Monday, March 30, 2009

Briefy

Friday--drove to Penn Oaks and lifted--arms.

Saturday--3.3 in 25:40 (7:40 pace) in-between soccer games.

Sunday--Sit 'n Kick Reps
5x (400m @ 64 . . . rest 45-sec . . . 150m @ 21) jog 1200m btw sets.
62/22; 64/20; 63/21; 64/21; 60/20. Gave myself 60-sec rest, not :45. Legs were heavy after a while. Made it through, though.

Monday--right foot is killing me. Hope there's no major damage. I drove to Penn Oaks and lifted--arms. 2 miles on treadmill--8-min pace before and after lifting.

Looking forward to tomorrow's workout with the Henderson crew.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Week After Nationals

Monday, 3/23/09

49:12 6.6 miles

Felt pretty good.

Tuesday, 3/24/09--Henderson. Distance workout. Cold--28 degrees!
1.1 mile warm-up.
6x800 w/ 400m non-stop jog in-between: 3:00, 2:56; 2:52; 2:48; 2:48; 2:40. 6800m
1200m cool down--.75
Total: 6.1 miles

Wednesday, 3/25/09--Plan: 6 x 200 speed 30 seconds/rest 3 minutes
Mile warm-up. 6x200 w/ 3 min rest/200m walk in-between repeats: 30, 29, 28, 28, 29, 27. Cooled down 800.
Total 2.25 miles

Thursday, 3/26/09--distance in town. 5.1. Actual: distance w/crew in town. Today's run went well. We all pretty much ran for the first two miles or so, then we began to string out w/ Daley way out front. I initially felt like I was struggling a bit, but then I rebounded to hit the 4 mile mark in 29:00. I decided to do the whole route with John and another guy whose name escapes me. By the time, I decided to join them they were 100 meters ahead. I chipped away at the distance for the next mile until I caught them. I ran a good hill at around mile 7 and another good one coming up Ashbridge to the WC Country Club. Total of about 8 miles in 57:55. About 7:15 pace. I learned that this was John's PR for this route. I will surely do this every time if time permits. I need to get comfortable with this kind of distance--strength.

Mileage so far this week: 26.2
55 4.4
37:25 4.9
41:00 5.4
47:50 6.4
49:12 6.6 miles

Felt pretty good.

Tuesday, 3/24/09--Henderson. Distance workout. Cold--28 degrees!
1.1 mile warm-up.
6x800 w/ 400m non-stop jog in-between: 3:00, 2:56; 2:52; 2:48; 2:48; 2:40. 6800m
1200m cool down--.75
Total: 6.1 miles

Wednesday, 3/25/09--Plan: 6 x 200 speed 30 seconds/rest 3 minutes
Mile warm-up. 6x200 w/ 3 min rest/200m walk in-between repeats: 30, 29, 28, 28, 29, 27. Cooled down 800.
Total 2.25 miles

Thursday, 3/26/09--distance in town. 5.1. Actual: distance w/crew in town. Today's run went well. We all pretty much ran for the first two miles or so, then we began to string out w/ Daley way out front. I initially felt like I was struggling a bit, but then I rebounded to hit the 4 mile mark in 29:00. I decided to do the whole route with John and another guy whose name escapes me. By the time, I decided to join them they were 100 meters ahead. I chipped away at the distance for the next mile until I caught them. I ran a good hill at around mile 7 and another good one coming up Ashbridge to the WC Country Club. Total of about 8 miles in 57:55. About 7:15 pace. I learned that this was John's PR for this route. I will surely do this every time if time permits. I need to get comfortable with this kind of distance--strength.

Mileage so far this week: 26.2

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Directionally challenged

Today, I made my way down to Indoor Nationals in Landover, MD. The trek down was a bit of a mess for me. Listening to music and not with a care in the world, I missed my exit. Actually, I didn't just miss it; I missed it by a mile...well, more like 15miles! I was supposed to get off at exit 52 and when I finally paid attention I was at exit 42. I went back and forth trying to decide whether I should try my luck and cut across the highway, but I knew it was wrong and dangerous and that I would be nabbed. Instead, I pulled out at a rest stop, took refuge and relief in the men's room, and started my drive again. I exited at 37 and was able to re-enter I95, this time north. Knowing that I was now running late, I was rather cautious. I made my way into the outskirts of Baltimore and confirmed directions. I took a leap of faith through some streets here and there and ended up on the correct road. Directionally challenged!?

Anyway, I finally arrived at the arena at about 11AM. I checked in and found that the 800 women's races were underway. I warmed up and tried to shake off the cobwebs that were obviously in my head. (I did have a long busy weekend: chaperoned my daughter's trip, had an early alumni weekend at my alma mater, facilitated a discussion group, had rehearsal for a performance on Friday night, followed by the performance on Saturday night.) Excuses, I know, but the truth. ...Which leads me to the race. I got myself in gear and found that I had checked in to the race later than I should have. Even though I had an event number and membership number and whatnot, an official at the starting line initially said that she could not secure a lane/hip number for me because the roster for my race had been taken by another official. I told her should could just give me any number. She evidently couldn't. I finally got a number, 2, moments before stepping on the track. A few runners were missing from our heat, but we still had about 7 or 8 guys. The gun went off. I found myself in third position for the first 150. I then pulled into 2nd at the 200. The clock read 30-31. I pulled into first at the 250m mark, realizing the pace was slow. At the 400m mark, I saw 61 and some change. I then felt foosteps. It was Kyle Lanier. He passed me at the 450m mark. I stayed within a meter or two of him. He began to pull away at the 600m. With a surge, I kept the distance the same; he would gain no more. For a brief moment with 100 m to go, I thought I would catch him. But, it just wouldn't be. He got me again. 2:04 (high) to my 2:05 (low). I was disappointed, knowing I had planned to go faster, ideally much faster--perhaps even a second per lap! Too ambitious, maybe. I wish the first 400 had been 2 seconds faster; this could have played into my race plan. All that said, I found the bright side: it was a pretty even race--61-62 for the first 400m and 62-63 for the second. I thought I might go 60 and 63 or 59 and 63. This will be my goal for next time. But, then again, I am thinking of backing off the 800 for a while in favor of the 400 and the mile! Can you believe it? Challenged by distance, too?

But the way, the arena--the track--was awesome! I look forward, God willing, to running on it next indoor season.

UPDATE-UPDATE! I just saw the video of the race and it appears that I ran very even splits: 31.1,31.4(62.5),62.6. http://www.aidemsolutions.com/2009masters/800/m30-39/

Friday, March 20, 2009

Snoozed myself out my planned workout

This morning I must've been out of it. I overslept, getting up at 5:30--well past my usual 4:45. I made my joe, ironed my and my wife's clothes for the day, gave the cat some fresh H2O and cleaned his litter. I did all this while trying to figur out what I would do, realizing it was a little too late for me to dress, drive to the track and do the workout I had in mind: mile warm-up, 2(3x150)--1st set in 21 and 2nd set in 19, with a 250m jog between repeats and a 450 m jog between sets. The cool down would be .5 to 1.0. After taking a couple of sips of coffee and then water and after eating a spoonful of peanut butter, I did the next best thing. I jogged to the parking lot of the school across the street and down the road, tacking on some extra distance for a full 1-mile warm-up. I stretched a bit; my muscles were God-awful tight--not a good sign. I then decided I would approximate a 150 or so in one of the driveways of the school site. I would up simulating what I would have done on the track. The first set of 150s were in the 24/25-second range; the second set were in the 22/23-second range. I trust that this would have amounted to the 21s and 19s I had imagined for today...prior to knowing I would snooze myself out of what I had hoped would be a short, less intense workout designed for sharpening and turnover. Time will tell.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Transition Workout

Tuesday—Henderson track-- Actual: Henderson crew—track and hills. 15 min/1.7-mile warm-up: 2 laps around Henderson, plus run to and around track. 800--.5--fairly hard: 2:48. I stayed with Kevin and Scott Burns. Jogged to hill from track finish line--.2. We jogged back to the track start line--.2—for another 800 (.5), which was to be faster that the initial one. .5 (2:35). Again, I was about a second or two behind Scott and about 3-4 seconds behind Kevin. I started a second after they did. I did not time this 800 either. I was slightly behind at the start but then made my way to within 5 meters of Scott. Cooled down .25 on track and one lap around the school .5 Total: 5.75 miles

Monday—track—400 m workout. Mile warm up. 6--200s w/ diminishing rest. 32, then 3-min rest/150 m jog; 34 (oops!), then 2:30 min rest/150 m jog; 31, then 2:00 rest/150 m jog; 31, then 1:30 rest/150m jog; 30, then 1:00 jog; 30-second last 200. 1000 meter cool down. Total: 2.7 miles

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nice-n-Easy, I think.

This morning I made my way to the gym, running through the usual 3.3 miles of neighborhoods to get there. 25:45, a nice-n-easy pace that I wish felt better. I worked my legs over a bit, feeling the burn characteristics of a good leg workout. I then came home...a there and back run...in 25:18, a nice-n-pace pace. Decent, not great, but decent.

I am hoping to have somewhat of a regular week, less intensity. I will do half of what I'd normally do on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday will be regular, and so will Thursday. I will probably lift on Wednesday and/or Friday.

Legs like bricks

Thursday, March 12, 2009—distance w/crew in town. Today's run went well. We all pretty much ran as a pack today. There wasn't nearly as much stringing out. No of us broke off from the pack too far. Some of us did by a few seconds but everyone caught up when we were stopped by traffic. Pace was more relaxed; comfortable. We were at the 4.2 mark in about 30:00-31:00, which was 1 to 2 minutes off the pace from a couple of weeks ago. I could've kept going for an additional 10-15 minute as most others did, but I didn't want to take the risk. I could do 10 more minutes, but 15 minutes would have made me late for getting back home. Ran back to car for a 5 miles total at about 38:00.

Friday, March 13, 2009—drive to gym to lift--arms. That's what I did!

Mileage so far this week: 24.2

Saturday, March 14, 2009
Sit 'n Kick Reps--5x (400m @ 65 . . . rest 1:00 . . . 150m @ 20) jog 1200m btw sets,. THE REAL DEAL (2:00 800) IS: 5x (400m @ 64 . . . rest 30-sec . . . 200m @ 28) jog 1200m btw sets
or
Neg-split reps--2x (300m-500-400 w/neg-split last 100m) @ :33+15 (=:48 300m) . . . 68+15 (=1:23 500m) . . . 50+15 (=65 400m) 4-min btw reps/jog 1200 btw sets. THE REAL DEAL (2:00 800) IS: 2x (300m-500-400 w/neg-split last 100m) @ :32+14 (=:46 300m) . . . 66+14 (=1:20 500m) . . . 48+14 (=62 400m) 2-min btw reps/jog 1200 btw sets

Actual: I made my way to the track at Penncrest HS. 45 degrees. I did Sit 'n Kick Reps--5x (400m @ 65 . . . rest 1:00 . . . 150m @ 20) jog 1200m btw sets was the goal. Today, I warmed-up 1.0 miles, and did: 65, 21; 63, 20; 60, 22; 63, 21; 61; 21. I rested 1:00 minute between 400s and 150s and jogged 1200m btw sets. Cooled down 1200 m. 6.25 miles.

The last time I did this workout was 2/28. Sit 'n Kick Reps--5x (400m @ 65 . . . rest 1:00 . . . 150m @ 20) jog 1200m btw sets, except I did 4 and gave myself a 2-min rest period: 64/21; 64/21; 63, 21; 61, 21. Another time I did a similar workout was 12/31/08 and it was Sit 'n Kick Reps Goal: 5x (400m @ 65 . . . rest 60-sec . . . 200m @ 30) jog 1200m btw sets. 65, 33; 65, 33; 64, 33, 65, 32; 64, 32.

The workout felt good, but I know my legs will be bricks for a while.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let there be...

Yesterday's workout was the first of 2 transition workouts. We met at Henderson to start warming up at 5:30AM. The workout was 1 x 800, 4-5 x Biddle Street Hill(the side closer to Henderson) and then 1 x 800. We started the 1st 800 around 5:50. Only 8 weeks until Broad Street.

15 min/1.7-mile warm-up: 2 laps around Henderson, plus run to and around track. 800--.5--fairly hard. I stayed with Kevin and Scott Burns. Jogged to hill from track finish line--.2. We did not use the regular one. We used an alternative one that was, according to Kevin, slightly longer but more gradual. I’ll give it 275 meters. We did five of these and back down (1.8 miles), compared to the 8 we’ve done in prior weeks. I did not time them, but should’ve. We jogged back to the track start line--.2—for another 800 (.5), which was to be faster that the initial one. .5 . I did not time this 800 either. I was slightly behind at the start but then made my way to within 10 meters of Kevin. I weakened over last 250 but was able to finish within 20 meters of him and 5 meters behind another guy whose name escapes me. Cooled down .25 on track on one lap around the school .5 Total: 5.75 miles

Wednesday, March 11, 2009. Plan: 3x (3x300m @ 48 w/jog 100m walk at 2:00) Jog 800m between sets. Maybe do these 300s as follows: 16/17/15. 10 min warm-up, 7 min. stretch, 38 min workout, 5 min- cool down=60 min Actual: I wound up getting to Penncrest at 5:35. Warm-up 1 mile. Stretched until 5:53 and then spiked up. Started at about 5:55. 3 sets of 300s became 2 sets of 3 300s and 1 set of 2 300s, for a total of 8. 1st set. 52, 49, 49; 2nd set 51, 48, 48; 3rd set 48, 48. Exactly 2:00 between each repeat and 700 meters jog between each set. Overall game myself less recovery. ( Total miles 3.6 miles.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I met my goal: her name was 2:04

I am sitting in front of a fire in my living room, seeing that the logs have become nothing more than embers clumped together by the last strength of the fibers that used to tie them together confidently. The weakening flames compete with the glowing orange hot carpet of embers that is the floor of the fireplace. The grate that holds what is left stands strong, while crispy logs hold on, trying deperately not to fall through the cracks. Eventually, they will fall and spend the overnight hours transforming into the embers and then dust. And that will be it. At some point, I'll get around to cleaning up the mess and finding new logs to endure the same fate. Not sexy, I know, but dignified and purposeful in spirit and practice. I felt obliged to have a walk with my wife, a cold one after that, and a fire after what was a good race day for me.

And so the gun went off. There were 8 or 9 of us in the fastest heat of the 800 at Regionals. I found myself in 4th place and at about :30 at the 200; I could hear the lap counter's :29/:30 as I passed. I tried to relax and not lose contact during the second lap. I felt David come up on my shoulder. I surged a bit to establish the permanence of my position. I vaguely heard :60/:61. During the third lap, I noticed that the top two runners, Kyle Lanier and teammate Nick Berra (Teammate Kevin Forde was not in the race, opting instead for the more competive Armory event in NYC. Also, Ursinus has caused him to fall ill two prior years.), were starting to pull away from the third runner. I took the inside and went past the guy, grazing him just so to make some room. I pushed up to position myself within a few meters of the leader. On my last lap I went to my arms (even though I forgot to say to myself, "arms/toes"). I felt reasonably strong, but knew something, someone, was hawking me. As I neared the finish line thinking third place to be secure, teammate Scott Landis caught me at the line. Turns out he beat me by .01 second, determined by photo finish technology. Whatever happened to my lean? You dolt! Anyway, I ran 2:04.80 (Fully Automatic Timing), a masters-level personal best for me, to Scott's 2:04. 79 (F.A.T.). Better yet, this is the best time I've run in the event since college. Then again, it's not like I've been running 800s since that time. The winning time of 2:02.11 and the second place time of 2:03+ were raced by Nick and Kyle. But that was not all.

Our club wanted to pull together a couple of 4x800 relay teams. We agreed, although we were not sure we would do the event justice. How wrong we were! Scott (brave soul) led-off. I did not want to lead off, nor did I wish to anchor. He hung in there with a guy from team TNT who took it out hard. This guy was fresh; he hadn't run. He must've uncorked a 2:04, putting TNT well into the lead. Dave's pace was comfortable and confident. With every stride, it was evident that he was eating into what initially was a 30-35 meter lead. With a lap to go, I thought Dave might pass the guy. He came within 2-3 meters as he handed off to me. I hyped up a bit before I grabbed that Penn baton, thinking of bygone days both as a Penn Relays entrant and as a coach for teams that made some noise there. I took the stick and ran up on TNT runner Kareem Lanier within the first 50 or so meters. I then relaxed and waited like a patient panther ready to pounce. Once I nipped the backs of his spikes, showing I was getting a little close. I sat, licking my lips, knowing he had beaten me in the 800 in December. With about 150 to go, a voice just told me to move my ass. And I did. I went slightly wide on the backstretch, accidentally broke Kareem's stride (for which I later apologized), and took off. "Arms and toes" it was. I had him coming up the straightaway. He came back at me, pullig near even as I handed off to Nick. Nick brought the victory home for us, running something in the 2:04-range. I think I ran something in the 2:06/07-range. We dropped an 8:31 4x800. Not bad for a crew whose average age is 40.

It was a good day at Ursinus, and I met the goal I had established months beforehand. But I have plenty of work to do in preparation for Nationals in two weeks.

Let's Get the Job Done

It's a cloudy Sunday morning, and I am sitting in the sunroom with a cup of joe. I've read it's not such a good idea to have too much of it on race day, but I got to have just one cup! Today we're at Ursinus College for the masters regional championship meet. Even though it's been a so-so week of training (due to weather constraints), I am hoping to unleash something in the sub 2:05 range. For me, that means a solid 60 sec 400 (29/31) and a solid :64 or better (31/32). If I am asked to run a relay--and I'd prefer 4x400 despite the horrific December mishap--I am hoping for a :53/:54 leg. My 150s have been in the :19 and :20 range. Double that for 300m and you get about :39-:40. Take 2/3 of :19-:20 for the last 100 and that gives you an additional :14 seconds for about :53 seconds.

My legs should be pretty fresh. I took off Friday entirely and yesterday I warmed up a mile, did 2 200s in about :29/:30 and 2 150s in :19/:20 just to simulate race pace. Well, in the case of the 200 I simulated the race pace for the first 200 for my 800. In the case of the 150s, I was trying to feel out my pace for the 400 leg should I run it. I cooled down 800.

Well, today is showdown day. There are four guys who have run faster than I have and an additional two guys who are right on my shoulder. I will likely be in the hot heat. My goal is to run my race. I can't go out too hard or if I do I should not panic. I need to keep fellow teammates Kevin and Scott close by. Well, actually Scott more than Kevin because Kevin may be in a league of his own. He could very well break 2:00. Newcomer to the group, Nick Berra, will prove to be formidable. Of course Kyle Lanier will be tough. But...

I will be tough, too!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mind, body, doubt

Since I lifted yesterday, I figured I'd do a track workout today. I drove to Penncrest only to find that the track was still sole- to-ankle-deep in snow. So I made my way back to Rustin's stadium parking lot. I warmed up about a mile using the parking lot, which I think is about 300 meters in perimeter. I stretched. I then ran the street (slightly downhill) for a 300 meter repeat workout. My times were 50,50, 49, 49, 49, 49, 47. After each repeat, I jogged 300 to the start. A there-and-back workout. Cooled down .5 mile. Total: 3.75 miles

Even though today was a little lame, I made the most of it.

It's funny. There comes that times, just days before a meet, when I begin to tell myself that my legs are feeling a little tight, that my arms feel a little weak, that the warm-up was actually taxing, that my body's a little tired. This all part of the spirit and body over mind--the seismic battle within human nature. There is inevitably some part of the mind that thinks tyranny is the answer! I cannot imagine that a day does not go by when I do not experience some feelings of self-doubt--it could on the job, with my kids, with myself. I guess that's part of human nature as well. Self-doubt has to be managed effectively, though, like a yard dog should. Or else it will drive you absolutely nuts and paralyze you until your confidence erodes like a beach after a bad storm.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Today, I wound up going to Downingtown East to do Sit 'n Kick Reps--5x (400m @ 65 . . . rest 1:00 . . . 150m @ 20) jog 1200m btw sets, expect I did 4 and gave myself a 2-min rest period. The last time I did a similar workout was 12/31/08 and it was . Sit 'n Kick Reps Goal: 5x (400m @ 65 . . . rest 60-sec . . . 200m @ 30) jog 1200m btw sets. 65, 33; 65, 33; 64, 33, 65, 32; 64, 32. Today, I warmed-up 1.1 miles, and did: 64/21; 64/21; 63, 21; 61, 21. Cooled down 700 m. 5.2 miles.

Today, I just did a recovery run . I had planned to do an easy 6.6 (3 Rustin loops) but wound up doing only two…in 34:30. 4:23/8:30/16:35/18:05; 21:55/25:50/33:12/34:30. I felt pretty good. Not much lactic acid in the legs. Great for me.