Sunday, January 31, 2010

What Lies Beyond

I hadn't planned to make yesterday a "fuck off day'' but between not getting home till 1.40am and not going to bed till 2.20am it was small wonder I slept till
Coupled w/ the late start to my day,the below freezing temps and the desire to write my blog{and I knew it was going to be a long entry}I figured why not invoke a rest day,after all I could still run today and notch another 30 mile week.
In spite of the lite dusting of snow I was dressed and out the door by 10.15am to run my 8 miler,my only real concern was what my route would be,the traditional out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway is 6 miles and I thought about running down Cedar Ave to 47th St and back,which wasn't w/out it's charms or I could run a mile beyond my usual turnaround point on CCP.

I've often wondered what the route along the parkway looks like and today I found out,granted it won't always look as picturesque w/ a sky full of sun and a ground full of snow but it sure looked pretty this morning.
W/ a slightly longer run than usual I had a little more time to think,ponder,plan the coming weeks,Millrose in all it's glory is over now,time to think about my Feb race schedule and how it pertains to Indoor Nationals in nine weeks time,this coming week is a non race week,somewhat of a rarity in recent weeks,so weather permitting it's a full compliment of 6x600m,5x1,000m and 4x1mile repeats and three 6 miles.

My final thoughts on Millrose for now:just like I'm forever indebted to Nick B,Scott and Bob Mc for my World Record I'll forever be indebted to Nick D,Daryl and Dave for my Millrose medal.
It remains to be seen if the Masters 4x4 is still a part of Millrose,I hope for current and future Masters runners it is.
If this was my last Millrose Games,I at least went out in style.
I hope for me I haven't ran my last Millrose Games Masters 4x4 but I do think I may've taken full advantage of my best and maybe last chance to medal.
There were several great quotes post race....sadly several are not pc enough for my blog,but two of my favourites,Tony Plaster a Shore AC masters runner who I've known since 06 when I got involved in masters track saying to Chuck after we'd taken gold and bronze"wow you guys have come along way from the team who showed up in 06 hoping someone would let you in"
And in a classic example of what it's like on our team,post race w/ medals in hand I mentioned to Bob Mc how lucky he,Nick B,Daryl,and Dave were to win a Millrose medal at the first attempt where Nick D needed two attempts and myself,Scott and Ray had twice been the 7th place and alternate team in 06 and 07 and then twice 4th place in 08 and 09,Bob Mc smiled and said"just another day at the office for me"!!!
Last and by no means least,Thank You to Chuck for doing all the leg work to make sure all three GPTC teams were able to run this year...and thanks also to Ray for mentioning to Chuck after only four teams entered"hay maybe we can put a B team in"....the rest they say is history.....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Big Pimpin' Up In NYC

To hell w/ building the suspense..............YES I sit here w/ my much coveted Millrose Games medal in my collection{technically it will be separate from my other medals just like my Nationals medals which I've always set aside from the collection to signify their importance},I think enough gigabytes have been taken up this week alone in stressing what it meant to me to have a Millrose Games medal to call my own.

For a day that technically was only 57 seconds long there is SO much to report so here goes,unlike last year there were NO travel worries to throw off my day,I met up w/ fellow B team mate Daryl at Trenton and we were joined on the New York bound train at Hamilton by Dave,Scott and Chuck.
I sheepishly recanted my tale of being"in the zone" to Daryl,when I gotten up in the morning around 8am,I was so focused that I misread the clock and began getting ready to leave at 9am not 10am,I know I didn't want a repeat of last year but jeez!!!!
We arrived at Penn Station at 1.50pm and headed over to the Affinia Hotel to pick up our credentials and meet up w/ the rest of the team.
Last year the team met Eamonn Coghlan there,I missed out due to my travel troubles so I was keeping an eye out just in case he showed up this year......
As we stood around talking amongst ourselves Bernard Lagat came over and said hello,I've met Bernard b4 and he's just that personable,he was happy to shoot the breeze w/ us and we were more than happy to reciprocate,somebody joked that Chuck should give him an application form for the club.....hey in a few years he'd be eligible for Masters track!!!!
I told the would be"President Of The Boards"I had bittersweet feelings towards this evening,as Eamonn's biggest fan I was sorry to see his record of seven Wanamaker Miles go,but if someone had to take it I couldn't think of a more worthy miler than Bernard,a feeling I felt Eamonn shared,Bernard thanked me for that,after all I know a little something about records being broken recently.

At 3pm we made our way over to Madison Square Garden, we had roughly an hour and 20 minutes to warm up,stretch and get ready,there isn't a great deal of room at MSG but as "old pros" at this we've found the space it takes to do that and b4 no time had elapsed the final call for Men's Masters 4x400m relay went out,this was it.
As if there wasn't enough drama now as we waited in the holding paddock it looked like only four of the five teams would run,Central Park had only two of their four athletes and we were being lead out to the track,their foursome only just managed to take their places as the lead off legs were called to the starting line.
I had been at pains to convey to my fellow B teamers that we could get third and medal here,from the time the B team idea had been launched two and a half weeks ago I had believed in my heart of hearts that we could beat Mass Velocity,I just had to convince Nick D,Daryl and Dave likewise,judging from the way Nick D lead off my words had not fallen on deaf ears!!!

Nick D did a steller job and lead through the opening lap b4 CPTC and our A team passed him,at the hand off on the back straight we were third,more than I might of dared to hope.
Daryl hung tough over the second leg,given the tight turns on this track I was worried DJ's height might hinder worries,DJ has been on our Penn Relays team for the last three years and knows what it takes to produce on the big stage,and ok so there's a difference between running in front of 40,000-50,000 at Penn and maybe only a few hundred at Millrose,however is there a bigger stage than Madison Square Garden and the Millrose Games?
As the lead two teams of CPTC and GPTC A began to distance themselves from the field Dave took the baton from Daryl and began the third leg,rewinding slightly Shore AC's lead off had pulled a hamstring on the opening lap and effectively taken them out of contention,and as each leg passed we distanced ourselves from Mass Velocity,were my dreams about to become reality?

As Dave made his way up the home straight I took my place on the outside lanes of the track,the anchor legs of CPTC and GPTC A had taken off and now as a strong finishing Dave drew closer to the final exchange zone I began to lead him out b4 taking the baton,given Dave's height and the fact our exchange was on the turn there was a slight reach issue as we made the exchange...baton in hand,transition from left hand to right successfully negotiated I set off down the back straight,who knows if I'll EVER get this chance again not only to run here but also medal.
I had no idea where the Mass Velocity anchor leg was,I couldn't hear footsteps and I couldn't look up at the jumbotron to gauge what my advantage was,b4 I knew it I was coming off the bottom turn w/ a lap to go,145m between me and my dream.
I could hear the announcer describe the battle for first between CPTC and GPTC A,talk about close GPTC A in 3.44.7,CPTC IN 3.44.9.,I came off the final turn and in an unbelievable sense of dajavu in reverse Shore AC'S anchor Bob Andrews was a few meters ahead of me,a role reversal from 08,despite the fact Bob still had a lap to go I made a point of passing him,another ghost exorcised and the memory of our 08 tussle which he and Shore AC prevailed by the slimest of margins 3.52.04-3.52.54.banished.

Third in 3.53.0. some seven seconds ahead of Mass Velocity's 4.00.2. ......we'd done it,four years after I'd more or less gatecrashed the party and gotten to run on the track b4 the meet began,and two years removed from a heartbreaking 4th place on our Millrose debut not only had I won my much desired Millrose Games medal but the club had won the Masters 4x400m relay too,needless to say there were alot of hugs,handshakes and high fives going on in the warm up area between us.
Following a round of photos and a cool down somebody,Ray I think collected the medals,when he handed me mine he said"it's w/ great pleasure I present you w/ your Millrose Games medal"Ray of all people knew what this meant to me and as I explained to Ray it was his comment post Swarthmore after he'd opted to run Millrose despite a wedding rehearsal dinner that nite in Chicago about"being in Chicago,having a few beers w/ my Millrose medal" that had lit a fire underneath me.
Post medal photo I sought out Ray and Scott{along w/ me we're the only still running survivors from 06,Chuck has since moved into an organisers role....and we thank him for that}and we shared a moment, as we huddled together as I thanked those guys for allowing me to run in 08 when I probably shouldn't have been allowed to and we rejoiced in the fact we'd all finally gotten our Millrose medals,gold for Ray and Scott,bronze for me.

The feelgood factor didn't end w/ the men,our women's relay just missed out on a medal in their race but had broken the W50 American Record,the third time they've broken an American Record in 10 months.
W/ everyone heading off in different directions there were only a handful of us left to actually watch the Millrose Games,I'm a fan of track and field as well as a participant so I was planning to stick around,and providing the meet went off on schedule stick around to the end,the Wanamaker Mile.
As I sat beyond the finish line I couldn't believe my eyes,having seen Eamonn introduced to the crowd along w/ Ray Flynn,Marcus O Sullivan and Jim Ryan I thought I might've missed my chance to talk to him.......some 20 meters away Eamonn sat to watch the races,this was too good to be true.
Ever the Boy Scout,I'd brought Eamonn's biography w/ me....just in case,I quickly made my way over to my hero and asked if he would sign my copy of his book.
We shook hands and chatted for a few minutes,I explained to Eamonn how great his influence was upon me,he was the reason why I wanted to run here as I proudly showed him my medal Eamonn wrote on the inside cover of his biography"To Kevin,I hope you enjoyed the book.Delighted the Wanamaker Mile inspired you.Best wishes Eamonn Coghlan"

WOW! Does it get any better?I don't think so,a Millrose medal and a signed copy of Chairman Of The Boards,Master Of The Mile,I even got to tell Eamonn of my pre big race ritual at Franklin Field,where I kiss the plaques of Jumbo Elliot,Ronnie Delaney,Marcus and Eamonn for good luck,just as I did post 8x200m repeats on Wednesday.
So perhaps it was a fitting end to the evening that Bernard Lagat won his eighth Wanamaker Mile to overtake Eamonn,Bernard may now be the President Of The Boards,but Eamonn will FOREVER be the Chairman,and me,I'm just the kid from South East London who saw his dreams come true at the greatest sporting venue in the world.................Big Pimpin' Up In NYC indeed!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Running Down A Dream

So,this is it I have an hour b4 heading over to 30th St station to take the train to New York via Trenton to Madison Square Garden and the 103rd Millrose Games.
Last nite was your typical nite b4 a race,easy run and pasta dinner,I recalled several easy runs b4 or after a big race where my former coach would say"no matter how slow you're running it's probably too fast"and granted the 6 miler is more about building towards my weekly mileage total but a little lite leg turnover never hurts either.....just as long as I remember to save it all for the anchor leg of this afternoons relay,no point leaving it all out there on Cobbs Creek Parkway if I can't deliver the goods at MSG!!!!

I never take running here for granted,this is my 3rd race at Millrose,add my bonus run in 06 and that's four times on the hallowed 145m track,that's four more than some high school,college,professional and masters runners ever manage,I've come along way from the skinny kid running through Memorial Gardens in Lewisham South East London all those years ago,much less the same kid who watched in awe on Saturday afternoons on "World Of Sport" when they'd show Millrose Games highlites,sure I thought how neat it'd be to run in the footsteps of my heroes Ronnie Delaney,Marcus O Sullivan and of course "The Chairman Of The Boards"Eamonn Coghlan but now to actually do it?
Ok granted it's not the Wanamaker Mile it's only a Masters 4x400m relay but it might as well be for me,this is everything to me,in a 34 year career that's seen National Championships,5th Avenue Mile titles,and a recent World Record I just want a Millrose Games medal to add to my collection,today maybe my best and last chance at that, so to quote the great Carl Lewis who knew a thing or two about great performances period but also here at Millrose''I just wanted to know I left it all out there on the track"......nuff said!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

And Then There Were Five

The final line up for Friday's Masters 4x4 relay at Millrose was announced yesterday,Central Park,Greater Philly A,Mass Velocity,Shore AC,Greater Philly B.
After a few years of trials and tribulations trying to get here this year has been no different,the new relay rule on the club that the four fastest runners would be {rightfully}selected meant I thought this year I would be shit out of luck......and then only 4 teams entered the 6 team event,and bingo an eleventh hour reprieve for yours truly.

I'm hoping for a stress free day tomorrow unlike last years debit card debacle that almost cost me a place on the relay and very nearly saw Chuck having to run in my place,note to self,debit card and cash tomorrow at 30th St train station!!!!!!!
My final workout b4 "The Big Dance" was 8x200m at Franklin Field last nite,while I wholeheartedly subscribe to the time honoured theory that"you're not going to get any faster in the last week"b4 a race a little lite fast twitch muscle workout wouldn't go a miss.

I set myself a time frame of between 32 and 34 seconds per 200m w/ a 90 second recovery in between I went:33.87,33.90,32.33,32.12,32.81,32.13,33.49,31.82.
I have to say I'm well pleased w/ this workout,I started out at a moderate pace b4 kicking it up a notch and averaging a 32 second per 200m pace.
I realize that in 400m there's precious little in the way of time to think,it's all reaction but as long as I remember the basics,arms,knee lift,leg turnover I should be on for a good race,I have an idea where I'll be in terms of position come the final hand off and then it's all about 2 and 3/4 laps around the hallowed boards of Madison Square Gardens,who knows perhaps for the last time in my career,if I can come away w/ a medal I'd be more than happy, if this potential swan song is to have a happy ended lays in the lap of the gods till the gun goes off at 4.21pm and then it falls into the hands and legs of my team mates to etch our way into Millrose history.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Geting Ready To Roll

An easy 6 miler out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway to keep the weekly milege in the 30 mile zone.
A slightly later start than usual,4.55pm as I wanted to catch the end of my beloved Spurs beating Fulham 2.0,rather than blow off the run I'd rather go out a little late,and I'd rather go out a little late and know the result than run not knowing the score or fretting about the result.
Tonite was a nite to visualize the race on Friday,we are officially in now,last week we were given a tentative ok,now it's a done deal so it's full steam ahead to Millrose now.

Every year it's something w/ Millrose,in 06 I was the alternate runner on the alternate team,we didn't race that year but we did get to run on the hallowed boards of Madison Square Gardens,for me a dream come true.
We {GPTC...Greater Philadelphia Track Club}were the alternate team again in 07 b4 finally getting in in 08...........only for yours truly to suffer a stress fracture six week out,my Millrose dreams were shelved yeah???yeah right producing the greatest come back since Lazarus I still managed to anchor us to 4th,the heartache of getting caught b4 the finish line by Bob Andrews of Shore AC still haunts me to this day.
If 08 was about"unfinished business" and actually getting to race on the track at MSG then here's hoping 10 is "unfinished unfinished business"having been so close to a medal in 08 and finishing 4th last year I'm back again,albeit by the skin of my teeth and a B team in the hopes of adding a coveted Millrose Games medal to my collection,stay tuned to see if it really is "third time's a charm"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Off The Charts

An added bonus to get this workout in,originally I thought it'd be late Sunday when I returned from Ithaca but got home mid afternoon on Sunday.
However the last thing I heard going to sleep was the sound of the rain hitting the windows and this was also the first thing I heard when I awoke,but by lunch time the rain had quit so I figured why not take advantage of an afternoon workout at Franklin Field and made my way to the track by 2pm.
The plan was 6x600m repeats since this would be my lone hard workout for the week w/ Millrose on the horizon on Friday,the rain made it impossible to lay down and stretch but there was little I could do about that,granted not a habit I wish to get into but getting soaked 4 days b4 a race didn't seem like a good idea either so........

Following my mile warm up it was off w/ the warms ups and down to base layer,it's not every day I have the commodity of a lunch time workout during the week{Friday is the last of my Friday's off after a glorious six month run}so why not take full advantage?
#1,600m 70,37-1.47.38.Unexpected to say the least,in a week where my 400m speed will be clutch this was a nice way to open things up.
#2,600m 71,34-1.45.69.Yowzer!!haven't seen a 600m split that fast in a while,however I was beginning to see where this workout was heading.....
#3,600m 74,35-1.49.12.Fast times are great and all that but when your splits are going up and down like a EKG chart the conclusion is pretty much right in front of your nose.

In any other week I'd have sucked it up and grinded out 600s 4,5 and 6 but given this is no ordinary week I said screw it,originally Wednesday was my planned 3x600m but now I'll throw in some 200s to get the fast twitch,there'll be no hanging around come Friday in the Masters 4x400m relay.

Hartshorne PW...Personal Worst

First up sorry for the tardiness of my entry,it's always tough to write a positive blog entry after a less then positive race.....even harder when your pc has a glitch of sorts so I had to wait till I got back to work to have a glitch free pc to write it,that allows a little more time for the proverbial dust to settle and try and write something tangable about my race and the weekend in Ithaca.
I knew going into the race I wasn't at my best,I'm several weeks away from that but rather than run and hide{maybe that should be don't run and hide I don't know?!!} I felt I owed it to Tom Hartshorne to turn up and honour my invitation,post race I wondered if I shouldn't take a leaf out of my good friend Julie Hayden's book and wait till I turn 50 b4 coming back to honour the invitation,time will tell if that's a knee jerk reaction.

Pre race I felt my best plan of attack was to abandon my usual front running tactics and work my way up from the pack based on the evidence of my recent pb performances,pb standing for pre basics,w/ hindsight I wish I'd stuck to my usual style of running as going to the back of the pack did nothing for me and I only briefly got out of 10th and last place on lap 2 b4 eventually being relegated back there w/in a few laps.
My opening two splits were 37/33 a far cry from the 34/34 I was aiming for and looking at the photos of me during the race not only am I well off the back of the 8th and 9th place runners{I would wind up a full 4 seconds behind 9th place at the finish}but my arms are flopping around,clearly there is work to be done over the next few weeks.

10th in a woeful hardly anything to be excited about,however it is an improvement on that lackluster 4.50 I ran at The Armory two weeks ago and if the only crumb of satisfaction is that in two weeks I've made an improvement on my time then hopefully over the coming ten weeks I can keep improving and keep getting faster cos lord knows I need to.
I wasn't alone in below performances,pre race favourites Tony Young and Alisa Harvey both suffered that fate also,prehaps this years races in the elite 40 marked a passing of the torch as Nick Berra and Aeron Arlin-Genet both won as Ken Stone had foretold in his blog on Thursday.
Congrats to my team mate Nick for his win....he now has the club record at the mile after his 4.24.74. victory,how much longer b4 he takes my 1,500m record?
Props also to fellow teammate Cheryl Bellaire who won the womens 50 race.
And to prove there's still life in the old guard yet how about a big hand for my good friend Nolan Shaheed who's 4.57.06. was a world record for M60.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Double Shot Friday

A quick hi and bye from the man on the fly!
I'm heading to Upstate New York post blog entry to participate in my 3rd Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile tomorrow in Ithaca.
I have a lot more confidence in my ability to perform well tomorrow than I did say two weeks ago after my public humbling and humiliation at The Armory,not so much the shot that was heard around the world more the "bitch slap back into reality"that I needed!!!

Tomorrow's race promises to be a good one,having seen the field assembled by Tom Hartshorne in yesterdays Masterstrack Blog thanks to "Uncle Ken"I've been able to do my homework re a race plan,in fairness the race plan was already in place,seeing whom I'm up against may actually have presented more questions than answers but in my very black pagan heart of hearts I know if I stick to my race plan I could and should be able to hold my own in this 10 man field when the gun goes off tomorrow at 12.45pm.

Check back w/ me on Monday for a blow by blow account of the race.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chapter And Verse

In running as is in life I don't go out of my way to brake my hand patting myself on the back but I feel last nites 5x1,000m repeats were as close to text book as can be.
After a three week lull in repeats due to the closure of my beloved Franklin Field I'm back in the swing of hitting the track post work to get my repeats in,last week saw all three{6x600m/5x1,000m/4x1mile}while this week and next week will see two as I have a race on my schedule which always throws off a third,I love to race and after all isn't that why I do repeats,so that I can race faster?but races on the schedule do mean one less repeat per week,after next week's race I have a week of potentially three repeats b4 a then 5 week race schedule b4 a week off and then Indoor Nationals.

For a while it looked like I may be SOL for getting on the track,when I arrived Penn's athletes were still working out and since it's their track after all and untill the end of March the track closes at 6pm but by 4.50pm only two were left and I asked the coach if it was ok for me to warm up on the outside lanes,he gave me his blessing and said his guys were all but done and I could have lane 5,so far,so good.
W/ a slight crispness in the air I donned gloves,it's funny Monday was 50 degrees and today was 45 degrees but it was noticeable how much cooler it was even though there was only 5 degrees difference,safety first,two races in two weeks I can ill afford to get careless and or sick.

#1,1000m 1.20,1.25-37-3.22.08.While the second lap 1.25 was a bit of a downer I was reasonably pleased,last week in my first 5x1,000s in a few weeks I went3.26,3.26,3.21,3.21,3.17.
#2,1,000m 1.18,1.23,38-3.19.02.Gained 2 seconds on the opening 400 and in doing so ran my fastest split to date,let's not get giddy about a 1.18,I can go faster,and will but for now it's all about baby steps.
#3,1,000m 1.19,1.20,39-3.18.91.Ok 39 seconds is far from text book,however each repeat had gotten faster and it's not often I can boast that distinction,rather than have that one"clear the fences"repeat I was looking at the overall picture here,"little by little"
#4,1,000m 1.17,1.21,40-3.18.08.Not even a loose shoe lace could derail me,I could feel it catching me in the back coming up the home straight but remained zen like in my focus to get to the line and in another faster than the previous repeat.
#5,1,000m 1.20,1.22,35-3.17.42.How'd ya like me now!Was a tad concerned w/ the 1.20 opener,it's still early in my return to basics and I have to remember the body is still just a shade behind where the mind would like me to be,2.42 at 800m I knew I had to go some in the final 200m and did,being consistent throughout the repeats meant I had change of pace left at the death....just like you'd like it to be!

In a week I've seen a dramatic upswing in my form and a skyrocketing in my confidence,it may be too late to get me "in the mix" Saturday but if I can be competitive that'll be a major improvement in my last race and who knows if for once I stick to my pre race race plan then maybe,just maybe I can be there or thereabouts at the bell.......

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Do You Know?God Really Does Love Irish Catholics...

From the Book Of Revelations,chapter one,my out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway is 6 miles not 5.
Roughly a year ago when I first moved to my current address in West Philly and began utilizing the nearby cinder track a mile away from the house my 5 miler would be,a mile up,3 miles on the"Top Cat Bowl" and a mile home.
A six miler would be out along Cobbs Creek Parkway in the other direction turning around at just beyond 65th St,and to then squeeze another mile out of the run I'd head down to the "Top Cat Bowl'',somehow I confused all of this when I began to retrace my steps along CCP recently,this means that last week I logged 27 miles not 25 and also providing I stay on schedule this week by Friday b4 departing for Ithaca I'll have 27 miles,mile warm up,mile race,mile cool 30 miles in 6 days and a rest day on is after all what the good lord wanted for us was it not?

Evidently he also wants me to run the Millrose Games this year,having thought my chances had gone up in smoke when I failed to make the team I was thrown a life line when only four teams sent in entries last Friday,our very own "man w/ a plan"Chuck inquired as to the possibility of GPTC fielding a B team and we were told ok,myself Dave Brown,Daryl Johnson and Nick D are now heading up to Madison Square Gardens next Friday.
A B team was one scenario I hadn't thought of,I just figured when I didn't make the A team that was that,but once again in my storied career my road to the Millrose Games has taken another twist and turn,stay tuned I feel this story still has some legs b4 the gun goes off next Friday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dancing In The Dark

Yowzer!50 degrees today,great running weather period,but in mid January.....bring it on!
I arrived at sunny Franklin Field at 4.15pm w/ an added spring in my step{I'll dish the details in my blog me it's worth waiting for!!!}
Stretched after my mile warm up and strongly considered stripping down to my base level as it was warm enough but I knew w/ a 4.50pm beginning it'd be closer to 5.20pm when I got done, and w/ a race this Saturday I didn't want to to play fast and loose and run the risk of getting sick,I'm gonna have to be at my best on Saturday as it is!,that said any day the ski hat and gloves can stay in my bag and I can roll up my sleeves is a good day.

Looking to build on last weeks slow splits but overall solid performance in my 6x600m I was keen to "have at it"this evening.
#1,600m 70-40-1.50.44.Where the @!#* did that 70 second opening 400m come from??I closed my mile repeats in 69 seconds two days ago!!!
Needless to say I eased up over the closing 200m but the feeling was that the Acme Anvil was waiting for me.....
#2,600m 74-37-1.51.93.Not that it's a badge of honour but I was already up on last weeks splits..which let's face it shouldn't be hard but in fairness last Tuesdays repeats were my first since Dec 18th.
#3,600m 74-37-1.51.21.Much like Thursdays 5x1,000m and Saturdays 4x1mile repeats there was a level of consistency that is pleasing to see,as time goes by my splits will get faster,trust me on that!
#4,600m 75-36-1.51.01.Wow,having ran a controled opening 200m I was able to pour it on over the final 400m and drop a 36 second closing 200m but I kept an eye on the sky waiting for said Acme Anvil,just like in the cartoons I could hear it falling.....
#5,600m 78-37-1.55.20.Splat!live by the sword,die by the sword,I knew that 70 second opener would come back to bite me in the rump and now I had the teeth marks to prove it!
#6,600m 76-35-1.51.84.A nice finish to a solid workout,had I not put myself in the hole w/ the 76 second opening 400m I think another 1.50 was on the cards,that said had I not gone out in 70 seconds on the opening 400m I think I'd have been hitting 1.50s for all 6 600m....but there is always next week for that.

By the time I changed out of my flats and conducted my mile cool down darkness had descended over Franklin Field,there was no security detail there today so no floodlights turned on b4 dusk,in four years of repeats there I'm confident of finding my way around in the dark....if need be,but let's not and say we did!
A quantum leap on last weeks 600s of 1.54s,1.55s and 2 flat,no wonder my customary smile and clenched fist pump were evident as I made my out of Franklin Field tonite

Monday, January 18, 2010


Seems the rain gods had other ideas for me yesterday, a day long steady downpour kyboshed any hopes I had of lacin' them up and getting out there,oh well!
After last weeks 4/16 and this weeks 5/25 I'm hoping this is the week I return to 6/30,alot may depend on my schedule on Friday,I'm not against doing an easy 5 miler b4 leaving for Ithaca providing there's time,or even a few easy miles around the Cornell campus if the temps will allow it,my debut in 07 was an eye opener to how cold it gets in upstate New York in winter....ber was putting it mildly let me tell you!

W/ some down time yesterday I began the time honoured "search the best air fair to Boston" for Indoor Nationals past time,it's ten weeks from Friday so time to get cracking looking for cheap and reasonable flights not to mention hotels.
Along those lines I cast an envious eye over the 45-49 800m and 1,500m fields for World Indoors in Kamloops British Colombia which begin in six weeks time.
Sadly a lack of finances means another World Championship has passed me by,I couldn't help but think about a quote in Pete McGill's website "Younger Legs For Older Runners" when the Jan 4th deadline for entries passed w/ a small list of overseas athletes and for that matter even American athletes listed to compete,World C'ships should be about the best of the best going head to head not just those who can afford to compete,sadly it's money or lack there of that will dictate that at this years championships.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finishin' Strong

It's almost a month since my last set of mile repeats{Dec 18th}when I went:5.19.90,5.31.57,5.34.84,5.19.95,hardly earth shattering.
At least today was a lot warmer although there was a stiff breeze around the top turn and back straight but while shedding off my warm ups wasn't an option at least it was another day to be sans hat and gloves,as a wise man once told me"all of life's victories don't have to be on a grand scale"

Following my warm up mile and stretches it was showtime,the first mile repeats of the year.
#1 mile,1.22,1.28,1.28,1.21-5.39.00.Make that second and third lap 1.20 a piece and it's a 5.23 mile,all in good time.
#2 mile,1.22,1.28,1.26,1.17-5.33.20.Up on my toes unlike the opener that saw me flat on my feet and a 6 second improvement,while I was hoping for faster splits I was at least reducing my splits per mile.
#3 mile,1.24,1.28,1.29,1.21-5.42.85.The age old chestnut of mile 3 being the one to cause problems and while the splits were slow there was a consistency here today sometimes missing in my mile repeats.
#4 mile,1.21,1.25,1.26,69-5.21.72.When I began to pick up the pace at 650m I felt a faster time was on and I wasn't disappointed,anytime I can crank out a 69 second closing 400m I have to be pleased.

Ok the overall splits aren't great but I saw some signs today that better and faster times aren't too far off w/ a little bit of work.
I also thought ahead,say six months from now,what will my mile repeats in and around June 16th look like?
Tomorrow,rain permitting I'm looking at my first 6 day/30 mile week since the last week of May and historically when I put in 6 day/30 mile weeks over long and sustained periods is when I run my best and fastest times and knowing your history is a vital component in any walk of life.

Friday, January 15, 2010

One Step Closer

For those who thought I was joking about my love of Linkin Park!
Any day you can get out and run is a great day but given the recent cold snap today was most welcome,I think I read it was 48 degrees,I was able to shed my hat and gloves today and may be able to do so again tomorrow for my mile repeats.
It was hard to believe I was only a week removed from my first 5 mile out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway in several months.
Four runs in eight days has done much to tighten my sadly lacking strength and stamina,my level of conditioning is working it's way back up to where I would like it to be which just leaves me to keep hitting the track to work on my speed.
After three weekends in a row of racing I'm actually glad to be home this week,I'll be away next week in Ithaca and will travel to New York the following Friday but only as an alternate for Millrose.
More importantly I'm four weeks away from returning to The Armory for #3 of Thursday Nite At The Races on Feb 11th where I'll race three times in two weeks,add the Mac C'ships the following week I now have three of my four races at The Armory,ample chance to perform an exorcism of sorts after last weeks awful race.
But first in matters closer to hand and home,4x1mile repeats tomorrow at Lower Merion.

Faster Times At Franklin Field

After an average return to repeats here on Tuesday I had my best 5 miler to date yesterday so I was hopeful of a decent track workout this evening.
Conditions were favourable,close to 45 degrees making life alot easier,granted at 4.20pm it wasn't 45 degrees but frankly it was a darn sight warmer than it's been.
I almost didn't go w/ 5x1,000m this evening,I thought about another crack at 6x600m but rethought that,continuity is key right now.
By the time I got done warming up and stretching it was close to 4.50pm,sunset is 4.58pm so obviously I'd be finishing the repeat in the dark but at least Franklin Field affords me floodlights.

#1,1,000m 1.19,1.27,40-3.26.54.I had set myself a target of 3.30 per repeat,if I learnt anything on Tuesday it's that a combination of the cold,added layer of clothes and lack of speed work in the past three weeks means pushing up my target times for now and then work them back down.
#2,1,000m 1.22,1.24,40-3.26.39.After flip flopping my 800m splits a near identical overall time,I'd set 1.20. as my opening 400m split and was sticking close to it,I just needed to reduce my second 400m
#3,1,000m 1.20,1.22,39-3.21.10.If I'd been guilty of running #1 flat footed I was at least now up on my toes and the difference was noticeable,not just in form but also time.
#4,1,000m 1.20,1.22,39-3.21.18.Buoyed by yesterdays return to form over 5 miles I was able to transfer that form into repeats today,if today's target time of 3.30. seemed easy dropping down to 3.20s shouldn't be beyond my reach on the evidence of my last two repeats.
#5,1,000m 1.20,1.22,35-3.17.09.This was an ideal finish to a good repeat workout for me,clearly something to build upon.

A week they say is a long time be it in politics,life,running whatever,this time last week I was preparing for my meet at The Armory hoping it'd be a springboard for me to relaunch my thus far spluttering indoor season,it in way it very much was....just not in the manner I had hoped,but it's that old adage of life's a journey,not a destination sometimes it's not about reaching your destination,it's how you get there.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Easier Does It.

W/ the mercury above freezing it was a lot easier to get home at 4.30pm,get changed and get out on Cobbs Creek Parkway for my out and back 5 miler.
Having wisely taken a day off Monday prior to my return to Franklin Field on Tuesday I felt going into Wednesday's 5 miler that I was rested and proceeded to crank out an easier 5 miler than the pair of back to back 5 milers I had ran last Friday and Saturday.
No huffin' and puffin' this evening like Friday,no cutting tangents like Saturday,this was more like it.
Having set off at 4.40pm I was able to cop a decent amount of sunlight b4 the run ended,I was probably back on the other side of Baltimore Ave b4 the last vestige of day light began to fade from view,it was kind of neat to watch the sun setting off in the distance leaving a red skyline off in my distant view as I made my way back up CCP after my half way turn around just after 65th St.
Hopefully I'm getting back my level of conditioning that I had prior to not only my injury but also from my 3 track workouts a week from late July thro mid December prior to the cold snap and Franklin Field's three week closure.
It's back to Franklin Field tomorrow for 5x1,000m b4 a return engagement here along the parkway on Friday b4 a set of mile repeats Saturday at Lower Merion,which in turn allows me another easy 5 miler Sunday and thus putting me on a Mon/Wed rotation next week b4 heading upto Ithaca for the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile next Saturday.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And They Wonder Why I Listen To Linkin Park

Yes,back on the track at Franklin Field today,hopefully a sign that things are returning to normal......or at least what constitutes as normal in my life.
Post workout it dawned upon me that Franklin Field has not been a part of my winter workouts for a few years.
This time last year I was favouring the cinder track at Cobbs Creek and in the winter of 08 I was recovering from my stress fracture and not doing much in the way of speed work so it's really 07 since I trained here during the winter.

I arrived here at 4.20pm and promptly knocked out my mile warm up and series of pre workout stretches b4 leaping into my 6x600m repeats.
I wanted to utilize as much daylight as possible,my feeling was if I at least began them in daylight it'd help,as it was I was sporting the two layer look complete w/ hat and gloves.
During my warm up I began to question if I had the chops for 6 600s,maybe I'd do better to begin at 4 and work my way back up the ladder........after my second repeat this seemed like a sound idea but I somehow found it in me to complete all six,granted not w/ earth shattering times but from a psychological standpoint this was a big deal for me,confidence begets confidence and recently my confidence has been as low as whale shit.....which as we all know lays at the foot of the ocean.

#1,600m 72-42-1.54.the 72 second opening 400m surprised me,the 42 second closing 200 disappointed me,I didn't get an exact final time as my stop watch and gloves often have compatibility issues........
#2,600m 75-39-1.54.74.At this point I was thinking 4x600m but as my recovery began to kick in I realized I wasn't as winded as I first thought although my pride was somewhat dented by a pair of plus 1.50s.
#3,600m 75-40-1.55.32.This might be as good as it was gonna get this evening,in fairness I had no real idea what to expect split wise,it's not like I have my 07 6x600s as a point of reference,but even if I did I doubt I could really use them as an accurate yardstick.
#4,600m 81-39-2.00.64.IF I'd gone into this w/ the intention of it being 4x600m then this was not how I wanted to finish up.
#5,600m 79-41-2.00.71.I told myself not to tank #5 in order to finish #6 strong and came through w/ almost identical splits,albeit at plus 2.00.
#6,600m 75-35-1.50.80.It's still pantomime season back home so forgive if I throw a "that's the way to do it" into the mix!!

Obviously #6 is where I'd prefer all these repeats to be but given my recent three week "self induced coma" it might take a few weeks to get there,at least I'd made a start and hopefully gotten myself back into the routine of hitting Franklin Field post work.
As to the Linkin Park reference,I don't deny my love of Linkin Park,there's about two dozen of their songs on my ipod{soon to be more as I'm upgrading from 4GB to 8GB}and they are often a band I use to "get myself up"for a race or workout.
Most of my job is writing,I spend more time writing up deliveries and writing them on a log sheet than I do anything else on the dock{except maybe looking stuff up on the pc!.............shh!!!}but when it took over 15 minutes two write up two deliveries at lunch time after several interruptions that if I still had hair would've seen me pulling it out by now I could be forgiving for reaching for the ipod...........

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Have A Day Off Will Ya?

Despite getting home at 4.20pm which would've allowed ample time to get changed and get out on CCP for my out and back 5 miler I invoked a rest day.
Having races on Thursday and Sunday{I'd have said raced but given my frankly gutless performance Thursday at The Armory that'd be a bit like taking the piss}and in between two 5 milers Friday and Saturday I thought the old "less is more"adage might be prudent.
Not only is my beloved Franklin Field reopen as of today{yea!}but the temps are going up{double yea!!}so w/ a 6x600m on tap for tomorrow I thought it might be wise to rest the old legs plus if I continue at the current pace I'm looking at ten consecutive days which might be a tad too much too soon as I look to continue rebuilding my training.

The dust is settling on my failure to make the Millrose Games relay,it was a dream come true to just run there in 07,racing there in 08 and 09 was something special that I'll always remember but maybe it's time for the younger breed of 400m guys to carry the torch for the club that I've been only too proud to carry the past few seasons.
I nixed a trip to Penn State Saturday w/ Bob Mc,I'm not in the kind of mile shape I want to be but I do still plan to go to Cornell for the Hartshore Memorial Masters Mile the following weekend,I just hope the next week and a half sees me getting my butt in decent racing shape as I don't want to head up to Itacha and embarrass myself.
So a return to track repeats and Franklin Field,life as I know it is spinning back into orbit....said the would be time lord/time traveller....

Monday, January 11, 2010

No MSG For Me

When I tipped the scales a little heavier than I would like last week I made a commitment to watch what I ate{the traditional no Pizza,no Ice Cream,no Mexican till after Indoor Nationals at the end of March}was a given but frankly missing out on the Millrose Games Masters 4x4 relay was not what I had in mind for cutting out MSG!!!!!.
The stage had been set last Sunday at Swarthmore when Ray decided he would now run Millrose and threw down a 56.2,in doing so he pulled Bobby Mc to a 57.0 which edged my Seton Hall Dec 6th 57.08 to 5th place...........ergo the showdown at Delaware on Sunday,"High Noon""Delaware 400""Thunderdome"call it what you will,six runners were looking to nab the three remaining places on the Millrose relay w/ Nick who holds the club record at 52.8.

Getting up at 6am to catch the 7.38am R2 to Marcus Hook to meet up w/ Chuck for a ride to University Of Delaware was hardly how I wanted to start my day but given the lackluster beginning to my indoor season thus far{57.08 400m,2.05 800m,4.50.1 mile,10.16 3,000m} if ever there was a day to kick start it it was now.
I'd never ran indoors at Delaware, as indoor facilities go it's a good one,I'd run here again,the next two Philly Masters meets at Albright on 1.17 and at Glen Mills on 1.31 you can have,I hate those two tracks,I'd rather train than race there.

Slowly but surely the 400m squad began to arrive,Scott,Bob Mc,Dave,Daryl.......but no sign of Ray,not sure if he was injured,second guessing his Millrose/Chicago schedule or hoping his 56.2 would hold up?one less rival to duke it out w/,a former teammate Rick took Ray's place in our heat.
Following my warm up mile and stretches it was time to get ready,a big thank you to Jim Fischer the meet director for arranging it so that we could all race together....a big raspberry to whoever assigned me lane 6!
I crapped out w/ lane 1 at Seton Hall 5 weeks ago and continued to crap out today,fuckin'lane 6 scuse my french but fuckin' ada!!!,the one lane I did NOT want,it's tough to run a 200m or 400m blind but I always knew today was not a tactical race it was about going out like a bat out of hell and hoping that'd be good enough.

I got a good reaction to the gun and hammered the first turn and back straight,b4 the second turn I sensed someone moving up on my inside,Bob Mc in lane 5 and as we rounded the bottom bend and broke at 150m Scott made a move from lane three to nab the rail w/ Bob right on him,I needed to get up on their heals however Dave in lane 2 was hanging tough and not yielding an inch,w/ hindsight the race was probably won and lost there for me.
I think Scott and Bob went thro 200m in 26 seconds followed by Dave and me possibly in 27 seconds.
Down the back straight I didn't feel the gap between us was changing,I was running out of real estate and quickly,I needed to find another gear but there wasn't one,off the last turn I showed the heart,fight,grit and determination so badly lacking at The Armory on Thursday and fought my way past Dave to take third.

Scott won in 55.6,Bob Mc second in 55.9,me third in 57.08,Dave fourth in 57.1,Daryl fifth in 57.5,Scott and Bob Mc had leap frogged Ray's 56.2 but I was still out in the cold.
57.08 again,can you believe that shit??gobsmacked was putting it mildly.
So no Millrose Games for me this year,fair's fair the deal was and will be for relay selection the four fastest guys w/ current time,at the end of the day I was not good enough to make it into the top four and therefore don't deserve to run at MGS for the Millrose Games on Jan 29th.

Is it the end of the world,ah hell no,am I disappointed,hell yeah!!! but I've been saying since last year that it was going to get harder and harder to make the Millrose and Penn 4x400 teams and frankly if it was this hard at 46 imagine what it'll be like next year at 47??
I will as the alternate runner be responsible enough to keep training and preparing as if I am on the team,I don't wish injury,illness or anything on Nick,Scott,Bob or Ray but were something to crop up between now and then I need to be ready to jump in and replace one of them.
I refuse to believe"my song is coming to an end"maybe I've been lucky the past 4 years to make Penn and Millrose 4x4s,I've always said I'm not a 400m runner,but good enough to make those teams,maybe this year is the beginning of a few down years till 2014 and the 50s 4x4 teams?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

8 100ths Of A Second Between Me And The Millrose Games

Well it's official....I ran again this morning,after a blip on my schedule for the past several months I'm back to trying to run each day....or at least 6 days a week.
I'd forgotten what it's like to get up on a Saturday morning and get my run in,probably late April/early May b4 the achilles injury but it was fun,I hit Cobbs Creek Parkway around 10.30am for my out and back 5 miler.
I'm still paying for my naivety that 3 track workouts a week would be enough to keep me ticking over,in fairness maybe they would and still could, but I had lapsed into bad habits recently and the fact that outside of my races on Dec 27th,Jan3rd,and 7th I'd done no training at all,a combination of Franklin Field being closed and getting soft when the mercury dropped below 33 degrees meant that first Sunday and then Thursday saw me turn in lackluster performances that while a major suck fest were the boot up the arse I needed to get me back to where I was pre achilles.

I'm hopeful by the end of next week the 5 milers will feel a little easier,I don't think it was the sub zero air that was forcing me to huff and puff this morning,I had to cut tangents on the CCP to help me get through but I managed,seasons cannot be won or lost in January but can be shaped and molded,my return to full scale training may have come too late for me to salvage this month but frankly if I execute over three quarters of my 6 days a week runs between now and the next Armory meet on Feb 11th I should be close to the kind of form that''ll result in a fast mile or 2 miler.
I hope tomorrow I have enough to get me through my 400m run off,it's a bit like the Olympic/World C'ship trials,only three of the six of us who run tomorrow will join Nick at MSG for the Millrose Games on Jan 29th.
Right now I'm 5th fastest, 8 100ths of a second between me and a third Millrose Games,on the outside looking in w/ my nose very much pressed up against the glass,the permutations are far and wide,bottom line I need to run like a bat out of hell,lest we forget my 26.1/29.5-54.6 400m split two weeks ago in the 800m,I know I've got it in me,I just have to reproduce it at "Thunderdome" know where"six men go in,only three will come out"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Read All About It/A Man Of My Word

Yes,the much heralded and previously touted Allentown Morning Call article on the GPTC World Record has gone to print,you can read it yourselves if you follow the link to Ken Stones Masterstrack blog at:
It was nice to read the article in full having recently spoken w/ Andrew Wagaman over the phone for my part of the story,when he interviewed me over the phone last Wednesday it was three days since the World Record and I was still on a high,now nine days after my quote that ends the article I stand by the fact I'm still coming to terms w/ the fact the words World Record are next to my name.
For the rest of my life I will be indebted to my team mates Scott,Bob and Nick for helping me realize a wish/dream to brake a World Record,and to the B relay team of Phil,Delvin,Chuck and Tom for their help,especially Chuck who is still chasing signatures so that we can get this World Record processed and made official.

Following my previous entry I did in fact get dressed and go out and run,having meant every word of what I said after last nites debacle and my recent slide into bad habits I sucked it up,threw on my hat,gloves,base layer of dri long sleeved shirt and tights under my warm ups and off I went for a 5 miler along Cobbs Creek pathway.
It felt good to be out doing what prior to my injury was natural,going for an easy run,unlike recent weeks when I checked AOL Weather and read 32 degrees,feels like 21 degrees and said no, today I said bollocks to that and I was out the door to run.

Granted it was a lot easier to do at 12.30pm as opposed to 4.50pm when I usually get home but frankly once I get back into the daily routine of making this the norm the easier it'll be to make it happen.
I was pleasantly surprised to get through the whole run,when I made the turn around at half way I wasn't 100% convinced I could get through the whole run but I surprised myself w/ my physical toughness not to mention a little tactical nous,I may be a track runner through and through but I can still "work the traffic lights"to my favour when I need to,an old trick I picked up from my road running days.

I'd like to get out there tomorrow,it'll be a bit like the old days on the weekend,basing my day around the run,it's been a while but like riding a bike no matter how long it is since the last time,you never forget.

Bad Night At The Office

Since my Armory debut in 06 I've prided myself on always being able to run well here,the notable exception being in 08 coming back from my stress fracture when my speed,strenght and conditioning were all in short supply as was reflected by my 4.47.01 mile,off the back of a disappointing 10.18. 3,000m on Sunday I was hell bent on rebooting my 10 indoor season and where better than here at The Armory? a venue I've had some of my greatest performances in the last four years.

In short things just didn't go to plan,my confidence wasn't where I'd like it to be so I baulked at seeding myself in heat 1 which proved to be prudent,but I lacked the self belief to jump into heat 2 which I should've been more than capable of running,Bob Mc won it in 4.36.a time that should be w/in my capability at this time of the season.
So heat three it was seeding myself at 4.40 that alone should set the scene,I should be looking at 4.30s but I lack the confidence right now and boy was I about to be proven right in the worst possible way.

Seeded 6th in a 12 man heat I didn't get a great start but moved into 4th....however somewhat tellingly I allowed myself to get on the inside rail and that just underlines everything that's not right w/ my running at the moment,my favoured position is the outside of lane 1 or even lane 2,confidence begets confidence but clearly w/ such a rookie error I can see what my problem is which thankfully is half the battle.
35 secs at 200m,the pace I would've chosen however the words shit and fan were about to come into play.
Having worked my way to the outside of lane 1 I got bumped by the runner behind me,no big we were tightly bunched and these things happen.....but then it happened again b4 the turn and what I should've done was speed up to get out of that situation and an in form me would have,however my lack of confidence meant I chose to play the dick card,I slowed to box the guy in and he then proceeded to push me half way around the turn.

Right there my timing which isn't where I would like it to be got thrown off and even though I regrouped to come through 400m in 69 seconds in 4th or 5th I was floundering.
After that I forget my splits or at which point of the race almost the entire field went by me I recall 2.21 at 800m a 4.42 mile which is hardly earth shattering by my standards and almost indicative of the space I somehow seem to have ended up in, I could not muster the will much less the speed and more damningly the desire to work my way back into the race.
10th in 4.50.1. that simply is NOT acceptable.

What followed was an underlining moment in everything that's not right w/ my running right now, as I dejectedly made my way back to the bleachers a runner doing his cool down laps brushed up against me.....innocent enough it should be said....but no I had to view this as a personal attack and proceeded to mouth off a verbal challenge to the "villain of the peace"
I could and should have left it there but I didn't, w/ an almost snipers like stare I followed him around and waited for him to pass me again,making damn sure there was contact again between us, again I mouthed off to whit the runner made a "whatever" gesture w/ his hands.
I'm NOT proud of this next part but I've always tried to be honest in my blog even when it's not gone according to script and I proceeded to chase after him to confront him......frankly if I'd shown that much passion and fire out on the track during my race I'd have done a hell of a lot better.

Thankfully calmer heads prevailed,as the dust settled "runner x" and I settled our differences he apologized for any wrong doing on his part and I fessed up that I was taking my anger out on him for what had happened out on the track,we shook hand and that was that,a bloody stupid incident and one I don't need to analyze,had my race gone better the first bump between us would have been treated as a "no biggie" instead of a "why don't you look where the !@#* you're going"
Did I need to blog all that?some would say no it's a smoke screen for the real issue that I'm not running like I know I can right now,my response to that is,Andre Aggasi didn't need to fess up in his biography to doing crystal meth but he did when it would've have been easier to keep stoom on the matter,like I said I admit to my short comings and don't try to blind the masses w/ my imaginary halo,when I'm wrong or plain bang out of order I'll cop to it,after all as a former alter boy and an Irish catholic"confession is good for the soul"

I don't need to soul search where my problems lie right now,I know what needs doing,since my injury I've backed off of running everyday which I fear may've made me a little soft in the middle,maybe I do need to get back to running 6 days a week even if it's only low mileage,yes I know the weather has made it hard to run but this goes hand in hand w/ the "soft in the middle" belief,yeah it's been below freezing alot in the past few weeks but there were times in my very recent past where I'd bundle up and deal w/ it....these were the times of 4.30 indoor miles at The Armory which was only a year ago,I need to get back there and fast, right now there's a light covering of snow on the ground,do I continue to be soft and say"it's not ideal conditions to run" or do I suck it up and say "talk is cheap I know what needs to be done and I know how to do it"?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Change Of Plan

I just got some photos from our World Record 4x800m the other day thanks to Nick and Melanie so I thought I'd spice up ye old blog w/ a few of them,right now I have more photos than training runs!!!
We actually got above freezing today.....yea but since I'm Armory bound tomorrow it hardly seemed worth going out and risking getting sick or worse injured.
My race plans have changed also,my club record attempt at 2 miles is on hold for a month,I'm hoping it's gonna start warming up a bit so that I can get to the track to work out beginning next week as a record attempt should have some mileage attached to it I feel,there's also the oh so small matter of Sundays 400m Millrose showdown,six men stepping into the cage,only three will emerge w/ a place alongside Nick at the end of the month at MSG.

Since the 2 miles comes at the end of the meet and I'm sans ride home tomorrow there's the very real and frightening prospect of missing the 10.56pm train out of Penn Station and not getting back to Trenton in time for the final train back to Philly at 12.20am,I spent a night in a waiting room at Trenton in March when I missed the last connecting train from Penn Station and to quote Donna Noble from Doctor Who"well isn't that wizard!!!!"it was bad enough in March let alone now given how cold it is not to mention three nights b4 the "gun fight at high noon in Delaware"
So the mile it is tomorrow and a ride home,I need to get Sunday's bad 3,000m out of my system and where better then New York City and The Armory and over the mile,I've had great mile races in Thursday Nite @ The Races #1 in 07 and 09 here's hoping for more of the same tomorrow!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Time Traveller

Ironic I should spend the two days leading upto my race watching almost the entire David Tennant era of Doctor Who from his beginning episode{Christmas Invasion 06} to his last{The End Of Time Part Two 10} as I was about to incur a little time travel of my own....minus a Tardis in my case I should point out!!!
On Sunday January 9th 2005 I ran not only my first ever indoor track meet but also my first track meet here in America and my first track race since 1981,I think that's what keep me coming back to Swarthmore because I'm a sentimental fool,trust me it's not for the 3 lane, slightly banked curves,deader than dirt track which this year became a no spike facility,yeah I get spoilt running at The Armory I know!!

In 05 I ran the 3,000m because I thought I was a distance runner,I held my own for the opening mile b4 tailing off badly over the closing 6 laps to finish 5th in 10.26........from little acorns big trees grow I guess!
The reason for the 3,000m this year?two fold, I've never hidden the fact I'd like the club record at 3,000m which is 9.25.4 and also I have designs on the 2 mile record which is 10.05.8. and since 2 miles is seldom ran I figured a 3,000m today would serve as prep for Thursday at The Armory where frankly a better track should aid and abet that dream alot better.

It's 3 years since I last ran a 3,000m here a pr 9.38. sadly my last 3,000m was a lackluster 10.01. at Indoor Nationals coming off of my stress fracture,I've been back to Swarthmore every year since my 05 debut,in 06 it was my indoor 400m debut as I tried to make my way onto the Millrose Games relay,in 07 a ran a 2.02 800m followed by my aforementioned 9.38. 3,000m,and while I couldn't run in 08 due to being two weeks into wearing a cast on my foot due to my stress fracture I still came to watch my team mates compete,last year I made the Dec 21st meet since I knew I'd be at The Armory on Jan 4th for the Holiday Meet.
One thing was for sure this year was the coldest year I've been here,my warm up and cool down were both conducted on the infield,it was ber outside!!!

The race plan was try to go out in 36 seconds not 26 like last week and hold onto that pace,so when the two high school runners inside me took the lead into the back straight I was happy to follow them,I heard 34 seconds at 200m,a little faster than planned but not too bad.
I forget when I moved into second lap 3 I think in a multi lap race it's hard to keep track of splits and maneuvers,at 1,500m I heard 4.49 on pace for a 9.38. if I could keep it up.....
Sadly like 5 years prior the later half of the race got away from me,I began to slip back down the field to 6th and finished in 10.18.2 a major disappointment.
I'd like to think it was partly due to the track being so dead,there's just no give in it and my upper thighs are sore today,when I run 5x1,000m/ 4x1mile at Franklin Field/Lower Merion I feel fine,note to self Swarthmore 11 800m only or 400m!
Hopefully on a much better track Thursday I can redeem myself whatever I run it'll be a pr since I've never ran 2 miles b4 but I'd like to get close to if not under Chucks club record of 10.05.8.
One glimmer of satisfaction I was 8 seconds faster today than I was five years ago,small comfort really.

More drama!originally Ray wasn't going to run the Millrose Games 4x400m due to a conflict of schedules ie a flight to Chicago.....then the race got pushed up from 6.05pm to 4.25pm,Ray as a 400m guy decided he'd run now and dropped a 56.2 400m bumping me to 4th behind Nick,Ray and Scott.....but then Bob ran a 57.0 in the same heat and dropped me to 5th as my 400m time was 57.08.....8 1/100ths of a second keeping me off of the Millrose team..........SO I dropped my plans to run the mile next Sunday at Deleware to hopefully run a faster 400m than Bob or maybe Scott who ran a 56.4 400m at Haverford,there are a few other guys from the squad also looking to nail a spot at Millrose and Delaware is the final chance......
High noon at Delaware next Sunday that's for sure off a short week,one race at a time thought I need to summom up the "spirit of New York"on Thurday and take care of mt 2 miles b4 trying to make it onto my third Millrose team....stay tuned it's gonna be a lively week I feel!