Thursday, June 30, 2011

Still recovering

Looks like this week is shot. Would have been a perfect morning to train, cool, low 60s. My abs are still not ready to run.

Looking for other ways to exercise, I tried doing laps in the pool with vigorous kicking on my back and was amazed at the level of quad fatigue. I never imagined that such a muscular workout could be had just kicking in the pool.

I did resistance yesterday and will do more today. After just 2 x 10 lengths of my little pool, I feel as if I've run 10+ stadium stair flights, and I'm as winded as after a 90% 200m. It really is a perfect exercise for me now. Small range of movement but its obviously working something that I'm not used to working.

I also ordered some hanging ab elbow straps for leg raises. These attach to my pullup bar.

The nature of my ab injury is such that it hurts more to do split leg things than legs together... i.e. leg lifts with feet together don't hurt as much as laying on the edge of the bed and doing a bicycling motion with my legs, or doing deep stepping lunges. Improvement is slow. I guess I have no choice but to take this week off. I may try to run Friday night or Saturday morning, it will be my last chance this week before I go out of town on Sat-Sun. I'll be in Sewanee on Monday July 4 and would like to begin training in earnest by then. I feel like I'm slipping backward and need to get back to it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My abs are still sore today so I'll not run. Resistance, including a visit to the MTSU weight room this evening. I think some cross training is in order, swimming and biking sound good.

I have a vulnerability in my lower abs so I will be working to correct that. I'd like to get some of those elbow slings where I can hang from a bar and do leg raises.

The deadline for regular registration for the Nationals is Friday. Interesting to see the list grow each day of entrants. On the list is last years M45 silver medalist - M. Sullivan, who has run sub 52 in the 400m will likely be the top of the class in M50. I'm sure we'll see the 'usual suspects' enter in the next few days. It should be a crazy competitive event and by no means am I likely to be a finalist or medalist.

I still think I can improve to at least the mid 54's if my training goes well. The track at Baldwin Wallace is one of the fastest ... they say there are only 4 like it in the world. Same track as was used in the '08 Beijing Olympics.

The Mondo track at Baldwin Wallace:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day off

My lower abs are so sore it hurts to walk, so I guess I better not run. Too bad, a perfect day to train, cool and cloudy. I don't know how to overcome this ab issue. Strengthening exercises just make it hurt more. I guess just rest.

Today I will be registering for the 400m and the 200m events in the USATF Masters Nationals in Cleveland beginning July 28, '11

Monday, June 27, 2011

Speed workout - 6/27/11

Long sprints - speed workout

It was 8:oo pm but still warm, 82º and very humid. I was hoping it would rain tonight as there was a severe thunderstorm watch, but nothing.

After a lot of conjecture on how to proceed, I started with a speed workout.

This was a bitch:

800m warmup, lots of dynamic stretching, drills

spikes on

200m - strider (80%) 28.5

sprints at 85-95% effort with full recovery:

2 x 400m - 57.5, 59.5

2 x 300m - 42, 44

200m - 28

training shoes on

200m - strider

It felt hard, especially after the second 400. My lower abs started hurting again. I was going to start a morning workout routine tomorrow but I don't know if I can do it after tonight.

According to some research I've read, the top 3 training regimes for the 400m focus on:
  • 100s run at close to full speed with full recoveries (5-8 minutes)
  • 300s run at close to full speed with full recoveries (8 minutes or longer)
  • 400s run at close to full speed with short recoveries (3 minutes)
The first for speed, the second for speed endurance, and the third for endurance.

Obviously the last one is the most painful.

I need core and resistance work, maybe some rest too. We'll see how I feel in the morning. I think my fitness level will now support consecutive days of running workouts but no more than 2 per week (4 days).

The will to prepare

Iska's Dad asked me last night, is it worth it? Good question.

Well, I have little else to do. I'm on vacation.

Considering the investment is more of effort than time, I'd say yes, it's worth it. Will I do this next year? I don't know. That t-shirt slogan I quoted last post comes to mind:

"The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare."

From what I've read, long sprinters must rely partly on aerobic capacity, which is what I think I'm missing so, on coach Page's advice, I'm going to add some distance intervals to my weekly regime. I'm thinking 2 0r 3 one mile runs under 6:20 with 6 min in between. (maybe not...):

Coach Carver has a different opinion:
"I don’t agree that you need to work on your aerobic base. That is not very relevant to the 400 which is almost completely anaerobic. I think 3 X mile would do more harm than good for a 200/400 man trying to peak. A 3 X mile workout is almost a pure aerobic workout and you are not a 5K man at this point.

In my opinion, you should keep doing your sprint and resistance training and thereby keep your speed at your max level. The change in your training to make the 400 finish stronger is to work on your speed/endurance (which is neither speed nor endurance; it’s a mix of both). It is almost counter intuitive but in order to finish faster in the 400, you need to run workouts slower than your 400 pace, but not slow. Most sprint workouts are done at high speed with almost complete recovery. Most endurance workouts are done much slower with little recovery.

With speed/endurance you are trying to find a magic point in between. And you want to concentrate on form and balance as you tire. The speed of these workouts won’t get you, especially on the first couple.

Workouts to build speed/endurance based on your current 400 time of 55/56:

5 X 300 in 48 with a 300 walk recovery.

4 X 400 in 66-68 with a 400 walk recovery.

3 X 500 in 1:25 with a 400 walk recovery.

It is critical (a) that you don’t run faster than the target (even if you can) and (b) you stick tight to the recovery. The exception to the rule about recovery would be that you might discover that you want more than that on the last couple but you want to try to stick to it anyway (it will teach you to run strong despite being fatigued).

If you do this once a week and keep doing the sprint work, you should see an improvement in your ability to maintain your speed longer in the 400."

I think if I can be more disciplined in limiting my recovery, then I should be able to increase my speed endurance. So, instead of running mile repeats, I'll do some workouts as 'speed' with full recovery, and some workouts for 'endurance' slower pace with limited recovery. I admit, I've not been regimented on my recovery time in workouts.

Including today, I have 26 training days before the TN Games. Unlike previous meets, I feel no soreness today so I'll begin tonight:

I think I'll structure this coming week like:

Mon- long sprints 400s, 300s, 200s w/ full recovery: speed
Tues- Long intervals with measured rest (500s) - endurance
Wed- resistance
Thurs- sprints 300s/200s/100s, blocks w/ full recovery: speed
Fri- shorter intervals with measured rest 300s or 400s - endurance
Sat- resistance, plyos
Sun- rest

This may be to ambitious.... let's see how it goes.

With my 200 speed, I should be capable of a sub 54.00 400. I was reminded on Sat. : this race is a bitch.

Last night I gorged on a huge meal. It was Iska's mother's birthday. I ate all sorts of food I never eat - roasted potatoes, pie and ice cream (first time this year). I weighed 147.6 last night... 10 lbs heavier than I raced at just 36 hr before ... a testament of how much the gut can hold. This morning I'm already down to 143 after expunging waste. I can only imagine how quickly I could put on 10 lbs if I ate 3 meals today and did nothing but ride the couch. Screw that.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alabama Sports Festival Track and Field Meet - 6/25/11


I was hoping for a PR in the 400m and didn't get it, despite a decent performance: 55.87. My 'breakout' race was the 100m, my best FAT time of the season: 12.26. The 12.26 indicates I am at about 92.7% of my highschool speed (based on an 11.1 h converted to 11.35 FAT). This is only the third 100m FAT time I've had this season, excluding the race where I injured a hamstring.

This meet was difficult. Literally HUNDREDS of heats. An all-ages meet where the vast majority of participants were under 12 yrs old. There was no real Masters competition in my age group, so the medals are really meaningless, but a nice memento. My heats had ridiculously varied ages. Masters and Open division runners seemed to be placed purely by random, ages 20s to 70s. It was HOT, in the mid 90's and no shade. What made it difficult was the meet's rolling schedule where I had no idea how long before I would run, which resulted in a lot of standing around in the heat.

The 100m
I got a decent start, maybe the best of the season. It was a bit disconcerting that I broke a shoelace grommet on my Nike R3s spikes as I was tieing my shoes just before the race. Fortunately, it was not the top grommet. We had a full heat of 8, age ranges from 20s to 60s - Masters and Open. I finished second in my heat, beating mostly younger sprinters. My time was the best overall among 9 Masters competitors. It was a nice tight fast red track. I reminded myself in the last half to relax. No pulls or strains, but I did feel a little something in my upper left quad. It was a little sore after the race but not at all a significant issue. It was a full hour later than I expected to run, finally got off about 11am. Started warmups by 9:15. Had to keep loose for along time. I wish I would have run this race at SE Masters. Would have won handily.

I drew lane 7 and got out fast. I did not see anyone during the race until the 25 yr old in lane 2 pulled up even with me on the home stretch. I felt paralyzed in the last 100m. The last 100m must have been 16+ sec. I was not mentally ready for this race. It was pretty gut wrenching and I felt a little sick afterward. Looking at the race clock, I thought I had a shot at a PR since the clock seemed to click 55 just as I crossed. But, I missed it by 0.33. The 25 yr old finished first in the heat, beating me by 2 sec.

Didn't happen... I waited for hours. All the 400 heats lasted 2 hours. I couldn't believe it. Then the hurdle events and the 800m was scheduled before the 200m. There was a 30 min lightning delay as a storm approached. It was 5:30pm and my 400 was done before 3 pm. I checked once more and as they were deciding whether or not to cancel, I then decided to leave. It would have been after dark by the time the 200m would be contested. While driving home, I heard a severe thunderstorm warning for that area, so I'm almost sure the meet was canceled. Disappointed to not increase my seed time for the Nationals.

Moving forward
I don't know what I have to do to get faster in the 400. As painful as it will be, I will have to start doing longer and faster workouts. Maybe some foundational 500s and 600s, and multiple 400s at 60 or less. It will be painful. Right now I can not sprint effectively for 400m. 300m yes, but not 400. I'll bet I can run a 300m at or under 40. If I can just muster a 14.5 last 100m, that's all I need. The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare.

I 'repaired' my Nike R3 Superflys by punching a new hole for the shoelace. I cut off the top velcro strap which had become ineffective. I've run about 2 dozen races in these and they seem to be coming to the end of their life. These great shoes are the same shoes that Walter Dix just won the 100m National Championship in. But, this has been a hell of an active season... for an old guy.

All my PR times are under the TN Senior Games records for the 100/200/400. That will be my next meet - in 4 weeks.

Picture from the event... virtually all of the sparse crowd was hiding under umbrellas or tents.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pre race day 6/24/11

Wow, where has June gone?
Time flies when you have something to do.

I'm ready for tomorrow's AL State Games which is not my favorite type of meet since it is an all-ages event. There will probably be many heats of kids of all ages, probably lengthening the meet. By the time the 200m is contested, it should be nice and hot. It may be close to 100º.

Unfortunately, I have a slight lower abdominal strain... don't know where that came from. It won't affect my racing but it is an annoyance. I've had a similar issue on the left side all season, and that finally had gone away when this new strain on the right side appeared. These types of things are barely noticeable when warmed up and ready to run, but do affect core work training. I need to look into ways of stretching and warming the lower abs as a part of my warmup.

My weight is excellent, 136.4 this morning, right on target.

This will be my last meet for a month and I hope it goes well. I really don't want to run in a meet close to the TN State meet and the National Championships. The only other meet I know of between now and then is in Tallahassee on July 9, and I think I'll have to pass. Flying to meets, with car rental and hotel can cost $500-600. Besides, here it is summer and my boat still sits on jack stands. In 21 years of owning this boat, it has never sat so long. Time to get back to nature and out on the water. I'd like to take the boat to Centerhill Lake for a few days and run those huge hills at the State Park.

I'll have 4 weeks to train for the TN State meet and the Masters Nationals after tomorrow's meet is over. It will be nice to spend time at Iska's place - perfect place to train. Sewanee's track is excellent and up on the mountain, it is several degrees cooler compared to where I live, especially in the mornings.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Light night sprints

On the track tonight for some light work with the blocks.

It was a gorgeous night, about 75º and big thunderstorm clouds in the distance, a fresh breeze was blowing.

800m warmup and drills.

spikes on

All from blocks:

2 x 100 - on the curve
2 x 200 - 27, 28
10 starts - 7 on the curve, 3 straight

training shoes on
400m sprint jog with leaps and skips

Going to do a set of preventative resistance band work for my hams, quad and hip flexors.

Tomorrow, I plan to just do a light jog and drills.

My weight is right on track... 136.8 after workout.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Masters Nationals - more competitive than they used to be

Interesting stat:

In every USA National Masters Championship meet from 2003-2009 - 7 years in a row - my PR 400m time of 55.54 would have medaled... at least third in M50.

But last year is the exception. In 2010, 55.54 would just have clinched a sixth place!

The M50 400m is as competitive as it has ever been in recent history. But again, it depends on who shows up. With many of the top masters athletes gunning for the World Masters Assoc. Games this year in the USA (Sacramento - in early July), I would expect an exceptionally competitive meet this year. Many will be ready.

Stormy Wednesday

Up at 4:45 am, I was on the track before sunrise and the sky looked ominous. Checking the radar on my phone, I could see rain coming but still far enough away to get in a workout. ... or so I thought.

800m warmup, dynamic stretches, drills

spikes on

200m - 29
400m - 60 (28, 32)
300m - 46
4 x 200m - 29, 28, 27, 29

After the second 200 in the last set of 200s, it started raining... hard. I retreated under the bleachers. It let up to a light rain and I went back out and did 2 more 200s, hoping I would not get struck by lightning. Then it really came, lightning and hard rain. I was planning to do one more 200 and a few 100s but after checking the radar, it looked like it would not be letting up soon so I left. Iska was at my house and I looked forward to tea with her.

Since my workout was relatively light and my calves are only slightly sore from the stadium steps, I may return tomorrow for another light workout with blocks and short sprints... and I may do some plyos later. I started wearing liner socks with my spikes and it is much more comforable than barefeet and tape. Since I had a big meal last night with Iska, I'm heavy... 140.8 after workout. Plenty of time to get to race weight by Sat.

I've run 3 FAT timed 400s since April, every one a PR. I'd sure like to get another this weekend but 55.54 will be hard to beat. Depending on who shows up at the Nationals, to even have a chance to medal, I'd have to be well under 55.00, maybe 54.00, which may be out of reach for me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer solstice stadium stair sprints

The longest day of the year, I was determined to see it all - including the sunrise. I walked into the MTSU football stadium at 5:30 am and watched the sunrise from the top of the stairs.

Note: the stadium stairs on the home side of the field that I run are continuous, not in two sections like the part of the stadium in the photo.

Last time I ran stadium stairs I did 20 and was sore for 3 days. So today I did:

16 stadium stair sprints

2 x 100 yard sprints on the field at 90%

Later, I'll do some upper body work.

My weight is back under control: 138.4 after workout.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday - back to work

These are the longest days of the year and it's hard to beat the sun to the track. I walked onto the Dean Hayes track at MTSU just before 6 am and the sun was up, temperature 72º, and a nice breeze.

I did my usual hard long-sprint workout, 2000m - but in a slightly different configuration. Felt pretty hard but maybe not as hard as in Miami.

800m warm up, stretches and drills

feet taped, spikes on

400m - 59.5

4 x 300m - 47, 45.5, 46.5, 47

2 x 200m - 29, 28

I really started 'feeling it' after that second 300m. I never pushed it really hard today but it was exhausting. Nice to be done and home by about 7 am.

I am heavy, about 141.2 before the workout. Will lighten up by this weekend's meet ... my 13th track meet this season.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Photo - 100 meter race: Southeastern Masters Championships

Southeastern Masters 100m race.

In this heat-

mixed mens age divisions: 40-44, 45-49, and 50-54.

Winner of this heat:
J. Robinson - lane 2, age 42

R. Stuart - lane 7, age 50

William Yelverton - lane 4, age 50

This race I should have won. My age group competition (M50) is in lane 7 and it appears I have a slight lead over him here with just 20m to go. (click photo to enlarge) I must have tied up at the end to lose this race in a photo finish, settling for the M50 Silver medal. The winner exhibits a superior relaxed form compared to my strained effort.

Need to stay loose!! heh... new mantra:

Stay loose .... or lose.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Miami sunrise... on the track

After a successful solo concert at the Miami International Guitar Festival, I was up at 5 am for some coffee and to hit the University of Miami track ... which was conveniently located 1/4 mile from my hotel.

After scaling a locked chain link fence gate to get in, I started my warmup jog. The sun still not yet up, it was in the mid-upper 70s and humid. This track, that I had never run on in my 2 years as a graduate music student at UM, was an exceptionally fast track. Very tight red rubber. My times were faster than last workout since I gave myself longer recovery, it seemed harder to catch my breath in the heavy humid sea level salt air.

800m warm up, drills

spikes on

2 x 400m - 59.5, 61
2 x 300 - 45, 45
2 x 200 - 29, 29
2 x 100 - curve 13, straight 13

I was pretty beat after the 300s and my 200s were pretty slow but my 100s were at 90%

Nice to be back at my alma mater. Happy that my concert went ok and that I had this opportunity to workout.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Photo - 200 meter race: Southeastern Masters Championships

Close race...

200 meter race. M50

Gold Medal: Rohan Stuart
lane 6

Silver Medal: William Yelverton
lane 2

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Early on the track - 6/15/11

I was up at 5:30am and on the track at 6:15 after my usual hot tub and stretches.

Looks like I have a damn cold coming on. The sore throat will probably move into my lungs before long.

Cool this morning, upper 60s. Still a bit sore from Saturday's race, but I must train today because I definitely can't on Thurs and Fri as I'm off to Miami.

I wasn't ready to give everything on this one, but a good solid effort.

800m warmup and drills

spikes on

2 x 400 - 62, 61.5
2 x 300 - 46, 46
2 x 200 - 29, 29

The first 400 felt easy. I concentrated most on attacking the second turn and staying loose up the final 100m. The last 200s felt faster than they actually were. Probably just tired.

I'm booked to run a triple again on June 25 at the AL State Games in Birmingham. My flight is also booked for Cleveland and the USATF Masters Nationals where I'll do the 200m and 400m. With the TN Senior Games State meet the preceding weekend, that's a lot of racing in a week. In the unlikely event I make the finals in both the 400 and 200, that is 7 races in 8 days (times are approximate):

7/23 - 9 am: TN Games 400m
7/23 - 7 pm: TN Games 100m
7/24 - 9 am: TN Games 200m
7/28 - 2 pm: Nationals 400m prelims
7/29 - 1 pm: Nationals 400m final
7/30 - 4 pm: Nationals 200m prelims
7/31 - 1 pm: Nationals 200m final

The slowest qualifying times for the 400m final are usually around or below 57. For the 200m, low 25's. The prelims are truly races where, depending on the number of heats, a certain few top place winners automatically qualify for the finals, regardless of time. There are circumstances where slower runners qualify for the finals because they drew a slow heat. For example, one guy ran over 58 in the prelims last year and made the finals where a faster runner who ran 57 didn't because of his heat. Anyway, the competition is fierce and judging by the roster of US M50 400m runners at the World Games in Sacramento, I'd be extremely lucky to make the finals in either event. There are 9 US runners at the WMA Games that have submitted seed times faster than my 55.54. Of course, you know, competitor submitted seed times can be from a previous season or simply faked. I would assume I'll see most of these guys in Cleveland. Hope I'm healthy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Light road work - 6/14/11

Still sore from Saturday's meet but after my stretches and one set of upper body, I ran a bit on the street:

800m jog/sprint jog

800m on toes - 2:35

I definitely have to work on form - going straight ahead in line; and relaxation, especially in my face, neck, arms and hands.

Nice and cool this morning, 69º F.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Alabama Sports Festival Track and Field Meet now open to TN Masters

Because of my inquiry to the Alabama Sports Festival executives, they have changed the rules so as to allow TN Masters athletes to enter the 2011 Alabama State Games Track and Field Meet on June 25 at Spain Park High School in Birmingham.

It will be FAT timed!

Here's the correspondence:

Mr. Yelverton,

We appreciate your interest in the National Congress of State Games movement and the Alabama Sports Festival.

After discussing with our track and field committee, we concluded that since Tennessee does not have a sanctioned Masters Championship Track and Field Meet this year, we will allow Masters and Open (not youth) athletes from Tennessee to compete in the 2011 Alabama Sports Festival.

Who can compete?

Since Tennessee does not currently have an Olympic-style State Games program, and Tennessee does not have a sanctioned Masters Championship Track and Field Meet this year, the Alabama Sports Festival is offering Tennessee athletes in the Masters and Open division the opportunity to participate in Alabama’s Summer Olympic Games. Thus, Tennessee residents may compete in the Masters and Open Track & Field, but not in the Youth Track & Field competition.
A participant must be a resident of the State of Alabama or Tennessee for at least 30 days prior to the day of competition they wish to enter. In addition, out-of-state full-time students who are enrolled in an Alabama or Tennessee college or university are eligible, as are U.S. military personnel and their family members who are stationed in Alabama or Tennessee.
The Alabama Sports Festival reserves the right to restrict individuals and/or teams from competing in the Games for the best interest of the event.

Our online registration has been modified to accept TN Masters and Open track athletes.

We would appreciate you passing the word along to your fellow Masters and Open Track & Field in Tennessee in regard to the opportunity to compete in the 2011 Alabama Sports Festival.

Have a great day,
Marc Riker

Well ... I guess I should enter!
(...still quite sore!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inventory and another meet?

Everything is sore. Groin and quads the most sore. I'm looking carefully at the time of recovery because...

I'm wondering how much recovery I'll need between the TN Senior Olympics and the Masters Nationals. I run the last event in TN on Sunday morning 7/24 (200m) and then the 400 prelims in the nationals on Thursday 7/28. I should be ok if I don't strain anything severely. (Of course, every sprint is a strain). I'll probably do the 200 and 400 at the Nationals.

I've run in 12 track meets this indoor/outdoor season. That's unheard of for a masters sprinter. 7 college meets and 5 masters meets. Was only significantly injured once, and that was only for a month.

I had planned to do an informal all-comers meet in Nashville a week from Thursday, but I've requested entry to the AL State Games in Birmingham a week from Sat - it is FAT timed. They normally don't open these AL State games in T&F to TN Masters athletes, but looking at last years results, they didn't have enough masters in my age group to fill the track for one heat, so I'm thinking they'll let me. If so, I'll probably do the triple again 100/200/400. Yesterday, I ran a PR 400m after a 100m race, so I really don't think running the 100 before the 400 is much of a detriment, if there is at least 45 min in between, and of course, no injuries.

I should find out early next week if I can run in AL. Page once told me, 'the best training is racing.' Not only that, but it's more fun than training - running repeats alone at 6:30am gets old.

This week I have very limited time to train. I have to leave for a concert in Miami on Thurs and won't return until Sunday noon. I think I might be able to do something light by Monday night or Tues morning, and maybe something more on Wed ... but that is it. I should have time in Miami to so something since my concert is over Friday night and I teach Sat. I'm free on Sat afternoon and evening. I'll bring my resistance bands and Spira trainers. The University of Miami track is just 1/4 mile from mile from my hotel. Maybe Saturday night I'll get out there. It'll be fun returning to my alma mater to both perform and maybe do a workout on the track.

Photo from our uncontested 4x100 relay... no need for blocks... the starter even when home. They started me with a yell... but hey, it was 'official' ... Raj just wanted another medal.

Fun stuff....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

400m Gold: 55.54 Southeastern Masters Championships

Well, I guess I'm a 400 meter sprinter.

After losing the 100m in a photo finish with a poor time into a stiff headwind (12.63) - having to settle for Silver, I felt I needed something better to make this trip worth while ... and found it in the 400m. My 55.54 was a PR by more than a second and was the second fastest 400m time in the meet. I think I missed the $100 cash award for the best age-graded 400m by only about 1/4 0f 1%. If I had been 51 (in just over 3 weeks), I would have won it. Jeanne Diprano, W70 world record holder was there and she timed my 200 split in the 400, 24.22 - faster than my 200m race, probably because I had the wind at my back down the back stretch. That would make my last 200 over 30sec, which needs work. When I saw the race clock with less than 40m to go reading 48, 49 ... it was encouraging. Still, I really died in the last 80m. Nevertheless, my 55.54 is ranked 6th in the M50 US Masters Rankings as of 6/12/11.

My 200m was ok, 25.34 into a headwind, but I tied up in the end. The temperatures on the track by that time were over 105ºF. The same guy, Rohan S. from Atlanta edged me out in both the 100m and 200m. So, I got 2 Silvers. I got caught trying to steal the start and was charged with a false start. I barely even warmed up for the 200m. Thankfully, no injuries, just a little hip soreness.

Even though the 200m was an PR for me (FAT time), I think my form needs work. Some ladies from the Atlanta Track Club were trying to coach me a little, they said I was tightening up at the end, possibly fist clenching. I need to spread my fingers and relax my hands. I wish I had a coach. I should have done better in the 100m. Definitely not a good 100m race today. I came very close to 3 golds, but no cigar.

The competition situation was brutal, absolutely no shade and temperatures well into the 90sº, and humid. The dark green artificial turf infield seemed to absorb the heat, it was so hot the artificial turf was impossible to walk on in bare feet. Every one's feet were burning. You could see waves of heat coming off the track. I was actually thankful for the headwind.

At the end of the meet, I was persuaded to run in a pickup 4x100m relay. I got to hand off to Don Drummond, double National Indoor sprint and hurdle champion. It was fun ... kind of a joke since we were uncontested and everyone was soooo hot by 5 pm that we couldn't wait to get outta there.

There were some amazing stories at this meet. A 91 yr old set the American record in the polevault for his age. During the 800m race, contested around 4pm in the hottest part of the day, a man in his late 70s collapsed coming around the final turn. He bloodied both knees and an elbow but was helped up by medics and finished the race. Unfortunately, the USATF officials DQ'd him because he was helped up.

At the banquet afterward, I was struck by the dedicated board of people whose love for the sport has kept this thing alive for 41 years. There was some emotion and a lot of warm feelings. I realized how special this event is. It is the oldest and largest Masters Meet besides the Nationals. I definitely would like to return.

Photo below... the "Gold medal" 4x100 relay. I'm the old man of the group 10 yrs older than my teammates.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ready for the Southeastern US Masters Championships

Dean Hayes track at sunset was inhabited tonight by an old white guy (me) and one very polite Nigerian sprinter. I told him that I knew the secret entrance... and he smiled and said, "yes, one of the chosen few."

A badly needed thunderstorm cooled down the temp and it was a pleasant light workout.

1200m warm up, dynamic stretches, drills

400m in training shoes, 70% effort - 71 sec

spikes on

2 x 100m sprint jog from blocks

6 block starts - reacting to hand clap from my Nigerian friend (who attempted to coach me a little but it was hard to understand him with his heavy Brit/African accent).

100m at 85% - 13.5

200m at 85% - 26.5

training shoes on

400m sprint jog

Weight is good: 137.8

The Southeastern US Masters Championships is oldest continuously contested Masters Track meet in the US - in it's 41st year. It is very unusual because it offers prize money and special awards based on a Masters grading system - which I really don't understand. It is age dependent. Too bad that can't count me as 51 (less than a month away), because I'd score higher.

The major masters teams will be there - Atlanta, NCTC, Maryland, etc... I'm hoping to run against the great Oscar Peyton who at age 58 can run well under 12 in the 100m.

There will definitely be competition. Since there will likely be only one heat per age group, I hope to win some medals. If not, I'd be happy with a PR in any event. I have 3 chances since I'm doing a triple: 100m, 400m, and 200m in that order. The NC weather says it's going to be a bit cooler, 'only' 90º.

It should be a really fun time because there is an awards banquet afterward ... and I know I must be with like-minded people since the only 2 menu choices are: "chicken" or "vegetarian." Great. I'll see my friends from Atlanta track club that I met in Sewanee at the indoor meets.

I feel ready, no strains, no issues. Ready to blast and my boarding pass is printed. I'll be taking my guitar since I'm a week away from a concert in Miami that I leave for a week from today.

Tomorrow - stretch, jog, travel. Results update Saturday night from Raleigh.


The venue where this track meet is being held is at St. Augustine College where a new track has apparently just been installed. Last published update from March said the track would be installed 'in a few weeks.' On Google, the satellite photo shows a pile of dirt where the track is. So ... I'll be running on a brand spanking new track. Lets hope it's a Mondo track. George Williams, the coach at St. Augustine is a legendary track coach. He was a former Olympic track coach, NCAA Div. II coach of the year, coached 32 Olympians including 3 Gold medalists ... so I would think he would want the best track since it is named after him.

Sounds good.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Light day

Just a little tight from yesterday's run. Very busy with guitar playing, teaching, grant reports, and grading papers.

Today: one set of resistance, dynamic stretching, mile jog in the morning, bike ride at night.

Thursday: one light workout tomorrow evening on the track. Nothing more than 75%. Work on drills, dynamic stretching, form, and blocks.

Weight is ok. 139 after dinner.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

faster sprints, less is more

Less sprints this early morning... but faster. At 6:25 am, I gained access to the Dean Hayes Track through 'the secret entrance' and began a lengthy warmup.

1200m warmup, dynamic stretches, drills

100m sprint jog

spikes on

90-95% sprints:

100m - 13 sec

400m - 57 sec (26.5, 30.5)

2 x 200m - 26.5, 27

100m - 13.5

(everything out of blocks)

One thing I noticed running the 400 was the big pump that sprinting gives to my arms. I felt as if I have been doing pullups or curls. You simply don't work the upper body in any comparable way running 5ks or long distance.

Times were pretty good considering I have a weight problem. I weighed 140.6 before the workout - 4 lbs heavier than race weight. Even though I was 139.2 after the workout, that is still about 2 lbs too heavy. The carbs I ate this weekend have made me retain waste and I'm going to go to a mostly liquid protein diet to get back to 'fast weight.'

Monday, June 6, 2011

Block starts with resistance

Here are the torture implements.

Time is growing short before the SE Regional Masters Championships this weekend. This is the first set of resistance starts I've taken in weeks ... something I can do only when 100% healthy, which I am. It involves blasting out of the starting blocks on grass with spikes dragging a 40lb weight attached by rope to a belt. The weight is an inflated tire, rim and a 6" thick section of a stump. It works great.

So... I found a lonely stretch of grass behind the MTSU Rec Center parking lot and had at it.

400m warmup, drills

spikes on

3 block starts: 20-30m run at 80%

6 block starts dragging 40lb weight: 30-40m run at 90%,
run back dragging 40lb weight w/ high knees

3 block starts without weight at 90%.

Training shoes on

2 x 100m sprint jog warm down emphasizing form

I was surprised at the workout. Blasting out of the blocks with good forward lean, running up to 40m, and then having to drag the weight back. Makes for a pretty good sweat.

The first start after the weight was off, I stumbled, with too far a lean. Then I adjusted and had 2 good starts. It's hard to get a perfect start. I think it's better to play it safe in competition and come up a little too fast than to stumble, and even possibly trip and fall.
Tomorrow very early will be my last hard running workout before competition. I want to run everything from blocks and do some 100s. I'll need a good warmup. I also want to do one 400m under 60. We'll see how it goes. Got to be careful this close to a meet.

So, here's the plan:

Tues early - on the track
Wed. - resistance
Thurs. - light workout on the track. blocks and technique.
Fri. - dynamic stretches, travel, rest
Sat. - Competition!

It will be tough triple in Raleigh. 100m, 400m, 200m about an hour apart in the 90º North Carolina heat. Looking at the roster, so far I'm the only one in my age group doing a triple in those events but many more will register this week.

My weight is a little problematic, 139.2 after workout which is about a pound and a half too high. By Friday morning I'd like to be below 137.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday sunset workout - 6/5/11: secret track access granted

Due to the wildly successful TN Guitar Festival which I directed this week, I haven't had much time to post.

I've only run track workouts on Mon, Thurs, and tonight - Sunday this week. I did do resistance and stadium steps on non track days.

My calves were still sore today from Friday's stadium step workout.

I hit the track at sunset just after my house guests left. I fully intended to run fast. When I got there, the MTSU sprinters were running 150s from the second turn. I did my usual warm up and let loose on a 90% 300m. Here it is:

800m warmup and drills

spikes on

2 x 300m - 41, 46 (90%, 80%)

2 x 200m - 31, 25.5 (80%, 95%)

I was going to do more but after my first 200, I was stopped by Aston, the soccer coach, who told me the track would be locked from now on for soccer field renovation. He told me to contact Dean Hayes for permission to get in. After talking with him, he recognized me as 'that masters sprinter' that he'd seen before... so he relented and gave me "the secret access" instructions for the track.

A 41 sec 300m is about 56-57 sec 400m pace. It was the fastest 300 I've logged and I wasn't giving everything. It was hard but the feeling I got after the second 300 was really exhausting. I felt a lot of muscle fatigue, not just aerobic fatigue. My first 200 was just gliding. The second was after a lengthy disussion and walk back to the opposite end of the track so I had full recovery and ran it fast knowing it would be the last sprint. 25.5 is about race pace. I was planning to do some 100s but the track was being locked and I wanted to cooperate and leave. It seems as there is just enough light to train at night, so that may be an option... although mornings are cooler.

I'm healthy but heavy. Cheated last night with some pasta and rum cake and woke up at 141.2 lbs. Heaviest morning weight in a while. No fat gained, just full of shit. Carbs always slow down my digestion.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Quads of steel

Stadium stairs sprints x 20

I estimate the MTSU stadium staircase to be about 60 meters long. Some I did every other stair - concentrating on high knees, fast turnover and good form. Some I did every third stair - concentrating on speed and power.

This type of work is less painful to me than running 300s and 400s. It takes me 13-14 sec to do each one and more than a minute to walk down so the recovery is ample. By the end of 20, I was still running fast but my legs were quivering when trying to stand still. The sun had broken out and it was approaching 9 am and the temp was already soaring well into the 80s. Actually the negative of walking down the stairs is exercise in itself, after running up. It really targets the quads.

I'm right in the middle of hosting the TN Guitar Festival. Last night I fed 20+ people with delicious angel hair pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil, mushrooms, olives, celery, garlic, butter, parsley.... and Iska made cookies, a rum cake, and toffee bars. I ate none of the above. We also had broiled mahi-mahi and salad. That's what I had, that took almost as much discipline as running 400s.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hot morning

At 6:45 am, I was taping my feet after completing my warmup on Dean A. Hayes track. It already felt warmer than it did when I got there 20 min earlier. Low 70s, humid

It felt hard, sometimes sickening but after the second 300, I felt better. Could have stayed longer but had a class to teach and a festival to run.

800m warmup, drills

spikes on

2 x 400m - 60 sec (29,31) 63 sec (29,34)
3 x 300m - 46, 47, 46 sec
200m - 28 sec

The second 200 of the second 400 is where I starting really running out of gas. The first 300 felt pretty hard too. But then, it got a little easier. I had planned to run another 200 but was running short on time. It probably felt harder because I am a lb heavier (139) and I haven't run since Monday. Tues off, Wed resistance and plyos - but just one set.

Getting up early to train the next 3 days will be a challenge since I'm cooking for the Guitar Fest parties the next three evenings, and dinner usually starts at around 10:30 pm. Not sure about a plan for the next few days. I will definitely try to run tomorrow or Sat. I need some block work. Maybe tomorrow.

Healthy, no strains.