Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Cats Top Ten Races 09

As has become my won't since 06 at years end I write my top ten races of the year,due to my achilles tendon injury in May I had a curtailed season,23 races in total,however I still feel I can present a top ten w/out filler,so submitted for your approval.......

10,Masters Winter Nationals 8K XC,since I got serious about track I've embraced xc,for so long my least favourite type of running.
As a rule xc races tend to be 5k,but now and again an 8k gets thrown in for good measure,in spite of being at a distance not really in my comfort zone nor on a surface that favoured me I still produced a top notch performance,and while not a pr I did snag braggin' rights for the club w/ a late sprint to overhaul Bob Rimkis at the line w/ a 28.50.8.

9,Millrose Games Masters 4x400m,after the emotional race of 08 when I shed a surgical boot two days b4 the race I didn't have it all smooth sailing getting to Madison Square Garden this year,but once I got there I was able to put all that behind me and anchor the team to a place finish thanks to a 56.2 400m.

8,Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile,one second slower and a place below my 07 debut but anyone present at Barton Hall in January will tell you my epic come from behind charge up the home straight to snatch third place in 4.30.1. was a sight to behold.

7,Thursday Nite At The Races#1 Mile,four days after I'd pr ed here in the 1,500m I returned to The Armory to notch a track pr for the mile{my 5th Avenue Mile of 4.17 from 08 still tops my all time list}
Just as I had in the 1,500m I finished 3rd,a precursor for Hartshorne and Indoor Nationals in 4.28.1.suddenly a 4.25 track mile seemed doable,my achilles had other ideas for this year....

6,Armory Holiday Meet 1,500m,first race of the season and a pr 4.09.2.,what is it about me and running in New York City?
Having missed out on a sub Spokane as I revelled in the moment that was my first major 1,500m four months prior this was most welcome if not a little surprising given my lack of speed work leading up to the race.

5,Penn Relays Masters 4x400m,there was a feeling going into Penn this year that going sub 3.40 was capable for this foursome,in spite of the worst possible lane assignment lead off Ray Parker handed off to the ever reliable Scott Landis,unlike 07 no near botched hand off to Daryl Johnson and when DJ handed off to me I set about my task w/ gusto,a relaxed opening 200m b4 kicking like a mule at the bottom turn and running a pr 53.6. as the team set a new club record,3.38.9.
W/ a new stable of younger 400m runners coming thro at GPTC I keep saying my days of running the Masters 4x400m are numbered,if this was my last Penn Relays till I turn 50 I went out in style.

4,5th Avenue Mile,when I returned to training on July 27th I had ten weeks to get ready for 5th Avenue Mile,to be honest I wasn't 100% convinced I'd run it,certainly after my 4.49.02. three weeks earlier I could've been forgiven if I'd said "it's not gonna be my race this year"
However w/ my mother Eileen here in America to visit New York City I wasn't in a position to back out of the race even if I wanted to.
Fear not"the spirit of Eamonn" and tapping into the source of energy that is running in NYC for me were in full effect that day as I surprised myself w/ a 4th place finish and 1st in the 45-49 age group w/ a 4.34.

3,Mac C'ships 800m,Having twice ran 2.05's already at The Armory after a pair of 4.30.miles b4 hand I returned to my favourite track and my favourite city looking for a good final race b4 Indoor Nationals and also notch a good 800m time.
What I got was a 2.01.1. an indoor pr and my 4th fastest 800m of all time to give me a top four of a pair of 1.59s,a 2.00 and now a 2.01.

2,Masters Invitational 1,500m,w/ designs on a top three finish in Lahti at Worlds it was ultra important to lower my 1,500m pr,I felt a 4.05 would put me w/in touching distance of gold,4.07-4.09 in the shake up for silver so I headed to Boston for the Masters Invitational knowing that the great Tony Young was in the field.
Tony shattered the World Record w/a 3.57. that afternoon and pulled me to a pr in 4.07.4. in second place.
At the time I was a byline in a World Record,little did I know it wouldn't be for the last time in 09.

1,Armory Holiday Meet 4x400m,ok,so my 2.05.8 was hardly my best performance or fastest 800m of the year,but given it would make up 1/4 of a new World Record thanks to a 2.01.4 by Scott,2.02.8 by Bob and a 1.57.4 by Nick it's hard not to rank it #1 for the year.
From a Usain Bolt like 26.16. opening 200m to a grind of a closing 36.55. 200m I only ended up 2 seconds off the 2.03. I thought I'd run.

It's a very different year ending top ten from the one I hoped I'd be writing this time last year,no Outdoor Nationals,No Worlds but to be a part of one World Record and to own another is also something I couldn't have imagined either.
Here's to 2010 and all that it brings.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From PR To WR,The 09 Season In Review

Or,the year I wanted to be World Champion but had to make do w/ a World Record.
The year could not have gotten off to a better start, on Jan 4th at The Armory I set a pr for the 1,500m w/ a 4.09.27.eclipsing my 4.10.78. from Spokane four months earlier.
Four days later I returned to The Armory and set another pr this time 4.28.1 for the mile followed by a 2.05.8 victory in the 800m,considering the lack of speed work I had under my belt these were impressive times.
I had to settle for third at the Hartshorne Masters Memorial Mile two weeks later in 4.30.14. but the real story of my race was my dramatic lean at the line to edge out Dan Franek 4.30.14. to 4.30.22. believe me if you've seen the photos of the finish it was that close!
January ended w/ a 4th place finish at the Millrose Games Masters 4x400m,4th again,but this year I wasn't just coming off a stress fracture as I anchored us in 56.2 to a 3.46.94. a marked improvement on 08's 3.52.54.

Next up was a complete change of pace as I heading to Derwood Md for the Winter Nationals Masters XC 8K,a distance and a terrain out of my 800m/1,500m comfort zone,that said I more than held my own as I finished a respectable 33rd out of 142 and clock a pr 28.50.81. thanks to yet another furious finish.
I was mildly disappointed w/ my 4.30.91. mile at The Armory b4 winning another 800m in 2.05.

March began in dramatic fashion as I shaved two seconds off my 1,500m pr w/ a 4.07.49. some 10 seconds behind the winner Tony Young who shattered the World record,little did I know it was not the last World Record I'd be a part of this year!
Finally a fast 800m 2.01.17. at The Armory at the Mac C'ships,my 4th fastest ever 800m and my fastest indoor 800m,the stage was set for Indoor Nationals in two weeks time.
After getting sick at Indoor Nationals in 07 and still recovering from my stress fracture in 08 I wanted my third Indoor Nationals to be something to remember.
I came away from Landover w/ 2 bronze medals in the mile 4.34.43. and the 800m in 2.02.64. b4 anchoring our 4x400m relay to gold in 3.46.75. thanks to a I commented to my team mates Scott,Nick and Ray as we cooled down"being a National Champion never gets old".

W/ indoor season over it was time to get ready for the most important outdoor season of my career,I had almost a whole month of uninterrupted training b4 my outdoor debut a 4.32.08. mile victory after I opened in 60 seconds,I was instructed to take it out hard from the gun!!
Two weeks later in front of another 47,000 crowd at Penn Relays I anchored the team to a club record 3.38.93. thanks to a pr 53.6. things were ticking along nicely,little did I know I'd reached the high point of my outdoor season four months too soon.
A nagging achilles tendon issue flared up two weeks later as I hobbled to a 4.13.38. 1,500m at Swarthmore,the painful walk home confirmed my fears there was a problem and thus began five weeks of treatments and not being able to train or struggle thro training,all the while the clock was ticking down towards Lahti and Worlds.....tick tock,tick tock.

After losing three weeks of training and another week of speed work the final roll of the dice came on June 16th,w/ Worlds now five weeks away and my opening round of the 800m six week away I had to nail my 4x400m repeat,my splits were very little to write home about but despite two weeks of not running my achilles bothered me at the end of the workout.....a minutes silence please,my dream of being a World Champion has just died.

Over the next six weeks I was forced to wear a surgical boot,I couldn't run at all although I did buy a bike to allow me some sort of training routine so that upon my return to training I wasn't starting from scratch,I still recall that tentative first mile on July 27th,the time of 5.49.06. was nothing to write home about but the fact I got through it pain free was worth its weight in gold.
On August 10th I clocked a 4.59.10.mile at my 6th attempt which I then lowered to 4.54.51.on the 17th,life in the old dog yet I'd say!!

W/ 5 weeks till 5th Avenue Mile I began to crank up my training,first my first 4x1 mile repeat followed by my "in and out"400s a repeat workout that had been a huge part of my 5th Avenue Mile titles in 07 and 08.
To gauge where I was I took the road trip to Langley Va to run on Labor Day,neither my 4.49.01. mile or 2.10.76. 800m were anything to write home about but it felt good to race again after over four months,but frankly the 4.49.mile didn't fill me w/ much hope of anything special at 5th Avenue in three weeks.

If this were a video montage they'd cue up Phil Collins's hit "Against All Odds" as I finished 4th overall in 4.34. but took the 45-49 age group category,granted not the overall 40-49 race like the last two years but in all honesty this was far more than I could've asked for.
Sadly a week in running is a long time, eight days later I crapped out over 5k,I wanted to brake 17 minutes and believed the six weeks of 5x1,00m repeats would help me to do that,not for the first time in my career I got my pacing all wrong over the opening 1k and 1 mile and blew up to a win some,you lose some.

I'd already opted against xc racing for the fall,my achilles was still recovering,post Syracuse and the Masters National 5K C'ships I got back into my racing flats,I'd tried to wear them six weeks into my recovery but found out the hard way it was too much too soon but now w/ 12 weeks recovery under my belt I felt it was time to test the waters again and I saw the difference in my splits.
October,November,December saw a steady diet of 6x600m,5x1,000m and 4x1mile repeats,the return to"The Death Zone" aka 6x600m would get me ready for the 800m and help me on my 4x400m relays,I'd enjoyed the 5x1,000m so much in preparation for Syracuse that I kept it in my rotation and the 4x1mile much like the 6x600m was a bread and butter repeat.

On December 6th I kicked off the indoor season w/ a 57.08. 400m at Seton Hall in the hope of posting a 400m time good enough to make the upcoming Millrose Games masters 4x400m relay in January,I did hope to run an 800m the following week at nearby Haverford but got sick so when I headed back to The Armory to end the year where it had begun I wasn't 100% sure what 800m shape I was in,I hoped 2.03,that's where I kicked off the last indoor season at on Dec 21st at Swarthmore.
By now we all know what went down on Sunday,not only did we take the American Club record for the Masters 40-49 4x800m but we also took the American record which as later found out was the World Record.

And there you have it my year,in spite of my injury I managed to notch 23 races and tomorrow nite I'll list my top ten,but one final foot note,of the six 800m races I ran this year four were at The Armory,2.05.8,2.05,2.01.17, spooky is that to begin w/ a 2.05.8. and end w/ a 2.05.8?

Keeps Getting Better

W/ the ink still drying on Sundays World Record and the smile on my face still beaming I went about my day still on a high,while I always hoped one day to set a World Record and don't think I ever stopped to think what that would actually feel like.
Seeing two articles on Ken Stone's Masterstrack Blog and on Pete McGill's "Younger Legs For Older Runners' was one thing,but then to see the comments both there and on my blog made me realize just what Scott,Bob,Nick and I had achieved.
At lunchtime I got an email from Andrew Wagaman from the Allentown Morning Call asking if I could call him for an article he was writing.....WOW!

For one I'm not accustomed to being interviewed,twice after my Hartshorne Masters Memorial Miles and also after my Masters Nationals 1,500m in Spokane last Summer so it was quite an honour to be asked by Andrew,why he picked me I don't know but he did so I answered his questions w/ all the honesty that I could,it was a brave move of Andrew to ask an Irishman to tell him what he though,anyone who knows me knows I'm not shy on giving my opinion,I hope when the article goes to print{tomorrow I think but don't quote me on that but I'll keep you posted}my answers come across as being honest.

I'll have one eye online tomorrow to see if the article has gone to print,and another on the weather,I'd really love to hit the track and train,it's been almost two weeks period plus I'd like to shift gears from 800m mode to 3,000m mode for Sunday,World Record or not I can't rest on my laurels as Sunday will go along way to getting me ready for next Thursday and the 2 miles at The Armory.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Perfect Symmetry

How fitting,the year began at The Armory on Jan 3rd,it ended at The Armory on Dec 27th,also my first major Masters title came in 06 in the 4x800m in Charlotte N.Carolina,I ended the decade w/ another 4x800m.
The plan was to go after the American Club Record which was 8.15.29. which was set 21 years ago by West Valley Track Club,we felt we could go for it w/ myself,Scott Landis,Bob McGinty and Nick Berra all more than capable of running 2.03 per man,and w/ that we headed to New York City and The Armory for a chance to rewrite history........and then some.

By the time we finally got onto the track we were more than ready,track is alot of sitting around waiting to run,I guess the trick is how to fill that time,while all of us were focused on going after the record the mood was relaxed and lite.
B4 I go any further I have to thank the B relay team,it was one thing for us to go after the record but those 4 guys Phil Reiley,Delvin Dinkins,Chuck Shields and a late stand in Tom Fitzpatrick all gave up the chance to run an individual event in order to help push us,one of our team mates Dennis had injured himself a week prior and we were hurting for an anchor on the b team,manfully stepping upto the plate was Tom Fitzpatrick who offered to anchor after his 1,500m....which finished prior to the relay,we owe Tom period,the fact he's not a GPTC runner made his offer even more valuable.
The order was Scott to lead off,Bob,Me and Nick to anchor,again mad props to meet organizer Derrick Adkins and announcer Ian Brooks who took the trouble to not only get the details from Chuck on the record we were chasing but also a little info on each runner,Ian announces most Armory races I run and knows how to get the crowd into it,they were very much the fifth man for us.

From the gun Phil and Scott duked out a mano e mano tussle w/ Scott going through his 4 laps in 31.92,59.01,1.29.50,2.01.43 {31.92,27.09,30.49,31.93.} w/ Phil giving Scott all he could ask for,seamlessly Bob and Delvin continued the duel as now Bob reeled off 200s of 28.39,30.09,30.89,33.47. and again Delvin was right there,my turn,just like Charlotte in 06 third leg on the relay,a new role for me but one I was more than happy to fill believe me w/ the stable of middle distance guys we have I'm gonna be hard pressed to make the 4x400m and 4x800m teams as I now own the distinction of being the "old man" on the team at 46.
Did somebody call last orders? cos this Paddy went off like a man possessed,how possessed??try an opening 200m of 26.16.!!!!sweet jesus!if I can't cut the mustard at 800m and 1,500m anymore maybe there's a future for me as a 200m runner,Paul Hession you're on notice,your position as Ireland's #1 200m runner is under attack!!!!
Clearly I couldn't hold onto such a brutal pace,29.59 for the second lap a 55.75 400m{can this be counted as my 400m split for Millrose?....anybody....!!!}b4 a third lap of 33.45.I was gassed.
In a solo 800m tying up over the final 200m only hurts you,I could not let my team mates down,I dug deep to get the baton around in a painful 36.55 but at 6.09 the record was there for the taking and very much in the capable hands of Nick.

What followed was a clinic in how to run even pace.....something I need to try once in a while,29.84,29.82,29.00,28.67. each split faster than the last and Nick crossed the line in 8.07.48.we'd shattered the 21 year old American Club Record by8 seconds.
It's not every day you're asked to do a lap of honour,but hey it's not every day you brake an American Club Record either,we also took down the American Record of 8.07.6,not to mention shatter the old GPTC record of 8.30.42.which Scott and I had been a part of in Charlotte in 06 at Nationals.
As we caught our collective breath and shared congrats w/ one another,the B team who'd been so instrumental, and from well wishers Chuck was off making sure all the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed,believe me you've NO Idea what paper work you have to go through to get a record submitted so it can be verified and sanctioned,to a man we on the A relay can never repay Chuck for his attention to detail and selfless pursuit of officials and mounds of paper work that go into this,don't forget our women set two American Records this year,us guys were biding our time for the right moment!!!

Photos posed for complete w/ hip numbers spelling out our time and w/ the club banner we hit Coogan's for a celebration,in over 3 and a half years racing here at The Armory I'd never been there,then again I'd never set an American Club record either!!
More symmetry! turns out Scott had just this year lost his High School 4x800m record this year after 30 years and now he'd earnt an American Club record,and it turns out that Coogan's has a tradition,they hang from the rafters the vest of schools,clubs etc who brake records at The Armory,and we just so happened to have an extra vest.....why?because I thought I'd lost mine so I asked Chuck{who else?} if he'd bring one so that IF we broke the record all four of us would have GPTC vests on for the photos.....and now there's one hanging in Coogan's!

As we reached the parking lot Ray called,just like our historic 06 4x800m relay Ray wasn't a part of it but we called him post race,anyway today he returned the favour and was pleased for us w/ our new American Club record......................
10 mins later Ray called back,he was on the World Masters Athletics web site,the World Record for Indoor Masters 40-49 4x800m was....8.07.6....we ran 8.07.4............................WORLD FRICKIN RECORD BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Even w/ the American/American Club record that needed ratification,ditto then for a World Record,but holy shit a World Record!!!I said this year my three "to do" things w/ my running were:World Champion,World Record and to run at Haywards Fields,one down two to go!
Clearly some rethinking needs to be done on my Top Ten races of 09 list for New Years Eve now!
Oh yeah,for the record the average 800m time per man for the four of us was 2.01.9.

Two Words...............World Record

Right now I'm still reeling from the fact I didn't get home till 11.30pm and had to be back up by 5.30am but when things settle down I will sit and do justice to the fact myself,Scott Landis,Bob McGinty and Nick Berra are now proud owners of the World Record for Masters Indoors 40-49 4x800m thanks to a 8.07.4 yesterday at The Armory.
Trust me,more to follow!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Erica Strange Has A Lot To Answer For Let Me Tell Ya!

Obviously no running of any sort thanks to mother natures almost two feet of snow Saturday,I hadn't planned to trek down to Landover to PGI for Sundays meet anyway but now I'm well and truly up shits creek w/out said paddle.
No track around is habitable I should imagine,I had scheduled a workout at Temple's track today b4 the snow and Lower Merion on Thursday....just wishful thinking now.
Sidewalks are seldom an option and that's w/out a ton of snow and ice on them,Chuck sent an email that one of the guys on our b relay turned an ankle Sunday which puts the b relay in jeopardy now this Sunday at The Armory.
I guess the best I can ask for is to stay shape mentally,stick to my healthy regime of nutrition and maybe throw in some sit ups,ab crunches and push ups to stay "in the zone" b4 we attempt to rewrite the history books Sunday afternoon.

Away from running I've surprised myself at how well I've handled "the holidays"thus far this year,seldom my favourite time of year ever somehow thanks to some "Alfie Moon" mindset I've been able to keep the blues,the blahs and more importantly the ghosts of xmas past at arms lenght this year.
Sunday would've been Erica and I's 23rd wedding anniversary,our marriage lasted two years and too often in the past 21 years I've retreated into a defensive shell leading upto our Dec 20th wedding anniversary and Jan 5th anniversary of when we first met some two years earlier.
It's w/ no sense of irony then that the past few days and I suspect the next few weeks will slip by w/out rancor thanks to another Erica,Erica Strange.

A few Saturdays ago I found myself at home one afternoon flicking thro the channels looking for something other than college football and stumbled upon reruns of "Gilmore Girls" an old favourite of mine now being reaired on Soapnet.
Following ''Gilmore Girls" came "Being Erica" a Canadian show about a regular women Erica Strange who thanks to her therapist could go back to her past and alter the events that in her mind shaped her got me to thinking.........never a good thing but hey!
I spent sometime thinking what would I change from my past?my drinking for one,and to a degree meeting Erica in Jan 85 and then this weekend it hit me.
Xmas Eve 04 four of us from work hit a pub at lunchtime to celebrate the holidays,me my brother,Lynn and the girl of my dreams Jean.
Long story short over a few pints of "Dutch Courage"I somehow plucked up the nerve to ask Jean out,it's only taken weeks/months and yes I hijacked Xmas as a valid excuse to tell her how I felt,I still remember the red rose I gave her in an empty tin foil box covered in xmas wrapping paper,anywho,she said yes.............sadly she never showed up that nite,12 nites later I met Erica for the first time and the rest as they say is history....
SO my "Being Erica" moment if I had a therapist like "Dr Tom" would be to go back to Xmas Eve 84 only this time Jean would show up,who knows how different my life might've been if that's the path my life would've gone instead of meeting Erica on Jan 5th 85 and setting off a chain reaction that lead me to leaving London in October 87 for Philly.

Life is full of these "what if's" I accept that but sometimes it's ok to step outside the parameters of your life and question the time honoured "if only",Jean Whittle if you're still out there I care about you still to this day,and even though I quit drinking 21 years ago I'd still love to meet you for that drink we never managed Xmas Eve 25 years ago.
Merry Xmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not Great,But It'll Have To Do.

After the disappointment of Monday's 600s I was forced to scrap Wednesday's proposed 5x1,000m repeats when the mercury plummeted,38 degrees is one thing but when it feels like 28 that is very much"a horse of a different colour" and truth be told if I hadn't be in the position to conduct my mile repeats this afternoon I doubt very much I'd have been able to workout today.

I opted to train at 2pm,the latest I've ran on a Friday since my return to training at the end of July,back then it was important to be on the track no later than 12.30pm b4 the temps went into the 90s,today I wanted to maximize the afternoon sun that at best was going to top 35 degrees...but unlike the last two days was going to be 35 degrees not 25 degrees,that said it was still ski hat,gloves and jacket conditions.
#1 mile,1.18,1.23,1.23,1.15-5.19.90.I had hoped to open in 1.17 and hold onto that pace but I could tell it was going to one of those days from the get go.
#2 mile,1.21,1.25,1.26,1.19-5.31.57.Clearly the cold was not only effecting my muscles but also breathing in such cold air into my lungs wasn't helping any either.
#3 mile,1.22,1.28,1.25,1.19-5.34.84.Considering I had to restart this mile after my first lap didn't register due to my watch not starting thanks to my gloves this wasn't a bad repeat.
#4 mile,1.18,1.26,1.26,69-5.19.95.A good start,a crap middle,a strong finish.
I knew I needed to open strong but I had hoped my middle laps wouldn't be as slow,it was almost identical to #1 mile,the 6 seconds I lost on laps 2 and 3 I made up for on the final lap.

Obviously this was slower than I had hoped for but it was also down right cold,there was a considerable dip in the temperature at the end of the session at 2.40 than when it began at 2pm.
Today was my final Franklin Field repeat till January 12th,for the next two weeks I'm looking to use Temple's track on Tuesdays and Lower Merion's on Thursdays,I haven't thought about the following week,the old,cross,burn,paint,jump from that bridge when the new year rolls around.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not What The Doctor Ordered.

Ok so I need to fill in the blanks from the tail end of last week first.
My Thursday repeats got ye olde kybosh when the weather men and women said the 38 degrees felt like 28.................YEAH I was going out in that much less doing repeats where there's three mins of walking around in between repeats!
Track meet or no track meet on Saturday I wasn't about to risk getting sick......and yet half an hour after getting up on Saturday my nose began running.....and that was all that ran on Saturday,I wasn't about about to go toe to toe w/ college runners at Haverford feeling under the weather.

So I entered the week looking to not only correcting two lopsided weeks of training from races or non races but also maximize my last whole week of training, in the next four weeks I have three weeks of meets to round out the year and kick off the new year,plus w/ winter well and truly here even though it doesn't officially begin till next Monday the potential to lose days to the weather is higher and higher.
Another sign it's winter,the goalposts at Franklin Field are down,football season is over it'll be field hockey,lacrosse and soccer that will rule the roost on the infield now till late summer.
Stretched and warmed up,conditions were mild but long sleeves and tights were the natural choice for apparel.
#1 600m,73,36-1.49.28.Nothing like cutting it fine!I had hoped to open in 70-72 and then ease over the closing 200m
#2 600m,74,35-1.49.00.The mildest of improvements but I wasn't firing on all cylinders.
#3 600m,74,36-1.50.98.Jesus!I know it's 1.50 and under but this was a tad too close for comfort,clearly I was struggling
#4 600m,75,35-1.50.29.The writing was very much on the wall,for a split second I considered making it 4x600m but I'm not the poster child for bailing when it's going tits up..........
#5 600m,1.16.........I knew at 400m in 76 seconds I was below par{insert Tiger Woods joke if you so feel}the telling factor was that while I always feel off a 76 second 400m I can still dig down and throw in a 33-34 200m tonite I didn't have it to try,obviously I was below my best.

I did try another 600 but when I could only clock 66 seconds at 300 I knew it was time to give up the ghost.
Maybe I was still feeling the lingering effects from Saturday,or maybe I just had an off nite,either way it was a disappointing feeling to walk off the track knowing I'd been unable to close out the deal.
Thankfully nites like this are few and far between so hopefully come Wednesday when I return for my 5x1,000m repeats I can get back to an even keel.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

If This Repeat Was A Movie,It'd Be "A Bridge Too Far"

Ok,so in terms of suspense I've ruined the ending but in the words of Aerosmith in "Amazing"
"Life's a journey,not a destination".......
Unlike last week no rain and no forgotten warm ups to derail my workout,trust me I was grateful for both especially my warm ups,at 5.20pm it was beginning to get a bit ber,ok laying on the track to conduct stretches didn't help but I could see my breath when I exhaled and my hands were feeling the chill,the difference between tonite and say two weeks ago was tonite it was 43 degrees and falling as opposed to 43 degrees and holding,post mile warm up it was ski hat,gloves,jacket and tights weather....and probably will be most of the winter from here on in.

#1 1,000m,1.13,1.20,39-3.12.74.Yikes! the 73 second opener was a bit too brisk and I slung the brakes on to make sure there'd be gas left in the tank at the end of the session.
#2 1,000m,1.15,1.19,37-3.11.69.I knew tonite was not going to see a repeat of my Thanksgiving Day heroics when I went 5/5 at 3.10 and under but if I could go 3.12 and under I'd be pleased,after all repeats are like snowflakes,no two are ever the same.
#3 1,000m,1.16,1.18,37-3.11.84.So much for snowflakes!I felt I'd found my groove and now all I had to do was stay there for two more repeats.
#4 1,000m,1.16,1.17,38-3.11.93.I knew if I went out in 1.16 I was good to go,to this point minus my opening rush of blood 1.13 I'd been Mr Consistency.
#5 1,000m,1.21,1.23,37-3.21.99.What's the word I'm looking for here.....???? I know it's BOLLOCKS!!!!
When I came through 400m in 1.21 I knew the gig was up,w/ hindsight if I'd attacked the first turn instead of adopting a relax and aim for a 1.16 I might've put myself in a better position at 400m to attack the final 600m,oh well.

Sure 4/5 isn't all bad,I'd ran evenly throughout the first 4 splits only to have it all unravel on me at the death but given the conditions I couldn't be too harsh on myself.
W/ this one under my belt I can look forward to an easier workout Thursday{4x600m}as I get ready for my 800m at Haverford on Saturday afternoon.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Road To Boston Begins Here

"This train is bound for glory,this train,this train is bound for glory,this train
This train is leaving town,hit the road and getting on down this train is bound for glory,this train"
Bound For Glory-The Alarm.

All aboard!the train now leaving platform 1 is bound for Boston and Indoor Nationals at the end of March,stopping at Seton Hall,Haverford,New York,Swarthmore,Deleware,Cornell,and Tom's River............
Yes folks the indoor track season is here,punctuated by the winters first snow fall the day b4!
Like all seasons,indoor,outdoor,road or xc it's always hard to know what to expect of yourself much less what you're capeable of so getting that first race under your belt is always a plus.
Adding further intrigue to the mix was my choice of distance,400m,I hadn't ran an open 400m since Outdoor Nationals in 06,I usually limit my 400s to relays but w/ a new stable of masters 400m guys on our team it was rightly decided that 400m relay selection would be based on current 400m time,ergo yours truly opting for a 400m today.
Post a decent 400m time and be done w/ it and hope it's good enough to make the Millrose team,if I need to come back to it and record a faster split b4 team selection,sobeit.

I'd forgotten how long a day at a track meet can be,I left home at 7.20am,arrived at Seton Hall by 10.30am,waited till close to 1.30pm run and returned home by 6pm,an 11 and a 1/2 hour day for 57 seconds worth of work......and I wouldn't trade it for the world!!!!
Last years indoor season was meant to kick off at Seton Hall w/ a 4x400,we ended up going to Glen Mills instead and I never got to run as our third leg pulled up w/ a hamstring injury and I had to wait another fortnite to kick off my indoor season...w/ a 2.03 800m,hopefully a good omen for next week at Haverford.
It felt good to back in my spikes,I hadn't worn them since May 11th at Swarthmore when I ran a 1,500m,little did I know it would be my last race of the outdoor season at the time,by the time I began my return to racing at Langley on Labor Day I couldn't risk wearing my flats much less my spikes,as simple an act of lacing up my spikes my seem on face value there was a comfort level of feeling my running was back on schedule.

While 400m is hardly my distance I felt that by picking a distance I'm not familiar w/ for my season opener could work to my advantage,w/ the 800m/1,500m/mile I know what to expect of myself,400m I've really no idea,I put 56 seconds as my seed time which felt honest and put me in the 7th of 12 heats.
I was drawn in lane 1 of 5,sadly lanes 2 and 4 were no shows and w/ all due respect to the runner in lane 3 who only ran a 1.21 this was a two man race between myself and the runner in lane 5.
I opted for a standing start,let's face it I don't run enough 400m races to perfect a crouched start and or try to get comfortable in blocks and I doubt I'll lead off any 4x400m relays to need to get used to blocks either.
My reaction to the gun was good,it has to be in a 400m when there's so little time or real estate to recover,off the first turn it was a two man race and I felt comfortable.
No clock at 200m or anyone calling splits unofficially I was told 27 seconds,the plan pre race was to run a relaxed opening 200m and come on like gang busters over the second 200m.
Hitting the final turn at 300m I began to feel the pace,thus far I'd been well inside my comfort level,perhaps a more competitive heat would have forced me to another level but it was what it was,I chased the leader up the home straight 56.71-57.08.

I wanted a 56 second time,ok I wasn't far off and all time my 57.08 ranks #10 on my 400m times.
Considering this is not my distance and this was my opening race of the season I can be reasonably pleased,it remains to be seen if I'll have to revisit the 400m to earn my spot on the Millrose Games 4x400m team,for now it's time to get ready for the next race an 800m at Haverford on Saturday.
The journey has begun.

Friday, December 4, 2009

If At First.............

So much for returning to a Mon,Wed,Fri rotation this week!
Monday and Wednesday got rained out and a Tue/Thur schedule went the way of the ark when I discovered I'd left my warm ups at home on Tuesday,I may have thick skin but I have very thin blood and frankly indoor meet or no indoor meet this Sunday I wasn't playing chance w/ the potential for catching a chill w/out them.
So I arrived at Franklin Field on Thursday more than ready to "throw down" this was my last workout b4 Sundays 400m at Seton Hall to begin w/ and after the day I'd just had I was happy to be setting foot inside "The Death Zone" because at lunch time I felt I'd be setting foot inside a "cage match" at work....
W/out getting too far down the TMI Highway let's just say that if"B" ever talks to me the way he did at lunchtime again he'd best be wearing a protective cup if he does so!!!

A mild evening but I was taking no chances this close to a race,long sleeves and running tights were the order of the day, following my core strength stretches and mile warm up it was time "to let's get ready to rumble" to speak!!!,seconds out,round 1
#1 600m,75,33-1.48.65.Emm not a rip roaring start by any means,75 is slow to open and over 6 x600m you don't really want to be firing off 33 second opening closing 200s
#2 600m,69,34-1.43.92.A leap of 5 seconds,so much for my previous weeks of consistent pacing,had I undone everything already after only 2 repeats??
#3 600m,72,35-1.47.25.Somewhat of a bench mark for my 600s,at last I felt I'd gotten my pacing right,could I maintain it?
#4 600m,75,33-1.48.82.In my previous 12 600m repeats I'd not had 1 75 second 400m split,now I'd ran 2 in the first 4 of tonites repeats.
#5 600m,74,34-1.48.25.I wasn't exactly up against the ropes but I was probably getting warned by the ref for holding{yes I know another fight reference,but you have NO idea how badly I wanted to kick "B"s arse at lunchtime!!!}
#6 600m,77,34-1.51.11.Well I knew my inconsistent pacing would come back to bite me in the arse sooner or later.
I hoped I'd come through 400m in no slower than 75 but 77 was too much to ask,glass half full at least I went down swinging at 1.51 and a 34 second closing 200m rather than mail it and run a 36/37 second 200.

Sure I'm disappointed not to notch another 6/6 sub 1.50 but w/ any failure to "do the business" comes a steely determination to nail it next time out,when that'll be remains to be seen.
I'm hoping to race at Haverford next Saturday and by racing at Seton Hall on Sunday means my rotation will be Tue/Thur and w/ that means I can hardly go balls to the wall on Thursday,chances are Tue will be 5x1,000m b4 some 400s on Thursday but that's a question for next week for now it's time to focus on Sundays 400m at Seton Hall.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Getting The {Evil} Monkey Off My Back

Since my return to mile repeats on October 9th I've had my heart set on a sub 5 minute mile,in recent weeks that desire has gotten closer,I should have had it last week when on the opening mile I went through the bell in 3.52 but eased up too much and clocked 5.01.80,I vowed if that scenario presented it's self today I would NOT make that tactical blunder again.

When I arrived at Lower Merion High School track at lunchtime the first thing I thought about was the wind,despite the full and glorious sunshine there was a chill wind blowing around the track,so much so that after my stretches and mile warm I opted for my long sleeve running shirt and running tights.
#1 mile,1.16,1.18,1.18,67-4.59.08.YEAH BOYEEE! When I clocked 3.52. at the bell again I knew I couldn't allow another sub 5 to slip away,my reaction upon checking my watch after crossing the line spoke volumes of what this meant to me.
#2 mile,1.22,1.27,1.24,1.30-5.43.34.Yowzer!I'm not naive enough to think I'm ready to drop a 4.59. mile and come back strong on the next one but this hurt,I felt every one of those 5 sub 3.10 1,000s from Thursday coming up the home straight at the end of this mile.
#3 mile,1.18,1.24,1.22,1.19-5.23.16.Not that it's a huge badge of honour but this was an improvement on the previous effort....not that that would be difficult.
#4 mile,1.16,1.20,1.21,67-5.04.76.How about that for symmetry ending mile 1 and mile 4 w/ 67 second splits.
When I opened in 1.16 I pondered the potential of 2 sub 5 min miles,I knew I'd have to come through 800 in 2.34/2.35, that 1-2 seconds was going to make all the difference.
When I clocked 3.57 at the bell I knew sub 5 was gone but I'm chuffed to bits I threw down another 67 second closing lap not to mention a 5.04. mile.

The irony of ironies,now that I've gotten a sub 5 under my belt it looks like I won't be running any mile repeats for the next two weeks as I'm looking to race the next two weekends so that'll mean sacrificing the mile repeats,however whenever I do return to them{probably Dec 18th}I aim to refine my mile repeats,try to make the sub 5 my last mile now that I've gotten the monkey off back.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Top Ten List 09

I wrote a Top Ten list last Thanksgiving mainly because my co worker Chris was recovering from neuro surgery and yours truly was doing the workload of two people which meant I didn't have the energy mental or physical to do repeats at the track so my runs were just base mileage around Clark Park which didn't require being timed,and made for very non discript blog entries,I put the Thanksgiving Top List out there more for shits and giggles only for the whole thing to blow up in my face two days later when my former coach took exception to not being mentioned by name..............and thus began the slippery slope that saw us part company this summer....
Anywho at the risk of offending others this year here's my 09 Things To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving,take it away

10,My health,corny as that sounds it's something we take for granted sometimes and although I'm at the blue collar end of the hospital from time to time I get to see those less fortunate than me and it helps to remind me that if you've got your health you're doing well.
9,The Physical Rehab staff at Jefferson,if it weren't for Alison and Peggy and everyone else who worked w/ me during the summer I know I wouldn't be back doing repeats three times a week.
8,My dvr,trite as it might seem my dvr is huge,no more agonizing over which show to watch,which show to hope I'll catch in a rerun,no more missed shows if I'm out for the evening and no more staying up till 12am on Sundays for my weekly fix of "Eastenders".
7,A job and a roof over my head,while I bitch about my job frequently in my blog and grumble about my living situation in my diary in the credit crunch we're experiencing I'm lucky things aren't worse.
6,My diary,I'm a month away from 16 years of keeping a daily diary,while my blog is great for running and sometimes non running issues my diary is where the real dirt lies!!!
In recent weeks I've written in more depth about the things I feel strongly about,an outlet for my anger,rage and angst of which somedays there's more than plenty to record!
5, Having Chris 100% healthy again,this time last year my coworker had emergency neuro surgery to remove a tumor in his brain,it was an emotional time for all, Chris and his family and me also,after 6 years of being in the firing line all by my lonesome I've finally had someone along side me in the trenches for 2 and 1/2 years.
4,Hobbes,next month I'll have had the"orange shitbag" for 15 years,as my mother loves to point out"there aren't many humans who've put up w/ you for that long"...this is true so I try to cherish my time w/ "furbag"he'll be sorely missed when he's gone.
3,My blog,I love my blog,it's as close as I'll get to being a writer and I enjoy penning my entries,I'd also thank "Uncle Ken Stone" who's been kind enough to feature me and "Runningfree"in his blog Masterstrack several times this year again.
2,Spending time in New York City w/ my mother Eileen in September,along the lines of Hobbes I realize that anytime spent w/ my mother is fleeting,I hope I'll see her again but at her age and the fact I don't get home as much any more means every time I see her I fear it may be the last time so I try to make the most of it.
Last weekend I asked Eileen what she thought of New York since this was her first visit,she said she loved it,that's all I needed to hear.
1,Being injury free,after a summer lost to an achilles tendon injury and a shot at being a World Champion snatched away from me I'm thankful to be able to get out and train each day I get out there,long may this and all of the above continue.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stuff This!

Thanksgiving,that most American of holidays....and thereby in it's very definition alien to me.
Granted I'm the poster child of all things anti holiday{I don't even celebrate my own b'day for the love of God!}but I just can't get my head around this holiday,maybe because I didn't grow up w/ it{I didn't grow up w/ July 4th either!}or maybe because at the root of the matter is the fact it's a family holiday which counts me out from the get go,my family are 3,500 miles away for starters...and they don't celebrate Thanksgiving to begin w/.
Having said all that and standing by what I said I do wish the masses a Happy Thanksgiving and mean it,just because I don't have family to celebrate it w/ doesn't mean I should piss all over a holiday for those that do,I must be mellowing in my old age,not only have I stopped referring to it as Wanksgiving I've also toned down my"the day we celebrate the fact we stole this land from the Native Americans"sentiment....even though I feel very strongly about the fact we did,but anyway on to my running......dare me to say it?....let's talk Turkey!

Knowing that not only would Franklin Field close early last nite and the fact I don't have tomorrow off I switched my rotation to Tue/Thur/Sat,the only thing I needed to make sure of was there'd be no high school football at Lower Merion today....there wasn't so off out to Ardmore on the train at lunchtime to have at it at 5x1,000m repeats,and I shall return Saturday for my 4x1mile repeats.
Conditions were grey but mild,it's a bit of a "brucey bonus" getting a repeat workout in during the daytime,granted it's a like for like swop w/ today instead of tomorrow.
Stretches done,mile warm up taken care of,one last trip to the bathroom secured it was showtime.....and how!

#1 1,000,1.15,1.19,33-3.07.38.Christ!talk about out of the traps quickly,my only concern,much like Tuesday was I hadn't done too much too soon,last week I was perhaps guilty of going out slow{3.16} b4 clocking a pair of 3.09s and a pair of 3.08s.
#2 1,000,1.17,1.18,35-3.10.51.Proof that I hadn't "shot my load" so to speak,at this stage of my recovery if I can go 1.17-1.18 each 1k I feel I'm right where I want to be.
#3 1,000,1.18,1.17,34-3.09.26.Wow!as each week and each repeat be it 600s,1,000s, mile goes by I feel the three Ss Speed,Strenght,Stamina are getting to the level I want them to be at.
#4 1,000,1.18,1.18,32-3.08.53.Dare I think it? my first ever 5/5 1,000m at sub 3.10?it was there for the taking,mentally I felt I could,physically?............
#5 1,000,1.17,1.18,30-3.05.81.BOOYAH!!!!!!A triple trifecta,all 5 1ks at 3.10 or under,my fastest combined 5k 15.39 AND my fastest 1k 3.05.81 thanks to a 30 second final 200m,not bad at the end of 4,800m worth of repeats if I say so myself.

Wow!when I first began 5x1,000m repeats back on Aug 26th three months ago I hoped I'd get to all 5 at 3.10 or under and now today at the 11th attempt I did surely nobody could begrudge me a moment of self satisfaction?
Granted the cynical will say #2 was 3.10.51. so if it means next time out I need to be under 3.10 to make it count fine but the fact is today I reached a landmark that for me ranks up there w/ 6x600m at 1.45 and under and 4x1 mile at sub 5 minutes per mile.
I will enjoy my Vegetable Lasagna this evening,obviously not what the Pilgrims ate when they landed......but what if they were vegetarians I wonder??

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let The Dog See The Rabbit

It's been a while since I've had a day at work where my vocal displeasure was there to be heard for all around,the fact I slammed my hand onto my desk top mid afternoon after a mad half hour told me the loonies had won.
On days like these not only do I thank the fact Jim Henson is no longer w/ us otherwise his next movie would be "The Muppets Take Einstein" but I also subscribe to the theory that"if aholes were aeroplanes my job would be at an airport w/ yours truly at the head of Air Traffic Control....
It's days like these I need the sanctuary of the track....and so to Franklin Field for 6x600m repeats.

''The Death Zone" despite its foreboding title has been a happy hunting ground for me for over two and a half years and counting,sadly for me I'd gotten away from it earlier in the year when my former coach had me doing different repeats prior to Worlds,as we all know my achilles injury kyboshed Worlds and my coach and I parted company,not so much a case of singing from different hymn sheets or right church,wrong pew these days we're in separate houses of worship,he's more Church Of England while I'm Roman Catholic.
Conditions were as close to ideal as one could wish for in late November,mild,no wind,no rain,however by the end of the workout and my mile cool down the tips of my fingers were feeling a tad numb,a reminder that old man winter is standing in the wings awaiting his cue.

#1 600,69,36-1.45.58.I was aiming for 70-72 400s so an opening 400m in 69 seconds was a bit of a surprise,last week I had a pair of 70s on #2 and #4 but no 69s.
#2 600,69,34-1.43.22.Wow back to back 69s,I just wondered if I hadn't gotten too cocky too soon,cast your mind back to 3 weeks ago when I was cranking out brisk closing 200s only to blow up on #6.
#3 600,72,35-1.47.99.Not totally unexpected but still comfortable and still w/in range of a 6/6.
#4 600,74,33-1.47.98.How's that for almost identical splits?I was guilty of not being 100% focused over the opening 300m ergo the 74 second split,fatigue had not yet set in,could it stay that way?
#5 600,71,36-1.47.12.Holy Mary,mother of God!I did not expect 71 seconds on the stop watch at 400m and I made sure to ease down over the closing 200m to make sure all the bullets were in all the chambers for the finale.
#6 600,74,35-1.49.09.I knew anything under 74 at 400m would put me in w/ a better than average shot at a 6th sub 1.50 and while I mightn't have been as strong off the final turn or up the home straight I still notched my third 6/6 sub 1.50 in five attempts.

W/ an open 400m race on the horizon followed most likely by an 800m race in preparation for the clubs year end assault on the American Record for Masters Cub 4x800m I'd say I'm rounding into form at the right time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Close Only Counts In Horseshoes

"Today,just like yesterday I'm ascending and descending, Traveling not arriving that's the story of my life
I've been close closer than close not close enough."
Close{The Journey Is The Destination}-The Alarm.

It's been a while since I've traveled out to Lower Merion on a Saturday for mile repeats,I did put in a cameo........resisting the urge to say "Word Up" and clearly failing! back on September 19th for a 5k time trial but given my impromptu 12 miler on Sunday I was looking at a Tue/Thur/Sat rotation this week and that means no Franklin Field on the weekends so Lower Merion it was and will be again next Saturday and maybe even Thursday since FF will be closed but we'll deal w/ that next week.

My Friday repeats had me prepped for a lunchtime workout,conditions were sunny and reasonably warm,there was a mildish breeze around the bottom turn but as a veteran of Franklin Field I'm used to the wind,no time like the present to go after my first sub 5 minute repeat mile at 4x1 mile.
#1 mile,1.14,1.19,1.19,1.19-5.01.80.This is the opening mile I anticipate a few weeks down the road,w/ hindsight I should've gone sub 5 on this repeat instead of backing off on the final lap,sub 5 was right there and I let it slip through my fingers.
#2 mile,1.19,1.23,1.20,1.18-5.21.21.It was no surprise to see a 20 second spike after my brisker than brisk opener but a few weeks ago I would've killed for 3 laps at 1.20 and under.
#3 mile,1.20,1.24,1.27,1.23-5.34.03.Don't do the crime if you can't do the time,clearly I'd made a balls of my pace right off the bat and now I was paying for it....w/out a sub 5 I hasten to add.
#4 mile,1.16,1.20,1.21,71-5.08.51.Emm some respectability I guess but obviously after opening in 5.01 it all went down hill quicker than Sharon Vorn on her skies.

Yes I'm pleased to lower my repeat mile to 5.01.80. but not at the cost of splits of 5.21/5.34.
I did feel going into today there was a very good chance of nailing that much sought after sub 5 and frankly going through the bell in 3.52 I should've taken care of business but I didn't.
That said chances are my indoor debut won't be for another 5 weeks so I have another 4 weeks of 6x600m/5x1,000m/4x1mile repeats and ample chances to get that first sub 5 minute repeat mile,let's see what next Saturday back here brings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

More Hands Than A German Phone Book

Ok,let's get the unpleasantness out of the way first,theirry henry is a cheating french bastard and sepp blatter can stick Fifa's Fair Play mantra up his Swiss arse,congrats Fifa you got what you wanted France in next summers World Cup Finals in South Africa even if it meant bending the rules to do so and making a laughing stock of footballs so called integrity.
How long can football remain in the dark ages and be bereft of instant replay?other so called european sports a la Rugby,Cricket and Tennis have all introduced it why can't football?
The debate will no doubt rumble on but that's my two cents worth to the argument.

Fueled by that injustice I arrived at Franklin Field w/ a full head of steam and enough piss and vinegar running through me to drown several small pacific islands......all the ingredients for a good repeat session,I was determined this evening wouldn't end in acrimony......and to think I almost didn't make it here in the first place,as a result of an early night Wednesday I'd neglected to put my stop watches in my bag,can't very well time repeats w/out them thou ever the boy scout dib,dib,dib I considered utilizing the stop watch on my ipod to time my 1,000s.
Then the weather forecast called for a 70% chance of rain,as it was the rain ended up being minimal at best during my repeats and I came home,retrieved my stop watches and headed back to Franklin Field.

Minus a few lite showers conditions were as close to ideal as you could wish for in mid November and w/ that it was down to business for the 5x1,000m repeats,could I build upon the stellar 6x600m repeat of Tuesday?could I be away from 5x1,000m for two weeks like I was w/ the 6x600m and come back w/out missing a beat......
#1 1,000m,1.17,1.21,38-3.16.58.My first reaction crossing the finish line and checking my watch was "damn that's slow,it was the only time this evening I would say that and it may've been the key to a solid repeat.
#2 1,000m,1.16,1.17,36-3.09.14.Nice!it might well be a bit early for pantomime season but this was very much in the fashion of"that's the way to do it"
At 600m in the little bit of rain that was much touted began to fall...briefly,trust me I've ran further in far worse.
#3 1,000m,1.16,1.15,37-3.08.42.This repeat was starting to take over any or all expectations I had for it,naively when I began my 5x1ks back in September I though I could run all 5 in sub 3.10,perhaps those evenings aren't so far away after all?
#4 1,000m1.16,1.16,36-3.08.85.Strewth! you want to talk about the model of consistency then this workout was pretty darn close to it, a few repeats back I'd open in 1.16 b4 coming round again in 1.20,not tonite
#5 1,000m,1.18,1.19,32-3.09.06.Holy Shit!I wasn't thrown off when I came through the opening 400m in 1.18 it was to be expected but rather than panic I kept my focus,told myself if I want to reclaim my spot near the top of the 45-49 middle distance masters I have to fight for it and dig deep and dig I did{no crack about paddys and shovels thank you very much!}
A 32 second final 200m period but at the end of a 5th 1,000m,while I've been pleased w/ the 34s I've been able to conjure up I know deep down inside I need to be closing in 32 and tonite I was able to prise that door open a little.

All in all a good nites work,I said based on my recovery from my stress fracture in 07 that come mid to late November I should be starting to fire on all cylinders,thus far this week I've seen evidence that I'm getting there,now for the mile repeats Saturday,is that first sub 5 mile on the cards?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hearts And Fists Thro The Door First.

"And he still gives his love,he just gives it away the love he receives is the love that is saved
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky,a human being that was given to fly"
Given To Fly-Pearl Jam.

It was during Bruce Springsteen's induction speech of U2 that the comment about the Irish and Italians came to the fore,I can't speak for the Italians but yeah the Irish.....we come thro the door hearts and fists first,as the ould fella always told me"shoot first,ask questions later"
So following another of those days at work I was given to fly,be it off the handle or around the track for my 6x600m repeats.
Physics wasn't one of my stronger subjects in high school but I was curious which would win out the lingering soreness in my legs from Sundays 12 miler or the spittin venom that was coursing it's way thro my veins takin' doors out like it was going out of style,one way or another this was going to be an interesting repeat!

Conditions were ideal, a mild evening no wind and cool enough for tshirt and shorts,it's only a matter of time b4 that changes but for now let's make hay while the sun shines.
#1 600,73-37-1.50.94.Almost a tad too conservative on the closing 200m,having gotten too cute w/ my 200s last time out I tried to hold back a little on the opener and almost knawlsed it up from the get go.
#2 600m,70-38-1.48.52.A stronger opening 400m meant I could cruise the closing 200m w/out any worries,granted 38 seconds is slow but in a repeat it's not the point to be blasting opening splits if it leaves the tanks empty at the end of the session.
#3 600m,73-35-1.48.12.Just as w/ #1 I was guilty of not being 100% focused over the opening 300m and had to shake things up a bit over the second half to stay on course.
#4 600m,70-36-1.46.98.Emm where did that 1.46 pop up from? I'd been consistant throughout the repeat which is clutch, fast splits are great but only if all of them land inside the target time.
#5 600m,74-34-1.48.62.The first signs of a chink in my armour{if it had been a cold nite maybe I could've said .....under armour.....!} but again thanks to consistancy over the prior 4 repeats I was able to dial up a closing 34 second 200m
#6 600m,73-34-1.47.62.Booyah! another 6/6 at 1.50 and under and another heartning sign that I'm coming into form w/ indoor season getting closer and closer,anytime I can be away from a repeat for two weeks and come back w/out missing a beat tells me I'm moving in the right direction.

Tonite helped me map out the remainder of my week,pre workout I was leaning towards back to back 1,000m/mile repeats Thur/Fri just to utilize my Friday's off but not only is that being lazy,it's dangerous and unproductive,I am still recovering from an outdoor season written off due to an achilles injury and you never really get the best results from the second of two back to back repeats,so I'll get up Sat morning and head out to either St Joe's,Lower Merion or Haverford.
There I must be back to my old self,walkin thro walls,shittin' nails,spittin' bullets and venom and going the extra mile for my workouts....recess is very much over kids.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

It's said,you can't run away from your problems but as a runner you have the chance to run your problems away and to some degree that's what I did yesterday afternoon.
When I woke up I had no intentions of running period,much less 12 miles however......a funny thing happened on he way to 30th St train station.
As is my won't on the weekends I hang out at 30th St w/ my diary a cup of coffee and some tunes however it felt like such a beautiful lunchtime that I reprised my summer time role of taking said tunes,diary and java over to the Schuylkill Banks.
It was such a glorious afternoon I couldn't resist the chance to take full advantage of it period, but who knows when we'll see another afternoon quite like it again.

Unlike my last long run when I took the el to 30th and began my run along the banks today I began from my front door,Cedar Ave to Baltimore Ave,to 32nd St to Chestnut St and the banks.
Conditions were glorious as I made my way along the banks to West River Drive,an opinion shared by the masses,runners,walkers,cyclists,rollerbladers were out in full force.
5 miles in and I began to wonder if I was doing the right thing by continuing to head all the way to Falls Bridge and back,should I hang a left at Belmont and begin the route home....nah!
Once I crossed Falls Bridge the old distance runner in me rose to the fore,4.5 miles to Lloyd Hall and another 1.5 miles back to Chestnut St along the banks.

Again like my last long run I didn't encounter much in the way of targets to chase coming back down Kelly Drive,it was uncanny that like last time I was at Girade Bridge b4 I passed anyone.
B4 I'd even reached Chestnut St bridge I knew I'd reached my limit,still 12 miles is 12 miles a 2 mile bump from my last long run,who knows next time out I might make it the full 14.
The run helped for an hour or so I was able to clear my mind of the clutter that had taken up some loft size space in there,whilst writing my diary earlier I drew up a blue print for how I want to deal w/ that age old chestnut living life on lifes terms w/ a plan to revist said plan every three months to see how I'm doing w/ it.
Given I have a prior commitment this Wednesday I won't be doing my Mon,Wed,Fri rotation,Tue,Thur and then I'll see if I want to tackle either another repeat Fri or go long Sat.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Going Out Singing

If it's Friday I'm off work and at Franklin Field,however this Friday was a little different than usual,my last workout b4 turning 46,cometh the man,cometh the hour I wanted to end 45 on a high least where my running is concerned,the rest of my year imho is a write off,perhaps a conversation for another time and another place....

Conditions were what you'd expect for mid November,cold,grey damp,small wonder I get borderline depressed around the time of my b'day,that said I think in all honesty I'd be equally non plus about my b'day even if the weather was nicer,it's hard for me to get excited about my b'day when I know in my heart of hearts it'll be like every other day in my life,whatever I do,wherever I go it'll be by myself,so much for the theory that ones b'day is a special day cos frankly mine ends up being as hollow and empty as every other day I encounter.

The rain at least had stopped by lunchtime when I got to Franklin Field,however the track was suitably damp enough for me not to lay down and stretch but I did make a point of stretching,in these conditions and my advancing years you can't cheat that stuff,I'm not as spry as I was 10 years ago,w/ age at least comes wisdom...until I get much older and the memory starts to go...

Mile#1,1.14,1.20,1.22,1.19-5.15.67.A good start to things,the 74 second opener was a tad surprising but was exactly the kind of split I need to get things off to a flying start,the hope was I hadn't gone to the well too soon.

Mile#2,1.18,1.22,1.20,1.13-5.13.78.Uneven...yes,impressive...yes,I was guilty of not being focused on laps 2&3,who knows what my splits might've been had I kept my mind on the matter at hand?

Mile#3,1.20,1.21,1.22,1.17-5.20.10.So often the deal breaker in recent weeks today my splits didn't balloon and for a change of pace{no pun intended}mile #3 wasn't dramatically slower than the openers have been in recent weeks.

Mile#4,1.15,1.21,1.21,69-5.06.28.Wow!talk about a curtain call,if I'm not mistaken this was my fastest mile repeat mile since coming back from the injury.

A fine and fitting way to sign off on 45 not to mention underline my belief that a sub 5 min mile in my mile repeats is coming.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


A wise man once said"it's all well and good having a system in place,but you have to allow for flexibility in order to make it work"
The game plan was 5x1,000m repeats however I ended up helping my friend Andy in a 2 mile{sorry I don't do 3,'s 2 miles!}time trial.
It was a strange day....strange in a good way,beginning my work day w/ an elevator ride w/ a certain someone is always something special,again a wise man once told me"all of life's rewards don't have to be grand" sometimes a 60 second elevator ride and a brief conversation about nothing in particular can be more rewarding than that person could ever realize.
Then I got a comment on my last blog entry,sometimes writing a blog can be a bit like being a late nite radio dj,you're not sure if anyone is actually listening to you,so thank you anonymous in NH for your kind words it means alot that someone appreciates what I have to say for myself.

When I finally got to the track at 5pm the much touted rain we were expecting all day decided now would be as good a time as any to present it's self in all it's gory....NO I didn't leave out the L!!!
I've ran in the rain a gazillion times and will again,road or track but it's a narrow window of opportunity if I've already began to run or even warm up then it's a case of wtf but it's always a tough sell to strip down and ready ones self for any form of a run w/ the rain coming down and at that point I was going to bag it.
I took the opportunity to shoot the breeze w/ my friend Kim the security guard since I hadn't seen her since last Monday,I vented about work{please for the love of god Don't get me started!!}and we discussed "Eastenders"lords knows I have nobody else to talk to about it.
Anywho,as I was getting ready to leave a friend of mine Andy Elkan said hello,I haven't seen Andy since the Twilight meet at Swarthmore in May.....NO there were no vampires there...well not that I'm aware of.............thanks folks I'm here all week{get on w/ it for crying out loud!}any ways Andy asked if I'd help w/ a 2 mile time trial and I jumped in to lend my support.

Andy's goal was to go sub 10 and he just missed 10.05 off of mile splits of 5.01/5.04,it was a valiant effort.
Post run Andy and I cooled down over 2 miles and bandied about ideas for future workouts,I'd like to revisit tonites and go sub 10,I know it's doable,we also talked about future workouts as indoor track gets closer,lone wolf by nature not necessarily by choice in running or in life I'd be happy for some company on my workouts so it feels like a win win for us both.

Friday I shall return to have a crack at my mile repeats,my final workout b4 turning 46,we'll see how much life is in this old dog yet!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Say Nothing

''There is a place somewhere sometimes you'll find me there and if I'm alone I will be sitting on the stairs.
I'll be as good as new one of the lucky few who's laughing at the joke and as I leave I laugh for you.
But I say nothing,I talk to no one I know what I believe,don't need it on my sleeve,I talk to no one I will say nothing,if we come and go alone then what's the point carrying these arcades?
"I Say Nothing" Voice Of The Beehive

A little old school lyrical inspiration from late 80s band Voice Of The Beehive who've taken up residence on my ipod of late.
Well the good news the Septa{septic....South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Is Crap} strike is over....for another 4 years{05-09-13?}let's hope next time they walk off the job I'm living closer to work or closer to a ride cos sure as shit the powers that be here at work won't be doing anything to help the worker bees,they didn't this time or the last time.......

News of the strike came too late for me to be able to get my bag ready to take to work and thus hit Franklin Field on my way home,besides there's the fall out from a week long strike that means I have a laundry list of "to do" items awaiting my attention,once they're cleared up I can focus on getting back to a normal routine and training.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Grind It Out

The Boomtown Rats may not have liked Mondays but for the past 15 weeks I've liked Fridays as it's meant I've been off work and able to get a track workout in at lunchtime,on top of that this week it meant NOT having to cycle 20 miles to and from work,frankly I was too knackered on Wednesday after getting home to turn around and head out to Franklin Field for my scheduled 5x1,000m repeats.
In spite of feeling a little weary after 60 miles on the bike the past three days I walked to Franklin Field just b4 lunchtime today to "have at it" over 4x1 mile repeats,prior to my move a mile further up the road in January I'd always walked too and from Franklin Field for my repeats since late 06,a short walk was hardly going to put me off today period and frankly I was happy to be out of the saddle,don't get me wrong,I love riding my bike....just not to and from work!!

Although the sun was out it was a tad brisk when I reached the track,not only did I opt for my long sleeved dri fit shirt but I also knew the wind was going to play a role in matters,just hopefully not as big a role as it did 2 weeks ago.
Despite the wind and despite a little soreness in the upper thighs I was going for 4x1 mile repeats AND keeping my recoveries at 4 minutes after last weeks oversight.
Mile #1,1.19,1.23,1.23,1.17-5.22.66.All things considered not a bad start,ok last week I kicked off w/ a 5.11 mile but the wind wasn't a factor,nor had I had to log 60 miles on my bike.

Mile #2,1.21,1.24,1.26,1.21-5.32.66.Now didn't feel like the time to be getting picky about 1.20 plus splits it was a case of keeping my head down and keep working no matter what.

Mile #3,1.23,1.25,1.25,1.21-5.34.01.At least mile #3 hadn't ballooned on me like it did 2 weeks ago and while my splits were little to beat my chest over I took great solice for sticking to the task.

Mile#4,1.15,1.23,1.25,1.12-5.15.65.Where the !@#& did that come from???you might well ask!
Part of the credit goes to a trio of female Penn rugby players who had set off just b4 me on the inside lanes,they gave me a target to chase for which I'm very grateful.
I'm also very indebted to the one girl who asked me what I was training for,she'd watched me the past few weeks and said I'd helped raise her energy levels by watching me run.
It's the second time in two weeks a Penn athlete has cited me as an inspiration,scant praise indeed,it's good to know my efforts can inspire athletes half my age.

I somehow doubt there's any need to "go long" tomorrow I feel the old pegs could use a rest and it remains to be seen if I head out to Lower Merion High School on Sunday to meet up w/ members of GPTC for a proposed 6x600m repeat workout,we'll see.
For now I'd like to rest my wind battered body in the recliner and ready myself for the next battle whenever it is.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Calm B4 The Storm

Another day I had to drag myself up by the shoelaces to come to the track but I'm glad that I did,another good repeat workout but also w/ the Septa whores calling a strike who knows when I'll next get to do repeats as frankly riding 20 miles to and from work is hardly ideal prep b4 repeats and at the rate things are going at work at the minute it doesn't look like I'll be taking Friday off as usual if I do I can at least walk to and from Franklin Field but I'm getting ahead of myself...

W/ the clocks going back on Sunday I was faced w/ my first workout in darkness,last week I was at least able to warm up and get my first few repeats in b4 the daylight faded,not now and not for the next 5 months,at least it was still t shirt and shorts weather but the clock's ticking on that one.
600m#1,70,37-1.47.34.A solid and comfortable opening to proceedings,start as you mean to go on.
600m#2,71,35-1.46.92.Precious little in the way of deviation from the prior repeat comfortable 400m pace easy closing 200m speed.
600m#3,72,34-1.46.57.Remarkably brisk final 200m pace something that had been lacking until today.
600m#4,74,33-1.47.26.In spite of my 400m pace creeping up I was closing faster and faster,wow those fears that my closing speed had gotten away from me was beginning to diminish.
600m#5,73-36-1.49.24.Uh oh! I knew from being hunched over at the finish line I was in dire straits b4 going into #6,all that bravado on the #2,#3,#4 200s was about to demand instant payback.
600m#6.79,40-1.59.80.Humbug! a wise man once told me"you can do anything you like in this long as you're willing to pay the price that goes w/ it" and on #6 I paid the price of pushing the middle closing 200s but at this early stage of the season now's as good a time to tinker w/ my repeats and see what I've got or don't have.

Sure I'm disappointed to miss out on back to back 6/6 6x600m at sub 1.50 pace but other than that it was a good workout out.
B4 I go it'd be remiss of me not to give a shout out to my former coach GP who at 46 not only ran a sub 3 hour marathon Sunday but did it in the New Marathon City mean fete and also raised a lot of money for the Boomer Esiason Foundation in the process,mad props.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Four Minute {Recovery} Miles

As is my won't,a Friday off work means a lie in and then a lunch time appointment at Franklin Field for a workout.
In recent and hopefully following weeks this will be for 4x1 mile repeats,after two less than stellar outings in the previous fortnite I was hoping for something better today.
Two ticks in the plus box b4 I even began today,no bastard wind at Franklin Field like last Friday and I donned my flats again to underline the fact they would make a difference over the mile repeats as they had over the 600 and 1,000 repeats on Mon and Wed.

Mile#1,1.17,1.21,1.19,1.14-5.11.57.A far cry from any of my recent mile repeats and confirmation that I'm heading in the right direction.
Mile#2,1.19,1.20,1.21,1.14-5.14.21.Another solid effort,over the coming weeks I need to lower the 1.19s and eliminate the 1.21s to make further inroads to lowering my splits.
Mile#3,1.22,1.24,1.22,1.18-5.26.27.Predictably on mile#3 is when it starts to get away from me but that's nothing a little strength and stamina over the coming weeks won't resolve.
Mile#4,1.21,1.23,1.21-68-5.13.58.Nice! no question today was my best set of mile repeats post 5th Avenue Mile,also no question regarding the flats,they've made all the difference this week.

But now for the stunner,it wasn't till after my #3 mile I realized I'd only been taking 4 minutes recovery not 5 minutes as usual!!
How did this come about? as a rule for my 600 and 1,000 repeats I wear two stop watches one to record my splits and the other to count down my recovery,I have until today not worn my other watch for mile repeats preferring to give myself a minute after the repeat b4 counting down to 4 minutes to begin the next,as I was catching my breath after repeat #3 I caught myself saying to myself"better start the other watch" and then realized I already had!!!
Since I'd only taken 4 mins between repeat #1 and #2 I opted to keep things uniform for #3 rather than take an "extra" minute and then second guess my final repeat.
Granted today was an accident,but guess what?I 'll continue to only take 4 minute recoveries in between mile repeats from now on I may just have stumbled on the key to unlocking faster mile repeats and hopefully faster mile/1,500m times,I've always lamented that repeats no matter what distance are only as good as the recovery,we could all be world beaters w/ extended recoveries....I want to be a world beater w/ diminished recoveries!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Toto We're Not In Kansas Anymore!

Hard on the heels of one major anniversary two days ago comes another.
Today marks 22 years since I left home in South East London and moved to Philly.
It would be churlish of me to say it was a bad move,a lot of good and great things have stemmed from my move here just from my running alone but in life there's always that "what if" card to play,what if I'd stayed in South East London?what if I'd never met Erica and moved 3,500 miles to begin a new life?
Who's to say staying home would've been the right thing to do,it'd be nice to think that my life would've been like I dreamt it would be,the object of my desires back then Jean and I married w/ children,a nice home,flat screen tv, satellite tv, new car in the drive way,money in the bank and a family vacation every I said it's a nice dream but these days a more tangible dream seems to be of National C'ships and maybe even World C'ships,being an idyllic dreamer can be dangerous but as a wise man once said"don't tread on my dreams,my dreams are all I have"

It's Gotta Be The Shoes

Just by showing up at the track last nite I felt I was a winner b4 even taking one step of my 5x1,000m.
After a late nite on Tuesday at the David Gray show{he was awesome and yes he did perform "The Other Side" which felt like a fitting tribute to my late father and further kudos to his and my beloved Spurs w/ a 2.0 win over Everton to put us in the 1/4 finals of the Carling Cup}I then stayed up an extra hour to watch "Sons Of Anarchy" my new favourite show on tv so it was 12.30am b4 getting to bed and the alarm goes off at 4.51am....eek!!
Throw in the rain most of the day and I could've been forgiven for blowing off my scheduled repeats citing fatigue,damp conditions or needed an extra days rest on my achilles now that I'm back into my flats.....phish!it's like the old Bally's Health Club commercials when Cher was a spokesperson"there's a 101 excuses for not working out....but in the end that's all they are excuses"
It's never too soon to repeat the time honoured manta"the difference between working out and not working out on days like these is standing on the podium or standing next to it at Nationals" so here I was ready to throw down on my 5x1,000m,despite a morning of rain conditions were now almost ideal,still short sleeve and shorts weather but now that my workouts are ending at dusk and w/ the clocks about to go back they'll be beginning in the dark it's only a matter of time b4 my winter wardrobe of tights,gloves,jacket and ski hat gets broken out.

#1,1000m,1.16,1.20,38-3.14.32.I wanted to open in 76 seconds and that's just what I got,76/80 sets the ideal tone for 1,000s,it took me a while to grasp that concept but I've always said "like father,like son" I'm a headstrong paddy..........and feckin proud of it!!
#2,1,000m1.16,1.18,38-3.12.02.Not even having to weave in between moving goalposts on the approach to the 800m mark could throw me off,I'm very familiar w/ "moving the goalposts"expression....leave it to an Ivy League school to make it quite literal!!!
#3,1,000m,,39-3.07.48.Holy crap! this was either gonna blow my repeats wide open or blow them altogether,the 74 second opening 400m caught me off guard but didn't derail me but the 3.07 was an eye opener,would I hold or fold over the final 2 repeats?
#4,1,000m,1.16,1.20,38-3.10.52.The days of crashing and burning on #4 seem to be a distant memory now,learning to go out at a comfortable pace on the opening repeats means I've got plenty in hand when I get to the business end of my 1,000s these days.
#5,1,000m,1.15,1.17,34-3.06.50.Blistering would best describe my final repeat,opening in 75 set me up nicely and not blowing up on the second 400m and clocking a 77 was the spark to light the fuse,I felt so strong and so full of running off the final turn it was no wonder I clocked a 34 second closing 200m and also racked up my fastest 1,000m in the process.
Combined I ran 15.49.again my fastest time to date.

So is it the shoes?two repeats in my flats two seasons bests,there's no smoke w/out fire,I had hoped by late October I'd be rounding into form and the past two weeks have lead me to believe that's the case.
If I can register a decent set of mile repeats Friday in my flats then I'll know I'm on course slowly, but surely indoor meets are being announced and I'm starting to flesh out my 09/10 indoor season....and to think I almost didn't hit the track for this workout...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In Loving Memory

Today marks 25 years since my father passed away,one of the darkest days of my life to date.
No anniversary of Kevin's passing is easy,the fact this year marks a quarter of a century makes it a little more poignant this year.
It wasn't lost on me last nite after my 6x600 repeat that in and around October 27th each year I produce a performance worthy of the ould fella, a few years back I won the Northeast Road Runners 25k and last year ran a pr at xc8k in New Jersey,Kevin was instrumental in my running from the very beginning and even now some 25 years removed from this life he still influences me.
On his 2002 cd "New Day At Midnight" David Gray wrote a song "The Other Side" about the loss of his father,it's one of several classic David Gray tunes and one I hope he performs tonite at The Tower,unlike Saturday's proposed show in New York that I never got to thanks to the heavy rain knocking out the power on the train tracks and meant I sat for over two hours outside of Rahway on my way to Penn Station and eventually 4 hours into a 90 min train ride from Trenton to New York I gave up at Newark Airport and headed home I hope to not only see David Gray but also hope he performs this number..... oh yeah and if the ould fella's beloved Spurs could beat Everton in the Carling Cup that'd be awesome too!!!

Kevin used to tease me when I was younger how I'd forget about him long after he was gone,that couldn't be further from the truth,gone but never to be forgotten rest in peace dad.
"Meet me on the other side,meet me on the other side,I'll see you on the other side,see you on the other side
Honey now if I'm honest,I still don't know what love is,another mirage folds into the haze of time recalled,and now the floodgates cannot hold
All my sorrow all my rage a teardrop falls on every page"
The Other Side David Gray.

Money,It's The Shoes

Looking to halt a slide of bad days that began Friday when I got blown all over the track during my mile repeats and ended this morning w/ the news that a fellow runner and blogger had suffered a dnf at the Marine Corp Marathon yesterday{so sorry nyflygirl,better luck next time}I arrived at Franklin Field w/ my mind very much on a decent 6x600m repeat.

Prior to the workout I had opted to try wearing my racing flats again,6 weeks into my recovery I wore them for two repeats and backed off as my achilles began to hurt again,now some 6 weeks on from then I felt it was time to test the waters again,I had toyed w/ the idea of switching from my running shoes into my flats for the last couple of repeats,the fly in the ointment w/ that on 600s and 1,000s is my recovery is only 3 minutes,by the time I've drawn breath and switched shoes my three minutes are up and I've still got to get back over to the starting line for the next repeat so I went w/ the flats from the get go and hoped for the best,my run of bad luck had to end at some time didn't it.........?

600#1,69,39-1.48.18.Another lively opening 400m split,w/ indoor season on the horizon and the need to post a decent 400m time to secure my place on the Millrose 4x400m relay the 69 second 400m boosts my confidence of a decent 400m time in an open 400m race.
600#2,69,37-1.46.06.Back to back sub 70 second opening 400s could I keep this up or would it come back to bite me in the rear come repeats 5&6?
600#3,71,36-1.47.65.Having gone 3/6 last week in my season debut over 6x600m my first goal tonite was to go at least 4/6,thus far I was on pace and hopefully running w/in myself to have gas left in the tank.
600#4,70,35- and my first 1.45 600m of the year,the next progressive step after coming to terms w/ 6/6 600s at 1.50 is to get back down to 1.45s,all in good time.
600#5,74,34-1.48.43.I didn't panic when I saw 74 at 400m,having ran reasonably consistently over the opening 4 600s had allowed me to have reserves to go to when I needed them.
600#6,73,34-1.47.94.How'd ya like me now???a remarkable performance for only my second 6x600s this year and w/out a doubt the best repeat workout in my 13 week post injury return to training.

So the 64 billion dollar question? was it the flats that made the difference? it's hard to make a case against them I don't believe in coincidence 4oz compared to 12oz on my feet has to factor in,the key will be how my achilles reacts in the next 48 hours b4 trying to run my 5x1,000m in my flats.
Have I turned a corner? it's perhaps too early to tell but this was the shot in the arm my training needed and I hope the upturn in fortunes my life needed,time as ever will tell.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Huffin' & Puffin'

It's never easy to come to the pc after a race or repeat workout hasn't gone as planned but I refuse to be one of those people who only want to talk about the good performances and try to sweep under the rug anything less than satisfactory,my list of character defects may well run long but I'm nothing if not honest even if it goes pear shaped.
Conditions at lunchtime seemed more akin to late October,grey skies and a strong wind blowing through Franklin Field,anytime I notice the flags atop the stands in full flight I know I'm in for a battle.

Mile #1,1.18,1.22,1.25,1.22-5.27.36.I was hoping to target 1.16/1.18 pace clearly the wind was already playing havoc but I was guilty of not being fully focused on laps 3 and 4,at 800m I was on pace at least for a 5.20 mile.
Mile#2,1.19,1.26,1.24,1.17-5.26.27.As in mile #1 the middle two laps proved to be my undoing,the risk of going out at a high end pace of 1.18/1.19 is that when that dips you're into the 1.20s which will always reflect slow splits.
Mile#3,1.24,1.28,1.31,1.29-5.52.91.Just plain ole butt ugly!! I almost bailed after the third lap wind and fatigue do not make for great splits as was evident here,5.52 per mile will NOT cut it for me.
Mile#4,1.24,1.27, least the was something redeeming w/ the final mile but being able to throw in a 70 second closing laps off of the prior three lap splits will not see my name on the Milers Hall Of Fame ballot anytime soon.

Not quite what I had hoped for today,clearly conditions hampered any hopes I had of improving on my splits from two weeks ago which is a blow but also having ran reasonably decent spits over 600 and 1,000 it was a shame my mile splits couldn't follow suit.
I have at least put in three repeat workouts this week and w/ another 10 miler scheduled tomorrow in between Spurs vs Stoke and traveling up to NYC for David Gray it could end up being a half decent week after all.