Friday, February 27, 2015

Frozen....The Non Disney,Not So Cute Version

One of the things that gets me through a lung busting repeat session on the track is the knowledge that the following day is a recovery run,which means irrigardless of distance 4,6,8,9 miles I'll be running it at a slow reasonable pace.
So as I prepared myself for yesterdays  9 mile recovery run out and back along the Schuylkill on Kelly Drive I did so in the knowledge that w/ my taper beginning this week this would be my last 9 miler along the Schuylkill footpath and Schuykill Banks and Kelly Dr for sometime,the post Nationals pre outdoor training gets underway on March 23rd/24th so I'm sure my treks out to Colombia Bridge will be resumed shortly thereafter.

After Tuesdays bone chilling 23 degrees for the same run I was releaved to see 31 degrees on trusty old Peco Tower after 5pm as I made may way south along the Schuylkill Banks on the inbound section of the run,31 is far from "tropical" I grant you but after 23 degrees on Tuesday it felt like running on a beach in Bermuda trust me!!

I would imagine in Bermuda the only time the word frozen gets used is when the  movie is mentioned or one is ordering  a Frozen Daiquiri poolside but I must say to see the whole Schuylkill River frozen over is somewhat unique.
Between this winter and last years "Polar Vortex" seeing the Schuylkill frozen over isn't the "once  in a blue moon" thing it once was,I recall several years ago on a Sunday long run  around the Art Museum Loop" spotting an intrepid/foolhardy soul ice sking out on the frozen river by the Spring Garden bridge,it probably is thick  enough to get away w/ it this time around but I don't see anyone willing to try it,#letsnotandsaywedid

Thankfully Wednesdays above freezing temps allowed for the melt/thaw I had hoped for along the Schuylkill footpath and more importantly on/off ramp at South St bridge,the ramp is no longer a glacier "slip and slid" thank fuck,I still can't believe the city didn't treat it w/ rock salt...or that some wide eyed opportunist didn't "fall" and "Lawyer Up".......yeah I'm the only one who went there???!!!!

For the "shutterbug" enthusiasts amongs you I'd recomend a trip along the Schuylkill this weekend to capture on film the rare sight of said Schuylkill being frozen over,as we enter March I'd like to believe we're heading out of the worst "Old Man Winter" can throw at us and when no doubt this summer we're bitchin' to high heaven about the heat a photographic reminder of this Winter might help keep things in prespective......

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Time Stands Still

I turn my back to the wind to catch my breath b4 I start off again driven on w/out a momet to spend to pass an evening w/ a drink and a friend
Time sand still,I'm not looking back but I want to look around me now see more of the poeple and the places that surround me now,freeze the is moment a litle bit longer make  each impression a little bit stronger.

Time Stand Still-Rush

Including yesterday I had 4 repeats and 2 races on tap between now{then since it's yesterday} and Indoor Nationals so I wanted to maximize every last one and get as much "bang for my buck" as I could starting w/ my 3x300m/3x200m.
I must've had a "brain fart" somewhere in the day to consider doing the 5x200m/4x300m/3x200m repeat now and the 3x300m/3x200m on Saturday,the only reason I did the 3x300m/3x200m on a Saturday last time out was it was considerably colder on the Saturday ergo switching to the 50 min workout,but w/ hindsight doing the longer repeat on Saturday off more rest makes sence,the beauty of a Saturday repeat is being well rested unlike on a weekday when I've not only been up since 5.10am but also putting in a full days work but such is the life of a full time working athlete!

It didn't help getting out of work half an hour later than usual but I was happy to arrive a Geasey Field at 4.12pm to find the inside lane free of snow and ice,in fairness most of the track was visable w/ a a few lanes visable minus the bottom turn which always gets the shaft as the parking lot and two storey houses on the street obscure the sunlight to help melt/thaw the snow......that is when there is sun,yesterday being the exception,I hedged my bets on Sunday looking at the 7 day forecast that Wednesday was the best/warmest day of the week to hit the track for repeats,at 37 degress not only was it above freezing but a darn sight warmer than the 25/23 degrees I ran in on Tuesday!!!

Mile warm up b4 getting into my flats and getting down to business,last time out on my debut over this repeat I went:


Not too shabby,would have been happy w/ an average of 49/50 secs for the 300s w/ only a minute recovery inbetween.

The three seconds I picked up on the 300s I relucantly gave back over the 200s......but not for the want of trying.

I believe as time evolves and my body becomes used to these shorter repeats w/ short recoveries I'll get to grips w/ them,while I didn't gain any time on this repeat I didn't lose any either......hence the "Time Stands Still" lyrics,Rush has been ruling the roost on Spotify this week,can't you tell!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Entering The Stretch Drive

The road unwinds towards me what was there is gone the road unwinds towards me and I go riding on
But it's my turn to drive,it's my turn to drive driven to the margin of error driven to the edge of control,driven to the margin of terror driven to the edge of a depp dark hole

After  a  week off minus my 800m race it was time to knuckle down and get back at it period but also w/ the clock ticking down to Winston Salem and Indoor Nationals this week marks my final week of 5 day/40mpw,next week it's 30 miles and then 20 as I begin my taper.
Tempted as I was to blow this one off and get cozy on the recliner w/ the Champions League on tv i knew that was bullshit, the week off was one thing but to get lazy now would be unforgivable....even if  Precious my cat seemed sad at the prospect of less "lap time" w/ me out on a run.....sorry little girl but daddy has Indoor Nationals very much front and center on his radar right now!

A "balmy" 25 degrees when I set off at 4.30pm.....I say that w/ tongue firmly in 25 degrees leaving said tongue out could result in frostbite!
Thankfully the sidewalks were clear however upon reaching the  Schuylkill footpath I was somewhat preterbed to find it hadn't been treated w/ salt to clear the snow and ice....I know damn well I'm not the only runner in Philly using the Schuylkill footpath!!!
Thankfully once I reached the Schuylkill Banks conditions underfoot were a lot better although that said I did encounter  a few ice patchs which forced me to slow  down,no point going "arse over tit" on a training run period muchless this close to Indoor Nationals.

42.27 at the turnound no that time was omni important here,getting the miles in and doing in in one piece was the name of the game.
It was bad enough it was only 25 degs when I started the run now an hour into it as I made my way back along the Schuylkill Banks it had dropped to 24.....which then became 23,to be honest it didn't feel that cold,maybe this winter has taken its toll on me and I don't feel the cold that much.....I think the fact there was no Siberian bone chilling wind to accompany the cold probably helped.
Holy Crap!!! the ramp upto the South St bridge from the Schuylkill footpath was a sheet of ice,i couldn't believe it,I practically slowed to a walk to reach the top and allowed my self the slightest of fist pumps as I safely negotiated it and turned right on the South St bridge w/ roughly 1 and 3/4 miles to go.

Home in one piece in 1.28.12,like I said time was not the issue here,I'd gotten a 9 miler in and made it home intact,it's always about getting another day and thankfully tomorrow is going to be above freezing which should help thaw/melt the ice on the footpath and off ramp.....but probably NOT the river which looked like a giant outdoor ice rink........when's Spring again????

Monday, February 23, 2015

About As Organized As A Tossed Salad

I feel guilty being critical of the Thursday Nite @ The Races series at The Armory in New York,w/out them my Indoor seasons for the last  nine years would have been non exsistant or I'd have been going to shitholes like Glen Mills and Albright...that my sound harsh????? but it's the truth,that said this seasons Thursday Nite @ The Races seies has been flawed.
#1 no mention of a 800m on the online schedule till I get there,granted my plan was to run the mile but it was the start of a slippery slope....
#2 was scheduled for Jan 29th only to be rescheduled due to the snow{although said 8'' of the same snow didn't require the Armory Invitational to be rescheduled the following two days......just saying!}
Then the following Monday after an ice strom the scheduled New Jersey Varsity meet got cancelled,to be rescheduled the Thursday thaT the previously rescheduled TNATR #2 was penciled in for.....and subsequently cancelled......

This brings us upto date to the TNATR #3 on Thursday,again according to the online schedule the running order was:800m,600m,5,000m so figuring on threen or four womens 800s b4 the mens heats I timed my warm up for 6.35pm to 6.50pm,figuring I 'd be on the track by 7.30pm.......
Not only did they put the mens and womens 600s on the track first but then three sections of a mens 300m......
Following four sections of the womens 800m it was time for the mens 800m, nine sections......fastest to slowest.....which then became fastest,slowest to fastest,then fastest,slowest,fastest to slowest....I went from being in heat #4 to heat #6 to eventually heat #5 meanwhile nobody had a clue which heat # they were running,we were told to ignore the heat sheets on the whit one runner questioned "why are they up there then?"
Eventually I got on the track to run in heat #5,no time for stride outs and I wasn't even in the set position when the gun went off,despite being the #4 seed and third on the starting line I got the worst possible reaction to the gun and found myself near the rear of the threeteen man field and stuck on the rail,having made mental errors in the mile here on the opening nite and then gotten stuck on the rail at Hartshorne in my second race of the season this was hardly the start I wanted for my third race of the Indoor season....

Swinging wide off the botom turn and moving out into lane 3 on the back straight I began moving through the field,33 seconds at 200m but no idea of my position w/in the race.
W/ "open road" ahead now I was able to get into a good stride pattern and hit the front at 400m in 65 seconds a 32 second split.
It's been a while since I've enjoyed being out in front in a race but it's a feeling that never gets old,the trick however is to make sure you're still out infront come the finishline......
1.38 at 600m a 33 second split,I glanced over my shoulder to see my teammate John Goldthorpe on my heals,I haven't raced John that often as we're in different age groups but I knew he wasn't going away on the bell lap.
Down the back straight I tried to relax but also get the most out of my knee lift and leg turnover,it's not often I get run down in the closing stages of a race but tonite younger faster legs won out as John went by me as we came out of the final turn,a moral victory for Greater Philadelphia Track  Club to go 1-2 in the heat john in 2.11.10 me in 2.12.39.

Yeah it sucks to lose,team mate,friend etc losing is losing but tonite was about posting an 800m seed time for the upcoming Indoor Nationals which I did and on the bus ride home I duly threw my hat into the ring for the 2015 Masters Indoor Nationals at 800m and the mile.
I still have four more weeks to improve and hopefully get faster than my 4.51.74 and 2.12.39,to that end I still have another crack at both distances b4 heading to Winston Salem,let's hope the next race is a little more organized!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

All Aboard The 2.10 To Winston Salem

After almost a month since my last race{Hartshorne Masters Mile}I'm as excited as a fat kid at a b'day party to be back on a track this evening for a race,800m at Thursday Nite @ The Races #3.
While there's an element of "last chance saloon"about tonites race given it's my last chance to post a seed time for the upcoming Winston Salem Indoor Nationals{4 weeks and counting} there's also the double whammy of not only lacing up my spikes but also running an 800m.

Last season indoors I could only manage a pair of below par times 2.16.78 and 2.14.11 I sat out the 2013 season and in 2012 I ran the mile and 3,000m indoors so you'd have to go back to the 2011 season for my last meaningful indoor 800s,2.06 and 2.10 neither of which I was thrilled about at the time as I felt they were slow.....little did I know I was debilitated w/ Anemia at the time.

Obviously tonite is important time wise as I need to submit a seed time period muchless b4 the dealine  for entries closes at midnight,I don't have to be at my sharpest tonite but w/ three of my next five races over 800m between tonite and Indoor Nationals it would be prudent to kick things off w/ a decent time/performance.
How realistic is a 2.10? hard to say splits of 32,32,33,33 would get me there.....easier said than done but that's the game plan,had I have had the chance to race over 1,000m a few weeks ago I was shooting for 2.55 pace off of 35 seconds splits,I believe I'm faster now than I was b4 the scheduled TNATR #2 on Jan 29th so we'll see,I seeded myself at 2.10 my guess is I'll wind up in heat  #3 or #4 lets hope when the gun goes off I'm ready to rip it up

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


The waiting is the hardest part everyday you see one more card you take it on faith you take it to the heart the waiting is the hardest part

The Waiting-Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

After a good run of getting the upper hand w/ "Old Man Winter" it looks like I'm getting tag teamed along w/ Mother Nature this week!
I opted to sit out Sundays long run,the cold I think I could've handled.....maybe not over 14 miles but I'm sure had push come the shove I could've mustered  a few miles,but the high winds and an aversion to becoming a lifelike Mary Poppins helped sway my decision to sit that one out and settle for a 4 day/26mpw.

B4 yesterdays decision to sit out another run due to the extreme cold I elected to revisit my "Week 9" clause where after 8 weeks of training I take a week off.....boy if ever there was a week to do that it was this week!
Since I have a race on tap on Thursday{fingers crossed this one doesn't fall victim to the weather in NYC!!!} I will tweak that clause and run the 800m at The Armory b4 hopefully hitting Temple's Geasey Field for Mile repeats on Saturday or Sunday depending on the snow on the track.

Thursday feels a bit like "Last Chance Saloon" as the deadline for Indoor Nationals falls at 11.59pm so post race I'll beat a hasty path to a nearby Starbucks post race to get my mile and 800m entries in,come Friday it's only four weeks till Winston Salem which gives me one more week of full blown training b4 my taper,the clock as they say is ticking......tick tock,tick tock....

Monday, February 16, 2015

For The Love Of It

So true love triumphs once again it always makes it in the end
And if you let your heart run free,it will return faithfully
Love can't hide,though it tries,hearts catch fire all the time
Helpless love walks the line,hearts catch fire the hour is fine
Here's my heart

Here's My Heart-Pat Benatar

For the record let me state I don't believe in True Love,Cupid or Soul Mates.....I used to.....then again I used to believe in Santa Claus,the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy......somewhere along the line I became a non believer,yes it makes for a lonely exsistance but it does save me a small fortune in cards,candy and flowers....which given the $40 Livewll Deduction #stilllgrindingthataxe may not be the worst thing on this pay period!!!!.

Remember on Wednesday when I forgot my half zip jacket and but I opted to keep todays shorter repeats in place???? well that proved to be a prudent move on my part.
I don't know what the official temps were on Saturday but the afternoon high was only going to be low to mid 20s.....w/ a threat of snow.... so I thought it prudent to get to Geasey Field a little earlier than usual,hence my arrival at 11.55am.
Conditions were grey{just one shade,not fifty!}and blustery and  after my 6 lap warm up it began to snow,the flakes grew bigger as the workout progressed,I can only imagine what conditions would've been like had I shown up at my usual time around 1.15pm!!!

Warm up taken care of it was time to "have at it" over 3x300m and 3x200m as ever w/ debuts on a repeat it's hard to know what kind of splits I should be gunning for but based off the splits I put up on Wednesday over 5x200m,4x300m,3x200m I felt 52/32 was a reasonable target time....


Not sure where that opening 48.78 sprang from but hopefully it bodes well for the future as I see these shorter repeats w/ short recoveries {1 min between  both 300s and 200s w/ a 2 min rest between each set} becoming the norm


Pleased w/ the 200s period but adding all six repeats up for a combined 1,500m I had 4.08.06............

By the time I exited Geasey Field at 12.45pm the snow flakes were getting bigger but I was done for the day and my only pressing engagement was w/ the tv at 6pm for the Millrose Games........take that you chubby little cherub and your arrows.......

Friday, February 13, 2015

You're Twisting My Mellon Man

He's gonna step on you again,he's gonna step on you he's gonna step on you again,he's gonna step on you
You're twisting my mellon man you know you talk so hip man,you're twisting my mellon
Hey raimaker,come away from that man you know he's gonna take you away from your promised land
Hey good lady he just wants what  you got he'll never stop till he's taken the lot

Step On-Happy Mondays

What's that old adage "if it ain't one thing it's another?" allow me a little indulgence here as I Rage Against The Machine.
A few years back I can only imagine somebody a few pay grades above my station must have had a health scare,next thing you know all vending machines were removed from the hospital,the cafeteria revamped it's entire menu providing healthy choices{not a bad thing}......but it didn't stop there.....
It became hospital policy for all employess using the hospials health coverage were to undergo an annual physical.
Me being me I took exception to this,considering I train 5 days a week and watch what I eat and drink I wasn't prepared to be told I needed a physical,said act of defiance cost me $10 per pay period,$260 for the year{a few pairs of running shoes} if you like".....
BOOM! last year they jacked it up from $10 per pay cheque to $20......NOW you had my attention,I complied w/ "hospital policy" and had a Colonoscopy and said annual pay period still a $20 deduction....WTF? When I questioned HR I was casually informed I hadn't filled out the online Healthy Steps program connected to the required Physical......took care of pay period  STILL taking $20 out of my pay cheque,when I inquired as to why I was told "it takes a pay period to get caught up" speak for "your still getting screwed"
As the year drew to a close they began beating their drum as to anybody not in compliance w/ their annual Physical and Healthy Steps program would now be looking at a $40 per pay cheque worries for moi since I'd had said annual physical and filled out their precious Healthy Steps online survey.......right???????????????????????????????????????????????????

As is my won't on pay days I go online to cheque my pay stub,off the bat it didn't look right......I scroll down to deductions......LIVEWELL DEDUCTIONS $40................................are you fucking kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Off the bat I was in touch w/ Payroll.....who refered me to HR,I expain the situation to them who tell me they'll get back to me..........lunch time comes and goes...not a dicky bird,so I'm back emailing HR who now inform me they don't have the records of the annual Physicals/Healthy Steps they belong to Health Care Stratagies  who have not gotten back to HR.........
What a load of old bollocks!!!!!!!!,backing up this cock up of biblical preportion when I saw my doctor last year for my "mandatory" annual Physical he  said he didn't think the "hospital policy" would hold up in a court of I said a load of old bollocks and now even when I do comply to it I STILL end up out of pocket.........................................................................................................
This does have a direct effect on my running{this is afterall a running blog!} I've got three upcoming race in New York City that not only require entry fees but also bus fares....ontop of Indoor Nationals,the deadline for entries is next Friday so that's entry fees,a flight and a hotel to be paid for so FUCK YEAH  that $40 makes a difference.....

You'd have thought/hoped my 9 mile recovery run would have helped eleviate some of the anger and resentment I hold towards this........following my run and shower I went to make my dinner a hearty bowl of Spaghetti and Meatballs w/ Red Clam sauce.....after cooking the Meatballs and heating the sauce and pouring said sauce over said Meatballs I realized I hadn't cooked the Spaghetti...... still considering I'm $40 short on my pay cheque not having to buy Spaghetti again this week will save me a $1.......

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What Do You Know? You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks!!

I've never laid claim to the fact that mine was the first and last word on training,my feeling has always been while my way may not be the right way for others it's always been the right way for me,however the caveat to that has been if someone came along and showed me a way to get faster and stronger I was willing to listen to them......
Recently I came across a set of repeats from a runner who I not only hold in high esteam but is also a several time world champion and world record holder.......if these repeats work for him then I figured they can't do me any harm,afterall isn't "immitation the greatest form of flattery"???

I arrived at Geasey Field just gone 3.45pm conditions were sunny but w/ a nip in the air....which made the fact I'd reprised my role of the "abesent minded proffessor" and left my Spurs Under Armour dri fit half zip hanging up in the bathroom that much more of a DOH!!! moment
Tempted as I was to switch repeats to the shorter one I have on tap for Saturday{which is another borrowed workout,this time from one of my rivals for the M50 1,500m title at Worlds} I know that Saturday is gonna be way colder than yesterday half zip or no half zip so I stuck to the plan of:
5x200m 4x300m 3x200m.

Mile warm up taken care of it was have at it time.
Given this was my first time doing this repeat today was more about laying down a baseline of splits to give me something to go after in two weeks time when I revisit it

While I'm no stranger to  200m/300m repeats{lest we forget my 8x300/200/300m repeats} it the short recoveries that were alien to me today.

If the end product of these repeats was to feel leggy and short of breath then I'd executed them!!!

I must say only getting 60 seconds between the opening 200s and then 90 seconds between the 300s and closing 200s wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be and while I still plan to keep longer repeats in my rotation I have been looking to cut down my recoveries,as I always say "anyone can be a world beater off of extended recoveries" and your workout is only as good as your recovery.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Running Is My Therapy

It's often been said runners no matter what they are dealing w/ in their personal/professional lives tend not to need therapy to solve said issues as running tends to be our form of therapy,and while I wouldn't dream of speaking on behalf of the entire running commmunity for my part I'll say that running has been and contiues to be my therapy.
Case in point yesterday,w/out going all TMI it was another classic "hooray for the Storeroom,fuck the Loading Dock" mindset by the powers that be,I may be more Bush League than Ivy League when it comes to intellegence but even as the Cat w/out the sharpest claws I know that there are two people down in the Storeroom who have the capacity to come up to the dock and help me receive when my co worker calls out but evidently this wasn't an option so muggings here gets lumbered doing all the work on what is a two man job,surfice to say I had steam coming out of my ears by the time I called it a day at 3.15pm.

As luck would have it I had a 9 miler on tap,ample miles to blow off said steam although I had to be careful not to over do it,w/ a brisk repeat session on tap this evening I had to make sure I kept my legs fresh for that but I think I found the right balance of steam blowing and keeping something in reserve for the track
40 degrees and sunny but as is it's won't along the Schuylkill the omnipresent wind whipping up off the river was there,never more so than along the Schuylkill footpath that is feet above the river #ber

I could tell I was in a fiesty mood{when aren't I???} just b4 the Art Museum,I was running along keeping my own council when BAM! along comes "Junior" straining to catch up w/ me even though I was oblivious to his presence till he went by me on my left........then he gets in front of me and slows the fuck down........REALLY????
Asides from being one of my pet peeves when runners do that I really wasn't in the mood for that kind of bullshit today{or any day for that matter to be honest!} so I sped up got back in front of ''Junior" and on the downhill that goes under Spring Garden bridge "let out the clutch"......and "Junior" was dispatched to my rear view mirrior never to be seen again. #seeya

Reached the turnaround just b4 Columbia bridge in 41.27 so a sub 1.23 was up for grabs if I wanted it,like I said I wanted to blow off a little steam and dispatching "Junior" had aided and abetted that but I also knew going "balls out" on a run of the mill 9 miler and falling on my arse on the track tomorrow would be unwise so I backed off a little on the inbound 4.5 miles home to clock a still respectable 1.23.21. and w/ that my therapy session had come to a close,shit I'd only get an hour if I saw a therapist!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Getting The Led Out

Only a Sunday long run between me and another 5day/40mpw as I headed out the door just after 10am.
After three weeks of having someone to run w/ on the Sunday long run it was back to "old school" and going solo.
Not the worst thing in the world,while I've enjoyed the company and continue to look forward to shared Sunday long runs having a Sunday to myself allowed me a few hours to myself.

As a rule I don't commit my weekly schedule to paper till Sunday usually post long run and even then always in pencil,the past two weeks w/ rescheduling and subsequent cancelling of Thursday Nite @ The Races #2 proved how wise that is,that said during my long runs I will mentally write a schedule for the upcoming weeks.....shit what else am I gonna think about for two hours while I'm out running?
I'm closing in on the critical phase of the Indoor season,as of Saturday I'm 6 weeks out which means I have three more weeks at full throttle b4 a three week taper,my next race is 11 days out and is followed by the deadline for entries for Winston Salem and then two more races on the 8th and 10th of March so each run and repeat takes on its own sence of importance from here on in.

Conditions were grey and overcast but mild enough not to require double layers although I did opt for gloves since A I'm cursed w/ piss poor circulation and my fingers are always cold and B I was doing the Art Museum Loop so it was probably prudent to protect said fingers.
Reached half way and Falls bridge in 59.36,prehaps wishful thinking to think I could go sub 2.00 on my lonesome but what the fuck why not give it a go I thought?
As per along West River Dr I felt I was "swimming against the tide" w/ everyone running southbound to my northbound,however I knew crossing Falls bridge that while I'd still encounter runners going in the opposite direction at least there'd be runners ahead of me going southbound.

I began picking off runners ahead of me w/in the opening mile of Kelly Dr,I had a wry smile to myself when I passed one runner w/ at the 9 mile mark who seemed to take umbridge w/ me for passing him,I was cognisent of his footsteps for maybe 400m b4 they faded away not to be heard again,sorry champ nothing personal but that's just how it goes.
At the start of Boathouse Row I was joined by Andy Elkin who I thought I'd seen running towards Falls bridge as I made my way down Kelly Dr,he made me laugh when he said he'd been trying to reel me in for the past 2 miles!!!.
We picked up the pace a little as we ran to the end of the Schuylkill Banks,Andy exited stage left at Locust Point as I continued along the Schuylkill footpath and South St bridge.

1.51 and change at mile 13,it'd take a hurculean effort now to duck under 2.00 but wasn't too upset to clock 2.00.50,8.37 mile pace,9 min mile pace would've gotten me home in 2.06 so to be that close on a solo effort was quite pleasing.
Another 5 day/40mpw under my belt,fingers crossed the weather continues to work in my favour as I go for a threepeat this coming week.

Rock You Like A Harry Kane

Nothing like a 7.45am kick off in the EPL to have you up,bright eyed and bushy tailed on a Saturday morning,factor in it's the North London Derby between Spurs and arsenal and you can appreciate yours truly up at 7am and parked in front of the tv waiting for the game to start!!!!

Since this is Kevin Running Free and not Tottenham Running Free I'll spare you the play by play of the game.....all you need to know was Spurs won 2.1 thanks to two second half Harry Kane goals,just the incentive I needed heading to Geasey Field at lunch time for my 4x400m/mile4x400m/mile repeats.
Conditions were remarkably warm and mild for early Febuary when I arrived at the track at 1.05pm{in case you're wondering why it was 1.05pm when I got there after the Spurs game ended a 9.40am I did cop the Madrid derby between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid a 10am.....what?I just wanted it to get warm enough}
Mile warm up taken care of it was time to have at it,last time out on Jan 17th I went:

#1 4x400m
A little bummed that 70 crept in I could've lived w/  66,67,68,69

#1 mile
3 seconds off of Jan 17ths opening mile and my fastest mile in the 4x400/mile x 2 todate

#2 4x400m
Funny story,after opening in 72.34 I was a little peeved all my hard work over the mile had been for naught as my plus/minus was now minus 1,when I first checked my watch after #2 I thought it read 77.98.....sonofabitch......then as the blood and oxygen returned to their rightful place I realized it read 67.98.......sonofabitch!!!!

#2 mile
Knew I was in a little trouble when I opened in 1.24,thought those last three sub 70 quarters plus the headwind on the home straight had caught up w/ me......yeah right! unleashed a closing lap of 1.17 for another 5.39 mile.

Collectivly up 9 seconds from my last outing,next time out I'm cutting the recoveries down to 3 mins,let's see what I can do then.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Don't Think,Just Do It

Anyday I'm cold at work on ye olde loading dock tells me it's brisker than a Lipton's Iced Tea out there and the biting wind that greeted me as i exited the hospital at 3.20pm confirmed that.......
As a result of sitting out Monday's slushfest I needed to take care of business this afternoon over 8 miles to stay on pace for a 5 day/40 mpw so rather than fret about it I emersed myself in my book "Massive Attack" Trevor Tanner's follow up to "Tottenham Massive" on the commute home.
Even the short walk from the trolley stop to my front door was brisk,"don't think about it" I told myself which was hard to hear over the sound of chattering teeth as I marched home like a power walker in desperate need of a portapotty.

Once indoors it was time for a stretch and a quick change,two pairs of socks,running tights,warm up bottoms,long sleeved Under Armour shirt,Under Armour half zip,sleeveless hoodie,heavy duty hoodie,thermal ski hat,thermal running gloves.....if you're curious as to why the sleeveless hoodie it's thin enough to fit under my thermal ski hat so I can keep the wind off my face as I run,#methodmadness.

Out the door by by 4.22pm it was fridged but at least the sun was out which from a psychological stand point helps,given this was an 8 miler I wasn't sure if I'd still have daylight when I finished sunset was 5.23pm by which time I figured I'd crossing back over the South St bridge so there was every chance I'd still have daylight for the closing mile and three quarters but better safe than sorry I went w/ regular glasses,for the record there was still daylight when I returned home by 5.43 so providing I'm getting on the road{sidewalk} by 4.23pmish I think it's safe to go w/ shades from here on in till late October/early least when the sun is out I don't want to look like a total plonker out there!!!.

I said back in November/December when the new Schuylkill footpath was opened that the real test would be running along it just feet above the Schuylkill river in the dead of winter.....I wasn't wrong!!
A biting head wind which I had to contend w/ till the turnaround along Kelly Drive a quarter mile after the Spring Garden bridge,thankfully after the turnaround said wind was now at my back,anyone who's ever ran on Kelly and or West River Drives will attest that isn't always a given.

By now I was "in the zone" the wind and the cold were secondary as I continued to churn out a reasonable pace for what was essentially a recovery run,the satisfaction I'd "grown a pair" to deal w/ the cold {26 degrees} not to mention the wind was somewhat warming,you could say I had brass balls to do me they felt like brass by the time I got done,but me and my brass balls enjoyed a steaming mug of hot cider post run secure in the knowledge I'd taken care of business!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Eight{Times 800m} Is Enough

Through no fault of my own I'd hadn't conducted 8x800m repeats in almost  six weeks,Xmas Day to be exact.
In my defence I will point out I did give it the "old collage try" on Jan 6th but whilst ankle deep in falling snow I had to conceed defeat half way through the 4th 800m and finished up the workout w/ 400s,then between my race schedule and the Winter it's been no go untill now.

Arriving at Geasey Field just b4 3.50pm I marvelled at how the warmer weather had brought out more people to the track than both my repeats last Wednesday and Saturday combined that said I more or less had lane 1 to myself and when I did have to swing by someone in lane 1 it felt like good overtaking practice.
Unlike last weeks oversight when I forgot to pack shades in my running bag I made sure they were there,at 40 degrees w/ brilliant sunshine they were needed.

Last time out on 12.25 I went:
So this time around I was aiming for 2.35 and under........

#1 800m
For once I didn't go out bat shit crazy on the opening lap of a repeat,in fact my opening 1.19 would prove to be my slowest split of the session......

#2 800m
After weeks of  4x1 mile and 4x400/mile x2 800s were feeling easier

#3 800m
Gotta say was loving the negative splits!!!!

#4 800m
Halfway home and feeling comfortable

#5 800m
Just loving these 1.15 splits!!!!

#6 800m
C'mon two more to go!

#7 800m
Prehaps not a total surprise to see a 1.18 creep in but the fact I'd been able to keep it at bay till #7 a feather in my running cap

#8 800m
Nailed it!

All in all a good workout,while I'm still simmering from tomorrows race being 86ed from the schedule this was the best revenge I could ask for.
W/ a very important 800m race next up on my schedule on Feb 19th this performance gave me a lot of imputus going forward and hopefully my three schdeuled repeats between now and then will have me in great 800m race shape.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

At Sixes And Sevens

Well another week the weather in New York City has forced me to switch my schedule at the last minute.
Last Mondays snow put the kybosh on Thursdays scheduled Thursday Nite @ The Races which while disappointing wasn't the worst thing in the world as it A allowed me a chance to get two repeats in and B the meet was rescheduled for this Thursday........
Once again Philly escaped the latest round of bad weather on Monday......however New York City bore the brunt of snow which then turned to freezing rain,so much so that Mondays New Jersey Varsity meet got cancelled......only to be rescheduled for Thursday not only bumping the Thursday Nite @ The Races# 2 meet but judging from The Armory's schedule isn't being re rescheduled........#fuckinggreat

Not only do I have to re rewrite this weeks schedule{not the worst thing in the world if I'm honest} but I'm one less race ready for Indoor Nationals now,again not the worst thing in the world but I was looking forward to lowering my 1,000m pr,don't see that happening now.
So in the life Lemons/Lemonade general scheme of things I'm now looking at a second week of  two repeats,glass half empty I'm looking at  almost three weeks between races,glass half full when {fingers crossed} the Thursday Nite @ The Races #3 800m goes off on Feb 19th I should be faster and sharper w/ all these extra repeats under my belt.

Since there was no pressing need to get Mondays miles in as there was now no race to accomodate I sat out the slushly conditions,IF the 1,000m race had still been on my schedule I'd have sucked it up and dealt w/ it but since I now had some leeway w/ the schedule I opted to sit Monday out,and while Tuesday was colder it was drier.
Out the door by 4.22pm knowing Sunset was 5.21pm meant I could don my shades to combat the sun and still be home b4 dusk and be done in daylight.
Despite only being 30 degrees it didn't feel too bad out there,I ditched the heavy duty hoodie and waterproof bottoms and stayed warm throughout the 6 miler out and back to Lloyd Hall,the new version of this weeks schedule now reads 6,6,8 b4 the weekend,I toyed w/ making todays 6 a 7 miler and ditto for Thursday but since the plan is to hit the track post work for a crack at 8x800m repeats 6 felt better for yesterday and 8 will serve me better tomorrow to get any leftover lactic acid out of my legs after the repeats

Monday, February 2, 2015

You Lead,I'll Follow

If at the start of the week you'd have told me I'd be going into Sunday only needing a 14 mile long run to complete a 5 day 40mpw I'd have had a giggle.....and yet here I was on Sunday morning w/ said Sunday long run away from such a week.....take that weather forecast!!!

After a two week hitaus from the Sunday long run due to freezing rain and a 7.5 hours bus ride from Ithaca it was time to renew myself w/ the 14 least today I'd have company as Steve and I arranged to run together again.
It's funny how we both have target races coming up in seven weeks time,for Steve the Ceaser Rodney Half Marathon for me Indoor Nationals in Winston Salem and while a 14 miler plays more to Steve's strength I need it to help round out my 40mpw so it's a good distance for us both.

Conditions were sunny and  reasonably warm at 10am when we met up on the corner of 50th & Cedar and plotted our route,as I've said b4 running w/ Steve is kind of like running w/ a human GPS, he has an incredible knowledge of the surrounding neighbourhood and todays run took us through University of Penn's campus,Mantua,passed the Philadelphia Zoo,into Fairmount Park and out into West Philly b4 working our way back to an old stomping ground of mine Cobbs Creek Parkway b4 eventually back into University City and home.

As much as I enjoy the tried and tested Art Museum Loop a change of pace and scenery never hurts so I was happy to follow Steves lead as we made our way through the surrounding neighbourhoods keeping a reasonable 8.11 pace as I eventully returned home in 1.55.55.
The miles seemed to fly by,maybe the route being new to me helped but whatever it was it didn't feel like a grind which the Sunday long run can feel like sometimes especially on your lonesome.

So I'm back to the Kev tested,Kev approved 5 day/40mpw training week,for the record Saturdays 6 miles rounded me out at 143 miles for January,hopefully todays 14 miles starts me off on a good run for Febuary,as for the coming week the weather could hold all the cards but I'm hoping next Sunday I'm looking at another Sunday long run to round out another 5 day/40 mile week w/ a race at The Armory on Thursday{1,000m} and 4x400m/mile/4x400m/mile repeats on Saturday.


According to Freud the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".......I guess Sigmund never did repeats on the track!!!!

In a week where I was altering my schedule on the fly to accomodate the weather I was forced to do back to back 4x1 mile repeats on Wednesday and Saturday.
Loathe as I am to do back to back same repeats I was more loathe to have to stand around for 40 mins in between repeats on my scheduled 4x400m/mile/4x400m/mile in sub zero temps{at 1.15pm it was probably in the low 20s w/ strong winds}so rather than blow off repeats like I did a few Saturdays ago in favour of a 6 miler I said cold and wind be damned and headed over to Temple's Geasey Field just after 1.10pm to have a second crack at 4x1 mile repeats having gone
5.23.5 5.26.5 5.31.5 5.28.3 on Wednesday.

Mile warm up.....w/ the emphasis on warm taken care of it was off w/ the sweats,on w/ the shades....yes I remembered to put them in my backpack today which was prudent given the bright sunshine despite the sub zero temps and winds and time to have at it.....

#1 mile
A slightly more restrained opening 400m than Wednesdays 1.13 set me up nicely for a 5.23 opener

#2 mile
Yet again that slight mental lapse on the second and third laps helped bloat my time,need to work on that aspect of my mile repeats...

#3 mile
Well I was dialed in on the opening two laps,maybe I went into oxegyn debt  on lap three but at 5.25 I was looking a shoe in for 4x sub 5.30s.......

#4 mile
Son of a bitch!!! I knew I was in an uphill fight when I opened in 1.21 and that strong head wind from the foot of the back straight to the top of the home straight was proving tougher and tougher to negotiate over the final laps.

I ended up w/ practically identical times compared to Wednesday:
5.23.5 5.26.5 5.31.5 5.28.3
5.23.7 5.29.7 5.25.9 5.31.6.
The plus minus came out even.

All in all I can't beat myself up too much.....although the head wind beginning at 200m and ending at 300m had done a pretty good job of that on the track I could walk away w/ the satisfaction of getting two repeats in,sometimes it's the moral victories that matter when you lose the battle but win the war.