally awake.

I did nine minutes of {{{shaking}}} down circling back to hit the can one last time and then I wheezed out towards the college for variations of big loops. Actually, I didn't feel too badly. I ran slowly so that even the plump Hispanic gal blew by me on the track several times. But I was in it for the long haul running 80 minutes total. I did feel some of the effects of yesterday's rep but really in the end I just ran more this week than I had in a year or two.

Duration = tiredness

Recovery from tiredness = strength

Key learning point:

Even at my best strength at age 65, I am not as strong as a very tired 30 year old. :-(

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maggie Vessey's head is not in the game!!!

Maggie Vessey, last years rising star in the 800 (clipped just under 1:58 last summer) is struggling this year. I have watched replays of her races on Universal Sports, Flotrack and on TV when I am luck enough to get time to watch one of her races. Frankly she looks like she is just going through he motions. Very similar to her performance in the Worlds last year in Berlin. Lately she falls to the back of the pack sometime down the back straightaway and stays there for the rest of the race.

Something is not right in her head or she is hiding an injury or other physical problem. Or maybe last years was her year and now that is over. In other words a flash in the pan. But strangley without knowing anything about her, what I observe is mental. She doesn't look like she has her head in the game. There's no oomph or snap to her running. Her racing tactics are abysmal. I wrote her coach about this last year (he is local ) and he blew me off in a very polite manner. And he was right to. He is the one who spends hours caching her. I don't even know the gal. But in my deep dark running past I have gone through similar periods and I remember what it felt and looked like. And that is what I see when Maggie Vessey competes.

Go to Universal or Flotrack and look at her 2010 races. In one a runner bumps her on the turn early in the race. Instead of fighting back by getting back in the race, she immediately drops back to the back of the pack and stays there.

Whatever she is doing in training, it is not preparing her for the rigors of the racing circuit.

Maggie Vessey in the 800m at the USATF Outdoor Championships by  love_running_more.

4 x 400

I think Saturday has turned out to be the one day that I don't worry about duration. After an easy 25 minute warm and some strides I followed D around the track for a the first of 4-6 x 400's. It was an 83 which is about as fast as anything I ran last year. D was trying to run 12 x 400 in 85 average but the first one was too fast for him while setting the tone for me. Right there I decided the number was 4 x 400.

The second one was an 84 (feeling good) followed by 2 more 83's.

So 83-84-83-83.

We then ran around campus at the slowest possible pace covering another 20 minutes.

Last July (2009) I ran 4 x 400 in 82-83-84-78. I am not back to that point yet but for a 65 year old guy this was solid. The July 2009 workout came after 3 months of working at it. This is only my second 4 x 400 this year.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I did 70 minutes of very easy running in and around Rainbow Park and literally finished just before Jake's cross country team showed up. I kept my HR low, mostly in the 130-135 range. I was still feeling the effects of the hour and 50 minutes of running on Tuesday but even with all that I didn't feel badly. I am down on carbs and need (once again) to up my intake. We had a guinea hen in the fridge last night and I devoured it. Even with the addition of some peas and two big hunks of bread, it wasn't enough to refuel. A better meal would have been past with peas and some of the guinea hen mixed in.

This morning I acted mindfully and ate a banana before running and a health bar right after. Then Jake and I went out to a local breakfast place and I chowed down on blueberry pancakes.

The key for me is (blah..blah..blah)
  • Every other day running (for the most part)
  • Light on the speed work
  • Carbs for fuel
and now (ta da!)
  • Supplements!
This is someone else's carbs and it looks they snuck in french fries too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WHOA! 110 minutes

I got over to Rainbow before summer cross country practice and ran 60 minutes, most of it with Jake. I kept the pace pedestrian knowing that I was going to double back after lunch. The morning run was one of enforced sluggishness. The weather cooperated staying overcast and cool which meant that it wasn't the usual sweat-fest.

Jake sent the kids out on a long run today which meant that they each ran 60 minutes or more. Their pace looked deceptively slow but I doubt I could have stayed with them very long. It would be a big thing if I could hang with the girls but since I don't believe that coaches should run with their team, I won't face that awful truth.

I met Dwight at 1 pm at the baseball complex parking lot adjacent to Sunnyvale Baylands Park. Dwight and Kari got lost out there about a week ago so I promised Dwight a tour especially since this was once my run-at-lunch domain. It was good to be home again (or can you ever go home again?). We ran around the park and the bayland trails for 50 minutes making Tuesday a humongous 110 minute day.

I felt strong in the afternoon and Dwight {{{he of the 100 mile weeks}}} was kind enough to hang on my shoulder. We had a chance to not only to run together for the first time in years but chat about how a runner can achieve real recovery. Dwight thinks that if I follow "the plan" I can get back under 19 minutes a year from now. The only question is, for what distance? I told him I would be happy if I could be under 20 minutes for the Club Handicap Run a year from now. That would be late August or early September of 2011.

If I can do that I will be doing my best imitation of the 1973 Mets. Tug McGraw will stir in his grave and once more his cry will resound through the ballparks of the major leagues.

Ya gotta believe!

From Wikipedia:

The 1973 Mets' .509 season winning percentage is the lowest posted by any pennant-winner in major league history. Under the comparatively new divisional play system, the Mets found themselves back in the World Series, but with a much weaker team than in their legendary 1969 championship season.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A smarter 75 minutes

I ran an easy 75 minutes this morning. I made sure that I took it slow by running at about 10-15 beats (on the HRM) below what I have been doing recently. Yesterday was a wake up call. Just because I am recovering more effectively doesn't mean that I have license to push the pace. It's always the same old battle all the way back to my so called salad days when I was a San Mateo Class runner. I am getting in my own way again.

So all in all a lovely little run. I ran over the college but had to veer off because some sort of event was taking place on the track. Not a running event but there were tents and chairs and a loud speaker set up. Some woman was calling off raffle numbers. Because I seek quiet when I run, I knew this wasn't going to work even if the adjacent soccer field was not being used. I ran over to Jollyman Park, did the neighborhoods and came back on the trail next to the RR Tracks. Good cement workout with some trail sprinkled in for good measure.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2 x 600

I did a 5 minute shakeout run in the morning before going over to WVC. Hooked up with D and we did around 25 minutes of easy jogging. 30 minutes total for me. I admit that as I did my strides I felt a bit lethargic. I had to ask myself: Did I have too much plumb wine last evening or did I simply run too hard on Thursday? Or was it a combination of both.


My plan was to do 2 times 600 at around 2:15 (6 minute pace) with whatever rest I needed in between.

On the first one I took off and hit the 400 in 89-90 seconds and then picked up the last 200 finishing in 2:13. The effort bent me over gasping for a few seconds. It was tougher than I expected. I then walked back to the my starting point and stood around for about 5 minutes before going again. The 400 was about the same but my last 200 was faster and I crossed in 2:12 and change. D had just completed his 2 mile trial (13:13) so we jogged slowly around the campus in about 17 minutes.

So what does this tell me?

I hit my goal.

I have a long way to go before I am capable of hitting two of these in two minutes flat.

I was probably not effected by the plumb wine as much as I was still recovering from Thursday's 83 minute run. My legs weren't sore as much as I was body tired. I know that if I want to run these unmentionable reps I have to focus on Saturday and keep the other days very easy.

{{{The Track}}}

I started to the left, which is obscured in this photo by trees and after running a complete circuit, I did the last 200 around the curve and down the backside stretch to the right.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

83 minutes of strong


Got out early and ran a 15 minute shakedown at the house before heading over to Rainbow and running another 68 minutes. As always, I was a bit sleepy during the first part of the run but after about 10 minutes I began to go on cruise control and feel strong. I was 45 minutes into the run when I ran into Jake who was run-walking and generally beat up from 2 hours of cross training yesterday (which is the reason I don't do it!!!!). We were both thinking the same thing.

YOU DON'T WANT TO RUN WITH ME TODAY! Jake because he was dead tired and me because I felt so good.

My HR was grooving in the 65-70% range and my normal ten minute pace was long gone as I ran some of the interior miles in the 8:30's. Not big when compared to the old days but when age graded they are 6:30 equivalents. Heeding Dwight's words of wisdom which went something like this:

You are going to start to feel good. Hold back!

So I shut down one of my boilers and slowed down. It was getting warm anyway.

I had put some quick energy bars and some cold water aside for after the run but forgot to bring them so I starved (but drank water from another warmer bottle) until after the kids workout. Then Jake and I went to breakfast. Had blueberry pancakes sans butter.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

80 minutes and could have gone more

I ran 80 minutes this morning and could easily have gone on. I did a shake down run of 8 minutes from my house which was slow and sluggish but then I drove over to Rainbow Park (where we coach) and I ran another 72 minutes around the park and the Miller School field and my legs felt great! I picked up Jake for about 40 minutes and he was humming along too. He had already run 40 minutes at home.

Interesting side light. As I ran along today my HR was about 8-10 beats lower than usual but my pace was faster.

So is Dwight's potion of supplements working? Or is it all in my mind? (see below)

The coaching is a love-hate thing. The kids are nice enough. I wasn't that driven when I was in high school. Had I been I would have been running 6-8 miles a day every day and maybe more. I might have been a fair country cross country runner and a better than middling 400-800 meter guy. Of course back then no one focused on miles. It was intervals, intervals, intervals.

So when they are out there for whatever reason, I respect their dedication. But the hate part is my having to be anywhere when I don't want to. So let me make this plain. Some days I want to be there and some days I don't. It has nothing to do with the kids. It's my inward rebellion against years of having to be places that I didn't want to be at.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Back in the USSR

I heard from my old Internet friend and colleague Fred today. He is out running in Guam and Japan and all points East. See comments on yesterday's post. Great to hear from him.

My workout today was extraordinary given the fact that I ran semi-tough on Thursday. I warmed up for 30 minutes and then ran every other 400 with "D" today (he ran 12 x 400). My rest was his next 400 and an interval of 1:15. The first was on 91 and then I went under 90 seconds to stay. There was an 88 in their but the others were all 86. Afterward "D" and I jogged a campus loop in 19 minutes (really, really slow). I think my total running time was around 60 minutes.

I watched Dwight and Kari run in the low 20 minute range for 5K on the track (club workout).

Thursday, July 08, 2010

72 quality minutes

I did a 10 minute shakedown run at home before heading over to Rainbow Park. Jake and I did a 25 minute warm up and then spent the next half hour running around an 8 pace for various distances. Mostly 400-600-800, repeated three times. I then warmed down and ran the .8 with the kids (their warm up). In the end it was close to 72 minutes with a great deal of sub tempo quality running. We'll have to see how I do Saturday.

I feel better these days but I also need to be careful. There is always that "cliff" out there and I could run right off of it. Decided to stay with my 4 days a week for now. I want to see those 4 day improve before I go off and add in another workout.

Warming up with the kids was deceptive. It looks like they are running slow but they get off fast and pull away. I was able to get it back and finish mid pack ahead of the girls and the middle school runners but I am not near the faster guys (Hey, I knew that!). Let's see. There's 50 years difference in age on average. 25-30 years ago I would have been the leader of the pack.

Dark Runner

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Easy 70 @Rainbow

I joined Jake over at Rainbow park and ran an easy 70 minutes. Once again I felt good but the pace was sluggish until Jake got tuckered out and told me to go on ahead. Then I picked it up and felt really decent. I thought about running the warmup mile with the kids but decided not to. It certainly wasn't from being too tired because I wasn't.

The air conditioning went out in my car this morning. If it had to go, today was the day. Not too hot.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

B50 effect????

Interesting run today. After running hard yesterday (for me) I went out to run 60 minutes. My legs felt GREAT! and I wasn't tired at all. So I ran 70 minutes instead and could have easily gone further. In looking back at my log my Sunday runs after running hard on Saturday were dreary affairs with me having to run as slow as I could to make ti through. Today I ran along and had to hold back. I wore my HRM and it grooved in around 138-142 with no problems.

Is this a B50 effect? Today is the 10th day of my taking it.

Took an ADHS with breakfast this morning. So we're going down that track now. If all goes well I will up that to twice a day sometime next week.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Somewhere north of 55 minutes

Today was a come to Moses workout. I ran an easy 25 minutes and then joined Dimitri on the track. He was running a 13:30 two mile time trial. I knew I wasn't ready for that effort as pitiful a time as it seemed. I hadn't run hard for two and a half months (Oh how time flies when you are having fun). I decided to run two laps, slow jog back a 100, pick up Dimitri and run another two laps and do that 3 times. So I ran a 13:30 two mile pace but skipped two laps. I struggled the first two laps just getting used to the effort. The middle and last 2 lappers were easier and stronger.

In two weeks Dimitri is going to do this workout again but shoot for 13:15 (ugh!). I will either run my own full version of this or try to stay with him for 1.5 laps. It only gets tougher because he is headed for 12 minutes and I haven't done anything near that in years. I would be ecstatic if I could run close to 13 minutes again.

Anyway, afterward we jogged for an easy 20 minutes around campus and then I asked Dimitri to take me through a 45 second 200. I easily did a 43 which gave me some hope as to the present condition of my leg speed.

The total workout was somewhere north of 55 minutes.

My plan is to join D next week and do every other 400 with him. He does 12 and I do 6. So here I am again saying no to intervals but that's exactly what this will be. Well, maybe reps but still a good dose of what usually kills me. But I am betting the come as they say. I am hoping that my supplement program will give me the ability to recover from these types of workouts plus I won;t be doing them every week. But is this blah..blah..blah or something real.

The key is recovery. I am also aware that like it or not I am more of a 800-1500-5,000 runner and not a 5 and 10K runner anymore. Miles are important but not as important as I would like to believe.

Recovery however remains king.
His most serene highness, The Stopwatch

Thursday, July 01, 2010

70 minutes of ho-hum

I drove over the Rainbow Park on the early side and knocked off 70 minutes of easy running. I strapped the HRM on during the last 20 minutes of the run to see if I was pushing too hard but my HR seemed to be grooved in at around 140-142 which counts as an easy run for me. I know I need to wear the monitor more often because it keeps me from doing crazy things like over training. I may not always like the message, but the HRM pretty much tells the me truth.

After the workout I helped Jake with his summer cross country group. I don't think he has gotten the turnout he expected. The number has stabilized at around 15-16 kids.