Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's Been A While

I can't recall the last time I had ''one of those days"at work,as the title states"It's Been A While".
Rather than go all "TMI" on you I,ll say this much because it dictated my day and my workout I walked into a catalogue of cock ups at 6.30am and after sitting down to enter my invoices at 8am I never sat down again till 1.30pm and I knew I had the 4x400m/2,400m repeat on tap this evening.
I also broke out the shorts and tshirt this evening for the first time in eons,it struck me as funny as I laced up my racing flats after removing my warm up bottoms,my legs are holy ghost white,I know I joke about being pale,paddy and proud but dear lord I need to get some sun on my arms and legs in the next few weeks and months!!!
Despite fatigue and the knowledge there was an added 2,400m at the end of my 400s I told myself not to alter the way I approached the 4x400m and promptly opened w/ 61.76.
Proving it was no fluke I then clocked a 62.55. almost identical to my last 4x400m on St Paddy's Day when I opened in 61.42-62.33.
I was feeling the effects of my day on #3, a still respectable 65.52. b4 I suffered my slowest 400m since Feb 10th w/ a 68.70. a bum note to end the 400s on....but I still had a 2,400m to tackle.
''Dib" recommended a 6 to 10 minute recovery b4 the 2,400m,I took 8 minutes,his advice on the 2,400m was go out in 1.38 and hold onto that pace b4 caining the final lap,I had to laugh when he added"knowing you you,ll go out in 1.30".
Opening in 1.33 I then clocked splits of 1.34,1.35,1.29,1.30. b4 closing in 65,take away that 68 at the end of the 400s and it was a good workout,we,ll try again next week and hope my work day is a lot more forgiving.
"It's been a while since I could look at myself straight,it's been a while since I said I'm sorry
It's been a while since I've seen the way the candle lights your face,it's been a while but I can still remember just the way you taste"
''It's Been A While"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Me,Tigger And Pooh

While my Eyore days are behind me{dispite being a huge Tigger fan I dubbed myself Eyore at work.....cos till Chris came along I did all the donkey work!!}it felt like a Winnie The Pooh day out there today,it really was a blustery day.
I knew if the track was still soaked I had the option of an out and back along Cobbs Creek,but that'd mean dealing w/ the wind,one of the pluses of the "Top Cat Bowl"dispite it's knack of retaining surface water along the top turn is that it's at the bottom of a bowl so more often than not wind isn,t a factor.
As it turned out the track was alot dryer than yesterday.....which wouldn't be difficult......this just in my flats are dry!!
Post easy 5 miler "Dib"and I caught up,he was pleased w/ the effort I put in yesterday under less than ideal conditions,but that's last week,we need to focus on this week now,tomorrow is a 4x400 w/ deminished recoveries.................plus a 2,400m at the end,having gotten used to the 4x4 I now need to factor in the 2,400m,just like Ireland's World Cup quallifier away to World Champions Italy on Wednesday it,s a challenge and just like Ireland don't believe it,s a done deal yet in Italy on Wednesday I don,t feel the added 2,400m is a factor either,proving yet again....you can always tell an Irishman...........you just can't tell him much!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Heavy Going At The 12pm At Kempton Park

Well the good news is I got my mile repeats in and notched a 33 mile week,the really good news was today was my scheduled running gear laundry day....just as well!
I can only imagine that it rained very hard overnight as the track was heavier than it's been in a while when I arrived at 12pm,as is it's won't the top turn retained a fair amount of surface water leaving me two choices....well three but the third one was no mile repeats and frankly THAT wasn't happening!!!!
The two more viable options were run in the middle of the track to keep a straight line and not zig zag across the track .....or say feck it and plough through the puddles and deal w/ the mud slashes later,in running as is in life I went w/ plan b.
#1,69,79,79,72-4.59.63.It would seem I was still in 1,000m mode on that opening lap!!
Obviously a sub 5 is always welcome but the question was how well could I hold up on a rain sodden cinder track?
#2,75,78,77,74-5.04.82.Not too shabby,I wanted to open in 75 and hold on,as each lap went by and I went through the "water hazzards"on the top turn I felt a new found respect for 3,000m steplechase runners as they negotiate the water jump for 7 laps!!!
#3,76,80,82,77-5.15.28.If I had hoped today was my first set of mile repeats w/out an 80 plus than it wasn't to be,granted the opening lap of #1 may,ve contributed to that but clearly the rain soaked track wasn't helping any either.
#4,74,80,80,74-5.08.59.I don,t think I,ve been as mentally tough on any mile repeat this year as I was on this one,I knew from the get go I had to dig deep mentally as well as physically and opening in 74 was just what I wanted.
Sure I'm disappointed to open in 4.59.63. and then get slower but the conditions were as much to do w/ that,as I write this my flats sit atop the radiator in my room in the hope they'll dry off in time for Tuesdays next repeat!!!
Considering what the weather people were predicting for today I should be happy I was able to get a repeat in,not so much a case of looking at the glass half empty,more a case of looking at the racing flat half full!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Home Is Where The Heart, And The Cat Is.

Ah the recovery run,god bless it,following yesterdays 3x1,000m and hopefully tomorrows mile repeats,I say hopefully because there,s talk of rain, today was a nice easy 5 miler at lunch time.
I,ll whole heartedly take todays grey skies again tomorrow,I know tomorrow is very much a "weather watch'' day,but we'll cross,burn,jump,paint that bridge when I get up in the morning.
Try as I do I looked for the positives in not going to Monmouth yesterday,granted an outdoor race would,ve been nice,and the potential for a fast mile would,ve been even nicer,however that said by not going I,m actually home for the weekend,which given my past four weeks is somewhat of a luxury,two day trips to New York sandwiched between a weekend in Boston and a weekend in Landover in the past four weeks.
Aside from domestic chores I had time to hit center city today b4 reurning home for an afternoon of World Cup Quallifiers,right now my adoptive Turkey are duking it out w/ Spain in what could,ve been the Euro 08 final last summer and following this Holland and Scotland will lock horns,Hobbes is a Holland fan since they,re both orange and my recent foray into my Simple Minds cd collection has stired a sence of"Scotland The Brave"w/in and when that's all taken care of I'll hit the pc to see how "Gio's Green And White Army" made out in Dublin vs Bulgaria,being a track road warrior is great but being home and enjoying some creature comforts isn,t so bad either.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Three Isn,t A Crowd

W/ the disappointment of missing this particular repeat yesterday and not going to Monmouth now behind me I was determined to "have at it"this evening w/ my first ever 3x1,000m repeat w/ eight minutes recovery.
''Dib" prefaced the workout by saying "don,t go out too hard....but knowing you you will"my mindset was splits of 70,70,30.
#1,68,74,31-2.53.78.The key was taking the first lap easy and finding a comfortable groove,the opening 68 second split was very comfortable and set me up nicely.
#2,69,72,31-2.52.65. now that,s consistant!when I was doing 2x1,000m w/ 10 minute recovery the plan was to try and get the second 1,000m faster than the first,the question was what was left in the tank for a third 1,000m?
#3,70,72,32-2.54.56.To only be a second off of my opener was pleasing but to have conducted my first ever 3x1,000m and to be this consistant was the icing on the cake.
Following a 6 minute recovery I had 2x150m w/ a 250 jog to complete the workout,I had to eyeball where I thought the 50m mark on the top bend was,it,s not like the cinder track is marked,anyways I clocked 17.86-18.85.to complete a very good workout.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

By Royal Appointment

Sadly the weather got the upper hand today,it,s been a while since rain stopped play.
Also getting scuppered today was tomorrows mile in Monmouth,w/out getting into specifics there was an issue between Nike and Puma and the mile went up in smoke,ah theses things happen,it would,ve been nice to race in a potentially fast race but I,m confident there,ll be others between now and late July.
I realize over the past few weeks there,ve been no "Queen Of The Slipstream" updates,we haven,t fallen out,her schedule got altered again a few weeks back to Thursdays and it seems I,ve had a bunch of stuff to blog on Thursdays,had I,ve done my 3x1,000m today I would still have given a shout out to my queen,she still keeps me grounded but in the same breath is very quick to give my accomplishments their due,she,s a very good friend and I cherrish our friendship.
So to sum up,it,s all good on the royal front,there's no race tomorrow but the 3x1,000m that fell prey to the rain today will be conducted manana.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Paws For Thought

Another easy out and back 6 miler along Cobbs Creek this evening.
I enjoy the out and backs,the scenery changes and I get to think more freely than when I,m doing miles on the "Top Cat Bowl".
There was alot to think about this evening,w/ Indoor Nationals and the indoor season behind me I looked at air fair to Appleton Wisconsin and Helsinki for this summers Outdoor Nationals and Worlds,it,s never too early to start planning.
While I try never to look too far beyond my next race,Fridays mile at Monmouth I thought about the upcoming Penn Relays,I believe the entry deadline is due this weekend and in between those races is a mile race at the Philadelphia Distance Classic on April 11th,and should something cause either Friday or the PDC meet to fall by the way side I have a fall back at Stockton College on April 4th,probably the 1,500m....ah yes the great outdoor season is about to get under way,gentleman start your engines.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Careful What You Ask For

W/ indoor season now behind me it,s time to focus on outdoors,last year w/in a week of Indoor Nationals I was back on the track for a 4x400m relay,this year I,m planning on a mile this Friday at Monmouth so tonite it was time for a classic Peter Coe Seb Coe repeat,6x300m w/ deminished recoveries{ever get the feeling Dibble loves giving me deminished recoveries???}
The plan was 48 seconds per 300m,begin w/ 65 seconds but drop down to 40 for the final one,we did this repeat once last year in mid Feb,not quite a month into my return to training,I said at the time I,d like to revisit the workout when I was fully fit....this evening would be that time!
The key to the workout was control,"Dib"even went as far to email me that reminder this morning,48 seconds a big drop from the 56 seconds I was aiming for on Feb 19th last year when I went:57.22,55.29,57.73,59.71,60.94,61.22. tonite I went:40.88,42.85,41.55,42.56,43.38,43.11. a dramatic improvement if I say so myself!
I didn,t mean to start off at 40.88. it might,ve been faster than I was aiming for but it was controled,I didn,t feel I went all"kitchen sink"on it,just like Thursdays opening 150m in 21.38 seconds when I was aiming for 25 seconds,even when I,m meant to run controled I still seem to run fast.
As my subsequent repeats show I didn,t suffer from the fast start nor demished recoveries and kept my splits consistant,all in all a good workout.
I,m sure tonite was about getting ready for a fast mile Friday and not pay back for Luka Modric's wicked goal vs Chelski on Saturday,if it was it didn,t work,I think the 4x400 repeats w/ deminished recoveries have gotten me ready for hard repeats......NEXT!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Indoor Nationals-Post Script.

I switched up my run tonite from easy 5 miler to out and back 6 miler along Cobbs Creek to allow myself to think about my post script from Landover.
As I,ve stated b4 there,s more to Nationals than just running races and winning medals,it a chance to meet up w/ old friends from previous Nationals and make new friends,also this Nationals it was a chance for me to hang w/ my team mates.
Greater Philadelphia Track Club has grown in the past few months,there were several new members in Landover this weekend,it also dawned on me over the weekend I hadn,t seen Scott or Ray since Millrose and I,d only seen Chuck once since Millrose.
There were some classic sound bites over the weekend....sadly most are unfit to be printed!!,the sweetest sound of the weekend was my good friend Nolan Shaheed playing "The Star Spangled Banner" on his trumpet,believe me our national anthem NEVER sounded so sweet!!!
Seeing my good friend Sid Howard set a new American record for the M70 800m was personally pleasing,Sid had just missed the record at The Armory at The Mac C,ships but I told him that nite"don,t worry you,ll get the record at Nationals when there,s more exposure"sure enough he did and he remembered me telling him he would.
The next"gathering of the clans"comes in Oshkosh in July,I,ll be there.

Indoor Nationals-Long Version.

Coming into the 09 edition of Indoor Nationals illness and injury free was a huge boost,in 07 my Indoor Nationals debut I had put up impressive times and races through the winter leading upto Boston only to get sick 2 weeks b4,I dropped out of the mile w/ 2 laps to go, my first ever dnf in a then 31 career but rebounded the following day to a hard fought 4th in the 800m and thanks to Canadian Alain Boucher finishing 2nd I got a bronze.
Last year I went into Boston w/ 8 weeks of training under my belt coming off of my stress fracture and while 8 weeks was ample time to run it wasn,t ample time to run fast as I found out the hard way!!
This winter I had yet again put up some fast times and solid races leading upto this weekends Indoor Nationals in Landover Md and I was confident I was in medal contention for both my races,Saturdays mile and Sundays 800m.
Going into the mile I felt my biggest rivals for a spot on the podium were John Hinton,Pete McGill and Anselm Labourne,the latter two were no shows and John Hinton told me post race he was suffering from a cold,I,m smart enough to factor in several different race plans in my build up so that when the gun goes off I have a plan,what my mile plans didn,t factor in was Scott Hartley!!
Scott had ran a 1.57 800m 2 weeks ago so he was on my radar for the 800m,but his 4.36 mile time didn,t raise any eyebrows.............his race plan did!!
From the gun he latched onto John Hinton and tracked his every move,I got another bad start but quickly recovered and swung wide down the back straight to latch onto those guys,I need to work on my reaction to the gun in all my races from now on,there can be NO margin for error when I get to Lahti in August.
For once I took my watch off and to be honest wasn,t looking at the clock at the finish line or up on the scoreboard,my focus was fairly and squarely on John and Scott,I was oblivious to the fact we,d seperated ourselves from the field.
2.20 at the half?{I learnt this after the race}I was content to sit and kick however coming off the bottom turn w/ three laps to go I elected to pull up alongside John Hinton as I did Scott Hartley clipped my foot by accident, it thrust me into the lead and awoke a sleeping giant,all hell was about to brake loose over the final three laps now!
If the opening 5 laps had been akin to a funeral march the final 3 laps were the Indy 500,I forget when Scott and John went by me or in what order but what I do know is we went out 2.20 and came back in 2.12,2.13,2.14!!!!
Third in 4.34.43.I was far from happy,this was a race I felt I could win and had I not been forced into the lead w/ 650m to go I think I could,ve.
I do wish to state for the record that Scott Hartley clipping me was incidental,it, happens I just wish it,d happened at 450m to go I think I could,ve sustained a kick for home from there.
The time bothered me also I,d ran 4.28 and a pair of 4.30s this indoor season,4.34 just feels slow,but when you go through 800m in 2.20 that,s gonna happen,at the end of the day I,d gotten on the podium which is always important,never moreso than at Nationals period,but also at Indoor Nationals where I,d failed to get a top three finish untill today.
I was aware of Scott's 1.57 800m recently so knew to factor him into the mix in the 800m,I felt the same three protagonists from the mile would duke out the 800m....I wasn,t wrong!!.
I got lane 1 w/ Scott in lane 2,for some reason John was all the way on the outside w/#9,I had to react to the gun this time so being asked to stand up and reset was more weight on that,no worries I reacted to the gun this time and hit the first turn in front b4 predictably Scott flew by me,just like I wanted,my mantra pre race was"sit and kick,sit and kick"
30.02 at 200m{splits thanks to my team captain and road trip roomie Ray"what am I chopped liver"Parker}61.01 at 400m.
I knew John Hinton had to be close behind me,he,d left everything on the home straight yesterday to defend his mile title,sick or not he wasn,t about to roll over and play dead so I wasn,t surprized that he pulled up along side me as went through the bell in 1.32.37.
W/ hindsight I wish I,d tried to hold him off instead of allowing him to go by and then tucking in behind,I was still in "sit and kick"mode and believed coming off the final turn I could unleash enough fury to get to the finish ahead of those guys,as it was the day b4 2 seconds seperated us Scott 2.00,John 2.01,me 2.02.64.
I was alot happier w/ this race than the mile even though the end product was the same,3rd and 2 seconds off of Gold,at least todays 2.02.64 felt akin to the 2.01.17 I,d just ran at The Armory I feel you,ll always loose a second on a flat track over a banked track and once again I,d made it to the podium and added another National Championship medal to my tally,2 bronze to go w/ two silvers and five gold since Charlotte 06.....but the day wasn,t over yet!
Now that GPTC has grown and how,plus the fact this years meet was in Landover not Boston several more of the team had come to Indoor Nationals so for the first time in three years we had a 4x400m relay team,the same 4 who,d ran Millrose,Scott,Ray,Nick and I
Unlike Millrose we had Ray lead off,9 times out of 10 Ray leads off,he,s our natural 400m guy{4th in the m45 400m final noless!}we only swap him and Scott out at Millrose due to the tight track,our concern was the DC Capitals anchor who,s probably a 53 second guy going up against me a 54 second guy fresh,I,d ran 56.2 fresh on a tight track at Millrose and the last thing I wanted was this guy breathing down my neck coming off the final turn.
I needn,t have worried,Ray,Scott and Nick all put enough daylight between us and DC Capitals so that when I got the baton I was clear,that said this was my final race of the meet and the indoor season,finish in style baby!
55.41. those 4x400m repeats are paying off,Gold and another 8 point s for the team who racked up an impressive 124 points this weekend,go team!
As Ray pointed out I now have National Championship Golds at,4x400m,4x800m,800m and 1,500m,let me tell ya being a National Champion NEVER gets old!!
A great weekend,I,ll expand on some of the sights and sounds of Landover away from my races later this evening after my easy 5 miler,in closing I have to say yea to my beloved Spurs beating Charlie Dibble's Chelski 1.0,mad props and much love to Ireland winning the 6 Nations Rugby title too,a fitting way to end my unofficial ''Irish" week.............sure jaysus aren,t they all "Irish" weeks when you,re as Pale,Paddy and Proud as meself!!!!!
"I was born,I was born to be w/ you in this space and time.After that and ever after I haven,t had a clue.
Only to break rhyme this foolishness can leave a heart black and blue.Only love,only love can leave such a mark,But only love can heal such a scar."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Indoor Nationals-Short Version

Greetings sports fans,it,s late Sunday nite having not long returned from Landover,to do complete justice to this weekend will require more time than I have at hand right now,tomorrow I,ll go in depth w/ as much as I can trust me there was a lot to report both on and off the track but surfice to say another memorable Masters Nationals,great races,great memories,more medals and another National Champion patch to the collection.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Your Time Has Come.

After weeks and months of training and preparation Indoor Nationals is here!
Tonite was an easy 5 miler,one last trek around the "Top Cat Bowl"one final visualization of tomorrows mile,I,ll start thinking about Sundays 800m race after the mile tomorrow lunch time.
For the first time in three years I go into Indoor Nationals neither ill or injured which is just as well given the caliber of my opponents,John Hinton,Pete McGill and Anslem Lebourne,I feel I have a front row seat to one of the best races on the schedule tomorrow,just like the Masters Invitational 1,500m in Boston I think a world record is on the cards tomorrow,"technically"John Hinton holds the m45 indoor mile world record and given that Ken Stone has fanned the flames leading upto Indoor Nationals like he did w/ Tony Young in Boston I feel tomorrow could be another one of those days,where I finish in the final shake up remains to be seen.
Till Sunday evening when I return from Landover...................
"To win just once against the odds and once be smiled on by the gods,To race w/ speed along the track break the tape and not look back.
To never have considered losing as if to win by your chosing,bare your soul for all to find an honest heart and open mind."
"To Win Just Once"
The Saw Doctors

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back To The Old House

A chance to kill two birds w/ one stone,a final repeat and at my beloved Franklin Field for the first time since November 7th.
The repeat it's self was 3x150mx3,basically a chance to work on leg turn over,the plan was to go out 25,24,23 in set 1,23,22,21, in set 2 and 21,20,19 in the final set.....like I said that was the plan at least!
I opened w/ a 21.38.so much for opening in 25!!!I can say w/ hand on heart I didn,t set out to go gangbusters right off the bat,I was trying to run controled it was controled alright,just fast!
20.90. and 20.73. to round out set 1.
My recoveries were a 150m jog back to the start after #1 and #2 and a 250m jog after #3.
22.02. to open,my slowest split of the session,I was trying to remind myself this repeat workout was fundamentally about form and not speed,that said the will to run fast always kicks in and set 2 ended w/ splits of 20.70. and 20.54.
Final set,,19.67.you just knew I,d go for the big finish!!!
Post mile cool down,the other reason for coming to Franklin Field came into play.GP was keen for me do a speed workout on a faster track than the "Top Cat Bowl" so he suggested Franklin Field,when I mentioned always coming to Franklin Field b4 Nationals and kissing the plaques of Jumbo Elliot,Ronnie Delaney,Marcus O Sullivan and Eamonn Coghlan for good luck it was agreed
I,d come here tonite,workout and perform my ritual.
Job done,one more pre Nationals run tomorrow and then it,s off to Landover.
"You made me cold,you made me hard and you made me the thief of your heart
Winter is cold,but you,re colder still and for the first time I feel like you,re mine,I,ll share you w/ the one who will mend what falls apart and turn a blind eye to the thief of your heart"
"Thief Of Your Heart"
Sinead O Connor

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good Coffee,Good Friends

Another easy 5 miler,I,d like to have said another easy day but it wasn,t,where as Monday began well enough but went downhill rapidly post lunch today began frantically b4 easing off after lunch.
More often than not my run seemed to be theraputic to the days ills,I have a friend who,s about to begin an exercise class,she,s on the fence about it but I,m trying to convince her from an athletes prespective that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and healthy spirit,we,ll have to see how she makes out over the coming weeks.
Post run this evening I met a good friend of mine for coffee at a nearby coffee spot on Baltimore Ave.
Tony and I have known one another for coming up on 11 years,as friends often do we,ve drifted apart allowing our respective lives to take over and lose touch w/ one another but we decided rather than make the same hollow rethoric each Xmas to"do a better job"staying in touch this year we,d actually try and do something about it.
It was good to see eachother,I was delighted to hear Tony is getting back into his running begining w/ the Broad St Run,in his day Tony was a great marathon runner and I wish him all the best as he gets back into the swing of things.
Last nites Solas concert at World Cafe Live was EVERYTHING I wanted my St Patrick's Day to be,traditional Irish music in a comfortable enviroment,not a "Padabee"{wanabee Paddy!} or ounce of green beer in sight,as Solas brought their rocking set to a climax I realized THIS is how St Paddy,s Days should be celebrated,w/ Solas being a Philly based band and St Paddy,s Day shows at WCL a fixture on the calender I look for this to be my new March 17th tradition.
"My Roisin Dubh is my one and only true love,it was a joy that Joyce brought to me.
While William Butler waits and Oscar,he,s going Wilde,ah sure Brendan where have you Behan?looking for a girl w/ green eyes.
My dark Rosealeen is my only colleen that Georgie knows Best,but Van is the man,starvation once again drinking whiskey in the jar-o,Synge's Playboy of the Western World.
As Shaw,Sean I was born and reared there Where the Mountains of Mourne come down to the sea,is such a long,long way from Tipperary"
"Roisin Dubh"
Thin Lizzy

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pale,Paddy & Proud 09

Happy St Patrick's Day!
Not that I needed any extra incentive this evening but to have a repeat workout on St Paddy's Day and be it my last hard workout b4 Indoor Nationals was a script I could embrace.
Conditions were close to picture perfect this evening,the first of several dozen such evenings between now and October,asides from having my sleeves rolled up I also opted for my newer flats,it dawned on me Saturday that w/ the cinder track dry again I could wear my newer Saucony Killkenny yellow flats and not risk mud splashes all over them,weather better flats made for faster splits tonite remains to be seen.
#1,61.42.wow my fastest 400m split to date on these repeats,it felt comfortable but I knew not to leave it all on the track w/ three more to come.
#2,62.33.now my second fastest 400m split to date!In all honesty splits 1&2 had felt comfortable,last weeks combined time of 4.15 looked in danger this evening.
#3,64.41. at 200m I felt I had to dig in,if the opening two 400s had felt comfortable I won,t deny this one was a little bit harder work.
#4,65.61.at 150m I had a brief"you haven,t got it"thought,banished w/in a nano second by a"the feck I don,t"!!!
Granted I wasn,t as fluid or as powerful down the home straight on this 400m as say #1&#2 but I still clocked a 65.61.off of 60 seconds recovery.
4.12. for my combined 4 400s,my best to date,not that I,m lacking confidence going into Nationals but this was a timely boost to my beliefe that my pr of 4.28 will fall Saturday,I also believe a 60 second 400m is coming,once I get the first look for me to slowly work my way to 4x400m at 60 seconds each it,s coming,just like my first sub 5 mile came Saturday.
Well I,m off to see Solas at World Cafe Live and celebrate my heritage
"On the 4th of July eighteen hundred and six we set sail from the sweet cobh of Cork,we were sailing away w/ a cargo of bricks for the Grand City Hall in New York.
'Twas a wonderful craft she was rigged for and aft and oh how the wild wind drove her
She stood several blasts she had twenty seven masts and they called her The Irish Rover.
There was Barney McGee from the banks of the Lee there was Hogan from County Tyrone,There was Johnny McGurk who was scared stiff of work and a man from Westmeath called Malone.
There was Slugger O'Toole who was drunk as a rule,and Fightin Bill Treacy from Dover,and yer man Mick MacCann from the banks of the Bann was the skipper of The Irish Rover"
"The Irish Rover"
The Pogues And The Dubliners

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Feel A Rant Coming On

Off of a rest day yesterday it was back into the swing of things today w/ an easy 5 miler,the key word being easy,tomorrow is my final 4x400 repeat b4 heading down to Landover this weekend.
Given the lunchtime from hell I endured I could be forgiven for not hammering it today,I knew better,tomorrow is when it counts,today was about being sensible.
And so to my rant,my trip to New York on Saturday to see The Saw Doctors{as the Guinness slogan goes..........''Brilliant"}spared me a Saturday in Philadelphia where it seemed the "masses"were hell bent on "getting their Irish up"
I,m sorry wearing a green t shirt and a green plastic hat does not make you Irish,and who was the gobshite who came up w/ the idea of"the running of the micks"I find this HUGELY offensive and feel the culprit should be dropped off on O Connell St Dublin tomorrow w/ a union jack and a "!@#% The Pope'' banner drapped off of him,harsh?yeah maybe but I,m tired of my Patron Saint,s holiday being turned into a drinking holiday period,muchless by ejits who,ve NEVER been to the "ould country",most couldn,t find Ireland on a map,or think Eire is another country altogether.
These same people hijack Mardi Gras,don beads and drink for the sake of it,what,s next,tying one on for Good Friday?
I,ve avoided going out on St Patrick,s Day because of these clowns for the past few years but tomorrow I,m heading to World Cafe Live to see Solas,where the emphasis will be on the music,not the drinking,and my final rant,who,s brianwave was feckin green beer?NO self respecting Irish man or woman would be caught dead drinking that shite.
"Oh it must seem so romantic when the fighting,s over there and they,re passing round the shamrock and you,re all filled up w/ tears.
For the love of dear old Ireland that you,ve never ever seen you throw in twenty dollars and sing wearing of the green.
Each dollar a bullet a bullet each victim,s someone's son and Americans kill Irishman as surely as if they fired the gun.
Now you,ve never stood on Belfast streets and heard the bombs explode or hid beneath the blanks when there,s riots down the road,no you,ve never had your best friend die or lost a favourite son,but you,ll stand there and tell us just what we,re doing wrong"
"Each Dollar A Bullet"
Stiff Little Fingers

Saturday, March 14, 2009

High Noon At The Top Cat Bowl

It,s been a while since I last compleated a Mon-Sat rotation and were it not for the fact I,m about to high tail it upto Manhatten to see The Saw Doctors tomorrow would be that rarest of rare"fuck off days"when I don,t have to leave the house for anything,I guess I,ve still got a week or two b4 I can enjoy one of them.
I jogged over to the "Top Cat Bowl" just b4 12pm,conditions were sunny and warm,prehaps post Indoor Nationals will see me break out the shortsleeve dri fit shirts but for now there,s no taking chances,I,ve worked too hard to stay healthy for next weekend to get wreckless now down the home stretch.
Mile warm up compleat it was time to roll the dice and see what I could produce in my final hard workout b4 Landover next Sat and Sun,based on this weeks 400s and 1,000s I was confident of a seasons first sub 5 mile today........
#1,72,79,79,70-5.00.79.Yowzer!,75 second splits tend to be my bench mark,it,s a tad early in my season to be going 4x75 but this was impressive,was I disappointed I didn,t go sub 5 on #1?a little but I had three more bites at the cherry.
#2,76,82,82,74-5.14.96.Agh!a nice start but those two 82 second laps threw the repeat off,I know the need to eradicate splits of 80 plus from the equation in order to go sub 5.
#3,80,86,85,85-5.36.48.BOLLOCKS!When I went through 800m in 2.46 there was a brief moment of"'should I step off the track now?"mercifully I had the gumption to keep going albeit at a pace detrimental to what I was looking for,in the back of my mind I knew Ronnie,Eamonn and Marcus had bad mile repeats and kept going...........I also knew Jumbo was all over them for it,telling Dib I,d ran back to back 5.14-5.36 splits not a comforting thought!
#4,75,80,79,65-4.59.26.Fuckin A!!!!,my mantra on all final repeats irrigardless of distance is go into that first turn w/ 100% conviction and set the tone from the getgo,I did just that w/ a 75.
I antisipated an 80 second 2nd lap which I got spot on,now to dig down deep.
3.54.at the bell a 79 second lap,it was there for the taking.........and I wanted to take it!!coming off the bottom bend and down the back straight I could feel myself forcing every last ounce out of my body,I visualized next Saturdays mile vs John Hinton and Pete McGill w/ 300m to go.
Off the final turn I was pouring it on in spades and crossed the line in 4.59.26. thanks to a 65 second closing lap..................Begorah indeed!!!
I said Thursday a sub 5 was on today,but for 7 one hundredths of a second I could,ve had two,but I,ll make do w/ one,lest we gloss over the glearingly obvious,this is mid March and I,m notching sub 5s now,we haven,t gotten into the meat and spuds of the season yet.
I,m done for the week,Dib and I can discuss what,s on tap for the lead upto Indoor Nationals tomorrow,for now I,m Manhatten bound to have a jig and share the craic w/ my country men and women in Times Square w/ The Saw Doctors.............

Friday, March 13, 2009

Galloping Gourmet

An easy 5 miler this evening putting me at 23 miles for the week,my 4x1 mile repeats tomorrow plus a mile warm up and cool down w/ a half mile jog to and from the track will round me off at 30 miles for the week again for the 5th week in a row.
Post run it was "domestic time"laundry and dinner.
Dib seemed pleasently surprized by my love off all things cullinary,when you run as hard as I do you need to eat as well as I do also,tonites bill o fare Grilled Salmon,Sauted Mushrooms,Safron Rice and steamed Snap Peas...........and I did my own dishes afterwards on top of having just done my work clothes laundry.............a domesticated ally cat if ever there was one!!!
I,m looking forward to tomorrow, a lie in,a day off,4x1 mile repeats and The Saw Doctors in New York City,life is good...........oh and Indoor Nationals is only a week away.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Off To The Races

In a week that,s the Cheltenham Horse Festival back home today saw me get my serious gallop on w/ the going good to firm.
Due to my trip to Boston and the subsequent fall out from the snow I hadn,t been able to conduct a 2x1,000m repeat since Feb 19th and that had been my first 2x1,000s since Nov 7th so you can imagine my desire to have at it this evening.
Conditions were ideal,sunny and warm,next to no wind,my hope was to go through the opening 400m in somewhere between 72 and 74 seconds,so imagine my surprize to clock 69 seconds,I knew from my breathing at 300m I was on for something fast.
2.20 at 800m a 71 second split,last time out I went 74/76 b4 a closing 200m of 30 to clock 3.00.65,today I also closed in 30 but this time to clock 2.50.55.
Following my 10 minute recovery I was back on my horse for round two, a 70 second opener,I was pleasently surprized to see my opening three 400s all w/in 3 seconds of eachother.
2.24. at 800m a 74 second split,if I was disappointed it didn,t last,I powered through the closing 200m to rack up another 30 second 200m and clock a 2.54.99.
I have to be happy w/ this performance 5 seconds off repeat #1,7 seconds off of repeat #2 on this form and Tuesdays 400s I feel my first sub 5 mile is on Saturday,Dib thinks it could be more than one,we,ll see won,t we?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Staying On Pace

I was delighted to get todays easy 5 miler in as there was talk of rain which had potential for scuppering that,Iwasn,t prepared to play fast and loose w/ the weather now so close to Indoor Nationals,9 days and counting but upon arrival home at 4.30pm there was no sign of the reported rain so I was changed and out tout sweet to get my run in.
It wouldn,t have been the end of the world if I couldn,t have ran today but I wanted to keep my Mon-Sat rotation going,Sat nite I,m off to New York again and it,ll be another late nite although this time I should be able to get home albeit around 3am evenso I don,t really want to have to worry about getting up and running again albeit only an easy 5 miler so let,s hope the next three days see repeats of 2x1,000m and 4x1 mile either side of an easy 5 miler.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Heavy Cloud,No Rain

After an almost two week absence from repeats it was time to get back to what enables me to clock indoor prs of 2.01,4.07,4.28 at 800m,1,500m and the mile.
For the past few days I,ve nervously tracked the weather forcast,talk of showers today and rain tomorrrow,in a week that,s important to nail my final pre Indoor Nationals repeats I was hoping I could avoid the showers today,we,ll worry about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here.
I arrived at the Cobbs Creek cinder track{or soon to be renamed Top Cat Bowl!!}w/ grey skies but no rain and little to no wind,all good elements for a repeat workout.
After my mile warm up it was time to strip down to my long sleeved dri fit shirt and tights,it,s not warm enough yet for short sleeves or sleeveless much less shorts but we,re getting there.
#1,62.64.my first reaction was"too fast too soon"but in the 90 seconds I get to recover I realized I,d ran at a controled pace,that 62 didn,t feel like a 62 and that I felt boded well for the remainder of the repeat.
#2,64.40. as expected slower than my opener but I still felt comfortable,on week 2 of these repeats I went 62.86,64.69,65.78,66.04. the acid test now on #3, halt the slide.
#3,64.74.impressive if I say so myself,I,m getting to grips w/ these deminished recoveries and learning to run as fast per repeat.
#4,65.16.,wow, a combined mile of 4.15,maybe not as consistant as my last one when I went 66.53,65.35,65.52,66.78. for a combinded time of 4.22 but clearly faster.
Post workout "Dib" felt tonite was my best 4x4 to date,I believe he used the c word to discribe me.................that,s consistant people ok!!!...........please!
All in all I have to be delighted w/ this performence,it,s no surprize I,m clocking pr,s this indoor season off of these 4x4s,let,s see what Thursday,s 2x1,000m yeild and let,s also see if the rain holds off tomorrow for me to clock a 5 miler.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Back On Track

After yesterdays race,not to mention all the bruhahaa getting home or not as the case maybe I was delighted this evening was an easy 5 miler.
Also following last weeks days delay in Boston and subsequent loss of training due to the snow and the need to hit 4x 7 mile runs in order to stay on pace for a fourth week of 30 milers meant returning to the tried and tested 5 miler, upto and around the Cobbs Creek cinder track today.
I was pleased how "user friendly"the track was considering how bad it looked last Wednesday and hopefully the weather will cooperate w/ me for the remainder of this my final full week of prep b4 Indoor Nationals.
Having already given all praises due to my team mates yesterday at Eastern Regionals I,d also like to sing the praises to Derval O Rourke and Mary Cullen for winning bronze medals for Ireland this weekend at the European Indoor Athletic C,ships in Turin,heartfelt wishes go to Roisin McGettigan and the womens 4x400m relay for finishing 4th.
Well I,m about to make a rather large bowl of chicken and rice,scoff the lot,cop Footie Tonite and catch up on some much needed zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs,tomorrow a 4x4 repeats beckons,normal service is being resumed.

A Tale Of Two Cities..................

Three if we included the overriding influence of Dublin this past week, U2 on ''Letterman"all week,Mayor Bloomburg renaming 53rd St U2 Way and a six song set at Fordham Friday morning on "Good Morning America"and little ole me having finished Eamonn Coghlan,s autobiography I,m now onto the other great Dublin miler Ronnie Delaney....like I need extra juice going into a New York City race.....................
While the masses headed to Ursinus for Eastern Regionals I opted for The Armory and the Mac C,ships,as I stated in the build up to this race I,ve gotten sick the last two years at Ursinus right b4 Indoor Nationals,once you can say is unfortunate,twice,more than a coinsidence,a third time would be far from a charm so reluctantly I had to turn my back on my team mates from GPTC and fly solo to NYC,by all accounts they did fine w/out me and I look forward to meeting up w/ them in Landover in just under two weeks so we can do some major damage at Indoor Nationals.
Having focused on the 1,500m/mile throughout the indoor season it was important to get not only an 800m under my belt b4 Mar 22nd but also a fast one,hence the train ride along the North East Corridoor to Penn Station and the A subway to 168th St and The Armory.
I always knew there was potential for missing the last connecting train out of Penn Station at 10.14pm but I needed this 800m,that said I afforded myself a wry smile when the 1,500m went off as the second event of the meet.............
Eventually the call went up for the 800m,as is my won,t I elected to run in the open heat,my previous seasons best here at the The Armory in the mile{4.28 also a pr!}and previous pr at 1,500m{4.09} were in open races................if it aint broke,don,t fix it!!!
I just missed heat 1 by 1 spot they took the fastest 9 runners and I was 10th,that said judging from some of the enrties in heat #1 they lied about their seed times that ranged from 1.56 thro 2.02 where I had seeded myself,hey ho heat #2 it was.
A drawback of being seeded #1 was the inside lane in a "waterfall"start, 9 runners all shooting for the inside lane from the gun,I held my ground in lane 1 w/out getting boxed in or having to weave out into lanes 2 or 3,split seconds/one hundredth of a second in an 800m makes a big difference.
I can,t recall my 200m splits exactly,29,59 at 200m/400m,I was 5th,in the indoor 800m,just like the outdoor mile that third lap is key,half way down the back straight I moved into 4th and coming off the turn up the home straight into 3rd,2nd began to rig,game on at the bell.
1.31 I,d gone 29,30,32,thus far w/ a target to chase I gave it everything but couldn,t close the gap 1.58 for the winner,2.01.17 for me in second,2.04 for third.
2.01.17. is an indoor pr for me and also my 4th fastest ever 800m,I got what I came here for a fast time in my final Indoor Nationals tune up and a crack of daylight between me and the 2.03-2.05 pack who,ll be at Landover.
Knowing the 9.14pm train wasn,t an option I did my half mile cool down,collected my medal and shoot the proverbial w/ some Shore AC and CPTC friends b4 the mad dash back to Penn Station.
4 mins to spare,golden or so I thought, having bought a one way ticket up in case I copped a ride home I now had to get a ticket from the automated ticket machine,for some dumb reason none of them would take my perfectly working debit card,bottom line the 10.14pm NJT left w/out me...
No worries....he said I,ll crash in the waiting room till the 4.20am NJT to Trenton and jump the 6.06am R7 back to Philly.............a 2 hour limit is on the waiting room,so I was asked to vacate at 11.15pm and return at 1.45am....just where I was going for 2.5 hrs was debatable,so I took the 11.56pm out of Penn Station to arrive at Trenton at 1.33am some 4 hrs b4 the first R7 rolls out at 5.37am.
Mercifully the waiting room on platform 5 was open and Joe and I a fellow West Philly bound passenger hung out shoot the breeze b4 trying to rack up a few zzzs b4 a Dunkin Donut raid prior to said 5.37am R7 departing.
It,s funny how fate works,asides from being near neigbours in W.Philly Joe and I shared some common ground in terms of running and I was greatful for the company in the wee hours.
Home by 6.55am only to get changed and head over to work,the clock in my office hadn,t been turned forward so technically I arrived at 6.50am,10 mins on time.............for a 7am start!!!
All in a days work,next stop Landover.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Repeat After Me,Easy Tiger

My final out and back 7 miler at lunch time,it must be spring time if I,m able to run b4 noon,not something I could boast too often of late w/ the obvious exception of last week that was more travel schedule related than anything.
Keeping in mind a comment GP had once made re a recovery/easy run"however slow you,re running,is probably too fast"I made sure to keep things at a sedate pace.
The whole point of tomorrow,s race in New York is to go for a fast time,my sole 800m race this season came way back on Dec 21st,I have ran two 800s at The Armory this year but both came after 4.28/4.30 miles so it really does feel like my first 800m of the year and given my 2.03.01 may not be good enough to medal in Landover in a fortnites time you can see why I,m overlooking the Mid Atlantic/Eastern Regional C,ships at nearer to home Ursinus to hit the Mac C,ships at The Armory.
Tomorrow will be my swan song for The Armory till probably Jan.....but NOT my swan song for racing in New York City this year,I aim to be back as early as May at Ichan Stadium.
One final Armory/Mac C,ships footnote,my Armory debut came way back in March 06 at the Mac C,ships over 400m and 4x400m relay,I won my 400m heat and we finished 2nd in the relay giving me my first ever Mac C,ship medal....I,d like another tomorrow,and I,d also like a seasons best 800m split to go w/ it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Great Outdoors

Another out and back seven miler,another warm sunny day,Spring is almost here....whee!!!
And w/ that comes the realization that outdoor track is right around the corner,today marks two weeks till Indoor Nationals and once they come and go it,s Outdoor track till late September.
W/ that in mind I used my out and back today to think about my outdoor races,I need to be selective,I don,t forsee anymore than seven races post Penn Relays and that includes the 1,500m and 4x800m relay at Masters Nationals in Oshkosh just b4 Worlds in Lathi.
Obviously I can,t look past Sundays race or Indoor Nationals but I need to start thinking about outdoor season,that said w/out a schedule of outdoor meets it,s hard to pick my seven races between May and July but rest assured at some point in time "Dib" and I will pull up a couple of trash cans in the alleyway and draw up a schedule.
One more day of 7 milers,one more nite of U2 on ''Letterman",oh and on the subject of Irish musicians Lisa Hannigan was boss big time last nite at World Cafe Live,next stop on the "Top Cat Paddy Music St Paddy,s Daypalozza" The Saw Doctors in Times Square next Saturday.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Same Mile,Less Layers

Another out and back seven miler along Cobbs Creek this evening.
The warming trend continues which not only continues to melt the snow period but also means my beloved cinder track continues to be more user friendly begining next week,right now 260m of the track are sans snow,I feel come Monday it,ll be usable for the 4 mile chunk of my easy 5 miler b4 hitting it w/ avengence on Tuesday for my 4x400m repeats,but that as they say is for another day.
Unlike yesterday I wasn,t bundled upto the nines to combat the cold,w/ Indoor Nationals two weeks away as of tomorrow I can ill afford to play fast and loose w/ the weather and my choice of running clothes now,I,d rather look goofy and going into Landover 100% fit than take a risk and get sick.
Tonite not only reminded me of the old days of out and back runs but also of my runs up on the Art Museum Loop and Delaware Ave from a bygone era,uninterupted by traffic,even at a slower pace than I used to crank out then it,s important for cadence not to have to stop and start thanks to traffic.
Well I,m off out again,last year seemed to be a real wake up call to my spluttering social life or lack thereof,tonite marks concert #4 for the year and the first of three in the next 12 days,tonite Lisa Hannigan at World Cafe Live,if the name Lisa Hannigan dosen,t ring any bells dig out the first two Damien Rice cds,Lisa was his backing vocalist b4 branching out solo,her debut cd "See Sew"is gathering rave reviews so it promises to be a good show.
Oh yeah,b4 I forget Francis wanted me to point out that Sundays 4.07.49. 1,500m was worth a 93.0 on age graded performance....I guess it,s true what they say "Old Forde,s Never Die, We Just Get Faster".

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snap Back To Reality

After a weekend of flitting between elite athlete and stranded airline passenger it was time to get back to what I do on a regular basis,loading dock foreman by day,runner by evening.
The key word today was caution...although I,m pretty sure GP meant that should apply only to my run,but hey why take chances eh???,hard work never killed anyone but why fly in the face of it.................Chris and Joanne will love reading that but they know I,m a goofball,a hardworking goofball and while it was hard to get back into that rhythm of working after an unexpected two days off it was important to get things back on a regular routine,both at work and in training.
Obviously the snow had seriously kyboshed the cinder track for repeats,it,ll probably be early next week b4 I,m able to use it for that,given Sunday is a race Friday would be the latest I could do repeats and frankly judging by the look of the track tonite that isn,t happening.
Having lost Monday spending it at Logan and yesterday as my recovery day not to mention being a tad ber I opted to hit 7 milers today,tomorrow,Friday and Saturday to give me 28 miles going into Sundays race,mile warm up,800m half mile cool down,bingo 30 miles for the week!
Having done an out and back along Cobbs Creek on Feb 14th I had a 6 mile route already and since I needed to scope out the track it was a half mile down there and back,7 miles.
I had no need to time the run period but also it was imperative to be safe,ergo no looking at my watch and looking at the ground to make sure conditions underfoot were kosher,as "Dib" had gone to great lenghts to point out last nite,"we,ve been real careful w/ everything upto now let,s not lose sight of that"....he,ll go far that boy!!!
I enjoyed tonite,s run,an out and back is rare,I liked the change of scenery,dispite the just above freezing temps the sun was out and there was no wind,unlike yesterday,that said it was ski hat,2 pairs of gloves,sweatshirt beneath my jacket and tights beneath my warm ups,as the mercury rises this week the layers will peel off.
Out and back in 53.45,I doubt I,ll time the rest of my runs I guess I just wanted to make sure the add on of out to the track and back b4 the 6 mile out back wouldn,t throw off the time I ran Feb 14th.
One down,three to go,for my runs,two to go for work.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tc,s Pr In Ma Ok{Ps I Heart JS Too!!}

Alrighty now that I,ve had the benefit of a hot meal and a good nites sleep in my own bed and not the floor of Boston airport I can relive my weekends experiences at the Masters Invitational 1,500m race at the USATF C,ships at famed Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
As much as I tout New York as my second home I,m no stranger to Beantown either{notice I how I gravitate towards Irish cities......???!!}this was my 5th visit in 5 years.
Given the switch of venue for Masters Indoor Nationals this year from Boston to Landover this was my lone chance to keep a three year streak going,what,s an indoor season w/out a race in Boston afterall??
Having broken the 4.10 barrier at my first attempt this year at the Mac Meet on Jan 4th I had no doubts about coming up here for this race,and that was b4 Tony Young ran a *world record indoor mile of 4.13,I knew a fast race was on hand and w/ one eye very much on Worlds this summer I felt the chance to pop a fast 1,500m albeit indoors would hold me in good stead going into the rapidly approaching outdoor season.
I arrived in Boston Saturday afternoon and after checking into the host hotel Marriott Copley{if you,re gonna do it,do it up right yeah?}I made my way over to the RLC to pick up my race credentials and also check out the elite athletes,this was afterall our Indoor National C,ships.
I ran into good friends Francis Burdett and Mark Cleary at the end of the meet and joined them and Lisa Valle a runner in the womens Masters Invitational 400m for dinner.
There,s an old adage in running about not eating something different than you are used to the nite b4 a race but I hardly felt going Vietnamese and eating Chicken,Rice,Noodles and Veggies was going to be a shock to the system,and besides it beat eating dinner by myself.
I retired post dinner to my room and the softest bed I,ve ever slept on{kudos Marriott,kudos!}to chat on the phone w/ coach GP for almost an hour,we,d agreed on a race plan a while ago and felt no need to alter that plan,my head hit the pillow w/ a definative race plan in mind.
I awoke Sunday morning to a lite dusting of snow{blissfully unaware of the 8'' of snow that would fall on Philly airport and subsequently scupper my flight home}on the ground,I hit the buffet at Champions Sports bar to kill the proverbial two birds w/ one stone,breakfast and a chance to cop the Carling Cup Final between my beloved Spurs and Man Utd.
Alas Spurs lost 4.1 in a penalty shoot out,no repeat of last years victory but I wasn,t going to allow that to colour my afternoon,GP and I had joked about the risk of watching a Spurs cup final b4 a big race,"if Spurs lose you,ll be devistated"joked the Chelski fan,"no, if we lose I,ll be out for revenge in the race,if we win again like last year verses......Chelski I,ll be on cloud 9" I retorted,it,s typical banter between "Dib" and I.
Sitting in the hotel lobby killing an hour b4 taking the shuttle bus to the meet I was able to observe a who's who of US track and field,both past and present,Dan O Brien,Jon Drummond,Deena Kastor,Dan Taylor and Jenn Stuczynski,rather than be awestruck I chose to marvel how at home I felt,I may not be an elite athlete but I know how to get into elite athlete mindset,my race albeit a Master Invitational was no less important to me as winning a National Championship was for the top flight athletes gathered as we boarded the bus.
Upon arrival at the Reggie Lewis Center I took my place in the warm up zone,I had an hour to kill b4 begining my warm ups,it was interesting to observe up close how the elite are little or no different from me in their preparation to a race/event.
Prior to my mile warm up I got to meet the great Tony Young for the first time,I was impressed he knew who I was.
Tony like other elite Masters runners I,ve faced,John Hinton,Jim Sorensen{still hoping to meet Pete McGill}comes off as a humble man,not hung up on the fact they stand a few feet above the rest of the field,Tony,s attitude pre race"let,s go out and have some fun"if as I suspected all week Tony was gunning for the world record he wasn,t outwardly showing signs of worry about the prospect.
Mile warm up and stretches done we took the call from the clerks table at 3.50pm and walked to the athletes holding area,in what I hoped was a psychological move I made sure to be first out of the gym and first into the holding area.
Initially we were told we had 6 minutes b4 gun time,this suddenly w/in 30 seconds became 4 mins and in my haste to strip down to race gear and put my socks and spikes on and get onto the track for a few stride outs I left my trademark shamrock bandana in my spike bag,upon realizing it was too late,my basket had been transported to the finish area,no big I,d been calm and focused untill now,no point allowing this to throw me off.
W/ the late scratch of Birger Ohlsson we were now a 6 man field,my game plan prior to the race was go out w/ Tony and Birger and hang on for dear life,now I,d just have to go out w/ Tony,no small fete let me tell ya!!!
From the gun Tony impossed his will on the race as all great athletes do,off the first turn I settled into third behind Chris Simpson who Francis had told me had ran a 1.57. 800m the previous week,by the time we reached 300m I moved ahead remembering a pre Nationals comment GP had made about not allowing other runners between you and your main opponents.
Dispite a clock at the start and finish I don,t recall my 200m,400m or 600m splits,in fairness I was too preoccupied looking up at the big screen above the bottom turn to see where Chris was behind me,Tony was a good distance ahead of me by now,I just don,t have that speed right now to go w/ him,but I,ll get there trust me.
2.11 at 800m,Tony was long gone and I needed to focus on Chris,s challenge over the final 3.5 laps,I was running well w/in my comfort zone and w/ hindsight that,s prehaps my only gripe w/ my performance,I didn,t push myself harder,again this will come in time.
3.33 at the bell I was able to kick,by now it was clear Tony was on for the world record and how,3.57.91 shattering the previous mark of 4.02.80.
I finished second in 4.07.49. a 2 second improvement on my previous pr of 4.09.27. w/ Chris just behind me in 4.08.54.,my second second place finish here in Boston for Masters Invitationals,two years ago I finished 2nd in the 800m,but unlike then today I got a medal,a silver National Championship USA Track & Field Indoor C,ships Exhibition Masters 1,500m 2nd place medal as it says on the back of it.
I had a lot to be pleased w/ a 2 second pr,another step towards the 4.05 barrier, a part of history albeit 10 seconds behind Tony but also ANOTHER step up the ladder towards Lahti and Worlds this summer.
Post 2 mile cool down I caught a few more races b4 a futile trip to the airport for my 8.30pm return flight to Philly,so focused on my race throughout the day I wasn,t aware that 8'' of snow had fallen on Philly airport and all flights were cancelled,had I,ve known that I could,ve joined Tony,Chris,Paul,Jason and Francis at Doyles,oh well!!
Much like I wouldn,t allow Spurs Carling Cup defeat to ruin my day a nite at the airport wasn,t going to detract from another banner day in my career,I phoned GP and left a message for Chuck at GPTC and also Chris at work....clearly I wasn,t going to be in to work Monday morning!!
I spent 24.5 hours at Boston airport waiting for a flight out of Philly,I,d like to thank my new friends Roger and Gail for helping the day go by alot quicker and hope their trip to Liverpool for two soccer games is a blast.
I eventually arrived home at 10.03pm tired and hungry but happy to be home again,I was not going to work today either,I owed it to myslf to eat,shower,unwind and relax not to mention sleep and catch up on some rest post phone call to GP that "the Top Cat had landed".
All in all a brilliant weekend,and one I won,t forget anytime soon,and what of these rumours of me and Jenn Stuczynski sharing some "face time"together???well I plead the fifth,what happens in Boston stays in Boston,but it can be no coinsidence that we sat close by to one another in the Marriot lobby and Reggie Lewis gym and my final words to the first lady of American Pole Vault as she headed to the track on route to a new American record was "go get em!!",the luck of the Irish at full force yet again....begorah!!
Final words go to Miles Hunt and The Wonder Stuff who along w/ Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine are duking it out for discman/ipod supremacy right now.
"So he,d keep on moving, keep on moving,don,t let your feet stick to the ground when everyone else is moving all around.Don,t be stationery or laden down,don,t try to tell me that your feet are made of lead.Two choices,hang back or get ahead,lead the pack,get it in your head to keep on moving.
The Wonder Stuff

Monday, March 2, 2009

4.07.49. Worth Of Work,Followed By A 24 Hour Delay At Logan International

Greetings sports fans,I,m not long in the door following my weekend exploits in Boston at the USATF C,ships,to do justice to the whole story requires more time than I have at hand right now so it,ll be manana b4 I blog a blow by blow account of it but to add flavour to the entry the following words will feature prominately:Tony Young,World Record,PR,Jenn Stuczynski,24 Hour Delay At Boston Airport.
Stay Tuned!