Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out W/ The Old....

As I blogged yesterday no run on account of the rain on  Sunday which thus forced my hand to committ to laundry post work....what can I say sometimes Running God has to play second fiddle to Domestic God!!!!
Retrospectivly there wasn't much to report on 2013,this time last year I was half hearted in my efforts to train the fact I only managed runs around nearby Clark Park probably says more than a cacophony of words ever could about where I was both mentally and physically.

Once I "stuck a fork" in  the Indoor Season I pretty much knew Outdoor Nationals was a long shot too.....but was I really prepared to sit out a whole season????
The call of the marathon was strong,long b4 the atrocity that befell the Boston Marathon unfolded b4 our disbelieving eyes the lure of the 26.2 was strong,when I ran my last marathon in Athens 2005 I NEVER said it was my LAST marathon ever and w/ the big 50 around the corner in mid November the prospect of continuing my run of marahons in my 20s,30s,40s and now 50s was the motivation I 'd been searching for over the prior 8 months and I set my sights on the Philly marathon just 3 days after my 50th b'day......

Fate....and the reccurence of Tendonitis in my right achilles the same injury that bollocksed up my 09 Outdoor Season raised it's ugly head and not only sidelined me for two months but also hijacked any realistic shot I had at a Fall Marathon,IF and when I opt to tackle a full marathon in my 50s I want it to be w/ a full complement of training under my belt,glass half full that hunger and motivation to resume my 800m/1,500m aspirations,goals  and dreams was back.
August thro October I went about the business of laying down base milage and weekly repeats to tackle the upcoming 2014 Indoor and Outdoor seasons and while November and December got away from me a little I feel I'm ready,willing and dear God hopefully able to meet the challenges ahead,from January 1st onwards

Monday, December 30, 2013

Radio Silence Over

Apologies for the lack of 411 eminating out of Kevinrunningfree of late,cliff notes build up to ye olde b'day{the big 50 no less!!}then a long overdue return to the Motherland{where I did manage a trilogy of 6 milers......YES 666!!!!}however my plans to "hit the ground running" upon my return were bollocked up by a few inches of snow upon my return which fucked in week one of my return and then then next week and a half saw me "all over the place like chicken shit on a farm" hence no runs till Friday Dec 27th......

The timing of that 6 miler couldn't have been spot on 13 days b4 the curtain raisier" on the 2014 Indoor Season at The Armory,4 weeks b4 the prestigious Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile in Ithaca and 11 weeks b4 Indoor Nationals in Boston,if ever there was a time to pull my finger out and get cracking it was this weekend!
I followed up Friday's 6 miler w/ another 6 miler on Saturday but sadly any hopes of it being another 666 went bye bye yesterday thanks to a day long of pissing down rain,the knock on effect of which is no run today since I couldn't even get out to do laundry yesterday and that needs taking care of this evening,glass half full I'm now "forced" to run New Years Eve and New Years Day which is fine by me as I like the "out w/ the old,in w/ the new" symbolism it presents.

From here on in I aim to running and blogging up a storm so for those of you who still check in on me "Rumours od my demise have been greatly exagerated"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What You Lose On The Swings You Gain On The Roundabouts


That old adage"What You Lose On The Swings You Gain On The Roundabouts" rang true the last few days.
On Monday I was able to get away from work by 3.10pm which is rare for me,the upshot of which was I was home b4 4pm and on the road by 4.08pm.....a major plus w/ the clocks going back on Sunday.
However Tuesday I wasn't as lucky it was 3.20pm when I left work and 4.20pm when I got home,I need 10/15 minutes to get changed,stretch etc so that's 4.30/35pm b4 I'm on the road.....upto last week not an issue but now w/ sunset around 4.52pm it's become an issue..... although I live on in the wrong hempisphere to avoid that for the next weeks so it can't become an excuse not to run but this week feels very much like a transitional week so hopefully this was a one off.

Yesterday I once again somehow managed to "have it away on my toes" from work by 3.10pm and was once again home b4 4pm,and out on the road by 4.05pm.
Although it was grey and overcast it was 63 degrees,a far cry from the 46 degrees on Monday,but once again the numbers seemed lite for hardy souls out there,I guess at this time of year it's only the hardcorp who adventure out the door.
I mentioned this being a transitional week not just w/ the darkness but also the next few weeks I'll have to work my schedule around certain events,the Philly Marathon presents a logistical issue next Sunday,the folowing Sunday I plan to race and the following Wednesday I fly home,which will throw things for a loop but in running as in life if it was all black and white it'd become predictable and routine.....

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Knuckling Down In The Dark

"Have you ever been alone at nite, thought you heard footsteps behind and turned around and noone's there?
And as you quicken up your pace you find it hard to look again because you're sure there's someone there
Watching horror films the nite b4 debating witches and folklore the unknown troubles on your mind
Maybe your mind is playing tricks you sense,and suddenly eyes fix on dancing shadows from behind"
Fear Of The Dark-Iron Maiden

Yep the end of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday means for the next few months I'll be running in the dark.....yea!!!!!
At least for the next few weeks I'll start in daylight but b4 Winter Solstice on December 21st I have get used to finishing my runs in the dark.....all those years of scoffing at my mother who told me that eating my Carrots would help me see in the dark are about to come home to roost......
After a couple of weeks of not being as committed or focused not just on my run but also stretching and icing my achilles{tisk tisk bad runner!!!}I felt it was time to knuckle down again,maybe after 10 weeks of nothing but training I need a race to get me focused,it's been almost a year since my last race so it's long overdue and I'd be lying if I didn't say I didn't have one in mind but I'll divulge that 411 nearer the time.....

Thanks in part to getting away from work on time for once I was home just b4 4pm,frankly w/ deminishing daylight now those extra minutes are going to make all the difference for the next few months,changed and stretched and out the door by 4.08pm and on the road for my 8 miler it was a brisk 46 degrees,not quite 3/4 length bottoms yet  but I did throw on a long sleeved dri fit shirt which I ran w/ the sleeves rolled down......my only concession to the milder air circulating.
There were still a few hardy souls out along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr when I reached them but not the masses for a few weeks ago,granted w/ marathon season coming to a close{respect to alll those who ran NYC on Sunday} and thanks to my earlier than usual start it was still daylight when I made the turn,in fact the time and temprature atop Peco Tower which doesn't come on till 5pm was evident until  I was making my way back down along the Schuylkill Banks.

The final vestiges of daylight were just visible as I made my way over the South Street bridge an hour into my run and then things got real interesting!!!!
"Back Pack" goes sprinting by me on my left hand side, my natural reaction was to give chase but w/ 2 miles of my run left I thought why bother?
We both got stopped at the red light where the on/off ramp to I 76 comes in,then when the light turned green he was off like a shot,b4 I got half way to Franklin Field I caught and passed him but I could hear his foot steps behind me {seriously Dude were you wearing running shoes or clogs???} we get to Franklin Field and all hell brakes loose!!!!
"Back Pack" goes all "50 shades of Usain Bolt" on me sprinting by me like he'd either been shot out of a cannon or we were in the final 200m of an Olympic final,I didn't know  if I should be offended or play along and while I gave chase I drew the line at the corner of 33rd and Spruce when "Back Pack" ran out infront of a turning car from Spruce St.....it's all fun and games till someone becomes a hood ornament I guess!!
The final mile and a quarter while in darkness went by w/out incident I'm happy to report!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

I should Have Gone To The Parade.......

Following last months less than steller 4x1 mile repeats plus last weeks wind effected 6x600m repeats I was hoping to kick off Novembers repeats w/ a decent showing over 4x1mile or at least improve on last months:
1.20-1.26-1.25-1.24=5.35.9
1.26-1.30-1.30-1.30=5.56.1
1.26-1.30-1.31-1.28=5.55.2
1.28-1.32-1.32-1.20=5.52.7

Conditions were sunny and warm when I arrived at Temple's track by lunchtime,warm enough to solicit working up a mild sweat,ir remains to be seen if that's the last time I say that this year what w/ the clocks going back on Saturday night/Sunday morning.
I felt reasonably good following my mile warm up and hoped if only for the opening mile I could crank out a series of 1.20 400s to set me up nicely for some half way respectable mile repeats..........

#1 mile
1.23-1.27-1.29-1.27=5.46.0
Hardly how I wanted to kick things off but I got my opening 300m all wrong the other week on my 8x300x200x300m repeats and rebounded nicely so need to press the panic button just yet...........

#2 mile
1.23-1.29-1.29-1.24=5.45.1
At least I was a second faster than #1 and while slow there was the potential to keep lowering each mile repeat......

#3 mile
1.28-1.32-1.34-1.29=6.03.2
It's never a good day when I clock a 6.00 plus mile and /or log a 1.30 plus split,it just felt like ity wasn't my day today.......

#4 mile
1.32-1.34-1.27-1.32=6.05.7
Somebody call Waste Managment and notify them there's god awful stench coming from the track at Temple...oh wait it was just me stenching the joint up......my bad!!

Asides from a weeks worth of almost inactivity{since last Saturdays repeats I only registered an 8 miler on Tuesday} I'm at a loss as to why today was so bad,the only suggestion I can offer is that following my last notablle series of repeats three weeks ago over 8x300x200x300m that I considered dropping the 4x1 mile repeats in favour of 8x300x200x300m twice a month.....maybe the running Gods were trying to help make that a reality rather than a thought?
Off back to back sub par repeats I need something worthwhile next Saturday over 5x1,000m and w/ a return flight to Philadelphia from London scheduled for Dec 8th I need to look into finding a track when I'm home to knock out my December 4x1 mile repeats......wonder if I have to run on the other side of the track over there???

Friday, November 1, 2013

Black Cats & Red Sox


Keeping in mind what I said the other day about"doing anything you want in life,as long as you're willing to pay the price that goes w/ it" I missed out on my scheduled 8 milers Wednesday and Thursday thanks in no small part to the Boston Red Sox.....Sorry World Series Champions Boston Red Sox....YES folks I am a card carrying member of Red Sox Nation......and there goes my New York fan base....hey ho!!
Anywho,on Wednesday I was all set to take care of my 8 miler till I got the proverbial "run a round"  down town in Center City trying to pick up volume #78 of my diary.
I've been keeping a daily diary now for almost 20 years{Dec 27th 83 to be exact} and where as my blog is very much in the public domain my diary never gets read by anybody so I can,and tend to be brutally honest w/out fear of recrimination.
Upon arriving at Barnes & Nobel to pick up said diary I was greeted w/ a "closed due to electrical  problems" sign on the doors....great!!! now I had to swan around nearby Hallmark Card stores to locate a suitable blank diary to allow me to continue penning my thoughts and feelings.....hindsight is a wonderful thing but maybe I should have asigned this task on Monday the same day I had to go food shopping and Laundry and already set aside a potential running day.....the upshot of which was by the time I did get home it was later than I would've liked and why I tend to avoid weekday chores as they tend to conflict w/ my running schedule.....PLUS there was the  OTHER issue of running or not running......

I'm some what of a superstitious person where my sports teams are concerned and I willing admit to going through certain routines/rituals when they play and thus far in the World Series when I han't ran on scheduled training days my beloved Red Sox had won........superstitious old bollocks or fact you decide,Game #1 last Wednesday I was scheduled to run,I didn't we won....I ran on Saturday and we lost #3,didn't run on Sunday and we won game #4 and didn't run on Monday when we won game #5 so you could see my train of thought for Wednesday and game #6.....while I'm loathe to missing any training runs period the rules tend to alter when a World Series is up for grabs and I have  no qualms w/ missing Wednesdays 8 miler now that the World Series trophy is back at Fenway Park!!!!!!!!!!!
As for yesterdays nonrunner,that old adage I quoted at the top of my blog came back to bite me in the rear,staying up till 12.10am to see the end of game #6 and the trophy presentaion I only got 5 hours sleep and while I'll willingly lose sleep for a World Series victory it came back to haunt me yesterday afternoon,I was already tired to begin w/ and then sitting down to talk to my sister on the phone to wish her a Happy Birthday proved to be the tin lid on the coffin that was a potential run.....
I don't want to start falling back into bad habits where blowing off training runs are concerned,I have said in the past that NOT running on a Monday often sets me up for a bad week and this week that rang true,but w/ out third World Series in ten years secured it's not like the Baseball schedule will be affecting my training schedule for the next eleven months now is it????

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Patriot Games

Ok so a little "back tracking" to explain the lack of blogging the past week minus my 6x600m repeats from Saturday.
Wednesday:Having switched my 10 miler to an 8 miler on Tuesday the plan was to "take care of business" on Wednesday.....alas fatigue and hunger got the better of me,three days of "running the show" solo at work meant I was knackered to begin w/ add missing breakfast and lunch also maybe it was no major surprize I got cozy on the recliner w/ a plate of Tamales.....there was always tomorrow......
Thursday:The intention was my 10 miler then breakfast......I guess missing breakfast and luch for three days put the kybosh on that!
The lure of a big bowl of Hash Browns,Saucages,and Bacon was too great and subsequently the run fell second fiddle for "breakers" hey how often do I get to enjoy a big breakfast these days? my weekends are dictated by Saturday repeats and Sunday's long run......there was always Friday?
Friday:Asides from not getting home till 1.40am from New York after the Simple Minds gig{the reason for taking Thursday & Friday off} I was again swayed by breakfast first thing when I woke up,not to worry unlike Thursday I had the whole of the day to still get the run in,I figured breakfast could digest while I went food shopping......
By the time I returned from Aldi the thought of running a 10 miler the day b4 my repeats didn't seem like a go,10 milers are a dime a dozen,I only get one shot at repeats during the week......

By now if you read Mondays blog entry you'll know Saturdays repeats didn't exactly go to script,which lead to Sunday's scheduled 10 miler.......
Having already blown it for the week in terms of the 5 day/40mpw the week was semi shot already and while I would've liked to have gotten my 10 miler for the week in I slept a little later than usual and after watching the Indian Grand Prix the drive to get out and run had deminished to the point of me saying "feck it"
Coupled w/ it being the 29th anniversary of my fathers death the over riding desire to enjoy an all too rare FOD{Fuck Off Day} proved greater than the need to run.
Monday: A wise man once told me at an AA meeting"you can do anything you like in life....as long as you're willing to pay the price that goes w/ it".....words to live by!but what it meant was by enjoying said FOD on Sunday I now needed to do laundry and go food shopping on the way home from work.....another days run off the books......

Tuesday: Finally! an 8 miler to report!!!,at 61 degrees it's hard to fathom that it's the tail end of October it's also hard to compare yesterdays conditions to a year agos......Superstorm Sandy......
Talking of things that hit the East coast in a big way leaving a trail of wanton distruction on Oct 29th yesterday marked the 26th anniversary of my leaving London and moving to Philadelphia to live here.
Granted things have always gone to plan but I have no regrets about the move,granted all the regret in the world WON'T alter the facts but even w/out that so much of what I have at almost 50 now stems from my decision to leave London in 1897 and come to Philadelphia it's been a long strange trip.....but I'm not sure I'd have had it anyother way to be honest!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

It Can't All Be Rainbows & Kittens


Just as the month began w/ a repeat that wasn't what I hoped for over 4x1 mile my 6x600m repeats also failed to be an improvement on Septembers efforts.
I knew I was in for a somewhat of a rude awakening weatherwise b4 I even left home,the sun may;ve been out in all it's glory but it was brisk enough to require the first airing of my 3/4 lenght bottoms and long sleeved running shirt,where as last week I wore them to the track and shed them for the repeats this week they stayed on.....welcome to Fall!!

Last months trip to "The Death Cage" yeilded splits of:
1.14-37=1.51.1
1.16-37=1.53.4
1.14-38=1.52.9
1.17-37=1.54.4
1.17-36=1.53.9
1.20-39=1.59.7
And based off of last weeks 8x300x200x300 repeats I was reasonably confident of doing some damage this time around.....guess the Weather Gods had other  ideas!!!

I could tell from my mile warm up the wind was going to be an issue I tend to start my 600s at the 200m start and finish at the 400m start/finish,this would mean battling a strong headwind after 100m and 500m but rather than switch my start/finish I went w/ what it was .....when was the last time a major championship switched directions on the track because the headwind was an issue????

#1 600m
1.13-37=1.50.2
A great start,but in retrospect too brisk,had the headwind up the home straight not taken it's toll this might've set me up for a "good day at the office"......it wasn't to be!

#2 600m
1.17-38=1.55.4
Losing a full 5 seconds in one repeat pretty much was the writing on the wall,any hopes of a series of 1.50s was shot and little did I know it just yet but keeping things around the 1.55 mark was also about to bite the dust.

#3 600m
1.19-39=1.58.8
At this stage I knew that going sub 2.00 would be a fait acompli now that the headwind was giving me a major arsekickin' up the home straight,not once but twice.

#4 600m
1.18-40=1.58.7
Gained a second over the opening 400m only to give it back over the closing 200m

#5 600m
1.20-44=2.04.9
Seeing 1.20 at 400m I should have been able to "kick like a Mule" over the closing 200m like I had on #3 but the wind had taken it's toll on me and loathe as I am to admit it I kind of "mailed it in" over the closing 200m.....

#6 600m
1.21-40=2.01.4
While anything over 2.00 is never anything to write home about at least I went for it over the closing 200m of only to end the agony sooner rather than later.

Like the title says it can't be all Rainbows and Kittens,somedays you kick arse,other days it's your arse getting the kickin',I'll be anxious to return here at the end of November to improve upon this backwards step,ditto for the 4x1 mile repeats that started off October,at least I now only have to wait 7 days for that....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cherish The Day,Envoke The Penguin


I certainly won't cherish the workday yesterday,it was grim to say the least,prehaps best summed up by the entry on my Facebook page #uttershitfest.....no need to elaborate it's all there in the text I'm sure you'll agree!!!!
While work was dark and forboding at least the conditions while I ran were better,62 degrees and overcast I'll be sure to try and remember them when it's only 52/53 degrees today.....yep the other shoe has fallen at least for the next few days,I'm thinking longsleeve runningshirt and 3/4 length bottoms may well be the order of the day for my 10 miler tonite!

The reason for quoting the legendary John Bingham is probably self explanitory after said #uttershitfest of a work day I knew I needed a run to remove the putrid stench work had left but frankly I wasn't sure I had the legs for it,to say I got my arse served to me on a plate on the dock yesterday would be "Selling The Drama" short by a country mile and it took alot of cajoiling on my part to get me out the door for my run,I think if I'd sat down when I got home from work it would've been "All She Wrote".
The fact it was 2.30pm b4 I even got to make my second cup of tea for the day at work should underline just how balls arsed busy I work,I mean FORGET about the Oatmeal I took for breakfast,FORGET  about the Fruit and Yogurt I took for my afternoon snack they NEVER made it out of my backpack,at 2.30pm I was arsehole lucky to be getting a Banana and some but not all off my Cheese and Almonds w/ my 2nd cup of Tea of the day.......

W/ all that said I knew as long as I got out he door I'd be able to get my run taken care of,even if it meant switching up from my preposed 10 miler to the 8 miler,I can tackle the 10 miler tonite because even if it all goes "Tits Up & Pear Shaped" again at work I don't have to be up at 5.30am tomorrow to deal w/ it so as long as it's not raining expect yours truly to be out there putting in my 10 miler and staying on track for another 5 day/40mpw

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trifle Not W/ Tired Tigers

Somewhere in an old running shoe box is an old Calvin & Hobbes comic strip I had photocopied and blown up and once proudly displayed on my old fridge door,in frame one Hobbes is asleep,in frame two Calvin tweaks his whiskers,in frame three Hobbes opens his eyes to give Calvin a death stare and in frame four a somewhat the worse for wear Calvin is staggering off muttering"trifle not w/ tired Tigers"!!!!! that has stuck w/ me for years and was never more apt than yesterday.

For reasons unknown I had a sleepless nite on Sunday which I needed like a hole in the head give that Monday thro Wednesday I'm "hauling all the freight" by my lonesome here at work while my co worker takes three days off,I've done it b4 and I'll do it again but it's alot of work for one person period but w/ a training schedule that reads 10,8,10,8 including Sundays 10 miler it's safe to say I'll be running on tired legs this week.
The fact I have pen marks on my diary from nodding off repeatedly on the trolley ride home yesterday afternoon underlines how tired I was and technically Monday is an easy delivery day.....like I said tired Tiger!!!

Even though I have the luxury of Thursday and Friday off work I don't want to have to defer my runs till then,I will if need be but IF I didn't have that safety net I'd have to suck it up Monday through Thursday after work so I got out of my work clothes and into my running gear as soon as I got home and out the front door by 4.30pm.
I hate to miss Mondays,it's like having one strike against you b4 the week has even begun and w/ a change in the weather coming I could ill afford to blow off Mondays run no matter how tired I felt.
Aside from the obvious delight of being out running period was the utter joy of being able to take full advantage of the glorious conditions,sunny and warm,67 degrees,at the risk of sounding like a broken record you have to take full advantage of these days because they won't last forever and if the peeps at the Met Office are to be believed the end is neigh!!!

Comfortable run,I know i have a 10 miler on tap this evening so last nite was more about just doing the minimum to keep things ticking along,I kept it under 1.20 w/a respectable 1.18....I guess you could say it was as much "easy Tiger" and "tired Tiger"!!!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Walk Of Life


Unlike last month following my 8x300x200x300m repeats I was able to get out and conduct my Sunday 10 miler to round out a 6th 5 day/40mpw in the 12 weeks,I can live w/ batting 500 as long as there are more 5 day/40mpw moving forward into the "business section" on my pre season training.
Conditions were sunny and warm when I set off just b4 11am a rare treat over the last few days was the donning of my shades.....though I feel anyone who knows me would recognise me from my trademark bandanna....and or swearing at motorists or reacting to being overtaken along Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr.......!!!!
Going into the run I was aware of the annual Philly Aids Walk around the Art Museum Loop,what I couldn't be sure of was which direction the walkers would be going and if thos would have any effect on my run along Kelly Dr.

I need not have worried,the walkers were going anti clockwise from the Art Museum steps up Kelly Dr,over the Falls bridge and back down West River Dr and my portion of the run from Lloyd Hall to the 2 mile marker my turn around for a 10 miler went unhindered.
Don't misunderstand me,I thinks it's wonderful so many people are willing to walk in the fight against Aids,I have friends in the gay community who have lost family and love ones to the disease but thanks in part to likes of the masses in each city who march each year for the cause Aids research has come along way and is no longer the death sentence it was first thought as when the epidemic first broke out in the early 80's,keep up the good work people.

Maybe the prospect of the Aids Walk kept the numbers down from the regular amount of runners I see out on Kelly Dr on a Sunday,case in point my "cat and mouse" game from 4.75 miles to 7 miles,I only counted three runners heading south as I made my way to the  5 mile turnaround but nonetheless gave chase catching #1 and #2 w/ a mile to go and eventually #3 w/ 3/4s of a mile to go b4 Lloyd Hall.
Given the tenderness in my right achilles post Saturdays repeats I was just happy to be out running,last month I only managed a few strides b4 thinking better of it,no such worries this month as I rounded out week 12 of my training since the all clear in early August,unless there's an Armory Holiday meet on Dec 26th{no word either way as of yet} then in all likihood the Indoor season will kick off on January 9th w/ the first of the Thursday Nite At The Races Series also at the Armory which would be 12 weeks from this past Thursday.......the countdown is on

Delivering The Goods

I make no bones about being a "headbanger" but I will confess there hasn't been much heavy metal on my ipod of late....after Saturdays repeats maybe that should change!!!
Last month when I did my 8x300x200x300m repeats I went:
53.4
34.3
53.3
52.4
34.2
52.2
54.7
35.5
55.6
54.2
36.2
54.9
55.2
35.9
56.0
55.3
36.9
56.3
56.2
36.6
55.0
54.8
35.8
54.8
I said heading into October's battle w/ this workout if I could eliminate the 56 second 300s and 36 second 200s I'd be doing well

in a short space of time this has become a go to workout and a favourite,post workout I'm pondering making it a bi monthly repeat.
Conditions were sunny and mild when I arrived at Temple just on lunchtime,given it's an almost two hour workout I'd have prefered a slightly earlier start but as we head into Fall and Winter I do know the chances of my weekly sojurns to the track may ge pushed back to 1pm/2pm when it's starts getting "brass monkeys" out there,today my sole consession to the climate was a long sleeve running shirt and 3/4 length bottoms arriving and leaving the track,post mile warm up and pre mile cool down I was able to sport regular shorts and a short sleeved t shirt.....but trust me that"cheque is in the mail"
For the record I went:
56.7
34.1
52.8
52.7
33.9
52.9
52.8
34.0
52.7
53.5
35.6
54.7
53.7
35.5
55.5
54.0
35.0
54.2
54.1
35.4
54.0
54.5
35.7
52.8

After "stumbling out of the blocks" w/ the opening 300 in 56.7 I then reeled off five concecutive 52's,last month I only managed  two out of the sixteen.
I only logged one 55 second 300,three down on my Sepember 21st effort,over the 200s I eliminated the three 36's from September and logged five out of eight at 35 seconds today and to round off my sixteenth and final 300 I threw in  a sixth 52 second effort,I might've been knackered but I was more than pleased w/ my effort!!!
Going forward I have to consider the option of maybe dropping the mile repeats from my rotation and putting the 8x300x200x300m in there twice,it's something to consider.....along w/ some Judas Priest on ye olde ipod!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Boys From Brazil....The Sequal

Following on from Wednesdays entry re the 2014 World Cup quallifiers I find myself drawn back to the land of the Samba w/ the World Masters Athletics Outdoor World Championships in Porto Alegre which began on Wednesday.
Irrigardless of my year long sabatical these Worlds were never on my agenda,at 49 i'm likely to get my butt well and truly kicked in the 800m and 1,500m and frankly Porto Alegre is too long of a distance to travel to experience that so I took a pass given I,m three weeks removed from turning 50,had they been held Nov 16-27th I might of considered getting my passport stamped.

I will be following the exploits of those intrepid souls who made the trip including my friends Anselm Lebourne,Kevin Paulk and Conor O Driscoll who will represent the stars and stripes over 800m and 1,500m in the M50-54 division as come next March at the World Masters Athletics Indoor World Championships in Budapest they will be not only team mates but potential medal threats if I opt to go to Hungary in search of a World title..........

The faraway confinds of Porto Alegre and Budapest seemed thousands of miles away no pun intended as I made my way out and back along the familur path of the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr last nite for my 8 miler,not sure what the climate in Budapest is or for that matter what the temps in Porto Alegre are but at 72 degrees and not the 32 degrees that Peco Towers displayed it was warm enough to be dripping in sweat by the end of my run!!!!!

Another "no frills" run w/ the always taxing 8x300x200x300m repeats on tap Saturday it was clutch to save my legs for then,this is a pivitol week for my training,week 12 since returning to full blown training and 12 weeks till my potential Indoor season opener on Jan 9th,there's no turning back now and the only direction is onwards and upwards it's gonna take a hell of alot more than a weekly intake of Goulash to prep me for Budapest and Indoor Worlds in five months time......

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Inspiration,Perspiration,No Despiration

"And I'm ready to run,ready to fall think I'm ready to lose it all,keep me running,you keep me running,never give up,never give up"
Running-Jessie Ware

Back into the daily routine after my World Cup quallifier day off on Tuesday,if I had one concern in August when I resumed training it was that my year long sabatical from a competitive mindset might make me "soft" and not return to the rigours of "getting after it" 5 days a week,in week 12 I don't seem to have such concerns now,there have only been a handful of days I haven't gotten out there when I was meant to,long may that continue!
Not that I lacked inspiration going into my scheduled 8 miler yesterday but if there was an fear that I may be tempted back into "old habits" of coming home and taking a "zen like" attitude w/ my recliner then the Jessie Ware video for "Running" took care of that,let me tell ya "girlfriend's got it going on" in that video.....but don't take my word for it,check it out for yourself.

Conditions were grey and overcast but a comforttable 69 degrees.....maybe too comfortable if the sweat coming off my bandan and dri fit shirt post run were an indication......and I thought the Jessie Ware video had me all hot and bothered!!!!!!
A text book 1.20 8 miler,why crank it up and leave all my energies out on the Wednesday run when Saturdays repeats are the always all consuming 8x300x200x300m?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Boys From Brazil

Took my weekday rest day yesterday so I could cop the final round of UEFA World Cup qualifiers given the 5 hour time difference between Europe and the east coast of America.
Now you may ask what has this got to do w/ running.....let me tell you once next Summers World Cup kicks off between June 12th and finishes on July 13th most of that month my schedule will be bulit around the games{not sure what hour of the day they'll kick off but I'm guessing evening games to be 7/8pm which works but it'll be what it will be}

For me the World Cup and Summer Olympics are THE greatest show on earth the fact they only come around every four years hightens the excitment of the matter,screw this one up and it's another four years b4 the chance to set the record straight.
As of yesterday 21 of the 32 nations have booked their tickets to the finals,the usual suspects Brazil,Argentina,Germany,Italy,England are there,in recent World Cups you could add USA,Holland,Spain,Australia,Japan and South Korea to that list and come November15th and 18th the final 11 Nations will be determined b4 the draw for the finals on December 6th.....then it gets REAL interesting!!!

Back to basics tonite,an 8 miler....I'll just to imagine the Samba rhythm as I make my way along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Six Is The Sign Of The Unicorn

It's universally accepted that three sixes is the sign of the devil{and NOT my Social Security number!!!!} therefore one six should be the sign of the Unicorn.........given I only run a six miler once every month on the third week of my training cycle it's about as rare as a Unicorn!!!
Given my penchant for 8 milers and 10 milers out and back along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr the 6 miler feels out of place these days but on week three of my cycle I tend to go 6,8,8,8,10 to round put at 40mpw......
I could go 5x8 miles but the Sunday "long run" aka 10 miles has become a staple and also sets it aside from the weekeday 8 milers unless I turned the weekday 8 milers into 9 milers and then went 45mpw......something to ponder down the road if need be.....

Conditions were sunny and warm,70 degrees,I could live w/ this for the week it's around this time of year you treat each nice day such as this as potentially the last one b4 the weather turns.
A shorter run and earlier start meant encountering more pedestrian traffic than usual....and more choice turns of phrase from yours truly,especially "Tubby" and here iphone as she blindly ingnored the runner heading towards her at the end of Franklin Field,clearly from her gurth she had an app for fast food joints on her phone,perhaps an app for runner approaching might not go a miss........just saying!

And even on  a short run I found myself playing the "thou shall not pass" game along the Schuylkill Banks, just as i was making my way to the end of the banks heading south "Big Red" comes hurtling up on my inside reinacting the time honoured "run like you stole it"
At first I thought he was going to circle the loop and head back north along the bank but proceeded to head up the footbridge......time for yours truly to show him what I had "beneath the hood" and a clear pair of heals as i left him in my wake.....thanks for playing you've been  a wonderful contestant....good nite!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday Sunday


Whoever laid claim to the mindset that "Sundays are for sleeping in,reading the Sunday paper and watching football on tv" was NOT a runner!!!!!

I had the luxury of it being an "international week" in soccer so no EPL schedule to build my Sunday long run around but I did cop the Japanese Grand Prix on NBCSN having dvr'd the race from 2am to watch when I got up,I love Formula One but NOT enough to sit up between 2am and 4.30am to watch it live......unless it's a race that my beloved Ferrari can clinch the World C'ship.....which if you follow F1 you know won't be this season......more's the pity!!

Out the door by 11.20am I may have gotten the attire right going w/ short sleeves but got it wrong w/ eyeware,should've gone w/ shades as I was squinting like crazy on the inbound leg of my 10 miler.
I opted for the 10 miler even though I'd put in a 10 miler on Wednesday in antisipation of logging an 8 miler on Thursday b4 another 8 miler on Saturday b4 hitting the track Sunday for 5x1,000m repeats.....till the rain came along and screwed that schedule up for me.
Conditions were pleasent enough out there,b4 runs end my dri fit shirt was nice and sweat soaked but NOT to the degree it was last Sunday when it was 86 degrees,none the less at this time of year any time I've worked up a sweat is a reminder Fall and Winter have not kicked in just yet.

For once there were next to no runners going south along Kelly Dr when I passed the 4.75 marker so nobody to chase for the next 2.5 miles but my run wasn't w/out a chase.......
Just after I passed the Art Museum I got passed by not one,but two runners who were running together,I dislke being overtaken by one runner muchless getting double teamed and even though my initial  reaction was to let them go I tucked in behind them for 600m b4 getting back ahead of them and making sure I stayed ahead of them from the Amatrack railway bridge to the Schuylkill Path footbridge.

I won't deny feeling a little "leggy" over the final couple of miles but I had enough in hand to see out my second 10 miler in five days.
A four day/34mpw as I back off of the "mileage whore" mindset these days and prefer quality over quantity I have to say 2 10 milers plus a 17 second overall improvement on my 5x1,000m from a month ago feels like a good week,11 down 10 or 12 to go till the Indoor season kicks off

The Sun,The Wind,And The Rainfall

Well the good news was it finally stopped raining on Saturday after two days of on again/off again rain.....fuckin' ada I thought I was going to have to grow gills just to survive!!!!!
However,there was a plus to Friday evenings downpour,I fell asleep in my recliner at 9pm which was my cue to call it a nite.....and promptly slept till 9am Saturday morning.....if there's "no smoke w/out fire" then I guess I needed the sleep and since I slept through my designated clubbin' nite there was no need to switch up to Sunday for the 5x1,000m repeats on tap this weekend.

Following last months "catalogue of cock ups" w/ the 5x1,000s and last weeks backwards step w/ the 4x1 mile repeats I was hopefully of getting.....back on track{groan!} w/ my repeats on Saturday,for the record last months 5x1,000m repeats went:
1.13-1.24-32=3.19.9
1.25-1.24-41=3.30.1
1.23-1.26-41=3.30.9
1.24-1.28-41=3.33.2
1.26-1.28-37=3.30.8
I knew I needed to eliminate an opening 400m of 1.13 if I had any shot of going 1.20-1.20-35=3.15 which is still my goal w/ the 1,000s......
Conditions were sunny and warm w/ a strong wind on the bottom turn and back straight when I arrived at Temple's track around 11am,followin my 6 lap warm up I was ready to have at it.......

#1 1,000m
1.18-1.23-38=3.19.1
While I was delighted w/ an opening 400m of 1.18 I was deflated to give it back on the second 400m w/a 1.23 even though technically I was only a second off pace at 2.41,not a bad opener and not a suicidal 1.13 like I opened w/  on Sept 15th

#2 1,000m
1.18-1.24-38=3.20.7
More of the same again that second 400m came back to bite me in the arse after a decent opening 400 but unlike a month ago I hadn't ballooned upto 3.30 rang.....yet!

#3 1,000m
1.22-1.23-39=3.24.3
I thought maybe taking a little bit off the opening lap might help keep it even...I thought wrong and while clearly 3.15 was wishful thinking sub 3.20 was now shot

#4 1,000m
1.24-1.27-42=3.33.9
Battling the wind on the bottom turn and back straight between 200m and 400m and 600m and 800m finally took it's toll,coming off the top turn at 500m my legs felt like a pair of runner plants hence the plun 3.30 time.

#5 1,000m
1.22-1.26-41=3.29.2
Kudos for not just "mailing it in" and trying to finish strong but the damage had already been done in earlier 1,000s.

Clearly there needs to be a major rethink re the 1.20-1.20-35=3.15 1,000s w/ only Nov & Dec left in 2013 ,my focus now is to get into sub 3.30 range and then go into the new year w/ 3.20 as my target and hopefully come summer time 3.15 will be doable,untill then 3.05 is unthinkable
Two weeks in a row now the weather has dictated my repeats but there seems little or no point bitchin' as we all know "mother nature always gets the final word"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cool For Cats

A few times during the year I find myself quoting the mantra"the difference between standing atop the podium at Nationals or standing next to it is the difference between getting out and runing on days you don't feel like it or not running"......yesterday was one such day.
After sweating profusely on Saturday and Sunday in 86 degree temps the mercury has dipped to 80 on Monday,66 Tuesday and a shock to the system 61 degrees yesterday,no wonder I dug out a long sleeve running shirt once I'd convinced myself to get out there and run.

Conditions were grey and overcast when I set off at 4.25pm on my 10 miler,once I'd committed to the run,muchless gotten out the door I was golden but in that short period of getting off the trolley and walking the two blocks to my front door there was some doubt in my mind if today was going to be my day....
Evidently I wasn't alone in that mindset as there was a considerable drop off in the number of runners out on the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr from Tuesday when it was 5 degrees warmer,61 degrees is the coolest temperature I've ran in for a while.....though I'm sure a month from now on November 9th it'll be considerably cooler than 61 degrees!!

There are sections along both the banks and Kelly Dr where if you were so inclined you could reach out and touch the Schuylkill River.....why you would want to I don't know but I'm just trying to give you a visual of what it's like out on my route,the section just b4 the Columbia bridge that crosses the river is the lowest land point on the route and has been known to flood the path when the river has overflowed and forces runners to take the higher ground to avoid sliding through the slush that the Schuylkill deposits on the path.

Again as has become my won't on a 10 miler at 4.75 miles I began to count the runners who were heading back south along Kelly Dr b4 I turned at 5 miles,I counted 12 runners ahead of me and by the time I reached Lloyd Hall at mile 7 I'd caught and passed 8 of them w/ #9 and #10 just ahead of me,and I wasn't done w/ picking up my pace either going south along the Schuylkill Banks towards Amtrack bridge b4 JFK Blvd bridge and Market St bridge I heard footsteps closing in on me, quick glance over my left shoulder revealed a runner in a yellow tshirt drawing almost level w/ me......not today bud! race season maybe a few months off just yet but it's never too soon to get into the routine of knocking back wouldbe overtakers.

Unofficially I clocked a 1.33 for the run,I've been clocking 1.40's of late so either the cooler conditions helped me to a faster time,or the lure of a warm shower post run served as a motivator to speed up!
There's rain in the forecast for the next four days which means getting my last three runs in will be dicated by the weather gods......never a good thing in my experience!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Solitude Of The Middle Distance Runner

A pretty much run of the mill out and back 8 miler that felt like I was on "autopilot" throughout its duration which isn't such a bad thing,some days its nice to get through a run w/out and drama jumping off.
Conditions were a comfortable 66 degrees a far cry from the back to back 86 degree days over the weekend that felt like running in a Native American Sweat Lodge.

I got out of work on time for once which meant getting home and getting back out the door to run by 4.10pm,somewhat of an anomaly for me,right now it's neither here nor there but w/ the clocks about to go back in 4 weeks time and the evenings already getting darker earlier I'm resigned to the fact that come late November/early December I'll be finishing my week day 8/10 milers in pitch black conditions....yea!!!

If it's October then the race calendar is overflowing w/ opportunities for me  to "test the waters" of competitive running....should I feel so inclined.....but I don't.
I passed on the annual trek to Syracuse for the Masters 5K Road Race c'ships this past weekend and this coming weekend at nearby Belmont Plateau there's the Jack St Clair XC 5 miler but frankly getting my can kicked by a bunch of younger college runners isn;t going to tell me anything re where I'm at in my training and while the following weeks 5K XC Catholic League has some merit to it I'll pass on that also,as I'd rather hit Temple's track for my 8x300x200x300m repeats.
The following day the masses will be heading to Dear Park Path in Flemington New Jersey for the Masters 5K XC C'ships and while it was a race that did appeal me on a few levels most of all the timing of it again I elected to take a pass there will be time enough to test myself mano e mano once the track season gets under way,besides which I never renewed my 2013 USATF membership which makes me ineligable also.

So it's the road less travelled for moi for another 11 to 14 weeks till my first Indoor track race,more time to hone my speed and hopefully make a sizable splash  to mark my return to the competitive ranks of running,hopefully somethings are worth the wait.....

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Coinsidence Or Load Of Old Bollocks??? You Decide!!!

The much touted rain the weather peeps were calling for arrived yesterday,on and off during the day enough to force me to  sit yesterday out,no biggie providing I can  take care of business Tue,Wed and Thur over 8 miles,10 miles and 8 miles....the reason for the 10 miler during the week is that the second weekend of the month always throws my schedule off slightly,Friday is a clubbin' nite so my repeats get nudged back to Sunday ergo wanting to go slightly less mileage wise on Saturday,hence switching out a mid week 8 miler for a Saturday 10 miler.....method,madness,nuff said!!!

So that soreness in my right shin from last Monday,I'd been taking 2 Bayer Asprins every four hours plus a daily 15 mins w/ the ice block and frankly it was doing sweet FA for it,so I switched up to Aleve yesterday and after only 6 Aleves that soreness has greatly reduced,maybe Bayer is good for a headache but clearly as a pain medicine Aleve kicks it's sorry arse so the next time you see one of those Aleve commercials on tv bare in mind it really is a good pain reliever,Aleve may not endorse me but I'll endorse it!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sweatin' The Small Stuff


At months end {Oct 29th} I'll have lived in America for 26 years and while there is a "laundry list" of things I miss about living in London,the climate is NOT one of them!!!
Granted here in Philly on the eastern seaboard we cop both extremes,heat and humidity in the summer and "Jack Frost nippin' at your bollocks" freezing cold in the winter but somewhere inbetween is a happy medium like yesterday 85 degrees on October 6th.....I know it's  bat shit fuckin' crazy but it is what it is!!!

I got a slightly later start than normal for my Sunday 10 miler 11.20am no biggie and despite the overcast skies I opted for the "Three S's" shades,shorts and sleeveless,at this time of year each run could be the last one b4 having to switch to regular glasses, and short sleeves,b4 runs end my choice of attire proved to be spot on!!!

As I crossed South St Bridge I couldn't have helped but to be confused to my right{South} overcast and grey skies, straight ahead {East} clear and sunny skies to my left {North} grey and overcast and the direction I'd be running along the river and I'm sure if I'd looked over my shoulder back to where I's set out from {West} it would've been grey and ovecast also.....
Making my way along the Schuylkill Bank and Kelly Dr there was a decent number of fellow runners.....but no Geese today which suited me as I didn't feel like stopping for them to cross in front of me!!!

As I did last week I counted the runners who were heading back South along Kelly Dr from the 4 and 3/4 mile mark,I counted 10 and caught 9 in fairness I was never going to catch the first one who had a good 1/2 mile on me since our paths crossed right at the 4 and 3/4 mile marker but that 2 and a 1/2 section of the run probably went along way to making todays 10 miler the 1.36 that it was,I usually clock 1.40 for a 10 miler.

I was dripping sweat long b4 I reached the South St bridge,I could feel the sweat dripping off my bandana and while waiting for the red lite to change at the  the corner of South St bridge and the on/off ramp for I 76 I rang sweat out of my so called dri fit shirt,a month from now I'll remember this when the  clock go back...
My running clothes were dispatched to a pile on my living room floor  not long after getting into my appartment as I downed not one but two pints of Strawberry Milk....yeah I'd worked up that much of a thirst and sweat and some 90 minutes later when I felt compelled to get up off the recliner my pile of running clothes felt like a lead weight as they were dispatched into the laundry bag,I may not work up a sweat again this till next summer,something to think about during the long winter months.

Another 5 day/40mpw the first time in ten weeks I've logged back to back 5 day.40 mile weeks at least that side of things is going to plan,w. the threat of rain and showers the next couple of days and the end of this dry and hot spell I sence a change in the weather,Fall may actually feel like Fall......

Moonwalkin' @ Temple Continued

Sorry about that,poxy pc has gremlins and forced me to send when I wasn't finished,as I was saying last Saturday after the 6x600m repeats I still had half a liter of water in my water bottle and only drank a Seven Elevan Big Gulp of Fruit Punch Gatorade post workout..... this Saturday my liter of water had been drunk at the compleation of the #4 mile and upon hitting the nearby Temple campus Seven Elevan a downed a Super Big Gulp of Fruit Punch Gatorade

One final foot note on the weather,when I woke up on Saturday morning around 8.30am and saw the sun streaming in through my bedroom window I couldn't help but think ahead to the first Saturday in November when I next conduct 4x1 mile repeats......I can imagine conditions being quite  so warn then.....and hopefully my mile times will be a little more respectable.....

Moonwalkin' @ Temple

I said after my initial set of repeats in August they were akin to"throwin' Linguine at the wall and seeing what stuck" and in September I now had legit times to chase,ergo in October looking to improve upon what I'd done in September.
For the record September's 4x1 mile repeats went:
1.21-1.26-1.27-1.26=5.40.1
1.25-1.29-1.30-1.24=5.48.7
1.26-1.29-1.31-1.28=5.54.5
1.28-1.27-1.30-1.23=5.48.3

I arrived at Temple by 10.45am  and conditions already felt warm,I dread to think how they'd have been if I'd arrived an hour later.
The often omnipresent wind at Temple's track was missing today....something I could've done w/ as the breeze would have offered some relife from the heat.....evidently nobody had told the weather gods it was the first Saturday of October........

#1 mile
1.20-1.26-1.25-1.24=5.35.9
WOW! My fastest mile repeat to date,could I keep this up? I switched from my short sleeve shirt to my sleeveless shirt as the heat was already a factor after 1 mile.....

#2 mile
1.26-1.30-1.30-1.30=5.56.1
I knew it was hot when I could see beads of sweat bouncing off my head as I began my second mile!!
After opening in a reasonable 1.26 I then clocked back to back to back 1.30s....hopefully this was a one off and I could rebound on #3......

#3 mile
1.26-1.30-1.31-1.28=5.55.2
Oh boy! the heat had clearly become an issue now,bad enough 4 of 5 quarters had been 1.30 but then a 1.31 thrown in for good measure....keeping #4 under 6.00 was now a goal......

#4 mile
1.28-1.32-1.32-1.20=5.52.7
Coming off the line I could tell there was no pop or zip in my legs which was reflected by the 1.28-3.00-4.32 400m.800m,1,200m times and if I wanted to get under 6.00 I'd better pull my finger out....hence the 1.20 final lap and 5.52.7 closing mile.

Clearly a backwards step after last month but who could have imagined this kind of heat in October? to put things in prespective,last Saturday post 6x600m repeats my liter of water bottle was still half full and I only drunk a Big Gulp

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I've Seen It All Now.....

In over 37 years of running I've seen more or less everything you could imagine...and then some but that old adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" didn't ring true yesterday afternoon on my 8 miler.
Obviously running along side the Schuylkill River presents unique situations,Ive seen it flood the banks,I once witnessed it freeze over so badly an ice skater was out there but NEVER have I been forced to stop dead in my track to allow a gaggle of Geese cross the path......there really is a first time for everything I guess!!!!

Just behind the Art Museum and b4 Boathouse Row there's a section of grass that slopes down towards the river and I've seen Geese both on the river and on the grass but NEVER a gaggle of them slowly waddling along crossing the path that runners,walkers,cyclists,use  to get to the river,runners and cyclists in both directions myself included were all reduced to a halt as they slowly made their way across,I had to laugh to myself as I waited for them to get across the path they didn't seem to be in any hurry.....time may wait for no man but it will wait for a gaggle of Geese evidently!!!

Geese crossing aside an incident free run,83 degrees which is  somewhat of a blessing from Mother Nature,shades,shorts and sleeveless conditions if ever there were and it looks to stay that way till next week.
Thankfully no shin or nipple issues on this run,I'm hoping two days rest will help the soreness in my shin heal while the application of Vaseline on my nipples seems to have stopped that issue from becoming a daily thing.

For whatever reason I felt a little "leg weary" b4 the end of the run,initially from the knees down but over tthe final mile from the waist down....I'm NOT about to blame the heat but it was noticable,that said I still averaged a 1.20 8 miler in keeping w/ the past two days when my legs weren't feeling it.....and I wasn't being forced to stop dead in my tracks to allow Geese to cross infront of me.......GEESE!!!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Checklist Just Got Bigger....

It may say October 1st on the calander but it sure didn't feel like it out there yesterday! the average temprature in Philly this time of year is 72 degrees.....it was 79 degrees when I ran at 4.35pm yesterday afternoon,however the sting in the tail w/ October will be the dramatic shift in conditions by months end,but like I always say "we'll cross,burn,jump,paint that bridge when the time comes and not b4"

Since returning to training in August from my 2 month tendonitis enforced layoff I've been dilegent in my pre run/post run routine,stretch b4,stretch and ice afterwards a small price to pay when it buys me another day,now w/ the recent flare up in my right shin and the sensitive/bloody nipples I find my routine being:
pre run,stretch,apply Vaseline,dig out calf sleeve,post run stretch,ice shin,ice calf,pop a couple of anti inflamatories like I said if it buys me another day then it's a small price to pay.
Sore shin/bloody nipples aside it was another good 8 miler as in the previous I found myself covering the out and back course 5 minutes faster than I had been doing,hopefully I've kicked my strength,speed and stamina up to another level,there's still work to be done but I feel a world removed from the runner who tenativly began the long road back in early August.

W/ cross country almost in full flow now I am spoilt for choice for races should I feel the need to "test the waters" of competitive running and while I'm someone who's seldom shirked a challenge period muchless w/ his running I feel my best "plan of attack" for the long haul is to continue to utalize my weekends w/ my weekly speed work on Saturdays and my long run on Sundays there will be ample time in both the indoor and outdoor track seasons to lace up my spikes and toe the line waiting for the starters pistol to fire,till then it's doing what needs to be done to prepare myself.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Wow! hard to believe it's October 1st already,seems like only yesterday I was getting the all clear to resume training on August 1st and now I'm into week 10 of that.
My goals in September were atainable enough,get consistant in training after a little bit of a stutter start in August and also improve on my August repeat times,I'd like to think I did both in spades and now as I head into the third month of training I'd like to keep that 5 day/40mpw schedule flowing and also continue to lower my weekly repeat times beginning Saturday w/ 4x1mile repeats.

However b4 I get to Saturday there's the oh so small matter of laying the ground work for the week and my 5 day/40mpw goal,my schedule is reasonably straightforward 8 milers on Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday{kept Thursday free so i can come home and watch Spurs vs Anzhi in the Europa League!}
According to the boffins at the Met Office this week is going to be in the high 70's maybe even 80 degrees....good job I didn't rotate my sleeveless running shirts to the bottom of my tote bins just yet!
I got a slightly later later start yestersday than usual,most days I'm heading out on my run by 4.20pm but due to not leaving work till 3.35pm it was closer to 4.30pm when I got home and 4.50pm b4 I was back out the door to get my first 8  miler of the week in.

Conditions were sunny and warm,73 degrees when I hit "the office"{Schuylkill Banks} by 5.10pm and made my way to the 1 mile marker on Kelly Dr.
Had a couple of uh oh moments on the inbound 4 miles, my right lower shin was sore,it's been a while since the dreaded Shin Splints issue has reared it's ugly head,it meant post run I had 15 mins of icing my right shin b4 15 mins of icing my right achilles,"Diamonds My Be A Girls Best Friend" but it's actual ice that runners seek for comfort.
The other issue is a slightly delicate one,I noticed it last week and again on Sunday....runners nipple......stop snickering!!!!
It's not an uncommon issue but I always thought that was more pertanent over longer runs seems strange to be dealing w/ it over 8/10 mile runs anyway now I've got that to deal w/ also,proving two well worn adages"if it aint one thing it's another" and the time honoured Linford Christie quote"As an athlete,you're always injured" even if it's only sensitive nipples.......stop laughing it's not that funny!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Doing My Billy Bragg

The last time I managed a Sunday 10 miler was Sept 8th,subsequently also the last week I managed a 5 day/40 mpw so it was nice to end September how I begun it,had it not been for getting sick in week #2 and having a tender achiles last Sunday maybe the entire month would've been 5 day/40mpw but it wasn't to be but lets see what October brings,that said the weather could dictate how October pans out.

Conditions were sunny and warm when I set off at 10.50am following my pre run routine of rosey,banana and "Eastenders".....what can I say "you can take the boy out of London but not the London out of the boy"!!!!
As is to be expected the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr were highly populated w/ like minded souls "getting their run on" it'll be interesting to see by the end of October how many will still be out there,muchless theend of November and December.

When I hit the 4 and 3/4 mile mark I began to pay attention to the runners coming towards me,how many of them would I catch once I made the turn at 5 miles? quite a few to be honest as I picked up my pace between mile  5 and a  1/2 and  7 to stretch the legs a little.
I said the other day I don't "officially" time these runs but I do "eyeball" the clock b4 I leave and again when I get home and todays 10 miler came in around 1 hr 45 mins,identical to what I clocked on Tuesday so at least there was no "slacking off" today compared to Tuesday.

My bandana and dri fit shirt were soaked in sweat by the time I finished,how many more runs will I be able to say that once we get into October?
Overall a good weeks training as week #9 is officially in the books,a new week on tap tomorrow and a new month come Tuesday but the same drive and desire to continue to improve

Night & Day @ The House Of Pain

Not sure I "saved the best till last" but it was a deliberate move on my part to save the always gut wrenching 6x600m till last on my set of repeats.
Last month on my debut I went:
1.13-37-1.50.7
1.17-37-1.54.8
1.19-37-1.56.7
1.19-37-1.56.6
1.20-40-2.00.1
1.25-41-2.06.2
So plenty room for improvement now at the end of September......

The question was when not if would I get my 6x600m repeats in over the weekend,there had  been an issue regarding Saturday than got resolved in the early hours of Saturday morning so I was able to get up at 9am and cop the last half hour of Spurs Chelski while having my morning cup of rosey and banana b4 stretching and making sure I hit the bathroom b4 heading to Temple,I learnt ny lesson w/ that two weeks ago!
Arrived at the track by 11.05am and got my mile warm up in,during which I gauged the wind direction,at Temple it's not if the wind's blowing it's where,two weeks ago the top turn,last week the home straight today the back straight as I hit 300m....what doesn't kill me makes me stronger yeah???

#1 600m
1.14-37-1.51.1
I said going in that if I could go 1.15-1.17 for the opening 400 and 37 for the closing 200 I should be golden for sub 1.55
#2 600m
1.16-37-1.53.4
So far,so go last month I pretty much"shit the bed" after an opening 400m of 1.13 thankfully a  month down the road my strength and stamina are a lot deeper
#3 600m
1.14-38-1.52.9
Last time out by # 3 and #4 I could feel the wheels coming off,not today!
#4 600m
1.17-37-1.54.4
It didn't help I was forced out into lane 3 at 200m to swing by a pair of joggers,I know I don't have exclusive rights to the inside lane but is there ANY point having signs up all over the track asking walkers/joggers to use the outside lanes????
#5 600m
1.17-36-1.53.9
I needed a stop watch malfunction on the opening 400m like I needed another pair of joggers in lane 1!!!
Note to self,next time I hear a second beep on the stopwatch.......STOP!!!!!
My gut feeling was that extra 400m was going to come back to bite me in the arse on #6......
#6 600M
1.20-39-1.59.7
BOLLOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I knew that extra 400m would catch up w/ me and coming off the bottom turn w/ 300m to go for the first time in the session I noticed the wind,a tell tale sign of fatigue,I confess to kind of mailing it in over the final few meters knowing off a 1.20 400m that a 35 200m probably wasn't happening today.

While I'm frustrated #6 got away from me overall today was a big improvement on last months 6x600s so here to going 6/6 at sub 1.55 next month....and no more stopwatch cockups!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Spirit Willing,Flesh Weak

So much for a 4th run in 4 days,it sounded doable in theory but as is so often the case theory and practice proved yet again to be "a horse of a different colour"
If I'm being 100% honest I was already feeling a little leg weary b4 the prospect of a 10 miler last nite but I've "been there,done that,got the tshirt to prove it" where running when tired is concerned so it would have been nothing new to drag my old bones out and grind out a 10 miler.....however work chose to be a ballbreaker of epic preportion which pretty much put the tin lid on a run.
I wouldn't say we got a lot of deliveries yesterday but it's a bit of a joke to start work at 6.25am and not go to lunch till 1.40pm...... at any minute I fully expected Matthew Kelly to leap out from a stack of boxes and announce 'I'm Matthew Kelly and you're Game For A Laugh"!!!!

Of course going to lunch late meant getting back to work late which then meant leaving work late and by the time I got home at almost 4.30pm the prospect of stretching and then running 10 miles didn't exactly fill me w/ joy so I passed.
Were this a regular weekend I would be looking at my repeats on Saturday{6x600m} and a 10 miler Sunday to round out a 40 mile week,however I volunteered my services to help two of my friends move tomorrow that threw the proverbial spanner in the works,but according to Eric he thinks were only looking at a four job between 8am and 12pm so either I can hit the track for said repeats in the afternoon and then "go long"on Sunday OR go real easy over 10 miles tomorrow and then "have at it" Sunday for the "Death Cage" aka 6x600m either way that's why I'm not beating myself up over bagging last nites run.....I have the whole weekend to beat myself up over 10 miles and 6x600m....

Thursday, September 26, 2013

All Our Yesterdays

Another 8 miler in the books
And another book read.......

I just finished reading Dame Kelly Holmes autobiography "Black White & Gold" which I must say was a fascinating read,it's always fun to read the trials and tribulations of a world class athlete and how some of their struggles can relate to you,ok I won't ever be a double Olympic 800m/1,500m champion or knighted for my services to athletics but reading her struggles to overcome a pesky achilles injury that threatened to derail her career was something myself and alot of runners out there could identify w/.

As for my 8 miler not much to report,sunny and 74 degrees and mostly incident free......mostly!!!
Knowing I still have a 10 miler on tap this evening b4 2 rest days then Sundays all out assault on my 6x600m repeats the last thing I needed was to embroil myself in any "pissing contests"during this run and it was all going to plan till just over a quarter mile past the 5 mile marker{Lloyd Hall on the inbound leg of the run}
Blowing by me on my inside like someone auditioning for a part in "Run Like You Stole It" Mr Back Pack shattered the tranquil nature of my run like a Doc Marten boot through a plain of glass and my instant reaction was to go all Barney Stinson on his arse...."Challenge Accepted" but knowing that there were still 2 and 3/4 miles of this run to go not to mention 10 miles tomorrow I thought better of it.....however my momentum on the downhill along side the Art Museum brought me along side his left shoulder as we crested the uphill......cue cuz going all Olympic trials mode on me and increasing the pace,which as someone who's done the sme thing himself repeatedly should not been seen as a bad thing,anywho w/in another 600m hepuled off to the side as if he was planning to cross the Conrail tracks at the crossing.....glad I didn't waste valuable energies chasing after him afterall and I guess that's the ying and the yang of chasing fellow runners out on a training run you can never be sure how far they're going nor what there running credentials are.

Even though I'm not "officially" timing these runs I can tell you they are more or less ballpark roughly the same pace,as is my won't I eyeball the clock in my bedroom as I leave for my run and eyeball it again when I return,the 8 milers have all been w/in a minute or two of eachother the past two weeks and Tuesdays 10 miler was only 15 minutes slower PLUS they are ALL faster then what they were a couple of weeks ago....#aworkinprogressthatsgettingthere

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You Don't Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows.....

Since I was given the all clear to resume training at the start of August I've enjoyed every day that I've been able to run,even the "grind em till you find em" runs and the two "bonks" because even though they weren't great running experiences at least I was running......it's been a while since I went into a run NEEDING to run for fear of choking the living shit out of someone......YESTERDAY was that day which just like the proverbial cheque had always been in the mail!!!

I won't bore you w/ a ton of work related TMI bullshit but I will say this much if I owned an airbrush or knew someone w/ an airbrush I'd be sporting a "People Only Listen To Me When I Fart" tshirt at work today to get my point across,I was once told by a former manager that "communication is key" and "it all starts w/ the loading dock" I was also once told by a former analyst controler that "the loading dock is where it all starts,you guys are the first line of defense"........so you'll excuse me if I don't distance myself from people who habitually "piss in my ear and tell me it's rain" where the loading dock is concerned,if I've learnt ANYTHING in the 14 years I've been here it's that the loading dock more often than not is the LAST place to know about major/big deliveries and that shit rolls one way downhill and myself and my two coworkers are rooted firmly at the foot of that hill!!!!!

Needless to say any day that contains yours truly slamming doors almost off their hinges not once,not twice but three times and has one of my regular drivers saying "you look like you're in a great mood" as he's backing away from me is a day that a run is the best remedy for the ails that are causing such events,it just so happened that I had a 10 miler on tap which was a big help as I had PLENTY of steam to blow off!!!!
Conditions were sunny and a "whopping 72 degrees" but I could still feel a breeze coming off the Schuylkill River as I made my way up and down the banks and Kelly Dr.
Knowing I have another 8/10 split scheduled for today and tomorrow I knew I couldn't expend too much energy today but that didn't stop me from treating this run like my last three 8 milers,work the up hills and downhills and throw in a few stretchs of sustained leg turnover during the run.

Last week finally felt like I'd gotten my speed,strength and stamina up to par and a classic example happened last nite between mile 6 and 7.
I recall a run last month where I was overtaken by a female runner heading up towards the Art Museum,part of me said "let her go" but male ego screamed"fuck that chase after her and overtake her!!!" she continued to pull away from me at a rate of knots that meant as I made a left onto Kelly Dr at Lloyd Hall she was already disapperaring out of sight a quarter mile further up Kelly Dr never to be spotted again.......
Last nite just after the 6 mile mark another female runner blew by me....my gut reaction was to give chase and restore male ego points but I caught myself thinking of the 4 miles left on this run not to mention the 18 miles on tap over the next two nites as she ran maybe 4 seconds ahead of me.....
Coming off the slightest of downhills on the otherside of the Girard Ave bridge I used that downhill to freewheel and pass her.....order restored....or so I thought till just b4 the 1/4 mile marker at the start of the approach to Boathouse Row as she came up along side my left shoulder.....I lenghthened my stride and worked on leg turn over over the next 1/4 mile and didn't see or hear from her again and continued to cruise the final 3 miles of my run w/ my "manhood" intact.......props where they're due she was game for the challenge but I was slightly more motivated in the Male Chauvinst Pig one miler last nite,I may have won little friends in the female runner sorority but I wasn't slamming doors off their hinges when I got home either.....alls well that ends well I guess???

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome To The Autumnal Equinox

Where do we go from here? the sun is shining,look into the nighttime sky a star is calling
As seasons change why are you so afraid?in darkness you;ll see a new light
Fall-Berlin

Or Fall to those of you who haven't swallowed a dictonary for breakfast!
Yes folks Summer is officially in the books and for only the second time since 2006 it was a summer w/out track and a Outdoor National Championships but hopefully my sabatical has allowed me to recharge the batteries and do what I need to do this off season to put me in  a position to restablish myself w/in the ranks of masters track for the upcoming season/seasons.

Having wisley sat out Sundays long run to allow my tender achilles more time to recover from whatever had agravated it on Saturday I was anxious to get Mondays 8 miler under my belt period but also get this week off to a positive start.
Having offered my services to a pair of friends who are moving on Saturday weeks ago I didn't want to be "that guy" who said oh sure I'll help you guys move and then come the day of say "oh it's today... I can't make it" so I rescheduled my 6x600m repeats for Sunday which is no biggie but in order to get a 5 day/40 mpw in I now need to log 2x8 miles and 2x10 miles between Monday and Friday,not the worst thing in the world,I was thinking 8,10,rest day 8,10 which had doable written all over it till I realized Friday presents "issues" SOOOO now I'm looking at the same schedule only w/out the Wednesday rest day.....still doable providing the weather and my achilles cooperate........

Conditions were sunny and mild/warm  as I set off at 4.20pm,shades sunny but not sleeveless warm and frankly by the time I reached the Schuylkill Banks the wind coming off the Schuykill river made me glad I'd gone the short sleeve route.
67 degrees according to trusty old Peco Tower nice running conditions whichallowed me to work up a slight sweat.
Felt like I did last Tuesday and Wednesday over the same out and back 8 miler,solid throughout the run,able to work the hills both up and down and able to pick up the pace when required and thankfully no achilles issues.
The 10 miler today shouldn't present any issues..he said hopefully and I believe conditions are meant to get slightly warmer this week,I'd say it's all "coming up roses" but frankly if you are planting roses or anything at this time of year your probably SOL........of course this is a fine time of year to be "sowing seeds" for the coming year......where's my copy of the Farmers Almanac when I need it??

Monday, September 23, 2013

Knowing When To Say When

In running as in life it's a fine line between common sense of not doing something that you suspect could blow up in your face or doing it hoping to god it dosen't blow up in your face.......
from the time I stepped off the track on Saturday afternoon my right achilles was as tender as fuck,even after my post run stretch and ice routine it still bothered me when I called it a nite at 10.30pm.....the fact it was still sore when I awoke at 8am did not bode well for my Sunday long run {10 miles} or for that matter a run of any length.

I even iced B4 my run,something I don't normally do such was the extent of the tenderness so it was no great surprise that w/in 10 strides of my run I stopped and thought better of it.
Yes I'm miffed to have to nix any run but in what had been in my opinion the best week of training since the resumption of my regular training schedule eight weeks ago this was a cruel blow but it'd have been far crueler to have either bonked on the run or made a bad situation worse so I said "enough is enough" for this week and made do w/ a 4 day 30 mile week,opting to lose a day to see another day.

W/ hindsight{such a wonderful thing I know!!} maybe I need to nix the 400m recovery jog inbetween sets of my 8x300x200x300 repeats,maybe those two extra miles on top of my four miles of repeats w/ a mile warm up and cool down is too much,in the death of winter I can't imagine wanted to be out there any longer than need be,since I do have that repeat scheduled again till October 19th I don't have to decide here and now what plan of action I need to take.
As for the upcoming week,I'll take it day by day,as yesterday wore on the tenderness subsided and in a pinch maybe I could've ran in the afternoon but again sometimes knowing when to say when is the better call than being a "mileage whore" and potentially missing days this coming week by agravating an already inflamed achilles,I've spent enough time on a PT bed both this year and 4 years ago to not heed the warning signs......

Momentary Lapse In Reason

Last month when I ran my 8x300x200x300m repeats for only the second time I ever I managed a respectable series of:54.0-33.8-54.3-52.7-34.3-54.8-55.1-35.8-55.9-56.5-36.8-56.7-57.6-36.5-55.2-55.7-35.7-56.2-55.6-36.6-57.3-56.0-37.2-54.7
As w/ all my repeats this month my first goal was an overall improvement on what I'd ran last month but also w/ this set of repeats I hoped to eliminate the 57 second 300s and 37 200s....easier said than done when thee are 16x300s and 800x200.....but that's the name of the game.
Although I was all business when I arrived at Temple's track by 12.15pm i couldn't help but think about what had gone on earlier in the morning a few hours up the turnpike in Upper Manhatten......the 5th Avenue Mile.

I've had some wonderful moments at 5th Avenue Mile overall winner in 07 and 08 and age group winner in 09,10 and 11 however I've "side stepped" the fall classic the past two years.
Last year I wasn't ready mentally or physically and while this year I at least had my "head on straight" physically at only 8 weeks into my return to training I didn't feel I could bring my A game to this years race, as long as I continue {for now} my once a week trek to the track b4 eventually making it a bi weekly thing then I see no reason NOT to be able  clock at least 68 second 400s,this years winning time in the M50 race was 4.33,4x68=4.32......

Conditions were as close to ideal as I could hope for when I hit the track at 12.15pm,it's not a deliberate ploy on my part to get to the track later and later each week but it does allow me to make the most of the current conditions b4 fall sweeps through and makes it a free for all in the ensiuing months.
I could've done w/out the head wind on the home straight period but the potential of havibg to battle it 24 times at the end of each repeat,yea!!!!
53.4-34.3-53.3-52.4-34.2-52.2-54.7-35.5-55.6-54.2-36.2-54.9-55.2-35.9-56.0-55.3-36.9-56.3-56.2-36.6-55.0-54.8-35.8-54.5

It's been a while since I've collapsed in a heap on the infield at the compleation of a repeat workout,then again it's probably been a while since I've worked that hard in a repeats session, but anytime I can use the classic Carl Lewis quote "I just wanted to know I left it all out there on the track" I know I've given it everything I had.
Let's see if next month I can't eliminate the 56 and 36 second splits......this 8x300x200x300 repeat is becoming my "go to" repeat