Monday, December 29, 2014


Heavy and early this morning, too early to workout but no choice, I hit the Villages HS track for a workout despite my fullness from the previous day.   It was nice, in the 60s with morning fog.
Saucony Ride trainers on  
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
5 x 200m - 28.5 avg  (walk 200m in between)
Been a little sore in the R ankle and knee so about to take a 4 day break from the track.  Should be back by Sat. when I return to TN.  I was able to get some resistance in Sat.  did the usual squat jumps (5 x 15 w 90lbs) and a few sets of hip flexors on the cables.

Hopefully do some stretching and core work during this break.

Was a heavy 148 lbs after workout.  Damn, this holiday eating is killing me.

Friday, December 26, 2014

300s + in FL

Today, I got to work out in FL while visiting my parents.   It was earlier that I usually workout and after a poor night of sleep, a big dinner, and some sweet morning coffee, I hit the track at The Villages HS under a mid 50ºs morning.

Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 46.5, 48, 49 
200m - 27 
100m - 13
 I meant to keep the 300s at 48, started out too fast, and after the 3rd, was feeling sick.  I managed to recover a bit and do a few more 90% sprints.  Afterward, I did feel like heaving, probably because of the sweet coffee and lack of a good warm up and little hydration.   I didn't sweat one drop during the workout.   I'll be back out on Monday.   Was a bit heavy, 148 before and 146.4 after the session.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Resistance and a break

I was going to go to the track today but the weather turned bad, 55º and windy to 41º rainy and windy.   Getting ready to leave town and a lot to do.

I did my usual 4 x 15 squat jumps with 90lbs, glute/hip machine, calves, and a lot of drills.   At the Fowler Center, I was able to watch my form in a window reflection as I did my drills, which were helpful.   I also found a few new ones I like, particularly the scissors jump.  A lot of these so called drills are really plyos.

I probably won't hit the track til Friday in sunny FL.  Wouldn't hurt to take 2 days off right now.

Here's a video from the other day running full speed, I think I covered the 'flying 40' in 4 sec.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Drills, spikes on for some long speed

I spent a lot of time today at the Sewanee track.  It was a little warmer today, mid 40ºs so it felt more comfortable than previous days.  I spent a lot of time on drills.  Did about 10 different drills ... everything from A marches to leaps and bounds.  The so-called "majorette" I found particularly good, really firing the hip flexors and tiring!   I need work on this muscle group.   After a good 20 minutes of form drills, I was sweating.... I rested and was ready to run fast, but not 100%.   So I put the spikes on and did some long quality sprints.  First time in spikes since the meet.
400m warmups, stretches, drills 
and more drills 
Puma spikes on 
400m - 57.5 (27.5/30) 
300m - 42.5 
200m - 27 
3 x 60m
I was happy to beat my goal of 58 in the 400m.  I intended on 28/30 splits but did a slightly better on the front end.   I did some video of my short sprints.   I'd like to increase my knee lift and stride length.  I don't know what I can do about my natural running gait where there seems to be a separation in my thighs at footstrike.  Osafa Powell sort of runs like this too, so I don't know if it's really a bad thing.  More experimenting and study to come, but I know that significant changes aren't likely to happen.  I run the way I run.

It seems that the Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational is open to unattached, at least now, Jan 16-17. No guarantee of entry but I sure would love to run all 3 sprints on that beautiful 300m indoor Mondo.
So, I put it on my tentative schedule.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Tempo 300s / 200s

Same weather, different day.  Cold, gray, in the 30ºs, kind of like the weather I grew up with in NY.  The Sewanee track was a ghost ship as usual.  I was happy to not be sore after yesterdays resistance workout, which was a bit lighter this time.   I did 4 x 15 squat jumps with 90 lbs, but I only did one set of single leg jumps with 60 lbs, and a set of hip flexors, and ads.   Tonight I'll do abs and more hip flexor work.  I did feel a slight soreness in my right ham and put in on the roller for a bit.

Needed to do some tempo work, has been a while.  Again, too cold to run fast.  Good day to suffer some limited rest intervals.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 48, 49, 51, 50 
2 x 200m - 28.5, 28
A good mile of sprints.   I probably should have done one more 300m, as I had done before in similar workouts, but I was whooped.  Those other workouts were done in better weather and in spikes.

I hope to do some indoor speed work at some point before xmas.  When I run full speed 50's and blocks, I think I'm going to wrap to be safe.   Trying to decide if I should do resistance on Sat. or just rest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

cold n still

Quiet, damp, cold, and breezy late afternoon at the Sewanee Coughlan track.   35º and an occasional breeze makes it feel colder.  Track was partially wet but ok.  I trained in short tights, a t-shirt, light long sleeve top and gloves.

I think 4 to 5 long sprints has become sort of a 'standard' workout for me, especially at up tempo pace (~15sec/100m or faster).   It certainly does the job and I feel the pump.   These workouts are usually around 1000m total distance.   Tempo workouts are sometimes more.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 62  
300m - 44 
2 x 200m - 28, 29
Glad to get it done on a foreboding cold day.   It was just too cold today to run short and fast.   Probably should start wearing my long tights when it gets below 35º.   Better get used to it, it's only going to get worse.  Only slightly warmer on Friday but it's going to rain.

Going to try and get 3 more track workouts in before xmas, and 2 resistance workouts, so none of them need to be 'killer'.    Might save the short stuff for FL or indoors when I get back.  Sewanee's indoor track would be great for practicing starts and 55m sprints.

Seeing how I was 144 after workout, I still think 142 would be a good minimum race weight.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thoughts on weight

After today's colonoscopy, in which I was 100% clean, I had fasted for 2 days, dropped my body fat to near optimum, so it gave me a good baseline for 'lean weight'.

Strangely, before my colonoscopy, I weighed 142.8.   After, 143.8.   I think this was due to the IV hydration and the fact I was dehydrated.  After a meal, I was back up to near 146.   This tells me I have undoubtedly put on some muscle mass.  My previous best race weight was 140-142, now I think it would be 142-144.

Interestingly, the fastest sprinter in the world at the turn of the century was Arthur Duffy (9.6 - 100yds).  He was my same size, but a few lbs lighter, 5'7" 137 lbs.  (I was down to 137 back when I ran 5ks).  My friend Johnny B. is my height but 25 lbs heavier and he has run in the mid 10's 100m in college, and a 10.75 at age 30.

Evening meets are so much better for me to fuel up for.   Last meet went very well because I had 6 - 7 hrs to digest a serving of oatmeal and a piece of toast.   Morning meets are more problematic.  Have to eat the night before and very little in the morning, not the best situation.  Waking up very early to eat doesn't work because sleep is every bit as important as fuel.

We'll have to see what works.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

300s, turns

Still a little sore from the workout of Thurs, as was the ankle, but I got a solid workout in and generally ran fast.  No full speed stuff though.   Just ran some turns after my 300s.  Fasting today and have a colonoscopy coming up, so I was a little weak.

Party cloudy about 50º at the Dean Hayes track.  I was alone except for a spear thrower from Ghana.  He was just finishing up.  Good thing, accidents do happen.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
2 x 300m - 44, 43 
2 x 150m - 21, 21 
200m - 28

It'll be interesting to see how much weight I lose during this fast.  Should give me a baseline on what I weigh 'empty'.  Probably will not be back on the track til Wednesday.

Friday, December 12, 2014

300s, 100s

Was quite sore in the glutes today from yesterday's resistance workout at MTSU.  4 x 15 squat jumps with 80lbs, 4 x 25 seated calf raises with 300lbs, and 3 x 12 single leg squat jumps with 60lbs, along with set on the leg extension and glute machine.

The Dean Hayes track was nice this afternoon, sunny, low 50ºs light wind, I was happy to run some sprints today with Vincent from Uganda, here on track scholarship from Uganda.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m - 45.5, 43.5, 44 
3 x 100m -  ~ 12.5-13
Didn't expect to run this fast today, but having someone to push me helped.  Really trying to 'police' my form and stay conscious of it.   Need to work on turns.   Getting lighter.  145.2 after workout.  Feel pretty good.

When Vincent and I lined up to run our first 100m, I wanted to be sure we started together, he looked at me with deference, like 'you just go ahead...'.    When I bolted out to 5m lead and he realized he was going to have to run, I think he was surprised.  We crossed the line together in about 12.5, of course this was just a strider for him, probably faster than he wanted to run.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

200s, form

Chilly day on Tues at the KCD track, cloudy about 38º with a light breeze.   I trained in long tights. After watching my poor form on video I decided to do a light workout and work on form.   Still a small lingering groin soreness from Saturday's 3 races but no problems.

It seems that my problem is the backswing of my legs.  They don't go straight back, they tend to cross the center line of my back and go off to the opposite side, sometime a lot, resulting in an inefficient bowleggedness, unnecessary hip rotation, and presumably, a shorter stride.   Maybe it's the fastest way to reach maximum turnover for me?  I don't know, but I'm going to work on it.  Sprinting down the stripe and concentrating on keeping the legs moving in a consistent plane on each side is what I did today.  I actually ran faster than I intended.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 200m - 28,28, 28, 29  (walk 200 in between)
Doesn't look like much but was feeling the pump after the third one.  Good thing I got on the track today, I've enjoyed visiting the Pie Kitchen everyday for breakfast, pie and ice cream, 'breakfast of losers.'

I liked this quote:
"Everyone eventually grows older, at sometimes a faster rate than others."
     —President Obama, on Colbert Show 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Indoor Schedule

I have posted on the side bar, my very tentative 2015 Indoor Schedule.  I'm going to try and not go crazy by entering too many meets this college season (...we've heard that before).  Competing every weekend does not provide time for training cycles that would increase the chances of improvement, but I have to balance that with my joy of competing.   Typically, college athletes will do no more than 6 meets in an indoor season so I shouldn't do more than that.  Here's 8 possibilities.

(1/9) - There are some Div I meets earlier in Jan. at the Crossplex, like the UAB Blazer Invite on 1/9, but I don't think I'll enter... (but knowing me.... I might, I have nothing else to do that weekend).  It's expensive too - $50.  Probably not.

(1/16-17) and (1/23-24) These are Vanderbilt Invitational meets.  So far, unattached have not been very welcome but if I get the chance to run on this new indoor Mondo 300m track, I'll do it.

1/25  - My next meet will probably be the Emory Crossplex Invite on 1/25, and it will be the best track I'll run on this season.   They still haven't slated it on Direct Athletics, but hopefully soon.

2/1 - The 200m track at TSU is a bit soft, not the fastest, but the meet is on a Sunday, good day for me.

2/7 - MTSU meet.

2/14  and 2/28 - The Sewanee meets are in my hometown.  The 160m track will never yield a good 400m time, but I may do it for the workout. I could run all 3 sprints in these meets.

Meet list 2014 - season in review

Now that I have some time, here's my 2014 season summary

season PRs in blue
MR = meet record
*(h) = hand timed PRs


12/7/13 - MTSU Xmas Invite (250m flat track)
  • 400m - 58.94
  • 200m - 26.04
1/5/14 - Ed Temple Classic, TSU (200m track)
  • 200m - 26.16
1/26/14 - Emory Invite, Birmingham Crossplex (200m banked Mondo)
  • 400m - 56.69
  • 200m - 25.69
2/1 - Sewanee Invite (160m)
  • 400m - 58.31
  • 200m - 26.21
2/14 - Southern Miss Cupid Invite, Birmingham Crossplex
  • 400m - 56.62
  • 200m - 25.48
3/1 - Sewanee Tiger Invite
  • 400m - 57.88
  • 200m - 26.22
3/14-16 - Masters Nationals, Reggie Lewis Center, Boston (200m banked)
  • 400m - 56.48 (5th)
  • 60m - 7.91, 7.94 (final - 5th, semi)
  • 200m - 25.49, 25.63 (final - 4th, semi)


3/22 - Berea Invitational, KY
  • 400m - 56.25
  • 200m - 25.06
3/28 - Vanderbilt Black & Gold Meet
  • 200m - 25.16
4/5 - Centre College, KY
  • 400m - 57.33 (injury)
4/18 - Sewanee Mountain Laurel Invite
  • 400m - 56.88
  • 200m - 25.30
4/26 - Bellarmine Classic, KY
  • 400m - 55.93
  • 200m - 25.10
5/3 - Nashville Masters Classic
  • 400m - 56.34
  • 200m - 25.34
5/10 - Georgia Invitational, Athens
  • 400m - 56.20
  • 200m - 25.56
5/16 - Cardinal Twilight, U of Louisville, KY
  • 400m - 57.49
  • 200m - 25.37
6/5 - Nashville Striders all comers
  • 100m - 11.81(h)* 
  • 200m - 24.79 (h)*
  • 400m - 55.32 (h)*
6/14 - Bluegrass State Games, KY
  • 100m - 12.36 (MR)
  • 200m - 25.25 (MR)
  • 400m - 56.16 (MR)
6/21-22 - TN State Games
  • 100m - 12.42
  • 200m - 25.71
  • 400m - 55.85 (MR)
6/28 - AL USATF Association meet, Birmingham
  • 100m - 12.46 (MR)
  • 200m - 25.22
  • 400m - 56. 37
19 meets
42 races

(I did not include the 3 hand timed Senior meets I ran in Sept - Oct)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Meet report - Gerry England Open - UIndy

Waking up on Sat., I thought, "damn, I feel good enough to run the 60m."  Last Monday, I thought 'no way'.   No sign of any ham soreness, so, I donned the orange speed suit and made plans to do all 3 sprints (60/400/200) at The University of Indianapolis's Gerry England Open.

Being held up 30min in traffic, arrived just 30 min before race time, warmed up quickly and wow, what a nice track.  Did some full speed bursts, everything felt fine.  I wrapped the ham for protection and let it fly.

60m - 7.75
200m - 25.47
400m - 57.29

60m race
From lane three, felt like I got a good start, could have been leading the race at 10m, but I finished about tied for last in the heat, but not by much.   This is a distance I've raced only 3 times prior in my life, all in the 7.9's.  This was a significant improvement - 7.75.   Wish I had done this at Nationals, would have been good for a medal.

I was definitely the only Masters guy at this meet. The kid on my left in lane 2 and I chatted with, he said, "man, you're putting a lot of pressure on me telling me your age."  He edged me by a few hundredths I think.   This race was pure pleasure, couldn't keep the smile off my face when it was over.  Everything felt great, no strains.  This is the fastest straight race I had run in years.  This is the only race I ran in college and my first love in track, the indoor 60. When I walked back to the finish line to pick up my sweats, a few formerly grim faced coaches smiled and shook my hand, I guess they didn't expect much and were surprised.  I beat only 2 guys overall.

 400m race
I changed out of my tight orange speed suit into my familiar comfortable green tank top for the 400m.  2 guys scratched and it was just 3 of us.  In lane 3, I had a fast guy to chase out in lane 5.  The other guy in lane 2 was extremely slow and I never saw him during the race.  The guy in front won the lead at the break and I stayed behind him by 10m+ the whole race.  I felt I ran a bit conservatively since I wasn't 100% spent at the finish.  Nevertheless, 57.29 was my fastest indoor 400m on a flat track and my best first 400m race of my season in masters.   I was second in my heat and beat 3 overall.

200m race
In the first heat, (I don't know why because it was a fast heat), I had lane 4 of a field of 5  - 2 inside, 2 outside of me.   I hadn't had enough time to recover after the 400m, about 45 min, but I felt OK.  I rewrapped the hamstring to be safe.  I got out good and held my own til the last turn and the guys on the inside came sweeping by me.  I was last in my heat, but beat 4 guys overall.   I really didn't think it would be a fast time, but it turned out that 25.47 was .04 off my indoor PR and my fastest on a flat indoor track.   Surprising since the lack of recovery.  Faster than all 8 indoor 200s I ran last season, ....and I wasn't even rested.

I think the off-season strength program has helped.  I have well over a month before my next race and plenty of time to train, so I'm going to get back to the weights, long and short sprints.  I definitely need work on form.

Best first meet of my masters career, encouraging.  No strains and very little soreness.  Even more remarkable, I ran decent times not in top shape and at least 3 to 4 lbs overweight.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Pre race day #1

Welcome back to a new season.... just looked at the heat sheets for tomorrow's meet.  I'm in lane 3 of the 400m, could be worse.   Racing really young kids, college freshman and one from the local youth track club, probably a high school student.  I'm actually triple their age.... probably older than their parents.  Most are right about my speed ... in the 56-58 neighborhood.   Better than running at MTSU with the sub-50 guys.  


Thursday, December 4, 2014

5,4,3,2 ...

Did a workout with John W. today, a 27 yr old cross country / 800 /1500 guy.   He kept me motivated and was good company.   Because of the recent ham issue, I wanted to do a gradual speed up ladder down.   Starting with 17sec/100m pace down to 14sec/100m pace.  Not in the best shape so I took about 5+ min in between.  
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
500m - 85 (17sec/100m) 
400m - 64 (16sec/100m) 
300m - 45 (15sec/100m) 
200m - 28 (14sec/100m)
It was a good solid tiring workout.   Always good to remind myself of 'long sprint pain.'
Still not near race weight.  At 145.8 after workout.

John sometimes would jog during his recovery while I walked.  Ahhh ... to be young again.

hell bent on racing this weekend

Because of my ham tweak last Sat, it probably wouldn't be best to do the 60m drag race, but it may be good for me to do a 400m this weekend since I won't have another chance to race for a month.  And ... since my schedule permits a nice long visit to Roya in Louisville, I decided to look for a meet in the area, and I found one.  This Saturday at UIndy's new ARC track, a 200m Mondo.   Its about 100 miles from Louisville.  Although it's not banked, it's a nice track, not as good as Birmingham's Crossplex, but real nice nevertheless.  And, it's a DII - DIII meet which would be better for me at my present state of fitness.   The Univ. of Indianapolis's "Gerry England Alumni Open" is a perfect first meet.... judging by last years results where 7 of 18 400m runners ran over 56, 4 over 58!  5 of 19 in the 200m ran over 25, 3 over 26!  Real slow for a college meet.  Definitely shouldn't finish last.  Hopefully won't end up in lane one which is a killer indoors.

I signed up for all the sprints, 60, 400, 200... but I'll probably scratch the 60.   I could do it because it is first and more than an hour before the 400, but the 200 is just 45m after the 400, which will be tough.

I'd like to run int he 57s.  We'll see.  Heavy and not in the best shape, but it's early.

145.8 lbs. after workout.   Hope to be under 145 by Saturday's meet.

UIndy's ARC

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5x4 tempo

I've been avoiding this workout for a while now, and today since I can't run fast, I gave it a spin.  A gray cool damp day, 52º at the Dean Hayes track, good day to suffer.

My ham still feels tight but doesn't hurt.  I was going to do just 4 but strided out another.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
5 x 400m with 2 min rest - 69, 71, 76, 77, 82
I never really ramped up the effort too high but did manage to push my heart rate to 160 after the last one.

The off season continues.  I may do a workout with John W. on Thurs.   He's a student that runs a 2 min 800m.  I'm sure he will kick my ass.

Still up 5 lbs, 146 after workout.

Monday, December 1, 2014

thoughts on upcoming indoor season

It doesn't look like I'll be ready to race at MTSU on Sat.   The ham strain has left me a bit vulnerable, but it's not so bad that I can't workout at 80% on the track, but blasting a 55m race would be risky.   I'm probably too heavy to run a decent 400m right now even though I'm in decent shape.  I'd just hate to go out and do what I did last year at MTSU, go out too fast and die a horrible death in 58.

Too bad I am assigned to walk in the graduation ceremony on 12/13 at MTSU, an incredibly useless waste of time, or I could enter the Friday night meet, at UIndy on 12/12. The DII meet would be perfect for me.   I really wanted to get a meet in this month but it's not going to happen.  It's good to have competitions to work toward for motivation and to measure progress.   We'll see where I am in a month.   I was really hoping to have some fun running some short races.  Maybe in Jan.  As coach Page has said, not getting injured is a top priority.

I don't expect to do more than 4 meets in Jan and Feb., just 4 or 5 for the indoor season.  I'd like to go to Birmingham at least once, and of course my hometown meets in Sewanee.  Still a bit uncertain, that's why I've not posted an indoor schedule yet.

I've sometimes made the comparison between preparing for track meets and concerts.   There are a lot of similarities but one obvious and glaring difference:  with the requisite technical foundation and with the music memorized, I can 'cram' for a concert and get ready in a few short weeks.  Not so in track.  It has to be a long term and cumulative training process.  Athletic training can't be 'crammed'.

Tentative indoor schedule:

2/1 - TSU Ed Temple Classic
2/14 - Sewanee
2/28 - Sewanee

I hope more meets in Birmingham will be posted soon,

Saturday, November 29, 2014

300s, 200s

At the Sewanee track today, upper 40ºs, cloudy and breezy.   I did up tempo intervals today and unfortunately, tweeked my left ham.   This is the first significant injury I've had in training this fall.   Won't know how significant it is for a day or two.   I don't think it's serious, although it may keep me out of Saturday's meet.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m - 43.5, 45, 47  (3, 5 min rest) 
2 x 200m - 27, 28

Felt the ham after the last 300m and again after the last 200m, which I coasted to the finish after running near full up the straight.

Will take 2 days off from the track, maybe do some prehab Monday night and then let it fly on Tues., cautiously, to see how it feels.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving intervals

A brief maintenance workout on a blustery cold damp Thanksgiving on the Dean Hayes track early PM at MTSU.  39º cloudy and windy.   I was joined by Roya.   Just wanted to get it done.  Ankle was a bit sore at first from training in spikes on Tues, but got better.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 300m w/ 2min rest - 48, 47 
5 min rest 
2 x 200m w/ 4 min rest - 28, 28.5
Knew it wouldn't be fast today, but I'm lighter, under 145 for the first time in a while.  144.5 after workout.  

Now, cooking for Thanksgiving.  Going to put on 5 lbs today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

short and long

Did a mixed workout today at the Sewanee track, 48º and cloudy.   Sewanee is a ghost ship now, everyone leaving for the holiday and most cafes shut (except Julias).  I was the only car in the parking lot, not that unusual.   I ran everything today at 90%+ except the first 400m.   I'm always amazed at how easy the first 200m is compared to the last when doing an even split 400m.  
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 59.5 (even split 30/30) 
Saucony Showdown spikes on 
block starts 
6 x 55m - full speed 
300m - 41.5
I worked on starts and technique.  I have to remind myself to keep good linear form when hitting the end of a 400.    Good to know I can break 60 in a 400m without giving full effort, and in training shoes.   My 300 was 400m race pace, and in spikes.  I put my sweats on for the 55s and took time in between, some were close to 7, but not under.  Sometimes I can really nail a start and sometimes I get out a bit unbalanced.   (The 55m dash is one of those events where I wish we could run it 3x and take the best time).

My start must look odd, a lot of weight on my hands, lead foot very close to the line.  The 'animal start' where I push from 'all 4s'.

Feel a bit lighter and faster.  Still about 5 lbs to lose.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

cool, hard, wet, dark

Sunday, it had been raining all day in Sewanee, 1.4" of rain.   After a 3pm chamber concert, I was happy to see the rain stopped so I rushed home and dressed for a workout.   I got on the track just after sunset and it started raining hard during my warmups.   Took shelter in the car.   Was very windy but in the low 50ºs.  Went back out in the drizzle and again was driven back to my car  by hard rain.

Finally back on the track and as I was lining up for a 300m, it started raining again.   A little standing water on the track.  Waited for the wind to die slightly and went, a little pissed that the wind picked up just after I started.

I did a short but hard workout, just 3 sprints at 90%, focusing on stride alignment and lift.... and called it a day.  It actually felt good and I'm glad I did it.

Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m - 43 
200m - 27.5  
100m - 13

It was light enough that I could even go out again tomorrow.   It's supposed to be mid 50ºs with less chance of rain.

Making a significant effort to lose a few lbs, but it's coming very slow.   Still 147 after workout.


Late in posting this workout...  Friday's weather at the Dean Hayes Track was just like Wednesdays but with no wind, sunny and 51º, perfect.

I did weights the night before so I wanted to work out lightly today.

Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup stretches, drills 
2 x 200m with 1 min rest - 27.5, 28 
Saucony spikes on 
2 x 100m from blocks 
2 x 50m from block 
3 x 400m with 2 min rest - 80, 80, 80

The 400s I did at the end were with a guy and a girl who were 5k runners.   Just pacing them at a relaxed pace and burning some calories.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


After a cold snap, the temperature was back up to a near seasonable sunny 50º today but very windy.   In my 300s today, I chose to run my first 100m into the wind and last 100m, with the wind.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m - 44.5, 44.5, 45, 45.5
This doesn't look like much on paper but it was a bitch.   These 300s were at least 62sec 400m pace or 85-90% effort.  Recovery was plentiful.

I'm still in sort of a training limbo.   Not yet submitting to the wicked limited rest intensive tempo workouts, and not doing regular speed work due to the cold either.   Need to do more short stuff, acceleration, top speed work.

Also still need to lose weight.

To clarify terms and training methods, I found this article instructive.   Speed, Speed Endurance, Specific Endurance, Special Endurance, Intensive Tempo, Extensive Tempo, Resisted Sprints, Assisted Sprints, etc..

Sunday, November 16, 2014

just one blast

Cold and getting colder.   40º, cloudy, breezy, a slight occasional drizzle, miserable weather at the KCD school this early afternoon with worse weather coming.   I was still sore in the calves from Friday's stairs so I didn't want to do much.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Nike R3 spikes on
400m - 58.5 (27.5/31)
3 x 55m 
I had my spikes so I put em on for one 400m blast.   I didn't want to do much today, probably should have done more since the track won't be available til Wed due to some seriously bad weather predicted, bitter cold and snow for Mon-Tues - highs well below freezing.   I did some 55s from blocks up to full speed and called it a day because my feet were cold and hurting.   It reminded me why I don't race in Nike spikes any more.

First meet just 2 weeks from Sat, 12/6.  Hope coach Hayes lets me run the 55m/200m.

Trying to slim down.

Friday, November 14, 2014

cold stairs

Running stadium stairs on the coldest morning yet this fall.   22º at 7am in Murfreesboro.

Sprinting up the stairs at the Floyd Stadium at MTSU 20X was my workout today.  Sprinting full out with good form and high knees takes twice as much effort as merely running up the stairs.   I always tried to finish the last flight with extra effort, although after 8 I felt whipped.   Took a bathroom break at 12, then did 8 more.
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
20 x Stadium stairs   
With the sun, it wasn't too bad at the bottom, but up at the top, the wind made it quite cold.

Tired of being fat, ate really light yesterday.  145.8 after workout.  Need to lose 5.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

fast and long ... cold is here

It was in the upper 30ºs and breezy at noon at the Dean Hayes track.   A harbinger of things to come.  It's supposed to be cold throughout the next 10 days, and even worse.  Fortunately, the heated mens room was open.  I stretched out in there and went in between reps.   Did fast and long.

Saucony Ride trainers on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
500m - 82 
400m - 62 
300m - 44 
200m  - 27.5

Not bad considering the wind and the conditions.  Still not training as a short sprinter, too cold to run fast today.   I don't expect to run a 400m til Jan. and hope to run the 55m/200m in a little over 3 weeks.  Should be fun.

I woke up at a heavy 150.4 lbs, but after bathroom and workout, 147.8.   I need to lose 5 lbs, in 3 weeks.  Not hard.   It's 90% diet, 10% workouts.

Monday, November 10, 2014

runnin heavy

Heavy from weekend revelry, pushing 150 lbs.   Felt markedly slower today.   Great day to be in Sewanee, low 60ºs and sunny at sunset.  Sore glutes from Sunday night workout of squat jumps with weights and then some, and the usual ankle soreness from Friday.

Did 300s with not full recovery, didn't time my rest, but the second two I started with heart rate mid 120s - 130 bpm.   Probably 5 min rest or less.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m - 45, 45, 47, 49 
4 x 55m - ~7.5 - 8
147.5 lbs after workout.   Need to slim down, but it's hard.

Friday, November 7, 2014

squeezin in a workout

It wasn't the best day for a workout, 3 hrs sleep, 5 hrs of driving, a performance last night and one this morning, and... a lot to do tonight to get ready for a party on the mountain.   But still... got to the track around sunset.  It was quite cool, falling into the upper 40ºs.

I hadn't done one of 'these' in a while and knew what I needed.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 400m with 2:20 rest - 69, 69, 69 
100m - 13.5
I really had to give a hard effort to get that last 400m under 70.   Got it done though.   Couldn't have done another.

Ate poorly on the road but not heavy.  145.7 after workout.

I'll sleep well tonight when I finally get there.

Monday, November 3, 2014

long and short on the track

Beautiful day in Sewanee, 60º and clear at noon.  Warm in the sun to go shirtless, very welcome after the Sat. morning dusting of snow on the mountain.

I was still sore from the 160 squat jumps I did on Sat., but did everything fairly fast.
Saucony trainers on 
500m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m - 44.5, 44, 45, 44 
Saucony Showdown spikes on
6 x 55m - ~7.5

I took a lot of recovery before the last 300m to maintain the pace of the others.  I then put spikes on and I tried like hell to get to that magic 7 flat mark in the 55m sprints, pushing to 100%, but was always a step short.   Of course that was after 4x300, no blocks, and I'm fat, but still.   I really want to increase my short sprint top speed this season and I'm going to run more 55m races indoors, hopefully get a PR.

One more concert in SC on Thurs, party in Sewanee on Sat., so next time on the track will be Sunday.

I'm beginning to slim down, but just starting.  147 after workout.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

resistance with (almost) no equipment

Without access to a gym right now, I worked out at home... the only equipment I used was a single rubber band for hip flexor exercises.
8 x 20 - squat jumps 
4 x 100 - bicycle crunches 
4 x 25 -  leg kick extensions each leg
I will be on the track Monday, but won't be able to workout again until a week later on Sunday.   Maybe I'll be able to squeeze a similar resistance workout in Friday night.  I need it, I'm fat, 149 lbs.   Tired of it so that will be changing.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Unbelievably beautiful fall weather here in Sewanee.   Lower 70ºs at sunset, dry for days and the color of the leaves near peak.   I finished my session tonight under the lights as I was sharing the stadium with the lacrosse team.  

I didn't feel like running long tonight.  I hadn't run 200s in a while so I did the "run a 200m / walk a 200m" thing.   However, after running the first three in around 27, I was walking very slowly (in lane 8) to the next rep.  I took some extra time before the last rep.  
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
8 x 200m - 27, 27, 27, 29, 29, 28, 29, 27
It didn't feel real good.   I'm just too heavy and a bit tight from the resistance I've been doing.   My diet hasn't been great, and lately my weight averages around 148-149.  

With my schedule the way it is, I probably won't be able to train again til the weekend.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

resistance, plans, thoughts

Despite lingering ham soreness from Thursdays speed work, I hit the gym tonight and did the usual lower body routine.   I think it is working for me, seeing some development in the glutes and thighs, probably helped by a diet richer in protein and carbs.
3 x 10 each leg - single leg squat jumps with 70 lbs  
4 x 15 - squat jumps with 80 lbs 
3 x 25 - calf raises with 270 lbs 
3 x 15 - ham / glute raises with 25 lbs 
2 x 15 - leg extention/ hip flexor with 60 lbs each leg 
2 x 35 - glute machine with 150 lbs
My present thinking is that exercises that isolate a a specific muscle are not useful to me.  If I were interested in body building, perhaps, but exercises that are explosive and use the same muscle groups that a sprinter uses, seem to be the way to go.  In the real world, athletes never isolate muscles in athletic events.   That's why I prefer squat jumps and leaps to simple squats.  I remember working out as a kid and doing slow muscle-isolation type lifting.    I don't see the point.   Sprinting is explosive, so why would I want to go slow and isolate ... (except sometimes for the negative in prehabing the hams.  That 'eccentric movement' thing).   When I use the leg extension machine, I deliberately lift my thigh off the bench to recruit the hip flexors in addition to the quads.  (I've seen Usain Bolt do this in workouts).

I've also read that explosive training, especially HIIT (high intensity interval training) is the best way to produce hormones like hgh and testosterone.  Studies confirm, it's far better than steady state cardio-type training in that regard.

Hard to believe but the first indoor track meet is just 6 weeks away.   I'm thinking I'll have fun at this first meet and not run the 400m, just the 55m and the 200m.  It would be a good test to see if I'm maintaining speed while I age.

Speed, baby.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Tonight felt good, invigorating.  Upper 50ºs at the Dean Hayes track tonight after sunset. Brad and Jacob came out to join me for some short speed work.

Got the spikes on tonight.  I started with a near race pace 300m and then some short repeats at near 100%.
400m warmup, stretches, drills, striders 
Saucony Showdown spikes on 
300m - 40.5 
7 x 50m - 90-95% 
100m - 12.5
I need to do more speed workouts like this one.  The explosive element needs to be practiced and I did feel fast tonight, despite weighing 148 lbs.    Maybe Jacob wasn't trying very hard tonight but I beat him in every rep.   The last 100m felt strong an I started it on a beep from a set position without blocks.   It was not timed precisely but was definitely under 13.  Good way to end the evening.  Felt high afterward.

Monday, October 20, 2014

tempo 400s

The dreaded 4 x 400m workout today, then some.   I usually don't like working out in the noon sun but it was cool enough ... low 60ºs.    So I put on the sunscreen and went.   Sewanee was quiet as usual, just had to move the team benches off of lane one.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drill 
4 x 400m w/ 2:15 rest in between - 69, 69, 74, 78  
Saucony Showdown spikes on 
200m - 26.5
It was hard, especially the last 200m of #4.  I brought my spikes and felt like running one fast 200m, which I did in sub 27.  Felt good, considering I'm heavy, about 147 lbs.  Need to start doing some short speed work.  50s.  

Maybe I'll hit the stadium stairs tomorrow instead of weights.   I need to practice for my concerts so it's a juggling act.

I spend a lot of time in this position...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

speed ladder

Did a long sprint ladder down tonight.  It was much cooler at the Dean Hayes track tonight, 52º with a breeze.  Felt cold.  It reminded me that winter training is going to be hard... out in the freezing weather.

I had a free hour today so I went over to the MTSU track practice and said hello to Dean.   I said, "There he is... 50 years!" (referring to this season - marking the coach's 50th year of coaching).  He responded, "That's me!"   He told me Coach Kelly left and is now at Birmingham Southern.   I liked him.  Sorry to see him go.  Good to see Dean.  I think he's obsessed with triple jump.   That's what he always seems to focus on at practice.   His 400 guys have been doing 8x300m workouts, almost every day.  I wonder how many of them actually do them?  They seem really unsupervised.

A good solid foundational workout for me tonight.  Nothing full blast, but good and hard.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:35 
600m - 1:49 
500m - 85 
400m - 65
Next week will be my last week of regular workouts then I'll have to get them when I can, as I am on the road for a few concerts.

Should probably start doing those dreaded 6 x 300m or 4 x 400m workouts with 2 min rest.   Good when pressed for time, but the most painful.

Coach Page said it would be painful... back in '11.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday 600s / 300s

It looks like the Kentucky Co. Day School got a new track resurface...  it was warm Sunday afternoon for Oct.  Near 70º and party cloudy.

It seemed harder today.  I think running 600s is in some ways harder than 800s, since I'm aiming at 17-18sec/100m at 600m pace compared to around 20-21sec/100m at 800m pace..  and for 300's, 14-15sec/100m pace.
Saucony Rider trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 600m - 1:47, 1:51 
2 x 300m - 44, 44
Roya pushed me on the last 100m on the 300s.  She can definitely run in the 15s in 100m, very impressive.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

track night

After a resistance workout Tues, a track workout tonight under a nearly full moon and mild weather.   This evening, both my students copped out so I went at it alone.  It was unseasonably mild, low 70ºs and humid.   I 'one-upped' myself from the previous workout and stayed a very consistent pace.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 800m - 2:45, 2:46, 2:46, 2:43 
400m - 65
A 3600m workout.   It wasn't too bad because I took a lot of recovery.  Unlike a 400m race where I can push my heart rate into the160s, these 800s pushed my heart rate only to the upper 140s - near 150 by the end, but perhaps for longer duration.

I am heavy... 148.5 before workout, 147.2 after.    Probably 5 - 6 lbs over race weight,  not too bad for the off season.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

quantity foundation work

Crisp and cool this evening on a very quiet Sewanee track, 60º, clear, and breezy.   Fall break, Sewanee is a ghost ship, even quieter than usual.

Did some relaxed but tiring 800s and ended with an up tempo 400 strider.
 Saucony Ride trainers on
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 800m -  2:45, 2:49, 2:51  
400m - 65
Didn't push anything real hard, it's early.   Still sore in the haunches from the weights Friday night.  I'm planning on only doing 2 track days and 2 days of lifting per week this month.   May also throw in a day of stadium stairs and weight sled work.  It will be hard to workout during the 2 weeks I am doing concerts - last week Oct., first week, Nov., but I'll try.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Back to an off season regime.   Eating a bit more to build some muscle.  Weigh about 147 lbs.

Tonite ...

3 x 10 - single leg squat jumps with 60 lbs each leg 
3 x 20 - calf raises with 250 lb 
3 x 15 - glute ham raises, slow negative 
3 x 25 - glute machine with 230 lbs each leg 
2 x 15 - hip flexor machine 150 lbs each leg
15 squat jumps with 70 lbs
adductor machine, rowing, chest, and pullups

Tomorrow I'll do some abs and hit the track for some 800m repeats.  It's supposed to be very cool tomorrow, probably in the low 50ºs by tomorrow afternoon.   I always like doing quantity workouts in the cold.  Seems to lessen the pain.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last post season meet and forward...

It was pretty much a bust.  I forgot about the time zone change (central to eastern) and missed the 100m race.  Not only did they not go on schedule, they started the 400m ahead of schedule.   I got to the McMinn Co. HS track right after the start of the first heat of the 400m.   So they put me in the second heat.   I asked them to wait for me while I jogged a half mile to a badly needed men's room, did a few leg swings, no real warm up and went.  It was totally stupid.  No blocks, starter said 'set' before I put my hands down, no starting gun, just a hand clap.  I went out too fast and really dragged my ass in the last 50m, a total rig up.   Running in lane 5 against 4 older guys, of course I never saw anyone.  I won the heat by about 150m.  It was a joke.  I had to tell the 'official' where the finish line was.  I think they actually used the blue line that starts the mile as the finish for the first heat!  They actually ran a 390m... not a 400m.  Unbelievable.


I was surprised that it was even that fast, considering the circumstances and my weight (145+).  This was the only 400m race that I've ever got physically sick after.  Good thing I didn't eat this morning, had a few dry heaves, but then was ok.  My warmup only consisted of a half mile jog to the mens room and that was about it.   Normally, I like to warm up, do a few striders up to race speed, then chill out for a while before I race.  Not today.   Despite the unpleasant feeling it was a good workout.

These 'post season' races overall were not particularly rewarding or fast.  In a way, probably a set back to the rather aggressive weight training program I had begun and foundational (longer distance) running.

Forward .... thoughts
I was chatting with a collegiate distance runner who was volunteering as a timer.  He agreed with what everyone says about the 400m race ... it's a bitch, probably the most painful event in track.  Today, it reminded me that the path I've taken is a tough one, if I am to race at the level I want to.

I understand so few people my age have essentially no understanding for why I work so hard for this, and I'm fine with that.   To follow the 'path of least resistance' and to 'enjoy life' ... like many people through daily base indulgences in rich food, booze, pot, sedentary lifestyle, etc...   It's a trend - Americans are getting fatter and less healthy.  It would be sooooo bloody easy to live like that.  I have been there and done that.  Not that I won't enjoy these things from time to time, but to live like that?   That lifestyle is not the way I want to enter old age.   I'm definitely a lone wolf in my area.   Track, like most of my pursuits has been a solitary endeavor.   I've never been one to train with music in my ears and rarely with company.  There is a meditative quality to training, the rhythm of the pace, the breath, heart beat, the air rushing past, the sunset, the sweat, and after the pain...  the endorphin high, that wonderful feeling of 'getting it done.'

There are a few things I need to change.   I really need to stop consuming so much sugar.  Just ordered some green tea which I drink without sugar.  There is no need to binge on rich food just because I'm not racing.  Yes, some carbs for muscle building are OK... but it's so hard to get to race weight, getting off those last 5 lbs is hard if I'm ballooning up 10 lbs in the off season.

Also, I want to acknowledge those of you who read my ramblings on this blog.   A few hundred people per week visit this blog, including some regular readers, in total - readers from 19 countries.  It's good to know I have some like-minded brothers out there, willing to take this path less traveled.

“Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can’t handle!” - Sanya Richards-Ross 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Speedy speed

Brief but intense speed workout tonight on a perfect 68º Sewanee evening.   Such a beautiful evening. Did a near race effort 400m to start the workout.   Went pretty well.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 57.5 (27.5, 30) 
3 x 150m - 19-20
Felt fine, no rigging up.    57.5 is pretty good for an off season 400m, considering no spikes or blocks.  Felt a little soreness in the left ham which makes me think maybe I shouldn't run the 100m on Wed.  We'll see how it feels tomorrow.   Not strained but maybe vulnerable.

I did secure permission to race in this last meet - TN SE District.   Probably a small affair with no competition.   I just hope there is someone there that knows how to start a sprint and operate a stopwatch.    I'm going to have to leave at 6:30am to get there in time to warm up for the 100m.  The 400m is an hour later at 9:30.

Weight in the 143s after workout.   A nice brief blast tonight... I really like sprinting in the dark sometimes.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Meet cancelled, 300s, just one more...

I was really pissed.   Drove 100 miles for nothing, postponed my trip to Sewanee to race in this meet, I really couldn't believe it... couldn't believe they didn't call me, as they did for others.

The track at the non-meet
There was another prison break at the Woodland Detention facility and one of the inmates was observed on the grounds near the track, so they cancelled the meet.

It was a nice track too.   Best I've seen since June.   I was just going to run the 400m.  Haven't run a 400m race fresh since June.  I had been training a bit and watching my weight for this last meet and was really pissed that it was called off.

So, instead, I went to the Sewanee track Sat. night and did a rigorous workout of 300s.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
6 x 300m - 44.5, 45, 45.5, 45.5, 48, 46 (300m walk in between)
I started the last one with my heart rate near 130, 164 at end.   It was a workout.

Last Meet?
Since I was counting on one last meet, I'm probably going to go to Athens, TN to race in their district meet on Wed. morning on the black HS track in McMinn Co.  I need to get permission but I can't imagine they'd deny me.   It's kind of crazy... 100 miles each way but what the hell.  I could spend my time in a worse way.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

300 / 200s

Thursday night at the Dean Hayes track, feels like summer even though it's now officially fall.   7:45 pm - 73º and dry.

Jacob joined me tonight to push me in a few 200s.  It's really great having someone to run with because I so rarely have company for workouts.

I wanted to not stress myself too much tonight with a final meet coming up on Sat.  So I ran most everything slow to fast, or negative split.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
200m strider - 32 
300m - 43.5 (15.5/28) 
3 x 200m - 28.5, 27.5, 26.5
Not a particularly great week of training.   Sat., I'm just going to run the 400m and call it a season.   This really is my off season, just need to do this race to qualify for next yr's state finals.  Haven't really run anything noteworthy since my main season ended in June.  This race is no big deal, I have a lifetime undefeated race record in my home state, but maybe I can get Dave S. to push me in the 400m.   He is an M60 triple National Champ (400, 800, 1500) and can run in the 57s on a good day.

I a little heavy for racing, 145 after workout tonight but I expect to be 143ish by race day.  

Will probably go back to lifting and once a week foundational work.   I need about a 2-3 week break.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

brief n hard

I had a short time to train tonight in Sewanee due to a plumbing issue I was dealing with, and happily resolved the plumbing issue and got in a meaningful workout to boot.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 400m w/2:20 rest - 69, 69, 72
The last 400m, as usual, was an ass kicker.   Maybe next time I'll do the brutal 4x400m.   Probably not for a while.  I have one more track workout on Thurs. before I end my season Sat. with a 400m race at the Nashville District games.   I was really heavy last night 149.5 lbs before bed, but 145.6 today after workout.   Hope to be down well below 145 by Sat race.   I may also run the 100m, but I doubt it.   Ready for some time off.   This season has dragged on a long time.  Actually, this really isn't 'my season'  ... just some off season meets.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

resistance and night sprints

Wednesday night did a glute busting workout with 5 x 15 single leg squat jumps with 50 lbs... along with pullups, abs, hip flexors.

Thursday night sprints have become a tradition and I was happy to be joined by 2 of my students tonight, Brad and Jacob.   Jacob was once a 51 sec. 400m guy, but now just lets me chase him by running the last 200m of a longer sprint I'm doing as well as some short stuff.

Long and short sprints tonight.   Great weather at the Dean Hayes track... 68º and clear, no wind.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 600m - 1:42, 1:45 
5 x 60m sprints
The second 600m felt easier than the first for some odd reason.

On the 60s, I did each one a bit faster, the last one accelerating to 100% I was able to smoke Brad but Jacob sat out the last one.   Hope they come out again next week.   Jacob is fast and could probably beat me in a 200m if he were fresh.  

Night sprinters

Monday, September 15, 2014

400s and 200s

On the Sewanee track this evening, a pleasant 72º, humid with occasional light sprinkles.

Did a combination of speed and speed endurance.  3 x 400 with 2.5 min rest, and 3 x 200 faster.
Saucony trainers on 
3 x 400m w/ 2.5 min rest - 67, 68, 74 
3 x 200m - 27, 28, 29
I wanted to do 4 x 400s but, my heart rate was still 150/bpm - two mins after my 3rd 400, so I wasn't going to endure another.   Maybe next time.

The first 200m was pretty fast and I toned it down because I didn't want to re-injure my groin.  It has improved but still not great.  

Probably do some resistance tomorrow, rest Wed and track on Thurs.   Very heavy, up to 148 lbs after dinner.

Last meet of the season in 12 days, I'm just going to run the 400m, hopefully respectably.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cumberland District meet

Same situation as last week, poor track, headwind, cool temperatures.   Not quite as bad a track as last week in KY, and not quite as windy.  I did a little better, but still substandard.

12.39 - 100m
25.85 - 200m

I strained my groin running the 100m, and was pretty sore before and after the 200m.  I was a bit heavy for the meet too, about 145 lbs.

The worst thing about this meet was the starter.  What a fiasco.   He had absolutely no idea what he was doing.  This was apparent when I heard him starting guys with the commands: "get ready, get set" then almost no time after 'set,' the gun.   One of the other sprinters, a track official himself, tried to coach our starter a bit.  My heat of the 100m was a comedy of errors.  In our heat he seemed to be waiting for the runners to get into the blocks before giving the command 'on your marks'.   So, we stood there waiting for a while then I said 'well let's go.'  He then gave us his 'blessing from the lord' and said 'on your marks'.   I did my usual back into the blocks and before I even put my hands down he yells 'set.'  I just stood up and said, "dude, you have to wait for me to put my hands down!"   He said, "well, everyone else was ready."  Unbelievable.   Then, we tried it again and he held us soooo long after 'set' that someone just fell out of the blocks.  Apparently, he forgot to take the safety off the gun.  Ok, third try.  He did ok on the commands, but I was still moving when the gun went off less than a second after 'set'.  I was certainly not 'set.'   Oh well, can't be too upset with a volunteer.   The last time they did this, TN Tech's track coach ran the meet.   It was better.

The problem with this meet is that they stop all running events when doing field events.  I got there at 9:15am thinking I might be late.  I didn't run the 100m until 3 hrs later.   Then I had to wait another 90 min to run the 200m.   Uncharacteristically, the 400m was scheduled as the final event.  I was too sore to run it and didn't feel like waiting hours, so I split.   I won my races by 15m and 20m+.   Small turnout.

It was a beautiful drive from Crossville, TN down the Sequatchie Valley and up to Sewanee.

Glad I ran the meet.  I'm going back to foundation stuff and weights and in my last meet, I'll just run the 400m in 2 weeks in Nashville.

The future
This was my first meet in the new M55 age group (TN Sr Olympic Rules), although I don't turn 55 til next season.  It definitely is apparent that if I am to maintain my peak sub 56 400m speed, I'm going to have to be really serious.  It keeps getting harder to stay fast.   If I can maintain, I may be one of the fastest guys moving up.   Only 2 guys in the world this year in M55 ran a faster 400m than my SB.  So, I'd really like to maintain.

Friday, September 12, 2014

IAAF Continental Cup - last big meet of the season

Remember when track and field was an 'amateur sport'?

Not anymore.  $3 million is prize money being given at the IAAF Continental Cup meet in Marrakesh, Morocco this weekend.   It'll be broadcast on Universal Sports Network on Saturday and Sunday night.

Many of the big names will be there... including Lashawn Merritt, Mike Rogers, Barshim, Bonderencko, and others.

Prize money Individual events:
1st $30,000
2nd $15,000
3rd $10,000
4th $7000
5th $5000
6th $3000
7th $2000
8th $1000

Back on track

After Sunday's meet, I had a sore groin and was pretty discouraged.    I barely did anything for 3 days afterward, but last night... had a solid workout on the track.   Thinking I may go back this evening to do something light and blocks.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:31 (72/79) 
4 x 300m - 44, 48, 46, 45
The last two 300s felt better than the first 2, like a second wind.  A good 2000m workout.

I think the Sunday meet showed me that in regard to being able to run fast, there is no substitute to getting on the track and running fast, and running with good form  Lifting, and long foundation runs alone won't do it.  Running a 200m race in a slower time than my usual 1st 200m split in a 400m race, is a pretty dismal outing.

After Sunday's meet, I assumed I wouldn't race til the end of the month so I ate poorly for 2 days, gained some weight back.  I was over 146 lbs. this morning.

But, I've decided to go to Crossville to run in another silly hand timed Senior District meet tomorrow... nothing else to do this weekend.  I'm not going to worry about my weight so much, and I want to remove the 'jinx' from the new speed suit.  I did cut the sleeves off  and... hopefully removed all the bad karma from last Sunday's meet.

Depending on the order of events, I think I may gingerly run the 100m for a warmup, then run the 400m.  Of course, they don't have a schedule of events.  Last time I ran at this meet, it took forever because they stopped the track events when the field events were being held.   Unfortunately, it's not at TN Tech, it's at Crossville HS's black track.   Don't care much for black tracks.

Monday, September 8, 2014

not ready to sprint

The conditions were rough... stiff headwind, terrible track, but at least it wasn't super hot at the KY State Games at Western Hill, HS in Frankfort.  Plus, I hadn't sprinted anything close to 100% for a 200m or less distance in 9+ weeks, and certainly no blocks.

Ingredients for the slowest 200m race of my Masters career, 26.44.  My expected competition scratched, and they screwed up the time on many races.  (They had to repeat the 100m due to timing error).  They originally listed me in 4th place with a time in the 30s... no telling what I really ran but the final official time was probably right.

Everyone was slow.  Rohan, who ran a 12.08 100m with a headwind this season, clocked 12.59 on this awful track.

The track was basically concrete with a thin eroding layer of black synthetic material.   Many spots were bald and even slippery with the loose decaying granular surface coming off.  I even thought about not wearing my spikes fearing I might damage them, but then decided to wear them for fear of slipping on the gravelly surface.

Adidas speed suit

The meet was ridiculous.  Scheduling the 200-400-800 consecutively and in such a small meet with only 3 or 4 heats, that amounted to no more than a 15 rest in between races.   The 200m was tiring, maybe I didn't eat enough that morning and I dropped a bunch of weight quickly for the meet, but I didn't feel real strong.  I got an ok start, not great, ran a decent turn but faded a bit in the last 20-30m.  So, after the 200m I decided to scratch the 400m.... but at the last minute, I jumped in and ran it for a workout in 60 flat.  It was real tiring, as tiring as any 400m I've ever run, even though I didn't go out fast.  At least I won both races.   It really was a helluva workout.   Can't believe Dave S. ran the 200-400-800 races back to back.  I was panting for more than 10 min after my 400m.

I will never do this meet again if they have it at this track with this schedule.

I had an inside lane for the 200m, lane 2, which was pretty chewed up.   I made up the stagger on everyone in the first 50m and won the race by a good 15+ meters.   There were some faster guys there from Ohio, first time masters just turned 50, so it wasn't a blowout.  The 2 fastest 100m guys scratched, which was a shame.  I faded in the last 20-30m and the second place guy seemed to even gain on me a bit.

I survived with just some nominal minor soreness in the groin.

The new Adidas speed suit felt good, although I'm not used to running with that much compression on my torso.   It's never been washed so maybe it will loosen up as I use it.  I'm tempted to race again this Saturday, but probably won't.  I'll wait til the end of Sept. and run in the Nashville Games.  I'll be required to run all 3 sprints that day to qualify for next years state meet.

Photo: 60m into 200m race, I have inside lane.

200m race - on the turn

Well, another 2 KY State Championships and a two more golds for my collection.

Last 50m of the 200m race.

On a side note, I got to meet Avital Schurr, now at age 73, whose records I broke at this years Bluegrass Games that stood for 23 yrs. I apologized to him. I was surprised that he was a short stocky guy, even shorter than me.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

400 / 300s

Feeling good, no muscular issues or strains after today's brief workout.   I did 3 long sprints tonight at 85-90% in training shoes.  It was warm and muggy, about 82º at 8:30 pm at the Dean Hayes track.

My former student Brad turned out to train with me.
Saucony Ride trainers on 
500m warmup, stretches, drills 
80m strider 
400m - 60.5 (29.5 / 31) 
2 x 300m - 44.5, 43.5
Sunday Meet 9/7 - KY State Games
Tonight felt ok.  I may be able to run the 200m on Sunday as well as the 400m but they have a really stupid schedule... unlike a 'real' track meet, this Senior Games meet has the 100, 200, and 400 in that order.   It is an FAT timed meet, so if I'm feeling good, I'd like to run a 400m fresh, not right after a 200m.   Maybe it would be cool to run the 200m because I'll have competition... Rohan S. is on the entry list, he beat me at SE Masters in '11 and has run a faster 200m than me this season, 24.91.   No biggie, I guess I could run the 200 first, no one is going to challenge me in the 400m, I rarely run a 200m fresh, usually an hour after a 400m.

Not exactly race weight, about 144 after workout, but I think in ok shape.  Been doing some hard workouts but just not so often.

As a gift from my dad, I bought a 'pro issue' speed suit.  It wasn't exactly the sleeveless one I wanted, but it fits.... but surprisingly tight on the upper body.   I tried it on my last 300m tonight... it feels good while running, but suffocating afterward because of it's snugness.  It's like a body condom.  It's a '14 Adidas Adizero Powerweb.  Nike and Adidas make pro issue speed suits not sold to the public.   They occasionally come up on ebay, usually sold in Europe, and rarely found in size S.   So, I jumped on this one.  Looks just like this one worn by Jamaica's Kemar Bailey Cole, who won the 100m in last weeks Diamond League race in Zurich:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2 workouts

With limited time this upcoming week, I did a resistance workout at 10pm last night and a track workout at 7:30 this morning.   Afterward, the morning nap on my deck in Sewanee was like heaven.

I took down the weight and upped the reps since my ham was a bit sore.   Funny but when doing single leg work, it feels like twice as much.
3 x 12  single leg squats with 60 lbs each leg 
3 x 12 single leg step jumps with 60 lbs each leg 
3 x 20 calf raises with 240 lbs both legs 
2 x 15 hip flexor machine with 150 lbs each leg 
3 x 12 glute ham raises
1 x 15 adductor and abductor machine 
2 x 15 pullups

Shade disappearing at 8 am - Sewanee Coughlan Track

Happy to see the Sewanee track still partially shaded at 7:30 this morning, and happy to see the mens room open.   Ran long and hard but not too fast.  I realized that training in spikes does stress my ankle, was sore afterward, so I returned to trainers today.
Saucony trainers on 
500m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:47 
500m - 87 
400m - 65 
300m - 46
It was really hard.   Felt a bit tight from the weights.  But, my last bit of fat is coming off... it's in the 'jelly stage' now.  Weight is about 144.2 after workout.   'Eating like a bird'.. as they say.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fighting to get back

Warm humid and rainy at the Sewanee track this Saturday evening.  About the same as it was the last time I was here.  I put my spikes on for the first time in 2 months... just to see how bad a shape I'm in doing a standard workout.   Well, not so fit.   Was going to run 4x400m with 2 min rest but all I could manage was 3x400m with 2.5 min rest + a 400m after recovery.   If I had tried a 4th 400m, even with 2.5 min rest, it probably would have been 90ish.    My hamstring still is feeling tight.  I definitely tweeked it a bit last time out on Wed.  Not too bad, finished with a 65 sec 400m.
600m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony Showdown spikes on 
3 x 400m w/ 2.5 min rest - 68, 69, 78 
10 min rest 
400m - 65
Still overweight.   It's really hard to go from a 'normal' weight of 146-147 down to race weight of 140 - 141 lbs.   That last 5 lbs is a killer.  I'm about 145.5 after workout.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The $50,000 dive

Athletes train hard, sacrifice and sometimes, it comes down to a hundredth of a second or less on who wins or loses.   I've always said that in situations like that, no holds barred ... DIVE for the line.

In today's Zurich Diamond League Meet, not only were medals on the line, but the whole Diamond League Series purse which pays $40,000.    Coming into the meet in third place in the women's 1500m series, the only way for Jenny Simpson to win the Diamond League was to win the race and for her top 2 competitors Hassan and Aregawi, finish lower than 4th.

Well, she wanted it.

She dove at the line, beating her teammate by 0.01 in 3:59.92.  Not only did she win the $40,000 Diamond League Prize, but she netted an additional $10,000 for First Place.

The $50,000 dive:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ladder down

.... into hell.   No, but even more oppressive than last workout in Sewanee.  After sunset at the Dean Hayes track, it was 84º and humid.   Was dreading this one because of the heat, air was completely still, not a hint of a breeze.  So, I generated my own breeze.

Saucony Ride trainers on
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:49 
500m - 89 
400m - 65 
300m - 45 
200m - 27.5
Was hard.   I took ample recovery time and noticed something weird about my heart rate.  Several minutes after the exhausting 400m, as I was lining up for the 300m, my heart rate was still 124.  A few minutes after the 300m, my pulse was noticeably stronger, but still ... 124.  Seems like even with lots of rest in between, my heart rate never drops much below 120.   Must be really out of shape.

Yesterday I was feeling a slight upper glute strain that caused me to cut short my Monday workout.  Probably because I started too heavy ... single leg split squats with 100 lbs.   Tonight in my last 200m, which I shouldn't have tried to run fast, I felt a slight tightness and pain in my left ham.   Probably nothing, didn't slow me down, but I think I will lay off the heavy weights next resistance workout.

Was under 145 for the first time in a while after workout.  Just barely.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: MTSU Rec Center weightroom

A great facility, but lacking a few vital machines for a sprinter.   But, if you're a body builder and your main goal is to develop pecs and biceps to show off to the girls, well ... it's a good place for that.

Actually, it's a decent weight room, but if you want to do anything for your hip flexors, you have to get creative with the cables and pulleys.   If you want to isolate your glutes without engaging your knees, they don't have the machine to do it.  But they used to!  Why would they eliminate it???

The glute-ham raise is listed as one of the 5 best training exercises for sprinters and runners.   If you want to do glute-ham raises... well, maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't see even one of these at MTSU:

MTSU doesn't have one of these hip flexor machines either, so important for a sprinter:

But ... they have an enormous amount of space for about a DOZEN flat and inclined benches. What an amazing level of redundancy, and really ... a waste of space.  I think they could get by with half that many.   I've never seen more than 2 or 3 of these benches being used simultaneously... and these benches are in addition to the other chest/pec machines they already have.  Very upper body oriented.

Don't get me wrong, I do workout there.  There are a lot of valuable machines and free weights that are really useful.   They even have a station in the corner for Lumberjack squats.  I do their glute machine and calf extension machine along with the leg curls, quad extensions, and my usual Bulgarian split squats and leaps with dumbells.   All valuable for a sprinter. Not to mention the core and upper body stuff.

Unfortunately, MTSU's glute machine doesn't isolate the glute like a real glute hip rotation machine does.   It engages the knee as well as the glute ... which is ok, but sometimes unnecessarily stressful.
Also, maybe it's in a different room but I also didn't see any plyometric boxes for box jumps and step jumps.   I just use one of the many benches near the dumbells, although they aren't designed for this.

I made a suggestion to the Rec Center staff about getting a real hip flexor - glute machine, like they used to have.  This was the reply from Assoc. Director, Ray Wiley:
"...please understand that we have requested feedback from our recreation students and other fitness professionals prior to purchasing any new equipment.   I do not foresee us purchasing this machine at this time. "
I have to wonder how many of these "fitness professionals" are athletes?   What was the thinking involved in eliminating any single machine to strengthen the hip flexors in favor of a DOZEN benches?

Sounds like those "fitness professionals" don't do a lot of sprinting... like people who play football, soccer, baseball, track, and a myriad of other sports.

I also work out at the University of the South in Sewanee - a Division III athletic school.  Sewanee's Fowler Center has all those machines I mentioned that MTSU doesn't have.   Plus they have longer summer hours than MTSU.   I like Sewanee's solid dumbells as opposed to MTSU's plate dumbells.   Plus... the Fowler Center is never crowded and always has lots of parking.  I'll try and plan to do more of my weight workouts in Sewanee.  Great to have a house there.

Another gym I worked out at recently was the Louisville Athletic Club.  Again, this gym had all these items MTSU lacked.  They even had a weight sled w/ turf runway, hanging ab straps, a full set of plyo boxes, and a big set of kettle bells.  Great gym.

I am happy for what MTSU has to offer me as a masters athlete, but their weight room should be getting better, more diverse, not eliminating valuable machines.   MTSU's track is wonderful as well.  This coming season I expect to be training for the National and World Masters Championships, so these facilities are a concern for me.

Overall, the MTSU Rec Center is amazing, but their weight room gets a solid B minus from this professor / sprinter.