Wednesday, July 19, 2017

speed endurance, strength

The road to Toronto has begun.

Last night I did a good strong 3 set power workout emphasizing the 'business parts' - 3 x 50-55 glute machine with 325 lbs, 3 x 15 squat jumps with 90 lbs, along with hip flexors, calves, adductors, and quads.  Usually only do one or 2 sets.

Today, everything fast.  It was an ass kicker but I felt strong, ran fast.  This was the biggest bang for the buck considering a total volume of 1400m.  Did more form and power drills to start.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
500m - 76.8 (60.8, 16) 
'split 500' - 300m - 41.5 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.5 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.5 
2 x 200m hill sprints ~ 41
The last 100m of the 500m felt ok, and the over all effort was tough, but not overly sickening considering this was one of my fastest 500s not in spikes.   The 300m was very hard, considering 41 in trainers, then to sprint 2 x 100 right afterward, that was killer.

I then hit the hill for 2 long steep hill sprints.  These were every bit as hard as an all out 300m.

I feel pretty light and strong.   Back on the protein and weights should make a difference.  Even after 2 days I feel stronger and I swear I could go out and run faster in training shoes this week than I ran at Nationals.

142.3 lbs after workout

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

reference: pre world workout summary

In the month between National and World indoor, I must have been doing something right, so I'm posting this summary for reference.  I did notice that I crammed in some consecutive days but due to the travel and meet schedule, I had a significant volume taper.  The last significant volume, and it was just moderate, I did 10 days before the 400m final, last hill sprints, 10 days before the 200m final.  Now, I have just 24 days before my 400m final at NCCWMA.

2/24 - 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 47.5, 48.5, 50.5, 49.5 (49 avg) 
200m (negative split) 27 (14.5, 12.5) 
2 x 200m hill sprints - 38, 42

2/26 - 
3 x 300m - 41, 42, 42.5 
2 x 100m - 13, 13

2/27 -
3 x 400m w/ 2 min rest - 68.5, 69.5, 70.5 
5 x 100m hill sprints w/ 2-3 min rest - 17.5-18.5

300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 41, 14.5 
300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 41.5, 14.5 
150m strider - 21

200m, 200m, 100m w/ 1 min rest - 27.5, 28.5, 14 
Puma spikes on 
3 x 40m from blocks 
3 x 100m from blocks (lane 2) ~ 13 
Hoka trainers on  
200m strider (relaxed) - 28

3/3 - 
4 x 150m - 20, 19, 19, 19.5

3/4 - race
400 - 55.79
200 - 24.92

3/6 -
2 x 300m w/ 2min rest - 47.5, 47.5 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 47, 49.5, 50, 49.5 
4 x 100m hill sprints w/ 2min rest ~ 18 
2 x 150m hill sprints ~ 27

3/7 - 
5 x 150 ~ 18.5-20

3/8 - 
'Split 700' - 500m - 82 / 90 sec rest / 200m - 29 
'Split 500' - 300m - 44 / 90 sec rest / 200m - 31.5

3/10 - 
4 x 300m w/ 2min rest - 47, 48.5, 49.5, 52.5 
400m - 61 (31.5/29.5)

3/11 - 
3 x 150m w/ 30 sec rest ~ 21.5 avg 
10 min rest
300m - 43.5

3/12 - 
'split 400' - 300m 41.5 / rest 60 sec / 100m - 14.5 
'split 400' - 300m 41.5 / rest 60 sec / 100m - 14.5 
5 x 100m hill sprints ~ 18

3/13 - 
Puma spikes on 
300m - 40.2 (25.9/ 14.3) 
Hoka trainers on 
3 x 150m w/ 30 sec rest ~ 21-22

3/15 - 
3 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 45.5, 47.5, 49.5

Puma spikes on 
300m - 39.5 (25.5, 14) 
2 block starts 
3 x 100m from blocks - 13-13.5 
Hoka trainers on 
200m / 70 sec rest / 100m - 26.5, 15

3/20 - 
3 x 100m ~ 13

3/21 -
200m  prelim - 25.05

3/22 -
200m prelim - 24.86

3/23 -
200m final - 24.82

3/24 - 
400m prelim - 58.5

3/25 - 
400m final - 55.17

Monday, July 17, 2017

Day four - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

I spent very little time in the stands watching but I did watch some of the 100m finals.  I was happy to have been in the stands when Julia Hawkins, whose daughter lives near me on the mountain, ran her world record 100m dash.  Julia is 101 years old and she was out there in her team USA uniform, in the 100+ degree heat, with a flower in her hair.   And she really ran it.   I was with Cheryl and Lorraine, and I said.... "that HAD to be a World Record."   I've seen other 100+ people "run" and well, they're not really running.  More of a fast walk... but Julia did run.  It was amazing.  Just to be out there in that heat, but to run 100m at age 101?   So inspiring.  I thought Walter Dix, Olympian would be inspiring to watch, running his first masters.... but Julia was awesome.  Her story has gone viral... world wide... Washington Post, UPI, Reuters, CNN, Chicago Tribune, etc....

Well, I thought I was ready... but not.  Apparently a 7 week training cycle after taking 3+ weeks off in May didn't get me back to where I should be for a championship race.   It's odd to run some of my fastest times indoors then 3 1/2 months later run some of my slowest times outdoors.  It's so inexplicable, I even thought about seeing my physician to see what might be wrong with me.  But I know... it was a lack of foundation, strength work and late cycle over training, trying to cram too many workouts in near the race.

A lot of my colleagues ran well and didn't medal, especially in the really competitive M50 age group.  So, winning a Silver is not a total fail.

My 200m final was simply embarrassing.  I've never run a championship race that slow: 25.75.   It was even slower than my first 200m split in the 400m final indoors in Korea.  I haven't run an outdoor 200m this slow in years.   I was feeling sluggish on Sunday, but ok save for a little soreness in the groin.  My plan was to get out fast and relax and try to catch the guys ahead on the straight.  I actually did get a decent start but relaxed and slowed way too much, allowing Rob to pass me.  And I just didn't feel the usual power halfway down the straight when I went for it.  It was a complete disaster.  I was stunned at how poorly I had done.

Since Indoor Nationals, I've run six 200s in 25.0 or less: 25.07, 25.05, 24.92, 24.86, 24.84, and 24.82.   The 24.84 I ran on a crappy college track in Sewanee would have medaled in this meet.  That's how far off my game I was.

Running 56.7 in the 400m, OK... I've got some work to do but I'm not that far off.  It was like a season opener type race.  But that 200m, was just on another league bad.  Whoever looks at these results will probably wonder what happened to me.  I can't really explain it ... but it is what it is.  Grade F fail.

Feet and groin are sore today, as I went out with my club at the end of the meet and ran a 4x400 relay in the M45 group.  We won and I put in about a 57 I think, it felt ok.  Didn't kill myself.  I deserved the punishment of another 400m after such  a shitty meet (for me).

I was really disappointed with the track.  It was the worst so-called Mondo surface I've ever seen.  It was dried up, hard as a rock, chewed up, and provided no spring.  Kind of reminded me of some old tartan tracks like the one at St. Andrews School.   It was heat damaged, so they say, and scheduled to be replaced.   The spikes made a clackity clackity sound when running on it.

NCCWMA Toronto is coming.  It leaves just 3 weeks for training and a taper.  The way forward won't be easy and I haven't much time, but I'm up to the challenge.  I'm determined to do what it takes to get back where I was in March, some redemption is in order.  That means a lot of serious work and respecting my recovery days.  I know what I have to do but sometimes I wonder if more than one peak per season / year is too much to expect?  It's going to be hard, painful, especially in the summer heat... but this is the last race of the season and once it's over, it's over.   I need to give it my best shot.  I'm hoping Corey will come, we had a great race at Nationals but I didn't deliver my A game.  I'd like to race him again.   Jim will be there, and he's always good solid competition.

On my feet all day working around the house, so my feet are pretty tired.   My training will resume tomorrow although I may or may not go to the track, I may just do weights.  I'll be in training in Sewanee this week, and Mobile the week after for a few days.

I've often though I have to work harder to get the same result as others.  This will be a test, I'm going to see what I'm made of in the next few weeks.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Day three - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

Again, to the chagrin of many (and even one belligerent protest), we took the 200m prelims indoors today at the USATF Outdoor Masters Championships due to an extended lightning delay.   We were minutes from taking the track to run outdoors when the weather delay began.  Of course I was digging the idea of racing indoors, but many were not.   At least one top athlete declined to race.   Grant it, the indoor 200m on an unbanked track is tough.  I narrowly won my heat but ran a slow time, more than a full second slower than in Korea.  (25.88) Surprisingly, it was 3rd fastest qualifying time in a very competitive semi.  I narrowly beat Rob, the 60m World Champion, but he was at a tremendous disadvantage having lane one.  With just 3 guys in the heat, don't know why they didn't run lanes 3, 4, 5.  

This 200m final tomorrow, I could easily take 5th... the way I've been running.   My chances for a medal are slim with 4 guys in the race having run 11.8. - 11.9 in the 100m, much faster than I've run.  Derek lost to World Champion Don by an eyelash in the 100m, 11.87 to 11.88, both blazing times.  They have the fastest qualifying times and will likely be Gold and Silver.  Val ran 11.92 in the prelims, but double false started and DQd in the 100m final.  Although I beat him last yr., he's in better form this year.  So, I'd have to beat both him and Rob to get the Bronze, and I doubt that will happen.  I have lane 3 with Don, Derek, and Val to my outside.  Don ran a blazing 24.99 in prelims ... on this track, that's fast.  Derek eased up and ran 25.79, Val easily won his heat in 26.02.

200m prelim M55 heat one

I think we'll get this race in before the rain since it's early, 10:30 am.   I'm supposed to race a 4x400m relay with the M45 guys at 1:45pm and I need to leave for the airport no later than 2:45pm, so if there's a delay, no relay.

AWARDS Banquet

Tonight was the awards banquet and seafood was on the menu.  It was good.  This was the 50th year of USATF Masters Track Championships and so it was a nice occasion.   I enjoyed the heartfelt speech by Bill Collins, overall Masters Athlete of the Year who despite having Guillain-Barré syndrome, has continued to set World Records as he did again today... running 12.34 100m into a headwind, at age 66.   Here are some photos...

Bill Collins overall Masters Athlete of the Year Award

Bill Collins, hero
Sandy and Cheryl
Emma, double World Champion sprinter

Ladies of Masters Track

Looking at the awards list, I was reminded that if I had not fallen one meter from the finish in the 400m final in Perth and gotten a medal, with 2 National Titles that year, I may have won another award.  However, there are inconsistencies... I remember a new comer at Nationals in 2014 winning the 400, 800, and 1500 and not getting this award.  Probably because no one knew his name, it was his first Nationals.  It seemed to me that the criteria was in 2015, you needed: '3 points' and any one of these would count as a point: National title, World Record, American Record, World Medal (any).  I had 2 titles and two WMA Medals that yr.

This year, there were the usual obvious awards, people who had many more 'points' than they needed, but a few had just two. Also, there were National Titles 'earned' when they were the only person in the race!  (Which I can't see how that would count).  I really do think there are some politics involved.  Perhaps it will become more uniform in the future.  If they go by the same system as 2015, I have '3 points', Indoor title, Gold and Silver in Daegu.  I also have a shot to add to this in Toronto, which will count toward the total.   I guess I even think about this since that disaster in Perth was so costly in an otherwise very good year, and this is the last year I had a good shot at winning Nationals and Worlds til I go up to M60.  But, being elite in this sport is extremely fragile.  One minor injury, not at your best, makes room for the next fastest guy.  And there are always talented newcomers entering, as we've seen this year.

Anyway, better sleep, tomorrow is my earliest race of the meet.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Day two - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

Didn't bring my A game but still took the Silver Medal today in the M55 400m.  56.78 is my slowest 400m in a championship race since my first Nationals in 2011.  Ironic that it occurred 3 1/2 months after my fastest championship 400m (55.17 - indoors in Korea).  Also ironic that it was slightly slower than the first 400m race of my life at age 51 (56.71).

It took me a while to get myself to watch the video, but before I did, I thought maybe I went out too slow.  After watching the video, my splits seemed ok, it was just my last 100m.  I rigged and didn't produce.  My 300m was right around 40 flat but my last 100m was a struggling 16.5 ish+.   Really awful.  I usually run this last 100m in at least 15 high, which would bring me in at 55 high, but not today.   I don't know what to attribute my poor performance to except possibly over training or not enough foundation.  Not really sure.  Maybe the heat?  Seems like I worked hard enough, but I guess not.  Maybe not enough recovery and not enough volume.  Just don't know.  Maybe I didn't have my mind right today.

This was the end of a 2 year winning streak that included these four USATF titles: outdoor '15 Jacksonville, indoor '16 Albuquerque, outdoor '16 Grand Rapids, and indoor '17 Albuquerque.  

It's been quite a run these past 2 years: 4 National Championships (400m), 1 World Championship (200m), 1 World Silver (400m), 2 World Bronze (400m, 200m),  2 Silver and 2 Bronze (200m) at Nationals, a USATF Age Group Athlete of the Year in '15, and a World Record in the 4 x 200m.   I guess, writing this all is a way of making me feel better for losing today.  It's OK.  I didn't win any national medals at all in 2014, so I'm ok with it.   Just wish I had run a better time.  I still have the fastest M55 time in the US in the 400m that I ran at a college meet back in April, a full second faster than I ran today.

It was nice that Corey's dad, age 85 was here to see him win.  This is his second National title.

The 200m is going to be real tough this year to medal in judging by the incredible M55 100m prelims.  3 guys, Val, Don, and Rob all ran under 12 in the 100m.   Faster than I've ever run, so they'll likely be the favorites for the medals in the 400m.   Since I rigged up today in the 400m, feel a bit beaten and not real optimistic.  We'll see how the prelims go tomorrow.

Out for some seafood with my fellow tracksters... John, Ray, Nick, me, Rob, Cheryl.   57 is the new 40.  Livin' well.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Day one - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

It was an unprecedented day in Nationals Masters track championships.  I did not race, my age group rolled to a final because of a few scratches, we have final of 9 people.   After continuous lightning delays, races that were scheduled to go down at 3:30pm, still hadn't run by 6pm so the decision was made to run the remaining heats of the 400m prelims, and the Pentathlon 200m and 1500m indoors, on the flat 200m indoor track.  According to all I had talked with, this was unprecedented - using an indoor track for a championship outdoor meet.  For the 400m, it's really a completely different race.  Of course this would nullify any records that might be set.

When I first heard, I broke the news to a bunch of M50 colleagues, and they couldn't believe it.  Some had never run indoor track.  I told Lee B. and he said it was a big mental adjustment to 'get his mind right' to run an unexpected indoor 200m at an outdoor meet.  I seriously doubt they would do this for the finals tomorrow, even though there is a 60%+ chance of storms at race time.  Some people simply do not run indoor track and have never raced on a 200m oval.  I think Corey for one.  I proceeded to make a joke and start telling everyone they were going to run the 100m tomorrow starting on the turn indoors.   Robert T. who was incredulous that they were even doing this said, 'Yea, they probably would.'  Everyone thinks these 400m prelims were a waste of time and they should have run 2 heat finals tomorrow where necessary, as they did at Jacksonville in '15 when bad weather hit during the prelims.

I'm thankful everyone used fairly honest seed times for tomorrow's M55 400m final.  I'm in a good lane, lane 5 with 2 of my major competitors to my outside in 6 and 7 - Corey and David.  Jim has lane 4, so he can see all of us as the race will be in 4,5,6,7.   Jim is in good shape, but no telling what shape Corey is in ... he hasn't raced since Perth, 11/16.  That's a long time ago, although he looks fit, says his training has gone well, has a lot of experience and a World Championship.      Anyway, it'll be good to see him since I ran blind to him last 2 times we raced.  Seeing him may help me from going out too fast.

Anyway, I went out and warmed up today and did a few 50 - 60m sprints in spikes and it felt good.  I should be good to go.

Here's a photo of Ben running the first indoor 400m (M60 prelim) ever contested in an outdoor championship meet.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pre race day - USATF Masters Nationals, LSU

I flew to Baton Rouge through Houston.  Houston Bush airport was really quite nice compared to some I've been in lately (like LAX).

Yes it's humid here, but seems like a world of difference whether or not it is sunny or cloudy.   In the direct sun, it can feel like 110º, but in the shade...  only about 100º.  

Arriving on the LSU campus, the USATF people who were there to pass out packets didn't show up as advertised.  They were supposed to be there 4-6 pm.  They were an hour late and a huge line formed inside the air conditioned field house.  So instead of standing in line, I took a walk around the field house and looked at the LSU track memorabilia and records.  Wow, what a tradition.  More on that below.  So, I went shopping and had dinner and 90min later, I arrived just in time to get my bib before they packed up.  I saw Ray and we chatted a while.

The track is nice, except I think it's closer to an equal quadrant (long straights) than an IAAF.  IAAF tracks, the straight is 85m, equal quad it's 100m.  All Mondo surface, and in decent but not perfect shape.  The heat won't be as much of a factor due to the fact that the air conditioned field house indoor track will be available for warmups.  It's only about a 200m walk from the field house to the starting line.

Won't know til tomorrow if we'll run a 400m prelim.  If so, it'll be kind of dumb... just to eliminate a few guys for the final.  I remember in Korea, the M50 guys had to run 3 rounds of the 400m, 2 in one day,  just to eliminate one guy.  Pretty crazy.  I hope we don't end up in that situation.

This race takes on special significance for one of my main competitors, M55 world champion Corey.  His dad grew up here in Baton Rouge right near the college.  His dad was unable to attend LSU because of his race and instead attended the historically black college in town, Southern University, where one of the athletic buildings is named for his brother.  He is 85 and will be here to watch us race.

I was amazed at the rich history of LSU track.  Winning an NCAA Relay Championship, or a Penn Relays Championship is a big deal for a college.   LSU has huge walls full of these awards.  Olympians are represented in some of the facility records.  Here's a panoramic shot of the LSU Penn Relay Championship wheels.  70 in all I think.  (I think MTSU has just 2).  In '06 LSU won 5 in all.

Penn Relays Championship wheels won by LSU

Here's a few shots of the indoor and outdoor tracks at LSU.

panoramic shot from the center of the homestretch looking across the track
Tiger Stadium on the right, Pete Maravich Arena (the white round building) center.  

My suite at Staybridge is awesome... less than 2 miles from the track.  Fully equipped kitchen, granite counter tops, even a dishwasher.  A living room and separate bedroom, TV's in each room.   I ended up getting a VW Beetle turbo convertible.   Although I won't be putting the top down, it's a fast and fun car to drive.

Don't worry, I won't wreck it.