Wednesday, November 20, 2019

200 Not Out*

*202 At Close Of Play

Well it took me almost 43 and a half years to reach the 200 medal landmark......I guess an extra 10 days to blog it  won't hurt...........
When I resumed Running in May 2017 after a 9 month sabbatical my medal tally stood at 167 and systematically for the past 2.5 years I've closed in on the 200 landmark
Going into 2019 I was of the opinion by the Fall I would be in a position to reach that point.......I felt quite strongly that such a landmark should happen here in Philadelphia,home for the past 32 years and venue for more of my medal haul than I can remember
The unexpected age group award medal in the recent "Run For The Blue" Market St 5 Miler meant I was now at #199 and the 5k at The Rocky Run would yield #200,as has been my won't the last two years prior I signed up for the "Italian Stallion Challenge"  to run the 5k and 10 miles to earn the bonus medal, I not only wanted #200 to be here on "home turf" but also mean something I didn't want the "freebie bonus medal" to be #200

One drawback of a November race at 7am is the potential weather,it was particularly brisk when I arrived at Eakins Oval around 6.30am but I could be grateful for my omnipresent pre race nerves serving as a distraction to the cold
You'd think at almost 44 years of racing I'd be used to the routine by now.....and yet I still get Butterflies in my stomach the morning of a race,perhaps the magnitude of the occasion  was why said Butterflies felt they had boots on,how nervous was I ?........let's just say it was a minor miracle I kept my pre race cup of Tea down upon leaving home just after 6am......
Having gotten sick in the build up to the race during the week I felt it wise to" back off the pace" a little in the 5k,if it were just the 5k I'd have "left it all out there" but knowing I was required to return 25 mins later to tackle a 10 miler it felt that "caution was the better part of valour"

Splits of 6.23-6.30-6.25- and 53 brought me home in 20.11.2 off of 6.26 mile pace,slower than I'd have liked but given my disposition I took the "Dirty Harry" approach  a man's gotta know his limitations"
50th overall and 2nd of 142 in the age group, to now quote Al Pachino  from "Scent Of A Woman" I'm just getting warmed up.......
Back over to Eakins Oval from the Art Museum steps to the corral I waited for the 10 mile race, as was the case last year the 7.45am start got pushed back 10 mins to accommodate some of the slower 5k runners still out on the course given how brisk it was I could've done w/out that but it was what it was

Recalling the Philly Runfest 1/2 marathon from June when I went out conservatively over the hills in East Falls b4 romping over the flat of Kelly & River Drives I took it easy for the first half of the 10 miler,7.04-7.08-7.14-7.48-6.23 {35.37} if you're curious to the disparity of miles 4 and 5 all you need to know is this mile 4 is up Drago Hill......and mile 5 is down Drago Hill.....
Reaching the turnaround between the the Conrail bridge and Falls bridge I was 54th,symbolically and physically I pushed the sleeves of my long sleeved running shirt was time to get serious....
The final 4 miles replicate my weekly tempo run...of course in a tempo run I'm at mile 4 of 8 miles today I was at mile 9 of 13 but the mindset was the same.....get it done
6.48-6.58-6.45-6.45-6.19{33.35} a negative split to come home in 69.12 off of 6.56 mile pace

42nd overall and 1st of 78 in the age group,for the "Italian Stallion Challenge" I was 21st overall but 1st of 50 in the age group......not a bad mornings work and it wasn't even 9am yet!
Having Mrs Shamrock Warrior present for the races meant everything,I recall a Philly Marathon in the early 2000s when I saw a handmade sign in the crowd that said "P Diddy doesn't run this city,my girlfriend does" and thinking how lucky that runner was to have that kind of love and forward to now I don't have to wonder what that feels like,I know firsthand what that feels like and for that I am forever in your debt........

To borrow a quote from Worlds recently" it's never me it's we" sure it's me putting in 55 mile training weeks week in,week out,it's me making sacrifices,making sure the finances are in place to run,travel,etc but I didn't do this alone,I've had some help,I always say my running is a God given talent and for that I thank him after each training run and race,The Auld Fella for giving me my start in running way back when in 72,that nite I just wanted to stay in one piece,these days I think about the next race and or the next target
To my family,friends,co workers who have supported me over the years,to my former coach who's pearls of wisdom still resonate w/ me now some 10 years later,to the friends I've made in the running community who's encouragement keeps me coming back for more I could have done it w/out you......but I'm glad I didn't have to
To the Holy Trinity of Irish Milers, Ronnie Delaney,Eamon Coghlan and Marcus O Sullivan thank you for the inspiration,I can never achieve what you guys did in your careers but it's because of you I wear my green Ireland running vest w/ pride in the hopes that in my own small way I can emulate you

So what's next now that #200 has been reached? I won't deny #300 is a target,10 medals a year for the next 10 years provided I can stay injury and illness free and motivated
2,000 miles for the year is a legit target also as I prepare for one final road race of the season at the Rothman 8k and then prepare for the indoor track season

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The{Shamrock} Warriors Code

Another week,another 5 day/55mpw in the books but to quote Bob Dylan"the times they are a changing"
A week of rifling through my running gear to make sure I was always dressed correctly for the threat of Rain,actual Rain, a dip in the temps oh yeah and the clocks going back .......all in a weeks training for yer not so typical Shamrock Warrior

Monday 12 Miles
As is my won't a 12 miler on Monday to get the ball rolling for the week ahead
I was still drying out from Sundays race when I got drenched and there was an omnipresent threat of rain when I hit the road at 3.50pm so the trusty running cap,half zip and 3/4 length bottoms for the Powelton Ave/W.River Dr out and back to Strawberry Mansion bridge
No ill effects from Sunday,out and back in daylight.....the last time I'll say that on a Monday for the coming months

Tuesday 11 Miles
Keen as I was for a day off the fine folks at the Met {office not museum!} claimed Thursday was going to be a deluge so I figured best to get out ahead of it today even though there was a spattering of rain during my  out and back along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr
W/ my recent conversion to W. River Dr for some of my runs it feels a bit like seeing an old girlfriend now when I make my way to Kelly Dr,familiar but w/ a hint of disdain,sure it gets the job done but a longing for things to be less complicated and less aggravating

Wednesday 8 Mile Tempo Run
Again my hand felt forced by the threat of Rain for Thursday so I bumped up my tempo run by a day and maybe paid the price of running on tired legs
58.42.8 off 7.20 mile pace
I knew when I opened in 6.54 I was probably going to struggle to keep the splits at sub 7 and wasn't wrong
Going over Falls Bridge at  almost half way I realized I was running flat footed and not up on my toes a basic error which probably didn't help and while I corrected that down W. River Dr it was too little too late
After a handful of decent times/splits in recent Tempo Runs Sods Law dictated I was due a sub par performance,it was today
Further "insult to injury" due to an oversight on my part in the opening week of October I came up  6 miles short of my 200 mile target for the month,however heading into November my yearly mileage stands at 1,718,breaking the 2,000 mark looks on b4 Dec 31st

Saturday Intervals
If I was looking for a response to Wednesdays below par Tempo Run I got it on the Haverford track this morning
A fortnite ago I went:

Mile 5.50.5
Splits 1.24-1.30-1.30-1.26
Solid opening to proceedings,again those middle laps dip a bit too much to my liking but I aim to work on that

1,200m 4.17.6
Splits 1.23-1.28-1.26
2 seconds up on 2 weeks ago,solid opening and closing laps

1,000m 3.25.6
Splits 1.20-1.26-39
Where the fuck did that 1.20 opening lap come from?......and could I have more of those please!

800m 2.43.5
Splits 1.21-1.22
Again solid consistent laps and a 7 second improvement on two weeks ago

600m 1.58.8
Splits 1.20-38
Another 1.20 opening lap and back at sub 2 for my 600s

Brisk opening 1/4 that may've diminished the closing 3,I hate to start fast then slow  down but compare these 1/4s to the 4 I closed w/ last time......

Overall a 32 second improvement from last time out,I doubt I'll see such a dramatic drop in times moving forward but as the kids say "it's trending in the right direction"....

Sunday 18 Miles
Ah the Sunday long run to see out the week,another "up w/ the dawn patrol fraternity" morning,Saturday was 6.30am today do what you have to do
W/ the advent of the clocks going back at least when I hit the road at 6.35am it was daylight and after two weeks of conducting my Sunday long runs in grey overcast skies today was bright sunshine.....albeit not terribly warm and I rued the fact I ran sans gloves for the opening hour as my hands were cold
Could I have worn my shades? maybe it was bright enough......I'd have felt a pratt running at 6.35am in sunglasses......then again at that hour who was going to see me???
Coming off Fountain Green Dr to Kelly Dr I passed another runner getting his Sunday run in,at mile 12 of an 18 miler I wasn't looking for a 'pissing contest" but when he blew by me  b4 the start of Boathouse Row I said feck it and w/in a mile caught and passed can train a Tiger......but you won't suppress it's natural instinct to hunt its prey.........

You'd have thought that was enough running for one day/week but oh no in the afternoon I watched the New York City Marathon on tv,next year is it's 50th anniversary,these bi weekly 18 milers are keeping me in Marathon shape.....if the chance to run a 3rd NYC Marathon comes my way I'd be hard pressed to turn it down.....

Monday, October 28, 2019

Not Quite Winning One For The Gipper

"I don't want to wake up,lost in the dreams of our fathers,oh it's such a waste child to live and die for the dreams of our fathers
Though I must confess yes my view is a wonder about this,this love I possess love,it must be the dreams of our fathers"
Dreams Of Our Fathers Dave Matthews Band

Oh the irony,not only a 5 mile race on the 35th anniversary of "the auld fella's" death but it was pissing down  rain........just like it was that fateful night back in August 1972 back home in  Berrings Co Cork the nite my father chased me and his godson Liam home 5 miles in the dead of night in the pouring rain threatening us w/ a swift kick in our collective arses if we stopped running......
Fast forward Sunday October 27th the first Run For Blue Market Street 5 Mile race......

I delayed my arrival to the start till as close to 8am as possible as it was already raining,I'm no stranger to running in the rain to begin w/ but I do get flashbacks of that nite 47 years ago of being chased by a lunatic in the black of night and the pouring rain the entire 5 miles home,to this day I credit that nite to the start of my running career which  in earnest didn't begin for another  four years on an old cinder track in Charlton Park as a high school freshman

As is my won't I lined up a little behind the front of the starting line so as not to get caught up in the inevitable mad dash from the starting pistol but before we made the turn from Front St to Arch St I had moved my way upto 11th b4 we then made a left onto 2nd St and then a right onto Market St.
From the gun the lead three had distanced themselves from the field,4th place{and 1st female} had also gotten clear and I was the caboose of the  7 runner pack as we made our way up  Market St from 2nd to 30th
Two choices,draft off of these guys or run my own own race......

I made my way into 5th and on the way to the turnaround saw the lead three had become two b4 3rd and 4th passed me heading back down Market St
Either I didn't see mile marker or there weren't any so I was in the dark re splits till post race via the Garmin
I forget when the second female passed me,pretty sure it was just b4 rounding City Hall which was when I surrendered 6th spot to an old "sparring partner" Andy Cherry
Andy and I have been racing against one another for longer than either one of us probably remembers and have had some epic duals,today was no different and I'm sure our paths will cross again

I wish 8th place had been closer to force me to push harder,I doubt I'd have caught Andy but knowing 7th was secure I probably didn't dig any deeper than I had to.
Crossed the line in 31.55.9 off of 6.13 mile pace w/ splits of 5.59-6.12-6.08-6.13-6.37,I made the turnaround in 16.45 which means a negative split of 16.45-15.10
It's been a while since I registered a top 10 finish,it's also been a while since I ran a five mile race,the last one was 06 when I ran in 13 years I've only slowed down by 59 seconds.....

I said last week I wasn't sure of my chances of an age group award due to it only being top 2 not top 3 plus being 50-59 not 55-59,I needn't have worried Andy Cherry and I were the not only 6th and 7th overall but the first two 50-59 runners so not only an age group award.....BUT a medal to boot......
#199 which means the 5k at the upcoming Rocky Run will be #200,the 10 miler will be #201 and the bonus medal for both races will be #202

Once again I was delighted to have  Mrs Shamrock Warrior w/ me for a race,after years of having girlfriends who treated my running like a major inconvenience it means the world to have someone who wants to come to my races even when it's raining,......that's hard core right there if she said at 6am " it's raining I don't want to stand around waiting" I wouldn't have held it against her...but no she came w/ me and never once complained about the weather,as I told her post race it's NOT a coincidence I've been  producing impressive times and performances this season w/ her as my support system,thank you

Final word has to go to "the auld fella"  on the 35th anniversary of his passing,glass half empty he'd want to know why I only finished 7th,glass half full he'd have a wry smile to himself in the knowledge that that fateful nite in Berrings Co Cork in August of 72 wasn't all in vain

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

{Keeping Off} The Green,Green Grass Of Home

Sadly not a 5 day/55mpw to report.....however I did resume Track Intervals along w/ a tempo run and 18 mile long run so it wasn't all bad............

Monday 12 Miles
Nice easy out and back along W. River Dr via Powelton Ave to get any residual gunk out of my legs from Sundays race and kick the week off
Nothing else really to report other than signing up for the Market St Run For Blue 5 Miler on Sunday October 27th
It's a new race on the calendar and while probably not yielding a medal or an age group award{Top 2 runners in  a 50-59 category} it's a rare chance at some thing a little shorter and hopefully faster to get my fast twitch muscles ready for the on the horizon Indoor Track Season.......

Thursday 8 Mile Tempo Run
Wednesdays proposed 11 Miler got washed away in the rain, a soft misty rain I could've handled but a rain so hard it knocked the Satellite dish out rain.....nah,glass half empty I lost any shot at a 5 day/55 mile week,glass half full maybe the Universe was telling me to ease up a tad, as it was following Mondays run I had logged 484 miles on my current running shoes and I noticed a little soreness in my shines.......Wednesday my new Turner running shoes arrived so Thursdays tempo run was a chance to break them in
Dry conditions but overcast and windy out around the AML{Art Museum Loop} the opening 1/4 mile I was sheltered by the boathouses along Boathouse Row but after they stop I was a prime target for the wind coming off of the Schuylkill
54.04.8 off 6.45 mile pace
Bummed doesn't begin to describe how I feel about that 7.00 split on mile 4,I was guilty of "going to sleep" mentally in that mile ergo the failure to maintain my recent run of sub 7s but as I heard Ato Boldon say during the recent IAAF World C'ships "a defeat is only a defeat if you don't learn from it"

Saturday Repeats
A welcome return to the track and the friendly confines of Haverford collage which has become my default track to workout on
Up by 6.30am,out the door by 7am and over to 30th St train station to catch the 7.26am R5 train I was on the track doing my mile warm up by 8am
A little brisk at that hour,how brisk you ask? frost on the soccer pitch on the infield of the track
An ok start, as is often the case my 800-1,200 splits dip a little lower than I'd prefer but I have time to correct that in the coming weeks/months

1,200m 4.19.6
Splits 1.24-1.27-1.28
Having not conducted intervals since May 11th I was basically "putting down a marker" for when I return again on Nov 2nd

1,000m 3.30.5
Fairly consistent over the 800m,like to see the closing 200m a tad quicker.....

800m 2.50.8
1.24-1.24 would've been better.........

600m 2.01.0
Trending in the right direction off another solid opening 400m

Not pleased that #3 went up a second not down a second but not unhappy I shaved 4 seconds off on the final 400

All in all a solid start,let's see what Nov 2nd  brings upon my return

Sunday 18 Miler
If it's every second Sunday it's the hills of Fairmount Park and East Falls
As we'd say back home "it was a soft day" a lite misty rain throughout the run which only picked up w/ 4 miles to go at which point I was all but home and dusted
Need to look at a map and see if I can incorporate more of the hills over in East Falls and somehow double back to Strawberry Mansion bridge and head home via Belmont, the final 6 miles along Kelly Dr are pancake flat and to be honest a little boring after numerous hills on either side of the Schuylkill River
Of course leave it to me to "spice things up" a little towards the end of the run......
Heading South along the Schuylkill Banks approaching South St bridge w/ just a few ticks of 2 miles to go I was passed by another would have been easier to let him go and not get into a "pissing contest" at mile 16 of an 18 miler.......easier but not as much fun......
He kept glancing over his left shoulder to see if I was  going to "give chase" and it seemed rude not to oblige but each time I closed the gap he upped his pace.....I wasn't going away
At the end of the Schuylkill Bank path b4 Christian St where you turn to head back  North along the Banks trailpath I "dropped the hammer" like it was the bell lap of a track race,I kept waiting to hear either footsteps or breathing but heard neither.....yeah you don't want any parts of the Shamrock Warrior trust me,long feckin run or not.......
Heading up the spiral stairs to the South St bridge I looked over to the trailpath and saw him running back along the banks,he gave me the "thumbs up" sign and I reciprocated by waving......Game recognizes Game.....

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hooah Part II

So w/ the "Meat & Potato's" out of the way,onto Desert..........

Sunday 10 Mile Race
W/ 45 miles already logged now for the oh so small matter of the Army 10 Miler.......
I can't say w/ any degree of certainty I've always wanted to run the Army 10 Miler but I have been aware of it,post event I would say there is a very strong{Army Strong maybe??...} chance I will be back next year and perhaps years to come as it truly was a great event
The simple truth was after the Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon in September I was on #197 of my medal count and looking "down the road" to #200
At the end of this month I will have lived in Philly for 32 years and subsequently a lot of my races have been in Philadelphia,ergo the desire to reach the #200 landmark " on home turf"' however I also felt/feel strongly that such a landmark should be notable,the Rocky Run in early November would allow me that chance.....however #198 would be for the 5k,#199 would be for the 10 miler and #200 would be the bonus medal for doing both.......nah!!!!
W/ that in mind I looked for a race pre Rocky Run to allow me #198 so that on Nov 9th I can reach #199 after the 5k,have the 10 miler as #200 and the bonus medal be #201.......

Conditions were as close to idilic Sunday morning as I had any right to ask,mid 50s w/ the sun in and out of the clouds as I made my to the start/finish at The Pentagon, as iconic a landmark as you could get
Making my way to the first corral I heard them play Dropkick Murphy's classic "Shipping Up To Boston'' as a proud Paddy and Shamrock Warrior that song gets my Celtic blood pumping to begin w/ now it felt like my heart was beating like a bass drum,a boost for "himself"  but perhaps an unfair advantage to the field???
Maybe it was " Shipping Up To Boston" that resulted in an opening mile of 6.12,I got a good place in the corral not right up front but w/ plenty runners still behind me and as is my won't over to the right hand side of the road my prefered choice
The wheelchair athletes were long gone as I began to pass the numerous "Wounded Warrior" athletes,despite being 100% focused on my mission today I was humbled and grateful for their sacrifices so that we can have days like today,to those proud men and women I salute you

6.19 at mile 2,the prerace aim was to see if I could hold 6.20 mile pace for a 63.20 a reasonable expectation based on my training
6.14 at mile 3 there was a time I might have felt those early miles in my breathing but this season the devotion to 55mpw week in,week out and the 8 mile tempo runs has paid off in spades,proof that if you put the hard work in during training come race day you will be rewarded
6.18 at mile 4 I felt I was running well w/in myself at this stage,careful not to "over project" only thinking about the next mile and always adding 6.20 to each mile split/overall time to have a target time when I got there
6.08 for mile 5 and a 31.11 at the half.......was I really on pace for 62.22???

6.18 for mile 6 and still feeling comfortable,passing runners ahead of me left and right,I have often and I'm sure will again get my pace wrong but today felt very much like I was "running in The Zone"
6.08 for mile 7 time to vizualize the closing three miles down W. River Dr on my lung bustin' 8 mile tempo runs to keep driving towards the finish
6.18 for mile 8 now I was "sizing up" runners ahead of me picking my targets to pass,if there was a target on the back of my Ireland running vest the feckers were gonna have to catch me first.....
6.05 at mile 9, a 63.20 finish was nolonger my target I was probably going 62 and change.....
5.57 for the final mile to cross the line in 62.24.......6.10 mile pace

Reunited w/ MSW {Mrs Shamrock Warrior} post race I joked the Eliud Kipchoge called and wants to run w/ me!!!!
WOW fastest 10 miler since the 06 Broad St Run{full disclosure I didn't run any 10 mile road races between the 06 BSR  and 17 BSR}
#14 all time on my list of 10 Mile Road Races
Last year the 55-59 was won in 63.37 so I felt confident of another age group victory.......5th.......
Sure I could be pissy and feel hard done by if I wanted to but instead I salute the four "Grey Beards" who ran:59.48-60.19-60.19-60.44 impressive times gentlemen

I will return to our nations capital for this event it was a truly great weekend and fun experience,glass half empty no age group win,glass half full a faster time than I could have imagined and the all important #198 medal in hand,Rocky Run here I the Shamrock Warrior maybe it should be renamed the Shamrocky Run........

Monday, October 14, 2019

Hooah!!!! Part 1

Yes,another five day,fifty five mile week.......however a race tacted on at the end to make life interesting,as my Mother always taugh me you have to get through your Dinner b4 you can have Desert so let's get the "Meat & Potatos out of the way first b4 diving into.....{insert Desert of your own choice!!!}

Monday 13 Miles
No rest for the wicked,off the back of my 18 miler on Sunday a mere stretch of the legs..... Monday over 13 miles
As is my won't I prefer to get a Monday run under my belt but w/ a week set up to log 45 miles by Thursday and include a 8 mile Tempo run there was little to no "wiggle room" it was either 13 or 12 is my won't in a race week I prefer to get the longer/longest run done asap,ergo the 13 on Monday
Only two items of note on this one,after a lenghty absence the temprature is back on Peco Tower,you could always rely on time and temp being displayed but for a while now the temprature hadn't shown did on Monday and for the record it was 79 degrees
As I began the first section of the recent{ and by recent I mean a few years back} addition to the Schuylkill Bank South beyond South St bridge a Rat came up from the river bank and began to pace me ......for all of a few seconds b4  figuring"this fucker means business" and ducked back down towards the water.....
I've heard of being paced by " a Rabbit"......but a feckin Rat??

Tuesday 12 Miles
W/ back to back 12 milers on tap there felt a need to "mix it up a tad" so I opted for the road less travelled on Tuesdsay and went the Powelton Ave/W.River Dr route.
Have to say a lot less agravating than the traditional South St bridge/Schuylkill Banks/Kelly Dr route so maybe something to consider
Thanks to the Garmin I have all my mile markers from mile 2 to mile 6 marked out from earlier in the Summer so maybe heading into Fall/Winter I'll  opt for this route more often
Wildlife Update! not one but two Beavers? on W.River Dr just after Girade Ave bridge,I'd have thought the noise of the traffic along W.River Dr would've kept them on the river bank but there they were.......neither offer to pace me.....bastards!!

Wednesday 12 Miles
Jaysus!!! remember I said Monday was 79 degs{and bright sunshine too!}.....feckin Wednesday 55 degs grey and rainy.....welcome to Fall training peeps
W/ a race a few days away I wasn't about to play fast and loose w/ the conditions so swapped bandanna for running cap,short sleeves for 1/2 zip top and shorts for 3/4 length  bottoms
Now I know in recent entries I've been scathing of Cyclists but Pedestrians can be arseholes also.....
At the junction of Convention Ave and Spruce St {scene of a few close calls w/ dickheads on two wheels who blow through red lights} I witnessed this gem w/ my own two eyes.
The Traffic Aide is out in the middle of the street directing traffic,he steps to the curb as lights are about to turn green as car move...this dozzy bint who has stood on the curb the entire he was out there  now walks out into the oncomming traffic......I shake me head in disbelife that anyone could be that feckin stupid,I voice this to the Traffic Aide who replies"wow I thought it was just me???"
Not by a Country Mile my friend!!!!
Not so much a Wildlife Update but on the way down Cedar Ave I saw something dart behind a tree under a parked car.....passing said tree I see a Cat chasing a Squirrel w/ another Squirrel taking a run at said the hour and forty mins that elapsed till I was on the inbound leg of Cedar Ave in the same spot I see one lone Squirrel gathering sign of his/her buddy.....or the Cat.....emm??!!!

Thursday 8 Mile Tempo Run
Sweet and merciful Jesus yesterdays weather was a one off and it was back to warm/warmer temps and sunny skies for my Tempo Run
All week I'd been getting done work at 2.30pm getting home by 3.30pm and out the door no later than 3.55pm and today was no different,obviously to conduct said Tempo Run I need to get to the Art Museum Loop,I was primed and ready to go by 4.30pm
Splits:6.33-6.48-6.40-6.49-6.45-6.39-6.41-6.18 for a 53.13.1 time off 6.39 mile pace
Splits were fairly consistent if not a little slower than I'd have liked but yet again all under 7 mins again
53.13.1 ranks as my #4 time this year granted last week when I ran my seasons best and second best times I was doing them fresh and not getting up at 4.45am so I can't be too harsh on myself for  being a little off that pace
Zero Wildlife activity to report I'm sorry to add......

Monday, October 7, 2019


Greetings from sunny Doha........via my living room anyways!!!!,not only was it a cracking week of world class Track & Field but a pretty good week for yours truly who for once wasn't getting up at silly o clock{4.45am} each day  or putting away every goddamn skid in the Owens & Minor warehouse that had made it's way to the hospital......
The game plan w/ a whole week off was to make up for the lost tempo runs of late on Monday,Wednesday,Friday,a 13 miler Saturday and the now newly minted tradition of a Sunday 18 miler everyother weekend...........

Monday 8 Mile Tempo Run
Of late the tempo run had  fallen by the wayside due to schedule issues,an issue I wasn't ok w/ as the weekly tempo run feels like it's been a huge benefit to my weekly training and while I wasn't looking to "make up for lost time" I wasn't expecting to lower my seasons best by 16 seconds either!!!
Splits of:6.23-6.31-6.33-6.32-6.45-6.30-6.44-6.31 brought me home in 52.30.5 off of 6.34 mile pace
Conditions were ideal,mild,no sun or wind,I felt at mile four when I clocked 25.19 I was probably on for something a bit special and while I'm frustrated at miles 5 & 7 being 6.45-6.44 I have to say it was a pretty even run
Of course coming out of the gate w/ a new seasons best lead me to ponder what do I do for an encore?

Wednesday 4 Miles
Oi!!!!!! when I first devised the idea of Mon,Wed,Fri tempo runs  two,maybe three weeks ago I wasn't anticipating the Wednesday{October 2nd} to be 95 degrees........
To the wankers who say Global Warming is a media invention I say pucker up and kiss my lillywhite South London feckin Irish arsehole!!!!!
By mile 4 I was gassed,my splits had gone:6.25-6.55-6.51-7.40 and the wheels had well and truly come off
As I made my way south on W. River Dr I had ample time to rethink my weeks schedule,I was damned if I was sacrificing Fridays Tempo Run so in order to keep that I was now looking at an easy 7 mile tomorrow and 10 miles Saturday,ergo why when I write my weekly schedule I do so in Pencil!

Thursday 7 Miles
More of a nuisance that anything I got out  by 10.30am and hit W. River Dr via Powelton Ave as I knew otherwise I'd run into the lunchtime  crowd on Spruce St who are  always so accommodating when I run by them at the lunch trucks............
Conditions were grey and overcast and dropped a massive 30 degrees from Wednesday,Fall was about to be ushered in abruptly

Friday 8 Mile Tempo Run
Proving Monday was no fluke I logged my second best time of the season w/ a 52.37.9 off 6.35 mile pace w/ splits of
Again a little uneven but I was impressed by the closing four miles,25.16 the weekly 55mpw are starting to pay off again as they did in March & April and while I had to battle the wind a little today no bastard heat to derail me,however today saw the last of "The Three S's" as I reluctantly said it's time to put the sleeveless shirts away till next year,the Shades & Shorts still have some life in them for now,but their days are numbered I'm sorry to say

Saturday 10 Miles
Due to a 7.30am Spurs game the run was pushed back to lunchtime, which was fine,much like Thursdays 7 miler a bit of a nuisance but had to be done if I was to claim a 5th 55 mile week in the last 6 weeks
W/ World's winding down I had time to reflect on the highs and lows of Doha,for all the boo hooing about staging them in Qatar I feel the IAAF did a stellar job w/ these championships and if Oregon is half as exciting two years from now we'll be in for a treat.......lest we forget Tokyo and the Olympics are only 10 months away......

Sunday 18 Miles
If it's every second Sunday it's 18 miles over the hills of Fairmount Park and East Falls for himself
I've truly come to love this run......ask me again in the dead of Winter how I feel about it but for now the change of environment,scenery and undulating hills are a plus
I said  two weeks ago when I conducted my last September 18 milers it would be interesting to see the contrast in conditions come October,grey and overcast but as close to ideal conditions for a Sunday long run as you could hope for between 9am and 11.30am

Back to the grind w/ work tomorrow but a new regime in some respects,in theory I should be getting done  at 2.30pm each day which will afford me afternoon runs in daylight till mid November after the clocks go back