Monday, February 24, 2014

Not Taking It Laying Down

You'd think having just administered "Last Rites" on my hopes and dreams for the upcoming Indoor Nationals ontop of tomorrows Colonoscopy I'd have the demeanour of beaten broken man{gotta tella ya  a day long diet of fuckin Jello Cups and Chicken Broth isn't filling me w/ glee but.....}far from it.

I blew the weekend off in terms of running.... a sin w/ such glorious conditions but as ever there ws a method to my madness,no point chasing "lost milage" from earlier in the week and also since I can't run today or tomorrow why go for the "stop/start" routine......but w/ 20 weeks till Outdoor Nationals this coming Thursday I thought a little down time both mentally and physically wasn't such a bad thing.
Providing it all goes to plan tomorrow I aim to be "up and at em" come Wednesday b4 my back to back races at The Armory on Thursday and Friday and then it's full steam ahead to the outdoor season w/ one final  visit to The Armory on March 21st.

Having already turned my attention towards outdoors I could be forgiven for feeling the Running Gods haven't "done me a solid" where the outdoor schedule is concerned,in an ideal world w/ 20 weeks to Wake Forest I would have given myself a 8 to 10 week period of solid base building,5 day 40mpw w/ 2 interval sessions each week in there to work on speed,strength and stamina and then 2 races per month in May,June and July leading upto July 17th.......
There's a "Twilight Series" of races at Ichan Stadium in May b4 the "Tuesday Nite Speed Series" kicks off in June and July and for good measure a meet in Philly on July 1st{I know me run in Philly it's almost unheard of  right!!!} I couldn't have written a better schedule if I tried.

While I have concerns w/ tomorrows procedure all I can do is put my faith in Gods hands that everything will be on the up and up and w/ a clean bill of health I can get ready to knuckle down to a spring and summer of hard training,kickin arse and taking names

Friday, February 21, 2014

Don't Go Playing In The Danger Zone

When the clock strikes midnite tonite and the deadline for entries passes for online entry to the upcoming Indoor Nationals at Reggie Lewis in Boston my name will not be there..........
After much soul searching this week I decided against throwing my bandana in the ring,it wasn't an easy decision but it feels like the correct one......that's not to say that I won't second guess myself repeatedly between now and Sunday March 16th but in my heart of hearts I feel it's the right decision.

The fact that over the past three days when neither weather  nor work has been an issue and I've failed to galvinise myself to get out and run shows me my heart just isn't in it and frankly going through the motions doesn't do it for didn't work in my marriage and it damn sure dosen't work where my running is concerned.
As I sat on my recliner yesterday afternoon instead of being out logging another all important run I watched the bronze medal match of the womens Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics and thought back to Boston 08 an Indoor Nationals.

That year I was coming off of my stress fracture on my left foot,I'd lost 6 weeks of training and now had 8 weeks to prepare for Indoor Nationals,I didn't want to go but my then coach convinced me to proved to be an unmitigating disaster 8th in the 800m and 11th in the 3,000m I can recall hauling arse out of the Reggie Lewis Center as soon as my 800m was over that morning and prefering to kill time at Logan Airport waiting for my afternoon flight back to Philly rather than sit around there,I swore never again would I compete at a National Championship if I wasn't 100% race ready and frankly here I am some 6 years later feeling that same way.
I'd rather not go and deal w/ the mental anguish of "what if" than go and fall on my arse like I did back in 08,it was and probably still is the lowest low of my entire running career and I never want to feel that way again.
Hopefully '' history will repeat it's self" after a woeful indoor season in 08 I rebounded nicely w/ a silver in the 800m and gold in the 1,500m in Spokane at Outdoor Nationals b4 running  a memorable 5th Avenue Mile in September in 4.17......that'll serve as my motivation between now and late September this season.

I watched the differing reactions of the Swiss and Swedish womens Ice Hockey teams at the final buzzer yesterday,the joy and elation of the Swiss having won a bronze,vindication for four years of hard work,dedication and sacrifice and on the other side of the blue line the heartbrake and despair for the Swedish team,nothing to show for the same four years of hard work,dedication and sacrifice.......having tasted more than my fair share of success at both Indoor and Outdoor Nationals and some failure I can identify w/ both emotions  and I know which I prefer.
While Boston and Indoor Nationals is off the books now I will see out the Indoor Season,Thursday the mile and Friday the 800m both at The Armory b4 a return there on March 21st for the 1,500m,the journey to Wake Forest and Outdoor Nationals in July begins NOW!!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Getting Away From Me

If ever the universe was trying to tell me something then maybe yesterday was the day I sat up and took notice.
Despite waking up to another three inches of snow {58.4 inches and counting.....} he snow stopped by mid morning and conditions were above favourable by the time I arrived home at run or not to run??
Truth was I was already on the fence about running,the deadness in my legs over Sunday and Mondays 18 miles kind of put me on the back foot to begin w/ and maybe a rest day is just what the doctor ordered.....though I had a week off between last Sunday and this Sunday and my legs still felt like shit so I hardly think a whole day was going to make a whole heap of difference.

Then for the death nail, a message from Jefferson re my Colonoscopy next Tuesday......
Aside from the whole unpleasentness of the procedure to begin w/ now comes a laundry list of do's and dont's the day b4 and day of including "no physical activity".......are you fucking kiddin' me, like I haven't lost enough training this winter due to the weather and work and now I've got to lose ANOTHER 2 days.....fuck off!
Now IF it weren't for the fact I have my final two pre Nationals races on tap for next Thursday and Friday I could still hit a 5 day/40mpw HOWEVER I do have races so I can kiss ANOTHER 40 mile week goodbye and that banging sound you hear is another nail in my Indoor Nationals I said I'm clutching at straws here........

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Did Somebody Say Treadmill??

You know what they say about shit rolling one way,down hill well guess who feels he's stuck at the foot of the mountain????
After another bull busting day at work I had to endure another sub par run,while I'm grateful to actually get out and run at a time when my confidence is as low as whale at the foot of the ocean the last thing I needed was a run that was 9 minutes slower than it should be over 8 miles.
Granted some of the conditions along my out and back along the Schuylkill Banks are still covered in ice but on Sunday over the same course w/ the exception of Sunday being a 10 miler and yesterday being 8 miles I only lost 2 minutes.

The cause of the problem seems to be my legs they feel heavier than a Tony Iommi rift or a John Bonham drum beat,zero knee lift,next to no leg turnover,after a week off you'd have though they'd be fresh and chompin' at the bit but no such luck.
Is this my anemia playing up again a la 2011? who the fuck knows I've been doing the red meat thing once a a week and taking vitamins but it dosen't seem to be helping and now w/ my friggin Colonoscopy scheduled for next Tuesday a "cease and desist" order has been mandated on my daily vitamin intake,I need that like i need a new areshole.....which I may need after next Tuesday.......

I can't imagine there being a dramatic change in fortunes tonite or tomorrow when I next run and try as I might to accent a positive attitude it's getting harder and harder each day to see me boarding a flight to Boston on March 14th.......

Monday, February 17, 2014

Second Guessing

Quick! inform the president,alert NASA,call out the National Guard there's a huge orange fireball in the sky!!!!! oh my bad,it's the fuckin' sun.....been so long since I've seen the bastard I forgot what it looked like!!
It took me a week to finally get a run in but yesterday I was able to log a 10 miler....that's a whole 10 miles for the week......fuckin' ada so much for my plan of logging 40 mile a week after Hartshorne!!!
So far I've managed 40 mpw,30mpw and 10 mpw.....and DON'T even get me started on trying to get to the track for repeats!!!!!!!

The upshot of all this is I'm not 100% convinced a trip to Boston in just under 4 weeks time for Indoor Nationals is worth it.....the problem being that the deadline for entries is this Friday so I have to at least committ to that  unless I wish to drop an extra $50  for the late deadline the following week which is about as much use to me as a one legged man in  an arse kickin' contest.
The following week I have back to back races scheduled for The Armory a mile on Thurs Feb 27th at the final Thursday Nite @ The Races series followed by an 800m on the Friday nite as part of the USATF NYC C'ships providing my times over the mile and 800m are half way decent I'll committ 100% to Indoor Nationals and book my flight and hotel......but if neither time is going to put me "in the conversation" then I'll just eat the entry fee and not waste another $600 on airfair and a hotel it just isn't worth it at this point.

I realize I'm not the only one whos training has suffered due to the "winter of our discontent" but coupled w/ the 17 month inactivity on the competive front each missed run and each cancelled track workout and each bad race has put me further behind the 8 ball than I'd like to be,it would suck to miss a second successive Indoor Nationals period muchless at Reggie Lewis in Boston where I love to run but to go all that way and spend all that money and just be there to make up the numbers doesn't sit w/ me,lets see what the weather and running gods have in store for me over the next two weeks b4 making a final decision.....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

You Call This Justice?

They say Leopards don't change their spots and frankly at 50 years old I don't feel the need to give explainations or apologies for the things I do......I haven't up untill now so why should I start now,old dog new trick......however I do feel  the need to give the 14 or so regulars who faithfully read my blog on a daily basis a rhyme and reason as to why there were no runs the past two days..... believe me when I say it wasn't my choice not to run but evidently the universe has its own set of rules that I'm just expected to comply w/ irrigardless of if I agree w/ them or not!

Monday just continued where Friday left utter shitfest to the point I was SO agravated all I ate all day was 2 Granola Bars and subsequently by the time I left work at 3.20pm I knew a run wasn't happeneing again.
It's bad enough the weather is dictating when I can or cannot run but now friggin' work on top of that?
This summer will mark 24 years since I graduated High School,I wasn't what you'd call a "straight A student" and while I seldom cut class I seldom turned in homework muchless made an effort in the classroom"you'll rue the day the wasted this opportunity" I was told repeatedly......"yeah right!!" I thought.......guess they got the last laugh as am now slogging my guts out on a loading dock at 50 instead of some nice cushy office postion somewhere.........that'll teach me won't it!!!

Tuesday, lo and behold my coworker was back after a five day stint of Jury Duty but despite now having someone to share the workload I still found myself all over the place like chickenshit on a farm,subsequently by the time I got home the events of the previous five days had caught up w/ me and I slumpped into my recliner,I knew a run wasn't happening again and I'm sure w/ the latest "Stormageddon" about to hit I'll rue missing either or both days.
Technically I could still get a 5 day/40mpw but  IF tomorrows snow is as bad as the whoremongers.....sorry weather people say its going to be I'd say Thursday and potentially Friday are non runners for starters.......we'll have to wait and see what developes I guess?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Going Long

Thanks in  no small part to the THREE F'S I had to settle for a 4 day 30 mile week,the Fucking  weather cost me a couple of days,the FUCK up w/ the schedule at The Armory re the Thursday Nite @ The Races  debarcle and finally the FUCK up that was Friday at work.
As it stood Friday morning I had 8 miles for the week so I needed 32 miles over three days,easy 8 on Friday,10 on Saturday and 14 on Sunday.....volia  a 5 day/40mpw........

I'm still blistering from the events of Friday at work and won't bore you w/ the facts but the upshot of the day was off of 5 hours sleep from my frankly wasted trip to The Armory I walked into a minefield at work on Friday and things went downhill quicker than Bode Miller!!!!!
The upshot of the day was I worked solo from 6.25am to 4.23pm and ate a whole Banana mainly due to being  SO agravated I couldn't eat anything else so the prospect of an 8 miler wasn't an option and w/ it wen my plans for a 5 day 40/mpw.....hey ho!
W/ that plan shot to shit I opted to do a 10 miler on Saturday and a 12 miler on Sunday to give me a 4 day 30/mpw.....better than nothing I guess.
After Saturdays  10 miler I hit the Schuylkill Bank/Kelly Drive path/sidewalk for my 12 miler,frankly I hadn't ran above 10 miles in eons probably late 2011 so it was a bit of an eye opener  but w/ a pair of 10 milers under my belt on Saturday and last Sunday I didn't see it as an issue.

What was an issue was how dead my legs felt,zero knee lift and very little in the way of leg turnover I was getting left for dead by other runners who blew right by me,my legs had felt a little heavy on Saturday which I put down to some lactic acid still in them after Thursdays 800m but frankly after a 10 miler and a soak in the tub post run I wasn't expecting them to feel so heavy,that said I ended up only 2 minutes slower than the time I thought I'd run based on my previous days 10 miler.
Obviously there was nom point rying to tackle repeats at Temple this past week and I have a horrible feeling it could be off limits again next week.....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Diary Of A Madman

They say if you are really angry about something you shoild write it down to get it out out of your system........I've been keeping a diary for over 20 years now and let me tell ya I'm still as angry as when I first wrote the shit down!!!!!

To say the entire week last week had been a quote unquote "Shit show" would be the understatement of the century....more of a Diarrhea Expo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and frankly that's why I keep a diary to get all that stuff out of my theory anyway cos even after taking up  5 pages in my blank journal{an average day gets 3 pages} and running a 10 miler I was still seething.

The 10 miler was unique in the respect that I finally got to see the Schuylkill River again as it's been frozen over for the past two,three weeks and also despite the sun trying awfully hard to peer out from behind the clouds there were snow flurries....not something you see everyday.....the sun I mean not the snow .....we've seen ENOUGH of that shit thank you very much!

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway*

*Ok The Armory is actually at 168th & Fort Washington but when I get off the A train at the subway it's 168th & Broadway and then I walk a w/ me here people please!!!!

There was alot riding on last nites 800m at The Armory, a chance to put some distance{800m???} between my last race the sub par 4.57.1 mile at Hartshorne Masters Mile,and also post a seed time for the up coming Indoor Nationals since there wouldn't be another chance to run the 800m b4 the deadline for entries on Feb 21st,there is however another 800m here at The Armory on Feb28th so it wasn't a "last chance saloon" issue.......However given this was my first indoor 800m in almost THREE years one could be forgiven for being somewhat aprehensive.

It's always a bugbear having to work the day of an Armory race,evidently the entire planet...ney solar system seems hellbent on fuckin my day up and not being overly concerned about my need to catch a 2.30pm Megabus from Philly to Midtown Manhattan and I'm reasonably confident I burnt through a TON of energy just trying to get to The Armory by 6.30pm last least I had the good sense to schedule off Feb 27th/28th for my final pre Nationals races both here at The Armory over the mile on the 27th and 800m the following nite,those two races are a pivitol piece of the jigsaw re Boston and Indoor Nationals in five weeks time.
So yeah about this three year hiatus from indoor 800s,it's been my unfortunate experience over 800m at The Armory to suffer from runners who don't know how to run the 800m or a was the case on March 18th 2011 sitting around for  five hours waiting to race{this is why when I take my curtain call on the Indoor Season on March 21st at the Front runners meet at The Armory I'll be running the 1,500m as it's the first race....get in and get out and go home!}

Drawn in heat #6 w/ a seed time of 2.15 I ws hoping to try and run faster,I wasn't sure how realistic or unrealistic 2.12 is right way to find out,toe the line and race!
Seeded 7th of 13 in a field where 2.12 had the #1 seed time I thought I had a shot at competitive race......I thought wrong!!
I'll own not getting a good reaction to the gun but not being jostled by the runners either side of me on the line which saw me in 13th coming off the line,and here's where I made  my fatal flaw,instead of getting onto the outside of lane 1 or at least lane 2 I went straight to the rail......HUGE COCK UP ON MY PART!!!
I'll blame it on a lack of racing,outside of the 3 races I've ran in the past 6 weeks I'm still coming back from a 17 month period of inactivity on the track and while this was a rookie error on my part which I'll hold my hand up and own I will  say IF it happens again this season I'll take myself out back and put a bullet between my eyeballs!!!

I didn't look up at the clock at 200m to check my split,I was too busy trying to reattach myself to the field which thankfully I had.....sadly on each of the final 3 laps I was forced to slow when runners infront of me began to slow down,while incredabily frustrating HAD I not gotten myself stuck on the rail this would not have been an issue so I feel it fair to portion the blame to everyone.
On three seperate occasions I was not only forced to slow down but then swing wide to reexcellerate,I was beginning to feel like Seb Coe in the Moscow 80 800m final.....maybe I should've been more like Steve Ovett and been a little "free" w/ my elbows and arms,and while I don't want that reputation it might not have been the worst thing last nite.
The final dagger in my heart was coming off the top turn w/ 250m to go the guys in lane 1 and 2 were practically holding hands as I swung wide into lane 3 to overtake them b4 cutting back into lane 1......WTF!!!!!

7th in 2.16.78 roughly 34 seconds per lap.....not the 2.12 33 seconds per lap I was looking for,for shits and giggles 2.16.78 would have only gotten me 7th at Indoor Nationals last year and while I at least have a legit seed time for Boston I've got to do better over the coming 5 weeks.
Also for a heat that had it's #1 seed time of 2.12 the top 5 ran:2.08,2.09,2.10,2.11,2.11 which begs the question why weren't they in the previous heat or faster??
I'm getting shit sick of these arseholes who lie about their seed times and or don't know how to run an 800m indoor race,next season I may bypass the 800m at Thursday Nite At The Races and just use my fastest time indoors this season if I need a seed time for Indoor Nationals

Thursday, February 6, 2014

If You Like To Gamble.....

After two days of riding the pine....ok my recliner same difference I was at last able to get out and run.
Following a nite of rain/sleet/freezing rain I wasn't sure how conditions underfoot might be and in the back of my mind was the issue of potentially slipping and or falling but just like the single digit temps on my post Hartshorne Masters Mile if I kept thinking about it that would make matters worse so I focused on just getting the run in.

An easy 4 miler pre race since tomorrow is "officially"  Thursday Nite @ The Races,technically I'm still on tap for a 5 day 40mpw but that's long and convoluted and frankly my focus is on the 800m at The Armory post race I'll work out if I want to "go against the grain" and run on Friday like I said that's post race for now all my energies and focus have to be on the 4 lapper at The Armory and once that's taken care of then I can worry about the rest of the week and schedule etc

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

You Fool No One

The saying goes"the devil is in the details" so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to discover that last nites "Thursday  Nite @ The Races" series at The Armory was resecheduled from Tuesday Feb 4th to Thursday Feb 6th.............

When the schedule first came out I had it penciled in as Feb 6th but was somewhat taken aback to see it as Tue Feb 4th.......I figured maybe they wanted to bump back the meet  2 days so that anyone running next Saturdays Millrose Games could  do both and never gave it a second thought....
I prepared for Tuesday,scheduling only an easy 4 miler Monday which got scuppered by the snow,ate a  large pre race pasta meal and packed my bag for race day on Tuesday after booking a bus to New York from Philly.......
SOOOOOOOOOOOOO imagine how I felt first thing yesterday morning when checking my emails,Sean Smith mentioned he had planned to go to The Armory last nite untill it was "rescheduled" for Thursday....upon checking  The Armory website I discovered the "Please Note The NYRR Nite @ The Races scheduled for Tuesday Feb 4th has been rescheduled for Thursday Feb 6th,we apologize for any inconvieience" hastily added on the schedule page......

It's not the $15 bus ticket I had to eat nor the $7 I now had to purchase for Thursday that rubs me the wrong way,nor is it the fact I ate a huge bowl of Linguine & Clams for nowth on Monday or the fact I need to rescheule my meals for the week to reacomodate the change in schedule but having set my week up to run Tuesday only to discover in the morning it's now on Thursday I've potentially screwed myself for a 40 mpw not to mention having to "come down" from pre race mode on Tuesday only to have rebuild that mindset again Thursday morning.......
"Thursday Nite @ The Races" should be just that  THURSDAY NITE!!!!!!,I often say I run my best when I'm angry or w/ a chip on my shoulder well I should be seething come gun time for my 800m on Thursday evening.....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

By-Tor & The Snow Dog

Just what we need....more fuckin' snow.......we need that like we need a hole in the head!
Aside from sticking a fork in last nites  scheduled 4 miler there's the issue of fallout over the rest of the week,another 3'' of snow period but also on the track at Temple makes me wonder if it's even worth attempting mile repeats on Saturday but lets not get ahead of ourselves maybe conditons will clear up between now and then and the track will be doable.....but w/ talk of a "winter mix" of snow,sleet,rain ice due to hit us Tuesday nite/Wednesday morning who knows what to expect.....six more weeks of winter eh???

Monday, February 3, 2014

But Ours Go To Eleven....

So for the first time since weekending October 12th a 10 miler to round out a 40mpw,it's about time don't we all agree??
Thankfully mild conditions at 10.45am when I set out for once I was able to not only ditch the ski hat and gloves but also leave the running tights and half zip fleece indoors,w/ six more weeks of winter still on tap I dare say they'll be back on again maybe by Wednesday if the current 7 day forcast is anything to go by but like I say "we'll cross,burn,paint,jump from that bridge when the time comes"

Clearly the unseasonable warmer temps brough people out of their homes even at an early hour and frankly I was happy to see not only fellow runners but walkers out along the Skuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive.
Having laid down three 8 milers during the week I didn't see stepping up to a 10 miler as any issue and frankly I was more than capable of adding an additional 2 miles to my run.
While I may not have finished this run w/ the strength I finished Thursdays 8 miler the important thing ws it was a 10 miler and a 40 mile week.

It remains to be seen if I've left it too late to get myself in"podium shape" for Indoor Nationals in just under 6 weeks time but if that is the case then at least I've given myself a jump start on the Outdoor season and Outdoor Nationals on North Carolina in mid July.
As I type this it's snowing.....again!!!! so who knows how that will effect my prospects of an easy 4 miler tonite muchless my ride upto New York City tomorrow nite and the 800m at The Armory.....

Fire And Ice

Nobody likes a know it all but I was correct not to attempt repeats on Temple's track till Saturday.....but even then it was hard work!!
When I first arrived at the track by 1.05pm I thought I was in good shape......till I hit the bottom turn which was still covered in snow and ice,sadly that corner of the track is obscured by a 5 storey car park on the corner of Sydenham St and Montgomery Ave and the new building on Broad St that backs on to 15th St so the sun has a hard time getting to it hence the 100m section of snow around the half full at least the other 300m of the track was snow free!!!
Just my luck that today was 5x1,000m and I'd have to negotiate that turn twice at 200m and 600m....could have been worse I could have had 4x1 mile repeats on tap!!!

Following my 6 lap warm up where I tried to work out the best "lie of the land" around the turn I prepared myself for my first 5x1,000m since October goes nothin'!!
#1 1,000m
I knew not to go out "all guns blazin" but frankly that second 400m of 1.28 told me what lay in store for the session.
#2 1,000m
Again a semi decent openeing lap undone by a slower second lap,maybe I needed to change up my  route thro the snow?
#3 1,000m
By now I fear the damage was done,all that going through the snow had sapped my strength and switching to the outside of lane 2 where the foot prints had left a path was probably too little too late,not to hen mention having to cut back into lane one at 300m and 700m
#4 1,000m
At this stage all I could do was "grin and bare it" and at least see it through to the end.....the very bitter end!
#5 1,000m
At least the closing 200m would be "highlight reel worthy" but other than that a sub par overall performance.

Obviously the snow on the bottom bend fucked up the whole repeat but I had to deal w/ what was on offer and all I can hope is come next Saturday when I next return for 4x1 mile repeats the track is a snow free zone