Tuesday, April 29, 2014

this windy, 45-degree morning.

Tuesday, 4/29-went to Henderson for a workout with the crew.  The workout was 2 x 1 mile/200m jog/800m.  I decided to do 4x800 with a 200m jog.  My pace was the top group's mile pace for the most part.  2:56/2:58/2:55/2:40.  I felt okay on this windy, 45-degree morning.

Monday, 4/28-took the day off.

Sunday, 4/27-went for a recovery run of the sorts: 2 Rustin loops, or about 4.15M.  I covered the distance in 31:36 (16:25/15:11).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Week in Review: Bad PR (Penn Relays). At least we had fun!

There's nothing like bad PR!

Saturday-After leaving work at close to noon, I arrived in University City at about 12:30 PM.  I find it unacceptable that many of us were not allowed in the stands as the USA vs. the World 4x100 was happening.  It was ridiculous.  People may have paid their money to see precisely that race!  Anyway, I went to my seat and waited there alone.... We were eventually told to move to the upper deck.  After an hours or so, I returned to the seating below and joined my teammates.

We warmed up together...and separately.  I felt pretty good.  We arrived to check in pretty early.  At about 4:55, I think we were one of the first teams there, even though we thought we were going to be a little late.

Once we got to the paddock area, it was wonderful to see the girls' EA 4x400 team readying for their event.  After our girls ran their hearts out, we were up.  Within the first 100 meters of the start, someone pulled up injured, writhing in pain.  Rob handed the baton off to me in 6th place, having run a sturdy race.

I pulled ahead of two runners, one within the first 20 meters and a second after 150 meters.  I felt good, but not great.  I felt myself eat into the lead of the guy from Central Park TC.

Daryl ran third, ably and heroically subbing in for an injured Nick D.  He pulled in CPTC a bit more.  And Craig finished up the race, overcoming his initial thought a week or so ago that he was too hampered to race.  We posted a pedestrian 3:49.02, far from last year's 3:42.26.  Penn Relays M40 4x400

According to Penn Relays' website, our splits were as follows: Rob (57.97), Dinkins (54.57), Johnson (57.50), and Strimel (58.99). While I was disappointed with my sucky split, which was a full second slower than my split at Millrose Games and 1.5 seconds slower than what I had hoped to run, I will try not to be discouraged.  I will regroup.

This year's race featured one fewer team and was overall less competitive.  Had we run last year's time, we would have placed second.  One thing I noticed from the video is that we need to pull each other through the exchange zone.  Note to selves.  Overall, we were missing our edginess.  I think we were compromised mentally and physically this year.  Perhaps our heats and minds just weren't in it this year.  Who knows?

At least we had fun enjoying each other's company, though.  That is what's it's about, right?  Let's keep things in perspective.  The competitive side of me fights against this sometimes.

Friday--I left work at noon to make my way downtown for Penn Relays.  I arrived at 1:00 or so to meet Craig for tickets.  I settled into the usual routine.  I warmed up in anticipation of the 100, thinking that I might come off the alternate list.  As it turned out, despite a fine warm-up and a better time than at least two of the entrants, I won't be admitted to the race.  I stood by and watched, thinking that this race could have been a season's best for me.  It hurt that 2 guys ran in the 13-second range and another ran in the mid-12 range.  I could have legitimately placed somewhere after the 11.71. Oh well.  I went back to the stands and relaxed, with my sights on the 4x100.

We lined up in the paddock and then along the fence for what may have easily been 20 min.  It was getting cool, with all the wind.  I tried to stay loose.  The second leg was taken onto the field, where we waited an additional ten minutes or so.  Again, I tried to stay warm, doing strides and such.  We'd end up in lane 5.  When it was our turn, I marked the take-off point and got ready.  And the gun went off.  I saw Wayne take the turn.  I took off as planned and took the baton in my left as we practiced; I switched to my right.  I felt a little flat.  When Ross handed it off to Nick, it was clear that Nick wasn't himself, much like he was in the 100.  As it turned out, his achilles was in bad shape.  We got last in 48.68, a disappointment compared to last year's 47.56.

4x100 M40 Penn Relays 2014

Thursday-upper body lifting

Wednesday-2x100 in sub-13, plus 2 starts--first 30 meters.


Monday-3x150.  Goal was mid-19s with good form.  First one was a sluggish 21.3.  The second was 19.5.  The third was 19.0

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I'm thinking of a workout for tomorrow.

I'm thinking of a workout for tomorrow.  

A workout for you get closer to peak season is only 2 x 200m at race pace (i.e., the 1st 200m speed, about 25-25.5 seconds for me).  Full recovery is recommended to ensure a quality speed workout.

Because I plan to do such a workout early in the morning when my legs are sleepy and my strength is not quite formed, I figured I should adapt the workout to 150s (3) instead of 200s (2).  This would mean 19-second 150s.  Given the 6AM workout, I might have to be content with 19.5 for the 150 meters, which would be 26-second 200m speed.  A 19-second 150 meters would mean 25.3 race pace (i.e., first 200).  An 18.75 150 meters would mean a 25-second race pace.

The way I see it

4/20-2 Rustin-plus loops 4.3M; 32:50.

4/19-On account of being in Chicago all week, I didn't plan to compete at the Widener Invitational.  Besides, the 4x100 relay squad needed to practice baton exchanges.  After looking at the various time and geographic parameters, I got us organized and then made the call to practice at Swarthmore College.  This worked for everyone, except Nick, who couldn't make it because he wasn't feeling well.  We agreed to meet in time enough to do exchanges at 8:30.  I tried to get there by 7:30 or in order to get in a brief workout before practicing.  Evidently, Rob must've had a similar idea; he arrived moments before I did.

After warming up with Rob, I began my stretching routine.  Chuck then arrived.  Then Wayne.  I was feeling a little tight and stiff.  I still decided to get in a few repeats.  I managed 2x200 in 30.3 and 2x150, one in 20.4, the other in 19.5.  The second 150 is technically about race pace:


However, I would like to lower that to...

We were now ready for baton exchanges.  As we were about to begin, Ross showed up.

Wayne handed off to me about 6-8 times, with me taking the baton in my left (argh) and having to switch immediately to my right.  I have trained my body to run with the baton in my right hand.  My takeoff mark hovered between 13' and 14'.  I then practice with Mr. Very Little Warm-up, Ross.  Unlike in previous years when I ran third leg, this year I was running second and Ross was running third.  Our handoffs went pretty well, considering Ross uses neither the "confusing" fly zone nor tape or anything as a marker.

I eventually had to leave at 9:10, leaving Ross and Rob (trustee alternative) to practice.  From what I understand, all went well.

Wayne would make his way to East Stroudsburg to see his son run and to do a little work of his own in the 100.  And boy did he ever!  He posted a 12.07, lowering my record by .03.  It was a near-perfect day.  I am now wondering whether I should have made that trip to Widener.  I sure hope there will be other near-windless days.   I'd like to have a good shot at breaking 12.00 in the 100 and 24.00 in the 200.  The way I see it, I have 1-2 more months before I transition back into 800 meter training and 3 months before I transition to longer distance.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fast treadmill running can be a drag

Thursday-ran around downtown for 25 min.

Wednesday--Chicago.  Magnificent Mile!
I hit the treadmill for a few 400m repeats.  While the treadmill was the kind that could go extremely fast (better than 4:30 mile pace), it took so long to get going.  For instance, I'd reach the 200 at 45 seconds.  My runs started at 80 and quickened to 75.

Fast treadmill running can be a drag.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I think I forgot

Tuesday, 4/15--Ran about 4.5M around downtown Chicago.

Monday, 4/14--Chicago.  Ran a couple of easy repeat miles on the treadmill in the fitness center while watching a true crime show.

Sunday, 4/13--Ran to the Y (28:50), lifted both upper and lower body (25:00) and then ran back home (27:50).  I think I forgot how hilly that run is.  7.4M or 7.5M

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I hadn't yet eaten, but that's no excuse.

Saturday, 4/12-

Teammate Daryl Johnson came over from NJ to do a workout with me.  At just after 9AM we headed to Westtown School's track for what was supposed to be a moderate workout.   On the ride there we gabbed about what we had in mind.  I took his lead.  He'd do 2-3 300s in 47/48, 2-3 200s in 28/29, and 2-3 100s in 14/15.  I decided that I would tack on an extra 100 to the 300s and 200s and do the 100s in sub-13.  We had planned for 5:00 between each of the longer intervals; and 3:00 between the shorter intervals.

We took some time to warm up.  I suppose Daryl needed to get acclimated.  When all was said and done, we began the workout at 10:00.   I felt myself getting hungry.

I tucked in behind Daryl as he did his 300s and 200s.

400 #1: Daryl crossed the 200 in 31 and reached the 300 in 47.  I kept chugging and hit 63-high for the 400.
6:30 rest
400 #2: Daryl crossed the 200 in 30 and reached the 300 in 46.  I kept chugging and hit 62-high for the 400.
6:30 rest
400 #3: Daryl crossed the 200 in 30 and reached the 300 in 47.  I kept chugging and hit 63-low for the 400.
6:30 rest
300 #1:Daryl crossed the 200 in 28.  I kept chugging and hit 44-mid for the 300.
4:30 rest
300 #2: On account of having to run into lane 2 to avoid plowing down the kids who suddenly emerged in lane 1, Daryl hit the 200 in 30.  I reached the 300 in 46-low.
4:30  rest
100 #1: 13.1
3:30 rest
100 #2: 12.9
3:30 rest
100 #3: 12.8
3:30 rest
100 #4: 13.0  (heavy legs)

Daryl captured his own times for his 100s, which were in the 13s.

I was happy to see the 400 times, but I was a little disappointed that I was as tired as I was afterwards.  I hadn't yet eaten, but that's no excuse.   Great work, Daryl.

This day last year I did 8x300, some in 47 and some in 52.  I believe I took 3:00-3:30 between repeats.  I'd like to give this workout a shot, except I'd like to try for 45s and 50s.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I must've been decelerating instead

Friday--took off

On Thursday,  --5:45 AM moderate track workout.  Cold morning--37 degrees, unlike last Thursday's 50 degrees when I did the same workout

Left home at 5:35
Warmed up 1.0 mile and stretched.
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 3:00 minutes/250m walk between each.  

1st effort: 23.2.  Oops.  Flat
2nd: 22.3.  Better, more pop.
3rd: 21.2.  Nice.  I began to work on shortening my stride and hitting the track with as many steps as possible sort of.
4th: 21.6 Good.
5th: 20.9 Hmm
6th: 20.5
7th: 19.6  
8th: 20.4  The oddest thing happen.  As I lifted coming down the straightaway, I assume I was accelerating.  I must've been decelerating instead. I did not necessarily feel like I exhausted the tank.

I think that I can go faster by a .25-.5 second or so with better weather conditions and if I do this workout later in the day.   

Thursday, April 10, 2014

just about the pace

Wednesday--went to the Y at 5:30AM.  My workout:

5:00 on the donut track
5:00 arms and legs machines
5:00 on the treadmill at 6:30 pace
5:00 arms and legs machines
5:00 on the donut
5:00 arms and legs machines
5:00 on the treadmill at about 6:10 pace
5:00 arms and legs machines

Tuesday--Left home at 5:25 for a 5:50 workout at Henderson HS.  The workout was 5x1000 with a 200m jog in-between repeats.  I opted for 5x800 instead and a little more rest (i.e., a slow 200 jog).  My 800s were just about the pace of the top group's 1000s.

2:50, 2:50, 2:51, 2:50, 2:40.

Monday-Went to the Y for leg work only.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Millersville Metrics...They made my day

Sunday--Did a recovery run of 4.8M on the XC course.  37:15.

:30 (.05) to get to the course
12:40 (13:10)--loop 1 (1.57M)
12:00 (25:10)--loop 2 (1.57M)
11:50 (37:00)--loop 3 (1.57M)
:25 (.05) to get back to the back of my driveway


Later in the day, I went to the Y with my wife for another mile and upper body work.


April 6, 2014

Millersville Metrics.

I left home at 8:45 and arrived at 10:00 for an 11:15 race.  I warmed up a bit on this windy, barely 50-degree morning.  To keep warm, I spent a fair amount of time in and out of the bathroom where there was a warm vent.  

I checked in at about 10:30 and learned that I was assigned heat 12, lane 5.  I did a number of strides and 30-meter dashes on the opposite side of the track, joining a number of other guys.  I was disturbed by a group from the stands whom I scarcely heard say something along the lines that "an old man was out there joining in."   Although I felt a little self-conscious as a result of their heckling, I would not let them deter me.  

I specifically returned to the space under the stands for a little heat and protection from the elements.  By the time I made my way to the starting line, the 8th heat was up on the line.  I began to get myself together, mindful that I had but a few minutes until showtime.  I took off some of my gear during the 10th heat and the rest of the gear during the 11th heat.  My heat was now on deck.

I set my blocks and practiced a couple of starts. 
Setting my blocks
Setting my blocks still
Me after a practice start

I was ready.  The gun went off.  My start was okay, but I came up too soon. Start of the 100m Millersville 

I had some decent lift, but not quite what I was hoping for entirely.  I finished a close 5th in my heat of 7.  12.10.  Not the 11.99 I was hoping for, but I'll take it for now as a new club record.  I placed 76th out of the 109 entrants.

100 meters Millersville

I hemmed and hawed about whether I was going to do another event.  The wind was discouraging.  I knew that I didn't really want to run laps in it.  Soon after the race, I left Millersville to drive up to The Hill School in Pottstown 80 minutes away to see my daughter compete in the 4x100 and 4x200.  Once I saw how quickly her meet was progressing, I figured I might have a shot at returning to Millersville to race in the 200.  Remembering that I had bumped into Phil Reilly at the meet, I hit up my teammates for his number and gave him a call. He agreed to check me in for the 200.  He did, but heat and lane assignments would be assigned later, just before the race.  I drove back to Millersville, my legs stiffening with every mile.    

I warmed up when I arrived.  I felt stiff, especially in, well, the gluteus.  I learned that I would be in heat 8, lane 3.  Not bad, I thought.  I got out reasonably well, thinking that I was eating into the stagger of the guy in lane 4.  Not.  Actually, the guy to my inside was eating into mine.  Coming off the turn and into the straightway, I could feel the wind smack me right in the face.  My 24.76 showed as much.  (If the wind registered as a tailwind, I'm not sure how!)  73rd out of 94 runners.  

Marquis Weeks and Dante Coles

I bumped into Marquis Weeks and Dante Coles while I was at the meet.  It was great seeing these two guys I coached when I was a teacher at Conestoga HS in the 1990s and in my 20s.  In some ways, it seems so long ago; in other ways, it seems like yesterday.  Of course, I've seen these guys often over the years, especially Dante, but I had not been in the "track competition environment" together with the two of them in some time.  I still remember when they were on my team and just learning how to run...well.  They had good ability, but I needed to hone their skills.  The honing led to a 42.64 4x100 and sub 11-second 100 meter and low 22-second 200 meter times for both of them.  Marquis would split 48-something in the 4x400 and Dante would jump 21 feet.  Marquis would make his way to UVa and to the NFL.  Beyond their athleticism, they are great guys with big hearts.  I really appreciated seeing them and was moved by the kind things they--and others--said about me on Facebook.  They made my day.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Imagine This

My plan for the week was--
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

I didn't quite accomplish this.

I did take the take Friday off.

On Thursday,  --5:45 AM moderate track workout.  Pretty good morning.  Little wind and 50 degrees!   

Left home at 5:35
Warmed up 1.0 mile and stretched.
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 2:30 minutes/100m walk and 150m jog between each.  Took 3:00 before #s 7 and 8.

1st effort: 22.6.  I felt decent  
2nd: 22.3.  Better, more relaxed.
3rd: 22.0.  Oops.  Time to make up for that
4th: 20.8 Good.
5th: 20.4
6th: 20.2
7th: 19.7   
8th: 19.3 I did not necessarily feel like I exhausted the tank   

I think that I can go faster by a .25-.5 second or so with better weather conditions and if I do this workout later in the day.   

Could it be, then, that I can reach break the 19-second barrier after all?  The last time I did was 5 years ago, I think.  An 18 would be a real confidence booster.

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--19.50 sec
2nd 150--19.50 sec
last 100--14 sec = 53.00 (open)

Imagine this: 19.00, 19.50, 14 ...52.5  (split)

On Tues, I went to WC Henderson HS to join dozens of others for the workout.  I opted to do the second workout option: 8x600 with a 200m jog between each repeat.  I mostly did the workout solo, although I fell in behind the increasingly elite marathon guys doing 1000s just to keep myself honest.  My 600s ranged from 2:10-2:00.

On Monday at 5:45 AM, I managed only a sluggish 4.3M in 33:30.  My legs feels heavy from yesterdays 4x1M.  Maybe I should have taken off Sunday side I had competed on Saturday.