Friday, May 17, 2013

When All Else Fails,Plan B

It is often said " a week is a long time in Politics".....a day in running can sometimes be an eternity!!
Tuesday I cruised thro my 8 miler w/out a second thought to anything....Wednesday however......!!!!!
I was bereft of knee lift and leg turnover and had to dig deep both mentally and physically to grind out the final 2 miles,it lacked grace,style and finesse but the bottom line was I got through it....barely but after 37 years and counting of running I've come accept that somedays are like that and you just have to deal w/ them and move on.........

Yesterdays run began well enough but sure enough by the time I reached the banks there was a sense of dejavu as my knee lift and leg turnover had once again gone south on me......
I had to wrestle w/ carrying on which frankly at 2.5 miles in was a no brainer,if I stopped now I'd have to turn around and walk the 2.5 miles home which frankly didn't sit well so my options were,A make this a 6 miler and hope whatever was ailing me would be gone come the weekend as I then would have to run back to back 9 milers to ensure a 40 mile week or B suck it up,grind it out and stay on 8 mile schedule today,Saturday and Sunday.......
In running as is in life I went w/ Plan B and once again dug deep like my forefathers had when they dug the railroads in this land,nobody likes a quitter and remarkably as slowly as I was running I still managed to overtake a handful of runners,either I wasn't having as bad a day as I thought  OR the people I overtook were running incredibly slow!!!
As I approached the up ramp of the foot bridge off of the banks and into Millward Park I heard footsteps behind me,as tough a day I was having my pride and ego kicked in and I dropped my would be overtaker in a heartbeat.....meaning I upped the pace and not turned around and slugged him I may've been having a bad day but there was no need to resort to mindless violence!!!

I got my answer to the problem a few hours after my run,lets just say if my pee had been bricks Dorothy,Tin Man,Scarecrow and the Lion would have been in the bowl looking for OZ!!!!
I used to be SO good at drinking lots of water and keeping myself hydrated but somehow I've fallen out of that habit,it'll be interesting to see if after  drinking more water than I have been drinking of late how Saturdays run goes,I suspect my knee lift and leg turnover will fare much better,I've drunk almost 64 oz today I need to keep that up if I don't wish to repeat the last two days.

So what does a photo of leggy Vegas showgirls have to do w/ running you may ask?,as I said in running as is in life when all else fails go w/ Plan B and for the last several years my Plan B for life has been........
"To move to Las Vegas,have a series of tawdry and bawdy affairs w/ leggy Vegas showgirls and go out in a haze of publicity and a huge smile on my face!!!!!!!"
As Plan B's go I think it's a damn good one and w/ 50 now less than 6 months away I think that's ''Bucket List" material if ever there was!!!!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wigan Out

In whatever walk of life it presents its self Victory should always be cherished because who knows how long it will last? and if it will ever come your way again??
When I won my first National Championship title in Orono Maine in 07 at 800m I made sure I took it all in just in case I never got to celebrate another National title{thankfully a year later in Spokane I won the 1,500m and then three years later in Berea I won the 10,000m and hopefully I'm not done yet!!}

Spare a thought for Wigan Athletic,on Saturday they not only won the English FA Cup {English soccer's Superbowl if you like}but did so in a true "David Vs Goliath" manner upsetting Manchester City 1.0,you'd have to go back to the 1988 cup final when Wimbledon upset the then mighty Liverpool also 1.0 for a result like that.....but then last nite their eight year run in the Premiership came to an end w/ a 4.1 defeat to arsenal.
In fairness to Wigan they have punched above their weight for the past eight seasons  pulling a "Houdini act" to stay up the last several seasons but like Wimbledon and Coventry b4 them you can only cheat relegation so many times b4 it catches up w/ you{take note Aston Villa!!!!} and they now own the sad distinction of being the only club to win the FA Cup and get relegated in the same season.

While all this drama unfolded I was getting my "out and back" 8 miler under my belt,arsenal's victory has now set up a unique"winner takes all" North London/North East England scenario on Sundays final game of the season,an arsenal win and it's they who get the final Champions League spot,but should they get held to a draw or lose at Newcastle and Spurs beat Sundeland Spurs will leapfrog arsenal into fourth......not sure if I'll be running or watching the drama unfold come Sunday lunchtime......

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hindsight Is Twenty Twenty

W/ a little more hindsight I guess I would've notched another 40 mile week however I cut my cloth a tad too thin and had to settle for 32 mpw.
I didn't blog on Friday following Thursdays 8 miler my butt was still draggin' from Thursdays Peter Murphy show at The Troc and somedays trying to complete two blogs during work hours proves to be a handful.
All I can say of Thursdays run is that the "Joe Montana" wannabee on the corner of 40th and Baltimore better hope he doesn't pull his pump fake motion on me again when I'm running towards him or he'll discover the hard way what it's like to get run the fuck over w/out any "quarterback protection"!!!!

Following Thursdays Peter Murphy gig I was back out again on Friday nites 80's nite at Sex Dwarf,having recently vacated Club Fluid the 5 hour retro dance party has now moved to the Ruby Lounge at Voyeur but unlike Fluid where we danced from 9pm to 2am it's now 10pm to 3am.
W/ hindsight maybe I should've ran either Tuesday when I sat out a day or Friday and maybe if fatigue from the Peter Murphy show hadn't set in an easy 8 miler b4 a nite of clubbin' and dancin'  was the way to go because frankly dancing till 3am and getting home round 4am meant I was pretty much toast on Saturday and the area of movement I covered Saturday was from my bedroom to the living room w/ a few trips to the kitchen and bathroom,I think it would've taken an act of Congress and or a mechanical crane to move me off the recliner on Saturday!!

Sunday I had to make up for my FOD {Fuck Off Day} w/ trips to the supermarket and laundry since A I like to eat and B have clean clothes but I did manage an 8 miler in the afternoon something I haven't done for a while but sometimes it's good to shake up the routine.
Bummed as I am at missing a second 40 mile week it's far from the end of the world but it did teach me to look at the bigger picture next time I find my social schedule w/ back to back nites out and plan my training schedule a little better,in all honesty I thought I'd be able to get up and run on Saturday and if it had just been the dance party I think it would've happened but the concert the nite b4 just proved to be a nite out too many.....see even at almost 50 you can teach an old dog new tricks!!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's Out Of Our Hands....

You can always rely on me to make a Breakfast Club/John Bender reference when ever the opportunity presents its self!!!,but we'll get to that in a bit
First off I sat out Tuesday,a combination of fatigue as Groundhog Day at work seems hell bent on repeating its self this week plus the threat of rain{it didn't!} and a bit of jip w/ my right achilles.
At this point in time I feel the only thing standing between me and the Philly marathon in November is my right achilles which acts up from time to time,rest,ice and good ole anti inflammatorys will hopefully keep any issues at bay but where as this week I had some leeway w/ a day off next week when I begin to run 6 days a week that option isn't there......we'll have to see what happens and cut ones cloth accordingly.

By burning thro my token rest day on Tuesday I had effectively scuppered my chance to watch the all important Chelski Spurs game yesterday,w/ next seasons Champions League places riding on the outcome I wasn't sure if I could handle the stress of watching the second half when I got home around 4pm so I figured maybe going out for my run might help alleviate theory anyways!!!
It's hard to focus on what's in front of you when your mind and heart are 3,500 miles away in South West London although I did get a chuckle out of the fact that yet again the steps at Market St along the Schuylkill Banks another pissing contest almost came to life......
I say almost because when I realized the runner to my left hand side was trying to make a move on me my first reaction was to let him go.....this lasted a nano second b4 I narrowed my eyes and thought "not today bub!" and promptly dropped him w/in a few strides,I was cognisant of his footsteps behind me for a few meters b4 hearing nothing.
Home and first order of business turning on the tv to check the result......2.2 it's a result that effectively means we must rely on either Chelski and or arsenal to drop points in their final two games while Spurs must win both of our games to finish 4th,like I said we don't control our destiny 100% now,nothing like having to hope for favours from other teams,somehow I feel my claim that it's all go to the wire next Sunday on the final game of the season is about to ring true.....

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Moving Out

"Forde In Monday Run Sensation"!!!!Film at 11........
Yes,having side stepped a Monday run for whatever reason in the three previous weeks I made sure to get out the door yesterday so as not to make a habit of sitting out Mondays period but also make sure I "made hay while the sun shone",there's showers in the forecast the next couple of days which may force me to sit out a day depending on how hard it rains so why sit out a day when there was no good reason not to run?

So I happened  to notice this last week that there's a lot of moving activity on and off UPenn's campus my guess would be finals are done and students are heading back home for the summer b4 the returning Seniors,Juniors and Sophomore head back in late August along w/ the new Freshman class.
I do and I don't envy todays college students,I wish I'd made more of my high school education that's for sure,higher education was NEVER an option for me although I do wonder IF I had've grown up here in America w/ the same athletic talent I had back home in London would I have gone to collage,I guess the bigger question is would I have had the grades and or the money?
While I secretly may envy those who got a college education I don't envy them paying off their college tuition fees,much less finding suitable employment when college is over.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sing This W/ Me,This Is 40

Back to back 8 milers on the weekend to give me a 40 mile week...hence the tip of the hat to U2 and their classic song "40"
Saturday Out by 12.30pm after another agonizing Spurs game I needed the run just to get some relief!!!
We do love to make things hard on ourselves,and w/ time ticking down at 0.0 it looked like we were about to drop valuable points at home.....4 mins from time up popped Gareth Bale{who else??!!} to fire in the only goal of the game.....and throw in an old Monty Python quote"and the quest for the holy grail continues" the Holy Grail being a top 4 finish and a place in next seasons Champions League.

Sunday A slightly earlier start 11am,while the masses were no doubt converging on Broad St for the Broad St Ten Miler I opted against it.
Back in the day the Broad St Run was a fun race to do,I'm pretty sure my 10 mile pr is from Broad St and one year I even snagged an age group award  but this was when the race was only 10,000 which even then meant having to get as close to the front as possible to get a decent start,now w/ 40,000 runners I can't begin to imagine what it's like to run it,to put things in perspective the field at the recent Boston marathon was somewhere between 24,000-26,000 but that's over 26 miles,40,000 people over a point to point 10 mile wonder I haven't ran it since 05.

All in all a good week,the transition from 30mpw to 40mpw felt pretty seemless,hopefully this up coming week will go as smoothly b4 I really get serious w/ 6 day weeks and 50mpw next week......

Friday, May 3, 2013

No! No!! No!!!

Ok so just because I have a music blog doesn't mean "runningfree" will be devoid of the occasional music reference,the iconic OMD song "Tesla Girls" summed up yesterdays run......
NO pissing contests,NO stop watch,NO knee lift,NO leg turnover,NO worries!!!!!!

After another beat down at work  I was about ready for the knackers yard or glue factory by the time I got home but frankly if I'm planning to run 26.2 miles in November then running on tired legs seems like it goes w/ the territory so w/out a second thought or seconds hesitation it was out of my work clothes and into my running gear and out the door for 8 miler #3.
Granted,I had the option of taking a rest day and then running tomorrow but after the week I've had this week at work I was keen  to grind it out so that Friday will be my traditional "rest day" which means after picking up groceries I can kick back for a couple of hours and enjoy some music "Music Fridays" are big in my house!!

What yesterday lacked in the style and grace department was made up for w/ grit and determination,a few short weeks ago I might've just bagged it and said "I'm tired" but I know that's bullshit.....truth be told I knew it was bullshit then,difference is now I'm willing to grind it out.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Don't Piss Where You Run!

Oh boy! if I thought Tuesday had been a rough day at work I was in for  a RUDE awakening yesterday,Tuesday looked like a walk in the park compared to what I had to contend w/,bad enough I began the day having to transport 17 skids of supplies down to the storeroom w/ the pallet jack since the electric jack had died on me the day b4{the start of my problems on Tuesday} but suitably knackered from that the loading dock got rocked w/ 111 pieces from Ups and 110 from Rps,the dock looked like a frigging warehouse by mid morning but credit to my crew we knuckled down and knocked it out and by lunch time all I was thinking about was a nice easy 8 mile run post work to round out my day......

Since I'd gotten a vague idea of my pace on Tuesday{roughly 9.5 per mile} I didn't see any need to time todays run,leave the watch at home and just enjoy the run.....seemed like a good idea at the time!!
Just as I reached the Art Museum on the inbound leg of the run a runner I'd previously overtaken somewhere between my turnaround point and the Art Museum flew by me on my inside on the grass......I should've just let him go........but NO I saw this as a gauntlet being thrown down and duly accepted his challenge and thus ensued a pissing contest!!
Between the Art Museum and the Market St bridge "Runner X" and yours truly picked up the pace,at first he didn't have much of a lead on me after blowing by me so I figured I'd try and reel him in,he in turn responded to this by upping his pace and rather than back down I kept chasing after him,a couple of times as I came w/in a stride of pulling level w/ him he'd up his pace and I'd have to find another gear to respond.

When "Runner X" headed up the steps at Market St I breathed a sigh of relief and eased off the pace,I still had somewhere in the region of a mile and three quarters/two miles to run  and knew I was going to pay for my bravado,sure enough the final mile found me w/ legs like rubber but I was in a roundabout way happy,it's good to know the competitive fire still burns w/in and when I reintroduce the 8.4 mile tempo run plus repeats to my rotation in a few weeks time it's good to know there's still some life in my knee lift and leg turnover,that said I'd like to avoid any more pissing contests......till the next one presents it's self as I'm sure it will.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Eight Is Enough......For Now

Sat out Monday due to the rain and also as part of my schedule,having just completed back to back 5x6 milers at 30 mpw it might've been overly ambitious to suddenly leap to 6x8 milers at 48 miles a week,w/ 28 weeks till D Day {Philly Marathon} time is a commodity I have an abundance of so for the next two weeks I plan to run 5x8 miles for 40 mpw b4 reintroducing 6 day weeks plus a weekly tempo run and weekly repeats which will round out at 50 mpw and will remain my bench mark till mid July b4 I tweak things in prep for the marathon.

After "one of those days" at work the prospect of a gentle 8 miler felt like "just what the doctor ordered" a nice stress buster.....that said it didn't stop me from having a "few choice words" for the Lance Armstrong wannabe who was under the illusion the Schuylkill Banks were his own personal Tour De France time trial......jerk off!! or the pedestrian on the South Street bridge who saw me coming but refused to yield the inside rail  as whatever was on her iPhone at the time was far more important to her,I know you had ear buds in but I do hope you heard me utter the C word in your direction....

In terms of stepping up from 6 miles to 8 miles,no worries reached the turnaround at the 1 mile marker in 37 mins and change{at 30.00 my stop watch drops the seconds into smaller type so sometimes it hard to actually read what my split is not that it's omni important as at this stage of the game it more about getting the miles in} and I finished in 76.28,one down a few dozen more to go till July 15th!!!