Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rehab the ab

'Rehab the ab' is what Dr. Hoadley essentially said. Hoadley claims a specialization in this area. After an exam, he did not feel my case was serious. I did forget to ask him a few questions. Specifically, I wanted to ask if there is a possibility of pain due to soft tissue damage beneath the muscle dome in the lower ab. I also forgot to mention that the pain seems far greater during split leg activity, like laying on my back doing a running (bicycling) motion with my legs. Dr. Hoadley gave me a prescription for physical therapy and a sheet of his protocol that would take someone with advanced sports rehab to decipher. It has elements of cardio, range of movement/flexibility, and strength. He also suggested an additional 4-6 weeks off from running.

During the exam Dr. Hoadley applied pressure to the connecting points of the muscles at the pelvis and none were exceptionally painful. There is some pain on the left side and just above the pubis, but some of the pain seems deeper. Like near my bladder or something. Some sports hernia sufferers complain of spermatic cord pain. I wonder if that is what I'm feeling? It's weird. Sometimes just a sudden quick movement like reacting to the phone ringing will cause more pain than doing a sit up. I also feel a little pain from the bottom of my pelvis as well (under the testes).

I'll get another chance to ask questions when I see Dr. Rummo, a sports medicine guy at Vanderbilt on Thurs. He's team physician for the local NHL team, the Nashville Predators. Hockey is a sport where they see a lot of sports hernias.

I'm pissed off at this Core-X company.... since I ordered the Core-X Rehab program last Monday, never got a confirmation email, sent an email requesting confirmation to their customer service, called 3 times and left messages with no response. It's probably one guy who is running the thing, has just gotten behind. Very unprofessional.

I did some resistance band work the other day and wow, my hip flexors are sore. I took quite a different approach. Different because: 1) I'm using lower resistance 2) slow controlled movements feeling the negative (instead of explosive), and 3) consciously keeping the abs tight throughout, 4) 20-30 reps instead of 45-60. It really makes the ab feel better. As J.B. said, I need to also start doing glute work, squats.

I also polished my wood floor in my foyer and have been able to create a very functional slide board... (a therapy that Mike Boyle recommended). Here is a vid of a slide board.

Well, today is the start of the holiday weekend and it's nearly 100ยบ today. I'm a pig ...weigh 151 lbs. The more I eat, the more I want to eat. The less I exercise, the less I want to. I must start doing something. Perhaps Stairmaster? Biking? Elliptical? One thing I really must do is start a healthy regular diet and exercise, and also start practicing guitar... that's what I'm supposed to be doing with concerts coming up.

I'm looking forward to seeing the result of the 200m Final at the Worlds. In the semis - Bolt ran 20.31 without trying. Lemaitre ran 20.17 and tried like hell, his season best. Dix ran 20.37 and let up. Sorry to see Shawn Merrit beaten at the tape in the 400m final. It was close.

As a testament to how slow I am, the first 200m split in the men's 800m world final- 23.81 is way faster than I've run a 200m this year.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Off season slump, still not recovered

My abdominal pain persists when attempting to jog or do abdominal exercises. The symptoms seem to indicate a "sports hernia" - the medical term: athletic pubalgia. According to info I've read, the injury may result from an imbalance in strength between the core and lower leg muscles. It is not detectable as a lump or breach in the abdominal wall - like a traditional hernia. My physician cleared me of a hernia early in Aug. Since then, I continue to have pain, not severe or acute, just annoying.

Everything I've read about sports hernia seems to point to my symptoms:
  • the pubis (pubic tubercle) being the main site of muscle/tendon disruption
  • pain at the insertion of the conjoined tendon at the pubic tubercle with mild exercise
  • pain is deep, not accute, and hard to pin-point the exact location
  • pain migrates to different locations in the area
The pain is most obvious when doing a left lunge and seems to be not in the adductor, like a classic groin injury, but just above the pubic bone in the lower abdominal. It seems to be more on the left side.

I contacted and made an appointment with Dr. Jeff Hoadley, the regional expert in this injury. I'll be evaluated next week. His treatment protocol calls for 6 weeks of physical therapy and if that does work, possible surgery - which I am not too keen on. I recall the story of Bill Collins severely rupturing his hamstring, (so severe that a 'pop' was actually audible according to his book). Collins was told by 2 physicians he would never run again, in any fashion let alone sprint or race, and that he would need surgery to repair his tear. He refused surgery and rehabbed the injury himself in 2 years. He went on to set world masters sprint records after the devastating injury.

So, I need a plan for rehabbing this injury. I do miss running but I need to remember, I never started really training last year until January and had a decent first season. So, if I must delay training until Nov., so be it. There's a lot of info on rehab out there.

Whatever I do, cross training needs to begin soon as I am getting fat eating the 'forbidden foods' ... including desserts. I'm nearing 150 lbs and I have definitely added a small layer of fat on my middle.

The surgical option to a sports hernia is not somewhere I want to go. As strength coach Mike Boyle put it:
Surgery should be the last resort. ... some therapists theorize that the forced lay-off and attention to rehab post-surgery rather than pre-surgery is what actually helps. If athletes were willing to take time off and listen to the trainers and therapists, innumerable surgeries could be avoided. I have seen at least three professional athletes who were scheduled for surgery avoid it by committing to a proper rehab program of exercises and soft tissue work.
This article on sports hernia prevention and rehab is the best and most complete I can find. It contains so many exercises I've never heard of. I need to get a slide board. With this info, I wonder why I am going to the Dr. since I'm pretty against surgery. I also got a response from a Nashville Dr. Rummo, who is the team physician for the Nashville Predators NHL team. He also has offered to evaluate me. I may see him for a second opinion.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Periodization plan for sprinter weight training

Here's a general weight training plan for sprinters I found. Here's another - even more specific. Both seem to be in this general plan:

Four Phases:

1. Muscular Endurance: 12 reps x 3-5 sets - 30 sec between sets

2. Hypertrophy: 6-12 reps x 3-5 sets - 60-90 sec between sets

3. Muscular Strength: 6 reps x 3-5 sets - 2-5 min between sets

4. Power: 3-4 reps (done explosively) x 3-6 sets - full recovery in between

Obviously, there is little info here, no time frame, no event specificity. This is just a shell of a plan, an introduction to the concept of periodization. Perhaps just a general plan of progression. I would think this is meant for 100m sprinters, with the goal toward power, rather than sprint endurance. I don't think it would be in my best interest to lift near maximum weight for 3 reps with my legs, especially in a leg curl or extension. Perhaps better for upper body, but maybe ok for seated squats.

I'm not particularly sold on lifting heavy as I think it puts undue stress on the joints.

Power does translate to speed. Case in point... Look at the physical build of Brit sprinter Pat Logan on the left in this photo - (from left to right: Logan, Michael Sullivan and Willie Gault in the M50 World 100m Final). Logan ran 11.62 100m and is a short guy (like me). He won the Bronze behind Gault, just edged out by .02 for Silver by Ken Eaton. Logan looks like a fireplug - powerful build, massive thighs. Obviously some weight training there.

Looking at earlier pics in the sequence, surprisingly, it looks like Sullivan beat Gault out of the blocks. (Sullivan looks pissed off for missing a medal in the group photo. I know the feeling).

I'm planning to do 3 days of weights during the fall. Right now, I'm doing daily upper body and swimming. Nothing heavy, but I am seeing results. Push ups, pull ups, dumbell flys and shoulder press, etc...

I tried a 1/2 mile jog today but the ab still hurts. I think I strained it a little leaping around on rocks during a weekend hike. It's not bad, it felt better after my jog than when I started.

Fasting today and tomorrow for my colonoscopy on Thurs. My weight tonight is down to 144. Should be down around 140 by the time I have the procedure.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mental preparation for the 400m

I found this lecture on 400m training and preparation from Lee Evans, 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist whose world record stood for 24 years - 43.86 - and is the 7th fastest performance of all time. The 400m is a race that needs to 'learned' as well as 'trained for.' And, as Evans notes, much of the pre-race preparation is mental:

So mental preparation is important and I tell athletes this. You just don't show up for the race and just say 'you are going to run as fast as you can.' You can develop a certain magic, perhaps a spiritual oneness of mind-body coordination. To me, this is what preparation is physically and mentally.
I was a little different than most of the others. On the night before the big competitions I would be in bed by eight o'clock in the evening and I would stay in bed in the morning after a good night's sleep. In the morning I would sit up in bed, close my eyes and practice visualization. I would see myself winning the race from each of the lanes one through eight. I would see myself run every step of the race. I would see myself have a perfect start. I would see myself run the first 100 meters fast. I would see myself run the second 100 meters with the longest stride possible, and In the third 100 meters I would feel myself run as fast as I had ever run In my life. In the last 100 meters I would see myself maintain the speed, which I had generated during the third 100 meters. I would run this in my mind over and over again at least fifty times. I would not just visualize the race; I would begin from when I would leave my room and I would go downstairs or take the elevator. I would get on the bus. I would go to the warm up track and I would go through my warm up. I would do four laps of warm up and I would stretch. I would do 3 x 100 meters and about three-fourths speed. I would make certain I would not be diverted by anything such as a girl friend or by buddies who might come over to ask how I was doing. I would always tell them I would talk to them after the race. My head was on straight and I tried to keep it that way. By concentrating on what I had to do I knew that I could win and set a record. I set eight World Records during my racing career and each time I did I can remember going through this mental practice, spending the whole day In my room. In fact it became very boring and I did not like it at all and I was glad when the race was over with. I would just sit or lie there and concentrate on how I would push hard out of the blocks, I would have a long low lead arm. I would make up half the stagger- distance on the runner In front of me during the first 50 meters and then I would catch up with him and on and on and on. I would think and concentrate all day and when I would actually go to the stadium I still had this mental set. When the starter would shoot the gun I felt I was detached and no longer a part of the race. I would lay off the shoulder of the runner In front of me and try to hold on to this runner who is running like mad and I was the one who was running like mad, but I was not there any more. I am in another place observing, the same as a spectator observing. Perhaps I placed myself in a hypnotic trance (I really did not know what it was) but I knew I could do that when I could take the time to do it. I did It out of the competitive desire, I wanted to win very badly because It was something I had worked very hard to get.

Evans is an advocate of running near even splits, running the first 200m one second over your 200m best and the second 200m one second slower. If I could do that, it would translate to 26.3 + 27.3 = 53.6 ish. Sounds impossible. Knowing that I'm a 100/200 guy trying to be a 400 guy, I really need that aerobic base. I would love to see what my 400m time would be if I had that aerobic base I had developed when running 19+ min 5ks. I think that type of training is the hardest. Also, I need to be able to improve from the other side as well ...to improve my 200m speed. I need to get below 25.

Evans is also a big advocate of running 500 repeats and 'split intervals' (Hart mentioned these as well) ... like:
300m - 1 min rest - 100m - rest 3:30 min- 3x
150m - 40 sec rest - 50m - rest 2 min - 6x
500m - 35 sec rest - 50m x 4 w/ 35 sec rest - rest 6:30 - 2x
800m of sprint 50m / jog 50m - rest 4:30 - 3x

It's been 2 weeks and I'm still not fully recovered. My ab still hurts but the hip/groin is better. (Troublesome stomach aches continue). As predicted, I gained 10 lbs. I was up at one point after a big meal to 151, but I've settled in at about 147. I really feel it. Just climbing the stairs feels a whole lot different. But, I am starting a cleansing diet tomorrow of raw fruits and vegetables in preparation for my fast on Wed and colonoscopy on Thurs. As soon as I start training, my weight will drop to the low 140s, which is nominal.

Here's Michael Johnson winning the 1993 World Championship from lane 3, being very patient, running the first 200 in about 21.6, and smoking the field in the last 200 with a nearly even split of around 22. in the last 200m. Note Bada from Nigeria (in green) in lane 6 - going out too fast (20.9) only to finish fifth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pre-season foundation work

Foundation work, primarily aerobic running for sprinters, is a controversial topic.

Some say that such work is detrimental to speed and can cause conversion of fast twitch muscles to slow twitch.

Clyde Hart says that new thinking prescribes as much as 40% of early season training toward aerobic foundation and he even encourages a few days a month of long distance cross country runs to 'refresh the base' ... even during the competition season.

I don't really see how this could be detrimental if the apropriate strength and speed work were not compromised.

In Bill Collins' book, he prescribes mileage foundation for September workouts. Quantity rather than quality. Some of these first early season workouts include: 3 mile runs in 24 min, 8 x 400m at 90 sec with 2 min rest, 15 x 300m with 2 min rest at ~ 70 sec., 2 x 2 mile run in 17 min with 8 min rest. Each week, similar aerobic runs are prescribed but getting faster each week. He prescribes these runs twice a week through Novemeber and one per week all the way through Dec., gradually introducing more and faster speed work. He also suggests 2 consecutive days off every week, 3 running workouts and 2 weight workouts ... a lot less ambitious than Clyde Hart's grids that include 5 days of running and 3 days of weights on the same days as running.

Hart says it's better to undertrain than overtrain. Somewhere in between Collins and Hart, there probably lies a happy medium. Collins, however is specifically conceived for masters sprinters, where Hart is for collegiate athletes.

Since I adopted the routine of early morning training, I think I could carry that through the fall and do weights/resistance in the evening. I seem to be able to get enough of a variety of upper and lower body resistance at home from the convertible pullup bar, resistance bands and dumb bells. I probably won't need to go to the gym more than once a week, more later as my weights increase and reps go down toward competition season.

What I've planned is to workout on the track early, be back at home by 9 ish, nap / rest /practice guitar and go to work at 2pm, work until 6 or 8pm.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Training strategy of Clyde Hart

One of the most recognized training grids for the 400m is from coach Clyde Hart. He has coached ten sub-45 400m sprinters including Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner. Arguably, the most successful 400m coach in history.

I will later examine other training plans. This plan is geared toward the college athlete and some modifications shoud be made for Masters athletes.

Hart divides the season into 4 sections:
  • Off Season: September - December
  • Early Competitive Season: January - February
  • Mid Season: March - April
  • Late Season: May - June
Each of 8 different types of workouts are balanced appropriately through the season. Examples here.

Speed endurance: Runner incurs a high oxygen debt. Runs distances of 100-600 meters. Total distance is 2 ½ times racing distance (1000m). Rest 5-10 minutes.

Tempo endurance: aerobic workout that helps increase oxygen uptake, which helps
shorter recovery time. Doing the run slower helps runner learn tempo and rhythm. Emphasis is on quantity, not quality. Rest will be short.

Strength endurance: activities that last longer than 10 seconds in duration with some type of resistance running. Long hills, stadium steps.

Endurance running: pure aerobic running. Runs of 15-45 minutes. 6 x 800m with 3 min rest.

Power Speed: speed of muscle contraction is emphasized. Fewer than 10 seconds in

Event running: runs that teach runner how the 400 should be run.

Speed: full speed runs of 30 to 150 meters. Rest is usually long.

Strength: general and specific strength development. Traditional weightlifting. Polymetric used as needed.

Basic 400m training principles by coach Hart

Clyde Hart 400 Meter Training Program pdf
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Specific workouts and detailed information:


Been off for more than a week from running. The ab soreness persists but has improved. Still, some hip and groin soreness. I am swimming daily and focusing on upper body. My pectorals are really getting big. As predicted, I've gained several lbs, hanging around 146 - 147lbs. Next week I have a colonoscopy and will need to fast a bit. I will welcome that. I've been living on peach-cherry crisp and maple salmon jerky ... with sweet tea. As a result, the usual problems of acid stomach, slower bowel movements, sluggishness, etc... have resulted from eating carbs and sugar.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Off Season - what next

The Masters National Championship meet has made me start thinking about the future.

(photo: 400m Semifinals - double Gold Medalist Ben James in lane 6 and me in lane 3 - coming down the home stretch well ahead of the field)

Well, I've had my pancakes, peach crisp, potato chips and all the other things I avoided while training. Still doesn't take the sting away from losing that medal. Amazing how empty, unsatisfied and downright depressed I feel about it sometimes. Amazingly, I still weigh less than 143 lbs. I'm seeing a physician about my abdominal injury on Mon. I expect the prescription will simply be rest. I will also be submitting to my first colonoscopy later this month - an 'over 50' routine.

I got a firm invitation to join the Philly Track Club's 4x400 relay team for the Penn Relays next April, and the Milrose Games in January - two of the most historic and well known track meets in the US. It makes me feel as if I've established myself a bit in the Masters track community.

Training Plan

During this month or so off from running, I am still doing upper body stuff, without engaging the sore abs.

The first thing I want to be doing are the dynamic stretches and warmup, along with the high rep resistance work.

Beginning in Sept., I have 2 objectives:

1) Increase strength. Put on muscle. Lift weights.

2) Develop the aerobic system. Gain an aerobic foundation. Train like a 1500m runner. Do distance speed workouts like fast 2 mile repeats, mile and half mile repeats. Maybe even race a 5k or 2. This should keep my weight down and fitness level up.

I think that these 2 goals will help me in both the short and long sprints. As one person said to me, "The older you get, the more aerobic the 400m becomes."

Paramount is staying injury free. One pulled muscle at the wrong time of the season, and it's all over. I should feel lucky I ran 28 races this year without a devastating injury. I do have hip/groin joint soreness, and abs issues, but nothing serious.

I have every facility need that a track athlete could dream of. Less than 2 miles from my house, I have a huge Rec Center with incredible weight room, pool, etc.. And, an indoor 300m track - something that my colleagues in the snowy north would love to have.

Track Meets

I am really hoping that Dean Hayes will continue to cooperate and let me run in MTSU meets, although I have yet to do so, he has scheduled me 3 times. Twice, I withdrew because of injury, once showed up late because of schedule change.

The first meet is usually the MTSU Christmas Invite, around Dec. 10. TSU has 2 meets in Jan. and Sewanee has 2 in Feb. MTSU has 2 more. The USATF Masters Indoor is March 16-18 in Bloomington. That's 8 meets. Well... the World Indoor Championships are in Finland, April 3-8. Flights to Helsinki start at $510... ( I actually looked).

Monday, August 1, 2011

Awards from the National Masters Championships

2011 USATF National Masters Awards:

Mens 50-54

200 meter dash

400 meter dash



If I had run even my third best time of the season in the 400m (56.09 - which was just one week prior), I would have won a Bronze Medal.

If I had run the same race in the Finals of the 200m that I ran in the semis (25.26), I would have challenged for the Silver Medal, and at least won a Bronze - even if I ran .34 slower.

If I had run the 100m , I could have won a Bronze - since 3rd prize time was just 12.49. I've run 12.26.

Instead, I get these ribbons for some really bad performances ... and the decision to not run the 100m. I ran my slowest 200 and 400 of the season in the National Championship races.


Just tired. A nagging abdominal soreness. Poor mental preparation and lack of focus at the end of the races. Being bothered by very close competition that caused me to lose my composure and over react instead of maintaining form and relaxation. Lack of experience, coaching.

It still really bothers me. If I had a GREAT meet, I could have walked away with 3 medals.

Woulda-coulda-shoulda doesn't cut it. OK... enough whining.

Meet List for 2011

List of 2011 meets and marks
(Inventory, stats, and reference PR in red)

2/05 - Sewanee, TN: Tiger Indoor Track Invitational.
  • 55m - 7.74
2/26 - Sewanee, TN: Sewanee Invitational.
  • 55m - 7.60
3/04 - Louisville, KY: Mason Dixon Games.
  • 55m - 7.52
  • 400m - 61.72
3/12 - Upland, IN: USATF Masters Indoor.
  • 55m - 7.43
  • 200m - 26.30
3/19 - Clarksville, TN: Austin Peay Spring Fling.
  • 100m - 12.56
3/26 - Nashville, TN: Black and Gold Meet, Vanderbilt.
  • 100m - ham injury (13.10)
4/23 - Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt Invitational.
  • 400m - 56.71
4/30 - Memphis, TN: Memphis Invitational.
  • 400m - 56.64
  • 200m - 25.57
5/05 - Chattanooga, TN: District Senior Games.
  • 400m - 57.00 (h)
5/14 - Nashville, TN: District Senior Games.
  • 100m - 12.15 (h)
  • 200m - 25.22 (h)
  • 400m - 58.06 (h)
5/21 - Huntsville, AL: Huntsville Track Club.
  • 100m - 12.24 (h)
  • 200m - 24.67 (h)
6/11 - Raleigh, NC: SE Masters Championships.
  • 100m - 12.63
  • 400m - 55.54
  • 200m - 25.34
6/25 - Birmingham, AL: AL State Games.
  • 100m - 12.26
  • 400m - 55.87
7/23 - Nashville: TN State Senior Games.
  • 400m - 56.09 (M50 state meet record)
  • 100m - 12.49
7/28 - Cleveland, OH: USATF Masters Nationals.
  • 400m - 56.55 (semi)
7/29 - Cleveland, OH: USATF Masters Nationals.
  • 400m - 57.61 (final)
7/30 - Cleveland, OH: USATF Masters Nationals.
  • 200m - 25.26 (semi)
7/31 - Cleveland, OH: USATF Masters Nationals.
  • 200m - 25.66 (final)

28 races

Indoor -
(4) 55m
(1) 200m
(1) 400m

Outdoor -
(7) 100m
(6) 200m
(9) 400m

Thoughts on my first Masters Track season

After running my ill fated 400m race in the National Finals, I swore I'd never run that damn painful race again. (Even my Dad said... "I don't blame you.") But... that's really not me to shrink from a challenge, so... I take that back. It is truly a painful race and not as much fun as the short sprints, but it is a challenge that may prove to be something I may be able to excel at, and it wouldn't hurt to try. My poor performance in the National Finals has showed me that there is a helluva lot to learn about technique, training, and racing. It's not all blast and power... there is a lot of technique and thinking that goes into a race. Mental preparation... who would have thought!!?? Each race is multi-faceted, especially the 400m, and even the 200m and 100m.

PHOTO: Masters National Championship M50 200m Finals - 70m from the end, running along side former World 400m Champion James Chinn, chasing Ben James - who won the race easily (despite severely pulling a hamstring).

Running along side and meeting former World Masters 400m champion, James Chinn was really great. James is a highly experienced master technician who seems to know every step of a race. I was really happy to have him ask me for my phone number suggesting a possible spot in his Penn Relays team. Talking with legendary masters sprinters George Haywood and Charles Allie was also great. George tried to school me on how to run a 400m race in the hotel lobby while I was waiting to leave.

How this madness started:

This all started in Dec. '10 after Christmas. I had just eaten a delicious huge sea bass dinner at friend John Pollock's house. When I got back home, I felt so incredibly stuffed and heavy, even with my regular 3 and 5 mile runs, I stepped on the scale and weighed 168 lbs fully clothed. It was shocking to see myself weigh so much, even though my real weight was probably 161-162. So, I knew I had an annual blood work coming up in a week and the next day I started a fast. On that same day, I ran 7 miles through Conklin Forks. The next day, all I had to eat were some grapes. The next week, I decided I'd eat a 'cleansing diet' of raw fruit and vegetables for a week before fasting again for my annual blood work. My cholesterol was 150... I can only imagine it was probably 250 when I was stuffing myself with holiday cake.

By January 1, I started thinking for the first time about running indoor track. I knew I was still too heavy, about 150 lbs. So, I kept running distance to burn calories. On Jan 1st, at 8am in the rain, I joined Bill Minehan in a traditional run up Signal Mountain with a group of friends. On Sat. Feb. 5th, I returned to the track in a 55m race in Sewanee. I had dropped my body weight down to 144 lbs. (7.74 was my time for the 55m) ... and I was hooked. Those butterflies in the gut when the man with gun says, "Gentlemen, stand ready by your blocks." The excitement and feeling was additive. I went to 3 more indoor races, including one that was 5 hrs away in Indiana. Crazy!

In my second meet on 2/25, I remember Will Crawford from the Atlanta Track Club ask me if I was going to run the outdoor season. I said "no, I just like these short indoor races, I wouldn't be very competitive in the 100m and up." But, I tried the indoor 400m in Louisville (61.) and the 200m in Indiana (26.30). I then decided to try a 100m at Austin Peay Spring Fling meet on 3/19. I had no idea what I might be able to run, I was shooting to get sub 13 and got 12.56. That was encouraging. So, I signed up to run the 100 and 200m at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold meet the next weekend 3/26. I strained a hamstring (and even still... ran 13.10). I was out of competition for 4 weeks.

Then, to help myself recover from the injury, I decided to do long sprints. By mid April my weight had dropped to about 140 for the first time since highschool and I ran the first 400m of my life at Vanderbilt on 4/23. My time of 56.71 (faster than I ran in the National Finals) was surprising and encouraging to me. I then started training for the 400 and that's how this all got started.

I also had my body fat tank tested at this time weighing about 142 lbs. I was about 13% body fat and that indicated to me my best race weight would be around 136 -137 where I'd be closer to 10% body fat. By season's end I was racing about 137 and I think I had put on at least a pound or 2 of muscle, my body fat was most certainly below 10%.

The best things I learned during this period was: 1) how to warm up and 2) the high rep resistance band work that has helped my legs stay relatively injury free since that hamstring in March.

Here are my PRs for the season:

55m: 7.43 - Indiana Masters Indoor, 3/12
100m: 12.26 - Alabama Sports Festival, 6/25
200m: 25.26 - Masters Nationals semis, 7/30
400m: 55.54 - Southeastern Masters, 6/11

It's been a learning experience.