Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moving The Soddin Goalposts

Ah that newly aquired time honoured post Thanksgiving tradition the Brandywine XC 5K race.
I came in w/ slightly deminished expectations today given what I,ve lost in training over the past three weeks but rather than run up the white flag{NEVER!}I sought a different approach to the race,rather than my usual all out blitzkrieg from the gun I opted to take it out easy for the opening half of the race and once Maintainence Hill had been negoiated try to pick up the pace over the final 1 and a 1/2 miles.
From the gun I worked my way up to 10th as GPTC held 4th{Chuck}5th{Bob}and 8th{Jeff},after the first turn on the course I moved upto 8th and then 6th as the Blue and Red procession now went 4th thro 7th.
5.36 at the opening mile,I never had a pace goal in mind but along the creek Jeff and one other runner went by me,no need to panic,w/ the always uncompromising Maintainence Hill ahead I knew to hold my ground till the downhill.
As the first downhill presented it,s self I had company Brian O Driscoll moved along side me,Brian and I have had some great road race battles over the years so I was all too aware of his credentials.
12.11 at mile two a 6.35 mile I had a 2 second lead on Brian,it was important to retain 8th spot.....or so I thought!!!
Working off the slight uphill I tried to put some distance between Brian and me but he wasn,t going away w/out a fight and when he almost drew along side me as we were a quarter of the way into the long straight away alongside route 92 I found a second gear and put daylight between myself and him for good this time.
Jeff and his shadow were too far ahead of me to make any inroads it was now a matter of me verses the clock,pre race I,d said if I could go sub 19 mins for the first time ever here I,d be happy,alas it wasn,t to be,19.02.22 and 8th overall,my best ever finish here and my fastest ever time.
The misery than began to pile up,in 06 my team mate Adam finished 9th and just missed out on the prize money that only went 8 deep,last year I finished 9th and just missed out HOWEVER the organizers this year opted to only go 7th deep so yet again I got fecked out of prize money,and in keeping w/ three of the previous four years no luck getting my race tag pulled out in the post race drawing for numerous running apparel,gift certificates or gold watches,ah no big but I won,t deny the prize money issue left a bad taste in my mouth,granted 8th might,ve only been worth $10 but $10 is $10 especially when you,re paying $20 to enter in the first place.
Rather than dwell on the negative I chose to focus on the positives,a good race a course pr,and time spent w/ my team mates,we my not be the best team in the Mid Atlantic division but we have the best team mates a runner could ask for.
Eight miles for the day puts me at 28 for the week w/ my track workout w/ the relay squad on tap manana,it feels like SS Top Cat has righted it,s self,no longer taking on water and moving full steam ahead,keeping one eye out for icebergs and rough seas....eye eye captain!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Heavy Words So Lightly Thrown

Ok so I didn,t run yesterday,in all honesty I didn,t feel like treking all the way up to St Joe,s and also the prospect of giving up my first compleat day to myself in god knows how long was too great a temptation,besides I,m pulling double duty this weekend between the xc race at Brandywine Sat and a trackwork Sun so I needed to factor in a rest day either yesterday or today,since today saw me have to work then the very real prospect of an all too rare day at home when I didn,t have to leave the house{a fuck off day as I love to refer to them,I stay indoors and fuck off everything that needs to be done outside!!!}was too great to turn down.
After a bored shitless day at work...........don,t get me wrong after the previous two weeks I,ve had a slow non eventful 9 hour shift was right up my street and thanks to ye olde internet all my xmas shopping is now done I was happy to get out and run tonite,an easy 5 miler.
For a while today I thought this blog entry might end up as a PSA for Alzheimers disease,it,s been three weeks since my last race and I,d almost forgotten that feeling the day leading upto a race,it reminds me of an old Calvin and Hobbes strip when Calvin antagonizes Hobbes into a full fledged attack and a battered Calvin laments how tigers never forget their killer instincts,that,s how I feel,coiled and ready to pounce come race time tomorrow morning at 10.50am.
Tomorrow will be my 4th Brandywine XC 5K,each year I always say this and the NYRRC XC 5K are the two xc races I,d like to be in top xc shape to run,three weeks ago I was in fine fettle for the Van Cortlandt Park race,I only hope my two week blip in training won,t hinder me tomorrow,each year I,ve improved in my performances,three years ago coming off a runners up spot at the Forbidden Drive Turkey Trot 5 miler two days earlier I had my arse handed to me on a plate in this race,15th in 19.14.73,the second half was painful!!!,in 06 I finished 13th in 20.04.81,50 seconds slower but two places better,last year I ran my best ever race here 9th in 19.10.66. and if memory serves me well earnt a 8th or 9th spot in my Top Ten races of 07,we,ll see what tomorrow brings.
In a week when I,ve gotten back to basics and not allowed work to dictate my day to day exsistance it,s ironic that I should choose The Smiths as my lyrical inspiration,often associated w/ all things melancoly it,s funny I should site them as inspiration in a week that saw me return to my happy go lucky,laughing joking persona but a classic track off their debut album"Hatful Of Hollow" was very much my soundtrack for the day.
"All men have secrets and here is mine so let it be known,for we have been through hell and high tide I think I can depend on you.
And yet you start to recoil,heavy words so lightly thrown but still I,d leap in front of a flying bullet for you"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fences Mended,Run Ran,List Checked

I took the last of my transatlantic fence mending phone calls this evening,for the time being all,s well w/in the Thomson,Roche,Coan,Brewster,Forde clans,how long it lasts is anybodys guess,if we get through Xmas /New Year I,ll be impressed.
Since another transatlantic phonecall was on tap tonite a trip to Franklin Field wasn,t,and besides there was no guarantee Franklin Field would be open,in fairness I wouldn,t have a problem w/ them closing the track early the nite b4 a holiday,it,s Thanksgiving a family holiday when families sould be together,in a ironic twist of fate even though my family is 3,500 miles away and don,t celebrate Thanksgiving I took steps this week to get close to them and allow them to get close to me,who knows there may be hope for me yet,I even wished co workers and delivery drivers a Happy Thanksgiving today.....and meant it.
My run was another confidence booster,the past few days have seen me get back to basics,proper sleep,proper nutrition has afforded me the energy to get out there and run dispite continuing to have to do the work load of two by my lonesome,a refined attitude at work has meant me not leaving my job engulfed in a sea of red mist where I can hardly see straight or congregate verbs and while I,ve lacked speed work for three weeks I feel I,m ready to return to the track tomorrow morning to have at it over 8x200m repeats.
Ok I,m not the poster child for any holiday muchless Thanksgiving but it,d be remiss of me not to think of things I,m thankful for this Thanksgiving so here,s my top ten list of what I,m thankful for this Thanksgiving.
10,Clark Park for providing a nearby location for my 5 mile runs
9,The prospect of a new place to live b4 years end
8,Music for soothing the savage beast w/in me
7,Harry Redknapp for reserecting the fortunes of my beloved Spurs
6,The prospect of three months of my job running better w/out The Deacon knawlsing it up
5,A friggin day off tomorrow
4,Having an ultra cool boss
3,Being able to run as well as I do
2,My"Girl Tuesday"for everything she brings into my life
1,Top neurosurgeons at Einstein for saving my best friends life
I spoke to Chris for the first time since he left the hospital 3 weeks ago,all things considered he seems to be doing well,no word on when he,ll be back but I,m just happy to hear from him and that he,s feeling better.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who We Be

"My mother,my father,I love em,I hate em,wish to God I didn,t have em,but I thank God that he made them"
"Who We Be" DMX
It felt like the ideal set of lyrics given the subject matter,although just like I paraphrased w/ Chuck D yesterday today I felt that my family were like DMX,S mother and father.
Two weeks ago when it began to go pear shaped for me I felt w/ the notable exception of my brother aka "Our Kid"my family ran for the high ground,supossedly you can count on family in a crisis.................nobody told my family evidently but rather than flog a dead horse,when they began to gravitate back into orbit rather than be petulant and shun them I chose to keep the lines of communication open even at the expence of much wanted repeat workouts.
W/ fences mended I headed out to Clark Park for an easy 5 miler,again I felt strong at the end of the run,another encouraging sign as I ,ve now put three back to back to back 5 milers in since Sunday,I,ll look for a fourth tomorrow,I have one more transatlantic fence to mend otherwise a trip to the track would,ve been on the cards,we,ll save that for Thursday morning.


Oi! at the very least work was an easy day....the cheque however is very much in the mail I fear for manana and Wednesday,we,ll see how well I stick to my"for who,for what"attitude then!!
I had hoped to hit the track for 200m repeats today and then 400m repeats Wednesday......fate it seemed had other ideas!!
I can try to switch up my rotation to Tue/Thur.................and please b4 anyone says "but TC what about Thanksgiving?"let me state for the record I an NOT the poster child for the holidays......let me take it one step further and paraphrase how Chuck D felt about Elvis in"Fight The Power""it never meant shit to me"
I have a big race two days after Thanksgiving,it,s not like I can pig out so I,ll eat lite that day,besides I don,t do traditional the whole big Turkey meal don,t phase me atall.
My easy 5 was rewarding in the respect that unlike Fri and yesterday I wasn,t huffin and puffin at the end,hopefully my conditioning is working it,s way back to where it was pre shit hitting the fan!!!
It also helps I,m eating and sleeping properly,I said at the tail end of last week I was sick of my running being effected by work,if a thicker skin,a hard hat,protective cup and a care a little less attitude are needed to faciliate that so be it.
We,ll see if transatlantic phonecalls bollocks up my plans for a repeat workout tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A New Direction

In a week I saw more turmoil on my job than I cared for I ended the week on two good notes,a Spurs win and more importantly a training run.
Granted I didn,t get out till 3.30pm but I got out there to run,that,s what matters,I almost blew it off but somewhere in the back of my mind I could hear the disaproving voice of my late father telling me to"cop myself on",it,s bad enough I,ve failed to do a repeat workout in two weeks but last week I only managed 3 5 mile runs and this week was only 4 but glass half full it,s a step up on last week and that,s the momentum I aim to build on going into the final two xc races of the season.
Granted I may have to alter my tactics for Saturdays always challenging Brandywine XC 5K to compensate for the dip in conditioning these past two weeks has caused but I feel ready to get back to do what I do very well,be ruthless and uncompromising in training so I can be ruthless and and uncompromising come race day.
As is becoming my wont these days I,ll leave the final words w/ Mike Peters,not an ALARM song but from Mike,s solo career b4 resurecting THE ALARM in 03.
"I set about the systematic destruction of the world I built up,I set about the systematic destruction,the deconstruction,from new emotion,a new reaction,a new location,a new vocation,from new destruction comes new creation"
Ground Zero

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lord Of The Rings Aint The Only Trilogy Ya Know!

Oi vay!I didn,t get out to run period on Thursday,could,ve been something to do w/ getting to work at 6.25am and not leaving till 4.50pm....ya think???
And that dear readers is where I,ve drawn the third and I hope final line in the sand,work has for all intense and purposes been feckin up not only my life but also my running............this cannot continue,two people left my loading dock w/ hurt feelings yesterday,the former had it coming for eight years and can whistle dixie for all I care,the latter I was sorry to see leave in tears but frankly her reaction to my reaction brought this on going Greek tragedy to a head.
Having come to terms w/ the whole "My Girl Tuesday" situation and come to terms w/ the whole"La Famalia"situation I now feel duty bound to do like wise w/ work,my brother always says"it,s great you care about your job but they aint giving out medals for it so why should you care as much as you do?"and you know what.....he,s feckin a right!!
I bust my gut for what?the old Ricky Waters"For who for what"mindset seems correct,taking it another step forward the classic line fron John Bender in my all time favourite movie "The Breakfast Club" also seems appropriate"how comes Andrew gets to get up?if Andrew gets up we,ll all get up,it,ll be,s out of my hands",coupled w/"screws fall out all the time,we live in an imperfect world"sum up any job,there aint enough tea in China,sand in Arabia,snow in Siberia or zeros on my pay cheque for me to continue giving my heart and soul to and job that not only dosen,t care but continues to reach inside of me and yanking more of my heart and soul and guts out w/out ever putting anything back in....enough is enough.
Yesterday was a banner day...I actually got out on time for the first time in two weeks and was able to begin my 5 miler around Clark Park in daylite,as cold as it is this week that,s a plus,frankly it was too feckin cold this morning to run,I went out at lunchtime w/ two sweatshirts on and felt the wind cut right through me,I,d like to think "Dibble" would endorse my choice not to run in this,I,ll try again tomorrow afternoon when it,s meant to be in the 40s not just above freezing.
I hope come 6.30am Monday but more importantly throughout the day I remind myself that it,s only a job,I,m all for doing my job but frankly when I see nobody else as committed or concerened about the catalog of cock ups and the Andrex bog roll of those who don,t care then why should I continue to crucify myself,John Mellencamp once said and rightly so"you,ve gotta stand for something,or you,ll fall for anything"for me I think it,s time to sit this one out till they change the bleedin song.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reasons To Be Cheerful

"The juice of a carrot,the smile of a parrot,a little drop of claret,anything that rocks,Elvis and Scotty,days when I aint spotty,sitting on the potty,curing smallpox"
Reasons To Be Cheerful-Ian Dury
I realize compared to some I have it good,that said for every step forward I take I feel I end up sliding two steps backwards,it,s hard to be or feel positive when your constantly being knocked down.
After three non running days I,m pleased to report I laced em up Mon and Wed and cranked out 5 milers,Tuesday wasn,t an option as time constraints forced my hand,God willing Sunday I,ll make up for it......albeit after the Spurs Blackburn game at 8.30am!!!
A wise man once told me "not all of life,s rewards have to be on a grand scale"that,s why I take solice in the little things that bring me joy,my weekly interactions w/"My Girl Tuesday"for starters,I think of that Robert Palmer song"She Makes My Day"it,s amazing how much milage I gain from our conversations,glass half empty if we spoke like that everyday my woes would melt away,alas ours isn,t that kind of relationship,glass half full that half an hour a week we share is simply the best half half an hour of each and every week and I,ll scrap to the bitter end w/ anyone who would deny or begrudge me that small window of delight.
I,m wrestling w/ the notion of hitting the track tonite,I want to but frankly the mental and physical battering I,m taking here at work makes me feel it,ll be counteractive,if I bag the track I will at least do 5 miles around Clark Park.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Trust me the title I had in mind was"Mama Told Me There,d Be Days Like These"......but evidently not my mother......believe me when I tell you, you don,t want me to go there!
As the week from hell winds down I finally feel I can draw a line in the sand for this week,"What Doesn,t Kill Me Makes Me Stronger"they say..............sweet jaysus after this week I must be feckin Mr Universe!!!
What,s done is done,I feel no need to rehash,or relive any of it,I,m moving on,I,m starting w/ a clean slate at work tomorrow,and dito for my running,it,ll be Wednesday b4 I can hit the track since I have two concerts Mon and Tue,since my vices are limited,booze isn,t an option,drugs are NEVER an option,and as for getting my leg over.............well the chance,d be a fine thing I,ll be rockin out to AC DC manana and Susan Tedeschi Tuesday.
I want to take a brief moment to dedicate "Tower Of Strenght"by The Mission to"My Girl Tuesday"again w/out going into excruciating detail she singlehandedly turned my b,day around,in a week I almost lost both Chris and her I,m considerably blessed to count both of them as my closest friends first and formost and my best friends outside of the realm of running.
And so to my running.....this is afterall a blog about my running,at a time when THE ALARM are providing my musical salvation I close w/ these lyrics,one of several I could,ve chosen,fear not lyricophiles I dare say other ALARM lyrics will work their way into my blog over the coming weeks and months.
"Cos if I run fast enough,I can leave all this pain and this sadness behind"
''Rain In The Summertime"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fair Weather Ahead?

Although the actual weather sucked today,my day compared to yesterday was sunny and bright compared to the preceeding 24 hours,I don,t think my first projectile was thrown till almost lunch time today,a far cry from yesterday!!!
The weather had eased up enough to run come this evening,however since this evening was another in a week long of late finishes it was too late to hit Franklin Field by the time I arrived home at 5.45pm,ergo another 5 miler around Clark Park.
Chris left the hospital today,he sounded happy to be headed home again,I,ll miss not going up to his room in the afternoons but I,m delighted he,s home now.
Two prime examples of our friendship,I finally got around to checking my voice mails at work this afternoon,the first message was from Chris Monday morning just be he went to the OR I have a good idea what he was going to say to me,the second was when I hugged him and said goodbye as Chris left the hospital,he thanked me for my concern this week,that,s what friends do,they look out for one another,at a time when I,m taking a long hard look at the word"friendship"at all it means I don,t have to second guess my friendship w/ Chris.
One final thought on this evenings run,it was my last as a 44 year old,I turn 45 tomorrow,please no big hurah,I hate my b,day and the only reason I bring it up is at 45 I move up to a new age group,45-49.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Living On A Knife Edge

It is said that the nites you don,t feel like running are the nites you really need to get out there and do so,having blown off last nite since my head and my heart weren,t in it I forced myself to get out the door just b4 6pm this evening to do my tour of duty around Clark Park.
First things first I,m delighted to say Chris is doing ok,I,ve spent the past two afternoons w/ him in his room and he,s recovering from his surgery,no word on when he,ll return to work but I,ve told him I don,t expect him back this month,sure I need him back asap but he just had brain surgery,he,ll be back when his surgeon says he,s good and ready.
For those of you who prayed for him and his family,thank you.
Aside from the emotional turmoil of not having Chris to back me up this week,the loss of his physical presence is sorely being felt,I had to work an extra hour last nite and this evening to try and catch up and while last nite I said screw it,I knew based on the events of today I had to run tonite,even Chris told me get out and run tonite when I recanted the exploits of the past two days to him,it wasn,t lost on on my walk home from Clark Park that I spotted a full moon in the sky.
W/out getting too deeply into my personal life today marked another in a long line of chapters of failure in matters of the heart,you,d think I,d leant my lesson by now but even after a five year hiatus my most recent forary "where angels fear to tread"ended as it always does in disappointment and while my diary will be the venue for me to vent my spleen and purge my soul I,ll say this much in closing,I gave "My Girl Tuesday"two chances,she shot me down twice,three stikes my work in baseball but I don,t care enough about "America,s pass time"I only care about "Top Cats pass time"which is running.
At a time when I,m updating my cd collection of a seminal 80s favourites The Alarm this gem off their sophmore album "Strenght" feels like art imitating life,or is it the other way around?my head is too @#$*ed up to tell the difference.
''Memories come flooding back,the bitter pain of disappointment,of once of having love but now I only feel loss,I,m living on a knife edge at the end of the lite,taking all the hard sell,I,m looking for a lifeline,on a knife edge,I,m looking for you now"
''Knife Edge"

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Long Week Just Got Longer

After last weeks short week it was ultra important that I kicked off this week on the right foot by getting my easy 5 miler under my belt right off the bat.
Aside from the physical desire to get the run in it was of mental and emotional value also,w/out divulging too much personal information my coworker,wingman,emotional/moral compass and best friend Chris had to have brain surgery this morning to remove a cancerous tumor that was found in his skull over the weekend,he,s fine,surgery was successful,he,s recovering in ICU for the next few days and should be on the mend in the near future,for those of you so inclined please say a prayer for both Chris and his family tonite and tomorrow.
W/out Chris around my workload just doubled,shit happens,Chris,s general well being is far more important but obviously a physically demanding job just got a lot tougher period but also in a week I,m scheduled to run 6x600m,2x1,000m and 4x1mile repeats it,s going to be a factor,just how much remains to be seen.
Get Well Soon Chris

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Bronx Tale

It,s hard to fathom that today was my 7th race at famed Van Cortlandt Park in just three years not a bad return for someone who has only began to embrace xc running in the last two years.
Such was my desire to run here the first time in the 05 NYRRC XC 5K that I ran a week after the Athens Marathon,trust me you don,t want to run at the "East Coast Mecca"of xc running a week after a marathon!!!
Three months later I returned to run"Van Cortlandt Lite"as the 4x 2k loop for Winter Nationals was dubbed,not surprizingly my 06 NYRRC XC 5K not off the back of a marathon the week b4 went much better.
Last year I got my first taste of the 8k xc course as"Bad Boy IIII" chewed me up and spat me out,however a week later I returned to run 14 seconds slower than the year b4 but yet snag a 3rd place age group award at NYRRC 5K XC,and now here I was for the 08 version fresh off of last weeks 29.57.22.Bad Boy V and looking to bring down the curtain on my 40-44 career w/ another great performance.
Like last week the regular distance had to be altered,today became a 3 miler instead of the traditional 5k,.1 of a mile less to run!one thing not altered from previous years was the conditions,sunny and mild,a blessing in early to mid November.
3 mile warm up over I stretched b4 stripping down to race gear w/ 10 mins to spare,I spotted my two fellow Irishmen from West Chester John Cummings and Connor O Driscoll and said my hellos and wished them both good luck.
From the gun I was pleasently surprized how near the front of the field I found myself,rounding the second flagpole b4 entering Cow Path I counted off 17 runners ahead of me,untill exiting the back hills I was never lower than 20th,it didn,t dawn on me till post race that the reason I was as far up the field was probably the fact after back to back 8k and 5 mile races I was back down to 5k,much closer to my comfort zone,though in fairness I feel I proved over the past two weeks I,m capable of moving up in distance and handling my business.
As ever the uphills on the back hills proved to be demanding,the latter half of mile two is mostly uphill,but once I hit that first downhill it is very much all downhill for the final mile.
Off of the final downhill John Cummings blew by me,try as I might I couldn,t go w/ him,I guess that,s the difference between John,s 50 miles a week training and my 30 miles a week training,then again I,m sure John isn,t running 1.59 for 800m,4.10 for 1,500m,4.17 for the mile so horses for courses there!
Making the sharp right out of the back hills onto the final downhill I propelled myself downhill as fast as humanly possible,18th again,John was away for slate but"Shirtless Joe" whom I,d battled w/ along Cow Path was w/in range as we entered the final 600m,try as I might I couldn,t overhaul him,however he overtook 16th place inside the final 100m which seemed to brake him,w/ real estate running out I managed to overtake him to claim 17th right b4 the finish line.
17th overall,3rd in the 40-44 age group and anothe plaque and w/ an impressive time of 16.45.71,I was hoping to go sub 17 today and I tend to think had today been 5K I,d have gone sub 17 for the first time as a Masters runner,knowing how tough the Brandywine course is it,d be wishful thinking on my part to think I,ll get it there..............but stranger things have happened!
Managed my three mile cool down w/ John and Connor{three Irishmen in New York City..who knew??!!} and my fellow GPTC team mates Chuck and Bob to round out my weekly 30 milage at 30 miles,not bad off of two missed days of training and I returned home w/ 5 minutes to spare b4 the Man City Spurs game came on,the revival under Arry Redknapp continues,a 2.1 win to move us off the foot of the table,not a bad day

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Going The Extra Mile

The key components in todays easy 6 miler were easy and the extra mile I threw in.
After last nites successful repeats and tomorrow,s race GP was at pains to stress the need for an easy run today period,factor in the additional mile I threw in at the end and you could see why and where he had a reason to be cautious,he needn,t have worried,I,ve never been the best first thing after I wake up runner ever and these days I,m greatful my early morning runs tend to be of the easy/recovery varity since mileage not speed are the primary goal and my pace tends to be just a notch above"soft shoe shuffle"
The extra mile came from my desire to still notch 30 miles this week dispite missing two days,upon compleation of todays 6 miler my weekly tally resides at 21 miles,my game plan is a 3 mile warm up,3 mile race,3 mile cool down tomorrow or at the very least a 3 mile warm up,3 mile race,1 mile cool down b4 coming home and if needbe crank out a 2 miler,I would prefer to do it all at Van Cortlandt Park period as the prospect of a 2-2&1/2 hr car ride home does little for the limbs knowing four loops of the lower loop of Clark Park are still Spurs Man City is on at 4.30pm!!!.
Anyways this is all food for thought for manana,today I feel a feet up,catch up on my dvr,d tv shows,dinner,Footie Tonite,shoot the proverbial w/ GP,cop"Juno"on Cinemax at 10pm kind of evening is on tap,sounds like a plan to moi.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Positive Negative

It always feels good to be on a running track,the fact tonite was the first time since last Thursday made it feel even better than usual.
Off of a short week I was determined to make my sole repeat for the week count.....but not at the expense of Sundays race,ergo a 2x1,000m repeat,last week I,d managed to go 2.52.37-2.55.37,I was hoping to improve on that.
Conditions were ideal,shorts and tshirt weather,you have to grab those days w/ both hands in November,w/ my warm up miles,stretches,mile of strides taken care of it was time to have at it.
I usually look to open in 70 seconds and tonite was no different as I went 70,72,33-2.55.10.a good start,although if I could alter anything about it I,d angle towards a 31 second closing 200m for a 2.53.10.split.
Mild conditions or not I made sure to throw my jacket and 3/4 lenght bottoms on during my 12 minute recovery,I couldn,t risk getting a chill or allowing my muscles to get cold period,muchless w/ a race on tap Sunday.
#2,70 seconds to open is ambitious,granted I managed it last week but tonite I went negative mad style,72,70, first negative 2x1,000m repeats in eons{June 26th to be exact!}
so I,m pleased w/ that.
Granted this week has been up and down,invoking early rest days and rain but tonite is a confidence and moral builder going into the weekend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Day Late,A Dollar Short,But It,s Ok

No run yesterday, a little too much rain for my liking plus an outstanding family commitment needed taking care of,no opportunity to talk about Obama,s victory{yea!}and Guy Fawkes Nite,although Spurs provided fireworks of their own tonite.4.0 at home to Dynamo Zagreb......boom!
An easy five miler this evening,I,ll do a 2x1,000m repeat session tomorrow{rain permitting}granted my three repeat session has gone for a burton this week,but w/ a little hustle I may still get my 30 miles in this week,glass half full I,ll be rested for Sundays NYRRC XC 5K

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Listening,Change,Brass Ring

No workout yesterday,remembering what GP has said in the past about listening to what my body was telling me it told me yesterday that I was still feeling the effects of my weekend trilogy so rather than run a half hearted,half arsed 6x600m repeat or a going thro the motions 5 miler I opted to invoke my rest today at the start of the week and come this evening I felt all the better for it.
Granted my 3 repeat week went out the door w/ last nites decision to bag the 6x600m but I,m ok w/ that,upon discussions w/ Dibble this evening we,ll modify tomorrows 6x600m to 75/30-1.45s I think they,re doable,the 30 sec closing 200s will aid and abet my potential 4x400m relay coming up at Seton Hall on Dec 7th as GPTC seeks to improve our Millrose Games chances on Feb 6th.
Dispite drizzle and the now earlier darkening skies I got my 5 mile run in b4 going off to cast my vote,who I voted for is my business,all I will say is even now in 2008 we as Americans or in my case Irish Americans should not overlook the fact we live in a country where freedom to vote is given right,you only have to look at the debarcle of recent elections in Pakistan and Zimbabwe to realize how fortunate we are and we should never take that for granted.
As the nation awaits the outcome of one of the most eagerly awaited elections in decades I also have to wait for an outcome I,ve been working towards for the past few months,I had hoped today would put me over the edge but fate,the cruelest of mistresses intervened and I,m left still trying to grasp the brass ring,what,s another week I ask myself?,anything in life worth having should be something you fought for,earnt,not had handed to you on a silver platter.
"Even when you see me fall,my heart won,t let me down,because I know there,s better things to come,oh yeah and when life gets tough and I feel like heading off I hold onto a distant star
I,m thinking about all the things I,d like to do in my life"
"Distant Dreamer"

Monday, November 3, 2008

Because It Matters

After compleating the third part of my weekend trilogy Duffy and Coldplay I was more than happy to not set the alarm for this morning,choosing to take advantage of the extra hour in bed,trust me I needed it!!
Having managed a two mile warm up and mile cool down I still required a 2 mile run to round out my weekly milage at 30 miles,I waited till mid afternoon and post chores to "lace em up"and hit Clark Park for two big loops and one small loop to log my two miles.
So why did it matter so much?to the untrained eye I,m sure there,s little difference between a weekly tally of 28 miles as oppossed to 30 miles but it mattered to me,why?since April for the past 31 weeks I,ve logged 26 30 mile weeks,my last non 30 mile training week was way back in mid May{technically mid September in the week leading upto 5th Avenue Mile and also the week of Nationals but both of those were stratigic}and I believe in the old adage"if it aint broke don,t fix it"even if the English major in me knows that gramatically that,s incorrect,the runner in me knows it,s balls dead accurate!!!
This coming week sees me tweak things slightly,doing my best Billy Bragg and going"Back To Basics"three repeat sessions per week for the next three weeks b4 a two week interuption to accomodate my final two xc races.
Glass half empty,the clocks going back means it,ll be darker earlier,glass half full I,m a week closer to indoor season..............any craic regarding Irishmen and empty glasses will not be taken lying down!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Over/Under At The 30 Mark

Following a nite of grooving to The Sisters Of Mercy it was up early{5.45am early....:( }to get to Willow Grove to meet Chuck and Neil on our way to famed Van Cortlandt Park for the fifth running of Manhatten Track Club,s Bad Boy 8K XC.
Next Sunday marks three years since my VCP debut but this race saw me in the best xc shape of my life,last years race was one of the worst races of my career,probably my worst ever xc race but buoyed by Sundays 28.16.62 at the NJ C,ships I was confident of a much better performance.
The conditions were as different as chalk and cheese,last years overcast grey skies and biting wind were replaced by sunshine,blue skies and dare I say it a tad warm come gun time at 11.30am,in a field exactly half the size of last years I got into my stride early on,due to renervations to the soccer fields where the traditional starting line is all races now have a different start,subsequently the mile markers are now off....less splits to recall!!!
I feared my long week at work plus last nites rare nite out and subsequent early start may come back to haunt me,certainly going up the hills on the back hills felt taxing but I caught some major air on the down hills and went thro the finish at 5k in 18.03.
I knew Chuck was close to me b4 exiting the back hills and whether it was legit or not Armondo Olivara from CPTC told me Chuck told him he thought he,d beat me last week over 8k,he was clearly "well up for it" today and inbetween the first and second flagpoles Chuck made his move.
I knew to maintain my unbeaten run this xc season over Chuck I,d have to stay close to him,my superior finishing strenght would count for little if Chuck opened a sizable gap on me,and entering the cow path I overtook Chuck and picked off two runners to put some bodies between us as we went up Cemetery Hill.
Last year I felt I was dying up Cemetery Hill but I knew I had to work the up hills,Chuck is a demon on the downhills,ask Bob Rimkis and I could ill afford any margin of closure on my lead over him.
Cresting the final uphill I almost felt I was running on the spot,mercifully I couldn,t hear Chuck gaining on me as I flew the final two downhills to the final 600m path to the finish,switching my focus from what was happening behind me,I began to focus on the two runners ahead of me"I pity anyone ahead of you w/ 400m to the finish"wrote Ray in an email Friday and for the 5th time this xc season I proved it,s not just on the track I possess a kick finish,reeling both of them in I reached the finish in 28.57.22,my pre race target time was 30.00,dispite passing those two runners inside the final 250m I just missed a top 30 finish,33rd,but for the second week in a row first masters runner which earnt me a brand new Timex stop watch....which unlike my present one takes splits..........freakin sweet!!!
Even sweeter, another club xc record,the race was meant to be an 8K however w/ the soccer pitch renervations and new start the race was altered to a 5 miler and like the Osprey 6k I was the first GPTC runner to finish hence another xc club record and another in a long line of New York City big races for me,next stop on the Top Cat fall tour right back here for the NYRRC 5K XC next Sunday,w/ all this success at xc I need to add John Treacy to my list of great Irish inspirations,long b4 his Los Angeles 84 silver medal in the marathon Treacy was a two time World XC champion in 79 and 80 which earnt the nickname "The Mudlark"for his love of xc,it,s hard not to run in NYC w/out an Irish point of reference but for all nationallities compeating in the New York City marathon tomorrow this Irishman wishes ye all the best of luck being a two time finisher myself in 90 and 03.