Friday, October 30, 2015

Playing Catch Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All Change At Crewe

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 24, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Making Hay While The Sun Still Shines

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Return Of The Shamrock Warrior!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Road To Saratoga

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

To The Game You Stay A Slave

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

Having Ones {Wedding}Cake And Eat It

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 9, 2015

Flesh Weak,Spirit Willing

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Searching For {And Finding} The Quiet Life

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Start As You Mean To Go On

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 2, 2015

Handled It Like A Boss

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Get In,Get Out Of The Rain

10 miler to wrap up September, a season high 165 miles for the month{and that was w/ a week off pre 5th Avenue Mile} as I racked up 1047 miles for the year to date.....I just missed 1,500 last year by 22 miles I'd like to take care of business this year.

Conditions were grey and overcast w/ the hint/threat of rain which forced me to go w/ my baseball cap rather than bandana and regular glases over shades,sleeveless won the day but for how much longer as today starts October I've already had a few late September  runs that the Short Sleeves had to be busted out.
On the road...ok sidewalk/pavement by 4.35pm while my mantra in week three of "off season" is not to worry about time/speed/pace last nite saw me w/ a little sence of urgency on my run.
One I wanted to try and beat the rain and two last nite was "date nite" and it's poor form to keep a lady waiting period muchless when you're the one making dinner so I had a extra ounce of determination about me to finish said run asap......notice I still got the run who point the finger and say not taking my training seriously be prepared for me to point the finger right back.....fully extended.........

I had the option of making it a 9 miler but coming into the run on 155 miles for the month I figured a nice round figure of 165 seemed better so opted for 10,if it pisses out of the heavens this evening I'll have one less mile to deal w/ it
W/ just over two miles to go it began to spritz, I've ran in far worse and will again and frankly the cool soft spritz felt comforting as I hammered my way back along the Schuylkill Banks towards the footpath and South St bridge and ultimately home.

Of course seldom is a run free of wankers.... I'm sorry motorists,case in point at the enterence to the dorms on Penn's campus I got caught at a red big in the general scheme of things as I patiently waited for my light......however WANKER decides red lights don't apply to her and rolls straight throught it....had I have "cheated" the light I'd have probably ended up as her hood ornament to which I informed her "it's only a red light....DICKHEAD!!!"  probably NOT the reaction she'd expect from an Ivy League campus but hey I graduated the school of Hard Knocks and while I may not have a degree,diploma or BA I DON'T  take bullshit either!

Run done, I was able to shower and "tart myself up" enough to be presentable to cook and serve dinner to my beloved,re runs,he cooks he cleans......#triplethreat