Saturday, December 31, 2011

Awesome Possum's Top Ten Races 2011

I could've been forgiven for thinking there wouldn't even be 10 races to list this year when I finished 12th and dead last in the mile at West Chester on June 3rd but thankfully over the second half of the year I was able to get a grip on my anemia and turn things around,the fact 7 of my top 10 races came in the second half of the year somewhat underlines that!
Of my 31 races in 2011 here are my top 10

10,World Championships 5,000m
Perhaps an odd selection given I finished 12th out of 18 in a paltry 16.54.1. but I was glad I made the trip to Sacramento to witness Worlds first hand,it gave me an insight to what I can expect in future years when hopefully I'm firing on all cylinders

9,5th Avenue Mile
Initially I was far from impressed w/ my 8th place finish in 4.36 it wasn't till almost 12 hours later that I checked the results to discover I'd won a third consecutive M45-49 title thanks in part to a barn storming final 400m where I over took Chris Collins and Gladstone Jones,the moral of this race keep fighting till the very end!!

8,Masters Mile Boston
I've always loved running at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston two Masters invitationals and three Indoor Nationals have produced some great performances but to run in front of a packed and appreciative audience at the New Balance Games in February was something special,7th in 4.33.0 would prove to be my fastest mile of the season.

7,Brandywine 5K XC
I'd never had any success at the post Thanksgiving Delaware XC C'hips in previous years,I'd always said of the demanding course I'd like to come into this race well trained......on the back of 11 weeks of 50/53 mile training weeks in 14 weeks I finished 4th in 18.28 my first ever sub 19 there.

6,Armory 3,000m
When I lowered my 3,000m pr to 9.07.1 in August of 2010 the next target was to get as close to 9 mins as possible in the hopes of eventually going sub 9 sadly any hopes of that this summer went south and had I not gotten sick in the days leading up to this Feb 24th race I'm confident I'd have been closer to 9.05 at least but had to settle for an indoor pr of 9.08.3 a 3 second improvement on my previous indoor pr

5,Armory 5,000m
My first ever indoor 5,000m and a continuation of my sub 16s as I ran my second fastest ever time for 5,000m w/ a 15.47.3.
On the basis of this performance on Jan 20th I has great expectations for the coming season,sadly that wasn't to be but having scaled those heights once I believe I can do it again

4,Armory 1,500m
In a year that uncharacteristically saw no 1,500s for me until the Armory Holiday Meet on Dec 26th I did produce the goods when I had to
2nd in 4.15.8. I hopefully answered the critics who once again had sharpened their pens prematurely to pen my running obituary earlier in the year,I'm not going anywhere just yet people!!!

3,Nationals 5,000m
While my time(16.45.0.) was very little to write home about it was the manner in which I raced to earn a second consecutive 5,000m bronze that warrented such a high position for this race.
I always felt a bronze was winnable but it would come down to a three way battle between myself Jeff Mann and Damon Blackford for it ,at Worlds I'd more or less thrown caution to the wind and just ran I would NOT be so cavalier at Nationals and after languishing in the middle of the pack for the first half of the race I caught Jeff Mann w/ 6 laps to go and then passed Damon Blackford w/ just over 3.5 laps to go to earn another podium finish at Nationals

2, Nationals 10,000m
I probably had very little right to consider myself a favourite to win the gold in Berea given my entire 10,000m resume stood at 2 races, 40.41.4. in London in 1987 and 34.43.3.last April and yet somehow I had the fastest seed time of the field.
Much like my indoor 5,000m earlier in the year I knew physically I had it the question was could I handle the mental side of 25 laps......no worries!!
Gold in 35.27.4. and a third National Championship title to go w/ my 800m title in Orono in 07 and my 1,500m title in Spokane in 08,just need a 5,000m title to make it a grand slam.

1,Bridge Run 10k
While my heart and soul belong to track I had to give top billing this year to a road race.
B4 I won gold on the track at 10,000m in late July my thoughts had been towards early November and the Ben Franklin Bridge 10k road race and a chance to erase my oldest pr 1984's 34.53. my holy grail in some respects.
Thanks to weeks and months of hard work and dedication my dream came true, a new pr 27 years in the making thanks to a 34.24. time.

Out W/ The Old.......

I began the year w/ a 16 miler on New Years Day and ended the year on New Years Eve w/ 5x1,000m to finish the year w/ 2,128 miles,93 shy of 2010's tally of 2,221.
I got lucky today the temps were in the mid 50's at 2pm when I arrived at a near deserted Temple track,being able to strip down to a base layer of clothing to run was an added bonus....I'm sure there'll be plenty of opportunities to bundle up like the friggin Michelin Man b4 the end of winter!!!

Mile warm up b4 getting into my flats one last time this year and having at it over 5x1,000m keeping in mind on my debut on Dec 4th I went :3.08.3-3.11.7.-3.10.6-3.14.5.-3.11.2.

#1 1,000m 1.17-1.19-35-3.11.4.Not a bad start if I say so myself,I was hoping to open in 1.16-1.17 and hold close to that.

#2 1,000m 1.16-1.20-35.-3.11.0.So far so good my splits may not be spectacular but they are at least consistent.

#3 1,000m 1.16-1.19-37-3.12.2.This should've been a third 3.11 when I saw 2.35 at 800m I probably eased off the gas a little instead of working the final turn.

#4 1,000m 1.16-1.20-36-3.12.3.Again a 3.11 there for the taking if I hadn't had to swing out into lane 3 20 meters from the end of my second 400m..... thanks bitches!!!

#5 1,000m 1.20-1.20-34-3.14.9.I was surprised and disappointed to see 1.20 after 400m I felt I was running as well as I had on my previous 4 opening laps.
At least I didn't go into the tank altogether as I notched a second 1.20 and had I not've tied up a little in the final 20 meters I could've gotten into the high 12's,low 13's.

All in all a satisfactory workout,they're still a work in progress,hopefully today bodes well for next Sundays 4x1mile repeats.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year In Review,Running






After what could best be described as a "pig" of a day at work I was happy to get out and ease my way through 9 miles late this afternoon in the glorious sunshine,it sets me up nicely for the last "Land Of The Lost" this year on Wxpn at 7pm and hopefully tomorrows scheduled 5x1,000m repeats will have a similar effect on me going into the New Years Eve party at Sex Dwarf.



Anyway after a look back at the year in movies and music here's a look back at my year in races b4 conducting my Top Ten list tomorrow.............






January



Off of next to no speed work I opened my account for the season w/ a 4.33.7 mile at The Armory on Jan 6th I hoped this would bode well for the upcoming season.



2 days later at frankly one of the worst track meets I've ever attended I could only muster a 58.4 400m which effectively kept me out of the Millrose Masters 4x400m relay,frankly waiting around for 5 hours to run was hardly the best way to prepare for a race I had reservations about to begin w/.



My next trip to The Armory on Jan 20th saw me run my first ever indoor 5,000m but also continue a trend from 2010 of going sub 16 as I notched a 15.47.3(a time that would see me finish the year in 30th place in the world rankings my only ranking at world level for 2011)



I finished the month off running the 3rd leg of the Millrose masters 4x400m relay on the b team but could only muster a 59.7 as we finished a distant 4th,to be honest I had misgivings about running at all but when it was later revealed the famed Millrose Games was moving from Madison Square Gardens to The Armory in 2012 I was grateful for one final two and a half laps around the famous old boards.






February



7th in the Masters mile in Boston in 4.33.0 again w/ no real speed work to my credit due to all the snow we'd been having I had to be reasonably pleased w/ my performance but any and all good feelings from that race on the 5th went out the door 5 days later when I could only muster a 2.06 800m time at The Armory,my lack of speed work was sorely exposed



Had I've not gotten sick the week of my next visit to The Armory a fortnite later I'm convinced my 9.07.1 3,000m pr would've fallen as it was I had to settle for an indoor pr of 9.08.3.






March



W/ no Indoor Nationals to run things were barren to say the least as my indoor season came to an unsatisfactory conclusion w/ a lackluster 2.10 800m.



I said at the time I felt the 5 hour wait to run probably didn't help matters but I wonder w/ hindsight if the anemia that would derail my season over the coming weeks and months wasn't also to blame for such a poor performance.



After 2 less than stellar 800s I opted against pursing the 800m at worlds in July and began to focus on the 5,000m






April



Not the start I wanted to my outdoor season a 16.19.8 5,000m at Franklin Field in the Upenn Invitational, a year earlier I'd notched my first ever sub 16 here{15.57.7.} and I didn't think it was an unreasonable goal to run sub 16 again.



At the time I put my poor performance down to going out too hard in the opening mile but as next couple of races would prove all was not well under the hood.






May



From bad to worse a 16.25.9. 5,000m at Swarthmore at the Twilight Invitational where a year b4 I'd ran 15.56.5.,again I thought the meet running behind was the reason for a sub par performance but after a six week period since things had gone "pear shaped" at Upenn I was beginning to feel that all was not right.



Three nights later in New York I could only summon a 10.34. 2 mile in March of 2010 indoors I went 10.05.5. I knew something was wrong I just didn't know what.






June



Rock bottom a woeful 4.54 mile at West Chester almost brought my entire season to a standstill.



Even after my achilles injury in 09 I was able to register a 4.49 mile whatever was ailing me well and truly bollocksing up my season



Trying to get a doctors appointment or even having blood drawn to be sent off for tests proved to be next to impossible,when I did eventually get an appointment w/ my doctor it was for July 12th..... while I was in Sacramento at Worlds although at this point it hardly seemed worth flying half way across the country to "just make up the numbers" I was then "granted" a visit w/ an intern who inspite of my blood test results courtesy of team mate and friend Sean Harbison failed to diagnose my condition........



I managed a 16.48.9. 5,000m at Icahn Stadium 11 days b4 the 5,000m at Worlds,hardly confidence inspiring........






July


Worlds 5,000m, when you go into a race just hoping and praying not to finish dead last you know your confidence is at an all time low,12th out of 18 in 16.54.1. was perhaps the best I could hope for under the circumstances but at least I got to experience first hand what Worlds was about AND thanks to two fellow masters runners began taking Iron Pills to increase my hemoglobin count.......the turning point in my season


Three weeks later I won a bronze in the 5,000m albeit off a still painfully slow time 16.45.0. and then 2 days later won my 3rd National Championship title in only my 3rd ever 10,000m again it was slow 35.27.4. but given the heat at 10am that was to be expected




August


I could've been forgiven for not attempting to defend my Ironman Title at the Track Pentathlon on Aug 7th but frankly if I could fly cross country to compete at Worlds and go to Berea Ohio to compete in my 5th Nationals in 6 years I could make the effort to run 5 races in just under 2.5 hours.


I knew winning was a pipe dream at best last year I opened things w/ a 9.07.1 in 3,000m,this year 9.48. and had to settle for third but at least I showed up.




September


Traditionally only ever one race in September,but what a race 5th Avenue Mile,unlike the four previous years where I'd tailored my training for the 6 weeks leading up to 5th Avenue to the mile this year I found myself training through 5th Avenue Mile as my fall target race was the Ben Franklin Bridge Challenge 10k in 6 weeks time which may explain the 8th place finish in 4.36.however I did claim a 3rd consecutive M45 age group title to go w/ the 2 overall titles I'd won in 07 and 08.




October


Another tradition,Syracuse on the first weekend of October for the Masters 5k road race c'ships,while last year I was miffed they rounded up my 15.59 to 16.00 this year I was happy to finish 14th in 16.30.8. as the team took silver in the M40 team event,not only did I feel I was returning to form but 16.30 x2=33.00 and my date w/ destiny over 10k was now only 5 weeks away.


A return to xc racing after a two and a half year plus absence plus a rare Philadelphia race on my schedule as I slogged over the 5 mile xc course on Belmont Plateau to finish 50th out of 85 in a predominately college race field in 31.28.4.


A trip to Rochester for more xc this time 5k as I lead home the GPTC contingent finishing 21st in a field of 151 in 18.29.,this time we came away w/ a bronze in the team event,shit more National Championship bling to add to the collection.




November


This is what it was all building up to the Ben Franklin Bridge 10k on Sunday Nov 6th,after winning the 10,000m gold at Nationals I'd set my sights on erasing my oldest pr in the book 1984's 34.53. and thanks to several lung busting 8 mile runs out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway and several vertigo induced 3x2 mile repeats on Temple's track it all paid off,13th in a field of 3,030 2nd masters(worth a cool $250 thank you very much) and a new pr 34.24.


I could've called it a season right there but didn't two weeks later I went to Deer Park Path in Flemington New Jersey to finish 12th in 28.42 over 8k xc and snag sliver in the m45 age group b4 underlining my Lazarus recovery from that god awful 4.54 mile on June 3rd by finishing 4th out of 90 at the Brandywine Creek course in 18.29.9., a course I'd previously never broken 19 minutes on b4.....says a lot for my 50 miles a week training I feel.




December


One last race and back to the friendly confines of the track as I remarkably ran my first 1,500m race of the year on December 26th,such had been the turmoil this year w/ a loss of form and confidence due to the anemia I'd avoided the 1,500m,for so long a favourite distance of mine.


2nd in a field of 16 in 4.15.8. it signalled I hope the return to winning ways and the way forward for 2012.


We'll have to see what the next 12 months have in store for me when the 2012 season gets underway on Thursday January 5th at The Armory over the mile










Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Year In Review,Music



The year in music could be summed up in one word......Eighties,of the 13 concerts I saw in the past 12 months all but 4 of those bands were 80's acts.
B4 I delve into my music review I did log an easy 10 miler this afternoon to keep me on pace for another 50 mile week to wrap up the year,I lost yesterday due to the Market Frankford El being shut down around 3.30pm,that meant taking a bus home which obviously took twice as long and by the time I got home I knew I'd have precious little in the way of daylight to run in so I bagged it,it means having to do an easy 9 miler tomorrow evening and not getting a rest day b4 Saturdays 5x1,000m repeats but I'm no stranger to an easy 10 miler b4 repeats so I should be ok as long as I pace myself accordingly.

So music,the other great all conquering passion of my life,I tend to average 10 gigs a year,sometimes more(13 this year),sometimes less(8 last year) but you can always count on yours truly getting his gig on throughout the year,gigs this year were:The Church,Flogging Molly,Dropkick Murphys,U2,Berlin,OMD,Human League,Duran Duran,Howard Jones,Noel Gallagher,Pete Murphy,The Cure and Beady Eye.
For all those great gigs there were at least 2 dozen more I missed which always makes my end of year "Hits" and "Misses" mix tapes for "Our Kid" back home a delight to compile,maybe in the new year I'll list this years mixes,they are if I say so myself pretty damn good!!!

The Church performed three albums in their entirety including "Starfish" the album that introduced us to the Aussie wonders,Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys gave me my fix of Celtic punk in and around St Paddy's Day
U2 always put on a great show,Berlin was the rebirth of "everything 80's" for me,OMD was a trip back down memory lane I hadn't seen Berlin in 24 years and 25 years since I'd seen OMD.
Human League were a band I first saw in 1980,I've seen Duran Duran 10 times in the last 30 years,Howard Jones was the first time I'd seen him headline after seeing him open for Human League & Culture Club on the "Rewind Tour" in 98.
As a huge Oasis fan seeing Noel Gallagher was a no brainer,I loved Bauhaus so seeing Pete Murphy was too good to pass up,The Cure.....need I say more? and having seen Noel Gallagher I had to see Liam and the rest of Oasis who now form Beady Eye

Best show??? tough one to call U2 were simply awesome,Terri Nunn really did "Take My Breath Away"OMD were amazing,Duran Duran were as good now as they were in their heyday,Pete Murphy was a goth God and The Cure Robert Smith could've read the Yellow Pages and I've been hanging on every syllable.
It wasn't just in concerts the 80's ruled the roost I began to upgrade my cd collection to replace old classic vinyl w/ cds and also in my reading the 80's dominated,the last three of the eleven books I read were the autobiographies of Gary Kemp,Tony Hadley and Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet w/ the Midge Ure autobiography on tap for early in the new year.


.....And of course my year in music review would be incomplete w/out mentioning the love of my life Florence Welch and her band Florence & The Machine,I predict BIG things for the "foxy lady" from Camberwell in 2012

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Year In Review, Movies

Since it's "that time of year" I thought I'd look back over the last 12 months in movies and music b4 a look at my year in running b4 my annual New Years Eve Top Ten races of the year list,which I'm pleased to announce will take place this year........not something I thought possible in June when I wasn't even sure there be 10 races in my season muchless 10 good ones......but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Backtracking slightly if I may, since I didn't get home from The Armory till 12.35am Tuesday morning and I have to be up and at them by 5.35am I elected to take a vacation day for yesterday,this worked well on two counts,A getting a well deserved extra few hours kip and B allowing me to run in the daylight one last week day till next Monday
As luck would have it said 10 mile recovery run was conducted at 1030am which was just as well since come lunchtime the heavens opened for the fourth Tuesday in five weeks and I'd have been SOL yesterday afternoon,although I'll fall short of last years 2,221 miles for the year this year I am on course to notch 2,218,which given all the upheavals of the past 12 months is quite remarkable.

And so to the movies,I managed 7 in total which isn't alot but 2 more than my 2010 tally,the "Magnificent Seven" so to speak were: The Fighter,The Guard,Brighton Rock,50/50,Like Crazy,The Descendants and Sherlock Holmes Game Of Shadows.
As you can see I tend to gravitate more towards "Art House" movies,I am somewhat of a self confessed "Art House Movie Snob" I won't not go see a movie if it's not playing at The Ritz{The Fighter,50/50 and Sherlock Holmes} but I prefer to see movies that play at The Ritz.

At the end of the day it came down to The Fighter,The Guard and Sherlock Holmes for my movie of the year,what set them apart from the other four was I felt they were good all the way through where as Brighton Rock,50/50,Like Crazy and The Descendants were just good in places.
I felt Christian Bale was outstanding in his role as Mickey Ward's drug addicted brother Dickie in The Fighter and Amy Adams and Mark Walberg gave great performances.
The Guard was a riot from start to finish,Brendan Gleeson seldom makes a bad movie and the dialogue was to die for in this one,Don Cheadle gave a epic performance as the "fish out of water" FBI agent sent to Galway in Ireland to thwart the drug ring
Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law did a stellar job reprising their roles as Holmes and Watson in Sherlock Holmes Game Of Shadows,for me the best scenes were often the ones w/ just the two of them,their obvious on screen chemistry working well w/ a returning to form Guy Ritchie who's back to making great movies again after becoming sidetracked as Madonna's husband.

So who gets my pick for best movie?.... I went w/ "The Guard" it was just a laugh a minute,the sad thing is as a small independent movie it probably wasn't seen by the size of audience it deserved to be but hopefully by the time it reaches the likes of HBO,Showtime,Starz etc word of mouth will have gotten it the recognition it fully deserved.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It Must Be Something In The Water

Don't ask me what it is about me running in New York City that just seems to raise the level of my game but since 2006 I've turned in some heroic performances either here at The Armory,along 5th Avenue in the 5th Avenue Mile and also at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island,I often joke about being an "adopted New Yorker" this city has taken to me and my running in a way words cannot describe,I frequently talk about tapping into the great Irish spirit that runs thro New York City as a rich source of energy,whatever it is that allows me to invoke the traditions of the "the big three"Ronnie Delaney,Marcus O Sullivan and of course "the guv'nor" Eamon Coghlan long may it continue.

It's been a strange year for me not just w/ the whole anemia issue but no Indoor Nationals as I opted against going all the way to Albuquerque,the bad winter meant it was mid February b4 I was able to get a track workout in on top the fact last fall I opted to build base mileage in favour of speed which then coupled w/ the bad winter meant I lacking serious speed work for my handful of indoor races,hard to swallow as a miler that Dec 26th was my first 1,500m race of the year......like I said it's been that sort of a year!

I went into the traditional Armory Holiday meet w/ duel purpose,to bring down the curtain on a at times frustrating 2011 season but also get a jump start on the upcoming 2012 season,my focus on Indoor Nationals which are only 11 weeks away is the 3,000m and the mile so what better way to see where I'm at than a 1,500m b4 returning next Thursday for the mile,tonite would give me a firm indication of where I'm at and how I should seed myself.
Based on a pair of indoor miles in January and February of 4.33 I felt 4.15 was a reasonable expectation for the race and it earnt me a berth in heat 2,I may need to readjust my thinking this season and not jump into the seeded heats as has been my won't for the past several years,I need to keep the fact I'm now 48 very much front and center!!!!

So heat 2 it was,16 of us in total,three masters runners myself,Francis Burdett and Tom Fitzpatrick and threeteen high school/college runners,I may not know their ages until the official results are public but it was a safe bet I was the old man in the line up.
Certainly my reaction to the gun was that of an old codger and I was probably last coming off the starting line,unlike an outdoor 1,500m where you have the length of the straightaway to position yourself indoors it's straight into the turn but one advantage of being an old fart and entering my 36th season running is that I've been around the block enough times to have one thing the younger guys lack.......experience!!
Never wavering from lane 2 I quickly found my stride and w/out having to swing wide out into lane 3 I carefully maneuvered my way from the rear of the field w/ a pair of 33 second laps(props to my good friend Lt David Stein from the NYPD for taking my splits) to move up to mid pack.

After that I couldn't tell you who I passed or when,but I kept passing runners which is always a plus,35 and 34 seconds on laps #3 and #4 put me at 800m in 2.14.
The leader was way out ahead of me but I kept picking off runners between he and I never once feeling out of my comfort zone,34,35,34 for the next three laps as I eventually moved into second and closed the deal in 18 seconds to finish a distant second but in 4.15.86.
I said 4.15 was in my wheelhouse and I wasn't wrong,I know based off of this performance there are faster times to come,it's ironic my last scheduled race b4 Indoor Nationals is also a 1,500m here at The Armory on Feb 23rd in 8 weeks time,it'll be interesting to see where I'm at then w/ a potential for three mile races between now and then.

Post race I cooled down w/ Francis and James Harrison,James and I have been Facebook friends for a while now and James is an avid follower of Runningfree so when he mentioned being in New York from his native Australia it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up to meet one another,I was grateful for the chance to chat w/ him and warm up and cool down w/ him if not a tad guilty he'd brought his wife and son and daughter along to The Armory to watch,hopefully my performance was worth it!!!!
I can and will take great heart from this performance,there is still work to be done,off a 4.15 1,500m I should have a 4.33 mile in me next Thursday,4.35 is the cut off for the Masters Mile in Boston in early Feb where I ran an ok 4.33.0. off of next to no speed work this year,it'd be nice to go back and show a packed Reggie Lewis Arena what I'm really capable of,afterall I have some good Boston race in my resume......and Boston is a big Irish city also.........

Monday, December 26, 2011

Armory Holiday Meet

Cliff notes(it's 1.10 am for crying out loud!!!)
1,500m
heat 2
2nd out of 16
4.15.8.
#12 on my all time list
More detailed account to follow

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Just Another Day

"There's razors in my bed that come out late at nite,they always disappear b4 the morning lite
I'm dreaming again of life underground,it doesn't ever move it doesn't make a sound and just when I think that things are in their place
The heavens are secure the whole thing explodes in my face
It's just another day,it's just another day,it's just another day,it's just another day,it's just another day when people wake from dreams w/ voices in their ears that will not go away"

Just Another Day-Oingo Boingo

A wise man{my father} once told me many moons ago when I was yea high to a grasshopper that quote"Christmas is what you make it" if you want to go all out and do the tree,lights,decorations that's fine....but it's also ok if you just want to ignore the calander and treat December 25th like a regular day,as is my won't more often than not I've gone w/ the latter.

My easy 6 mile run mid morning was all I had planned for today,a nice uneventful 6 mile run.....less than half a mile into said run some Mario Andretti type tries to run me over coming out of the drive next to St Cypians church.......what did I fucking turn sideways and you didn't see me??????
Some less than festive words were directed at "Mario" church grounds be damned!!! wanker was pretty high on my list of pleasantries and also a request to "open your fuckin eyes" not really how I wanted to begin my run but there you go!!!

At least the afternoon was less stressful as I took a "zen like" approach w/ my recliner and became one w/ it as I watched 4 80's music video dvds,Spandau Ballet,Visage,OMD and Ultravox now all that remains is making a brontosaurs bowl of seafood linguine for dinner and a little Doctor Who Christmas special to round off my day.....not everyones idea of celebrating Christmas but it works for me!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lights,Camera,Action

Had things worked out differently today would've been a rest day but having a tooth yanked out Monday and rain on Tuesday and Wednesday meant that notion got shot to shit.
Easy 10 miler this morning,bloody hell it was brisk out there that early,I hope it's a bit warmer tomorrow when I conduct my 6 miler.

W/ my food shopping for the week taken care of post run I can now sit back and relax for the next couple of days,I have zero plans for tomorrow other than my run and Monday I'm up to New York for the Armory Holiday meet and all I have on my docket for Tuesday is another 10 miler and laundry,as you may've gathered I'm not the poster child for the holidays I let those who want to celebrate them get on w/ them while I go about my business.

I caught a couple of movies today one on my dvr and one at the cinema.
"Sex & Drugs And Rock & Roll" was the Ian Dury story which was pretty good,I always liked Ian Dury one of the great icons of punk who never allowed the polio that crippled him to hold him back.
My other movie was the new Sherlock Holmes movie "A Game Of Shadows",I'm not sure if it's as good as the first one from two years ago but still pretty good and w/ my South East London buddy Jude Law reprising his role of Dr Watson it kicked off the first of two "good old boy"movies on tap next up another South East London boy Gary Oldman in "Tinker, Tailor,Solider,Spy"

Friday, December 23, 2011

No Mo????WTF

I have to say I'm a tad surprised Mo Farah only finished third in the 2011 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Awards last nite.
No disrespect to winner Mark Cavendish but I thought Mo's silver in the 10,000m and gold in the 5,000m at this summers World Championship would see him crowned the winner.....I guess the great British public are waiting for an Olympic gold next summer in London b4 giving Mo his props................

Another late afternoon extended out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway,just like yesterday the 10 miler came as welcome relife from another day of carrying the freight all by my lonesome at work I swear the day my deliver person retires I'm dancing a jig on the dock that will put Michael Flattley to shame!!!!!
Two 10 milers down,one to go tomorrow morning...or at least b4 lunchtime and then an easy 6 miler on Sunday b4 heading to The Armory on Monday for the 1,500m

World Peace,A New Laptop Would Be Nice....But What I Really Want For Xmas Is......

C'mon you didn't really think I could go a whole week w/out a Flo reference did ya????


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mixed Emotions






"Dear darling,you were right about them all when my luck went bad they never came around or called



That's alright cause I don't miss them anyhow but it gets chilly over here sometimes it's a cold part of town"


Cold Part Of Town-Concrete Blonde

Finally a chance to run today.....even if it meant not watching the Spurs Chelski game live,oh well can't have it all I guess!!!
Spurs drew 1.1 which keeps us third and after a few days of kicking my heals I was able to get out and run a 10 miler.
By virtue of getting out of work 45 mins earlier I was able to get my run in during daylight which at this time of year is always a bonus,over the next few days {Friday thro Tuesday} I'll be able to keep doing that.

Today is the official start of Winter.....boo!!!!!! three months of crap weather and potential missed training runs but it's also Winter Solstice which means little by little it'll begin to get lighter in the evenings.....yea!!!! I'm sure for the first couple of weeks it'll hardly be noticeable but it's nice to know sunset will begin to edge it's way back from 4.39pm.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Frankly Kids,I'd Rather Starve

Any day that sees me dial up "A Slight Case Of Overbombing" by the awesome Sisters Of Mercy usually means I'm in a spit nails,shit bullets,walk thro walls mood...........

Another training day lost to the rain,as the angst and anger levels begin to hit critical I need to get out and run and soon,orange is not NOT my colour and roadside trash pick up detail is not on my top ten list of favourite things to do but if something doesn't give soon there's a distinct possibility I'll kill someone here at work!!!!!!

The "social event of the year" was today.....the annual storeroom holiday party.....YEA!!! I should be honoured that this year I was actually invited since last year the powers that be saw fit to exclude me......yep I got excluded from my own departments holiday party........you know you're bad arse when that happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Frankly nothing screams ambiance like a party in storeroom below street level w/ no windows and dusty as fuck but I'm gobsmacked at the work ethic here,I've been fighting for weeks to have space in the back of the storeroom for the skids I take down every morning......now lo and behold this morning skids have been straighten up,consolidated and even moved......to accommodate a table for the food.........are you shitting me!!!!!!
When Joe who puts the skids away is off the skids sit for days and it's like pulling teeth to get stock put away......not this morning!!! all hands on deck putting stock away,throwing out empty boxes etc........where's this level of commitment the rest of the year???????

Needless to say I didn't join the festivities at lunch time,I'm here to work,after all aren't we here to provide patient care not stuff our faces w/ food and stand around all day talking shit????????

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Substituting Toothache W/ Heartache

"Hopelessly adrift in the eyes of the ghost again down on my knees and my hands in the air again
Pushing my face in the memory of you again,but I never know if it's real never know how I wanted to feel
Never quite said what I wanted to say to you,never quite managed the words to explain to you
Never quite knew how to make them believable,and now that time has gone another time undone
Hopelessly fighting the devil futility feeling the monster climb deeper inside of me feeling him gnawing away hungrily
I'll never lose this pain,never dream of you again"


Untitled-The Cure


I knew looking at the seven day weather forecast on Sunday that there was major potential for losing days to the rain this week,having nixed yesterday due to my oral surgery and now losing today to the rain I can kiss goodbye to a 50 mile week.


I had hoped to run Monday thro Friday and rest Saturday and Sunday b4 going to New York next Monday to run the 1,500m at The Armory,it looks like I'll be lacing them up on the weekend now we'll just have to see what the next couple of days bring in terms of what mileage I can get now for the week.


Today should be my 25th wedding anniversary w/ Erica,sadly it isn't because I pissed my marriage away,I always say Erica and I were guilty of "being in love w/ being in love"and not in love w/ one another all those years ago, we were young and probably inexperienced to be married but I also know I have to own the lions share of the blame for our marriage falling apart,we had so many hurdles and obstacles to overcome from when we first met in London in Jan 85 that by the time we got here to Philly in late October 87 things were already over between us.


I've had ample time since our separation and subsequent divorce to realize how badly I messed things up w/ Erica,my own parents separated when I was quite young and frankly you couldn't have put Eileen and Kevin in the same room unless you posted the National Guard outside in the beginning but as time evolved they not only settled their considerable differences but became very good friends I always wanted that for Erica and I,sadly that hasn't happened and isn't likely to and I have to own some major guilt to things I did and said while we were together that has meant we've sailed separate oceans since our separation and divorce.


I don't blame Erica's parents for "running interference" when I've attempted to contact her in the past,the Kevin they knew and had the misfortune to have as a son in law wasn't worth the time of day but I always hoped Erica would know I was genuinely sorry for the things I did and said back in the bad old days when I drank,I don't want forgiveness I just want her to know how deeply sorry I am for the terrible way I behaved back then,I can say w/ my hand on my heart that I hope whatever Erica did w/ her life after our divorce I hope she's happy,knowing that would ease my conscience somewhat.


So that's it for major Erica anniversaries I always knew this year would be a tough one 25 years since she moved from Philly to London to live w/ me,25 years since we got engaged in Greenwich on her 21st b'day and 25 years since we got married,there are dozens of Erica Songs that remind me of her,Cinderella's "Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone"might just be the one that says it all.......







Monday, December 19, 2011

Open Up,Say Agh!

Nothing like a little lunch time oral surgery to remove a upper wisdom tooth to get your week off to a rip roaring start!!!
I'd known for a few days there was an issue w/ my tooth but I was hoping it would go away.....fat chance of that, on Saturday I took a mouthful of hot tea and almost went into orbit,several hours later I took a mouthful of Hawaiian Punch and the same thing happened so I knew I was on borrowed time w/ it,the final straw was during my repeats yesterday when the cold air hit my tooth and I felt like I'd copped a right hander off Floyd Mayweather!!!!!!

I knew if I didn't act quickly today I might miss the boat in terms of getting this treated, Thursday and Friday I'm holding the fort down on the dock by my lonesome and our Dental department is closed till after New Years so it was either get it taken care of today or keep being in pain till Jan 4th.
Following an examination and xray it was revealed it was my upper left wisdom tooth,I elected to have it pulled and w/in 20 mins it was over,that's all four wisdom teeth gone.

Needless to say three hours after oral surgery I wasn't really in the best shape to run so I elected to sit today out w/ every intention of getting out there tomorrow,the best medicine I could ask for is my girl Florence Welch performing on VH1 Diva's tonite from New York so that's my evening.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Proverbial Game Of Two Halves

Final repeat before the season opener at The Armory on December 26th but not my final scheduled interval session of the year,hoping to get to Temple's track on New Years Eve for a second 5x1,000m b4 heading into 2012.
If yesterday morning hadn't prepped me for how brisk it was going to be at 10am nothing would,and the trusty billboard in the Fresh Grocer parking lot revealed 30 degrees.......BER!!!!

A few hardy souls on the track when I got there just after 10.30am as I warmed up for a mile,while I was content to shed my hoodie and warm up bottoms come repeat time the hat and gloves were staying put,I'm not sure I could've operated the buttons on my new stop watch had I shed the gloves!!!
So 8x800m,I'm not 100% sure an 800m race indoors is on my schedule,right now looking at my tentative schedule{which is always subject to change}nor am I sure if I'll race the 800m at Indoor Nationals in Bloomington in March,I can always use my 2.06 seed time from Feb at The Armory if need be but irregardless of there being or not being an 800m race 800m repeats would benefit my 1,500m/mile races so I figured have at it!!
I felt 2.35 was a legit baseline to work off of starting out,2.40 felt too soft and too low to set the bar for starters.

#1 800m 1.16-1.15-2.31.5. Not a bad start if I say so myself but I knew I had to brace myself for the wind down the back straight coming off the bottom turn.

#2 800m 1.18-1.16-2.34.1. Guilty of going to sleep mentally on the opening lap,need to be turned on to the repeat fundamentals{focus,knee lift,leg turnover,working the arms}from the get go.

#3 800m 1.17-1.16-2.33.8 If nothing else I'd been consistent w/ my pacing thus far,but w/ only three down and five to go a tad premature to breaking my hand patting myself on the back.

#4 800m 1.17-1.1.17-2.34.5. Half way there,this would be when the decision to go for 8x800m and not 6x800m would raise it's self to the surface.......

#5 800m 1.17-1.20-2.37.2. Bollocks!!!! the combination of the wind,fatigue beginning to set in and working hard to stay 100% focused caught up w/ me,I was in this for the long haul,if the remaining 3 800s had to be taken one at a time,one lap at a time fine,no raising the white flag now and pussing out at 6

#6 800m 1.18-1.20-2.38.4. The giant Grand Piano had been delivered and seemed to nestled on my back on the second lap,I like a sing song like the next person but could we at least wait till I was done w/ the repeats????

#7 800m 1.20-1.19-2.39.1. Good to know the brain was able to respond to an opening 1.20 and allow me to dredge up a 1.19 if I'm going down I'm going down swinging!!!!!

#8 800m 1.18-1.16-2.34.9. Yea! Good to see the fighting spirit is still intact,I'll take five out of eight at sub 2.35. for my 8x800m debut.

Like the opening 5x1,000m and 4x1mile repeats today won't put the world on notice but it's an encouraging start and hopefully over the coming weeks and months I'll greatly improve on all three of my repeats as I get ready to launch an all out offensive heading into the 2012 season.
Nice to be back at 50 miles for the week again,let's see if that can continue.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Guess That's Why They're Called Coldplay

For an easy day I crammed a lot into it!!!
Up by 7am to go stand in line at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly to score Coldplay tix for their July 6th show.
Man it was cold down there this morning,I think December 17th is probably the latest I've ever stood in line for tix,talk about brass monkeys.......fuckin ada!!!!!
Anywho it was worth it I secured tix for me and my mate Pete to see Chris Martin and co in July,though I'm not jazzed at dropping $80 a ticket for the 200 level but there you go,guess I should be grateful for scoring tix at all I guess yesterdays pre sale went so well they added a second show last nite b4 the tix went on sale today,this will be my 5th Coldplay show in 8 years.

Pleasant and unexpected surprise on the way home,ran into my old Bell Captain from my bellman days at The Bellevue and also my boss when I worked part time at the Wells Fargo Center in it's first two years Mark.
It's funny cos I had just recanted a classic bellman story to one of my housemates the other day and then bang! I happened to run into Mark for the first time in maybe threeteen years,hopefully we can stay in touch.

Easy 10 miler a little after 1pm,thankfully it had warmed up a lot since 8am when I was waiting in line for Coldplay tix,I have some leaway w/ my schedule tomorrow as the Spurs Sunderland game isn't being shown till 5pm so I can either crank out my 8x800m repeats mid morning or early afternoon and still watch the game.

Friday, December 16, 2011

One Year W/ The Love Cat

No run today as I took a well earned rest day having notched 50 miles in the last six days,I will be back at it tomorrow w/ a 10 miler b4 hitting the track on Sunday for 8x800m repeats which will put me back at 50 mpw somewhere I've fallen short of the past 2 weeks.
My toe looks a lot better today not as swollen,not as red and purple,hopefully getting up on my toes during the 800m repeats on Sunday won't be an issue,the original plan was that yesterday would've been a 6 miler w/ repeats tomorrow and a 12 miler on Sunday,however w/ Coldplay tickets going on sale tomorrow at 10am I had to have a hasty rethink of my schedule,ergo a third week of Sunday repeats.

So it's a whole year since I adopted Precious,trust me the last thing I expected when I woke up on Dec 16th 2010 was adopting a 4 month old kitten who'd been left out in the freezing cold,if one of my house mates hadn't found her running around outside in sub zero temps I doubt she'd have survived,Terry has a cat and wasn't looking to keep the stray kitten and I had Hobbes so I really wasn't planning on keeping the "strange bundle of fur" that fitted in the palm of my hand but she grew on me and frankly the notion of putting her in a shelter or up for adoption didn't cut it w/ me so I bit the bullet and kept her......Hobbes was not best pleased 4 nites later when I first brought Precious into my room but in time came to accept the "little kittie" who's not so little any more!!!
For a cat who once sat in the palm of my hand she's become quite the handful {as if her 26 hour shut in the other nite didn't perfectly illustrate!!!!} but I wouldn't trade her in for the world.
I'm often asked why I named her Precious? simply because that first nite I sat on the living room steps w/ her in the palm of my hand I thought she was the most precious thing I'd ever seen,I still do but if I adopted her this December and not last December I'm reasonably confident she'd have been named Florence after Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine,it's ironic I'm sitting here blogging this w/ Precious on my lap and "Ceremonials" on my pc........

Thursday, December 15, 2011

These Are The Things I Can Do W/out

"In violent times,you shouldn't have to sell your soul in black and white,they really really ought to know
Those one track minds,that took you for a working boy,kiss them goodbye you shouldn't have to jump for joy,you shouldn't have to
Shout,shout let it all out,these are the things I can do w/out come on,I'm talking to you,come on"

Shout-Tears For Fears

The other title I had in mind was "A Rant In E Minor" it was "one of those days,in short..........
Almost breaking my toe
Precious getting locked in someones room for 26 hours
The Holiday Meal at work
The treat of rain to scupper my run

So my toe,in what can only be described as a freak accident I walked into the dining room sofa in the dark and cracked my toe into the base of it,it's my own dumb fault for not putting the light on as I went from my room to the kitchen,it hurt like hell and if you ever saw the "Simpsons" episode when Homer lets rip w/ a loud obscenity that scatters birds in the sky and cuts to Ned Flanders in his back yard saying"good lord,that's the loudest profanity I've ever heard" that sums it up.
When I looked at my toe b4 leaving for work this morning it didn't look like it was broken,I doubt I could've worked all day on a broken toe given I'm on my feet for several hours and although it's swollen and discoloured below the toe nail {a red/purple colour}I was able to run on it so I guess I'm ok.....note to self turn the light on next time I going to the kitchen!!!!

Precious getting locked in someones room for 26 hours,whoever said cats are meant to reduce stress not induce it never met my cat!!!
When I'm home I like to let her have the run of the house so it's not uncommon not to see her for an hour at a clip but as I was getting ready to go to bed on Tuesday nite I thought it was odd I hadn't seen her for a while so I went down to the living room,dining room and kitchen to look for her,no joy I figured she'd found a new hiding place I didn't know.........
I heard claws pulling at the rug and as I followed the sound I found myself outside one of my house mates room,somehow Precious had snuck into Jean's room and when Jean left for the evening at 8.30pm she unknowingly locked Precious in her room!!!!!
Fast forward 26 hours and Jean returned home at 10.30pm last nite and yours truly pleading to get my cat back,like my toe it was a freak accident but I was relieved to have my cat back in my room when I went to bed last nite.

The Holiday meal at work,I've been at the hospital for 12 years now so I've had to endure the wankathon that is the holiday meal for 13 years now since xmas 99.
Never have I witnessed such greed and gluttony over the years,we have a chronic obesity problem in this county not to mention people starving and yet once a year hospital employees act like they've never eaten a meal in their lives,I lost count of the number of employees I saw walking the halls today laden down w/ Styrofoam containers of food from the cafeteria,not to mention seeing various departments sending employees over to the cafeteria w/ trolleys to wheel food back to their department.....it's a disgrace!!!
I don't eat in the cafeteria any day of the year so I can't be a hypocrite and show up for the holiday meal,that's just me but I do get the point of view that a lot of employees feel they're over looked,over worked,under paid and under appreciated so if they can get something for free why not grab it w/ both hands?.....but if they were giving away a dog turd in a tote bag for free would they show up in droves?????
I say nix the holiday meal,take the money it costs to provide it and donate that food and money to Philabundance or local homeless shelters to those who need a free meal.

The treat of rain this afternoon,I needed a run on several levels,knowing my toe wasn't broken,wanting to blow off some steam after the holiday meal and the issue of Precious,the ghosts of Xmas past gathering and hovering above me,wanted to stay on pace for 6 day/50 miles,notching a 6th day in a row.
When I returned from lunch at 2pm it was raining.....great! but when I left at 3.15pm it had eased off and when I got home by 4.15pm it had stopped so I had at it,my third consecutive 8 miler to put me at 34 miles for the week w/ a rest day on tap tomorrow b4 another 10 miler on Saturday b4 8x800m repeats on Sunday to round out my week at 50 miles.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blah Humbug

It must come as no major surprise to those who know me that I am NOT the poster child or spokesperson for the holidays,I am very much anti holiday that said I try not to rain on the parade of the majority who seem to revel in this time of year.
I'd been surprised how deep into December I'd gotten b4 my "holiday blahs" surfaced,I think it's safe to say w/ 11 days to go that "cheque is no longer in the mail"

Another 8 miler this evening,another tomorrow will set me up nicely for a 6 day/50 mile week
This time last year it was a lot colder when I was out running as I recall the nite of Thur Dec 16th vividly.........
After a couple of weeks where my Tuesday and Wednesday runs fell by the way side due to the rain it's nice to have a sense on continuity going this week,backing up to last week since Saturday I now have 5 consecutive days which is something I took for granted when I routinely cranked out six day weeks week in week out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If Time Magazine Thinks So...................................

"You are the hole in my head you are the space in my bed,you are the silence in between what I thought and what I said
You are the night time fear you are the morning when it's clear,when it's over you will start you're my head you're my heart
No light,no light in your bright blue eyes I never knew daylight could be so violent a revelation in the light of day
You can't choose what stays and what fades away and I'll do anything to make you stay"

No Light No Light-Florence & The Machine


An ex girlfriend once said my bedroom was quote"a shrine to Sarah McLaughlin",I guess these days my blog has become a shrine to Florence Welch......and I'm ok w/ that!!!!!


Time magazine said that "No Light,No Light" was their "Song Of The Year" and frankly who are we to argue w/ them,c'mon it's Time magazine not What's On In Stoke Newington for crying out loud, I'm delighted it's the new single even though xpn is now playing "Shake It Out",hell any Florence & The Machine on the radio is good and I also learnt she'll be appearing on "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year" which I'll be dvring seeing as I'll be getting my New Years,New Wave on at Sex Dwarf that nite.


Needed my 8 miler this evening,there are five words that are guaranteed to screw up my whole day"Hill Rom beds coming in"and from 7am till 2pm the dock was tied up w/ a Hill Rom 18 wheeler backed onto the dock not to mention new Hill Rom beds,mattresses and headboards all over the dock.....not quite sure where I'm expected to put my deliveries......I'm not an unreasonable man,I realize you can't omelets w/out breaking eggs but there has to be a better way of getting 50 beds into the hospital w/out tying up the loading dock for 7 hours.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Different Gear,Still Speeding

If it's Monday it's a 10 miler,always good to kick the week off on a good note and if I'm coming off either a long run or repeat on Sunday it's always good to have that nice easy 10 miler to get the previous days run out of my system.
I also feel it sets the week up nicely,miss Monday and there's the chance the week can get away from you,granted the last two weeks my Tuesdays and Wednesdays have been rained out but I'm hoping this week to get back up to 6 days a week/50 miles a week so kicking things off tonite w/ an easy 10 miler helps sets that up.

Didn't get the chance to mention the Beady Eye show at Terminal 5 on Friday,I was a mega Oasis fan,saw them at least 9 times in 13 years including two memorable Wembley Stadium shows in 2000 that make up their "Familiar To Millions" cd and dvd.
Wasn't surprised to hear they broke up last year,if anything I was surprised it didn't happen sooner given the fractious relationship between Noel and Liam Gallagher but from the ashes of Oasis came Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Beady Eye.
Having seen both bands and heard both cds I have to give the nod to Noel,better singer,better song writer,better stage presence but that's not to say Liam and Beady Eye don't have their charm,the bigger question is how long b4 Noel and Liam settle their differences and reform Oasis???

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Always Up For A Little Afternoon Delight

OK so first up it should be stressed that Kevinrunningfree hasn't become that sort of a blog{I save that material for my diary thank you very much!!!}but now that I have your attention here's my 4x1mile repeats.........

Try as I might I could not force myself out of bed at 8am when the alarm went off and w/ a Spurs game at 11am I was now looking at hitting Temple's track at 2pm for my repeats.......see see what I did there, a little play on words,afternoon workout,afternoon delight!!!!!
I arrived at Temple at 2.05pm minus the dozen or so guys on the infield playing football I had the track to myself so barring a wide received going out of bounds to make a play and ending up in lane 1 I was good to go!!
Mile warm up,warm up being the operative word the sun might've been out but it was a little on the brisk side,no shedding my 1/2 zip fleece this Sunday!!
Having not done mile repeats for a while I felt 5.10 per mile was perhaps a bit too rich for my blood this early on so 5.20 per mile w/ 4 laps at 1.20 per lap felt like a good baseline to work off of.

#1 mile 1.19-1.23-1.24-1.18-5.24.2-I was pleased w/ the opening lap but just like on my 2 mile repeats it seemed the pace dipped on laps 2 and 3 but I was able to rally on the last lap,from little acorns big trees grow......

#2 mile 1.18-1.23-1.24.1.16-5.21.5-Signs of improvement on the opening and closing laps,I felt I was paying more attention to the fundamentals,working my arms knee lift and leg turnover and also focusing 100% on what I was doing rather than allowing myself to drift off mentally.

#3 mile 1.17-1.23-1.23-1.18-5.21.4.Two thoughts on this one,where did the 1.17 opener come from? and thanks to the skin of my teeth I was on for a repeat workout where each interval got faster than the previous one,was there enough juice left in the tank??

#4 mile 1.17-1.23-1.24-1.13-5.17.4-Nice finish,good to know a 1.13 is in my wheelhouse this early on into my repeats.

Like my 1,000m repeats last week I feel I've opened the campaign w/ reasonable repeats and while there's clearly room for improvement{eliminating those 1.23/1.24 laps for starters}I feel I can move on to the second round of 1,000s and mile repeats w/ a sense of optimism

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Getting It Done

Sadly time constraints yesterday meant no run,I was heading upto New York again for a concert to see Beady Eye at Terminal 5 and had to be on the 12.07pm R7 out of 30th St which didn't allow me the time to get a 3rd 10 miler for the week in,more's the pity.

Inspite of yet another late nite{seriously three weekends in a row now I've gotten home at 3am!!}I was up by 10am and out the door by 11am to run 10 miles on the extended out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway.
The pace might not've been brisk but the weather sure as hell was,seriously and I speak from first hand experience when I say this it was warmer at 2.15am this morning walking home from 30th St than it was when I ran at 11am!!!

I was quite content w/ the easy pace,yesterday had been a long day,sitting down on the 11.52pm train out of Penn Station felt so good!! and w/ a 4x1 mile repeat on tap tomorrow there was no need to balls out....even if I wanted to,which frankly I didn't I was happy to get the 10 miler in period,tomorrow when I run my first mile repeats since August 10th will be another matter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Didn't See That Coming....

Well the good news,it stopped raining.....,the bad news it got a lot cooler,my first reaction as the front door closed behind me this morning at 5.45am as I left for work was fuckin ada it's cold!!
And frankly 11 hours later it wasn't that much better as I set off for my 10 miler.

First nite I wore my thermal ski hat tonite and frankly I could've done w/ my gloves as my finger tips were feeling a tad numb by half way and b4 anyone scream wuss I'm not blessed w/ a great deal of circulation in my fingers so they tend to get numb quicker than most people.

I have the luxury of having tomorrow off from work as I'm off to New York City again for a concert {Beady Eye} so there's major potential to squeeze my run in b4 leaving at lunchtime which would be nice given how I lost two days to the rain.

Tuesday nite saw the season finale of "Sons Of Anarchy",I've loved "Sons" since I discovered it in season two and this season has been an unbelievable roller coaster ride,I gave up trying to predict how I thought it might end weeks ago as every episode left my jaw dropping closer to the floor but frankly I could not've predicted the way this season played out......damn now we've got to wait till September for season five.....son of a bitch!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Warm Fuzzies On A Damp Dreary Day

"Just one beat of your heart and stranger than fantasy,I knew from the start it had to be the place for me
Someone that I would die for there's no way I could ever leave
Is your love strong enough?like a rock in the sea am I asking too much?
Is your love strong enough?

Is Your Love Strong Enough-Bryan Ferry

Man, I thought I was upset that The Cure didn't get into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame,seems the Gods were so overcome w/ grief they cried all day.......hence the rain!!!
Clearly no run again today I'm not risking getting sick for the sake of a 10 miler,there will be other days this week I'm confident I'll be able to get out there and do what I have to do.
Couldn't resist another picture of Florence Welch,the love of my life right now,was so happy to hear "No Light,No Light" on WXPN just b4 lunchtime.
I'm guessing it's too late in the day to convince/bullshit the "Jolly Fat Man" I've been good all year to expect to find Flo in either my Christmas stocking or under my tree Christmas morning but a boy can dream yeah?? after all didn't someone once say"don't tread on my dreams,my dreams are all I have"???!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

To Cut A Long Story Short

No run this evening as the rain had other ideas,tomorrow's isn't looking champion either......poxy weather!!!
However when life gives you Lemons.......

I used my unscheduled down time to finish off Tony Hadley's autobiography "To Cut A Long Story Short".
Having previously read Gary Kemp's autobiography "I Know This Much" I felt compelled to read Tony's version of the split of Spandau Ballet in the late 80's,unlike Gary's revised and updated autobiography which includes the bands successfull reunion in 09 "To Cut A Long Story Short" doesn't go that far, when the book ends in 04 Tony was approached about a potential reunion,given the acrimony behind the lawsuit Tony Hadley,Steve Norman and John Keeble filed against Gary Kemp and lost it's a miracle those former band mates ever spoke to each other let alone reformed so at a time when the potential train wreck of Guns N Roses being inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame looms large and has the naysayers doubting things can go off w/out a hitch in Cleveland next year I say stranger things have happened.....

Monday, December 5, 2011

You Can Take The Boy Out Of South East London......

.....But you'll never take the South East London out of the boy!!!
Nice easy 10 miler to kick off the week and also get any residual gunk out of my legs from yesterdays 1,000m repeats.

I've never hidden my love of my South East London roots,born in East Dulwich in SE 22 and spent most of my 24 years growing up in Lewisham SE13 South East London will always be home for me even though I left 24 years ago and haven't been home to visit since 03.
While I'll be a Spurs fan till I die I have a soft spot for the three South East London teams Millwall,Charlton and Crystal Palace and still keep tabs on my birthplace's side Dulwich Hamlets in non league soccer,we're currently third in the Ryman Isthmian League One South,it's highly unlikely they'll ever make the Football League but the Hamlets will always be near to my heart.

We've also produced several musicians and actors over the years,Jude Law is from Lewisham,Gary Oldman is from New Cross and Michael Caine is from Bermondsey and musically there's Squeeze,Status Quo,Bowie,Billy Idol,Siouxsie Sioux,Japan and now Florence Welch of Florence And The Machine.
I read somewhere she was from South London which instantly drew me in like a moth to the flame,upon closer research{wikipedia} I discovered Florence is from Camberwell in SE 5 which means she has my undying love and support,I was gutted to discover she played Philly this summer at Festival Pier b4 she made it on to my radar but w/ the release of her sophomore effort "Ceremonials" I keep checking her website for news of a US tour,it'll either be Jan/Feb b4 her European tour kicks off or next summer afterwards either way I look forward to having a fellow South East Londoner here on these shores.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Too Shabby If I Say So Myself

After a seven week absence from the oval{ the track not the Surrey cricket ground!!!}it was back to the wonderful world of interval and track repeats.
For me indoor season kicks off in just over three weeks time at the Armory on Dec 26th in what will probably be the 1,500m followed closely 10 days later w/ the mile when the Thursday Nite At The Races series kicks off also at the Armory so it was always my intention to return to the track on the weekends to get some speed under me.

Today's form of torture.....I'm sorry bill o fare was the always fun 5x1,000m I figure it serves a couple of purposes,gets me ready for the 3,000m and maybe 5,000m if my schedule allows it but also helps w/ the 1,500m/mile so it felt like the ideal repeat to kick off the preparation for the upcoming 2012 indoor season.
Given my seven week hiatus from repeats on top of the fact that pre and Post Worlds and Nationals almost all my repeats were either 3x2 miles or 4x1 mile mixing it up w/ a return to an old staple was a good way to reintroduce myself the fray.

Couldn't have asked for better conditions,I didn't check the official temperature b4 I left home around 10am but the sun was shining brightly enough to warrant shades which is always good even if only from a psychological standpoint and after shedding my hooded sweatshirt and warm up bottoms post mile warm up I then ditched my fleece after repeat #1 to conclude proceedings in a long sleeved running shirt{w/ sleeves rolled up of course!!} and three quarter length bottoms,it remains to be seen if I get that lucky the next two weekends.

The target was 5x1,000m in 3.15 and under,given I was averaging 1.20 per lap during my 3x2milers I felt 1.20,1.20,35 was a reasonable target and expectation........

#1 1,000m 1.14-1.17-37-3.08.3.Woah! wasn't expecting an opening lap of 74,YES I know I need to run much faster in the 1,500m and mile but after being away from this particular repeat since March 26th b4 switching up to 8x1,000m I was mildly taken aback.

#2 1,000m 1.15-1.21-35-3.11.7. Another brisk opening lap,but clearly work to be done over the coming weeks and months on that 1.21......perhaps the memo to my brain and legs that this was a 1,000m repeat not a 2 mile repeats had gotten misplaced???

#3 1,000m 1.14-1.21-35-3.10.6. More of the same,coming off the first turn and down the straight two words leapt to the forefront of my brain.....lactic acid followed by two more in double quick time oh shit!!!!
Granted my second lap was becoming a concern but I could not have predicted or expected opening laps of 1.14,1.15,1.14 and I was still after all sub 3.15......

#4 1,000m 1.16-1.22-36-3.14.5.Ah that time honoured Grand Piano falling out of the sky on the second to last repeat and that oh so pleasant hands on knees while bent over in two at the finish line sensation......how I'd forgotten you!!!!

#5 1,000m 1.15-1.21-35-3.11.2. Good to see the white flag didn't go up and that while I'm somewhat rusty on leg turnover and knee lift the brain knew to respond to the "no damn it I said faster" battle cry!

All in all a good start to my return to repeats,granted there's work to be done over the coming weeks and months but for someone who thought 3.15 was a legit target time these weren't bad numbers to post,that said when I next revisit this repeat I'll look to run 3.10's.
Not a bad week,35 miles and more importantly back on the track.
PS for the record on March 26th I went:3.05.2.-3.11.7.-3.13.9-3.15.4-3.12.5.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Real Life

After a 5 hour dance marathon at Sex Dwarf last nite there was no way I was attempting a track workout today,it was 3am when I got to be bed again and the prospect of hitting the track seemed about as appealing as an IRS audit or Root Canal w/out the Novocaine so I elected to make today a 10 miler on the extended out and back course along Cobbs Creek Parkway at lunch time.

The sun may've been out when I hit the road around 12.30pm but I'm glad I got my wardrobe selection right for this run my new Adidas half zip running shirt over a long sleeve shirt,not quite hat and glove weather yet....but it's coming!!!

Time was not an issue today,which suited me as I was still feeling the effects of my late nite but hopefully tomorrow when I hit the track I'll be well rested period much less about to conduct my first winter track repeat and also firt repeats since October 15th.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Europa And The Pirate Twins

No run on tap today......but a 5 hour aerobic workout on the dance floor of Club Fluid for the December edition of Sex Dwarf,I can thank my stamina of lasting the whole nite on the dance floor to my running I guess!!

Well the soccer Gods paired Ireland w/ Croatia,Spain and Italy in the group stage of the Euro 2012 C'ships,let's not kid ourselves it won't be easy I mean Spain are only the current World Champions and defending European champions!!!
Kind of a given we'd get Italy,Giovanni Trapatoni's home land and we had them in our group for the last World Cup qualifying stage and it should be noted Croatia have three Spurs players in their squad.
For the record England have been drawn w/ France,Sweden and Ukraine,the fun and games begin on June 8th.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gettting Ready For The Great Indoors

W/ the calender saying December 1st I felt a sense of duty to get out there tonite and clock a 10 miler.
I skipped Tuesday,I think I'd have fallen over if I tried to run as the events of a long weekend caught up w/ me and if I'm being 100% honest I just wasn't feeling it yesterday,but I of all people know those days can't be allowed too often so it was back on the horse this evening for a 10 miler on the extended out and back on Cobbs Creek Parkway.

The indoor track season is beginning to take shape,it looks like most of my races prior to Indoor Nationals in Bloomington Indiana in mid March will be in New York(ohh there's a major surprise!!!!!) it's just a matter of which eight meets I pick my six races from.
There are a couple of meets that have yet to be determined,the US Open at Madison Square Garden has yet to say if there'll be a Masters race{what I wouldn't give for them to offer a Masters Mile!!!!!} and also the new Millrose Games at The Armory has a Club DMR on the schedule,I've gone on record as saying I have no desire to run the Masters 4x400m relay so we'll see if a Distance Medley Relay can come together.
Once those two meets get resolved I can flesh out the rest of my indoor season.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Night Like This

My love affair w/ The Cure can be traced all the way back to the early 80's,it may not've actually been "10:15 Saturday Night" when I first heard them but it was a Saturday nite in the living room of my best friends parents house in either 82 or 83 when I heard "Seventeen Seconds" and "Faith" on a C90 cassette,I'd never heard anyone like them and thus began a relationship that's lasted almost 30 years and shows no sign of ending......if only the same could be said of my personal relationships!!!

Fast forwarding to 1989 and the release of their magnus opus "Disintegration" this was a game changer,I suddenly went from liking The Cure to becoming a fully paid up member and card carrying Disciple Of The Church Of Robert Smith so much so that a former girlfriend once accused me of loving Robert Smith more than I loved her....she was probably right,the fact is she's long gone and Robert and The Cure are still very much a huge part of my life.

It would be another 3 years b4 I got to enjoy seeing The Cure live at The Spectrum in 92 on the "Wish" tour but it began a run of 9 shows in 19 years and counting and it was also when I got to meet them,more by luck than design I happened to work at the hotel they stayed in for the two Philly shows and got to meet the whole band,Robert,Simon,Porl,Boris and Perry that signed picture is a treasured possession along w/ the one of Robert that I had matted and framed complete w/ "To Kevin Best Wishes Robert Smith" signed in orange......in case you're curious why I always write The Cure in orange that was the title of their first ever live concert video and ever since then I've always done that.....Robert got a kick out of it when he signed the picture.
For as long as I live I'll Cherish the conversation Robert and I had outside his room,just two guys talking football,shooting the shit.

In 96 I flew home to London to see the "Wild Mood Swings" tour at Wembley Arena having already seen them here in Philly earlier that summer,in 98 I had second row seats at The Tower,in 2000 the "Bloodflowers" tour at Tweeter Center followed by the Curiosa Festival also at the Tweeter Center in 04 and then back to The Spectrum in 08 on the "4.13"tour a show that impressed me so much I went to New York at he end of the tour to see then again at famed Radio City Music Hall.

As you can see there tends to be a four gap between tours so I was thinking 2012 for the next Cure tour when out of nowhere it was announced that due to overwhelming demand to their two Australian "Reflections" shows they would perform seven more shows one in London,three in LA and three in New York at The Beacon,no stranger to a road trip to see The Cure I made sure to secure a ticket for the third and final show at The Beacon on Sunday and made plans to stay overnite as I knew from past experiences that a Cure concert can last over three hours.....

"Three Imaginary Boys"''Seventeen Seconds" and "Faith" have never sounded so good,"Faith" is one of my favourite Cure albums so I tend to listen to that alot but it was good to go back and listen to "Three Imaginary Boys" and "Seventeen Seconds" again "10:15 Saturday Night" and "Three Imaginary Boys" are live staples of a Cure concert,"A Forest" is one of my three all time favourite Cure songs and ever since the live "Paris" cd in 92 "At Night" has become a favourite,on "Seventeen Seconds" it's an ok album track but the live "Paris" version ROCKS so to see them perform it live was extra special
''Primary" is another live staple off of "Faith" but to hear "The Drowning Man" and "Faith" live was worth the price of admission alone.

The encores were to die for,three of them,17 songs in total:World War,I'm Cold,Plastic Passion,Killing An Arab,Jumping Someone Else's Train,Another Journey By Train for the first encore
Descent,Splintered In Her Head,Charlotte Sometimes,The Hanging Garden for the second encore followed by
Let's Go To Bed,The Walk,The Lovecats,The Caterpillar,Close To Me,Inbetween Days and Boys Don't Cry for the third and final encore,I was almost speechless when I left The Beacon.....and that takes some doing let me tell you!!

Will there be a new Cure album and tour next year? we can only hope,there is the upcoming "Bestival 2011" double live cd from this summers Isle Of Wight show to look forward to next week and the original "Reflections" show from Sydney to look forward to on dvd sometime in the not too distant future.
Fingers crossed a well deserved place in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next year,we'll know in a few weeks if they've been elected,for a band written off after "Disintegration" in 89,"Wish" in 92 and again in 2000 w/ "Bloodflowers" they seem to go from strength to strength and frankly show little or no signs of slowing down or stopping.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lovecat Sighting In Central Park

Regular readers of my blog will know I'm no stranger to visits to New York City,this was my 10th trip this year w/ 2 more on tap in the next 5 weeks.
Granted most visits are for races and see me heading home straight afterwards but for my last trip the Human League,5th Avenue Mile double I stayed overnight and knowing The Cure concert would run late I booked a room at Jazz On The Park again Sunday.
In that time honoured tradition of ''Location,Location,Location" Jazz On The Park is right there on 7th Avenue and 106th St,Central Park is literally on it's front door,it was for that reason I booked it in September for 5th Avenue Mile.

Post concert and a nites kip I was up by 8.30am and dressed in my running gear to take full advantage of the chance to get a 10 miler in through Central Park,minus warm ups and cool downs either side of 5th Avenue Mile I've never ran in Central Park* so this was too good an opportunity to pass up.
*Actually I have,I ran 2 New York City marathons in 90 and 03 and I also ran a 5 mile race there in 03.
Blessed w/ great conditions I set off from 106th st through the park down to 59th st and Columbus Circle I was tempted to do several loops of the reservoir but A I'm not Dustin Hoffman in "Marathon Man" and B when you've got the whole of Central Park to run in to only loop around the reservoir is like being given the keys to the Playboy Mansion and only checking out one room!!!

I'd never ran in Central Park this late in the year b4 so to witness the leaves changing was kind of neat,on my way back up towards 110th st my route took me through the Central Park Zoo just at 9am so I got to hear the chimes and also see the lights and decorations being put up,for a non lover of the holidays to notice this is quite something trust me
Heading along 110th St I saw a runner wearing a Central Park track jacket,not unnatural for these parts but upon closer review I realised it was my good friend Sid Howard,a minute either way we might of missed each other.

I finished up my run w/ a loop of the reservoir to round out my 10 miler,who knows when I'll next get to run in Central Park but the memory of this 10 miler will last a while.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Road To Indoor Nationals Begins Through Central Park

W/ the Delaware Open now behind me and the 2011 outdoor season over it's time to get ready for the 2012 indoor season,although in fairness since I stepped off the track after my leg of the 4x800m relay at outdoor Nationals in Berea on July 31st I've been planning for indoors.
Following last nites Cure concert in New York City I spent the night in Manhattan and allowed myself the unique chance to run through Central Park this morning.
Over the next few days I'll elaborate on both.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And The Good Lord Said,Come Fourth

Final outdoor race of the 2011 season and were it not for the Armory Holiday meet on Dec 26th{or Boxing Day as I knew it growing up} my season finale.
As I stated for the record in my previous blog entry I'd never had much luck at this race but I always said it would be nice to come into the Delaware Open w/ a good level of training under my belt,post Nationals I've logged eleven 50 mile training weeks{2 were actually 53 mile weeks} so even though I've eased off the gas a little in the weeks either side of The Bridge Run I felt coming into my first Delaware open since 08 that I was ready to set the record straight.

Starter for ten,who ordered the great weather?most of my memories of this race which is always ran the Saturday after Thanksgiving are of freezing my arse off,not this year sunny and warm,not sure of the official temps at 11am but it was singlet and shorts weather,no gloves or arm warmers today.
Pre race I jogged the new course,eighty sixing the creek and halving Maintenance Hill suited moi and the new finish meant a serious downhill to the finish line,yeah I could live w/ this!!

In a field of almost 100{official results show 99 finishers} I got out to a good start,Matt Sandercock took off like he'd been listening to Meatloaf......"Bat Out Of Hell" and the field gave chase I eased my way into 5th very early on and never looked back.
5.32 at the mile marker Matt was gone Greg Watson followed and though I didn't realise it at the time 3rd and 4th place runners Tim Suchler and Mark Kamaway were team mates from Inside Track.
I moved into 3rd as we cut back on to Maintenance Hill roughly half way up it,it's still a beast hill but I was moving well,could I really be 3rd???was this some sort of dream? 8th was best ever showing in 08,what about the lunatic who ran a 5 Mile Turkey Trot 2 days b4 his 05 Brandywine debut and was toast after the opening mile and finished 16th in 19.43.3?who in 06 finished 14th but in 20.05.0? or who finished 8th in 07 in 19.02.2?? or 9th in 07 in 19.10.6?.....well if this was a dream,don't wake me!!!!!

Freewheeling the downhill off Maintenance I closed some ground on Greg Watson but he opened up a lead on me I could never reclaim,Greg's tough,how tough? routinely each year he runs both the Masters and open races which are half an hour apart,if he's lucky he gets 10 mins recovery....and I think I'm hot shit cos I jog the course after the race as my cool down run!!
No clock or marker for 2 miles,along the long stretch that's known as Suicide I had Tim Suchler and Mark Kamaway breathing down my neck,I could've said feck it 5th is better than I've ever managed here go ahead chaps......but that really would be a dream so I hunkered down and dug deep.
Tim got me but I was hell bent on retaining 4th and using the downhill to the finish line I put daylight between Mark and myself,4th in 18.29.9. a 5.57 per mile average and finally a Delaware Open 5K XC race to be proud of.

There's a healthy debate amongst us who've ran both courses as to which is the tougher, the old course or the new course,I never broke 19 on the only course,then again I never came into Brandywine State Park w/ a slew of 50 mile training weeks under my belt either so I guess the debate will be ongoing.
It's been an up and down season after my 15.47.3. indoor 5,000m in mid January I felt a kick arse season was on tap but little did I know that anmenia was about to derail my hopes and dreams,the low point of my season was my 4.54 mile at West Chester on June 3rd from there there was only one direction and that was up and slowly but surely {or in my case surly!!}I've been clawing my way back,there's some signs of life now as I close out the year so I just have to keep doing what I'm doing,maybe fine tune a little bit here and there and who knows what's on tap in 2012?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Delaware Open 5K XC

Cliff Notes
4th overall
18.28
Best ever finish here,first time under 19 on this course
Longer version to follow

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Spiritwalker

"Let it be beautiful when I sing the last song I will give you even my body spiritwalker
Let all the children kiss the sun before they sing their last song
I will give you even my body spiritwalker
Let the sun shine on me when I sing the last song I will give you even my body spiritwalker
Let all the children kiss the stars before they sing their last song
I will give you even my body
Spiritwalker"

Spiritwalker-The Cult

It should come as no great revelation to anyone who knows me that I'm not the poster child for the holidays,but rather than piss all over them for those that actually enjoy them I'll just keep my feelings to myself but I think you can guess from The Cult lyrics where my loyalties lie in reference to Thanksgiving.....
Finally got out to run yesterday,an easy 9 miler,Monday got shelved due to a combination of the threat of rain,my stomach acting up and if I'm being 100% honest the Spurs Villa game being on(2.0 to Spurs to put us 3rd in the Premiership.......COYS C'mon You Spurs!!!)
Tuesday it just pissed out of the heavens and frankly by Wednesday I knew I wasn't getting anywhere close to 50 or 55 miles this week so I figured why not rest my legs for Saturday's Brandywine 5k xc race.

I've never had much joy or success at the Brandywine race in my 06 debut I went out way too hard in the opening mile and paid for it over the final 2.1 miles,I believe the quote in my blog was going up Maintenance Hill at roughly half way through the race I feared I'd fail my MOT and that AAA would have to come and pick me up!!!!
I fared slightly better in 07 but it was still nowt to write home about,at that stage I was still a 800m/1,500m runner on the track who only ran 30 miles a week in training I hadn't come to grips w/ 5k on the track,road or xc and in 08 when I felt I was coming into the race w/ a decent bit of training under my belt I lost a bit of my momentum due to having to work 9 hour shifts on the dock by my lonesome as my wingman Chris had undergone nuruo surgery in mid November.
That was also the year the bastards who organise the race moved the goalposts which I believe was the title of my blog entry.

The previous year I finished 9th and the prize money went 8 deep,in 08 I finished 8th..... and they only went 7 deep w/ prize money and don't even get me started on the post race raffle,one year 06 I think after I'd left my race number finally got drawn after all the really good shit had been claimed and guess what I won????an oil change.....sure the guy who doesn't drive wins a sodding oil change......bit like giving a non drinker a case of beer or a blind guy tickets to the Art Gallery!!!
In 09 I skipped xc races altogether coming off the achilles injury and last year I was building base mileage in the fall so I side stepped all the xc races on the schedule but this year I've ran 3 xc races St Clare,Rochester,Deer Park so it's full steam ahead to Brandywine on Saturday morning.

They've changed the course from when I last ran in 08 and 86ed running along the creek which is fine by me as that part of the race was full of rocks and slate,I always said of Brandywine that it's a race I'd like to run in good shape and frankly this year at my fourth crack at it I think I am in good shape,w/ the Off Road Grand Prix hanging in the balance between ourselves(GPTC) and our perennial rivals for the Off Road Grand Prix crown Rosemont Running Company there's a little extra at stake tomorrow so we'll have to see how it all unfolds when the gun goes off at 11am as my Grand Slam weekend begins to unfold.
Last Friday of the month tonite so....Land Of The Lost on WXPN tonite,Brandywine tomorrow morning,then my good friend Robert Drake is taking his unique 80's collection to Kung Fu Necktie tomorrow nite and I'd like to be there as most of the Land Of The Lost/Sex Dwarf crowd will be there and then Sunday The Cure are in New York at The Beacon performing their third and final nite of the Reflections tour as they perform their first three albums "Three Imaginary Boys","Seventeen Seconds" and "Faith",seriously who has time for Turkey,Football and Black Friday w/ all this going on???