Monday, March 24, 2008

Buffalo "Spring" Training Begins

Well, fellow SUNY B Bloggers, I have officially started "Spring" training here in Buffalo, New York. Spring training, of course, is a term used only because Spring officially began last week, and quite unrelated to weather conditions. Temperatures have hovered in the 30s the past few days, including some light snow. One advantage, however, is that the track is still completely snow covered, so I did not have to "face the music" with the first mile time trial of the year as of yet. Although my perception is that I trained rather well this winter compared to normal, my 4 and 5 mile runs this past week have been a bit on the slow side, and I don't feel that spring in my legs yet.

Later this week, I expect the arrival of my Garmin 205 GPS watch, so I am hoping that will inspire me to run faster, by virtue of the virtual training partner function. I wonder if you can name the virtual training partner?

Anyway, this past week I ran a total of 4 times for a total of 17 miles. Yesterday I did not run, but today was 5 miles, and I hope to run 5 times this week. Once the snow melts from the track, I will get out there and do a mile, although no guarantees of time. I'm hoping now just to break 6 minutes my first time out.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

National Title Is First In Any Sport for BU at Division I Level: Rory Quiller Captures NCAA Pole Vault

Okay, you are wondering how does our alma mater end up with a D1 national champion in anything, let alone the pole vault. The story I heard is that the Binghamton coach is friends with the vaulter's father. Dad felt comfortable sending son to Binghamton because he knew son would be well looked after.

The rest, as they say, is history. And speaking of history, how about all those other national titles that Binghamton track and field athletes have copped (see below).

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2008

[meet results...] [photos...]

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.-- Post-grad Rory Quiller (West Point, N.Y.) concluded his collegiate career in dramatic style on Friday night at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, becoming the first Binghamton athlete ever to win a NCAA Division I championship. He won the pole vault title with a height of 18-0 1/2.

With the win, Quiller has now earned All-America honors three times during his career. He was second in the 2007 NCAA Indoor Meet and tied for fourth at the 2007 Outdoor Championships.

While Quiller is the first Binghamton athlete to win an individual Division I championships, there were 11 other such winners prior to the athletic department's transition to the Division I level in 2001. Binghamton had 10 individual national champions during its NCAA Division III era (until 1998). Six of those wins were in track & field, all under current head coach Mike Thompson. The other four champions were in wrestling.

In its three years at the NCAA Division II level (1998-01), the Bearcats had their lone individual champion in 1999 when Brian Hamilton won the indoor long jump title. With Quiller's win, Thompson now has the rare distinction of having coached a NCAA champion at all three Division levels.

“We are very proud of Rory Quiller,” said Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur. “He is a talented student and a record-setting athlete. Rory has represented Binghamton University at the highest level against national competitors from long-established programs. Our entire campus community is proud of the skill, determination, and winning spirit that he has demonstrated this season.”

"Speaking for myself and for the entire athletic department, we couldn't be prouder of Rory's accomplishments as a student-athlete at Binghamton University," Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Thirer said. "It's been an absolute pleasure to have been associated with Rory throughout his academic and athletic years at Binghamton. I'm delighted that he has enjoyed such great athletic success as a result of his hard work and dedication to his sport, while maintaining an outstanding record in the classroom. And, just as importantly, it couldn't happen to a nicer young man."

In addition to becoming the first Binghamton athlete to win a NCAA Division I title, Quiller is also the first America East Conference athlete to win a national championship in its 29-year history.

"Rory's legacy is now secured in America East Conference history," America East Commissioner Patrick Nero said. "His accomplishments were tremendous before this NCAA Championship, now he will always be remembered within the conference as our first individual national champion. He becomes the standard for all the student-athletes that will follow him."

Great Roger Bannister Quotes

I thought the blog members might enjoy these quotes from Roger Bannister, since our focus seems to be on shorter distances, such as the 400 meters (Greg) to the mile (Mark and Eric). I personally like the first one the best. Interestingly, I played French Horn in high school, and dabbled with the cello.


"I was the kind of runner who trained SO LITLLE that i couldn't run a race again within another 10 days."
"I enjoy singing, and the instruments which truly move me are the horn, the trumpet, and the cello."
"I found longer races boring. I found the mile just perfect."

168th Street Armory in Washington Heights

When I was a Wabash College I met the track coach. He is in his 60s and used to run the 300 at the horrible armory that many of us grew up with. He told me that there is now a beautiful modern track there. Hard to believe, isn't it? The image above can be seen at:
You might find this even more amazing when you read this piece from the New York Times:
Even more amazing, the National Track & Field Hall of Fame is now located in the building. Honest! See:
I thought it was in Indianapolis where the USATF is headquartered.
If thirty years ago I had told you that this was going to come to pass, you would have told me that I was nuts. Amazing!

Today's 3:02 Half

Goal number one of two pre-Spring goals has been met. The target was to 3:03 or better. I ran an almost perfect "race" with 220 splits of 47, 43, 46, and 46.

Negatives: Only one really. I don't think I could have run much faster. Contrast that to the 3:03 I ran in the Fall where I felt very comfortable.

Positives: I did this at 150 pounds and with sore quads. And most of all, I did it.

I had made up my mind early this week that I pretty much had to run my half this weekend because there is no way I could handle two "races" by next weekend otherwise--I'm just not strong enough to do two events close together. I have to run these events by next weekend since the goals are pre-Spring goals and Spring starts this coming Friday. So, when I woke up this morning and saw that it was going to be in 60s today, I started thinking about the half and hoping for the best.

Thanks to all for your morale support--it helps.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Buffalo Winter Cross Training Continues!

After last weekends 16-inch or so snow storm, I'm continuing to cross country ski. I have not run in over a week, but I went cross skiing last Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I took Tuesday off, and skiid again yesterday. The weather is supposed to warm up into the upper 30s with rain/snow over the next couple days, so I may finally start running again. My perception is that cross country skiing has been an excellent cross training activity, but since there are slightly different muscles involved, I'm not sure where I'll be from a running perspective. The track will take a few days for the snow to dissipate, so I probably won't do my initial mile time trial for another 10 days or so. I know I predicted that my first mile in early spring would be the same or better than last December's 5:43............well, we'll just have to see.........

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Call Me Coach?

Since time is a commodity I have a lot of these days, I may have found an interesting outlet. The Hudson High track coach has asked me if I'm interested in being an assistant coach for the upcoming spring season. This is an unpaid position, but money would not be a factor anyway. I would probably pay them.

I'm intrigued and have actually attended a few workouts. My main area of responsibility has been to supervise the workouts for the 400 meter runners, my son Greg being one. I don't plan out the workouts, the coach does that. I supervise the runners, give them the workout and then record their intervals, splits, etc. This frees up the real coaches to supervise the distance runners, field event guy, sprinters, etc.

As long as my treatment schedule and resulting side effects don't get in the way, I really want to do this. First, I think it would be a lot of fun and gives me something worthwhile to do. It also reinforces my connection to Greg's track experience and further solidifies my presence as a legitimate fixture on the team. I even discussed this with Greg to be sure he was OK with this deal. It's one thing for your dad to attend meets and take pictures of everybody. But actually being an official coach and in a position to supervise and critique his workouts and performances is taking this to a whole new level. I did get his permission. As Greg said, "I'm fine with the arrangement but if you embarras me, I'll kill you!" Coming from a 16 year old, that's about as good as I'm going to get. And I may actually get used to this new path in my track life.

Now where was that stop watch?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Today's Mile Run

I was back at the indoor track at Wabash College this morning at 6:00 and couldn't resist the temptation to run a mile for time.  Yes, Mark, it was a real mile--8 laps and a tad more.
My 7:08 puts me well ahead of where I was last year when it took me until April or May to run 7:20.  Also, given that I'm at my heaviest weight in quite sometime, haven't been doing much decent training, and had ran interval workout yesterday, this bodes well for this spring and summer running.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Back in the U.S.

I arrived in the U.S. on Saturday.  Today I ran on a beautiful indoor track at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.  I took advantage of being inside on a cold day and ran one of my 8 x 200 workouts.  I averaged 39.  If I can find a way to maintain some conditioning for the next few weeks, it will be spring and the serious training can begin.

Bob Beamon; Jamaica High School; Caplin/Kaplan Brothers

For some reason I seem to have a hard time remembering that Bob Beamon (THE Bob Beamon) also went to Jamaica High School.
I lived just a few blocks from Jamaica High School for a couple of years not so long after I graduated from SUNY B.  As it turns out, Dave lived within, I'm guessing, about two miles of Jamaica High School at the same time that I was living in Jamaica.
Is there some way that we can give Dave's father an assist on Beamon's jump?  Is it possible that, when he was a high school athlete, Beamon aspired to be at least as good as that guy Caplin for the class of 1938?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Olympic medal record
Men's Athletics
Competitor for the Flag of the United States United States
Gold 1968 Mexico City Long jump

Robert ("Bob") Beamon (born August 29, 1946) is an African American former track and field athlete, best known for his long-standing world record in the long jump.

Beamon, from South Jamaica, Queens in New York City, attended Jamaica High School[1] and the University of Texas at El Paso.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Caplin/Kaplan Brothers Link

Dave mentioned that his dad competed for Jamaica High School in Queens, New York as a jumper and a sprinter. I had long heard rumors about my uncle, Sam Kaplan, and his days as a track athlete at Jamaica (I think these first surfaced when I was running in high school).

Well, I went directly to the source, and here's what Uncle Sam had to say: "on jamaica high track team 1952, 53. (graduated spring 53) ran 100 yd dash and on the 880 relay (2 and 3d leg) . also shot put. won several medals in the dash...ran in madison sq garden. team did well. have some clips buried somewhere. uncle sam"

So, quite the coincidence, that both Caplin/Kaplan brothers have track root at Jamaica and both roots were sprinters and field athletes. But, has anybody ever heard of a sprinting shotputter?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Family Traditions

Greetings Blog Members and Former SUNY B Runners!

Mark posted a comment on my last blog alluding to the fact that my son Greg appreciated his father’s support and presence at his track meets. Actually, this is the continuation of a track family tradition. My father (Greg’s grandfather) was a track athlete. His specialty was the long jump and the sprints. My dad attended Jamaica High School in Queens New York and graduated in 1938. Family lore has it that he placed fourth in the New York City Public High School Championships that year and possibly could have placed higher but barely fouled on his last jump. He then ran at the University of Texas for a brief time but his career was interrupted by World War II and that was the end of his track days.

My dad was a pioneer in forming the “soccer parent” syndrome although he was not a helicopter parent. He had a job that was local to where we lived and he always made time to attend all the usual school and athletic events that his two sons were participants in. I don’t think he ever missed a school play, little league game, track or cross country meet. As it happened, my dad was also a very talented amateur photographer. In the good old days before digital photography, he photographed most of our meets with his three Nikons and plethora of lenses. He then ingratiated himself with my teammates by handing out individual pictures of everyone while they were competing. My dad actually became the most popular guy around our meets and was always asked for new shots as the season progressed and he was delighted to oblige. I kid you not; some guys made sure their hair was in place before the race knowing that Mr. Caplin was out there with his camera!

Now fast forward to the present. Given the fact that I appreciated having my dad rooting for me and being a team fixture, it only seemed natural that I continue this tradition with my son’s athletic experiences. While nowhere near as talented a photographer as my dad, I still manage to get out there with my 28 year old Konica 35mm and shoot pictures with a variety of telephoto, wide angle and other lenses. With digital processing, it’s easy for me to put everything on a disc and e-mail shots of our high school team members individually. With good light, I can get shots at 1/1000th of a second so the results are usually pretty good. Needless to say, not only do the guys love the shots but so do the parents. Even the coach likes them because as he told the team one day last year, “I want to thank Mr. Caplin for all those great pictures which point out all of your running flaws!” Not exactly the notoriety I was looking for.

As I’m sure you can imagine, this gives me the equivalent of an officially sanctioned role with the team. As team photographer, I get total access to the meets on the track without being invasive or a burden to my son. In fact, my presence is quite welcomed by all concerned and Greg is free of any sense of a “helicopter” presence on my part. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’m actually a welcome element in the team’s structure and it gives me the opportunity to be a close observer and a participant. I also get the incredible déjà vu rush of carrying on in the same vein as my dad did for me when I was in high school. It’s a great situation that I would not trade for anything. To paraphrase Mark Twain, I really do feel more and more like my father!

Regards to All!

Former Runner

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Charlottesville Training Update

It was cold by Charlottesville standards for the last week or so.  Therefore I haven't been on the track and some of my running has even been on a treadmill.
Now I'm Tokyo where the weather is okay.  Sunday I ran without a sweatshirt.  I'll be here for about a week.  I return home via Indiana.  The good news is that in Indiana I might be able to workout once on an indoor track (a friend of mine is a dean at a college).
Hopefully, by the time I get to Charlottesville it will be spring-like and I can start working hard again.

Buffalo Ski Training Update

This week, I went cross country skiing a total of three times, each time averaging about 35 minutes of solid workout, including hills, and breaking trails in fresh snow. I ran once, so there were four total workouts for the week This is consistent with my winter maintenance mode, and has also provided some excellent cross training without the stress on the old joints. In addition, there was even an element of fun!

This coming week will be tough. I skiied today for about 33 minutes, but will be traveling and working late hours Monday thru Wednesday. I will return to Buffalo Wed. afternoon, and hope to run that night. However, I'll be doing well if I get in 4 workouts this week.

Following this week, I hope to start the spring mileage buildup, but may try to work in some biking or cross training to prevent injury.

I hope everyone else is doing well..............(including Greg, Dave Caplin's son, the 400 meter prodigy...........)