Wednesday, January 31, 2018

5, 3

Sunny, windy, 37º at the Sewanee track early.  Felt about the same as yesterday although it was 10º warmer today but windier.

Had a brief last workout before Millrose, not much but better than nothing.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
500m - 79.5 (63/16.5) 
300m - 45 / 2 min rest / 100m - 16
About 10 min between intervals.  Not particularly fast times but got it done, and the foot was hurting as usual by the time I finished.  2 days in a row on the track but I'll have the next 2 days off before Millrose.  I tried a new taping method that seems to help a little.  Happy to be able to still train.   It doesn't feel too bad and hopefully will improve.

A little heavier today, 146 after workout.  Always heavier in the morning since I eat later.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Sunny, 26º at the Sewanee track bright and early this morning.  When the wind stopped, it felt warm enough for shorts, long T, and gloves.   Foot felt better today and I was able to complete a nominal workout.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 300m w/ 4 min rest - 43.5, 45 
300m - 45
The second 300m felt the hardest.  A real good pump for the glutes that I got last night with squats.  I rested a good long while (12 min) before I ran my last 300m and it felt much easier than the second.  Would have liked to do one more but my foot wouldn't permit it, and I'd like to come out tomorrow morning for one last track session before Millrose, so we'll see how it feels.

I'm inclined to not start an anti inflammatory steroid pack before Millrose if my foot is not getting worse, but save it for when I really need it when I ramp up training before Nationals and the first March outdoor meet.  May have to apply for a TUE.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Water and weights

Back to aqua running in the pool tonight and single leg squats.  Tony D. had endorsed this type of training in the pool and really recommended it as a break from the track.  

Stretches, and more stretches 
16 lengths of the 25m pool with aqua running belt 
2 x 12 single leg squats with 70 lbs.

I ran into Dr. Matt at the gym.  He looked at my foot and said a steroid pack might work so he's calling it in.

After the workout, the foot feels better and I may be able to hit the tack tomorrow.  We'll see.  It's going to be cold, mid to upper 20ºs but sunny with a wind chill around 20º

KMS Invitational - meet report

Not a good outing, slowest time ever on this Crossplex track by more than a second.
400m - 57.71

Probably the result of a too conservative race plan and a lack of training volume as the foot continues to hamper me.

The Race

My splits were sub optimal.  The Crossplex has race clocks all around, so I could see my approximate splits.  I was about 26 high instead of 26 flat (I was 25.5ish in Daegu) for the first 200, then about 41 high or 42 for the 300 instead of 40.  I didn't feel totally spent or rigged at the end so I knew it was slow.  Had more in the tank.

The MTSU guy in lane 6 scratched, and I had 3 freshman guys from Concordia College in my heat, all about 19 yrs old.  One was a real 400 guy, the other 2 seemed untrained.  They were laughing and joking around about running with a masters guy, I said my usual line, "don't let an old man beat ya."  The MC recognized me from the previous year and gave me a thumbs up as I set my blocks.

The guy in lane 4 passed me almost immediately in the first 100m, and took a sizable lead by the break.  I felt the guy in lane 2 would challenge me at the break so I came off the turn with some authority and headed him off.  On the back stretch, the leader smoked me and by the last 100, he had a 30m+ lead and finished in 53.1.

Looking at the video, I'm surprised the kid behind me in lane 2 didn't get DQ'd for repeatedly stepping on the line... little cheater!

I never saw the other guys after the break and I felt pretty good in the end, and I was surprised and disappointed I'd run such a slow time from a good lane.  I ran 56.66 from lane 2 last year on this track.  I know I'm capable of running faster.  The foot hurt a bit but I don't think it hurt my race.  When the gun goes off, I don't think much about the foot pain.

Those 2 running behind me weren't laughing after the race, one of them seemed to be feigning an injury.  Welcome to the 400m, boys!

The injury
The left foot heel was particularly bad after this race.  I'm going to have to go in to see my foot doc.  I wonder if in fact this is a plantar issue or a stress fracture?  It would think a fracture would show trauma but none to be seen, no black n blue, just some redness.  But unlike plantar issues that usually involves the arch, this is definitely a specific area on the inside edge of the heel, and hurts with toe-off movement.  I walk on the outside of my foot to protect it.  Frustrating because all the 'big stuff' like hams, quads, knees, hips, etc... are healthy and working fine, to be held back by a small spot on my foot really sucks.  It's happened before... in '13 when I had that fracture on my right foot that took me out for the season.     Also, I've fought pretty hard to get down to my race weight and rid of much of my body fat.  I'm actually pretty fit and with a few good weeks of training, I think I could run 55-56.  Training is a long term investment and it's a bitch when it's time to produce and one thing causes a problem.

This week doesn't look good for training.  I'll be in the pool for some aqua running and weights tonight.  I could do track or cross training on Tues and Wed early, but due to work and travel, I'll have to take off Thurs and Friday before Millrose this Saturday.  I'll be good to go for Millrose.  The thing about this injury is that it can feel bad one day, like today, then feel only moderate the next, allowing me to do a little track training, 1000m or so.

Good thing there is almost 7 weeks before Nationals!!    My 57.02 is still top ranked in the world M55 indoor, by a lot.   Trevor, the World Silver medalist in Australia ran a 57.60 outdoor.

Friday, January 26, 2018

300m / wickets

Windy, sunny and low 50ºs late afternoon at the St. Andrews track.  I had to come to the bleak and windy St. Andrews track because Sewanee's was being used by a lacrosse game.

I did very little today due to the usual foot soreness, just one hard 300, and some wicket drills.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m striders 
300m - 42.2 (from the 400m start: curve-straight-curve) 
several wicket sprints 
Happy to have a backup track to train on, even if it's hard like St. Andrews.  It's the highest point in town so it's often windy and unprotected.

I warmed up, and ran one hard, but not all out, 300m.  I set 14,14,14 split goals, was slightly ahead on the first 2 but a half step behind on the last 100m on the turn into the wind.

I did as many 35m wicket sprints as I could stand before I had to shut it down.  With a full speed 4 step acceleration, I just did 10 wickets about then a 15m end sprint.   I am getting the hang of it and can really feel how it forces good mechanics when done right.  It promoted good knee lift, straight ahead movement, minimal time on the ground, and force production to the ground.

Because of the plantar issue, I may have to force myself to train in the pool with aqua running, as much as I dislike it.   It would give me more volume and may be just what I need.  Unfortunately, open pool hours are very limited.

Otherwise, I'm as fit as I can be with the limited track volume I've been doing.  Check this out - weight after workout today: 143.2 lbs.  This is the lightest I've been in several months.

KMS Meet on Sunday
Yes!  I got a great lane, lane 5 last heat.  In my heat looks like a mixed bunch.  Mostly college freshman running their first races.  Two are fast: 49-51, including one from MTSU.  Two are 54ish.  One seems to be a baseball player running indoor track to get in shape.  So, maybe I'll have some guys close to my speed.  The first heat has elites, Calvin Smith (on the US WR indoor 4x400m relay team), and Michael Mathieu (Bahamian Olympic Gold Medalist 4x400m relay, '12).

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Brief speed

Nice day, upper 30ºs but bright sunshine and not much wind.  Felt much warmer, definitely t shirt weather.  Trade this any day for 10º warmer with clouds and wind or rain.  A work day, not much time so I got out there early, a little something is better than nothing.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 60m striders 
400m - 60 (29.5/30.5) / rest 1 min / 100m - 16 sec
Was disappointed that I didn't break 60 as I did 2 weeks ago in slightly worse conditions.  I wonder if it's possible at all to improve being limited to the low volume I'm doing now?  We'll see I guess.  Somehow I doubt it.

I should find out if I get stuck with lane one again by tomorrow in Sunday's meet.

Feet are going to be a bit sore after 2 consecutive days on the track, but not too bad after hot tub and massage.  Tomorrow is a day off.  144.8 lbs after workout.

Equipment troubles
BOTH my beloved Team USA Olympic wind/rain jackets now have broken zippers.  These tiny nylon zippers fail if one tiny fingernail-sized piece of plastic breaks at the end.  Both broke the same way.  The dark blue "London kit" jacket IS available on the USATF website to purchase and it isn't cheap ($108), but the "Rio kit" jacket is NOT available to the public.   I doubt it can be fixed, at least at reasonable expense.  I guess these jackets were never designed for long term daily use.  I'm going to miss using them. : (

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

tempo 300s

Cloudy and 42º with a light wind at the wet Sewanee track.  It had been a while since I did a tempo workout so I got through a brief one today.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m, 100m  w/ 2 min rest  - 47, 48, 51, 15
Not as fast as this same workout where I averaged 48 last time.  My last 300 rep was a bit slower this time, and I finished with a 100m.  Maybe some fatigue from the speed workout on Sunday and weights yesterday.   Feet were a bit better today than after the speed workout on Sun.

If I feel like it, I may go out and run a split 400 or a 300 event run tomorrow.  Other wise, I'd be taking Wed and Thurs off.   My feet are ok, hip a bit sore but in ok shape.  I race on Sunday so I can do a light workout Fri, but I'm a bit reluctant to take 2 days off in a row this week.  145.5 lbs after workout.

I really hope I don't get lane one in this meet.  It cost me $54 to enter ... which is crazy!

Monday, January 22, 2018


Found some good quotes.  Ato Bolden posted this to FB:

There are two pains in life:  the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.  You chose which one.

From Irv Bernstein, long time trainer:

Being an athlete is a state of mind, not just a state of body. It entails a certain level of discipline... athletes accept some pain, and move on or through it, non-athletes shirk from risk of pain, and from pain itself, seeking a safety from which cannot really be. Rather, think of fitness training, and athletic conditioning, as a progressive mind-altering challenge that hardens the body and the spirit against the trials and travails of life outside the gym, (and off the track).

Sunday, January 21, 2018


Incredible winter weather at the Marist School, mid 60ºs sunny, warm, calm wind.  Shirtless weather.  One side of the track was sunny and dry, felt even hot, the shady side was wet with melting piles of ice.   I started with short sprints, first one 90%, the last 3 full out.  4 x 50m.  I set my timer to stop watch and held it in my hand instead of the usual beeping timer (on my waist) to see exactly how fast I was running.  Surprising.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warm up, stretches, drills  
2 x 50m w/ 3 step flying start - 8.09, 6.18 
2 x 50m from 3 pt stance - 6.46, 6.56 
150m - 19.5 (100m turn, 50m straight)
200m / rest 1 min / 100m - 27, 14

Considering my PR 55m is 7.23, a race I rarely run, I was running these 50's pretty fast.  The second one was with a 3 step running start, the last 2 were from 3 pt with the watch starting as my hand left the ground.  6.46, add .23 for reaction, .74 for 5m, that's equivalent to about 7.43 without spikes for a 55m, which is probably near PR pace, assuming -0.2 for blocks and spikes.

The rest of the times were approximate as I returned to beep pacing.  After the 150m, running the turn aggressively, first 100 in 13ish on the turn, my left foot started hurting, the plantar issue.  I took a break and tried a compression wrap, didn't help.  So, I just walked, stretched and rested before doing one last split 300m at a good clip.

Kind of a bummer.  Not being able to put the volume in.  Especially, with great weather for training coming up, sunny and 50ºs all week.  Racing is no problem, just one 400m doesn't cause too much lasting pain.  Might be a bit taxing to do 2 races in a day but this heel pain can come on quickly and go away quickly.  Usually just taking the shoe off, some massage, elevate and the pain is better, not gone but tolerable.  I walked a lot around town after my workout and the foot really hurt but by the morning, it'll be fine.  I'll be back on the track Tues.   Probably do a tempo workout, probably no more than 1000m.

I expect to race the next 3 weekends.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

400/100 plus stairs

Back at MTSU yesterday on a breezy 41º day, it was sunny so warm enough for t-shirt and shorts.  My feet were not in good shape from the beating of running fast on Sewanee's tiny indoor track, I couldn't do much.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 63 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.5 
10 x stadium stair sprints
Took advantage of the MTSU stadium, hadn't done these in a while.  Last time I did, I was sore for a week after doing 16 or 17, so I stopped at 10.

Hopefully, I'll be good by Sunday to be back out for some speed work.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Schedule update

I'm scratching from the Samford open this weekend.  Haven't had a good workout week due to the weather and the feet took a beating last night being forced indoors.   Also, I want to race on the good track in Birmingham, but NOT in lane one for the 400m, so if I'm going to drive 3 hrs to go, I'll take my chances with a better draw next week at the KMS invitational.  This meet is run by a guy (Kevin) who clearly wants to make a buck, it is one of the most expensive entry fees for a non championship meet I've ever been to, $54!  ($50 + online fee)   Since they don't require money up front for Samford, I'll not lose anything by scratching.   But... if by some chance I get lane one again at KMS, I'll definitely still go.

That will be the only time I get to race in Birmingham this season.  Assuming I go, I could race 4 weekends in a row if I race at Sewanee on 2/17.  Assuming I do Berry on 3/3 outdoor,  that would be 5 meets in 6 weeks and Nationals 2 weeks after that.   6 meets in 8 weeks.  The only reason I'd do Sewanee because it's home and I'd have 2 weeks off before the next one.  So, Sewanee is still optional.

This schedule will allow me to do a night at the weightroom tonight, and if my foot feels ok, track sessions tomorrow, Sunday, Tues, Thurs, Fri... before the Sunday 1/28 meet.

I was surprised to see no masters turn out for the Emory Crossplex meet on Sunday.  Usually, I see Marcus, Don, Tecumsah, and the Atlanta gang show up.  I guess they're waiting for the N. Ga meet on 2/11.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Indoor workout

I only workout indoor once or twice a year.  It has to be pretty bad before I come inside to train.  Last night it fell below zero up here in Sewanee and today's high was about 16º so the track remained snow covered.   I really am lucky to have this facility to train in, I go at night and have this 160m flat track to myself until 11:00 pm.  This 160m track has 25m straights and 55m turns, so on the inside lane, 300m of a 400m race is run on the turn.  It's not really wise to run hard 200s on this track so I took my measuring wheel and measured a 400m in the outside lane that would eliminate a turn, 4 turns instead of the normal 5 turns in a race (with a break to lane 1).  I knew it would be hard on the body training in here, and it was.
Hoka trainers on 
200m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 61.5
300m - 45 
wicket drills
I was surprised to run a 61 in this small circle.  Minus 2 seconds for what it would have been outside. I was going to follow up with 2 x 300m, but after one 300m, my L foot and R hip were taking a beating.  So, I had to stop.  The 300m was hard and a good pump.  Still feeling those squats I did on Sunday.

I've been wanting to get some wickets for form drills, but didn't want to spend $50-60 for a dozen, so I made my own from PVC.  It was easy.  I'll go back tomorrow night for a light workout, wickets and maybe some blocks.  No turns.... running those turns is hard on the body.

Samford Open
Really pissed.... for the first time ever, I drew the dreaded lane one at the meet this Saturday at the Crossplex.  Terrible on that track!   Huge disadvantage, and... I'm not even in the slowest heat.   I don't understand why I'm not in the slowest heat, there are guys in that heat faster than me.   Bummer.   Lane one has to run the entire turn with no bank, compared to the higher lanes which run half the turn and start by running downhill.  Definitely harder on the feet.  Usually, they don't even use lane one for the 400/200, but they are in this meet.  Shit!   Oh well, I ran 56.66 from lane 2 last time.  Lane 5 is choice on that track.  Maybe I can ask to move to a different lane if someone scratches, but I doubt it.  I'm haunted by the time I DQ'd false started from lane 5 in a 200m 2 yrs ago.  There are some elites and Olympians at this meet.  Calvin Smith and Kyle Clemons are in heat 1.

My new wickets....

Monday, January 15, 2018

300m tempo

Good day to train, 41º and mostly sunny with a light breeze in Sewanee.  T-shirt weather.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 47, 48, 49 
150m (100m turn/50m straight) - 20
I was definitely sore in the glutes from last nights weight workout.  I added 2 sets of single leg squats with 70 lbs to my usual regime and I felt it today.

My feet were hurting after the warmup lap but felt better after the stretches and drills.  The 300s went pretty well, about as fast as I did the same set in '15, and '16, but I wish I could have done more.  In '15, I did 2 sets of 3x3s.  The limiting factor is my feet.  There were already hurting when I did my last 150m, which felt rather choppy and stiff, run into the wind.  I taped my left foot but I really don't think it did squat.

My weight is finally under control.  144.7 lbs after workout.

Just for the hell of it, I requested entry to the big meet at Vanderbilt this weekend, hoping to save myself some driving time to Birmingham, but was promptly denied by Coach Keith.

Emory's Sunday meet at the Crossplex is a meet that traditionally hosts a lot of masters.  It will be interesting to see who shows, although I'll be running in the Samford meet on Sat.  Last year I ran 56.66 at this meet, so that might be a realistic goal.

I thought about racing on 1/27 at the Crossplex again, but I'll probably take that weekend off, maybe take 2 or 3 days off from the track to give my feet a break, then Millrose, then the last chance on a fast indoor track before Nationals on 2/11 at the GA meet.  Then almost 5 weeks before nationals and in that time, just 2 meets: Sewanee on that miserable 160m flat track on 2/17, then 2 weeks later at Berry outdoors 3/3.     That should be enough to get ready for Nationals.  That's 5 meets plus Millrose, one more than last year and 2 more including Millrose.  This yr., Nationals are about a full month later, and I'll really miss that track in Albuquerque we had for the past 2 yrs.

Bad weather tomorrow with cold and snow expected.  I'll be back on the track in Murfreesboro on Wed, and probably Thurs.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational - meet report

400m - 57.02

My fastest first 400m of the season.  Actually, 0.11 faster than I ran in Toronto.   But,  I would expect good times on this 300m Mondo track, it is about the fastest track* I've ever run on.  56.9 would have been better.  3 years ago I ran a PR 55.11 in this meet on 1/17/15, that year I had raced a Dec. meet which I ran 2+ seconds slower on a flat 200m Mondo.  So, improvement is possible.

As a testament of how fast this track is, UTEP's Michael Saruni ran the world's fastest indoor 800m this year in this meet, a facility record 1:45.92 !!

*(Briefly, the reason I think indoor Mondo tracks are better than outdoor Mondos is that they don't weather well outdoors, especially in hot climates.  Outdoor Mondos dry out and lose elasticity and get hard, like the track at LSU.  Indoor Mondos retain elasticity because they're not subject to weather/temperature extremes).

The race
There were just 4 in my heat.  2 college freshman in lanes 2 and 5, and 70 yr old masters, Grady in 4.  I wasn't about to make the same mistake as I made in Toronto and go out too conservatively so, starting blind in lane 6, I pushed it pretty hard at the start.  I got passed by the kid in lane 5 at the top of the first turn, and took second position coming off the turn at the break.  The other kid passed me easily on the back straight.  I stayed with them through the last turn until the final straight where I tied up and they pulled away, finishing in 53 and 54.  If I had saved a little, I might have improved my time.  Grady finished about 80m behind us and still ran a world leading M70 time of 67.  Since it's early in the season, I don't make too much of the fact ( Grady does on FB) that my time is the fastest in the world by almost 4 seconds.  Obviously, many fast people have yet to run.  I just hope I can run like Grady when I'm 70.

Was happy to don the 'Rio kit' uniform.  Feels great.  I did get a few questions about it.  Dave the PA announcer was pretty cool, saying stuff like, "that's 57 yr old William Yelverton on the outside" and "let's see if runs his age, and ... yes he does!"

My feet survived pretty well.  I will be in the weight room tonight and back on the track tomorrow for a tempo workout.  I hope to train M,W,Th this week on the track.  Wed looks tough, could be in the teens, but sunny.

Very happy to be able to still race and be just a few seconds back from the college guys.  Some photos from the race and with the awesome MTSU team.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Daegu Photo Scam

I was able to purchase an excellent high resolution photo from the WMACi World Championship website a few months ago.  The price is ridiculous - $19 per photo, but they are good quality, so I tried to buy another.  After paying $19, I was unable to download it, the website would not accept my login, and all customer service emails were returned as blocked.  There is seemingly no way to reset a password or any way to contact customer service.  They took me.  Bummer.  I could have misspelled my password but my computer remembers the password I submitted.  Doesn't work.  Tried a hundred times with many different passwords. Pissed.

300m event run

Nice day, upper 50ºs and a moderate to stiff wind blowing down the back stretch.  Third day in a row on the track so just keeping it light.  Brought out the blocks and spikes.

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, roller, drills 
2 x 50m accelerations 
50m from blocks 
Puma spikes on 
50m acceleration 
2 x 40m from blocks 
300m event run - (turn-straight-turn) 40.8 (26.2, 14.6) 
Hoka trainers on 

Starting from blocks at the 400m start in lane 6, I fell a little short of my goal of 40 for the 300, but thanks to a tailwind, I hit the 200 at about pace in 26.  The headwind hit me halfway through the turn and my 3rd 100 was a slow 14.6ish.  Call it 41, ok for this time of year, but only about 57ish pace.

I don't know what it is about running in spikes, but it really irritates my left heel issue.  Very sore immediately afterward.  Frustrating because I really wanted to do more today, but the 300m used up any level of comfort I brought to the track.  This injury is very strange.  The 300m left me with significant heel pain, but a few hours latter, time in the hot tub and some massage, felt much better.

Will take the day off tomorrow save for some stretching.  Race Sat at Vandy.  Weather looks bad, ice.
144.5 after workout.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

3 x 200, 100

Brief shake out work out today since the weather was so nice, 58º and partly sunny with a good wind blowing down the back stretch.
Hoka trainers on 
200m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m striders 
3 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 28.5, 30, 31 
100m on grass - 13.8 (beep start) 
stretches, drills
Just a touch of exhaustion on the 200s, could not have done a 4th.

Looking back at my 1/15 training week before my PR, nothing was particularly fast or abnormal - except for the highly irregular Thurs workout ... a high school team showed up to run 400m repeats, I ran the first 2 with them... one fast - 60.5, rested 90 sec, and eeked out another in 82.   That was unusual.  I remember my lungs burning after that.  I doubt I will do that tomorrow.

My feet felt ok today, wanted to do more but backed off.   I wonder about the left foot.  The pain doesn't seem in the typical plantar fasciitis place at the front of the heel, it's on the inside/bottom of the heel, leading me to believe it's a bone bruise or possibly a stress fracture.  I would think a stress fracture would hurt more, although it does hurt when I press on it hard.  I guess I should get an xray at some point.  

Weight still ok, 144.8 after workout.

Heat sheets up for Vanderbilt meet
I drew lane 6.  Lane assignments on this 300m track are really unimportant since they don't use lane 1.  The corners aren't too sharp and there are no banks, so lane selection isn't as critical as it would be on a 200m track.   I was really surprised at the level of this meet.  Slowest collegiate is around 54 flat and 30 of 35 entered are below 52.  Happy to see M70 Grady in my heat, one of 3 of us masters at the meet, he'll be shooting to run mid 60s.  My heat is ridiculously seeded.  There are a couple freshmen given NT (no seed time) because it is their first college meet, but one of them I looked up... he ran 49 in high school, the other ran 51.  The slowest collegiate is the son of world class masters sprinter Karnell, probably the fastest M50 guy in the world.  He should be racing in this meet.  He'd definitely beat his son and a host of others.  He's capable of 51-52.  I think he could easily challenge Kahlid for the M50 400m WR, but usually runs the 400H.   So my heat will be really spread out... no traffic.  The leaders will finish 40m+ ahead and Grady should be 50m+ behind.  The only negative thing about lane 6 is that I'll get passed by 3 guys before the break and I break from further outside, but I run the least amount of turn at the start.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

400m / 100s

Warmer today, 49º in Sewanee but with an intermittent wind blowing up the home straight.  I've been a bit sore from the near full speed short sprints I was doing on Monday.   Feel it in my quads.  So, I did a very light one set weight workout yesterday.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m striders 
400m - 59 (28.5, 30.5) / rest 90 sec / 100m - 15.5 
3 x 100m w/ 30 sec rest on grass  ~15 - 15.5
I set my timer for goal splits of 14,15,15,15.   My actual splits were approx 14, 14.5, 15.2, 15.3.   I ran the first 200m easy, and the last 200m with much more effort, and into a wind.  If I can cut 2 sec off my first 200m, I think I can run under 58 since today, I was running with training shoes on a wet track.  (Per usual, I take a 2 or 3 step running start when not using blocks).

The fact that I've been sore after working on my short game ... 50s - 150s with full acceleration, tells me that I need more work in this area.  It may also have been THE missing piece of my training at the end of the season, as I was really fixated on speed endurance.  Might explain my lack of progress.  The high intensity stuff is also harder on my feet.  Feeling the plantar issue a bit more today.  Need to stay away from the spikes.

Looking back to 2015 at the week I ran my PR 55.11 at Vandy, I was doing low volume that week, 700-900m workouts.  Maybe less is more.

After perseverance, my weight is almost to optimum.  144.3 after workout.  I should be good by Sat.

Going to eat a little carb, some blueberries, and curcumin (tumeric), and a NSAID.  If my soreness goes away, I may go out again tomorrow for a light shake out workout.  It's supposed to be mid 50ºs next 2 days although windy with a chance of rain.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Science of fasting

I recently watched a documentary on the benefits of dietary fasting:  "The Science of Fasting."  The video is on Youtube and Amazon prime.  Here's a link.

The concept of fasting seems extreme and obsessive, often associated with eating diseases like anorexia.  But the science says that non-obsessive fasting is not only healthy for most, but mechanisms found in our DNA show in essence, we are designed to fast.  Not only humans, but most animals.

What happens when an animal fasts?   Three distinct phases:
1) in 24 hours, glucose which fuels the body's energy is depleted
2) then protein and fats are used for energy, mostly fat
3) when 80% of the existing fat is depleted, the protein is used which begins to weaken the musculature, damaging the body.
Obviously, phase 2 burning of fat is different for different individuals.  It has been calculated theoretically, that an average healthy human can fast for weeks without danger, not that I would recommend it.   Penguins, for example can burn fat for 100 days without eating.  During this time, energy was measured to have come from mostly fat: 96%, and only 6% from the body's protein... suggesting the body innately protects protein, what muscles are made of.  Similar results were found in rats.

I've often thought that the body can be 'trained' to more effectively burn fat by calorie restriction.  In other words, the more you do it, the easier it is to get into that fat burning mode.

How is fasting healthy?  

1) Genetic studies of human liver, heart, and muscle tissue were studied by a team led by USC researchers that found that fasting can and does quickly and radically alter gene expression (gene traits).  When human cells are cut off from glucose and nutrients for just 1 to 2 days, they function differently, they enter a 'protective mode' ... a standby mode that appears to have been genetically imprinted on body mechanisms for millions of years. A reflexive way that humans and apparently most animals have evolved as a method for dealing with periods of starvation.  When in 'protective mode' cells become more resistant to disease.

So, in essence, the body is far better equipped to handle routine fasting as opposed to continuous eating.   This is illustrated by what I thought was the most compelling quote of the documentary:
"From the perspective of evolution, it is likely that survival normally involved periods of fasting.  The situation we have today, with regular meals and a well stocked fridge, is a historical anomaly.  So, it's not surprising that the body encounters difficulties when it doesn't fast and eats constantly.  Our genetic heritage appears to be less adapted to this situation than it is to fasting."
 --Dr. Andreas Michalsen, German researcher
Invoking through fasting this so-called 'protective mode,' is now being used by some to treat cancer patients under going chemotherapy.

2)  Also, calorie restrictive diets have been shown to extend life span of nearly every animal, from the amoeba to the mammal.  Study after study has proven this.  Most recently, a new study shows five days of hunger a month may reduce risk factors for aging and age-related diseases.

So, as I routinely do 24 hour fasts, in essence, eating one meal a day, may not be all that bad for me.   As I look for advantage in strength to weight ratio as an athlete, a few less pounds can help.

So, the science seems to show that hungry = healthy.  I call this, "food for thought."

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Award, Millrose

As a member of the Greater Philadelphia Track Club, I'm a member of the Mid-Atlantic USATF Association.  Yesterday, I got an email from Ed Richardson of the  Mid-Atlantic USATF Association's 'High Performance Committee' informing me I had won one of 4 'Masters Athlete of the Year Awards.'

Here are the award winners,
Mid-Atlantic USATF Association 2017: 
Open Track and Field Athlete of the Year:
 - Gianni Lawrence
 - Adjee Wilson  
Masters Track & Field Athlete of the Year:
 - Bill Yelverton (M55)
 - Lorraine Jasper (W55)
 - Ray Feick (M85)
 - Gloria Krug (W85)

Masters Club of the Year:
 - Greater Philadelphia Track Club  
Coach of the Year: - Derek Thompson

Some familiar names here, Jasper and Krug both won USATF Athlete of the Year.  W85 Krug was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame, won SEVEN world championships in Daegu, all the throwing events plus the LJ and Triple Jump.  Jasper set an American Record this year in the W55 400m.  M85 Ray Feick won a Silver in Daegu in the Javelin.  So, in good company.  Happy to see GPTC win as well.

I wonder who is Adjee Wilson, an open division award winner?  (Could it be the world class women's 800m runner, Ajee Wilson?  Probably not.  But if so, nice to have my name on the same page).


I was told that the M40 and M50 4x400m heats will be combined at the Millrose.  Since I'm going up there to run just the one race, and I have foot troubles as it is, and my last indoor meet before Nationals is the following weekend ...  I might have passed on this opportunity if I had known.   Also, I'm skipping a possible work responsibility to be there (a University audition day).  It's hard enough as a nearly 58 yr old, to race the real fast M50 guys from SWS, but now having to race guys young enough to be my son, is not what I was hoping for.  I'll be one of the oldest guys in that race.  But, hopefully I'll be healthy, and my dad will come and get to see the Amory track and field museum and one of the great traditions in T&F.

Short sprints, split 400

38º at Marist School today with a steady light breeze blowing down the back stretch.  Hazy sunshine against the concrete stadium wall created a warm spot for stretching and drills.  Did an extensive warmup today due to the cold weather, but was warm enough for shorts.  Because of the wind I ran in a long sleeve t and gloves.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 50m - ~7 
2 x 150m - 19, 19.5 
'split 400' - 300m - 45 / 1 min rest / 100m - 14.5
A low volume workout, due to the hard surface at Marist and the near full speed short sprints, hard on the feet.  The Mondo track at Marist is probably Mondo's cheapest surface, quite thin and hard in cold weather.  It reminds me of the hard dry heat damaged LSU track.  I think indoor Mondo tracks are much better due to the controlled temperature, they retain their elasticity.

I pushed everything fairly hard except the 300.  The 150s I tried to run at race pace or better, which made me feel I wouldn't be able to sustain that pace for 400m.

I'm eating well, but am not near a scale.  Hope to be race weight by Sat.

Friday, January 5, 2018

long sprints

A hectic day, running around due to car troubles, I finally got to the track late in the afternoon.  Sun low in the sky, mostly cloudy about 25º with light winds.  Just warm enough to run in shorts.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m, 300m, 100m w/ 2 min rest - 46, 48, 16 
400m - 60.3 (29.3, 31) 2 min rest 
100m - 14.5
I had intended to run a faster 3 x 300m w/ 2 min rest avg 48, but I copped out on the last one as I saw that it would have been 51+.   So, instead of beating myself up to run a slow 300, I rested in my car about 15 min and got warm.  Then I went out with the goal of running an even split 60 400m.  I missed it by a step.  Not bad for the end of a workout, in freezing weather in training shoes.  I think I'll be ready to race in a week.  

I got confirmation for the Vandy meet on 1/13.  Kind of hate to start there because it's such a great track and I'm no where near peak fitness, but I might be able to break 58 and 'run my age'.   That's the goal.  

Here is a list of my first indoor 400s of the season and (/) indoor season best (SB) with track type:
2012:  58.93 (TSU - flat 200m track) / SB: 55.90 (IU - 200m banked mondo)
2014:  58.94 (MTSU - flat 250m track) / SB: 56.48 (Boston - 200m banked mondo)
2015:  57.29 (UIndy - flat 200m mondo) / SB-PR: 55.11 (Vandy - 300m mondo)
2016:  57.36 (TSU) / SB: 55.22 (Albuquerque - 200m banked mondo)
2017:  57.56 (MTSU) / SB: 55.17 (Daegu - 200m banked mondo)
So, just to break 58 would be good in a first meet.  Interestingly, my indoor best was faster than my outdoor season best 4 out of 5 seasons.  (I lost the '13 season to an injury).  Improvement from first meet to season PR was always over 2 seconds (2.44 sec avg).

Feet are holding up ok thanks to the brand new Hoka Clifton 3s.  No K-tape.   It makes a big difference to have new shoes.  Determined to drop a few pounds this week so staying under 1000 cal a day for a while.  146.1 after workout.  

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hoka Clifton training shoes

My foot issues have been my limiting factor in training this season and for most sprinters, the Hoka Clifton would seem like an odd choice to train in, but they've saved my feet.  These have been the go to training shoes for distance runners, but they're light, soft and flexible.

If there ever was a revolutionary training shoe, it is the Hoka Clifton 1 which I reviewed here.   These came out in the '14-'15 season, and I first purchased them in spring '16 as they were becoming rare as the previous year's model.  I had always trained Saucony Triumph ISOs, but in comparison the Clifton 1's are a whopping 3 ounces lighter and considerably better cushioned while still very flexible.  Unfortunately, the foam in the Clifton 1s was unprotected by rubber at the very point at which I strike the ground in a sprint, under my little toe, so they wore quickly.  I wish I had bought multiple pairs of these, now everybody is screaming for these remarkable shoes to be reissued, to no avail.   The subsequent versions were never as good, heavier but at least more durable.  The Hoka Clifton 1 is now a legend.  I found one in my size on Ebay, a women's model, and a bit worn but usable.  I bid $25 but the offer has not been accepted.  One reviewer said that the new Nike Vapor 4% - the marathon shoe that Nike developed for the sub 2 project, reminded him of the Clifton 1.   That shoe sold out rapidly at a cost of $250.

From Left: oldest to newest - Clifton 1, Clifton 2, Clifton 3, Clifton 3, Clifton 3

The Clifton 2 was heavier, narrower and not as good.  It wore quickly as well.  The Clifton 3 is wider and yet heavier, I think about 2 ounces heavier than the Clifton 1 in my size.  The Clifton 1 was crazy light, 7.5 ounces, but the Clifton 3 is still light for this level of padding... about 9.5 oz in my size. About an ounce lighter than the Saucony's I used to train in, and the Clifton's are more protective, more comfortable, but still flexible.  The Clifton 4s I ordered and sent back.  Heavier and stiffer, not really suitable for a sprinter, so I bought a third pair of Clifton 3s while I still can.

So, 5 pairs of Cliftons in 20 months.  I think it was May '16 I got my first pair.  The Clifton 1's showed significant wear after only 2 months so I got the Clifton 2s in the summer '16 and they saw me through some tough training for Perth in Nov. '16.  Got my first pair of Clifton 3s at the beginning of '17.  They saw me through training for Daegu in March.  I got a second pair over the summer and my third pair last week.   The first pair is still serviceable but I'll use them for gym and maybe some road hill running.  The upper right side of especially the right shoe is what wears first, as you can see here:

The long term foot issue I have is with my right foot, arthritis in the talonavicular joint and a bone spur above it.  The left foot plantar issue is finally seeming to go away.  During '16, it was under the ball of the foot - metatarsalgia, but more recently, the heel.  I'm happy I'm still able to sprint although I can not train in spikes as much as I'd like, when I do, I pay for it.  During my first 2 seasons in '11 and '12, I trained in spikes 80-90% of the time.  Now it's about 10% of the time.

My Clifton 1s are now just used as house slippers, Clifton 2s for short term walking and casual shoes, oldest pair of Clifton 3s are gym and hill shoes, and the last 2 pair of Clifton 3s are still in service on the track.

I guess you could say I'm a supinator, but most sprinters supinate as they contact the ground on the outside of the foot first.  You can see this in any video.

I'm certainly curious about other trainers but I'm really happy with these Clifton 3s.   Hope the Clifton 5 is an improvement or I may have to find something else.  Sure would like to try the Nike Vapor 4% but no shoe is worth $250.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

300s, hills

Keeping the volume low, I did everything hard today.  29º, sunny, and very little wind at a very quiet Sewanee track today.   Back to shorts and t-shirt.

Just out of the box, I got my new orange pair of Hoka Clifton 3's, last year's model on discount.  This is my fifth pair of Hoka Clifton's purchased since spring '16.  Third pair of 3's.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m - 41.8 
'split 400'  300m - 43 / rest 1 min / 100m - 15 
3 x 100m hill sprints - 18-19

300s were straight - turn - straight.  The first one was really hard, pushed the whole way, not a realistic 400m pace as I felt a bit of tying up toward the end.  Splits were about 13.5/14/14.3.  Second 300 felt much better, better form, not as hard but a second slower.   After this, I put my older blue Hokas on for some sprints up Roarkes Cove Rd.

Vanderbilt Meet
As I suspected, I was able to register for the meet without coach's permission likely due to a flaw in the system.   Coach Keith emailed me today, asking me how I got in.  I replied:
I entered through DirectAthletics.  It looked as if entires were open and since I've run in this meet several times, I assumed it was ok.
Still OK?

Actually, it was probably because instead of registering as 'unattached', I registered as 'USA Masters' under 'team'.   I paid $39 to run this one race in this meet, and the website never refunds money.  It would be such a hassle to refund my money, I'm expecting he'll let me run.

Fellow M57 masters, Duane is trying to get in and he got a response telling him he'd hear something Monday.  Usually, if they don't let you in, they don't even respond... how's that for courtesy?

As I told Duane, there are some coaches who welcome masters athletes, but Coach Keith is generally not one of them ... and he controls the best tracks in the state.  I'm thankful that I've been able to race there both indoor and outdoor several times, so he's not completely unwelcoming, just generally ambivalent.  Vandy's indoor track is the site of my masters 400m PR 55.11.   That was a good day, also ran 24.80 in the 200m.  Not to say I'm in shape to do it now, but I've always run decent 400s there and never finished dead last, although I did finish last in the 200m last yr.   You would think coaches like Keith and others would be more supportive of masters because it supports the sport.  Last year, there were 3 kids from UT Martin that ran 58+ in the 400, 2 were well over a minute.  Seems like there could be a spot for me.

Weekend after the Vandy meet on Jan 20, there is the Samford meet at the Crossplex.  Big meet, I ran ok 56.66 last year and finished 70th of 72 competitors.  I just registered for it again, 400m only.  Strangely, no fee was required to register.

Still not losing much weight.  Going to resort to more austere measures.  Doing something every day, alternating track, weights, every other day.  Feet are holding up OK.  Keeping the volume low and not training in spikes.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

photo and meet schedule

I've not committed to a full season schedule, but I did register to run the 400m only at the Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational Sat. Jan 13.   It will be not only a test of my 400m fitness, but a test to see how well my feet will hold up to the stress of racing.

Oddly, I was able to go through the registration process with no permission code required for the Vandy meet.  It's possible that all 3 of the Vandy meets are set up this way.  I've seen it before that this happens sometimes by mistake, they set the registration up online without the filter of a coach's permission code, then they change it closer to the meet.  Not sure what is going on here.  Maybe my registration didn't get flagged because I entered under a team name:  "USA Masters" ... instead of as 'unattached.'

Last Aug., my old friend and former student Jon stopped by on what was my last workout of the season.  He's a pro photographer and he got this detailed B/W photo of me settling in the blocks.  Looks like I was rocking back and forth just before blasting off on an event run from the 400m start.

Here it is in full resolution.  Click on photo to see full image.
August 8, 2017.  Sewanee Coughlin Track, University of the South

Monday, January 1, 2018

News Years Day 2018

Very cold but sunny, 16º with a windchill of about 5º on the Sewanee track.  This was a very important workout, first time on the track in a week due to foot issues.  The news is good.  Feet were ok, not a particularly fast or hard workout but the left foot plantar issue was much improved and the more recent right foot issue was certainly tolerable.  I think this was due to a needed break, the hot tub treatments since I've been home, and a small dose of Meloxicam (NSAID) the night before and morning of.  

I warmed up at the indoor track before I hit the outdoor track.  It could have been worse if there was no sun or snowing.  Nevertheless, this probably will be the coldest workout of the season.  Next time out it might be close to 30º on Wed. Wanting to get back into the every other day regime, I just did 1100m today.

Hoka trainers on  
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:44 
'split 500' - 400m - 63 / 1 min rest / 100m - 15.5

This is the first time I've trained without the left foot plantar taped and it felt fine.  I'm happy to be back on the track although the right foot still hurts a bit, but no more than usual.  Much improved since the injury in FL a week ago.   Except for that injury, no serious holiday damage.  I'm about the same weight as when I left.  145.8 lbs after workout.