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 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'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:

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
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
At least I was a second faster than #1 and while slow there was the potential to keep lowering each mile repeat......

#3 mile
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
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 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????