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,