Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Has Spring Finally Sprung?

An easy/recovery 8 miler out and back along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive.
After a couple of chilly days on the track over the weekend it was nice to be able to ditch the trusty Under Armour Spurs half for once,how long it stays hung up remains to be seen......if tomorrows forecast is to be belived I'll need to throw it into my back pack when I head over to Roxboro for my 8x800m repeats......but we'll worry about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here.
 56 degrees and sunny.....my god it actually feels like Spring  for once.....long may that continue!

On the road by 4.30pm it was quite noticeable the higher volume of runners out on the Schuylkill Banks  but I can't knock people for that,I got out in the crap weather cos I had to,not always because I wanted to.
Off of back to back repeats my calves were  a little tender but since this was an easy/recovery run I didn't forsee any more  stress being put on said calves.
Reached the turnaround in 37 something,couldn't make out the seconds on my stopwatch but wasn't too overly concerned at 37 something I was on pace for a 1.14 time.

Given this was a run that was taking 1.20 not so long ago there is a concern I'm pushing the pace on an easy/recovery run a tad more than I need to.....that said these 1.14/1.13 runs feel effortless I don't feel I'm digging deep into my reserves to do them.....providing I hit the track for my 8x800m tomorrow I'll know if I over extended myself or not.
Based on my 6 and 7 mile splits I felt a 1.13 time was there for the taking and it was,1.13.26.....3 seconds down on last Tuesdays time of 1.13.23,since "time" isn't really the issue here I  have no right to be pissy about a three second deficit......till next time out!!!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Back To Back

It was never going to be ideal having to do back to back repeats but having gotten screwed on Wednesday when I arrived at Geasey Field and not being in a position to reschedule them on Thursday I was looking at a repeat at Roxboro on Friday,going long on Saturday b4 going back to the track on Sunday for my short repeats......not exactly uber apealing if I'm being honest so I scrapped that notion and said back to back repeats Saturday and Sunday.....the lesser of two evils I guess?

Conditions weren't any better on Sunday than twenty fours earlier although at least the sun was out and the omnipresent wind on the back straight at Geasey Field had died down a little but would be an issue on repeats #1 #3 #5 and #7
Unlike the last time I did 8x200m Feb 28th I wouldn't have to double back on myself on the back straight this time I could do the more convenional anti clockwise loop
Last time out which was also my debut for this repeat {8x200m w/ 45 second recoveries} I went:
What did I have this time out?
Following my mile and a half warm up it was time to find out...........

When all the blood and oxygen had returned to their rightful places post workout I discovered my plus/minus on this repeat was minus 1.....go me!!!
Like I said back to back repeats was never going to be ideal but it seemed like a cross worth bearing{early Easter reference thrown in at no extra charge.....you're welcome!!} as I really didn't want to kick off my opening week of Outdoor season w/ only one repeat{the plan is for the seven weeks leading up to my 2015 Outdoor opener on May 11th at 5 day/40mpw w/ 2 repeats per week one long,one short} and for that reason alone I was willing to do back to back repeats.......in a day or two my screaming calves will forgive me......he said hopfully!!!!

Been A Long Time Since I Went Long

I hadn't conducted my "bread and butter" 4x1 mile repeats since Jan 31st so it was always going to be a bit of a shock to the system period today but also factoring in a now reduced recoveries to three minutes from four minutes I didn't have high expectations of running faster than I did back on Jan 31st
It was probably warmer on Jan 31st than it was on Saturday......fackin ada!!! it's meant to be Spring but you wouldn't know it on Saturday hence why I waited till lunch time to venture over to Geasey Field so at least the temps were above freezing when I gotb there at roughly 12.15pm.....surfice to say the track was more or less empty.....although rather ominously the Special Olympic group who were on the track on Saturdays last year were back,today wasn't an issue but we both know it's only a matter of time b4 it becomes an issue w/ the inside lane bad enough I'm looking at schleeping out to Roxboro on weekdays till May for my longer repeats but I may have blow out Temple on Saturdays for my shorter repeats if the inside lane becomes an issue.

"Mile" warm up  and I do mean a mile.....it was brought to my attention a while back I've been actually doing 1,600m not the mile so since then anything above 800m in a workout or warm up or cool down has seen me move back my start the requisit nine yards to have the whole mile and not 1,600m.....can't very well sign up  for "Bring Back The Mile" online and then run 1,600s!!!!!

#1 mile
To be 100% honest I had no real idea what to expect from this workout,basically all three of my "long" repeats are kind of "throw Linguine at the wall and see what sticks" b4 hoping for better in the coming weeks,that said 5.35 is slower than I was running in January

#2 mile
Same old same old good opening and closing 400s w/ work to be done on he middle 800m.

#3 mile
If nothing else I was consistant dropping 5 seconds per mile,could i muster a big finale???

#4 mile
Can't say I was too thrilled w/ an opening 400 of 1.28,and clearly I need to eliminate those 1.30s but anytime the 20th and final 400 is a 1.14 isn't a bad day!!!

W/ hindsight.....which we all know is a wonderful thing maybe the reason I was found wanting in the final 200m of 4 of my final 5 Indoor races was the fact I swopped strength for speed for the final weeks of my training it would be a better explaination of why my times were slower today from eight weeks ago,I can't imagine cutting a minute off my recovery would have that much of an effect.
IF that was the case I don't forsee it being an issue going forward as the plan is to combine longer repeats{4x1 mile,8x800m 4x400m/mile x2} w/ the shorter repeats w/ less recoveries I began in Febuary throughout the Outdoor season.....

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Road To Lyon* Starts Here

*Via Swarthmore,Randalls Island,Ft Washington & Jacksonvile
W/ my two Indoor National silver medals hung up on the wall w/ the rest of my collection and the proverbial ink dry on my blog entries it was time to put the Indoor season behind me and focus on all things outdoors.
Granted Worlds in Lyon won' t be till mid August but as is my won't rather than look at things in linear terms I brake it down into weeks,7 weeks till my first outdoor race of the season,then five weeks to a spate of three races in 10 days b4 a four week span till Outdoor Nationals,followed by another three weeks till Worlds.

W/ that in mind I kicked off the first phase of my outdoor season w/ back to back 8 milers out and back along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr on Monday & Tuesday.
According to the calander Friday saw the start of Spring......tell that to the people who sat on the runway at Philly international airport for almost five hours due to the snow trying to get to Greensboro.....
At least the sun was out both days,the irony of Mondays run at lunch time was  had I ran at my usual time of 4.20pm it would have been warmer,double irony being when I ran at my regular time on Tuesday it was a tad nippy,I'm glad bravardo didn't take over and see me go sans half zip as I might have come unstuck if I had.

I'm looking at seven weeks of hopefully uninterupted training,5 day/40 mpw w/ two repeats per week along w/ two 8 milers and a Sunday long run of 14 miles to set me up for Swarthmore on May 11th just to see where I'm at,based off of a 4.50 indoor mile I should be good  for at least a 4.32 1,500m......although faster would be better.....I guess that's up to me to make that happen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pack Your Bags,We're Going To Albequerque Next Year!!!

W/ almost 24 hours to let the dust settle on the M50 Mile it was back to the JDL Fast Track Sunday morning for the M50 800m, a second crack at this elusive Indoor Nationals gold medal {outside of 2009s Landover 4x400m relay gold}for those of you keeping score at home  Sundays 800m was my 13th attempt at individual gold since my debut at Masters Indoor Nationals in Boston 2007,was threeteenth the charm????????

Based on my first hand experience at M50 it would seem the middle distances at 800m/mile/1,500m{outdoors last summer at nearby Wake Forest} are the most popular age group in last summers Oudoor Nationals the 800m was split into two groups,yesterdays mile had been split into two heats and prior to final call today the 800m was also going to be two heats.....however us old geezers who may've already ran two or three other events tend to be flagging come the final day......the upshot of which was only one heat for the 800m w/ ten runners,which suited me,one less race to watch b4 my turn on the track.
As we were lead to the starting line along the back straight by a race official I told myself "four laps between you and an Indoor National Championship"....obviously I wasn't the only one thinking along such lines......

W/ 12 of us lined up there were eight of us along the startline and four more ahead for a California start,w/ the #2 seed time I was awarded lane 6 w/ nobody outside of me to cut in which has been an issue most of my indoor races,Dave Matherne the winner of the mile and #1 seed was in lane 5.
Cardinal Sin on my part,basing my race on somebody else,even b4 yesterdays mile I figured on Dave Matherne being my biggest threat in the 800m so when he didn't seem to be making a move on the back straight I promply moved into 4th place behind Kerry Sloan,Dan Bergeson and David Bynoe.
I forget what the opening 200m split was I know I looked at the clock as it's as automatic as drawing breath but when you're trying to run all out for just over two minutes things do tend to become somewhat of a blur....

At 350m I made my move w/ hindsight I probably went too soon in the 800m you tend to only get one move,I probably made mine too soon,credit to Kerry Sloan for unselfishly making the early pace but even bigger credit to Dan Bergeson who sat in the "cat bird seat" when both Kerry and I lead.
Couldn't tell you my 400m or 600m splits all I do recall was coming up the home straight at the bell and thinking"one more lap,200m between you and an Indoor National Championship".......
At the top of the back straight Dan made his move w/ 150m to go for the fourth time this season I'd gone into the bell lap in the lead only to be overtaken,in all three 800s this season I've coughed up the lead, in the TNATR #3 John Goldthorpe passed me w/ 50m to go, in the USATFNYC C'ships Peter Kashulines passed me w/ 100m to go and now today w/ 150 to go Dan Bergeson made his one move....

Unlike in the mile where I'd ran a sesons best today I was slightly slower 2.13.19 Dan's winning time of 2.11.64 was a tad quicker than my 2.12.39.
Since I'm laying my soul to bare here I was also guilty of not seeing Dan's 2.14.00 seed time as a creditable threat,an oversight on my part,if I'd overlooked him Indoors at Winston Salem  I WON'T make that mistake in Jacksonvile this summer for Outdoor Nationals.
Still two silvers for the weekend isn't too shabby,I'd gotten on the podium twice which was my pre meet goal and it's also my best return on a Indoor Nationals,upping my record to 3 silvers and 6 bronze medals from 13 races......guess I'm head to Alberququre next March for the 2016 Masters Indoor Nationals in search of that first Indoor National Championship gold.....#unfinishedbusiness

A First,A Silver In The Indoor Mile

My last race at Indoor Nationals was just over three years ago at Bloomington Indiana on St Paddy's Day in the M45-49 Mile,I finsihed 3rd to capture my 3rd Indoor Nationals Mile bronze medal to go w/ the 2009 & 2010 Landover and Boston bronzes I'd previously won.
Coming into Winston Salem 2015 I felt confident of at the very least getting on the podium once again,sure I'd take another bronze rather than not make it to the podium......but I hadn't settled on just bronze.
Based on "legit"* seed times{to be explained!} I had the 4th fastest time coming into the race:Chris Chisolm 4.45,Connor O Driscoll 4.46,Francis Burdett 4.47 and me at 4.50 so it wasn't an unreasonable expectation to think I'd "be in the mix" as it was Chris Chisolm was a no show but Dave Matherne whom I'd last raced in Boston 2010 when he won the silver was here.

Common sense prevailed w/ over 24 enties for the M50 mile and two heats were sellected,seeded and unseeded although only 6 of the 12 entrants in the seeded heat looked to have shown up.....untill Morris Carter arrived at the final second......
According to his seed time he was a 4.35.00 runner....impressive considering the M55 World Record is 4.34...so while he had the  the #1 seed time the validity of it was questionable so much so I didn't consider him a threat...people lie about their seed times all the time it's one of my pet peeves in Masters track and this was one of those times and frankly his performance in the race proved me correct to discount him,not only did I lap him on the 7th lap he finished dead last in ....5.44...YEAH so much for your 4.35.00 seed time!!!

Yet again I got cut off at the start of the race by a runner to my right,my gun reaction this Indoor season has been for shit and when the field merged at the top of the back straight I was 7th and dead last b4 moving slowly into 4th as the lead three of Burdett,O Driscoll and Matherne lead the field.
I was surprized to see 40 seconds for the opening 200m,Francis had the 3,000m the previous evening which may explain the pedestrian pace,1.15 at 400m meant we were on pace for a 2.30 800m/5 minute mile unless someone picked it up.
I didn't look at the clock at 800m but by now I'd pulled up to the leaders and was now the caboose to that engine
W/ hindsight I wish I'd sat back another lap or two rather than hit the front when I did on the 5th lap,maybe the distant memory of Francis Burdett outkicking me on the final lap in Bloomington three years ago to snatch away  the  silver medal or the recent memory of Connor O Driscoll leaving me for dead w/ three laps to go at The Armory in my final warm up race on route to his 4.46 struck the fear of God into me,glass half empty my move could've cost me the gold,glass half full it put me on the podium?

I wasn't paying attention to the clocks at either end of the straightaways all I was thinking about was getting to the finishline in 1st place and coming through the bell it was all going to plan......
Just after the bell Dave Matherne made his move,I couldn't cover it, I knew it was coming as I was painfully aware someone was hard on my heals w/ two laps to go but he'd bided his time till the bell b4 he struck for gold,having waited five years for his chance it's hard to begrudge him the gold....I just hope having now won silver finally I too don't have to wait five years to turn silver into gold!
While delighted w/ my silver and having gotten on the podium I'd be lying if I said NOT winning the gold wasn't a disappointment I made my move too soon and paid the price for it that said I'd put six seconds between myself and Francis Burdett and sixteen between myself and Connor O Driscoll,live by the sword,die by the sword.
One down,one to go!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Indoor Nationals A Brief History

Boston 07        Mile  DNF
                       800m 4th* 2.04.99
The DNF in the mile was my first and sofar only ever DNF I didn't realize how sick I was untill that race,w/ 2 laps to go in 6th I stepped off the track,anyone who's ever DNF'd knows what a shite feeling that is
20 hours later I redemed myself in the 800m,my 4th place was worthy of a bronze thanks to a Canadien runner who finished 2nd...."Oh Canada"indeed!!!

Boston 08       3,000m 11th 10.01.65
                         800m 8th 2.12.08
Lesson learnt here,NEVER go to a National  Championship less than 100%,in fairness coming eight weeks after the cast on my left foot had been removed{stress fracture} I thought I could run,I could...just not very fast!!

Landover 09
                     Mile 3rd 4.34.23
                      800m 3rd 2.02.64
                      4x400m 1st 3.46.75
A pair of hard fought bronzes b4 my {to date only}Indoor National gold,little did I know my entire season had peaked in late March as  my right achilles tendon went on me thus sticking a fork in the entire outdoor season.......BOO HISS!!!!

Boston 10
               3,000m 2nd 9.11.42
               Mile 3rd 4.38.1
               800m 3rd 2.04.2
The year of "Iron Man" I also trebled in Sacramento at Outdoor Nationals {5,000m,800m,1,500m} b4 winning the first Greater Philadelphia Track Club Track Pentathlon{3,000m 400m,200m,1,500m,800m}

Albuquerque 11
Did Not Compete

Bloomington 12
                       3,000m 6th 9.40.48
                       Mile 3rd 4.42.4
A mixed bag,sunk w/out trace in the 3k never to tackle another one since,no Gold at the end of my rainbow in the mile on St Paddy's Day but was pleased w/ my bronze.

Landover 13
Did Not Compete

Boston 14
Did Not Compete

Winston Salem 15
                          Mile ?????
                         800m ?????
Tomorrow not only marks my return to Indoor Nationals after sitting out the last two and three of the last four but Sunday sees my first Indoor Nationals 800m in five years,let's see if i can add to my tally of 1 silver and six bronze medals,and can I FINALLY win an Indoor National Championship????

Thursday, March 19, 2015

And Tigger Makes Three

I'm often asked why there's a stuffed Eyore on my pc in my office on the loading dock at work...........simple explanation since I do ALL the donkey work around here I might as well be feckin' Eyore!!!

By the time I got home yesterday just after 4.05pm it was a quick change a few stretches and out the door for my final pre Indoor Nationals run,while the sun was out it was evident that the wind was blowing quite hard so having gooten used to running in short sleeves recently it was time to dig out a half zip top so not to tempt fate,I've worked too long and too hard for this weekend to let it come undone by getting sick now.

The wind made for an interesting run out and back along the Schuylkill footpath I must've caught a decent tail wind as I shaved time off of Mondays 38.42 w/ a 36.58 and I wasn't really trying,I felt like a cross between Mary Poppins and Winnie The Pooh w/ all that wind!!

It's a shame "the powers that be" have blocked my ability to post picture on ye olde blog,after the Eyore and Pooh references I came up w/ the idea of "And Tigger Makes Three" and found a killer picture of Pooh,Eyore,Tigger and Piglet.....although short of making a Bacon sandwich I'm not sure how I was fitting Piglet into the blog......oh what I'm the only person who went there? please....if you must know I had Chicken Parm for dinner.....oh what now I've offended all the Chicken Little fans in my readership.......if it helps I had Spanish Rice w/ it.....that ought to keep the Vegan and Vegaterians happy......Indoor Nationals can't get here quick enough so I've got something to blog right?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pale,Paddy & Proud*

*although back in my drinking days it was Pale,Paddy & Pissed!!!!
Thousands are sailing across the western ocean where a hand of opportunity draws tickets in a lottery
Where e're we go we celebrate the land that makes us refugees for fear of priests w/ empty plates from guilt and weaping effigies.
And we danced to the music and we danced
Thousands Are Sailing-The Pogues

I've always loved that line "where e're we go we celebrate the land that makes us refugees"it reminds me how lucky I was when I came to America in 87 compared to those  who perished during the famine back in 1845 and for those who survived the "coffin ships" that did make it to Ellis Island and beyond.
It's not easy to pull off being a "Proud Paddy" being born and raised in London but having Irish Parents helped,of all of the "life lessons" Eileen and Kevin bestoed upon me over the years the most vivid is my earliest childhood memory.....my christening photo on the living room wall w/ the Union Jack of Great Britain on one side and the Tricolour of Ireland on the other side it was to teach me to respect the land of my birth England but to remember the land of my ancestry Ireland a lesson that has served me for over 51 years.

Sure no thanks to "the troubles" in Northern Ireland in the 60s,70s and 80s being English born of Irish parents wasn't always easy but it did allow me to have the best of both worlds as an avid 1,500m/miler I had not only Coe and Ovett to idolize but also Eamon Coghlan.....
I won't be running tonite had it not been for this weekends Indoor Nationals I would have gone upto New York to run at the annual Front Runners Track Meet @ The Armory,the last time I raced on St Paddy's Day was in Bloomington Indiana in 2012 at Indoor Nationals in the mile,no gold at the end of my rainbow that day but thanks to "the luck of the Irish" I did win a bronze that day,post work this afternoon I'm off to the movies to see "71" a movie based on "The Troubles" in Belfast in 1971 followed by a traditional Irish dinner of Potato Soup and Shepards Pie,much to my fathers chagrin I never acquired a taste for Bacon & Cabbage...on the other hand my mother is delighted I lost my taste for Guinness and Jamesons...........
Happy St Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Lesser Of Two Evils

Ever the Boy Scout {Dib,Dib,Dib!!!} I'd done my homework w/ the weather forecast{shame I wasn't so proactive w/ my homework in my High School years!!!!!!}Saturday was a wash out so I threw in an extra 4 miler on Thursday to leave Sunday free to see out the 5 day/20 mile week w/ a final visit to the track b4 Indoor Natonals for one last repeat.

I arrived at a grey and overcast but dry Geasey Field at 11am,thankfully unlike my last visit on  Feb 28th the Northeast Philly Rough Riders hadn't shown up and decamped half way down the home straight and dummped their bags in lanes 1and 2 so I'd pretty much have the track to myself....what a novel concept......to actual run on a running track......I know it's mind blowing isn't it!!!.
Mile warm up it was time to revisit the 5x200m/4x300m/3x200m repeat from Feb 11th which went:
31.81- 31.76 -32.54- 32.33 -33.14
50.59- 51.18- 52.61- 52.46
33.68 -33.68- 32.71

30.19- 30.94- 32.60- 33.00- 34.01
W/ hindsight I wish I'd began my 200s at the top of the back straight as oppossed to the start/finish on the home straight as it meant 200s #1 #3 and #5 were all into a strong headwind on the back straight....however worse was to come.....

50.64- 52.64- 52.53- 54.34
Foolishly I began the 300s at the top of the home straight where as if I'd backed them up 100m to the 200m start I could've finished at the foot of the back straight,the difference being after 150m I now had to battle a stiff head wind in the final 150m,I felt like one of those mimes running against the wind....

34.54- 34.08- 34.97
I'd given it all I could but sadly the wind had taken it's toll.oh for the same workout on an Indoor Track!

Collectivly I was seven seconds slower than Feb 11th which is always a bummer period but also w/ this being my final pre Indoor Nationals repeat I would have preferred a more positive result but I'd rather have fallen on my sword and gone down swinging than played safe and picked an easier repeat or not done a repeat at all and just ran an easy 4 miler.....let's hope my honour is rewarded next weekend.

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Mighty Four

So, little bit of catch up here,Monday,Wednesday and Thursday were easy/recovery four milers out and back to the end of the Schuylkill footpath.
Monday was my easiest run by far,reflected in my 40.02 time,no point going "balls out" w/ a race on tap Tuesday nite right?

Wednesday was notable for the spike in temps,a whopping 55 degrees the warmest day of the year to date hence marked by the return  of the trusty bandana, two days late I hasten to add,Mondays run was highlighted by the return of yours truly doing his best "Popeye" impression as the sweat was rolling off my head and into my eyes.
While not yet "Three S's" weather {shorts,shades,sleeveless} it was close,Shades,Short Sleeves and Three quarter length shorts and maybe this coupled w/ a disappointing race Tuesday nite at The Armory and being able to run at 1pm as oppossed to 4.30pm lead to a quicker time than Monday 37.19.

This brings us upto date w/ last nites same 4 mile run only this time at it's more regularly scheduled 4.30pm as I didn't have the luxury of the day off.
Conditions were in the 50s again and while time wasn't an issue I somehow managed to shave another few minutes off my time w/ a 35.40 2.19 quicker.

For those of you keeping score at home that's four runs this week at 16 miles so only one more  four miler on tap over the weekend,ever the Boy Scout {Dib,Dib,Dib!!!}I looked ahead at the weekend forecast and saw rain predicted which was why I threw in another 4 miler yesterday,Sunday looks like it'll be ok so I'll make a sojurn over to trusty Geasey Field for one final repeat b4 next weekends Indoor Nationals in Winston Salem.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Food For Thought Or Getting My Lunch Handed To Me?

Final Indoor Nationals tune up race 10 days from Winston Salem and a return to the mile after back to back 800s.
My last mile race was back on Jan 23rd at Cornell when I ran a 4.51.74 so if nothing else on Tuesday nite I was looking to lower that time not to mention get a confidence booster 10 days out from Indoor Nationals.
I wasn't helped by a power outage at the World Trade Center which shut down the A,C and E lines to 168th St,my prefered line of choice is the A express but now that wasn't an option so after hot footing it up to 42nd St I made my way through the masses to the #1 platform.....I had to settle for the #3 which I took to 145th and Lenox Ave b4 walking  23 blocks up and a few blocks over to 168th and Ft Washington,hardly ideal preparation for a race but what the hell I'd made it w/ 25 mins to spare if not a shade damper than I'd like to be.
Quick change into my warm up gear and onto the track for a mile warm up b4 getting the heat assignments heat #3 of 7.

18 of us lined up,I got a good reaction to the gun and when the field merged at the top of the back straight I nestled in mid pack w/out having to veer off into lane 3 to get a clear run.
36 seconds a 200m I had no idea of my postion w/in the race although that wasn't ultraimportant.
2.24 at 800m still on 36 seconds per lap pace which is where I wanted to be,the pre race goal was 4.48 off of 36s per lap,I was on pace for that.
W/ three laps to go Conor O Driscoll went by me,why is this a factor? Conor is one of my rivals in the M50 Mile in Winston Salem next Saturday and the ease in which he not only went by me but left me for dead was frightening.
I should have reacted,I didn't I'd like to think were lightning to strike twice and for it to happen again in ten days time my reaction would be better w/ a gold,silver or bronze medal up for grabs.
Conor powered his way to a 7th place finish in an impressive 4.46.36 while I had to settle for 10th in 4.50.81,chalk up a signifigant leg up to the Wexford man.......
It's small potatos that I took a second off my seasons best of 4.51.74. while Conors 4.46 makes him the second fastest in the field behind Chris Chisolms 4.45.

I hate to make excuses,on the nite I wasn't good enough...thankfully tonite was mearly the dress rehersal next Saturday is the main event and rest assured I won't take Tuesdays defeat lightly as the late great Jumbo Elliot famously said of his charge the legendary miler Eamon Coghlan "you might beat Coghlan once,you won't beat him twice" words to live by I hope.....

A Silver Lining Of Sorts

It's nine years now since I made my debut at The Armory,I ran an open 400m and then a 4x400m relay at what was then known as the MAC{Metropolitan Athletics Conference} C'ships it was as the movie says "the start of a beautiful relationship",I medaled in the 4x400m back then you couls medal,now the MAC is known as USATF NYC and for whatever reason non New York residents are non eligable for medals....not even Adopted New Yorkers like yours truly......but at the end of the day the only medals that matter to me are the ones handed out at Nationals if I'm being honest.

Knowing there was no medal at stake it allowed me that rare opportunity to "experiment" w/ a race,only having five races b4 Indoor Nationals doesn't allow much room for "experiments" period but #1 was to see "where I was at" #2 was to get on the podium at Hartshorne, #3 was to get a seed time for the 800m at Indoor Nationals.....which brings us to #4 the USATF C'ships 800m a final 800m dress rehersal b4 Winston Salem in two weeks time.

According to the "Status Of Entries" there were 30 800m runners,my feeling was 10 per heat based on seed time,my 2.10 would either get me in the lower echelon of #2 or the top of #3.....this worked for what I had in mind a straight up run against the clock,if I was in a heat w/ faster guys they'd help pull me along it sounded good in theory........but as the saying goes "theory and practice is the horse of a different colour"

Heat 4 was determined by age w/ the 50 plus runners all lumped into one heat w/  six runners,if I've learnt anything in nine years of running Masters track it's that once an official has made his or her mind up there's no point trying to convince them otherwise,it was what it was.
I knew Pete Kashulines had "credentials" to back up his 2.10 seed time, he'd ran 2.11 in January at the NJ C'ships was 4th at Septembers 5th Avenue Mile and last March won silver in Boston at Indoor Nationals however since there was nothing to lose other than the race its self I opted to go after it from the gun rather than try to out race him.
In an ideal world I'd have ran splits of 32,32,32,32 for 2.08 or at least 32,32,33,33 for 2.10 both of which are quicker than my 2.12.81 time from 17 days earlier but I went out too fast and clocked 30 secs for the opening 200m.......genie's out of the bottle now....
64 seconds at 400m a 32 second split,I senced Peter was on my heals but tried to focus on my form,kneelift and leg turnover.....and staying out in front!

1.37 at 600m a 33 second split,could I muster another 33 second lap for 2.10????....the answer was no!
W/ 100m to go Peter blew by me just like John Goldthorpe had in my last 800m only w/ 50m to go,second in 2.12.17.
The silver lining was a 2 100ths of a second improvement on my seasons best for 800m,I'd ran 2.12.39 17 days ago.
Obviously losing the race doesn't sit well but I rolled the dice and came up short,better to "crash and burn" here than Indoor Nationals in two weeks time.
Also NOT sitting well is this cockeyed practice of running heats by age and not seed time,both myself and Peter are 51 and seeded ourselves at 2.10,we could've more than held our own in heat 3 while younger runners in heat 3 would've been better served in heat 4,the proof is the results of heat 3
1st  2.04.55 age 40-44
2nd 2.07.61 age 40-44
3rd 2.13.10 age 45-49
4th 2.14.70 age 45-49
5th 2.18.03 age 35-39
6th 2.21.01 age open

heat 4
1st 2.10.63 age 50-54
2nd 2.12.17 age 50-54
3rd 2.24.82 age 50-54
4th 2.31.81 age 45-49
5th 2.55.11 age 55-59
6th 2.59.11age 70-74

You can't tell me if the great Anselm Lebourne had shown up he'd have been told he'd have to run heat 4 because he's 55......DESPITE having recently broken the world record for 800m at M55.......
Respect for ones elders,on and off the track please that's all I ask!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Evidently,I Don't Like Mondays

Aside from Monday January 26th when I happened to be off after my trip to Ithaca for the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile I hadn't ran on a Monday since Jan19th six weeks ago.
Some of this was weather related,Mondays often being the worst day of the week so it was easier to sit it out and get my workouts in Tuesday through Thursday,however in order for me to have my New York Cheesecake and eat it this week I needed to kick the week off on Monday......it just so happened the weather was for once on my side.....although somewhat ominously Monday could be the last of the good weather days this week #wehavetowaitandsee.

Sunny and 39 degrees was a runners dream,it's prehaps recent force of habit that lead me to stick w/ ski hat and gloves,I could've ditched both I'm sure but I suspect the week will see me need to keep both close at hand......and head!
Out just after 4.20pm w/ only 30 miles on tap this week and a repeat and race in the mix I was looking at a series of 8,8 and 6 Monday hopefully  through Thursday w/ a repeat thrown in on Wednesday.....like I said this is all based on weather conditions being favourable,while it wouldn't be the end of the world to have to run on Saturday I'm hoping to have the day off prior to Sundays 800m race at The Armory.....even if it means having to run on Friday......I know,running Mondays AND Fridays......what will the Running Gods make of that?????

For the most part conditions underfoot were good,the odd patch along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Dr b4 the turnaround at the mile marker just after Girard Ave Bridge were slick which required slowing to a near walk but w/ Indoor Nationals a mere 18 days away now is NOT the time to throw caution to the wind.
I reached the turnaround in a semi respectable 38.52,time was neither here nor there but since I signed up online w/ Daily Mile I've been tracking my times,it also helps me gauge where I'm at compared to earlier in the year,based on "feel" and the reduction of  my times I'd say I'm in good shape.

W/ another run on tap today{hopefully if the weather cooporates!} there was no need to crank it up over the indound leg however I must've had the wind at my back as based on my halfway split of 38.52 I was looking at a 1.17.04 which would've been respectable enough,however I clocked 1.16.33 a negative split of 38.52-36.24 a 2.28 improvement.....w/ the clocks about to "spring forward" Sunday it's not like I'm rushing home to beat Sunset......Spring is almost here......maybe we could let the Weather Gods and Old Man Winter and Mother Nature in on that fact!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Last Of The Long Runs,But Still In It For The Long Haul

W/ my taper about to kick in this coming week,dropping me from a 40 mile week toa 30 mile week there's no room for the time honoured Sunday long run untill I resume regular training post Indoor Nationals and look to go "go long" on Sunday March 29th

W/ that in mind I went into Sundays 14 miler out and back around the Art Museum Loop looking to sign off for now on w/ a  respectable time,last time out on Feb 8th off 8.37 pace I notched a 2.00.50 to be honest I wasn't thinking too much about time,speed or pace when I set off just after 9am,the first concern was just getting the run in and doing so in one piece as there were still patches of ice underfoot.
The Schuylkill River is still frozen over,as I had to hit West River Drive for the outbound leg I got to see the  otherside of the river as my two midweek 9 milers had been along Kelly Drive,the weir opposite Boathouse Row is actually flowing but everyhing else is frozen solid,however as I reached Falls Bridge which is my half way point I did notice streches of the river that weren'r frozen and further upstream from Falls Bridge also.

Maybe it was due to gettinga jump start on my run an hour earlier thn usual but I had more runners heading north towards Falls Bridge than usual,nost times on West River Drive I feel like I'm "swimming against the tide"
I reached Falls Bridge in 58.01,I was a little taken a back as 9 min mile pace would've been 63 mins on pace for a 2.06 time I didn't feel I was cranking out a terribly quick tempo but the clock doesn't lie.
Could I go 58/58 for a 1.56? that seemed like "wishful thinking" the whole point of the Sunday long run is to go easy over a longer distance,not pit myself against the clock.

Just b4 the  eight mile marker I couldn't help notice the large digital clock and three orange cones in front of it,prior to St Joe's boathouse there was a water stop table set up...turns out the annual Northeast Roadrunner club 10k was starting and finishing at Lloyd Hall,a race I ran several times over the years,it was often the season opener as we exited Winter into Spring b4 07 and I committed heart and soul to track,I passedt he leaders not long after the water station and the rest of the field as I continued my way south along Kelly Drive.
At mile elevan it began to snow,nothing too major but the flakes were big enough to notice....they helped take my mind off the numbness/tingeling in my finger tips.

Up the off ramp onto South St bridge and passed Franklin Field,roughly a mile and a half to go I was still knocking out a resonable clip,I finished in 1.58.28,my first "sub 2.00" for a solo 14 miler on my Sunday long run,8.27 mile pace,not too shabby for an easy Sunday run if I say so myself,come Spring it'll be intersting to see what I can do when it's warmer and not so icy underfoot.....but that as they say is for another day....

Then There Were Three

By the numbers on Saturday,three weeks till Indoor Nationals,three more repeats and two more races.
As has been my won't during the Winter{which also happens to end in three weeks time!!!}I waited till lunch time to hit Temple's Geasey Field for my repeats,w/ the temps only hitting a high of 27 today it felt prudent to wait till 1pm to do so.
I've been reasonably lucky w/ track access up till now this Winter but Saturday my luck expired.
About a dozen and a half would be footballer elected to "decamp" half was down the home straight more or less across all eight lanes w/ assorted bags being left in lanes and and two......
Given I was completely outnumbered by them there didn't seem to be much point trying to appeal to their good nature to move,they weren't catching the hint each time I had to naviagate my way past them on my warm up mile nor were they willing to move to accocodate the four other runners who'd foolishly shown up at a running track to actually run......I know what were we thinking!!!!

To make the best of a bad situation I scrapped my plans to run a 5x200m/4x300m/3x200m repeat and went w/ 8x200m repeats...even if it meant using the back straight,turning around and running back to the start for each 200m rather than continue in a more conventional counter clockwise fashion......I guess you do what you have to do when confronted by a situation like mine.
Given this was my first 8x200m repeat w/ 45 second recoveries I had no idea what to expect,it wasn't helped any that repeats #2,#4,#6 and #8 had to begin on the straight and finish on the turn but for the record I went:31.18-33.90-33.16-33.70-34.54-34.16-35.52-34.11

Here's hoping whenever I next conduct these repeats post Indoor Nationals I'll be able to do them in a more conventional manner