Saturday, June 30, 2018

Weights, bike, rest

I did weights and a bike ride today.  After 6 straight days of running, my feet finally got too beat up to continue.  I hope to be back out tomorrow as weather gets a bit cooler in the next 2 days.  Very hot today in Sewanee, 87º with a dewpont of 75º.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Tempo 200s, sled

Remarkably cool weather in Sewanee today, rained all day, temperature was in the 60ºs all day but cleared by evening.  Track was soggy but at least it was cool, about 68º.

I finally registered for Nationals, at the last minute.  Put my best times from '17 as seed times.

This is my 6th day in a row of running and I may need to take a break.  So, I kept the volume down today, but still got a good workout in.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 29, 30, 30.5, 30.5 (avg 30) 
6 x 60m 105 lb sled pulls 
1 x 60 w/ 340 lbs each side - glute machine  
ham curls, leg extensions
The most fun you can have in 5 min... doing this tempo workout.  By the last one, I was totally lactic and it was a good simulation of the end of a 400m.

The sled pulls with harness were not too hard once the sled gets moving.  I actually think its harder to push the sled than pull it.  Probably better for form to pull it.

This was my 3rd tempo workout in a row.  Both mentally and physically hard.  Looking back, I didn't do this workout much before Daegu, but I did do it a lot in '15, and my times are similar.  That's why I think I can still run a 55 in the 400m.  By next week I should be able to get the spikes on and run fast.  I still haven't run anything faster than a 14ish 100m pace.  But, I was only running that pace when I got injured.  It's been 2 weeks now since the ham strain and it totally feels recovered.  My body is holding up well to the training but my right foot was a bit more sore than usual.  The plantar issue in my left foot seems to be pretty much gone.

Still exceptionally light, 139.8 lbs after workout.  I think my body fat % is pretty low, maybe as low as 10 or 11%.

The early deadline for Nationals has passed and no Corey, Ron, Don, or Marcus.  I do recall that Corey registered late last time at the last minute.  So far, 14 in the 400m and 12 in the 200m.  So far, I'm top seed in the 400m, 3rd in the 200m behind Alan and Rob.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

4,3,2,3,4 tempo ladder

It was an interesting day.  On the way to the track, I stopped at Carlos's art barn to see some friends and hear a poetry reading.  A severe storm hit and the hail was so loud on the metal roof that conversation was impossible.  After the rain slowed, I learned from a local teacher that the local SAS private school just had it's track resurfaced!  It is the closest track to my house.  As the rain slowed about 6:45 pm, I drove to the school to look at the new track.  I went out and took a photo in the light rain.  It is great!  Possibly faster than the college track, and it doesn't seem to hold water like the college track.   However, I still prefer the soft college track because of the surrounding trees, available bathrooms.  The SAS school is pretty exposed.  One of the highest points on the mountain, no trees near by and no bathrooms, no real shelter.  Still a viable option.  How lucky I am... to have 2 decent tracks within a few miles that almost no one ever uses.  I almost started my workout at SAS but it was still raining lightly and I was afraid of lightning.

I got to the Sewanee track as the rain stopped.  There were angry skies and thunder, like being in the eye of a hurricane.   I warmed up quickly and thought about doing one hard 800m blast at full effort in spikes to see what I could do.   But, instead I opted for the killer 1600m ladder workout.  Ladders going down are not anywhere as difficult as ending on an upward ladder, especially a limited rest tempo ladder.  That's why this one was a bitch.

Hoka trainers on 
380m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 64.5 
   5 min rest 
300m - 47.5 
   5 min rest 
200m - 29.5 
   5 min rest 
300m - 49.5 
   5 min rest 
400m - 70.5

5 min rest is fairly generous... until you get to the last 400m.  Then it is really a test to not bail on that last 400m.  It knocked me to my knees.  I've only done this workout once before, 2 years ago, and I ran almost identical times today.

Afterward I did one set of 3 ham rehab exercises.

Tomorrow, I'm supposed to get in the new generation of Altra Escalante 1.5s.  Dave M., who owns a shoe store recommended the Altra Duo.  I may send the Escalantes back because the Duo is better padded and probably a better upper.

Lately, been eating main meal about noonish and then light after workout.  Sometimes just a protein shake and some almond butter after workout.  Typical main meal is fish and kimchi.   139.9 lbs after workout.

In the eye of the hurricane...

SAS School ... New track!  

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tempo 300s, sled

76º and very moist with showers in Sewanee.  I did my first set of tempo 300s since the injury and they went well.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 49, 48.5, 49.5, 49.5 (49.1 avg) 
4 x 75m sled pulls - 60 lb sled 
2 x 40m sled pulls - 105 lb sled

The tempo 300s were the fastest set of the season by a small margin, and comparable to the sets I was doing before Daegu, so I am in shape.  Right in the middle of my set, the kids tennis camp came into the stadium.  It gave me an out to quit, but I finished the workout.  It wasn't too bad, but hard.  Fortunately, it started raining and the kids went away.

I hooked up the sled to the harness and did 4 x 75m sprints on the track.  The sled has more resistance on the track than on the wet turf.   However, when I put the weight up to 105 lbs, I moved to the turf.  Wasn't too bad.  The longer sled sprints on the track were tough.  It was almost dark when I finished.

As usual, I went to the gym afterward to do the ham prehab exercises.   Looking forward to pushing the speed a bit more, conservatively each day a bit faster.   At least a week before any event runs.  I feel pretty fit and 4 weeks to Nationals.

139.9 lbs after workout.

105 lb sled

Monday, June 25, 2018

800, 400, 300, sled

Been on the track or on the hill past 4 days.  Beautiful night in Sewanee, 73º and moist, track wet from afternoon rain.  Creeping up the speed on these long sprints. 
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:29 (73, 76) 
400m - 66 
300m - 47 
5 x 45m weight sled pulls w/ 60 lbs
The 800m was the fastest I've run in a while and didn't kill me.  Felt easier then either of the slower I ran yesterday.  I started at about 17-18 100m speed.  I then did a relaxed 400m in just less than 17 sec 400m pace, then did a 300m in just less than 16 sec pace.  Slowing pushing the speed. 

I tried out the sled harness with the sled + 20 lb plate.  It was light enough to sprint 40+m with a good forward lean.  I did 5 x 45m.   I think this will be a good training tool.

I went to the weight room after and did my eccentric ham exercises.  It feels fine, normal...  should be able to sprint full speed fairly soon, but I'm being cautious. 

Still light... 139.9 lbs after workout. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

more 800s

Back in Sewanee, 76º and very humid... but not as bad as FL.   Today was the first day the ham felt just about normal.  Only a slight tinge of soreness but it feels fine and will probably be able to sprint race-speed in a week and do tempo sprint intervals in a few days.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 800m - 2:31 (75/76), 2:35 (75/80) 
200m strider

Afterward, I got to the weight room and did a set of seated leg curl negatives, glute ham raises, and kettlebell swings.

I really hate 800s.  I really didn't want to run another after that first one.  But I did.  These were not all out efforts, but certainly hard effort.  Reminds me to not attempt an 800 race but then again, many of the world's top M55 400m runners are also top 800 guys.  There's a new US M55 guy, Peter,  who is one of the fastest M55 800m guys in the world (2:10) and has signed up for the 400m at Nationals.  He's got some serious foundation, having run a 17min+ in the 5k.  Big strong dude.

Anyway, I've weathered this injury pretty well.  I feel in good shape, the hills yesterday in FL gave my butt a good workout.  I really regret missing the TN Games because I thought I was really moving toward a peak, and the track where they held it, was just resurfaced a wonderful blue.  I also was worried Stan would run a faster time than I have run but no, he ran 57.27.... respectable but slower than my last 2 races.

Today, I reached a milestone:  first time under 140 lbs in possibly years139.7 lbs after workout.  I think this is due to both the good diet, low carbs, and the efficiency of my digestive system which quickly and efficiently processes food, and disposes of waste.  I credit my digestive health to eating more kimchi, a real great probiotic and a tasty side.

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Still in FL.  90º, dewpoint 77º, heat index 98º.   I ran hills today on pavement in my parents golf cart community.  Not as steep a hill as I usually run, but about 170m.  Walk down.
Hoka trainers on, stretches, drills 
10 x 170m hill sprints
Normally, this workout wouldn't be too bad but the heat was pretty stifling.  No shade except small spots at the top and bottom.  The first 3 were easy, and I could still feel the hamstring issue when running at a good clip.  It felt better as I went on.  Probably rest tomorrow. 

141.0 lbs after workout

Friday, June 22, 2018

Back on track, 800s

In Florida visiting, working out at the Village High School track.  Mid 80º very high humidity, dewpoint 77º, and partly cloudy.   Going through my drills, I never felt the ham issue at all except when doing B skip drills with fast leg.  I felt it slightly when running, but very little. 
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 800m - 2:38, 2:42 
100m strider
To add to the discomfort of the heat, the leader of the local track club told me to wear a shirt... so odd.  I guess club or track rules?  I found it bizarre.  I hid under the stadium in between runs to take off my shirt off and cool down. 

Like Alan said, I think it's going to be another week before I can safely run fast.  But at least now I can do foundation intervals.  800s really suck, but they're good for me.  Tomorrow, I may run the local hill, not very steep, but this is FL. 

Staying pretty light, 143 after breakfast. 

I thought is theory it would be good to race an 800 in a few weeks, but after running a few in training, my desire to race an 800 is waning. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Back to the track, a little

Beautiful night on the Sewanee track, mid 70ºs clear.  I wanted to test out the legs, now 4 days after the ham injury.  I found it still wasn't ready to really run past a fast jog.  But, I got a decent workout in afterward on the stairs and weights.
Hoka trainers on 
250m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 50m 
400m fast jog 
seated leg curl 
glute ham raises 
21 x Fowler Center stairs 
At least I was able to get a good stretch in and a good sweat, burn some calories.  It'll be better tomorrow.  I feel it mostly when running and doing 'fast leg' type drills.  When I do high knees drills, I don't feel it at all.  Still think I'll be able to do some meaningful foundation workouts by next week, maybe by Friday.   141.7 lbs after workout.

One thing that made my night was meeting the Sewanee Tennis coach, John S., who was there walking the track.  I was finishing up, sweating, shirtless... we chatted about college DIII sports and Masters Athletics, about his philosophy and long career at Sewanee.  He asked me about my training and I told him of my upcoming events.  Then he said: "so, you compete in your age group, what 35-39?"

Heh... I shit you not. He said that. After telling him my age, I found out Coach John is one year my junior, almost 57.

Monday, June 18, 2018

more stairs, bike, resistance

Day 3 of the ham rehab and it's going well.  May try to do some light running tomorrow.   Did the usual warmup and massage before heading out.  Did pretty much the same as yesterday except less weights and added a sprint interval session on the stationary bike.
Hoka trainers on 
seated leg curl 
leg extension  
leg press 
kettle swings 
20 x stairs at Fowler Center 
Stationary bike - 10 x 15 sec sprint w/ 45 sec pedal rest in between
Swimming and aqua running

I think it's ok to feel a little pain during such a workout, slightly stressing the injury I think speeds healing.  Definitely better than yesterday and I expect it to be ready for at least a little jogging or easy strides tomorrow.  We'll see.  

I was thinking about racing an 800m in 4 weeks.  I think it would be good for me and give me something to do in July.   

Sunday, June 17, 2018

stairs, bike, resistance

Injury update:  not too bad.  I should be running in a few days, back to full speed training in 10-14 days.   There maybe a small amount of bruising but no serious tissue damage or tearing.  It's getting better by the hour and I'm doing a very active recovery regime.  Couldn't be that bad since the day after, yesterday, I rode 15 miles on the bike including some hill climbing.

My active recovery regime goes like this:  1) hot tub jets on the injury, 2) static stretching, 3) massage with Deep Blue ointment with hard stick, 4) workout including eccentric resistance.

Hoka trainers on 
light stretching 
seated leg curl 
leg extension 
glute ham raise 
glute machine 
20 x Fowler center stairs (23 steps) 
dynamic stretches 
several mile bike ride 

The stair running was a real good sweat.   Interesting that running stairs, even aggressively doesn't hurt at all, yet running on the flat still does a little. 

What I did today will probably be my regime for tomorrow too.  May try to run slowly Tue or Wed with a wrap.

141.3 lbs after workout.

Masters Rankings

I was hoping to post some better times and go after the 25 yr old TN state record in the 200m next weekend, but this injury screwed me out of the opportunity.  Now, the Europeans are having their National Championships and they are beginning to gear up for worlds, I expect my rankings to begin to sink.  Alan ran 24.1 in the 200m, the French Nat'l champ ran 24.88.  Looks like Benoit ran 57.02 winning the French Natl's in the 400m.  Waiting to see what the Brits and Germans do.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Setback: Hamstring

This is a first.  I have never injured a hamstring in 8 yrs of masters training.  This was inexplicable.   After racing 3 weekends in a row with no trouble... very unexpected.  This will put me out of the TN Senior Games.  I was really looking forward to it and have fought very hard to get in my present shape.

I don't think it's too bad, it was the type of pull that feels like a 'cramp' not a 'pop,'  I know this injury and what to do.  I had one similar to this in 2012 on the left.   I had a slight tweek last spring, but it only kept me out 2 weeks.   This one is on lower right, lateral side, about 3" above the knee.  No sign of swelling, roughness, or scaring.  Quite sore but again, not as bad as the one I had June 10, 2012, which turned black and blue a week later.  Looking back at that injury, I was able to come back and run a 56.61 400m 5 weeks later at the TN Sr. Games, and 3 weeks after that, win Silver and run 55.46 at Nationals. 

Right now, there are 6 weeks before Nationals which I think is plenty of time for a complete recovery.  I had even thought I would race in 3 weeks but probably safer not, just won't know for a few days. 

I felt really great tonight, super light, wonderful warm weather, after a full warmup, I put the spikes on wanted to do an even split 400 at 57ish.  My plan was to run 14 sec 100s to the 300m mark (42) - 2 seconds slower than race speed, then go all out and try to bring that last 100 in at under 15.  If I could get it under 15, I could run under 57.   I hit the 200 just over 28 but hit the 300 right at pace- 42, I felt like I had a great shot at running under 57, and 30m down the straight, I felt it, took one more stride than shut it down.   Felt really like a cramp.  I have NEVER strained a hamstring like this running a 400m.  Ever.  Once a slight tweek at the start, but not like this.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 50m strides 
Puma spikes on 
100m stride - 14.5 
300m - 42 even split (injury at 330m)

I rolled it, jogged around a bit, yea it hurt.  Whined on the phone to my parents.  Yes, I injured my ham.

I thought about what kind of workout I should do today.  Tempo, event run, accelerations... etc... If I had done a standard tempo workout this would NOT have happened, but I just wanted to test myself and run fast.  Usually this type of thing happens when sprinting a 100 or coming out of blocks, never before at the end of a 400.  This was crazy.

Even with the brevity of this workout, not many calories burned, I weighed near a season low of 140.6 lbs afterward.  I'm definitely in shape and have no intention of squandering it.  It's back on the bike, running foundation 800s, for a while.  Eccentric prehab/rehab exercises, Graston massage, stretching, I know exactly what to do.

When this happened to me with the hip flexor in '15, I couldn't run fast for 8 weeks.  In that time I got a helluva lot of foundation done and even raced an 800m.  That foundation helped my win my first 400m outdoor title in 55.29... so I'm optimistic.

I think I'll be back on the track in less than a week.  It's not that bad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

double session: 150 tempo, 3-2-1 tempo

Rain showers and cooler weather got me on the track this late morning.

First session:
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 150m w/ 30 sec rest - 21, 22, 22 
3 x 150m w/ 30 sec rest - 20.5, 21.5, 23.5
Tried to run close to 400m race pace, which would be about 20, but that was too ambitious.  The first set wasn't too bad but the last set was killer.  I was in extreme discomfort by end of the last rep, rigging up.  It was as hard as any interval set even though each set lasts just over 2 minutes.  Now, that's a lot of good work done in a very small timeframe.  That 30 sec rest is gone in a flash.  Was happy that it drizzled a little during my last set.

Second session:
After lunch (protein shake, egg sandwich), I rested, rolled my legs, soaked in the hot tub, and massaged my feet to get ready for session 2.  It was really nice, quiet, 71º at sunset in Sewanee.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m - 41.8 / 90 sec rest / 200m - 29 / 90 sec rest / 100m - 14 
250m neg split - 36 (15, 14, 7)
I got it done.  The 200m after the 300m, which was fast - near race pace - was the most difficult.  I was happy to run a 14 100m after those 2 long sprints with 90 sec rest.

I want to really focus on the TN State Games 10 days away.  I want to taper a bit next week so I may even cram in some consecutive days later this week, depending on how I feel.  I've not run hills or done weights in a while, but I bought a training harness so I can work on sprint power by dragging some weights or the sled.  There is a weight sled at the track that has been there all spring.  Hopefully I'll be able to use it.  That and some even runs, neg split 400s, tempo, etc...

142.7 lbs after workout.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

split 700, 400

Raining at the Marist track on Monday, but wonderfully cool, about 72º which for Atlanta in mid June is great.   I don't mind training in light rain and knowing my times will be slower because of traction (not in spikes) as long as it isn't too heavy, windy or a threat of lightning.  A storm that hit 2 hrs prior to my workout supplied an enormous amount of close lightning strikes, 3 within 100m of the house where I was staying.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
split 700m: 500m - 79.5 (62.5, 17) / rest 90 sec / 200m - 32.5 
split 400m: 300m - 44.5 / rest 60 sec / 100m - 14.5
The split 700m was brutal, but not as painful as it could have been if it were hot.  I needed a good amount of recovery before doing my last set.

I spoke to Alan on Sunday, he's going to Spain but not sure if he'll be healthy.  He told me Jim and Lonnie aren't going.  I thought Jim said he was but Lonnie just had surgery so he's out.  I think Don intends to go.  Alan said he's not staying for relays which is unfortunate.  Marcus seemed sure he was going but has yet to race since Penn, and now most of the opportunities have past.  Don't know about Rob, Corey, Ron, or McDuffrey.  Not many have signed up for Spokane but on time entry is still open for 2+ more weeks.

I'd like to workout today, Tues but I really need to respect my recovery, maybe just bike, and do resistance.  A nice cool moist pattern is in the offing for the next 2 days, high temperatures not expected to be over 81º.

Alan said I shouldn't do a lot of volume, less is more.  He suggested workouts like 2 x 200m near full effort with very short rest like 30 sec.  That is similar to one I've done, the 3 x 150 with 30 sec rest.

I still think there is a place in my workouts for over distance, long split intervals, tempo.  I also think the neg/even split 400s are good to work on the second half of my race, or 400s with the first 200m 2 seconds off race pace (28). 

Still light, 142.6 this morning.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Meet report - USATF GA Assoc. Masters

No Gain

400m - 56.82
200m - 25.32

A combined difference of less than 0.2 sec off what I ran last week.  I guess maybe it's hard to improve when running three 400 and two 200m races in 14 days.  Still, disappointed.

with David (M48), he got me by a tenth 
In the 400m, I was racing M48 David, a guy who beat me 2 weeks ago by a half second so I tried too hard to make the split up on him too soon, so I suffered in the end.  Didn't feel as comfortable as last week.  I'm going to have to be more patient.

I almost got to race Emma in the 400m, 100/200 W45 Champion in Perth, running in her last meet as a W45... she turns 50 this week.  They were going to put her in with the guys since no other woman showed up, but at the last minute, a lady showed up and she got in a separate heat.  Good thing, because she would have beaten an M42 guy in our heat.

The 200m in lane 5, I had David to my outside in lane 6 and we fought the whole way down the stretch.  I think that may have caused me to tighten up a bit near the end.  Pissed that I ran 0.02 slower than last week.  Just a slightly better finish would have made the difference.

In both my races I raced M51 Karnell, I think he's the fastest M50 in the world right now and could conceivably win world and national championships in 5 events if he wanted to: all the sprints and hurdles.  He put on an awesome display:  52.46 / 11.31 / 23.17.  11.31 100m after running a 400m!

I saw Rohan for the first time in a while.  He beat me in the 200 at SE masters 7 years ago.  Good to see him back.  He was the only guy in my age group, he ran 26.1.  (I went back and looked, I ran 25.34 at SE Masters in 2011 ... my first yr of Masters track, faster today 7 yrs later). 

It was a really low turnout meet, only one heat of everything.  Hard to even know anything was going on if you were driving by.  By 1 pm for the 200m, it was 92º+ with a blazing sun.  I stayed to cheer on a 71 yr old guy run the last event of the meet by himself in hellishly hot conditions - the 2000m steeplechase, almost no one was there by that point.  Gotta love this sport.

My feet are getting beat up so I need to rest today and hopefully be back out tomorrow night.  My next meet is 2 weeks away and I hope to get a good training cycle in leading up to that meet and make some gains.  That meet has the 400 and 200 on Sat and Sunday, and I will have some really good competition with Stanley in the 400 who is now M55, 2 yrs ago he ran 55.55 to break my state record.

Just shows me the way to improvement will not be easy.  Guess it never is.

Julia, me, Emma, Rohan, Karnell

Friday, June 8, 2018

pre race day shake out and thoughts

Very warm in Sewanee, mid 80ºs at midday and sunny.  Just went for a brief warmup and shake out.  Yesterday, when I got on the track and started running my warmup, was feeling achy but after drills and two hard long sprints, I walked away feeling great.   Funny how that works.

Today I noticed the feet a bit sore but everything ok.
Hoka trainers on 
warmup, stretches, drills, light resistance bands 
50m strider 
200m - 28.5 (14, 14.5)
I wanted to run the last 200m of my 400m race at a pace that would bring me a PR.  Now, if I only could do that after a 26 opening 200m, I'd be in business.  I ran just one, felt ok.

USATF GA Masters/Open Association meet
I decided to go to Rome, GA for this meet instead of the closer meet in Huntsville - the AL State Games.  My reasoning is that even though it is almost twice as far, it is a smaller meet, mainly open and masters, has just one or 2 heats of everything.  The Huntsville meet is an all ages meet and the last time I did it, there was sooo much waiting and standing around.

I have good competition from younger masters.  In the 400m, I have Karnell, who is arguably the fastest M50 man in the world, he ran 23.1 last week in the 200 and has run 11.3 in the 100 this season.  Crazy fast ... about my speed, when I was 18.  He has a legitimate chance to break the M50 400m WR tomorrow, my guess is he'll run at least 52 low, a WL, so I won't be seeing much of him.  It sure would be great if we both ran WL times in the same race.  Easier for me.   I have lane 3 and M48 David is in lane 6.  He ran 56 low last meet and has always been a bit faster than me, so to see him is good.  Lane 3 isn't too bad.  The last time I ran 55 outdoor, I did it from lane 2.   In the 200m, I'm in 5, David is in 6.  He ran 25 flat last week so it will be good to see him in front of me.  Weather looks ok, low 80ºs for the 400 and approaching 90º for the 200, 30% chance of showers, little wind.

The problem with this meet is that the 400m is scheduled for 10 am, which is 9 am my time and is 2 hrs away.  So to get to the track an hour early, I have to leave no later than 6 am, and be up to eat at 5am.  I guess I'll sleep well after it's over.

I ran pretty well last weekend, and it's hard to keep improving 3 weeks in a row, and one race does not make a season, so... I don't want to be too disappointed if I can't improve.  I haven't had long training cycles in between races.  However, I feel like I'm capable of improvement if I execute.  I was probably more fit and capable in my first Nationals in '11 but executed so poorly in the finals of both my 400 and 200, I finished out of the medals with substandard times.  So, it's more than just being fit.  Sometimes you hit it, sometimes you miss.

One thing is for sure, my weight is very good.  My diet has been really good.  Eating mostly fish and kimchi, which is a great combination as it passes through very quickly.   Also nuts/nut butters, water melon, blueberries, an occasional protein shake... and just started eating egg sandwiches and toast.  I sometimes have to force myself to eat because I am never hungry before at least mid afternoon.  Today, I'm 142.9 lbs after dinner.  Could I be stronger, lighter, faster?  Yes, and I intend to be.  It's an interesting hobby.

Waiting for that cloud to give me some shade

Thursday, June 7, 2018

speed - event run

Warmer today in Sewanee, about 79º at 6pm and no wind.  A nice evening to run fast.  I brought the blocks and my black pair of Puma meet spikes.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, dynamic stretches, drills, more drills 
2 x 50m striders 
30m from blocks 
Puma spikes on 
2 x 30m from blocks 
300m event run from blocks - 40.2 (26.1, 14.2) 
200m (w/ 3 step flying start) - 24.87

I hit my splits pretty well in the event run.  Felt ok, but hard to estimate how I'd feel 80m later.  Now, I would think I should be able to run the last 100m in less than 16, but all that depends on the last 40m, and making sure I don't rig.

12 min later, I ran the second turn again from the 200m start.  I timed it with the stop watch and was surprised to see it was sub 25.   Makes me think I should be able to break 25 this season with a good start.  It felt strong and relaxed... and even more odd, I didn't feel it was 100% effort.

I have to believe that my speed is partly due to my lightness.  Again, 140.7 lbs after workout.   Since I've been racing every weekend, #3 coming up, I've not been in the weight room at all.  Just a few resistance bands and an ab routine, mostly just sprinting.  Specificity.

I'll go out tomorrow mid day to do a warmup and a strider, but to race on Sat, I have to get up at 5am which really sucks.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Recovery day, biking, shoe review: Altra Escalante

Another dry beautiful day in Sewanee.  A little warmer today, upper 70ºs.   Needed a recovery day off the track to day so I rode the bike about 13-14 miles.

I didn't mention this but I went out last Friday, to warm up and try out a new pair of shoes: the Altra Escalante.   This shoe has received much praise and awards among running publications.  I have to say, it is completely different from any shoe I've ever worn.  The shape is strikingly different.  It seems to conform better than any shoe to the natural shape of the foot.  It is noticeably different shaped from any running shoe I've ever worn.  It is particularly great for someone who strikes on the outside of the foot like most sprinter / middle distance runners do.  

It's a zero drop shoe, unlike my Hokas which have about a 5mm drop.  It seemed nice and light, nicely flexible.  Lacing up was difficult because the knit upper seemed to create a lot of friction on the laces and the minimalist upper was a bit stretchy.  Combined with a exceptionally roomy forefoot, it just seemed really hard to get it tight.  It seemed to run large but that is how it's designed.  Also has a very minimalist heel.  It was super comfortable.  

Doing a few straight away striders, it felt great... the unique 5 toe sole provided an unexpectedly good traction grip on the track and the 'ego foam' sole was very bouncy and responsive.  Almost like the Clifton 1s .  It made me want to run fast.    

But... there was a deal breaker.  Regrettably, I had to return them.

I tried to run an easy 31 sec pace 200m and the shoe just did not stay firm to the foot.  It was just too sloppy.  Obviously, this shoe was never designed for track sprints on turns.  It's basically the upper that is the problem.  It's great if you're just running in a straight line, but doesn't cut it on turns.  

They make a more cushioned shoe with a different upper, the "Torin 3.5" has a mesh upper option ... which is said to offer a better forefoot lockdown.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same 'ego foam' that the Escalante has.  Their new version max cushioned "Paradigm 4.0" does have the 'ego foam' but is a heavier shoe with a knit upper.  

It's really too bad Altra doesn't have an Escalante with a mesh upper option ... or a Torin with the 'ego foam' sole.  Close but no cigar.  

I may try the mesh Torin 3.5.  If it has the same shape as the Escalante, it may be worth checking out.  Too bad it doesn't have the 'ego foam'.  

Altra seems to listen to customers, I just read that a new Escalante 1.5 with an improved upper is coming out in July '18.  I think I'll wait for it.  

Check out the cutting edge:  Nike's newest elite shoe - the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite Flyprint.  A 3D printed shoe, only available to the pros.  I thought the Vaporfly 4% was expensive at $250.  These are said to cost $600.  Promo video.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Double session

The weather has taken a beautiful turn here in Sewanee... lower humidity and cool nights.  Mid 50ºs at night for the next few, and highs today in the 70ºs.   73º at noon on the track, light breeze.  Did my standard tempo 300s, then a 150.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 47.5, 48.5, 49.5, 52 (49.4 avg) 
150m - 19.18
The 300 tempo set was flawed, my timer failed on my second rep, so 48.5 was an estimate, and the timer didn't start on time so I took 15 sec more rest on my last rep.  Hate when that happens.  Anyway, it was about the same avg as my last set.  I finished with a 400m race pace 150m, concentrating on form.

Second session.  Beautiful weather but I had to share the stadium with a kids' tennis camp.  It was ok, they stayed out of the way.  72º, dry, calm, beautiful weather at sunset.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 57.8 (28, 29.8) 
150m - 19.34
100m - 13.59
The 400m was, relaxed and easy first half, hard the second half.  First half -2 sec off race speed (26).  This was identical in time to the one I ran last week, fast in training shoes... and it didn't feel totally sick.  I just need to combine a sub 30 second 200 with a 26 first 200 and I'd be back in the 55s.

I finished with an 80-90% 150 and 100.  I probably should stay off the track tomorrow and just ride my bike after sprinting 2000m today.  We'll see.   Sometimes it's just good to show up and do one race pace blast, like Aussie M55 record holder Trevor told me he does almost daily after work when training.  That's an interesting regime.  Sometime better than nothing.

Check this out:  140.7 lbs after workout.  Lightest in at least a year. 

Masters Rankings
I was surprised to see my 400 time was ranked #2 in the world M55, 0.05 off the lead.   When I first looked, it appeared to be third, but apparently some of those times were from British indoor season and were corrected.  The Brits have a strong team... at least 3 guys capable of 55-56.  Rankings don't mean too much right now until the Europeans weigh in with their championships, but good to make my presence known and get back into the game.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday, back to the oval office

After running a double 400/200 yesterday, wasn't sure if I'd be up for a workout today, but by evening, I was ok and ready to go.  Pretty warm in Atlanta at the Marist track, still 85º and humid at 7pm. 
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:38 (62, 36) 
200m neg split - 27.8 (15, 12.8) 
300m - 44 
200m neg split - 27.5 (15, 12.5)
The 600m was pretty brutal after yesterday's racing, but I survived and took ample rest before the rest of the other sprints.  Was shooting for 1:36 but didn't make it.  The 200s were as I said, negative split ... easy 100, then hard 100.  The 300m was just generally relaxed with each 100 a little faster.

I'm becoming fond of these negative split intervals, they give me practice running the last bit hard.

My race splits yesterday were still not where the second 200 should be.  If I'm to break 56, I need to run at least 29 high in my second 200m.  Doesn't sound like that should be too hard but yesterday I ran something like 26 / 30.6.   Might have even been 25.8 / 30.8.  In Daegu my splits were 25.5 / 29.67.   I'd be happy to run 26 / 29.8.  Anyway, I need to pick up at least 0.8 on my second 200m.

Feet are feelin' it so I'll probably take Monday off from the track and do resistance bands.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

SE Open and Masters Championships - meet report

Starting to get my act together.

56.65 - 400m
25.30 - 200m

It was a nasty hot day at Birmingham Southern College.   Mid 90ºs and humid.  A decent track and light winds.  Because of the heat, I did a minimal warmup and went inside the stadium building to take shelter from the heat before my 400m.    I had lane six in a heat with mostly faster guys in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.  However, Paul B. - the only other M55 in my heat, was to my outside in lane 7, which was a great help to me.  I got an ok start and made up the stagger on Paul before 100m and didn't see him again.  Tom H. was nice enough to read off splits at the 200m mark.  My 200m split was right on target, about 25 high - 26.  I felt a whole lot more comfortable coming down the stretch in this one compared to last week, when the entire heat left me.   It was still exhausting but I really only tightened up in the last 10m or so.  I'm thinking it's now within the realm of possibility to once again break 56.  This was my fastest 400m since April 8, '17, and faster than I ran at Nationals (LSU) and in Toronto (NCCWMA).  

The 200m was a fiasco.   I feel I got robbed by a tenth, (which would have been a world lead) because they had 2 finish lines marked several meters apart, and I leaned at the wrong one.  The first 'finish line' was a very prominent bright white piece of tape that was actually the finish for some old man's hurdle race (or something) and the real finish line, a much less prominent faded white line  about 5m further, which I coasted across.  Immediately after the race, when the officials saw what happened, they removed the tape.  I was in a very tight race with an M52 guy, Dexter.  I thought I got him at the line, but it was the wrong line, and since I slowed just before the end, he got me in 25.18.   Still, 25.30 is faster than I ran LSU and Toronto, and... after a 400m.   

So, it was a good outing.  Happy to see Jack, Dwayne, Don, Paul S. and Paul B. there.  Not sure how I'll feel tomorrow, but I felt good enough after the race to take a 3 mile walk along the river.  The feet are doing ok.   I'm definitely light, was 142.7 after a shower.    

I'm hoping by tomorrow evening I can do a training session, a hard one Tues, speed on Thurs, and race Sat.   It's coming along ....  I'm in pretty decent shape considering Nationals is still 7+ weeks away, and I'm beginning to think about going to Spain.