Sunday, December 22, 2019

weights and more cross training

Since my workout on Tuesday, I've been cross training.   Going to the gym almost every night except last night.  Doing stairmaster, glute machine, and squats.   I think I should be good to run some hills at my parents house in FL next week.  Unfortunately, today is raining and cold and I am a little sick with a cold so I won't be running today but do plan on doing something today.  I'm overdue for an ab set and some upper body that I can do at home.

The 'glute' machine I've found is more of an upper ham machine.  Friday evening I did 3 x 15 single leg squats on with 80lbs and my glutes are far more sore today than they ever have been on the glute machine.  Considering I'm pushing my body weight + 80 lbs with one leg a total of 45 reps, that's a good workout and no wonder I'm sore.  Need to work those in more often.  Every exercise gets it's own variety of unique muscle groups. 

I'm feeling like I'm running out of time.  I need to start my track training. I'm thinking I may get a steroid shot in my plantar to get me over the hump and stop running for 3-5 week to get this plantar issue finished.  I can't keep going on with training once a week.  If I get the shot when I get back and take 3 weeks off, that would put me at Jan 21.  Last time I got the shot, I recovered in 4 weeks only to reinjure it again on that damn flat track at '18 indoor nationals.  Then it took 5 weeks off to get back to healthy.   If I don't run til Jan 21, that would be 5 weeks.  Don't know what to do but I need to get healthy. 

I ran some stairs on Friday, not much but some and it seems like I could probably run  hills ok.  Not sure what to do at this point.  Been 3 months now since this PF started.

 Living at Roya's torn up house and sleeping on her porch may have contributed to my present sickness.  Maybe it's because I'm getting old, but anytime I travel, I'm taken out of my comfort zone and it feels like I regress in many aspects... my music practicing, my diet and workouts suffer... my over wellness suffers... no hot tub, no foot massage machine, no bike, no readily available gym open late, can't travel with my lute, no liquid circumin supplement, etc...  Exposed to masses of people (airports, stores, etc...) when I'm mostly isolated in nature.   It's a stressor but necessary to get out of my routine.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Just 2 long sprints

Back on the track after 2 weeks and the plantar fasciitis nags on.   It was an uncomfortable workout.  Not so much that my foot hurt while running but afterward, and I'm not in shape.  Part of it had to do with I'm not home, with my usual treatments... foot massage machine, hot tub, sleeping with the boot, etc... and I did my workout on the very hard track at Marist school. 

I did a fairly hard 600m then a 400m with relatively short rest compared to what I have been doing.

Hoka trainers on
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:51.5 
5-6 min rest 
400m - 68.5

It was hard.  A bit discouraging as my right foot hurt also. The plantar fasciitis was worse the next day but hopefully it'll heal so I can get one more workout before I leave for FL. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Gym no track

Still off the track, anticipating doing my first track workout on Sunday.  I had a minor surgery on Friday a week ago to remove a cyst on my back and it's still a tad sore but I've been in the gym almost every day since Sunday, have done 3 stairmaster sets, 2 weight sets, and one bike up the Mtn on  Roarke's Cove Rd.  I'm up to 250 reps each side on glute machine: 50, 5x30, 50.  Twice a week, that's a thousand total reps a week on the glute machine.  It seemed fairly doable last time, may up it +25 reps next time.  I got over 150lbs on Wednesday when I stayed home on snowy night instead of training, so I quasi-fasted yesterday, eating very light and I'm back to around 147ish.  I'd like to be a few lbs lighter when I hit the track on Sunday.  The plantar fasciitis is barely noticeable but not gone.  I'm hoping that I won't be sore after next workout.  If not, I can resume once a week and begin to up it.  Getting impatient and want to start sprinting but I don't need a set back.  I'd like to be 100% by Jan.  I think, due to the persistent conditioning and weights, my base fitness is OK.  Probably not too much different than when I ran a 62 400m 2 months ago.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

On track and gym

Cool, 37º,  hazy sunshine, and mostly calm winds today on the Sewanee track.  37º can feel very cold or t-shirt weather depending on wind and sun.  Today, it was just sunny enough, with enough calm wind to do runs in a sleeveless T. 

I felt a slight amount of heel soreness before and after the workout.  Probably not significantly better in the past week, but not worse.  Overall, the workout went well.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:41 
400m - 65
It felt good, strong, tiring but not exhausting.  I used my coveted Clifton 1 trainers with a lot of K tape and cushioned socks.  I was able to run the last 100m in each interval fairly strong.   It was cold enough that I used the men's room to tape up and change shoes. 

The 800m was even split and as fast as any I've done this training season.   The 400m wasn't too bad.  Makes me think I could still run 60 flat in race conditions if my foot were 100% an I could use blocks and spikes.  The foot really feels fine after the workout, but it often gets sore days later.  I was discussing this with elite masters and AR holder Sonja, she has plantar fasciitis for the 3rd time and remarked at how 'mysterious' this injury is, how it comes and goes, how it heals.

Last night, I dragged my butt to the gym.  Went back and forth whether I should go, but glad I went.  On Monday I stayed home and did an ab/hip flexor set which left me a little sore.  Last night I upped the ante on my glute 'super sets' ... I did 225 reps w/ 350lbs each side in 7 sets: 50, 5x25, 50.   I definitely feel the added strength, now I just need to eat more protein.   This machine has been integral to my strength and I hope these dumbells of added weight that I'm stashing behind one of the machines don't suddenly disappear.  It would be really terrible. 

I may not be back on the track for 10-14 days due to a fatty cyst I'm having removed from my back on Friday.  So, I'm glad I got this one in. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

super sets, stairmaster

After running on Tues, I did stairmaster and weights.  Today, the foot was a little more sore than yesterday, but not bad.  Tonight, I did same thing, stairmaster and weights.

I do a 20 min stairmaster hill program on level 15, really makes me sweat.  I often don't do the warm down after the last big hill, so it's really only 17 min.

I've found a way to more effectively use the glute hip machine.  I call them 'super sets.'   I'm using 350lb on the glute machine, 35 lbs more than I was using in '15 (in this video)

For glutes:
7 sets with 350 lbs each leg then change sides - sets are:
50, 5x20, 40 or to fail 

For hip flexors:
5 sets with 220 lbs  each leg then change 
sides - sets are: 
20, 3x12, 15 or to fail

So, why can I push so much more with glutes than hip flexors?  A couple reasons.   Glute is a bigger more powerful muscle.  Glute machine I'm pushing down - using both some of my body weight and helped by gravity.  Hip flexor I'm pushing up, against gravity.   I don't think glutes and hip flexors need to be equal strength.  Glutes and upper hams propel the body upward and forward, hip flexors simply recycle the leg back to prepare the next stride.   Anyway, I'm really as strong on these exercises as I've ever been but of course, no telling how that will translate to speed.  These exercises are great in that they spare the feet and knees and I can do them explosively, but I also do single leg squats, adductor, abductor, and a variety of upper body and core.  I hope to continue this regime so long as it doesn't hurt my hips, so far hips are fine.  I really think I can make some gains if I start eating better and begin creatine and more protein.

I may well wait til at least Sunday or Monday before I hit the track again.  Really want to start running fast but that's weeks away.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

I'm ok!

Not 100% healed but well on my way.  The plantar fasciitis is almost gone.  I can still feel it but it's fading.  First time on the track in 7 days. 

Nice day in Sewanee.  58º and clouding up, breezy with a headwind on the homestretch.  I did what I came to do, nothing more and my foot feels fine.   Both feet feel better than in weeks.  Still not pain free but much better, may never be pain free.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m strider on grass 
800m - 2:45

I didn't kill myself on this one.  It was still hard enough though, as I took it fairly easy, only putting effort into the last 100m.   I felt a little pain on the warmup lap and it never got worse.  I felt fine after the 800m, almost zero pain.  I wanted to do more but I think I need to get back out on the track again sooner than later so I shut it down til next time.  I should easily be able to run again in 4 or 5 days.  Probably Sunday or Monday.  I have a tradition of training on Thanksgiving, but maybe not this yr. 

I skipped the gym last night so I'll be going tonight.  Besides weights, I'll do stairmaster probably.  I'm upping the stretching and flexibility, spending more time at the gym with that.

My knee seems completely healed. 100%, but of course it hasn't been tested at full speed.  I don't expect to do anything close to full speed probably til next year.  I want to ease into this, preserve and protect. 

A bit heavy at about 147 after workout. 

Where is my lane 6?

Monday, November 25, 2019


Had planned to start my weekly track workouts today but I'm going to wait til tomorrow.  My feet are feeling better than they have in a long time and I want to go to the track feeling as close to healthy as possible.  My plantar fasciitis is much improved, only feel it when I'm carrying 70 lbs of firewood up the stairs, after heel raises with weight, or after a long time on my feet.  It's 90% healed at this point.  Sleeping with the boot has helped.

Beautiful weather today and tomorrow.  Highs in the 60's.   To make sure I don't reinjure tomorrow, will just run an easy 800m and nothing more.

I've been fairly steady in my workouts since coming back to Sewanee on Friday night.  Have been in the gym Sat, Sunday.   Early afternoon bike ride then Stairmaster and weights on Sat.,  bike up Roarks Cove Rd on Sunday.   The Sat. afternoon bike ride was a painful adventure.  Was a rainy day and I waited for the rain to stop.  It seemed to clear early afternoon so I went out for my usual 6 mile ride including some hills.  I got halfway and the temperature dropped into the low 40ºs with heavy wind and rain.  I was freezing when I got back.

Today I will be back in the weight room but easy on my feet.

Was on sort of a binge last week with bread and not a good diet.  Now a bit heavy, 147-148ish so will look to improve there as well.  No more bread.

Also, lately I've been playing more guitar and will hopefully be preparing for a concert in Feb. if my hand stays healthy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

back sliding

Running for just the 2nd time in 5 weeks.  It was hard and frustrating.  My feet hurt, the plantar fasciitis is persistent but I think slightly better, the arthritis in right foot persists.  My hope is that the feet will slowly improve but at this point, I can not run more than once a week and nothing fast.

I started 2 intervals and pulled up short, not so much because of foot pain, but just afraid I would injure it further and I'm not accustomed to the pain of training yet.  It was discouraging.

Hoka trainers on
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m stride - 8 
600m - 1:59 
100m stride on grass - 14.09 
200m - 29

The 600m was an 800m cut short and the 200m was a 400m cut short.  I definitely feel as if I were n better shape 5 weeks ago when I ran a 62.3 400m.  Back in the summer when I was swimming daily and lifting more upper body, I felt as if I were on my way.  This workout was a wakeup call and a reminder of the level of pain and sacrifice it's going to take to get back to world class masters elite level.   At this age, it's always a risk that I could spend a lot of time, pain, and effort and not get there, due to injury or just unable to attain the level I want.  I guess it's about the journey.

After the 600m, my feet felt ok.  With a nagging injury I'm trying to train through, it's always a risk to try to do too much or too often.  I'm a bit impatient but I have time.  I just hate to keep starting over.  This injury is exacerbated specifically by high speed sprinting.  Especially sprinting on turns and in spikes... both of which I'm itching to do.  I still haven't been able to test my all out speed since the knee surgery, but I've been up to 90 -95% but no full out acceleration, no blocks.  Everything I've been doing has been with a rolling start.

My weight isn't ideal, still well under 150 lbs but far from lean.

Last night, after my track workout, I dragged my ass to the gym to do stairmaster a little upper body and some squats.   Glad I did.

I will persevere.  Hopefully on the track in a week.   If anything, I can tell my foot is not quite as sore today than it was after my last track workout, so that's progress. 

Biking on fall color weekend '19

On the weekend of Nov. 9 I had my annual fall party and the weather on Sunday and Monday was so spectacular, I decided to take a last fall boat trip and bike climbs up Raccoon Mountain.  I knew a huge weather change was coming so I knew I had to do this trip and be back early afternoon so I'd have time to winterize my boat.  Temperatures were forecast to drop an astonishing 50º by Tuesday to an overnight low in the low teens. 

On Sunday I got the boat ready early and left Sewanee at 9:30am to launch and take the 15 mile cruise up the river to meet my HS friend Bill at noon, and we did the climb up Raccoon Mtn.   It's always a tough one.

The leaves were at peak fall color and the temp was well into the 60ºs and sunny, although crisp and cool in the morning.   The view from the top was spectacular.

From Visitor's Center, Raccoon Mtn.

View from the top Raccoon Mountain
Bill and Bill at East overlook above Chattanooga

After the hill climb, I cruised into Chattanooga and spent the afternoon hanging at Whole Foods and biking around Chattanooga.  It was a beautiful night with a full moon.

Full moon over the Hunter Museum by the TN River, Chattanooga

I cruised back to the gorge and tied up to my favorite channel marker and fell asleep fairly early. I didn't hear another boat pass all night and I got up very early, like 4:30 am. Watched a little "Morning Joe" on my computer, (thanks to my unlimited data plan on my phone) and slept a small bit more. After a little espresso, I put the boat up at the Raccoon Mtn. dock and did the hill climb again myself, very bright an early.   I was hoping to take a video of my bike trip down the entire 4 mile hill but the video cut off after 90 sec.  Maybe I'll post that later.

Raccoon Mountain dock

I soon cruised back to the launch point and then was back in Sewanee early, just after noon.  It took  me almost 3 hours to completely unpack the boat, and totally winterize the engine and water system.  It was a chore as usual but good to get it done.   The boat deserves good maintenance, it ran perfectly all season, and I put several hundred miles on it this year.

It turned cloudy by sunset and started raining which changed to snow in the wee hours.  Tuesday was unbelievably cold, only reaching a high of 22º.   It got down to 13º Tuesday night.  This was certainly one of the largest temperature changes I've seen here.  It reached 70º on Monday in Chattanooga and 13º by Tuesday night, a drop of 57º. 

Here's what it looked like Tuesday morning.

It was a great trip. It was probably good that I put off running for another week. This plantar fasciitis has been persistent and I will update on the next post.

Monday, November 4, 2019

I can run

First time on the track in 3 weeks.  Did just one 800m nothing fast.   My plantar fasciitis is almost gone.  I can effectively run foundation stuff for the near term without exacerbating the plantar fasciitis.   It only stresses my foot when I do high speed work on my toes, especially running turns, and especially wearing spikes ... which I probably won't attempt til spring.  So, I'll be doing these nasty 800s again for a while.   Knowing I would only do just one today, it was a good hard effort considering my lack of running fitness.    Overall, my feet felt much better after this 3 weeks away from the track.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:41.5
I K-taped my foot, used fresh thick socks,  insert in my newer Clifton 3s ... every trick to protect my foot.  It felt ok.  It was as fast as any foundation run I've done this fall so I hope to do 2x800m next Monday.  My first 400 was probably 10 seconds faster than my second.  The last 300m was pretty miserable, but I made it to the end without dropping out.

I've been doing a fair amount of glute strengthening and bike training.  I'll be at it again tonight, we'll see how that translates to speed but I don't expect to do anything fast until this plantar fasciitis is gone completely.   Could be at least a few more weeks.  800s suck, but are necessary. 

Still thinking about training for the 300m hurdles.  I have all the equipment and opportunity.  The hurdles will be indoor for the winter and I may try some when this foot is 100%.

My weight is OK and I know I say this all the time, but I really think I could be 5 lbs lighter based on my fat content.  Far from lean but I am light, but that's just because I'm empty.  144.9 lbs after workout.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

2nd week off the track

It's been 2 weeks off the track and I feel the plantar fasciitis is much improved.  I feel I could do a track workout tomorrow but I'm going to give it at least another week.  

Been biking both road and stationary a lot.  I was attacked by the local redneck's pit bull on Monday while riding, I got away but he chased me off the road and I almost went down.  I bought some pepper spray and have begun 'training' him.   First 'training session' was yesterday and he responded well.   Hopefully the dog is smart and will not need further 'lessons.'

There has been a stupid infringement on my use of the glute machine in Sewanee.  I guess I'm partly responsible since I've often left the added weight (usually 3 dumb bells weighing 60-70 lbs each) on the stack.   The management took the dumb bells away and hid them (I found them later) and posted a sign on the machine saying, "Do not add extra weights to this machine, you will break it."  Instead of ripping the sign down, I wrote on the sign a response:  "This is absolute bullshit, I've been adding weight to this machine for 5 years.  The machine is fine."  From now on, I will not leave the added weight on the machine but will keep the dumb bells stored behind it.  It should be ok.  I always workout during the last hour that the place is open, often between 10-11pm.  There is almost no one there at that time.   So I don't expect any resistance to my routine.  This glute machine is particularly good for me because I can strengthen my upper hams and glutes without stressing or engaging my knee.  It's kind of a stupid machine... the stack only goes to 150 lbs.... not enough weight to effectively strengthen the glutes - the largest and strongest muscle in the body.  I could literally pump 150 lbs all day.  When I add 190 lbs in dumb bells on the stack, making the total weight 340 lbs, I can still pump it 50 to 60 reps.  This machine is used by sprinters a lot I think.  I saw 2 of them at LSU where their track team trains, except the stack was much larger, I think 450 lbs.  

My fitness has lapsed slightly as my diet has not been as good.  Outings with students and friends last week caused some minor weight gain, however, I quasi-fasted yesterday and weigh in the 146s today.  

Tonight, going to the gym to do glute machine and maybe I'll rip that damn sign down.  

Monday, October 21, 2019

No meet, taking time off from the track

I elected to not race Sunday, although I'm sure I could have gutted out one 400m, but no point in exacerbating my plantar fasciitis.  I did my 3rd bike workout last week - a long sprint bike workout on Thursday (6x60sec w/ 2min pedaling rest) and afterward, I did some drills on the indoor track.  My foot was feeling a little better so I tried to sprint from a 3 pt stance and it definitely hurt my foot.  It was a slight setback as it hurt the next day, so I decided not to race on Sunday.  I will probably take up to 2 or 3 weeks off from running until this plantar issue is gone.

Beautiful sunny morning in Sewanee on Monday, very thankful for this free day.   Windy, about 68º with the wind blowing across my bed this morning.   It felt so great to linger between awake and dreaming for a few hours this morning.  I got my butt out of bed at the crack 10:30am to do a hard 6 mile ride on local roads including some good hills.   I've become aware of how important sleep is so important to healing - both physical  and mental.  I ordered a plantar night splint to help me get over this PF issue.  My friend Shaun has done research on sleep and told me that the real deep 'Delta  wave sleep' is essential for brain health, hormone support, and physical healing.

Today looks like a rainy day, so I'm going to get some kale and vegetables to make a soup, and hang out on my porch today.  Tonight, I'll go to do my usual workout.  Need to do an ab set today.

I'm sort of feeling a little behind regarding workouts, seeing all my colleagues well into their training... but, since I'm probably not going to run indoors, I really don't have to be racing til May and peaking til July.  The rapidity with which fitness 'goes away' at this age, tells me that it is very hard to maintain an elite level peak of fitness for very long one or 2 months maximum, especially at this age.  However, it depends on one's base level of fitness when the training really begins.   Having run a 62 400m last week with no regular track training workouts puts me at a decent level of fitness to start out.  If I were able to run in spikes and had not gotten this plantar issue, I'm fairly confident i could've been running sub 60 by now in race conditions.... but that will have to wait til later this year.  I think with a base level of fitness, 6 months training is certainly enough to reach elite level for me... which at M60, would be breaking 58, and hopefully faster.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

bike sprints / new treatment

Last two nights I've done some sprint intervals on the bike.

Stationary bike intervals:
Monday:16 x 15 sec w/ 45 sec rest 
Tuesday:8 x 30 sec w/ 60 sec rest

My impression of bike sprints is that the quads get fatigued moreso than running and it is less aerobic than sprinting on the track.

I'm not planning any workouts for Wed and Thurs, my main work days.

Today, I was tipped about a treatment for plantar fasciitis by a friend and it has shown some results.  Yesterday after my track workout, I was limping, but now it's quite a bit better.

This treatment is like Graston.  Deep tissue massage with an implement.  I use a large metal spoon and Voltaren gel as a lubricant.  The goal seems to be to stimulate blood flow and break up kinks in the tissue.  I found this video and generally do something like this:

Monday, October 14, 2019

first 400m in more than a year

My plantar fasciitis is only allowing me one minimal track workout a week.  Back in July, I was on track to run a sub 60 400m by now, but with this plantar issue keeping me from a serious track regime, I'm not in 400m shape.  Today, beautiful day in Sewanee, mid 60ºs at the track.

As I was warming up, I was really aware of the pain in my feet.   Only ran 250m warmup.  But after stretching drills, it felt a little better.  Doing every trick to protect my feet, K-tape, fresh thick socks, inserts, new Hoka Clifton 1 trainers put on just before the run.

Hoka trainers on 
250m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 62.3

It was close to my goal of 62.  I had set my goal splits to 14,15,16,17... pretty much hit them spot on. albeit with a short running start.  The foot held up ok during the sprint but I know I'll pay for it in the next few days.  The sprint definitely hurt, it was pretty much a maximum effort, although I did not run the first 200 at my usual race pace.  I'm not used to that level of exertion.  The glutes, gut, lungs... etc... hurt.  Not in terrible shape to run a 62 in training shoes in Oct, but have a long ways to go.

The way it has been, for a month, I do a track workout, then limp for a few days ... and when I'm about recovered, I do another track workout.  If I do race this senior games meet on Sunday, it's not going to be any faster than 62... because I have to go from a standing start and I definitely will not be in spikes or use blocks.  It's supposed to be warm but raining that day.

It looks like I'm going to have to take some time off from the track if this is going to heal.   Heal the heel.

I'll probably go to the gym tonight and tomorrow night and do stairmaster or bike.

145.3 lbs after workout.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Masters National and World indoor championships relegated to flat tracks

This is really disappointing.  Especially for me,  about to move into a new age group and having had a lot of indoor track success. 

There will not be a Masters Indoor Nationals on a good banked track until 2021 at the Armory. 

However, most disappointingly, the 2021 WMACi World Indoor Championships in Edmonton will be run on a flat track.  Banked tracks have been standard for Indoor Championship events since my entry into the sport in 2012 when I won my first National Indoor at IU.  I seriously doubt any World Records for the 200/400/and 4x200 races were achieved on a flat track.  It's simply a much slower surface and is conducive to injury, especially if you have an inside lane in a 200m.  I reinjured my foot at the 2018 Nationals in DC on a flat track in lane 2.  Not that I blame the facility, but it's a fact that flat tracks are 1) not standard or desired for indoor championships, and 2) are harder on the body for a sprinter.  I've sprinted plenty on flat 200m and even once on a 160m indoor track without being injured, I just happened to be battling plantar fasciitis at the time. 

What is most disturbing is that the Edmonton bid document listed a new facility as their #1 venue. 

Page 31 of the document, describes the facility as having a "200m hydraulic (IAAF certified Beynon surface) banked track.  (see the image at the end of this post).

I wrote a few USATF and WMA officials.  I heard back from Rex, USATF Masters Chair.  As a former sprinter, he gave me a very thoughtful reply:

I have recently learned the same thing that Edmondton will not be building a new hydraulically banked indoor track.  We can't fault Edmondton for bidding with that track because it was promised to them.  Over the years we have learned to not trust "promised" facilities, but I think in this case, Edmondton was the only bidder for this Championship so they got it.  But now that it is not happening, what should be done?  I'm afraid that we do not have much power over that.  It is WMA's business, not ours in the US.  We have to remember that anyone in the world that does not want to run on flat tracks is perfectly free to not do so.  They simply vote with their feet. As you recall, many, many Europeans did not go to Kamloops for the WMA World Indoor Championships for the reason of the flat track.  That had the side effect of a lot of Americans winning world championship medals that they otherwise would not have. I enjoyed a good competition much more than merely winning because of who was there, or not there but that is a personal preference.  Also personally, towards the end of my running career, I stopped sprinting on small indoor ovals as it was too hard on my body.   Flat tracks are certainly not the ideal, but there are hundreds of things that are not ideal at any given track meet and each of us has to decide to accept those deficiencies, or avoid them.
Spokane is bidding for the 2023 WMA Indoor World Championships with a "promised" hydraulic track.  The difference is that they have already broken ground and the construction is underway and is bidding for the USATF Masters Indoor Championships for 2022 as one of several "warmup" meets .  I must say that it will be difficult for Spokane to win the WMA bid if a European site also decides to bid because that will mean three WMA Championships in a row in North America (Toronto, Edmondton, Spokane).  It is my opinion that WMA doesn"t worry about three in a row in Europe, but they do North America.
I guess the bottom line is that each individual needs to make their own decision.  Every meet has its challenges, and it is up to us whether or not to accept those challenges.
Rex Harvey

I am disappointed that Masters indoor has been relegated to substandard facilities, but it is the same for everyone, (except in Masters World Rankings where Europeans almost always use banked indoor tracks in their Championships). We as competitors are compelled to embrace a 'culture of gratitude' for the opportunity to compete, as the administration and organizers of Masters Track are generally unpaid volunteers who donate their time.  Many National and WMA championships bids have very few if not just one willing bidder.  We are compelled to 'take what we can get.'  Hopefully things will improve.  I guess I got accustomed to running on great indoor tracks at great venues at 4 USATF Indoor Championships - at I.U., Boston's Reggie Lewis, a 2 in Albuquerque; and one in Daegu.  2016 Indoor was the only season I finished with a #1 world rank.  I finished 2017 indoor with #2 world rank.  I love running indoor, but a good facility makes a huge difference. 

The track that was never built for Edmonton 2021:

one sprint

I tried running today with 2 days rest and paid for it.  The plantar fasciitis is still an issue.  It feels ok, just a little sore before workout then after one moderately hard 300m, it was very sore, causing me to limp for the rest of the day.  I seems to heal quickly, and in a few days feels fine.  I may try a short workout again on Friday.  Unfortunately, can do really only one or 2 long sprints and that's it at this point.   I did notice, that the plantar is strained more by sprinting fast and sprinting on the curve.

The weather has changed radically.  After a few October days of 95º and swimming, it back to the usual fall weather.  On Monday, Sewanee was completely socked in with fog and occasional rain all day, and about 60º.   Visibility about 50m.  A 30º difference from just 2 days ago.  This is the weather I'm used to training in.   As I was driving from the track... in my SUV, with the deep dense fog, colorful leaves on the road, out of tune bluegrass music on the radio ... it felt like it is supposed to ... this time of year in the Tennessee mountains.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warm up, stretches, drills 
300m - 44.5

And that was it.  I felt there was more in the tank afterward, it wasn't race pace, so I think I could run around 62-63ish right now in training shoes.

I almost didn't go to the gym afterward because of my sore foot, but I did.  Did hip flexor machine, single leg squats with 70 and 80 lbs., calves, and adductors.

I still want to run a 400m in the hand timed meet on Sunday the 20th, but... due to this plantar issue and the fact I likely won't be wearing racing spikes, I doubt I'll be anywhere near breaking 60, if i can run at all.

Friday, October 4, 2019


The plantar fasciitis is still an issue but I'm working through it.  First day on the track in 11 days.  It felt ok but the foot hurt a bit after the first run so I didn't want to do much. 
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:43 
100m - 13.46
It was a beautiful evening, breezy and a cooler feel to the air but still in the mid 70ºs.  I wanted to do more but the foot started to hurt.  But I did one last 100m sprint, was disappointed it wasn't very fast although I felt like I was pushing it.  I still haven't tried to run full-out sprint or do a full speed start.  Maybe by next month.  I'm not going to be in shape for the Chattanooga race in 2 weeks, and likely won't be able to wear spikes due to the foot issue.  The foot was sore afterward but not terrible.   We'll see how it recovers tomorrow.  No hurry since I'm not planning on racing indoor. 

144.8 lbs after workout

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Off track work, PF recovery

The endless summer continues in Sewanee.  Unseasonably hot and dry.  35 days, no rain, 95º today and similar temperatures expected for 3 more days.  Warmest September on record here.  Will likely be the warmest year on record.   I had to look at my blog to see when the last time I ran, it was just a week ago.  I probably could have run today in some slight pain, but elected to wait til Friday.  My plantar fasciitis is improved but not completely gone.  So, I'll wait til it improves a bit more.  I can barely feel it when I walk in shoes.   I believe in a proactive solution to this issue.  Rolling, foot massage, stretching, heel raises from maximum dorsiflex, calf strengthening.    Last time I had this, I reinjured it (running a 200m on an indoor flat track on an inside lane) and had to take 5 weeks off.  I've heard people having this for months... so I guess it's not too bad, even when I had it at it's worst.  I think I have a pretty good method for getting over it. 

Have done in the past few days, a stairmaster set, ab routine, a hill climb on the bike, swimming, and tonight... a 3 set workout of single leg squats and glute machine:
3 x 50 - glute machine (310 lbs, 330 lbs, 340 lbs) 
3 x (15, 12, 11) - single leg squats w/ 70 lbs
Swimming - about 600m 
3 x 12 heel raises w/ 210 lbs
Weight is ok, between 144.5 - 147.5   Probably will swim again tomorrow.  The lake is still very warm and I'm thinking this week may be the end of very hot weather.  Temperature is forecast to drop 20º by early next week. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

more 800s

Slightly cooler weather in Sewanee... finally.  In the 70's on Friday.

Unfortunately, it seems as my plantar fasciitis is making a comeback, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to go to the 2 day a week track schedule.  Nevertheless, I gutted out 2 x 800 a bit faster than last time.
Hoka trainers on  
250m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 800m - 2:41, 2:49
The second one really hurt, not just my foot, but I probably ran the first one too fast for my level of fitness.   My last 400 was a dragging 88 seconds.

I don't want this plantar issue to get worse, so maybe I'll have to cross train and keep my running to once a week.  I'll see how it feels after a few days.  Just as my knee approaches 100%, I get this issue with my left foot.  It's the same L foot that plagued me during the '18 indoor season, but not the foot where I have the talonavicular joint issue, that is my right foot.  When the left foot starts feeling worse than the right foot, it's definitely a problem. 

The final word on the Hoka transaction, looks like I was scammed.  I'm surprised the company keeps communicating with me.  They sent me a list of junk shoes to choose as a replacement, not one Hoka of any kind on the list.   This website is a fraudulent bait and switch:

Meant to post this in Friday but just saved this draft.   My L foot plantar issue is real and I'm likely to take a week off from the track, next workout probably not til Sept. 30.  However, biking, swimming, water running, and lifting all OK.   Got a carpal tunnel injection and it has allowed me to sleep normally.  One of my friends, an elite runner swears by low level laser treatment for plantar fasciitis.  My insurance doesn't cover it but it may be worth a try.  It costs less or about the same as a massage.  It's also been used for carpal tunnel.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cross training / no more Clifton 1s

Since my last track training, I've done a strong 2 set workout on legs and two biking hill climbs of Raccoon Mtn, and at least a half mile of swimming. 

I'm feeling almost 100% with my knee.  Have been able to single leg squats - 2x15 with 60 lbs.  However, I've gained a bit of weight, still well under 150 lbs. 

The final word with this stupid Chinese company is that they advertised Hoka Clifton 1s on their website with a caption saying "in stock", the sent me the wrong item and finally confirmed they don't have the Clifton 1s.   I told them to send me some Bondi 6s (as an everyday shoe) or refund my money. 

I'm going to try a track workout tomorrow Friday, then again Monday.  Still running 800s tomorrow, maybe some 300s on Mon. 

Yesterday was the 7th consecutive 90º+ day in Sewanee.  14 of 18 days have been above 90º - very unusual.  It is forecast to be several degrees cooler these next few days.  I'll believe it when I see it... they've been underestimating the daily forecast highs for weeks now. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019


It was a beautiful Saturday night at the Sewanee track, even more beautiful for the solitude.. football team is away and no sports teams practicing.  Warm, upper 70ºs and humid, calm winds.  It was like a home coming, a comfortable place to be alone on Saturday night, like many such Saturday's I've spent.  The sun sets increasingly early, now before 7PM.  It's dark before 7:30 and each day is rapidly getting shorter.  It's been an extremely warm and dry Sept.  Although no significant rain in 3 weeks, and none forecast, I saw beautiful thunderhead clouds with lightning in them in the distance.

So, down to business.  Short warmup.  Volume foundation.

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 800m - 2:46, 2:51
My first set of 800s since the surgery in January.   Felt ok but hard.   In June '18, I was doing 2x800m workouts in 2:31, 2:35 and 2:38, 2:42... so I've got a ways to go.    In an ideal world, I'll keep increasing this foundation into the fall.  I'm now on 4 days rest, moving my workout up since I have a major biking climb tomorrow evening with Bill M. at Raccoon Mtn.  I am significantly heavier today, after a huge dinner last night of an exceptionally fine seafood chowder, I ballooned up to 149 lbs this morning.  Was 146.6 lbs after workout. 

I've been having a recurrence of some physical issues.  Most distressing is my carpal tunnel and related nerve pain in my left hand / arm has interrupted my sleep.  Going to try and clean up my diet, eat less, drink more water, and give up coffee for a while, see if it helps.  Also, my L heal pain has been coming back, not full fledged plantar fasciitis, but enough to remind me to wear my insert.   Was thinking about buying  pair of max padded Hoka Bondi 6s a half size big, just for walking and every day.

The damn Chinese company that I ordered my Clifton 1s from sent me a freakin' Gucchi belt instead.  What a screw up.  I some how doubt they'll come through with the shoes and I'll end up getting ripped off.  Hard to hold them accountable. 

If I'm able, I'll be doing 800s for the next few weeks, next time out, on Friday.  I may then try Friday and Monday track schedule.  Teammate John C. did a 6 x 800m workout yesterday... kind of like I used to, especially during my 5k days.   If I could tolerate it, I'd run cross country and 5ks, but can't.  I learned from the Bill Collins book years ago the importance of off season foundation stuff like this. 

Since my last track workout, I've done 2 stairmaster sessions and some weights. 

Saturday night on the track....

Monday, September 9, 2019

split 500

Hot and dry in Sewanee today, if fact ... one of the hottest days this decade.  97º F. at my house, but by sunset, cooling rapidly to upper 70ºs.   I ran faster and less tonight. 
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
'split 500' - 300m - 45 / 90 sec rest / 200m - 30.5
Not a bad workout, quick and done.  A little too brief.  I was going to do more but I ran into the former college track coach and we talked til dark.

For perspective, I was doing this same set in '17 at 42.5 / 29 with only 60 sec rest.  What I did tonight would be typical times of a workout where I did a previous set.  Overall, it puts me in OK shape for this point of the season.  Knees felt fine, foot hurt a little as usual.

I'm hoping in 3 weeks or so to see if I can tolerate 2 running days a week, probably Mon and Fri.  Might do one set on the hill.    5+ weeks to the Chattanooga meet. 

Weight is nominal, not super thin but averaging 144 lbs.  Eating a little more lately.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Weekly track session, 'sports camp life'

I think this is going to be my regime for the next few to several weeks.  One track session a week and a lot of biking, swimming, water running, and resistance work.   I've swam a quarter mile a day almost every day this weekend and mixed in some water running, biked up the mountain, and did strength work.

This week has been a typical 'sports camp' life.  I can generally workout every day except Wed and Thurs, my heavier teaching days.  It's possible to get a late weight workout in on Thurs night and an early one on Wed., but not easy.

I've been really pushing my upper body strength.  Can do 20 pullups again, and am pushing heavier weight than I have been previously.  I'm pushing 120 lbs 10X on the 'peck deck' and rowing 170 lbs 10x on the machine.  Thanks to Al's suggestion, I've started doing inverted squats with hanging boots. Starting from a straight hang up to a flexed squat with a situp, then down slow.  It's really challenging, I can only do 10X now.   Really good for core and quads... and a good non weight bearing knee joint strengthener.  Even though I'm quite light, 143ish, I think I'm not all that lean, maybe 12-13% body fat +/- 1%.  I think I'll start eating more protein as I need to begin a more aggressive building phase.

Just as I think I'm getting in pretty good shape... I run a 600m.  lol
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:53  
3 min rest 
200m - 32 
100m acceleration from standing start
I was going to do a 600 - 3 min rest - 300... but I bailed after 200m.  Just not there yet.  I think I might have been able to gut out a 50 or 51 300m after the 600m, but just not that mentally tough yet.   I'm a long way from workouts like those epic 600, 600, 400, 400 w/3 min rest and then some...   I really do hate such painful foundation workouts.  Not ready for any serious volume yet.  May not be til mid winter.  I tried accelerating from a 3 point stance.  Definitely a stresser on the knee, so I won't be coming out of blocks anytime soon.  But, it's just under 6 weeks from that District meet where I'm planning to put the spikes on.   My knee and feet seem to tolerate one track workout a week ok.  There is sure a lot of crepitus noise in my knees when extending from full flex.  Fortunately, no swelling.

Those Clifton 1s I ordered last week seem to be coming from China.  I hope they're authentic and not some knock offs.  You never know where stuff is coming from when you order on some of these obscure websites.

Anyway, it's been a great weekend of activities.  I must have swam across this lake 50 times this summer; and this weekend was one of the hottest of the summer.  Upper 80ºs F. here on the mountain, upper 90ºs everywhere else.   I'm really in shape... except for running.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Toronto 2020 schedule released ... highly irregular

I don't know what it is about Doug Shaggy Smith.   He claims the Toronto 2020 scheduling was done by WMA and and not him.  Last time I ran in a meet he organized, the NCCWMA Toronto in '17, the schedule was terrible.   That is terrible for a 400/200 double.  At the time, I was reigning world champion in the indoor M55 200m.   But, in that meet, they scheduled the 200m semis just 70 min after the 400m final.  So, I had to run against a 100/200 guy who was running his first race of the day, just after I won the 400m.  I could only muster a 25.5, and that, (with the help of some lying seed times resulting in stupid heat assignments), put me out of the final by a few tenths.

The first published schedule for the Toronto World Championships came out today and in my opinion, it's a disaster for anyone who wants to double in the 200/400.   It strongly favors 100/200 and 400/800 doublers, but the big snafu is that they are running all 3 round of 3 sprint events in 6 days.... and not one sprint event in any of the first four days.  It's crazy ... and completely different from all of the world meets I've attended in Lyon, Perth, Daegu, and Malaga.   All those meets have run all three rounds of the 200, then all three rounds of the 400.  In Toronto, the 200 and 400 overlap and all 3 rounds are run in 4 days.  WHY? WHY? WHY?

Here it is:
Monday July 27th - 400m prelim
Tuesday July 28th - 200m prelims AND semis
Wednesday July 29th - off
Thursday July 30th - 200m final AND 400m semi
Friday July 31 - 400m final

Here's the difference:
- If you're a 400/800 guy, (like a lot of the elite in my age group), you have TWO FULL DAYS REST between the 400m prelims and semis.
- If your a 200/400 guy, you have ALL THREE ROUNDS of the 200m between the 400m prelims and semis, including the 200m final before the 400m semi.  
People on the Facebook post are really expressing a lot of consternation already.  It's an 11 day meet, there is ZERO reason this schedule should stand as it is.  Let's hope this guy Shaggy is reasonable and doesn't dig his heels in on this.  All he has to do is simply use previous WMAC meets as a template for Toronto '20. 

This is the way it should be for the mens sprints/ 800m:
Mon 20 - 800m prelims
Tues 21 - 100m prelims and semis, 800m semis
Wed 22 - 100m final
Thurs 23 - 200m prelim, 800 finals
Fri 24 - off
Sat 25 - 200m final
Sun 26 - off
Mon 27 - 400m prelims
Tues 28 - 400m semis
Wed 29 - off
Thurs 30 - 400m final 
There would be far less people doubling in the 200/800 than 200/400 and 400/800. 

First foundation work

I call 'foundation' anything longer than a 400m.  Usually 600s, 800s.  Today, I did my first 600m.   Not trying to run it fast, just nominal.  Then finished with a hard 200m.

Looking back, I had done several workouts with 600m repeats.  Today, one was enough.  Low 70ºs, moist and humid, wet track in Sewanee.
Hoka Clifton 3s on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:54  
Hoka Clifton 1s on 
200m - 27.34

It was also the fastest 200m I've run since injury, although with a running start and not yet attempting full speed.

It looks like it may be a long while before my next track workout.  I might be able to squeeze one in a week from today but if not, it'll be 10 days from now, a week from Friday.   Work is starting up again.  I wouldn't say my knee is 100% yet.   Last night I went to the gym and did upper body and 2 sets of slow squats to 90º with light weight (30lbs) on the left leg.   It was a good enough workout that I was feeling sore in my glutes today.   I could not have done this workout 3 days ago.  I do need a full week in between track workouts still.

There's a chance I might run stadium stairs on Thurs.  We'll see how it feels then.

I bought yet another pair of Clifton 1s ... the only place in the universe that still has them in my size... and only $72.  I seriously doubt they'll reissue them again as they did this yr.   Unfortunately, they only had the ugly yellow-green soled ones available.  It's ok.   Now I have 2 new pair and one lightly used.  I plan to use them sparingly.  I even have a coveted new pair of Clifton 3s still in the box.

Light and fit... 143.5 lbs after workout.  I've been eating very lean lately.   I must admit, I have an additional reason.  A local prominent artist is using my body as a model for a sculpture in his gallery. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hiking and a few long sprints

Spent the weekend hiking in the GSMNP, doing a 9 mile hike with a 2500' climb was harder than it used to be.

When I returned to the track a few days later, I wasn't completely recovered from the 15 or so miles I hiked on Sat - Mon.  I was a little gun shy of running really hard yesterday because last year after this same hiking trip is when I injured my knee, although I don't know if there was a connection.

But it went ok.   Warm and still at the Sewanee track, about 79º at sunset.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m (from the 400m start) - 44.5  (14,14.5,16) 
200m -27.95
The 300m was a 400m bailout.  I was going to run a 400m but bailed after realizing I'm not in shape yet.  The reason I thought about trying a 400m is because I didn't really want to do a tempo workout.

But... this type of workout is getting me no where.  There are 2 things that are going to improve my 400 speed: 1) regaining my top end speed ... which is too soon to do; and 2) regaining speed endurance by a) more long sprint foundation volume (600-800s) and b) tempo workouts (80% 200s and 300s with limited rest).

I am fit though, weighing now less than 145 lbs on average.  I was 143.3 lbs after workout yesterday.  My resting pulse is in the 50s and my blood pressure a nominal 120/70, despite a high caffeine consumption. But still very disappointed that it is so much effort to run a 44 sec 300m, and a 27 high 200.  In order to run fast 200s and 400s, I need to have my top end speed and speed endurance back, where I can cruise a 26.5 200m without too much effort.  Right now, I'd be hard pressed to run that fast all out.

I need patience.  It'll come.  But after the way I felt after these 90% sprints and how slow they were, I wonder if I have the mental toughness and the mileage left in my body to get back to elite.  It's going to be really painful.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

cross training

Past 2 days I've done weights, swam, and Tues. - 20 min Stairmaster, and Wed. - biked up Roark's Cove Rd.   I'm hovering around a mean weight of 145.5 but fluctuating.  It used to be a rare and difficult thing to climb the mountain on Roark's Cove Rd. on the bike, but I do it a few times a week now.  My best is about 22:30 min, but not that fast today.

I've found what I think I need more of to rehab my knee:  negative squats to 90º.   Everything I've been doing like biking and stairmaster has lacked 'a negative squat'  ... the kind of work you'd get when walking slowly and controlled down stairs.  I've discovered this is what I need to do more of, or fast squats with slow and extra negatives.

I think some hiking will help but I do remember, hiking the from Eagle Creek to Shuckstack in the Smokies last year was the last real strenuous thing I did before injuring my knee.  Maybe we won't do that hike this weekend when we go.

Seems like it's harder to shed fat.  I need to replace the fat I eat with vegetables.  Last few days I've eaten basically cherries, grilled chicken, nuts, and chocolate.   Just haven't been to the store and I'm essentially eating one meal a day, with a few snacks and coffee.

Looking forward to visiting the Great Smoky Mtn Nat'l Park by boat.

Monday, August 12, 2019

split 400

Hot day in Atlanta, was at the Marist track with my friends Roya and Dean.  Sunny, light winds, felt like 90º or so at 6:30pm.

Still not ready to run a 400m.
Hoka trainers on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
'split 400m' - 44 /  rest 1 min / 100m - 15.5 
100m - 13.46
It was really hard.  I think the 300m was more like 43.8, although not timed precisely.  The way I was feeling at the end of the 300m, I'd be hard pressed to finish a 400m in any less than 18 for the last 100.  Even if it were 19, still would be a 63ish 400m.

The only way I know how to improve is to slow down a bit and add more volume.  Eventually, 4x200m w/1 min rest, and 4x300m with 2 min rest.  Long way away from being able to do that.  Next should be 3x200m w 1 min.

Didn't take 6 days rest, went on 5 days again and it felt ok, and this weekend planning some hiking so no track for 7 or 8 days at least.

Been really trying to strengthen the upper body and definitely getting stronger.  I swam a little today but it was pretty much a day off.  I'll say it again for the hundredth time, I may be in decent shape, but not in 400m running shape.

Tomorrow is expected to be one of the hottest days of the yr, so I'll definitely swim, do weights and maybe bike.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Not ready to run a 400 yet

I thought about running my first 400m today, but the warmup and the first few sprints didn't feel as good as last time, so I opted for a 300m and some 100s.   My foot and knee hurt slightly in warmups, as usual, but improved after a few 100s.  However, due my my shape and the heat, my 100s felt more difficult than they should have, which made me conclude that I'm not ready for a 400m.

Hot day, light breeze, 85º with a heat index near 90º. 

Hoka trainers on
 300m warmup, stretches, drills
50m strider 
2 x 100m on the turn from the 400m start - 14.40, 13.89 
300m - 44.20  / 2 min rest / 100m - 13.96
I set my goal of 43 for the 300m and fell short.  I wanted to run 14,14,15.  But I ran about 14.2/14.5/15.5.   Perhaps I need to go back to 6 days in between track workouts and take the day off before the workout.   Maybe run some hills.  I don't know.  But I still think 60 flat or better is attainable by the Oct. 20th district meet, still 11 weeks away.  I need to be patient.  In my present shape today,  I probably could have run at 62-63 400m.   Since I'm not going to compete this yr indoors, I have a LOT of time.  My form still feels clunky, my left quad tight, which I have to take extra time stretching and rolling, probably due to that hip flexor tear in '15.  I should probably do more form drills, back off to 70% and work on form.... do drills more than once a week during my track workout. 

As Alan T. said, volume is the enemy for the masters sprinter, but I'm going to have to get at least 1200m of work in if I'm ever going to run a fast 400, but not yet.  Maybe by late fall/winter.  600m total sprints today wasn't bad for this early.  The PT grid shows 30 weeks as a tentative time for 'full recovery' from the knee procedure I had.  I'm just past 28 weeks now and still doing PT, mostly just single leg squats.

My weight is good, 142.8 lbs after workout.  Would like to go lower.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Back on track for a short tempo set

First time on the track in a week.  I have been doing somewhat rigorous cross training, 2 major bike climbs on Sat and Sunday, and swimming on Monday. 

My first tiny tempo workout.... just a touch of pain, not the bad injury type of pain, but the good hard work pain... just a little.

I wanted to run a 400m today at 90% but I opted for 2 x 200m w/ 1 min rest, then a hard 100m.  It went well.  I'm getting there. 

Mid 70's and humid, wet track.  I saved my prized Clifton 1s for the actual intervals and warmed up in my Clifton 3s.
Hoka Clifton 3s on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m acceleration
Hoka Clifton 1s on 
2 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 29.5, 29.5 
110m - 14.53
I was happy to get both 200s under 30 and there is no way I could have done 4x200m w/ 1m like I do when in 'running shape'.  I think maybe the next step would be 3 x 200m w/ 1m avg 31. 

Before I had full recovery, I launched into a 90% effort 100m... looked at my watch and was severely disappointed when I saw 14.53, but it was actually 110m... as I started from the hurdle start.  It was probably like a 13.3 100m. not bad for trainers and a wet track.

The extra time off from running made a difference.  The only thing is that it makes me want to come back sooner and do it again.  Probably need to wait til at least this weekend to run again.  I really think I could put the spikes on and run a 62 400m right now.   I won't rule out running in the October Chattanooga district meet.  That's a full 10 weeks away. 

Did a gym workout after the track focusing on hams, glutes, lats, and chest. 

Weight is ok, in the 144s after workout and I'm trying again to reduce.  The lighter I am, the less stress on my feet and knees. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Climbed Roark's Cove Rd today on the bike and made a plan to bike the big climb at Raccoon Mtn on Sat with the usual suspects from Chattanooga.   I also did a one set weight workout at the rec center afterward.    I was happy to see, despite the large meals I ate in Atlanta, I didn't gain weight, was 144.4 after workout tonight.  I was going to wait til Sunday to hit the track again but may wait til Monday, or if I'm feelin' it, may try Friday.  I think it's good to have a day off of any leg related exercise the day before a track workout.  I don't know, will just have see how it feels on Sunday.

It's so early in the game and I have mixed feelings about track training.  On one hand, I miss it and want to get feeling 'normal' again and training as usual.   It takes a while to readjust to running and may even help the healing.  Or it could endanger the future training if I go too soon.   My competitive M60 window extends from July, '20 Nat'ls and Worlds, the following indoor season '21 Nationals at the Armory and World's in Edmonton.  Edmonton Indoor Worlds is the latest ever - April 6-12, '21.

So, from July '20 to April '21... that's a long 'season' and that's the window I'm shooting for.  I've always run well indoor and I really would like to peak at that Edmonton meet.  I have this 'pipe dream' that I can once again break 56 in the 400m indoor, but that's unlikely.  I've done it only 5 times (2x in Albuquerque, 2x in Birmingham, and in Korea).   If so, I'd be in M60 world record territory.  My 55.17 in Korea was probably an anomaly.  I did run 55.22 in '16.  The M60 indoor WR is 55.62 for the 400m.  But, that's the thing about track, anomalous performances count.  If I think I'm in anywhere near that shape, I'll travel to the fastest tracks and go for it.

A distance runner I met on line told me he never was able to get back to the elite level he was at before he had this same knee surgery.  However, he didn't have Dr. LaPrade and I think he started running too much too soon.  He's only in his 40's.  I think I'll send him an email and see what I can learn from his experiences.

I still have no idea whether my body will tolerate training for the long haul.  I should have a better idea in a few months.

Short quality workout

At the Marist track.  Summer heat has finally broken and it's cooler.  50ºs tonight in Sewanee.

I almost bailed on this workout, I think I'll take it to 4 days off between track workouts so I'm closer to 100%.   After warmup, didn't feel quite ready to do a track workout, but after a few strides, I did a little.  Went ok.

Hoka trainers on 
250m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 40m strides 
100m - 13.82 
200m - 28.78 
100m - 13.57

Definitely a long ways from 'running shape.'  After the 200m, I felt like I would after running a mid 60s 400m when in shape.  Originally wanted to do 2 x 200m with 1 min rest, but maybe next time.

Spoke to Alan and he said he fears his track career may be over because of his hamstring.  He also said "volume is the enemy as we age"... what we need is "quality and cross training." 

Was happy to be on the track with the "Birthday Girl"...

Friday, July 19, 2019

beginning track milestones

Today was the day for the track.  If it felt ok I was going to try my first 300m, and I did.  Went well.

I went out in the hot part of the day because I had plans in the early evening.  It was about 84º with a heat index in the 90ºs.    I brought my brand new Hoka Clifton 1s specifically for the occasion.   After warming up and running some short sprints, I put the Clifton 1s on for the 300m.
Hoka Clifton 3s on 
250m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m strider 
100m -  13.92 
Hoka Clifton 1s on 
300m - 46.5
Doesn't look like much of a workout but it was a milestone.  First time since the surgery under 14 sec in the 100m and first 300m in a time much faster than expected.  I was shooting for 48 and came out quite ahead of goal. 46.5 is about 63-64 400m pace, which is quite good for this early in the game. 

I wanted to do more, but I think that's what I can handle and walk away feeling good.  Both my foot and knee tolerated the workout well but may have hurt if I did more.  Really no more than 4-500m of sprints for now, and I'll take 3 days off in between track workouts, so I'll be back on maybe Tues. 

145 lbs after workout. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

not ready yet

Thought I might be ready to do a track workout yesterday but no.  During a warmup, my foot felt pretty achy so I did the warm up on the track, then went to the hill on Roark's Cove Rd to run a few.

Hoka Clifton 3 trainers on 
400m warmup stretches, drills 
4 x 100m hill sprints 19.5- 20.5

I could have run more but wanted to stop and preserve myself for a real workout maybe by Friday.  I usually run these 100m hills at about 18, so these were slower.   I went to the rec center afterward for a 1 set workout.

Today Tues, I've done some abs and pullups, I'll swim in the afternoon, and go to the weight room and bike afterward.  It's a sports camp.


Masters Nationals

I was happy to see Getulio win the M55 400m (54.85) and smash a WR in the 400mH (57.72).  He told me he was injured and not in shape.  LOL.... right.  Happy to see David win the 200m in a World Lead 24.37.   Both these guys ran faster than my M55 PRs. (55.17 / 24.48)

Sorry to see Ben go down in the M60 400m.  He was pretty bummed when we texted.  What a difference in age groups!  The M60 400 was won in 59, only one person under a minute; and Val won the 200 in 26.60 (despite seeding himself at 23.5).

Sunday, July 14, 2019

New lease on summer

I was scheduled to have hand surgery on Friday and I backed out at literally the last minute, I made the decision during the drive to the hospital.  My hand symptoms weren't bad enough to warrant surgery so I opted for some cortisone shots.  The hand feels ok and will likely improve in the coming days.  I was prepared to put away my boat, bike, and motorcycles for the month and possibly the summer.  I had read wide ranging personal accounts of the surgery from 'recovery in a few weeks' to 'never the same again.'   So, I'm fine and it has been a reminder to never take for granted what I have.  Saturday I expected to be in pain recovering, but instead, I was at the lake swimming, doing pushups, and enjoying life.  I swam a lot, about 3/4 mile. 

There will come a time when I can't do a pullup, when I can't run, when I can't use my boat, when I can't play guitar, when I can't bike, and possibly even when I can't walk...   to those who blow off such opportunities to do these things out of laziness when they can, it is sad and you will regret it... someday.  This was a lesson for me. 

So, I've been getting fairly 'buff' in my upper body, doing a lot more upper body work this week and yesterday.   Eating a bit more.   Saturday, I did not intend to run although I really wanted to.  The rec center was open late but was buzzing with activity with a major youth swim meet.  So I went to the track and did a warm up, some drills and 5 x 50m high knee fast turnover sprints on turf.  Then I went to the weight room and did upper body, and glutes.  I was the only person there as the place was really open later than scheduled.

I live a pretty solitary life as my close friends and family are far away, but it's a like living in a sports camp.  I can swim, bike, lift, and run as much as I am able on turf, hills or track.   Frankly, I have little else to do, except occasional musical practicing and recording.  I do hope to get my boat out again week after next, since my truck is in the shop (again). 

It's really difficult to restrain myself from trying to run too often at this point.  I really should not run any more than every 4th or 5th day or so.  Next time I may just run hills instead of track, tomorrow at the earliest. 

It's not been too hot here past few days, just low 80ºs but the water temperature at the lake is about 88º at the surface.  It's like a paradise there, rarely see people except for weekends but on Sat., no one was there from 12:30 - 2:30pm.   I go right to the lakeshore on my motorcycle instead of having to hike the half mile to get there from the road.  I swim the quarter mile across the lake to a beautiful rock beach with colorful wild flowers, it's pristine and warm.  I imagine the fishing is great.  Paradise. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Just a few

On the track again tonight.  Felt ok although my stride still feels a bit clunky and asymmetric.   I did a similar brief workout as I did on Sunday.  Slightly more.
Hoka Clifton 3 trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
100m - 15. 6 
200m - 32 
100m - 14.4

Running my first 200m in a long time.  Was a bit spooked about trying the 200m because it was this exact distance on this same track I felt that 'snap' in my knee that took me out for this season.  So I ran it easy and it was fine. 

My workouts are going to be similar to this for a while and I may start running some hill sprints.  Probably be at least a week before I'm back on the track because of a hand surgery tomorrow, which will affect my upper body lifting and resistance work for quite a while. 

In a month, I may start putting tempo intervals together with limited rest.  Then the real training will begin. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

First track workout in 8 months

Well, it wasn't a real workout, but I did sprint for the first time, about 85%. 

It was great being on the track again.  Not going to push it, maybe once a week for the next month.  Knee isn't 100% but it's getting there.  It was a steamy humid evening in Sewanee, not hot, about 74º with a thunderstorms all around.  I kept it real brief as a big storm was approaching.

Clifton 3 trainers on
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 100m - 15.48, 14.82, 14.42

Well, it's a start.  I can sprint, albeit, slowly.  I expect to be back out Thurs as I am having a hand surgery Friday that will put me out of biking and much upper body lifting for weeks.  Hopefully, I'll be back on the track shortly after.  Expect to do some hill running next time.  Hill running is actually safe as it is short stride. 

I'm not as light as I'd like to be ... still around 146-147 lbs yesterday, 145 today.   It's fruit and melon season, been eating more but well.


Thursday, July 4, 2019

First runs

After a strong early mid June of diet and vigorous biking, I've gotten a tad soft after a week in FL with my parents and an unusual chest cold on this July 4th.  Last night I did the obligatory Stairmaster and a few machines, and my weight is OK, 143.8 lbs after workout last night, but I feel soft and not in shape.

While in FL, I did some of my first hill runs.  On Thurs and Sunday I did 3x150 hill runs and it felt OK.  On Tues I did 8 stadium stair runs and it felt ok but not great.  Very out of shape compared to last year when I ran 30 of these.  The next morning I felt a little weak, also due to the cold and travel.

My original plan was to get really thin, then start building muscle.  I did lose weight but 145-146 avg is not 'really thin' and my training has consisted of some cardio plus one set maintenance lifting of a few machines.  No real gains can be made with one set workouts, 2-3 times a week, so I'm just maintaining a moderate level of fitness, not really pushing it.

I can tell with my first runs, running hills and stairs 3 times in 6 days, that I should not be running more than once every 4-6 days or so at this point, and only hills and stairs, nothing fast or full stride. It's been 6 months today and I can still feel a small amount of pain when I really torque the knee to maximum flex and do single leg squats, but just minor.  I believe that the body needs time to adapt to running after so many months off. 

There is no rush!  I don't anticipate any serious interval workouts on the track for at least 6-8 weeks.  I really want to be viable to race a year from now at M60 and in the following indoor season which is a LONG ways away.  The USATF Indoor Championships will be at the Armory in NYC! on March 19, 2021... that is more than 20 months away, and the World Masters Indoor Championship WMACi Edmonton will be one of the latest ever contested... April 6-12, 2021.  That is where I hope to be 100% and back to world class at M60... 21 months away.  If that goes well, I may do Nationals again in 2021.  But all of this is so far away, I have no idea what will happen or where I'll be.  It's just good to have goals.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hill climb on bike, run testing on track

After slacking a bit on Sunday, I went out and climbed Roarke's Cove Rd. yesterday on the bike, a 28 min 900' climb of 2.8 miles.  My bike needs some adjustment, not getting into the highest and lowest gears.  I stopped on the steepest part of the hill and did a 100m run up to see wha it felt like.  It was fine.   I then went to the track and did my usual warmup and added some single leg squats.  I tried a bit of running.  Running on the turf with high knees and good form, it feels good.  So, I did 3 x 50m high knee running.  I tried a 50m run with normal stride but it felt clunky.

I can tell my first running will be hills and not full stride.  Maybe some stadium stair when I get back to Murfreesboro on July 2.   I can see that it'll be a while before any speed work but it's nice to return to the track and to the hills for some running, even though it's just a little.   No need to rush anything.  I am trying to increase my flexion but when I flex my knee to the max, it really makes some noise. 

My weight was up a bit but body fat still OK.  When I get down to this weight it's not hard to maintain.  I ate a lot of chocolate yesterday and was 147 lbs after dinner, but today will be a light day and I'll be back to 143ish by tomorrow.  Woke up at 144.7 lbs, which is usually at least a lb heavier than after my workout.  I think I'll swim and do stairmaster, abs, and weights today.  Traveling to FL to see my parents tomorrow so I anticipate a break in my workouts for the next week with no bike.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

hill climbing on the bike then time off

Last week I took the boat up the river to Chattanooga and through the beautiful TN River Gorge.  On Friday morning I awoke to a gorgeous and unseasonably cool sunny morning, in the 50ºs and decided that it was the day to do the Raccoon mountain climb on my bike.

 It is a 12+ mile round trip and the hill is a relentless 1400' climb that goes on for about 5 miles.  I waited til early afternoon to start, which was a mistake because it got quite warm by the time I started, but still only low 80ºs but feeling hot in the sun.  Normally I would try to make this without stopping but I did stop a few times on the way up.   The vistor's center was cool and the views tremendous.  It was hard, I never thought I'd do it again... but I did, about 18 hrs later.

That night I met my HS friend Bill and he said he was in, he wanted to do the climb.  Bill is an endurance runner and he said he'd be bringing Dianna, his friend who is a top triathlete, about 10 yrs younger than us.

They showed up next morning at 6:30ish AM and I met them in the parking lot. They both had nice road bikes, Dianna's was a super light carbon bike.  I was on my much heavier entry level mountain bike.  After the first two miles, they were gone ... ahead of me and out of sight, Dianna leading the way.   This encouraged me not to stop so I kept going, pushing all the way to the top.  It seemed easier than last time, but certainly not 'easy'.    They were not at the visitors center so I took a loop of the lake before I finally found them, we took a few photos at the top.  

Bill and I made it down quickly and we were rewarded with a real close sighting of a bob cat crossing the road during our rapid descent, probably about 40+ mph. 

During this trip, I suspended my diet, and ate pasta once, some other carbs and developed a real fondness for Whole Foods brand chocolate almond butter cups.  

Aside from one ab session and a set of pull ups (16), I didn't exercise for most of 3 days after my return and my slacking on my diet caused me to backslide a little, still hovering around 145 lbs but getting a tad soft, so today, I need to do a hard bike and get to the gym.  

I've put aside this week to refocus on music as I've been learning some new pieces on the Baroque lute, which has been great fun and challenging.  

I hope to do more boating this season.  The boat ran great but when I got back to my truck, the starter was failing but I managed to get it to start one final time to get me home.  Also, the boat has a new modern  vacu-flush head that I installed, and the new exhaust manifold I installed is working well. 

This photo was from the top of the mountain and to give you an idea of scale, that tiny white dot at the left side of the parking lot is my boat.

As far as my other toys, my 2 Kawasaki dual sport Sherpa motorcycles are going to be very costly to repair, so I've been riding this street legal Suzuki DR 100 mini bike around.  It's 32 yrs old and amazing it still runs well.  With my truck in the shop, it is my only motorized vehicle.   I took it to the lake for a swim the other day.  Still relatively cool for almost summer in the south.  On and off showers and only in the 70ºs today and tomorrow.  

Love these long days.  Love this time of year.  A good life for sure.  

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Stairmaster and rowing, article

Traveling to see Dr. LaPrade tomorrow, so I won't be working out tomorrow and I did a harder one today.  Weights + 20min hill program on the stairmaster and 2000m in 9 min on the rower.

Was 142.5 lbs after workout.

Regarding diet and intermittent fasting, I saw this interesting article:
An Evolutionary Perspective on Why Food Overconsumption Impairs Cognition
"Obesity impairs cognition and increases the risk for some psychiatric disorders and dementias.  Continuous availability and consumption of energy-rich food in relatively sedentary modern-day humans negatively impacts the lifetime cognitive trajectories of parents and their children. The cellular and molecular mechanisms by which intermittent food deprivation enhances cognition and overfeeding impairs cognition are being elucidated."

consolation prize

It was an off season for me last year in '18, and due to injury, and I've taken this year off from track competition, looking ahead to next yr and a new age group: M60.

 At least I finished in the top 10 in the world rankings in the 400m in my age group:  #6 in world / #1 USA indoor; and #10 in world and #3 in USA outdoor. 

I'm happy to share this regional USATF award with my GPTC teammates - we won the masters M50 4x400 relays at both the Millrose Games and at the Penn Relays.   In addition, 2 World Championship relay medals in Spain, a Gold in the M55 4x100m and a Silver in the 4x400m for team USA.

Not too bad for an off year.  Unfortunately, my 2 worst races were the 2 most important: National finals and World Semifinals - 57.43 and 57.50... and that sticks with me the most. 

Thanks to Chuck for sending this award to me and thanks to my awesome teammates.   See you next year at Nationals and Worlds.