Thursday, December 31, 2015

Don't Look Back In Anger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Once More W/ {Considerable} Feeling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Early Christmas Present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 18, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rage Against The Machine

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bakers Dozen

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 11, 2015

Getting All Carl Lewis On Yo Arse!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Life In Turnaround

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mazel Tov

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

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

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

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Easy Does It Celtic Tiger

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

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

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

Friday, December 4, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Channeling My Inner Billy Bragg

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

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

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

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