Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lead legs

Wednesday, 8/31/11--Was scheduled for an easy 30-min run. Ran 4M in 28:50, or about 7:13 pace. Last Friday, I felt good at 28:10, or 7:03 pace. Today my legs felt like lead; this easy run did not feel so easy.

Tuesday, 8/30/11--Went to Henderson. Workout was 1600, 200 jog, 800, 1600, 200, 800. Those who are training for a marathon or half-marathon were invited to do an additional 1600 after these two sets (although Kevin mistakenly said 800 initially). My first miule was 5:49, followed by a 2:49 800. I then ran 5:38, falling off the pace a bit due to the 200 recovery, and then a 2:40. Essentially, I was finished, but I decided to join the crew for the last 600 of what I initially though was an 800. It turned out that they were running another 1600. After running 2:03 in the 600, I decided to help Ed get through his last 400. SO, I ran beside him and cheered him on. The lap was in 83 seconds, or 5:32 pace.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Come on Irene!

Monday--took off. Rest day. Ahhh! How sweet it is.

Sunday, 8/28/11--The aftermath: the day after Hurricane Irene. I didn't let the wind gusts keep me down or keep me out. I hit the road and did what I estimate to be 11.4-11.5M in 81:20 for 7:05-7:10 pace, which is on the faster end of my long run training pace. I ran through the Rustin site and down to Goose Creek Park, did three laps and headed back the way I came. I made my way to the stop sign next to my house, reaching there in 41:30 and turned around to do another 5.75. Actually, most of the run was probably in the 7:10 range, but the last mile was well under 7:00.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

due (dew) to the humdity.

Saturday--Was scheduled for a 35-min fartlek...over the Rustin-plus loop. I ran the first mile at 9 min pace and then began my 3 min on/1 min off pattern. My thinking was to run under 6:00 pace for the 3 min period. After 4.4 miles I was passing my house and 31:10 into the exercise. At 32:00, I was near Stable after 4.5 or so miles. I jogged a min and then began my last 3 min surge at at 33:00 at Ashley & Stable. I ended near the bottom of the hill on the other side of the corn fields adjacent the 1st portion of the XC course. The time was 36:00, and I had run 5.2M. I jogged a mile and reached home in 45:00. Total 6.2M. Overall, this was a good workout but I was a bit winded due to the humdity.

Friday--Was scheduled for an easy 30-min run. Ran 4M in 28:10, or about 7:03 pace.

Friday, August 26, 2011

If he only knew...

Thurs, 8/25

Met up with the crew at the country club parking lot as usual. Got there later than I had hoped. At least they had not yet left. Nice group of about 15 today. Decided to do the roughly 7.9M "Borough run" in reverse, as we've done many times before. Within the first mile or so several of us (Ed, John, John, Scott Burns, and I) had broken off from the rest. We were moving along at training pace...somewhere around 7:15/M is my guess. At about the 2.5M mark, as we turned outside of North Hills, John suggested that we pick up the pace until Rosedale (specifically until we nearly reached the corner of Rosedale and New Streets as it would turn out). I assumed this would be a 3-mile or so stretch. The first of the three miles was run in 6:38 pace; the second 6:31; the third 6:21. We then took the final 2.4M easy. The 7.9M route was run in 54:20, or at 6:53 pace. I felt really good during the first pick-up mile, seeming strong and with lots of good arm action. I continued working during the second mile. The third mile was mentally challenging. I hadn't done a pick-up like this in quite some time, but I needed to. I'd fall back by five meters, but then surge and pull even with the group. With .15 to go--at the High and Rosedale Streets light--I backed off a little. I finished within 5-10 meters, so I was okay with that. I had to gather myself for the 2.4M remaining. I initially moved at a slower pace, but then picked it up and finished up the last mile positively and with the group. It was encouraging to hear Scott remark that my run was a good one, that I looked strong. I'll take that, but if he only knew...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

a somewhat different workout

Tues, 8.23.11--

Went to Henderson today to face a somewhat different workout: 2x2400 with a 400 jog between sets, followed by 4x200 with a 200 jog-rest.

We took the first 1200 of the first 2400 easy, it appeared, as some of us were chatting it up as we ran. We hit only 3:12 at the 800. We picked it up a bit, coming through the mile in just over 6:00 and finishing up at about 8:50. After what appeared to be a 200 meter jog, we got going again. This time, however, we got out harder and kept a more even pace. I remember hearing 2:50 at the half and seeing 5:41 at the mile. I has passed Manion by then and was just a few meters behind Kevin. Manion came back at me and I hung tough until I lost my mojo at the 2000 meter mark at 7:07 and copped out.

The 200s went fine, of course. A little speedwork was good. Well, technically, a lot of the guys regard the whole workout as speedword. Anyway, I managed 37, 35, 33, and 30, along with a couple of guys. Most of the guys in the A group ran between 35 and 37.

Mon--I was scheduled for a rest day or an easy run of 30 minutes. I chose the latter. My easy run training pace stands at 7:11 (17:15 date 5K). I did roughly 4 miles (1 full Rustin Plus loop, in addition to a Regular Rustin loop) in 28:44--7:11 pace. Ahah!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Sunday, 8/21--Again, I had limited time to get in a workout before we headed to the tourney. I tried my luck at the pave trail and dew-wet XC course across the street. Thirty minutes later and with swamp feet, I had had enough. I was out of time and decided I would pick up where I left off later in the day. When we returned home from the tournament in Limerick, I decided to go for what would be 55:30 running to Henderson HS in WC Borough and back home. It was so humid I had to remove my shirt after 4.3 miles. I took the last mile was well under 7:00. 7.7 in 55:30; 7:12 pace.

Mile 1--7:25. The first mile is always the worst; a good bit is uphill .
Hit mile 2 in 14:40 (7:15).
Hit mile 3 in 22:00 (7:20). I'm in my groove.
Hit mile 4 in 29:20 (7:20). (Corner of N. Penn and E. Chestnut)
The 6 mile mark is just beyond the house-turned business with the huge garages...right before Applegate.
Mile 7 mark is just beyond the new house on Oakborne.
However, with a mile to go before I reached home my watch read 49:30. I finished up in 55:30. Home: 7.7 miles! 7:12 pace.

Mile 1--7:55. The first mile is always the worst, partly because a good bit is uphill and my legs are still trying to awaken.
Hit mile 2 in 15:25 (7:30). I am awake now.
Hit mile 3 in 22:55 (7:30). I'm in my groove.
Hit mile 4 in 30:10 (7:05). (Corner of N. Penn and E. Chestnut) Until now, I thought the 4 mile mark was .05 sooner. Oh well. That's what happens when you remeasure!
I hit the "mailbox marker" (about the 4.7 mile mark) in 35:10 (5:00). For the record, the 5 mile mark is at the tire place just beyond E.Nields.
Mailbox marker over next mile 43:50 (7:40) 2 miles to go. The 6 mile mark is just beyond the house-turned business with the huge garages...right before Applegate.
Next mile--50:00 (7:10). Mile 7 is just beyond the new house on Oakborne.
Last mile--56:35 (6:35). Home: 7.7 miles! 7:20/21 pace.

Saturday, 8/20--I had limited time today to squeeze in a workout since my daughter has an away soccer tournament and we had to leave at 7:00. I wound up doing a fartlek on the Rustin-plus loop. I began with a 9:00 mile, then alternated between 3 minutes at around 5K pace and 1 min at warm-up pace. The period of alternating between 3 and 1 min lasted 23 minutes. In that amount of time I covered 3.5 miles or so. I ended with a short cool down of 5 minutes, as I was running late.

Friday, 8/19--easy run of 4.4 @ 7:30 pace

Thursday, 8/18--was on my way to WC Country Club, when the rain, thunder and lightning cracked the sky. Took a turn towards the Y. Wound up doing a similar workout to what I did the other day: 2 miles on track @ 7:30 pace, lifted, 2 miles on treadmill @ 7:20 pace, lifted, 2 miles on track @ 7:10 pace, lifted. I then went home, as I was running short on time.

Wednesday, 8/17--easy run. 5.1M

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You know how we do.

Tuesday, 8/16--Early morning workout at Henderson: 3x2000 w/ 400 jog rest. You know how we do. The pace for the first was about 6:00; the pace for the second was 5:50; the pace for the third was least for me. I wound up doing the last 1600 of the third 2000, not the whole thing. In the evening, I followed up with 6x400 at 78/79 with a 200 meter jog of 1:40.

Monday, 8/15--4.4 miles. 2 Rustin loops: 17:00 and 16:00=33:00

Sunday, 8/14--Downpour. Went to Y. 8 miles, rotating among indoor track, weights, and treadmill. 2 miles track, 5 min lift, 2 miles treadmill, 2 miles track, 5 min lift, 2 miles treadmill...last mile in 6:20.

Saturday, 8/13--Conestoga Alumni 5K. My son and I arrived to find fewer people that we had expected at the park. We did some greetings, settled in and eventually jogged portions of the unfamiliar course. It was all grass, hilly and with enough switchbacks to make cyclist Lance Armstrong feel heavenly. The 9 AM time came upon us, and we began. The race was a slow one, even though it felt faster. I was floored when I saw 6:35 at the mile mark! I was in 4th at this point and felt that I'd see a 5-something. I knew at that moment that the course was slow and that I should treat the race as a tempo run. I saw 12:40 at the 2-mile mark. By this point I had gone up several grassy hills, the kind for which older people might use a walking stick. I tried to stride the last mile and was annoyed to be passed by a youngster with .1 to go. I went with him, but didn't care to be beaten given my purpose. In the end, I got 4th with a pedestrian 19:46 and a $25 gift certificate, which I spent directly after the race. The bananas and bagels were good, too!

2.2 mi--Rustin loop

Friday, 8/12--Did 3 miles.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So on and so forth

Thursday, August 11. Met up with the crew today at WC Country Club. We opted for an alternate route, one that went through town to the University, on Birmingham Road, so forth and so on. It was 7.5 miles, a little less than I thought. We pushed the last mile, which was uphill. Time: 53:40, about 7:10 pace.

Wednesday, August 10. Today I drove to the Y, did some light lifting, and then did a few--and I do mean a few--laps in the pool. I am not big on swimmingm but I figured that I need to begin to do a little cross-training to mix things up and to prevent injury. I

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Confidence Boost

Tuesday, August 9, 2011--Henderson HS

Today, I had a pretty encouraging workout. We were assigned 3 x (1200-100 jog-400-300 jog)--4 sets if you're training for a marathon or half-marathon. We were missing a couple of guys (e.g., John Manion, Joe Breslin). Ed was there, and my pal Justin joined us. We said we'd run the first 1200 in 6:00 pace. Not! 4:17. We followed that up with a solid :75 400. I then went 4:13/:74 and 4:03/:80 (ouch). Everything went well, except the 80s last 400. I should've given it a stronger effort. I could've run faster and gone out with Ed, but I let him start 7-8 seconds ahead of me. It was good to run with Ed during the first two sets and to pull him along on the third 1200. It gave me confidence that I can hang with him!

Run 1: 4:17/:75
Run 2: 4:13/:74
Run 3: 4:03/:80

Here's the replay of similar workouts (the one 2 years and 2 months ago is nearly identical):

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The spring is upon us, but it sure doesn't feel like it. Henderson, 29 degrees, slight headwind.

Henderson. 4 x 1200. 5K pace. 200 jog in-between.
Run 1--4:25 (44 sec/200; 5:55/mile pace. 18:20 5K pace.)
Run 2--4:18 (43+ sec/200; 5:46/mile pace. 17:55 5K pace.)
Run 3--stopped at the 600 (2:07). Then, rejoined group with 200 to go.
Run 4--4:12 (42 sec/200; 5:38/mile pace. 17:30 5K pace)

I stayed with the top group. Two of us broke off on the last one. I have to get these 1200s down by 5-10 seconds and soon. Despite stopping on the third one, this workout give me the confidence boost I need to leave my indoor season behind and to forge a new path for the spring season. Mileage: 5.5

Tuesday, 10/5/10, which was Wet, Windy, Colder. Henderson.

4 x 1200. 5K pace. 200 jog in-between.
Run 1--4:35 (46 sec/200; 6:06/mile pace. 18:55 5K pace.)
Run 2--4:13 (42+ sec/200; 5:37/mile pace. 17:25 5K pace.)
Run 3--4:11 (42 sec/200; 5:35/mile pace. 17:19 5K pace)
Run 4--4:03 (40 sec/200; 5:24/mile pace. 16:44 5K pace)

Average run--4:16 (42+ sec/200; 5:41. 17:39 5K pace)

I also did this workout on 8/31/10:

4x1200 at or below 5K pace with a 200 jog rest. That morn, everyone agreed to take the easy...6 minute pace. We thought we'd do in 45 seconds per 200, and then drop a second per 200 for the other 1200s.
Trial 1: 4:31 (~45s)
Trial 2: 4:23 (~44s)
Trial 3: 4:17 (~43s)
Trial 4: 3:58 (~39s)--

Tuesday, 5/19/09—

Henderson. The workout was 3 X (1200 5K pace, 200 jog, 400 faster than 5K pace, 400 jog). This workout seemed quite reasonable to me until after I completed the first set. I ran 4:21, then 84. During the 400 jog in-between sets I had to stop to tie my shoe. I fell behind on the jog and the just fell apart like wet newspaper. I hopped into the 1200 with the second group, but had to stop again 600 meters into the 1200 because of my shoestring. I was at about 2:10. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I hopped into the next 1200 with the first group and struggled on the last 400. Like some out of shape wimp I was wheezing and sucking wind. During the jogging phase, I had to tie my shoestring again, which meant I fell behind for the 400, which I did alone in a pathetic 1:34. This workout sucked for me. I could not be more disappointed. My legs were dead, too. What a waste!
1.2 mile warm up
1.2 mile cool down
5.5 total

Monday, August 8, 2011

A pedestrian pace

Sunday--Did a long run from home and through town with my son. Unfortunately, he faltered terribly on the run, all but ruining the second half of the 10 miler. Between all his stopping, doublin over and carrying on, we managed only a pedestrian pace.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Comfortable meant something different for each of us

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My son and I met up with Ryan Comstock at Westtown School's track to do 4x1 mile (4x1600) at a comfortable 5K pace with a 400 meter jog in-between. Given our varied fitness level, comfortable meant something different for each of us. After warming up ans stretching, we decided I would lead the first one. I went out in 40 seconds for the first 200 and then slowed way down to pace, ending in 5:56 (40/1:25/2:55/4:25/5:56). Comstock led the second one (45/1:31/3:05/4:31/5:57). My son led the first 700 of the third one (45/1:30/3:00/4:29/5:57). Comstock's Achilles was bothering him and my son was completing wiped out, so I told them to take a break while I finished the last mile solo. I said I wanted to run 41s and 42s per 200. So I did. 40/1:21/2:44/4:10/5:35. They joined me with 800 to go. Overall, the workout was refreshing. The first three were slower than my 5K pace.. I need to be able to do all 4 in 5:35!

Incidentally, two years ago yesterday (August 8, 2009) I did the same workout. See my entry: "I took my son to the track, figuring I'd do 4x1600, and he'd do the first 1000 or 1200 with me. He chose 1000s. I ran the first in 6:00, the second in 5:59, the third in 5:54, and the fourth in 5:35. I took no more than 7:00 in-between each. I had planned for 6, but the walk around the track took longer than expected. A lot of rest, I know, but I deperately needed a successful workout. All repeats were run in very even splits: 3:00/3:00; 2:59/3:00; 2:57/2:57; 2:45/2:50. DJ ran a couple of seconds ahead of me, hitting the 800 in 2:58, then 2:57, and then 2:54. He stopped 250 meters into the fourth one due to Achilles pain. Sound familiar? Now it's rubbing off on my son."

Note that I took less rest yesterday than I did two years ago. Note that the times, however, are comparable. I'd like to think I am in better shape now.

Funny. Comstock's Achilles was hurting yesterday.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I needed a moment

Friday--took the day off. On tap tomorrow may be 4x1 mile.

Thursday--In-town run of 7.9. Felt good initially. Started falling back at mile 3, as Ed, John and John increased the pace. Got to 4-mile mark in 28:20. I started feeling my legs getting heavy. Stayed within 100 meters for the next mile, then starting falling off the pace near the industrial area. By the time I got to North Hills area, the guys were well ahead. Eventually I could not see them due to all the turnabouts in the neighborhood. I got to the big hill and lost my bearings; the wheels came off. Two of the other guys caught up with me and tried to encourage me. I told them I needed a moment. (The huge meal at The Capital Grill the night before and lack of sleep due to fullness were taking their toll.) After a minute, I got my act together and started running again. I caught the two guys within 90 seconds and we ran ion together. Final time: 56:30.

Wednesday--relatively easy, though sore 5.15 on and around the Rustin XC course. 39:00

Tuesday--Henderson. 6x1000 with 200 meter jog. I did 800s instead, running the first 800 of their 1000s. My runs were: 2:55, 2:55, 2:53, 2:53 2:48, 2:43. Later in the evening, I took DJ for his workout of 8x800 in 5K pace. His goal pace was 2:55. I decided to do the even ones with him. My runs were: 2:56, 3:01, 2:40 (did this one alone), and 2:50.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Nationals Week(end)

Sunday, July 31--

Saturday, July 30--My race was at 1:55. I had a solid breakfast and spent the late morning just relaxing in the shade with teammates who were also scheduled to compete in the 800. I went to the clerking area upon arrival to "declare" that I would run the race. I warmed up and stretched a bit from 12-12:30 and then again from 12:55-1:25 before having to report for race check-in at 1:30. I warmed up in pretty comfortable conditions, running in the shade for most of the time and on Baldwin-Wallace College's indoor track across the street. What was unusual, though, was my warm-up pace; I felt like I was going in slow motion. I don't know whether I was just unconscously trying to conserve energy, but I must've been warming up at 10:00 pace. I didn't feel a pop in my hop or pep in my step.

For the 800, we started in lanes. I got out okay and broke at the turn, finding myself in 2nd place behind Kyle Lanier, who prior to the race told me to win it. I surged ahead and found myself in the lead at the 150 mark. At the 300 mark, I heard my son say 43-44. I was then passed by Kyle and another, younger guy. At the 400, I saw 60-61 flow across the timer. I felt myself go a little flat, as I got passed again. I then tried to pick it up on the back stretch, passing Kyle. I cut into lane 1 with 200 to go, but felt myself having a hard time holding on. I figured I had hit the 600 mark in 1:32. Kyle went passed me on the outside with 150 meters to go, as did Andrew from Central Park Running Club. The last 100 was a bit slow, as I lost nearly 2 seconds on Kyle and 3 on Andrew, not to mention the other two guys. So, I was disappointed as I felt I had trained to be able to run faster than 2:06.14 (2:05.9). I knew that breaking 2:00 would be next to impossible, but I did feel that 2:02 was within reach.

To make matters worse, I was approached for random drug testing by the USATF as part of their anti-doping campaign. I was told that my place and time had been randomly selected. Coincidentally, I had just read the information USATF had placed on the website reminding people about random testing. There is nothing like finishing a bad race in 90-degree heat, being dead tired, and having someone tell you that after you cool down you'll have to come with him. I was able to get out of the harsh sun, take off my spikes, slow-jog a little and say hello to my family before I was taken away, all the while being watched like hawk by the gentleman. In fact, he told me not to worry and to take my time because he had to keep me in sight the whole time. As we neared the tent, I was asked to sign acknowledging my "rights" or something of that nature. I did. I had to place my water on the ground as I did so, because the guy told me he was not allowed to hold it for me. Figures as much! When I got to the tent, there was another "victim," a 40-year old woman who was with her daughter and who had just run the 800 as well. I sat there with several anti-doping officials and had pleasant conversation for some 30 minutes, all the while drinking what seemed to be gallons of Gatorade. I learned that the woman had gone to William & Mary, had ties to the Philadelphia area, had recently relocated to Tennessee and, most impressive, had run 2:10 moments ago. I learned that two of the testers--I'll call them--had ties to PA--Penn State University and West Chester University. One even lives in Manayunk. I was in good company. After quite a while, I signaled that I was ready to fill the cup. I was escorted to the port-a-potty, where the gentleman proceeded to tell me how to use the cup. When I was ready, I generated body language that read, "Okay. You can leave now. I'm good." To this he said, he had to be in the room. I said OK. I then turned to fill the cup. He then mentioned that he had to watch. Rather than turn away from the commode I stood where I was. The gentleman then made his way around to ensure fidelity. I did not take it personally or feel humiliated. He was doing his job, and I guess I had to do mine.

The 1500 was even worse than the 800, but at least there weren't any port-a-potty heroics. I think I psyched myself out of the race. And my family knew it; it was the first thing they said after I finished. I got out comfortably and found myself in the middle of the pack of 7 at the 400 in 68 seconds. I continued to 2:18 at the 800, but I felt myself losing ground and leaving the race mentally. I saw 3:19-3:20 with 1 lap to go. I had very little left, and I wasn't sure if I even cared. I heard what seemed like pleas for me to kick it in or just finish the darn race. I guess it was just that ugly. I finished up at 4:36, the last lap being a jog of about 76 seconds. So, I ran the first 800 in 2:18 and the second 700 in 2:18. What a stinker!

The 4x800 was fun, though. I ran the second leg. I got the baton from Chuck and saw that Neil from our team was nearly 100 meters away and the TNT runner was about 20 meters away. I caught the TNT guy at the 150 mark, as I went out fairly aggressively. I then settled down. I could feel he was still trying to hang on to me. I didn't know for certain how fast I was going but I was hoping I was moving well. I felt myself making up ground on Neil, but by the time I got to the 500 meter mark I knew it would be impossible to catch him. I did make up some 25-30 meters though, most of which was probably in the first 500. I handed off to Carl Stocking, who is close to Chuck's age and who had kindly come out to Ohio just to do the relay! He had planned to run other events but work commitments nabbed him. Carl ran a good race. In all fairness, he, like Chuck, was running in the younger age group--30s and 40s. We lost some ground but John Goldthorpe made some of it up. We beat TNT with John's 2:10-2:11 split. I apparently ran in the 2:08-2:09 ballpark.

Despite my farcical races, overall the trip was worth it. Washington, DC., colleges in Ohio, peeking at the Browns training camp, the NFL Hall of Fame, family time.

Friday, July 29--Went to track at just before 7AM to check out the track, warm up, and do some strides. I also registered for the meet and whatnot. Visited Kenyon College in the morning and Dennison University in the afternoon.

Thursday, July 28--en route to Ohio.... Stopped to visit Oberlin College. It was during the information session at Oberlin that I realized I had forgotten my team singlet. Oh smack! Arrived at hotel in Middleburg Heights/Berea. Went to track area, but it was storming. Came back to hotel and did a couple on the treadmill while watching Denzel Washington's "The Bone Collector." I had dinner at Damon's with several teammates and two others, Andrew Hogue and Tom Fitzpatrick from Central Park Running Club.

Wednesday, July 27--Off to DC. In the late afternoon, I wound up doing 5.5 in and around the National Mall with my son, whom I had tack on an additional 1.25 mi. Easy pace at or just under 8:00.