Sunday, January 26, 2014

I cheated myself out of $60

Sunday, 1/26--I headed to Glen Mills for a punishing workout of a track meet: mile, 800, 3000.

I warmed up nicely, running about a 6:30 mile for starters.  I stretched well and felt okay.  I still didn't have that sizzle.  What's wrong with me, I asked myself.

I took time to write the target splits (by the 100 and 200) on the back of my hand, right next to my watch.

With a seed time of 4:40, I was first man--heat 1, lane 1.  I got out well and had company to my outside during the first 400m.  I hit the 200 in 34, the 400 in 70.  I then started to slow and labor.  The 800 was in 2:26/2:27, the half in 2:28.  I held on during the 5th lap and got passed during the 6th.  With three laps to go, I tried to keep my composure and not allow the leader to extend beyond the 5-10 meters he had on me.  With a lap and a half remaining, I got passed again.  I then said to myself to try to finish this damn race.  I did, running a disappointing 5:10.  Yuck.

What was I thinking?  I'll tell you what I was thinking: I have run several good miles at the Y, one in 4:49.  I was certain I could replicate.  Now I am doubting myself and doubting the track at the Y.  It's supposed to be 16-laps to the mile, each lap about 100m.  That's reasonable.  Besides, I have sort of measured.  Now I will have to do it again.

I knew I had a bit before the 800, longer than I thought actually.  God was merciful.  I remembered that I gave a super slow seed time of 2:20, in part because of strategy (seeing who and how many were seeded faster and so that I could pace off them) and in part because of self-preservation (I needed not to be disappointed.).  I was seeded 4th in heat 1.  When the gun went off, I made a conscious decision to stay in second or third place.  I was in third place for the first 160m.  Then I cut into the lead of whom I thought was probably a high schooler.  I heard 34 at the 200.  I was relaxed and stayed right on the heels of the leader, who happened to take the mile.  I heard 70/71 at the 400 mark.  He had slowed down and I was running easy.  I went back and forth about whether I should go by him at the 450m mark or the 550m mark.  I decided on 550, at which I swung wide, did the little windmill with my arms, and I was off.  I covered the last 200 in 33 seconds to run 2:20, winning the race.

Even though I wasn't terribly winded, I questioned whether I had a 3000 in me, even at the most pedestrian pace I could muster.  I chatted with a couple of people and then made the decision to hop into the 200, which was already seeded by then.  I was able to fill out an event card and get the clerk to put me into a heat if there was a no-show.  There were two.  A youngster, a 23-second 200m runner, and I slipped into the second heat.  I had lane 1, he had lane 3, Dave Richard had lane 4, and two others occupied lanes 2 and 5.  I had a terrible start--no pop and force.  I felt like I was running a 150 in practice.  I tried to lift on the backstretch...nothing.  I tried to lift coming home...nothing.  I reached the line in a disappointing 27.13 (26.9 ht).  Dave posted 27.18.

After chatting and meeting Dave's awesome wife and kids, I left to go home.  I should have soaked my head in the snow.  Instead, I built a fire...and thought about the $35 I had just wasted on membership to Philly Masters (there are only 2 of their meets remaining, one at Widener U and one at Albright College, a place at which I won't likely run) and the entry for the meet itself.

Saturday, 1/25--I went to the Y after work just to warm up and stretch in preparation for Sunday's meet at Glen Mills.  I needed redemption.  The mile of 6:50 on the donut track felt sluggish.  The stretching was good, though.  Somewhat busy day: supported boys at there track meet, attended theater performance, and prepared for a dance that was ultimately cancelled.

Friday, 1/24--There was a lot going on for me on this day!  Whew!

I left the office later than I expected and walked up to the gym and field house to see our JV Girls' and 3rd Team Boys' BB teams square off against their opponents.  I cheered as our teams played their hearts out.  Knowing the meet at Ursinus was already underway and that my event (800m) would probably occur at 6:45 or 7-ish, I left campus at close to 5:00 and made my way through thickening traffic.  I arrived at Ursinus at about 5:45 to the cheers of 60m dash, which was concluding.  There was then the 400m.  I paid, checked in and changed clothes.  I did about 10 min in the 15-degree weather and stretched heartily inside.  I also managed to get in about 6-8 50-meter strides.   I didn't feel altogether right.  I felt flat; I was missing the pop in my legs and, sadly, my spirit.  Perhaps I was just tired.  Perhaps I knew that I would need to shower and change after my race in order to head back to campus in Newtown Square, catch the balance of the Boys' Varsity BB game, and then make the trip to Lehigh U. to get a glimpse of the last races of the Girls' Track meet.  Who knows?

I seeded myself at 2:03.  My thought, after nearly breaking 1:29 in the 600m, that I could run as fast.  I figured 30, 31 (61), 31, 31 (62) = 2:03.  Who knew I'd have lane 1 (heat 3 of 4)?   This put a little pressure on me, quite honestly.  I was hoping to be seeded 3rd or 4th in the heat so that I could have an excuse to tuck in behind someone during the race.  Anyway, the gun went off and I fought my way to the front after a little bumping.  Rob offered to yell my splits, but I didn't hear him (or he forgot?) on the first lap.  All I heard him say was something to the effect of, "Show these young guys how it's done."  At the 400, he yelled 61.  I was on pace.  Then it happened.  At about 450 mark, I felt the energy exit my legs and I got passed.  I'd get passed again on the homestretch.  I head 1:34/1:35 at the 600 mark.  A 33/34-second 200.  I'd finish in 2:11.07, reflecting a 35/36-second last 200 and perhaps my worst final 200 in eons.  How painful!  7th out of 11.  I felt awful...and evidently looked the part.  $25 wasted.

I showered, shined and continued my night that went until after midnight.  As it turned out, we won the Boys' BB game, but I missed our girls' track team.  The meet was nearly concluded by the time I arrived at Lehigh (9:50).  Because I didn't see my daughter or any of her teammates and because I hadn't heard from her after calling and texting, I headed back to campus in Newtown Square to wait for the bus to arrive so that I could take her home.  I learned 10 minutes into my drive that they were still in the field house and that I could've taken her home after all.  Argh!  And because they stopped for ice cream and food (they deserved it!), they didn't arrive to campus until nearly midnight.

Thursday, 1/23--took the day off.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Easy does it.

Jan 22, 2014--

Went to the Y was an easy workout.

Mile 1 on donut: 6:45
Mile 2 on treadmill: 6:40
Mile 3 on donut: 6:02


Simple 2.15M in 17:40.

Monday, January 20, 2014

I had to get some hard work in

Quite windy and close to 40 degrees.  

Per my plan, my workout was Sit 'n Kick Reps: 5x (400m @ 64 . . . rest 60-sec . . . 150m @ 21) with a 1200m jog between sets.  My staple caveat: 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. Since I am not able to run 800 meters in 2:00 just yet, I modified the workout accordingly. I had to get some hard work in or else I will lose my momentum.

Even though I had just stepped out of the car from a 6.5-hour road trip, I still went for the workout.  Even though I could feel tenderness in my calf, I went for this workout; I needed it.  

The first 400 was in 64 and required more effort than it should have.  One minute rest.  The 150 came in at 22.

The second 400 felt a little sluggish, thus 65. One minute rest.  The 150 came in at 23.  Argh.

I ran the third 400 in 63.  Feeling good, I also dropped a 21 for the 150.  I was in business.

I planned to run 63 and 21 for repeat #4 as well.  Instead I ran 64 and 22.

Repeat #5: 62 and 22.

I was satisfied with this workout, but I am thinking of slowing up the 400s in favor of a harder 150 or 200. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

That crappy track

Sat, 1/18--Went to Westtown, figuring I'd do 5 x (400 in 64, 30 sec break, then 150 in 21, followed by 1200m jog.  I warmed up my standard mile.  I felt flat and unmotivated as the heavy winds blew and the snow flakes flurried.  Called Swarthmore to see whether the field house was open, figuring I'd just go there and run on that crappy track.  (As an alum, I get to say that!)  I wound up going to the Y.

6:30 mile on donut track
stretch/lift (4:00)
6:30 mile on treadmill
stretch/lift (4:00)
5:45 mile on donut
stretch/lift (4:00)
5:48 on treadmill
stretch only
5:15 on donut

Fri, 1/17--took the day off

Thurs, 1/16-

12x150.  I figured I'd run 3 in 22 secs, 3 in 21 secs, 3 in 20 secs, and 3 in 19 secs.

Began sluggish.
23.3 (oops.  I thought about changing my expectations.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A little blue


Went to the hotel fitness center after a nice visit to Lovett but with a lot on my mind, given the emotionally exhausting week.

Felt off kilter on the treadmill.

Managed 3 6-min miles with lifting and stretching in-between efforts.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

this 58-degree afternoon in Atlanta

Wed, 1/14--

Went to a national park just over a mile away for a run.  Inadvertently started on the trail/hiking sign and ran a muddy half-mile or so before hitting a dead-in and having to turn around to run back to my car.

Wound up driving a quarter-mile down the road where I found the much more acceptable entrance to a running trail.  There were many, many people there running on this 58-degree afternoon in Atlanta.  I ran only about 3M or so at about 7:30/mile pace...for a total of 4M today.

For some reason, my Nike+ did not record the run.  I must have made some error in setting it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Take Two

Mon, 1/13--in Atlanta.  Alternated between treadmill miles and upper body work in the fitness center of the Wyndham.

Placed the treadmill on highest setting: 6:00
4:00 lift
6:07 mile
4:00 lift/stretch
6:07 mile
4:00 stretch

Sun, 1/12-

The plan was to meet Rob at Westtown School at 8:30 in lieu of the competing at the Glen Mills meet.  We'd do 12 x 200 at 30-31 seconds with a 1:00 recovery.  If the repeats were to slow to 33 or 34, then we'd drop to running 150s in 22 with a 45-second rest.  If the 150s slowed to 24 seconds, then we'd drop to 100 repeats in 14-15 seconds with a 30-second recovery.  This was supposed to be a take on the 800m workout Rob, Phil and I did a couple of weeks ago.

Rob (accompanied by Duncan) was adamant that we reconsider the workout.  I agree in light of the winds on the track.  Thus, we decided to do 200s with a 2:00 rest.   Our rest hovered in the 2:10-2:15 range.  My runs were: 30.4, 30.6, 30.8, 31.4, 30.6, 30.5, 30.6, 31.0, 30.5, 30.7, 29.5, 28.3.

I'd say this is 2:07-2:08 800m work.  If I am going to take 2:00 of rest, then these 200s need to be sub-30.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

beaming with joy and for good reason

Sat, Jan 11--Went to the Y and did a simple mile on the donut (6:23), lifted upper body for 4:00 (lat pull, fly), ran a mile on the treadmill (6:12), lifted upper body for 4:00 (shoulder press, arm curls), and then ran another mile on the track (6:00).  I topped off the workout with a bit of stretching.

Fri, Jan 10--took the day off.

Thurs, Jan 9--I left work much earlier than usual (3:10) to meet Rob at 3:40 at the Crown Plaza in Willow Grove to head to The Armory.  I arrived late.  By the time I finished changing in the hotel restroom, it was a couple minutes after 4:00 and we were ready to pull out of the parking lot.  We made it to NYC in no time, encountering modest traffic.  We parked at about 5:45 and waited in the lobby until we were permitted to purchase admission and head upstairs to the venue.  We submitted out registration sheets.  HS students were still practicing on the track.  They were dismissed at 6:30, at which time those waiting to compete in the evening's meet were permitted to warm up.   The meet was to start at 7:00.  The events for the evening were simple enough: 1000, 2 mile, 600, organized women before men and fast to slow.

I did a mile, some of which with Kevin Forde, who took the greater part of last year off.  It was great to see him!  I stretched much like I had for the Sprint Night in December.  I felt a little sore and had a major stomach cramp from a gas bubble.  Hated it.

Rob and I waited around a bit and learned that there were 4 heats of the women's 1000 and perhaps 6 heats of the men's.  We hung our on the infield.  And when the second event, the two mile, approached we began warming up again.  We soon learned that there would be 2 or 3 heats for the women and 4 heats for the men.  It was going to be a long night.  We continued to use the infield.  Between this round of warming up and the first, I must've run about 10 x 50m.

Eventually, our event was called and we checked in.  It was well after 9:00 at this point.  With a seed time of 1:29 (I changed it from 1:28, having initially thought about writing 1:27), I was placed in heat 3 lane 8, the farthest to the outside.  In looking at the heat sheet, one guys was listed in 1:26, 6 guys at 1:27, and I was 1:29.  Rob was assigned heat 5, with his seed time of 1:35.

If I heard correctly, the winner of the first heat crossed the 200 in 26 and the 400 in 55, for a final time of 1:24.  When our heat was up, I tried to turn my thoughts to pace, attempting to forget about being on the outside and evidently the last seed in the heat.  Six were on the back line, while a youngster (relatively speaking) and I were up on the front line.  We were to break at the 150m mark coming into the straightaway.  When the gun went off, I was not very aggressive at all.  I fell right behind the youngster.  At the 100m mark, I realized that the guys on the inside had made up most of the stagger and that I would be behind at the break.  I was right.

In order to avoid falling too far behind, I surged over the last 20 meters of the homestretch to beat someone at the turn.  I was in sixth place now, or there were two guys behind me.  I could see that Mark Williams was in the lead.  I certainly wish I could have been there.  I could see Andrew Hogue a few meters ahead of me.  Coming up the homestretch and closing in on 400 meters, I saw 58, 59.  I was at 59 seconds.  Knowing I should have hit the 400 at least a second faster, I started to push, going to my arms, trying to get my knees up and pressing with my toes.   I felt myself gaining on the group.  At the same time, someone was gaining on me.  With 100m to go, I got passed.  I kept driving, though.  I saw the clock as I hit the top of the straightaway: 1:22, 1:23, 1:24, 1:25, 1:26, 1:27, 1:28, 1:29....  1:29.22 it was.  A little more umph and I could have had 1:28.  Better yet, I wish I had gone with my original mind and kept 1:27 as my seed time.  That way, I would have had a better chance of being on the back line.  I think that would've helped me.  Then again, though, you never know.  The traffic could have been an issue.

Overall, I felt good about the race, particularly since I ran 29, 59 (30), and 1:29 (30).  Between this even race and the first one this season at Ursinus, I am pleased.  It's nice to know that my original goal/plan of 28, 57 (29), 1:27 (30) or 28, 58 (30), 1:28 (30) wasn't entirely unrealistic.

Rob ran a nice race as well.  He was beaming with joy and for good reason.

I am hopeful that we'll both reach our 400m and 800m goals this season.  I'd like to run :54 and 2:04, respectively.  30, 61 (31), 1:32 (31), 2:04 (32).  Oh smack!

Wed, Jan 8--after taking the morning off, I decided to accompany my wife to the Y in the early evening.  In preparation for Thursday's meet at The Armory, I did only a mile, a little lifting and a little stretching.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

4:59 mile

Jan 7, 2014

2-degree weather
Went to Y.
Arrived at 5:50 AM.
Began with mile on little track in 6:10
Lifted upper body: 4:00
Moved to treadmill for a mile in 6:07
Back on track in 5:40
Brief Stretch
Left at 6:20

Jan 6, 2014

took off

Jan 5, 2014

Went to Y.
Took to donut track (somewhat crowded): mile in 6:30
Lifted/stretch: 4:00
Moved on to treadmill: mile in 6:27
Back to track: too crowded, so I did just a half mile in 2:45
Back to treadmill for half-mile in 2:45
Back to track: almost empty...4:59 mile
Could've gone a bit faster, but oh well..

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I figured that it would be futile

Jan 4, 2014

I got up early this morning to drop my daughter off at 6:30 AM to the bus headed for none other than The Armory for the Hispanic Games.  (Because I awakened myself at 2:45 AM with a shout and was restless sense, I was unable to get much shut-eye.)

After I dropped my daughter, I headed to the Y for a workout.  I figured I'd do the usual: mile-lifting in alternating fashion.  I was happy to see that no one was on the donut track when I arrived at just before 7 AM.

Donut track mile: 6:45
Upper body lift: 2:00
Stretch 2:00
Treadmill mile: 6:42
Upper body lift: 2:00
Stretch 2:00
Donut track mile: 5:30
upper body lift: 2:00
Stretch: 2:00
Treadmill mile: 5:28
upper body lift
Stretch: 2:00
I returned to the track for what I was hoping would be a sub-5:00 mile, but it was now occupied by several people.  I waited and waited.  Nothing.  I figured that it would be futile to give it a go, so I went on my merry way.  I felt guilty, guilty that I was unfairly annoyed with the runners and walkers and guilty that I left without completing the workout.

Better luck next time.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I survived this one…in honor of my son

Jan 2, 2014

In honor of my son, who just boarded a plane back to Oberlin College to take an intensive course in Russian, I headed to Westtown School for a workout of modified Russian intervals.  Typically, for a 2:00 HS 800m runner, the workout consists of 5 (3x300) where the runner does 5 sets of the following: a 300, 100m jog in 30 sec, then another 300, followed by a 100m jog in 30 sec, then another 300.  The 300 pace is 48 seconds.  800m jog is taken between sets.

On this cold and somewhat windy day, I decided to see how the first 300s went and then go from there.  

I ran 48 seconds, walked across the high jump area and ran a second one after 60 seconds' rest.  The time: 52.  Ouch.  I reassessed my situation, realizing that my legs were in no shape for this workout.  I jogged an 800 while I considered my options.  

Like at least once before, I chose to do 200s instead of 300s.  My rest, however, would be only 30 seconds, not the 45 or 60 seconds I gave myself before. My 800 jog rest between sets would remain 6:00.  My goal was 32 for the 200s.  I figured that this workout would allow me to build to the full 300.

My runs:

48, 60-sec rest, 52
800m jog

32,33,34 (30-sec rest between each)
800m jog
32,33,34 (30-sec rest between each)

800m jog

300s: 49, 60-sec rest, 49


31,32,31 (30-sec rest between each)

I survived this one;  I persisted, as I would want my son to. T
here is much more work to be done.

It was for the best.

January 1, 2014-

Ran three Rustin loops, understanding that what I've come to believe to be a 6.6M run is actually a bit shorter.

loop 1: 2.15 (had to stop twice to adjust my Nike+ watch, which wasn't correctly set.)--16:20
loop 2: 4.25--(15:30)
loop 3: 6.4--(15:25)

47:15 recovery run.  It was for the best.