Sunday, September 24, 2017

Short Week,Long Run

Had to settle for a 2 day/27mpw this week as my cross country trek to San Diego and Los Angeles cut into my training,glass half empty I came up short on both mileage and days trained,glass half full weekly long run now upto 17 miles and got a change of scenery to do it!

Monday:10 miles
Hoping to get a 6day/75mpw in required another rare Monday run.....that's what three in a row now?
Settled for an easy/recovery 10 miler to get any lingering crap out of my legs from Sundays half marathon.
While my success at the Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon was/is still pleasing I know I can't "dine out on it" moving forward,had I signed up for the half marathon in Philly in 9 weeks time I could retain the same level of training/mileage that earned me my 1.30.15 to finish 165th out of 8844 and be content......but I signed up for the marathon because having ran 26.2ers in my 20s,30s and 40s I'll kick myself in my 60s if I skipped the 50s so marathon it is,6 more weeks of high mileage and three week taper.

Friday:17 miles
Tuesday & Wednesday got away from me w/ my West Coast trip,it sucks as I wanted to run on tired legs after the half marathon because let's face it over 26.2 miles on Sunday November 19th that's a dynamic I need to be used to however in training as in life shit gets in the way sometimes.
I arrived in San Diego Thursday lunchtime and again would've loved to run but up at "silly o clock" to be at the airport for a 7am flight over 2,367 miles tends not to lend its self to that and so I settled for Google Mapping a 17 run on Friday,at least in a short week increase the long run yeah?
Basically I followed Friars Road for 7 miles till I hit Sea World Drive,hung a right and followed it for another  mile and a half,59.15 at 8.5 miles,turned around and came back the way I came.
It was reassuring to see other runners out there between 9 and 11am,there is always that neurotic feeling you're the only one crazy enough to be out running
Arms got a little heavy w/ 3.5 miles to go but hung tough again w/ 2 miles to go I visualized my regular route and thought about how I get through the final 2 miles there,back to where I  started in 2.06.07 off of 7.25 mile pace.
Considered myself pleased w/ the outcome,a new route was a nice change from the "same old same old" however not always being 100% sure of where I was going lent it's self to some moments of brief second guessing,always felt if I stuck to Friars Rd I couldn't go too wrong,or too far or just plan old lost

Saturday & Sunday alas got away from me,late nite Friday for the U2 show and less than three hours sleep to be up for a Spurs game at San Diego Spurs home bar The Harp at 4am didn't help w/ a run Saturday and after a train ride upto Los Angeles to see my sister Kim I was a little tired to be honest but truth be told could've ran Sunday morning however the reason to add Los Angeles to my west coast trip was to bond w/ a sister I hadn't seen in 14 years and truthfully have never spent any quality time w/ in our 50 plus lives,there will be ample runs upon my return to Philly getting to know my sister and vice versa feels a higher priority right now,running is great but God and Family are greater....

Monday, September 18, 2017

Redemption Song/Am I Really Done W/ Distance?

Sunday was my 28th half marathon since 1984,here's a little insight:
1st half


1st PDR/R&R

Last PDR/R&R

Last half

As you can see Sunday 9.17 tends to play a role in these,when I crossed the finishline in my last PDR{Philadelphia Distance Run as it was known b4 it became part of the Rock & Roll Racing series} 11 years ago I'd struggled to log a 1.25.24 although compared to three weeks prior when the Virginia Beach half had chewed me up and spat me out w/ a 1.30.50 this was an improvement but having began my masters track career I felt it was time to focus on track ergo my quote"I'm done w/ distance running"
It would prove to be a soundbite that was heard around the running community but for the wrong reasons as some arsehole who shall remain nameless got all up in my grill and said"can I have that in writing?" which leant it's self to a terse reply from yours truly and a near arse kickin' for him.......

Clearly my random choice to run Broad St in May followed by my Oddessey Half Marathon in June underlined I was in fact not done w/ distance running on the roads as I felt the need to take care of some unfinished business this fall,however off a semi decent 1.18 Broad St 10 I quote "shat the bed" at Oddessey in a humbling 1.50.18,had I just got lucky at Broad St and bitten off more than I could chew a few weeks later?........

Conditions were grey and overcast when the gun went off at 7.30am w/ yours truly in the  #1 corral of #24,unlike Broad St I would at least get a clear run at it even if the skies were anything but clear.
Again a wise old head on old legs I've ran  the majority of my 28 half marathons on the PDR/R&R course/courses all of them in mid Sept when it's pot luck as to conditions,I've ran in picture book clear skies no heat days,broiling heat,humid as hell,pissing down rain conditions one thing I learnt from my second Boston Marathon in 02 don't worry about things you can't control ie the conditions they are what they are you just have to adapt to them and play the hand you are dealt.
5.58 for the opening mile via my Garmin{perhaps the best thing I ever bought for my running} I was probably 10 seconds behind the official clock as I started mid corral but again to revisit an old Coach GP pearl of wisdom run off of feel not the clock my recent runs had shown low 7 min mile pace when all by my lonesome so now w/ a field around me  work off of them,
6.37 for the second mile which had me roughly adding 7 mins to each mile to guess my next spilt, another 6.37 split on mile 3 heading up the Parkway as I looped passed the start when corrals were still going off.
Afforded myself a slight chuckle as I passed the Ireland flag and then the Kenya flag that adorne the Parkway in alphabetical order.
6.48 on Spring Garden St a new twist to the numerous courses this race has ran b4 heading back down to "old faithful" Kelly Dr,talk about the road well travelled,and maybe some of that familurity leant its self to a 6.23 split.

6.30 at six miles sub 38 min pace followed by splits of 6.41 and 6.45 as I worked my way towards Falls Bridge,which sadly no longer has the lone bagpipe player like it did "back in the day" it always stired my celtic blood hearing him.
Given I began to slow crossing Falls Bridge perhaps I could have used said Bagpipes as my next split at mile 9 was 7.05,not too shabby I was probably sub 59 mins at mile 9 and sub 66 at 10 miles off of a 7.21 split,remember in May at Broad St I ran 1.18 for 10 miles......
Despite now obviously slowing and having runner pass me unlike the previous 9 miles I had one ace up my sleeve on a 15 mile training run Falls Bridge represents 7.5 miles to go today Falls Bridge was 4.5 miles to the finish at the Art Museum steps and those recent 6.30am 15 milers not to mention Thursdays 16 miler were going to carry me home.

7.25 for mile 11 sure each mile marker felt it was taking longer to appear on the horizon but I just reminded my self of each run home when I come up the steps at South St bridge and get to the traffic lights at the junction of Spruce st and the on/off ramp of I76....two more miles,two more miles....
7.38 for mile 12 but my heavy legs were lifted by a dj spinning the classic Rage Against The Machine track "Bulls On Parade" it is the Rock & Roll Half Marathon and hearing that and seeing the back of the Art Museum ahead was all I needed.
7.28 as I hit the 13 mile mark,once a track runner,always a track runner I went into full blown sprint mode up the slight incline as Carl Lewis once famously said "I just wanted to know I left it all out there".......

1.30.15,even w/ the shit show that was Oddessey in June not my slowest ever half,faster than Virginia Beach 11 years ago,faster than the torrid East London half in 85{1.36.29} and an old PDR in  the early mid 90s of 1.33.12.
Clearly the hard work of the last six weeks paid off but no time to rest on my laurals,9 weeks to go b4 the Philly Marathon which means another 6 weeks of high end training b4 a three week taper and doing it all over again,in old math they say take your half marathon time,double it and add 10 mins....a 3.10 marathon on Nov 19th?????

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Going For The One

A different week for yours truly,Monday & Friday runs,runs under double digits,and a 16 miler....lead on McDuff,lead on.....

Monday 8 Miles
A rare Monday run,and an even rarer run in single digits but as often w/ my madness there was method involved.
Easy 8 to kick off the week in the hopes of  Monday-Friday 62 miles w/ Sundays half Marathon rounding me out at 75 mpw
No Garmin on this run,I could run out and back to Lloyd Hall w/ my eyes closed and know it was 8 miles to begin w/ and given the longer runs to follow this needed to be a gentle pace,the fact I was practically dancing coming up the steps off the Schuylkill footpath leant an air of ease to procedure.

Tuesday 15 Miles
Not too long ago I was huffing & puffing my way through 12 miles,frankly 15 has become quote"the new normal"
Again the road well tested I opted to forgo the Garmin but it felt easy.
Highlight of the run heading up Spruce St passed Penn I spot a cluster of wannabe hoodlums ahead of me forcing a pedestrian to go around them,as she did the one nearest to her jumped at her to try and scare her.......didn't take an Ivy League grad to figure what was coming next as I passed them.......
As "cuz" jumped out at me I leaned towards him throwing a mean left hook that had him back peddling frantically....
"I'll fuck you up old man" was his best comeback as I continued up Spruce St"fuck off junior " my reply as he probably considered donating his shorts to the nearest flower bed as I can't be 100% sure....but I'm sure I smelt shit!!!!!!
Don't fuck w/ me kid less you wanna wear your arse cheeks as earings cos my foot will Kick Your Arse!!!!!!

Wednesday No Run
Fuck! Best laid plans of mice & men,an impromptu podcast post Spurs Champions League game meant it was 5.50pm when  I got home and a 2 hour 16 miler between 6-8pm a tough sell...w/ hindsight maybe I could've done 10 miles????

Thursday 16 Miles
Got my long run for the week in and how!
Out in 59.23 back in 61.37 for a 2.00.52 time
Almost picture perfect conditions at 80 degrees as I went out and back along Kelly Dr,7.5 miles at Falls Bridge and rather than hanging a left went straight for another half mile b4 turing and heading back
Upon my return from my West Coast jaunt next week may revisit this route w/ an extra mile tacked on to get my 18 miler in

Friday 8 Miles
Wow a Monday & Friday run this week!!!
Even w/ my 6 day/75mpw shot I felt it wise to get the "crap" out of my legs w/ an easy 8 on Friday b4 a rest day Saturday and then Sundays half marathon

And so it's all set up now for Sunday,and next week I can hopefully increase my long run to 17 miles

Sunday, September 10, 2017

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Glass half empty I only managed a 4 day/54.5mpw,glass half full I upped my long run to 15.5 miles as the magic  numbers are now 1/10 for the Rock & Roll Half Marathon/Philly Marathon

Monday 15.5 miles
Taking full advantage of Labour Day I got out and ran since Mondays tend to be a "no go zone" due to work.
Since Monday was a holiday I slept till 9am and didn't hit the sidewalks that lead me to the Art Museum loop till 10.30am  which is later than the 6.30am runs I've been doing on the weekends and thus warmer,the sweat stains on my sleeveless running shirt bore that out.
Having done the "out and back" 7.5/7.5=15 miles a few times I was curious to see what the whole loop would come out to,I knew it'd be just over 15 miles so thanks to a tweak here and there I was able to round up to 15.5 miles in 2.08.53 off of 8.19 mile pace

Tuesday Rest Day,given I didn't know what to expect at work w/ Tuesday becoming my Monday I hedged my bets that I'd be balls arsed busy....I wasn't as busy as I thought but frankly my upper thighs were a tad sore from Mondays run so perhaps Rest Day was the way to go

Wednesday Rained out....bugger!
I'm no stranger to running in the rain....I grew up in London for fecks sake however w/ Philly R&R1/2 now eleven days away maybe playing "fast and loose" w/ the conditions was not the way to go and when the heavens opened around 6pm I would've been a few miles from home and shelter and frankly I've worked too damn hard since Aug 1st for next Sunday so while I lost a day I may've saved myself a few between now and Sept 17th

Thursday 14 miles
The most noticeable thing for me on this run was how much cooler conditions were compared to previous runs out and back along either Kelly Dr or West River Dr after work during August,to underline that fact on Aug 16th I ran a 13 miler in 1.48.03 off 8.37 mile pace,tonite I clocked 1.48.24 off 7.44 mile pace.....over 14 miles,yes things have cooled off but I've also gotten more speed,strength and stamina under me,this should bode well moving forward.

Saturday 14 miles
A delightfully crisp 55 degrees greeted me at 6.30am as I headed out for this run,switched from sleeveless to short sleeves but also w/ next Sundays gun time at 7.30am I probably need to be up 6am so it was good to get a "lay of the land" in that respect.
When I reached the turnaround in 53.06 I was twenty seven seconds up on Thursday time,neither here nor there in some respects but always nice to feel you're getting faster.....
1.47.01 off of 7.38 mile pace and almost by default a seasons best,not sure how many more 14 milers are on tap but if there are more 1.47.01 is the time to try and beat

Sunday 11 miles
Not quite what I had hoped for to be honest,the aim was 16.5 miles to round out at 60mpw.
While I'm happy to go"out and back" on either drive the prospect of say running 8.5 miles on a 7.5 loop and then circling back in the direction I just came is....frankly a bit fuckin' boring so unless say I don't know the Swedish Bikini Team are cheer leading the route.....I can dream.....I'm looking at going "off book"
W/ hindsight maybe doing the hills of the Belmont Plateau was my undoing this morning,maybe dancing my arse off at The Trocadero last nite to UB40 didn't help either but either way when I worked my way back down to West River Dr via Sweet Briar Lane,Landsdown Ave,Avenue Of The Republic and Belmont Ave my legs said no mas and I had to settle for 11 miles in 1.31.22 off 8.14 mile pace.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and the next time I look to extend my run I'll nix the Belmont Plateau and stay on Montgomery Dr to loop back down to West River Dr,this however won't be for a few weeks,next weekend is the Philly R&R 1/2 and the following weekend I'll be google mapping a potential 17 miler out in San Diego.....something along the coastline would be nice.......Swedish Bikini Team optional.....but very welcome....just saying!