Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Strider Claus

Merry Christmas to all Striders from Strider Claus!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Training Officially Underway!


It's December in Buffalo, and that of course, means cold and snow. Therefore, my winter training regimen officially began today. No, I am not planning on taking it easy this winter. I worked too hard this fall to lose everything by overeating during the holidays, and laying off of running and working out. After a fresh 13-inch snowstorm yesterday, there was finally enough snow to embark upon my annual cross country ski cross training program. I drove to a local park, and skiid for approximately 35 minutes in deep snow (at least for the first lap). Distances don't mean as much in deep snow, but I probably covered about 2 1/2 miles. In fact, I did not even wear a watch, since this was my first time out this winter, and I just wanted to enjoy the experience. I may use the Garmin from time to time, just for curiosity.

I would be interested to see how others handle winter training. Chris Lennon's biking must get extremely cold by this time of year, and tough if there is any snow. Eric mentioned using a treadmill in his office. Others?

Happy winter training!!!

Mark

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reindeer Run 5K 2008: mad scramble in 50 to 54 age group!



The long-awaited Reindeer Run finally took place today, under rather cool conditions (low 20s), and windy (10 to 15 mph), resulting in wind chills in the teens. It snowed last night, but they actually plowed the cemetery, allowing for reasonable traction for most of the race, with only a few black ice areas. I prefaced the article with the weather conditions to create a bit of sympathy for my time, which was about 30 seconds less than what I was expecting. I ran 19:50, or about 6:24 per mile, when I was hoping to beat last year's time of 19:28, which occurred under similar
(I'm on the right a couple rows back, beige long sleeves, black hat)

weather conditions, and snowier roads.

The good news was that I placed better than last year: 15th overall out of 456 runners (and joggers/walkers), and 1st out of 42 runners in the 50 to 54 age group. .



I followed my usual strategy of running conservatively the first mile, so that I wouldn't feel lousy at the mile mark. I hit the mile at 6:23, the 2-mile at 12:50 (so 6:27 for the 2nd mile), and then 19:50 at the end (about 6:22 or so for the final mile).

During the final 1/2 mile, I passed several runners, including the guy that took 2nd in my age group (beat him by a scant 3 seconds, and 3rd in the age group was 1 second behind him). Really quite the epic battle for the top 3 spots (hardware spots) in this age group. (I'm in the beige long sleeves, the leftmost in the group of 3, black tights)

In summary, I was pleased, but somewhat disappointed with the sluggish time. This was not completely unexpected, as I know I was not in the same shape I was last year at this time.

(I'm No. 320, in the forefront of this pic, about 400 meters to go).
However, I am probably done racing for the winter, and with more snow on its way, I will set
tle into running 2 to 3 time per week, and cross country skiing on the weekends when weather permits.




I am actually thinking about taking another stab at cracking 5 in the mile this summer, but that means I should stay in really good condition all winter, and start building a good base early in the spring. It's very easy and enjoyable talking about a sub-5 at this time of year, when spring is several months away...........

Link to results (in addition to clicking on the title):

http://www.leonetiming.com/2008/Roads/Reindeer08.txt

Mark

Monday, December 1, 2008

November Mileage

Miles for the year: 3188
Percent bike commute: 47

A month to go. I doubt I'll make 3500, which is a bit of a disappointment. If the weather improves I might be able to tick the percent bike commute up a bit in December. Unfortunately the end of November saw mostly rainy mornings, that's a killer for my bike commuting. I will ride in the cold down to 15 deg F, but I won't start the day riding in the rain.

It is remarkable how few long rides I did this year. Only 3 metric centuries (62 miles) and no centuries (100 miles). I did a boatload of rides in the 50s, but they don't count as "long rides". My wife convinced me not to sign up for any centuries in advance. Her point was that if you sign up in advance and the weather stinks on the day of the ride you either get wet, or have wasted your money.

That idea is fine in principle, except that if you don't sign up in advance and commit your $$ then the motivation to get up and go on the day of the ride is diminished. See, for example, the way that Sub-5-at-50 is preparing for his 5K. He committed himself and now he's preparing himself. An example for us all. Okay, as usual, a goal for 2009 will be to ride at least one century, but this year I WILL sign up in advance.

Good luck in your 5K Youngbuck!

Speedo

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Final Speed workout: countdown begins!

I completed my final speed workout prior to next Saturday's 5K road race. Last night, as the sun was setting, and it was too dark to see the readout on my watch, I ran two one-mile intervals, with about a 5-minute rest in between. The lack of ability to see the watch was actually beneficial, because it forced me to run by feel, without any knowledge of splits. With a goal of sub 6:10 for each mile, this was an encouraging workout: 6:08, followed by a 6:04. Both were hard efforts, although I think I was still running in control, and trying to maintain form and posture. Today I plan to run about 5.5 miles, then the remainder of the week is tapering. I may do some very short fartleks a couple times during the week, just to get the feel of race speed. The big question is whether this final exam "cramming" during the last 5 to 6 weeks has whipped this old body into good enough condition to run something close to 19 minutes (6:07 per mile). I may try to run around 6:10 to 6:15 for the first mile to be conservative, then go from there. I typically like to feel good at the mile mark, because it is too tough mentally to already feel bad at the mile, then have 2.1 miles to go.

Mark

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Where's The FUSC?


Tom, after 30 years (1978) I have but ONE thing to say to you:
Mike

Cortland wins Division III Championship

My brother is thrilled.

Of course it means a round of Binghamton bashing, but it's almost worth it to see a SUNY school win.

Chris

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2-mile time trial sluggish, but useful

Today I did a warmup mile, then under cold, windy conditions (snow flurries and stiff cross wind), I embarked on a 2-mile time trial, primarily to get used to running relatively fast for a sustained period of time, prior to my December 6, 2008 5K road race. I had a modest goal of 6:30 per mile, given the conditions, and my garb consisting of full sweats, hat, gloves, and training shoes. I ended up at 12:43, or 6:21.5 per mile, probably about 5 seconds faster on the 2nd mile than the first.

I will say that this was not an easy run, and I could not have envisioned running another mile at that pace. Somehow, I have a goal of around 19 flat for the 5K race, which is 6:07 per mile, so there might be a slight disconnect between training and racing. But I've been training hard for several weeks now, and have been doing 2 speed workouts per week, so on any given day, my legs are not fresh. After this weekend, I plan to taper, and do short, quicker workouts next week, prior to the race. We'll just have to see what happens!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Training Heats Up as Weather Cools Down

With less than two weeks before a 5K road race, I have increased the intensity of training to include 2 solid speed workouts per week. Last Wednesday I did another lactate threshold (tempo) run, consisting of 4 miles (1 easy, 2 hard, 1 easy), but my Garmin battery died, so I don't know the pace of the middle two miles. If Iwere to guess, I'd say the middle two miles were at about a 6:50 pace.

Today, I went to the track for two one mile intervals, with a goal of 6:20 per mile each. The first one was 6:18, then about 4.5 minutes rest, followed by a 6:06. I was a bit surprised with the 6:06, as I did not think it was that much faster than the first mile, although I did kick the last 400 meters or so.

Anyway, I'm thinking that I should be ready for somewhere in the 19 flat to 19:30 range by race day. In fact, I may run one more race the following week, on December 13, since I am really just getting into shape, and I don't want to end the season with all my eggs in one 5 kilometer basket, so to speak.

Any thoughts on how I should train the final two weeks? I ran two longer weeks of training (27 a and 28 miles, respectively, then last week was only 19 miles, but better quality runs. I'm thinking of about 20 to 25 miles this week, again with 2 speed workouts, then tapering on race week, but with good quality runs.

Ironically, while at the track, an old guy was running in the reverse direction around the track, just plodding along slowly and happily, not at all concerned, but perhaps mildly amused by seeing a middle-aged man running a speed workout. This, of course, made me start thinking about retiring from competitive running. Why shouldn't I just enjoy running for the sake of running?

Mark

Chris Lennon Keeps Striders Alive!




Hello Mark!

My brother did a Google search for Dr. K. Striders and found the "Mark and Eric's Running & Dave's Wisdom" Blog. (http://bozosbucket.blogspot.com/) God knows why he was searching for the Striders, but I'm glad he did. I had tried searching for the Striders over the years but always came up blank.

I have lost touch with many of the SUNY Bingo crowd. I have exchanged e-mails with Steve Weintraub, and I have kept in touch with Paul Horn. Last year we went to the Binghamton alumni weekend and ran into Mark Peters. I've carboned both of them on this.

Anyway, I was pleased to see the notes on all of your athletic exploits, and I wanted to make sure that you and Eric knew that I was doing my part in keeping the Dr. K. Striders flame alive. From 2002 to 2005 my wife and I lived on a tiny island in the Pacific called Kwajalein. (See kwaj.jpg)



There is a yearly triathlon there called The Rustman. My wife, myself and a friend, Bill Kemp, participated as a team, and we called ourselves The Dr. K. Striders. I did the swim, my wife, Kim, did the bike, and Bill did the run. Bill, as the runner had the honor of wearing one of the original Dr. K. Striders jerseys.



A picture of my wife riding, and a group photo after the event are attached

.

I am among the ex-runners (not one but TWO knee surgeries!), but I do bike 3500-4000 miles a year.

Hope all is well with you and all The Striders!

seeya
Chris Lennon

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Speed Workout!

Hello folks (well, probably just Eric, and maybe not even Eric):

Today I broke down and ran an official track speed workout, simply to get the legs used to running at or faster than 5K race pace. With the season winding down, and the goal set at a sub-19 5K, time is running out, and speed has now become critical. Here's the breakdown: I warmed up a mile, then ran 3 800s, and 2 400s. Rest between the 800s was roughly 3 minutes, and only 1:30 between the two 400s. Following the speed workout, I ran a mile home at an 8:30 pace.

800s: 3:08, 3:05, and 2:58
400s: 83, 82

Overall, I was fairly pleased with outcome, although in one sense, I didn't feel bad, so I question whether I ran fast enough to gain the desired effect. On the other hand, I was only planning on 3:10 for the 800s, and sub 90 for the halves, so the lower times were very encouraging. A sub-19 5K is about 6:07 per mile, so I still think I have my work cut out for me. I may run a "tune-up" 5K race next weekend, or at a minimum, hit the track for a 5K time trial.

Mark

Raybuck Brothers Spotted Running in Woods!


On Saturday, November 8, the legendary Allegany County running legends, Mark and Michael Raybuck, were spotted running through the wooded trails on the outskirts of a small town in Allegany County, New York. In the late 1970s, if you don't count 1984 marathon Olympian John Tuttle, one name dominated the running scene in Allegany County - Raybuck! (or should I say Raybucks).

But here's the question. More than 30 years later, with Mark Raybuck having turned 1/2-century old, and Michael Raybuck nursing an arthritic hip, what were these two former legends doing running on wooded trails, with sharp topographic changes? Could they be in training for a major comeback? Or, were they simply enjoying an autumn jog through the woods, having retired from competitive running? Satellite photography documented this view of their path, although there was no good way to estimate the pace of the run. This reporter suspects something big is about to happen.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mid-week Training Update: Lactic Acid Threshold Run

Hi, folks (well, probably just Eric):

Today I wanted to do a speed workout, and since it was unseasonably warm (60s), I ventured over to Bassett Park and ran a lactic acid threshold run (aka tempo run). This consisted of a continuous 4-mile run on grass and trails, with rolling hills for terrain. The first mile was liesurely, at about an 8:37 pace, followed by 2 middle miles at 6:58 and 6:56, and a final easy mile in about 8:30. I was targeting a sub-7 pace for the middle miles, so was pleased with the 6:58 and 6:56 (as reported by the Garmin watch afterwards).

Still, I feel I should be running faster, so I will probably do another speed workout on the weekend.

Mark

Third Generation Strider in Training

My grandson is probably the first 3rd generation Dr. K Strider to join the club. He is pictured here negotiating a steep (for him) downhill section of the cross country course.

In the near future, I plan to do a 100 meter time trial with him (if he will cooperate). He runs a lot each day (probably over a mile), but his training is very informal and dis-organized, unlike the structured workouts we were used to in college. Much of his running occurs while running away from his mom and grandparents around the house.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

MSR Training Update

Training has been improving lately. It took longer than I expected to recoop from the 8.5-mile cross country/trail race, so my training pace seemed to slow down for a while. However, Friday's 4-miler on trails was an 8:12/mile average, and I felt pretty good.

This week was only 17 miles total in 4 runs, but decent quality. And today, I was planning on a track speed workout, but it was so nice, I opted for a longer run. I ended up doing 6 miles, my longest training run of 2008, at 8:29 per mile, including some grass and trails.

This is all leading up to trying for a decent 5K road race in early December. My time last year in that race was 19:28, so at a minimum I would like to beat that, and with some luck, maybe crack 19.

More later.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Two 5K Time Trial Results

I ran two 5K time trials over the past month. The first was run on grass with rolling hills at a local park, using my Garmin for measurement (thus, only accurate to within about plus or minus 50 feet).

The second was yesterday on the track, by myself, and under VERY windy conditions. The wind gusts were strong enough at times to nearly knock me out of my lane, and I was having trouble running in a straight line. The point is that my time was probably 15 to 30 seconds slower than under ideal conditions, but as I did not run a simulataneous control case on a track with no wind, the differential from "ideal" is strictly an estimate.

With that said, the cross country time trial at the local park was run in 21:32, or about 6:56 per mile, and the track time trial from yesterday was 20:24 (6:34 per mile). Given the differential between grass trails with hills and the track, I would still say that the track time trial was a better effort overall. My goal was actually sub-20, but after a 6:42 first mile, and 10:25 at the halfway point, I knew it probably would not happen. Mile 2 came at 13:22 (about 6:40), then I managed to pick up the pace to about 6:20 per mile for the final 1.107 miles. This was a 90 to 95% effort, in which I felt quite winded, and probably could not have run too much faster.

I still have a hopeful season's goal of sub-19 by early December, but that is going to be very tough. This means at least one speed workout per week, and possibly two for the next 5 weeks.

Once again, I'm having thoughts of retiring from competitive running. I'm not sure why I need to go out and suffer at 50 years of age.

Mark

Jensen Stables 12K XC Results


On Saturday, October 18, 2008, I ran a "12k" cross country race through hills, single-track trails, a swamp, an optional pond swim (swam last year, ran penalty lap this year), logs, obstacles, horse, hurdles, and an 8-foot high stack of hay bales.








The start was through a corn field (I'm number 85, black long sleeves), but we then headed out through a pasture,




and then the swamp at the mile marker (see photo of my colleague emerging from the swamp). I placed 35th out of 116, but 3rd in the old (50 to 59) age group, garnering some hardware (actually, a bottle of wine). Following the swamp, much of the course traversed wooded terrain. I wore my Garmin watch, so was able to plot up the course afterwards (see map). The distance turned out to be 8.55 miles on my Garmin, but the "penalty lap" around the pond was 0. 33 miles, so the actual race distance (if you chose to swim on a day when temperatures were in the 40s) was about 8.25 miles, or roughly 13k. The true race distance may be a bit overestimated, as I think I took a wrong turn at one point, and ran 0.1 miles too far (taking several unsuspecting runners with me). The wooded part of the course was the most interesting, and included natural and man-made








obstacles (see log photo), including a steep incline which essentially involved about a 2-minute "walk" up the slope, using my hands several times. Although temperatures were cool, many people did opt for the 40-meter pond swim (as I did last year). I estimate that you save over a minute by swimming, but then you're going to lose some of it back with the extra weight, so I'm unsure of the net gain (see pond penalty lap route from Garmin). Finally, near the end, there was the horse corral (race was held at a horse farm) complete with horse jumps and the hay bale climb (see photos of me hurdling a horse barrier and my colleague and me negotiating the the hale bale climb).








Finally, a quick comment on time and place. I ran 1:13:47 for 35th place (as mentioned before). About 8:40 per mile, which sounds slow, but I guess not bad considering I was going 10 to 12 minutes per mile on some of the uphills (per the Garmin).

















Eric should run this with me next year!

Link to results:

http://www.gvh.net/jensenStablesXC/documents/jensen-results.pdf



























Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Run, Fatboy, Run!

I just watched a movie at home the other day (from Netflix) called Run, Fatboy, Run! Unlike some movies with the word run or running in the title, this one actually had something to do with running. As you may guess from the title, it was a comedy. It was also a British movie, with Monte-Python type humor. And although the humor was a little coarse at times, overall, I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to those runners formerly in the "unserious contingent." I won't give away the plot, but the overall theme was an out-of-shape loser type guy trying to win back his former fiance and his young son by running a marathon in London, agains the in-shape, tough-guy, handsome man who was the current fiance of his former fiance. I guarantee you'll roll on the floor laughing at some parts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Running On The Danube

Well, actually next to the Danube.  I've been in Budapest, Hungary this week and have been running on a nice flat road next to the river.  I'm back to 1,5 miles.  My pace is not so great--just beating 8 minutes/mile.  But the good news is that my foot continues to improve.  No pain while running and sometimes while not running I feel a dull pain.  But the pain seems to keep dulling and is occurring with less frequency.
 
My first full day here I saw people running in the Budapest Marathon.  I had no interest in joining them and was quite content to be riding a bicycle (slowly) as I toured the city.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Foot

The day after my last blog entry ("Today's 440 Yard Time Trial ") I was having a nice easy twilight run at Baylands Park in Sunnyvale, California.  All seemed okay, although the run was a bit sluggish.  I think my legs were still feeling the effects of the time trial.  Also, I had gotten up very early to make a 5:20 A.M. flight.
 
When I got back to my hotel room my left foot was really hurting.  I don't know exactly what happened and when, but I thought my foot be broken--perhaps a stress fracture.
 
I'm on the mend.  In fact, the last two times I've run my foot was pain-free while running and it was only later in the day that I my had some minor foot pain.  So I think it will be okay and probably wasn't broken.  I suspect that the injury was a result of poor support in my running shoes since the only change I made was switching shoes.
 
The last month has not been productive running-wise.  I've had to run less often, slower, and shorter.  I feel like I've been set back at least a few months.  Oh well, at least I'm still running and my foot is not broken.

Monday, September 15, 2008

September 2008 Running Update

Since most of my recent blogs have been of a historical nature, I decided it was time (with a comment from Eric), to post a more recent update.

This was a tough summer for running, general. After a rather sluggish 5-mile race in mid-July at 7:09 per mile, I ran very little for nearly a month. In part this was due to babysitting the grandson, but also summer heat, some travel, getting Kaila ready for college, and clay court tennis season. I typically only ran once or twice per week during this period, plus some tennis.

Since then, I have gradually increased, but I am probably still only at 4 times per week, for a total of about 16 miles. This past weekend, I ran 5.2 miles on Friday, then 4 miles on Saturday, with some brisk fartleks. The clay tennis courts are still open, but I will probably only be playing about once per week, so running is phasing in again.

In short, I hope to be in decent shape by middle of October for my second running of an 8-mile hilly trail race (the one with the pond swim).

I have no times to report, buy may try a 5K on the track soon, just to gauge my fitness, or lack thereof.

More updates later, as i increase my training to prepare for cross country season.

Mark

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Strider Uniform Made Scholastic Appearance


In the late 1970s, Michael K. Raybuck, the only runner on Fillmore Central High School's cross country team, made at least one formal scholastic appearance sporting a Dr. K Striders uniform. I suspect this may have been the only occasion in which this type of event occurred, and apparently, he was not disqualified.


This just adds to the continuing "weight-of-evidence" regarding the Dr. K Striders' impact on the national running community, especially during the middle and late 1970s.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Younger Raybuck Takes Crack at 5K

Michael Raybuck ran an impressive 5K on the track yesterday, in a time of 24:33, or about 7:54 per mile. Impressive, especially considering this was done on essentially zero running training (with the exception of 3 or 4 mile time trials this season, and two or three 2 to 3-mile easy jogs. The remainder of his training has been limited to cross training on the stair stepper and other indoor equipment, as well as outdoor walking in the evenings.

Raybuck, due to hip problems, is not able to train with conventional running, so has had to make due with alternatives, sometimes including swimming when preparing for significant time trials such as this recent 5K attempt. Raybuck was exhuberant following yesterday's attempt, with a goal of just breaking 8 minutes per mile. "My first 200 meters was 55-seconds, already 5 seconds ahead of pace," stated Raybuck immediately after the event. "After that, I settled comfortably into 2-minute quarters, like clockwork." This even pacing was strikingly similar to Prefontaine's idea when he decided, shortly before his untimely death, that he would set the world record in the 3-mile run, by running a 12:36. In describing this to Frank Shorter, Pre said "It's simple. I'm going to run 63 second quarters..............63.....boom! 2:06.......boom! 3:09........boom!"

Fans are now hoping Raybuck will attempt another "bad-hip" mile time trial, to improve upon his 6:41 earlier this summer.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dr. K Striders ran in Fast Company



Both Michael and Mark Raybuck, members of the infamous Dr. K Striders running club, ran high school track in one of the least populated counties of rural upstate New York (Allegany). Despite the small-town running climate, a future Olympian in the marathon, John Tuttle of Alfred-Almond High School, totally dominated the distance running scene in Allegany County, and even New York State during the late 70s. Tuttle would eventually become an NCAA Division I distance running star, but he really made his mark by qualifying for, and running in the marathon during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Tuttle qualified with another New York state legend, Pete Pfitzinger, and distance running great Alberto Salazar, in the Olympic trials marathon held in Buffalo, NY.


Michael Raybuck, one year younger than Tuttle, finally had the opportunity to break free of John Tuttle in 1978, as a senior in high school. He was able to headline the local news results during that year, often winning triples consisting of the mile, 2-mile, and 880 yard runs. Despite breaking free of Tuttle, local journalists could not resist inserting Tuttle's name somewhere in the articles.


Eventually, Raybuck made his own headlines without a mention of Tuttle.
The fact that Striders ran in great company, however, is undeniable, as shown by some of the attached news clippings!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today's 440 Yard Time Trial

79 seconds.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Raybuck Moves up to 4.0 Ranking

In tennis news, Mark Raybuck finally beat a legitimate USATF Level 4.0 player last night at the Buffalo Racquet Club, edging out Ken Malke 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Raybuck came close last week in a tight 3-setter, but last night was "the night" as Raybuck used his classic "ping-pong" forehand, quick reflexes, and running ability to overcome Malke's admittedly better tennis skills. During many long rallies, Raybuck shocked his opponent by running down seemingly impossible shots for the average player, at a minimum forcing the rally to one more stroke, and often winning the point. Raybuck also ran to the net more often than usual, confusing his opponent, and causing unforced errors.

Although never formally ranked, Raybuck will now claim a 4.0 status (at least for now).

Footnote: This post is about running.

Mark

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Training Insights

When I started my all track training program one reason was to avoid doing things that make my quadriceps feel like rubber.  I though that by eliminating hills and cutting back on distance I would solve all my problems.
 
I was wrong.
 
What I've discovered is that running hard is at least part of the problem.  Doing nothing more than running four hard 220s is enough to give me rubber quadriceps for a few days.
 
I think eliminating the hills and running only short distances has been a good move and I'm not planning on going back to the old way of training.  But what I've to work on now is being able to run hard and not having it take such a toll on me that I feel it for days after.

Back On Track

After I got back from Bangkok and Tokyo, having been off track for two weeks, it was a bit of a struggle to get back on the track and run the kind of workouts I had been running before going off track.
 
The first two days were not fun at all--it was all I could do to run 1.5 miles at an 8 minute pace.  By the end of the first week back, my workouts started to be about like they had been before I went off track.  By the end of the second week back on track, I think I had completely recovered from the time off track.  I was able to run a 6:50 mile--fastest time of the year.
 
I'd say the two weeks off track cost me four weeks of training.  The two weeks I was off track I didn't accomplish anything.  The two weeks after that were spent making up for the two weeks off track.
 
Four weeks is a lot.

Mark's 220

Thank you Mark.  It was kind of you to honor my request.  And to do so without question, makes the act even more gracious.
 
So why did  I make this request?
 
The fastest that I can run a 220 is 36 seconds.  Mark's mile time is so much faster than mine, I wanted to do some kind of easy sanity check to try and get some insight into this.  What Mark's 220 time tells me is that the difference in our mile times is more than just endurance and strength.  Speed plays a role also.  Mark is at least a full 3 seconds faster than I am for 220.  A reasonable implication of this is that he can expected to be a minimum of 24 seconds faster for a mile.
 
Clearly I've got my work cut out for me.

Younger Raybuck improves mile time

Michael Raybuck, a long-time Dr. K Striders member, lowered his mile time again yesterday, hitting a 6:41.2, an improvement over a 6:45 from a fortnight ago.

"It wasn't easy, and it wasn't fun!" said Raybuck to reporters immediately after the time trial, gasping for breath in between words. I think that's it for the season. But within minutes, Raybuck was "feeling much better" and talking it up about his next attempt. Raybuck, a track coach at Fillmore Central, where he was somewhat of a track legend in the late 70s (4:26 miler, school record holder), has an ultimate goal this season of beating the slowest miler on his squad (6:36). Actually, to be fair, high school times are 1600 meters, so one could safely add 3 seconds to the 6:36, putting Raybuck within a scant couple of seconds from his season's goal.

Raybuck's "claim to fame" are his legendary track battles in rural Allegany County with one John Tuttle, a school boy track prodigy turned Olympian (1984 Los Angeles Games, marathon). Raybuck gave Tuttle a run for his money on more than one occasion, although never quite gaining the edge over the future Olympian.

More to come on Raybuck's summer progress.........

Sunday, July 20, 2008

First Race of 2008 a Hot One

I typically don't run summer races, as the heat and I don't get along well, but a colleague from work talked me into running an 8K (4.97 mile) hilly road race yesterday. Although it started at 9 am, temperatures were in the upper 70s and high humidity (at least by northeastern standards). With an initial goal of 7 minutes per mile, I figured I would start conservatively, and see how I felt. The first mile included an uphill, but I clocked a 7:06 (not sure how accurate the measured mile marks were). Since I was already feeling a bit warm, I just ran within myself the remainder of the race, getting warmer and warmer, and claiming a revised goal of not getting heat exhaustion or heat stroke. I finished in 35:33, about 7:09 per mile average. Although slower than I hoped, with the heat and very substantial hills, I was pleased with a 20th place finish out of 108 runners, and 2nd in the 50 to 54 age group. My colleague beat me by 12 seconds, passing me in the final mile, and finishing 3rd in the 40 to 44 age group.

Anyway, I consider all this just preliminary training for the upcoming Gary Truce 5K Autumn Cross Country Classic, only about 3 months away!

Mark

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Utica Boilermaker History Question

Sunday I was in Binghamton, and a local TV channel showed the 31st annual running of the Utica Boilermaker 15K road race, now a serious world class international running event, in which Kenyans take many of the top spots. For example, Catherine Ndereba, one of the world's best female marathon runners, was in this race. The winning time was roughly 4:40 per mile.

Now, the question is........if this was the 31st running, the first running would have been 1978. Now, I think the summer after my freshman year, which would have been 1977, several Dr. K Striders including myself, my younger brother Michael, and Eric Kaplan, ran a Utica Boilermaker 10 mile road race. Of course, this was the famous race in which the Striders copped a team victory, generating contoversy and a protest from Mark Peters (whom I think was the race director), due to our enlisting of Tom Carter as a Dr. K Strider.

Was this 1977 race, simply a pre-cursor to the first Boilermaker Race? The TV coverage mentioned that the previous race director had died recently, but it wasn't Mark Peters. Also, if you count 1977, this year would be the 32nd running of the event?

I looked up the race history, and it appears that the 1977 10-mile version simply did not count or make history (see below). It would have been nice to think that the Striders had won the very first running of what is now a serious international event.

Maybe due to the contoversial team finish, or the fact that it was 10 miles instead of a 15K, wiped it from the historical records.

==============================================================
Race History

The Boilermaker Road Race was established in 1978 by Earle C. Reed. Reed was looking for a way to give back to the community that had supported his family’s business, Utica Boilers (now ECR International). The 15K road race began with just over 800 runners and a budget of $750.

In 1983, renowned distance runner, Bill Rodgers, not only participated but won the race with a time of 44:38. Rodgers elevated the race by bringing both national exposure and credibility to the event. Since then, the Boilermaker has attracted top elite runners from all over the world, including Olympians and world record holders. The consistent professional management of the race has resulted in its reputation as the best 15K road race in the country. In fact, the Boilermaker has been named by the Analytical Distance Runner as the most competitive 15K road race in the world.

Today, the Boilermaker 15K road race hosts at least 10,000 runners per year. Boilermaker Weekend, which offers events for participants of every age and skill level, has grown to include fitness and special events, such as a 5K Run, 3 Mile Walk, Youth Run, Health and Fitness Expo., and more. Designed around the weekend’s crown jewel, the Boilermaker 15K Road Race, Boilermaker Weekend promotes a healthy lifestyle with a focus on fun, family, and community spirit!



Mark

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Younger Raybuck Spotted Running a Mile

The younger Raybuck brother, a 4:26 high school miler, was spotted this afternoon at the track, clocking a 6:45 mile. Seemingly slow for a former elite athtlete (and Dr. K Strider), Raybuck has not been able to run for more than 3 years now, due to an arthritic hip that has been recommended by doctors for a replacement.

His training thus consists solely of an exercise bike and stair stepper machine, plus nightly 1 to 2 mile walks.

Raybuck was elated with the time...........having coached at Fillmore High School this past track season, he has a personal goal this year of beating his slowest miler's time of 6:36. And after today's encouraging performance (a 12-second improvement over a 6:57 from 3 weeks ago), he is now considering the possibility of running in the Gary Truce Classic 5K in Binghamton this coming October. What an addition to the entrants that would be..........putting both Raybuck brothers in the Truce Classic, which will be held in conjunction with the Binghamton Invitational Cross Country Event.

More Gary Truce Classic 5K news to come over the coming weeks!

Mark

Monday, June 30, 2008

49 Miler's Question

Ah, a common psychological syndrome common in aging males who are also ex-athletes!  It is an attempt to relive past glory while defying the realities of advanced middle age.  It is most prevelant in Olympic years after watching the trials on TV.  While mostly a harmless diversion from reality, there are a significant number of documented cases of self inflicted injuries including sore muscles, torn muscles, strained ligiments and severly bruised egos!  Recommended cure:  continue to watch the Games and have a beer!

 

All contributed in jest by Former Runner!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

220 Time Trial by Old Buck

At the request of Eric, and without questioning him as to why I needed to do this, I ran a 220 yard time trial tonight on the track. After a mile or so warmup, I ran a quarter in 85, then a practice 200 meter in 35 seconds. After a couple minutes rest, I launched into a genuine 220 time trial, even backing up approximately 1 meter from the 200 meter start line to make it relatively accurate.

The time? 32.7. My last recorded 200 meters was 29.4 in May 2003, so this is slower, but I am 5 years older now. My last recorded 400 meters, for comparison, was 65.1 in July 2003.

As for whether the new 220 time is representative of what I can do, I was a bit full from a dinner out at Olive Garden, and my quarter in 85 before, then 84 and 83 after the 220 were tough, when just last week I ran a 5:40 mile (averaging 85 seconds).

Now, the question is, what was the rationale for me running this......I risked life and limb to do it!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mildly Encouraging Mile Time

Firstly, a good series of blogs by Eric below! Very interesting international running blogs!

As for myself, I am still running in boring, flat Buffalo, NY. After being sick, and doing minimal running for a week, I ran a 20 mile week or so, then last Friday, I surprised myself with a 5:40 mile, 8 seconds better than my previous best for this year, 3 seconds faster than last year's best time, and even more surprising, my best mile since a 5:36 in July 2005. Now I have some real incentive to continue improving, as I feel like I can "turn back the clock" a little on this aging process. If I break 5:36, it will be my best mile in 3 years, and if I break 5:34, it will be my best mile in 4 years. I could almost say it would be my best mile in about 7 years, because I only ran 5:35 in 2003, and 5:38 in 2002. To improve beyond that is where the problems start, because in 2001 I made an assault on sub-5, running a 5:04 in February, and a 5:03 in December (both indoors).

Anyway, my first goal will be sub 5:34, then the next goals will be sub-5:29.

Any thoughts or advice? I've been running about 20 mile weeks, with a little tennis, and my "speed" workouts have been 4 mile runs with the middle 2 miles run at about a 6:35 per mile pace. Is it time to break down and do some intervals on the track???

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Less is More!

Please see my responses to Mark's post "Response to New Training Paradigm".
 
*****
 
[Mark]
Firstly, running less for improved performance is an interesting concept, and one that is not totally new. 
[Eric]
I believe that Sebastian Coe was known for his low mileage training relative to the other great milers of his era.

[Mark] 
Firstly, in principle, running less and faster may be a good idea at our age (50) and it may work. 
[Eric]
We aren't talking theory here.  It IS working.
 
[Mark]
In your previous post, you alluded to your reduction in performance as related to inclines or hills. So, the obvious solution is to eliminate hills or inclines from the workout, and see what the results are. Unfortunately, with your current changes in training, I think you will be unable to determine whether running hills or inclines was adversely affecting you. As a mathematician, you understand the concept of multiple variables, of course. If you review your new paradigm, you will note that you have changed not one, but as many as four variables in your new workout program: removal of inclines, reduction in per run mileage by approximately 50% (or more), running at a different speed (faster), and doing all your running on a track instead of partial road runs.   If your interest is in determining whether hills was the ultimate culprit, you may need to go back to 4 miles per day, similar speed runs, and part road part track workouts. If, however, your interest is simply in trying some changes and seeing if you perform better, then your current program may work.
[Eric]
It is generous to call me a mathematician.  However, I certainly do understand that when problem solving, SOMETIMES only one variable should be changed at a time.  This is when one is trying to find the root cause of a problem.  In my case, my objectives are simply fitness, running faster, and enjoying my running more.  Therefore I had no reason to have this be a controlled experiment.  I don't care why I'm getting the result that I'm getting, only that I am.  There is nothing to prevent me from further experimentation.  That could include running more but could also include running less.
 
Sometimes the best thing to do when something is broken is to through it away and start new.  This is essentially what I've done with my running.
 
[Mark]
My second concern is that you have subltly and perhaps subconsciously begun to adjust your previous goal of a sub-6 mile by stating that you would try for sub 6, or perhaps just a 2:45 half instead. 
[Eric]
There is nothing subtle or subconscious about it.  I'd be perfectly content, and perhaps even happier, focusing on running a quality half-mile rather than a quality mile.
 
In high school I was running the half more often than the mile and was probably better at the half.  My switch to longer distances in college had more to do with attempting to find something that I could excel at at the college level.  I knew that in college I could never run a half that would be worthy of much.  I felt that by moving up in distance, where there was less competition I had a better chance to excel.  In fact, I wonder now why I didn't back away from distance and go back to middle distance when I was having physical problems with distance.  My only answer is tunnel vision.
 
[Mark]
I would like to see you stick to your sub 6 goal. By eliminating that goal, you are admitting that you may not be running enough mileage, and although I am all for relatively low mileage with good quality, 1.5 to 2 miles per day is probably not enough to garner a sub-6 mile. 
[Eric]
This shows quite a bias towards the mile on the part of Mark.  As mentioned already in this post my running goals are fitness, quality, and enjoyment.  I don't a view a quality mile as being any more worthy than a quality quarter.  Realistically, I'm probably not capable of a quality quarter since, even in my youth, I was too slow to accomplish that.  For me, ten minute intense workouts that lead towards a quality half might be perfect.
 
I should also add that my interest in these shorter workouts was probably first piqued a few years ago when I first saw an ad for a rather odd looking exercise machine that claimed that one could accomplish wonderful fitness working out only four minutes/day.
 
A few months back I saw one of these machines in person, right here in Charlottesville, and that led me to do some reading on the topic.  From what I read, there is some evidence to suggest that using these machines might actually deliver what is promised.
 
There are two big advantages to the short workout times:  (1) Saves time and (2) is easier on the body.  Running wears people out.  To be able to train effectively with only ten minutes/day of running could lead to a much longer and less painful running career.  I have nasty bouts of sciatica before and I think fewer miles will minimize those.

Off Track

For the past two weeks I didn't have access to a track.  During week one I was in Bangkok, Thailand.  From a previous trip there I knew that attempting any kind of serious running outside would be fruitless.  Each day I was in Bangkok I did the best I could to simulate my daily track workouts by running on a treadmill.  I warmed up at a leisurely pace for 0.8K.  Then I ran 2.42K at a pace that was meant to approximate what I would probably would have been running on the track at home.  Day one my pace was 13.7K/hour and each day I increased the pace by 0.1K/hour.  So, by day 6, my pace was 14.2K/hour.
 
There are numerous problems, I think, with running on a treadmill.  The biggest one though is that it really isn't running.  It is more like a simulation of running that gives some of the exercise benefits of running, but doesn't actually prepare one for actual running.  Let's see what others think about this:
 
Week 2 was in primarily in Tokyo with one overnight in Kyoto.  In Tokyo, I decided to use some of the same route that I normally run.  I thought I was choosing a flat stretch.  It turns out that most of the 0.75 miles in the out direction was uphill.  I just had never noticed before because I had never focused on running at a respectable pace on that route.  Between running uphill, and not having the benefit of being on a track where it is really easy to know what is going on in terms of pace, my Tokyo runs were much slower than I had been running in Charlottesville.  In Tokyo I was averaged about 8:00 minutes/mile.  I also think that a week of treadmill running had slowed me down.
 
In Kyoto, right behind my hotel I found a nice flat stretch that was about 0.17 miles long (thank you GPS wristwatch).  I was disappointed with my one mile run there, not running much faster than 8:00.  Factors that made for slowing running in Kyoto were:  (1) Being somewhat disoriented by running back and forth on the street as opposed to the familiarity of running laps around a track; (2) turns--it really costs a lot of time to have to turn around; and (3) forgetting how to run fast as being off track for two weeks.
 
My conclusion from this experience is that each time I go someplace where I don't have a track to run on it will be difficult to improve, and more likely, I will regress.  On the other hand, maybe the breaks will somehow help by providing a certain level of forced rest.  On the third hand, how much rest is needed when the entire workout is only 1.5 miles.

Tokyo-Charlottesville Training Double

Friday, I accomplished the highly-prized Tokyo-Charlottesville training double.  At about 7:30 A.M. (Tokyo time) I ran in Tokyo.  At about 8:00 P.M. (Charlottesville time) I ran in Charlottesville.  In Tokyo my workout was my 1.5 mile Ebisu-Meguro road run.  In Charlottesville I ran 1.5 miles at the Charlottesville High School track.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Response to New Training Paradigm

I needed to make this response/comment a new post, as it was too long (and important) to be potentially lost in a mere comment:

Firstly, running less for improved performance is an interesting concept, and one that is not totally new. In college, under the great Coach Truce, Chris Cody and I had read an article about running called "less is more." I think it was actually referring to an older runner, perhaps over 70. We presented this concept to Truce as an argument that we were being asked to overtrain. It did not go over well, as I remember.

Anyway, here are my main points regarding the new paradigm:

Firstly, in principle, running less and faster may be a good idea at our age (50) and it may work. However, I have a few concerns and comments. In your previous post, you alluded to your reduction in performance as related to inclines or hills. So, the obvious solution is to eliminate hills or inclines from the workout, and see what the results are. Unfortunately, with your current changes in training, I think you will be unable to determine whether running hills or inclines was adversely affecting you. As a mathematician, you understand the concept of multiple variables, of course. If you review your new paradigm, you will note that you have changed not one, but as many as four variables in your new workout program: removal of inclines, reduction in per run mileage by approximately 50% (or more), running at a different speed (faster), and doing all your running on a track instead of partial road runs. If your interest is in determining whether hills was the ultimate culprit, you may need to go back to 4 miles per day, similar speed runs, and part road part track workouts. If, however, your interest is simply in trying some changes and seeing if you perform better, then your current program may work.

My second concern is that you have subltly and perhaps subconsciously begun to adjust your previous goal of a sub-6 mile by stating that you would try for sub 6, or perhaps just a 2:45 half instead. I would like to see you stick to your sub 6 goal. By eliminating that goal, you are admitting that you may not be running enough mileage, and although I am all for relatively low mileage with good quality, 1.5 to 2 miles per day is probably not enough to garner a sub-6 mile.

Well, those are my primary concerns.

Mark

Monday, June 16, 2008

My New Training Paradigm

My running had been going horribly.  Doing my little 4.something mile jaunt was very frustrating.  Each day I felt worse than the day before.  On the days that I ran at the track I didn't feel very good either.  What was going on?
 
I can't be certain, but here is my theory.
 
My 4.something mile runs started and ended with fairly steep and long hills.  So by the time I got to to flat part of the run I was already quite worn out.  I wasn't really recovering anyway, but just in case I was, ending the run with a hill was just what I needed to wear me out and set me up for feeling lousy the next day.
 
On track days, I was running hard.  I was not feeling great when I got there (see above).  After running on the track it would take days to recover because the runs I was doing on the track where so much faster than when I wasn't on the track.
 
In short, I was in this horrible cycle which showed no signs of ending.
 
So, I ended it.
 
I decided that I would no longer subject myself to the hills and the slow, annoying running.  Instead, everyday would be a track day.  After the first day or so on this new program I even decided that it was too much work to run to the track (there is a hill between my house and the track) and I started driving back and forth.
 
After some experimentation, I settled into a routine of warming up very slowly for two laps.  Then running at whatever the pace de jour was for anywhere between 4 and 8 laps, but generally speaking running 6 laps.  The exception is if it is time trial day and I run a half or a speed day and I run 220s or quarters.  On any given day I never know how far I'll run, and at what pace.  In fact, sometimes I'll change my mind mid workout.  For example, if I run a good first lap, I might decide to try and run a quick mile.  Some days I think I'll run two miles, but instead, only run 5 or 6 laps because that is what feels right.
 
My only real rule is that I am never, ever allowed to run a horribly slow pace.  In the beginning there were some days where I had to work to make sure that my pace was better than 8 minutes/mile.  Fairly quickly though, I noticed that I was getting better.
 
Before I left on the trip I'm on now, a typical run was 6 laps somewhere at a pace somewhere between 7:05 and 7:15.  My best time trial was 3:00 for a half (I felt tired at the end of that).  That, by the way was the fastest half I'd run since Mark paced me on mile trial on the indoor track at SUNY Binghamton.  The week before I left I had two days where I ran 6:51 for a mile and felt quite comfortable.
 
I'm very happy with this new training paradigm and have no plans to change it, except that the 6 laps might creep up to 8 as I get stronger.  I love the fact that the days of 8 minutes and 9 minute miles are over and I can really focus on getting under 6 minutes (or at least maybe running 2:45 for a half if I don't build enough strength to hold on for a 6-minute mile.
 
The other thing that is fantastic is that the guts of the workout is 11 minutes or less and heading towards 10 minutes.  Think about--staying in shape and running respectable times (for being 50) and only working out 10 minutes/day.  Sounds too good to be true--but it isn't.  It's real.

Running On Inclines

Anybody have any insights on how much impact inclines should have?
 
As you will see in my other post, I think they were really bothering me in my day-to-day training--so much so that I cut them out.
 
The other day I mentioned to a guy in his early thirties that I didn't understand why it was that I could run on a track at a decent pace but that going up a flight of stairs got me winded.  He said that he too noticed this type of thing and suggested that inclines were the culprit.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Minor Training Setback, but Running Again

Hi, folks. I had a minor setback this past week. After running 21 miles the previous week (relatively high for me), I was sick last Sunday, and then too weak too run again on Monday. With a combination of babysitting the grandson and one night of tennis (a good workout), I only ran twice last week!

However, today, I ran 5.5 miles at about an 8:20 per mile pace, and felt very good. With rain forecast much of the week, the clay tennis courts will likely be closed, so I can concentrate on running.

Mark

Friday, June 13, 2008

Coach Truce and Former Runner To Reunite in Ohio

News Flash to all!

 

Coach Truce is in Ohio visiting family and will make a stop in Hudson to visit Former Runner and his family this Sunday.  A pleasant and informal afternoon is planned for reminiscing and an enjoyable visit.  Since you can’t BS your own coach, no war stories will be attempted!  Follow up coverage is planned.  Hope all is going well for all and that you have a happy and healthy summer!

 

Quick note on the end of the Hudson High Track season.  Our milers made a surprise move at the state championships coming in 2 and 5 with times from 4:17 to 4:18 respectively.  This added on to a fifth place finish of our 4x800 relay earns Hudson a tie for ninth place in the team standings.  A  respectable showing and definitely ahead of pre-season expectations.  Our relay has qualified for the national high school championships later this month in Greensboro, NC.  While I won’t be able to attend, I will post an update on how they performed.

 

As for Greg, summer workouts have now begun.  Wrapped around his coming trip to Israel for 3 weeks in July, this should be a very interesting summer and a good lead-in to the fall cross country season. 

 

Regards to all,

 

Dave

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tennis Season Begins (but this is still about running)

Well, folks, I started clay court tennis season last weekend, with a rousing 6-1, 6-0 loss to a better player. The up side was that we hit for about an hour straight first, then played two sets at a fast pace. Although the score was lopsided, rallies were typically long, hard, and fast-paced, and we both had a tremendous running workout. This guy is in good shape, as he works out in a gym and on an exercise bike regularly.

Thursday I played someone more my ability, and won 6-4, 7-5 (after being down 0-3 in the 1st set). This guy was slower, and consequently, it wasn't much of a workout, but still fun.

I only ran 4 times this week for about 17 miles, plus the two times playing tennis. Came down with a cold yesterday, so I am not attempting any time trials this weekend.

Hope to do one by next weekend.

Mark

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mile Update: Good news and bad news

I finally got around to attempting another mile this season, just today, in cool, windy weather. The good news is that it was a season's best, at 5:48.3. The bad news is that in my first time trial, nearly 6 weeks ago, I ran 5:49.2, so I only improved 1 second in all that time. Now granted, it was very windy today, with temperatures in the low 50s, requiring a jacket to warm up, and long sleeves for the actual trial. I suppose I could claim 3 or 4 seconds due to the gusty winds, and even Roger Bannister, on the day he first cracked 4 minutes, looked at the wind, and voted NOT to run, but was convinced otherwise. He said that he would have to run an equivalent 3:57 to break 4 due to the wind, so he was allotting about 3 seconds.

I guess the lesson learned is that I had not really done any track work in the past 6 weeks. Perhaps this is going to be a necessity for required improvement.

Another bit of good news, though, is that my splits were negative. After a 2:58 half, I came back in 2:50, with a final lap of 83 seconds. This tells me I could have probably run a bit faster with more even timing, but I also think maybe I really wasn't warmed up well enough, and was just starting to warm up during the last quarter.

Next time, I really want to shave some time and go under 5:40. We'll see.............stay tuned.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Some End of Season Surprises

Well the track season is winding up with an exciting flurry! 

 

Greg ran a 53.1 this week in a non-championship division of the conference meet and won.  It’s his personal best and while not quite as fast as we were looking for, definitely a move in the right direction.   With a strong training program as a lead in to next fall’s cross country season, Greg should be faster and have stronger endurance for next year.  Greg did qualify to run the 200 but is unlikely to move out of the qualifying heats.  Still in all, it was a good season for him and I think he learned a lot.

 

Although not involving Greg, the most exciting news for the Hudson High Track Team occurred yesterday in the 4x800 relay.  Hudson placed third in a sparkling time of 7:50.2.  The winning time was 7:47 and the top three teams each posted a faster time than the previous best in the entire state of Ohio for this year.  Our coach in convinced that yesterday’s race was a better and more exciting race than whatever will happen during the state championships later this season in Columbus.  Because of how the divisions stack up during the regionals, all three teams may not meet again until the final or may not qualify.  It’s a complicated set-up but it is what it is.  Hudson’s race was the second best in school history and all four runners turned in splits under 2:00.  Two of our guys ran mid 1:56.  It was a very exciting race and it’s great to see guys peak at exactly the right time.

 

Despite some earlier setbacks, the season is ending well for Hudson and I’m looking forward to the regionals. At this point it looks like our top miler (4:19.6) will qualify for the state championships and our relays look strong as well.  We have a real chance to qualify in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x800.  More updates to come shortly.

 

Regards to All!

 

Former Runner

 

 

Training Update: tempo runs

I'm starting to incorporate some weekly tempo runs into my routine, just to give my legs some semblance of race pace, and to learn to grit it out for a couple miles at a time. Earlier this week, I ran 4 miles, with the middle two miles in the 6:30s. I did a similar run a couple weeks ago, and this time I averaged about 5 seconds per mile faster for the tempo portion. Maybe that means I'm in slightly better shape, maybe it just means I put forth more effort this time.

I hope to get out on the track this weekend for a timed mile, which is really the best indicator of progress. The tempo run, as depicted by the SportTracks software (imported from the Garmin GPS watch), is summarized above (or to the left, depending on where the graphic ends up on your screen).

Mark

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dr. K Striders Vintage Photos


I thought the group would enjoy these vintage Dr. K Striders photos from the 70s and early 80s. The first photo is from the Maryland Marathon, and includes several familiar faces.



The 2nd photo (below) is Mark and Mike Raybuck at a race in Maryland. I think this was post-collegiate action for Mark.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Confirmed: 2nd generation Strider to attend Binghamton!

It's confirmed, folks. Kaila Raybuck, daughter of Mark Raybuck, will be the first known second generation Dr. K Strider to attend Binghamton University, albeit as a Bearcat vs. the former Colonials. Kaila will attend Binghamton this fall as a business major. Unfortunately, she is not planning on running track or cross country, but that could all change once she arrives on campus. I have not let Gary Truce know yet, but perhaps he can do a little recruiting once she arrives.

Needless to say, this is very exciting news. Should we prepare a jersey? Would Kaila also be the first female Dr. K Strider? Does she even want to be a Strider?

More exciting Strider blogging to come.............with authentic never-before seen photos of Strider legends Mark and Mike Raybuck in uniform!

Mark

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Today's Aborted Half-mile Time Trial

I stopped after running the first quarter in 90 and did some more intervals.  Not surprising to me, given how lousy I feel when I run lately.  More about that in another entry coming soon.

I Fell and I Did Get Up

Early this week, just down the block from home, at the very start of my run, I stepped on a pine cone.  Normally, my ankle would have turned, it would have hurt just a bit, and that would have been the end of it.  For some unknown reason, on this particular day and pine cone, I tripped and went flying.  I scrapped and banged my right knee (which is still a bit sore), drawing some blood, scuffed up both palms, and scarred my GPS wristwatch for life (but it seems to be working okay).
 
I got up, dusted myself off, and continued the run.  But I felt pretty stupid.  I expect a full recovery over the coming days, and am hopeful that it had no impact on my training.  Today will be the first time I'll know for sure.  I'll be running a half-mile on the track for time in a little while.  I hope I can ignore the discomfort and easily get under 3:00.
 
Doggone it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

An Inconsistant Season

Hi Guys!

 

Sorry I have not been on the blog for a while but I’ve been tied up with some of the medical stuff.  I’m now able to get back up and post an update to Greg’s track season.

 

First off, the guys have definitely accepted me as part of the woodwork.  I have been helping out at practices, mostly timing and logging workout intervals and freeing up the real coaches to take care of other things.  Naturally, I have been assigned to work with the 400m group.  After watching their intervals, sprints, fartleks, etc. I can definitely feel their pain!  Why are those memories of tough workouts sweet now when they hurt so much at the time?

 

We are now half way through the season and the best word to define it is: inconsistent.  This applies to the team as well as Greg’s individual performances.  From a team perspective, we were placed in a new league this year and it’s definitely not to our advantage.  Basically, we got dumped in a more competitive pool of schools we did not usually run against.  The plain truth is that in many events, we are just overmatched.  Our chances of placing out of the season ending divisional and regional meets to get to the state championships are slim to none.  Runners from lesser leagues will advance with slower times than we run but because their competitive environment is easier.  It doesn’t seem fair but that’s the way it is.

 

Unfortunately, for Greg and some of our other key runners, individual performances have not progressed as expected and there is no apparent reason.  In Greg’s case, he ran a personal best 53.7 for the 400m indoors.  His best open time so far is 54.5 although he was credited with a 52.9 relay split.  The coach opted to drop him down to the 100m and 200m for some speed work and he has posted new personal best times in both events of 11.8 and 23.6 respectively.  Nice times for a sophomore but nothing that is going to win most dual meets and he’s not the number runner for us in either event.  I think his biggest issue is endurance.  He gets off to a fast start but seems to lack the kick for the last 100 meters.  This is frustrating since a runner doing under 24 in the 200m should at least be running a 52 400m.  But then our number 1 runner is not doing that well either.  This kid is a junior and ran 50.8 last year and has not broker 52 all season. 

 

The coach and I have discussed adding more endurance running to next year’s training schedule and having the boys run more indoor meets during the winter season.  As I have mentioned before, there is no official winter track season in Ohio like in New York.  It’s my opinion that our guys don’t have the endurance or times I produced at the same relative point during high school because of the lack of winter track.  In my day (yes, I actually said that!), training and running for the 600 after a full season of cross country made us better spring runners.  We were in shape at the beginning of the season and the longer races definitely helped develop better stamina and endurance.  All very well for next year but we still have to get the best we can for the current season.

 

I am still confident there are some good times yet to come this season.  The guys are definitely putting in the work but something is still missing.  Could it be the “head” part of running?  Stay tuned but if anybody knows a good sports psychologist, let me know.

 

Regards to all,

 

Former Runner

 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Garmin 205 Calibration Run

Well, since I was at the track for my first run after taking a few days off with an injured back, I decided to "calibrate" the Garmin. At exactly 2 miles, it showed 1.99 miles, and I ran another 12 meters or so before it turned to 2.00. Not too bad, but you can see (I think) from the image, that although in reality, I ran on the inside lane the entire way, the Garmin shows me all over the track and even cutting corners across the infield.

However, I think this exercise shows that it is accurate to about 30 to 50 feet, which is not bad when you're out running on the roads. Note that off to the right, you can track my run home. I was running on the left side of the road (heading south), and the Garmin was nearly dead on. From my observations, it seems to do better when you are going in a relatively straight line, but loses some accuracy around tight turns. I may try the mode where it tracks your position every second to see if that makes any difference in accuracy. But so far, I really like using this, at it makes runs interesting when you have to train alone.


Here's another one of my neighborhood runs, just to give you an idea of my typical 4-mile run. It tracks me on the correct street, and correct side of the street, but sometimes is a bit off, especially around turns. I may try the track every second mode to see if that helps.





Mark