Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Having A Giggle W/ "Our Kid"

My often military precision schedule got thrown for a loop last nite hence no blog entry,as I often say"it's all well and good have a set schedule but sometimes you have to allow for flexibility"
I'm coming up on 25 years here in October and in most of that time I've made a point of phoning my mother every Sunday and also talking to my brother Keith once a month.
The phone calls between "Our Kid" and I have become legendary over the years there have been some conversations that were dark and twisted w/ either of us venting our spleens or baring our souls,I know for my part I'm glad it was my kid brother on the other end of the phone when I've had to spill my guts and open up to someone,I'm confident that some of the deepest and darkest secrets I've only ever confided in Keith will go to the grave w/ him,we all need that special someone to unload to and for me it's always been "Our Kid"

That said we also have a right good laugh,trust me nothing is sacred when we get going,it's no surprise that Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's alter egos Derek and Clive run rampant in a phone call between the pair of us,I've said it b4 and I'll say it again there's nothing like the sound of "Our Kid" and me laughing our arses off down the phone line to narrow the 3,500 mile distance between us.
Topics for discussion last nite were the Spurs arsenal game,the Noel Gallagher show at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday{and the main reason our regular Sunday natters on the phone got moved to a Monday}laughing at Glasgow rangers going into administration,The Oscars,The Baftas,The Brit Awards,Eastenders,Simple Minds and doing unspeakable things to Jessie J......little angels no......a right pair of bastards......definitely!!!!!

I did manage a 6 miler last nite pre phone call and again tonite,little by little I'm shedding layers of clothing as we're on March's doorstep.
Tomorrow isn't looking great for running w/ the threat of rain we'll have to play that one by ear.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Repeat After Me

Ok so no truth to the vicious rumours I'm in the market for a new tv after putting my size 10's through the screen of my present one when Gary Oldman didn't win the Oscar for best actor at tonite's Oscars.......I knew two weeks ago after the BAFTA's {British Acadamy Film Television Awards} that Jean Dujardin would win for "The Artist" as more often then not said Bafta's tend to be a blueprint for the Oscars and this year proved to be no different.
That said it was rewarding to finally see Gary Oldman nominated for an Oscar after years of truly outstanding performances that were somehow overlooked by the Academy.

Catching up on the last few days, after another fruitless apartment appointment on Friday I put my frustrations into an easy 6 miler despite the rain,it felt somehow cathartic after yet again having my hopes of finding a new place to call not only home but more importantly my own fell well short of my expectations......back to the drawing board.....or at least Craigslist!!
Saturday got stricken from the books somewhat surprisingly, I woke up early enough to allow myself a few hours of down time at the pc scanning through the apartments on Craigslist b4 my intestinal fortitude went south on me maybe the frustration of not being able to find anywhere,anyway the upshot was I lay down a 12.30pm and woke up at 4.50pm,maybe I needed the rest?

W/ Saturdays repeats shot I opted to reschedule them for today it was a choice between much needed speedwork or an easy 12 miler,I have plenty of long runs logged since mid August so I went w/ the repeats and made my way over to trust Temple track for 4x1 mile repeats.
Conditions were sunny and probably just a shade below 40 degrees when I arrived at 11.30am following my mile warm up I shed my fleece,gloves and warm up bottoms b4 launching into it.

#1 mile 1.23-1.28-1.20-1.26-5.37.1.Uneven would sum up my opener,last time out I went:5.23.0-5.37.3-5.39.9.-5.32.7. clearly there was room for improvement.

#2 mile 1.20-1.27-1.26-1.18-5.31.7.Once again it was those two middle laps that screwed me while I'm pleased I lowered my split by 6 seconds there still seems to be an issue w/ laps 2 & 3.

#3 mile 1.24-1.26-1.25-1.19-5.34.5.Slow opener but at least I responded somewhat on the middle two laps,still looking to put it altogether over four laps........

#4 mile 1.20-1.26-1.27-1.14-5.27.5.A 10 second improvement from my opener and a 1.14 to close this is more like it but I need all four mile at this pace just for starters.

Yes today was an improvement over the same repeat last Wednesday but I need to keep seeing improvements,I have mile repeats scheduled again next Sunday and hope to see more improvements.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

See You Jimmy!

At the risk of going all TMI I was denied the chance to run today due to more insanity at the house,I seldom ask for anything but for those of you who believe in good karma could you please think positive thoughts for me tomorrow afternoon when I have an appointment to view a new apartment,to quote a great Pat Benatar song"I Want Out".

Lost in the shuffle recently was the completion of "If I Was" the Midge Ure autobiography,I've been an Ultravox fan since Midge joined them in 1980 on the "Vienna" album, although I was quite partial to the original Ultravox line up w/ John Foxx on vocals......it's a bit like a modern rock version of Genesis w/ Peter Gabriel leaving and Phil Collins taking over on vocals.

I'd rank "If I Was" right up there w/ Gary Kemp's autobiography "I Know This Much" as the best music autobiographies I've read,chock full of interesting things I never knew,for instance he toured w/ Thin Lizzy in 79/80 as a replacement for Gary Moore on one of Gary's "numerous" sackings from the band!!!

Midge was a major driving force behind the first two Visage albums "Visage" and "The Anvil"....maybe there's some major Midge Ure bias here but the fact he wasn't on the final Visage album "Beat Box" and it's pretty naff compared to the other two may have something to do w/ that......just putting it out there!!!

I guess I always took it for granted that Midge was his actual name.....it wasn't he was actually known as Jim but upon joining his first band Salvation......later to be renamed Slik there was already a band member called Jim who felt two Jim's in the same band was one too many so Jim Ure became Mij as it's Jim spelt backwards.....this morphed into Midge as we know and love him today!!!

Rumours abound the Ure,Cross,Cann,Currie classic Ultravox line up are presently in the studio working on their first album since the 86 "UVOX" album w/ views to a tour later this year......count me in on both fronts when that happens.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beyond The Point Of No Return Now

They say,"there are no coincidences" so it was perhaps no surprise I chose Monday to christen my new Millwall jersey at The Armory.
W/ the time honoured "We Fear No Foe" logo on the back of the jersey it's time to take that mentality into the stretch drive for Indoor Nationals.
Come Friday it'll be three weeks till Indoor Nationals,having done the online entry last Thursday and booked my hotel I booked my flight today.....there really is no turning back now.

Having enjoyed a rare but welcome FOD{Fuck Off Day} yesterday it was back to basics today work and a run,nice easy 6 miler w/ more of the same again on tap tomorrow b4 a rest day Friday and then back on the track Saturday for 4x1mile repeats,I'm hoping for an improvement on last Wednesdays mile repeats.
I'm also hoping this great weather continues 59 degs and sunny this afternoon,anytime I can bust out the shades,short sleeves and three quarter length bottoms in late Feb has got to be a blessing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Does That Make Me The 3,000m Mac Daddy????

Well I'm delighted to report NO travel worries to and from the Big Apple this time out!!!!
For once a 2 hour bus ride from Philly to Manhattan took two hours and I arrived at 34th St & 8th Avenue at 5pm w/ 3.5 hours to spare b4 my 3,000m race at The Armory in the USATF NY{MAC} C'ships.
Grabbed a venti Green Tea from Starbucks b4 jumping the uptown A express upto 168th St,things were a lot more sedate and a lot less frantic than my lest visit here that's for sure!!!

I'd known from the on line status of entries that turn out for tonite was going to be sparse,it's a shame whatever name the NY C'ships go by they deserve a better turn out,maybe holding them on a Monday nite wasn't helping,I've ran them on a Friday 06,Sunday 09, and Saturday 10 but knowing how busy The Armory is maybe this was the only available option.
I recognized a number of familiar faces on hand from my frequent trips to NYC to race and settled in to watch the mile.
The meet seemed to be running on schedule which was another concern,having gotten here on time there was the issue of being back at the Bolt Bus by 10.30pm to catch the last bus home,I haven't forgotten the eventful nite in 09 when I missed the last connecting train out of Penn Station and spent the night at Trenton in a waiting room on the platform.......I could do w/out revisiting that thank you very much!!!.

I began my warm up up on the top floor as Matt Chaston finished the 5,000m in a solo effort as only three runners competed.....it was a precursor for the 3,000m.
W/ only three of us to run and my hopes of a testing 3,000m b4 Indoor Nationals up in smoke I opted to take it out hard and run as fast as I could,you can only race who shows up and there seemed little or no point playing "possum" just have at it and see what time I could conjure up.

Somebody was kind enough to get my splits although they missed the first two,I recall seeing 34 seconds for the opening lap and 1.10 at 400m which means my splits read as:
9.38.01 for my official winning time,I came through the mile in 5.01.
Considering I was running all by my lonesome I thought I did reasonably well they were consistent throughout and I lowered each lap split over the final four laps which is pleasing.

Would I have preferred a sterner test on my final race b4 Indoor Nationals?.....absolutely but in keeping w/ my indoor season so far tonites events shouldn't come as a major surprise.
Winning is always nice I make no bones about that and while I'm fully aware that in three weeks time I'll need to run at least 30 seconds faster than this I take great satisfaction that this 3,000m was a full 10 seconds faster than my last 3,000m race on August 7th at the Track Pentathlon so it confirms I'm no longer struggling w/ the anemia issue.

Another win,another medal and MAC title to add to my resume.....not a bad nights work!

Monday, February 20, 2012

MAC C'ships

Details To Follow

It's Still MAC To Me

Although these days it goes by the name USATF NY I still refer to it as the MAC {Metropolitan Athletic Conference} and tonite will be my 4th MAC C'ships in 7 years.
My debut in March 06 was also my first ever race at the famed Armory I won my heat of the open 400m b4 running the third leg of a 4x400 relay where we got well and truly smoked by Synergy.
Three years later I ran my fastest ever indoor 800m b4 returning a year later w/ a then 3,000m pr.
Tonite I'm aiming for a fast 3,000m in my final race b4 Indoor Nationals in 3 weeks time,the Mac C'ships have always been good to me I hope tonite is no different.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Wind Sprints

Wow,third time on a track in a week,probably have to go back four years till that last happened.
16x200m repeats w/ a 200m recovery jog


W/ hindsight maybe if I'd gone bottom bend/back straight not top turn/home straight I'd have had an easier time of it w/ the wind,I probably lost almost a second per repeat battling the headwind on the home straight.
Thanks to the wind I opted for sub 35's today,take away # 11 and I had that,what I wouldn't give for 15 sub 35 second 200s on Monday over 3,000m.....let's just hope there are more than the three of us on the entry list so far come gun time!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Next Stop Bloomington,Via NYC

It's been a while since I lost a day to the weather but w/ a steady rain falling when I got home I opted not to play "Russian Roulette" so close to Indoor Nationals,I still have the option of a 35 mile week even if it means having to conduct an easy 6 miler on Sunday,I had hoped to have a day off b4 my next race on Monday and I still can if I'm willing to settle for a 30 mile week,last time I raced in New York on a Monday and I ran an easy 6 mile on Sunday so we'll see how that all pans out.

Tomorrow sees the deadline for Indoor Nationals in four weeks time,after little to no activity on the status of entries for weeks things have picked up in the last few days,it'll be interesting to view the full list of "runners and riders" for Bloomington on Saturday morning.

While the status of entries for Bloomington grows there seems to be little or no activity on the status of entries for Monday's USATFNY C'ships at The Armory,the deadline for entries is tomorrow at noon last time I checked there were only 2 of us in the 3,000m......I was hoping for a little more opposition if I'm being honest......watch this space!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Going Through The Roof

The "week from hell" continues unabated hence my blood pressure continuing to rise......looks like I picked the wrong week to cut back my mileage,a 10 mile run yesterday or today would've felt soooo good!
However since I'd not only elected to cut my weekly mileage back from 50 mpw to 35 mpw but also opted for repeats it was off to the track at Temple post work for some mile repeats.
It wasn't till post workout I realized these were my first mile repeats since January 7th when I only mustered:5.24.3-5.47.1-5.53.8-5.41.5- far from earth shattering and well w/in my range to lower this time out five and a half weeks later.

Conditions were a far cry from Sundays sub zero snow and ice bastard head wind when I hit the track at 3.30pm,I wasn't sure if I'd get on the track as Temple's athletes were working out but in that old adage "just look like you know what your doing" I dropped by back pack off in the infield at the foot of the pole vault runway and began my mile warm up nobody else was using lane one and four laps later nobody raised any objections to my using the track so have it I said.

Mile #1 1.16-1.22-1.24-1.21-5.23.0.Ok not earth shattering but a start,from little acorns big trees grow.

Mile #2 1.23-1.27-1.27-1.20-5.37.3.I said back in December when I resumed mile repeats that once I eliminated the 1.24 plus laps I'd be on the right track,over the coming weeks I hope to work on that.

Mile #3 1.21-1.26-1.28-1.24-5.39.9.I felt I let this one get away from me in the final lap as I was three seconds up at the half,again w/ more mile repeats under my belt over the coming weeks I hope to get stronger.

Mile #4 1.22-1.28-1.25-1.17-5.32.7.While 5.32.7. is a far cry from where I'd like to be at least a 1.17 to close is a step in the right direction.

W/ more mile repeats on tap over the coming weeks both pre and post Indoor Nationals the aim is to lower my splits,like I said today was a start and start as you mean to go on I always say.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

All Of My Heart

"There's no salvation for me now no space among the clouds,and I've said that I'm heading down but that's alright that's alright that's alright
And I've been taking chances I've been setting myself up for the fall,I've been keeping secrets from my heart and from my soul
Going from row to row back to back lover to lover black to red"

Lover To Lover-Florence & The Machine.

Wouldn't be Valentine's Day w/out pledging my undying love to the Queen of Camberwell....yeah South East London in da house!!!!

Easy 6 miler this evening needed a run to clear my head,every friggin Valentine's Day on the loading dock is the same we get over a dozen floral deliveries that the sender insists is far more important to be delivered to the recipient......yeah that human tissue for the OR SURE that can wait while we deliver flowers........get over your self,get real,get bent whatever just remember it's a hospital ok!

But to prove I'm not a total grinch,killjoy or anti cupid here's a Valentines 80's mix......enjoy

All Of My Heart-ABC

The Back Of Love- Echo & The Bunnymen

Love Song-Simple Minds

Time{Clock Of The Heart}-Culture Club

I Found Love-Lone Justice

Solid Bond In Your Heart-Style Council

Love On Your Side-Thompson Twins

Temple Of Love-Sisters Of Mercy

W/ Or W/out You-U2

Love Song-The Cure

Love Action-Human League

Never Tear Us Apart-INXS

Love Will Tear Us Apart-Joy Division

Bizarre Love Triangle-New Order

It's Called A Heart-Depeche Mode

Love Hangover-The Associates

Always On My Mind-Pet Shop Boys

Here's My Heart-Pat Benatar

Love Needs No Disguise-Gary Numan

Love Resurrection-Alison Moyet

Love Parade-The Undertones

Love's Great Adventure-Ultravox

What Is Love?-Howard Jones

Heart And Soul-T'Pau

Total Eclipse Of The Heart-Bonnie Tyler

So In Love-OMD

Tainted Love-Soft Cell

Monday, February 13, 2012

Golden Girl

Kind of a no brainer that w/ tomorrow being Valentine's Day there's going to be a picture of Florence Welch on my blog..........duh!!!!!!! but to share the love I though a picture of the other great love of my life Jessica Ennis was in order,taken in Sheffield yesterday at the UK Indoor C'ships after winning the 60m hurdles I have to say the Union Jack has seldom looked so beautiful!!!!!!!!

An unexpected bonus today the chance to run w/ my friend and team mate Nick Berra.
It's fair to say Nick and I swim in different circles.......not a reference to his ability to do pool running w/ Hydroworks{free plug there guys....maybe you could hook me up sometime.......he hinted!!!!) but we live on polar opposite sides of Pennsylvania,in fact the last time I saw Nick was the first weekend of October in Syracuse for the Masters 5k road race c'ships.
So when I got an email from Nick this morning letting me know he was in Philly for a few hours this evening and wanting to know if I was up for a run a "fist size Burrito" afterwards at Qudoba I was only too happy to restructure my schedule.

Shelving my solo 6 miler along Cobbs Creek Parkway at 4pm I met Nick at his hotel in Center City just after 6pm and we headed off towards Kelly Drive via the Ben Franklin Parkway and the Schuylkill Banks at the Art Museam and made the turnaround just b4 the Columbia Bridge.
The pace was a comfortable 6 and a half minute pace which allowed us to conduct a conversation while we ran,Nick gave me his perspective on the new Millrose Games this weekend at The Armory,we discussed races we've ran and missed in recent weeks and looked ahead to Indoor Nationals in Bloomington in 4 weeks time.
Post run we hit Qudoba for said "fist size Burrito" I commented how it must feel for Mo Farah working out everyday w/ Galen Rupp it was a good run and I'm hopeful come outdoor season in my two 10,000m races on the track the experience of this evenings brisk 6 miler will serve me well.
I suspect a somewhat slower 6 miler solo tomorrow....and no "fist size Burrito"post run!!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It Didn't Lack Desire

Filling in the blanks,since I didn't have time to either warm up or cool down on Thursday it was Friday's 10 miler b4 I got to brake in my new Asics Rush 33's.
I skipped yesterday,the weather couldn't seem to make up it's mind if it wanted to snow or not and if I'm being 100% honest I was still suffering a hangover from Thursday's cock up and frankly felt a "less is more" mindset coming on........

When I said "less is more" I wasn't referring to the temperature.....sweet Jesus!!!! 29 degrees when I left at 10.30am this morning and upon arriving at Temple's track I found the track dusted w/ snow but not unrunable.....not surprisingly I had the track to myself ie the only person insane enough to run on a snow covered track in sub zero conditions w/ a vicious head wind on the back straight.
Needless to say post mile warm up there was no stripping off layers today,hooded fleece,half zip fleece and long sleeved running shirt,warm up bottoms over my running tights,sure I looked and felt like "Mr Bulky" but at least I wasn't going to freeze/catch frostbite.

#1 1,000m 1.21.-1.27-41-3.29.4.In fairness b4 I even began I knew my times weren't going to be anything to write home about but this was more about putting forth the effort than worrying about what the stop watch said.

#2 1,000m 1.23-1.28-41-3.32.3Pretty much more of the same there was a temptation to ditch the stop watch and just run the repeats.....but I knew curiosity would get the better of me if I didn't.

#3 1,000m 1.26-1.29-40-3.35.3.Dealing w/ the wind on the back straight was tough and the sub zero wind wasn't helping any but w/ three down and two to go I was home free.

#4 1,000m 1.22-1.28-41-3.31.5.Always good to reverse a trend and prove I wasn't running up the white flag,the times may be slow but my desire wasn't diminished,never question my heart.

#5 1,000m 1.23-1.27-37-3.27.4.Anytime you can close quicker than you opened has to be a good thing even on a under par day.

While my splits were nothing to sing from the rooftops the desire to get out and compete on a day that was far from idea tells me what I may lack in speed right now I make up for w/ heart and determination and look forward to my next repeat session in a few days time....and hopefully it'll be bloody warmer then than today!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kids......DON'T Try This At Home!

There's an old rock and roll cliche that being on stage for however long your performance is that night makes up for all the crap you go through during the day,I guess a similar parallel can be made w/ running but b4 I go there I need to draft a strongly worded letter to my lawyers to check the fine print of my Luck of the Irish agreement cos frankly there seems to be some major loop holes in that.
Also St Christopher and I need a sit down meeting sometime soon,as Patron saint of Travellers he seems to have left me off his list of those needing safe passage.

It's coming up on three years since I got stranded for almost 24 hours at Logan airport in Boston after snow in Philly grounded all outbound flights then a couple of weeks later I missed the last connecting train out of Penn Station in New York back to Philly and spent the night on a bench in the waiting room at Trenton.....
Back home in England back in the day British Rail used to have a slogan "Let The Train Take The Strain" sadly here in America the only strain taking either Amtrak or regional rail Septa/NJ Transit anywhere is the strain on your wallet!!!
A round trip from 30th Street in Philly to Penn Station via Trenton on a week day is $48.90 my round trip on Megabus on Thursday was $15.50 so you can see why I favour the bus.....................
However! my last four bus trips up to New York have all taken longer than the two hours they are scheduled to,September for The Human League/5th Avenue Mile took 4 hours,November for The Cure took 3 hours,December for the Armory Holiday Meet took 3 hours and yesterday for the Thursday Nite @ The Races it took 4 hours!!!!!!!

I learnt the hard way in 2010 on my first Tuesday Speed Series at Ichan that taking the 3pm bus is not the way to go,everything was going all tickety boo till the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel b4 getting snarled up in traffic we crawled through the tunnel and I still had to get from midtown to Randall's Island b4 7pm when we arrived at 34th and 8th Ave at 6pm an hour later than scheduled,since then I've made a point of catching the 2.30pm bus,even if I lose an hour like I did for the Holiday Meet I should still make it on time to register and warm up.......
Things were ticking along nicely I took a nap on the bus and woke up as we were approaching Newark airport around 3.45pm,I figured we were a little behind schedule but even arriving at midtown by 5.30pm would allow me ample time to take the A express from 34th St to 168th St and still be at The Armory by 6pm an hour b4 the meet began........

If you've ever taken the Lincoln Tunnel you'll know when you get to Weehawken in New Jersey there's a downhill to the tunnel and on a bad day you can see all the traffic in front of you......after counting the first 30 vehicles ahead of my bus I stopped counting!!!!!!
Realizing there was nothing I could do I tried to occupy myself listening to my ipod{thank you Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music!!!} while writing my yearly running review in my running log there was little or no point using up nervous energy dealing w/ a situation I could do nothing about but w/ each look at my watch from 5pm when we got to Weehawken I began to wonder if I'd get to The Armory by 7pm???
It was 6.35pm when the bus got to 28th and 7th Avenue,two choices make a mad dash for it and hope I'd get to 168th and Washington in 35 mins or cut my losses find a Starbucks and drink a Venti Green Tea and kill 2 hours b4 my 8.40pm bus back to Philly?????

I opted for the former and by 6.45pm I was on an uptown express A train which got me to 168th St by 7.05pm,my warm up was a run along 168th from the train station at Broadway to Washington Ave,by now heat two of the women's mile should be on the line......
To my amazement the meet hadn't begun I never considered the knock on effect Saturday's Millrose Games would have on tonites meet and while I'd at least gotten here in time to run now another clock ticking issue had arisen.....
I had opted for the 8.40pm bus back to Philly rather than the 9.40pm so now I had to get in and get done w/ the swiftness and w/ the meet running behind and three heats of the women's mile I was once again racing against the clock......ever had the feeling it just isn't your day??!!!
I jumped in heat #1 knowing it would probably be a tad rich for my blood period but w/ no time to warm up this was the hand I'd been dealt.

A reasonable reaction to the gun but I found myself on the rail going into the first turn,rather than swing wide I held my ground believing space would open up as I found myself 8th in a 12 man field.
34 seconds after the opening lap.....eureka a clock tonite at least I was on pace,68 seconds at 400m and through 800m in 2.16,4.32 pace.
Sadly I lost contact w/ the seventh place runner on lap 5 as he pulled away from me,9 through 12 were well behind me so when I most needed someone to push me I was in no mans land.
I forget my times on laps 5 and 6 I saw 4.05 at the bell,I was 7 seconds off pace now and had to settle for a 4.42 finish a 2.16/2.26 split,so much for improving my mile time b4 Indoor Nationals!!
Adding further insult to injury heat two was won in 4.32,this would've been a much better heat for me to have been in but now the rush was on to be back at 34th and 9th Avenue by 8.40pm in time to catch my bus to Philly.two words sum up today.......cock up!!!!!!!

Let's just hope for better things on Feb 20th back here for the USATFNY C'ships over 3,000m,at least the 3,000m isn't scheduled to begin till 8.35pm and the last bus is at 10.30pm....St Christopher,my lawyers and I will be talking leading upto and including that day trust me!!!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tire Change

No chance to run in the falling snow this afternoon since today was my rest day.
I'm hoping to brake in my new running shoes tomorrow,I just ordered the above Asics Rush 33's having logged 435 miles on my current shoes Asics Gel Speedstar's.
I'd rather not have logged that many miles on my current shoes and it's probably because of that my shins have been a little sore of late but getting nailed w/ a dental bill at the start of the year and trying to live w/in my means financially meant I had to wait till last week to order my new shoes which probably put an extra 150 miles on them.

Off to New York tomorrow for another mile,hopefully a better performance and time than last month and a last chance to get a decent seed time for Indoor Nationals in five weeks time,the clock as they say is ticking.....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Stray Cat Strut

You've gotta love that scouse sense of humour,during last nites game at Anfield between Liverpool and Spurs a cat ran on the pitch,some would say it was the most exciting thing to happen in the 90 minutes but anyway someone posted "Anfield Cat" on Twitter while You Tube had 25,000 hits of "Anfield Cat" running on the pitch.....meow!

Another economical run tonite over 9 miles another sunny afternoon in the 50's this is a far cry from last winter.
Tomorrow is a rest day since I'm racing Thursday,this will be my last chance to get a decent mile time b4 Indoor Nationals and also my final race b4 I have to submit a seed time b4 the entry deadline next Friday....no pressure!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover

I'm probably the last person you'd expect to watch anything on PBS's Masterpiece Theater but I've become an avid fan of "Downton Abbey"recently.

I wish I'd seen the first season but sadly that got by me last year however as I watch season two on Channel 23 each Wednesday I'm piecing together what I missed in season one as season two unfolds.

When I was a nipper "Upstairs Downstairs" was a popular tv show about the upper class{Upstairs}and their servants{Downstairs} I didn't get what all the fuss was about and was probably too young to fully appreciate it in the same way I turned my nose up at "old movies" if they were old they couldn't be all that was my typical teenage attitude,a few years later I surprised even myself by watching "Brideshead Revisited" and loved it,fast forward to respectable middle age and Downton Abbey which I'm totally enjoying and looking forward to a third season next year.

Easy 10 miler this evening,keeping in mind an old adage my ex coach used to say about easy runs"no matter how slow you're running.....it's probably too fast!!!"

The easiest thing would've been not to have ran at all since Spurs were playing Liverpool on Espn 2 as I was home in time for the second half,I could've come up w/ some bullshit excuse not to run along the lines of "I'm saving my legs for Thursday's race" but that kind of crap results in not getting on the podium at Nationals and I'm working too hard to let that happen in just over 5 weeks time so no excuses and a 10 mile run it was......and Spurs drew 0.0!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Something New,Something Fast

After two weeks of racing on top of the weekend I skipped training I hadn't been on a track for repeats since Sunday Jan 8th when I did 4x1 mile repeats so it was about high time I got back on the oval this morning to begin the second phase of training for Indoor Nationals in Bloomington in just over five weeks time.

As I stated in my blog yesterday I feel the one area I'm lacking right now is speed so hopefully the next five weeks will see me work on that twice a week be it a race and an interval session or two repeats,to jump start the process I went w/ something new today,16x200m w/ a 200m recovery jog.
Why 16x200?simple,15 200m laps in an indoor 3,000m this would be a close simulation of that conditions were sunny and mild when I arrived at Temple around 11.20am,mile warm up then stripped down to my running tights and half zip fleece to have at it.


Prior to the repeat I set 36.00 as my absolute slowest target,mid way through the repeat I bumped that up to 35.00 and post repeat I may need to adjust it to 34.00 for the next time I conduct this repeat which I plan to revisit a few more times b4 Nationals.
Overall I was pleased w/ the level of consistency throughout especially #8 thro #16.
All in all a good week another 50 miles under my belt and some much needed speed work.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Workman Like Performance

As a soccer fan I'm well used to the cliches managers used in post game interviews,"we weren't at the races today""I'm sick as a parrot""I'm over the moon""the ref gave us nothing today""it was a game of two halves"and "it was a workman like performance" to name half a dozen.

The later usually means the team in question did nothing more or nothing less than they had to which pretty much describes this lunchtimes easy 10 miler,w/ the emphasis on easy.
After a late nite on the dance floor at Sex Dwarf and the prospect of a track repeat tomorrow the last thing I needed was an all out out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway so I took my foot off the gas and enjoyed a nice easy run.
One good thing about a more low key run was having the time to do the mental math as I look at the last six weeks leading upto Indoor Nationals,I need to factor in a taper three weeks out and I'd like to up my repeats to twice a week starting next week.

Playing Devils Advocate or in my case Devils Associate providing I take care of business tomorrow I will have 16 50 mile weeks in the last 25 weeks so I know there's little or no question about my strength and stamina so I just feel it's time to work on sharpening my speed,w/ the evenings getting lighter later there's no excuse for not being able to hit the track during the week now....although next week I have a race and ditto for two weeks later so those two weeks are earmarked but I will look to work in an extra repeat sessions in the other four weeks......to quote Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" I feel the need for speed........

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Hard To Dance W/ A Devil On Your Back

A rest day from running....but w/ a five hour dance marathon at Sex Dwarf on tap tonite I could consider today an aerobic workout!!!
If circumstances been different I could've been heading to Boston for the Masters Mile at the New Balance Games at the Reggie Lewis center but I'll just have to sit this one out and check the results.
It's not lost on me that my main man Mo Farah is competing there tomorrow in the mile and I would've had an ideal opportunity to meet him but hopefully somewhere down the road our paths will cross.
Weather forecast for the weekend looks good so a 10 miler tomorrow and a trip to the track on Sunday look doable.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cast No Shadow

"Here's a thought for every man who tries to understand what's in his hands
He walks along the open road of love and life surviving if he can
Bound w/ all the weight of all the words he tried to say chained to all the places that he never wished to stay
Bound w/ all the weight of all the words he tried to say
As he faced the sun he cast no shadow
As they took his soul they stole his pride,as he faced the sun he cast no shadow"

Cast No Shadow-Oasis

So,according to Punxsutawney Phil the Pennsylvania groundhog there'll be another six weeks of winter.....there's a shocker!! frankly when you conduct this ritual each Feb 2nd at 7.30am the chances of not seeing his shadow are slim to none according to records he's seen his shadow 100 times since 1886 and only 16 times has he not seen his shadow and yet 18,000 travel to east bumblefuck every year to witness this......get a life people please!!!!

An oversight from yesterday the results of my blood test last Monday came back,according to my doctor my hemoglobin is normal and stable thanks to a six month regime of taking an iron pill once a day,since late December I've cut back to one a week,I'm scheduled to get my blood tested again in July,we'll see what the results are then.

Easy 6 miler this evening,I miscalculated my total mileage for Sundays scheduled repeats so today was only 6 miles not the 8 miles I think I said it was yesterday,34 miles for the week w/ an easy 10 scheduled for Saturday then 6 on the track on Sunday

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Read It In Books

"Travelling w/ no destination no place to go nameless towns w/ faceless people no place I know
Time to close my mind and drift off to other scenes lose myself in glossy pages dull magazines
Moments pass by oh so slowly makes me lonely too twisting street lights in the darkness makes me lonely too
No the damned don't cry"

The Damned Don't Cry-Visage

If you told me at the start of winter that on Feb 1st it'd be 63 degrees and sunny while I conducted my easy 8 miler in shorts and a t shirt I'd have laughed my arse off.......I may not've been laughing this afternoon......but I sure was smiling!!!!

Next Tuesday will mark six months since the Berlin show at World Cafe,I could not have foreseen the ripple effect that nite would have back then but since that fateful nite I have not only discovered there are a few dozen like minded souls who like me love the music of the 80's but I've also become a regular in the both the Land Of The Lost chatroom on the last Friday of each month but also on the dance floor of Sex Dwarf the 80's dance party at Club Fluid on the first Friday of each month.

As well as continuing to upgrade my music collection of classic 80's cd's some of which I owned on trusty vinyl back in the day I've also increased my book collection
When my mate Eric suggested reading "I Know This Much" by Gary Kemp it began a chain reaction that has also seen me read the autobiographies of fellow band mates Tony Hadley and Martin Kemp.
A common theme that ran through all three Spandau autobiographies was The Blitz Club in Covent Garden where "the cool kids/New Romantics" hung out to hear Rusty Egan spin if they were lucky enough to get past Steve Strange on the door!!!
I loved Visage,owned their first two albums and numerous 12'' singles,I never got to either Billy's where Steve and Rusty hosted "Bowie Nite" or Blitz but I did go to the Camden Palace a few times and did meet Steve Strange once.....although I doubt that made into his autobiography "Blitzed"!!!!

I'm currently reading "If I Was" the autobiography of Midge Ure,Midge was on the first two Visage albums b4 Ultravox really kicked into overdrive,it's been interesting to read his involvement in Visage and his Blitz Club memories.
Also on tap to read are "Blitzed" by Steve Strange,"Take It Like A Man" by Boy George and "We Can Be Heroes"by Graham Smith which is all about the Blitz Kids
So many books,not enough time..........I also need to read Phil Reiley's running book "Chasing Ghosts" since I told Phil I'd not only read it but review it in my blog.....of course I told him that the morning of the Track Pentathlon........12 hours b4 I went to see Berlin that nite.........................