Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Amazing I had time for this workout and to make this post.   My 4th day in  row of track workouts.
600m warmup on grass, stretches, drills
 saucony spikes on
4 x 300m - 41.5, 42.5, 43, 42
The goal was 300s at 14sec 100m splits - 42 sec., or about 57.5 400m pace.   Getting faster.   Hope to maybe squeeze in some stairs or 200s on Friday or Sat.

Feel good, the legs feel less sore than earlier this week.  Still heavy, 142 after workout despite very light eating today.

Tennessee Guitar Festival week is on.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

400s under a painted sky

Since I'll be running 4 consecutive days, and the fact that I hate pain, I'm dialing back the quantity this week.   This is Guitar Festival week and I'll be probably taking Thurs and Friday off, but ... I'd like to hit the stadium stairs possibly Friday morning.

Severe thunderstorms were approaching at 6:45pm tonight, about the time I start thinking about getting ready to leave for the track.  But, the line of storms parted, allowing a break to hit the track.   At sunset, it made for a spectacular sky, with sunset, lightning, and a rainbow, all at the same time.  There was a clear patch of blue sky over the track ... like being in the eye of a hurricane.

I did 3 x 400 - fast.  All about the same time but each one was progressively harder.
500m warmup, stretches, drills
Saucony spikes on
3 x 400m  - 59, 59, 59.5
blocks starts

I also did a few "Ape starts" from blocks.   Interested to see how this new technique works in competition.

I probably should do one set of resistance tonight as well.   Heavier than I'd like to be:  142.2 - after workout and before dinner.  I don't feel quite as fit as I did 6 weeks ago, and I'm a good 4 lbs heavier than last year at this time when I ran my PR 400m of last season, but I'm definitely more muscular.

I have the opportunity to race 3 weekends in a row beginning June 10.   Definitely will do the first 2, not sure about the 3rd.

Monday, May 28, 2012

500s, starts ... In between showers

An evening thundershower dropped heavy rain for 30 min, cooling the temp down 10º from 85º to 75º.    It stopped, leaving a wet track and an opportunity.
450m warmup, stretches, drills
Saucony spikes on 
3 x 500m - 81, 83, 88
blocks starts
I wanted to do 4 x 500,  but a vivid bolt of lightning and a menacing sky sent me cowering to my car.   I set my 500m goal to 80 - 64 + 16 (400/100) or 16 sec 100m splits.  I was slow, especially on the last one.   I was saving some for one more.   I went to do blocks and expected to do one more 500 but another storm came.

I experimented a bit with the new starting technique that uses 'arm push off' from slightly bent elbows.   It seems to work well and lengthens the first step considerably.  Since I use a 'bunch start' with my feet close to the line, upon 'set position', I am leaning considerably over the line with my shoulders and head.   With my shoulders forward of my hands, and considerable weight on my hands, the arm thrust helps propel me forward and upward, so the chances of stumbling are less and the first step is lengthened.  It enables me to put my front foot even closer to the line and the feet a little closer together - making it more of a double leg thrust.   It feels strong, animalistic ... since I am bolting from 'all fours' ... the way an ape might begin a charge.   Hence, I will call this new technique - the "Ape Start."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Back on the track...

Hot and heavy ... 85º this evening.   After a day on the lake, hiking in the woods, and eating too much, I hit the track... weighing 144.6 lbs.

I took a conservative pace, not wanting to get beat after just one run.   I did 600s with a 36 sec 200m pace, or a goal of 1:48.
500m warmup on grass, strertches, drills 
Saucony spikes on
3 x 600m - 1:47, 1:48.5, 1:50.5
200m - 27

The knee issue is still there but strangely, it hurts sometimes while walking, but not when sprinting.  It is a little annoying but never constant.  

Looking forward to picking up the pace and getting a bit lighter.  Going to work on my starts.  Going to be hard to get light with the Guitar Festival coming up.    Iska is making rum cake.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weights, resistance, time off from the track

I'm going to take a day or more off from sprinting to give the aches and pains a chance to subside.  Today, I'll be going to the weight room to work on upper body.   Earlier in the season, I had some left knee and hip pain.  That has gone away, and now it's my right knee that intermittently acts up.   Nothing serious, but I want to put in some really good training by early next week, so I'll need some recovery.   I will probably run next early Saturday morning ... I may even wait til Sunday night.

The butt busting resistance exercises I do, don't engage my knee, so I can pump glute til it burns.   Want to do some plyos, stairs and blocks, along with some really good 'quantity work' (600s, 500s) next week.  The quantity work is the hardest, I think it burns the most energy.  Pure torture to do in the heat.

Off to the lake on Saturday for an overnight trip.  Summer is here (mid 90'sº the next 4 days) so I may shift to sunrise workouts in June.

This coming week is going to be difficult with my schedule.   Guitar Festival starts Thurs 5/31, guests arrive 5/30, and I'm teaching my last 3 classes Tues - Thurs at 8-10:30 am - same week.   Thursday - Sat may have to be days off - concerts every night.   I might be able to squeeze in an early morning workout Sat 6/2, but may have to wait til Sunday 6/3 at sunset.  Monday, June 4, Gov's School starts.   I don't have to teach til 11 am, so I can workout early and rest before going in.   It'll take some planning but I'll figure it out.  The Guitar Festival is one constant 3 day party of food and drink; but last year, I stayed disciplined and ran 55.54 400m at SE Masters one week afterward.

On top of all that, I need to practice guitar.   I've a performance coming up on 6/6.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New workout venue

With the State HS meet at MTSU for the next 4 days, I went a few miles further to Oakland HS to work out.  A track is a track, and this was better than most.  Nice to have a backup facility less than 5 miles away.

I don't know why but I felt shitty tonight.  Sickly, not much tolerance for pain.  Maybe due to that sweet yogurt w/ preserves and nuts for lunch, I don't know.  But it got better.

I started with a quick 400m, rested 3 1/2 min and did another.  The second felt bad, weak.   So, I rested and did 200s.   The first one cautious and the second one smokin'.  Then I did two more and started to feel shitty again after the 4th.  So, I did some block work.  It got cooler, I recovered and I finished with one more decent 400m.

600m warmup on grass, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
2 x 400m - 58.5, 65 
4 x 200m - 28, 26.5, 27, 27.5 
4 x 50m from blocks 
more blocks starts 
400m - 61.5
Weight - up from yesterday, 141.4 after workout.

I did several short blasts from the blocks besides the 50m sprints concentrating on the first few steps.  I think that the initial explosion and reaction speed are critical - and need more work if I will ever get faster in the 100m and 200m.   I think I may treat it as a plyo and do leaps from the blocks, responding to my beep timer.  One thing I was experimenting with ... and totally radical, was the arm position.   If I do not lock my elbows totally straight, I can actually use my arms to push off from the line and aid in the first step.  It always looked to me that Ben Johnson did that ...and he was the fastest starter in history, in many peoples' opinion.   The technique needs some practice and is worth a try.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Diamond League World Track Meet on line

I was happy to see the CBC offering full coverage of the May 11, 2012 Diamond League World Meet from Doha, Qatar.  A great field of world class athletes.
Walter Dix, Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell, Alison Felix, Lashawn Meritt, Jesse Williams, etc..
 Complete 2+ hours of coverage:


Bolt runs the 100m this weekend in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Fast long sprints - new meet commitment

Taking advantage of the MTSU track during an evening break in the action - a 5 day State High School meet - I did fast long sprints this evening in relatively cool weather, about 70º.

This may be the last evening this week I'll be able to use this track.  Tomorrow, I'll probably have to go to Oakland High.
700m warmup, stretches, drills
Saucony spikes on 
2 x 500m - 79, 82 
3 x 300m - 44, 46, 43.5
For the 500s, I set a goal of 80 - 16 sec even splits.  But I'd always start out faster and finish fast.   It was more like 15, 16, 16, 17, 15 - a 64 sec 400m + 100m in 15-16 sec.

For the 300s, I really busted my ass on the last one, running the last 100m in about 14 sec or less.

Weight is decent: 140.6 after workout.

Next Meet: NC State Masters - June 10
I committed myself to running at a the NC State Meet on Sunday June 10, at Wake Forest Univ.   The main reason for this was logistics: Iska's parents live near there, Iska will be visiting her parents, and I already had credit on SW for a ticket from the cancellation of the SE Masters Meet.   In fact, the tickets for this meet are even cheaper: $169 round trip non-stop.   This is a good meet, USATF sanctioned and strictly a masters/open meet, so it should move along fast.   I will do all the sprints.  I  refuse to shy away from the 100m event due to my slight injury on 5/5.

The weekend after, I have the Bluegrass Games, a 2 day event and the weekend after, I may or may not go to the AL State Games.   Participation in the TN Assoc. meet looks doubtful.  They have not returned my email about wanting to participate, it's a kids meet.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Resistance/weights and a new meet possibility

I needed day off from running, so I did resistance today.   Butt busting, uppper body, and for the first time... direct core work.   My abs seem completely recovered from the pubalgia that prevented me from doing core work.  I have been getting plenty of peripheral core work from the floor work I've done, but now able to do hanging ab raises.   We'll see if I can continue this.  I think this glute work will pay dividends in the short sprints.   If I can get my starts happening and remain injury free, I still think I have a shot at a sub 12 100m.

New meet possibility
The NC State Meet - unlike TN, GA, AL - hold their Masters and Open events on a different day from the multitude of youth divisions.  It so happens Iska will be visiting her parents that weekend and the meetis just an hour from them.  So, I may go... and it's pretty soon: 2 weeks from this Sunday - June 10.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Endurance maintenance

In Sewanee this evening after the afternoon thunderstorms, the track was cool but steamy.   Quads a bit sore after yesterdays speed, so I did 'long' today.

Despite a persistent 'lane one walker' who refused to yield track on the curve, I equaled my PR 800m.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on
2 x 800m - 2:23, 2:32
400m - 65
Probably a little heavier today since I'm in Sewanee.

Not sure about tomorrow.  May do resistance or a rest day.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Speed endurance 300s and 200s

In Sewanee today... upper 60sº at 4 pm.  A thundershower cooled things down making it more comfortable to work out.

Felt good to be running near top speed again today on some 200s, but first, I did 300s.

I set the pace to 44 and stayed very close. (14,15,15)

600m warmup, stretches, drills
Saucony spikes on
100m strider
5 x 300 - 44, 44.5, 44.5, 45.5, 45.5
3 x 200 - 27, 27, 27

I took about 3-4 min between and about 9 min between sets.   A little sore from yesterdays butt resistance, a little drained from this morning's amore w/ Iska, and a little heavy from last night's dinner with the Princes.... so, it was a good tiring workout.

That concludes my first week of workouts since the injury.   That's 10,000m of sprints in 5 days with 2 days off for weights.  Not bad.  That's a lot of sprints .. like 100 x 100m.   Coach Page thinks it's unsustainable.   I don't know.   These workouts are certainly are much harder than Masters sprint champ O. Peyton's ... but he's a 100/200 guy.   I think I can cut down on the mileage as long as I work on the strength and speed.   I'm still 4 weeks away from my next meet, 8 weeks til the State meet, and 11 weeks til Nationals.  Long time.  I'm sure my fitness will vary during such a long stretch.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Resistance - butt burning

Been busting the butt with a new exercise that I had been using last season but just revived.  Targeting the glutes, I put a padded cuff on the back of the knee, lean forward toward a pole where the resistance bands are attached in running position - a slight forward lean - holding on to the back of a chair to steady myself and standing on one leg.  It takes 4 heavy resistance bands to really burn the glutes, doing about 40 - 50 explosive reps and holding the last 4 or 5 and fighting the negative.  It really is hard to isolate and burn the glutes without engaging the quads like I do in squats.  This really does it.  I like to burn the glutes before doing hamstrings so as to make the hams work harder.

In addition I did the rest of the stuff.   Tomorrow, back to the track.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Puma vs Nike sprint shoe shootout

Puma Bolt FAAS 007 LTD vs. Nike Superfly R3

For the majority of 2 seasons, I've used the Nike Superfly R3 sprint shoes.  But since the eyelets on my second pair are ripping out, I decided to try a different shoe.

I have tiny feet for an adult.  My feet are size 7, but I often wear 7 1/2 in a street shoe.  Since I like to not wear socks when racing, I squeeze into a 6 1/2 in sprint shoes.

With both shoes outfitted with Omni 7mm xmas tree spikes and plastic risers (8), the size 6 1/2 Pumas weighed 5.3 oz compared with the same size Nikes that weighed 6.4 oz.
Advantage: Puma

Fit and feel
The striking difference between these shoes is material.  If the Nikes fit like a glove, the Pumas fit like a second skin.  The Nikes are air-permeable webbing, and the Pumas are air-tight like rubber.  The Pumas are lined with a suede that makes them comfortable and when they're on - they are ON.  They really feel like a second skin.  The Nikes are inferior in this way, my square shaped heel never feels tight and stable in the Nikes and tends to move a little.  In the Pumas, I don't have that problem.  It's like they're 'vacuum tight'.  The Pumas are far more comfortable.
Advantage Puma

UPDATE: After several workouts with the Pumas, they are absolutely the best fitting and most comfortable sprint shoes I've ever worn.  I can run all day in these with no socks! ... without the hint of discomfort or blister.
BIG Advantage Puma

Spike plate
Both have a very similar 8 spike plate that accepts (Nike) risers.  I hope Puma will consider supplying these as replacement accessories for their shoes since Nike has refused to.  The spike placement is identical.  The Nike plate seems slightly stiffer and less flexible and therefore might offer more spring but it seems slightly heavier and thicker.  I do like the Nike plate but something about the way my foot strikes the ground in the Nikes trashes the outside risers and doesn't distribute toe strike evenly across the plate like the lighter Pumas.   After running 4 x 400m tonight, not one of the risers on the Pumas show any wear.  They usually break after one race on the Nikes.

Too early to tell but I think the performance will be similar.  (see above - spike plate)

The Nikes look pretty striking with that 'spiderman' type webbing.  The Pumas come in one color - Jamaican Lime Green.
Advantage Nike

Too early to tell but I'm betting the Pumas will out last the Nikes.  The upper seems more durable and hopefully Puma has fixed the problems they've had with the spike plates breaking on earlier generations of these shoes.

Puma wins in the first test.   But they still need to stand the test of time and competition for me.  I've only worn them for one workout.   I don't recommend using your competition shoes for workouts or working out without socks.  But these were exceptionally comfortable, considering I wasn't wearing socks and I did 1600m of sprints.   I use the Saucony Showdowns - size 7 with socks for workouts.  A great durable and comfortable practice spike that you can get for $40.

Puma Bolt FAAS 007 LTD with Nike Risers

400s - faster

Ran 400s with some speed today, and with the new Pumas.

I had a successful test drive of the new Puma shoes today.  I wore them for the entire workout and they felt great.  I'll do a review and comparison to the Nike R3 Superflys in my next post.  (Why do these shoes have to have such lonng names? - Puma Bolt FAAS 007 LTD)

I wanted to run fast today so I did even split 400s, the first two were actually negative splits.  Fot the first one, I set a goal of 30/28 and nailed it, maybe even a fraction faster.  I did them all 85-90%.  I took nearly full recovery: 7 - 10 min.
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on
2 x 50m striders
4 x 400m - 58, 59, 60, 62
2 block starts
Resistance later
Inventory.  Weight is 142.0 after workout.  No sign whatsoever of the hamstring issue.   I can now start running faster and shorter.  I've had a phantom pain on the outside back of my right knee come and go.  One second it hurts, I shake it out, then it's completely normal.  It's not an issue, probably something to do with using some unfamiliar machines in the weight room Tues.

Over all, felt good, but hard.  Looks like these Pumas will be my new shoes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


A little warm tonight, about 75º at the Dean Hayes track at sunset.

Did a good foundation work with slightly shorter distance and a little more speed.
600m warmup on grass, dynamic stretches, drills
Saucony spikes on
5 x 500m - 82.5, 83, 86, 83, 88
5-7 min rest
After workout weight down to 141.2.

The first four were about 0.5 sec slower (83.625) than my than my fastest set of  4 x 500m  ... but I threw in an extra.   I set a goal of 82: 32/34/16  for  200/200/100.

Recovery and heart rate
I took pretty long recovery but not 'full' recovery.   What is "full recovery"?  I assume that means when the heart rate comes within maybe 20 bpm of normal resting heart rate?  My resting heart rate is about 64 right now.   5 min after my 4th 500m, my heart rate was still over 120 bpm.   I've found that if I start a long sprint interval of more than 300m at a heart rate of over 120, I die and lose form.  I usually wait til my heart rate is at or below 120 when I start another rep.  For 300s, and 200s... not so necessary.  When running 500s, I can float the first 200m in 32 sec without much effort.  But the effort increases massively by the 300 mark.   I asked coach Page about this and his answer was basically, rest interval depends on how much pain one can tolerate, not so much on heart rate.

I'm going to put more emphasis on weights for the next month or so.  I want to do weights 3x a week in addition to my resistance bands.  I thought about getting a weight vest for stadium stair runs.  I just have to be careful about lifting with the legs.   It puts unfamiliar stresses on my joints and I need to keep stress off my knees.   There is an excellent glute machine and I really want to focus on that, quads and hip flexors, and adductors.

Track and Field
Looking at the elite sprinters like Bolt and Yohan Blake, those guys appear to have spent lots of time in the weight room.  I am really impressed with Blake.  Prediction: I think Blake will challenge Bolt in the 200m and maybe even the 100m.   Blake has the second fastest 100m in the world this year (9.84) and is the second fastest 200m sprinter of all time (19.26).  He is almost 4 years younger than Bolt and may still be getting faster.  Bolt will be 26 in Aug.  Blake, age 22, has those huge glutes and hams, along with a pretty amazing upper body.  Be interesting to see what he'll do.   Also, Justin Gatlin looks great at age 30 ...running a 9.87, beating Asafa Powell by .01 a few weeks ago.   Some great elite meets coming up this summer, including the Olympics.  The Jamaican 4x100 team looks awesome and maybe we'll see them be the first to break 37 sec.  When Jamaica set the 4x100 world record in Daegu last year (when the US team's Doc Patton went flying on his back just before handing off to Walter Dix), Bolt ran an amazing 9 flat anchor leg.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

weights, resistance

I need to not run every day.   5 days a week is plenty.

Today, I did weights at the MTSU Rec Center and my usual resistance bands and hops.  Was hoping to try out the new Pumas but they sent the wrong size.  The risers fit perfectly, and I got 48 new risers in today.  So, I should be set up for the rest of this season and next, assuming these Pumas work out ... and I think they will.

Another collectible

Penn Relays


M50 - 4x400 relay

Silver medal

Monday, May 14, 2012

Home ... home again

'I like to be here, when I can' ... as the song goes.

Back 'home' at the Dean Hayes Track on a nice 68º evening.  It even showered lightly during warmups.

Foundation work again.  600's.   I didn't want to run so fast that I couldn't do a decent amount.  But looking at my times, they weren't much slower than 600s I'd done in the past.

400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
5 x 600m - 1:45, 1:48, 1:51, 1:54, 1:49 
5-6 min rest, 9 min before #5.
I set a goal of 70/34 = 1:44 (400/200). Didn't make it so I went to 1:48.   Last one I took more rest and made sure I ran a good last 100m.

A good sweaty workout but not as painful as yesterday, probably because I gave myself more recovery.

Ham is fine.  I should be able to run fast by weeks end.  Weight is a more resonable 142.8 after workout.

I went ahead and did it, ordered the Puma Bolt FAAS 007 LTDs for $109.  Should be here tomorrow. My second pair of Nike R3's are ripping from the eyelets.  I've punched new holes and can still use them but they are fragile.   I used them in 27 total races last year before they started to rip.  The newer pair, 31 races so far this year.  Thats not much use for a $100+ shoe to wear out.  By comparison, I have many times more mileage on my Saucony Showdown practice spikes.  They seem  really tough and very comfortable with no sign of wear.  I've used them in twice in races - the 800m last week and the 400m I ran on wood indoors.   The two big questions for the Pumas are: 1) how do they fit n' feel? and 2) will the risers fit?  I really think they will based on detailed photos.
AND... the good people at an unnamed retail outlet are sending me 3 packs (48) risers for free!  If these Pumas work, Nike can take a hike.

The spike receptical plates look identical: Puma and Nike.  I think the risers will work.
UPDATE:  Yes, the Nike risers fit the Pumas perfectly, as if they were made for the shoe.   The Puma spike plate looks suspiciously similar to the Nike plate, not exact but... probably all made in the same Chinese sweatshop.  Unfortunately, Running Warehouse sent the wrong size but they are making it right.   They are a super company to deal with.  Excellent policies and customer service - the best.  Already I can tell these shoes will be much more comfortable and sturdy than the Nikes.



Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spikes on

It was a miserable rainy cool day in Sewanee.   About 61º and a break in the rain gave way to a light drizzle.   Actually, felt warmer because of the humidity and by the second 400, I was running shirtless.  Puddles on the track.

Days like today make me want to quit, call it a season and rest on my laurels.   After Saturday off, my first day back to running long sprints in spikes since the injury.  A workout like this would have been easy several days ago.   Today, it was a bitch.   Gives me a clue about how far I'd have to go to get back to where I was.

The good thing is that I'm 99% healed from the ham strain.   I barely feel it.  So, about an hour after one set of resistance, I hit the track at the University of the South.
400m warmup, stretches, drills
Saucony spikes on 
4 x 400m - 65.5, 66.5, 69.5, 72 
2 - 2 1/2 min rest between
I had set a pace of 66 (32/34) and by the fourth one, I was whooped.  Not even close and unable to maintain form.  This was discouraging on one hand, but encouraging to feel past my injury.  My lack of fitness and speed is also due to my weight as much as my time off.   Just 4 days 'off the wagon' ... gained a solid 5 lbs.  My weight is ranging from 144 - 147.5.  

For the future, I think I will do more reps, slower.  Like maybe 8 x 400 at 70-72.   Also, at least 2 times a week of resistance.   It's going to be a long road back, but glad to be back.

I start an 8 am class tomorrow so my workouts will have to be evening most of this month.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Return to the track - gently

Some flat footed endurance running this evening on the track.   With the ham still slightly sore, I didn't want to push it, so I didn't even pack my spikes so I wouldn't be tempted.   Beautiful cool evening, perfect temperature, around 67º.

I did 3x800m and I was amazed at how much slower and less efficient it is to run in training shoes with heel strike, as opposed to the way I usually train on the track, in spikes with no heel touching.  I thought I could do the first one in 2:30 but not even close.  I really felt the extra 5 lbs. I've gained.

Spira training shoes on 
700m warmup on grass, dynamic stretches 
3 x 800m - 2:40, 2:44, 3:00 
 rest intervals: 3, 4
I think I will do resistance tomorrow and then maybe hit the track with spikes on Sunday or Monday.   Weight is 144.6 after workout.

I left the track at the same time I would have been flying out to SE Masters.  What a difference a week makes.  Fitness diminishes sooo quickly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ground zero - restart

Hit the road today for my first run since the injury.

I felt heavy, in terrible shape.  Hard to imagine that 5 days ago I was an elite sprinter for my age, now just an ordinary hack, out on the street, trying to ward off excess lbs.

I fell off the wagon hard while on vacation in Vegas.  - French fries, cheese cake, ice cream, potatoes, bread, bagels with cream cheese... I reached 149 lbs after dinner the evening I returned.  After my run today, a more reasonable 145.6.  I can definitely feel the softening of my belly and the thin layers of jiggy that weren't there just 4 days ago.   If I continued to eat the normal American diet w/ three meals a day:  toast in the morning, sandwich for lunch, big dinner with dessert - I would be well over 150 lbs by next week.  I think with all of the great food that I had while off the wagon, my favorite was a simple fruit and nut bagel with honey almond cream cheese that I had for lunch before hiking at Red Rock Canyon.

My ham is still a little sore in the lower bicep femoris, affecting not the main central muscle belly, but the outside lower part, about 4" up from the back of the knee.  Been doing hot tub, gentle stretches and foam roller massage.  I'm expecting to commence sprint workouts on the track by next week.   Great cool weather lately here.

Today's run - no running on the toes.
1 mile - 6:42
2 min rest
1/2 mile - 3:09
It's going to be a long painful road back to fitness.  I'm going to do resistance work tonight.  I can do light resistance work on the injured ham with no pain, like single leg squats with no weight.  I want to reemphasize resistance and build confidence in my fitness so I won't shy away from the 100m in my last few meets of the season.

News:  Nike Sprint Shoe Risers
Nike was uncooperative as usual.  They could not supply me with risers and seemed clueless on how to get them.   There is a clear disconnect between their customer service and manufacturing.   However, I may have found a source for more sprint risers... stay tuned.  Also, with the eyelets ripping out of both pairs of my Superfly R3s, I may opt for a new pair next season.

I think I'm going to change shoes.   The new Puma Bolt FAAS 007 shoes have an 8 spike plate that accepts risers and is nearly identical to the NIKE Superfly R3s ... and they're more than an ounce lighter.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Game over ... for now

Yes, it was a disaster.  

I'm pulling out of the SE Masters Championships.  In order to perform at optimum level, everything has to be working perfectly to sprint.   It's not.   So, I'm out.  It pains me greatly to lose this opportunity - all because I raced in a meet which I didn't need to run in.   I really wanted to participate in and support this great event whose attendance has been down a bit recently.

I will be forfeiting the $77 registration and banquet fee, canceling my hotel/rental car reservations, and fortunately, since I'm booked on SouthWest, I can use the plane ticket funds for something else.

This injury is similar to one I sustained on March 26, '11 with the right ham.    Then, I was able to run about 5 days later, and run fast long sprints about 12 days later.   I raced my my first 400m four weeks later.   This is a level one strain, no outward sign of trauma, no black and blue spots so far.

I really think this happened because my failure to do preventative resistance band work on my hams as I had done all season.  I did just squats and adductor work and thought that would be enough.  I was wrong.

With 3 full months to the Masters Nationals... I have time to rest and prepare for a "second season."  My first outing in this 'second season' will be 6 weeks away - the Bluegrass Games - a meet where I wanted to run the 100m, 200m, 400m ... a meet where I could set the meet records for all those events.

I have to heal and retool.  After some maybe 5-7 days off, I'll start rebuilding the foundation from the bottom up with endurance runs.   I need to reemphasize weights and strength.   I think power is lacking from my blocks starts.  I need to restrengthen the hams, quads, hip flexors and adds, everything that could fail in a sprint.

I expect it won't be too long before I'm back on the track... but until then, for all those who read this blog, I'm going to do other things for a while.


Saturday, May 5, 2012


Exactly what I did not want to happen in a junk meet before a major meet.


Not severe, but certainly puts my next meet in question, at least running the 100m.  I say 'not severe' ... but won't really know until tomorrow.   It wasn't a tear, but a cramp-like strain in the left ham.  Funny thing is that I was more worried about my right ham that seemed consistently sore and possibly vulnerable.


11.94 - 100m

I felt the left hamstring cramp up in just the last 10m of the 100m race and breezed through the finish.   I had competition.   Bob ran a 12.37.   I had a poor start and was even with him at 50m.  I had to really dig to beat him.

What haunts me is that this week is the first week I had NOT done ham resistance work.  That may be why this happened.  This is not the same ham I injured last year, this is a new injury.


At the very least, since the 100m is the first event at SE Masters, I may scratch from the 100m and run the 400m, 200m and 800m.   As much as I love the 100m, it appears to be too much of a risk to run it at the beginning of this meet that I've invested so much time and money to attend.

I brought myself back from a groin strain in a few days before Penn, I'm hoping I can do the same with this ham.   Probably take 2 days off, and start resistance bands as soon as no pain.   If the pain persists into mid week, I may have to scratch the meet.  It'll be a last minute call.

Disappointed.  I really wanted to run the 100m.   Still, coasting to an 11.94 ... not too bad.  I was pissed, just left the scene, didn't bother to even pick up my medal.

Well, off to Vegas...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Maintenance workout

Felt flat today.  Everything seems perpetually sore.  I feel like I'm losing fitness.  Didn't feel like sprinting today, but with a vacation coming up and one week away from SE Masters, I had to do something.

Got out to the track late, about 10:15 am it was near 80º in blazing sun, but with a breeze.   Started running my warmup jog... feeling nearly crippled.  I decided to do even split 300s because I didn't want to run full speed like last night.

600m warmup, stretches, drills
4 x 300m - 44.5, 45, 44, 45.5      ~3-4 min rest
200m strider - 29

I'm really glad to be home and on my cool paradise porch ... on my super comfy futon with fan blowing honeysuckle smelling air at me.    Vacation time.  Time for an iced tea and to uncover the pool.

Junk meet tomorrow morning then off to Vegas tomorrow eve.  I might run the 800m if there is time.

UPDATE on SE Masters:
Today is the registration deadline.
My age group looks thin but the M45 age group is packed with super fast soon-to-be M50 guys like M. Shute - age 49 - who this season has run a 52.30 400m, and a 23.79 200m - indoors.  Well... so much for a chance at that age grade 400m award.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Double session

This morning I was on the stadium stairs at 6:45 am.  I did some fast stair sprints and plyos and came home to crash on my patio.

After giving my last final exam - which means my academic year is officially finished(!) - I went to the track for some fast sprints.   I did a warm up, a fast 300m and 3 x 100 from blocks at 95%.  I finished with a negative split 400m at 80% effort.

Here it was.

500m warmup, stretches, drills
10 stair sprints - fast
5 plyo double leg bleacher hops half / sprint half
600m warmup on grass, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
300m - 41.5  (13, 14, 14)
3 x 100m from blocks - 13, 12.75, 12.5 
400m - 63 (32/31)
The way I did the 100s from blocks was to set the interval timer beeps for 10sec (take your marks), 2 sec (set), 13 sec (GO!) and I beat the 13 sec beep twice.  It felt good but I didn't want to press my luck.  These sprints were at 95% or close to full-out.  I ran them on the straight right on the white line so as to work on my in-line form.   I finished with a negative split 400m at 80%.

What's next
Tomorrow will be my last workout this week before I travel.  I'll probably go in the morning.  I have a junk meet in the morning before I travel on Sat.   I've been thinking about skipping the 400m and trying an all-out effort in the 800m.  I know I can break 2:20 with a good effort.  Depends on time, I have a plane to catch.  Or I could be a masochist and do both back to back... but the 800m would be just a cool down jog.  Nah, probably not both.  I need practice with starts - the 100 and 200.   I've run plenty of 400s this season.

Equipment woes

I've been breaking sprint shoe risers and so I again contacted Nike about getting more.  I tried 3 ways, on-line chat, call, and email.  I am not optimistic... based on my phone and chat contacts.   Nike said they will not sell replacement risers and won't reveal the name of the company that makes them.  They are probably made in some sweat shop in China so I see why they won't tell me how to get them.  My only source for these (a large reatiler) has dried up, but I have enough for this season ... and maybe then some, but, a limited supply so I need to find a harder coating to preserve these accessories before they're gone.  Seems like these could be made on a lathe out of hardwood.   My best pair of R3s are ripping at the eyelets, so my backup pair is now my #1 pair.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

400m event runs and blocks

It was a warm evening at sunset, about 80º on the Dean Hayes track.   I decided to do some fast 400s.

I set as a goal 58 sec - 28/30 splits.   I ran them about 90-95% effort with several minutes between.
700m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
3 x 400m - 57.5, 59, 59
5 x 50m from blocks
After seeing my 100m race at Penn Relays on video, I realize my start needs work.   That was actually my first 100m race of the season, and to start with a PR, I can't complain much.    My 12.17 was also a Greater Philadelphia Track Club Masters 100m record.

Preparation schedule for SE Masters
I realize I need to start shortening my workout distances and go for more speed, turnover, and work with the blocks.   I think I will do some stairs and plyos in the morning and some 300s, 200s, 100s tomorrow night.   Season is winding down.  I have just Thursday and Friday, junk meet Saturday... and I will be in Las Vegas Sat. night.  I expect to take Sunday off and try to get a good hard workout in at the UNLV track on Monday.  Not sure about Tues.  I'll be home early Wed. so will train that night and Thursday.  Leave for NC late Friday so I'll have time for a light workout that morning.

Penn Relays M50 100m race video:  I'm in lane one, closest to the camera.   The camera misses the first 5 seconds of the race, unfortunately.  The winner - Alan Tissenbaum is the second fastest human over 50, second only to Willie Gault.   He dominated the race.  Craig Davis in red in lane 2 who got the Silver made a move in the last 20m that put him slightly ahead of Lovel Butler.

Penn Relays M50 4x400 start - photo

The start of our Silver Medal Relay

Greater Philadelphia Track Club

Penn Relays M50 4x400m relay video

Look for our team - Greater Philadephia - in the blue. I am leadoff, starting 4th from the rail (hard to see). Sprint Force's D. Gatling had a great start and leadoff leg. Look for him to pop right out to the front... I was just outside of him at the start and was in 4th place through much of the race, moved to third at the end of the final turn. Gatling ran the fastest leg of anyone on the track - 53.70. The leadoff guy in second ran 55.0. Every team had a weak leg. Look at Scott's third leg.... holy shit. He made up 50m on Sprint Force - giving Ray the stick in a sight lead.   Bravo!


GPTC Splits:

Yelverton - 56.66 
Robinson - 59.67
Granowski- 56.56 
Parker - 56.60


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Speed day - junk meet

The Upper Cumberland District Senior Games was a good opportunity to run some full speed trials on a nice track.  TN Tech University has a nice facility.   The order of events was a surprise.   I expected to get this over with and be out of there by noon but they ran the 400m and the 800m and took 2 hours to do field events.  My times were ok, nominal.

In the order of events:
400m - 55.55 
800m - 2:23.61 
100m - 12.00 
200m - 24.97
Even though this was hand timed, the 400 and 800 were extremely accurate since they were timed by the same guy who shot the starting gun, Tony Cox - the TTU coach, an experienced timer.  So, there was no time lost to timer reaction.    Thanks to Coach Cox (photo), he was out there all day in the hot sun, running this meet, probably volunteering his time.  I was often in my car with the A/C on, listening to satellite radio.

The 400m was definitely an all out effort.   Probably in the top 3 or 4 fastest I've run.  I think I paced it right, didn't rig up.  The second place guy was 11 seconds behind.

After running a 55.55 400, I needed an hour rest before I could do anything, but I only got about 45 min.  I was aiming for 2:20 - 68 / 72 splits, but came up short.   69 / 74 were my splits.   Knowing I had two more races, I didn't maintain pace in the 3rd 200m.   I did pick it up in the last 100m and felt like I had some left at the end.  Not nearly as tired as I was after the 400m.  By the time the second place guy came across the line, I had my shoes off, in the bag, and had moved to the shade and got my water out.

There was 2 hour break after the 800 while they did field events.   I got stiff and tight and was pissed that it was taking so long.  I kept warming up thinking we'd go, then had to wait.   Finally, we ran the 100m and ... it was a trip.  I never saw anyone, but right after the start, I heard some painful yells and commotion behind me.  We started with 6 in the heat but only 4 finished.  One guy apparently ripped a hamstring and went down hard, got up bleeding.   Another guy pulled up lame and was grabbing his crotch.   It wasn't a pretty sight.  I felt good, no strains.  A decent start.  I felt sorry for those injured.  You can't expect to run a 100m sprint with no preparation.  For some of these guys, this is their one a year competition and they have no idea what they're doing.  I won the race by 30m.

Had lane 3, was pretty tired by this time.  Still managed to run a decent time.  It was 3:00 pm by this time and 92º on the track.   Just glad to get that race over with no injuries.   Again, won by 40m+.

I left for this meet unusually heavy, 141.8.  When I returned, I was 139.2, lost 2 1/2 lbs during the day. Last night, I mus have ate close to a lb of salmon.   Same tonight, except it was shrimp and salmon.  Salmon in a lemon-maple sauce rolled in toasted ground sesame seeds.   Good, very tasty.

Going to do some resistance tonight before I sleep.  Need to so I can keep injury at bay. Tomorrow, probably more long sprints, probably in the evening.  

I had forgot to pick up my medals... some guy chased me out to the parking lot to give them to me.   My first quadruple gold...  heh ... big freakin' deal.