Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday 300s

Today I got a late start, on the track at 10am.   Wanted to wait til tonight but with a junk meet early tomorrow morning, I decided to get out there despite a late night.

Picking it up in pace, I did a tempo endurance workout: 8 x 300m with 3 min rest (which stretched to 4 min on the last few).   I picked a 45 second pace - 15 sec. 100m splits - or about 61 sec. 400m pace.

600m warmup, stretches, drills  
Saucony spikes on
8 x 300m  - 45, 45.5, 46, 47, 47.5, 47.5, 46.5, 49

It was hard.  The sun was blazing by the time I ran my last few.  It is expected to be in the upper 80sº today, but even this morning in the upper 70sº, it felt hot.

Penn Relays M50 100m
I sent a message to those involved that Tony DiSalvo ran in Darnell Gatling's place even though Gatling got credit for it.   I hope they straighten it out.  Felton may not want to, because he'd have to admit he broke protocol.   We'll see.   Tony was not even an official alternate.

I think I may have earned one uninfamous distinction - the fastest 6th place finish in Penn Relays history for the M50 100m.   Such a fast heat.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday long sprints

In Sewanee for one of my long sprint workouts.   Still a little sore from the 100s at Penn Relays so I didn't want to do anything real fast.   So again, a 4 x 500m workout.   Cumulatively, tied my fastest previous 4x500, so it was tiring.

I set my goal splits to 82:  66 sec 400m (32/34) + 16 sec 100m.
500m warmup, stretches, drills 
saucony spikes on 
4 x 500m - 82.5, 81, 83, 86
Avg: 83.125
After the third one I was pretty spent.  Even after a generous rest, 86 was still a hard last 500m.  This exactly tied my previous best avg. time for this workout.  This felt hard because it was warm, upper 70ºs.

Two hand timed masters 'junk meets' ahead: Tues. and Sat.    I will definitely run all the sprints and maybe the 800m if I can rest a bit.  The 800m would be tough after running 3 all out sprints.  I'd like 30 min rest after the 400m but I doubt that will be possible.   These meets run everything consecutive - shortest to longest.

Feel like I'm coming down to the wire here.  Southeastern Masters on 5/12 is sort of the 'end of regular season finale' for me before a long break from competition.   I'd really like to do well.  I would love to improve on my times from last year but that will be tough:  400m - 55.54 and 200m - 25.34.

After the SE Masters, there is 5 weeks until the Bluegrass Games and the TN Assoc. meet in June, then the TN Senior Games in July, and the Masters Nationals in Aug.   The Masters Nationals are a full 3 months (12 weeks) after SE Masters.   That's a long time.  A long time to stay fit ... or maybe time for a break and new training cycle.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Penn Relays report

What a day: at the biggest track meet in the world

Silver Medal in the M50 4x400m relay with the Greater Phily Track Club.  

6th in the 100m dash with a PR 12.17.

A visit that started wonderfully and ended up crazy.   First the races...

I ran three events. T'was a nasty blustery cold day ... mostly cloudy in the morning, 50ºs, stiff wind.

4 x 100m relay
My main concern was hurting myself in the first race, where I anchored a non-competitive 4x100m team to a 6th place finish.  No place to really do much warmup once inside the paddock area, and with the cold weather, seemed a recipe for injury.  But... it went fine, except I left a bit late and received the handoff before hitting my stride.  Wanted to be conservative and make sure I got the stick.   Felt great.  Fun to run in that huge stadium.  Great warm up.

100m dash  UPDATED
They've updated the results - I finished 6th and my time is official.  12.17
I was second alternate and knew there was at least one scratch.   I knew my chances were good that I'd run and it was not confirmed until the last minute.   Former World Champ A. Tissenbaum blew away the field with an 11.45.  The rest of us were so close, 5 of us within .12 seconds.  (That'll teach me to lean at the finish).  I really wasn't sure what place I had taken officially but I saw my time flash briefly on the scoreboard: 12.17.   So, all the way home, for hours, thinking the first thing I would do when I got home was check the official results online to make sure.   When I did ... I was shocked and angered.  My name did not appear in the official results... at all.   There was a screw up between the timers and the clerk.   They certainly must have the photo for this race so I sent an email to the masters director who said he'd send a request to the timers.   I definitely saw my name on the scoreboard and saw my time.  I just hope it becomes official record.   I was in lane one.   C. Davis in lane two ran 12.05 and took second - he was no more than a meter ahead of me, half a step.   I'm happy about it, a real good first 100m race of the season... and no injuries!  But... I want to see my damn time documented!  To run a PR and not get official credit for it - that is crime.

4 x 400m relay
I knew this would be crazy - 25 teams in one heat... so I did NOT want to run lead off.   Ray convinced me that it would be best for the team if I did.   So, I agreed.   Better that than anchor.   I did not want the pressure of running anchor.   Sprint Force America - the defending champs - showed up with 2 really fast guys, capable of sub 53.  One of them was to my left at the start, D. Gatling.  It was a mass group start - no one in specific lanes - everyone fighting for the lead.   I was elbowed hard and did not get out well.   I was in 4th position on the first turn and and was really just floating down the back stretch, didn't feel like I was running fast.   So, I took off into the last turn and passed a guy - running in lane 2 on the turn which I knew would cost me time.   I came to hand off to Jeff in third position.    He passed someone, moving us to second.  The rest of the race was between us and Sprint Force America.   We ran away from the rest of the field... beating the third place team by almost 6 sec. Scott and Ray ran killer legs.   Can't wait to see that Penn Relays Silver Medal.  My split was 56.60, surprised it was even that fast considering the start and passing on the turn.

The Crazy
The race finished late.   I didn't get out and to meet my dad until well after 5.  My flight boards at 6:40 and we were a 20m train ride to the airport.   We missed te first train and had to wait til 5:36 for next train.   A couple minutes before the train pulled in, I realized I did not have my wallet.   Frantically searching, looking through my bag and under benches, it was lost.   My dad picked up my spike bag and got on the train.   I missed the train in the confusion.   As a last ditch hope, I asked the train station cops if they had found a wallet, they said yes and described it as mine.  YES!!  But I'd have to take the train in the opposite direction to get to customer service to retrieve my wallet.   Which I did, and then caught the 6:10 train back to the airport.  My dad saved my ass by calling me and telling me of a terminal change for my flight.   If I had gotten off at the terminal that was indicated on my ticket, I would certainly have missed my plane.  I made it by 5 min ... sprinting to the gate.

The Nice
My hotel was simple and cheap, but in a beautiful waterfront location with a great seafood restaurant and Printz Park next door.  I had a great crab cake sandwich and french fries ... something I would never normally eat.  It was awesome.  I ate while sitting by the water's edge.

The Cool
Standing up to get off the plane in Phily, who do I see sitting in front and all around me?  Heh... the MTSU Track Team.   Asa looked at me and smiled ... probably thinking, "this guy follows us everywhere."  The next morning while walking from the train, I look up and see MTSU's coach Kelly looking out of the van yelling to me, "Hey, I see you made it!"  I later saw the team getting ready in the paddock to run just after my event.   It was cool.

GO MTSU Blue!!!   The MTSU Men's 4 x 400m team is in the Penn Relays Collegiate FINALS on Saturday.  To put it in perspective, the MTSU 4 x 400m team could have beaten our masters team by 38 seconds!   They'd almost be able to lap us.


The groin strain is definitely related to the pubalgia issue, but it feels fine now.  But, I'm really tired.  I'll know better tomorrow how my body is holding up.  I have the opportunity to run 3 masters meets in the next 2 weeks were I can run all 3 sprints if I want.   The big one is SE Masters on 5/12.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Off to Penn Relays

Good to go.

Today I catch a plane to Phily for the Penn Relays.   Tomorrow, I'll be racing in the M50 4x100, 4x400, and possibly the 100m.   Chances are, I probably won't run the 100m since I am 2nd alternate, but I'll be there and ready just in case.   Not in the best shape to run a 100 since my blocks work has been minimal and have mostly been focused on the long sprints.

Today I hit the track for a light workout.   It felt good.  Still feel the groin issue but just slightly, and the more I run, the less I feel it.  I did a good warm up, stretching and cool down.   Just enough to get a slight sweat.   I feel good to go but do feel like I've been taking it easy... short workout Wed, day off Thurs, easy workout today.

600m warmup on grass, stretches, drills 
saucony spikes on 
300m - 47   
200m - 28 
2 blocks starts 
300m cool down on grass, stretches, drills

Got about 2 hrs before I leave and packing will be easy.  Just my meet clothes and spikes.  I'll be going right from my race to catch a plane home on Fri eve.

The 4x400m relay is going to be mass craziness.   25 teams running all in the same heat.   No blocks, the start will be like an 800m with two staggered groups running to a breakpoint on the back stretch.   By the time we get the baton, I think our team should be close to the front, likely in medal contention.  That'll kick up the adrenalin.   Probably should have have practiced running with a stick in my hand but I'll be sure not to drop it.

The 4x100m should be kind of a joke, I doubt we'll be in medal contention but I'll have to blast the anchor against some really fast guys.   Handoffs are critical in ths race and some of our team will be trying handoffs for the first time 90 min before our race.   I just hope no one gets hurt in the 4x100 - especially me - so we'll be good to go for out best medal chance in the 4x400.

Whatever happens, it'll be fun and a great experience that I'll be happy to share with my dad.  Who would have thought it would be me to extend the 'Yelverton track legacy' into old age?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day off from track, resistance

Yesterday, I had a slight groin strain that feels much better today, so I'm going to take the day off from the track and do some resistance bands to strengthen the adds, maybe a jog around the block tonight or a brisk half mile if I feel like it. This is a symptom of the pubalgia issue I've had, and it is helped tremendously by targeted resistance work - particularly single leg squats and adductor bands.  The affect of these exercises on a strain is almost magical... it seems to immediately take away the symptoms of a strain.

Having a strain, even slight, is not where I wanted to be before the Penn Relays - since I will anchor the M50 4x100m GPTC relay team.   If this had been a significant strain, it would feel worse today, not better, so I'm feeling OK about it.   I will be good to go.  Unlike a ham or quad, I can run with a groin strain if necessary.  It's only an issue in the 100m.   Just wish I had more time with the blocks and running short sprints.  I still may get into the M50 100m as an alternate.  I was also hoping to run the 100m on Tues 5/1, but may wait until 5/5.

Today is a beautiful day, sunny 70sº - the last day of school for the academic year.

Tomorrow, I won't need to leave for the airport til 12:30 pm so I'll go to the track in the morning for a light workout, nothing fast.

The Penn Relays Masters 4x400 that I will be running is a '50 and older' event that will also include all the 'B teams' as well as the M60 teams.   It will be a crazy event with 25 teams running in a single heat.   No blocks, a mass start like the 800m.   So glad I will not be running first or second leg.   It will be confusing.   If Sprint Force America brings even 2 members of their 2011 team, they will be hard to beat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

400m event run, blocks

I cut this workout short because of feeling a slight groin strain after a blocks start.   It's certainly not bad at all, but it pisses me off because I know I'll have to baby it the rest of the week.  I probably won't even feel it after a few hours.

I ran a good strong 400m, then I got in the blocks.  Ran about 60m before I felt a slight strain, the same old left adductor.   I was planning on running progressively faster 100s today, blocks, then stairs.   So, I went to the stairs to see if I'd feel it on the stairs.  I did, slightly, so I quit after one.

The best medicine for this is rest then resistance bands, stretch, hot tub, roller massage, which I was planning to do tonight, if painless.

I wanted to spend the day recovering from the last 2 hard days but my schedule would not permit an evening workout.  Today is the penultimate day of school for the academic year and it'll be longer than normal (2 - 7:30pm).  So, I hit the track this morning.   My ankles were sore and I ran most of my warmup on grass.

1000m warmup, stretches, drills
saucony spikes on 
80m strider 
400m event run - 57 sec (27.5, 29.5) 
60m out of blocks

The 400m felt good.  I felt I had some left and the first 200m was easy.  Not even close to rigging.

I must be burning some calories since I'm lighter than I've been all season: 137.8 after workout.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Event runs - speed work

Today I did long sprints fast, with an emphasis on form and float.

A cold blustery eve on the Dean Hayes track ... in the 50sº but with a stiff breeze and feeling much colder.

 I did two 300m even runs at near race pace and 5 x 200m.  It was hard to do anything after that second nearly all-out 300m.  I set a goal of 13, 14, 14 100m splits on the 300m - 41 sec.  Which is about 56sec 400m pace.

800m warmup, stretches, drills 
saucony spikes on 
2 x 100m striders 
2 x 300m event runs - 41, 42
blocks starts
5 x 200m - 27, 27, 27.5, 28, 30

Felt pretty good, but exhausting.  What I realize is that there is a huge amount of energy saved when running the first 200m in 26.25 as compared with 25.50.  It's a fine line.  My best shot at sub 55 I think would be 26.25 / 28.50 = 54.75 ... or there about.

MTSU is taking 20 people to the Penn Relays.   I hope to see some of my friends on the team waiting in the wings to run the 4x400.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday penance

For the punishment of my sin of a poor performance yesterday, I reported to the church of the white lines for penance.

It was a raw day, perfect for an endurance foundation workout.   In Sewanee it was overcast, 48º and windy, an occasional spit of drizzle made it feel more like winter.

I didn't want to run anything real fast since my quads were a bit tight, I thought I'd work on my foundation.   Playing one upsmanship with my previous 6 x 600m workout, I did 7 x 600m.  I set a goal of 18 sec 100m splits (1:48).

This time I averaged 1:51.1 (for  7).   Last time I did 600s, I averaged 1:52.2 (for 6).

800m warmup, stretches, drill 
7 x 600m - 1:46.5, 148.5, 1:50.5, 1:53, 1:55, 1:56, 1:48.5 
avg. 6 min rest

I feel like I really pushed very hard on the last one that left me feeling spent.   If I had stayed at 1:56ish, I could have done a few more.

Good to get it done.

Sunday review

Owing more to a tactical error than poor preparation, yesterday's meet was yet another learning experience.  Thinking I was 'too well prepared' to rig up in the end was an error in judgement... thinking that I could overcome such fatigue by sheer will - a suicide mission, recipe for failure.  You would thnk I'd have learned by now.  As a commenter said, it is a fine line.  Last time I thought I was too slow because I was not aggressive enough.  Yesterday, just the opposite.  Hard to imagine that after all this time and work, yesterday's race was just 0.35 seconds faster than the first outdoor 400m I ever ran in my life a year ago April '11 at this same meet.

This unseasonably cool weather this week is great for training.   I am really tempted to get out there today.   Probably later.   I have never trained the day after a meet, but running 2 events in two days is a little easier than my usual 2-event meets.  Plus, I'm leaving for the Penn Relays on Thurs, I won't be training after Wed.

So, what worked in that 2 week cycle leading to my PRs?  I recall emphasizing negative splits and 'fatigued form' on that last 100m of long sprints.  The good thing about keeping records like this is I can try to 'out do' myself on my next cycle.  I think I'll get some good training in, maybe starting tonight, and then try a similar cycle to the one below after Penn Relays.

Here was the 2 week cycle leading up to my PRs:

Monday: 6 x 600m - 1:45, 1:51, 1:52, 1:56, 1:58, 1:51; 2 x 200m - 28.5, 27.5

Tues: 10 x stadium stairs sprints, '6 half n halves' - double leg hops, resistance

Wed: 600m - 1:44, 500m - 88 sec, 400m - 68.5 sec, 300m - 45.5 sec, 200m - 28.5 sec, 150m - 20 sec, 100m - 14 sec

Thurs: 5 x 300m - 45, 45, 45.5, 46, 45.5; 2 x 150m - 20, 20.5; 400m - 64 (16 sec 100m splits)

Fri:  2 x 100m @ 80% - 14.5, 14; 400m event run - 56.5 (27, 29.5);2 x 200 - 26.5, 27.5

Sat:  resistance

Sun: 10 mile hike

Mon:  4 x 500m - 83, 84, 85.5, 87; 2 x 200m - 28, 27

Tues:  stairs and resistance

Wed: 400m - 58.5 (30, 28.5); 2 x 300m - 44, 44.5; 3 x 200m - 27.5, 28.5, 27.5

Thurs: 500m - 79 (64/400 + 15/100); 300m - 42.5; 200m - 26.5; 100m - 13 (from blocks)

Fri: 400m @ 70% effort - 64.5 (34, 30.5); Striders and block starts

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Meet report - gambled and lost

56.36 400m  - my slowest time this season outdoors
Even slower than my indoor championship race.  One consolation is - even this slow time for me would still presently rank #1 in USA M50.  And, it's faster than both my races at the Nationals last year.  But it still sucks!  Substandard performance.  Opportunity lost!

Went out hard... too hard.   The difference in this race among all the others was simply the last 50m.   I was rigging hard and it must have taken me 9 sec to run that last 50m.  I stumbled over the finish line instead of running through.  Conditions - it was a good day to run.  Cold, 52º, light wind, good track.

I know I went out fast because only one guy had made up the stagger by the top of the last turn ... that long, endless lane 8 turn.  The winner of my heat ran 49+.   Actually, very disorienting running in lane 8.  Hard to know where I was.

You can tell yourself all the things you're going to do in that last 100m... but it's like amnesia.  Easy to forget what it feels like to be in that situation.  It's almost indescribable.  The pain is both physical and mental.  This one hurt just as much as the others, even though it was not as fast.  Like J. Chinn said, 'the 400m is a rhythm, sometimes you get it just right.'

Not today.

This is my tenth 400m race this year.   Insane for a masters sprinter.  I think I'm getting burned out on this race.   I realize that my PR at APSU was the result of a longer training cycle.    Two weeks before my PR, I was doing hellish 6 x 600m workouts and paring down over a two week cycle.  I don't think I can improve by racing every weekend.  This goes against Coach Page's statement that 'the best training is racing.'   Not always.  Maybe for shorter and longer races, but not the 400.   Hell, look at world class sprinters like Bolt.  I don't think he's running more than 5 races this whole season.  400m superstar Jeremy Wariner has 8 meets on his schedule this yr.  I've done 11 meets, and if I go to Puerto Rico in July, that will be 9 more.   But, I have 5 weeks off beginning May 12.

I think it's a fantasy to try and run an 800m race immediately after an all-out 400m.   I was talking about doing it, but it's that amnesia thing again.  It takes 30-40 min after a 400 race to even feel normal.   If I can get 40 min rest, I may try it, but I think that they run consecutively.  Maybe I should skip the 400m and run the 800m instead in these 'junk meets'?

Anyway.  I feel good physically.   Maybe even good enough to train tomorrow.  My weight is good, 138.6 after race.  Just a little mentally tired.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Meet Report - the 200m

Strike one.   25.05

Missed a PR by 0.11.    It was the second fastest 200m I've run, and faster than last week, but I was hoping for much better.   Can't say that I'm not consistent.  The last three 200m races have all been in a narrow range of .19 seconds: 24.94, 25.13, and 25.05.    A game of inches and eyelashes... 0.11 seconds.  You'd be very hard pressed to start and stop a stopwatch in that short of a time.  Try it.  Amazing that one can run for 25 seconds and finish precisely in such a specific timeframe.

Conditions were good, felt ok about my start, had good competition... shoulder to shoulder with one guy all the way down the straight.  We finished in a dead heat, but he beat me by 0.05.   At least I didn't finish last, I beat one guy overall.  I was trying very hard and when I do, I sometimes lose form and get a little bowlegged on the start, which may have been the case today.

200m race strategy seems simple enough.  For me, it's always 100% the whole way.   Latif Thomas talks about floating through the second half of the turn, but that makes no sense to me.  Since I've trained for the 400m, the 200m doesn't seem to have an aerobic fatigue element like the 400m.   I see no reason to 'float' any of it.  The concepts in my mind before I start are almost antithetical.   Like 'aggressive, attack, power' vs. 'stride, relax, extend, elevate.'  Hopefully, I'll figure it out.

It was an extremely competitive NCAA Div I meet.   The winner of the 200m could have been considered near world class - running a 20.51.  (7th in the 2011 world championships was only .17 faster).

Overall, I'm disappointed but OK with it.   It was fun, no injuries, and I'll give it a go tomorrow in the 400m ... from lane 8.   I'm extremely light and in good shape: 138.4 lbs after the meet.  My body fat % is probably 10% or less because I am stronger and faster than last year.

Week after Penn Relays - another meet option
Since I'll be returning home from the Penn Relays on Friday night, that gives me a longer training cycle for Southeastern Masters on 5/12, which will occur right after my vacation trip to Vegas.   I hope to really bust ass that week so I can train very little in Vegas.   I'm planning just one track day and one resistance day for the 3 days I'm there Sun-Tues.   I return Wed. so I can get a workout in that night.

But here's the kicker... since I have to start running faster and shorter, I signed up for TWO Senior District Games meets during that week where I will run the 100, 200, 400, and 800 races in consecutive order.  One is Tues. morning May 1 on a nice track at TN Tech, and the other is Sat morning May 5, the same day I leave for Vegas.   There is not much time between races, so it will be a good workout.   Coach Page always said I should run the 800m in a junk meet ... well here are 2 of them, in the same week.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pre-race day light workout

Hit the track tonight for a very light workout. Nothing much, just enough to loosen up and get a light sweat.

Beautiful evening, got to run under the lights. Had to share the stadium with the women's soccer team that was practicing.

Knowing I have lane 8 in the 400m, I ran an easy negative split 300m and did 5 starts in lane 8.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

saucony spikes on

300m - 45 (100m splits: 16, 15, 14)

5 x 80m - on the curve, from the lane 8 400m start

Felt good, no physical issues. 139.6 after workout. Been eating real light, want to be light for these races. It would be great to be below 139 lbs.

Conditions: The rain chances have decreased to 30% for Sat. There will be a wind shift at some point from SW (good) to N (bad), probably Friday night. Since the rain is coming late Friday night, there may be a tail wind for the 200m in the afternoon, and after the wind shift, much cooler with a headwind on the homestretch of the 400m with temps in the upper 50sº. Anything would be better than that down pour last time I ran there.

I checked out the competition.  There is only one other guy about my speed in the 200m (over 24), everyone else is much faster.   If I can hang with anyone in the meet, chances are I'll be near a PR.  Same situation in the 400, but noone even close.   All are much faster.   Last week, most of the fast guys were at the Sea Ray Relays.   This week they are here at Vanderbilt.

Pre race day - outdoor meet #4

Again - outside lanes.

Damn. Not a great lane draw for the Vanderbilt Invitational. Lane 5 in the 200m with no one outside of me, and Lane 8 in the 400m. Lane 8 ! I've never run in lane 8. It's going to feel weird, especially running that long final turn with everyone passing me.

This is a very fast field of 400m runners. I'm the slowest seed ... by more than 2 seconds. Of the 27 total in the 400m, 23 have seed times below 49.2. There will be two guys seeded at 49 in my heat. Certainly won't be running blind for long. I'm the second slowest seed in the 200m.

I definitely will hit the track tonight and try out lane 8. I never run in lane 8 when training, except sometimes when doing warmup laps. Starting way out there, almost halfway around the first turn will at least be less turn to run.

The 200m is on Friday evening and the 400m on Sat. afternoon. A great schedule, however... rain is possible Sat. - a 30% chance. It's forecast to be cool - in the low 60sº.

Lane 8 ... it's still 400m. K. James won the '11 NCAA 400m Championship from lane 8 in 45.10. Lane 5 isn't so bad for the 200m. Flo-jo set the womens 200m World Record in lane 5 ... which still stands today, 24 yrs later.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Speed, stairs, strength

Last night I did my one set high rep resistance workout. This morning, speed and stairs.

Beautiful day, electric blue sky, cool at 8:30 am... in the upper 50sº. On the track, focusing on fast curve running and form. On the stairs, focusing on high knees and good arm action.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

4 x 200 - 27.5, 27, 26, 25.5

Spira training shoes on

Stadium stair sprints x 10

Was a little achey to start. The first 200 felt harder than it should have, but they got easier. The last one was full out.

No strains, feel good to go. Weight is nominal - 140.4 after workout. That does it, tomorrow is pre race day so it will be a light day of starts and a warm up.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ladder down, speed up

Cloudy with occasional sprinkles, cool - 61º today at the track, perfect day to work. Only two days off but it felt like a long time.

I wanted to combine quantity and quality since this would be my major workout this week, so I decided to do a down ladder with increasing speed. These were my goals:

600m - 17 sec 100m splits (68 sec 400m + 34 sec 200m) = 1:42
500m - 16 sec 100m splits (64 sec 400m + 16 sec 100m) = 80 sec
400m - 15 sec 100m splits = 60 sec
200m - 15, 14 sec 100m splits = 29
200m - 14, 13 sec 100m splits = 27

I pretty much nailed it, just a step short on the first two. And I beat the clock on the 400m.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

saucony spikes on

600m - 1:42.5

500m - 80.5 sec

400m - 59.5 sec

2 x 200m - 29, 27 sec

I was pleased that I could manage a sub 60 sec 400m after a 600 and a 500. It drained me, so it was hard to do much more. After the first 600m, I started each following sprint with my heart beat still about 120 bpm - not much more than 5 min rest. So, it was tiring. The last and fastest 200 felt good. I have to remember to elevate on the curve, something I don't think enough about when I'm trying to hug that line. It's easy to let the stride shorten on the curve.

Forecast for the Vandy meet this Fri-Sat: not good. 50% rain chance. It sure would be nice not to run in a downpour again.

Weight is good: 139.8 after workout

Monday, April 16, 2012

Struggling to do nothing...

I've just run my 10th track meet of the season and I haven't taken 2 consecutive days off from training/competing since Feb.

I'm not injured, but I do feel a slight soreness in my right ham, something I noticed before my 200m race on Sat. I did not feel it during the race or immediately after, only the next day. I'm sure it's nothing, but hamstring issues are not to be taken lightly... not that this is an issue. Fortunately, I've never had a serious (grade 2 or above) hamstring pull in my life.

So, I'm not going to the track tonight. But I'm not exactly doing nothing. I'm doing a healthy upper body workout (did 22 chin ups today in my first set). And, I'm going to swim, sauna, and use my foam massage roller.

I thought last night I would really bust ass on the track tonight, doing an epic 6 x 600 and 5 x 200... but maybe tomorrow. I did want to hit the stadium stairs too, but since the meet starts Friday evening, I may not get a chance.

Well, maybe I should do stairs tonight? Hmmmm.....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Meet report - TSU Boston Moon Invite

No Gain

My string of 4 consecutive meets with progressively faster times - comes to an end.

55.77 - 400m

25.13 - 200m

Disappointing, yes... but it could have been worse. It was my 2nd fastest 200m and my 3rd fastest 400m, 2nd fastest this season.

UPDATE - Results: Overall - 27th of 34 in the 400m. 36th of 40 in the 200m.
Nice to beat a few people in my heats in this college meet. Makes be feel like I belong. I'm certainly the only sprinter here over 25.

Conditions: a fast sky-blue rubber track, strong winds gusting to 25 mph. 75º. The wind was blowing from the south diagonally across the track in such a way that when running into the final turn, or starting the 200m, it was directly into a headwind.

400m - Mentally not as aggressive as I should have been. Tried to float a bit and save more, but just didn't have it. Tried to conserve too much I think. From lane 6, there was only one guy in front of me at 200m, and by a lot... 10m+. What I heard his coach say to him at the 200m mark I thought it was pretty funny: "23.5 - you gotta maintain it.. they're comin' !" Well, at least I beat two guys in my heat, and several overall. It hurt, but not as much as my PR last week: 55.14

200m - Start was ok, but I felt a little fatigued before it started and didn't finish as strong as last week. Probably waiting around sooo long in the sun before my heat, 27 heats of 200s and I was in #26. I definitely beat one guy in my heat and it was very close between me and 2 others.

Inventory - No injuries, but achey in my left knee and hip.
My father suggested my slow times were due to me being a 'little fat' for this meet. I don't think that was it. Weighed 140.0 before I left, and by race time, after 2 toilet sessions, I was definitely at race weight. I weighed 138.8 when I returned home, about the same as last week. I think my lack of PR performance, especially in the 400, was because I was running a little gunshy and didn't have my mind right. Next time - attack!

It bums me out to not run any PRs, wonder if this is the beginning of the inevitable decline.

Vanderbilt Invitational is next weekend, last home college meet, and on a great track. Even better is the fact that the 200m is Friday evening, and the 400m on Saturday afternoon. I really hope to do better next week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pre race day - outdoor meet #3

A good feeling workout tonight at dusk.

Perfect cool evening, mid 60sº. Warm enough to run shirtless.

I did a brief warmup and then a negative split 400. Wow, did it feel easy!

800m warmup, stretches, drills

saucony spikes on

400m - 60 (31, 29)

2 x 200m - 28, 28

blocks starts

400m cool down jog on grass
No physical issues, just a little heavier now than I'd like. After dinner, 142.6 lbs.

My feet felt so good tonight with some new Smart-wool socks on. Of course, mens socks (at Dicks) don't fit me so I have to buy the pretty purple pink fringe women's socks. They fit perfectly. It was like running on air. What a difference. For $15 a pair, they better be good, and they are. I don't use socks for racing, only for training.

With 4 meets in a row of progressively faster times, I feel a little pressure to deliver another PR. I've never run at TSU's outdoor track, don't know if it's fast. I hope it is comparable to their indoor track. Lane 6 is good, but all the fast guys are inside of me. If I get out fast, I'll probably lead the charge into the last turn ... where the fun begins. No one in my 400m heat has seed times less than 53, and no one under 24 in the 200m, so they should be a good competitive heats.

It's just tomorrow at TSU, and next weekend at Vandy, and the college season is over for me. Tomorrow's Boston Moon Classic starts at 9:30 am and runs on a rolling schedule with both high school and college heats. There is no way of estimating exatly when I'll be running. I'm guessing around noon - 1, but I'd better be there by 10:30 ish.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On the street

Due to some huge soccer event, I could not use the track tonight. So, I hit the street.

I wanted to do a good hard run, but wow, did that make me feel shitty. I ran a half mile pretty near full out and got a kinda sickly feeling.
Spira training shoes on

1/2 mile warmup, stretches, drills

1/2 mile - 2:28 (69, 79)

200m (straight) - 25.5
Reminds me not to run run that race. (Was actually considering it at SE Masters). That 1/2 mile was painful. Maybe because I haven't been eating or sleeping very well. I ran it in sprint form. I also ran a 200 where I accelerated to 100%. That felt good, powerful.

Anyway, good enough for today. That 7400m of sprints this week. Hope to get to the track for some technique and starts tomorrow.

Saturday's Boston Moon Invitational
I drew lane 6 in both the 400 and 200. I'm not in the slowest heat. The guys running in the lanes outside of me have slower seed times so they won't be much help. Lane 6 is ok. Anything but lane 1.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bright cold Wednesday morning

I'm going to miss these cold mornings. I think the cold air eases the pain of hard training sessions. It was a sunny bright 40º this morning with frost in open areas. The photo show the view of track athletes that enter the Dean Hayes Track Stadium... with the characteristic MTSU thunderbolts on the pavement underfoot. The utility box on the right is covered with postings for the track team. It's a great facility.

I went to bed fairly early, about midnight, and I woke up completely thinking it was time to hit the track ... but the clock said 1:50 am. I could not get back to sleep so I listened to the TV a few hours and got up. I did manage to doze off for about 30 min but that was it. Slept less than 3 hrs last night so I'll be taking a nap after this post.

Did my 4 x 500 workout. Fastest of 3 previous similar workouts. I set a goal of even 16 sec 100m splits - 64 sec 400 + 16 sec 100. I got it only on the first one, which was fairly painless, but stayed close on the others.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

saucony spikes on

4 x 500m - 80.5, 83, 84, 85

Here's a comparison of this and my previous 4 x 500m sessions in average 500m speed:

3/11 - 87.25
3/20 - 86.375
4/2 - 84.875
4/11 - 83.125

It should be said that on those 3 other workouts, I also ran at least 2 x 200 after the 500s. Anyway, that's 6400m of sprints this week and it's only Wed. Tomorrow, maybe an event run and some shorter faster stuff.

At race weight - 139.4 lbs. after workout.

Today, I'll register for the Boston Moon Classic at TSU. 400m and 200m.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cool Tuesday early

On the track before 7:00am, it was cool... about 46º.

As I walk into the track area, I look at the posted workouts for the MTSU sprinters. Playing a game of one-upsmanship, I always try to do more than they do. Coach Hayes has different workouts for 100/200 guys and 400/400H guys. Today it was 1 x 500, and 4 x 200 for the 400 guys; 8 x 200 for the 100/200 guys.

So, today I did 8 x 300.

I initially started with a goal of 14 sec splits (42) which is about 56-57 sec 400m pace. I decided it was too ambitious if I was going to do 8, so I dialed it back to 15 sec splits (45). I kept about 3-4 min in between.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

saucony spikes on

8 x 300m - 43, 44, 45, 46.5, 46, 47, 48, 45

It was hard, but only the last half. I really didn't start breathing hard til the 150m mark.

Resistance later, more tomorrow. The next 2 mornings look to be exceptionally cold - in the 30sº ... good training weather.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday on the track

Perfect day, mid 50s but feeling much warmer. Back to the track for a quantity workout. But since it's mid season... faster, shorter and a bit more recovery. Faster 400 repeats today, 15 sec even split goal.

800m warm up, stretches, drills

saucony spikes on

5 x 400m - 59.5, 61, 62, 63, 62.5

I did manage to pull even or negative splits on most of these. Feeling a little heavy, started the workout at 142.8 lbs.

Regarding the discussion on strength work, I am not in a traditional strength program. What I do is more like 'strength maintenance.' I'm not on a progressive program where I am constantly adding weight, reps. It's about maintaining a strength balance between muscle groups and injury prevention. It's kind of like guitar playing. I can't improve as a guitarist by simply playing music. Finger strength, independence and dexterity must be maintained by exercises and drills apart from playing music.

When I was a kid, I would think nothing about taking off at full sprint... anytime, anywhere. Not so at this age. Preparation is paramount. That's how I see strength work.


More on this strength training issue. On strength work days, I usually do stairs in the morning and resistance bands at night. Since I will probably run the 400 again this weekend, I ask myself, what type of work will help me most on that last 100m? If it's a choice between stairs and tempo endurance/event runs, I'd have to go with the track instead of the stairs. Thinking about substituting a tempo endurance workout tomorrow for the stairs while still doing the resistance tomorrow night. Or I could do some of each - stairs and track?

So many ways to torture myself, can't decide how. I think I can over train a little as long as I take 2 days before the meet - Thurs and Friday - fairly light. Next 2 mornings are supposed to be very cool. Conducive to torture. Funny how I can run 5 x 400 and 2 hrs later my feet are too sore to jog across the parking lot. That's the nature of this beast.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day off: Easter decisions

Eating rich today ... cookies, and a dessert called "Aunt Jenny," which is kind of like a Tiramisu, but with chocolate pecan filling, coated with whipped cream and strawberries. Stuff I never eat.

Tomorrow is a scheduled quantity training day. If I train, it has to be early because I have a 1 pm appointment for a steroid shot in my thumb, the trigger finger thing is flaring up again. I probably wouldn't want to train afterwards.

I hate to admit it, but I sometimes feel tinges of this pubalgia thing. It's barely noticeable but a little disconcerting. I'd really not like to break the training schedule but I'm considering taking another day off.

There are only 2 local college meets left this year and they are both coming up on the next 2 consecutive weekends. Then 3 masters meets and the season is over ... for 5 weeks.

Decisions: I was thinking about running the 100 instead of the 400 this weekend, but now I'm reconsidering. I feel like I need to strike while I'm still improving in the 400 and 200 ... and keep pounding out the training regime that seems to be working. The next 2 meets are BIG, and they are on good tracks. This weekend, the Boston Moon Classic at TSU on a blue Rekortan rubber track, and then the Vandy Invite - on that pristine Mondo Super-x track.

I'll be likely be doing the 100m in all my Masters Meets, so maybe I'll wait. Probably be on the track tomorrow. We'll see.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Meet Report: APSU Governors Invitational


400m: 55.14

200m: 24.94

This was a tiny track meet. Essentially a college duel meet between Austin Peay and TN Tech. More than twice as many women competing than men. (Title IX ... and all that).

There ended up being only two men's 400m contestants, others scratched. So, it was a match race between me and a college guy who usually runs 53s. Glad the kid ran, because if it were just me, they may have cancelled the event. Unfortunately, I was outside of him and never saw him until he passed me coming off the final turn. I was in lane 6, he in 5. This one hurt. More than the others. I really committed hard on the last turn but felt nearly rigged up in the last 50m - the point where I received the customary "piano on my back." I estimate my splits to have been 25.5/29.5 ... or maybe 26/29. The kid ran 52.93 and his splits were about 26/27.

It seemed to take a long time to recover after the 400 race, I was spent. Due to the small meet, there was less than an hour between the 400 and 200. Setting my blocks for the 200, I still felt the 'queezy shakies' from the 400. There were 4 in my heat and one guy (of superior genetic disposition) totally smoked the field running in the low 21s. It was almost comical how fast he passed me on the turn. I held my own against the other 2 college boys although they beat me, but not by much. I was sort of dreading this race since I did not feel recovered from the 400. But, instead of scratching, I ran it thinking it would be a good training run. After blasting out, I felt light-headed on the turn, but some unexpected boost of energy seemed to kick in and I felt really pretty strong coming down the straight. Surprisingly, I did not feel really that much fatigue toward the end. It was a PR by .32 seconds. Unexpected.

It was a good outing. Not the fastest track - a water permeable Polytan track, kind of soft. It sure would've been more satisfying to run 54.9 than 55.1 ... but I'll take it. Still fastest this season in the USA M50 .... and a PR by .40 sec.

My weight is good, was under 140 lbs for the race.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pre-race day ponderings

The weather has changed. It's dry and cooler, clear. Was in the low 60sº at sunset this evening on the track. I warmed up slowly, and ran an easy negative split 400 a few 80m striders and many starts from the blocks.

700m warmup on grass, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

400m @ 70% effort - 64.5 (34, 30.5)

Striders and block starts
Down at race weight: 138.6 after workout. Also, at Walmart last night, I checked my blood pressure and pulse: 106/65 and 52 bpm. 52 pulse is comparable to when I was running 5ks back in '08. That's low for me. When not in shape, my pulse is usually about 72.

Nice to know I can run a 64 sec. 400m with a very meager effort. Leads me to believe I could run a respectable 800m - which I may attempt at SE Masters. When racing, there is that magic few seconds - about 8 sec into the race where I'm cruising at near full sprint, yet I've not started even breathing hard. It would be nice to be able to prolong that period another 20 sec.

Interesting to hear the other runners breathe in a race. I distinctly remember that in the outdoor 400m National Finals - going into the last turn - and the footsteps, like a herd of horses. In my last race at Vandy, one of the guys I beat emitted an indescribable sound of pain in his breathing when I passed him coming into the homestretch ... definite vocal distress. I knew he was in trouble at that moment and he began fading. It's like Latif Thomas said, there is a very brief moment in the 400 at around the 200m mark where one has to make a decision. The choice is: 1) attack and commit, "gimme more pain - I want it" ... or 2) "this friggin' hurts, it's not gonna happen today." He also said, the last 100m is almost uncoachable. It comes down to 'sheer will and determination... how bad do you want it.'

This meet on Sat., the Governor's Invitational at Austin Peay State University, looks like a very small affair. Last year, they only had about 4 colleges there. I'm sure there will be some colleges there, but not many... not that it matters. There are big meets this weekend at Auburn and other places that are attracting most colleges. This meet should go pretty quick, probably not more than a few heats per event. The track is not great but it's ok. Conditions should be good. Last time I went, they had trouble getting the computer timing to work. They had better not have trouble with that again. I don't want to drive 90 miles for a hand time.

Watching the World Masters Indoor Championships in Finland. My relay mate Scott, took 7th in the 200m, but his time was a half second slower than he ran in the USATF Indoor Nationals. Bill Collins is again a World Champion in the 60m and 200m. There are 3 rounds scheduled for the 400m, so far, 55.97 was the fastest first round time. Shoulda went.

New Masters meet possibility: Puerto Rico Masters Grand Prix - July 21-22. What's unique about this meet is that there is prize money: $200, 100, 75, 50, 25 for places 1-5. However, Puerto Rico would be a hellish place to run a 400m race in late July (couldn't be much worse than Nashville or Birmingham), and it would cost me about $800 in hotel and flights to enter. It's at a perfect time: 2 weeks before the Masters Nationals. It's a beautiful setting - right on the beach. The hotel, stadium and airport are all within a mile or 2 of each other, right on the water. My only other meet in July is the TN State Senior Games on the previous weekend, which is utterly noncompetitive. We'll see.

You can barely see a piece of the orange/red track on the extreme upper left of the photo. Nice setting.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Short speed workout under showers

Lightning was a concern on the track this afternoon, especially when the pea sized hail started at the end of my 500m run.

I opted for an early afternoon workout since I had a lesson cancellation. (Cool, my last work day of the week will be just 2 hrs).

Tapering down a bit for the upcoming meet... I started with a 500m in which I had planned to run even 15 sec 100m splits. I underestimated the pace and got behind in the first few and finished late. So, I made sure the rest of my sprints were fairly fast.
800m warmup, stretches, drills

500m - 79 (64/400 + 15/100)

300m - 42.5

200m - 26.5

100m - 13 (from blocks)
Glad I got out when I did. The bolts started coming and a Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for my county.

Weight is nominal: 140.2

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Negative split sprints

I did negative split long sprints today with a focus on sprinting the turn.

First, a 400m with a goal of 30/28. Came up a step short but ran the last 100m into the wind.

Then 300's, but with two 100s on the turn: turn - straight -turn; as opposed to the way I normally run them: straight - turn - straight. My goal was splits of 15/15/14.

Then even split 200s - 14/14 - starting on the straight and finishing at the end of the turn.

800m warmup, stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

400m - 58.5 (30, 28.5)

2 x 300m - 44, 44.5

3 x 200m - 27.5, 28.5, 27.5
Getting back to near race weight: 140.0 after workout.

My goal was to really attack the curve today. It feels awkward to maintain good form while fatigued on the last 100m turn of the 400m. When running the turn at or under 14 sec, I tend to lean more, my arms further out from my sides, my stride shortens, and I generally feel a bit hindered by the torque. This final turn is the key to running a fast 400m because this is where I first start losing speed and where I really have to "attack and commit." If I ever hope to break 55 sec, my second 200m must be around 28.5. I think running 26/28.5 is an attainable goal. I also think that 54.50 would be about my maximum physical capability, based on my present 200m speed. In these next 3 college meets, I'd love to break 55.00 in the 400m, and 25.00 in the 200m.

The 100m vs 400m dilemma.

Unlike Masters track meets, college meets assume that no one will ever run both the 400m and the 100m, so they are scheduled 400m first, followed immediately by the 100m. I hate this. I could easily race a 100m and with 30-40 min rest, come back and race a 400m. It effectively eliminates any chance of me running both races in any college meet. But, since I'm signed up for the 100m dash at Penn Relays, I may just run the the 100m at TSU on 4/17. Haven't decided yet. Since I ran 3 'straight races' in the indoor season, I think I could get away with not runnng a 100m before Penn.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Up in the morning

Stairs day. Resistance tonight.

Could have done more but this was enough. Last few I ran hard, a few - every third stair with a long stride, and some with real high knees. They are what you make 'em.

15 stair runs including 5 'half n halves'*
*double leg plyo hops over the bleachers halfway up /run halfway.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday - back to the track

Quantity sprints - but a little faster than previous 4 x 500m workouts.

It felt hard, probably because of the humid 80+º air that I haven't gotten used to yet. It actually was over 90º today in some nearby cities.

For the 500s, it was 'beat the clock' game. I set a goal of 68 sec 400s (17 sec 100s) followed by a sub 16 sec last 100m. I beat the clock on the first one and nailed it on the second one.

800m warmup, dynamic stretches, drills

Saucony spikes on

4 x 500m - 83, 84, 85.5, 87

2 x 200m - 28, 27

It was pretty exhausting. After the second 500, I was feelin' it. Looking at my previous two 4 x 500 workouts: 3/20 and 3/11 - my 500s were faster today although a little less total sprints since I just ran 2 x 200s after the 500s.

Now that the season is in full swing with a meet every weekend, I really will have just 2 days per week of hard track workouts - Mondays and Wednesdays. I think I will keep this general training schedule:

Sunday - Rest
Monday - Quantity sprints
Tuesday - stairs/resistance
Wednesday - Speed (Speed endurance, event runs, tempo endurance)
Thursday - light speed work, starts, event run
Friday - light sprints, striders, starts
Saturday - RACE!

Inventory: Weight is up a bit: 141.2 after workout. Not bad considering I was 145.4 at bedtime last night (weekend buffets). No strains but feel a little soreness in my glutes and pelvis.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day off: wild flower hike in the South Cumberland

10 mile hike in the gorgeous Collins Gulf was a great way to spend a perfect day.

One of the rockiest and challenging hikes in Savage Gulf, I joined Iska, John and Nancy for this moderately strenuous hike. This hike had a lot of vertical... including a 700' climb out of the gorge at the end of the hike.

The wildflowers were spectacular. We hiked to Schwoon Spring where we encountered a yellow canebrake timber rattlesnake on the trail. The dog ran right by it, didn't even see it. I picked it up with a stick and flung it off the trail. I'm sorry I forgot to get a photo of it.

Feet were a little tired but all is well. Ready to get back on the track tomorrow, but I will probably wait til Monday evening so I have the day to recover.

The day ended with a sober reminder about walking near cliff edges. A brother of a friend of mine fell 50' to his death off a bluff in Sewanee today.