Friday, June 26, 2009

Can this be a comeback?

This morning I decided to try my luck at Westtown School's new track. I got out of the mini-van and just walked up the brief hill to lane 6. No steps to negotiate, no gates to traverse.

As I warmed up a mile, I inhaled the scene. There's something about running on a new track: a feeling of possibility and a look of undisturbed poise that are sometimes hard to come by on old ones. Don't get me wrong: I appreciate the oldies but goodies, but running on a new track can be quite a treat. Westtown's track favors the character and temperament of its namesake: the track is unpretentious and rather plain with its 6 lanes. There are no extra markings, no distinguishing color schemes. Unlike most tracks I've encountered, Westtown's is simple and unencumbered by imprisoning fencing or overbearing stands. Instead, the track is open, surrounded on one side by a comtemporary house tucked away in woods, on another side by a rustic structure that seems to serve as a canoe house for the Westtown Lake. The other two sides--an ample field house and an expansive parking lot--are far less bucolic and typify the sometimes awkward, inherent tension between progress and nature. Both structures are inevitable and, perhaps more importantly, necessary on a campus--in a world--where practical realities are part of the bottom line.

As I warmed up, I got my mind cued into what I had hoped would be a confidence booster of a workout. To be sure, I did not know just how difficult the workout would be. I figured it would be short, though. I gave my legs a pretty good stretch. Even though my hamstrings were not at their best, I told myself that I would go through with the 3 400s @ 60 seconds with a 10-minute recovery that I had on tap.

Here they are in review:
First 400: Started well, but felt a little rusty. 30 seconds at the 200. Pressed a little during the last 100. Time: 61.

Walked 800 in 10 minutes.

Second 400: Knew that I was not accustomed to so much rest, especially walking. I got out well again, feeling more settled. 29 seconds at the 200. Relaxed and lengthened my stride during the last 100. Time: 60

Walked 800 in 10 minutes, thinking about how I would approach the last 400. I decided that I wanted to run 59 seconds without pressing too much. I also realized that the workout did not seem that bad at it, that it felt like a medium workout and a far cry from some of the other ones I'd done this past spring. For the same reason, I also decided that this sort of workout would work best in the early morning since it was sufficiently challenging and fast--two characteristics that are important when I'm running 5:30 or 5:45 AM and have to finish the whole workout (including cool down) by 6:30.

Third 400: After walking for 10 minutes, I felt well rest, compared to how I normally feel when I'm doing interval training. I tried to simulate the sort of cadence I demonstrate when running an 800 race. I then imagined what it would feel like to have a monster kick. I hit the 200 in 29 seconds and got good leg lift during the homestretch. I felt pretty strong and was pleased with my time: 58 seconds.

If only there could be days like this every day. I cooled down a mile and went home pensive, much of my mood tempered by the untimely death of pop superstar--and once one of my idols--Michael Jackson. For some strange or not so strange reason, I imagined that Michael would live forever, much like characters like Peter Pan, who never grew up or old. At the same time, though, I knew that his life's ending would imitate the drama and seeming demise of his career. There is so much I could say but I will reserve it for perhaps another time.

Today's total: 2.75 miles

I will get in a quick run tomorrow before heaing to Arizona, where I hope to get some distance, hills and lifting in. No coyotes please! I just hope I do not curb the momentum I am getting through my interval training.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another one bites the dust

Today I ran 5 miles/40 minutes, making my way to Westtown School's XC course and doing part of it before heading back home. I felt a little sluggish but okay overall.

Yesterday, I took the morning off so that I would be fresh for the meet at Plymouth-Whitemarsh in the evening. I actually wanted to do the 100 for fun (and later the 400 or 800), but I got a late start from work, got lost (I always make the wrong damn turn when I get in the area!) and arrived in the middle of the sprint hurdles event. I figured that I would not have sufficient time to warm up, and I didn't want to risk injury. So, I jogged around, thinking about whether I wanted to do 400 and 200 or simply an 800. After getting a feel for my running mood, I decided on the 800. I also knew that Phil from TNT would be in the race and that maybe I could pace off of him. Boy was I wrong.! He went out in about 58 seconds compared to my 61, and he wound up running 1:59 and change compared to my 2:07 (61/66). I felt a lot better this time than I did for my previous 800 at Henderson. My breathing was better, as was my time. I could not get good lift coming down the homestretch, though. I did not feel strong during the race at all; I felt like I was just there muddling along. I definitely felt a bit tentative during the first lap. In fact, I did not get out well at all. I let five guys go right in front of me, and I hung back with three others, one of whom caught me at the line and one of whom dropped out of the race.

I still need to figure out what I am/am not doing. I may do a harder workout tomorrow since I probably won't have time on Saturday before we head out to Arizona. My plan is to do some distance and find a good hill to kill!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Same 'ole

Monday, June 22nd—Rustin loops, or Penn Oaks run and lift.

I wound up running to Penn Oaks to lift.
On way there

4:10 Half
7:55 Mile
15:50 2 mile
23:20 3.0
25:24 3.3
On way back home

1:25 .2
7:20 Mile
17:10 Street Rd/Westbourne
20:25 2.8 Creamery Rd
24:00 3.3

Total 6.6 miles

Sunday, June 21st
3x 400 @ :60 w/10min interval
or
2x (800 @2:20 w/60sec interval—1x 400m @:64) // jog 1200m btw sets--work on breathing
Or
2x (300 @45—600m @1:36—300m @:45 w/2min interval btw each) // jog 1200m btw sets -- work on breathing. This workout looks deceptively tough.
Or
Neg-split reps
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
work on breathing
Or
Sit 'n Kick Reps
5x (400m @ 64 . . . rest 30-sec . . . 200m @ 28) jog 1200m btw sets

I warmed up a mile.
I chose to do:
- 600, walk 400--1:36 (32 s/200). I’d probably go through the 400 at :63.- 500, walk 400--77.5 (31 s/200). I’d probably go through the 400 at :61.- 400, walk 400--60- 300, walk 300--43.5- 200, walk 200--28

Actual splits:
600--1:37; went through 400 at :64
500--1:18; went through 400 at :62
400--:60; went through 200 at 29
300--:44; went through 200 at :29
200--:28

I cooled down a mile.
Challenging workout. I felt okay but did not like that I hit only two of the 5 workout times. I need to get stronger.

Total: 3.25 miles

Saturday, June 20th--I did something I hadn't done in a while: 2 Rustin loops--4.4 in 34:42.
4:10 Half
8:20 Mile
16:10 2 mile
17:55 2.2 (1 loop)
21:30 2.7
25:30 3.2 (7:35)
33:00 (15:05)
4.2 (7:30)
34:20 (16:00)
4.4

Total for the week: 17.85 miles
Friday, June 19th

Took off again!

Henderson meet. 400. Goal: :53. (:25/:28)
I warmed up a mile or so, had a pretty good stretch and was ready to go. I gave myself a seed time of 53.9. I found myself in lane 1 after heat and lane assignments were announced. I decided to use starting blocks. At the gun, I got out pretty well and ran up on the shoulder of the teen in lane 2 by the 100 meter mark. By the time I hit the middle of the back straightaway I realized that I was pretty far behind the guys in lanes 3-5. I heard someone yell :24 at the 200 meter mark for one runner. I believe I hit the 200 meter mark a second or so after that. I'd say I ran the first 200 in high :25/low :26. Coming down the homestretch I picked off another runner, but also felt the guy from lane 2 gaining. My arms weakened, but I kept driving, though with not much lift. My second 200 was in the :28 range. I ran a disappointing 54.61 FAT. I was hoping to run a second faster. I did get third place, though.

I cooled down about a mile.

Total:2.25 miles
Thursday, June 18th
I was going to run, but then I decided to take the day off, especially since there were showers.

Total--0

Total for week thus far--11.2 miles

Wednesday, June 17th
1) Increasing speed/decreasing recovery reps
5x (3x200m) @ 33-32-31-30-29 w/50-45-40-35-30 sec interval by set (no additional
recovery between sets!!)
Or
2x (300 @45—600m @1:36—300m @:45 w/2min interval btw each) // jog 1200m btw sets -- work on breathing. This workout looks deceptively tough.

After my mile warm up, I wound up doing 5x (3x200m) @ 33-32-31-30-29 w/60-sec interval. Set 1: 33,33,33; set 2: 32,32,32; set 3: 32,31, 32; set 4: 31,31,31; set 5:29,30,30. I had to talk myself into the last set because my legs were dead, felt heavy and felt like they were going to cramp up. (See May 6 and June 2 for similar workout)
I cooled down a mile.

Total: 3.75 miles

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Slump Dog

Wednesday, June 17th
1) Increasing speed/decreasing recovery reps
5x (3x200m) @ 33-32-31-30-29 w/50-45-40-35-30 sec interval by set (no additional
recovery between sets!!)
Or
2x (300 @45—600m @1:36—300m @:45 w/2min interval btw each) // jog 1200m btw sets -- work on breathing. This workout looks deceptively tough.

After my mile warm up, I wound up doing 5x (3x200m) @ 33-32-31-30-29 w/60-sec interval. Set 1: 33,33,33; set 2: 32,32,32; set 3: 32,31, 32; set 4: 31,31,31; set 5:29,30,30. I had to talk myself into the last set because my legs were dead, felt heavy and felt like they were going to cramp up. (See May 6 and June 2 for similar workout)
I cooled down a mile.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hemming and Hawing

Tuesday, June 16th--alarm went off. Began to rain. Hemmed and hawed and finally just stayed in bed. Bagged the workout in favor of rest.

Monday, June 15th--I did something I hadn't done in a while: 2 Rustin loops--4.4 in 33:40.
4:10 Half
8:20 Mile
16:10 2 mile
17:402.2 (1 loop)
21:10 2.7
24:10 3.2 (7:25)
31:20 (15:12)
4.2 (7:10)
33:40 (16:00)
4.4

Sunday, June 14th--
Warmed up 1.0 mile
I thought I'd press my luck and go for another track workout. I had the nerve to think I'd be able to handle a negative split reps workout of 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. I'd work on breathing. I knew from the start that my muscles were tight. I successful made it through the 300 and the 500, hitting them in :32+:14 and :67+:15. Midway through the 400 I knew it was not to be. Coming across the 200 in :31, I felt my hamstring tighten. I stopped at the 250 meter mark. I walked 200 meters and did a 150 in :22. I did the walk of shame to my bag, where I plopped on my flat and cooled down 1.25 miles.

Total: 3 miles


Saturday, June 13th
Go to Lower Merion to work out with club members?
Workout "W" Sprint Ladder: Sprinters - 2 sets of 400-300-200-200-300-400 (60 secs recover - 400 jog between sets). Mid-distance - same as above PLUS a 3rd half set of 400-300-200

Warmed up 1.0 mile
Set 1: 68, 52, 32,31,57,70; set 2: 67,49,31,31,49,68; set 3: --, 49,29. (60 secs recover - 400 walk between sets)

Cooled down 1200

Total: 3.9 miles

Total for week: 27 miles

Friday, June 12th
4x (2x 150m @:20 w/walk 50m interval) // jog 800 btw sets. Maybe make a (up and down) hill out of this and drive to lift.

Today, I drove to Penn Oaks and lifted (arms).

Total: 0

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I felt cheated on the rebound!

Thursday, June 11th
Distance. I arrived late at the West Chester Country Club, driving in the opposite direction of the crew, which had already taken off. I hurriedly parked the car and took note that the group of 6-7 guys had just turned the corner a couple of streets ahead. So, I began with the goal of catching the crew within the first two miles of the run. No stretching! This obviously meant my pace had to be faster than theirs in order for me to catch up. I caught them approximately 18:00 into my run, which means that I made up the ground by about 2.4-2.5 miles into the run. I was going at a decent pace. We completed the run comfortably, rolling over several hills. In all, three of us did 6.9 miles; some peeled off early, one by one, to run back home. I ran 51:30 or so and felt pretty good. My right hamstring is a little tight, though. I've decided to drive to Penn Oaks to lift. I will save my next track workout for Saturday at Lower Merion High School.

Total: 6.9 miles

Total for the week thus far: 23 miles


Wednesday, June 10th
2x 300m @:47—2x 200m @:29—2x 150m @:21 w/60sec interval btw each // jog 800 btw sets
(2x 300m @:46—2x 200m @:28—2x 150m @:20 w/60sec interval btw each // jog 800 btw sets)

Is this meant to be 300-200-150, (800 rest) 300-200-150, OR 300-300 (800 rest), 200-200(800 rest), 150-150. I think the latter would be more challenging.

How about I start with the former and try the latter another day?

I went to Penncrest to get this workout in. The workout was very doable. In fact, I decided to do a third set, but cut it short. I did 300 (:47), 60 sec rest, 200 (:28), 60 sec rest, 150 (:21), 900 meter jog (7:00), 300 (:47),:60 sec rest, 200 (:27), 60 sec rest, 150 (:21), 900 meter jog (7:00), 300 (:44), 60 sec rest, 100 (:14). I stopped halfway through the 200 b/c my right hamstring seemed to tighten, and I didn’t want to take any chances. I cooled own a mile. I could’ve definitely done another set.

All things considered, if this repetition workout was suggested for a “2:05 elite female 800m runner,” and I was able to do it 6 in the morning with no one pushing me and could have done a 3rd set, I should be on my way to a 2:00 800m. A confidence booster?

Total: 4.75 miles


Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Henderson. This morning was quite humid and 65 degrees. After warming up 1.2 miles, I was slated to do the 3 x (4 x 300) workout with the crew. The plan was to start at about 6 minute pace for the first set, 2-mile pace for the second set and mile pace for the third set. We would have 100 meter jog (about :35-:40) between repeats and 500 meters (about 3:00) between sets. I was right in there: I hit 61,62,60,60; 58,58,58,57. We finished 2/3 of the workout, only to have thunder/lightning showers approach, so we scattered our separate ways. A heavy downpour followed. No third set and, with the exception of .6, no cool down. A bummer. I was planning to dip down to the low 50s for my final four. I felt cheated!

Total: 3.8 miles

Monday, June 8, 2009

Arrrgh: Down but not out!

Monday, June 08, 2009
I had to drop my car off for repair, jogged over .25 to Penn Oaks, lifted for about 15 minutes (just two sets of arms, not the usual 3) and ran 3.3 home in 24:54, an even 7:29 pace.

Total 3.55 miles

Here is what I am thinking for the rest of the week:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Henderson--distance work on track

Wednesday, June 10th
2x 300m @:47—2x 200m @:29—2x 150m @:21 w/60sec interval btw each // jog 800 btw sets

Thursday, June 11th
Distance

Friday, June 12th
4x (2x 150m @:20 w/walk 50m interval) // jog 800 btw sets

Saturday, June 13th

2x (800 @2:20 w/60sec interval—1x 400m @:64) // jog 1200m btw sets

Or

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

Or

2x (300 @45—600m @1:36—300m @:45 w/2min interval btw each) // jog 1200m btw sets

Sunday, June 14

Distance--lift

Monday, June 15

3x 400 @ :60 w/10min interval (would make them a little faster, but I will be doing these @ 6 AM)


Sunday, June 7th

The kids and I made our way to the track at Downingtown East HS. I decided to toughen my legs, since they obviously are not tough enough if I can't run the low 2:00 I am supposed to run. Since I had just done 12 200s yesterday, I spared myself the agony of regular pick-up reps of 8x 400m @ 70 w/90-sec Int and #s 2,5,8 @ 63. Instead, I did a modified version of 8x300 @52 w/90-sec interval (walk of 100 meters) and #s 2,5,8 @ 47. These times are at the same pace as the 400s…just 100 meters shorter. I ran 51,47,50,51,47,51,51,46. I was satisfied. Deed done! I cooled down 1 mile and left.

Total: 4.0 mile


Saturday, 6/6/09--meet at Widener.
Oh boy. I arrived at Widener, despite my misgivings. I warmed up well. I was a little tight, but otherwise ready to run the 400. As the heats and lane assignments were called, I realized that the clerk was reading from index cards, not heat sheet printouts. Oh smack. Turns out I needed to fill out a card when I first arrived. The table where this was to occur was not in full view, but otherwise where it usually is when meets are held at Widener. When the clerk called out the third heat and then began calling the fourth heat, I knew I had made a mistake, that I had not completed the necessary paperwork. Incidentally, I peeked over his shoulder and saw that different handwriting had been used to complete the cards and that's when I knew! Also, the times for the final heat--at this point I was holing out for my name to be called--ranged from :51-:49, and I know I would not have been in that heat.

So, it was painfully clear that I had screwed up. I decided to bag the meet, feeling my legs might pull anyway. I had the kids pack up their stuff so that I could sheepishly leave unnoticed. The gun for the first heat of the women's 400 went off as we left the stadium. I had to think about what I would do to rebound. I decided to take my woes to the track at Swarthmore. I warmed up and stretched again and tried my luck at some 200. Too bad for me I had left my spikes at Widener. I was not going to let that deter me from punishing myself with 12 x 200--31,31,31,30,30,30,30,30,31,31,30,28--with a 2-minute, 200 jog in-between. I cooled down 1 mile.
Widener warm-up--1.2
Swarthmore warm-up--.5
Workout--3 mile
Cool down--1 mile

5.7 mile total

I returned to Widener to collect my spikes. Maybe I was out of sorts because my wife was out of town in VA.

Friday, 6/5/09--TOOK OFF TODAY COMPLETELY. Meet at Henderson. 6 PM. Must leave work by 4:30. Need to check-in. Warm-up at 5:15. Goal: 2:03: 29,59(30),1:30(31),2:03(33). Goal with balls: 2:00: 28; 58(30); 1:29(31); 2:00(31)

Rainy day, heavy at times. I arrived at Henderson, promptly changed in my car in a remote location (whew!), and made my way to the track by 5:15 or so. Paid and whatnot. Had a good warm up of 1.0 mile +, despite the rain. Ran some turns, up to about 50 meters or so. I was set to go at 6:00. My heat, the 4th our of 5, went off at about 6:15 or 6:20. I got out well, came across the 200 in 29. Great, I thought. Felt some come up on me at the 300 mark and I surged ahead. Was in 4th at the 400 in about 59/60. Great, I thought. One person passed me at the 500 meter mark, another at the 600 meter mark, which I hit at about1:31. With 100 to go, I realized I was virtually dead. Five people passed me. I think I got 12th out of 15 in a time of about 2:06, though I can't be sure. I was disappointed to say the least. I was really gearing for that :59/:64, which should be doable! I just don't understand what's happening. I got to step up my game. I wasn't sure I would have the heart to go to Widener.

I cooled down 1/2 mile.

Total: 2.25 miles total

Total for week: about 26 miles

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Getting Confidence Back

Thursday, 6/4/09--off, light, 2.2 mile jog w/yoga or drive to PO to lift. Today I took it easy. I drove to the gym, warmed up .85 on the treadmill, lifted (arms), and cooled down .90.

Total: 1.75 miles

Total for week thus far: 18 miles

Wednesday, 6/3/09--light track workout
Leave home at 5:25
Warm up 1.0 mile. Stretch extra good.
Start at 6:00
6 x 150; 1st 2 in 22 sec; 2nd 2 in 20 sec; last 2 in18 sec/rest 3 minutes; in-between each walked 50 and jog 200
Cool down 1.0 mile at 6:20
Leave at 6:30
Home at 6:45

The workout timeline went as clockwork! Yes! My 150s were as follows: 21,21,20,19,18,18. These felt good. I did not feel like I was pressing. And I actually wore my middle distance spikes, not my sprint spikes! I plan to go back to using the middle distance spikes for workouts and the sprint spikes for meets (800 meters and down). I felt good about this workout. I cannot remember the last time I ran :18 for a 150. This was a confidence booster.

150 meter during practice::Possible 400 meter pace/conversion
21::57
21::57
20::54/55
19::52/53
18::50/51

Total: 3.2 miles


Tuesday, 6/2/09—Henderson--not sure if I'll go or head to Penncrest for another 400- or 800-based workout.
Plan:
4 x 300 speed 47/rest 5 minutes
4 x 200 speed 31 30 29 28/rest 3 minutes

I wound up getting to the track late. I warmed up 1 mile, did 10 200s w/60 sec rest: 36,31,31,31,30,30,30,30,30,30, and cooled down 1 mile.

Total: 3.25 miles

Monday, June 1, 2009

Arrgh. That 5K was the pits.

Monday, 6/1/09-- Plan: Pick-up reps--8x 400m @ 70 w/90-sec Int and #s 2,5,8 @ 63.
Tired, heavy legs and sore back. Planned to do 8X300 @52 w/90 sec rest and #s 2,5,8 in 48. This is the same pace as the original pick-ups reps. I warmed up 1 mile. 52,49,51,51,49,50, I had time for only six. I stuck to the 90 sec interval. I could have done 8 had I more time. Not bad, although I was off on the faster 300 by a second or so. Gotta get stronger.

Tomorrow I'm not sure if I'll go or head to Penncrest for another 400- or 800-based workout.

Sunday, 5/31/09— recovery run. Ran to Penn Oaks with DJ to lift. There--in 28:15. Back in 26:18. lifted a combo of arms and legs. 6.6 miles
On way there
4:23 Half
8:55 Mile
17:27 2 mile
26:20 ? 3.0
28:15 3.3
On way back home
1:30 .2
7:50 Mile
18:30? Street Rd/Westbourne
22:15 2.8 Creamery Rd
26:18 3.3

Saturday, 5/30/09— Rustin 5K. Goal: sub18:00
Goal Ambition Goal Ambition
1K--other side of brush 3:31 3:25
2K--just beyond fence 7:02 6:50 1 mile--retention pond 5:40 5:32
3K--30m from X-walk 10:33 10:15 2 mile--top of hill 11:20 11:04
4K--top-center of hill 14:04 13:40 3 mile--300m hurdle start 17:00 16:36
5K--after100m start 17:35 17:05 3.1 mile--after100m start 17:35 17:05
5K+--finish line 17:50 17:20 3.15--finish line 17:50 17:20
The race did not go as planned. I warmed up about .75 and stretched pretty well, but I just didn't feel as strong as I should have between 2K and 4K. I worked the hills--or at least I thought I did--but to no avail. I went out in 3:35 for the first K, his the mile in 5:30, hit the second K in 7:00, but then I must've have slowed up because I found myself at 11:50 at the 2 mile mark. I hit the 4th K at 14:45. I was :45 seconds behind. I entered the rear of the stadium in 17:45, which is the time I should've finished in. I hit the 3.0 mile mark in 18:15 or so, the 3.1 mile mark in 18:45 and the 3.15 mark (finish) in 19:05. I won the race, leading from start to finish, but the race felt harder than it should have for such a stinky time. I realized the course was slightly longer, but I still expected to run under 18:00. I am wondering whether or not I need to leave 5K work alone for a while--until the fall--ans just concentrate on the 800.

I cooled down 1.1 mile. (.75, 3.15, 1.1 miles)

Total: 5 miles

Total for the week: 31.1 miles

Friday, 5/29/09--
Warmed up 1.8 mile.
3 x 150 (build ups) speed slow medium fast/rest walk back. Used the street adjacent to the Rustin stadium. .3 mile
Cool down .5 mile
Total: 2.6 miles

So far this week: 26.1

Thursday, 5/28/09--distance. Light run or speed workout, depending on how I feel. I slept in a bit and wound up driving to Penn Oaks to life—legs only.


Wednesday, 5/27/09--track workout. This plan could change, have to wait to see how I feel. Could be a yoga day! I wound up doing an easy 2.2 (20:00), stretching, doing 8 hills using our backyard (from property line up to first step--20 sec. Walked 45m, jogged 45m back down), and then another easy 2.2 (18:30).
Total: 5 miles