Monday, September 16, 2019

#197 And Counting

When I say the old PDR{Philadelphia Distance Run} and now Philly Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon is my favourite road race it's not hype yesterday was my 14th year running it:89-90-91-95-96-01-02-03-04-05-06-17-18-19
Back in 03 I broke a then 18 yr pr running 1.18.09 only to miss it the following year by 3 seconds and then the following year ran 1.19.00
After the 06 race I pretty much kyboshed road races to focus on the track for the next 10 years b4 making a welcome return in 2017.
Having opened the season over the 1/2 at the Love Run on March 31st w/ a brisk 1.24.24 I had set the bar rather high for myself but based on the Philly 10k from 3 weeks ago where I ran 38.53 off 6.13 mile pace I wondered if 6.20 pace could get me to 1.22?

Like any race it comes down to the weather, being a seasoned pro at PDR/R&R I've experienced it all on the Parkway in mid Sept,picture perfect days,heat and humidity that forced an elite Kenyan to drop out,pissing down rain and the one year it pissed down till mile 11 and then stopped.....really now yer gonna feckin' stop??!!
The forecast was for sunny and warm at least w/ a 7.30am start it shouldn't be too bad right?,bit like saying to the crew of the Titanic" the life boats are just for show right,we won't be needing those feckers????"
Took my place in the first corral and as is my won't kept to the right hand side to facilitate a clear/clearer start
Running east along Race St towards  the sun I must've missed the opening mile marker and b4 turning right onto 5th St I could feel the sweat already drippin' off me
Saw 13.00 at 2 miles which was Gun Time and as is my won't I started a little further back in the corral so as not to go off half cocked,my Garmin post race revealed opening splits of 6.10-6.37-6.33-6.00 as we made our way back to the Ben Franklin Parkway

At this point it dawned on me the last 8 miles would be the Art Museum Loop where I conduct my weekly 8 mile Tempo run......this was too good to be true,instead of being on the footpaths of Kelly Dr and West River Dr I'd be out on the road but otherwise it was a carbon copy of the tempo run,the old "visualize the run" mindset had now become a reality!
I told myself not to "over project" and just take each mile as it came,always adding 6.30 to each split which in theory would get me to 13 miles in 1.25.30 plus what ever the .1 at the end would be.
While other runners opted to run on the right hand side of Kelly Dr I hugged the curb to the left knowing the course like the back of my hand,at each water stop I picked off more runners who stopped or slowed,despite the heat I only grabbed a Gatorade at the second water station as my second cup of pre race Barry's Tea......fuck yeah Product placement and future me...... was still in my taste buds
Over Falls Bridge,sadly the lone Bagpiper who used to serenade us there is from a bygone era,it always  stirred my Celtic Blood hearing the bagpipes
From my grueling tempo runs during the heat and humidity in July and August I had learned that West River Drive provided more shade which going into the final four miles would be clutch
I recall 66 mins on the clock at mile 10 and for the first time began to think about the overall finish time which might explain the spike in my splits......that and feckin fatigue setting in!!
Just like the final 3 miles of the tempo runs I told myself to dig deep as a hand written sign held up on Logan Square said"Pain is temporary,Results last forever"......

Eyeballing runners ahead of me I chose my targets to reel in usually anyone wearing dayglo as they tend to stand out like a sore thumb,inside the final mile I remembered all my tempo runs this year since early March where I've passed the 7 mile marker and dug deep for the closing mile.......this is not a drill people it is the real shaggin' thing".....
A few runners who'd passed me earlier were now being left behind as I set my sights on getting to the finish in front of the iconic Art Museum steps,that final slight uphill as you approach the finish is usually where I launch my kick and it would propel me to a sub 1.28 finish today 1.27.52 off 6.36 mile pace

For only the second time this season "Mrs Shamrock Warrior" was present for my race,it's been and continues to be a pleasant change of pace to have a partner who is not only supportive of my running but willing to come to  my races unlike the "ghosts of girlfriends past" who trotted out tired excuses for not coming out to see me run
I recall a Philly Marathon in 04 I went to as a spectator for a friend of mine who was running her first marathon and seeing a hand written sign that said "P Diddy doesn't run this city,my girlfriend does"{Diddy had ran the NYC Marathon a few weeks  earlier} and thinking how lucky someone was to have that love and support.....I no longer have to wonder what that's like....
Medal #197 in the books and a14th PDR/Philly R&R 1/2 under my belt......oh yeah way to bury the lead.....I won the 55-59 age group.....just "another day at the office for the Shamrock Warrior"

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Doing It The Hard Way Since 1976 sooner do I get a 55 mile week under my belt and then I'm scrambling like a man possessed the following week to make it two in a's seldom dull!!!

Monday 12 Miles
W/ hindsight{I know a wonderful thing right!} maybe I should have taken advantage of Monday being a holiday {Labor Day} and gone long over 15 miles since I had time but rightly or wrongly I figured I had the whole week ahead of me so I opted for an easy out and back along the Schuylkill  mid morning
While the calender says Summer lasts a few weeks longer {Sept 23rd} Labor Day marks the unofficial end of Summer,I've noticed it's dark now b4 8pm and when I arrive at work at 6am and fairly soon the running sleeveless shirts will make way for short sleeves......I don't even want to entertain digging out the 3/4 length bottoms muchless finding my running tights and long sleeve running shirts.....but as they say" the cheque is in the mail"

Wednesday 12 Miles
Mother Of Christ!!!!!!!!
Having gotten me arse handed to me on a plate at work on Tuesday,in at 5.58am,out at 6.18pm.......I shit you not I was balls arsed tired and wanted so badly to get up at 6am to get out and run b4 the heat and humidity kicked in,I'd known for days Wednesday was going to be hot and humid but having lost a day of training on Tuesday I didn't have much wiggle room now
Sadly while the spirit was willing the flesh,bones and muscles were weak and I missed that window of opportunity,now coupled w/ the obligatory phone tag my brother and I have been playing the past week or so I was hamstrung waiting for him to call.......
By 3.30pm no call was forthcoming so I said feck it and headed out for my run
Originally Wednesday was earmarked as a 8 mile tempo run.......but not that late in the day w/ the heat and humidity what it was,so I opted for a repeat 12 miles along the Schuylkill
By 3.5 miles I realized I had zero knee lift and leg turnover and knew the further out I ventured along the Schuylkill via Kelly Dr the longer I'd have to walk back if I bonked,any thoughts of going long over 15 either out and back or round the loop were dismissed as I was forced to dig deep both mentally and physically to reach the 6 mile turn around and head back......

Saturday 13 Miles
The knock on effect of Wednesday  scuppered any thoughts of even a 5 miler on Thursday,just as Superman's weakness was Kryptonite{or Lois Lane, your call!!!} mine has become Dewpoints,shit I took for granted 6,12,18 months ago now effects me,let's not lose sight of the fact as I toiled in the heat and humidity on Wednesday I was 71 days removed from my 56th b'day and I'm learning what I can and can't do as freely and w/out care as I previously did
The upshot was 55mpw was still there for the taking........providing I went 13-18 Saturday/ the auld fella used to say"it's not a lot when you say it quick!"
Saturday morning was glorious running weather,blue skies no bastard heat,humidity......or fecking dewpoints,I love running in September

Sunday 18 Miles
So the irony,my last 18 mile came a week  after last years Rock & Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon and now a week b4 I found myself running "the road less travelled"
Four years ago when the Papel visit shut down parts of the city I was forced to run on Belmont Plateau and realized how much I not only enjoyed it but how close it is to where I live,for the past three years I've raced the once Oddessey Run,now Phila Runfest half marathon which takes me over Strawberry Mansion Bridge and into East Falls where I get to utalize hills
As the old adage goes"Running is a metaphor for life,you get out what you put in and there are no short cuts"
I'm also a believer that "if you put the hard work in training you will be rewarded come race day"
The short term answer will be revealed next Sunday on a much flatter half marathon course,long term don't be surprised if this 18 miler stays in my's "A Rocky Road To Dublin" so they say,maybe it's a hilly road to New Orleans????

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Welcome Back Shamrock Warrior,We've Been Expecting Ye!

Sweet Jaysus it took feckin' long enough{17 weeks if yer counting!} BUT finally back to 55mpw.
After a slow start to my year and getting my hole handed to me on a plate over 3,000m indoors at The Armory in early January I knuckled down and slowly began rebuilding my weekly mileage as I didn't need another humiliation like the one I got that nite,little by little my weekly mileage increased but I kept missing that one run that would have me back at the 55 mile plateau until the last week in Feb/early March where in the immortal words of Etta James "At Last" I had it.....and continued to have it for 9 of the next 10 weeks upto and including the week of Broad Street b4 the wheels came off....and stayed off for a while,come late June I knew it was time to "get back on the horse" and I had hoped by August I'd be back in "55 MPW Club".........shades of February all over again as either work or the weather seemed to derail those plans untill last week.............

Monday 12 Miles
W/ my calves still "screaming" after Sunday's Philly 10k this served as  a easy/recovery/shake out run to try and get the crap out of said calves......yeah,yeah,yeah "no pain,no gain,no guts no glory"
I'm a firm advocater that providing you can get out and run on a Monday you set yourself up for success for the rest of the week,miss an opportunity to get out there like I have in recent weeks and you begin the week behind the 8 Ball and as has been the case for "Himself" something else has jumped off to feck me....channeling my inner Ayra Stark"what do we say to the God's of Death....Not Today!"

Tuesday 15 Miles
Long Run.....Tuesday?    jaysus yer man is eager!!!
Knowing Sunday had pratfalls written all over it I figured "taking care of business" tonite was the way to's also a lot easier to be out there for  roughly 2hrs 10 mins when ye know your not getting up at silly o clock{4.45am} the following morning
Pretty much 8.5 min mile pace which is nice given I haven't felt I've had to dredge that up it has come naturally in recent weeks

Wednesday 8 Mile Tempo Run
Always a big ask off the back of the long run to ask myself to switch gears and run balls out but I enjoy the challenge of of running on tired legs
A little later than I had planned 2.40pm but not as damning as it would've been a few weeks ago
55.04.6 off 6.53 mile pace  w/ splits of
Still a tad erratic but slowly reducing the number of 7 min plus miles,down to three now and only a second away from it being two
1.18 quicker than last weeks effort but still only my 5th fastest time of the year,some work to be done to topple the 52.46.6 I ran in April but w/ cooler temps around the corner I feel that time could be in danger,my 4th fastest time of 54.36.7 is my next target

Thursday 12 Miles
After a long run and tempo run just what I needed an easy/recovery run to put me in arms reach of a 55mpw w/ 2 days to spare if needed
It's funny how an easy run can change w/ 3.5 miles to go and yer man quite content to "go w/ the flow" I heard footsteps coming up behind me as I headed south on the Schuylkill Banks......I really didn't want " a pissing contest"  so I wasn't too concerned who went by me,have at it it........till the fecker committed the  cardinal sin of not being a full stride and a half in front of me b4 cutting across me.
I don't give a flying fuck if it's Track,Road,Cross Country, race or training run.......when you overtake someone don't cut right across them like this little bollix did and w/ that I dropped the hammer and dusted the fucker w/in  a few meters.....
Remember kids,don't step on Superman's cape......and DON'T cut across the Shamrock Warrior when ye overtake him!!!!

Saturday 8 Miles
I wanted another 8 mile Tempo Run to round out the week at 55mpw but remembered the Welcome America July 4th concert on Ben Franklin Parkway resulted in the section of Schuylkill Banks behind the Art Museum being taped off,since that's on the approach to Lloyd Hall and where I begin my tempo run I figured it might be easier to go out and back to the Art Museum which is 8 miles.
Turned out they didn't tape off that section for the Made In America concert that uses the same stage set up as Welcome America,a classic "damned if I do,damned if I don't" moment.....
However.....finally a 5 day/55 mile week in the books and 152 mile for August putting my yearly total at 1,306
Hopefully I can go on another long run of 55mpws like I did in April and May as I gear up for Fall
Groucho Marx famously said "never join a club that would have someone like you as a member"....that said I like the 55mpw Club and plan to stick around a while.......

Monday, August 26, 2019

Sing This W/ Me,This Is Sub 40......

First and foremost apologies for the lack of blog entries the  last two weeks,a combination of a long weekend in Tampa,returning to work and being shorthanded and  our 5th and hopefully final heatwave of the summer all conspired against blogging and a  couple of training runs,as my former coach GP once said "you can't chase lost miles" which applies to blogging as much as it does to training.
I don't train half arsed so why would I blog likewise?,when Thursdays preposed long run fell by the way side due to work and the final day of #5 heatwave I said"feck it" at this point a Saturday run seemed pointless as I opted to"keep my powder dry" for Sundays Philly 10k,my last Summer road race and the kick off to my Fall season.

Last year was my debut at the recently added Philly 10k to the race calendar,I believe last year was the 5th year of the race and having sampled the delights of racing through South Philly and Center City I was keen to "have at it again"
Last years race not only yeilded a 41.02 finish off 6.33 mile pace and victory in the 50-54 age age group it also served as a "seven year itch" as my previous 10k was back in Nov 2011 at the Bridge Run where I finally got my "Holy Grail" a new 10k PR as mine had stood since my second ever 10k  way back in 1984.
I went into this race w/ a two pronged goal,a sub 40 time and another age group win,I did feel the first would aid the chances of the second but as almost 56 I realize that sub 40 isn't a given, now I have to work at it and comparing  last years training schedule {6 weeks,July 51  miles,Aug 129 miles and 2- 8 mile tempo runs} to this years{8 weeks,July 177 miles,Aug 91 miles 6- 8 mile tempo runs} it was clear I had put more work in this year.....this however doesn't always translate to a better time but as I'm reminded on a daily basis on a hand written sign on my bathroom wall.....
"Remember The Seven P's

I arrived at the 7.30am start w/ enough time to drop my bag off,hit the bathroom"one last time"{it never fails I go b4 leaving home figuring there will be lines ungodly at the Portajohns and yet once I get to the race I have to go again!!!}and take my place in the first corral to get a clear start
I missed the mile marker at 1 mile but retrospectivly checked my Garmin post race 5.57,a testimony to my level of fitness that brisk opening mile didn't hurt and prehaps those 6 lung busting 8 mile loop tempo runs had served me well
Down 6th St to Snyder Ave upto 13th St and Passyunk Ave to Washington Ave I'd now passed mile markers 2 and 3 but given I was 16 seconds behind the gun time I didn't bother to check my Garmin to see what my actual time mile splits were,when I crossed the 5k marker I saw 19.00,another 3 miles at this pace and sub 40 was there for the asking.....

Left on Washington Ave and upto 13th St b4 another left I was aware it wasn't as hot and humid as last year or if it was I was better trained and prepared for it
Mile 4 came and went now it was about diggin' deep over the final 2 miles and getting what I came for
I passed my good friend Colin on the sidewalk who was in cheerleader mode as sadly his season has come to an end due to injury,we exchanged high 5s as I continued down 13th St to Chestnut St,a sharp right down to 12th,right again and down 12th St to Christian St
I forget what the clock at 5 miles read,low 32s I think but now it was a matter of focusing on the final push

Left onto Christian St and down to 7th St,another left along to 7th to South St,right and the finish line just between 6th St and 5th St was in clear view
Remembering the old Carl Lewis quote" I just wanted to know I left it all out there" I made sure I'd done just that.......and then some........ 6.13 mile pace,Boo feckin' Yah!!!!!
My splits read:5.57-6.04-6.14-6.19-6.29-6.18-1.33 yes a tad uneven but way to close after allowing my slowest mile between miles 4 and 5
Sub 40 check,age group win check{almost 4 mins ahead of 2nd in the 55-59 age group} and my 50th sub 40 10k time in 57 10ks dating back to my debut in  Wimbledon on Sept 11th 1983

Yes I'd put the work in even though I missed some runs due to the bastard heat and humidity.....and the bastards at work who often conspire to derail my training schedule but I did it......and never one to sit on my laurals it's back at it tomorrow to prep for the Philadelphia Rock  & Roll Half Marathon and hopefully medal #197

Monday, August 5, 2019

You Cannot Be Serious!!!

So it should come as no major "Book Of Revelations" that I idolized John McEnroe back in the day,as a Tennis player he was second to none,but his fiery temper and ability to "tell it like it was" was like Nectar to someone like me,not blessed w/ an even temperament......or ability to keep my opinion to myself
Reading Johnny Mac's autobiography "You Cannot Be Serious" I recalled his comments about trying to be the #1 player in the world,travelling from tournament to tournament,practice,media and endorsement commitments while also trying to be a husband and father,quote"life is a juggling act,and you're just trying to keep all the balls in the air at the same time".......
While not the worlds #1 at anything{some would say I'm #1 Worlds Biggest Areshole....} I too struggle like everyone else trying to balance life,work,training,social life,being in a relationship,and sometimes I don't manage to "keep all the balls in the air at the same time".............

BONED again at work for the second Monday in a row,in at 6am,out at 6.30pm......WTF!!!!
W/out going into a diatribe about this that's what my trusty diary/journal is for but surfice to say my work day was shot to shit when I walked in at 6am so in the "don't get mad get even" mindset I said feck it!! stayed for 12.5 hrs to not only get all my work done but also pad my hours,hey yer gonna fuck me w/ extra work,I'm gonna stay till it's all put away and make sure I get paid......
I hate to miss Monday training runs,it tends to set you up to be" behind the 8 ball" for the rest of the week in case something jumps off.........

The reason a Monday run was paramount was I had an Iron Maiden concert Tuesday nite and it was always going to be touch and go if I'd get done work in time to get home,get out and run,back home,shower,eat and back out to South Philly to the Wells Fargo Ctr to catch one of my all time favourite bands{where do you you thing the title of my blog Running Free comes from???} and w/ temps in the mid 90s my concern was on a 10 miler if I suffered another heat related bonk/dnf and was forced to walk 3,4,5 miles back home I was truly screwed not only for the run but also the gig
At this point my 5 day/50mpw target was shot but a 4 day/40mpw was there for the taking so rather than rant,rave,shout,scream I accepted my fate........
BTW Iron Maiden were FECKIN' AWESOME!!!!!!

10 Miles
Despite only 5 hrs sleep after the gig and returning to work for a 10 hr shift I dragged my weary old bones out and back along the Schuylkill Footpath & Kelly Dr to get a 10 miler in
There's an old "Calvin & Hobbes" cartoon where Calvin is fuckin w/ Hobbes b4 Hobbes smacks the shit out of him and the tag line reads "Triffle Not W/ Tired Tigers"........
At mile 7 this pratt on her bike decides to not only come right up on my right and cut across me w/out so much as a"on your right"....warning......
Believe me if I could've gotten my foot into her backwheel I'd have shreaded the spokes,fucking cyclists kill me out on the path/drives,if you're about to pass me at  great speed let me know you're there,ring your bell "on your left"{sidebar most Cyclists pass on the left,pratt features decided to pass me on my right w/ there was considerably less space than the left},trust me sweetheart pull that stunt again it won't be the saddle making your arse sore it'll be my size 10.5 running shoe going up your hole!!!

I had planned to head over to the Art Museam Loop for a Tempo Run{I knew I was too tired yesterday after the Maiden gig ergo easy 10 miler} but in that time honoured adage of "we make plans and God laughs".......
The first of any month tends to be "moving day" for people and literally as I got to my front door I ran into one of my neighbours who was moving out to relocate to Chicago
We've been trying to coordinate a get together for the past 10 days to have a drink and one last chat but between both our schedules it hadn't happened,meanwhile the house next door my neighbor was also moving out having bought a home in Lansdale,we'd often crossed paths as I'd get home from one of my runs,I think he was impressed I ran and I often kidded him he should train for a local 5k but it never happened
By the time I'd said my goodbyes to thoses guys the prospect of schleeping over to the AML for a tempo run was gone,I needed the tempo run an easy 8 miler was neither here nor there,another run shot to shit......and you all know as a rule I don't train on Friday's "The Pagan Sabbath".....

14 Miles
For the 4th time in 5 weeks "up w/  the dawn patrol fraternity" and out the door by 6.30am for my long run
The previous runs had been to beat the heat,this was more of a "if I don't run now I'm screwed for the day" move
W/ a 11am Facebook Live show to do in Fox Chase w/ my partner in crime CJ I had no other play than get up at 6,run at 6.30am,home by 8.30am,in and out of the shower a quick breakfast back out by 9.20am to catch the 9.58am R8 to Fox Chase
Maybe it was the sense of the clock ticking,maybe being rested from missing runs earlier in the week,maybe it was the new running shoes,maybe now at week 5 of this training campaign or a mixture of all of the above but I cranked out said 14 miler in roughly 8.5 mile pace,the Philly Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon is still 6 weeks away but I do feel I'm rounding into shape at the right time to trouble that 1.24 1/2 marathon time I ran on March 31st in the Love Run

8 Mile Tempo Run
W/ a 10am Spurs game and then spending some quality time w/ ''herself" post game the only option for said tempo run was between 4pm and 5pm.....better late than never
Last Sunday I ran between 2.45pm & 3.45pm when it was considerably hotter,I hoped the 75 min later start would aid and abet me.....and boy did it!!
57.55.6 off of 7.14 mile pace
2.25 quicker than last week and my quickest time since reintroducing the tempo run into my weekly routine
Still room for improvement,splits a little all over the place like Chicken Shit on a farm.....hey I'm a Paddy yer gonna get a farm reference from me!!! but mile pace coming down
T minus 3 for the Philly 10k,T minus 6 for the Rock & Roll Philly 1/2........"It's Go Time"

Monday, July 29, 2019

Temps Down,Miles Up

After a frankly disappointing week the week b4 my goal this week was to bounce back w/ a  5 day/50mpw.......

Tuesday 10 Miles
Sweet and merciful Jesus the heatwave broke and while I offer heartfelt apologies to any European readers of the blog it's your turn to sweat and swelter under that bastard heat
Monday was shot re a run thanks to a 12.5 hr work day plus the end of the heatwave was punctuated by heavy storms but Tuesday it was blue skies and comfortable conditions
My takeaway from the easy 10 out and back along Kelly Dr,it's nice to breathe,nicer to finish what I started,awesome to be done b4 the heavens opened and the 9 min miles were an added bonus

Wednesday 8 Mile Tempo
This is where the wheels began to fall off last week so there was a sense of "revenge" going over to the Art Museum Loop just b4 11am to tackle my 8 mile tempo run
80 degrees and almost picture perfect conditions{almost because as we all know perfect doesn't exist!}
Splits of:6.50-7.12-7.26-7.29-7.32-7.25-7.39-7.22 brought me home in 58.59 off 7.22 mile pace,a 1.16 improvement on the July 14th effort
W/ the exception of mile 7 being a bit arsey I was reasonably pleased w/ my time and overall performance but as my former coach often told me"there's more meat on that bone" and w/ another 4.5 weeks till the Philly 10k and another 6 tempo runs scheduled I'd like to see my overall time and mile time come down

Thursday 10 Miles
Another easy/recovery/shake out run,one last "calm b4 the storm" day at work b4 the proverbial "hits the fan" for the next 8 days and I put in long hours w/out a lunch hour and then drag my sorry carcass out to log my miles but I'm damned if those feckers are gonna screw my training up
Another evening of pleasant temps and decent air quality as rumours of #4 heatwave are beginning to emerge from the weather peeps........

Saturday 14 Miles
As has become my won't of late I've been not only getting the long run in on Saturday but also getting up early to do so
Out the door by 7.50am and down to the Schuylkill by 8.10 as I made my way out to just beyond Strawberry Mansion bridge on Kelly Dr b4 turning and heading back.
I still have 7 weeks till the Philly Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon and fingers crossed several 14 miles to get myself in decent half marathon shape,roughly 9 min mile pace this morning but come race day I'm hoping to go out in 6.30 pace and hold on as long as I can,I logged a 1.24 half at the Love Run in March and having retasted "rarefied air" I'd like to taste it again

Sunday 8 Mile Tempo
Two choices,easy 8 mile/recovery/shake out run OR second tempo run on tired legs?
Option B please.....,
I would have rather been able to do this early to mid morning but my schedule dictated it would be 2.45pm b4 I could get to the trusty AML to resume hostilities w/ the Garmin......
Splits:6.54-7.14-7.13-7.31-7.38-7.40-8.05-8.09 =60.25 off of 7.33 mile pace,1.26 slower than Wednesday.
I kinda "shit the bed" the last 2 miles" but hung in there to at least finish what I started,I knew my splits were getting slower and slower but frankly I'd rather have a crack at a Tempo run off of tired legs and fail then take the easy way out and "jog" 8 slow miles

All in all a good week,sadly I'm gonna come up a tad short of 200 miles for the month by virtue of being a slacker at the start of July but I'm finishing strong and rolling into August w/ purpose and momentum

Monday, July 22, 2019

Dog Days 2 Sharmrock Warrior 1.........Where's VAR When You Need It?

Go figure my first week back blogging and of my 6 proposed runs I only managed 3 and the last two ended up DNF's........#whodbeafeckinrunner

So I wrote the week up as follows:
Monday 9 miler
Tuesday 9 miler
Wednesday 8 Mile Tempo Run
Thursday 9 Miler
Friday Rest Day{Pagan Sabbath}
Saturday 14 miler
Sunday 6 miler...........
However......the best laid plans of Mice & Men .......and Runners.........

I ended up blowing everything off on Monday,the run,Laundry,Starbucks to have  a rare FOD{Fuck Off Day} they come around once in a blue moon and frankly w/ a tweak I could  log a 50mpw
I spent the day in bed reading the Lol Tolhurst  book 'Cured:The Tale Of Two Imaginary Boys" it was just one of those books I couldn't put down and must say altered my opinion of Lol and his time in The Cure
I identified w/ his struggles w/ alcohol,the black outs,waking up w/ cuts and bruises,alienating friends and co workers etc and the ability to turn it all around,make amends to the ones he'd hurt and start a new life for himself,it's a worthwhile read even if you're not a Cure fan

10 Miler,new plan 10 & 10 eitherside of my 8 mile Tempo run and the 14-8 on the weekend...5day/ it when a plan comes together.....
Again since I was off work I had the luxury of a mid morning run which as Heatwave #3 was about to begin was a blessing
The previous Thursday I was off and thought I was being clever getting said run in midmorning however I discovered heading up and down Spruce St b4 and during lunchtime is NOT a great idea as it felt every fecking CHOP & HUP employee was lined up at the several lunch trucks between 37th & 34th St and weaving in and out of them feckers wasn't fun......SO armed w/ trusty Garmin I went "the road less travelled" and down Powelton Ave and Mantua to reach West River Drive,marking off the 2 mile,2.5 mile splits
The foot of the ramp down to W. River Dr was mile 3,that particular day was a 12 miler so I "eyeballed" the 4,4.5, and 5 mile marks b4 my 6 mile turnaround which afforded me the knowledge of where to turn today on a 10 miler
Roughly 10 min mile pace for a 1.40 time,time and pace were not options I just wanted the miles in but even at 10.40am I was cognizant of the already rising heat.......

8 Mile Tempo
From Early March till early May I'd made a point of using my Wednesdays off to do my 8 mile tempo run around the  Art Museum Loop,starting at Lloyd Hall at the beginning of Boathouse Row and going counter clockwise up Kelly Dr,over Falls Bridge,down W.River Dr and finishing in front of the Art Museum Steps
On a good day I shoot for 7 min mile pace or sub 7,the previous Sunday I logged my first Tempo Run in 2 months and gone 7.30 mile pace for a 60.05 time so the hope was to better that......
Even at 10.30am it was hot and humid when I set off and while I opened in an identical 7.03 to Sundays run,the next two splits went 7.33,7.34 and I was beginning to feel the heat and this pace,a far cry from the 10 min miles I was running yesterday
The slight uphill towards Falls Bridge felt harder than it should but I was confident the slight downhill on the otherside on W.River Dr would negate that........he said hopefully......
Just b4 the 4 mile mark I stopped.....43 years of running have taught me"when you aint got it,you aint got it" and today I didn't have it
The time honoured"Walk Of Shame" when you bonk/dnf is never least at that hour on a Wednesday mid morning there were few witnesses to my shame as I humbly walked down W. River Dr and back to 30th Station to jump on the trolley home
Ever the optimist I told myself I could have a second crack at it Sunday since I was now rescheduled to do 8miles not 6 as I originally wrote........

There are four things you can depend on in life,Death,Taxes,Septa NOT running to schedule and Work"fucking up a Teddy Bear's Picnic"!!!!!!!
My first day  after a well earnt week off and feckin Skids up the wazoo,upshot it was 4.40pm when I got done work,5.50pm when I got home,stick a fork in doing 10 miles between 6pm-7.30pm period but again the heat was playing havoc as a Heat Advisory Warning for the area was in full effect.

14 Miler
Two weeks ago I'd gotten up at 6am to get out by 6.35am to get my long run in b4 it became too hot and humid to run so I opted to go that route again and by 7am when I reached the Schuylkill Footpath that leads to Kelly & W. River Dr it was already populated w/ other runners,walkers and bikers who had thought likewise
2 weeks ago I misjudged the turnaround and turned a 1/4 too early,last week I had to extend my run to the 3/4 mile marker to compensate losing 1/2 a mile between 4-4.5 miles when a "call of nature" required a pit stop in the Lloyd Hall rest room and this week I just plain overshot the 1/2 marker
In my defense I didn't see either the 1/4 marker,1/2 mile marker or 3/4 mile markers beyond Strawberry Mansion Bridge and b4 I knew I was now upto the 3 miler mark which given it's 4.5 miles from my front door to Lloyd Hall meant I was now at 7.5 miles,did I turnback now,weave thro the rowers congregated at St Joe's Boathouse and either take a mile off the end of the run.....OR continue doing the loop and make it a 15 miler via trusty Powelton Ave?
For the second time in 4 days just b4 the Conrail Bridge on W. River Dr my legs said"no mas" at this stage I had 8.5 miles in,I walked 1/2 a mile and got going again after wringing out my not so dry drifit sleeveless running shirt which even at 7.30am was dripping in sweat but w/in 1/2 a mile  I was toast......
Another dnf,another "walk of shame" home this time witnessed by other runners who were able to keep going as they made their way south along W. River Dr.

At this point I said "feck it" as my ex coach GP often said"you can't chase lost miles" rather than fuck w/ an even hotter day Sunday I stuck a fork in my week and settled for the 23 miles I had,Monday begins a new week and sees this bastard heatwave brake
In running as in life you get knocked down, you have set backs but you take it on the chin and ready yourself for the next week......