Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Full Moon/Up The Blues

Sadly my day planner nor calendar could confirm or deny today was a full moon..............but it sure as hell felt like it during work today to the point where as the proverbial dust settled this afternoon I remarked to my co worker Chris that I was relishing this evenings 6 mile run as a way of dealing w/ the upheavals of the day.
I guess I,m lucky to have running as my stress reliever in life,frankly w/out this evenings 6 mile run I think I,d still be bouncing off the walls after the day I had as it stands now all that stress is gone and frankly I,m too knackered to be bothered w/ what happened at work earlier in the day,chalk one up for running.
As most of you who read my blog on a frequent basis well know my huge love outside of running is Spurs aka Tottenham Hotspur but long b4 my conversion to the Lillywhites I was a die hard Chelsea aka Chelski fan so it would be remiss of me not to give a big shout out and a big up to the SW6 Blues for reaching their first ever Champions League final after a thrilling 3.2 extra time victory over Liverpool today,while my loyalties lie fairly and squarely w/ T.H.F.C. I,ll always have a soft spot for the blues plus two very influential people in my life are Chelski fans,my mother Eileen and my coach GP so I,m off for a rousing chorus of ''Blue Is The Colour" b4 calling it a nite.....up the blues!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Glass Half Full

Mother nature stuck her two cents in yesterday and not only scuppered a track workout but a run of any sort,glass half empty it not only throws a monkey wrench into my weekly milage but it also throws my rotation off,now I,m faced w/ track workouts Tue and Thur w/ a meet on Sat,not ideal but I have no control over that,glass half full I got a rest day I wouldn,t have gotten otherwise.
Showing up at Franklin Field today had that"after the lord mayors show"feel to it,Saturday there were 49,831 fans in attendance today the stands were empty but that,s what makes running Penn Relays special because it,s not every day you get to run in front of that size crowd.Following my stretches and mile warm up and mile of strides it was into "The Death Zone"6x600m,target time 1.50 or under,2.5 mins recovery.
Damn! a 69 second opening 400m,brisk was putting it mildly!!,I eased down over the closing 200m to clock 1.46.78, a 37 second 200m, a little lively to say the least,1.12 for the next 400m followed by a 34 second 200m,1.46.46,two choices now,ease off or keep cranking it out....did somebody say plan b?
1.10 at 400m followed by a 36 second 200m,1.46.27, back to back to back 1.46s was not in the script and now it was a question of if I could hold onto that pace?Alas no,I was sucking air early on on #4 and went through 400m in 1.14,a laboured 37 second 200m earnt me a 1.51.53,I might,ve gotten under 1.50 had I not had to switch lanes down the back straight but the truth of the matter was I was paying for my early pace,live by the sword,die by the sword.
That strenght I felt in the opening 3 repeats was now gone,I was really having to work hard now,1.16 at 400m,39 seconds for the 200m,1.55.88,the wind on the home straight was getting harded and harder to combat.
1.17 for my final 400m,that,s pretty dire and it was all I could do to muster a 37 second closing 200m to clock 1.54.03,granted two weeks ago I went 5/6 w/ 1.51 as my slowest split but only 1.47 as my fastest,today I may,ve ballooned up to 1.55 for my slowest split but I,d clocked 1.46 three times in a row and frankly if I can crank out back to back to back 600s at 1.46 when I,m not going full tilt it means I may need to rethink my 800m target time in Saturdays race,like I said glass half full.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


A rarity a training run w/ Seebs,dispite being house mates we come from different directions where our running is concerned,I,m a track runner,Seebs is a road runner,my last race was 400m,his was a marathon,can you say chalk and cheese?I know you can!!!!
To futher underline how different our directions are,my next race is an 800m in Delaware on Saturday,Seebs,s is the Broad St Run Sunday so the fact we got together this lunch time for a run is very rare,I just needed to log a 3.5 miler to round out my weekly milage at 25 miles Seebs in his own words was "looking to feed the addiction"which I stress was a running joke....I haven,t gone from Kevin Forde to Betty Ford overnight!!!
This was meant to be an easy run but frankly having Seebs along side me meant we pushed the pace a little more than I probably would,ve had I gone solo but as long as that doesn,t come back to haunt me tomorrow in my track workout who cares.
When tomorrow rolls around I,ll be back to my tried and tested solo track workouts and Seebs will do whatever it is he does to get ready for a road race but that,s why between us I own the club records on the track for middle distance and Seebs owns the club records for road racing between 5k and the marathon minus 20k

The Forde Is As Mighty As The Penn

Penn Relays chapter 3,the 2.10pm time slot meant not having all morning/early afternon to think about the race,after getting up at 8am my morning was kick started w/ a phone message from Scott saying he wasn,t coming...........this was followed by a second message some 20 mins later saying he,d be there,when your lead off runner tells you he can,t run you tend to wake up very quickly!!!!!!
I phoned Scott to see what was up,aside from his dodgy hamstring Scott was battling a cold but ever the warrior he said he,d run,man I,d go into battle w/ Scott anytime because dispite whatever physical ailments he has he always shows up to run,if you were to look up Gutsy SOB in a dictionary there,d be a picture of Scott in his PAC vest I,m telling ya!!!
I arrived at Franklin Field by 11.15am and by 11.45am the team was all present and correct,Scott,Daryl,Rick,me and Chuck,given Scott,s delicate condition Chuck said he,d warm up w/ us just in case Scott couldn,t go,no matter how hard Chuck tries to get out of running the Masters 4x4 at Penn it has a way of pulling him back in,I joked it,s a bit like the priesthood,once you,re in you,re in for life!!!!
Man talk about hurry up and wait,after our warm up we made our way to the paddock,the event was running ahead and Penn Relays waits for nobody, we were scrambling to get out of our sweats and into the holding area when an official asked for our card......uh oh Chuck had it but he wasn,t in the paddock w/ us.......mercifully we filled out one b4 taking our position along the wall,meanwhile Synergy were scrambling to get ready also,if it hadn,t have been for the fact that the relays were going live on ESPN2 I doubt they would,ve gotten to run,as it was all eight teams {Second Wind were a no show}were now waiting for the womens USA vs The World 4x100 to go off at 2pm when the tv coverage kicked in.
Showtime the teams were called to their lanes,somehow we,d drawn lane 5,a plum lane not only for Scott to lead us off but our second leg Rick wouldn,t have to cut in from the inside or outside down the back straight,once that gun goes off it all gets blurry for me along the wall,I couldn,t tell you where Scott was in terms of position or split all I know was he handed off to Rick and I moved up the wall slightly along w/ the other anchor legs,Rick handed off to Daryl and now it was time to position myself in the exchange zone.
As I predicted the other week the race up front was between Southwest Sprinters A&B, Central Park and Synergy,Alabama Express and Mass Velocity were 5th and 6th with Shore AC 7th and us 8th................then for the clutch move by Daryl,coming off the final turn and down the home straight he passed the Shore AC 3rd leg,there wasn,t time for me and the Shore AC anchor to switch places,I took the baton from Daryl in lane 6 and was off,it all happened so quickly but it felt like a good exchange,I had to figure the Shore AC anchor was hard on my heals,it wasn,t Bob Andrews but it didn,t matter there were 400m between me and the finish and 49,000 people in the stands..................."It,s Prime Time Baby"
By all accounts from the "eye in the sky"{chuck} Shore AC,s anchor held onto to me rounding the first turn but going down the back straight I,d shaken him off,Alabama and Mass Velocity looked well clear of me but I was flying,w/ 150m to go I briefly felt like I was swimming but then I looked up and saw Alabama Express,s and Mass Velocity,s anchors tying up......C,MON!!!!!I was running out of real estate but gave it everything I had,another 10 meters I think I,d have caught Alabama Express as it it was I clipped the Mass Velocity anchor right b4 the finish line for close was it between 5th and 6th?Alabama Express clocked 3.48.78 we finished in 3.49.38.
The first person person I looked for after the race was Daryl,his move at the end of his leg had set it up for me to close in on 6th as oppossed to being last,Scott and Rick had ran through injuries and illness to lead us off,sadly I didn,t get splits but Chuck said Daryl ran 56 secs and I ran 55 seconds,I,ll take 55 seconds and I,ll take 6th place,only a second slower and a place lower than I would,ve hoped for pre race.
My day wasn,t quite done yet,I stuck around to watch the rest of the races but for once was able to get down to the scoreboard end of Franklin Field by the track,usually the Masters 4x4 is later in the day and by the time we,re done the days events are almost over this year there was an ample amount of time to witness races up close as oppossed from the stands,that in of it,s self was neat but as I was standing there next to Chuck as he was talking to an official I happened to look to my left.........there are very few"oh my god" moments for me these days ......HOWEVER standing next to me was 2 time World Champion and reigning Olympic 400m champion Jeremy I said..........."oh my god!!!!!''
For some reason I,d brought my programme w/ me probably to be able to follow the events but I knew there was a whole page picture of Jeremy near the front,I whipped out said programme and asked the great man if he could sign it for me,he duly obliged and we shook hands as I thanked him and wished him good luck in Beijing,he thanked me for that.......HOW FRICKIN COOL IS THAT!!!!!
I came home still buzzing from my day at Franklin Field and promptly went over to Clark Park to crank out a 3.5 miler,leaving me another 3.5 miler tomorrow to round out my weekly milage at 25 miles,another Penn Relays in the history books,another great chapter in my life.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Getting Ready For Prime Time

No blog entry yesterday due to time constraints,after my easy 3 miler it was a quick shower,a quick bite to eat and off to Franklin Field for Distance Night,it,s become a tradition now to check out the distance races on Thursdays b4 returning on Saturday for the Masters 4x4 relay,I,d like to think I,ll continue doing both for a few more years to come.
Conditions were great last nite for both the runners and the fans,I got to witness first hand a new Penn Relays record in the 3,000m steeplechase as Anthony Famiglitti put on a clinic to win in 8.24.34 he just made it look effortless and then in the Olympic Development 5,000m I saw one of the top local runners Ryan Fennelly finish 7th in 14.16.57,slightly further back but no less impressive was a good friend of mine from CPTC John Roberts who ran a pr time of 14.54.75,it was neat to witness that first hand and rap w/ him post race.
Today saw me take it easy again,another easy 3 miler w/ a slight twist,mile warm up,mile of strides,mile cool down and post blog and post phone chat w/ GP it,ll be an easy nite for moi, a big arse bowl of Linguini w/ Casino Clams and Texas Toast,400m be damned I still carbo load b4 a race and then feet up and watch a new eppisode of Doctor Who on Sci Fi channel b4 calling it a nite.
Somebody asked me if running my 3rd Masters 4x4 Relay at Penn was any different than the previous two,it,s a simple question but I don,t have a simple answer to that,2006 my first was a dream come true,I never thought I,d ever run Penn Relays but there I was in front of 39.000 fans running a then and still 400m pr 54.10,I tried taking it all in that afternoon in case I never made it back there,but a year later this time the anchor leg I brought us home 4th out of 5 teams in a new club record 3.42.9 as I notched a 54.8,here I am again looking to anchor us home and very determined to get under 55 seconds again.
It,s still a thrill to see my name in the official Penn Relays programme,it,s still an honour to race at Penn Relays and this year we,ve got a red hot time slot,2.10pm right in between the 4x100m USA vs The World womens and mens relays......Prime Time baby!!!
I have to thank my team mate Rick for helping me keep things in perspective,last Thursday when we were doing sticks at a deserted Franklin Field I asked Rick how he felt about running his first ever Penn Relays,"I,ve waited 24 years for this" he told me"running Penn Relays for me is what running Millrose Games was for you"suddenly any thoughts that this was just "another Penn Relay" were gone,the hour is almost at hand,I for one can,t wait.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lions 1 Christians 0 Lions Go Through On Away Goals

This was it my final serious workout b4 Saturdays 4x4 at Penn,back into the lions den so to speak,mercifully the CYO contingent on hand this evening were fewer than Monday though I was a tad concerned upon arriving at the track to spy two girls in the infield w/ acoustic guitars,I had visions of several verses of"Cumbyah My Lord" ringing out while I conducted my workout,this thankfully never materialized.
Mile warm,mile of strides b4 my 3x150m at 21 second pace w/ a 150 walk/jog recovery,I went 20.43,19.77,20.48 all three felt comfortable,not sure where the second one sprung from but overall a good start.
Uh oh!slight gaffe on my 500m repeat,the plan was 400m at 65-67 second pace,all out final 100m,first gaffe,too relaxed on the opening 400m clocked 71 seconds,time to kick it up a notch.....DISPITE knowing it was a 500m repeat and I only had to run another 100m I ended up going full tilt over 200m and making it a 600m.....doh!,clocked a 1.41.04 600m,not too shabby,a 30 second final 200m to boot.
W/ 5 minutes recovery b4 my final 2x150m I took GP,s advice and lay on the ground w/ my legs up against the wall to drain the lactic acid out of them b4 my final 150s,it seemed to do the trick,I was a tad too relaxed on the opener,22.30 but made up for it on the finale 20.81,the target time for these was 20 seconds.
Mile cool down to finish off the nite and that was my lot,no repeat of Mondays debarcle,the "tired tiger" had vanquished the christians just as St George had vanquished the dragon{April 23rd St George,s Day,St George patron saint of England for those wondering what I,m on about}
Me thinks I,m not done w/ the CYO mob,post Penn relays I should be able to get back onto my beloved Franklin Field for a week or two b4 they close it down again for graduation,more treking to Roxboro,more acoustic guitars in the infield,more potentially aggravating repeat workouts among the wallies,more fuel for the fire,it,s like Billy Bragg once said"Life W/ The Lions"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not A Wally In Sight

A nice easy 2.5 miler around Clark Park this evening,a mile warm up a mile of 30 meter bursts and a half mile cool down.
I was able to put yesterdays debarcle behind me during this workout b4 getting ready to return to Roxboro tomorrow for my final full tilt workout b4 Penn Relays,a mile warm up, a mile of strides,3x150m at 21 seconds w/ 3 minutes recovery inbetween,1x500m opening 400m at 65-67 seconds w/ a 13.5 closing 100m,5 minute recovery,2x150m sub 20 seconds,mile cool down.
Somehow the weeks #1&#3/#2&#4 workouts that GP and I had agreed on have gone out the window this week,I don,t know if it,s because of Penn but I,d like to see us go back to that understanding next week,I do understand switching things up for Penn which is why I,ve gone along w/ it but starting next Monday I,d like to revert to that formula again.

Monday, April 21, 2008

WWW Wind,Weaving,Wallies*

*Wallies wasn,t really the W word I wanted but for the sake of arguement the word I really wanted to use rhymes w/ anchors....but begins w/ a w.......I know you,re following me now!
I,m sure it has been said more than once if you take a creature out of it,s natural enviroment it will have a hard time adapting to it,s new surrondings,today that felt like me,w/ Franklin Field off limits for the week due to Penn Relays I was forced to do my workout at Roxboro,a track I,m no stranger to however the one thing I,m sure of at Franklin Field is that I,ll be able to conduct my workout w/out fear of the track being invaded/taken over by people w/ no sence of track ethics,enter the CYO group at Roxboro this evening.
It,s one thing having to deal w/ the wind all evening,that,s something beyond my control,having to weave in and out of lanes throughout the workout because these wallies think they,re the only ones using the track is another,I,m sorry but standing in the lane facing me as I come full tilt towards you should be a clue to get out of the way..........not looking to your right to see if anyones coming up the track as you exit the infield is another,only repeats #1 and #6 were conducted in lane 1,repeats #2 through#5 saw me weaving in and out of lanes 3,4,5 and 6.
GP had tweaked my 6x600m slightly instead of 1.50 per 600m w/ a 2.5/3 minute recovery we,d dropped the target times down to 1.43-1.45 off of a 400m walk/jog recovery.
It all began well enough a 67 sec 400m on route to a 1.41.27 600m,like I said earlier I managed that in lane 1,then it all went pear shaped.
1.15 for the opening 400m,the wind on the home straight was brutal and having to weave in and out of lanes was killing my rhythm,1.49.40 at 600m,I had hoped this was a such luck!!
1.14 for the opening 400m as I now clocked 1.52.00,I wasn,t even going to have the satisfaction of getting all 6 under 1.50 now.From bad to worse,more wind,more weaving,more wallies1.16 at 400m,1.51.68 at 600m,I wasn,t about to run up the white flag,that,s not my style,I would see this through to the bitter didn,t get much bitter than repeat#5 1.20 at 400m,1.57.22 at 600m,mercifully the wallies were now off the track and I could get back into lane 1,1.13 at 400m b4 a 1.46.03 finish,a slightly higher note to finish a frustrating evening on.
I,ve ridden a good wave of track workouts in the past three weeks untill this evening,law of averages said I was due a bad workout sooner or later,I,ve had it now,time to put it behind me and ready myself for Wednesdays return here for my 2x1,000m.....and hope the CYO contingent are NOT here,not a very christian attitude I know but no thanks to them tonite I felt I,d been thrown to the lions.

WWW Wind,Weaving,Wallies*

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Technically an easy/off day,however being as I was on 27 miles I opted to crank out a 3 miler while waiting for Chuck,Daryl and Rick when I got to Haverford since scheduling meant either getting to the R5 stop at Haverford at 12.07pm or 1.07pm for a scheduled 1pm workout,I got there at 12.07pm and rather than sit and look at the track I figured"have at it"
A 1.39 opening 400m lead to a 6.24 opening mile, some quick math lead me to think 19.12 would make for a fair 3 miler......5.51 for the second mile{12.15} and 5.50 for the last mile brought me home in 18.05.86,some 67 seconds faster............
Rounded my weekly milage out to 31 miles w/ a mile cool down w/ Chuck b4 we got down to the business of hand offs,mercifully no repeat of Thursdays freak accident!!!
I continue to evolve as a relay runner,today I learnt a few things that providing I execute correctly on Saturday could help me shave a second off of my time,learning not to have my arm too far up when receiving the baton in the exchange zone being one of them"hand up,arm down",also learning to give the in coming runner the inside of the lane too..........of course this is all well and good on the track when it,s practise,but come Saturday afternoon in front of 39,000 spectators it,s a question of trying to execute all that while trying to position myself for the anchor leg and hopefully bring the team home in a decent time and place.
We,re seeded 7th of 9 teams,realistically the top 4 teams Southwest Sprinters A&B,Synergy and Central Park will be head and shoulders above the field leaving us to duke it out w/ 2nd Wind and Shore AC for 5th spot,I have a personal score to settle w/ Shore AC and their leg Bob Andrews,after last years hand off between Scott and Daryl I had too much ground to make up by the time I got the baton.....but it wasn,t for the want of trying and lest we forget Millrose when Bob caught me for third off that final turn,all I ask for this Saturday is a a level playing field,I know Bob is a great runner and a good guy......but this is business and when it comes to track I,m all business.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Return Of The Thin White Duke

Up reasonably early to knock out my easy 4 miler,so much of my day rests on getting the workout/run in early that it,s worth setting the alarm for 8am on a weekend to get up and get at it from the get go.
W/ said run compleat the other business of the day could be taken care of,Spurs away to Wigan at 10am fell nicely into the time frame,out the door by 8.50am,home by 9.20am,coffee on as I shower and shave and into the old recliner w/ coffee,juice and muslix at 10am as the ref blew his whistle for kick off{shame he couldn,t blow said whistle for a blatent penalty when Berbs got pushed to the ground mid way through the first half!!!}
Another 1.1 draw,another "end of season "game it remains to be seen who stays and who goes this summer.
A glorious day outside weather wise,having busted out the old sleeveless running shirt Thursday it was time to rock the old shorts and sleeveless look for walking around and getting my food shopping taken care of today,and between looking at how pale my arms are and copping some good old fashioned Goth on my ipod{Bauhaus}I couldn,t resist the Thin White Duke reference......what can I say I put the Pale in "Pale,Paddy And Proud"!!
W/ a 1pm relay practice tomorrow afternoon it was clutch to knock out all my food shopping this afternoon but frankly when it,s this warm and sunny why not be outside enjoying it???.
All done by 4.20pm, a free day tomorrow after getting back from Haverford on tap for now a big arse bowl of Beef Stroganoff as I watch the season finales of "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood" and then the Calzaghe Hopkins fight,somedays life doesn,t feel much better than this.

Friday, April 18, 2008

No Blood,No Tears,Plenty Of Sweat

My last hard workout of the week,mile warm up,mile of strides,3x300m at 49 seconds,4x200m begining at 31 seconds working down to 28 seconds,800m cool down......turns out Clyde Hart used to give this workout to Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner....obviously the splits were faster but the workout is the same......if it was good enough for Michael and Jeremy it,s good enough for me!!!
Conditions were warm this evening,next to no wind,pretty good conditions to run in,after my mile warm up and mile of strides it was time for the 300s,49 seconds w/ a 5 minute recovery between repeats 1 and 2 and 10 minutes after the third.
A remarkable 42.79 for openers,GP seemed gob smacked by the speed of that,asking if I,d gotten the markings on the track correct....cheeky git!!!!,yeah I,d gotten it right and yeah that,s no typo,42.79,hang out w/ relays guys/sprinters and it begins to rub off on you!!!
44.28 for #2 followed by 44.43 for #3 it felt good and I felt fluid while running them,I,m not a 400m runner but I can run a good 400.
Now for the real test 4x200m begining at 31 seconds then getting a second faster w/ 3 minutes recovery inbetween each one,31.99 for the opener,it was vital to get the pace right on this one,I knew now to crank it up a notch on each of the next three,30.55 for #2 b4 just missing out on #3 w/ a 30.11,I knew w/ only one more repeat to come I could give it my all but alas came up short again 29.97,still all in all a good workout and one I could walk away from w/ my head held high.
Tomorrow,s easy 4 miles will put me at 27 miles for the week,I figured a mile and a half warm up and cool down either side of Sundays hand offs workout at Haverford will round my weekly milage off at 30 miles.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Shed A Little Blood For The Cause

Quite the day,a new pair of running shoes after my freebie Reeboks for winning 5th Ave Mile had logged 407 miles and were put out to pasture{they,re now my everday shoes for work}
I broke my new Asics,s in w/ my five mile recovery run around Clark Park,enjoying the warm weather{the first sleeveless shirt run of the year!}and the dulcet tones of David Sylvian on my ipod.Normally that would be it for the day however I was meeting up w/ Chuck,Daryl and Rick at Franklin Field to work on hand offs w/ Penn Relays now just over a week away.
In three years of running relays I,ve never experienced what I experienced this evening,getting my finger caught inside the baton,it drew blood and still stings a little now some two hours later......however it should be pointed out I made the exchange w/ out dropping the baton and I,m sure I,ll be fine.
I have one more trip to Franklin Field tomorrow,the relay team will meet up again Sunday at Haverford and then that,s it till next Saturday when unlike tonite Franklin Field will be full or close to it,it should come as no great surprize my two fastest 400m times are both from Penn Relays in 06 and 07,how I,d love the 08 edition to be my fastest.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Smiling Like I Mean It

A glorious evening for a run,warm and sunny,very little in the way of wind down at Franklin Field,almost ideal conditions{I try to shy away from using the word perfect in my vocabulary,I don,t don,t think it exsists,there,s no perfect job,relationship,or run so I can,t sit here and say conditions were picture perfect}
Tonites bill o fare was 5x500m,target time 77 seconds for the opening 400m and 16/16.5 seconds for the 100m, a 300m walk/jog recovery repeat,just as I failed last Friday to set the tone on my opening lap of my mile repeats I went out fast on my opening split,71 seconds b4 a 13 second closing 100m,1.24 for 500m,1.33 would,ve been target time pace.
W/ genie firmly out of the bottle now it was time to press on,once the toothpaste,s out of the tube it,s a bugger trying to put it back in,72 seconds at 400m another 13 second 100m,1.25 for 500m
For a split second it looked like my worst fears of opening fast only to see the rear end fall out of the repeat as it progresssed was coming true 74 seconds at 400m.....BOOYAH 12 seconds at 100m!!!!1.26 and the words of House Of Pain began to flit across my mind"come and get some of this y,all,come and get some of this""the house of pain is in effect,and anyone who steps up is getting wrecked""word to your moms,I came to drop bombs".....I could go on but I think you catch my drift,not only was I kickin it on the track but having fun to boot!!!!
71 seconds at 400m b4 a 13 second 100m,I had to slow slightly for fear of running up the back of some runner waiting to take off at the start/finish line,no big,I took it in stride,like I wrote a few weeks ago,when things are going well performance and time wise the minor things that go wrong,stop watches malfunctioning,having to slow for other runners don,t bug me as much...but on a bad day....
Final repeat,thought I was feeling it early on...yeah right,71 seconds at 400m,13 seconds for the closing 100m,I crushed this workout but as I said to Ray in an email during the week the real test won,t be Penn Relays per se but the following weeks at Deleware and Widner when I return to my distances the 800m and 1,500m,then I,ll really be able to gauge how well I,m doing,but between now and there there are more workout and Penn Relays to deal w/ first.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Getting Stuff Done

Nice easy fiver miler today which also meant the chance to get other non running stuff done,I won,t deny "the run comes first" as it should but somedays you have to know how to tweak your schedule to get the run in but also take care of the non running stuff or as I like to say"having ones {low fat}cake and eat it!!
As I mentioned Sunday in my blog, Sunday would,ve been my fathers 75th birthday and like any of his birthdays I like to light a candle in his honour in church,Sunday kind of got away from me and Monday was a long track workout so today felt as good a day as any to swing by St John,s in Center City and pay my respects,I actually don,t think he,d have minded me being a few days late.
Next stop 69th St to pick up a hanging rack for my clothes,I,ve only been in the basement of Seebo,s house since Sept rush to get things done but frankly the futon ISN,T cutting it anymore so the sooner my hanging clothes get hung the easier it,ll be to get my bed back together etc etc,said rack is now put together and were it not so late in the evening I,d be moving stuff in order to put my bed back together,Rome wasn,t built in a day{I suspect it could,ve been had the romans employed some Irish labourers to do the work but that,s just me!}so a few more days won,t won,t kill me,afterall it,s only been eight months and counting since I moved in......
W/ both my chores taken care of it was off to Clark Park for my easy five miler,a little retro 80s music to get me around the ten loops,"Dare" by the Human League,great album,great memories,still love the 80s when dodgy hair dos and even dodgier clothes were the was the 80s we were young we didn,t care.
Some speed work on tap tomorrow,5x500m,400m at 77 seconds w/ a 16/16.5 final 100m,300m recovery.......there will be no chores getting done tomorrow.

Monday, April 14, 2008

4x4,Final 400m,400 Miles.....It,s All Relative

I won,t lie when GP first gave me this workout I was a tad concerned....I needn,t have worried,dispite logging another 6 miles{21 miles in the last 4 days,the week be last I logged 22 miles for the whole week}I cained this workout like a naughty school boy......flashback as I see myself getting a good old fashioned "six of the best"............moving on .....briskly!!!
The workout in it,s entirety was:mile warm up,mile of strides,4x400m 70 seconds per 400m w/ a 60 second recovery,800m jog,2,4000m,5 laps at 97 seconds w/ an all out final 400m,mile cool down.
After the mile warm up and mile of strides it was the 4x400m,opening 400m 67.23,it was important to set the tone early,it felt like a comfortable pace,65.70 for the second 400m,my only concern was shaving 3 to 5 seconds off the opening two 400s would leave me wanting on numbers three and four,no worries!!!67.30 for 400m #3 followed by a 65.48 for 400m #4.
Easy 800m jog b4 launching into my 2,400m,1.32 for the opening lap,5 seconds inside the 1.37 barrier,softly softly,catchy monkey,3.07 at 800m a 1.35 lap,another 1.35 lap,4.42 at 1,200m,for someone who frequently runs uneven pace,1.32,1.35,1.35,1.32 was pretty darn even.
7.41 at 2,000m,a 1.27 lap,GP,s instruction was on that last lap to snap my arm back at the begining of the lap and go like the clappers,I swear to God coming off that first turn and down the back straight for a split second it almost felt like the rest of my body was straining to keep up w/ my feet....I,m not making this up!!!
I crossed the finish line and hit my stop watch....would you believe it,the screen was blank,I,ve NEVER experienced that in the almost four years I,ve had that watch, and while I,m miffed beyond beliefe that I,ll never know what my closing split was I,m comfortable in the knowledge I mullered it!!
The mile cool down not only rounded out the workout to six miles but added to mile my warm up b4 switching to my racing flats meant mile 400 on these shoes,who doesn,t love symmetry!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Easy Run,Random Thoughts

Rounding the week out nicely I has an easy 3 miler on tap today,the time honoured mile warm up,mile of strides,mile cool down,31 miles for the week.
In essence that,s all there is to report on todays run.....not much to blog in that case so allow me some random thoughts to not so much pad my blog but at least put some meat on it,s bones:
31 miles for the week,but 398 miles on my current running shoes,ergo why I was pricing and eyeballing new ones yesterday,look for a new pair of Asics to get broken in b4 the weekend.
7 workouts in a week,first time I,ve done that for a while.
Another day for Miles Hunt and co{The Wonder Stuff} to keep me company on my run"Never Loved Elvis" the cd of choice today
Why can,t arsenal aka "the scum"hold onto a lead?1.0 up at Man Utd today b4 losing 2.1,no silverware again for the red and white half of North London......nice big shiney silver trophy at White Hart Lane.....,funny how the bloke I saw yesterday sporting his red and white arsenal shirt doing laps around Clark Park was nowhere to be seen today!!!
Today would,ve been my dads 75th b,day if he were still alive,shame his beloved "Rebel County"Cork couldn,t honour that w/ a semi final victory in the National Hurling League today,as vocal as I was at the pc when I saw the 4 point loss I had a wonderful vision of archangels covering their ears as Kevin voiced his disgust at the result!!!
A new week tomorrow,GP already gave me my track workout 4x400m@70 secs per 400 w/ 60 seconds recovery followed by a 2,400m w/ moderate splits b4 an all out final lap,w/ Penn Relays 13 days away when better to cain those 400s!!!!!!!!1

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Return Of The Eight Legged Groove Machine

A sure sign things are back to nornal for me,up early,out running,then coffee and soccer,this is how weekend runs are meant to be conducted!!!
In fairness I feel I,d have been loving life much more this morning if my day would,ve started w/ a 4 miler as planned.....however GP had other ideas,he suggested a 6 miler,followed by an easy 3 tomorrow,I went along w/ it mainly because I tend to think I need to be nudged in the right direction sometimes as oppossed to being left to my own devices but I won,t deny the prospect of 6 miles right after I,d just woken up wasn,t filling me w/ the joys of spring!!!
Help however was at hand in the form of The Wonder Stuff on my ipod,I couldn,t tell you how I came to download them onto my ipod last nite it was just one of those things,I hadn,t listened to them for a while and thought emm something different for my 6 miler.
Worked out pretty good too,"The Eight Legged Grove Machine" is 18 tracks long meaning it got me through the whole run w/out having to pull up a second sellection during the run.
It,s hard not to run w/ a huge smile on your face when you listen to "It,s Yer Money I,m After Baby" w/ lyrics like"Don,t give me love or no none of that stuff cos it,s yer money I,m after baby,your love and your kisses are just not enough, cos it,s yer money I,m after baby,well I know that it,s hard and I know that it,s tough,but each thing you give me it,s just not enough,forget your heart it,s your bank I want to break,it,s just yer money I,m after baby"
While I may,ve felt a little leg weary at the compleation of my 6 miler I will confess by luvnch time when I was out doing chores my legs felt strong again,"the sage one" had struck again,guess that,s why he,s the coach and I,m the runner!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008


And so to my bread and butter repeat,4X1 mile,target time 1.20 per lap,5.20 per mile,five mins recovery inbetween,it,d been a while since my last set of mile long you ask? Nov 29th to be exact but I was hopeful of compleating all four under 5.20,having done so well Mon over 6x600m and Wed over 2x1,000m it,d be a shame to end the week on a down note,so strong was my desire to get this workout in that I elected to trek over to Roxboro post work knowing I,d be lucky if I got home much b4 was closer to 7.45pm but anyways!!!
Conditions were overcast and a little humid,pleased to say I worked up a nice sweat this evening......prehaps not such good news if anyone had to sit next to me on the bus ride back to 30th St which I,m happy to report nobody did!!following my 6 sets of 10 second stretches and a mile warm up it was time to get it on.
1.20 per lap.....and yours truly opens w/ a 1.13,I swear I don,t do this intentionally,I wanted my 1st lap to set he tone for the session and was a tad gobsmacked to see 1.13 after 400m,dialing it back slightly I clocked 2.34 at 800m a 1.21 lapbut I still had 6 seconds in the time bank.3.55 at 1,200m another 1.21 lap followed by a 1.19 to finish in 5.14.05,a nice start.
Mile#2 opened w/ more even paced 1.17,followed by a 1.20,2.37 at 800m,3 seconds inside my target time,1.21 for lap 3 3.58 at 1,200m,still very even paced if I say so myself,another 1.17 lap to close 5.15.86,so far so good,I needed to keep this level of pace up for 8 more laps.
Mile#3,1.16 to open w/,comfortable,another 1.21 lap,if 1.21 was my slowest lap all session I,ve got to be pleased,2.37 at 800m,a 1.20 for lap 3 3.57,anytime I,m under 4.00 at 1,200m means I don,t have to go like the clappers on that final lap....unless it,s mile#4,another 1.20 lap to round out the mile 5.17.58,granted each mile had crept up ever so slightly but I was still under 5.20 and running very evenly.
Mile#4,as long as I went out evenly on that opening lap I knew I was good to go,if mile#3 had been a tinge conservative it was only because I wanted to be primed and ready for mile#4,clearly I,m not at the stage where I can run three hard miles and then a kick arse final mile yet but my aim is to get to that point,little accorns,big trees.1.16 ideal pace,what I,d like to have done was be able to start cranking up the pace but I,m just not there yet,another few weeks,1.20 for lap 2 2.36,I,d at least been consistant all evening w/ my splits period but my 800s were 2.34,2.37,2.37,2.36,another 1.20 lap3.56 at the bell,I wanted to be able to start my kick now but that,s a ways off just yet,even so I have to be pleased w/ a closing lap of 1.12 to finish my mile in 5.08.27.
All in all a good evenings work to round out a good weeks worth of repeats,my week isn,t done just yet, a 6 miler tomorrow followed by a 3 miler on Sunday to round out my milage at 31 miles for the week b4 launching into week 2 of my cycle w/ GP picking my workouts,all in good time,let,s see how chipper I feel at 8/9am tomorrow morning when I go to do my 6 miler.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Run Locally,Think Globally

An easy 4 miler around Clark Park w/ the emphasis on easy,tomorrow is my longest workout of the week 4x1 mile repeats.
A couple of slices of irony to ponder,my music du jour today was Stevie Ray Vaughan,the irony,for weeks leading upto Nationals I felt like I was crying the blues,today I was singing them,but when Stevie Ray is playing the blues I don,t feel it can get much better.Irony part two w/ outdoor season comes thoughts of summer,today felt like a summers day in early spring and judging from the masses at Clark Park this evening I was not alone in that thought I saw more people there today than all of March combined and frankly any day I can ditch my warm ups for a bandana,shades,t shirt and shorts while running is a good day.
Earlier in the day Ray and I began planning our trip to Spokane in August for Outdoor Nationals,it,s 17 weeks away,seems like a lot but it,ll soon come around.Ray also mentioned reading that World Indoor Masters in 2010 will be in British Columbia, to where they have been held in the past British Columbia feels like my back yard,not wishing to get carried away but potentially my travels could take me to Spokane this summer{Outdoor Nationals}Landover next winter{Indoor Nationals}Lathi Finland next summer{World Outdoor Masters}British Columbia 2010{World Indoor Masters}Sacramento 2010{Outdoor Nationals} and back to Sacramento the following summer for World Outdoor Masters,alot of training miles......but think of the frequent flyers miles!!!!!
My next trip isn,t quite as far....or exotic......Roxboro tomorrow for my 4x1 mile repeats,not quite as exciting location wise as the other venue.....but thankfully not as expensive either,note to self remember transpass leave passport behind tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ah Yes It,s Fun Time Again

Alas "technical difficulties" got the better of my blog yesterday,in fairness it was an easy 5 miler around Clark Park listening to my live Clash cd "From Here To Eternity" on my ipod,the remarkable thing about the run was it was another run where I felt like I was having fun running again.
Leading upto Indoor Nationals I didn,t feel like training was fun,my heart just wasn,t into it and for me someone who thrives off of emotion/emotions that,s a big stumbling block to try to negotiate,I often felt like I was just going through the motions and spinning my wheels,however since last Tuesday when I officially began to prep for outdoor season my mindset and demeanor has altered dramatically,prehaps getting back to basics and doing three track workouts a week helped but even my easy/recovery runs feel like fun now which brings me to this evenings track workout.
2x1,000m,GP felt it might be prudent to modify this workout slightly from the tried and tested version I did last spring/summer,then my target times were 2.50 2.45 my starter for ten this evening 3.00 2.55,to hit 3.00 GP asked me to hit 1.12 for the opening 400m,1.12 for the second 400m{2.24@800m}and 36 seconds for the closing 200m.
Pace as ever was the key,and we all know how hit and miss that can be for me,though in fairness the other evening I felt like I did a good job,1.10 for my opening 400m,it felt comfortable,the trick now would be to hold onto that pace,remembering the error I made on repeat#2 on Monday I made sure to stay focused,1.13/2.23 at 800m, a second inside my target time,again I knew not to relax on the closing 200m,I,d have to work the turn and keep driving down the back straight,the good thing w/ this repeat is ten minutes recovery inbetween repeats,unlike my 600s when I,ve only got two and a half/three minutes so I was able to drive hard to the finish,2.57.82 a 36 second 200m,not bad and three seconds inside my target time.
I knew not to get over confident while waiting for my second repeat,just get out there and run the opening 400m smoothly and see how it,d play out,to hit 2.55 I needed back to back 1.10s and a 35 second closing 200m
1.10 again for my opening 400m it felt comfortable,the trick now would be to dodge the falling pianos that would come crashing on that second lap,focus was the watch word,stone me!1.13 again identical 400m and 800m splits on both repeats but knowing this 200m was my last 200m of the session all bets were off and so were the gloves,a 32 second final 200m to finish in 2.55.48.
Parphrasing slightly I believe my post finish comment was "have some of that"this may,ve been preceeded w/ the use of the f word ....hey my blood and oxygen were all discombobulated I don,t know if I knew what I was saying.............yeah right!!!! but seriouly I was stoked w/ my times again this evening,it,s hard not to have fun when I,m running fast again and this is only week one,I know in my blackest of pagan black heart of hearts I,m gonna get faster and stronger......and most likely more profane..................yeah baby guess who,s back!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bring The Noise

I hadn,t ran a 6x600m repeat since that ill fated nite of Dec 11th when I felt the first pangs of what was to become the stress fracture that would derail my indoor season,w/the indoor season behind me it was time to return to "The Death Zone" and I wasn,t about to stick my big toe in to test the water.....this was going to be a full blown cannonball,6x600m at 1.50 per split,the only way I,m going to regain my speed is to cain my repeats,never mind working my way up slowly it,s "have at it" time!!!!
On a grey overcast evening a long sleeved running shirt and running tights were the wardrobe choice of the day,it was a tad brisk out there at 6pm this evening and following my stretches and mile warm up it was to time to revisit"The Death Zone.......mind numbing,gut wrenching,self inflicted pain....repeat"
As always it was important to get that first repeat right,1.11 at 400m and 1.49.83 at 600m,a 38 second closing 200m,a good start.The only mistake I made all evening was to lose focus on the opening 400m on #2,I clocked 1.14 at 400m and knew I had to work hard over the final 200m but not so hard that I,d wreck my remaining 4 repeats,driving down the back straight I was treading a fine line......1.51.00,are you kidding me!!!!37 seconds for 200m.
1.13 for my 3rd 400m,plenty of focus this time around and a 36 second 200m,1.49.53,so far so good,I felt was running ecomonically,so important in repeats but twice as important in 6x600m,no point feeling good for 3 or 4 if the bottom falls out on 5 or 6
1.11 for the opening 400m,36 seconds for the closing 200m,1.47.83,a whole 2 seconds faster than repeat #1 but no time to get carried away,4 repeats more or less inside the target time is fine,but I,m running 6.
Remarkably a 1.10 at 400m,now for the trick,don,t ease up too much but also keep something in reserve for repeat#6,another 36 second 200m,1.47.00,so close I could taste it.
1.14 for the opening 400m,a tad too conservative but since this was the final 200m I could lamp it.....and lamp it I did 34 seconds to finish off in 1.48.14,5 out of 6 and had it not,ve been for a momentry lapse in concentration on repeat#2 I would,ve nailed all 6 but this was another shot in the arm for my confidence so shot to ribbons a week ago in Boston but more repeats like this and it,ll be back.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Week That Was......In Cliff Note Form.

Monday,day off,since I didn,t have the luxury of a day off of work I now had to play catch up on all the things that hadn,t been done while I was in Boston.
Tuesday back to the track,I knew I hadn,t been to my beloved Franklin Field in a while but I was gobsmacked to discover it hadn,t been since Feb 27th and I hadn,t done a track workout since March 2nd.....JAYSUS!!!!!!!!!!!
Mile warm up,mile of strides,8x50m,mile cool down,enjoyed my 50m repeats,I think it was Tom Cruise in ''Top Gun" who said"I feel the need for speed"and that,s me right now the only way to get back to where I was last summer is to cain the bejaysus out of my three track workouts per week.
Wednesday Easy 5 miles around Clark Park,w/ my beloved Iron Maiden set to play on June 17th it was time to throw some live Maiden on the olde ipod and have at it!!!!
Thursday another track workout,mile warm up,8x150m then an easy 300m at 1.20 pace w/ a crushing final 100m thrown in at the end b4 the always mile cool down.
Tuesdays 50m were untimed,GP wanted me to work on form but today the old trusy stop watch was in full effect 1st 3 150m @24 secs,4th-6th@22 sec,7th @21.5,8th@20 secs
22.04,21.92,21.82 for the opening set,faster than needed but again just feeling that I can actually run fast is such a rush for me right now not to mention a shot of much need confidence after last weekend
22.26,23.46,22.81 for the second set, I,m miffed at the second one because an oblivious runner in lane 5 cost me dearly on that one,I,ll spare you all the diatribe I used in my email to GP after the workout regarding the matter,lets just say hell hath no fury like a runner forced to miss a repeat split because another runner doesn,t get out of the way!
22.29 for #7,21.35 for #8,down on where I was aiming for and YES it,s soooo bleedin obvious that HAD I,ve ran the opening set at pace I,d have had the chops for the final two at pace.....I,ve never read Prust and I can,t read pace either!!!!
A fact borne out on the final repeat,80 second pace for the opening 300m went to 65 secs and then I cained the closing 100m in 15.49.
Friday easy 3 miler around Clark Park w/ a few light strides thrown in to ready myself for tomorrows race
Saturday 4x400m relay,following last weeks bitter disappoinment I wanted/needed a good race to restore my confidence,I opted against running either the mile or 800m in addition to the relay,I tend to treat relays w/ the respect they warrent and go to the meet to run a relay and relay alone.
We{Chuck,Rick and Daryl and I}were treating today as a rehearsel for Penn Relays in three weeks time,we ran a 3.55.6 which I believe we,ll run faster than at Penn.
For me a 57 sec split,I,m pleased w/ that.....for now,I want to be faster and better come Penn,not only did I get that shot of confidence today I regained that enjoyment side to my running that was so missing leading up Indoor Nationals,the slate has been wiped clean it,s outdoor season now a whole new ball game.
Sunday an easy 4 miler around Clark Park w/ Keane,s "Hopes And Fears" on the ipod,20 miles for the week and a whole weeks worth of training on the books.
This was my "transition" week,starting tomorrow it,s week 1 of the 2 week cycle GP and I agreed on,I,ll go back to my tried and tested 6x600m,2x1,000m and 4x1mile repeats for week 1,GP will give me workouts for week 2 and we,ll go from there.
As I walked home from Clark Park after todays easy 4 miles Keane,s "Can,t Stop Now" happened to be playing,the final refrain of that song goes"the motion keeps my heart running",yes dear reader/readers I,m back to training,writing my blog and quoting lyrics,all is good in the universe again

The Week That Was......In Cliff Note Form.

Requiem For A Dream

A week after the fact I can bring myself to write this,in truth I was busy this week hence why I,m only now getting around to Nationals and a cliff notes version of my week,the only problem w/ falling behind on the blog is it,s a bugger to get caught up and while Indoor Nationals could easily be summed up in one word...............begins w/ an S rhymes w/ day and nite here goes!!!
The 3,000m never really got going,an opening 38 sec lap and 1.15 at 2 laps had me in contention at the rear of the lead pack,however when the lead 5 broke the race wide open I soon found myself in no mans land,no mans land in an indoor 800m or mile is one thing,over 15 laps for a 3,000m please.
Stepping off the track was NEVER an option,had I come all this way and gone through all the upheavals of the week to jack in in now.......hell no,I saw it through to it,s conclusion,a very disappointing of 13 runners AND GP beat me!!!!!
After the race GP & I agreed I wouldn,t waste any more time w/ the 3,000m it was time to get back to the basics of the 8oom/1,500m/mile w/ the odd 4x400m relay thrown in along the way,my hopes of going to Haywards Field this July to run the Masters exhibition 3,000m during the Olympic trials like"phoney beatlemania had bitten the dust"one day I hope to run at famed Haywards Field but it won,t be this year and it won,t be during the Olympic Trials.
One final thought/observation on the 3,000m,while todays 10.01.65 had fallen well short of not only the 9.30 quallifying mark but also the 9.25 club record it was a dramatic improvement on the bloody woeful 12.47.41 I ran on Feb 4th,glass half full baby.
The 800m was ALWAYS gonna be tough,4 guys more than capable of running between 2.02-2.04 and me languishing well back w/ a "seasons best" of 2.13,the words arse,plate and served sounded about right and in running as is in life I had choices,shrug my shoulders and resign myself to defeat b4 the gun was fired or go for it and do my know me and plan b!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seeded 8th of 12 runners I at least got on the outside of the starting line and for once got a clear start from the gun,5th after the first turn I was comfortable on the outside of lane 1,29 secs at 200m and 1.01 at 400m...........and then the bleedin Stienway piano landed on my back,the 3rd lap of the indoor 800m is a killer and it killed me today,I drifted back to 9th and only reclaimed 8th going into the final turn when the 7th seeded runner pulled up w/ what looked like a pulled hamstring.
8th in 2.12.82........ohh a seasons best,scuse me while I stop typing and burst into a spontaneous Irish jig.......................
Again trying to salvage something from a very disappointing race I at least can look myself in the mirror and say I ran an honest race and went for it rather than run up the white flag.
To come away from my first Nationals w/ out a medal is NOT something that sits well,hindsight that most wonderful of things proved that while 8 weeks to get ready for Indoor Nationals was one thing it was the proverbial horse of a different colour to be able to come to Boston and be competitive.
Gerry Farnam who was one of Eamonn,s coaches once said of his charge"you may beat Eamonn once but you won,t beat him twice"someone also said of my first sporting hero Jimmy Connors "Jimmy takes defeats like a fighter takes takes losing a tooth"sitting in Logan airport waiting for my flight back to Philly a piece of one of my teeth broke off,I,ll take that omen and not only run to the bank w/ it but also keep running till I get to Spokane in August for Outdoor Nationals.....stopping off at dentists only if need be!