Tuesday, February 26, 2013

sing out loud

Feb 25, 2013--

6AM-I did two Rustin loops, or 4.4M in 32:43 (7:26 pace).
Loop 1: 17:05 (1st loop at 7:46 pace)
Loop 2: 15:38 (2nd loop at 7:06 pace)

This run felt a little harder than it should have.  Three months ago I was conditioned enought to sing out loud at this pace.  Now I had better just shut up and run.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Disappointing for sure

Sunday, 2/24/13

I made my way to Widener U. for the last pf the Phila Masters developmental meets.  My plan was to do the 55m as warm up for the 800.  I arrived at about 8:45, early enough for a good, thorough warm-up and stretch. I wouldn't run until a little over an hour later.

Periformis syndrome dampened my spring and my flexibility, of course.  Such is life as I know it.  I managed to get in a few practice starts, which weren't so great.  I did get better after each effort, though.  Despite my 7.2 (ht) seed for the 55, I managed to land in lane 1 of the fast heat.  (I think the clerk accepted my 7.2 as a FAT, not hand timed).  When the gun went off, I stumbled out of my blocks and could not recover.  I got last in my heat by a long shot, although all of the guys were 24 and under!  Those young whippersnappers!  I posted 7.40 FAT even with the botched start.  I could've run 7.30 perhaps.  My time would up beating all but one of the times (Wayne's 7.30+)  in the subsequent heats.

I cooled down, hung out and got ready for the 800.  I asked Wayne to yell out my splits.  My hope was to average 25 seconds per lap en route to 2:05.  Fat chance.  One, I saw from the entries that I had the top seed at 2:09 and that only one or two other runners submitted a time under 2:15.  Two, Widener's track is not conducive to a season's best.  Three, I am not as well conditioned as I should be at this point in the season.  There, I admitted it.  These factors made my goal a pipe dream. 

There were only three of us in the fast heat.  When the gun went off, I shot out and established presence. I wore my watch so that I could monitor my pace if something happened to Wayne's watch/phone. He yelled out :25 (last year I saw :24 at lap 1).  I noted to myself that I was already a second off.  Wayne yelled :51 at the end of the second lap (I saw :49 at lap 2 last year).  I was a little annoyed now and tried not to decelerate.  At the end of the third lap, he said 1:14.  However, that couldn't have been accurate.  I know I did not drop a 23 second third lap.  I sort of diregarded the time, assuming Wayne had erred and that the real time was probably 1:17.  I don't remember hearing my time at the end of lap 4, but I knew I was holding steady since the youngster from Penn's track club was being egged on by his teammates.  In fact, he tried to pass me on the outside at least twice and I held him off.  Going into the final lap, I held position, knowing that he was charging.  I felt smooth...the whole way. I ran the last lap with a bit of relaxed confidence, as I ended in 2:11.81.  Disappointing for sure.  Unlike last year, when I raced to a 2:10 and won the race by 10 seconds and broke into a jog afterwards, this year my muscles were tight and sore.  What's more, while I wanted to run better and faster, I didn't have that greed, as I did last year, for 2:07-2:08.  Perhaps this would have been possible with stronger competition, I could not have done it running solo.

:51 (26)
1:17 (26)
1:44 (27)
2:11 (27)

I have some work to do, though, between now and the National Championships. Mid-Atlantic Championships is next week.  I'm not sure how much I can do to prepare for this.  Thus, my sights are on Nationals in just about a month.

Saturday, 2/23/13--Swarthmore Board meeting.  I took off the day, giving my legs a little break.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It has teeth, though small ones

Saturday, 2/23-

This afternoon I will probably warm up and do some striders on the track in preparation for tomorrow's meet at Widener.

Friday, 2/22.

Went to the Y at 5:45 AM for one of my routines.
.87M on donut track in 6:15
Stretched for 4:00
.87M on track in 6:00
lat and fly machines (4:00)
.85M on treadmill in 6:00
adduction and leg extension machines (4:00)
.85M on track in 5:00
military press and arm curl machines (4:00)

Like similar ones, this is not a particularly sexy workout but it has teeth, though small ones.

Thursday, 2/20/13--

I did a repeat of Monday's hill workout, this time at 5:45AM, however.  I warmed up on the Rustin-Plus loop (2.2M) in 17:00, stretched in my garage for a bit, and then ran 6 hills using the incline adjacent to my house.  My thought was to match or beat the 30 seconds I posted on Monday and to do so without pressing. I started and ended at the same spot  (the line in the sidewalk where the crosswalk begins and stopped at the oak tree on the side of my house.)  Like on Monday, my rest of 2:30 was the walk back down the hill to the start, the line in the sidewalk.

My first run was flat, ending in 32 seconds.  I was clearly off my game.  The rest of the times were between 30.2 (last one) and 30.7 seconds. I'd say I matched Monday's effort.

I cooled down with my Shih Tzu over the abbreviated Rustin course (1.85M) in 18:45.  Why must he stop at every verticle structure for relief?

I cooled down over the Rustin-plus course (2.2M) in 17:45.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Home I go

Thursday, 2/21--TBA

Wednesday, 2/20--Went to the Y at 5:50AM.

Mile on the donut track--6:45

Lifting (4 min)--Lat bar and fly machine
Mile on the treadmill--6:45
Lifting (4 min)--stretch and arm curl machines
Mile on the donut--6:30
Lifting (4:00)--military/shoulder press and stretch
Tired legs.  No lifting.
I stretched for a few minutes after the workout.

Home I go.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

inspired by the hills commentary

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013--

Ran 2.2M (17:05) and did my PT exercises.

Monday, Feb 18, 2013--

I had off from work today.  So I could workout in the afternoon. 

I warmed up on the Rustin-Plus loop (2.2M) in 17:25, stretched for a good bit, and then, inspired by the hills commentary offered by J. Ryan Blair (PT), did some hill work on the incline adjacent to my house.  My thought was to take a 30-second stretch of the hill and work it.  (For my own reference, I started from the line in the sidewalk where the crosswalk begins and stopped at the oak tree on the side of my house. My rest of 2:30 would be the walk back down the hill to the start, the line in the sidewalk.)  My times were between 30.5 and 31.5 seconds.  I will consider this my baseline, with the hope that I might improve upon this.

I cooled down over the Rustin-plus course (2.2M) in 17:45.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Some recovery after Millrose

Sunday, February 17
Recovery workouts are always tricky for me.  There are post-race days when I feel like I should do a nice slow run of several miles, and there are times when I feel like I should do a more moderate workout, leaving little to chance.  I chose the latter.

I blame my wife, who told me she had planned to go to the Y.  I figured I'd be a gentleman and accompany her.  In so doing, I opted for one of my Y routines as opposed to the longer run I had in store for myself.

Mile on the donut track--6:43
Lifting (4 min)--Lat bar and fly machine
Mile on the treadmill--6:40
Lifting (4 min)--adduction and arm curl machines
Mile on the donut--6:20
Lifting (4:00)--military press and abduction machine
Mile on treadmill--6:30
Lifting (4:00)--leg curl and leg extension machines
Mile with on track--5:55

I stretched for 30 seconds before each run and a few minutes after the workout. 
Home we go. This turned out to be some recovery after Millrose, huh?!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cut into the lead: Millrose

Saturday, Feb 16


Had a good drive up to NYC with newcome to GPTC Dave Richards (an English teacher at my son's high school) and Parrish (a student at Rosemont College), having stopped by Craig's house in the Cherry Hill, NJ area (Collingsworth?).

Met up with the rest of the team at 2:15 or so in the lower gym area at the venue.

Unlike last year when we hung around to watch some races, this year we warmed up on the track, stretched a bit, did some pick-ups, strides and drills, and then spent a good deal of time in the lower level gym area with a bunch of other athletes.

Had some discussion about our M40 4x400 lineup.  I had planned to go first, but I was told Nick Damalas really wanted the spot, so I conceded.  I would run second, Dave third, and Craig anchor.

The race...

Nick got out well and brought the stick to me slightly ahead of the guy in forth place. I felt smooth across the first 200 and saw that I had cut into the lead of the guy in front of me.  Going into the first turn of the second lap I knew I had momentum to overtake him.  Midway through the turn I drifted into lane 1.5, so to speak, and began to pass him.  By the time I did we were well into the backstretch.  Coming down the homestretch, however, he came back at me as I began to tighten (Arrgghh). We handed off just about even.  

Dave ran tough and maintained position, as did Craig.  Kyle Lanier from TNT, running a gutsy race, gained on Dave but fell shy a few meters by the time the handoff came.  Dave and Craig ran nearly identical races. 

When we finished, our teammates in the stands gave us the following approximate splits:
56.55 Nick
54.45 Delvin
56.55 Dave
56.45 Craig
3:44.0 (hand timed, of course)

Boy was I pretty pleased, that is, until Craig showed me the "official" splits:

56.75 Nick Damalas
54.99 - 1:51.73 Delvin Dinkins
56.46 - 2:48.19 David Richard
56.05 - 3:44.24 Craig Strimel

Greater Philadelphia 3:44.24 (Fully Automatic Timing)

I thought I had posted 54-mid.  I gained a half second.  Oh well.  At least I can say I broke the 55-second barrier.  It is noteworthy, however, that just for the record, we switched the running order.  Therefore, the splits listed on The Armory's page may be correct but the names associated with the splits are not.  For instance, Nick, not I, ran first. 

The rest of our comrades put on a good showing, particularly the M50 4x400. Darryl ran well, Bruce had a PR for the reason, and Ray dropped the gauntlet, splitting 56.05. He, too, initially thought he had run faster. Oh well.
DMR--tried hard but was a tough race from what I understand.

4x200--younger guys got third in their heat, I believe, posting 1:36.  The handoff to Parrish was botched.  Note to Parrish: pull your incoming runner through the zone rather than let him crash into you. 

Hills review from J. Ryan Bair, my PT

Hills review from J. Ryan Bair, my PT (http://www.running-pt.com/2013/02/the-best-way-for-you-to-run-hills.html)

And I quote...

The Best Way For YOU to Run Hills
Although spring is approaching quickly, it still is winter in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The mornings are dark, the wind is bitterly cold. And while the rest of the town residents may be awaiting a warmer breeze before trading their comfortable bed or favorite TV show for an invigorating run, the members of local running clubs are pushing through the winter obstacles with dreams of PRs (personal records) in the spring, summer, and fall.

If you are a runner, you may know of some of the workouts they are completing. Tempo runs, long runs, and fartleks are just a few. But the one other workout synonymous with winter for runners is hills. With the possibility of a track being covered with snow and ice, hill workouts on the road are a great way to develop a variety of characteristics vital to the success of a runner. But how long? how fast? how many? how much recovery? The questions are numerous. And yet the answer is very individualized.

First, let's review just a few of the many different types of hill workouts…taking a close look at the purpose and use of each one:

1.) Hill sprints (alactic = no significant lactate accumulation): 6-12x10-12 seconds at maximal effort on a steep hill with a walk-down recovery (2-3 minutes)
· PURPOSE: Improve maximal speed and muscular strength by recruiting the highest possible percentage of fibers in the muscles
· USE: FOR ALL RUNNERS throughout every period of the year….dosage can be adjusted depending upon time of the season

2.) Hill exercises: 4-6x20-50m of high knees, butt kicks, skipping, and bounding on a moderate grade uphill with a walk-down recovery (1-2 minutes)
· PURPOSE: Improve elastic reactivity (i.e., agility, quickness) and/or muscular strength
· USE: For runners lacking strength (early to mid-season) or who are returning from injury [At FLASH Sports Physical Therapy, we utilize hill exercises in the later stages of rehabilitation as a form of running-specific strengthening....think of these hill exercises as squats for the runner!]

3.) Longer hill repeats at MAXIMAL effort (significant lactate accumulation): 1-10x30 seconds-3 minutes at maximal effort on a fairly steep hill with a walk-down or very slow jog recovery (90 seconds-6 minutes, depending upon length of uphill section)
· PURPOSE: Improve ability to recruit the greatest number of fibers in the muscles when they are full of lactate while generating the highest amount of power
· USE: For runners who are preparing specifically for 800m-10k races, need to improve their finishing speed (kick), are preparing for a hilly race, or tend to peak early and need a replacement for early to mid-season high-intensity track work

· ***Also advised for those returning from injury as one is eliminating the increased impact forces of faster, downhill running.

4.) Longer hill repeats at SUBMAXIMAL effort (moderate lactate accumulation, sustained work above anaerobic threshold): 6-12x30 seconds-3 minutes at submaximal but strong effort on a fairly steep hill with moderately-paced running recovery (45 seconds-4 minutes, depending upon length of uphill section)
· PURPOSE: Improve ability to run strongly when fatigued, boosting the anaerobic threshold and aerobic power with an element of strength
· USE: For runners who are preparing for half-marathon-marathon+ races or are preparing for a hilly race that might involve a series of uphills preceded by some downhill sections

· ***Not advised for those returning from injury as one is subjected to increased impact forces during the faster, downhill running. Also, remember not to rush the 180-deg. turns at the top and bottom of the hill; taking these turns too quickly can place a great amount of stress on the knees and other areas and increase your likelihood of injury. Therefore, although the total time of the workout can be a good measure for quantifying improvement, focusing on the individual times of the uphill and downhill sections may be a better option. The ultimate emphasis still should be on the uphill portions, however. Do not improve your downhill time splits at the expense of your uphill time splits; your uphill time splits should be the same to slightly faster from one session to the next while gradually bringing down the time of the downhill splits.

5.) Uphill tempo runs (moderate lactate accumulation, continuous effort slightly above anaerobic threshold, can be performed on a treadmill for runners who do not live in mountainous areas): 15-45 minutes continuously at an effort slightly above anaerobic threshold on a moderate grade hill
· PURPOSE: Improve ability to run strongly as one fatigues, boosting the anaerobic threshold and aerobic power with an element of strength
· USE: For all runners in the early to mid-season (as a replacement for a flat tempo run) and throughout all periods for runners who are preparing for a hilly race; also can be a good replacement for longer hill repeats at submaximal effort with moderately-paced downhill recoveries as the overall stress to the cardiovascular system is similar (perfect for those runners returning from injury but who cannot tolerate the downhills yet!)

As you can see, hills are a gold mine for variety of workouts. You also can manipulate stride length and frequency depending upon your desired effects and/or strengths and weaknesses. This idea can be explored further in a future blog post. So to answer the age-old question: Is there a best way to run hills? The simple answer is yes while understanding that the best way for YOU today may not be the best way for YOU in 3 weeks or for one of your running partners. Determine your goals and needs and find the best fit for you. This same principle applies to the planning of any running workout. Do not shortchange your running by falling into a rut of staleness; invigorate your workout routine so that YOU can run to the best of your God-given abilities!

I thank J. Ryan for the reminder.  I wonder which one of these workouts is best for me at this time.  Perhaps 1, 2 and/or 3? 

Friday, February 15, 2013

more rigorous

Friday, 2/15--went to the track at 5:55AM to do some 100s.  Decided instead to warm up and stretch.

Thursday, 2/14.  Went to the Y at 5:45 AM for a little work.

3/4M on donut track in 5:00
Stretched for 4:00

3/4M on track in 4:55

lat and fly machines (4:00)
3/4M on treadmill in 4:58
adduction and leg curl machines (4:00)
3/4M on track in 4:45
military press and leg press machines (4:00)

Went home.

Wednesday, 2/13--took off entirely.

Tuesday, 2/12--I bagged the hillworkout today in favor of a little speedwork at 5:45 AM on Westtown School's track: 8x100. I had actually planned to do 10, but I was short on time. I figured I'd start with 14s, then move down to 13s, then down to 12s.
15.2--oh my that was slow.  My legs were asleep.
15.1--still having problems waking up
13.6 (indoor 400 race pace)
12.5 (indoor 200 race pace)

I figured it would be more challenging running fast in the morning, but I still expected my times to mirro or those of my last sprint workout.  That'll just have to be my goal for next time.  I am still suffering the brunt of periformis syndrome.  More warm-ups need to be more rigorous.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

good knee lift and an open stride

Sunday, 2-10-13--I did a little speedwork on Westtown School's track: 10x100.  I had actually planned to do 12, but I saw that I was running short on time.  I figured I'd start with 14s, then move down to 13s, then down to 12s. 

14.4 (2nd 200 of indoor 400 race pace)
13.6 (indoor 400 race pace)
12.4 (indoor 200 race pace)

Despite my heavy, tight legs suffering the brunt of periformis syndrome, I felt good by the third one.  I was relaxed and had good knee lift and an open stride.

I have to decide what the rest of my week will look like.

Saturday, 2-9-13--I went to the Y and did one of my usual routine, this time in the service of a recovery day.

Mile on donut track--7:00
stretch--4 min
Mile on donut track--6:45
lift--lat and fly (4:00)
Mile on treadmill--6:40
lift--arm curl, adduction machine (4:00)
Mile with my daughter (on track)--6:45
lift--leg press, military press

Home we go!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

the race was topsy-turvy

Friday, 2/7/13--

I arrived at Ursinus at about 2:25, which gave me plenty of time to get registered and acclimated.   After a while, I warmed up a mile or so and stretched, with a focus on gluteous stretches and nerve gliding. Closer to my event I did some drills and a couple of 20 meter pick-ups.
My periformis was acting up to say the least.  In fact, I drove to the venue switching back and forth between cheeks.

My first event was the 60m at about 4:30 or so.  I was in heat 3, line 3.  The race went okay.  I got out reasonably well but I didn't execute the race very well.  I did not feel any pop, and I don't think I reached top-end speed, thus my 8.02.

My 800 would go off at 7:00 or so.  I was in heat 3 (of 4), "lane" 11 with a seed time of 2:08.2 (although I had submitted online a seed time of 2:07.79). Only 7-8 showed for the race.

I got out pretty well, cutting in rather quickly.  I found myself in third place pretty immediately.  I could see that there were contenders to my outside and feel that a couple were right behind me. They challenged me, going around me and cutting into my stride.  I think I reached the 200 in 31.  I was boxed in during the next lap and found myself locked up in elbows with the youngsters to my outside, as I was still in lane 1.  I even clipped somebody's heels.  I then went around him when the coast was clear.  I was probably at 63 for the 400.  The third lap saw me slow up for the same reason.  I was relaxed at least and plotting my next move.  I tried to push the fourth lap.  Knowing I had 100 meters to go , I decided I would wait until the last 60 meters to overtake the guy ahead of me.  And I did.  I got third, pleased with my show of strength on the homestretch but disappointed that the race was topsy-turvy.  I wish there had been a clock display like there was at the Delaware meet.

The winning time in my heat was 2:06.  I ran 2:09.92.
I think my splits were:


Thursday, February 7, 2013


Thursday, 2/7/13--Ran a simple Rustin-plus loop (2.2M) in 16:45.

Wednesday, 2/6/13--Therapy session with Ryan at FLASH Physical.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

not good enough

Tuesday, 2/6/13--Hills day with 55 others in 30 degree weather!  Today was better than last week, but still not good enough. I started well enough, but ultimately managed only 16:37, 23 seconds faster than last week's time but 37 seconds slower than the first hill day 5 weeks ago. I have an another appointment with Ryan, the sports physical therapist.

Monday, 2/5/13--took the day off.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I guess you can call it the 12-step program

Sunday, 2/3/13--

Despite yesterday's Sit 'N Kick workout, I made my way to the YMCA at 9:45AM for one of my Y workouts.
  1. 7:00 mile on the donut track
  2. Stretched for 5 minutes.
  3. 6:40 mile on the little oval
  4. Fly and arm curl machines for a total of 5 minutes
  5. 6:37 mile on treadmill
  6. Adduction machine and lat barn--5 minutes
  7. 6:30 mile on the little oval
  8. Military press and abduction machines--5 minutes
  9. 6:30 mile on the treadmill
  10. quad machine and leg press--5 minutes
  11. Stretched on the gym mats--5 minutes
  12. Went home 
I guess you can call it the 12-step program. Runners Anonymous!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Don't tell. I couldn't help myself.

10:00 AM; 20 degrees or so and slightly windy.

Despite the doctor's orders not to do a hard workout, I did just that. Don't tell. I couldn't help myself. My workout was Sit 'n Kick Reps: the workout as designed for a 2:00 800m high school runner is 5x (400m @ 64 . . . rest 30-sec . . . 200m @ 28), then jog 1200m between sets. My standing caveat: since I am not able to run 800 meters in 2:00 at this time, I modified the workout accordingly: 5x (400m @ 65 . . . rest 60-sec . . . 200m @ 30) with a 1200m jog between sets. I figured that it would be tough for me to hit these times, but I'd try.
Mile warm-up and good, slightly-longer-than-usual stretch.
  1. The first 400 was in 66 sec and required more effort than it should have. One minute rest. The 200 came in at 32 sec. (1200m jog--8:50)
  2. The second 400 would feel better but was the same time, another 66. One minute rest. The 200 came in at 31. (1200m jog--8:40)
  3. I ran the third 400 in 65, a little better. I was nearly in business. One minute rest. Feeling good, I thought I was going to drop a 30 for the 200. I came in at 31. (1200m jog--8:50)
  4. I planned to run 65 and 30 for repeat #4. I managed 65 and 31. (1200m jog--9:10)
  5. Fifth set: 65 and 29.
I averaged 65 for the 400 and 31 for the 200. I felt okay about this workout, but I wish I could've averaged 65 and 30 en route to 64 and 28.

After I cooled down a mile, I went home and did some of the stretches Ryan, the PT, prescribed. See, at least I did follow some of his orders.

I am not sure I can follow the doctor's orders

Friday, 2/1/13--I had a 6:00 AM appointment with J. Ryan, a 20-something year old talented runner and clinician, at FLASH Physical Therapy.  Yes, 6 AM!  He assessed me pretty extensively and took me through a range of exercises, including tempo-pace treadmill running which he filmed. 

The physical assessment revealed that I do have piriformis syndrome, along with some other issues, including uneven hips. The targeted massage and nerve gliding with a rope were great. In fact, I have these exercises, in addition to ball/foam roller work, on tap for this weekend--twice per day and then some. I found the session enormously helpful. Ryan mentioned that I can continue training but that I should avoid a hard workout this weekend. I am not sure I can follow the doctor's orders.

Even though this session--a generous initial evaluation--was 90 minutes or so, I am not sure I can commit to this weekly. $150 is fairly steep on this end, although I should feel very fortunate that I can kick out the dollars for this. (It's time to see whether health insurance will reimburse me for this, in whole or in part. Now where's the stamp and envelope?)

Thursday, 1/31/13--I made my way to the YMCA at 5:45AM to do a portion of my usual Y routine.  I was feeling a little better after a mega stretch on Wednesday night.  I ran a 7:00 mile on the donut track, stretched for 4 minutes, ran a 6:30 mile on the little oval, used the lat and fly machines for a total of 4 minutes, hopped on the treadmill for another 6:30 mile, used the military press and abduction machines, and then stretched for a minute.  I went home fairly satisfied that I was feeling a little better than the previous couple of days.