Wednesday, March 30, 2016

tempo 300ishs

Partly sunny and breezy, upper 60ºs at MTSU today.  With a kids soccer thing going on and the track partly covered with stuff, I used lane 3... but after the first 2 '300s', I realized I measured the stagger from the wrong line and was actually running 280s.   I made the adjustment and tacked on a 100m at the end for punishment.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
280, 280, 300, 300, 100 w/ 2min rest - 44, 45, 52.5, 49.5, 14

Felt ok.  Been eating more lately because of the weights and big workouts.  143.6 after workout.

Monday, March 28, 2016

volume tempo +

Not many more days like this... perfect day for some suffering at the Sewanee track.  Cloudy morning in the 40ºs giving way to breezy sunshine and 51º by noon.  I did a brutal workout today... 2 miles of sprints ... (or as one non-athletic ankle-biter friend likes to call it, "on the track doing my little routine.")
Saucony training shoes on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
600, 600, 400, 400 w/ 3 min rest between - 1:51, 1:56, 78, 79 
4 x 200m w/ 1 min rest between - 30.5, 31, 32, 30 
2 x 200m - 27, 27
A 3200m workout, biggest of the season I think.  Comparable to the workout I did 11 days before Nationals when I was sick.  Times were comparable.  It was a ball buster.  Even 25 min after my 600/400 set, when I started my 4x200s, my heart rate was still almost double resting rate - 108.  I finished with 2 strong 200s concentrating on form and pace.  Happy to get them in at 27 at the end of such a hellacious workout.  Weights tonight then back out on Wed.

143.6 lbs after workout.

Interesting to note the massive calorie burn from these HIIT intervals ... dropped a lb in an hour this afternoon after I got home.... after weighing myself again an hour later, 142.6.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Meet report - Vanderbilt Black & Gold

Brought my 'B game'.  Really just tried too hard, went out too fast, rigged hard at the end in both races.

200m - 25.17
400m - 56.11

I knew the conditions were good, and this was the best track I might run on til Nationals, so I just misjudged my pace and came up short.  Too fast to sustain.   With the amount of rigging I felt in the 400m (John says I was almost reduced to walking speed by the end)... I'm surprised it was as fast as it was... 56.11 - a time that still would have won Nationals in Jacksonville, faster than any race I ran last yr prior to Nationals.   Leads me to believe I was on a PR pace... until 350m (as many substandard 400s turn out when rigging occurs).    Same deal in the 200m.   I think I often underestimate my speed at the beginning of races, when it feels easy, thinking I should be pushing harder.  Then it bites me in the ass, literally ... in the end.  Those glutes were burnin'.  Running 55.72 last week felt so much easier.   At least I did not finish last in either race (heh - second to last is better than last).

The 200m was really disappointing, coming off an indoor 24.65.   I felt light, fit, confident.   I weighed about 141.5 at race time.   I thought for sure I had it together for a fast race.   I think I was too influenced by the 3 fast guys in my heat (22.5) that smoked me on the turn and led me to run a bit too fast on the turn.  They had me by 10m by the 100m mark.  That's to be expected in a DI meet.  I didn't feel the tightness til about 20m before the end.  That's when I lost time.  I knew it wouldn't be fast.

The 400m started out ok, I thought I was being conservative until I passed the split clock in 25 something.   I came off the final turn shoulder to shoulder with another runner and I put the effort in too soon and was toast in the last 30m.   If I had conserved a bit more down the backstretch, it would have been a better result.    The fatigue seemed to grab ahold quickly on the home stretch.  At 100m, I felt as calm as a walk in the park, my mouth wasn't even open to breathe.   Even at 200m, I felt ok.  Should have relaxed more into the homestretch and expended less effort.   Oh well.   Fortunately, I did beat one guy.

After my races I hung around to mingle and enjoy the meet.   Watched Dave (M45) and John run the 800, talked to a girl from Spain who also ran the 800, talked with an M30 400m hurdler.  Talked with the officials and just enjoyed being a part of it.  That's what it is all about.

Next meet is 2 weeks.  Its a DIII meet at Berry and they have a new track.  It's not Mondo like Vandy, but may be able to yield some good times.  Then, the next Friday in Sewanee.   I guess I'll dive back into training on Monday.  Maybe I'll do the volume workout that got me primed for Nationals.  It was 600, 600, 400, 400 w/ 3 min rest + 4x200m w/ 1 min rest.  I thought about taking some time off but...  it's track season.... !!!   See how I feel tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

150s / blocks

Brief workout on the MTSU track.   Mid 60ºs and partly cloudy with a strong breeze blowing down the back stretch.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 150m -19, 19, 18.5 
Saucony spikes on 
2 starts from blocks on the turn 
100m on the turn from blocks - 12.5
Fairly fast 150's at 90% effort.  They felt strong... I did them in lane 8 to minimize turn stress.   This has been a recovery week, not too much training.

Vanderbilt meet
I have decent lanes for this weekend's meet:  lane 6 for the 200m, lane 5 for the 400m.  Friday's 200m looks good for weather except for a slight headwind, unless they use an alternate finish - like they did last yr.   The weather for Saturday is ideal, sunny and 68º with light winds forecast for race time. I'm in the slow heat for both races, so hopefully I won't finish last.  However, I have two 22.5 guys in my 200m heat.  In my 400m heat I have two 56+ guys so, I should beat them.  This is a DI and DII meet.

Good to go, 142.6 lbs after workout.

Monday, March 21, 2016

tempo 300s

Back in Sewanee on a delightfully cool first day of spring.  Sunny, 51º... not too cool to shed my T-shirt for the last of four 300s.

Out on the track at 4 pm, I expected (for once) to see the Sewanee track team working out.  Nope.  I swear, I have never seen these guys train!   They must only go out once or twice a week.  Sheeesh ... DIII athletics ... gotta love it.

Saucony trainers on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 48.5, 48.5, 51.5, 49

Could have done more but better to not over train, now in the heart of the college outdoor season.   Wearing the new pair of Saucony Triumph iso 2's with 3 pair of cushioned Feetures socks, the foot is withstanding the workouts much better.  This will be the only hard workout of this week.   I'll be on the track Wed for some short speed then Friday evening the 200m at Vandy.

After Vandy, I'm taking a weekend off from competition and running 2 more DIII college meets the weekends after:  Berry, and Sewanee.   I understand Berry College has a new track so maybe it'll be good.  Plus I'll get to race some Sewanee boys there.  Be interested to see how they do at Emory this weekend.

I shouldn't feel too bad about running 55.72 at Emory from lane 8... it's faster than the M55 Asian Masters record of 56.10 that has held for 26 yrs ... and that includes China and Russia.

My back feels better, but I need to sleep better.   I guess that whole baguette with butter didn't hurt me too much... 142.4 lbs after workout.  

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Emory Invite - meet report

Coming into the homestretch - Emory Invitational
Opened my outdoor season with a decent showing.   Fortunately, the rain held off and temperatures were nice, 72º ... but a persistent head wind blew down the home stretch.  I realized that I had done too much on Friday... my back was a bit sore from several block starts and 4 fast sprints.   I decided right up front that I was going to scratch in the 200m, which without an alternate finish cam, would be run into the wind.

400m - 55.72

I had lane 8, a bad lane on this wide radius track.  I was in a mixed heat, some fast and some real slow... typical for a large DIII meet.   I got an OK start and the 2 fast guys in my heat in lane 6 and 7 passed me on the back stretch.  I felt pretty comfortable coming into the home stretch slightly behind two guys and way ahead of 2 others... the heat winner was long gone, 35m+ ahead (finishing in 51).  I thought I might have a shot at a better time, but my last 20m wasn't very strong.  I didn't suffer a lot in this race and feel I can go faster under better conditions, Mondo track, better lane, no wind.  I don't want to jinx myself, but I really think this could be the yr I finally break 55.

Nevertheless, my 55.72 was faster than any time I ran 2 yrs ago in '14, and I only ran faster 3 times last season - at Nationals and Worlds.   Overall, it was a respectable start to the season and by far the fastest time outdoors in the World in M55.

Next weekend is Vanderbilt and I'm already registered.  The 200m is Friday evening and the 400m is Sat afternoon.   That gives me just 2 training days this week - Monday and Wednesday.  Probably will do tempo on Monday and maybe 150s on Wed.  Usually do weights Monday night but I may skip it this week.

Added a few more meets to my schedule.

Friday, March 18, 2016

starts on the turn

Starts from lane 8 on the turn today on a beautiful spring day in Sewanee, 68º, sunny with a breeze.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m strider 
Puma spikes on 
2 x 30m from blocks  
200m from blocks - 26 
2 x 100m from blocks (400m start line) - 13, 13 
200m from blocks - 26.5

In heat 10 of 12 tomorrow.   Looking at the guys in my full heat of 8 - in which I'm listed as slowest... seems like 2 or 3 guys are bonefide faster than me, and some of the others have no 400m history or just estimated seed times.  I shouldn't finish last.  Weather doesn't look good....  mid 60ºs, 60% chance rain, 10-15 mph wind.  Not optimum weather conditions for a fast time or a good lane (8), but will be a good training run.

I'm in the Vanderbilt Invitational next weekend.

143 lbs after workout.

This is my 5th yr running in college track meets.  Most guys only get 4 yrs.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

event run

Sunny mid 60ºs at the Dean Hayes track this afternoon with a breeze.  I spiked up for an event run.

Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m strider 
Puma spikes on 
2 x starts from blocks on the turn 
300m event run from blocks - 40 
100m (turn) from 400m start - 13

I nailed my splits almost exactly, 13/13/14... into a slight head wind.  I did this event run in lane 8 since that is that lane I drew for Sat.'s meet at Emory.   Lane 8 sucks, but it's better than lane one.   The disadvantage is that the latter part of the race is run on a turn that lasts seemingly forever, 140m or so.  But ... it's still 400m.

It looks like huge mostly DIII meet.   12 heats for the 400, I am slow man in my heat but no one lists faster than 54.0 so it will be a race.   

Unless there are bad conditions like wind and rain ...which is possible, I feel like I should be able to post a 55 this weekend.  I'm in fairly good shape and light.  142.2 lbs after workout.

I might go out tomorrow in Sewanee and do some starts and a light workout. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Feels like summer ...74º and sunny at the Sewanee track.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
split 400: 300m -1 min rest -100m - 41.5, 14.5 
200m - 25.8 
300m - 42 
150m - 19.5
Did a brief weight workout last night.   Still feel slightly over trained but going to keep it light for the rest of the week.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

speed endurance

Lately these workouts have been kicking my ass, combined with being on my feet a lot helping a friend move.  6K+ of sprints since Wed.   Today at the blue Mondo track at Marist school in Atlanta, it was in the low 70s and mostly sunny.  Feels hot to me after months of training in the cold.

Saucony trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
500m - 79.5 
4 x 200m - 26, 26.5, 27.5, 26.5

Doesn't look like much but it kicked my butt, ran everything fast.

Friday, March 11, 2016

volume tempo

Humid, 66º overcast and calm wind at the Sewanee track today.  Broke in my new Saucony Triumph trainers today with 2 pair of cushion socks for a bitchin' volume workout.  (Going to return the Saucony Cohesion trainers, they just don't measure up).
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 400m w/ 2 min rest - 69, 71, 75, 76 
4 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 30, 31, 33, 31
The dreaded 4x4 ... and then some.  The foot was hurting a bit during the 200s but that's to be expected with nearly 5K of sprints since Wed.   Also, a good glute workout last night.

Will be on my feet a lot this weekend helping Roya move.  Maybe get a short workout in ATL on Sunday, Sewanee Tues, and MTSU on Thurs.  Need to tone down the volume.

144.3 after workout.

Track News:
This is the biggest weekend for indoor track, both USATF and NCAA championships this weekend.
How to watch

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Schedule - outdoor season

It looks like I will be able to race as much as I want to during this upcoming season, especially if I'm willing to drive to Atlanta area for the all ages "Track Lab" series of meets.  Beginning next weekend, there are 6 meets in the series, mostly held at local high schools.  Although these meets are FAT timed, high school tracks are generally not as good as college track surfaces (Mondo is rare), and there are usually very few masters that show up.   But, the Masters races are scheduled at specific times (400m - noon, 200m - 3pm).  Only costs $10 to enter meets in this series.

The first opportunity is to race Sat., March 19.   It might be a temptation to race too much as I did in '14.    With many meets to choose from, I'll compete depending on how I feel, the weather, travel distance, and the best venue surface.   Generally prefer college meets over masters.
Track Lab

Looks like Emory in Atlanta has a meet on the 3/19 that I can get in to.  Better than going to the meet at the high school.  I have to decide by Tues.  I'll probably do it.

I did 3x50 with 335 lbs on the glute machine tonight.   Most weight I've put on that machine.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Back to the oval office

A volume workout in Sewanee.  Feels like spring, about 70º sunny and windy.

Saucony trainers on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 800m - 2:35, 2:37 
4 x 200m with 1 min rest - 31, 31.5, 33, 31

A little achy but fine.  Two days off from the track, I'm looking to do a long to short cycle before opening my outdoor season on 3/25-26, hopefully at Vanderbilt.

Bought some new trainers, getting them Friday.  I got the same Saucony Triumph iso 2's that I have now, plus a cheaper padded training shoe - the Saucony Cohesion.  Both together were cheaper than my first pair of Triumph isos since they were last year's models.

All those who think 400m runners shouldn't do 800m repeats should talk to Ed Winslow (who won the M45 400m Championship in 51).

Finish Photo - 200m Final M55

The top 3 M55 200m sprinters in the world - indoor season 2016.  

From left...

Don McGee - 24.64 Silver, (#1 M55 200m in the World in 2015 - 24.02)
William Yelverton - 24.65 Bronze
Alan Tissenbaum - 24.45 Gold (#1 M55 100m in the World 11.73, World Champion,  2015)
James Chinn - 25.08 Fourth (many time world and national champion)

I thought I had him by a toe...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

USATF Masters Indoor Championships - Day 3 report

Sunday started early with the National Championship 200m finals scheduled at 8:45 am.   As soon as I got to the track just before 8:00 am, I walked to the start line to see if they had fixed the markings on the track.  (see previous post on the 4x200m fiasco).  That would indicate that the 4x200m races would be rerun.  And yes, there they were... the stripes of green tape.

  Like I thought.. we were clearly in the zone.  I talked with one of the 'green shirts', probably someone on the USATF games committee.  I asked him about the record and the video.  He said that the record wouldn't count because the track wasn't marked and the video wasn't "officially sanctioned."  It made little sense to me, so I gave him a pissed off look and walked away.  I started warming up for the 200m final.

I finally saw Don and he said he was in for the rerun.  I was worried since he didn't respond to my email.  We all were committed and everyone was there.  So, now on to the 200m finals.

200m finals
I had a good lane - lane 5 in between my main competitors, Alan in 4, Don in 6, Jim in 3.   I felt a bit weak at the starting line as I took my mark.  Definitely a bit sore from the previous days 400, two 60s, and a 200.  I got a decent start and on the back stretch, Alan kicked into 'that high gear' he has and flew by me and led up the hill.  Coming down the hill, both Alan and Don had me by a step or 2.  Coming down the hill, I hit my stride and pulled even with Don, Alan still 2 steps ahead.   Halfway down the final stretch I pulled slightly ahead of Don and he responded.  We fought all the way to the finish and he got me by one one-hundredth (0.01) of a second despite my lean.  It was a helluva race for second.  I really wasn't sure who won the Silver til I saw the board.
M55 200m final finish

Wow, another indoor PR... 24.65.  In fact, it was the 4th fastest 200m race of my masters career.  Faster than I ran in France at the World Championships... by a lot.  All of my faster outdoor times (24.48, 24.59, 24.61) had at least some tail wind.

So, I got the Bronze and the three of us - Alan, Don and I are now the top 3 M55 200m sprinters in the world, so I'm in good company.  Don ran almost 24 flat last yr.

200m Final race video
The rerun of the 4x200m relay
I still felt ok, but tired after the 200m final.  Jim was concerned about Don 'disappearing' and joked about putting a house arrest ankle bracelet on him.  We went out quickly and they put us in a race with a weird mix of teams... the awesome SW sprinters M50 and M45 teams, and a women's W55 team.

Don led off in lane 2, ran a decent leg but the handoff to Jim was bad, barely in the zone and it looked like he almost dropped it.  That cost some time.  Jim ran strong and his handoff to Ben wasn't too bad.   Ben came around not quite as fast as the other day and I played it safe and took off kind of slow, he ran up my back and that cost us some time.  I ran as hard as I could and coming off the final turn, I knew we weren't as fast as yesterday because we'd be just 3 sec behind SW, and I was way behind.  I saw the clock and knew it would be close.  As soon as I finished, I ran around and looked at the board, and Jim said something like, "It wasn't pretty but we got it."  Our 1:40.22 beat the existing record of 1:40.58.  Much slower than the 1:37.88 we ran the day before.

After trying to time the splits many times on the video, I definitely feel like I did ok.   It was hard to get real splits since the handoffs were all over the place.  Jim got the stick very late, I got it early... but generally the splits were something like: Don - 25.04, Jim - 25.12, Ben - 25.37, Bill (me) 24.69. We averaged about 25.06 a leg.   Much slower than the 24.47 of yesterday.

It was a pretty spectacular race for the M50 SW team that beat a strong M45 team and broke the WR.  They both lapped the women's W55 team - who also broke their WR.   3 of the 4 teams in this race broke World Records.   I was relieved that we got it.  Getting it by a few tenths is much better than losing it by a few.

Race video here.

After the race, Peter Taylor announced the World Records by M50 and W55.  We weren't mentioned and the scoreboard was wrong as it had us listed as 'M70.'  Kind of an anti-climactic way to set the World Record for the second time in less than 24 hours.  Anyway, mission accomplished and I know we could get it again next year with the right people.

Regarding the relay fiasco, I asked Bill Collins if he had seen anything like this happen in his many years in masters track, he said, "no, not like this."

This meet was a breakthrough for me and hopefully will prove to be a stepping stone rather than a peak.   It encourages me that I may still have some PRs left in me.  And, it proves that my training, especially the increase of tempo workouts, have been effective.   This is my 6th year of masters track and I'm still getting faster.  Faster now at 55 than I was at 50.

400m - 55.22 GOLD, fastest indoor 400m in the world in 8 yrs (M55).
200m - 24.86, 24.65 BRONZE, Indoor PR
60m - 7.77 - Fifth place
4x200m relay - 1:40:22 - World Record (M55)
4x200m relay - 1:37.88 -World Record (M55)  nullified by officials' mistake

I will probably stick with the 200 and 400 in my first outdoor meet which I hope will be the March 25-26 meet at Vanderbilt.  Hope the weather is OK.  Last year wasn't so great.

Monday, March 7, 2016

USATF Masters Indoor Championships - Day 2 report

This was a memorable day.  I ran 4 races and got to see some great ones.   Bill Collins broke the WR 3 times on this Saturday, I did OK in the 60m, ran my second fastest indoor 200m in the semis - 24.86, and our 4x200m relay team demolished the World Record by 2.8 seconds only to have it nullified in one of the biggest fiascos in Masters Championship history.

60m race
It's a bit early in the season for me to be running short races like the 60m.  But, I qualified for the 60m finals with a 7.81, winning my heat.   This is a race that I love to run but don't really train for.  It really takes very little effort.   It's also a race where some guys are fast who don't look like they'd be fast ... but are.
Winning my heat in the 60 prelims
In the 60 final, I knew I was an outside shot for a medal with Don and Alan probably 1st and second.  I did OK, running a 7.77 but got edged out by Tony F. who ran a 7.70 to get Bronze.   I tied with Marty who also ran 7.77 and when it was taken down to the thousandth, he ended up beating me by 0.004 sec, so I finished fifth.   The stunning thing about Marty is that the dude is about my height and weights 210 lbs, obviously overweight.   When I mention his name to the old timers they say he was a world class sprinter in the 1980's having run 10.1.   That fast twitch is what enables this guy to pull that weight.  He told me that in his hey-day, he raced all the big international meets and even once beat WR holder and Olympic Champion Ben Johnson.   So, I guess I shouldn't feel too slighted to run a dead heat with Marty.  7.77 is off my PR by .07 but significantly faster than I ran at Nationals in '12 (7.98) and '14 (7.91).  Contrary to what my dad said, I think I won the start in the final as evidenced by this photo (lane 3):
Start of 60m Final (M55)

But I must have tightened a bit toward the end, because at 40m, I was clearly in third.   Tony F. passed me and Marty got me by an inch.  Oh, well... I had my 400m title... so on to the 200m prelims.

40m mark, 60m Final (M55)

200m prelims

I had lane 4, a good lane in a somewhat slower heat. I felt good, energized by the 60m. I wanted a good lane in the finals, and I knew Jim just ripped a 24.90, so I hit it pretty hard. I wasn't going to make the same execution error I made at Vandy a few weeks ago and tie up in the end.  I had Tony D. on my outside and after a decent start, I pulled up along side of him on the back stretch.   Relaxing into the curve, I passed Tony going up the hill and waited until I was coming off the bank to put the hammer down. I accelerated away from the field, winning by 10m+.  It was a well executed race and my fastest indoor 200m on a 200m track. Only a 24.80 on Vandy's 300m track was faster indoors for me.  So, as second fastest qualifier, I'd have lane 5 in the finals.  (They seeded the lanes in this order: 4,5,3,6,2,1.  Way different from Birmingham where it's 5,6,4,3,2,1).

Sprinting up the bank with Tony

10m before the end, 200m prelim (M55)

Check out the race video here ... fun to watch when I do it right.

The 4x200m relay
I was asked by Alan if I'd be up for a relay at Nationals.  I said yes, and later Jim called me and said we needed to put this team together because we could definitely break the 4x200m World Record held by Great Britain: 1:40.58.   I suggested Don - the fastest 200m M55 guy in the world in '15.  He agreed.  Then, at the last minute, Alan bailed.   He was our ace in the hole, the World 100m Champion.  We were all a little bummed about the situation so we got Ben J., who wasn't even running the 200m, and who won silver in the 400m.   I noticed Ben had run a 25.69 a few weeks ago so he would have to improve a bit on that if we were to get the record.  After running 3 races that day, I felt as if I still had some juice left, despite not having but a half cup of oatmeal all day.   Our race was scheduled at 5ish.

Jim and I talked and I suggested Don lead off, and I would anchor.   Without a baton, we practiced some handoffs in the warmup room with a water bottle.  It would be Don, Jim, Ben, and me.  The race would be run on a 3 turn stagger, with Jim getting the baton in lane 2 and breaking at the end of the first turn.

We were running against a team 20 yrs younger, M35.  Don got off well and the handoff to Jim was good and squarely in the zone.  Don and Jim both looked strong.  The handoff to Ben was ok and I could tell Ben was giving it everything.  He looked very strong going down the back stretch with his forward leaning style.   I took the handoff, a bit safe ... not going out too fast and took off.   Now, I've looked at the video and timed my split at least a dozen times from finish line to finish line and I'm fairly positive this was the fastest 200m I'd ever run in my life.  The split was somewhere around 24.20, maybe less.   I was definitely gaining on the M35 guy at the finish.  I ran around and looked at the clock.  Holy shit!  1:37.88  We smashed the World Record by 2.7 seconds!!  Jim said he was smiling when I got the baton as he was watching the clock, he knew we had the record if I could bring it home... and I did.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think we could come out that far ahead.  We needed to average about 25.1 to get the record.   We averaged 24.47 a leg.  Splits are never accurate but this is what I came up with on averaging the splits that I timed a million times:  Don - 24.71, Jim - 24.59, Ben - 24.39, Bill (me) - 24.20   Race video is here.  Time the splits yourself, see what you come up with.

It was thrilling.  Soon as I saw that scoreboard, I ran over to the desk and told Pete Taylor it was a World Record.  He ruffled through some papers and in a few moments, he announced it.  "M55 team has just set a WORLD Record!"   I got together with team, we walked around shaking hands and hugging, Jim said a prayer of thanks, Don said, "Best feeling in the world!"   We went to medal stand, collected medals, and posed for some photos.   Great bunch of guys ... all of us - current or past World and/or National Champions.

World Record 4x200m team:
James Chinn, William Yelverton, Don McGee, Ben James

I went back to my dad's hotel where the athlete's meeting was being held and I heard some rumor that the record was nullified due to an official's mistake or something with the track.

WTF??!!  In a Championship meet!!??

I went into the athlete's meeting and the issue was hot.  The director Gary refused to answer any further questions about the relay after being pummeled with questions and complaints.  People were pissed.  We weren't the only record to have been affected, but I do think we were the only World Record.

Someone explained to me that the track wasn't marked properly for a 3 turn stagger and all the leadoff runners handed the first handoff at the same line - which was wrong.
BUT... since we were in lane two, the stagger in our lane was only a few meters and the video PROVES that the handoff from Don to Jim occurred exactly in the center of the zone, even though it wasn't marked (until the next day).  Here is the leadoff handoff from Don to Jim.  It occurred in lane 2 about 2 meters at most beyond the finish line.  As the diagram below shows, they nailed it ... the handoff was legal.  The zone is marked in yellow on the diagram.

 I preserved the video of this race on youtube for posterity.   We all definitely brought it.  Handoffs were ok, everything went well.  We ran our asses off.

Rumor was that we'd get to run it again on Sunday.  I emailed James.  His response was WTF ?  I emailed Don.   He didn't get back to me so I was wondering if he would even want to do it.

Since we had this race on video, I wondered if we could appeal the issue.  Seems like the evidence was clear.  But, R. Thomas told me that the case was closed and if they considered us, they'd have to consider all of the others and that would be a lot of work and a mess.

Jim really held the group together and provided attitude adjustment support.   I wasn't happy but I knew we could do it again.  Everyone was encouraging.  Randall sent me a text, "you did it once, you can do it again."

John C. told me the officials knew about this before but failed to act hoping no WR would be set.   They were wrong.   Some athletes questioned the officials on this before the start of the race and they failed to act.  Don D. said, "We told them!"    They should have stopped the meet, spent 30 min measuring and taping the zones.   You would expect as much in a sanctioned Championship meet.

The fiasco immediately became news at -

"World records fall at ABQ, but relay fiascos sour Day 2 at nationals"

I was so agitated by the issue and so hungry by the end of the day, I was wired and didn't sleep really well.  But, I had a 200m final to run around 9 am the next morning.   I just hoped everyone was on board for the rerun.  Even if we didn't have our A game, we should still be able to get it.

Friday, March 4, 2016

USATF Masters Indoor Championships - Day 1 report UPDATE

400M: 55.22  - M55 National Champion 
#1 in World 

It went pretty well.  My PR 400m on a 200m track.  Faster than my outdoor times last season. Most remarkably, the fastest indoor 400m in the world in the M55 age group in eight years.  
Significantly faster than my first Indoor Championship 4 yrs ago (55.90) and faster than my outdoor Championship time 55.29 in 2015.

It wasn't close, with second place 56.89.

There were a lot of poor decisions made by the meet directors... one of which was to divide up heats in the timed 400m final in such a way where the some of the fastest guys were not running in the same heat.  In a timed final, there should be a slow heat and a fast heat.   With scratches we had just 6 competitors and they ran 4 in the first heat and just me and Jim in the second heat.   Jim is a many time world and national champion so it wasn't like I didn't have competition.   But, in the final tally, there was less than 0.1 seconds separating 2nd, 3rd and 4th and I think Jim and I should have been in with the other 2 fast guys.  Running a National Championship race in a heat of 2 is silly, but it probably worked in my favor since I had no traffic.  Jim especially got screwed by this, losing a medal by 0.01 seconds.

The track was very much like the Amory, a red Mondo with nice high banks, a very newish surface with not much wear.  It was a little bouncy since it was suspended on a scoffold frame.    They outlawed xmas tree spikes, which I would have preferred, but the somewhat dull ceramic pyramids worked quite well.   I used my lucky black Pumas that I won outdoor Nationals with.   The Indoor Nationals will be here in Albuquerque next yr as well.  Some say the altitude of 5000' here helps the sprints, but hurts the distance runners due to the thinner air.  I didn't notice much difference except the dryness.

The race
I went out just a tad faster than planned.  My splits turned out to be about 25.7 / 29.5.   Many said that my last lap looked strong but still... the splits were more lopsided than I had hoped.  (If I'm ever going to break 55, I've got to be 29 flat or less on that second 200m).   Over all, I felt I executed well, no serious rigging except for some tightness in the last few strides.   After finishing the race, the officials kept us on the opposite side of the scoreboard so I had NO idea whether I had won, ran a good time or anything... until I walked up into the stands and asked someone what my time was...about 15 minutes after the race.   I was pleased... won the race by about 1.67 sec over Ben in the first heat who ran 56.89.

Presently, my time is the fastest in the world and will likely be tops by the end of indoor season.  2nd fastest is German K.S. Frank at 56.12, and 3rd is World Outdoor Champion B. Zavattero at 56.66.   This was my 400m indoor PR on a 200m track, (previous was 55.68 in Birmingham).  Only once in 2012 did I run faster outdoors (55.14), and once on a 300m track indoors (55.11) Jan. '15.  This 55.22 is my third fastest 400m overall.  Faster than I ran at '15 Outdoor Nationals (55.29) and faster than at the World Championships in France (55.30).  People always seem to inflate their seed times at these meets, and I'm happy to have been quite close to my submitted seed time of 55.11.

Glad to get that race over with ... because Saturday would prove to be a long day.

Home stretch of the 400m M55 National Indoor Championship
Scoreboard showing 3 scratches - guess we scared 'em off

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

one n' done

Concluded my indoor season training today, I think I'm ready to rip.   43º and sunny at the Dean Hayes track today.  The cold is winding down, just a little coughing and some swollen nodes, but feeling ok.
Saucony trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
100m strider 
Puma spikes on  
300m - 40.25
Felt good, easy, strong.  Should be good to go.  I'd really like to turn a season's best on Friday in the 400m finals.  

142 lbs after workout.  Wheels are good, no physical issues.

Albuquerque, here we come.