Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sometimes The Numbers Do Lie

In running as in life you face adversity,the question is how do you deal w/ it....this is today's story!
Arrived at Temple just after 10am for a while it looked like I'd rue my choice of running attire as the sun didn't look to be in any great hurry coming out from behind the clouds but following my 6 lap warm up I was able to throw on my sleeveless shirt and begin my weekly assault on the 8x1,000m repeats,hoping to improve on last weeks splits b4 cutting back on my recoveries from 3 mins to 2.5.

#1 1,000m 1.20-1.25-37-3.22.3.A modest start to procedures,you never want to blow the barn doors off from the get go but would like to see that 1.25 be closer to 1.20-1.22.
#2 1,000m 1.20-1.23-36-3.19.6.Alright,now we're getting somewhere.......or so I thought!

Out of nowhere a group of runners and I use the term loosely believe me showed up to do what looked like a mile time trial,I had just begun #3 of my repeats when I was asked to move to the outside of the track and had to cut from lane 1 to lane 8 coming off the turn where I conducted the next three repeats b4 running #6 and #7 in lane 4 b4 finishing up in lane 1.
It was one thing to have to yield lane 1 mid repeat but these guys were slow as molasses,I swear to God I've seen maters runners in there 60s and upwards run faster than these guys who looked to be in their 20s or 30s.
If it wasn't bad enough that the shuffling buffalo's were clogging up lane 1 and only lane 1 cos believe they were strung out like a goddamn candy neckless the "officials'' who were in charge of this whole nightmare congregated in the middle lanes on the top turn,I lost count of the times I had to either cut in or more often than not swing wide of them.....and YES Mr "Cocky Bollocks" of an ENT or whoever you were w/ your hands in your pockets giving me the evil eye each time I came around the top turn you heard me correctly.... I DID call you a F**cking C**t and NO I didn't stutter!!!!!!!!!

#3 1,000m 1.25-1.33-40-3.38.8.I'm not accustomed to running all the way out in lane 8 so maybe that's what threw me off or the anger I felt at having my repeat sabotaged by these clowns.
#4 1,000m 1.27-1.30-38-3.35.7.
#5 1,000m 1.27-1.33-42-3.44.9.
At this point it was a monumental effort to keep going as repeats #4 & #5 just flat out sucked,I guarantee had I ran them in lane 1 my times would've been light years faster.
#6 1,000m 1.26-1.31-41-3.38.4.I think the herd was thinning out now{one of these slow bastards couldn't even run a mile and walked most of his 4 laps....and I was banished from lane 1 for you???}
#7 1,000m 1.25-1.32-3.35.3.It's a black day in training when a 3.35 1,000m elicits a cheer!!
#8 1,000m 1.20-1.24-33-3.17.7.W/ the buffalo's now off to pastures new to graze I reclaimed lane 1 and ran my second fastest closing 1,000m since beginning these repeats.

It would've been all too easy after #4 & #5 to have thrown the towel in and said fuck it......but as those of you who know me can attest I'm a stubborn,headstrong,determined individual so rather than quit I kept going.....hell it gives me something to bitch about in my blog!!!!
Yes it was a frustrating repeat and frankly unnecessary but like I said in running as in life you're going to face adversity,it's how you deal w/ it that counts.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Party Time In West Philly

Yes folks it's that time of year,Penn Relays and while I won't be taking part for the second year in a row it doesn't deter from the excitement of being there.
Sadly the rain at lunch time has put today's schedule 90 minutes behind so it doesn't look like I'll be making my annual jaunt to Distance Nite this evening,the Olympic Development 5,000m was scheduled for 10pm so now won't go off till 11.30pm, a tad late for me I fear.

I did get out and run my 10 miler this evening,67 mins, a big drop from the 71 mins I ran last nite and maybe w/out the humidity I could've gotten closer to 65 mins,I do know over the second half of the run there were more serges than a Russian phone book as I looked to pick up the pace,I finished strong knowing tomorrow is a rest day b4 heading to the track on Saturday in the hope of lowering my 8x1,000m splits from last week,I'm sure being at Penn Relays tomorrow watching friends and team mates run will serve as a motivator to that end.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who Doesn't Like A Little Whine?

True to my word I hit the brakes on my 10 miler this evening,a sedate 71 min time,I'm often guilty of pushing too hard on my easy days but a combination of the humidity and rain plus the knowledge that tomorrow is a scheduled faster day somewhere in the region 64-66 mins kept me honest this evening.
I also learnt the need to invest in two more dri fit sleeveless running shirts, the heat and humidity of the last two days and my workouts brought home the need for dri fit sleeveless shirts as I could've wrung out my blue Spurs sleeveless shirt b4 I reached the turn around this evening,in this runners humble opinion you can never have enough dri fit running clothes!

I did a little research on my early season mile repeats last season after last nites less than stellar opener and discovered I'm not that far off where I was a year ago.
Last nites 5.31.7.-5.29.6.-5.44.4-5.34.9. stacks up close to where I kicked off last year according to my blog 5.39.0-5.33.2.-5.42.8.-5.21.7. and at the risk of looking for excuses it was 84 degrees at 5pm last nite when I began,granted it's going to be hot in Sacramento in 10 weeks time but global warming or not who can legislate for that kind of heat in April??
On May 7th last year on my second set of mile repeats for the year I went:5.33.2-5.16.7-5.15.4. b4 being informed Franklin Field was closing at 6pm that nite......information that could've been brought to my attention sooner in my opinion,I'd have cut back on my warm up and stretches to facilitate that and gotten all four mile repeats proved to be a watershed moment,I never went back to Franklin Field to do repeats after that favouring the more user friendly track at Temple where a week later I went:5.06.8.-5.04.6.-5.03.7.-5.02.5. and thus began a summer of brisk mile repeats leading up to Nationals.

My upcoming race schedule will throw a slight kink into my current rotation system w/ repeats,Saturday will be my bread and butter repeat 8x1,000m....but the last w/ 3 min recovery,beginning on my next set of 8x1,000m repeats I'm cutting down to 2.5 mins recovery,as I've said b4"your repeats are only as good as the recoveries you allow yourself" we could all be world beaters w/ extended recoveries,let's hope w/ less recovery and the same intensity of repeat that I can at least be a medalist at Worlds if not a world beater.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It Can And Will Get Better

My day couldn't have gotten off to a worse start if I'd slept through my alarm,missed my bus,el and subway and then realized I'd forgotten to pack something in my backpack for my mile repeats after work!
The long and the short of was when I got to work at 6.15am I had an email from Information Services at 6.04am saying the hospitals computer network was down,but they hoped to have it back up,soon....I left at 3.20pm after an email at 3.18pm informing us the system was now up!!!!
On top of this my electric jack was acting up all day,I've had to run the dock w/out an electric jack b4 and it isn't a day at the beach trust me and then Fed Ex emailed me to say they wouldn't be arriving till 11am due to late freight when they normally arrive by 9.30am.
Against that backdrop I could've been forgiven for expecting the worst on the bus ride out to Roxboro,the bus would brake down or I'd get there and the track would be off limits,thankfully neither happened.

I haven't done 4x1 mile repeats since prior to 5th Avenue Mile so it was always going to be a bit of a rude awakening as first repeats often are but just as I managed to make last weeks second 8x1,000m better than week one I had to start somewhere w/ my mile repeats.
I had hoped 1.20 per lap for a 5.20 mile was a decent mark to aim for w/ the sole intention of getting faster each session till I'm cranking out sub 5s sooner,rather than later.

#1 mile 1.24-1.26-1.25-1.16-5.31.7.Not the start I had hoped for but then again on week 1 of my 8x1,000m I opened in 3.33.9. when I was aiming for 3.20.
#2 mile 1.22-1.19-1.21-1.17-5.29.6.Better but sub 5 seems a way off just yet,all in good time.
#3 mile 1.25-1.29-1.28-1.22-5.44.4-I knew my first lap was slow and obviously the middle two laps just killed me,at least I rallied on the final lap.
#4 mile 1.25-1.27-1.26-1.16-5.34.9-One thing's for sure when I revisit this repeat in 4 weeks time I'll be looking for a major improvement.

Historically my opening mile repeats in April/May aren't great but I come good when it matters in July/August,here's to keeping that streak alive this summer.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Smile Like You Mean It

Or the cat that got the canary!
I had so much fun doing my 12 miles along the river yesterday that I've opted to keep it in my rotation on Sundays for the time being,to do so means an oh so slight tweak in my mileage during the week,make one of my 10 milers an 8 miler and then tack on those 2 miles to a Sunday 10 miler.
It also serves a purpose at the beginning of the week,instead of doing 10 miles prior to my repeats I can now do 8 b4 then having a 10 mile recovery run the day after my repeats and then a more balls out 10 miler b4 a rest day and the more repeats and then an easy 12 to close out the all sounds good in theory but as any runner will tell you it can all go to cock in the blink of an eye.

So here's a stroke of good fortune for yours truly,following Saturdays repeats I had 358 miles on my current shoes and knowing a 12 miler was on tap Sunday that'd be 370,time for new shoes but having just dropped $110 for Worlds and still needing $300 for my air fare,not to mention saving the $300 I need to pay my hotel and needing new glasses it was hard to see where and when a new pair of Asics was coming from......cue yours truly finding,not one,not two but three $20 bills on the ground Saturday afternoon....Andrew Jackson never looked so good!
Surfice to say I went online today to the outlet section at Eastbay and ordered another pair of Asics Speedstar shoes for $69.99,w/ shipping that's $ basically that's a new pair or running shoes for $ wonder I'm smiling! :) after my 8 miler this evening

Sunday, April 24, 2011

64 Degrees Equals 64 Ounces

Another 55 mile week in the record books thanks to a 12 miler out and back along Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive this morning.
Since the evenings got light enough for me to run out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway and since I've curtailed my Sunday 16 milers I haven't had any call to run down to to the river recently but given my weekly mileage total had me at 43 miles I knew I had to up my 10 miler to 12 to round things out at an even 55 miles for the week.

Conditions were sunny and warm when I set off at 10.30am and by the time I got done I'd worked up a nice sweat,god bless dri fit sleeveless running shirts!!
I wasn't alone in thinking the route around the river was a good spot today,either the warm weather brought a lot of runners to the river or there was one hell of an Easter Egg hunt going on that I wasn't privy to!
Post run I made do w/ a 64 oz Double Gulp of Lemon Lime Gatorade,the first of several this season if this weather continues.

After a few blips in training either side of my last race things have settled down again,the clock continues to wind down to Worlds and Nationals in July,it may seem a ways off but this time next week it'll be May 1st,w/ that in mind midnite tonite sees the online deadline for Worlds I have a hard time believing anyone who plans on being in Sacramento hasn't done the online registration and will go the mail in route,we'll see what the next few days bring on that score.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Rain On My Parade

I awoke to the sound of rain bouncing off the roof at 9am and wondered how long I'd be sitting in a holding pattern,the answer was two hours.
By 11am the rain had stopped and w/ that I was dressed to run and out the door,rain be damned I would get my 8x1,000m repeats in today.
Over to Temple b4 12pm it was grey and overcast w/ a slight drizzle but having conducted my 20x200m last Tuesday in driving rain this was nothing.
Not surprisingly I had the track to myself and following my 6 lap warm up it was have at it time.

#1 1,000m 1.20-1.25-37-3.22.6.Wasn't thrilled w/ the 1.25 on lap 2 but otherwise I was close to the 1.20-1.20-40-3.20. I was gunning for.
#2 1,000m 1.19-1.25-38-3.22.1.Almost a carbon copy of #1,I'd gotten my pacing almost spot on I just needed to focus more on that second lap.
#3 1,000m 1.22-1.24-36-3.22.0.If nothing I was at least consistent and also ahead of where I was at this point last week.
#4 1,000m 1.23-1.23-38-3.24.0.Although I'd slipped off the 3.20 roll I was on I was pleased w/ the back to back 1.23s.
#5 1,000m 1.26-1.22-36-3.24.1.Not sure where the 1.26 opening lap came from but was glad to respond w/ a 1.22 to keep things on a even par.
#6 1,000m 1.23-1.23-36-3.22.5.Wow a second set of back to back 1.23s as I notched my 4th 3.22 repeat.
#7 1,000m 1.24-1.25-37-3.26.0.Shades of last weeks #7 repeat but well below the 1.27/1.30 splits I produced a week ago.
#8 1,000m 1.21-1.21-34-3.16.2.This was a nice way to finish off the repeats back to back 1.21s and a 34 second closing 200m.

All in all a good workout,much more consistent than last week which tells me I'm getting to grips w/ the new repeat as the numbers back up:
Asides from my consistency today I also felt on the second half of the repeats I was able to lengthen my stride on the final lap,280m on #5,300m on #6,400m on #7 and 410m on #8.
8x1,000m is going to be my bread and butter repeat this summer and I look forward to seeing what I can do w/ it next Saturday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Return Of Amy Pond......And Doctor Who!

After the thrills and excitement of my 6x600m repeats w/ Nick and the North London derby on Wednesday it was back to the norm yesterday and today w/ back to back 10 milers.
Yesterday was a recovery run and I eased my way through in 66 minutes,today was an easy run keeping in mind that weather permitting tomorrow it's back to the track for another crack at 8x1,000m repeats and taking a leaf out of Tuesdays book when I ran 69 mins prior to a track repeat I eased my way to a 68 min time under grey skies and the omni present hint of rain.

Last Saturday's track repeats were dictated by the weather and I feel tomorrow could be more of the same,if the forecast at present is correct I may be SOL in the morning to get to the track and may have to wait till the afternoon,hell as long as I get the repeat in irregardless of when I'll be happy,hell I have all day till 9pm when the new season of "Doctor Who" starts!!.

Yes sci fi fans the 5th season since the franchise was resurrected after 16 years first w/ Christopher Eccleston,then the awesome David Tenant and now the incredible Matt Smith begins tomorrow.
I thought Billie Piper was the cats meow as the first assistant Rose Tyler,then Freema Agyeman took over as Martha Jones b4 Catherine Tate came on board as Donna Noble b4 the divine Ms Karen Gillan took the role last season as Amy Pond and won my "Babe Of The Year" category hands down in 2010.
Suddenly being home the next several Saturday evenings doesn't look so glum after all....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Grey

You are my Tottenham,my only Tottenham you make me happy when skies are grey,you'll never dear how much I love you,until you've taken my Tottenham away.

Lost in all the talk of my repeats w/ Nick yesterday was the Spurs arsenal game at White Hart Lane.
As the late great Bill Nicholsen once said to the team when he was the manager"we only need to win two games all season....arsenal at home and arsenal away" that's what the fixture means.
The fact is our North London rivals have finished above us for the last 14 seasons and unless it all goes tits up in the last 6 games it'll be 15 seasons,but we are closing the gap,three years ago we beat them 5.1 at White Hart Lane in the semi final of the Carling Cup the first major victory over them in a while,two seasons ago in Harry Redknapp's second game in charge we recovered from 2.4 down to tie 4.4 thanks to 2 goals in the final 2 minutes,our first point at the new Emirates Stadium.
Last season at White Hart Lane we beat them 2.1,our first premiership win over the old enemy since 1999 if memory serves me correct and back in November we did the unthinkable and came back from 0.2 down to win 3.2 at the Emirate's{that game is still on my dvd,the fuck I'm deleting it!!!!}which brings us up to date w/last nites game at White Hart Lane.

When Nick first proposed the repeat workout for yesterday I knew there was a conflict of interests but just like the November 20th game when I was committed to run the Rothman 8k I simply dvrd the game and watched it when I got home,making sure not to check the score,going on line,checking my phone messages etc so I made sure to set the dvr b4 I left yesterday lunch time and upon my return home I avoided the tv,the phone and the pc and fired up the dvr.
Long story short we did it again,1.3 down we recovered to tie at 3.3 a result that did little for arsenal's hope of winning the title and dents our outside chances of finishing 4th again to qualify for next seasons Champions League but a defeat for either side would've sunk each sides hopes of the title/Champions League so w/ 6 games to go both sides still have everything to play for including North London bragging rights,which right now hang in the on!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nobody Went Into Cardiac Arrest,Nobody Cried Uncle

Or alternatively titled"How I ran 6x600m w/ Nick Berra and lived to tell the tale"
The frequency w/ which I do track repeats w/ someone else is matched only by the frequency in which I go out on dates.....hardly ever,so when the opportunity presented it's self to share a repeat yesterday I jumped at the chance.
My friend and team mate Nick Berra was in Philadelphia thanks to his work schedule so we hashed out a plan to meet up in the afternoon and head out to Roxborough to conduct the always fun 6x600m repeat....or as I lovingly refer to it as the Death Cage,I think it was another of my team mates Ray Parker who once coined the phrase"mind numbing,gut wrenching,lingering death.....repeat"for 6x600m,and the even older adage that"misery loves company" crossed my mind on the bus ride across Philly to sunny Roxboro.

Sunny was the operative word,the previous days AOL forecast called for thunderstorms today but it was clear blue skies and warm sunshine as Nick and I arrived around 2.30pm.
More or less had the track to ourselves,the beauty of an afternoon workout,I'd played "hooky" from work to take the day off but done it the legit way and scheduled a day off rather than call in "sick" although there was every chance post workout I may've been in need of medical assistance,by our own admissions Nick and I are warriors when we run be it on the track,during a cool down or warm up or if we run into one another like we did in early December along Kelly Drive so there was every chance that we'd push the envelope as far as we could today to push each other.

We both agreed pre workout that by running together today we'd be faster than if we conducted the same repeat by ourselves,the question was how much faster? by myself I would've been looking at 1.50s for all 6 given I haven't done a 6x600m repeat in a while,Nick is probably more than capable of doing them in the low 1.40s so we set 1.45 as our target time and agreed to rotate who'd lead off,Nick would take #1,#3,#5 while I'd do #2,#4 and #6.

#1 600m 1.40.9.Normally on my 6x600m repeats I take my 400m split but knowing I was either chasing Nick or would have him hot on my heals I felt there be little or no time to check my 400m split....if I had've I'd have seen I was on for a flyer to open,I often laugh reading Nick's blog when he says he often gets his first repeat horribly wrong because 9 times out of 10 I feel I do the same being a classic case in point!
#2 600m 1.45.5.More in line w/ the pace I was looking for I wish w/ hindsight now I'd checked my 400m splits but oh well!
#3 600m 1.41.8.Another brisk one,down the back straight Nick had opened up a gap on me but I was able to reel him back in on the home straight b4 400m and then do something very few runners ever get to do..pass him in the final 200m,I was playfully chastised on #1 for doing so but how often in this lifetime...or any other for that matter will I get to the finish line b4 Nick???
#4 600m 1.43.7.Still under the 1.45 mark but was beginning to feel it....but I sure as hell wasn't about to cry uncle....if my return to center city had to be in an ambulance then so be it,maybe the ent would be cute and I'd get a rare date along w/ a rare non solo repeat!!!
#5 600m 1.51.3.Clunk! the deafening sound of my wheels falling off!!Once again Nick opened up a lead on me down the back straight but unlike #3 when I was able to close the gap and reel him in this time Nick was gone and going away.
#6 600m 1.49.6.At least I closed in sub 1.50 but it was dejavu on this repeat as it was on #5,Nick took off down the back straight and there was little or nothing I could do about it.....shades of the final 1/4 mile at last years 5th Avenue Mile.

All in all a good workout,sure I'm pissed that I folded like a tent on the final 2 repeats but frankly having clocked the 4 sub 1.45s on #1 thro #4 that might've been expected and I know damn well had I've come out here by my lonesome yesterday I wouldn't have ran anything remotely close to what I did today.
Post workout Nick and I enjoyed the mother of all burritos....seriously this thing was the size of my fist and then I finally got to watch the video of last years 5th Avenue Mile race,I must've been the only person in that race who hadn't seen it!

For shits and giggles check out Nick's version of events in his blog and stay tuned for a few recaps over the summer as I'm sure Nick and I will look to repeat repeats when his work schedule brings him through Philly.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

R.I.P. Grete The Great

It was w/ great sadness I read online this morning that one of the all time greats of women's running Norway's Grete Waitz had passed away.
Long b4 "Girl Power" had been dreamt up Grete was a pioneer of that movement, w/ a list of accomplishments as long as your arm it's near impossible to know in which order to place them,the 9 New York City marathons,her 5 World cross country golds being the first women to win a World Championship marathon or her silver the following year in Los Angeles at the first women's Olympic marathon where it took the great Joan Benoit to deny her back to back golds at Worlds and the Olympics.

But it was a race she ran long after her career was over that will probably cement her reputation,in 1992 she ran the New York City marathon w/ race director Fred Lebow to celebrate his 60th b'day,her 5.32.35 was a far cry from her pr set in London 6 years earlier 2.24.54. but it summed up "Grete The Great" w/ her career highlights the stuff dreams are made of she could've been forgiven for running a time twice as slow of that in her prime but showing not only the grace of a true champion but the heart of one also she returned the favour to her good friend Fred Lebow who had invited her to run her first ever marathon there in 1978 when she smashed the then world record by 2 minutes.
New York has never forgotten Grete Weitz and each year holds a half marathon in her honour"Grete's Great Gallop" you know you've done something right when you get a race named after you but for New York to honour a runner from Norway speaks volumes of the universal love the world felt for her,the running world is a sadder place w/out her in it,her memory and legacy will live on forever,I doubt very much we'll ever see another 9 time winner of the New York City marathon.

I'm sure there were days Grete didn't feel like training but you don't build a resume like hers by blowing off training so dispite the rain this afternoon I got out there for my easy 10 miler,I won't be winning 9 New York Marathons or 5 World Cross Country c'ships but if I want to make the podium at Worlds and Nationals it's rain be damned and get out there.
Took it nice and easy{69 mins} I'm going to need all my strength tomorrow for my repeats w/ Nick,we're talking about 6x600m which is a beast workout to begin w/ but running them w/ a 1.56 800m guy,it's either gonna be awesome or a train wreck,stop back to find out which!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Good End To A Good Week

Up and at it by 10.15am this morning to knock out my 10 miler to round out the week at 55 miles. Not only 55 miles but more importantly 55 miles w/ two track repeats,I'd probably have to go back to mid to late August for the last time I could say that,but w/ the count down to Sacramento and Berra well and truly on I hope it'll be the norm from here on in. Looks like I'll have to invoke my rest day for next week tomorrow,getting to the track yesterday morning b4 the rain meant not getting my chores on and since today I had a long standing social engagement to honour I have laundry and grocery shopping to do so it's a rest day tomorrow to clear the decks and then go full steam ahead from Tuesday onwards.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Somedays You're The Tiger,Somedays You're The Trainer

First up apologies for not posting yesterday,got home from work,eased through a 67 min 10 miler,showered,ate dinner.....and fell asleep in the recliner b4 cue to call it a nite. Upside of all this,w/ rain in the forecast today it was crucial to get to the track early and conduct my long overdue 8x1,000m repeats b4 the heavens opened,a la Tuesday so when I woke up at 7.30am I was primed and ready to have at it. One of my problems in recent Saturdays is not getting up at a decent time,or getting up early but not getting going till lunch time,w/ 12 weeks till Worlds{and only 5 weeks of Prem soccer season to go!}now is the time to get my arse in gear. Out the door by 8.30am and over to Temple by 9.20am,next to nobody on the track so maybe that's the trick on Saturdays,get here early and get a jump start on things. 6 lap warm up taken care of now it was time to debut at 8x1,000m,it was suggested I up my 1,000s from 5 to 8 for more strength Like all new repeats there comes a sense of trepidation about doing them for the first time but just like Tuesdays 20x200m were a first and I passed that test I hope for more of the same here.....I skipped the "lightning strikes twice" analogy as the skies were dark and forboding enough to begin w/!!! #1 1,000m 1.26-1.27-40-3.33.9.A lot slower than the 1.20-1.20-35-3.15 target I had perhaps foolishly set for myself,hindsight is like a mulligan for runners! #2 1,000m 1.23-1.28-39-3.30.3.An improvement but still well shy of what I had previously set myself,still w/ 6 more to go I needed to pace myself, #3 1,000m 1.18-1.22-39-3.19.1.Closer to what I was hoping for either I'd gotten my pace right at last or the fact I had to halt my run 300m in as some arsehole starting scooping up my warm up bottoms and backpack and saw yours truly flying across the infield to confront him!!!! #4 1,000m 1.18-1.25-41-3.24.3.Maybe having to check across the infield at 700m that cuz wasn't going to make a second attempt on my gear I may've lost a few seconds on the second lap. #5 1,000m 1.20-1.24-37-3.21.5.The closest repeat to the 1.20-1.20-35-3.15 blueprint I had hoped for. #6 1,000m 1.23-1.26-41-3.30.0.Predictably as I entered uncharted waters a slowing down but still in the realm of respectability. #7 1,000m 1.27-1.30-39-3.36.0.My slowest repeat of the session,I knew I was in trouble when I opened in 1.27. #8 1,000m 1.21-1.24-34-3.19.9.Not a bad finish if I say so myself,good to see 3 extra 1,000s didn't blunt my physical or mental ability to throw everything at the final repeat. All in all I'm pleased to have gotten my maiden 8x1,000m under my belt,plus notch my first 2 repeats in a week for the first time in a while. 6 lap cool down to round me out at 8 miles and leave me w/ a 10 miler tomorrow for 55 miles for the week. Let's hope next week I can improve on what I did today.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ready To Take On The World

Well It's official,I'm registered for Worlds in 12 weeks time I did the online registration yesterday for the 5,000m,my hotel was booked weeks ago and I'm half way towards paying my all I have to do is train like a fiend for the next 12 weeks and hope I show up at the starting line of the 5,000m on July 9th in the best racing shape of my 35 year pressure! I took yesterday as my rest day,following my 20x200m repeats on Tuesday in the rain I didn't fancy a 10 miler in the rain so I opted to envoke my rest day. Given today was 60 degrees and sunny it proved to be the right call,also yesterday would've been a recovery run today I was able to go after it a little more and clocked a brisk 65 min 10 miles,tomorrow I can ease up a bit as God willing Saturday will be my eagerly awaited 8x1,000m repeats.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Old Man,Said Be An arsenal Fan,I Said.............

For those of you familiar w/ that terrace chant you'll know why I couldn't finish it off....the more long winded yet politically correct description goes go away,your talking nonsense,you're an idiot.....lacks the bite of the actual song I feel!!!! It would've been nice if on what would've been his 78th b'day Spurs had pulled off the comeback of comebacks to overhaul their 0.4 first leg deficit for my dad,it wasn't to be and our incredible european journey in the Chanpions League ended in the 1/4 finals,a far cry from where any of us in the "Yid Army"expected us to get to when we started out in September vs Young Boys of Berne in a qualifier for the group stage,even then we were only seeded 3rd of 4 teams which meant we we only expected to reach the knock out stage of the Europa League.....instead we won our group by beating the holders Inter Milan and spread the love in Milan by beating Seria A leaders AC Milan in the famed San Siro. Sadly 9 time winners Real Madrid proved to be a bit too much of a challenge for us,though had Peter Crouch not been shown 2 yellow cards in the opening 15 mins in Madrid last week who knows what the outcome might've been. For a first ever season in the Champions League I though "arry's army" did a bang up job and it now behooves us to finish in the top 4 of the Premiership this season to have another crack at the Champions League next season. W/ 7 games to go we're 5th,3 points behind 4th place and a trip to the City Of Manchester to come,can lightning strike twice in the same place and we finish 4th???

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hedging My Bets Just In Case

If yesterday was about the three Ss today was about the three Ds,Drive,Determination,Desire and if I want to make it four Ds you can add drenched cos I got soaked to the skin this evening!!
B4 I go any further a shout out to the peeps at LOLCAT who've been providing me the cat photos of late,as the photo and title suggest I wasn't sure what to expect from myself or the weather,the weather sucked,I surprised myself.

The rain had stopped b4 I began to make my way to Roxboro but three quarters of the way there the heavens reopened and how,but what the frig I didn't schlep all the way to Roxboro to just turn around and come home did I?and upside the rain would keep the track clear for me and after last week wasn't it just about getting on a friggin' track and doing some repeats??

The original game plan was 8x1,000m but in this rain forget it"back in the day"{07/08} I was no stranger to 2x1,000m in the rain but I couldn't see doing eight in this rain so plan b 20x200m.

This is a new repeat.....well I'm sure it's been around for years but I've never done it b4,in some respects it was a win/win no expectations so rain or no rain have at it.

I set 37 seconds as my benchmark,why 37?37/37=1.14 which is what I'd like my 5,000m pace to be,I had no idea what to expect,what I got was


I have to say I'm pleased,all 20 under 37,only 2 at 36 and 10 at 34 and in the rain too,if ever I needed a boost to my confidence it was this,the bad race on April 2nd and the crap week right after had allowed some negative thoughts to creep in and while one swallow does not a summer make"it's a start and something to build upon,while I'm not a big lover of the trip to and from Roxboro much less the track it looks like it's going to be Tuesdays at Roxboro for the next few weeks,fingers crossed Temple will be available Saturday as yet again I'll strive for the elusive 8x1,000m repeat

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Return Of The Three Ss

82 degrees this afternoon,wow is it April or August? Obviously w/ those conditions it was shades,sleeveless,and shorts attire this afternoon as I cranked out a 10 mile out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway. Caught somewhere between wanting to get back into the swing of things after last week but also keeping in mind a hopeful repeat session tomorrow I settled on a comfortable 66 minute pace. 13 days till the deadline for Worlds closes it's interesting to see guys coming out of the woodwork and also interesting to see that Worlds is no different from Nationals,eg people lie about seed times! I'm utterly gobsmacked that someone w/ an almost identical time to mine last year has now suddenly ran 21 seconds faster....whatever,I'm there to run my race and not lie about my seed time,and if I can't make the podium I'd like to at least beat the runners who lie about their seed times. Fingers crossed I make it to a track tomorrow for my repeats

Every Picture Tells A Story

After the week I just had on and off the track I feel like the cat does!!!!!!! After a crap curtain raiser to my 2010 outdoor season the last thing I needed last week was the running week from hell.....which was exactly what I got. Things began well enough w/ an easy 10 miler Monday,Tuesdays planned 8x1,000m repeats fell by the wayside w/ the threat of rain and 40mph,I couldn't see treking all the way out to Lower Merion to get blown off the track,a days wait wouldn't hurt..... Wednesday not only did I strike out at Lower Merion but also St Joe's,another day shot,Thursday and w/ all good intentions of going to Roxboro to use the track there my sometimes less than iron constitution digestive system had other ideas and laid me low,the week was now looking if not shot but in tatters. Friday,it pissed out of the heavens no track anywhere and frankly running for the sake of running wasn't jump starting my will to get up and have at it. Saturday,Temple's track rarely lets me down period,much less on a weekend.....I roll up there at lunchtime to discover the track and infield a flood w/ some sort of sorority/fraternity shindig,@#$% me I can't win for losing can I??? Sunday,I did wake up at a decent enough time to retry Temple but to be honest the week just felt shot to shit so I bagged it altogether,seemed pointless chasing "lost miles" at this point,draw a line beneath this week and get ready for a whole new week beginning today. It wasn't just my running that suffered although I always feel that when it all goes south for me w/ my running my life or so called life follows south. Tuesday my beloved Spurs got mullered 4.0 away to Real Madrid in the Champions League 1/4 final 1st leg,it was going to be an uphill struggle w/ 11 men but having Peter Crouch sent off after 15 mins made it a much harder task,we need to win 5.0 at home on Wednesday to advance to the semi finals.....even the most ardent Spurs fans {me included}don't think it'll happen. Health wise I wasn't having the best of weeks,the iffey constitution aside I was in bed by 8pm three nites out of four during the week and by 9pm last nite,not that I'm mister"burn the midnight oil" by any means but it struck me as odd,still my fallback was tv,good ole tv seldom lets me down......right.....???? For three years I've been watching "Being Human" the cool uk version,not the insipid shite they peddle on Sci Fi channel anywho Saturday was the season three finale{Spoiler Alert if you haven't seen the final episode yet don't carry on reading or I'll give away the ending} any way I'd read that Adain Turner who plays John Mitchell in the show was off to New Zealand to film "The Hobbit" so I was curious how they'd work around that,after Mitchell is an essential part of the storyline they can't just kill him off can they???? One second Mitchell is standing in the living room being all vampireish,dark and brooding....boom! next thing George stakes him through the heart and he's a pile of ashes on the floor................"oh my god,you killed bastards!!!!" Still reeling from the shock of that I hastily pulled up the season four finale of "Law & Order UK" from Friday,nothing to fear there,the good guys always win and get their convictions......shit a brick this episode sees James Steele the lead prosecutor for the crown court under investigation for falsifying evidence in a case to get a conviction.....James being James won his case but then quit the CPC so in the space of two hours two of my favourite characters on tv had been written out of the shows b4 the next season.....when you can't trust tv who can you trust.....time to put my world back on a level kilter and resume running beginning this afternoon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Struck Out At The Plate.....Twice

At least the weather held up today,however both my trips to a track to get my 8x1,000m repeats in came up short,both Lower Merion and St Joes were off limits due to lacrosse practice. I always felt trying to find a track during the week to do repeats on at this time of year would be an issue but I need to be on a track during the week and on the weekend. Tomorrow I'll try Roxborough's track in the hope I can get on there,otherwise I'm gonna have to start looking at hill repeats during the week,knowing my luck the track will be free but it'll piss down w/ rain,whatever it takes right,wouldn't be the first repeat I've done in the rain,won't be the last either if it comes to that.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's Just Not Cricket

I ended up shelving my plans to hit the track this evening,the weather forecast wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement and w/ each repeat between now and Worlds/Nationals crucial to my chances of making the podium I'd rather wait a day for{hopefully}better conditions than just get it in for the sake of getting it in. This leaves me free to vent about the decision of the powers that be in World Cricket who have decided that the next ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2015 will only comprise of the 10 international cricket playing nations,the likes of minnows such as Kenya,Canada,Holland and my beloved Ireland will not be asked to take part. Asides from the obvious two fingers up to these countries it feels like a complete about face by the ICC who allowed minnows into the game to spice up an otherwise stale state of affairs w/ the likes of England,Australia,New Zealand,South Africa,India,Pakistan,Sri Lanka,West Indies and Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Despite having test cricket status Zimbabwe are only ranked #11 in the world rankings guessed it Ireland explain that one! Aside from an obvious snub to non test cricket nations you're stifling the global growth of the game,what message is this sending to younger cricketers in Kenya,Canada,Holland and Ireland who now know that the next Cricket World Cup they can play in isn't for eight years in 2019? This rather smacks of "the old boys club" a bit like the NFL saying only the Eagles,Patriots,Bears,Cowboys,Steelers,Giants,Packers,Jets,Colts and 49ers can contest the Superbowl.....the whole nature of any sport is the unpredictable nature that anyone on any given day can win but if we keep stacking the field so that only the tried and tested teams can win the word boring is sure to be just around the corner.

Moving On To The Next Phase

Much like a villian flees the scene of a crime I tried to distance myself from Saturday's race asap,I dispatched a swift 63 min 10 mile out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway on Sunday to rack up a 50 mile week,not a bad return in a race week. And swiftly onto the next phase of training,I have{touchwood}5 weeks of uninterupted training between now and my next race and would like to see two trips per week to the track for repeats in each week as I maintain a 55 mile week average. Weather permitting and track availability pending I'd like to be on Lower Merion's track this evening for 8x1,000m repeats,my good friend Lance Elliot suggested upping my current 5x1,000m repeats to 8 so I'll give that a whirl and see how it pans out b4 returning to the track on Saturday for 14x400m w/ an 800m jog inbetween. It was brought to my attention that my 6x600m and 4x1mile repeats have been MIA for a while,I'd like to reintroduce them to the cycle also and maybe look at 20x200m also along w/ hill repeats,to quote Tom Cruise in "Top Gun"I feel the need for speed. Easy 10 miler last nite to kick off the week,glorious conditions,for only the second time this year tshirt and shorts weather....of course it's meant to piss down w/ rain all day today so maybe rotating my warm up bottoms and long sleeve running shirts to the back of the closet will have to be put on hold for just a while longer,Spring much like that one great track workout keeps teasing me,I know it's out there,catching it keeps proving to be the trick.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Master Runner,Rookie Mistake

I love the blues,they tell my story,if you don't feel it you can never understand. So many times I thought about it and now I know just what it means to be a man. Everyday I realize you can see it in my eyes,I never wait or hesitate Cos I love the life I live,I'm gonna live the life I choose You've gotta understand,I'm walking in the shadow of the blues

Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues-Whitesnake

There's nothing worse than having to blog a bad race or bad workout,but I've tried never to be the type of blogger who only blogs the good stuff and hides the crud under the rug,so here goes w/ Saturdays less then stellar 5,000m race from Penn.

Last years 15.57.7. 5,000m at the Upenn Invite lit the fuse for a banner track season for yours truly including a 15.36.8. pr and bronze at Nationals so it wasn't that unrealistic to hope the same race on the same weekend this year wouldn't do likewise.....or was it?

31 of us toed the line at 5pm w/ sunny and mild conditions,where as last year I found myself on the second line which ultimately aided my first ever sub 16 5,000m this year my recent 15.47 indoor 5,000m earned me front row status and a #16 seed,this w/ hindsight lead to my downfall as from the gun I allowed myself to get swept up in the lead pack as we joined seeds 1 thro 8 who lined up ahead of us on a California start till the break line on the home straight as I maintained my 16th place position and went through 200m in 34 seconds.

According to my unofficial splits my first 4 laps went 1.13,1.13,1.14,1.15 for a 4.55 opening mile,I was hoping for 5.00 off of 1.15 per lap but that had gone out the window,clearly hoping to run in the region of 15.30 today I'd allowed myself to get caught up in a pace too rich for my blood at this stage of my season,that's a race better suited to a few weeks down the road,a rookie error someone of my age should NOT be making but somehow I'd made it and the subsequent carnage that comes w/ such a error was about to unfold.

W/ 7 laps to go I fell off the rear of the chase pack as my pace had now ballooned to a woeful 1.23,at this stage I had to call upon my several years of experience to coax myself through each lap rather than drop out of the race,by the time I reached 4 laps to go my second mile had skyrocketed to a pitiful 5.24,there'd be no sub 16 today that was for sure,all I could do now was gut it out to the finish and at least have that as something to be happy w/ on an otherwise bad day at the office.

A final mile of 5.20 saw me finish in 24th place in a hugely disappointing 16.21.1. time,for a race that I had hoped would provide answers I found myself w/ more questions upon crossing the finish line,having ended the indoor season on a bum note the last thing my confidence needed was to open the outdoor season on a backwards step but here it was in all it's technicoloured glory....or should that be gory.

Clearly it all went pear shaped at the gun,last year I ran a cagey opening mile as I sought a sub 16 for the first time in my career,today believing I could run a 15.30 I went out too aggressively in the opening mile and paid for it big time,if memory serves last year my opening splits were 4.58-5.16 for a 10.14,today read 4.55-5.24-10.39,like I said a rookie error and one a seasoned masters runner like myself should not be making.

Granted today is only the first race of a long outdoor season,there are several more races b4 I toe the line at Worlds and Nationals in July but it's not exactly the way you want to kick off the season,I have two choices,jump right into another race asap to erase the memory of this cock up or bide my time over the next 5 weeks in training so that come my next meet at Swarthmore on May 9th I'm primed and ready to run a better race and hopefully closer to 15.30 off of even pacing,in running as in life,it's a learning process and hopefully you learn from your mistakes and don't make the same mistake twice.....lets hope I've learned.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Who Says You Can't Come Home Again

Steal my heart and hold my tongue I feel my time,my time has come Let me in,unlock the door I've never felt this way before And the wheels just keep on turning,the drummer begins to drum I don't know which way I'm going,I don't know which way I've come Hold my head inside your hands,I need someone who understands I need someone,someone who hears,for you I've waited all these years For you I'd wait till kingdom come until my day,my day is done And say you'll come and set me free,just say you'll wait,you'll wait for me In your tears and in your blood,in your fire and in your flood I hear you laugh,I heard you sing,I wouldn't change a single thing

Kingdom Come-Coldplay

Rest day today w/ a race on tap tomorrow,the obligatory bowl of Linguine and Clams w/ Texas Toast as my pre race meal,as the saying goes"if it ain't broke,don't fix it"

Hopefully the weather will improve for tomorrow,not a lot of fun running 12.5 laps in the rain but according to the forecast it should be dry if nothing else.

So yes,it's a 5,000m tomorrow and chances are it will remain 5,000m for the summer,after my indoor season I was less than thrilled w/ my 2 400m races and 2 800m races,my pair of miles were ok,but clearly my best 2 races were over the longer distances,9.08 for 3,000m and 15.47 for 5,000m so rather than keep ploughing away at 800m when I've yet to turn in a decent performance I figured go after it at 5,000m where I feel I can improve upon the marks I set last season.

My 5,000m Odyssey kicked off at the very same Upenn Invitational last year on April 3rd when I clocked a 15.57.7. and culminated in a 15.36.8. at Nationals,obviously anything below 15.57.7. tomorrow would be a step in the right direction w/ 14 more weeks to go till Worlds and 5 more races scheduled,but b4 I can concern myself w/ them and my training I need to execute my race plan tomorrow and then go from there,the clock is ticking.