Sunday, May 31, 2009


It's not often I have an off day in the realm of repeats but boy was today one,in fact it was so bad that I'm not even going to attempt to blog it.
To say I stunk up the track this morning is putting it mildly,Peppi Le Phew couldn't have left a worse stench,I will look for redemption at this very same workout again on Tuesday.
On a day when Rafael Nadal was humbled at the French Open it was very clear to me that even the very best have their off days,I'm fairly sure Rafa felt a tad salty,and said ok back at it tomorrow,I'll run tomorrow b4 hitting the track Tuesday for a do over.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet FA

Mother nature took care of yesterday for me which in some respects was a blessing as I probably needed a rest both mentally and physically.
As a rule if I'm conducting an easy run on the weekend I like to be up by mid morning to take care of it,however today was a unique day on the sporting calender,the English FA Cup Final.
For those of you not as familiar w/ the significance of English soccer,think Superbowl and you're more or less on the same page.
Much like the Superbowl it's one of those deals where you tend to watch it even if your team isn't playing,unlike the Superbowl the last several years it's only been available on ppv{pay per view}and for the past three years I've been too cash strapped going into Nationals to shell out $25,no worries this year both FSC and Setanta had the game,w/ FSC you got the game,w/ Setanta you got pre game from 4am till kick off at 10am and 45 mins post game,suddenly I was transported back to my old living room on Lewisham High St where I watched Cup Finals from 1971 through 1986,in 1970 I went to Wembley to see Chelsea vs Leeds,my first ever soccer game and in 1987 I was back at Wembley to see Spurs vs Coventry,I barely remember much of 1970.....I'd like to forget 1987!!!!
Anywho Chelsea won today 2.1 which means my mother and coach are happy campers,interesting sidebar I stayed home to watch the game while "Dib" was off racing{the Brooklyn Half Marathon which I believe got him into November's New York Marathon}and w/ the post game pleasantries taken care of I was off to conduct my easy 5 miler.
Tomorrow sees me hit the track again for repeats,ironic it's 800s,tomorrow is 9 weeks to the 800m final at Worlds and this coming weekend it's back to back 800m races.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coming Full Circle

And no that's not an Iron Maiden song title!
On Thursday April 30th I came to Franklin Field for 10x200m repeats,it began what at times felt like a slippery slope,the whole 6pm closing issue,Delaware getting cancelled,the White Plains fiasco etc etc.....
Thursday May 28th,back to Franklin Field for 10x200m again....only this time I came straight from work which seems to be the way to combat the 6pm closing issue.
The plan was 10 200s w/ very little in the way of recovery,the target time was 32-33 seconds per 200m I went:
Overall I'm pleased,granted after halfway my splits began to creep up as my recovery time got less and less but I hung in there even if my legs felt like linguini on that final 200m.
I have no clear cut idea what the rest of my week looks like,I have a rough idea,I do know tomorrow will be an easy 5 mile to get any residual crap out of my legs,a rest day Saturday since I've now ran 10 days in a row and then a return to repeats on Sunday,of course I could do repeats Sat and take Sunday off,we'll have to see.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Somewhere Back In Time

Another day,another training run,another Iron Maiden song title!
It was good to get back to 5 mile runs,my last one was May 9th,I feel I've come through all the tests I need to know I'm back to 100%,tomorrow marks 10 weeks to my opening round of the 800m at Worlds and next Friday begins my 6 races in 6 weeks schedule,it's time to start amping thing up w/ a visit to Franklin Field tomorrow for a repeats session still to be determined.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Keeping It All In Prespective

Dispite a smattering of soft rain I kept my daily appointment to train,as I've often said over the past two years it's getting out there and running on days like these that makes the difference between standing on the podium or standing next to it at the championships come August.
Along those lines it was decided to tweak my schedule oh so slightly,rather than return to the track tomorrow as originally planned I'll up my milage to the more conventional 5 miles b4 hitting the track again on Thursday w/ a view to a Sunday repeat session.
W/ soccer season winding down and the NBA and NHL playoffs coming to a head it's time for me to switch my attention to the provincial hurling and football games back home in Ireland,my guess for the next several weeks on a Tuesdays thanks to Setanta my bedroom w/ be ''Feck Ya" and "Gobshite"central....Up The Rebels!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Stranger In A Strange Land

After a two week absence from repeats it was back on the horse today and I for one couldn't have been happier!
Why I didn't go straight to Lower Merion High School I don't know,St Joe's is nearer but it seems whenever I go there I crap out,today was no different,they're relaying the track so who knows how long that'll take,but if I have to do repeats on a Saturday from here on in LMHS it is,and besides I always seem to do well on that track anyway.
Today's bill o fare:2x150m,6x400m,2x150m.
The opening set of 150s were set at 25 seconds I went:22.05.-22.83.
I wasn't surprized that I came out of the traps fast,you figure my last repeats were Sun May10th.
6x400m,for some reason I thought it was 4x400 untill I doubled checked my list prior to to the workout,the pace was 70-65 seconds I went:64.13-67.44-67.17-67.66-69.06-61.98.
Where did that final 400m in 61.98.come from?easy I visualized the final lap of the 800m final in Lahti in just under 10 weeks time.
The target time on my final 2x150s was 22-21 seconds I went:23.78-22.83.
I'm not gonna front I was feeling a little rubber legged after those 400s but all in all a good workout,we'll see if Dib thinks so and also what he has in store for me next.

You Can't Spell Scunthorpe W/out Saying............

The proverbial day late and a dollar/euro short on yesterdays entry,blame it on not getting home till almost 3am Sunday morning.....we'll get to that.
The important stuff first,following Millwall's heartbreaking 3.2 loss to Scunthorpe in the League 1 playoff final I went out for my run.
In a week that had seen me downgrade the discomfort level in my tendon I finally reached 1 which means tomorrow I can return to speed work.....YEA!!!
As for Millwall's loss,yeah it's a disappointment,Wembley is no place for losers,nobody remembers the team that loses but I hope the extra 40,000 fans who showed up for the big day out can get behind the club when the new season begins and lend the kind of vocal support the team enjoyed Sunday,w/ that kind kind of support at The New Den maybe Millwall can land automatic promotion next season.
Finally why was I out till almost 3am on a Saturday?a few weeks back I read that an Iron Maiden tribute band Sanctury were coming to the North Star Bar,I love seeing bands at the North Star it's like seeing a band in your living room and my love of Maiden is well documented{for the uninitiated "Running Free" was the first Maiden single and a nobrainer for a blog title for moi}
These guys ROCKED! any band that can play for three hours get mad props but three hours of Iron Maiden!!!!!
To any and all Maiden fans who read my blog check these guys out at or
And certainly check them out live,you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Think I Can,I Think I Can.

Another easy 3 miler,half a mile up to the"Top Cat Bowl"2 miles up there and half a mile home.
Based on how I felt today I feel a return to speed work is on the cards for Monday.
Dib and I need to sit down tomorrow and mull it over.....since both of us are shaven headed I guess we won't "mullet over"...............groan!!!
My blog title also refers to tomorrows League 1 playoff final,Millwall vs Scunthorpe,a nice shiny trophy and a place in The Championship next season to the winners,sweet fa for the losers and another season in League 1.
During my enforced week off Millwall did what very few thought possible,go to Leeds in the second leg and get a result,hence their place in tomorrows final at Wembley,last I heard Millwall were taking close to 50,000 to Wembley tomorrow......the Old Kent Road and surrounding areas will be deserted!!!!
I will take my place in front of the tv tomorrow morning at 8am for the kick off,in an ideal world I would've gone home for a long weekend,been there for Eileen's retirement bash and then gone to Wembley....why is it when you check under the mattress in the hope of finding a grand all you come up w/ is lint..........?????
Oh well trust me on this one,if The Lions take care of business tomorrow the roar coming out of my room may well be heard in N.W. London.....get in there Wall and make us proud!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not Quite Ready For Prime Time,But Getting There.

Another 3 miler today as I continue to work my way back to fitness.

I feel I'm a few days away from being ready to lace up the racing flats and hit the track for repeats,if my gut instincts are right and tomorrow and Sunday continue to see me improve each day as I have since Tuesdays return to training then Monday or Tuesday at the very latest should see that happen.

While I don't want to rush things I'm eager to get back to speed work,two weeks from tonite I have a dress rehearsal for the semi final and final of the 800m,in Lahti those races fall on back to back days{Aug 1st and Aug 2nd}and as luck would have it on June 5th and 6th there are back to back meets at West Chester and Widner and the plan has always been to race back to back 800s to simulate Worlds,it's the next target on the build up to Worlds,hopefully tomorrow will see me a step closer to both.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Today marks 11 weeks b4 my first race in Lahti,the opening round of the 800m and tomorrow marks 10 weeks b4 I fly to Helsinki on my way to Lahti.
Closer to home today was another 3 miler as I continue to monitor my return to training,as each day goes by I feel a little stronger and a lot more confident,I'm hoping it's only a matter of days b4 I can get back onto a track for repeats,but all in good time,I'm not rushing it or putting a time limit on it,I'll know when I'm ready.
To that end tomorrow will see more of the same,another easy 3 miler and another day to assess where I'm at in terms of getting up to full speed.

Dancing In The Moonlite

Another easy 3 miler post work as I get back into the routine of coming home and getting changed and heading out to run.
Dib and I continue to monitor my level of fitness following my week off,the cardinal sin right now would be to do too much too soon,the old adage of"less is more" is going to be the mantra for a few more days b4 we feel we can amp things up to full speed.
For my cardiovascular workout last nite I went to see Keane at The Tower,I'd missed their last visit to Philly and the previous one got cancelled so it was 4 years since I'd last seen them,they more than made up for lost time.
It's funny prior to the intervention of"St Francis" and the awfully nice people at Orbitz I was feeling guilty about going to the show money being what it was but w/ the airfare to Finland secured and most of the balance for my accommodation saved I felt I could enjoy a rare nite out w/out too much concern.
Keane will be one of the bands travelling w/ me to Finland via my ipod and discman in 10 weeks time trust me on that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reports Of My Demise..............

A week,they say is a long time,this past one felt like an eternity.

I'll spare you all the details but the bottom line was a bum wheel keep me out of action for a week,thankfully I was given the all clear to return to training today and w/ that the dark cloud that was slowly engulfing me was sent scattering to the four corners of the universe.
On top of a clean bill of health today my entry for Worlds was confirmed and after losing $300 over the past two weeks I found a flight to Finland,the same flight I was going to spend $895 on for $476,now all I need to do is secure my accommodation.
This Friday marks 10 weeks till I fly out to Lahti via Helsinki,10 weeks to get myself ready to forfill my dream of being world champion,in the past two days I've been given added incentive to make that happen,my mother Eileen retires from work this Thursday,I feel I should be there at this land mark in her life,I can't be due to Worlds it just isn't in the budget to fly to London and go to Worlds so the best way I can make it up to her for not being there on Thursday is win gold in Lahti.
Also today my coach's father died,I know how that feels to lose a father so my thoughts and prayers are w/ coach and his family and I want to win gold for him also.
After an easy 3 miler today,I'll repeat that tomorrow and slowly start to amp things up,it's good to be back.
"I saw my past and I saw my future,you take the pieces of the dreams that you have
Because you don't like the way they seem to be going,you cut them up and spread them out on the floor,you're full of hope as you begin rearranging"
"The Lovers Are Losing"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Putting It All Behind Me

The word fugazi{slang for @#$%ed up}sums up this past week,rain,races that didn't happen,tapering for races that didn't happen etc.
Today's bill o fare was 2x150,2x400m,2x150m,close to the workout I ran on Tuesday.
The target time was a little slower but in a week that's seen so little go to plan today didn't seem to be the day to be beating myself up over it.
Again a little brisker than the script called for but it feels that very little I did this past week went the way it was meant to.
Brisk and not far off the opening set.
21 miles for the week.
This week is done it's time to move on begining tomorrow at Swarthmore in the 1,500m,given my last two races fell by the way side I just want to get on the track and race,I don't think that's too much to ask for do you?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Life W/ The Lions

In a week that's had more than it's fair share of glitches it was nice today to be able to go out at lunch time and conduct an easy 5 miler w/out any issues.
My day began early for me on a Saturday,as a rule unless I'm racing I tend to not set my alarm and just get up when the mood suits me,not today,for the first time in five years I got to watch a live Millwall game on tv.
Unlike their fellow South East London neighbours Charlton and Crystal Palace,Millwall have had to spend the last few seasons in the lower leagues,ergo not much live tv coverage for them back home on Sky muchless the chance to catch S.E.16's finest on either Setanta or Fox Soccer Channel here in America.
The last Millwall game I saw on tv?the 04 FA Cup Final{that's like the Superbowl for those not familiar w/ football/soccer}back then The Lions were plying their trade in the Championship the league below the Premiership,since then they've slipped to League One but thanks to a good season this year reached the playoffs,hence todays game at home to Leeds on Setanta.
Managing to buck a trend that has seen them go 0.8 in playoff games since 1991 Millwall won today 1.0 thanks to a Neil Harris goal and are now 1 game away from a Wembley Playoff final.
Let's not run b4 we can walk,they still need to take care of matters in Leeds on Thursday,I'm not sure if that game will get Setanta coverage which may mean pc mouse in one hand,rosary beads in the other but it'd be nice for the club and it's often much maligned supporters to get a day at Wembley,the 04 Cup Final was played in Cardiff while the new Wembley stadium was being built.
I will be taking a Millwall mentality w/ me to Swarthmore on Monday when I duke it out w/ runners half my age,as it says on the back of their shirts"We Fear No Foe"

Friday, May 8, 2009


Let's get the unpleasentness over w/ first shall we,last nites Masters Mile at the Loucks Games in White Plains didn't happen and rather than go off on tangents,rants etc etc all I'm going to say is it's not the fact I lost out on another race,or the the fact I sacrificed races at Ichan on Tuesday or tomorrow for this but the fact I spent $15 on an entry fee and $45 on train fare for nothing and frankly that's $60 I don't have right now wasted.
That said I wish to move on I've just managed to get a spot in the 1,500m at Swarthmore this Monday and need to focus my energy on that.
Despite everything I went out this afternoon to conduct an impromptu repeat workout to get ready for Monday,2x150,6x300m,2x150m,w/ Franklin Field off limits due to a multi event{Hoptagal???}going on there this weekend I had to conduct it at the Top Cat Bowl.
The drawback doing this kind of workout there is I have to "eyeball"where I think the 150m/300m marks should be,doing 400s/mile repeats are straight forward,it's hard to knawls up one lap!!.
As if to prove my point,"Dib"s MO on the opening 150s was a controlled 24 seconds my first one went 20.27.which given how controlled I ran it didn't seem right,if I'd have gone all Usain Bolt on it maybe but I went at it from a milers prespective not a sprinters so I backed up the next one and went 22.23. and maybe should've left it at just that....but since I was required to do 2x150s I went for a second one from the new hash mark on the cinders and went 24.03.
Following my recovery it was the meat and spuds of the workout 6x300m w/ diminished recoveries w/a target time of 48-49 seconds.
I went:44.76,48.70,47.92,49.20,49.91,53.00.
I'm sure the cynics will say"if you'd have ran the first one better the last one wouldn't have gone tits up on you and while there's a case for that I have to point out my first 300m had a different start/finish than #2-#6 and it's possible I got my hash mark's not like I've gone to Home Depot and gone around the track w/ a measuring wheel,#2-#5 were consistant at least.
Final 150s, "Dib" said "you can run these angry...or save your anger till Mondays 1,500'' I ran 21.96-20.61.
To use a boxing quote"I took the fight on short notice"when I woke up this morning I wasn't sure what the day had in store for me,I wasn't sure I'd be able to speak w/ "Dib" till this evening given he's in off on a book signing tour this weekend..........providing they locate the books!!! and I wasn't sure he'd give me the green light on Monday.
In running,as is in life it's how you deal w/ these matters that counts,anyone can be on top of their game when it's all apple pie,it's how you react to adversity that shows what you're made of,sure I've got piss and vinegar running through my veins but I'm done boo hooing yesterday,as I was told back in the day when I first quit drinking"tough times don't last,tough people do" and while that should lead nicely into a Bruce Springsteen lyrical reference"Tougher Than The Rest I'll cite another Bruce,Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden.
"I will do what I do best,walking out on you take my life and leave the rest.
I stand alone now I can see, you won't bring me down for all this pain and misery.
I'm not broken,all this hatred can"t you see,you won't bring me down for all this pain and misery.
I'm not broken"
Bruce Dickinson.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Win One For The Gipper

An easy 5 miler this evening as I get ready for tomorrows Masters Mile at The Loucks Games in White Plains New York.

It was somewhat of a bitter sweet afternoon,prior to leaving for my run I saw Barcelona snatch a place in the Champions League Final from Chelsea in injury time.

Regular readers of my blog know I'm a die hard Spurs fan,but Chelsea were my first love in soccer/football from 1970 through 1981 b4 I switched my allegiance to Spurs,asides from being my first love in soccer they are also the team my mother and coach both follow so I felt their pain when a place in the final was snatched away from them w/ just over a minute of injury time to be played.

"Dib" and I talked post game,post run,he remained upbeat and philosophical about the defeat but asked me to win tomorrows race for him,he's done alot for me in coming up on three years now so the least I can do is try to honour that White Plains we march and the next part of the plan for Worlds in Lahti.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


After two lost days due to the rain I was delighted to be out running again......and I'm sure the people around me were happy I was running also,I fully admit to getting cranky when I can't run,right up there w/ my Iron What? t shirt would be the "Addicted To Running" or "Track Is My Crack" t shirts also!!!
Another nite of the "hurry up offense/two minute drill"at Franklin Field,thankfully it was a short workout on tap:4x150m/2x400m/2x150m.
Tonite was more about control than a "blow the barn doors off"workout,the target time on the opening 150s was 24 seconds and I went:23.39,24.48,23.51,23.63.
I was pleased w/ my ability to run controlled not something I always do well and factor in the chomping at the bit after two days off and the need to get the workout in w/in half an hour I should be pleased w/ myself.
Target time for the 400s was 64 seconds,I went:63.47,65.96.
I would've nailed the second 400 were it not for some bimbo hogging lane 5 as I came off the turn to the finish,I hoped she'd either move out of my way or leave me enough room to squeeze through on the inside of the lane,she did neither which forced me to swing wide into the next lane,the brief hesitation and having to switch lanes cost me a 63/64 second split.
Final set of 150s,target time 22 seconds,I went:22.93,21.82.
I was very pleased w/ my overall workout tonite,if I'm going to get close to my track mile pr of 4.28.1 on Thursday nite it'll be through controlled pace which was what tonite was about,let's just hope it stops raining by then!
"You tell me we can start the rain,you tell me that we all can change,you tell me we can find something to wash the tears away
You tell me we can start the rain,you tell me that we all can change,you tell me we can find something to wash the tears,and I know of the pain that you feel the same as me,and I dream of the rain as it falls upon the leaves and the cracks in the ground like the cracks in all our lives,they are sealed and now far away"
Iron Maiden

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shifting Gears

For the past several weeks my focus had been on a fast 1,500m race at the University of Delaware today,to have that taken away from me at the eleventh hour on Thursday nite seemed in keeping w/ the week I've had.
That said I now had the added bonus of a 4x1 mile repeat that I wouln't have had,I guess a classic case of lemons and lemonade.
I got a little bit of everything w/ the weather ths morning,grey and overcast,humid,rain,sunshine it's days like these I recall the old Cub Scout motto"Be Prepared"jacket and baseball cap if needed,water bottle,bandana also if needed,as it turned out I didn't have use for the former.
I opted to conduct these mile repeats closer to home at the Top Cat Bowl,"Dib" and I agreed that sooner rather than later all my repeats need to switch to an all weather track,I figured once Penn Graduation comes and goes Franklin Field during the week will be my go to track{providing they sort out this nonsence of changing the hours of"open recreation"}and weekend mile repeats will be done out on the Main Line at either Haverford or Lower Merion High School,fingers crossed no trips to Roxboro this year and the attitude I always seem to have to deal w/out there.
#1,74,80,79, uneven opening mile which probably set the tone for the entire repeat,my mantra going in was"74-79" but an 80 second 2nd lap soon threw that off,oh to be able to go,75,75,75,75.
#2,75,81,78,68-5.02.91.more uneven pace and a bastard 81 second split thrown into the mix,I'm sorry but an 81 second split on my mile repeats is as unwelcome as a fart in a phone box.
#3,78,80,81,74-5.13.86.going from a closing lap of 68 to an opening lap of 78 in the space of 5 minutes seemed to set the tone for mile 3,closing in 74 seconds was cold comfort when I could still only register a 5.13.86. mile.
#4,78,80,82,64-5.04.95.haven,t seen an 82 second split in the mile since #,2 on March 14th but I'd have to go back futher than that{Feb 21st} for a closing lap of 64 seconds....and I'd like to point out that was on the opening mile,prior to today my fastest 16th and final lap on mile repeats was a 65 second split also on March 14th.
I'm not sure if mile repeats factor into the rotation next week w/a Thursday race,maybe next weekend,maybe the week after for now I need to put this behind me,enjoy an easy 5 miler tomorrow and get ready for a whole new week come Monday.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

A new month as the countdown towards Worlds continues.
It would've been easy to be bent out of shape over tomorrows race getting canceled w/ all the mental and physical prep I've put in this week but to quote the Happy Mondays that's"Stinkin' Thinking"and rather than dwell on the negative I can look forward to mile repeats instead tomorrow.
The one drawback of tomorrows race falling by the way side is it's another potentially fast race I've missed out on,I may have to rework next months race schedule to try and redress the balance,a conversation for "Dib" and I over the next few days.
An easy 5 miler this evening,the showers that had blighted most of the day had gone by the time I headed over to ''TCB"as I began to reconfigure my race schedule for what feels like the umpteenth time,it's a good job I write it in pencil!!!
Mile repeats tomorrow and an easy 5 miler to round out the week