Thursday, December 31, 2015

Don't Look Back In Anger

Normally my signature sign off on Dec 31st is a top ten list of my years races........underlining my mediocre season I could only find 5 races worthy of that honour of the 21 races I ran in 2015.....
By some standards my season wasn't too shabby: 3rd at Hartshorne,2 silvers at Indoor Nationals, a pair of bronze medals at Outdoor Nationals,3rd at the GPTC Track Pentathlon and 4th at 5th Avenue Mile......but frankly I expected more and got far less

Obviously going into 2015 Worlds in Lyon was front and center on my agenda......the fact I didn't even get there should sum up my season..... but I also feel Lyon was a catalyst for all that went wrong in 2015.
Cast your mind back to 2010 at Nationals I ran a pr in the 5,000m 15.39,I knew to get on the podium for a bronze at Worlds a year later I needed to shave 10 seconds off that......unfortunately my anemia took care of that.
So in 2014 I ran a 4.21 to win the 1,500m at Nationals a year b4 Worlds and yet again I believed IF I could shave 10 seconds off that I "could" win Worlds......let's face it 10 seconds is a huge chunk of change but I felt if I could lower my 4.21 to a 4.16/4.17 maybe Silver was there for the taking......and thus the Cardinal Sin was born..................

In running,as in life we are told "don't change what got you to the big dance" but frankly what had gotten me to the "big dance"{2014 Nationals}  wasn't going to be  enough for the "bigger dance" {2015 Worlds} and that THUD you heard was yours truly falling between two stools.
Foolishly I  switched my training  to shorter speed orientated repeats believing that "Speed Kills" however "you can't hit what you don't catch" and in doing so sacrificed some strength,don't think that was an issue???? explain the four indoor races I lead at the bell only to finish second {including both races in Winston Salem at Indoor Nationals"!!!!}

What's done is done,"better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all" they say, ask the guys who finished 3rd at Indoor Nationals or the guys who finished 4th at Outdoor Nationals if they would've switched places w/ me........they'd probably rip my arm off shaking my hand.

Here's my top five races in reverse order
5  Outdoor Nationals 1,500m
4 Outdoor Nationals 800m
3 Indoor Nationals 800m
2 Indoor Nationals Mile
1 5K XC C'ships

The reason Saratoga gets top billing even though I only finished 8th was it was such an unexpected result I'm a 800/1,500m/miler who somehow finished 8th over 5k xc thanks in no small part to my off season regime of 50 mpw training it was  flashback to the 2010 season where granted 5 years younger I put in 50/55/60 mpw on a regular basis.....need I remind you what I achieved in 2010? a slew of pr's/club records over 2 miles,3,000m indoors 5,000m/10,000m outdoors and a 5k pr on the road all be it while still running decent 800m/1,500m/mile times and the reason why I've remained at 45/50/55 mpw since off season ended in the hopes of recapturing that form in 2016 as I enter my 40th season of competitive running.

I finished 2015 w/1,431 miles logged,21 races and 8 more medals to the collection 5 of which were from Nationals,here's to bigger and better,stronger and faster in 2016.......

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Once More W/ {Considerable} Feeling

Final run/repeat of 2015 the tried and tested "Mo Farah" workout mile 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 w/ three min recoveries.
Arrived at Temple's Geasey Field at 3.55pm a few more peeps on the track today than recently but by in large had lane 1 to myself when I needed it....more or less.........

Five lap warm up b4 getting into my flats and into "have at it mode" one last time this year

Three seconds down on Thursday,that 1.26 on lap two could bite me in the arse b4 repeats end

A few weeks ago 3.58 was a good 1,200m time,tonites 3.56 was a second down on Thursday putting me -4 after 2 of my 6 repeats.....

A feckin'second slower than Thursday,I could've done w/out having to swing wide into lane 2 down the home straight to go around "Plod".....hey Gobshite including my warm up you've seen me for 14.5 laps did it not FECKIN' occur to you to stay in lane 2 -5 at half way.....

Shut the front door and hold the front page!
Yeah 1.12-1.18 is as uneven as feck but 2.30 is 2.30 1.15-1,15 works but I'd clawed back 2 seconds -3 but running out of track.....

Oh it's on like feckin' Donkey Kong Now!!!!!
Three seconds faster than Thursday and not only a new pr for the 600m{in the context of the repeat} but I was even steven going into the 400m......

The fact feck and bollocks reverberated around Geasey Field upon my crossing the line tell you I came up short,no repeat of Thursdays 66.10 and -2 on the day

Yes I'm gutted to come up short by 2 seconds however considering after the 1,000m I was -5 I could've mailed it in....I didn't....that is NOT my style,never has been,never will be

So 2015 is in the books,I have one more "Mo Farah" repeat next Thursday to conclude "phase one" of my prep for Indoor season,two weeks from tonite I will be preparing for my 2016 Indoor debut at The Armory in my beloved NYC,I'll have an idea of where I'm at then 7 weeks out from Albuquerque

Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Early Christmas Present

Since Starbucks is closing in 25 mins this is gonna be quick.....much like the repeat that I just conducted.
Usual Mile,1,200m 1,000m 800m 600m 400m

Opening briskly I maintained my speed and strength to shave 10 secs off last weeks opener

A record time for the 1,200m eclipsing the 3.58s I'd recently ran on 12.4/12.11

As w/ the mile and 1,200m a new record split

Uneven as fuck and not a record{2.32 on 12.1} but still brisk

Off back to back 1.50s this was a reverse but given what precede it......

At the risk of sounding like a broken record....a record split

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Perfect Day For Leaving The Super Hero Cape At Home......

A rare day time run today,my choice to do my workouts Monday thro Friday recently has meant w/ the exception of my Friday repeats all my other runs are conducted under the cover of darkness but given I had some leeway w/ this weeks schedule I opted to blow off Mondays scheduled run knowing I had the luxury of Saturday to "handle my business" and w/ that yours truly was out the door at 2pm to tackle a 14 miler/Art Museum Loop run.

The original plan was to run at 12pm but that got pushed back,in the general scheme of things no big deal for the first time in four months I'm "at a loose end" on a Saturday,Candice is off having a "Girls Night" w/ her friend Jacqui which leaves me to my own devices all day.......SHITE this is how my sad sack of a sorry existence was BC....Before Candice.........and while I don't begrudge her and Jacqui and evening together I don't wish to make a habit of spending my Saturdays alone either!!!!
Out the door around 2pm the sun may've been out but I soon discovered it was "freeze the knackers off a brass monkey" cold at the mile I was sorely tempted to turn around and head home to dig my gloves out,I opted to ball my fists up and cover them w/the sleeves of my Spurs half zip top,note to self cop the local news over the weekend and check the seven day forecast ye old running tights and gloves may be getting pulled out of mothballs this week!

Comfortable 9-10 min mile pace as ever on these runs my 10-12-13-14 milers tend to be about just logging the miles preferring to save my knee lift,leg turnover and speed for my weekly visit to the track,that said given the "Brass Monkeys" feel out on the loop today there was a need to "get her done" and w/ each mile marker behind me the smile on my face grew wider as I got closer to home.
W/ a slew of 12/13 milers under my belt of late I needn't fear a "long run" ok so doing the whole loop and in daylight threw an unfamiliar element into my game plan but w/ any Loop Run there comes a certain sense of self preservation/satisfaction reaching the half way point at Falls Bridge,given that w/in a 1/4 mile I reach my 13 mile turnaround marker I can hit "cruise control" and rely on muscle memory to see me home.

Reaching the 10 mile mark there was a desire to "pick up the pace" a little,even under the sleeves of my half zip I could feel a numbness in my fingers and thumbs,it's been real,it's been fun,but can we just get it done!!
Home by 4pm and a hot shower b4 grabbing ye olde laptop and heading to the nearby Starbucks to post my latest entry,as my former roommate often said "the run isn't done till you've blogged it".....consider it blogged!!

PS Proving that Super Heroes get days off too no "Captain Feckin' Obvious" sightings on my long run....a good day for the trusty Tri Colour cape w/ a green Shamrock in the middle to stay on the back of my bedroom door......fear not I'm sure come nightfall on Monday I'll be required to dig it out again as I bollock some motorist or cyclist!!!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Trying To Negotiate The Always Tricky Third Album Syndrome.......

Pivotal third "Mo Farah" workout of six b4 I move into phase two of my prep for Indoor Nationals in Albuquerque.
Arrived at a  deserted Geasey Field at 3.45pm conditions were sunny but brisk,unlike last week when I shed my baseball cap and half zip this evening I kept them in place.
Five lap warm up and into my flats,no time like now to "have at it"
Last week I went:
5.35.64-3.58.85-3.16.20-2.32.00-1.50.47-67.96       my plus/minus from the previous week was minus 3..

A four second improvement from last Friday when I felt I went out too conservatively in the mile,maybe coming into today on the back of 35 miles not 44 was helping.....

After back to back weeks of 3.58's I felt "peeved" to not only  go 3 seconds slower but also lose some of the gains from the mile,still plus 1 though....

Nice! three seconds faster than last week,having closed in 43 seconds over the final 200m last week tonites 36 sat far better,plus/minus now plus 4....

Yea for even splits,boo for losing 4 even.....

Practically identical to last week 1.14/36 1.50.47 to  1.14/36 1.50, minus even.......

The chorus of "fuck,fuck.....motherfucker!!!" as I checked my watch at the finishline summed up the outcome,a second slower than last week 67.96 to 68.27

In the general scheme of things still a good workout,to quote my former coach "there's still meat on that bone" over the next three weeks I hope to go faster,Pancho Gonzales famously said of his protege Jimmy Connors "he takes losses like losing teeth" I feel a trip to the Dentist is in order fucking second it maybe but even in repeats I refuse to settle for second best!

Fight Ya For A Fiver,Kill Ya For A Tenner!!!!

Not sure of the origins of that'd think MMA Champ Connor McGregor might use it as his battle cry but yours truly{the other Paddy w/ fists of fury and likely to kick yer feckin arse at the drop of a hat....or rolling through a red light!!!} adopted it as his mantra last nite......

The original plan was to do 12 miles however from early morning to mid afternoon it was to put it mildly......pissing down,I did not fancy running in that even w/ waterproofs but my "get out of jail free" card was having the weekend more or less free,not as great an emphasis as having to get my 55 miles in Monday  thro Friday,opting to do my Center City chores Thursday and not post repeats on Friday bought me some time so much so when I arrived home just b4 5pm the heavy rain had stopped this rain I could tackle w/ my Spurs rain jacket and USATF warm up bottoms  so I promply got into said running gear and was back out the door,Sunday was suddenly a free day again!!!!!!!!

Having already loggged 12 and 13 miles and knowing Friday would be 6 miles on the track I figured why not go 10 last nite and leave myself an Art Museum Loop 14 miler Saturday lunchtime to round out my 55mpw.......I love it when a plan comes together!!
Out the door gone 5pm I probably could've gotten away w/ my regular running attire but ever the Boy Scout I went w/ my rain jacket and light warm up bottoms.......prehaps the fact I wasn't in my regular renowned Irish Super Hero Captain Feckin' Obvious costume is what through off Numb Nuts at 40th & Baltimore Ave......
Glass half full I was only 10 blocks into my run better to get my nightly bollockin' out of the way half's a feckin red light prick!!!!!!

W/ that unpleasentness out of my system I was able to"dial it in" an easy out and back 10 miler,w/  my repeats on tap for this evening no need to go full throtle just put the miles in and stay on pace for my 55 mile week.
The fact I got myself out the door w/out having to dig deep or make barter deals w/ myself to do so tells me I'm motivated right now,not only for trying to reach the 1,500 mile yearly total but also for lying the groundwork here in December for the upcoming Indoor season.......

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rage Against The Machine

13 miler to keep "the dream alive" .....or at the very least keep me on pace for a 5 day/55mpw!
A slightly later start then I've been getting....go figure went the "extra mile" last nite but didn't get out the door till 4.45pm.......
One plus in the 15 mins it took to go roughly 1.5 miles to South St bridge it was now 5pm and Peco Tower was lit so I peeped the temps...50 degrees not too shabby given come Tuesday it's officially winter.

Including last nite "Peak" still has 7 nites to run......6 more week nites I won't see  my nearest and dearest during the week due to her workload so no need to rush my run but bet yer arse when "Peak" has come and gone and we can resume "Date Nite" on a weekenite I'll be eager to get said miles taken care of!!!!
Over the last few weeks I've become no stranger to the out and back  13 miler period....which is good since the next two weeks I have 6 on tap......the "road well travelled" I guess.

Another nite to clear my mind and just "go w/ the flow" normally this  time of year brings out the worst in me and fills me w/ dread.......NOT the case this year.....can't believe I'm saying this but himself is actually looking forward the holidays this year.........then again Christmas came early this year........August 18th when Candice and I began dating to be exact!!!
A prime example of yours truly being in a better place this year would be the lack of  fully functioning loading dock bay doors......

When I left work at 3.30pm on Black Friday{Nov 27th} I had two working loading dock bay doors......upon my return to work on Monday I discovered one of the doors had been broken over the weekend.
The concave indentation on the door lead me to guess some "Milkman Of Human Kindness" had backed into the door w/ their tail gate lift......and then driven off w/out fessin' up......THANKS!!!
Two days later Maint finally sauntered over to the dock to examine the damage and declared the need for a new door.....this was Dec of yesterday Dec 16th said new door has YET to show up{Santa must be bringing it from the  South Pole on his sleigh w/ his trusty crew of Reindeer}
Once again w/ crystal clear clarity the "hooray for me,screw the loading dock" mindset rules the roost,hey as long as only the loading dock is being inconveinienced I guess it's all good hey???
All I can say is it's a good job my relationship w/ Candice is happening right now or I'd have Tony Scornaienchi's guts for garters and his head on a spike,don't give this old "you'll have your door by next Wednesday" BOLLOCKS last Wednesday cos yesterday came and went and I'm STILL trying to operate the loading dock w/ one bay.......

And of the subject of people I'd like to inflict bodily harm too......just when it looked like Captain Feckin' Obvious was getting a rare nite off "Dumbo" ignores the red light at the corner of 44th & Baltimore as I'm about to cross.......a stream of verbal obsenities followed suit but guess who had the last laugh as he passed said Dumbkoff at the red lights at 45th & Baltimore AND 46th & Baltimore.....
WELL DONE you won not one but TWO red truly are a JERK OFF!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bakers Dozen

Easy 12 miler to kick off this pivitol week of training for yours truly.
Last year I fell  short of my target mileage  for the year come Dec 31st,1,478 miles 22 miles below the 1,500 I'd set myself,at the start of this week I knew in order to hit the 1,500 plateau this year I need 55 miles this week,45 next week and 45 the week after......should  I manage that I will have 1,509 miles logged for 2015......

There is little to no margin for error,I need to nail the upcoming 13 runs so last nite begun the unofficial "13 days of Christmas".
My cause is made slightly harder given the next two weeks include Xmas and New Years.obvs w/ New Years Eve falling on a  Thursday I have to take care of business Monday thro Thursday that week and as for next week I would rather have my "Mince Pies and eat them" and handle my business Monday thro Thursday and then enjoy Xmas w/ my girlfriend and her family and not have to concern myself w/ "getting my miles in" over the weekend.

Out the door a little after 4.30pm it was a mild evening,53 degrees according to trusty Peco Tower on my way back south on the Schuylkill Banks after the turnaround at 6 miles,still going w/:baseball cap,half zip and 3/4 length bottoms untill the temps drop although after passing Lloyd Hall at  mile 3 I rolled my sleeves down as the wind whipping up off the nearby Schuylkill River was beginning to take a toll on my bare arms.

Nowth spectacular to report on this run, I wasn't in any great hurry to get home given last nites "hot date" was w/ a bag of desire to burn running shoe rubber to get home for that trust me!
And b4 anyone asks..... YES renowned Irish Super Hero "Captain Feckin' Obvious" made his nightly cameo apperarence...."Word Up"
Crossing the traffic lights at 37th and Spruce by UPenn red light for the motorists 9 seconds for pedestrians to cross here comes "Noddy" on his bike ignoring the red light as I ran across the crossing
"it's a feckin a red light ...silly bollocks"...... these feckers will be the death of me I swear......!!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Getting All Carl Lewis On Yo Arse!

Hard to imagine much less remember a time when I didn't blog but way back when I would write all my races/workouts in a log book and on the inside cover of each log book I would write an inspirational running quote or two,one that still resonates w/ me is the Carl Lewis quote "I just wanted to know I left it all out there on the track".......words to live by indeed!

Due to work being BAB....Balls Arse Busy I couldn't blog last nites easy 10 miler from 7am till 2pm my feet hardly touched the ground I thought I was a feckin 747 Pilot!!!!!
The bullet points from last nite:easy 10 miler at probably 10 min mile pace wishing to conserve my already slightly leg weary legs{upper thighs began to feel sore on Wednesdays second 12 miler} 51 degrees and YES I slagged off another motorist who blew through a red light when I had the right of way.......seriously is my running attire to be mistaken for the costume of renowned Irish Super Hero "Captain Feckin Obvious" cos each time one of these feckin ejits ignore the red lights I'm forced to state the obvious "it's a feckin red light you......{feel free to apply which ever colourful Celtic greeting you feel I may use.....there are several!!}

On the back of an already busy day and having logged 44 miles over the last 4 days I could be forgiven for feeling "cream crackered" b4 I even arrived at Temple's track at Geasey Field around 3.45pm.....I was half tempted to say"feck it" and head straight home but the Scorpio in me says "bend don't brake" not to mention a lifetimes growing up Irish Catholic means I'm riddled w/ guilt to begin w/ I wasn't about to banajax my weekend knowing I blew off said repeat period so I dragged my sorry weary carcass to the track,if I fell on my arse so be it but I'd rather try and know I failed rather than second guess myself......and maybe just maybe I'd come away from the session pleasantly surprised......tis the season for miracles afterall!!!!

Next to no activity on the track which always suits yer man here I prefer to conduct my repeats in lane 1 if possible not weaving all over the feckin track thank you very much!
5 lap warm up,not sure of the exact temps but it was mild enough to shed ye olde Spurs cap and halfzip which I've worn during the week only because it may be daylight at 4.30pm when I start my runs but by 5pm it's dark,knowing I'd be all done and dusted this afternoon b4 dusk afforded me the rare luxury of shedding a cap and layer.
As a refresher here are last weeks splits/overall times

Out of my regular shoes and into my flats it was "showtime"

Feck! I knew I was in trouble when I opened in 1.24,w/ hindsight too conservative an opening and minus 11 seconds compared to last Friday.....double feck!!

Well at least I wasn't "mailing it in" a tad uneven but the same time as last Friday.....still minus 11 though....

Either I misread my 400m/800m splits or  really tanked the closing 200m either way the watch read 3.16.20.....almost identical to last weeks 1,000m....still not mailing it in...still in the negative by 11 seconds.

Hello beautiful! how'd ya like me now!!!! 5 seconds clawed back but running out of track........

Put that feckin fork down! Forde not done yet!!!! another 3 seconds clawed back now only negative three no pressure but a 64 second closing 400m would allow me to brake even....63 seconds and I'd be a second up.........

Have I not given you value for your money? have ye not been thoroughly entertained by "himself"  this evening??????

Ok so negative 3!! uneven splits double boo!! but the fact A I even went to the track despite being knackered and  B didn't "mail it in"after opening at minus 11 allows me to some kudos
I knew last week off 26 miles and today off 44 miles would be a factor but I've "nailed my colours to the mast" Monday thro Friday it is w/ repeats on a Friday on tired legs if need be....lets see what next Friday brings.....but lets enjoy the weekend off first eh?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Life In Turnaround

Another 12 miler to keep me on pace for a 5 day/50mpw, nothing  out of the ordinary to report a fairly bog standard out and back run following the "sidewalk well travelled": East along Cedar Ave into Baltimore Ave,over to Spruce St/South St Bridge b4 heading  North along the Schuylkill footpath/Schuylkill Banks b4 eventually morphing into Kelly Drive and out to roughly half a mile b4 the Falls Bridge at the 6 mile turnaround b4 heading back.

53 degrees last nite......I'm loving it another nite for sleeves rolled up and three quarter length bottoms but I know this can't last forever so much so that on my wish list from Eastbay which I'm about to pull the trigger on for new flats,spikes and running uniform for the upcoming season is a Under Armour Coldgear Hood so that I can deal w/ the inevitable cold weather come Winter.
No bleeding or chafing to report.......and no more "claret" on my white Spurs training shirt although there was potential for "Claret" being spilt just over a mile from the finish.......
Heading up Spruce St to the lights between 37th and 38th St I thought I was going to have to stop at the red light......not the worst thing in the world on an easy run......however shooting a glance at the pedestrian light I saw 8 seconds on the count down.....which would indicate the light was in  MY  favour.........cue some "Lance Armstrong" chav on his bike who decides he's not waiting for the light to change and begins to advance {illegally I hasten to add!!!} up Spruce St just as I attempt to cross the lights that are STILL in my favour.........
"It's a fuckin' red light" I informed said Chav......there may also have been some vailed reference to "see you next Tuesday"{if you catch my drift......} Just keeping it real!!!!!!

I've know,or had a good idea what my upcoming Indoor season schedule is for  a week or so,like alot of things it's written in pencil in case I need to change it......which I have already!!!!!
My first draft looked like this:
1.10 3,000m @ USATF NJ C'ships
1.14 Mile @ TNATR NYC Armory
1.23 Mile @ Hartshorne Masters Mile Cornell
1.28 1,000m @ TNATR NYC Armory
2.4 800m @ TNATR NYC Armory
2.7 TBD @ USATF NYC C'ships Point Breeze
3.5 Mile @ Indoor Nationals Albuquerque
3.6 800m @ Indoor Nationals Albuquerque

First issue 2.7 meet got moved to 2.14    YEAH that's happening!!!! prior to 4 months ago I would have had no issue running a track meet on Valentine's Day but that's not the case now....and I'm ok w/ that I have to say
1.10 has also "fallen by the way side" due to a "schedule conflict" in fairness it has to be said the 3,000m was more of a "shits and giggles" exercise to see where I was at w/ these 40/45/50/55 mile weeks under my belt,since Indoor Nationals is at altitude in Albuquerque I won't be runing the 3,000m there so nixing the race not the end of the world,glass half full no race that week allows an extra repeat session so "no harm,no foul" in my opinion.

In the past few days my club has raised the issue of going after the M50 4X800M American Record which stands at 9.02.56 it's roughly 2.15 per man the issue is finding four guys fit and able to run 2.13 or quicker.....and have all their schedules mesh!!!
So far the three dates that were floated as potential meets to have a crack at the record have all been a "conflict of interst" for me 1.10- 1.31- 2.14 I offered 3.18 as an alternative......only to realize this too is a "conflict of interest" also.....hey ho!
Should the club go ahead w/out me I won't cry foul or play the hurt feelings card and should they get their names in the records book fair play to them I will be one of the first to offer my congratulations,should we find an alternate date to include me in the attempt that's fine too.....but the latter seems unlikely.......and I'm ok w/ that.

I said in a previous entry that for the first time in quite some time Running is NOT the "first and last word" in my life these days,YES I,m still willing to do what I have to do HOWEVER I march to the beat of a different drum now and I'm VERY ok w/ that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Never Let It Be Said I Wasn't Willing To Shed A Little Blood For The Cause

An easy 12 miler to keep things ticking along as I try to close in on my goal of 1,500 miles for the year.
At 43 degrees conditions were mild again last nite,I'm still rocking the three quarter length bottoms and half zip top attire and probably will be able to for the rest of this week although I will fess up to rolling my sleeves down by the time I reached Kelly Dr last nite the six degree difference between Monday and Tuesday was noticable.

W/ my mindset very much "all about the run" these past two weeks it's interesting to note the differences in attitude I have, Saturday nite I finally sat down to watch the mens and womens elite races from 5th Avenue Mile which have been on my dvr since mid September,I spent the last two nites watching the Women's Marathon from the Bejing World Championships that has also been on the dvr since late August and I still have a few track meets on there plus four more "Athletix" episodes to watch, I trust they will serve to motivate me over the coming weeks in my build up to the upcoming Indoor season.

I found my "holy trinity" of Irish Milers pictures, Ronnie Delaney winning the 56 Melbourne Olympic 1,500m final,Eamonn Coghlan running the first Masters sub 4.00 mile at Harvard in 94 and Marcus O Sullivan whos 101 sub 4 minute miles still ranks 3rd all time behind Steve Scott and John Walker and duly scotch taped them to the inside of my front door, they will be the last thing I see b4 leaving for each run/race and should serve as a reminder to the "Shamrock Warrior" mindset I want to return to this season especially Indoors where Ronnie.Eamonn and Marcus were prolific throughout their illustrious careers.
I also found the inspirational quote I wrote  a year ago and never posted,maybe I wasn't as focused/committed on last season as I thought I was..........

Nothing out of the ordinary to report on the run other than yours truly slagging off a jerk off motorist at the junction of 48th and Cedar,I love how it's a 4 way stop sign but "jag off" decided that didn't apply to him and forced me to go behind his car........congrats prick when you got to the corner of 48th and Baltimore I guarantee you had to stop at either a red light or wait to turn onto Baltimore Ave or continue across 48th st......those three seconds made a world of difference eh?????
The real "fun and games came post run,removing my Spurs half zip top I discovered a fair size blood stain on the left side of my white Spurs training shirt......
Had I been shot or stabbed w/out knowing during my run??????? NO my left nipple had gotten sore enough to bleed during the run,it's a common enough affliction for us runners although not one I've suffered for a while.....I'm more pissed it happened this week when I opted for the white shirt.....could've happened last week when I wore my blue Spurs shirt could it?????

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mazel Tov

Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends and readers,Shalom my friends.
If last week was about recentering myself on personal,professional and running levels then this week is about "walking the walk,talking the talk and .....running the run"
The schedule for this week  is: Monday 10 miles,Tuesday 12 miles, Wednesday 12 miles, Thursday 10 miles, and Friday 6 miles on the track to round me out at a 5 day/50mpw....."not a lot when you say it quick" as my father would often joke but there's no joking matter involved here trust me!

As I said to Candice on the way to her parents house on Sunday to put the Xmas Tree up{I know look what being in love has done to me I'm fully embracing the holidays......who knew "The Grinch" had it in him to embrace the holidays?????? #thepowerof love} there can be no more "false dawns" in my prep for Albuquerque.
In the past I've begun my prep too soon and potentially left some of my legs out on the sidewalks and track leading upto a National Champuionship this time just like a prize fighter I head into "training camp" w/ 13 weeks to sharpen and hone my skills so when the bell rings I'm a lean mean running machine.
Granted I have left little to no "wiggle room" if we encounter bad weather during the Winter,which here on the East Coast is always a possibility but I'll cross,burn,paint,jump from that bridge if and when the time comes.

An easy 10 miler to kick the week off,conditions were pleasently mild for this time of year 49 degrees and according to the weather peeps it'll stay around that mark for the week,at least no rain in the forecast which should help.
Obviously at this time of year it's only the hardened dedicated runners out there out and back along Kelly Drive in the pitch black of the evening getting their run on, ye olde "birds of a feather flock together" mindset I guess
Out by 4.30pm,home by 10 miles, 90 mins at 9 min mile pace a nice start to the week,one down four to go.......

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Easy Does It Celtic Tiger

A rare Saturday Spurs game followed by a rare Saturday run.......told ye tis the season of changes!!!!
It's daft to think that in the space of four day this week I've ran the exact same amount of miles I did the entire month of November......cue Bono"sing this w/ me this is 40".....
13 on Tuesday,another 13 Thursday,6 yesterday on the track followed by an easy/recovery 8 miles at lunchtime.
Had I gotten off me arse Sunday when Candice went home early w/ Gastroenteritis and knocked out Laundry I could be looking at a 5 day/50mpw by virtue of a 10 miler on Monday.....but I didn't so a 4 day/40mpw it is but having done feck all last week maybe it was wiser to ease my way back into the swing of things 4day/40mpw this week,5 day/50mpw next week.

I have to say running at 12.20pm in the broad daylight was a welcome change of pace can't recall when I last wore my shades for a run.
Won't front or lie was happy today was only 8 miles my upper thighs and calves were a little sore but that was to be expected I guess I'm glad I opted to hit the track last nite on the way home give the proximity of Temple College from work on the way home as opposed to schlepping all the way over there this lunchtime,there was also the "Brucie bonus" of being able to conduct said repeats on tired legs there will be days I have to race on tired legs so a little "practice makes perfect" never hurts I guess.

A decent number of runners out there this lunchtime and why not it was sunny and mild it felt a bit of a cheat to only do 8 miles but given my perpencity for "round figures" being on 32 miles to begin w/ 8 miles for an even 40 seemed right but frankly I'm not sure I could have mustered more,10 in a pinch,12  might've been tough.....but there'll be plenty of that during the week as I plan to go:10 12 12 10 6 Monday thro Friday to get my 50 miles in.
One final foot note{no pun intended since this is a running blog afterall.....} often in the past I feel I've begun my campaigns for either Indoor or Outdoor Nationals too early by more or less blowing most of November off I find myself 13 weeks out from Indoor Nationals and Albuquerque, I feel that's enough time to whip these old bones into shape,wheater I go 5,5,3 {5 weeks of weekly repeats,5 weeks of weekly races 3 weeks of cool down} or go 6,4,3{ there could be a "conflict of interest" around what was originally slated as my season debut over 3,000m at the USATF NJ C'shps on Jan 10th} either way 13 weeks should be plenty of time to get myself mentally and physically ready for the lure of that so far elusive Indoor National Championship.......

Friday, December 4, 2015

Unlucky For Some Threeteen????? You Bollocks Mate!!!!

The original plan was to resume "hostilities" w/ the track in late October,early November.......SO it comes as no major surprise that here we are in the first week of December w/ yours truly only now getting back into his racing flats......
My last repeat was Sat Sept 5th when I conducted my debut "Mo Farah" workout mile,1,200m 1,000m 800m 600m 400m w/ three min recoveries,the plan was to make this my go to repeat figuring it allowed me strength and speed work and irregardless of it being threeteen weeks since my last repeat on top of having ran 13 miles last nite I hit the track at Geasey Field on Temple's campus on my way home from work this evening.

Granted I'd probably have done better going home and taking care of a recovery 8 miler and then hitting the track Saturday lunchtime.......but c'mon when has moi done shit by the book hey???
Method to my madness I'm trying to get my 5 runs in Monday thro Friday these days to leave the weekends free for "Honey Bunny" time period but w/ Candice's job being '
''manic" between now and probably Xmas Eve the weekend are more important to me than they would've been if I'd "gotten on my horse" and off my chuff in November.....I didn't so here we are,plus w/ a trip to New York City on tap next Saturday I had to know  if I could access the track on a Friday afternoon or not......turns out I could!!!!

Arrived at Geasey Field at 3.45pm a few recreational runners but no duffers and walkers.....relax I said walkers not WANKERS in lane 1 this boded well for yours truly.
A 5 lap warm up and into my flats here goes,first repeats are always a challenge much less off a 13 week hiatus on top of a 13 miler the nite b4
On my debut 13 weeks ago I went:5.30.36 4.01.73 3.19.94 2.41.04 1.54.38 73.20 I wasn't sure what to expect this afternoon......but there was one way to find out yeah?

1.17 1.23 1.23 1.21=5.24.34
Colour me gobsmacked!! 6 seconds quicker than my debut,now had I done the time honoured "shit the bed" and gone off too hard on the first of 6 repeats or was  I stronger and faster than I thought???

1.19 1.22 1.17=3.58.44
Fuckin' ada!!! 3 seconds up on Sept 5ths time and so far nothing slower than a 1.23 400m split....

1.16 1.22 38=3.16.29 
Another 3 second improvement,three down three to go.....

1.18 1.19=2.37.71 
4 seconds off of my debut and still feeling good,it's a blessing knowing each repeat is shorter than the last.

1.15 38 =1.53.68
The closest to a reverse but still a second quicker than my target time,400m to go....

I shit you not!!1 6 seconds quicker than my debut
If I'd been a tad "conservative" on my closing 200m in the 1,000m and 600m w/ 38s I pretty much "blew the fucking doors off" w/ my closing 400m

5 lap cool down all done not only in an hour but also under daylight....gotta love that
To shave a whopping 23 seconds off my previous effort doesn't suck and while far from "the finished article" I can only hope the next four weeks see me continue to lower these splits b4 a 5 week race phase of training followed by a three week taper than off to Albuquerque for Indoor 13 weeks time....

Clawing My Way Out Of A Downward Spirial.....And Coming Out The Other Side.....

So....I didn't run again on Wednesday......not due to the rain it should be pointed out I bought a 3/4 length Spurs rain jacket recently to combat that issue and not have it hanging up for "decorative" effect,no my reason for not running came from a far darker place......

You'd have thought after an almost 2 hour run on Tuesday where it seemed I'd gotten my head together and gotten my "ducks in a row" I'd be good to go on Wednesday????? not the case,alas I woke up Wednesday in the same fucked up headspace I'd been Tuesday and it continued to go downhill quicker than Lindsay Vorn in the Giant Slalom to the point that my gut got tighter than the drum skins on Neil Pearts drum kit and when that happens I can't eat,it was like trying to force feed myself at work to the point that I knew a 13 miler was suicide having not taken on the required fuel for the day......and to underline how fucked up I was having hardly eaten all day I made a fuck off bowl of Getti and Meatballs....took four mouthfuls and proceeded to throw it in the trash.....
I hate wasting food,I also hate feeling that way,I wouldn't say my overall mood was dark,twisty and macabre but Wes Craven would've taken one look inside me and declared"that's some of the scariest shit I've ever seen".................I SHIT YOU NOT!!!!

Mercifully a new day dawned on Thursday and I rose to meet it head on,humbled myself did what had to be done,quashed the "beef" between my coworker and I and got on w/ the business of the day which included another 13 mile run.
Out the door by 4.25pm conditions were a little milder than Tuesday,45 degrees to 54 degrees but prudently I'd thrown on my Spurs half zip jacket which did the job keeping me warm but last nite I realized it's only a matter  of time b4 ye old gloves get dug out and my three quarter length bottoms get replaced by running tights.
W/ a clearer grasp on things the run went well case in point just after Strawberry Mansion bridge on my way back down Kelly Dr towards Lloyd Hall some Lance Armstrong type was in the incoming lane of traffic flow cos he wanted ride alongside his friend,I kept my "dick" comment to a low growl.....Tuesday or Wednesday I'd have probably decked the fucker and thrown his bike into the nearby Schuylkill I said I was in a dark,twisty macabre place.......

W/ two 13 milers under my belt I now plan  to return to the track for the first time in two months...GULP!!!!! to resume repeats,hopefully tonite but if I can't access the track on the way home from work I will return on Saturday lunchtime,either way 6 miles or repeats/warm up-cool down and 8 miles easy will round out my week at would appear to the casual observer things have returned to normal.....or as normal as they get w/ moi!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Channeling My Inner Billy Bragg

By my own admission I was a lazy fuckin' chav in November.......there I said it!!!!!
4 runs totalling 40 miles is NOT going to get it done and w/ that in mind I set out to kick December off in style on the first of the month w/ an easy 13 miler.

For the first time in eons I'm having to juggle being a runner w/ being in a relationship.........fairly unchartered terrortory for yours truly since the early 90s,my last two relationships prior to meeting Candice came during a non running period of my life so now I'm having to work out how to do's a work in progress and one that requires some thought.......which is what a 1 hour 50 minute 13 mile runs allows me...... a simple solution for a complicated person!!
It's not just my running that has been thrown off I stopped updating  my diary{I know the irony right I kept a daily journal for years I began Dec 27th 1994  and for most of those years sweet fuck all was going on in my life,now I actually have a life and I've struggled to stay abreast of it w/ my diary!!!!}
Also my reading has taken a back seat of late,in fairness that's been ongoing most of the year but I am  six pages shy of compleating my 12th book this year so I still hold a book a month average.

Prehaps Candice's recent bout of Gastroenitis is the universes way of telling us reevaluate how we've been doing things,for Candice's part she has been and continues to be 100% supportive of my running which helps,the issue could be for me I'm not 100% sure if I want to continue running competitively....
This is nothing new I have wrestled w/ the issue for several years,I think what kept me going was running was all I had going for me in my life.......NOT so nowadays and while I don't wish to turn my back on running altogether the desire to compete at Nationals requires a level of training and commitment I'm not sure I have right now?

Given the upcoming 2016 season marks my 40th season of competitive running I find myself somewhat committed to the cause although there feels like there's a caveat attatched,why not bow out after this season? the fact 2017 Nationals are Albuqerque{again!!!} and Louisiana means at this point in time I don't forsee me going thus allowing myself an out if you like........this  could all change but at this point in time going into the 2016 season knowing there isn't going to be a 2017 season make it easier to committ to this season.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hometown Glory

Yours truly running a race in Philly is somewhat of a "media event"........yours truly running a road race........a double whammy but you know me  I like "as much bang for my buck" feel free to insert a "Sign Of David" reference I dare ya............
My last non mile road race was the Rothman 8K 5 years ago like then my choice to run a road race was the time honoured "take one for the team" deals.
The Rothman 8k is the final race of the 9 month Road Race Grand Prix series and it's often hanging in the balance if the club{Greater Philadelphia Track Club} can win the series or at least place,this year we went into the final race in pole position but prior to that on the way home from Saratoga for Masters Nationals 5K XC C'ships last month one of my travel companions and Road Race team captain Tom Jennings asked if I'd consider running.......prior to that I hadn't planned to but it's always nice to be asked period and plus an 8k road race would "beat me up" less the the planned 15K XC at Van Cortlandt Park tomorrow so I duly signed up and "took one for the team"

Gotta say when you answer the alarm at 4.55/5.09am during the week the prospect of getting up at 6.15am on a Saturday to race is a bit of boot in the nads,perhaps 10 years of running track has made me soft we tend not to to have to be up that early.....but how often will I wake up at 6.15am have a pre race cup of Earl Grey and a banana leave at 6.52am and do my pre race warm up by jogging the 2.5 miles over to the start for a 7.30am start?........probably a year if I sign up for the 2016 Rothman 8K........!!!!
A little brisk at that early hour,37 degrees according to "old faithful"{Peco Tower} didn't feel the need to bust out the gloves but did dig out my Ireland hat,Ireland half zip jacket,knee length running tights and long sleeve Spurs warm up short below my white Greater Philly Track Club singlet,arrived at the start at 7.17am enough time to swop hat for bandana and throw my half zip and Spurs three quarter length bottoms into the baggage area and mosey over to the starting line for the 7.30am gun.

Bit of a "fustercluck" at the start but w/ almost 2,000 runners that was to be expected,still had room to "take a knee" and offer up my pre race prayer b4 a stirring rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" and the gun.
Given I didn't want to go off "half cocked" I wasn't too overly concerned that I had to weave in and out of clearly slower runners in the opening 400/600m by the time I rounded Logan Square my path was clear.
I missed my mile split.....too busy sharing a "high five" w/ outgoing  Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter who has been an avid supporter of running here in the "city of brotherly love and sisterly affection" I hope incoming mayor Jim Kenny is as avid a supporter of the citys runners......
12.05 at mile 2 a little over 6 min mile pace but I felt comfortable one thing I had noticed in the opening two miles was I wasn't picking off runners ahead of me w/out being overtaken......could I continue this to the finish?

Missed the turnaround time a mixture of thanking Channel 6 Weather Woman and fellow runner Cicely Tynan for a glorious morning to run......yeah I know she had bugger all to do the the actual weather but hey she predicted good conditions and we got them.
I also had one eye on one of my teammates Chuck Shields ahead of me,b4 making the turn I counted four fellow GPTCers ahead of me,the first three were long gone but Chuck was in my sights and by mile 4 I not only reeled him in but went by him as I clocked 24.10.
Less than a mile to go,could I go sub 30.00??? granted this was going to be the slowest of my 9 8ks all time.........but feck off I hadn't ran any of them at 52!!!!!
Continuing to pick off runners ahead of me I closed in on the finishline along the Ben Franklin Parkway,shit track,road,xc you always wanna finish strong period I still live by that old Carl Lewis quote "I just wanted to know I left it all out there on the track" but seeing the Irish Tricolour on the otherside of the sidewalk gave me that extra ompff to cross the line in 29.48.

Officially 92nd in a field of 1,907, third in the 50-54 age group which I believe earns me an age group award but frankly post race all I wanted to do was grab my gear from the UPS truck{shameless plug since Candice works for them!!!} and jog the 2.5 miles home to give me a 10 mile day.........frankly breakfast w/ Candice post race was the best award this "Shamrock Warrior"  could ask for.....that said I look forward to receiving said award in the post...or via UPS!!!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Guy Walks Into A Nite Club,Meets His Soulmate......A True Story*

*All Fact,No fiction,Names Have Not Been Altered To Protect Identities

So as  far as yesterdays 12 miler went,more of the same from Tuesday,out day 4.30pm,home by 6.15pm 58 degrees at almost 6pm dark by the time I made the turnaround.
There was the almost unsavory incident of nearly becoming somebodys hood ornament at 38th St{what is it about that crossing,I nearly broke my wrist on some numbnutzs bike handlebar back in June?}
Thankfully my catlike reflexes saved me and while I was LESS than thrilled by the incident the  memory of "cuz" peering up at the red light after I'd given him the "death stare" and him saying "sorry sir" as he backed up took the sting out of the matter,no harm,no foul it could've been worse although the fact I deliberately wore a bright yellow Spurs Under Armour training top to be seen in the dark and he still almost ran me over does irk me somewhat......maybe he was a gooner,spammer or rent boy???

Frankly nothing was going to ruin my evening given yesterday was the four year anniversary of the nite that changed my life.
On Friday November 4th 2011 I laid eyes on my girlfriend Candice for the very first time......was it "love at first sight?" very much so and while we never spoke that nite mainly cos I didn't know what to say to her it was the spark that lit the flame that would take almost four years to ignite into a smouldering passion I like to refer to as my life.
B4 anyone gets all over me about turning Kevinrunningfree into a "Dear Abby" coloum let me state that while not a runner Candice is very much  a driving force behind my present drive to be the best runner{and human being} I can be.
It's been entirely too long since I last had "someone in my corner" in my life as well as w/ my running and I look forward to the upcoming track season and running infront of Candice,she knew I was a runner when we began dating but I never talked myself up about my 4 National Championship titles etc so it was somewhat of an eye opener the first nite she came to my place and saw all my medals trophies and plaques.

Off the back of an average track season dating Candice has added the intensity to my training that was probably lacking over the past 12 months,I'm not about to sit here and make bold sweeping predictions about what I'm gonna do in the upcoming 2016 season but I do know w/ Candice by my side and in my life I feel ready to tear it up on the track and putting the work in the past few weeks and w/ ten weeks to go till my 2016 season debut I feel confident my 40th anniversary season could be spectacular.........

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

There's A Darkness On The Edge Of Town.......

First afternoon/evening run since the clocks went back on Saturday night.
Since this was "not my first rodeo" I knew what to expect by the time I reached the turnaround at mile six half a mile from Falls bridge I antispiated the skies to be fallen if not 100 % then pretty darm close to it........I wasn't wrong!!!

Out the door a tad b4 4.35pm conditions were sunny and mild....hard to fathom it's early November,and yes while the "currant bun" was out in all its glory I knew I'd be finishing the run in the dark so no point donning the shades although it's still bandanna conditions......however ye olde baseball cap and  thermal ski hat are an arms length away when the time comes.

Again as is my won't I didn't wear my watch on the run I was out the door by 4.35pm and back by 6.15pm 1.40 a little over 8 min mile pace although I probably eased off the pace a tad on the in bound run once darkness me that was the only thing I wanted to fall!
I was tempted to see what time it was when I reached the 6 mile turnaround but figured what was the point? it's going to continue to get darker sooner and sooner as each night/week passes.

The important thing was I got this one under my belt,I know what to expect tonite when I repeat the 12 mile route and again tomorrow when 11 miles will be the "distance du jour"
As I rounded the Art Museum I got my first glimpse of trusty Peco Tower as I made my way south bound along the Schuylkill banks 5.49pm and 53 degrees, the coolest evening I've ran for a while......and it's only gonna get cooler but in order to be "firing on all cylinders" for the Indoor Season I need to put the work and the miles in now......even in the dark......

Monday, November 2, 2015

What Do You Mean,Do I Celebrate Halloween???????????

The one true Pagan holiday on the calander...YEAH I celebrated it!!!!!!
I went into Saturday needing another 14 miler to round me off at 50mpw.......some of you may say"why not do 13 Friday,14 Saturday and 6 on Sunday to get my  full 5 day/55mpw"?????
Knowing I was going to "Dracula's Ball" on Saturday till 2am didn't exactly have me chomping at the bit to get up whenever on Sunday to run then factor in the chance to see the restored 50th anniversary showing of "My Fair Lady"  you can see where a "ah feck it" attitude came from!!!

As it was my Saturday 14 miler not only rounded off the week at 50 mpw but also the month at 183 miles my biggest monthly total all year which now stands at 1,230.
Given the week of Nov 9th thro Nov 15th is my "week 9" week off and had I stuck to 40mpw I could've probably kissed my 1,500 mile yearly target goodbye{last year I fell agonizingly short by 22 miles..........bollocks!!!!!!} but now w/ the prospect of seven 55 mile weeks between now and years end I'm looking at a potential 1,615 which allows some "wiggle room" if I miss a few runs from Tuesday thro Dec 31st.

I didn't get out till gone 3.15pm which allowed things to warm up a little compared to the more traditional morning long run,frankly I was just happy to out putting the miles in.
There seemed to be a neighbourhood Halloween Party along Baltimore Ave below 46th alot of neighbourhood kids in costume going door to door for Candy......enjoy it little ones cos when the sun went down the adults were coming out to play!!!!!
Not too many folk out on the drives between 3.15pm & 5pm maybe off "trick or treatin" w/ their kids but I was happy to have less pedestrian traffic in my way,if Fridays closing miles were a "dig deep mentally and physically" exercise thern Saturday saw me return to my swashbuckling,gangbusin' "get the fuck out of my way or I'll run ye the fuck over" 8 min mile pace.

I welcomed having to dig a little deep Friday it served as a reminder that you can't just show up and "mail it in" somedays you have to work at it and on those days you get your rewards...a bit like a running version of "trick or treat" I guess????

Friday, October 30, 2015

Playing Catch Up

Ok so the week I drew up and the week I had were as the saying goes "the horse of a different colour" but this is why when I write a schedule I write it in case I have to alter it.....this week being one such week!

Tuesday,got out of work late and was heading to my girlfriends for dinner on top of the fact Tuesday was the 31st anniversary of "the auld fellas" death.
I make a point of visiting St John's church in Center City every April 13th for Kevin's b'day and every Oct 27th for his anniversary.
I lite a candle,say a prayer and have a conversation w/ "the auld fella"  he may not understand some of the choices I've made over the past 31 years but I feel it's important to let him know I still love him and miss him each and every day and ask if he has "any pull" upstairs to watch over me,my family and loved that end Tuesdays conversation was slightly longer than usual......then again he was the person who told me when I was in my late teen and bitchin' about the lack of a girlfriend "you'll know when the right girl comes along trust me.....".....what do you know the auld bugger was right!!!!!

Wednesday got scuppered also,a shitefest on the job and a steady rain,sure I've ran in worse and will again but I wasn't feeling it waterproofs or not so stuck the proverbial fork in it.....officially I was now out of "rest days if I wanted to get a 50 mile week in,but also w/ Sunday off the books due to the Dracula's Ball Saturday and going to see "My Fair Lady" w/ My Fair Lady on Sunday I now had to get "creative"...

Thursday 10 miler to keep"the dream alive" the most telling aspect of yesterdays run was knowing it was my final run in the evening b4 the clocks go back Sunday.....
Out the door by 5pm and sticking close to my recent 8 min mile pace I was done and dusted by which time the last vestige of day lite was fading this means come next week at 5.30pm it'll be dark....BOO!!!!!!!
It is what it is,once I get my first run in probably Tuesday and get used to it I'm confident of it becoming second nature......but this is in no way a ringing endorsement by yours truly that I'm ok w/ it....somethings you have to accept and move on w/ and the approach of Winter is one of them....

Friday A 14 miler around the trusty Art Museum Loop to leave me needed a repeat performance tomorrow to round me off at a 4 day/50mpw.
I had planned to hit the track today but having sacrificed Sunday to begin w/ then losing Tuesday/Wednesday that got rethought,I still have a potential 6 repeats between Saturday and my 2016 Indoor Season opener at Toms River on Jan 10th to get some speed work in the old legs!!!
One constant this week irregardless of the time of day I ran{3.30pm Monday,5pm yesterday and 1.30pm today}was even w/ the sun out there was a crispness to the air I would hazard a guess come Nov 16th following my "week 9" rest week that long sleeves and 3/4 length bottoms will become the norm,especially on week nites when I'm out along the river at 4.45pm-6.30pm.

Gonna enjoy a nice relaxing evening tonite 4 hours of 80s tunes via Robert Drake and "Land Of The Lost" on WXPN and a Linguine and Clams dinner w/ almost 52 the "restless soul" has found a home w/ someone he wants to share his life w/......I know I have to pinch myself sometimes to see if I'm dreaming....."Good Things Come To Those Who Wait" and "Honey Bunny"  and I have waited a lifetime for this we're gonna enjoy every second!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All Change At Crewe

Officially Sunday was the end of my six week "off season" 55mpw schedule,the plan heading into Monday Oct 26th was to drop back down to 40mpw mode w/ 2 repeats per week.......cue The Style Council's "My Ever Changing Moods".......

Following my surprise race in Saratoga I began to  contemplate the idea of sticking to 55mpw and just doing one repeat session per week,clearly the strength I've gained from my 55mpw was there for all to see in Saratoga so if I can marry that to some speed work starting this week I could be setting myself up nicely.
Back in 2010 when I upped my mileage to 60mpw it did wonders for my 2 mile,3,000m,5,000m track times not to mention my 5k road times w/out effecting my 800m/1,500m/mile times so why not have another crack at it.

Due to Indoor Nationals being in Albuqurque I WON'T be tackling the 3,000m due to the altitude HOWEVER I haven't ruled out the possibility of taking on a 3,000m during the Indoor Season infact my opening race of the Indoor Season at the NJ C'ships at Toms River on Jan 10th is scheduled to be a 3,000m,w/ the 55mpw under my belt I should be able to "hold my own" over 15 laps and wipe away the memory of the "horror show" that was 2012 Bloomington Indoor Nationals my last 3,000m.
While the dates for "Thursday Nite @ The Races" have been set the schedule is still TBA so I can't "flesh out" my Indoor Schedule just yet.....all in good time I do have 6 races scheduled between Jan 10th and Feb 7th b4 getting my taper in for March 5th & 6th and Albuqurque and Indoor Nationals.

Another change to my schedule is my next race,pre Saratoga I planned to return to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to have a second crack at the Pete McCardle 15k xc after last years race.......however the day b4 in my own backyard so to speak is the Rothman 8k part of the Philly Marathon weekend.
Given I can roll out of bed at 6am and be on the starting line for 7.30am is a big factor in my switch up...not to mention an 8k road race over a 15k  tough xc course,long term Rothman will beat me up less than Pete McCardle.

W/ the upcoming season being my Ruby anniversary of track I feel it's time to "go back to basics" in 1976 my hero was Eamonn Coghlan and over the last few years I've gotten away from the mindset of wanting to emulate "The Chairman Of The Boards" so don't be surprised to see the Shamrock bandanna and Shamrock socks make a return along w/ a Green running uniform and most likely a return to Green Saucony Killkenny spikes.
Two of my eight Indoor races are "target races" over the mile,Hartshorne Masters Mile and Indoor Nationals let's see if I can tap back into "the spirit of Eamonn Coghlan" like I did in 2006 when running track become my focus......

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Have You Heard The One About The Two Irish Guys.........*

*Who didn't go into a bar but went for a run instead?....It's not Fiction It's a feckin true story!!!!

Ok so a little  catch up in order,I had to shelve plans to run both Wednesday & Thursday due to some absentmindedness on my part losing my debit card.
The old me might have said "feck it" and ran but the "rules have changed" in the last few months and being responsible as it's no longer "all about me" isn't a bad thing,sure I was bummed to miss out on a few runs but you know what? the sun still came up the next day,my legs didn't drop off and to quote the always quoteable Roy Keane{bows head in respect to the big fella!!}"Nobody died,life goes on".....

The fact I'm about to "retweak" my mileage {more on that next week} means losing a few runs this week isn't the end of the world,far from it but I still planned to "handle my business" Saturday which is where my good friend Gerry O Hara entered the equation.
Gerry and I have been friends for a few years now,we,re the same age,run the same distances,we,re both Paddies and share a few other traits.
We've talked about doing a run together for a while now and w/ two of Gerry's children here in Philly at University of Penn it makes that option a little easier.
Turns out this weekend is "Family Weekend" at Penn so Ger was in town and floated the idea of a Saturday run together,missed runs or not I would've been up for it but having "given my word" I wasn't about to renig on the offer,maybe  left to my own devices having missed a few runs I might've said "feck it" but having said yes it kept me honest and frankly I wanted to run period and "shoot the shit" w/ Ger so to that end I set ye olde alarm for 8am{almost unheard of on a weekend....WTF I get up at 5.09am on weekdays I can't lie in on the weekend.....DON'T make me play the "old man card" almost 52 I've earnt that privilege!!!} and was out the door by 8.35am.

Conditions were sunny but a tad brisk.....not unexpected for the arse end of October but shades,short sleeves and shorts were the order of the day.....there will be time enough for long sleeves,three quarter length bottoms etc in the coming weeks.
Down to Center City via Market St just as the bells were ringing for 9am.....just when I said I'd meet Ger in the hotel lobby.......Punctuality one of my Mothers traits that has stuck w/ me all these years....and one I'd like to keep in"my golf bag" so to speak
Warm greetings over Ger and I made our way up towards the trusty Art Museum Loop via the Ben Franklin Parkway....and resisted the urge to run up the Art Museum steps to the Rocky statue.....maybe next time Gerry is in town....or not I'm flexible w/ either option!!

Even at just gone 9am there were plenty of other runners out on the drives,it's fall Marathon season so I would guess lots of folk are getting their long run in,been there done that!
I don't get the option to run w/ other runners too often so it's always a nice change of pace{no pun intended!} to share a run period.
Like I said Gerry and I have a lot in common so we didn't lack conversation as we made our way up,around and back down to the hotel,like I said w/ two children at Penn Gerry will probably back in town sometime in the not so distance future and maybe we can tackle some of Belmont Plateau next time if the conditions are favourable.

Ran back home from Gerrys hotel to give me a 16 mile run,one of the more enjoyable 16 milers I've done in recent years,IF the mood takes me a 9 miler tomorrow will give me a  35 mile week and like I said come Monday I have some news re my mileage moving forward but for now it's time to take care of chores and spend sometime w/ my Honey is good!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Making Hay While The Sun Still Shines

Given the 5 hour drive back from Saratoga not to mention a laundry list of "To Do" things upon my return I took Monday off which in the general scheme of things not the worst thing in the world,however in my on going attempt to"have my cake and eat it too" in order to wrap this week up by Saturday I now have to go: 10,10,9,12,14 Tuesday thro's doable and potentially well worth it to have Sunday off.........

Conditions were sunny and warm at 4.40pm as "once more w/ feeling" I made my way down the road well travelled on my trusty out and back 10 miler.....I feel I could run that course w/ my eyes closed which is a tad extreme but w/ the advent of the clocks going back this Sunday maybe not too far removed from reality......
65 degrees a very comfortable evening Saratoga was a bit of a wake up call on Sunday,a tad brisk first thing in the morning,thankfully the M50 race didn't go off till 12.45pm by which time things had warmed up nicely.....which given my lack of gloves, warm up bottoms etc was prehaps for the best!!!

Seldom one to "rest on my laurals" I need to put events of Sunday behind{although kind of hard when one of the local Saratoga papers the Daily Gazette had a photo of me closing in on the finish and mentioning me by name and my 8th place finish!!!!!}and focus on wrapping up my final week of off season training,it's fair to say things are about to change and I'll do justice to that over the next day or two,but even my next race in five weeks time now is different and so too my indoor schedule which I'm continuing to look at as the days unfold.

I'll go into more detail about my regular season during the week,safe to safe the plan to drop back down to 40mpw w/ 2 repeats has gone out the window...........
Stay Tuned!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Return Of The Shamrock Warrior!!!

So,five weeks since my last race at 5th Avenue Mile "his self" was back at it this time over 5k xc not my traditional "comfort zone" but feck it a race is a race period and given we are still a ways away from Indoor Track I felt ok w/ swopping the tarten/all weather track for lush green grass and a little trail in Saratoga for Masters Nationals 5K XC C'ships.
When I say I had zero expectations of what I would do here I'm not "copping a plea" or trying to be cute or even sandbag the issue the fact was I hadn't ran a 5k xc race since Nov 2011 so I had no idea what to expect.
On top of that nugget was the fact that outside of the "mother of all cock ups"  the 2012 Club Nationals 10k XC C'ship I hadn't ran xc in 2012 or 2013,last year w/ Club Nationals in my backyard in Lehigh I sought redemption and got it but in order to do so my ventures on the "Green Green Grass Of Home" were over the longer distances 8k and 15k so like I said I had nothing recent over 5k on the track muchless road or xc to base a vague idea of time on......throw in being in week five of my off season training I have no speed work as such to draw upon this truly was a case of sling linguine at the wall and see what sticks....if anything!!!

I'd ran Saratoga once b4 06 or 07 and truly got my arse handed to me on a plate.....this is what happens when jumped up track 800m/1,500m/milers tangle w/ the big boys over 5k but taking the advice of a "wise owl"{that would be you John Cunningham!} I upped my mileage in 2010 coming off the 09 achilles injury and what do ya know my 800m/1,500m/mile times weren't effected and sweet jaysus my 3,000m/2 mile,5,000m track times not to mention 5k road/xc times improved....wise man that John Cunningham!
The fall out of the misdiagnosed 2011 Anemia issue was felt in Bloomington 2012 at Indoor Nationals where I got my hole handed to me again over 3,000m at which point and prehaps a little hastily I ditched 3,000m/5,000m on the track in favour of being a strictly 800m/1,500m/miler.......

While I lacked speed work coming into Saratoga I didn't lack mileage by days end I would record a 43 mile week to give me 55mpw,55mpw 29 mpw 55 mpw 43 mpw over the last 5 weeks of off season training,speed is grand and all that however speed w/out strength isn't worth a carrot.
The pre race mindset was 5.50 mile pace and maybe a 18 min 5k which while far from scary for the "big boys" would have been a big deal for boyo here and that was what I told myself as the M50 race lined up at the starting line me and 57 other 50 plus runners at 12.45pm.

Easing my way along the far left handside of the course I tucked in behind three of my teammates Chuck,Larry and Jim for the opening 200m, the lead pack of 6 runners including the likes of Mike McManus,Mike Nier,Mark Zamek and Francis "gobshite" Burdett were only a few meters ahead of me....dare I risk chasing after them????
Sure if I fell on me arse wasn't that to be expected anyway? what if I rolled the dice??? maybe I wouldn't brake the bank but I was playing w/ "house money" afterall{I swear I don't have a gambling problem I just know the lingo!!!}.....FECK IT!! faint heart never won fair maiden and while my nearest and dearest hadn't accompanied me to Saratoga her presence was very much w/ me so I gave chase to the leaders.
7th at the 1 mile marker in much for 5.50 pace....I was relegated to 8th and for a short while 9th b4 reclaiming 8th place w/ my "freewheel the shit out of the downhill" spirit.

11.34 at mile 2 a 6.01 mile I was feeling grand,the weeks of 10,12,14 mile runs were paying off w/ dividends I wasn't hurting at all 7th was a ways ahead of me but 9th was a ways behind me......was I really gonna finish 8th here?????
Having done my homework and jogged the course as my warm up and knew what was where I continued to hammer away making the final exit of the woods I was faced w/ a long 300m straight to the finish like a demented Paddy trying to reach the pub b4 "last call" I swore to mow down any fecker in my way and continue to plough my way towards the finishline.
8th in 17.25......are ya feckin shittin' me???? 9 seconds behind Dave Dunham in 7th and 12 seconds ahead of Alejandro Heuck in 9th I'd just ran my best race of the October.....over feckin cross country!!!!!!

W/ the dust still settling I'm coming to terms w/ the fact that my strength work is yeilding high rewards and maybe just maybe a rethink of my non off season training schedule is in order.
I had told myself heading into my Ruby anniversary 2016 season a "return to basics" was on the cards{jaysus another feckin gambling reference....I swear I have this shite under control!!} and while a return to my trusty Green & Yellow Saucony Spikes,Shamrock bandanna and Shamrock socks is mearly surface stuff I do believe the "golden days" I thought had passed me by could still be there for the taking if I can stay healthy and motivated,the former is out of my control all I can do is hope to stay healthy and do what I need to do to remain in shape......I don't lack motivation 40th anniversary and a new love in my quote Marvin Gaye "Let's Get It On"........

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Road To Saratoga

Ok so once again fatigue and a trip to piggy post office at 52nd and Kingsessing on Thursday bollocked me for my run.
Glass half empty I'll miss my target of 55 miles this week,glass half full I'll be fresher for Sundays race in Saratoga,I guess you can't have your cake and eat it!

As a way of compromise I played against type on Friday and knocked out my 14 mile long run,another long run in the books at least and on the Pagan sabbath no less.....I really have been shaking up my routine recently!
Out the door by 4.45pm conditions were sunny and mild a cool and comfortable 61 degrees at 5.03pm as I hit the Schuylkill footpath it felt strange to be running on a Friday but not so strange that I couldn't see it becoming a regular thing,moving forward I can see Fridays and Saturdays getting utalized to free up my Sundays.......afterall isn't Sunday meant to be a "day of rest" afterall.....????

Originally the plan was to go out and back and do 13 miles but for the sake of another mile and say 8 minutes why not throw in another mile and do the loop and make it 14 miles?
As has been the norn for my "off season" mile no watch,circa 07-09 my former coach told me somedays it was better to just "run on feel" too often we as runners are are slaves to the watch/clock and sometimes it,s better to just run w/out one it worked rather well last Saturday for me when the lure of seeing my girlfriend in her Maid of Honour dress inspired me to run a 1.50 14 miler as oppossed to the bog standard 2.06 9 min mile 14 miler I might've ran a few weeks ago and Friday was to become more of the same.

I felt comfortable throughout the run w/ no hint of my pace untill passing the Art Museum on the southbound section of my run looking up at Peco Tower not only had I seen the temprature drop below 60 degrees for the first time in a while{59 degrees} but the time was 6.08 I had roughly three miles to go and there was no hint of slowing down or paying for my earlier pace,I arrived back home around 6.30pm roughly a 1.45 14 miler again at 8 min mile pace.....
What felt more remarkable to me was the fact todays run came off the back of getting up at 5am and putting in a full day at work clearly my strength is at a high level as I close in on week five of my off season,Sunday will be an eye opener to what I can do w/ no speed work to speak of since pre 5th Avenue Mile it'll be interesting to say the least!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

You Can't Always Get What You Want......But Sometimes You Get An Upgrade!

So, I sat out Tuesday, a little fatigue, a little bit late getting out of work and then having to schleep over to Piggy Post Office at 52nd & Kingsessing to pick up some of my Halloween stuff meant it was almost 5pm when I got home and the prospect of stretching and heading out for 13 miles wasn't pumping my nads so I sat it out.

Not the end of the world though,since I,m away in Saratoga this weekend the need to go food shopping Friday is null and void SO the option of a Friday run is in play for once.....yes flying in the face of the Pagan Sabbath but sometimes you have to say WTF....and do it.
Wednesday has in recent weeks become "Date Nite" which meant a 10 miler as oppossed to a 13 miler as it's poor form to keep a lady waiting but I was just happy to be out running.

Low 60s as I headed out the door around 4.35pm a little crisp compared to mid to high 70s we've been enjoying but still sleeveless weather who knows how much longer I can say that?
The rowers were out on the Schuylkill doing their thing this evening it always inspires me to see others putting their reps in even in a different discipline and makes me feel less alone in my own endevours even when "The Lonliness Of The Long Distance Runner" mindset is ruling the roost.

Give or take a 1.25 10 miler yes there was a need to push the pace a little this evening as I needed to be in and out of the shower and back out the door tout sweet,sadly our plans to enjoy the 40th anniversary showing of "Monty Python & The Holy Grail" fell through as the 7.30pm showing was sold out and frankly a 10pm showing "on a school night" wasn't really what either of us had in mind,no worries we went home listened to  some Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Cure over Tortilla Soup Tuna & Cheese Shells and Carrot Cake and had a long conversation about "life,love and the pursuit of eternal happiness"......not as knee slappingly funny as a Monty Python movie.......but isn't that why they invented dvds????

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

To The Game You Stay A Slave

I'm not gonna front.... I did  NOT want to run last nite,after two very relaxing days away for my girlfriends sisters wedding I was feeling very Zen and maybe a littlen tired,the prospect of a run period let alone a 13 milers was about as popular as a fart in a phone box........
In running as in life you have to be honest w/ yourself and honestly I didn't feel like running last nite having been away from home for two days there were a few "household issues" that needed my attention,plus a large cat giving me the "abandoned cat" face....on top of the fact I was physically tired.......

And yet deep down I knew I had to run,to blow it off 100% would just set me up for the fall so the happy compromise{compromise is not a dirty word people!} was to make it a 10 miler and switch my original schedule of:13,13,10,10,9 to 10,13,10,13,9.
Obviously I'd have preferred the pair of 13 miles out of the way at the start of the week to save my legs for Sunday and Saratoga but to quote the Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want"  frankly the fact I overcame the urge not to run at all was a moral victory.

A fairly "bog standard" 10 miler out and back to just b4 the St Joe's Boathouse on Kelly Dr,give or take half a mile from Strawberry Mansion bridge,it was another "Indian Summer" evening again no official temprature reading on what's now becoming the NOT so trusty Peco Tower but it was a warm sunny evening,loathe to say it outloud but ye olde clocks go back the Sunday after next so now would be the time to embrace these evenings. while they last.

10 miles in the books and hopefully having avoided a prattfall at the first hurdle I can go on and notch another 5 day 55 mile week.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Having Ones {Wedding}Cake And Eat It

Not for the first nor will it be the last time I found myself switching out the Sunday long run of 14 miles to Saturday.
W/ a wedding to attend on Saturday afternoon and the prospect of having to schleep back home Sunday to take care of the long run I tweaked my schedule to allow myself the option of running Monday thro Thursday 10,10,9,12 and then crank out the 14 miler Saturday...done deal!

Out the door by 9.45am it was sunny but a tad brisk....then again we're almost half way through October so not a total surprize,still shorts and short sleeve weather but I suspect ye olde long sleeved shirts and 3/4 length bottoms will be getting pulled out of moth balls in the coming weeks.
As is to be expected in October something going on out on West River Drive as I made my way north towards Falls bridge,no worries a little zig zagging in and out like Simon Zebo running amock for Ireland in the Rugby World Cup and I was clear of the crowd.
As has been my won't during the off season I went "untimed" on this run so when I reached Falls bridge I had no clue to my half way split,maybe it was fast,maybe it was slow who knew what I did know was I felt comfortable which over 14 miles is always a plus!

Having observed from West River Dr a rowing event on the Schuykill I knew to expect some pedestrian trafic along Kelly worries more Simon Zebo weaving in and out of the crowd and rowing boats.
I know two weeks ago when I had to reroute due to the Papel visit I said I would consider Fairmount Park and Belmont Plateau for my long runs but today wasn't the day for detours etc,w/  the wedding to get to there was a sense of urgency to get done so sticking to the tried and tested was of the utmost importance.......he typed.......

No Peco Tower time display till 5pm so even coming down the Schuylkill banks I was still "in the dark" as to my pace/time for the run,unlike my week one 14 miler back on Sept 20th when I had to dig deep mentally and physically today at the close of week four I was feeling strong.......
Arrived back home feeling a sense of accomplishment not only my long run for the week but another 5 day/55mpw.....
Now I left "around" 9.45am prehaps a minute or two under,I was back in my appartment at....11.35am........fuckin ada!!!!
I had to have been clocking 8 min mile pace you figure 9 min miles at 14 miles is 2.06, I'd clocked "roughly" a 1.50 which would be 8 min miles......not too shabby if I say so myself......NEVER underestimate the power of seeing your nearest and dearest in a stunning red Maid Of Honour will do WONDERS for your pace trust me!!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Flesh Weak,Spirit Willing

I could've been forgiven{although probably not by myself} for blowing off last nites 12 miler given how tired I felt,the fact I probably read the same page over and over again of the Paolo Hewitt book " Getting High,The Adventures Of Oasis" on the Subway and Trolley ride home underlined how tired I was.
Yes through my own admission I've burnt the proverbial candle at both ends a little this week which I say as an observation more than a criticism cos I've had fun doing so......but in addition to that yesterday also marked day 6 of a 7 day stretch of not only 9 hours days{which is the norm for me} but w/out a lunch hour which has meant no chance of a nap or a sly 40 winks,a kip,a little shut eye etc so on top of being balls arsed tired I now faced a 12 miler since I want my proverbial cake and eat it this weekend.

W/ a wedding to attend on Saturday I would rather have Sunday free to relax afterwards rather than up sticks and rush home to take care of my 14 mile long in order to"have my {wedding} cake and eat it too" I needed to take care of Saturdays 12 miler last nite to leave Saturday free for the 14 miler pre wedding.....ah yes ever the Boy Scout"dib dib dib be prepared"....
The only fly in the ointment was being balls arsed tired yesterday however it's more often than not the case that the hardest step is the one out the door,once you've gotten that under your belt you're home's getting out the door that's the trick.....
I was aided and abetted in this by Ireland's  historic 1.0 win over World Champions Germany in Dublin.....frankly if that didn't light a fire under me nothing would  and this proud paddy was out the door w/ a song in his heart,a smile on his face and a considerable skip in his step!!!

A day after I gleefully reported Peco Tower had started displaying the temprature again along w/ the time yesterday they didn't but it was another warm pleasent evening,w/ the clocks going back at the end of the month I,m trying to make the most of these "Indian Summer Evenings" b4 we lose Daylight Savings Time and I start finishing my runs in the dark.
Made the turn  about half a mile from Falls Bridge and began the inbound leg I felt comfortable throughout the run as week four of my Off Season 55mpw finds me feeling pretty strong in the legs,the true test will come next Sunday over 5k in Saratoga Springs for the Masters 5K XC C'ships to see where my speed is at,I'm looking forward to returning to the realm of 8,8,14 on the roads w/ 4 and 6 mile repeats on the track beginning on Oct 26th the leg turnover my not be there just yet but trust me the wheels are turning in my head as I start to map out my 2016 track season.

Home just after 6.30pm suitably "cream crackered" but secure in the knowledge I was now only a long run away from my 55mpw tally for the third week in four,the road is long,the price is high......but the rewards could be plentiful if my body can match my hearts desire

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Searching For {And Finding} The Quiet Life

After the historonics of both work and my run on Tuesday I could be forgiven for taping into my "Inner David Sylvian"and wanting "the quiet life"  yesterday......careful what you ask for,sometimes you might just get it!

Unlike Tuesday I wasn't knee deep in Plonkers at work.......just the usual level of bellends which after 16 years I can tackle in my sleep
As for my run I'd set 9 miles as my run du jour on account of Wednesday being date nite w/ my nearest and dearest,from a running stand point going 9,10,10,12,14 for the week would have been uniform and streamline but w/ little to no wiggle room this week I opted to make Wednesday the 9 miler as it would allow me a bit more time post run to get dinner ready.

For the first time in a while Peco Tower displayed the temprature....a comfortable 76 degrees  and I worked up a decent sweat out there last nite on my out and back to just b4 Columbia bridge.
Mercifully no incidents on tonites run the last thing I needed was some one or something ruining the tranquility of date nite,kinda hard to enjoy your Tomato Soup w/ Grilled Cheese and "The Brothers McMullen" after some pratt on a bike nearly takes you out by  blowing a red light but no such worries tonite.

29 down,26 to go.....I was here last week b4 the weekend got away from me I'm hellbent on taking care of business tonite over 12 miles and just needing to "go long" on Saturday to wrap up week 4 of my 6 week off season,I'd be "telling porkies" if I didn't say I'm already salivating at the thought of the 2016 track season period but being my 40th anniversary of track....while Ruby is considered the traditional 40th anniversary gift I'm not ready for my Ruby slippers just yet......still life in the old dog yet.....WOOF!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Trifle Not W/ Tired{And Slightly Pissed Off} Tigers!!!!

In an old shoe box somewhere is an old "Calvin & Hobbes" comic strip that I saved way back when.
In frame one Hobbes is sound asleep,frame two Calvin comes along and pulls his whiskers,in frame three Hobbes batters Calvin and in the final frame Calvin staggers away somewhat the worse for wear saying "triffle not w/ tired Tigers".....
Substitute midly pissed off for tired and you have my mindset going into last nites 10 miler......

I'm not going off on one on work....we all have war stories where the job is concerned,heck I could be flippin' burgers,slingin' hash or pickin' fly shit out of pepper for a living but I'm not THAT said I don't have to take it lying down when seemingly reasonable normal human beings act like complete knob heads/bellends and give off an "hooray for me fuck everyone else" attitude that screws it for the rest of us and make my day a lot harder.
I was recently asked what some of my "pet peeves" are.....Stupidity ranks right near the top,as a wise man once told me"it's not a crime to be stupid...just don't abuse then privilege"......

If Mondays 10 miler had been about the sheer joy of running yesterday was about getting rid of the angst,anger and resentments from work and upto just b4 the 9 mile mark it had done just that although the fuse may have been lit just b4 mile 8........
While it had been an easy run I found myself picking up my pace along the Schuylkill Banks heading back towards the Schuylkill footpath and South St bridge to the point when I overtook another runner just b4 Market St said runner seemed to take exception to this and was now hard on my heals breathing down my wanna dance fucker??? lets dance!!!! he was soon dispatched like a bad habit only to be replaced w/ by another runner along the footpath who thought he could could "hang w/ the kid".......dream on!!!!
It was nice to know I had that change of pace after 8 miles,the bigger test will be next Sunday at Saratoga in the Masters 5K XC C'ships but we'll cross,burn,paint,jump that bridge when the time comes.....

Crossing South St bridge I felt I could "shut it down" now over the final 1.5 mile and hit cruise control......however that mindset was about to be turned on it's head and how.........
Approaching the junction of 34th & Spruce St looked up and saw the white stick figure on the traffic lights indicating I had the right of way so I continued my forward trajectory.........
Half way across 34th St here comes Asia's answer to Lance Armstrong not only blowing through the red light but w/ a full head of steam like he's trying to seperate himeself from the chase pack.... I braced myself for impact and hoped for the best.......
Between my body swerve and his ability to swing wide of me we avoided impact.......this however did NOT  stop the words " you slant eyed coconut*" reverberate off the buildings on that corner
*coconut is a polite word for him....a four letter word that like Coconut starts w/ a C and ends w/ a T.........capisce???!!!!!

The drama however did not end there....far from it! '' Asian Lance" now heads up Spruce St feet away from me as I pounded the sidewalk{pavement for my English/Irish readers!} on Spruce St no hint of remorse for almost clatterring into me.....I maybe a few weeks removed from any speed work but   I amazed myself w/ the ease in which my knee lift and leg turn over carried me.......NEVER underestimate the power of having ones IRISH up.....
Now for the final insult "Asian Lance" now cuts off Spruce St onto the pathway that cuts through Penn campus at 36th St.......right in front of me............
Believe me when I say I swung my right foot at his back wheel hoping to make contact.....sadly I was a tad more Harry Kane than Christian Ericksen and just missed by inches which lead to a "gertcha you slant eyed coconut" as he got the full daggers effect as I continued up Spruce St,had I made contact w/ his back wheel I feel it's safe to say "Claret was imminent" and NOT mine.......but to keep things in prespective as I continued up Spruce St who's riding towards me on the sidewalk.....a Philly Bike Cop.......try explaining that one to the judge that I went all Bruce Lee on Bruce Lee for blowing through a red light 90 seconds earlier.....

Mercifully the final mile was incident free and I'm 20 miles deep into my 55 mile target for week 4 of my off season training,here's to an incident free 9 miler tonite period but since it's date nite I could do w/out the drama!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Start As You Mean To Go On

I never made it out over the weekend,a series of events that kind of rolled into one another and created the snowball effect.....I'm not going to beat myself up over it{I'm sure other people will be more than happy to do that for me!} I've made my peace w/ it and moved on......I suggest others do the same.

Monday evening saw me primed and ready to go as my projected schedule this week was:10 10 9 12 14 on Mon,Tue,Wed,Thur,Sat.
I have a wedding to attend on Saturday and I 'd prefer to have Sundays long run taken care of by Saturday morning/lunchtime so as to leave Sunday free to enjoy the post wedding celebrations and not have to leave early to take care of business.....I'm all about geting the run in but not to the point where I become a slave to it so if I have to squeeze four runs in Monday thro Thursday to free up Sunday ontop of making Saturday my long run to make it be it!

Brisk 10 miler to kick things off,maybe being well rested over the weekend helped me attack the tried and tested out and back 10 miler last nite,maybe the fact having been sans tv since Sept 5th till Oct 4th saw a little more urgency in last nites more coming home to only the radio back into the old routine of dvring "ESPN FC" at 6pm and watching it after my run,either way I wasn't hanging around,out the door by 4.55pm and back by 6.17pm  a buck twenty two......considerably quicker than 10 minute mile pace.

W/ a race on tap next Sunday the competitive juices are starting to flow freely through me and while XC 5K is a little out of my comfort zone I'm relishing my first race since 5th Avenue Mile on Sept 13th,I've said this b4 but it bares repeating you can "spar" all the rounds you like in the gym.......but untill you step thro the ropes and into the ring/cage and prepare to "throw down" it don't mean I ready to rumble???? please I was born ready to rumble........

Friday, October 2, 2015

Handled It Like A Boss

Having dodged a bullet Wednesday w/ the rain I wasn't so fortunate yesterday,a long steady downpour throughout the afternoon meant my resolve would be tested.
IF I blew Thursday off I could potentially still "take care of business" Friday all be it by "jumping through hoops" and juggling my schedule which frankly felt like a giant Energizer Bunny pain in the arse......feck it just run in the rain and be done w/ it!

As a "Pale Paddy" running in the rain is in my DNA my theory is it won't be the first time,nor the last,and while no "Fashionista" I did hear "the wet look is in" this w/ that it was Spurs baseball cap and USA rain jacket on and out the door.
The hardest part of running in the rain for me is going out and starting,it's alot easier if you've been running and then if the heavens open much like standing under the shower you reach a saturation point where no matter how hard it's bucketing down you can only get so wet and after a while I became used to the slow steady downpour I had entered willingly.

One plus of the rain, the sidewalks tend to be more open.....although there is now the potentail for having to dodge/duck Umbrellas but other than that it was fine.
Once out on the Schuylkill I also had "open road" for "shits and giggles on the outbound leg I counted how many other foolhardy souls I passed in either direction.......14 for those keeping score at home.
Prehaps the most telling sign was out on the Schuylkill it's self........Rowers putting in their reps,shit if they could do it on the river I could sure as hell do it along the footpath.

Was happy to be all done my 9 miles and out of my soaked running attire and enjoying a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea b4 my hot shower,29 miles down 26 to go over the weekend,the forecast is for more rain but having taken care of business last nite unless it's blowing a gale out there Saturday and Sunday I have no excuses not to finish what I started this week