Sunday, May 31, 2015

Muscle Memory Still Intact

Having slowly rebuilt my mileage it was time for the ultimate challenge today the time honoured Sunday long run over 14 miles.
My last foray around the Art Museum Loop was April 5th 8 weeks ago,much like riding a bike it's not something one forgets so I didn't feel I had too much to worry about in that respect.
In keeping w/ the week we've just had it was another hot one,it was close to 80 degrees when I left just b4 11am so I'm sure it was up to the mid 80s by the time I finished some 2 hours later.

My legs felt they had recovered from the schlacking they took on Haverford's track Saturday lunch time and frankly at 9 min mile pace I didn't feel I had too much to worry about in that respect,I was glad I'd thrown in that 10 miler last Sunday as a bridge to todays 14 miler though.

I reached Falls Bridge in 62 mins plus just under 9 min mile pace and I always feel from a psychological stand point once I cross the Falls Bridge I'm not only physically half way home but mentally half way there.
My trusty Dri Fit sleeveless was anything but dry at this point and my mouth was Sahara Desert dry but I dare not stop at any of the water fountains in case my muscles tightened up on me,it's never fun to bonk on a run and have to walk home but even less when it's hot as Hades out there and walking means it's gonna take twice as long to get home to the Fruit Smoothie chilling in my fridge,note to self up your daily water intake to at least a litre of water a day from here on in,hydration is a key component of my overall fitness level.

As each mile of the final 7 clicked off I felt a sence of confidence,the longest mile is always from Boathouse Row to the Schuylkill footpath as it's over a mile long and is followed w/ a slight uphill ramp to South St bridge,I'm so used to bounding up that sucker on my tempo run it's a chance of pace on the almost twice as long long run but once that ramp is conquered it's  more or less plan sailing,past "the old lady" Franklin Field,up Spruce St,over to Baltimore/Cedar Ave and home.

2.10.58,roughly 9.17 pace,I'll take it,there's some work to be done to return to the 1.58 realm I was at in April but I have another 8 weeks till the end of July to "devide and conquer" this bad boy,I'm just happy to be back at the tried and tested 5 day/40mpw level again.
For the record I logged 131 miles for May and 581 miles for the year sofar,I fell 22 miles short of 1,500 miles last season on current training I feel I'm well on pace to best that mark this year,here's to June.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Road To Lyon Is Bathed In Sweat

Prior to my achilles injury in 09 I could routinely go to the track and summon up 4x1 mile repeats in sub 5 mins but old age and a few seasons of illness and injury mean those "highlight reels" of my glory years are a distant memory of what I could once do,that said I doggedly kept 4x1mile repeats in my rotation as a "bread and butter" repeat untill today.
As early as a year ago I began to notice a pattern on the mile repeats,good opening lap,a dip over the next two laps followed by a strong closing 400m,w/ the emphasis on 4 solid laps I elected to "tweak" said workout,how about 4x400m x 4?
The method to my madness is I have a specific number in my mind for my opening 300m and subsequent three 400s for my 1,500s in Jacksonville and Lyon,I'm not going to come out and say what those splits are here and now 8 and 11 weeks out from Nationals & Worlds but believe me when I say post Nationals and Worlds I'll go "full disclosure" anywho to aid and abet that it was out w/ the 4x1 mile and in w/ the 4x400x4.

I arrived at Harverford at 1pm it was already a warm one but like I said on Monday dealing w/ the heat is all part of the build up to Jacksonville & Lyon,to quote the time honoured Juma Ikanga quote"the will to win means nothing w/out the will to prepare"
Mile warm up taken care of it was out of the running shoes and into the racing given this was my debut of this repeat a little "out of the frying pan into the fire" maybe?
As an guideline I picked 70-75 as my target splits time would tell{no pun intended} how acurate or wishful thinking that was.
4x400m w/ 60 second recoveries and 5 mins between sets

#1 4x400m
After feeling my oates on the opener I settled into a nice rhythm.......could I stay there???

#2 4x400m
Get "Mr Consistancy" w a metronomic 72 second per 400m....the question was did I have 2 more sets in me?

#3 4x400m
Having laid on the track w/ my feet up on a steplechase barrier to try and drain the lactic acid out of my legs between sets 2 and 3 I began slowly but said "fuck no I ain't mailing it in!!!

#4 4x400m
Again a slow reaction coming off the line on the series opener but again a good reaction,loving the 72.16 finish like a two dollar hooker.........

All in all a good workout,a pesky 800m race on June 20th means it'll be June 27th b4 I tackle this bad boy again but hopefully that extra week is worth a second here and there,maybe lose those 75,76,77 splits?
To put some prespective on things even at 1.17 on the opening 400m of #4 I was still faster than my slowest 400m in a 4x1mile repeat going back to Jan 28th my slowest split was 1.27 on lap 2 of #3 and #4 ans even taking the opening 70.85 off the table those 72s were faster than my fastest 400m that day which happened to be the opening 400m of #1 in 73 seconds..........

One final spin collectivly my mile splits today were:
On Jan 28th I went
The gotee maybe getting grayer,I may even be getting longer in the tooth......but Goddamn it if you can't teach this old dog new tricks.......we march forward towards Jacksonville and Lyon......

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fool In The Rain Part Two

So much for Thursday being the hotter of the two day.....Wednesdays 88 degrees was follow by a lowly 82 degrees......not that I think it would have made a difference to the to the order I had planned to run  my tempo and recovery run,granted a tempo run in 82 degrees comapared to the 88 I ran it in the day b4 may've made a difference to my overall time.....but the fact I had a 1.09.47 under my belt now in 88 degs meant I could ease off the gas on Thursday w/ my recovery run.

Another day I got a slightly later start at 4.45pm which would have ramifications towards the end of the run but such is the price I pay for having to adopt the role of Gatekeeper this week at work but come next pay day I'm due an extra 5 hours this pay period 4 x no lunch hour 4 x 15 mins for having to stay till 3.30pm.....w/ Nationals and Worlds coming up I need extra dosh like anyone else,Payroll can piss and moan about my extra hours,you want a two man job done by one person you''ll have foot the bill that comes w/ it.....

Given this was a recovery run the need to know my splits became secondary....that said "force of habit" meant I checked them anyway......I just didn't have to react to them on this run!
37 and change at the turnaround I wasn't concerning myself w/ my pace while I embrace the need to "drop the hammer" on both my repeats and tempo run it's nice to have an easy and recovery run in the mix to balance things out.

Just over a mile to go the heavens opened like they did on quote the always quotable Monty Python "still I was getting used to it by then" had I gotten out the door at my traditional 4.20/4.30pm time I could've avoided the shower on both days.......given the extra 5 hours I'm picking up next pay cheque I can spring for the industrial size Detergent and Fabric Softner b4 Sunday date w/ Laundry!!!!
1.17.39 and 20 miles for the week,repeats on Saturday and a return to the traditional Sunday long run over 14 miles to round out a return to 5 day/40mpw.......the clock is ticking towards Jacksonville and Lyon

Thursday, May 28, 2015

More Eye Of The Tiger Than Easy Tiger

Off the back of a well earnt rest day it was "back at it" yesterday w/ the always "fun" 8 mile tempo run,factor in the fact it was going to be 88 degrees the fun factor wasn't the only thing going through the roof!!
Getting a slightly later start than normal{closer to 5pm} would ultimately cost me as I got caught in the heavy rain that swept through the area towards the end of my run.....I wouldn't mind but I just did laundry the day b4 and now my running gear has that really Rain Fresh feel to it!!!!

From the getgo or in my case Geico........ I went after the pace like a runner posssessed.....aren't we all a little possesed to begin w/ anyway???
7.32 at the mile split b4 16.59 at 2 miles and 27.59 at 3 miles b4 making the turn in 34.27.
A few weeks back I went out all guns blazing over the opening 4 miles only to die a little on the inbound leg,w/ each week I feel myself getting stronger and faster,hopefully this will be reflected in my races,the next of which is now just three weeks off.

Although trusty Peco Tower was showing 88 degrees it didn't feel that bad,there was a breeze coming off the Schuylkill thankfully  but w/ the skies darkening the 50% of rain according to NBC 10'S Weather page looked to becoming 100%.....I proved last Thursday on my tempo run I'm no slouch when it comes to running in the rain and sure as God made little green apples as I pulled away from the lights at South St bridge the heavens opened.....w/ a vengence.

It was hard to see through the rain on my shades what my exact 7 mile split was I saw 1.02 but the seconds being smaller were harder to record,I was going to be in and around 1.09 that's for sure,Thursday I recorded 1.09.10,what did today have in store?????
1.09.47.......37 seconds slower.....however at 88 degrees it was 37 degrees hotter than last Thursday so I guess we'll call it an honourable tie,it's expected to be 90 degress today....but it's an easy/recovery 8 miler on tap so I don't mind so much

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Second Here,A Second There Makes All The Difference In The End

I feel it's common knowledge "the jet set life is not for me",once again a holiday weekend is upon us and yours truly is neither down the shore nor up the mountains,prefering to stay closer to home to "take care of business",having conducted repeats on Saturday and a easy 10 miler on Sunday it was back to the friendly confinds of Haverford this lunch time for 8x200m repeats.

Arriving around 12.25pm I was fortunate enough to find a smattering of other runners/walkers on the track,most of whom didn't hinder my brief time in lane one as I knocked out 8x200m repeats w/ a 45 second recovery......and this is why Haverford has become my "go to" track,next week when a mid week repeat session is on tap I may have to "slum it" and hit Temple's Geasey Field but frankly I'll worry about that next week.....

Conditions were warm obviously at lunch time....but given Nationals are in Jacksonville and in all liklihood both the 800m and 1,500m will be contested mid morning/lunch time plus whos to say what time the 1,500m heats and finals in Lyon at Worlds will be contested it felt prudent to be  the stereotypical "Mad Dog & Englishman Out In The Midday Sun".....
6 lap warm up concluded it was into the flats and into ''Usain Bolt mode",last time out over 8x200m repeats on March 28th I went:
What could I do today?

W/ the noteable exception of #5 which "ballooned" upto 34.11 I was dead chuffed at the repeat,I think the wind coming off the top turn and into the home straight caught me off guard,I made sure it didn't hinder #7 but unlike March 28th no 35 secs on the repeat......
A job well done if I say so myself,given I have 6 short repeats on tap it will be another 6 weeks b4 I'm able to revisit this one as it's #3 on the 6 week rotation so July 7th b4 we renew hostilities but I'm looking forward to much as one can relish any lung bustin' repeat!!!!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Afternoon Delight

Ok,starter for ten....NOT  that kind of "afternoon delight"......NOT that I condone such behaviour.......the chance would be a fine thing but this is a running blog not a "shaggin' blog"........that sort of activity is reserved for my dairy........get your minds out of the gutters people,I know it's a holiday weekend but c'mon now!!!!!!.
After a few weeks of workouts interuptus due to first the sciatica and then getting sick I fell off pace of my weekly 5 day/40mile a week schedule,last weeks races  meant lower milage hence the 5 day/30 mpw but this week w/  my two repeats taken care of I had the chance of a 5 day/35 mile week providing I took care of a 10 miler on Sunday......

The only issue was the final day of the EPL season but w/ all kick offs at 10am the afternoon was wide open for an easy 10 miler following the two hour "Goal Zone" so roughly around 2.30pm yours truly was taking care of business out and back along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive to just b4 St Joe's Boathouse.
It's been a while since I've logged a 10 miler but it will be good practice for next Sunday when fingers crossed I aim to log a Sunday long run over 14 miles to round out a 5 day/40mile week,effectivly putting back where I should be in training.

Time was never the issue here so I was kind of hit and miss w/ checking my splits,I figured on 9 min mile pace and 45 mins at halfway,I saw 45 and change which was good enough,w/ repeats on tap tomorrow{some holiday weekend repeats,10 miler,repeats but this is a small price to pay in May to reap my rewards in July at Nationals and August at Worlds!}I didn't need to be cranking the pace a la a tempo run......there'll be time for that on Wednesday.
1.32.42 good enough,back to Haverford tomorrow for repeats and the start of another weeks training,it's a simple life but the rewards are great when it all pays off......

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Who Says You Can't Go Home Again?

In keeping w/ the "week of best laid plans" turning to shite today saw the latest installment,the plan was to hit Temple's Geasey Field for 3x3x200m repeats,my biggest concern going in was having to work around the Special Olympics group who use the track Saturday mornings.......
This would prove to be the least of my worries when I arrived at Geasey Field around 1.15pm,no sign of the Special Olympians......however Temple's Rugby team appeared to be on the infield ......while technically this didn't effect the track the fact a campus security bod was sat inside the gate told me he wasn't there as a Rugger fan but rather to ward off track types like yours truly........#ohforfuckssake
                                                                                                                                                                     I had options,go further afield to find a track I could use or do my 10 mile easy run today and then return to Temple both tomorrow and Monday........frankly not an option so since weekend travel on regional rail is free to weekly transpass buyers like moi I said feck it I'm off to the Main Line where I'm spoilt for choice,Villanova,Haverford,Lower Merion and at a pinch St Joes......
I llike Haverford's track,truth be told I haven't worked out there since 09......long overdue I'd say so w that I was back into Center City and on the Paoli train to Haverford by 2.25pm.
One of the major pluses of Haverford over Temple even though both tracks are on their respective college campus is Haverford is more of a suburban college,don't get it twisted I like Temple's Geasey Field but how often have I had to avoid some oik on his or her bike riding around the track period let alone the "holiest of holiies in lane #1......where's the feckin' campus security then I ask?.......since I,m on a roll here allow me to indulge myself a little Derek & Clive''fuckin' nowhere that's where"!!!!!!!!!

Mile warm up taken care of it was have at it time,even the recreational runners at Haverford are runner savvy,runner friendly and allow those of us w/ a mission/passion/purpose to take our place in lane one while they occupy the outer lanes.....shit even the walkers do the same.....and not a bike in you get the feeling Haverford is about to become my go to track on the weekends??????????
W/ no reference point to the 3x3x200m repeats as this was a "Maiden Voyage" l simply laid down a 33 and under guideline............

#1 3x300m
I'd like that 33.08 back but frankly if that was as slow as it got today........

#2 3x200m
W/ such short repeats I knew the need to nail each one,no holding back,so far so good.....

#3 3x200m
Pretty satisfying opening series if I say so myself.

The trick of course will be to do even better when I next revist this repeat,I have 6 short repeats I want to use so w/ 11 more weeks till Lyon I should be able to get two sets of each in between now and then.....I suspect most if not all will be here at is afterall only a few miles down Lancaster Avenue from my beloved Villanova........I rest my case m'lud!!!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons........

If there's anyone home at your place darling why don't you invite me in? don't try to bleed me,Ive been there b4 and I deserve a little more
I belong in the service of the Queen i belong anywhere but in between she's been lying and I've been sinking and I am the rain king

Rain King-Counting Crows

When I got off the trolley at 4.10pm in the pouring rain I could've been forgiven for thinking"it's been that kind of a week"......
Monday was scheduled as my 8x800m repeats to take advantage of my day off from work and hopefully circumnavigating the recent "access issues" to Geasey Field during the week......sleeping till 11.30am rather threw a spanner in the works to that plan but  the bigger sin would have not to have ran at all but thankfully I got my arse in gear and out the door to take care of an easy 8 miler
Tuesday was "off the books" as it was last day hanging out w/ my sister and bro in law b4 they flew home to London that nite,and while I don't begrudge an evening w/ my kin as it's an all too rare occassion it did mean I'd burnt one of my rest days already....
Wednesday saw me albeit belatedly take care of my repeats so in order to stay on pace I just needed to tackle my 8 mile tempo run on Thursday.....cue the rain!!!!

It may be two days after I'd just ordered my USA uniform for the upcoimg Worlds in Lyon but the man inside the uniform is still and always a Brit at heart and god damn it if running in the rain isn't in my blood,I always think back to my road running days when a good friend of mine who grew up in Belfast said "if I only ran on good days sure I'd never feckin run at all" and w/ that endorsement ringing in my ears I promptly stretched on the living room floor and picked a "conditions appropriate" wardrobe{no shades,sleeveless and shorts today John!!!} baseball cap,long sleeve half zip{the rain would wick off that better} and my 3/4 length bottoms,it was a tad chilly for mid May but even at 51  degs running in the rain in May at 51 degs is an easier sell than 31 degs in Feb or March!!!

I was cognizent my pace was brisk but somehow "spaced" on the mile and 2 mile markers,however my split at South St bridge was a brisk 12.54.
The colder damper conditions obviously kept the "fair weather" runners indoors which was fine by me I was very much a "man on a mission" today and was focused on the matter at hand,one plus of the rain and cooler conditions was no heat and humidity obviously which would I hope aid and abet my plan to notch my first sub 1.10 tempo run.
Forget what my 3 mile split at Lloyd Hall was but in the 27s so I was well on pace,the turnaround a mile later yeilded a was there for the taking if I wanted.....and YES I WANTED!!!
Over the years I've kind of "fudged" the whole tempo run but somehow this year I've somehow managed to make it part of the weekly 5 day routine and hopefully come seasons end I'll reap the benefits of these at times lung busting 8 milers along the river and back.

I forget my 5mile split but I reached mile 6 in 53 mins,this is where missing the 2 mile split could come back to bite me,for shits and giggles if it was 16 mins which I suspect it was based on my pace then 1.09 was w/in my reach.
57and change at South St bridge sub 13 go me there outbound,it was gonna be close but I could taste it.
The all important 7 mile split 61.29 a 7.31 mile would put me at 1.09 an 8.30 mile would give me bad do you want it?
Ironic given the rain I should coin the English expression "give it some welly"  as I hydroplaned my way up both Baltimore Ave and Cedar Ave,slowing only when red lites or cars forced me to and also giving some cyclist a bollocking for his flagerent abuse of the "No Turn On Red" sign at 45th & Cedar that's a pet peeve of mine at the best of times let alone when I'm homing in on a potential seasons best......and I WASN'T shy of letting "Lance" know the error of his ways!!!

I always treat the final 4 blocks like the last 4 laps of a race....which considering the 1,500m/mile is my"distance du jour" kind of comes naturally to me and as a rule after the 7 mile split I don't check my watch again till I finish,I had to hope I had the legs for it,on the final block I convinced myself there was more "knee lift and leg turnover" in my legs and as I reached the "finish line" in front of my front door I stoped my watch and observed the damage...................................................................
After a few weeks of near misses it was rewarding to break that sub 1.10 mark,the question is between now and mid September and the end of my season is how much lower can I go?????

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hat In The Ring

Well it's official,I've thrown my hat into the ring{or in my case bandanna!} for Worlds......
The entry deadline is June 2nd but w/ Nationals to prep for in both training but also looking for flights,hotels etc I thought it best to get my entry for Worlds squared away now b4 it snuck up on me at the last minute.

While there are still 12 days to go b4 the deadline closes{like Nationals I expect Worlds to be the same in the respect runners will wait till the last minute to enter/show their hand} I saw a few names I expected,a few that surprized me and a few either not yet entered or entered in other distances either way it's another 12 weeks b4 I arrive in Lyon prior to the prelims of the 1,500m on Aug 12th and the final on Aug 14th so it's very much full steam ahead now w/ training.

Mercifully upon my arrival at Temple's Geasey Field at 3.55pm I found the track uninhabited and free for yours truly to conduct a repeat session,todays bill o fare was 8x800m w/ 3 min recoveries.
Last time out w/ this repeat was April 1st at Roxboro where I went:

Mile warm up taken care of it was time to have at it,whatever I ran today compared to last time out would ultimately serve as a baseline for the weeks/months ahead.....

#1 800m
A good opening 400 but I "went to sleep"on the second lap,a testimony to needing to get back into repeat mode and mindset

#2 800m
Same issue just back to front this time,1.20 bites but the 1.14 was a nice recovery.

#3 800m
That's more like it! even splits w/ a decent time,could I keep it up?

#4 800m
Ger!! I'd kept the 2.37s at bay till #5 last time out,that's what you get when 1.18/1.19 splits creep in

#5 800m
Bollocks!! brisk opener followed by a sub par second lap #notgoodenough

#6 800m
Another slow opening lap,but good recovery on the closing 400m

#7 800m
While my expectation levels today weren't sky high I already knew I'd fallen short of my April 1st overall combined times

#8 800m
Technically this was repeat watch didn't start on the original 8th repeat,when I discovered that at 400m I kept running so as to replicate the 800m/3 min recovery cycle and went again which may explain the opening 1.21 400m....and may also explain why I left the track grinning like a Cheshire Cat w/ a 19th and closing 400m of 1.14!!!

Overall  a tad underwealmed w/ these repeats,collectivly 4 seconds down on April 1st but like I said today was a baseline for moving forward in the coming weeks and months

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Arse Backwards

W/ the sands of time beginning to ebb away as we're into mid May now I realize the need to nail every last workout from here untill mid September so w/ the advantage of a weekday off from work I planned to utilize that by hitting Temple's Geasey Field around lunchtime to secure my first of two repeats this week, give my recent "access issues" upon finishing work and my reluctence to shleep all the way out to "East Bumblefuck" AKA Roxoboro this felt like a plan.......however as the saying goes"the best laid plans of mice and men".....

Maybe it was a little "burning the candle at both ends" over the weekend w/ my Sister and brother in law in town that lead to yours truly not crawling out of bed till 11.30am Monday morning....yeah yeah lazy bastard!!! but the fact was I'd probably need an hour now to get my arse in gear w/ another 40 mins to trek across town from West Philly to Temple's campus 1.10pm if I was lucky and who's to say the "access issues" I've encounterd wouldn't be in play when I got there or b4 I could complete my prepossed 8x800m repeats......SO I opted to switch things up and kick off the week w/ an easy 8 miler and then reattempt the 8x800m on Wednesday,should I again fail to gain access to Geasey Field at 4pm{surely by now CCP are done for the season???} I'll continue my route home b4 having at it over 8 miles w/ my 8 mile tempo run and then........schleep out to Roxboro in the hope of getting on the track there on way or another I'm getting two repeats in this feckin week!!!

Ot the door around 3pm a shade earlier than I usually manage to do my easy/tempo/recovery 8 miler out and back along the Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive,I was mindful of my intermediate splits,the most important being 37.19 at halfway 1.14.38 pace.
Unlike Sunday when the mindset was recovery run,the inbound leg was a slightly quicker pace as I remarkably notched a negative split,37.19/36.41 to close in 1.14.00,we'll see what Wednesday or Thursdays tempo run yeilds either pre or preferably post repeats.

Slow Ride

Sunday 8 mile recovery run.....NOT that there felt like there needed to be much recovery from Saturdays Manayunk Road Mile!!!
Out the door b4 11am conditions were grey and overcast and a little humid,if my recovery pace wasn't going to make me break a sweat the humidity would!!

It's a given after a sub par race to "exorcise the ghosts" and just get it out of the system and move on,shit happens you run a bad race from time to time,morn it and move on,I won't be adding another race to my limited race scedule to make up for it,it was some what of a "novelty" to take on a road mile other than 5th Avenue Mile given the proxcimity of my door step to Main St Manayunk it was a race I felt "duty bound" to add to my schedule,granted my race and time were bugger all to write home about{Or blog.....but I did anyway!!!} but the medal for second in the 50-59 age group helped soften the blow.

The beauty of a recovery run is it means the stop watch is "not the opponent" for once so I can use the time to process whatever needs processing,not that there was much left for this week to process being a Sunday but it's never too soon to "write" next weeks schedule in my head and also do the "mental math" re next race {5 weeks}Nationals {9 weeks} and Worlds{13 weeks}
To that end the fact I was back upto a 5 day week after recent illness and  sciatica issues was a step in the right direction,next week I should be close to  my "milege du jour" 5 day/40mpw at 35 mpw and then the following week full steam's that time in my schedule to knuckle down and take care of business.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wake Me Up B4 The Gun Goes Off!

It's been a while since I last had to get up at 6am for an 8.15am race......based off of Saturdays Manayunk Mile let's hope it's a while b4 I have to do it again!!!
Bad enough I have to "answer the call of the alarm" at 5am on a weekday let alone 6am on the weekend but since I'm at the mercy of public transit I knew I had to be up by 6am in order to snag a pair of breakfast sandwiches w/ my daily vitamins and morning cup of "rosey"{rosie lea=tea for those of you not familur w/ cockney rhyming slang} b4 tipping out the front door at 6.40am in order to cop the 6.48am #34 trolley over to 30th St.
17 mins to "kick my heals" while waiting for the 7.17am #9 bus to drop me at the Wisahickon transportation center 10 mins away which in turn was a stones throw from Main Street and Shur Lane where the race was due to start.

Arriving at 7.30am I now had 45 mins to get myself together,ran into a friend and teammate John Goldthorpe who was kind enough to allow me somewhere to drop off ye olde backpack during the race in his motor.
Easy 2 mile warm up along ther canal path that runs adjacent to Main St w/ John and some of the runners he coaches,now there was just enough time to get into my race gear,pin my race number to my vest,throw on ye olde trusty race bandanna and take my place at the starting line along w/ the 71 other willing combatants.

I'm no stranger to the road mile,b4 leaving London in 87 I took part in two Westminster Road Miles in 86 and 87 and ran a road mile in Allentown in 88 the day b4 a 10 mile road race.
In the mid 90s they used to have a Market St Mile as part of the 4th Of July celebtrations here in Center City and of course since 06 I've made a point of 5th Avenue Mile every year more or less.
A mile is a mile,4 times around the track{8 if you're running indoors on a 200m track!} and all of my road miles have been different,Westminster Road Mile was more or less a continuious circle,Allentown and Market St out and back,5th Aveune point to point,Manayun was out and back.

From the gun a group of five runners hit the front w/ youthful vengence,three were 23 two were I said youthful!!!
Following them were two of my teammates Ken Barbee{51} and John Goldthorpe {36} then one more runner aged 29 b4 yours truly in 9th.
Missed the 400m mark and split but couldn't miss the 800m mark as it was the turnaround.9th in 2.27 so lets say splits of 1.13/1.14.
The first female runner overtook me as we made the turn but at 24 she should've been kickin' my behind,sadly after this point albeit for less than 800m I was in "no mans land" she put 8 seconds between us while I had a 5 second lead over the 11th place runner.

3.50 at 1,200m a 1.23 split which would ultimately be the difference between a sub 5 time,try as I might to get going in the final 400m the legs just wouldn't respond to the "fucking run faster!!!" message the brain was sending,a final 400m split of 1.16 to finish 10th in 5.06.
10th overall and second in the 50-59 age group is a fair mornings work.....the time of 5.06 however is sub par period muchless given the fact only  five days prior on the track at Swarthmore my 4.30.64 1,500m would equal a 4.48 mile.......

W/out wishing to reel off a series of excuses clearly such an early start was a shock to my system,how else can I explain only registering a 5.06 road mile days removed from a track 1,500m in 4.30.64?
Since I'm the excuse soap box,let's throw in this only being my second race in eight weeks since Indoor Nationals,maybe I just wasn't mentally geared up for "race mode" but isn't that why I give myself these races to iron out the kinks between now and Nationals and Worlds in the first place?,the schedule for the USATF NYC C'ships has yet to be published......I'm hoping for an afternoon/evening start time for the 800m in five weeks time I can tell ya!!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Moving Day

W/ the  8 mile recovery run under my belt it was time to kick it up a notch w/ a tempo run over the same 8 miles.
Despite having to "fly solo"at work all day which is a nine hour day w/out lunch{and NO Placebo on my lunch hour.......fear not I got my daily fix of Brian Moloko and co via Spotify and You Tube!!!!} I never considered NOT doing said tempo run,if I came up short at worst I had a "built in excuse" but if I pushed it back a day it'd eat into my reserves close to Saturdays road mile in Manayunk so rather than jepordize Manayunk and short change myself of a valuable tempo run I sucked it up like a Dyson Vaccum and just got on w/ it.

Out the door by 4.50pm allowing me time to stretch and also cop the end of the Champions League semi final #gojuventus I was very much a "man on a mission" unlike yesterday where the only split I checked was the turnaround{35.18} today I was checking all my regular splits,7.53 at the mile,13.13 at South St bridge, 16 and change at mile 2 along the Schuylkill footpath and 27 and change at Lloyd Hall.
Last week when I "really went for it" on my tempo run I clocked 34.53 at the turnaround but died a slow death over the second half of the run,at 35.14 I felt I hadn't bitten off more than I could chew this time.

At 71 degrees compared to the 85 of Tuesday I felt the conditions were more in my favour even if this was my 5th day in a row as I continued my quest for the so far elusive sub 1.10 8 mile tempo run.
42 and change at Lloyd Hall,54 and change at mile 6 along the Schuylkill footpath and 57 and change at the South St bridge.
For once I got a run of the green lights at South St bridge,34th and Spruce and 38th St,now for the final split at 39th and Baltimore Ave......62 and change,an 8 min mile would give me 1.10.........
Unlike last week where I was hurting like crazy in the closing mile tonite I still had some juice left....maybe because I didn't go bat shit crazy in the opening 4 miles and finished in 1.10.28 my seasons best is 1.10.12,that's gonna go soon and so's the sub's just a matter of when!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

First We Take Swarthmore,Then We Take Manayunk

You stand up,your hands up and now you're going w/ the flow,conceived it breathed it now you're gonna reap what you sow.
So give it then live it and feel it burning in your soul,you mean it forseen it and now you're ready to explode
You've really got em' running

Running-Love Amongst Ruin

W/ Mondays Outdoor season opener in the books and blog{big shout out to "Uncle Ken Stone" who mentioned yours truly and said blog in Masterstrack Blog yesterday.thanks for the support!!} it's time to let the dust settle and get ready for the next race......which will be sooner rather than later as I have a road mile in Manayunk on Saturday.
As a rule I tend not to mess w/ the road untill Sept and 5th Avenue Mile but w/ Manayunk being so close to my door step not to mention the chance to get two races in for May how could I not....sure I could go to the Mid Atlantic C'ships in West Chester..........................ok I'm sorry I thought I could post that w/ a straight face but I can't!!!! so Manayunk and the road mile it is.
There was a road mile in Media last Saturday,organized by the same people who are putting on the race in Manayunk this Saturday but two days b4 the 1,500m at Swarthmore was too close for comfort.

Looking at the results 4.35 won it,4.46 and 4.47 took second and third w/ 4.49 and 4.55 rounding out the top five w/ the age range:23,20,27,48,36 the first 50-59 runner was 14th in 5.25 and while I don't expect all the Media runners to converge on Manayunk I feel it's a safe bet several will double dip.
Based on my 4.30.64 1,500m on Monday I could run a 4.48 mile which would put me "right in the mix" on Saturday,I believe it's an out and back course along Main St which should be pancake flat so we'll see what happens come 8.15am Saturday morning.

Coming off of Mondays race the order of the day was an easy/recovery 8 miler out and back along the Schuylkill footpath/banks and Kelly Dr,I figured Wednesday for a tempo run was soon enough after Swarthmore and enough time to recover for Manayunk.
Given this was a recovery run I neglected to check my splits untill the turnaround and saw 38.16 a 1.16.32 finish.....if I fancied it.....given the 85 degree heat and the fact I was coming off a race I elected to stick to "recovery" mode,besides tomorrows tempo run is where the "thrill of the chase" really kicks in.

1.18.10 when I finished,one of my slower easy/recovery runs of late but I was ok w/ that,tomorrow however will be a different matter

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Year Older,Second Faster

Just leave me w/ the pride that I've worked for now they've taken the reason away,just leave me w/ the pride that I've worked for today

W/ The Pride- Spandau Ballet

What a difference a year makes......last season off the back of a mediocre Indoor season which finished w/a hard fought 4.32.58 1,500m I worked my butt off for 8 weeks for my scheduled Outdoor debut over 1,500m on May 15th only to suffer a groin strain 10 days out,this pushed back my season opener till May 29th upon where I was "all over the place like chicken shit on a farm" w/ my splits that improvement on that alone would feel like a moral victory thank you very much!

I did consider taking the day off from work prior to the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet but thought better of it,why burn a whole day off for a 25 min train ride from Center City period on top of the fact knowing me from the time I woke up to the time the gun went off I'd probably be obsessed w/ the race so why not go to work and let that serve as distraction........
I would be singing from a different hymn sheet not long after arriving at work however!!!!,NO good ever comes from an 18 wheeler backed onto your dock b4 you arrive at 6.15am muchless when said driver presents his paperwork and the numbers 28 leap off said paperwork....YEP first thing in goddamn morning{on a Monday and raceday no less!!!} 28 skids I A knew fuck all about and B had nowhere to put.....I had a few suggestions.....some were considered inapprorpriate or physically impossible!!!! but I'm getting......wait for track......
Glass half empty it was a fucked up start to my day,glass half full I didn't have time to worry about the race!!! infact it wasn't till I got on the train at University City around 5.15pm on the way to Swarthmore b4 I began to think about it.

According to the revised schedule the mens 1,500s were going off at 7.30pm I figured on being in the slowest and final heat so wasn't shocked to see my name dead last on the entry list of mens 1,500m,I got my stretches in and bided my time w/ my mile warm up on the infield as heat #4 got underway and made my way over to the starting line as heat #6 got underway.
Seeded #15 of 15 allowed me the luxury of being on the outside of the field and from the gun I eased my way over from the outside of lane 8 into lane 3 and into 12th as the field bunched for the opening 400m or so
51 seconds at 300m more or less where I wanted to be and not the suicidal 48 seconds I opened w/ last year in the Twilight Meet at Icahn in New York....older slower or older wiser????
Over the next 100m I was relegated to 14th where I'd stay for the remainder of the race,while finishing 14th of 15 never sits well  this was a predominately college field most of whom I was giving 30 years to  but more importantly as my season opener a chance to see where I was at and a race to gauge how to get to where I want to be in 10 weeks time for Nationals and  14 weeks till Worlds.

Getting somewhat detatched from the field I fell into "no mans land" on lap 2 but clocked 2.03 at 700m a 72 second split for 2.03
A slightly slower split at 1,100m 75 seconds for 3.18 at the bell,I probably wasn't catching the guy ahead of me.......but the runner behind me wasn't catching me either a moral victory for me and my fellow "grey beards"
72 seconds for the closing lap,14th in 4.30.64 a second quicker than lasts years Outdoor debut but a far more satisfying performance w/ consistant splits, 5 seconds behind 13th but 4 seconds ahead of 15th.

To put things in prespective while my 4.30.64 ranks me #1 in M50 over 1,500m and #4 in the world right now it's early days yet there are 10 weeks till Nationals and 14 weeks till Worlds but if I could take 1 second per week off my 4.30.64 I'm looking at a potential 4.20 at Nationals and 4.16 at Worlds which is something to shoot for this early on in the season,next up a road mile on Saturday here in Philly in Manayunk based off of a 4.30 1,500m I should be good for a 4.48 mile........or better!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Easy Tiger

W/ my season opener for the Outdoor season this Monday I knew the need to exercise a little caution yesterday,no point "saving my legs" for Mondays 1,500m at Swarthmore if I didn't have a "shake out run" to get any leftover Lactic Acid/gunk/crap out of my legs from Saturdays repeats so I opted for an easy 6 miler.
hitting the road around 12pm I figured the traditional Mother's Day Race For The Cure 5K along West River Dr would be long over and I could just set the dial for "cruise control"  on my out and back to Lloyd Hall along the Schuylkill Banks.

Wasn't too much "on my mind" during the run,like I said it's easy enough to hit "cruise control" on these runs,while tomorrows college 1,500m is a big enough deal being the Season opener for outdoor track and one of only 4 races I'll race between now and the end of June{my 800m and 1,500m at Nationals will serve as races #5 and #6 b4 I arrive in Lyon in August for the 1,500m at Worlds} I don't need to spend every second between now and then obsessing over it.

It'll be what it will be tomorrow,as it's a college meet I'm on a "hiding to nothing" giving these guys at least 30 years but based on my 4.50 Indoor mile time I used 4.32 as my seed time which no doubt will put me in the final and slowest heat....but still giving away a few decades to these college guys and whatever open runners show up.
I have a time in mind I'd like to remains to be seen if I get close to it or not,to put things in prespective my opening Outdoor race last season also over 1,500m on May 29th in 4.31.5 I went out too hard in the opening 800m and died a horrible death over the final 400m,physically I thought I was ready to race that pace but mentally unprepared which may explain the shock on my face when the opening 300m went by in 48 seconds,65 for the opening 400m and 1.58 at 700m,while physically I may not been in that shape due to the missed training in late April I feel mentally I'm better prepared to run fast......we'll find out monday evening when the gun goes off I guess!!!

The Placebo Effect

Sucker love is heaven sent you pucker up our passion's spent,my heart's a tart your body's rent my body's broken yours is spent
Carve your name into my arm,instead of stressed I lie here charmed cos there's nothing else to do every me and and every you

Every Me,Every You

Anyone who knows me well enough will attest to the fact I have a  wide and eclectic taste in music and I tend to go through phases of who I listen to......right now Placebo are kind of ruling the roost where Spotify is concerned on my phone and also in my dvd sellection when the down time allows me music time via my dvd player.
Maybe it's Brian Moloko's flair for writing "love songs" or preceived love songs from a  "close but no cigar" standpoint that I connect w/,maybe it's the fact that Placebo are a "power trio" a la The Police,Rush,The Jam bands over the years I've loved or maybe the fact David Bowie joined them on stage to perform one of their songs{W/out You I'm Nothing} or the fact they covered a Pixies classic 'Where Is My Mind" that got Black Francis to join them on stage that draws my to them.....whatever it is "the Placebo effect" has been "in effect" the past two weeks.......and looks to continue.

April wasn't quite the "transition" month I had hoped for  from Indoor track to Outdoor track,two missed repeats when I couldn't access a track,two incomplete repeats when my Sciatica forced me to pull up mid repeat{repeatus interuptus???} and a few missed repeats whille I was dealing w/ being sick had dented my "base milege" but as my former coach once told me circa 07-09 "you can't chase lost miles" so I've accepted those repeats didn't happen and have lent my energies and efforts to what I can do in May thro September beginning w/ Saturdays 3x4x200m w/ 50 second recoveries and 5 mins rest between sets.

Arriving at trust old Geasey field around 1.05pm I conducted a 5 lap warm up and breathed a sigh of relife when the Special Olympian group vacated the track,as I've said b4 I mean NO disrespect to anyone using a track when I need to but my repeats are ultra important to me and each one needs to be "all or nothing" now and if I'm "weaving" in and out of lane one especially on short repeats such as 200s it's going to tarnish my splits.
I went into this debut repeat hoping for 32 second splits.....

#1 4x200m
A good start,solid and consistant,when it comes to 200s I'm no Usain Bolt but I'm doing ok I think

#2 4x200m
More of the same,6 out of 8 at 32 seconds w/ 2 31  second splits......

#3 4x200m
Would like to see those 33s dip down to 32s next time out but all told this wasn't too shabby.

If I can hold 32 second 200s I should be looking at a 2.08 800m,I maxed out at 2.09 last year so I'd take 2.08,I'm 6 weeks out from my 800m race at Icahn so plenty of time to work on that between now and then muchless the 10 weeks till Nationals.....

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Bridge Too Far

Having surprized myself on Wednesday w/ a 1.10.48 "easy run" I opted to make Thursdays run a tempo run,by runs end it was clear I'd gotten them mixed up!!!
 Wednesdays run had begun w/ me in a "loosey goosey" frame of mind till I reached the turnaround in 36.06 then I reallized I could get a decent time so I focused on the run rather than contiuing to let my mind wander and I managed a 42.34 inbound leg,the plan on Thursday was to go all out from the get go.
7.58 at the opening mile I did however miss my 2 mile split along the Schuylkill footpath but clocked 28.43 at Lloyd Hall.
The fact I was already gritting my teeth b4 I reached the turnaround told me I was "pushing" the pace in recent weeks when I've logged decent times in the 1.11-1.13 range I've done so  w/out having to push it or at least not untill the final mile or so.

Upon checking my watch at the turnaround I had good reason to be gritting my teeth.....34.53.had I bitten off too much or did I have it to go sub 35.07 and go sub 1.10?
My splits at mile 5 and 6 indicated it was there for the taking but the proverbial "writing was on the wall" when I had the option to "beat the light" crossing Spruce St b4 just after 37th St and stopped to cop a breather.
At the next red light  I found myself in the unnatural pose of being hunched over w/ my hands on my knees trying to draw breath,clearly I'd left it all out there probably in the opening half of the run.
1.04 and change at mile 7 I was "hanging on" now no kneelift or leg turnover as I "went through the motions" just to finish,glass half full as methodical and unattractive as it looked and felt at least I finished up running rather than walking......although to the untrained eye it might've been hard to tell!!!

1.14.17 one of my slower times of recent weeks but maybe w/ two races in the upcoming ten days I needed bringing down to earth and refocused on the matters at hand rather than issues to quote Rush  matters that are "Closer To The Heart".......

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Yeah.......So That {All} Happened...............................

Even though I'm more of a HP brown sauce kind of guy here's a little katsup.....sorry catch up w/ me and the last week b4 last nites easy 8 miler.
I though I'd shaken the effects of the previous weeks cold untill I had to 86 last Wednesdays preposed trip to Roxboro for repears due to a sinus headache,in fact sad sinus headache was so bad I had to stick a fork in my back up plan of an easy/tempo 8 miler.
The prospect of Thursday being a "make up" day was a non runner b4 I even started,normally it would've been a slam dunk but for once in a blue moon I had plans outside of my running.......pause as the general public clutch their chests in disbelife.....I know I had to pinch myself to check I wasn't dreaming!!!!

Long story short every year the hospital holds a service dinner for any employees who've been here for ten years and over,this year marks my 16th year......but it'll come as NO surprize that prior to this year I'd always failed to RSVP.......just not my thing to be honest but a year ago when asked about my lack of partisipation I gave my word providing I was still here I'd go,we even  shook hands on it so there was no backing out of it now......NOT that I wanted to back out of it I'm still borderline anti social/socially challenged but what can I say,Barb is a women I couldn't say no to!!! and I went more to spend an enjoyable evening w/ her than anything......which seemed as good a reason as any to me to go!!!!!

Friday I was asked to be a guest speaker at the Pasta party for the Students Run Philly program prior to Sundays Broad St Run,as my dear departed father often said "you could talk the cross off a Donkey" and "you didn't just kiss the Blarney inhaled it!!!" so talking for 10 minutes to over 200 high school runners didn't pose any issues for yours truly!!!
I don't claim to be a walking,talking,running encyclopedia of "all things running" but as I'm a year away from my 40th year of competitive running I hoped my experience and insight could help these guys b4 Sundays race,some of whom had never ran Broad St b4 and some who'd never ran 10 miles,I once sat figurativly where they sat prior to a big race,I know I could've benefitted from the experience of a runner who'd been there b4 my 1984 debut over 10 miles and the half marathon,to quote Charles Barkley "I am not a role model" but I hope I helped them,the feedback I got was positive.

Saturday saw yours truly "suited and booted" and New York City bound to see Spandau Ballet at The Beacon theater.
I was a huge Spandau fan "back in the day" and wasn't passing up a chance to see them live for the first time in almost 31 years even if it meant sidestepping my lunchtime scheduled repeats.
Four years ago when I earnt my biggest "pay day" in running w/ a $250 runners up cheque from the Ben Franklin Bridge 10k in the Masters division I treated myself to two pairs of Plaid dress pants not unlike the type Gary and Martin Kemp rocked circa 81 when Spandau first burst onto the scene,adding a matching red and black plaid vest I felt I looked the part Saturday,a good time was had by all even if I didn't roll home till 3am #dirtystopout.

Surfice to say back to back to back evenings out took their toll and Sunday was the proverbial "day of rest" I couldn't see going to the track being as "cream crackered" as I was,it's a fine line between blowing training off and knowing when to say when,running for the sake of running on Sunday seemed futile but I'm too focused to allow myself to slide into "bad habits"....
That said Monday saw me get out of work late,much later than normal and the residual effects of the previous weeks cold still lingering,the Sinus headache that forced me to sit out Wednesday felt omnipresent and I was still hacking up crap off my lungs and dealing w/ a sore throat,maybe my social excesses hadn't helped??
Tuesday I caved and swung by  CVS to pick up some Sinus Pain & Congestion on my way home,clearly this issue wasn't getting resolved on a "wing and a prayer" sometimes you need the aid of modern medicine and a rest......

W/ the clock ticking down to Mondays season opener for the outdoor season I knew there could be no excuses for not lacing them up yesterday and I took care of bussiness over 8 miles a shade quicker than last Tuesdays time,the plan is more of the same this evening b4 a visit to the track Saturday and an easy 8 miler Sunday,Monday was always about "seeing where I was at" two weeks of illness interupted training may have hindered couild also help me as I'm more rested than I would've been know what they say"there's one way to find out" and there are no hiding places out on the track........