Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween For Me

"The cottage is windswept now there's only sorrow here follow evacuation signs
You're detached and broken and so sentimental now remembering how we passed out time
Ohh ohh,ohh ohh somebody waits for me ohh ohh,ohh ohh far beyond our halloween
Germanic forces marching on concrete squares our love is just defenceless sound
And could we believe all that you said was true we could be so determined now
Slowly emerging dividing Germany,everyone's lost in east Berlin
And only believing in just what you want to hear,we're waiting in stations once again
Ohh ohh,ohh ohh somebody waits for me,ohh ohh,far beyond our halloween"


Well here we are again in "back tracking mode" been a lot of that recently,anywho Saturday's freakish weather not only put the kybosh on my track repeats but running period,in fact the weather was so nasty I said to hell w/ it and took a "zen like" approach to my recliner for the day,when life gives you lemons........however the fall out of that was come Sunday I now had all of Saturdays chores(pay the rent,go food shopping), on top of laundry and work everything around calling home to talk to my mother and getting a phone call from my brother,add in the clocks going back in England already that added another wrinkle to the whole thing and frankly fitting in my regular Sunday 12 miler seemed unlikely,I guess if I absolutely,positively had to get my 12 miler in I'd have worked around my schedule like I have countless times b4 and no doubt will countless times again but in a week that had seem me already miss a bunch of runs I figured one more wasn't going to matter,after all I'm meant to be in taper mode for this Sunday's race.

Putting all of last weeks woes behind me I got out yesterday for an easy 8 miler,this is an easy week,it'll be easy 6 milers tomorrow through Thursday b4 2 days off in prep for Sunday as I aim to erase my oldest pr in the books(27 years.....this sucker needs to go!!!) also this could be my final week of runs along Cobbs Creek Parkway,w/ the clocks going back on Sunday I may need to switch up my runs down Spruce St and over South St bridge for my 6 milers,out to the Art Museum along the Schuylkill Banks for my 8 milers and out along Kelly Drive to Girard bridge for my 10 milers as parts of my out and back along trusy and these days leafy CCP will be pitch black(mainly the section through the park after Baltimore Ave upto CCP and then in reverse on the way back) but this is an issue for next week but if this is my swansong along CCP till it begins getting lighter in the evenings next late Feb/early March then sobeit.

Given my born again black hearted celtic pagan nature it's no surprise that Halloween is one of my favourite days on the is after all a Pagan holiday!!! and this year I had two reasons to cheer,my beloved "Land Of The Lost" which got bumped from it's regular last Friday of the month time slot got a 3 hour slot tonite between 8pm-11pm,3 hours of the dark side of new wave lots of Bauhaus,Sisters Of Mercy,Siouxsie & The Banshees,and of course The Cure which was the other reason I was a happy camper.

Earlier this year The Cure performed their first three albums(yep there I go again showing my age.....albums...!)in two shows in Australia which were filmed for dvd release later this year but the clamour for them to reprise these shows resulted in a one off 7 show series,1 in London,3 in LA and 3 in New York at The Beacon over Thanksgiving Day weekend,tickets went on sale today(the irony ) and I managed to snag a ticket for the third and final show on Nov 27th,get ready Big Apple I'll be getting my goth on,christ upper Manhattan is going to resemble something like "the children of the corn" as the black clad masses descend from far and wide for those three shows.....happy goth? is that a massive contradiction?who knows,who cares,me a couple of hundred like minded souls and The Cure in truly is a Happy Halloween!!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Twenty Four Twenty Four Split

Well,so much for a final 3x2mile track repeat b4 The Bridge Run 10K next Sunday,I woke up to pouring rain which put the kybosh on that for me,then remarkably the rain turned to snow.....yep friggin snow at the end of October which reminds me a classic line from Colm Mealey in the movie "The Van" when him and his buddy are sitting on a beach freezing and he says"global warming me bollocks"!!!!!

W/ no run to occupy my day I had more time to ponder the other big anniversary of the week,24 years since I left home and everything I knew in South East London and moved to Philadelphia here on the east coast of the United States.
To say things didn't quite go to plan would be an understatement but here I am 24 years later still carving out a life for myself.
I recall a relative of mine saying b4 I upped sticks that "if you don't go 10 years from now you'll regret you didn't" well 10 years was a while back,tack on another 14 years and I find myself having lived here in Philly as long as I lived in South East London.

Do I regret it?,in life I've learnt that all the regrets in the world don't change the facts and while there are several parts I'd "do over" again in a heartbeat the fact is life doesn't come w/ a how to handbook you're going to make mistakes....and boy have there been some howlers but life's a learning process and hopefully you learn from your mistakes.
So next year marks a quarter of a century out here,a year later I'll turn 50,were I that way inclined I''d be planning a couple of blow out parties but I somehow doubt that'll happen......unless one of those unexpected curve balls life tends to hurl your way from the mound meets my bat and I hit the sucker out of the park.......hey after 24 years here in America a little baseball is bound to have rubbed off on me but as I always say and probably always will
''you can take the boy out of South East London,but you'll NEVER take the South East London out of the boy".....oi!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

If It's The Last Friday Of The Month......

"You go down,down past The Talk Of The Town you go down Greek Street then it's underground
Well it's Soho life for this mobile life it's the place to shoot,Friday night Beat Route"

Chant Number One-Spandau Ballet

At least in theory it was.....after a crap week and a long day all I could think about was getting my post work chores taken care of,showered and shaved, making dinner and then settling in for four hours of 80's tunes on ''Land Of The Lost" and hanging out in the chat room.........however nobody informed me this months installment of LOTL has been moved to Monday to accommodate the first of two 20th Anniversary concerts for Wxpn..........

Rather then get pissy about it it does mean Halloween just got a lot more fun on Monday nite!!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Be Kind To My Mistakes

"Sailing down behind the sun waiting for my prince to come
Praying for the healing rain to restore my soul again
Just a toerag on the run how did I get here?what have I done?
When will all my hopes arise?how will I know him?
When I look in my father's eyes,my fathers eyes
When I look in my father's eyes,my father's eyes
Then the light begins to shine,and I hear those ancient lullabies"

My Father's Eyes-Eric Clapton

We all have those pivotal dates I our lives when things changed,for me two of the biggest "game changers" fall w/in 2 days of one another and are separated by three years.
On Saturday October 27th 1984 I returned home from a rare Saturday at work on overtime to make the grim discovery that my father had died from a heart attack in his bedroom.
At 51 I hadn't seen that coming so it was a shock to the system to say the very least and suddenly life as I knew it had changed dramatically overnite.

Some 27 years have passed since then,there's not a day goes by I don't think about my father,had he not've died when he did I'm reasonably sure I wouldn't have ended up here in America three years and two days later but that's the kind of curve ball life throws you when you least expect it
and sometimes things happen for a reason that you just can't fathom how or why.
As a mark of respect every October 27th I go to the local catholic church in center city and lite a candle and say a prayer for him,gone but not forgotten and while I'm confident I've done things in the past 27 years he wouldn't understand or approve I'd like to think through my running I've made him proud.

My relationship w/ Kevin in running was often mirrored by that of Peter and Seb Coe,Peter Coe always said he had no running background to draw from but felt nobody was better suited to train his son than him,ditto for Kevin and me and like Peter Coe my father could be brutal after a race,the infamous post Moscow 800m final quote from Peter to Seb was a scene too often played out between Kevin and I,I resented his "second isn't good enough" approach to me when I was younger but in the subsequent years since his untimely passing that "fear of losing" has stood me in good stead,god forbid I went home after a race and hadn't won but his "tough love" attitude when I was younger is often the driving force these days to be the best I can be,it wasn't a fear of losing,it was a dread of facing him if I hadn't won that shaped my early running career these days his harsh attitude has molded me in to a tougher runner that I could ever of been if he'd sat back and placated me w/ a "you did your best,that's all you could do" attitude.

Surfice to say grey skies and the omnipresent threat of rain would not deter me from my 8 mile this evening,dead or alive that sort of attitude would not be tolerated by "the ould fella" so I got out and made the most of it,somewhere hopefully in heaven he's proud to see his iron fist in a velvet glove still holds court over a quarter of a century since his untimely departure

Every Picture Tells A Story

Greater Philadelphia Track Club M40 Masters Nationals 5k XC Bronze medal winners
From left to right,Me,Gene Tung,Andy Shearer,Chris Caroll,Dave Brown.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Funny,Cos It's True

Back tracking slightly,Sunday I ran 12 miles to round out my week at 53 miles
I had 41 going in and could've easily just ran 9 to round out my week at 50 but frankly if I was going to get out there and run 9 miles I might as well run 12.

Feeling the effects of a long week between Duran Duran,Howard Jones and Rochester I woke up Monday feeling run down,it felt like someone had put a faucet in my nose and sandpapered my throat when I woke up and at that time the prospect of a run post work seemed remote,getting to work to be informed my co worker had called out sick for two days meant I now had to pull double duty on top of feeling like crap,I knew a run was flying in the face of it so I sat out Monday.

Tuesday I felt better, the nose was still running but my throat felt better,I was tempted to run but thought better of it,w/ The Bridge Run 10k 11 days away now was as good a time as any to taper,w/ 10 weeks of 50 miles a week under my belt I could back off a little this week and next week,left to my own devices I might've looked at another 50 mile week this week but now having sat out two days this week hitting 50 mpw wasn't happening this week and there's no need for it next week either.

Wednesday out for an easy 8 miler, after two days off it felt good to be back out running again,having missed 2 days was bad enough but the fact they were in the low to mid 60's was galling,as we enter the tail end of October there's a feeling each nice day out there could be the last and missing one is a sin,two is unforgivable.
Fingers crossed I can get out there again tomorrow,I plan to rest Friday so that I can be fresh on Saturday for my final track workout b4 next Sunday plus it's the last Friday of the month which means "Land Of The Lost" on WXPN w/ Robert Drake which is a nite I like to be home early,chores done,showered and shaved b4 dinner and free to sample 4 hours of 80's tunes and the high jinx of the Land Of The Lost chat room.

I couldn't resist the photo of the kitten and the asperger caption,Precious has gotten a lot more vocal since turning a year old,maybe felines get "the terrible twos" early but she's becoming more of a handful these days but if memory serves me her big brother Hobbes was a rambunctious little devil when he was younger but he outgrew it and hopefully Precious will too,judging from the two hours of almost non stop running around after I returned from Rochester on Saturday she truly is my cat,and judging from the fact she's now curled up on my lap as I type she is a "daddies girl" and it's hard not to love her .....even if I'm getting called all sorts of names!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Howard Jones An Everlasting Love

"There was a time there was nothing at all,nothing at all just a distant hum
There was a being and he lived on his own he had no one to talk to and nothing to do
He drew up the plans,learnt to work w/ his hands a million years passed by and his work was done and his words were these
Hope you find it in everything,everything that you see,hope you find it in everything that you see
Hope you find it,hope you find it,hope you find me in you"

Hide And Seek-Howard Jones.

Much like Mondays show w/ Duran Duran where I wasn't blown away w/ their debut single in 1981 ''Planet Earth" but then fell in love w/ them afterwards fast forward some eighteen months to September of 1983 Howard Jones's debut single "New Song" was released,it was ok and w/out it we wouldn't have discovered Ho Jo but it was his second single,"What Is Love?" that really captured my imagination and thus began my love affair w/ Ho Jo and his unique brand of synth pop.
To my chagrin I never saw Howard live in his prime,his debut album "Human's Lib" was released in 1984 but sadly his London date on the Human's Lib tour at(where else Hammersmith Odean) clashed w/ The Alarm around the corner at Hammersmith Palais) I'd discovered The Alarm earlier that year and their Dec 23rd Hammersmith Palais was my 4th Alarm gig that year,meanwhile "Our Kid" went to see Howie w/ his girlfriend at the Odean,over the following 27 years we've often joked about that nite,he was gung ho to see The Alarm w/ me till he found out Lisa had tickets for Ho Jo,sure I busted his chops(that's what big brothers do!)but I sometimes wish I'd seen Howie.......

Somewhere in a shoe box in the basement is a 120 cassette of Howard Jones live in concert,back in the day Radio One used to broadcast either two half hour concert segments or one hour long concert on Saturday evenings in their "In Concert" series,that was as close as I ever got to seeing him though I was the proud owner of "Human's Lib" "The 12'' Album" and "Dream Into Action" and I'm sure several of his 12'' singles.

In either the summer of 97 or 98 I finally got to see him....barely! on the "Rewind Tour" that summer it was Howard Jones,The Human League and Culture Club finally a chance to see Ho Jo and Boy George and Culture club who I'd never seen and my first Human League gig since the first time time I saw them in 81.
I only caught half of Howie thanks to "cloth ears" my then and now ex girlfriend and her inability to listen to me"don't take 76 to The Mann Music Center the off ramp will be backed up to the hilt".....did she see listen.....NO! we sat in traffic forever,had to park miles away when we finally got there and subsequently missed half of Ho Jo,pissed was an understatement on my behalf while her defence was "I don't really like Howard Jones I didn't see the need to rush to get there".......and that dear ex is why you are an ex and Howard Jones is still a part of my life!!!!

Fast forwarding to the present when I learnt Howard was bringing his "Human's Lib/Dream Into Action" tour to America it was a no brainer,the chance to see him live after all this time and the opportunity to hear both albums in their entirety live was too good to pass up,I even found a way past my dislike for The Keswick in Glenside,I wouldn't say it's my least favourite concert venue but prior to Thursday I'd only been there once in 24 years,but Keswick or not I was going.
The whole album/albums tour is a good one,artists have been doing it for a few years now,last September Gary Numan performed 'The Pleasure Principle'' Stiff Little Fingers did "Inflammable Material" a few years back,earlier this year Echo & The Bunnymen performed their first two albums"Crocodiles" and "Heaven Up Here" a show I sadly missed but did catch The Church perform three albums "Untitled #23" "Priest=Aura" and "Starfish".

Each band has there own way of doing the whole album Stiff Little Fingers performed the whole album over the course of the show,Gary Numan did the whole album start to finish in the order it runs on album/cd but Ho Jo decided to mix up the running order of both albums
Opening w/ "Pearl In The Shell" instead of "Conditioning" Ho Jo would remark that performing the album in it's correct sequence would mean"getting all the hits up front" and then added w/ a smile"well they're all hits but you know what I mean!!!"
Ably backed up w/ a second keyboard player and drummer and using a video screen Howard faithfully performed his 84 debut to a grateful audience,I won't lie I haven't listened to "Human's Lib" or "Dream Into Action" in eons but did recently upgrade from vinyl to cd and will be downloading them onto my Ipod as soon as I workout why the pc won't recognise a new Ipod and allow me to sync the bugger,I may have to go "old school" and listen to them on my discman till then!!!

Taking a short intermission Ho Jo returned to perform "Dream Into Action" he dedicated "Look Mama" to his mother who used to run his fan club for him along w/ his father.
Hearing "Hunger For The Flesh" again after TOO long of an absence was worth the price of admission much like hearing "Don't Always Look At The Rain" and "Conditioning" off of "Human's Lib" gems I hadn't forgotten,just hadn't heard in way too long.
B4 calling it a nite Howie shed light on the fact that "not all 80's keyboard players idolized Kraftwerk" and how the Musician Union wanted to ban him back in the day for playing all the instruments on his keyboard" and the old chestnut that all he had to do was program his keyboard and not show up for his own gigs which was a frequent put down in the mid 80's.
B4 closing w/ "Things Can Only Better" Howard mentioned not really caring about winning awards or readers polls but how a 4th grade teacher had once emailed him and asked if she could use "Things Can only Get Better" as her class theme tune,that was an accolade he could live w/ the 80's might have been the era of Yuppies,the Me Generation and Gordon Gekko's "greed is good" but there was something wholesome about a 4th grade teacher using "Things Can Only Get Better" for he class theme tune.......and that's one of the reason's I still and always will love the 80's.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Road Trip,Another Team Medal

It's amazing that I hadn't ran any cross country for well over two and a half years from Winter Nationals in Derwood MD in Feb 09 till the recent Jack St Clare race at Belmont Plateau and now I've ran two in two weeks.....much like waiting for a bus you wait for an age for yours to show up and then two arrive back to back!!

I don't have a lot of xc races to my credit,I shunned xc for a couple of years but after committing 100% to track in 07 I came to embrace xc as the bridge between the end of outdoor track season and the start of indoor track season and in 08 enjoyed my best set of times for xc over 5k,6k,8k,then came the achilles injury in 09 which put a major kybosh on running period but also meant it was prudent to avoid some of the rougher terrain that xc races can sometimes provide.
I will say the Rochester course felt like real xc,maybe it was the mud,perhaps it was the fact most of the 5k course was on grass but whatever it was there was a universal feeling amongst those gathered here for the Master National 5K XC C'ship that this was a real xc course.

Conditions were surprisingly mild for Rochester for mid to late October,in fact conditions were better than in Syracuse three weeks earlier although due to some bizarre announcement prior to the race temperatures went up several notches!!!!
I never understood why this meet was billed as a USA vs Canada meet,granted upstate New York means our cousins from the great white north are not too far away but if this was an international meet then fair enough but to announce less than half an hour b4 the 11.30am gun time that International rules dictate runners are only allowed 11 spikes in their running spikes just seemed out of left field.
If that was the case put it in the race literature,I'm sure runners would've taken the steps to comply,instead there seemed to be some anger and bewilderment amongst my GPTC team mates as spike wrenches were hastily dug out and the removal of a 12th spike began.
Personally I didn't have more than 11 spikes on both of my running spikes and since there was nobody checking the 151 starters spikes on the starting line I found the whole episode very Shakespearean......much ado about nothing but if it meant some of my team mates run w/ a little fire under them maybe it wasn't so bad after all!!??

One of the things I love about xc racing is the start,as a track runner unless you're running the 1,500m you're invariably going straight into a turn in xc more often than not you're looking at a large field straight ahead b4 making a first turn which allows you a chance to get into your stride.
I had no set position/time to chase this was purely a race to run and see where I stacked up,that said I did check my watch at the 1 mile marker and saw 6.00.for what it's worth at Belmont 2 weeks ago I went through the opening mile in 5.38.
Heading out of the woods and up and around a large field I was joined by Conor O Driscoll a good friend of mine from Westchester Track Club,Conor suggested we work together which seemed like a good idea as we not only put distance between the pack behind us but began to reel in and pick off a few runners ahead of us.

No marker or visible marker at 2 miles so no split,heading back into the woods and then back across the soccer fields back to the finish I began to feel the excesses of a long week and that coupled w/ the mud meant not finishing as strong as I would've liked but still quite content w/ 21st out of 151 runners,8th in the M45-49 age group in 18.29 which is my third fastest 5k xc time.
Post cool down we waited patiently for the results,the temperature began to turn and I for one was glad it had been a lot warmer at 11.30am than it was now.
After much deliberation it was announced we'd finished third in the M40 team race behind Genesee Valley Harriers and Westchester Track Club and just ahead of Central Park Track Club,the four way dog fight I had predicted on Thursday.

I have one more xc race on my schedule next month b4 calling it a season outdoor and one indoor race b4 the end of the year.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Masters 5K XC C'ships

Short Version
21st overall
8th M45-49
3rd M40 team event
Long Version to follow....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Next Stop Rochester

Well technically the next stop is The Keswick in Glenside for Howard Jones tonite,and then Rochester,but due to time restraints the Ho Jo review will have to wait till early next week after I return from Rochester and the USATF Masters Nationals 5K XC C'ships.
Backtracking slightly I did manage to get my 9 mile recovery run in yesterday,it looked like I might get rained out and while not being able to run wouldn't have been the end of the world it would've put me in a hole for getting another 50 mile week in,though not impossible but would've meant 9 tonite,9 on Saturday and 14 on Sunday but the heavy rain had quit so once again it was baseball cap and jacket weather as I took care of business.

Slightly better conditions this evening for my 6 miler but the first real chill in the air evening,it was noticeable w/ short sleeves and shorts how much milder it felt this evening,granted we're into the second half of October but none the less a stark reminder of what's around the corner in the coming weeks and months,the sidewalk along Cobbs Creek Parkway is becoming more and more covered w/ leaves.

On the subject of conditions I have no idea what to expect in Rochester Saturday but I'm betting wet cold and muddy,real cross country conditions unlike the recent Jack St Clare 5M XC which was ran in 75 degrees.
Due to a typo by someone at USATF Atlanta Track Club are in the M50 team competition not the M40 so it looks like a 4 way dog fight(no Michael Vick jokes please!....oh please like I'm the only one who went there!!!) for the team race,GPTC,Central Park Track Club,Westchester Track Club and hosts Genesse Valley Harriers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dancin' On The Valentine

"Was I chasing after rainbows?one thing for sure you never answered when I called
And I wiped away the water from my face to look through the eyes of a stranger
For rumours in the wake of such a lonely crowd trading in my shelter for danger
I'm changing my name just as the sun goes down in the eyes of the stranger"

The Seventh Stranger-Duran Duran

Next month marks the 30th anniversary of my first Duran Duran gig at famed Hammersmith Odean,I'd missed their earlier tour in 81 when they played at The Rainbow in Finsbury Park but now on the strength of their debut album they were back on the road and at Hammersmith Odean, always a sign you'd "made it" to the big time when you were headlining at Hammy Odean.

I liked their debut single "Planet Earth" but I wasn't crazy about it,I thought their second single"Careless Memories" was all that but surprisingly it barely grazed the Top 40 at #37 but then came the game changer "Girls On Film",and as the saying goes "the rest was history" and I became a teenage Duran Duran fan.

It wasn't easy being a guy and liking Duran Duran,it was one thing to buy their records,pin their posters on my bedroom wall and see them in concert but going out in public w/ a Duran Duran tshirt or wearing a Duran Duran button/pin could be detrimental to your well being,I recall being surrounded in a pub by a bunch of knuckle dragging neanderthals after playing Duran Duran on the jukebox,the typical name calling ensued, Nancy Boy was one of the nicer names I was called,I can only imagine the carnage if these clowns had seen me on the nites I went clubbing and sporting eyeliner and mascara

Bands like Duran Duran,Spandau Ballet and Japan not only made it ok for guys to wear make up if they were brave enough to, they were great to dance to and they inspired me to dress better,having liked Punk and Heavy Metal b4 the New Romantic movement meant tarting up my wardrobe considerably,clothes horse I was not or will never be but some of the nicer clobber in my wardrobe came as a result of being a New Romantic,and the fact the likes of Duran Duran,Japan and Spandau Ballet were good looking blokes meant they attracted a bevy of women at their shows,I always used to joke the best reason to like Duran Duran was to meet women at their concerts....not that I ever did but I'll bet numerous hook ups and maybe even long term relationships were formed at Duran Duran shows over the years.

And so to Monday at The Tower,my 10th Duran Duran gig in 30 years,an average of once every three years,people always said back in the day Duran Duran were only good in their videos but I always said seeing them live was where they shone brightest,if you don't own Hammersmith 82 on dvd add it to your collection,what you see is a band beginning to hit it's stride between 82-84 Duran Duran were the best band on the planet.....I was tempted to say Planet Earth but didn't want to be too cheesy but believe me they were awesome then and still pack a punch now.

In the day and age of the internet it's real easy to go online and find set lists,I do it post show to write the set lists but never b4,I like to be surprised so here's how Monday went down from start to finish.

Before The Rain-I'd have bet the house they'd open w/ "All You Need Is Now" but opted for the mellow closing track off the new cd instead,never a band to play safe Simon and co weren't about to start now.

Planet Earth-Oh snap from latest cd to first,I remember Simon saying he wanted Duran Duran to be the band people danced to when the nuclear bomb dropped(if you were my age in the 80's you lived in fear of a post nuclear fall out between America and Russia) the nuclear threat has gone but guess what? we're still dancing

A View To A Kill-I never go into a show these days w/ a laundry list of songs I want to hear because if you go in w/ the "I want to hear this,this and this" you set yourself up to be let down,View To A Kill was one song I wanted to hear and was delighted to hear James Bond theme song ever!!

All You Need Is Now-Title track of the 12th studio album and a return to former glories,probably their best album since The Wedding Album in this humble Duranies opinion.

Blame The Machines-Another strong track off the new album,sorry I'm showing my!

Come Undone-A pleasant surprise,hard to believe The Wedding Album is 2 years shy of it's 20th anniversary,an album that put Duran Duran back on the map.

Safe(In The Heat Of The Moment)The 4th of 7 songs off the new album,it's rare a band will play that much stuff off as new cd in concert I think OMD and Human League only played 3 song off of "History Of Modern" and "Credo" but I wasn't complaining!!

The Reflex-I must've worn out the 12'' copy of this back in the day and it still packs a punch now some 27 years later,still hard to watch them performance this live and not half expect a giant wave to come cascading down from above the stage.

The Man Who Stole A Leopard-Girl Panic-Back to back tracks off "All You Need Is Now"

Tiger Tiger-Didn't see that one coming,gotta say it sounded as good live as it does on "Seven & The Ragged Tiger" will we ever hear "Tel Aviv"live at a Duran Duran show??

Is There Something I should Know?-After all these years it's still funny to hear the line"don't say you're easy on me,you're about as easy as a nuclear war"

Careless Memories-The second of three songs I was stoked to hear,why this wasn't a bigger hit back in 81 I don't know but it's still a kick arse tune.

Leave A Light On- When I saw Simon w/ the acoustic guitar I was thinking "Save A Prayer" but we got the seventh and final track off ''All You Need Is Now",I liked this song b4 but after hearing it live I like it even more now.

Ordinary World-Another trip back to "The Wedding Album"

Notorious-I won't lie "Notorious" wasn't one of my favourite Duran Duran albums,as it marks the beginning of the end of "the fab five" but the title track still stands out as a live song.

Hungry Like The Wolf-Finally something off the "Rio" album,but isn't that why we have "Hammersmith 82" on dvd?

(Reach Up For The)Sunrise-The lead off track off of "Astronaut" the reunion album that saw Simon,Nick,John,Roger,and Andy back together b4 Andy left again


Wild Boys-The third of the three songs I was psyched to hear and another song that the original 12'' vinyl got played over and over,these day the 12'' mix gets heavy rotation on my ipod,nice touch segwaying "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood into it

Rio-The finale and it was 1982 all over again complete w/ sax solo.

I have no gripe w/ the set list,sure the purists will cite no "Girls On Film" in the set but isn't that what "Arena" "Hammersmith 82" and "Live In London" are there for??,let's hope it's only a few years b4 the next album and tour.

PS Remember how I said one of the great things about a Duran Duran concert was meeting women?I actually got talking to two very nice women sat next me at The Tower on Monday and may have convinced them to come to "Sex Dwarf",after all if you like seeing Duran Duran live chances are dancing to killer 80's tunes every first Friday of the month is right up your alley way too!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Knot Too Shabby

I'm not going to lie,standing in the bathroom at 5.40am brushing my teeth barely awake the prospect of a hard 8 mile in roughly 11 hours time was not exactly revving my engine but being tired after last nites Duran Duran gig or not I was still planning to run my hard 8 this evening and that was that,like I remembered back in the early 80's when I stepped up from 6 miles to 10 miles and 12 miles I knew when I got up at 7.20am that the last thing I could think about was running 10-12 miles come 6pm,you start the day thinking like that you're beaten b4 you start so the best thing to do is put it as far out of your mind as possible no matter how tired you are.

Come 4.30pm I was ready to lay it down,another sunny warm October evening for my second to last hard 8 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway,after last weeks below par 49.10.6. I wanted something a little more potent as I close in on the Bridge Run 10k.
3.28 at Cedar and CCP,ballpark for where I've been the last few weeks,8.32 at Baltimore Ave and 13.26 at Whitby Ave,slightly down on last week but unlike last week no pesky rib injury to slow me down.

Made the turn around in 23.13 a potential 46.26 if I could hold this pace,33.49 at Whitby Ave,I was well ahead of last weeks splits.
38.10 at Baltimore Ave it was starting to hurt now but the hell I was backing off the pace,43.16 at CPP and Cedar,fortune favours the brave and fair maiden was never won by faint heart etc etc.
46.38.2. my third fastest time and only a second off of my 46.37.8. set back in week 3 on Aug 30th.

Next week is my last crack at it b4 the Bridge Run and while the mystery rib injury of last went as soon as it came it's now been replaced by the return of that knot in my left calf that first flared up this time last year.
I thought I was done w/ that as it had been dormant for weeks but w/ 600m to go on my final 2 mile repeat on Saturday it flared up again to the point I've been icing it and wearing a compression sleeve on it,if it ain't one thing it's another as a masters runner,trust me read any masters blog and we all complain of tweaks,aches or niggles at our age,it goes w/ the territory.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Some New Romantic Looking For The TV Sound

"Only came outside to watch the night fall w/ the rain I heard you making patterns rhyme
Like some new romantic looking for the tv sound I'll see you right some other time love
Look now look all around there's no sign of life
Voices,another sound can you hear me now this is planet earth,you're looking at planet earth"

Planet Earth Duran Duran

A busy week on tap,on top of having to tweak my mileage to accommodate Saturdays 5k xc race in Rochester and also get my weekly 50 mpw I also have 2 gigs on my docket this week,Duran Duran at The Tower tonite and then Howard Jones at The Keswick on Thursday as my concert total for the year goes up to 9 w/ 2 more potential shows on tap next month.....both 80's artists....I know you're stunned given prior to tonite my last 4 gigs were:U2,Berlin,OMD and Human League!!!,it's like I always say"I don't just love the 80's,I lived them"there'll be more on tonites Duran Duran show on Wednesday and I'll do justice to Ho Jo early next week.

As for my run an easy 10 miler to get the week underway,originally the plan was to go,10,9,8,6 Monday through Thursday w/ Friday as my rest day/travel day to Rochester in upstate New York but in order to have my cake and eat it I'll keep Tuesday as my hard 8 day and allow myself three days recovery b4 duking out on the mud in Rochester w/ host club Genesse Valley,Atlanta Track Club,Central Park and Westchester Track Club for the club race.
Beautiful evening to run this evening low 70s and sunny,after ditching the shades and donning a cap and jacket on Wednesday and Thursday it was the fall version of "the three s's" this evening,shades,shorts and short sleeves.
Hopefully my butt won't be dragging tomorrow on the hard 8 after tonites Duran Duran show.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shufflin' Along

Another Sunday,another 12 miler along the river,another 50 mile week.
Also another glorious day in October to be out getting my long run in,as long as mother nature keeps sending them,I'll keep taking them.
For those not from "these parts" the above picture is of Kelly Drive just at the end of Boathouse Row,trust me this photo wasn't taken on a Sunday morning as it's always crowded w/ runners,joggers,walkers,cyclists,roller bladers,people w/ strollers etc,I've always enjoyed my runs along the river in the almost 24 years since I moved here and hope to continue to do so.

Felt weird to be home for the weekend,technically I was home last weekend but w/ Lynn and Chris in town I spent little time at home,the weekend b4 I was in Syracuse,the weekend b4 I was in New York and this coming weekend I'll be in Rochester.
I would've liked a weekend at home w/ my feet up relaxing and making inroads into my laundry list of dvr's shows but this wasn't the weekend for it,asides from my 3x2 mile repeats and Sunday long run there were the domestic chores that needed taking care of,food shopping,laundry and somehow I found time to squeeze in a movie.

"50/50" was playing at The Riverview which is my least favourite cinema to go to,mainly due to the hike it takes to get there w/out a car but I wanted to see it so I switched running shoes for hiking boots and made the trek into South Philly to see it.
It was an enjoyable movie,it's hard to make a comedy about Cancer but the movie does a stellar job of being funny w/out trivializing the illness,kudos to the writers and directors for that and hats off to Gordon Joseph Levitt,Seth Rogan,Anna Kendrick and Anjelica Huston for their roles.

On the way home I made the rare move of putting the ipod on shuffle and seeing what would come streaming through my ear buds next,I was pleasantly rewarded w/ the following:
Sex(Extended Version) Berlin
They Dance Alone Sting
Life's What You Make It(Live Version) Talk Talk
Fade To Grey Real Life
Numb/Encore Linkin Park & Jay Z
39 The Cure
Do Re Me,So Far So Good Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine
First Goodbye Scritti Polliti
How Was It For You? James
Lady W/ The Spinning Head U2
Underneath The Stars The Cure

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Return Of The Thin White Duke

After a 3 week race induced hiatus from my Saturday date w/ vertigo.....or as I like to call it 3x2 mile repeats it was back to the track at Temple this morning for my second to last crack at them b4 the November 6th Bridge Run 10k in 3 weeks time.
While the sun might've been shining there was a strong breeze swirling across the track when I arrive at 10.20am,how strong you ask? the northeast corner of the track there are two poles w/ what look like miniature jet propellers on them my guess is they are a wind gauge of some sort,anywho those suckers were working overtime this morning I doubt they stopped rotating the entire time I was there this morning.
Following my mile warm up it was time to shed the long sleeve warm up and three quarter length bottoms don my flats and have at it a 9th time since I first began this workout a week b4 Worlds all the way back at the beginning of July (July 2nd)

#1 repeat 1.21.0.-1.24.7.-1.26.0.-1.24.3.-1.26.6.-1.25.4.-1.22.0-1.15.1-11.05.5.
An ok start,I came through the opening mile in 5.36.2. which told me a 4th sub 11 repeat probably wasn't going to happen but a negative split of 5.36/5.29 gave me a semi respectable 11.05.5.,when I opened in 11.05.8. on September 10th I could only muster 11.20.3. and 11.49.7. on #2 and #3,how much stronger am I now some 5 weeks later?

#2 repeat 1.20.5.-1.23.6.-1.24.8.-1.25.3.-1.25.3.-1.25.8.-1.26.9.-1.19.3.-11.11.8.
Coming through the mile in 5.34.3. it looked like I might challenge my opening 11.05.5. but somehow it managed to get away from me,I'm not sure I've ever strung together three almost identical splits like I did on laps 4,5 and 6.

#3 repeat 1.21.0.-1.25.0.-1.25.1.-1.27.3.-1.26.4.-1.26.0.-1.27.2.-1.14.0.-11.12.3.
Well if nothing else at least I was consistent,not just on #3 but throughout the entire 24 laps,if I could've keep laps 4 and 7 at 1.26 and not 1.27 I would've crept under the 11.11.8. on #2

While obviously disappointed I couldn't duplicate my previous outing(10.48.3. 10.54.5. 10.43.4.) that came as a result of 6 weeks of consistent chipping away at the previous weeks times it would be naive to think a three week absence from repeats would afford me the luxury of steeping back in where I left off,not to mention having to cope w/ a very strong headwind throughout most of the entire workout.
That said this still represents my second best set of splits on this workout and unlike the Sept 10th drop off after opening in 11.05.8. today I hung in there.

Another race next Saturday, Masters 5k xc in Rochester means I only have one more crack at the 3x2 mile repeat on October 29th b4 the Bridge Run,let's hope for a lot less wind that Saturday and the same level of consistency as today

Thursday, October 13, 2011

There Must Be An Irish Pub In Tallinn

"You dust the bottles on the bar counter you're writing screenplays on the side
Three nights a week can keep a girl workin sometimes it's good to lose your pride
These things we do to keep the flame burning and write our fire in the sky
Another day to see the wheel turning another avenue to try
It's in the luck of the draw baby the natural law
Forget those movies you saw little baby it's in the luck of the draw,the natural law"

Luck Of The Draw-Bonnie Raitt

Yes folks we're heading to Estonia,given the choices of Turkey,Bosnia,Montenegro or Estonia Ireland drew Estonia in the Euro 2012 playoffs this morning in Poland which is one of the two choices I would have made,Turkey in Istanbul will be hostile as all hell,Bosnia pushed France all the way in their qualifying group and only lost out on top spot by a single point,that left Montenegro or Estonia,neither are push overs but given Ireland's 1.4 playoff record since 95{losses to Holland,Belgium,Turkey and France and one victory over Iran in 01 to reach the 02 World Cup finals}we needed a slice of luck and got it w/ a trip to Estonia on November 11th and the return leg at home in Dublin on November 15th.

Another grey and overcast evening as I ran my 6 miles to put me at 30 miles for the week going into my rest day tomorrow{heading over to The Keswick at Glenside to get Howard Jones tickets for next Thursday}we'll have to wait and see what Saturday brings and my 3x2mile repeats.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Europe, After The Rain

"It's time to walk again it's time to make our way through the fountained squares and the collonades
Your dress is shimmering,your voice is hiding things when you say I've hardly changed
In europe after the rain when the nights are warm and the summer sways"

Europe After The Rain-John Foxx

The first autumnal day I've felt this fall,grey and overcast w/ the heavy threat of rain,so much so that I opted for my baseball cap and jacket but managed to get the recovery run in b4 the rain fell,the rib cage issue didn't play up today but on a recovery run it really shouldn't,tomorrow will be an easy 6 miler and Friday is my rest day so we'll have to wait to see what Saturdays 3x2 mile repeats bring regarding this rib cage issue.

After losing to Wales in the Rugby World Cup quarter finals on Saturday Ireland has something to cheer in soccer,needing a draw last nite in Dublin vs Armenia "Gio's Green & White Army" reached the Euro 2012 playoffs w/ a 2.1 win to put them in Thursdays playoff draw along w/ Portugal,Croatia,Czech Republic,Turkey,Bosnia,Montenegro and Estonia,anyone of them will be difficult,we've been spared Portugal,Croatia and Czech Rep as along w/ them Ireland they are the seeded teams so it's either a trip to Turkey,Bosnia,Montenegro or Estonia on November 12th b4 the return leg at home in Dublin on November 15th,we'll know for sure tomorrow morning at 7am when they make the draw where "the boys in green"are heading I just hope where ever it is there's enough Guinness!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sometimes A Really Good Idea.........

A frustrating evening{at least on the running front}thanks to some sort of stitch like pain under my right rib cage.
I experienced this once b4,it came out of nowhere,hung a round for a few days then disappeared, I'd like it to disappear again now.
It showed up on Sunday early into my easy 12 mile run,at first I though I hadn't given myself enough time to digest breakfast so didn't read too much into it,it showed up again yesterday on my easy 8 miler and it raised a flag,throughout the day today I could feel what ever this thing is even when I wasn't running and for a while I contemplated pushing back my hard 8 miler till tomorrow I figured going for it today was as good a plan as any so I went for it.

3.24 at Cedar & CCP b4 clocking 8.28 at Baltimore Ave,I was 14 seconds behind last weeks split and feeling like I was running compromised compared to last week.
13.22 at Whitby Ave b4 making the turn in 23.55,68 seconds behind last weeks turnaround split.
I already knew I wasn't going to be able to get close to last weeks 44.57.4. and while I didn't throw in the towel I was guilty of not being 100% focused so I wasn't surprised to see my splits continue to slip away from me,35.08 at Whitby Ave,40.08 at Baltimore Ave and 45.45 at CCP and Cedar b4 clocking 49.10.6. at the finish.
Remarkably not my slowest run over the last 7 hard 8 milers,my last hard 8 b4 last week was a 49.16.3. on Sept 13th and when I began these hard 8 milers I opened in 49.46.1.

I'm frustrated that w/ only three quality hard 8 milers left b4 the Bridge Run 10k I pissed this one away but it was something out of my control so I won't beat myself up too much,fingers crossed whatever this rib cage issue is it goes away and soon.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Blast From The Past

A nice easy 8 miler today to not only kick off the week but also get any residual gunk out of my legs from Saturdays St Clare 5m xc.
No race this week so back to the conventional week of training,8,8,8,6,8,12 w/ the intention of tomorrow being a hard 8 and Saturday being a return to 3x2 mile repeats.

Unseasonably warm again today,hell it's mid October I'll wrestle an Alligator to get days like these{see what happens when you blog during "Hart Of Dixie"!!!}in the coming weeks.
While today saw me returning to normal training weeks it was also a day to get back to the tried and tested routine of life,my sister Lynn and brother in law Chris were in Philly over the weekend to visit me on their way to Australia,via Nashville,Argentina and New Zealand,when ever Chris works in Australia they fly west from London and then west back to London.
It's always good to hang w/ any of my family,as I approach the 24 year anniversary of leaving home and coming to America it's nice to connect w/ those guys in person and not over the phone or via the internet,if I didn't appreciate the value of family when I left home at 24 I sure do now at almost 48.
My final words to Lynn and Chris last nite were to give my best wishes to Australia and let them know I'm on my way there in 5 years time for the 2016 WMA C'ships in Perth plus my "guided walkabout" afterwards it's a long way off but I'm already planning for it.

And from the future,to the present and my past after citing Elizabeth Fraser in my Top 20 female vocalists of the 80's my Cocteau Twins songs on my ipod{Heaven Or Las Vegas,Pearly Dew Drops Drop,Sugar Hiccup,Spangle Maker and Song To The Siren technically This Mortal Coil but w/ Liz Fraser on vocals}have been on heavy rotation of late, there's something magical about Liz Fraser's vocals but don't just take my word for it check them out for yourself.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another Week In The Record Books

Another 12 miler to round out another 50 mile week,for those playing along at home or just interested that's 8 weeks in a row of 50 miles a week and 7 weeks of Sunday 12 milers,obviously last Sundays Masters 5k Road race c'ships in Syracuse meant no 12 miler last week.
Won't lie,I was feeling yesterdays 5m xc race a little but was able to do what needed to be done today,glorious day to be out running period but along by the river in the sunshine in October it's a beautiful thing,each Sunday now in October will get treated like it might be the last as predictably these conditions can't last forever but I'll be grateful for each one I get b4 the long sleeve running shirts,running tights and eventually ski hat,thermal gloves and jacket get pulled out of the closet.

So yesterday,my first cross country race in over two and a half years,I initially though my last xc race was the inaugural Jack St Clare 8k xc race in Dec 08 but upon pulling my xc spikes up from the basement I discovered the D tag from Masters Winter Nationals in Derwood Maryland in Feb 09 still on them.
Why the hiatus from xc? coming off my achilles injury in the summer of 09 I wasn't sure xc was the right terrain to race on in the fall of 09,courses like Belmont and Van Cortlandt have a fair amount of gravel to run on,not exactly achilles tender friendly so I side stepped the 09 xc season and last year after the Syracuse Masters 5k Road race C'ships in early October I shut things down initially for 2 weeks which then became 3 b4 using the end of October and November/early December to build base mileage so no xc races last fall,I was kean to get back to xc this fall and offered to "take one for the team" at the St Clare 5 Miler.

This years race had become a college race w/ several college teams entered,fitting given the race is in honour of former Temple coach Jack St Clare and this years field of 85 runners is a far cry from the 08 race that only attracted maybe a dozen or so runners.
It sure wasn't xc weather,75 degrees and sunny as we took to the starting line at 1pm,frankly after getting soaked in 44 degree temps last week in Syracuse I wasn't complaining!!!
I knew not to get "sucked in" at the start and paced myself through the outside loop and opening mile in 5.38.
Second loop meant going up Parachute which is a lot smoother these days but still a bastard hill to negotiate on the 5k or 5m course,back out of the woods and up Flagpole a second time,after the fustercluck the first time the field had thinned out considerably the second time.

Entering the woods a third time I heard 17.46 for my three mile split,I think I heard 11.58 at 2 miles and while the field had thinned out at least I wasn't in no mans land as I headed down Dark Road towards the refurbished Nursey Hill section.
I was feeling it now but knew I was near to the more trek up Flagpole,pre race as we jogged the Parachute and Nursery section Chuck mentioned going up Flagpole three times might be tough and while I wasn't dreading it coming out of the woods a final time there was a sense of "fucking ada,Flagpole again!!!"

One runner went by me b4 we exited the woods and while I would've liked to go w/ him my almost 48 year old legs had other ideas,I settled for 50th overall in a field 85 in a time of 31.28.4.
By virtue of this being my first xc 5m race{I have 6 xc 8k races to my credit since 06}it's a pr for what it's worth,I'd like to come back next year a little more xc tough.
To that end there's the Masters 5k xc up in Rochester in 2 weeks time and then maybe a long overdue trip to the Bronx and Van Cortlandt Park in November and then the Brandywine 5k xc just after Thanksgiving b4 calling time on my 11 outdoor season.

A final foot note,if you're in the vicinity of Chestnut Hill College and you see a very disgruntled bunch of runners out there spare a thought for them,GPTC president Bill Kampf is also the coach of Chestnut Hill College and he told them pre race if they didn't beat "a bunch of old guys" from GPTC they'd be doing double workouts.....we finished 8th,they finished 9th.....enjoy those double workouts boys!!!

Jack St Clare 5M XC

Cliff Notes
50th out of 85 runners
1st Masters
GPTC 8th of 9 teams

Considering this has now become a college race I guess the above facts aren't too shabby,of course I'll get sweet FA for being 1st masters finisher but this was just another race on the schedule anyway plus my first cross country race since Masters Winter Nationals in Derwood Md in Feb 09,more detailed account to follow after my 12 miler to round out week 8 of 50 mpw

Friday, October 7, 2011

Top 20 List Time Again

Having just downloaded "The Best Of"by Toyah and "Singles" by Alison Moyet on my ipod and hoping to squeeze "The Very Best Of"Altered Images in (the words Clare Grogan and squeeze seem to the early 80's my ambition was to be Mr Clare Grogan....but like a lot of my foolish hopes and dreams it never came to fruition.....more's the pity!!!!) it got me to thinking about a Top 20 list of 80's female vocalists.
Like all lists it's a personal choice so I'm sure I'll have left off some peoples favourites and also included favourites of my own that wouldn't make other peoples lists but,my blog,my list,my choice........
Submitted for nobody's approval but my own........ and listed alphabetically to try to cut down arguments about the order..................................................................................

1 Alison Moyet
2 Annie Lennox
3 Belinda Carlisle(Go Go's)
4 Chrissie Hynde(Pretenders)
5 Clare Grogan(Altered Images)
6 Elizabeth Fraser(Cocteau Twins)
7 Johnette Napolitono(Concrete Blonde)
8 Kate Bush
9 Kate Pierson(B52's)
10 Kim Wilde
11 Kirsty Maccoll
12 Maria Mckee(Lone Justice)
13 Pat Benatar
14 Rachel Sweet
15 Sade
16 Siouxsie Sioux(Siouxsie & The Banshees)
17 Suzanna Hoffs(The Bangles)
18 Suzanna Vega
19 Terri Nunn(Berlin)
20 Toyah

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Easy Does It

"We must play our lives like soldiers in the field,the life is short I'm running faster all the time
Strength and beauty destined to decay so cut the rose in full bloom
Till the fearless come and the act is done a love like blood, a love like blood
Till the fearless come and the act is done a love like blood,a love like blood
Everyday through all the frustration and despair love and hate fight w/ burning hearts
Till legends live and man is God again and self preservation rules the day no more"

Love Like Blood-Killing Joke

Another easy 6 miler to put me at 30 miles going into Saturday's Jack St Clare xc 5 mile race at Belmont Plateau,my first xc race in almost three years but more of that on Saturday.

By all accounts the Indian Summer we're enjoying will stick around through the weekend,not exactly xc weather....but I'm ok w/ that,one of the reasons I shunned xc for so many years was the memories of being caked in cold mud from xc races when I began running back in 76 it wasn't till I converted back to track in 06 that I fully embraced xc as the natural bridge from the end of outdoor track to indoor track.

No 80's dance nite at Sex Dwarf for me tomorrow nite since I have a race on Saturday,it's a small price to pay but I can hardly be out dancing till 1-2am w/ a race some 12 hours later,one month of no Sex Dwarf won't kill me but to numb the pain I've loaded up ye olde ipod w/ even more 80's tunes including Killing Joke's 1985 classic "Night Time"I'd put it right up there along side The Human League's "Dare" and Japan's "Tin Drum" as quintessential 80's albums and one well worth checking out if you haven't heard it or one worth revisiting if it's been a while since you last got your groove on to "Love Like Blood" or "Kings And Queens"....but don't take just take my word for it hundreds of 80's music fans can't be wrong.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Calling All Masters Milers

I realize it's over three months away but the 45th Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile will take place at Barton Hall on the Cornell campus in Itacha on January 21st 2012.
For those interested in next years race please contact race director Tom Hartshorne at
See you all in Itacha in January

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Taking A Leaf Out Of Mo's Playbook

There's a quote on Mo Farah's website that I'm guessing is his mantra "Go Hard Or Go Home"so w/ 4 weeks of hard training left b4 the Bridge Run I need to make the most of my remaining Hard Tuesday 8 milers.
Having backed off the intensity the last two weeks w/ 5th Avenue Mile and Syracuse on my schedule I elected to go for it tonite,after two less than stellar times in my last 2 hard 8 milers 49.06.3. and 49.16.3. I wanted to at least make tonite respectable.

When I opened in 3.29 I thought back to my Sept 7th run when I opened in 3.26 but fell apart over the second half of the run.....since then I've put in four 50 mile weeks on top of the three I already had and feel much stronger so I said "let's go for it"
8.14 at Baltimore Ave and 12.50 at Whitby Ave these were some fast splits,probably my fastest to date on the 6 hard 8 milers I've done.
22.37 at the turnaround a potential 45.07 which would eclipse my Aug 30th best of 46.37.8. I was a full 59 seconds ahead of that pace and feeling strong.
Granted tonite's conditions were ideal but as each week passes it's going to get a little bit milder each week,I guess a case of making hay while the sun (still) shines!!!
32.26 at Whitby Ave which is my 6 mile mark,another positive for the upcoming 10k in 5 weeks time.
36.52 at Baltimore Ave,sub 45 was a real possibility as long as I didn't tie up over the closing stages of CCP
41.55 at Cobbs Creek Parkway and Cedar Ave,thanks to a clear run and that always helpful rub of the green where traffic lights are involved I got as good a run as I could ask for home to finish in 44.57.4.

A negative split 22.37/22.20 and a 2.20 improvement on my previous best of 46.37.8. I guess I did take a leaf out of Mo Farah's playbook afterall!!
W/ another 3 hard 8 milers on schedule b4 the Bridge Run it'll be interesting to see how much more I can shave off this time,but looking at the smaller picture I now have back to back easy 6 milers and a rest day b4 Saturday's 5 mile xc race at Belmont Plateau as I look to place another piece in the jigsaw.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Third Time's A Charm In Syracuse

My 09 debut in Syracuse was humbling to say the least but it taught me if I ever wanted a fast 5k this was the race to go after it in and last year I geared my season to wind up in Syracuse at the USATF Masters 5k Road race c'ships and lo and behold a pr,15.59 but it shows as 16.00 in the record books as it was rounded up.....bastards!!!!
This year I came in w/ my target race still some 5 weeks away so I knew any thoughts of sub 16.00 were wishful thinking but this year we finally had a M40 team in 09 I think it was just me and Bob Mc Ginty and last year it was me,Bryant Nix and Dave Brown not enough to score in the team race but after convincing Nick Berra to join us in Syracuse and enlisting a newly minted M40 Neill Clark we had a team.....of course this year they changed the team scoring to 3 not 5 but adding Nick really boosted our medal chances even if we didn't have a snowball in hell chance of toppling Atlanta Track Club for gold I'd take silver,in 09 I think our women's 40 and 50 teams both medaled and last year our M50 team took gold so it was time for the M40 team to show up and represent for GPTC.

Syracuse in early October can be brisk and I'm glad I packed my club warm ups and a long sleeved shirt in my bag but I probably should've packed a hat and gloves as I was shivering when we arrived Saturday afternoon for our traditional pre race jog of the course.
When race organiser Dave Oja says he goes out of his way to make this a fast course he's not lying,not only has he found the flatest section of Syracuse for us to race on he marks the course w/ orange paint to show you the tangents to allow you to run a fast time,I don't know too many 5k's that offer that and that's why each year the masters masses migrate to Syracuse in the first weekend of October to do battle.

Leaving the hotel at 7.30am Sunday we were greeted w/ 44 degrees and drizzle,no big I thought,it's only 5k,I've ran further in worse I told myself eying the grey sky as the drizzle bounced off of Nick's windshield as we drove over to the start.
Once there another jog of the course of the course as my warm up jogged w/ my buddy Ron K who was making his Syracuse debut and in search of a pr,if the rain held off he was going to be in luck.......
10 minutes b4 the 8.50am race start the heavens opened,oh well,I've conducted numerous training runs in the rain(and gotten stick for it it should be pointed out)but the reason I do that is if you've trained in the rain and come race day it's raining it shouldn't be an issue,like I tell non runners who look at me like I've got two heads when I dispel their notion that I couldn't possibly run in the rain "it's a bit like standing under a shower,you reach saturation point where you can't get any wetter and just get on w/ it"

From the gun I tucked in behind Dave Cannon he said he was looking a little less than 5.05 pace for the opening mile and we went through in 5.09 which was ideal and while Dave forged ahead I sat back knowing today was about seeing where I'm at right now w/ another 5 weeks till the Bridge Run and my 10k.
8.13 at half way a potential 16.26 in these conditions I'd take it,I forget my 3k time but I saw 10.26 at 2 miles a 5.17 mile I'd end up averaging 5.19 mile target mile pace on my 2 mile repeats is 5.20.......
At 4k I saw 13.14 it was time to go I'd spent most of the race looking at Ron K and Brian Pilcher ahead of me and knew it was now or never if I was going to get to the finish line ahead of them.
W/ 200m to I was probably in 21st place but w/ the finish in sight I dropped the hammer to overtake the seven runner ahead of me including Ron and Brian to finish 14th overall and 5th in the M45-49 age group in 16.30.8.

Even though my time was rounded up to 16.31 it's still my second fastest 5k ever and my two sub 17 5ks are both here at Syracuse,who knows what any of us would've done in dryer conditions,Dave Cannon just missed the American M55 record but Ron K did pr w/ his 16.33.
W/ Atlanta Track Club putting three runners in the top 6 it was no surprise they won the M40 team race but w/ Nick in 8th myself in 14th and Neill in 33rd we did enough to win the silver which I honestly thought we were capable of and it's another National Championship medal to my collection.
W/ 5 more weeks to go till the Bridge Run I have to like my chances of lowering my 84 pr of 34.53 based on this performance providing I can stay illness and injury free I should be more than able to do that off a 16.31 5k let's just hope 44 degrees and rain isn't on the forecast that day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Silver In Syracuse

A longer more detailed account of the Masters 5k Road race will follow but for now here are the cliff notes.
14th overall
5th in the M45-49 division
16.31 rounded up from 16.30.88.
We won silver in the team contest at M40
All this and Spurs won the North London derby vs arsenal 2.1......