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