Monday, June 30, 2014

Because It's The {World}Cup

For the first time in eons{Feb 17th}my Sunday  long run wasn't a 12 or 14 miler.....gotta love the taper!!!!
Out by 1030am which meant I'd be back home by 12pm and the kick off between Holland and Mexico......
If you haven't sussed out by now everything revolves around the World Cup you haven't been paying attention,every four years I put almost everything on hold for both the Olympics and World Cup and after this weekends first four round of 16 games my long suffering neighbours are in no doubt about my passion for the "Beautiful Game"
Two dramatic penalty shoot outs, a late winner by Holland vs Mexico  and a masterclass by Colombia had yours truly up and down out of the recliner like a jack in the box both  Saturday and Sunday.

My 8 miler was notable only for giving me a 5 day 30 mile week although I would be remiss not to mention that both sides of the side walk along 37th and Spruce St are now fully in use after the construction project on the Wistar Institute is now complete which will save the bottleneck of pedestrian traffic down the  south side sidewalk I've had to contend w/ for however long they've been working on said project.

Another lower milage week on tap this coming week and even though the USA have their round of 16 match w/ Belgium tomorrow at 4pm I will make my way over to Germantown Academy for tomorrows meet at 6pm to run the takes a lot for me to pass on a World Cup game but w/ only 2 races to go b4 Nationals I owe it to all my hard work since March 10th to see this phase of my prep for Nationals through to its compleation World Cup or not

NOT What I Had In Mind......

The last thing I needed w/ only two repeats b4 Nationals was a sub par performance which is exactly what I got on Saturday over 4x1 mile
It was already shaping up for beaing a warm one when I arrived at Geasey Field at 10.15am but I won't cite the heat as an excuse just a fact,I did my usual 1 mile warm up and prepared to throw down one last set of mile repeats b4 Winston Salem and Nationals in three weeks time,last time out three weeks ago I went:
5.19.4 5.23.3 5.29.5 5.29.0

#1 mile
A reasonable start even if I was already 6 seconds in the hole,things weren't helped by a stopwatch malfunction on lap 1 which forced me to start over again.....a precursor to what was about to unfold......

#2 mile
The unwelcome return of 1.26-1.27 splits was pretty much the writing on the wall,if I didn't already know it I was in for a long morning

#3 mile
CRUD! Which not only summed up my performance but how my legs felt,it's been a while since my legs felt this dead at this stage I was just going through the motions and while the temptation to "call time of death" and end it while well and truly behind the eight ball was great even on a sub par day it's been my policy to finish what I started,no matter how crap it's going.

#4 mile
Hard to get carried away w/ a closing lap of 1.20 when you've opened in 1.27-1.30.....

Other than the "it was just one of those days" I have precious little to offer in defence of my less than steller performance,and while "shit happens" from time to time I could've done w/out it on this performance so close to Nationals but as I always say in running as in life you'll face's how you deal w/ it that matters

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rolling Along Into The Round Of 16

Caution,it is said is the better part of valour and w/ that in mind I opted to wait a day to take care of my easy/recovery 6 miler.
On the back of a 21 hour day to run my 800m race in NYC on Tuesday and then only get 3.5 hours sleep b4 returning to work Wednesday I could be forgiven for feeling well and truly knackered and a little reluctant to lace em up when I got home from work at 4pm.
There was the suck it up and be done w/ it mindset throughout the day but there was also hearing the now sadly departed David Coleman's calling of the 84 Olympic 1,500m final in my mind where he said of Steve Ovett's decision to continue to run after throwing himself across the finishline in the 800m semi finals and then being taken out of the Olympic stadium on a stretcher after the final muchless his gutsy decision to compete in three rounds of the 1,500m w/ respirtory problems as being quote "prehaps too brave for his own good".
The last thing I needed now three weeks b4 Nationals was to trip and or injury myself out on a run when I was exhausted from the previous days excesses so I opted to wait till Thursday to run.

Sunny and 86 degrees when I made my way out along "the road well travelled" for my 6 miler,to be honest I was pretty much on "auto pilot" the entire run,Tuesdays 800m is behind me,the next target is Saturdays 4x1 mile repeats and after them I can begin to focus on Tuesdays mile race.......
It kind of sucks that I'll have to sacrifice the USA Belgium game now to race but World Cup or no World Cup I have to get this race in,fingers crossed when I get home post race to cop World Cup Tonite Mike Tirico and co and talking about a USA victory and a potential quarter final match up w/ Argentina......

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tinkering W/ The 800m

2.12.58 not what I was hoping for but then again I didn't expect to come through the opening 400m in 62 seconds either!!!!!!
Drawn in heat three of the 800m where the seeding began at 2.07 I seeded myself at 2.10 hoping to continue the trend of taking two seconds off my previous 800m time as I had done all season.
I lined up 2nd from the rail as 10 of us toed the starting line and once again I got a good reaction to the gun and got a clear run into the first turn and worked my way up to third.

W/ hindsight maybe lining up closer to the outside might've been better,when you've got  eight other runners trying to get over into the inside lane/lanes there's an urgency to get out quick to avoid being boxed in which probably resulted in my tucking in behind the two leaders as we headed down the back straight.
Coming up the home straight I got passed on my outside by a runner who cut in front of me a tad too quickly as we went through the bell in 62 seconds.
A tad richer than I planned,I was thinking 64/66 or 65/65 for 2.10 but as I always say "the genie's out of the bottle now"
Again w/ hindsight I wish I put my arm out when the kid overtook me for third he pretty much forced me to come to complete standstill rather than clatter into him,I've experinced these problems indoors over 800m but it's been a while since that's happened outdoors,one of these days my Inner Ovett is going to rise to the top and I'm going to get quote " a bit useful w/ my elbows" to hold my ground if need be.

Fourth down the back straight w/ very little between us w/ 200m to I tried to kick for home but that opening lap of 62 seconds had been a bit too rich for my pagan blood and it just wasn't there as I battled valiantly w/ the runner for third around the turn and up the home straight.
Fourth in 2.12.58 a 62-70 split which is far from text book but I went for broke and came up short it happens.
2.08 won,2.10 second 2.12.1 got third,all younger guys than me and I dare say the six other runner I beat were younger also.....I may have lost the race but I'm not ready for my dressing gown and slippers just yet thank you very much!!!
Clearly 62 seconds was too rich for my blood,it wasn't my plan but how often have I stood on a starting line w/ a race pan in mind only for it to go out the window as soon as the gun went off????

Two weeks from now I have another 800m race,I'll seed myself at 2.10 again and hope I execute my race plan a little more economically because the next 800m race is no pressure to get it right......YEAH RIGHT!!!!!
Live by the sword,die by the sword but live to fight another day,there's still life in the old boy just yet trust me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It's A Knockout

Taper time.....which means taking my foot off the gas{a little} but keeping my eye{very much}on the prize.
It'll still be a 5 day week but only 30 miles this week,25 next week and then the week b4 Nationals I may just run my 800m race at Icahn on July 8th and be done w/ it,following that week I lost in early to mid May when I pulled/strained my groin I said I was looking at taking every ninth week off to allow my legs to just so happens the week commencing on July 7th is the ninth week since I resumed training so I figured why not take it off,I'm tapering anyway?

Always a bit of a crap shot running the day b4 a race,there's a train of thought that says take a day off and be fully fresh for the race but coming off the back of a 14 mile long run on Sunday there's the other train of thought that says get any lingering gunk out of your legs b4 the race.....the quintessential damned if I do,damned if I don't I guess the tie braker is getting the week off on the right foot,it's been my experience in the past that sitting out a Monday run often sets me up for the fall for not getting my whole weeks worth of rotation in,granted I'm tapering and it's not the be all and end all of if I don't but as a creature of habbit I like things a certain way and at a time when we're getting down to the wire w/ Nationals I'd rather not entertain any changes to my routine.

To that end I was out the door by 4.20pm rather than sit at home till 6pm when the Mexico Croatia ended,yes I love soccer and lets face it the World Cup is the holiest of holies but the run comes first,as it was I got home just in time to see Mexico score their first goal so I guess the Running Gods and the Soccer Gods were looking out for me!
Easy 6 miler w/ the emphasis on easy tomorrows 800m race while not the be all and end all of my season is important period but given my knack of reducing my time each 800m race this season by 2 seconds from 2.16 to 2.14 to 2.12 means I'd like to continue that trend in New York and run a 2.10,anything quicker will be a pleasent surprize.

We're getting close to the knock out stage of the World Cup starting Saturday,Go Big Or Go Home and we're coming upto three weeks from Nationals on Thursday,like I said Eye On The Prize......

Monday, June 23, 2014


Final Sunday long run over 14 miles till July 27th,I'm looking at 8 and 6 milers now for the next two weeks as my taper goes into effect tomorrow.
Out the door by 10.30am,conditions seemed better today at 74 degrees than the last two Sundays when I felt I had to dig deep and grind it out over the closing miles in the heat.

Maybe it was the slightly cooler conditions,maybe it was desire to get done ASAP to catch the Belgium Russia World Cup game at 12pm or maybe unlike the last two weeks when mentally I've "tuned out" on the long run but today I was focused and feeling "in the zone"
For a 2 mile stretch along West River Drive after the Art Museum and b4 Columbia Bridge I had the tailend of the Philly Triathlon going on,I'm guessing they finished w/ a 10k run,more power to you ladies and gentlemen I admire your guts.
W/ the die now cast re Nationals I took full advantage of the two hours I had to myself to begin to "visualize" my races and maybe that explains why I felt I was clipping off miles at a steady rate of knots.

2.03 to round out the last six weeks of 14 milers at:2.00 2.03 2.06 2.08 2.08 and 2.03 plus my one DNF on May 25th the day after my last 8x300x200x300m such worries today!!!
From here on in it's all taper now I believe I've put the work in since March 10th when I kicked my training up a notch and all I can hope is I've done enough to get myself on the podium in both the 800m and 1,500m.
At least w/ the World Cup still on going till July 13th I have a distraction to keep me from obsessing about Nationals 24/7 but I must confess yesterday gut wrenching draw w/ Portugal at the death was a tough pill to swallow but that is why we watch I guess I'm confident the USA will advance into the knock out phase come least I have three days of running to keep my mind off the Football!!!

Then There Were Three

While the issue of a "Timed Final" in the M50 mens 800m at Nationals seems to be very much front and center at the present{I'll chime in w/ my thoughts in another post} I went into Saturdays 8x300x200x300m repeats knowing this was the first of three final repeats coupled w/ three more races between now and Nationals on July 17th in 4 weeks time,no margin for error and no tomorrows this is the time to begin ratcheting up the ante.
As a byproduct of my three races between  May 29th and June 10th I hadn't tackled a 8x300x200x300m repeat since May 24th when I went:
49.9 31.9 50.5
50.6 33.0 51.9
51.0 32.4 51.9
52.1 33.2 53.9
52.6 33.5 52.1
53.0 34.4 52.4
52.9 34.2 53.2
53.2 34.2 51.5
A negative 4 seconds on my previous effort on April 26th

I arrived at Geasey Field at 10.15am knowing I'd be here for the best part of two hours{it was 12.10pm when I left} but these are the sacrifices Jumbo Elliot talked about in that famous quote I mentioned back on March 26th in my ''Words To Live By" entry,mile warm up and then have at time,went:
52.9 33.0 50.7
51.2 32.7 51.5
51.3 33.3 51.3
52.6 33.4 51.8
51.8 33.5 51.3
52.6 34.0 51.7
51.9 33.8 52.0
52.0 34.3 49.6
A six second improvement and unlike May 24th when I opened in 49.9 today I closed in 49.6!!!
Nine of my sixteen 300s were at 51 seconds and fibve of my eight 200s were at 33 seconds,I've come along way from my first 8x300x200x300m repeats back on August 24th when I ended up skipping Mondays scheduled workout as I need to hit Walgreen to but Epsom Salts to soak my aching calf muscles!!!
Let's just hope it's enough for a fast 800m at Nationals......however  we end up running it!!!!......

Thursday, June 19, 2014

No Turning Back Now

As of 6.30am this morning my bandana is officially in the ring for next months Masters Nationals C'ships in Winton Salem North Carolina.
Having sat out last years Indoor and Outdoor Nationals and also this years Indoor Nationals it's nice to be heading back to track camp for grown ups I make no bones about having missed the thrill of competition and the camaraderie that comes w/ it when the "clans all gather" in which ever city is playing host to Nationals and this time in four weeks time on Thurs July 17th I'm sure my pre race nerves will be working overtime prior to the 800m prelims.
While the deadline for entries isn't till midnite w/ another late deadline next Thursday it already looks like there'll have to be prelims in the M50 800m right now there are 18 entries and while there's always the cahnce of no shows and scratches but frankly I'm ok w/ a prelim I hate arriving at Nationals on a Wednesday for Thursdays 800m prelim only to be told it's been rolled to a Saturday final and then having to sit around from Wednesday to Saturday waiting for my first race let me get a race under my belt on Thursday like I did in Charlotte 06 and Lisle 12 and get those nerves out of my system.

However that's a month away yet still some work to be done yet between now and then including yesterdays 8 mile recovery run in 93 degree heat which was a blast......of inferno type heat!!!!
Post run I downed two pints of Strawberry milk and slumped into a sweat induced semi coma on the recliner during the first half of Croatia and Cameroon in the World Cup,I was hardly the poster child for "what dosen't kill me makes me stronger" let me tell ya but I can now enjoy two days off b4 Saturdays always challenging 8x300x200x300m I said there is no turning back now I'm 100% committed to the cause and have hope over the closing three weeks of training I can fine tune what I've been effectivly working on since mid March

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

If You Can't Stand The Heat.......

This time last year I was on the DL w/ my achilles so it's two years since I've had to conduct a repeat session on the track in 90 know what they say about riding a bike you never forget........
No great surprise to find Geasey Field practically deserted when I arrived at 4pm a few brave and hardy souls there{foolhardy more like it!!!!} so having achived my first objective of getting access to the track the second object was to get done my repeats ASAP b4 melting......

As luck would have it I had 6x600m on tap which given the heat was a stroke of luck......but not heat stroke I hope!!!
Also in my favour was the fact that having fluffed my lines on Saturday over 5x1,000m I had an instant opportunity to correct things today rather than twist in the breeze till Saturday
Last time out over 6x600m on May 20th I went:
A session remembered for a second half colapse and the intrusion of Mrsbitchcuntwhore and Lilbitchcuntwhore on the inside lane at Roxborough.....thankfully they would not be at play today here at Temple.
Mile warm up taken care of it was one last swig from the water bottle and have at it time

#1 600m
As is my won't a brisk opener,I would have to hope that didn't come back to bite me in the arse over the closing 600s

#2 600m
Guilty of "going to sleep" around the bottom turn between 200m and 300m b4 a wake up call at 400m.

#3 600m
Thanks to Twiddle Dum and Twiddle Dumber who thought walking around the track in lane 1 was a bright idea I had to swing wide into lane 3 at 400m which may explain the closing 200m in 33 seconds.....

#4 600m
And there went the sub 1.50s,hey ho at this point I just wanted to be sure I had the chops for the last two repeats.

#5 600m
1.16 is where you wished your opening 1.11 had beena 1.13 but the "toothpaste is out of the tube now" deal w/ it!

#6 600m
Seldom does anything good come from an opening 400m in 1.18 but it was all I had left and like the great Carl Lewis famously once said ''I just wanted to know I left it all out there on the track" I could say that I did today

A 13 second improvement on my May 20th effort but b4 anyone cries foul that I went into the tank over the final three 600s that day here's my previous set of 6x600m repeats from April 22nd:
 And here's todays
5 seconds faster and while I don't recall conditions on April 22nd I know damn well it wasn't 90 degrees!!!
Last 6x600m b4 Nationals so I've got to be pleased w/ that,yes there's room for improvement there always is but go back to my first set of 6x600s on April 1st of
That's 18 seconds let's see if it's good enough to get on the podium in 4 weeks time?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I Believe That We Will Win

Ok so try as I might not to allow the World Cup to dictate my training yesterday was one such day where my schedule was determined by a game......but c'mon it was the first USA game and even though I've only lived here for coming up on 27 years and only been a citizen for the past 17 years when it comes to World Cup soccer I do bleed red white and blue for San's Army.

Had they not had the 6pm kick off vs Ghana I would have stopped off at Geasey Field on my way home to get a lie of the land for tomorrow's projected 6x600m repeats,I'd like to think in mid June the track should be open to the public in the mid afternoon period muchless having to schleep out to Bumblefuck{Roxborough} but if i crap out this afternoon then Bumblefuck it is tomorrow and tomorrows scheduled 8 miler will get pushed back to Thursday......when England play Uruguay at no running till 5pm then in that case......oi vay the hoops I go through to follow the beautiful game!!!!!!

Home just gone 4pm, stretched changed and out for an easy 6 miler,two things struck me as I made my way out to the friendly confinds of the Schuylkill Banks,the heat{87 degrees} and the lack of peeps out there running.
Now granted the heat may've had something to do do w/ that but it was also possible alot of people were either sitting in bars waiting for the USA Ghana kick off or at home either way the numbers out on the Schuylkill Banks were sparse compared to what they normally are around 5pm
As much as I wanted to get the run over w/ to get home for the game I also wanted to conserve energy for the 6x600m repeats tomorrow{fingers crossed}rumour has it we could be in the 90's tomorrow.....good prep from Greensboro and the 800m prelims on July 17th in 4 weeks time.

Ran taken care care of it was time to watch the game,2.1 to the USA and while it might be tad premature to be thinking about the round of 16 after only  one game ask any team who lost their opening game if they'd like to trade places w/ the USA and I know each country would pull my arm off to take that deal,one game at a time for the USA one day at a time for me as the quest for World Cup and Nationals continues.......

Monday, June 16, 2014

Swiss Time Not Running Out

World Cup or no World Cup I still had to get out and take care of business over 14 miles yesterday to complete another 5 day/40 mile week,w/ Nationals now about to become 4 weeks away and the time honoured three week taper about to kick in the week after next I only have two more Sunday long runs on tap till post Nationals.
Out just after 10.30am sunny and 68 degrees,wasn't sure how or if  Father's Day would effect the"flow of traffic" out on the run today.
 Just after the Art Museum I ran into my friend and team mate Neill Clark,I haven't seen Neill since we rode upto Syracuse almost 3 years ago for the Masters 5K C'ships although we've been in touch via trusty Facebook.
Neill was out running w/ his daughter and girlfriend and we ran alog together till Columbia Bridge b4 those guys headed off towards Belmont and I kept going north bound to Falls Bridge.

I said this last week but I'll miss the Sunday long run after next Sunday till July 27th by which time I would imagine the "dog days of summer" will be kicking in and then it'll become a war of attrition getting around the loop but that's for another day,that said the last two weeks post long run I have downed 2 pints of Strawberry Milk.....old habits die hard I guess, back in the day 1 pint was never enough for me!!!!!!!

Post run I could settle into my recliner to cop the second half of Switzerland verses Ecuador at the World Cup,in fairness I had nothing invested in either team other than wanting a good game and that's what I got,w/ the score 1.1 at 90 mins the  fourth official indicated 3 additional minutes and w/ 23 seconds left Switzerland scored the winner, joy for the Swiss,heartbrake for Ecuador, and the lesson here? ain't over till it's over!

The World{Cup} Is Yours

Four World Cup games plus the Diamond League from New York City not to mention last Sundays meet in Hengelo on tv's a miracle i made it off the recliner much less to the track for my 5x1,000m repeats but needs must and and that good stuff!!!!
Over to Temple by 11.35am, a little later than I would have liked but maybe that was for the best as when I arrived there were about twenty Marine cadets doing some sort of workouts/drills on the track and eventually on the infield......I'm reasonable tough but I'm not crazy enough to pick a fight w/ 20 people period much less Marines no sir!
By the time I did my mile warm up and got into my flats they were all but done so no harm no foul and no broken bones or bruises for yours truly!!!
Last time out on May 31st over 5x1,000m I went:
A tall order to duplicate or even better but here at the businesss end of my training for Nationals is where you either go big or go home!!!

#1 1,000m
A lively start to proceedings,the question was could I hold onto that pace over the next  four 1,000s????

#2 1,000m
Five seconds to the good from last time out was this the dat I got my first sub 3.15 set of 1000s????

#3 1,000m
NO!!! my legs felt like the Spaghetti I cooked last nite for my Spaghetti Bolognese and now I had two more repeats to tackle.....the Spaghetti may've been sticking to the wall last nite but it was now replaced by the writing!!!

#4 1,000m
Live by the sword,die by the sword I was now paying the price for going out too hard on #1,I thought I could live w/ that pace over 5x1,000m today.....I was wrong!

#5 1,000m
Closing in 33 seconds is cold comfort off of 400m splits of 1.24-1.26 even if it is the fastest closing 200m I've looged over 1,000m repeats all season.

Having knocked 13 seconds off my previous 5x1,000m last time out to run 14 seconds slower today was obviously a huge disappointment but like I always say this isn't "Roy Of The Rovers" and I can't win every week,my final repeat b4 Nationals on July 5th is 5x1,000m it'd be nice to redeem myself after todays effort

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cool Cool Rain

First up I make no apologies for my recent Who kick,on a whim I dug out my Quadrophenia cd last week and they've become a staple on Spotify of late,the line "Cool Cool Rain" from "Love Reign O're Me" seemed fitting as the threat of rain on my 10 miler hung over me from start to finish of my run.

I was just happy to be out there running after putting in a 20 hour day on Tuesday in order to get my 800m race in,it would have been easy to play the fatigued and hungry cards yesterday as a vaild excuse not to run but I also knew once I set foot out the door I was golden and the satisfaction of taking care of business yesterday rather than have the run hanging over me going into today was a big enough carrot to entice me into my running gear and not taking a zen like attitude w/ my recliner when I arrived home.
It's been a while since I've logged a 10 miler but it'll be good practice for the fall when I up my weekly milage from 40 mpw to 50 mpw as my basebuilding schedule post 5th Avenue Mile leading me through cross county season into early December b4 dropping back down to 40 mpw and focusing on speed work heading into the 2015 Indoor track season.

68 degrees cooler than it has been this week and frankly a temprature I could live w/,the overcast clouds and omnipresent threat of rain kept the fairweather runner indoors which was fine by me less bodies to weave in and out of along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr as i made my way out towards the St Joe's boathouse b4 making the turnaround and heading home.
A comfortable run and my weekly milage at 20 mpw w/ two rest days on tap now b4 tackling 5x100m on Saturday and my 14 mile Sunday long run giving me another 5 day 40 mile week,my taper is just around the corner after next week which means we're very much at the "business end" of prep for Greensboro and Nationals in 5 weeks time

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When You're Right You're Right

It's not often in life let alone running I get it right so you'll have to excuse me if I don't stick my chest out a little this morning,I'd hold my head up higher if it weren't for the fact yesterdays excursion to my second home {New York City} hadn't been a 20 hour day and I'm BAT.....Balls Arsed Tired but you know what they say Pain is temporary,glory lasts forever.....
After my two Twlight Series 1,500s it was back to my traditional summer track bread and butter meets the Tuesday Nite Speed Series at Icahn Stadium,since recovering from my first bout of tendonitis in 09 it's become a summer rite of passage to come up to Randall's Island and run in the four race series,usually  two races a month two weeks apart from each other.

Thankfully the 800m was third on the schedule so not arriving at Icahn till 6.45pm for a 7pm start isn't the "be all and end all" it would be if my chosen distance to race was first up and as luck would have it the remaining three races of the series see my chosen distance is either second or third so taking the 2.30pm bus up to NYC won't be so bad even if my heart sank a little yesterday when after making great time upto Lincoln Tunnel it then took an hour to get thro the tunnel to Midtown......but no hyperventalating getting from Midtown to Randall's Island in time for my race last nite and after registering for the 800m i had time for a mile warm up albeit not on the track as the first event the womens 1,500m was due to begin at 7pm,no worries,mile warm up and pre race stretches taken care of it was time to strip down to race gear on a warm but comfortable evening probably low 70s
Nine times out of ten at Icahn the wind coming off the adjacent East River down the back straight can be an added burden but once a year if the Running Gods throw us a bone w/ the Diamond League meet this Saturday  there are temporary bleacher stands on the back straight to help cut down the me it all helps!

Seeding for the first 800m heat ended at 2.10 so I put myself in heat 2,w/ hindsight maybe I should've jumped into heat 1 but like a long jumper just looking to get a safe jump on the board so he or she can continue in the competition  I was looking to get a legit seed time for Nationals,w/ two more 800m post deadline next Thursday I can focus on getting faster.
Not sure how meny of us lined up for heat two I got a good spot in lane 3 w/ maybe three or four other runners inside me and got a good reaction to the gun and found myself in front of the field going into the first turn,no point waiting to see if anyone else wanted to take up the running when you're the willing rabbit......only I wasn't planning on dropping out at either 400m or 600m!
65 seconds at the bell,sofar so good I said pre race that 65/67 would bring me home in 2.12 and thats just what I got for a 2.12.11 finish
Having shaved 2 seconds off my indoor season opener when I went 2.14.11 after my 2.16.78 in my two indoor 800s this winter I continued that trend of taking 2 seconds off my time,granted 2.12.11 isn't going to cause any sleepless nites in the M50 800m division but w/ two more 800m races schedule in 2 and 4 weeks time providing I keep following this pattern then I'll be down to 2.08 b4 heading to Greensboro in 5 weeks time and to quote my former coach "there's more meat left on that bone"
Final footnote/thought/obsevation obviously I have no times to compare from last season but 2 years ago I began my 800m season in 2.11 b4 running 2.06 at Nationals,if I've only lost a second in two years is a 2.07 800m final time possible?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Two Minutes {And Twelve Seconds?}To Midnight

The quintessential "between a rock and a hard place" dilemma take a day off b4 my race or get any leftover gunk out of my legs from Sundays long run?????
Damned if I do,damned if I don't,the problem w/ not logging some miles on Monday is that I'm then "looking down the barrel" for weekly mileage,as it is off the back of an easy{and trust me the emphasis was on easy} 6 miler yesterday and 4 miles this evening built around warm up,race and cool down I'm looking at either a 10 miler on Wednesday OR back to back 5 milers Wednesday and Thursday to be on pace for another 40 mile week......equal parts runner and juggler I guess??!!

So my first outdoor 800m race in 22 months since the 2012 Outdoor National 800m final in Lisle and the first of three scheduled 800m races b4 this years Nationals in Greensboro in 5 weeks time,and like Thursdays 1,500m this is my last chance to log a seed time b4 the deadline for entries next Thursday.
Having ran  2.16.78 and 2.14.11 indoors in Febuary the natural progression would be to at least run a 2.12 tonite which while far from earth shattering would at least put me on the cusp of being "in the mix"
One major plus from that suicidal opening 43 second 300m in my 1,500m race  two weeks ago was a 65 second 400m split,it tells me there's some assemblance of leg turnover in these 50 year old legs still and if I could go 65/67 tonite for a 2.12 I'd be happy w/ that,anything slower will be a concern......anything faster will be very welcome,in rougly 12 hours I'll know where I'm at moving I hope forward at a decent pace........

Monday, June 9, 2014


Sometimes it seems like I've been here b4,when I hear opportunity kicking in my door
Call it synchronicity,call it deja vu I just put my faith in destiny  it's the way that I choose
Incommunicardo- Marillion

Ah the Sunday dilemma scleep over to Widener University for the Mid Atlantic C'ships or stay closer to home and do the traditional Sunday long run to keep my wekly mileage at 40 miles per week.......decisions decisions???
In running as is in life my MO was plan b  while I would've liked the opportunity to race again the fact is it's a hike to Widener via mass transit and since nobody offered me a ride there or back I ellected to pass on the Mid Atlantic C'ships having just competed in the New York C'ships on Thursday......what can I say in a former life and maybe in a future life I'm coming back as a New Yorker??????

Out the door by 10.30am it was already shaping up to being a warm one,maybe the warmest Sunday long run I've done this year but w/ Nationals coming up in North Carolina maybe it's good practise.....if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen??
Early on into the run I was hoping my pre run meal of beans on toast wasn't about to make an unwelcome return....thankfully it didn't but the warning signs were there after 2 miles of the run and maybe that coupled w/ the heat was why I didn't feel I was pushing the early pace of what is essentially a 9 minute mile run anyway.
Keeping in mind my dramatic bonk from two weeks ago and not feeling 100% confident  that beans on toast wasn't about to become beans on toast on the path I didn't get gung ho along West River Drive,two weeks ago I passed five runners between the Art Museum and Columbia bridge b4 crapping out on Kelly Drive so I eased my way passed the two runners I had ahead of me b4 Girard Ave bridge and didn't see anyone else ahead of me till I crossed Falls Bridge and began to head south along Kelly Dr.

While West River Dr tends to be bereft of other runners it does provide ample shade which on a day like yesterday was clutch and  while it's about to get hotter as the summer goes by after June 22nd it won't be an isue till July27th as I 'll be tapering for Nationals but rest assured post Nationals the Sunday long run at 14 miles will be very much a part of my weekly mileage.
A few weeks ago I was asked by a friend of mine who's more of a recreational runner what I think about when I'm out running,the simple answer is one of two things.....running or nothing at all!!
When you're out there for just over two hours you can either tune out altogether,focus on running related matters or both which is pretty much how yestereday went down,I mentally wrote out my upcoming weeks training schedule and also figured out my pre Nationals taper which begins on June 23rd I also took the two hours to free my mind of some of the negative thoughts that have been taking up space between my ears of late.

2.08 a few minutes down on the 2.06 I clocked last week but lets face it they're not giving out medals for Sunday long runs and to once again take a quote from Seb Coe's autobigraphy "Running My Life"
Training is not about running quicker,it's about running smarter..........


Second to last set of mile repeats b4 Nationals,#nomarginforerror
Arrived at Geasey Field just after 11am,a smattering of other people on the track but thankfully over the course of my workout no major issues w/ being impeaded for once.
Last time out over 4x1 mile on May 17th I went:5.19.0 5.30.2 5.29.7 5.31.8 my quickest set of mile repeats this year,if as I believed I was getting quicker and  stronger then I should be able to best them times today........
Following my mile warm up it was on w/ the flats and off to the races....

#1 Mile
Having checked my log b4 starting my repeats as is my won't I was aware I opened my May 17th session w/ a 5.19.0 mile so I was pleased to do likewise here today and not put myself in a hole from the get go.

#2 Mile
A solid second mile w/ consistant splits and another strong closing 200m

#3 Mile
Obviously I was disappointed that laps #2 and #3 got away from me but I was able to finish strong and stay on pace ahead of May 17ths repeats providing I didn't die over the final mile......

#4 Mile
Pretty much a repeat of the previous repeat although it wasn't for lack of trying over the final 200m as I threw everything I had into it.

Overall a 9 second improvement on May 17ths effort which is pleasing and in a unique manner maybe the first time in my 7 years of Mile repeats that all four have ended in the same split {1.15}
Let's see what June 28th has in store for me?

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Night At The Opera

In Seb Coe's autobiography "Running My Life" he likens the mile to an Opera,act/lap one the overture w/ the orchestra warming up.act/lap two you understand where you think the  plot might be leading.act/lap three you're in the thick of the narrative and act/lap four how the hell is this going to finish? w/ a few twists and turns b4 the final curtain.....the sixty four billion dollar question where would I be when the Fat Lady was taking her bow????
After last weeks disappointing first outdoor over 1,500m I had to hope for a better outcome last nite same track?same distance?different outcome? could hope!
A few things seemed to be working in my favour this week,hard as it is to imagine but even w/ 38 years of competing under my belt I still get nervous b4 races as was the case last week,two days b4 the race and my stomach was churning like a cement mixer on a building site,thankfully w/ the Outdoor season opener under my belt thee was no need for steady diet of Tums this week
Unlike last week last nites 1,500m wasn't stacked w/ studs and although of the 9 times submitted  5 were still a tad too rich for my blood I wasn't going to adopt the "let's throw Linguine at the wall and see what sticks"policy that had blown up in my face over the final 400m last week"fool me once shame on you,fool me twice shame on me"

Again I arrived at Icahn w/ time to kill,I won,t be so lucky beginning Tuesday when the Tuesday Nite Speed Series kicks off,I can't take off from work everytime I have a race in NYC{more's the pity!!!} so it's back to the 2.30pm bus and clutching my St Christopher medal in the hope I reach Midtown by 5.30pm and be at Icahn by 6.60pm at the latest for a 7 pm start to the meet.
Enjoyed an easy 6 lap warm up on the track b4 hitting then adjacent soccer pitch for a 15 minute jog w/ Connor O Driscoll,Connor has been a good friend of mine since my 06 Masters National debut and even though we are now in the same age group for a year or two b4 he moves upto 55-59 and essentially rivals I'm not "that far gone" that I can't warm up w/ him and shoot the breeze,as it was when the gun went off Connor would be valuable to my race plan.....
Of the seven of us who took to the starting line the seed times ranged from:3.52 4.09 4.15 4.30{me} 4.45{Connor} 5.05 and 6.20 so the only person I could legitimately work off of was connor.

I let the three studs go from the gun,two of them were listed as 29 and under in the final result and the third place runner was in the 35-39 age group,no point trying to live w/ them like I tried last week tonite I needed a controlled race so I tucked in behind Connor down the back straight.
55 seconds at 300m I was hoping for 53 seconds but after the suicidal 48 seconds I opened w/ last week this was more like it,I eased around Connor and began to think about the final three laps and how close to70,70,70 I could run.
2.07 at 700m,a 72 second split,I almost came a cropper up the home straight,I glanced at the time clock at the finish line and somehow then stood on the rail,thankfully I not only stayed upright but didn't panic at the momentary loss of footing.
While the lead three were now long gone on route to finishing times of 4.05.3 4.13.9 4.19.9 now w/ 550m to go Connor was closing in behind me,thanks to economical pacing thus far I had gas left in the tank and responded.
3.18 at the bell a 71 second split and unlike last weeks slow painful death over the final 400m in 78 seconds I felt smooth as silk in 72 seconds and more importantly felt there are other gears to go to still.

4.30.33 only a second faster than last week so let's hold off on the  victory celebrations but it was the manner in which I achieved that time that gives me hope for the coming weeks,last week my splits were:48 70,75,78=4.31.50 last nite 55,72,71,72=4.30.33 in my heart of hearts I believe a 53,70,70,70=4.23.   is doable and having picked up a second on last week if I can keep improving at this rate w/ six more weeks till Nationals that's a 4.24......
Sadly I don't have another 1,500m on my schedule as I need to work on my 800s however there is a mile on my schedule on July 1st two weeks out so if I were to run a 4.44 mile that nite it would equate to a 4.26 1,500m time.....just saying!!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Are You Ready To Rock?

Another easy 8 miler to keep things ticking over,unlike last week where I kind of shot myself in the foot by sitting out Mondays run to recover from the bonk on Sundays long run and then had to run an easy 6 miler the day b4 the 1,500m race{not that I'm blaming my performance on that} I made sure I took care of business Monday and Tuesday and could allow myself a rest day the day b4 this weeks 1,500m.
Of course me being me I had to find a way to "fuck up a Teddy Bears picnic" when I got home just after 4pm it was raining and while I got changed and stretched the grey skies showed no sign of abating so I figured baseball cap and rain jacket were the attire of the day......not long into my run the skies cleared the sun came out and I not only worked up a sweat that would've put a pig to shame but w/out a bandana to catch it sweat was now rollong off my forehead into my right eye,seriously switch my baseball cap for a sailors cap,stick a pipe in my gob I'd have looked like friggin Popeye out there!!!!!!!
For a nano second I considered making it a 6 miler to minimize the discomfort but not only do I consider cutting my daily milage total a cop out I also knew I'd have to make up those 2 miles later this week,if Thursday is like last week and I have to bail on my cool down in order to get back to Midtown to catch my train home that's 4 miles in the hole which means another run prior to Saturdays repeats,as it stands now if I do have short shift the 2 mile cool down I can add a mile to my warm up and cool down either side of my mile repeats.

I have committed to the 1,500m tomorrow,it's earlier in the schedule and not as lively as the 800m if last week was out of the frying pan into the fire tomorrows 800m would be the inferno by the look of  the status of entries,25 entries 20 of which are sub 2.00 w/ 1 apiece for 2.01/2.02.......yeah I'll wait till Tuesday if it's all the same guys!!!!
Having rolled the dice and come up short last week by throwing caution to the wind tomorrow I'll try to run a more controlled race early on and try to hit my splits at 400m and 700m to set myself for the bell lap at 1,100m and not go into the tank over the final 400m like I did last week,tomorrow not only represents my last chance to post a seed time for the 1,500m at Nationals but also my last 1,500m race b4 Nationals {I have a mile on tap on July 1st} no pressure to get it right!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Here I Go Again

"Cos I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams and here I go again on my own going down the only road I've ever known,like a drifter I was born to walk alone and I've made up my mind I ain't wasting no more time but here I go again"
Here I Go Again-Whitesnake

Another week,another race,to quote Led Zep "The Song Remains The Same" I guess!!!
Unlike last Monday when I opted against a run since I figured a day off mentally and physically might be the best way forward after Sundays bonk on the long run I was out there for my easy/recovry 8 miler to kick the week off.
The knock on effect of skipping last Mondays scheduled run meant having to get out there on Friday which while not the end of the world did mean having to expend energy b4 my repeat,something I prefer to avoid on the weekend{I don't have such a luxury on a week day when repeats are in my rotation}but in the general scheme of things it didn't seem to effect me too much.

Although I had originally planned to race the 800m on Thursday I will most likely go for the 1,500m again,more to do w/ scheduling than anything although that said looking at the status of entries for both races this weeks 800m looks like last weeks 1,500m,stacked w/ fast times so maybe the 1,500m is my better bet b4 dipping my toe in the 800m pool next Tuesday at the Tuesday Nite Speed Series,but that's next week and for now my focus needs to be on Thursday and the 1,500m,after crossing the finishline I can start thinking about the 800m race.

To that end Monday was as straight forward as I could ask an easy/recovery 8 miler w/ another on tap Tuesday b4 a day off on Wednesday,here's hoping a more conventional week leading upto my race will result in a better performance this week....we can hope right??

On Yer Bike

It is said that"a week in politics is a long time" masters running it can be an eternity!!!!!
I'm still no nearer putting my finger on why last Sundays 14 miler went up in smoke but in fairness I haven't spent too much time on it.
Just as there was no rhyme or reason why my last set of mile repeats were head and shoulders above the previous ones I can't put my finger on why I bonked on my long run,as w/ the former when I didn't expand too much thought into why and just accepted it i did likewise w/ the latter,it happened,it's done w/ time to move on.......

Out the door by 11.30am on a delightfully sunny and warm June morning,I'm sure it won't be too long b4 we're bitchin' about the heat and humidity{a national past time!!!} but as I always say lets cross,burn,jump from,paint that bridge when we get there till then lets bask in the runner friendly conditions.
Aside from the nagging thought of last weeks DNF the only other concern I had going into todays trek around the Art Museum Loop was the annual Philly Bike Ride over on Kelly Dr,while the actual ride takes place on the road I wasn't sure how the bike path/running path would be w/ spectators,having survived several Regattas along the Schuylkill River I had to hope for the best and expect the worst but as it turned out I had very little to worry about save a minor section of the path between Falls Bridge and the Conrail bridge in East Falls just after halfway.

Once again West River Drive proved to be the "road less travelled" as I passed no one from the Art Museum to Falls Bridge but maybe that wasn't such a bad thing I needed to be focused on just making sure I saw today through to the finish and aided at least by a few other runners going southbound on Kelly Drive I reached Lloyd Hall and then the South St bridge,pretty much any run irrigardless of distance from 4 miles to 14 miles once I hit the South St bridge w/ less than 2 miles to go I'm confident I'll finish even if I have to dig deep and grind it out.....which I have more than once.....but not today!
2.03 which while slower than the 2.00 I ran two weeks ago was still under the 2.06 that I consider the benchmark for a 14 miler at 9 minute mile pace but the fact I finished todays run period muchless felt the need for a 4 hour nap afterwards unlike last week was victory enough,as a wise man once told me" all of lifes victories don't need to be on a grand scale" sometimes the smallest victory carries more clout.......

Monday, June 2, 2014

Tough Times Demand Tough Hearts

There's a time honoured expression in masters track,"the older I get, the faster my times used to be" it's meant in jest but there is a ring of truth to it four years ago at 46 my target time for 5x1,000m was to try and keep them all under 3.05,now at 50 I aim for all five under 3.15 and from modest beginnings in August upon my return to repeats I'm getting there.
On  April 20th I went:3.15.1-3.15.4-3.14.4-3.23.0-3.19.1  and last time out on May 3rd I went:3.05.4-3.19.6-3.23.4-3.24.9-3.21.5 would it be third time's a charm???

Mentally and physically I wouldn't have bet the house on it on Saturday,maybe it was the "hangover effect" from Thursdays 1,500m race and the late nite but when I did arrive at Temple's track at 11.35am I wasn't feeling full of myself and the prospect of 5 x1,000m wasn't helping either but I was there now and w/ only one repeat session a week now pretty much uptill Nationals I need to make the most of each and everyone irrigardless of how I may be feeling.
6 lap warm up taken care of it was on w/ the flats and my bandana,my "warpaint" if you will....once more into battle........

#1 1,000m
At first I thought I'd gone out too slowly but keeping in mind on May 3rd I went out in 1.11-1.16-38 and effectivly "shot my load" on the opener maybe this wasn't such a bad way to start off the session

#2 1,000m
Lost a little on the opening lap b4 reeling it back in on the second lap and closed well.

#3 1,000m
Almost a repeat of #1 and despite feeling the lactic acid build up in my legs I was consistant through three,could I keep it going through four and five?

#4 1,000m
Not going off half cocked on the opener was having it's benifits,granted I was slowing down but I was still reasonably consistant,did I have one more in me??

#5 1,000m
Yes!!! Ok I'm a long way removed from the "glory days" of 3.05 but to notch my first set of 5x1,000m at sub 3.20{not 3.15 as earlier stated} I was pleased.

Frankly based on this performance 5x3.15 can't be too far off,maybe in a fortnites time when I tangle w/ 5x1,000m again I can go for that mark.
Compared to May 3rd I was 13 seconds faster which was satisfying period but coming off a sub par race give or take 40 hours prior this was a nice way to rebound and told me that I probably ran the wrong tactics Thursday nite,something to consider this Thursday when I plan to duke it out over 1,500m again.
134.25 miles for the month, a dip in my recent totals but losing a week in early May cost me 34.25 miles so we could've been looking at 168.50 plus the 3.5 I lost on Sunday 172 miles

A Stickler For The Rules

Off the back of a sub par performance on Thursday the last thing I really wanted to do was "lace em up" and run on Friday period,factor in only getting between 4 and 4.5 hours sleep and having repeats on tap for Saturday and you could see why the prospect of a 5.5 miler wasn't exactly pumping my nads when I got home around 4.10pm but having sat out Monday after Sundays DNF on the long run and gone w/ low mileage leading upto my race not to mention having had to bail on my cool down post race in order to get back to Penn Station in time for my 9.06 pm train I had no choice but to run if I wanted to log a 40 mile week.
Loathe as I was to having to do so I got and ran,why? well it was the right to do period and having lost out on a 40mpw the week b4 due to my bonk I really wanted to make sure things were back on an even keal this week besides I'm good for a couple of runs a season that I don't want to do but do anyway,it allows me to utter the time honoured mantra"the difference betwen standing on the podium or next to the podium at Nationals is the difference between getting out and running on a day you don't want to or not getting out there" and while I have no devine right to a podium place in seven weeks time it won't be for lack of heart and desire on my part.

Straight forward run out and back to the Art Museum along the Schuylkill Banks,felt weird to be out running on a Friday but you do what you have to do when you've got an eye on the prize,thankfully being knackered from only 4/4.5 hours sleep meant I didn't need to reign it in b4 Saturdays repeats,tomorroqw however is another day