Saturday, December 8, 2007

Kicking Off In Haverford

Now that the dust has settled on my 08 season opener I can hopefully look back on last nites race and be objective.I knew ahead of time I,d have my work cut out for me as I,m still working my way back into speed workouts a fact not helped this past week by mother nature and her friggin size nine bovver boots which stomped all over the one track session I was able to muster and 86ed the other two,clearly taking on college kids at his early stage of my season was akin to sticking my head into the lions mouth. I would love the chance to have this race next month when hopefully a months worth of uninterupted track works out three times a week will have me far sharper than I felt last nite,that said my season had to begin somewhere and unlike last year on a crap 10 lap to the mile track in Albright tonite it was the more conventional 200m track,eight laps to the mile.
I knew going into the race I was seeded 8th fastest albeit on my best indoor mile time of 4.29.12 which in fairness was ran in mid January after a couple of races under my belt and several weeks of repeats,at best I might knock off one of the three Haverford athletes who had posted times of 4.27,4.28,4.29,it was wishful thinking on my part to even consider the prospect of latching onto the four Villanova athletes who had posted times of 4.12,4.12,4.16,4.19,and being pulled to a fast time or even pr,asides from the fact these guys have been training for their respective distances since probably September they were considerably younger than I,the fact I was beaten by 2 seniors,3 freshman and 2 juniors should be neither here nor there.
In a 14 man field the race starter gave those of us out wide on the starting line the option of falling in behind the line an option I choose but later wished maybe I hadn,t as I was forced to pick my way around slower athletes while the big 7 took off,glass half empty a error in judgement on my part a wider start would,ve allowed me better positioning off the first turn,glass half full and I realize contrary to my pre race entry where I said my race plan was to stick w/ the Villnova guys in stark reality I could never have lived w/ them and I went through the opening lap in 33 seconds.
In a scene I,ve played countless times b4 in track,road and xc I soon found myself in no mans land and it was a matter of rattling off each lap in the hope I could close the gap on the three Haverford runners,I don,t recall my splits but did notice I went thro 800m in 2.17.Clearly my speed isn,t there yet but I hope in a few weeks time I,ll be able to work on that.Sensing the third of the Haverford athletes was there for the taking I tried to up my pace but the spirit was far greater than the flesh at this point!
W/ 300m to go I was passed by a Franklin & Marshall senior,I was determined to at least finish 8th so gave chase,4.07 at the bell I dug as deep as I could dig at this point in my season,trust me I,m gonna get faster.I reclaimed 8th place catching the fading Haverford athlete as I clocked 4.41.60,2 seconds behind 7th,2 seconds ahead of 9th.
Ok so I got my rump well and truly handed to me this evening,but in fairness I think I knew that was going to happen so rather than dwell on negatives I,ll look at the positives,a year ago my opening 2 mile races yielded times of 4.48.96 and 4.44.90 so at least in that respect I,m ahead of the curve,also w/ my season opener under my belt I,ll have a better idea what to expect either next Sunday in Landover or the following Sunday in New York providing the weather stops screwing w/ my repeat workouts.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Jack Pyrah Invitational Pre Race

I,ve got half an hour or so b4 I head out the door to Haverford College to take part in the Jack Pyrah Invitational,my 08 season opener,several thoughts are running rampant some of which I hope to address when the gun goes off at 7.55pm.
As it stands right now I,m seeded 8th fastest in a field of 15,on paper an 8th place finish or higher would be a moral victory as I take on college guys half my age who weren,t even born when I began my career 31 years ago.
Four Villanova runners occupy the top 4 seedings w/ times of 4.12, 4.12,4.16,4.19,followed by three Haverford runners w/ times of 4.27,4.28,4.29,if I tuck in behind those guys I could get pulled to a new pr ahead of my Hartshorne Memorial Masters time of 4.29.12,however in what is very much a one off race I think I,m going to try and hang w/ the four Villanova guys and see how well I can fare at running above my comfort zone,it could result in a spectacular crash and burn,or could pave the way for me to get even faster than I,ve already ran.
As the clock ticks down I need to began to psych myself up,never has a season opening race hels such intrigue for me

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Blown Away Parts I&II

For the second day in a row mother nature had her way w/ me and while at least today I was able to get a workout in it wasn,t exactly what I had in mind,that said I,ll take a bad workout over no workout.
The initial plan was to do 4x1 mile,however after the battering I took w/ the wind after mile#1 I could not w/ all honesty see me trying to run another three,aside from the wind cutting right through me it was near impossible to buck the wind,granted there,s very little of me to begin w/ but what little there is was getting stood up on the home straight,never mind that mime shit walking against the wind I was trying to run against it and it was near impossible.
My mile splits were 1.19,2.48,4.15,5.42.25,laps of 1.19,1.29,1.37,1.27,that ought to tell you everything about the conditions and rather than continue what was clearly a futile exercise I opted to switch up to a pyramid of 200m/300/400m/600m/400m/300m/200m.
I managed a 29.11 for my opening 200m b4 a 48.81 for my 300m,given this was an impromptu workout not to mention into the teeth of a nasty wind I had no real idea what to expect split wise,it was more an issue of compleating a workout.1.11.99 for my 400m seemed reasonable 70 secs would,ve been my target time so to only be a second off seemed ok,however considering I shoot for 1.50 for my 600s on a routine basis and I could only muster a 2.04.20,the wind and fatigue were begining to take their toll.
To prove a point my second 400m was only 1.18.59,at this point in time I was only concerned w/ compleating the bloody workout now,a war of attrition if you like,bloodied but I refused to yeild....I know I,m a head strong s.o.b. aren,t I{no doubt those who know me are nodding in agreement!!}48.61 for my second 300m,remarkably 2 100th's of a second faster than my opening 300m b4 calling it a nite w/ a 29.52 200m.
To give you an idea how cold it was out there tonite not only did I curtail my mile warm down by a lap but I nixed my stretches tonite as I didn,t want to lie on the track,I may have to revert to doing them at home b4 heading down to Franklin Field.
However it wasn,t all doom and gloom,not long after a steaming hot mug of hot chocolate and a warm shower I got a phone call from Chuck to inform me that the High Performance Committee of the Mid Atlantic branch of the USATF had voted me Masters Track Athlete of the year,believe me when I say it,s quite an honour period and a nice way to round off the season of a lifetime,ever wondered why I was out in the freezing cold and harsh wind this evening? you know why!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Spured On

It doesen,t take much to rev my engines,a war of words w/ some half wit{I could,ve said battle of wits but if you,d have been privvy to the verbal altercation I,m refering to you,d know there was little wit on display :)}and a thrilling come from behind victory for my beloved Spurs in a Uefa Cup tie at White Hart Lane and I was ready to tackle my first 4x1 mile repeat workout in over a month.
W/the prospect of a shot at the mile next Friday at the Villanova Jack Pyrah Invitational still pending plus the invite to the 41st Hartshorne Memorial Mile waiting for me upon my arrival home I was ready to face the challenge of my bread and butter repeats,4x1 mile,I was bitterly disappointed w/ my last set of mile repeats,a below par:5.27.79,5.18,75,5.23.01,5.17.35 on Oct 23rd,at the time I chalked it up to "just having an off nite"but I,ve come to the realization that following almost 6 months of at least one 4x1 mile repeat a week maybe just maybe my body was letting me know it was time to ease up and take some much needed down time.
Runners by our very nature are not smart,really we,re not,as a rule we don,t subscribe to the less is more train of thought,we hate to be told,don,t run,or you can,t run,and sometimes we need to have the glaringly obvious spelt out to us,it,s a minor character defect often unnoticed by non runners but feverently brushed over by those like myself who know it,s there but hate to acknowledge it,s exsistance!!!!!
Conditions were mild but brisk,what I won,t give to say that over the next four months!!and following my stretches and mile warm up it was time to have at it,1.20 per lap,5.20 per mile x 4
1.19 for the opening lap,I couldn,t have asked for a better start and while my pace dipped oh so slightly on the next 2 laps,1.23,1.22,I still went through 1.200m in 4.04,and thanks in no small part to a blistering turn of speed off the final bend I clocked a 69 sec closing lap for a 5.13.40,prehaps a tad too brisk for my opening mile but I was just happy to not only be out there but also running faster than my last 4x1 mile.
Things began well enough on repeat#2,another 1.19 opener but then a 1.25,1.26 set of 400s b4 a rousing finale of 1.14 to clock 5.24.57,obviously I wasn,t going to jump back in at the high level of mile repeats I was clocking in September in preparation for the 5th Ave Mile but that said it,s semi frustrating to record such slow splits
Repeat #3 is one that I hope to erase from my memory asap,it started slowly 1.23,saw little in the way of improvement in the middle, a pair of 1.25s,and culminated w/ a somewhat lackluster 1.19,I know I could and prehaps should,ve worked harded over the final 200m and the 5.32.89 is as painful to type as it was to record,let,s hope it serves as my one and only below par mile in the coming weeks and months.
Final mile,a decent opener 1.17,followed by a semi decent second lap of 1.22,clearly some work needs to be done over the coming weeks to erase these unwelcome 1.24 and above laps,at the bell I clocked 4.03 on route to a closing lap of 1.13 and final mile of 5.16.77.
I didn,t expect to get it all back on one night,granted I may need to rethink next Friday at Haverford and to that end I may join my team mates for a pryamid workout on Sunday{2 sets of 200m,300,400,600,300,200m to sharpen my speed}and 6x600m on Mon as oppossed to Tue if I,m to get another set of 4x1miles in on Wed b4 the Jack Pyrah Invitational mile next Fri,so much to think about in the next day or two.