Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tennessee USATF meet

The local USATF meet was held two weeks ago at White's Creek High School, which is located just North of Nashville.   I ran the 60, 100, 200 meters races in a steady rain.   I was not windy nor did we  have lightning in the air to mess up the schedule, none the less,  it was a little on the miserable side.    I set up a tent near the starting line and it was a very popular spot to keep your gear dry and get out of the constant rain showers.   The housing situation was probably the highlight of my day.   The weather really kept a lot of athletes away and the running section of the meet took about 2 hours, which was a blessing, because if was not a lot of fun.

I ran a 8.91 60 meters and that was about par with my Indoor time.  The 100 meters was my second race and it timed (electronically) as a 14.55.  That time would be my slowest since I have been doing Senior Games or USATF Masters and a full second slower than last season!   I know it was wet and crappy, but what is going on here??   It was actually a pretty good race, they mixed the ages and a lot of younger racers were in the heats and it made the heats a lot more interesting--somebody was always ahead of you.   The last race was the 200 and again the mixed ages made for some good racing. I ran a 28.66 which is better than the indoors but way slower than last season.   I did run the 400 due to the compressed schedule and my conditioning is not very good right now. 

Looking at my times, you would say I had an off day or is this the new normal?   I felt OK and my training has been limited due to travel and the lingering effects of the pneumonia.  But, the speed just was not there.....I have another unknown to throw in the mix... I was bitten by a tick a week before the race in two places and I was getting a significant reaction on my shoulder and trunk.  I had a tick bite a couple of years ago and had a lousy meet as a result.   I just do not know what is going on this season.  Two meets and little to show for the efforts.   I have another opportunity in June to travel to Birmingham to see if I can get back to normal or just call this season junk and move on.   I have no answers at this point.

I am near Saratoga NY this week and I will be heading to a local High School track to see if I can get faster, I definitely need the work.  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tulsa week

Back in Tulsa for another week of work.   I am feeling a lot better after my battle with pneumonia.  Currently the score is pneumonia 3 or 4 and Jack 0.  That stuff is tough and I am thankful to be past the worst and getting some normal life back.  

I am staying on the Southeast of Tulsa right across from Oral Roberts University--ORU.   I wanted to get some running in this week to start the trek back so I can do some racing this summer.   I went to my normal track at Memorial High School and they were having a soccer match so that was out.   I wandered over to the ORU campus to look around and they have a gorgeous facility that is open to the public.   I did some warm up the first evening and ran a little to get some feedback.   My body was a bit confused, it has been 4 weeks since I did any running,  but I made a couple 200's and called it a night.   My breathing was struggling but it was working!

I met the assistant track coach Bobby Carter who was an All American long jumper at Nebraska.   We had a great chat and he is also a cousin (I think) to Michelle Carter, she is the World Record Holder is the women's shot put.   I asked him to consider doing the USATF Masters when he turns 30.  Hopefully he will get on the track and do some jumping.   Track and Field is a small world. 

Tonight I did a full workout at the track and ran with the wind.   Running into the wind really dries out my lungs and mouth and I am not ready for that yet.   I did a couple 200's and got my heart rate up to 98% and my recovery was pretty good.   I am getting there, I need a couple more  weeks of frequent running to get the 'feel' back. 

This week is Linda's last week with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics and she will now be doing some part time work and taking the time to get her body healed.  The driving and long days in the labs were just more than her body wanted and her health was taking the brunt.  Now, she will be able to get her Feldenkrais work done and get to the pool on a regular basis.  I am excited for her and  really hope this is a step change for her overall health! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


I did get pneumonia after the meet in Landover and it may have been Legionnaires Disease which is pneumonia based sickness that is caused by bacterial infections in the air.  I think the building had a ventilation system that was not working properly and here we are, sick with pneumonia.  I am a lot better now and actually went to the gym yesterday for some core work and light leg stuff.  I am getting there, but I still get winded rather quickly and recovery is a bit longer. I am not eating many  cough drops each day, so things are improving, but gradually.
  My next meet is May 5 and I should be ready by then.  But pneumonia take s a toll on your body and recovery is a lengthy process. 

Last weekend was spent in Wauwatosa, WI celebrating the one year birthday of our grand daughter June.   She is a lot of fun and very lively.  We also got to see her first real walking steps.   She just pulled herself up by the sofa and got her hands up for balance and walked over to her toy area before abruptly sitting back down.  But it was walking, and we were kinda surprised and really happy.  That was exciting. 
 Grandma and June are reading and then snoozing during nap time. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Working and Running

After I finished the National meet I hustled home, changed my luggage and headed to Miami Beach for the 2018 Tissue World trade show.   I had a busy week with meeting on Monday and Tuesday with a volunteer peer technical group in which I am a leader.
 The martini shown is a Frescatini available at the Grill Fish on Collins Avenue and it a cucumber based martini that is just incredibly delicious.  If you are in South Beach--skip Ocean Blvd and head for this place.  The staff is fantastic and the food and service is top shelf.  This visit is always a trip highlight!
  Then on Wednesday through Friday I was involved in the shows.   A very busy week of meetings and greetings.  

I dragged my carcass home on Friday to get some rest with three days at home scheduled.    I was shot from no rest and constant travel all over the Eastern time zone.   But, on Sunday I started to get sick and by Monday was headed to the doctor to see what was going on with my head and chest.  I was getting a massive headache and my lungs hurt from a hacking cough.   They doctor checked me for flu and that was negative and gave me some antibiotics to see if they could help.  I am improving but I am far from back to anything near normal energy.   My personal  prognosis is walking pneumonia which I have gotten a couple of times when my lungs were under duress.   I developed walking pneumonia in Phoenix when I was caught in a dust storm and I really think the low humidity at the National meet set off this attack.  I am adjusted to high humidity--50% + and in the building at Landover the humidity hovered in the teens!   That low amount of humidity was just too much for me to handle and I also struggled to stay hydrated.  As matter of fact, I doubt if I was hydrated all weekend. The lack of rest was also a major contributor, but I had work commitments as well and I need to get paid.  I have not been working all week due to fever and a very limited amount of energy in which to make my brain operate.  It has been a shitty week.

During the big meets Dave Albo and his staff take professional quality pictures of the competition.  I already have two pictures of his and purchased another from this meet.   He has a shot of me in the 4 x 400 handing off to Charlie Powell with the lead in the second heat. Check out Daves stuff, just search him on Google and his work will come up.
This shot is of David Schmanski bringing home the baton for the Gold!!

Another item I would like to promote is a book by Grady Cash to help the racers and runners to stay healthy and be more competitive in the Masters racing world.  He wrote a book that is available on Amazon and is great read to give you ideas for training and gear. I have a couple copies and it has been helpful in the shoe department.  Check it out.

Friday, March 23, 2018

USATF Indoors Nationals

Last weekend I participated in the USATF Indoor meet in Landover , MD.  I did get one Gold in the 4 x 400 relay  and struggled in the individual events.   Overall it was great weekend, but I have some work to do to be competive in the outdoor season.  

We ran the 400 race first day in  two heats and I was in the fast heat.   My plan was to stay with the leaders and make the first lap at about 29 seconds and then see what I had left.  I was close to 29 at the half way,  but I was already toast—nothing left.  I cruised home in big distress at 66 seconds and was 7 th, which was quite a  disappointment.   Great strategy, but lousy execution.    Next race was  the 60 which I did well but was 10th.  Too much speed on that track.  I ran a 8.78 second AA Silver Standard time! I had worked hard on my speed in the off season and will continue some of that speed work.  My start was really solid, just too much top end speed with that bunch for me.
The last day was the 200 and relay.   I ran the race I wanted in the 200 but was too slow at 29.26.  That is slow for me, no doubt about it, I need to get more track time. This was the first race for me this season and that was a mistake.   I had tried to get into various races in January and February and scheduling just did not work.    You need to race regularly to be ready,  pretty simple.

The last race of the last day ( day 3) was the high light of my meet, nothing like waiting for the best......The 4 x 400 is for the 60-69 age group and there was 9 teams in the event and we were in the second heat.  The first heat had three very quick teams at 4:36,  4:37 and 4:44 seconds.   We knew what we needed to medal and our group was really wanting gold--especially me, I had not scored a single point yet! 

I lead off with a 1:07 split and the lead by 10 meters as I handed to Charlie Powell who ran about the same split and then David Craig managed a 74 split and David Schmanski brought it home with a 64 split for a 4:32 gold medal relay!!  It was exciting to say the least.  After I recovered a little,  I was screaming my guts out as we lapped the track and the field.  We got into lap traffic on lap 4 of 8 and really needed to do some navigating to stay out of trouble.   The timer is live and we knew what we needed and where we were running the entire race and pulled if off!!  That was exciting.......  Charlie and I were also Gold in this event in Baton Rouge, so we defended our national Championship, which really felt good.  Charlie is from Casper , Wyoming and the other three in this group are from central Tennessee.  Tennessee has some great competition on the track.


In review of the event, the venue was quite arid and I think I was very dehydrated for the first two days and that did not help my efforts.  I am faster in high humidity events.    The attendance was very large and it was three very full days to get it all done.   This picture is of the bull pen for the relays--just nuts.   Two runners were over 100 years old were in some events and were basically rock stars with camera crews following them around.   I think everything they did was a world record!!  

For my performance, I need to loose some weight and get in better shape--words I have heard before.   I ran at 200 pounds and that is just too big to be competitive and I need to get some more meets under my belt early in the year.   The next meet is outdoor at Whites Creek near Nashville and it is a USATF regional event.   I will weigh less and have better conditioning--no excuses.     I still enjoy running and it is still fun for me.   Even though I have a tough meet like this one, I still had a lot of fun and will learn how to be more competitive. 

I ran two 400 meter races.  The first race I ran a 29 first 200 and a 37 second split and was just not even competitive the second lap--used up and struggling.   That was  embarrassing. The second race was in the relay and I basically ran the same time, but knew what I was capable. So I ran about the same time in the relay, but ran a 31 second first lap and 35 second lap with something left at the end.   I ran the race to my capabilities, which is why I need more early season races....   No injuries of note, sore Achilles for 3 days and I ran yesterday on Miami Beach on the sand and boardwalk.   I felt fine and know I need to peel off some weight and get in shape for outdoors!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

USATF Indoors

The USATF Indoor National track meet is this weekend near FedEx Field in Maryland.   I am headed that way today to run in all the sprint events and a couple of relays.  I am a member of the SoCal Track club who likes to compete for the team title at these National events.  We were second at the outdoors last year in Baton Rouge.    Hopefully I can score enough points to be helpful.  I am in 5 events, two relays and 3 individual races.  I think I can score about a dozen points--we will see.  

I have been training as much as possible.  I have done a lot of core and hip related work and that's section is pretty strong.   I had a issue with some back pain last week and I can get through that with some heat.   Some of these aches and pains are probably the "new normal" but I do not want to admit that is the case.   I have been working hardest on the 60 and I hope to make a good show in that event.  The 200 and 400 will be OK, depending on how I feel, I hope to get points in all these events.

Linda uses a group in Franklin that works with Feldenkreis principles to get the body back into a normal state and those sessions have  been very useful.  I have also added in some Pilates Reformer and I have the joints and muscles loosened up and ready.    Every little bit helps. 

Today I have noticed the nerves have been coming along and I am getting these anxious periods where the heart races and in a few seconds you return to normal.   Just aggravating, but it means I am getting the mental part ready.  The mental part is a very large part of the running, you got to be able to go through the emotions and keep your cool and be ready to perform.   I learned a lot last season in the three National events and hopefully I can be able to enjoy the weekend, run well and get a medal or two for my efforts.

Reports to follow....

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What about the wind?

I am in Tulsa, OK this week and guess what?  It is windy!  The wind is a constant in this part of the world.  We had some decent weather today and I headed to the Memorial High School field in Tulsa for some running on their 6 lane track.   Decent weather here  is 15 to 18 MPH wind, 11% humidity and 60 degrees at 4:00 PM.   

The wind on this track is typically right down the front stretch, which is also shady.  To stay as warm as possible, I do my work in the sun on the back stretch.  Today I worked on 100 meters repeats on the synthetic turf into the wind.  I brought my parachute, but it was not needed.  

I ran four 100 meter repeats  into the wind and after getting some pretty good work, I got out my stopwatch and timed two 100 meters into the wind--15.94 and 15.90 were the times.   I then ran two sets with the wind  with similar effort and  that was different.   With the wind, the times were 14.73 and 14.60 seconds !   The moral of the story-- the wind kicks your butt while training and makes for a much more difficult workout.   As I rule, I run my short sprints into the wind.   More power and effort are required as the pressure on your body is basically doubled and I think the quality of work is better. Racing is different, you need upper and lower body power to keep your form and progress when bucking the wind.  It is an hamstring nightmare on many occasions.    You do not learn anything running with the wind.

I am starting to ramp up my training as I get chances to get on the track.  About 4 weeks to go until the Indoor Nationals.  I am really interested in running the 60 meters and that will be training priority going forward. I do not need that much fitness to run the real short stuff and the longer sprints will be a priority when we get outdoors.