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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School's back in session!

The usual 70 minutes running around the house and over at WVC. School's back in and the campus loop was challenging. The roads were packed with students trying to park as close to classes as possible. The west side of the campus was quiet with half empty parking spaces. Plenty of room if you didn't mind walking a bit.

But no......Why walk when you can sit in traffic.

Danny and I ran into SandyV who just had a knee replacement.  God, I remember her 40 years ago when we were both a great deal younger. A whole lifetime ago.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

6 x 100 (again)

I decided to continue my work on base speed so I ran over to the De Anza track and did 6 x 100 (300 jog) averaging in the 17's. Much better than last week. The fast reps were smoother and easier. Still no 16's without flooring it and I am not ready to do that yet.

The track (still there) was unusually crowded but the nice thing about 100's is that I can always find a free lane.

Total running time was an hour. 

My 100's were done at a 68 second 400 meter pace. Age graded this was a 51.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Club Workout

I ran the neighborhood this morning and then continued over at the club workout figuring I would go for about an hour total. Instead I got drafted onto a club workout relay team but intelligently decided to keep the pace pedestrian. I was expected to run .66 miles 4 times. Walt put me down for 6 minutes a loop. That was a 9 minute pace. I hooked up with Tim Riley who was on another team and we ran together. I pretty much kept to pace. In between loops I jogged around burning calories. After the workout I did a campus loop and topped out at 70 minutes.

I run most of my easy days at a 10-11 minute pace but I do admit that a 9 pace not only felt easy but felt good. I know this doesn't seem very fast but age graded, my pace for the loops was under a 7 minute mile back in the day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another 70 minutes

Cooler than Tuesday. I ran my usual ten minutes in the neighborhood and then headed over to WVC to meet with Danny, We ran an easy 60 minutes around the campus. Enjoying our last run  there before schools starts again.

Danny and I discussed weight. Not just gaining but also shifting weight.  He patted his stomach and I asked him what that was about.

He said, That's my chest. It's just headed downward.

70 minutes total

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Short Course on a hot day

"then the heat of Arabia came out like a drawn sword and struck us speechless."

Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence

The heat of late summer came upon us today. We waited for it all through the summer but now it came, suddenly but not unexpectedly. After all, it has to have it's say in things.

I ran early. First I stretched my aching back by jogging 10 minutes near where I lived. It is never good in the first few minutes but then by five minutes out from home things begin to loosen up and I can actually run.

I then drove over to West Valley and Danny and I ran another 60 minutes but equally slow. It felt warm but not yet hot. Afterward we drove up to see Big Bill and he artfully wrenched me back into place. Breakfast and then some rest.

In the mid afternoon, and now it was over 90, Jake and I walked the XC course with my GPS and as expected  found it to be short. 2.05 versus the advertized 2.1. That explained the fast two mile times that runners were taking credit for (but they didn't know). 40 minutes of calorie burning even though it was only walking.

Then the kids had to run. We sent them down to a local park to run tempo on the shade covered grass. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

6 x 100

With Dimitri away in Toronto I decided to a speed advancement workout. That meant something shorter and faster than my longer reps. As I jogged the neighborhood I kept revising the workout finally deciding that it would be 6 x 100 over at De Anza Track doing a super loop in between. So that meant 500 meters per loop with 100 meters of it fast.

After 25 minutes of easy slow jogging and some warm up strides, I ran the first serious 100 in the 18's feeling strong. That was a good sign because the plan called for me to run the next one faster except it wasn't faster at all. Just another 18. I decided to lengthen my run up of flying section of the rest of the 100's. I blasted down the track in 17. Then ran another 17 and then another. On the last one I really let loose the dogs of war and ran......

Another 17.

Now if I age grade the reps they are equal to running under 13 seconds back in the day.  But while this brought about some badly needed solace, still I am left wondering if I will ever see 16 again.

It was the best  had on the ranch and on the way home my legs instead of feeling beat up and tired, actually seemed to want to run faster. Typical "good" reaction from running fast strides.

My total running time was 65 minutes in near perfect conditions.

I felt like I held serve.  Faster than my longer rep speed but not enough to do damage.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Endless Loops of the Track

The club workout Saturday morning was 200's, a workout I generally try to stay away from. As near as we can tell, the greatest number of runners injured during club runs, takes place when participating in either the 200's or 300's (a.k.a. the killer-diller workout). Anyway I showed up and ran around the campus and then joined Tom for a seemingly endless and continuous loop of the track while the workout took place. I ended up with 61 minutes (including ten minutes in my usual).

The crowd was small. Many runners were on the other side of the mountains on the University of California at Santa Cruz Campus. This is usually the first XC race of the season. The "crowd" at breakfast was small too.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

65 minutes

Lazed around drinking mugs of coffee this morning before getting out for a run. The weather was cool and sunny (as in perfect). I ran the neighborhood before heading over to the college to see, once again, if the track was torn up. But it was there in its placid state. Classes haven't started up yet so it was very quiet as I ran super loops. As I was leaving, I ran into Mel and we chatted it up for about 15 minutes. Then I ran home gradually picking it up because my legs felt good. 65 minutes when it was all added up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I ran the obligatory ten minutes around the neighborhood before driving over to Forbes to meet Jake. We had a decent run covering the first loop in the mid 27's and the second one in the low 23's. I did some extra jogging around to make the day's effort 66 minutes. My legs were tired from Sunday and I felt it but not enough to "slow" me down. I didn't feel beat up afterward. Walked to the Southern Kitchen for breakfast. Stuck with Oatmeal with a sprinkling of raisins. Got to catch up with Orchid who had a baby last spring and is trying to lose that last 20 pounds.

We walked over to Athletic Performance after breakfast and I bought a pair of racing shoes for 800 meters. Stayed away from spikes. The shoes, Adidas Rockets are fairly light. I'll try them out in the next week during a rep workout.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2 x 400 almost

I ran a 30 minute warmup and a 20 minute warmdown. In between I ran striders and several reps on the Foothill College track. D helped me big time. My plan was to run 2 x 350 at 80 second 400 pace. A step towards 2 x 400 at 80.

On the first one I followed D down the first straightaway feeling like I was gulping air and going to lose contact. On the turn "normal" kicked in and I began to close and down the backstretch I did a mini surge and came up right behind him. We hot 300 meters in 60 and the 350 in 70.

On the second one I offered to lead but D said he would keep us on pace which he did. No gulping this time. I felt much stronger and in sync. 20-40-60 and as I hit the 350 mark I realized I was nowhere near exhausted so I just kept going to the 400 landing in 80.

After warming down for a time, I mentioned to D that I thought there was another 400 in me and he laughed and offered to time me. In other words, let's go get coffee.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back of the Pack Farwell

I finally ran a club workout today. Not with the goal of running hard (that's for tomorrow) but rather to just move along. Tom and Danny ended up being in my entourage. All three of us former greats. All three of us at the back of the pack.

At the finish, which was hair under 33 minutes for 3.54 miles, 15 minutes and then some off my all time PR, we were well back. Everyone else was in and either chatting it up of warming down. Too put it in perspective, my run was worth around a 24:52 back in the day. That's was in the low 7's which was an easy run back then but even though I was never running hard, my legs still felt the effort. I can take solace in the fact that Danny and Tom were running much harder than I was. Tom sprinted by at the end to pour salt into our gaping open wounds.

I would have had to run 23:57 to run the age graded equivalent of my 1978 PR of 18:22.

With the warmup, I totaled 50 minutes

Friday, August 12, 2011

First Alternative Run

My first run with the alternative laces and my right instep felt fine. I did my usual ten minutes of plodding around home and another 60 minutes over at WVC.  I decided not to run a fast 400 and wait until this weekend.

This 800 meter thing is on the verge of becoming my new focus. The math supposedly is simple. If I can run, say, a 2:45 800 meter than I should be able to run a low 6 minutes mile which means that I might be in the low 21's for 5K. Really slow times if you look at my total running career (1968-present) but if age graded, as good as I have ever done.
Old guys running the 800

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

70 minutes & Alternative Lacing

Ran the usual 10 minutes around the neighborhood and then drove to WVC and ran another 60 minutes with Danny. The weather continues to be perfect. 60's in the morning, little or no wind and sunshine throughout. It's great to be in California.

My right instep has been bothering me but I have been tending to it and it didn't cause any issues during the run. Later on, after breakfast, Danny showed me how to lace my shoes so that they don't press down on the foot. So anyway, the foot is holding together and all is good.

The method that Danny showed me was the one on the right for high arches (even though I don't have high arches).

Sunday, August 07, 2011

4 x 300

Woke up from a hamburger induced night of sleeping and ran the neighborhoods and around Foothill College for a total of 25 minutes. Then, as usual, I did some strides to get the legs ready for the workout du jour. I told Dimitri I might leech off of him during his part of his workout. He was planning to run 800-400-300-200. I was figuring on 4 x 300.

I ran the first one alone in 62.  The effort didn't feel too hard but the time was 1-2 seconds off expectation.

I decided to invoke the leech.

When Dimitri took off for his first rep (the 800) I let him get out a bit and then took off myself, gradually catching up to him. I passed him at the 200 and felt like I was driving the pace down but came across in 61.

On the third rep (alone again) I got out faster and held serve through the 200 and then inched the effort down a gear. The result was 60.

Dimitri told me that he would gladly pace me through the last 300 (a deadly combination) which was very welcome.

Still, we came through 21 and 41 but I had decided that I would really drive the final straight and came across the line in 59.

So....62-61-60-59. Good enough. Best workout so far since beginning the men of the 800.

Jogged down for 18 minutes and change.

The top of my right foot which has been giving me some problems (feels like cramping) gave me a reminder that it was there. Iced big time when I got home.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Another 60 minutes

Another 60 minutes easy this morning. Ran over to the track and did some super loops around the par course and soccer field. Wore my Dirty Girl Gators and had no problem with kicking rocks and pebbles into my shoes. Given the number of times I had to stop to shake foreign objects out of my shoes, these are a God send.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Diet-Legs 70

I had diet-legs this morning as I ran 70 minutes. Whenever I return to trying to drop a few pounds, I can feel the lack of that extra oomph. Of course slowing down (even further) was the only option.

I got through the run okay and even took time to inspect the De Anza track which still remained untouched. "The Walker" finally said those ominous words. "Maybe they won't do it." Of course after seeing the bleachers at Los Gatos High finally getting torn down just before school starts, I have no doubt that when the time comes (and if the money is still there) the track and surroundings will be ripped asunder. The plan at Los Gatos is to use temporary bleachers. There is no temporary track or football field for De Anza. Every game will be an away game until the new track is finished.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Back to Forbes Mill

I ran at Forbes this morning. I was sans Jake who is embedded in the mysticism of  high school XC.

Anyway, a beautiful morning and a pretty empty trail all in all. There were a few runners and a few walkers and fewer dogs.

Ran the usual loop plus the trail to the left and a measured run over to Los Gatos Track and back. It's .6 which is what we thought. So now I have a 5K measured out.

The high school is tearing down the stands next to the track. God knows how long those have been up there. Certainly they are the same ones I inhabited back in 1978 when I was running PR's. But my 9:44 two mile is long forgotten by everyone but me.

Including the run around my neighborhood, I covered 70 minutes. Thought about 75 but decided that I was ending on a medium note versus a high note.