Sunday, September 29, 2013

good season ender

I think I'm as fast as I ever was.  Now the question remains, can I improve?

55.78 - 400m
12.19 - 100m

Running these times on a poor track in gusty shifting winds was an accomplishment for me.  The Nashville District meet on Saturday was run on the Ravenwood HS track, a black track of a thin tartan surface over black top.  In places, the surface has been worn away and was ineptly repaired with roofing tar (not kidding), giving a sticky texture.

I had competition in the 100m.  Bob VF, suffering from a swollen achilles tendon, courageously ran without shoes or blocks, yet he still turned a 12.50 and I only beat him by 2 steps.   I think I can run faster but was definitely pushed.  The big victory was to race a 100m with no signs of strain or injury.  The '100m monkey' is finally off my back.  I still think I can go sub 12.

I had lane 3 in the 400m.    Was pretty relaxed through the 200m phase into a headwind, and recommitted about 240m.  Didn't feel quite as good as in Chattanooga 2 weeks ago coming up the stretch and was fighting that familiar 'rigging feeling' in the last 50m, so I was surprised I did as well as I did, shaving off exactly a second from my previous time.  Both times were under state meet records so I hope to produce when I have my last chance in June in this age group for these records.  I am technically '54' (age as of end of yr) for next state meet in June, even though I'll be really 53.  

Well, now I know it takes me a good 8 - 9 weeks to come back from time off.   I do believe my low body weight and the 2 a week tempo endurance workouts helped me peak at this final meet before indoor season starts in Dec.

Friday, September 27, 2013

pre race day

Last race of my short season tomorrow.  Got to the Dean Hayes track today on a perfectly sunny cool morning, upper 50sº at 7:30am.

Just wanted to loosen up and do a light workout and some blocks.  Everything felt fine.

1300m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony Showdown spikes on 
300m - 44   negative splits (16/14/14) 
6 x 50m from blocks 
100m from blocks - 13
 I should be OK for the 100m tomorrow.  Just need to get a good start, good arm action,  stay loose, and and not strain.   Sometimes trying too hard can result in more strain, slower time and injury.

I'll also run the 400m.

After this race, I'll probably take at least 3-4 days off from the track.   I'd like to stay in shape so I can train once in a while with the MTSU guys, but I'm rarely free to do that because of my schedule.  They've been doing pretty tough workouts.  Yesterday they did 8 x 300m.  The little free time I have will be devoted to a construction project I hope to begin in Sewanee in Oct., and a hiking trip to Fontana in the GSMNP.  I think I'll continue to train but do more lifting and have 2 days rest between track workouts.   By Nov., I'll probably be back to what I have been doing.

I've got a fun weekend ahead in Sewanee ... and I can eat anything for the first time in a while.  Think I'll make an apple crisp.

Weight is good: 140.2 lbs after workout.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

good speed

Did a light speed workout at the Dean Hayes track this morning, it was 66º at 7:30am with occasional light rain.  Everything felt great.  No strains or soreness even when pushing to full speed.  I feel confident enough to run the 100m on Sat.  If I survive it, I'll run the 400m too.
900m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony Showdown spikes on 
3 x 150m - all at ~ 19 
300m - 42
I didn't want to repeat my experience of soreness and strain I experienced after my speed workout 2 weeks ago, so I quit while I was ahead.  On the 150s, I really tested myself.... accelerated to full speed and held it for more than 50m.   The 300m I ran in even 14/100m splits.

I've been a bit neglectful of my resistance work and I'll do a maintenance set today for ads, quads, and hams.  Friday, a light technical workout and Saturday... my short 'season' wraps up.

Weight is nominal at 141.4 lbs.

Monday, September 23, 2013

More tempo endurance

Beautiful warm evening in this first full day of autumn.  I headed to the Sewanee track but there was a lacrosse game going on so I headed to the hard lonely St. Andrews track.   Just wanted to get it done and not wait for the lacrosse game.  A pleasant 68º at the SAS track just after sunset.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 400m with 2 min rest - 68, 68, 72, 76
Didn't have the stomach to do 5 tonight.  I ate some oatmeal for lunch thinking it would fuel me, but I had a slightly acid stomach and couldn't bring myself to do another.   4 was a real good sweat.

Planning to do resistance tomorrow and speed on Wed.  Feel ok, all my soreness is gone, except for my ankle which is manageable.  I remain light, 140.6 after workout.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

tempo endurance 400s

Back to the Sewanee track this Saturday evening on a cool blustery eve that finally cleared after a day of typical foggy mountain rain.  It was in the low 60sº at sunset.  The field area slightly littered from an afternoon football game played in thick fog.  As I trained, across the street a wedding band played a party with tunes like 'Satin Doll', 'Girl from Ipanema', etc... people dressed in formal black, while I ran shirtless.

Knowing these types of workouts are hard but really beneficial, it seems to take a lot of mental preparation to get it done.  In theory, running 5x400 with limited rest sounds like a great idea, but when the reality of the pain hits, it's hard to maintain the will.  I always try to one up myself from the previous workout, but today just couldn't do it, fell just slightly short.
Saucony Virrata trainers on 
500m warmup, stretches, drills 
5 x 400m with 2 min rest - 69, 70, 73, 75, 83
I will try the same workout on Monday and aim a little higher.  Trying to get all of these closer to 68. It would be NO problem, if I took more than the 2 minutes of rest.  But, that's where the suffering comes into play... not wanting to put out too much for fear of not being able to start another after just 2 min.

I was light after the workout, probably less than 140 lbs.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Light workout and end game

Testing the sore quad... it is better today, but would not want to run a short sprint quite yet.  Doubtful that I'll attend the meet tomorrow since it looks like bad weather and a long drive.  But, I think I could race.  I'm a bit doubtful I could improve on my 400m time of last week because I feel like I've only had one good hard workout this week.  Still not 100% decided.  We'll see what the weather looks like, and right now, it looks like it will be bad.  I'd probably better be served by starting my workout cycle tomorrow night after the rain with a hard tempo endurance session and another Monday to get ready for one last meet on the 28th.   Probably wouldn't hurt to put in a stadium stair session for my quad on Tues., and then some light speed workouts Wed and Fri.  Should set me up for one last blast in 8 days.

Today was brief and hard.  Sunny and low 70sº on the Dean Hayes track at 7:15am.  The MTSU track team is now posting workouts and I saw Coach Kelly there.   He looked like he was waiting for some of the team to show, but they didn't.  It was nice to see him and we had a nice brief chat.
Saucony trainers on 
900m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 60 (even splits 30/30) 
300m - 45 
200m - strider 
The 400m felt pretty hard, the last 100 was at 90% effort.  I was pretty spent after the 300.  Didn't want to push beyond 14 sec 100m pace today.  I definitely felt the quad but it was better.

Again, probably won't race tomorrow... but you never know, I'm a racin' fool and my friends Randall and Mark will be there.   I have nothing else to do so...

Weight remains good; 140.8 lbs after workout.

BTW... the MTSU 400m team workout today was 600, 400, 200, 400, 600 - pretty hard.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Not 100%

At the Dean Hayes track this morning, it was a pleasant 67º and overcast in these last few days of summer.   I came to do the same speed workout as last Wednesday but was unable to due to slight pain in upper quads.  It was only apparent when I dialed it up to near maximum effort, but not a problem at 400m pace.   So, after a few attempts at speed, I still needed a workout so I ran a fast 400 and 300.

Saucony Virrata trainers on 
900m warmup, stretches, drills 
200m - 27 
150m - 19 
400m - 60.5 
300m - 45.5

The 400 felt fine.  I am undecided about the meet on Sat.  I could probably run a decent 400 but I shouldn't run the 200... and it's well over 2 hrs drive each way.  I don't know... 5 hrs in the car for 56 sec of racing?  Well, that's what I train for and it's my second to last chance before Dec.   Hmmmm.....
I don't know.   I am also dubious about attempting a 100m race in 11 days as well.  Need some good quad and ham strengthening resistance work later tonight or tomorrow.   Probably will decide Friday morning.   I want to get to Sewanee and do some projects this weekend, so I may skip Jackson.

Weight is good:  140.4 after workout.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Start of the 400m at the Chattanooga District Games

Looking at the full rez photo in detail, you can see the advantage of using blocks.   Granted, there is only one trained sprinter besides myself in the race, Nick C. in lane 7 nearest the camera.  But if you look at everyone's feet, notice that everyone has a foot on the ground behind the start line.  Both my feet are airborne and I'm stepping over the line.  I made up the stagger on the field in first 50m.   Kudos again to  Bill on my right for racing with me and taking second in 64.78, after running a 4:58 1500m ... and a late night of partying at the ZZ Top concert.  Bill, good job.

I'm in lane 5, my 400m time for this race: 56.78

Back on track in Sewanee

My first workout this year at the University's Coughlan track in Sewanee ... surrounding their new godawful astroturf field.   Nice to have the track back and wow, it badly needs a resurface which doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon.

Perfect morning to suffer through some tempo endurance... low 60s and clear at 6:50am.   I still had some lingering soreness in my groin and quad, but not too bad.  No fast running today.

I did a one up from last workout by doing all five 400s with 2 min rest ... and of course, suffered on the last one.  Then I took 5 and did one faster.

500m warmup, stretches, drills 
5 x 400m with 2 min rest between - 69, 69, 72, 73, 83 
5 min rest 
400m - 66

I wish I had my foam roller and hot tub with me here in Sewanee.  Weight is good: 140.8 lbs after workout, despite my constant munching on figs and walnuts the past few days.  I may do stadium stairs on Wed. and get some good resistance in tonight or tomorrow.

Sooo very quiet out here on the bluff this beautiful morning.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Chattanooga District meet

It was an unbelievably beautiful day for weather.  Waking up to 49º on the mountain, it was a dry 72º on the track with a slight tailwind up the home stretch.  Nice blue rubber track at the GPS School in Chattanooga... (great facilities, obviously a rich kids' prep school).  Compared to KY last week, this meet was extremely well staged and run by experienced 'track people' from the local CTC.

Went OK.
56.78 - 400m
25.49 - 200m

I skipped the 100m.

As I was getting warmed up for the 200, I noticed soreness in my left quad and ham.  The right side seemed ok.  The left ham was the one I tore in June '12 running the 100, so I feared this race and ran it gingerly.  Unfortunately, I got the dreaded lane one.  There was only one relatively fast guy (who ran a 12.79 100m), but I passed him on the turn and won the race by at least 15 meters.

The 400m went surprisingly well.  It was just 45 min after the 200m so I didn't have a real sharp edge but it felt so much better than last week.  This race I really stayed relaxed and didn't make my move til about the 240m mark and felt fairly strong coming up the stretch.   I wasn't as tired as last week.  Of course, conditions were much better.  There was no competition.  My friend Bill M., a distance guy who had run a smokin' 4:58 1500m just 90min previous to this race was in lane 4, I was in lane 5 ... so I ran alone again, never saw anyone after the first 50m, despite all 8 lanes being full.   Bill took second, about 8 seconds behind me,  (ran high 64's), so I won by about 50 meters.   He said that he felt I was "accelerating away from him" on the last 150m ... so maybe this time my splits were more even.   I don't know.   I do think being at 'race weight' definitely helped.  I was at least 2 lbs lighter than last meet, probably about 140-141 lbs.

I need a recovery day.  Sore.  Hopefully be back on the track Monday for some tempo endurance.  I talked with James Chinn and his advice was to just be careful since these silly meets don't mean anything.   He's totally right, and he's been running very fast this year:  24s/54s and has just entered M55.  2015 is where I need to be aiming.  But I want to get the '100m monkey off my back', so I'm scheduled to run one in 2 weeks.  I love that race but have been injured the last 2 times I ran it.  I just want to get the confidence back and get one under my belt.  If anything happens, I have 9+ weeks before indoor season to recover.

Sometimes I think I need to train harder than most people to get the type of performance I expect from this small weak frame of mine.

Next meet on Sat. in Jackson, TN... I will probably just run the 400.

Two Bills

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pre race day

No, as much as I want to, I shouldn't run the 100m tomorrow.  I'm still surprisingly sore in the hams from Wednesday's speed work.

Beautiful morning on the Dean Hayes track, sunny 70º, moist.  The cones and hurdles are out which means the team is back to regular practicing.   I should join them sometime.  I'll wait for a cloudy cool Monday.
Cooler weather coming tonight.... it's supposed to hit the 40s tonight on the plateau and only low 70ºs tomorrow.

I just warmed up today and ran a little at 80% effort to work up a sweat and try to shed some of this soreness.

Saucony Virrata training shoes on 
800m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 64 
200m - 28 
100m strider 
more stretches

Think I'll hit the hot tub and the foam roller.  Later today in Sewanee, I'll get the blocks out and spikes on and mess around with some starts.... and stretch a bit more.   Looks like Sewanee isn't getting a new track anytime soon... hopefully before the spring.

Tomorrow is just a hand timed senior meet.  Another solo time trial/workout.

Weight is good again: 140.8 lbs after workout.  Should be at a decent race weight tomorrow.

Race weight

Looking ahead to indoor 
I've just been made aware of a spectacular new indoor track in Birmingham:  the Birmingham Crossplex has a brand new hydraulically banked Super-X Mondo 200m track.  They'll be running a Div III college meet there very early in the season and usually 3 more during the year.   The first meet is usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Well, well.... Vanderbilt has a brand new 300m indoor track ast their new multi purpose facility.... and they're having a meet there 1/25-26.   It looks like there will be as many as seven or more meets I can run in this coming season.

It'll be here before you know it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

speed and form

Low 70sº and sunny at 7am in the 'Boro.  Glad to be back on the Dean Hayes track for some speed work.   To protect my ankle, I sprinted in training shoes today, everything at 90-95% effort with recovery.
Saucony trainers on 
800m warmup, stretches, drills 
200m - 26.5 
150m - 19.5 
4 x 100m - 13 to 13.5
My form needs work.... so today I worked on form, acceleration, and turnover.   Doesn't look like much, but the 6 sprints at 90%+ effort was a good hard workout.   My ankle is still an issue so probably better that I do less quantity.

Since I need speed work, I may look at the next meet on Saturday as a workout and run all the sprints.   They are are scheduled an hour apart from short to long.  If I had some balls I'd run the 800 too, but... don't think so, it's scheduled before the 400.  100/200/400 triple will be enough.   It's just a hand timed seniors meet... but I've heard it's a good track.

Getting my weight back under control.   141.2 after workout.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A track is a track

Returned to the track this morning in KY at the closest local high school track I could find: the "Monaco-Walker Track" at Kentucky Country Day School.  Sounds impressive, but very much like the track I raced on yesterday, black and hard.   My foot/ankle wasn't feeling real good about it but I got it done, some tempo endurance suffering.  It was in the low 70's, foggy, humid at 7am.
SauconyVirrata trainers on 
500m warmup, stretches, drills 
5 x 400m - 68, 69, 75, 74, 73  - 2 min rest between (except for the last 400, 4 min rest)
If I hadn't taken a little more rest between #4 and 5, I'd have been jogging the last one flat footed about 85+.

Still heavy.  143.4 after workout.   Guess I thought I could go back to eating bread without gaining weight.  Wrong!

Hope to be back Wed. if the hand surgery tomorrow isn't too painful.  It'll sure be nice to be back on MTSU's nice new track after running on these hardpan HS tracks.... but when it comes to making myself suffer... a track is a track.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

First 'official' race of my season

Kentucky State Games 400m race: 57.22 

Not too bad for a first official electronic time, especially considering conditions.   It was hot: 90º, and the race was in the middle of the afternoon at 4:30 pm - the hottest part of the day.   The track sucked, a thin black tartan track over blacktop.  I was in lane 5, with just one person outside me, so I ran essentially alone.  Also, I was exceptionally heavy for a race ... 143 lbs when I left, 142 when I returned.

When lining up for the race, the field judge hastily seeded our group of 12 by asking: "how many can run under 60?"   Me and 5 other guys raised their hands.   I thought ...'holy shit, didn't expect this much competition.'  Turns out, they didn't produce.  I won the race by at least 50m and the second place guy was about 6 or 7 seconds behind me.

UPDATE:  Just looked at the results, second place in my heat was 10.02 seconds behind me, I think I won by 70m or so.  Kinda ridiculous.  However, the next heat was won by a 60 yr old that ran 60.88, very respectable time

It felt hard, I was thinking coming up the home stretch... 'not today'.   I suffered.   So, it went about as well as I expected.  OK, but not great.   Better than my first time out during indoors, about a half second slower than my very first 400m race at Vandy in '11.  

In order to keep my workout schedule I hope to put in a hard one tomorrow and hopefully, I'll still be able to do a workout on Wed. despite my hand surgery Tues.

Photo:  at the 200m mark in the race ... running alone.

Yes, there were 5 other guys in this race.

Friday, September 6, 2013

more speed

Sunny and cool this morning at the Dean Hayes track, low 60sº at 6:30 am, nice day.

Did more speed work today.  The first 400m pretty much wiped me out, that tells me I'm not in the shape I should be.  After this meet, I'll go back to doing those 10 x 200m workouts and suffer.

Nevertheless, it was fast.  Even split 400m.
500m warmup, stretches, drills 
Nike R3s on 
400m - 58 (29/29) 
300m - 44 
200m - 28 
Saucony Virrata trainers on 
150m strider
Again, didn't want to do more because of the ankle.

I ate a lot yesterday after my concert, but my weight remains nominal: 141.8 after workout.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Nice cool morning on the Dean Hayes track, about 63º in bright sunshine at 7:15am.  There were 2 African women sprinters on the track working out.  The women's soccer team came later, after I ran my first 300m.

I didn't want to do too much today, just some quality runs.   The first 300m was pretty much race pace - all out.  I set an ambitious goal of 41 (13/14/14) and beat it sightly.  It took a lot from me and the next one wasn't as fast.

900m warmup, stretches, drills  
Nike R3 spikes on 
2 x 300m event runs - 40.5, 42.5 
4 x 60m from blocks on the turn from 400m start, lane 4

I don't know what I must do to get that last 100m or the 400 in under 15.   That's the key to running fast again.  Not sure if I should 'attack' at the 220m mark like Latif Thomas instructs, or to 'dial it up gradually' at the 250m mark as others have suggested.  I ran my best and worst times when I attack the last turn.  Still learning this race, I guess.  If I don't break 58 this weekend, I'll be pretty bummed.

I have one more workout on Friday before the Sunday race.  Maybe some negative split 300s.

141.8 after workout.  Eating a bit more.  Still would like to be 138-139.  Ankle still an issue but not too bad.

I think it has finally clicked in the puny brain of the assist. soccer coach that once tried to eject me, that I have every right to be there, and that they'll be seeing me out there a lot.  They defiantly parked their golf cart on the track.  No problem.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hair of the dog

Not exactly, but similar.  Back at St. Andrews tonight for a tempo endurance workout.  It was 73º and humid at sunset.  Not quite as oppressive as yesterday morning.

I did 4 x 400s at the with the same target pace as my 300s and the same 2 min rest.

400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
4 x 400m - 68, 69, 75, 75  with 2 min rest between 
200m - 28

I wasn't able to sustain the pace beyond the second rep.  My target was 68.   I must admit a slight cheat ... took an extra 30 sec rest before my last 400, my pulse was about 150 when I started the last 400m, 170+ when I finished.  I rested and ran a quick 200m before calling it a day.   My ankle hurt on the last 200m.

It hurt but not as much as the Sunday morning workout.  I was a little heavier but better fueled today.  Ate some carbs last night.   141.8 after workout.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

slow death at steamy St. Andrews

I was running slow and struggling today, and wow did this quantity tempo endurance workout kick my ass.    Doing the 4 x 500m workout the way I used to do it  - with full rest and spikes - is a different animal than doing it with 3 min rest.

Up at 6am, I waited 2 hours for the rain to stop, fell back asleep, then jolted awake to the sound of lightning ripping through the air real close by.  I found a break in the rain and went.

I hit the track feeling sluggish and sore still from my strength workout Fri.   It was in the low 70sº and nearly 100% humidity at the St. Andrews Sewanee track.  The sun came out and steam started rising from the track.  O god, save me.

Saucony trainers on
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 500m - 88, 95, 99, 99  - with 3 min rest between

What?  500s in 99?  I just ran a 78 500m less than 2 weeks ago.  I guess I should remember what Clyde Hart says, 'slow down and run faster.'    Despite the slow times, it was brutal.  My heart rate 172 at the end.  Maybe just a substandard effort.  Or, maybe because of the extreme humidity, my soreness, and my lack of carb intake.   Looks like I'm going to have to carb up a little before I do a workout like this again.    At least some gel or something.  Been livin' on fish, lettuce, fruits and nuts.  Down to 140.6 lbs after workout.   At least all my pants fit and I have some good definition with very low body fat.

Well, it looks like Sewanee Coughlin Track is set for a resurface in the coming weeks!  All the materials have arrived.   That means I'll have 2 new tracks to train on.   Unfortunately, the new Sewanee track will outline a new artificial turf field, which truly sucks.