Friday, August 30, 2013

Playing The Long Game On A Short Week

It was always going to feel like I was "swimming against the tide" this week to get a 5 day/40mpw in and having to sit out Monday w/ sore calves meant the "window of opportunity" had just gotten smaller and then when taking Friday off work became a "non runner" I came to the conclusion this weeks schedule wasn't worth the paper it was written on.....which is why I write my weekly schedule in case of changes.
Since a 5day/40mpw was out I opted for  "quality over quantity" and tacked on another 10 miler last nite my fourth 10 miler in the last 12 days,I have to say I feel I'm getting the measure of the 10 miles again after a lengthy absence is pleasing,granted coming off of a rest day I should be able to get through a 10 miler w/out issues and add the fact last nite was 6 degrees cooler than Tuesday{82 degs} then it really should have been a slam dunk.

Since life is very much a case of roundabouts and swings  I guess I can't be too bent out of shape over not getting Friday off work as on the same day I got a Facebook message from a friend kindly offering me a ride to and more importantly from Atlantic City tonite for the Depeche Mode show, which means not only getting home at a reasonable hour but now being in a position to get a repeat session in at Temple tomorrow......whee!!!!
Since it's only 6x600m repeats....yeah only my most demanding workout of the four in my rotation he added!! if I tweak the marm up and cool down I can get 5 miles tomorrow which added to the 2 x10 milers I've already logged this week will give a  25 mile week.
It's all too easy to get caught up in the "numbers game" where weekly mileage is concerned and I'm as guilty of that as the next runner BUT it should be remembered here at the end of August that this whole month has been a "gift" as I originally though I'd still be rehabing my achilles till September so my 9,29,45,40,25 mile weeks have all been pluses I didn't think I'd even have,hopefully come Monday and the start of September I can knuckle down and start getting some consistant 5 day/40mpw's under my belt as the end of summer and fall looms large on the horizon.......

Thursday, August 29, 2013

United Colours Of Benetton

When  rain not only stopped play at yesterdays US Open but also scuppered my run I found myself w/out a blog entry for day.....enter the always plesing on the eye Kevinrunningfree Top Ten.
Here's my top ten list of female players at this years US Open anyone of whom I'd be delighted to run into this Sunday at Flushing Meadows in Queens....Warning!!!! there will be Russian women in this list....would you expect anything different from yours truly????the heart wants what the heat wants!

1 Elanie Vesnina Russia
A relative newcomer to the current WTA tour this Russian cutie leapt into my top ten after a pre Wimbledon tournament victory in Eastbourne this summer....Eastbourne may not have experienced a heat wave....but it seldom looked SO  hot!!!

2 Kristen Mladenovic France
The former Serbian now playing for France made a huge impression on me at Wimbledon this summer,between her singles and mixed doubles exploits on the famous lawns of SW19 she was also a regular in the players box during Marion Bartoli's march to the womens singles title.

3 Sabine Lisicki Germany
YOWZER!!!! That old Passions song "I'm In Love W/ A German Film Star" should be remixed and retitled "I'm In Love W/ A German Tennis Star"Sabine earnt the nickname Cartilage Girl at Wimbledon....every time I saw her I went weak at the knees!!!

4 Laura Robson Great Britain
Seriously? had British tennis ever looked so good!!!

5 Daniela Huntachova Slovakia
Daniela has been on my top ten list for a number of years and looks to remain there now that shes playing doubles w/ Martina Hingis

6 Victoria Azarenka Belarus
If she was any hotter she might be Victoria Secret!!!!

7 Mandy Minella Luxembourg
Currently just outside the WTA top 50 the greatest thing to come out of Luxembourg since the court of Human Rights make my top ten w/out question

8 Agnieszka Radwanska Poland
I always like "Aggie" b4 she dyed her hair blonde .....or posed naked for the Espn magazine's ''The Body" issue and while some catholic groups in her homeland may've been offened I suspect she picked up a LOT of new followers for those pictures...

9 Timea Babos Hungary
I stumbled on this "spicier than Goulash" dish post Wimbledon and while a little unknown as yet like a good dish of Goulash you're left wanting more!!!

10 Maria Kirilenko Russia
The OTHER  Russia Maria tennis player,a lot less grunting,a lot less baggage and dare I say what others are thinking A LOT HOTTER!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Tribal Name Is Pale

Ok,so the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive are NOT the Rift Valley.....not by a  LONG shot and even though it was the hottest day I've run this year at 88 degrees it's hardly Matthew Broderick in "Biloxi Blues" man it's hot!....Africa hot.....Tarzan couldn't stand this heat!!!!! but faced w/ my third 10 miler in 10 days I could be forgiven for not wishing to channel my inner Kenyan as I faced the out and back along said Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive to the 2 mile marker and back.
As best I know I have no connection to anyone from the Masai tribe much less ever met anyone who could lay claim to being one of the nomadic warriors from Kenya{though I am somewhat of a nomad myself!!} but if you can't have a bit of harmless fun on a Tuesday afternoon while out running what's the point?
There's a time to be serious w/ running....Nationals,Worlds,Penn Relays,Millrose Games etc but if pretending to be a Kenyan on a tuesday afternnon as you tackle another in a LONG succession of training runs between now and the indoor season is what gets you not only out the door but also through the run where's the harm??

The fact my arms and legs are finally starting to show some colour this summer since I returned to regular training is  frankly a relife,blame it on my English/Irish complexion but pale is a way of life,maybe that's why I never went West Coast and took up surfing not because I can't surf but because I'd stick out like a Bulldogs bollocks being the lone pale surfer out on the waves,if I ever write my running memoirs "Pale Paddy & Proud" is a strong contender for the title!!!! and if this running/blogging lark bottoms out then being an Irish sunblock model has to be a future career option I guess!!!!
After sitting out Monday in order to soak my aching calves my legs felt fine,no "dead from the knees or waist down" feeling today,no gritting my teeth at the 3.5 mile mark like last week on my 8 milers either and having gotten two 10 milers under my belt since last Sunday I'm reasonably confident of my ability to see it through to the more DNF/Boinking in my forseeable future....he said.....
Unlike Sunday when I felt utterly spent post 10 miler I felt ok post run,granted I wasn't exactly the captain of industry post run but I did all the things that needed doing,stretched,iced,showered,made dinner pulled trash and copped alittle nite session US Open action and bed by 9.30pm all so I can do it all again tomorrow......and so it goes

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Channeling My Inner Dirty Harry

Ask most movie buffs the one line that comes to mind when you say Clint Eastwood or Dirty Harry and I'll bet the house "Go ahead punk,make my day" tops that being me cos I like to march to the beat of my own drum prefer"A man's got to know his limitations" it's also applicable to runners everywhere.
I sat out my preposed 10 miler yesterday as my calves were still feeling the effect of Saturdays 300x200x300 repeats,I was impressed I got through Sundays 10 milers given I felt "clinically dead" below the waist and if my zenlike attitude w/ my recliner was anything to go by post run then it's no surprise I sat out yesterday.

Sat was the operative word as I did something I haven't done in eons{feel free to delete from a long list!!!} and ran a hot bath and sat in it w/ some Epsom Salts for half an hour,frankly I'd have done the same on Sunday IF I'd had said Epsom Salts which I didn't and to be 100 % honest getting off the recliner period on Sunday muchless heading to the nearest Rite Aid,CVS or Walgreens for them didn't feel like an option,w/ hindsight maybe I should've....w/ even more hindsight maybe I shouldn't have opted for my flats for Saturdays repeats thus negaiting the need for said Epsom Salts and the need to sit out a day.......hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it!!!

I don't have a lot of leeway w/ my schedule this week,the Depeche Mode show in Atlantic City on Friday nite and an all dayer at the US Open on Sunday make this week a crap shoot to begin w/ w/out having to sit out yesterday but it's still doable,10 miles tonite,8 miles or 8 mile tempo run tomorrow,10 miler Thursday,6x600m repeats on Friday,8 miler Saturday= 5 days/40mpw.......somehow I suspect the tub and the Epsom Salts will be revisited b4 weeks end!

Monday, August 26, 2013

In Search And In Praise Of Old Glory

You all know I'm the poster child for all things ironic so it should come as no great surprise that on Saturday I celebrated my 20th anniversary of becoming a US citizen by hitting the track and doing my best Nick Symmonds.....and trying to rock the shit out of an 800m repeat workout!!!
I'd come up w/ the 8x300x200x300m repeat last year after outdoor nationals but only put it into use once in September w/ reasonable results
Reasonable but not earthshattering,I went into Saturdays crack at this using 55-35-55 as my bench mark a reachable target for starters but one I'd like to see lower over the coming months as this particular repeat will become one of my four go to repeats along side the time tested 4x1 mile,5x1,000m and the always fun
6x600m repeat
Conditions were ideal by the time I arrived at Temple's track at 10.48am,sunny warm and next to no wind on the back straight which would be pivitol given the nature of this repeats w/ 16 300s and 8 200s
I could (hopefully) be forgiven for being a tad snakebitten after last Saturdays less than steller 5x1,000m repeats although I'll go out on a limb and say Wednesdays bonk where my legs folded like a house of cards was probably an indiction that my legs were not upto 6 day 50 mile weeks just yet so w/ an extra rest day and 8 less miles on my legs today I felt reasonably confident of a good interval session....
Overall I'm quite pleased it's not an easy workout and there was a method to my madness leaving it to week #3 of intervals as this was my first crack at shorter repeats after mile and 1,000m repeats the last two weeks.
I did wear my flats for these repeats which at the time seemed like a good idea but given the soreness in my calves two days later I'm left to ponder if that was such a good move,while not up on my toes the entire workout I did notice a couple of times I was returning to full blown "repeat mode" which bodes well moving forward.
When I revisit this repeat on Sept 28th I hope to eliminate the 57 second 300s and 36 second 200s and maybe the 36 second 300s also

Less Is More

It's been said numerous times b4.....and no doubt will be said again but runners do not subscribe to the less is more theory..... it's just not in our dna.
That said sometimes we are forced albeit kickin' and screamin' to accept that fact and deal w/ it as was the case after Wednesdays spectacular Bonk on my 8 miler,rather than trudge through another 8 miler w/ potentially the same outcome and or do more harm than good I sat out Thursday and then took my regular day off on Friday leaving me w/ a weekend schedule of 8x300x200x300m repeats on Saturday followed by a 10 miler on Sunday.....5 days and 40mpw the exact schedule I had originally thought I'd operate on b4 I'd even ran a mile after my two month long stint on the DL w/ my recent bout w/ Tendonitis.

I guess I got lulled into a false sense of security when I was only upping my daily mileage by .5 a day that 6 days a week was doable,it's a tad more difficult when you're then running 8 miles a day compare to 9 miles a week but thats not to say 6 day weeks aren't in my future but for now scaling back to 5 days a week at 40mpw will do untill I feel I'm ready to make that step up whenever that may be.

I'll blog the repeats in a seperate blog,the 10 miler yesterday passed w/out incident thankfully although there were a few moments when I had visions of another bonk in the final mile but thankfully lightning didn't strike twice in the same place and I had the satisfaction of a 5 day 40 mile week to reflect on as I ready myself for more of the same this coming week.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Oh Those Russians!!!!

Getting me to watch the recent World Championships from Moscow was a bit like asking Arabs how they feel about's a way of life....factor in my love of Russian women.....well lets just say they are my kryptonite and that's why I spent between four to six hours a day watching tv coverage last week
Submitted for nobodys approval other than my own my Top Ten Russian Track & Field athletes.......
"Oh show me round your snow peaked mountains way down south,take me to your daddys farm let me hear your Balalaika's ringing out,come and keep your comrade warm"
Back In The USSR-The Beatles.
Natalya Antyukh-400m Hurdles

Anna Chicarova-High Jump

Aleksandra Butvina-Heptathlon

Darya Klisnina-Long Jump

Yuliya Gushchina-200m

Yelana Isinbayeva-Pole Vault

Antonia Krivoshapka-400m

Maria Savinova-800m

Taityana Firova-4x100m

Svetlana Shkolina-High Jump

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Dreaded Bonk

It's been a while since I was unable to summon up the required chops to grind out a training run so yesterdays run has to go down as a DNF {did not finish} I'll officially log it as a 6 miler given I had to walk the final mile as my legs just gave out on me after trying to grind it out over the final three miles.

Things began well enough as I hit my customary stride early down Baltimore Ave and over to Spruce St,across the South St bridge and up the Schuylkill Banks towards Boathouse Row for the turnaround at the 1 mile marker{I consider Lloyd Hall the 3 mile mark and the 8.4 loop is marked off in 1/4 mile increments beginning at Lloyd Hall hence why the 1 mile mark =4 miles and why the 2 mile mark=5 miles....}
heading back down the Schuylkill Banks I had a runner in my sights and closed to w/in a few meters of him when the wheels began to fall off......
I'd felt a little discomfort in my right running shoe on Tuesdays run as if my big toe was jamming into the toe box it stuck me as odd that having had the shoes for over ten days this was the first time I'd experienced this problem.
After futzing w/ the laces to loosen things up I got going again only to pull off to the side again w/in a mile b4 the South St bridge to repeat the process,that was probably the death nail in this run while I wasn't exactly "flowing like a symphony of Dr Dre beats" what little rhythm I had had gone w/ both those stops.

I usually convince myself once I cross South St bridge I'm home free.....not today and while the temptation to go the "bridge too far" route is crying out to be used it was more a case of "a traffic lite too far"
After waiting out the red lite crossing the bridge I continued my "soft shoe shuffle" along Spruce St but met my Waterloo at the corner of 34th and Spruce.
Over the years I've learnt how to "work the traffic lites" in my favour,speed up and beat a red lite if need be,slow down and cop a breather if need be last nite I opted to stop at the red lite to cop said breather and then couldn't get going again once I'd crossed 34th St.
I walked upto the next block and managed to get going again only to crap out when crossing 38th St,once again I couldn't summon up the will to get going and officially called time on this run w/ a mile to go.

It's not my first or last bonk and it's happened to us all{don't front on me you've bonked even if you don't want to cop to it!!!}I recall a Philadelphia Distance Run when it was still the PDR not the Rock & Roll Philly Half Marathon when one of the Kenyans was walked back to the finish just after five miles,if it can happen to a Kenyan it can happen to us all!!!
Now I'm faced w/ more questions than David Cameron at Prime Ministers Question Time,why the bonk?why do I still feel "dead below the kness on these runs"? have I bitten off more than I can chew hoping to run 6 day/50mpw so soon?why are my shoes hurting now after not giving me any problems for over ten days? and so it goes.
Given my inability to answer my alarm this morning,I finally got up at 6.30am after the initial alarm went off at 5.10am!!!! I think it's safe to say I'll sit out tonites run,I'd rather rest up and tackle Saturdays prepossed 8x300/200/300 repeats and aim for quality than quantity,w/ them and a 10 miler on Sunday I could have a 5 day/40mpw which isn't too shabby if I say so myself.