Saturday, May 31, 2008

It Didn,t Rain On My Parade

Not only did I defeat all b4 me in the 1,500m but I also had the satisfaction of beating the rain,for my race and my post race 6 miler.
Even after 32 years of running it,s still reasuring to feel nervous the morning of a race,today was no different,being a National Champion and a 5th Ave Mile winner doesn,t stop me from feeling that nervous antisipation from the time the alarm goes off till the gun gets fired,I,ve said b4 and will probably say again,I,d get nervous if I wasn,t nervous!!!.
So much for the 1,500m going off at 9.45am,it was closer to 10.10am b4 I toed the starting line,in the general scheme of things no big,however when you,ve timed your warm up to be primed and ready for 9.45am and it,s still another 25 mins b4 you,ll run it,s a tad frustrating,as I ,ve stated b4 adversity presents it,s self in several forms,it,s how you handle it,rather than get flustered I mellowed out to some Coldplay on my ipod b4 switching to one of the several battle anthems on there,DMX,s "Who We Be"I,ve often listened to that on my way to a repeat workout at Franklin Field,anytime "Who We Be" gets dialed up I know it,s business time.
Was seeded 2nd of 6 runners,I put down 4.21 as my seed time so I was curious what the runner inside of me had put to get the pole,I,m glad I didn,t use up alot of energy thinking about it,from the gun he hit the front only to slow to a pedestrian pace....sorry I wanted this to be brisk even if it meant hitting the front myself and going into the first turn I hit the front.
Unbelievable no clock at the finish line for a Championship meet,I only know my 400m splits because Mike,a team mate of second place Phil Reiley was calling them out 66 seconds at 400m.
When Phil went by me at 600m I was happy to let him,if I didn,t have to do all work up front then so be it,2.16 at 800m, a 1.10 lap.
I know Phil from several 800m races we,ve had,I wasn,t sure what his 1,500m credentials were but I was happy to tuck in behind him and not panic,the bell rang and I took off,I would love to know what my final 400m split was I went through 1,200m in 3.26,another 1.10 lap and covered the final 300m in 48 seconds finishing in 4.14.04,my second fastest ever 1,500m and a 6 second improvement on the 4.21.39.I ran here three weeks ago,I got my two pre race wishes a win and a sub 4.20 time.
I know I can run faster,letting Phil take control of the race between 600m and 1,100m allowed me to back off a little had I,ve continued to push the pace who knows what my finishing time would,ve been,a question for another day,NJ C,ships in Monmouth in two weeks time I hope.
Todays medal marks 5 for the season,109 for my career,the 1,500m victory marked my third over the distance since an indoor meet at The Armory in Dec 06,I,m still a novice at 1,500m since high school I,ve only got 9 1,500m races to my credit but I,m continuing to learn how to run this race.
Next up time to drop down to my other distance the 800m,having opened my account for the season w/ a 2.03.07 five weeks ago it,ll be interesting to see what I can do off of my recent training,guess we,ll find out Friday evening.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Trifle Not W/ Tired Tigers

Not the most ideal prep the day b4 a c,ship meet having to rush around the loading dock like the Tazmanian Devil doing the work load of two peeps but there you go.
Hopefully there,s some gas left in the tank for when the gun goes off tomorrow morning at 9.45am,I,ve aided and abetted the situation by eating a whole bowl of pasta w/ Texas Toast,how seriously do I take being Irish?I eat tricoloured Tortalini and I count out the green,white and gold pasta,now that,s a paddy for ya!!!!.
Nice easy pre race three miler this evening,dispite feeling the urge to "give it large" at times while listening to Coldplay on my ipod I kept a lid on it,save something for the race tomorrow felt like an ideal mantra.
As for the race it,s self tomorrow I don,t know what to expect,or who,ll show up,it may come down to who handles running in the rain best if the weather reports are anything to go by......yes I,m going to make another Paddy reference aren,t I???but c,mon who,s got more running in the rain experience than me??!!
Winning the race would be nice,going sub 4.20 would be nicer still,tomorrow and NJ C,ships in two weeks time represent my final two 1,500s b4 Spokane so it,s imperative to give my best effort irrigardless of elements or opponents

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Caterpillar Girl

Another warm evening on the track as I conducted my 2x1,000m repeats.
There were a myriad of thoughts and emotions at play going into this workout,front burner my 1,500m race Saturday morning,back burner the fact I,m doing the work of two people this week while Chris aka my"Moral Compass" is enjoying a well earnt week off,I won,t front mine is a physical job and having two do twice as much this week is a concern going into this weekends meet,these however are the cards I,ve been dealth.
After my stretches and mile warm up and mile of strides it was straight into the opening repeat,1.10,1.10,31 splits would give me a 2.51 repeat,I went 69,1.13,30 for 2.52.56,that,s pretty damn close,last Friday I went 68,1.11,33-2.52.83.
Following my recovery and yes I take all 12 minutes I had to make a decision on repeat #2,balls to the wall or take a little off given the close proximity of Saturdays race,yes you want to push yourself in your workouts but you also don,t want to leave it all on the track in training,you need to keep something for the race......
1.11,1.12,35-2.58.24,last Friday I went 1.10,1.15,31-2.56.95,I,m reasonably happy w/ that,it,s the old chicken and egg syndrome,if I didn,t have the race Saturday I,d have pushed harder,but I,m in the same boat again next week,my preposed Mon,Wed rotation will put me in the same position again next week,a 2x1,000m repeat Wed w/ an 800m race Friday.
The hard work in training this week is done,tomorrow,s an easy 3 miler b4 the now mandatory big arse bowl of pasta,feet up reasonably early nite,I just hope tomorrow is an easy work day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Caged Tigers And Brave Lions

Another day for enjoying my running,sometimes there,s no better reason to be out there other than the sheer love of it,today was such a day,no agenda,no pace, no goals just a run for the sake of running.
Glorious weather and a good cd on the ipod never hurt either,Kate Voegele,s "Don,t Look Away" provided the soundtrack to my 6 loops around Clark Park although I was responible for the "one caged tiger goes round the outside,round the outside,round the outside"ditty to the tune of Malcolm McLaren,s "Buffalo Girls"the caged tiger reference goes to my day long battle w/ the forces of nature that seemed hell bent on driving me to "maniacal macphisto"persona,in life it should be noted that"other people can push your buttons,only you can activate them".
My brave lion reference goes to John Terry of Chelski and England,last Wednesday in front of millions of people around the world he suffered the crulest of fates,slipping as he took what could,ve been the game winning penalty for Chelski in the Champions League final,his slip and subsequent miss allowed Man Utd to snatch the Champions League title away from them,fast forward seven days John Terry not only captained England for the first time in his career but he scored the first of two goals as the Three Lions beat the USA 2.0 at Wembley.
I recall when JT first broke into the Chelski starting eleven several years ago,I said then he was destined to not only replace Tony Adams in the center of the England defence but he,d also one day replace Tony Adams as Captain of his country,today that dream came true,in the face of a public and private hell John Terry hauled himself up by the boot laces and stared down his demons,my kind of hero,my kind of role model,mad props,big ups and much respect to him.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Generating Steam Heat

It was a hot one this evening,how hot?my bandana was soaked after my mile of strides!!!
Heat or no heat I wanted this workout to be full throttle since I may have to take a little off my 2x1,000m repeats Thursday as it,s close to Saturdays 1,500m at Widner in the Mid Atlantic C,ships.
What I wasn,t expecting was an opening 400m in 64 seconds and a closing 200m in 31 seconds,1.35.36,rather puts last Wednesdays 66/33 1.39.49 to shame,however w/ said genie well and truly out of the bottle how would I hold up on the remaining 5 600s?
Clearly I wasn,t going to be able to hold onto that pace as my 1.15 2nd 400m bore out,however I did close w/ a 33 second 200m to clock 1.48.33.
200m into repeat#3 and I was feeling it a 1.17 400m followed by a 35 second 200m to clock 1.52.64,no six for six tonite!!!!,in fact at this stage I briefly considered taking a 12 min recovery and throwing in a 1,000m repeat to go 3x600m/1x1,000m a mix and match of tonite and Thursdays workouts.....piss on that I believe was the answer I gave myself,I came here to do 6x600m and that,s exactly what I was going to do.
1.16 for the opening 400m of repeat #4 b4 a 33 second 200m,1.49.17,the words skin and teeth sprang to mind,a few other choice gaelic expressions came to mind but we won,t go there!!
Disaster on repeat #5 I was toast,I pulled up at 400m off of a woeful 1.25 lap,desperate times call for desperate measures,mulligan,I lay on the track w/ my legs up against the wall to drain the lactic acid out of them,I wasn,t taking the repeat lying down!!!
1.15/33 for a 1.48.07.alrighty one more,1.16/31 yep another 31 second closing 200m to finish in 1.47.47,five out of six for the third week in a row,last week I went,1.39,1.41,1.46,1.47,1.48,1.51 today I went,1.35,1.47,1.48,1.48,1.49,1.52,last week my closing 200s went32,33,33,33,33,36 today I went,31,31,33,33,33,35.
I,m pleased I had it in me today to see the repeats through even if I had to invoke a mulligan,given the choice of calling it quits after 4 600s or taking a lactic acid draining time out and compleating repeats 5 and 6 I have no problem w/ the latter,that said next time out I,d like the 600s all under 1.50 and w/out the mulligan.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Always Looking At The Bigger Picture

It would,ve been nice to take compleat advantage of the fact today was a holiday,however the only concession I made in that department was to run at lunch time and not first thing in the morning.
Having hauled myself back on schedule w/ not only 3 track workouts and 30 miles last week the last thing I needed today was to blow off the whole day and put myself in a hole early on,frankly it was never an option,one I,d worked out hard yesterday,I needed a recovery run to remove any gunk my legs may,ve retained from that period but also given tomorrow is another track workout I need to be at my sharpest,and secondly providing this week goes to plan by the time I finish my 1,500m race Saturday I should have 24 miles in for the week meaning a 6 mile cool down will give me my 30 miles for the week and a rest day on Sunday.....of sorts.
Granted I won,t have to run Sunday but by virtue of spending most of Saturday at Widner for the Mid Atlantic C,ships I,ll have domestic duties that need my attention,the fact I won,t have to fit in a training run around them will be a testimony to not only keeping one eye on the prize but the other eye on the bigger picture.
Nothing spectacular to report today,a nice easy five miler around Clark Park,on a day that marks the official begining of Summer and on a weekend that has seen the masses head to the shore or the mountains,do picnics or cookouts I did what I need to do for me,sandwich in a repeat on the track between two recovery runs,very much business as usual for someone who when it comes to the track is all business,need I point out Nationals is only 11 weeks away?I thought not

Sunday, May 25, 2008

See You In August

I hope today was the last of my journeys to Roxboro for track repeats,it,s not so much the hike it,s the attitude I have to put up w/ when I,m there,I swear to god these people have no concept of yeilding the inside lane to those who are actually working out,if I don,t return here till the annual end of season Wisahickon Wanderers track meet in August I for one will be happy w/ that.
Hoping to follow on from last Sundays 4.58,5.06,5.09,5.09 series I began the session w/ a 69 second opening 400m,and frankly I wasn,t trying to run that fast,slowing slightly over the next lap I clocked 1.20 b4 back to back 1.13s,4.55.69,very possibily the fastest mile repeat I,ve ever recorded.
I opened mile#2 w/ a 1.13 lap,sadly I have no clue to my 800m split thanks to some dumb kid who proceeded to dawdle in lane 1 as I reached the start finish line.....thanks!!!!!!3.52 at 1,200m and a 1.15 closing lap to clock5.07.66.
I opted for the shade of the far left corner of the track inbetween repeats, I wasn,t about to allow the heat to throw off my repeats also.
Mile#3 in keeping w/ how last weeks third mile went I opened w/ a 1.16 but unlike last week when I followed that up w/ splits of 1.17,1.21,and 1.15 to clock 5.09.77 today I went 1.20,1.21,69 to clock 5.06.13,I was aware of how fast I closed coming off the final turn,could I continue the trend of lowering repeats 3 and 4 unlike last week?
An opening 1.15 b4 slipping off pace slightly w/ a 1.22,I was already 4 seconds behind last weeks final mile,however unlike last week when a 1.26 cropped up on lap three today I clocked a more respectable at the bell.
To close w/ a 68 some 15 400s after I,d opened w/ a 69 to me is impressive,5.06...and change I didn,t manage to stop my watch as I crossed the line,yeah!!!
Maybe it was all the angst and anger I,ve had this week,maybe it was the constant weaving in and out of people on the track today,or prehaps the knowledge that due to four meets in the next four weeks I won,t do another 4x1 mile repeat workout till June 28th that I recorded what I believe to be my fastest ever series of mile repeats.
The next 4 weeks represent a vital phase of my season,three of those meets are championship meets,Mid Atlantic May 31st,New Jersey June 14th,New York June 22nd I would expect my best times pre Spokane and Nationals to be ran then and I need to know I,m not only ready to run fast now.....but faster still come August 7th thro 10th.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Sporting Life

I knew I wanted to be up at a reasonable hour this morning to crank out my 5 miler, I like most of my weekend training runs out of the way early so as not to have them hanging over me that they need to be done and today was no different.
Thanks to a smile from the sporting gods I was looking at the Championship soccer playoff final at 10am,Henieken rugby championship final at 12pm and Ricky Hatton vs Juan Lazcano boxing at 3.30pm,so it was important to be up and at it by 9.30am to knock out todays 5 mile recovery run first and formost b4 kicking back in my recliner for the next 8 hours and enjoying a feast of sport.
The run it,s self was straight forward, having just woken up I was hardly at my best but for a recovery run I didn,t have to be,granted the last two loops were a bit of a grind but I got through it and can ready myself for my 4x1 mile repeats at Roxboro tomorrow.
As for the sporting triple header,Hull beat Bristol City to join the soccer elite next season in the Premiership,Munster won their second European Club C,ship in three years and I,m fairly convinced"The Hitman"is going to beat is good.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Sort Of Homecoming

After a two week absence it felt good to back at my beloved Franklin Field again this evening,it also has to be said after the day I had it felt good to be on any track cos frankly if in the words of John Lydon"anger is an energy"I had generated enough anger and energy this week at work to put PECO out of business,I strongly hope a three day weekend will do wonders to dampen the raging fury that,s been burning w/in my tiny but volatile and explosive frame this week because quite honestly I don,t fancy my chances of leaving there one day next week w/out a police escort and for what it,s worth orange is not my colour and I,m not wearing a jumpsuit for the next 10 to 15 years doing some roadside detail on a chain gang as my debt to society for murder.....yeah I went there!
Moving on, I felt it best this evening to parlay my angst and anger into my repeat session,I believe it was the great Carl Lewis who once said and I quote"I just wanted to leave it all out there on the track"words to live by.
Following my stretches and mile warm up and mile of strides it was into my first 1,000m last time out{May 1st}I went 2.56/2.51,I was aiming for splits of 1.10,1.10,33 for a 2.53 what I got was 68,1.11,33 for 2.52.83.
Following my 12 minute recovery I was back at it again,I was surprized to clock 1.10 at 400m,I thought I,d gone out a shade too conservative but clocking a 1.10 obviously I hadn,t.2.25 at 800m a 1.15 split,I would,ve prefered faster but knowing I was behind I dug deep and crushed the closing 200m in 31 seconds,I was hauling off the final turn and down the back straight,2.56.95
My progression over the past seven weeks at this repeat has been 2.57/2.55,2.56/2.51,2.53/2.56 and given that my rotation next week is slated for Tuedsay/Thursday w/ a meet on Saturday I think it,s safe to say next Thursday will be another 2x1,000m repeat.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stories For Bhoys

An easy 5 miler around Clark Park,given I,d started my day in a "walk thro walls,spit nails,crap bullets"mood it was nice to be able to cast my anger away w/ an easy run in preparation for tomorrows track workout.
A big shout out for my Bhoys Celtic who this evening won a third consecutive SPL title,as an Irish catholic it was not only my birthright to be a Glasgow Celtic fan but the first soccer kit I ever got was the Celtic kit when I was seven,a week ago former player and manager Tommy Burns lost his battle w/ cancer so this victory by the club means just a little bit more.
Here,s hoping the Boston Celtics can add the NBA title in a few weeks time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hammer To Fall

Another day lost to the rain yesterday,another spanner in the works re my rotation,and trust me on this one,I REALLY could,ve used a track workout yesterday........w/out going into too much detail let,s just say that at the begining of my day there were two wooded crates adjacent to the loading dock,by days end said crates resembled kindling after I,d taken a hammer to them,today I wanted to "drop the hammer" on my 6x600m repeats!!!!
Ominously when I reached Roxboro around 5pm the skies were getting dark and as I lay in the infield doing my stretches I felt a few spits of rain,if need be I was prepared to switch up to 2x1000m if it began to rain hard,thankfully it didn,t and my projected 6x600m was still a go.......since I,m out of wooden crates at work it was IMPERATIVE a track workout of some kind took place this evening!!!!
66 seconds for my opening 400m,I can recall not too long ago when a 69 second opening 400m was a wow,1.39.49 a 33 second 200m
69 seconds for my second 400m followed by a 32 second closing 200m 1.41.59,fairly identical splits to my opening 2 600s from last Wednesday.
1.12/36 for a third 600m in 1.48.27,a little too close for comfort,that 36 would throw my overall average off come the end of the session.
1.13/33 for #4 a 1.46.42 600m,the wheel fell off on repeat#5 last week,could I hang on this week?
1.14/33,a 1.47.10 split five for five,I just needed to keep it together for one more repeat.
I knew coming down the home straight I was off pace maybe 40 meters from the line I could sense my pace was a fraction slower than I wanted it to be.....1.18.....*@#$,somehow I found it in me to dredge up my 4th 33 second 200m to close in 1.51.59,close but no cigar,and close only counts in horseshoes as we all know!!!
Am I disappointed to miss that final repeat?........hell yeah!!am I pleased to notch another five out of six in "The Death Zone".....absolutely!
Fingers crossed the rain won,t bugger up my plans for Friday,s 2X1,000m repeat,I,m also hoping that my beloved Franklin Field will be available to me again,meaning only one more trek to Roxboro,Sunday for my 4x1 mile repeats.
A word of commiseration to Chelski who feel short this afternoon in their quest for the Champions League final,obviously schleeping to Roxboro meant I couldn,t watch the game but I caught the highlites when I got home,to lose on penalties always sucks but I believe in my black pagan heart of hearts they will lift the Champions League trophy in the not too distant future.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Easy Does It

Felt weird to begin the week w/ a recovery run but following on from yesterdays 4x1 mile repeats it was important to go out and do a nice easy 5 miler today.
Will confess to being slightly concerned during the day that my right hamstring was feeling a little tender all day to the point where I wraped it and iced it and will continue to monitor it over the next few days.
Nothing out of the ordinary to report on my run,grooved to Bob Dylan,s "Infidels" on my ipod as I did the six big loops of Clark Park.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

All,s Well That Ends Well

In a week that,s seen me have to switch both location and rotation not to mention lose a repeat session and come up short on my weekly milage I at least ended things on a positive note.
I,m no stranger to the four hour round trip Sunday trek to Roxboro to execute a repeat I did a few back in Febuary,however back then I wasn,t doing 4x1 mile repeats like I was today.
More often than not in a "short"week my mile repeats suffer,not so this week having accepted that the shuffle of my location and rotation had cost me the Mon,Wed.Fri rotation to Wed,Fri,Sun and then lost out on Fri due to the rain I opted to stick w/ mile repeats today,more often than not when a week ends w/ a meet the mile repeats go by the wayside so I was gung ho about doing them today.
Conditions were grey and mild when I arrived at Roxboro just b4 11am,following my stretches and mile warm up it was"have at it"time and boy did I have at it in that opening mile!!splits of 1.12,1.16,1.21,69 gave me a 4.58.31 mile,I had to wait untill July 27th last year to nail my first sub 5 mile repeat and today marked only my third series of mile repeats this outdoor season.
Me being me however I wondered how I,d top that over the remaining three repeats,mile#2 I went 1.13,1.19,1.20,1.14 for a 5.06.95 mile,on my last mile repeats on May 5th I went 5.12.24,5.06.38,5.12.47,5.02.38.
I was begining to feel it on mile repeat#3 1.16,1.17,1.21,1.15,5.09.77,it says something when I can turn my nose up at a 1.16 opening 400m dispite being 4 seconds inside target pace it was a dip albeit a not surprizing one in pace from the opening 400s of 1.12/1.13 but just like I,ve been tweaking my 6x600m repeats to start out fast and dig deep to maintain that I,m trying to do likewise on my mile repeats.
Final mile,granted I was slowing each mile however I was on pace for 4 sub 5.10 miles,not too shabby period but conside this on May 18th of last year I conducted my first mile repeats of the summer season here at Roxboro and went 5.26.88,5.28.21,5.25.59,5.08.51,the words chalk and cheese spring to mind!!
1.16,1.17 to open again b4 a woeful 1.26,to put me at 3.59 at the bell,in the past year of mile repeats I,ve prided myself on that final lap,today I was feeling the pace but w/ 200m to go I found a burst of speed that I wish I,d known was there say 50m/100m earlier,a 1.10 final lap to clock 5.09.75.
Personally I,d have prefered to go 5.09,5.09,5.06,4.58 but again that,s just me,it,s something to think about and ponder this upcoming week when hopefully my Tue,Thurs,Sat rotation will allow me all three track workouts and a 30 mile week and not the rain effected 2 track workouts 26 mile week I just put in.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What Is That Big Orange Ball In The Sky??!!!

I realize it,s a typically English/Irish trait to moan about the weather but dear god,to lose two workouts due to the rain in one week.................GER :(
One of the ironic things about yesterdays wash out was the date,May 16th I bring this up only because upon referencing the "Great Oracle"ie my diary I found last years entry,May 16th fell on a Wednesday and inspite of the rain I did indeed trek all the way out to Roxboro to conduct my 2x1,000m,why I didn,t yesterday is prehaps best left to psychcologists,if I,m being 100% honest here the issue of Coldplay tickets going on sale at 10am yesterday and not today{sidebar whos dumb arse idea was that???,how are the likes of me and I,m sure I,m not alone in this meant to score concert tixs going on sale on a week day????!!!!}probably played a big role in that.
Granted it seemed to rain all day yesterday to the point where dispite taking my running gear w/ me to work w/ the intention for hiking to deepest,darkest Roxboro post work it just seemed pointless,when I left work at 3.40pm as it was still raining but by the time I got off the #34 trolley at 4.25pm it had at least eased to a soft rain,the type I could ,ve dealth w/ had I,ve gone to Roxboro,deep down I know if the Coldplay ticket issue hadn,t have been on the table I would,ve gone to Roxboro,as it was I didn,t and I,m now gonna come up short not only on track workouts this week{2 providing I get to Roxboro tomorrow to do my 4x1 mile repeats} but also my weekly milage 25 not least getting home at 4.30pm and not 7.30pm meant still managing to snare a floor seat for Coldplay so it,s not all bad.
Today I opted in a week of change to again change things up re my 5 miler,having had meets the past three Saturdays it was nice to enjoy a lie in till 10am which nixed an early morning run,I opted post food shopping to conduct my 5 miler,it,s rare to get out and run in the early afternoon,most of my workouts tend to be early morning/early evening so I hadn,t factored in the Farmers Market in Clark Park,rather than do the tried and tested 10x bottom loop I wanted to stick w/ the 6x whole loop I,d been doing doing this week but the prospect of having to go wide past the Farmers Market lead me to reroute myself up Woodlands Ave upto the VA Hospital and back down to 43rd St three times,however one slices and dices it a 5 mile run is a 5 mile run and I for one was happy to say I,d done mine for the day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Brought To You By The Letter R

I could tell early on into my run my legs were feeling the effects of yesterdays blazing 6x600m repeats but I was ok w/ that,it told me that yesterday I,d done what I was meant to do,go to the track and drop the hammer,today was a recovery run,exactly what it says it,s meant to be recovery.
Again I opted for the bigger loop of Clark Park but unlike Tuesday I took my ipod w/ me,Rory Gallagher providing the soundtrack.....effectivly one hard rocking paddy helping another!!!
Three down three to go for the week,I,m at 15 miles for the week also half way in my weekly 30 miles,here,s hoping to get to and from Roxboro b4 the rain tomorrow although it wouldn,t be the first time I,ve gone to Roxboro and conducted a 2x1,000m repeat in the rain this time last year I did it,I,d make the crack about lightning striking twice but frankly rain.s one issue,lightning,s another,the only reference to lightning I want in tomorrows blog entry is a reference to my speed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Laugh In The Face Of Death

The venue and day may have changed but the torture is the same,6x600m,welcome to The Death Zone.
Following on from my previous 6x600m where I cranked out 3 1.46s b4 seeing the wheels fall off I opted to go for it again tonite,call it wreckless,call it Hammer Time,call me crazy,call me Prime Time I feel it,s time to crank things up and see how I respond.
Conditions were grey and overcast when I reached Roxboro gone 5pm,mercifully the CYO brigade were in short supply tonite,I think their big meet is coming up this Saturday so hopefully my next three repeat workouts here won,t be too effected by them,following my stretches,mile warm up and mile of strides it was"have at it" time.....strewth a 66 second opening 400m,followed by a 30 second 200m....1.36.89,talk about your"starter for ten fingers on the buzzers"now could I keep that pace?
69 seconds and 33 seconds for my 400m/200m splits on repeat #2 1.42.56,this was boldly going where I hadn,t been b4,this continues and it,ll become manditory to listen to The Cure b4 EVERY workout!!!!I swear my feet haven,t touched the ground since Saturdays AWESOME show at The Spectrum,in fact they were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AWESOME I,m going to New York next month to catch them end the tour at Radio City Music Hall b4 hoping a subway ride to Ichan Stadium the following day for the MAC C,ships.
Anyways keeping w/ the here and now 1.11 at 400m b4 a 32 second closing 200m for 1.43.02 on #3,here,s where the wheels fell off last time,history however would not repeat today.....take that Death!!!!
1.13 at 400m, 34 second closing 200m,slowing slightly but 1.47.13,I was already ahead of two weeks ago,if the wheels came off now and I went 4/6 I could live w/ that as I,d improved on the 3/6 from April 29th.
1.17 at 400m and yes I was feeling it,a 37 second closing 200m,1.54.77,could I muster a final sub 1.50 on #6???
1.14 at 400m,I knew it was there for the taking but I,d have to work for it,b4 a 34 second closing 200m 1.48.18,yeah baby!!!5/6,did somebody say Granny Smiths?cos you gotta love them apples!!!!
Next week or the week after whenever I next step into "The Death Zone"I,ll aim to go 6/6 clearly I,m getting there and I aim to keep pushing the envelope.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Date W/{The}Death{Zone}Will Have To Wait

A feeling of dajavu yesterday,another Monday lost to the rain,glass half empty my rotation is now thrown for a loop this week to begin w/factor in that Franklin Field is now off limits till next Thursday and I,m looking at hiking to Roxboro for my next three track workouts,glass half full, back to back rest days.
I knew the prospect of Franklin Field closing for Penn Graduation was coming so upon arrivial there this evening I was greeted w/ the news that it,s closed till next Thursday,had I known that yesterday I,d,ve headed to Roxboro this evening to begin my rotation for Tues,Thurs,Sat track workouts,as it is I now have to go Wed,Fri,Sun,no big in the general scheme of things.
Settled for a 5 miler around Clark Park,given my week of mixing things up I went w/ 6x the bigger loop vs 10x the smaller loop,shot for 30 mins,clocked 29.41.37.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It,ll Do For Starters

So my first 1,500m race of the season,the first of three on my schedule in my build up to Spokane.
Ray and I arrived at Widner by 8.30am which would allow me ample time to register and warm up and stretch b4 the 1,500m would start,it was my first time at Widner and I have to say I was impressed w/ the track and the facilities,I,ll be back here again in three weeks time for my next track meet the Mid Atlantic C,ships where I,ll again race the 1,500m.
I was seeded 1st in a field of 6 that included two team mates Neil Clark and Chris Carroll,a freshman, a masters runner and Kareem Lanier.
I,ve raced Kareem several times on the track over the past three years,I,ve never beaten him or his brother Kyle,today would see a shift in the landscape.
From the gun Kareem hit the front w/ me just behind him,w/in 150m I decided to run my race not his or anybody elses and promptly took over in the lead,to win a 1,500m from the front is a ballsey move but I wanted to sure of a fast time even if it meant doing the lions share of the pace and potentially getting out kicked at the finish.
I have no idea of my 300m split and frankly the official calling 400m splits was a good 7 seconds off so I wasn,t paying much attention to the splits he called at 400m or 800m,I don,t think he even called a split at 1,200m.
I felt comfortable out there today I also felt comfortable pushing whatever pace I was pushing,hopefully in three weeks time there,ll be a clock at the finish line and more accurate 400m splits being called out.
Never 100% sure where the field behind me was I waited till 200m out to kick,w/ hindsight I could,ve gone earlier and when I crossed the line in 1st in 4.21.39 I was ruing the fact I hadn,t It never hurts to put a tick in the win column and to do so this early in my second non relay race of the outdoor season is pleasing,to only be a second off of the time I was hoping for is also pleasing especially as I had to do it from the front by myself,I know Kareem is coming back from a long term illness and I have to keep that in prespective however I,m pleased that I didn,t allow myself to be psyched out of my game plan by his presence in the race,in order for me to hang w/ and hopefully out run the big dogs at 800m/1,500m/mile I have to have a No Fear attitude going in to each race no matter who I,m taking on.
Post race I did a 5 mile cool down to round out my weekly milage at 30 miles which means I can enjoy a rare rest day tomorrow b4 tackling my 6x600m repeats on Monday.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Waiting For Tomorrow

As stated often by yours truly it takes more than a little rain to keep me from my appointed workout,today was no different,only a 3 miler on tap but it was important to get it in period as it was a pre race stretch of the legs but also as it now stands I have 23 miles for the week,a mile warm up and my 1,500m race will give me 25 miles and providing conditions are favorable post race I may pull a University Of Delaware move and crank out a longer warm down run,say 5 miles to give me my requisit 30 miles for the week and a rest day Sunday.....but this is all to be determined post race,running the race is my bigger concern right now.
I find myself in the same spot I was in last week,not sure what to expect race and time wise this early in the season,it was July 7th last year b4 I ran a 1,500m so I,m almost 2 months ahead of that schedule this year.
Last week pre race I seeded myself at 2.06 for the 800m b4 turning in a 2.03.07 performance,I,m seeding myself at 4.20 for tomorrows 1,500m in the hope of running faster,a lot may depend on conditions and competition two things I have no control over,neither today or tomorrow but know I,ve already earmarked my potential splits at 300m,700m and 1,100m in the hope I,ll be close to them after the gun goes off around 10am.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Double Dippin'

Since time was against me yesterday I,m combining my blog entry today,two for the price of one if you like.
Today was straight forward enough, a 5 miler around Clark Park,the miles/loops seemed to roll by as Status Quo performed their"head down,no nonsence boogie"on my ipod setting me up nicely for an easy pre race three miler tomorrow.
Yesterday saw me revisit an old repeat I haven,t done for a while the old 3x1,200m but this time w/ a twist.
When I last did the 3x1,200m way back when my target times were 4.05,4.05,3.50,I felt to run at that pace now would be detrimental to my current pace so I went for an ambitious 4.00,3.45,3.30,using 3x1.20 for the first set,3x1.15 for the second set and 3x1.10 for the final set,like I said ambitious for that final repeat but what the hell push the envelope now and hopefully reap the rewards later on his season.
Conditions were very warm when I hit the track at 5.30pm,I knew the key to having any shot at that final 1.10 per lap repeat was to run the first two at a 1.12 opening lap didn,t exactly help any,don,t get me wrong it,s great to run fast but when pacing yourself for the long haul a 1.12 when you only need a 1.20 can come back to haunt you.1.20 for my second lap b4 closing out at 1.17 for a 3.49.09,11 seconds inside the 4 minute pace I was looking for.
Following my five minute recovery it was into my 1.15 per lap repeats,again a slightly brisker opener than required,1.10,I nailed a 1.15 at 800m b4 closing out w/ a 1.11, 3.36.94,9 seconds inside the 3.45 I was shooting for,now for the test.
1.10 right off the bat but I knew holding onto that pace would be tough,sure enough a 1.16 followed,I was 6 seconds off pace w/ only 400m to go,unlike my 4x1 mile repeats where I often feel I can gun the final lap tonite I won,t front I was feeling the pace,it wasn,t till 180m to go that felt I was able to roll,credit where it,s due I managed a 69 second final lap to close out at 3.35.53 which while none too shabby was alas 5 seconds over my target time.
Overall I was pleased w/ my performance,like I said it,s been a while since I,ve ran 1,200m,s and it may be a while b4 I do them again but tonite was a good workout and coupled w/ my mile repeats Monday I,m hoping to set myself up nicely for Saturdays 1,500m

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Calm Before The Storm

An easy 5 miler around Clark Park this evening listening to The Killers on my ipod.
My typical low key work,train, blog routine gets a shake up over the next few days so it,s vital to take advantage of an early nite tonite,tomorrow post 3x1,200m I,m off to the Kimmel Center to see Eddie Izzard,s third and final nite of his "Stripped" tour{no blog till Thursday due to this}then Saturday post 1,500m race at Widner it,s off to The Spectrum to give hero worship to St Robert...aka The Cure,my 7th Cure show since 92.
A lot to look forward to over the next few days but rest assured I,ll be focused on my repeat tomorrow and race Saturday b4 going off and doing the social thing.....rare that it is.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I,d Rather Switch Than Bitch

It,s rare I begin my week w/ a 4x1 mile repeat but in three of the last five weeks I,ve had meets on a Saturday thus rendering my traditional Friday 4x1mile repeats null and void,w/ another meet this Saturday I figured rather than see another 4x1 fall by the wayside I,d kick off my week w/ said repeat,plus w/ a 1,500m race on tap this Saturday what better way to set myself up for the week.
Conditions were sunny and warm at 5.35pm when I began the workout,the day may,ve changed but the principle was the same,1.20 per lap,5.20 per mile 5 minutes recovery,repeat #1,a 1.15 opening lap followed by my slowest lap of the session a 1.22,1.21 for lap 3 followed by a 1.14,a 5.12.24 mile,I opened w/ a 5.14.05 mile on my previous mile repeats on April 11th.
Repeat#2 I opened w/ a 1.13 lap b4 a 1.20,1.19,1.14, a 5.06.38 mile,impressive but how was I going to top that?
Another solid opening first lap on repeat #3,going out hard each opening lap allowed me"time in the bank" for the rest of the mile1.15 again followed by laps of 1.19,1.21 and 1.17,a 5.12.47 mile,three weeks ago I went 5.14.05,5.15.86,5.17.58,5.08.27,having gone 5.12.24,5.06.38,5.12.47 what did I have left?
1.12 to open b4 splits of 1.20,1.21,3.53 at the bell,on April 11th I managed a 1.12 final lap,this evening I went 69 seconds to clock 5.02.38,I,ll have to check my mile repeats from last year but I doubt very much I was closing the session w/ a 5.02.38 in the first week of May!!
Here,s hoping Wednesdays 3X1,200m are as successful.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

To The Beat Of My Own Drum

While the masses were running down Broad Street this morning I chose the path less traveled a 4 miler around Clark Park enjoying the relaxing sounds of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss "Raising Sand" on my ipod.
By virtue of doing a 6 miler after my 800m race yesterday not only did I only have to run 4 miles today but I,d also put myself back on schedule for a 30 mile week.
In 5 short weeks I,ve turned things around,I,ve religiously managed 3 track workouts each week be it 3 actual workouts or 2 workouts and a race,I,ve also logged weekly milage of 22 miles,31 miles,31 miles,25 miles and 30 miles,the coming week has already been mapped out,4x1 mile repeats tomorrow,easy 5 miles Tueday,3x1,200m repeats Wednesday,easy 5 miler Thursday,easy 3 miler Friday,1,500m race Saturday,easy 4 miler Sunday.
Spokane is 14 weeks away,yesterdays 2.03.07 800m has reinforced my beliefe that I,m heading in the right direction,a good performance and respectable 1,500m this Saturday at Widner will go a long way to helping me continue to prepare,to quote the great Roy Keane"failure to prepare,prepare for failure" and frankly failure is NOT an option.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Prehaps I Wasn,t Joking Afterall

Last Monday when Scott sent me the splits for Penn and Chuck sent me the official attendance I joked"just call me Prime Time Baby"I stress now as I did then I was joking,following todays race maybe I shouldn,t be joking.
My goal going into todays 800m race was to try and run 2.06,I,d only managed to clock 2.12 indoors and as long as I improved on that I,d feel I was at least moving in the right direction,based on Tuesdays back to back to back 1.46s over 600m I felt 2.06 was doable.
By the time I arrived at the University of Delaware and registered I had just enough time to do a mile warm up and stretch b4 being called to the line along w/ 4 other runners,no time to think or over think things just get out there and run....and w/ that the gun went off.
As is often my wont my reaction to the gun wasn,t great and I was last coming off the line but in a five man field that suited me dispite being 5th going into the first turn I soon moved into 4th down the back straight and heard Chuck call out a 29 second 200m split,I went through 400m in 59 seconds and was amazed how comfortable I felt.Lightning seemed to strike twice on the back straight as I again passed a runner and again went outside rather than try and squeeze through on the inside and risk a DQ if there was contact,1.29 at 600m,later Chuck would confirm it was 1.29.99,so almost 1.30 and I drew level w/ the second place runner who to his credit responded.
It,s still early in my season to be able to mix it up coming off the turn but give me another month or so till my next 800m race and I,d like to think I,ll have a stronger finish,2.01.50 for the winner,2.01.56 for the runner up,2.03.07 for me...........yep 2.03,no typo no bs,I was gobsmacked!!!!
I honestly did not expect to run that fast today,I had said of today and next Saturdays 1,500m that I,d have a better idea of where I,m at right now once I,d ran a race at my distances,last season I didn,t get to run an outdoor 800m till June 9th when I anchored a 4x800m and then an open 800m on June22nd,my splits then were 2.02 and 2.03.55 so you can imagine how rewarding it is for me to clock a 2.02.07 on May 3rd.
I won,t be getting carried away w/ today there,s still weeks and months of hard work to be done but this was an unexpected surprize and one I,d like to build on.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rain?What Rain??

A good friend of mine Roberta once said of growing up in Northern Ireland"if I only trained on the days it didn,t rain I,d have never gotten out to train"and I can identify w/ that,if I had a dollar for everytime a non runner said to me"you,re not going to run in the rain are you?"my airfare to Spokane for Nationals would be paid for already!!!Yes I run in the rain,granted I didn,t Monday but that,s because it was lashing down,today I got caught in a shower that frankly didn,t phase me,"a soft day" as it would,ve been refered to back home,and besides I was already on the track....literally doing my stretches laying down on the track when it started to for a penny in for a pound....punt...euro....dollar...yen....
Following my stretches I knocked out my mile warm up and mile of strides keeping my warm ups on,switching to my long sleeved shirt and shorts b4 the first of my two 1,000m,I opted to nix my glasses since trying to peer through the rain on them at my stop watch seemed counter productive,I also went sans bandana,one thing less to get wet,target time for repeat#1 was 3 minutes,1.10,1.10,40 for 400m,800m,1000m,I went 68,1.15,33 for 2.56.32,three weeks ago I went 2.57.82,and three weeks ago it wasn,t raining!!!!
During my 12 minute recovery it stopped raining which meant I could walk back and forth on the track rather than seek shelter under the stands,and then the gremlins set in...again,as I lined up to begin my second 1000m my watch went ga ga again,having used up my alloted recovery time I didn,t want to waste any more time and launched into the repeat hoping my watch might record the split....
No split at 400m but coming through 800m I glanced at my watch to see 12.02,obviously the watch had reverted to 12.00 when I hit the start button so as long as I had a clear view of it at the finish I,d at least have a finish time.............2.51,yeah baby!!!
Conducted my mile cool down and called it a nite,tomorrow,s an easy day,3 miles b4 Saturdays 800m.