Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day on the track - 5/30/11

Just after sunrise, my car was the only one in the stadium parking lot among the thousands of spaces. Walking out on to the Dean A. Hayes track, I saw the track was wet, not because of rain, but because of the sprinkler system. The sun was shining bright at 6:35 am, temperture already 71º.

It took me longer to get ready today, because after my warmup, I had to tape my feet before putting on the spikes, and then had to retape them due to some discomfort. Sprint shoes are never 'comfortable.'

Long sprints at 80-90% effort:

800m warmup, drills

spikes on

2 x 400m - 60 (30,30) 62 (30,32)
2 x 300m - 47, 48
3 x 200m - 27.5, 28, (spikes off) 31

Like yesterday, that was 2000m of sprints. That seems to be a good number when planning a workout. After the second 400m, I felt I'd be lucky to do anything, but I seemed to get a second wind and the second 300 didn't seem so hard. When I run these long sprints I play this game I call 'walk the rope'. I run directly on the line, trying to keep my stride perfectly aligned to straight.

I've decided it will be impossible for me to get to the track on Wed, Thurs, so I plan on a day like yesterday, resistance, plyos, maybe a jog. Maybe tomorrow, I'll do stadium stairs in the heat of the day, I have to teach the next 3 mornings at 8 am. I really don't want to teach a 3 hr class after a workout. The weather is an issue, it's supposed to be bright and sunny in the mid 90ºs all week - which means over 100º if you happen to be in the sun.

No sign of injury or strain. I feel good.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sprinter's meal

This is about what I eat all the time.

Mahi-mahi filets

soy nuts



You want to be fit and weigh less than you did in high school? Exercise every day and make something like this your main meal. Eat only one main meal. Other smaller meals could be just a hand full of nuts and dried fruits, coffee or tea. A little apple cinnamon Hammer Gel with some walnuts, or a Spirutein shake also make a good small meal.

On the day of a race, I generally eat very little. Drinks with caffeine and sugar, some Hammer carb gel, and maybe a Kind bar. I really don't think a lot of 'carb loading' is necessary for sprinters. The lighter I am, the faster. I try not to have a lot of food in my digestive system.

Sat. morning sprints 5/28/11

Back to the track full bore.

With a light workout yesterday, and one last day of cool morning temperatures, I felt it time for a hard workout of long sprints.

It was bright and sunny but cool at 6:45 am on the track, about 62º. Warming up rapidly, by 7 am, I shed the shirt after my first sprint.

I wanted to run fast but long so as a compromise, I did 300s today:

800m warmup, drills

Adidas Spikes on

6 x 300m: 45, 44, 47, 48, 47, 45
(rest intervals - 2, 3, 4, 5, 5 min)

200m - 34 - relaxed cool down

The last two 300s were pretty tough and dropped me to my knees at the finish. All six of these 300s were at or below 63sec 400m pace. Again, s-o-s, I had quit abruptly and run home to the toilet.

Thankfully... I'm healthy. No sign of any strains, the groin issue is nearly gone.

My weight is good and light after the workout: 137.0

It has not been difficult to maintain this weight. I've been eating primarily mahi-mahi (fish), lettuce, oranges, prunes, blueberries, soy nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and Spirutein protein shakes along with orange and grape juice, tea and coffee with raw sugar. That sums up 90% of my diet recently.

I plan on doing a similar workouts on Monday and Wednesday ... the problem is, the weather will be returning to the 90s to stay by tomorrow. And, I have a helluva lot going on - it's TN Guitar Festival week and I'm hosting 4 people in my house, and I'm teaching an 8:30 am class on Wed.

Friday, May 27, 2011

5/27/11 - Back on the track

Perfect morning to run... cool, cloudy, a light mist at 6:30 am. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do but I actually did less than I planned because I started feeling sick because I had to go to the bathroom and as usual, the bathrooms were locked at the track. I had planned to do 2 x [400,300,200], but... I bailed.

Entire workout with Spira training shoes.

800m warm up and drills

set 1: 3 min rest in between
400m - 66.5
300m - 48
200m -29.5

set 2:
400m - 72

bail out ...

It felt good. Nothing faster than 75% but even the last slow 400 felt like work. It was a light enough workout that I may forego a rest day and return tomorrow. I can still feel the groin strain a little but it doesn't bother me when running these long sprints.

As I was leaving just after 7 am, there were already people arriving to set up the stadium for today's state HS meet. The results of the TN state high school track meet were posted on the wall ... yeah, the girls state champ could beat me in the 400, she ran 55's.

If I run tomorrow, my track workout schedule will be for the next 2 weeks: Sat., Mon., Tues., Fri., Sun., Tue., Thurs., leave Fri for SE Regionals. There is an opportunity for 6 good track workouts before SE Regionals. That's should be enough. Because of the TN Guitar Festival, I probably won't be able to go to the track on Wed. or Thurs. because I teach those mornings and have concerts those evenings.

Weight still good: 137.8

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Preparing for a return to the track

Since there is a state high school track meet at the stadium tonight and this weekend, I'm planning my first running workout for tomorrow morning very early - before the meet starts. It should be nice and cool, in the low 60s.

Been doing squats, leg adductors and abductors with bands, lunges, squat leaps, quad and hams.

It's definitely getting better. I can barely feel any problems with the groin. By tomorrow it should be fine.

Nevertheless... I don't need a setback so I'll try and keep all sprints under 75%, concentrating on 400s - bright and early tomorrow.

One good thing is that my weight remains very good at 137.8 which is surprising since I've been eating a lot of fat in the form of nuts lately and I've gone back to putting raw sugar in my tea.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Change of plan

I have time. Sometimes I feel like I don't but... I have more than 2 weeks. My groin is still sore so I'm going to put off my first running workout til at least late Thurs, Fri, or even Sat. I need to follow a good rehab for this groin and I don't want a chronic issue. As soon as possible, I need some 2 leg squat jumps and further light resistance. Today, I'm swimming and doing light resistance lower body, the usual upper body stuff. I may take a jog but no light sprinting.

After this storm front moves through, Friday and Saturday mornings should be nice and cool - in the low 60s. Good workout weather.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday 5/24 - resistance and light run

With my groin still a bit sore, I did resistance work today - both upper and lower body including some leg adductor and abductor to target the strain. It is getting better so I went on a mile run on the street this evening, just an up tempo jog, except for the last 300m where I got up on my toes and sprinted at about 70%. That was just fast enough to remind me of 3 things:

1) how I miss the cool weather of last week
2) how bad my conditioning is presently for the 400m
3) how hard it's going to hurt when I start training hard come Friday.

Wed, light track workout
Thurs, resistance, maybe plyos or stadium stairs
Fri, long sprints

Monday, May 23, 2011


As I mentioned, it takes a day or 2 to assess my post race condition. No sign of the previous strains, left ham or right quad. I have a new one: my left groin is strained and sore. This is the first time I've had any issues like this. However, this is the most common reoccurring injury that I remember from high school sprinting. Back then, I never had even a hint of any hamstring trouble.

I may consider adding some leg adductor resistance work to strengthen this area.

I have 18 days before the SE Regionals. It looks like I may have to take another day or even 2 days off and do one light day of training before really getting into it. I project first running workout to be Wed or Thurs, first hard day Fri or Sat.

Taking time off is hard to do sometimes. I'll shift attention toward core and upper body today. and start leg resistance work Tues or Wed. I'm really thankful for the hot tub.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Huntsville Track Club meet report

The Huntsville Track Club Harry Williams All Comers Meet was kind of a weird event. An all-ages event, there were competitors from 5 to 70 yrs of age.

It was one of the worst tracks I've run on this season, Bob Jones High School, Huntsville, AL. The lanes had perceptible dips, unevenness and with the temperature in the 90's and the sun still shining on the track at 5 pm, the track felt soft and mushy. Add to that a slight headwind and the conditions were not great. The starter was very inexperienced, very predictable. I felt a little soreness in my left hip flexor in the very first practice start I took. It wasn't serious so I competed in both the 100m and 200m and it didn't get worse.

100m: 12.24
My start was ok, not great, but I was in a slow heat with guys my age and older. I won my heat by a lot. The timing system was weird. They had an official timer and backup timer. The backup timer had me in 11.84... I was skeptical. The conditions didn't seem right for such a fast time. I asked the official timer and he said 11.51... but he was mistaking my heat for the previous heat of younger guys. When I got to the awards table, I was disappointed to learn my time was officially 12.24... which seemed about right. The official timer had this thing called a "Time Machine"... a digital hand operated clock attached to a computer printout. It was not gun activated so it was not FAT time... but the guy was an experienced timer and it was probably as accurate as any hand time, and then some. I was really disappointed when I saw that 12.24.

200m: 24.67
I did get a good start in the 200 and the fast young guy was in my heat. He smoked me by about 5 meters, but he had 15 years on me. He was the guy who ran 11.51 in the 100m. My official time was 24.67. Considering the great distance from the finish line to the gun, I project it was about a 25.25 FAT... it just didn't feel all that fast.

A nominal performance, easily winning my age group, but nothing great. Tells me I have a long slog and some hard work to do if I expect to improve. I don't know, maybe I've found my limit?

I will endeavor to persevere. No significant strains so I should be able to train hard this week. Strains sometimes don't appear until the first workout after a meet. I am a bit sore this Sunday morning as I update this...

This was my 11th track meet this year. 4 more to go, and 3 of them are Championship meets. Next is the Southeastern Masters Championships in Raleigh, NC in 3 weeks. I need to really step it up if I'm going to do a triple.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pre race day 5/20/11

I felt pretty sluggish at first on the track tonight. At sunset with the temps in the 70s, it didn't take long to warm up and I enjoyed running shirtless. Once I got going, I wanted to do more ... and that explains what I did last, which makes no sense.

800m warm up and drills

Spikes on.

All from blocks:

2 x 80m on the curve

200m at 85% effort - 27.5

100m at 85% effort - 13.5

2 x 50m

training shoes on

400m at 85% effort - 65

So, why would I end a workout with a 400m right before a 100/200 race day? I just feel as if I'm losing my conditioning. I was a bit tired after that 27.5 200m and felt that I'm just not in the best shape for someone who will be running a triple 400/200/100 in a regional championship meet in 3 weeks. Next week, I think I may do 2 days of long sprint foundation work. Definitely some fast 400 repeats. Maybe even a 600 thrown in for extra pain. That, in addition to the usual 200s and 100s, is what I think I need to get ready for a decent triple. Not to mention, the 400m may actually turn out to be my best event for all I know. Need to up the plyos, stadium stairs, and do some resistance block work which I have not done in a long time.

Weight is pretty much on target: 137.6

Mmmm ... Spirutein and Hammer vanilla cinnamon protein shake with apple cinnamon Hammer Gel and prunes. Cappuccino. Delicious dinner.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Got to start somewhere, and an error in need of correction

My first mention in the National Masters News - June 2011 issue:
M50 400m All American Standards List



On a different topic ...
In the published results of the Chattanooga District meet, I am credited with running a 57.00 400m which is correct. However, I am also credited with running a 17.23 100m which is a mistake since I did not participate in that event. I requested a correction and it still has not been made. I do not want that result attached to my name, a time worthy of an 80+ yr old. The ironic thing was that the TN Senior Olympics was adamant about requiring that all who wish to participate in the State Finals qualify by participating in the same exact event in the district meet. Here they've credited me with participation where I did not participate. (I ran the 100m in the Nashville District meet: 12.15). Now aparently, someone who did partcipate is not getting credit for it and I have a ridiculously terrible time associated with my name. No big deal but I work too hard to be credited with a 17+ second performance in the 100m. Gawd!!!

Thurs. - on the track and an equipment experiment

Today I did a conservative workout and my quad felt a little vulnerable so I cut it short.

800m warmup and drills

spikes on

2 x 100m - 13.5 sec out of the blocks
200m - 29 sec
50m - from blocks

Plyometric jumps and lunges

Later, I think I do a set of resitance work just to strengthen the quad for extra measure.

My after-dinner weight is a nominal 139.8. I should have no problem purging down to 137 or less by race time Sat.

Ok... the weird experiment.

I thought.. how would it feel to run on extra long spike risers. So, I built up 6 risers with epoxy to about 3/4" and put 3 on each shoe. Actually, running at full stride, they felt great. I felt like I was running taller. The only drawn back was that the riser on the toe caused an awkward step out of the blocks. So if these were ever used, they'd best work along the ball of the foot only with shorter risers on the toe. Even this Marine-Tex epoxy didn't hold up well. If I were to try this again, I would use a steel or aluminum epoxy putty. Interesting feeling though. Unfortunately, I wasted 6 precious risers. But I still have 40 left.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wed. 5/18/11 - Resistance and plyometrics, looking ahead


dynamic stretching, a few drills.

1 set Resistance bands - quads, hams, and hip flexors: 4 separate exercises each leg. Sets of up to 60 reps, executed explosively.

plyometric leaps - 1 x 15 - each of 4 different exercises (as shown in the video in the previous post)


2nd set Resistance bands - like the first

upper body: pull ups w/ leg raises, dumb bells, pushups, etc...

At some point, I may video post my resistance band regime. It has brought me back from injuries at least 3 times this season. I think it's working for me.

Tomorrow, a track workout. Still have to be cautious. Soreness is pretty much gone but the left ham feels pretty tight and vulnerable.

Looking ahead to the Masters National Championships in July...

Should I attempt a triple? 100m/200m/400m ?? I think so. Two considerations.

1) I'll only have 3 days recovery from the TN Senior Olympics whose last event - the 200m - is Sunday July 24. The first round of the 400m at the Nationals is Thurs July 28. Unlike the triple I did last weekend, all in the space of 3 hrs, and the triple I'll do at the SE regionals, the TN Senior Olympics are very well spread. 400m Sat morning. 100m Saturday night. 200m Sunday morning. So with that spread out, there may not be the stress or need for recovery.

2) My #1 goal at the Nationals is to be healthy enough to compete. One injury during the TN Senior Olympics could put me out. (Why it's good Southwest airlines has no change fees). The second goal is to make the finals in at least one event. Depending on who shows up, it is unlikely that I could medal. The schedule is like this:
7/28 Thurs. -400m first round
7/29 Fri. - 100m first round followed by the 400m final
And there is the rub.... if I make the finals in the 400, should I risk running the 100m at all? Last year, the time in between was more than 90 min. I think adequate time.
7/30 Sat. - 100m final followed by the 200m first round
7/31 Sun. - 200m final

It's hard to say if I'll be competitive in the 100m or 200m. I have 2 more meets to decide. Last 3 years, these were the
slowest qualifying times for the finals M50 (which is not an adequate predictor since new guys are always coming into the age group):

100m - 12.28
200m - 25.11
400m - 58.88 (an outlier - the rest were under 57.26)

100m - 13.45
200m - 25.73
400m - 59.86

100m - 12.58
200m - 25.87
400m - 59.75

The deal with the 400m prelims seems that it's dependent on the quality of the heat. It looks like the top 2 in each heat automatically go to the finals then the next fastest time. So.... every year, there are a few unfortunate runners who get better times in the prelims than some that qualify for the finals because they end up in a fast heat. In other words, if there are 3 fast guys in your heat, doesn't matter how fast you run if you can't beat one of them. Also, these times do not represent 'best performance'... most runners will not give 100% in a prelim.

Personally, I wish they'd just go by times and have just one race and no final.

I don't know why 2009 was such an exceptionally uncompetitive year. There were 3 guys over 13 that qualified for the 100m final!! I could have medaled in the 400m that year. Unless I start logging some much faster times in the 100 and 200, it looks like the 400 is my best shot. But, as these results prove, it depends on who shows up. I recognize that winning a medal in this event is pretty much out of the question, especially in the 100 and 200 where medalists generally run under 11.70 and 24.10.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two good sprint drill videos

1) Drills

Tuesday 5/17 - cool, gray and on the track

I usually don't do 2 running workouts in a row but yesterday was light and today just a little more and faster.

800m warm up and drills

spikes on

75- 90% effort:

2 x 200m - 28, 27

3 x 100m from blocks - 14, 13.5, 13


I was going to run some stadium stairs but my left ham and right quad are still a bit sore. Sore but not strained. I can tell when something is strained by a few simple tests. One is where I hold my thigh out parallel to the ground and let my lower leg hang. I then flex and extend my foreleg repeatedly as fast as possible. If there is pain, there is a strain. Another is lunges. I usually feel quad strains when doing lunges.

Definitely no running tomorrow. Back to resistance work. I did some upper body today and will do another set tonight.

Weight is ok: 139, will begin to bring it down by week's end.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sore but not strained

Monday evening, cool gray weather, mid 50's. I underestimated the amount of soreness I'd feel today, 2 days after the 3 sprint races I ran Sat. I probably should have taken the day off but I thought a light workout might actually help me recover a bit. So I donned my long tights and packed the Adidas for just a few cautious sprints at 75%-80% effort.

800m warmup and drills

2 x 200m - 30, 29 sec.

100m - 13.5 sec.

400m warm down - sprint-jog, high knees, back peddling

Feels good but still a bit sore. Especially that the left ham (same one I injured 2 months ago). No sign of the quad injury which is great. There is a huge difference in the pain between 'pulled' or 'strained' and just 'sore.' I'm just sore. Which is cool ... hopefully I'll be able to do more tomorrow. Need to preserve what I have. Can't gain much in a week in between races.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Plan for the week 5/16-21

I'm still a bit sore on Sunday evening from the three sprints races on Saturday. I don't think I can can progress this week enough in my training to increase my 400m time by Saturday's Huntsville meet, so I'll concentrate on the 100m and 200m for this upcoming meet and this week's training. I need to remember Dirk's Commandment IX. on staying injury free:
IX. Thou shalt not get carried away by an exceptional race and immediately plunge into a higher level of training
This is exactly how I've been hurt a number of times ths season. It was an exceptional race not so much because of my time, but because I ran three sprints without any strains or injuries: 100/200/400m.

It's an unseasonably cool week so evening training looks good. Here's a plan:

Mon - light running workout, something like 2 x 200 and 2 x 100 at 70% - lots of warmup, dynamic stretches and drills

Tues - strength. Plyometric leaps, stadium stairs, maybe some block starts with resistance belt and a few short sprints.

Wed - resistance bands and core work

Thurs - 300 with negative splits on each 100, 200s, 100s, 50s - reps slow to fast 75-90%

Fri - 4 or 5 block starts, light running workout at 85%, emphasizing form
Sat evening competition: 100 and 200m

Or something like that...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nashville District Senior Games

Three Golds

I was nervous about my first 100m race since the hamstring injury in the 100m at Vanderbilt on 3/26. It was a rainy day and I took my time warming up but the heats ran so slow, it seemed my warmup was fatiguing me before I got started. Unlike Chattanooga District Games, there was some competition. Last year's 100m winner was there and also another tall fast guy who took the lane next to me.

My start wasn't steller but the race felt great! No strains or pulls and a decent time: 12.15 (h) -which would convert to about 12.38 FAT. Considering my training has been very cautious and not very rigorous, and the fact that this high school track wasn't the best and it was raining, this time was encouraging. Once I start to do more power work, plyometrics, and maybe some overspeed training, I hope to get my time close to that Holy Grail of 'the 11's.' As I said, there was competition. The guy next to me (about 6'5") was suprisingly right out of the blocks with me, but I pulled away from him at 40m. Two guys tied for second, including last years State Gold Medalist at 12.97. I won the 100m by about 9 meters over the second place finishers. The state record of 12.32 FAT is within reach. Interesting to note that at my best in highschool I ran 11.1. Today's 12.15 means that I've retained 91% of my highschool speed ... from (OMG!) ... 33 years ago.

I had a middle lane in this race and saw no one after I made up the split. 25.22 (h) would convert to about 25.48 FAT. This would be under the state record of 12.7 - the easiest one to get. I didn't feel exceptionally strong coming down the last 50m.

I added the 400m as an afterthought. I didn't originally intend to run this but I did it for the workout. 58.06 (h) is the slowest 400m I've run it in 4 races and I felt really weak coming up the home stretch. I'm definitely not in condition to do a 100/200/400 triple right now. I have not done the ball-busting interval work necessary to maintain long sprint fitness. And let me tell you, that type of fitness disappears very quickly ... it's week to week.

My weight was a lb heavier than I like to race at: 137. Now that I'm healthy, time to recover and get ready to bust ass. Got to be cautious because it's usually the first workout after a meet where I strain something.

It looks like my next event will be another hand timed race in Huntsville, AL next Sat. evening. Maybe one good hard workout by mid-week. Long sprints Monday.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pre race day 5/13/11

Today's light workout at 6:30 am was just to remind me I can run. I did a few short sprints at about 85% effort and was reminded at how little is gained in terms of speed between 85% effort and 100%. My times were pretty fast considering the low effort:

800m jog, dynamic stretches and drills

Asics Spikes on.

From the blocks:

200m - 26.5

2 x 100m - 13.5

2 x 50m

Weight is on target 136.4. I need to go to bed under 138 and I'll be light and fast in the morning. Pre race day I eat usually just Hammer Gel, Spirulina protein shake, soy milk and maybe a few nuts. Eat a lot of fruit, prunes, fish, and green vegetables during the week.

Everything felt good and I feel ready to blast my first 100m race in 2 months. I felt a little fatigue at the end of the 200m which reminds me that my long sprint fitness level will disappear very quickly if I stop training for 400s. I just wish I could get rid of this neck ache - (the kind you get from sleeping wrong), it's been a minor annoyance for 3 days.

I hope tomorrow's Nashville Senior Games meet isn't postponed due to weather. If so, it could be difficult for me to do it. I need the workout so I'll probably run a triple 100/200/400 tomorrow if I feel good after the 100/200.

I was disappointed to learn that the Huntsville USATF Metro Track Meet on 5/21 may be cancelled. It would have been my only opportunity for an FAT time before the SE Regionals.

There is another all-comers meet that same evening in Huntsville I can run in but I believe it is hand timed. Trying to find out more info.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Southeastern US Masters Championships - I'm booked!

I'm booked to compete in the June 11 Southeastern US Masters Championships in Raleigh, NC.

A long way to go and a lot to spend for one track meet, but thanks to some partial sponsorship from Dad, I'll be there to hopefully run all three sprint events.

All sprint events are on Sat. and each are about 60-90 min apart in this order:
100m, 400m, 200m.

Last year, there was no one in my age group that could beat me in the 400m, but you never know who might show up. I should get a chance to run against the great Oscar Peyton, a the 2nd ranked US sprinter in the age group above me. He'll kick my butt for certain.

It should be a nice way to break into the Masters track world since there will be an awards banquet. There are a number of awards, cash prizes and medals to be given.

This will be my last opportunity for an official FAT time before the big July Championship meets six weeks later: the TN Senior Olympic Finals and the Masters National Championships. It will be the only USATF meet I'll get to run in June due to conflicts with guitar events.

Thurs. - out of the blocks

Today, I did short sprints for the first time in a while, everything out of the blocks.

Tommorrow the Sunbelt Championships start at MTSU and there were a number of guys working on details within the track stadium. A girl was there running 800m intervals. I was there at 6:45 am.

I forgot my watch today but I did everything about 80-85%:
After the usual 800m, lots of dynamic stretches and drills...

I tried my backup competition spikes: Asics Japan Lite-ning 2 that I got on Ebay two months ago.

2 x 200m
2 x 100m
2 x 50m

All from blocks. It felt great. No strains or issues. I should be ready to run my first 100m in 2 months on Sat. at the Nashville District Senior Games. Looks like it will be cooler and possibly rainy.

My weight is good - 137.6- but I need to eat carefully to be at my track weight of 136 on Sat.

I wish they'd call it the "Masters Olympics." 'Senior Olympics' sounds like a joke - old guys trying to be athletes .... (I won't even wear their T-shirt). Again, I hope some former college track star shows up to give me a whoopin'... but more than likely, I'll be running alone again. I might just do the 400m too for a workout since it is last.

I forgot to mention one act of pathetic theatrics I saw at the Chattanooga Games... A guy in his mid-50s running the 200m, wearing a sweatshirt no less, did a belly flop 5 meters before the finish line, I was standing right there at the finish line. His glasses came off, his face hit the track and he cut his chin. It almost looked like he did it on purpose. Getting up with a little blood on his chin, he muttered something about his 'training not being enough' and when he got to his feet, I encouraged him to finish the race. He did. It was pathetically entertaining.

So goes the Senior Olympics...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another day in paradise - summer weather light workout

Today was supposed to be a non running day but I started with a mile warmup jog and sprint-jog, sprinter school drills, leaps, lunges, and then I did a few starts from blocks in my drive way.

Feels good!

I've added pool leg whips to my resistance work. I can work both hams and quads since I get resistance in both directions.

My weight is back where it should be, 137.8.

Running workout tomorrow. Need to hit the blocks more.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Meet schedule for May-July

Searching for meets to enter in June, I'll miss the KY, AL, and TN USATF Masters meets due to guitar events. Dammit!

Also, it kills me that I can't go to KY Bluegrass State Games because here are the meet records in my age group, all quite old. I could have all of them:
400m 57.41 (1991)
200m 25.81 (1991)
100m 12.56 (1985)

But... my damn Guitar Festival is that weekend - June 4.

I can't find any meets to enter after May 21 in my area so I'm considering flying to Raleigh, NC for the SE Regional Masters Meet. If I do, I'll run all 3 sprint events. It would be my last opportunity for an FAT time before the TN State Games and Masters Nationals.

Here's the rest of my season (updated):

  • May 14 - Nashville District Senior Games (hand timed): 100m and 200m
  • May 21 - Huntsville, AL - Harry Williams All Comers Track Meet 100m,200m,400m
  • June 11 - SE Masters Regional Championships, Raleigh, NC (USATF): 100m, 200m, 400m
  • June 25 - AL State Games: 100m, 200m, 400m
  • July 23, 24 - TN Senior Olympic Finals (FAT): 100m, 200m, 400m
  • July 28-31 - USATF Masters National Championships: ?????

I don't know what to run on the Nationals. It looks like I may have to choose between the 100 and 400. The 400m Final is scheduled just AFTER the first round of the 100m. I could sign up for all three and drop the 100m if I make the 400m final. But if I also do the 200m, it is a four day event:

Thurs: 400m
Fri: 100m prelims, 400m final
Sat: 100m final, 200m prelims
Sun: 200m final

My goal at the Nationals is to make the finals in one event. I am pretty much untested in the 100 and 200m so the next two meets will give me an idea if I have improved.

Early on the track

Today, conservative workout with long sprints. I wanted to start slow and do negative splits within runs and sets. Nothing more than 80-85% effort.

Looking at the photo... my shadow looks like a foreboding specter of impending pain.

I no longer feel the quad strain but I have yet to test it at 100%.

Here it was today at 7:30 am on Dean A. Hayes Track Stadium on a warm humid morning with temperatures already up in the low 70's:

800m warmup, sprinter school drills and dynamic stretches.

spikes on

400m - 66 sec (34, 32)

4 min rest

400m - 63 sec (33, 30)

5 min rest

200m - 29 sec

3 min rest

200m - 28 sec

400m warm down

I feel like I could have done a lot more. Was planning to do a set of 100s but I thought I'd better quit while feeling healthy and strong. Had a good sweat going, finished not long after 8 am.

Still a little on the heavy side, but it's only Tues.: 139.2

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Non-running" training day

The quad feels good. I've come up with some targeted exercises that really help the quad and they are working. Leg whips in the pool, lunges, squat jumps, resistance bands several different ways, etc... Also, today was an upper body and core day.

BUT... After my drills and squat jumps, I couldn't resist a sprint-jog around the neighborhood. What is a sprint-jog? Essentially jogging but running on the toes in sprint form. Or, a sprint at less than 40% effort. I did a mile with 3/4 on my toes with ocassional high knees. So much for a non-running day.

After eating alot this weekend, I weighed 141.2 this morning, my heaviest morning weight in recent memory. But, after a day of house chores, a workout and light eating, I'm back to a reasonable 139.2.

Tomorrow is my first track workout and I will try to be conservative, staying below 85% effort and doing long sprints with negative splits. We'll see how it feels. I'll start with a relaxed 400.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

6 days to rehab the quad strain

I'm required to run the 100m and the 200m in the Nashville District Senior Games meet on 5/14 in order to qualify for the State Finals. I don't have to win, place, or run any qualifying mark, just participate. I could jog... but that would be hard to do in the face of competition.

The quad strain is not bad. Hell, I ran a 57 sec 400m with it. However, the 100m is different. My plan was to start resistance (light - 25 rep minimum) on Sat and do running workouts today - Sun, Tues and Thurs, compete Sat. But... the strain is still there, but better. So, I've modified my plan. I started resistance work Sat but I will do at least one set every day, including running days. I'll be using the neoprene sleeve to tightly wrap to quad when running as I did today if I think I'll need it.


(in training shoes)

half mile jog, drills

2x300m uphill sprints at 60% on the street

resistance bands: one set this morning, one later today.

Lovely day in Sewanee. Ran my warmup through the woods to the lake. Did my warmup drills on a forest trail under big pine trees.

I really hate taking days off, I feel like I lose fitness everyday I'm idle. I think I'm going to start lap swimming on days off from running. My pool will be heated this week and it is supposed to be in the 90s, so I can use the pool for resistance exercises for my legs, although too small for laps, front leg whips in the water really work the quad.

I doubt I'll get much quality speed work this week. Maybe by Tues evening I can run some 200s on the track without 'feeling the quad'.

Last FAT time opportunity is in Huntsville in 2 weeks. Hope to do the 100m and 200m.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Confirmed: Nike does NOT support their products

As a final update to the story below on obtaining replacement sprint shoe risers for the Superfly R3:

Nike said they will not sell replacement risers and won't reveal the name of the company that makes them.

Despite the fact that a few of these break every time they are used, Nike basically tells me that that I'm SOL ... and additionally insulting, they refuse to identify the company that manufactures these accessories.

Thanks to Mike at Nike for sending me a few risers and his efforts to obtain a source. I think we both were astounded to hear the response from the company... and here it is verbatim:
"spike risers are not available directly to consumers. Nike does not sell them and the company we partner with is not releasable."
Unbelievable. Great way to treat paying customers, Nike!!

I've contacted a friend who works for an industrial ceramics manufacturer to see if he could have some of these made.

I found that I can preserve the more vulnerable crowns on the outside of the shoe with coatings of super glue.

Chattanooga District Senior Games

Well, it was pretty much like I expected. Old guys running sprints from standing starts, very few people had track spikes. Check out the photo of my 'competitors.'

McCallie private school has incredible athletic facilities. The track is excellent and when I saw it, I really wanted to run the 100m. After a few starts, I felt the quad bothering me again so I went back to 'plan A' to just run the 400m.

This race was hand-timed and my 'official time' was 57.00. A friend of a friend on the sidelines had me in 57.58. Anyway, I knew I wasn't 100% but considering I won the race by about 80m, 11 seconds ahead of my nearest competitor, I had little competitive inspiration. So, not a PR, but ok under the circumstances.

There was this one guy shouting at me while I was lining up in my starting blocks ... "who is this guy? Has anyone checked his birth certificate?" I yelled back at him, "I'm going to be 51 and I could have raced here last year."

One old guy told me that a few years ago in this meet, they started the 100m from the wrong place... and people were running 90m and getting timed and credited as if they were running 100m.

A lot of weird things can happen in these hand-timed track meets. A case in point....

Maybe it's my competitive spirit but I have to say, I met the subject of one of my pet peeves... a person credited with running a time that was impossible ... and I wouldn't say that if I weren't 100% certain. Looking at the meet results from last year, a woman by the name of Cheryl Shouse was given credit on the results sheet of the Chattanooga District Meet of running a 12.79 100m. She was there today and came up to me after my race. She boasted about her "record time" ... although never said what record. (TN does not maintain Masters T&F records, only State Senior Games Meet records). I told her I saw that in the results and it didn't square with other times she ran. She cited health problems and the fact her 200m was so slow (37.66) was 'because she trained only for the 100m.' To put it in perspective, this person ran an official FAT time of 17.05 in the Senior Games Finals of the 100m. If her 12.79 time were correct, she'd be the highest ranked woman in America. To put it in perspective, in 2010, the second ranked women in the world in this age group ran 12.82.

Those that train to get the results we earn don't like such errors. This was the result of one person who was late to hit the button on a stop watch after the gun, or a clerical error. I hope this person doesn't continue to claim credit for this time. The state Senior Games record for W50 100m is 15.12. One second in a 100m sprint is like a lifetime - a 10 meter difference ... 2.5 seconds is like comparing a world record holder with a below average high school sprinter.

I need to really take 2 days off from running and beginning Saturday, start high rep resistance work to bring this quad back up to shape. This has been a reoccurring annoyance, plaguing me since the indoor season.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pre race day 5/4/11

Well tomorrow, I run with the old folks: Chattanooga District Senior Games. To say the least, I'm a bit cocky and can't imagine I will see any competition, especially after running in Div. I college track meets the past 2 weekends. I really do hope some guy my age who was a college track star shows up to kick my ass.... it would be good for me. Plus, it may be hard to run a good time without chasing someone.

My quad is still a bit sensitive but should be OK for tomorrow's 400m, and I intend to bring my "A Game" to Chattanooga. Don't feel ready for the 100m yet.

Today's workout was brief and with a lot of warm up and warm down. My main objective was to run one relaxed 400m with negative splits, which I did in 64 sec. After the first 200m in 33.5, I was barely breathing hard but was really suprised at how hard it was to run the last 200 in 30.5. I've really got to work on this part of the race. I'd say it was like 65% effort for the first 200m, and 85-90% for the second... and still not under 30 for the second 200m!

Here was today:

1200m warm up, sprinter school drills

400m - 64 sec with negative split: (33.5, 30.5) 65% effort, 85% effort

200m - strider in 30 sec at 80%

100m - out of the blocks at 80%

400m warm down including 150m of back peddling.

After this meet, I have 9 days to get ready for a 100m/200m double at the Nashville District Senior Games. I will need to include some off days since I was still sore when I went to train Monday after Saturday's 400m/200m double.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Why does Nike not support their product? Quest for the sprint shoe risers.

UPDATE: Confirmed - Nike does not support their product and customers
Plastic crowns - also called risers - are supplied with any purchase of Nike Ja or Nike R3 Superfly sprint shoes. These are designed to give the sprinter a bit more lift and a more aggressive footstrike. These are also popular with hurdlers. The Omni-lite spike company even makes "X-T" spikes with longer threads specifically for use with riser crowns. Risers are nothing new. In high school, my Adidas Adistar 2000's came with risers and that was (a ... ughmm) 34 yrs ago.

On a Mondo or rubber track, these risers with 7mm Christmas tree spikes are really the ticket. But... the risers are so fragile, they easily break. Every race I break two, the back outside one on each shoe, right under the little toe where the foot first strikes. Running turns, the outside crown was gone after my last 200m race and the other, damaged. The other crowns are ok, not damaged at all. I've even tried dipping the crowns in epoxy to harden them. No cigar. They still break. Maybe a harder epoxy? Ideally maybe I could fashion an aluminum one myself for the crowns that usually break. They are about dime-sized in diameter and a half inch tall.

Problem: After two calls to the Nike Co., they could not help me. They had NO CLUE about how to get these crowns. They suggested several retail stores. I emailed every one of them and thankfully, two of these stores (which will remain unnamed) came through. I bought two complete sets - 32 crowns total - that's enough for just 16 races assuming the same rate of breakage. With 2 events a meet, that's just 8 track meets.

As I continue to break these, I emailed both of my suppliers to get an additional set. One said they didn't have anymore and one complied and sent them to me free with just $6.95 charge for shipping. Great!!! I should be set for all of the rest of the season and maybe most of next.

Question: Why does Nike not stand behind their products and supply these accessories? I am not the only one looking to purchase these accessories. Hmmm.....
Well, I'm ok now ... and I'm not giving up my source. If you're looking for these, sorry ... you're on your own.

After a third contact with Nike, they claimed these crowns are made by Omni-Lite. I contacted Omni-Lite and told me they don't make them. I was called personally by the Nike rep to tell me they would find the manufacturer of these.

The mystery continues....

Monday on the track dodging puddles ... and wild weight fluctuations

After a huge dinner Sunday night, Monday I felt tight, heavy, and sluggish. My weight fluctuations have been wild. Before a track meet, I eat light, sort of purging and fueling with low residual Hammer Gel, caffeine and sugar. After Saturday's meet, my weight was 135.2. After a huge meal on Sunday night, by 3:30 am (Mon) bedtime I was 144.2! This late morning, after bathroom, I started my workout at 140.4 and now afterward, am 138.6. What this means is that the bowels can hold several lbs of water and food. Wow. 9 lb fluctuation in less than 30 hrs.

After a rain, the sun came out on the track and it was steamy, literally. I decided I need work on my second 200 in the 400m so I did 3 x 400 with negative splits. What it seemed like was first 200 at about 75% effort and the last 200 at about 90-95% effort.

3 x 400m with negative splits:

400m - 63 sec (33, 30)

5 min rest

400m - 64 sec (33, 31)

5 min rest

400m - 66 sec (34, 32)

5 min rest

200m from blocks at 90% effort - 27.5 sec

What amazed me is that I could not bring one single last 200 home in less than 30 sec. That sucks. I need to work on that.

Unfortunately, I slightly strained my right quad again in the last 200m run. I should have quit after the three 400s. I thought about running the 100 and 400 in the Chattanooga Senior Games this Thurs but it looks like I'll just stick with the 400m. Tomorrow I do resistance and I'll get that quad fixed. These high rep exercises with foot cuffs and bands have worked miracles to bring back my hams and quads from strains. I think I have a pretty good regime.