Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Somebody Called A Doctor??

Given yesterday was more of the same as Sunday I didn't bother to blog,for what it's worth I went out in 15.13 and returned in 15.26,the acme anvil that was the heat and humidity at 1.15pm really kicked in,"early doors" on the run I did feel that I was pushing the pace....as much as one can at 7.30 mile pace... but the heat took it's toll over the second half.

Talking of the heat,I'm in touch w/ my Native American side but I did not need my bedroom to resemble a Native American sweat lodge last night,dear lord,I'm all for working up a good sweat in the boudoir.....but not while I'm trying to sleep!!!!,broke down today and bought a fan,maybe tonite I'll get a good nites sleep and not keep waking up to wipe beads of sweat off of me.
But b4 signing off on the whole sweat lodge issue let me say based on today's 4 miler,maybe just maybe last nite I sweated out all the toxins that have been strangling my fast twitch muscles of late.

Granted today's 4 miler came at 4.45pm when conditions aren't as molten hot as they were at 1.15pm yesterday but from my first 2 "splits" on the out and back to Whitby Ave I knew I was on for a faster time than anything I've ran since beginning my 4 milers on Friday,14.28 at the turnaround and back in 14.43 for a 29.11.
Now granted it's going to take a hell of a lot more than a sub 30 4 miler to put the world on notice but when your confidence is as low as whale shit to begin w/ a run like this could be the turnaround point or at the very least something to build upon,let's see what tomorrow brings?

Oh yeah for those who think we have such a great health system in our country.... I called my doctors office today{May 31st} to make an appointment......the earliest my doctor can see me is July 11th.....and if that wasn't a big enough boot in the nads.... I'm in Sacramento then for Worlds,when I said I'd be willing to see any doctor b4 then I was told "an intern has an opening on June 29th".
I have no problem w/ being seen by an intern but the fact I have to wait a month to be seen kills me....let's hope my poor form of late was a result of over training and not a medical shortcoming,as it stands I'll have less than a month to correct it for Nationals after my doctors visit if it's a medical issue.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Little By Little

Another easy 4 miler this afternoon,remarkably my fastest to date,out in 15.24 back in 14.57,remarkable given the heat and the fact I was doing this cold,Friday's 30.44 after work and yesterdays 30.31 after a trip to 30th st and Aldi
Looks like I'll be trying to get tomorrows run in early b4 the rumoured 95 degree heat hits like an Acme anvil,welcome to the dog days of summer!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Single Digits Part Two

A second easy 4 miler/30 minute run along Cobbs Creek Parkway to Whitby Ave and back this afternoon.
Felt strange not to be on a track on a Saturday,but fingers crossed after next week I can tweak things a tad and retain low mileage w/ one or hopefully two repeats per week.....that's all for another time right now my only focus can be the next 5 days leading up to Henderson on Friday,after that I can reassess the situation.

Not wishing to overlook Worlds but we're now 9 weeks away from Nationals,in a non World C'ship year Nationals would be my main focus and given my poor form of late I could be forgiven for not setting my sights on Berea Ohio on July 28th-31st,I have to have my entries in bt July 1st but I don't have to decide which races to compete over till a week b4 so the next three races in my build up to Worlds over the mile,1,500m and 800m plus the 5,000m at Worlds will go a long way in determining what races I run at Nationals.

Well it's a bumper weekend of soccer and rugby to feast on Champions League Final,League Two,League One and Championship playoff finals plus Magners League and Premier League rugby finals between today and Monday b4 a summer of no soccer till pre season and the 2011/12 season,ditto for rugger,ah god bless the sporting life.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Everything In Moderation

Ah Memorial Day weekend,the unofficial beginning of summer and a weekend of cook outs,going to the shore or the mountains......or if you're like me another weekend at home!
I know several of my team mates are heading to Glassboro New Jersey over the weekend for the Eastern Regional C'ships,long b4 my blip in training I had elected not to compete there so I have no qualms about not going.

In the past few days I've been given varying bits of advice on handling this serious nose dive in form but the one piece of advice that seems to keep coming to the fore is backing off a little.
Runners are not renowned for embracing the less is more mindset,it's just not in our dna but a fellow runner suggested to me today that just going out to run for 30 mins a day between now and next Thursday might not be a bad way to prep for the mile at Henderson which in keeping w/ a comment on my blog the other week about having a couple of easy weeks seems now like the way to go,I tried to half step that by taking a week off but saw my mile repeats crumble over the second half on Tuesday so 30 mins a day it is,I feel I have nothing else to lose.

I do still plan to make a doctors appointment and make sure"everything under the hood is ticking over nicely",in my darker moments I ponder an iron deficiency.....and wonder aloud if that would get me a prescription{refillable of course!!}for Guinness.....at least my sense of humor is still intact!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Funny Cos It's True

It's been a while since I bitched about work,much less had any work WTF stories but allow a slow day in training{6 miler}and very little to blog other than the realization that a phone call to my doctor to run some tests to see if there's a problem lurking"below the surface" is perhaps in order,I could've made the call today....had work not been so totally crushing!!!
It's been a while since I've had"one of those days"at work and as long as I've had to work through lunch,but to put my day into complete prespective my lunch never made it out of my back pack to the fridge.....that's how busy we were today!!

I can handle being busy,and the odd day that lunch goes by the way side however what fries my lillywhite irish arse is getting an email from the inventory controller asking the dock to"get in to the practice of bringing entire orders down to the storeroom when they come in"thanks to a stint in diplomacy 101 I was able to fire off a friendly email that stated Chris and I were "up to our arses in crocodiles busy" w/ deliveries but in future we'd notify him if a delivery came in that we could'n't bring down to him asap.....reading between the lines"oi we're @#$ing busy,you want it,come and get it" !!!!!

But it gets better,on July 1st we're four years into the Lawson system....the system that was"paperless"....ahem!Feb 1st the powers that be decided to alter the way deliveries are handled{we were notified that day.....as I sarcastically pointed out telling us the day b4 would've been a day late but that's this place for you!!!!}anywho there's been an issue w/ a delivery item to the storeroom from almost 2 weeks ago that nobody can locate,hence the packing slip being thrown back in my face w/ a "you didn't get a signature for this"memo attatched......really cos in the 12 years I've worked here nobody in the storeroom has signed for deliveries that came in via the loading dock......to quote someone else on this individual whos popularity ranks right up there w/ a fart in a phone box,you've got OCD and I have to agree,why are you scanning the packing slips from deliveries and then holding on to the packing slips for three months????......for a "paperless" system we have a 5 drawer filing cabinet bursting at the seems in the office.

Hopefully it was just one of those days and hopefully w/ a day off and a new approach to training runs for the next week or two I can get back to where I should be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Happy 70th b'day Robert Zimmerman.....or as you and I know him Bob Dylan.
It's kind of ironic it's his b'day today given how last Tuesday Sean and I were discussing the merits of Bob Dylans music on our lives over the years.
To honour his b'day wxpn played 70 Bob Dylan songs today,you've gotta love a radio station like wxpn who does that,check out their website:http://www.wxpn.org/ to see the 70 songs they played on today's playlist and see if your fav Dylan tunes were amongst them,a lot of mine were.

Sadly the feelgood factor of wxpn's Bobfest didn't have a trickle down effect on my 4x1mile repeats at Temple post work.
Conditions were warm in the mid 80s as I ended my 6 day mini sabbatical w/ a return to training,w/ hindsight maybe a set of repeats wasn't the way to return to the frey,but frankly had today been an easy 6 miles I doubt the outcome of 4x1 mile repeats tomorrow would've been any different.
Things began well enough b4 degenerating into the following debacle:
#1 mile 1.16-1.21-1.20-1.16-5.13.7.I couldn't have asked for a better start,the opening 1.16 threw me for a loop as I thought I was running too slow.......
#2 mile 1.18-1.26-1.27-1.23-5.34.1.Not what I was hoping to follow up my opening 5.13.7. w/ but I was still ahead of my only other mile repeats this season in Roxboro on April 27th
#3 mile 1.24-1.31-1.31-1.29.-5.55.8.As soon as the back to back 1.31s showed up I knew that dead in the legs feeling wasn't all in my mind.
#4 mile 1.26-1.33-1.36-1.45.-6.10.7.On the back straight of the first lap I could actually feel my pace{referring to it as speed would be laughable!!!}decreasing,oi vay!!!!

I hope this was"just a bad day at the office" up until now my bad days at the track have been limited to my recent races,maybe my 6 days off meant I wasn't as sharp as I'd like to be,a few days of easy 6 milers b4 a return to the track for 8x1,000 will get me back into the realm of decent repeats.....let's hope so w/ every bad performance right now I feel another strand of confidence erode from my already questionable confidence level.
At least I hadn't schlepped all the way out to Roxboro for this....no amount of Bob Dylan on my ipod would've cheered me up on the hour long ride home afterwards!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

For Inspiration

It's said inspiration can come from the least likely of places,I'm not a big Justin Timberlake fan but I recall in a Barbara Walters interview where the former N'Syncer said of his talent"I work w/ what I've got"which has stayed w/ me for the best part of three years.
At a time when my confidence is taking a battering each time I step on to the track to race{only 3 scheduled races left b4 Worlds and Nationals} I needed the events of the weekend in the sporting world to keep me honest and hopeful.

Leinster recovered from 6.22 down to defeat Northants 33.22 to win the Heinkein Cup rugby final{clearly Leinster were drinking Heinken at the half time interval as it"refreshed the parts other beers cannot reach"}at lunchtime,at halftime I could not have imagined Leinster staging a comeback to life their second Heineken Cup in three years but thanks to a few choice words in the dressing room at halftime and a belief that they could win the game Leinster took it to Northants in the second half so much so that rumour has it the Northants captain asked the ref if they could have a ball to play w/over the second 40 mins,when the ref informed him they had one the Northants skipper replied"yeah but Leinster are using that one!!!!"

As a boxing fan over the years I've seen some unbelievable fights,I recall in Nov 94 when George Forman became the oldest champion ever at 45 when he knocked out then champ Michael Moorer to claim the heavyweight title.....fast forward almost 17 years when Bernard Hopkins a 46 year old fighter from Philly beat Jean Pascal in his hometown of Montreal to claim the title and become the new Lightheavyweight champion of the world,a fact made even more remarkable by the fact that Hopkins was a former inmate at Graterford prison and now he's not only a world champion but the oldest ever world boxing champion.
Like I said inspiration comes in strange places,neither Leinster nor Hopkins quit and if that's what it takes to get off my stool and return to the frey tomorrow to continue my quest for the world championships and Nationals,then sobeit.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's The End Of The World As We Know It{And I Feel Fine}

WOW! I decide to take a few days off from training and all of a sudden it's the end of the world!!!! WTF indeed!!!!!!
My decision to take a step back b4 resuming training was helped by scheduling,I was a little leg weary on Wednesday after two races in New York on Tuesday nite which made taking a rest day on Wednesday a no brainer,the rain on Thursday more or less forced my hand and after much soul searching{yes believe it or not I do have one,wheater it's been sold to the devil is another matter!!!}today I felt a few days off to mentally and physically reload might be better in the long run{no pun intended!}

W/ the countdown to Worlds and Nationals now at 7 & 10 weeks to keep spinning my wheels in training seems pointless,as I've said on numerous occasions it's not in a runners dna to subscribe to the "less is more"mindset but a few days off and a retooling of my weekly workouts might be just the tonic I need right now.
My next race is June 3rd,I should be able to get 3 repeats in between Monday and the following Monday as I begin to prep for Henderson,it was interesting rereading Eamonn Coghlan's biography that in his build up to Helsinki 83 he mainly ran 1,500m and mile races to prepare for the World Championships,my final 3 races b4 Worlds and Nationals are planned as a mile, a 1,500m and an 800m,this will also allow me to see where I'm at over the shorter races as I then make a choice of what events to run at Nationals in Cleveland three weeks after Worlds.........

This of course is all under the auspice that infact the world hasn't come to an abrupt end tomorrow as some are predicting.....rather make a mockery of the networks announcing their Fall tv line ups don't you think???
Will I have time to finish reading my current book???was it worth ordering another to read afterwards??should I be overly concerned about using up the milk in the fridge b4 it expires???was there any need to pay my most recent credit card bill??? all things I could've been asking myself were I to run tomorrow......guess they'll have to wait till Monday.....I will however be checking in w/ my friends "down under'' who are 14 hours ahead of us here on the east coast,if I read blog entries or Facebook comments for Sunday in Australia then I feel it'll be a safe bet to make plans for the day around "Survival Sunday" as the Premiership plays out it's 38th and final game of the season,for the two sides unlucky enough to join West Ham in being relegated from the Premier League to the Championship I'm sure it will fell like the end of the world...........

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Much like the old Monty Python sketch "Secret Service" where the punch line goes"still I was getting used to it by then" that's pretty much how I feel about my latest race not going to plan.
First of all mad props to my friend,team mate and fellow celtic running brother Sean for driving up to Icahn,the forecast called for rain and it's along way to go to run in the rain but Sean never waivered from his original compartment to driving up and was rewarded w/ 4.50 1,500m which has lead Sean to reconsider his original decision that this would be his only Tuesday Nite Speed Series meet.....must be that mondo track??!!

It's rare that 2 miles gets offered as a race distance,3,000m is more often the bill o fare,in fact this would be my first ever outdoor 2 milers and I only had 1 indoor 2 miler to my credit,a 10.05.6. last March at The Armory.
Last years opening Tuesday Nite Speed Series meet drew a low attendance and tonite was no different,it could be said the threat of rain probably kept several would be track faithful away,I would guess the two June meets will attract bigger numbers.

The 2 mile became a combined race as only 5 women signed up to run,so a 14 men/women line up toed the starting line.
From the gun I moved into 3rd behind 2 CPTC runners,the leader was my friend Atilla who I knew could go sub 10 and were I running where I think I should be running right now I might've been able to go w/ him,instead I came through 400m in 1.15,I'd need to keep that pace for the next 7 laps just to run 10 flat....and that wasn't happening.
I got relegated to 4th b4 the back straight and ultimately found myself in no mans land for the rest of the race.

Each 400m split saw me fall off of 1.15 pace,2.38 at 800m,I forget now what I came through the mile in but it was now a matter of seeing it through to the finish,4th in 10.34.0.
Another race that saw me 29 seconds slower than where I was aiming for and the questions and doubts started to flood my mind.
How?how is it I'm so much slower than where I was a year ago?have I over trained?

Post race several members of the FOR Fraternal Order Of Runners offered advice that ranged from not enough tempo runs to just being patient that my body will respond to the hard training in time for Worlds and Nationals,I hope they're right.
I have decided that my final 3 races will now be over a mile,1,500m and 800m as I need to begin to sow the seeds for Nationals,at this point in time I'm holding out very little hope of doing anything worthwhile at Nationals in 7 weeks time,confidence begets confidence but on the back of 4 bad races on the spin my confidence is as low as whale shit....which lays at the bottom of the ocean!

One bright spot on the evening,given the meet had gone off a a fast clip,I hadn't cooled down post 2 miler and Sean's 1,500m was going to the line so I figured I'd wait for him to get done and we'd cool down together....the final event of the night was a 4x800m relay,something I'd given no thought to until I was asked if I'd jump to make up a foursome,it wasn't something I planned on but I'm glad I did as I ran an opening 400m in 63 seconds which off of a 2 mile race less than a hour earlier w/ no cool down or warm up for was reasonable and something to give me the belief that over the shorter races coming up I might be able to post time in the region of 4.30,4.10,2.03 far more respectable than the 16.25.9-10.34.0 I've ran 5,000m and 2 miles in.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If It's Tuesday It Must Be New York And Icahn

4th in 10.34.0 over 2 miles,29 seconds slower than my pr but a 63 second opening leg off an impromptu 4x800m relay gives me hope that over the shorter distances{800m/1,500m} I might be ready to "do what I do best".
More details to follow

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sometimes You've Just Got To Laugh At Yourself

W/ the dust now settled on Saturday's journey home along the Septa train tracks I can at least see the funny side of it.
While I was at Swarthmore I listened to a few tracks on my ipod to get me ready "Shock Of The Lightning" by Oasis to celebrate Manchester City's FA Cup victory that morning,"Boy" by U2 since the album features the track "Twilight" and finally Death Cab For Cutie and "Meet Me On The Equinox" as it was from the "Twilight Saga" soundtrack.
Post race I might've considered "Where Did It All Go Wrong" by Oasis,"When It All Goes Wrong Again" by Everclear,"Train In Vain" by The Clash and "Never Mind The Bollocks" by the Sex Pistols.
But given my walk home along the train tracks here's my top ten train/railroad tracks songs:
10 Across The Tracks Blues-Duke Ellington
9 Jumping Someone Elses Train-The Cure
8 Just Missed The Train-Trine Rein
7 Last Train Home-Pat Metheny
6 Many A Man Killed On The Railroad-Joe Glazer
5 Poor Paddy Works On The Railway-The Pogues
4 Railroad Blues-Beastie Boys
3 Station To Station-David Bowie
2 Train Kept A Rolling-Aerosmith
1 Walking Down A Railroad Line-Woody Guthrie

Now wasn't that much more fun than if I'd taken a cab home???

Requiem For A 5,000m Race

It's becoming increasingly frustrating to come to the pc and blog about another race going to the wall,the Frontrunners 800m I could put down to a lack of speed work and a 5 hour wait to race,Upen 5,000m bone headed tactics and a lack of speed work so quite why it all went tits up Saturday nite at Swarthmore over 5,000m I just don't know?
I'd had 4 quality weeks of training leading up to the meet and felt relaxed when I arrived at the track just after 6.35pm w/ a 8.25pm race time scheduled.....however the meet went from being 10 mins behind to an hour during the 1,500s and w/ 4 5,000m heats on tap and me being in the 4th it was closer to 10pm b4 I set foot on the track.....this would have huge repercussions later.

Seeded 10th of 23 I had high hopes of being in the mix and hopefully close to a 15.25-15.30 time which would boost my medal aspirations come Sacramento and Worlds in 8 weeks time and from the gun I got a good reaction as I made my way up to 7th coming out of the top turn and through 200m in 35 secs.
W/out a coach,teammate or friend to inform me of my 400m splits I had to rely on what splits I heard coaches,teammates and friends call out to their respective athletes,early doors I was hearing a lot of 76s,latter stages 82s.
1.50 at 600m and 3.05 at 1,000m were the last splits I recall coming through the finish,the problem w/ a 12.5 lap race is splits become increasingly hard to recall and since I'm not schooled in the Alan Webb school of hitting my split button each lap to recall them it's hard to remember post race what I was going through in.

I think I heard 5.05 after the opening mile,a little slower than I had hoped but 15.15 pace for 3 miles and potentially 15.48 pace,not what I wanted but....
Another drawback of a multi lap race is remembering when you got over taken,I had slipped back from my 7th place to the lower places that much I do know.
W/ 6 laps to go I still felt strong,the cynics{of which there are several out there trust me}would say running slower than I can I should be feeling strong,unlike Upenn where I was hanging on for dear life tonite I was able to grind it out,a race w/in a race developed between myself and two runners behind me who overtook me only for me to reel them back in on the next lap....only to overtake me again next lap....and for me to reel them back in and overtake them next lap, and again once more at least I was feeling competitive if nothing else.
15.15 at the bell,it was all well and good dropping a 70 second last lap but 16.25.9. was a far cry from last year when I ran 15.56. here or the 15.25.-15.30. I had hoped to run tonite.

So yet again I get done a race and find myself w/ more questions than answers,the fact of the matter is Worlds is set I can't change events now even if I wanted to,however I don't have to commit to Nationals till July 1st which means some time to weigh my options and consider some June 800m and 1,500m races to see if they produce the desired times I think I should be running right now.
As best as I can tell I'm not carrying an injury,I feel good, training has been going well but why I'm unable to transfer that into my races is beyond me???
Had I not ran 15.47 indoors in January I might subscribe to the theory that maybe just maybe last summers 15.36.8. at Sacramento was me catching lightning in a bottle like I said I feel I have more questions than answers right now and the sands of time are beginning to run out.

An instant bounce back over 2 miles tomorrow at Ichan would go a long way to helping my confidence,we'll have to see what the running gods and weather gods have in store for me....my journey home post race should be smoother................
W/ the meet running behind schedule I missed the last Center City bound train at 10.15pm{got to Swarthmore train station at 10.20pm!!!} and was well and truly up shits creek sans paddle.
No I didn't take a wad of cash or a credit card w/ me,why would I?it's a track meet so a cab was out of the equation and I don't know any other way to and from Swarthmore other than the Septa R3,I don't know what buses or even what roads would lead me in the direction of home........so I was faced w/ 2 choices, sleep at Swarthmore train station till 6.15am when the first train arrived in the morning....or walk along the train tracks untill I got to my stop.......
Let me tell ya those eight stop that only take 15 mins on the R3 took over 2 hours to walk,I did stop at Primos as it was raining and I sought shelter on the platform plus wanted the final Media bound train to bypass me b4 re continuing my journey home.
Insult to considerable injury as I got to Angora just b4 1am the heavens opened and I got well and truly drenched on my final quarter of a mile walk home....trust me this is NOT an evening I'll look to relive anytime soon!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Going Off The Rails At Swarthmore

A more detailed account of another sub par time over 5,000m will be coming this afternoon or evening after I've had time to process what went wrong last nite,18th in 16.25.9. a full 29 seconds slower than the same race last year.
Adding insult to injury I missed the last train home from Swarthmore and had to walk home and got soaked inside the final half a mile,all in all not a good nite!

Friday, May 13, 2011


First of all apologies for no blog entry yesterday,technical difficulties w/ Blogger meant I couldn't access the blog in fairness there wasn't a lot to write about,an easy 8 miler as the numbers to Worlds,Nationals and Swarthmore became 8 weeks,11 weeks and 2 days.
I spoke earlier in the week about not feeling rammey in spite of being 6 weeks removed from my last race....the past 2 days have seen my born again black hearted celtic pagan anti social commentaries kick up a notch or two,and that and the banging headache that developed this afternoon tell me I'm more than ready for tomorrow!

As if I didn't have enough to motivate me to begin w/ tomorrow the news yesterday that a newcomer to the 45-49 age group had just dropped a 15.20.8. to put him #2 for the year behind the soon to be leaving the 45-49 age group Pete Magill who ran a 14.45.8. earlier,w/ those kind of times topping the age group I can be forgiven for wanting to improve upon my pr of 15.36.8. tomorrow evening period much less heading into Worlds where I'll have to run much faster to have any shot of making the podium.

I have a time in mind for tomorrow,I'm not going to say what it is now some 24 hours b4 race time but trust me when I write my post race blog I'll freely admit to either nailing it or falling short.
Having all day till race time is a bit of a double edged sword,I'm in the rare position of being able to have a decent breakfast on the weekend as more often than not I'm training but it also means having 12 hours to kill b4 gun time, a tad too much time to think about the upcoming 12.5 laps but rather than over think things I'm going to try and relax for the next 24 hours hours and just get out there and run like I know I can and let everything take care of it's self

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dead From The Waist Down

Not sure what happened to the original post here as the entry appears blank,other than the photo of my currant favourite it girl Kasia Pilewicz who,in this blogger's humble opinion should've won this edition of "America's Next top Model" which has become something of a guilty pleasure over the past few weeks.
Anywho I believe the dead from the waist down comment came from my legs feeling trashed after yesterdays 20x200m repeats and is in no way a comment on Kasia!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coming Around Full Circle

Wow,5 weeks since I first treked out to Roxboro to commence Tueday repeats and while they will continue to be a huge part of my weekly regime I may or may not be back out at Roxboro.
Next Tuesday see the beginning of the Tuesday Nite Speed Series at Ichan Stadium and I'm hoping the following week being the last week of May will see the track at Temple free up,as grateful as I am to the track at Roxboro the commute is beginning to get to me so if I don't have to make the 2 hour round trip to Roxboro and back I won't.

If today was my last final workout here I went out in style,20x200m w/ a 200m recovery jog,my splits went:
While the three 37s on #10,#12 and #14 were a downer the pair of 30s and 32s were pleasing,5 weeks ago I went:

As workouts go it was a good one,I've had 9 good repeats leading up to Saturday now I need to put them and my training runs to work,the next few days will be easy 8 milers,I gave enough effort today to warrant two easy days.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Am Kittie....Hear Me Roar!

As Saturday's race gets closer the fact remains I'm looking at 6 weeks since my last race,as a rule I don't like to go longer than 4 weeks between races,I tend to get rammy if I don't race but this time around I don't feel like I'm bouncing off the walls.
It could be after the cock up that was my outdoor season opener at the UPenn that I've focused more on my last 4 weeks of training to make sure that come gun time on Saturday evening I'm ready to drop a decent race and time and kick off my 5 race/8 week build up to Worlds and Nationals w/ a bang.

To that end I began the week w/ an easy 9 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway,w/ a repeat scheduled for tomorrow it was clutch this evening to take it easy and the fact I clocked 65 mins,a time I more often or not I run 10 miles in tells me I was taking it easy which aside from tomorrow will be the name of the game leading up to Saturday

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Another {Good} Week In The Books

At the risk of sounding like a broken record it was another Sunday 12 miler along the Schuylkill River to round out the week at 55 miles w/ 2 repeats,that's 4 weeks in a row now{3 weeks of the Sunday 12 miler along the river} as the next 2 weeks see me enter the race phase of my build up{5 races in 8 weeks} my weekly mileage will drop down to 50 miles.

The knock on effect of getting up early yesterday carried on today,I was in bed by 9pm last nite and awake by 6am.....feck that!,I returned to sleep till a more respectable 8am b4 getting up and eventually getting out by 9.40am.
Conditions were sunny and warm when I set off and needless to say as is the case most Sunday's the sidewalks were more or less deserted until I got to the Schuylkill Banks where the masses who opt to run,bike,walk or blade gather.
I've enjoyed the past 3 weeks running along the river out to Columbia bridge b4 the turn around and look to keep it in my rotation for the coming weeks until I have to taper b4 Worlds and again at Nationals.

Like any week,good,bad or indifferent it all ends on Sunday,now I need to focus on a whole new week period but also a week w/ a race,having cocked it up royally at UPenn on April 2nd I need a good race on Saturday and everything I do this coming week will effect that.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Single Digits Part One

9 weeks till worlds,1 week till my next race.
Up just after 8am and on my way to Temple by 9.35am conditions were sunny and warm,low 60s,a far cry from conditions at Lower Merion on Feb 19th on my last 12x400m repeat.
Another factor going into today's simulated 5,000m,12x400m w/ 800m recovery jog was the fact that this was my 8th repeat in 4 weeks and that consistency has started to show signs of paying off.

#1 400m 69.7.Any thoughts of trying to keep things sub 74-75 seconds went out the window w/ this.
In fairness there was no point comparing either conditions or levels of fitness from my last 12x400m,the bigger question was could I keep this level of pace for the remaining 11 repeats?
#2 400m 69.1.Obviously #1 wasn't a fluke,these splits were more in keeping w/ December's 10x400s
#3 400m 69.9.I always say repeats should read like a heart monitor w/ slight jumps,not like an EKG chart and up and down like Tower Bridge....but there was trouble ahead....a Buffalo sighting!!!
#4 400m 67.0.When I feared the shufflin buffalo's may effect my split I wasn't expecting them to make it faster!
In fairness to them they were only doing 300m time trials beginning 20 meters down the home straight and finishing 20 meters from the end of the back straight so I only had to switch from lane 1 to lane 3 and back again for 60 meters along the back straight.
#5 400m 71.7.Bugger! the minus 2 seconds I picked up on #4 I now gave back as plus 2 seconds on #5....devil's advocate I could've been looking at 5x69 across the board.
#6 400m 70.1.To be halfway through and still clocking these splits told me I'm not only starting to run consistent splits I have been for a few weeks now,the trick is to keep doing it.
#7 400m 71.7.Identical to #5 and still feeling in control.
#8 400m 69.0.I went out hard on this one as I feared a jogger was going to force me wide as she showed no sign of yielding lane 1 to me as I returned to the track after #7,thankfully she left me enough room on the inside and I took it.
#9 400m 71.3.Payback for going out hard on the prior repeat,if I felt #8 was going to be fast down the back straight then I knew #9 wouldn't be,even though I wasn't doing much differently.
#10 400m 71.6.The key to being able to run even splits on any repeat is the ability to be consistent,I had passed that test today w/ flying colours.
#11 400m 69.8.My case in point!!!now for the grand finale,I'd take a 65 second split to finish things off......
#12 400m 63.8.BOO to the frickin YAH!!!! It remains to be seen if I could drop a 63 second final lap at the end of a 5,000m race....over the coming weeks we'll find out I hope!

Since this was a simulated 5,000m following my 800m recovery jog I jogged the turn and built up speed down the back straight b4 launching into a final 200m,I'd have been ok w/ 34 seconds....I was more than ok w/ a 31.9. which could've been faster had I not had to swing wide to lane 2 coming out of the turn to accommodate some jogger who was fixing his earbuds...who then proceeded to jog in lane 2.....thanks wanker!!!!
All in all this was a great workout,it remains to be seen how it translates next Saturday in an actual 5,000m race but it's all starting to feel like it's coming together over the last few weeks,the trick will be to keep things improving as the weeks tick down to Worlds{9} and Nationals{12}.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Done Deal

Rest day today b4 the 12x400m repeat tomorrow.
Got an email from Pete Carroll the meet director at Swarthmore accepting my application to race next Saturday.
Pete has hooked me up three years in a row now for the Last Chance Twilight meet,maybe it's an Irish thing I don't know but I'm always grateful to get in to a college meet,this year the meet switched from it's traditional Monday evening schedule to a Saturday but retrains it's Twilight status,the meet kicks off at 5pm w/ the 5,000m going off around 8.35pm,which means I get to race under the lights which is very rare but very cool also, like a european grand prix meet.

It's been 11 weeks since I last ran 12x400m,it'll be interesting to see the difference in splits tomorrow now that it's no longer winter and I've been hitting the track twice a week for the past four weeks.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Another Piece Of The Jigsaw

Another 8 miler b4 my rest day tomorrow and then Saturday's 12x400m repeat.
Having begun the week w/ an easy 8 miler{61 mins}I used yesterday as a recovery run{59 mins} following Tuesday's 8x1,000m repeats and looked for today to be a little faster as I have a whole day to recover.
Conditions were sunny and mild as I set off at 4.20pm,I could tell early on I was pushing the pace more than I had on Monday and Wednesday and used today as a chance to visualize next Saturday's race,whenever I find myself doing that my pace picks up.....that's why on easy days I have to put visualizing on hold as b4 I know it I'm duking out the final couple of laps of the 5,000m at Worlds!!!!

When I was able to freewheel down snake hill the hill opposite Catherine St just b4 the turn off Cobbs Creek Parkway on to Cedar Ave I knew a fast time was on and wasn't surprised to see 57 mins when I got done.
I've liked the fact for the past two weeks I've worked my schedule to allow an easy day b4 a repeat,a recovery day,hard day,rest day,now for a hard repeat Saturday{no shufflin' buffalo's please!}and then a 12 miler Sunday.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Think Icahn,I Know Icahn

Good day all around,it stopped raining just after lunch which meant my 8 miler was still on and the schedule for the upcoming Tuesday Nite Speed Series at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island in New York was finally announced.

Since my last Thurdsay Nite At The Races race at The Armory on February 24th I've known the dates for the 4 race series but not the distances which has made planning my final 5 races leading up to Worlds and Nationals a bit of a mystery,in running as is in life I like straight lines{which is ironic given that running track is all about going around in either 200m or 400m circles!!!} but anyway my schedule is now set.....more or less!

Providing I run a solid 5,000m next Saturday at Swarthmore I probably won't need to run another one but I have that option in the June 14th meet,basically over my final 5 races I have the chance to run,1,500m,3,000m,2 miles and 5,000m as I hope to hone my speed and race savvy b4 July,gentlemen,start your engines

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No Buffalos,No Bullshit,No Worries

The potential problem w/ posting the above photo and caption prior to the workout was that if I fell on my arse I'd look stupid{though there is always the delete button!!}.....I needn't have worried!
If it's Tuesday it's Roxboro but in a change of script to allow a 12x400m repeat Saturday as a simulated 5,000m workout I went w/ my tried and tested 8x1,000m repeat hard on the heels of Saturday's monumental cock up at Temple.
It was hot at 5pm when I began the repeats but trust me it got a lot hotter as the 1,000s wore on!

#1 1,000m 1.15-1.21-38-3.14.9.Wow!the 1.15s aren't meant to kick in till Saturday!!Obviously I backed off a little over the closing 600m,there were 7 more 1,000s to come.
#2 1,000m 1.20-1.23-37-3.20.7.I'd be happy if I could hold this for the remainder of the workout,1.20-1.23 is a pace I could live w/ b4 bringing it down a notch over the coming weeks.
#3 1,000m 1.20-1.23-38-3.21.7.I was guilty of letting my focus wander over the final 100m,something I've been doing a better job of over my repeats recently.
#4 1,000m 1.21-1.22-37-3.20.9.Pop! the sound of my 1.20s going burst but still staying in the 3.20 range.
#5 1,000m 1.22-1.22-35-3.19.8.After the opening 3.14 I'd been easing my way up the home straight to compensate for that now that my opening 800s were slowing slightly it was time to push the closing 200s.
#6 1,000m 1.22-1.21-37-3.19.6.Hard to believe I was THIS consistent period,much less that today was my first 8x1,000m w/ a 2.5 recovery.
#7 1,000m 1.23-1.23-35-3.21.0.#7 is traditionally my slowest 1,000m but today might be the beginning of me lowering my splits and staying consistent.
#8 1,000m 1.21-1.21-32-3.14.5.You know it's your day when you not only close w/ your fastest 1,000m to date but it's faster then the 1,000m you opened w/.

I know one swallow does not a summer make but this was my best 8x1,000m repeat to date....go figure it'll be 18 days b4 I get to do another one due to my upcoming race schedule but this was a shot in the arm after a few hiccups on my recent repeats,as my ex coach used to say "there's more meat on that bone"....and I'm no Vegan!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Shoes

It's rare I buy the exact same shoes to replace my current pair but there was something about the Asics Gel Speedstar that I liked so much when my running total of miles had reached 370 miles last Sunday I ordered a new pair which I broke in today on my 8 miler.
I'm sure it was because I wore a brand new pair of shoes today but I felt like I had more cushioning underfoot,as it should be w/ a brand new pair of shoes compared to the 416 I had on my old pair when I finished up my 12 miler yesterday.
I got three months out of my last pair from Feb through the end of April so hopefully this pair will take me through to the end of July....I already have my eye on a newer model of the Asics Gel Speedstar....but let's not get carried away looking too far down the road.
The only day that matters is tomorrow and my 8x1,000m repeats,and no this is not a knee jerk reaction to Saturday's Chav Fest at Temple,in order to accommodate the race specific repeat I have in mind for Saturday and keep my weekly 8x1,000s in my rotation it's 1,000s tomorrow....hopefully the forecast calls for no herds of shuffling buffalo in Roxboro tomorrow afternoon.

A Day Late.....

The cat photo and caption are for my buddy from Saturday from Temple,I'd have happily used if on Saturday's blog only the picture is on my work pc and time constraints meant I didn't have the time to sift through a gazillion pages of LOL CATS to find it.
Time constraints yesterday meant by the time I'd done my 12 miler along the river and then caught up w/ all my domestic chores for the weekend that two days at Penn Relays had put me behind schedule for I was well and truly knackered and any thoughts of blogging post dinner and EPL Review went south....the writing was on the wall when I was falling asleep in the laundromat at 5pm!!

So yes,I did round out my week w/ another sedate 12 miler along the river mid morning to give me my third week of 2 repeats/55 miles for the week training,w/ a fourth hopefully on tap b4 two weeks of reduced mileage to accommodate races.
It was a busy but fun weekend,two days at Penn Relays watching friend and team mates compete,props to our Masters M40 4x400m team of Ray,Scott,Nick D and Dave for finishing second to win silver,well worth the price of admission.....had I've paid to get in{free ticket}.
So a whole new week,new repeats,8 milers not 10 milers to accommodate Saturday's unique repeat and no doubt someone else to fall foul of an anti social black hearted celtic pagan tirade...or two!