Friday, August 31, 2012

The Dog Days Are Over

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

Dog Days Are Over-Florence & The Machine

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

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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

8.4 Mile Tempo Run Art Museum Loop

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


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

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

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

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

6xFlagpole Hill Repeats @ Belmont Plateau


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Red In The Bed

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

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

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bed Bugs And Ballyhoo

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

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

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

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Switchin' & Bitchin'

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

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

Art Museum Loop

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

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Redcoats Are Coming

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

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

Round Are Way

Mile End
Common People-Pulp


Hey Dude
Tattva-Kula Shaker

Sour Times
Wandering Star-Portishead

I Wanna be Adored
Ten Storey Love Song-Stone Rose

#1 Crush

Stop Whispering
Fake Plastic Tree-Radiohead

I Want To Touch You
Crank-Catherine Wheel

Sale Of The Century-Sleeper

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

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

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

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

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

6XFlagpole @ Belmont Plateau


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Courting The South American Vote

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Opps! My Bad

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

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

Let's Try This Again

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

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

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

Friday, August 17, 2012

Top Ten Olympic Track Babes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 16, 2012

All Hail The Birthday Girl

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

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

Top Ten Olympic Babes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Top Ten Olympic Track Moments

Again in no particular order

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Sobering Thought

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

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten Olympic Moments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Matter Of Routine

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

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

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ten Things I'll Miss Now The Olympics Are Over

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

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

The Road To Olathe Starts Here

The "Big Cat" is back! after a week off from work and training yesterday saw me jump back into running w/ the third annual Greater Philadelphia Track Club Track Pentathlon,a spring board into resuming regular training,thou I feel tonites easy 6 miler will feel a lot easier than the six miles I logged at Germantown Academy yesterday morning!!

W/ hindsight perhaps sitting on the recliner eating Pizza,Mexican and Ice Cream from Sunday thro Thursday wasn't the best way to prepare for the rigours of 3,000m,200m,1,500m,100m and 800m w/ only 35 minutes recovery inbetween each race but having banished the "big three" from my diet after my return from Bloomington and Indoor Nationals I felt "owed" to indulge a little,it's out of my system now!!

Here's a blow by blow of things:
3,000M 10.23.9-5th I gotta tell you 3,000M felt a lot easier to run 2 years ago as a regular sub 16 5,000M runner{my 9.07.8 pr came in the first Track Pentathlon 2 years ago} than it did yesterday.
I came close to dropping out of the event after the 3,000m,my right calf was killing me it felt like someone had been kicking it during the 7.5 laps....kind of how my butt felt by the end of the race,I was in for a long morning!

200M 31.07-4th Usain Bolt I am not as is captured beautifully on my Facebook page by John Tran who took photos of the event,I'm taking a standing start as Sean Patrick,Phil and Delvin are all in blocks,maybe that explains the finish times:Delvin-25.42,Sean Patrick-25.43,Phil-26.05, I know how the sprinters from Botswana feel at the Olympics when they're drawn w/ Jamacia,USA,Great Britain etc!!!!!

1,500M 4.46.3-5th another below par performance Sean Patrick was killing it in 4.09 while I'm back in 5th 37 seconds behind,ok the guys half my age but wtf, a wise man once told me"you can do anything you like in this long as you're willing to pay the price that goes w/ it"staying up till 1.30am every nite watching the Olympics probably contributed to my lack luster times.

100M 21.15 4th Drawn against Sean Patrick,Delvin and Phil again{who'd I piss off??} it was more of the same I think Delvin was the only one using blocks{he is the sprinter of the group afterall}Delvin 12.84-Sean Patrick 13.13-Phil 13.14,me 15.73 at least it wasn't as one sided as the 200m

800M 2.21.1 2nd Finally a modicum of satisfaction 4th coming off the line I worked my way into 3rd at 200m and moved into 2nd w/ 300m to go.....what do you know starting to run like an 800m runner now!!!I'm no David Rudisha....but lets face it who is???

8th overall w/ 382.86 points well out of the prize money {5th scored 387.66} maybe my week off blunted my edge I know I didn't take off the week leading upto the first two Track Pentathlons and I finished 1st and 3rd so maybe that's something to ponder next year.....yeah glutton for punishment I'll be back for more!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Winding Down And Building Up

Hard to believe it's two weeks since the London 2012 Summer Olympics opened,come Sunday it'll be all over and we'll have to wait for four years till Rio in Brazil for the "youth of the world to gather" but rather than get upset about the end of the Olympics I'll enjoy the final three days on offer.

Obviously last nite's mens 800m final is still fresh in my mind,if ever I needed motivation for next season it was there in front of me on my tv screen as David Rudisha not only won the 800m final but also broke his world record,can he go sub 1.40 in Zurich or Brussels? I wouldn't bet against it.

I'm enjoying my week off of training this week but I'm excited about returning to training on Monday after Sundays Greater Philadlphia Track Pentathlon,ironically the 800m is the final event,while it won't be fast coming at the end of 3,000m,200m,1,500m and 100m it'll be my final track race till Indoors in December/January and I'm already planning my training for the fall and winter,as Roy Keane once said"Failure to prepare,prepare for failure"

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's Not The Winning,It's The Taking Part That Counts.....But The Winning Is Pretty Neat

Now that the dust has settled on this years edition of Outdoor Masters Nationals....aka "Track camp for grown ups" I can look back on my 6th Nationals w/ mixed emotions.
I went in hoping for two medals in my individual events and hopefully another in the relay,I said a week b4 leaving for Lisle I'd pull someones arm off if they offered me a pair of bronzes in the 800m and 1,500m b4 I ran them.

I'm thrilled w/ my 800m silver,I always knew I was better than my 5th ranked seed time and truly believed I could run faster than my 2.09.5 seed time and 2.08.8. seasoms best and did just that w/ a 2.06.1 to add a third silver at 800m to my 07 gold in Orono.

I'm gutted about missing the podium in the 1,500m the first time that's happened since my 06 debut in Charlotte in the 800m.
Again w/ the 5th ranked seed time I wasn't expected to medal but again I believed I was capable of running faster than my 4.23.7. seed time and seasons best 4.21.2. and were it not for a tactical error at 400m to go I may well have added a bronze to my pair of silvers from 07 and 10 and my gold from 08 instead I had to settle for a seasons best 4.18.6.

Relays at the end of Nationals,should be fun a nice way to round off the weekend and if you can medal that's an added bonus.....
My attempts just to run were filled w/ more obstacles than a cross country steplechase race and in the end I should be happy I was just able to get out on the track much less bitch about it not being at my prefered distance 4x800m or that I didn't win a gold.

So that's a rap for the 2012 Outdoor Masters Nationals,a new experience in some areas no gold,kept off the podium etc but it's not just about the battles out on the track it's about hanging w/ friends and teammates and making new friends and creating new memories,one of my favourite memories from Lisle will be the fact that six years on from my debut in Charlotte 06 four of the eight finalists from the M40 800m were still competing,myself and Chris Yorges in M45 and Dave Bynoe and Rodney Zook in M50 proving I'm not the only one nurotic enough to keep pushing the envelope.
Looking forward to Olathe Kansas next summer.....and the work for that begins now

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A New Version Of The Old Scene

I knew a week b4 Nationals that my proud record of 5 golds in 5 4x800m relays{ Charlotte 06,Orono 07,Spokane 08,Sacramento 10 and Berea 11}would not be added to in Lisle 12.
Originally on paper we had the makings of a kick arse 4x800m myself,Nick,Charlie and A N Other......but fate has a funny way of sticking it's nose in,Nick and Charlie opted to go Ad Hoc along w/ Scott Weeks and Lance Elliot to take a crack at the M40 American Record,which doubles as the World Record.
Not to worry we still had a decent 4x800m team,me, Rob,John and Mark....strike two,Mark Carver pulled out a week b4 w/ an injury leaving us w/ only 3 available 4x800m runners....but w/ Bill Yelverton available a 4x400m was doable.
I haven't ran a 4x400m since Millrose last year and frankly having moved up to 5,000m trying to get 400m speed was about as much fun as root canel,I hadn't planned to resume 4x400m racing till I turned 50 but frankly I'd rather run 4x400m than no relay at all......

For a third and almost final act of defiance Rob Schwartz pulled a hammy on Friday in the 400m and was out of the relay and we were up shits creek w/out a paddle or a 4th runner.....enter Nick
Very graciously Nick offerd his services after the Ad Hoc 4x800m to run a leg on the club 4x400m so we could run....there is no I in team!!!

Drawn in lane 6 w/ all 8 lanes filled we knew ahead of time a medal wasn't a lock,due to the make up of our team we had to run in the M30-39 race which had 4 teams,ourselves,So Cal,TNT and Nubian Striders,throw in the universal 4x400m powehouse Southwest Sprinters it was clear we'd have to earn our medal.
Thanks to a strong leadoff leg from Bill we were 3rd at the first handoff,running second was a new experience for me as I've ran all my previous 4x400s at either 3rd or 4th so the three turn stagger was new to me and meant I needed to stay in my lane till the top of the back straight.
Third at the hand off, I was relegated to 4th by 200m as TNT's second leg went by me,I had no idea where 5th place was but I wasn't planning on looking around to find out just get to the exchange zone and hand off to Nick.
Managed a respectable 61.1 split more or less what I ran at Ichan on June 12th,not bad after two 800m races and a 1,500m in four days.

Nick and John took care of business to bring the baton around safely and bring us home in 4th overall in 3.56.5. but good enough for bronze behind Nubian Striders and TNT in the M30-39 age group and give me a 3rd bronze at Nationals alltime and bring the curtain down not only on Nationals but also the outdoor track season{I do still have the Greater Philadelphia Track Pentathlon next Sunday but that's a multi event not a single race}
Not a bad weekends work if I say so myself,thanks to Bill for stepping in to the brink and giving us a chance to run 4x400m,ditto for Nick for going beyond the call of duty,to Rob for taking care of all the paperwork and for John anchoring us.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dying By The Sword At Nationals.....Again!!!

I can still recall my first Masters Nationals in Charlotte in 06,sitting in the stands on Sunday morning watching the 1,500m finals,I knew then the following year I wanted to be out there running the metric mile and sure enough in Orono I finished 3rd overall by won the silver as the 2nd place runner was a non US citizen.
A year later in Spokane I won my first major 1,500m race,in high school I was runner up in 78/79 in my junior and senior years.
In Sacramento I won another silver but had to watch from the sidelines last summer in Berea as my anemia forced me to run 5,000m/10,000m at Nationals,that seems like a lifetime ago now.

Coming into Sundays final I had a seasons best 4.21.2 set three weeks ago in Oregon,it earnt me the #5 seed but I knew I could go faster if need be like I did in the 800m on Saturday,could I get on the podium?
On paper it came down to a head to head between the gold and silver medalists from Thursdays 5,000m Andrew Duncan and Francis Burdett and Saturdays 800m Landen Summey and me,add Daniel Monteau w/ the second fastest seed time 4.14. and there was the battle for the bling.

My feeling was Andrew Duncan was the pre race favourite and Daniel Monteau would go w/ him,if I could tuck in behind them and hang on for the ride I could be ok.
From the gun I tucked in behind them and went through the opening 300m in 52 seconds and the opening 400m in 70 seconds,it was all going to plan.......
Cue Francis Burdett and then Landen Summay relegating me to 5th by the 500m mark,this was not the time to panic.
2.05 at 700m and 2.22 at 800m a 70/72 split it was going to,plan split wise.

Technically I lost the race at the bell,I should,ve sat back in 5th as we went through 1,100m in 3.15 and maybe if I was in 4th I would've but 5th was 2 spots off the podium and it's possible I paniced.
I blew by Landen and Francis to reclaim 3rd,heard 3.30 at 1,200m for a 70,72,70 set of splits and began setting my sights on Andrew and Daniel.
W/ 200m to go I was already running flat out where as if I'd bided my time and kicked now I could've really made a splash.
w/ 110m to go Landen Summay blew by me and I had nothing to come back at him w/ but while his momentum nullified me it also carried him past Daniel Monteau who now began to unravel infront of me up the home straight.

I truly believe if I had another 10 meters I'd have caught Monteau for the bronze and I have the data to back that up,the difference between third and fourth was 6 100ths of a second,4.18.0-4.18.6,yes it was that close!
To have lowered my seasons best by 3 seconds is pleasing but to have missed out on a medal is gaulling,I pride myself on my kick finish but what I need to work on is when to kick for the third time since Spokane 08 I kicked too soon,this was the first time over 1,500m and I need to work on that.

There are those who say"you learn nothing from a loss"I think that's bollocks what I learnt on Sunday was have faith in my finishing kick and not to unleash it too soon,I relish the next 1,500m race whenever it is,trust me this defeat will motivate me long after the season is over.....

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Return Of The {S}loane Ranger

It felt weird last year in Berea not to be running the 800m at Nationals,my first time not duking it out over 2 laps at Nationals and truth be told not only did I not think I'd not be running 800m this season,I didn't forsee 800s in my future period....then came a spectacular "crash and burn" in the 3,000m at Indoor Nationals which meant a serious rethink.
The simple truth is 800m has been my best event since the summer of 76 in my freshman year in high school,it just took me 36 years to realize that I'm a natural 800m runner....what can I say I'm a slow learner.....but not a slow 800m runner!!

Having easily advanced to Saturdays final w/ a comfortable 2.11.3. I was ready to throw down,w/ the 5th fastest seed time I knew I had to run above what I'd been running all season,the good news for me was I believed 6x600m repeats 14 weeks out of 16 since training for Outdoor Nationals begun had prepared me to do just that.
Once again I found the lane assignment a little cockeyed,my "reward" for winning my heat was lane 2 w/ heat one winner Landen Summay inside me in lane 1,I'd like to see Nationals adopt the Olympic/World C'ships policy of rewarding heat winners w/ middle lanes,Landen would've had lane 4 w/ me in lane 5.....I doubt we'll ever see that happen....but you never know.

From the gun the defending M45 champ Landen Summay quickly made up the stagger and took the lead,I knew his 2.03 seed time was not only "as advertised" but also a tad too rich for my blood as we broke from our lanes at the top of the back straight Michael Scholtz from lane 3 and William Mason from lane 5 got ahead of me to put me 4th but off the podium as we made our way to the 200m mark.

I didn't catch my split as I was more concerned w/ the distance between Michael in 2nd and William in 3rd but coming up the home straight I moved off the rail to the outside of lane 1 to set myself up to make my move.
61 at the bell which has been my bench mark all summer I overtook William to claim bronze at least and while I had said at my last meet in NYC on Aug 24th I'd willingly take a pair of bronzes in both the 800m and 1,500m I wasn't willing to just settle and continued my persuit of indoor runner up Michael Scholtz.

I did hear 1.31 at 600m which meant I was holding pretty much 30/31 second 200 splits which is not too shabby if I say so myself,rounding the turn for home I knew a third silver at 800m was mine for taking and to add icing on the cake my time of 2.06.1. was a seasons best by 2 seconds but also my fastest time since Feb of last year indoors at The Armory 18 months ago.
I'm thrilled w/ the silver and my time it's the culmination of four months of blood sweat,blisters but no tears, though there were days of sheer frustration on the track and getting to the races.
To put things in prespective on May 14th I ran flat out at a college meet at Swarthmore but could only muster a 2.11.7. and wound up DFL....Dead Fucking Last!!,fast forward 12 weeks and a lot of hard work and no shortage of self belief to a 2.06.1. a seasons best and a third silver at Nationals since 08,Seb Coe knew a little something about finishing 2nd in major 800m finals.....time to crack open my Steve Ovett biographies and read what it takes to win an Olympic 800m final and ready myself for next season!!!

A New Sensation

Masters Nationals 4x400M Club Relay

Nice shiney bronze to end the weekend
More details to follow

Seasons Best,But Not Good Enough To Get On The Podium

Masters Nationals 1,500M M45 Final
4.18.6{seasons best}

More details to follow

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Advancing To The Final

800M Prelim
Heat 2

No repeat of the 06 Charlotte 800M prelim drama as I eased my way into Saturdays final.
Only the top 2 from each semi final were automatically into the 8 man final w/ the 4 fastest losers and after watching the opening semi produce a top four of 2.06-2.08 I knew I had to make sure of a top 2 finish to be sure of advancing.
No worries,eased to the front of the field as we broke at the top of the back straight after running the opening 100M in lanes{drawn in lane 2} and controlled the race from there.
Reached the bell in a comfortable 65 seconds w/ a decent size lead,began to ease off w/ 250m to go and shut it down w/ 100m to go.

Job done I'm into the final, based on the opening semi it'll be a lively race,I said b4 leaving Philly I may have to produce a seasons best just to make the podium.....the good news is I know over the last 16 weeks I've trained to do just that......