Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Ten Races 2014

W/ 27 races to choose from over the course of the year I had options at my disposal to form a Top Ten for the year,here in reverse order are the ten races that I feel best represnt the season that was....

Indoor 1,000m The Armory Jan 9th
Not only the season opener but also my first competitive race in 18 months,my first coming off the 2013 achilles injury and oh yeah my first race as a newly minted 50 year no pressure.....!!!!!
Knowing all I had to do was cross the finishline to get a PR and Club Record I at least wanted both to be semi respectable timewise,I set myself a modest but reachable goal of 3.00 and clocked 2.59.6.
All journeys start somewhere here felt as good a place as any for mine.

Indoor 1,500m The Armory Mar 21st
Rounding out a mediocre Indoor season I brought the curtain down on my  six race season w/ a semi respectable 4.32.5 1,500m
Given my two indoor miles had only produced 4.57.1 and 5.02.4 times you can see where a 4.32.5 1,500m/4.50 mile would sit well w/ me,it was I hoped something to build on heading into the he hoped great outdoors....

Outdoor 1,500m Icahn Stadium June 5th
After a less than impressive season opener the week b4 I rebounded nicely w/a far more structured race,a two second improvement on my Indoor 1,500m......from little acorns big trees grow.....

Outdoor Mile Germantown Academy July 8th
Final race b4 heading to Winston Salem for Outdoor Nationals, a second quicker than the week b4 I hoped my 4.46 mile would equate to a 4.28 1,500m,my mantra all season had been a 4.24....... which in my heart of hearts I believed would get me on the podium at Nationals

Outdoor 800m Icahn Stadium June 10th
Off the back of disappointing 2.16/2.14 for indoor 800s I was hoping for a 2.12 in the hope I could continue to take 2 seconds off each race as I needed a seed time for Nationals.
Hitting the front in Seb Coe fashion from the gun I came through the bell in 65 seconds,I had hoped to go 66/66=2.12 and while I tied up a little down the back straight I managed a respectable 67 second closing 400m to clock 2.12.8,w/ another 800m on tap I hoped to continue the 2 second  improvement per race patern to give  me a 2.10 and possibly a seeded heat at Nationals........

5K XC Van Cortlandt Park Nov 29th
Remarkably at the grand old age of 51 this ranked in my all time top ten 5K XC times,still life in the old dog yet eh?
14th overall and second in the Masters division this was a timely boost w/ XC Club Nationals two weeks away.

Outdoor 800m Germantown Academy Aug 10th
If you're asking how does a 2.12.8 800m time rank #4 for the year?let me put it in context for you,this was  my 800m at the end of 5 events at the Greater Philadelphia Track Penthalon and the fact I could clock my third fastest 800m time of the year off the back of a 3,000m,200m1,500m,100m makes it top 5 worthy.

5th Avenue Mile,New York City Sept 13th
Looking to not only reclaim a title I last won outright in 2008 when coinsidently I was coming off a 1,500m National Championship victory I threw everything including the kitchen sink at this one ans maybe another year it would've been enough.....Gerry O Hara had other ideas and  went by me somewher between 200m to go and the 1,500m mark.
Live by the sword,die by the sword I've won races going "gun to tape" and I've also paid for my bravardo this sadly for me was a day I paid for it but after two years away from the Fall Classic it was good to be back.

Outdoor 800m National Championships Winston Salem July 17th
The new system at Outdoor Nationals was to do away w/ heats and a final for 800m as had been the case from 06-12 in my previous Outdoor Nationals and go w/ timed finals
The upshot was w/ 18 runners declared "the powers that be" opted to split the field at 9/9,2.12.00 being the 9th and final time in the seeded final.......yours truly had a seed time of 2.12.11 and thus found himself in the unseeded heat!!!!!!!
I made up my mind I would do my best Meatloaf impression and be a "Bat Out Of Hell" in that opening heat,seeded #1 I drew the inside lane and proceeded to reel off a 62 second opening 400m b4 closing in 67 seconds for a 2.09.81 a seasons best,was it enough to get me on the podium???
W/ Canadien world champions Michael Sherar and Paul Osland pulling the field through Mcduffrie Allen went 2.05.61 David Bailey went 2.08.85 b4 Dave Bynoe crossed the line in 2.10.86......
A hard fought bronze but  the least I deserved for being honest about my seed time.2.09.81 should  earn me a place in the timed final in Jacksonville next summer.

Outdoor 1,500m National Championships Winston Salem July20th
B4 I even began my 2014 Outdoor season I told my brother in April there and then if the Running Gods offered me a pair of bronzes at Julys Outdoor Nationals I'd have taken that deal,w/ an 800m bronze already in the bag I now faced the 1,500m three days later,would I settle for bronze....would I fuck!!!
Turning back the clock I produced one of my finest races ever muchless over 1,500m to reel off splits of 51-71-69-70 for a 4.21.4 winning much for my summer mantra of  54-70-70-70 for 4.24.
My 4th National Championship,my 2nd at 1,500m,who saw that way back on Jan 25th when I ran a 4.57.1 mile at Cornell????

It's A Long Way To The Top {If You Want To Rock & Roll}

Final run of the year and final track workout of 2014,yesterdays 6 miler coupled w/ this mile warm up and cool down either side of 4x1 mile repeats would give me 1,478 miles for the year......what I wouldn't have given for another 22 miles to give me 1,500 miles for the year!!!!

Also I would have given something for slightly warmer temps....Saturdays unseasonably warm 57 degs had been replaced w/ a below average {42 degs} 37 degrees although upon my arrival at Geasey Field at 3.45pm my initial concern was the sun glare as the back straight was bathed in sunshine and I hadn't thought to bring shades w/ me,prefering to cater to the 37 degrees and packing ski hat and thermal gloves in ye olde backpack......
However that said re the sun glare by the end of mile #2 the back straight was no longer bathed in sunlight.

10 days ago I 'd gone:5.25.0-5.32.5-5.39.0-5.29.1 and hoped for an improvement on that this time out,I pondered if 1.20-1.25-1.25-1.20=5.30 pace x4 was way to find out eh?

#1 mile
A brisk start,I just hoped I hadn't gone out too briskly.

#2 mile
It looked like I'd bitten off more than I could chew through 1,200m but thanks to a 75 second closing lap snuck under the 5.30 mark.....

#3 mile
Thought I blown it w/ that opening 1.23 where I was guilty of switching off mentally but thanks to a closing 400m in 74 seconds managed to keep it at 5.30........

#4 mile
W/ identical 400m and 800m splits I was confident if I came through 1,200m in 4.16 again I could dial up another closing 400m in 74 you can imagine my horror at seeing 4.18 at 1,200m,this was then further compounded by Ms New Mexico Junior College{that's what the back of her warm up jacket read} stepping off the infield into lane 1 at the top of the back straight just as I was coming off the bend. w/out checking if anyone {ie me!!!} was using/running in lane 1.
Forced wide into lane 2 and cutting back into lane 1 I had now lengthened my stride rather than wait till 200m to go to kick.
I told myself I had to run like there was no tomorrow and run as if my life depended on it.....which may explain the closing  400m in 72 seconds and another 5.30 mile......

All in all I was pleased w/ this performance,not only all 4 at 5.30 and under but also an 18 second improvment on Dec 20ths outing...which it should be pointed out were done at lunch time on a Saturday not at 3.45pm on a workday.....not a bad way to finish off the year if I say so myself

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Laugh,When The Cool Gets Cold

You laugh when the cool gets cold cry when the punchline's told fall into the arms of God pray that your soul's not sold
Change keeps us moving on all alone as you walk through the crowd live like your gonna lose some sleep trust like the air we breathe


Having dug deep to get the last five 1,000m repeats in on Saturday b4 a "grind em till you find em" long run on Sunday you can imagine my delight at the prospect of an easy 6 miler yesterday to kick off the week!!!!

Mild conditions when I set off a shade b4 4.20pm,in fact upon  my reurn home roughly an hour later there was still a final vestige of daylight which bodes well moving into the coming weeks,even if it's gonna get colder the deeper we get into Winter.
At 45 degrees I had little to complain about last nite....other than it being maybe the last time I see 45 degrees anytime soon.

Fingers crossed access to the track at Geasey Field on the way home tonite to end the year w/ 4x1mile repeats

Monday, December 29, 2014

Going Long {Road Version}

Following yesterdays  10x1000m repeats I now had to find it in me to summon up a Sunday long if I was going to to log a 5 day/40mpw.
Bad enough the old pegs were feeling the effects of the repeats but factor in not having done a 14 miler in six weeks since November 16th I could be forgiven if I didn't have sky high expectations going into an out and back along West River Drive to Falls Bridge.

One plus of the Spurs Man Utd game being a 7am kick off was I was up by 6.40am so come the final whistle at 8.50am all I needed to do was get dressed,stretch and be out the door by 9.07am.
Conditions were grey and overcast but unseasonably warmer than they should be for this time of year,however the forecast was for showers so I nixed the three quarter length bottoms in favour of regular warm up bottoms and as a precaution threw on my gloves.....frankly I didn't need them but better to have the option to take them off and stick them in the waist band on my warm up bottoms than curse having cold fingers out on the run.

There were a decent number of other runners out along the Schuylkill Bank and West River Drive for this early in the morning although in fairness I wasn't too concerned w/ other runners,my concern was having the legs for a 14 miler.
Just as I had the day b4 over the 10x1,000m repeats I "hunkered down" mentally better to go out "on my sheild" than cut down the miles and then be faced w/ the challenge again next week.

As is my won't I don't time my runs,time isn't the objective here putting the mile in is so I've no idea what my turn around split was,all I knew was I made it to 7 miles and now I had to make another 7 going back in the direction I'd just come from!!

I tried not to get caught up in quarter mile splits,prefering to focus on each mile as it went by,3 and 3/4s represented 7 miles so I kept an eye out for 4 and 3/4s,5 and 3/4s,6 and 3/4s and 7 and 3/4s,my gut feeling was hitting the end of West River Drive at 7 and 3/4s was 11 miles and if I had to grind it out along the Schuylkill Banks till just b4 the South St bridge was 12 then another mile till 39th and Baltimore Ave by which time only a mile to go,I've done it b4 on tired legs and in a brief respite from all the Inxs songs I've sung of late it was the old "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" classic by Utopia that became my battle anthem over the closing miles.
The biggest obstacle was going to be the up ramp leading to the South St bridge w/ just under 2 miles to go,make it up there then across the bridge I was looking at 1 and 3/4 miles of relativly flat asphalt between me and home.......cue yours truly channeling his inner "Little Engine That Could".......I think I can,I think I can.........

Knee lift and leg turnover had long deserted me but I'm nothing if a stubborn headstrong individual and I was too damn close to home to quit now,home by 11.19am a 2 hour 12 minute run,like I said time was irrelivant getting a 14 miler under my belt for the day and getting a 5 day/40 mpw week in was all that mattered........
Now all I need to do is repeat that again this coming week........

Going Long {Track Version}

W/ an easy 6.5 miler on Friday to get any lingering crap out of my legs from Thursdays 8x800m repeats I was back to the track on Saturday for part two of my long week of repeats 10x1,000m.
Arriving at Geasey Field at 1.05pm my first thought was "oh shit I'm over dressed!!!"
Not sure what the official temprature was but frankly I could've gotten away w/ short sleeves and shorts it was that warm,as it was I made do w/ my 3/4 length shorts and my long sleeved shirt w/ the arms rolled up.
Following my mile warm up it was out of my running shoes into my racing flats,let's see what I've got......

#1 1000m
A brisk start,wasn't sure how realistic 1.20-1.20-35=3.15 pace was times ten......guess I'd find out!!

#2 1000m
Roundabouts and swings.....I was close to target pace

#3 1000m
By now 3.20 pace was looking more realistic,something to ponder/tinker w/ over the coming weeks...

#4 1000m
Almost identical to #2 if nothing else I was consistant.

#5 1000m
If this had been 5x1,000m at sub 3.20 I'd have been delighted......however I was only half way done

#6 1000m
The "wisdom" to go w/ ten times one thousand suddenly seemed foolhardy but "in for a penny,in for a pound" they say

#7 1000m
Predictably things were slowing down but I wasn't planning on "mailing it in"whatever I did today would be a benchmark moving forward.

#8 1000m
If it killed me and it was beginning to feel like it might I was hell bent on not going over 3.25.....

#9 1000m
Nine down one to go,like any set of repeats there's always a feeling of "light at the end of the tunnel" when the last one comes around.........

#10 1000m
Gotta ya!

All in all a good workout if I say so myself,it was never ideal to return to the track w/in two days of my 8x800m repeats but that was the hand I was dealt this week,hopefully in coming weeks a more "user friendly" Tuesday/Saturday rotation will present it's self.
Nothing slower than 1.25 on the second 400m,2 38s 1 39 on the closing 200s and nothing slower than 3.25.3 this wasn't too bad a start and while I second guessed myself after  #5 having the balls to get all ten in means next time out I'll know I can do it.....of course that means there are NO excuses not to but I'll cross,burn,jump,paint that bridge when the time comes.......

Friday, December 26, 2014

Grinch Repeats On Xmas Day

For those of you who don't know me that well,or well enough you maybe surprised to learn not only do I dislike the holidays w/ a passion but I tend NOT to honour them or celebrate them either.                  When I was younger but old enough for it to make an impression on me my late father once said,and I quote"Xmas is what you make it,if you want to go the whole nine yards,Tree,Lights,Decorations etc that's fine..........but if you want to treat it just like any other day that's ok too" As has been my won't for most of my adult life I've gone w/ that latter,don't get me wrong I wish I felt differently about this time of year......but I don't IF you're one of the masses who choses to celebrate it that's fine.....afterall  that is your choice but I prefer to avoid at all costs SO w/ the prospect of a day off on a weekday what better way to spend it than on the track getting the first of my two repeats in.  I was somewhat surprised to find half a dozen more likeminded people on the Geasy Field track between 11.05 am and 12.30 pm when I conducted my 8x800m repeats. 8x800m is a new repeat for me,replacing the old 6x600m repeat that has served/tortured me for the past eight to nine years. Following a mile warm up it was "have at it time" given it was a first repeat I didn't know what to expect,1.20/1.25=2.45 felt fair for openers......Iwas to be proven very wrong!!!! #1 800m 1.12-1.16=2.38.2 Wow leave it to me to shoot myself in the foot right off the bat!!!!! #2 800m 1.19-1.17=2.36.3 This was more of what I had in mind realativly even splits......#3 800m 1.18-1.19=2.37.6 So far so good getting the opening 400m at sub 1.20....#4 800m 1.20-1.16=2.36.8 Clearly "flying too close to the sun"on the opening 400m jolted me on the second lap,half way there.#5 800m 1.19-1.18=2.37.5 When 2.37 is your slowest repeat and you thought you'd be looking at 2.45 you're doing something right!!! #6 800m 1.18-1.17=2.35.4 Gotta love negative splits!!!! #7 800m 1.18-1.19=2.37.3 Seven down,one to go.....was that opening lap of 1.12 waiting to derail my day???? #8 800m 1.19-1.16=2.35.8 cop that in the bollocks!!!! Delighted is one way to reflect this workout,clearly I sold myself short on the 1.20/1.25 splits but when I next step on he track for 8x800m repeats I'll do so w/ 1.20/1.20 as my goal Not a bad mornings work,while I'm no stranger togetting a run in on Xmas Day this was my first repeat on December 25th....maybe not my last..... 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Squeezing One In

Based on the way last week unfolded while I worked shorthanded and my  experience last year in the week of Xmas I pretty much resigned myself to being SOL for any sort of running Monday,Tuesday or Wednesday.
I ended up having to write Monday off anyway, that one last trip to Piggy Post Office to mail off my final overseas gift plus another trip to Aldi for Xmas dinner since my hopes of snagging a Stoufers Vegtable Lagsana for my dinner on Thursday went "tits up" on my travels over the weekend.....maybe I should've gone to a local Mall and sat on Santa's lap and asked for a Vegtable Lagsana.....but frankly if I was willing to degrade myself to that extent the "hot and tasty dish" of my choice for the holidays would've been something more than a Vegtable Lagsana.......if you catch my drift....nudge nudge,wink wink,say no more squire!!!!!!

Anywho,much to my pleasent surprise yesterday wasn't the "arse reaming" day I expected on the work front,glass half empty IF I known that I'd have taken my track gear w/ me to work and hit Geasy Field on the way home for some repeats,glass half full I was in a position to knock out an easy 6 miler upon arriving home around 4.20pm.
Seldom one to look a gift horse in the mouth I took full advantage of this,my understanding was today will "piss out of the heavens" most/all day so today is probably shot but by notching a 6 miler yesterday I set myself up for a potential 5 day/40mpw.......providing I took full advantage of being off from work on Thursday & Friday and made sure I took care of business on the weekend.

Hard not to take advantage of 50 degree temps in the 4th week of December and w/ it only being a 6 miler I'd be out and back to Lloyd Hall and no time so there wasn't much need to sell myself on the idea on the way home from work.
Out the door just after 4.25pm any run in December that's sans ski hat and gloves is more than fine by me,although the soft drizzle made visability a bit of an issue.....but frankly if that was my biggest issue on the run or indeed for the day then I had it pretty much made didn't I???

Easy enough run,it's looking like repeats on the track Xmas Day providing the rain stops/eases off enough

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gotta Start Somewhere I Guess?

You  know I can't forget we have  fought before,I've seen inside your heart and I know it's breaking
We are hoping,yes and we're praying this time will be the last time that we will fight like this
This Time-Inxs

My hope of hitting the track twice this week went up in smoke along w/ any hope of having a 5day/40mpw due to work but rather than blow the whole week off I felt compelled to at least get one set of repeats in so come Saturday lunch time I was heading towards good old Geasy Field on Temple's campus to have at it over 4x1 mile.
Arriving there around 1.25pm the track was....not surprizingly deserted which suited me,conditions were grey and overcast but mild enough to strip down to 3/4 length bottoms.....even if I had to go w/ gloves due to being cursed w/ piss poor circulation,after two of the four repeats I probably could've shed the gloves but being of a superstitious nature when things are going well I tend not to mess w/ how things are going.

Following a mile warm up I changed into my racing flats and prepped for my first mile repeats of the new season.
Given it had been  since my last set of 4x1 mile repeats{I did 6x1 mile repeats on Nov 15th} on Aug 13th I wasn't sure what to expect,the feeling was 1.20-1.25 pace,nothing slower than 5.40 per mile would be a good start........

#1 mile
Not too shabby I felt,obviously I worried that opening lap of 1.17 may come back to bite me later on but all things considered.....

#2 mile
So far,so good,could I keep it going?

Cut it close on this one,1.29 almost upset the whole applecart,I knew at 4.19 at "the bell" I needed a 1.20 lap to stay inside 5.40 and duly delilvered.

#4 mile
Bouyed by the opening lap of 1.20 the pace dipped at 800m and 1,200m but fear not w/ 200m I "kicked like a mule" to close in 1.15,job done!

Overall I was pleased w/ the effort,granted these's a ton of work to be done as the season unfolds but to put things in prespective my opening 4x1 mile repeats this year on March 15th were only:
That in of its self gives me great satisfaction moving forward,fingers crossed my next date w/ 4x1 mile repeats on either Jan 6th or Jan 10th will be quicker.

Given the significance of the date Saturday December 20th maybe that's why there was a little fire in my soul......28 years ago Erica and I got married on this very day hence the Inxs "This Time" reference,sadly for me the line
I've seen you before,turn and walk away you say you won't come back it's a game anyway was NOT "art imitating life" and if I could have one "do over" in my life it would be my marriage......even IF I did believe in "Santa" I'm reasonably confident that's one wish he can't grant me.....more's the pity....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Better Late Than Never Right?

I would have prefered to have gotten my week underway on Monday....not only is it better to jump start things that way in case "shit jumps off" during the week but ever the hopeless romantic I liked the symmetery December 15th for my first post fall/off season run to January 15th..... my first scheduled race of the Indoor season.......sadly that wasn't to be,work the great bane of my exsistence not only went sideways Monday & Tuesday but also back to front,inside out and upside down,it's a piss poor reflection on the nature of my job that I can't stop and eat when it's "all hands on deck" on the dock and by the time I get home I'm thinking more about making dinner than going out to run....

Thankfully yesterday the merry go round that is my job slowed down enough so that NOT ONLY was my daily intake of food more than two Rice Crispy treats and a bag of Cheese & Almonds but I ALSO got an actual LUNCH HOUR ......"Shock Horror Probe....Forde In Lunch Hour Sensation" Film At Eleven......hard to tuck into your Tuna Sandwich w Piers Morgan looking for an exclusive interview!!!!!!!!

Sutably fed and not Fed Up for a change I go home around 4pm and got ino my running  gear,foul tempered Loading Dock Foreman by day,mild mannered runner by afternoon and evening,the metamorphosis is truly amazing.......yeah yeah I know Super Heroes are meant to wear my three quarter length running tights under my wam up pants count?????
I opted for an 8 miler,the original plan for the week was 6,6,8,6,14 w/ Tuesday and Saturdays 6s being track laid plans,mice & men yada yada yada......much to my chagrin I'll have to selve one of my repeats but can now potentially go:8,6,6,6,14 and still go 5days/40mpw but have to make do w/ only one set of repeats for the week NOT  habit I want to get into but sometimes making the best of a bad situation is the best you can hope for.

50 degrees in mid December......that's pretty fuckin' amazing although there was a bastard wind whipping up off of the Schuylkill at the end of Boathouse Row.....mercifully I only had 3/4s of a mile b4 the turnaround for a 4 miler to deal w/ it.
If felt good to be back out there running having taken last week off in the build up to Club Nationals and while it was an easy run it didn't mean I took it easy on those who pissed me off,I'm waiting for the lights to change on Spruce St at the traffic lights and "Lance Armstrong" decides "red lights don't apply to him".......he's lucky he only got a mouthful of the verbal varity IF this had happened on Tuesday I think the scene in the Emergency Room at HUP would have resembled"incoming cyclist w/ the handlebars of his bike rammed up his arse"...... to quote an old "Calvin & Hobbes"
Triffle Not W/ Tired Tigers.......AND DON'T PISS ME OFF!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

An Exorcism In Bethleham

In running,as is in life we all fancy a "do over" from time to time am I right??
I guess if you're a musician there's that one bad gig or one bad album you put out,as an actor a bad movie or tv show,and who amongst us hasn't been in a relationship we'd rather we weren't{I'm confident most of the women who've had the misfortune to date me would like a do over!!!!}
Running is no different,Usain Bolt has races I'm sure he'd like to be able to do again,ask Seb Coe if he'd like the Moscow 80 800m final again?.....
For me my "do over" would be the 2012 Masters Club Nationals 10K XC in Kentucky,a veritable "shit show" if ever there was.

In a classic case of "open mouth,insert both feet"!!! when I was first asked about the race earlier in the year I said "sure" .......however when the time came to ride down to the Bluegrass State for the race I wasn't in mental or physical shape for a 10k xc race,but rather than be "that guy" who says "yeah yeah,count me in" but then the week of bails I went,ran like a total chav and finished 222nd in a field of 295 in a woeful 43.52......adding insult to considerable injury as it was my first ever 10K XC race it was laughingly a PR........
Surfice to say when it was announced that the 2014 edition of the race was here in virtually my backyard in nearby Bethleham I jumped at the chance to rectify that blot on my career.
Let's not get carried away here,I'm a 800m/1,500m guy I know my limitations but over the years I've come to embrace xc as the bridge that links the end of outdoor track season to the start of indoor track season,a means to an end if ever there was one and so post 5th Avenue Mile in mid September I began to prepare myself for the 10k.

After years of side stepping the Paul Short 8K XC race at Lehigh this year I went to get a feel for the course this coupled w/ monthly trips up to Lehigh to do course previews meant there'd be no surprizes come race day,2 8K XC races,followed by a 15K & 5K at Van Cortlandt Park in November meant come "D Day" on the easy to remember 12.13.14 I'd be ready.....ever the Boy Scout "Be Prepared"
Conditions were mild but dry,no snow or ice on the course which helps when you've got 6 miles to race,and thanks to USATF Mid Atlantic a large fuck off tent w/ tarps on the ground,chairs even a heater thrown in for good measure to hang out in pre and post race....what do you know membership really does have it's privilges!!!

Stripped down to race gear,trusty St George's bandana,gloves,Team GB arm warmers,white club vest,red 3/4 length running tights,St George's socks and xc spikes I made my way over to the starting line w/ the rest of the clubs M40,M50,M60 A & B teams to our box and waited for the gun to go off.
I made a comment in the Paul Short 8K XC race in  September how the start resembles the fight scenes in "Braveheart" well today there were probably 100 more runners all charging across the field at the beginning from a spectators view point it must look impressive......having a "middle of the pack" view is even more impressive let me tell ya!!!
If there was a 1k or 1 mile marker I didn't see either,I think the first k sign I saw was 3k only to discover my watch hadn't gone off at the start.....hey ho!
At 4k I switched my watch back to "real time" if the rest went off at 11.30am maybe I could gauge my pace w/ that?

Given this was Club Nationals where team scoring is the name of the game I'd done my best to run w/ my fellow GPTC M50 A team mates but after a mile I got detratched from them,nothing to do now but finish as strong as I could and help out any which way I could.
As each k went by I'd check my watch,I'd set myself a modest 38.00 target based on my two 30 min 8k from Sept/Oct,I was going to be reasonably close.
I've know for months the course ran a little longer than 6.2 miles,thye mantra had been when you see the 9k sign it's actually 1,200m to go NOT 1,000m at this stage I had a few runners ahead of me but when I heard someone yell "600m to go" that was my cue,suddenly the grass became a green/brown track as I dug deep and piy some distance between myself and the runners behind me,I glanced upto the clock above the finishline to see 39.00.....ish

For whatever reason NONE of the Greater Philadelphia Track Club times recorded,b4 leaving I heard one of the Masters women saying none of their times had shown up on the results and ditto for the men and I don't see any trace of our Open runners in either the mens or womens races either......
Unofficially the M50 team finished in 5th which seems to have been greeted a good result,we beat Pike Creek so at least we've got Philly/Penn bragging rights!!!
As for my time I'm at a loss according to the "unofficial masters results I finished 244th in a field of 588 finishers,as for my actual time the 242nd place runner ran 38.56.49 243rd was a fellow GPTC ers so no time,then me in 244th b4 245th in 39.02.69......
For now I'm going w/ 39.00,a respectable pr compared to the god awful 43. 52 I ran in Kentucky two years ago.
I doubt I'm going to San Francisco for next years race b4 it returns to Kentucky in 2016......right now I'm focusing on my Jan 15th Indoor track debut over one mile......don;t get it twisted I was happy to run XC in the Fall BUT track is where my heart and soul belongs........

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

There's A Lot To Be Said For The Same Old Same Old

Another Monday,another 10 miler to kick the week off .....although this is probably the last Monday 10 miler for the forseeable future.
Next week I'll be quasi tapering for Club Nationals on the Saturday,the plan is to go 9,9,8 Monday thro Wednesday b4 a pair of days off then 10 miles the day of Club Nationals{2 mile warm up,6 mile race,2 mile cool down} w/ a traditional Sunday long run over 14 miles to round out another 5 day/50 mile week......and w/ that drop back down to 40 mpw as I begin to prep for the upcoming 2015 track season......but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Took full advantage of the mild temps{58 degrees} which meant bandana,half zip and three quarter length bottoms for the run....I suspect I won't be as fortunate the rest of the week but hey "One Day At A Time"
The forecast said a 60% chance of showers,I hummed and harred about a baseball cap......rolled the dice, said feck it and went w/ imagine my "joy" as I stood at the lights waiting to cross South St bridge as the rain began to half full rain when it's 58 degrees ten times better than rain at 40 degrees.....

A decent number of runners out there which always makes me feel less neurotic when I'm out there
"You Are Not Alone".....God bless the whole ''Birds Of A Feather Stick Together" mindset!!!
The only issue I had was my right big toe,in my last two races my right foot big toe has bothered me post race,not sure if it's gotten jammed into the toe box of my xc spikes but post race it's sore as shit,my go w/ my old track spikes for Club Nationals to avoid a three peat.....but if that's the biggest issue I've got right now it's small potatos

I've always said when I'm fiesty then I'm running well and w/ a purpose, my two standard Born Again Black Hearted Pagan Anti Social comments when running tend to be:
"I can piss faster than you drive" to the Slow Moe Joes of this world.....on the other end of the scale
"No no it's only a red light" to the Mario Andretti's of this world who feel red stop lights DON'T apply to them
Creeping up there though is the "No No, I'll go around you shall I???" to the phone obsessed aresholes of this world who can't be dragged away from saidphone screen.......
Here's a tweet for you!!!!
Holy Shit!!! some runner just knocked me arse over tit and kept on running.....#didnotseehimcoming
Look arsehole it's pitch black at 5.35pm,it's raining so my visability is compromised to begin w/ so maybe if you could watch where you're going that'd be a HUGE  help.......

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Bronx Tale Revisited & Revised

Leave it to me not to run a race at Van Cortlandt Park for 6 years only to then run two races in seven days!!!!
Same ride up as Sunday,trolley to  Center City,R7 to Trenton,New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station and #1 Subway from Penn Station to 242nd St and Van Cortlandt Park and back again post race,sure it's a hike and a half but providing I'm armed w/ the essentials Music,Diary,Book and Green Tea I'm a contented traveller.

Arrived at VCP by 10.30am,the open race wasn't going off till 12.30pm but I'd rather arrive early than be sweating it by cutting it too close to race time.....although there didn't seem to be much fear off sweating anything today!!!
Unlike Sunday which had been a sunny warm day Saturday was cold grey and overcast and given that I'm cursed w/ piss poor circulation in my extremities my finger tips and toes were feeling it.
Thankfully a three mile warm up on the track adjacent to VCP....yeah leave it to yours truly to find a track at a Cross Country meet!!! allowed my finger tips to lose that numbness....guess that's why it's called a warm up then!
Returning to the finish line I stripped down to race wear,nixed  the hat for the trusty old St George's bandana,running vest,arm warmers,gloves,three quarter length tights and spikes,"took a knee" to offer up a pre race prayer and heading to the starting line.

Last week over 15k I felt it prudent to go out easy,today over 5k I had to be aggressive from the start and by the time we made the first turn at the end of the straight alongside Broadway I'd worked my way upto 14th place{I finished 23rd over 15k on Sunday}
Going into the back woods I was relegated to 15th by a runner whom I never let out of my sightline....
5.57 at the mile mark,the mantra was "work the uphills,fly the downhills" unlike Sunday where I had to negotiate the back hills three times this was "one and done"
There was some jockeying back and forth between mile 1 and 2 I got back upto 14th b4 slipping to 17th but never any lower and even in 17th I was cognisent there was daylight between me and whoever was following me.....but made damn sure not to allow the runners ahead of me to gap me.

12.57 at mile 2 a 7 minute mile but if you've ever ran the 5k at VCP you'll know most of mile 2 is uphill after uphill......however"what goes up must come down" and the back half of the back hills is downhill.......whee!!!!!!
Caught as much air as I could on those downhills to stay clear of the chasing pack and remain on the shirttails of the three runners ahead of me,coming out of the back hills and making a hard right I ate up a ton of ground as I worked the shit out of the final down hill,reentering the main part of the course I was right behind the three runners ahead of me.
Biding my time till the final straight on the cinder path I went into "track mode" w/ 200m to go,the first two runners fell behind me and now it was left to the guy who'd passed me going into the back hills,turned out we were both Masters runners but at the time I was unaware of that all I knew was he was 14th I was 15th....and I wanted 14th place!!!

As I drew alongside him he responded,did I have it left in me after 3 miles to dig deep and find another gear? bet ya!!!
Put three seconds between myself and Matt as I got to the finishline in 19.19.3,14th overall and second in the Masters race Ben Levitz had finished 4th overall in 17.09.1 #propsandrespect
Remarkably upon referencing my all time top tens list I discoved todays time at the grand old age of 51 not only ranks in the 5kxc top ten but is also faster than times I ran in my 40's......still life in the old dog yet!
Given the uphills I'm not sure what I could've ran on a flat/flatter course come Club Nationals in a fortnites time on a flatter course than VCP at Lehigh I hope to run somewhere in the 36 minute region,we'll have to see how doable that is,between now and then I hope to avoid illness and injury,where Club Nationals 10k xc is concerened I have "Unfinished Business" to attend to......and we all know  how I love to carry a grudge..........#itsonlikedonkeykong

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Seven & The {Not So} Ragged Tiger

I must be chasing after rainbows one thing's for sure you never answer when I call
And I wipe away the water from my face to look through the eyes of a stranger
For rumour in the wake of such a lonely crowd trading in my shelter for danger
I'm changing my name just as the sun goes down walking away like a stranger
For rumours in the wake of such a lonely crowd treading in my shelter for danger
I'm changing my name just as the sun goes down in the eyes of a stranger

Seventh Stranger-Duran Duran


70 degrees on the last Monday of November??????? this time last week we were bracing ourselves for a couple of below freezing days.......but there's  NO Global Warming!!!!!!
Wasn't sure how trashed my legs might be following Sundays race but was pleasently surprised to feel no ill effects from  four times up the back hills of VCP.
That said I only opted for an easy 7 miler as I had "time constraints" on my docket that made a preferably longer run problamatic but in the general scheme of things not a big deal.

Since I want my "cake and eat it" and get a 5 day 50 mile week in on top a race AND take Sunday off there's very little "wiggle room" on this weeks schedule.....touchwood I can go 7,10,10,14,9 w/ back to back 10s Tuesday & Wednesday take care of my "long run" on Thursday since I have off and then get a rest day b4 Saturdays race 3 mile warm up,5k race,3 mile cool down.....let's just hope it's not a case of Theory and Practice being the horse of a different colour!!!!

It would've been a crime not to have ran yesterday in 70 degree temps,tempted as I was to bust out a sleeveless running shirt for the fuck of it I went w/ short thinks I'll be wearing said short sleeve shirt under my half zip shirt the rest of the week.
Time to start thinking new running shoes,providing I dot all the eyes and cross all the tees this week my current shoes will have 399 miles on them as I'm probably looking at a 200 mile month......

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Bronx Tale

Up at the ungodly hour of 5.10am.......strewth it's enough I have to awaken from my slumber at that hour on a weekday but on the weekend????
Out the door by 6am the #34 trolley was slowly filling up w/ marathon and half marathon runners taking part in this mornings Philadelphia Marathon and half marathon......yours truly was planning a marathon of his own a 15k xc race at famed Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
It's been a few years since I've ran xc at VCP but since 05 I'd ran the 5k course a number of times which would be a big help today since I'd be tackling it three times!!!

It was always going to be a long day and not just from the standpoint of a 9 mile race w/ another 6 miles tacked on for warmup/cool down but to get to VCP I had to: take the trolley to Center City,take the local R7 train to Trenton,change there for a New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station and then the Subway to 242 & Broadway......but armed w/ music on my phone,my diary,a book and a couple of Venti Zen Teas from Starbucks along the way it was civil enough.
Arrived at Van Cortlandt Park by 10.45am a little later than I wanted but still w/ enough time to take care of registration and do a mile warm up.
The original plan was a lap of the 5k loop to warm up followed by another to cool down but given the intestinal issue I was dealing w/ I thought it maybe prudent to only do a mile in my warm up and save myself for the three loops,if I had to do a 5 mile cool down post race sobeit.

Glorious conditions,I didn't have an official temp reading but let's just say I didn't need a hat,gloves arm warmers or long sleeves,Saturdays 5k back here might be a different story but I'll worry about that then.
Setting off at a comfortable pace for the opening loop I didn't concern myself w/ what the field was doing this was unchartered waters for me over 15k,in my road running days I ran a couple of 15ks out at Downingtown on July 4th but never in xc,where I've only ran 1 10k which was 2 years ago in Kentuckey at Club Nationals,couple w/ the fact noone from the club had ran 15k xc this was a case of "to boldly go where no man has gone b4".
It might've been a few years since I last graced the field of VCP but I'd logged enough races there to know the "lay of the land",three times up those back hills was going to be a test but frankly if I didn't think I was up to it why bother coming all this way?
Sadly no mile markers and the only clock was at the finishline but since I had no real idea of what I should be running I guess it didn't really matter too much in the general scheme of things.

Little by little I was picking off runners ahead of me w/ the exception of a Van Cortlandt Track Club runner whom I jockeyed back and forth w/ on laps 2 and 3 I was never overtaken, a testimony to good pacing on my part.
23rd overall in 63.22,second in the 50-54 age group good enough for a silver medal,while the pr and club record had come by default I had at least earnt my medal
No time for back slapping though,still had the wee small matter of a 5 mile cool down to take care of if I wanted a 50 mile week so "once more w/ feeling" around the 5k loop and a 4th trip up the back hills b4 2 miles out around the front section of VCP.
All in all a good mornings work,a 15k xc under my belt,a silver medal to add to the collection,a pr and club record and another 50 mile week,lets hope come the 10k Club Nationals at Lehigh in three weeks time I'll benefit from "going long" today,to that end Saturday Foot Locker 5k will give me a better idea of where I'm at.......only one set of those bastard back hills to contend w/ then!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Down,But Not Out

I sat out Wednesdays  scheduled run due to a combination of maybe paying for my bravardo on Tuesday and having a slightly questionable constitution,trust me these weren't the conditions to get x ammount of miles into the run only to discover you didn't have the chops to finish it so I sat it out.....and re rewrote my schedule!

Having logged 9 miles on Tuesday I now needed to go back to back 10 milers Thursday & Friday w/ an easy 6 miler on Saturday to put me at 35 miles going into Sundays 15k xc w/ a 3 mile warm up and a 3 mile cool down for 15 miles to round out a third week of 5 day/50mpw.
Mercifully conditions were much warmer than Tuesday,46 degrees compared to the 28 I ran in 48 hours prior.

I'm lead to believe things will be "brisk again" tomorrow when I tackle my second 10 miler....hey ho nobody said the road to the "promised land" was going to be easy,at least w/ the easy 6 on tap Saturday morning I can hopefully flush out any crap in my legs from back to back 10s b4 "going long" on Sunday as I not only tackle my longest ever xc race but also look to add another entry onto the GPTC club records.
Nobody has" had the balls" to do 15k xc so muchlike when I got the 10,000m record on the track back in 2011 and the 1,000m track record in January it's by default but a record is a record right?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brass Monkeys,Polar Bears & Penguins

First real test of my Fall training a severe dip in the temps,it was below freezing most of if not all day and it's one thing I've gotta freeze my nads off all day out on the loading dock but then I've gotta go out and run ...not sure there was room for my "big boy pants" w/ all my other layers of clothing but  this was not a day for the faint of heart or bereft of "bottle" you wanna dance Mother Nature??? let's fucking dance!!!!

Dressed to the nines w/ regular socks,thermal sock,.3/4 length tights,warm up bottoms,running shirt,half zip jacket,heavy duty hoddie,thermal gloves and thermal ski hat I was out the door by 4.17pm and frankly that was always going to be the hardest part,once I'd gotten out the door the rest was frankly gravy....ah warm gravy....!!!!!!
I was pleasently surprised to see other runners out in this,not that I thought for one second I'd be the only one demented enough to tangle w/ Mother Nature but it's always uplifting to come across "other members of your tribe" who refuse to yeild to the conditions #respect

Initially the plan was 10 miles but when I reached 3 and 3/4 miles at Kelly Dr and Spring Garden bridge I got a face full of arctic wind,you know those mimes you see doing that "walk against the wind" shit that's what I felt like trying to run northbound on Kelly Dr......another mile and a quarter of this.....fuck off!!!
A quick recalibration of my 4 day 35 mile tally from 10 10 7.5 7.5  and I came up w/ 9 9 9 8...I could still front load the week and taper down to Sundays race,just my luck  to have two days of below freezing temps when I didn't have the "wiggle room" to  move my schedule around.

Remarkably after making the turnaround at 4.5 miles just b4 Columbia bridge the wind had died down.....either that or my face was too frozen to notice the difference!!!! 4.5 down,4.5 to go and don't spare the horses!!!
Even w/ thermal gloves on my finger tips were starting to go numb w/ about two miles cold was it out there????? well let's just say trusty Peco Tower which normally gives time and temprature after 5pm wasn't on display,I had visions of "It's whore's heart cold" in large letters on the electronic display as I braced myself for the final mile and  three quarters upon reaching South Street bridge!!!!

A hot shower and a hot mug of Apple Cider helped take the edge off post run,according to #10 News it was now 28 degrees at 6.05pm to quote the old Lipton Iced Tea commercials "that's brisk baby"....
let's see what tonite brings....

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back To Back 50 Mile Weeks

Looks like hospital admin is blocking my attempts to post new pictures so here another cute host of Bein Sports "Express Xtra" Terri Leigh....nothing to do w/ running other than the fact I'd gladly run 50 miles for her......

All that stood between yours truly and a second 5 day/50mpw was a first Sunday long run over 14 miles in 13 weeks,having taken care of my first track repeats in 10 weeks on Saturday it seemed like the weekend for ending long streaks....
I set off at 11.41am armed w/ hat,gloves,half zip and running bottoms....oh yes the cooler temps had set in and running along the river wasn't going to be that forgiving so I felt it prudent to be dressed to combat that,last thing I wanted was to bail on the run cos it was cold.

My calves were a little tender following yesterdays 6x1 mile repeats but I tried to put that out of my mind as I made my way onto West River Drive for the first time since August 17th.....things sure were a lot warmer back then!!!
There were a few other hardy souls out there getting their Sunday run in mostly going in the opposite direction of me but I was more concerened w/ my own running than anyones.

Having to really dig deep last Saturday over the closing mile of my 12 miler and not having ran a 14 miler in 13 weeks there were some question marks in my mind about my ability to "go the distance today".
Given I have races the next two weekends I could've sidestepped the 14 miler by going 10,10,10 during the week and making today another 12 miler but I figured come Dec 7th I'll be thrust back into the realm of Sunday long runs over 14 miles so why not "bite the bullet" today and get it over w/ and hopefully make Dec 7th run that much easier on myself???

To aid and abet that I opted to turn around at  mile 7 at Falls Bridge as oppossed to going across and making it the whole loop....???? why you may ask,to be honest it felt psychological if I'd had the legs to go 7 miles out I should in theory have the legs to make the reverse journey,as time evolves I'll hopefully conduct the more traditional whole loop on my Sunday long run but today I had "nail my colours to the mast" moving forward ergo the turnaround at mile 7

W/ little in the way of knee lift and or leg turnover to offer I made my way southbound back down West River Drive picking off three runners who I passed going northbound  towards Falls Bridge,so maybe I wasn't as "deadlegged" as I thought or felt I was.
W/ each quarter mile I ate into the 4 miles along W.River Dr I told myself I could do this,mile 5 would be along the Schuylkill Bank and when I reached 2 miles to go along the recently opened footpath connecting Schuylkill Banks to South St bridge I could hopefully find the physical and mental strength to see it through.

Unlike last week when the 12th and final mile proved to be a grind today I was able to shuffle along w/out the stop/start routine that blighted last Saturdays 12 mile,granted w/ just over half a mile to go my lack of kneelift and leg turnover resulted in tripping on a uneven paving stone but thanks to my catlike reflexes I stayed upright and then w/ just two blocks to go I managed to avoid being tripped over by somone raking leaves infront of his house who neither saw or heard me doing the "soft shoe shuffle" along the sidewalk....not sure if "leaping over his rake" means I've gotten married in some weird custom or other but frankly I was too bleedin' knackered to care!!!!

Home in one piece in an unofficial 2.06,I'd left at 11.41am and returned by 1.47pm which equates to 9 minute mile pace....I'll take it along w/ my second 5 day/50mpw

Money I'm Telling You It's The Shoes!!!

I had hoped to post a picture of my brand new Saucony Shay XC 4 running flats that I broke in on Saturday over my 6x1 mile repeats but for some reason admin is not allowing me to save pictures so you'll have to do w/ a picture of Kay Murray one of the hosts of "Express Xtra" on Bein Sports who let's face it is WAY hotter than any picture of running shoes......and trust me I'm saving my sultry picture of Ms Murray for another'll be worth the wait....Scout's honour!!!!

So after a 10 week hiatus from the track it was back to my old friend armed w/ said new flats and my new Under Armour Spurs half zip  shirt I braved the considerably cooler temps at 1.30pm,I'd deliberetely pushed back my start time to try and have warmer conditions to work out in warmer conditions,in a week that had seen me run at 5.30pm when it was in the low 60s temps had now plundered some 20 degrees I think the high for Saturday was gonna be between 40 and 42,maybe 44 degs.......welcome to Fall.
Following a mile mile warm up on what should come as no major surprise was a next to deserted track at Geasey Field on the Temple campus it was have at it time,6x1 mile repeats,why 6? w/ a  15k and 10k xc race on my schedule in the upcoming weeks I felt 6x1 mile repeats was the way to go,fer not come December 15th and the start of track season it will be back to the tried and tested 4x1 mile repeats.
The goal,albeit a modest one was to keep all 6 repeats under 6 mins since that's the goal at Pete McCardle 15k and Club Nationals 10k......

#1 mile
Not too shabby obvously I only needed to keep things under 1.30 per lap which is a modest target but at times 6 plus being my first repeats in  10 weeks I wasn't sure what to expect of myself

#2 mile
An 11  second drop but still "playing w/ house money" and a 21 second cushion

#3 mile
That old chestnut of laps 2&3 being the slow laps was in full effect but I have weeks/months to work on that

#4 mile
Venturing into the unknown now above a 4th mile but still keeping my head above water so to speak

Creeping closer to the edge,did I have the legs for one last repeat at sub 6????

#6 mile
A little bummed to see that 1.31 creep in but pleased w/ the response.

All in all not too shabby,I have races the next two weeks so it'll be Dec 6th b4 I tackle 6x1 mile repeats again,let's see if I can improve on these splits.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Goodbye 50.....And Maybe 60's???

Easy 8 miler as I bid a fond farewell to running as a 50 year old,by the time I next "lace em up" on Saturday either on the track doing 6x1 mile repeats or another easy 8 I'll have turned 51
In terms of running turning 50 worked out well for me a new age group gave me the running version of a "mulligan" if you like and also helped me refocus and rededicate myself to my running,as for life.....ah same old same ole I'm sorry to say,any thoughts,hopes,dreams I had that" things would be different" in my 50s didn't materialize yet.....still another nine years I guess he said trying to look at the glass half full....

At 61 degrees I also think I'm saying goodbye to the warmer's probably a good thing I recently ordered an Under Armour half zip running jacket cos I got a feeling come the weekend I'm gonna need it!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thank You

Another 10 miler in the books,come December 15th the 10 miler will be replaced by 6 or 8 milers as I reduce my weekly milage back to 40mpw so I'm making the most of these treks out and back along Kelly Drive to just b4  St Joe's boathouse.
Another remarkably mild evening,according to trusty old Peco Tower 68 degrees at one point b4 dipping to 65,even at 65 degs in almost mid November you can't be too unhappy.....but I treat these days as each one might just be the last because sooner or later they will be.....and judging from the 7 day forecast those days are about to become sooner not later!!!!

Friday,Saturday,Sunday and Monday  right now are only predicted to reach 44 and 46 degrees....that could change between now and either direction......let's just say Saturdays scheduled 6x1 mile repeats and Sundays scheduled 14 mile run will probably both get done mid morning/lunchtime and NOT first thing!!!

It would be remiss of me not to acknowlege yesterday being Veteran's Day here in American and Armistice Day when we honour those who fought and died in World War, growing up as a kid I can still remember the War Memorial statue opposite Lewisham Hospital about quarter of a mile up the road from where I grew up and the wreaths of Poppies that were laid there every Memorial Day.

On Sting's debut album "Dream Of The Blue Turtles" in 1985 we wrote a song called "Children's Crusade" which I always loved,I later discovered it was Sting's tribute to those brave men who fought and died to protect our freedom in that war.......

Young men,soilder,Nineteen Fourteen marching through countries they'd never seen
Virgins w/ rifles,a game of charades all for a Children's Crusade
Pawns in the game are not victimss of chance,strewn on the fields of Belgium and France
Poppies for young men,death's bitter trade,all of those young lives betrayed
The children of England would never be slaves,they're trapped on the wire and dying in waves
The flower of England face down in the mud and stained in the blood of a whole generation

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 10 Till We Do It Again John

Having done what I needed to do last week it was time to do it all over again this week,hence the CB Radio reference.....I threw John in since CB Radio was very much an American thing when I first discovered it way back when,the obligatory John gave it a subtle Englishness.......

Another delightfully mild evening,64 degrees,I,m gonna ride this train as long as Mother Nature allows it.
I must've gotten a slightly earlier start than usual as there was still a last vestige of daylight over South West Philly as I made my way towards the South St bridge along the footpath.
After Saturdays "grind em till you find em" closing 4 miles I was happy to encounter smoother sailing this evening,running 10 milers doesn't hold much of a threat.....which is just as well since my next scheduled race on Nov 23rd is a XC 15K  in NYC at the Pete McCardle race at VCP.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Little Engine That Could

I'm not gonna front,the last mile was as ugly as fuck but I nailed my 12 miler to at LONG last say I compleated a 5 day 50 mile to do it all over again this coming week!!!!
I've always said if Websters ever make a Picture Dictionary next to the word Unconventional you'll see my photo! this week was no exception to that.
IF this  week goes to plan{and lets face it that's a bleedin' big IF where muggins here is involved!!!} it would look like so:
Mon-10 miles
Tue-10 miles
Wed-8 miles
Sat -6x1 mile repeats{w/ mile warm up and cool down foa total of 8 miles}
Sun-14 miles
5 day 50 mile week a Conventional week.....
Last Week went as follows:
Mon-10 miles
Tue-10 miles
Wed-10 miles
Fri-8 miles
Sat-12 miles
5 day 50 mile week Unconventional week........
By hook or by crook yeah?

It's been a while Since I've ran on a Saturday for one reason or another but as I aim to "fall in line" w/ conventional training now it was good practice for what's about to come.
I wasn't phased by the 51 degrees temps,unlike Fridays 8 miler at 4.40pm I would at least have daylight on my side setting off at 12.20pm,in fact I was able to don my shades as the "current bun" was out in full force,in fact unlike Friday when I kept the sleeves of my long sleeved shirt down all run by mile 2 I was frantically rolling them up!!!

Given last weekend was the New York Marathon and I believe the Phily Marathon is coming up in another two weeks I figured there'd be other likeminded souls out there Saturday afternoon "getting their run on"....not that I was too concerned w/ other runners as this was all about me vs me.
Not only have I not compleated a 5 day week in several weeks I couldn't tell you when I last logged a 50 mile week or when I last ran above 10 miles so the only runner I needed to worry about was me and being able to "take care of business"
Reaching the turnaround b4 Falls Bridge I felt in good shape I reeled in one runner who'd gone by me in the opposite direction towards Lloyd Hall b4 I made the turn w/in half a mile and slowly set my sights the other who was some considerable distance ahead of me mindful of the mantra "not to get into any pissing contests" as I still  had 5 and 1/2 miles to go.
I did pass the runner ahead of me b4 I hit the 8 mile mark but now felt my knee lift and leg turnover "go south" on me,so much so that he over took me w/in quarter of a mile,I knew now I had to "hunker down" and dig deep both mentally and physically.

I felt the last 2 miles were going to be the test as I haven't been over 10 miles since pre 5th Avenue Mile training in early September,the uphill along the ramp to South St bridge was my first challenge which I passed but when I couldn't muster the chops to beat the light at the corner of the on/off ramp from I 76 and was forced to wait as the lights went through their sequences I dreaded to think what that stop had cost me....thankfully I was able to get going again as the light turned to my favour.
Over the next mile and and half I had to "mentally barter" w/ myself mile and a half,mile,10 blocks 9 blocks etc as reached my front door,knackered but victotious.
W/ that Monkey off my back,which after going 0 for 6 was feeling like bleedin' King Kong...I now have to do it again this week...and the week after.....but w/ one on the plus side I hope if not physically but mentally I've goten over that hurdle

Running On The Sabbath Bloody {Pagan} Sabbath

Anyone who's seen "Chariots Of Fire" knows the story that Eric  Liddell w/drew from the 100m at the Olympics as either a heat or a semi final was on a Sunday and as a devout christian he refused to "run on the Lord's day".....
I as devout born again black hearted Celtic Pagan have tried whenever possible NOT to run on Fridays as it has tongue in cheek become my "Pagan Sabbath".......however when needs must......

If my desire to finally complete a 5 day 50mile week had been in question the fact I "laced em up" on a Friday and took care of business over 8 miles hopefully silenced the doubters.
Was it odd to be out running on a Friday?????hell yeah!!! but I was SO close to a 50 mile week I could taste it so that trumped the "I will not run on the Pagan Sabbath" mindset as I set off into the dark at 4.40pm.
After 66 degrees on Tuesday and 61 degrees on Wednesday the dip to 51 degrees was noticeable,not to mention setting off 20 mins later than usual which meant less sunlight to warm me...hey ho welcome to training in November!

After back to back to back 10 milers a drop down to 8 felt welcome,I could have gone w/ back to back 10s Friday and Saturday but there was a method to my madness,by throwing in a 12 miler Saturday it would hopefully prep me for next Sundays return to the realm of the Sunday long run over 14 miles,38 down,12 to go.....

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Me Thinks The Lad Quite Serious About This Running Lark......

Back to back to back 10 milers........I'd have to consult the Oracle....aka my running log to see when that last happened,it's been a while that much I do know.
Pleasent running conditions again between 4.20pm and 5.50pm 61 degrees but just as sure as rain is wet and falls downwards the colder weather is coming and the evenings of shorts and shortsleeves will become a memory......although one could hope it won't be a distant memory.

A couple of weeks back,three to be exact I was on the verge of a 5 day/50mpw untill my knee gave out on me so I'm not getting too carried away having notched 30 of my required 50 miles this week.
Chance are tonites scheduled 8  miler could get rained out and if that happens it may not be the worst thing in the world as 4 days in a row might be me over extending myself,lest we forget I'm 8 days away from my 51st b'day I'm not the spry young spring chicken I once was!!!

IF I have to run my 8 miler tomorrow,sobeit an easy 8 miler followed by a 12 miler on Saturday would give me my now near mythical 5day/50mpw and underline the fact I'm serious about kicking training up a notch,walk the walk,talk the talk run the training runs I say!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Remembering The 5th Of November W/ Indoor Fireworks Of My Own

Back to back 10 milers......steady on Jeeves!!!! I swear were it not for the race for Governor of Pennsylvaina yesterday the local news crews would've been camped out on my doorstep upon my return from the run.......
All jokes aside I'm not about to brake my hand patting myself on the back for doing what comes as naturally as drawing breath I'm just happy to have logged back to back runs.

After Mondays run w/ the clocks gone back I wasn't as......"in the dark" as to how conditions would be,sunset is at 4.54pm so I'm used to things being dark by the time I hit Lloyd Hall at mile 7 of the run,at 66 degrees it was a comfortable evening for running.
W/ another 5 weeks of 10 milers to contend w/ I can at least look forward to a reduction in miles come December 15th when I return to the realm of 40mpw w/ 6 and 8 miles in the evening as the emphasis will be more on speed work as I look to resume the midweek track workouts as well as Saturdays b4 the traditional Sunday long run of 14 miles.

It may seem odd in early November to be planning my indoor season but what can I say ever the Boy Scout I like to "Be Prepared" as Roy Keane once famously said"failure to prepare,prepare for failure"
Last week The Armory announced it's Indoor schedule from December thro March which allowed yours truly to sellect a least the meets I want to run even if the actual schedules have yet to be released.
Illness,injury and weather permitting my build up to Indoor Nationals in Winston Salem on March 20th-22nd looks like this:

Jan 15th Thursday Nite @ The Races #1
Jan 24th Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile
Jan 29th Thursday Nite @ The Races #2

Feb 19th Thursday Nite @  The Races #3

Mar 5th Thursday Nite @ The Races #4
Mar 8th USATFNYC C'ships
Mar 21st Indoor Nationals Mile
Mar 22nd Indoor Nationals 800m

Obviously not knowing the schedules make picking my races a guessing game for now,in an ideal world 3x 1 mile and 3x 800m would be nice but I won't be too bent out of shape if one of the miles is a 1,500m and one of the 800m is a 1,000m as long as I get a decent seed time for the mile and 800m b4 he dealine for entries for Indoor Nationals........#gameon

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Darkness On The Edge Of Town

It's become somewhat of a non running joke over the first six weeks of my off season training that I've failed miserably to get remotely close to my desired five day/50 mpw total,rather than reel off a laundry list of reasons/excuses and boo hoo it I'm reminded of something my former coach would tell me back in the day"you can't chase after lost miles"
W/ that in mind and taking a "quality over quanity" mindset I aim to make the last six weeksof off season count beginning w/ {hopefully!!!} the first five day/fifty mile week his week.....even if I have to be unconventional in doing so........which ought to suit yours truly as the poster child of all things unconventional!!!!

Kicking off the week was the first of three scheduled 10 milers,right now the weather forecast for Thursday calls for rain but that could change between now and then....if it dosen't then I'll have to forgo the "Pagan Sabbath" and run 8 miles on Friday b4 going long on Saturday over 12 miles to make 50 miles as I have a non running commitment in NYC on Sunday that takes a run out of the equation.
There's little to no"margin for error" but I keep telling myself if I can get that first week of 50miles under my belt I can build some momentum going forward,I thought I had it two weeks ago till my knee  became an issue,the status on my knee so far is the investment of a Copper Fit knee sleeve and daily icing has improved it.....the sixty four billion dollar question is will it hold up to a whole week of this space....

W/ the clocks going back on Sunday last nite was my first taste of having to run in the dark,at least for now the later half of the run,as the weeks go by it'll get darker earlier {obviously!!!} but come December 15th I'll transition back to 40mpw w/ weekday runs over 6 to 8 miles but even so between now and mid to late Febuary I'm looking at running part,some and eventuall all of my runs in the dark.........should've listen to my mother when I was younger and eaten my Carrots I guess!!!
I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of sundown and where I'd be on the out and back 10 miler,setting off at 4.20pm and averaging roughly 9 minute mile pace I probably reached the turnaround b4 St Joe's boathouse around 5.05pm,at this stage there was still day light and the lights along Kelly Dr were unlit on the way out.......
Remarkably in the 18 minutes it took after the turnaround to reach mile 7 and Boathouse  Row it was now dark and thankfully the lights were now on,the last vestige of daylight was long gone by the time I reached mile 8 along the new path on the Schuylkill towards South St bridge.

Roughly a 90 min run which is fine and dandy w/ me,I will say this for all the training runs I've missed/blown/ over the past 6 weeks I'm pleasently surprised at my level of conditioning,granted it could be better and fingers crossed between now and December 13th it will run at a time

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Legends Of The Fall

I dreamed I heared that you were dead,I dreamed I searched an empty bed for a sign of you
And the sea called hard to me lke a cell w/out a key and I felt the distance
I watched the tall ships go w/ the driftwood on the flow w/ the pride that grows in hardship and I knew you were below
I hear you voice and it keeps me from sleeping,why must it always be dreams when your voice comes to me?

Tall Ships Go-Big Country

Much as I prefer to get out on a Monday and kick start my week in training Monday saw two outstanding obligations that needed taking care of
One picking up volume #83 of my diary....if you think what I write in my blog is close to the knuckle you's probably shit a breeze block never mind a brick if you read my diary!!!!
The second was obligation was to stop by St John's church to light a candle and pay my respects to my late father Kevin aka The Auld Fella who died 30years ago on Oct 27th.
I think by now most people who know me are well aware of the infamous night back in Ireland at the end of August 1972 when he chased me home in the pouring rain cracking a towel and swinging his boot in the direction of my backside if I even thought of stopping....he wasn't joking trust me even at 8 years old I knew NOT to see if he was bluffing!!!

Fast forward 8 years to the summer of 1980 and another classic Auld Fella gem,the upcoming Lewisham Parks championships were fast approaching and I'd entered the 800m
My issue as a younger runner back then was I was always too old for the younger age group and subsequently the youngest runner in the older group.
To The Auld Fella second wasn't "first runner up" it meant you'd failed and in his book that was NOT an option which always put undue pressure on me,trying to blunt that I pointed out the whole age group issue a few days b4 the race......
"We'll give them a run for their money" he said to wit I replied "We??? I didn't realize you were running too"......and which point the crafty old devil said"well if you're too fucking chicken to run don't bother showing up".......
He knew exactly what he was doing 5 days b4 the race cos he lit such a fire under me there was never any doubt who's win the 800m race .......yours truly.

I inherited a number of things from The Auld Fella, a strong work ethic,a short temper,the balls to speak my mind no matter how unpopular it makes me and w/out a doubt his lasting legacy my love of Tottenham Hotspurs.
Due to a family connection on my mothers side of the family tree I was born into a Chelsea{Chelski} family however my father always rooted for Tottenham,I asked him why Spurs when I was little but old enough to remember the answer and he told me that he chose Spurs for one reason,Danny Blanchflower was the first Irish player to make a name for himself playing football/soccer in England and that was good enough for him and so when I graduated high school and began to work on Saturdays which screwed me for football on a Saturday I began a 33 year and counting love affair w/ Tottenham,I even took The Auld Fella w/ me to White Hart Lane a few times which considering how uncomfortable he was in large crowds was a major coup on my part.

Ironically in the 30 years since his death the fortunes of Spurs have declined considerably,we won  several trophies under the guidence of the late and great Bill Nicholson but since 84 we've won three an average of one a decade,Bill Nicholson passed away ten years ago this past Sunday and I dare say Bill and The Auld Fella have shared several conversations inside the pearly gates.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Roundabouts & Swings/Cliff Notes

Ok,starter for ten I didn't run off and join the Circus.....why would I when I can fuckin' work in one EVERY DAY!!!!!
Even if I wanted to blog last week I doubt I could have as it was "Crocodiles Up The Arse" busy on the dock every day.
Not for the first time in recent years my boss and I chose to see things differently regarding the day to day operations of the dock and the storeroom......let's just say my name for her now is "Mother Theresa"{actually it's MFT.....Mother Fuckin' Theresa!!!} as she always goes to bat for the storeroom staff who frankly if "brains were dynamite couldn't blow their hats off" nor "work their way out of a wet paper bag" and one more cos I'm on a roll "could fuck up a Teddy Bears Picnic".........
There I've vented I feel far maybe thinking "but McPhisto why not just run your troubles off which would have been ideal sadly I spent nine days on the DL due to a knee problem.

Following my easy 10 miler on Thur Oct 16th my right knee was killing me,what had been a minor irritation for a few days{on a scale of 1 to 10 a 2 or 3} now became an 8 I couldn't bend it in or out w/out extreme pain,going up or down steps proved difficult and impossible w/out the use of a hand rail/bannister so clearly running on it was out of the question.
I invested in one of those Copper Fit knee sleeves you see advertised on the tv all the time and between that,some rest and a daily application of ice it's back to a 1 or 2 on the discomfort scale so let's hope whatever the problem was it's gone.

I raced Sunday at the New Jersey 8K XC C'ships at Peapark it was a challenging course compared to the 8K course over at Dear Path Park I'd raced on twice b4 but the good news is my knee held up and who knows if my off season hadn't been blighted w/ so many stops and starts so far my 71st place finish in a field of almost 300 might've been higher.
31.07.02  16 seconds slower than the Paul Short 8K I ran on Oct 4th but all things considered I was pleased.....I'd have been happier if I could've finished in the medals but had to make do w/ 4th in the 50-54 age group 3rd finished the race 5 places ahead of me in 65th to my 71st......such are the margins between victory and defeat but considering the knee issue and the fact that 8k is about 6k above my comfort zone I can't be too bent out of shape.

So I think we're all caught up I recently lost You Tube privileges on my pc at work which lead me to downloading Chrome on my pc and Bingo I now have You Tube....however w/ Chrome I don't have my library of pictures to gussy up ye olde blog.....which means I'll have to sharpen up my writing skill I guess as I can't rely on photos to lure you in dear readers......however w/ Chrome I now have Spell Check back so hopefully the typos will be less.....and I can also go back and correct mistakes w/out having to delete the whole sentence/paragraph which was also an issue......I's still like the photos but I'm not Barbie I can't have it all!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Rush Of Blood To The Head

So much for last nite being an easy run...........
Oh sure things started out easy enough,8 miler 77 degrees and sunny however a dark cloud in the form of Mexico's answer to Lance fuckin' Armstrong brought things to a abrupt head.
One of my pet peeves when running along either the Schuylkill Banks and or Kelly & West River Drives is these aresholes on their bikes who act like they're in a Tour De France Time Trial,I get your on a bike and you can go fast that's not the issue the issue is when you don't let people know you're about to pass them.
I don't have eyes in the back of my head so unless you tell me"on your right" "on your left" I have no idea your about to pass me......
"El Loco" zips by me at a rate of knots just missing me by a cunt hair{I apologize for the crude nature of my description but I don't know how else to explain how close he was to me} which solicited a "fuckin prick"!!! from yours truly.....I'm guessing he heard me as he glanced over his shoulder and smiled at me.......REALLY??????
The "red mist" decended and I began to speed up....not that I thought there was any chance of catching him but it was the principle of the matter.

Some three quarters of a mile later at the bike ramp off Market St along the Schuylkill  Banks who do I look up and see....."El Loco".......decision time...... A throw a right hander at his head as I passed and keep running? B just keep going w/out doing or saying anything??? or C stop and confront him which could potentially lead to a fist being thrown and his bike getting thrown into the Schuylkill?????
In running,as in life I went w/ Plan B and kept going,"don't do the crime if you can't do the time" hell yeah I wanted to punch the shit out of him for nearlt crashing into me but dealing w/ the potentially ramifications of my actions lead me to take a deep breath and keep running as in life "live to fight another day" or not fight as the case maybe..........

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

You Can Stick Your Poxy Phone Service Up Your Arse Verizon!!!!!!!

Some of my regular readers will no doubt recall a post back on March 20th of last year where yours truly went on a paganesque rant about those pricks over at Verizon,here's the cliff notes:
After taking over a month to connect my phone after moving to Yid Central I then got lumbered w/a phone bill in excess of $700 for International calls......despite having an International calling plan since the only people I speak to on the dog and bone are my mother,brother and sister all of whom reside on that side of the Atlantic Ocean.
After several terse bouts of "he said/she said" w/ Prickson they sent me a bill for $475 which I refused to pay and they promptly shut my phone off....that should've been my cue to switch to a cell/smart phone but me being me I didn't even though I refused to use Prickson for my International calls and using Penny Talk but still being charged $30 a month for a phone I hardly use other than my weekly phone call to my Mother and my monthly heart to hearts w/ "Our Kid" and the periodic chats w/ my big sis........

Arriving home on Sunday following my 10 miler at Lehigh I was anxious to call my mother since she had a hospital visit on Wednesday and I was eager to hear the dice,no dial tone it didn't take a genius to figure out that phone had been shut off and lo and behold first thing Monday morning at work after calling my mother to check she was ok and explain why I hadn't phoned like I always do on Sundays I dialed my number.........beep beep beep,this number has been taken out of service.......
REALLY????? here's my bone of contention w/ Prickson,send me a bill and I'll pay it that's how it works,PGW send me a copy of my bill each month and I pay it everybodys happy,they get paid I get gas and hot water but Prickson stopped sending me bills{the last one I got was when they wanted $475.....surprize surfuckin' prize.....}sure now and again I'd get an automated message telling me my bill was past due and I'd promptly pay them but this time they didn't and felt duty bound to suspend my services.......
GUESS WHAT??????  I'm done w/ this Mickey Mouse bullshit.......oh don't get me wrong I'll send them the $140 I owe $20 a month but after much thought on the matter I've ellected to finally join the 21st century and get a smartphone.......what;s next start dating again........easy Tiger one major life changing event at a time!!!!!!

Prickson can shove their phone and their service up their arse in a few days time I'll have my smartphone,I'll be able  make my transatlantic calls from wherever I am rather rushing home plus I can finally post photos from my I type "Mrs Mad Cat" aka Precious is no doubt looking for an agent as she expects to become an Internet sensation w/ all the photos I'll take of's all good!!!
I should've kicked Prickson to the curb two years ago when they fucked me over the International charges but I didn't but this time around I'm done playing,it's not that they shut my phone off{they actually did me a favour!}it's the fact I didn't get so much as a "your bill is past due" message on the phone muchless a phone bill in the mail so guess what???????SEE YA ARESHOLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since this is a running blog not a vent my spleen about Prickson blog yesterdays run was a 10 miler!
Despite the rain I made sure to get out there and kick the week off on the right foot,baseball cap,rain jacket and three quarter length bottoms were the order of the day.
In fairness at 63 degrees running in the rain isn't that big of a deal but also I feel I've reached a "now or never" mark in my off season training I need to knuckle down and start cranking out 50 mile weeks b4 it's too late.
10 mile run check,order new Smartphone check,dumping Prickson for good CHECK!!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fields Of Fire

Third preview of the Club Nationals 10K XC course at Lehigh yesterday morning.
Following Saturdays rain I could've been forgiven for feeling some trepidation driving up route 309 to Quakertown at 7.30am but I needn't have worried,the sun was out even if the temps were a brisk 39 degrees at 8.30am pulling into the parking lot.
I wish I'd had a camera when we arrived as the sight of the fog rolling off the fields looked pretty spectacular although note to self when I return next month for the final preview of the course in early to mid November gloves and running tights might be the way to go.

I feel I could run the 10k course w/ my eyes closed now.....I won't as it's probably NOT the way to go for a xc race...or frankly a run of any kind but I do feel I now know the course well enough now after three preview runs plus running part of it on the Paul Short 8k course last week.
Only myself Chuck and Bill this month but what we lacked in numbers we made up for w/ raw gusto and clipped of sub 8 mins miles w/ Bill and i dropping the last two under 7.20 pace b4 knocking out the first  four miles of the Paul Short 8k course to round oput an even ten miles for the day.

Two weeks till the New Jersey XC 8K C'ships hopefully I'll be firing on all cylinders by then,had to settle for a three day/thirty mile week this week as a couple of days got away from me but I feel I'm closing in on to full blown training mode.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hup Two Three Four,I Love Marine Corp

Not the back to back 10 milers I had hoped for but none the less two 10 milers for the week as I need to take care of business tonite over 12 miles to stay on pace for a 5 day 50 mile week.
Another delightfully sunny afternnon at 73 degrees,I feel I should treat each one of these as if they might be the last,w/ the clocks going back on November 2nd time is against me for continuing my runs in daylight.

Nothing much to report on this run,a fairly bog standard 10 mile run out and back along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive,making the turn b4 St Joe's Boathouse,I did notice that yestereday as like Monday there were a handful of rowers out on the Schuylkill,I'm guessing their days are numbered also,while I have the fallback of being able to add layers of running clothes to conbat the change of season I can't imagine those guys and girls rowing when the temps start to drop,Friday,Saturday and Sunday will see a dramatic dip from low 70s to low 60s.....I get chills just thinking about it!!!!

It may well be off season in terms of training but judging from my foul mouth/hand jesture tirade a mile from home I'm in mid season form......
I have a REAL issue w/ drivers who blatently ignore street signs,case in point at 39th St it's a right hand turn onto Baltimore Ave at the lights.......which CLEARLY state "No Turn On Red Light".... so it's not too much to expect I've got "safe passage" crossing 39th St........
Cue Phillys answer to bloody Danica Patrick who feels not only is the red light non applicable to her but the actual red light doesn' apply for the runner trying to cross the road I guess he can go fuck himself?????
It's amazing the speed one can pick up even at mile 9 of a run not to mention the lung capacity one has to let rip a verbal bollocking of Black Hearted Celtic Paganesque style when catching up w/ a fuckwit at the next red light......YEAH you blew a red light to sit at the next red light.......ARESHOLE!!!!!

Here's hoping for a incident free run this evening......

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

No More Lazyitis

No excuses I've been a lazy prick the last few weeks hence the lack of blog entries due to not running,a lack of motivation if I'm being honest after a long season from January thro mid September I opted to take off a few weeks to recharge the batteries I pretty much knew getting my butt kicked at Paul Short on Saturday would serve as motivation to get off the recliner and get back into the swing of things and w/ that I had a whole new outlook and attitude yesterday.

Easy 10 miler to jump start the week,since it;s now officially Fall I opted to ditch the sleeveless running shirt although at 71 degrees I probably could've gotten away w/ it but lets face it come months end I'm probably going to be digging out my long sleeve running shirts and three quarter length bottoms anyway so best to leave the sleeveless shirts in  closet till Spring.......besides it allowed me the opportunity to wear an old Spurs soccer jersey......Yid Army always representin'!!!!!!

Out the door by 4.20pm I want to enjoy however many more days like this 71 and sunny I've got,the clocks will be going back soon which will bollocks up training for a few months so I want to make hay while the sunshines.....literally.....the sun that is I have no need for hay muchless a desire to make any!!!
A few years ago the city reconstructed South St bridge and not long after that began working on a footpath along the Schuylkill River from the bridge to the foot of the Schuylkill Banks it's officially open now so it affords me quicker access to the Banks and not having to cut through Markward Gardens.....although I'm sure it'll be a real treat running that close to the river in the dead of winter!!!

Considering my lack of running of late Sept 17th being my last run along the Schuylkill at 8 miles b4 an easy 10 up at Lehigh on the 21st I didn't feel too rusty which is good since I have another 10 miler on tap this afternoon b4 a 12 miler tomorrow,no more excuses,no more lazyitis I have 9 weeks to get ready for Club Nationals which will then roll into Indoor Track season.......