Tuesday, April 29, 2014

split 400s cut short

Planned on doing the usual split 400s (300+100) today but felt a strain in my quad toward the end of the second one.  I stopped after the 100m mark of the third.  NOT the same (right) quad I strained in the meet, the left this time!   Beginning to feel like a dam, springing leaks in different places... after thinking I'm healthy.   This is nothing significant and shouldn't affect my weekend race or even my next workout.   I have time to prehab and get it ready.   Seems to be just on top part of the wrap.   Need to wrap higher.

Warm, sunny and breezy at the Dean Hayes track today, low 70ºs, humid.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
saucony spikes on 
300m - 43/ 1 min rest/ 100m - 14 
5 min rest 
300m - 44/ 1 min rest/ 100m - 14.5 
5 min rest 
100m -14
No track tomorrow, resistance/prehab.  Weight is good - 141.8 after workout.

stormy stairs

It seems that I strained a quad in the race Sat. but it's minor, almost indiscernible now.  So, Monday... in between storms, I ran the stadium stairs and did some prehab resistance.  The stairs didn't cause a lot of soreness as compared to last time.
jog, dynamic stretches
20 x stadium stairs sprints
I'm planning track workouts on Tues and Thurs, probably split intervals Tues.  Then a light workout Friday.

I'm a little concerned that the 'Nashville Masters Classic' will be cancelled ... there are just 9 people registered for the meet - more scheduled events than people, and it's on a poor quality track.   Wondering if I should plan on going back to Louisville and race in Indy in a college meet instead?
That's a lot of driving.   Probably could take a weekend off, but not many more chances to race this season.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bellarmine Classic - meet report

It was a good outing overall.   The most comfortable 400m I've run this season.  Not exceptionally exhausting or painful, no rigging, and generally pretty smooth.   Considering the conditions, swirling winds and racing from lane one in the 400m, it went ok.  The 200m, about an hour later was into a headwind, but not too bad.  I had lane 8, just like last week in Sewanee.
55.93 - 400m 
25.10 - 200m
I think I may have gotten my rhythm back and I think I can go faster, especially in the 200m if I can run fresh.  Won't do that probably until June.

The track at Bellarmine U. was pretty good.  Not a Mondo, but decent.   It was a well-run NCAA Division II meet with a few Div I teams.   The wind was weird.   One minute it was gusting one way, the next, the opposite.   It was enough of a headwind that they turned around the 100m races and ran the other way.   They couldn't do that in the 200m, so we had a little headwind.

Lane 8 in the 200m, glad I didn't get tripped by all the people sitting on the edge of the track.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Schedule update

Two new meets have emerged that will involve less travel.   Both, unfortunately are at high schools, not really good tracks, but both are FAT timed.

Nashville USATF has put together a Masters Meet on 5/02. I think they may have done it as a response for not having a masters category in their TN Association Meet - which I think is technically required by USATF.   It's going to be a real small affair, just a week away and only a few have registered.  These local masters meets are essentially a solo time trial.    I will do this instead of driving to IN for the Butler meet.   It will save me a lot of miles.  The track at Hunters Lane looks rather poor, a 6 lane black track.  

Lee University is holding a meet on 5/10 at Walker Valley H.S.  Kind of sad a university has to hold a home meet at a local high school.  The track is at least an 8 lane red track, but it looks rough and faded.  It's being billed as a "Twilight Last Chance Meet."  It's only an hour from Sewanee.

The last in my college schedule looks like it may be the U of Louisville meet on 5/16... if I can get in.  That will be my last chance to race on a decent track.

Kind of crazy this season has been.  If I do these meets, I will have raced 6 consecutive weekends, 9 of the last 10.

Thinking about scratching the 400m tomorrow and just running the 200m.   Don't want to run a lane one 400m.   Also, looking back at the April '12 week where I set a PR.   I was training everyday, including light workouts on pre race days.  So, having a little time to kill, I went out and did an 800m on the street.  2:32, not full effort but enough to make me sweat.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Light workout... 400, 300, starts

I'm in the Bellarmine Invitational.  I couldn't believe the heat sheets... 4 heats of the 400m, no more than 7 in each heat (on the 9 lane track), and only one person out of 25 in the event gets lane one.   ME.   I'm not even in the slowest heat, I'm in heat 3 of 4, and the slowest heat has 4 guys - running lanes 3-6.  Heats 1 and 2 use lanes 2-8, so why does my heat use lanes 1-7??  WTF ??   I really don't mind lane 8 for the 200m, but I really hate lane one for the 400m.  Honestly, I really don't think I've ever raced from lane one in a 400m.  200 yes, but not a 400.   Well, it's still 400m.   They could have put me in lane 7 or 2 of the slow heat, but I think my seed times may have been faster than those guys.  I asked John W. (3k steeple), who is also running unattached there about this lane assignment, he said, "I can't close to come to a theory on that one."

Funny, because today I decided to train in lanes 6 and 7 to get used to running on the outside.  Did a negative split 400m and a faster 300m out of blocks.  Nice and cool, 50ºs on the Dean Hayes Track this morning but sunny and warming rapidly.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on 
400m - 60.5 (31/29.5) 
300m - 41.5 
blocks starts
Everything feels ok.   I should be good to go and run the rail.  At least I'll see other runners and have good reference points.

I finally got a quality beam balance scale.  It seems pretty accurate, as I've compared it to two other institutional scales.  I think I've been under reporting my weight by about 1 to 2 lbs.   Like traditional physicians scales, this reads only to the 1/4 lb.   Today, I was 142.25 after workout.

I took some video on my 300m run coming off the first turn, running at about a 13.5 100m pace, or near 400m race pace.  Trying to learn something about my stride.  I noticed some tightness in the neck.  I actually seemed to have strained something in my throat when coming out of blocks.

Here is one step in sequence  - 100m mark of a 300m.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

split 400s and 150s

Really a good day to work, low 60ºs and mostly cloudy at the Sewanee track on Tues. morning.  It had rained in the early morning and it was humid.

I did a bit of special endurance and speed.  Late last night I did a resistance workout focusing on glutes (finished at 10:15pm) so I was a little sluggish this morning and my times were a bit slower than Mon.
500m warmup on grass, stretches, drills  
saucony spikes on  
300m - 43 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14  
5 min rest  
300m - 44.5/ rest 1 min / 100m - 14  
5 min rest  
300m - 46 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.5  
3 x 150m - 20, 19, 21
The split 300s provided plenty of endurance pain by the last one, and the 150s, I ran only the second one close to full speed.

I plan to race this Sat but probably won't know til tomorrow where, either Louisville or Berea, KY.

It's been a wonderful mini vacation here in Sewanee, Roya has been with me on the track for every workout and last Friday's meet.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Schedule, news on the future of unattached in NCAA

Looks like I will be racing next Saturday 4/26.   I haven't received confirmation from Bellarmine in Louisville, but I have a backup.  The KIAC Conference Championships in Berea accepts unattached athletes... which is very unusual for a conference meet.  The KY Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Track meet is really about as competitive as a high school meet... or not even.   Looking at last years meet for example, 6 of 13 guys in the 200m ran over 25, 7 of 13 in the 100m over 12!  Schools like Indiana East, St. Louis Pharmacy, Midway, Asbury, Brescia, etc....   my kinda meet.

So, I'll make a decision on Wed.  Bellarmine has the better track and much faster competition, so I'd rather run there.

NCAA T&F Initiative  
There is a proposal that will be voted on in June by the rules committee that would redefine what a college track meet is for the purpose of qualifying for nationals/regionals.  Essentially, the proposal would seek to eliminate pros and unattached athletes from competing in college meets.   This proposal seems to be very unpopular with coaches and most think will never pass, according to one site I read.   Good thing for us masters, and track clubs.  There is not enough of us to have many masters meets and the small few of us who like to race, depend on college meets.   Also, talented post collegiates and pros depend on college meets to qualify for championships.

My friend Johnny, a talented 30 yr old post collegiate sprinter who has run 10.37 and dreams of hitting the 10.2 qualifying standard for the US Championships said this, and I agree:
"...one of the coolest things about track and field was anyone could show up at almost any kind of meet and, if they were that amazingly talented, could qualify themselves to our National meet and perhaps even beyond. You can't show up at an NBA game and step out on the court as a sub. You can't just show up at your local NFL teams' practice, say "coach, give me a shot and throw me in", and end up in an NFL game. With track, though, show up at a college meet and run a 10.2 or a 1:47 or whatever and BOOM, you can show up and run against the top guys at the biggest meet. [USATF Nationals] There is something truly special about that, and it appears to me that they are trying to reduce that kind of aspect. Inclusion is AMERICAN, why wouldn't we support that kind of situation?"
I think the same goes for masters... but instead of qualifying for a championship, we might just be able to post a world leading time ... or for some, an American or World Masters record.

Even if this proposal passes, which it won't, I doubt it will affect the little KY schools I race at these quaint D3 college in down here in 'jesusland'.    Let's hope.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

split 400s

Just 36 hrs after the Friday twilight meet, I was back on the same track here in Sewanee.   Beautiful(!) spring morning, Roya and I got there about 8am, it was in the low 50's and sunny.  Thankfully, the stadium bathrooms were open.

I wanted to do something different so I took a page out of the Clyde Hart book.  Split 400s.  Marcus had mentioned to me this workout as well.
500m warm up, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
300m - 42.5 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14 
5 min rest 
300m - 43.5 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.5 
5 min rest 
300m - 44.5 / rest 1 min / 100m - 14.5 
5 min rest 
100m strider

This is supposedly the mid-late season workout Michael Johnson was doing at his peak.  Not as abusive as the 4x400m tempo runs and maybe as beneficial or better.   I was wasted at the start of the 3rd 100m, but still able to run hard.  

Only slight soreness from the race but the ankle hurts a bit.  I used compression wrap for the workout.   

I think my weak performance Friday was due as much to race execution as fitness.  I've always run my best times with a fairly aggressive first 200m, somewhere around 25.8 to 26.  I was a bit conservative Friday.   Although once, in practice, I ran a 55.5 in 27/28.5 splits.  So, who knows what my best strategy is.  I've alway thought my best shot at breaking 55 would be 26/28.75... but now I'm just trying to break 56.

I also changed my diet slightly too.  Instead of juice, nuts, fruit... I'm eating an egg and cheese sandwich after morning workout.  Now that my weight is pretty stabile (141-142 lbs morning), I can pretty much eat anything in moderation ... i.e., I could easily eat three egg sandwiches, but I do limit myself to one.  I think the small dose of protein and carbs will be beneficial.  

There is a possibility to run the next 2 weekends.  Next weekend is up in the air, but the weekend after in Indy on 5/3, I'm already registered for.   School will be finished by then.  

Roya did a good workout too, 4 miles on the track.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sewanee Mtn Laurel Twilight meet report

Fun meet, but no break throughs.   No gains on season PRs.  But, I ran both the 400m and 200m and felt no strains or injury.  That counts for a lot.  I even managed to beat a few Sewanee boys.

400m - 56.88
200m - 25.30

Not too bad considering the quality track and a few weeks of sickness and injury.   Hopefully, I'll get into a few more meets and be able to improve.  Now that I'm apparently healthy, maybe I can build toward a meaningful peak.

As I was coming in with Roya, I saw Randal (USATF official and masters 200m man), he reminded me that it is a gift to participate and do it as long as I can.  So I had fun.  I saw several athletes that remembered me from prior meets.  I've become sort of well known, as an oddity.

There were just 5 of us, one heat.  I had the outside lane of the group, lane 6.   Played it a bit conservative, didn't really go after it aggressively.   That strategy didn't seem to help since I suffered in the end as usual, really tightening up in the last 40m.  Maybe a little tentative since it was my first time out since the hamstring tweek 2 weeks ago.   I had both thighs wrapped for protection.  It was a ridiculous race.  The winner coming in at 49, while the 3rd place guy was 53, me in 56 and a guy behind me in 58... probably 70m between first and last.

I was hoping they'd put me in the slow heat, but I wound up slow man in the second fastest heat, a full heat - lane 8.  When they put lights in this stadium, they didn't think about the track.  By this time, it was almost dark and the turns were in almost complete darkness.  It was kinda cool, starting in the dark and sprinting into the lights.  I had very little time in between races, about an hour, not enough.   I got out well and coming into the straight, I was shoulder to shoulder with a couple of tall guys who beat me down the stretch.   I finished last in the heat but not by much, a few tenths.   I was faster than 2 Sewanee guys in the first heat so... heh, I didn't finish last.   That photo below of the 200m is of course before they made up the stagger, about 35m into the race, but I did get out well.  Just a bit too fatigued from the short rest to really stretch it out.

Still haven't been confirmed for Bellarmine meet next weekend, it's a pretty good track.  Hope to get in, we're coming down to the end of the college season.  I'll need to bust butt with some tempo runs if I ever hope to get into the 55s again.
Finish of the 400m, at least I didn't finish last

After the 200m under the lights

Near the start of the 200m

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

300s, dubious thoughts

Bright sunny and cold this morning on the Dean Hayes track, 48º.

For whatever reason, it didn't feel real good today.   Not regarding the injury, but in a mental/physical sense.  Sometimes I think I like the idea of racing and training for the 400 more than I actually like doing it.  

Today, I tried my new compression wrap on both thighs for this workout.  Didn't want to do too much today.  Most of the prior workout soreness is gone, and I had a good workout Monday, so it's inexplicable why I was feeling so tired today after doing so little.  I mean, it seemed much harder than it should have.  Just getting old I guess.   Maybe a lack of foundation... or something.  
500m warmup on grass, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
2 x 300m w/ 5min rest - 42.5, 43.5  
200m -28
These times were just slower than race pace, but not slow.  Still, I felt more tired than I think I should have.   The ham felt fine, but I think it might be asking too much to run the 200m this Friday, although I may.   I am faster than 3 guys in the 200m on the meet performance list and it would be a fun race - on my HOME track - the place I train.  It's also the first twilight home meet (under the lights) in the 157 yr history of the University of the South.  It's a small meet and only 5 entries in the 400m... and they're all over the place, 48 - 61.   I'm the second slowest - which means I'll probably get outside lane (probably 6).

I submitted my entry for Bellarmine on 4/26.  Looks like I won't have to go to Purdue if I want to compete on 5/3.  There is a meet in Indianapolis, about an hour closer.  Again, I like the idea of racing the 400m in all these meets, but not sure if I like actually doing it.   Hard work.  Unlike running 5ks, the pain only lasts a short time.  I guess it's worth it.

Monday, April 14, 2014


A quiet, gray and windy afternoon on the Sewanee Coughlan track.  About 60º and windy.   As events are shaping up, I maybe ending my college track season on Friday, so I did a good workout today.   More about the schedule later.

I ran 500s with pretty much full recovery in between (15-20min), and it was the fastest set of 4x500s I've done.   I wanted to keep a consistent speed, and really work the last 150m   I hit the 400 in about 62-64 and tried to keep the last 100m under 16, which was a lot of effort.   I ran the 400m slow enough to have enough to run tall in the last 100m.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
4 x 500m - 77.5, 80.5, 80, 79   (79.25 avg) 
200m - 28.5
Felt ok.   Was hard but not sickening.  Did some kettle bell throws too, good for my ham.   Ham is ok, maybe not 100% but surely on it's way.   Probably would have run more if my ankle didn't hurt ... seeing how this might be my last race for a while.

I had planned to race in Louisville on 4/26... but now they changed the registration to require unattached to get permission for entry.   Looks like a lot of collegiate unattached are trying to qualify for regionals and they may limit the unattached... which probably means slow guys like me.

The other meet in Louisville on 5/16 also requires permission for unattached... and looking at last yrs results, probably out of my league.   Last yr, only a few over 53 in the 400 (54.00 was slowest) and no one over 24 in the 200m.   So that meet is probably out too.

The only other possibility is to race at Purdue in IN on 5/03.   That would mean a trip to Roya's (3 hrs) and then an additional 2 1/2 hrs to IN the next day.  I've driven further for meets.   I once crazily drove 5 hrs to race at an indoor meet in IN.

Anyway.  Still have those masters meets in June.   Also, I said I wouldn't enter the Masters Nationals outdoor this yr, but... who knows.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sewanee Saturday Sunset 600s

Sore in the glutes from yesterday's squats and still sore in the calves and quads from Wednesday's stairs, but hit the Sewanee track this beautiful evening.  About 70º with a fairly constant breeze.

Did a cautious quantity workout then stepped it up slightly at the end.  Didn't want to run anything faster than 16-17 100m pace.... but I did, and it was ok.   I worked with a compression wrap.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
3 x 600m - 1:45, 1:53, 1:48 
2 x 200m - 30, 28
Basically did the 600s as an easy 400m (70-75) then a harder last 150m.  Wanted to practice the 'fatigued form' and the first 450m put me there.

Since I rested 5, then 10 min between, I had enough left to do some 200m striders for form.   The last one I pushed a bit and it was ok.

I should be good to race at Sewanee next Friday night, not sure about the 200m.   Probably shouldn't.  Not ready for a peak performance anyway.

A little heavier,  estimate about 143 after workout.  My scale went crazy, the other is cheap and inaccurate, so I sprung for a mechanical beam scale, should be here in a week.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

sore 800s

As expected, quite sore after yesterday's 20x stadium stairs.   Calves and quads.   Went to MTSU this morning to do some 800s but the track was closed for the Special Olympics.   So, I took a chance and headed to Oakland, HS.   It was quiet, no hassle.  Cool and sunny, mid 50sº.

Felt really slow and sluggish.   Probably shouldn't have run in spikes since my ankle hurt a bit.   But I wanted to stay on my toes and thought it would encourage me to.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
saucony spikes on 
2 x 800m w/ 4 min rest - 2:45, 2:55
Wanted to do another but had to go to the bathroom and there were none.

Need a day off and to start some resistance to strengthen the ham.  Everything feels fine save for the lactic soreness.  Probably over training a bit, and just getting old.  Been using this big velcro hamstring compression sleeve to train with as well as my CW-X compression tights.  Might make sense to wrap the thighs prior to racing again.  I bought some of that compression wrap and tape.  It worked at Vandy.  

I really think I'll be 100% in a week.

Oakland HS Track


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

stadium stair sprints

The sun was blazing but thankfully, a cool mid 50'sº morning at the MTSU Floyd Stadium.   I hit the stairs and was very surprised to see the stadium being dug up and being prepared for a new multi-million dollar playing surface.  It would be nice if they returned to real grass but I know that is highly unlikely.   Stunned at the money this university spends on football, and always seems to be a mediocre team.

Warmup jog, stretches 
20 x stadium stairs

I really did sprint, especially the first several.  I was beat and quivering by the end.  I tried to really accelerate on the last 10 steps when I was tired.  I was whooped after a dozen but kept going.

Hamstring still a bit sore but progressing well.  Keeping it wrapped.   Going to try some 800s tomorrow.

Yea, we need to spend millions on a new football field.  Great priorities.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rehab / prehab for hamstring

I still think I could race in 10 days but it'll take a week to determine.  I'd really like to race under the lights at Sewanee on Friday night the 4/18.  If I do, probably just stick with the 400m. 

It still is a little tender to the touch, it hurts a little to sit on the toilet.  However, I jogged from the parking lot to work today and it felt fine. Really only a 'grade 1' strain.  No sign yet of trauma or black and blue.

As I read in an article on hamstring recovery by masters sprinter/physician Dr. Alan T., running stairs are a good first outing, so, that's what I'm planning tomorrow.   I should know in a week if I can race.

The 'mini-vacation' from training... just 3 days, I managed to eat pies, cereal, bread...which I normally don't eat during competition season.   Just noticed a few lbs heavier.

Here's my plan for the next 10 days:

Wed. - stadium stairs
Thurs. - track (800s)
Sat. - track (600s)
Sun. - resistance / prehab
Mon. - track (500s)
Tues - resistance / prehab
Wed. - track (300s / event runs)
Thurs. - track (warmup / starts)
Fri. - race??

All the while, doing hot tub, stretching and foam roller massage.

We'll see.  Between this and the cold, it's not been trhe best season for a peak performance.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Centre College Invite meet report


Not bad, but I strained it coming out of the blocks in the 400m.   It hurt before the race, ever since the Vandy 200m.   Felt similar to what I had for months on my right side, but this was worse.  A definite strain.  A cramp-like feeling as I rounded the first turn, I made the decision to keep going and finish the race, probably not a good idea but it seemed to improve as the race progressed, although my stride was shortened.  It hurt afterward.  First injury ever in a 400m.   I had to scratch the 200m.   It was a shame too... a good track and a tail wind.  A lost opportunity.   Good conditions but cold... about 47º.

It was bad... 57.33.   Even at that slow, I managed to beat a straggler.
Start of the 400m

Finish of the 400m ... beating a straggler

It was generally a bitch of a weekend... driving 222 miles, only to get cited with a $154 ticket for rolling through a stop sign - just 2 miles from my destination.  Cop was a prick, trying to justify his existence by screwing people.  I did nothing unsafe.  That played on my mind a lot and I tried to get past it, but I was pissed.  Didn't sleep well.  My cold is pretty much gone except for a runny nose and sneezing.  

Where do I go from here?  I'll probably skip TSU next weekend and go back to doing 800s and endurance foundation with prehab resistance work.   I should probably wrap my thighs before racing.  It worked wonderfully for my upper quad issue that has now gone away entirely.  It could have been worse.  I still think I should be ready for the Sewanee Twilight meet on the 18th.   

Carry on.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Light workout

I am surprised at how sore I was from Tuesday's speed workout so I kept it really light today.  Better to do less than too much.  Some 400m race pace 200s and starts. Cold is still there but better.   Should be ok by Sat for the 400/200 double at Centre College.

Was a nice spring day at the Dean Hayes track, mostly cloudy, 70º and a stiff south breeze.
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Saucony spikes on 
80m strider 
200m - 26.5 
several starts from the 400m start line 
200m from blocks with start beep - 26 
more starts
The 200s felt pretty easy and they were quite fast because of the wind at my back.   Both about race pace for 400m.   Interestingly, at this pace, I feel very little fatigue until I stop and walk.   There is a major energy system exchange that takes place right around 30 seconds, and I feel it even after I stop running.   Since sometimes the second rep feels easier, I wonder if I'm not warming up enough before my 400m races.  Intuitively, I try to save my energy.

I'm light, eating hearty and I still weight exactly 140.0 lbs after workout.

Not one of my best starts but I do get up to full speed fairly quickly.  Cell phone vid.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Back on track

On an amazingly awesome April fools day.  68º and bright sunshine with a breeze at the Sewanee Coughlan track this morning.   I still had congestion and a runny nose but felt a lot better.   I was still ...still a little sore in the haunches from Friday's 200m.  I think I've been perpetually a little sore since Nationals... racing every weekend.   Next Sat., will be 4th in a row.

I think I'm actually going to miss the cool dank weather.   It is less painful to run grueling workouts in the cold than in the heat.   Even as it approached just the upper 60sº, I could see waves of heat reflecting off that terrible new artificial turf on the Sewanee football field.   No shade and it seemed warmer.

Today, I ran long sprints with even splits at 90% effort... and plenty of recovery in between.
400m warmup, stretches drills 
Saucony spikes on 
3 x 400m - 59 (29.5/29.5), 59.5 (29.5/30), 60.5 (30/30.5) 
200m - 27

It was a good one, the second 400m felt easier than the first.  I wasn't killing myself either, my pulse was only in the mid 140s after the 400s.  The 200m wasted me.

One more workout on Thursday then off to KY again.

The only shade there was...