Monday, August 31, 2009

Little By Little

"True perfection has to be imperfect,I know that that sounds foolish but it's true,the day has come and now you have you accept the life inside your head we gave to you.
Y'know I didn't mean,what I just said,but my god woke up on the wrong side of his bed and it just don't matter now
Cos little by little we gave you everything you ever dreamed of,little by little the wheels of your life have slowly fallen off,little by little you have to live it all in all your life,and all this time I ask myself why are you really here?"
Little By Little Oasis

After last weeks first in and out 400s all I could ask of myself today was a little improvement,for those of you playing along at home my opening week splits were:21.00,22.34,60.83,60.64,62.00,
After I'd stretched and warmed up it was into my flats and ready for my 150m,250m jog,150m,250 jog opener.
21.89-23.00. a fraction slower than last week but in fairness the 150s aren't the meat and spuds of the workout,that said I still want them to be competitive.

400#1 my 150/100/150 splits went:23/12/25 for a 400 split of 60.94.again a fraction off of last week but a solid opening 400m
400#2, 23/12/26-61.55.the first marginally slower split but more to do w/ me easing up b4 the line to make sure there were still bullets in the chamber.
400#3,23/13/25/-61.96.just under last week 3rd 400,the difference this week was probably my arms not feeling tired and heavy.
400#4,24/13/26-63.84.almost a second faster than last week,trying to relax over the opening 150m seemed to be the difference.
Clearly there's still work to be done on the 400s but in a week I took 2 seconds off the previous weeks times.

And so to my "decathletes mile"I think I said last year when I first did this repeat that now I had an idea how those guys must feel after 9 events and they have to run a 1,500m,it's torture!
From the get go today I was clearly faster,my splits last week went:1.40,1.31,1.35, when I clocked 1.32.after 400m I already knew I was on for something quicker. 800m off a 1.35. split,perhaps next week I could reverse the opening two lap splits? the bell,1.30,at this stage I was 9 seconds faster than last week.
5.55.34.thanks to a closing lap of 1.18. a far cry from the 1.25.I closed in last week and a 16 second improvement overall.
There's still aways to go yet but w/ 3 more of these repeats scheduled b4 Sept 26th I hope to keep chippin' away at the splits and keep bringing them down.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happiness Is Padded Cycling Shorts

Thankfully today's 36 mile bike ride was conducted w/ the aid of my new Team Ireland cycling shorts,trust me 36 miles and three hours in the saddle you want all that padding in the requisite places!!!
Like last week I found the final miles a grind but managed to see it through giving me 15 miles on the track for the week and 36 miles on the bike.
Whilst on the bike I mapped out next weeks schedule..lets face it when you're riding for three hours you find yourself w/ ample time to think!
Anyways not much of a radical change next week from this week,in and out 400s on Monday,4x1 mile repeats Wednesday and 5x1,000m Friday,the flip floping of Wednesday Friday is to accomodate next Sundays track meet in Virginia,which of course means no 36 mile bike ride next Saturday,however to keep me on a Mon,Wed,Fri the following week Monday will see me ride.
All in all a good week, a return to speed work and hopefully steps in the right direction.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Celtic Thunder B4 The Rain.

Still smarting from last weeks dramtic second half collapse in the 4x1 mile repeats it was back to"the scene of the crime"lunchtime to attempt to put that right.
After 5 weeks of very much A Typical late July/August weather today was a friendly reminder Labor Day weekend is next week and w/ that the end of summer,something to keep in mind.

Knowing I didn't have to contend w/ 90 degree plus temps for a change meant strolling onto the track at just gone noon wasn't as big a deal as it was at 11am last week,following my stretches and mile warm up it was I hoped "retribution time" open,I was thinking 1.16 pre run so this didn't feel like any need to split hairs. 800m,a 1.22. split,I had hoped to eliminate 1.20 plus laps today,that may take a while longer. the bell,a 1.20. split,far from earth shatteringly fast but at least consistent.
5.16.89. a 1.17.split and a good start,something to build on. open,sub 1.20 which was pretty much the goal today over 16 laps. 800m,1.21.not all over the place like last week,this boded well. the bell,a 1.20.split and a average of 1.20 per lap. of a 1.13.closing lap,last week that proved to be my undoing,would lightning strike twice in the same place? open,no last week,hardly "Zorba The Greek"pace but "The Funeral March" was nowhere to be heard either! 800m another 1.21. split. the bell,a mental letdown more so than physical,an unwelcome 1.23.split.
5.19.62.a 1.16.split to close,the sub 5.20. plan was still intact if not the 1.20 per lap. open,knowing this was the final mile I had hoped to open stronger,again this will come in time. 800m,another 1.23.split,about as popular as a West Ham fan in the Millwall section!! the bell,a 1.21.split,unlike last week when slow splits were followed by even slower splits today I was rebounding nicely.
5.13.93.thanks to a 69 second closing lap,when I hit 200m to go instinct took over and I automatically picked up the pace.

Overall I'm pleased,the stench of last week feels like it's been scrubbed away and while today is a long way from the 4x1 mile sub 5 minute pace I want to return to I feel in late August I'm in on the right path towards that come the tail end of the year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Into The Unknown

There are a couple of holes in my running resume,one of which is a sub 17 minute 5k.
Actually there is one a 16.44 set way back in 1990,my best masters 5k time is 17.09 set 2 years ago,time to put that right.
5k has always been an awkward distance for me,as a road runner up to 06 I always found 5k too much of a sprint preferring 10k,10miles,half marathons,when I switched to track in fall 06 I thought 5,000m would be my distance b4 realizing that the 800m,1,500m,mile were my better distances,but w/ my mile speed I always believed I was capable of running a decent 5k on the road or 5,000m on the track providing I had time to prepare for it.......

The Masters 5k road race c'ships are coming up in Syracuse in 6 weeks time,time for me to get 6 weeks of 5x1,000m repeats under my belt in the hope I can at the very least return from Syracuse w/ a 16.59 5k,preferably a 16.43, a pr and masters record also.
I had no real idea what to expect this evening,in some some respects it was a trial run to get an idea what to expect over the coming weeks.

1,000m#1,1.12,1.25, would've been nice to keep that pace throughout but I knew that was wishful thinking.
1,000m#2,1.18,1.18,37-3.13.33.w/ hindsight this is the pace I needed tonite,something to ponder when I return next Friday.
1,000m#3,1.20,1.20,38-3.18.51.had I have gone in to today looking for 3.20.pace this would've been almost ideal.
1,000m#4,1.20,1.25,41-3.26.80,no bones about it I was feeling the pace now,the 1.20. to open surprised me,I thought I was running slower,mentally I had a let down on the second lap,ergo the session slowest 1.25. split,something to work on next week.
1,000m#5,1.21,1.23,34,-3.16.20.always good to finish strong,a combined time of 16.19.

I can fine tune things a little now,I really didn't know what to expect today,now that I know what to expect from myself,#2 would be a fine blueprint.
As the nation and the world mourns the loss of Senator Ted Kennedy and another chapter in Irish American gets written my memory of his legacy will be his role in the peace process in Northern Ireland,God bless Ted Kennedy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Melancholy & Infinite Sadness

''But there are long long nites when I lay awake and I think of what I've done,of how I've thrown my sweetest dreams away and what I've really become
And however hard I try I will always feel regret,however hard I try I will never forget,I will never forget"
Bare The Cure

On to phase two of my training,after four weeks of getting my feet back under me w/ either solo miles or mile repeats it was now time to get some speed under my belt w/ 6 weeks of in and out 400m repeats and 5x1,000m and mile repeats b4 hopefully kicking on to phase three in early October,but let's not get too carried away w/ the future until the present has been taken care of.
This evening was my first in and out 400s in almost a year,coming hard on the heals of Fridays dramatic collapse in the mile repeats I was anxious to put that behind me and get off to a good start on my return to speed work.

After my stretches and half mile warm up it was into my flats for the first time since June 2nd for my 150s and 400s.
21.00.for my opening 150m,a pleasant surprise as I hadn't given any thought to what I might run,off my 250m jog I then clocked a 22.34. second 150m,last year in my opening in and out 400 repeat my opening 150s were 23.28-20.49.

Off of 3 mins recovery it was 400m time,again I hadn't given any real thought to the kind of splits I was shooting for it really was a case of throwing linguine at the wall and seeing what stuck.
400#1 60.83.w/150/100/150/splits of 22/12/26/
400#2 60.64.w/splits of 23/12/25/ almost identical splits.
400#3 62.00 w/ splits of 23/13/26/my arms were starting to feel tired,not only had I not worn flats since June 2nd but I had done short repeats either and my arms were feeling it.
400#4 64.93 w/ splits of 25/12/27/not earth shattering but I had to start somewhere and next Monday when I come back I'll have a legit target to chase after today,not that it's a fair comparison but last year my 400s were 58,59,59,60.

Now for the dreaded mile off of 7 mins recovery{last year I took 8 mins maybe I should've checked this b4 I ran??!!}
My splits were nothing to write home about but this mile was always meant to be about being able to dredge up a final lap faster than the first three laps,to that end I was successful as I went
1.40,1.31,1.35,1.25 to clock 6.11.26.again it's not really fair to compare this to last years opener which was 5.29.but like last year I had to start somewhere and come next Monday over 150,400 and the mile I'll look to build upon today.

Why the melancholy and mournful Cure lyrics?tomorrow is another Erica anniversary,on Aug 11th 1985 I came to Philly for the first time ever and on the 25th I reluctantly flew back to London knowing I was faced w/ another 7 months of being apart from my first love Erica,ours was a fairytale romance w/out a happy ending as we've been divorced for coming up on 21 years this November and as is often the case some years Erica anniversaries roll by w/out the blink of an eye,other years I shed a tear for a lost love,I guess this year it's the latter not the former.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dancing In Berlin

''One,there's no time for this,two grant me just one wish,Please there's no wall in front of you
Dancing In Berlin,I want to see you Dancing In Berlin"
Dancing In Berlin. Berlin

Originally the plan was blog yesterday's 36 mile bike ride then write my World C'Ship Top Ten moments today.....................frankly after yesterdays 36 miler on the bike I was to put it mildly shagged out,not to mention a tad saddle sore,I hope the Team Ireland bike shorts I ordered online show up b4 next Saturdays 36 miler!!!
All that aside I'm pleased to report that I stuck to my guns and compleated the 36 miler yesterday,I don't think I've ever rode that far on a bike b4 and while it was a grind towards the end and a real "grit my teeth"performance I saw it through to the bitter end,hopefully come next week when I do it again it'll be a little easier.

And so to my Top Ten moments from Berlin:
10.Nerius & Harting win Golds for the hosts
Firstly mad props to Steffi Nerius,37 and still winning Gold medals at a World Championship in the women's Javelin.
Props to Robert Harding to pull out all the stops on the final throw in the men's Discus and capture the Gold,we've seen it b4 and will again how the home crowd can lift an athlete,it never gets old.
9. Blanka Vlasic.After a shock upset in Beijing last year in the Women's High Jump the lovable and leggy Croatian defended her Osaka 07 title,good to see her doing her victory dance again!
8.Steve Hooker.Fighting through an obvious pain barrier the Olympic Pole Vault Gold medal winner added World C'ship Gold to his resume by taking as few jumps as possible to first reach the finals then win the final...fair dinkum!!!
7.Allyson Felix,I can still remember her World C'ship debut in Paris 03,since then she's won 200m Gold in Helsinki in 05 and Osaka 07 and now Berlin 09.
6.Jessica Ennis,Britain's first Gold medalist at Berlin,an inspiration to all injured athletes,last year she missed the Olympics w/ two stress fractures in her ankle,12 months later she's World Champion.
5. Derval O Rourke,while 4th is probably the one place no athlete wants to finish Leesider Derval O Rourke was the highlight for Ireland in Berlin{props to Paul Hession a semi finalist in the men's 200m and David Gillick 6th in the 400m final}setting a Irish National record in the final,if she can steer clear of injuries maybe she'll claim Gold next Summer in Barcelona at the European C'ships.
4.Shannon Rowbury Do we finally have an American women's middle distance runner in the mold of the great Mary Decker?
After a dramatic opening round fall Shannon made into the semis via an appeal,left it late in the semis to make her move and reach the final where her gutsy 4th place finish was later upgraded to third and bronze after the rightful dq of the winner Natalia Rodriguez.
3.Bernard Lagat,at 34 this guy is still picking up medals at major c'ships,following his bronze in the 1,500m where his finishing kick was blunted by being boxed in he then gave the great Kenenisa Bekele all he could handle up the home straight in the 5,000m final,and all this w/ 4 stitches in a gash on his ankle from the semis.
2. Kenenisa Bekele,the first ever double 5,000m/10,000m Gold medalist in the history of the World C'ships....oh and the Gold in the 10,000m...his 4th in a row since 05.
1......................Usain Bolt.............who else??!!!
3 Golds,2 World Records and he just turned 23,9.58-19.19.....nuff said,mad props,much love,big ups to "The Lightning Bolt"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Triple H

Not so much Hazy,Hot and Humid,more Hurt,Humbled and Humiliated.
After 11 good workouts I guess I was due a clunker,it would've been nice if it hadn't been today on my first 4x1 mile repeat since May 2nd not to mention the transitional repeat leading out of phase one of my training and into phase two beginning Monday,but shit happens.

It all began well enough,unlike last week I made sure to be up at a reasonable time and on the track by 11.10am,given the heat and humidity today that proved to be prudent.....though by the time mile 3 rolled around I was wishing I'd stayed in bed!!!
Having walked to Franklin Field in order to take care of a personal matter I had a flashback to "the old days" of walking from 46th and Hazel to Franklin Field to conduct 4x1 mile repeats,for the past three years in mid to late August I've been coming off of Nationals and gearing for 5th Avenue Mile,this year I'm coming off of my achilles tendon injury.

Stretched and did my mile warm up,now to build on last weeks 3x1 mile repeats of 5.29.06,5.22.25,5.05.54.
1.17. for the opening lap,pretty much what I was looking for. 800m,ok for an opening mile of 4 x1 miles but not earth shattering. the bell a 1.25.split.
5.25.25.and a 1.21.split,a good start.

Mile #2 open a good start.....however 800m off of a 1.24.split,little did I know the rot was setting in the bell and a 1.25.split
5.20.40.thanks to a 73 second closing lap

Mile#3 open and the writing was very much on the wall 800m,no knee lift or leg turnover...^&!@ a 1.29.split the bell a 1.33.split,the words hell and hand basket sprung to mind.....and a few unprintable ones also!!
6.01.23. a 1.36.split
At this point there was a temptation to step off the track and say I'd blown it,instead I used the last two minutes of my 5 minute recovery on my back w/ my legs up against the wall in the hope of draining the lactated acid out of my legs.

Mile#4 open,this was going to get ugly.... 800m a 1.39.split,at this point I was reminded of an old David Moorcroft quote"when things are going well I hum "Zorba The Greek"to myself,when they're going bad I hum"The Funeral March" the bell,a 1.40. split,trust me it's as painful to blog as it was to run
6.31.98.a 1.42. split.

So,where did it all go wrong?I could probably go back to laps 2&3 on the opening mile much less the second mile where I allowed myself to drop off the 1.20 pace,that 73 second closing lap on mile #2 was probably my undoing.
I stuck it out today even when things had clearly gone pear shaped,it's not in my nature to quit on a workout even when it's going horribly wrong,hopefully next Friday when I return for 4x1 mile repeats I'll be able to get it right and chalk today up as"a bad day at the office"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Close,Not Close Enough

As the first phase of my training winds down this afternoon I took my last solo mile for a while.
After my fiveteen minutes of stretching and easy mile it was time to go for it one last time.
1.12.after 400m,a brisk opening lap given the heat. 800m off a 1.15.split,my best 800m split to date. the bell,somewhat of a benchmark in recent miles,frustratingly a 1.19. split.
68.for the final lap,4.54.79.compared to Monday's 4.54.51.
It felt like it was that third lap today that cost me, on Monday I went,72,77,77, I went
Anytime I can run a 4.54.mile and be disappointed I guess that says something of how high I've set the bar for myself.
Friday sees my first 4x1 mile repeat since May 2nd.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before.

"I was delayed,I was way laid an emergency stop I smelt the last ten seconds of life
I crashed down on the crossbar and and the pain was enough to make a shy bald buddhist reflect and plan a mass murder"
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before The Smiths

Another Monday,another 90 degree plus day,another sub 5 minute mile,like I said,stop me if you think you've heard this one b4.
Like last Monday I wasn't phased by the heat, once I arrived at Franklin Field I knew it comfortable enough to go for a fast mile as opposed to an easy 3 miler/5,000m.
After my stretches and easy mile warm it was time to go for it over the mile,having clocked 4.59.01. and 4.55.04. last week I was hopeful of another sub 5 today even w/ the heat.

1.12.after 400m,my fastest opening lap to date,as long as I hadn't gone out too fast I was on for a sub 5 at the very least.
2.29. at 800m a 1.17. split,last Wednesday my opening two splits were 1.13/1.17. the bell,a 1.17.split,on Wednesday I ran a 1.16 split on the third lap to clock 3.46. also.
68.for my final lap to clock 4.54.51.
W/ 300m to go I began to up the pace,in four short weeks I've been able to not only knock out sub 5 minute miles but also lengthen my kick the week b4 last it was at 150m today it was 300m,I'm getting there and based on tonite's time I may well run another mile rather than a 5,000m time trial.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Life On The Semi Open Road

Inspite of a hectic weekend between the start of the Premier League soccer season,the World C'ships in Track & Field,plus the love of my life Gina Carano fighting tonite,not to mention domestic chores and episode 4 of"Being Human" on BBC America I found time to somehow squeeze in a 28 mile bike ride this afternoon.
Were it not for the time constraints today would've been a good day to up my milage on the bike,I think I'm ready to tack on an extra 8 miles on my long ride on the weekend,we'll see what next weekend brings.
For the week I logged 11 miles on the track and 28 on the bike,I forsee a slight increase in track milage this coming week,I'm sure I'll draw inspiration from watching the worlds best in Berlin at the World C'ships.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Twenty One Years And Counting

"It's been a while since I could say that I wasn't addicted"
It's Been A While Staind

August 14th is a landmark day for me,on Sunday August 13th 1988 I took my last drink in a rat infested derelict house,I had truly hit rock bottom,today I celebrated 21 years of being sober and while my life is anything but ideal at least I have a life,there's little or no doubt I'd have drunk myself into an early grave had I have continued going in the direction I was going and for that I thank my lord and saviour.

I took advantage of another Friday off of work to sleep in a little this morning,in the past two weeks I've been at Franklin Field by 11am,today I didn't get out of bed till 11.30am so it was 1pm b4 I set foot on the track,and by the time I was all done gone 2pm I could feel the heat increasing,note to self set the alarm for next Friday....
Stretched,b4 conducting my mile warm up,knowing I was adding a third mile to my repeats today I was keen to make sure my mile warm up was slow and easy.

Mile #1 I had hoped to open in 1.18 and hold that pace for four laps for a 5.12 mile,a nice thought but much like ever going out on a date w/ Gina Carano.....wishful thinking!!
1.24.for the opening lap a good 6 seconds off pace. 800m,since I'd gotten it wrong on lap 1 of mile 1 there seemed little or no point tearing it up now. the bell,remarkably a third 1.24. lap,slow but at least consistent.
5.29.06. for the mile w/ a 1.17.closing lap.

1.16.for the opening lap,an improvement on the 1.24's but again not the 1.18's I craved. 800m,1.23.I 'd backed off too much,clearly it's gonna take a while to get back into the rhythm of even pacing. the bell,a1.22.split,hopefully come summers end I'll look back at theses splits and laugh.
5.22.15.a 1.21.split and 7 second improvement on the opening mile.

1.15.for the opener I wasn't worrying about 1.18's now I just wanted to finish off the mile repeats strong. 800m a 1.24. split.....ger!! the bell,a 1.17. lap,how big a finish could I muster?what was left in the tank?
5.05.54. thanks to a 69 second last lap and while I was delighted to go from 5.22.15. to 5.05.54. I was left to rue that 1.24.on the second lap,I might've gotten another sub 5 had it not been for that split.

All in all I have to be satisfied w/ my overall performance,sure the pacing was all over the place like chicken shit on a farm{leave it to a paddy to make that analogy!!!} but in only my 9th workout since returning to training I'd handled a 3x1 mile repeat w/ little or no trouble.
As far as next week goes,I'd like to go for 4x1 mile on Friday but I'm going to think about what Monday and Wednesday should be over the weekend,I've got a good idea but you'll have to check back to see what I decide.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Heavy Cloud,No Rain

After Monday's 4.59.10. mile I was hopeful of building upon that today.
There'd be no "walking across hot coals"as there was on Monday,conditions couldn't have been more opposite as today conditions were much cooler w/ the hint of rain under grey skies when I arrived at Franklin Field at 4.15pm.

After 15 minutes of stretching I conducted my warm up mile,I knew nothing short of a 4.57 mile today given the difference in conditions would be good enough for me.
1.13.for the opening lap,once again it was a strong opening lap as I continue to work my way back to pre injury splits. 800m a 1.17.split,these are the kind of splits I'll be looking for when I begin to go in search of my 4x1 mile repeats in the coming weeks. the bell,an impressive 1.16. split,so much for my recent third lap woes!!
4.55.08.and a 69 second last lap.

As is my won't I was miffed w/ that 69 second last lap,having thrown in a 76 second lap on lap three I may've taken a little off of my closing lap but that aside c'mon it's a 4.55.08.mile three weeks into my return from injury!!!
The achilles feels fine,I spent another 15 minutes stretching after my mile cool down and 20 minutes of icing when I got home,tomorrow will not be my last day of physical therapy after all,Allison and I agreed to another four weeks of strengthening my achilles which can only benefit me in the long run.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dog Days Be Damned

"And if a double decker bus crashes into us,to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.
And if a ten ton truck kills the both of us,to die by your side well the pleasure,the privilege is mine"
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out The Smiths

By rights today should've been my shake out run after returning home from the world championships in Finland yesterday however the achilles tendon injury I picked up in late April/early June took care of that for me.
There was talk of it being 96 degrees this afternoon and I was tempted to run an easy three miler but upon arrival at Franklin Field at 4.15pm I honestly felt I could "give it some welly" over a one off mile so it was back to the plan of mile warm up,mile,mile cool down.
After a easy mile warm up it was time to have at it in the mile,in all honesty I thought if I could hold 1.18 pace through 1,200m for a 3.54 and a 69 second last lap I was looking at a 5.03 mile which in this heat would be highly commendable.

1.14. for the opener not too shabby if I say so myself,my best opening lap to date and in this heat.
2.31. at 800m,my fastest 800m split to date, a 1.17. lap.
3.51. at the bell, a 1.20.split,I still need to work on my third lap but I'm getting there.
4.59.10. w/ a 68 second last lap,a sub 5 minute mile at my seventh attempt since returning to training three weeks ago.

To get my first sub 5 out of the way means that's one less issue to worry about,the trick now is to do it again,hopefully Wednesday,anything less in cooler conditions will be a let down.
As for The Smiths lyric,two fold,the fire that burns in me, that drives me forward no matter what is a light that never goes out and also it 's one of two Smiths songs in the movie ''500 Days Of Summer" which I urge you to see,it's my leading candidate for movie of the year,don't let my gruff exterior and oft blunt abrasive nature fool you,I'm a shameless romantic at heart and that's why this movie rates so highly w/ me,go see it you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Sign Of The Cross{Training}

The first two weeks I had my bike,I couldn't run,the first two weeks I was able to run again I haven't been able to ride my bike until today.
Taking advantage of having a day off from work yesterday meant I had a jump start on domestic chores going into the weekend so by 2.30pm I was good to go to saddle up and hit the Art Museum Loop.
I opted against the time honoured three times around the loop in favour of the up and back along W.River Dr since it's closed off to traffic on the weekends from just below the Philadelphia Zoo.
It was a nice change of pace to be able to cycle on the road,the loop is fine by the time honoured problems I used to encounter as a runner up there are now omnipresent as a cyclist and frankly I'm going a lot faster on my bike than as a runner so on the weekends it'll be the up and back on the road and beginning the week after next when I can resume Tue/Thur rotation on my bike I'll use the path.
Technically this was my first week of cross training,I logged 10 miles on the track and 28 miles on the bike,from little acorns big trees grow.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Top Cat At The Double

''Cause it makes me that much stronger,makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser,so thanks for making me a fighter
Makes me learn a little bit faster,made my skin a bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter,so thanks for making me a fighter"
Fighter Christina Aguilera

While there was an overriding desire to build upon Wednesday's 5.06 mile I stuck to the plan of today being my first attempt at a 2x1 mile repeat.
Having seen the finishing times of yesterday's M45 1,500m final in Lahti I was left to rue yet again"what might've been"in my heart of hearts I believed I was more than capable running a 4.05. 1,500m which would've been good enough for silver,rather than sit here and play the "what if" game I chose to take my frustrations to the track this morning,there will be other World Championships God willing.
The plan was mile warm up,mile repeat,recovery,mile repeat,mile cool down w/ stretches b4 and after,I can't lose sight of the fact I'm coming off an Achilles tendon injury and I have no desire to be back on the DL any time soon thank you very much.

Conditions were great as yet again I sought to take full advantage of being able to run mid morning when I'm more rested than after a days work and the heat isn't as much a factor as it can be at 4.30pm in the afternoon.
Eased my way through the mile warm up b4 tackling my first repeat since June 16th and my first mile repeat since May 2nd.
I knew not to go "gangbusters" on the opening mile,there are several weeks and months ahead to do that,for now 1.20 per lap for a 5.20 mile would be ample.
1.18.for the opening lap,made a point of not getting up on my toes for this mile,again there's plenty of time for that in the coming weeks/months. 800m,a 1.23.lap in the general scheme of things I was only a second off pace but honestly even at this early stage of my comeback a 1.23.split doesn't sit well. the bell,a 1.24.lap perhaps I'd gone out too conservatively?again today was a little bit trial and error for me I have time to fine tune and correct things.
5.24.01. a 1.19. last lap.

If I'd ran the opening mile on the back foot and frankly I don't think I could be blamed for doing so though in some quarters I know I will be the "gloves came off" for mile #2.
1.16. for the opening lap,I was up on my toes and focusing as hard as I could,while the physical side of my game is being coaxed back I need to get the mental side on board too. 800m a 1.20. split,tantalizingly close to my solo mile from Wednesday. the bell,a 1.22.split,right now I was 4 seconds slower than where I was two days ago.
69. for the final lap,my first sub 70 since the injury,a 5.07.91.mile,not too shabby if I say so myself.
While the Achilles had stood upto the test,my calves were understandably feeling it and frankly most race walkers would have left me in their wake on my mile cool down but to have posted a 5.07.91. as the second of my two 1 mile repeats in only my second week back training is for me at least something to be very proud of.

Hopefully tomorrow or even Sunday if needed I'll get out on the bike,my late afternoon pt session make it hard to get over to the Art Museum Loop by the time I get home,I'm looking at my final week of therapy this coming week.
Week three of my return to training will see more of the same,would be nice to get a sub 5 under my belt if possible,let's see what Monday brings shall we?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


"I'm bustin out and I'm going in,I'm kickin up about the state I'm in
Looking to my future,not my past I want to be a good boy but how long can it last
I'm fighting my way back"
Fighting My Way Back
Thin Lizzy

Ancient Irish history lesson 1,I was named after my father and grandfather when I was christened,it wasn't till my teens that my grandfathers name came more into play to avoid confusion between my father and me,on a good day when people ask what the f stands for I tell people Francis,on a bad day I tell them the f stands for feisty,today I was feisty................
Any day that begins w/ Korn on my ipod pretty much dictates the mood I'm in and when I got off the el at 34th st to walk over to Franklin Field I could feel that swagger returning,that "@#$! you I'm gonna nail this workout" feeling,it's been a while since I've felt that.

Conditions were close to ideal,the cloud cover took away some of the heat that had been a factor the last two Mondays and there was a mild breeze,things were bubbling up nicely and when I felt myself instinctively get up on my toes on my warm up mile I just knew things were returning to the way they were pre injury.
Pre run I was gunning for a 5.14 mile,I figured splits of 1.20,1.20,1.20,1.14 would do it................
1.16. for the opening lap,last Wed when I opened briskly in 1.17 I couldn't hold onto that pace but a week later and w/out a driving rain I clocked a 1.19. to go through 800m in 2.35.little by little my 800m time is coming down:2.55,2.45,2.42,2.43.
Another 1.19. split to put me at the bell,my first sub 4 1,200m since my return from injury,the 64 billion dollar question,had I gassed myself or was there gas left in the tank?
1.12. for the final lap,I need to go sub 70 b4 I can dare to consider sub 60 but based on todays evidence those days are coming.
5.06.55. it's hard not to feel chipper about that,only my fifth mile back and I've gone from 5.49.06 to 5.06.55.hopefully next week my first sub 5 minute mile will come.

After my first week back the plan was to up my mile repeats to two at the end of the second week so the plan for Friday is mile warm up,mile,5 min recovery,mile,mile cool down,one mile at a time I'm working my way back.

Ancient Irish history lesson 2,just b4 lunchtime today I was asked if I could find a space on the dock for some food the nurses had collected for Philabundence,I was more than happy to lend my support to a noble cause period but when you consider the number of Irishmen and women who perished due to the famine then is it any wonder I was quick to help?

Monday, August 3, 2009

All Fired Up

"Ain't nobody livin' in a perfect world,everybody's out there cryin' to be heard
Now I've got a new fire burnin' in my eyes,lightin' up the darkness movin' like a meteorite"
''All Fired Up"
Pat Benatar

I made no bones recently in my blog how I never looked at the results of Masters Nationals last month and to be honest I wasn't planning to look at the results from Worlds however curiosity got the better of me this afternoon and I couldn't help but check the results of yesterday's M45 800m final..........................................
The resounding @#$% that reverberated in my office this afternoon might just've been heard in Lathi,for the past two years I've ran a 1.59 in early August and honestly felt that even if I lost a second I could still run 2.00 and win gold so imagine how I felt when I saw yesterdays winning time of 2.01.37.,not so much a case of "curiosity killing the cat" more a case of "curiosity pissing off the cat"and w/ that I was off to Franklin Field.

A week removed from my first run in six weeks and only my second run in eight weeks I lined up for another mile,mile,mile,if things continue the way they've been going I could see me adding a second mile to my mile repeats b4 too long.
While I was hoping to beat Friday's 5.18.37. I realized that might be a tall order given it was conducted at 10.30am when not only was it much cooler than today at 4.30pm but I was also more rested.

Following my mile warm up it was time to go for my mile at pace,due to a field hockey scrimmage on the track I was forced to run in lane 8 it was either that or lane 1 which comes up short of the full 400m so I opted for lane 8.
1.20. at 400m,right where I wanted to be,could I keep this pace like I did on Friday?
2.43. at 800m a 1.23. lap,agh!
4.08. at the bell,but a 1.25.lap,I'm still a few weeks away from getting up on my toes and back into my flats but like tax deadline day and's coming!!!
5.22.50. w/ a 1.14. closing lap,my fastest lap to date,while the cynics{and there are several trust me} will say it was off a 1.25. lap I'm pleased I didn't just mail it in and was able to kick w/ 150m to go.

Sure I'm disappointed to be 4 seconds slower than Friday but on the upside it's another run under my belt and another run pain free,a week ago I ran a tentative 5.49.06. opening in 1.25. and closing in 1.24. tonite I ran a much less tentative 5.22.50. opening in 1.20. and closing in 1.14.let's see what Wednesday brings.