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, March 31, 2007


There is the time. I'll remove any suspense for anybody checking in to see how I did.

It is now Sunday, I was busy yesterday and I guess not too enthusiastic about writing this race report. But while I'm disappointed I hardly feel crushed. Breaking 16 wasn't meant to happen for this race.

The race was out in Haddonfield. Rebecca and I went over the Ben Franklin Bridge and into South Jersey, getting there in enough time to get lost and get to see some of the town. I signed up, warmed up a little and got to see the course, and yapped with folks I knew. Lots of competition out there, which was one of the reasons I signed up for this race. If I were to break 16 minutes, this is the ideal race to do it.

Gun goes off and for the first hundred yards or so I'm perhaps a little ahead of the opening swarm. But not long after that various guys slowly moved ahead of me - guys like Ross Martinson, Ted Callinan, Tom Haxton and the like whom I had no business keeping up with. I let them go and then another wave of guys started moving ahead to form a chase pack. I made the decision that this group was also too fast and let them go ahead of me as well. Mile 1 passes in 5:04 and I have these two big packs, then one straggler with a big 614 on the back of his singlet about 10 meters back, and me about another 20 meters back in no man's land. I'll get back to this mile marker in a minute.

Taking stock at mile 1, the good news was that my pace just fast of being on target, but the bad news was that I was alone out there. The latter was not what I planned or expected, but at this point I was stuck. I was nonetheless encouraged as once I set a pace I'm pretty good at keeping it and I felt strong. Mile 2 had what hills there were on the course, but like last year there seemed to be more downhill then uphill. I gained a bit on 614 but the chase pack seemed to be gaining on us.

My heart sank as we passed the Mile 2 marker. The clock read 10:28, which I later figured translated into a 5:23 split. I did not feel that I slowed that considerably, and knew now that I'd have to really hustle to make up time. Felt like a quarterback in a 2 minute offense. Mile 3 turned back onto Kings Hwy and retraced much of the first mile, so I knew how far I had to go. I passed 614 and another straggler from the chase pack, but when I got to the finish I saw the clock ticking at about 16:09 and followed it for four painful seconds until I crossed the finish line. Again, 16:13 was the final time, with the last 1.1 miles comining in at 5:44, or a 5:13 pace. Overall pace for the entire 5k was 5:12.

So, if I had to do things over again what would I have done? I would have picked things up a bit and hung on to the chase pack. Despite all my exhortations to myself to be fearless I didn't trust myself pushing it up to their pace. As I result I was running a little more comfortable than I should have, and I was running alone.

I wonder how much more I could have pushed it. Of course after the race it is common to think you should have pushed more. I was very tired after finishing the race, but I wasn't fall on the ground, I am going to die tired either. I had some left in the tank - not in the sense that I was dogging it but in the sense that I did not push it over into the red zone.

And finally, the more I think about it the more I gotta believe that the first mile marker was short. First reason I feel this was intuitive, there is a big difference between a 5:04 mile (mile 1) and a 5:23 mile (mile 2), and I just didn't feel my pace drop that much. I've got to believe I would have noticed such a drop off. Second, nobody passed me from mile 1 on. Thus, would the 1st mile marker have been accurate the chase pack would have been going at a sub 15:45 pace at that point. Looking at the results, that would mean that a bunch of this pack, which I'm taking to be finishers 11-18, would have had their times drop off as well. To have that many folks go out too fast in a 5k is unlikely. Finally, in last year's race I had the same pattern, a 5:09 1-mile split and then slower splits afterwards.

So I'm going fairly comfortable at what I take to be goal pace, and in fact I'm likely going a bit slow. My guess is that I probably was more in 5:10-5:15 range for the whole race. If I had a more accurate 1 mile split, I could have made adjustments that were earlier and less gradual. But now I also know that I'm going to have to bust my rear alot harder to go sub 16. And to run more by feel than by what splits tell me.

Okay, I missed breaking 16 minutes. But there were still many positives here. Running a 16:13 means that I ran the race 12 seconds faster than when I ran it here last year and bettered my previous best (on an uncertified course) by 8 seconds. Like an old coach once said to me, a PR is a PR. I was also the first masters finisher, which got me $100, which Rebecca and I blew on a post-race Starbucks race and a good dinner later. There was also the joy of racing again, first time this spring, amidst lots of friends and an excellent set of competitors.

6.5 miles total yesterday, with warmup, race and cooldown.

GP says that it often takes knocking on the door a few times before it opens. This is true here. The question now becomes, what's next. I'm signed up to run the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon on April 29. This is a distance I'm more comfortable with and, I feel, much better at than 5k. But I gotta get a few higher mileage weeks in between now and then (four weeks) if I want to be in top form here. I also want to have one more crack at breaking 16 with the fitness I have now. I'm thinking my best shot would be at the Race for Clean Air on 4/22.

Had a relaxing, just run for the sake of running run this morning. Did a Tinicum figure 8, just me and my thoughts. It felt good, just for today, to just run with no goal in mind.

9 miles today, did not time it.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Hey Hey. . .

Lets go!

What a difference two weeks make. Sunny and chilly this morning; I would not mind if tomorrow morning were just like it. Mike's theory is that while sunshine is not technically ideal, it nonetheless is conducive to fast times, probably due to the positive psychological boost embedded in its rays. I'll buy that.

Easy three or so going west on Pine, south on 60th and back east on Cedar. Did strides for the middle portion. One block on, one block recovery. Felt forced and stiff at first, by about three of them I was tearing it up. Felt like I was racing. The streets became Haddonfield (although a few rungs lower on the socioeconomic ladder) and I was flying. This felt great.

I'm ready. 3 or so miles in 26:43.

I got me a fearless heart.
Strong enough to get you through the scary parts.
-Steve Earle

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Overslept this morning, so I had to get a bit creative. As Tony biked to school, I ran alongside him. While I was at the school I had a conference with Tony's teacher and got his report card (all A's). I then continued my run and fell in with the mother of one of Tony's friends, who I only know as "Zoe's mom", who was riding her bike to Penn.

From there, with report card in hand, it was around the back of Franklin Field and up South/Spruce St. to Baltimore Ave and back home. A very mellow run on a very mild day. Forsythias are blooming, and I got a glimpse of the long row of them that are just east of Penn's ice rink that you can see best when on Walnut. They have not peaked yet. Forsythia's hold a special place in my heart.

It was pointed out to me that yesterday's blog was a bit hard to follow. I read it over again and indeed it does read very geekily, with alot of numbers where it is not really clear what they are referring to. Believe it or not I do try to avoid trackspeak, or at least translate it as much as I can, but yesterday I wrote the entry just after I got home and I was still excited and (metaphorically) out of breath. I hope that came through.

GP mentioned that the runner gets more emotionally attached to times than the coach does. I thought about that some and wrote back that being able to sink that kind of emotion into my running, to have this outlet, has been as much the reason as any for my faster times. And while I don't recommend running as therapy, doing this has helped me partake in other parts of my life more emotionally, more passionately.

If I turned that into a book I bet it would sell.

But my eyes are on a different prize. Day after tomorrow. I'm still getting stronger. 3.5 miles in 29:16.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

S & G's

Today's run reminded me of Jason, a guy I've run with up in Bryn Mawr a few times and who I regularly run into in local races. He is typical of the local racing elite here, folks recently out of college, where they were good runners and want to keep running seriously for awhile longer but have limited opportunities to do so. Jason particularly impresses me as a guy who runs for the sheer love of running. Stories have him out at 2 a.m. doing 400's, or approximations thereof, down the main drag just because he can.

I felt that spirit this morning. Workout today called for 12x150 in 22.5-26 seconds, not a particularly challenging workout, more something to sharpen my mojo for Saturday. Just an excuse to go to the track and run fast. And that I did. Just lined up one time after another after another and let it rip. Ran fast for the pure joy of doing so. 150s are short enough to where they are not really anaerobic, its all legs. You need legs to be cool (everybody knows), and mine didn't let down today. All reps were 22s and 23s. But that didn't even matter. It was all about just running.

Sometimes I lose track (sic) of that.

For the last rep I kept going. Chuck sent out an email that there were tryouts for the final man on the PAC 4x400 relay team that will go to Penn Relays, and that minimum qualifying time for tryouts was a 62. This got me curious as to how fast I could run a 400. So for shits and giggles I just kept ballin' that jack around the track and cranked out 64. Splits were 33 and 31. Close enough to make it tempting, but I ain't a track guy. A hell of alot of fun, however.

Made each of those 150s into finishing kicks, picturing myself heading across the line while the clock ticks to, but doesn't quite hit 15:50. I'm going to do this sucker on Saturday.

Between reps 8 and 9 I stopped to talk with Raymond, who was also out on Franklin Field. Raymond was once right around a 3 hour marathoner and disappeared off the face of the earth for awhile, and now reappears occasionally. He looked really good, and dropped a bunch of weight he had put on. He says he is shooting for Amsterdam in the fall. And, for those of you who know him here is a bit of gossip: I saw him drinking... gasp... store bought sports drink.

Call it 5.5 in 47:42.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Calvin - RIP

As I ran down to Franklin Field at noon, I wondered what I was so afraid of. Same old feeling, I had a track workout that I wasn't sure if I could hit and there was this anxious feeling at the pit of my stomach. So I go for as fast as I can for as long as I can. And if this doesn't do it, so what?

What's the worst that can happen? I'll get out of breath? I'll experience some discomfort? I won't hit the target time? I will come up against my limits? Is there some primal fear that I will need to spend years in therapy to come to terms with?

I was not only feeling anxious but a bit down as well. Several things contributed to that, but it all came to a head when Kevin came downstairs this morning and said that Calvin, one of his two cats, died. Out of the blue. He was running around and meowing all weekend, and now he's gone. If you know Kevin, I'm sure he'd appreciate your condolences, as he's had Calvin for over 9 years.

Down and anxious is a bad combination, as I then start thinking of particulars as grander metaphors. Is this anxiety against putting it all out there on the track reflective of a larger reluctance to live life to the fullest? Crap like that filled my head on the way to Franklin Field this morning.

But there was a workout to do. Specifically:

6 X 800 - 400 jog in 3 mins nice n’ easy between repeats.

Set 1: 40/35/40/35 = 2.30. (i.e Change pace per 200).
Set 2: 74-74 even paced = 2.28.
Set 3 40/35/40/35 = 2.30. (i.e Change pace per 200).
Set 4 74-74 even paced = 2.28.
Set 5 40/35/40/35 = 2.30. (i.e Change pace per 200).
Set 6 72-72 even paced = 2.24.

I just focused on this and went to take care of business. Be fearless, I exhorted myself. The following times for the full rep are from my watch, the 200 and 400 meter splits are from memory.

Rep. 1 was 2:31 - 75 (37/37) and 76 (41/35).
Rep. 2 was 2:29 - 75 and 74
Rep. 3 was 2:31 - 76 (40/36) and 75 (40/35)
Rep. 4 was 2:31 - 76 and 75
Rep. 5 was 2:34 - 76 (41/35) and 79 (42/36)
Rep. 6 was 2:31 - 74 and 77

It seems like I had alot to say about these reps, but now that I've got them down the numbers pretty much talk for themselves. It took most of the first rep to get my pacing down and the second lap was more or less on target. The third rep again was alright, but by the fourth rep I feel like I hit a ceiling. I wasn't going to go any faster. On lap 5 I started slowing down, although I held the fast 200s more or less at goal speed. By the time I got to the last rep I knew there was no way I'd get a 2:24, but I went out as fast as I could. I was satisfied with the first 400 and thought I should have gotten the second 400 down a bit more. I finished with that feeling like a was totally spent but that I could have pushed a bit harder to cut at least a second or two off of that last 400.

This was one of the hardest track workouts that I can remember. I was really out of breath after each rep, and managed to recover okay with the long recovery. This put the stress on my legs, however, as recovered lungs just force the legs to move faster. Thus came the difficulty walking this afternoon. A deluxe version of OMW (Old Man Walk), if you will.

So I'm not down on my performance. Of course I would have liked to have gotten it a bit quicker, but it was an honest, all-out effort and that's the most I can expect. At Mike's prompting, I checked some of my workouts from last fall and see that I had 7 800s in the 2:33/2:34 range (400m rec) on this day, 10 800s in 2:33/2:36 range (400m rec) on this day, and 2x800 (2:27 & 2:26) and 6x400 (71/73 range) all with unlimited recovery on this day.

Its hard to compare these to todays workout, but reading the accounts were instructive. In at least the first and the third ones I went in there with no expectations, just go to the track and tear it up. If it ain't working for me, then that is the time to pack it up. I think this is one difference, today I had that last 800, in 2:24, looming over my head. I was trying to finesse today's reps in the time alotted rather than going unleashed. I don't know if that made much difference ultimately, but its interesting to think about. The other difference is that last fall those workouts surpassed my expectations, and that pumped me. Today my expectations are higher.

I got Mike's email only after I ran todays workout. He had one bit of advice I'll quote: "As you do each one, try to focus on exactly what you are doing, do not worry about what follows-one bite-sized piece at a time is the way to go." I wish I could have taken that with me today.

But I'm overthinking now. The workout went fine, I'm just in a depressed funk today. Not running related, just one of those days.

Total 9.5 miles in 76:23.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Missed Connections

Orders were for a "steady state" 10 miles this morning. I figured it would be a good morning to go run with the Philly Track Club guys. Its been awhile since I've done this. As per their website, meeting time was 8:30, and I made it up to Roxborough at 8:35. No one was there.

Not the biggest loss. I figured I'd just go down to Forbidden Drive and run. It was mild and sunny - a beautiful day to run. Forbidden Drive, more so than the Drives, is the place to see and be seen on a Sunday morning, and sure enough alot of folks were out this morning. Lots of waves and nods to folks I recognized from the local racing circuit. Dave Thomas and Bill Kampf were out coaching their Leukemia runners, and I talked with Dave for a bit. As I was doing this Rob and Mickey, two stalwarts from the evil SJAC empire, passed by. I figured I'd catch up with them but never did, they must have stopped at NW Ave. This is where I turned around and headed back down Forbidden Drive.

This is three weeks (and a day) before Boston, so folks were getting in their last long run before tapering. A sure sign of spring and this positive energy was palpable out there. I continued past the Kelly Drive end of Forbidden Drive down the trail that runs along the Wissahickon, which they seem to be widening and otherwise constructing. This has led to alot of clearing of what was once woods. I'll have to see if this will be an improvement over what was. Then the last stretch was uphill on Ridge Ave. back to the PTC house.

Turns out that their Sunday run starts at 8:00. I'll make a note of that for next time.

Nutella crepes with the kids was the post-run fare.

Actual distance was almost 12. Call it 11.5 in 89:32.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Blue Wing

On my way to today's workout, I put in a mix cd, "Prison Songs," that Paul, a guy I used to go to Graterford with, made for me. Hadn't listened to it in awhile, and a Dave Alvin song, "Blue Wing", which I didn't even realize was on the cd, came on:

Its dark in here, and I can't see the light
And I look at this blue wing when I close my eyes
I fly away, beyond these walls
Above the clouds where the rain don't fall
On a poor man's dreams

The song stuck in my head when I set out to run and I was ready to fly away. But I get ahead of myself.

The workout for today was:

2 mile warm up, mile strides:
4 x 400 – 60 seconds rest in a circle:
Pace- 69 per lap.
Jog 2 miles to the 5k marked course……..
Run the 5k course in 11.45 -12 mins for first two miles, “ air out “ the last mile as per our discussion.
Cooldown at your discretion.

The logistics for this, what with Franklin Field closed for lacrosse games, were a bit challenging. I finally figured it out so I parked by Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, ran 2 miles out to the St. Joes track, did my thing there, ran 2 miles from there to the Drives, coming out by Columbia Bridge, and doing my second thing there, and cooling down about a mile or so back to the car.

I left with "Blue Wing" bouncing about my head. Now I'd like to say that inspired me to totally hammer this workout, but this is the real world and it don't always happen that way. I got to St. Joe's track and prepared to do the 400s. Now, this is a good workout for me as I was - yeah I'll say it - scared to go that low. Its not a rational fear, after all what's the worst that can happen? But its there nonetheless. Going up to the start, I was visualizing myself going fast, gliding, but what finally resonated with me was the exhortation, repeated several times, to "be fearless."

And with that off I went. 68.0, 70.4, 69.9, 71.8. Not quite at target time, but pretty representative of my best at this point. It's interesting, at times I felt myself gliding and running with my legs, at other times I felt myself pushing and running with my chest and my head. This is encouraging, because I left feeling that I could run faster. And it still tickles me to run a 68. I'm not used to that.

After that I ran down to the Drives to do the second installment of this workout. After pushing it once already its really hard for me to get geared up again to run another fast workout. This is what it felt like, a whole separate workout. It reminded me, very vaguely, of the climactic track workout scene in Once a Runner. But again, reality is more real than fiction, and in the first two miles I had a mental block against going sub 6. Each mile I felt like I was going faster only to fall a little short: 6:04 and 6:01. Not a big deal. But I really didn't feel like I had much to "air it out" for the third mile. In my glycogen depleted mind I calculated, from the quarter mile splits, that I had about a 5:45 pace going but got it way wrong so that I was surprised, pleasantly so, when the final mile split read 5:22. The last .1 mile wasn't marked out and I wasn't in a mood to run any farther.

It took me about 5 minutes to figure out how that 5:22 snuck up on me. Finally realized that I was calculating 75 second quarters as 5:30 pace instead of 5 minute pace. 5:22 pace isn't SuperPowerRangerNinjaTurtleCheetah fast, but it is progress from two months ago when I was hustling down the Drives as fast as I could, after having run less than I ran today, and not being able to hit 5:30.

So today's workout was good but not great. I have been doing this long enough to realize that there is no way to use this workout as any indicator of how I'll do in the race next Saturday. But the encouraging thing today is that, on both the track and on the Drives, I saw progress in my running. And I'll take that as I fly away beyond these walls on a poor man's dream.

All totaled, 10.5 miles in 81:54.

Friday, March 23, 2007


I did the thing I fear most in training this afternoon. I went out in the pouring rain.

I meant to go run this morning, but took that time to prep for a morning meeting and ran instead this afternoon. That worked fine except for the weather. But I willed myself to go out. At first the rain was light and I wondered why I have this aversion to running in the rain. But then the rain got heavier and the wind made it so it came in at an angle. Shorts and shirt clung to my body, sneakers each gained a few pounds water weight, and water ran and dripped from my head and cap. Yeah, this is a drag.

Fortunately, the run was easy. A six mile Art Museum loop in 49:52. Time went by oh so sloooowwwwlllly. But its done.

Tomorrows workout will be a bit more challenging, but I won't think about that until tomorrow.

A good weekend to be out of town. But it looks like things are not much better in Denver. Then again, it doesn't matter what the weather's like in Boston, as the action will be going on indoors. Best to both.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pace Ratings

Rebecca came up with a new pace rating system. Except for a minor tweak, she hit my pace times pretty much right on. That impresses the hell out of me, and is but the latest reason for feeling fortunate to have her in my corner.

I tried applying these ratings to her running pace, and failed miserably. Should have known better. I might as well have been discussing weight. . . best not to go there, guys.

Anyway, here is the rating system, based on an ongoing in-thing we've had to which I've made reference a few times.

Power Ranger fast = 7-7:30 minute mile (moderate training pace)
Super Power Ranger fast = 6:30 - 7 minute mile (brisk training pace)
Power Ranger Ninja Turtle fast = 5:45 - 6:15 minute mile (Marathon pace)
Super Power Ranger Ninja Turtle fast = 5:15 - 5:45 minute mile (10k-half mar. pace)
Super Power Ranger Ninja Turtle Cheetah fast = sub 5:15 minute mile (5 mile & 5k pace)

I dipped well into the Super Power Ranger Ninja Turtle Cheetah range today. For once GP prescribed a track workout that didn't shift around distances and paces, thus I could run down to Franklin Field without a cheat sheet. 6 x 600 at 1:52.5 (75 sec 400 pace) with 100m (55-60 sec) recoveries.

Actual times were 1:51.0; 1:51.8; 1:52.9; 1:53.5; 1:52.1; 1:53.0.

The rational part in me calls that a successful workout, while my anal alterego chides me for marginally going over the goal time on a few reps. Even just posting the time to the tenth of a second is, as Ian has pointed out, telling.

Bottom line is that this workout is just about my fitness level. Again, the recoveries were not enough time to keep me from starting the next rep without sucking air, and I really had to bear down to get these times. I feel that on the slower reps I could have got under goal time if I had been able to bear down better mentally. But truth is (and I hope my Mom isn't reading this) I've been operating on 4-5 hours of sleep for the last few days (single parent duties combined with work deadlines) and it has by now taken a toll. Tonight should be an earlier night.

So another way to look at it is that it was a good workout for bringing far less than my A game to the track today. And again, it was right at my fitness level, so I got an optimal workout. To ice it off, I had that worked over with a baseball bat feel in my legs for the afternoon and have been insatiably thirsty all day.

But its worth it, as in return for taking it to SPRNT speed today I got that wonderful chemical (whatever it is) that is only produced from two activities pulsing through my body. And hitting the track is the only way I'll get to cop any of it this weekend.

8.5 miles total in 62.02.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy Spring

This used to be my old routine. But between running much more track and doing more running around Tinicum I haven't done this much lately. That is the nature of my running, however, it evolves. The territory I cover with my running shifts and expands, the persons I run with come and go, and my outlook on running changes. Imperceptibly on a day by day basis, but circumstances on some days get me looking where I am and where I've been.

So my routine starts with dragging myself out of bed at 5:30. Today it also meant dragging Maricela out of bed at that time, as she needed to be at school early. The definition of inertia is getting a 16 year old out of bed at 5:30 a.m. Out the door by six and its still dark. Its also still cold. The iced over puddles make me think the temps are in the low 30s. I didn't bring gloves, and think of going back for them but decide to rough it.

Its down Baltimore and through Penn campus just like so many times before. Going over the South St. bridge there is a silhouette of another runner coming towards me, who turns out to be Deirdre. After the initial surprise I decide to turn around and join forces. She is running back into W. Philly to meet with KJ. We run about a quarter mile and KJ appears. I'm amazed I didn't email them yesterday to say I was running this morning, but didn't even think about it. One sign of how much I've lost touch with my former routine.

We turn back around and head towards the art museum. At the AM we keep on going on a route that Deirdre and KJ have been doing, going up Lemon Hill across the Girard St. Bridge, and past the zoo up 34th St. to home. I associate coming home from the zoo (as opposed to passing the zoo while heading out) with a few experiences years ago with difficult and desolate running, and I still get that feeling. The long acclivity on this stretch of 34th St seemed steeper in times past. My first 18 and 20 milers used to end by going down this stretch, and it feels much farther from home than it is.

Other than my head doing time warps like this the run was uneventful. Despite the serendipity of hooking up with two friends, the conversation was sparse this morning. That suited me fine, I wasn't in a mood to talk. Yet we did talk enough to where we reconnected. At 46th & Spruce we all split up, KJ going right, Deirdre going left, and me straight. The course, without the little out and back by the South St. bridge, is laid out here. Going that o&b puts me over 8 miles, which is about what I was looking to do.

I'd also be remiss to say that yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, making today the first day of Spring. I always feel a primal relief at having survived one more winter. Happy Spring.

8 miles in 70:59. The pace, esp. with Deirdre, was alot quicker than that suggests, but I don't know where that extra distance would be. Who cares, however, as today was an easy day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. I listened to the pitter patter of water against my window and figured I'm not doing a tempo run in the rain this morning. An hour later I wake up and the pitter patter is still going. I sit up and read and about ten minutes later get a phone call from a Sweet Little Angel. I mention that its raining outside and there is silence at the other end.

"Have you looked out the window?"

Well no, I just heard the drops. Turns out those "raindrops" are melting snow. Subconsciously I probably knew that. So, an hour later than planned, I lace up my shoes.

This was the workout on tap for this morning:
10 mile run: first five miles brisk but even pace- sub 6.45 type effort ( but not too aggressive at this point) Next five miles in approximate paces: 6.00-5.55-5.45-5.40-5.35) (28.55 last 5)

I laughed at the thought that it was raining. It was a glorious sunny mild morning. I drove to the Drives to get the marked miles and visualized myself tearing up this workout. I don't know why 5:35 seems scary at this point, but I pictured myself smoothly running through it.

The run went straight down to 6:45 - no vaseline this morning. After mile 1 I just took it to what felt comfortable, what came natural. Turns out it was a bit faster than 6:45 pace, as the first 5 miles go by in 31:40 (6:20 pace). Here I turn around and pick things up a bit. Picking it up felt effortless, and mile 6 clocked in at 5:45. I thought of the strategizing GP and I did for the race that wasn't this Saturday, and I took inventory of how I felt. I still felt strong and that I could maintain this pace forever, so I kept it up for mile 7 (5:48) and mile 8 (5:42). At this point I picked things up a bit and was starting to feel it. This was actually welcome as I wanted to challenge myself a bit. Mile 9 was in 5:37 and then I just pushed a little harder to where I was breathing really heavy and feeling the pace a bit more. Mile 10 was in 5:32 and I was done.

Glad I got up and made it out, and thanks go to my SLA for giving me that push. I felt good and relaxed out there and went with it. The results show I did the right thing. Days like this are awesome. Also got to burn off some stress, "psychofuel," that's been accumulating of late. One of the best performance enhancers around.

10 miles in 60:07.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Catching up with blogging yesterday's run. Wish I could blog today's run too but it was not meant to be.

I've decided I'll wait two weeks and run the rescheduled Adrenaline 5k. The bright side of that is that, as Kevin points out, it gives me two extra weeks to train. The downside to that is that its hard to pick things up for two more weeks when I was psyched to have raced by now. Add to all that that life precluded running today and my running really feels up in the air.

That's not the end of the world. Today was supposed to be a six miler, a maintenance run. In the big scheme of things I should hardly miss it. So go with that. I don't need to be feeling sorry for myself, although the temptation to do so is there.

Ran 10.5 yesterday. The snow is still on the ground. I wanted to run in Tinicum, but the snow nixed that. Instead I explored some back roads around the airport. This got me off track and turned around some, but did lead me past the big USAirways tarmac where I saw a pair of Peregrine Falcons flying about. Unmistakeable, close up and low, were acting as if they owned the place. It didn't matter what else happened on the run, that was worth going out for. Ended up running through a maze of working class, vintage subdivisions in Ridley Park and Prospect Park to get the desired mileage in. Wanted to pick things up at the end but wasn't in the mindset to do so.

I keep coming back to the Peregrines. If I could run like they were flying around, I'd be unbeatable.

10.5 miles in 82:15.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

All Revved Up

Those of you who are local are all too aware of the little storm we had yesterday. It was drizzly when I ran my two miles yesterday morning and after I got back the rain got heavier and then as I pulled into work the drops started to bounce about. This freezing rain/sleet just kept coming and by the evening the roads were slick and messy. At about 8 pm the Adrenaline 5k race organizers put an announcement on their website postponing the run until March 31.

So where I would otherwise have been writing up an LBRR (long boring race report), I am now pondering my fate and humbled by the elements in my world that I have no control over. It'll be a day off from running today and some regrouping over the weekend as I ponder what to do. I imagine I will take advantage of the two additional training weeks and gear up again for the 31st.

I'm disappointed, but not too much. It's funny how long it takes for the realization to sink in that what would have been today's race was at first going to be negatively impacted by the weather and then was not going to happen at all. But at least its not a marathon, which is a much more singular event. 5ks are a dime a dozen and the training is a bit more portable. So I'll adapt.

I was out on the prowl down by the edge of the track
And like a son of a jackal Im a leader of the pack -- but --
Every saturday night, I felt the fever grow

Do ya know what its like, all revved up with no place to go

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'm Ready

I'm drinking T.N.T., I'm smoking dynamite
I hope some screwball start a fight
Because I'm ready, ready's anybody can be...

Cold, rainy windy morning today, legs felt stiff and tight. Easy run today - 10 minutes out and then 8:14 back. 2+ miles. Easy strides on the way back accounted for the negative splits. Legs loosened up a bit from the strides. Was back inside before I realized I was out.

Catch y'all tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Chocolate City

Got outside this morning and ran to the distinct smell of chocolate. Thought I was nuts at first but the smell went away as I got into Tinicum only to resume again once I got back on to 420. It felt like I was taking in more calories than I was burning. Nothing in the news sofar about any overturned tanker truck carrying syrup or Willie Wonka coming to town. But it sure was a nice smell.

That was the most interesting part of my morning jaunt. Went into Tinicum for 18 minutes, turned around and got back out of there (same route backwards) in just under 16. For once I appreciated the give of the dirt trails. Slow paced at first, my legs needed that break today. Sun was a rising orange-red ball over the mudflats, and everything seemed at peace.

Ian (who also posted some good Cesar Rodney photos yesterday) emailed me yesterday to wish me well. This jolted me into realizing that my target race is now the day after tomorrow. I'm peaking now, and feel really ready to run. Here is last year's results - 24 people finishing under 16 minutes. Just the type of field I want. The course is flat but the weather is so-so (cloudy, high 30s with snow showers in afternoon). Either way, I'm ready.

4 miles or so in 33:59.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Other than a well done track workout, there is only one other activity I know of which leaves such a good feeling in its wake.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Yesterday's drama did get resolved, and it'll suffice to say that I got to do the track workout planned for today. So this will make track workouts two days in a row. Today's track workout was:

1 mile warm up, 1 mile strides. 3x600 - 30 sec rest - 200.

600’s at 75 per lap (1.52.5) nice and relaxed, then take the 30 rest, then run the 20’s in 35.
1 lap jog between sets.

Then jog a lap:

Run 3 x 150 -250 jog. 150’s in smooth relaxed swift 5 seconds.

1 mile cooldown.

The first part was hard, esp. since I misread the instructions yet again and only took 30 seconds between each 600 and 200 in the first 3 sets. But no matter. The times were:

1:47 - 36
1:51 - 35
1:50 - 35

These were an ingenius form of torture, aided by myself only giving myself 30 seconds rest. I had never done 600s, though heard how they are one of the more feared weapons in the dungeon of horrors that is known as the track. As has been explained to me, you tend to think of them as extended 400s, and find its a hell of a long extension to hang on. The 30 seconds then are almost worse than no recovery, as you get just enough time to realize how out of breath and falling apart you are and then you have to do it again. Especially on the 200s, you have to start up fast again instantly. I can see how valuable this is for race conditions, as it forces you to get into your A game at a time when you least want to do so. Anyway, the proof is in the times, I got them (though I doubt I could have gotten one more in). I was particularly proud of the last 600, where I felt I was slowing but apparently was chugging right along.

The second set was almost anticlimactic. I remember this from the first time I did 150s. This is really too short for you to get really tired. You just run them hard for the sake of running hard. It was a good way to end the last workout before a race because I just visualized myself going all out to the finish line, clock ticking away and me just getting in under 15:50. The actual 150 times were 22, 23, & 22. Could have done these forever.

So there it is. A solidly done track workout that leaves me feeling that I can do anything on Saturday. I'm ready and able. Lets see how it goes. In the meantime, whether its dopamines or endorphins or whatever that are now pulsing through my veins after this workout, its a good thing that they are not available on the street or else I would be a hopeless junkie.

The workouts are easy from here on to Saturday.

Total 8.5 miles in 43:27 running time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Okay, so we live in a confessional society. And a blog is one of the more conspicuous outlets for individual expressions of this societal need to bear our souls to a collective audience. To offer ourselves up to judgment and perchance to hope for redemption. So today I'll take a turn at this.

My first sin is a relatively venal one of omission. When GP sent the schedule over the weekend I just glanced at it. My mind was still focused on the Saturday track workout and Sunday's Cesar Rodney run. I assumed that Monday would, as usual, be an off day and I didn't look farther at the schedule until last (i.e., Monday) night. Of course I wouldn't be writing this if yesterday had been a day off. It wasn't. It was a full track workout. DAMN! This threw a wrench into things. Its not unusual that I space things I have scheduled. This fits the absent minded professor stereotype and I do admit that at times I use my profession to my advantage here when I'm trying to dig out from under an appointment I should not have missed.

But that doesn't help me here. What to do now? After some hand-wringing the plan became to run yesterday's workout today, and try tomorrow's workout, also a track workout, as planned. I figured this might mean a lousy workout tomorrow, but I could take that into account and I'd have easy days for the rest of the week so it shouldn't impact Saturday's 5k. Of course the dilemma is that this is exactly the kind of thing I got my ass handed to me for last week. Unilaterally altering the schedule is, I learned, a big Bozo no-no.

So there's this devil on one shoulder saying, "Yeah, I can do both workouts." There's the angel on the other shoulder saying, "You know better now." What to do, what to do?

I ran my plan to do the back to back track workouts past a running buddy of mine who shall remain nameless. He understood and shrugged, "You gotta do what you gotta do."

Then Rebecca called me this morning and asked me about my running plans. Foolishly, I told her. "What! That's dishonest... You're only hurting yourself... That's like lying to your psychologist..." were some of the remarks that I remember her responding with. She's got a way of throwing factual stuff at me in response to rebuff anything I say in situations like this. And finally, when I said I know what I'm doing this time around, she throw's KJ's comment on Sunday's Cesar Rodney blog entry into my face, "Yeah, you know what you're doing. Even your friends tell you you have no restraint."

"Okay, I'll think about it," was my lame reply as I packed up my kit and took it into work. The plan was just not to specify in the blog entry what day I ran on the track and what day I took the day off. But Rebecca's words stuck, it was like lying in therapy. Who would it benefit?

But I did go out to the track. I really wanted to run this workout. More than I've ever wanted to run a track workout. And the reason why was because I knew that I could. The workout for the day was:

2 mile warm up and mile of strides.
14 laps of 75/90 - Odd laps @ 75; Even laps @ 90.
Goal 19.15.
2 mile cooldown.

After so many weeks of struggling with 75s, I knew I could hit this and I wanted to hit this. And this took me out to Franklin Field. And although it was a bit harder than expected, I did indeed hit these times.

400's went in 73.4; 90; 73.1; 91; 74.9; 91; 75.9; 90; 73.8; 91; 75.6; 99 (retied shoelace); 74.6 and 91. 19:27 total time.

Interestingly, the slower 400s were harder than the faster ones. On these reps I become more conscious of how out of breath I am and what hurts. I am off balance in getting the pace right - my body is screaming at me to slow down, but I don't know how slow. But then I was just able to crank it right back up to 75 second pace each time I had to. I'm incorporating the insight I had a few weeks ago when I learned to speed up with my legs where before it used to be I'd speed up from the head as an act of will. Now it is more a visualization, looking at my legs to stride longer and turnover quicker, and watching them go. Like breathing through my eyelids.

But as I finished this workout my appetite for deception waned. My conscience became emboldened by Rebecca's outrage. So in an open question to GP, I'd appreciate an adjustment to tomorrow's workout, if that is necessary. And I'm willing to take another ass-chewing if that is necessary. I get paid my salary to think, its hard to leave thinking in the locker room when I run.

7.5 miles total in 53.34.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Cesar Rodney half marathon was today. Looking back at my records its the ninth time I've run this race.

I was forbidden to race today by the only two people who can tell me to do anything these days where I am likely to do it. GP said that I could pace John Dubs at a 6:25 clip, but only for about half the race, and then I had to jog it in. Rebecca said I better listen to my coach, or I'd get spanked. As I didn't want to give her that pleasure, my goal was to run the whole race no faster than 90 minutes.

I had agreed to rabbit John for the first seven miles toward his goal time of 1:23. Craig, who was also shooting for a PR time in that range, agreed to run with us as well. Stevus was also in and suddenly we had a posse.

Today may as well have been the first day of spring. Racing season is now upon us again. Lots of people out that I knew and that I hadn't seen since, well, the end of last racing season. The weather was uncharacteristically sunny and mild for CR. And today was the time change (spring forward), which I had spaced and which proves that my cell phone, which got the change, is smarter than I.

I kept on socializing right up to the gun. I told John and Craig they should follow me and let me expend the mental energy of snaking through the legions of people who line up ahead of their pace. God help either of them, I warned, if they get ahead of me. CR starts for the first mile on a downhill and, like Boston, a common mistake is going out too fast in this race. This is a mistake that comes back to bite runners in the posterior on miles 5-7, which are uphill. So as a rabbit I had to restrain the guys through the first five miles.

At the gun I started out easy on the downhill and mile 1 passed in 6:39. Here it was not only me, Craig, John and Stevus, but also KJ, Deirdre, Chemistry Steve and it seems like one or two others who were hanging with us. By mile 2 (6:18); it was just the four of us and we were regularly reeling in folks who had started out too fast. Mile 3 (6:05) seemed short and mile 4 (6:32) seemed long. I was trying to keep folks' spirits up and keep them chomping at the bit until we got to the hills. Mile 5 (6:15) marks the start of the hills and at 31:51 we were averaging a 6:22 pace. Right on target pace. Good wabbit.

Now came part two, where I looked to push my minions. I told them this is where the effort starts and Stevus looked at me incredulously, "This race takes effort?" John's breathing was more labored as he struggled to hang. Craig pulled out ahead but eventually came back to us. Stevus' running looked more relaxed and a bit before the crest of the hill he took off, not to return. On the hills, mile 6 came in at 6:24 and the halfway point went by in exactly 41:30. That made this old rabbit proud, pace was perfect! I missed the mile 7 split but figured I did my job as I slowed down and bid them farewell. I don't take the credit for their running, but was relieved that I didn't have to bear any blame for messed up pacing. This was exactly the race John wanted, and it felt good to know he shouldn't have regrets up to that point.

I slowed down to a 7:30/7:40 pace for the rest of the race. I won't bore you with the splits, which are inconsequential. Many if not all of the people we passed early reeled me in again. That was hard to watch, but I bit my lip. I did not want to get spanked. Instead I just enjoyed the beautiful day and the absence of any modicum of pressure or suffering. I even stopped at the Hash House Harriers water stop, where they also were giving out cups of beer. Replenish those depleted carbs.

Without further ado I cruised in at 90:48. Most people I asked seemed to have good races. John got a 1:24 something, not as fast as he wanted but a solid PR. Craig got a 1:22 something, meaning he negative split to a big PR. Stevus got somewhere in the low 1:20s, again underscoring his talent if not his work ethic. Team TEKBOD had good runs by Stevus, Ian (1:16); Jeff (low 1:20s) and Chemistry Steve (1:2?). Then there was me, Steve D, and Steve M - none of whose times I got. I also ran in the USATF team competition with my PAC crew, which included Chuck (low/mid 1:20s) who, being uncomfortable at anything longer than 5k, provided comic relief as he staggered around post race. I thought I had a sighting of Jeff H, but can't be sure. Mike M had a good race in the high 1:20s, Deirdre (high 1:20s) pitched in for a good female time for us, KJ beat me in the high 1:20s, and Mokund and Diane M were also running. So it will be interesting to see how we scored here. Alot of other folks out there, but I'll stop the shoutouts here.

So you don't need to be a psychologist to see that I got more of my needs met than just getting my mileage in. Happy Spring!

13.5 w/ the warmup.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Super Power Ranger Ninja Turtle Cheetah Fast.


GP said, as part of preparing for next Sundays race, to start to visualize a good performance. Start thinking about good workouts, about moving fast, about crossing that finish line in 15 something. In short, to go SPRNTCF. No, to be SPRNTCF. That is the mantra.

Only problem is that there have not been a whole lot of fast workouts recently that I can call up and have aid me in my visualization. And today's workout did not look to add to that. Specifically:

2 mile warm up, mile strides:
4 x 400 – 60 seconds rest in a circle:
Pace- 72 per lap.
5-8 mins rest.
1 x 3000 meters: 7.5 laps.
90-90-87.5-87.5-85-85-42 (for 200 meters)- 72 last lap.
1 mile cooldown

Damn your eyes, GP. I'm having a hard time getting 75s these days and today I have to do 72s?! That anxiety welled up again as I was running down to Franklin Field. I held on to those strides like I didn't want them to end. Then I figured, hell, it was only four of them, just take the first one as hard as I can and see what happens. First one came round in 68.7. Damn, I didn't think I could run that fast. Second one in 71.9, still feeling okay. Last two in 69.6 and 72.1. I did it.

Took a walk around the track. Looked, for the first time ever, really looked at the plaques on the far turn at Franklin Field known as the Wall of Fame for the Penn Relays Carnival. Looking for inspiration, trying to get into a fast frame of mind. Second part would be easy except for the last lap. Sure enough, 87; 91; 87, 87, 85, 86, 40, and 72.4. The first 2600 meters softens you up, and then its how much there is left in the tank. There was alot left. Would have been faster if it weren't for a mental lapse - savoring the thought that I still had a kick going around the final turn and as a result breaking into the kick too late. But I had a kick. And I could have done another one.

I guess I'll be thinking back on this workout when I'm visualizing for a good performance next Sunday. I am SPRNTCF.

7.5 miles total, no total time.

Tomorrow is the Cesar Rodney half marathon. I'm not racing it, just running and pacing. I'll write about it tomorrow.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Don't Look Back

My difficulties keeping the schedule continue. I had to go back to Washington yesterday (Thursday). I was pleased with myself for thinking ahead and staying overnight on Wednesday with my sister. Not only did it provide a good opportunity to visit with Annette, but I could also get my tempo workout done in the morning. But the snowfall we had on Wednesday stuck around, and the track was unrunnable yesterday morning. I saw no way around it and took a DNR. It hurts to do this on a hard workout day.

So I need to keep GP's instructions in mind. Instead of rearranging and getting in this workout today, I need to tell myself to cut my losses and just write off yesterday's workout. Just keep going and don't look back. There's going to be a certain amount of collateral damage incurred this time of year due to the weather. Don't deny it and don't try to compensate by twisting my workouts into a pretzel shaped schedule. But it was still a costly workout to miss, and that sticks too.

So this morning I stuck with the plan. I ran 9.5 or so on Lindbergh Blvd and Tinicum. The morning was chilly but sunny and no wind. My spirits were high, I was happy, and the future looks bright. But I didn't wear shades.

9.5 in 72.51

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Destination Run

I remember how, after one of our first dates, Rebecca emailed me a running route. It was relatively non-descript, much of it going along Baltimore Ave/Pike, but it did have a little turnoff that led to the Lansdowne Sycamore. A woman who emails me running routes - I knew I was on to something good. That was just about five months ago, and that initial hunch has been confirmed numerous times over.

I ran that route this morning. Temps were in the teens and steady flurries dusted everything with snow and made things slightly slick. Except for passing by the tree, standing squat and solid with long thick branches as it has for the last 300 years, it was an uneventful run. Upon crossing over Cobbs Creek and onto Cedar Ave I did some strides - one city block on and one off - from 63rd all the way down to 47th.

Conservatively, 10.5 in 88:46.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Karma of Physiology

Got myself a good old-fashioned ass chewing yesterday. GP was the one taking the chomps. I'd paste the email here, but I wouldn't do it without GP's permission and besides, the language would be inappropriate for any children (and my mother) who might be reading this blog.

Basically, I get whupped for how I've been taking liberties with the workout schedule. Cheating physiology, he says, will come back to get you every time. With my rearranging the workout schedule, I was basically setting myself up to fail. I was also making the presumption that I was above physiology; that where mere mortals needed two easier workouts prior to Sunday's workout; I could get by with only one easy day. In short, the whining that was going on in the last few blog entries was entirely avoidable. Of course, this was explained in much more, and more painful detail and with more colorful language.

But I do appreciate the candid remarks and realize that it does take a blunt instrument at times to penetrate my thick head. But, now properly chastened, that cleared the air for today's workout, and I went at it with a more open mind. In a way, its better to attribute recent failures to compulsiveness than to physical limitations.

So with a clean slate I went down to Franklin Field this afternoon for this workout:

2 mile warm up and mile of strides.
10 x 500 –
Pace 75 per lap. 1.34 total.
100 jog [recovery] in 55-60 seconds: rhythm workout.
2 mile cooldown

This was a funky workout. 500 meters is an odd distance, and I had a tough time gauging where the extra 100 meters would be on the track. I finally figured it out roughly by timing my warmup laps, but it did lend an air of inexactitude to the undertaking. There was also the matter of blustery conditions: cold and windy. Enough to where I had on tights and warmed up with a hoodie over my long sleeve t-shirt.

So with that being said, my splits were:
1:33 1:35 1:35 1:36 1:36 1:36 1:37 1:36 1:36 1:36

I'll take it. Like I said, I wasn't sure if I went exactly 500, the last 100 went around one of the curves and the curves initially came out longer than the straights when I was "measuring" the track. What was more reliable was my checking my 200 and my 400 meter splits. Like clockwork the former happened in 37/38 and the latter in 75/76. As the steadiness of the overall splits showed, I got me into a rhythm here. This was not easy, as I was gasping for air from about the 3rd rep on. I did make sure to get every second of my recovery time. When the tenth lap was over I felt sick to my stomach.

I feel good about the workout. Felt my running was strong and the inexact nature of the distance may have forced me to relax a bit. Given the shitty week I had last week I'm glad to have gotten a workout like this again. I'm looking forward again. 8.5 miles total with a running clock of 69:26.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Still Slumping

Another Monday, another day off. I still feel mired in a slump.

Went out to St. Joe's track yesterday with Kevin. As I explained yesterday, the usual 4 miles of warm up and strides, followed by a 2400 in 7:30, that translates to 75 second 400s or 2:30 800s. I didn't go out to the track very confident in my ability to hit this, and was not looking forward to the workout. As a performance enhancer, I ate a Nutella sandwich and took a GU before I left. The day was cloudy with an uncomfortable chill and a wind that whipped around the semi-bowl in which the track was situated.

Nothing much to tell about the workout. I timed 800 meter splits - 2:33; 2:38; and 2:38. I huffed and I puffed but could not blow that house down. Not even close. Despite GP's pep talk on Wednesday, I'm still questioning whether I got the speed to get down to a sustained 5 minute pace. I'm not giving up as this could be a slump or a plateau or a prelude to breaking through to something further, but right now it doesn't feel that way.

Looking ahead, next weekend is Cesar Rodney half marathon, in which the plan right now is to pace John Dubs and run it as a hard workout (low/mid 1:20s) rather than a race. This lets me save myself for the Adrenaline Run the Sunday after that. This is my target 5k. As things stand right now, its gonna take a shot of adrenaline to break 16. I'm still thinking its within the realm of possibilities, but I'd like to feel more prepared than I am now. But I'll look at the glass half full and say I still got two weeks of training left before the race.

7 total miles in 49:01 (running clock). Tough times don't last, tough people do.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


It’s Saturday night, and I’m doing work. How sad is that? But before I settle down I’ll catch up on a few days of inaction on this blog.

I got home last night from Washington DC, where I was attending a conference. Traveling usually plays havoc with trying to keep my running regimen going, and this trip was no exception. On Thursday I took the 6:05 a.m. train to DC, spent all day in the conference, had dinner with a friend from my college days, and got back to the hotel at 8:45. The hotel fitness center closed at 9. SOL or DNR… you decide.

Got up early on Friday, but decided to take a few minutes for one last go through of the presentation I was scheduled to do that morning. After that I got down to the fitness center. $14 for a workout. I talked the attendant into waiving this fee for me only to find the treadmills filled. I got in some lifting while I was waiting, and was running late [sic] by the time I got on the hamster wheel. The workout I had for Thursday, which I moved back to Friday, was 10 miles in 59:45. Luckily the hamster wheel went faster than 6 minute pace and I set it for 5:52 right from the get-go. Did this for 5 miles in 29:28 and had to dismount to take a bathroom break. Whenever this happens I have a hard time getting back into rhythm. But I got back on the horse, 6 minute pace, and became more aware of how hot and humid it was and how I was feeling like, well, shit. At about 2.5 miles (7.5 total) I started wondering if I’d be able to finish. At first I saw it as a mental exercise; I needed to hang in there. But with each quarter mile I started wondering more and more. It wasn’t as if my legs were going to die or as if I was going to get out of breath, it was just a feeling of imminent collapse before I hit mile 10. This feeling just started getting stronger and by mile 3 I couldn’t see myself as finishing up the remaining two. Hard to explain, but I didn’t see it and didn’t see the point in slowing down the pace. I gave it another quarter mile and things didn’t get any better and I gave it up.

This is a real shitty place to be at, and maybe that’s why I rarely put myself there. I know myself well enough by now to know that I would never give up the ghost unless I knew it wasn’t gonna happen. But inevitably as soon as I stopped recriminations set in. This was a marathon pace workout. I should be able to do ten at this pace in my sleep. Etc. etc. etc. I finally told myself to just shut up with this chatter and call it a bad morning. And, my friends, that’s what it was. Luckily my presentation went better. 8.25 miles in about 49:15.

That’s put my running in a further funk. Fortunately today was an easy day, a day I could use to regroup. 6 miles. I wasn’t in to doing it and waited as long as I could before it got dark. I got my shoes on and went out to Tinicum. 25 minutes in and turn around and go back. My legs were still dead from yesterday’s workout, and the best feeling I could equate it to was a hangover. If legs could drink this is how they would feel on the morning after – hurting and depressed. I stuck on the path that paralleled I-95 and the solitude settled me down. Running alone with the dull roar of the interstate in the background led me to thoughts of Robert Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled.” Not in the metaphorical sense that has been thoroughly hackneyed by now, but in the literal sense. 25 minutes got me right to the tip of the second loop of the figure 8, and I turned around. I tried hard to lose myself in my surroundings, which were getting darker into the sunset. My friend the red-tailed hawk was on a tree in the usual spot I see him. At around mile 4 I was up for doing strides, and I did them. Nothing systematic, just some sprints for however long I felt like sustaining them mainly to show myself that I could do them and still get enjoyment out of them. Mainly because of the strides, the back 3 went by in 22:40. Total for the 6 miles (probably a bit longer) was 47:41.

Tomorrow’s a time trial on the track, same as the one last Saturday that went awry. 2400 meters at 75 seconds per 400. Basically a workout to see if I can run sub 16 5k pace for just about half the 5k distance. I don’t have much confidence in my ability to do this going into the workout, stay tuned for tomorrow’s workout to see how it goes.