Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Return Of Eeyore

I'm often asked why there's a stuffed Eeyore on my pc at work.....that's easy.....it's because I do all the Donkey work!!!!!
In the past two days it's felt like the bad old days of having to do all the Donkey work have returned and while I'm loathe to nail myself to the cross cos there's a shortage of wood I don't recall seeing mug tattooed across my forehead in the bathroom mirror in the mornings nor do I have welcome tattooed across my back so can the rest of you lame workshy bastards stop expecting me to pick up your slack......thank you!

Hard to believe it was Jan 31st today,60 degrees and sunny beautiful day it would've been a sin not to run today as I ran my third 10 miler in three days,I'm hoping come the first weekend of August all these daily 10 milers and weekly 50 mile weeks will pay off come Nationals but that's a ways off yet.
20 miles for the week w/ back to back 8 miles on tap for the next two days providing the weather holds.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How The Other Half Lives.....And Trains

Prior to winning his 1,500m in Glasgow on Saturday Mo Farah had been training in Kenya,it makes sense as his biggest rivals for the Olympic gold this summer in London will be Kenyans.
It must be nice to go somewhere warm in the winter to train,for me warm weather winter training is any day above freezing!!

Semi brisk 10 miler this afternoon 41 degrees and sunny,sunny enough for shades....but that's where the similarity between me and Mo screeches to a grinding halt!!!!
While watching the Espn 2 coverage of the US Open last nite a couple of things Larry Rowson and Tim Hutchings said about Bernard Lagat during the mile gave me pause for thought,they said as a 5,000m runner and not a "pure miler" Bernard probably doesn't quite have that cutting edge in the mile that he had a few seasons ago,they also cited his age,the great man is afterall 37.
There was a time going toe to toe w/ runners half my age wasn't a problem at any distance but on Saturday when those 20 somethings left me for dust in the 580m at the US Open I was made to feel exactly what I am.....a 48 year old who these days prefers 3,000m,5,000m and 10,000m.

I did say at the start of the season I probably wouldn't race below 1,500m this season unless it's a 4x800m at Nationals but the lure of Madison Square Garden saw me run the lead of leg of a Sprint Medley relay and I have to take my licks and while getting dusted sucks several people told me they saw me in the background while Espn 2 interviewed Bernard Lagat during our race so it wasn't all bad!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Closing The Book On MSG?

B4 I get into the US Open at Madison Square Garden from last nite just to tie up any loose ends I ran an easy 10 miler out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway this morning to log a 40 mile week.

So the US Open at Madison Square Garden it kind of came out of nowhere, we got an invite last Tuesday to run in the club Sprint Medley relay and for my part I jumped at the chance to tread the boards at Madison Square Garden,were this event anywhere else I doubt I'd have accepted the invite but having thought I'd ran my last race here last year at the Millrose Games I couldn't resist one final chance to run here even if it meant not only running well below my distance but also going head to head w/ guys half my age.

Maybe it was written in the stars that upon entering Madison Square Garden two hours b4 the meet began I was able to not only get on the track which never happened at the Millrose Games but also run a mile on the track,I'll never run a Wanamaker Mile and chances are there won't be a masters mile here either but to jog 11 laps of the track and to be able to say I've ran a mile on that track is something I'll treasure for the rest of my career.

I always knew in terms of the race we were on a hiding to nothing,if this were a masters event yeah maybe we stood a chance of making the podium but to put things in perspective of the 24 athletes who made up the 6 team relay the three oldest guys were Bruce who's 50,myself at 48 and our anchor leg Nick who's in his mid 40's,I'm not saying the Sprint Medley Relay is a young mans game but some of our younger guys who are running Millrose need to step up for this meet next year.

Luck of the draw meant I drew lane 1 and I actually got a good reaction to the gun for once but after three strides I was left for dead by the other lead off legs and went into the first turn in 6th and last place,all I could do was keep chasing those guys and make the most of my 4 laps/580m b4 handing off to Lamar.
1.31.4. for 580m.....it's a pr and technically a club record but I don't expect to see it on clubs records page!!!

So is that it for me at Madison Square Garden? time will tell if the US Open remains at MSG{there seemed like a decent sized crowd on hand so maybe this meet will continue}but after four Millrose Games w/ one medal and a US Open I have five races on the hallowed boards where Ronnie,Marcus and Eamonn all ran so I have no qualms if I never set foot on that track again,tonite may not've been the way I'd wished to bow out but there are other races and other dreams to forfill.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Double Dippin'

"And the heart is hard to translate it has a language of it's own
It talks and turns and courts sighs and present proclamations in the grand days of great men and the smallest of gestures and short shallow gasps
But w/ all my education I can't seem to command it and the words are all skipping and coming back damaged
And I will put them back in poetry if only I knew how,I can't seem to understand it
And I would give all this and heaven too I would give it all if only for a moment that I could just understand the meaning of the word you see
Cause I've been scrawling it forever,but it never makes sense to me at all"

All This And Heaven Too-Florence & The Machine

When it came to money my father had two pieces of advice for me when I was younger"you can't take it w/ you when you go"which is very true but he also taught me the importance of "saving something for a rainy day" so it was not lost on me as it pissed out of the heavens this morning that I was able to order tickets for the upcoming Florence & The Machine tour.

As Sean and I were driving back from Ithaca last Saturday I mentioned waiting for tour dates for Flo and in a classic case of "from my lips to God's ears" on Monday said tour dates were announced,Radio City Music Hall in New York on May 8th and The Borgata in Atlantic City on May 12th w/ tickets going on sale today,thankfully I had a few quid tucked away for said "rainy day" so that at 9am I went on line to get Radio City Music Hall tickets and come 12pm after a fair amount of jumping through hoops I secured a Borgata ticket,two Florence & The Machine gigs to look forward to in May......life is good!!

I nixed my 8 miler this evening,said rain had stopped but after a post work visit to the tailors to get my new tartan dress pants hemmed up it was 4.20pm when I returned home,I still had time to get changed and get out for an easy 8 but thought better of it,were tomorrow an individual race like last week at Hartshorne where I had no issue w/ an easy 8 miler the day b4 tomorrow is a relay and not only that I'm the lead off leg so I have a responsibility to the team to give us the best lead off leg I can so count today's rest day as "taking one for the team" I can still notch a 40 mile week w/ 2 miles tomorrow and 10 miles on Sunday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Great Southern Land

"Looking everywhere cause I had to find you this is not the way I remember it here
Anyone will tell you it's a prisoner island hidden in the summer for a million years great southern land
So you look into the land and it will tell you a story,story about a journey ended long ago
If you listen to the motion of the wind in the mountains maybe you can hear them talking like I do
They're gonna betray you,they're gonna forget you are you gonna let them take you over that way?
Great southern land,great southern land you walk alone like a primitive man and they make it work w/ sticks and bones see their hungry eyes it's a hungry home"

Great Southern Land- Icehouse

Given I have several friends "Down Under" and a large readership also in Australia it'd be remiss of me not to wish everyone there a Happy Australia Day.......plus it's a great chance to quote Icehouse one of my all time favourite bands who sadly fall into that classic "overlooked and underrated" category.

I got to prove the weather people wrong today which is always a plus,according to Accu Weather and AOL Weather today would see showers after 2pm w/ a 50% to 60% chance of rain during 4pm-5pm right when I'd scheduled my 8 miler.......all I saw while out there were grey and overcast skies so score one to me,tomorrow could be a different story as the forecast is rain most of the day.

A rest day b4 Saturdays Sprint Medley relay at the US Open at Madison Square Garden might not be the worst thing in the world,in fact had Monday not gotten rained out that was the plan anyway but as it stands right now I have 28 miles for the week,2 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday would give me 40 for the week,something I can live w/.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's Clobbering Time

"We've been playing now for much too long and now we're gonna dance to a different song
I'm gonna scream and shout till my dying breath I'm gonna smash it up till there's nothing left
Ooh smash it up,smash it up smash it up,ooh smash it up smash it up smash it up"

Smash It Up-The Damned

My mother used to say that I was the "eternal pessimist" when I was younger,I'd like to think as I've gotten older I've become the "eternal optimist",more of a glass half full guy............
When I got to work yesterday I arrived to find a behemoth wooden crate on the dock taking up room we just don't have,by lunch time the Phillips tech came and uncrated it leaving yours truly w/ a big arsed wooden crate to deal w/............
"Hammer Time" what better way to deal w/ my frustrations w/ the drama queens of this world than taking a hammer to the crate and also clearing the space it took up on the dock........don't ya just love it when a plan comes together??!!!

Another easy 10 miler this afternoon in almost identical conditions to yesterday,very nearly threw on the shades today as it was so sunny.
Forgot to mention yesterday as I was coming back on the inbound leg of the run through Cobbs Creek Park I encountered three deers.
In the two years I've been running along Cobbs Creek Parkway and cutting through Cobbs Creek Park I'd never seen deer till yesterday,not sure who was more startled and not sure who ran off faster......probably the deer but they have four legs!!!
Anywho the next two days will be wait and see as showers and rain are in the forecast,glass half empty no 50 mile week,glass half full I'll be well rested for Saturdays Sprint Medley Relay at the US Open at Madison Square Garden.......

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More Drama Queens Than Wisteria Lane

"They sew fish hooks under their collars got razors in their shoes "Go cat go'' is their battle cry world war three is starting to brew
Well the skinheads all use black jacks and they're looking mighty mean they've got chains wrapped around their fingers and their heads are shaven clean
There's a rumble in Brighton tonite ringside seats for the neighborhood fight there ain't a goddamn thing that the cops can do
There's a rumble in Brighton tonite"

Rumble In Brighton-Stray Cats

If Sundays run was brought to us by Lipton....cos it was Brisk then today's sponsor was TNT cos"They Know Drama"!!!!

As I eluded to last week there been some underlying tension in the house recently.....some of which spilled over the other nite,I'm not going into detail just yet but I will say I'm done w/ all the drama here and one drama queen in particular it is time to move on and put Wisteria Lane in the rear view mirror!

Oh and as if that wasn't enough to be dealing w/ I returned to work today to be informed that for the past 12 plus years I've been working an extra 15 minutes I shouldn't be working,all I can say it must've been a slow day in accounting when after almost 12 and a half years some jobsworth realized we were all working 15 mins more a day,an hour and a quarter a week and two and a half hours a pay period than our 7.5 a day 37.5 a week, 75 hours a fortnite,the upshot being I now get to leave work at 3pm not 3.15pm.

On the road by 4.05pm for my 10 miler,glorious conditions today sunny and 50 degrees hard to believe it's January,yesterdays rain removed the snow and ice from the ground to make conditions underfoot a lot easier,to put things in perspective my time for 10 miles today was the same as for 8 miles on Sunday,it speaks volumes for better conditions underfoot,another 10 miler on tap tomorrow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Caution Is The Watchword Of The Day

So,backtracking slightly post race on Saturday Conor O Driscoll and I enjoyed a leisurely 4 mile cool down around the Cornell campus,I must be getting used to the Ithaca winters as I never used to warm up or cool down outside Barton Hall b4!!!

Yesterday was an easy 8 miler back home along Cobbs Creek Parkway as Sean and I opted to leave Ithaca after the awards banquet Saturday evening.
It appeared while I was up in Ithaca winter paid it's first visit to Philadelphia on Friday nite/Saturday morning and a blanket of snow and ice lay beneath my feet yesterday morning as I cautiously made my way along my out and back route,8 miles gave me a 50 mile week plus an idea as to what to expect if I were to run today..........

Blessed w/ a day off from work I did have the option of an run today,however I did have an early morning appointment w/ the clinical labs at Jefferson to get my blood checked so that ruled out a run first thing and frankly the threat of rain and then the rain it's self put the kybosh on that.
At least w/ the rain the snow and ice still covering the ground will be gone by tomorrow which will make life a lot easier I didn't want to risk slipping and falling out there today for the sake of an extra day that will make conditions much more user friendly tomorrow,nor did I wish to take my chances in the rain and risk getting sick prior to Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Snow Joke

So for the fourth time in six years I made the journey up to Ithaca for the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile,and for the third time in four races I made it to the podium......seriously I should invest in an "I Love Ithaca" t shirt!!!!
Kudos to my team mate and friend Sean Harbison for the ride up and back it would've been a much harder trip to undertake w/out him but I think I made a convert out of him that he'll want to go back next year and become a regular here.

I figured something was up when I couldn't find a starting line for any of the elite races all week,in fact I didn't know who my competition was until yesterday morning......and even then that took a twist......but I'm getting ahead of myself!!
As is Hartshorne tradition Friday nite is dinner at Antlers,I missed out on that on my last trip it's always fun to sit and brake bread w/ our wonderful host Tom Hartshorne and relax b4 the race,I had the pleasure of sitting w/ Pete Taylor,Conor O Driscoll,Tom Cawley,Fred Robbins,Bill Zink and Dave Hoch and enjoy some good grub and some light hearted conversation,there would be plenty of time for "game face" come race day.

I was awoken at 5.35am by the sound of a snow plough outside my window,would it be Ithaca w/out snow in January??
After a lite breakfast it was back to my room to kill a little time b4 the short drive over to Barton Hall,I'm big on omens{no Damien jokes please!!} so when I was flicking through the tv channels and stumbled upon VH1's Top Twenty Countdown and caught the video for "Shake It Out" by Florence & The Machine it was hard not to feel this was going to be a good day for yours truly!!!
Arriving at Barton Hall to check in I discovered the elite M40 race only had 6 entries,myself,Kent Lemme,Charlie Kern,Mike Egle,Dave Cannon and Javier Martinez.

As a rule the elite M40 gets at least 9 entries but several would be runners were unable to make it this year,in fact Mike Egle and Dave Cannon dropped down from the elite m50 race to swell the numbers.
Out of the 6 of us I felt third was doable Charlie was defending champ and Kent Lemme is a solid runner,Javier Martinez was a dark horse as I knew nothing about him.....but I knew plenty about Dave Cannon to know he could not be overlooked and Mike Egle won this event in 2004 so he couldn't be overlooked either.........

News broke that Charlie was enduring the travel day from hell and had missed his connecting flight from Philly due to his plane from Chicago taking off an hour and 40 mins late and when he arrived at the gate in Philly w/ 5 mins to spare he was told his seat on the plane had been sold!!!!
Remarkably Charlie continued his journey to Ithaca the plan was to allow him to run in the open mile in the college meet that follows the Hartshorne Miles and take his time from that and patch it into the elite m40 race.....and subsequently Mike Egle's time in the m40 race would count towards the m50 race.......there's a rather amusing anecdote to all this bare w/ me!!.

So now I knew in order to make the podium I had to finish 2nd in the actual race to clam third it meant throwing the original race plan out the window but in running as is in life"always carry a plan B!!!"
From the gun Kent latched onto Scott Weeks the rabbit I tucked in between Mike Egle and Dave Cannon and came thro 200m in 35 seconds,down the back straight b4 the turn I passed Mike Egle for 2nd and came through 400m in 69 seconds a 34 second split....after that I forget my splits maybe when I see the dvd of the race I'll be able to get a few more.
W/ hindsight I wish I'd gone w/ Kent and tried to hang on instead I played safe and went for the "podium finish" as it was I wound up 7 seconds behind Kent but 6 seconds ahead of Mike at the end of the day I'd finished 2nd a far cry from where I thought I'd wind up a week earlier.

Post race it was off to the Ithaca Country Club for the awards banquet another Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile tradition.
It's always fun to watch the dvd of the days races as the runners get to relive them,arguably the best finish of the day was Conor O Driscoll holding off a late charging Peter Bottomley in the m50 elite.
And so to the awards as I said I've been fortunate enough to have made the podium three times in four races,2nd in 07,3rd in 09 and technically 2nd today in the race but third in the awards.
It's always an honour to be asked to say a few words when picking up my award and I'm always on my best behaviour when at the microphone,I couldn't resist a Ricky Gervais Golden Globes comment{always open w/ a joke!!!} but in seriousness thanked Tom Hartshorne for not only hosting such a wonderful event but also for inviting me back after my woeful 2010 performance and for declining my invite last year in order to run a 5,000m at The Armory 2 nites earlier.

Kent Lemme made a great comment in his speech about winning the race but finishing second while Charlie not to be outdone said he actually finished second in his college mile race but ended up winning the elite m40 title thanks to a 4.28.1. time next to Kent's 4.32.7.
Hopefully I'll be back next year to compete,I may have to wait until my 50's b4 I claim a Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile victory......somethings are worth waiting for!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Little MSG Never Hurts.....

Nice easy 8 miler this evening to keep me on schedule for the week,tomorrow will be a rest day as it's also my travel day to Ithaca for this weekends Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile,I'll bring you all up to speed on that Sunday.
While I try never to look beyond the race in front of me it's be remiss of me not to mention next Saturday as yours truly once again gets to tread the boards of Madison Square Garden.

For those not familiar w/ my love affair w/ Madison Square Garden here's a quick refresher course,my track career began in the summer of 1976 as a freshman in high school later that summer I watched my first Olympics the 76 games from Montreal where I saw Eamonn Coghlan run for the first time in the 1,500m from then on I followed his career w/ a fervered passion and saw many of his races at Madison Square Garden in the Wannamaker Mile courtesy of ITV's "World Of Sport" on Saturday afternoons and dreamt of one day also running at MSG.......

Fast forwarding 30 years in January of 2006 I did run on those famed boards even though it wasn't a race my club GPTC had just missed the cut for the masters 4x400m relay but made the short trip from Philly to NYC on the off chance one of the 6 teams failed to show and we could replace them it wasn't to be but I did get to run a few laps on those hallowed boards......
There was a sense of "unfinished business" w/ the Millrose Games and 2 years later we finally made the cut of the 6 teams lucky enough to compete.....however I suffered a stress fracture on my left foot in December and would be in a cast for three weeks,there was no way I could run now???????
After convincing my team mates I'd be ready I did anchor the team only to have bronze snatched away from us coming off the final turn as a lack of conditioning proved to be my undoing.

4th again in 09 it was looking like a Millrose Games medal was not in my future and when I failed to make the 2010 team it looked like that dream was over......a lack of entries that year meant Greater Philly Track Club fielding two teams and while the A team won the gold I anchored the B team to a bronze,not only had I lived the dream of running at Madison Square Garden in the Millrose Games but I also had a Millrose Games medal in my collection,I could close the chapter on that book.
In recent years the Millrose Games has declined in it's once proud popularity so when the decision was made last summer to move the Millrose Games from MSG to The Armory it seemed like that was it I had 4 races there between 08-11 and one medal I had little to complain about.

In November it was announced that the USATF would be hosting a meet at Madison Square Garden in January called the US Open at the time details were slow in regards what events would be held,I knew a masters mile would be too much to hope for and when it was tentatively announced there would be a relay I figured that was that........
Out of left field on Tuesday the club received an invitation to compete in the Sprint Medley Relay next Saturday,I jumped at the opportunity to run on that track again and threw my bandanna into the ring for consideration.
As of today we're entered myself Nick D,Bruce and Lamar will contest this seldom ran relay after Hartshorne I can start to focus on it but once again yours truly is heading to the bright lights of Broadway

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's A Cat's World(We're Just Trying To Live In It)

A nice easy 8 miler,conditions were a little on the "ber" side but considering I'm heading to Ithaca this weekend I can consider it good practice!
I remember my first Hartshone Memorial Masters Mile in 07,I don't think I'd ever witnessed anything as cold as Cornell on race day that year,it was so cold we ran from the car in the parking lot to Barton Hall to get out of the cold,the second coldest thing I ever witnessed was two years later sitting on the plane at Itacha airport waiting to fly back to New York the plane had just landed and I guess coming out of the cold air thousands of feet above on a frigid day meant the plane felt like a meet locker,I should look up this weekends temps in Ithaca b4 hitting the road on Friday.

I'm always amazed how comfortable Precious looks when my alarm goes at 5am,as I brace myself for another day at work which is no day at the beach at the best of times I now have to deal w/ the cold and then come home and go and run in the sometimes just above freezing temps,all while she sleeps on the bed or is curled up on the radiator....I should've named her Riley,cos she sure lives the life of Riley!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Big In Russia/From Russia W/ Love

"There's a lighthouse in the middle of Prussia a white house in a red square
I'm living in films for the sake of Russia a kino runner for the DDR
And the fifty two daughters of the revolution turn gold to chrome
Gift nothing to lose stuck inside of Memphis w/ the mobile home,sing
Mother Russia,Mother Russia,Mother Russia rain down down down"

Mother Russia- Sisters Of Mercy

For once rain on a Tuesday didn't mean a missed training run,by the time I returned from lunch it had stopped raining and the "currant bun" was out which was a nice touch,I was on the road by 4.17pm for a second 10 miler in 2 days,I'll begin to back off the mileage tomorrow by dropping down to 8 miles tomorrow and Thursday giving me a modest 36 miles going into Saturdays race,providing I get home at a decent time on Sunday I could log another 10 miler to round out a 50 mile week but let's worry about that nearer the time.

So here's one I've been meaning to address for a while,for some reason I'm big in Russia.....or at least my blog is,for whatever reason I have a large readership in Russia,all time since I switched to Blogger Russia ranks 4th in views behind America,Australia and Germany and currently is second in views for the month and week.

Why Russia?beats me growing up it was a country that always intrigued me......now I'm just intrigued by Russian woman.....oh don't judge me!!! but I salute my former Soviet comrades for logging on to Runningfree long may it continue.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lost Weekend

"It took a lost weekend in a hotel in Amsterdam and double pneumonia in a single room.
And the sickest joke was the price of the medicine are you laughing at me now?
May I please laugh along w/ you?"

Lost Weekend-Lloyd Cole & The Commotions

B4 anyone gets the wrong idea no I haven't fallen off the wagon,trust me when I say I had enough of those lost weekends to last two lifetimes thank you very much!!!

The simple truth was I took the weekend off,it wasn't planned but I opted for a "less is more" approach this weekend,it was below freezing Friday which kyboshed that but I was still on for a 40 mile week providing I got 6 in on Saturday and 10 in on Sunday.....or vice versa.....I managed neither!!!

I never left the house Saturday for whatever reason,I "just wasn't feeling it" and enjoyed an all too rare fuck off day I can't recall the last one of them I had and frankly if the last one was that long ago then maybe I really it afterall,a little internet time,some catching up w/ my backlog of dvr'd tv shows and the Olympic Marathon Trials,Sunday was shaping up for more of the same but "cabin fever" was beginning to set in I got home at 4.05pm on Friday and it was almost 2pm yesterday b4 I coaxed myself to get out for an hour if only for some fresh air,and fresh was the operative word,it was colder than Friday for crying out loud!!!

I've said b4 runners tend not to subscribe to the "less is more" mindset but maybe a low mileage week was just what I needed,this Saturday sees me return to Itacha and the Hartshorne Memorial Masters mile so halving my weekly mileage the week b4 might mot be the worst thing in the world,I'm happy to report I was back out being more like Mo Farah this evening and less like Howard Hughes w/ a 10 miler.....business as usual,nothing to see here people,let's keep moving!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Wasn't sure if today would happen in terms of getting my run in but thankfully the rain stopped b4 I left work so it was off w/ the horns and on w/ the show come 4.30pm to log a third 8 miler in three days.
Half way to another 50 mile week,8 again tomorrow,6 on the track on Saturday and 12 on Sunday will not only give me 50 miles for the week but also my 15th week in the last 22 weeks.

For the second week in a row I got my run in while my beloved Spurs played,last week it was the West Brom game yesterday it was Everton,frankly if we keep winning games {1.0 vs West Brom,2.0 vs Everton}while I'm out running I may have to time all my runs during Spurs games!!
Come On You Spurs.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tired Of Waiting

It's almost a week now since the first Thursday Nite @ The Races at The Armory and the website is no nearer putting up the results so I'll just have to give my account w/out a bunch of data that frankly would make for a better entry......since I won't be taking part in next Thursdays meet due to a schedule conflict w/ the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile it'll be Feb 9th b4 I race at The Armory again.....let's hope they've gotten their act together by then to post results!!!
Big shout out to Lauren Valentino for the photo I have 2 more that she sent me I'd like to post over the coming days.

So the race,as is my won't my indoor season officially kicks off on the first Thursday of January each year w/ the first of 4 scheduled "Thursday Nite @ The Races,5 times in the last 6 years I've made the short journey to New York to run the mile,I had side step the 08 series due to my stress fracture.
There have been highs and lows a win in 07 in 4.33.2. 3rd in 09 in 4.28.1.{my track mile pr I have faster 5th Avenue Mile's} and who could forget the infamous 8th 4.51.2 in 10 or as it's widely known as "the bitch slap heard around the world" last year I finished 8th in 4.33.7. and based on my 4.15.8. 1,500m 9 days earlier I felt a 4.33/4.35 was a reasonable pre race expectation.

W/ hindsight I'd have done better to get into the seeded heat w/ each heat being contested at 12 men per heat heat #1 was already at 8 when the track official asked who had a 4.35 time,several hands were raised but I thought I could take my chances in heat 2 and still run 4.35.....this would prove to be my undoing.
One of the reasons I've held out for several days in posting this is I wanted to see the results of heat one to see the times the mid pack ran,had I have gone w/ them in heat# 1 I'm confident I'd have been pulled to a 4.35 at the very least.

As it was I drew the rail in heat 2 and remembering my poor reaction to the gun in the 1,500m I knew the need to get a good start and surprised myself taking the lead going into the first turn.....start as you mean to go on!
Another issue I've had w/ The Armory in both meets is the lack of a clock at the start/finish it's all well and good having a timekeeper calling out splits each lap but frankly they went in one ear and out the other at least w/ a clock at eye level I'd have had a chance to eyeball my splits and maybe recall a few post race.

Having lead from the gun I was hell bent on staying there,I was very aware someone was breathing down my neck throughout the race,it turned out to be Tom Fitzpatrick who down the back straight on lap 7 pulled up along side me but he left me enough room on the rail to squeeze through and reclaim the lead going into the turn,but coming up to the bell the runner from Siena collage{4th in the photo}hit the front and pulled away,having done all the pace making for almost 7 laps I just didn't have it to respond but held off Fitz to claim a second runners up finish in two races.
4.39.8. was well below what I was looking for,it may've cost me a trip to Boston in early February as the cut off is 4.35,I do still have the Hartshorne Masters Mile on Jan 21st where providing I can clock 34 seconds per lap I could run a 4.32 mile so I'm not writing off Boston just yet.....but!

It wasn't all doom and gloom rounding my time up to 4.40 that's 35 seconds per lap,not earth shattering for the mile.....but over 3,000m that's sub 9 minute pace,something to work towards for the Feb 9th meet.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Careful Vincent,You Might End Up Getting Popped!

Well the good news was I was able to run today,good news for me and good news for everyone else!
As far as the achilles is concerned I'll keep monitoring the situation,if I think I need to check in w/ Ira my foot doctor I've no problem doing so.
Easy 8 mile run this evening,I have 8's scheduled across the board through Friday providing everything is all ticketybo.

W/out going all TMI there's tension brewing in the house again and once again my cat Precious is the source of the issue,I've saved my real anger on the matter for my diary but the bottom line is we have a mole in the house who I lovingly refer to as "our man in Havana" as he loves running his mouth to the landlord,what goes around comes around "Havana"maybe you should check out "Tinker Tailor Solider Spy" to see what happens to spys and double agents,two words Bill Haydon!!!

I enjoyed the movie,I hadn't read the book or seen the tv version from the mid/late 70's when Alec Guinness played the role of George Smiley and truth be told had "my mate" Gary Oldman not had the lead role of George Smiley I may not have bothered to see it but I've been a huge Gary Oldman fan going all the way back to 1986 and his incredible role as Sid Vicious in "Sid and Nancy" and have seen most of his movies since.
Hard to believe he's never even been nominated for an Oscar given some of the roles he's had Sid Vicious in"Sid & Nancy" Lee Harvey Oswald in "JFK" Count Dracula in "Dracula" Norman Stansfield in "The Professional" and Ludwig Van Beethoven in "Immortal Beloved" to name five.
I for one will be anxious to see the Oscar Nominations in a few weeks time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Who Said The Art Of Conversation Is Dead?

Add getting my hearing checked to my list of "To Do" this year as I thought I was going deaf today.....turns out I was just getting the silent treatment for my co workers.....seems short term memory isn't what it used to be they both had Tuesday off and effectively got a 4 day weekend last weekend,I took Friday off after my race at The Armory to allow myself a three day weekend.......and bingo!! I'm the bad guy!!!!!whatever bitches!!!

On the subject of The Armory still no official results online from Thursday.....and yet the meet at Delaware yesterday has it results posted already......wtf!!!!!!
I'm beginning to get a tad miffed w/ The Armory don't get me wrong great track to run on however the recent Holiday meet not only charged $25 to enter but also charged $6 to watch if you weren't running,granted for $25 you could run as many events as you wanted but what about those of us who only want to run one race,$25???
Then they jacked up the price for the Thursday Nite Race series from $10 to $20,again they charged $6 to watch and again the clock wasn't running so the question begs to be asked where's all the money going if there isn't a running clock at the start/finish line????

I reluctantly but wisely sat out today,I awoke to a tender left achilles which is nothing new,it's not unusual(cue Tom Jones!!) to be a little tender,stiff and sore when I first wake up it goes w/ the territory but unlike the norm when the discomfort subsides and I get on w/ the day today even walking was bothersome so running was out of the equation.
As well as taking a day off I iced,stretched took anti inflammatory pills and hoped for the best,the last thing I need is a repeat of the 09 achilles injury that ruined my outdoor season.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tough Day At The Office

What to do when when the barrel runs out of monkeys?
Perhaps w/ hindsight I spread myself too thin this week but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes,afterall isn't it"better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all"???

I arrived at Temple just after 10.30am conditions were sunny and in the mid 40's but a strong wind blew across the track as I warmed up,the writing was already on the wall....I just didn't know it yet!

#1 mile 1.17-1.22-1.26-1.19-5.24.3.Things started well enough w/ a 1.17 but the 1.26 on lap three just killed it.....little did I know this was as good as it was going to get

#2 mile 1.22-1.29-1.30-1.26-5.47.1.I knew I was in trouble b4 I even clocked 1.22 on the opening lap,the wind was a factor but frankly I just didn't have it in me today to fight the wind.

#3 mile 1.23-1.30-1.32-1.28-5.53.8.Oivay,I just didn't have it today but hell no I wasn't stepping off the track and calling it quits,sometimes being a hard headed paddy has it's perks!!

#4 mile 1.27-1.28-1.28-1.18-5.41.5.Well at least I finished strong!!!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and w/ hindsight I just hadn't cut my cloth accordingly but I owed it to myself to try at least.
Given that there are only 9 more weekends b4 Indoor Nationals I can ill afford to screw up any more repeats but given that this time last year I couldn't even get on a track till mid February I'll take a bad day on the track over no day on the track to begin w/ plus the knowledge this coming week is more forgiving which should allow for a better repeat session next Saturday.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

There's No Such Thing As Too Much Sex{Dwarf}

As is my won't after a five hour 80's dance nite at Sex Dwarf I took it easy w/ a 10 miler since this time around I had some leverage w/ my schedule.
After the New Years Eve bash at Sex Dwarf I had no choice but to run 12 miles to round out my week at 50 miles and trust me after dancing for 6 hours the last thing I needed was a 12 mile run but somehow I got through it....albeit rather slowly.

Fast forwarding 6 days and a second 80's nite at Sex Dwarf this time the regular first Friday of the month dance party I knew the prospect of a 12 miler b4 Sundays scheduled 4x1mile repeats was not what I wanted to do,had I've not had yesterday off work I may not've gotten my 12 miler in but since I did have the day off I was able to make that happen sometime you have to make your schedule work for you,this week w/ a race scheduled on Thursday and the prospect of Sex Dwarf the following nite there was a lot of juggling my schedule this week the bottom line is thus far I got a 10 miler and 8 miler on Monday and Tuesday, a total of 4 miles on Thursday,12 miles yesterday 10 today leaving 4x1mile repeats w/ a mile warm up and mile cool down.....50 miles cue Hannibal of The A Team"I love it when a plan comes together"

Friday, January 6, 2012

Onto The Next One

I'm still waiting for the official results from last nites Thursday Nite @ The Races b4 doing full justice to the evening,I will say I'm less than happy w/ my time of 4.39.8. given my 4.15.8. 1,500m last week but once the data is at hand I will elaborate on that.

Took full advantage of having the day off today,slept till noon b4 going out at 1.30pm to run 12 miles,Tuesday and Wednesdays sub zero temps seemed a distant memory as it was in the mid 50's this afternoon,more of the same tomorrow and Sunday would be nice as I look to complete another 50 mile week beginning w/ a 10 miler tomorrow.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday Nite @ The Races

Cliff Notes
Heat 2
2nd out of 12
More detailed account to follow

Twice The Fun

As if 6 hours of dancing to my favourite 80's tunes on New Years Eve wasn't enough,the first Sex Dwarf 80's dance party of 2012 tomorrow spotlights Duran Duran and hopefully some Arcadia and Power Station thrown in for good measure.......

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Warm Thoughts On A Frigid Day

I was glad today was a rest day,strewth anytime the temps are only 26 degrees and you're being told it feels like 16 that's friggin' cold!!
Note to self next time the temps are below freezing remember to dig out thermal socks my feet felt like two blocks of ice out on the loading dock today,I'm working in a glorified concrete box which means in the winter it's like a walk in freezer and in the summer it's like a brick oven,maybe if I hadn't goofed off all those years ago in high school I'd have a better job!!!!

Today marks 26 years since Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy passed away at a mere 36 years old,a tragic waste as his best years were probably still ahead of him.

Thin Lizzy were the first modern Irish band I ever discovered in 72 when they released "Whiskey In The Jar" I can remember walking up and down St Patrick Street in Cork city looking for a record shop to buy it,it was in a plain pale blue and white sleeve w/ the Decca record label showing,not sure I still have that a original 7'' vinyl but I have several Thin Lizzy albums and cds.

Phil Lynott was a truly great frontman his swagger was the stuff rock and roll was made of,one of the great all time lines in rock and roll was Phil Lynott on the classic Thin Lizzy live album/cd "Live And Dangerous" recorded at Hammersmith Odean on their 76 "Johnny The Fox" tour and also in Toronto in 77 on the "Bad Reputation" tour when Phil asks the crowd in his unique Dublin drawl "is there anyone here w/ any Irish in them?.....are there any girls who'd like a little more Irish in them???!!!!" only Phil Lynott could use a line like that and get away w/ it.

Rest in Peace Phil you are sorely missed,slainte

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Brass Monkeys & Muppets

I've always had to laugh at the expression "it's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey" but frankly there was very little to laugh about this afternoon on my 8 miler.
I should count my blessings that on a day that was below zero out there I was able to conduct my run an hour earlier than usual.

Thanks in no small part to some crap scheduling(seriously,in a three man department when one person has off why would you grant someone else a day off also??????)I had the prospect of having to do all the spade work on the dock today but rather than get pissy about it I turned it around to my advantage,I'd known for a few days that today was going to be below zero so I knew I had the chance to"have it away on my toes" at 2.30pm instead of 3.15pm and w/ that I was out running at 3.25pm and utilizing the fact that the sun was out,even if it was only 27 degrees.
Tomorrow is another sub zero day but I have the day off w/ Thursday's mile at The Armory on tap so no worries about freezing tomorrow.

As for the muppet comment,I'm sorry to say I work w/ a bunch of muppets,seriously if arseholes were aeroplanes the storeroom would be an airport they are so stupid it's beyond belief....Einstein by name,but not by nature!!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

In W/ The New

Apologies for no post yesterday, a combination of six hours on the dance floor at Sex Dwarf to celebrate the New Year and then a 12 miler to round out the week at 50 miles meant I was well and truly "Cream Crackered" yesterday afternoon and ended up crashing out by 6.30pm, Happy New ZZZZZZZZZZZ's!!!

Up today by 8 am fully refreshed and batteries recharged to take on the rigours of a whole new week beginning w/ a 10 miler along the extended out and back course on Cobbs Creek Parkway.
It was nice yesterday for a change of scenery to run along the river,of course I'm knackered as all hell and when I got to Locust Point the gates at the railroad tracks were locked due to a CSX freight train so up and down the steps at Walnut St out and back.....just what I needed w/ my butt draggin'!!!
Let's hope when I revisit the 12 miler along the river on Friday the railroad tracks are clear,but if they're not at least I'm won't be coming off a 6 hour stint on the dance floor.....although Friday nite is Duran Duran tribute nite at Sex Dwarf so I would imagine more groovin' by yours truly!!

Trying to set my week to allow for a race and try to get 50 miles in has proved interesting as I also want to get on the track on the weekend for mile repeats and go dancing Friday nite so taking a leaf out of the Barbie playbook(cos Barbie has it all!!!) it's 10 today,8 tomorrow,rest day Wednesday,4 miles on Thursday w/ my race @ The Armory,12 miles Friday,10 miles Saturday and 6 miles on the track on Sunday w/ mile repeats,an ambitious but not unreachable goal.