Friday, September 30, 2011

Next Stop Syracuse

If it's the first weekend of October that means a road trip to Syracuse for the USATF Masters 5k Road Race championships.
We missed the debut in Syracuse in 08 as we made the trip to North Carolina for the XC Masters championships but having heard such great things about not just the race but the whole event we upped sticks and made the journey in 09 to witness first hand what our fellow masters 5k runners were raving about and have kept coming back ever since.

My debut in 09 was nothing to write home about much less blog about,62nd overall and 16th in the M45-49 age group in a slow 17.20 it was a kick in the teeth to waste such a pr course but I vowed to return the following year in race shape and set the record straight.....and did I ever!
12th overall,5th in my age group and a pr/club record time 16.00,I actually had 15.59 at the finish line but was rounded up to 16.00 which is still somewhat of a bone of contention w/ me.

So what do I think I can do this year? a simple question but one I just don't have a simple answer for,like last week I find myself in a race I haven't catered my recent training towards,to go sub 16 I need to be in 5.05 pace and I'm not 100% sure I'm there yet,w/ the Bridge Run 10k now just 5 weeks away the desire to average 5.20 pace is more where my recent hard 8 milers and 3x2mile repeats have been so it's a dilemma as to which race tactic to adopt, go out reasonably hard early on and hope my return to the realm of 50 miles per week{this will be my 7th week of 50mpw} is enough to see me through the second half of the race or run a smart semi conservative race and see where it stacks up in terms of 10k pace?
I do have another 5k race albeit a xc 5k on my race schedule in 3 weeks time so there's some "wiggle room" if I adopt an all out attack on trying to avenge last years "rounding up"hopefully come gun time at 8.50am on Sunday I'll have decided which side of the fence I'm on.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Caught Between Two Fires

After back to back to back 10 milers it was a slight drop down in mileage today w/ an 8 miler to put me at 38 miles heading into Syracuse this weekend.
Nothing much to blog on the 10 miles other than noticing the leaves on the sidewalk as we're only two days away from October.
I've also had to endure the runners curse of putting up w/ "the peanut gallery" as I passed the basketball court off Baltimore Ave for a couple of days.
After 35 years of running I've heard every smart arse,dumb,banal comment there is to hear so I don't "take the bait" it must drive the masses mad but I know if respond once I might as well paint a target on my back each time I run past the basketball court so it's a lot easier to "cop a deaf one"and suppress my basic instinct to say something.

Tomorrow will be a rest day as is my won't on Fridays as it's the last Friday of the month that means "Land Of The Lost" on Wxpn,four hours of 80's music plus hanging out online in the chat room,trust me spending four hours in my room w/ just the radio and my pc never felt so good.
If you're curious who the cute blond on my arm in the photo is it's none other than Hannah England silver medalist in the 1,500m in Daegu and 3rd last Saturday at 5th Avenue Mile,I was lucky enough to say hello after her race and get a photo opportunity w/ her,big thanks to Tom Cawley for not only taking the photo but for also emailing it to me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In Loving Memory

"I burn a candle in your place I picture the passion on your face
Feelings that rise on a wave and fall away
All the pleasures have returned,all of the lessons I should have learned
Return again to light for us to see
You're like a map of buried gold I search for treasure in your soul
And when I'm gone,you know I will come back to you
We'll sail on a river,way out to the Baltic Sea love will keep us together
And the tide will draw you close to me
Never words so true,never words so wise
Love will keep us together,cause there's more to this than meets the eye
I'm like a mountain made of stone,I'm like a new day dawning
I'll be here every morning,close to you"

Buoy-Mick Karn/David Sylvian

When I learned last Wednesday that former Japan bass player Mick Karn had died this past January I was filled w/ anger and sorrow,anger that such a beautiful human being such as Antonis Michaelides was taken from us at the tender age of 52(my own father was only 51 when he passed away and it just seemed too soon then,ditto for Mick)anger also that the news had only just reached me after Mick's passing on January 4th,how this had escaped my attention I don't know.

Having been a fan of Mick's since I first discovered him in Japan back in 1979 and followed his solo career after Japan had called it a day in 82 there was an overwhelming sense of sorrow that this genius of the fretless bass never really got his dues,whether it was his infectious bass line on "European Son" or his soulful saxophone playing on "The Tenant" on Japan's sophomore album "Obscure Alternatives'' Mick Karn was an artist in every sense of the word,I still own a copy of the programme from his sculpture exhibition in London in either 81 or 82,I knew jack shit about art but went to see Mick's exhibition anyway.

Maybe it was because Japan were "local boys who made it to the big time" that I became a huge fan but frankly even if we hadn't shared a South East London postcode I think I would've been impressed by them,hearing their third album "Quiet Life" in 79 had a huge impact on me,they had a sound and a look that pre dated the New Romantic movement by 2 years,sadly their record label Hansa did a poor job marketing and promoting them,maybe because their debut album in 79 "Adolescent Sex" got crucified by the music press but "Obscure Alternatives" their follow up contained some solid tracks but the radio stations weren't buying it which is a shame because by the time "Quiet Life" was released this was band hitting their stride.

A change of label and a slight change in their sound by the time they signed for Virgin in 80 and released "Gentlemen Take Polaroids" saw Japan scratching the the surface of the top 40 but when they released their 5th and sadly final album "Tin Drum" there seemed to be no stopping them,suddenly the top 40 music buying public were very aware who Japan were and w/ Hansa now re releasing previous Japan songs that had failed to chart it was a great time for the likes of yours truly as my Japan record collection grew and grew.......

If there'd been a VH1 back then and a "Behind The Music" the Japan story would have been cannon fodder for them w/ the world finally sitting up and taking notice and on the back of three exceptional albums the band called it a day after their 82 "Tin Drum" tour,after years of fighting w/ their record label the fighting now took place w/in the band,perhaps the straw that broke the camels back was on the eve of the tour Mick's girlfriend and band photographer Yuka Fujii left Mick for lead singer David Sylvian......ouch!!!

The obvious bad blood between Mick and David was evident when neither appeared on the others debut solo albums despite the fact both former band mates Steve Jensen and Richard Barbieri showed up on Karn's album "Titles" in 82 and Sylvian's "Brilliant Trees"in 84 but by 87 and Karn's second solo effort "Dreams Of Reason Produce Monsters" there seemed to a reconciliation as David appeared on two tracks "Buoy" and "When Love Walks In" and 4 years later all four members got together to record a new album but not under the Japan name but Rain Tree Crow but it would prove short lived as the foursome never worked together again as the old issues that tour them apart 9 years earlier resurfaced.

Mick Karn had become a highly sought after bass player w/ his name showing up on the credits of albums by Gary Numan,Kate Bush and Joan Armartrading not to mention projects w/ Midge Ure of Ultravox "After A Fashion" and a project w/ Pete Murphy of Bauhaus called Dali's Car but he also became a major player in the Jazz fushion world as he continued to make albums,but upon learning he was diagnosed w/ cancer he made one last project w/ Pete Murphy as a follow up to 84's "The Waking Hour" which would prove to be his final body of work as he passed away on January 4th.

I was lucky enough to see Japan live 3 times in 81 and 82 not to mention own a considerable vinyl collection of Japan and David Sylvian and Mick Karn projects that I've been able to upgrade on cd,I was lucky enough to not only see Mick's sculpture exhibition but also meet him twice and still have signed pictures of him, I am looking to pick up his autobiography"Japan & Self Existence" for his version of the 82 brake up of Japan and the ill fated Rain Tree Crow reunion.

For those who missed out on Japan I recommend the following cds:Exorcising Ghosts,Assemblage,The Very Best Of,Quiet Life,Gentleman Take Polaroids,Tin Drum and Oil On Canvas,from Mick's solo career Titles, Dreams Of Reasons Produce Monsters but if you really want the full Mick Karn/Japan experience get a hold of the dvd of The Very Best Of Japan and watch the live "Oil On Canvas" concert footage,marvel at how Mick bends notes out of his fretless bass and watch in awe as he moves across the stage,maybe then you'll understand why his death is such a tragic loss to the music world,rest in peace Antonis,gone but NEVER forgotten.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lets Do The Time Warp Again Part Two

"Since I was very young I've realized I never wanted to be human size

So I avoid the crowds and traffic jams,they just remind me of how small I am

Because of this longing in my heart I'm gonna start the growing art

I'm going to grow now and never stop think like a mountain,grow to the top

Tall,tall,tall,I want to be tall,tall,tall as big as a wall,wall,wall

Because I'm not tall,tall,tall,tall,tall,tall,tall,tall

W/ concentration my size increased and now I'm fourteen stories high at least

Empire State Human,just a bored kid I 'll go to Egypt to be the pyramids"

Empire State Human- Human League

My love of the Human League goes back some 30 years,I remember seeing them for the very first time on "Top Of The Pops" the weekly Top 40 show on tv which back then b4 MTV and You Tube was one of the few places to see bands on tv.

Maybe it was Phil Oakey's asymmetric hair style(I wanted to grow my hair like him soooo badly it's not even funny!!)maybe it was the sight of Joanne and Susan Ann singing and dancing to "The Sound Of The Crowd" or maybe it was the infectious dance groove of that song but whatever it was I was hooked and promptly rushed out that weekend to either HMV or Our Price and picked up the 12'' mix, and as was my won't back then turned my fathers living room into my own private dance club when he wasn't around to yell at me for "looking like some sort of feckin ejit" as I got my 80's groove on!!

"Open Your Heart" and "Love Action" followed b4 the release of "Dare" quite possibly one of THE QUINTESSENTIAL ALBUMS OF THE ENTIRE 80'S,yes I went there! and have been going there for 30 years now,it's just such a great album and a staple on my ipod for the past few years.

While "Don't You Want Me" was not the track I would've selected as a 4th single "Things That Dreams Are Made Of"' would've been a far better choice the record label must've known something as it gave The Human League not only their first ever #1 but also the coveted Xmas #1 that year,I remember going to see them at the Finsbury Park Rainbow on the Sunday nite b4 the new Top 40 was released the following Tuesday lunchtime and still recall doing a jig when it was revealed that "Don't You Want Me" had gone to #1.

Looking to cash in on the success of "Dare" Virgin Records then began to reissue old Human League songs from the bands previous line up,I hadn't been "hip" enough to hear "Reproduction" or "Travelogue" when they were released in 79 and 80 but now I was able to discover how awesome they were,I also discovered original Ultravox w/ John Foxx on vocals after he left and went solo and Midge Ure took over as lead singer

As awesome as "Dare" is there's a timeless quality to the first two Human League cd's....or albums as we called them back then,I would've loved to have seen that line up of the band live.

While they've never scaled the heights of "Dare" w/ the possible exception of 82's "Love And Dancing"(a dance mix of Dare) the one thing I can say about The Human League is that w/ each album "Hysteria""Crash""Romantic""Octopus""Secrets" and "Credo" they have always produced a couple of note worthy track per album,just look at Friday's set list from the show in New York and you'll see the likes of:Never Let Me Go, Heart Like A Wheel,Lebanon,Egomaniac

Night People,Human,All I Ever Wanted, Tell Me When,Mirror Man,Keep Feeling Fascination,and Together In Electric Dreams,not to mention pre "Dare" numbers Empire State Human and Being Boiled.

I'd be lying if I said I was a tad disappointed that ''Dare" standouts "Seconds" and "Things That Dreams Are Made Of"' didn't make the set list but it was hard to be disappointed by such a great show,if you'd have told me in December 81 at the "Dare" tour that 30 years later not only would The Human League still be putting out albums but also playing live I'm not sure I'd have believed that but there they were in the flesh right in front of me.

Joanne and Susan Ann are sexier now then they were back in 81 and thanks to the fact Phil Oakey has now shaved his head means 30 years after first seeing him on "Top Of The Pops" singing "Sound Of The Crowd" we now share the same hair style!!!

Given there was a 10 year gap from "Secrets" to "Credo" it'll be interesting to see when the next Human League cd and tour happen but best believe if there's another tour I'll be there,New Romantics never get old......we just have 401k's now!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lets Do Time Warp Again Part One

"There's no heaven there's no hell,cream will float shit will sell
Step aside avoid the smell I surrender ring the bell
They don't want you they don't need you,they just use you,they just bleed you
They don't want you they just bleed you
New babies and new toys it's better w/ the girls but it's bigger w/ the boys
Sold a dream but you got no joy it's better w/ the girls but it's bigger w/ the boys"

New Babies New Toys-OMD

OMD will always hold a special place in my black celtic pagan heart,they were the first band I ever ever went to see{technically Rod Stewart and The Faces was my first gig but I was 11 and had to be chaperoned} where as OMD at Hammersmith Odeon in Dec 80 was my first concert that I paid for and bought the ticket so when the chance came to see them again after a 25 year hiatus on Thursday at the TLA I took it w/out a seconds hesitation.

It was almost a rite of passage every year to see OMD at Hammersmith Odeon in the fall between 80 and 86 I saw them on each tour for each album they released, Organisation,Architecture & Morality,Dazzle Ships,Crush and The Pacific Age,I even lucked out and saw them here in Philly on my first visit in 85 when they opened for Power Station at the Spectrum.

I still remember fondly getting tickets to see that first show,back then I worked a crappy retail job Monday thro Saturday w/ a day off during the week usually Wednesday and then Sunday off,Thursday was pay day and when I found out there were standing room tickets available for their Hammy Odeon show on the Wednesday I made the trek across London to get my ticket,it was brass monkeys that afternoon and I recall raiding my old mans wardrobe to "borrow" his Donkey Jacket an industrial workcoat it was two sizes two big for me but served a purpose as I was able to sink into while sitting on a very cold and blustery train platform waiting for the train,to imply I "borrowed" the coat would mean I gave it back to my dad I never did but I did tell him I was keeping it!!!

The show was awesome OMD were just starting to have commerical top 40 success,I had bought their third single "Messages" b4 buying their second album "Organisation" and began a 31 year and counting love affair w/ their music,there was many a nite I spent alone in the living room w/ the lights off and the stereo up either dancing or pretending to play bass like Andy McCluskey or keyboards like Paul Humphreys,I realize that probably sounds daft but you have to remember I was only 17 at the time and still a teenager it went w/ the territory I hated my job I had no friends and the one thing that made teen aged angst worthwhile was music,over the next few years w/ each album and each single I religiously bought the bond w/ OMD grew stronger.

Fast forwarding a few years I left London in 87 by which time the OMD were now running out of steam,commercially they were no longer a top 40 band and technically it was only Andy McCluskey in the band and it seemed the book on OMD was closed.......but like so many 80s bands who's called it a day they got back together,between people like me who still play their music and the new generation on music lovers who were too young to appreciate them first time around,retro never goes out of fashion and the original line up of Andy McCluskey,Paul Humpreys,Martin Cooper and Malcolm Holmes reunited.

It began as an "Architecture & Morality" tour where they performed the whole album and a few hits,that worked so well that last year they released their first album as a foursome since 86's ''Pacific Age" album "The History Of Modern" which of course they toured behind.....but not here well not until March anyway but much to my chagrin no Philly date and sadly the New York City show was a week nite I can only swing NYC shows on a Friday or Saturday so it looked like I was SOL ..........till they announced another US tour this fall but this time w/ a stop in there!!!!

I hadn't seen OMD in 25 years since the 86 "Pacific Age" tour and they hadn't played Philly in 23 years so it seemed like an idea nite was in store and from the opening note of "New Babies New Toys" to the closing note of "Electricity" it was a trip down memory lane for me,Messages,Tesla Girls, If You Leave,Souvenir,Joan Of Arc,Maid Of Orleans,Status,Radio Waves,So In Love,Enola Gay and Secret to name but threeteen songs that took me on a nostalgic trip back down memory lane,sitting on a freezing train platform waiting to go to Hammersmith Odean to get my ticket to see them for the first time, seeing them three days later,for every evening in the living room of my old flat in London where I danced or pretended to play bass or keyboards to their songs,for each show at Hammersmith Odean and the Spectrum I saw them and for everytime I either listened to them on the radio,tv, walkman/ipod I had to wait around after the show to say hi to Andy and Paul it was just that kind of nite.

I doubt it'll be another 25 years b4 I get to see OMD again,at 73 I doubt I'd be dancing muchless up front high fiving Andy as he danced by me on stage and while I no longer dance around my room or pretend to play bass or keyboard to their albums I still get a kick out of listening to them and expect to continue.

Threepeat At 5th Avenue

"How can you say that I didn't try,you know I did you see things in the depths of my eyes
That my love didn't run dry I don't wanna cry again
So I read to myself a chance of a lifetime to see new horizons on the front page
A black and white picture of Manhattan Skyline"

Manhattan Skyline- A-ha

So for the 6th year in a row I was treading the starting line of the famed 5th Avenue Mile a race that has become a huge part of my season.
This years race was a little different,I'd never consider 5th Avenue Mile "just another race" but where as in recent years 07,08,09 and 10 I'd trained specifically w/ this race in mind this year saw me come in w/ a different mindset and different attitude,sure I wanted to do well here,why even bother to show up otherwise? but the fact was my Nov 6th date w/ destiny and the chance to erase my oldest pr in the book my 1984 10k had taken front and center for my training in the last 6 weeks so instead of my tried and tested mile repeats and 4x400m repeats for 6 weeks leading up to 5th Avenue Mile a la 07,08,09 and 10 I focused on 3x2 mile repeats for the Bridge Run 10k in 7 weeks time.

At least Fridays rain had gone come Saturday morning,one thing I've always enjoyed here at 5th Avenue Mile is good weather and despite the 87% humidity the temps were a runner friendly 73 degrees.
Thankfully no race number debacle this year and I enjoyed a stress free morning after my nite at Jazz On The Park on 8th Aveune and the short walk from 110th St down to 80th and 5th Avenue.
Met up w/ my good friend Tom Fitzpatrick and warmed up w/ him b4 putting my bag on the luggage bus and heading to the starting coral,if you have any ambition of doing well at 5th Avenue Mile the key is getting a good start.
Knowing I hadn't prepared like I was trying to win this years race allowed me to adopt a different race strategy,don't worry about the leaders just run my own race and I came through the opening 400m in 66 seconds,right where I wanted to be.

I'd have liked to gone through 800m in 2.12 w/ another 66 second split but was disappointed to see 2.19 on the clock a 73 second split,time to step things up and w/ the third quarter being slightly downhill I was able to freewheel a little and pick off a number of runners who'd made that fatal mistake in 5th Avenue Mile of going out too hard in the first 400m,tied up a little in the second quarter which is slightly uphill and now began to die in the third quarter.
3.26 at 1,200m a 67 second quarter,w/ the finish line in sight it was time to throw whatever I had at the final 400m,the leaders were well clear of me but that final lap instinct kicked in as I began to pass runners in my range,I missed the 1,500m split as I was busy passing runners as I got to the finish line.

8th overall in 4.36,a far cry from the 4.24 I ran last year but considering my lack of mile repeats in training I had little or no complaints.
Ran into Lance Elliott post race,I met Lance in Boston after the Masters Mile in February and we'd stayed in touch, sadly our race schedules since February had meant missing one another till today but it was good to catch up w/ one another and enjoy a easy 4 mile cool down through Central Park post race.
After catching the elite races I made my way back towards Penn Station and the Megabus ride back to Philly.
By the time I'd made a huge bowl of Seafood Linguine and enjoyed watching the Spurs Wigan game and "Doctor Who" I thought it was time to go on line and check the official results.......

I was somewhat gobsmacked to see I'd won the M45-49 race by a second over Francis Laros and two seconds ahead of Gladstone Jones and Chris Collins,I remember seeing Gladstone and Chris being ahead of me but must have caught them in the final 400m.
So most unexpectedly my third M45-49 5th Avenue Mile victory to go w/ my 09 and 10 wins I have to say I'm kind of taken aback w/ this because I went into this years 5th Avenue Mile w/ the mindset that it was the first of my 7 races in 10 weeks leading into the winter but I'm grateful for another 5th Avenue Mile title on my running resume and will look for a more conventional 5th Avenue Mile training schedule next year to aid and abet a 4th M45-49 title.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Continuing My NYC Love Affair

A short blog entry now as I'm knackered after two awesome concerts in two nites and the oh so small matter of a third consecutive 45-49 age group win at 5th Avenue Mile this morning.
I will review both OMD and Human League early next week and tomorrow I'll give a full account of this mornings race but for now some well needed zzzz

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On The Up And Up B4 The Upper West Side

A day off today to schedule a doctors appointment,the good news my hemoglobin levels have gone up by a whole point since my last blood test in July prior to last Monday when I was tested again.
A lot of this comes down to a daily regiment of iron pills which I've been taking religiously once a day since July 21st and have been advised to keep doing so until December 12th b4 then going to one a week.
I've felt stronger in training in recent weeks but the true test will be how I race over the next few weeks,phase two of my fall training schedule calls for 7 races in 10 weeks from Saturday at 5th Avenue through to November 26th and the Brandywine cross country 5k in Delaware this should I hope give me a good idea of the shape I'm in heading into the indoor season.

Easy 6 miler at lunch time to round out my pre race tally at 35 miles,trust me I haven't been setting any land speed records along CCP this week as I gear up for my sixth 5th Avenue Mile on Saturday.
Tonite I get to turn back time some 25 years and enjoy OMD in concert for the first time since 1986 on their "Pacific Age" tour.
Aside from not having seen OMD in eons I can't recall my last gig at the TLA(Theater Of Living Arts)one of if not my favourite places to catch a gig here in Philly it's been that long ago{sidebar,after consulting my notes it looks like it was Grace Potter & The Nocturnals in 08} so both are due b4 I head up to Manhattan tomorrow to catch the Human League in Times Square which will my first time seeing Human League since time really does fly by doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New York State Of Mind

I wasn't going to let a shower stop me from getting my 9 miler in this evening,frankly I've ran further in far worse conditions.
By getting my 9 miler in I'm still on course for 35 miles b4 Saturdays 5th Avenue Mile.
I found this picture online it's from my 2008 victory,for the first time in recent weeks my thoughts are now well and truly on this years race.
Having the next 2 days off work will either be a blessing or a curse,granted a little extra sleep and a lot less stress tomorrow and Friday but more time to think or even overthink Saturday's race,how well I manage my time over the next 72 hours will go a long way to determine the outcome.

Doctors appointment tomorrow,it'll be interesting to get the results of my recent blood tests to see how I'm doing w/ the anemia issue and then it's the first of two concerts, which has become a pre 5th Avenue Mile tradition,Motorhead in 08,U2 in 09,James last year and now OMD tomorrow followed up by The Human League on Friday in Times Square.
On the subject of music I'm currently listening to Mick Karn's second solo album "Dreams Of Reason Produce Monsters"

It was w/ great sadness I learnt this lunchtime that the former bassist w/ Japan died back in early January from cancer at a mere 52,far too young,I plan a more detailed tribute to Mick Karn in a few days time,for now I'm remembering his uncanny fretless bass style and will probably watch the "Oil On Canvas" segment of Japan's Best Of dvd later,listening to Mick Karn was only half the treat,seeing him on stage was something special,rest in peace my friend.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life's A Beach

"Albert's fallen on the sun cracked his head wide open
The world begins to disappear the worst things come from inside here
And all the king's men reappear for an eggman,falling,falling
The world begins to disappear the worst things come from inside here
And all the king's men reappear for an eggman,fallin' off the wall
Will never be together again"

Einstein On The Beach-Counting Crows

Hard to believe today marks 12 years since I began work at Albert Einstein Medical Center,I've often joked in the past and I'm sure I'll joke in the future that"people have committed murder and served less time" but the truth of the matter is this job provided me stability at a time when my life needed it and though I bitch about it from time to time I could be flipping burgers somewhere so for now let's play nice where work is concerned.

Another easy 10 miler this evening,even though I'm racing this weekend it's important to maintain my weekly 50 miles a week tally,I was thinking this evening that prior to the arse falling out of my season 10 mile runs were the norm and let's not gloss over the fact that last season my 5,000m track times were all sub 16 minutes on the strength of 50/55/60 mile weeks so if I'm to return to those times and that kind of form next season then there's no better time to start working my way back up and given the last 5 Sundays have been 12 milers frankly a 10 mile run is no big deal but the fact I've begun my 10 milers again is I hope another step to returning to my 2010 form.

Monday, September 19, 2011


"I see the world,feel the chill which way to go windowsill
I see the words on a rocking horse of time,I see the birds in the rain
Oh dear dad can you see me now,I am myself like you somehow
I'll ride the wave where it takes me,I'll hold the pain release me"

Release-Pearl Jam

I had to check my running log to see when was the last time I ran an extended out and back 10 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway......April 28th,hence the Pearl Jam cover of their debut cd "Ten"...see there is a method to my madness!!
I haven't listened to "Ten" for an age,I'd like to download it on my ipod,only problem is I'm almost maxed out of room on my 16 GB ipod so to put in on there something has to go,sad but true but 16GB is not enough room hence looking at a 30 GB if I get that and I run out of room then there's no hope for me!!!

So today saw the kick off of phase two of my Fall training,it's still 50 miles a week but after a six week hiatus of races I'm now looking at seven races in ten weeks beginning w/ Saturdays 5th Avenue Mile.
Obviously the key this week will be taking it easy and avoiding illness and injury,the 10 miler this evening was ran at a comfortable pace and I'll be looking for more of the same tomorrow,Wednesday and Thursday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Up The Dubs

First up I have to state I have no connection to Dublin.....other than my love of U2,Guinness and Ronnie Delaney and Eamonn Coghlan but just like my beloved Rebel County Cork lifted the Sam Maguire trophy last year after a 20 year wait I can't begrudge The Dubs their first All Ireland football crown in 16 years,it must've been gauling for Dublin fans to see other counties coming into Dublin every third Sunday of September for the last 16 years to contest the final but as they say"every dog has his day" and for "The Jax" today was finally their day....if there's a drop of Guinness left in Dublin tonite I'll be surprised!!!

It's been one heck of a weekend for the Irish,Ireland beat Australia in the rugby World Cup,Alister Cragg set a new Irish record for the 5,000m in the final Diamond League meet in Brussels.....and even Notre Dame managed a win!!!!
Boyed.....or boyoed by such events yours truly went about his Sunday 12 miler w/ a song in his heart and a smile on his didn't hurt any that Spurs mullered Liverpool 4.0 b4 I left,nothing like a Spurs win to give me an added pep in my step.
There was a crisp edge to the air this morning,Fall is right around the corner that's for sure.

Given the PDR/Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon was taking place this morning I opted to give Kelly Drive a wide berth and elected to make the turnaround after crossing South St Bridge,heading back towards home I then continued on to CCP, ran the out and back 6 mile course to complete my 5th 12 miler in 5 weeks and wrap up a 5th 50 mile week,only a downpour on week one cost me a 12 miler that Sunday and 6 50 mile weeks but phase one is in the books.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

At Last,At Last,At Last

They say timing is everything and following this mornings final 3x2mile repeats b4 a three week hiatus for races who am I to disagree?
Having began this repeat way back on July 2nd a week b4 Worlds w/ a less than flattering 11.08.4. 12.28.8. 12.26.1. I've tried to make inroads into improving things,a week after Worlds I went 11.21.2. 11.40.9. 11.46.2. and over the last five weeks since returning from Nationals I'm 11.57.5. 12.23.8. 12.10.3.
11.22.0. 11.24.6. 11.30.1.
11.03.07. 11.31.3. 11.15.5.
11.42.9. 11.55.9. 11.33.4.
11.05.8. 11.20.3. 11.49.7.
So there was nothing to suggest the kind of morning I was about to have when I arrived at Temple's track,I opted for a long sleeve shirt and three quarter length warm up bottoms as a dip in temps served as a reminder that Fall is officially only a week away.
There was a buzz around the campus as Temple Owls were about to play Penn State Lions at The Linc and maybe I caught some of that vibe,I did tell myself on my final approach to the track not to get hung up on the fact this was my last crack at 3x2miles till Oct 15th and just treat it like a regular repeat and w/ that it was off w/ the warm ups and down to business.

#1 repeat I went through the opening mile in 5.29.2. I sensed a crack at my first sub 11 in 22 attempts having come close last week w/ 11.05.8. and 2 weeks prior w/ a 11.03.7.the question was how much of a drop off would there be on #2?.......

#2 repeat felt a shade leg weary on my opening lap but surprised myself w/ a 1.20.9 opener and when I came through the mile only 3 seconds down on #1 I felt if I could just hang in there and keep my splits below 1.24 per lap I could go two for two,that accomplished could I do the unthinkable and get all three at sub 11??

#3 repeat,like waiting for a London bus you wait for ages for one to show up then three of the buggers show up together!!!
When I opened in 1.17.0 I felt something special was on tap.5.22.1 at the mile it was just a case of taking one lap at a time and staying in the now and keeping my focus which I was able to do,I remember notching my first ever set of 4 sub 5 min mile repeats back in 08 and this feels a lot like that.

There was no indication this performance was on the cards,after notching my first sub 11 on #1 I'd have been happy w/ that but when #2 followed suit I had to go for the set and it's small wonder I've been grinning like a Cheshire Cat for the remainder of the day.
Of course in typical Forde fashion I finally nail sub 11 2 mile repeats and now I don't get to do my next one for a month but if ever I was looking for a confidence booster heading into my upcoming race schedule this was it and it'll be interesting to see how the upcoming three races over a mile,5k and 5m xc prep me for my next crack at 3x2mile repeats.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Running Up That Hill

Well, at least that was the plan at the start of my day.....
Sadly the rain had other ideas and also a change of schedule at The Ritz Five meant having to hastily rearrange my schedule on the fly.
I had hoped to hit Belmont Plateau one last time b4 phase two of my fall training schedule kicks in to action next Monday,however the rain had other ideas,I just couldn't see treking all the way over to Belmont w/ the skies so grey and ominous and despite a little lite rain I opted for a baseball cap and jacket in order to get a 6 miler in at the very least.

Given that Saturday is my final 3x2mile repeat for a few weeks (October 15th) I want to be able to give myself the best shot at being able to make Saturday count so given the option of a rain effected 6 miles today over a 6 miler tomorrow the day b4 I went w/ option A,I just prefer Fridays as my token rest day for the week period but also when there's something on the line albeit a race against the clock why not just have at it rain and all.
Also adding to the mix was the discovery that "Brighton Rock" was ending it's run at the Ritz Five this evening,I had made plans to see it tomorrow evening but thanks to checking the schedule for The Ritz I discovered it was being taken out of the theater after the 7pm and 9.40pm showing this evening.

I must confess I haven't read Graham Greene's novel on which the movie is based though I'm sure it was part of my high school reading curricular way back when,for me the lynch pin of seeing it was to see Sam Reily play the lead role of Pinky Brown,Sam Reily did an excellent job in his portrail of former Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis in the movie "Control" in 07 hence me racing against time to get my run in and get down to the Ritz in time to catch the 7pm showing.
So why the Kate Bush picture if I didn't actually do hill repeats???well I like Kate Bush and it's a great picture of her,how or why her record company have never upgraded her video collection from Vhs to Dvd is beyond me but such is life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stealing Cake To Eat The Moon

Easy 8 mile recovery run this evening which suited me after the hard 8 miler yesterday and hill repeats at Belmont Plateau tomorrow.
The last few days have been a bit of a grind due to the fact I'd spread myself a little thin on the financial side on this last pay cheque,I've had to go w/out lunch and breakfast this week which is never ideal when you know you've got 8 mile runs on tap but shit happens sometimes and you just have to deal w/ it as best you can here's hoping it's a one off.

I was quite happy the other day to download the two disc set of Spandau Ballet's 1981 debut "Journeys To Glory" on my ipod.
It's been a while since I've heard the whole album,I'd forgotten how good "Reformation" sounded and thanks to the bonus disc I got to reaquate myself w/ the 12'' mixes of "To Cut A Long Story Short""The Freeze" and "Glow"songs that were seldom off my stereo 30 years ago when they were first released.
Given that Spandau Ballet were never big here in America I'm not holding out a lot of hope that they'll tour here since they got back together two years ago but lead singer Tony Hadley did tour the US in August and did play in New York on Sunday so who knows?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Well He Must've Been Down Right Petrified Today!

It's been a while since I've used the 747 pilot and Grand Central Station analogies at work but bejaysus this morning more than made up for it,from 6.30am till 9.30am my feet never touched the ground and then from 9.50am till 11.50am I couldn't turn around w/out a delivery or pick up getting made on the dock.
There are days when I think I could do this job till I'm in my early 60s and then there are days like today when I feel every ounce and every inch of my almost 48 years,maybe it was just one of those days or maybe it was a cosmic payback for taking yesterday off,either way I survived and there is a train of thought that says "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger"......that said there's also a train of thought that says" hard work never killed anyone" but why feck w/ it to see if it's true???

After last weeks spectacular crash and burn on my hard 8 miler I was determined to redress the balance this evening
3.42 at Cedar & CCP a little more restrained than last week(3.26) but then it seemed I eased up too much,9.08 at Baltimore Ave,14.11 at Whitby Ave b4 making the turn in 25.01,my slowest halfway split to date.After last weeks second half colapse I knew I needed a better second half today and got it,36.01 at Whitby Ave and 40...something at Baltimore Ave.
45.54 at CCP & Cedar on route to a 49.16.3,granted 10 seconds slower than last week but a much stronger finish,out in 25.01 back in 24.15.
I'm disappointed I went out too conservatively,maybe I got snake bitten after last week but there will be other chances to return to the realm of 47.16.3 and 46.37.8 after my three week hiatus for races.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blood,Sweat And Fears

Another trip to the blood lab today,this is the third time in four months I've had blood drawn it'll be interesting to see what my doctor has to say when I go to see him in 10 days time.
One plus of a trip to the blood lab was a day off work,a lie in and a chance to run at 12.30pm an easy 8 miler and an afternoon w/ my feet up on the recliner going through my backlog of "Doc Martin" episodes,5 down,2 to go.

Two concerns on my run, a tree that fell in Cobbs Creek Park on Thursday is still lying across the path,I had hoped by know the Fairmount Park Commission would've removed it,granted Thursday,Friday and today were easy runs but tomorrow is my hard run and frankly I don't feel like vaulting over it,granted it is cross country season but my cross country season doesn't begin till October 8th!!

My other concern is what feels like a huge blister on the ball of my right foot,this thing is about the size of two quarters,I did drain a lot of the fluid off of it but obviously it still feels a little tender,it's something I need to keep an eye on period much less in my final week of phase one of my fall training

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9 11

"This morning early I walked on while my darling was in a dream
The last sweet days of summer bloomed and dressed the trees in green
Then soaring high in the gleaming sky from far across the bay
Came a fearsome roar from a distant shore
At the dawning of the day"

The Dawning Of The Day-Mary Fahl

I still remember that horrific day from 10 years ago,I went back to my diary to recall some of the facts,I was still working in the storeroom at the hospital and happened to be up on the floors,someone said a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center and I was thinking a small plane,when I walked into the tv room outside of the ICU on Tower 4 I saw the first tower w/ the plane as the second plane was heading towards the second tower.......the rest as they say is history.
I remember going out to run that evening it just seemed the only thing to do after watching the horror unfold on CNN for a couple of hours and I recall how quiet it was on the roads that evening and the fact there were no planes in the sky.
The final quote in my diary that day read"There's so much more I could've said about the events of today but a million words could not capture the horror of what I saw,GOD BLESS AMERICA.
There isn't a day goes by I don't say a prayer for the victims of 9 11 and for the families of the victims and also for the victims and families of the London bombings 6 months later.
I tried to avoid the coverage on tv today,I just felt to revisit that horror and heartache again was not the way I wanted to recall the 10th anniversary of my generations Pearl Harbor and like I did on that fateful day 10 years ago I went out and ran this time just 12 miles to round out my 4th week of 50 mile weeks.
One thought that struck me as I made my way back over South Street Bridge today was it's a little over 10 years since I got back into running, in the summer of 01 after a four and a half year hiatus I began to train on a regular basis I think it was 3 times a week at first b4 moving up to 4 times a week the following year which has now become 6 days a week.
Back then I was focusing on the roads in fact 9 11 came 5 days b4 the Philadelphia Distance Run or Rock & Roll Half Marathon as it's known these days how times have changed,next Sunday sees the 2011 PDR/R&R 1/2 Marathon but it's a race I haven't ran since 06 when I committed to track,in 06 I ran my first 5th Avenue Mile and in 13 days time I'll run my 6th"Fall Classic"like I said times have changed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Sporting Life

Good job I watched the highlites from Zurich's Diamond League meet last nite as the weekend is jammed w/ sport,soccer,US Open semis and finals,Rugby World Cup,college football and the opening weekend of the NFL season,and somewhere in between all this I have episodes of "Rescue Me" and "Sons Of Anarchy" to watch.......good job I've got Monday off work for a doctors appointment!!!

It goes w/out saying that all of that stuff plays second fiddle to my 3x2mile repeats today and 12 miler tomorrow,was out the door by 9.30am this morning to reach the track at Temple by 10.20am for my second to last 3x2mile repeats b4 a three week race schedule kicks off at 5th Avenue Mile in a fortnites time.
Conditions were deceptive,when I arrived the sky was grey and overcast but early on into repeat #1 the sun came out from behind the clouds and the sun was quite happy to make my sweat glands work overtime,I cherish theses days as I know when I return to the realm of 3x2mile repeats post 5th Avenue Mile,Syracuse and Jack St Clare on October 15th the days of shades,shorts and sleeveless running shirts will be on a week to week basis.

#1 repeat 1.21.2-1.26.5-1.25.0-1.24.8-1.24.8-1.24.2-1.23.0-1.16.1-11.05.8.Eventually I believe I'll clock a sub 11 minute 2 mile repeat I came close 2 weeks ago w/ a 11.03.7. and today wasn't that far off,a 5.37 opening mile.

#2 repeat 1.22.9-1.25.5-1.26.2-1.25.8-1.27.6-1.27.0-1.25.7-1.21.3-11.20.3.Two weeks ago after opening w/ a 11.03.7. I followed up w/ 11.31.3. in terms of plus/minus I was now plus 9 heading into the final repeat,did I have the horses left to close strong?

#3 repeat 1.25.0-1.28.2-1.29.7-1.30.8-1.32.2-1.34.1-1.31.5-1.17.9-11.49.7.Sadly no! I felt leg weary on the opening lap on route to a 1.25.0 and the writing was very much on the wall,the fact that 2 weeks ago my slowest split of the 24 laps was a 1.28 but today laps 4-7 were the dreaded 1.30 and above which always signals the "kiss of death"on my repeats underlines the difference from then and today.

I'd like to think having to run an easy 6 miles yesterday didn't effect me,granted I prefer a rest day prior to my track repeats but sometimes that just isn't possible as Tuesdays rain out proved this week,in some respects this week has just been "one of those weeks" where the Status Quo of things just got thrown for a loop,I've said b4 and continue to state that in running as is in life it's not facing adversity that counts,it's how you deal w/ it,clearly my spectacular crash and burn over the second half of Wednesdays fast 8 miler and my inability to hold on to sub 1.30 pace over the final 2 miles today cost me but that's running and that's life.
I'll look to at least round out the week w/ a 12 miler tomorrow and then hope for a more conventional week next week period but being the last of phase one of my fall training schedule I'd like it to be a solid week.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Miracle Day

No,not a reference to the fact it didn't actually rain today!
Ever since Captain Jack Harkness was first introduced to "Doctor Who" viewers in 05 which lead to a spin off series "Torchwood"I've been an avid fan and doubt I've missed an episode in all four seasons,tonite sees the conclusion of season four "Miracle Day" in my humble opinion the best season to date.
I was a tad concerned when an"American"version of the show was first mentioned as most US versions of British shows sink like a stone w/ the exception on "The Office" however since July 8th I've been riveted to my seat each Friday nite as the 4th season crossed the Atlantic from Torchwoods native Cardiff in Wales and set up camp here in the states,how tonites finale plays out is anyones guess, this season has had more twists than a contortionists convention and I hope a 5th season is on the cards for next year or at least 2013.

Due to being rained out on Tuesday I had to run this evening to keep my weekly target of 50 miles alive a nice easy 6 miler along CCP keeping in mind tomorrow I'm back on the track for 3x2mile repeats and looking to atone for last week.
If it's Friday that means it's Liver and Bacon for dinner,ever since Worlds and the issue of low iron I've been looking to increase my iron levels M45 800m winner Michael Sheraer jokingly said I needed to start eating Liver and Bacon to correct that and so for the past few weeks each Friday I've made variations on that dish,boiled potatos,mashed potatos,au gratin potatos it seems to be doing the trick,so Liver and Bacon it is while I catch the Diamond League final part one from Zurich and then "Torchwood"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let's Try This Again

After my spectacular cock up w/ my last pair of new shoes I was only too happy to give my new pair of Puma Complete Slx Ryjin their maiden being the operative word given the amount of surface water out there this evening.
I have to give a big shout out to my team mate Nick Berra who used his influence w/ Eastbay to help me out and the customer service department at Eastbay for rewarding my years of custom w/ them by giving me 10% off my new shoes and waiving shipping,it's good to know customer loyalty is worth something these days.

As for the run,an easy 8 miler,I was tempted to go for another hard 8 miler to try and atone for yesterdays crash and burn but thought better of it,I'm not sure back to back hard runs are such a good idea and besides Saturday's 3x2mile repeats are too important to jeopardize w/ my ego so I took it nice and easy this evening,just happy the rain had eased up long enough to allow me to run.
Easy 6 miler tomorrow to put me back on schedule for the week leading into the weekend,fingers crossed the rain holds off to allow me my 3x2mile repeats Saturday and my 12 miler on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oh For Life To Imitate Art

Touch me how can it be, believe me the sun always shines on tv,hold me close to your heart touch me and give all your love to me

The Sun Always Shines On TV-A-ha

It was looking like a second day of having to sit out a run hence the nod to "The Sun Always Shines On TV"(more on that later)however mid morning not only did the rain stop but ye gods the sun actually came out.....I know what a concept!
When I did hit the road at 4.35pm I hit it hard and went through my first split at Cedar & Cobbs Creek in 3.26,my last 2 splits were 3.45/3.44,w/ hindsight maybe I should've eased off the gas a little but the curiosity factor had gotten the better of me and I wanted to see how much further I could push the envelope and kept my foot down so to speak.

8.30 at Baltimore Ave and 13.12 at Whitby Ave last week my splits were 8.40 & 13.26 and the question was how long could I hold this pace?
Reached the turnaround in 23.28 and I was beginning to feel the pace understandably my 23.36 last week felt a lot more comfortable and more importantly I was able to up the pace,not so today.
34.24 at Whitby Ave 20 seconds down on last week and the wheels were falling off,over the closing two miles there was very little in the way of knee lift or leg turnover,I was paying the ultimate price now for my bravado as I clocked 39.24 at Baltimore Ave 58 seconds adrift of last weeks split and then 45.21 at Cedar and Cobbs Creek 1.48 down from the 43.33 I clocked last Tuesday.
Finished in 49.06.3. a far cry from the 46.37.8. I clocked a week ago but this was very much the tale of two very different runs as the 2.29 deficit underlines.
Am I pissed at myself? a little but I'd rather have a rush of blood to the head on a training run than a race so I'll chalk this one up as a loss and look to rebound next week w/ a more even paced run.

As for the A-ha reference,there were two songs last Friday at Sex Dwarf that really stuck a cord w/ me,"Tears Run Rings" by Marc Almond and "The Sun Always Shines On TV" by A-ha.
A-ha in America are probably considered a "one hit wonder" w/ their debut single "Take On Me" but in their native Europe they notched several top 40 hits including a James Bond theme w/ "The Living Daylights"
I'd all but forgotten "The Sun Always Shines On Tv" until Friday nite,as I remarked to a few people since then hearing music on your ipod,your computer,your stereo is great but in a club w/ a kick arse sound system can take it to a new level and is one of the reasons both the A-ha and Marc Almond tracks were recent I Tunes downloads.

Monday, September 5, 2011

That's A Wrap From Daegu

Easy 8 miler today the only difference being that it was mid morning not late afternoon as it was Labor Day.
Away from the run I spent some quality time in the recliner catching up w/ all the stuff I had to dvr last week to follow Worlds from South Korea which leads me to my time honoured tradition of a Top Ten list from a major championship,I began this in Beijing in 08 and followed suit in 09 after Worlds in Berlin so here are my top ten moments from the thirteenth World Championships.

10 Vivian Cheruiyot's 5,000m 10,000m double,Going one better than Berlin where she won the 5,000m Cheruiyot added another chapter to the long and storied rivalry between Kenya and Ethiopia,Tirunesh Dibaba did the 5,000m/10,000m double both at Worlds in Helsinki in 05 and at the 08 Beijing Olympics,can Kenyan Cheruiyot equal that in London?

9 Oscar Pistorius reaching the 400m semi final, Much has been made of the fact "The Blade Runner" has been trying to run at the World Championships since he arrived on the scene of world track and field a few years ago,for me the argument should've been put to rest once he reached the qualifying standard earlier this year but for good measure Pistorius advanced through the opening round and made the semis,I'd love to see him go one better at the Olympics.

8 Matt Centrowitz and Jenny Simpson both medal in the 1,500m, American middle distance running w/ the obvious exception of the "timeless wonder Bernard Lagat" has been in the doldrums for a few years,Simpson's gold and Centrowitz's bronze could signal a bright future.

7 Kirani James 400m Gold,to win your county's first ever medal much less Gold is one thing,to do it at only eighteen,that's impressive.

6 Cirian O Lionaird and Alister Cragg reach the 1,500m and 5,000m finals, The glory days of Irish track and field seem a long time ago,minus Derval O Rourke in the 100m hurdles and there's been little to cheer about the last few years,the return to form of Alister Cragg and the emergence of Cirian O Lionaird gives me hope that Irish track and field has something to look forward to.

5 Dai Greene wins the 400m hurdles, W/ his gold in Daegu Dai Greene now has 3/4s of the Grand Slam European,Commonwealth and World golds,if he wins Olympic gold next summer not only will he have all 4 championships golds but he'll also be the first British 400m hurdler since David Emery in Mexico 68 to win Olympic gold

4 Ezekiel Kemboi's celebration after the 3,000m steeplechase, Some will say his celebrations were over the top but when you're a Kenyan steeplechaser you know you have to uphold a tradition in this event so why not celebrate I say

3 Usain Bolt's DQ in the 100m and gold in the 200m, When the worlds most recognisable athlete gets dq'd shock waves reverberate around the world....when he comes back and wins the 200m it's restored to the natural order of things,the fact he handled the whole 100m dq issue w/ such grace and humility underscores his position as the best athlete on the planet in my opinion.

2 Mo Farah's 10,000m silver and 5,000m gold, Had Ibrahim Jeilan not caught Mo in the closing stages of the 10,000m we could've been looking at a Bekele double by the Brit,clearly his move to Oregon to train w/ Alberto Salazer has taken Farah to a level he wasn't at in Berlin(7th in the 5,000m) and proved his 5,000m/10,000m double in Barcelona last summer in the European C'ships was no fluke.

1 Jamaica win the 4x100 and set a new World Record, In some respects neither is a big deal,they've been doing it for years,the fact the order of events was changed from the traditional men's 4x400m relay closing out the meet to the men's 4x100m and they set a new World Record and the only one of the entire meet......that's how you close a championship.....till London.........

Sunday, September 4, 2011

No Parking On The Dance Floor

Even though it's only the third week of 12 miles on a Sunday for a 50 mile week it's become a routine I've quickly adapted to.
Out by 10am for my out and back along the river making the turn at Columbia Bridge, as each of the last three weeks have passed by the 12 miler has gotten easier,granted I'm probably only running 8.5 pace but after a 15 week hiatus of anything remotely close to a 12 miler or 50 for the week it's been enjoyable return to the way things were.

On the inbound section of the run along Schuylkill two things struck me,a level of maturity that hopefully comes w/ age,I heard footsteps behind me and a much younger runner went by me,he glanced over his left shoulder to see if I was going to give chase and not so long ago I'd have welcomed a "pissing contest" but w/ 3.5 miles still left to run why get into it w/ this kid?sure if it was 3.5 laps to go of a 5,000m or 10,000m race on the track it'd be a different story but on a long run why worry about it.
The other thing I had to laugh at was playing the always entertaining"what if" game,what if I'd ran my 12 miler yesterday and had done my 3x2mile repeat today?this of course gave way to fits of laughter as I entertained the idea of "what if" I'd gotten lucky on Friday nite,would yesterday have been more about "getting my leg over" instead of knee lift and leg turnover!!!!!

On the subject of Friday for anyone curious on the title of today's entry the only rule of Sex Dwarf is "No Parking On The Dance Floor" as DJ Robert Drake said "if you want to text on your phone,do it at the bar,the dance floor is for dancing"
A full list of last Fridays "Land Of The Lost" and this Fridays "Sex Dwarf" can be found on Robert Drake's blog at under Playlists at the top.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Conjuring Up The Spirit Of The Penguin

Back in the day when I used to subscribe to Runners World I always enjoyed John Bingham's coloum,his signature sign off was "the miracle wasn't that I reached the finish line,the miracle was that I made it to the starting line"or words to that effect.
A lot of my track season felt that way w/ the whole anemia issue but w/ that now seemingly taking a turn for the better I felt the John Bingham quote applied to this mornings 3x2 mile repeats.

Having spent most of Friday nite dancing at Sex Dwarf and not getting home till 2.30am it was always going to be an issue how well or how badly I managed to handle these repeats off of 6.5 hours sleep but given the option of not going out Friday,or doing the repeats on Sunday after my 12 miler this was the hand I'd dealt myself so whatever the outcome today it was the best I could hope for.
Conditions were sunny and mild,w/ the exception of August 1st the day I drove back from Cleveland I don't think I've seen a 90 degree day since,tradition dictates that September and October are my favourite months to train in weather wise,the fact I haven't paid attention to the billboard in Fresh Grocers parking lot to see what the temperature is for the past few weeks indicates how much milder it's gotten.
Arrived at Temple by 10.30am,I anticipated arriving later but was pleasantly surprised to answer the alarm going off at 8.50am and rolling out the front door by 9.30am.....the sixty four billion dollar question was just how awake was I?????

#1 repeat 1.23.7-1.27.5.-1.29.7.-1.29.9.-1.30.0.-1.30.3.-1.28.8.-1.22.8.-11.42.9.Not earth shattering by any means,but not my slowest repeat either(week #3 I opened in 11.57.5.)
I knew when I didn't open in 1.20 like I have been doing in recent weeks that a dip in time was on the cards but today was more about seeing what I could do.

#2 repeat 1.23.4-1.28.1.-1.30.6-1.32.9.-1.32.9.-1.31.7.-1.31.4-1.24.6.-11.55.9.The inevitable 1.30 plus repeats crept in on laps,4-7 the writing had been on the wall on #1 when laps 5&6 were 1.30 but there was no holding back the tide today,however in a modicum of satisfaction I had at least kept the repeat at sub 12 which is more than could be said for weeks #1 and #3 when repeats #2 and #3 both went over that mark(12.28.8.-12.26.1.-12.23.8.-12.10.3)

#3 repeat 1.24.3.-1.27.6.-1.29.7.-1.29.7.-1.30.7.-1.29.9.-1.27.9.-1.13.4.-11.33.4.Throw out last weeks exceptional 11.15.5. and this was my fastest closing repeat to date,once again I was able to throw down a closing lap in the 1.13-1.14 zone which is pleasing given that on lap 24 of a set of repeats there is considerable juice in the tank.

Overall I'm pleased w/ the outcome,obviously I'm not pleased to see a dip in times after two weeks of lowering my times but I'm realistic enough to know that being out till 1.20am the nite b4 a repeat is going to have an effect on the times I run,were this my final week of repeats I know I wouldn't have been so cavalier w/ my attitude but frankly I enjoyed being out Friday nite and will continue to make first Fridays of the month 80's nite at Sex Dwarf,I don't see a conflict of intrest on the Oct,Nov,Dec schedule and besides every once in a while you need to brake the cycle of work,training,blogging,I believe it was Midnight Oil who said it best in "Truganini"
Somebody's got you on that treadmill mate,but I hope you're not beaten yet,not yet.

Friday, September 2, 2011


It's been said by several people.....including myself that Tibetan monks have a more active social life than me so when the opportunity to go out and be socialable comes around I'm more than eager to latch a ride on that wagon.
The nite of the Berlin show at World Cafe Live back on Aug 7th introduced me to people like myself who love 80's music and in the words of Depeche Mode "Just Can't Get Enough" so I'm off to Fluid tonite for the regular first Friday of the month 80's nite Sex Dwarf(named after a Soft Cell tune of their debut album Non Stop Erotic Caberet)
If tonite is half as much fun as last Friday's Land Of The Lost was then I should be in for good time,however in the back of mind I know I still have to get up tomorrow morning and hit the track at Temple for 3x2 mile repeats.

I knocked about several ideas of how to effectively "have my cake and eat it too" in regards to going out tonite and getting my workout in tomorrow,I could not go to Sex Dwarf tonite....but frankly that's not an option,I could go and leave early.... but that's almost like not going,I could go stay till 2am and then switch my 3x2 mile repeats w/ Sundays 12 miler.....but do I really want to do repeats after a 12 run? or go stay till 2am get home by 3-3.30am and try to be up by 10am to hit the track by midday to knock out another set of 2 mile repeats?
I'm leaning towards the latter but if I'm "not feeling it tomorrow" whenever I surface then an easy 12 miler it is w/ repeats on Sunday.

These are seemingly big decisions to make but frankly if this is the biggest issue on my radar right now then I've got it good,and w/ that I'm off to prep for tonite and let my hair to speak........see you out on the dance floor!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Tall Glass Of Water

My trilogy of track and field cuties concludes w/ my favourite leggy Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic.
Named after the city of Casablanca where her father the former Yugoslavia decathlete won the 83 Mediterranean Games prior to her birth(adopts Johnny Carson voice"I did not know that")Blanka has been a favourite of mine since she first arrived on the high jump scene back in 00 at the Sydney Olympics and looks to win her third World Championship gold after wins in Osaka in 07 and Berlin in 09.

Great day for the Irish at Worlds today,Corkman Ciaran O Lionaird became the first Irishman to reach a 1,500m final at Worlds since 1995(fair play) Deirdre Ryan reached the women's High Jump final and Alister Cragg reached the 5,000m final(good man yer self!)

In order for me to have my cake and eat it I stayed closer to home to conduct hill repeats,while I have no objection to schlepping over to Belmont Plateau for hill repeats when time is an issue,ie getting home gone 7pm and then trying to cop 5 hours of coverage of Worlds I opted to stay closer to home but I did so w/out having to negate hill repeats,revisiting a workout I last conducted on Feb 16th I utilized the hill opposite Catherine St along CCP and went w/ 9 repeats from top to bottom turning and jogging back down the hill to begin the next one and so on and so forth.

My splits were:30.49-32.29-32.72-33.40-33.50-32.95-32.16-32.85-33.71.very consistent if I say so myself,it'd be worth keeping that option in mind post fall season races if I'm looking for something w/ leg turnover and knee lift during the week,but I would like to try and return to Belmont next week and the week after to have another crack at the 6xFlagpole repeats from a fortnite ago.