Tuesday, April 30, 2013

tad later than desired

Tuesday, 4/30/13. 5:50AM.  5x1000 at Henderson HS with a 200 meter jog in-between. I got there a tad later than desired, having not attended a Tuesday AM workout in since February.  I really needed  a couple of extra minutes of stretching.  Thus, I missed the vast majority of the first 1000, running only the last 200.  My runs, two of them with Joe Breslin, were: 3:48, 3:45, 3:42, 3:39.

Monday, 4/29/13--Went to the Y to lift--upper body only.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dear Penn Relays, I need to find that guy and ask him how he did it.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I was supposed to do a recovery run today. I wound up running harder than I should have. I took 6.6M in 48:20 (7:19 pace). Last year or the year before, this would’ve still been recovery run pace for me. This year, however, this was more like a training run, given the little distance I’ve done these last few months.

Friday, April 26, 2013 and Saturday, April 27, 2013—

And so the day of reckoning arrives. I attended two meetings at two different schools before making my way down to Penn. I arrived with plenty of time to hang out with Chuck and see a number of awesome races. I warmed up quite a bit from 1:00-1:45 and then again from 2:15-2:45 before heading to the paddock area for the 100 meters. I couldn’t find my teammates during my second warm-up, even though I had seen them earlier in the stands. At any rate, when I arrived at the paddock area there were few to be found. I hung around for a few minutes before inquiring. An official informed me that the event had already been called and that I should head to the staging area. I did and found that everyone had been warming up on the infield and were now checking in with a clerk. I followed suit. I put my sweats and sneakers down and waited in line. Afterwards I set my blocks for a couple of starts. Just as I was about to practice, an official ordered the masters guys off the track before the next event was up. So, I did a couple of drills on the infield. We were also given out lane assignments; I was in lane 8. After two heats of the Special Olympics 100, I was ready for a couple of starts. My starts were surprisingly good from my angle. We were called to stand at our blocks. I stood with Ross to my immediate left and Nick to my immediate right.
“On your marks.” We all took out time getting nice and comfortable into our starting positions. I could hear the announcer begin to say our names. I figured the starter would hold us in this position as a result. “Set.” Oh my goodness, I thought. And the gun went off. Nick shot out quickly. I was a stride behind him from the start. Halfway through the race I felt like I was going to pull even with him. But because I was pressing I began to decelerate more quickly than he. Thus, he actually extended his lead, posting 12.16, .02 shy of my GPTC master’s record. (I was scarcely aware of this until Craig and Rob mentioned it.) I managed only 12.31 due, in large measure, to a bad start and a panicky second half of the race.
I let go of the race, or so I thought.

It was time to focus on the 4 x 100 meter relay, scheduled for two hours later. The warm-up wasn’t quite as extensive, but the excitement was palpable. I was ready. Once those of us running third leg were called onto the field, I knew I was all set. I dashed out and stretched a little bit more, still feeling the nagging tightness in my upper hamstrings. That wouldn’t unnerve me, though. Eventually, we were up. Lane 4 was alright with me. I set my tape and sprinted out 20 meters or so. Soon afterwards, I heard the gun go off. A few seconds later I saw Ross barreling down the track toward me. It was surreal. I took off from my mark and extended my hand back at his call. He missed my hand the first time, it seemed, but we recovered just fine. I took the turn well, extending the lead over the guy to my inside. I gave Wayne the baton and he took it home. We ran 47.57, I believe, running a half-second faster this year than last. However pleased we were, we were humbled, as well, by the 44-second winning time.

And then there was showdown Saturday, featuring the M40+ 4x400. After arriving with my family in the early afternoon and hanging out first by myself and then with my teammates, I was ready to rock and roll. Or was I? I certainly felt tight and sore from yesterday, but I shrugged it off. I’d stretch really well and do the best I could. We were letter F—for FAST! Well, not exactly. We did run pretty well, I suppose. Of course, if I’m honest, I was again disappointed with my performance. I led off with a low 55 (according to Chuck, 55.2), but I was hoping for something in the neighborhood of, well, 53.9. Too ambitious? Perhaps. I was fourth on the backline at the start. When the gun went off, I got jostled a bit, so I hung back and found myself near last. At the 100 mark, I passed a couple of guys and was suddenly in fourth behind Nate Sickerson, who was running on Southwest Sprinters’ B team. I was running relaxed. And then I wasn’t all of a sudden. The last 100 meters were far more difficult than they should have been given my fitness. I have lifted more this year than ever. I can’t say that it’s paid off. Maybe my periformis syndrome issues have simply taken their toll. I tried to get up on my toes.
Before I knew it there was someone challenging me as we approached the handoff. It was the shorter, burly guy who ran my leg at Millrose. We handed dead even…unfortunately. I scarcely remember Nick’s race, but saw Scott’s and Craig’s. We all ran within about a second of each other: three (3) 55s and one (1) 56 for 3:42+.

2013 Penn Relays 4x400

I recall with envy the Delvin who ran 53.71 open last year and the Delvin who split 53.1 in 2009. I need to find that guy and ask him how he did it.

Newsflash: Penn Relays video (copied from my 5/5/13 post): A conservative analysis of the M40 4x400 video has revealed that I posted a sub-55 second leadoff leg, somewhere in the neighborhood of 54.7.
    Thursday, April 23—Ran a mile or so with Bosley, my pooch, and then stretched a bit.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Week in review/week in preparation for Penn

Wed, 4/24—took the day off.

Tues, 4/23—Given that I did not arrive home from the airport until 12:15 AM, I wasn’t about to get up at 4:45 to workout! Instead my plan was to workout at Conestoga after work. One problem, however: there was a track meet. Plan B was to go home and workout at Westtown School. Another problem, though: there was a track meet. I went home, deciding that I would return to the track at about 6:00. I was in luck. The meet was over and it was me time! I settled on 3x100, followed by 3x150. I would use the 100s to warm up for the 150s. I did what has become my usual warm up: mile and a combination of dynamic stretching, drills, and static stretching. I used the first 100s as a pick-up, covering the distance in 13.8 in a slight headwind. The second would be a bit faster, 13.3. The third was supposed to be a relaxed sprint, which I did in 13.0. I was hoping to “relax sprint” to a 12.8.

I moved on to the 150s. The headwind subsided as I launched into the sprint over 19.3 seconds. The wind returned to slow me down a bit for my second one, a 19.7. I topped off the workout with a 100 instead of a 150. I wanted the 12.8, which I got! And I was fairly relaxed, too. This was my last track workout before Penn. I’ll probably go to the gym tomorrow (or just run around the flatter part of my neighborhood) to warm up and then stretch.

Mon, 4/22—Feeling the need to be productive, I emerged at 6:30 from the Comfort Inn, Grinnell, Iowa, and went for a run. I made my way down what was essentially a four lane state route and to the college campus. The run was slightly rolling and over a combination of gravel, grass and dirt. I went for a total of 5.6 miles or so. I covered the distance in 42:00…7:30 pace. I haven’t run that far all season, not that it’s that’s far!

Sunday, 4/21—left early in the morning to catch a plane with my son to Grinnell College in Iowa. Yes, Iowa.

Saturday, 4/20—I arrived at Widener well in advance of my event(s). The 1500 was being contested. I had plenty of time.

I got settled and met up with Bruce and Rob, having also bumped into youngsters Derrick and Lamar. The temperature was low-60s, but the wind, at times gusting, would likely be a factor.

After a little trepidation, I decided I would do the 400 and 200 instead of the 100 and 200. The 100 immediately followed the 400.

I initially felt a little sluggish during the warm up, which I did on the infield, but then I shook it off. I eventually checked in and found that I was in lane 1 in heat 4 of 6, with the heats arranged fastest to slowest.

I did a lot of dynamic stretching and a fair amount of static stretching. Also new to my routine were 70-80 meter accelerations on the turn, 5 of them actually. I did three of them in between the heats of the women’s 400, so they were in close proximity to my race. I have been finding more and more that I have to have an ample warm-up and that during a workout I don’t hit my stride until the 3rd or 4th repeat in a series. Thus, I need to simulate that on the track.

I was finally up. I tried to talk myself into the same game plan as last year, but I could sense that my heart and mind weren’t into it. And perhaps that’s why when the gun went off we were called back for a botched start. Someone has raised their hand to indicate they weren’t ready—and they weren’t seen by the starter. While that was the guy in lane 4, in a sense that was me.

At any rate, the gun went off and, as I made my way around the turn, I imagined myself catching the Lebanon Valley guy in lane 2. He would get second in the race some 40 seconds later, however. So much for that! I felt like I was losing track as early as the 200 mark. As I approached the 200 meter mark, I could sense that I didn’t feel fresh. In terms of physical exertion, I felt like I was at the 250 meter mark. I had passed two guys to my outside. Coming up the homestretch I didn’t feel strong; I got passed by one dude, as the last 40 meters took me about 6 seconds. I know because I was beaming at the clock. Not good, I know.

After a disappointing 54.97, I reconsidered whether I should do the 200. After cooling down with Rob and Bruce, I decided that I would still do it, that is, until Bruce scratched. Like a wimp, I followed suit.

I went home, calling it a day.

Fri, 4/19-I took the day off, figuring that I would be competing at Widener on Saturday.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

no workout

Thurs, 4/18-early AM workout.  On tap was the workout I had planned for yesterday: 2-3 x 200, 150, 100.  I felt flat, sluggish and diminished.  I had a pedestrian start to the workout and a solid finished.  Handoffs practice at Franklin Field in evening.  Did some starts as well.

Wed, 4/17--no workout.

Tues, 4/16-lift in early AM.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pre-Penn Plan

Monday, April 15, 2013--

6AM: 2 Rustin loops; easy pace. 33:30.

Plan for next 10 days, the Pre-Penn Plan

Tues, 4/16-lift in early AM + possible 4x100 practice at Franklin Field in evening

Wed, 4/17-in late afternoon before my mtg, moderate sprint work (e.g., 3x200, 3x150 and 3x100). 

Thurs, 4/18-early AM lift.  Handoffs practice at Franklin Field in evening.

Fri, 4/19-off

Sat, 4/20-meet at Widener

Sun, 4/21-(off)

Mon, 4/22-early AM jog and stretch

Tues, 4/23-early AM 3x150 in 19

Wed, 4/24-early AM lift

Thurs, 4/25-off

Fri, 2/26--SHOW TIME

Sunday, April 14, 2013

stay relaxed while up on my toes

April 14, 2013--

I met up with my 4x100 teammates at Haverford College today at 4:30 to practice relay exchanges.  I got there earlier than the other guys and was able to do an extended warm-up.  I focused on dynamic stretching more than static stretching.  After we were situated and everyone was "warmed up," we decided that Nick would lead off, taking Brandon's place from last year.  The order would be the same as last year: Ross, me, then Wayne. 

The practice went well.  Wayne and I were good from the start.  With the exception of a minor timing issue, which we then resolved, we were 100% on target.  While Ross and Nick had a bit of a rocky start, things turned around nicely for them.  Ross' handoff to me was uneventful, but good.  I had to adjust the mark from 15' to 13'.  As our practice progressed, I got more fluid and I realized that I wasn't taking off from my spot at full speed.

After what amounted to several short dashes, I decided to conclude the workout with 2 100s, one in the form of a pick-up, the other nearly all-out.  The first was in 12.6, the second 12.0!  I kept my head down, looking at my feet, and tried to stay relaxed while up on my toes.  This goes to show me that I need to get a really good warm up, including exertions at full speed, in order to run faster.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

National Masters News

April 13, 2013

Met Justin at Downingtown East's track at 10:00. The plan was Pick-up reps, which in original form is 8x 400m @ 70 w/90-sec Int and #s 2,5,8 @ 63.  I typically give myself twice the allotted recovery.  Given the strong headwind, I modified the workout further by doing 300s as opposed to 400s, but at the original pace as the planned 400s.  This meant 52 and 47. I took 2:30/100 between repeats. (Justin led the slower ones, and I led the faster ones.)

300 #1: 52
300 #2: 47
300 #3: 52
300 #4: 51
300 #5: 46
300 #6: 52
300 #7: 52
300 #8: 47

This moderate 300s workout went okay, but I felt a little tighter than I would've liked.  I am looking forward to tomorrow's workout with the M40 4x100 at Haverford College.  I hope to get some sprinting in.

Today I found out that I got into the open 100m @ Penn Relays. Oh man. I just did some research on some of the men in my race. Two are '96, '00, '04, '08 Olympians. I think one won gold in each! They are still fast, running Division I college times. Two still run good high school times. The remaining 4 of us run about the same time. At least I know what I'm up against. I hope not to get last :).  Then again, there's humility and character in finishing last.

I also learned that I'm on the May 2013 cover of National Masters News. Funny.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

the weights felt heavier today

Thurs, 4/10/13-

I went to the Y for an easy workout.

.87 M on donut track in 5:56
Step-ups for 1 min
lat bar for 2:00
.90M on treadmill in 6:01
fly machine for 1 min
military press and arm curl machines (4:00)
.90M on track in 5:44

For some reason , the weights felt heavier today.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not to burst my own bubble

Wednesday, 4/10/13--5:45 AM moderate track workout.  Wonderful morning.  Little wind and 63 degrees!  Yes!

Left home at 5:35
Warmed up 1.0 mile.
Tried some new dynamic stretches; I've been doing far less static stretching as of late.
Started at 6:03 AM

The workout was 8 x 150.
Goal: 1st 2 in 22 sec; 2nd 2 in 21 sec; 3rd 2 in 20; last 2 in 19 sec.  Rest of 3 minutes/250m walk between each.

1st effort: 22.6.  I felt sluggish and off-kilter, like my wheels were going to fall off.
2nd: 22.3.  Better, more relaxed.
3rd: 21.5.  I'm in the groove now.
4th: 21.3  I did not feel like I was pressing.
5th: 20.4
6th: 20.2
7th: 19.7  I'm pressing now!
8th: 19.5 I felt like I was going nearly all-out.  I was hoping to break 19 seconds based on the effort I felt I was expending.

I think that I can go faster if I do this workout later in the day.  A cursory review of my history shows that I run faster later in the day, perhaps by as much as .25-.5 seconds per 100.  This means that had I done ths workout later in the day under the same weather conditions I may have run each 150 a half-second or so faster. 

Could it be, then, that I can reach break the 19-second barrier after all?  The last time I did was 4 years ago, I think.  An 18 would be a real confidence booster.

(Not to burst my own bubble, but ultimately today's workout was not much different from what accomplished right before the NYC Armory meet back in December 2012.  That day I set out to do 6x150 and 3x100. The goal for the 150s was 2@21, 2@20, and 2@19; the goal for the 100s was sub-13 seconds. I hit the first 150 in 21. The others met the mark as well, although I faltered on the last one (i.e., 20.1 sec).  The 100s were 12.6, 12.7 and 12.8.)

Per my PT's orders, I then went to a high grade hill to do some high knees, butt kicks, and skipping.  I bagged the uphill sprints, given my workout.  I then did an uncharacteristically short cool down.

Returned home by 6:48

Based on this workout, maybe I'm on target to run in the 53-second range for the open 400 next weekend like I did this time last year. 

150 meter workout--Possible 400 meter pace/conversion
22...59 (23,22,15)
21...57 (22,21,14)
20...55 (21,20,14)
19...53 (20,19,14)

1st 150--20 sec
2nd 150--19.50 sec
last 100--14.25 sec = 53.75

Imagine this: 18.75...52.5 (19.75, 18.75, 14)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bruce, it's all your fault!

Yesterday Bruce met a couple of us at Haverford College and did a workout, despite having done 15 200s the day before.  Several of us teammates have counseled Bruce about his propensity for two hard/track workouts in a row. 

Bruce Rash is contagious! I got the bug! Two track workouts on a row for me, too! 

I arrived in Ohio with my son today at 2:30 or so for a college visit, and I was on the track within 2.5 hours.  The track and weather were so good I couldn't turn them down: newer track and 60+ degrees (with winds).
I did 4 200s in 29 and capped two more in 26! I then topped off the workout with 2 100s in 12-point.  My initial plan was to do 8x400, but I didn't want to be greedy.
I will feel this workout for sure in the morning and tomorrow afternoon when I drive 6.5 hours to get home.

Bruce, it's all your fault!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

the lactic acid was in full effect

Saturday, 4/6/13--I met up with Bruce, Daryl, and Rob at Haverford College at 10:30 for a workout.  Daryl made the call: 300s.  He planned for us to do 4x300 with 4:00 rest in-between.  We were supposed to walk 100 after the 3rd and 4th 300s and then turn around and sprint 100.  As it turned out, we walked a full lap after the 3rd 300, taking twice the allotted rest. 

My runs:
47 (we were supposed to take the first easier)
44 (then 100 in 14)
42 (then 100 in 14)

I then did 2 additional 100s on my own in 13.

So, while this workout wasn't as extensive as what I had planned, it was challenging.  It was made more challenging than I had expected because, for whatever reason, my legs were heavy and the lactic acid was in full effect.

I plan to hit the track again on Monday.

Friday, 4/5/13--took off and just did my PT exercises.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

expending more energy than I needed to

Thurs, 4/4/13--

Near repeat of Tuesday's workout.

Westtown School's track for at 5:40 AM or so.
Mile warm up and dynamic and static stretching.  A bit tighter than I have been.  Felt uncomfortable. Careful now!
9 100s (not 6 like on Tues) to get some speed work in.  2:15/100m walk back between runs.

Figured I'd run in lane 4... reflect goal of 14 seconds, lane for 13 seconds, and lane 2 for 12 seconds.
Set 1/lane 4: 14.9, 15.2, 14.5
Set 2/lane 3: 13.7, 13.5, 13.2
Set 3/lane 2: 12.9, 13.1, 13.1

Overall, I felt like I was expending more energy than I needed to for these runs.  I wish I had been more relaxed.  Even though I expect to run slower at 6:00 AM I was hoping for about a half-second faster per repeat on average.  And that's why I need speedwork.

Wed, 4/3/13--Ran 2.2M loop in 17:00.  Easy day, although my legs felt heavy.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I need to visualize relaxing

April 2, 2013

I made my way to Westtown School's track for a little action this morning at 5:30 AMor so. I figured I'd do 6 100s just to get some speed work in. The warm up and stretching felt uncomfortable.  In fact, I stopped during the warm up and almost bagged the workout as I felt my left calf cramp up a little.  I persisted instead. 

I decided to take the 100s much easier than expected.  In fact, I began with a pedestian 17.0. It was just a stride.  I imagined simply dropping a second with every successive 200.  Thus, the second one was 16.1, the third 15.2, the fourth 14.3, the fifth 13.4, and the sixth 13.0.  I took 2:00 between each.  I should've broken 13 for the last 100, but I was afraid, afraid of my own body. 

Overall, I felt a little unsettled and haphazard. I need to visualize relaxing, lifting my knees and getting my feet out in front of me so that I could feel like I was stepping.

I will do so the next time I do 100s. I plan to have them all fall in the 12-second range, although I may have to settle for beginning at 13 or 14 if I do the workout in the early AM.  I also plan to finish the workout with starts, as I need to work on keeping my head down for the first 20 meters.
After the 100s, I drove to Rustin's campus for some uphill sprint drills per the doctor: high knees, butt kicks, skips.  I ended with 2 x 70m/11sec uphill sprints.  Cooled down and was home by 6:45.

Monday, April 1, 2013

sluggish run

Monday, 4/1/13--I went to the Y for an easy workout.

.94M on donut track in 5:56
Step-ups for 1 min
lat bar for 2:00
fly for 1 min
.90M on treadmill in 5:55
adduction and abduction machines--3:00
leg extension machine--1 min
.94M on treadmill in 5:49
military press and arm curl machines (4:00)
.90M on track in 5:44

Sunday, 3/30/13--took a sluggish run...3.4M in 27:45