Friday, November 16, 2012

Hard Work Never Killed Anybody{But Why Take The Risk}

After taking a lesuirely approach to my b'day on Wednesday and having a "zen like" day.....I became one w/ the recliner and my dvr it was back at it yesterday. Another easy 4 miler around Clark Park,the winded feeling from Monday and Tuesday has now been replaced by a soreness in my legs as they struggle to recognise the "daily grind"....all in good time! Saturday offers the promise of a slightly longer run as I attempt a 6 miler down along the river,w/ the Philly Marathon on Sunday it'd be prudent to avoid the drives so I think Sunday will serve as a rest day b4 hopefully launching into a week of 6 milers on Monday as the clock ticks on Lexington and XC Club Nationals on Dec 8th

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's A Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock And Roll

Wow back to back runs,somebody inform the media!! Another easy 4 miler around Clark Park as I attempt to get my legs back under me,the problem w/ taking time off is that the first couple or runs suck worse than a Dyson upright vaccum I know it's gonna take a few weeks of huffing and puffing b4 I get the three S's speed,strenght and stamina back and while I curse the length of my hiatus for being slightly longer than planned I have to live by the motto"don't do the crime if you can't do the time"!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back In The Saddle Again

To use a time honoured quote if I may "Reports of my demise have been greatly exagerated" No I didn't "run off to join the circus"....why would I when I work in one every day!!!,nor did I join the French Forigen Legion to forget about women....although there have been a few failed relationships over the years that have lead me to consider that option(you know who you are ladies!!!) The simple truth is that the hunger and desire that has driven me to want to be the best runner I can be just wasn't there for the first time in over a decade and being cut from a cloth that can only do things "from the heart" I opted to take a time out rather than go through the motions..... I had no set time limit on my hiatus,I'd find my way back when I was good and ready which turned out to be yesterday...a little longer than I originally planned but that's life sometimes. At no time during my hiatus did the R word (Retirement) come up.....that said I'm somewhat surprised at the ease of my decision to stop doing what has come naturally to me over the last 11 years in a past time/way of life that has taken up 36 of my 49 years on the planet. Tomorrow I turn 49 which means the clock on hitting the big 50 kicks off in earnest,maybe on a subconcious level that has lead to my questioning my running mortallty, if I were the type to celebrate said b'day(I'm not....I think the day means more to my mother than it does to me)and there was cake I fear the 49 candles could be a fire risk and therefore need to post a few fire trucks outside my apartment in case of a gust of wind lit the place on fire!!! It felt good to be back running yesterday,an easy 4 miler looping around trusty Clark Park, a few of those under my belt this week should see me ready to revist "old faithful" and my out and back 6 miler down to Lloyd Hall via the Schuykill Banks come the weekend,I've set myself a modest target of being "race ready" come Dec 8th and XC Club Nationals in Lexington Kentucky....which is more than could be said for my last outing at the Masters 5k Road Race C'ships in Syracuse on Sept 30th where not only did I "sink like a stone" but also pay the price for not putting the required work in in the weeks prior,my performance that day along w/ my attitude to training for it could be summed up in two words.......SHITE.......SHITE! Public humiliation over I've crawled back out of my shell to reclaim my place in the upper echelon of my age group(m45-49) and while I may be the "old man" in the group I'm not toothless and fangless just yet.....there's still life in the old boy yet like I said at the beginning "rumours of my demise have been greatly exagerated"....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Loving Memory

"I didn't know the girl,but I knew her family
all their lives were shattered in a nightmare of brutality
They try to carry on,try to bare the agony
try to hold some faith in the goodness of humanity
As the years went by,we drifted apart
when I heard she was gone
I felt a shodow cross my heart
But she's nobody's hero
the voice of reason against the howling mob
Hero,the pride of purpose
in an unrewarding job
Hero,not the champion player
who plays the perfect game
Not the glamour boy
who loves to sell his name
Everybody's buying
Nobody's Hero"

Nobody's Hero-Rush

In loving memory of  sweet Hannah Coan R.I.P.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Trust Me.....I Know How You Feel Puss!

I said when I returned to work on Aug 12th after a well earnt week and a half off that it was probably only a matter of time b4 I got pissed only took a month!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Props to Andy Murray for winning his first grand slam title at the US Open last nite,it'd been a long time coming for the Scot but like his coach Ivan Lendel b4 him he had to lose 4 finals b4 finally gaining that elusive first one,you can add Andy Murrays name to an ever growing list of potential winners of the year ending BBC Sports Personality Of The Year w/ his performances at Wimbledon,The Olympics and now the US Open.

For my part Monday was an easy out and back 6 miler to Lloyd Hall and back w/ only another 12 days of summer officially left on the callender I'm trying to enjoy the sun and the running three S's shades,shorts,sleeveless while I still can pretty soon it'll be time to dig out the short sleeves,ditch the shades and maybe bust out the 3/4 length bottoms b4 conceeding defeat to "Old Man Winter" and having to throw on warm ups and running tights and my blood chills at the very mention of ski hat and gloves.......

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sealed W/ A Glasgow Kiss

A double header....pun very much intended!!!
First up,Shock!Horror!!Probe!!!"Forde In Track Repeat Sensation"....I know I was shocked also!!!!
After a six week hiatus that was as much bad luck,bad weather w/ a little bad athlete thrown in I got my sorry behind over to Temple.....YES I still remember how to get there!!!
Rather than pussyfoot around w/ the new repeat 8x300,200,300 I went for the gusto and all eight,no point dipping ones toe in the shallow end when a full blooded deep end cannonball will surfice......Geronimo!!!

Despite a brief hiatus from all things interval I feel I did rather well period plus keeping all 32 repeats w/in the range I set.
In time ie when I get a few of these under my belt I'd like to shoot for sub 55-35-55 today being my debut I felt that was a tad rich even for my pagan blood,but 60-40-60 was too soft so some middle ground would work and I feel that's what I got.....along w/ another choice blister on one of my toes and a bandana and dri fit shirt drenched in sweat,trust me I earnt my 64 oz Double Gulp Gatorade post work.....oh thank heaven for 7-11 indeed!!!

At a time when my favourite time traveller is back on tv I did a little time travel of my own...w/out ther aid of Tardis....parking it on Spring Garden St would've been a bitch.......
The last time I saw the pride of East Kilbride Glasgow,the battlin' Reid brothers aka The Jesus & Mary Chain was in 1994 on the "Stoned & Dethroned" tour
Five years later they called it a day only to {semi}resolve their differences eight years later and return to touring but trust me the "sibling rivalry" is still simmering just below the surface,I love Oasis and the Black Crowes but neither band does bickering brothers like Jim and William Reid!!!
I was somewhat surprised post show that some people complained about the feedback and distortion.....hello this is the Jesus And Mary Chain who began their career playing 20 minute sets of nothing but feedback and distortion b4 storming off stage,at least we now get a 75 minute 17 song set list.

The music landscape has shifted somewhat since Jesus & Mary Chain first showed up almost 30 years ago,but the sold out crowd at Union Transfer on Saturday nite proved Jim and William Reid sre still relevant and in the day and age of boy bands and "bubble gum pop" music there's still a clamouring for guitar based angst fueled Scottish in your face rock and roll

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Somewhere I Belong

8x300,200,300 repeats @ Temple

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Road To Rio Starts Here

Seems hard to believe it was just over two years ago we crowned Spain World Cup champions in South Africa and now here we are getting ready for another World Cup quallifying tournament to see who makes it to Brazil in the summer of 2014.
That means digging out the atlas and working out where the likes of Moldova and Kazikstan are located and how the hell do you fly there!!!

While all that was going on I did something I don't normally do and ran on a Friday,having pissed away much of the early part of the week it seemed stupid to cite Friday as a rest day so post chores{Jesus And Mary Chain ticket for tomorrow....PSYCHED!!!}and food shopping I was out an hour later than normal to get my out and back six miler in.

Let me tell ya,it felt like Rio out there!88 degrees at 5.15pm as I worked up one hell of a sweat albeit on an easy run but it felt good to be out running again and also knowing post run it was an easy nite,shower,shave and a big bowl of Chiii and the final Diamond League meet of the season in Brussels....there's much to be said for the "quiet life" and finding pleasure in the simple things in life.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting My Arse In Gear

I have no excuse for not running on Wednesday other than being lazy and having gotten into bad habits over the past few days,my ex coach used to talk about it being "better to being a little under trained than over trained" going into a race but w/ 5th Avenue Mile just over two weeks away I'm crossing that fine line from being under trained to be plain lazy,I should've ran Wednesday but got cozy w/ the recliner and the US Open on tv and w/ it another training run shot to shit.....if ever I needed a foot up the arse I was about to get it in the form of the Paralympics.

First off I have to say I'm peeved that the Paralympics get next to no tv coverage,I realize there are no "household names" in the Paralympics but these athletes go above and beyond the call of duty to perform and sitting in my recliner watching some of the brief tv coverage{thank you NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports}I got the equivilant of a 2 by 4 between the eyeballs watching them compete in London,here they are missing,etc and I piss and moan about not running in the rain......HELLO REALITY CHECK!!!!!

Surfice to say come Thursday evening,a week since my last run I got my arse in gear got into my running clothes and out the door for an easy out and back six miler.
It felt good to do what I'm supposed to do and maybe a dose of reality was what I needed to shake me up,having pissed away the past week it would seem churlish to envoke my 'day off' mantra tomorrow so it'll be a rare Friday run for yours truly in the hopes of springboarding me to the track on Saturday,something that hasn't happened since Nationals a month ago.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thieves,Blagards And Scroundrels

Apologies for not setting the blogasphere alight sofar this month.....seems someone told the weather gods September is the new April!!!!
I probably could've gotten in a run on Tuesday I might've gotten caught in the final mile w/ a downpour but better the final mile of a six miler than the opening mile,but given I was "housebound" all weekend the siren call of the laundromat was calling on Tuesday,personally I feel clean clothes are underrated and while no slave to fashion{have you seen my wardrobe??!!} "Hobo Chic" is NOT the fall look I'm trying to capture so "fluff and fold" won out over a run Tuesday!!!

One plus of being stuck indoors all weekend was a chance to put my feet up and watch tv and catch up w/ my dvr,the new fall season is about to kick off so said dvr will be working overtime.
Once again the chaps at BBC America have produced another fine televisual feast this time in the guise of "Copper"
Set in Five Points New York City in 1864 just after the Civil War the show centers around one of "New York's finest" Kevin Cocoran as he tries to uphold the law and also try to unravel the mystery of who murdered his daughter and where his missing wife is,the plot thickens w/ each episode and w/out wishing to give too much away you'll love the outcome of episode two when "Corky" dishes out his own unique brand of justice......

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Dog Days Are Over

"Run fast for your mother and fast for your father
Run for your children,for your sisters and your brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
Can't carry love w/ you if you want to survive
The dog days are over,the dog days are done
Can you hear the horses cause here they come"

Dog Days Are Over-Florence & The Machine

Bit of a watershed weekend September 1st tomorrow means the so called "Dog Days Of August" are behind us and w/ this weekend marking Labor Day and the "unofficial" end of summer{according to the callender Fall begins Sept 22nd}cooler training conditions.
Good tempo run last nite a 9 second improvement on last weeks 55.47,57.38 and I still feel I can get better even if time is running out on my tempo runs b4 base building starts in a months time.

As is my won't no major plans for the long weekend,some rest would be nice,nailing my three training runs,catching some tennis from the US Open and the weekend footie from around europe.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

8.4 Mile Tempo Run Art Museum Loop

Mile 1 6.30
Mile 2 13.19
Mile 3 20.13
Mile 4 27.25
Mile 5 34.xx
Mile 6 41.25
Mile 7 48.22
Mile 8 55.13
Finish 57.38

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


A week,it is often said is a long time in politics,it can also be a long time in running....just not as boring or ugly.....spoken like true runner not a politico!!!
Last weeks hill repeats here on Belmont Plateau left a lot to be desired by my own standards and I sought to correct that last nite upon my return to "the scene of the crime"

I must be getting smarter in my old age as I took the #64 bus over to Belmont & Parkside cutting three quarters of the "yomp" over there off,I also made sure to get two loops in as my warm up and only one for my cool down,trust me on my final trek up Flagpole I was feeling it below the knees I could've made it up there one more time in a pinch.....but it would've been ugly!!

As for the repeats,chalk and cheese,apples and oranges,nite and day,black and white might best discribe this week compared to last week,overall a 24 second improvement on last week,possibly 25,I said following my 4th place finish at Nationals in the 1,500m I'd get a lot of mileage out of that over the coming off season and driving hard along the top of Flagpole to reach the finish I overshot the base of the Flagpole where said hill gets its name from.

Fingers crossed back again next week,but at two repeats I'm already one up on last season.....told you I was serious about laying the ground work at the end of my season going into my off season

6xFlagpole Hill Repeats @ Belmont Plateau


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Red In The Bed

Well the good news is I've found a bed to replace my old one,sadly said bed doesn't come w/ Russian super model Irina Shaykhlislamova.....and BELIEVE me I was willing to pay extra for that when the salesperson asked if I needed anything to go w/ the bed....hey don't ask don't get!!

Easy 6 miler out and back along Schuylkill Banks in the early evening,for a day that only topped 85 degrees I worked up one hell of a sweat.....maybe it was subliminal thinking about Irina I don't know??

Given the less than seemless transition back to full training following my taper b4 Nationals and week off I'm rethinking taking another week off post Syracuse and launching into my preposed base mileage program of 10 weeks of 60mpw,were I to begin the day after Syracuse on Oct 1st I'd be all done Dec 9th the day after XC Club Nationals which then dovetails into Indoor season something to ponder and take my mind off the devine Ms Shayklislamova!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bed Bugs And Ballyhoo

Sadly for the second weekend in a row I failed to make it to a track for repeats which is a kick in the teeth but by days end ranked a distant second in the general scheme of life......
So what pray tell could be more important than a repeat session? I hear you ask dear reader.....

It would appear I'm in the market for a new I'd love to spin tales of rampant,back breaking, gravity defying tantric sex w/ a string of leggy Vegas showgirls,or one Russian supermodel repeatedly{we should all be THAT lucky!!!] but the truth will sadly always outweigh the myth no matter how mundane the truth is and the sad fact is I have bedbugs!
I suspected something was up last week when I awoke to find numerous bites on my lower torso my first guess was a mosquito but upon closer inspection of the mattress last nite I felt like David Attenborough on a World Wild Life show discovering a frickin colony of the bastards,surfice to say the offending mattress will going out to the curb on trash day and yours truly will be in the market for a new bed{and a Russian super model to help christen it.....SORRY I couldn't resist!!!!}

While finding a new bed is reasonably low on my list of "worst things in the world" there's the issue of paying for it nor to mention having it delivered etc etc but having been bitten to pieces the last couple of nites not to mention trying to sleep on the bedroom floor last nite it seems a small price to pay.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Switchin' & Bitchin'

Following my token day off on Friday the plan was a trek over to Temple's track this morning for 6x600m repeats.....HOWEVER!
I guess I must've been tired last nite when I went to bed at 10.15pm during Fox Soccer News and figured I'd wake of my own accord to get up at a semi decent time to make it over to Temple this morning.....
Crawling out of my slumber by 10.10am I was already at least 90 mins behind schedule so I opted to switch things up since my Sunday "long run" is only 10 miles I figured I could do that this afternoon and hit Temple tomorrow morning for my repeats.

Must say it felt weird not to be on the track on a Saturday I'm normally doing repeats or racing but sometimes it's good to switch the old routine up,here's hoping for some decent times on the track tomorrow w/ the 600s
My change of plan meant being able to watch the Spurs West Brom game live instead of dvring it.....frankly I wish I hadn't seen it as we managed to piss away all three points in the dying minutes and allow the visitors a draw thanks to some schoolboy defending,I know it's early days yet but 1 point from the opening 2 games is hardly Champions League form,could be worse Southampton and Aston Villa have bugger all to show from their opening two games.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Art Museum Loop

Mile 1 6.40
Mile 2 13.30
Mile 3 20.12
Mile 4 27.xx
Mile 5 33.55
Mile 6 40.03
Mile 7 47.xx
Mile 8 55.15
Finish 57.47

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Redcoats Are Coming

Following nine trips up Flagpole on Tuesday{1 in warm up,6 in the repeats,2 in the cool down}I could be forgiven for taking if not the road less travelled at least something flat on my 6 mile recovery run yesterday afternoon!
8.4 tempo run around the Art Museum Loop on tap this afternoon.

So that mix tape that kicked off my delve back into circa 94-96 Brit Pop "The Redcoats Are Coming" is as follows:
Trouble In The Message Center-blur

Round Are Way

Mile End
Common People-Pulp


Hey Dude
Tattva-Kula Shaker

Sour Times
Wandering Star-Portishead

I Wanna be Adored
Ten Storey Love Song-Stone Rose

#1 Crush

Stop Whispering
Fake Plastic Tree-Radiohead

I Want To Touch You
Crank-Catherine Wheel

Sale Of The Century-Sleeper

Given the likes of Verve,Beth Orton,Stereophonics,Manic Street Preachers,Catatonia,Happy Mondays,Coldplay and PJ Harvey didn't make the cut I suspect a "The Redcoats Are Coming Again" mix is in the works......

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No Julie Andrews,But The Hills Were Alive W/ The Sound Of Music

Stop The Presses! Forde in back to back workouts!!!
I know it's crazy but what are you going to do right!following last weeks rain out I made the 50 min walk over to Belmont Plateau to conduct the first of hopefully five sets of hill repeats,not sure if I'll mix it up or stick to the tried and tested 6xFlagpole between now and Sept 17th.
I had hoped to keep the repeats between 2.10-2.15 which seemed reasonable period but also given that my lone venture on the hills of Belmont Plateau last August yeilded a:2.12.2-2.13.4-2.14.8-2.15.9-2.10.4-2.10.8.return it felt like an acheivable goal.....

Given this was my first repeat of any sort since July 29th maybe I can be forgiven for falling short on repeats #2,#4,#5 and #6,I blame a "brain fart" on #2 as I spent more time pondering what my mileage would come out to rather than focus on said yomp up Flagpole,another symptom of not being "in sync" just yet.
While my weeek off post Nationals felt warrented if not well deserved it has meant having to "kickstart" everything,getting back into a 40mpw/6 days a week mindset and focusing on my actual repeats not hoping "auto pilot" will cut the mustard,based on yesterday afternoons times that clearly is not the case,here's hoping next Tuesday I'm a little more Kate Bush and "running up that hill to make a deal w/ God"

So yeah the music reference,a funny thing happened towards the end of July on my last trip to New York City for the Tuesday Nite Speed Series at Ichan Stadium.
I was experiencing "technical difficulties" w/ my ipod and pc so I went"old school" and dug out my walkman and a couple of mix tapes to keep me ticking over on the bus ride to the Big Apple and back.{after my trials and tribulations this year on the bus I've come to embrace the Boy Scout credo "Be prepared"!!!}
I happened to lay my hands on two "Brit Pop" mixes,"The Red Coats Are Coming" and "All Things Brit And Beautiful" a eclectic mix of the likes of:blur,Oasis,Bush,Radiohead,Stereophonics,Verve,Stone Roses,PJ Harvey,Elastica and Coldplay etc and I have to say it reawoke my love of the whole "Brit Pop" era in the mid 90's{I feel old just saying that!!} and it's been fun to revist those mixes and subsequent cds{ just as I begun this last sentence Coldplay's "God Put A Smile On Your Face" came on the radio.....I'm not making this shit up I swear!!!}

6XFlagpole @ Belmont Plateau


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Courting The South American Vote

Ok so this is the last of my Olympic babes....scouts honour!
Luciana Aymar showed up on my radar somewhere during the Olympics....if ever there was a case for more coverage of Field Hockey on tv during the summer games Ms Aymar is a strong reason wouldn't you agree???"jolly hockey sticks"indeed!!

Method to my madness in the last two days featuring South American honeys,outside of Brazil Kevinrunningfree seems to fall flat in South America so maybe featuring some of the finer women of Argentina,Peru,Colombia,Venezuela,Paraguay,Uruguay,Boliva,Chile and Ecuador will remedy this space!!!

Welcome To The Whole Week....He Said Hopefully!

Fingers crossed this week will run....period muchless smoother than last week!
I always feel it's a psychological leg up{for me at least}if I get Monday's run in,the mind set is that it starts the week off on the right foot and one can hopefully build upon that.....didn't quite work out that way for me last week when the rain bollocksed up my plans but yesterday was a typial late August sunny warm but no humdity kind of afternoon which allowed for an enjoyable easy 6 miler out and back along the Schuylkill Banks to Lloyd Hall and Boathouse Row and jump starting the week off nicely.I just need to get my hill repeats in tomorrow at Belmont Plateau.

I hit upon this last week how summer is drawing to it's enevitable close,Precious is a lot more of a "lap cat" now that he heat and humidity are dying off,she's also discovered that the cupboard next to the oven is a warm place to curl up in,she's not daft!!
After weeks of just a sheet on the bed I threw a comforter cover on the bed last nite as I'd noticed a dip in the temps the nite b4,I hope to sample and enjoy Fall a little b4 winter rears it's ugly head but as the dog days of summer become a memory and the nites get darker sooner it's safe to say that cheque is in the mail.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Opps! My Bad

Self confessed track geek that I am I have a record of the medalists from all major track and field c'ships dating back to the 2001 World C'ships in Edmonton Canada.
While dotting i's and crossing t's on London 2012 over the weekend a stunning oversight on my part was brought to my attention....
Great love of my life Darya Kilishina did NOT make the Russian women's Long Jump team and ergo should not have made my top ten list of Olympic Track babes.
I offer no appologies for any photos of Darya I post,the girl is molton hot yes?? but technically she shouldn't have made my top ten list so allow me to add a name and photo to said list......drumroll please.

Paraguyan Javelin thrower Leryn Franco who granted failed to reach the final would make that list....the fact she didn't make the final is niether here nor there when she looks this smoking hot I'm sure you'll agree.......
Miss Franco it should come as no great surprise is also a model and was runner up in the Miss Bikini Universe a few years back{I swear it's the truth I'm not making this up there is too such a contest as Miss Bikini me I've done my research.....maybe you should also??}

Let's Try This Again

In a week that saw two days missed due to the rain the fact I struck out twice trying to find a track to conduct 6x600m repeats on Saturday should come as no great surprise.
I had thought I could squeeze another week or two out of St Joe's track b4 the fall semester begins after Labor Day but thought wrong,upon my arrival there was girls soccer practice on the infield usually a red flag for any activity on the surrounding track,sure enough after getting my mile warm up in I was politely informed by the campus security guard that said track was off limits.....
I arrived at Lower Merion's high school track an hour later to find my fallback track also off limits......@!#$

The plan was hit Temple's track Sunday morning but the simple truth was after rousing myself from a sound nites sleep my "get up and go" and gotten up and gone and a week that only yielded two easy out and back 6 milers ground to a halt faster than a British Leyland factory on it's afternoon tea break!!
I'm not going to beat myself up too much over it{I'm comfortable in the knowledge there are several out there who'll do that for me!} lost miles are a lost cause once they've gone they've gone and chasing after them isn't going to bring them back.

Hopefully this week will see me get back into my regular 40mpw/6 days a week routine and my impromptu down week will be a distant memory.
Along the lines of pleasent memories I went to see the movie "Ruby Sparks" on Saturday and utterly enjoyed it.
I've always maintained my "art house movie snob" attitude may limit the number of movie I catch in a year but I'd sooner see a dozen well made films than two dozen movies just for the sake of seeing a movie.
There was a great quote from one of the two producers of "Ruby Sparks" who said he'd rather make movies that people will remember than movies people have forgotten about from the time they leave the movie theather to get in their car,in "Ruby Sparks" he did the former,of the 6 movies I've seen this year "Ruby Sparks" is far and above the best of them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Top Ten Olympic Track Babes

Jessica Ennis-Heptathlon
Dubbed the face of the British Olympic track team...and in my humble opinion also the body,Jessica delivered over the opening two days of the track and field events,but then again she's always delivered in my opinion!

Ivet Lalova-100m
More often than not the sole European in the 100M finals w/ America,Jamicia,Carribian,African opposition the "Sweetie From Sofia" always scores big w/ yours truly!

Yelana Isinbayeva-Pole Vault
No gold or World Record for "Izzie" in London but frankly she's been there done that and got the tshirt to prove it,still one of my favourite athletes,plus she's Russian,need I elaborate??

Olga Rypakova-Triple Jump
Putting Baltic nations on the map w/ her Triple Jump gold and one of the few athletes to win Indoor Worlds and Olympic gold this season

Hannah England-1,500M
Unable to build on her silver at Worlds last year Hannah can claim to be the reason on of the miniture minis on the infield when off schedule as it's operater was admittedly too busy watching her race!!!

Darya Klishina-Long Jump
Most regular readers of my blog know my love for Darya Klishina,sadly not enough tv coverage devoted to the prelims of the Long Jump to introduce her to a wider global audiance.

Anna Chicherova-High Jump
The third Russian in my top ten,w/ no Blanka Vlasic to compete in the High Jump Anna had Gold and Honey rites sewn up.

Ancuta Bobocel-3,000M Steplechase
Sadly Romania's Ancuta Bobocel failed to advance from the prelims shame as Romania plays a close second to Russia when it comes to female athletes for moi.

Amy Acuff-High Jump
I once lay next to Amy Acuff......seriously in the athletes area at Madison Square Garden b4 a Millrose Games we were on the floor stretching....Amy probably didn't notice me....I on the other hand have NEVER forgotten it!!!

Tori Pena-Pole Vault
American transplant now Pole Vaulting for Ireland,if Izzie days are numbered at least I've got Tori and Allison Stokes to look forward to cheering for

Thursday, August 16, 2012

All Hail The Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday Precious!
"Little Miss Bitey Puss" is two years old today,hard to believe it's 20 months since I adopted the "little bundle of fur" who fit in the palm of my hand that nite,she was so tiny and so sweet I named her Precious,Precious by name and by nature and it's been a good relationship between us,as I look at her curled up asleep on the living room floor I consider myself lucky to have her,not sure if she feels the same way but I think she knows where her Catnip is buttered these days.....lucky girl!

After two days of riding the pine due to the rain I was back out there this evening,I opted for another easy 6 miler having lost my hill repeats on Tuesday I knew my target of 40mpw was shot and when yesterday got washed out I knew that this week would now serve as my "transition week"
W/ another 6 miler lost yesterday there seemed no need to go w/ a 8 mile tempo run tonite,providing I make my track repeats on Saturday and 10 miler on Sunday I'll have 26 miles for the week,6 more than last week and a nice bridge back to my 40mpw target next week.
Easy enough run this evening ideal conditions sunny and 85 degrees,mid August I've probably got another 2.5 months of warm weather training b4 the dreaded F word...Fall.

Top Ten Olympic Babes

The hardest part was picking which member of the womens Brazil volleyball team would make it on to my list,Shelia had the TGW factor going for her....Tall Glass Of Water
Show of hands,who'd like to see Shelia on the Beach Volleyball team in Rio 2016??!!!

Paola Espinoza-Diving
She may have only won the silver in the 10M Highboard but Mexico's Paola Espinoza was one of two golden girls from the event....

Aliya Mustafana-Gynmastics
Two words....Russian gymnast....nuff said....oh yeah she's got a firey temper....I'm SOOO in love w/ her,plus she has a dismount named after her too.

Melissa Wu-Diving
I don't recall Melissa at Beijing as a sixteen year old,four years later she made a splash w/ me and I antisipate her being in Rio.

Marlen Esparaz-Boxing
Prince said it best in "You've Got The Look" "I've never seen a pretty girl look so tough"
Tough as nails but sexy is a tough combo but Marlen is a knockout!

Lauren Jackson-Basketball
Another "Tall Glass Of Water" the leggy baller from down under has been the best thing about womens Olympic basketball since Sydney 2000,she can slam dunk me any day!!

Linn Sulland-Handball
No jokes about ball handling please the leggy daughter of a Norse god scored six or seven goals in Norways gold medal match.....she shoots,she scores!!!

Evgeniya Kanaeva
Two time gold medalist in Rhythmic Gymnastics,never mind "Happy Pills" next time you feel down find a You Tube clip of a Evgeniya Kanaeva routine,if that doesn't get the blood circulating you may be dead!!

Catalina Ponor- Gynmastics
B4 anyone comes down on me like a ton of brick for putting a gymnast on my top ten list relax Catalina is 24 and her floor exercise should come w/ a Surgeon General health warning.........

Logan Tom-Volleyball
It was rumoured after Athens or Beijing Logan Tom would switch from Volleyball to Beach Volleyball,Rio 2016???

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Top Ten Olympic Track Moments

Again in no particular order

10 USA Relays
While the USA tend to own the 4x400m relays the same can not be said of the 4x100m in recent years,dropped batons,exchanges not made or made outside the exchange zone,London saw the women smash the 1985 World Record and the men beat the old world record but not Usain Bolt and co.
Kudos to the lead off leg in the mens 4x400m prelim running w/ a broken tibula and getting the baton around to allow the men to reach the final,silver was above what they could've expected w/ an already depleated squad.

9 Felix Sanchez 400H
After winning in Athens in 04 Sanchez had become the almost forgotten man of the 400H but pulled off one of the upsets of London 2012 w/ a stunning defeat of world champion Dai Greene and #1 this year Javier Culson
Unable to hold back the tears on the podium the double Olympic champion broke down and wept for his grandmother who died prior to the 08 Beijing games this after unpining her photograph from his running bib after crossing the finish line.

8 Ezikiel Kemboi 3000M S/C
Anyone who witnesssed his victory in the World Championships last summer knew to expect a dance from the Kenyan when he crossed the finish line ahead of the field and kept the proud Kenyan steplechase Olympic record alive.....few could've expected him to leap into the arms of runner up Medi Mekhissi Benabbad and offer to swap running vests a la soccer players....maybe that's the trick to getting a Kenya running vest, race one of them???

7 Liu Xiang 110H
After winning gold in Athens the whole of China waited four years for one of their favoured sons to deliver the gold on home soil in Beijing,alas injury meant he never cleared a hurdle in his opening round.
Fast forward four years and coming off a controversal silver at Worlds where several including me thought had he not been impeaded by Dyron Robles he'd have won gold,the big man once again failed to clear a hurdle as he crashed into the first barrier.
A fourth Olympics seems unlikely maybe that's why he hopped down the track outside lane 9 to kiss the Olympic symbol atop the final hurdle b4 hopping to the finish line.

6 Allyson Felix
Three World Championship 200m golds but two Olympic silvers at the same distance,always the Olympic bridesmaid but never the bride till London,the 100m trial dead heat controversy seemed long forgotten when the likeable US sprinter finally stood atop the Olympic podium after the 200m

5 Kirani James & Oscar Pistorious Swap Running Bibs
Kirani James showed respect beyond his years{in Daegu last year he became the youngest ever World Champion at 18}when he unpinned his running bib post 400m semi final and asked Oscar Pistorious for his in return.
At a time when winning and all the fame and wealth that comes w/ it are sometimes all that people focus on Kirani James proved the spirit of the Olympics is very much alive and well.

4 Usain Bolt 100M,200M,4X100M
Lightning couldn't strike twice at the Olympics could it? it could when Jamacia's ''Lightning Bolt" was the lightning in question.
Some thought his dq in last summers 100m final and Jamacian Olympic trial defeats to friend and training partner Yohan Blake would undermine his attemps to retain the three Olympic titles he won almost uncontested four years the big man said 'I keep telling you I'm #1,you keep doubting me"who doubts him now??

3 Jessica Ennis Heptathlon
Forced to sit out the heptathlon in Beijing ''Our Jess" won the event a year later in Berlin at Worlds,only to finish runner up last summer in Dagau and runner up at this years Indoor Worlds in Istanbul,some clamed she was over weight{wot???}the heaviest thing about the lovable Yorkshire lass is the Olympic gold around her neck,read em and weap haters!!!

2 Mo Farah 5,000m 10,000m
Following his silver in the 10k and gold in the 5k at last years Worlds the weight of the nation was on Mo,losing four races in a row indoors including the Indoor World Championships 3,000m had some doubting if Mo was upto the challenge,looks like all those Oregon workouts w/ training partner Galen Rupp paid off and who knew a man named Mohamed would win the hearts of the British public?

1 David Rushida 800m
There's a reason I don't do Olympic predictions,for all my knowledge of all things track and field,of the 44 track and field events in London I only got 18 right....HOWEVER one of my correct predictions was David Rushida in the 800m.
I said unless he got hit by a double decker bus I couldn't see him getting beaten in the 800m and I felt post Olympics at either Zurich or Brussels in the Diamond League he'd break his own world record.....I think come Zurich or Brussels he becomes the first man to run a sub 1.40 800m,all hail King David.

A Sobering Thought

It's not often "mother nature" gets the upper hand but yesterday was one such day.
I have no real problem w/ running in the rain,as a good friend of mine Roberta used to say about growing up and training in Belfast "if I only ran on good days,I'd have never ran at all"....
The issue yesterday was more that in order to conduct hill repeats at Belmont Plateau I'd have to walk over there to run which is a couple of miles to start w/,the skies looked forboding to begin w/ and sure enough w/in fiveteen minutes of getting in from work the heavens opened,I'm more than fine w/ running in the rain but walking to in the rain b4 I start to run.....not so much!!!

The afternoon at home did allow me the chance to catch NBC Sports Networks Olympic Mens Spints a look back at the 100m,200m and 400m finals plus 4x1 and 4x4 relays and also reflect on the fact yesterday was the 25th anniversary of when I stopped drinking.
Being sober for the last 24 years has altered my life in ways I can't explain,hard to believe what now comes as natural as breathing{not drinking one day at a time} was such an alien concept back then but that nite on Aug 14th 1988 when I took my last drink in a rat infested burnt out shell of a house was the catalyst of me putting down the bottle and picking up the pieces of my life,granted it's not perfect but I'm sober and I'll take that anyday over the alcoholic haze my life had been up untill then,long may it continue one day at a time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten Olympic Moments

10 Opening and Closing Ceremony
Pomp and Circumstance are two things Britain does well,they showed the world in the opening and closing ceremony just how well,do you think the President of Brazil will leap out of a helicopter when Rio 2016 opens?

9 Michael Phelps
Can there be any doubt that "The Peoples Republic Of Phelpistan" is the greatest Olympian of all time?22 medals roughly 7 per games the data speaks for it's self.

8 Tom Daley's Bronze
At 18 the public weight of expectation on Tom Daleys shoulders was emence and after failing to medal in the syncronized platform diving he had to deliver in the 10m Platform Dive....he did leading going into the final round he had to settle for bronze but at 18 you have to figure on at least two more Olympics for him.

7 Britain's First Gold
After the first four days the hosts had yet to win a gold but on day five a pair of rowers won the first of 29 Olympic golds for Team GB and the rest as they say was history

6 Andy Murrey Wins The Tennis Gold
Just four weeks after losing to Roger Federer on Center Court in the Wimbledon final Andy Murrey beat Federer in straight sets to win the Olympic gold....just like I predicted...just saying!

5 Miniture Mini's On The Infield Of The Olympic Stadium
The Mini Cooper a symbol of British motoring provided a novel way to retreve field event items hammer,javelin,shot put and discus,a touch of genius on someones part.

4 USA Canada Women's Soccer Semi Final
Some soccer fans say Olympic soccer lacks the punch of regular soccer,anyone who witnessed USA vs Canada at Old Trafford in the semis would argue otherwise, a classic match.

3 Katie Taylor Wins Gold For Ireland
Women's boxing was new to these Olympics,Katie Taylor bore the weight of a nation as it's best shot for Olympic gold and she delivered,the roar of a prodominately Irish crowd at the Excel Center was deafening when she won.

2 Misty May and Kerri Threepeat
America's sweethearts from Beach Volleyball in Athens and Beijing proved that older can be better,they will be missed on the beaches of Rio in 2016...but not by the rest of the women's beach volleyball players....

1 Sam Mikulak Kissing The Pommel Horse
After his two routines on the always tricky Pommel Horse Sam Mikulak kissed the Pommel Horse as he left the floor,when asked why Mikulak did that he replied"the vault was good to me today,I just wanted to give it back some love''
A sublime Olympic memory in sixteen days packed w/ great moments.

A Matter Of Routine

The time honoured adage "it's like riding a bike, you never forget" can be applied to several things.....including riding a bike but the ease w/ which I resumed to my normal routine yesterday was some what scary.
Up by 5.30am after several blasts of the clock radio going off at 4.50am and out the door by 5.40am it's actually still dark now at 5.30am,that coupled w/ having turn on the lights at 8pm serve as a stark reminder that summer is coming to an end.
Work was work,after a week and a half off it was back to the grind,I'm sure a pay cheque this week will make it all seem worthwhile.....and I'm sure I'll be bitching about work w/in a few weeks for those of you who enjoy my black hearted celtic pagan rants about my job.....I know I do!!!

Home and straight out for an easy out and back 6 miler down to Lloyd Hall and Boathouse Row and back,nothing too fancy but enough to get me back into the swing of the basics and get me used to the daily routines of training six days a week as I prep for the next six weeks leading upto 5th Avenue Mile and seven weeks leading upto Syracuse and the Masters 5k Road Race C'ships,yes folks the road to to the "Fall Classics" starts now.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ten Things I'll Miss Now The Olympics Are Over

David Letterman,eat you heart out,here's the first of my Olympic Top Ten Lists,enjoy!

In no particular order
10 Missy Franklin's smile
How could you not love her youthful innocence,America's Sweatheart
9 Beach Volleyball
And not just the womens matches,the very setting of Beach Volleyball at Horseguards Parade was maybe the most iconic venue.
8 Hearing The National Anthem
W/ 29 golds "God Save The Queen" was heard frequently this Olympics, a nice present for Queen Elizabeth's 60th anniversary as Queen.
7 Beaucoup Track & Field on tv
Granted the coverage could always be better but given the short shift Track & Field gets on tv it was nice to see it on in prime time and not at some obscure hour on a cable channel
6 The Union Jack
Seldom has our nations flag gotten this much coverage since Ginger Spice wore that Union Jack dress!!
5 Staying up till 1.30am
Most nites I'm doing well if I'm still awake at 11pm so the fact that for the first five nites I stayed up till 12am,the next 4 nites 11pm{central time 12am here in Philly} and then 1.30am for the next 7 nites,b4 12.30am on the closing ceremony
4 Bob Costas
Tempted as I was to fly home to watch the Olympics on the BBC I stayed home to enjoy the iconic Bob Costas on NBC,for me he's become as symbolic to the Olympics as the five rings.
3 Today Show
I enjoyed getting up each morning from Aug 1st till Aug 10th and catching up w/ Matt Lauer and company in Olympic Park as they interviewed athletes and did segments around London,I'm not a regular viewer of Today but I do enjoy their Olympic shows
2 Rhythmic Gymnastics
Each Olympics I find a new sport to follow a few games back it was Beach Volleyball these games it was Rhythmic Gymnastics.
Maybe it's the fact the women are older than their regular gymnastic counterparts that I don't feel so guilty watching them perform....or maybe it's my weakness for Russian women and leotards....or both but roll on Rio 2014!
1 Aerial shots of London
Maybe it's my 46'' flat screen,or the fact it's 9 years since I last went home but the London skyline never looked so good to me than it did for 17 days and nites.