Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Scotland The Brave

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

The Clansman-Iron Maiden

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

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

Side One

Marillion-Heart Of Lotion

Eurythmics-Would I Lie To You

Bronski Beat-Smalltown Boy

Big County-Just A Shadow

Jesus & Mary Chain-Blues From A Gun

KT Tunstall-False Alarm


Rod Stewart-Broken Arrow

The Associates-Love Hangover


Side Two


The Skids-Working For The Yankee Dollar

Aztec Camers-Oblivious

Altered Images-See Those Eyes

Fish-Goldfish And Clowns

Garbage-I'm Only Happy When It Rains

Travis-Why Does It Always Rain On Me

Annie Lennox-Why

Jimmy Sommerville-You Are My World

Simple Minds-New Gold Dream

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

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

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Milkman Of Human Kindness

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

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

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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Opps I Did It Again

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Running Against The Wind

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another Dozen

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

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

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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Going Native{American}*

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just Like Starting Over

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

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

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mix And Match

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

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

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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Highs And Lows

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 19, 2010

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fortune Favours The Brave

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Down Shifting Gears

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Angst Fueled Bravardo Wins The Day

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

I needed today's run not just to stay on pace for the week but also to flush away the seething anger I felt first thing this morning at work,I'll spare you the gory details but if my diary ever gets published what I really think of the individual who threw me under the bus w/ my director via email will come to light and if that ever becomes a movie....it won't be PG 13....trust me!!!

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

Monday, November 15, 2010

You Learn

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

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

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Spawned A Monster

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

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

Aside from having to weave in and out of the crowds along Kelly Drive due to the regatta on the Schuylkill it was plan sailing....no pun intended,on the outbound{West River Drive} I got my bearings for tomorrow as I have to run an extra two miles{I'll explain that tomorrow} and on the inbound{Kelly Drive} I got my bearings for Saturday's Rothman 8k.

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

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Three S's In Mid November

Wow 65 degrees today no wonder it was shades,shorts and short sleeves today as I reacquainted myself w/ Cobbs Creek Parkway for my Saturday 9 miler
The time of my Saturday run is always dictated by the time of the Spurs kick off,for the past few weeks I've lucked out we've either played early{7.45am,8.45am last week as our clocks hadn't gone back yet and Europe's had}or we've had the late kick off {12.30pm} but today was the traditional 10.am kick off{3pm back home}which meant either,getting up early and getting the run in at 9am or waiting till after the game and running at 12pm.

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

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

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

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Run A Day Keeps The Blahs At Bay

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

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

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

Picture=1,000 Words

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010


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

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

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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fear Of The Dark

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

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thro The Darkness

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

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

Down By The River.....Again

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

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

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

Sunday, November 7, 2010


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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Easy Does It

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remember,Remember The 5th Of November

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

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cherish These Days

Back to the road well travelled this evening w/ a 10 miler on the extended out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway.
W/ the clocks going back an hour Sunday and potential for rain tomorrow and Friday I knew this could be my last 10 miler during the week in daylight.
Right now sunset is around 6pm but come Sunday that'll be 5pm and given I don't get home till 4.30pm and most days it's 4.40pm at the earliest b4 I hit the road that means it'll be dark by the time I finish my 10 milers.

I didn't feel any ill effects from Monday,in fact I notched a 63 min time most of last weeks runs were 64s,I toyed w/ running 12 milers to try and make up for losing two days but as my ex coach often said"you can't chase lost miles" and given the next two days are hanging in the balance right now there seems little or no point worrying about it.
We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just What The Doctor Ordered

So much for kicking on after last weeks seventy five miler, a combination of going from zero to seventy five miles in one foul swoop,a dip in the temperature,having to walk home fifty blocks after the Social D gig Friday and generally spreading myself a tad thin over the weekend meant when I caught a chill yesterday I had little in the way of resistance to fight it off and the only thing running was my nose,cue yours truly under the covers taking on as much fluid as I could in the hopes of vanquishing this sooner rather than later.

I took the unprecedented step of taking a sick day from work today,even though I have beaucoup sick time it's rare I take a sick day,in fact my last"sickie" was March of last year after I got stranded in Boston at Logan airport so I don't feel bad about calling out today.
I figured catching up on some rest wouldn't go a miss plus if yesterday was anything to go by on the loading dock a day out of the wind wouldn't hurt any either.

I did of course consider a run but thought better of it,I want to shake this chill so I can get back to training on a regular basis so flying in the face of it didn't seem the way to go,instead I took the "feed a cold,starve a fever" attitude enjoyed lunch sitting at the kitchen table not my desk in my office and then enjoyed the Spurs Inter Milan game.
3.1 to Spurs and w/ two games left in the group phase I'd say we look a good bet to reach the last sixteen and knock out stage in Febuary/March.

I'll resist the temptation to take a second sick day tomorrow,there's really no need for it plus getting back to work should aid and abet the regular schedule of work,training,blog.