Sunday, March 30, 2014

Plan for week

Mon 3/31-6.45M--3 Rustin loops

Tues 4/1-workout at Henderson

Wed 4/2-easy lift at Y

Thurs 4/3-3x150--21s, 20s, 19s; 3x100 in 12

Fri-take the day off

Sat-meet at Millersville

What's the priority, dude?

Sunday-As I began my 5.6M run, the rain picked up significantly.  I stopped and headed back home, deciding I would go the Y instead.

I wound up doing 4 miles.  Between each was a 5-min period of upper body and lower body lifting.
My mile were: 6:30 (18 laps on donut track), 5:59 (treadmill), 6:00 (donut), 5:30 (treadmill).

Saturday-Danny Curran Invitational at Widener.  What an awful day to race!  It was 45 degrees and there was constant rain and an occasional torrential downpour with winds swirling.

I arrived at about noon for the 1:40 race.  I met up with some teammates and shot the breeze before registering.  Several of the guys considered bagging the competition (and a couple, Ross and Rob, ultimately did).   Learning that the meet was running 15 minutes ahead of schedule, Rob and I began warming up at about 12:30.  After doing a mile or so, we made our way back to the area behind the stadium.  We checked in.  I was in lane 2 in heat 8 of 10, along with Wayne (lane 7), and Rob was in heat 9.

I eventually made my way to the field house where most athletes stayed to keep warm and dry.  I did a lot of self-massaging and my fair share of, yes, static stretching.  I also incorporated dynamic stretching for good measure.  I was starting to get less scared of injury.  I jogged back to the stadium to collect my spikes (and Wayne and Rob) and then returned to the field house.  After several short strides, I was feeling ready.  When we returned to the stadium, the 400 was still on the track.  The meet was now back on schedule.  Thus, our race would not go off until 1:40.  I returned to the field house to keep warm.  After emerging from the field house and returning to the track at 1:35 for the race,  I learned that the meet was now behind schedule.  My guess was that we would run at about 2:30.  I returned to the field house for additional shelter.  I stayed there with Wayne until about 2:00.  Evidently, Rob had left.  Wayne and I made our way to the starting area, just as the women were finishing and heat 1 of the men's race was being called.  We decided to hang out underneath the stands until about heat 5 or 6.  Wayne made his way to the starting area at about 2:10 (heat 4); I joined him at about 2:15 (heat 5).  We tried to stay warm as heats 6 and 7 went off.  I did one run-out on the turf before heading to the starting line wearing long sleeve tights and a long sleeve Under Armor shirt with my singlet on top.  We set our blocks.  I did one start, going out only 10-15 meters.  We then stood at our blocks for what seemed like forever.  Evidently, something was wrong with the starting pistol.  After swapping it out for another, the starter was ready.  I felt tightly situated, yet comfortable, in the blocks.  When the gun went off, I felt like I had had a good start.  It seemed that I was in the lead.  At about 70 meters or so, I felt my upper left hamstring and just tried to finish the race.  I saw Wayne emerge to my right, along with a kid from my alma mater, Swarthmore.  Despite Wayne's estimation that I won the heat, I'd later learn through Direct Athletics (the Widener meet results omitted heats 8 and 9.  Go figure after all this mess!) that I came in second in 12.49 FAT.  The time was pedestrian to say the least, but I suppose I can't be too disappointed given the conditions.  I think I might be ready to break the 12-second barrier.  I just have to do some speed work.  I just don't want it to be at the expense of the 400 and especially the 800.  What's the priority, dude?

Friday-I took my daughter to the track so that she would complete her workout of 4x200 in 31-33 and 4x150 in 23-24.  Given the wind and her current level of fitness, I decided she would do 8x150 with a 3-minute rest between each repeat.  I'd have her work on form, establishing a strong pace over the first 50m and maintaining good form down the stretch.  She managed several 25s and 26s, with the last one in 24.

I warmed up with her and did a little stretching.  I could really feel my sore, tangled butt muscle.  Argh.

Thursday--My plan was to warm-up using dynamic stretching techniques I've been researching and then do some 30-meter dashes, along with a couple of 100s.  The impetus for this plan was all that I've been reading and hearing from others about the merits of dynamic stretching.  After many rounds of it, I didn't feel well stretched nor did I feel particularly energetic.  I went along with the workout anyway.  Bad mistake.  I wound up with a sore, if not injured, upper hamstring issue, right about where my piriformis problem area is.  I iced and iced and took some ibuprofen, knowing I had a make-it-or-break-it race on Saturday.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Break Continues; Dynamic Stretching and Drills

Thurs.--My plan today is to warm up and do some dynamic stretching and drills by moving through the video footage.

Wed--Went to the Y in the early AM for a little legwork.  Went to NYC with Bria soon afterwards to see Wicked. Spring Break continues.

I'm a little old school with my warm-up and (static) stretching.  I've been thinking a lot about dynamic stretching and sprint/warm-up drills.  Here's a collection of the videos that have caught my attention:

Here's a useful handout as well.

I plan to incorporate more dynamic stretching into my routine.  I also plan to hit the leg weights more.

Tuesday--ran 3.3-3.4 on Rustin's XC course, some with Bria, who paused to do 6x100 on the grass. Went to the Y later on to do a little legwork.

Monday--went to Westtown's track with Bria so that she could do her assigned workout, a 200-400-600-400-200 ladder.  My plan was to do 6x100m accelerations and join her for 1-2 repeats. Went to the Y in the evening for a little running and lifting.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

They showed toughness

Sun, 3/23--5.8M in 42:00.  My GPS read 5.2M, but that's wrong.  I have to figure our what's going on with it.

Sat, 3/22--Met with with EA seniors Ryan and Michael Quinlan for a sit 'n kick workout at Westtown School.


We kept to 60 seconds between the 400s and 200.  The 1200m jog between sets was between 8:45 and 9:15.

It was great working out with these two upstanding young men.  They showed toughness during the workout and gratitude afterwards for my having invited them to join me.

Friday, 3/21-Spring break.  Went to campus for a bit with Bria.  Wound up warming up with her and teaching her drills for improved form.

Thurs, 3/20-Joined the track team in the afternoon.  They were doing time trials in various events.  I wound up doing only 3x150 (20,21,21) and 3x100 (12.6,12.5,12.4) .

Wed, 3/19-2.15M

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I was game for a half-decent workout

March 18, 2014-

After a hiatus, I return to the Tuesday morning workout group at WC Henderson HS.  There were two workouts, one for marathoners and one for the rest of us.  The marathoners were to do 3200m/400m jog/1600m/400m jog/3200m; the rest of us could do 6x800m with 200m jog in-between repeats.  I chose the latter.  I was still sore and tired from the weekend's four events, but I was game for a half-decent workout.


I managed a 200m/1:30-2:00 jog between each

Saturday, March 15, 2014

2014 Masters Indoor Nationals--Boston style

Sunday, 3/16-Even after the hotel evacuation last night, I was still able to get up t a decent time.  I organized myself, left Rob and Craig asleep in the room, and headed down to the lobby for some coffee.  I sat in front of the fireplace for about an hour.  When I returned to the room, they were awake and thinking about breakfast.  I ate a peanut butter sandwich before heading down with the guys to load up the minivan.  We then headed to Panera for them to have breakfast.  We eventually made our way back to the hotel parking lot, got the minivan, and headed to the arena.

When we arrived, Wayne was up for his 200, which he ran with authority in 25 seconds and change.  I waited for a while and then began my warm up routine.  The hour or so I allotted myself felt just right.  Just before my race, I stood entranced by the balanced race that Nick Berra ran: 30/61/1:30/1:59.   I had done some visualizing before my race, and the outcome was not quite 1:59.  I imagined 30/61/1:31/2:03 for myself.

There were supposed to be in upwards of 17 in my heat, but many guys dropped out, decimating the heat to a mere 9 of us.  We would do an alley start; I was up top with two other guys.  Given my hip #, 10, I was essentially seeded last in the heat, with the top seeds under 2:00.  Thus, I shouldn't have been surprised when the guys shot out like a cannon when the gun went off.  I tried not to panic when the guys went through the 200 in 27/28; I hit 29/30.  As I approached the 400-meter mark, I could scarcely believe that I was seeing 58, 59, 60.  I hit the line at exactly 60.  The front runners crossed in 58 seconds.  I knew that I was in 6th or 7th place.  At the 500 mark I could feel someone on me.  That someone was Lance Elliot, who passed me at the 550 mark.  I tried to go with him, but I had no give in my legs.  I saw 1:32-high at the 600, giving me a 32-second third lap.  I thought to myself that a monster lap could lead to 2:03 or 2:04.  But, no!  I could feel myself tire and dropped a 2:06.72, a disappointment.  I just can't get that damn last lap.  A nearly 34-second last lap will not get the job done.  29-high/60-low(30-mid)/1:32-high(32-high)/2:06(33-high)

I got over the 800 and made my way, mentally, to the 4x400.  After some issues with guys who were hurt or preferred not to compete, we settled on a lineup: Rob, me, Craig, and club newcomer and novice runner Chuck from Lebanon.  With six teams in the race, I knew it would be a fun one.  Rob (58) powered the first lap of his leg and tried to keep it close when he handed off.  I took the baton in 6th place and powered around the turn, passing two teams and chasing after a third.  I passed a third team 150 meters into the leg.  I had made my way to third place.  I knew I had gone out pretty hard and that I should settled in.  On the backstretch of the second lap, I felt that I was in a good position.  That is, until the guy from SoCal came up beside me.  I kept him to the outside as we rounded the turn into the straightway.  As we came up the homestretch, I tried to hold him off.  He had a slight edge over me at the handoff (53-high/54- low split).  Craig (59) took after the runner, but also almost succumbed to a muscle pull before handing off to Chuck (68).  Chuck gave this 400 his all and was probably overwhelmed.
4x400 mens 40

M40 4x400 2014 Nationals Boston-another view  
4x400 mens 50

After a tough weekend, I was ready to go home.  While I was slightly disappointed, I would have to say that this nationals meet was my best thus far overall.

Saturday, 3/15-Today was more of a relaxed day.  After stopping by to see some 60m dash action (Wayne did well, as did Duncan in his first-ever 60m), Rob and I headed back to the hotel room to hang out.  We eventually made our way back to the venue with a couple of Athena TC members (Betsy et al.) in tow at about 1:30.  (We learned that Craig would be taking a sore and tender Wayne's place.) We arrived in time enough to see Nick take the 45-49 age group mile in 4:34, who ran out front solo, looking relaxed.  I also saw Mark Williams take the 40-44 age group mile in 4:42, a pedestrian time for him.  The field went out in 75 for the first quarter, reached 2:32 at the half-mile, and then dropped a 2:10 last half...on the efforts of Mark and Lance Elliot.

I warmed up immediately after this, following the same routine I had established on Friday.  I made my way to the track tucked away at the end of a debris-filled one-way road.  I did a lap there and headed back to the Reggie Lewis Center.  I did some high knees and then began my progressive stretching exercises.  I didn't have much room for strides since the track was being used and so was the infield due to two high jump competitions in progress.  I felt pretty good.  My visualization exercises then kicked in.

We waited in the infield with many,many other teams awaiting our heat.  One of the clerks was a bit of a mess, disorganized and not quite sure about what he was doing.  This led to a bit of confusion.  In fact, we had quite a scare when he told us we had missed our race.  A very upset Robert confronted him, and he kicked us out of the infield.  I reasoned that the clerk had made some error and asked to look at his ledger.  He dismissed my request, which got Rob angrier.  The clerk was seething.  I pulled Rob aside and theorized that the error was the clerk's.  We made our way to what looked to be our heat, and it was!  We were being called to the line.  I double-check the lane and heat again for good measure.  We were set and had already check in: heat 3, lane 2.

I was assigned the leadoff leg on this three-turn stagger race.  No one was to my inside; to my outside were SW Sprinters, Mass Velocity A, Mass Velocity B, So Cal.   I settled nicely into my blocks.  When the gun went off, I kept my head down and tried to get my legs up on the backstretch.  Going into the turn, I felt that the guy to my immediate outside from SW Sprinter, precisely the same one who came after me at Millrose in the 4x400, had gained very little over me.  That is, until the homestretch, where he showed a better finished and handed off first.  If I am a betting man, I handed off second, maybe just a hair ahead of the guy in third.  Rob plowed around the turn, a raw sprinter getting him just beyond the break cones.   He pushed through the homestretch and handed to Nick, who galloped through his leg, passing one of the Mass Velocity guys, I believe, and gaining on the other.  He handed off to Craig nearly even with Mass Velocity, whose anchor was Barney Borromeo, who had run 7.45 in the 60m.  Craig hung onto him as best he could and ended the race strongly.

We were pleased overall, having with 1:42.33 (FAT) broken the record established last year.  According to Wayne and a counterpart, our splits were about as follows: Me-24.28, Rob-26.08, Nick-25.33, and Craig-26.16.  Then you have to account for FAT, adding .08 to each split.

The 4x800 team of Craig (2:18.9), Andrew (2:23.9), Carl (2:29.9)and Rob (2:17.9) also had a good run.  Too bad that Rob's progress was stunted by an elderly gentleman who stepped in front of him at the 650 marl.  Argh.

Friday, 3/14--Rob and I had peanut butter sandwiches this morning.  I had another sandwich, this time half, at about 11:30.  Having collected our packets earlier Friday morning, Rob and I arrived at the arena at about 12:15 for our 1:43 400 meter race.  We checked in.  I warmed up largely alone.  I did a bit over a mile outside, making my way .4M to a local high school track (lap around .25M ) and back .4M.   I did my usual stretching routines, feeling OK and not too tight.  I was certainly stunted a bit by my piriformis.  I checked in again for heat and lane assignments.  Heat 3, lane 2.

I made my way to the infield, which had cleared, spiked up and did a few strides.  I was also trying to assess whether I was comfortable wearing shorts versus tights.  I watched a couple of races, including Daryl's.  After his race, I decided I wanted to switch into tights.  It was 1:35 at this point, just a few minutes outside my race.  I dashed to the lab and made the change.  By the time I returned to the track, Nick Berra and the hot heat of the 45-49 year old 400 meters was on the track.  Those guys shot out like a cannon when the gun went off.  Coming up the homestretch I could see that Nick was in control but pushing harder than he's had to during the first lap of the 400.  He made a great move on the backstretch.  He continued around the final turn, cutting into the lead of the guy in front of him.  In the end, he'd get third, in a brilliant time of 52.37.  The winning time was just under 52.00, 51.98.

  • 1Junas, Andrew (M46)Eliot Track Club51.9828
  • 2Bridges, Lee (M46)Nubian Striders52.1826
  • 3Berra, Nicholas (M45)Greater Phil52.3724
  • 4Thomas Jr, Robert (M47)Southwest Sp52.6723
  • 5Carpenter, Michael (M46)Atlanta Track Club55.5122
  • 6Walters, Meirwyn (M49)Mass Velocit56.4521
  • 7Rossen, Gary (M45)Mass Velocit57.331
  • 8Kinahan Jr, William (M49)Mass Velocit57.751
  • 9Sheehy, Alan (M47)Unattached1:00.151
  • 10Exantus, Ulrick (M47)TNT Internat1:12.181

  • Then the 40-44 400s were up.  Rob was in lane 6 of heat 2.  He got out hard and looked to be leading at about the 100m mark.  When he broke for the cone, he was in second place and reached the 200 in 27.0.  He seemed to attempt a pass around the turn but would up running on the line shared by lanes 1 and 2.  He sort of tucked in behind the guy in front of him, figuring he would make another move over the final stretch.  It was not to be.  Rob looked stronger and the time of 58.11 does not reflect the race I saw on the track.  I was sure he would've run a full second faster.  The effort was there, though.

    I was in heat 3, lane 2.  This was fine with me.  To my inside was some guy whose name I cannot remember.  To my immediate outside was Michael Jackson from TNT (lane 3), Lyndell Pittman from Southwest Sprinters (lane 4), Ed Winslow from Southwest Spinters (lane 5), and Andrew Hogue from Central Park (lane 6).  This race, in my estimation, was the most competitive masters 400 meter race field I had ever been part of.  All of us used starting blocks.  My plan was to test the waters by seeing whether I could catch Michael within the first 100 meters.  And the gun went off.  I got out reasonably well and, going through the second turn, realized I was in a pretty good position.  That was until Lyndell and Andrew noticed and surged through the cones and past me.  I almost decided to challenge Andrew, who passed me just before the finished line, but I figured I'd keep something in the tank.  I stayed in good contact with them on the backstretch, thinking to myself that I had run a faster 400 split than these guys at last month's Millrose Games.  They decelerated less quickly than I did, with Andrew pulling ahead of Lyndell at the line for second place.  Ed ran away with it in a magnificent time of 51.69.  I had to settle for a slightly disappointing 54.17, figuring I had made a tactical mistake by not beating Andrew to the first turn of the second lap.  Had I done that, I could have kept him to the outside and allowed him to push me in much the same way I was pushed at Millrose when the SW Sprinter guy tried to take me on the backstretch.

    2014 Masters Indoor T&F Championships 400 40M

  • 1Winslow Jr, Edward (M44)Southwest Sp51.6938
  • 2Hogue, Andrew (M40)Central Park53.5336
  • 3Pittman, Lyndell (M42)Southwest Sp53.6234
  • 4Dinkins Sr, Delvin (M42)Greater Phil54.1733
  • 5Jackson, Michael (M41)TNT Internat54.7632
  • 6Moore, Derek (M43)Eliot Track Club57.6321
  • 7Yeargin, Rocco (M43)Unattached57.802
  • 8Schwartz, Robert (M44)Greater Phil58.112
  • 9Blackman, Joe (M42)So Cal Track Club59.202
  • 10Porter, James (M40)Unattached59.431
  • 11Albright, Andrew (M43)Greater Phil1:01.911
  • 12Karren, Kelly (M40)Unattached1:02.611
  • 13Zuehlke, John (M44)Central Park1:03.732
  • --Williams, Douglas (M44)Eliot Track ClubDNF3

  • Thursday, March 13, 2014

    you guessed it

    Thursday-off.  En route to Boston.

    Wednesday--Went to Westtown for another try, this time 100s with 60 seconds' rest in between repeats.  Felt a little tight but I eventually came around.  By that time, the brief workout was concluding.

    100 #1: 15
    100 #2: 14
    100 #3: 13
    100 #4: you guessed it, 12

    Tuesday--went to Westtown School's track to do some 150s.  Got there and the track was partially covered in snow and still icy.  I tried to jog and it just wasn't safe. I went back home and ran an icy, snowy 2.15M in 17:45.

    Monday--Did 2M around Rustin's property.

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

    I felt like a weight-gainer.

    Sunday--27:00 minutes easy on the muddy XC course and around Rustin.

    Saturday--I desperately needed a track, so I made my way to Swarthmore's campus.  As I completed my warmup on the track on this 55-degree day, an announcement came over the loud speaker that the infield and track needed to be cleared for a LAX game.  Argh.  So, I gathered my stuff and eventually made my way to the worn down, non-competition indoor track.  My workout was 12x200 with a 3:00/200m walk-rest in-between runs.  The goal paces were 3x30, 3x29, 3x28, and 3x27.

    I then had to take a longer break before the last set.

    I felt disappointed that I had to run indoors and that I had to try harder than I should have for the 27s. I felt like a weight-gainer.

    Friday--took off; too much to do

    Thursday--took off; to much to do.

    Wednesday--22:00 easy in the wee hours of the morning

    Tuesday--Went to the Y, warmed up a mile, stretched quite a bit, then made my way to the treadmill for 6x600 with 3:00 recovery between repeats.  My target pace was 1:50/1:55

    Run 1: setting on 12.8 (4:44 pace)--1:58
    Run 1: setting on 13.1 (4:38 pace)--1:57
    Run 2: setting on 13.3 (4:34 pace)--1:55
    Run 3: setting on 13.4 (4:32 pace)--1:54
    Run 4: setting on 13.5 (4:28 pace)--1:52
    Run 5: setting on 13.8 (4:20 pace)--1:49
    Run 6: setting on 13.9 (4:16 pace)-1:47

    The last time I did this workout I discovered that it took anywhere from 43-47 seconds to reach the "200m mark" (.125M) during this workout.  This means that the balance of the 600, the remaining 400, was covered in 64-71 seconds, the first run being the 71-second 400, the last run being the 64-second quarter.  This makes sense pace-wise.

    As with before, I was a little self-conscious.

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

    Marriot, not Crowne Plaza, you idiot!

    Sun, 3/2: Today I headed to my alma mater, Swarthmore, for the sole purpose of finding a track.  While the indoor facility there is quite poor and not worthy of such a fine school with a $1.8 billion endowment, I decided to give it a whirl.  I warmed up and stretched for a bit, remembering my four years doing the same in the late 80s and early 90s.

    My plan was to do a modified sit 'n kick workout: 5 x (400 in 64, 1 minute rest, 200 in 30 or better, 1200 jog in 8:30).  Knowing the track is worn out and realizing the possibility of a collision (because the track loops around the stands), I was a little tentative at first.  I was also mindful, maybe even a little self-conscious, of the few folks on the infield.

    Set 1: 67/31
    Set 2: 64/30
    Set 3: 65/30
    I then headed outside to take a stab at completing the final sets.
    As I jogged, I noticed a huge piece of machinery a couple of workers were using to finish clearing the track.  Just when I was about to do my 400, the gentleman parked the vehicle across the first two lanes.  Bummer.  I kept jogging, thinking that in a moment they would move it.  Not.  I made my way to the 300 mark and went from there.  (8:45)
    Set 4: 300 in 48/2:30 rest/another 300, this time in 46
    I headed back to field house.  There were many, many younger boys and their fathers on the track and on the infield.  This was clearly a planned baseball practice or something.  A true workout killer.  So, I headed back out and decided to use the track after all.  I just ran in lane 3.
    Set 5: 63/32

    Felt okay about this workout.  Could've been better.

    Sat: took off

    Friday: Went to the Armory for the NYC championships.  After going to the wrong hotel (Marriot, not Crowne Plaza, you idiot!), I met up with Rob and Wayne and we headed to NYC, stopping by the Woodrow Wilson rest stop to get Bruce, Craig and Daryl.  We arrived at the Armory at just about 6, dropping Wayne off curbside so he could warm up for his 6:30-something race.

    I changed in the minivan as the guys made their way from the parking structure to the arena.

    I checked in upon arrival and provided a seed time I thought I could run, 53.72, given my stalwart performance at Millrose.  I warmed up once I arrived and tried to ignore the lack of po(m)p and circumstance in my legs.  I just kept at it.  When I checked in and learned that I was in lane 1, I wasn't terribly thrilled but sucked it up as one should.  I did a little visualizing before the race, thinking about what I did at the 225 mark a couple of weeks ago when I held off the charging runner from SW Sprinters.

    Tonight, however, there would be no such heroics.  I began the race conservatively and ended pathetically.  I covered the first 200 in about 26.5 and the second 200 in 29.5.  56.12 FAT.  Ouch.  I tried to lift on the backstretch of the second lap and that worked for about a meter.  OK, not a meter.  Maybe 30 meters.   Then, coming up the homestretch I was too busy looking at the clock, marveling at what I had hoped would be a decent time at least, to notice that a youngster was on my shoulder with 20 meters to go.  And, yes, he got me at the line.  That was sucky!

    The 200 was a bit better.  The truth is I felt so horrible after 400 that I initially bagged the 200.  I felt cramped and dehydrated.  Really so.  I talked myself off the ledge and decided 30 minutes beforehand to give it a go.  I was in lane 6 and in the same heat as teammates Craig and Rob.  My goal was not to get injured and to break 25 seconds.  I got out reasonably well, but then forgot for a brief moment that it was a 200 rather than a 400.  I tried to get my knees up.  Coming off the turn, the guy from lane 4 pulled even with me; lane 5 was empty.  He slingshotted into the straightway and that was the difference on our finished.  He ran 24.90-something; I ran 25.18.

    Thurs: took off