Saturday, February 26, 2011

Coming Up Short.

It's hard to believe that this time last year my 3,000m pr was 9.38.3. and here I am slightly boo hooing the fact I missed a chance to go sub 9 on Thursday,it's another classic example of how we as runners are never or seldom satisfied w/ our performances!

B4 I go any further let me state for the record that although I was nursing a sore throat and subsequently minor congestion on my lungs this in no way is being used as an excuse for falling short of my desired sub 9,Rod Laver once said and I quote"once you step on to the court you are admitting to yourself,your opponent and the fans you're fit enough to play....don't walk off afterwards saying you were ill or injured"
I'd feared for a few days my throat was getting sore,by Thursday I was croaking and subsequently the congestion on my lungs has forced me to shut things down for a few days to shake this completely so that I can resume training Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

As is my won't I seeded myself in the fast heat,if you're going for time in a race it's the best way although it's always curious to check the results afterwards to see where your time would've stacked you up in the next heat,case in point my 2.06.0 in the last Thursday Nite meet earned me 9th in heat 1,I'd have finished 5th in heat 2.
The race plan was to try and clock 36 seconds per lap to clock 4.48 for the mile and come through the bell in 8.24 and hope for a 34/35 second final lap to clock 8.59/8.59....easier said than done!

In a 17 man field w/11 runners on the starting line and 6 of us on the turn we broke at the top of the back straight and thus the battle to slot in where we wanted to be began,I came through 200m in 36 seconds oblivious to where I was positionally w/in the race,I was aware there were runners behind me so I wasn't last which although it's about time and not place you still never want to be last.
1.10 at 400m a slight pick up in pace,after this my splits become blurred,when they're coming around thick and fast over 200m it's hard to recall them all.
I hadn't planned to focus on kilometer splits to be honest but w/ Ian Brooks calling attention to us going through the first k I looked up to see 2.58 after 5 laps,on pace for sub 9.

The 1k split threw me off for recalling my mile split,I know I looked up each time I came through the finish but I just don't recall my mile time,I do know my 2k split was 6.01 still on pace for sub 9 but I was beginning to slide back through the field,I began to lose contact w/ Matt Chaston and Jimmy Lynch.
I was well shy of the 8.24 I needed at 2,800m but drove hard over the final lap to close in 9.08.3 and finish 14th of 17.

Slightly disappointed that I not only missed sub 9 but also missed a pr 9.07.1. but this time last year I hadn't even ran my 9.13.6. or 9.11.4. so clearly I'm doing something right.
Here we are in late February I have 10 more months to lower my pr and go for that sub 9,the question is when?I have 1 more indoor race scheduled in three weeks time b4 switching to outdoors and focusing on Worlds and Nationals,maybe post July I can look for a 3,000m to join the sub 9 club.

Friday, February 25, 2011

But Not Tonite

#4 Thursday Nite At The Races
3,000m 9.08.3 14th/17
Indoor Pr by 3 seconds{9.11.4}
1 second slower than outdoor pr{9.07.1}
Full Account to come

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Whiter Shade For Pale

Just when I thought I could start planning two a weeks on the track I awoke to a freshly laid blanket of snow all over this morning.
Thankfully we only got a few inches and frankly if we get the rain they're calling for on Thursday and Friday it could be all gone by the time I plan to hit either Lower Merion or Temple on Saturday.

By the time I hit Cobbs Creek Parkway for my 8 miler at 4.20pm it was 35 degrees and sunny, a far cry from the overcast skies and slight chill in the air yesterday and despite the snow on the ground it wasn't too bad,at times conditions were a little slick underfoot but given this was my last run b4 Thursdays race I wasn't looking to brake any land speed records...or bones,caution was the watch word of the day,it always is but on the eve of a race my sense of caution goes up a level or two.

Rest day tomorrow,a few chores post work in place of my run and my usual pre race Pasta meal,there's nothing on tv tomorrow so a few hours to catch up on my dvr and a chance to relax b4 my only legit crack at sub 9 for 3,000m this pressure....

Monday, February 21, 2011


A live shot of Flogging Molly,I was much closer to the stage at the House Of Blues on Saturday nite than this photo....and I lived to tell the tale,to say it gets lively down the front at a Flogging Molly gig is a bit like saying it gets busy in rush hour in downtown Manhattan!!
I also didn't get home till 4am so thankfully yesterday was a scheduled day off,if push came the shove I could've ran,I did last year when I got home at 3am after seeing Flogging Molly in Atlantic City but having ran for six days Monday through Saturday and clocking 65 miles there was no need and w/ that a well earned day off was the order of the day.

No such luxury today, a 10 miler on tap after the great weather of last week,old man winter was back to remind us he isn't through w/ us just yet,and after 66 degrees on Friday it was 36 degrees this afternoon and grey and overcast w/ a slight chill in the air that said four weeks ago I ran 10 miles in 23 degrees so really how bad was it today??
Obviously the threat of snow overnight and in to the morning puts a crimp on tomorrows planned 8 miler,I really don't want to have to miss a day tomorrow and then run 8 miles Wednesday prior to my sub 9 attempt at 3,000m at The Armory but I can only play the hand I'm dealt so fingers crossed it's not as bad as the weather people are calling for.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Blustery Day

Given that I am Eyore{I do all the donkey work!!!}I only needed Pooh,Tigger and Piglet to show up at Lower Merion this lunch time and we could've sang"hail hail the gang's all here"!!!
Like any good runner worth his or her salt I'd paid attention to the weather,I'd known since Thursday that today would be windy,but how windy???if the extra breeze that greeted me upon opening the front door at 10.20am wasn't enough to alert me to the conditions then one of the lacrosse goals in lane 1 of the track and not the infield was!!!.

At least the snow that covered the infield and lanes 2-8 last Sunday was gone and the sun was out but sweet jaysus the feckin wind,I ditched my warm up bottoms only because looking down at them flapping in the breeze was enough to tell me there was an extra second per repeats waiting to happen!!

#1 400m 72.06.A promising start,it was my 5th repeat last Sunday b4 I notched a 72.
#2 400m 72.99.Obviously not a fluke,last weeks average of 72s was looking like falling......
#3 400m 74.82.Smuck! this is what happens when you don't focus mentally on the task at hand!
#4 400m 71.24.Much more like it!knee lift,leg turnover,total focus=faster split
#5 400m 71.43.See what happens went you pay attention to the fundamentals??!!
#6 400m 71.80.Rollin'rollin'rollin' keep them doggies rollin'.....
#7 400m 75.26.There she blows!!!Dear God the wind going into the first turn just stood me up,good job I worked the home straight to keep it below 76.
#8 400m 71.70.No wind and back to 71s,repeats are so much easier when you're not fighting the elements!
#9 400m 76.32.DOH!Just wasn't there mentally or physically on this one,need to keep that focus all the way round,it's only 1 lap!!
#10 400m 74.24.Got stood up by the wind just b4 the 200m mark and had to fight my way into the bottom turn.
#11 400m 75.09.Constantly fighting the wind going in to the top turn was taking a toll but I was almost done,going out swinging.....
#12 400m 68.94.To say I ran the shit out of my final 400m is perhaps underselling it a tad!!
Flew into the top turn and threw everything including the kitchen sink at this one,final repeats no matter what distance deserve that and I did not let myself down,back to 68s,nice!!!

All in all a good workout,I shaved a second off Sundays average of 72 in windy conditions and God willing next week not only will the wind NOT be a factor but I'll also becoming in to 14x400m repeats not off the back of a 16 miler the day b4.
65 miles for the week 2 repeats and a long run,I feel I've earned the right to blow off some stream tonite at Atlantic City's House Of Blues to Flogging Molly,who's up for blowing the froth off a couple of cold ones???

Going Long.....On A Friday

Thanks to a quirk of schedule I found myself w/ yesterday off work and due to a last minute change in plans regarding my Saturday trip to Atlantic City it made scheduling my weekly 16 miler a lot more practical,frankly getting home around 4am on Sunday morning does little for the prospect of a 16 miler later in the day so by knocking out the 16 miler Friday and hitting Lower Merion Saturday I'll have logged my 65 miles for the week and for the first time in a long time Sunday will be a rest day.

The freakishly good weather continued,it hit the mid 60s yesterday afternoon,although prior to my 1pm departure it was grey and overcast so it didn't feel ready to embrace the time honoured three Ss shades,short sleeves and shorts,maybe a bit soon to subject the running public to my paleness in mid February,there will be plenty of time for that over the coming months.
For a Friday afternoon I was surprised at the number of runners,cyclists and lone rollerblader out there taking advantage of the good conditions,clearly I was not alone in getting the day off.

54 miles so far this week w/ 11 more on tap at Lower Merion tomorrow to round me out at 65 for the week w/ 2 sets of repeats in the mix,it's funny looking back at last years training log as I got ready for the Mac C'ships on March 6th and again the week after I upped my mileage to prep for Indoor Nationals,on both occasions I pr'd in the 3,000m,9.13 and 9.11 this time out the steaks are a little higher as I'm chasing a sub 9 3,000m,something to ponder on the 400m repeats later today.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Afternoon Delight

I refer to a run of course.....I'd have to be lucky to get lucky,that said I did find myself working up a good sweat,elevating my heart rate and being slightly out of breath at the climax....sorry the end....and I may've exalted the lord's name once or twice during!!!
Another day off meant hitting Cobbs Creek Parkway at lunchtime after picking up Precious from the vets,she had a Ovariohystercectomy a fancy term for being spayed,$422 on top of the $465 I paid on her last visit, a serious dent in my Australia fund but a healthy kitten,the $$$s will find their way back to my account,I can't put a price on "the little girl's" health and well being,I want her to live a long and healthy life just like her big brother Hobbes who God willing will be 17 in June.

A glorious afternoon to run,66 degrees unheard of in mid February,while yesterday saw me shed my gloves and thermal skull cap,today saw my jacket get discarded and frankly tomorrow I think my warm up bottoms will get left behind....of course as I plan to hit the track on Saturday the wind is scheduled to pick up,can't have it all I guess.
Since tomorrow is another day off and Saturday nite I'm off to Atlantic City to get my jig on to Flogging Molly I'm doing my long run tomorrow and hitting the track at Lower Merion on Saturday,trust me I'm not scheduled to get home till you know why I want Sunday as my rest day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Afternoon At The Improv

Following a late nite seeing The Church I was up at a reasonable hour this morning to take"the little girl"aka my kitten Precious to the vets which is why I had the day off.
After catching up on some of my backlog of dvr'd tv shows I was out the door by 2pm to fulfill my hill repeat.
Frankly if the weather continues like this by the time March 1st rolls around I should be able to return to Temple for midweek track repeats but if we do get more snow between now and then I'd be happy to repeat this repeat,12 x Catherine St hill.

Since I began using Cobbs Creek Parkway just over two years ago this hill roughly half a mile in on my 6,8,9,10 mile runs has presented an ideal hill for hill repeats and now seemed as good a time as any to make good on that,as was evident last Thursday I need leg turnover and I need it now ergo the trek to Lower Merion on Sunday and the hill repeats today,if I can't get to a track I'll do this.
The plan was 12 x the hill w/ a jog back down,eyeballing it I thought 200m which would come out to 3 miles,keep heading out along CCP to the 3 mile turnaround I could have 3 miles of hill repeats and 6 miles of regular road work for 9 miles.
Judging from my 30 second average the hill may've been closer to 180m,it'll do until the track at Temple is snow free.
My repeats went as follows:

I did them all in one go rather than split them up in to 3 sets of 4 or 2 sets of 6 and even though they weren't an accurate 200m or on a track they were even,you never want them to look like an EKG chart and to that end today was a success 28.95 through 31.33,6 of them at 30 seconds.
I was pleased w/ my overall performance but more pleased w/ the fact I'd gotten the repeats in,Thursday's 2.06.0 800m means no more excuses unless the hill is a sheet of ice.
Since tomorrow I'm picking "the little girl" up from the vets it'll be another afternoon run,make hay while the sun shines I say

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Religion

Great shot of The Church live who rocked The Troc this evening,more of that in a moment.
Opted for an 10 miler,had scheduled some hill repeats and an easy 6 miler but opted to defer that till tomorrow,I recall doing back to back repeats on Memorial Day weekend on the Saturday and Monday and feeling flat on Monday so having just come off of Sunday's 12x400m repeats I felt another days rest b4 tackling 12x the hill opposite Catherine Street was the way to go,plus I have the luxury of doing them on a day off from work and taking care of them in the early afternoon.
As for the 10 miler I ran it at a decent clip,if yesterday was about working the gunk out of my legs from Saturday's 16 miler and Sunday's track repeats today was about getting out there and and pushing the pace a little as I begin to focus on my next race a 3,000m at The Armory next Thursday,I'll talk more that closer to the time.
As for The Church they were awesome,it's criminal that so few people know who they are and yet this "Future Past Perfect"tour is to celebrate 30 years together, maybe as a bigger name this show wouldn't have made the intimate setting of The Trocadero which worked well for the show they performed.
I've seen bands do whole albums{cds as you young folk call them now a days}but never seen a band perform three whole albums.
Kicking off w/ their most recent offering"Untitled 23" this was the one album I wasn't sure about,I've heard it less than their 90s offering "Priest=Aura" and the album that introduced not only me but most people outside of their native Australia to them 88s "Starfish" but frankly that album never sounded as good as it did tonite and I'm sure when I hear it again on my ipod it'll sound different.
"Priest=Aura" sounded great,it was the albums longest tracks "Aura''"The Disillusionist"and "Chaos" that stood out the most for me and then came"Starfish"
This is a great album,it should be in most peoples music collection,often described as a lush psychedelic sound the album just washes over you and to see it performed live was just a treat,I strongly recommend anyone to check out "Starfish" and The Church the next time they tour.....the mass has ended go in peace!

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's A Thin Line Between Love And Hate

After a crud day at work I was happy to get out and run 9 miles this afternoon,the less said about work today the better
As for Valentine's Day cupid and I are not only not on the same page.....I think we're in separate books in different bookstores,I'm a big fan of love and doesn't seem to feel the same for me,such is life.....however from great tragedy come great art....or at least the material for my two Valentine's Day mix tapes.
Love Songs
The Mission-Swoon
Pat Benatar-Here's My Heart
The Darkness-I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Sinead O Connor-Thief Of My Heart
The Cure-Love Song
Leona Lewis-Bleeding Love
Inxs-Never Tear Us Apart
Celine Dion-Because You Loved Me
Van Halen-When It's Love
Lone Justice-I Found Love
Sting-Shape Of My Heart
Heart-What About Love
U2-Two Hearts Beat As One
Vixen-Love Is A Killer
Thompson Twins-Hold Me Now
The Pretenders-I'll Stand By You
Simple Minds-I Wish You Were Here
Sade-Please Send Me Someone To Love
Communards-You Are My World
Evanescence-My Immortal

The Other Side Of Love
Glasvegas-Fuck You It's Over
Phil Collins-Don't Care Anymore
Blur-No Distance Left To Run
Sheryl Crow-My Favourite Mistake
Level 42-Leaving Me Now
Stiff Little Fingers-Just Fade Away
Keith Richards-You Just Don't Move Me Anymore
Bonnie Raitt-I Can't Make You Love Me
Steve Earle-Goodbye's All We've Got Left
Joy Division-Love Will Tear Us Apart
Damien Rice-Rootless Tree
Annie Lennox-Everytime We Say Goodbye
The Cure-Apart
Buzzcocks-Ever Fallen In Love W/Someone You Should't Have Fallen In Love W/
Whitesnake-Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
Iron Maiden-Wasting Love
Alison Moyet-All Cried Out
Talk Talk-Hate
Velvet Revolver-I Fall To Pieces

Happy Valentine's Day,and as a bonus track to Cupid
Simple Minds-Don't You Forget About Me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Warriors Code

On the day I finally saw"The Fighter" the Micky Ward story I dug deep myself to eek out not so much a 12 round decision but 12 400m repeats.
I've baulked at making the trek out to Lower Merion for the past few weeks due to the weather fearing it to be a wasted trip due to the snow but after the 800m at The Armory the other nite I knew I had to get my sorry butt on an outdoor track and soon to correct that error and since "The Fighter" was playing just a few miles up the main line on Lancaster Avenue I figured why not do both?

On my approach to Lower Merion's track I feared that the snow that had kept me at bay for weeks was going to scupper me....however upon closer inspection lane one of the track was clear,and unless any other ejit was fool enough to be out on a Sunday lunchtime to do repeats I was going to be in the clear.
Mile warm up taken care of it was have at it time,I'd have preferred to have been able to strip off a layer of clothing as my 400s begun but the harsh wind that blew across the track meant I'd be keeping my jacket and warm up bottoms on,sure I'd lose a second per repeat but at least I wouldn't catch a chill doing so.
400m #1 74.58.Not exactly how I wanted to kick off proceedings but I knew why #1 felt so comfortable....
400m #2 76.07.Christ so much for improving,I've heard of ring rust after 7 weeks but strewth!
400m #3 75.63.Marginally better but still well short of where I wanted to be,prior to my 7 week winter enforced repeat hiatus I was hitting 68s
400m #4 77.40.At this point I was seriously considering throwing the towel in,clearly this was not going to plan,quit and be pissed off?carry on and fight back,did Micky Ward throw in the towel?...did he fuck!!
400m #5 72.98.That's a little more like it,a combination of coming out swinging,learning to handle the wind along the back straight and slowly getting back in to the habit of working on knee lift.
400m #6 74.16.Did I speak too soon?
400m #7 72.82.Repeat after me,knee lift,knee lift,knee lift.
400m #8 72.92.Isn't that why they're called repeats???
400m #9 73.64.It's going to take a while for the fundamentals,knee lift,leg turnover,arms pumping to become second nature but this is a start.
400m #10 74.50.Uh oh I now had 3 72s and 3 74s and remarkably they'd all come in the last 6 repeats after a less than stellar beginning.
400m #11 72.67.Credit where credit's due this was new territory now in mid December I was only running 10x400m.
400m #12 70.90.Now that's the way to wrap up a repeat workout w/ the fastest repeat of the session.

Clearly there's a boat load of work to be done still but this is a step in the right direction and providing the weather gods take pity on me I should be hitting Lower Merion's track each weekend for the foreseeable future,and as long as that happens I'm prepared to stick my neck out and say March 18th's 800m at The Armory will be an improvement on Thursday's 2.06.
.....Oh Yeah "The Fighter" was really good too!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Six Of One,Half A Dozen Of Another

Well,the plan was get up at a reasonable hour this morning and head out to the main line to find a track I could use for my repeats,it's all well and good harping on about a lack of speed if I'm not going to do something about it.....however!
Since I was balls arsed tired when I got home from New York on Thursday nite it was last nite b4 I wrote Thursdays blog entry w/ yesterdays to follow hard on it's heels......cue my pc acting up,just as I got to the end of Thursdays entry but before I could hit publish post I lost my AOL connection and w/ it the whole blog entry......cue a few choice anti social black hearted born again celtic pagan phrases aimed at the pc!!!
The upshot of this was I now had 2 entries to write and w/ a workout on tap this morning make that 3,that's a lot to do in one sitting so I opted to still get up early and knock out Thursday and Friday's entries and then hit the Art Museum Loop for my 16 miler today in order to hit the main line tomorrow morning for my 12x400m repeats.

Time will tell if it's wise to run a 16 miler and then repeats but frankly there wasn't much choice,hopefully I can kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone by heading out to the main line tomorrow and catch"The Fighter" as it's playing in Wayne,I'd wanted to see it when it first came out but never found the time but w/ the Oscars coming up in 2 weeks time I thought it'd be neat to catch it b4 then,there was a plan to see it this evening but it seems daft to head all the way out there tonite only to head back that way tomorrow morning for my repeats so tomorrow it is for the main line for my repeats and a movie.

16 miler was easy enough it was 10.20am when I hit the road,conditions were grey but mild out there but a lot more runner friendly than my last 16 miler 2 weeks ago.
So officially I'm done for the evening, a little dinner,some tv and my feet up b4 returning to the realm of repeats for the first time in 7 weeks.....this ought to be interesting to say the least!

Good News From Across The Pond

The much touted tug of war between West Ham and Spurs for who'd get the Olympic stadium after next summers 2012 Olympic Games was resolved yesterday w/ West Ham getting the nod.
As an ardent Spurs fan obviously this was a little close to home so to speak given Spurs didn't want to keep the track plus moving to East London from their native North London home seemed a bit of a stretch.
While I have no love for West Ham they at least were willing to keep the running track in the stadium which as a fan of track and field was a key issue.

London's only major track is at Crystal Palace,it was probably built in the late 60s early 70s and isn't even the main track facility in the country anymore,in 2005 London was slated to host the IAAF World C'ships however as the "track,no track" debate for the rebuilt Wembley stadium dragged on and the issue of building a new track at Pickets Lock fell by the way side and not only did London lose the chance to host{Helsinki was awarded the honour meaning they'd twice had the honour}but London was still w/out a major track facility.....cue the 2006 decision to award London the 2012 Olympics and the building of a new track stadium.
While there's only an outside chance of London hosting the 2015 WMA{World Masters Athletics}C'ships the prospect of the stadium being refurbished w/out a track put a serious dent in that but also London can now have a major world class track meet on the IAAF Grand Prix circuit.
As for my beloved Spurs,I hope we can find a new stadium in our native North London,moving to East London is a bit like saying the New York Giants and New York Jets are New York teams when they actually play in New Jersey,it's a bit of a piss take to call yourself the pride of North London when you ply your trade 5 miles up the road in East London.

While I doubt we've heard the last of this matter for now the track remains in the Olympic stadium and the proposed move from Upton Park to the new stadium is slated for remains to be seen if "The Irons" are still in the Premier League given their current lowly position of 19th of 20 teams{the bottom three each year drop down to the Championship}
Since this is a running blog after all I ran 10 miles at lunch time to not only rid myself of the memories of my 800m on Thursday nite but also tack on another 10 miles to my 23 for the week and also begin to map out where and when my much needed repeats will fall in to my schedule.

Told You So!

Well I did say that jumping in to an 800m race w/out speed work was potentially dangerous on Wednesday!
As is my won't I opted for the seeded heat between 1.45-2.00,it's fair to say that even a 2.00 is wishful thinking for me right now but if I was going to find out where I was why not do it in a fast heat?
I lined up 8th of 10 on the starting line and got a good reaction to the gun,however I was left at the back of the field almost immediately which just underlines my lack of leg turnover,not only have I not been on a track for repeats since Dec 24th but my last repeats prior to the 4 repeats I managed in mid December came in mid September.
29 seconds at 200m and 31 seconds for the second 200,60 seconds at 400m,if I thought I was in over my head b4 the gun went off I knew it for a fact now!
I did manage to overhaul the 9th place runner just after 400m but the rest of the field were clear of me,now it was just a matter of digging in and seeing it through to the finish.
1.32 at 600m a 32 second 200m b4 closing in 2.06.0 off a 34 second final 200m.

Not exactly what I had hoped for time wise,conventional wisdom dictated that 2.04 would've been a legit target time but even falling short of that by 2 seconds would've been a disappointment.
This time last year I found myself w/ plenty of speed work and next to no mileage under the hood,now it's a reversal of that,plenty of miles but next to no speed but just like last year when I corrected that and went on to have a great season I'm confident I can do the same again this year.

While we still have 5 more weeks of winter things are getting warmer,there's been no snow for 2 weeks and none forecast for the upcoming week which means getting to a track on Saturdays and doing hill repeats on Tuesdays until the track at Temple is user friendly again.
If last January's 4.51 mile was the bitch slap that was heard around the world then Thursday was a flash knockdown that left me on my butt in the middle of the ring,I was humbled and now it's time to do what needs to be done to turn that 2.06 in to a 2.01 or lower b4 July.
There's 5 weeks till my next 800m and another 3 b4 my outdoor season opener,I need to make sure I'm doing repeats at least once a week between now and then to get that leg speed up to par.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shifting Gears

I've had this shot of David Rudisha since he broke and re broke the 800m world record last summer but never had the time to use it....till now!
Tomorrow nite I run not only my first indoor 800m of the season but my first 800m since Nationals last summer in Sacramento{technically I ran an 800m at the Track Pentathlon a few weeks later but it was the 2nd race of a 5 race event so Nationals was my last meaningful 800m}
W/ no speed work under my belt since Dec 24th perhaps the 800m isn't the right race now but at some point in time I have to go for an 800m so why not tomorrow,another mile seems pointless having ran one Saturday, a 1,500m would've worked and to be honest the 2 miles probably is more "up my alley" off of all my distance work of late,but fortune favours the brave so they say so let's have at it over 4 laps and see where I'm at right now b4 the serious 800s begin in'll hurt that's for sure but it's just over 2 mins....I think I can deal...tune in tomorrow to see if I'm still singing from the same hymn sheet!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Another photo from Boston from Saturday's race,this one from the infield as the gun went off,kudos to Tom"just call me Mr sub 4.40 mile"Fitzpatrick for sending me the link to the photo from Let's Run.Com,seeing Kent Lemme almost take a header now I know where the bump on my right came from!,props for making a recovery to finish 5th in 4.30.6.

There was never a question I'd go out and run today,sure it was 32 degrees when I set off but frankly when I ran two weeks ago at 23 degrees I blew through any excuses not to run that day,tomorrow isn't going to be much warmer plus by running today I can have tomorrow off as a rest day b4 my 800m on Thursday.
Running today was a no brainer,there are much harder choices in life than run or rest,Chicken or Beef?,Red or White?,Cream and Sugar or Black?Blonde or Brunett?Soup or Salad,I could go on but frankly having a rest day b4 my race even if tomorrow might be warmer than today wasn't even a consideration.I can take it easy tomorrow and get some r&r and maybe clear some shows off of my dvr including Espn 2's coverage of the Boston meet and see if I can catch any glimpses of me during my race during the intros.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Following a late nite I was up at 7.30am to conduct my 11 miler w/ Francis.
The sidewalks of Boston were like ice rinks at times but thankfully neither of us fell,there were a few slips and close calls but we managed to stay vertical.
Using Francis's GPS we worked our way from our hotel to Cleveland Circle and then Commonwealth Avenue,anyone who's ran the Boston marathon or knows the Boston marathon will recognize those land marks,after 3 Boston marathons it was unique to run the Newton hills from the other direction this time out.
11 miles for the morning,50 for the week and then the drive back to New York b4 the bus ride back to Philly.

Having spent the weekend away from home I took the day off today to play catch up on a Andrex bog roll list of"to do things" but all of them had to wait till after my run,a 10 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway.
The temperatures over the last few days have helped melt the snow which means providing there's no new snow/ice fall between now and Saturday a track repeat could be on the cards,failing that a hill repeat at the least,the fact I've ran two 4.33 miles in just over month but haven't been able to do any repeats since Dec 24th underlines my"the need for speed"
Another 10 miler on tap tomorrow b4 a rest day on Wednesday and then my first 800m of the indoor season.

Weekend In New England

Big shout out to Ocean Eversley for the starting line photo from Saturday's race,hip #s were given alphabetically ergo the line up{Burdett,Cakouros,Elliot,Fitzpatrick,meself,Lemme,Kern,Livingston,Millner,apologies to the rest of the field who didn't make the photo}

When planning my indoor season in late Nov/early Dec this was a race I considered but wasn't sure if the logistics ie $$$ would allow a trip to Boston,however kudos to Francis Burdett and Armando Oliveria for the ride up and back to Boston via New York.
We arrived at Reggie Lewis by 4.30pm and had 25 mins b4 being called to the athletes holding area,conditions outside Reggie Lewis were more a kin to the TD Bank Center when the Bruins have a home game so Francis and I jogged around the gym for 10 mins b4 making out way to the holding area behind the media area.
The mood was lighthearted as we stripped down to race gear and took to the track for our warm up,of the 17 man field I knew/had raced 7 of the field and had recently befriended Dave Millner a few days pre race.

Leading up to the race I had visualized two race plans,one w/ Charlie Kern in the field,one w/out as there were conflicting reports as to if he was running,turned out he was but my hopes of being able to get close enough to him to be pulled along to a fast time proved as optimistic as Krystal Forscutt being my valentine next week!!!
I did get a good reaction to the gun which in a 17 man field proved crucial and dispite a little bumping going in to the first turn I emerged on the back straight where I wanted to be.
35 seconds at 200m and I think 65 at 400m.
Charlie Kern had taken out the race at breakneck pace w/ only Lance Elliott able to go w/ him and Tom Nohilly just behind followed by Keven O Neil,Sean Livingston,Jason Cakouros and myself,as best as I remember I came through 800m in 2.14.

At some point Kent Lemme went by me dropping me to 8th on his way to 5th place but to be honest the laps and splits were just rolling by,I recall 4.00 at the bell and knew it was time to go,finding another gear I moved back in to 7th coming off the bottom turn as I overtook Jason Cakouros but was unable to close the gap on 6th place Sean Livingston,7th in 4.33.0.
A mild improvement on Jan 6th's 4.33.7. and my 13th fastest mile of all time, last year I didn't clock a 4.38. mile till Indoor Nationals at the end of March so I'm ahead of schedule based on last year.

Post race I managed a mile cool down w/ Charlie,Lance and Keven b4 enjoying the rest of a cracking track meet,it was neat to be a part of such an event,I hope we put on a good race for the fans,it was fun to run it trust me.
Post meet a group of us got together for dinner,nothing like a good burger and a few iced teas and alot of laughs,masters's a bit like the priesthood,once you're in you're in for life!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Giving It Large At B.I.G.*

*Boston Indoor Games
Just a quick word on yesterdays race,the Masters Mile at the New Balance Games at Reggie Lewis in Boston.
7th out of 16 runners in a respectable 4.33.0,a more detailed account of the race and the weekend to follow tomorrow,I'm still in New York City on my way back from Boston.
Oh yeah, even though it was 1.45am when I got home I was out by 8am to run 11 miles this morning to keep my 50 miles a week streak going.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Shipping Up To Boston....Via New York

"Shipping up to Boston,whoa,shipping up to Boston whoa,I'm shipping up to Boston to find my wooden leg ' Shipping Up To Boston-Dropkick Murphy's. An easy day today,no work which is always a plus and a lie in{yea} up by 9.30am and out to run by 10.30am. Nothing fancy this morning an easy 6 miler to put me at 36 for the week as I got my last chance to visualize the race b4 the gun goes off at 5.20pm at Reggie Lewis in Boston. Boston has been very good to me over the years,b4 I switched to track I ran three sub 3 hour Boston Marathons,2.54 in 91,2.56 in 02 and 2.59 in 05 and then after switching to track I've ran track there each year since 07,my first two Indoor Nationals were little to write home about b4 last year when I got a silver and two bronzes,but it's in my one off races at Masters Invitationals that I've had my most success there, a pair of runner up spots in 07 at 800m and 09 at 1, tomorrow third time's a charm?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No Deposit No Return

You can tell it's getting close to a trip to Boston when Boston's finest Dropkick Murphys make an appearance in my blog,trust me the ipod is loaded and I'll be kicking it on my way up to Beantown this weekend.
Easy 10 miler today,the conditions underfoot were much better today than yesterday,where as yesterday saw me contend w/ slushy ice underfoot today saw a lot more of Cobbs Creek Parkway sidewalk available to run on and the ice that was still out there was a lot more solid and easier to run on.
Having said that I knew two days b4 a race,ice or no ice that taking it easy was the watch word of the day,take an extra few steps to avoid ice if need be,don't be hung up on pace just get through the run in one piece,mission accomplished.

While surfing through the net this morning I came across some stuff on Jim Spivey,back in the day when the USA had several top milers Jim Spivey was my favourite of the bunch that included Steve Scott and Sidney Maree,if you don't include Bernard Lagat on the grounds that he was originally from Kenya Jim Spivey was the last American to win a medal at Worlds in 1987 in Rome when he won bronze in the 1,500m.
Anywho while reading up on what he's been up to since he retired from running I discovered he coached at the University of Chicago and one of his mantras to his athletes was"No Deposit No Return" and I totally get that today was a classic example of that,I could've bailed citing the risk of catching a cold given it was at freezing,could've said it's icy maybe I shouldn't risk it so close to a race,any nunber of excuses but if I want to log 50 miles this week I had to get out there and run today,No Deposit No Return,granted today was more about keeping one eye on my weekly mileage total than keeping the engine ticking over for Saturday but in running as in life if you want both you can have them,you just have to be smart about it.

W/ that in mind tomorrow is an easy 6 miler to keep things ticking over w/out taxing myself prior to the race but also leaving myself w/ an easy target to compleat 50 miles either side of Saturdays race and Sunday and then it's off to Boston via New York.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

"Slip sliding away,slip sliding away,you know the nearer your destination the more you're slip sliding away"
Slip Slidin' Away-Paul Simon
The less said about yesterday the better.....let's put it this way had I've ran and blogged the working title for my blog entry was either "BOLLOCKS!""Talking Bollocks As Usual" or "A Load Of Old Bollocks" yep it was one of those days,the fact a simple 50 minute commute took twice as long meant even though I left work at 3.10pm it was 5pm when I arrived home and then to compound my day I experienced technical difficulties w/ my pc so I couldn't get on line last nite,thank christ Groundhog Day is today not yesterday as if I had to relive that day I'd end up wearing an orange jumpsuit doing roadside detail somewhere on a chain gang!!!
Thankfully today wasn't repeat of yesterday,at work,the commute home or w/ the weather,look at me batting a thousand...w/ Spring Training just around the corner.
Since I'd secured an early departure.....everybody....early bird special I was home by 3.55pm and out on the road by 4.05pm,given my early start and the fact sunset is now 5.15pm I figured why not hit Cobbs Creek Parkway for my out and back 10 miler,it's closer to home and I wanted to do a recon mission for tomorrow if I get out early again{the way this week has gone it's a good chance!}and for my 6 miler on Friday.
At times the course was akin to a bad ice rink ice,slush water,nothing like a shoe full of icy water early on in to a 10 mile run but at least I was out running after having to shelve yesterday,frankly I think I got the better end of the deal w/ today,any time I can don my shades in February it's a good day!!
10 miler taken care of I'm still on course for a 50 mile week and I snagged a rest day prior to the race in Boston on Saturday,the weather should allow another 10 miler tomorrow and an easy 6 miler Friday on my way to Boston via New York.