Friday, December 31, 2010

Awesome Possum's Top Ten Races 2010

Since either 05 or 06 I've finished the year off w/ my top ten races of the year,32 to choose from this year,after careful consideration here are my top ten

10,Millrose Games 4x400m,In terms of an actual race there was little to write home about,the lead two teams anchor legs were well clear of me by the time I got the baton but the 4th place team were way behind me when I took off for my 2.5 laps of the hallowed boards of the Millrose Games at famed Madison Square Gardens and 4 years after I'd fulfilled the dream of a lifetime by running there and now had my much coveted Millrose Games medal and another of my"running to do list"items crossed off,several down two to go.

9,Indoor Nationals 800m,My third race in three days,could I capture my third medal?
How often since my Masters Nationals debut in Charlotte in 06 have I gone mano e mano in the 800m w/ John Hinton and Scott Landis?
While those guys were out in front I worked my way into third and hung tough to capture my third Indoor Nationals 800m bronze since 07 and my third medal of the weekend.

8,Upenn 5,000m,A launch pad to alot of my success this year,my resume lacked a decent time for 5,000m until April when I not only sliced 66 seconds off my pr but went sub 16 and captured the club record,and followed in the illustrious footsteps of Coglan,Walker,Maree,Ovett and Lagat,milers who made the jump to 5,000m.

7,Outdoor Nationals 1,500m,Upholding my fine record in the 1,500m at Outdoor Nationals 07,silver in Maine, 08 gold in Spokane and now silver in Sacramento,try as I might I couldn't reel in Jeff Mann up the home straight but it wasn't for the lack of trying.

6,Masters National 5K Road Race,Harking back to the Upen 5,000m on the track I knew I could add this club record to my list,biding my time during the summer I always felt this race could see me for fill that and I did,my only gripe was my 15.59 time was rounded up to 16.00.

5,Track Pentathlon 3,000m,My third pr of the year at 3,000m but my first outdoors,having begun the year at 9.38.3 I ended it at 9.07.7 and who knows what I might've been able to do if I didn't still have 4 more races on tap that morning,sub 9 has to be a consideration for 2011.

4,5th Avenue Mile,One of the hardest things in compiling my top ten list was where to place this race,I wasn't happy w/ my 4th place finish irregardless of it being another 45-49 win.
This is one of two races in my top ten that I'd like to "do over"knowing Nick was coming off of a hamstring injury at the Track Pentathlon I took it out hard from the gun only for the younger and faster runner to blow by me w/ 400m to go,live by the sword,die by the sword.

3,Indoor Nationals 3,000m,Having gone from 9.38.3 to 9.13.6 in my only 3,000m b4 Indoor Nationals I felt confident of a medal at Indoor Nationals so when I came to the bell in 4th place I knew I had some work to do.
I'd love to know what I covered the final 200m in,what I do know is I overtook third place Oscar Gonzales coming out of the bottom bend and hauled in second place Francis Burdett coming off the final turn to claim silver and at the time set a new pr of 9.11.4.

2,Outdoor Nationals 800m,The other race in my top ten I'd like to"do over"
6th and at the rear of the field w/ 300m to go I dropped the hammer and moved in to the lead in the hope it would be enough to win me the race....sadly it wasn't as eventual winner Mike Blackmore caught me half way up the home straight and pipped me to the finish,2.02.1. to 2.02.4.,yeah it was that close!

1,Outdoor Nationals 5,000m,I said at the time in late July this was my race of the year and nothing else happened between then and late November to make me change my mind.
Coming in I had the 3rd fastest time but felt I was looking at a 4th place finish behind Francis Burdett,Pete McGill and Mike Blackmore and after 200m we were the lead 4.
For once I didn't pay attention to my splits per lap or per mile which probably went a long way to my whopping pr.
W/ 6.5 laps to go Pete and Mike made a brake for it and I had two choices,try to go w/or tuck in behind Francis and hope to out kick him for the bronze....I went w/ plan a and it paid off w/ dividends.bronze and a huge pr 15.36.8.

Pretty Good Year

Easy 12 miler to finish off the year,which if I've done the math correctly means 2,221 miles for the year,my heaviest mileage in a year ever.
B4 I launch into my year ending Top Ten races here's a look back on the year that was.

Still on a high from the 4x800m World Record in late December I was soon brought back down to earth w/ a thud w/ a 10.16 3,000m,at first I thought my second half collapse was down to the track,but 4 days later at The Armory I had no excuses over the mile and faced up to the fact I needed to get back to basics,plummeting great depths means having to dig deep to scale great heights again and thus begun the long road back,culminating in anchoring the clubs b team to a bronze at the Millrose Games.

W/ the weather calling the shots I only managed one race but was happy to continue to up my mileage as thoughts spread to March and an all out assault on the club records for 3,000m and 2 miles b4 Indoor Nationals,having gotten used to running 30 miles a week I threw in a 40 mile week to prep for the Mac C'ships 3,000m

Huge pr in the 3,000m 9.13.6 and a return to club records,my next race also at The Armory was also a pr/club record over 2 miles but this was more by the skin of my teeth.
Indoor Nationals,three races in three days and three medals,silver and a pair of bronzes in the mile and 800m and another pr in the 3,000m

Outdoors,w/ the 3,000m and 2 mile records mine now for the 5,000m,at this stage of the season I was leaning towards the 1,500m and 5,000m as my distances for the summer at Nationals.
Another huge pr and club record w/ a 15.57.7. and then an insane idea.....add the 10,000m record,I hadn't ran a 10,000m on the track since 86 but I clocked a 34.43.3.

A reasonable 4.15 1,500m in New York b4 shaving a second off my 5,000m time in Swarthmore,and then a funny thing happened,my 5x1,000m repeats lead me to believe I still had a future at 800m and w/ that a rescheduling of my final pre Nationals race to add an 800m.

No pr in my 5,000m but a third sub 16,maybe a clock or someone calling lap times might have helped,another reasonable 1,500m b4 a time trial mile and then a 2.03.7. as I grew used to 45 mile weeks in training.

A month after my last race I kicked off my Outdoor Nationals w/ a bronze in the 5,000m and another pr 15.36.8.two days later I came that close to adding a third National Champion title to my list but had to settle for a silver in the 800m w/ a 2.02.4
The following day it was another silver this time in the 1,500m 4.14.4. b4 going one better than in Boston at Indoor Nationals and running 4 races in 4 days and winning 4 medals thanks to a gold in the 4x800m,my 4th Gold at Outdoor Nationals in the 4x800m.

A quiet month,I managed to cram all my races in to one morning at the debut Greater Philadelphia Track Club Track Pentathlon.
No point being the iron man of the track if you're not going to show up at the Track Pentathlon and after kicking things off w/ another 3,000m pr 9.07.7. I ran out the winner although things may've turned out much differently had Nick Berra not pulled a hammy in the 200m.

If it's September it must be 5th Avenue Mile,4th overall again and a modicum of revenge for Nick as he won the race but for the second year in a row 4th overall but 1st in the 45-49 age group

Ever since my first 5,000m pr on the track back in April I'd given thought to the road 5k club record,Syracuse proved to be the time and the place and while I suffered the cruel fate of seeing my 15.59.rounded up to 16.00{boo hiss!}I did at least add the club record to my tally

Continuing my base mileage that began in late October I notched 3 of my 75 mile weeks in November and added an age group victory at the Rothman 8K even though I feel well shy of the club record.

The end of base mileage and the return to repeats in mid December as I notched 4 good repeats to hopefully launch me in to the 2011 season.
We can look more at 2011 tomorrow and what the upcoming season might bring.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Is It A For Assassin Or H For Hitman In The Yellow Pages?

First run since Saturday,and sorely needed as you may gather from the title,w/out going in to too much detail let's just say there's trouble a brewing on the home front and leave it at that for now.
Sunday was a scheduled rest day w/ the intention of hitting the track Monday.....however a foot of snow put paid to not only the track but any form of running on Monday and frankly I felt the sidewalks weren't going to be user friendly Tuesday,maybe I could've gotten a run in yesterday but given the unrest in the house I opted against it but today the "cabin fever"had gotten to me and I knew I needed to run just because I hadn't in a few days plus the chance to "blow off some steam' was too good to pass up.

The last couple of days have warmed up meaning the foot of snow we got Sunday is melting and most sidewalks are clear enough to run on,I had the added bonus of leaving work at 3pm and being on the road by 4pm and getting most of the run in during daylight.
According to trusty old Peco Tower it was 39 degrees out there this afternoon a nice afternoon to run.
I had planned to hit the track tomorrow and maybe again Sunday....however it was brought to my attention that Temple's track is still under considerable snow so that's that idea gone for a burton,no big 2 12 milers either side of a 16 miler in Saturday plus today's 10 miles gives me 50 miles for the week in 4 days,having clocked 60 the last two weeks and w/ 2 races on tap at the end of next week I can consider this a mother nature induced taper.

So a mid morning 12 miler on tap tomorrow and then my Top Ten races of the year to blog to round out the year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas You Get You Deserve

"They've got cars big as bars they've got rivers of gold but the wind goes right through you it's no place for the old
When you first took my hand on a cold Christmas eve you promised me Broadway was waiting for me
You were handsome you were pretty Queen of New York City when the band finished playing they howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,all the drunks they were singing we kissed on a corner then danced through the night
The boys of the NYPD choir we're singing"Galway Bay"and the bells were ringing out for Christmas day"

Fairytale Of New York-The Pogues W/ Kirsty McColl

Seasons greetings all.
Christmas Day or not I still planned to run today for years I never ran on Christmas Day until 05 and again in 06,my stress fracture kept me from running in 07 but I was back at it in 08 but not last year.
Had I not've had yesterday off of work today would've been my track day and tomorrow would've been my long run,however...
I set off at my usual time of 10.30am early doors I wasn't seeing anyone else out there but gradually more runners,cyclists,rollerbladers and walkers emerged,always good to know you're not the only one neurotic enough to be out there on Christmas Day.
Briefly at 6 miles my left finger tips began to get numb but not to the degree that they were on Sunday,it's gonna be a long winter if that continues.

One thing's for sure as the weeks have gone by since my first 16 miler on Oct 31st I've grown used to the long run,I remember how knackered I used to be after my long run,I've grown used to it so much so that today post run and phone call back home to wish the family Merry Christmas b4 continuing my new Christmas Day tradition,going to the movies,last year it was "Nine" this year"The Chronicles Of Narnia,The Adventures Of The Dawn Treader"
Christmas dinner was Pizza and Ice Cream and then to round out my day the Doctor Who Christmas Special,my father once told me when I was young that"Christmas is what you make it"this year I made a great day out of it for myself,who cares I spent the day alone,I've spent the last seven Christmas Days alone but for once I wasn't that bothered....a Christmas miracle?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Xmas Eve

Xmas Eve not a "tubby"in sight,Thank You Santa a runners delight.............
Ok so I'm no Wordsworth or Shakespeare but it's not bad if I say so myself!
Back to the track today for a second crack at 10x400m,last weeks debut had gone pretty well and I was looking to build on that today.

A near deserted Temple track at 11am,three other hardy souls joined me in the sunny but mild conditions,as ever the wind down the back straight was a beast but I was determined to make sure I got the better of it today.
Warm up laps conducted it was time to have at it,the goal today was to keep all 10 400s at 68 seconds or under.....
#1 400m 69.4.Had I ran the home straight w/ an nth more conviction this would've been a 68 for sure.
#2 400m 68.2.No let down here,worked the bottom turn and back straight to fight the wind b4 coming off the top turn and up the home straight w/ a smidge more than repeat #1
#3 400m 68.2.More of the same the wind on the bottom turn was dying down but the back straight was still proving to be a beast,
#4 400m 68.1.Either I'd worked out the wind or it was dying down,maybe a bit of both?
#5 400m 66.3.Nice!I won't deny the string of 68s had me concerned that maybe there wasn't another gear to go to today,the 66 told me otherwise.
#6 400m 68.0.As w/ my three prior repeats I've done a good job syncing my knee lift w/ my arms,thus far today I'd been the model of consistency.
#7 400m 67.7.While last weeks 400s had seen more 67s coming in to #7 last Saturday was nowhere near as windy as today.
#8 400m 67.3.If Saturday had been a little up and down like an EKG chart today was far more consistent and w/ 2 more to go I was aiming to keep it that way.
#9 400m 68.2.No 69 second #9 like last week,keeping a 68 second average was paying dividends.
#10 400m 65.5.Way to finish it off in style,any thoughts of a mulligan on #1 had no gone out the window now!

All in all I was very pleased w/ today's performance,in fact all 4 repeats in the past two weeks have met w/ my approval and hopefully I can continue to improve on them.
16 miler on tap tomorrow to round out another 60 mile week and then hoping the proposed snow they're predicting doesn't fall,we'll have to keep out fingers crossed for that

Retro Run

The less said about work yesterday the better,I'll save all the unsavoury details for my diary but one plus of such a fucked up day was I was doing the Richard Gough....the off by 2.30pm.
Post chores I was in a rare position to hit the road by 3.45pm so I figured why not do the extended out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway for a change.
I haven't done a 10 miler along there since 2 days after the clocks went back at the end of November and I hadn't ran along Cobbs Creek since Dec 4th so it felt good to revisit the sight of so much of this years training.

At a time when the sands of time are running low on this year I find myself looking back on this past season and ahead to next season,this time last year I had my head up my arse w/ training but after the"bitch slap that was heard around the world" at The Armory on Jan 7th I got my head,my heart,my soul and my butt in gear and can look back on a very successful 10 season,as is my tradition come New Years Eve my Top Ten Races of the year will get blogged,I've had some time to workout which 10 of the 32 are going on my list.

Yea a day off tomorrow,much needed after the madness of the last two at work,a trip to the track for another 10x400m is on tap and a few chores and that's it for me,Xmas Eve already,this year flew by didn't it?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Part Of The Day

After a ball breaker of a work day getting out and running feels like the best way to deal w/ that stress so having had to man the fort solo today on the second to last delivery day b4 the holidays and work like a Trojan I was more than ready to get out there this evening for my 10 miler.
One plus of working through my lunch was "having it away on my toes" by 3pm and post post work chores I was on the road by 4.20pm.

Sunny and 38 degrees according to trust Peco Tower I was enjoying my run,going over South St bridge it looked like I'd get hosed by good old CSX Freight...yet again,jeez even when I get out early they find a way to be coming through the tracks at Locust St,however no detour tonite,by the time I made my way through Markward Playgrounds and over to the railroad tracks at Locust St it had continued up the track,so no up and over Walnut St bridge....tonite,tomorrow could be a different story!

Passed my friend and teammate Sean Harbison as I passed Lloyd Hall he was heading back southbound on Kelly Drive so it was a quick"hi and bye"I'm sure the good doctor and I will catch up at some point soon.
Felt like the wind picked up a little on the inbound leg,either that or the sun going down made it feel a tad brisker than when I set off,maybe getting my track workout in during daylight hours got me spoilt yesterday?

Tomorrow is looking like more of the same,I plan on"doing the early bird" again at 3pm since I know I won't be taking a lunch{sidebar my department is holding their holiday party tomorrow lunchtime.....seems that's all anyone can talk about downstairs for the past two days,I wasn't invited....I know you're shocked,stunned,gobsmacked and amazed....I wouldn't brake bread w/ them even if I was invited,choke on it you bastards I say}so once I've done what needs doing I'm outta there till Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TFZ..................Tubby Free Zone

Back to the Temple track but this time in the afternoon,it's been a while since I've done an afternoon repeat and after the next two weeks it'll be a regular part of the training routine.
I arrived at Temple by 3.30pm....not a "Tubby" in sight only one other runner who looked like he was doing 200m repeats,eventually three other runners showed up, this felt like a proper workout w/ only serious runners out here...a Kodak moment almost.

Mile warm up and then time for my 8x800m repeats,depending on which weather report you read today was going to be 40 degs.....where,when and for how long is any ones guess,I will say it was warmer than my evening runs and clearly arriving at 3.30pm and finishing up by 4.30pm worked well,when I used to work out at Penn in the winter I was lucky to get on the track by 5pm and more often than not it was pitch black by the time I was done.

#1 800m 1.13-1.15-2.28.9.After last weeks opener I felt 2.28-2.30 was a decent target so 1.14 per 400m would be good pace for that....start as you mean to go on.
#2 800m 1.14-1.15-2.29.8.So far so good,the key last week was even pacing,not something I'm known for.....
#3 800m 1.10-1.14-2.24.1Holy Shit!where did the 1.10 come from?I felt I was guilty of not being focused 100% on the first lap such worries on this repeat!
#4 800m 1.09-1.15-2.24.3.My first reaction after this was do I have enough fuel in the tank for the last 4?one way to find out!
#5 800m 1.13-1.15-2.28.9.Three to go,I'd take all three at 1.13-1.15 at this stage.
#6 800m 1.13-1.15-2.28.0.W/ the sun slowly setting off to the west each time I came off the top turn and up the home straight I knew I was close to eclipsing last weeks opener.
#7 800m 1.15-1.14-2.29.0.The first opening 1.15 lap,last week there were three so that's a step up.
#8 800m 1.13-1.11-2.24.1.What can I say"Built Forde Tough"!!Told myself going in to the final repeat to relax on the opening 400m and bring it home on the closing 400m,opening in 1.13 and closing in 1.11 I think I executed that plan.

Two weeks in and I'm pleased w/ the results so far but there's still work to be done however if this is me starting as I mean to go on it's a good start.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

"I really shouldn't miss you,but I can't let you go"
My Life Would Suck W/out You-Kelly Clarkson

The debate of the day was would I make today or Thursday my 8 miler,since I'm leaving work early on Thursday I figured I could cop a tad more daylite Thursday so why not make that my 10 miler.
Once again my nemesis the CSX Freight beat me to the punch at the railroad tracks at Locust St by about 30 seconds so yet again it was up and over Walnut St bridge and down the steps on to the banks,to quote the always quotable Monty Python"still I was getting used to it by now"
Nice evening to run,36 degrees according to Peco Tower and now that{fingers crossed} my on going fight w/ the bank has been resolved{took the buggers long enough!}I can spring for my cold weather running gear because as cold as it's been,it's gonna get colder.

Dec 20th has in the past often been one of the darkest days for me,and that has nothing to do w/ it being the day b4 Winter Solstice,had things work out differently it would be my wedding anniversary but that as they say is another story.
Last year the anniversary took a unique turn,I fell in to the show"Being Erica" which if you're not familiar w/ is the story of a 30 something who by fate meets a shrink,Dr Tom who helps Erica relive some of her past failures by going back and re altering her past,so I did that one thing you probably shouldn't do and thought"what if"
12 days b4 meeting my ex wife for the first time on Xmas Eve 84 I was meant to meet a girl from work for a drink that nite.
I'd been in awe of Jean for a while but too shy to do anything about it but gave her a red rose for xmas and we had a few drinks that lunch time,we arranged to meet up that evening,however I got there late and thought I'd missed her,turned out Jean never made it but I didn't know that at the time.
12 days later I met Erica for the first and my life took a very different turn,so I thought "what if" Jean had've shown up that nite on Xmas Eve 84 and that's where the Kelly Clarkson lyric comes in to play,I really shouldn't still miss Jean after 26 years but here I am playing the ''what if''game,is it to defuse feelings towards making a complete mess of my marriage or wondering what might've been,?either way playing the 'what if' game can sometimes be a dangerous game.
Jean I still think about you and I hope you're happy.Erica I'm sorry I made such a mess of our marriage but after all these years it really is time to move on for me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One Down..............

So the first week of basic training is under my belt.60 miles and 2 repeats on the track.
16 miler today to round out the week,as is my won't I set off at 10.30am,I was thinking about that yesterday that in the winter months maybe pushing my Saturday track workout back a few hours might be prudent to maximize slightly warmer conditions,ditto for the Sunday 16 miler but it rather flys in the face of the time honoured adage"get it out of the way early and be done w/ it" however given the numbness my left hand felt around the 9 mile mark maybe I'll have to review that mindset.

I've said b4 I'm cursed w/ the worst circulation in the world,I often marvel at how other runners can be out there w/out gloves and sometimes in shorts,I didn't check the temperature b4 I left but my guess was much like yesterday it was hovering around the freezing mark and frankly probably didn't warm up that much over the 2 hours I was out there around the 9 mile mark I noticed my finger tips on my left hand were getting numb....meanwhile my right hand was fine and as the run continued the numbness began to work its way down my fingers,upon completion of the run my hand was feeling numb,meanwhile my right hand was fine.....I've no idea what the hell was going on there?

Other than my hand it was all tickety boo out there,unlike during base mileage when I'd come into my 16 miler on the back of 59 miles now during basic mileage I came in on the back of 44 miles so my legs were fresher,plus I'm no stranger to the 16 miler,this was my 7th in the last 8 weeks.
W/ this week under my belt I look forward to going into this coming week w/ more of the same.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

WWJD.......What Would Jumbo Do?

Back to the track again,this time for my long repeat session,10x400m w/ an 800m jog in between each.
The great Jumbo Elliot favoured this workout,although he had his runners do 20x400m w/ a 800m jog in between,my feeling is if I start out at 10 and slowly work my way up I can eventually get up to 20,the mindset being each month add 2 more 400s so come mid January should everything go to plan I'll be upping this repeat to 12x400m.....all in good time,let's get used to 10 first b4 we start talk of conquering that.

Conditions were brisk when I arrived at Temple around 11.10am,probably hovering around the freezing mark,at least the sun was out and and the wind was at a minimum,30 laps of running come out to 7.5 miles so I factored in 5 laps to warm up,5 laps to cool down would give me a nice even 10 miles and put me at 44 miles for the week w/ a 16 miler on tap tomorrow to round me out at 60 miles for the week,the bench mark mileage in a non competitive week,once races start,I'll have to tweak my mileage but I'm looking to keep a 55 mile a week mark even if it means running 7 days a week not 6,again let's walk b4 we can run.....

Stripped down to fleece and tights attire w/ the obligatory thermal gloves and skull cap it was"have at it" time.
Going in to today I felt if I could keep my 400s between 66-68 seconds that'd be a good start.
#1 400m 65.2.As the self proclaimed worlds worst judge of pace the opening repeat be it 400m,600m,800m,1,000m,mile is always crucial to proceedings,this was not a bad start if I say so myself.
#2 400m 69.9.No matter how many different tracks I run on and no matter how many of them post signs that ask walkers/joggers to use the outside lanes there's always someone who wants to walk/jog in lane 1,today was no different as"Tubby"made it very clear he wasn't yielding lane 1 to me,you'd have thought having gone by him 5 times on my warm up laps he'd have gotten the hint,but no,the rotund one wasn't budging from lane 1 so I had to conduct this repeat out in lane 2.....thanks you fat bastard,hope you get stuck down a chimney next Friday!!!
#3 400m 66.3.If I could hold on to this pace for the remaining 7 400s I'd be ok.
#4 400m 67.3.Once again I was forced to swing wide of "Tubby" but at least the majority of this lap was conducted in lane 1.
#5 400m 67.5.Half way there and feeling good.
#6 400m 65.0.Believe it or not another lap I had to swing wide of"Tubmeister" on the back straight,I think at this point I'd gotten so pissed off he hadn't gotten the hint I dropped the hammer a little on this repeat!
#7 400m 67.9.Now it was beginning to take it's toil but frankly that's what I expected,began telling myself the great lie all runners tell themselves on repeats that it's actually only 2 more to go because you know that last one call be as balls out as you can because afterwards it's all over.
#8 400m 68.1.Yea,Tubby"had exited the track during my 800m jog prior to this repeat.8 down 2 to go....even though I was psyching myself up for only 1 to go!
#9 400m 69.0.Couldn't pin this one on "Tubby" over the coming weeks this is where being consistent over the entire repeat is going to pay dividends and eliminating these 69 second 400s.
#10 400m 65.0.BOYAH!! way to drop the hammer on the final 400m.

So all in all a good start to my 10x400m repeats,clearly there's room for improvement still but to have notched 3x65 seconds,1x66 seconds,3x67 seconds,1x68 seconds and 2x69 seconds was not a bad start and I look forward to a second crack at this next weekend,since Friday is the holiday as far as work is concerned I should be able to access the track Friday not Saturday.....hopefully all the fat bastards will be getting ready to deliver presents......

Feels Like A Heatwave

A whopping 35 degrees this evening out on my 10 miler,time to start shedding layers me thinks...............
I probably shouldn't joke about stuff like this and be very grateful for the fact it was above freezing for a change.
Easy enough run,keeping in mind tomorrow is my long day on the track,10x400m and Sunday is my long run,16 miles I wanted to take it down a notch this evening so I'll be ready for the track tomorrow and frankly the slightly warmer temps helped in that respect.

So the year ending World Masters Rankings were published yesterday,it's amazing that my time in the 800m ranks me #2 in the US at 45-49 but only #15 in the world,and my #1 time in the 1,500m only ranks me#10,ergo the driving desire to be out in 24 degrees and snow yesterday!!!

Here are my times and rankings:
US Rankings
800m,#2 2.02.4
1,500m,#1 4.11.8
mile,#2 4.33.1
3,000m #1 9.07.1
5,000m #4 15.36.8
10,000m #4 34.34.3

World Rankings
800m #15 2.02.4
1,500m #10 4.11.8
5,000m #18 15.36.8

Clearly lots of work to be done between now and early July but that was why I spent 7 weeks doing base mileage prior to my three weeks of basic training b4 the indoor season kicks off on Jan 6th and something to ponder when I'm doing 10x400m in the morning

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh No He Didn't...........

Yes,I did run my 10 miler this evening in the snow and 24 degrees.
Looking more like "Nanook Of The North" than a runner I made sure to bundle up this evening to brave the elements,the irony being had I've ran Tuesday I could've taken today as my rest day,hey ho!

There was already a light dusting of snow on the ground when I set off at 4.35pm and early on the mindset of this run became"let's get through this in one piece",the sidewalks were ok but I noticed crossing roads that conditions underfoot were in places icy,something I would have to keep in mind on the inbound section.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a dozen or more other runners out there tonite,there always a sense of"thank God I'm not the only one out here in this" when you see other like minded souls when you're out running to begin w/ muchless in the snow and 24 degrees!
As I made my way through Markward Playground back towards the South St bridge I saw and heard another CSX freight train, trust me tonite was not the nite for standing around waiting for that to pass by.
Let's hope tomorrow is a little warmer yeah?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside.....But I Still Ran

Frankly it wasn't much warmer today than it was yesterday but I'd burnt my one rest day for the week so it was a case of bundle up and have at it.
Given the next two days will be mildly warmer than today I opted for my shorter run{8 miles} today and back to back 10 milers tomorrow and Friday b4 a return to the track on Saturday for 10x400m and then a 16 miler Sunday to round out at 60 miles for the week.

It's been a while since I've ran below 9 miles{On October 1st I ran a 6 miler 2 days b4 the Syracuse 5k,and since then it's been a steady diet of 9 milers,10 milers,12 milers and 16 milers} but I was glad for something a little shorter tonite as Peco Tower revealed it was only 29 degrees as I hit the Schuylkill Banks just after 5pm.

After seven weeks of base mileage it feels strange to only be at 14 miles on a Wednesday but as I move into the next phase of my training that's something I'll get used to over the coming weeks

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TBC....Too Bleedin' Cold

W/ the mercury topping out at a "balmy" 26 degrees today the chances of me running were bulimic to anorexic trust me!!
Now that base mileage is behind me till next October I'm looking at running 6 days a week now so a rest day is on tap,however I didn't plan on it being today,I had hoped I could at least squeeze in my short run{8 miles} but in that kind of cold the thought of such harsh air going in to my lungs was enough to help me to wise up and say tomorrow is another day.
It'll still be below freezing but 5 to 6 degrees warmer so I think the 8 miler is on tap tomorrow w/ back to back 10 milers Thursday and Friday b4 a return to the track Saturday for 10x400m repeats.

In spite of being the self appointed poster child of all things"non holiday"I made a xmas mix tape for the girls in the Wound Center recently,I've been making them a mix tape a month for the last few months so since it is"the season"I thought a holiday mix tape wouldn't go a miss and I must confess even though some of my favourite holiday songs are on old trusty vinyl I was quite pleased w/ the mix I made,hope some of your favourites are on here:

U2, Christmas,Baby Please Come Home
Pretenders,2000 Miles
Wham, Last Christmas
Pat Benatar,Please Come Home For Christmas
Queen,Thank God It's Christmas
Cocteau Twins,Frosty The Snowman
The Alarm,So This Is Christmas
Kate Bush,December Will Be Magic Again
The Damned,There Ain't No Sanity Clause
Joss Stone & Elton John,Call It Christmas
Ramones,Merry Christmas,I Don't Wanna Fight
Waitresses,Christmas Wrapping
Side Two
Greg Lake,I Believe In Father Christmas
Eurythmics,Winter Wonderland
Run DMC,Christmas In Hollis
The Pogues & Kirsty Mc Coll,Fairytale In New York
Elton John,Step In To Christmas
Gloria Estafan,Christmas Through Your Eyes
The Kinks,Father Christmas,Give Us Your Money
Saint Etienne,I Was Born On Christmas Day
Bruce Springsteen,Merry Christmas Baby
John Mellencamp,I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause
AC DC,A Mistress For Christmas
Bryan Adams,Run Run Rudolph.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Track Season Starts Here

So I never made it up to Van Cortlandt Park yesterday for the Pete McCardle 15k xc,it was pissing down w/ rain when I woke up and the prospect of running 15 miles in that didn't appeal to me so I blew it off and while I did consider going out for a 10 miler in the afternoon after it had stopped I ended up not running period.
Rather than view the glass half empty w/ missed mileage last week I sought to look at the glass half full,this week was going to be my resumption of repeats and the original plan was to hit the track tomorrow after work,however since I wouldn't be feeling the effects of 5 5k loops of Van Cortlandt Park now then why not go today and take advantage of not only my day off but also warmer conditions,tomorrow is shaping up to be the coldest day of the week and certainly not a day to be standing around in between repeats.

After an 11 week absence from the track it was always going to be a baptism of fire today,I elected to go w/ 8x800m a new repeat for me.
It was a little after 10.30am when I arrived at Temple,no great surprise I more or less had the track to myself,following a mile warm up it was time to get down to business running tights and my Ireland fleece were the order of the day along w/ my trusty thermal gloves and skull cap.

#1 800m 1.12-1.16-2.28.2. I felt 1.15 per lap was a good place to begin,1.20 would have been too soft and while first workouts are often hard to gauge I had at least started as I meant to go on
#2 800m 1.15-1.15-2.30.9. A tad early to be talking about being"in the zone" but three weeks off and seven weeks of base mileage hadn't eroded my ability to run even tempo.
#3 800m 1.15-1.15-2.30.3. Three down,five to go,could I keep this going?
#4 800m 1.16-1.14-2.30.5. The first hiccup of the workout,a little dip in concentration on the first lap but w/out going in to my reserves I was able to haul it back.
#5 800m 1.16-1.14-2.30.2. More of the same.....w/out the lapse of concentration on the opening lap.
#6 800m 1.15-1.15-2.30.6. It was about now the thought"maybe I should've opened w/ 6x800m repeats"began to play over and over on my three minute recovery.....
#7 800m 1.15-1.13-2.28.7. Wow! One more and an ideal opener to several months of pressure....
#8 800m 1.12-1.14-2.26.7. When I was coming off the top turn I thought I was feeling the pace a little,on my 8th 800 that would be understandable...the 1.12 opening lap may also have had a lot to do w/ it...

To open w/ 2.28 and close w/ 2.26 was pleasing but to be so consistent in between was as equally pleasing,granted over the coming months I'd like to get a lot faster but as opening repeats go this was a good one,we'll see what Saturdays 10x400m has in store.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Grinding It Out

It's been a while since I had to dig deep in a training run to see it through to the end,for whatever reason today was one of those days.
Maybe the collective weight of 444 miles in the last 7 weeks caught up w/ me today?maybe the fact I have a race scheduled for tomorrow{rain permitting} forced me to take it down a level or two?or maybe just maybe I had one of those days where you just have to dig deep,grit your teeth and grind it out?

For once on a Saturday my run wasn't dictated by the Spurs kick off,we play tomorrow and I was on the road by 10.30am,even w/ the sun out there was a slight chill in the air and w/in the opening half a mile I found myself fishing out my gloves.
No worries having to detour around CSX freight trains today although I did have to switch sides of the road going over South St bridge,otherwise it was smooth sailing today.

Exiting Fairmount Waterworks w/ four miles to go I got my first"do I have the chops to finish this?"thought,I've experienced that on some of my recent 16 mile runs but not over anything shorter,however just like I've been able to grind out the last 10 miles of a 16 miler I had what it took to see off the final 4 miles even if I had to "work the lights" in my favour in the last three miles from South St bridge to home.

I'm hoping the rain will hold off tomorrow to allow me the chance to run the 15k xc in New York at Van Cortlandt Park,if it's pissing down at 6am when I wake up then the deal's off but as long as the weather is co operating in the early am I'll make my way to the Bronx to not only sign off my 7 week base mileage but also run my final race of the 2010 season.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Doing The Early Bird.....And Liking It

After two days of sitting it out due to the first taste of winter I was back out there this evening to run 12 miles.
I hate to play the wuss card but frankly it was too frigging cold Wednesday and Thursday to get out there,it's one thing to deal w/ temps hovering around the freezing mark but when you spend most of the day working in what feels like a walk in meat locker and you struggle to get warm and or stay warm and then try and run it's an uphill battle,I'm reasonably confident if I worked in warmer conditions I'd be better equipped to deal w/ the harshness we've endured the last few days.

The fact today was mildly warmer than the last two days helped me get out and run this evening and also the fact that I was on the road by 4.10pm didn't hurt either,a full half an hour earlier than usual thanks to leaving work 40 mins earlier than usual by way of working through my lunch today and frankly I may look at revising my hours at work during the winter to leave at 3pm from now on till it begins to get lighter in the evenings,granted after this evening there won't be much in the way of 12 milers over the coming weeks but even at 10 miles getting on the road by 4pm might not such a bad thing,something to ponder.

Reached the turn around w/ the last vestiges of daylight still hanging on which made for a picturesque view of the river heading back towards Center City,hard to appreciate this in the dark.
Tonite was another nite I was forced into a detour around a CSX freight train,on Tuesday when I got to the railroad tracks coming back along the banks I had to wait as the behemoth of freight trains was slowly making it's way along the tracks,I couldn't even see the last freight car and gave up waiting and looped back to the Walnut St bridge,this evening as I crossed the South St bridge I saw another CSX freight train w/ no final car in sight another detour around Walnut St to get back on to the banks,here's hoping for no detours tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You Make Me Happy When Skys Are Grey

I opted to exercise my rest day option yesterday,it was whores heart cold out there and I was feeling slightly fatigued after 150 miles in 13 days,this now meant that in order to notch my final 75 mile week I'll have to log 12 milers between now and Saturday,for every action there's a reaction.

I can't say w/ any degree of certainty that today was any warmer than yesterday but I felt the rest day had done me the world of good,that and the fact I was bundled up to the nines{the first time I've worn my running tights in a while...and evidently not the last either},even w/ my thermal gloves on my finger tips were starting to get numb at the 10 mile mark but it was a case of sucking it up and finishing off the run.

A great night for my beloved Spurs,we finished top of our Champions League group tonite w/ a 3.3 draw w/ FC Twente while Werder Bremen did us a solid by beating Inter Milan 3.0,when the draw for the group stage was made in late August/early September I'd have happily taken 3rd place and a spot in the Europa League but here we are 6 games later top of the group and seeded going into the December 17th draw for the knock out stage,glory glory hallelujah and the Spurs go marching on

Monday, December 6, 2010

Not For The Last Time Afterall

W/ a 15k xc race at Van Cortlandt Park scheduled for next Sunday this was originally scheduled as my last Sunday 16 miler......however!
After some considerable thought I've decided to keep the Sunday 16 miler in my rotation even after I'm done w/ base mileage this week.

I quite enjoy the Sunday 16 miler,I may be singing from a different hymn sheet during the winter months but I am keeping in in my rotation.
Jumbo Elliot would insist on his runners running long on Sundays,in Eamon Coghlan's autobiography"Chairman Of The Boards" he talks of how after the first one he had to take a taxi back to Villanova and blowing off his Monday classes as he was knackered,after my first one 6 weeks ago I know how he felt but gradually over the weeks I've grown used to it and think it will continue to serve me well,since I'm borrowing another Jumbo Elliot workout once my repeats begin next week why not stick w/ what made the likes of Coghlan,Paige,Maree and O Sullivan such modern day greats??

Had a wry smile to myself on this mornings run,as a rule on my 16 miler I head up West River Drive,over Falls Bridge and down Kelly Drive but on my 10 milers I've been sticking to the Schuylkill Banks and out past Lloyd Hall and Boathouse Row b4 turning at Girard Bridge,as I came along the banks this morning I was considering going counter clockwise for a change up Kelly Drive and down West River Drive but I saw a group of a dozen and a half runners heading up West River Drive.....someone to chase for a change as more often than not I'm out there by my lonesome......however when they reached Sweet Briar Drive they hung a left,oh well.....
Coming down Kelly Drive at the 3 mile mark I looked up to see two runners ahead of me at St Joe's boathouse I passed the second of them w/ 2 miles to go till Lloyd Hall and never gave it a second thought until my approach to Lloyd Hall as I prepared to hang a right and rejoin the banks via Fairmount Waterworks I heard footsteps and after pealing off to my right I glanced over my left shoulder.....the guy I passed at St Joe's boathouse,he must've worked his arse off over the two miles to catch up w/ me......hunter and the hunted all w/in a few miles....another reason the Sunday 16 miler stays in my rotation.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Staring At The Sun

Sometimes I guess we take things for granted or just don't give them a second running in the daylight.
I was out reasonably early for my 9 miler along Cobs Creek Parkway by 10am and couldn't help but marvel at the daylight,I guess the fact I'm currently running every night during the week and doing most of those runs in the dark makes me appreciate the daylight that much more when I can run in it.

A pretty straight forward run,I'm sitting on 59 miles for the week w/ tomorrow's 16 miler to come to give me another 75 mile week.
Final foot note,seems England is in the grip of some early winter weather this week to the point where several soccer games were postponed today including Blackpool vs Man Utd which was scheduled to go off at 12.30pm here,w/ that falling by the way side the Birmingham Spurs game was moved up the schedule to fill the 12pm-2pm time slot,we drew 1.1 to keep us in 5th place and right now in a rare treat I'm watching Millwall Scunthorpe,nice to know can still visit my old stomping ground of South East London w/out having to leave my room.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Another 10 miler,another nite of 40 degrees and 50 miles for the week.
Having gotten spoilt last week w/ 5 of my 6 runs during daylight it was always going to be a shock to the system going back to running Monday through Friday in the evening,factor in 40 degree temps and you can see why getting my thermal gloves and skull cap was such a huge boost this week.

W/ 50 miles under my belt already I can at least look forward to 2 runs in the daylight over the weekend ,although the temperature isn't going to be much better than the last three days at least w/ the sun being out it'll feel warmer....he said hopefully!

A 9 miler tomorrow,for once my run isn't dictated by the Spurs game,for some strange reason it's not being shown till 5pm.....this does however mean having to avoid seeing the score till then...the lengths I'll go to to follow my beloved Spurs!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Shoes

Paulo Nutini may not have made it on to my"See You Jimmy" St Andrew's Day mix tape but I tip my thermal skull cap to him today as I got to brake in my new running shoes on my 10 miler this evening.
I was quite impressed w/ my last pair of shoes,Asics Gel Pulse that I sprung for another pair this time around,for most of the last 9 years I've favoured Asics I did have a brief dalliance w Under Armour earlier this year but I switched back to Asics in the summer.

40 degrees out there this evening,it's gonna get colder as I look to add some more cold weather running clothes to my wardrobe,I'd rather spend the money on cold weather running clothes than miss training runs because it's cold

On the subject of hot and cold Russia and Qatar the surprise winners today in the World Cup host vote in Zurich.
It was a double blow as England had bid for the 2018 and USA to host 2022 but neither won,hey ho.
And on the subject of Russia,I hope the loading dock doesn't feel like Siberia again tomorrow,I may need to start wearing my thermal skull cap and gloves at work also!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I realize taking another dig at the weather forecasters is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel but reading today's forecast yesterday didn't fill me w/ hope in terms of being able to run today and when I heard the wind and the rain first thing this morning I could've been forgiven for thinking today would be a wash out.

However come lunch time the rain stopped and now the prospect of notching another 10 miler this evening was very real.
Somewhat timely was the arrival of my thermal running gloves and skull cap,I put both to good use this evening,granted 44 degrees is hardly frigid but coming off of 61 degrees yesterday it was a sizable drop but thanks to my new gloves and skull cap I didn't feel it,money well spent I feel.

Funny story to finish up w/, heading out along Kelly Drive just beyond Boathouse Row I thought I heard someone yell "hey" but I couldn't be sure it was directed at me so I continued on my way to Girard Ave bridge which is my turn around point.
Suddenly I was aware someone was trying to catch up w/ me,I kept going but eventually the runner overtook me and my first reaction was "ok hot dog it's all yours"
The runner then slowed and turned around.....turns out it was my team mate Nick Berra!!!!
Nick was on a lay over in Philly{he's a pilot} and was out for a run,the chances of us running in to one another were remote but here we were,after the turn around we ran together till Market St b4 Nick went east and I continued south,there was a noticeable pick up in the tempo but what do you expect from a 1.56 800m guy!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Scotland The Brave

"I am the clansman and I swear to defend,and I'll fight to the end and I swear that I'll never be taken alive
And I know that I'll stand,and we'll fight for our land and I swear that my bairns will be born free
And I know what I want and the timing is right,then I'll take what I want I am the clansman

The Clansman-Iron Maiden

Och Eye, Hoots Mon,See You Jimmy Happy St Andrew's Day to Scots the world over.

In honour of St Andrew's Day I finally made my "See You Jimmy" mix tape that has been in an old note book of mine for 10 years,my recent foray in to making mix tapes on a regular basis meant this year I finally committed that list to tape and here it is

Side One

Marillion-Heart Of Lotion

Eurythmics-Would I Lie To You

Bronski Beat-Smalltown Boy

Big County-Just A Shadow

Jesus & Mary Chain-Blues From A Gun

KT Tunstall-False Alarm


Rod Stewart-Broken Arrow

The Associates-Love Hangover


Side Two


The Skids-Working For The Yankee Dollar

Aztec Camers-Oblivious

Altered Images-See Those Eyes

Fish-Goldfish And Clowns

Garbage-I'm Only Happy When It Rains

Travis-Why Does It Always Rain On Me

Annie Lennox-Why

Jimmy Sommerville-You Are My World

Simple Minds-New Gold Dream

Apologies to Glasvegas,Paulo Nutini and Frightened Rabbit for not being able to fit them on the tape,maybe next year fellas

Another 10 miler tonite,according to AOL Weather it was going to be 48 degrees and a 80% chance of rain....when I passed Peco Tower on the outbound and inbound section of the Schuylkill Banks I looked up to check the temperature....61 degrees and not a drop of rain in sight,in the spirit of St Andrew's Day a big Glaswegian Handshake to you...a true Scot knows exactly what that means...

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Milkman Of Human Kindness

W/ a return to 10 milers in the evenings there was a sense of"Back To Basics" which was the title of Billy Bragg's first album and "The Milkman Of Human Kindness" is the lead off track.....there call it Billy Bragg 101 if you like.

Got a slightly later start than usual this evening but it hardly made a difference,conditions were good,48 degrees and a lot more forgiving than last Thursday and Saturday.
I felt good out there tonite,maybe dropping back down to 10 miles suited me,maybe the better conditions suited me,maybe the heart to heart conversation I had in my office w/ my co worker purged my soul a little I don't know but whatever it was today felt like a good run.

The subject of the Millrose Games came up today via an email,for several weeks there's been talk of an inter squad 400m time trial this Sunday,I've said I wouldn't be available,I'm not cutting my base mileage short,I'll take my chances in a 400m race at Delaware in early January after I've had three weeks of repeats to hopefully add speed to the strength I've been building,it remains to be seen if that pays off but b4 I can start planning for the indoor season there are two more weeks of base mileage b4 three weeks of repeats and then the kick off to the indoor season,one thing at a time,another 10 miler tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Opps I Did It Again

Despite missing a day on Monday I still finished the week w/ another 75 mile week.
Having taken full advantage of Thursday being a holiday I found myself in the rare position of only needing a Sunday 10 miler to round out the week,had Thursday not been a holiday I would've ran my 16 miler yesterday as Spurs were playing at 11am today,as a rule I do my 16 miler at 10.30am but just as my Saturday run is dictated by when Spurs kick off today was no different.

The first thing I noticed at 9.40am when I set off on my out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway was how much warmer it was today over the last few days,I realize we're at the business end of November now and it's meant to be getting colder but the sudden dip in temps this week was an eye opener.
In a week of 12 and 13 milers along w/ my weekly long run of 16 miles it was a nice change of pace to drop back down to 10 miles again.

Rounding out a great week Spurs came from a goal down to beat Liverpool 2.1,I don't know if it was because I'd already gotten my run in prior to the game but I was far more vocal today than usual watching it, the b and c curse words were flying around the room during the game and I'm surprised the windows didn't shatter when Lennon scored the winner in stoppage time!!!

So my 4th 75 mile week in the last 5 weeks and my 3rd in a row,5 down 2 to go w/ base mileage.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Running Against The Wind

A later start than I would have liked today,w/ my run for once not dictated by the soccer schedule I would've preferred an earlier start for my 13 miler,however for once I didn't set my alarm and my internal alarm didn't wake me till 11am.
Good job I didn't allow the sunshine streaming through my window to lure me in to a false sense of security as it was brisk out there today as I soon found out.

On days like today running by the river can be a bitch,I discovered a new found respect for mimes who do that walk against the wind shit after my out and back along West River Drive,today was at time a grind but I was able to see it through and leave me w/ a 10 miler tomorrow to notch another 75 mile week.

According to the clubs Facebook page we finished third in the road Grand Prix,I guess Downingtown must've leap frogged over us last weekend w/ the final races of the Grand Prix,Rothman 8K,Philly Half Marathon and Philly Marathon but third will get us some money when they divvy up the awards in January at the Mid Atlantic Luncheon.
Providing things didn't go tits up today at Brandywine the club should have won the off road Grand Prix to cop that loot also to round out a good year for the club.
Talking of the club I read in his blog yesterday that Nick Berra broke the club record for 5 miles w/ an impressive 26.41 at Prospect Park Brooklyn on Thanksgiving,kudos to him for that,it makes me wonder how safe my 3,000m and 5,000m records are from him,something for us to discuss in Cornell in January.

Following my less that auspicious performance in January at this years Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile I couldn't be sure of an invite to next years race but race director Tom Hartshorne emailed me yesterday to confirm an invite was forthcoming,timely as tomorrow marks the 5th of 7 weeks of base mileage and beginning in mid December I'll return to twice a week repeats to hopefully add speed to the strength I've gotten from my weeks of base mileage

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another Dozen

12 miles again today to keep me on pace for another 75 mile week.
I had the option of the day off from work today but thought my coworker Chris would appreciate it more so I elected to be the odd man out of the three of us on the dock and worked while John and Chris enjoyed the extra day off......the road to heaven it is said is paved w/ good intentions...

Easy day at work,took full advantage of my considerable down time to order new running shoes and racing flats for the upcoming track season plus making good on my talk of ordering thermal running gloves and my thermal skull cap,now all I need is some new base layer clothing and I'm set for the winter.

I managed to get a jump start on my run this evening by about 35 minutes,it'll be a jolt to the system next week when I go back to running at 4.40pm in the evenings but there's little or nothing I can do about that.
Tomorrow is a 13 miler,which then leaves me w/ a 10 miler on Sunday but b4 all that I'm off to The Troc to see KT Tunstall,my final gig of the year.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Going Native{American}*

*No Turkeys were harmed or killed in the creation of today's blog entry!!!

While the masses celebrated the holiday today, I the poster child for all things non holiday treated today like a day off and took advantage of the opportunity to get my long run in today rather Sunday.

On the road by 10.20am I was greeted by grey skies and snowflakes....YES snowflakes which then turned into much for these conditions being restricted to the Poconos eh John Bolaris Fox 29 Weather man!!!
If today was about giving thanks then I was thankful for my baseball cap and gloves and now that my issue w/ the bank has been resolved I think the thermal running gloves and thermal skull cap I want are being ordered tomorrow,looks like last Sunday's 16 miler was my last run in shorts until the indoor track season kicks off in January.

There were several fellow hardy souls out along the Schuylkill Banks and Art Museum Loop when I got there,somewhat reassuring that I wasn't alone in my desire to log a training run today.
As the sleet continued to fall I began to question the idea of making this my 16 miler,I had chances to turn around and make this either 10 miles,12 miles or 13 miles but kept going,the thing about getting wet while running is much like standing under a shower,you reach saturation point where you can't get any wetter and besides getting the 16 miler taken care of today meant tomorrow,Saturday and Sunday would be 12,13 and 10 milers,the Sunday 16 miler when I have food shopping and laundry to take care of tends to be all day time consuming so w/ this rare chance to get a weekday 16 miler under my belt served as driving force to keep going.

Crossing Falls Bridge at 8 miles meant I was half way there and even though my hands were a little numb and visibility through my glasses was almost impossible I kept plugging away,as each mile along Kelly Drive went by I kept telling myself that a hot shower and an even hotter mug of hot Cider were waiting for me when I got home and exiting Schuylkill Banks w/ roughly 3 miles to go the sleet and the rain stopped and in spite of tired limbs and hands that felt like mini ice blocks{I think I must have the worst circulation in medical history!}I saw my mission through to the end.

W/ hot shower and mug of hot Cider taken care of I settled in for the afternoon and caught up w/ some of my backlog of dvr'd tv shows b4 a large helping of Vegetable Lasagna w/ Cesar Salad and Texas Toast for dinner and now b4 I call it a nite and face the prospect of work tomorrow I guess I'm thankful for having taken care of business today.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Due to a clerical error at the bank I was able to not only leave work at lunch time to take care of it but it meant I was home by 3pm,a full 90 mins b4 I normally get home.
Decisions,Decisions?did I take full advantage of this and get my 12 miler in during daylight?or did I take advantage of being home early and pulling up a pew to cop Spurs Werder Bremen in the Champions League?

As great as the prospect of a Spurs game was,the prospect of taking care of business in daylight proved greater,there was a 13 degree drop in temps from yesterday{61} to today{48} so that galvanized me to get out the door pronto and take care of the Spurs game was coming on again at 7pm so I could have my cake and eat it too,if you want to substitute cake for Pumpkin Pie since tomorrow is Thanksgiving then go ahead be my guest!

Frankly if the temps are going to be the same again tomorrow I may have to go w/ my jacket and warm up bottoms when I run mid morning,48 degs isn't that brisk but coming off of 61 degs yesterday I felt the difference.
It was nice to see where I was going for once,there's potential for getting 4 of my 6 runs in the daylight this week,I could get used to that but I know next week it'll be back to running at 4.30pm each afternoon so it would be prudent not to get too used to such luxuries.

PS Spurs won 3.0 to reach the knock out stage of the Champions League in late Feb/early March happy happy joy joy!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just Like Starting Over

All good things it is said must come to an end and yesterday saw my 17 days of consecutive running come to a halt.
That old adage of"listen to what your body is telling you" came into play yesterday,I kept falling asleep at lunch time trying to write my diary and again on the subway ride home,that was enough to tell me that a rest day was in order,running 10 miles last nite would've been a case of going through the motions and that's how injuries happen so I took a nite off....and lo and behold no falling asleep at lunch time or on the ride home.

Having lost a day I was already crunching numbers to see how I could make up the 10 miles I lost yesterday and still get 75 miles in this week,after several permutations I came up w/ one that providing the weather holds will see me notch another 75 miler in 6 days.
This evening kicked off w/ a 12 miler,having clocked one last Monday I knew where the turn around point was which may not sound like much but when you're running in the dark it's a big deal.

I want to give a shout out to whoever does the research for National Masters E News and the name check they gave me for winning my age group in Saturdays Rothman 8k,I love the fact they refered to me as trackster.....I'm sure that's what they meant and it wasn't a typo but it was nice to read that,thanks.
Another 12 miler on tap tomorrow.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mix And Match

Another 75 mile week,two in a row and three in the last four weeks.
W/ the Philadelphia Marathon ruling the roost today there'd be no 16 miler around the Art Museum Loop obviously but I was still going to get my 16 miler in.
The plan was the extended out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway,down Spruce St,over the South St bridge,back over the bridge and home via Spruce St,Baltimore Ave and Cedar Ave.

Conditions were sunny and mild when I set off at 10.30am,another day when I was able to get away w/ shorts,sooner or later that will come to and end....I'm hoping for later rather than sooner.
While it was strange to run a 16 miler not down to Schuylkill Banks and around the loop 16 miles is 16 miles and I was happy to notch my 4th Sunday 16 miler in a row.

Obviously w/ Thanksgiving on Thursday the coming week will be slightly different from the norm,I can hit Cobbs Creek Parkway for my Thursday run and again on Saturday for my 9 miler since I've rethought the whole Brandywine 5K XC race.
Since I don't have the luxury of taking this Friday off it'd mean working all day,getting out for my 10 miler at 4.40pm and then going to see KT Tunstall that nite b4 getting up early on Saturday to race....not exactly ideal preparation for a race so I'll take a pass on Brandywine.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Highs And Lows

Ok so I missed the club record by a country mile and I wasn't even close to my pr but I'm ok w/ both.
Way back in June I was asked by the club{Greater Philadelphia Track Club or GPTC}if I'd be willing to run any of the road races in the fall as the club was hoping to make a run at winning the Mid Atlantic Road Race Grand Prix series,after the Moorestown 8K in May I think we were in 4th or even 5th but the feeling was from August thro November the club could move up the standings,for my part in June I already knew how my fall was going to look and frankly a return to road racing after an almost 4 year absence wasn't on the cards.
Most races were on Sundays which scuppered that since I wanted to set Sundays aside for my long run but when the Rothman 8K was brought forward to Saturday this year I felt this was one road race I could run,it was in Center City which meant next to no travelling and also I could still get my Sunday 16 miler in so I signed up and and agreed to"take one for the team" and run my first road race outside of 5th Avenue Mile and the Masters 5K C'ships since the 06 Camden River Run 5K.

I arrived at the Parkway by 6.45am.....I'd forgotten how insanely early you have to get up for road races and took my warm up mile along the nearby Schuylkill this is what it looks like in the daylight!!
It was a sunny but brisk 42 degrees when the gun went off at 7.30am I felt gloves were a bit too much but did keep a long sleeve dri fit shirt on under my club vest to make sure I didn't get cold.
I deliberately set myself a little bit back from the starting line,I didn't need to go off too fast and w/ chip time not gun time calling the shots I could afford to be a little off the pace.
In a field of 1,600 plus it was important to get a reasonably clear start and after rounding Logan Square and heading back up the Parkway I was able to get a clear run.

5.30 for the opening mile...according to the clock but there was an 11 second difference on my finishing clock time/chip time so it was probably 5.19 for me but still off pace,I needed to be holding a 5.10 pace at best if I wanted to go sub 26.
Rounding Eakins Oval and heading out along West River Drive I got into open road territory and was able to to cruise along virtually by myself w/ runners w/in range to pick off.
11.19 at mile 2 on the clock,11.08 on my chip while not as fast as when I ran 16.00 at 5K 7 weeks ago in Syracuse I was feeling comfortable,as I approach my 3rd week of 75 mile weeks in the last 4 weeks it's clear what I may lack in speed I don't lack in strength.

The 3 mile marker came right b4 the turn around I was more focused on the cone than the clock so the 16.47 may not be accurate.
Heading back along West River Drive I was glad to have my shades on as the sun was almost blinding,in fact it was so bright I missed the clock at mile 4.
From the turn around I had been the meat of a three runner sandwich one runner always a few strides ahead of me,another right behind me breathing down my neck but coming up off of West River Drive and drawing along side Eakins Oval w/ the finish line clock just in view I made one move to drop both of them and finish strong,37th in a field of 1,646 finishers.

27.45. well shy of the 26.01 club record and 32 seconds off of my 03 pr of 27.13. but my second fastest 8K of all time and a major improvement on the 28.38 I ran here 5 years ago in my last Rothman 8K.
Following my mile cool down I got my bag and headed home,bollocks to all that waiting around afterwards,turns out I won the 45-49 age group but unless someone from the club picked it up for me I guess I'm sol....that said in 05 I finished 3rd in the 40-45 age group and they never sent me my award so I'm not going to worry about it.

After seven weeks w/out a race it felt good to compete again,don't get me wrong I'm enjoying my 75 mile weeks and base mileage but the chance to race was a nice change of pace,I doubt I'll go to Brandywine next Saturday for the 5K XC race just due to logistics which means it'll be another three weeks till my next and probably final race of the season in Van Cortlandt Park.
Now for the fun and games!a 7.30am race and a 7.45am kick off of the North London derby between "the scum" and Spurs meant setting the dvr....but oh boy was it worth it!!!
0.2 down at half time Spurs rallied to win 3.2 and inflict our first win on enemy soil since 92/93,trust me the pints and kebabs on Seven Sisters Road will be going down a lot sweeter tonite!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

At One W/ The World........For Now

Took full advantage of my day off from work today and got out on Cobbs Creek Parkway by 9.55am for my 10 miler.
It's been a while since I conducted a weekday run during the daytime,I made the most of the peace and tranquility on my out and back 10 miler,next Thursday I'll get to do it again since I have off work for Thanksgiving,clearly there'll be no 9 miler tomorrow morning.....

I spent a lot of this mornings run visualizing tomorrows course if it comes down to seconds between a record or not then running the shortest line on the out and back course will be key.
Post run it was off to the Convention Center to pick up my race number,I breezed through the expo and made my way home and made some inroads in to my stack of dvr'd shows,post race tomorrow and again Thursday I'd like to clear that current backlog.

So my pre race meal of Linguine and Clams is done,the alarm is set for the ungodly hour of 4.41am{it's harsh enough it goes off then on a work day but on the friggin weekend!!!} and my bag is ready and my race clothes are laid out,after a seven week absence it's showtime.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fortune Favours The Brave

Another 10 milers this evening which means in the last 14 days I've logged 152 miles,no wonder I'm looking at springing for a new pair of running shoes along w/ flats for the upcoming track season.

For one brief moment just after crossing the South Street Bridge I thought I was going to get caught in the rain,I hadn't seen anything in the forecast about rain or showers so it caught me by surprise and for a few brief moments I considered if making this a 6 miler was an option,to be honest it wasn't,quite where I'd make up those 4 miles is beyond me,I really don't want to be running any more than 10 again tomorrow and frankly the option of having to add even 2 miles after Saturday's race w/ another extra 2 miles on Sunday making it an 18 miler wasn't really an option,so in keeping w/ the spirit of my forefathers I just said"feck it all" and kept running...and what do you know it stopped raining.

Since I'm off work tomorrow it'll be an out and back 10 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway hopefully around mid morning,I have a bunch of chores that need taking care tomorrow so the earlier I get a jump start on my day the earlier I can be done the sooner I relax for the day and w/ that I'm off to enjoy "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving"......yes I'm painfully aware I am to the holidays what Attila The Hun is to anger management but I'm a sucker for any of the Charlie Brown holiday specials.....who knew right??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Down Shifting Gears

W/ Rothman three days away I began to taper as best I can given that race or no race my plan is to log another 75 mile week.
Were this a race during my regular season I'd be cutting back my mileage over the next few days,however long b4 I ran my last race on October 3rd in Syracuse I knew Rothman would fall during my 8 week base mileage phase and while I want to do well on Saturday,I'm not willing to compromise on my mileage but I have tweaked my training to try and have my cake and eat it too.

Since Saturday is an 8k which for all intense and purposes is a 5 miler I'll log 7 miles w/ my mile warm up and cool down leaving me two short of my usual 9 miles on a Saturday,hence the 12 miler on Monday to make up for that and also get it in early in the week.
I'm taking off from work on Friday to allow myself the chance to get my 10 miler in by lunch time instead of at 4.40pm and only allowing myself 13 hours to recover b4 Saturdays race.

It remains to be seen if I can go sub 26 on Saturday,if I do great,if I don't I don't at the end of the day it's another run in my base mileage phase and come Sunday I should be able to log another 75 mile week which is the primary goal,anything else,club record,pr,age group win is gravy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Angst Fueled Bravardo Wins The Day

I wasn't sure if I'd get to run today,rain was in the forecast and throughout the day it did rain,however when I left work it was overcast but dry so I figured what the frig,fortune favours the brave and headed off towards Girard Bridge along the Schuylkill Banks and West River Drive.
By the time I crossed South Street Bridge on the way home it began to rain oh so slightly w/ 2 and a 1/2 miles to go I wasn't too concerned,the important thing was I'd gotten the run in to stay on pace for another 75 mile week,providing the weather behaves for the rest of the week.

I needed today's run not just to stay on pace for the week but also to flush away the seething anger I felt first thing this morning at work,I'll spare you the gory details but if my diary ever gets published what I really think of the individual who threw me under the bus w/ my director via email will come to light and if that ever becomes a won't be PG me!!!

Here's to no rain,no drama and another 10 miler tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

You Learn

A 12 miler tonite to allow for Saturday's Rothman 8k.
Even though this is still my base mileage phase I would like to do well Saturday,it remains to be seen if I can go below the club record 26.01 but I do think my 03 pr of 27.13 could and should fall so I'm treading a bit of a fine line,I don't want to cut back on my base mileage but I also want to be somewhat competitive Saturday ergo the decision to log the 2 miles I'll lose Saturday tonite b4 dropping back down to 10 milers for the rest of the week.

I was pleasantly surprised to get through tonite's extra miles w/ ease,I thought I might be a little leg weary coming off of 110 miles in the past 10 days but what I've done well each day w/ my long runs is make sure there's enough fuel in the tank each day so that I can go again the following day,I need to follow that blueprint for the rest of the week so that I'm in race shape Saturday.

I haven't ran an 8k since my last Rothman 8k in 05,not only have they bumped it up a day from Sunday to Saturday but the start and finish have changed but also these days it's out and back along West River Drive not Kelly Drive,I hope when the gun goes off at 7.30am my fast twitch muscles will answer the call and all my strength from almost a month of base mileage will be enough to propel me along the Ben Franklin Parkway around Logan Square,Eakins Oval,out along West River Drive and back down the Parkway.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Spawned A Monster

Another Sunday 16 miler under my belt,another 75 mile week into the log.
More glorious conditions to run in today,you have to treat these days as if they may be the last because these conditions cannot last forever....more's the pity.

Since Sean wouldn't be joining me today I thought I'd run w/ my ipod for a chance of pace,however three songs into my run the right ear bud kept falling out of my ear and frankly it was becoming a hindrance so I ditched that idea and focused on the run and not the dulcet tones of Steve Winwood,shame I was in the mood for a little "Back In The High Life" and ''Roll W/ It".

Aside from having to weave in and out of the crowds along Kelly Drive due to the regatta on the Schuylkill it was plan pun intended,on the outbound{West River Drive} I got my bearings for tomorrow as I have to run an extra two miles{I'll explain that tomorrow} and on the inbound{Kelly Drive} I got my bearings for Saturday's Rothman 8k.

This coming week will be a bit of a tight rope walk as I try to find the correct balance of putting in another 75 mile week and also trying to be in decent race shape for Saturday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Three S's In Mid November

Wow 65 degrees today no wonder it was shades,shorts and short sleeves today as I reacquainted myself w/ Cobbs Creek Parkway for my Saturday 9 miler
The time of my Saturday run is always dictated by the time of the Spurs kick off,for the past few weeks I've lucked out we've either played early{7.45am,8.45am last week as our clocks hadn't gone back yet and Europe's had}or we've had the late kick off {12.30pm} but today was the traditional kick off{3pm back home}which meant either,getting up early and getting the run in at 9am or waiting till after the game and running at 12pm.

Given I have a slew of things that need to be done today and again tomorrow the prospect of running at 12pm and not getting done till 1pm wasn't thrilling me......however trying to get up out of bed every time the alarm went off at 7.40am wasn't working for me,eventually I managed to rouse myself out of bed by 9.55am....just in time for the kick off of the Spurs Blackburn game....clearly I'd now be running at 12pm!!

Seemed like a win,win,win scenario,Spurs won 4.2.....whee!!!! I got a little extra rest and I got to take full advantage of the glorious conditions.
I believe more of the same is on tap for tomorrow when I run around the loop and log my 16 miler,granted I'll start a little earlier.....providing I can get up and be out the door by 10.30am but I'm thinking shades,short sleeves and shorts again tomorrow.
After a week of having to get used to running most of my 10 miler in the dark it was nice to be able to see where I'm going again and nice to be back up on CCP,so much of my mileage this year has been conducted on there I 'd hate to think I was turning my back on my training runs on Cobbs Creek Parkway but until Dec 21st and Winter Solstice and the evenings begin to stay light enough to get out and back in daylight then CCP will only be for my weekend run and when I have a day off during the week.

As the masses connected w/ my club are making their way to the awards nite this evening I'm off to see Ben Folds at The Tower,until such time as perfecting the two places at one time chestnut has been solved I can't do both and frankly an evening of Ben Folds classics plus the new songs off of"Lonely Avenue" which Nick Hornby wrote won out,sorry if that sounds harsh but that's what it came down to,there'll be another awards evening next year,who knows when Ben Folds will tour next?

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Run A Day Keeps The Blahs At Bay

W/out going into too much detail today was "one of those days" I just felt blah and didn't want to do too much of anything but thankfully that didn't spill over into my run,in fact my run was probably the high point of the day,it is on most days but on a day when I wasn't feeling it it was a pleasant distraction to suit up and run 10 miles and focus on the matter at hand.

I also used that time wisely and mapped out my weekend,I have to work in two runs,food shopping,laundry,Spurs Blackburn and the Ben Folds concert and try and make inroads on the eight and a half hours of dvr'd shows,I have a feeling the dvr is going to come up short but over the next two weeks I do have an extra day off on my schedule so maybe then.

Here's hoping I feel a lot less blah and a lot more chipper tomorrow,I hope getting back to my old stomping ground Cobbs Creek Parkway not to mention running in the daylight helps to that end.

Picture=1,000 Words

After waxing all poetic about Boathouse Row being lit up last nite I thought a pictue might be in order......
Found a great shot of Boathouse Row lit up in different coloured lights for the holidays,nearer the time I'll post that,for now enjoy the'll have to imagine the black hearted celtic pagan tirades at Lance Armstrong wannabees.......if you listen hard enough I'm sure you can hear them..............................

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Ok,for the record there were no public castrations performed by yours truly out on West River Drive this evening!!!
Another out and back 10 miler as I notched my 40th mile this week,I should be on course for a second 75 mile week in the last three weeks providing I take care of business tomorrow,Saturday and Sunday.

Since I wasn't nearly being clattered by inconsiderate cyclists this evening and howling black hearted celtic paganisms I got to admire Boathouse Row over on the other side of the Schuylkill River,it's very picturesque all lit up in the dark,something I hadn't seen for a few years since my days of running along by the river in the evenings were until this week from a bygone era.

Looked at some new base layer running clothing today plus a pair of thermal running gloves and thermal skull cap,right now running along by the river has been fine{52 degrees Monday,59 degrees yesterday and 54 today}but we're only in mid November it's gonna get colder and I don't want to miss any training days due to the cold so if that means shelling out on cold weather running gear then so be it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fear Of The Dark

"I am a man who walks alone,and when I'm walking a dark road at night or strolling through the park
When the light begins to change I sometimes feel a little strange,a little anxious when it's dark
Fear of the dark,fear of the dark I have a constant fear that somethings always near
Fear of the dark,fear of the dark I have a phobia that someones always there
Have you ever been alone at night,thought you heard footsteps behind and turned around and no one's there?
And as you quicken up your pace you find it hard to look again because you're sure there's someone there.
Fear of the dark,fear of the dark I have a constant fear that somethings always near
Fear of the dark,fear of the dark I have a phobia that someones always there"
Fear Of The Dark-Iron Maiden
Ok,starter for ten I don't really have a fear of the dark....I don't believe in the boogie man but what I do fear is falling arse over tit on a run when I can't see what I'm doing so after last nites out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway where I found myself running in complete darkness in some sections of the route I opted to switch things up.
The last thing I need now at almost half way through my base mileage phase is to fall in the dark and banajax myself b4 the indoor season so after some thought I opted to put out and backs along Cobbs Creek Parkway on hold in the evenings until I can see where I'm going and in the meantime I'll run down Cedar Ave to Spruce St,over the South St bridge and along the Schuylkill Banks to West River Drive and out to the Girard bridge b4 turning for home
While at least I can now see where I'm going on this route it wasn't w/out incident,the draw back of using the banks and or the drives is the potential for some Lance Armstrong wannabe on a bike almost taking you out.....this douche bag comes whipping by me on my right hand side w/out so much as an"coming up on your right"count your self lucky you didn't get an elbow to the head as you brushed by me on my inside.....pull a stunt like that again and unlike Lance who only has one testicle I'll make sure you don't have any!!.....does that mean tomorrow's album sleeve will be the Sex Pistols and "Never Mind The Bollocks"....tune in and find out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thro The Darkness

Back to the tried and tested out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway this evening.
This time last year I was living in"cloud cuckoo land" thinking that I could get away w/ only doing repeats on the track so running in the dark is a tad new for me,I didn't begin pounding the sidewalks till January and even then I began at 6 milers so this whole 10 miles in the dark is quite new to me....that old wives tale about eating carrots helping you see in the dark might be true after all!!!

Two for two so far this week,I think I'll appreciate my Saturday and Sunday runs in daylight!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Down By The River.....Again

I chose to switch up my routine this evening more out of necessity and the hope that my detour via the bank would help me avoid a overdraft charge w/ the bank.
Rather than wait till tomorrow to deposit my money I figured since I had to run why not run down to the bank and deposit it now and then hit the Schuylkill Banks and the Art Museum Loop for a mile each b4 turning for home and making it my 10 miler??

I will admit to being a "creature of habit" and sometimes too set in my ways,ergo the fact I run the same 10 mile out and back route most days but sometimes it doesn't hurt to mix things up and since hitting the bank this evening was something I needed to do then heading down to the Schuylkill wasn't such a bad thing.

It was also important to not only get the week off to a good start but get used to running in the dark it's something I'll have to get used to for the next few months,if tonite was anything to go by I won't be running in shorts again until indoor season kicks off in January.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Another Sunday,another 16 miler.
Had to fly solo today,Sean was unable to join me,no biggie however our paths did cross early on along the Schuylkill Banks as Sean was returning from his 5 miler,we chatted for 5 mins b4 heading off in our separate directions,maybe next Sunday we'll try the easy 10 miler together and Sean can fill me in on the clubs awards night since I'm not attending again this year.

For the first time in eons I was able to run across the South Street Bridge today,it was reopened yesterday after being closed for repair for a while now and while I'm sure it makes commuting a whole lot easier I was more delighted w/ the fact I can now zip over the South Street bridge,hang a left and more or less be on the Schuylkill Banks instead of crossing the Walnut Street bridge and then pissballing around w/ a set of concrete spiral steps both at the beginning and end of the 10 mile banks/loop 10 mile section of the run.

No doubt the local masses were over at the Ben Franklin Bridge this morning for the 10k,10k's have almost become obsolete these days and while I have no real yearning to return to road racing it's possible next years Ben Franklin Bridge 10k could be one of my fall races along w/ the Radnor Run the week b4.....but that as they say is a story for another time.

I'm enjoying these Sunday 16 milers,I think the change of scenery helps plus I always loved running along the Art Museum Loop,something that went for a burton when I made the switch from road racing to track in 06 but for the next couple of weeks I'm looking to enjoy this trip down memory lane,it'd be foolhardy to think I'll keep the Sunday 16 miler in my rotation once I begin returning to repeats in mid December w/ Saturday being one of my two track days,but who knows if I lose days during the week maybe a long run on Sunday would help make up the lost miles.

Post run I got comfortable on the bed and watched the New York City marathon,of the 14 marathons I ran in 20 years between 85-05 2 were in New York and while I doubt very much I'll return to marathons anytime in the near or distant future let me just state for the record the New York City marathon would probably be the one marathon I would consider.
Props to Shalane Flanagan on her second place finish in her first ever marathon and to Meb and Dathen for their 6th and 8th place finishes in the men's race but most of mad props and much respect to Edison Pena the Chilean miner who finished the marathon,Pena said he spent a lot of his time while trapped in the mine running,God bless him.

45 miles for the week having lost three days let's see what this week brings period much less w/ the clocks going back.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Easy Does It

Ah,the weekend a few days off work,a lie in or two.....and a "to do" list that more often than not has too much on there to ever be completed in two I right?
Thanks to the scheduling gods Spurs had the early kick off today which worked in several areas,I had to be up b4 8.45am for the kick off and given the game ended at 10.45am I could now go out and attack my 9 miler rather than wait till 1pm if we'd had the late kick off and thus get an early jump on my day.

One thing I learnt during my three week lay off in early to mid October was that going out to get my run in on the weekend more often than not helped me get that jump start on the weekend.
Unless the weather is complete pants I prefer to get my run taken care of first thing,for starters it means I don't have it hanging over my head all day knowing it needs to be taken care of and also by the time I'm done I normally feel ready to get stuck into whatever happens to be on my"to do" list.

Today was a easy day, post run and pre grocery shopping I planted myself at a Starbucks for 90 minutes or so,savored a Green Tea{I gave up Coffee two months ago....I know the last of my vices....}and wrote my diary and began making lists for up coming mix tapes.
Since going on a reading kick in September I've also gotten back into the routine of making mix tapes,something I'd gotten away from for a while,more's the pity.
It helped that the first three books I read were music/mixed tapes related,"Love Is A Mix Tape""31 Songs/Songbook" and "Cassette From My Ex" and since reading them I've knocked out 4 mix tapes,two for my brother which I reviewed in my blog and two for the girls in the Wound Center that sadly due to time constraints didn't get reviewed.

I'm currently working on two tapes right now my brother's long overdue"See You Jimmy" a mix of all things Scottish and for the gals in the Wound Center"A New Version Of The Old Scene" a bunch of cover tunes.
I have 12 lists I'm compiling for future tapes,the plan is two tapes per month for "Our Kid" and the Wound Center,as time allows I'll try to review them.

So my day is done, a little catching up w/ some dvrd tv from the week and a fuck off bowl of Muscles and Linguine b4 tomorrow's 16 miler.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remember,Remember The 5th Of November

"Treason,treason the spectre looks again treason,treason the realm is safe and then
Oh no move away from harm I need a spell and a charm
Fly like the rainbow I'm no pawn,so be gone,speed on and on.
Kill the king strike him down,kill the king he'll rule no more
Strike him dead the people roar"
Kill The King-Rainbow
I realize this side of the Atlantic November 5th means very little unless it's a b'day or anniversary but growing up back home as a kid you lived for November 5th.
November 5th is Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night/Firework Night.
The origins of all this go back to 1605 when a plot to kill King James of England was hatched by a group of catholics who felt killing King James and his family would allow the catholics to take the throne the plan was to blow up the Houses of Parliament,so 36 barrels of gunpowder were smuggled in to a cellar below,however legend has it somebody got squeamish and sent an anonymous letter tipping off the authorities and the plot was uncovered in the early hours of November 5th.
One of the would be perpetrators who was caught was Guy Fawkes but after confessing to being part of the plot to overthrow King James he took his life rather than face being accused of treason and facing the ultimate punishment,being hung,drawn and quartered.
The night of Nov 5th people were encouraged to light bonfires to celebrate the fact King James was still alive and there you have the origins of November 5th.
When I was a kid it was common practice for children to make a "Guy" and ask for money for fireworks hence the expression"penny for the guy sir"....unless you lived one one of the council estates in the neighbourhood then it was"give us yer wallet or we'll smash your face in"....I prefer penny for the guy,don't you??!!
From what I gather Bonfire Night is still a big deal back home,my cousin mentioned going to a fireworks display on Southend beach tonite,it's good to see traditions I grew up w/ all those years ago are still around.
No fireworks on my 10 miler this evening,62 minutes doesn't constitute as having a rocket up my arse but it was too shabby.