Thursday, July 31, 2008

This Time Next Week

This time next Thursday I,ll be in Spokane for Nationals,my third summer since my 06 debut in Charlotte North Carolina.
It looks like I may well have to run a prelim in the 800m next Thursday afterall,prior to last nite the field was set at 12 runners however w/ the final deadline for late entries at midnite 2 more runners signed up so now there are 14 of us,providing all 14 of us declare and show up Thursday two heats will be ran,if only 12 of us declare we,ll get advanced to Saturdays final.
Last year was a 10 man final after prelims were waived,who can forget my 06 prelim under the lites in Charlotte my feeling has always been to arrive in Spokane mentally and physically prepared to race on Thursday,if I don,t so be it,if I do not only is it one extra race for me but also an extra race for those planning to run three events which may well determine if there are any w/drawals,alot to ponder as the days tick down.
An easy 5 miler this evening to keep me on pace for my weekly milage total of 30 miles,tomorrow sees a second 600m time trial b4 another easy 5 miler on Saturday and a rest day Sunday

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The so called weather experts got it wrong......again,yesterdays forcast for today was a 40% chance of thunderstorms,todays forcast was a 20% chance of thunderstorms but as of now 9pm I haven,t seen a hint of rain nor a rumble of thunder.
When I arrived at Franklin Field at 5pm the sun was beating down quite hard I could feel the sweat rolling off of me as I lay on the track going through my pre run stretch routine,however by the time I compleated my mile warm up the sky was a mixture of half sun,half cloud and my three one mile repeats were all conducted under grey skies w/ a very heavy feeling in the air,dare I say Beijingesque.................
I began brightly a 1.15 opening lap b4 dipping to a 1.19,when I clocked a 1.17 third lap and saw 3.51 at the bell I knew I,d have to go some over the final lap...........62 seconds which I believe maybe my fastest ever closing lap on a mile repeat,4.53.43
Things continued in a similar vain on #2 a 1.16 opening lap followed by laps of 1.19 and a 1.18 at the bell,3.53 again I was going to have to go like the clappers over the closing 400m and again I did this time a 63 second final lap,4.56.67.
I opened well on the final mile another 1.15 b4 back to back 1.21s which ultimately was going to cost me dearly,3.57 at the bell,could I go to the well one last time?.....very nearly another 63 second final lap to clock 5.00.73,had it not been for the fact twice on the final mile I was forced to swing wide of some jogsworth occupying lane 5 I may,ve snuck a 4.59 in there,obviously those 2 1.21 laps cost me dearly.
On the one hand I,m disappointed w/ my overall performance,that said my final lap on all three miles was something to be very pleased w/,I,d like to think the air quality had alot to do w/ tonites splits,I can,t complain too much most of my workouts this summer have been conducted in favorable conditions and at the end of the day I as able to get the workout in and remain on my rotation for the week something that the so called experts would try to have me believe was not possible...............but what do they know?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sonic Reducer

When GP suggested a reduction in volume in my weekly workouts that would allow me to stick to my tried and tested 600m and mile repeats I was eager to go along w/ it,again falling into that "creature of habit"mindset I didn,t want to go into my final week of workouts choping and changing repeats,at least by sticking to the regular routine if not the regular amount of repeats I could gauge my workouts against what I,m used to doing week in week out.
A delightfully warm evening on tap,I,d worked up a good sweat after my mile warm up and mile of strides and dispite a queasy uneasy feeling in my stomach I was ready to go.
Dispite the reduction in repeats the game plan was to go out in 1.10 400m pace and clock between 31 and 33 second pace for the closing 200m for 1.41-1.43 splits.
I opened w/ a 69 second 400m b4 closing w/ a 32 second 200m to clock 1.41.27,very much a case of start as you mean to go on,I was guilty of lettting my mind wander off into left field on the opening 400m but stung myself into focus as I clocked 1.10 b4 another closing 200m of 32 seconds 1.42.55.
Another 1.10 400m b4 a closing 200m in 33 seconds,1.43.29,and now for that oh so rare feeling of only one more 600m to go at #4,a 69 second opening 400m b4 a third 32 second closing 200m,1.41.64.
Very much a case of job done and hopefully the begining of a week of solid training,next up on the track 3x 1 mile repeats following tomorrows easy 5 mile recovery run.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Counting Down.

W/ the notable exception of my recent visit to Ireland I haven,t laced them up on a Sunday since June 8th but w/ Wednesdays untimely intervention from mother nature causing me to push back my schedule by a day I found myself doing the rounds along Clark Park at 9am this morning.
It,s hard to fathom that two weeks ago I was in Ireland running along the beach in Ballybunion and in two weeks time I,ll be in Spokane running Nationals,time it feels is flying by.
This was a huge week for me,to see if I was feeling any lingering effects from my 6,000 mile round trip to and from Ireland and also give myself one final week of all out training,this coming week I,ll reduce the volume of my workouts but still be able to clock my weekly 30 miles as I hope to hone myself in preparation for Nationals in Spokane begining Thursday Aug 7th

Saturday, July 26, 2008

{All}Trial And {No} Error

GP and I had talked about this 600m time trial for a few weeks,w/ one thing and another we never got around to putting those two great chestnuts theory and practice into action untill this morning.
The simple premise was one all out 600m w/ a target time of 1.28,58 seconds at 400m and a 30 second closing 200m,considering my opening 600m on Monday went 64/33 I was going to have to make sure the jets were burning from the moment I crossed the starting line.
I arrived at Lower Merion High School,s track around 10.45am it was already getting hot and I was greatful I only had one 600m to conduct and not 4x1 mile which in that heat might,ve meant the only thing cooking would be yours truly!!
Following my stretches it was the time honoured mile warm up and mile of strides b4 showtime,as w/ any new workout it,s always tough to gauge how to run it,sure I,m no stranger to 600s but 6 of them,one flat out was new ground for me.
I reached 400m in 60.00,down on the 57/58 seconds GP had set me but 4 seconds faster than my fastest opening 400m of any 600m repeat I,ve ran this year,remembering to relax around the bend I drove hard down the back straight to the finish, a slight cross wind may,ve hindered me slightly but I finished in 1.30.98. a 30 second 200m.
All things considered I was pleased w/ my performance and I look forward to a second crack at this workout next Friday.
I threw in a 2 mile cool down to bring my weekly milage upto 25 miles w/ a rare Sunday workout on tap tomorrow to round me out to 30 miles.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Getting Closer

Nationals are two weeks away as of today,midnite also marks the first deadline for entries and getting mine in b4 hitting the track for my 4x1 mile repeats today made the realization of my months of hard work much closer.
Post workout GP and I discussed at lenght the battle plan for the upcoming fortnite,I have to say I like what we came up w/ begining w/ a 600m time trial on Saturday.
I close tonite w/ my latest "quotable quote" long b4 my blog I kept a running log and on the inside cover I,d write great running quotes that I could take inspiration from,last week in Ireland I began to read my Steve Ovett autobiography and in his preface he says,"any idiot can become an Olympic champion providing they have a lot of luck,work hard and cross the finish line first in the final"
I make no bones about the fact I timed it so that I,d be reading Steve Ovett,s autobiography leading upto Nationals....w/ a bit of luck this time next year leading upto Worlds I,ll be reading the long awaited Eamonn Coghlan autobiography.

A Days Wait

My prepossed mile repeats got swept away w/ the rain yesterday,in the general scheme of things I,m glad I waited a day,sure my planned day off Sunday has now gone by the way side however I,m pleased I showed some good common sence yesterday,by the time I,d waited out the rain it was 5.50pm,Franklin Field now closes at 7pm not 8pm{summer hours}and frankly trying to rush to the track,rush my stretches and warm up and then do justice to my workout seemed like a recipe for disaster so I opted to wait a day,lo and behold clear skies,no humidity and a beautiful evening for mile repeats this evening.
I opened w/ a 1.13 lap which felt comfortable as I followed up w/ splits of 1.15,1.18,1.12, a 4.58.00 mile.
Keeping in mind what GP had told me the last time I did mile repeats and not to focus too much on my previous mile repeats I took the 4.58 as a good start and followed up w/ splits of 1.16,1.16,1.14,68 for a 4.54.92 mile,I was very pleased to crank up the pace in the second half of this mile.
Cut it close on mile#3,1.16,1.19,1.17,67,4.59.33,I took great pleasure in that 67 second final lap,3/3 could I notch back to back 4/4 mile repeats and my first ever set here at my beloved Franklin Field?
Things began well enough,splits of 1.16,1.19 however mentally I think I went to sleep on the third lap,sure my arms and legs were tired but I,ve felt that way b4 and will again,I think having had weeks and months of two sometimes three repeats a week and then suddenly having a week off of that meant I didn,t instantly tune myself to work harder, a 1.24 lap just killed it for me,3.59 at the bell I was going to need a 61 second lap to make 5.00 which was always going to be a tall order that said I went for it and clocked a 68 to finish in 5.07.68.
Yeah I,m a tad miffed not to go 4/4 again but to put things in prespective on my final 4x1 mile repeat b4 Nationals last year I went:5.22.90,5.19.06,5.18.58,4.58.98,a case of chalk and cheese me thinks?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Knocking The Sand Off

I,d be lying if I said my trip to Ireland didn,t concern me timing wise,I am rightly or wrongly a creature of habit and after weeks and months of deliberate planning each week the prospect of a 6,000 mile round trip so close to Nationals was one that concerned me,that said a week in Ireland don,t come around all that often and besides I wasn,t gonna pass up on my mothers 70th b,day{unlike some members of my clan}so I was anxious to get back into a regular routine hence me heading down to Franklin Field for my 6x600m repeats dispite the heat.
Having read Steve,s blog "Seebo,s Run" I gathered last week had been rather brutal heat wise so maybe my week of 6 mile beach runs wasn,t such a bad thing afterall,I tend to think my training may,ve been compromised by the third heatwave of the summer,trust me tonite I could feel the heat off the track through my racing flats but I wasn,t going to be content untill I,d gotten my first track workout in to see where I was and frankly waiting another day or two was NOT an option!
My team mate Neil offered to join me,I was greatful for the push,while I was going for 6x600m Neil was opting for 2x600m,2x400m,2x200m.I wanted to go out in 1.10 for the opening 400m but as is often the case when working out w/ somebody to push me I crushed the opening 400m in 64 seconds b4 a 33 second 200m 1.37.59.............opps,the toothpaste was well and truly out of the tube now!!
A marginally more restrained second 400m split....66 seconds b4 a 36 second 200m,1.42.33 the question was could I keep up this pace?
Almost identical splits on repeats #3 and #4, 67/34 67/35 for 1.41.52,1.42.56,w/ hindsight I wish I,d had taken just a smidge off of those two repeats.
#5 and I could feel my legs getting heavy w/out Neil to push me till the closing 200m not surprizingly my paced dipped,1.14 at 400m and a fully charged Neil breathing down my neck I responded w/a 31 second closing 200m to clock 1.45.64,did I have one more in me?
Alas,no 1.18 at 400m maybe I was guilty of not pushing hard enough on the first lap prefering to keep something back to hold off Neil over the closing 200m,dispite felling leg weary I treated the final turn like the final turn of any race and gave it everything up the home straight,33 seconds for a 1.51.59.
At least my fears and concerns about my week away had been answered tonite,clearly w/ more economic pacing I could,ve gone 6/6 again and hopefully come Wednesday when I return for my 4x1 mile repeats I,ll be able to keep things even paced but for tonite I,m quite pleased w/ my performance.

Who Says You Can,t Come Home Again?

Tis himself back from the ould country w/ grand stories from me week in Ballybunion,since this is a running blog and not a travelogue I,ll stick to the running and not regale you w/ the breath taking sights.....and that was just the three cute waitresses I met at Ballybunion Golf Club,Kenmara and Valentia Island................those details will remain in my diary thank you very much...... :)
Sun July 13th,needing a 6 mile run to round out my weekly milage at 30 miles I lucked out that when I reached the Cashen River I looked at my stop watch to see 18 mins and change,6 minute mile pace would mean this was 3 miles and a built in turn around,36.16.
There was naturally an element of "Chariots Of Fire"running along the beach at 7.40am on a sunny day and clear skies to admire the surrounding hill sides in the distance,how awe inspiring to run and only hear the sound of your own breathing and the waves crashing to the shore.
Mon July 14th,a slightly later start than yesterday,8am and a misty morning which negated the scenery I,m sorry to say,a slight head wind untill I reached the turn around at Cashen River,and then had it at my back for the second half of the run,36.26.
Tue July 15th,a 9am start since I wanted to say bon voyage to my nephew Tom who was flying back to London at lunch time and was heading upto to Shannon by 8.45am.
Another misty morning this time accompanied w/ a slight drizzle,time to don ye olde baseball cap and long sleeve dri fit,37.23.
Wed July 16th since a driving tour around the Ring Of Kerry was on tap at 8am yours truly was up at 6.05am to conduct this run,the sun was out but the tide wasn,t,there was enough room to run however,just not out as far as I had been on the three previous mornings.
600m into my run w/ the cliff w/ what,s left of Ballybunion Castle rapidly approaching I wondered if I,d be able to negotiate it....ah at worst my feet would get wet.....SPLAT!!!! a face plant right into the Atlantic Ocean,if I wasn,t fully awake 5 minutes ago I was now!!!!,undetered I was back up on my feet and running,at 6.10am trust me nay bugger was around to witness my mishap!!!
35.01 but probably requiring an * next to it due to the tide.
Thur July 17th,10am,clear skies,tide out,no dips in the Atlantic and my fastest time of the week 35.26,by now I was ear marking and eye balling my points along the out and back route today w/ a mile and a half to go I began to crank up the pace and passing Ballybunion Castle w/ 600m to go I began to visualize the finish of the 800m and 1,500m at Nationals in Spokane in three weeks time as I drove to the finish.
Fri July 18th,having stuck to 6 milers I went into today knowing I,d forfill my weekly 30 miles by today leaving me w/ hill repeats tomorrow morning,my final run out to Cashen River and back,35.44 a run marred only by some yappy dog w/ 800m to go,not content to keep yapping he seemed hell bent on getting under my feet,having just read in my Steve Ovett biography the day b4 where on a repeat run he told told a dog owner if his mutt interfered on his next repeat both dog and owner would be minus some teeth I thought about running out towards the ocean and seeing yappy get swept away by a wave,mans best friend me hole!
Sat July 19th,w/ heavy heart I undertook my final run at 6.10am,time meant a beach run wasn,t on the cards and the tide took care of that anyways,plus I already had 30 miles in so I opted for hill repeats.
10 times up a steep path from the beach to the top of the road,eyeballing it I,d say 180m,I opened in 24.40 and then aimed to get the remaining 9 at 25 seconds or under I went:25.16,25.65,25.00,25.82,25.79,25.87,25.57,25.62,24.22.
Job done,I took a final walk along the beach and gave a heavy sigh as I glanced one last time over the view that had been my training home for the past week,fingers crossed I,ll reap it,s rewards in Spokane at Nationals and 5th Ave Mile

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Next Stop Ireland

For me to take a vacation is almost unheard of,for me to take a vacation in my build up to Nationals is even more unheard of,however some wheels once they set in motion are unstoppable,ie my mother,s 70th b,day next Monday,ergo yours truly boarding a plane tomorrow nite bound for Shannon as I get to go home to the land of my ancestors for the first time in 21 years.
Obviously I,m excited I,m sure Ballybunion has altered alot since I last set foot in it some 29 years ago and while I may be vacationing from work I will not however be vacationing from training,sadly since I,m sans lap top there,ll be no daily updates of my training but I hope to write something upon my return next weekend.
Keeping in mind this would be my final track workout till July 21st I wanted this evening to be top shelf,having compleated my last 2 6x600m repeats in sub 1.45 I dared to go for the threepeat,yes folks a threepeat repeat,try saying that tens times fast!!!!
Conditions were warm when I hit Franklin Field at 5.30pm,even my mile warm up produced a sweat,I was suitably drenched by the end of my 6th 600m.The game plan just like last week,go out in 1.10 for the opening 400m and close the 200m in 32-33 seconds,I nailed the first one convincingly,1.10/32-1.42.49.
I,m not sure what happened on my second repeat,somehow I only went through 400m in 1.13 I don,t know if I was guilty of not focusing hard enough but the 1.13 was enough to jolt me to a 31 second 200m and finish in 1.44.71.
Suitably woken up by that I hit 1.11 on my next 400m b4 hitting my 200m in 33 seconds,1.44.35,a little close for comfort but still sub 1.45 and that was all that mattered,GP had warned me the nite b4 not to compare this weeks 600s to last weeks,just run tonites as best as I could.
Ureaka a 1.10 400m coupled w/ a 33 second 200m,1.43.71,two to go,back to the realm of 1.11 400s again,a third consecutive 33 second 200m,1.44.00,one more,almost identical 1.11/33 this time a 1.44.03.
Granted not as prolific as last week however still a 6x600m repeat under 1.45,not only will I take that to the bank................I guess I,ll be taking it to the Bank Of Ireland...Begorah!!!!

Signing Off In Style

Dispite having a handful of more races to pick from between now and my departure for Nationals in Spokane I,d chosen to make this my last race b4 then,last year I raced 8 times prior to Nationals and I felt it was the right amount so why tweak that this year?
Once it became clear we weren,t going to run a 4x400m relay last Thursday I began to mentally prep for the 800m,having ran 3 1,500m races 1 mile race and 3 800m races already it seemed obvious to add one more 800m to my list.
Once again the weather gods smiled on me,when I first arrived at Plymouth Whitemarsh at 5pm it was a litle on the hot side as I sought shade from the heat,however once again come race time conditions were ideal,no sun,no wind and more importantly no rain or thunderstorms as predicted by the so called weather experts.
A six man heat,credit again to the officials for seeding the heats on times rather than overloading them to expidite the meet,2.06 was was the cut off,the line up was Bobby the high schooler I,d raced last week,Phil Reiley,Brian Gould,me,Scott Landis and another high schooler from last weeks mile,w/ Phil in the race I knew I had a built in pace setter,Phil always goes out fast and it was clear to me Brian Gould was going to pace him,once again I got a clear start as my reaction to the gun was good into the first turn it was Bobby,Brian,Phil,me.
28 seconds at 200m the pace was what I expected and hoped for,I knew Brian would pull off to the side once we went through 400m and I heard the time keeper call"57,58,59" as Bobby,Phil and I went through the bell.
GP,s race instructions to me were go through the bell in 58.5,run the first turn smoothly and then cover the final 300m in 45 seconds,my only flaw this evening was not passing Phil at 500m,I knew come 600m he,d start to fade,sure enough he did and had I,ve postioned myself on Bobby,s shoulder down the back straight I might,ve been better prepared to challenge him going into the final 200m.
As it was I swung wide of Phil going into the turn and gave chase and while my momentum carried me past Phil ,Bobby had the rail and was driving for home,this week I was the one in lane 2 giving chase up the home straight,Bobby crossed the line in 1.59 and change......I crossed the line in................2.00
YEP,2.00 my first ever at 800m,outside of my 1.59.17 at Nationals my 800s were all 2.02,2.03 etc,never had I ran a 2.01 or a 2.00 till tonite and while I was disappointed not to get the win I,ll take the 2.00 period muchless as a timely boost going into Nationals.
In my final 4 races I,ve ran my 2nd fastest 1,500m,my fastest ever mile and now my 2nd and 3rd fastest ever 800m,I couldn,t have asked for a better platform to build on going to Spokane and upon my return from Ireland GP and I will sit down and map out how best to sharpen and hone my training to get ready for the final two weeks b4 leaving for Spokane on Aug 6th.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Matter Of Routine

If it,s the day b4 a race then it,s an easy 3 miler and big arse bowl of pasta and texas toast kind of evening......if it aint broke don,t fix it!!!
W/ the Olympic trials over it,s full sream ahead to Beijing for those lucky enough to make it,for me tomorrow nite marks an eighth and final pre Nationals race w/ exactly a month still to go till Spokane.
Last year I ran my eighth and final race two weeks b4 Nationals,this year due to an earlier than usual start to the outdoor season not to mention my trip home to the motherland this Friday I,ll call time on my race schedule tomorrow over 800m at Plymouth Whitemarsh,thus far this outdoor season I,ve posted times of 2.03.07,2.03.72 and 2.02.45,anything even marginally faster than these times would be a good evenings work.
Like any race there,s mental prep and vizualzation of how I,d like the race to go but that can all change the second the gun goes off and it,s all about reaction,as ever I can,t control conditions or level of competition all I can do is show up ready to run to the best of my ability and hope on the nite my best is better then everyone elses.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Two days after the Masters exhibition 3,000m at the Olympic Trials in Oregon,a race I had at one time hoped to be at I managed a landmark of my own much closer to home,4 sub 5 minute mile repeats.
After last weeks heroics I felt confident I could get all 4 under 5 mins,to do so meant NOT going out in 65 seconds on my opening lap ,nor clocking an opening mile of 4.42,in fact GP had even suggested going out in 5.08 for the opening mile and gradually dropping my mile splits down each one faster than the previous one.
Conditions were overcast and grey when I reached Lower Merion,s track{tell me this isn,t becoming my favourite track to work out on!!!},in fact things were so grey I nixed my shades in favour of my regular glasses.
Stretches done{new month now,one extra stretch for the six stretches I do b4 each workout and race}and mile warm up taken care of it was time to see what I was made of,keeping in mind what GP and I had discussed yesterday over the phone I went out easy for the opening lap 1.10,there was a time that would,ve been considered brisk,today it felt comfortable,keeping in mind I had 3 more miles to run I backed off oh so slightly on my second lap,1.17,2.27 for 800m,4.54 pace,I picked up the pace slightly on lap 3 a 1.15 split b4 closing in 1.13,4.53.65.
Buoyed by my opening mile I opened mile #2 w/ a 1.11 split,when I first began mile repeats last May my target time was 1.20 per lap,5.20 per mile,a 1.11 would,ve been a great final lap on my 4th repeat now I,m opening my second mile w/ it!!!,1.14 for lap 2,2.25 at 800m followed by a 1.16 third lap3.41 at the bell I closed in 1.10 to clock a 4.51.84 split.
1.12 for the first lap on mile#3 I was pleased how consistant I was opening each repeat w/1.17 for the second lap 2.29 at 800m.4.58 mile pace was cutting it a little close,I managed another 1.17 lap to clock 3.46 at the bell,I was confident of going sub 1.14 on the final lap to notch a third sub 5 mile,69 seconds a 4.55.43 mile,ok so the lowering my splits per mile record had gone but I was 4 laps away from a first ever 4 sub 5 minute mile repeat workout,fortune it is said favours the brave,I told myself as I lined up for the final mile to attack the first turn and set the tone and tempo early on.
Another 1.12 opening 400m,followed by another 1.17 second lap,2.29 at 800m,my legs were begining to feel it after the opening lap I,m not gonna front and say otherwise but I could almost taste victory,I just had to hang on,my slowest split of the entire work out 1.19,3.48 at 1,200m,a 1.12 or under final lap would do it,all session I,d held a tight line hugging the rail, going through the puddles on the track,w/ 200m to go I knew it was there for the taking just like I knew at 3.46 on the previous mile at the bell I could do it,w/ 180m to go I did my best Scottie impression and gave it all I could captain,rounding the turn I told myself I was a straight away from a landmark,driving,digging but never losing my form I drove up the home straight to clock a 68 second final lap,4.56.85......YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At first glance of my watch crossing the line I though it read 4.58 which would,ve been ok but 4.56 I think it,s fair to say I was too bloody knackered to start whooping it up but inside I was doing my best Michael Flattley impression trust me!!!
A much slower mile for my mile cool down followed,yet again I,d been able to get my requisit 30 miles for the week in by Saturday{thanks in no small part to that 4 miler post race on Tuesday}and I can look forward to a compleat rest day again tomorrow just like last week b4 once again getting myself ready for another week begining Monday.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Red,White And Blue

Independence Day,not a big deal where I grew up but I must say one of my all time favourite July 4th memories stems from London 86,Hard Rock Cafe and free beer..............oh how times have changed!!!!
It was along those lines I was thinking this morning,I was out the door by 9am to take care of business and compleat my 5 miler around Clark Park,between 2003-2005 I ran the 15k at Downingtown in 2006 I ran a 5k at Haddon Heights,the past two years have seen me conduct recovery runs after track workouts on July 3rd,to quote Bob Dylan"The Times They Are A Changing"
I,m greatful for a day off from work,the fact this spills into a 3 day weekend is even better,having dvrd Monday nites races at the Olympic Trials,and last nites it was enjoyable to get caught up on all the action in Eugene and we still have three more days to come,however w/ a 4x1 mile track workout on tap for the am again tomorrow me thinks ye olde dvr will be getting programmed again tonite as I can ill afford to be up till 1am watching the trails and getting up at 8am to head out to Lower Merion for a track workout,besides what better way to unwind post repeat workout in the recliner,feet up,cold iced tea in one hand,remote in the other b4 tomorrows events in the afternoon,God Bless America

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Going Solo

After last weeks epic 6x600m at sub 1.45 w/ the aid of Neil tonite I had to see if I could pull it off by myself,I was a little aprehensive going into the workout,it was a hot afternoon and w/out getting too graphic lets just say they were some rumblings of discontent"south of the border" b4 I got to Franklin Field and w/in minutes of begining my stretches,dispite this I carried on stretching and tried to put it out of my mind as best I could,as I always say"pain is temporary,glory lasts forever"
Stretches and mile warm up and mile of strides compleat it was time for the main event,GPs advice was try to keep the opening 400 at 1.10 pace,in recent weeks my opening lap has been fast but has lead to uneven pace,tonite the ploy was even pace getting the job done.
69 seconds,pretty close to the 1.10 I was looking for,an easy 33 seconds over the final 200m,1.42.73,a nice start
#2 was close to being a carbon copy,69 seconds,34 seconds,1.43.83,sofar things were feeling smooth and effortless,as long as I kept my pace even I,d be golden.
1.10/32 for #3,1.42.73,unlike last week when my opening 3 400s had gone 64,66,68,tonite I was running even pace,my closing 200s last week on those first 3 repeats had gone 35,36,35,tonite I,d gone 33,34,32.
Thanks in no small part to "an individual" I was forced to swing wide into lane 6 going into the opening turn{keep in mind at Franklin Field the inside 4 lanes are short of a full 400m and I tend to run in lane 5}this lead to a 68 second lap as I was worried I may,ve lost a second going wide,as it was I picked up a second as I probably sped up thinking I,d lost a second,33 seconds for the closing 200m,1.41.78,so far I,d been the model of consistancy.
I didn,t panic when my 5th 400m split read 1.12,granted there was a sense of urgency over the closing 200m as I strode to maintain my quest for another 6/6,but thanks to even and economic pace I was able to dial up a 31 second closing 200m,1.43.62,600m away from another 6/6 sub 1.45 6x600m.
Another 1.12 opening 400m,in time and we all know time stands for"Things I Must Earn"I,m gonna get my opening 400s at 1.10 for all 6 repeats,knowing this final 200m was my final one of the nite it was time to open up the throttle............30 seconds,,d ya like me now???!!!!the July 4th fireworks came a day early!!!!
The key tonite was running even and consistant,I,m glad I had a few weeks of running fast opening 400s and trying to hang on and dig deep on some of my final closing 200s but tonite this felt right,even pace,brisk closing 200m speed and above all another 6/6 sub 1.45{technically sub 1.43}6x600m,and tonite I did all by myself.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sound Advice

An easy 5 miler today,trust me not so much from the 4.28.9 mile last nite but more from not getting to bed till 12.10am and answering the call of the alarm at 5.40am,seldom has a morning shower woken me up as abruptly as this mornings!!!.
Post workout "Charlie Dibble" and I spoke on the phone,I guess I have to explain the whole GP/Charlie Dibble thing,after my Gary Sobers blog title for my six sixes at 1.45 and under last week w/ my 6x600m repeat GP sent me an email titled Sir Garfield,Gary Sobers was knighted by the Queen for his services to cricket and was hence known as Sir Garfield Sobers,however in the actual email GP asked if I prefered to be called Top Cat,I loved Top Cat when I was a kid,it was one of if not my favourite cartoons and I will confess to watching it now on one of the cartoon networks since then I,ve signed my emails to GP w/ TC and left voice mails asking if Officer Dibble can pick up the phone,I know it,s daft but who said being coached had to be super serious 24/7????
"Dibble" took time out from his 45th b,day to discuss last nites race,offered congratulations,pointed out what I could,ve done differently and asked what my plans were for tomorrow,watching the Olympic Trials this week I,ve heard several runners talk of going back to their collage coaches,who better to coach you than the coach who took you through four years and helped you early in your career and probably knows you better than anyone?
I,m about to envoke one of GP,s philosophies,he often talks of what I do "outside the lines"it,s not all about running,nutrition,rest,general well being etc all go a long way to making you a top runner,having burnt the midnite oil last nite I,m about to put the old "Do Not Disturb" sign on the trash can and call it a nite

Dream Mile

Plymouth Whitemarsh and Oslo are not twin cities but for one nite last nite the high school track at Plymouth Whitemarsh became my Bislett Stadium as I recorded my fastest ever track mile.
As I had eluded to in Mondays entry I felt a 4.30 mile was possible,I don,t think I dared to think a sub 4.30 was on the cards but in fairness in any of my fastest races I don,t think I,ve set out w/ the purpose to set pr,s they,ve happened because I ran good races and things fell into place on the nite/afternoon/morning.
Conditions played a huge role,when the gun went off at 7.15pm the evening was warm but not humid,little to no wind and the preposed thunderstorms were nowhere to be seen,ideal running conditions,kudos to the officials for splitting the field into two races,I think either 10 or 11 of us toed the line in heat 1.
My 4.35 seed time earnt me a #2 seed sandwiched between a young high school runner Bobby and Bob McGinty a fellow masters athlete who I,d seen win the Mid Atlantic Indoor mile and finish 4th at Indoor Nationals,I knew not to underestimate him.Once again my reaction to the the gun was good and I squeezed between Bobby and Bob to hit the front going into the first turn,I think I,m a good front runner,whether I,m a natural front runner remains to be seen but I was comfortable taking the lead tonite and leading us through a 65 second opening lap,talking w/ Bob McGinty post race he said he didn,t think I,d hold onto that pace.............clearly he didn,t know about my mile repeats from Saturday!!!!
2.15 at 800m a 70 second lap I still felt comfortable and in control of the race,judging from his army of support high school Bobby was not far behind me and w/ 30 meters to go to the bell he passed me,I didn,t panic,if anything I was happy to let somebody do a little of the workload....and I do mean little!!!
3.26 at the bell a 71 second lap,I wasn,t about to play possum and sit back untill the final 200m,frankly Bobby,s move to the front lacked conviction,it wasn,t a decisive move mearly a positioning move,I swung around him going into the final turn and began my long kick for home,based on eyewitness accounts from the back straight from Chuck,Ray and Scott coming off the bend he tried to close me down but never managed to draw level w/ me,for my part I was focused on the track ahead of me,200m to go time to dig deep and wind it up,coming off the final turn I sensed him making one last move to reclaim the lead and here,s where being a wily masters runner trumps a youthful high schooler,I drifted off of the rail into the middle of lane one,in order to pass me now he,d have to move into lane two,after 1,500m the last thing you want to do in the home straight is jockey for the lane especially w/ real estate running out rapidly.
I still felt strong and full of running all the way through the finish line,I also knew I couldn,t ease up,race won and initally I belived I,d ran a 4.29 time,however post cool down Chuck informed me my official time was 4.28.9, a new pr and club record,my final lap was a 62 second finish to give me splits of 65,70,71,62.
Wow,in 18 months I,ve taken my mile pr from 4.44 to 4.28 and I still believe I can get faster,at 4.28 on the track{lest we forget I own a 4.25 road mile pr}the next barrier is 4.25,the question is when,after tonite I don,t see another mile happening till post Nationals in August if I run the mile at the Wisahickon Wanderers meet,I may run the 800m,after that it,s 5th Ave Mile where having ran a 4.25 last year I,m hoping to run faster this year.