Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hurry Up....And Wait

The fact my day was off kilter meant I wasn't surprized that my 10x200m wasn't w/out issue either.
While I resisted the draw of Franklin Field on Tuesday for the 4x400/2,400m I felt it was a better venue for my 10x200m,however upon my arrival there at 5.32pm I was informed Franklin Field was closing at 6pm not 8pm,and you wonder why I've been reluctant to work out here.
Since there was little to no time to waste I quickly did a 800m warm up b4 my 200s,the plan was keep them all at 33 seconds but w/ "Dib's" favourite diminished recoveries,the plan was 60,60,50,50,40,40,30,30,20,however w/ the rush to get the workout in I ended up bringing down my recoveries w/ 5 second incruments not 10....doh!!
My 200s went:35.18,33.46,31.41,34.00,33.92,33.44,32.99,33.61,33.94,33.64.
At least I was reasonably consistant,granted I,d knawlsed up the recoveries but I got 7 of the 10 repeats at 33 seconds and one of the 3 I missed was a 34.00 however it all be for naught in regards to Saturday,word out of Delaware is the meet has been canceled due to the Swine Flu.
Granted there are other meets but right now it's another nail in the coffin that has been this week.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

All Quiet On The Western Front

An easy 5 miler this evening as I get ready for 10x200m repeats tomorrow as I continue my preparation for Saturdays 1,500m race in Willmington.
Mercifully a quiet day on the work front,the old Ricky Waters"for who for what??"mindset crept back into play today,it's the same old bullshit I've been dealing w/ for eight years,yesterday was a reality check that things haven't changed and that I need to remember that,go in,do my job and get out and focus on the things that really matter,my running,the Champions League semi finals,Swine Flu,Iron Maiden,who Millwall will face in the League 1 playoffs,how the Celtics and Bruins do in their know the important stuff.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seek And Destroy/Master Of Puppets

If I'm quoting Metallica that can only mean I'm in a bad mood....well I was earlier, amazing how a repeat workout took care of all that anger....
W/out getting all TMI re the work situation all I'll say is I'm seldom surprized at the utter lack of imput I'm asked to give on matters to do w/ running the loading dock....I've only been doing it for coming up on eight years and once again"executive decisions" were made re my job by people who've never worked on a loading dock,muchless ask either Chris or I if we have any thoughts on the matter,employee?I fell more like a friggin puppet...there I've vented now I can move on!
I was glad to be back training again,yesterdays rest day was all well and good but I wanted to be back at it period,also having spent most of last week in sprinter mode and mindset I needed to get back into miler mode and mindset,especially w/ a 1,500m race this Saturday and a mile next Thursday.
I opted for "The Top Cat Bowl" rather than trek down to Franklin Field,the prospect of potentially having to wait till 6pm to get on the track didn't sit well so it was off to TCB by 5pm,following the half mile jog over there and my mile warm up it was time for my 4x400m/2,400m repeat.
#1,64.08.right off the bat I got into my stride for sub 65 pace,now could I say there?
#2,62.28.a little quicker than I was looking for but last time out I went:64.84,62.34, so I wasn't too concerned,I felt I could maintain my sub 65 second pace.
#3,64.87.tonite was the first time I really noticed how uneven this track is,I'm sure it's always been uneven,why it took till tonite to notice is anyones guess?
#4,64.68.if I say so myself{and Dib would later agree}I was the model of consistancy on my 400s.
Following my 7 minute recovery it was into my 2,400m,again I was consistant,splits of:95,94,95,89,91 b4 the the grand finale of a final lap of 61.44.
Once again I'd manage to run the final lap of the 2,400m faster than the final 400 of my 4x4,job well done.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time To Move On

Following my 4x400m relay yesterday afternoon I was promptly over to "The Top Cat Bowl"w/in minutes of returning home to crank out a 5 miler.
Given ''Dib" had suggested I limit my milage prior to Penn Relays I found myself at 20 miles for the week after my mile warm up prior to the 4x4, I now needed to make up 10 miles between yesterday and today to notch another 30 mile week.
I had several different ways of doing it 3 and 7,4 and 6 but 5 and 5 seemed more obvious,I was aware how hot it was going to get today b4 I ran last nite at 7pm and figured if I could "suck it up" last nite and crank out a 5 miler then it'd only need another 5 miler today.
If last nite was tough then it was worth it,dispite having to go out at 11am in near 80 degree heat I was able to do what I,ve done numerous times this year and take care of business over 5 miles.
If the week leading upto Penn Relays had been about thinking like a sprinter now post Penn Relays it was time to revert to 800m/miler mindset.
There's a 1,500m race to prepare for this Saturday followed by a Masters Mile the following Thursday,to that end I'm taking a rest day tomorrow b4 returning to the track Tuesday for repeats,it's safe to say the outdoor season has begun!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hometown Glory

Running the Penn Relays never gets old for me,I still get a thrill from seeing my name in the program and frankly where else will I get to run infront of 47,000 fans?
Being a Philly native helps,it's a 40 minute walk from my front door to Franklin Field and lest we forget long b4 "The Top Cat Bowl" Franklin Field was my home track,and will be again after Penn Graduation.
It'll come as no great surprize I listened to Iron Maiden on the walk to Franklin Field,I felt it set the table for me,I've been low key and quiet all week leading upto today, I sensed a pr was on the cards for me and a club record was there for the taking for the team, in 2007 todays same foursome of Ray,Scott,Daryl and myself ran 4.42.90.,I honestly felt a 4.40 was on today but to a man if we ran a second faster than 2 years ago a 3.38.
Given the heat we sought shade in the top part of the east stand b4 making our way to Bower Field behind the stadium to warm up,I don't think I've ever been as focused for Penn Relays as I was today,nor do I think I've ever been as well prepared,over the last three years here at Penn I've ran 54.10 in 06,54.58 in 07,and 55.1 in 08,like I always say running in front of 40,000 will do wonders for your times.
We got a tough start,lane 1 but Ray kept us in contention of the 9 teams compeating w/ a 56.9 lead off,Scott always a gutsy runner and for once running illness and injury free moved us up to either 7th or 6th w/ a 53.4.
Daryl who braved the rain two weeks ago at Germantown Friends to nail the final spot on the relay team by a second ran a 55.4,now it was on me to bring it home.
We were 6th 2 seconds behind 5th,3 seconds ahead of 7th,I wasn't worried,all week I'd focused on me,what I was going to do not concern myself w/ who was running for which team,my game plan was get out of the exchange zone run that first turn hard,cruise down the back straight and kick at 200m,I've been guilty of running the first half too hard in the last three years and not having enough in the tank over the closing half,not today.
Down the back straight I felt comfortable I wasn't focusing on the anchors of 2nd Wind or Southwest Sprinters B or too concerned w/ what was going on behind me,when I hit 200m to go I found that other gear and began to focus on my form,I've ran that final turn at Franklin Field so often in repeats period but I've also ran it tired at the end of considerably more laps,this one was for all the marbles...............
53.6 a pr......3.38.93 a club record...........NICE!!!!
I want to give"Dib" his props,he got me ready for this race w/ attention to detail this week,I also want to dedicate my performance to a very good friend, J confided in me yesterday she may have a serious illness,I told her pre race this race was for her,in running as is in life I gave my word,promises are made to be broken but when I give my word on something I try to deliver,today I did.
W/ Penn Relays behind me I can now turn my focus back to the 800m and 1,500m/mile as was evident by my post race 5 miler at ''The Top Cat Bowl"I don't expect there to be any more 400s this summer....unless our Olympic Development 4x400m want to challenge us,they ran 3.35.73.yesterday,technically that's the club record now but us old geezers on the Masters team aren't going away quietly,or anytime soon!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Waiting For Tomorrow

Given my late nite I was kind of glad to only have to run three miles this evening.
"Dib" had convinced me earlier in the week that three miles was enough the day b4 Penn,I was planning my usual five miler but ever the coach "Dib" sold me on three miles citing the logic that "I'm sure Michael Johnson didn't run five miles the day b4 the Olympic 400m final"....even I the poster child for kissing the Blarney Stone had no come back for three miles it was,"Dib" also suggested having dinner,putting my feet up and watch ''Wheel Of Fortune'',I drew the line at ''Wheel Of Fortune''.
So tomorrow,my 4th Masters 4x400m relay at Penn,it's still a thrill and hopefully I can help the team lower our 2007 Club record of 3.42.90.period,a pr on top of that would be the icing on the cake,and if it's the Penn Relays it'll be a Funnel Cake.

Short Distance,Long Distance

A final tune up b4 Saturday,4x150m w/ a 250m jig in between....sorry that should be jog but given the fact Floggin Molly are on my discman right now jig seems about right!!!
"Dib" and I discussed the repeat b4 hand,like a lot of this week we had to switch mindsets from miler to sprinter mode to get the best out of me for Saturday,the game plan on the 150s was run the turn hard and ease down along the straight, we figured on 20.5 being an ideal target time and I went:20.56,20.71,19.80,20.88.hopefully come Saturday afternoon when Daryl hands off to me on the anchor leg I can put this weeks shorter stuff to good use.
Post workout it was off to Franklin Field for Distance Nite,this was my 5th year in a row doing so.
Aside from catching some great 3,000m/3000m s/chase,5,000m and 10,000m races I also had the chance to root for two good friends of mine from Central Park Track Club John and Atilla who ran in the Olympic Development 5,000m,both broke 15 mins,John in 14.48,Atilla in 14.58.
For once I actually stuck around for the 10,000m,normally I,ve bailed by then in the past but I wanted to lend my vocal support to Felice another CPTC runner who ran a gutsy 10k in 36.58.
Jogged the 2.5 miles home,two less miles to have to make up over the weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easy Miles Early Nite

It's been a while since I called it a day at 8pm and naffed off to bed but yesterday was one such day.
Having held the fort down at work all day on yet another solo mission I got home got changed and headed out along Cobbs Creek for an easy out and back 6 miler.
Post run "Dib" and I discussed tonites workout an easy 4x150m b4 I made a gargantuan bowl of Chicken and Rice and promptly fell asleep in the recliner infront of the tv,I didn't need to be hit over the head repeatedly to see the signs and promptly called it a nite by 8.10pm.
It ended up being a much earlier nite than the one I toyed w/ on Tuesday as I wrestled w/ the idea of going upto Manhatten to catch the Iron Maiden movie "Flight 666".
Sadly said movie wasn't playing in Philly which would've made life soooooooo much easier and also it was only playing for one nite,granted it's coming coming out on dvd in June but I wanted to catch it on a big screen like I did w/ The Cure way back in 1992 when they released their live concert "Show"but it wasn't to be and besides I have another lateish nite on tap tonite albeit much closer to home w/ Distance Nite At Penn Relays, a few good friends of mine from CPTC are running in the OD 5,000m so I'll be there to lend my vocal support.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stranger In A Strange Land

It had been a while since I last conducted a repeat workout at the"Top Cat Bowl",the last one was April 2nd.
Thankfully yesterdays rain hadn't done too much of a number on the track,just as well since using Franklin Field is not an option this week....some sort of relays going on there this week....I hear they're a big deal............
Tonite's bill o fare,500m,400m,300m,150m,150m w/ target times of 80,60,43,19,18.5.
Following my mile warm up I made my required hash marks on the track b4 my repeats.
500m 82.03.just shy of what I wanted,I probably could've driven harder on the final 100m but I was trying to run these repeats as relaxed as I could,if I wasn't going to be BDA{balls dead accurate} I 'd rather be a second or two over and relaxed than a few seconds under and taxed.
400m 61.36.maybe if I could've ran the whole 400m on the rail and not in the middle of the track to avoid the puddles I could've ran a 60,as it was I was fairly close....but close only counts in horseshoes or so they say.
300m 41.20.The plan was to go 22 seconds over the first 150m and 21 seconds over the second 150m,sadly I was unable to get my 150m split but I'm guessing it was 20/21.
150m#1 20.91.150m#2 20.20. just a shade off on #1 and dispite being faster on#2 I was still slower than my target time.
As I said on Sunday Penn Relays is a different kind of event and my prep for it has to be different also,tonite was a classic example of that,as "Dib" was quick to remind me post workout"you're a miler running a 400m this Saturday"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Week That Was,The Week That Could Be

Any week that sees me log 30 miles is a good week even if I missed two days due to the rain and only managed two repeat workouts instead of three.
Having gotten up b4 8.30am to watch my beloved Spurs win 1.0 at home to Newcastle I was more than ready to hit the extended out and back 7 miler along Cobbs Creek come 10.40am.
I felt no ill effects from yesterdays mile repeats but also made sure to run w/in myself as I have a repeat workout on tap for permitting,frankly I'll be glad to see the back of April and the sodding "April Showers"
It's hard not to start thinking about Penn Relays this coming week,hard to believe this will be my fourth Penn Relays,Penn Relays are an event like no other so I dare say my weeks prep will be a little different than usual,of course the weather is going to dictate the early part of the week and my training but as it stands right now the conditions for Saturday look good.
In running,as is in life let's just take one day at a time.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm Tellin' Ya,It's Iron Maiden

I was tempted to open w/ the line"If it's Saturday It Must Be The Main Line" but since that won't ring true for the next two weeks..............
As I arrived at Lower Merion High School for a split second I though I was gonna be SOL for the track as I could see people in the bleachers{surely they weren't there to watch moi do mile repeats???}however dispite the Lacrosse game going on in the infield nobody seemed to object to runners on the track as I saw three other runners out there,ok then!
I did modify my start/finish to factor in said Lacrosse game,as a rule I use the traditional start/finish line,however w/ a slight overspill into lane 1 due to the benches up the home straight I elected to use the 200m start as my start/finish,if I was going to have "obstacles" to contend w/ and have to veer in and out of lanes I'd rather it be on the back straight than coming up to the finish,I realize that 400m is 400m wherever you start it from but sometimes you have to think things through first b4 going into battle.
#1,68,75,75,70-4.48.91.Yowzer!I hadn't planned to go out that hard but I was astute to realize coming thro 800m in2.23 and 1,200m in 3.38 that I needn't hammer the final lap,now were this mile#4 hell yeah but w/ three more on tap I quickly subscribed to the "less is more"mindset.
#2,71,77,79,72-4.59.35."Dib" and I had talked about how things would change once I got onto an all weather track compared to the "Chariots Of Fire"repeats on the cinders of the "Top Cat Bowl"
#3,73,80,80,71-5.04.76.W/ hindsight{a wonderful trait!!!}had I've opened in 4.58.91. and not 4.48.91. I'm confident I could've gone sub 5,I was begining to feel the briskness of that opening mile but then again it's only mid April,I've got May,June and July to get comfortable at a fast opening mile and holding onto it.
#4,77,80,81,69-5.07.58.That bastard 81 second third lap {which I hasten to add along w/ lap 4 saw me have to weave from lane 2 to lane 3 down the back straight}I almost had my first set of mile repeats w/ each split at 80 or under.
I couldn't be too upset I had put forth an honest effort,yet me being me opening w/ two sub 5 minute miles I was eyeing up at least three if not four,again it's mid April there is time a plenty for that.
I said on Thursday I couldn't put my finger on why I was able to produce the times that I did,I felt conditions,an all weather track and some Iron Maiden pre workout had been a factor,today was more of the same,however the fact I had a longer commute to Lower Merion than Franklin Field meant more Iron Maiden on ye olde ipod,if these times continue and get faster I feel "Dib" may insist that said Ipod is loaded w/ Iron Maiden when I fly to Finland in late July!!!
"I like all the mixed emotion and anger it brings out the animal,the power you can feel.
And feeling so high on this much adrenalin excited but scary to believe what we've become.
Saint and sinners,something w/in us,we are lord of the flies"
"Lord Of The Flies"
Iron Maiden

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easy Miles

Dispite losing two days to the rain remarkably I'm on pace for another 30 mile week providing I can put two 7 mile out and backs along Cobbs Creek either side of tomorrows mile repeats.
I took care of todays 7 miler,buoyed by last nites repeats I knew not to get gung ho tonite,I have 4 x 1 mile repeats on tap in the morning so the pace was easy.
"Dib"and I talked about last nite,most of it is strictly coach/athlete stuff that's between us but it goes w/out saying he was delighted w/last nite and now it's a case of going from there and building on what we've done so far.
To that end mile repeats tomorrow,last time out the wind played havoc w/ them but tomorrow looks favourable so here's hoping.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Can't Drive 65

After two days lost due to the rain it was a joy to be running this evening period,the fact it was a repeat workout and at Franklin Field was the icing on the cake.
To prove how goofy the weather is I was able to wear tshirt and shorts this evening,hard to imagine that yesterday and the day b4.
Tonite was my last chance to be inside Franklin Field for a week....Distance Nite at Penn Relays,b4 returning next Saturday for the Masters 4x400m relay,who knows when my next workout will be there.
I was looking forward to tonites workout,"Dib"and I had talked about fine tuning my 4x400m and trying to keep an even pace throughout instead of going out fast and trying to hold on,the magic number was 65,65 seconds per 400.............
#1,64.84.close to what I was looking for,I resisted the temptation to check my split at 200m and tried to judge my pace on feel.
#2,62.34.Impressive if I say so myself,it felt comfortable which ultimately would be the key to the workout.
#3,62.00.Clearly I was reaping the benefits of even pacing,after my last 4x400m on March 31st when I went: 61.76,62.55,65.52,68.70."Dib" had gone to great lengths to sell me on even pacing,the plan was 65,65,65,65. in typical Top Cat fashion I'd managed to go faster.
#4,62.96.for a split second at 200m I felt the strain of back to back to back 62 second 400s w/ diminished recoveries but this was far and away my best set of 400m repeats to date.
Off of 6 minutes recovery I began my 2,400m,last time out I went:1.33,1.34,1.35,1.29,1.30,65 for a overall time of 8.46.46.tonite I went:1.20,1.26,1.27,1.23,1.30,60.55. for an overall time of 8.06.13.
I'm still reeling from that final lap of 60.55."Dib" told me when he first introduced the 2,400m to the 4x400m that my final lap of the 2,400m had to be as fast or faster than my last 400m in the worries there then eh???
Why tonite was as good as it was I can't put my finger on,two days rest?that strange orange ball in the sky?the recent return of all things Iron Maiden on my discman and ipod?who knows,why ask why I say.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Memory Remains

After a well earnt day off yesterday I was back at it today,an easy 5 miler on the cinders of the "Top Cat Bowl",providing it doesen't rain tomorrow I could do my 4x400m/2,400m repeats there,I don't think I'll be that lucky,rain is very much in the forecast and if I can get a workout in it'd have to be on an all weather surface ie Franklin Field.
I took a slight detour on the way home,to St John's catholic church in center city to light a candle in honour of my late father Kevin's birthday.
The ould fella would've been 76 today if he was still alive and while this October will mark 25 years since his passing his influence is very much alive and well today.
The infamous story of how he chased me home in the dead of nite in the pouring rain over 6 miles when I wasn't quite yet 9 years old has been told more than once,and will be again I'm sure,Kevin also instilled in me at a very young age a desire to win,second place or second best did not cut it for him and while I may've resented it when I was younger I feel now that drive and desire serves me well.
I think the old man would've gotten a kick out of seeing Ken Stone feature my mile race Saturday on would've enjoyed Tony Young's comment,as I did and while my father never knew Sal Allah he'd have been tickled pink by Tom Hartshorne's email likening my performance to that of Sal's,like I said his presence may be gone but his influence lives on and each race I enhance my reputation not only does my legacy grow but so does his.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It All Begins Here.

Just like last season the Philadelphia Distance Track Classic at Germantown Friends was my season opening meet of the outdoor season,however unlike last season today I would compete in the mile and not the 4x400m relay.
I awoke to the sound of rain at 7.30am oh well,I've trained in the rain for days like these,I've always said unless you train and prepare in all conditions how will you know how to race in them?
I was fortunate that the mens mile was the first event at 11am,I had time to do a mile warm w/ one of my good friends from Central Park Track Club Tom Fitzpatrick b4 getting out of my warm ups and into my race gear at the last possible minute,it was cold,windy and raining,damn right I wanted to stay warm and dry.
My directive from "Dib" was be aggressive from the gun,today presented a chance to see what I could do off a fast opening lap,"go out in 65 and shoot for 2.12 at the half"was the game plan.
Remembering my vow to have a better reaction to the gun I reacted first and not only held my postion on the rail but went into the turn in the lead.
I came through the first lap in a staggering 60 seconds,"Dib" said be aggressive,I don,t think he meant be this aggressive!!!,for all intense and purposes the race was won as would be reflected in my 7 seven second cushion over second at the finish.
2.08 at 800m,a 68 second split,a little uneven prehaps but it was important to get a feel for a fast pace and seeing how well or how badly I'd hold upto it,form wise I felt I was doing well.
3.19 at the bell, a 71 second lap,at this point the cold the wind and the rain were no longer a concern,w/ hindsight I wish I had dredged down deeper over the final lap,I feel there was another gear to go to but between the conditions,my opening lap of 60 seconds and the fact this was me against the clock I was content to close in 73 seconds to finish in 4.32.08. not far off of the 4.31.83. I closed the outdoor track season in August under much more favourable conditions.
Did I want a faster time?yeah but I'll take this my 10th fastest ever mile under the conditions,I have the whole summer to get faster,fine tune my training and hopefully race in better weather,next stop Penn Relays in two weeks time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

For all the talk of rain today I was able to conduct my easy 5 miler in glorious sunshine this evening.
It'd been a week since I last set foot{paw??}on the "Top Cat Bowl" and providing the heavens don't open over the weekend I see no reason to return there Monday for my 4x400m/2,400m repeat.
Four thoughts struck me regarding the fact today was Good Friday....and none of them to do w/ Peeps!!!.
As an Irish catholic obviously the significence of Good Friday means something from a religious stand point.
Easter Sunday 1970 holds major significence in my life,my parents had seperated a few weeks prior and I was reunited w/ my father outside of St Saviours catholic church following 10am mass that morning,it proved to be a turning point in the relationship between Kevin and Eileen.
1916 Easter Uprising,four men holed up in the Dublin GPO that lead to the formation of the Irish Free State..........Ireland.
Good Friday Peace Treaty 1998,11 years of cease fire and peace to Northern Ireland,long may that continue.
Ok history lesson over,tomorrow we go back to racing.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wherever I May Roam

Another extended out and back along Cobbs Creek this evening to bring me back upto 20 miles.
A gloriously sunny day for once this week,of course there's talk of rain tomorrow and Saturday which could seriously knawls up my race but I'll cross,burn,jump,paint that bridge when the time comes.
Following their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame last Saturday Metallica have been a staple on my discman and Ipod,there are several Metallica "Battle Anthems" on my Ipod when I need that extra jolt."Wherever I May Roam"used to be a war cry for my long runs but even though these days 7 miles constitutes as my long run it still serves a purpose.
"And the earth becomes my throne I adapt to the unknown,under wandering stars I've grown by myself but not alone I ask no one.
And my ties are severed clean the less I have the more I gain off the beaten path I reign,Rover,Wanderer,Nomad,Vagabond call me what you will"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


No worries tonite getting onto Franklin Field....or having to get off by 6pm,although tonites workout was quick enough that I could've squeezed it in inside the 40 mins I had on Monday!!
Since being rushed was not an issue tonite I was able to stretch,do a mile warm up and a mile of strides b4 the actual repeat,2 sets of 300m,200m,100m.
My brief from "Dib" was "relax and speed"tonite was as much about turnover as anything,like any workout caution was the watch word so it was back to tights and long sleeved dri fit shirt,this was more of a sprinters repeat than a middle distance repeat so I wanted to make sure my muscles were protected.
"Dib" decided giving me actual splits was pointless"you'll run faster than them anyways"all he stressed was the need to relax but run at speed.
#1,43.30,28.96,15.75.coming off the bottom turn at 200m in the opening 300m I had to check my natural instinct to kick,and dispite this I still clocked 43.30.
I took 2 mins between the 300m and 200m and 1 minute between 200m and 100m.
#2,42.25,30.12, of 4 mins recovery I was back at it again,fairly consistant w/ the first set,will confess to being mildly disappointed w/ the 30.12.200m but otherwise a good evenings work.
Another 7 mile out and back tomorrow to put me back on 30 mile pace for the week.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Out And Back

Given I lost a couple of miles yesterday I opted for the extended out and back along Cobbs Creek to give me a seven miler this evening.
The extended out and back takes me out to the "Top Cat Bowl" which allowed me to check out the condition of the track,considering all the rain it wasn't looking too bad,however given tomorrow is a 300,200,100 repeat I'll probably hit Franklin Field again{and hope it's open past 6pm this time!!}and Thursday will be another out and back along Cobbs Creek so it's probably Friday b4 I grace "Top Cat Bowl"w/ my presence again this week.
As I've said b4 the beauty of the out and back is it allows me more time to think than doing laps around the track,tonite I began to visualize Saturdays mile race and also kick around a few ideas that I can't go into detail here and now.
One final thought,Spring officially began a few weeks ago....I wish someone would tell that to the weather!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Friends In High Places

I've often said that running is as much mental as it is physical,today proved that adage to be true.
A combination of looking to rebound from Thursdays 1,000s and this coming Saturdays race lead Dib and I to make tonite 3x1,000 the only problem was the weather,the fall back was that we could do them tomorrow if the rain scuppered tonite..............
Throughout the day the weather changed,long periods of rain lead me to think tonite wouldn,t happen,shorter periods of sun lead me to think it would,when I woke up I had to tell myself I would run tonite,mentally and physically I had to be ready to run dispite the rain.
At almost the eleventh hour a new fly landed in the ointment,just as I prepared myself to push back tonites repeats to tomorrow I discovered Franklin Field would be off limits so now I had to get my repeats in tonite,and if it rained?hell it wouldn,t be the first time I did 1,000m repeats in the rain.
I arrived at Franklin Field to discover why I've stayed away most of this year,dispite the schedule on the gate stating the track was open till 8pm I was now informed they were closing at 6pm and Penn's athletes were still out on the track at 5.15pm.......
Having known Kim the security guard at Franklin Field for two years now has often helped me out down there,never moreso than this evening,she asked one of the Penn coaches if it'd be ok for me to do my workout,since those guys were done and he knew I used to be a regular here he said go ahead.
I was going to have to rush to get the workout in,following my mile warm up it was time to strip down to my tshirt and shorts,the rain had long since stopped,against all odds today I was getting this workout in.
#1,63,72,35-2.50.58.I did not mean to start off w/ a 63 and clearly had to ease up over the remaining 600m to make sure there'd be fuel in the tank for the remaining two 1,000s period,muchless the fact I was cutting the recovery down to 7 minutes.
#2,68,73,32-2.53.86.this was bordering on the 1,000s I did on March 27th 2.53.78,2.52.65,2.54.56.I just hoped that opening 63 second 400m wouldn't come back to haunt me.
#3,67,75,33-2.55.32.all in all a great workout period but given the uncertainty of the day between the rain and the availability of Franklin Field.
As Dib said afterwards getting the 3x1,000s in today sets the week up nicely for Saturdays outdoor season opener.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Back Out To The Main Line

It is said the path of true love seldom runs smoothly....personally I wouldn't know,however since running is technically my wife,girlfriend,mistress,signifigent other etc etc then yes sometimes things don't go the way you had planned.
Starter for ten,try as I might I found it easier to get back into bed every 9 mins
that the snooze alarm went off than actually get up and get dressed and head out to St Joe's,eventually by 8.30am I got up and stayed up,made coffee,ate a banana and caught the second half of Blackburn Spurs,we lost 2.1 thanks to some questionable calls by the ref,no worries I'd use that angst to fuel my mile repeats at St Joe's..........
Not for the first time I arrived at St Joe's to discover the track to be off limits due to something going on in the infield,prehaps I'd have done better going directly to Lower Merion's high school track where I conducted numerous Saturday workouts last summer b4 switching to Haverford in September,October,November.
I'm no stranger to the Main Line....well at least for track workouts and soon found my way out to Ardmore.......deep joy!nothing going on in the infield,I could have at on the track!!!
I knew from my mile warm up that the first turn and back straight were going to be tough going thanks to the strong headwind,mercifully the bottom turn and the home straight found the wind at my back,I'd have prefered no wind obviously but willingly took the latter over the former.
#1,73,79,80,70-5.02.96.a nice start,I knew I had to factor the conditions into the whole workout,no point coming out gangbusters on the opening mile and fighting the wind if it meant having little left in the tank for the closing repeats,as always the opening lap of any repeat sets the tone and 73 felt like it was right on the money.
#2,74,79,77,!not exactly sure where that 77 second third lap came from compared to the 80 on mile 1 but I'll take it and while a small part of me smarted from just missing a sub 5 there was a part of me that felt I hadn't over extended myself.
#3,74,81,80,70-5.05.79.Given the wind, today did not feel like the day to be tisk tisking an 81 second lap,I felt I was handling the wind very well,not over extending myself on the first turn or back straight,to give you an idea of how windy it was out there a trash can from the infield blew into lane 1 which if I chose to glib about I could blame that for my 81 second 2nd lap as I had to move off the rail and out to the edge of the lane to avoid it.
#4,73,81,79,67-5.00.60.God damn!! at the end of it all to finish on a 67 second final lap and yet again just miss a sub 5 was pretty darn pleasing even if I do say so myself{Coach Dib said today was one hell of a repeat session so it's not just my opinion!!}
Clearly the "Chariots Of Fire"repeats at the "Top Cat Bowl" are paying dividends that said I,m glad I had the gumption to hit an all weather track today rather than slop around on a rain soaked cinder track for the second week in a row for my mile repeats{I have to be careful patting myself on the back my good friend 'The Queen Of The Slipstream"was quick to bust my chops for that last week!!!!}
Since tomorrow is a rest day{yea!!}I'll have no way of knowing how well or how badly the 'Top Cat Bowl"has dried off so the location for Mondays 3x1,000m will probably be Franklin Field.
It'd be remiss of me not to mention today's date,back in the day when I was first getting sober my councilor would often refer to me as "the history major"more often than not pretaining to my own history but even further back in the day History was my favourite subject in high school so I didn't want to let the memory of Martin Luther King to slip by w/out acknowledgment.
Granted it may've taken a pop culture reference to become familur w/ the leader of the civil rights movement in America but IMO the late great Rev Martin Luther King paved the way for the world to stand up and speak up for things they belived were rightfully theirs and for that we all own him a great deal.
"Sleep,sleep tonite,and may you're dreams be realized,if the thundercloud passes rain,so let it rain,let it rain down on he"

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Rainbow Connection

More April showers again today,at one point I didn't think I'd even get my run in but by lunch time a delegate from the weather gods met w/ a delegate from the running and gods and I believe a deal was brokered to allow me to get my 5 mile recovery run in this evening.
Mid way through my 5 miler it began to the sun shone which meant a rainbow,and sure enough going down the back straight towards Cobbs Creek Parkway I saw a rainbow that stretched from Market St to Pine St,tempted as I was to go to the foot of said rainbow to look for a pot of gold I figured I'd wait till Lahti for my gold quest.....though said pot of gold might help pay my way there......
My decision to run at the "Top Cat Bowl" was as much recon for tomorrow,all the rain over the last few days has made the cinder track unrepeat worthy for tomorrow and maybe even Monday,the plan for the morning is to get up early and hit St Joes's to conduct my mile repeats even if it means passing up a live Spurs game at 7.45am,the things I'll do to forfill my dream of being a world champion this summer.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Return Of The Thin White Duke.

Ok so tonite wasn't as good as last weeks 3x1,000m but I know you can,t step upto the plate everytime and hit a home run,that said I know how high I set the bar for myself and anything short of that is a disappointment.
Dispite grey skies I went w/ shorts and a tshirt again,it was a mild evening and the track wasn't too bad considering the rain yesterday.
#1,70,73,32-2.55.34.respectable but not earth shattering,I,m astute enough to know you can't compare one workout to the next so I wasn't going to get hung up on the fact last Friday I opened in 2.53.78.
#2,70,76,32-2.58.25.ger!!!prehaps if I'd focused on speed not form on lap 2 I could've ran faster than that 76,at least I finished strong.
#3,68,77,33-2.58.72.not sure where that opening lap of 68 came from and while the 77 feels mulligan worthy I once again cained the closing 200m.
My 2 150s were 18.99-18.21. a modicum of satisfaction for the evening.
Rather than dwell on the negatives I'll chalk this one up as an off nite,they happen,tomorrow is another day and Saturday will be another repeat session.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Showers

What a difference a day makes,yesterday I got my butt handed to me at work and it was 62 degrees and sunny,today I was all done work by 12.30pm but it rained!
Since it was the proverbial "April Shower" I said to hell w/ it,threw on a baseball cap and jacket and conducted my 5 mile recovery run,I'd like to retain my Mon- Sat schedule and Tue,Thur,Sat rotation and it was only a shower,I wasn't risking life and limb in a noreaster.
I won't deny I was tempted to burn my rest day today on account of a stack of World Cup quallifiers but thought better of it,given how beaten up my legs felt earlier in the day I felt it was prudent to get the soreness out b4 tomorrows 3x1,000m,and besides I could always cop the highlites on Sky Sports News,Fox Soccer Report and 2010 Report.
For the record,England beat Ukraine 2.1,Scotland beat Iceland 2.1,N.Ireland beat Slovenia 1.0 and Ireland drew w/ Italy 1.1,we won,t know till October or November who's going to South Africa for next summers World Cup Finals but it's hard not to start thinking about it.
Closer to home tomorrows 3x1,000s but for now another look at Robbie Keane's 89th minute goal in Italy to earn us a vital point.....olay,olay,olay!!!