Monday, April 30, 2012

Was Tempted W/ The Prospect Of Black Coffee in Bed,Would've Settled For Some Slap & Tickle But All I Got Was A Goodbye Girl,Still It's Cool For Cats

When I heard Dave Wakeling of The Beat{I refuse to call them The English Beat on principle!!}in a radio interview last month mention The Beat would be joining up w/ fellow 80's Brits Squeeze I made plans to catch them both on the New York City stop of their tour.
To my chagrin I'd never seen The Beat and the last time I saw my South East London homeboys was in Sept of 87 in my final concert b4 moving to this side of the Atlantic so it was a short hop up I 95 to The Roselands Ballroom on Saturday for this double slice of 80's nostalgia.

A decent size crowd was on hand Saturday nite at The Roselands to see the show,a nice mixture of ska fans looking to get their skank on,20 somethings hoping to catch up on what they missed 30 years ago and 50 somethings looking to recapture their 20's or in my case{I turn 50 next year}remember them!!
The Beat rocked!!note to self catch their next headlining tour cos if what they served up in their hour long opening set was anything to go by I've been missing out all these years.
Opening w/ "Tears Of A Clown" Dave Wakeling and co ran through their set which included such hits as "I'll Take You There""I Confess""Tenderness""Ranking Full Stop""Mirror In The Bathroom""Save It For Later""Twist And Crawl" and "Hands Off She's Mine"
I'd like to have heard"Best Friend" and "Stand Down Margaret" but other than that I had little or no axe to grind,I'll be sure to catch The Beat on their next headlining tour.
Looking every inch the ska king he is Dave Wakeling respledent in Fred Perry polo shirt and two tone guitar strap left the audiance w/ these words of wisdom"careful what you say in your 20' may have to remember them in your 50's!!!"

And then for the headliners Squeeze,obviously having a HUGE South East London bias{who me????!!!}I've been a fan of the band since 79 and their Sophmore effort"Cool For Cats" and it's amazing they're not only still playing together in 2012 but also planning an album of new Difford and Tilbrook material,the fact they played Coachella recently and were headlining at The Roselands shows they're still relevant now.
Opening w/ "Take Me I'm Yours" their debut single some 34 years ago they then launched into "If I Didn't Love You" b4 throwing in a few oldies from their extensive back catalog b4 reeling off ten hits that closed the show and served as their three song encore
""Cool For Cats""Up The Junction""Another Nail In My Heart""Goodbye Girl""Annie Get Your Gun""Hourglass""Pulling Mussels From The Shell""Slap And Tickle""Tempted" and "Black Coffee In Bed"
My only small gripe,no "If It's Love" or "No Place Like Home" in the setlist.....that and being unable to convince the raven hair beauty I'd been chatting up all nite that "Black Coffee In Bed" should be a metaphor for life and not just a Squeeze song title she in turn suggested I sing the lyrics to "Goodbye Girl" on the train ride back to Philly!!!....playas gotta play....hate the game not the player!

Squeeze will be opening for B52's this summer which could be a good show,I know I haven't seen the last of "a couple of likely lads" from Deptford or Dave Wakeling and The Beat and YES rolling indoors at 3.40am was well worth it!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hard Night,Easy 10 Miler

The Sunday long run no matter what it's distance should always be ran at a comfortable, easy,dare I say it "Burdettesque" pace...when you've gotten home at 3.40am after a 12 hour round trip to see a concert in New York City{Beat and Squeeze....more details to follow!} and gotten to bed at 4am only to wake up at 9am b4 heading out an hour later,trust me the pace is going to be comfortable!!!

Nice easy 10 miler to round out my weekly mpw to 40 and the end of a good week,a good set of Russian Intervals on Tuesday,48 second improvement on Thursdays tempo 8 miler and yesterdays 6/6 6x600m at sub 1.50.
I was very pleased w/ yesterdays performance,conditions were milder tham last Saturday which helped but as each repeat session and for that matter each tempo run comes I feel I grow in confidence and beliefe that I'm getting closer to being in 800m shape come the outdoor season.

W/ near consistant splits I was able to dig deep over the final two 600s when the wind and fatigue picked up,when I saw 75 for the final 400m split I knew I had to run the shit out of the final 200m in order to preserve my first 6/6 this season,after 5 consecutive 35 second closing 200s I managed a 34 to notch a 1.49.2. to allow me a moral victory and also move forward next week w/ the aim of trying to keep all six 600s at a 1.47/1.48 pace....all in good time

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Next Stop,Death Cage!

While the masses will rightfully be heading to Franklin Field this weekend for the 118th Penn Relays,yours truly will be making his weekly pilgrimage to Temple's track for his "Death Cage"6x600m repeats.
Is this the week I finally go 6/6 at sub 1.50? tune in tomorrow and find out!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Up Cobbs Creek,W/out A Paddle

8 mile Tempo Run out and back along Cobbs Creek Parkway
Cedar & Cobbs Creek Parkway-3.36
Baltimore Ave-8.47
Whitby Ave-13.45
Whitby Ave-35.51
Baltimore Ave-47.21
Cedar & Cobbs Creek Parkway-46.30

48 second improvement on last week,roughly 6.13 per mile pace,out in 24.30,back in 25.16,having gotten under 50 tonite I'd like to keep lowering my time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dead From The Waste Down

I did say I'd give a more detailed account of my Russian Intervals 5x3x300m so here don't try this at home!!!

Seriously it was a tough workout and anytime you do a workout you've never done b4 it's hard to gauge where you should be in terms of splits.
Given this is high school workout for a sub 2.00 800m runner ideally the splits are 48/50 seconds....since I'm a 48 year old masters runner the chances of going 15/15 between 48-50 seconds were bulimic to anorexic so after my opening set of:53.0-55.5-57.0 I opted to try and keep each 300 under 60.00,w/ 15 of them on tap this felt reasonable
I was as equally consistant on set #2 to the second but looked to be struggling at the end of set #3 w/ a 59.0 my slowest split yet.
That"pop" I'd had coming off the starting line in the opening sets was now gone so for set #4 the game plan was to try and cruise the opening 200m b4 working the final turn,it seemed to work:55.8-57.2-57.3.
12 down 3 to go!I opened well in 55.0 but almost blew it on #14 w/ a 58.2 but threw everything at my final repeat as you always should and went out w/ a 54.9.
My legs felt like rubber going into my final 800m recovery jog and I still had a 3 lap cool down to complete my 8 miles.

Surfice to say today I felt dead from the waist down and was happy to only have a 5 mile recovery run on tap for the evening,hopefully I got any residual gunk out of my legs b4 tomorrows 8 mile tempo run.


Is happiness real?or am I jaded I can't see or feel like a man being tainted
Numbed by the effect-aware of the muse,too in touch w/ myself I light the fuse
I'm the changingman,built on shifting sands,I'm the changingman,waiting for the bang as I light a bitter fuse
Time is on loan,only ours to borrow,what I can't be today,I can be tomorrow
And the more I see the more I know,the more more I know the less I understand
I'm the changingman,built on shifting sands,I'm the changingman,waiting for the bang
to light a bitter fuse
Changingman-Paul Weller

I guess it's ironic I should site Paul Weller and "Changingman" as my unofficial anthem for the outdoor 2012 season.
This time last year I reversed my original decision to compete at 800m at Worlds when my two indoor 800s failed to yield the times I had hoped for......maybe w/ hindsight it was a knee jerk reaction but as May and June unfolded my ability to run 5,000m to the level I had the year b4{sub 16}was also brought into question,then the whole anemia issue turned my season on it's head,I ran the 5,000m at Worlds just to get an idea of what to expect when I return hopefully this time firing on all cylinders in a few years time and then turned my attention to the 10,000m at Nationals where I added the 10,000m to my 800m and 1,500m National Championship titles.

The plan was very much to focus on the 5,000m/10,000m double this year and next year b4 then dropping down to 1,500m.5,000m when I turn 50 in 2013.....however fate intervened again w/ a lackluster 3,000m at Indoor Nationals on March 16th and I made the decision to revert back to 800m/1,500m,it's really a no brainer when you think about it,800m champ three times in four years in high school,5 time National Champion at 4x800m at Outdoor Nationals,{the first of which in 06 in Charlotte was my first National Championship Golds}my first individual National Championship was at 800m in 07 in Orono.....oh yeah and then there's the small matter of our 4x800m indoor World Record in 09......

So after having the "bleedin' obvious" staring me in the face for the past 36 years since the summer of 1976 I have committed heart and soul to 800m/1,500m sofar the transition from distance running to back to middle distance running has gone well both mentally and physically,limiting myself to one long run a week w/ more emphasis on speed w/ 2 repeats and 1 tempo run plus low mileage recovery runs,once my races start to make my weekly schedule my weekly repeats will be down to 1 but w/ the emphasis still on speed,my days a sub 2 800m are probably in the rear view mirror but if I can still be competitive in the 2.03-2.06 range 800m racing promises to be fun and ultimately only help my 1,500m also.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oh Those Russians

Russian Intervals 5x3x300m @ Roxboro

More details tomorrow

Monday, April 23, 2012

Three Lions

In honour of St George's Day I couldn't resist the English Rose lyrics period{plus I'm on a bit of a Paul Weller kick right now!}and to futher celebrate I found this great photo of Steve Ovett,Seb Coe and Steve Cram from last years World C'ships,between them they dominated middle distance running between 78 and 86 the
Golden era of British middle distance running,between world records,Olympic,Worlds,Commonwealth and European C'ships they were indeed Three Lions.
Easy 5 miler tonite to kick off the week,I'm shaving down my easy 6 milers to 5 milers so that Sundays 8 miler can become a 10 miler and truly be my long run for the week,over the coming weeks I'll up that to 12 miles b4 eventually making it a 14 miler but still retaining my 40mpw average.
Russian Intervals at Roxboro tomorrow.....

English Rose

No matter where I roam,I will return to my English Rose for no bonds can never tempt me from she. I've sailed the seven seas,flown the whole blue sky but I've returned w/ haste to where my love does lie No matter where I go I will come back to my English rose for nothing could ever tempt me from she. I've searched the secret mists,I've climbed the highest peaks caught the wild wind home to hear her soff voice speak. No matter where I roam I will return to my English rose for no bonds can ever keep me from she. English Rose-The Jam

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rained Out

So much for getting out for a 8 mile recovery run today,the weather Gods had other ideas,still it's another week under my belt, only 32 miles but two repeats. On the subject of repeats I should offer a post mortem on yesterdays"Death Cage" 6x600m repeats at Temple. After last weeks 4/6 sub 1.50s I was hoping to at least go one better if not get all six under 1.50. Arriving at Temple just b4 11am I did a 6 lap warm up b4 getting stripped down to my running gear and ready to have at it,the plan was 70/35=1.45......... 70/34-1.44.7.A good start,I may've gone out too hard last week when I opened in 67/35 70/36-1.46.4.Still on pace to go 6/6 74/35-1.49.0.Uh oh! At first I thought I was guilty of not being focused on my run when I clocked that 74 second opening 400...... 77/35-1.52.1.Bugger!! The sub 1.50s were shot,last week I clocked 1.50.3. on #4 b4 1.51.1. on #5 77/37-1.54.9.Had I opted to start my 600s at the 400m start/finish instead of the 200m start I would've only had to run into the strong headwind off the top turn and home straight once not twice,the buffering I took on the second 100 and final 100 took their toll. 76/34-1.50.1.Would've been nice to finish on a sub 1.50 period plus also equal last weeks 4/6 but again the wind had it's way w/ me. Overall I'm disappointed not to improve on my debut last week but it's a long season{I'm still three weeks away from my outdoor season debut and just under 14 weeks til Outdoor Nationals}so there's enough time to make improvements. I didn't expect to jump back into "The Death Cage" off the bat and go 6/6 sub 1.50 it's going to take time but as long as I stay positive i'm confident of getting there. It'll be interesting to see how the Russian Intervals {5x3x300m repeats}set me up for a return to 6x600m next Saturday

Saturday, April 21, 2012

6x600m Repeats @ Temple

70-34-1.44.7 70-36-1.46.4 74-35-1.49.0 77-35-1.52.1 77-37-1.54.9 76-34-1.50.1

Friday, April 20, 2012

Moving Out......Finally

YES!!!after several weeks of searching on Craigslist I've finally found a new apartment to move into. There were times since late Januaary I wondered if I'd ever move,between places that were too small,places somebody beat me to the punch too or places w/ unreasonable demands where Precious was concerned{sorry I'm not paying extra for my cat,nor am I paying a one time fee for her to move w/ me muchless have her declawed.....get over yourselves!!!} Then there were the obvious scams that Craigslist attract the funniest of which was the one bedroom app in the Academy House in Center City,first hint something was"rotten in Denmark" was the price $700 per month.....I doubt a broom closet in Center City goes for anything less than $800.....but it got better,said "tenants" were leasing their "luxury one bedroom apartment" while they were in England.......on missionary work!!!!!!!!YES cos there's such a need for missionary work back home,we're over run by savages......PLEASE!!!! Anywho as of May 1st I'll have my own 1 bedroom app in University City,after 5 and 1/2 years of doing the roommate and housemates thing I'll have a place of my own to call home,physically moving will be a headache I'm sure but well worth it in the long run,on the subject of runs I'll probably alter my training routes so for the next two weeks along Cobbs Creek Parkway it'll be a swansong of sorts as Clark Park will return to my rotation for recovery runs and the Art Museaum Loop for my 8 mile tempo run and Sunday long run

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cobbs Creek Tempo Run

Here are my splits from tonites 8 mile tempo run Cedar & Cobbs Creek-3.43 Baltimore Ave-9.06 Whitby Ave-14.10 Turnaround-24.54 Whitby Ave-36.35 Baltimore Ave-41.28 Cobbs Creek & Cedar-47.10 Finish-50.34 A second down on last weeks 50.33 My out and back was 24.54/25.40 last week it was 24.45/25.48.

Where's My Lucozade When I Need It?

For the first time since returning to training after my left achilles injury sidelined me from March 17th till April 4th I felt some discomfort yesterday. On a scale of one to ten I'm used to the discomfort level being a two but after getting to work walking felt uncomfortable,w/ hindsight I may need to take ice packs w/ me to Roxboro on Tuesday for my repeats,most days post workout I strap an ice pack on my achiles almost as soon as I'm out of the shower,the logistics of working out at Roxboro mean it's almost two hours after I'm done b4 said ice can be applied to my achilles,something to think about when I head out there next week. It's funny as a nipper back home Lucozade was a drink you had if you were sick{I vividly recall nursing a serious hangover after one particular drinking binge and almost crawling to the sweet shop around the corner to get a bottle of Lucozade in the hope it would help cure my"near death experience"} Fast forwarding 30 some years Lucozade has now become a major sports recovery drink just like Gatorade and Powerade,I recall my last London Marathon in 03 and being handed pouches of Lucozade during the race,I wonder if Lucozade will catch on here in the states?and for those of you running in other regions of the world what is your countrys sports recovery drink of choice..... No Guinness dosen't count for Ireland!!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Ways To Go Yet....But It's Getting There

As I mentioned in my cliff notes last nite, my mile splits were 5.28.7-5.27.7-5.24.8-5.25.8.not earth shattering by any means but faster than anything I'd previously ran this year which while not saying alot does indicate I'm on the right track at pun intended. I was this close to reducing each split,had I not "jumped the shark" on #3 w/ a 5.24.8. I would've only needed a 5.25. on #4 to pull that off for the first time in eons but it wasn't w/out trying I lost a second on lap 1 and 2 seconds on lap 3 as a result of fatigue and having to weave in and out of lane 1{why is Roxboro the king of inside lane walkers.....everytime I do repeats here I have to weave in and out of lane 1!!!} but closed in 73 seconds. Again it's laps #2 and #3 that need work 1.25-1.24,eliminate them and sub 5.20 is there. It's another 5 weeks b4 I'm scheduled to do mile repeats again but I look forward to my next crack at them in the same way I'm excited about Saturdays 6x600m repeats

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Roxboro Mile Repeats

1.21-1.25-1.24-1.18-5.28.7 1.21-1.25-1.24-1.17-5.27.7 1.21-1.25-1.24-1.14-5.24.8 1.22-1.24-1.26-1.13-5.25.8

Hotter Than July

Ok so it's a shameless excuse to post that photo of Darya Klishina.....but as we all know I have no shame!!! Remarkabley yesterday reached 87 degrees.....remarkable for mid April which meant the Three S's were in full effect,shades,sleeveless and shorts. Easy 6 mile on tap as I have mile repeats on tap at Roxboro tonite,4x1mile repeats have been a staple repeat since the 07 season and while I may not have the 4 sub 5 minute mile repeats in my arsenal theses days.....{not yet anyway but let's see what July,August,September brings} I do feel my recent foray into repeats last week w/ a 1,500m ladder and 6x600m will allow me to lower my most recent pre Indoor Nationals 4x1mile repeats in Feb and March.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Titanic Days

Wow,100 years since the Titanic sunk off Newfoundland and over 1,500 passengers drowned in the icy waters of the Atlantic. Yes I did watch a lot of the tv coverage on National Geographical and the History Channel this weekend and also took in the rerelease of the 1997 movie to coinside w/ the anniversary. Wanna hear something freakishly "Twilight Zone"?not only did I see the movie on the very same night she struck the iceberg April 14th 100 years earlier but I arrived home at 11.40pm......the exact time RMS Titanic struck the I said Twilight Zoneish....... One final obsevation on the movie.....Kate Winslet NEVER looked as good as she did as Rose in the movie,and I still can't believe she didn't win the Oscar for best actress that year{it was Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets} Away from the Atlantic I'm pleased to say I didn't go"Man Overboard"this weekend w/ my return to the ''Death Cage" 6x600m repeats,after an absence of almost a year {April 20th w/ my team mate Nick Berra} I returned to the repeat that helped shape my 800m races in 07/08/10. As I mentioned in my cliff notes on Saturday things went as well as could be expected,I went in hoping to keep all six below 1.50 and only #5 got away from me 1.51.1 and I relish my return to them next Saturday to see if I can lower my times from week #1. I rounded out my week w/ an easy/recovery 8 mile run yesterday,after the tempo run on the same course on Thursday it was nice to cruise along yesterday morning to end my week w/ 6days/40mpw the blue print for the next several weeks. New week,new challenges,mile repeats tomorrow at Roxboro, on the back of my ladder and "Death Cage" repeats last week I'm curious to see what my splits will be tomorrow.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Death Cage Cliff Notes

6x600m 67-35-1.42.0 69-35-1.44.4 71-34-1.45.1 73-37-1.50.3 75-36-1.51.1 71-35-1.46.9

Friday, April 13, 2012

Setting The Tempo

If it's Thursday it's my 8 mile tempo run to continue the easy,hard,easy,hard,rest,hard easy routine. Last summer pre Nationals and then post Nationals thro fall I ran the 8 mile out and back course along Cobbs Creek Parkway to prep for not only the 10,000m at Nationals but also the Bridge Run 10k,both yeilded another National Championship and long overdue road pr and while I've gone on record as saying if anyone sees me near a 10,000m in the track this season just shoot me I elected to keep the "lung busting" 8 miler in my weekly rotation as my tempo run,while I've firmly set my sights on reclaiming the 800m and 1,500m as my domain I would still like to have a good 5k in my golfbag either on the track or the road this year. Having ran my 5 and 6 milers at 8 min mile pace the past week I was hoping to drop down to at least 7 min mile pace for starters this week,while no math wizz 8x7=56 so you can imagine my delight to average 6.15 pace on route to a 50.33 on my maiden voyage tonite. I reached the turn around in 24.45 so I did lose a little over the second half,24.45/25.48 but I was guilty of not being 100% focused on the run but that's something to work on over the coming weeks and also looking to bring that 6.15 down to 6 flat and back into the realm of 48 mins and below. Looking forward to my rest day tomorrow,I feel I've earnt it this week w/ my ladder and tempo run....I will need it for the "Death Cage" 6x600m

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Roxboro Recap

Recap of Tuesday's 200m,300m,400m,600mx4 repeats: 31.93-48.02-68.07-1.39.4 34.87-49.34-1.12.5-1.51.7 35.72-51.20-1.14.9-1.52.0 35.09-49.81-1.12.0-1.52.7

Ice Ice Baby

Nice 6 mile recovery run following Tuesday's 200m,300m,400m,600mx4 ladder Felt a little "dead below the knees" which was probably a result of my first set of speed intervals in a while.....something I better get used to!!! I realise this version of Blogger isn't allow me spell check or paragraphs or colours and for that I apologize,I did consider switching to Wordpress but will stick w/ Blogger,I should have a laptop come early July which should then allow Kevinrunningfree to return to it's unique form,till then I hope you can bare w/ me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You've Gotta Start Somewhere.....

Recalling that great running adage"the will to win means nothing w/out the will to prepare"last nite saw the beginning of several weeks/months of interval workouts on the track as I begin to ready myself for the outdoor track season and a welcome return to all things 800m/1,500m. Over the next seven weeks I dare say I'll be making the weekly pilgrimige to Roxboro's track,yes it's a hike{left work at 3pm,got there by 4.30pm,all done by 5.50pm,home by 7.10pm}but it's a means to an end,as long as I can get two repeats a week in on non race weeks it'll help get me into 800m/1,500m shape for the half dozen races I've scheduled between May 6th and July 24th b4 flying off to Lisle IL for Outdoor Nationals in the first weekend of August. Granted I've been no slouch when it's come to getting on the track this past year even through the whole anemia issue but now it's time to switch the type of repeats from 4x1 mile,5x1,000m and 3x2mile from 5,000m/10,000m racing to shorter more speed orientated repeats.6x600m,8x800m,simulated 6x600m,4x1mile,5x1,000m and tonites bill o fare the 200m,300m,400m,600mx4 ladder. I opted for the ladder to kick things off as I had no preconceived ideas of the type of splits I should be looking for.....thought this didn't stop me from plucking some target figures out of the air while waiting for the bus to Roxboro,also I figured shorter stuff to kick off my intervals would serve as a double whammy,get my legs used to quicker turnover and also recalibrate my thinking from 5,000m/10,000m long distance racing to 800m/1,500m mode. My target times I came up w/ were:33-200m,51-300m,1.10-400m,1.43-600m,as time evolves and I return to this workout I'll reset those targets,but for tonite I went: #1 31.93-48.02-68.07-1.49.34 #2 34.27-49.34-1.12.58-1.51.79 #3 35.72-51.20-1.14.95-1.52.08 #4 35.09-49.81-1.12.09-1.52.71 Overall I'm quite pleased w/ my performance,clearly the real test will be stepping foot inside the "Death Cage" for 6x600m on Saturday but based on today I don't see why I shouldn't be aiming for 1.50 and below on them I was especially proud of my final set of the ladder as I went 3/4 w/ faster splits than #3....had I NOT had to swing wide on the back straight w/ 250m to go to pass some old duffer walking in lane 1{I swear every track I run on there's always someone walking in lane 1.....not to self buy a cattle prod and put it in my backpack!!!} I think I could've gone 4/4 but hey for a first repeat this wasn't bad,let's see how Saturday's 6x600m go

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Road To Lisle Starts Here

After four easy five milers last week to get the wheels turning I kicked off this week w/ a six miler last nite as I hope to see my mpw hit the 40 mark this weekTonite sees a return to intervals,I'd say welcome return but we'll see how welcoming it is as I attempt a 200m,300m,400m,600mx4 ladder.I've gotta start somewhere the time honoured "Death Cage" 6x600m repeats are scheduled for Saturday.....that'll be a root canal kind of way but in order to return to the 07/08 800m/1,500m glory days I need to return to the workouts that got me there....Masters Nationals are 17 weeks from Thursday now is as good a time as any to begin the hard work

Monday, April 9, 2012

Goodbye,So Long,Farewell To Old Friends

"I'm surrounded by liars everywhere I turn,I'm surrounded by imposters everywhere I turn,I'm surrounded by identity crisis everywhere I turn,am I the only one to notice,I can't be the only one who's learned I don't wanna be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately,all I have to do is think of me and have peace of mind,I'm tired of looking round rooms wondering what I've gotta do or whom I'm supposed to be I don't wanna be anything other than me" I Don't Wanna Be-Gavin Degraw Sadly my browser issues meant I couldn't pay tribute to the finale of "One Tree Hill" last Wednesday as it's 187th and final episode brought to an end a successful nine year run for the teen drama based in fictious Tree Hill in North Carolina. When it first aired on Sept 23rd 2003 I wrote in my diary"this one's a keeper" and I wasn't wrong in this day and age if you get five seasons on tv you've done well looking back over the past 10/15 years it's only the likes of "Beverly Hills 90210" w/ 10 years,"Gilmore Girls" w/ 7 years and "Smallville" w/ 10 years that can boast of longevity on the networks. What set "One Tree Hill" apart from other "teen dramas" such as "The OC" and "Dawson's Creek" which didn't stay on the air as long(4 years for The OC and 6 for Dawson's Creek} for me was the fact that OTH had characters that made you want to invest in them each week,yes I watched both Dawson's Creek and The OC but not religiously,of the 187 One Tree Hill episodes I could probably count on one hand the number that I missed and thanks to all nine seasons being available on dvd and being in syndication on Soapnet I can now go back and relive each season. As the show began the basis of the storyline was the fued between the basketball playing half brothers Nathan and Lucus who had the misfortune of having Dan Scott for a father.....seriously has there ever been a more dispicable character than Dan??? Throw in a love triangle of Lucus,Peyton and Brooke....and did I mention Peyton used to be Nathan's ex and then add a little revenge as Nathen dated Haley Lucus's best friend to get back at his prevously unknown sibbling and you had all the ingredants for a great teen drama. As the seasons went by the landscape changed by the end of season one Nathan not only accepted Lucus on the Tree Hill Ravens basketball team but also as his brother,I still tear up when they share a final shoot around on the famed River Court in the final episode of season one as Lucus and his Uncle Keith prepare to leave Tree Hill and Nathan tells Lucus"I'll miss you not only because you're one hell of a basketball player....but also because you're my brother"'d have to have a glass eye or heart of stone not to be moved by that! One Tree Hill always seemed to be talked about as a show that could be cancelled or not renewed,it survived the UPN/WB merger in 06 and even the indignity of being a mid season replacement show in 08 {season 5} when it went against the grain of it's comtempories and after graduating high school at the end of season 4 leapt forward 4 years over college and into life post college,a ballsy move but one the loyal followers of the show seemed to endorse After seasons of back and forth w/ "will they won't they" the writers finaly gave the viewers the one storyline they'd{me included} been asking for....Lucus and Peyton together.....of course it took Lucus being stood up at the alter by Lindsay the producer of Lucus's novel "An Unkindness Of Ravens" for that to finally happen{the golden rule of good tv.always keep the audiance wanting what they want!!!} Even when Lucus and Peyton left after the season 6 finale the show continued to prosper,in this fan's humble but honest opinion it took a while for season seven to ignite but when it did Mondays at 8pm or Tuesdays at 8pm for season 8 became prime time in front of my tv. It's always sad when a favourite tv shows calls it a day,could One Tree Hill have continued?maybe but nine seasons is nothing to scoff at and at least it went out on it's own terms,that said knowing that going into a 9th and final season I wish we could've been treated to a full season of 22 episodes and not just 13 and that being the final season they could've brought Lucus and Payton back{Lucus made a brief appearance in episode 7 of the final season} After killing Dan Scott off in the 11th episode of the final season couldn't they have given him a funeral and brought not only Lucus and Peyton back but also Karen and Whitey who were so central to the first four seasons???I know I'm being picky!!! It's funny as I spend my Sunday afternoons in front of the tv watching back to back episodes on Soapnet as they're all the way back to season one I get to see the transformation of the characters,Nathan went from being a tool to becoming a great character,Brooke was a....."loose woman" to put it mildly!!! in the beginning but became less the party girl a more the wife and mother as the show evolved,I often forget how much Brooke loved Lucus in the beginning but I was always rooting for Lucus and Peyton. Dan went from being plain evil to hero when he not only found Nathan from his kidnappers in the final season but also sacrificing his life to save Nate,it's easy to paint Dan as evil but when I look back over several seasons there was a good side to Dan where Nate was involved.....three words Psycho Nanny Carrie!!!! even if she did get her revenge on Dan. Over nine years,187 episodes I've laughed and cried....often at the show that will forvever hold a special place in my heart,favourite surprise,always cheer for the underdog,side w/ the writer and marvel how he got the girl of his dreams. Favourite episode....a tough call the pilot will always rank right up there,but I think season three episode 16 when Jimmy Edwards brought a gun into the school and shot himself infront of Keith......only for Dan to pick up the gun and Kill Keith...his own brother,the show changed on that single sceen. Favoutite there are several "Every story needs a villian....and I'm yours" Dan Scott to Lucus "It's you when all my dreams come true the one I want next to me it's you,it's you Peyton"Lucus to Peyton after the Ravens win the state championships thanks to Lucus's buzzer beater. "People say hell is endless,they say it's our worst nightmare,the face of our darkness,but whatever it is however it is,I say hell is empty....and all our devils are here" Nathan. So there you have it my heartfelt sendofff to "One Tree Hill"

An Unkindness Of Ravens

Ok so I'm trying to work out how to circumnavigate the whole "your browser is no longer supported by Blogger issue",granted my two and a half weeks on the sidelines w/ the bum achilles left me w/ nothing to blog about but I got the all clear to resume training last week so I've been conducting easy 5 miles out and back along trusty Cobbs Creek Parkway since Wednesday to get back into the flow of things,fingers crossed this week will see a welcome return to the track and repeats as I ready myself for the outdoor season and all things 800m/1,500m