Sunday, January 31, 2016

1:30+ 600-meter time trial. I hope this self shows up next weekend.

Sun, 1/31/16

Met up with Rob today for a 600-meter time trial.  I warmed up nice and good, trying to work out the stiffness.  Once I was nice and warm, I did 2x50 and a 150 in 21-high to get my pace.  (I need to remember this when it's competition time!)

The plan was for Rob to run the first 150 as well as the last 200 with me.  Rob would try to take me out in 21, so that I could hit 29 at the 200, 59 at the 400 and finish up in 1:29/1:30.  After settling into my mindset, I was ready to roll.

Rob blasted out, using the outside of lane 1.  I was to his immediate inside and a meter or so back.  He pulled off the track at the 150 mark, as planned.  I'd do the next 250 solo.  I looked at my watch as I hit the 200-meter mark--28.  OMG!  I was rolling!  I felt pretty good.  I reached the 400 in 58.  Rob joined me and pulled away as I labored a bit.  I tried to work my arms and get up on my toes.  I hit the 600 in 1:30 and change, on account of a much slower last lap.  28/58(30)/1:30(32).

I believe I could have run 1:28 in last Thursday's 600 at The Armory.  I hope this self shows up next weekend at Ursinus when I race the 800!  I am hoping for 29/59(30)/1:31(32)/2:04(33).

After the 600, I took a break (about 12:00 or so) and headed into 3x150 pick-ups and 3x200, 800-meter pace.

150s: 22-low, 21-mid-21-low
200s: 30-mid, 29-high, 29-low

3:00 rest between each

Saturday, January 30, 2016

No action.

Saturday, 1/30-

No action.  I'm hoping to do a 600-meter time trial tomorrow morning.

Friday, 1/29-

Took off

Thursday, 1/28

Had planned to go to the Y to do 5 x 1 mile, alternating between the treadmill and donut track, with a little lifting and stretching between each run.  Running late out of the house and having to get back home earlier than usual (since my commute has nearly tripled), I was only able to squeeze in three sets.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I'll take that as a good sign.

Wed, 1/27/16-Went to the Y to lift for 25 min.  Legs and upper body work....

Tues, 1/26/16-Met up with the WC crew for hills.  We did an "audible," seeing that the hill was narrow, slushy and slick.  At Kevin's discretion, we made our way to the parking garage across from the older, smaller YMCA in town.  We would start at the "arm," run up a full level and come back down to the base, run up two levels and come back down, run up to the third level and come back down, etc.  We would make 5-6 trips in total, leaving off the last level, which was determined to be too slick.  In fact, Scott Burns wiped out on the last hill.

I found this workout soooo doable!  I stayed with the top group.  Even when Manion, Callaghan, Kevin dropped off a bit, I stayed with Ed and Scott.  On account of an early start on the last repeat, Ed and Scott gapped me!  When all was said and done, even though the workout was not as intense as our usual one, I felt good about it.  In fact, Callaghan made of point of remarking about it.  I'll take that as a good sign.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Shoveling, shoveling, shoveling.

Monday, 1/25/16-

Did a 6:45 AM moderate workout.

5x150: 21-mid, 20-high, 20-mid, 20-low, 21-mid
3x200 at about 800 meter race pace: 30-mid, 31-low, 30-mid

(took between 2:30 and 3:00 rest)

Sunday, 1/24/16-

No workout.  Shoveling, shoveling, shoveling.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

didn't feel like I was quick-stepping

Sat, 1/23-Blizzard.  No way, and nowhere, to run!

Friday, 1/22- After a slew of texts from Bruce, I learned at 2:45 that the Ursinus meet scheduled for Saturday had been rescheduled for TODAY, beginning at 3:00-something!  OMG!  The Ursinus coach had been sending us emails about the meeting, in anticipation of the monstrous snowstorm predicted.  Little did I realize he had changed the day.  I left work early at just before 3:00, raced home, left at 3:20, and made my way to Ursinus!

Knowing the meet would likely run ahead at 4:15, I arrived, saw Bruce and Dave R., paid my fee, and began to warm up almost immediately.  As I stretched, I learned that men would race before women.  This gave me less time!  Argh!  I scarcely got in my large muscle stretched before we were called.  I ran a few pick-ups on the backstretch to get pace.

Unfortunately, I was assigned lane 1 in heat 8 of 8 with Bruce, Dave, and Andrew in lanes 2, 4, and 5 (I think.).  There were two other guys in lanes 3 and 6.  I got out okay when the gun went off, with no starting blocks to propel me.  I made up the stagger on lane 2 by the 100 meter mark.  Coming into the homestretch I got confused.  I thought for a second that I was in the wrong lane.  There were cones between all the lanes.  Because there was no cone to my left to separate my lane from the infield, I thought what was lane 1 was actually an interior lane.  So, I wound up running wide and into lane 2, breaking the cone there unnecessarily.  The guy in the far lane was way out, probably 15 meters ahead at this point.  Another guy and I fought for position at the 200 meter mark, reaching it in 25-high/26-low.  He beat me to it.  I tried to hold onto him to no avail.  Coming up the stretch I tightened, as I looked at the clock tick up 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55.... I thought I had run 55-high or 56-low.  My official time was 56.10.  Not a total disappointment, I was more miffed that my spikes kept shifting as I ran the turns.  As it turns out, the Haverford College guy who won my heat posted the fastest time of the night, 50.50.  (I learned that Bruce pulled up during the race, on account of a bad right calf.  He needs a couple of weeks to nurse it back to good health.  He has to heal up smartly, so as not to place his winter season in jeopardy.)

I jogged a bit and readied myself for the 200, checking outside to make sure the weather was still cooperating.  I swapped out my newer spikes for an older pair, a set that bitters my feet at times, though.

I was assigned lane 1 AGAIN in heat 7 of 8.  All lanes were filled.  At least I was able to use starting blocks.  I got a good start out of the blocks but then stumbled midway into the turn.  This cost me a little momentum.  I got back into the groove, but didn't feel like I was quick-stepping.  I got last in my heat, running a pedestrian 25.79.

Body-wise, I felt good.  All things considered, particularly being discombobulated, I did okay.  Because there are a number of factors that affect racing and race times, I won't let the fact that my times, on their face, have slowed over three meets get me down.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I should have chosen a different route

Thursday, 1/21/16-

Went to Westtown School at 5:40 AM for a short, pretty easy workout of 3x150 and 3x100, in preparation for Saturday's meet at Ursinus.  Given the forecast of 2' of snow and the likely meet cancellation, I am now wondering if I should have chosen a different route.

150s: 22-low, 21-mid, 20-mid.  2:30 rest/jog between runs
100s: 13-high, 12-high, 12-mid. 2:30 rest

Wednesday, 1/20/16-

Two Rustin-plus loops in 33:00 (17:05, 15:55)

Tuesday, 1/19/16

Met up with the crew for some hills.  Managed to do all 8 in this cold weather, posting 16:28 (about 5 seconds faster than the last time).  I am still after sub-16:00.

The top crew finished in about 15:30.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Better to call it a day rather than call it a season!

Monday, 1/18/16

Went to the Y.  Did about 10 minutes of upper body work and 10 minutes of leg work.  Closed with a 3:30 half-mile on the donut track.

Sunday, 1/17/16

I met up with the crew at Radnor HS at 9AM on this 30-degree morning.  Bruce, Rob, Chuck K., Chuck S., and Duncan ran with me.  Neil, Tim, Mary, Rebecca, and Betsy did their own thing.  

I decided that we would do what I did a few weeks back: a modified version of the Russian intervals workout.  As written for a high school 2:00 800 meter runner, the Russian intervals workout consists of 5 x (3x300m @ 48 with a 30-second/100m jog-rest between runs and an 800m jog/rest between sets.)  This means 5 sets of 3 300s in 48 seconds, with 30 seconds' rest between runs and an 800 meter jog between sets!  OMG.  I have done a modified version of this workout in the past.  For example, I have tried five sets of 2 x 300 or even a couple sets (3 or 4) of 3x300, but never five.

I decided to do 200s instead of 300s.  My plan was for us to take exactly 60 seconds between runs and jog the 800 between sets in 6:30, or rest for the equivalent amount of time.  My goal is to build towards the original workout Russian intervals workout described above.  With my goal of 30 seconds per 200, here's what I managed:

Set 1: 30-mid, 60 sec rest, 30-mid, 60 sec rest, 31-high
6:30 800 meter jog
Set 2: 31-low, 60 sec rest, 30-mid, 60 sec rest, 30-mid
6:30 800 meter jog
Set 3: 30-mid, 60 sec rest, 30-mid, 60 sec rest, 30-mid
6:45 800 meter jog
Set 4: 30-mid, 60 sec rest, 31-mid, 60 sec rest, 30-low
6:55 800 meter jog
Set 5: 29-low, 60 sec rest, 29-low, 60 sec rest, 28-mid

I averaged 15 seconds' less rest than when I did this workout back in December.

While I was hoping to run 30s, which, on average, would have been about a half-second to a second faster per repeat than what I managed a couple of weeks back, this 9:30 AM workout performance was pretty good.  I will try not to let the 31s bother me.  

By my estimate, an average pace of 30-mid throughout the workout translates to a 31-mid 200 pace within an 800-meter race.  This amounts to a 2:06 800 meter race. Seems I am in 2:06 condition.  

I would like to do these repeats in sub-30 eventually.  Alternatively, I'd like to do this workout with 45 or 30 seconds' rest between 200s.  I need to force myself to get stronger and tougher!  I would also like to give the breaking the barrier a shot soon.  

The rest of the crew did well.  Rob started with a 33-second first set, then moved to a 33/32 set, then to a 32/31 set, then to a 31/30 set, and then to a 30 sec set.   Perhaps that with a workout average of 32-low sec Rob can race about 2:14.  The other guys saw similar patterns (e.g, 33/34s and 34/35s).   My buddy Bruce caught a stitch, and after three sets smartly listened to his body and stopped.   Better to call it a day rather than call it a season!

Saturday, 1/16/16-

I did two Rustin loops at an easy pace.  14:30/13:00-->27:30.  3.6M

Friday, January 15, 2016

I now have a goal

Fri, 1/15/16-didn't sleep well; up at 4:29 AM; exhausted; worked; almost went to the Y to lift but chose not to ultimately.

Thursday, 1/14/16-
Arrived at Westtown School at 5:40AM or so for a moderate workout.
Warmed up.
Spiked up at just at about 6AM.
Decided to do 150s on this 25-degree morning, very light winds (thank goodness).
Initially, I thought I'd do a few at 22, a few at 21, and a few at 20 with about 2:45 rest between (walk 100, jog 100, walk 50)
After a measly start at 23-mid, I knew my legs had no whip.
I decided to temper my expectations in favor o a shorter rest.
I'd do 4 150s in 23 and 4 in 21 and shorten the rest to 2:15 (walk 50, jog 100, walk 50).
#2: 23-mid
#3: 23-low
#4: 23-high
#5: 21-mid
#6: 21-low
#7: 21-low
#8: 20-mid

Wed, 1/13/16:
I did 4.3/4.4M--two (2) Rustin-plus loops (17:45, 34:20 (16:35)).  Very windy, cold.

Tuesday, 1/12/16-
Met up with the crew in town for the hills workout.  The temp was much better than last Tuesday.  It was about 25-degrees, not 12!  It was still cold but not an icebox.

I did okay today, managing all 8 hills in 16:33.  I now have a goal: break 16:00.

I found myself fallen off the top group's pace after hill 2 or 3.  Those guys finished in about 15:15.  As I finished my 7th hill (14:30ish) and made my way back down for number 8, Manion and Ed were well into the second half of their climb.

Monday, January 11, 2016

We're on our way!

Mon, 1/11/16-On this cold and windy day, I did a recovery run at 6AM in the dark (I need batteries for my headlamp.).  I covered the customary 4.3/4.4M run (2 Rustin-plus loops) in 34:30.  Loop 1 was 17:50 and loop 2 was 16:40.   This amounted to about 8:00/mile pace, just what the legs ordered.

Sun, 1/10/16-On this rainy, mile day, I headed to the USATF NEW JERSEY OPEN & MASTERS INDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Toms River, NJ.  I had never been before, and while I did not perform at my best, the trip was worth it.

I arrived at the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Complex (aka "The Bubble") at 12:30 for my 1:50 race.  My initial thought was to begin my warm-up at 1:00.  However, I realized shortly after I arrived that the meet could easily run ahead or behind, so I decided to begin warm-up up at about 12:45.  I ran around the should of the track and stretched among equipment in the far corner of the arena.  This was adequate and preferable.  

I checked in for the 800, my first of the year, at about 1:15 and then did a few strides.  I'd eventually remove my spikes and jog some more.  After initially placing me in heat 2 lane 5, I learned that I was heat 1, lane 5.  There were about 10 men in our heat.  

Mark Williams, who arrived late to the line and had to put on his shirt, pin his race number, and affix his lane sticker, was to my immediate right, in lane 6.  Inspired by my recollection of the 600 meter race we did at The Armory this time two years ago, my plan was to go out with him and stay within a second of him on the first lap, within two seconds of him on the second lap, within three seconds on the third lap, and within four seconds of him at the finish.  Some seemingly good plans must come to an end!  

The gun went off, and Mark blasted from the line.  He hit the 200 in 28 (his Facebook report generously reports 26).  I hit 30.  "There was no way I could compete with this," I thought.  I found myself in third behind a guy who appeared to be a teenager.  I reached the 400 in 62+.  I imagine that Mark crossed in 57/58 (his Facebook report kindly reports 55).  I felt good at the 400, and I believed I had what was required to maintain pace to end up at about 2:06.  (By this point, Mark was well ahead, reporting on FB that he crossed the 600 mark in 1:25; I'd give him 1:28/29.)  I pushed the third lap.  I felt myself gaining on the youngster ahead of me; he was actually slowing down.  Reaching the 600 mark in 1:34+, I tried to pass the teen on the outside right before the turn.  No luck.  Instead he found another gear and left me in the dusk.  I struggled over the last lap, covering it in 34 or 35 seconds.  Seeing 2:08 on the clock as I crossed the "dual finish line," my official time was 2:09.40.  While I wasn't thrilled, I wasn't devastated either.  I came away knowing what I have to work on.  Also, as it turns out, not counting my 2:02 split when we were chasing the world record at The Armory a few years back (2009), this was my second best season opener in the 800.  The best was January 5, 2013 at the University of Delaware where I dropped 2:07.

I felt good heading into my 200, which was scheduled for 4:00 but went off two hours later at about 3:30.  I started warming up just 15 or 20 minutes before the race.  I did a couple of starts and hard 25 meter dashes. We were not permitted to use starting blocks.  I was in heat 2, lane 4.  There were just three of us in my heat, maybe four.  Someone was in lanes 2 and 6 for sure.  I got out okay, and caught the guy on the stagger within the first 60 meters.  I tried to get my knees up and avoid too much of a back kick on the backstretch, thinking about a video clip I had recently seen.  I felt my feet sliding inside my spikes as I entered and made my way through the far turn.  I loosened my hand and drove up the homestretch.  Seeing 24 as I crossed the finish line(s), I was sure I had challenged the 25-second barrier.  Thus, I was bummed when I saw that I had run 25.52.  Yuck!  

I was happy for Bruce, who had a fine 400 and a powerful 200. His times were marginally better than what he posted at The Armory.  Moreover, he looked and felt better.  Leading the entire race, he made short work of crossing the 200 mark in 27-low.  Phil L. stayed within striking distance, but Bruce would prevail in 58-low.  Bruce's 200 was a brilliant 26.31(?).  Something tells me he could challenge the 26-second barrier.  

I headed for home at 4:00.

We're on our way!

Friday, January 8, 2016

I went home an ice cube.

Fri, 1/8-took off.

Thurs, 1/7-tried to workout early in the morn at 5:30.  I was wary b/c I couldn't find my good gloves.  I got to Westtown School, warmed up, and realized that my hands were too cold for comfort in the 20-degree weather.  I bagged the workout and decided to give it a shot in the afternoon.  I left the office early and headed to the track onsite.  The boys and girls track teams were practicing.  I warmed up, as they were completing what was likely a shorter practice due to Friday's meet.  Boy did I feel sluggish.  Out of respect, I waited a bit after stretching to get started.

My workout would be 8x150 with a 3:00 rest.  My goal pace was 20 seconds.


I could not manage to dip below 20 second.  WTF (Where's the fast?)

Wed, 1/6-went to the Y.

3x 6:00 at 7:00/mile pace
4:00 of upper body and lower body lifting in-between runs

Tues, 1/5-met up with a huge crew in town for the first hills workout.  The temp was 12 degrees.  My gloves sucked.  I had on my "good" pair, which were paired with my white Nolan painter's gloves.  This setup didn't hold up.  After 5 hills, my fingers were shot.  I had to head back to my car, which was parked at the top of the hill (thank goodness).  There were about 60 of us.  About 10 of us were loosely situated as the lead group (we were strung out over four to six seconds/20 to 25 meters).

I went home an ice cube.

Monday, 1/4-took off

Sunday, January 3, 2016

moderately paced

Sun, 1/3/16-

Used the XC course across the street to cover 4.65M (3 loops) in a moderately paced 34:20.  11:50/23:10 (11:20)/34:20 (11:10).

loop 1: 7:38 pace
loop 2: 7:18
loop 3: 7:13

Saturday, January 2, 2016

too much on my mind to fend off the workout demons

Saturday, Jan 2, 2016

Met up with the crew at Radnor HS at 9 AM.  About 12 of us showed: Mary, Rebecca, Carla, Neil and his girl, Bruce, Rob, both Chucks, Duncan, Bruce and me. 

The workout for Rob, Bruce, Duncan and me on this 35-degree, windy day was 2x (300m-500-400 w/neg-split last 100m).  My workout paces were supposed to be :32+15 (=:47 300m) . . . 66+15 (=1:21 500m) . . . 48+15 (=63 400m); 3-min btw reps/jog 1200 btw sets.  (We wound up taking 4:00 between repeats and 9:30 between sets.)  Rob and Bruce ran together and Duncan ran at another pace.

Warm up was ok, but my legs felt a little heavy. Stretching was fine, although I should have stretched more.  

As I look back on all of my 800 meter workouts, this one always gives me grief.  I began the first set with 32+15=:46-high.  We all felt that first effort!  After nearly 4:00 we took off for the 500.  I hit 32, 68, and, with a 16-second last 100, hit 1:24.  The 400 sucked terribly.  I hit 32/69.

Bruce headed to the john across the street for a little potty break.  

Set 2: I felt crooked from the start.  I hit 32+16=48-mid.  Going into the 500, I told myself to stay focused.  Then the demons got me.  After a 32-second first 200, I stopped at 250 meters.  I'd join the men on the 400, posting 32/48+16=64.  I'd also join Bruce on the second half of his 500 and the final 100 of his 400.  

Overall, I was a bit disappointed with my effort in this hard workout.  It was the terrible-awful!  And there was too much on my mind to fend off the workout demons.