Saturday, March 31, 2012

Creative resistance

In Sewanee.

I improvised a much better alternative to Bulgarian squats.

I filled a backpack with a single 70 lb slab of limestone and did single leg step lunges on the stairs. Superior to Bulgarian squats because I have the hand rails if I need them for balance and the knee lift is closer to running form... and it gets the calves too.

2 x 20 - 25 each leg

Did the usual resistance bands as well.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Quality sprints / 400m event run

Today, I started with some striders and a 400m event run. I said I was going to keep it light in quantity today, and I did... more or less.

800m warmup, dynamic stretches, drills

saucony spikes on

2 x 100m @ 80% - 14.5, 14

400m event run - 56.5 (27, 29.5)

2 x 200 - 26.5, 27.5

That was the fastest 400m training run I've done. I set a goal of 27, 30 for splits and I beat it. Yes! I felt strong on the last 200 so I think the training is paying off.

5450 m total sprints this week. Weight is good: 139.4 after workout.

Being in shape to run this race - the 400m - feels like a constant battle. Never ends. I feel like if I missed a week of workouts, I'd backslide considerably. It reminds me of being a doctoral guitar student and practicing constantly. But, the great thing about track training, it doesn't take nearly as long. Preparing for a solo guitar performance, I'm putting in up to 30 hrs a week compared to only about 6-8 hrs per week on the track, stairs and weights. Since I've never been a 400m sprinter before last year, I feel like I'm constantly trying to maintain what little long sprint endurance I've gained, and feel that it would leave me almost the instant I stopped training. The same exact feeling I had as a guitarist in college. In both cases - 400m and guitar, I started late. Now, after all these years, I can go months without practicing guitar and in 2-3 weeks be ready to play a respectable concert. Not so with track.

So, I will continue to hammer the long sprints - 600s, 500s while alternating with stairs, resistance, and fast 150s. It tickles me to remember 8 months ago when I adamantly said I'd never run another 400m race. Like Latif Thomas says in this video - he hated the 400m but has now 'developed an appreciation for it.'

Tomorrow, I'll do resistance work. Sunday - rest day: a 10 mile hike in beautiful the Cumberland wildflowers. Monday - bust ass ... again. Maybe some crosstraining. I'm amazed at how doing pool laps with vigorous kicking burns the quads so quickly.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Even split sprints

Workin' hard again today... sporting my new Adidas sprint tights (XS). Got them through Amazon from a distributor in the UK. Cheap! They are lighter than the CW-X brand and more flexible.

I continue to rack up 'sprint mileage' ... probably the most ever in a week.

Today, 300s, 150s, and a 400. Tried to run all 300s in even splits of 15sec 100s. The first one is easy - on the straight, the second one harder on the curve, and the last one on the home stretch, pretty hard.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

5 x 300m - 45, 45, 45.5, 46, 45.5
(about 4 min between)

2 x 150m - 20, 20.5

400m - 64 (16 sec 100m splits)

I'm happy I ended with a 400m in 64 sec at only about 80% effort, even after 1800m of sprints.

22oo meters of sprints today, 8450m of sprints in 3 days this week. I think I can workout daily with one day off, but some days need to be lighter.

It looks like I will probably run on April 7 at APSU.

Weight is up a lb. today at 140.4. I think my chocolate binge is over. I ran out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ladder down

This morning, I wanted another long sprint workout but less and faster. To ensure faster pace I ran a 'downward ladder' - 600m, 500, 400, 300, 200, 150, 100. For the 600, 500, and 400... I paced at 17 sec 100s or 68 sec 400m pace, decreasing to 15 sec 100m pace for the 300, and 14 sec 100m pace for the 200, 150, 100. In all 2250m of sprints. Recovery time avg about 4 min between.

500m warmup, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

600m - 1:44

500m - 88 sec

400m - 68.5 sec

300m - 45.5 sec

200m - 28.5 sec

150m - 20 sec

100m - 14 sec

It was a good workout. I had planned to take more recovery and run faster but it was getting warm and I just wanted to finish. Most of my rest intervals were about 4 min. Speed increased toward the end of the workout.

Inventory: Weight is nominal, despite a chocolate binge: 139.2 after workout. Seem to be healthy but a tad sore.

Meets: It occurs to me if I run in the April 7 Gov's Invite at APSU, I will have six consecutive weekends of racing ... culminating in the SE Masters Championships in Raleigh on May 12. That is essentially the end of the "regular season" and I then will have just 4 more including the Nationals: 2 in June, one in July and the Nationals in Aug. The June meets I'm not even sure I can get into yet, but I probably can. That will be a total of 18 meets through this indoor/outdoor season. Too many? I don't know. Coach Page alway said, "the best training is racing."

Penn Relays: Scott Granowski finally called me and he is joining our 4x400 and 4x100 GPTC relay teams. This is great news. We should be very strong contenders for the Gold in the M50 4x400 relay.

Publicity: MTSU News put out a nice article on my last 2 races. Thanks to Gina Fann.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunrise Stadium Stair Sprints

Started this morning with the 'three S's' - stadium stair sprints.

Got up early thanks to a red fox screaming in my backyard. Was concerned that doing an early workout just 12 hrs after 4000m of sprints last night might be too much, but it was fine. Just felt a little sore while warming up but that went away.

2 laps on grass warmup, stretches

10 x stadium stairs sprints

'6 half n halves' - double leg hops over the bleachers halfway/ sprint halfway

2 x 80m striders on grass

Later I'll do resistance bands.

Beautiful morning!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sprinting mileage

Beautiful night at the track. A north wind of dry air pushing the temperatures from the 70sº into the 60sº. I was going to take 2 days off after Saturday's meet, but I feel fine and had today off, so .... back to it.

Today was a quantity workout. I upped the ante a bit and the quantity. 600s tonight, I set a goal of 1:48 - 18 sec 100m splits. A 72 sec 400m + a 36 sec 200m. As usual, I beat the goal but only on the first one. I ran the 600s in sprint form, on my toes in spikes.
400m warmup, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

6 x 600m - 1:45, 1:51, 1:52, 1:56, 1:58, 1:51
walk 200m in between

2 x 200m - 28.5, 27.5
walk 200m in between

300m barefoot warmdown jog on grass

I ran the last 2 x 200m pretty hard. In my tired delirium, I thought of something that might help my speed. Coming onto the home stretch of a 200m (or a 400m) -I imagine I am running downhill. Thats kind of what it felt like tonight. Probably because I had been running the 600s quite a bit slower than the 200s at the end of the workout, and it was nearly dark by the time I ran the 200s. Running in the dark feels faster.

4000m of sprints.... feels good.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meet Report: Vanderbilt Black and Gold Meet

I saw it coming on radar.

I thought just maybe, I'd get my 400m heat in before it hit. I was in heat #5 - the last heat (slow heat). By heat 3, it started to sprinkle. By heat 4 it was raining. As I was adjusting my blocks, it hit. Wind, heavy rain, the temperature dropped from low 60sº to low 50sº. 'Why couldn't they wait just 5 min,' I thought? No lightning, so we went. Wouldn't have mattered, it rained hard for 20 min.

There were two real fast guys in my heat and 2 slow guys. I got a decent start, but just as I hit the end of the back stretch, rain was hitting my face so hard my contact slipped off my eye. I shut one eye and attacked the curve. I passed one guy on the turn and another guy coming off the turn, the two fast guys were 10m ahead. They beat me by about 20m and I beat the two slow guys. 55.79 - was my second fastest 400 but I was pissed I didn't get a PR. Surprisingly, the traction in the rain was OK, but I think the force of the rain hitting me could've easily screwed my chances at a PR. I missed it by just 0.25. A lost opportunity on probably the best track in the state.

The weather cleared for the 200m. My 200m sucked - 25.50. Same shit. Good start. Ran a great turn, faded on the straight. I was winning the heat at the end of the turn and got passed. There were just 2 other guys in my heat since many people scratched and went home when it rained. I've got to do something about this. (I'm thinking more speed work - some fast 150s).

The Vandy Invite in April has the 200m on Friday night and the 400m on Sat. That will be a good time to go after a 200m PR.

It was nice to hang with Coach Dean Hayes (photo above) and the team. In his characteristic dry sense of humor, Coach said to me, "I see you made it to the finish."

Disappointed about the failed PR attempt, the substandard 200m, and the weather ... but for a first outdoor meet, it set a pretty high bar. My 55.79 is by far the fastest time in the M50 USA Masters 400m Rankings - but the season is very young.

Great to run with the college guys ... and girls.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pre race day - light workout

At the track this evening. Always feel a little sluggish til I put the spikes on.

Beautiful evening, low 70sº.

Had the track to myself until some annoying frat boys showed up. They seemed cocky. Kinda joking about my warmup routine. If I didn't have a meet tomorrow, I would've insulted them ... and then bet 'em each $20 they couldn't beat an old guy - age 51 - in a race 'just once around the track.' Next time. Hey, I could rake in some serious money off these fools.

So, I did my usual warmup and knowing I have lane 6 tomorrow in the 400, I ran a negative split 400 in lane 6, starting easy and running each 100m a little faster: 100 splits of 17, 16, 15, 14. I almost nailed it.

400m warmup, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

400m - 62.5 (17,16,15, 14.5)

starts on the turn

200m strider

2 x 100m strider

Spira training shoes on

400m cool down jog on grass

I videoed my start a few times. I think this will be a useful tool. The blurry pic below is from the video, the 4th step from the blocks.

My students have serious spring fever and half of them cancelled this week. I only worked 6 hrs this week. Nice!

Masters Sprinter Gatlin Wins World 60m Championship

If you're over 30, you're considered a "Masters Athlete."

Justin Gatlin, who turned 30 last month, won the 60m World Championship in Istanbul on 3/10 in a smokin' 6.46.

Awesome. Hope he gives Bolt a run for his money.

It's puzzling to me why they don't contest the 200m in the world indoor games. There doesn't seem to be results for that event on the website. Hmmm.

Photo: 2 Bills

This is a photo of Bill Collins and I.

His inspiration and book has help guide me in this Masters Track journey. The motto and title of his book, "The ageless athletic spirit" is the sub title of this blog.

Bill has so many world championships and world records, I can't begin to even list them. At age 61, Bill set an M60 World Record in the 60m dash 7.58 - and I don' think he even used starting blocks. Bill's winning 200m time was 24.53, faster than the 2 younger age group champions (M50, M55). All this after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder. He went from being in a wheechair in 2011 to setting a world sprint record this month. Great story on Bill. Amazing comeback, not surprising if you read his book. Not his first comeback. He looks great.

Thanks Bill, and good luck in the Worlds.

Pre race day - first outdoor meet / Penn news

Today is a rest day and I'll probably go to the track for a warmup, stretching and some easy stuff. Also, some swimming. The weather is iffy tomorrow: cloudy with cooler temperaures - mid 60sº - and 50% rain chance. If it's dry, the track will be fast and hopefully no wind.

UPDATE: Now they're saying 70% chance of rain Sat. Shit. Well, the rain they predicted today never came. So, we'll see.

Regarding the 400 race, it seems like my best times are had when I go out fast. At least 26 in the first 200. My finishing mechanics need work. After analyzing video of my finishing duel with Chinn in the 200 where we were stride for stride, my stride frequency was slightly faster than his in the last few steps but his stride much longer. He also seems to bend his legs at the knee more on the return motion. Not sure of the effect of that. Anyway, I think concentrating on running tall, long, and in-line with good arm motion is something I need to remember.

I'm booked for the Penn Relays
I booked my flights and hotel for the Penn Relays. I found a cheap hotel by the waterfront near the airport for just $69 and I will fly out right after the meet. Happy to have found 2 non-stop flights. My last event should end around 4:40 and my flight leaves at 7:10pm. Will have to travel really light, just a backpack. No laptop. The whole experience should cost about $400 but it'll be worth it. The best chance for a medal will be the 4 x 400 with GPTC and Ray thinks we can win Gold. I just wish Scott G. would call and get on this team. With him, we really could win it. I really wouldn't mind running lead off. Definitely don't want anchor leg.
Tentative schedule if I run 3 events:
Friday, 4/27 M50 events:
12:30 - 4 x 100
3:02 - 100m
4:30 - 4 x 400
Exciting time of year... I fly 3 consecutive weekends: Penn, Las Vegas to visit my parents, then Raleigh - SE Masters Championships.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Got out to the track early today to beat the rain. Did a few quality 300 sprints at 85-90%. I set as a goal even 14 sec 100m splits - 43 total. I beat the goal on the first one. Rested about 5-7 min in between.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

3 x 300m - 42.5, 45, 44

2 x 100m striders - one from blocks

Inventory: Felt fine. Just slightly sore from the week's workouts. Mostly just sore feet. My weight is good, was 138.6 after workout.

Saturday's meet: I got decent lanes. Lane 6 for the 400m and lane 3 for the 200m at Vandy's Black and Gold meet. Of course, I'm in the slowest heats. In the 400m - right in the middle as my heat will have guys in lanes 4-8. In the 200m I have inside lane with guys in lanes 3-8. Great... anything but lane one or outside lane.

Yet another photo of the 200m Final. This is right near the end where I got edged out for a medal by James Chinn.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stair hops and sprints

15 flights up MTSU's Floyd Stadium stairs tonight, then one set of resistance.

Of the 15 flights up, 9 were standard stair sprints and 6 were 'half and halves:' halfway up with double leg hops over the bleachers and sprint the rest of the way.

This stuff really makes the thighs hard as stone.

Going to run a few quality 300s tomorrow and a light day on Friday. Rain showers are supposed to move in Thurs - Sat. Rain chance is 90% tomorrow night. I may go in the afternoon if it looks like the evening will be rained out.

Hoping for a dry track on Sat. at Vandy. 50% rain chance.

Photo: 400m M50 Championship Race

USATF Indoor Masters National Championships - Bloomington, IN, 3/16/12.

This photo taken near the 200m mark shows how fast I went out. I had a good start from the blocks. My first 200 was about 25.8 - 26. I was able to maintain this lead (to the surprise of many) throughout the second lap until slowing slightly in the last 40m.

Ian Smith (in red) from England, who has run 55.78 earlier this season, said to me - "When I saw how fast you went out I thought, 'what the hell is he doing?'" Ian is an 800m guy coming down to the 400m.

That's '06 World Champion J. Chinn in the white and Ray Parker in the blue. Those guys were really tightly packed on the last lap and probably wasted some energy passing and jockying for position.

I really never saw anyone through most of the race.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Night sprints on the Equinox

First day of spring.

With my first outdoor meet coming up on Sat., I thought I'd better get a 'quantity' workout in tonight. Quads were slightly sore but not bad.

I modeled this workout after the killer workout I did on 3/11 in Sewanee. It seemed to prepare me well for the Nationals.

400m warmup, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

4 x 500m - 83, 86.5, 87, 89

2 x 200m - 27.5, 28.5

300m - 47
I was going to do one more 300 but I felt a blister coming on so I quit. Still, 2700m of sprints. On the 500s, I tried to get the 400 at around 68-72 and run the last 100m in at least 16, trying for 15. I succeeded on the first 3. On the 200s, I tried running negative splits 14, 13 - which I almost nailed on the first one. The 300 I ran 16, 16, 15 100m splits.

For the Vandy meet this weekend, it will be great to be running with the college boys again. I signed up for the 400, 100, and 200 but will likely scratch from the 100 since it follows the 400. The Vanderbilt Mondo track is one of the nicest I've ever run on, so I'll be shooting for a PR 400m this Sat. The only issue is that it may be raining. I'd really love to break 55. To do that, I'll really have to move my ass on that second turn and keep perfect form on the last 80, that's where I lose a lot of speed. This will be my last meet for 3 weeks, (or 2 weeks if I want to drive 90 min to Clarksville on 4/7).

Reflecting on the Nationals, it's weird that I won the 400m ... considering I ran the first 400m race of my life about a year ago. My first outdoor 400m was 56.71. Not much slower than I just ran. So, it may indicate that I can improve my PR this season.

I'm really a reluctant 400m sprinter. I only started doing it as 'therapy' after pulling a ham in the Vandy meet last year. This race may have chosen me. If I was an elite 100m sprinter, I probably would never run the 400m. It's a lot of work. When I told coach Page last year that I was considering training for the 400, he said 400m training "will be painful." It sure is a lot of effort.

One thing I've noticed since I've gotten into pretty good shape is that the nauseous feeling and the rigging up I felt after some 400s isn't there anymore. Total fatigue yes, but not the sick feeling. Big difference. I first really felt the sick feeling after my 55.87 in Birmingham in 90º heat in June. I rigged in both 400s at the Nationals. I swore I'd never run another 400 after that meet.

After any race, I always feel like I could have run faster or produced a better effort, better form, etc... That's the way it is. Frustrating to lose a medal in the 200m again, by just 0.11. 50m from the end I was in 2nd. Oh well, move on.

Inventory: Feel good, no strains. 140.4 after workout and the Monday 'Pie Fest' - thanx Iska for the key lime and chocolate pies.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

200m National Final - M50

Very tight finish in the 200m M50 National Final.


Lane 2 - Tony Disalvo - 5th

Lane 3 - William Yelverton - 4th

Lane 4 - Jame Chinn - 3rd

Lane 5 - Michael Waller - 1st

Lane 6 - Scott Granowski - 2nd

I ran 25.43, my indoor PR, but I missed another medal by 1/10 sec.. It's OK. I'm happy with the meet overall and I'll write more in the days to come. It was a memorable experience and I feel good about it. Had a great time.

After the 200 final, many time National Champion Michael Waller told me that I was "the only one he saw." I know I gained on him around the final turn and we were about even at the end of the turn. He asked me, "Did someone getcha?" I said, "Yea, two people got me." It was really in the last 3 steps that Chinn 'got me' for the bronze. O well. The big surprise was Scott G. Wow, did he come off that high bank in lane 6 with a vengence to take Silver. I think that 25.18 may have been faster than his outdoor PR or close to it. If the race was 5m longer he might have won. He improved almost 0.50 seconds from the prelims. I improved just 0.11, Chinn stayed about the same, and Waller improved 0.33.

I'm hoping Scott will contact me. I'd love to have him on our Penn Relays 4x400 team.

Tomorrow is a rest day, I have the day off and it's supposed to be beautiful and summer like. 85º. It's probably unlikely I'll ever win another National Championship, so I'll enjoy this one.

Next Meet: Vanderbilt Black and Gold Meet on Saturday.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not my 'A game' in the 60m

I missed qualifying for the 60m finals by 0.03 seconds. Ran a 7.98, minimum qualifier was 7.95. I should have been in the 7.8's. Was at least 0.15 sec. off my "A Game."

I did not sleep last night. Not even 5 minutes.
I've been up almost 30 hrs straight now.

Naturally keyed up a bit after yesterday's big win, I was already a little edgy and restless. But the problem was trying to sleep in a bed next to my father who has sleep apnea and a seriously loud snore. Even with ear plugs, pillows, etc... I gave up at 4 am, and tried sleeping in the back seat of my compact car. Not comfortable. Imagine trying to sleep next to someone pulling the starting cord on a non-starting chain saw, that is the best description of my father's sound at night.

It's just past 10:30 am and I am going to sleep now. I got a single room. I feel totally like shit and I'm a tad pissed and irritable. I have to believe I'd been 0.03 seconds faster if I had a restful sleep last night, or even just a few hours.

It's cool. Yesterday, I won a National Championship.

...The 200m tomorrow.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sometimes, the training pays off - 400m M50 National Champion

This was unexpected.

Yea, the M50 World 400m Champion M. Sullivan didn't show up, so that created an opening for me to Win the USATF M50 400m Indoor National Championship.

55.90, not a bad time. It might even convert to a sub - 55 outdoor. Not quite up to the standard of past years' National Champions, but I'll take it. It's all about who shows and brings their 'A - Game'.

I was really relaxed before the race. I got out fast and let from start to finish. My splits were somewhere around 26/30. Ray Parker, my 4x400 relay mate for the Phily Track Club took the silver, and almost caught me at the end. We should have a great 4 x 400m relay for the Penn Relays.

It's great to be in Bloomington. I get to go to a fancy restaurant tonight with my dad and hear my former student Luke entertain us on classical guitar.

Tomorrow is the 60m prelims and finals. If I don't do anything in that race, it's OK. I got what I came for already.


Photos below:
1) sporting GOLD!
2) leading after the break

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pre race day - Masters Nationals Indoor

In Bloomington, IN. I was just remarking to my dad that I'll likely be the only athlete here that has performed in Indiana University's Auer Concert Hall, and on the IU indoor track.

Not well known outside of academia, but Indiana U. is one of the top ranked Music Schools in the nation. I was remembering the pressure I felt before my solo guitar performance at IU's International Guitar Festival in '10. It went well and I got through it.

IU also has a powerhouse collegiate track program.

Tomorrow's performance will involve a lot less pressure and anxiety. Should be fun.

What struck me immediately about the track at the Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse at IU was the steepness of the banked curves. There is a rather dramatic uphill going into the curve and downhill leaving. I have never run on such a track. The lanes are the widest I've ever seen on an indoor track. The Mondo track is a little chewed up but nice and tight, springy. I like it.

The 400m is tomorrow. I'm inclined to go out fast since it is really hard to pass after the break. It's a risky strategy but it may be my best shot to be most competitive. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beautiful evening on the track

Just wanting to stay loose and get some starts in, I hit the track this evening to an incredible sunset. Warm with temps in the 70sº, a distant thundershower entertained me with lightning in the distance.

1000m warmup on the grass, stretches, drills

300m strider - 47 (17, 15, 15)

several blocks starts

I feel pretty good. I can sprint 100m at 90% effort without really raising my heartrate much.

Tomorrow, it's off to the Nationals in Bloomington and a chance tomorrow night to try out that awesome Super-X banked Mondo track.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Last speed workout of indoor season

And it wasn't really much, although it was fast and I felt it. Beautiful evening. Around 70º at dusk.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

Adidas spikes on

500m - 74.5 (59, 15.5) or (27.5 / 31.5, 15.5)

2 x 200m - 27, 28

3 Block starts

Spira training shoes on

400m cool down jog on grass

I ran the 500m at 90% effort to see if I'd rig in the last 100m. Nope. But I did keep it below 100%.

Inventory: Officially down to race weight. 139.0 after workout. No strains, feel fine. Did one set of resistance late last night. Even the benign crepitus in the left knee is disappearing. Also, my one secret source for replacement spike risers came through so I'll be good to go for this season.

Masters Nationals news: After showing his status as "accepted," former WR holder Barnwell seems to be not yet fully cleared to race. His status has been changed back to "info needed." Also, I. Smith is asterisked in the 400m - which means he is competing as a non-American and will not be eligible for medals. He has the fastest indoor 400m time this season in the M50 rankings: 55.78.

Regardless of my placing, it would be great to run season PRs and to make the 60m and 200m Finals. That's my goal.

First Championship Race is Friday, 4:06 PM. The 400m. Good. Get it outta the way. Thankfully, a timed final, no prelims.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Daylight Track Saving Time

It was great to be on the track after 7 pm tonight with still a tad of daylight left. Gorgeous spring weather with temperatures all week expected to be above normal... well into the 70ºs.

Today was a recovery day from yesterday's quantity workout. Last night I sure felt beat but today, good. No strains, good to go.

Priority today was to warm up, stretch and tinker with the new blocks setting.

I did my usual warmup and was feeling a little flat... so to liven up the party, I donned my backup Nike R3s and did a 75% 400m, negative splits 33, 31. It came out to be 64.5 and wow, it felt easy. I felt pretty much fully recovered in less than a minute then I did blocks and another 400m, a tad faster. Same. Very smooth, just a light sweat. This one was 64.0.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

Nike spikes on

400m @ 75% - 64.5

several block starts comparing configurations

400m @ 75% - 64

Spira training shoes on

400m cool down jog on grass

Resistance bands later tonight

I feel good. My weight is a nominal 139.6 after workout. One more good workout this week tomorrow then taper. A little quality speed work tomorrow and the usual tempo endurance. Not too much. Today, the MTSU 400m guys did 1 x 500m and 3 x 300m. The 100/200m sprinters did 8 x 200m. I'll probably do something similar tomorrow. Probably a 500m and some 200m repeats.

College outdoor season starts this Sat. I'm already looking ahead. My outdoor season starts a week from Sat. at Vanderbilt's Black and Gold Meet and registration is now open. What to run? Either the 400/200 or the 100/200. Unfortunately, the 4oo comes just before the 100.

Yes, the new configuration does three things: 1) It's more reliable, 2) it puts my front foot closer to the line, and 3) it yields a longer first step. The previous set puts so much forward lean on my hands, I was more likely to stumble and was using short 'studder-steps' at the beginning to counteract the excessive forward lean. This set is just a slight change and I think will prove to work well. I plan on practicing daily with this set between now and Thurs.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quantity Sewanee Sprints

Working on Sewanee's Coughlan Track today, I did quantity sprints. It was nice enough to run shirtless, mid 60sº, windy.

Hard friggin work. 3000m of sprints.

For the 500s I tried to do even 17 sec 100m splits concentrating on the last 100m, a 68-72 sec 400m, plus a 16 sec 100m - into a stiff wind.

The first one I beat the final split but came up a little short on the others and a lot short on the last one. About 5 min in between. The first and last 100m was against the wind.

I then did 200s. Run 200, walk 200. Faster. 80-90%

1000m warmup, stretches, drills

4 x 500m - 84 (68, 16), 87 (71, 16), 88 (72, 16), 90 (74, 16)

5 x 200m - 27.5, 29, 28, 28.5, 30

It was hard. Started really feeling that full body pump after the 3rd 200m. Didn't push the 500s real hard except the last 100m, wanted to do quantity.

More block work tomorrow.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fast long Saturday sprints and blocks

Sunny and spring-like, in the 50s on the Dean Hayes Track this noon. I decided to do some quality sprints. I wanted to do an event run 400m just to see if I'd rig up. Well, I didn't but I certainly slowed down.

I also made a slight block set adjustment, first change since highschool. Still testing but it certainly feels good.

For the 400m, I was nervous... thinking, 'this will hurt.' Actually, it wasn't too bad. I'd like to think it wasn't 100%, but sure close. My goal was 56 (26, 30) but that didn't happen. It was more like 57 (26.5, 30.5)... it might have been 57.5.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

2 x 50m striders

400m event run - 57 (26.5, 30.5)

2 x 200m - 26.5, 27.5


With the blocks in my present configuration, I feel as if I have too much weight on my hands and upon reaction, it takes time to shift that weight to my lead foot. Moving the front foot 1" forward and the rear foot 1" backward puts more weight on the lead foot and seems to make the first step longer and more powerful. It feels more like a plyo and I feel more control and consistency coming out. I'm going to keep working with it and see what happens. I like having my front foot as close to the line as comfortably possible. I got the idea from watching the NCAA championships yesterday.

I think maybe two more good quantity workouts - Sun and Tues, then light. My first race is Friday late afternoon: the 400m. My weight is still up a bit. 141.4 after workout.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday evening on the track

Long shadows on the track as I return to the track alone just before sunset.

One week before Nationals.

I did a brief maintenance workout tonight. Long sprints and starts.

800m warmup, dynamic stretches, drills

3 x 300m - 44.5, 46, 48 (3-4 min rest)

several starts from blocks

I tried to get even splits in the 300s. Was ahead in the first and slightly behind in the others. Not too sore after stairs and resistance yesterday so I'll try to run every day until Nationals, some light, some hard.

Watching the NCAA Indoor T&F Championships tonight live online.

Looks like the field for the M50 60m event is the largest in all of the Masters National Championships with 26 competitors. It should be an awesome competition now that WR holder Barnwell looks to be cleared to race. If I'm not in the finals, it will be great to see Barnwell, Eaton, Sullivan, Butler, and Waller race. Wow, what a freakin' field. Every one a World Medalist.

Weight is up a bit with the excellent dinner we had out on the town last night: 144 after dinner.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stairs - hops and sprints

Scott was visiting so he went with me to do a stair workout. I give him credit for doing 8 stair runs.

This will be my last stair session before Nationals. Next week, I'm going to taper off a bit.

One lap warmup, stretches.

10 x stair sprints

5 x 'half n halfs' - double leg hops over the bleachers half way up, sprint half way

Not exactly sure about a plan for this last week before Nationals but I may run every day if I feel good. Alternating heavy and light days. Clyde Hart grids do a pretty formidable workout 3 days before meet.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Whooped and on the track

This construction project at my house was all consuming and my body took a physical beating. Mostly shoveling heavy moist clay soil and other stuff. My hands were burning this morning, my back hurt, arms & feet sore ... but, the job is done and I was back on the track this afternoon for a good solid workout. Joining me was my visiting highschool bud, Scott Strong.

While Scott did some jogging, I did fast sprints tonight... even split 400s and 200 intervals. I tried to run the 400 in even splits - 15/100 on the first, 16/100 on the second with 7 min rest. The headwind on the last 100m made it hard.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

2 x 400m - 61 (15, 15, 16, 15), 64.5 (15, 16, 17, 16)

3 x 200m - 28.5, 30, 28.5

Probably should do a strength workout tomorrow. Stadium stairs in the AM, resistance PM.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunset Monday on the track

I needed the 2 recovery days since my hams were still slightly sore this morning after the Friday night meet. It was a hard day since I worked all day doing manual labor, mostly digging heavy muddy dirt for hours for a home project. I finally got to the track at sunset. It was nice and cool, temps falling into the mid 40sº, perfect for a ball buster workout.

Quantity sprints tonight. Started with 500s that I tried to run even or negative splits for the last 100m.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

3 x 500m - (1st 400, last 100)
82 (67 - 400/15 -100)
87 (72 - 400/15 -100)
89 (73 -400/ 16 -100)

2 x 200m - 30, 29

300m - 45.5

The 200s and 300 I tried to maintain 15 sec 100m splits. A good solid workout - 2200m of sprints. I kept rest times to 5-6 min.

Inventory - The last 24 hrs has been one of maximum weight fluctuation. Sunday was a feast day with 2 large meals, snacks, pie, cake, etc.... I came home last night weighing 146.4 lbs and my morning weight was 144 - highest in recent memory. After workout, down to 139.4. - 7 lbs lighter than 18 hrs ago.

My feet hurt, and hip hurts a little but only when rotating sideways widely. No serious problems. Good to go. May do a strength workout tomorrow. Good training weather this week.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Meet Report: Mason Dixon Games

This was not the track to run a fast 200m.

I ran OK, tied my PR in the 55m: 7.32. Notable considering I had just 30 min after racing the 200m, and considering the poor track surface. I posted respectable non-PR times in the other events.

I will probably not return to this meet. The ancient track surface is not only horrendously chewed up with saw dust everywhere, but the lanes are narrow, the turns are incredibly tight, and the track actually gives and bounces a little when sprinting on it. It was downright scary to run an all-out 200m on this track. Kinda like sprinting on a catwalk. Lucky to walk away uninjured. Still, I turned my second fastest 200m of the indoor season: 25.78. The amount of torque on the feet caused 3 spikes to be ripped from my shoes. I could not use my best shoes, the Nike crowns kept breaking. So, I used my Saucony's. The track is weird. Uncharacteristically long straightaways - about 70m and very short tight turns. I feared being put in the outside lane in the 200m, 5 feet above the concrete arena floor with no guardrail. The banked turns were on risers and everything seemed to be held together with C-clamps, very rickety. Some guy would come out and occassionally have to hammer the track back together after races. Fortunately, I got lane 3 in the 200. I was in a fast heat with two 30 yr olds and a 20+ yr old college age woman! The two young guys narrowly beat me, but thankfully, I beat the girl by a few meters. She was fast! (Lutisha ran 26.15).

A huge masters story from this meet was the appearance of a new amazingly fast M55 sprinter. Bill Edwards, age 56, beat me, running a 7.18. That is .26 faster than any M55 posted this season in the 55m! He has to be the favorite to win the Nationals in the M55 60m dash. The guy is new to masters track and probably doesn't even know how high he ranks.

Due to numerous tornadoes in the area, not only was the meet delayed by 40 min, but 90% of the school kids did not come. This made the meet move very fast and provided very little rest time between races. I ran 3 races in less than 90min and scratched in the 800m, because I was whooped and would not have received but 30min rest after the 400m.

The 400 was ok. I felt tired before I started but still managed a 57.84. I ran it without blocks, and not my best effort. Still, my 3rd fastest this season.

I enjoyed chatting with some of the old timers there, they all know Dean Hayes. The meet was named after Charlie Ruter, a 90 yr old guy who founded this meet 52 yrs ago. He recently died. In it's heyday, this meet attracted nationally elite athletes. Not anymore. They need a new track and venue for this meet to have a future, in my opinion. I am still very thankful for the officials and the people who have kept this meet alive for 52 years. It is a great tradition that deserves a better facility.

The best news is that I have no injuries and should be good to train by Monday. This was my 6th indoor meet of the season.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pre race day - last indoor meet before Nationals

With the forecast of a tornado outbreak tomorrow squarely located over the route I will be driving, I am reminded of the first time I went to compete at the Mason-Dixon Games and it was cancelled due to weather - snow and ice.

I doubt this type of severe weather will affect an indoor meet, but the travel is my concern. I really don't want to expose my new car to the possibility of severe hail so I may drive my SUV. Fortunately, I'll be driving 11am-2pm (central) arriving around 3ish (eastern time zone), and returning from 8:30 pm -11:30pm (est) arriving 10:30 pm (cst)... depending how long I want to stay and how many events I will run. My travel times are before and after the usual peak times of severe weather.

I look at this as a time trial and workout. The masters/open division of this meet is small and I likely won't be challenged in my age group. However, I may be in heats with younger masters/open sprinters that could offer competition. I am signed up to do 4 events in this order and on this approximate schedule:
4:30 pm - 200m
5:10 pm - 55m
7:00 pm - 400m
8:15 pm - 800m
The only challenge to the schedule is to race the 55m 40min after a 200m. Should be ok but I don't expect a PR in the 55. If I do stay to run the 800m, it would be my first 800 race and after running 3 races, I'm not expecting to run much under 2:30. It really is tiring to race a 200m and 400m ... a lot of calories burned because the races are far enough apart so as to require a separate warmup for each. So, running a fast 800m will be tough and taxing.

I don't want to get my hopes up about running fast times because it is after all, a 50 yr old chewed up wooden track. But, at least I'll get a feel of what it's like to run banked turns before doing it at Nationals on a much better track.

Since the National Masters Championships start two weeks from tomorrow with the 400m, another concern is injury since this is a hard track. I need to remind myself to bail if I feel any significant strains. I feel ok now, just some slight soreness in the haunches from this week's workouts, but I'm taking today off.

My weight is hovering between 140 - 141, a little heavier than last season but I feel lean. Maybe I put on a few pounds of muscle?