Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 USATF Masters Indoor Championships - day 1

Not happy about my race today.  I had the opportunity for another National Title served up to me on a silver platter, and I generally blew it.  I can't believe this race was won in 57.9 and I couldn't even manage that.   I knew I wasn't in the best shape, with these foot issues, but I generally took my training seriously and put a lot of effort into it.  But, sometimes the result is just not commensurate with the pain and effort.  Perhaps this is the beginning of my downward slide.  James warned me of this, he said the time will come where we just can't do the same workouts, or run as fast.  I'm still stubborn to not accept that, although the foot injuries did not help.  After beginning the season with a 57 flat, then coming out and running a 58.5 today, after 2 more months of training, it's discouraging to say the least.  To get so much slower in just a year is really hard to fathom.

400m Silver Medal - 58.57

Yes, the track was slow compared to Vandy or a banked 200m track.  Generally about a second slower.  Still, I've run mid-low 57s on tracks like this, so maybe I'm not too far off.

I keep reminding myself of Gerhard's breakout performance as an M60 in Perth when he ran 55.05 / 24.65.  I just hope I have that in me if I can get healthy and train the way I need to.  But it may not be enough.  My zeal for competition probably has robbed me of some longevity in this sport and is taking a toll.  I think this is about my 105th meet since I started running Masters.   That's a lot.  53 college meets after age 50.

The Race
Humphreys, the guy that beat me today, I knew was capable, as he ran a 55.6 last yr outdoor, but he's 59 yrs old and he's never run under 58 indoor before today, and he didn't use blocks and had his knee taped.   So he was surprising.  Marcus was not in shape and didn't medal.

I felt a significant disadvantage in lane 6, running totally blind.   I went out fairly conservative in 27 for the first 200, but still easily won the break.  On the back stretch of the second 200, I relaxed a bit too much and looked around a bit.  I was really expecting Marcus to pass me, but he was no where.  I should have tried to build a lead at that point but I didn't and Humphreys tucked in behind me and passed me coming off the last turn.  I didn't rig up, I probably could have pushed it a bit more but I was seriously afraid of rigging hard like I did in my previous meet when I went out in 26.

I need to remind myself of 2014 when I went to Boston and competed in all 3 sprints and didn't medal.  I need to remind myself that the journey is important and winning isn't everything.

The age group below mine is particularly competitive, and I was happy to see John Curtis win his first National Title.  He ran an amazing 55.18 which on this track would be like running sub 54 outdoor.

I think I've been spoiled in that since '12, I've run in 9 National Championship 400m races, won 5 Gold and 3 Silver.  That's not a bad string.

This was a pretty weird day, my hotel went on lockdown with a domestic dispute that required a SWAT team and even rerouting traffic.  It was really crazy.  I did not leave my room after the police told me to go, if I had, I would have missed my race entirely.   One of my teammates Wally had that happen to him.

After my race I hung out at the track meet and talked with my track friends and watched the meet.  Afterward we went out to the Peruvian chicken place across the street and I ate an uncharacteristically huge meal.  I almost feel like I was giving up.  I seriously doubt I'll do much in the 200m and my hips and feet are hurting.   Definitely scratching from tomorrow's 60m race, so I have a day to recover.

My Peruvian friends, Roxanne and Lucho
Anyway, it's good to be here and see my track family.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

on my way

Update: my plane was pulled off the runway for a mechanical issue.  This significantly diminishes my chances for getting to the facility in time to try out the track and pick up my packet.  Will be delayed at least an hour, maybe 2.

Update 2.
Boarding a second plane. Was supposed to arrive 4:35,  will be lucky to get there by 6:35, track closes at 7, won't make it...but may have a shot at getting my packet before 8 when it closes.

Final Update:
After a wrong turn, I made it to the track 5 min before the desk closed, picked up my packet and even got a hasty light workout in on the track, but not in spikes.

The track is a nice surface, but the turns are tight and lanes are very narrow, seem like less than a meter.

Definitely feel the friction when sprinting the turns.  I think times should expect to be 1.1 sec slower than a banked track.  I have never run under 57 on a flat 200m track.  I think a 57 could win this, depending on who's in shape.

Glad I got this workout in, felt ok, just a hasty warmup and a slight sweat.
Hoka trainers on 
200m warmup, stretches 
50m strider 
2 x 60m from blocks 
100m, 150m from the 400m start
After finding my hotel, I found the most excellent food right across the street, a Peruvian chicken and fish place.  Wow.   Had just a grilled chicken breast and a salad, was tempted to eat more but I'm too heavy as it is.  Amazingly, after dinner Wed. night, I was pushing 148.  I'll probably race about 145.  Amazingly, I was 141.5 after some workouts last week.  Strange.

I'm fairly sure if I go out tomorrow in 26 flat, I'll rig in the end.  Might be better to aim for 26 high + 29.5 - 30.   This is no Albuquerque.  Kind of unfortunate since the Europeans are now logging times from their championships on banked tracks.

200m flat Mondo

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day off

Just stretching, rolling, and some light resistance bands.  Travel to Nationals in Landover tomorrow. Coming in at 5, rush hour.  Going to wear my track stuff on the plane and hopefully do a shake out tomorrow on the competition track, hope to get there by the time it closes at 7 and pick up my packet.
Race Friday at 1pm.  Wow, 1219 registered competitors, one of the biggest ever Indoor Masters Nationals.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

shake out

At the MTSU track for a light workout.  50º, sunny, and windy.  Was a bit achy from the Sunday speed work so I did a long warmup, and a few light runs, didn't take off my sweats.
Hoka trainers on 
800m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 50m strides 
200m - 30 / 1 min rest / 100m on grass - 15 
100m stride on grass 
Felt really sluggish and achy in the feet and a bit in the hips when I started...  but felt better after the warmup, and will continue to heal over the next few days.  May go out tomorrow and do something similar.  Still don't feel like I did last year when I was rippin' 39 sec 300s a week before Daegu.  But it is what it is, 5 months of training this season and 8 yrs of masters track is taking a toll on my almost 58 yr old body.   Low expectations for Nationals.

145.5 lbs after workout.   Inexplicably heavy today, probably because of the big meal at the Mexican restaurant last night.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

speed and blocks

After yesterday off, I went to the track in Sewanee, 56º cloudy, light breeze.  Didn't want to do too much but I got the blocks out for the first time in a month.

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 50m striders  
Puma spikes on 
3 x 50m from blocks 
200m event run from blocks (400m pace, beep start command, from 400m start) - 26.3 
100m event run from blocks (400m pace, beep start command, from 400m start) - 12.9 
Hoka trainers on 
100m event run from blocks (400m pace, beep start command, from 400m start) - 13.2 
3 x 100m w/ 30 sec rest - 14.5, 14, 15

Although the plantar issue in my left foot is very much improved, the right foot is an issue and I had to take off the spikes after a few sprints.  I hit my pace times for the 200 and 100 but, that's never been a problem.  It the last 200 that's the issue.  The starts felt a little clunky.  Tomorrow calls for cold weather, rain changing to snow.   I may take tomorrow off and do a little shake out Tues and Wed.  Leave Thurs for Nationals.

142.0 lbs after workout, surprising after a guitar festival paella party.

Friday, March 9, 2018

split 400 / hills

After a day off I hit the track today and brought my spikes.  56º, sunny and breezy at the Sewanee track.   Not sure what I wanted to do, feet weren't feeling great and I knew I didn't want to do too much.  So I put the spikes on, they felt ok.

Hoka trainers on
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m accelerations 
Puma spikes on 
300m - 41.2 / 1 min rest / 100m - 15 
Hoka trainers on 
200m hill sprints - 39, 41

I was pretty disappointed in my first outing in spikes in 4 weeks.  I'm simply no where near where I was last year.  Last year I was actually running 40 flat 300s and feeling like I still had some left in the tank.   Today, just over 41 and barely making it.  Based on what I ran today, I'd be hard pressed to break 58 on a 200m flat track.  I'm definitely not in 'championship' shape.  Not feeling really ready to race a 400m.

After the 300m, I went down to the steep part of Roarke's Cove Rd to run the hill.  It's a steep hill but it gets even steeper near the top, the last 50m is the steepest part.   And I really busted my ass.   The first hill sprint was hard, but the second one, about 5-6 minutes later was unbelievable.  I actually pushed to the point of failure about 2 or 3 steps from the top.  It was like lifting where you just can't do another rep.  I just collapsed in the road.  I couldn't even walk for a few minutes, my glutes were burning and I was aerobically maxed out.  I finally made it back to my car, went home and had a protein shake and sat in my hot tub.

I think it's a bit too late to do any serious conditioning workouts after today, but still want to run some hard 150's, do some starts, and maybe a 300m event run.  At least the left plantar issue has improved.  It's the right foot that is more the issue now.

142.5 lbs after workout.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

split 400

Dark and cold today in Sewanee, a return to winter.  It was supposed to clear up and get up to 40º but it didn't do either.  36º, cloudy and breezy at the Sewanee track.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 50m striders 
'split 400' - 300m - 41.3 (27, 14.3) / 1 min rest / 100m - 15
Last year I did two of these split 400s and 5x100m hills a week before Daegu.  The 300m was straight turn straight and I felt pretty tight toward the end, which doesn't bode well for a 400m.  I did run this one about the same time as I did last year but I feel this was greater effort.

Of course I wanted to do more but need to save the feet, and not much time.  I play a concert tomorrow and will take the day off, have a rehearsal tonight with a violinist.  Friday I have shopping, cleaning, and guests arriving late afternoon so hoping to get a brief workout in early afternoon.  A lot of multi tasking and will be glad to get this festival underway and my concert over with.  I'll be hosting guests for 5 nights beginning Friday.  They leave Wednesday and I leave for Nationals the next day.  Training weather looks ok except for rain Sat. afternoon - Sunday morning, about 50º.  Beginning Friday, I have 6 days before I leave, I will likely train lightly: Fri, Sun, Tues, Wed.

143.2 lbs after workout.  Good to eat bread again.