Tuesday, May 30, 2017


More foundation work.  It's a killer.

Nice day in Sewanee, 73º and mostly cloudy with storms in the distance.   You would think 600s would be easier than 800s but no.  With 600s, I'm running about 4 or 5 seconds faster per 200m, so it's just as hard.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 600m - 1:46, 1:49, 1:51, 1:50 
200m strider
It was about as fast as this same workout I did last August when starting a training cycle in preparation for Perth, but the conditions are much better today than last Aug. ( 90º heat index).  Maybe by late next week, I'll be running fast and will put the spikes on in about 2 weeks.

In the mean time, I'll be starting weights tomorrow night and will try to keep an every other day or so track regime.  I may do my first lesser volume tempo set next time out and maybe some hills.  This foundation stuff is painful and difficult.   Gets ya right in the gut.  Sometimes, I think I should slow these reps down and take less rest.  But that will be coming.  I remember that killer 600,600,400,400 w/ 3 min rest I've done a few times.

143.7 after workout

Monday, May 29, 2017

Schedule update, track news

I think I'm going to start racing again in about 19 days at the AL State meet on 6/17, just to see where I am.  I remember running this meet years ago,  a lot of waiting and standing around... trying to predict when the race would go down, because it's an all-ages meet.  It's 2 hrs away on this side of Birmingham, so why not.  Got a lot of work to do between now and then.

This is my last week free before I go back to living in Murfreesboro half time.  I'll get to train on the MTSU track a few times a week.  The air quality down there isn't as good as it is up here in Sewanee, but it's going to be rough at LSU in July, might as well get used to it.  I'm thinking I might be able to get my student Jacob H. to train with me, and maybe some of the elite MTSU women.  The MTSU women are amazing, they've run 52 in the 400m, 22.90 in the 200m, and 2:02 in the 800m.  I think 5 MTSU athletes have qualified for the NCAA DI finals and they're coming up at Hayward field next week, June 7-10.

Getting ready to commit and purchase trip for WMAC North, Central American and Caribbean Championships in Toronto.

Track News
I think we will see the first sub 43 400m come from Fred Kerley, the Texas A&M senior who just smashed the 25 yr old collegiate record in the 400m with a 43.70.  He's run a 43.35 4x400 split and presently has the 3 of the 4 fastest times in the world right now... and he just turned 22.   His 43.70 is just .05 off LaShawn Merritt's PR and only 6 have run faster in history.  I hope Kerley has an agent and we see him in the Diamond League this season.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

more foundation 800s

I was dreading this one.  Mostly because I was already tired from days of biking, hiking, schlepping for a boat trip, etc...   I got to the track at 4pm, 75º with hazy sun.
Hoka trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 800m - 2:41, 2:44, 2:49, 2:50
Nothing fast here ... just getting in the necessary volume.   Feet held up well, feeling tired but not injured.

I think one more volume workout similar to this, then one per week.   I'll start mixing it up with tempo intervals, speed, hills.

Glad to get this one done.  Considering I ate ice cream, fried food, and bagels w/ cream cheese this weekend, I weighed an astonishing 142.5 lbs after workout. Probably due to my recent level of activity and being on my feet. I will likely begin to gain weight when I start doing hills, weights, and protein.   Easy to maintain a light weight when active.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

foundation 800s

Back to track for some foundation work.  Perfect training weather, mid 60ºs, dry, but breezy.  The track was a ghost ship, deserted, the way I like it.  Was happy to see the grounds crew had put away all the lacrosse stuff.  (It usually takes them til June to do this).

This is some of the worst drudgery, now that I'm beginning a cycle.  The first 800 felt hard.  Almost felt like I did at age 9 ... after a first crushing swim team workout where we swam 2 miles, over 100 laps, I broke down and told my father afterward in tears that 'I just couldn't do it.'  Well, I hung in there and it got easier.  This proven 'long to short' approach for me is what I  have to do.  I really don't have that much time in this cycle, Nationals begin 7 weeks from today.  My first race is in only 4 weeks.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 800m - 2:39, 2:43, 2:43
I took plenty of recovery, almost 15 min.    It was good to get it done.    Feet feel ok.   I'll be on the track again Sat or Sun, and then will probably settle into an every other day regime.   I hope to ramp up to 4x800 next workout, then 600s, tempo intervals ... resume hill sprints, weights, protein, creatine, and amino supplements.

I am very light but I feel I've lost strength from my peak when I was turning consistent sub 25 sec 200s.  At just 143.4 lbs after workout, I am still a bit soft, and I may very well gain weight during this training cycle.  It stands to reason that if I can put on a few lbs of muscle in a month in between Nationals and Worlds, then I can surely lose it as well.   Sarcopenia is a constant scourge for the older athlete.  Physically, I'm pretty dynamic.  I seem to be able to gain and lose fat and muscle fairly quickly depending on if I'm sedentary or training.  That said, it's never easy to put on muscle at this age.  A lot of sweat and power expended, and a careful diet.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

return to the oval office

First track workout in 3+ weeks.  Foundation work will be on the schedule for the next 2 weeks.  Perfect cool cloudy weather at the Sewanee track, in the mid 60ºs and cloudy late afternoon.  Visiting from FL, my parents joined me.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
2 x 800m - 2:38, 2:41
It was hard, I'm out of shape, but one amazing thing, I remain exceptionally light.... 143.4 after workout.   This is the lightest I've been at the start of a training cycle, despite a bread and butter diet the last week.  This is probably due to a lot of time on my feet working around my house the past few days.  Being light certainly isn't being fit.  Despite my good weight, I feel 'soft'... some of my muscle mass lost after a hiatus from training.  As I ramp up my training, I'll get back on the strength routine, weights and hills, protein and amino supplements, and then long sprint speed intervals.

This proven 'long to short' cycle is similar to what WR holder Roland G. told me he does.  He told me he starts with 800s the first 3 workouts of a training cycle.  These are not fun, but necessary.  Training in cool weather was a gift today, but as I get closer to the Championships at LSU, I'll start going out and training in the heat to acclimate to the heat.

Feet feel better, was able to run for the first time in months with no taping.  It looks like I will be teaching in Murfreesboro in June so I will be training at least a few times a week a the Dean Hayes track.

Happy to have convinced my dad to leave his butt to join me and my mother on the track.  Wasn't easy.  He and my mother walked a mile and a half, and they actually sprinted 50m with me, without even stretching.  He did ok, actually impressive for a 77 yr old that weighs 236 lbs with a knee replacement.    Wish he would do this regularly, but he's never left his comfort zone consistently to train as a senior.

Here I go again.  Championships in July and Aug.  State meet in June.

Mom and Dad ... the first and likely only time on the track.

Friday, May 12, 2017

stairmaster, rowing

My usual 2 standbys when I'm not running.   Stairmaster and rowing, guaranteed to produce a good sweat.  Past 2 nights at the Sewanee Fowler Center was 100% empty except for me and the old lady at the desk.

Stairmaster - 20 min - hill program, level 15 (of 20) 
Concept 2 rower - 2000m - 8:44 / 37 spm

It was a pretty strong effort on the rower.  Not 100%, but equivalent to running a fast mile.  Also did 5 hilly miles on the mountain bike yesterday.

Maintaining decent weight, under 146 after workout.  9 days til the return to the track.  Feet feel great.  Enjoying the 'time off.'

Thursday, May 11, 2017


After a 10 days of eating stuff i normally don't eat like chips and carbs, and not running, the decline has begun.  I have done some mountain biking and some stairmaster and rowing... but that's really not enough.   I need to start resistance soon.  Still 10-11 days out from a return to the track.

Not being an endurance athlete, it's frightening how quickly aerobic fitness disappears.  How breathless I get after a fairly short uphill sprint on my mountain bike.  At this age, I guess it goes away real fast.

I feel a definite 'softening' of my body, even though I've not gain that much weight.  I'm still under 150 lbs and was under 148 this morning.

I can only imagine what it's like for older people who never exercise, are overweight, and don't lift weights.  Especially if this behavior has gone on for years.  The body turns to jello.  Strength to weigh ratio decreases to the point where one can not even lift their own weight (one pull up), and can get breathing hard just bending over to clean the floor.  I can see why sarcopenia and high blood pressure are so prevalent in older non-athletes.  It's like a wasting disease.  Maybe a glimpse of my future life when I am unable to run.  I don't think it has to be that way.  Cardio machines and weights, simple exercises one can do at home.  I think I can get a pretty comprehensive workout at home with my resistance bands, pullup bar, etc...

I think I was pretty accurate when I said, 4 weeks off from running regresses training 8 weeks, to get back to where you were.

The other aspect is psychological.   Exercise is uncomfortable.  When one stops training and starts living in a comfort zone with no physical exertion, it becomes ever more painful to exercise, especially taking that first step.  When in training mode, you get used to the pain and even welcome it... it actually become LESS painful.  That's why starting back up after a break is hard... especially doing 800m repeats and other foundation work.

Also, that is why people train together and have coaches.  People gain motivation from others.  I have neither.  I'm a lone wolf out there, running in circles.

Just some observations from 'the other side.'  I expect to be back on the track perhaps twice during the week of May 22.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


It's nice to be recognized for what may be a one-in-a-lifetime award, but recognition is not why I do it.

After seeing articles about WMACi Daegu mentioning my name in Trinidad, Ireland, Italy, etc... I was thinking that the local media in Murfreesboro, TN would just ignore my story.  After all, MTSU News had published 2 previous stories on me, my first title, and one just last year after Nationals and our 4x200m WR.  Since '12, I've won Nationals 5 times and it probably doesn't seem remarkable or even 'news' anymore.

But, 5 weeks after the event, MTSU finally put out a story last week, on May 1.  I never saw it until yesterday.   It was mentioned on the main MTSU News website, the MTSU FB page, and on Murfreesboro.com.  USATF Masters loves this sort of thing because it promotes the sport, and they shared MTSU's FB post on the USATF Master's FB page.

In years past, my former boss George was very supportive of my athletic activities and awards.  He took it upon himself to send out a news release of my first Nationals win, and even when I took Silver (outdoor '12).  By contrast, no one from my dept even told me this article had been published, so it was out a while before I saw it.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

R n R, track babbling

It's been a week off from running and my feet are recovering nicely.   I can get up in the morning and walk with no soreness.

I feel a bit guilty for not supporting and participating in today's TN USATF's annual masters meet, the Nashville Masters Classic.  But I really needed this time off, if I'm going to be able to retool for Nationals and N. American Championships.  I could compete as soon as June 17 in the AL State Games, but I may wait til the following weekend til the TN State Finals.   Too bad that meet wasn't in April, I probably could've broken Jim Mathis's 24 yr old 200m record of 25 flat. Since March, I have run seven 200m races and most of them were under 25....  5 indoors: 25.22, 25.07, 25.05, 24.86, 24.82, and two outdoor: 24.92, 24.84.

M55 100m 
M55 WR holder Willie Gault ran the 100m at the Oxy meet on Sat.  He rarely races, maybe once or twice a year, but every time he does, he either sets or comes close to a WR.   Gault has the WRs for M45, M50 and M55 in the 100/200.   He came close to his WR of 11.30 on Sat., he ran 11.36.   54 yr old Lonnie Hooker ran 11.31 at Penn.  I think he's got a shot at Willie's record.  Amazing dude. Lonnie's as fast right now as I was at 17.

Retaining speed
I think I reached peak speed during my first college indoor track season, winter '79.  I really wish I could remember my times during that season at SUNY Cortland.  It was the only time I got to compete on a rubberized synthetic track with spikes.  (Spikes were illegal for indoor track in highschool, which seems crazy nowadays).  I remember running the indoor sprint and long jumping 21'3" at Syracuse, which was a few inches better than I did in HS.   Not sure if it was a 60 yd or meters race, but I finished mid-pack.  I really wish I could find a SUNY Cortland archive with meet results of that '79 indoor season.   It was a weird time for track.  The transition from yards to meters wasn't complete (the NCAA D1 '79 indoor championships was still yards).  And, electronic timing wasn't standard in every meet yet.   Also, I think the short indoor sprint was not standard.  It was sometimes 60 yds, sometimes 50m, etc...  depending on the venue.  In HS, we ran indoor meets in weird places, like the Broome Co. Arena lobby, etc...

The only time I ever ran 100m in HS was on a hard black top track, 11.1(h).  I'm thinking under ideal conditions, I might have been able to run 11.1 FAT, but probably not much faster.  I was usually running 10.4(h) 100 yd races on cinder tracks.  I was also running 60 yds in 6.6(h) in sneakers on a gym floor.  The reason I mention all of this is to point out, I never had elite sprint speed, but now I'm running somewhere around 93-94% of my high school speed at age 56.  Bill Collins and Willie Gault were bonefide elite sprinters during their hey day.  Doing the math, both Willie and Bill are/were running at 89% of their peak speed at M55.  In masters track, it's all about retaining what we once had.   Lonnie ran 10.5 100m in college, that would put him at nearly 93% of his peak speed.

About time...
After not doing anything for a week, I may do some rowing, weights and maybe some stairmaster or biking tomorrow.  My weight isn't too bad, still under 150.  It was really great to eat fries and beer with my dad and teamates after the Penn Relays.  I haven't had french fries and beer for as long as I can remember.

Monday, May 1, 2017