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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.