Monday, December 31, 2012

Broken foot - probably out for season

It wasn't a mere stress fracture, but a clean break near the base lobe of the 5th metatarsal, mid right foot.   It's called an 'avulsion fracture' of the 5th metataral.  (It is not the more serious "Jones fracture").

My mother had this same fracture, nick-named "dancer's fracture".

Why did it happen?

1)  My running mechanics put huge stress on the outside of my foot.  I contact the ground on the outside of the foot - directly on the 5th metatarsal.

2) It was very cold when I was running.

3) I train on the track exclusively in spikes.  They have no padding, and just one thin pair of socks.

4) There likely was already a small stress fracture I wasn't aware of.  I had been aware for a long time of 'sore feet' ... and there already was some damage most likely.

UPDATE: I went back an examined my spikes.  I may have stepped on something.  Near the point of injury I found a wad of what looked like hard clay in my spike.  It was a big wad of chewing gum which had turned hard as stone on the track.  That may have done it.


It may not have happened if I weren't training in spikes.  Or possibly it might have because of the force of the peroneal tendon pulling on the metatarsal.   I don't know.

I love training in spikes, especially with water on the track.  It can run faster, keep better form and have more fun.   I won't be able to do that much anymore.

All that work since October, in the shitter.

I can't open my xray CD on my Mac, but here is an xray similar injury.  Should be 4-6 weeks before I can think about running.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Injury update

This injury may be more serious.   I'm thinking it is a stress fracture since it hurts more to simply put weight on the foot than to elevate in a toe raise.  I can barely walk.

Since tomorrow is the last day of the year, I am going to go to the hospital since my 2012 deductable has been met and the rates go up Jan 1.   Totally sucks since I'm right in the middle of a vacation on the mountain.

I could be out for the season.

: (

Saturday, December 29, 2012

workout cut short - injury

Here's a new one - a strain of the peroneus brevis tendon in the right foot near the attachment point on the metatarsal.   It's never happened before so I don't know how serious it is.  It may put me out of the meet next weekend.

Conditions were brutal at the Dean Hayes track today. At 3:40 pm, it was in the low 30ºs and snowing, with a brisk wind making it feel much colder.  There was standing water on the track and it was blustery dark and foreboding.  I still ran in short tights and long sleeve tech tee... putting the sweats back on after the rep.

I was halfway through a 4 x 500m workout when I felt something on the outside edge of my right foot on the homestretch of my second 500m.   I thought I had stepped on something.  After crossing the line, the right foot began to hurt and I hobbled along wondering WTF?

Why did it happen?  I think it was weakened by slight ankle sprains while hiking.  And... probably because I neglected my calf stretches and have not been doing calf raises or stairs lately.   Really sucks.
800m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
2 x 500m - 83.5, 84

It felt good while it lasted.  Bad day.   Will know more by Monday.  I'm dubious, it hurts to walk, I don't expect to sprint anytime soon.   I have a few days to decide whether or not to register for the 1/5 meet.  It's expensive... $43 - even for one event.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

cold and slow

I put in a consecutive day on the track at my old high school in upstate NY to get in a workout before the coming snowstorm.   I didn't want to do much today so I tried to run faster...  but again, pretty slow.

Granted, conditions were extreme, about 24º, and crusty ice on some of the track.   Running in long tights and a light fleece over a long sleeve tech tee.  Why I expected to be able to run faster I don't know... it's still December.
    800m warmup, stretches, drills 
     saucony spikes on 
     3 x 400m - 61.5, 63.5, 68
Just remembering the good old days last July when I turned 3 x 400m all under 60.  I'm going to have to do more negative split 300s, 400s, and do some 200m tempo endurance workouts.   I'm a little heavy, 142.8  - from being around family and bread.

The snow storm here in NY has begun.  Good thing I didn't plan on racing tonight at the Armory.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 600s

Twas the morning of Christmas, 
and all across the track, 
snow was covering ... so, 
I got a broom and came back.

At my alma mater high school track, Susquehanna Valley in Conklin, NY, it was a gray 27º with a cold north  breeze.   I was actually worried that someone would see me sweeping snow off the track and ask me WTF I was doing.    I cleared a 10" wide path in lane one.    After spending 15 minutes of sweeping an inch or more of snow off lane one, I started my warmup.  There were still patches of ice in spots, but the spikes kept me from slipping.

It was so cold that I decided not to run fast... about a 72 sec 400m pace.  I did a quantity foundation work.

800m warmup, stretches, minimal drills 
Saucony spikes on 
5 x 600m  - 1:51, 1:53, 1:55, 1:57, 2:02 
300m - 50
It made for a memorable Xmas morning.  We're expecting a major winter storm on Wednesday night so I may go back out tomorrow... if I don't have to sweep the track again.  If not tomorow, I probably won't be able to train again until Saturday evening in Sewanee.   If the weather is bad, I may be forced inside to run at Murphy Center.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

500s in mountain drizzle

43º felt warm today at Sewanee's Coughlan track. There was intermittent drizzle and a light breeze.  By the third 500, I was down to my sleeveless net tee and short tights.

No 'one-upsmanship' today.   Disappointed at the times.  I averaged about 2 seconds slower than my goal time and previous best 4 x 500m workouts.

I've trained at Sewanee a lot over the past few years... I wonder why I have NEVER seen a member of the college track team working out here?   Probably explains why I beat all their 400m guys last year.

I finished my warmup and started my first 500 just as the 12 o'clock bells were ringing - on this eve of Christmas eve.

600m warmup, stretches, drills 
saucony spikes on 
4 x 500m - 81, 83.5, 86, 88 (avg 84.6)

I guess I may have lost some foundation in the week off.  Maybe I need to go back to 600s?  Maybe 'father time' is catching up with me?

It's going to be hard to find a place to train in Conkin with snow expected but I'll bring my stuff just in case.  I hope to be on the track at least twice next week.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cold and quiet

4:00 pm on Sewanee's Coughlan track was clear, breezy, and cold with temperatures about freezing ... and falling.  I welcomed seeing another soul on the track during my usually solitary endeavor.   The elderly jogger left after just a few laps leaving me the track to myself.

It felt very cold.   I was forced to take off yesterday because of rain and 40-50 mph wind gusts and I was a bit tight from the previous days resistance, especially in the adductors and hip flexors.

Wearing 3 1/2 layers on top and 2 1/2 on the bottom, I shed down to run in long tights and a longsleeve technical shirt with gloves.  I rarely run in long tights so it felt a little restrictive. Honestly not sure if I did 5 or 6 reps ... I'll call it 5.
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
5 x 300m - 45, 45, 45, 46.5. 47.5
The last one was exhausting, not as fast as similar workouts... but it felt hard, possibly moreso since I didn't eat a meal today before the workout.  It was so cold that my hands were frozen just in the time it took to untie my spikes, put my shoes on and get dressed.  Hands hurt while thawing in the car.  It was pretty brutal.

This is the shortest day of the year, sunset at 4:35.   I like working at sunset to minimize sun exposure.

It sure is a quiet and solitary ritual.  I plan my day around this solitary ritual.   Coach Page says its those that train alone are usually the nut cases.  Hmmm...  I am feeling pretty dark on this longest night of the year.

Every thing feels fine, except not feeling very fit.  Weight is good, 140.4 after workout.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Back on track

Sunset on the Dean Hayes was a clear, pleasant 55º and falling, with a light breeze.  Members of the track team were just leaving when I got there.  I had an appetite for work today since the 9 day lay off, but after a little taste of pain in a swift 600m, my appetite subsided.   It was harder than it looks on paper.  Harder than usual.
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
600m - 1:42 
500m - 85 
400m - 62 
300m - 46
Looking at previous 'ladder down' workouts, today was a bit slower than one from season peak last April, but faster than one last March.

Still need both quality and quantity.   This one leaned toward quality speed endurance as I took longer rest intervals and tried to keep up the speed.   Resistance tomorrow.

Inventory - My weight is good - 140.4 after workout, everything feels fine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2013 season

My tentative 2013 schedule is beginning to take shape.  (see sidebar)

Locally, I have a total of 5 possible college indoor meets, and 3 college outdoor meets.  In addition, if I want to drive 2+ hrs to Birmingham, I could do another March meet outdoors.   If I can get permission (which is very doubtful), I could compete in the SAA (NCAA Div III) outdoor conference championship meet which is being hosted by Sewanee on April 27.   I'm definitely not doing the Penn Relays this year.

The new SAA is a good conference for me to compete in.  Small meets, performance level where I won't finish last, etc...  The only problem is that besides Sewanee, the colleges are 2+ to 6 hrs away (KY, GA, MS, AL).   The closest venues are Birmingham AL, Danville KY, and Memphis TN.

If I decided to not go to the Masters National Indoor meet, the Vanderbilt Black and Gold meet is that same weekend.

So, a total of 8 LOCAL college meets this season (including last weekend's MTSU meet).  A few optional out of town meets, and then in May-June, the Senior Games district meets, some state meets and all-comers meets.   Masters Nationals July 11-14 in Kansas.  That's an early end to the season compared to last year.   (I'm not really interested in doing the National Senior Games in late July).

I'm thinking I'll probably do somewhere around a dozen meets this year - compared to 17 in 2012, and 15 in 2011.

Ranked 14th in World

The World Masters Rankings are almost complete for 2012.   I ranked 14th in the M50 400m.

After taking 3 days off, I'm ready to get back into some resistance training.   The groin was sore for 2 days.

I saw this photo on line, don't know where it was taken but it reminds me of what some winter training will be like... kinda like St. Andrew's 6-lane track in Sewanee.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Meet Report - MTSU Christmas Invitational

Decent start.  Better than last year.  

57.76 - 400m
25.61 - 200m

The best thing is that I have no strains or even a hint of an injury. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

It was my 4th fastest 400m time indoors and my 4th fastest 200m indoors.   I was pretty spent after the 400m and knew I wouldn't have much for the 200m only 70 min later.    It felt pretty good overall. Very fatiguing in the 400m but no serious rigging.   Considering I ran a 59.00 on this track on 1/21/12, I'm doing OK.   I was far more fatigued in those two January races where I ran about 59  (heh.... I even thought the timer made a mistake, I was so slow).

I entrusted my camera to bystanders to take photos of my starts.  Both failed miserably.   I did get a photo of my heat in the 200m, but not with me in it.   I had lane 6 and had already left the blocks.

My backup pair of Puma Bolts performed perfectly.   I didn't lose any spikes or crowns like I did Thursday doing starts.

Next week, I'm going to take some time off from the track and do some sorely needed resistance and 'pre-hab'... I want to run the 55m in Feb and don't want any more hamstring issues.

As expected, I finished last in both events, but not embarrassingly far behind.   I was happy to participate, it was exhilarating.   I left with a smile and no injuries, good to see my 'track family' again.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pre Race Day - first meet of the season

Tomorrow, I'll run for the first time in an indoor track meet in December.

The MTSU Christmas Invitational will have 5 teams.   I'm far from fit but if I can get my mind right, I should be able to manage a 58... I hope.   I will most certainly finish last, as this is an NCAA Division I meet.  Slowest 400m time last year was 56.   The 57.40 I ran at MTSU was my second fastest time indoors.  So, who knows.   Last year I also ran a 59.00 in my first meet at MTSU.  Wow, that was discouraging.  Hope to not repeat that.  It's hard to keep pace when those 49sec 400m guys blow by me in the first 100m.  Probably be better to start inside so I run alone.  Anything but lane 1.

Have had a lingering slight upper quad/hip issue so I may not run the 200m.  I'll see how I feel after the 400m.  It'll be cool to be under the starting gun of my friend and fellow masters sprinter, Randall Brady.

Looking forward to it.   Results by mid afternoon Sat.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Indoor with the team

I worked with the MTSU track team today, did some 300s, 200s, and gun starts.  

Everything felt pretty good, but I can tell I'm not in top shape.

I've felt some minor aches but nothing serious.   I'm going to sign up for the 400m and 200m, but may scratch from the 200 if I feel any strains.

I showed and explained to Coach Hayes and Coach Kelly the principles and technique behind the 'animal start'.   They were both underwhelmed.

Mile warmup, stretches, drills 
Walmart training shoes on 
300m and 2 x 200m with team - untimed 
back up Puma Bolt spikes on 
4 gun starts at the 400m start line with team
The back up pair of Pumas is unable to hold crowns in a few spike holds due to stripping (that's why I bought a new pair for Nationals).  I may use them anyway without crowns in those holes or go to the Nike R3s for the meet.

Most remarkably, I am down to race weight... a loss of 7+ lbs in 3 days.
Post workout weight is 139.4.  I credit that to elimination of carbs for just 2 days and eliminating hunger by drinking cappuccino.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Meet list 2012 - season in review

When last season ended, I never made a reference page/summary of my 2012 season in review.  So, here it is.  PRs in red.:


1/7 - TSU Ed Temple Invitational
  • 400m - 58.93
  • 200m - 26.12
1/21 - MTSU Invitational
  • 400m - 59.00
  • 200m - 26.22

1/29 - TSU Invitational
  • 400m - 57.57
  • 200m - 26.25
  • 55m - 7.47

2/11 - MTSU Valentine Invitational
  • 400m - 57.40
  • 200m - 25.83

2/25 - Sewanee Invitational
  • 55m - 7.32
  • 200m - 25.55

2/2 - Mason Dixon Games
  • 55m - 7.32
  • 200m - 25.78
  • 400m - 57.84

2/16 - Master Indoor Nationals, IU
  • 400m - 55.90 (indoor) Gold Medal
  • 60m semi - 7.98
  • 200m semi - 25.54
  • 200m final - 25.43 (indoor) Fourth


2/24 - Vanderbilt Black and Gold meet
  • 400m - 55.79
  • 200m - 25.50

4/7 - Governors Invitational Austin Peay
  • 400m - 55.14
  • 200m - 24.94

4/17 - Boston Moon TSU
  • 400m - 55.77
  • 200m - 25.13

4/20-21 - Vanderbilt Invitational
  • 200m - 25.05
  • 400m - 56.36

4/27 - Penn Relays
  • 100m - 12.17
  • 4x100 w/GPTC - 6th
  • 4x400m w/GPTC - Silver Medal

5/1 - Senior Games District Meet - TN Tech (hand time)
  • 400m - 55.55 
  • 800m - 2:23.61
  • 100m - 12.00
  • 200m - 24.97

5/5 - Senior Games District Meet - Nashville (hand time)
  • 100m - 11.94 (injury)

6/10 - NC State Meet
  • 100m - DNF (injury)

7/14 - TN State Games
  • 400m - 56.61

8/3-5 - Masters Outdoor Nationals - Lisle, IL
  • 400m semis - 55.81
  • 400m final - 55.48 - Silver Medal
  • 200m semis - 24.88
  • 200m final - 25.10 - 5th Place
  • 4x400m relay w/GPTC - Bronze M30

2012 total:
17 meets, 41 races (inc. one DNF and 3 relays).

Compare with last season:
2011 - 15 meets, 28 races

2012 - all new PRs (2011)
400m -  55.14 (55.54)
200m - 24.88 (25.26)
100m - 12.17 (12.26)
55m - 7.32 (7.43)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Event run, 400m trial

A cloudy warm and breezy day at the Sewanee track this morning.   I ran fast despite some sore quads.... but not real fast.  A little disappointing.

I set a 'high bar' pace at near PR:  100m splits at 13,14,14,15 = 56.   Of course I came up short... somewhere between 57.5 and 58 as near as I can figure.  It reminded me how painful this race is ... and often begs the question, "Why am I killing myself?'

I nailed the first two splits and fell about 1 second off on the second two 100s.

1000m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
400m event run from blocks - 57.75 (27/31)
2 x 100m from blocks on the curve   
I shouldn't be surprised I'm so slow.   I'm heavy, about 143+, and I haven't done much quality speed endurance work.   I really need to do some negative split 400s and some race pace 300s.

My best at MTSU indoors in 57.40.   I think a reachable goal would be to simply break 58 in this first meet on Sat.  I won't run the 200m in this first meet.   Haven't done enough resistance work, so I feel a little injury susceptible for an all out 200m or 55m.  

It's been really warm.  I saw the team outside today training in a light rain.  I hope to get some gun starts on Thurs with the team.   Last day of school is Wed.

The season really doen't get into full swing until Feb., so it's still early.   There is only one meet in Jan.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

500s, breakin' out the blocks, ... and then some

The 'animal start'
Today was hard.

Not only did I run the fastest set of 500s ever, but I did a few fast 200s and 100s out of blocks, and then, hiked for 8 miles (2 1/2 hours) with friends... all before my first meal.

Didn't get home until just before sunset.

Beautiful day in Sewanee, mid 60sº, mostly sunny.  Happy to run shirtless.

700m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 500m - 80, 82, 82, 86  (82.5 avg) 
2 x 100m - from blocks, on the turn 
2 x 200m - from blocks - 27, 30

I took ample rest between the 500s.  About the same pace I was running last June.  Surprising since I am overweight.  The starts felt good, the so-called "animal start" allows me to get my lead foot really close to the line.  The whole point is that I'm leaned very far forward and compensate by blasting out with an arm push, hence the bent arms.

The holiday eating caught up with me and I weighed 144 this morning out of bed, but burned so many calories today.   Wow, fish and lettuce never tasted so good.  Rice crackers with preserves and tea for dessert while watching a great sunset.

My ankle is sore... I asked John yesterday if he wanted to hike today, he said no... then today he takes me on an 8 mile hike with no water.   I thought he was just going for a walk.   It was cool outside so I didn't mind.  A good calorie burn.   I went to bed weighing 146+ lbs and was 140.5 after workout and hike.

Brief speed workout and event run on Tues.  Starts with the team on Thurs.  Meet on Sat.  Will run the 400m, woulk like to run the 200m but don't want to hang around that long... want to get up to the mountain Sat eve.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stair morning

Thursday is my stair sprint day at Johnny "Red" Floyd stadium at MTSU ... ("Johnny Red" ... a name that seems appropriate for Murfreesboro).  It was a crispy 29º but no wind and bright sun, it soon felt warmer on the sunny side of the stadium.

This time I invented a method of counting my reps.   I used my gloves, peeling back a finger after every flight.
2 lap warmup, stretches, drills 
stadium stairs  x 26
Still feels early in the season and haven't run fast yet.  I think the last time I ran a sub 60 400m was late September.  With the first meet just 9 days away, I need to run fast the next time out.  Perhaps start the workout with a 400m event run and then a few fast 200s at race pace.  

I did resistance yesterday and going to yoga with Sarah tomorrow.   Sunday in Sewanee should be a speed workout.   I probably should bring my blocks.  School is about over for the year, just one more week.  For me, today, Tues, Wed, and Fri ... then off til Jan. 17.   Thursday, I'll go to the Murphy Center and try to get some starts with the team.

Loooks like mild weather for the next week, good for running fast.

Still about 2 lbs over race weight, about 141.4 after workout.  Ankle still a little achy but fine.  Lingering tightness in my left hip.  No sign of knee pain and all issues are minor.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sprinting in the soup

Today is one of those famous Sewanee fogs... pea soup, visibility about 40 meters.  Temperature a cool 39º with an occasional breeze.   It's an ethereal experience ... running when you can't see the finish.

Looking at the Clyde Hart grids, I decided that at this point of the season, it's better to go for quantity rather than quality today... so I did a tempo endurance workout with strictly measured rest.

800m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
12 x 200m @ 32 with 2 min rest.  

My 200s varied only slightly,  33 - 30, the last one I pumped it up and ran it in 28.5.  The rest seemed generous at first but by the 8th rep, I was feeling like I needed it all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Indoor Schedule

Too bad for poor meet planning resulting in schedule conflicts.  For example: TSU, Sewanee, and MTSU all have a meet on 2/2/13.  Wish there was more going on in Jan and March.

Here is my tentative indoor meet schedule:

12/8 - MTSU 
1/5 - TSU 
2/2 - TSU or Sewanee 
2/9 - MTSU 
2/16 - Sewanee 
3/22-24 - Landover, Maryland: Masters Nationals (?)

I think that is enough.  Doing 3 weekends in a row in Feb. will be a challenge if all of them include the 400m.  I could see if there is something in KY in March but I definitely won't ever run on those chewed up boards at Broadbent Arena again at the Mason Dixon meet.   Maybe they'll find a better venue.

We'll see if I feel compelled to defend my 400m Indoor National Championship.  Probably will be expensive.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

more 800s ...

Foundation workout again.

It was again perfect weather in Sewanee and oh soooo quiet.  Mid 40sº increasing to low 50ºs by workout end.  A light occasional breeze but it felt warmer and I was able to run in my sleeveless net tee.  Nice to be working out in a place where I almost always have the track to myself and where athletics are more recreational and not so serious.   (No Olympians here in Sewanee).

450m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
6 x 800m - 2:44, 2:45, 2:45, 2:46, 2:47, 2:46

A few seconds better than last time, good considering I'm a few lbs heavier due to the holidays (and being with my Dad).

My right ankle was a little achy but everything feels fine.   142 lbs after workout.
Probably tempo endurance on Tues.

Gotta stretch that groin... post workout static stretch.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stairs on Thanksgiving

My dad joined me at the MTSU Floyd Stadium on Thanksgiving morning.  It was a stair running day.
Even my dad walked to the top once.

600m warmup, stretches, drills 
stadium stairs x 21

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Brief and quick speed workout

Is it spring yet?  Sure feels like it.   Pushing 60º under a cloudless sky at the Sewanee Coughlan track, I really enjoyed running fast and shirtless today.   I was going to do more but I'm pressed for time with parents coming to town, having to teach, etc...  plus I had to go to the bathroom and didn't want to leave and come back

800m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
Negative split 400m - 60.5  (31, 28.5) 
3 x 300m - 43.5, 43, 44

Stairs on Thurs and whatever strength I can get in.  

My knee feels perfect. My weight is good but I don't have a scale here in Sewanee.  I estimate about 140.4 after workout, despite eating a loaf of bread, chips and cereal this weekend.   I can now eat pretty much anything within reason.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Big foundation day: 800s

Perfect temperature for training, mid 50's ... but it was sunny and felt warmer.

Great to run shirtless so I hit the sunscreen and the Sewanee Coughlin track this Sunday late morning for some serious foundation work.

This went well because I made certain that I didn't set too hard of a pace and didn't run the first few too fast.   Remarkably, all 800s were within 2 seconds of each other.  I ran all in spikes on my toes.

400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
6 x 800m - 2:47, 2:46, 2:47, 2:47, 2:46, 2:45 
walk 400m in between
It was hard but not nauseating.  I had enough left to run the last one pretty hard and make it my fastest.

It's going to be a trick to get in workouts Tues and Thurs with my parents coming and so much to do.   I've nearly abandoned my Murfreesboro house for the beauty and serenity of my bluff in Sewanee.  Nevertheless, I need a speed workout on Tues, and stadium stairs on Thanksgiving day.

Next week, I need one day of some event runs and blocks.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Me and Usain on the stairs

At MTSU's Floyd Stadium, it was sunny and 31º this morning.   With no wind, it felt warmer and I worked up a sweat in just a t-shirt.   Definitely don't feel 100% as strong as mid-season, but I'm getting there.
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Stadium stairs x 16

I saw this photo on FB of Bolt running the stairs.   Heh... my stadium is bigger, and steeper.

My plan is to do three days of running and strength... one day of foundation (600s, 800s), one day of speed (300s, 200s, 100s) and one day of stairs and maybe some plyos.

Have had a slight left hip thing thats been bothering me for weeks now.  Not sure if it's joint or muscular.  Anyway, it's slight.  Knee is still fine.

Weight remains good, 141.2 after breakfast.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Freezing Sewanee morning

It was sunny, a cold, 28º with a wind.   I got to the Sewanee Coughlin track at 7:10 am and did a long warmup.   Half the track was in sun, so I went to that side to do my stretching and drills.   It would have been much warmer if the wind wasn't blowing.  I still ran in short tights and a long sleeve technical shirt with gloves.

I set modest 100m split goals and came up just a few seconds short on each.  Goals were 600m - 18sec/100m, 500m -17, 400m -16, 300m -15.

1000m warmup, stretches, drills 
saucony spikes on 
600m - 1:51 
500m - 87 
400m - 65.5 
300m - 46.5

Not very fast, I know.  Maybe just not mentally tough enough to push it hard yet.  Plus, the conditions, high winds, cold... combined with eating and drinking more this weekend.  My strength training has been deficient and I will do resistance tomorrow and be on the stairs Thurs.  Hard to believe the first meet is just 3+ weeks away and I haven't really done any meaningful speed work.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

500s in Sewanee

It was a beautiful windy day in Sewanee, 62º and sunshine, gusty west wind, leaves littering the track.  It felt so warm, I ran shirtless.
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
4 x 500m - 85, 84, 86, 86 
slow 300m walk in between
I set my 100m goal splits for 17 sec. or 85, almost nailed 'em but always ahead on the first 3 or 4.  This is about 2 sec. slower than I was doing this workout at mid season, so I'm not too far off.  Need to do some resistance tonight and maybe go out again Tues.  The stadium stairs are calling me.  Maybe Thurs.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday on the track...

Upper 40sº but felt colder with a breeze today at the Dean Hayes track.  Got a good solid workout in, but not very impressive times.
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
800m - 2:43 
600m - 1:50 
500m - 1:29 
400m - 66 
200m - 28

I tried to keep the goal 100m splits progressively faster down the ladder: 800m -20/21, 600m - 18, 500m -17, 400m -16, 200m -14.   I fell short by a few seconds.  I felt particularly weak in the last part of the 500m.

It looks like I'll need to add a workout on Friday this week if I have time, then go Tues, Thurs, Sun.  2 days a week on the track isn't cutting it.  I also need to get on the stadium stairs.

My weight is remarkably good: 138.4 after workout.  This about the same as peak season in July.  I am definitely not as strong as I was during peak season.  I need to get back to the twice a week resistance, stairs, and creatine supplements.  However, I do think my body fat is low.  And, I've been eating carbs in moderation.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Back home in Sewanee

Back at the University's Coughlin Track in Sewanee.

 I like training here better than at St. Andrews.  It's a bit softer track.

Hazy sunshine and variable cloudiness, it was in the upper 40ºs ... good training weather.

Today felt better, even though it was hard for me to get to the track.  Glad clocks went back an hour today, although I don't welcome the early sunset.

I had to take the liberty to remove benches and tables and bunch of other stuff in lane one of the track.

I did a combo workout, some foundation and some speed.

600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
2 x 800m - 2:42, 2:45  
2 x 400m - 64, 65
400m walk in between

I really felt the pump after those 400s.  I can't believe the season starts 4 weeks from Sat.  It's just a tuneup meet and I'd be happy to run 58.  I'll probably only run the 400m.

Legs feel fine, a little left hip soreness.  I need to get a strength wotkout in.  I may do track Wed, and stadium stairs Thurs.

Most, but not all of my work on the new place is done, always stuff to do.  I wish my hands felt as good as my legs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

600s - bright and cold

It was 35º at the Dean Hayes track but it felt much warmer in the bright sunshine.  I ran in a sleeveless shirt.

I kept my 600s more consistent and with more rest, I walked a 400m in between.   Still several seconds slower than late season 600s in June.

600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
4 x 600m - 1:51, 1:55, 1:55, 1:55

I'm badly in need of stadium stairs and more lower body resistance work.   Hard to do that when involved with the physical labor I've been doing lately.

I'm still light, 138.6 after workout....  about a lb lighter than I was at Nationals.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New workout venue

At Saint Andrews track in Sewanee on Sunday, late morning, it was a cold windy day.   48º but feeling colder.

It was a diappointing workotut.  I had hoped to do 4 x 600m and then some, but my times dropped off so badly, I got fatigued and quit.

The 6 lane track red track at St. Andrews School is hard, unlike the University track.  I didn't really enjoy running on it.  It is at one of the highest points in town, so it felt desolate, windy and unprotected.  Even after my warmup I was still cold.

800m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
3 x 600m -  1:49, 1:58, 2:07 
4 min rest

A similar workout last June I would have averaged 10+ sec faster.   However, I rarely kept disciplined rest intervals last season.

May go back out Tues or Wed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday morning sweat

Back on the track for the first time in a week.

Did a hard foundation workout.  I felt stiff and out of shape, also sore from doing carpentry work on my new vacation house in Sewanee.

It was a pleasant 62º and sunny at the Dean Hayes track this morning.  I did more warmup than usual.  It got warm enough to run shirtless.

700m warmup, stretches, drills, more stretches 
saucony spikes on
3 x 800m - 2:42, 2:52, 2:56  (with 3:30 rest)
2 x 300 - 45.5, 46

Need to do more leg resistance and some stadium stairs.  If I don't, the publgia will return.  It's going to be hard to get 3 days a week of training in while working at my new place, I'll try to do a workout in Sewanee on Mon.

I have been working hard and burning calories.
Weight - 138.2 lbs after workout 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Having to take a break from training.   Working hard on something else right now, lot's of time and physical labor ... a life milestone that will be a major focus for me in the coming weekends.   Ask me, I'll tell you about it.

I'll try to be back on the track next week on Tues or Wed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday foundation work

Today, I had company on the track.   My student Brad joined me at 8:30 this morning on a bright sunny 58º day at the Dean Hayes track to run some 800s.

I was determined to not run the first rep too fast and keep rest intervals fairly short.
700m warmup, strectches, drills 
saucony spikes on
 3 x 800m - 2:45, 2:49, 2:50
200m  - 27

I kept 3:30 rest between the 800s.  Rested longer before the 200m which I took at a brisk pace.   Brad lagged behind a bit, it was his first time running on the MTSU track, although he is a good athlete.  He averaged about 3:05 on his 800s.

Weight - 140.4

Everything feels fine.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday night lights...

After tonight's MTSU Soccer game, I hit the track about 9:30pm and took advantage of the lights on a nice 58º night.

I wasn't alone, there were people setting up the finish line for tomorrow's Murfreesboro half marathon on the track.

My hams were sore and I wasn't feeling particularly great.  Hadn't eaten much all day.

700m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on
4 x 400m - 62, 68, 78, 69
200m - 27.5

I took 3 min rest between the first three 400s and totally ran out of gas on the third one, so I took more time between the rest.

For the last 4 sprints, I ran shirtless.   When I came home, I got chills and a slight fever.   Had a protein shake but have little appetite.    It was really hard getting out of the hot tub.  I may be getting sick.

I weighed 140.6 after workout.  Hams not sore anymore and the knee feels fine.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Training begins

Wednesday morning on the Dean Hayes track was a bleak, gray and cool day, mid 50'sº.   I was nervous about the fact I'm out of shape and not used to the pain of training.  But yes, I sure know pain.   I did what I had planned, a brief hard workout.  2000m of running.  Did it on all on my toes in spikes.
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 800m - 2:39, 2:49 
400m - 66
*rest interval - 3:30
It was hard, but not deadly.

I looked to see what the MTSU 400m guys did yesterday:  600, 400, 200, 200, 400, 600.  Well, they've been at it for a few weeks now.  Maybe I'll do something similar on Wed.

My weight is not bad for this point in my training:  141.8

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Off season update

After more than 2 weeks off from running, I ran a brisk 1/2 mile on the street on Monday: 2:45 left me tired, lungs burning.   I am officially out of shape.   I mean, I could still probably break 60 in a 400m, but it would be close to an all-out effort.   I have also done only 2 resistance workouts with legs in the last 2 weeks and if I don't start doing more, the pubalgia will return.

I had a good few days of vigorous hiking in Oregon and I've been walking almost every night with a friend, 3-5 miles before bedtime.

My knee feels better and I plan to hit the track tomorrow to begin my training season.  I will do probably just 2x800m tomorrow and keep a M-W-F workout schedule.

Tonight, I'll do a one set lower body workout.  I found that during my Monday run, I've got to start working on triceps because my biceps are getting too pumped and tight when I run due to an imbalance because of too many pullups.

I've been eating like shit because of recent parties and leftover desserts.  I have an acid stomach from eating bread, chips, carbs.  I also have gained a few lbs and I can trace it to one binge on comfort food - shredded wheat cereal.  It achieved it's desired effect as I slept well afterward.  I ate the whole box of cereal that night and ballooned up to 146+ by bedtime.

Today, I'm 142.2 lbs.

First meet: MTSU Christmas Invitational is 8 weeks from Sat.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Off to Oregon

Off to Portland to do do a few days of hiking and reveling in nature.  

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail." -- John Muir (1838 - 1914)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Off season testing

Saturday night on the track, the weather was nothing short of perfect: clear, dry, 68º and there was an MTSU baseball game going on so the track was illuminated eerily from afar.

I did two fast 'feel good' 400s, not really attempting to train, but just testing my speed.   It had been 12 days since I ran.  So, I put the spikes on and took flight.  I felt good and light.

600m warmup on grass, stretches, drills 
saucony spikes on
60m strider 
2 x 400m - 58 (28.5/29.5), 60.5 (29.5/30.5)
100m strider - 14

The first 400m, although not 100%, left me whipped, lungs burning and pumped.   I walked 800m in between, close to full recovery.  It was hard but not bad considering the lack of sprinting.

I need to get in the pool, on the bike and do some cardio.   I've also been neglecting my leg resistance exercises.  But, I have been doing upper body.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Just visiting

I was on my way home for the weekend on Friday and saw the track team practicing on the track, so I stopped for a visit. I really enjoyed hanging with Dean Hayes and Coach Kelly.  It was the first day of track practice.

 They confirmed what I already knew, I shouldn't be training 5 days a week on the track like a college guy. I have to train smarter.

 Coach Kelly gave me his warmup routine. Coach Hayes, 74, told me stories of his trips to Russian and Romania, and various coaching strategies. He remarked about how much weight some of his sprinters had gained over the summer break. The 400 guys were runing 10 X 200m in training shoes with 30sec rest.  Coach says they train without spikes most of the fall.

Coach also says the sprinters lift 3x a week and they do it the same day as running, they do it afterward.

 The team from last year is back - including Olympian Noah Akwu, with just one senior graduating. It was a nice visit.

Next time on the track I think I'll run 100m strider repeats on grass with limited rest.  The knee has been feeling fine.  I have a followup with a Dr. in about 10 days.

I need to do some resistance today.  I'm actually in good shape with all the upper body stuff and glute work I'm doing, still under 140 lbs.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Briefly back to the track

It's been a long time since I've really done anything. Just some ab and upper body work this week.   I'm still ridiculously light - 138.0 this morning - even after buying a dozen bagels and cream cheese in an effort to gain some weight.  Had ice cream and pasta this week as well.  My face is breaking out a little from eating dairy fat.

My MRI report was not good.  Showed significant articular cartilage damage on my right knee, which does not bode well for a long career of masters track.   The knee feels fine.  Probably because my meniscus is fine.  It is also important to remember that although the amount of damage is an important factor, the location of the defect can also influence the symptoms in terms of pain and function. Pain is not a good indicator for determining the extent of articular cartilage damage. One person can have severe pain with a single small defect while another person can have very little pain with several large full thickness defects ... according to what I've read.

After a pretty sleepless night, I got up before 4:00 am and chatted with my guitar maker friend on line, then I decided to hit the track at 6:30.

I did what I said I wasn't going to do.  I put the spikes on and ran fast.
600m warmup on grass, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on
2 x 400m @ 90% - 58, 60.5
Felt ok.  Pretty fast considering my shape and the effort.   Again, the knee feels ok.  I need to get to a followup consultation to get an idea of my condition and the prognosis.

I welcome any suggestions on how I may be able to best use this meeting, what questions to ask, etc...

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Need to start eating better.  138.0 lbs this morning, lighter than when racing at Nationals.   Been doing light resistance work, but I need to follow my dad's example and maybe get on the elliptical machine.  Maybe some cardio would stimulate my appetite.  Eating mostly fruit and yogurt, sweet tea, Kind bars, salad, sushi, and low fat potato chips.

MRI follow up today.  They never sent me the report despite many requests.

Last big international track meet of the season:  Brussels Diamond League.  Bolt is running the 100m and Blake is running the 200m.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Checking in...

This is the longest period I've not posted on Sprint Forever.

Just wanted to check in and report that I've been staying off the track and continuing to stay active with resistance work, bicycling, swimming, and some running on grass.   The initial report on my MRI shows no significant issues that would indicate surgery or treatment.  I am awaiting the hard copy of the report and a follow up with the orthopedist.

I've been shifting my emphasis to guitar playing, which is my profession.  The time I've taken away from it has increased my passion for it.  Life is a balance.  So, instead of sore feet, I now have sore fingers from playing so much, and it feels good.

Compared to last off season, I am in exceptional shape.  With the pubalgia issues behind me, I am working daily on core and upper body.   I did 3 sets of glutes last night and am getting anxious to get back on the track but I really should not do more than once a week , maybe beginning in mid Sept.  I need to keep the spikes off until maybe Nov. and I'm looking at new training shoes.

While I'm sure I've lost some aerobic fitness, I'm pretty certain I could turn a sub-59 sec 400m right now.  My weight is excellent and I've kept really low body fat.  I'm still at race weight despite the fact I'm eating pretty much anything I want... bread, chips, occasional greasy food.

I was 139.4 lbs this morning.  If I can maintain this level of fitness, I should be rarin' to go by the time the MTSU Christmas Invitational comes around in 14+ weeks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Knee exam, Track and Field news

Today I'm going to get my knee checked out.  It's not been bad, but just want to get an image to see what is going on with it.  Maybe there is a loose piece of meniscus or something.   I doubt I would submit to any surgical remedies, and I doubt there is any therapy I could do for it, but interested to see how a sports medicine orthopedist would evaluate it.  It'll probably cost me $400 out of pocket, so I wonder why I'm doing it, but maybe I could adapt future training to help minimize wear.

The Olympics were great.   I enjoyed every bit of it, sometimes even watching the track events 3 times.  Once live on line, replay in primetime with Tom Hammond and Ato Bolden, and the replay of the replay after midnight.  The most remarkable performnces were the 4x100 WRs by the US women and Jamaican men, the second fastest 100m in history by Bolt (9.63), and the 4th fastest 200m in history by Bolt (19.32) which equaled Michael Johnson's previous WR.  The Jamaicans ran average splits of an incredible 9.21 on each leg of their 4x100.  The US team was not far behind with avg splits of 9.26.   I'm generally not fond of sports commentators but Tom Hammond was superb and put an epic spin on the coverage.

The track season is not over.   There are four major Diamond League track events left this season.   Just three days away, there is a meet in Stockholm, then every weekend afterward for 3 weeks.  Many Olympians are scheduled to run this weekend, and Bolt and Blake are expected to race in Lausanne, Switzerland on Aug 23.  With 2 consecutive meets in Switzerland just a week apart, I think many of the elite athletes may run in both.  The last meet is in Brussels on Sept 9.

Sprint finishes, dignified losers?
Note the finish of the Olympic 100m final.  Only .01 separate Gatlin - who got a medal, and Gay who finished 4th.   If Gay had put his shoulders down and dove for the finish, he likely would have nipped Gatlin at the line.  In a slight lean for the finish, usually the chest breaks the finish line.  If one would dive for the line with the upper body close to parallel to the track, the tops of the shoulders would cross the line first.

With a lifetime of work and all the blood and sweat it has taken athletes to make an Olympic 100m Final, I don't know why we don't see more people diving for the finish in such very close races where an Olympic medal is at stake?  Even if Gay were leaning like Blake (in second), he might have nipped Gatlin.   Is it seen as too desperate and undignified or unsportsman-like to dive for the finish line?

I would.  I have.  In the 400m National Final, I beat the Bronze Medalist by just 0.14 seconds, I leaned very far, far enough to stumble and go down at the finish.  I think one can pick up as much as .05 sec or more from such a maneuver.  I did it because I just wanted to be sure I beat the guy coming up on me.  I still think I would have beat him if I didn't make that lunge, it would have been very close.  Nothing worse than getting caught at the line like I did in last years 200m Final.  My friend Dan who watched the finish, said it was a good thing I leaned so hard.  I asked a former many time National Champion sprinter about this and his reply was, "You take the medal, I'll keep my skin."   Skin heals quickly, much quicker than a lifetime of regret ... especially if it is one's last chance at an Olympic medal, probably Tyson Gay's situation.  I say, dive for the line in those championship races.

Below is my undignified dive that helped me beat D. Neumann in a lane one. The difference between Silver and Bronze. (winner is non-US: Jamaican)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Can't stay away

A hint of fall in the air this morning... low 60sº, brilliant sun.   

I squeezed through the locked fence at the Dean Hayes track this morning.   I just wanted to do a light workout to start my weekend.  Wanted to feel that nice 'post workout feeling' this morning.  Nothing hard, just enough for a light sweat.

Everything felt fine.  Left ham a little tight, some knee clicking but no pain.
Spira training shoes on 
600m warmup on grass, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:35 (75, 80)
I probably should limit my track training to once a week for the next month or so.   The track has become an old friend, a routine I've become fond of.  I want to really develop a solid aerobic foundation this fall, but I don't want to do too much road work so as to affect my knee.  Maybe I'll race a 5K this fall.

I went to the weight room yesterday and have been doing core work.  My weight is staying around 141 - 142, excellent for the off season.

Also, I'm enjoying playing my guitar, watching the Olympics, and doing some reading.   How 'bout those USA 4x100m ladies .... WR!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A non-sprinter sprinter

Well, the season is over.  I'm happy with the way it ended.  I value the friends I've made and experiences I've had.  

The discipline of going against my grain as a 'night person' and being up before sunrise was part of the journey this summer.   Most of my training was done during those 'magic hours' of dusk and dawn, a time where there seems to be profundity and awe in nature, particularly the hour of complete darkness to sunrise.   It feels spiritually refreshing and nourishing to be up and experiencing that part of the day.  Nearly all of my training has been a solo journey, something I almost always do alone.  Enjoying the morning after a workout is a really euphoric and relaxing experience, having tea on my back patio with birds and flowers all around.

As a relative new-comer to Masters Track, many of the people I met, especially some of the older athletes that are retired, define themselves as sprinters, runners, jumpers, etc...   It is central to their life.

For me, I don't want athletics to be my defining discipline/activity.  I feel I could walk away from it and do something else.  Yes, I'm a sprinter, but also a guitarist, teacher, lover of nature and the earth.  Lover and student of science, politics, art and culture.

When I was a kid, I was a 'practical sprinter' .. or a practicing 'functional sprinter.'   I could just bolt at any time.   Not only was I fast, but quick.   An extremely fast accelerator.  I never really worked at it.   I just did it.   I did it for the sheer joy of sprinting full speed at night through my backyard in bare feet.  It felt like I was flying, barely touching the ground.  I also sprinted for sheer transportation.  I was once stopped by the police in Cortland, NY for sprinting down the street full speed at night.   It was cold and I wanted to get home fast and get warm ... but I guess sprinting very fast on a public sidewalk at night  "looked suspicious."

Now a days, I almost never sprint full speed.  In order to even come up close to full speed, I have to go through a long, sweaty warmup that takes at least 15-20 min to do it right.  I have speed but it is not 'practical speed'.   It exists as a reserve in a 52 yr old body that when called upon, I can make it happen with the right preparation.

Sprinting is natural to a certain extent.  Some fast guys don't look fast.  I met M. Krulee at my hotel.   The dude has been sprinting for 40 years and at age 55, he looks like an average guy, not particularly fit, lean, or powerful.  But he ran 11.88 in the 100m last weekend.  5 years ago, as a 50 yr old he ran 11.47.  That is fast.. I wasn't much faster when I was a hot shit highschool sprinter.

Three things that are encouraging for me this season are:
1) I got faster from last year
2) I've learned more about it
3) I'm not injured the way I was at season's end last year

Since the season is over, I ate some of the foods I rarely eat during the season.  Chips, fries, etc... and I have to say... food binges are overrated.  I've felt pretty bad - both physicallyand mentally after some recent eating binges.

Now, going to spend time with my guitar and friends, watch the remainder of the Olympics.

I'm putting the Pumas away until the next meet.    The MTSU Christmas Invitational is just 17 weeks away.

Future posts here will be on my season in review, what I've learned, and what I'll be doing in the off season.  Thanks to all who have followed my journey this year to a Masters National Indoor 400m Championship and a Silver Medal in the 400m Masters National Outdoor Championships.

Monday, August 6, 2012

MTSU sprinter and jumper at the Olympics: UPDATED

Heh, I can say I raced against an Olympian this season.

Noah Akwu, MTSU 200m sprinter made the Nigerian Olympic team.   I saw him in June training on the MTSU track and asked him, "starting kind of early, aren't ya?" ... thinking the college season was long over.   He said he was training for the Nigerian Nationals.   Well he made it, just qualifying for the Olympic 200m Standard (20.55) by running 20.54 in his last chance meet on July 6.   Awesome!!!

Even more competitive will be MTSU grad long jumper Stanley Gbagbeke. He uncorked an Olympic A Standard jump of 8.20m or 26'11" back in June.

What an experience these guys are going to have.

The great thing about running in college track meets is sitting along side guys like Noah when we lace up our spikes.   Noah was at nearly every college meet I ran in this season, and also at the Penn Relays.  You would think these African kids would find it a bit funny to see an old slow white guy in the starting blocks... but I've received nothing but kind words and polite respect from these guys.   An acceptance of sorts that has been valuable and meaningful to me.

I don't know Stanley, but I do know Noah.  He is the nicest guy.  I hope the best for these guys because participation is more valuable than winning.  I have to remember that as i advance in my age group and stop winning medals.

Story: DNJ

Wow... if one would want a memorable Olympic experience, Noah Akwu just had one: he drew heat 1 lane six, right alongside Usain Bolt!   He represented himself well... running a 20.67, finishing 5th in his heat but sadly, missed qualifying for the semifinals by just one one-hundreth of a second (0.01).  There were 2 slower sprinters that qualified (20.72) for the semis by placing 2nd and 3rd in their heat.  

 MTSU's Noah Akwu representing Nigeria in green with headband

MTSU's Noah Akwu left of Usain Bolt in the 200m Olympic round one


Sunday, August 5, 2012

2012 USATF Outdoor Masters Nationals - Day 4 report

GPTC 4x400m M30 Relay Team
Kevin Forde (48), William Yelverton (52)
 Nick Berra (43),  John Goldthorpe (34)

Today was a fun day, even though it hurt to sprint.  

If this were any other meet besides the last day of Nationals, I would have definitely scratched.

Everything hurt ... left ham, right quad, and especially left groin.   Nothing that won't heal in a week, so not serious.

200m Finals
All things considered, I ran a respectable, but not great 200m:  25.11 - 5th USA (6th overall).   Got edged out by Neumann for 4th by 0.04 sec.   If a medal were at stake I certainly would have dove for the line and probably beat him... like in the 400m,  but it wasn't worth it.   Still, it was my 4th fastest 200m - a time that would have taken a Silver medal last year, more than a half second faster than my disastrous '11 200m final. I was happy to run a 24.88 PR in the semis.

I had lane 2 which I didn't mind.  Peter Taylor was kind enough to announce me as "Indoor American Champion in the 400m" everytime I lined up to race.   As he appropriately announced, it was a "packed final" with tons of speed ... including 5 or 6 world or national champions.   Tissenbaum - second fastest M50 sprinter in the world,  Barnwell - 60m world record holder,  Waller - '09 National Champ, Briscoe- Jamaican Champion, DiSalvo, and Neumann.

My start was ok, not as good as yesterday and I made up the split on Waller but couldn't hang with him for long.   I fought Neumann all the way down the straight and we were in a virtual dead heat.  Definitely hurt a bit

Our 4x400m GPTC relay team took a Bronze Medal ... actually an accomplishment since we were running in the M30-39 age group.  I was the old man of the group.  It was a totally mixed group with me - 52, Forde - 48, Berra - 43, and Goldsmith - 34.   (relays are defined by youngest member).  We were the only club members that we could get together in this last and final race of the last and final day of the 4 day Masters Nationals.   Kudos to Nick Berra for even doing this after running a 1:57 800m leg in the 4x800m relay that came within a few seconds of an M40 world record, less than an hour before our relay.     We did OK, ran 3:56 ... I'm pretty sure my split was under 57,  I was running in a bit of pain but I finished 2nd on my leg.  We finished 3rd out of 4 clubs... but some of the others were exclusively 30 yr olds.   We were definitely the oldest team and I was the oldest person participating in that division.

M85-95 200m race
I watched more of the meet today.  There were some amazing performances.   Watched a 95 yr old and a 92 yr old run the 200m.   At age 95, just getting out here and walking around in the sun all day is a challenge ... let alone running a 200m race.

With Bob Lida - fastest man in the world at age 75
I also met Bob Lida ...  the fastest man over 75 in the world, possibly the fastest ever his age.   The 13.49 100m he ran on Friday (I think) is a World Record.  

Another season in the bag.   It was a great one, a tough act to follow.   A great experience.  I'll miss the training but I need time to heal.   I will be very sore tomorrow, probably limping.    I am very happy I did not reinjure the hamstring at least.

After having to wait a long time to get my relay medal and my measly 5th place ribbon for the 200m, I looked out on the empty track and thanked a few USATF officials.

It looked kind of empty and sad.   But... not nearly as sad as my last year's flight out of Chicago - without a medal.

 I snapped this parting shot.
Benedictine University Track
Site of the 2012 USATF Masters National Championships

I got to Midway airport to find my flight delayed 4 1/2+ hours.   O well, gave me time to make this post.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012 USATF Outdoor Masters Nationals - Day 3 report

200m semis: 24.88  PR -- 4th fastest qualifer for finals tomorrow

I felt a bit sore and vulnerable today.   Got to the track a bit late and hurried my warmups.  I forgot to stretch my groin adequately and strained it a bit during striders.   I felt all kinds of issues... groin, sore ham, hip flexor... I was not confident I would survive this race.   I got into the blocks in lane 5 behind Barnwell in 6.   I had Waller, DiSalvo, and Nuemann in my heat as well.  I got a good start and it felt fine.   I didn't try to push real hard and just floated down the straight.   I can't believe I ran a season PR and no BS... I was not trying 100% !   I felt I was running conservatively, defensively, gingerly.  Yet only Barnwell was ahead of me... (by a lot), but finally, Waller came up and got me at the end, just 0.18 ahead.

It was extremely hectic getting to the track since I lost my car key 15 min before I had to leave.  I did find it.  I declared just 5 min before cutoff.

Waller had tape on his leg, DiSalvo was complaining about a strain... so I'm not the only one who is beat up.   My left ham is quite sore but not strained.   I think the soreness is not in the same muscle group as my tear 7 weeks ago... at least I hope.  I wish I had brought a resistance band to do a little adductor work tomorrow before the race.

So, how is this possible to run a season PR without trying?  The new "animal start" technique helped.   I also think it was better to relax and not try to run the 200m all at 100% like I always have.  There was also apparently a tailwind, but I didn't notice it.  I ran with sunglasses on, which I almost never do.

Finals outlook:
With Barnwell, Tissenbaum and Waller in there ... my outlook for a medal is poor.   My only chance is if someone scratches, gets injured or under performs.  I hope everyone does well, I'm happy to already have a medal, and would not wish injury on anyone.  But, shit happens.  It's a strong final with Tyrone Williams, Tony DiSalvo, Rudy Briscoe, and David Nuemann.  Any or all those guy could beat me.

I'm really beat up and hope I feel better tomorrow.  After this evening's severe storm, it'll be cooler tomorrow but a gusty headwind is forecast... so probably no PR.  

4X400m Relay:
It looked like the GPTC relay was off because of Rob Schwart's injury, but Nick Berra said he'd stand in.   Nick and 3 other guys are going to make an attempt at the M40 world record in the 4x800m relay.  I can't imagine he'll have a lot left after that with less than an hour to recover.  I don't intend on saving myself for this relay, I'm going to leave chunks of myself on the track if necessary in my last individual race of the season, tomorrow's 200m final.  So, if I'm hurt, I won't be a hero and run.   If I can, I'll do it but I'm sure I won't be running 55s.  It would be nice to pick up another medal.   If Nick and Kevin can do it, we may win, or likely medal.

I had a good time hangin' with some of my 'speed brothers' today:

William Yelverton and Tony DiSalvo (M50)

 Marcus Shute (M45), William Yelverton, Michael Waller (M50), and Ben James (M55)

with Deb Hofmann - W50 400m National Champion

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 USATF Outdoor Masters Nationals - Day 2 report

Silver Medal M50 400m 


Not a PR, but my second fastest 400m.   I can say I did bring my 'A-game' to this meet.  

It was even hotter than yesterday, around 90º with clear skies.  I felt a little weak, so I did very little warmup, wanting to conserve energy.   I checked in, retreated to my air conditioned rental car, then 45 min before race time, I did a brief 12 min warmup.   Just a 400m jog and the usual stretching and drills.    Again, retreated to my car.  I got to the check in tent about 20min before race time.  They were keeping us in the shade while we waited for our races.  The atmosphere was a little tense... one of the officials said, "we have water here, stay hydrated."  Rudy Briscoe yelled out "where's the beer?"  Reminded me ... hey, let's have fun here.     

As expected I was in lane 5.  C. Moody was on my outside and I saw he had tape on his thigh.  I was a bit nervous getting into the blocks and got a decent start.   Very soon after the start, Moody pulled up so I was on my own.  Felt good, felt too easy, so... I again put the hammer down maybe a little too soon, at about 210m.  I was leading coming off the last turn - and for a moment, I thought "I can win this."   But, Briscoe and Williams in lanes 4 and 3 surged past me running side by side.  I felt ok the beginning of the homestretch but started tying up (again) in the last 20m.  I felt Neumann gaining on me and I wasn't going to let him beat me, so I did a big lean/dive at the line and came in just 0.14 ahead of him.   

Again, I should have waited 10-20m longer to make my move.  Tyrone told me I was already ahead of him when I made my move.  He was virtually even with Briscoe and was really pissed that he lost by 0.04.  So, since Rudy Briscoe ran for Jamaica at their Nationals, and at Penn, he's considered a foreigner and I collected the Silver Medal even though I finished third.  

I'm satisfied.  It could have been better but also much worse... like last year.   My 400m final today was more than 2 seconds faster than my disastrous performance in last year's 400m national final.   

It's been a great season.  I came for a medal and I got one.  I have the 200m tomorrow, and hope my wheels hold together.   

Check out my competition.   Can you believe I can run with these guys?
Rudy Briscoe (Jamaica), William Yelverton, Tyrone Williams (USA)