Seebo's Run

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

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, May 30, 2008

Getting There

Still struggling to catch a rhythm, but I've been running. Long as I do the latter, the former will come.

Yesterday I got up at 5:30 but didn't get out of the house due to some, uh, system irregularities. So I took off at lunchtime to Franklin Field, 3 miles out and back and 5000 meters on the track. 5000 went down in 22 minutes and change, half-fast.

Today I got to doing this and that in the morning and pushed off running until this evening. For some reason I usually run faster on afternoon workouts and today was no exception. Ran a Sweetbriar loop that took me down along the river for the first time in awhile. Weather was hot and Smokin' Joe Kubik was on the iPod and I had it down to low 7 minute pace for most of the run. Not looking to do so, that was what felt natural.

Schuylkill River Park along the bike trail has come along nicely. The landscaping has taken shape now and there are lots of people using the space for many different purposes. All against a backdrop of the river and the city with bridges that, if you imagine real hard, resembles the Seine. And all the buzz going about evokes Jane Jacobs' description of a successful park.

Made it around in 61:04; 8 miles.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Building Momentum

I'm starting to think slugdom is getting a bad rap. I've gotten a taste now, and its hard to get back to running regular.

I'm writing off May, so any mileage I get between now and Saturday is gravy, and I will start on the heavy mileage again on Saturday. I was talking with Reba this morning where I blurted out it will only be then when life will feel normal again.

I would think my legs would feel relaxed and refreshed but they have been feeling heavy and sluggish lately (unlike the legs of some folks I know). It's been really hard to get started and things'll get feel better after running a mile or two. To catch up, Monday (Memorial Day) the kids and I took a day trip to the shore and I ran from the motel - 24 minutes out and 21:30 back along Route 9 in Cape May Courthouse. Found the location of "the best pancakes in Cape May County" while running it and the kids and I returned there for breakfast afterwards.

Having the kids around this week, along with getting back into a post-vacation groove, offers plenty of excuses for not getting out. I succumbed to them yesterday, and only got in three this morning - a combination of oversleeping and nature calling.

So, getting started slowly but once I get going I'll be all the harder to stop.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

On the Road Again

Reba and I got back from Tortola last night. A great week spent in a beautiful place. Tourist-ad beaches and always a bar in the wings. Amazing snorkeling and lots of opportunity for exploring and kicking back. Tortola seems a world away, devoid of large resorts, chain franchises, and even four-lane roads. A week of no phone reception, internet access, or tv. World War III could have started and we'd've been oblivious.

Notice how running did not figure in that last paragraph. That's because I didn't do any. It's called vacation.

But it was back to work today. Laced up my shoes this morning and headed west. I felt out of shape. That's relatively speaking, but I still felt that way. Legs were heavy going to Cobbs Creek, they had some pep as I headed down the bike path, and were worn out by the time I got out of Mt. Moriah Cemetery and headed home down Kingsessing Ave.

It was a beautiful day to run. Sunny and mild. Folks were out running, and even biking on the bike path, which is unusual. There were also people playing basketball, tennis, and picnicking along the way. Everyone seemed on holiday.

Its good to be back.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Checking In

I just wanted to say hi to all my friends out in cyberland. A few folks, including my mother, have asked about my lack of updates. Main reason for my lack of updates has been my lack of material - since Broad Street I have run but once, 3.5 miles at that.

I'm not sweating that. I'd like to have gone out a few more times but each of the last few mornings there's been reason to stay in bed. And its nice, when most of the year I'd still be dragging my ass out of bed, to give in to that.

So maybe I'll get out tomorrow or Friday, maybe not. Next week Reba and I are in Tortola for a vacation from among other things, running. Then a week from Saturday I start training again.

See y'all then.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Broad Street Run

The last race of the Spring season. Woke up this morning feeling a bit ambivalent about things. I didn't really know what to expect and afraid of the worst after my less-than-stellar Boston and sporadic running this week (since the last blog entry I ran 5.5 on Thursday and 3 on Friday).

But hey, its Broad Street. Not much that I would miss it for. By my records, this would be my eighth, but I know there are at least one or two beyond that which I've run. Having run it so often, there is much ritual attached. There is the logistical brilliance of having the course be a point to point run from high North Philly to deep South Philly - right over the Broad Street subway line. So its the only race where the subway hauls all the runners up to the start. There is hanging out on the grassy knoll at the start and running into all sorts of folks. 22,000 folks registered this year. Seems like anyone in Philly who is in any kind of shape runs it. After running it so much I've got a warm-up route laid out that permits bypassing the port-a-potties and finishing by going a block up Broad Street to hit the start from the other end and bypass all the elbowing to get up front. Here again its like a big room to work, saying hi to folks and wishing them luck. Then its the National Anthem, the wheelchair start, and the third mayor in my time here wishing everyone luck.

The start is the same as it ever is, a screaming downhill that I take easily. The first mile is spent overtaking folks who usually run behind me and I feel great. Split comes in at 5:39 and I can see myself hanging on to this pace. I'm not feeling competitive, just very eager for a decent showing. Mile 2-4 go in 5:45, 5:43, and 5:50 and I'm more at ease. I'm not going to melt down today. I missed the mile 5 mark and at mile 6 the split read 11:36.

This is where the race starts. Up to now the race is straight down Broad St. through North Philly up to City Hall, which the course goes around, and now its South Broad St. for the rest of the run. The downhills are gone and the aching legs set in. I don't have the will to push, but I don't slow down much either. Miles 7-9 are 5:54, 5:56 & 5:59. One more mile. There was nobody I was really duelling it out with, and I was more in survival mode than in competitive mode. I felt like I picked things up, passed a few runners, and saw the clock in the early 58s as I approached the finish. A lapse in concentration and a guy pulls ahead of me just at the finish; I put out a burst and, it turns out, nip him at the line in a very close finish. But, looking at the results, he had me by a few seconds on chip time. He did, however, keep me under six minutes for that last mile, just barely at 5:59. Final time was 58:26, 114th place overall.

Good but not great. A few minutes slower than last year, but pretty much consistent with the race times I've been running this Spring. It exorcises the demons from Boston, and closes the book on this season. I'll continue to run easy through May, and then start training hard again through the summer. I lost a step or two this Spring, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps the injury, perhaps age, perhaps something else. I'll try one more time this fall, I want to train hard and see what happens. If my times still don't come down, then maybe its time to start racing in costume.