Thursday, January 30, 2014

event runs

Sunny and mid 30sº on the Dean Hayes track, but the wind was whipping and it felt colder, but still warm enough to train in shorts, long T and gloves.   As I was walking to the track, I waved to the legendary coach Hayes in the parking lot.  I used the heated mens room to do some stretches.  I ran 300s at near race pace from the 400m start (2 turns).
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
2 x 300m - 42, 42 (even split 14/14/14) 
150m strider
The hip issue is still with me, but not bad.  Weight is a tad high, as it has been - 143 after workout.
Crazy time of yr, 4 concerts and 2 track meets in the next 15 days... and teaching an overload again.  Not a lot of time for track training.

Flag at the track was whipping and shredded by the wind.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Indoor tempo + speed

Sewanee's Fowler Center Track .... lots of turns

Good thing I planned an indoor workout today at Sewanee's Fowler Center 160m track.  It is bitter cold, snowing, in the low teens today.  I'll be racing on that track this Saturday, so it was good to give it go.

Sprinting these flat turns is pretty insane.  Stressful on the ankles because at race pace, I really lean on the turns.  It became apparent pretty quickly that this track will not yield good times for long sprints, so I'm just doing it for a workout.  The 200m is scheduled just one hour after the 400m.

I'll be attempting my first 400m race on this little track.  Of the 160m lap, about 90m is on the turn. It'll be very hard to pass on this track.  Unlike most indoor 400s, this race will have 5 turns instead of 3 1/2 or 4 (depending on lane).   It will be an accomplishment to break 58 on this track.
480m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
400m x 3 w/2 min rest - 69, 72, 75 
200m x 2 - 28, 28.5
Wanted to save a little for some near race pace 200s, so I didn't do my usual 4x400, just 3... but it was plenty on this track.   Harder to run the same times as outdoor.

Hip glute a little sore but not bad.  Weight is 143.5 after workout.  Will only have time to do one more workout this week before the meet Sat.   Busy time of year.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Emory Invite - meet report

Finally, a decent race.

56.69 - 400m

25.69 - 200m

The Birmingham Crossplex is one helluva facility.  Certainly the best indoor track I've ever seen.
It was a huge meet.  Extremely well run.  Excellent PA announcer, instant results on a massive digital scoreboard and wow ... the track.   A Super X Mondo with about a 4 foot high bank.

Running heats fast to slow, I was in heat 8 of 9 for the 400m, and heat 11 of 12 for the 200m.

This was a NCAA Division III meet.  Generally small colleges, many you've never heard of ... like: Rust, Limestone, Ogelthorpe, Furman, Harding, Claflin, etc...  a much more 'integrated' group than you see among sprinters at Div I meets.  A really good situation for a masters guy, and there were 3 of us there.  Don (43) and Marcus (51) from Atlanta. It was great to see them, and talk with Dr. Marcus... the reigning M50 World Champion in the 400m.  He told me a bit about his training, and he complained bitterly about his time today... as if 55.21 indoors was a problem?

I've not raced on many banked tracks, just 2 others.  And the competition surface is so guarded and controlled, there is no opportunity to run on the track other than in the race.  It was the first time I ever had my spikes not only checked, but tagged.  Although I didn't see the clerk at the start line checking tags.  He was a former masters 400m guy himself.

The 400m
I drew outside lane - 6.  Normally a shitty draw, but not on this track.  It meant starting at the top of the bank halfway around the first turn.  So, I started by running down the bank, and then back up on the second turn.  I got a decent start, the one fast guy in my heat made up the stagger as we hit the second turn.  I can't believe how slow those other guys were, never saw them.  Coming off the break, the leader was about 10m ahead and he went on to win in 53.  I finished second in the heat.  36th of 43 overall.  Bottom line it that it was a perfect race situation, no jostling for position with other runners, I was completely in my own space the whole way.  I think some of those guys I beat maybe were put in the 400m by a coach that wanted to make 'em suffer, they obviously weren't trained, or poorly so.

Frankly, this was one the least painful 400s I've ever run.  I almost felt like I had more in the tank.  I never ran aggressively, just floated and kept my form the whole way, never rigged at all.   It was one of the best executed races I've run, my second fasted indoor 400m.   It can't tell you how much more painful that 58.93 I ran in Dec. was by comparison.

The 200m
I wanted at least 25.50 in this race but didn't get it.  I drew lane 5.  My glute/hip was a bit sore again.  It was 6:30 pm, I was tired and hungry, hadn't eaten all day, but I thought I had a shot at a good time.   I got an ok start and felt good up until the last 50m where I tightened up a bit.  It wasn't one of my best.  (I ran a faster 200m on Sewanee's flat 160m track).

While standing in the staging area, one of the guys in my heat asked if I was in his heat.  I said, 'yeah, #11.'  He said, 'oh shit, I'm really just a polevaulter.'   By this time, many had noticed there was 'an old man' competing, and if they were to get beat by a 53 yr old, it would be embarrassing, undoubtedly getting shit from their teammates about it.  I did beat the kid,  I finished 3rd of 5 in my heat.  51 of 55 overall.  Not great, but nice not to finish last.   Many were coming up to me after races and congratulating me as if I won.  Yeah, I was the oldest guy on the track.

This race ranks me presently 3rd in the USA Masters National Rankings for the M50 400m.  Thinking about going to Boston for the Nationals, but haven't decided yet.

I just try to make the best of what I have... and compared to some of my fellow masters guys, it's not much.  My fellow masters did great... Don Drummond finished 4th overall in the 60m hurdles. M50 World Masters Champion Marcus Shute ran a great 400/200 double 55.20 / 24.90.

Don, Bill, Marcus
the old men of the track

As a spectator, the highlight of the meet was watching Tucker Peabody from Lipscomb college run an amazing meet record 21.31 in the 200m.   No one else ran under 22.  Damn fast for a white boy.  

Vanderbilt meet
Looking at results of the Div. I meet at Vandy this weekend, this result by Tucker P. is about the only result in this meet that would've been competitive in that meet, only one time faster at Vandy (21.23).   I'm glad I didn't run at Vandy this weekend, there were 30 400m runners, the slowest was 51.64 !  MTSU's Emanuel T. from Uganda set a school record for the indoor 400m  - 46.05 ... whew!  Also, MTSU's Eliud R. from Kenya also set a school record for the indoor 800m, 1:49.36.   Smokin' !

Friday, January 24, 2014

event runs

It was cold again at the Dean Hayes track late Fri afternoon.  27º but felt colder with a biting wind.  I just wanted a little speed and then outta there.  Nasty cold.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m - 42 
200m - 27 
150m strider
The 300m was at about 58 sec 400m pace 27/15 and run from the 400m start.   Didn't feel as good as previous workouts.  Don't feel in '400m shape' and I'm carrying about 3 extra lbs than 'race weight.'  142.4 after workout.

I've come to realize, there is huge difference in energy expenditure between a 26.5 and a 27.5 first 200m.

After a brief warmup this weekend, more cold for next week.

Afternoon of long cold shadows

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Big meet

The Emory Crossplex Invitational on Sunday is a big meet.

It's going to take forever.  78 guys running the 200m so that means 16 heats ... and that's just for men!  51 guys in the 400m.   So much time in between the 400 and 200.  Men's 400 is at 2pm, the 200 at 6pm.   I probably won't be home until 9pm.

Just so happens that the M50 Masters World Champion, M. Shute will be there.  He ran 55.01 / 24.91 already at this venue back in Dec.  53.67 / 23.81 outdoors in July.  I got a photo with Dr. Shute at the '12 outdoor Nationals.

Maybe I can find a Starbucks nearby to hang in between races.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

tempo 400s

Cold.  Coldest workout of the year.  The promised sunshine never came and it stayed in the mid 20sº today.  

About 24º and cloudy on the Dean Hayes track at MTSU.   I ran in long tights, sweat top, and gloves.  Just as I finished my warmup, the wind picked up.
Saucony Virrata trainers on 
400m warm up, stretches, drills 
4 x 400m w/ 2 min rest - 71, 72, 74, 77 
300m - 44.5
No speed records today, just wanted to complete the workout and stay healthy.   Everything felt ok.  I was happy the mens room was open so I could rest and warm up before my 300m.  

I'm entered in the Emory Crossplex Invitational this Sunday in Birmingham.

Weight is ok, but not optimal.  142.4 after workout.

I was surprised to see Noah today on the track, the Nigerian Olympian.  Good guy.   His workout today was 3 x 350m.

Monday, January 20, 2014

quality speed endurance ... with the team

Expecting a solitary day on the track today, I was surprised to see the MTSU team out there.  An amazingly perfect winter day, sunny and warm, 60º.   I spiked up to run fast.

Dean Hayes joked that they're not training  masters here today.    I said "call the police"  ... a private joke between myself and the coaches.  He laughed. 'That episode' with the soccer coach has been joked about a lot among the coaches.  

I had fasted all day yesterday for a blood test this morning, so all I've had to eat since Saturday was some sweet tea, a banana, and a couple handfuls of nuts this morning.  So, I wasn't fueled for much quantity.

I wanted to do 400s with recovery, even splits, but after one, I decided to run 200s with the team. They were running about 26s, so I ran behind at about 27-28s.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
400m - 59.5  (29, 30.5) 
3 x 200m - 28, 27, 27
Doesn't look like much but it was tough, and I felt the pump in my hams.   I can honestly say, the 400m was not real taxing and I think I can go much faster if I can get my mind right and execute.

Happy to say I'm healthy now and light!   141.8 after workout.

Training thoughts
When I look back at when I was turning 55s consistently in '12, I rarely did strict limited rest tempo endurance.   I did almost entirely speed endurance.  When running quantity, I'd tone it down a bit and when doing quality, run 90+%.   In both cases, I'd take significant rest.   But with my short Sept season, I made very fast progress I think due to the brutal 4x4s with 2 min rest, with some short power speed workouts mixed in.   Hard to find the right mix.  I've been lacking in resistance work since I injured myself doing it in Nov.   Did some Friday and need to be careful.  I'll do some tonight.

New Meet
It looks like I'll be racing Sunday.   There is a college DIII meet in Birmingham, and since I'm driving 2+ hrs to get there, I'll be running the 400/200 to make it worthwhile.   Tempted to do the 60m as well.  Don Drummond said he's going and so is J. Woodman, so I guess I'll go as well.   I've wanted to race on this track for a long time - the only banked Mondo in the SE.   My expectations aren't too high since I took 8 days off this month, but I hope to improve on previous outings.  This is a good meet for me because I will still be 2 weeks away from my next concert, and last year, there were a lot of slow guys, several over 55.    I'll also race in Sewanee on 2/1, and perhaps again in Birmingham on 2/14.

Birmingham crossplex 200m track.... 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Speed endurance ladder

Sewanee's Couglan Track in mid afternoon was bright and sunny at first but started to get cloudy and freezing toward the end of my workout.  I was a bit worried about the near freezing temps and the wind, but after a hot bath and a decent warmup, I felt plenty warm enough to run in shorts and long sleeve tech-T, but in between reps, I put the sweats on.  However, after it clouded up, I really felt that single number wind chill.

400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
600m - 1:45 
500m - 84 
400m - 62  
300m - 46

It was a good workout and faster than I expected in the conditions and since I'm empty and eating very light.  By the last 300m, the wind was whipping and I pretty much gave the 400 a strong effort, running about even splits.  I felt my form was a bit more relaxed and smooth today and the hip issue is definitely fading.  I did a little resistance yesterday and I'm a bit weaker.

My weight is coming down again, about 143.2 after workout.  This is wholly due to diet.

Should be ready for some good speed in about a week.

Setting my timer

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Brief tempo endurance

A cold blustery day at the Dean Hayes track late morning.  It was partly sunny, about 35º but felt colder due to the wind whipping up the home stretch.  Still ran in shorts and tech-T.

The glute/hip thing felt better but still lingers, so I didn't want to run fast today, but not really in shape for a good 4x400 tempo, so I did a 3x400.

Definitely need to do more quantity foundation if I am to get in 400m shape again.

400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
3 x 400m w/ 2 min rest - 67, 73, 80

There was no way I could have mustered a 4th.   Maybe by next week in better weather.
Still a little heavy for competition, 145 lbs after workout, but I'm slimming down.  Have a yearly blood work and physical coming up.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back to it

After 8 days off, I hit the track today for a brief speed endurance workout.  I was a bit tentative and was hoping I wouldn't aggravate the injury.   It was never really bad, but it's better, not 100% but ok.

At KCD School I hit the black track on a blustery 50º afternoon.   I got a good warmup and went for a cautious 400.  It felt ok so I cranked it up a bit after walking a 400m in between.
Saucony Virrata trainers on 
800m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 400m - 69, 65, 65
I really didn't think I'd do this well, considering my weight (estimate about 146 - 147) and the lost fitness.  I'm still not completely outta shape.  Maybe halfway.

I swear I learn something every time I run a 400m, even in a short training session.  I did come to realize that in that last 100m, relaxing and striding is faster and less tiring than bearing down and frantically trying to increase turnover.  Just shortens the stride and leads to rigging.

I was thinking about the last days of my track career.   I think the last meet I ever went to was some all comers meet I went to with my brother and my dad was there.   I don't remember where it was.  Maybe downstate NY.   I remember running the 200 (220).  I was soooo out of shape, it was exhausting.  I remember being easily passed by a college guy who got out front and started looking around.  I felt sick and bored the rest of the day.   It left a bad impression in my mind.

I do have good memories of the indoor Sec. IV meet at Cornell when I won the 60, and our relay team won the 4x200.  I long to find those lost pics of the finish line and medal stand.  Someday.

Busy with music right now.  Don't think I'll have a very active indoor season.  Don't think I'll do what I need to do to get in 400m shape, but I'll keep plugging.  I plan to race the 55 and 200m in Sewanee on 2/1 and 3/1.   Maybe by 3/1, I'll be ready for a 400m.  There is a possibility of a meet in AL on 2/14.   We'll see.

Monday, January 6, 2014


TSU Meet report.

Stumbled badly on the start of the 200m at TSU and ran a disappointing 26.16 200m.   But that time was on par with my 200s on that track 2 years ago - 26.12 and 26.22, but both those 200s were run after a 400m.   I was hoping for much better.   I'm thinking the stumble cost me at least 0.50 seconds.  But ok considering I was 3-4 lbs heavier than 'race weight' at about 144 lbs.

I had a full heat of guys and it was fun to participate.   I was happy to not run the 400m, especially after seeing MTSU's Demitrius in a sickened stupor after he won the 400m with a 49.46.  Not a fun race for anyone.

Although I didn't have any injuries, my right hip and ham were sore again.  I don't know what this is.  It is not solely isolated to the hip.  It almost feels like shin splint, but on my ham.  I was able to run full sprint ok with just minor pain.  Hopefully this will go away with rest as i will be taking off at least a week, probably more from the track.

The race.

I had lane 3, great lane on a 5 lane track.   I simply forgot to give a good push with my hands at the start and came out too low.  I tripped and studder stepped, actually going into lane 4 before righting myself and getting back on track.   I accelerated quickly after the misstep and it took the guys on my inside the second turn to make up the stagger.   I was last in the heat but not by much, I was passed on the final straight.  The next slowest guy was 25.74.

Again, it was fun and hopefully I'll be back to race in the Feb 1 Sewanee meet or the Feb 2 TSU meet.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The 200 it is

A beautiful first day of the year, low 50sº and sunshine on the Dean Hayes track today.  It was my second consecutive day on the track so, with my sore hip issue, I just did some brief speed work and quite a few starts.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma Bolt spikes on 
2 x 50m striders 
2 x 50m from blocks on the turn 
100m from blocks on the turn - 13.5 
200m from blocks - 26 
5 starts from blocks
I ran the 200m with a start command beep at about full speed.  The hip was sore by workout's end.    Although it hurts a bit, it doesn't seem to affect my speed too much, just my workouts.  

I guess I'm just going to race the 200m on Sunday.   I also signed up for the 55m, but may not do it. The AL meet on 1/10 looks like it's NOT open to unattached,  so the next opportunity to race would be in Lexington, KY on the 18th, which is not as convenient a time, since I have obligations at school on the 16th and 19th.   Probably just as well.   I may take the month off from competition and I'm thinking this indoor season will be a bust for me.  I can trace this hip issue to a resistance workout on 11/17.   Now that it has persisted 6 weeks, I guess it's time to stop training with the pain and let it heal after this race.  I haven't taken more than 3 days off since the injury... and after 3 days, it almost goes away.  Don't want this dogging me through the outdoor season.

Training is great when everything is working.   But not now.  Need to take the long view.   Will be 2 years before national indoor at M55, one year before outdoor M55.

142.8 lbs after workout and I've eaten next to nothing since arriving back in TN.   Will be doing some mild resistance work and core on tomorrow.  Shoot, it's my vacation, I should be enjoying it.   Shifting my focus to music with concerts coming up.

The start.