Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Life Imitating Art?

Timely use of Keane as they have a new album about to be released,Xpn has been playing the new single off it which I'm liking,Keane are coming to Philly in June so hopefully I'll get to see them for a 4th time since their 2004 debut album and tour "Hopes And Fears".

Along those lines,I had hoped to be running again this week or at the very least know what the status of my achilles injury is.....after several emails back and forth to my podiatrist it turned out he hadn't received the results of last Fridays MRI so now I have to send him the dvd they gave me when I got done last Friday.....frankly if I'd known that I could've mailed it off last Friday after the MRI and have the answers I'm looking for now not waiting another few days........

I'm eager to return to training period,as a runner not running is just alien to me,you might as well ask me not to breathe...or post photos of cute Russian Long Jumpers on my blog!!!!,a week off won't kill me but between the taper pre Nationals and some down time post Nationals I'm eager......or should that be keen.....I know I couldn't help myself to get back into the swing of things and get my mileage back up to 50 miles a week and also get on the track twice a week to get my speed back for the upcoming 800m/1,500m outdoor season,fingers crossed by Monday I'll know what the diagnosis for my achilles is so I can plot my next move.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Weekend,Presented In Dolby Surround Sound

Or life after Indoor Nationals.
Friday had my MRI on my left achilles,I'd never had a MRI done b4 so that was a new experience I can see why people get unhinged having to go into the MRI chamber if they are claustrophobic,luckily for me I'm not and I was only in it upto my chest,at least I got a half hour nap out of the deal!!!the older I get the more"about the nap"I find myself becoming.....Precious has become a good influence on me!!!!

Saturday no early morning run so I copped the Chelski Spurs game on ESPN 2,seldom a happy hunting ground for us at Stamford Bridge we haven't won there since 1990 I'd have willing taken a point b4 kick off at 8.45am.
Come full time 90 mins later w/ the score at 0.0 I felt we had created the better chances over 90 minutes and could feel hard done by leaving South West London w/ only one point not all three,still we keep a five point cushion between ourselves and Chelski for that final Champions League spot and my mother and I remain on speaking terms as she supports the blues and I followed my fathers lead and chose the Lillywhites as my team.

Saturday evening a show at World Cafe Live w/ Thomas Dolby.
I hadn't seen Thomas Dolby in almost 30 years(a record for the length of time in between shows)since a small club gig back in Croydon South East London in Dec 82 after his debut album had produced two hit singles "Europa & The Pirate Twins" and "Windpower"
There were half a dozen Land Of The Lost/Sex Dwarf regulars on hand for the entertaining show,a nice mix of old songs and a few new songs off "Map Of The Floating City" Dolby's first cd in 20 years.
Would've loved to have heard "Windpower" but it didn't make the set list but "She Blinded Me W/ Science" and "Hyperactive" his most recognisable hits did.

Sunday easy victory in the mile at the Mid Atlantic C'ships at the University Of Delaware,only 4 of us in our heat as they kept the 50 plus runners in one heat and the sub 50 in another.
After 100m I realized the leader wasn't going to take it out hard so I took over and went through 200m in 38 seconds and 400m 1.14.
2.25 at the half all I had to do was stay upright for the final 4 laps to claim a second Mid Atlantic C'ship mile title since 07.
2 laps from home I saw the blue and red of my team mate Andy Shearer pushing me hard,had I known pre race Andy was looking to go sub 5 I would've worked w/ him as it turned out I had a hollow 5.00.4 victory to his 5.02. runners up spot,he did coast to victory in the 3,000m three hours later.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Who Says You Can't Come Home Again?

I haven't competed at an Indoor Mid Atlantic C'ships since Ursinus in 08,my debut in Masters track was in 05 at Swarthmore b4 running the Mid Atlantic Indoor C'ships at Ursinus several weeks later.

I skipped the 06 C'ships in Lehigh b4 running at Ursinus in 07,sadly I got sick there which ultimately scuppered my chances at Indoor Nationals in Boston,when I got sick again at Ursinus again the following year I said that was it for me at Ursinus,once you can chalk up as bad luck,twice just sucks!!!
The 09 Mid Atlantic c'ships were also held at Ursinus,the same day that the Armory hosted the Mac C'ships.....pretty much a no brainer,2010 saw them move to Glen Mills......I've gone on record as saying there aren't enough zeros on that cheque to get me to run at Glen Mills so that wasn't happening and last year when they were held at Delaware I passed on the opportunity as I wanted to get into Outdoor mode.

It will seem strange stepping back into the arena of Mid Atlantic C'ships after a 4 year hiatus but things have changed and maybe I owe it to myself to compete in my regional c'ships,it remains to be seen if this summer sees me end a four year holdout on the Outdoor Championships but one race at a time,let's see what Sunday yields first?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Didn't Say I Was Russian.....I Said I Was In A Hurry

"Hey little god w/ your foot on the pedal hands on the wheel staring out through the windshield
Hair streaking back w/ the wind like a raven over your shoulder all is forgotten
Under the rubber the road is afire sweat on your body and rust on the chromium
One motivation,a single desire keep on the move don't let anyone near you
Here comes confession time the ghost of my past on my shoulder now this is confession time for me
Here comes confession time the ghost of all the years has tracked me down it's confession time for me"

Confession Time-Terri Nunn

Never let it be said you don't get your moneys worth on my blog not one but two smoking hot chicks the love/lust of my live Darya Klishina and Terri Nunn.....what can I can"more bang for your buck".....maybe another smouldering photo of my fav Russian long jumper and the word bang shouldn't go together but what the hell we're all adults here right??!!

So here's my confession,for the past few weeks I've been nursing a tender left achilles,as some of you may know it was my right achilles that gave out on me in the 09 season and wrecked my hopes of not only going to Worlds but also being a potential World Champion,anyway for the past few weeks my left achilles has been a little tender,I opted to keep stoum on the issue{no point letting my rivals know I wasn't 100%} and "baby" it I've been able to run on it and train but my bigger concern was correcting the issue b4 it became "season threatening"I plan very much on not only running an outdoor season but also competing at Outdoor Nationals in Lisle Illinois in 20 weeks time.

Made an appointment w/ my foot doctor this afternoon who upon examination is sending me for a MRI on Friday to determine the exact nature of the injury,if it's a tear I'll need physical therapy if it's not torn I'll undergo shock wave treatment eitherway I'm sidelined for a few days till we get the results,I'd rather sit now and get healthy so I can reload for the outdoor season than keep ploughing on and potentially ruin not only the entire outdoor season but scupper Outdoor Nationals which I'm chomping at the bit to compete in over 800m and 1,500m a la my "golden years" of Orno 07 and Spokane 08.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Not A Pot Of Gold At The End Of My Rainbow....But I'll Take It!

I knew coming into this years Indoor Nationals that if ever my chances of finally adding an Indoor National Championship individual gold(I won gold on a 4x400m relay in 09 in Landover}were to see the light of day this was probably my best chance,next March in Landover I'll be 49.
On top of that to accommodate World Indoors in Finland in a few weeks time Masters Nationals were moved forward from their traditional end of March slot to not only mid March but also St Patrick's Day weekend w/ the mile falling on St Paddy's Day.....this was too good to be true!!!!!

Following my lackluster 3,000m performance the evening b4 I was suitably motivated to redeem myself over the mile.
W/ hindsight had I not been somewhat shell shocked from the 3,000m I believe I would've ran a slightly more astute race tactically.
I felt the mile was anybody's race to win 11 of us lined up Jeff Mann who beat me outdoors in Sacramento 2010 at Outdoor Nationals was a notable scratch but I still had Francis Burdett and Tom Fitzpatrick either side of me on the starting line and a little further along the line Michael Strickland,Kristian Blaich and Thomas Lentz,no wonder when I knelt down on the top turn to say my pre race prayer I asked God just to get me on the podium if an outright win wasn't doable.

A good reaction to the gun and in a sense of near dajavu as we broke down the back straight it was Kristian Blaich and Francis Burdett ahead of me,Thomas Lentz the 3,000m winner would not be a factor today and eventually dropped out.
According to the splits I was given the opening 200m was 36.3 followed by a 33.6 split for 1.09 at 400m.
W/ hindsight{a wonderful thing if ever there was one!!!}I wish I'd stayed tucked in behind Kristian and Francis but w/ my confidence somewhat shot not just from yesterday but also it has to be said from a {in my opinion}below par Indoor season,after kicking things off w/ a 4.15.8. 1,500m on Dec 26th my subsequent mile times have been:4.39.8.-4.39.9.-4.42. all well below the 4.32-4.34 the 1,500m indicated I could and should run I wasn't confident in the belief that if I sat back behind the leaders I could kick like a mule w/ a lap to go and win so at the end of lap three two I moved ahead of Kristian and Francis.

33.9 for lap three and 34.8 for lap 4 a 2.16 halfway split,probably closer to 2.18 adding the .3-.6.-.9-.8.'s
I had no idea of what was going on behind me although judging from some of the photos I saw there was a pretty tight pack on my tail w/ Francis,Kristian,Tom Fitzpatrick,Michael Strickland and Michael Scholtz all giving chase
35.7-35.4 for laps five and six,down the back straight b4 the turn I felt Francis Burdett try to make a move on me but repelled it 35.0 and 4.05 at the bell,one lap,200m between me and the finish and my first ever Indoor Nationals individual Gold.....on St Paddy's Day...........
Coming off the bottom turn Kristian Blaich pulled along side me if this had been a 1,500m I might've been able to stay in pole position but the younger legs of Kristian pulled ahead,I tried to mount a challenge but it wasn't to be,not for the first time at Nationals my"live by the sword,die by the sword" tactics had backfired.
Going into the final turn Francis went by me I glanced over my shoulder and couldn't see Michael Strickland for the third successive Indoor Nationals I was was going to claim bronze in the mile as I had in Landover in 09 and again in Boston in 2010.

Third in 4.42.4. I offered post race congratulations to Kristian and Francis b4 getting down on my knees to offer up post race thanks to God for another podium finish at Nationals,you never take them for granted,I may not've gotten the fairytale win I had dreamt of all Fall and Winter but yet again the record books will show yours truly on the podium at Nationals and while my times may be slowing as I get older the fact remains since my 07 Indoor Nationals debut I have 8 medals to show for my efforts.
Post race several of us ran together to cool down there's a tremendous feeling of camaraderie at Masters Nationals once the battles on the track are fought we laugh and joke as we cool down b4 enjoying a meal and a libation or two b4 we ready ourselves for the next battle which will be in Lisle Illinois this August at Outdoor Nationals......Gentlemen start your engines......

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spluttering At The Indy 3,000

I always knew the chances of me going one better than I did in Boston at the 2010 Indoor Masters Nationals where I won a silver in the 3,000m were remote.
W/ defending champ and current World Champ Francis Burdett in the field as well as the Atlanta Track Club duo Michael Strickland and Kristen Blaich the odds of reaching the podium were slim,factor in my less than spectacular Indoor season and the fact my lone venture over 15 laps was a hollow 9.38 victory running by myself in a 3 man field at the New York C'ships three weeks ago and you could see why I wasn't talking up my chances of an upset victory but I did think I could be "in the mix" if I ran to my potential and maybe just maybe if I had a career day and ran faster than my 9.07.3 pr I might sneak a bronze,after all I am the poster child for Indoor National bronze medals(07 800m,09 800m,10 800m,09 mile 10 mile).

From the gun I tracked the human metronome Francis Burdett going into the first turn as we broke on the back straight Kristian Blaich and Thomas Lentz hit the front followed by Francis and then me.
I was quite happy to be in 4th as we clipped off 35/36 second splits in the opening laps someone did get my splits for me but frankly post race I was too despondent to write them down.
I'm not sure when the gap between Francis and me began to widen I do recall telling myself to get up closer to the poster child for Kit Kat bars if I wanted to stay in touch w/ the leaders but pretty soon not only had the three man lead pack gaped me but first Micheal Strickland passed me b4 Michael Heffron relegated me to 6th and a distant 6th.

Congrats to Thomas Lentz who once again proved that you have to view everyone as a potential threat at Nationals,pre race I'd never heard of him,should our paths cross in future Masters National C'ships I'll be painfully aware of who he is thanks to his impressive 8.59.2 victory.
Getting beaten by 5 guys all younger than me{45,45,47,45,45}is no disgrace at 48 it's one of the elements of Masters track you learn to live w/{roll on turning 50 next year I avoid the young guns in the 45-49 age group and become a whippersnapper in 50-54 for a few years!!!} but it's the manner of my defeat and the piss poor time of 9.40.4 that leaves a sour aftertaste in my mouth.

I have noticed in both the mile and 3,000m this indoor season that my second half splits tend to balloon up I thought all my weeks of 50 miles per week training would not only prep me for the 3,000m but also the 5,000m and 10,000m, outdoors, a major rethink of my distances needs to take place,is it time to return to the days of 07-08 when I ran the 800m and 1,500m????

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tanned.....W/ A Little Extra Bronze From Sunny Bloomington

A more detailed account of the 2012 Masters Indoor Nationals is coming in the next day or two,a full post mortem on my woeful 6th place in the 3,000m on Friday b4 rebounding nicely yesterday w/ another bronze in the mile to up my Indoor Nationals medal haul since Boston 07 to 1 gold,1 silver and 6 bronze.....

Monday, March 12, 2012

From Russia W/ Love

If memory serves me correctly{at 48 it's a full time gig remembering if I said something or thought I said something trust me!!!}back in mid to late January I mentioned having a big following in Russia on my blog,well continuing w/ the lovefest between yours truly and Mother Russia this is Darya Klishina the latest love of my life......suddenly I find myself being a huge Long Jump fan and demand that not just the finals of the women's Long Jump gets prime time track and field coverage but also the qualifying rounds too.......I suspect I may not be alone in this!!!!!!!! as I wrote in my diary Darya puts the HUB in hubba!!!!!!!

So catching up on recent days I put in back to back easy 6 milers on Friday and Saturday to leave me w/ 4x1mile repeats on Sunday to round out my week at 30 miles in my final full week of training b4 Indoor Nationals in Bloomington Indiania.
Conditions were grey and overcast when I arrived at Temple at 11.10am,as I made my way to the track I could see the wind gauges working overtime in the northeast corner above the track,I'm used to the wind being a factor but it's normally on the bottom turn and back straight,I guess today not only for shits and giggles but in keeping w/ the way things have gone this indoor season the wind chose to be a factor on the top turn and home straight.......great!!!

Mile warm up taken care of it was have at it time one last time b4 my 5th Indoor Nationals in 6 years having opted not to deal w/ the altitude in New Mexico last March.

#1 mile 1.21-1.26-1.30-1.28-5.45.5.After a reasonable opening two laps I think mentally I was already in Bloomington as my focus wasn't on the track at Temple as a pair of woeful 1.28-1.30 splits confirmed.

#2 mile 1.22-1.25-1.27-1.21-5.35.3.A little more like it but the wind was proving to be an issue when I resume my 3x2mile repeats this wouldn't be a bad pace but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little slower than I'd prefer.

#3 mile 1.27-1.29-1.29-1.19-5.44.5.A little too much "Snakes and Ladders" for my liking,having gotten back on track{no pun intended} w/ #2 this repeat fell back into #1 territory.

#4 mile 1.22-1.29-1.33-1.10-5.34.8.A mixed bag if ever there was one,reasonable opening lap,seemed to fall asleep in the middle b4 clocking back to back 35 second 200s on the final lap.
Sure closing in 1.10 is something to be pleased w/ but coming off a 1.33 lap b4 hand it's not as satisfying as if it had come on the back of a 1.20 split.

I head into Indoor Nationals unsure of where I'm at, w/ the exception of my opening race of the Indoor season my 4.15.8. 1,500m on Dec 26th none of my other races have told me what to expect of myself as I toe the line at 6.15pm for the 3,000m on Friday and again at 12. 50pm for the mile on Saturday I guess we'll have to wait and see.

No Bull In Istanbul

Surfice to say when there's a major athletics championship on tv my entire day,week,weekend gets built around it this weekends IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul Turkey was no different.
Granted coverage was sparse, an hour on Friday followed by two hours on Saturday and Sunday but I'll take little coverage over no coverage.....but can Universal Sports please get rid of Paul Sunderland he's crap and ruins otherwise great coverage of track and field.

In an Olympic year an Indoor World C'ship isn't going to reveal too much, a lot of top class athletes chose to side step Istanbul and while I mean no disrespect to any of the winners this weekend comes years end it'll be the Olympic champions that'll be vetted and remembered.
Three of my favourite female athletes competed this weekend Jessica Ennis,Derval O Rourke and Ivet Lalova, "Issie" made a welcome return in the women's pole vault and I can add another in a long line of Russian athletes to make my favourites list Darya Klishina,she may of only finished 4th in the long jump but goddamn if she didn't make an impression on yours truly, I will be following her progress in the Diamond League this summer and at the London Olympics.

On the mens side I was obviously disappointed to see Mo Farah finish 4th in the 3,000m thought it's hard not to give mad props and respect to Bernard Lagat for his win at 37 years,Andrew Osagie won bronze in the 800m and could be the first Brit over 800m to make a dent in the upper echelon of world athletics since the "golden era" of Coe and Ovett.
W/ the indoor season now drawing to a close and the Summer Olympics getting closer the season is about to heat up.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

And Evidently I'm Living In The Litter Box.........

Well the good news another easy 6 miler as my taper for next weekends Indoor Nationals in Bloomington draws a day closer,the bad news another set back/knock back on the apartment hunt.
I viewed a nice if not small property in East Falls on Tuesday and thought I'd done enough to convince the landlord I'd be a worthwhile tenant......he obviously didn't think so as I got the equivalent of a Dear John email this evening to inform me he was going w/ someone else for the apartment.......
This latest set back ups my record to an unimpressive 0 for 6 run since Jan 28th when I began in earnest to look for a new place to live.
I'm tempted to just knock it on the head for now and wait till I return from Bloomington next weekend to restart the long and so far frustrating search for a place to call my own,it's become a sore spot w/ me and days of pouring over potential places to move to thus far have ended w/ me being more and more frustrated,I need to be focused on next Friday and Saturday or there's no point going all the way to Indianapolis to compete,let's hope for better luck w/ the apartment search upon my return......

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wild Mood Swings

Apologies for being off line for almost a week,the title pretty much sums it up it's been a week of wild mood swings and when it hasn't been one thing it's been another.
Not wishing to go into painful/excruciating detail lets just say the business of trying to find a new apartment is proving to be a major headache/bollockache I've spent hours pouring over for rent pages on Craigslist trying to find the right place to call my own,frankly when this process began at the end of January I didn't think I'd still be searching in early March but here I am.

Things got so bad I blew off Friday's 80's dance party at Sex know something is a miss when the prospect of 5 hours of dancing to 80's tunes gets passed up,fingers crossed come the next 80's nite on April 6th I'll have sorted my living arrangements out.
I did snag a lawn seat for Iron Maiden on June 29th which I'm rather excited about since Camden/Philly got left off the last Iron Maiden tour in 2010 and in an unexpected turn of events my friend and often concert buddy Pete shocked the shit out of me w/ Van Halen tix for Mondays show at the Wells Fargo Center.
Although I had reservations about going given my then ho hum mindset Pete's advice about going and forgetting about all the stress from work and apartment hunting proved to be spot on it was a awesome show and hopefully the turning point in an otherwise frustrating few weeks.

Took fully advantage of the early spring conditions this afternoon to crank out a 6 miler out and back along trusty Cobbs Creek Parkway,more of the same over the next few days b4 a final visit to the track on Sunday for mile repeats my last hurrah b4 Indoor Nationals next weekend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Return Of Sir Mixalot

I said on Tuesday that in all likelihood yesterday would be a washout due to the rain and that was pretty much how it played out.
One plus was getting some chores done including knocking out an impromptu mix tape for someone at work,in the day and age of ipods and mp3's the mix tape has become like the Rubix cube but while I'm not looking to single handily keep the art of the mix tape alive I'm more than happy to keep knocking them out,I'm on volume four of "No Parking On The Dance Floor" my homage to Land Of The Lost and Sex Dwarf but I took a brake to make "Say It W/ Flowers"'s a long story.........

The Sweetest Girl-Scritti Politti
Don't Leave Me This Way-Communards
At Night-The Cure
The Damned Don't Cry-Visage
Victims-Culture Club
Belfast Child-Simple Minds
Missing Persons-Go West
In Your Eyes- Peter Gabriel
To Look At You-Inxs
Is Your Love Strong Enough?-Bryan Ferry
Bullet Proof Soul-Sade
Do You Believe In Shame?-Duran Duran
Children's Crusade-Sting
Breathe-Maria McKee
Stripped-Depeche Mode
All Cried Out-Alison Moyet
Steppin' Out-Joe Jackson.

It's a pretty mellow mix and if Kat enjoys listening to it half as much as I enjoyed making it I'll have made a good mix tape.