Friday, July 31, 2009

Morning Glory

Since I'm off to Giants Stadium in less than half an hour to catch Anvil open for AC DC I hit Franklin Field this morning for my workout.
The same workout as Mon and Wed,mile warm up,Mile,mile cool down w/ stretches b4 and after.

When I clocked 1.21. for the opening lap I realized I could be on for a semi decent overall time,question was was my body ready to respond?
2.42. at 800m,a 1.21. split this was the mile I had hoped to run Monday but I'll take it a few days late.
4.03. at the bell,another 1.21 split.....get a load of Mr Consistency here!!!
A final lap of 1.15. to clock a 5.18.38. mile,I'll take it.

For my first week back I feel good,delighted to just be able to run again,relieved to be running pain free and heartened by the reduction in times,5.49,5.33,5.18.
I'd like to get out on the bike tomorrow since my 5pm pt sessions cut into riding Tues and Thur and while I'm heading up I95 to Giants Stadium I'll think about what I want to run next week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It was back to Franklin Field again today for another mile,mile,mile workout.
Buoyed by the fact I'd gotten through Mondays run w/out any problems I came into today's workout off of a good physical therapy session yesterday,eight mins on the elliptical machine,some stretching,a reflexology massage and ice.
The threat of rain was NEVER going to put me off running today,most people know of my "baptism of rain" way back in 72 so running in the rain seldom deters me,plus I lost 9 weeks of running from May 12th till July 27th I was damned if a little rain would keep me away today.

One advantage of the rain,it cooled things off compared to Monday but just as I finished the 4th lap of my warm up mile the heavens opened....oh well I was here now time to have it despite the hard rain coming down.
An opening lap of 1.17 was a pleasant surprise,obviously the heat Monday and the fact I was cautious about my tendon factored into the 1.25 I opened w/.
A 1.28 lap to clock 2.45 at 800m,not earth shattering by any means but a 10 second improvement on Monday.
4.15 at the bell,a 1.30 lap and while there's clearly a LONG way to go in my recovery I take heart from the closing lap of 1.18 and finishing in 5.33.85.

Granted the running world won't lose any sleep over my 5.33.85. mile,however it's a 16 second improvement on Monday and that's huge for me right now.
Rain or no rain I made sure to stretch afterwards and ice my tendon and post shower{of the warm variety!!!} I iced my tendon again.
I have pt again tomorrow which hopefully will set me up for a return to the track Friday and who knows maybe a faster mile.

Had I've been in Lahti as planned this week I'd have missed out on David Gray tickets going on sale this Saturday,I've been a huge David Gray since his 2000 breakout album ''White Ladder" and missed out on seeing him on his last US tour in 05 to promote his "Life In Slow Motion" cd as I was saving money for my trip to Athens for the Athens marathon so this time around I aim to be in line b4 tickets go on sale Saturday morning.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not So Pale,Always A Paddy,Still Proud

''Say a prayer for my mother,say a prayer for my father,say a prayer for my brother,but most of all please say a prayer for me"
"If You All Get To Heaven" Terence Trent D'Arby

Today was the day of reckoning for me,after a six week lay off I returned to the track in the hope that my achilles tendon woes were behind me and that I could begin the long haul back to where I was pre injury.
Spending the day at the Keystone Games yesterday proved to be some what of a double edged sword for me,it was good to be back in that environment again after too long away,however watching my marque events were bitter sweet,the 1,500m had me sorely tempted to register on the day and jump in to see what I could do while in the 800m I had to sit in the stands as my 2 year old club record was shaved down by 2 seconds,all praises due to Nick for his 1.57 time but it served as my Pearl Harbor day,the day the sleeping giant was awoken.

However it needed to be reinforced in my mind that it was "small steps"and long b4 I can get back to hammering those killer 6x600m repeats I had to get through todays run pain free,I elected for an easy workout,mile warm up,mile and mile cool down,my first plan was for a 5,000m time trial but the mile,mile, mile seemed a better way to go for now,I can get more creative down the road.
Conditions were were suitably sweltering when I arrived at my beloved Franklin Field by 4.30pm,it's funny in the past three years I've shown up at Franklin Field for countless repeat workouts not to mention four Penn Relays but never have I felt such an overwhelming sense of urgency as I did today,get through this w/out any pain and discomfort and begin to map out a return to training albeit at a comfortable pace,suffer another set back and go back to the drawing board,there was a lot riding on this.

After a good stretch and warm up I took my first tentative steps on a track since June 16th,an easy mile to warm up,sure I was huffing and puffing a little it'll take time to get used to being back at this,I only have to cast my mind back some 18 months after another 6 week lay off w/ my stress fracture to remember how ugly it was trying to get back into conditioning mode,then I had a whole season ahead of me,at least now w/ the 09 outdoor track season over there's not as great a sense of need for it to happen right away....remember I said that in a few weeks time when I'm bitching to high heaven at how slow it's taking to get back what I lost!!!
I had hoped to run 1.20 per lap on my actual mile,perhaps a tad over ambitious,I could've just ran and not timed it...................yeah right that was going to happen!!!,for the record I went:1.25,1.30,1.30,1.24. for a 5.49.06,far from earth shattering but as somebody once said and I quote"at some point in time Davey Crockett had to shoot his first bear"....not that I'm advocating the shooting of bears you understand!!!!

Another mile to cool down b4 more stretching and icing,b4 icing again after I returned home,and post blog more stretching,so far so good the achilles feels ok and hopefully when I wake up in the morning it'll still feel ok,I've been saying for the past week I couldn't look beyond today and that first run,w/ that taken care of let's see what the morning brings,I have the first of two physical therapy sessions this week tomorrow,maybe a bike ride post pt and hopefully a return to Franklin Field Wednesday and a crack at lowering that 5.49.06 mile,don't call it a comeback,not just yet anyway.....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wishing I Was There.

By rights I should be writing my latest blog entry from a hotel in Lahti Finland as I was due to fly out yesterday,instead I'm here in W.Philly wondering what might've been,my less than sunny disposition this week can be squarely attributed to this,granted at best I'm as cuddly as a porcupine so the last few days have seen the return of the savage Celtic black hearted pagan I'm sorry to say.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my recent blog entries on Ken Stone's Masterstrack Blog yesterday,since my injury I haven't read much of any running related matters,I never looked at the results of Nationals,stopped reading Ken's blog,and only recently began to read my own clubs message board again,I thank Ken for not just reading my blog but for the fact he's always been very kind to me in his blog,hopefully I can give him something running related to report b4 too long.

Despite the heat this afternoon I rode my bike around the Art Museum Loop,last Sunday my three loops in considerably cooler conditions went 36,34,31 for a combined 1.41 and on Tuesday I went 31.24,30.13,I was feeling the heat and my legs were feeling rubbery so imagine my considerable surprise to clock 32.40 for the opening 8.4 loop,proof positive that in cycling as in running I can't judge pace to save my life!!.
63.10 after two loops,30.50 for the second 8.4 now what was left?an almost identical 30.58 to finish in 1.34.08. some seven minutes faster than last Sunday.

Well I need to get my gear ready for the morning,despite not being able to run I'm joining up w/ my club as they head to York for the Keystone Games I figure the day b4 I attempt to run again maybe some good karma will come my way being around those guys,till then I'm gonna check out the latest BBC America supernatural/sci fi show "Being Human" I'm still reeling from my 5 nites of "Torchwood Children Of Earth" and the first of David Tennant's farewell ''Doctor Who" specials airs tomorrow evening,maybe life isn't so bad afterall?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One Step Closer

Another visit to Physical Therapy today and hopefully another step closer to returning to the track.
Right now it's small steps,I got a bunch of new stretches today to help my Achilles tendon hopefully get stronger,along w/ an ultrasound, 5 mins on an elliptical trainer and some ice afterwards,the acid test is going to be how well my tendon reacts to my first run,it's very much a wait and see game at the moment but I feel I'm heading in the right direction at least.
W/ any luck tomorrow should see another jaunt around the drives on my bike and another day closer to the moment of truth.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Off W/ The Boot,Off W/ The Gloves,On W/ The Horns,On W/ The Show.

I didn't think today's ride would happen,the rain looked to scupper any plans I had for hitting the loop after work however upon arrival home the rain had quit so I looked to keep my Tue,Thur,Sat rotation alive.
Today was my first day w/out "Frankenstein's Boot" after three weeks,I have to say the tendon feels much better but that doesn't mean I can leap back in to running just yet,I have PT tomorrow,I'll continue to stretch everyday and hope that come next Monday I can return to the track just to gauge where I'm at,my concern is after two weeks of no running following Shock Wave I ran once and boom,we were back to square one,it's all well and good not having ran for almost six weeks and wearing the boot for three but if my tendon bothers me post run Monday then I fear we're back to where we started,I guess we'll cross,burn,jump,paint that bridge when Monday gets here.

As for my bike ride,inspired by Sundays splits I went into this evening hoping for reasonable times,I clocked 31.24 for the opening loop,I knew I'd have to go some now on the second loop to beat that and much to my surprize I clocked a 30.13 second loop for a combined time of 61.37.

I'm off to stretch my Achilles,catch part two of "Torchwood Children Of Earth" and chow down,slowly but surely life as I knew it b4 the injury is starting to return to normal.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Then There Were Three

It was always in my mind to do three loops today but following Nicolas Roche's second place finish in yesterdays stage of the Tour De France I felt even more compelled to throw in an extra 8.4 loop,for all I know Nicolas is a distant relative given my mother's maiden name is Roche.

It was warm and sunny when I reached W.River Drive via Mantua by way of Powelton Ave, at 1pm,I figured 3 times the 8.4 mile loop at 40 mins per loop was a decent expectation so when I clocked 36 mins for the opening loop I was pleased as it meant I'd ridden w/in myself.

34 mins for loop two,1.10,now could I crank it up?the answer was a resounding yes as I crushed the final loop in 31 mins for an overall time of 1.41.

I was pleased that in only my third ride I was able to crank out an extra 8.4 ,mile loop w/out too much fuss,that said when I return on Tuesday it'll be back to the traditional two loops but I'd like to try and lowers today's splits next Sunday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On A Steel Horse I Ride

Having nixed yesterdays proposed ride due to other commitments I was happy to be back on the "steel horse" today.

I took a slightly different route to W.River Dr today which also meant starting from a different point and for what it was worth going counterclockwise as opposed to the direction I rode Tuesday.

Also going out the window today was my "no pissing contest"mindset,I wondered how long it'd take for the competitive fires to kick in,you can tame a Tiger but you'll never suppress it's natural killer instincts!!!

Coming off of Falls Bridge for the second time and heading down Kelly Drive I was overtaken by some rider which was fine but he never made much headway on me and w/in half a mile I reeled him in and overtook him,next thing I knew he was drafting off of my back no no,if you're gonna do that then I'm gonna make you work for it and thus began a sprint over the closing 3 miles to the Art Museum steps,I was hell bent on holding him off which I'm happy to say I did.

So two rides down,I'd like to ride again tomorrow,we'll see if the legs are up to it,one final footnote as I sit here writing this I'm also watching the Galaxy Red Bulls MLS game and jamming to some tunes on my pc,I haven't wanted to multitask for a while,I guess you can't keep a good alley cat down for long!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wake Up And Smell The Hypocrocy

Day 1 of my physical therapy,I have 7 more visits between now and August 13th to repair my tendon and get back to training,while Ira has said July 26th is a good time to resume Allison my Physical Therapist would like me to hold off a little longer till she feels I'm ready,we'll have to see if there's any change as my therapy progresses.
The very fact I had to go all the way to Jefferson for Physical Therapy despite working in a hospital that has it's own rehab facility just blows my mind,while I buy into the "networking"issue to a degree I find it somewhat absurd that despite 10 years of service I'm not worthy of a phone call or a "favour" to be called in so that I could have the same treatment where I work,I guess I'm not as special as I think I am afterall,I just hope the same buggers who make those decisions don't start grousing when I have leave work early over the next four weeks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Maiden Voyage

NEWS FLASH...........Large amount of endorphins released on Kelly and West River Drives,film at 11.
After an eight year hiatus of bike riding today saw me do my best Norman Tebbit impression and"get on me bike",given it's another two weeks b4 I can run the bike may prove to be the best investment I make this year.
It felt great to be out and about again after six weeks and also since I converted from road running to track in 06 I've had no need to be up on the drives for the last three years and I'd forgotten how great it feels to be out there on a warm day w/ a mild breeze coming off the river.
Make no mistake I'm only on the bike to get a sense of fitness and allow myself a chance to workout after work,I don't plan on doing mad mileage,today was two loops of the 8 mile loop nor am I looking to get into"pissing contests"w/anyone while I'm out there I just need to do something until I can begin to run again which is slated for July 26th/27th.
As I sit here a little saddle sore after my ride I do feel a sense of accomplishment, today felt like one of the better days of the last two months,god willing I'll be back out on the bike again tomorrow after my first Physical Therapy session.

So Close I Can Almost Taste It.

God willing,this time next week my cast boot will be in a corner gathering dust and I won't be answering the time honoured question for the gazillionth time"what did you do to your foot?"
My most recent answers to said question have alternated from"I dropped my wallet on it"to "I fell off my wallet"
That light at the end of the tunnel I've been soooooooooooooooo desperately trying to reach is almost there,my bike should be road worthy by this evening and I begin Physical Therapy tomorrow,Ira my foot doctor thinks I should be able to resume running by July 26th.....can I get an Amen?..............thank you!!
As for any plans for"World Domination"well they need to be put on hold,if I learnt anything over the past two months it's that sitting here and saying "I want to be at this level by such and such date"is premature,starter for ten I just want to be able to run again,and run pain free,that's the first objective,once that has been taken care of then and only then can I begin to concern myself w/ training regimes and race schedules,please don't ask me if I'm planning on running this race,that race,is a xc season on the cards because I just don't know,when I know you'll know.
First things first I need to pick up my bike and give it a test ride,I guess "Hell On Wheels" has a new poster child.....................
Happy Trails

Friday, July 10, 2009

I've Had A Gut Full

Confession they say is good for the soul,so step back because I'm about to spew my guts.........

To say I'm beyond fucked off right now is like saying Atilla The Hun may've had "anger management"issues,no matter how bad things have gotten in the past I could in the last eight years go out and run to deal w/ them......well not now I can't,so I bought a bike,but because I have zero mechanical skills I couldn't put it together when it arrived Wednesday so I had to take it to a local bike shop who in turn told me the earliest they think it'll be ready is Tuesday.........
Granted what's a few more days but I had hoped to be out doing loops on Kelly Dr and W.River Dr over the weekend......ah the best laid plains of mice and men.....and runners!
Glass half full my walk w/ the bike from 57th and Cedar to 31st and Walnut meant loosing the cast boot for an hour,it was bad enough having to walk it that far,much less wearing the boot while I did it,after a week and a half of clunking around it felt weird to have both my shoes on again.
I swung by Franklin Field on my way home since I was in the neighbourhood,and while it was painful to watch others jog around the track it felt good to be back there again,here's hoping it won't be too long b4 I'm back on the track sooner rather than later.
Mad props and much love to my friend Kim the security guard there,we share a common bond w/ all things BBC America so it was good to have someone to talk to about the likes of ''Doctor Who"''Torchwood"''Robin Hood"""Gavin And Stacy",believe me the hour or so we chatted was one of the better hours I've had in recent weeks.

Another good hour or so was Wednesday when "The Queen Of The Slipstream"and I had lunch together.....I know I was shocked too,I never take lunch!!!!
Things have gone very quiet on the "QOTS"front over the last few months but we're still good friends and we usually chat once a week,it was fun to sit and have lunch together for a change and at a time when several people have for whatever reason chosen to avoid me I'm grateful to those who take the trouble to remember me.

It's not lost on me that tomorrow marks a year to the day I flew home to Ireland and it's hard not to think about those magnificent 6 mile runs along the beach every morning,right now I'd just be happy w/ a 6 mile run.
I also knew this time last year I still had Nationals to look forward to,Outdoor Masters Nationals have been the highlite of my summer for the last three years and it was always a sore spot w/ me that I couldn't go this year as I'd opted for Worlds and not only can I not do Worlds but I can't do Nationals either now,which I hasten to mention began yesterday.

I was delighted to learn yesterday that my good friend,team mate and more often than not room mate on Nationals road trips Ray Parker won the Pentathlon after two years as runner up,I'm delighted for Ray he deserves to be a National Champion,I'm just sorry I couldn't be there to share that w/ him,much less be in Oshkosh to compete and be w/ my teammates and the friends I've made since my Nationals debut in 06 in Charlotte.

Ok I've vented my spleen a little,it doesn't alter the fact I'm still as miserable as sin right now but as a wise man once told me,"bury it deep in the tough shit cemetery".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One Down,Two To Go

Well that's the first week of my cast boot behind me.....and the first week of barbed comments to all and sundry who've dared cross me about it,my favourite snide comment came yesterday after the three day weekend when someone rather stupidly asked"so what did you do over the weekend"?....................
"you know,ballroom dancing,rollerblading,skateboarding,windsurfing,absailing".....the usual activities one does while they're wearing a goddamn foot cast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Therein lies part of my dilemma,as of today I've ran once in the last five weeks and frankly I'm going out of my everlovin' freakin mind here,to the point where I went online today and ordered a road bike.
I'm looking at at least two more weeks of the boot and frankly I need to be able to jump on a bike and ride post work and on the weekends to not only stay in shape but also stay some what sane,I thought long and hard about the bike,there are risks w/ it but I figured cross training mightn't be so bad,I'm looking at my third injury in four years and at almost 46 the wear and tear on my body isn't helping any,lest we forget my line of work keeps me on my feet most of the day,plus w/ a bike come winter if it's brass monkeys out there I can put the bike down in the basement and prop the back week off the ground and make a stationary bike out of it so here's hoping it's a win/win for me.