Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick Or Treat

Happy Halloween all,it should come as no great surprize I celebrate Halloween,it is afterall the one true Pagan holiday on the callender!!1
My easy 5 miler was an interesting one against a backdrop of young trick or treaters and revellers returning from the Phillies victory parade,who dosen,t love a parade? 2 million Philadelphians by the sounds of it,and while I,m pleased for the city I have to say todays festivities caused me a fair share of aggro,another"ahem sickness"call out on my staff and then a war of attrition to get home,a 50 min commute took me an hour and 50 mins,a 20 min trolley ride from City Hall took an hour,I couldn,t even get on the first two #34,s as it was I had to squeeze my way onto a #36 in order to get home when I did.
I realize I must come off like The Grinch or Oscar the Grouch but the fact is 2 million people showed up for a parade today,how meny people cut/ditched school,called out from gameful employment to do so?and most of these "front runners"seldom bat an eyelid for the Phillies,think I,m being harsh?the numbers don,t lie,2 million at the parade,but what,s the average attendence at a regular Phillies game?
Sermon over I,m off to The Troc to"get my goth on"Sisters Of Mercy are playing,seeing The Sisters is always a treat but on Halloween to boot??!!,there was a time when the whole head to toe in black,sullen and morose was my regular mo,these days I prefer colour and sunshine and smiles in my day to day exsistance,that said one nite of woe is me,dark and brooding shoe gazzing won,t kill me.....afterall next to candy isn,t Halloween all about dressing up as someone else for the nite???

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Taking The {Top}Cat Out Of Catastrophe

Other titles up for consideration tonite included"arsene arsene,What,s The Score?","Mama Told Me There,d Be Days Like These"I also thought about"A Mexican Funeral In Paris"the first two make sence,the third is a title of a Shane Macgowen song I haven,t been able to get out of my head all week....the title,not the song....
A wise man once told me"you can do anything you want in just have to be prepared to pay the price that goes w/ it",I guess sometimes you have to pay the price for other people,w/out mentioning names somebody decided they would be"ahem,sick"Tuesday believing the Phillies would clinch the World Series Monday,the parade would be Wednesday and they,d be back to work we all know the weather pushed the schedule back so now I,m doing the work of two people to accommodate this individuals"ahem sickness" and frankly my butt was dragging come 2.30pm,the prospect of a repeat workout seemed less than thrilling.......
However,running into a team mate on the subway home gave me a second wind and a dozen Inxs tracks on a mix tape b4 leaving for Franklin Field put some extra pep in my stride as I arrived for my 2x1,000m repeats,my last 2x1,000m four weeks ago weren,t great,2.49.76-2.57.09,which lead to the infamous"Bollockingate"email I never got from Charlie Dibble,I wanted to make sure there be no cock ups and no bollocking tonite.
#1,69,72,31,-2.52.37.I aimed for 70,70,32-2.52 so I was pretty darn close,I felt I ran w/in myself and there,d be no repeat of Oct 1st.
#2,70,75,30,-2.55.37.ugh,that 75 ballsed everything up for me,granted tonite was a major improvement on the last time out but it could,ve been better,I think mentally I fell down on lap 2,physically I felt fine,the fact I could close in 30 seconds sat well,so all in all not a bad nite.
November is a day away,w/ the notable exception of the final week when there,s a race on the 29th which will force me to cut my repeats to two that week the remainder of November will see mother nature permitting three repeats per week,right on schedule,October was all about keeping the motor running,November,it,s time to rev it up,December a few road test b4 I hope to burn rubber in January,Febuary and March,here,s to life on the open road.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Twenty One Years Is A Mighty Long Time

After yesterdays washout I was happy to be back out running again today,opted to keep the Monday,Wednesday,Friday Clark Park rotation,knowing there,s a good chance I could be out here again Sunday if I don,t add 5 miles of warm up and cool down to Saturdays race to log 30 miles for the week
Easy run a bit ber,but dry I guess unless you,re Barbie you can,t have everything.
Today is the second of two pivitol landmark anniversaries w/in two days for me,21 years since I left home to come to America,the old saying goes"you can take the boy out of South East London,but you can,t take the South East London out of the boy"a fact punctuated by the fact I recently requested the soccer shirts of Millwall,Charlton and Crystal Palace as upcoming b,day gifts from my family,I figured after a 21 year absence I need to remind myself where I came from,and while the afore mentioned clubs represent my old stomping ground I still can,t quite bring myself to order a Dulwich Hamlet,s jersey{Dulwich is my birth place}due to the pink and blue colour scheme!!!
While South East London will always be home for me,I have to say Philly has done right by me for coming up on a quarter century,they say"home is where the heart is"if that,s true then my black savage celtic pagan heart does indeed belong to Philadelphia......although technically roughly seventy miles just outside of Philly,or am I confusing that w/ my hearts desire.........
I hope the Phillies can clinch the World Series tonite,this city has been crying out for a major championship since it,s last one,the Sixers in 83,we,ve come close, Phillies 93,Flyers 97,Sixers 01,Eagles 05 so dispite my allegencies to all teams Boston I will indeed for once"root,root,root for the home team"tonite..............GO PHILS!

Rain Stops Play

It wasn,t just the Phillies and Devil Rays who got rained out,I opted....wisely not to run today,after a frigid day on the loading dock I really couldn,t see me getting out there to run period muchless easy run/track workout.
Glass half empty my 3 fast workouts{2 repeats 1 race}schedule had gone for a burton I do still have the chance to log 6 days and 30+ miles by running Sunday,glass half full a day to rest and relax at home,took a nap,put my feet up,relaxed in front of the tv and no burning the midnite oil watching the World Series .
The sun will come up the very least the rain will stop,game 5 will be concluded,I,ll run and life as we know it will carry on

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In Loving Memory

An easy 5 mile run this evening,w/ the clocks about to go back this Sunday the days of coming straight home and heading straight out for my training run will be my mo again,however w/ all rules their are exceptions,and Oct 27th will ALWAYS be one of those days as that,s my late father Kevin,s anniversary and I make a point of going to church to lite a candle in his memory.
It,s hard to believe it,s 24 years since he died,I still recall vividly that last nite we spent together on Thurs Oct 25th 1984 two guys knocking back several pints of Guinness and shooting the breeze w/out a care in the world,little did anyone know we,d never get to do that again,two days later I came home to find Kevin had died in his sleep at a mere 51,I,ve tried not to carry a chip on my shoulder these past 24 years that my dad was taken away from me too early,he still had so much to teach me.
My love of running stems from Kevin,ditto for my never settle for second best,in running or in life and dispite being born into a Chelsea supporting family my love of Spurs also comes from Kevin,who chose "The Lillywhites"because Danny Blanchflower was one of the first Irish players to come to England and establish himself.
Far from being an Ivy League grad Kevin taught me some of life,s finest lessons"life,s too short and we,re only passing through and we,re never coming back so you may as well enjoy yourself""don,t be a punk and start trouble,but always be a man and stand up for yourself"and prehaps my favourite"if you can,t be yourself,don,t be anyone"
I miss Kevin each and every day,his anniversary just reminds me how long it,s been since we last saw one another,I,ll close w/ a set of lyrics that 24 years ago struck a chord then,still do and were the words I had on Kevin,s headstone,Stuart Adamson of Big Country wrote "Tall Ships Go" in memory of his late father who was lost a sea,I read that interview a week b4 my own father died,Stuart said the only only time he ever heard his father was in his dreams,and I,ve been dreaming for the last 24 years
"I hear your voice and it keeps me from sleeping,why must it always be dreams when your voice comes to me"
Love and best wishes,Dad,gone,Never to be forgotten,your son Kevin xoxo

Sunday, October 26, 2008

For Your Honour

A pivitol race in my xc season,#4 of the 8 on my schedule and also the first of three successive weeks of racing.
I,d never ran at Deer Path Park b4 and I,d only one previous xc 8k race to my credit,a disastrous Bad Boy last October at VCP{irony alert,my next race......Bad Boy!!!}
Conditions were ideal,come 10.30am the temps were in the high 50s/low 60s and sunny,from the gun I moved up behind the leaders into 5th b4 dropping back to 6th as I clocked 5.34 for my opening mile.
Having jogged the outer loop pre race I knew what to expect and where to expect it.....that said I compleatly missed the 2 mile marker as it came b4 a tight turn where I was focusing on taking the tangent and not the spray painted sign.
By the time I reached 3 miles on the second loop in 17.01 I was dueling for 8th place,when I got dropped for 9th I allowed myself a quick glance back to 10th,it was Chuck who was yelling at me to go after the 8th place runner whom I been dueling and duking it out w/ for most of the race,w/ hingsight I wish I,d dropped the hammer on the final downhill on the second loop like I had on the first,subconsiously I think I knew I need to compesate for the extra 2k I was running today.
24.42 at 4 miles both club record and course record{27.51-28.01} were going to be hard to bring down and although 8th place was getting away from me he passed 7th b4 the final turn......a grassy 100m straight to the finish,my cue to dig deep and haul in the now fading 8th place runner b4 the finish,8th in 28.16.62.
I had hoped for a 27.45 plus time,it wasn,t to be,no club record,no course record,however a pr ecilpsing last Octobers woeful 31.21.17. and not only an age group win but first masters finisher overall,medal#14 for the season,#118 for my career.
A nice touch post race,beer,burgers and hot dogs and a nice day for it,a gamble when you,re holding a race at the end of October.
Home to watch my beloved Spurs notch their first win of the season under new boss Harry Redknapp,all in all a good day,period but one my father Kevin would,ve appreciated.
There,s a Dave Matthews Band song off of "Everyday" called "Dreams Of Our Fathers"the chorus goes so
"I don,t want to wake up,lost in the dreams of our fathers,oh it,s such a waste child to live and die for the dreams of our fathers, oh I must confess yes memories of wonder about this,this love I possess lord,it must be the dreams of our fathers"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Setting My Sights

An easy 5 miler this morning to "lay the table"so to speak for tomorrows race.
After Thursdays shot of adrenaline that was my mile repeats"possibly you,re best ever"said Charlie Dibble I,m hopeful that tomorrow I can bring down either the club record for xc 8k,27.51 or at the very least the club course record 28.01,"Mr XC"Chuck owns both records,interestingly set in 04 and 06,who am I to tamper w/ recent history...........
Based on recent mile repeats and my 6k xc pr/club record of 20.12 I have to like my chances,granted Osprey was pancake flat,I,ve no idea what to expect of Deer Path Park tomorrow,I will naturally get a "lie of the land" pre race manana,rembering the old running adage"the will to win means nothing w/out the will to prepare"
8K is a little out of my comfort zone,but the 6k told me I,m capable of running further than I,m used to faster than prehaps even I expect............and I have high expectations to begin w/ let me tell ya!!
I have a target time in mind,tomorrow will see if I nail it,hit it out of the park,fall short or miss it compleatly,since I don,t do pre race boasts I,ll keep that number to myself,I will as ever be 100% brutally honest post race.
W/ Monday being my late father Kevin,s anniversary I need no more motivation to perform"the ould fella" was a xc runner back home in Cork in his youth,he will expect nothing less of me than to perform to my best and to give 100%,so here,s to a pr/club/course record,top three age group award and three vital points for my beloved Spurs at home to Bolton,the latter I have no control over,the former.....oh it,s on.........

Friday, October 24, 2008

What Lies Ahead

Following hard on the heals of my mile repeats last nite,the time honoured recovery run this evening,which as I,ve often stated is as important as any race/repeat workout I conduct,getting any residual gunk out of my legs b4 the next day is important and although tomorrow yields another easy 5 miler b4 Sundays NJ C,ship 8K XC I still knew that tonite I had to get that recovery run under my belt.
GP praised me today saying last nites mile repeats were possibly my best ever,and who am I to disagree?there was a satisfaction last nite of not only doing what I did but also doing it two days after one of my worst ever repeat sessions,and scaling heights normally reserved for a weekend workout.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Frequently Miling,Usually Smiling,Recently Beguiling

An old adage goes,when you get thrown from a horse,the best thing you can do is get back up there and try again,hence yours truly back at a not so cold and blustery Franklin Field this evening for my mile repeats.
After a knee jerk reaction post repeat on Tuesday I was ready,willing and able to take a crack at my 4x1 repeats,"Dibble"advised me to factor in the conditions tonite,mercifully they weren,t as brisk as Tuesday and following my stretches and mile warm up it was showtime.
#1 72,80,80,67-4.59.43.rule of thumb any mile repeat that kicks off w/ a 72 second opening lap tends to come up trumps for me,tonite was no different.
#2 74,76,77,72-4.59.78.stung into action by an opening lap of 74 I cranked out brisk back to back laps b4 easing up slightly over the final lap,while I could,ve been down on myself for not pushing harder on the final lap it wouldn,t take long to realize the benefit of not going full tilt.
#3 75,77,75,69-4.56.18.again a slightly slower opening lap that galvinized me into action over the next three,not only was I on for another4/4 sub 5 but also another in desending order.....all this on a week nite to boot,it,s one thing to pull that off on a weekend but on a week nite after a 9 hour work day?
#4 72,79,77,62-4.50.91.yeah baby!!!w/ that 72 second opener I,d set myself up nicely and I just felt a blistering final lap was on the cards,having ran economical pace all session I had the chops to crank a 62 second final lap and suddenly that 72 second final lap/4.59.78 #2 mile didn,t feel so bad afterall.
Confidence is a major inabler,had tonite gone tits up again it would,ve been hard to go into Sundays race w/ confidence to begin w/ but factor in it,s an 8k xc not a 5k xc and you could see where this might not bode well,but following tonites repeats,I,m ready to have at it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Share The Wealth

After the physical and mental schlacking I took last nite it was nice to have an easy/recovery 5 mile run on tap this evening.
After reading my blog GP was quick to add his comments,basically in weather like last nite{of which there,ll be much more in the months to come}I need to make adjustments to counter act what the conditions are doing.
It was a fair comment,as "Dibble" prefaced his comments"it wasn,t a bollocking,just the benefits of 30 years of running experience"
Any time two runners can lend the benefit/benefits of their experience to a fellow runner it,s a good thing,last nite I ran into a good friend of mine from my road running days Rob Ferente,obviously since I turned my back on road running two years ago I don,t get to see the guys I used to duke it out w/ and hang out w/ on the road Grand Prix circuit.
Anyways we got chatting and Rob,s running his first ever New York Marathon in 10 days time,having ran it twice myself I was happy to pass on my experiences from my 90 and 03 New York Marathon to Rob and wished him luck.
I,m back on schedule for mile repeats again tomorrow,GP advised me to ease my way into them tomorrow,I,ll treat last nite as a learning curve and like any defeat I always look to learn something from them and do better next time out

When The A Train Gets Derailed

It,s been a while since I,ve come to my blog w/ tales of woe from a workout but last nite was one of those nites,I can,t quite put my finger on why I could only register a meger 1/6 on my 6x600m at1.42,you,d have thought off of back to back rest days I,d be lit up like Manhatten but I wasn,t,maybe fatigue from a long season is creepin in?prehaps last weeks exploits are taking their toil??maybe it was just"one of those nites"???or maybe the chill wind that blew through Franklin Field last nite caught me off guard????
While reasons 1 thro 3 are all valid I can,t help but feel #4 had a great deal to do w/ it,it,s been a while since I,ve ran in conditions that brisk,I,d forgotten how cold and blustrey Franklin Field can be,and the wind coming off the turn at 300m was enough to stand you up in your tracks.
Things began well enough,67/33-1.40.68.I hoped I could maintain that pace,alas I couldn,t.
#2 72/33-1.45.35.that old chestnut of not being 100% focused from 200m thro 300m bit me in the arse again tonite,I,m hoping from tonite I,ll have 10 uninterupted weeks this year of 6x600m or 400m repeats to sharpen my speed heading into the indoor season I need that automatic focus to be inplace instead of having to remind myself to"focus,focus,focus"
#3 71/32=1.43.35,close,but close only counts in horseshoes,my focus left me at the 250m mark and dispite a valiant effort over the final 300m I came up a tad short.
#4 72/33-1.45.28.mentally the effort was there this time....however physically I felt I came up short,the "running against the wind"was taking it,s toil.....oh for an Easypass to avoid paying the Toils!!!!
#5 75/33-1.48.63.....CLUNK the sound of the wheels falling off,the fatigue issue was now foremost in my mind,that coupled w/ the wind.
#6 72/34-1.46.07.agh!!!the time honoured expression"arse,plate,served"struck me as appropriate...........and maybe the title of this entry,hey shit happens,in terms of peaks and troughs I,ve ridden far more peaks of late,I,ll take the standing eight count on this sucker and get "back in the ring to take another swing"Thursday,though I,m considering dropping down to 2x1,000m instead of 4x1 mile repeats.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting By,W/ The Help Of My Friends.

When I switched up my rotation yesterday I didn,t think about running into my team mate Neil who was preposing the second of his"Michigan Workouts" a series of xc/trail and track repeats at Haverford this morning,I am actually interested about doing one of those but it wasn,t orignally going to be today due to yesterday being my planned 4x1 mile repeats,nor would it now be today given the switch in rotation,that said it was good to see Neil,Chuck and Ted when I arrived at Haverford by 9.30am.
BER!dispite the sun it was a tad brisk this morning,soon the old long sleeve dri fits will be getting pulled out,I was also cognisent of the leaves on the ground,we are afterall into the second half of October.
Stretches and mile warm up taken care of it was time to attack my fav repeats and dare I say my easiest repeat,mile repeats are my bread and butter,the 6x600m and 2x1,000m take me a little out of my comfort zone but the mile repeats,bring da noize!!!
#1,74,77,77,64-4.52.12,got a tad trigger happy on my final lap and surprized myself w/ a 4.52.12. repeat,the trick would be how I,d respond to that mile........................
#2,71,77,70,68-4.46.97,JAYSUS!!!,somewhere in Detroit right now GP is probably calling me every name in the book for that one,this was NOT premediated I swear,I feel I got "in the zone" and w/ Neil and Chuck lending encouragement on each mile as they ended their track repeats I was getting swept along at a brisk pace,could I maintain it?
#3,71,76,78,66-4.51.87.I was on pace to record the fastest set of mile repeats ever in my life,the June 28th series of 4.42.73,4.58.18,5.06.87,4.59.49and the following weeks first ever 4/4 sub 5-4.53.65,4.51.84,4.55.43,4.56.85,the old Cinderella classic"The Last Mile" played on the ipod in my mind as I got ready to have it.
#4,72,78,79,68-4.57.85.HUGE props to Neil and Chuck,dispite a 6 & a 1/2 repeat of their own they not only encouraged me from the finish line but on lap 3 Neil jumped in ahead of me to pull me along,I needed it believe,running mile repeats at the pace I,d set comes w/ a price and mile 4 was calling to collect!!!
Yet again I was forced to swing wide of the golf cart in lane 1,a small price to pay to use the Haverford track.
W/just over 400m to go Chuck replaced Neil and pulled me along,on miles#1,#2 and #3 Chuck had been cheerleader now he was pace maker,rounding the top bend he encouraged me to keep my form and go to my arms.......for a nano second I thought about dropping out,that happens once in a blue moon on repeats,I never cave to it,just dig a little deeper.
Going into the bottom bend I knew I was less than 200m from the finish,it could hurt all it wanted now,dregging up every last ounce of energy I had I drove up the home straight and fought the head wind that wanted to deny me a 4/4....................NOT TODAY!
No shame in my game to collapse onto the track at the finish,I usually reserve that for a brutal 6x600m repeat,todays 4/4 sub 5 4x1 mile repeats earnt such a distinction.
I couldn,t thank Neil and Chuck enough for their role on that final mile,they were colossal in getting me to a 4.57.85. repeat,and somewhere in the background Dionne Warwick,s classic "That,s What Friends Are For"should be playing................
A well earnt rest day tomorrow,next weekend see the begining of a three week xc race schedule so it,s off to enjoy{???} a weekend at home!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I,d Rather Switch Than Bitch

A last minute change of plans this evening,I wasn,t 100% sure if Franklin Field would be available for the 6pm-8pm recreational use given the Penn Quakers have a home game tomorrow vs Columbia so rather than wait around till 6pm only to be possibly told"sorry,track,s closed"I elected to loop Clark Park 6 times today and tomorrow morning I,ll hit Haverford bright and early to take care of my 4x1 mile repeats.
Chosing to wait an extra day not only allows me another day to recoup from the two races in four days schedule but also means the whole 3x 1 mile repeats/4x 1 mile repeats issue becomes an non issue,GP never did get back to me on that one and now it,s null and void but it does throw up an interesting situation,when does a coached athlete actually make up his/her own mind re workouts?
No coached athlete should ever reach the starting line of a race and think"how does coach want me to run this?"why should a workout be any different?I need a coach to guide me sometimes when the glearingly obvious isn,t quite so obvious,but I don,t need each and every move to be mapped out for me,sometimes it,s too easy to let our coaches do all the thinking for us,we as athletes need to not only do all the running but some of the thinking also,and b4 the cynics say well you would say that cos GP reads your blog no,I pride myself on being honest,I hate lying,blame it on being raised Irish Catholic if you will but it,s always been my aim to be 100% honest in my blog,when I run a bad race or have a bad workout I try not to sugar coat it,honesty is the best policy,in running as is in life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slow And Low,That Is the Tempo

Following two races in four days the key phrase today was"easy tiger"
GP has stressed the need for an easy run today w/ beaucoup emphasis on easy"run slow and remember however slow you,re running it,s probably too fast"he told me last nite.
Credit where credit,s due GP never baulked at me racing twice in four days,while not an ideal situation it was the hand we were dealt"run smart and listen to your body" was his advice prior to yesterdays race and I,d like to think I heeded such advice.
This evening I paid deliberate attention to my pace,always trying to keep it to a notch above the time honoured "soft shoe shuffle"having been sensible upto this point it would seem woefully wreckless to knawls it up now on an easy run.
It remains to be seen what,s on tap for tomorrow,I favour 4x1 mile repeats,GP may have other ideas,I feel a compromise is on the cards,prehaps 3x1 mile repeats,we,ll have to see what he suggests.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Onward Christian Soidier

Maybe there is something to this xc lark afterall!!!!
Following hard on the heals of my 2nd place finish at Osprey 6K and my 13th place at Masters Nationals 5K Sunday it was time to tackle the Philadelphia Catholic League 5K this afternoon.
It wasn,t ideal to have only 3 recovery days but while the ying was less physical recovery,the yang was less time to think or over think it,just get out there and run the feckin thing!!!
Unlike last years mudfest conditions were ideal come race time at 5pm,low 70s no wind and firm ground underfoot,much had been made of the fact the race had been forced to switch to a Wednesday which was unfortunate,my feeling was while the open race had been diluted I could only race against who showed up.
I had a plan going into the race,tuck myself in behind the leader and run w/ the pack,bide my time up Flagpole,Parachute and Flagpole a second time b4 begining my push coming down Flagpole w/ 800m to go and hopefully out muscle and out run any or all around me between the foot of Flagpole and the finish.
From the gun said plan seemed to be working I moved up to the lead six going up Flagpole and was 4th coming through the finish b4 heading into the back woods,I clocked 5.09 at the first mile and just b4 turning to attack Parachute I moved into third.
On the first downhill off of Parachute I "let out the clutch" to move into second,I,d have my work cut out to catch the leader but it,d only take a pulled muscle or a trip on his part to allow me right back into the chase,not that I,d wish that on him or any runner but as my trip just after mile 2 Sunday proved the unpredictable is always a foot step away in xc.
12.56 at mile 2 as I was now third heading up Flagpole,after 18 repeats up Flagpole during my 6 week series of Belmont hill repeats I just wanted to reach the top one last time and work off of the top to begin my final attack.
Down the final downhill I got relegated to fifth but was w/in striking distance of third and fourth,softly.softly,catchy monkey.....,w/ 400m to go I caught fourth place,using his team mates challenge to go w/ me to dig deeper I began winding it up one last time,turning towards the finish it was Sunday all over again,a furious kick w/ the finish in sight got me upto third and had I,ve began my kick sooner I may,ve caught second.
Third in 17.11.55,not too shabby period,off of more recovery maybe I could,ve ran faster,but I played the hand I was dealt,to lose out to two 18 year olds was no disgrace,only a second between me and a second XC runners up place,all in all a good afternoons work.
Home to discover Ireland had beaten Cyrprus 1.0 in Dublin in a World Cup quallifier,2010 South Africa here we come!!!
W/ my third ever xc medal added to the 116 previous medals from a 32 year career I could consider my day a good one,GP says a woefully slow 5 miler is on tap arguements here!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If It,s Tuesday I,m Probably Smiling.............

A nice easy 5 mile run this evening to get me ready for tomorrows Catholic League XC 5K,would I,ve prefered a weeks recovery between Masters Nationals and Catholic League?yes however that,s not an option so I,ll just have to have at manana and see where the chips fall,I have a game plan in mind,as always it,s a case of being able to execute it,since my 16.49.4 has yet to be called a pr/club record I may have to go after that honour at Belmont,which I hasten to add is not a pr course......but neither is Ceaser Rodney in Deleware and that,s where I pr,d in the 1/2 marathon in 06 so let,s not rule it out just yet.
Confidence is a powerful motivator,my confidence has never been this high in my 32 year career and inspiration is a factor too,I site these four examples of where I draw my inspiration from currently.
I received an email from Bob McGinty a soon to be team mate at GPTC,during the indoor season when I was struggling I saw Bob run two great indoor miles at Mid Atlantic C,ships and Indoor Nationals, I didn,t see him again till the summer when I ran my 4.28.9 at PMW,we got chatting post race and Bob mentioned wanting to join us,not long afterwards he broke a bone in his ankle windsurfing{ouch!!}but he sent me an email the other day congratulating me on my 1,500m at Nationals and 5th Avenue Mile,he said he was inspired and in awe of me,that,s a huge compliament from a fellow runner.
Post race Sunday I chatted w/ winner John Hinton,John and I go back a little to 06 when we first faced off in the semis and final of the 800m,we then met up in the 07 Hartshorne Memorial Mile,anyways post race as we chatted we talked about a potential rematch next January and when I told John I was moving upto the 45-49 age group in November he joked he was glad he,d be moving upto 50-54 in a few years given my recent performances,it was said in jest but it,s nice to know a runner of John,s considerable caliber respects my talent.
What impresssed me most about John was his genuine reaction to becoming National Masters XC Champion,here,s a runner who,s won several National C,ship titles,set a world record and here he was genuingly delighted to be crowned this years Masters XC champ,it helps me feel less neurotic when I get so excited about National Championship titles.
Allie Kral,the fiddle player in Cornbread,she won me over Friday nite as Cornbread opened for Grace Potter & The Nocturnals,not only w/ her mastery of the fiddle but her beauty.
Having plundered the internet I found various sites devoted to her and Cornbread,both my pcs have Allie Kral screen savers and she even replied to my email yesterday and said I,d made her day w/ what I,d said to her,I doubt VERY highly the world is ready for a fiddle player and miler to have a whirlwind romance but just exchanging emails w/ her has helped me to continue to sore heights I,ve seldom scaled.
Last but by no means least"My Girl Tuesday",Robinson Crusoe had his Man Friday and I have "My Girl Tuesday",there,s a reason why for the past two months I,ve lived for Tuesdays{sometimes Wednesdays} and while I,ve said more now in this sentence than in the entire prior two months I,m not prepared to say too much more,names are being w/held for anonymity but just know I,ve gained so much milage both literally and figuretivly from my weekly Tuesday conversations w/ "MGT"that it would be remiss of me not to list her not only as an inspiration but as my #1 inspiration.
Here,s hoping I can call on all of my inspirations tomorrow at 5pm when the gun goes off.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Onto The Next Challenge

Usually there,s a week between races,due to a scheduling quirk I now have 3 days b4 the Catholic League XC 5K on Wednesday.
Following last weeks 34 mile week I began this week w/ a 5 mile recovery run,tomorrow will be an easy five miler as I get physically ready for Wednedsay,mentally from the time I crossed the finish line yesterday in Greensboro I,ve been thinking about Wednesdays race,it,s funny....well at least to me it,s funny,I often liken a race to going into battle so if Wednesday is the Catholic League XC 5K does that make it a "Holy War'' or "The Crusades"???
If I die in battle please carry me out of Belmont Plateau on my shield...........

Road Trip/Last Of The Pagan Trilogy

If it,s the second weekend of October it,s Masters XC 5K C,ship.....road trip!
Last year I finally made it up to Saratoga upstate New York to run my first Masters XC Nationals{in 06 I had ran my first ever XC Nationals in Van Cortlandt Park}but untill 2 weeks ago hadn,t planned to trek down to Greensboro N.Carolina for the 08 chapter,however in lite of my victory at 5th Avenue Mile and 20.12 xc 6k at Osprey I felt ditching Radnor Steplechase 5k xc in favour of the big dance was fitting,ergo meeting up w/ Chuck,Joan H,Bryant and Chantel at 39th and Spruce at 10.10am b4 meeting up w/ car#2 in Deleware where Bill,Bob,Andy and Joan A Joined us,next stop Greensboro!!,Chuck,s not much for stopping on route,we made excellent time just like we did in 06 on the way to Charlotte,one rest room stop 5 hours into the trip and a stop for gas....and a book....and a heating pad.....and Advil for Joan H and b4 6pm we were in Greensboro.
After check in and in my case a shower and shave it was off to dinner at a nearby Italian eatery,it,s a sad reflection on my life..........or lack there of that on this the 41st Saturday of the year this was only my 6th one out,three of which were running related,I,m not a role model,nor a social animal...anti social maybe!!!
Irrigardless of my lack of Saturday nites out it,s always fun to sit and break bread w/ my team mates,most of whom I don,t see too often,aside from Chuck whom I see on a near weekly basis the rest of the gang had been MIA for a while since I tend to swim in track and xc circles only these days.
Post meal it was back to the room to catch the Dawson Tarver fight on Showtime,the top of the 7th innings between the Devil Rays and my beloved Red Sox b4 lights out.
W/ my inner clock going off half an hour b4 the alarm at 7am I was up showered and dressed and over to the lobby for breakfast w/ Chuck,Bob and Bill,race time wasn,t for another 3 and a 1/2 hours yet so given last nites dinner had left me still hungry I made sure sure to tuck into a hearty breakfast,though I nearly came to regret a second sausage biscuit at mile 2 of the race....
Over to nearby Hagen Stone Park by 9.15am which allowed for ample time to get our race # and tshirts and jog the course,a 2 and a 1/2 mile romp through the woods at a predominatly down hill rate,I think the first uphill wasn,t till 1 and 3/4 miles,I was fairly sure this was going to be a fast course.
As we made our way to the start Chuck and I shook hands and wished each other luck,Chuck thanked me for coming down to race this,as I told him I wouldn,t have missed this for the world dispite a year long leaning towards the Radnor race I wanted to be here,w/ the 09 race further south in Petersburg Florida who knows maybe next year I,ll get to do the Radnor Steplechase XC 5K race afterall these years!!
My game plan was simple in order to go sub 17 min and hopefully crack the top 10 I,d have to go out fast w/ the lead pack from the gun,w/ hindsight maybe I went out too fast,these days I,m conditioned to an all out mile and that,s it,none of this 5k lark,heading into the woods I was third behind the eventual runner up Birger Ohlsson and 4th place finisher Francis Burdett,eventual winner John Hinton and third place finisher Armando Oliveira passed me not long after,knowing that three of those four were in the 40-44 age group I knew an overall age group award was shot but frankly looking at the entry list coming into this meet my honest beliefe was a top 10 finish would be to my credit.
5.08 at the mile,having not ran any road races as such in the past two years{I did a marathon relay last Sept and lead off the 10k portion b4 a 5k post Saratoga last Oct}I had to recondition myself to "let out the clutch" on the down hills,when I did I felt I ate up the ground.
After John and Armando had passed me I stopped counting where I was,a handful of runners passed me as I reached mile 2 in 10.51,a 5.43 mile,the brisk early pace had caught up w/ me but the strenght from my mile repeats and speed from my 600m and 1,000m was going to carry through the final 1.1 mile.
Thanks to some cat like reflexes just after 2 miles I managed to get myself upright after clipping a tree root,I managed to throw out my right had to spare me a face plant,I lost maybe 15 strides as I had to adjust to the stumble but knowing I was less than a mile from home found it easy to dig deep.
Making the turn along the road out of the woods I was reminded it was now 900m to the finish,just as Chuck came up along side me on the inside,given there were questions re the validity of the lenght of the course was I now about to lose my shot at the course record and another notch in the GPTC record book?....!@#* NO!!!,I charged up the second to last uphill putting not only daylite between Chuck and I but also passing another runner,along that straight away I wondered if I,d gone too early?,was my move made w/ enough conviction?did I have it in me to go again if Chuck came back at me?
Up the second to last hill,tight left hand turn,3/4s up the last incline,tight right hand turn,and the straight away to the,s where it got interesting,Conor O Driscoll was making his move on Chuck,yelling to his team mate John Cummings ahead of me to go....Chuck then yelled at me to get going after John,in the final 50 meters I passed John,Conor passed Chuck as we formed a nice GPTC/Westchester Track Club sandwich!!!,me 13th in 16.49,John 14th in 16.50,Conor 15th in 16.54,Chuck 16th in 16.55,a track race broke out at he finish of a XC meet!!!
Yep 16.49.4,it,s at the very least a course record,it remains to be seen if it,ll count as a 5k pr/club record,I,m hoping so,I have other XC 5Ks on tap but not on a course as fast or as flat as this.
For GPTC we had to settle for 5th overall,I thought we had a shot a third at least but mad props to Westchester TC for winning the whole fecking thing,I say that w/ mad props and much respect as I know three of their five runners John Cummings,Pat McCarthy and Conor O Driscoll are Irish and frankly so might be their other two guys Rob Sweeney and Jay Duggan,I guess if you,re not Irish you must at least have an Irish name to run w/ these boyos...........I,d be in on both counts then wouldn,t I!!!!
I hung w/ the Westchester team post race,as we say back home "the craic was good"....Francis may not agree since he bore the brunt of most of our piss taking but he,s a big lad and he can take it,besides he had a 4th place overall finish and 3rd in the 40-44 age group to cheer about.
When I took my third run of the course this time as my cool down I was able to get my head around the fact I,d ran a 16.49,finished 13th overall and 9th in my the 40-44 age group,all 8 guys ahead of me were younger and my time would,ve gotten me 4th in the 45-49 group,I set out to run sub 17 and finish top 10,I,d almost pulled it off,not bad for a non 5k guy be it track or xc,I,d left some good 5k guys in my wake.
It was a long ride home but the mood was light hearted, we offered Birger a ride to Philly on his way to New York,we at GPTC have a great rapport w/ the guys at CPTC and I,d like to think if one of us needed a ride they,d hook us up.
After today I hope the bond between us and Westchester will be as good as the one we share w/ CPTC and Shore AC,I,ve known Conor for years and post race John Cummings told me he reads my blog.............fair play,he also said he was putting my photo on his dart board to remind him of the day I "ran be him like a feckin Gazelle" to the finish,good on ya my celtic brother,I look forward to hearing from you soon.
That,s it for the road trip,my final thought comes from Snorri Sturluson,s ''Prose Edda' it reads
"Those who do not belong to it,and whose native land it is not,cannot endure it.
The one who sits there at the Lands End to guard the gates is called Dark Surt.
He has a flaming sword,and at the end of the world he will come,he will harry,and he will vanquish all the Gods and burn the whole world w/ fire"
Yes he,s talking about 13th century Pagan Iceland,but frankly it could be Ireland as far as I,m concerned,if you,re not from it,and it,s not your native land you cannot endure it.......
Erin Go Bragh

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Road Trip Alert

Well it,s late but I,m back from Greensboro w/ tales to tell of an amazing weekend, however such tales will have to keep till tomorrow when I can do them justice but rest assured it,ll be worth it.
It,s been a long day but a fruitful one and tomorrow I,ll be happy to fill in all the details but for now this tired savage celtic black hearted pagan is off to bed,5am is gonna come around a tad too quick for my liking.....and I don,t have Columbus Day off either....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Music Soothes The Savage Beast/Road To Valhala

Just a few {hopefully}well chosen words b4 I depart for Greensboro in the next hour and a quarter,since I,m sans laptop till years end no chance to write this on the road which would,ve been very Jack Kerouac of me don,t you think.....
After several weeks where my running and life had been enjoying an almost aerodynamic smooth sailing ride I hit some turbulance this week...........maybe that,s why life and automobiles should come fully loaded w/ airbags and one should always wear ones seat belt!,that said as I,m oft prone to say !@#$ .......sorry,once a Savage Celtic Black Hearted Pagan,always a Savage Celtic Black Hearted Pagan!!!,in running as is in life you must face your adversities head on and deal w/ them,no ducking the issues.
Music plays a major role in my life,I,d put it right next to my running so that,s why last nites Grace Potter & The Nocturnals show was SO right on time,I have to give mad props and much pagan respect to the opening act Cornmeal who were...........frankly freakin awesome!seriously peeps when did you last see a band comprized of a drummer,guitar,banjo,upright bass and fiddle,and boy could that girl play a mean fiddle.....phew,I,ll check Cornmeal out again,prehaps you should too.
As for Grace & The Nocturnals...........there,s a reason why"Somewhere In Time"is one of the few whole cds on my ipod but as great as they sound on cd you have to see/hear them live,their rousing cover of''Paint It Black"to end their set will resonate w/ me foreverI,ve caught them three time in the past eigthteen months and each time I feel I,ve left the show feeling I,ve cheated the venue cos they were way more value for money than I paid for my ticket,again don,t take my word for it check them out,here,s hoping a live cd/dvd is in the works soon.
And so to XC Masters Nationals,yeah it,s a gamble on my part to test the waters at a distance and forum outside of my comfort level,but what,s life w/out taking the odd risk or two?in some respects I feel I,ve nothing to lose,I,m not expected to be right up there at the finish but hell if I aint gonna do my damnedest to make sure I am,yeah I,m willing to put my growing reputation on the line tomorrow,playing safe is not my forte,granted to bet the house would be foolish but since I am playing w/ house money why not have at it and see where the chips may fall??
When I return from Greensboro I will of course write an honest account of the race,clearly I,m not coming out and saying where I think I,ll finish and or what time I,ll run but I will report back on how I did and if I reached my own expectation level or fell short and since like all races I feel I,m marching into battle here,s a little battle anthem to stir the ole Savage Celtic Pagan blood...................
"March or croak,flame and smoke,burn forever in eternal pain,charge and fall,bugal call,bone splinter in the driving rain.
Horses scream,Viking dream,drowned heroes in a lake of blood,armoured fist,severed wrist,broken spears in a sea of mud.
Sword and shield,bone and steel,rictus grin,deaf forever till the battles din"
Deaf Forever

Friday, October 10, 2008

Heavy Words So Lightly Thrown

You can thank or blame Morrissey for that line,it,s from The Smiths song "What Difference Does It Make",ironic really given that it,s"GFO"time{game face on}ergo a healthy/unhealthy dose of the 3 Ms,Motorhead,Maiden,Metallica.........I also crank up some Zakk Wylde/Black Label Society but I couldn,t work an M into that...............well I could............but my mother reads this blog so let,s not go there shall we.............
All quiet all the western front today,can probably thank Yom Kippur for that,having put in all the hard work this week w/ training it,s also important that the "outside the lines" stuff,relaxation,nutrition,hydration,relaxation are also taken care of in a week that saw my heckles raised both personally and professionally it,s important to put all that behind me now and focus on Sundays race.
A nice easy 5 miler this evening,followed by dinner and an evening at the TLA to check out Grace Potter And The Nocturnals,I saw them twice last year and they rocked so I,m confident of more of the same this evening as I look to get my weekend off to a rip roaring start.
So I,ve opened w/ The Smiths and Closed w/ Grace Potter,the calm music has taken the edge off but just like I proved yesterday when the dock plate went into orbit,I haven,t gone 100% soft as the "Dark Surt" "Savage Celtic Black Hearted Pagan'' in me slowly starts revving up,as is my won,t a little 13th century "Prose Edda" to keep things ticking over.............
Surtur from the south wielding fire,the gods sword shine in the darkness,like stars in the night.
Mountains collapse into rubble and fiends shall fall.
Man walks the road to ruin as the sky splits in two"
Snorri Sturluson

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Old Pagans Never Mellow

When I began spouting Paganisms at the end of the end of yesterdays blog I was refereing to my running..............or so I thought,the savage in savage celtic black hearted pagan rose to the fore today,maybe some residual anger from the other day,maybe smarting from the difference of opinions GP and I shared from last nites repeats,either way,I was way more vocal in my displeasure of things today than I have been for a while....and it,s also been a while since I,ve thrown anything at work,today the dock plate got thrown off the dock following an hour of biblical meyhem that had me bewitched,bothered and bewildered.
As for my run,an easy 5 mile recovery run the tonic after a day from hell plus an easy run after last nites hard work 4/4 sub 5 min mile repeats.
As for GP and I, we saw things differently after last nite and that,s ok,we don,t have to agree on everything we shared a healthy exchange of opinions and moved on,I,m still his athlete,he,s still my coach,life goes on.
An easy 5 mile run manana,hopefully a quieter day at work.....and no thrown dock plates


Following a purging of my soul yesterday it was back to business today,effectivly doing what I do best,run and running what I consider to be my best repeat, 4x1 mile repeats.
Saturdays performance was always going to be a hard act to follow,much like snowflakes no two repeats are every alike but I was hell bent on putting my best foot forward and going for it.
Conditions were once again close to picture perfect right down to virtually having the track to myself which always aids and abets any repeat workout.
Repeat#1,72,78,77,68-4.55.05,an impressive start if I say so myself,although the 68 second final lap and subsequent 4.55.05,were going to make a compleat carbon copy repeat in desending order a hard act to follow.
Repeat#2,77,78,78,65-4.58.89,my streak of 72 second opening laps had come to an end{like all good thing must}and I wondered if I was guilty of thinking it was all becoming too easy to step out onto the track and crank out a sub 5 min mile,the moment you begin to think that is the moment you have to work for it,ergo the closing lap of 65 seconds.
Repeat#3,77,78,80,65-4.59.55,phew skin of my teeth time!!realized it wasn,t a mental lapse on the previous opening lap and prehaps fatigue was becoming a factor,I,d said to GP over the phone yesterday that mile repeats on a work day evening over mile repeats first thing on a weekend throw up all sorts of different propersitions,it,s been a while since a 80 second lap graced my mile,s also been a while since I closed in 65 seconds on anything other than a closing lap of a closing mile
Repeat#4,76,78,78,64-4.56.49,another 4/4 sub 5 min mile repeat session albeit the hard way but the end result is more often than not the thing we remember rather than how it was gained.
Granted tonite was a tad rollercoasterish for my taste and dare I say it GP,s but the fact my closing laps of 68,65,64,64 were something to behold,I,ll have to see if "Dibble"sees it that way!
The hard part of my training week is done,recovery and easy 5 milers the next to days b4 a travel day to Greensboro and Masters National XC 5K,I ,m fairly sure that the old ipod and discman wil be getting loaded up w/ Motorhead,Mettalica,Maiden and Black Label and I,ll be reading from "The Prose Edda" over the next few days,yes folks I,m preparing to march into battle onto the killing fields of North Carolina.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tales From The Cryptic One

Other titles I considered were "Doh","All That Gliters Is Not Gold","What Were You Thinking" and "When Are You Going To Ever Learn'' now b4 anybody jumps down my throat and says this is meant to be a running blog not a psudo "Dear Abby" blog I,m getting to the running it just that YET again life proved today like it often does that when you drop your guard for a split second you,re likely to get sucker punched.
My non running friends often ask how I do what what I do,the answer is simple,running for me is the easy part it,s all the other stuff,life on life,s terms that what I find hard,I thought it was meant to get easier as you got older,I guess not.
For a few day it felt like life was immitating art for me,suddenly life got a little too real and as is often the case reality set in,see that,s my problem,in running when I have a good day I enjoy it for that day and the next day it,s back to the start,in life I had a couple of good,dare I say exceptional days and suddenly I lost sight of things,I don,t allow that to happen w/ my running,I,ve often said in running I,m fortunate enough to have a coach,prehaps in life I need a life coach cos clearly left to my own devices I,m my own worst enemy,prior today I,d have felt compelled to make some pithy comment about pleases feel free to email me your resume so I can pick the best applicant for the job,however in lite of events over the past few days clearly I attract your average rent a loony/scam artist like a lite attracts a moth.
In closing I,ll say this much,my 5 mile recovery run this evening felt right on time,the sun is going to come up again tomorrow and hopefully the "karma police" are only going to issue me w/ a stern warning.
Life can beautiful,it can be a bitch,it can be easy ,it can be hard,is it too much to want the beautiful easy life......

I,ve got my feet on the street but I can,t stop flying,my head,s in the cloud but at least I,m trying"
"Shock Of The Lightning"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Keeping My Word

After last weeks less than stellar return to"The Death Zone"I was determined to improve upon my 2/6.
I was confident coming in I,d be better equipt this week than last week,my almost metronomic mile repeats on Saturday gave me confidence that I could get close to my required 68/34-1.42 splits per lap.
Conditions while not as ideal as the majority of last week were conducive to a good performance,albeit a little brisker than last Tuesday and Thursday when I began my workout close to 6.30pm
Repeat#1,67/34-1.41.67,an ideal start,if I could maintain that pace throughout I,d be golden,in order to do so I needed to be 100% focused,untill such a time when that becomes automatic I need to keep reminding myself of that fact.
#2, 70/31-1.41.58,if i,m 100% honest my focus was pulled off it,s square betweeen 200m and 300m,that one lapse almost cost me dearly.
Repeat#3 67/33-1.40.53,quite where that 67 second 400m came from I don,t know,I knew not to ease up too much over the closing 200m in order to conserve fuel,w/ hindsight I wish I could,ve eased down just a tad more.
Repeat#4 it would,ve been all to easy to run up the white flag now that I was ahead of last weeks tally but the seeds I sow tonite bare fruit weeks and months down the line.
72/32-1.44.78,I knew that 67 on the previous repeat was going to take it,s toll,sure it takes it toll tonite,but weeks from now I,ll be able to handle that,that said my reaction at the finish would,ve made Joe Kinnear Joe Kinnear,s foul mouth tirade at the press last Thursday if you want to understand that comment....
Repeat#5,71/34-1.45.37,under my old barrier of 1.45 I,d still be on pace but I want/have to keep moving forward and to do so means resetting the bar,don,t be surprized next spring if I,m not shooting for 1.40.
Repeat#6,72/30-1.42.82,when I clocked 72 seconds at 400m I knew I,d have to go some to make 1.42,it,s been a while since I,ve collapsed to the track at the end of my 600s,then again it,s been a while since I,ve ended the session{if ever}w/ a 30 second closing 200m.
A good nites work,an improvement on last weeks 2/6,here,s hoping for more of the same if not better in two weeks time when I next enter "The Death Zone"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Both Sides Of The Comfort Zone

A nice easy 5 mile recovery run to end the week and also round my weekly milage up to 30 miles.
I said this the last time it happened but it,s rare I get to run on a Sunday,this week was brought about since GP gave me back to back days off last Sunday and Monday and given I have two Sunday races coming up in the next three weeks today meant my comfort zone won,t feel too shaken up next Sunday in Greensboro and again two Sundays later at the NJ XC C,ships.
A more dramatic entry to my comfort zone was hitting a movie,it,d been over six months since I,d allowed myself that luxury,but it was well worth the wait to see"Nick And Norah,s Infinite Playlist''which I whole heartedly{albeit Savage Celtic Black Pagan heart that is!!!}recomend.
Sometimes it,s good to shake up ones routine,switching from my prefered Mon,Wed,Fri repeat rotation,having Sunday brunch and catching a matinee movie{less crowded,more fun....and a few $s cheaper}and then taking a casual stroll around Center City b4 heading home mid to late afternoon.
The whole shebang kicks off again tomorrow,6x600m repeats,4x1mile repeats Wed and then XC Masters C,ships next Sunday,outside the lines of running there,s alot going on also,hopefully someday and someday soon I,ll be able to divulge all or most of the details both good and not so good but for now I,ll leave you w/a lyrical snapshot,for the past few weeks "Sometime Around Midnite" by Airborne Toxic Event has felt like it,s not only lodged 24/7 in my brain but also provides a daily soundtrack to my life,if you have the chance check the song out,their debut self titled cd was discribed as "poetry you can dance to"don,t take my word for it,listen to it.
So that,s a movie and cd recomendation from yours truly....all part of my community service,should knock a few hours off,it ain,t easy being a Savage Celtic Black Hearted Pagan,but there,s a price to be paid for everything in life..........

And so there,s a change in your emotions when all of these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind,of the curl of your bodies like two perfect circles entwined"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Welcome To A Bollockin' Free Zone

After two less than satisfactory repeat workouts this week I was hell bent on ending the week on a high note,besides not wishing to get another bollockin' from GP I also wanted to prove a point,if only to myself
As a miler my bread and butter repeat is the 4x1 mile repeat,during the course of the year I may switch up certain workouts on the track and on hills but the staple repeat,week in,week out is 4x1 mile,make no mistake about that and I was damned if I was about to knawls up this repeat like I had my 600m and 1,000m earlier in the week,besides unlike them my previous mile repeats were only a few weeks removed,4x1mile on Sept 6th and 3x1mile on Sept 13t.
I love coming out to the main line on Saturday mornings to workout,aside from being closer to my beloved Villanova University I enjoy the fact getting up early to get out here gives me a jump start on my day plus the train ride and subsequent wait for said R5 allows me if need be a chance to catch up on my diary,right now certain entries require more pages so the 20 min journey helps facilitate that.
I arrived at Haverford around 9.35am,by the time I was done stretching and my mile warm up those already on the track were getting done and those still using it were not in lane 1,good omens,the plan of attack an opening lap of 75 seconds to set up the potential for a 4.59 mile,GP and I discussed the strategy last nite,nothing fancy this time out,a straight up attack of sub 5 minute miles w/ hopefully each mile getting faster.
Mile #1 splits of 72,78,79,70-4.59.41,a rightious begining,but Tue and Thur had begun well b4 the proverbial arse fell out of them,I was determined not to allow that to happen this morning,I can hardly tout myself as one of the countries best masters milers if I can,t execute my tried and tested repeat now can I??
Mile#2 72,77,77,70-4.56.71,frightningly metronomic of me....but in a positive way,I don,t know I,ve ever opened miles 1&2 w/ back to back 72 second splits,could I keep it up?
Mile#3 72,77,76,71-4.56.27,marginal but a triumph on two scores,w/ 200m to go I got the balence right,back off too much and risk a slower than 4.56.27 mile,speed up too much and risk depleating my reserves going into mile#4,plus a golf buggy dropping off water on the sideline for the upcoming Haverford soccer game was in lane 1 down the back straight on laps 2 and 3 forcing me out into lane 2.....but my spilts never reflected this.
Mile#4 71,78,77,67-4.53.99 4/4 and each mile faster than the prior one.
79 seconds was my slowest lap the entire session,my math isn,t that good to workout what my average split per lap came out to and dispite my victory I found fault w/ the final mile....leave it to me yeah???
4.53.99 is hardly something to be sniffed at,nor is a 67 second final lap,however prior to 5th Avenue Mile I was closing in 4.50 w/ a 64 second final lap,but I wasn,t running at the pace I was today over the previous 3 and 3/4 miles,in time I,ll crank these splits and lower the final mile and closing 400m split believe me.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Eight Is Never Enough

In the immortal words of Marv Albert"YES"I scored Oasis tix this morning for their Camden show Dec 19th an early xmas gift from Liam and Noel Gallagher.
This will be my 9th Oasis gig in 12 years,should,ve been my 10th but for their Philly show on the "Heathen Chemistry" tour in 02 getting cancelled due to an accident suffered by Noel in Indianapolis.
W/ my ipod in hand and Oasis playing I shuffled off to Clark Park this evening to crank out an easy 5 miler blissfully unaware that "Charlie Dibble" was not best pleased w/ my pacing last nite,I never got that email,by all accounts I got a right royal bollocking for my lack of pacing which is fair enough,GP and I talked about it this evening,I,m man enough to admit I got it horribly wrong last nite,I,ll take whatever criticism comes my way for that performance and try and do better next time out.
W/ my schedule as it is it may be Oct 30th b4 I get another crack at 2x1,000m but I,m ok w/ that for now I need to focus on tomorrows 4x1mile repeats,and hope to clock if not 4 sub 5 min miles,close to it.............I don,t want another bollocking from "Dibble".

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Been A Long Time..........

I,m being cryptic again w/ my titles and as the author of this blog I,m ok w/ that,granted I could be referencing the fact tonite was my first 2x1,000m repeat in 14 weeks,I could be talking about the now off again rumours that Led Zep are going to tour next year,I could be relishing the fact Oasis tix go on sale tomorrow,I haven,t since "Manchester,s Finest" since 05 or I could be coy and say another factor in said equation is on a "that,s for me to know and for you to find out"level................who doesn,t love a good conspiracy?????????????????????????????????
To the track and the matter at hand,2x1,000m,conditions were idealic the kind you see in movies or read in books but seldom get to run in,clear skies no wind,mild evening,next to noboby on the track,I almost wanted to bottle that moment in time and keep it w/ me forever,I guess as long as my pc,s hard drive stays in tact I should be ok,long after my memory fades the evidence will still be on my pc and in cyber space.....
Buoyed by the conditions and emotions that of late have lifted me to a level of running and indead life I,ve seldom visited in recent years I began briskly 66 seconds for my opening 400m,I was aimimg for 70 seconds back to back to clock 2.10 at 800m,I clocked 2.18 thanks to a 72 second second lap,there was enough juice in the tank to produce a 31 second closing 200m to clock a 2.49.76 split,brisk was putting it mildly,on June 26th I went,70,71,32 to clock 2.53.31.
It was wishful thinking to believe I could match that on repeat#2,on June 26th I went69,72,29 to clock 2.50.96,tonite I could only muster 72,75,30 to clock 2.57.09.
Much like Tuesday nite I began well but the weeks of not doing these particular repeats came back to haunt me in the latter stages,that,s ok.........for now but rest assured over the coming weeks and months I,ll be striding and striving to get faster.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


October 1st,wow,I,m less than two weeks away from XC Masters Nationals, compiling a Halloween mix tape and getting ready for a month of 3 XC races,summer feels like it was a ways ago and in some respects it was,but once again as I don my philospheres cap, in running as in life,respect your past but don,t be a slave to it.
This evening dispite some rain I kept my appointed easy 5 miler around Clark Park,nothing a lite running jacket and a baseball cap couldn,t cure,XC season or not it,s important to retain the status quo that has thus far this year yeiled great results{respect your past}but if I,m to add my name to the GPTC XC club records I have to treat each day and each workout/recovery run w/ the same hunger that took me to my first pr/club record,granted the XC 6K became mine by default since it was the first time we,d raced that distance but w/ three races this month and the potential to add my name to three more XC club records I need to answer the call each and every day.
Tomorrow sees a return to the 2x1,000m repeats which like last nites 6x600m haven,t been conduted since the summer,June 26th to be exact,we,ll see what tomorrow yeilds.

A Day Late................

B4 the finger pointing begins I didn,t write a blog entry yesterday due to fatigue not because I was disappointed w/ my overall performance,and asides from being a day behind I would also have been able to capitalize on yesterdays date significance.
Sept 30th is my grandfather Francis,s anniversary,I wasn,t even 3 when he died in 1966 but he was the only one of my four grandparents that I ever met so the emotional connection has always been there,the fact I was christened after my father and grandfather means I carry the memories of Kevin and Francis w/ me where ever I go,I,m often asked what the F in my signature stands for,most think it stands for Fiesty but no it,s Francis!!
I hadn,t done a "Death Zone"6x600m in 11 weeks since July 21st so I knew it was going to be a step up tonite especially as the bar has now been raised to 1.42 per repeat,oh well,gotta begin somewhere I guess,the game plan was 400m/200m splits of 68/34 to clock 1.42
After my stretches and warm ups it was show time,last weeks 3/4 would count for nothing tonite and I began well enough w/ a 69/32-1.41.14,a more conservative opener than last week which given the extra 2 600s tonite was prudent.
70/32-1.42.73,for #2,I was guilty of not focusing 100% on that second opening 400m,something I fell foul of last week and it cost me 4 sub 1.42 60os.
On #3 I again went to sleep on the top bend although it was the last time it happened tonite as I clocked splits of 71/32-1.43.25,the perfect 6 was gone but I was ok w/ that,after 11 weeks I couldn,t expect top waltz back in and hit one out of the park.
72/33-1.45.52 for repeat#4 it was begining to become hard work now and I for one welcomed that,in running as is in life anything worth having is something worth fighting for,if I,d come in here tonite and cranked out a 6/6 1.42 6x600m it,d be difficult to come back next Monday and do it again,at least now I,ve got something to strive for next week and the subsequent weeks after.
73/38-1.51.44 it felt as frugly as it sounds my head was rolling from side to side and I failed to power through the finish,for a split second I considered calling it a nite at 5 repeats,but I,m no quitter on the track or in life,it was the second time today I,d faced disappointment and just as I,d dusted myself off earlier in my day and carried on fighting the good fight it,d be no different on the track this evening.
On a final repeat be it 600m,1,000m,400m,mile there,s a feeling of wanting to"leave it all on the track"you got the rest of the evening to suck it up if need be so why not"have at it"?73/33-1.46.27,a modicum of satisfaction to end the session on.
It should be pointed out when I began my 6x600m at 1.50 I didn,t go 6/6 right off the bat,ditto for my 1.45 attempts so to begin my quest for 6/6 at 1.42 at 2/6 is hardly the end of the world,next Monday I,ll hope to go at least 3/6,prehaps 4/6.