Thursday, April 28, 2016

300s / 200

Decided not to race Saturday.  Nothing to gain ...  a busy long kids meet on a 6 lane black HS track.   I decided immediately after a few hundred meters of my warmup lap in today's workout, not feeling like it.  After 2 days off the track, still a bit achy in the feet and a bit in the hips from 2 consecutive days with spikes on Sunday and Monday, even with Tues and Wed off.  Felt better though after my first interval.

A super quiet windless evening at Sewanee, 74º dry, perfect except a lot of pollen in the air.  I tried my new larger Saucony Triumphs with 3 pair cushion socks.  I'll use this configuration for volume workouts to come.  The new Triumphs have a different sole.  Not any softer than the previous version but perhaps a bit more responsive.  May be ready to try some others.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills  
300m - 45.5 
400m - 60.5 
300m - 45
Did these at a brisk pace with full rest between.  Wanted to feel a little pain, not too much.  Not in completely bad shape to run an even split 60 sec 400m in trainers.  I'll keep at it for another week and make the call whether to race at Emory on May 7 at the last minute.  Again, skeptical I can do anything worth posting in the rankings.  So, I'm also thinking I should listen to my body and stop now and take more time to recover before the hard push to Nationals.  May 7 is my last chance to log a 100m this season as I wouldn't risk it close to Nationals.  I want to be relatively painless when I start my cycle and push toward June meets and Nationals, and a return to 400m racing.

Weight is still too high to be racing.  About 145 after workout.  I feel a bit soft, although have been eating well, salads and protein... some nuts and chocolate.

Cleaned up the new Saucony Triumphs, sending them back.  Going to try the Hoka Clifton 1, very light and very cushioned.  Super reviews.

Monday, April 25, 2016

blocks, 100s, 200

Yet another glorious spring day and the track was calling.   Mid 70ºs and dry late afternoon in Sewanee.  I didn't want to do much, just some block work with spikes, 3 hard 100s and a 200.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m strider 
Puma spikes on 
6 x block starts  
3 x 100m from blocks - 13, 12.5, 12.8 
200m - 25.8 
100m strider

Soreness from the stairs last week still lingering in my left quad, left hip a bit achy.  No serious issues except I feel a bit 'used up.'   Need to stay away from the track tomorrow, maybe go back on Wed. for a bit.

I really don't know what there is to gain by racing a 100/200 this coming weekend on a poor black HS track ... as I doubt I'm going to post any decent times, probably the usual low to mid 12s/25s.   If it feels ok, I'll go have some fun.   Keep hoping for a breakthrough, but I'm dubious it will happen without a rest and a recycle.   I haven't raced a 100m in 13 mo and just want to see where I'm at.  I feel I can race a 100m without getting hurt.  Discouraging to not have produced anything close to the 24.65 200m I ran indoors.   I'll get there.... eventually.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

200s / 300

The level of quad soreness from the stairs on Friday was unexpected.  My quads, and to a lesser extent, my calves are still quite sore.  Thinking a brief workout would help the lactic build up, I hit the track this evening for a brief workout.  Just before sunset, it was an amazingly beautiful evening.  72º and dry under a setting sun and almost calm winds.  The Sewanee track was a 'ghost ship' as usual.  All the hurdles are put away, the college team ended it's season yesterday.  Glad to see Sewanee soph Davis win conference in the 400m H... by 0.001.
Saucony trainers on 
420m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 29, 29.5, 31 
300m - 43
Felt OK.  Can really feel the quad soreness when doing butt kicks, but notsomuch in the powerstroke of sprinting.  Stairs seems to get some muscle group on the outside of the quads that is not 'got' by my lifting and sprinting.  Probably stabilizing muscle groups.   Will definitely return to the stairs after I take my break in May.

Still planning to race a 100/200 double the next 2 weekends if all feels well.   Then, I'm going to take at least a week off to rest before an 8 week cycle leading to Masters Nationals.  I hope to race some 400s again in mid June.  Hard to stay away from the track when the weather is beautiful.  I may go out tomorrow for some block work and short stuff.   I ordered another pair of Triumph iso 2 training shoes a half size big and E width that will allow me to wear multiple pairs of cushion socks in anticipation of the foundation volume I'll be doing at the beginning of my training cycle in May.  Long to short.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Haven't felt this spent after a workout in a while.

After working all day on my feet outdoors, sometimes strenuously, I went to the MTSU stadium to run the stairs.  My feet were a bit sore before I started.  I was happy to be joined by my colleague, Jacob.

I hadn't run stairs since last fall.  So, it was a challenge, but the weather was glorious... dry crisp 68º with a breeze at sunset.

Saucony trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
20x stadium stairs

I had planned to do a track workout tomorrow, but I think maybe not.  Could barely walk after this one.

The hot tub is indispensable after days like this.

Have put on about 2-3 lbs.  Woke up at 147.5.  145.9 after workout.   Back to eating right.  Had been doing too much toast and butter, ice cream.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Feels like summer in Sewanee, sun beating down on a breezy 78º late morning.  Did everything fast today in spikes.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on 
300m - 41.5 
150m - 19 
100m - 12.5
Still feel soreness in backside of hips, it had always been my right but now more with my left.   Going to reduce to 3 days on the track this week.  Did weights last night focusing on hams and hip flexors.  Weight is up a bit at 145.8 after workout.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Professional photo by Harrison Hill.

Vanderbilt 400m race - 2/12/16

Monday, April 18, 2016

speed workout

Last week of the season for the Sewanee track team so I joined them in a brief workout.   Warmest day of the spring so far, upper 70ºs at 5 pm.
Saucony trainers on 
800m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 150m -  19ish
Sprints were at full speed with full recovery.   At the finish, I was several meters behind Ky and Davis, the team's two fastest.   Ky runs low 23s (200), and Davis 51.5 (400), so they really push me.  Sorry that I didn't do this more often this season, but they usually practice inside if it's much below 50º,  and if there is a drop of rain.

Took 4 days off this week completely but hips still felt a little achy during warmups.   Have not been watching my diet and after some undisciplined bread, food buffets, and Hagen Daz, I weighed 145.5 after workout, and 148.7 after dinner.   Just a momentary aberration, I'll be back on track this week.  On Friday, I went from 143.5 after track meet to 149.5 later the same evening after dinner.

The long season

It is unreasonable to expect to stay in top racing shape for 400m from now to July.  No serious injuries, just general aches and pains and some mental race fatigue.   I've raced 400m since early Jan and as I mentioned, I'm going to take a break from 400m training, lessen the volume and work on my short game.  Next 2 meets will be in Atlanta on the TrackLab series and I think I may do a 100/200 double - April 30, May 7.   Took off 4 days this week and will do a light workout today with the Sewanee team.  They are at the end of their season and planning a light outing.

Different seasons for different athletes
It occurs to me that the more elite the track athlete is, the longer the competitive season.  For example, my hometown DIII college team's season is so amazingly short, they are already done with their regular season and have their conference meet this weekend.  They did a total of 7 meets ...  5 outdoor and 2 indoor meets.   I've already done 10 meets this year.  By comparison, MTSU has 20 on their schedule (indoor+outdoor).  NCAA Championships are in early June.  The USATF Open is in late June.  The Diamond League runs Jun-Sept.  And... of course the Olympics in Aug.

I will do at least 4 more before nationals in July.  I'm thinking, the 2 coming up and 2 more in June.  That will give me 5-6 weeks of no competition, unless I can find something in mid-late May.  My June 4th weekend is occupied by Guitar Fest.  I could run the KY Bluegrass Games on June 10-11, motivation would be to go after the M55 records, (I already have all the M50 records).   Then there are the GA state games and the TN state games the next 2 weekends.

Masters Nationals are July 17-20.  World Masters Championships begin Oct 31.   The only other meets near that time are the fall Sr. Olympic district meets - Sept - Oct.  They will be helpful.  After Nationals, I'll take 3-4 weeks off and commence training in Aug for the World Meet.  That will give me 10 weeks training for the World meet.  Then... I  get back from the World meet, and it's less than 4 weeks before the first indoor meets, but 4 months before Indoor Nationals and World.  So, maybe I'll take a month off after the World meet and start 2017 indoor season in Jan.

I feel very lucky to have almost a year round sport, as compared to my friends on the Sewanee college track team that are done next week ...  for the year.

It never ends.   Sprint forever.

Kudos to MTSU
MTSU track team is having a spectacular season, ranked #20 in the USA right now on the strength of superb middle distance, an all-American javelin thrower and a fine triple jumper.   Eliud Rutto just ran a 1:45.57 800m, meeting the Olympic standard at the Mt. Sacs relays, finishing 2nd, a tenth behind Duane Solomon who finished 4th in the '12 Olympics.

Track - "the purest sport."
"Are you faster than me or not?  Shut up..."

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sewanee Mt. Laurel - meet report

My hometown meet, and I had good time.  I just ran the 200m and wasn't expecting much, but it was about what I have been running and good for this track.  Nice weather, 60º and calm winds by race time.


Can't seem to shake the "25.1s" ...  25.17 / 25.12 / 25.18  so far outdoors this season.  Not bad for this track, considering it's just a tenth slower than I ran in the World 200m finals.  I think I'll work on my 200 race for a while, maybe run a 100 too.  Besides the normal minor aches, no strains or issues.  I think I could run a decent 100m without much risk at this point.

The lighting on the track is kind of fun, we start the 200 in the dark and 'run to the light.'  These low light vid stills kind of look like paintings.

running the turn in the dark

Got a real good start and ran a decent turn from lane 6, passed one guy and entered the straight in 4th of 6 in my heat.   I felt good except a little tightness in the last few strides.  A guy passed me at the end and I beat one guy in my heat, finished ahead of 4 overall.  19th of 23.
Coming into the straight under the lights and setting sun (in yellow - 4th)

I took off Wed and Thurs, will probably take off Sat. and Sun. as I give my body some rest.  It's peak wildflower season so I'll do some hiking. Running and training for the 200m is less hard on the body than the volume required for the 400m.    This may be my last college meet of the season.  I may race April 30 and/or May 7, but May meets after that are slim pickins.  Not til State Assoc meets in June will it pick up again.   

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Event run, blocks

I did this workout on Tues, another cool beautiful day in Sewanee... sunny and 50ºs.

I did an event run 300m just to see where I am, plus some starts on the turn and 100s.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m 
Puma spikes on  
300m event run from blocks from 400m start - 40.75  
2 x 100m from blocks on the turn - 13, 12.5 
Not a bad 300 into a headwind, but judging by the way I felt, I don't feel confident I could bring a 55 on this track in the 400.  As I mentioned, I'm at the end of cycle and need some time off.  So, I will run the 200m on Friday and have fun.   I didn't even bring my workout gear home so I won't be tempted to train more.   I'm resting Wed. and Thurs.  

I may do some more meets and run the 200m.  I definitely want to race May 7 at Emory but may jump in another 200 before then.  Not sure when I'll run another 400m.  Maybe not til June.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Long speed

Back to Sewanee from Atlanta and back to work.  I usually like to rest and even take a nap after the long drive but with rain coming, I hit the track around noon.  Light rain started just as I began my workout.  Temperature was good, about 60º.  
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
500m - 79 (64/15) 
400m - 62.5 
Heavier rain was coming so I took less than 10 min between reps.  Was a good pump.  A little suffering but not too much volume.  I have time tomorrow and I may go out and do some short speed work.

Ate a lot this weekend, and my weight is up a bit, 144.2 after workout.

I was pretty embarrassed by running 57.5 last weekend.  I really felt my training was going well and had run 56 flat on a much slower track just days before in an event run.   The wind was daunting and everyone ran slower.  A kid I raced at Emory, who just barely beat me by a few tenths (55.4) also ran over 57.   I shouldn't let it bother me but I wonder if I've reached a point of diminishing returns in the 400m, as I did racing so much in '14.  The 400m race requires not only physical prep, but a mindset of mental toughness to tolerate the pain, precise execution, confidence, and a well rested body.   Running a 400m race every weekend, or even every other weekend for a masters, can beat down a person's spirit and body.  I'm feeling a bit gun shy to race a 400m Friday night, but it's just once a year I get to do this at home on the track I train on.  It's not a track that generally will yield competitive times, so I'm undecided.  I have a WL mark in the 400m, I would really like to post a sub 25 in the 200m before Nationals.  I ran 25.30 - 2 yrs ago at Sewanee after a 400m, in a meet 2 weeks after a ham tweek.  A sub 25 on this track might be possible if the wind cooperates ... and if I bring it.   Right now the weather is questionable.  Forecast is low 60ºs, 40% chance rain, and a 10mph headwind.   I've never seen them turn the start around for wind at this meet, but maybe I could email the timer.

Plenty of opportunities to race this season, but to make the most of every event I wonder if it makes sense to run just one race per meet rather than a double... but then again I think of that shining double I pulled indoors at Vandy 15 months ago:  55.11 and 24.80 ... with a sore ham no less.  I'm even tempted to have fun and run the 100/200 Friday.   I have to decide by tonight but leaning toward the 200/400 double because I think I'm going to take some time off and wait 3 weeks before racing again, or at least before racing a 400m again.   I've been on the track ... including meets, 54 of the first 102 days of this year.  I don't think I've taken more than 2 consecutive days off from the track since last year.  On Sunday, still recovering from a bad fall, I felt pretty beaten.  Today, I feel much better.

Tomorrow, I'm going to put the spikes on and work on my start, speed, and form.   I've come to realize a huge difference in track configurations.   Most new and modern wide radius tracks have the IAAF standard -  broad sweeping turns with 84.4m straight.   Sewanee's track is old school, I think it's an equal quadrant track with tighter turns and a longer straight - turns and straights are 100m.  It might be faster for a 200m than a wide radius track.  It's a pretty rough and porous surface, mushy n' slow as far as tracks go.  I think I'm going to include a few 3/8" needle spikes in each shoe (recessed in the risers) for the meet.  Have had good success with these in training.

Lesson learned
One thing I learned in the Berry meet: I have to get out hard.  I must run at least mid-low 26s for the first 200m or there is no hope for a good time.  It's going to hurt in the end no matter what.  This is never "a run"... it's always "a sprint".  It's the 400m dash, not the 400m run.

So... what to run this Friday?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Berry College - meet report

Shouldn't have run the 400m.  Tried an experiment and it failed miserably.   Tried going out really easy and running somewhere close to even splits.   Didn't work.  57.56   My first 200m was slow but a wicked headwind made it even slower.  I probably ran it in close to 28.

I ran an OK 200m, 25.12,  just slightly slower than I ran in France.   Wind reading was zero but we definitely had a headwind at the start, unfortunately the head wind ceased to be a tail wind as soon as we turned the corner.

I wish I had done what I had planned, just run the 200m, I hate running the 400m in high winds.  I might've got under 25.  It was a workout and, combined with yesterday's fall on my back that deprived me of sleep... I'm tired and have a sore neck.

The meet was pretty much a bust, but I did meet the local coach who is committed to having masters and unattached in future meets.   Too bad it was so windy today for the 400m.   Wasn't feelin' it.

200m race - Berry College

Friday, April 8, 2016

pre race day - sat. options

Pondering whether or not to skip the 400 tomorrow and just run the 200m depending on conditions.  Forecast is clear and mid 50ºs but high winds 20mph gusting to 30 mph.  With that kind of wind and lane one in the 400m, I'll make the call when I get there.  It is a brand new stadium, sort of in the middle of a field with no wind protection.  But, if they are set up to race the 200m with the wind, I may just do that and scratch the 400m til next Friday at Sewanee, and train on Sunday instead of rest.  It's such a new stadium, it's not on Google yet, but I think it's oriented N-S, which could mean a tail wind for the 200m.  Last time I ran with these timers at Emory, they did not set up an alternate finish and the 200m was run into the wind.  In a 400m, wind resistance is unfair... it impedes more in one direction than it helps in the other, and crosswinds don't help either.

There will be no shortages of meets to run so, we'll see.  There is however, a shortage of fine tracks.

I'm actually lucky to be racing at all tomorrow.  I fell 10 feet on to my back this afternoon climbing up my bluff in Sewanee.  Fortunately, I landed in soft leaves completely uninjured with just a few scrapes.   Afterward, I just said 'thank you' a number of times to my bluff for not injuring me.

Upcoming, there are a number of meets in the Atlanta area in May and June so I should be good to go with preparations for this years Nationals in July.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Event run

I had some time and the weather was great so I hit the track for a brief workout.   Partly sunny and 58º at the Dean Hayes track.  I did a 300m event run + 100m, and a 150m race pace run for form on the second turn.  No blocks today.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on 
50m strider 
Split 400 - 300m / 1min rest/ 100m - 41, 14 
150m on the turn
Not as fast as yesterday but ok.   Probably will take it easy tomorrow.

Forecast for the Berry meet, not so good.  Very windy and cool, low 50ºs, but sunny.

141.7 lbs after workout.  Foot is holding up well.  The new trainers and cushion socks are making a difference.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

300m event runs / turn running

Getting the bad news that I'll be in lane one for the 400m in Saturdays meet, I hit the MTSU track on a blustery day, 62º, mostly cloudy with a persistent stiff wind.   Not the best day to try to get some precise splits with the wind.  Did all my work in lane one.

Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m strider 
Puma spikes on 
2 x 300m event runs from blocks - 40.5, 40.2 
2 x 100m from blocks 400m start - 13.3, 13 
2 x starts

Felt pretty good but my splits were affected by the wind, couldn't get that first 100m in lane one done in 13 sec. with the headwind, was a step behind.   Overall, it went well considering how well I felt at the end of the 300s, not totally spent.  It is a bit harder to maintain form on the last turn in lane one and hard on the adductors.  My groin was feelin' it.  Both 300s came in just short of 26 at the 200m mark, probably about 26.2 or so.   For further 'lane one practice,' I ran 2 x 100m on the turn, finally got one in 13.

The biggest thing I've learned this week is to 'stride it out' on that last turn and hold form, try to keep long strides and relax.   On most modern wide radius tracks like MTSU, the final straight is 84m  (unlike Sewanee's that is 100m).

Berry College Meet

This Saturday's meet is poorly seeded.   They threw out all seed times for unattached (of which there are many) and entered them at random (as 'NT').  They gave the college guys the best lanes in my heat, which is a mix of unattached and slow college guys.   I looked up the unattached guys.   So ... we have a guy in lane 8 who has run 47, and the 2 slowest college guys in the field in the prime lanes, 4 and 5, who are seeded at 58.8 and 60..  Disappointing!  I've raced in 50+ college meets in the past 5 yrs and this is the first time my seed time (and all of the other unattached) was not accepted.  What was meet director thinking?  The guy who will win my heat might be 80+m ahead of the slow guys.  Nice race.

Well, at least I don't get passed and I have a couple 'joggers' to chase down in front of me.   In '14, I ran 55.93 at Bellarmine U. from lane one, one of my best races that year.   My goal is to best my season opener of 55.72.  Just need to hug that rail.    If I choose to stay for the 200m, I have lane 5.   Better.

142.0 lbs after workout.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Event runs / speed

Beautiful day in Sewanee, 72º and breezy.  Felt much better today than yesterday as I got the spikes on and blocks out for some speed work.

Knowing that I've been losing time at the end of races, I played with my splits a bit today with good result.
Saucony trainers on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m strider 
Puma spikes on 
400m event run from blocks - 56 (27, 29) 
300m - 40.8  
2 x 200m - 26, 26
The 400m might have been 55.8 or a shade under 56, which is fast for Sewanee's soft track.  And... it felt a whole lot easier than that 56.11 I ran a week ago, no rigging.  Perhaps 26.4/28.5 is the way to break 55?

142.6 lbs after workout.  No problems.

#1 in World
With the completion of the European Masters Indoor Championship in Ancona, Italy today, I think I can safely claim the fastest M55 400m time in the world this season.   I think World Champion, B. Zavattero must have been aware of the time I laid down in Albuquerque, since he had no competition and finished in a blazing 55.28, just 0.06 behind me.  He won by 2.7 sec over the Silver Medalist, which would be about 25 meters.  I think he was gunning for that top spot, not merely to win the European Championship.   It must be said that I posted my time at altitude and his was closer to sea level.  Nice to finish #1 anyway.   Pat Logan won the European 200m M55 in 24.80, so my #3 200m ranking remains unchanged.  Shoot, should have dived for that Silver and #2 ranking, just 0.01 behind.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Final M55 400/200m World Indoor lists

Final M55 400m World list - indoor 2016
117 performances from 19 countries:
USA, Romania, Great Britain, Portugal, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, France, Belarus, Netherlands, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Greece, Ireland, Cape Verde, Urkraine, Italy

Final M55 200m World list - indoor 2016 
195 performances from 27 countries: USA, Germany, Romania, Poland, Portugal, Latvia, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania, Great Britain, France, Serbia, Netherlands, Belarus, Turkey, Switzerland, Canada, Greece, Norway, Cape Verde, Peru, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Finland, Norway, Hungary

long speed

I want to go out again tomorrow so I kept it brief and hard.  Incredible cool day at the Marist school in Atlanta, sunny and in the low 50ºs.

Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
split 400m - 300m/ rest 1min /100m - 42, 14 
negative split 400m - 60 (30.5, 29.5) 
200m - 27.5

I did not feel well after this workout.   Perhaps too much waste in my body and too little sleep, maybe over training last week (over 5K of sprints last week).  Got the 'sicklys' after the 400m but hung around to finish with a 200m.  One of those days I wish I wasn't a 400m sprinter.

2x4x200m tempo

This was Fridays 4/1 workout, pressed for time so just posting now.  Another perfect day, 61º.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drill 
2 x 4 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 29.5, 30, 31, 31 / 30.5, 31.5, 32.5, 30
A good solid workout.  Bringing that last 200m in at 30 was an effort.  Need more speed.