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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Unfinished business

I took three days off from running due to this nasty little head cold. I felt much better today. Dimitri and I met a Foothill track in the easy afternoon. The temperature was in the high 50's, the sun was out and there was a slight breeze.

I really wanted to do the workout of three weeks ago but finish it.

We warmed up for 15 minutes and then did some striders.

Using my HRM, we ran an 800 at AT effort. We dropped a 3:35 which surprised me. I expected something slower. After a 200 meter walk we ran 4 x 400 in 94 seconds average. We walk half a lap for recovery.

Then we ran another 800 at AT effort. Tired from the 400, we only ran a 3:53 but the time is less important than the effort.

To conserve energy we walked a lap cool down. I was more interested in the core of the workout rather than piling up minutes.

I used 168-173 for AT. My actual AT might be higher but I wanted to be safe.

During the 400's my heart rate hit 177-179. I was working but was nowhere near all out.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Head Cold????

I guess it's that time of year. I either have had a savage allergy attack or I have a mild head old. Not sure which. In any case I took Thursday off. I actually feel decent but I have that stuffy and runny nose I usually get when I do come down with something. Oh well, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

It doesn't hurt to just bag it for a couple of days.

My 800 meter training has been impacted. Two weeks away from any quality workouts because of the hammie and now this. The good news is that the hamstring feels great. The head cold seems to be on the mend. The cold is passing through more like a quick moving summer storm than a defiant and stubborn weather front.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A cold one

When someone says they want a cold one, I would tell them to show up at West Valley "cool"-ege

At 8:30 on a week day morning. I met up with Tom and ran 60 minutes. I already had ten in the bank so I hit 70 total.

It was frosty (30's) but we persevered. The problem with a slow pace is that it takes longer to warm up. As Tom and I were running he looked down at his GPS watch and exclaimed, "Oh good. An eleven minute mile pace!"

I told him to count minutes not miles. Eleven minutes is eleven. Your body doesn't care. It registers duration, not distance. Of course secretly the idea that we were running that slow horrified me. It also made me want to laugh. In a few years we'll be running slower.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Xmas Run

I got out of the house at around 9 am. It was as cold as yesterday but an hour later. That made a fair amount of difference but it was still in the 30's. I dressed to the 9's and stayed warm throughout the whole sixty minutes. I basically ran the neighborhood and then did slow super loops over at the college. I was low on the energy scale. Probably my body wanted the day off or for me to have run in the afternoon when it would have been warmer. It didn't get either.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

66 frozen minutes

I did 66 minutes this morning with most of it over at WVC. Coldest morning yet. I would easily say it was right around freezing. I wore double gloves and a ski cap.

Danielle and I ran the campus and ended up going down to the track and knocking off a set of 8 x 100 meter strides. Happy to say that my hamstring was fine. No problem. Danielle ran effortlessly. Watching her glide down the track reminded me of her gift for speed. If we can get her back to 40-45 mpw she'll do very well in races.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tom and I run Dannyless

Danny couldn't make our morning run so it was just Tom and I which meant that the pace would be faster. I strapped on the HRM and decided to see what 70% of max felt like. The course was hilly with some good rollers. Temp in the low 40's with a breeze. I generally let Tom lead and that resulted in a steady HR in the mid to high 140's which for me was on target. We definitely ran faster. Not hard but not easy. Including the time I spent running before and after the time I spent with Tom, I totaled 75 minutes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

75 minutes

I met up with Tom and Danny over at WVC. It was another cold morning but at least it was sunny. I ran 75 minutes total with an hour of it being with my two buddy's. The pace was slow. Even Tom didn't push it. I wore double gloves which may have been too much but at least my hands were never cold.

Yes my minutes running have been inching up.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Striders on the track

I ran seventy minutes this morning including some time over at Foothill College doing 100 meter striders at around a six minute mile pace. It was a stress test to see where my left hamstring is. Dimitri led me through the strides and I made a point of staying off his shoulder.

The hammie did not bother me so I think in a week or two I can add back in some rep work.

I wore the compression tights again to protect my legs. It was cold but not that seeping cold of Saturday.

Since the Kinesio tape is not sticking to my skin, the compression tights are the backup.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Frgid 60

Frigging cold this morning. I warmed up around the house for 11 minutes and then drove over to West Valley to do some more "work". With a tennis court loop before and after and Valle Vista (slow-slow) in the middle with my buddy Danny, I got in 60 frigid minutes. Cold enough to seep through my hi-tech gloves.

I wore tights to protect my legs and used some reusable, self adhesive athletic tape for the hamstring but it came loose and dropped down to just above my knee (under the tights). I am not sure I needed it anyway. Just experimenting. The test didn't work.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pounding the hills

I ran longer than usual doing 75 minutes with most of it in and around the hills close to West Valley College. Tom joined me and I let him dictate the pace which meant it was faster than normal. I felt strong during the run. My hammie held up with no ibuprofen or Capsaicin beforehand. It was cold so I wore compression tights. The last line of defense.

A week ago, at a slower pace, I had to stop and walk for a half minute when my hamstring tightened up. It definitely seems on the mend.

The color of the track has changed but much of the West Valley campus remains the same.
Larger Image
Aerial photograph, West Valley College, south side of campus, 1977

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back to Forbes Mill

Ran 68 minutes this morning up at Forbes Mill with Jake. It was sunny and cold. Maybe high 30's. Included in the run were two dam loops of 25:55 and 24:45. My energy level was superb. I felt like I was just flowing along. My hammie was a non factor even though I did pick up the last quarter mile of the last loop to test it. I did feel some very mild tightness afterward but by the time I finished breakfast I no longer felt it at all.

It is a warning to be careful so I will continue monitoring it day to day.

I am not quite ready for prime time yet.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

5 days-55 minutes

I ran five days during the past week ending up with a 55 minute easy run in Golden Gate Park this morning. Shel and I ran parts of the DSE course and watched the leaders come by. The weather was cool but not cold. Mid 40's. The hamstring held up well. No even a shadow of discomfort or tightness. I may test it next weekend. That'll make it two weeks from the date of injury.

I have definitely decided to go forward with tempo and more mile paced work until I feel confident that I can handle faster reps.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

50 minutes and some insights

Got out early this morning. It was {{{cold}}} and I opted to wear my compression tights to protect my legs. Ended up running over at West Valley with the club. 50 minutes total. I did have a slight feeling of tightness in the left hammie but after about 15-20 minutes that went away. The run was pain free. I tried the Kinesio Tape for the first time but it wouldn't adhere to my leg and I finally ended up dumping it. Obviously I need to figure out what the problem is. Dunno. Shave the injured area?

I was listening today at breakfast while two long term runner friends talked about the loss of strength in their legs. I don't doubt this. I have noticed it too.

Things I have found

I can't run back to back days except maybe once a week. If I run back to back, one of those days is usually half the time of the other day.

I generally need total days off in between runs. It is better to add running time to my run days then run so called recovery runs in between.

I have to run really easy except for one day a week. So running "as I feel" is a trap. If I do this I will end up tired. 

When I was out running with Bob Anderson, it wasn't my legs that bothered me. It was me not being used to running along at a strong effort. But I can't train myself for this. Just do more runs like it every other week. Otherwise if I make a weekly thing, it will tear me down.

I recently found out that if I train for the 800, I cannot rely on 200's. Oh, I can do them but they have caused several mild hamstring problems. So now I have to train longer reps off pace. So instead of worrying about getting my 400 down to 72, I am really going to focus on running 82's (slower than pace) for longer distances. I'll probably also do more mile pace and tempo work.

The one thing I have found is that constant repetition of training that tears you down is insanity.
I have to accept that I need to constantly adjust until I am out of options. When that day comes, I won't be running anymore. 

Thursday, December 08, 2011

70 minutes on ice

Ran an easy 70 minutes this morning around West Valley College and the surrounding neighborhood. My friend Tom ran most of the way with me. My hamstring did not seem to be an issue unless I started to push, so I kept things on the conservative side. There was one point with about ten minutes to go where I felt the hammie spasm so I broke into a walk. It didn't last long though. After about 30 seconds I started to run again. The spasm subsided and I ran on to the finish. No problems!

I know I am going to have to take easy for awhile until it heals up. Good opportunity to do some base building and also to run some hills.

It was cold ( for Saratoga ). High 30's and low 40's but after the mist burned off it was really sunny. Wore two layers on top and high tech gloves. Probably should have worn tights.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

California Hammie

I ran an easy 45 minutes today and threw in several striders along the way. My left hamstring definitely tightened up during the strides telling me that I have what one of my running friend's likes to call "a situation".

I seem to be okay when I run easy so that's what I'll be doing until I get over this bump in the road.

I am icing, judiciously taking ibuprofen and using my secret sauce as a leg rub.

It pays to back off at the first sign of an injury. I didn't do that. I should have stopped during the first 800 on Sunday. Right then. Just stopped and jogged.

Loss of down, two week penalty which means no testing it during that time period.

Monday, December 05, 2011

On the edge with Bob

Ran this morning with Bob Anderson. I jogged the streets around my house for ten minutes to shake things out and drove over to Bob's house.

The 6 mile run, to say the least, was a great deal faster than I usually run. I was hanging on to Bob's shoulder from the get go. Now I know why he can beat the crap out of me in a race. It was a revisiting of the Jake-John-Dave effect of 35 years ago. These guys simply trained faster. So does Bob.

Anyway, the course was mostly a gradual uphill for three miles but regardless of the pace, I hung on and was able to actually "talk". After three miles it was more down hill than up and I seemed to feel stronger. I just hung on by my neck until we hit the finish in 49:15. I asked Bob what time he usually runs the course in.

Oh, he said. Two minutes faster.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Tempo Speed

Did a 25 minute warm up around my house and over a Foothill College as a preamble to a tempo-speed workout.

Ran 2 x 800 in 3:30 ( seven minute pace) with a short rest in between. Pace felt easy.
Then did 4 x 400 in 94-95 with a short rest. Would have run faster but for an issue mentioned below.

Jogged an easy 15 minutes afterward.

Upper left hamstring was tight. It actually felt better as I ran and I took advil and iced right after.

The weather was near perfect 50's but sunny and no wind.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

60 minutes easy

Ran from the house this morning. 60 minutes easy including a loop around the lake and a series of Super Loops over at De Anza. It was flea market day at the college and the place was crowded with shoppers. I was one of the few people not wearing long pants.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Back at Forbes

I met up with Jake over at Forbes. Been months since we ran together. He was recovering from a cold so he went one loop with me at a glacial pace. I ended up running 72 minutes altogether at a pretty slow effort. I slept poorly last night (have no idea why) so I purposely took it easy.

The skies were clear but there was the first BIG wind of the season tearing things up and it blew me around quite a bit.

Forbes was a nice break from the college. I have to talk Danny in going up there now and then.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Foggy 70

A tule fog like curtain sopped the South Bay. I peered out over my morning coffee and thought to myself, "I'll wait until the Sun comes out before I run." It just wasn't that appetizing to out in cold. But in the end, I went through the motions of getting ready go go out anyway. In the end I was out by 9 AM and running.

Tule Fog be damned!

I ran the neighborhood and the local college super loop until I had jogged 70 minutes.

It was a good run. My legs didn't hurt but then I didn't push at any time during the workout.

Danny is in the glide path for his annual cruise so I won't see him until after the 15th. Would like to run with Jake but I am in high school sports detox and that's mostly what he talks about. I just need time away from all that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fire on the track

50 minutes this morning of varied jogging. In between the warmup and warmdown I sandwiched in a track workout over at Foothill with Dimitrios. The weather was cool and slightly overcast.

The workout was the one that I had to cancel last week due to stomach problems.

5 x 200.

Armed with my natural lean on the turns, I honestly felt great. We ran the first one in 38 and it felt easy and smooth. The next two were 37's and the last two were low 36's.

There was fire on the track. Well, maybe only an old Bic lighter but there was enough juice left to produce a flame.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The day after

I decided last night, as I stuffed myself with Turkey, that instead of running Saturday, I would run off some of the mass calories I accumulated the day after (which is today...Friday).  I dressed to the nines which turned out to be overdressed and ran an easy 53 minutes with a trip over to De Anza thrown in the mix. It was in the low 50's and overcast when I started out but the sun came out about half way through the run.

The track was pretty much empty except for one gal who was jogging the inside lane and running the stadium steps. The only other creatures wandering around were the usual flock of geese. They seem to have no awareness of track courtesy as they made it plain that they own and occupy the inside lane and the grass football field.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Death of a thousand steps

I got myself up out of bed super early (6 AM!!!!!) and over to the club Thanksgiving day run. The turnout was sparse but Danielle, Danny, myself and Ken did 57 minutes of slow jogging around the WVC campus under lead gray skies. I had run my normal 10 minutes prior to driving over so I ended up with 67 minutes total.

The rest of the club ran the 7 miler. I could probably have done it. The distance wouldn't have been the issue but the time it would have taken me would have been more than I wanted to run. Even if I had stayed up I would have died the death of a thousand steps and been worthless on Sunday.