Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Welcome To Chav Central

"My mission drive,is to open up my eyes and I don't care who wants to stare these days
To realize,to be brought back down to size, the wicked lies and all the shite you say"

Mission Drive-Wonder Stuff

After a few rest days I was back out pounding the sidewalk this evening buoyed by Spurs beating FC Twente 4.1 in the Champions League
An easy 6 miler,no need to go hog wild now w/ Syracuse only 4 days away.

So as you may have gathered from the title and the Wonder Stuff lyrics it's all gone pear shaped again at work,oi vay just when I'd gotten used to having a lunch hour and reading a book out on the front lawn I'm having to pull double duty on the dock and be a receiver and deliver,I think it was 3.10pm b4 I sat down this afternoon....35 minutes b4 I leave for the day,I was so beat last nite I slept through half of "One Tree Hill" and ended up having to dvr "Life Unexpected" as I was asleep by 9pm.
Thankfully I only have one more day to deal w/ the latest round of Material Management bullshit,then they can pucker up and kiss my lillywhite Irish arse till Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

5th Avenue S{Mile}

"I saw a rainbow stretched across the ocean,crashed the big apple.
So I took a bite,found a taste I like but she bit me back
I jumped across the ocean found a big apple
So I took a bite,she teased me w/ a taste laid my soul to waste"
New York City- The Cult
They say,"to the victor go the spoils"and while I came up short in my quest for a third victory in four years I did win my second 45-49 title in two years,AND meet Shannon Rowbury post race so it wasn't all bad!!
Now that the dust has settled on the 2010 5th Avenue Mile I can be a tad more objective than I was Sunday when the sting of defeat was still there,I went to Manhattan on Sunday w/ one goal, win the 40-49 race,I had to settle for 4th but won the 45-49,here's how it played out.
Having learnt a vital lesson in Sacramento I knew not to overlook anyone but I figured my biggest threat was my team mate Nick Berra,World and National Champion and the man who has erased my club records at 800m,1,500m and the mile{although I still for now own the mile road record,for how much longer remains to be seen....either Nick will take it or I'll lower it}
However knowing Nick had been injured since the Track Pentathlon six weeks ago there was an air of will he/won't he race leading up to the event,I had two race tactics in place if he made up to Manhattan and also various race plans if he didn't.
The trick w/ 5th Avenue Mile is getting a good start,there were close 400 runners in the 40-49 age group so positioning at the start was key,I was tucked in behind Nick w/ last years winner Matt Chaston as we made our way down 5th Avenue from 79th st.
I was into my stride early and pulled up along side Matt b4 easing by him and into the lead,I was shooting for 64 seconds at 400m but saw 63 on the pace car as I passed the 400m marker.
The next quarter has a slight uphill and saw 2.13,a 70 second quarter in 08 I'd gone 64-64 for 2.08.
As I crested the top of the incline and began the downward third quarter I felt strong but I also knew I had a target on my back,I sensed Nick trying to pull level w/ me but managed to keep him at bay....for now.
3.18 at 1,200m a 65 second quarter,Nick made another surge and this time I couldn't hold him off,my hope that a fast race may unhinge him and his hamstring wasn't to be,my plan b had been to sit behind the leader/leaders until the final quarter and then go for broke a tactic Nick had deployed very nicely.
I never saw the 1,500m split as I was holding on for dear life w/ the finish line getting closer first Kent then Matt went by me in the final 100m,I was paying for that opening 63 second quarter.
4th in 4.27,a 68 second final quarter and a 2.13-2.14 split,I was pissed,as I've said several times b4 when adopting the run from the front tactic"live by the sword,die by the sword"it worked in 08 but I came up short today.
While there's little or no disgrace being beaten by guys 5,4 and 3 years younger than me the fact of the matter was I didn't wake up Sunday morning and say"I'm running for 4th" I wanted to win and while the 45-49 age group victory is something, I'd have felt a lot better if I'd won the whole race.
Post race I finally caught up w/ my friend Lara aka Nyfly Girl,we've been reading one anothers blogs for just over a year now,we missed each other at Icahn a few times this summer and didn't run into each other at Flushing Meadows during our visit to the US Open so it was good to actually meet and say hi,Lara congratulated me on my race and I wished her all the very best in Chicago in two weeks time for the Chicago Marathon.
Joined Francis and Kent in a gentle seven mile cool down which included two loops of the Central Park Reservoir b4 making our way back to the finish line to catch the elite races Shannon edged Sara Hall and Erin Donohue while in the men's Amine Laalou pipped Lagat and Baddley.
As of yet I've still to watch the race on the NYRRC feed,from what I gather from those who've seen it I'm refereed to as "a character" several times during the race,I guess that's a compliment.
So one down,one to go Syracuse and the Masters Road Race 5k C'ships this Sunday,here's hoping lessons learnt from last year and Sunday pay off.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tomorrow,Always Out Of Your Reach

Ever had one of those days that just kept getting away from you?,well that was my day which means to do justice to the 30th 5th Avenue Mile I'll need another day b4 I can write it,which also gives my good buddy Francis a day to email me those photos from yesterday,he knows which ones!!
Tomorrow I hope to write my account of what everyone tells me was a great race by yours truly,I'm slowly starting to come around to popular opinion.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

4th At 5th{Again!}

Tomorrow I'll post a more detailed account of today's race but the cliff notes read 4th overall in 4.27,1st in the 45-49 age group 7 second faster than last year.
It's been a long day,I'm heading to bed and tomorrow when the dust has settled I'll write a blow by blow account.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Destiny Calling?

First and foremost a BIG shout out,much love and mad respect to Tim Booth and the boys from James,last nite's show at The Troc is not only a leading candidate for Gig Of The Year but also one of the gigs of my almost 30 years of concert going dating back to Dec 80 when I saw OMD at Hammersmith Odean.

I'm presently putting together Kelly's 80 mix tape as a belated b'day present to her,I'll listen to it on the bus ride upto NYC tomorrow or the ride back if I opt for 2 hours extra kip since I've got to be up at the ungodly hour of 5.20am to catch the 6.30am Megabus to Manhattan in the morning,last year was a tad easier as I was staying in the Big Apple as my family were in town.

Today has been about trying to relax,post blog it'll be the tradition brontosaurus bowl of Linguine and Clams w/ Texas Toast for dinner and then feet up and relax, catch up up on some tv shows I dvr'd during the week,since tomorrow's an all day affair for 4 minutes of work there won't be time for tv/dvr and b4 we know it Monday will have rolled it's self around.

Ohh! Simple Minds and "Don't You Forget About Me" and suddenly thoughts turn to "Breakfast Club" which makes me think The Psychedelic Furs and "Pretty In Pink" would go great on this mix tape...see told you I was relaxed,but rest assured come tomorrow I'll be all business.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hell's Kitchen

It should come as no great surprise to anyone who knows me,or has met me on one of my bad days that Gordon Ramsey is a hero and role model!!!
It's been a while since there's been a "Hell's Kitchen" morning on the loading dock....till this morning!!!!
Boxes were thrown,doors were kicked,voices were raised and one delivery driver was left in no uncertain terms what I thought of him"you're @#$!ing useless" was one of the more printable outbursts I had no problem yelling at the doe eyed one....doe eyed???well he had that "dear in the headlights look"!!!!
Do the job right first time and you won't incure my wrath,stand there looking clueless and acting like a spare part at a wedding and prepare for a bollockin'!!!
And to think I almost took the day off too,Ben Folds tickets were going on sale and James were doing the "Free At Noon" at World Cafe b4 they play The Troc tonite,no worries a last minute"doctors appointment" came up and rather than get raked over the coals" by Ticketmaster and Live Nation I got to the box office and was first in line....Booyah! I got a ticket for the pit,and then I got back to work in time to hear James do their "Free At Noon" show on Xpn
Best part of the work day,delivering to the Wound Center,turns out my friend Kelly is celebrating her b'day tomorrow and mentioned going to a pub after dinner for "80's Nite"...cue me thinking about an 80s mix tape for her...any excuse for a mix tape these days it seems!
Easy 6 miler to make sure any residual crap from last nite was out of my legs,I'm taking tomorrow off which means a lie in,breakfast and the Spurs game b4 an easy afternoon and evening b4 getting ready for 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday.
Anyways off to The Troc now to groove to James,it's becoming a 5th Avenue Mile tradition,08 Motorhead 2 nites b4 the race,last year U2,tonite James,next year....who knows?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shout To The Top

6 X Flagpole to not only bring Belmont Hill repeats to an end but also my final repeat workout till mid December.
According to the calendar today was the first day of fall....funny that cos it looked and felt like summer except for the fact upon completion of the repeats at 7.05pm it was dusk already,one of the reasons Belmont Hill repeats end the second to last week of September.

Two years ago I ended my 08 hill repeats w/ 6x Flagpole in:1.57.2-2.01.3-2.01.5-2.01.5-2.00.6-1.48.7.
Tonite I went:1.59.1-1.58.0-1.57.8-1.58.8-1.56.0-1.53.0.
I was on for descending repeats until #4 but frankly tonite was an almost text book set of repeats,all sub 2 and I felt like I ran well w/in myself I went out comfortable for the opener and finished strong while being consistent throughout.

This was a timely boost heading into Sunday,I'll do an easy 6 miler tomorrow to get any gunk out of my legs and take a day off Saturday b4 heading up to New York on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Show Of Strength W/ Your Boys Brigade

"Some people might get some pleasure out of hate me,I've enough already on my plate
People might need some tension to relax me,I'm too busy dodging between the flax
What you see is what you get you've made your bed,you better lie in it
You choose your leaders and place your trust as their lies put you down and their promises bust"

Going Underground- The Jam

Blame it on a shit load of The Jam,Style Council and Paul Weller on my ipod but I have a feeling next week could be an unofficial Paul Weller week w/ lyrics out the arse.
Going Underground off of "Live Jam" never sounded as good as it did this morning,Weller at his snarling,belligerent best making the hair on my neck stand to attention.

After a few days of talking music it's time to get back to my running,the problem being there's little to report on an out and back 6 miler,it's like the old Irish Johnny McGrorry fable.
"Shall I tell you the story of Johnny McGrorry,will I begin it,well that's all that's in it"
Basically it's over b4 it begins all I can say was I spent tonite's run trying to visualize Sunday's race,this will be my 5th year running 5th Avenue Mile,I know the road like the back of my hand,while I've thought of precious little else since Nationals ended eight weeks ago I'm doing that tightrope walk this week,I want it to be front and center of my mind but it can't be the be all and end all of everything I do this week hence why reading "Love Is A Mix Tape" and also working on my next mix tape are a pleasant way to keep a nice balance.
Weather permitting tomorrow Hill Repeats at Belmont.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Inspired,Side Two

So,side two of MIM,McPhisto's Ipod Mix,but b4 that a few words about Rob Sheffield's book "Love Is A Mix Tape"
I'm lovin' it,I've read seven chapters already,it's so good,I'm looking forward to reading his second book
"Talking To Girls About Duran Duran" but take my word for it "Love Is A Mix Tape" is worth checking out.
So side two of MIM
Pantera-Walk,A dangerous song as I proved the other week,definitely an attention getter,just what you want to kick off the second side of the tape.
Joy Division-Twenty Fours,I could've gone w/ anything off of their "Permanent" cd a best of collection,people don't realize there's much more to Joy Division than "Love Will Tear Us Apart" "Permanent" is one of those "all killer no filler" cds.
Cowboy Junkies-Miles From Our Home,a band who Wxpn introduced me to,"Miles" was one of those songs I heard several times over the last 5 years I've listened to them and lead me to buying a number of Cowboy Junkies cds.
Terrence Trent D'Arby-She Kissed Me,Proving there was more to TTD than his breakout debut "Introducing The Hardline" cd this track off his third cd "Symphony Or Damn" has long been a favourite of mine....not to mention a fond memory of an old girlfriend!
Ultravox-The Wild,The Beautiful & The Damned,The original Ultravox w/ John Foxx not Midge Ure,I bought "The Island Years" on cd because I only had a vinyl copy of "Slow Motion""Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Quiet Men" and discovered this gem,just love that violin rift in the middle.
Susan Tedeschi-Talking About,Another Wxpn artist,this song has such a rockin buesy feel to it it was an obvious choice to introduce my brother to Susan Tedeschi.
Iron Maiden-Mission From Arry,A hilarious back stage conversation between Nicko,Bruce and Steve that unbeknown to Nicko was being recorded by Bruce,not a PG 13 track that's for sure.
Sisters Of Mercy-Lucretia My Reflection,Another song destined for my top 25 most played list on my ipod,I've lost count of the mornings this song has played whilst taking skids down to the storeroom,something about that crunching drum /bass beat.
Kate Voegele-Kindly Unspoken,Another "One Tree Hill" song that I loved so much I bought the cd,at a time when female singers {Lily Allen,Kate Nash} were in vogue I'm amazed Kate Voegele wasn't a bigger hit.
Zakk Wylde-Road Back Home,The softer side of rock wild man Zakk Wylde,for as full on as Black Label Society are Zakk has a softer more rock ballad side,"Road Back Home" was my 08 return to Ireland anthem.
World Party- Ship Of Fools,For every management disagreement I've had in my 30 years on the work force World Party's "Ship Of Fools" has been the ideal song for that.
Beth Orton-Dice,Technically a Finley Quaye-William Orbit song that features a Beth Orton sample but being a Beth Orton fan and a lover of her voice this is a great song.
Moody Blues- Story In Your Eyes,An oldie but a goldie,I never knew what this song was called until I heard it in an episode of "Life On Mars" and bought The Best Of cd of the Moody Blues.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Inspired,Side One

My recent rediscovery of my love of Nick Hornby helped inspire me to get off my arse and make my brothers mix tape that I'd been threatening to make for weeks/bordering months.
I'll do side one tonite which will then allow me to read a few chapters of the second of three Mix Tape Trilogy books"Love Is A Mix Tape"and let you know how that's going,I managed to read the first chapter this evening and feel this is going to be one of those books that I won't want to put down as I look to get back on track w/ my reading,something that's fallen by the way side over the last few years.
So,here for you delectation,side one of "McPhisto's Ipod Mix.
Us- Regina Spektor,from the soundtrack of "500 Days Of Summer" one of my favourite Regina Spektor songs
Herculean- The Good,The Bad & The Queen, Damon Albarn has one of those voices be it w/ Blur or The Gorilaz this song was just"one of those songs"that I feel in love w/ the first time I heard it.
Cheap Trick-The Flame,a song that has made previous mix tapes including"Songs In The Key Of E"a mix tape for my ex wife Erica.
Missy Higgins-Where I Stood,a song used in an episode of "One Tree Hill" during the Lucas,Peyton, and his publicist love triangle,the song fits that whole story told from the angle of a former girlfriend.
Time And Time Again Live-Counting Crows,one of those classic live versions that is so superior to the original studio version,"Every Colour You Are" by David Sylvian also falls into that category and is also on my ipod.
Cinderella-Hot And Bothered,I meant to put Nobody's Fool on the tape but Hot And Bothered works,it's another song that's featured on a previous mix tape of movie soundtracks as it was on one of the "Wayne's World" soundtrack.
Kathleen Edwards-Oil Man's War,an embarrassment of riches where Kathleen Edwards is concerned,any number of her songs could've made this tape and almost anything off of "Asking For Flowers" would've fit.
Gary Numan-Seed Of A Lie,due to an oversight on my part this track was left off my Gary Numan mix tape that I made for my brother at the end of last year,note to self check your ipod b4 committing to the final track listing!
Social Distortion-When She Begins,again I could've picked any number of Social D tracks,I chose this one as it reminds me of a friend of mine,"when she begins to rock,honey I begin to roll"
Joan Osbourne-Cathederals,it took a while for Joan Osbourne to grow on me,"One Of Us" got played to death back in the day but she's proven w/ subsequent cds she's not a one hit wonder.
Pearl Jam-Long Road,I wanted "Given To Fly" as it's one of if not my favourite Pearl Jam songs but there was a problem w/ my copy of "Yeild" and it wouldn't play on my cd player so I opted for Long Road another movie soundtrack song from"Dead Man Walking"
Carter USM-Sheriff Fatman,the lovable South London pranksters,a Carter mix tape is in the works given that in spite of my almost 23 years here"you can take the boy out of South East London,but you can't take the South East London out of the boy"
Katie Melua-Twisted,I discovered Katie Melua as the musical guest on "The Graham Norton Show" earlier this year and fell in love w/ her
"Twisted" cropped up one day on shuffle and has stuck inside my head ever since and destined to make a run at the top 25 most played tracks on my ipod.

From Now Until Next Sunday......And The Following Sunday

So I pushed my track workout back a day to Sunday,while the running masses in Philly were taking part in the PDR {Philadelphia Distance Run}I headed to Temple's track for my final repeat workout b4 5th Avenue Mile and Syracuse and also my final track workout till December when I start getting ready for the indoor season.
Conditions were close to ideal,warm sunshine,little to no breeze and almost nobody on the track....almost!!

Stretches and warm up laps taken care of it was have at it time one last time
2x150m,21.24-22.09.My fastest 150 of the 12 to open w/ but unlike weeks #2 and #3 no back to back 21s.

4x400m{Aka Pardon The Interruption}62.09-62.57-61.88-63.49.
I feel each 400 could've been a second faster,I was at fault on #1 as I didn't drive hard enough up the home straight,however on #2 I had to swing wide of an errant child on the track and for good measure on #3 I had to again swing wide ....this time to avoid it's mother.....SERIOUSLY what is the point of posting signs around the track asking walkers to use the outside lanes if they're just going to ignore them.
#4 I had to contend w/ some hot dog who want to race me over the final 100m,fuck off dude I've just ran 4x400m w/ a mile to follow the last thing I need is you wanting to race for the final 100m.

Decathletes Mile,1.15,1.26,1.26,1.23-5.30.7.The opening 1.15 surprised me as it didn't feel like a 1.15 lap but the wheels were truly falling off now as back to back 1.26s underline,thro the bell in 4.07 I just didn't have it on the final lap to salvage some respectability.

So not exactly the way I'd like to end my prep for 5th Avenue Mile on the track but there's little I can do about that now,an easy week of 6 milers w/ a set of hill repeats{6x Flagpole}scheduled for Thursday and then it's off to New York.

Welcome Home Sam McGuire

Big ups,much love& mad respect to the beloved Rebel County{Cork} for winning their first All Ireland Football Final in 20 years yesterday.
We've ran into a road block the last few years trying to get our hands on the Sam McGuire trophy,that road block being our Munster neighbours and bitter rivals Kerry{I am the product of an unholy union between a Cork man and a Kerry woman which may well speak volumes for my neuroses!!!!}
Anywho,this year,Down did us a huge favour by beating Kerry in the quarter finals and after we'd dispatched Dublin in the semis it was Cork and Down in yesterdays final which Cork edged 0.16 to 0.15.
I'd hazard a guess there are several sore heads and major hangovers across the Rebel County this morning,fair play we've waited 20 years for this,I pray it's not another 20 b4 the next one,somewhere in heaven I'd imagine the ould fella is quite chuffed w/ the result and no doubt recalling that glorious September afternoon 37 years ago when we went to Croke Park to see Cork beat Galway to win the All Ireland Final.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Magical Mystery Tour/My Ever Changing Moods

In a week that's seen me cut back my mileage and run less than I have been I've sure had a lot to blog about.
Tonite saw the beginning of my 6 milers between now and months end,it'll be a shock to the system moving back up to 10 milers again in mid October but that as they say is a conversation for another day.

And so to the magical mystery tour/my ever changing moods of this week,musically my ipod has been all over the shop,Big Country morphed into The Skids since they were Stuart Adamson's band b4 Big Country,then I started diggin' on The Jam,which of course led to The Style Council{the music savvy amongst you will have gotten the My Ever Changing Moods reference}I'm surprised I haven't been groovin' to Paul Weller's solo stuff since that would be the next progression....hell I need something to listen to next week!
Then to round out the week Regina Spektor and Ben Folds took over,I'll be coming back to Ben Folds shortly.

The rest of this Odyssey kicked off Monday as I was leaving from work,there's a classic line in ''St Elmo's Fire"when Emilio Estevez says to Andrew McCarthy"There are several quintessential moments in a mans life,losing his virginity,getting married,becoming a father and having the right girl smile at you"
While I'm reasonably sure hardly anyone reads my blog I could come out and say who the girl in question was who smiled at me but I won't,lets just say I'm playing this one close to the vest but actions speak louder than words and "A''s wave and smile convinced me to pursue an issue I've spent several years standing on the sidelines pondering the possibilities of,I'll keep you posted IF anything happens.

''St Elmos's Fire" is one of my favourite "Brat Pack/John Hughes" movies,although Joel Schumacher directed ''St Elmo's Fire"it plays a close second to the granddaddy of them all "The Breakfast Club" which is possibly my favourite movie of ALL TIME and Monday's incident set off a whole chain reaction as I looked to upgrade my old and somewhat obsolete vhs copy of "St Elmo's Fire" to dvd,I also started looking for a tshirt from ''Breakfast Club"
I couldn't find what I really wanted so I may get one air brushed w/ two of my favourite Judd Nelson as the freakin awesome John Bender quotes
"If Andrew gets up,we'll all get up,it'll be's out of my hands"on the front and"Screws fall out all the time,it's an imperfect world"on the back,I need to scope out some air brush stores and see if I can get this done.

Sometime after that I vaguely recalled there being a Brat Pack movies book so I went looking online for that,I found it"Sweets,You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried"another classic John Bender line,anyway while reading up on that I stumbled on a book I'd made a note of on the flight home from Sacramento in one of the in flight magazines"Talking To Girls About Duran Duran"
Yes I was a teenage Duran Duran fan I cannot lie so while the title drew me in I began to read more about the author Rob Sheffield,turns out his first book was called"Love Is A Mix Tape,Life & Loss One Song At A Time"which Chronicles how he met his wife and talks about the mix tapes he made for her and her tragic and sudden death.
Long b4 the advent of burning mix cds and ipods mix tapes were the way to go,I have boxes of them in the basement and my brother has a boat load that I've sent him over the years and is one of the reasons I've been working on his current one "McPhisto's Ipod Mix" the last few days.

Having ordered the Rob Sheffield book from Amazon I began to look up other books of a similar vein,Jason Bitner's "Cassette From My Ex,Stories & Soundtracks Of Lost Loves" made my list as did "31 Songs" by Nick Hornby.
I'm a huge Nick Hornby fan,I've read most of his books,''Fever Pitch""High Fidelity""About A Boy""How To Be Good" and "Long Way Down" but discovered a few recent ones I'd missed plus collections of his columns he's written for magazines over the years,as one reviewer said"I'd read the phone book if Nick Hornby wrote it,I know what she means,Nick Hornby is a literary genius and has a wicked sense of humor,case in point one of his collections"Shakespeare Wrote For The Money"

And so back to Ben Folds,turns out Nick Hornby and Ben Folds are great admirers of one anothers work and so the new Ben Folds cd was written by Nick Hornby w/ Ben Folds providing the music,I've heard a few tracks so far and like what I've heard,the cd "Lonely Avenue"gets released on Sept 28th and Ben Folds is about to tour,he hits Philly on Nov 13th at The there!
Back to running I hope to hit the track tomorrow in what will be my final track workout not only b4 5th Avenue Mile but also for the next few months,here's to"Going out in a blaze of glory"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mice,Men & Drowned Possums

The best laid plans of mice and men they say.....
I was scheduled to hit Belmont Plateau for hill repeats this evening,however nobody told the weather Gods and when I got off the el at 46th St it was lashing down w/ rain,I did an about turn and got back on the el and came home.
Now b4 I start taking heat for not running in the rain having stated in my blog more than once that I have no problem running in the rain,what I do have a problem w/ is walking 2,2.5 miles in the pouring rain to get to my run,given the hard rain that was coming down I'd have looked like a drowned possum long b4 I got to Belmont,hill repeats will have to "take a rain check"till next Thursday.

Glass half full I had some unexpected down time when I got home to work on my brothers current mix tape,"MIM" Macphisto's Ipod Mix,in a blog entry b4 weeks end I'll explain the whole mix tape matter and the "six degrees of separation " from St Elmo's Fire,Breakfast Club,Mix Tapes,Books,Nick Hornby and Ben Folds,believe me there's a link to all six!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back By Popular Demand

Another glorious evening to run,I love running in September,I try to cherish these runs and try to treat each one as something special,it's possible through October conditions will still be favourable but you just know that winter is around the corner ergo cherishing the autumnal days of September.

54 mins for my 8 miler in keeping w/ the pace I've been clocking this week,54 on Monday,55 yesterday,tomorrow sees me back on the hills of Belmont Plateau for 6x Parachute,I'll have to check my 08 blog but I have a feeling I didn't do 6x Parachute in 08 so I may be looking at my first set of Parachutes since 07.

It's been a while since I committed a work WTF story to the blog but this one was TOO rich to pass up.
Mid morning I was asked by the ordering clerk if I was missing anything from the O&M delivery first thing, in the morningI'm a stickler for paying attention to detail and making sure packing slips and deliveries match up,so no I wasn't missing anything was my answer.....
Two hours later I was asked the same question by the same person again....and gave the same answer,case closed.....or so I thought!
Three hours later while in the storeroom the former ordering clerk and now second shift supervisor asked me the same question,and I gave him the same for the hammer blow as he says"we have a bunch of stuff for University Of Pennsylvania Hospital".........
are you shittin' me???!!!
If it says University Of Pennsylvania Hospital then I'm reasonably sure that's where it belongs,sweet jesus,I've gotta do the working AND the thinking around here,give me a frickin' break!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Easy Does It

After an easy day at work I enjoyed an easy 8 miler and can look forward to putting my feet up eating dinner and watching tv for the evening,all days should be this tranquil!
Big ups to my beloved Spurs getting a 2.2 draw away to Werder Breman in their first Champions League group game,next up the first of three ''Glory Glory" nites of european football at White Hart Lane when we meet dutch champions FC Twente in two weeks time,C'mon You Spurs!

Vamos Rafa

Congrats to Rafa Nadal for his first US Open title yesterday and joining the career slam club of Perry,Budge,Laver,Emerson,Agassi and Federer.
For a "supposed"one trick pony who could only play on clay Nadal has answered his critics in spades,the scary thing at only 24 he's already won 8 Grand Slam titles,Federer has 16 at do the the math...........

Monday, September 13, 2010

Woke Up This Morning

After spending most of the weekend laid up in bed{not as glamorous as it sounds,it wasn't a Dear Penthouse moment trust me!}I was happy to be not only up and about but also running today.
As I mentioned Friday this week I'm dropping down from 10 milers to 8 milers this week as I begin to taper for next Sundays 5th Avenue Mile and the following Sundays Masters Road Race 5K C'ships in Syracuse.

It struck me tonite we're almost half way through September already as the tell tale signs of fall keep reminding me summer is over,the NFL season kicked off yesterday,the new fall tv season kicks off tonite,I'm starting to notice leaves and tree branches on the ground along Cobbs Creek Parkway and w/ that cooler conditions to train in.

Hopefully the last of the rain that's blighted the men's final of the US Open has fallen and Nadal and Djokovic can finish up tonite even if it means having to dvr the season premier of Gossip Girl,I know it's a guilty pleasure,don't judge me!

Friday, September 10, 2010

It Was All Those Words That Shaped My Dreams

"I used to put the flowers in the dressing room I'm no longer a child I'm all grown up now.
I've set them up seen them knock me down,I've been in the crowd swirling round and round,all as one w/ those songs of freedom saying all the things I could never say.
And I rode w/ fate on a wing and a prayer and there were four in the bed and the little one said
We were running so fast we didn't even know what had hit us,and we were blind to the world and the world was blind to us majority,like the majority.
I had a sea of faces staring up I heard the sound of my beloved in the crowd,she's saying give me a future I want it now I don't want my life to know any bounds
Cause I'm young and I want to run,I don't care where to just as long as I'm w/ you it could be you,or you,or you or you and there were four in the bed and the little one said
We were running so fast we didn't even know what had hit us and we were blind to the world and the world was blind to us majority,like the majority.
I see them rise and I see them fall the broken trust and the promises rust when will another one bite the dust,bite the dust
Oh I see them rise and I see them fall the broken trust and the promises rust when will another one bite the dust,bite the dust
Oh I give everything I've ever had to give I bought the books,the records all the politics it was all those words that shaped my dreams there were times when I felt like a human being
I say hello are you listening now?I say hello I say hello,hello in a lost generation I'm calling out and there were four in the bed and the little one said
We were running so fast we didn't even know what had hit us,and we were blind to the world and the world was blind to us majority,like the majority"

Majority-The Alarm

Of all the bands I've loved over the years{U2,The Cure,Inxs,Oasis,Iron Maiden}there is something about Mike Peters and The Alarm that sets them apart,and it's quite probably lyrical.

Majority is a prime example of that,that line I highlighted in red sums up my devotion of Mike Peters,he has written so many lyrics over the past 23 years that I can identify w/ it's uncanny,I've told Mike that his songs have been the soundtrack to my life and that's why tonite's The Alarm gig at the Blockley Pourhouse is such a big deal,my 15th since I first saw them 27 years ago opening for Big Country.

Prior to the gig I took care of business w/ a 60 min 10 miler,frankly if I'd known I was going to be that close to 60 mins I might've pushed harder to clock 59 mins and make for a 62,61,60,59 week.

Given I'm about to begin my taper this was my last 10 miler until October 18th as next week will see me begin to run 8 milers leading to 6 milers,I'm hoping being on my feet tonite won't hinder my repeats tomorrow to round out the week and my final 50 mile week until my base building mileage begins on October 18th

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Run To The Hills

"White man came across the sea,he brought us pain and misery he killed our tribes,he killed our creed he took our game for his own need
We fought him hard,we fought him well out on the plains we gave him hell,but many came too much for cree oh will we ever be set free?

Run To The Hills-Iron Maiden

It's almost two years since my last set of Belmont hill repeats but you wouldn't have known it this evening as I made a welcome return.
Running a section I'd never ran b4 along Dark Road and Nursery Hill I went:3.09.1-2.53.8.-3.01.1.-2.57.7.-2.48.9.
Given I wasn't sure of the exact route I followed Chuck on the first one b4 really going after the next 4,it would've been nice to have gotten #3 under 3.00 but hey.
It'll be interesting next week to go back to a tried and tested repeat 6x Parachute and see where this years repeats stack up w/ when I last did them in 08?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Told You So

I tempted fate at the end of yesterdays blog entry suggesting a 60 min 10 miler this evening after 62 mins on Monday and 61 mins yesterday....tha dah!! 60 mins who da possum!!
B4 we go any further I doubt I'll be going after a 59 min time Friday given it's sandwiched in between hill repeats at Belmont tomorrow and the track on Saturday for 2x150/4x400/decathletes mile.

So yeah a return to Belmont hill repeats tomorrow,they were a staple in 06,07 and 08 but I sat them out last year as I felt they came too early into my recovery from my achilles injury.
W/ access to the track at Temple during the week becoming a crap shoot three weeks of Belmont hill repeats might be a great way to wind down my season beginning tomorrow w/ 5x Dark Road and Nursery Hill

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back Into The System

First order of business, a minutes silence for grade schoolers and high schoolers across the world who headed back to school today,even though it's over 30 years since I graduated I can still recall how I would dread the first Monday of September when my 6 week summer vacation would come to an end and it was back to school and back to the class rooms.

A message to high schoolers,if you work real hard get good grades and apply yourself,chances are you'll graduate w/ decent qualifications and get a decent job.....don't end up like me at almost 47 flogging your guts out on a loading dock working w/ and for people who don't appreciate the work you do,I was reminded of a comment on either my sophomore or junior year report card
"If Kevin interrupted a lot less he'd accomplish a lot more"maybe that's why I graduated w/ no exams and had to take the first job I could and have spent the last 30 years working my arse off,as Eileen and Kevin taught me"hard work never hurt anybody" but god damn it this job is gonna be the death of me,I'm 13 days shy of 11 years there and realistically I'm looking at another 20 years b4 I can retire.....oi vay!

On a cheerier note,I notched a 61 min 10 miler this evening,last week I notched 3 63 min 10 milers but yesterday and today I've been working them back down,62,61,dare I go for a 60 tomorrow?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Marchin' To The Beat Of My Own Drum

"All that I have all that I hold, all that is wrong all that I feel for or trust in or love.
All that is gone it used to be so easy but the last day of summer never felt so cold the last day of summer never felt so old"

The Last Day Of Summer-The Cure

So,summer has come to an end,unlike last year when I had no Nationals or Worlds to compete in this year at least I had four glorious days in Sacramento to look back on w/ great pride.
There were other high lites,the World Cup,Wimbledon,European Championships but now as the US Open segways us into fall it's time to look ahead.
I paid the price for staying up into the wee hours last nite w/ the Stouser Dementeva match that ended at 1.35am so needless to say getting up at a reasonable hour this morning wasn't looking likely and w/ that went my planned mile repeats at Temple.

As I conducted my out and back 10 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway I gave thought to rewriting my schedule for the week,I'll join Chuck for hill repeats at Belmont on Thursday in lieu of today's mile repeats and I also gave thought to tapering for 5th Avenue and Syracuse beginning next week.
W/ my run taken care of it was an afternoon of laundry and US Open tennis,kudos to my local Laundromat for showing the tennis while I was in there and I also got a positive reaction to my "You Cannot Be Serious" t shirt I bought on Friday while at the Open.

Back to reality tomorrow,at least it's only a 4 day work week even if I have to work the first 2 short handed

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Game,Set And Match

W/out a doubt the US Open has become my favourite of the Grand Slams.
Over the years my heroes Connors,McEnroe and Agassi won some memorable matches and as a kid back home in London I can recall staying up till 11pm-12am to get updates on Radio 2 of the night matches.
The greatest city in the world and the greatest tennis tournament of them all and as much as I love Wimbledon and enjoyed my 5 visits there these days I live for the US Open and I'm already planning next years visit


Labor Day weekend stirs differing emotions for me,the end of summer,the beginning of the college and NFL season,the new fall season etc etc.
While I'm grateful for a long weekend off from work the realization that summer is drawing to an end isn't one that fills me w/ glee,September is often great training and racing weather but there's that nagging sense that winter is drawing closer and the inevitable wardrobe changes will be going into effect.

While I welcome the new fall tv season it also serves as a reminder that the evenings are getting darker sooner and the sleeveless shirts need to be replaced w/ t shirts,b4 long sleeve shirts etc.
As I sit here enthralled by the US Open tennis I know that upon returning to work all the talk will be of the upcoming NFL season....and having to listen to the same tired old crap I've been forced to hear for the past several years between now and the Super Bowl....yea!!!

Tuesday will see school back in session and the peace and quiet of travelling home on the subway and the el is about to come to a screaming halt,I'm sure I was a loud and obnoxious teenager riding the bus home from high school all those years ago and maybe I'm showing my age by saying the kids of today are a nightmare but two months removed from turning 47 I now and have for years felt sorry for any passengers who had the misfortune of being on a bus I rode home from high school from between 75-80.

Managed another 63 min 10 miler this morning,on the theme of changes this may've been one of my last Sunday runs along Cobbs Creek Parkway,the next two weeks{hopefully}will see me back to Monday-Saturday rotation,followed by 5th Avenue Mile and Syracuse Masters 5K Road Race,followed by two weeks off and then the beginning of an 8 week base mileage programme where the plan is on Sundays to go long,15-16 miles along Kelly and West River drives but that as they say is for another time.

One more day of my 4 day weekend to enjoy,I'll take advantage of getting onto the track at Temple tomorrow to run mile repeats and then camp out in front of the tv to enjoy another day of US Open tennis and look back fondly on the summer of 2010.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Howling Wind

"There's a rushing sound that is sometimes heard when your mind won't let you sleep,it's a flickering sound of a thief who's come to tear up all theses dreams
Stealing from the heart,stealing from the soul,stealing from the future on the wind that blows away my words
Blows away my reason,blows away my soul,taking my existence the wind that blows away my words"

The Wind Blows Away My Words-The Alarm

First up a recap of yesterday,w/ the best will in the world I had planned to get up and run prior to my departure to New York for the US Open, a case of the spirit being willing but the flesh being weak,on the weekends when I run I usually need at least an hour after waking up b4 I get out and run but w/ an 8am departure to the Big Apple on tap try as I might I could not summon the energy to get myself up and out the door by 5.30am off a 5am wake up and so I nixed it....when I originally drew up my week Friday was my day off as I felt it would be wishful thinking to get up at 5am and be out the door by 5.30am to run but having lost Monday and Tuesday I harboured remote hopes of getting a run in didn't happen but rather than beat myself up over it I'm chalking it up to"one of those weeks"much like the week of July 5th when I lost days due to the extreme heat and had to settle for a 40 mile week this week will go that route also.

After a long but thoroughly enjoyable day at the US Open it was back to business today and the much delayed 2x150,4x400m,decathletes mile,I had tried to run it Monday only to have to play second fiddle to band practice and then on Thursday the track was occupied but I was confident that being a Saturday I'd have the track to myself today and I did.
Following my warm up and stretches it was time to see what I had after a topsy turvy week,I've always said we can all be ''world beaters" when things are going are way,it's how we deal w/ a spanner in the works that shows what we're made of.

2x150-22.23-22.42.For me 21s are the bench mark for my 150s so I was only a shade off but it was very evident down the back straight that the wind was going to be an issue.
#1 400m 64.44.Not the start I was hoping for,the fact I never left home till 11am for my workout when normally I'm out the door by 9.30am-9.45am confirmed my belief I was feeling fatigue,hardly a surprise this week but not an excuse I like to use.
#2 400m 64.49.Clearly I was not going to scale the heights of weeks #3 and #4 today but rather than mail it in I was going to grind it out.
#3 400m 63.78.I felt I was finally starting to get a read on the wind and work the top turn and home straight,having notched 63s in week #2 in some respects I was going backwards but at least I was fighting back rather than let the wind and the fatigue win w/out a fight.
#4 400m 63.15.The day I stop fighting is the day I might as well hang up my flats just because it wasn't going my way didn't mean I could run up the white flag....Never Surrender.

Decathletes Mile 1.19,1.25,1.22,70-5.16.1.When I opened in 1.19 I pretty much knew what was in store but I had to hang in there and see it through,sure after 4 weeks of seeing my mile drop from 5.15.1-5.08.1-5.04.2-4.58.9. it was frustrating to notch my slowest mile to date but w/ everything that's happened this week I'm pleased that I had the chops to at least go out and fail rather than stay home and second guess what if?

In training as in racing,some days you just don't have it,today was one of those,yes it's disappointing but if you"hit ten"every time it's easy to be complacent,this set back will force me to dig deep and look to bounce back next week.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

That's Why You Write Your Schedule In Pencil

Another day,another schedule's been that kind of a week!
On Monday I headed over to the the track at Temple w/ the intention of conducting my 2x150,4x400m,decathletes practice on the infield again,I fully understand,Temple has a big football game vs Villanova tomorrow at The Linc and the band needs to be ready.....but do you have to practice on the infield of the track????

When I arrived at Temple this evening the track was full of people running,I realize the fall semester has begun and w/ that I may need to rethink my weekday repeats there,next week I can utilize Monday being Labor Day but after that I think I may be joining Chuck at Belmont Plateau on Thursdays for hill repeats while still hitting Temple on Saturdays untill my final scheduled repeats on Sat Sept 18th and hopefully Monday Sept 20th.

I had thought about swinging by Belmont and joining Chuck for hill repeats but the logistics w/ getting up early to head up to New York tomorrow for the US Open and having to hit the supermarket for a few items meant Belmont was wishful thinking.....besides having read Chuck's Facebook comment re the Temple Nova game tomorrow I thought it best to keep the waring factions apart.....there's been enough fighting at work this week!!!!

And w/ that I hit the out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway and clocked another 63 min 10 miler,the 10 miler means there is still potential for a 50 mile week even w/ one less day of training if I want to go that route,it's something to ponder but frankly one day at a time,I have to conduct my 10 miler tomorrow around 5.30am since I need to be on the bus to New York by 8am and to be honest my only thoughts right now center on tomorrow's Tennis at the US Open and w/ that I'm off to watch the Djokovic match.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Start As You Mean To Go On

"So the spirit wages war,between the wanting,the having,the needing no more
My right hand knows not my left hand,I am the author of my own rise and fall
I'm fading out again,fading out again,when the dream has gone it's all over
The fire's gone out,all burnt out
Let it go,let it go,let it go,let it go before it takes control, let it go,let it go,let it go,let it go
before it takes you over,before it destroys you"

Burnout Syndrome-Mike Peters

Well what do you know! a stress free day on the job and a 63 minute 10 miler in the so call searing heat.
First and foremost let's draw a line in the sand w/ the work bullshit,I deliberately chose "Burnout Syndrome" as a set of lyrics to make a point,I am the author of my own rise and fall in this current battle and if I don't let it go it will destroy me.
As the Serenity Prayer tells us" accept the things I cannot change,the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference"I have to accept certain things are set in stone and also certain people aren't going to change their ways,however I can change things I do and hope the week long aggro fest that has developed dies a quick death so that I'm not stressing myself to the point that I'm missing any more training runs.
All this is of course easier said than done but today saw me take positive steps in that direction and I need to remind myself of the bigger picture,after tomorrow it's a four day weekend w/ a trip to New York for the US Open and next Friday The Alarm are playing here in Philly so there's much to look forward to,glass half full not half empty.

It was good to be out running again today,I reminded myself of a quote my former coach used to make about "chasing lost miles"I have to chalk up Monday and Tuesday as lost as move on,I can still chalk up 41 miles for the week and go w/ the quality over quantity mindset.
Repeats tomorrow,either on the track at Temple or hill repeats at Belmont if band practice scuppers the track again,I've had enough upheavals this week,I'd just like to see out the rest of the week w/out any more hiccups..........that's not too much to ask for is it?