Monday, January 31, 2011

Running In A Winter Wonderland

I was looking for a photo of the Schuylkill River frozen but couldn't find one but did stumble on this shot of the Fairmount Waterworks w/ the Schuylkill in the background and Boathouse Row in the top right hand corner,to put things into context Fairmount Waterworks is in between Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive and give or take 3/4s of a mile from my 5 mile turnaround at Girard Ave bridge.

As the month ends today I fear February may continue where January left off,we're playing the"waiting,watching wondering" game w/ the weather tomorrow and Wednesday, there's talk of snow,ice and rain,if I lose both days I'm screwed for a 50 mile week,one day off wouldn't hurt leading up to a race on Saturday and thus begins the time honoured issue tapering to be at my best for the race verses losing mileage for the week,a happy medium would be to lose one I said waiting,watching,wondering.

Conditions were grey and overcast when I set off at 4.40pm,when I hit Schuylkill Banks it was 30 degrees, cold but not "double layer" weather,things however were about to heat up.
I was seething on the approach to Lloyd Hall when some stupid woman nearly tripped me and another runner w/ her dog leash so I already had a full head of steam up when another runner overtook me as we were coming along by Boathouse Row.
I responded to the challenge or as Barney would say on "How I Met Your Mother" challenge accepted and thus began a 2 mile pedal to the metal chase,unlike Saturday when my would be challenger gave up the ghost w/in half a mile "Smokey" stayed on my tail from Lloyd Hall to Markward Playgrounds,it was a good workout and a timely one if I'm about to "ride the pine" for a day or two leading to Saturdays race in Boston.

On the subject of which I got an email w/ the starting line up of masters milers,some I know,some I've raced,others I've never raced,one thing's for sure if I have to sit out tomorrow and or Wednesday I'll have ample time to google my opponents to see who's ran what times in recent weeks over the mile and see where I stack up,it's about to get crazy in Possumtown!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another Half Century

Even w/ losing two days to the snow and only being able to log two miles on Friday either side of my 400m at Millrose I still managed to log a 50 mile week thanks to a 13 miler today.
I forgot to mention yesterday I broke in my new running shoes,a rather snazzy pair of red Asics Gel Speedstars,the snow might not have been the ideal conditions for new shoes but at least w/ brand new tread to break in the conditions under foot weren't as bad to deal w/.

Set off around 10.45am,sunny and 35 degrees it was nice not to be doing the double layers again,I for one won't be sorry to see the back of January after tomorrow and while I haven't been on an outdoor track since December 24th remarkably over the last four weeks I've been able to log weeks of 55,60,50 and 50 miles while also throwing in 4 races,not bad if I say so myself.

Ran into my good bud Seano just b4 my turnaround out on Kelly Drive,he was on his way inbound from his 12 miler so we ran the rest of Kelly Dr and the Schuylkill Banks together and shot the proverbial.
One plus of being out at 10.45am was I wasn't subjected to a humiliating 4.0 Spurs defeat to Fulham in the FA Cup,bit of a mixed bag this weekend on the sporting front Andy Murray lost the Australian Open final,and England lost the One Day Series in cricket to Australia while Australia lost the Asian Cup final to Japan....oh yeah Six Nations Rugby kicks off next weekend.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fair Exchange Is No Robbery

That was an old expression my father used from time to of the few printable ones I can use!
It's appropriate for today,the game plan going in to the day was to run 13 miles today and 16 miles tomorrow....however mid way through the run along West River Drive it became evident that a rethink was in order.
Not only had several stretches of West River Drive not been cleared which meant conditions were difficult underfoot bordering on treacherous but it also meant that the quarter mile markers were obscured which was going to be a problem,I could find the turnaround on my 10 mile run w/ my eyes closed on either drive which shows up as either 3/4 on Kelly Drive or 6 & 3/4 on West River Drive so I opted to not only make today my 16 miler but this would also allow me to scope out Kelly Drive in the hope that was a little more cleared off at the very least and I could see the markers for tomorrows 13 miler.

In spite of the snow there were a few intrepid souls out there today,conditions were grey and overcast but 34 degrees and comfortable to run in.
Although I'm far from loving the snow right now it made for a picturesque view along either drive several stretches of the Schuylkill river are frozen which obviously wreaks havoc for the rowers who normally row on the river and when you think of it along those terms it makes you appreciate being able to get out and run.

Briefly coming down Kelly Drive it looked like I might've gotten myself in to a pissing contest w/ another runner,coming off of Falls Bridge at 8 miles I looked up along Kelly Drive to see a runner a fair distance ahead of me and in fairness I may not've caught him had he not stopped to talk to someone just prior to the 3 mile marker or mile 9 of the run but now I had him in my cross hairs and drew along side him.
It's funny you can overtake dozens of runners on a training run and get different responses this afternoon I got a "I don't think so" from the "Texas Longhorn"{he had a tan t shirt w/ the Texas Longhorn log on the back} as I drew along side him and thus began a quarter mile mano e mano battle between the pair of us,neither one backing down from the other neither one willing to allow the other to get ahead however either I broke him as we approached Strawberry Mansion bridge or he just said "feck it you can have it" and I never saw or heard him again.

While I may've won the battle I still had 7 miles of my run to go and it was going to be a real kick in the arse if I'd shot my load to get get ahead of him...however in week 16 of my training I think I'm more than capable of seeing out a 16 miler even if at times I've had to slush my way along the course and mix it up a little w/ a fellow runner,but as they say down under"no worries mate" and I was able to cruise through the final 6 miles w/out any problems to notch my 13th 16 miler in the last 16 weeks
I saw the 2 & a 1/4 marker for tomorrows turn around to run 13 miles which will give me another 50 mile week which given I lost two days to the snow and ran a 400m race yesterday is remarkable if I say so myself.

4th Again At Millrose

Much like the old Monty Python sketch Secret Service where the punch line goes"still I was getting used to it by now"that's kind of how I feel this morning waking up after our 4th place finish yesterday at the 104th Millrose Games.
Remarkably Central Park Track Club were a no show,it's almost inconceivable to have a Millrose Games w/out Central Park but there you go.

Always felt Southwest Sprinters would win and from their lead off leg it was obvious that would happen perhaps the surprise for me was Shore AC going into second,Keith Davis has been MIA for a few years but looked to be back to his oldself last nite w/ Scott Landis in third and Craig Strimel our lead off in 4th.
Scott finally caught Keith Davis b4 his hand off to Ray Parker but Bruce Rash another of our "Millrose Rookies" had too much ground to make up on Shore AC's second leg Tom Cawley.

Having ran anchor for the past three years it was a new experience lining up on the far side of the track to run the third leg but to be honest after that awful 400m at Delaware almost three weeks ago I didn't expect to be back here.
By the time Bruce handed off to me I was well adrift of Shore AC's third leg however I did close the gap by the time we got to the final exchange zone but it was going to take a miracle or accident now for us to get bronze......

Coming off the final turn "Downtown Dave Brown" tripped coming off the final turn and dropped the baton.....fortunately for him he was not only well clear of Pat Dolan the Shore AC anchor the baton didn't roll off the track,this is what I talked about on Thursday the unpredictable nature of the relay.
4th in 3.57.6 much quicker than the 4.04 seed time we had off our recent individual 400s,when Chuck posts the splits I'll log them.

Post race I cooled down to make sure I had 2 miles for the day to put me at 21 for the week I need to post a 13 miler today and 16 tomorrow to log another 50 mile week.
Is this my final Millrose Games?never say never,obviously last year w/ Southwest Sprinters being a no show it allowed our B team the chance to move up a place and snatch a bronze,I said at the time I felt we "caught lightning in a bottle" last year and maybe that was my one chance to earn my highly sought Millrose Games medal but we'll see what happens come next December/January.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wait And See

Two days lost due to 15 inches of snow,glass half empty a 60 mile week is gone for a burton,glass half full I'll be well rested for tomorrow's masters 4x400m at the Millrose Games at Madison Square Gardens.
It remains to be seen if the snow will effect the line up,Southwest Sprinters are the only team who has to travel a great distance to New York,obviously Central Park don't have to travel far and neither ourselves{Greater Philadelphia Track Club} nor Shore AC from North Jersey will be effected by all three New York airports being shut down today.
At best tomorrow I feel our B team can finish 4th,GPTC finished 4th in 08 and 09 before finishing 1st and 3rd earning me my first ever Millrose medal last year but in a relay everything can change w/ the drop of a baton or a pulled hamstring so rather than sit here thinking the race has already been run I plan on waking up tomorrow and facing another Millrose Games challenge and none of us know how the race will pan out till we cross the finish line.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Great Southern Land

"Buying bread from a man in Brussels he was six feet four,full of muscles I said"do you speak a my language?''he just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich and he said
"I come from a land down under where beer does flow and men chunder can't you hear,can't you hear the thunder? you better run,you better take cover"
Down Under- Men At Work
G'day as they like to say in the southern hemisphere and a Happy Australia Day to my Australian friends down under and across the globe.
For the record I'm unaware of any real Australian heritage I often joke about probably having some as I don't doubt some of my Irish ancestors weren't packed off on prison ships back in the day for sheep stealing and cattle rustling and all those good crimes that earned a one way cruise to Australia.
That said the 15th Prime Minister of Australia was Francis { Frank} Forde who's roots were Irish and an area of Canberra was named after him even though he was only PM for 7 days.

The origins of Australia date back to 1788 when the First Fleet of European settlers arrived from England in Botany Bay and just how Thanksgiving in America stirs some emotions w/ the Native Americans the indigenous people of Australia are know to refer to Australia Day as Invasion Day but I don't wish to get all political here,I'll leave that to people w/ more knowledge on the matter to discuss.

My first introduction to Australia was through the tv show "Skippy The Bush Kangaroo" a popular Australian show that ran for three years between 1967-1969.
My next introduction was probably cricket in the mid 70s,Australia frequently pounded England in test cricket and a few years later I discovered Australia were pretty good at rugby too....again routinely beating England.
As my love of running began in 76 I also began to watch the Olympics and Commonwealth Games where I watched Australia win gold upon gold in the swimming,I guess being an island and surrounded by water helps you develop great swimmers.
Although they've had a drop off in tennis in recent years some of the all time greats herald from Australia Rod Laver and Margaret Court will forever be linked w/ the all time greats.

As a runner Kathy Freeman and Rob De Castella were two Aussies who did much to elevate Australian athletics and while Craig Mottram has done much to keep that flame burning I've learnt from the past through such great as John Landy and Ron Clarke.
As a music fan Australia gave me AC/DC,Inxs,Midnight Oil,Icehouse,Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue and on the big screen Nicole Kidman,Mel Gibson,Russel Crowe and Paul Hogan,so thank you Australia for all that you've given me....and if I do have a relative down under don't be shy getting in touch.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So Far So Good

Wow 38 degrees this afternoon,almost felt like a heatwave after the Arctic blast of the last few days.
9 miler this evening to keep me on pace for the week and allow a taper b4 Millrose.....however they're calling for snow again for the the sixth week in a row.....oi vay!

Tomorrow will be one of those wait and see,hope for the best days,I only have a 6 miler on tap but if it's raining or winter mixing that'll be that shot but w/ any luck it won't be as bad as they're calling for and I'll squeeze in an out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mental Toughness

I'm not one for tooting my own horn,nor breaking my hand patting myself on the back but to get out there and run 10 miles today when it was only 23 degrees took some doing.
As the deep freeze continued I didn't have the luxury of a mid afternoon run today like I did the last three days and for a while I did consider making this one of my 6 milers especially when I hit Franklin Field and my finger tips were starting to get numb but I'm not known for bottling out nor did I want to screw up my taper for Millrose for Friday so I stuck to my plans for a 10 miler today w/ the hope that the weather holds so that the next three days I can go 9,6,6.

A couple of noteworthy observations along Schuylkill Banks on my way to the 5 mile turn around at Girard Avenue bridge,the Peco Tower revealed 5.07pm and 23 degrees,the interesting thing was at 5.07pm it was still daylight and when I made the turn at Girard Bridge it was still daylight,something I haven't experienced for a while on a 10 miler when I set off at 4.40pm,the other remarkable thing was on the inbound leg was seeing the temperature go up a degree to 24 degrees,even at 24 degrees it was still cold but over the past few days I've been able to deal w/ the least it warms up over the next few days...let's just hope the snow doesn't bollocks things up.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Better Late Than Never,Better Less Than None

It's rare I sleep as late as I did today{11.30am} and that put me in the hole for getting a 16 miler in,had my schedule been more favourable an afternoon jaunt around the drives would've been doable but being two hours behind and w/ a full slate of grocery shopping and laundry on the "to do list" meant something had to give.
I almost considered not running at all but the very thought of that negative kept knawing away at me as I hit 30th St for my transpass on the way to Aldi and so I opted to hit CCP for a 6 miler b4 laundry to at least give me a run for the day and 50 miles for the week to keep me at 50 plus since the new year,55 in week 1,60 in week 2.
While I'm a tad miffed at sleeping so late I will say that when you sleep for eleven hours there has to be a reason for that,primarily that your body needs the rest so I won't beat myself up too much period plus the fact that weather permitting I'm looking at a seven day week this week if I want to log 60 miles and run the Masters 4x400m at Millrose on Friday,I had considered a day off tomorrow three days ago when the high for the day was reported to be only 19 degrees,it's worked it's way up to 24 now which even at 4.40pm is doable...even if it means adopting the"Pillsbury Dough Boy" look and bundling do what you have to do this time of year

So yeah I mentioned yesterday finishing off my movie soundtrack mix tape"Two Tickets To Paradise'' for those interested in such things it is:
Good Times Inxs
Burn The Cure
The Hands That Built America U2
Liar The Cranberries
View To A Kill Duran Duran
Together In Electric Dreams Human League
Seal Kiss From A Rose
Sinead O Connor Drink B4 The War
Love Spit Love How Soon Is Now
Placebo 20th Century Boy
Simple Minds Don't You Forget About Me
Regina Spektor Us
Prince Purple Rain
The Ramones Rock & Roll High School
The Commitments Try A Little Tenderness
Garbage #1 Crush
Vangelis Chariots Of Fire
PM Dawn I'd Die W/out You
Cinderella Hot And Bothered
Celine Dion My Heart Will Go On
Eminem Lose Yourself
If you know all the movies these songs came from let me know.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'd Rather Switch Than Bitch

I've said on countless occasions in my blog that I prefer to get my run taken care of first thing rather than have it hanging over my head and while I'm loathe to push my run back to the afternoon on the weekends I also don't like freezing my nads off either so when I awoke to 19 degrees at 9am the prospect of my 10 miler anytime b4 the afternoon was remote to say the least.

W/ a few hours to kill I tackled my "to do list" which included chores and food shopping,part of my chore list included picking up the next two blank tapes for my next two mix tapes having just completed "Misses 10" a mix of the bands I wanted to see live last year but missed and "Two Tickets To Paradise"a mix of movie soundtracks,I'm very pleased w/ the movie soundtrack mix maybe tomorrow I'll write out what went on there.
My other chore was snagging my first concert ticket of the year,The Church are coming to The Troc on Feb 15th to perform three of their albums "Untitled 23""Priest=Aura" and their 88 breakout album "Starfish" which was the album that introduced me to them w/ the subliminal "Under The Milky Way"looking forward to that.

A whopping 23 degrees when I set off just b4 3pm,if I'm not mistaken 23 degrees is probably the coldest day I've ran in all winter....and Monday is expected to be 21....yea!
Made sure to bundle up two pairs of gloves,two pairs of socks and a sweatshirt over my jacket,it may've been overkill but I was taking no chances.
At least the sun was out and the wind was calm and unlike yesterday I didn't slip on the ice coming out of Cobbs Creek Park.
Another out and back 10 miler along CCP today to put me at 44 miles for the week w/ tomorrow's 16 miler on tap to round out another 60 mile week.
In spite of the fact the Newcastle Spurs game kicked off at 10am I waited till 5pm to watch it w/out checking the result and was rewarded for my patience when Arron Lennon fired an injury time equalizer to give Spurs a well earned point for a 1.1 draw{tie for my American readership} and reward the Spurs faithful who made the long journey from London up to the north east of England.

Friday, January 21, 2011

For The Love Of It

As is my won't the day after the Thursday Nite Races in New York I took the day off,bugger getting home at 12am and getting up by 5am and w/ beaucoup pto{paid time off} after 11 years at my job I requested a day off.
The lie in was nice but I had stuff to do today including taking Precious to the vets for her jabs.
She's young she's only six months old and given she was a stray I felt it prudent to take her to the vets to get her checked out,the bill came to $465 which is a lot of money and puts a serious dent into my Australia 2014 fund but pets are like kids,you shouldn't have them if you're not going to take care of them so I don't begrudge dropping that kind of money on her today.
I was impressed how well she took the whole experience and was well behaved throughout,we have to go back again on Feb 16th so she can be spayed which will be more money but she's such a "daddy's girl"I don't mind dropping more money on her well being,the thing about pets is they love you unconditionally no matter what and for the past 16 years my other cat Hobbes has been there for me through the highs and lows and everything life has thrown at me good and bad,if Precious can do likewise I will be doubly blessed.

Went "old school"for my run this afternoon,an out and back 10 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway to put me at 34 miles for the week.
I would've preferred a track repeat or even hill repeat tomorrow but another light dusting of snow this morning and an Arctic chill tomorrow mean it's more likely I'll throw in another 10 miler tomorrow,the prospect of standing around in sub zero temps does little for me so an out and back 10 miles seems the better way to go,I think it'll be mid afternoon to try and maximize the heat if 25 degrees can be considered heat.

I'll also hope to avoid another near spill on the ice exiting Cobbs Creek Park,I took my eye off the ground to look up at the traffic and felt my feet skid out from under me,only my keen catlike reflexes and my semester of interpretive dance kept me upright...but did earn me a 8.5 for style from the truck driver at the lights...and they said taking interpretative dance would never come in useful....ha!


"Back In The New York Groove"
Ace Freeley

This time last year I was doing my best Billy Bragg impression...and getting back to basics,running six days a week and logging thirty miles a week,the mileage that had allowed me to do so well over 800m,1,500m/mile from 07-09.
However there was something missing from my resume,a decent pr for 3,000m and 5,000m,9.38.3. and 17.03.0. respectively so in mid February of last year I threw in a 40 mile week 2 weeks b4 the Mac C'ship 3,000m and clocked 9.13.6. and then a 50 mile week 2 weeks b4 Indoor Nationals where I won silver in 9.11.4. and we all know what I did last summer over 5,000m lowering my pr to 15.59.6.-15.57.7.-15.56.5.-15.36.8.

Normally I miss the second of the four Thursday Nite @ The Races series at The Armory as it clashes w/ the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile two days later in Itacha.however this year w/ all apologies to race director Tom Hartshorne I declined my invite to race at Cornell to allow myself the rare chance of an indoor 5,000m.
I don't think I've ever been at an indoor meet that offered an indoor 5,000m and the chance to run 25 laps on The Armory track was too great to pass up,I doubt very much I'd consider running 5,000m indoors on a flat track.
Kudos to my wing man Seano for the ride up and back,the Megabus is cool and all that but riding shotgun in the Mini is much more fun,normally Seano and I are running by each other on the drives or Schuylkill banks so it was nice to sit and shoot the proverbial on the way up and back.

Again I seeded myself in the fast heat,if I was going to run a decent time I needed to in w/ the big dogs and put myself in heat one,which was seeded between 14 and 16 minutes w/ 19 of us towing the starting line,I knew a few of my opponents,Atilla,Matt Chaston and Andy Elkan from previous New York races usually over the mile or in Atilla's case the 3,000m.
Good reaction to the gun and got into the first turn on the rail,over 25 laps the need to get to the outside of lane one or inside of lane two isn't as important as it is over 800m or the mile,there'd be plenty of time to work my way to the outside and get a clear run.
38 seconds for the first lap and 1.14 for the 400m split,by lap three I'd worked my way to the rear of a 5 man chase group who were mid pack and latched on to them.
4.52 for the opening mile,I think a few of my cheering section were concerned I may've gone out too hard too soon...I didn't share their concern 38 seconds per lap was 5.04 mile pace which if it could be held on to was 15.12 for 3 miles and maybe a 30 second final lap 15.42 pace....doable.

By now the race was well strung out I forget when I lost contact w/ the 5 man group,I did have one runner slightly ahead of me most of the race but I was never quite able to close the gap on him.
Coming up w/ 8 laps to go the lead two runners went by me and now I had to focus on the laps as the lap counter would be for them and I'd be a lap behind,I missed my 2 mile split but I was told it was 10.01 I still felt good.
25 laps indoors is much easier than 25 laps outdoors in the 10,000m and even though I was effectively in no mans land w/ each lap being clipped off between 39-42 seconds per lap time was flying.
I forget what the clock read when I came through the bell but I had juice to burn and set about closing as hard as I could,much like the mile 2 weeks ago I don't feel I was tested which tells me I can get faster as the weeks go by.

13th in 15.47.3,2 seconds off the 15.45 I thought I'd run and only 11 seconds off the 15.36.8. I ran in Sacramento last summer to rank #2 all time on my 5,000m list,in 10 months I've logged 5 sub 16 5,000s.
I'd run 5,000m indoors again in a heartbeat,there were 4 heats last nite so clearly a lot of runners were willing to see what it was like to run 25 laps indoors,I expect to see the 5,000m on next years schedule.
As for my race schedule it looks like I will be running the Millrose 4x400m next Friday followed by the mile in Boston at the Reebok Games and then back home again the following week for week #3 of the Thursday Nite Series where an 800m looks likely,I haven't ran an 800m at The Armory since the infamous world record on the 4x800m in December 09,but that's for another day I have some serious miles to log in training and if the bloody weather cooperates maybe some repeats too.

Round,And Round And Round

Cliff notes{give me a brake it's 1.25am!!}
13th of 16 finishers{3 dnfs}
Obviously an indoor pr being my first ever indoor 5,000m
2nd fastest 5,000m ever,11 seconds off of my 15.36.8.
More detailed account to follow....when the room stops spinning!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Making A Splash

Credit where it's due the weather people got it right today,snow,winter mix,rain and all over by 3pm which allowed me the chance to run this evening.
Opted for 8 miles,aside from scaling back prior to my race I also need to keep an eye on the weekly total if I want to hit 60 miles again this week,it's always a tough sell the week of a race when obviously my mileage takes a hit but thanks to running a 5,000m on Thursday I won't have to tweak it too much.
It'll be strange not running tomorrow but I feel a day off prior to my race will serve me well and then it'll be the now time honoured"wait and see" what the next weather system working it's way up from the south has in store,after all that rain today I had hoped a trip to the track was on tap for Saturday but that could all be for naught if it snows on Friday morning but rather than get too far ahead of myself let me focus on Thursday's race first and go from there.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Love Cat

"so wonderfully,wonderfully,wonderfully,
wonderfully pretty,oh you know that I'd do anything for you,should we have each other for dinner,should we have each other for tea,let's curl up by the fire sit up for a while it's the grooviest thing it's the perfect dream,hand in hand it's the only way to land and always the right way round,miss you hiss the love cats"
Love Cats-The Cure
I realize yesterday was my first blog reference to Precious my new kitten,I've had her for a month but until today it was touch and go if I could keep her as my landlord and I failed to see eye to eye on my rescuing a stray cat,after threats,counter threats and on his part ultimatums a deal was struck and Precious stays w/ me and her big brother Hobbes,it's a huge load off my mind,the prospect of having to give her away didn't sit well,it's been 16 years since I've had a young cat and I'd forgotten how much fun they can be to have around,right now she's curled up on my desk between the keyboard and monitor her favourite spot....she's soo cute....and w/ that now she's awake,so cute and so unpredictable...and so like a cat!!!
And from the warm and fuzzy to the cold and harsh,10 miles to kick off the week,according to good old Peco Tower it was 26 degrees this evening,probably the coldest evening since December 16th when it was 24 degrees and snowing the nite we took Precious in but that said it didn't feel that bad,I got a jump start on my run by 4.20pm which makes all the difference over 10 miles.
In an ideal world I'd like to run 8 miles tomorrow and take Wednesday off prior to the race..however there's talk of snow,sleet,winter mix and good old fashioned rain,I'm liking the whole rain idea if it'll get rid of the snow but it could kybosh my run,fingers crossed the rain will have quit by the time I get home so I can get out and run,I think I've used up all my prayers and wishes of late to keep the kitty cat so I'll have to wing it on the weather.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sacrifice Or Sacrilege?....You Decide

No worries sleeping late this morning,the "furry alarm clock" aka my kitten Precious woke me up b4 9am w/ her mad half hour but it was a blessing in disguise,by getting up at a reasonable time I was able to get a jump start on the morning which also allowed me time to check the temps for 10am-12pm,according to Aol Weather it was 29 degs but frankly felt warmer once I got out there by my traditional time of 10.30am.

It takes a lot for me to miss a live Spurs game but frankly waiting till 1pm was asking a bit much so I committed the ultimate sin and missed the game......I didn't miss much it ended up 0.0 but while I was out circling the drives for my 16 miler to round out my week at 60 miles I was reminded of a Jumbo Elliot quote"eat at the same time each day,train at the same time each day,go to bed at the same time each day and god damn it go to the bathroom at the same time each day"and while some of the logistics of that are difficult to execute the mantra of training at the same time each day is one I try to adere to,but like all guidelines they are there to be tweaked when need be.

A lot more people out today than any of the previous Sundays,I don't want to use the term "fair weather runners" but in 10 of the last 12 Sundays I haven't seen as many runners out there as I did today,that said it helped me,too often I feel like I'm swimming against the tide and running towards other runners but today I actually had people to chase on West River Dr and Kelly Dr.
Another week in the record books now to prepare for next week and a rare indoor 5,000m at The Armory on Thursday.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Staying On Pace

Even though I lost both my scheduled repeat workouts this week I kept myself on pace for another 60 mile week.
W/ another 10 miler on tap today I set off just b4 noon,a combination of a lie in till 10.40am{yeah I know,lazy little toe rag but I had just worked my first 5 day work week in five weeks}plus I wanted to let the mercury rise a little.
It's amazing to cross the Schuylkill River on South Street bridge and see it frozen in large areas,you know it's cold when the river is frozen!

Full credit to whoever clears off the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly and West River drives after any of the recent snowfalls,I'm not the only runner out there on a daily basis so kudos to the powers that be for helping like minded souls such as myself for being able to get out there day after day....maybe I could ask a couple of them to clear off the Temple track for me!!!

The question of the day tomorrow is what time do I do my 16 miler?the conventional 10.30am may still be a little on the brisk side plus Spurs play Man Utd at 11am,so holding off until 1pm might work out better all around,I have a free afternoon so a slightly later start isn't the be all and end all.....six months from now I'll no doubt be getting up early to beat the heat.....something to ponder as we're half way through January.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Smarter Than The Average Possum

Having remained on pace for a 60 mile week I had a choice today another 8 miler today and a 12 miler tomorrow,or 10 miles today,10 miles tomorrow,either way by tomorrow I'd be at 44 miles w/ a 16 miler on Saturday.
Today wasn't as cold as predicted or as yesterday for that matter,however I was taking no chances as I doubled up on gloves and socks and threw on a hooded sweatshirt over my jacket,frankly I didn't need them,as I passed trusty Peco Tower on the inbound leg I saw 31 degrees,yesterday began at 29 but ended at 28 degrees.
I toyed w/ making today another 8 miler to combat the so called colder conditions and utilizing having all day tomorrow to go longer to make up for it but aside from being warmer I also ducked out of work 20 mins earlier today,normally I'm the poster child for milking the clock for all it's worth but I felt it prudent to duck out a little earlier today and get the 10 miler in,I need to get back into the routine of 10 milers plus tomorrow I have a project on tap for the afternoon that will be time consuming so 10 milers today and tomorrow over 8 and 12 free up a little more precious time tomorrow.
Today was my first 5 day work week in five weeks due to days off and the holidays,and it could be the last one for a few weeks,I'm off next Friday after the 5,000m at The Armory,the following Friday is Millrose and it looks like I could be going after all{more on that to come}the following week I could be on my way to Boston for the Masters Mile at the Reebok Games{more on that to come also} and then the following week it's week #3 of the Thursday Nite Series and another Friday off.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brass Monkeys

Strewth it was brass monkeys out there this evening but in fairness a month ago I ran in 24 degree temps w/ falling snow in much darker conditions so 29 degrees today was quite balmy compared to Dec 16th.
Conditions underfoot weren't too bad,who knows I may've been able to run yesterday after all but since I get a rest day these days taking it yesterday seemed logical.
I'm still on pace for a 60 mile week,either another eight miler followed by a twelve miler on Saturday or going ten and ten,either way I'd be at 44 miles on Saturday going in to Sunday and a 16 miler,granted another week w/out repeats but hopefully by next Saturday either Temple or Lower Merion's track will be clear and I can resume repeats or at least do some hill repeats.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Somebody Said We Got Snow Last Nite??

I figured since a run was out of the question today I'd cheer myself up w/ a photo of my current "uber babe"Krystal Forscutt.....suddenly the snow and the prospect of no running don't seem so bad after all!!!
I discovered the Aussie beauty by accident,there was a link on Facebook for Hot Australian Women and this photo showed up,following some "extensive" research{don't judge me!!} I was able to put a name to the face and the considerable body of an angel.
One question lingers?on one website Krystal was tagged as the second sexiest women in Australia......who's #1 for christsake???
If anyone has the answer I'd be curious to know....
Final thought/flight of considerable fantasy if Krystal and I got married she wouldn't have to change her initials....just trying to keep things practical!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Calm B4 The Storm

W/ yet another winter storm working its way up the east coast it was important to get out there tonite and log some miles,there's a very good chance tomorrow will be shot,they're calling for between 4 and 8 inches so I would imagine tomorrow won't happen and maybe even Thursday but let's take one day at a time and see what I'm faced w/ when I get up in the morning.

Another 8 miler,this one at my regular time of 4.40pm,as I reached Franklin Field the first tell tale flakes of snow began to come down,that said they seemed to stop b4 I reached the turnaround on the Schuylkill Banks and held off until after I got home,however it's coming down now.
I'm resigned to not being able to run tomorrow between Friday and Saturday's snow we got just over an inch which didn't hinder a run Sunday,I sense we'll get more tonite and tomorrow is a long shot at best,a day off won't kill me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back To Normal.....Whatever The Hell That Is!

Able to run,able to blog,it's all good,shame work sucked,but in the words of Meatloaf"Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad''!!
Cranked out an easy 8 miler,was tempted to make it 10 given we're about to get more sodding snow and I'll probably lose a few days but frankly if we do get snow and I do lose a couple of days then upping today's scheduled 8 miler to a 10 miler isn't going to make a can of beans worth of difference.
As for the snow,I think the proverbial cheque is in the mail it's a question of how much and for how long,thanks to my fellow"dingademeon" Sean I know the track at Temple is still snowed under{Jaysus do I have to take a feckin' broom and shovel down there and clear it myself?!!}so my scheduled 8x800m is out and probably Saturday's 12x400m also so maybe I should just focus on mileage given I could lose a few days,or try and get some hill repeats in somewhere,all things to consider tomorrow.

Weekend Update

First up apologies for the tardiness of my blog entries,between being stuck at the longest track meet in the history of mankind on Saturday and having a battle w/ my pc yesterday as to who could be more temperamental{the pc may've won yesterday but long term I'm more likely to wear that crown....seriously if the Olympics had a contest for being temperamental I'd win the gold for Ireland by a country mile!!}it's only now I'm getting around to blogging.

Saturday,sweet jesus,I thought Summer Solstice was months off,mid June,I left home at 7.45am and returned at 7pm,all this for a race that only takes 57 seconds....and considerable insult to injury as of this morning the official results still aren't Chuck commented"maybe the meet is still going on" the pace they were moving Saturday that's a real probability.
I arrived at the University Of Delaware just after 10am....and didn't run till just after 4pm....six frickin hours.....seriously are you shittin me???
I recall going to PGI in Landover a few years ago and waiting forever to run and vowing never to return for that meet well frankly this meet can join that.
Don't get me wrong I think it's great high school kids want to run,they are after all the future of our sport but if that's the case run two meets,one for high schoolers one for open and masters athletes because to sit around for 6 hours to wait to run your event is a joke,christ only knows what time the 800m or 3,000m went off.....maybe they're still going on??

As best as I know I ran a high 57,maybe low 58 for the 400m,not fast enough to make it on to the Millrose Games A team that's for sure,am I disappointed?sure but I said way back in mid August if I didn't make either the Millrose or Penn relay squads it wouldn't be the end of the world for me,and I stand by that comment now in early January in the harsh light of day that at best I'll only make it to Madison Square Garden on Jan 28th IF we get a b team accepted in to the event,I'd be surprised if lightning struck twice in the same place like it did a year ago.
Being realistic,Millrose Games owes me nothing,I've been fortunate to run on that track four times,race there three times and have a Millrose Games medal in my collection and frankly running 50/60 miles a week now to get ready for worlds in July doesn't afford me 55/56 second 400m speed in early January,I've only managed four repeats since December 13th,I lost two last week and obviously w/ two races on tap this week I couldn't get any in this week.

Yesterday I awoke to frigidly sub zero temps and the prospect of my 16 milers at 10.30am was not warming the cockles of my heart....or anywhere else for that matter,I ended up running 11 miles in the afternoon,having spent an entire day at Delaware on Saturday had seriously eaten into my chores,thank god I'd had Friday off to get a jump start on things.
Frankly the late start to my run meant a two hour 16 miler was pushing it if I wanted to knock out the domestic chores of food shopping and laundry but after some considerable thought an 11 miler to round me out at 50 miles for the week in a week w/ two races isn't so bad.
Of course w/ another bout of snow on tap it remains to be seen what kind of mileage I can manage this coming week.
This is the weekend update,I'm not Dennis Miller

Friday, January 7, 2011

And We're Up And Running

"When you get caught between the moon and New York City"
Arthur's Theme-Christopher Cross

Gone are the days of racing on inferior tracks like Glen Mills,Swarthmore or Albright,these days I tend to run most of my indoor meets at The Armory in New York,right now 5 of my 7 scheduled race indoors this winter are at The Armory.
Even w/ mass transit it only took 3 and 3/4 hours to travel from Philly to The Armory,catching up on my diary,taking a nap and and listening to some INXS on my ipod,I arrived at The Armory by 5.30pm leaving me 90 mins to get ready.
My last trip here was in mid March for the Front Runners meet when I shaved fractions off the 2 mile club record,tonite was a more conventional mile.

I seeded myself at 4.30 which put me in the seeded heat of the mile w/ guys half my age,never a worry to me taking on guys I'm old enough to be the fathers of,eventually I'll have to start"acting my age"and dropping down the pecking order but till then I'm planning on mixing it up w/ the younger guys.
12 men per heat and a waterfall start,I drew #3 but got another awful reaction to the gun and ended up taking one step forward and two steps back to allow myself a clear run down the back straight.
No clock which was some what frustrating,I heard splits of 33,64 and 2.13 for laps 1,2 and 4 after that I don't recall the time keeper calling times.
I'd gotten myself upto 4th I think b4 a bunch of guys went by me,on the final lap I felt strong and worked my way back up to 8th to finish in 4.33.7.

For a season opener it was a refreshing start and went a long way to exorcising the demons of last years opener but clearly there's still work to be done,while I never felt I was taken out of my comfort zone tonite I do know I can run harder and faster,but that said it's the first race of the season and there's a long way to go in the season.

Left The Armory by 8.30pm and got home by 12.10am,since I'd scheduled a day off I allowed myself the chance to stay up till 2.30am a little blog and Facebook activity and a chance to revel in England winning The Ashes vs Australia in Australia for the first time in 24 years.
Hit"the slopes" around 1pm to get another easy 8 miler in to get any residual junk out of my legs b4 tomorrow mornings 400m race in Delaware,last year after the opening nite of the Thursday Nite At The Races I struggled to run a 6 miler,no such worries this year,another ghost exorcised so now for the third and final one,last year I failed to make the Millrose 4x400m team,tomorrow I have a chance to book my place on this years team...two down,one to go.

Up And Running

Given the lateness of the hour I could be forgiven for not going into detail right now but sometime later on today a full account of the season opener over the mile at The Armory in New York will be forthcoming.
For now,8th in a 12 man field in the seeded heat w/ a time of 4.33.7 which ranks as #13 all time.
Rumours of snow later today,yea!! still need to get my easy 8 miles in,time for some zzzs

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If It's The First Wednesday Of January.......

That means a trip up the Jersey Turnpike to the New York Armory for the first of the Thursday Nite At The Races.
W/ the notable exception of the 08 season when I was recovering from my stress fracture I've faithfully made the short pilgrimage up to New York for the Thursday Nite meets,The Armory is the best indoor track I've had the good fortune to run on since my 06 debut at the Mac C'ships and I seldom baulk at a chance to run there.
In 07 I ran a then pr there in the mile on opening nite,4.33.0 and two years later I went 4.28.1 which still ranks as my track mile pr,we'll have to see what tomorrow night brings...

As for today it was another easy 8 miler,the calf and hammy are down to a two on the discomfort meter,I'll make sure to stretch b4 and after the race.
Were this a regular week and not one w/ two races in three days either today or Friday would've been a rest day but if I want to log 55 miles and still get both races in no dice,at least after this week my race schedule is a little more conventional,ie only one race a week but since I wanted to throw my bandanna in to the ring for a place on the Millrose relay then I had no choice but to rebound and run a 400m on Saturday but one race at a time the mile in my home away from home in New York City first.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Of The Same.

Another easy 8 miler in mild conditions this evening.
The good news is my calf and hamstring feel much better,on a scale of one to ten yesterday I was probably at six,today four,if I get down to two tomorrow I'll be happy going into Thursday and my season debut at The Armory.

It's two weeks now since Winter Solstice and it's noticeable that the evenings are staying lighter just that little bit longer,I can get down to the South St bridge and the banks while there's still daylight,it may not sound like a lot but when you can get half way through an 8 miler in the daylight in winter that's a huge psychological advantage.

Crossing South St bridge this evening I though I was going to get hosed by my nemesis the CSX Freight train again however by the time I came out from Markward Playgrounds I saw the final freight car rumble through the crossing at Locust detour tonite!
Talking of South St bridge I omitted this from yesterdays entry,as I was heading back over the bridge on my inbound leg I felt someone trying to overtake me on my left hand side,my first instinct was to hold him off but the last thing I needed three days b4 a race was a needless"pissing contest" so I let him go....or so I thought,we both sped up to beat the lights at the I76 off ramp and next thing I knew as Franklin Field loomed in the distance was me reeling him in and then over taking him,I thought he'd hung a right at 34th St at first until heading up Spruce St when I heard footsteps again,had I not hung a left at Hamilton Walk as is my wont I think we'd have been battling it out up Spruce St,good to know that even after no races on the track since Aug 15th or any race since Nov 20th that my race instincts are primed and ready for Thursday.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Ice Man Cometh

I skipped yesterdays 12 miler due to tightness in my left calf and left hamstring.
My calf felt a little tight in the latter stages of Saturdays 16 miler and w/ it being damp and not to mention my season only a few days away I opted for the not often used"less is more "mind set.

W/ two races at the end of the week on Thursday and Saturday and the issue in my calf and hamstring I went easy this evening an easy 8 miles,hopefully loosening any tightness in my calf and hammy,the ice packs will be working overtime between now and Wednesday.

Maybe tomorrow I'll explain the previous Nick Cave entry...or maybe I won't but I am digging Nick Cave right now.

Did I Stutter???

"It aint that in their hearts they're bad they can comfort you,some even try
They nurse you when you're ill of health they bury you when you go and die
It ain't that in their hearts they are bad they'd stick by you if they could
But that's just bullshit baby,people they just ain't no good"

People Ain't No Good-Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome To The New Year

New Years Day,a chance to look ahead to the new year and plan how you'd like the next twelve months to play out.
I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out the biggest thing on my 2011 schedule is the World Championships in Sacramento this July,and everything I do between now and then is to get me ready for that,in fairness everything I've done since October has been geared towards early July.
Indoor season kicks off in earnest on Thursday nite at The Armory in New York,it'll be a strange indoor season knowing there'll be no Indoor Nationals to compeat in,I'm not heading to New Mexico in early March so my indoor season will be between 6 and 8 races between 400m and 3,000m to get some speed to go w/ the strength I've built up over the past few months and give myself a solid foundation heading in to April and the outdoor season.

Used today as my long run and logged my 16 miler as I begin to taper heading to Thursday,12 miler on tap tomorrow to round out at 50 miles.