Posted in Running - Training

Nutty Runners 5k – 2017

WE have completed the 8th annual Nutty Runners 5k! This one was a bit of a challenge. Well, the main challenge was the weather. We are in the midst of the wettest winter I can remember here in the Antelope Valley. The race is held at Marie Kerr Park and it typically uses the dirt paths that go around the park. These paths, though, when they are wet get really mushy and slick. I did not want to try to have a bunch of novice runners and walkers experience a mud run when that was not what they had signed up for.

Friday, the day before the race was one of the wettest storms of the season. Checking the forecast I held out hope that Saturday would be okay. The forecast kept putting low chance of rain during the hours of 7 – 10. I sent out an email attesting to this in hopes that the rain would not scare everyone off.

I also made plans to revise the course. Since we have a bib timing company I was able to set up a multiple lap course that stuck to the parking lot by the pool and the gravel parking lot by the amphitheater… which were both run-able rain or shine…


As we got up and got ready Saturday we were thrilled to see dry pavement and a thinning of the clouds. By race time the sun was out and it was a lovely day for a run!

Before the race there was some discussion among Erik Ruble, Oscar Gutierrez, Joe Kim and myself regarding the master’s level bobble head trophy. Steve Brumwell was out of town and Erik is injured. Who among the three of us would take the trophy? I was kind of thinking the Joe would. He is coming off an injury himself but his times on Strava lately looked better than mine. Oscar has lots of mileage of late, but he has been running lots of slow marathons….

As the race began the three of us where pretty close together. Joe and Oscar got a few steps on me but I hung on about 5 seconds back for the first lap. As we began the second lap I was struggling to maintain contact going through the gravel field. On the u-turn I noticed Grant Barnett well ahead of us. It occurred to me that he had just turned 40 and our bobble head discussion was for naught. With less incentive I dropped back as Oscar and Joe pulled farther away. I could see that Oscar was getting away from Joe.

Behind me were my assistant Larry Oman and I kept spotting Krysti Ruble as well. So, as I entered lap 3 I had incentive to maintain. On the last U-turn Krysti was fairly close so I accelerated upon entering the parking lot. She blamed Erik for warning me of her presence ( he was course monitor at the driveway) but I knew where she was…  I only beat her by 3 seconds….

I was happy with my time. I finished the course in 22:19  My Garmin read the course a tad short at 3.07, but U-turns tend to throw GPS readings off a bit. I know Grant had it at exactly 3.11. The 22:19 5K is slightly better – age graded than last weeks 10K: 68.29 to 67.42


Posted in Running - Training

Side tracked by remodeling…

Friday the 11th, we had our kitchen counter replaced. The took out the old white ceramic tiles and put in Quartz.  And thus begun a major disruption in our lives. They took the weekend off which enabled me to get to that Valentines race on the 12 – see the last post.

Sunday afternoon was devoted to removing all the furniture from our Living Room, and Family Room. Monday, they came and removed all the carpet and prepared to install new flooring. Tuesday I needed to get home quickly so I did not run with the Hillview team.

I did make it to Joe Walker for the HDR workout. We had a really nice 5,4,3,2,1 workout. As I ran it I remember asking everyone to try to see if they could go a tad faster with each rep. For myself, I was successful.

Wednesday I was able to get a 4 miler in with the HIllview team. We did the 2×4 trial loop. I eased into it and sped up to tempo effort by the end of the first mile. So, I did 3 miles at Tempo effort. I ended up passing all but a couple of the kids by the time I finished.

Thursday there were issues at the house so I headed straight home after school. Friday after school I headed to Vince’s to do the pre race check in for the Nutty Runners 5k. It was actually quite a challenge to get everything prepared for the race with our house all torn up. And getting everything to Vince’s was an adventure in itself . It was quite rainy Friday and my pick up has no shell on it. I was able to get most of the items needed in the back seat of the crew cab, but I had to put aobut 5 boxes in big plastic garbage bags for the ride to  Vinces. The tables – they got wet.

Saturday I directed and ran the Nutty Runners. I’ll post on it separately.

After the race our son Daniel arrived from Virginia. He has applied with the LA Sheriff’s Dept and had spent a few days in Whittier doing testing of various sorts. So, he arrived and we could not even sit in the living room and visit. So, Cheryl felt we need to entertain…. We kicked around for the afternoon and rented a couple of DVDs for the evening. I dug out the TV and got it working while we sat in camping chairs to watch.

After church on Sunday we went to LA to watch a movie…. We figured it would be a nice way to kill some time out of the house. It worked – 7 hours to drive, get some lunch, find the movie, get some ice cream and drive home.

Monday, President’s day, they were still not finished installing the tile. So we spent our time out of the house… mostly at Mulligan’s…. I found a Groupon.

Monday evening they announced that they were done… well mostly, they figured they might need to come back for touch ups when there was more light. Tuesday, the first day with no workers, the toilet broke and the freezer…. I coached the kids thinking I would run with the HDR group but then got someone else to coach the adults while I did plumbing. Then I moved furniture back into the Living room – the only room completely done…


The flooring is Porcelain Tile that looks like wood…. Looks great… very low maintenance! They have replaced 1000 feet of flooring in the living room, the kitchen, the family room, the hallway, the utility room and both bathrooms.

Today, they came to make a correction on the counter in the morning and said that they would be there early afternoon to touch up the floor. So, I passed off the Hillview workout to my assistant and hurried home. The freezer guy showed up but the tile guys did not make it….

Tomorrow, hopefully they will be done.  Tile guys early, carpet repair for transitions at 10… I think I will be able to get a run in tomorrow. In fact I have a plan…..

Posted in Running - Training, Uncategorized

Tough to be in your 50s…. CSUB Valentine’s 10K

I wanted to do a 10K to sort of test my current fitness. I have this plan to lose weight and to shoot for my first Boston Qualifier in years, but the weight is being stubborn and I don’t feel like I am getting faster…. Anyway, I got in the truck and drove to Bakersfield for their CSUB Valentine’s 10K.

It turned out to be a pretty nice morning for a race in Bakersfield. The temperature was in the upper 50s. It felt too warm for two layers once I did my warm up. The course was held all on the campus. I could not tell from the maps whether it would be all paved, and the potential for dirt (mud) or very soggy grass was a little unnerving.

Several hundred runners lined up, they had a 5K and a 10K to be run concurrently. We started off and from my position about 4 or 5 tows back there was very little passing or being passed…. well except for passing all the little kids that always seem to think that they should start in the front of the crowd.

Before the race I had looked up my recent 5k times – a 22:27 warrior run and a 23:05 Turkey Trot. I put the 23 minute 5k into McMillan’s race calculator and it said I should do a 5k in 47:46. So, my main goal was going to be to beat 47:46…. My secondary would be just to be faster than 50 minutes…. after all it has been a couple years since I have raced a 10K.

I set my Garmin pacer for 47:00 and took off. As stated before, the first half mile was easy and relaxed. I noted the “projected finish” time was around 45 so I tried to hold back. But little by little for the first 3 miles I wove my way past other runners. I noticed pretty consistent half mile splits- usually right at 3:45 plus or minus a couple of seconds. I did notice as the miles went by my projected finish crept up into the 46 plus range.

Taking off for the second loop, the competitors got very scarce. I caught one guy early in the forth mile and I could see a lady a 100-200 meters ahead, but I could not seem to gain on her. I felt like I was starting to struggle with fatigue and slow down, but those half mile splits stayed right at 3:45. I started to lap the back of the 5K pack at about 4.5 miles. I felt worse and worse, but managed to speed up the last split at 3:41.

So, I finished, according to my Garmin at 47:07. I waited for results. They seemed to have a timing chip issue as I noted them manually entering the finish order from the pulled bibs. The finally posted a list of finish order without times. I was pleased to see myself in 14th place….. but I was 4th in the 50-59 age division!  I would have won the 40-49 age division, but I was only 4th in the 50-59. Today, it was tough to be in your 50s.  The good news was that once I saw that there was no need to hang around any longer to receive an age group award.

The exciting news about the race was that in spite of how I felt, I maintained a very consistent pace. Whether upwind or downwind (8 mph breeze out there once we got running) on pavement or on the dirt stretches the mile splits were essentially the same. After an opening 7:19, they were 7:31, 7:34, 7:34, 7:29, 7:31.

Putting the 47:07 in Runner’s World race predictor calculator it comes out with a marathon prediction of 3:36:45.  That would give me a 3 minute cushion on my BQ needed time. Of course if I lose weight it will be all the easier.

Speaking of weight loss, I am noticing some of my pants getting baggy, so perhaps I am losing some waist size but not weight…. too many upper body and core exercises I suppose..

Posted in Running - Training

Almost 2 Deers Trail Run

I joined the HIgh Desert Runners and the Santa Clarita Runners for the annual 2 Deers Trail Run. I have only done this run once before. My recollection was that it was a bit tricky to follow the chalk arrows and that once you were on the 2 deers trail it was kind of cool. Sort of like running through a brush tunnel.

When I arrived at 7:55 and signed in the host (host’s wife?) asked if I was familiar with the trail. She said it had been marked on Thursday but that the rain had wiped out the chalk. Phil would be taking a group…. I noted that several friends – Dave Weary, Rob Perez, Nestor, the Arvidsons, Janet Dempsey, Kathy Diorio – had already started, and I figured I would be able to catch someone more familiar than myself…

As I was about to begin I noticed Jose Estrada pull up and wave. So I figured I would wait for him. Jose took a while. Phil’s group took off. Matt B, Veronica Loya and Heather Worden arrived and got going (walking). Finally Jose and I began. We quickly passed the aforementioned walkers. After a mile Jose pulled away. I ran on my own for awhile enjoying the view and singing praise songs in my head.


At about two I spotted Mark Hershey up the trail ahead of me and right before the 3 mile ridge I caught him.

Mark and I ran together. Phil’s group (Santa Clarita runners) was stopped on the ridge taking a break. I figured that Mark being an old time HDR runner would know the way. As we talked we quickly found out that each of us had only run the trail once. We kept following the road on the ridge looking for an arrow or some sign that it was time to turn. We passed Marv Powers who assured us we were going the right way.  A couple miles later we saw a group stopped ahead. It was Rob, Nestor, Lee, Michelle and Clare. We had arrived at the fire road going back down to Bouquet.

Janet, Clare and I all recalled that the 2 deers trail was supposed to eventually take us to the fire road. So after waiting a few minutes and pausing for a selfie we got underway.20170205_090412Nestor and Rob chose to return the way that we had come. The rest of us started down the road. Mark and I quickly pulled away from the others. At one point there was a “road” that went straight down, one of those fire breaks. Mark and I took it. After a bit it crossed a trail. At that moment Janet and Kathy appeared. They were on the 2 Deers Trail. We made a left and resumed our run on the official trail – for about a quarter mile, then the trail reached the road again.

So after getting some clarification from Kathy on what to look for at the next right turn, Mark and I sped away down the road. We found the right turn road and began the uphill part back to the PCT.


This last part makes its was up along a ridge. The path keeps splitting with one option being going straight up over a hill and the other option a trail that skirts around it to meet again on the other side. I kept choosing the go around option. After a while I spotted Dave Weary ahead going up a steep section of an “over the top” trail. I went to the right. As the trails were about to merge back together Dave ran by ahead. I caught him and we chatted for a bit. As I pulled away there was another split and I went to the right.

The path continued but became more and more overgrown after maybe a half mile I became concerned that this time the two trails may not once again merge. The brush became thicker and thicker. There were no longer any signs of motor bikes having been that way or even people. I realized that the other trail was straight above me. So I made a left and pushed my way carefully, slowly through the brush back.


The yellow arrows show the path I should have chosen. The red arrows my “short cut” to get back on track. After getting back on track I caught and passed Mark Hershey. I arrived at the trail head just behind David Weary. I am a little worse for wear – my wrists are pretty scratched up and I lost a pair of sunglasses that you see in the top two pictures….

The Strava Labs – Fly By (Click Here)  is interesting. You can see Rob and Nestor ahead, then the SC group and then me, followed by the walkers. You can see the different options taken and even my little side trip.

This shows my full, slightly modified 2 Deers Trail Run…



Posted in Atricles/Information, Clayve/ Cross Training

1,000 down – 9,000 to go

This article in Runner’s World prescribes 4 exercises as being the “only four exercises that a runner really needs.”  So, I decided back at the beginning of January to give these a serious try. I mean a serious try.

You see, the last couple of years I have been depending on the Clayve for strength work, but my busy schedule (and often my laziness) have not got me there consistently enough. For a while I was in a bad rut where I would go after having missed a long time and then I’d get really sore so that I would not be willing/able to go back for another couple of weeks and then I’d be really sore again….

So, in search of consistently, like I said, I decided to give this a try. First, I spoke with my good friend Clay, who happens to be a physical therapist. He suggested one modification, but otherwise, said, “Good idea.”

The four exercises are Push-ups, Planks, Dips and Squats. Clay’s suggestion was Reverse lunges rather than squats. So, this is the PPLD I have been talking about – Planks, Push-ups, Lunges and Dips. My goal is to do 10,000 of each of these this year. In the case of Planks, which are time based rather than rep based, my goal is 1,000 minutes. (5 minutes = 50 reps, or you could say 6 seconds = 1 rep) My method of reaching 10,000 is to do 50 reps a day for 200 days in the calendar year.

Today, I hit 1,000 !! Woo Hoo!!

I am noticing improvements already. On the push-ups I can now do up to 25 in one set. I tried and succeeded (barely) to get my hands airborn today! The other day I did 10 or 15 with my feet elevated! On the dips I have also reached a 1 set max of 25, with legs straight out in front of me, not bent like shown in the article.

As for the planks, I have been varying the type with the standard face down planks, side planks, face up planks (with heels and elbows on the floor – I call these surfboards) and table-tops. I have done 2 minutes straight of regular planks and table tops, 1 minute max on side planks and surf boards. Leg extensions during table tops are getting pretty easy as long as I don’t hold them too long –  a month ago a leg extension would cause the supporting leg to cramp.

I will from time to time post about further progress as I work my way to 10,000!

Posted in GO - Elliptigo Training, Running - Training

Getting Ambitious

or maybe I should have titled this – the Mojo’s back ?

After Tuesday’s two runs I continued a successful week. On Wednesday I got up loaded the Elliptigo and road it to school for the first time in months. It ws 40 degrees outside, but dressed appropriately, no big deal. I ran the Hillview Club runner’s warm up, just a mile, very slow – a recovery jog. Then I rode the GO home. I got in my 50 PPLD.

Thursday I rode the GO again to school. One of the students wanted to run Mt. Rite Aid. This is a 5.5 mile run (one of their longest). It was cool and windy, but we got it done. Then of course the GO home again.  Later I walked 4 miles in the mall with Cheryl and once again I completed my 50PPLD.

Friday – no GO. After school it was lightly raining. But here is where I am finding myself happy with myself. No kid’s showed up, but Larry – my co-coach and I went and ran anyway. I knew that today was breakfast with dad, and go visit sister Nancy day (read – almost impossible to get in a run of any length) so Larry and I headed past the aqueduct up toward the bunny hill. Larry’s longest run in decades is a 10K we ran at a teacher conference in Anaheim, so I turned back at a place that would add up to about 7! Woo – Hoo, longest run PR for Larry! I continued over the bunny hill and meandered down the south side. I then made my way counterclockwise back toward the hill but skirted it and headed back to Hillview. I got in a hilly 10 miler on a Friday. It was reminiscent of the stuff I used to do when going for my first BQ. I remember doing 20 milers after school in loops around Hillview because that was the only way to fit it into the schedule….

So, today, I feel great. I did lose a pound this week. Now I am feeling ambitious.

So, if you click the 2017 tab below the site header you will see some green on the schedule. Green on my upcoming race lists means that I am registered. I registered for a 10K in San Bernardino next week to get a gauge of my present fitness. AND, I registered for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon. They were down to about 100 entries so I figured I should not wait much longer. I am going to shoot for a Boston Qualifier.

As a (soon to be) 55 year old man, I will have to run sub 3:40….. to actually get in I will need several minutes of cushion. So, if I can run M2B at a 8:10 to 8:15 pace I should be golden!

Last time I ran Mountains 2 Beach – 5 years ago, when it was called Ojai to Ocean, I set my PR – 3:15:20. I look forward to getting back out there and trying it again.

Posted in GO - Elliptigo Training, Running - Training, Uncategorized

Two for Tuesday

Plus a January RECAP –

My totals for January were not too shabby, especially considering I was coming off a 2 or 3 week break in December:

  • Running 108
  • Elliptigo 21 – just one ride, this could have been higher
  • Tandem 27 – just one ride here as well – January was RAINY
  • Running Equivalents 127 – My own metric formulated from adding running miles with 1/2 Elliptigo miles and 1/3 other cycling miles.
  • PPLD 850 – right on schedule for 10000 in 2017

What is NOT on schedule is weight loss. I began the month at 185 and ended it at 183.5….

Yesterday, however I had a couple of pretty good workouts. The Hillview kids and I did our Leap Frog Run. This run on the streets of Rancho Vista Golf Course’s houses challenges the runners not to drop to the back of the pack. If you drop to the back you leap frog a cul de sac and now others are fighting to avoid the back. It amounts to a 9 minute interval. I got leap frogged once right off the bat – the children started too quickly, but that was it. On the way back only 2 runners beat me.  With the run to and from the area the run becomes almost 5 miles.

Later at the HDR workout I tried something new – the Pick A Card workout. I had a deck of cards. The value of each card was assigned to an exercise. Some of them were 2 minute recoveries…  The suit of each card was assigned a run distance: hearts = 1 lap, diamonds = 2, clubs = 3 and spades = 4. Everyone was on their own to get in as much running and exercising as they could before time was up.


I think everyone enjoyed the change of pace.

I don’t recall all the exercises but I recall starting with 3 laps. Next I ran one and timed it at 1:39. Then I did another 3 laps in 6:00, then a 4 in 7:50, then a 1 in 1:38, then a 3 in 5:50, and the last one –  a 3 at recovery pace. So, two 3s, two 1s and a 4. 3 miles at half marathon pace or faster. I figure adding the two workouts I did at least 5.5 miles of speed work.

Today, a recovery day, I rode my GO to Hillview for the first time all year. I did run a one mile warm up with the team. When I have pushed myself, the following run or two starts off painfully (left buttocks.) Then of course I GO-d home. Riding the GO is painless…