Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Doppel Looper #2

Had planned to run out to the Art Museum and run with the 8:15 folks, but couldn't get out of the house on time.

Instead I biked down to the Art Museum and met up with the 8:15 folks, who consisted of SG and MD. I realized I forgot the key to my bike lock, so I left the bike unlocked behind some hedges and trusted in the brotherly love of our city. There was much activity going on here in preparation for next weeks Live 8 show.

SG and MD proved to be fine company, conversation was relaxed and light and the running was at an 8/8:15 pace. It was still cool on this loop around the Drives, and the sun was still low enough to where there was plenty of shade. The 2 four mile chunks (I stretched the loop to 8.5 miles) went by in 33:19 & 32:21.

We finished up in time to meet the 9:30 crowd, which was also a bit thin. IC provided company for my second time around the loop - which meant good conversation and a somewhat faster pace. We did the four mile chunks in 30:23 and 30:26 this time around. It was also noticeably hotter with considerably more sun.

All in all, 17 miles in 2:13:21. My legs were toast from the second mile on; I don't think I could have done it without the company. Or to put it another way, paying 17 miles was worth 2 hours of fine socializing.

And upon my return, my unlocked bike was sitting there waiting for me.

And, as a PS, IC and EM and various others are doing a trail run out by Reading tomorrow and a bunch more folks are doing the 1st Philly triathlon, which includes, gasp, swimming through the Schuylkill. Good luck to you all. I'm going to be out of town tomorrow, dropping off kids in NY and RI, otherwise I'd be in the cheering section.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Home, home again

I like to be here when I can. . .

But I am sad to leave Dewey Beach. A fine vacation that I wished would never end.

I ran one final 10 miler down Route 1. If you read yesterday's post all the way through, I did indeed run by a turtle carcass at about the place where I encountered the turtle yesterday.

I still had yesterday's post in my head this morning so I ran without a watch today. I didn't want to get as overly fixated on mile splits as I had been doing. I did pack the iPod, and listened to North Mississippi Allstars for the first five and Little Axe on the way back.

The headwind was going out today, so it was a bit easier after the turnaround.

I got 60 miles in on Route 1 in the last five days, but I am glad it is done. I couldn't see myself running that route day in and day out, and feel fortunate to have the Philadelphia streets to use as a palatte for painting myself all sorts of different routes, with a standard repertoire in reserve for when I know just what I want.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

By the Sea

On the last evening of our stay on the Delaware shore. Staying in a great place right on the bay. We've been without internet since Sunday but this morning the laptop picked up a wireless signal and so now I can sit on the porch overlooking the bay and write some stuff while the sun sets.

I'll keep this to running. I've gotten a workout in every day while I've been here. It started off slow, as we got in to Dewey Beach on Saturday night and I set out and did five miles easy in 43:31. As I said before, we are right on the bay and its one block to the main highway, Route 1, and then another block to the ocean. So the only choice I have runningwise is whether to go north (toward town) or south (through Seashore State Park) on Route 1. The latter is by far the better choice, and you decide how far you want to go, divide by two, and make it an out and back. On Saturday night I was limited in my miles by underestimating how quickly darkness would set in.

Sunday was Father's Day, and the family took me out to brunch at 10 am. After that it was boardwalk, beach and a nap and it was really hard to motivate for a run. I left a little earlier than the evening before, and went out four miles before I realized that my final miles would again be in pitch darkness. The silver lining here was that, as yesterday, I got to see a beautiful sunset over the bay before it got dark. Both evenings I had on my iPod and took it all in with a playlist of long driving blues numbers. Blues at sunset. 8 miles in about 62:00 and I'd resigned myself to having my weekly mileage be in the toilet. 43.5 miles, a little over half of what I was shooting for.

I'm free associating what I remember of my recent runs. I'll give a little background on running on Route 1. The best way to describe it is that it is like running on a treadmill only you're going somewhere. Route 1 is completely flat and almost completely straight until you get out 5 miles and there is a bridge over the Indian River. There is a steady progression of dunes with little to break it up and a steady stream of traffic coming towards you. If you don't feel a wind running out, you get rudely awakened on turning around to a steady headwind. This is one of the few places that I use my Forerunner, as due to the lack of interfereable objects its one of the few places where it gives me accurate distance readings. I took my iPod along on Monday and Wednesday, and left it on Tuesday and today, when I did my more serious runs.

Monday I did 12. Out to the bridge, over it and a bit further, and then turn around. I wanted to see how much faster I can do the back six than the front six. The combination of Forerunner and the flat straightaway gave each run a track feeling. I logged splits on the mile and ran out in 8:22, 7:59, 59, 40, 8:04, 7:56. Turning around I hit a massive headwind, reminding me why I would never run a marathon down here. I tried picking things up and got bad flashbacks of Grandma's marathon (almost a year to the day) and logged 7:39, 7:59, 43, 59, 45, 8:51. I don't know how that last mile happened but because of it the front and back end splits were virtually identical. 12 miles in 96:03, right at 8 minute pace.

Wind was lighter on Tuesday and in the opposite direction, so I got a bit of a tailwind. Going out my first mile was over 8 and the rest were between 6:30 and 7:30. Turning around, the rest of the miles were in this range except for one that I nailed in 5:58. I'm not going to do the math, but the back 7 must have been a little faster than the front seven. Ideally I wanted to try to get down to marathon pace, but it wasn't working for me that morning. However, the 14 miles went in 97:15, meaning that I averaged a 6:57 pace. I'll take that.

I don't feel like picking apart all of my runs, so I'll go to condense mode. Yesterday was supposed to be an easy ten, same out and back that was becoming way too familiar. Had a new cd by a guy called Little Axe on the iPod. Blues purists cringe at the electronic noodling, the hypnotic, rave-like approach to standard blues songs, and the self-consciousness of the impact that he is said to have had on Moby, but this is great stuff to run to. These beats just go on and on and on. The music drove me to do ten in 75:09 at a pretty steady 7:30 pace.

And finally todays run was again without the iPod. Although running along the dunes is great, it is also monotonous, and doing 14 miles of this is a mental workout. Which was one of the reasons that I chose to run without music. I think of it like meditating, keeping my mind busy on nothing. The Forerunner also was out of juice, so I was left with my regular stopwatch and couldn't entertain myself with mile splits. I remembered where the 6-mile turnaround was, and I averaged my pace at that point and decided to turn around when I hit 53 minutes. Again I wanted badly to negative split and I was again hit with a strong headwind going back. I used roadside mile markers to time two of my miles going back in 13:20, so I was doing alright and finished the back 7 in 50:30, a decent negative split. This gives me 14 in 103:31, a good bit slower than Tuesday's run.

So that gets me up to date. I've been writing at this for too long and looking back I think if I had to write this again I would have just listed the distance/times and focused on other stuff. I feel that I have spent too much time on times and split times and all that stuff, and now don't have the stamina to write down thoughts, ideas, and observations. Many of these will be lost to posterity, and perhaps that will not be such a bad thing but its really what I find more rewarding about this blog. I think this is one more argument against a Forerunner, if anyone is considering getting one, is that ultimately it just bogs you down with more data. In the last four days I have logged 50 miles, which is exactly the type of high mileage days that I want to get in. Yet the more I scrutinize my splits the more I wish I went faster, paced myself differently, etc. to the point where I ruin my sense of accomplishment and bore anyone who has still stuck around this far into the post.

The more I think about it this way, the more I just want to flush my Forerunner. I guess that qualifies as an insight, but nuff said about that. I'll end this already too long entry with a dilemma I faced this morning. It is a fairly substantial problem on Route 1 that turtles, being of limited brain, venture across the highway and get their limited brains splattered all along road. I saw several turtle carcasses and this morning, in the middle of my 13:20 interval I saw the only live turtle I've sofar seen just start to venture upon the road. I ran right by it, but was bothered the whole rest of the run by whether I should have stopped the turtle and, if so, what I should have done. I pray he made it across, if not for his sake then to relieve my guilt, but of course I will never know. And I still don't know what I'll do if I come across another turtle attempting the same foolishness.

Well, it is completely dark now. I'm tired of writing and just want to curl up with the novel I'm currently reading, Zola's La Debacle, until I fall asleep. Hey, it is vacation and this is my last night of it.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Hi & Bye

Don't have much time this morning, packing for a trip to the shore.

Had some downtime, both from running and from the blog. Last checked in on Tuesday I believe and didn't run on Wednesday and Thursday, mostly due to the crunch of work I had so I could clear up things for this trip. Although I hate missing that kind of running time, I'm always reassured that I still give my job a higher priority than my running.

Ran 4 miles in 33.52 yesterday morning and then ran the Media 5-miler yesterday afternoon. Don't have time, nor the inclination, to give the customary race report. I finished 14th (3rd master) in 28:06, about the same effort as my last two races given that the course was a bit tougher. It was a fun race, as we had a team of Philly Runners, KF was around, and various other folks. There were some good neck and neck finishes as well.

For the third straight week, I'm resolving to get back to getting regular high mileage weeks in. We'll see how that goes. In the meantime, I'll see about posting when I can to this blog from the shore.

There is Liberal Media Bias (our running team)

In what is becoming a post-race ritual, a shot of me and KF

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Slow Moving Train

Consecutive day #392 in which the sun rising over Center City is barely noticeable through a milky haze.

No energy to run this morning, so I took it slow. Very slow. Also took some friends along - Hound Dog Taylor, Luther Allison, & U.P. Wilson. Allison was my favorite running companion of the three: his music has a driving beat of a locomotive to which I can just zone out and keep a steady pace (however slow). Thoughts drifted in and out of my head, and I would share some if I weren't pressed for time.

Music kept this run from becoming a death march. The pace was about 8:30 on MLK, but was often interrupted by traffic, detours, a porta potty stop, iPod adjustments, etc. Maybe this is how Galloway got started with his training method. The run just really seemed endless.

13 miles on the Falls River Bridge-Fairmount Park loop. My watch failed to start at the start of the run so mercifully the race wasn't timed.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Let Down

In my post-run shower I spontaneously started singing Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down." For those of you not familiar with old school country, the first verse and chorus (and I'm writing this from memory, mind you) go:

I've always had a bottle I can turn to,
And lately I've been turning every day.
But the wine don't take effect the way it used to,
And I'm hurting in an old familiar way.

Tonight the bottle let me down.
And let your memory come around.
The one true friend I thought I found,
Tonight the bottle let me down.

Now don't take this too literally, as I'm not lovelorn and if I'm having a few more beers these days it is solely for the purposes of staying cool. But the weather is still hot, the aftereffects from the basement flood are still needing to be dealt with, and I had a meeting this morning I was quite nervous about, and I had to be home this afternoon for the kids who are wrapping up school with a ridiculous number of early dismissals. I figured my morning run would help alleviate some of this stress.

My running let me down. I got to E's about ten minutes late and she wasn't there, so I took off on my own and proceeded to get sick to my stomach. Feeling better, I proceeded down Woodland Ave. towards Cobbs Creek and proceeded to get sick two more times. Fortunately there is alot of wooded area around Cobbs Creek, but the stopping, the stomach pain, the heat etc. did little to ease my burdened mind nor invigorate my beat up body. Hence the thoughts of Merle.

As a footnote, there's a bikepath now (it may have been around for awhile, its been repaved) along Cobbs Creek. Verdant surroundings alongside a stream, if it were anywhere else besides way western Philadelphia it would be full of bladers, runners and bikers. But as it is, I had trail all to myself, save a few guys pushing shopping carts.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Training for Badwater. . .

would probably go something like todays workout. Wait till about midday on a hot steamy day and then go run. Only in training for that race, I'd probably have on a sweatsuit or two zipped to the neck.

Even without that, running was tough. I ran back from Germantown and took it slow, stopping at the fountains along Kelly Drive to drink. I was just looking to get my miles in, but still managed a 7:50 pace on the marked miles. Almost collided with cyclists three times (2 were very close calls) on Kelly. Didn't run home but to the pool, where I went in and swam some laps. Not that I'm even considering doing a tri, its just a great way to (literally) cool down.

So training continues on survival mode. Salvaged 51 miles out of this week, would love to get 80 next week, but we shall see how it goes. 10+ miles today in 84:02.

Doppel Looper

This is a term known only among Philly Runners circles denoting running the 8.5 mile loop around MLK and Kelly Drives twice: once with the 8:15 group and then again with the 9:30 group. Having done this now qualifies me for the "Doppel Looper" club, with membership needing to be renewed annually. As far as I know, only myself and RD are currently members.

It was also a triathlon of sorts. First leg was taking the car for a half mile to the shop for maintenance, then biking 3 miles to the Art Museum, running, biking back and driving home. I got held up in the transition, however, as the mechanic was still working on the car when I got back to the shop.

A terribly humid day to run. Had a good group on the 8:15 leg, with E, MS, Goat, TK and someone else who I am totally blanking on right now and its bothering me that I cant picture him. Anyway, this is a good group, all four I mentioned have the potential to get their times down quite a bit faster than what they are currently running. I timed the loop in 4 mile chunks, with the first two coming in at 32:10 and 31:09. Alot more folks out at 9:30, and I started out w/ IC, RD, B?, and KG, but IC wanted to do hills up in Fairmount and I thought it was too damn hot and humid to be doing this. The others all opted to go left, and I slogged out the last 7 on my own. The last 2 chunks in 28:31 and 28:10.

The problem with all this was that when I got home I had to leave immediately for T's little league final. Thus I smelled and felt really gross for most of the day. On top of that, T's team lost 8-4 (T went 2-3, batting in 3 of the runs and scoring the 4th).

This weather ain't supposed to be going nowhere. If I get a decent run in tomorrow I'll have 50 for the week and feel it to be salvaged. 17 in 2:06:32.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Litany of Excuses

This week has been disappointing running-wise, as I've missed both Tuesday and Thursday, which are my usual hard workout days. This has mostly been due to long nights and more severe than usual sleep deprivation that has kept me from getting up at the early hour prerequisite to do these workouts in the summer. Lots of looming deadlines at work and a presentation in NYC yesterday and dealing with a flooded basement with basically ruined wall-to-wall carpet is basically ruined and now moldy drywall have had me stressed. My good buddy JG and his family from Arizona are visiting, which has been great but has further complicated things as I would like to have spent more time with them instead of dealing with the aforementioned things. And finally there is this insideous sticky heat that seems to enshroud everything. And, I've realized this week, not being able to run regularly, along with cutting off a stress outlet, creates a stress all its own.

All that is perhaps related to a sense of decay I felt around me on the morning Acme loop. Several images of this remain. A car on Powelton Ave, seemingly parked there for awhile, had a side window smashed, in an apparent break-in, on Wednesday and now had its back window smashed out as well. This reminded me of an experiment to explore the "broken windows" theory of neighborhood deterioration, where some pointy-headed type with nothing better to do left cars parked in different neighborhoods to see what would become of them. I'll keep y'all posted on how this car does.

Then they put a metal plate over the pothole on the 40th Street bridge. The problem with this pothole is that it was bottomless. You looked into it and you can see all the way down to the railroad tracks below. So now the city slapped this metal plate on it and I notice that the bridge is pockmarked with these metal plates. How many metal plates does it take before the bridge ceases to be structurally sound? I'll run on the bridge but will refrain from driving over it from now on.

One of my favorite parts of this loop are the big houses on Parkside Ave. These remind me of houses in Park Slope in Brooklyn - much larger than even the larger rowhouses or twins in Philly. The ones on Parkside have been excellently maintained by the management companies that rent them out, but I noticed on the side streets there are similarly beautiful but much more rundown houses. These would appear perfect for gentrification. I then thought that, were it mont for my conscience, I could probably make some money by writing a real estate guide of gentrifiable areas in Philly.

Then there is a little bodega-type store (in Philly they are not called bodegas, but I don't know what they are called instead) across from Overbrook High School called the Sugar Bowl. What a great name that deals junk food, still a legal drug, to unsuspecting kids. Overbrook High, by the way, is the alma mater to great Americans such as Wilt Chamberlain and Will Smith.

These types of things captured my attention, and reflected my mood. Despite the heat and humidity, I ran the loop faster than usual. 8 miles in 61:29.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

J's Back

E & I had not gone a quarter mile when we heard a shout and J running to catch up with us. J had run with us for a few weeks back in the dead of winter, and it was nice to see her again as we took her through our Acme loop.

J says that she is alot more likely to get up at 6 in the summer because "you can't say you're going to go out and run later, because you won't." Can't argue with that on a day like this.

A run mostly to fulfill the obligation, and then laying low until the sticky weather breaks. 8 miles in a very sluggish 67:15.

Oh yeah, the costume entry from a few days back got some followup. IC sent me this link with a picture (scroll down) of his father running as Monica Lewinsky (no names are attached). Turns out that CM, a runner and graduate student in my program, is good friends with the guy in the fairy costume. She says he is responsible for countless pr's set by guys who have left it all on the course to avoid getting beat by him. And finally, the entry prompted a kind comment by Chelle, which I note both because it's still a novelty when I get comments and I enjoy reading her blog.

Carnival of Runners - Week 6

Looks like the blog party's at my place this week. Come on in and have a look around.

There's a few other folks here today that you may not have met. As I introduce them to you, I will also share two realizations I've come to about running blogs.

First, running blogs are not about running as much as they are about the people who write them. We've all seen running blogs that are little more than training logs - times, distances, perhaps a note or two jotted about how things went. These are sites that I won't return to. Race reports also get long and boring if I don't know anything about the person; unless I can root for them it won't take me long to DNF.

That being said, Dietgirl needs little introduction. Three paragraphs into her blog entry we're right there rummaging around with her looking for safety pins. From there we're on board all the way through her first 5k, and when its done we've got a new friend.

Wil also doesn't need an introduction, as she makes us privy to a conference between body, mind & heart and in so doing lays out the anxieties, frailties and inner conflicts that arise as she prepares to face "the hurricane." That hurricane was last weekend's Sunburst Marathon, and you can go here if you want to find out how it ends.

Jeff gets us rooting for him on his ride to the race. That triumph just sets the stage, however, for what is to come in his running the Fontana Half Marathon. On reading this, its worth going back several entries in his blog and reading some about his training, which builds up to the race which he describes in his featured entry.

Speaking of buildups, Chelle is tapiring (sic) for Grandma's Marathon. Again, you can read up on her training and then prepare to root for her to do well in her race in a week from this Saturday.

I'll introduce myself here as well. To know me is to know that I mix my running preoccupation with a preoccupation with the mosaic of alternately gritty, green, crumbling, transforming and built up spaces which comprise the Philly streets on which I run. My best runs happen when I feel pulled into some aspect of my surroundings, as I did here.

To read Alison's blog is to get to know someone by her running. Along with the miles she runs, running defines her job and, in her latest posts, her vacation. Thus it is natural that in writing about her running, she can't but share the rest of her life as well.

My second realization is that running blogs are not about running as much as they are about finding people with whom we can share experiences, emotions, and sensations. Thus in reading Riona's account of running her first race, her description of the atmosphere and "the buzz" around the race lets us recall our early races. Similarly my local boy Scott is at that exciting stage where he is looking for his limits, and finding big pr's along the way. Thomas shares the trials and hopes involved with something we will all experience if we stick with this bloody sport long enough, and also expresses the euphoria we all share as bloggers upon getting read.

And I will end with the confession that I didn't run today. Although I assure you I have good reasons for this, I don't need Jonathan to cast a "blank spot on [my] tubby soul," as I'm perfectly capable of doing that myself. Don't scowl, if you run you've been there as well.

Now that we've all gotten to know each other, and ourselves, a bit better, its time to round up the dogies, piss on the campfire, and send y'all back home. It's getting late and I have to get up early tomorrow to run. It was nice meeting you and drop by again sometime. And if you are ever (physically) in Philadelphia, drop a line to me and my homies here and we'll be sure to fix you up with whatever run you might be looking to do.

Monday, June 06, 2005

New Direction?

I was spouting my self-pity this morning (much of what I wrote last night) to E to which she unflinchingly responded "well it sounds like its time to start racing in costume!"

I laughed out loud and we proceeded to talk about the pros and cons of racing while wearing giant lobster claws.

One of the guys at Boston with whom I rode to Hopkinton on the bus with was dressed in full fairy regalia, including the tutu and right down to the wand and pink spray painted running shoes. We talked briefly after the race and he described the variety of responses he got from the very supportive to the outright pissed. I don't know how I'd react busting my ass and losing ground to a fairy. Maybe that's why the idea has allure; better to be the fairy than to lose to one. He was a Brit, and apparently its alot more commonplace to run marathons in costume there.

I was glad this morning that I played hooky yesterday, because my legs were very leaden. The fact that the temperature was racing the humidity to see which could get to 100 first didn't help. The hills all seemed to be steeper this am.

Acme loop, 8 in 65:24.


Haven't posted since Thursday. That's because not much has been going on running-wise. Friday it rained and I waited until it was too late and couldn't get myself to go out in the rain. No good excuse except that rain continues to be my nemesis. For some reason I can't make it make sense in my head that its worth it to get soaked and miserable just to get a run in. It just doesn't make sense and I can't bring myself to do it. As I write this I'm conscious of how entirely reasonable this decision must sound to a non-runner.

I don't beat myself over the head with it much, and I resolved to do a double workout on Saturday. The morning workout was to be an 8k race across the river in Moorestown NJ. Moorestown is best described as a quintessential leafy suburb and this race, sponsored by the local Rotary Club, is one of the bigger small races in the area. Me, C picked up KF and crossed the river into Jersey and only had to ask for directions twice to get there (I made C get directions as I hate asking).

The start was in Moorestown's quaint looking downtown, where the Starbucks is in an old bank building, the main street is actually called Main Street, and the registration was held in the rec center which meant that there were real rest rooms. I saw numerous folks I knew and several I knew by reputation and figured quickly that this would be a serious race.

Gun went off and I got in with a loose bunch of four or five that constituted the second pack. My strategy was basically to damn the torpedoes in this race and if I died before the finish that would be okay. Mile 1 in 5:26, sofar so good. Mile 2 got us off main street and into the back streets and, just after passing the marker in 5:30, my right calf started to cramp up. I ran through it out of necessity, as I didn't want to walk back to the start, and it stayed manageable but slowed me to 5:37. By now it was me, a 20-something kid I didn't know, and a guy I knew to be one of two brothers who are both fast. We traded off leading and all slowed down to a 5:47 fourth mile, turning through an endless set of suburban streets and oddly enough always seeming to go slightly downhill. For the last mile I really tried pushing and got a bit of a lead on 20-something guy but then heard footsteps and saw CS, a local guy a few years older than me and mainly a cross country guy (he has a website here). I don't know him personally, but do know him as someone who had whupped on me at a couple of x-c races I did last year.

This is why its good being a masters runner, as there is something tangible at stake in matchups like this, even when you're not winning outright. We went head to head for about a half mile, and I'm burning up everything I've got to hang with him. We're back on Main Street and with about 200 meters to go he kicks and I don't. Add insult to injury 20-something guy does the same and I'm the last guy in what was our little pack, 9th overall and 2nd master with a 27:45 overall time (5:24 for the last .97 mile).

When you add about ten seconds to adjust for the differential between 8km and 5 miles, my time here and my time last week are virtually identical. I did leave all I had on the course today, and this left me somewhat depressed, as I asked myself whether this is all there is to racing, busting your ass for the same time race after race. After the race my calf maintained a prolonged cramp, which hobbled me for most of the day. The humidity had me thoroughly soaked and the post race spread included the worst bagels I ever ate. KF, who finished in 28:45 or so, and I and C hit the Starbucks and didn't bother waiting around for the shwag.

I had to bag any intentions of a double workout due to the cramp. I also took today off for the same reason. Both days I don't think I spent an hour of daylight in the house anyway, as I was running around alot, metaphorically that is. It was good running around however, as it included T's Little League playoff games. T's team is now in the finals (T drove in the game winning run today) which means more baseball next weekend.

Anyway, that made for a miserable mileage total for the week. My mom also, as she has for 41 years, told me how I'm not getting enough sleep and that is why I cramped. I'm beginning to believe her, but while I got some more sleep over the weekend I'm up burning midnight oil again tonight.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Gear Jammin'

Set the alarm for 5:15 and couldn't get out of bed this morning. Just couldn't.

So I "slept in" to 7:30 and ran at noon to break up my day, which just ended 45 minutes ago when I wrapped up class. The run was the Strawberry Mansion loop with an extra MLK mile tacked on. To get the lead out, I ran 3 MLK miles in 17:50 and felt fairly comfortable doing this, and then slowed the pace to around 7 for the next three miles, then slowed a bit, and took it back up to what felt like 7 for about a mile before doing recovery pace for the last mile or so.

Usually when I go marathon or tempo pace for awhile I immediately go into recovery mode, which means my overall loop time isn't much different than had I run at a steady training tempo. Today I wanted to sustain faster pacing after going mp, and then again torque it up a bit after doing recovery. The latter is especially hard mentally. But it went well and my time (for 12+ miles) was 86:10, about ten minutes faster than my usual times of late for this loop.

Wasn't going so fast that I didn't notice the work they did on the little park they're putting up to commemorate the Philadelphia Stars of the old Negro Leagues. The park is at Belmont & Parkside, on the site of what used to be Parkside Field (of which there is not a trace today). I was a bit skeptical about the venture when they started construction, as it doesn't seem to be a place where people would naturally congregate, but today the place had the feel like a corner of a ballpark, with the wood fence that looked like an outfield wall and a statue of a baseball player. There is also a mural in progress across the street. I'm now sold on the project, and was inspired enough to fish out an article on the venture that has further convinced me that this is an important undertaking.

Also makes me realize how long I'd been running, unaware, on yet another piece of Philadelphia history. You run on a piece of ground long enough and slowly it will open its secrets to you. And in exchange you will hand over a piece of yourself.