Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Flame

Multitasking 101,eat my dinner,write my blog and watch the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
As planned I was up by 8am for my power breakfast of Coffee,OJ and a Banana while watching Spurs verses Everton,2.1 to Spurs as we continue our push for 4th place and a place in next seasons Champions League.
Buoyed by our win I attacked my 9 miler w/ gusto,95% of the course was now snow and ice free which always makes life much easier,but again like yesterday morning there was sunshine and snowflakes during the run,in two weeks time the clocks go forward and winter will be close to over,hallefrickinujah!!!
36 miles for the week in five days,I'd really like to get back to six days a week this week and I'd also like to get back to the track for repeats,I haven't done an actual repeat since Feb 4th so tomorrow's 5x1000m ought to be interesting.

W/ a race on tap Saturday my week has been set,I just have to hope the weather doesn't throw a spanner in the works.
So as the Winter Olympics come to their conclusion today I reflect on 17 days of competition, after a glitch or two in the opening few days Canada can hold it's head up high for not only hosting a wonderful Olympics but for also ending their drought of never winning an Olympic Gold on home soil and how.....14 Golds but I think the one that means the most to them was today's Hockey gold,you couldn't have scripted that better,the final event,Canada's national game and an overtime victory verses their neighbours America.

We'll all have our favourite memories,for me:Lindsey Vonn for refusing to allow her injury to derail her Olympic dream,Bode Miller for not only turning things around but proving that when you commit 100% to your chosen sport great things happen,my main man Apolo Ohno 8 Winter Olympic medals the most ever by an American Winter Olympian.
For her grace under pressure bronze in women's figure skating Joannie Rochette,to not only have the courage to compete after her mother died suddenly 3 days b4 she was due to skate but to have to grieve in front of the watching world and be able to put that to one side takes the heart of a champion

A final foot note on my run which ties in w/ the events of Vancouver,at the end of my long runs be they 6,8 or 9 miles I like to crank up the pace a notch as if to simulate the closing laps of a 1,500m or 3,000m on the track,it's hard to do that when conditions under foot are slick,today I was really able to kick it up a notch once I reached the home straight of Cedar Ave and for once not have to worry about doing my best Apolo Ohno impression!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Strange Phenomena

Despite posturing towards a lunch time/afternoon workout today I was up by 8am and out the door by 10am.
Conditions underfoot weren't too bad,having run the course yesterday I knew what to expect,what did surprise me was how mild conditions were,according to channel 10 it was 29 degrees at 10am so I went w/ ski hat and gloves,once out there I felt I didn't actually need them but having been protective of my health all winter now is not the time to get fast and loose w/ that,I don't want a repeat of Indoor Nationals 07 where I got sick just b4 and had to drop out of the mile,my only dnf ever in a now 34 year career.
For a brief moment the sun was trying to peer out from behind the clouds....just as snow flakes fell,not something you see every day,but given this winter so far,why am I not surprised.

Another reason for going out at 10am was to be home by 11am to catch the rugby,somewhat surprisingly BBC America has began to show Six Nations Rugby,Six Nations Rugby has been going on for years{1883 to be exact,though back then it was probably Five Nations,Italy were added to the tournament in 2000}but it's only this season that BBC America has been showing it and today was England verses Ireland a game I had to watch.
Ireland won 20.16,I'm already relishing talking smack to my brother on the phone tomorrow,and should Celtic beat rangers tomorrow that'll be a double whammy for me!!

Another 10am run tomorrow,up by 8am to see Spurs verses Everton,out the door by 10am to run and then laundry and a few trans atlantic phone calls,Mum and "Our Kid",dinner Track & Field on Espn2 and the closing ceremony of the Winter of rest my arse!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stop Me If You've Heard This One B4

"Stop me stop me stop me, stop me if you think that you've heard this one b4
I was delayed,I was way laid,an emergency stop I smelt the last 10 seconds of life
I crashed down on the crossbar and the pain was enough to make a shy bald buddhist reflect and plan a mass murder"
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One B4-The Smiths

It snowed again yesterday untill lunch time today,I know what else is new this winter but at least it afforded me a chance to cite another set of Smiths lyrics,I've been on a bit of a Smiths/Morrissey kick this week,for which I make no apologies.
Unlike previous snow storms we lucked out this time,it didn't begin to settle untill late last nite upon my return from New York but even when I got up this morning it wasn't too bad considering it had snowed for 24 hours.
By lunch time it stopped snowing and the sun came out so I knew a run was on tap this evening{not that it was an option having burnt my rest days early in the week}but thanks to getting home by 4.15pm and not 4.30pm as usual I was able to get changed and get out by 4.30pm.
Despite the glorious sun and the fact I was going to be done b4 sunset I went san shades,I knew conditions underfoot were in places going to be tricky so safety was going to be the watch word of the day,Indoor Nationals are now four weeks away as of today,illness and injury are not an option.

The majority of the extended out and back course along Cobbs Creek Parkway was user friendly,there were predictably sections of the course that were still under snow but by in large I was able to negotiate the rough spots w/ ease,however there was food for thought for tomorrow when the temps drop overnite that some of the rough spots will freeze over but I do have the luxury of being able to run at lunch time as opposed to early to mid morning which will allow for the above freezing temperatures to soften things up.


B4 I get too far into my blog,a big shout out,made love,big ups much love and respect to my friend,team mate and fellow Irish running mafia buddy Sean for the ride up and back to New York last nite.
In frankly less than ideal conditions it was a treat to get a ride up and back to The Armory period,I couldn't have imagined taking the train or the bus and then the subway in all that snow,and riding in style in a Mini.....sweet!

We arrived at The Armory by 5.30pm w/ the meet going off at 7pm,sadly no getting on the famed banked track till 6.45pm but it allowed time to sit and relax b4 hand and shoot the proverbial w/ those who'd also braved the snow,low turn out tonite which given the conditions outside was to be expected,time to jog around the outside of the track b4 a quick two lapper b4 the call went up for the women's 1,500m,only one heat so the men were called to seed themselves.
The first heat began seeding at 3.45 but there were no takers till we got to 4.05 which is where I threw my hat into the ring,even at 4.10 I'd have made the first heat,frankly given the second heat was won in 4.22 I made the right choice in seeding myself in the opening heat.

Drawn 5th of 12 runners I got an ideal spot on the starting line,however my reaction to the gun was bloody awful,perhaps a reflection of my lack of racing this year{tonite was only my 6th race of the year} I went straight to the back of the field a la Hartshorne,there it was deliberate,tonite not so much.
33 seconds for the opening lap,I hadn't given much thought to splits per lap,I'd plucked 4.10 out of the ether as a target time unsure of how realistic or unrealistic that was.
My remaining splits untill the bell are a blur,I did see them coming through the finish line each lap but can't recall them now,however I will say I felt comfortable throughout the whole race.

Tonite I ran one of my more economic races,too often I'm all over the place like chicken shit on a farm but this evening I was able to stay in lane one almost the entire 7.5 laps moving out into lane two to overtake when I had the chance.
I had hoped to come through the bell in 3.35,it was 3.42 but unlike my earlier miles here and at Cornell where I felt I was dying over the latter half of the race tonite I felt the benefits of my 30 mile weeks and was able to produce a 34 second closing lap to finish 11th of 12 in 4.16.
Yes I'd like to have ran faster and finish further up the field but I'll take this,like I said heat two was won in 4.22,winning that would've done little for me.

Based on my pr's for 1,500m{4.07} and the mile {4.28} I'd say tonites 4.16 at 1,500m comes out to a 4.37 mile,not good enough to get me on the podium at Nationals BUT a world removed from the 4.51 I ran here seven weeks ago and the 4.48 at Cornell two weeks later,clearly I'm moving in the right direction and at the right time.
I still have four weeks b4 Indoor Nationals in Boston,providing the weather holds up I should be able to get four good weeks of training under my belt.
Well the good news I ran tonite,no thanks to more snow and though I say it myself I ran well,yes there's room for improvement but it's late Feb,the 1,500m at Outdoor Nationals isn't till late July.
Also I was able to erase the memory of that awful mile here on Jan 7th,next stop is the Mac C'ships here next Saturday in the 3,000m,let's hope the weather isn't too unkind to me over the weekend as I look to notch either 3x9 miles or 3x8 miles to put me at 36 or 33 mile for this week.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


YES! back to running today,an easy 6 miler b4 tomorrow's 1,500m at The permitting.
The weather is beyond a sore spot now,not only do I have to worry about tomorrow but also Friday and maybe the whole weekend,just when the 24 hours of rain had washed out so much of the snow and ice from the last two snow storms now we're looking at more bloody snow!!

Rather than fixate about the weather it's time to knuckle down to business tomorrow,outside of the Millrose Games 4x4 relay on Jan 29th I haven't raced since the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile on Jan 23rd, a month ago,in that time I've logged 136 training miles w/out a race so you know I'm ready to get out there tomorrow nite.
I'm curious to see what kind of shape I'm in,we're almost a year removed from my 1,500m pr of 4.07.49. so we'll see what kind of shape I'm in post race,if I ran 4.10 I'd be happy,anything faster will be a bonus.

Lest we forget my last race here at my beloved Armory some seven weeks ago,"the bitch slap back into reality"that was heard around the world,I need to exorcise those demons and how and unlike my next two races were I'm racing unfamiliar distances tomorrow I know exactly what I'm capable of running,let's hope I can.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Kick In The Bollocks

Ok a more pc title might've been "Damned If You Don't,Damned If You Do" but "A Kick In The Bollocks" has more of a ring to it I feel!!
Having opted out of a run yesterday because I thought it would rain, today was a complete wash out because of the rain,glass half full part one, the day long rain will help melting the snow and ice that's clogged up the roads and sidewalks for over two weeks,glass half full part two w/ back to back rest days I'll be well rested going into Thursdays 1,500m.
Yet again I have no margin for error now to get 5 training days/30 miles in this week,everything being everything I'm looking at 33 miles after Sunday,and also yet again w/ 5 consecutive days I'm looking at going into next weeks race w/ potentially 9 days in a row b4 a rest day b4 the 3,000m,but we'll,cross,burn,jump,paint that bridge next week.
It's not lost on me that were it not for my achilles tendon injury last summer I might be reading myself for World Indoors at Kamloops British Columbia Canada which begin Monday,instead I'm finalizing my plans for Indoor Nationals in Boston w/a potential 4 races in 3 days,hence the need to make my final three races b4 Boston count beginning w/ the 1,500m on Thursday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Healthy Addiction

I opted to take my rest day for the week today....eventually!
Towards the tail end of last week I began to weigh up the pros and cons of a 6th and 7th consecutive training run today and tomorrow,in fairness to me my legs weren't as sore as I thought they were going to be and I began to think "hey today is doable"
The prospect of rain served as a deterrent today but as I sit here now at 7.30pm there's no sign of said precipitation so when I go home at 4.55pm post chores the thought of getting changed and poppin' off a 6 miler was a very real one.

I've often said it's not in a runners dna to subscribe to the "less is more"theory but the final voice in my head to say"not today" was the fact that both mentally and physically today I really hadn't planned to run so to suddenly get home and say "what the heck" is usually when you get injured because you've had so little time to prepare for that physical effort as opposed to waking up at whatever hour and knowing that in x amount of hours you'd be out there,either doing repeats or mileage.
I'm someone who believes that running is as much physical as it is mental so maybe taking a day off today is not the be all and end all,fingers crossed the rain won't be a factor tomorrow and I can get onto the track at Franklin Field to do a tempo run to prep for Thursday.
Here's hoping the rest day today serves me well for tomorrow,but more importantly Thursday.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sing This W/ Me This Is 40

"I waited patiently for the lord he inclined and heard my cry he brought me up out of the pit out of miry clay,I will sing sing a new song I will sing sing a new song how long to sing this song? how long to sing this song? how long, how long,how long,how long to sing this song?"
40 U2

In a week I logged 40 miles for the first time in dare I say it how long I had to throw out the time honoured U2 classic.
Today was very much a carbon copy of yesterday,up by mid morning for a power breakfast of Coffee,OJ and a Banana and out the door by 10.20am to take care of business.
More glorious sunshine,another day to don the shades,ditch the ski hat and gloves and like yesterday dispense my unique brand of black hearted celtic pagan anti social commentary to motorists who pissed me off at the junction of Market St and Cobbs Creek Parkway,special mention goes to"Bob's Big Boy"yesterday.........hope getting to that red light 2 seconds earlier made all the difference in your day...................wanker!

Time will tell if my week of 8 mile runs/40 miles a week will benefit me over the 2 miles and 3,000m between the Mac C'ships on March 6th and Indoor Nationals on March 26th,those races will tell me if it's worth moving upto 5,000m this summer and thus upping my weekly mileage to 40-45 miles a week,but that as they say is for another time.
This week has been a good week,clearly moving upto 8 miles held no fear for me which bodes well for the future,I'm looking at another such week inbetween the Mac C'ships and the Frontrunners meet b4 then heading to Boston.

Prior to then I have this week to focus upon, a return to speed work albeit a tempo run on Tuesday,hopefully a return to 6 days a week training{I know a novel concept he said!} and more importantly a return to racing,my last races were the Hartshorne Masters Mile on Jan 23rd and not forgetting the Millrose Games Masters 4x400m relay on Jan 29th both four and three weeks ago,since then I've logged weeks of 30, 30,30 and 40 miles,a boxer can only spar but so many rounds b4 climbing through the ropes,lacing up the gloves and coming out swingin'...let's get ready to rumble......

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Silver Lining

8 miler #4 is in the books as I notched my 5th consecutive 30 mile week.
Given my laundry list of"to do" things today it was prudent to get a jump start on my run,and w/ that I was out the door by 10.30am.
There's something satisfying about having the run taken care of,it's not hanging over you all day and you can go about the business of the day w/out thinking"I've gotta get my run in"
Conditions were great,I ditched my ski hat and gloves again and was able to don my shades for once,sometimes it's the little things that make a run that bit more we are in late Feb,Spring is officially three weeks away but take away the snow and ice and today had a spring like feel to it.
Once again I got to run on tired legs and while my speed or lack thereof is nothing to write home about, being able to do what I have to do w/out digging deep helps,I guess my years of marathon training are helping there,along those lines I had a wry smile to myself when some kid asked if I was training for a marathon as I ran by him along Cobbs Creek Parkway,the 15 lap 3000m might feel like a marathon in five weeks time!!!

One drawback of having to run 5 consecutive 8 milers is I'll probably have to burn my rest day early on in the week next week,I really don't want to go into Thursday's 1,500m on the back of 8 days in a row so Monday may well be a rest day,but given there's talk of rain in the forecast it may have been decided for me,however that's Monday and next week,there's still tomorrow's 8 miler to take care of.
A final thought,in Vancouver yesterday Bode Miller won his second medal of the Winter Olympics,not bad for a guy who didn't medal 4 years ago in Torino and admitted to skiing drunk.
While I've never ran drunk{but a tad hungover sometimes back in the day},shit once b4 a 10 mile road race I finished off a beer from the nite b4 while getting ready to leave, I do know something about not working to the fullest of your ability and what I take away from Bode Miller's Vancouver performances is the realization that if you commit fully to your chosen sport you can and will reap the rewards............did I mention Indoor Nationals is now under 5 weeks away?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Half Way There

Three down,two to go as I close in on 5 x 8 miles in successive days.
I won't front,I was a little concerned going into today that back to back to back 8 milers might begin to take it's toll but I have to say not only do I feel fine now some two hours after my run but more importantly during.
I've said all along this week was pivotal to my Indoor Nationals 3,000m plans which are now 5 weeks away as of today and who knows maybe a summer of 5,000m,b4 we go there I need to see how the Mac C'ships and Indoor Nationals 3,000m go but clearly if I do move up then 8 milers are going to be the norm so while 5 in a row may not be ideal it's about sucking it up for now and looking at the bigger picture.

Conditions were ideal again,I ditched the ski hat and gloves and was tempted to don my shades as the sun was bright and beautiful,however "safety fast"remains my mantra and I need to be mindful of the conditions underfoot in places is still questionable,given tomorrow and Sunday I can run late morning as opposed to late afternoon maybe shades will be permissible.
Food for thought,last Friday I discovered there'd be one last Armory meet post Mac,pre Indoor Nationals and I was leaning towards running the 800m.....until last nite when the schedule was posted and I saw the 2 mile is on the schedule,I've talked about going after the club records for 3,000m and 2 miles for two years now,just as it looked like my 2 mile aspirations had gone I've been given another bite of the cherry and I for one look to take full advantage.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Full Moon Fever

"But oh just as soon as my money got low I couldn't find nobody and I had no place to go
And if I ever get my hands on a dollar again I'm gonna hold on till the eagle wins cos I found out nobody wants you when you're down and out"
Nobody Wants You When You're Down And Out-Rod Stewart.

It's seldom I rejoice pay day....then again it's rare I find myself in the fiscal bind this past pay period was,three overdraft charges on my last cheque meant I was in the hole for $105 b4 I began and needless to say being down a buck o five soon caught up w/ me to the point I've been holding on for dear life for the last ten days,hence the rejoicing of pay day and having money again today.
I'm no astronomy major so I could be forgiven for not knowing if or when the next full moon was in orbit but dear God I was convinced based on the data I gathered this morning that a full moon had to be close,I'll spare you the gory details sidebar my diary will have a blow by blow account where I don't have to hold back or spare anybody's feelings..............

As for my run it was another good,solid effort over 8 miles,I'm getting used to the extra 2 miles which bodes well for me if I opt to move up to 5,000m and need to up my mileage from 30 to 40/45 miles a week.
Another day of above freezing temps meant the quality of the sidewalks improved and that some of the ice that was rock hard on Sunday is slowly turning to slush,note to self beware the curb at Cobbs Creek Parkway and Hazel Ave,going up and coming back my foot got soaked,there's nothing like running w/ a running shoe full of icy water...take my word for it if you don't believe me!
Time will tell if a week of 5x8 mile runs will make a big difference over 3,000m,16 days from now at the Mac C'ships I'll get my first idea of theory and practice,till then it's back to another 8 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway tomorrow.

One final foot note,in order to get my run in during daylite I had to nix hitting Fresh Grocer on my way home,so post run it was back up to 56th St to grab dinner for the next couple of days till I have more time to buy groceries over the weekend,upon leaving I looked up in the sky at the moon....not a full moon...........maybe there was just an arsehole convention in the hospital this morning..............

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Third Time's A Charm

After back to back DNS's I was able to get out there tonite for my back and forth x 2 8 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway.
After a late start and snow had scuppered Monday I got #$!*ed over yesterday by my landlord who told me he was coming over to change the lock on the front door"I'm on my way over" he told me at 4.30pm,by 5.50pm he was a no show and I began to fume how he'd cost me a run,I'm now looking at a third 5 day training week in a row but also 5 days in a row at 8 miles,by the weekend it'll be interesting to see how I'm holding up.
One plus of a two day respite was my legs were fresh,not something I could've said on Sunday,something else I couldn't say Sunday was the sidewalk on 61st St was ploughed and judging from my vantage point at the foot of 61st St the path through the park to the other side of Cobbs Creek Parkway has been ploughed too,though I may wait till Saturday or Sunday to see how the land lays on the otherside of Baltimore Ave b4 venturing over there.

Tonite felt comfortable,I'm no stranger to 8 milers,I logged one on Jan 31st,a 9 miler on Feb 5th b4 another 8 miler on Sunday,I've come along way from the guy who huffed,puffed and cut tangents on his back to back return to 6 milers on Jan 8th and 9th,if you'd have told me then 6 weeks ago I'd do 1 8 miler let alone 5 back to back 8 milers I'd have been cynical but the again on Jan 8th I wasn't considering the 3,000m at Indoor Nationals,so...........
A foot note to end on,I was out the door by 4.45pm and back home again by 5.50pm and it was still daylight,sunset was at 5.38pm,slowly but surely we're edging towards Spring....YEA!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow Check

News flash,more snow..........YEA!!!!
Granted it won't be the arsekickin' we've taken in the past 10 days{thank God!} and there's even talk of it turning to rain so maybe that'll help melt some of snow and ice currently blighting the landscape.
In fairness the slight snowfall wasn't the only reason to take a snow check today,I was a little behind schedule getting home which dosen't effect a 6 miler cos I can be out by 4.50pm and done by 5.40pm when there's still enough day light but 65-70 mins begining at 4.50 we're looking at 6pm and w/ conditions under foot in places dicey I don't want to play fast and loose,there's little or no point trying to rack up extra mileage this week if it's gonna result in falling and getting injured.
I won't front, I could also use an extra rest day for my legs to recover,I was feeling it yesterday as I notched 20 miles in 3 days which isn't a lot but again I don't want to be out there going through the motions putting miles in for the sake of putting miles in,I'd rather take a rest day and come back snow permitting fresh,plus I've proven in the past fortnite that I can put in 30 miles in 5 days,thought this week I'm looking at 40 miles in 5 days w/ an extra 2 miles a day which shouldn't be too dramatic an increase.
Here's to blue skies,semi clear sidewalks and being out the door by 4.40pm tomorrow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Green Green Grass Of Home

"Oh I know I'm unloveable you don't have to tell me,I don't have much in my life but take it it's yours.
I know I'm unloveable you don't have to tell me,message received loud and clear,I don't have much in my life but take it it's yours
I wear black on the outside cause black is how I feel on the inside,and if I seem a little strange well that's because I am.
But I know that you would like me if only you could see me if only you could meet me"
"Unloveable" The Smiths

Ok let's get the bleedin' heart section of the entry out of the way,another Valentine's Day has come and gone w/ not so much as blip on my radar,there's an old adage"lucky in cards,unlucky in love"....well I don't play cards so I'm not sure why my mail box is bereft of cards from well wishers or secret admirers it just is,as each year goes by my belief in "soul mates" gets more and more diminished,sure I've done alright for myself all by my lonesome for all these years but it's those special moments,the world records,pr's,Club Records, Millrose Games medals,National Championships Golds,5th Avenue Mile victories etc that you celebrate alone that make you wish there was someone to share them w/,so rather than rag on Valentine's Day I wish those of you lucky enough to have that special someone in your lives an enjoyable day.

For the 4th week in a row I logged another 30 mile week,for the second week in a row it was 30 miles in 5 days.
Today was not just about running an 8 miler to log another 30 mile week it was also about sussing out a course for the upcoming week,for numerous reasons I'm not running the NJ C'ships at Tom's River next Sunday and due to a fiscal oversight this pay period not only do I not have the money for a weekly transpass but also I'm bare bones on tokens, the upshot of which is I can't get off the el,hit Franklin Field for repeats and get back on the el home......SO rather than piss and moan I figured why not have a week of long runs to get extra milage in,I'm just under 6 weeks out from Boston and Indoor Nationals but also 3 weeks out from the Mac C'ships so why not take advantage of a built in opportunity to log a 40-48 mile week,providing I get 5 or 6 8 mile runs in,hence the need to suss out a new 8 mile course as the old tried and tested course is still and for the forseeable future under a mound of snow.

Yet again I had to brake from tradition and wear my watch on this run to gauge how far/how long I'd be out there going back and forth on Cobbs Creek Parkway between Market St and Baltimore Ave.
Turns out it's 2 complete back and forths from my front door,along Cedar Ave,right on Cobbs Creek Parkway,down to Market St,back along CCP to 61st St,right on 61st St down to Baltimore Ave and back again.
The whole run took 1.11.20. but factor in stops at red lights and extra caution where the snow and ice still exist I kept running till I got back home rather than stop at 65 mins which is give or take my 8 mile mark.
So 2 complete back and forths it is,Mon,Tue,Wed,Fri,Sat,Sun,Thur is a rest day more by necessity than's pay day and I need to go food's not like there's any stinkin Valentine's Day candy to eat!!!

As to the homage to Tom Jones in the title,I sandwiched my 8 miler in between FA Cup soccer this morning,first up Spurs away to Bolton followed by Crystal Palace at home to Aston Villa.
Palace are one of the three South East London soccer clubs in the Premiership/Football League back home,and while I'll be a Spurs fan till my dying day I'll always root for my roots Palace,Millwall and Charlton.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Back And Forth

Well the good news is,not only did I manage a 6 miler I stayed upright throughout!!!!yea go me!
After mapping out a potential route on Gmap I discovered the first major road I needed to run along was non accessable and thus shooting down that plan b4 it could even begin.
Ever the Boy Scout{Dib,Dib,Dib}for once I took my watch w/ me on this run to get an idea of being out on my run for 50 mins the average time for my 6 milers since based upon yesterday the old tried and tested route is off limits for a while.
I opted to run north along 63rd St/Cobbs Creek Parkway today just to suss out the lie of the land,my sources told me the drives were runable but aside from getting there and back I also needed to scope out a route closer to home for next weeks 8 milers.

Technically a work in progress I think I have a route for tomorrow,it's alot of back and forth along the side of Cobbs Creek Parkway I usually favour, down to Baltimore Ave and back upto Market St and back but if it occupies 65 mins/8 miles at 8 min mile pace then sobeit.
I can also factor in some minor hill repeats just after Cedar Ave so while it's not what I had in mind it'll surfice,in running as in life sometimes you have to improvise!

Oh yeah,I did some research on Ireland's Winter Olympic team:Aoife Hoey and Claire Bergin Bobsled,Kirsty McGarry Alpine Sking,Pat Shannon Skeleton,Shane O Conner Alpine Sking,PJ Barron 15K Cross Country Sking......Erin Go Bragh

Friday, February 12, 2010


"I ain't superstitious,but a black cat crossed my path,I said I ain't superstitious but a black cat crossed my path,bad luck hasn't got me so far,but it ain't finished w/ me yet"
"I Ain't Superstitious"-Rod Stewart.

It's been a while since I've suffered"one of those days" at work,today was one such day,given two snow days I knew the"cheque was in the mail"in terms of us getting nailed....I just didn't expect it to be delivered today.
From the time I sat on the left hand side of the subway going into work this morning I knew I'd potentially set myself up for a fall,I'd say I'm more a creature of habit than superstitious so I prefer to sit on the right hand side of the subway car,as soon as I sat on the left hand side after switching from the local to the express I thought"uh oh"and sure as shit we got mullered on the dock today.
Despite the hammering we took today,myself,Chris and John took it on the chin w/ good grace and a positive attitude and kept smiling and laughing.....ok so there was the brief moment when the black hearted celtic pagan in me surfaced for a cameo appearance,cliff notes version: one of the linen guys got wreckless rolling linen carts out to the dock,the first one that missed me by inches earned him an icey glare,seconds later he did it again,I wasn't as forgiving second time around and made my feelings known"that's twice,the next one that just misses me is going up your arse"call it an Irish cease and desist order I wasn't side stepping full linen carts for the rest of the day!!!!!

After a rough day like today all I could think about was my run,bad enough I missed out on my race yesterday but hell no I wasn't missing out on a 30 mile week,even if like last week I had to do it in 5 not 6 days.
Rude awakening #1 I got up to Cobbs Creek Parkway and found a mound of snow ploughed onto the path which forced me to hop over the guard rail for 100m b4 a traffic light allowed me back onto the path.
Rude awakening #2 b4 the turn off of CCP the path disappeared beneath a few feet of snow,back out into the road again,no worries the park and Cobbs Creek Parkway were just ahead.....
Rude awakening #3,where as on Monday after a two day breather due to the snow the paths and sidewalks were clear today they were still under the 15.8 inches of snow that fell Wednesday,fuckin ada I know tonite is the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics but this was meant to be a run not a cross country ski!!!!
I was at times up to my knees in snow,eventually when a chance presented it's self I leapt out over the guard rail again and along side the road,not only was I rethinking the route home but the rest of the weekend and next week,final insult to injury just b4 my turnaround a whole tree was down over the snow covered path,I'd passed branches of trees but now a whole tree...what the fuck!!

The route home took a few detours,at times I'll be honest I didn't really know where I was going but my inner GPS got me back onto Cobbs Creek Parkway and I made it home in one piece....minus my first fall in winter in a few years.
I'm not sure if I tripped on the side walk,hit a patch of snow or ice or just misplaced my footing but b4 I knew it I went arse over tit on 58th St.
Thankfully only my pride was hurt the snow and ice provided a soft landing,and much like my spectacular face plant into the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland in 08 no witnesses,always a plus!!

So a rough ending to a rough week but I sit here one eye on my pc,the other on the tv as the Parade Of Nations at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony gets under way,we're up to the C's,I'm curious if Ireland sent a delegation,we're not known for our Winter Olympic prowess.
I will confess I'm more of Summer Olympic fan but this year I'll try to cop as much of the action from Vancouver as I can...................
JAYSUS!!!!!!!!!Paddies at the Winter Olympics!!!6 athletes,our flag bearer is in the Bobsled I'll have to google who our other 5 athletes are and what event they're in.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh Balls........Snowballs!!

Well I'm not going to The Armory tonite,"the best laid plans of mice and men"as they say.
Between the snow{all 15.8 inches of it.....on top of the 28.4 inches we got Friday}my ride to and from The Armory falling through and not having the funds to take the bus or train upto Manhattan means my plans to lower the club record of 10.05.8.for 2 miles will have wait untill early January.
On a slightly more frustrating note,my inability to race tonite means the whole do I don't I run the 3,000m at Indoor Nationals question goes unanswered for now.
I still have the option of the Mac C'ships on March 6th to determine that,at worst I'll have to fork over an extra $15 in late entry fee to add the 3k,if it all goes tits up at Mac then I'll have saved myself $50 by only entering the mile and 800m by March 1st.

The postponement of my foray into the 3,000m could be to my advantage,I've already tweaked my schedule next week to amp things up b4 returning to the tried and tested speed/strength programme for the following two weeks.
I had a wry smile to myself today recalling one of Eamonn Coghlan's finest moments on the indoor circuit back in 83.
"The Chairman" had set his sights on being the first man to go sub 3.50 for the indoor mile at The Meadowlands in New Jersey that Febuary only for a blizzard to postpone the meet by a day,when he returned Eamonn made history by running 3.49.78. and later went on to win the inaugural World Championships 5,000m in Helsinki,food for thought indeed!!

I skipped today,following Friday's snow I waited two days b4 hitting Cobbs Creek Parkway so I'm hoping tomorrow will be more "user friendly" as if I can go 6,6,8 on Fri,Sat,Sun I can still notch another 30 mile week,to quote Coldplay"Everything's Not Lost".

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We Wait,And We Wonder

It just figures,two days b4 a pivotal race on my schedule and I can't be 100% sure I'll be able to travel to New York to run it because of the threat of another major snow storm heading our way tonite heading into tomorrow.
Like most things out of my control I can't worry about it,all the praying in the world isn't going to stop the snow,all I can hope is it isn't as bad as they're predicting and that the drive up I95 Thursday isn't in jeopardy.
Like yesterday the plan was to run,I knew I could access the track at Franklin Field and unlike most tracks in the area it wouldn't be under the two foot of snow that fell Saturday,Franklin Field always gets ploughed and made usable,the beauty of working out at an Ivy League school I guess!!

The plan was a mile to warm up,a 2 mile run and then a mile run to cool down,basically the same distance I cover when I do my 6x600m repeats,the difference being I wouldn't be going flat out two days b4 a race.
The plan for my 2 mile ran was to get into a rhythm of 36-38 second pace per 200m so on laps 1,3,5 and 7 I would try to clock 37-37-1.14 pace then jog laps 2,4,6,and 8.
Conditions were grey and overcast but mild enough to ditch the ski hat and gloves,I was also fortunate enough to to be at Franklin Field by 4.30pm and ready to roll by 4.40pm.
37-34-1.11,I was "out of the traps"quickly and had to remind myself to pace myself,it's important to get used to 1.12-1.14 pace per 400m for Thursday,and again at the Mac C'ships on March 6th and maybe Indoor Nationals at 3,000m on March 26th.
40-33-1.13.40 second 200s won't cut it on Thursday,that's 5.20 mile pace,great for a 5,000m but let's get the 3k down pat first yeah?
40-34-1.14.Having started out well I was creeping up oh so slightly per opening 200m,I know a race is a horse of a different colour compared to running against the clock by your lonesome not to mention on an outdoor 400m track compared to an indoor 200m banked track,but.
41-30-1.11.I'll take a 30 second closing 200m on Thursday!!
Combined my mile split was 4.49. 9.30 pace,a 9.10 3,000m,all theory,it's putting it into practice isn't it!

Remembering the old Roy Keane adage"failure to prepare,prepare for failure"I've done all I can the past two days to be ready for Thursday,chances are the snow will 86 any hopes of running tomorrow,all I can hope is it isn't so bad that a trip up to The Armory is off the table on Thursday,at worst my hopes of the club record for the 2 mile will have to wait another year,I still have a 3,000m also at The Armory on tap on March 6th which will determin if it's a 3,000m/mile/800m treble in Boston or 3,000m/mile double,3,000m/800m double or the more traditional mile/800m double.......moving up in distance hasn't hurt Bernard Lagat any has it?and while I'm no Bernard Lagat he's shown what a miler can do w/ some strength training added to their speed,what's the point having heroes if you can't emulate them I say.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Softly Softly Crunchy Crunchy

In a 34 year and still counting career there have been some memorable races,and I hope still more to come,but sometimes there's nothing more enjoyable that just lacing them up and heading out the door for a run,no medals,no titles,no records,just the pure joy of running,today was one of those days.
Why I don't know,I didn't feel particularly rammy after two days off,nor did I feel an impending sense of "what if I can't run when it snows again tomorrow/Wednesday" it was just one of those days,in spite of the 28.4 inches of snow Friday/Saturday I was able to get out on Cobbs Creek Parkway and run my out and back 6 miler.

Safety was the watch word today,conditions were a little slick under foot in places so I had to have my wits about me for the whole run,in spite of the glorious sunshine I couldn't risk my shades even though the glare off of the sun and the snow and ice was at times blinding I needed to have clear vision of the path ahead of me.
In fairness my pace wasn't overly brisk,the conditions were partly responsible but also the fact I'm racing Thursday meant a need to down shift a gear or two,although that said I still got home 50 mins after I left 4.35pm-5.25pm which is the time frame for all my 6 milers so maybe it just felt I was running slower.

Obviously the 600 pound gorilla in the room is the next bout of snow we're expecting,long term how will it effect the rest of the week?short term will it put a industrial size spanner in the works for Thursday and going to The Armory?I hope not on both counts.
Note to self,pack rosary beads in w/ my flats tomorrow to hit a hopefully Jobsworth free Franklin Field for a tempo run in the hope of getting into the 36-38 second per 200m zone b4 Thursday's 2 miler.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Day

"I came from the hills w/ a tear in my eye the winter closed in and the crows filled the sky.
The houses were burning w/ flames gold and red the people were running w/ eyes full of dread"
The Storm Big Country

Well the snow the weather people were predicting came,and then some,it has at least stopped but not b4 dumping over two foot of the stuff on the region.
Short term at least I'd gotten my weekly mileage total in for the week yesterday,long term who knows how badly this is going to screw things up for next week.
Tomorrow is off the books to begin w/,and it's a case of wait and see on Monday,I'm tempted to put my miles in at Franklin Field untill things clear up enough to run out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway,the fly in that ointment is that "Jobsworth"will be on duty on Monday,I'll have to see how the sidewalks look Monday for an out and back b4 hitting Franklin Field Tuesday for a tempo run.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Welcome To The Whole Week

While the news of the day was the impending snow storm coming our way there was other news too.....yours truly putting in his first 5 day work week since the second to last week of July!!!!
Seriously if it weren't for the mass of snow potentially heading our way I think every news crew in Philly would've been camped out outside the loading dock to capture the historic event!!!!
All jokes aside it wasn't a big deal to work Monday to Friday for a change,having spent the last month getting back to basics w/ my training getting back to basics at work kind of brings it full circle now.

There was no escaping the coming snow,it's been the talk of the town since Wednesday,who knows how much of it we'll see,as I sit and write it's coming down and has been for a while which is why I tacked on a few extra miles this evening to round out my mileage to 30 miles tonite in case I don't get out there over the weekend.
Following yesterdays 5x1,000m repeats I was on 21 miles for the week,I knew the out and back 6 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway this evening would put me at 27 miles,tantalizingly close to my weekly target of 30.....but w/ the threat of snow on the way I thought why not make it a 9 miler,an extended extended out and back if you like.

Last year if needed I would tack on an extra mile to the traditional out and back by heading down to the old cinder track aka "The Top Cat Bowl" b4 hitting the out and back along the Parkway,on Sunday when I needed an 8 miler I carried on beyond the turnaround point to add an extra two miles to make it the 8 miles I needed,so tonite it was a case of combining all three to give me the 9 miles that would give me 30 miles in 5 days.
Given my slightly later start than usual{5pm}and my extra 3 miles I knew I'd finish in darkness but I wasn't phased by it,at the turnaround I felt the first tell tale flakes of snow beginning to fall,looks like my choice to get the extra miles in tonite was a prudent one.
Home safely,and now it's the waiting game,how much snow will we get?how badly will it effect my training?we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oh It's On Like Donkey Kong Now

First of all mad love,big ups,and much respect to Nick D for the above photo of the victorious GPTC 4x4 Millrose relay teams,from left to right,me,Scott Landis,Dave Brown,Daryl Johnson,Ray Parker,Nick Berra,Nick Damalas,Bob McGinty.
Moving on,I got good news today,I'm good for a ride to but more importantly from The Armory next Thursday which means my assault on Chuck's club record for the 2 Miles of 10.05.8. is a go now.
W/out a ride home afterwards would make it"squeeky bum"time trying to get from 168th St and The Armory to 34th St and Penn Station in time for the final connecting train back to Philly at 10.38pm and w/out this 2 miler I'm in no position to see if the 3,000m at Indoor Nationals is doable or not.

I have to say tonite's repeats were my best so far this year,I realize that's not saying alot so early on in the year period plus given it was Jan 12th b4 I could get back onto a track but of the eight repeats I've done this was the most satisfying
#1,1000m 1.22-1.25-39-3.26.18.A modest start to the evening,shades of my Jan 14th opener 1.19-1.27-40-3.26.54.,from there I went:3.26.93.-3.21.10.-3.21.83.-3.17.08.....and there the similarity ends!
#2,1,000m 1.20-1.19-39-3.18.06.Where I'd began flat footed again this time out I got up on my toes and what do you know an 8 second improvement,on my two previous 5x1,000s I closed in 3.17s,I was already closing in on my fastest 1,000m split of the year.
#3,1,000m 1.18-1.19-38-3.15.82.Yes,after three weeks going on four of speed work and base work I'm starting to see it come together....and it's only the first week of Febuary!
#4,1,000m 1.18-1.19-36-3.13.81.Unreal,each repeat had gotten faster but it was gonna be a bastard trying to top 3.13.but hell I'm always up for a challenge....
#5,1,000m 1.20-1.21-34-3.15.85.I knew when I came through in 1.20 that topping 3.13 was a tall order but I wasn't gonna roll over and play dead,I think the closing 200m in 34 seconds proves that....what I won't give for a final lap of 34 seconds next Thursday!!!

W/ the weather potentially going garrity over the weekend who knows what's in store over the next few days or how it'll effect the beginning of next week,we'll have to see how it plays out.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Marchin' On

In spite of the fact I woke up to a lite dusting of snow there were no worries about getting out for my out and back 6 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway this evening.
However,word around the water cooler at lunch time was the potential nor'easter heading our way Friday,a possible 15 to 18 inches of snow{eek!}won't that bollocks up my weekend if it happens!!!
But w/ everything else I can't control in life I can't and won't worry about it,alot could happen between now and then so we'll just see what happens and deal w/it.
A slightly later start again this evening 4.50pm,but w/ sunset now at 5.22pm I can still more or less get my whole run in b4 dusk,it's a big plus in winter when the temps aren't great.
The reason for my later start?catching the end of Leeds Spurs game,a 3.1 win for Spurs.....c,mon you Lillywhites!!!we're now into the 5th round of the FA Cup,like the old song goes"you make me happy when skies are grey".

The run it's self was incident free,Friday will mark my 12th run along CCP since getting"back to basics"on Jan 8th,as each one goes by I feel myself getting stronger,hopefully next Thursday when I run the 2 mile race at The Armory I'll feel the benefit of these runs,my participation in the 3,000m at Indoor Nationals next month will be determined by this 2 miler,the first of 4 races in 4 weeks,an 800m and 1,500m in between b4 finishing off w/ a 3,000m,sadly the Mac C'ships 3,000m comes post entry deadline for Indoor Nationals ergo the importance of next Thursday's 2 miler.
Anywho there's a whole week between now and then,first things first tomorrow's 5x1,000m repeats.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Normal Service Has {Almost} Been Resumed

And yea,there was much rejoicing at Franklin Field,not a Jobsworth in sight,and how the runners did rejoice,for it is their choice to endure the self inflicted, gut wrenching,mind bending agony that is 6x600m repeats aka "The Death Zone".

After the eleventh hour change of rotation yesterday I arrived at Franklin Field at the slightly later time of 4.40pm....just in case Jobsworth was on duty again,no such worries,Kim was back on duty and the Penn athletes were already done so it was warm up and and have at it time and back into my 6x600m repeats.

#1,600m 68-37-1.45.65.I kind of knew I'd bitten off more than I could chew w/ a 68-37 opener,long term not a good thing as I'm a ways from opening at that pace and holding onto it,short term it's good to know I can pop a 1.45.65. 600m a seasons best.
#2,600m 1.13-35-1.48.19.even though I knew it couldn't last it was refreshing to be rippin' off sub 1.50s,time and hard work will see me getting back to 6 sub 1.50s.
#3,600m 1.12-37-1.49.24.While I was aware tonite lacked the consistency of my Jan 18th 6x6 1.50.44,1.51,93,1.51,21,1.50.01,1.55.20,1.51.84. I was at least faster,but I knew I was about to pay the price for my opening split.....don't do the crime if you can't do the time!
#4,600m 1.16-38-1.54.30.The cheque had been in the mail since the opener,once the genie is out of the bottle that's it so it was no surprise to see my split balloon upto 1.54.30.
#5,600m 1.17-41-1.58.35.No it's not pretty by any stretch however on Jan 12th after a three week absence of repeats I could only muster a pair of 2.00 repeats on 600s #4 &#5 off of slower previous 600s so I'm at least moving in the right direction.
#6,600m 1.14-36-1.50.42.I knew I needed to attack it from the start and aim for a 1.14/1.15 opening 400m,a closing 200m in 35 seconds would've been nice,34 is a tad to rich for my blood...for now but it's coming.

In a week where my schedule allows me three repeats I'm constantly checking the 5 day and 7 day forecast to see what the weather has in store,hopefully I can get my 6 miler in tomorrow.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Return Of The Jobsworths

Nothing like crashin' back down to earth,I know I want to put the glory of Friday behind me but I would have liked to kick off my week as planned w/ a 6x600m repeat.....
Over the past three years whenever Kim the regular security guard at Franklin Field isn't on duty I have a problem getting onto the track,they always stick these "jobsworths"there in her place who have and I'm not being cruel here no frickin clue as to what's what at Franklin was no different!
Cliff notes version,I arrive at 4.15pm,show "Jobsworth"my id and tell him I know I have to wait till Penn's athletes are,no no "Jobsworth" tells me w/ an air of authority that he has no right to dispense since he's never worked a day in his life here!!!"they're on the track till 6pm and the track closes at 6pm.....REALLY cos they've been getting done at 4.50pm for the past three weeks....I should know I've been here twice a week in that time!!!
Rather than get into it w/ the "Jobsworth's"of this world I said feck it and headed home,a I was already dressed to run so it was straight out the door for my 6 miler,fingers crossed Kim will be on duty tomorrow and b since I wanted to do 4x1 mile repeats on Saturday anyway I figured a Tue,Thur,Sat repeat rotation wasn't the worst thing in the world....providing it's Kim and not "Jobsworth" on duty tomorrow.

As for my 6 miler it was great,the fact sunset was at 5.19pm and I was almost all the way home b4 daylite had faded helped,the fact it's been a while since my week kicked off w/ a 6 miler and not a 6x600m might've helped to shake things up also.
Since my back to back 6 milers on Jan 8th and 9th when I huffed,puffed and cut tangents like it was going out of style to get through them after a 7 month hiatus from them I've come on like gangbusters w/ them,tonite I had to "pull on the reins" a little to remind myself that this was afterall my easy run as I got a little carried away w/ visulizing my upcoming 2 miles and 3,000m races at The Armory,all in good time grasshopper,all in good time.
Let's hope for a "Jobsworth" free zone at Franklin Field tomorrow!