Sunday, May 31, 2020

Puma: Now that is customer service!

Have a little time on my hands, so...

On a lark, I looked up the Puma company CEO's email. Bjørn Gulden has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PUMA since July 2013.  I sent him this email:

With the fading effect of the Usain Bolt era, Puma is using basically the same design sprint shoe from 10 years ago. The plate is the same but the upper is different. The new knit upper isn’t what sprinters like, knit fabric just doesn't lock down tight, the way other synthetics do. If you have a track and field product development department, please forward. The best sprint shoe Puma ever developed was the Puma Bolt evoSPEED Sprint LTD - with the golf ball style dimple outer. All sprinters loved this shoe, it is lighter, tighter, and more aerodynamic than the present shoe. I would hope Puma could return to this style. it worked for Usain Bolt. This was your best sprint shoe. I believe it came out in 2013.  

Shockingly, Mr. Gulden, CEO of Puma, responded almost immediately from Norway:

Thx William We have new uppers and new plates in development for Tokyo. I will give you input to the team. I am sure they will contact you!
Thx for contacting me! BG

This isn't the first time I've ever written to a company CEO, but I think it is the first time I ever received a personal response. 

How about that?

I actually don't mind the old style plate that Puma uses, since I can use my risers with it... which now are obsolete in the Nike and Adidas world.   I have enough of these old style Pumas to last me the rest of my Masters career, I'm fairly certain.  But, it will be interesting to see what they come up with.  I seriously doubt I will hear from Puma's development team, but... you never know.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

less but faster

I keep saying it's perfect here, and tonight was no exception.  69º and beautiful at the Sewanee track.  It started the way it has been a lot recently.  Felt poor in my warmup jog, but felt fine after warmup.  Ran less today but faster.  Still on turf.
Hoka trainer on 
400m warmup stretches, drills 
4 x 100m w/ 30 sec rest on turf ~ 14.7 - 16.2 
2 x 150m w/ 40 sec rest on turf - 19.91, 20.96

Wanted to do more, but less is more and I'll be back ....  145.3 lbs after workout.

After the biggest single day rain event in 6 yrs here yesterday, 4.75" in 14 hrs,  Saturday will bring a week of sunny dry weather with a warming trend from mid 70ºs to the mid 80ºs by late week.  It's going to be cool at night, overnight lows will be great - 50ºs this weekend to low to mid 60ºs late next week.

Talked with the JAC meet director, they said their meets for July are still on, although they had to cancel their May meet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

100s again

Same workout as I've done now 3 times, 10 x 100m w/ 30 sec rest on turf.   Beautiful evening, about 69ª and mostly cloudy. 

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
10 x 100m ~ 16-17 w/ 30 sec rest on turf

This workout isn't getting much easier, but I did run the last one in 15 sec., which was hard after 9.  I did  resistance yesterday, and am trying to bring my weight down.  A little frustrated that I can't train as hard as I want to, but that shouldn't stop me from getting light and fit.  I'm probably going to run every third day and bike and do weights every third day.   145.5 lbs after workout

Bad news on the Jacksonville Athletic Club meets.   Apparently they are looking for a new venue and canceled their first meet which was May 30.  Hopefully, their other meets will happen.  If they don't, there will be only 2 or 3 other possibilities to race, one in Atlanta 7/25, and 2 others but far away, Indianapolis 7/18 and Enterprise, AL 8/1.  It's not looking promising. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

150s, 100s

Back to running today and it felt ok.  I changed it up a bit with some 150s and hard 100s, all on turf.  Splendid evening at Sewanee, mid 70ºs, calm winds, fair skies.
Hoka trainers on  
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
6 x 150m on turf w/ 50 sec rest - 22.5 - 25 
2 x 100m on turf - 12.84, 12.84
The last time I did 150's on turf I ran 10, on May 4.  This time I ran them a bit faster, and finished with 2 x 100m hard on turf.  Amazingly, both 100s were the exact same time to the 100/th.   I felt like I wanted to do more, but thought this is good if I want to try and run again on Tues. 

I did this workout on 2 days rest from running, although I did Roarks Cove hill climb on the bike on my 'days off'.  I need to really hit some resistance tomorrow.  Long overdue. 

I'm a bit heavy, before the workout I was 146 high,  and I need to get down about 3 lbs at least.  Right now my daily range is 145 -149.  Should be 141-145.   

I'm in ok shape, probably lost a little since I've been going with 2 days rest a few times and not doing the long sprints on the track.  I still think I can break 60 in a 400, and thats what I mean by ok shape.   From OK shape to elite would only take about 4-5 weeks of injury free training. 

Went for a nice bike ride after the workout to burn some more calories.  Very summer like weather pattern for the next 10 days... mid 70ºs and a chance of showers or storms every day. 

Another hill climb

I went to the track yesterday and did a full warmup, but decided to do another hill climb on the bike instead.  It wasn't my fastest but close, under 24 minutes.

I've been slacking a bit on my resistance work but I expect to pick that up this week, drop a few pounds and start getting ready to race in July.  I'm at a decent basic fitness level now.  What I mean by 'basic fitness' is that I could break 60 in a 400m, but to get to that next level of sub 58, that's going to take 5-6 weeks of increased training.  If I feel like it's injurious, I'll back off, but I think this week on the turf and off the track has been good, as well as the few workouts with 3 days rest in between, and the cross training on the bike.

Moving forward, I really will need to pick my battles and cross train a lot.  It has been suggested by Ken Stone at Masters Track Blog, that international Masters Championships may be not held for years until a vaccine in introduced.  I think that is possible, but worst case.   More likely, the indoor season will be affected.

New Supplement 
I'm taking a regime of joint health supplements including collagen peptides (40g/ day), and glucosamine.  One I recently added was hyaluronic acid.  It's a natural lubricant and is not only great for the joints, but also topically as a facial / skin moisturizer.  It's contained in a lot of products but sometimes it's not clear how much.  I bought the pure hyaluronic acid powder and am taking at least 3 grams a day by capsule.  Combining it with water creates a clear gel, similar to aloe vera, and I use it as a daily face moisturizer.  Great stuff!

I'll be back to running today, on the turf.

Friday, May 22, 2020

same workout and the new old bike

Was back at the track on Thurs for turf workout.  Delightful weather, low 60ºs and fair.  Rabbits and birds around, no people.  I  stayed on the grass for the same maintenance extensive tempo workout as before. 10x100m w/ 30 sec rest.

Also got the bike back today with it's new gearing and did the Roark's Cove Rd climb tonight.  I purchased my first bicycle helmet also.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
10 x 100m on turf w/ 30 sec rest ~16-17 
This is a good compact workout.  Takes less than 8 minutes to complete and it's plenty hard.  I don't get the real lactic swell that I get with long sprint repeats, but I usually push myself hard on the last one and it's fully exhausting, straight line, and low impact.   A good sweaty workout.

I got the bike back with the new climbing gears and went up Roarks Cove Rd today.  It's always hard but with this gearing, I can do it without stopping to rest.  I was hoping for a 52/42/30T crank, but I got a 50/39/30T and with the 34T granny gear in the back, it's all I need.  My flat sprint speed is not going to be as fast with 50/13T, but I train on hills more than flat.  I picked up some accessories on line and at the shop: helmet, bike computer/speedometer, and lights.  For everything, about $300.  The bike is a decent vintage chromolly steel, 23 lbs... a little heavy by modern road bike standards, but not bad.  A good trainer.  You have to spends thousands $$$$ to get a bike under 18 lbs these days.

144.9 lbs after today's hill climb.

The meet in Marietta, GA is on for June 6, but I don't think I want to go for it, unless I'm feeling really good by then. Too soon.  It won't be as meaningful as racing at M60 in July.

Stadium flower

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

10 x 100m

Cool wet weather in Sewanee, a high of only 61º today.  Rainy and stormy weather is supposed to persist for the next 10 days.  Got rained out yesterday, but actually went to the track to stretch, but the rain didn't stop as expected.   Has some aches so I took another day.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
10 x 100m on turf w/ 30 sec rest  ~16-17.5
I want to get rid of these aches so I'll stay on turf for a while.  This workout is over quick and a butt kicker.  I can get this workout done in less than 8 min.  And, I usually can recover from this and do more, but I left it alone today.  I want to be back on Thurs feeling good. 
145.0 lbs after workout.

After the WMA announcement of the World Championship in Finland just 14 months away, I was surprised to see Team USA people already making plans and chatting about it on Whatsapp.  Apparently, hotels are going to be very hard to get because the European Championship has been scheduled there for a long time.  Tampere is not a huge city, about 250,000.   It's 2 hrs from Helsinki. 

I took my road bike in and Brian said he can put on a 52/42/30T crank, which will give me a gear for every situation, super steep to fast and level.   I hope to get it back this week. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

NEWS: World Masters Outdoor Now Scheduled for July '21 in Finland

The WMA has moved the Edmonton Indoor Masters World Championships to 2022,  and replaced it with an outdoor World Championship in Tampere, Finland in early July,  2021 

This should be a very competitive meet with all the Europeans there since they are expanding the European Championships originally planned for that site.

Looking back, this still robs me of my most competitive outdoor season, which would have been this summer in M60.  As in Lyon, being at the head of the age group matters.  Now, it looks as if our indoor season may be in jeopardy.   I really hope the Indoor Nat'ls goes as scheduled at the Armory in March.

If the US becomes the world's pit of disease due to the mismanagement of our federal government, I guess traveling to European meets might be an option.

Also, if I'm still racing at age 65, the WMAC Outdoor Championships will be in Daegu, Korea in 2025.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

bike gearing, food, changes

Warm day in Sewanee.  Near 80º. 

The new gear on the bike isn't as low as I need to do serious long hill climbs.  It's has a 42/52 front crank, and a 28 tooth rear low gear.  The low gear on my mountain bike is 28 front/34 rear.  I think I'm going to need a new crank (front sprocket set) and a 34 tooth 'escape gear' in the rear.  Could be looking at about $150 on top of the $100 I've already spent on the other gear, the rim straightening and new tire, tube, and tune up.   This mid '80's vintage Miyata road bike is really not too bad for the $50 I originally paid for it many yrs ago.  I discovered this Miyata Seven Ten model I have was actually considered a "A mid- to high-end road bike from the Semi-Pro group"  back in the mid 80's.  (I saw a few restored models of this bike selling for several hundred $$$).   It weighs only 23.5 lbs., so, I guess it's worth rebuilding.   It's better than putting $1500+ out for a new bike.  I'm wondering if I can get a triple front crank 52/42/30t?  Brian at Woody's does great work and cheap.  I'm extremely lucky to have a bike shop like that in my small town.

So, I couldn't make it up Roark's Cove Rd today without stopping.  I did get a good workout, though  it's been a while since I've done a serious hill climb.  I did go to the track to stretch and do some drills, but no running.  Did a set of pullups and pushups, nothing much, basically a day off.  I expect to be back to the track on Monday.

For the past few months I've been living with an expert salad maker, but now that Roya is gone, I'll probably be keeping different hours, working on my class at night, and eating less salad.  Our one daily meal has been, 90% of the time, a salad and grilled chicken breast.   I'll probably eating more meat and less vegetables as I try to strength train.

Science and diet
A friend of mind sent me this article showing a direct correlation between higher body fat and loss of memory and brain atrophy with age.   Guess I shouldn't have bought baguettes and pastry at Panera today!  Fat ages, in many ways.  Fasting and HIIT, the opposite.

Friday, May 15, 2020

300s, 200. Nat'ls officially canceled

Feels like summer finally but not hot.  Calm, dry, and low 70ºs at the Sewanee track.  When I got to the track, I found 2 young adults and 4 kids riding bicycles on the track.  As I walked to my warmup spot, I called the Sewanee police.  They came halfway through my warmup and cleared the track.

As expected, the USATF Masters Outdoor Championship for July was officially canceled today.

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 300m w/ 2:30 rest - 46.41, 46.69 
300m - 44.87 
200m - 26.90

Got my road bike retooled and tuned with some hill gears and pedals, so I'm going to ramp up the cross training and start getting on the bike for some hill climbs up Roark's Cove Rd and Raccoon Mtn.   I'm going to ramp up my strength training and focus on getting ready for a July race.   Looking forward to seeing what I've got.   See if my body holds up.  Could be leaner and stronger.  145.8 lbs after workout. 

Besides the training, I'll have a lot of structure in my life due to this online teaching at MTSU.   I hate online teaching, it's time consuming, but the $ is very good.  This continues to be a very fruitful year... Sewanee teaching, MTSU overload pay, MTSU summer online teaching, and yearly bonus.  If it weren't for this pandemic, I'd be paying off my house this summer, but under the circumstances, I think it's good to have a years salary+ in  the bank.  No one knows how bad this pandemic and depression could get.   Still feel pretty safe up here, and very lucky.  May wait til early next yr to make the house payoff. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

10 x 100, 150

Upper 60ºs and nice weather at the Sewanee track on Wed.   Warm weather is finally here.  In some ways, I'll miss the real cool weather.   

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
10 x 100m on turf w/ 30 sec rest ~ 16 
150m - 19.06 
2 x 40yd - 5.09, 5.06

Trying to keep the impact low, but i did a few sprints on the track as well.  I do like these turf workouts, they definitely are easier on the feet and knees.  

145.9 after workout

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

JAC Summer Track Series

Jacksonville Track Club Summer Series seems dedicated to holding meets as scheduled in their spring summer series.  They've published this add to show their commitment to safety.
Meets Schedule:  May 31, June 6, July 18, July 25, August 8

Location will be at the exclusive private school, the Bolles School which has excellent facilities, a history for athletics.  Bolles has produced 13 Olympic Medalists in swimming.

Monday, May 11, 2020

first 400m event run

Another crisp and cool evening in Sewanee, 58º when I got there, 49º just after sunset when I left.  Since the wind died down, all the walkers and kids left, I decided to go for it and do an event run 400m.

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 50m 
400m - 58.44  (27.35/ 31.09) 
300m - 43.48 
150m on turf - 22.3

A brief workout but I'm happy with the 400m.  As a goal, I set my pace timer at 14,14,15,16 = 59, and I beat it.   I did run in trainers but I did it with a 3 step rolling start.  Good, considering I'm not really putting in a lot of volume or tempo, and I'm not at race weight, about 146 lbs before workout.

It's been in the 30ºs or low 40ºs by morning for the past 4 days, and one more cool day before seasonal temperature return later this week.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

brief recovery workout

Beautiful clear, dry, cool evening at the track with no wind, upper 50ºs and falling into the upper 40ºs after sunset.  I was still sore from the 2 consecutive days I did with stadium stairs, so I didn't kill myself this evening.  Was tempted to run a hard 400m but refrained.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
50m - 6.83 
2 x 40yd (from 3pt) - 4.95,  4.85 
2 x 200m - 27.80, 26.38 
100m, 150m on turf - 14.10, 21.64
I gave varying levels of effort on these, but worked the hardest on the 2nd 200m. 

First workout with the new Sportcount finger timer.  This one is accurate, unlike the pos Contu that I sent back due to a design flaw.  It will enable me to get exact splits on my workouts.   Probably the best new workout equipment I've added in a while.

145.2 lbs after workout.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

stadium stairs

Cool today, mid 50ºs in Murfreesboro, here for my yearly physical so I did stadium stairs, first time since early February.  Back then I suffered through 15 and needed a long break after 8.  So, today was an improvement.

Hoka trainers on 
brief stretches 
20 x stadium stairs

I did these with just 2 short sit down rests, one after 10 and one after 15.  It was hard.  Since I also ran yesterday, I'm not going to run til Sat.  Will do resistance tomorrow.

143.0 lbs after workout.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

800, 150s on turf / Hoka Clifton 6 review

Nice evening in Sewanee, 65º with clearing skies.  Tomorrow will be beginning a very cool week with some days only in the low 50ºs and overnight lows approaching freezing Friday night.  

I also tried out a new pair of Hoka Clifton 6s.  I'll post a brief review below.  
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches drills 
800m - 2:35.8 (77, 78.8)
6 x 150m w/ 50 sec rest ~ 24-25
A good foundation workout, 1700m total work.  The 800m was hard as well as the turf intervals afterward.  

Tomorrow, I have my annual physical and blood work report in Murfreesboro, so I may stay to run the stadium stairs.  It'll be sunny and mid 50ºs tomorrow in the 'boro.  Then, I'll take 2 days off from track and ride the bike Thurs and do resistance. 

143.8 lbs after workout.  

Hoka Clifton 6 Review

I ordered a pair of Clifton 6's in 'wide' to see if they might offer better outer foot protection.  Overall, it is a good shoe, better than the Clifton 4 or 5.  However, the 'wide' version of my size does not have a wider sole, is just has a slightly wider toe box.  It 2mm wider than the Clifton 1s, but is 2mm narrower than the Clifton 3s.  They weighed in at about 8 oz., about the same or slightly lighter than the Clifton 3s.  The peculiar thing about this pair is that the left shoe was 4 grams heavier than the right shoe, just 1/7 oz, but odd for a new pair out of the box.  They seemed nice and soft but I really didn't like the wide version.  The large toe box would be great for walking or as a casual shoe, but not for sprint training.  I'm going to exchange them for a regular width version.  I'll reserve judgement til I get the regular widths, but my first impression is that it's very similar but not quite as good as the Clifton 3s, but may be more durable.  It seems a few millimeters narrower, but maybe a few grams lighter.  Definitely moving in the right direction.  Overall, it's no match for the original Clifton 1s (which I still have an unused pair of), which are a full oz lighter and soft.  The main flaw with Clifton 1s is durability, but I've extended the life of these shoes with the application of Shoe Goo liquid rubber.  Great stuff and cheap!

Monday, May 4, 2020

more 150s on turf

At the Sewanee track just ahead of a storm front, I was able to get my workout in on Sunday despite  the passage of the gust front during my extensive tempo workout.

Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
10 x 150m on turf/ with 50 sec rest ~ 25sec 
100m strider on track - 13.3

After about my 7th rep, the gust came through and blew down the lacrosse nets, but fortunately the rain was light.  I finished and then ran a brisk 100m strider.  On the way home, had to wait 30min for a tree to be removed from the road.  Peak gust recorded at home was 44.2 mph. 

I did resistance yesterday and will continue to stay on grass for this week and run every third day.  More resistance Monday.  Some amazingly cool weather forecast this week... 3 or 4 nights with temperatures in the 30ºs and low 40ºs, highs in the 50ºs and 60ºs. 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Yes, there will be races... maybe

Needing a goal, I've contacted some meet directors and it looks like there are some options to race.

The Jacksonville Athletic Club is hosting meets on 5/31, 6/6, 7/18, 7/25, and 8/8.  I inquired.  This was the meet director's reply:
"As of today we are planning on hosting all of our summer meets."
Also, there are 2 meets scheduled in the Atlanta area for June and July but they are tentative.

So, it looks like if everything goes as planned, I may be going to FL to race a few times.   If the 7/18 and 7/25 meets go on as scheduled, maybe it would be good to do both in the same trip.   However, Atlanta has a tentative meet on 7/18.  Very few options to log an M60 time.  Looking back at previous JAC meets, they look perfect... very small.  Only one or 2 heats of every race.  If JAC cancels it's summer season, there are very few others after I turn M60.  Just 3 or 4 scattered around the US ... FL, IL, IN, TX.    The ultimate goal is to log an M60 time.   There is only one M60 time under a minute in the 400m, Trevor logged a 57.7 at the end of Australia's summer season in Feb.  So, that's my goal.  Incredibly, there aren't any M60 times under 27 in the 200m.  I should break 26. 

This means I'm going to begin slowly ramping up my workouts after a recovery week.  11 weeks til my first M60 meet.