Tuesday, August 15, 2017

North/Central American and Caribbean Championships, Toronto - meet report

It's been a long season.  Maybe too long and seeming longer than any other, due to the lack of a break last fall because of the WMA Perth meet in November.

It's been a great season for me.  And, I don't want to be too negative in this last post, since I won the NCCWMA M55 400m Championship, but I can't sugar coat it... I did not come close to achieving my goals and was very disappointed in my performance in this last meet, particularly because I had worked so hard for it.  On the plus side, I really peaked when it counted, at the World Championships in March.  So... before I summarize the good and the season overall, I have to review my failure at this meet.  Maybe I can learn something from it.

Beyond what I did or didn't do, the bottom line is I had fun, especially the last day running the 4x4 relay and spending time with my dad.  I have to think that matters a lot and I have to remember what it is like to participate and not win anything.  The joy of this thing is people, colleagues ... this track family that I only get to see a few times a year, and being able to run fast without injury with the fastest guys my age in the world.    I don't need to get hung up on my times and forget about all the good stuff, especially when I come home with an individual Gold medal (and a relay Gold).   Many friends didn't get anything, some even got hurt.   

One of the greatest perks from this meet is the support from USATF and Nike.   We got an amazing Olympic kit, the same used in Rio.  No other athletes in the world get this except USA Masters Team and USA Olympic/World Championship team.  And... it wasn't just a singlet.   In addition to the sleek high tech rubber studded racing clothes (our choice between singlet/tights and one piece), we got a full warmup suit, and both long and short sleeve T's.   I chose the 2 piece since it's more flexible and better for a 400m.  I had to stand in line for an hour plus to get the kit, thanks to my dad who waited in the car... all this while trying to coordinate a plumbing emergency repair at my home with a friend's phone (mine didn't work in Canada).  What is cool is that I now have the US Olympic uniform from Beijing '08, London '12, and now Rio '16.   The new thing is the triangular rubber studs, assumingly placed to help wind resistance.  It fit really well, very comfortable.  Singlet was light as a feather.  Check it out:
I sometimes wear these uniforms at college meets.   Many of the kids recognize them right away.   "Where did you get that!?"

400m prelim
Ridiculously, we had to run a 400m prelim.  George warned me to not run it fast.  Jim said, 'we just have to beat one guy'.  I knew there were some stragglers in my heat, me and Jim ended up in the same heat due to a typo (someone seeded in 1.4 sec, meant to write 1:04, didn't even show).  I was jumpy and false started after a long hold.  We got off and Jim and I coasted down the back stretch together, and I felt good so I made sure I beat the guy outside of us on the turn.  I hit the 300m in just under 41 which was a tad less than goal, then jogged the last 100m in 17.  Finished in 57.78, Jim about 5m behind.   Felt easy but both Jim and George said it was too fast and unnecessary.  Anyway, that put me in lane 4 for the final and Jim in 3.  Daryl said he strained something but won his heat in 1:03.  There was a guy in my heat that ran 1:18, he muttered something about his 'first race in 15 yrs.'  He was overweight.  We had to run this prelim because he chose to enter, one of the few circumstances working against me, would have been nice to just run a final.

400m Final
Before the race, I asked my dad to drop me off thinking I could get to the track faster.  Huge mistake.  Got lost on campus and walked/jogged about 2 miles, sometimes in a mild panic trying to find the track.  I got misdirected and few people were helpful.  I finally got to the warmup area about 50min prior to race.   I was a bit tired.   I warmed up and headed to the track.  Rain looked imminent.  We already had a rain delay earlier.  Thought I heard thunder.   We had 2 scratches, so there wasn't much competition except Jim. We got in the starting blocks and I got a decent start, went out hard for about 50 - 60m and got called back by a second gun.  I thought, OK... rain delay.  But no.  Judges ruled 'unfair start'... someone didn't hear the 'set' command.  Ok, more wasted energy.  Finally, we got off and I cruised easily, knowing that the only way I'd lose was if I got hurt or rigged up really bad in the end. I was too conservative.  I hit the 300m in about 41.35, even slower than the prelim.  (I've run that fast in training shoes).  My last 100m I felt ok, no rigging, in about 15.75 ish... I looked at the scoreboard and was disgusted with my time:  57.10.   Even slower than Nationals.  All that work for this!?  Very frustrating.  Jim took second and ran a 59.  He looked at me and said, "why'd we run so slow?"   It was a failure to execute.  Didn't have that aggressive backstretch.  Was probably close to 27 at the 200 instead of 26.  Splits were probably 13, 14, 14.3, 15.7 or 27 / 30.   Goal was 13,13,14,15.  It was primarily the second 100m I think.  Saved too much.  My goal was to better my ranking and run under 55.55.  It was a fail... but I still won easily.  That wasn't the worst part.

400m Final

200m prelim
The schedule greatly favored the 100/200 guys and really screwed us 200/400 guys.  The 200m prelims were immediately after the 400m.  I had about 75 min.  This was the fastest M55 200m field in years, and of the 20+ guys, only me and Jim had just run the 400m, all the other guys were fresh, having run their 100m final 5 hours before.  The first 2 heats were really fast.  6 guys under 25 in 2 heats.  (Perspective: I took Bronze in Lyon with 25.08).  Because of Leondus, who put down a fake seed time of 24.08 then scratched, Jim ended up in a very slow heat and won it in 25.9.  I had Val in my heat, who I beat at Nationals last year with my A game, but didn't have it, having just run a 400m.  We ran shoulder to shoulder and he beat me by a few tenths and I finished in a pedestrian 25.6.   For the first time ever in a masters competition, I was eliminated from the final.  The World 200m indoor champion - eliminated.  James, who did make the final with a slower time, apologized and said he felt like I got screwed.  Wasn't his fault.   My dad tried like hell to change his flight and flee the scene on Sunday, but he found it wasn't worth it. $$$$ Afterward, my dad and I went out for a late dinner, had Thai food, I had a rare beer.  Felt the season was over. Didn't know whether we'd have a relay or not the next day.

It was a super competitive M55 200m final.  Don was beaten for the first time in years in both the 100 and 200.  Alan had a stellar meet, running 24 flat winning the 200m, and the 100m in 11.83.  If I had run the same time I ran in Daegu or Sewanee, it would have been only good enough for Bronze.   They did have a +2.9 wind, that helped.

The 4x400m relay was me, Jim, Daryl, and Dale.  But I was glad to get Val on the team instead of Dale, since Dale had just run the 800.  I got to the track late, probably 45 min before the race, warmed up a little.  Took a few photos.  Decided to run second leg, Jim led off.  We were racing a spectacularly fast USA M50 team, a Trinidad M50 team, and M55 teams from Mexico and Canada.  I was happy and joking, threatening Jim that I'd be standing at the end of the zone, and how far did he want to run?  Lee was laughing.   Karnell and Lee had the M50 first legs, they were way out in front but Jim was closing in on the M50 Trinidad team which I passed immediately after the hand off.  I just took off.  I swear I held my own against Lee on the back stretch at least, he's a 53 guy.  I felt like I was flyin' and I didn't seem to get tired.  Jim ran about a 60-61 on his leg and when I handed off to Daryl, the clock said 1:56.  Which means I ran at least a 56 leg, someone said 55.6.   Figures.  I didn't care, I didn't warmup, I just let it fly.  I just ran!   Probably the way it should be.  That was well worth doing. Our last 2 legs averaged only about 62 so our time wasn't great but we still won, had a good time.  Happy for Daryl and Val to get medals.  Dad elected to stay in his room, didn't go.

I'm not big on medals, I've got a pile of them.  I didn't even collect my relay medal.  (Daryl might have and may send it).  But these medals were some of the nicest.  Large, double sided, heavy.  Much better than the chincy medals that we got in Daegu.

Front and back:

After the relay, dad and I watched the World Championship 4x4s on NBC, then went to a nice park on the coast and had an excellent seafood meal over looking a marina.
It was nice.  Glad he could come and happy to have been able to see a small part of the coast.

Scarborough Crescent Park

It was quite beautiful.  I snapped this last photo while dad sat in the car.

It's always hard to walk away from a season, a training lifestyle, spartan diet.  Already I've had my 2 cherry pastries yesterday.  6 pieces of crunchy sunflower bread toast with butter and cappuccino this morning.   Just a small consolation for months of hard work.  I won't stop being fit even though I must stop running for a while.  Bike and weights.  Work on my upper body and core, rowing machine.  No need to make it harder than it needs to be to come back.  I have Sr Games district meets I can run in Sept / Oct.  Maybe I will.

I'll have more to say in a summary later, but all those who have followed this blog, I appreciate the interest and I'll be posting less regularly for a while as I make the shift to becoming a musician/music professor again.

Thanks to dad for the support and interest.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Last workout of the season

Went to the track today with a friend and former student visiting Sewanee.  It felt odd to have someone there with me.  Perfect evening, 72º, partly sunny.

I didn't do much.  My timer finally died ... after 5+ yrs and 6 titles, I'm sorry to see my little chirping mechanical friend die.

Did a full warmup, some strides, starts, one hard 100m in spikes which my friend timed in 12.51 from the 400m start, and a 90% 250m in trainers.  That's it.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m strides 
Puma spikes on 
3 x starts from blocks 
100m from blocks - 12.51 
Hoka trainers on 
250m ~ 400m pace from back stretch to middle of home stretch

Never feel like I've done enough to get ready, but I think this will have to do.   I think maybe I should have done more volume.  Who knows.  It's just a matter of being loose, rested, relaxed, and executing properly.  Sometimes I don't ever think it's possible to be ready for a 400m.

I'm getting a massage tomorrow and taking the next 2 days off.  Will stretch and get ready for a relaxed 400m prelim in Toronto at the NCCWMA Championships on Friday.

My weight is on target... even had 2 pieces of toast this morning, first carbs in a while and still 144.8 after dinner, which is good.

Been at this since mid December.   It's been a long road, quite a journey.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Rippin' n ready

It was a good day at the office.  After yesterday off from the track, I wanted to do a light speed workout today, and it went well.  Did blocks, some race pace turns, and drills.  The funny thing about speed is that it is not commensurate with effort.  Some days I work very hard, feel like I'm running fast but the clock says no.  Some days, the speed is there, faster than expected.  Today ... the speed was there.

Hoka trainers on
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m strides 
Puma spikes on  
3 x block starts 
100m from blocks, lane 4, 400m start - 12.8 
250m from top of the back stretch - 32 (12.7, 13.3, 6) 
150m from 200m start - 18 
100m strider on the turn 
Hoka trainers on 120m strider

My 250m and 150m were way faster than expected.  Granted, in the 250m, I took a 3 or 4 step flying start but I exceeded my goal of 33 by a lot.  It very well could have been 31 high.  Now, if I could just do that after running a 13 sec 100m... I'd be in PR territory.  To be fair, I probably was running a bit faster than 400m pace but it didn't feel like it until the end.  Same story with the 150m, right about 18 flat with the first 100m on the turn.

This is just what I needed to do today.  My weight is very good also.  141.8 lbs after workout.

All systems go!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Shake out / day off

Actually did go to the Fowler Center today and did a full warmup and some drills and hops, but no real running.  I looked at my archived workouts prior to some of my successful races in '15 and '16 that showed I pretty much adhered to the every other day regime, and since I did significant work yesterday and my feet were a bit sore, I just settled for a long bike ride today after my warmup.

I'm enjoying watching the IAAF World Championships.  Seeing LaShawn Merritt go down today in the 400m Semis reminded me how even an experienced guy like that can run himself out in the first 200.  I could see it happen to him... right when he hit about 270m, his stride changed a bit and I could tell he was losing fluidity.  Having Van Niekerk making up the stagger on him also didn't help.  It also happened to Fred Kerley, who seemed to go out too fast, running against faster guys than he's used to seeing.  He ran about a half second slower in his semi.   Unlike Merritt, Kerley was lucky to make it to the finals.

Watching Merritt and Kerley today reminds me... it's a fine line and you never know how the body is going to react after the first 300m.   I do like the fact that the track in Toronto is an IAAF with short straightaways, unlike what I normally train on and the track at LSU that had 100m straights.  I sometimes wonder what intangibles go into finding that perfect balance and executing.  I think I'm able to only pull it off 2 or 3 times a year.  Daegu '17 (55.17) was one, Albuquerque '16 (55.22), and Jacksonville '15 (55.29) and Vanderbilt '15 (55.11) were my best executed races.  It's all about getting to that 300m mark with the least amount of effort and the most amount of speed.  What is interesting is that my indoor times 3 yrs in a row were faster than anything I did outdoor.  It's kinda strange.  If you include the indoor season, I had the fastest M55 400m times in the US, 3 years in a row 2015-17.  (In 2016 Corey ran 55.28 outdoor, I ran 55.22 indoor, World #1 for '16  indoor season M55).

I was happy to see the USA bring home sprint titles in both the Men and Women's 100m.  First time in a while, I think more than a decade.  Kudos Justin and Tori.   Sad to see people still demonizing Justin.  Pathetic really.  Wanted to see Bolt win, but was happy for Justin, he earned it.  Perhaps the USA can get their act together and beat the world in the 4x100s.

Back on track tomorrow.  Blocks and turns.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

event run, blocks, conditioning

Perfect night in Sewanee, 70º, dry under a rising full moon.   Felt almost chilly by the time I left.  

I was going to do just starts and short stuff today but I felt I needed more.  Yea yea ... I said no more hard workouts but I think I needed this one.

Hoka trainers on 
500m warmup, stretches, drills, and more drills 
2 x 50m striders 
Puma spikes on 
2 x 50m from blocks, full speed 
100m from blocks from 400m start - 13 
350m event run - 47.8 (12.8, 25.8, 40) 
100m from blocks from 400m start - 13 
Hoka trainers on 
'split 500' - 300m - 42 / 1 min rest / 100m 14.8 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.2 
2 x 80m striders on grass - cool down

It was a bit more volume than I intended, but I left the workout feeling good, strong.  I did the extra conditioning because I again wasn't happy with my event run.  My splits were ok but I pushed it quite hard on the front end and was already feeling tight by 350m.  It was better than last time, but not much.  Still 56 pace.  That's why I put the trainers on and went back to work.   I'm going to need to find that balance between an aggressive first 200m and running within myself.  The never ending quest.  Also, I feel my 3rd 300m on the turn could have better form.  I need to work on that tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be a lighter day.

For some reason, I've been heavier.  144 lbs even after workout.  It's not bad, same weight that I've run my best times.

Friday, August 4, 2017

light conditioning

Was going to do short stuff today but there was football again in Sewanee so I went to SAS. When I got to SAS, a storm was about to hit.  Thinking the storm would chase away the football players, I headed back to Sewanee, after warming up.  The football teams were gone but by the time the rain stopped, there was very little daylight left.   So instead of dragging out the blocks, I did a brief conditioning workout and called it a day.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 28, 28.5, 29.5
I felt ok, I got some work in by the 3rd 200m and left the workout for the first time in a while not feeling like I tortured myself.  I guess that's good for this time of taper.

One unfortunate thing is that my trusty Gymboss interval timer is beginning to fail.  It doesn't beep loud enough to hear it so I have to put it in vibrate mode, and the clock itself sometimes gets stuck.  Funny that after 5 yrs and 5 Nat'l Titles, this essential little device is dying just a few days before season's end when I need it.  I can't overstate how important this piece of equipment is to me.  I've halted my workouts to go and get a fresh battery when it has died.  It is vital to my training.  I ordered another but won't receive it til late Monday.  I even thought about driving an hour each way to buy one but this one will do for 2 days.  I do want to run at least one more 300m event run in the next few days.

NCCWMA Championships
Not happy to see the 400m Final in Toronto is just 80 min before the 200m semi.  The M55 200m field looks like it could be the fastest in many years with an entire heat of 8 capable of running under 25.   (Compare with this year's European Champion who ran 25.10). Several present and former World Champions represented: Don, Alan, Jim, Rob, Val, myself have all won World titles, and then some really fast guys from the Caribbean and Canada: Jamaica, Trinidad: Ray, Martin, and Michael.   That's NINE guys that might run under 25.   It's crazy - (Consider I won Bronze in Lyon with a 25.08).     This semi totally favors the 100/200 guys who had their 100m Final 5 hrs before.  It should not have been scheduled like this.  They could have put the hurdles in between.  Out of us 9, I think only me and Jim are running the 400m.  It's going to be tough to make the final.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Alternate track

I was looking forward to this workout but when I arrived at the track, there was a football scrimmage going on so I had to go to the SAS high school track, a very hard worn tartan track, not particularly fast and hard on the feet.  Just a thin cracked red layer over blacktop.  

I was looking forward to NOT running a rippin' 500m to start.  I thought I could maybe run a PR 350m, which would seem a lot less taxing than a 500m.  I need to taper but need to practice splits.  I was shooting for a 47 350m, which would definitely be 55 pace, but no, 48 is what I ran.

Hoka trainers on  
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m striders 
Puma spikes on 
3 x starts from blocks 
350m - 48.2  (13, 26.2, 40.4, 7.8) 
more starts 
100m from blocks - 13 
200m from blocks - 25.8 / 45 sec rest / 100m - 14.8

I was still feeling a little soreness from previous workouts this week in the lower quads.  I think I need to work on my form and short game, as well as my splits.  I was a bit tight tonight, need to combine an aggressive start with total relaxation while pushing the pace to the max.  My starts were a bit inconsistent.  May try another 300 or 350 on Sat, hopefully back on the Sewanee track.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

spikin' up for speed

Perfect mid 70ºs and cloudy in Sewanee at sunset, calm winds.  I've reached out to some wise elders in the masters track world and am convinced that I need to start tapering now.  George H. suggested to cease the heavy weight workouts and hill sprints.  I need to go now for more specificity, technique, and race modeling.  I can say that I'm in much better shape now than at Nationals.

I put the spikes on and went for it today, doing the same workout I've been doing but taking it up a notch.
Hoka trainer on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m striders 
500m - 73.2  (56.8, 16.4) 
'split 500' - 300m - 41 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.3 / rest one min / 100m  - 14.2 
Hoka trainers on 
2 x 80m strides
It was the fastest 500m I've run in training.  (As usual, I measured the stagger with my measuring wheel so I could run it all in lane 6, starting about 30m ahead of the 100m start on the straight).   I was nervous before I started, thinking it would really hurt if I hit the 400m mark sub 57, and yes, the last 100m was tough but it didn't kill me.  Felt OK.  I set my goal splits for the first 400m at 13, 14,14,15 or 13, 27, 41, 56.  Was running a bit ahead at 200, right on at 300, and a tad behind at 400m as the 4th 100m was run on the turn.  The last 100m I did ok bringing it home in just over 16.  The first 400m was comparable to the 400m I ran at Nationals.

 After that, I thought about just running a smooth 200m, but no... I did the 'split 500' (300+100+100 w/1m rest).    It was a killer as usual.  I thought, 'one more hard one for Toronto.'  I'm tempted to go back out tomorrow but I think I'll just swim and some light cross training, maybe some resistance bands.

I definitely think I've done the work this time and if I can't run sub 56 now, shoot me... I'll probably never do it.  I feel like I'm in the best shape since Daegu, maybe better.  Now just have to maintain, stay healthy, and sharpen.

After my 500...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

same stuff

One last workout on the Marist track in Atlanta before heading back to my 'training camp' in Sewanee.  It was hot, clear and less humid today, so the sun was particularly hot.  About 84º.

Got a decent resistance workout at an LA fitness on Sat, then this Sunday afternoon, back on the track.   I really think this workout is doing it for me.  I don't think at this point there is any benefit in doing volume tempo workouts.  Everything I'm doing now is close to race pace.  The over distance I think will help.  I've been blasting a hard effort 500m to start 5 of the 6 track workouts I've done since Nationals.  Today, was my second fastest.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m striders 
500m - 75.4 (59, 16.4) 
'split 500' - 300m - 41.8 / rest 1 min / 100m - 15 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.4 
4 x 130m hill sprints
I'm going to have to mix in some short stuff soon, blocks and spikes.  Going to keep doing the hard core resistance stuff for the next week then, taper off by next weekend.   I really feel that by the end of this cycle, I should be able to put out a much better 400m than I ran at LSU, if I survive the training without injury.  So far so good.  Not overtly fatigued because I'm keeping the volume down to less than a mile of total work and every other day on the track.  It's definitely 'high intensity - feel it in the gut' stuff.  Significant suffering.  Feet feel ok since I'm training in spikes only sparingly.  (Not today).

Tempted to put the spikes on and run a 500 with the first 4 in 57 just to see how I can hold up under that fatigue.  Also, need to do some event runs / race modeling.

Friday, July 28, 2017

on track

Left the gulf coast a day early and took yesterday off as a travel day.   Wed, did some resistance work.   Today, at the Marist track in Atlanta, it was stiflingly humid but not too hot.  Very similar to Mobile, 84º with a dewpoint of 75º, heat index around 90º.  

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m strides 
500m - 76 (60, 16) 
'split 400' - 300m - 41.2 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.8 
Puma spikes on 
2 x 150m - 18.8, 19.2

Felt a bit harder and not as fast a 500m as my previous similar workout in Sewanee last Sunday, but a good strong 300m+100m.   Looking forward to returning to Sewanee and getting back into my routine for my last week of training.   Weather is changing and looks to be cooler in the evenings and less humid.  Was going to do hills tonight but may to put them off til tomorrow as rain is coming.  This hill I run in Atlanta is ball buster, harder than Roark's Cove rd., about 150m and steeper.    Sunday, I expect to be back on the Sewanee track in the evening.  Haven't done a limited rest tempo set of 300s so maybe I'll do that to see where I am.  

First race in Toronto 2 weeks from today.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

back in the swamp

Visiting on a business trip in Mobile, AL... I do what I often do to find a track.   Good thing tracks are usually associated with schools and colleges and are large enough to be seen easily from the air via Google.  I picked a good one, not a great track but an overall decent facility:  Bayside Academy in Daphne, AL - on the eastern shore of the bay.  I chose that track because it is less than 3 miles from my hotel and there is shade on part the track.   Unfortunately, the track itself was pretty bad, a black 6 lane thin tartan layer over blacktop worn out in some spots... but it'll do.   It's 400m, and thankfully, surrounding a field of real grass (not plastic turf like Sewanee).  At the beginning of the 300m, there was a nice shady spot where I stationed myself.  The school locker room was open and there was an ice machine right by the door.

So, instead of eating great golden piles of fried seafood, key lime pie, and Jamaican beer here in the land of gulf seafood markets... I'm still eating right.

It was horribly humid but not too hot at 10:30am.  84º with a dewpoint of 75º, heat index around 92º and there were some merciful clouds as it felt much hotter in the sun on the black track.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m - 42.2, 42.8, 42.5 
'split 500' - 300m - 43.5 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.3 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.3
I didn't start with my usual 500m but I did get in an adequate amount of volume.  I ran the 300s hard but not at race pace, reserving a little.  Finished with a split 500 when already tired so I ended with a hard one.

I got a last weight workout in at Sewanee Monday morning at 6:30 am before I left to keep my strength regime going.  I even brought my ankle weights and rubber tubing.   My hips are holding up well to the resistance work but my lower back has been a bit sore all spring/summer.  Overall, everything is ok considering the regime I've been on.  The hotel has a weight room with dumbells so I'm sure I can get some resistance in tomorrow.  I'll be back at the Bayside Academy Thurs, off/travel Fri, Marist track Sat., and Sewanee Fowler Center Sunday.  Then, back to the usual Sewanee regime for the last full week of training.

My temporary home...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Same good stuff

Much cooler tonight in Sewanee, in the upper 70ºs with a breeze instead of the upper 80ºs.   I really think this workout is just what I need.   I've done this workout now 3 times and it's gotten a tad faster and feels a little easier, except for the hills.  So, 3 days on the track, 3 days on the weights.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m striders 
500m - 75.2 (59.5, 15.7) 
'split 500m' - 300m - 41.8 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.5 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.3 
2 x 200m hill sprints - 40, 43 
100m hill sprint - 17.5

Again, fastest 500m I've run in trainers....   I wanted to deliberately push it to the 'rig point' but It wasn't bad.  My last 100m, was under 16 and I caught myself tensing up a bit and corrected.   Mission accomplished.  Maybe when I do it again, I'll try to break 75, maybe with spikes.  The 'split 500' wasn't as desperately tiring as the first or second time I had done it.  It was very hard but not nauseating.  What was really hard were the hill sprints I did afterward.   The second one kind of felt like reaching the maximum number of reps you can do on a machine and failing.   I barely made it, jogging the last 10m.   But, after a several minute rest, I ended with a 100m hill sprint that felt pretty powerful considering what I had done before.

I think this is the ticket.  Beating myself up with high volume limited rest intervals I don't think is the best bang for the buck right now.  What I need is power and technique.  The speed will come.

I will be away from Sewanee for 5 days but will be able to train.   I may get up early and do weights since I will be with out them for 5 days.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hot n fast

Very warm and humid today, mid 80ºs with a dewpoint in the mid 70ºs giving a heat index in the low 90ºs.   Close to the same workout as last time, but a bit more and faster.  Last night, another good session on the weights and I swear, it's already making a difference.  Got the new Hoka trainers in, same exact ones I have now, so I can alternate.  I opted to stay with the Clifton 3s as I sent the new Clifton 4s back because they were narrower and heavier.  I gave the new ones a spin today.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m striders 
500m - 75.8 (60.2, 15.6) 
'split 500m' - 300m - 41.7 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.5 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.3 
Puma spikes on  
150m acceleration - 19.5 (7, 6.5, 6)  
Hoka trainers on 
200m hill sprint - 39 
100m hill sprint - 17 
150m hill sprint - 26
It was the first time I've ever run a 500m in under 76 in trainers, and it wasn't 100%, except for the last 70m.  It went well, no rigging.  The fast 300 + 100 + 100 is ball buster... that last 100.

Finished the workout with some hill sprints.  I'm experiencing that phenomenon that I see when I'm in shape...  a delayed fatigue reaction.  When I did that all out 100m hill sprint, I felt strong the whole way and it never really hurt til 20 sec later when I was walking down.

Getting stronger, faster, lighter.   141.6 after workout.

I posed for a photo with a rainbow after my 500m.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

speed endurance, strength

The road to Toronto has begun.

Last night I did a good strong 3 set power workout emphasizing the 'business parts' - 3 x 50-55 glute machine with 325 lbs, 3 x 15 squat jumps with 90 lbs, along with hip flexors, calves, adductors, and quads.  Usually only do one or 2 sets.

Today, everything fast.  It was an ass kicker but I felt strong, ran fast.  This was the biggest bang for the buck considering a total volume of 1400m.  Did more form and power drills to start.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
500m - 76.8 (60.8, 16) 
'split 500' - 300m - 41.5 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.5 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.5 
2 x 200m hill sprints ~ 41
The last 100m of the 500m felt ok, and the over all effort was tough, but not overly sickening considering this was one of my fastest 500s not in spikes.   The 300m was very hard, considering 41 in trainers, then to sprint 2 x 100 right afterward, that was killer.

I then hit the hill for 2 long steep hill sprints.  These were every bit as hard as an all out 300m.

I feel pretty light and strong.   Back on the protein and weights should make a difference.  Even after 2 days I feel stronger and I swear I could go out and run faster in training shoes this week than I ran at Nationals.

142.3 lbs after workout

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

reference: pre world workout summary

In the month between National and World indoor, I must have been doing something right, so I'm posting this summary for reference.  I did notice that I crammed in some consecutive days but due to the travel and meet schedule, I had a significant volume taper.  The last significant volume, and it was just moderate, I did 10 days before the 400m final, last hill sprints, 10 days before the 200m final.  Now, I have just 24 days before my 400m final at NCCWMA.

2/24 - 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 47.5, 48.5, 50.5, 49.5 (49 avg) 
200m (negative split) 27 (14.5, 12.5) 
2 x 200m hill sprints - 38, 42

2/26 - 
3 x 300m - 41, 42, 42.5 
2 x 100m - 13, 13

2/27 -
3 x 400m w/ 2 min rest - 68.5, 69.5, 70.5 
5 x 100m hill sprints w/ 2-3 min rest - 17.5-18.5

300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 41, 14.5 
300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 41.5, 14.5 
150m strider - 21

200m, 200m, 100m w/ 1 min rest - 27.5, 28.5, 14 
Puma spikes on 
3 x 40m from blocks 
3 x 100m from blocks (lane 2) ~ 13 
Hoka trainers on  
200m strider (relaxed) - 28

3/3 - 
4 x 150m - 20, 19, 19, 19.5

3/4 - race
400 - 55.79
200 - 24.92

3/6 -
2 x 300m w/ 2min rest - 47.5, 47.5 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 47, 49.5, 50, 49.5 
4 x 100m hill sprints w/ 2min rest ~ 18 
2 x 150m hill sprints ~ 27

3/7 - 
5 x 150 ~ 18.5-20

3/8 - 
'Split 700' - 500m - 82 / 90 sec rest / 200m - 29 
'Split 500' - 300m - 44 / 90 sec rest / 200m - 31.5

3/10 - 
4 x 300m w/ 2min rest - 47, 48.5, 49.5, 52.5 
400m - 61 (31.5/29.5)

3/11 - 
3 x 150m w/ 30 sec rest ~ 21.5 avg 
10 min rest
300m - 43.5

3/12 - 
'split 400' - 300m 41.5 / rest 60 sec / 100m - 14.5 
'split 400' - 300m 41.5 / rest 60 sec / 100m - 14.5 
5 x 100m hill sprints ~ 18

3/13 - 
Puma spikes on 
300m - 40.2 (25.9/ 14.3) 
Hoka trainers on 
3 x 150m w/ 30 sec rest ~ 21-22

3/15 - 
3 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 45.5, 47.5, 49.5

Puma spikes on 
300m - 39.5 (25.5, 14) 
2 block starts 
3 x 100m from blocks - 13-13.5 
Hoka trainers on 
200m / 70 sec rest / 100m - 26.5, 15

3/20 - 
3 x 100m ~ 13

3/21 -
200m  prelim - 25.05

3/22 -
200m prelim - 24.86

3/23 -
200m final - 24.82

3/24 - 
400m prelim - 58.5

3/25 - 
400m final - 55.17

Monday, July 17, 2017

Day four - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

I spent very little time in the stands watching but I did watch some of the 100m finals.  I was happy to have been in the stands when Julia Hawkins, whose daughter lives near me on the mountain, ran her world record 100m dash.  Julia is 101 years old and she was out there in her team USA uniform, in the 100+ degree heat, with a flower in her hair.   And she really ran it.   I was with Cheryl and Lorraine, and I said.... "that HAD to be a World Record."   I've seen other 100+ people "run" and well, they're not really running.  More of a fast walk... but Julia did run.  It was amazing.  Just to be out there in that heat, but to run 100m at age 101?   So inspiring.  I thought Walter Dix, Olympian would be inspiring to watch, running his first masters.... but Julia was awesome.  Her story has gone viral... world wide... Washington Post, UPI, Reuters, CNN, Chicago Tribune, etc....


Well, I thought I was ready... but not.  Apparently a 7 week training cycle after taking 3+ weeks off in May didn't get me back to where I should be for a championship race.   It's odd to run some of my fastest times indoors then 3 1/2 months later run some of my slowest times outdoors.  It's so inexplicable, I even thought about seeing my physician to see what might be wrong with me.  But I know... it was a lack of foundation, strength work and late cycle over training, trying to cram too many workouts in near the race.

A lot of my colleagues ran well and didn't medal, especially in the really competitive M50 age group.  So, winning a Silver is not a total fail.

My 200m final was simply embarrassing.  I've never run a championship race that slow: 25.75.   It was even slower than my first 200m split in the 400m final indoors in Korea.  I haven't run an outdoor 200m this slow in years.   I was feeling sluggish on Sunday, but ok save for a little soreness in the groin.  My plan was to get out fast and relax and try to catch the guys ahead on the straight.  I actually did get a decent start but relaxed and slowed way too much, allowing Rob to pass me.  And I just didn't feel the usual power halfway down the straight when I went for it.  It was a complete disaster.  I was stunned at how poorly I had done.

Since Indoor Nationals, I've run six 200s in 25.0 or less: 25.07, 25.05, 24.92, 24.86, 24.84, and 24.82.   The 24.84 I ran on a crappy college track in Sewanee would have medaled in this meet.  That's how far off my game I was.

Running 56.7 in the 400m, OK... I've got some work to do but I'm not that far off.  It was like a season opener type race.  But that 200m, was just on another league bad.  Whoever looks at these results will probably wonder what happened to me.  I can't really explain it ... but it is what it is.  Grade F fail.

Feet and groin are sore today, as I went out with my club at the end of the meet and ran a 4x400 relay in the M45 group.  We won and I put in about a 57 I think, it felt ok.  Didn't kill myself.  I deserved the punishment of another 400m after such  a shitty meet (for me).

I was really disappointed with the track.  It was the worst so-called Mondo surface I've ever seen.  It was dried up, hard as a rock, chewed up, and provided no spring.  Kind of reminded me of some old tartan tracks like the one at St. Andrews School.   It was heat damaged, so they say, and scheduled to be replaced.   The spikes made a clackity clackity sound when running on it.

NCCWMA Toronto is coming.  It leaves just 3 weeks for training and a taper.  The way forward won't be easy and I haven't much time, but I'm up to the challenge.  I'm determined to do what it takes to get back where I was in March, some redemption is in order.  That means a lot of serious work and respecting my recovery days.  I know what I have to do but sometimes I wonder if more than one peak per season / year is too much to expect?  It's going to be hard, painful, especially in the summer heat... but this is the last race of the season and once it's over, it's over.   I need to give it my best shot.  I'm hoping Corey will come, we had a great race at Nationals but I didn't deliver my A game.  I'd like to race him again.   Jim will be there, and he's always good solid competition.

On my feet all day working around the house, so my feet are pretty tired.   My training will resume tomorrow although I may or may not go to the track, I may just do weights.  I'll be in training in Sewanee this week, and Mobile the week after for a few days.

I've often though I have to work harder to get the same result as others.  This will be a test, I'm going to see what I'm made of in the next few weeks.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Day three - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

Again, to the chagrin of many (and even one belligerent protest), we took the 200m prelims indoors today at the USATF Outdoor Masters Championships due to an extended lightning delay.   We were minutes from taking the track to run outdoors when the weather delay began.  Of course I was digging the idea of racing indoors, but many were not.   At least one top athlete declined to race.   Grant it, the indoor 200m on an unbanked track is tough.  I narrowly won my heat but ran a slow time, more than a full second slower than in Korea.  (25.88) Surprisingly, it was 3rd fastest qualifying time in a very competitive semi.  I narrowly beat Rob, the 60m World Champion, but he was at a tremendous disadvantage having lane one.  With just 3 guys in the heat, don't know why they didn't run lanes 3, 4, 5.  

This 200m final tomorrow, I could easily take 5th... the way I've been running.   My chances for a medal are slim with 4 guys in the race having run 11.8. - 11.9 in the 100m, much faster than I've run.  Derek lost to World Champion Don by an eyelash in the 100m, 11.87 to 11.88, both blazing times.  They have the fastest qualifying times and will likely be Gold and Silver.  Val ran 11.92 in the prelims, but double false started and DQd in the 100m final.  Although I beat him last yr., he's in better form this year.  So, I'd have to beat both him and Rob to get the Bronze, and I doubt that will happen.  I have lane 3 with Don, Derek, and Val to my outside.  Don ran a blazing 24.99 in prelims ... on this track, that's fast.  Derek eased up and ran 25.79, Val easily won his heat in 26.02.

200m prelim M55 heat one

I think we'll get this race in before the rain since it's early, 10:30 am.   I'm supposed to race a 4x400m relay with the M45 guys at 1:45pm and I need to leave for the airport no later than 2:45pm, so if there's a delay, no relay.

AWARDS Banquet

Tonight was the awards banquet and seafood was on the menu.  It was good.  This was the 50th year of USATF Masters Track Championships and so it was a nice occasion.   I enjoyed the heartfelt speech by Bill Collins, overall Masters Athlete of the Year who despite having Guillain-Barré syndrome, has continued to set World Records as he did again today... running 12.34 100m into a headwind, at age 66.   Here are some photos...

Bill Collins overall Masters Athlete of the Year Award

Bill Collins, hero
Sandy and Cheryl
Emma, double World Champion sprinter

Ladies of Masters Track

Looking at the awards list, I was reminded that if I had not fallen one meter from the finish in the 400m final in Perth and gotten a medal, with 2 National Titles that year, I may have won another award.  However, there are inconsistencies... I remember a new comer at Nationals in 2014 winning the 400, 800, and 1500 and not getting this award.  Probably because no one knew his name, it was his first Nationals.  It seemed to me that the criteria was in 2015, you needed: '3 points' and any one of these would count as a point: National title, World Record, American Record, World Medal (any).  I had 2 titles and two WMA Medals that yr.

This year, there were the usual obvious awards, people who had many more 'points' than they needed, but a few had just two. Also, there were National Titles 'earned' when they were the only person in the race!  (Which I can't see how that would count).  I really do think there are some politics involved.  Perhaps it will become more uniform in the future.  If they go by the same system as 2015, I have '3 points', Indoor title, Gold and Silver in Daegu.  I also have a shot to add to this in Toronto, which will count toward the total.   I guess I even think about this since that disaster in Perth was so costly in an otherwise very good year, and this is the last year I had a good shot at winning Nationals and Worlds til I go up to M60.  But, being elite in this sport is extremely fragile.  One minor injury, not at your best, makes room for the next fastest guy.  And there are always talented newcomers entering, as we've seen this year.

Anyway, better sleep, tomorrow is my earliest race of the meet.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Day two - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

Didn't bring my A game but still took the Silver Medal today in the M55 400m.  56.78 is my slowest 400m in a championship race since my first Nationals in 2011.  Ironic that it occurred 3 1/2 months after my fastest championship 400m (55.17 - indoors in Korea).  Also ironic that it was slightly slower than the first 400m race of my life at age 51 (56.71).

It took me a while to get myself to watch the video, but before I did, I thought maybe I went out too slow.  After watching the video, my splits seemed ok, it was just my last 100m.  I rigged and didn't produce.  My 300m was right around 40 flat but my last 100m was a struggling 16.5 ish+.   Really awful.  I usually run this last 100m in at least 15 high, which would bring me in at 55 high, but not today.   I don't know what to attribute my poor performance to except possibly over training or not enough foundation.  Not really sure.  Maybe the heat?  Seems like I worked hard enough, but I guess not.  Maybe not enough recovery and not enough volume.  Just don't know.  Maybe I didn't have my mind right today.

This was the end of a 2 year winning streak that included these four USATF titles: outdoor '15 Jacksonville, indoor '16 Albuquerque, outdoor '16 Grand Rapids, and indoor '17 Albuquerque.  

It's been quite a run these past 2 years: 4 National Championships (400m), 1 World Championship (200m), 1 World Silver (400m), 2 World Bronze (400m, 200m),  2 Silver and 2 Bronze (200m) at Nationals, a USATF Age Group Athlete of the Year in '15, and a World Record in the 4 x 200m.   I guess, writing this all is a way of making me feel better for losing today.  It's OK.  I didn't win any national medals at all in 2014, so I'm ok with it.   Just wish I had run a better time.  I still have the fastest M55 time in the US in the 400m that I ran at a college meet back in April, a full second faster than I ran today.

It was nice that Corey's dad, age 85 was here to see him win.  This is his second National title.

The 200m is going to be real tough this year to medal in judging by the incredible M55 100m prelims.  3 guys, Val, Don, and Rob all ran under 12 in the 100m.   Faster than I've ever run, so they'll likely be the favorites for the medals in the 400m.   Since I rigged up today in the 400m, feel a bit beaten and not real optimistic.  We'll see how the prelims go tomorrow.

Out for some seafood with my fellow tracksters... John, Ray, Nick, me, Rob, Cheryl.   57 is the new 40.  Livin' well.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Day one - 2017 USATF Masters National Outdoor Championships

It was an unprecedented day in Nationals Masters track championships.  I did not race, my age group rolled to a final because of a few scratches, we have final of 9 people.   After continuous lightning delays, races that were scheduled to go down at 3:30pm, still hadn't run by 6pm so the decision was made to run the remaining heats of the 400m prelims, and the Pentathlon 200m and 1500m indoors, on the flat 200m indoor track.  According to all I had talked with, this was unprecedented - using an indoor track for a championship outdoor meet.  For the 400m, it's really a completely different race.  Of course this would nullify any records that might be set.

When I first heard, I broke the news to a bunch of M50 colleagues, and they couldn't believe it.  Some had never run indoor track.  I told Lee B. and he said it was a big mental adjustment to 'get his mind right' to run an unexpected indoor 200m at an outdoor meet.  I seriously doubt they would do this for the finals tomorrow, even though there is a 60%+ chance of storms at race time.  Some people simply do not run indoor track and have never raced on a 200m oval.  I think Corey for one.  I proceeded to make a joke and start telling everyone they were going to run the 100m tomorrow starting on the turn indoors.   Robert T. who was incredulous that they were even doing this said, 'Yea, they probably would.'  Everyone thinks these 400m prelims were a waste of time and they should have run 2 heat finals tomorrow where necessary, as they did at Jacksonville in '15 when bad weather hit during the prelims.

I'm thankful everyone used fairly honest seed times for tomorrow's M55 400m final.  I'm in a good lane, lane 5 with 2 of my major competitors to my outside in 6 and 7 - Corey and David.  Jim has lane 4, so he can see all of us as the race will be in 4,5,6,7.   Jim is in good shape, but no telling what shape Corey is in ... he hasn't raced since Perth, 11/16.  That's a long time ago, although he looks fit, says his training has gone well, has a lot of experience and a World Championship.      Anyway, it'll be good to see him since I ran blind to him last 2 times we raced.  Seeing him may help me from going out too fast.

Anyway, I went out and warmed up today and did a few 50 - 60m sprints in spikes and it felt good.  I should be good to go.

Here's a photo of Ben running the first indoor 400m (M60 prelim) ever contested in an outdoor championship meet.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pre race day - USATF Masters Nationals, LSU

I flew to Baton Rouge through Houston.  Houston Bush airport was really quite nice compared to some I've been in lately (like LAX).

Yes it's humid here, but seems like a world of difference whether or not it is sunny or cloudy.   In the direct sun, it can feel like 110º, but in the shade...  only about 100º.  

Arriving on the LSU campus, the USATF people who were there to pass out packets didn't show up as advertised.  They were supposed to be there 4-6 pm.  They were an hour late and a huge line formed inside the air conditioned field house.  So instead of standing in line, I took a walk around the field house and looked at the LSU track memorabilia and records.  Wow, what a tradition.  More on that below.  So, I went shopping and had dinner and 90min later, I arrived just in time to get my bib before they packed up.  I saw Ray and we chatted a while.

The track is nice, except I think it's closer to an equal quadrant (long straights) than an IAAF.  IAAF tracks, the straight is 85m, equal quad it's 100m.  All Mondo surface, and in decent but not perfect shape.  The heat won't be as much of a factor due to the fact that the air conditioned field house indoor track will be available for warmups.  It's only about a 200m walk from the field house to the starting line.

Won't know til tomorrow if we'll run a 400m prelim.  If so, it'll be kind of dumb... just to eliminate a few guys for the final.  I remember in Korea, the M50 guys had to run 3 rounds of the 400m, 2 in one day,  just to eliminate one guy.  Pretty crazy.  I hope we don't end up in that situation.

This race takes on special significance for one of my main competitors, M55 world champion Corey.  His dad grew up here in Baton Rouge right near the college.  His dad was unable to attend LSU because of his race and instead attended the historically black college in town, Southern University, where one of the athletic buildings is named for his brother.  He is 85 and will be here to watch us race.

I was amazed at the rich history of LSU track.  Winning an NCAA Relay Championship, or a Penn Relays Championship is a big deal for a college.   LSU has huge walls full of these awards.  Olympians are represented in some of the facility records.  Here's a panoramic shot of the LSU Penn Relay Championship wheels.  70 in all I think.  (I think MTSU has just 2).  In '06 LSU won 5 in all.

Penn Relays Championship wheels won by LSU

Here's a few shots of the indoor and outdoor tracks at LSU.

panoramic shot from the center of the homestretch looking across the track
Tiger Stadium on the right, Pete Maravich Arena (the white round building) center.  

My suite at Staybridge is awesome... less than 2 miles from the track.  Fully equipped kitchen, granite counter tops, even a dishwasher.  A living room and separate bedroom, TV's in each room.   I ended up getting a VW Beetle turbo convertible.   Although I won't be putting the top down, it's a fast and fun car to drive.

Don't worry, I won't wreck it.

On my way

 LSU - Baton Rouge, LA

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

300 event run / 100

Last workout before Nationals.  I went out in the hot part of the day although it was quite comfortable in Sewanee, 84º and not very humid, dew point 63º.   Hot in the sun, comfortable in the shade.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m accelerations 
Puma spikes on  
2 x 80m accelerations 
2 x 40m from blocks 
100m from blocks - 13 
300m from blocks - 40.2 (26/14.2)
Felt better today than yesterday.  I was pretty much on my splits for this track.  Was tiring, and reminds me to not kill myself in Thursday's prelim.   Didn't want to do any more because I felt a little tightness in my groin after the 300m.

I guess I'm ready, not much more I can do now.  Have been on the track the last 7 days in a row, 9 of the last 10.  Somehow, I think I could be in better shape.

141.9 lbs after work out.


The humidity will be the tough part in Baton Rouge.  Forecast for Friday finals is 90º with a heat index of 101º and little chance of rain.   There are 12 people registered for the M55 400m, and if 3 scratch, there could be a 9 lane final and no prelim.  I noticed with the 400m prelims, they are taking only 8 to the final, but they are using all 9 lanes in some of the prelims.  So, it would be a pity to run a prelim just to eliminate a few guys.  One extra person could force everyone to run a prelim.  I'm thinking the chances are good we'll get 3 scratches because 2 are running the 800 same day and there are 2 guys registered for throwing events.  Either way I'm fine, ready to go.

Monday, July 10, 2017

300 event run / 150 tempo

Back on the track at mid day, temperature about 85º but felt considerably warmer in the direct sun.   Humidity was down and with a light north breeze, it felt pretty comfortable, especially in the shade.  

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m accelerations 
Puma spikes on 
2 x 40m from blocks 
300m event run - 40.5 (26.2, 14.3) 
Hoka trainers on 
150 x 3 w/ 30 sec rest ~ 22 
200m - 26.5

This workout was the first I've done at midday in just over a week.   It being my 6th day in a row on the track, my 7th in 8 days, and just 16 hrs after my last workout... I think I wasn't recovered enough to run a good event run.  Maybe slightly over trained.  I fell short of my goal splits, but only by a half second, and it didn't feel particularly smooth.  This track is slower than MTSU's where I've been able to break 40 in a 300m, so I wasn't too far off.   I was going to run a full 400m time trial but I bailed after 300 when I didn't hit my 40 flat split.  Probably not a good idea anyway.  I put the trainers back on for a set of 150s with just 30 sec rest and a 200m.    

One more day before I leave for Nationals.  Probably will go out and do something light tomorrow. 

143.6 lbs after workout.   

Sunday, July 9, 2017

even split 400s

Beautiful quiet evening in Sewanee, 76º but the dewpoint has dropped 10 points so it felt very comfortable, much less humid.  Did a light workout tonight, my 5th day in a row on the track, 6th in a week.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 58.6 (29.3, 29.3) 
Puma spikes on 
400m - 58.2 (29.2, 29)
Wanted to work on my end game, form, and keep the volume low.  I did the first 400m in trainers, and the second one 25 min later in spikes.   The second one felt better, less tiring.  The first one I felt like my form was not so good.   Still not as fast as I wanted to run.  Was hoping to hit 28 on the second 200m after a deliberately slow first 200m.  It sort of confirmed the fact that running the first 200m slow isn't going to help me run the second 200m fast enough to make up the difference.   In other words, doesn't matter if my first 200m is 26 or 29, my second 200m is probably going to be 29-30.  When I ran 55.17 in Korea, my second 200m was only 29.67 or so, after a first 200m of 25.5.  In that last 100m, seems like I have a choice between longer strides or faster turnover.  I always try to push my turnover especially toward the end.

Trevor, my Aussie friend (who I think holds the M55 Nat'l 400m Record), said that he would sometimes train by just showing up at the track and running one all-out 400m and do it a number of times in a week.   There is something to that, because there is nothing like the experience of running the last 100m of a 400m at race speed.  The only problem is that, an all out 400m would be about all one could do in a workout, unless doing 400s like I did today, not all out for the first 200m.  I once stayed at the track a couple hours and ran three 400s in the 57s ... but I took up to 40 min rest in between and ran the first 200m at sub race speed.

I didn't get my afternoon nap so I'm going to try to sleep early and train around mid day.  It is warm, but not hot and significantly less humid with dewpoints in the low 60s instead of low 70s.

Expected conditions at race time will be about 90ºF, dewpoint 75º, heat index 102º.
I liked Dave M's comment on the Masterstrack FB page:
 "Wow! A schedule designed to ensure the minimum number of spectators possible and the maximum amount of heat and humidity for the athletes. Which genius put this program together?" 
They have stadium lights, don't know why they won't use them.   Pete said they once did a night schedule.  Jim said they once closed a meet down in Charlotte because officials were going down with heat stroke.  Anyway, this is comparable to what we saw in Jacksonville.  But for that meet, I heat acclimatized.  Not so much for this meet.  Rumors are that there will be an indoor warmup facility.  That would be huge.

142.8 lbs after workout.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


A little warmer than yesterday at the Sewanee track, 77º and humid under a rising full moon.  Got there about 7pm so I put in 4 hard sprints from blocks, but not full recovery. Everything at or near 400m race pace.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on 
3 x starts from blocks
300m - 40.2 (26.2, 14) 
300m - 41.2 
200m - 26.2 
300m - 41.8  
The first one was the only real race pace, probably 55 mid-high (assuming a last 100m of 15.5).  The second was a second slower.  The 200m felt smooth and the last 300m was just for the workout and form, was tired by then.   1100m of sprints at near full effort in just over an hour.  I'm thinking I may have a sub 56 in me by next week.  

Think I may go out in trainers for part of the workout tomorrow.

142.6 lbs after workout.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Tempo 300s +

Beautiful night, full moon and orange cumulus clouds in the distance.   76º and humid, dewpoint 71º.   Was really conflicted on what I should do tonight.  I settled on a short but up tempo set of 300s then some, then a set of weights.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m w/ 2min rest - 45.5, 47, 50 
100m (2 min rest after the last 300) - 14.5 
Puma spikes on  
200m - 26.3
The 300s were a good pump, sweating a lot afterward in the humidity but it's nothing compared to what I'll see at LSU.   The last 200m I just wanted to run somewhere near 400m race pace.   I felt like I could have done more but a good 1200m of sprints is enough.  I'll be back out tomorrow.   Just tech stuff for the last 4 days including race modeling / event runs / split 400s, block starts, and short stuff.  Feeling ok.  Did a set of glutes, hip flexors, quads and box jumps.

142.9 lbs after workout.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

maintenance workout

Sunset in between rainshowers, in the upper 70ºs and very humid under a painted sky at the Dean Hayes track.  No one there.

Was a bit iffy about going out today, feet sore from speed work in spikes yesterday, but went.   After a warmup lap I was feeling a bit weird and I almost left, but I hung in and got a decent workout.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m / 2 min rest / 200m - 59.5, 31 
300m / 1 min rest / 100m - 46.5, 14.5
It felt ok.  The 400 was even split and fairly easy.  Breaking 60 on a wet track in trainers without full effort means I'm doing ok.  The following 300 was more of a strider focusing on form.

I bought the new Clifton 4s thanks to a Bday present, thanks dad.  Should be in by Monday.  My Clifton 2s are retired but the Clifton 3s are still ok.

144 lbs after workout.  I may be back out tomorrow, we'll see.  Running out of time.  Nationals a week from today.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

speed in spikes

Mild and moist in Murfreesboro this evening, 76º with a dewpoint of 74º.   Actually pleasant for July. I did a good warmup and put the spikes on today for a quality low volume workout.  Everything 95+%.    Felt ok.
Hoka trainers on  
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on  
3 x 60m accelerations 
300m event run - 39.8 (25.8/14) 
3 x 150m - 18.2 , 19, 18.8
None of these runs were done with blocks, just a '2 step and go.'  Wanted to put off blocks til I'm sure there's no risk of strain.   I feel that I'm good now, so blocks on Friday.

The 300m event run was good although I really pushed it around on the 3rd 100.   I estimate it was about mid 55s pace as I was in about in 'mid 15s' condition for the last 100m.

I thought I was running pretty fast in my 150s since my first was 18.2 (sub 25 200m pace)  until I saw Janet run one in 17.   Such perfect form she has.  (She has taken Silver in both the African Championships and in the PanAM Games.  She has run 11.09 100m [wind aided]).

With these quality low volume workouts, I should be able to be on the track most of the next 6 days before I leave for Nationals.  They should be posting the detailed schedule next week.  I really hope they consider evening races.  Last yr the 400m final was at 3:00pm.  Heat indexes in Baton Rouge could easily be over 100º at that time.  Today, for example... 94º with a heat index of 105º at 3pm, that's worse than Jacksonville was in '15.

143.5 lbs after workout.

Monday, July 3, 2017

split 400s / hills

Double session today, went out in early afternoon to run fast, then after the rain, did some hill sprints.
83º and humid at mid day.  Heat index 87º but with occasional clouds.   Did some split 400s at near race pace.
Saucony trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 60m striders 
Hoka trainers on 
split 400 - 300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 40.8 (26/14.8), 14.5 
split 400 - 300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 41.2 (26.3 /14.9), 14.3
400m warmup, stretches drills 
5 x 100m hill sprints - 17.5 - 18.5

The 300s went pretty well.  My first race pace running in over 2 weeks.  Whenever I can run under 41 with training shoes in a 300m, I'm doing ok.   My turn running needs work but I'm happy everything is working right and I'm healthy.   These would translate to about 56 flat pace.

After the rain, it was a cool 67º on the north side of the mountain for 100m hill sprints.  They were tough as I did the repeats with no extra rest but the walk down.

Sprinting is hard on the feet but they're holding up ok.  No taping or padding.  I'm now going to the track and warming up in different shoes and just before my workout, I slip into my super thick Darn Tough mountaineering socks and my Clifton 3 Hokas.   Has made a real difference.  Feels great.  

Will take tomorrow off from the track and do some light resistance.  Speed and spikes on Wed.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

tempo 200s

Went out in the early afternoon today, moderate heat with high humidity.  81º with a dewpoint of 74º yields a heat index of 86º, but feels hotter in the sun.  Noticeable difficulty in breathing at maximum effort in the humidity.  Fortunately, intermittent clouds provided some relief.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 31, 30.5, 30.5, 30 
4 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 31, 31, 32, 31.5
I had planned to do more, these were fairly controlled and I really saved it for the lest rep.   Slightly slower than I was running in June/July '15, but within a second.  I was going to run hills and I saw a kid on the track, and we were going to run a 300m together, but a tremendous thunderstorm hit.  We stood in the rain lightly sheltered by a tree but it didn't let up.  It poured for 50 min, dropping 2.25" of rain causing street flooding.  So, I went home.  Left the work out feeling pretty good, tired but not beaten (like after that 4 x 500m).  Last night I did weights, glutes, jumps, quads.

Ready to ramp to some hard 300s or split 300s next time.  Will probably get the spikes on Wed. My confidence is growing as there is no longer any sign of the quad issue that was bothering me, and definitely beginning to feel fit, and really light.  141.8 lbs after workout.

I have to retire my Clifton 2 after using the left one exclusively with my right Clifton 3.   Look at the chunk I took out of my Clifton 2 over time.  Pretty easy to see where my foot strikes.  I used them for 11 months, although not exclusively as I got Clifton 3s 6 months ago.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Low 70s and humid at the Sewanee track with occasional sprinkles and a rainbow.   Still nothing real fast, just 500m repeats and they were no picnic.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 500m - 81.5, 82, 83.5, 84.5 
200m strider - 29ish
The first one seemed the most difficult and I relaxed a bit more on the others.  It was hard, although I took ample rest in between.  Wasn't up for a limited rest tempo set tonight.   This is the same workout I did on 7/13/15, a few weeks before I won my first outdoor nationals.  However, that workout was in high heat (86º / 93º heat index).  My average pace today 82.8 was almost identical to that workout 2 yrs ago.

143.9 after workout.  No sign of soreness or strain.  Think I'm good to go but will be cautious when beginning to run fast again.

Notice, I wear different shoes on different feet...  a Clifton 2 on my left and a Clifton 3 on my right.  The Clifton 3 is slightly higher and a bit stiffer.  Good for running left turns.

Me with my extra thick cushioned socks

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

400 tempo + 400

Mid 70ºs and dry at the Dean Hayes track.   I ran the dreaded 400 repeats w/ 2 min rest.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 400m w/ 2min rest - 67.5, 70, 73 
400m - 61.5  
The 3 x 400s really kicked my butt.  Just as hard if not harder than the 4x300 tempo.  The 300s were more of a glute /ham burn while the 400s were more of an aerobic / lung burn.  There was a time I could do 4 x 400 w/ 2min, not any more.  No way could I have done a 4th today.  (The thing is, back when I could do 4 x400, I wasn't any faster, so go figure).

I finished with a relaxed but swift even split 400, about 61.  Only my 2nd track workout in 6 days, wanting to make sure the quad issue is healed.  It felt fine today, no sign of pain whatsoever, but I didn't test it with anything fast.  I'll ramp up the speed as the next weeks unfold and go back to every other day on the track.

A little weak today because I've been trimming down and no significant food today before workout.  142.3 lbs after workout.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

tempo 300s +

With my first 2 consecutive days off from the track in a while, I hit the track on beautiful evening in Sewanee, 73º and dry.  Much lower humidity.  Felt almost chilly driving with the windows down.  Nice for summer in the south.

Worked hard today, it was a ball buster.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m w/ 2min rest - 47.5, 48, 50, 51.5 
400m negative split - 60.5  (31.5, 29) 
200m - 27.5 
2 x 150m hill sprints
Starting to get my race body back on.  These 300s were my fastest (4x300 w/ 2min) set since March 6, the last set I did before Korea.  (The 3/6 set averaged 49, today 49.3).  It was a real strong effort and it kicked my ass.  I kept asking myself, 'how bad do you want it?'

After nearly full rest, I ran a negative split 400m in about 60 and was surprised at how relatively easy it felt, not that it was 'easy', but it didn't hit me in the gut like the tempo 300s.  I tried out some fast running in a 200m where I accelerated to near full, but I backed off since the quad is not quite ready but well on it's way.  Certainly by the end of the week.

USATF Nationals just over 2 weeks away.
I have a renewed initiative since Corey, the M55 400m World Champion has entered Nationals.  He's the only M55 US guy to beat me since '15, so I'm happy to have a race in July.  He's a great competitor and will hopefully bring out the best in me.  It's on...

143.4 lbs after workout.