Saturday, March 30, 2013

felt as good as it could feel and went as well as it could go

Saturday, March 30, 2013-

I decided to join Craig and his team for a workout at Cherry Hill West HS, about an hour away.  When I arrived at noon, I saw there were about 4-5 kids and Craig and Bruce.  We were soon joined by Darryl and Jordan, a young woman and a student at Drexel.  Evidently, Chuck had gotten to her.  Great!  We need more women on the team.  Per Craig's Facebook posting, the invitation read as follows:  "Old School 400m Workout this Saturday at Cherry Hill West HS, 12:00. 6x400 on 8 minute active rests, varsity boys will do 80-75-70-65-60-60. (Old school implies: maybe not scientifically sound, but sometimes you just gotta do it!)"

I warmed up a mile, some of which was with Craig and Bruce, and stretched a bit.  Incidentally, I did not stretch quite as much as I usually do.  Everyone got started, broken up into two groups.  I sat out the first 400, as I was still stretching.  I hopped into the second 400, which was supposed to be in 75 seconds.  I hit 74-low.  However, I didn't like the way I felt running in my training shoes, so I popped on my spiked.  My next 400 was in 68.  I was feeling better.  I figured that the upcoming 65 would be a bigger test for my calf and for my fitness since it's been nearly three weeks since my last track workout.  I dropped a 65, even splitting pretty much.  I heard a little self-doubt about the next two 400s, which were supposed to be run in 60.  The first 100 was in 14.  I reached the 200 in 29.  After the 200, the high schooler I was running behind fell asleep a bit on the turn, so much so that I almost clipped his heels.  I hit the 300 in 46 and finished off in 61.  I offered to Craig that I should lead the last 400 and encourage the high schooler to run the third 100m harder and allow me to pull him through the turn.  The first 200 was similar, although it felt slower.  I saw 29 at the 200 and 44 at the 300 mark, after which my calf started spasming.  My leg buckled and I slowed down, finishing in 61.

All things considered, this workout probably felt as good as it could feel and went as well as it could go.  This workout is priming me for returning to one of the following:

Pick-up reps--8x 400m (#s 1,3,4,6,7 @ 70 and #s 2,5,8 @ 63 w/ 2:30 rest)
Sit 'n Kick Reps--5x (400m @ 64 . . . rest 60-sec . . . 200m @ 28) with a 1200m jog  btw sets

Alternatively, I need to do some sprint work in preparation for Penn Relays.

Uphill drills

March 29, 2013--

I ran a Rustin Plus loop.  As planned, I stopped part-way through my second loop at the bridge after the tennis courts (about 3.5M in 27:30) to stretch and do some uphill drills, per my PT's instructions.  After stretching large muscle groups, I did one set of high knees, butt kicks, and skipping up the hill towards the stadium.  The distance was about 40 meters or so.  However, I wasn't sure if the hill grade is what the doctor had ordered.  I then jogged .33M or so to the hill on Shiloh just beyond Rustin's campus main entrance.  I did another set of drill on this hill before heading to the steeper hill adjacent the baseball field and leading down to the High School Drive, which cuts through the campus. I did another set of drills.  This hill had a steeper grade.  I varied the distances of my drills, opting to go about 30 meters for my high knees, 40 meters for my butt kicks and 50 meters for my skips. 

I then made my way .35M back home so that we could head to DC to visit American University.

The workout was fine, expect my periformis issues have not subsided as much as I had thought.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

mile-stretch-lift repeats

Thursday, 3/28/13--I went to the Y to do a few mile-stretch-lift repeats.  I was very careful during my runs, given the turns on the donut track and the nature of the treadmill.  I began with a 6:59 mile on the donut, then stretched for a little bit while talking to a colleague from work.  I also incorporated a couple of my PT exercises.  I did a little upper body lifting and then made my way to the treadmill for a 6:49 mile.  I continued stretching and bounced back onto the track for a 6:20 mile.  It was off to the fly machine and then the curl machine before strolling to the treadmill for a 6:14 mile.  Back to stretching and off to the military press I went, after which I took to the track for my final mile of the day in 5:57.

Wednesday, 3/27/13--I saw Ryan, my PT, this morning.  The session was much needed and rather effective.  The costs, though, are starting to add up!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

tight and rock-hard

Tuesday, 3/26--Ran 6.6M in 50:45 at 5:45 this AM.  Took it easy pace-wise, although my calf was tight and rock-hard.  7:41 pace.

2013 USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships

Sunday, 3/24--Sunday was the biggest of the three days.  I had two events, the open 800 meters and the 4x400.  Would my leg hold up?  Would I make it through the race?  Would I feel disappointed?  These were questions that rode me.  And for good reason.

I warmed up for the 800 with as much intention as I could muster.  However, the pop was missing.  No matter what I tried, the pep was missing from my step.  In fact, I felt sleepy and sluggish.  But I tried not to reveal it.  I was a bit tighter than I had been the day before and I was tentative with my stride.  In the end, I decided that I would do my best. 

I did gain some energy when I learned that I was running in the same heat as Lance Elliot, one of Nick Berra's key competitors.  I felt that this was a chance to let him know that I exist.  Schoolgirl-like, I guess.  Oh well. 

I did a massive stride-out when we were welcomed onto the track, one last-ditch effort to wake up.  Then we were at the line.  I was seeded seventh out of nine in my heat, although only eight showed.  When the gun sounded, I got out hard and found myself in third place...for the first 50 meters or so.  I was right behind Lance. 

At the 200, I was in fifth place.  The clock read 32 as I crossed.  The leaders hit 31.  We were going at a pedestrian pace by the top guys' standards.   The pace seemed to quicken over the second lap.  I crossed in 63; they hit 62 and change.  I was right there. 
As we approached the 550m mark, the guys began their kick, trying to see who would reach the bell and thus the turn first. 
As they raced up the straightaway and into the turn, they gapped me.  I felt left behind, like the schoolyard fourth grader who was told by fifth graders that I couldn't join the secret club and thus enjoy the rights and privileges of the big boys.  I maintained my pace, but I could not respond fully. 

I hit the 600 in 1:35+.  The leaders arrived in 1:34.  My last lap was in about 32; theirs was in 29.  And that's the difference: the strength and speed endurance over the last 200.  To make matters worse, someone nipped me at the line, edging me by two-tenths of a second.  My time of 2:07.79 was coincidentally the exact seed time I put down, the early season time I ran at the University of Delaware, the time I thought I was building from, not ending with.  It's disappointing.  Yes, it is.  All things considered, though, I guess I could have run slower.

800 meters at 2013 USA Indoor Track & Field National Championships

And then there was the 4x400.  I was ready, though achy, even though I had cooled down generously and stretched as well as I could.  I would run anchor.  Standing in the paddock area I could see that I'd be going up against Kyle Lanier, who had a slightly faster split than I at Millrose.  I figured we'd be ahead of his team, TNT, and we wouldn't square off.  So much for that assumption.

Craig led off with a strong leg, much like his open 400.  He handed the baton to Dave Richard in third in front of TNT's Kareem Lanier, who was in hot pursuit.   Nick took the baton in third and ran an even race, although it was evident that his several events (two 60m race, LJ, TJ, 4x200, with the shot put to go) had taken their toll.  Michael Jackson from TNT caught him with about 150m to go.  Nick held him off as best he could, but Mike had a slight lead at the handoff.  I heard Nick scream for me to go, but he was laboring coming in and I didn't want to bolt.  Also, honestly, my strategy was to get behind Kyle, pace him and get him at the end.  And that's what I tried to do, but it just didn't happen. 

When we took our batons the crowd did a gulp! 
Everyone knew what was up.  I tucked in behind him and hit his heels at about the 150m mark.  Soon afterwards he took off.  I did, too.  Both of us passed the SoCal guy on the back stretch.  As I continued to press, I felt my leg cramp up.  With 50 meters to go, I was in bad shape.  I writhed in pain as I crossed the finish line.  
I could scarcely manage a 56-second split.  I needed ice immediately, for my calf and for my ego.  I didn't care that I was hurt; I was still supposed to catch him!  I was miffed. 

It's time to recuperate and get back to training.  I want so desperately to get some good training in as we slide towards Penn Relays.  I don't want a repeat of last year's debacle.

Saturday, 3/23--Rob and I hung out in the hotel for a good while and decided to head to the arena a little later.  We arrived in time enough to see some good 200s.  I met up with my relay squad and eventually warmed up.  All ready for the 4x200 race, we were assigned lane 2.  Yes!  I was just inside Junior Hyman of TNT.  My blocks were set nicely.  And the gun went off!  I got out well and found myself way behind the Nate Sickerson but gaining on Junior over the first 100.  He maintained better than I did over the last 50 and handed off tied with me.  Nick Damalas ran the turn nicely--still in his lane on this race--and held his own.  Wayne Foulke had a strong race as well.  Ross O'Neil got the baton in third and nicely reeled in a guy from SoCal.  Ross' last 60 meters were impressive.  We got second in 1:42.74. 

I had to soak after the 200.  When we got back from dinner at Outback, I watched a bit of the game that was on and then I crashed!

Friday, 3/22--Rob Schwartz and I headed out at just after 7:30, figuring we'd be at the MD stadium some time around 10:30.  We got there and settled in, preparing for our 1:00 race.  I did a little jogging outside on the track and made my way to the warm-up area inside.  I checked in for my race (declaration) and stayed loose.  I stretched well and, feeling pretty good, did my PT exercises and some striders.  After one of the pick-ups I felt my hip flexor tighten.  I went to the onsite PT for a little help.  Before I knew it we were within minutes of the race.  Like the other runners, we hopped on the track for some turn running.  Unfortunately for Rob, his turned running turned ugly when he caught a cramp in his leg right right before his race.  I came to his assistance, along with a masseuse.  He was patched back together but imperfectly.  He made it through his race but with great displeasure. 

Now it was my turn.  There were 4 in our heat, and I was in lane 6...AGAIN!  And there was no one in lane 5.  Can you believe it?  I got out reasonably well, but I was less aggressive than I had been previously.  In fact, coming off the turn I could see that a guy from an inner lane had me.  What's more, Craig Strimel surged ahead of me at the break.  I decided to run a patient race and see what would happen.  On the backstretch I could sense that the leader was slowing down.  For a split second, I thought about barreling down the backstretch.  I decided against it because 1) I had waited too long and should have done so coming onto the backstretch and 2) I may not have had anything left coming up the homestretch.  So, I waited.  Coming off the final turn and into the straightaway I just got my knees up and was able to pass Craig for a distant second (55.38) in the heat and 7th overall.  I was about a second off where I wanted to be in this race, but I figured that 55 seconds would be in the cards given my injury.

Open 400 2013 T&F Masters National Championship Landover, MD

I had great time watching March Madness (LaSalle) and eating dinner with Daryll, Rob, Craig, his wife Maggie and their kiddos at TGI Friday.

Thursday, 3/21--In the evening, I visited Ryan, my PT, desperate to fix myself in preparation for Nationals, beginning with the 400 on Friday.  He worked some magic and did his best, working with me for over an hour.  We did stretching, massage therapy, even treadmill running.  I felt much better, but I was far from 100%. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

More therapy.

Thursday, 3/21/13--no running.  More therapy.  Will see physical therapist/running specialist tonight.

Wednesday, 3/20/13--3.25M outdoors at 8:10 pace.  More hot/cold therapy.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

a little running and lifting

Tuesday, 3/19/13--I went to the Y for a little running and lifting.

Mile on the donut--6:40
Stretching, periformis exercises and lifting (leg press, adduction)--5:00
Mile on the donut--6:20
Lifting (leg curl, leg extension, abduction machine)--

tight and sore

Monday, 3/18/13--I went to the Y for a little running and lifting. 
Mile on the donut--6:40
Stretching, periformis exercises and lifting (lat bar and fly)--5:00
Mile on the donut--6:20
Lifting (arm curl, overhead press, abduction machine)--5:00
Mile on the donut--6:00
Went home

My calf was still quite tight and sore. 

Sunday, 3/17/13--I did not run again. I continued with my hot/cold therapy treatment to my calf and with the periformis syndrome-related exercises.  I was able to get an appointment for an afternoon deep tissue massage at Healing Hands.  I was writhing in pain on the massage table.  I was really sore afterwards, and it appeared that the knot in my calf had moved higher. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dammit! I am determined to get through this.

Saturday, 3/16/13--

After warming up in and around the neighborhood (2.2M, Rustin-plus loop), I did my PT exercises in my family room and stretched in my garage before heading to Westtown School's track.  I did a few sprint drills in preparation for my 200s.  About 100 meters into my first 200, which was supposed to be in 29 seconds, my calf knotted up and cramped badly, so much so I was writhing in pain.  I left the track immediately, soaked in a hot tub of water for 30 minutes, and have been doing a hot/cold therapy combination since.  I am concerned.  Dammit!  I am determined to get through this.  But I have to do so in a few days, or else...

Easy workout

Saturday, 3/16/13--I will likely do 9x200s. (3@29, 3@28, 3@27)

Rest of week--Sunday, 3/17--4-6.5M run; Monday, 3/18--running and lifting at the Y; Tuesday, 3/19--150s on the track; Wednesday, 3/20--Physical Therapy appointment; Thursday, 3/21--light jogging and stretching; Friday 3/22--showtime.

Friday, 3/15/13--I went to the Y for an easy workout.

3/4M on donut track in 5:05

PT exercises, then lat bar for 2:00
3/4M on treadmill in 4:58
stretch and fly machines (4:00)
3/4M on track in 4:40
military press and arm curl machines (4:00)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Annoying and challenging

Thursday-I did 300s on the street behind Rustin's stadium.  It was cold and windy but at least the grade is slightly downhill.  Runs were 48,48,48,45, and 46.  Three minutes of active recovery in-between each run.

Wednesday--I visited with my PT and then with my general practitioner.  No running today.

Tuesday--I did several hills on the incline tight next to my house.  The brief workout was both annoying and challenging due to the headwind and my nagging, pain-in-the-butt injury.  My runs were 33,32,31,31, and 30, an average of a second slower than last week's times.

Monday--same routine at the Y: mile, lift, mile, lift, mile, lift, mile.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I am still chasing

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mile on the donut track--6:59
Lifting (4:30 min)--Lat bar (70lbs) and fly machine (170 lbs)--2 sets of 10
Mile on the treadmill--6:59
Lifting (4:30 min)--military press (90lbs) and arm curl machines (130lbs)--2 sets of 10
Mile on the donut--6:40
Lifting (4:30)--chest press and stretching Mile on treadmill--6:43
Lifting (4:30)--adduction (230lbs) and abduction (230lbs) machines--2 sets of 10
Mile on donut track--6:10

Saturday, March 9, 2013

By the time I got around to my workout (5:00), the temperature had dropped from 55 degrees to 45 degrees.  Winds were light, though.

Per my plan, I want to kick myself in high gear to end the season with a bang. I decided to do Sit 'n Kick Reps to test my strength.  This workout, which is designed for a 2:00 800m high school runner, consists of 5x (400m @ 64 . . . rest 30-sec . . . 200m in 28), with a 1200m jog between sets. Since I am not able to run 800 meters in 2:00, I always modify the workout accordingly.  I really wanted to hit the times I've hit in my best days past.  In that spirit, I modified the workout slightly: 5 x (400m @ 64 . . . rest 60-seconds, 200m in 29), with a  1200m jog between sets.

The first 400 was a hard-fought 65 (31/34). 60 second rest, then a 31-second 200! I felt winded.  1200 meter jog in 9:00.

The second 400 felt better but came in at the same time--65.  60 second rest. The 200 was 30.  I jogged 1200 meter in 9:00. 

I ran the third 400 in 64, owing to a more balanced run of 31/33.  The 200 was another 30.  I was feeling a little pride but wasn't quite back in business.

My fourth 400 was another 64.  I rested 60 and then popped another 30-second 200. I then jog-recovered 1200.

And then there was my final 400. I wondered whether I had it in me to hit 64 and 28.  I did, per the workout!  At the risk of full disclosure, I took 2 minutes, not 60 seconds between the 400 and 200. 

So this workout went fairly well.  I am still chasing the perfect Sit 'n Kick workout, though.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

in preparation

Friday, March 8--Ran from home to Goose Creek Park, did three loops, and ran back home. 3.4 in 24:56, or 7:20 pace.  This was supposed to be a light day in preparation for a hard track workout on Saturday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Problem area

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mile on the donut track--7:00
Lifting (4:30 min)--Lat bar (70lbs) and fly machine (170 lbs)--2 sets of 10
Mile on the treadmill--6:59
Lifting (4:30 min)--adduction (230lbs) and abduction (230lbs) machines--2 sets of 10
Mile on the donut--6:40
Lifting (4:30)--military press (90lbs) and arm curl machines (130lbs)--2 sets of 10
Mile on treadmill--6:35
Lifting (4:30)-- leg extension (150lbs) and leg press (330lbs) machines--2 sets of 10
Mile on donut track--6:00
Conversation with Jason Britton (threw schedule off a bit, so I wasn't able to do my last set of lifting)
6:38--time to go!
The Alleve I have been taking since Tuesday might just be working.  I do need to get some ice, though.

March 6, 2013

I warmed up about 1.25M on the Rustin HS property in preparation for a hill work on the incline adjacent to my house.  I stretched for a good bit but still felt my problem area. My thought was to try to hit 30 seconds for the stretch of the hill, despite my injury.  (My rest of 2:30 would be the walk back down the hill to the start, the line in the sidewalk.)  My first run was 32 seconds!   I then hovered at 31 for the next 4.  My sixth and final one was 30.0.  (As it turns out, the hill is between 175 and 180 meters.) I cooled down 1.25M.

March 5, 2013

I warmed up about 1.25M on the Rustin HS property in preparation for a hill work on the incline adjacent to my house.  I tried two hills to failure.  I was hurtin'.  I cooled down 1.25M.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

4:00 of conversation with someone I hadn't seen in years!

Tuesday, 3/5--Periformis syndrome is killing me.  Warmed up a mile or so, tried to stretch, tried to do a couple of hills, failed, cooled down with the dog and stretched.

Monday, 3/4--recovery workout.
7:00 mile on the donut track
stretching for 4:00
6:49 on the donut track
4:00 lifting: arm curl machine, lat pull
6:39 on the donut track
4:00 lifting: fly machine and military press
4:00 of conversation with someone I hadn't seen in years!

Sunday, 3/3--I made my way down to U of Delaware for the Mid-Atlantic Championship meet.  My plan was to do the 60 and 800 or 60, 400 and 200.  I would base this decision largely on whether the 800 has entrants with seed times faster than my season best of 2:07.  Right before I competed in the 60, I took one last look at the seed times of the athletes and decided that I had better do the 60, 400 and 200.  (Last year, I competed in the 60, 800, and 200.)  While I think I made the right decision, I am suffering as a result.  Periformis syndrome is killing me.

(Dr.) Dave Thomas was kind enough to loosen me up before my race. 

I arrived at the venue at 11:00-something with plenty of time to warm up before.  I warmed up nicely for the 60 and found myself in lane 3 in a heat with Clinton Fields, some other guy, and teammates Rob Schwartz and Ross O'Neil.  I got a good start and held my own against Clinton.  The 7.88 (F.A.T.) was a good showing for me.  I got second place.

I enjoyed a good rest before the 400.  I was in lane 6 with a seed time of 55.11.  I got out well off the gun and found myself vying for first place as we approached the cut-in mark where the cones are.  I surged ahead so that I could get to the 200 first.  And I did.  (I learned that my first 200 was in sub-26).  I tried to stay relaxed over the next lap , but I felt myself grow slower.  Coming off the final turn I could feel someone (Lyndell Pittman of New York apparently) on my shoulder.  He passed me with about 30 meters to go, posting 54.80 to my 55.29.

Finally, the 200 came. I was in lane 2 running against a strong crop of guys, including to my outside the guy from NYC who beat me in the 400.  I got out well enough and thought I had a good chance to reel lane 3 in.  I was wrong.  I came off the final turn in second and went neck-and-neck with Junior Hyman, who almost got me at the line.  The winner, Lyndell Pitmann, ran 24.14 and I ran 25.21, a huge margin by any measure. 

Despite the gold I received for my age group in two of my three events , I am neither cocky nor confident.  I have plenty of work to do...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

my energy level was pathetically low

Sat, March 2--I drove to Westtown School after a day spent hosting a guy whom I hired to paint my daughter's bedroom.  I began jogging and realized that my energy level was pathetically low.  I decided to just do a mile, head home and do some stretching and PT exercises. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

soreness getting the better of me

Friday, March 1--

Thursday, February 28--Rose at 4:40 AM.  I had limited time before I headed downtown to the NAIS conference.  So I warmed up a mile or so in my neighborhood and did 300m repeats on the road behind Rustin HS's stadium.  The first one in 48s felt lopsided.  The rest felt progressively good.  My aim was to do 8, but I just didn't have enough time (even though I started at 5:15 AM).  You see, I needed to finish the workout by 6:05 so that I could get ready and depart for the city by 6:45.

My runs were: 48,47,46,46,46,43.  My recovery of 3:30 was a walk and then a slow jog back to the start.

Wednesday, Feb 27--Did a simple 4.4M run.

Tuesday, Feb 26--Since I needed to meet some of my new colleagues for dinner at 6:30, I figured I'd leave work early for a 5:00 workout at CHS.  I managed to do 5x300 and 5x200.  I was hoping to have had time for 100s, but I didn't.  Besides, my hamstring and periformis related soreness were getting the better of me.  My runs were: 46,47,47,46,46; 29,28,29,28,28