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 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:
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
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" wasn't to be!

#2 600m
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
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
Gained a second over the opening 400m only to give it back over the closing 200m

#5 600m
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
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 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 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:
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:

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:
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
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
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
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
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
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:

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
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
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
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
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 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!!!