Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vintage Striders




Seeing Neil's recent post, I just had to put this photo up...............I may have posted this in the past, but Neil, in case Bonnie hasn't seen this, I'm sure she'll get a good chortle out of it.........

Mark

December accomplishments


I actually planned to run a 5K over Thanksgiving, but my mother passed away (after a long illness) so had to scratch that idea. So instead last weekend on went on two snow shoe hikes. Both in New Hampshire White MOuntains

On Saturday climbed Mt Isolation which was 14 miles and over 2,500 ft of evelation gain. Took about 9 hours.

On Sunday did North and Middle Tripryamid about 9.6 miles again over 2,500 ft of evelation gain. Took about 8 hours.

Not quite the exertion of running a marathon, but certainly a good solid effort.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mile Run Aborted: Winter Training Mode Begins

With the 1-2 punch of being sick for a few days, and winter storms covering up the track, I decided to take a well-deserved rest from hard training and racing for a few weeks. Thus, although the multitude of blog readers will be disappointed, I am bowing out of the indoor mile race on December 26.

In summary, 2010 was a great year for running. I ran 10 mile attempts, with a best of 5:20.7, and also ran 2 5ks in 18:48 (track) and 18:54 (winter road race with a couple hills). In addition, I managed a 3rd place overall in a very hilly trail 10K trail run (albeit with a slow time of 45:03, 7:15 per mile). My mile and 5K times were my fastest by far since 2000 and 2001, and my 5K time of 18:48, when age graded, was a substantially better performance than my 18:21 5k in 2000.

And no, I am not giving up on the 5-minute mile quest. Although it literally becomes harder each year, I feel that this year I made good progress, and plan to continue that into 2010, with perhaps more emphasis on mileage as a base, especially in the winter and spring.

For the next couple of months, I hope to run about 3 to 4 times per week, 4 to 5 miles per run, but weekend "runs" may be substituted with cross country ski outings whenever possible.

Oh, and C'mon Harry!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Annual Reindeer Run 5K Results!


(No. 399, all black in photos)

Under excellent conditions given the time of year, I met both of my goals for this race (well, I think I did). (1) Break into the top 10 overall, a fairly lofty goal in a race that usually exceeds 400, and had 599 finishers this year. (2) Sub-19 - a reasonable goal, given my 18:48 on the track by myself two weeks ago.

(2nd from right, No. 399 in photo)


The results: 10th overall out of 599, 1st in the 50 to 54 age group, and a time of 18:54 (6:03/mile).
Conditions were much better than typical for this race, with temperatures near freezing and NO wind. The cemetery had a lot of ice before the race during my warmup, but apparently they salted it just prior to the race, and it was no problem. Although in Buffalo, the race had a couple small hills, and lots of twists and turns. I decided to get out fairly fast, because the easiest part of the race is the first mile, on city streets. I passed the mile at about 5:57, the 2 mile at 12:07, then must have maintained about a 6:05 pace for the final mile.

(right top of photo, No. 399, turning final corner)


In the final 400 meters, I moved into 9th place. In reality, when I set my goal of top 10, I was thinking below 10th, or single digits, so I'm not sure I can claim that goal. Anyway, it was a youngster (maybe 15 years old). When I passed him, he said very politely "nice job sir!" Most teenagers these days don't call us codgers sir, so I was quite impressed.....until he blew by me like I was standing still in the last 100 meters!

Anyway, this has always been one of my favorite races. The 18:54 was my second fastest time since I first ran it in 2000 (9 years ago) and ran 18:21. I imagine that with age grading, this might be my best performance.





Now, I'm still thinking about that indoor mile on December 26, if I don't retire from racing before then!

Mark





http://www.buffalorunners.com/results%5C2009%5Creindeer09.htm

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back on the Track!

With a possible indoor mile attempt on December 26, although I'm running a 5K road race this coming Saturday, I felt compelled to return to the track for a formal speed workout yesterday.
Under cold windy conditions, I had to wear full sweats, thus resulting in slow times. However, I ran a full 8 400 meter intervals, averaging 84.1 seconds, with the slowest at 85.7 and the fastest at 81.8. I then ran two 200s at 37.8 and 37 respectively.

Today was a recovery run, 5.2 miles at 8:41 per mile. I'm looking forward to the 5K. Since I ran 18:48 on the track last weekend, I'm not overly concerned about time. This race tends to have cold, windy, snowy conditions, and is not usually conducive to fast times. I would, however, like to try placing better than last year's 15th out of 400 and some runners.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Garmin innacurate on hills

For some time now, I have suspected that some models of Garmin running watches are not accurate when running on hills (even moderate hills). This summer, during a certified 8K road race with some decent hills, I confirmed this. The 8K road race should have been about 4.97 miles, but the Garmin underestimated it at about 4.93 miles. Here's the explanation.

Garmin watches (at least the lower end models), calculate distance run by measuring only latitude and longitude at various points. There is no correction for elevation. In other words, picture a right triangle, in which the hypotenuse is the hill you are running up, and the base is simply the map distance traveled (subtracting the latitude and longitude of two points along the base). The hypotenuse (the hill) is the longest side of the triangle, but the Garmin actually measures the base distance, so it underestimates distance when running up or down hills, and thus overestimates your running pace (your pace is shown as too slow on the watch).

Where I live and train, elevation changes on runs are so minor (maybe 5 to 10 feet at most), that there is essentially no lost distance. However, in an area like Charlottesville, unless you are running only on the track, if you have a few decent hills in your run, you will be consistently underestimating your distance run. The good news is that you are actually running a faster pace than shown on your watch.

Feel free to comment on this. I am hoping that the newer models will have more accurate vertical GPS capabilities (the 205 shows elevation, but it is extremely innacurate (my runs show 100 foot elevation changes, when 5 feet is more like it). Then they could correct for elevation (use trigonometry calcs to calculate the hypotenuse). However, I doubt this is going to happen for some time. It's funny Garmin never mentions anything about this. When I ran that race, I was a bit discouraged with my average pace throughout the race, but when I finished, and calculated my actual pace, it was 3 or 4 seconds per mile faster.

Mark

Saturday, November 21, 2009

5K Time Trial Results!

For a couple years now, I've had the hankering to crack 19 in the 5k. This year, after running a 5:20 mile in September, I figured it was doable, but just haven't had an opportunity. So today, I made the opportunity by going to the track by myself, gritting my teeth, and running a time trial. I did the whole spiel, including 2 mile warmup, 2 or 3 100-meter strideouts, changing into racing shoes, hanging around the start line for a while (simulating a race), lining up, saying runners, set....well, you get the idea.

The bottom line: 18:48, or 6:03 per mile, and my best 5K since December 2000 (18:21). Splits were something like 5:57, 12:03, Then 15:07 at the 1.5 mile. The only other split I observed was 17:22 with 400 meters to go, so the last 400 was 86 seconds.

I'm planning a 5K road race in two weeks, and will keep pushing the training. However, that race tends to be cold and snowy (usually low 20s, windy, and often snow/ice on the nearly 2 miles of roads in a cemetery). Thus, times are often a bit slower than most road races. There are also a couple hills, so it is not bone flat. I may or may not have an opportunity to break today's time, but it should be fun anyway.

Another possible race this year is a 1-mile masters track race (indoors at RIT): The Roger Messenger Memorial Masters Mile. I've run this before, and it's really a great event. It is held as part of an indoor track meet, but the mile is only for masters (men and women over 40). Last time I ran this in 2001, I ran 5:03, with the theme song from Rocky blaring for all of us codgers. Not sure what I might hit this time, but it would be nice to beat the 5:20 from September. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hardwick Runs 2nd Best Race of Career!


In a hard-fought race, Kevin Hardwick ran perhaps the second best race of his life in winning a seat on the Erie County Legislature earlier this month. This begs the rhetorical question from many readers: "What was his best race, then??" The answer: A 1500-meter indoor track win in Hamilton, New York in 1979, where Hardwick ran a shocking 4:13.8, equating to a 4:34 mile time. After tailing the lead pack for most of the race, Hardwick emerged in the late stages with his patented kick to take the win in the 1500.

"I saw Harry standing by with the bucket!" said an elated Hardwick after the win. "I didn't end up needing it, but it gave me inspiration!"

Hardwick said that his recent win for the county legislative seat was satisfying, but "it pales in comparison to my track and field history, especially the Hamilton victory. The lessons learned from racing under head coach Gary Truce, and teammates Mark Raybuck and Eric Kaplan were invaluable in planning and running political races."

And this final quote regarding his impressive legislature seat victory: "I think the reason I won this time was that I finally learned to relax my face and go with Tom. Even though I was confident of a win, I still had Harry standing by with the buckets."



Most importantly, I've learned to relax my face!"


http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/politics/Erie_County_Legislature_race_20091103

Binghamton Runner Qualifies for Division I XC Nationals


Erik van Ingen, finishing 7th out of 243 in the regionals, became the first Binghamton runner ever to qualify for the Divisoin I cross country nationals. I wonder how he would have stacked up head to head against Bob Daniels, though?

Link to Pipe Dream article below (and when clicking on the post title).
http://www.bupipedream.com/Articles/Featured_Story/13185

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Solid Tempo Run

Tonight I ran a "tempo" run, consisting of a training run in full (heavy) sweats on the roads. It started with an easy mile, then right into 2 "hard" miles at "tempo" pace, in this case, 6:45 per mile, then an easy mile to finish. I was quite winded during the 2-miler, but I think it was a good workout. If all goes well, I may try a 5K time trial (or maybe a road race) this Saturday.

I'm also pondering the possibility of entering a mile run in an indoor meet on December 26. We'll see if the snow holds off so I can keep training on the track.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Training Picks Up

Although it is getting late in the year, and temps will be falling, my training has actually picked up the last few weeks. Mileage for the last three weeks was 28, 24, and 23 (fairly high for me). The 28 and 24 weeks also included 10K races as part of that mileage. Long run each week was about 10k (the two races were the respective long runs for those weeks, then this past Saturday I ran 6.3 miles on trails).

I hope to do a tempo run tomorrow night (probably a 4-mile run, with the middle 2 miles or so at "tempo" pace, where lactic acid is building, but not crippling me, maybe 6:30/mile if I can swing it.

Then this Saturday I would like to do something on the track, maybe even a 5K time trial all out. We'll see. I need decent weather to try that.

One question that has always bothered me. In my reported mileage above, I didn't include the miles spent warming up for races, typically 1.5 to 2 miles at a slow pace (maybe 9:15 to 9:30). Should this count, or is it simply too slow to be worth anything but getting me warmed up to race?

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Name for Blog???

Hi, everyone. The blog is already a couple years old! I've been thinking that it is time to change the name, perhaps to attract new readers or authors, but in part, simply for a change. Part of the inspiration for this is that I recently stumbled across a running blog titled "One Fat Guy Running." He was in the 10k race I ran a couple weeks ago, and did fairly well (about 8:30/mile). His blog description says "I'm fat. I run. Exciting things can happen."

Anyway, here a couple suggestions, but I'm not that creative, so I would welcome more.

1. Half-century Runners
2. Running past your prime....it's not all downhill
3. We used to be runners

As you can see, I lack creativity. I hope someone else can come up with a good one.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hills took their toll!

Lesson learned.....if you're planning on running a hilly trail race, do at least one training run on hills before the race. Don't train strictly on "flat as a pancake" terrain like I did. You'll regret it! I did! Had to take two days off running to recover, and could hardly walk for a day! Anyway, by yesterday, I was able to run 4 miles relatively pain-free, and hope to run 5 tonight.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

3rd Generation Strider Completes First Interval Workout

My grandson Ethan, a 3rd generation Dr. K Strider, completed his first interval workout yesterday at the Casey Middle School Track. Although he does not refer to this type of workout as intervals (he calls it "ready, set go..."), he indeed completed approximately ten 30 to 40-meter intervals, with about 30 seconds rest between each one. In fact, he did not want to quit, and I had to make him stop so he wouldn't overdo it. After the 10 intervals, he did one longer one of about 50 meters. I did not have a stop watch, or measure the distance accurately, but using the 1001, 1002 method, I estimated 17 seconds on one of the 30 meter intervals.



Side note: he fell asleep in the stroller with a bottle on the way home from the track. Reminds me of the Fusc falling asleep at the edge of his bed in the dormroom upon return from a tough workout and dinner........

See video below of 50 meter interval:


video

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Running or Jogging?

I still go to the track almost every day and do my workout of a half-mile warm-up followed by somewhere between one mile and one and one-half miles of running.  On days when I run less one and one-half miles I typically run some 220s.

 

What I was pondering recently was whether when I run at slower than a 8:00/mile pace I was running or jogging?  Back in my SUNY-B days we defined jogging as anything that was slower than 8:00/mile.  My question is that an absolute definition or does that definition change depending on the age of the athlete?

 

I’m not the first person to pose this question:

http://home.sprynet.com/~holtrun/jog.htm

 

What do you think?

Mendon Ponds 10K Trail Race Results



Today, I ran a 10K trail race that was even tougher (and slower) than last week's very hilly 10K road race. It was all trails, in glacial topography (up and down eskers and kames), with very few flat stretches. I placed 3rd overall out of 81 runners, and 1st in the 50 to 59 age group. Don't be fooled by the high place. Some of these more obscure hilly races seem to be much less popular than a good, flat 5K race where one can try for a PR. In fact, the poster that was set up for this race said "Don't try for a PR here...you won't get it!"




So, now that i've lined up the rationale for running slow, here are the stats: 45:02 for 10K, about 7:14 per mile. The winner was about 40 flat, and second place was around 43 minutes. Due to the winding nature of the steep trails, after about 2 miles, I couldn't see the guy ahead of me for the remainder of the race. Thus, with the exception of passing a few people who were running a 50K (yes, 5 10K loops!), I was by myself. In the end, I would say this was a great race. I always loved cross country, where times don't matter, and it's just you and the woods!

Results can viewed by clicking on the title of this blog, or going to the link below:

http://www.yellowjacketracing.com/files/user/MendonTrailRuns10KOverallResults2009.pdf

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chestnut Ridge 10k results

I decided to run a hilly 10K road race at a local park yesterday. Extreme hills, ended up in 6th place overall out of 89 runners, 1st in the 50 to 59 group. Fairly slow time (6:52/mile, 42:38), but I think all the times were slow. The winner was only in the 38s. I'm hoping to run an even hillier 10k trail/cross-country race next weekend at Mendon Ponds Park in Rochester, NY. This one was a good "tune-up" for next week. Stay tuned!

See results of the Chestnut Ridge 10k at Buffalorunners.com.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Something Special about the Mile

Ah, the four-minute mile: 4 laps in 4 minutes: simple, neat, balanced, clean. A sweep of the track in sync with a sweep of the watch, the 4-minute mile is an athletic standard know the world over. Even in today's metric age the challenge of a 4-minute mile continues to inspire young runners and excite sports fans everywhere. Indeed, a mile run in less than 4 minutes is a true test of an athlete's physical and mental capabilities. Unlike the burst of speed needed to cover the dashes, or the methodical sense of pacing required to endure the marathon, success as a miler enlists a sublime combination of speed and stamina, tactics and courage, and patience and spontaneity. The mile's four laps, four-beat rhythm also ideally suits the human attention span; it's a seductive four-act drama with a clear beginning, middle and end.

Oh, I ran another attempt yesterday. Unfortunately, under cool, windy conditions, and running by myself, I only managed 5:27, compared to my last attempt at 5:20.7.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sluggish "Speed Workout"

I have mixed feeling about today's "speed" workout on the track. I ran 2 x 800 meters, with 5 minutes rest. The first was 2:42.5, the second, 2:44.8. The original plan was to run the first one at target mile race pace (around 2:38), then rest then run the second one all out as a time trial, whatever pace that ended up being (hopefully about the same as the first). However, I was several seconds off today. Perhaps I should not do speed workouts the day after my weekly long run. Yesterday's run was 7.3 miles at an 8:42 per mile pace, or about 1:03. Last week I had a great speed workout, but I only ran an easy 3 miler the day before, as I was planning on running a race the following day. I decided not to race, but therefore, my legs felt quite fresh for the workout.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The 7-point Tennis Rating Scale

The 7-point tennis rating scale is an objective scale based on attributes such as shot-making ability and consistency. A rating is assigned to a player through an evaluation (self or by a tennis pro). Beating an opponent with a certain rating does NOT earn the victorious player the same (or better) rating of the losing player. For example, if 3.0 player defeats a 4.0 player the 3.0 player is still a 3.0 player. The only way for the 3.0 player to improve their rating is to improve their tennis skills.

Here is a link to the USTA document that explains the rating system:

http://dps.usta.com/usta_master/sitecore_usta/USTA/Document%20Assets/2006/04/03/doc_13_12277.pdf

Here are the basic descriptions of the various rating levels:



Tennis Woes Continue for Raybuck

Well, I lost again Thursday night under the lights on the red clay of the Buffalo Racquet Club. Not only did I lose a hard-fought 3-setter (6-4, 4-6, 6-4), but I slipped on set point at the end of the first point, losing the set (and thus probably the match), skinning my knee badly, and then getting a calf cramp. Players from the other court came over to assist....it was all very embarrassing. My opponent came over and asked "did I win the point?" Of course, he had won, but the ball had come near the line, and since I didn't get a chance to call it, he just had to ask!

My match record for the season? 0 and 8! Maybe I should stick to running!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

LURKING

JUST FOUND THIS BLOG (AGAIN). GOING OUT FOR A RUN RIGHT NOW, BUT I WILL BE BACK!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Speed Workout!!

Did a speed workout at the track earlier today, probably my best of the summer so far (or is it autumn now). 7 400s and 3 200s. The 400s averaged just under 80 seconds, with a slow one of slightly over 81, and the fastest at 77.5, 90 seconds rest between each. 200s were 36.5 for 2, then 35.6 for the final one. It was interesting running the 200s, since they were below sub-5 minute pace, and I didn't feel overly awkward or strained. I focused on relaxing my face............some things you never forget!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Phase 2 Mile Time Trial Falls Short

I fell short of my Phase 2 goal of sub 5:20 today, in a time trial with a fellow local runner (45-year-old youngster). I managed a respectable, but slightly disappointing 5:20.7, with splits of 79, 2:42, 4:04, and then, the shocker, sub-77. At least this improved my season's best 5:24 by nearly 4 seconds, better than some of my previous 1/10th second improvements.

The fellow runner had run 5:12 in the mile race two weeks ago (12 seconds ahead of my 5:24), so I was guessing he would be about 10 meters up on me the whole way, and even stretch that out some. But, this was not his day, and I caught him on the final backstretch, and ended up in the lead. He did comment before the start that he would be happy with a 5:20 today.

Anyway, it certainly was more enjoyable and challenging doing a time trial with someone else on the track. The two of us may try this again in the near future, as he is also on a semi-serious sub-5 quest.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What Lengths Do You Go To?

This is too long for a comment…

 

I am very impressed with how well Neil is running.  I haven’t been able to run that fast since about four or five years ago when we had a reunion at SUNY-B and I almost broke six in the mile (6:03.9).  Ever since then it has been a slow and steady decline (incline in times).  Most of us are not as gifted as Mark…

 

1)    Regarding knee pain, what I found out a few years back was that shoes make a huge difference.  These days you can only get maybe 500ish miles out of a pair of shoes before they break down and stop providing proper support.  On at least two occasions the way I cured knee pain was to buy new shoes.  Both times, within two weeks the pain was gone.  Now I am much more proactive and replace shoes at the second (not the first) sign of them breaking down.  It still bothers me to have to replace shoes so often, so I do try and stretch out there use just a wee bit.

 

2)    I know two orthopedists socially and both of them suggest naproxen as the drug of choice for old runners with knee pain.  But, you do need to be careful because that can eventually tear your stomach up.  I think Aleve is a brand name for naproxen and there are less expensive versions that work just as well.

 

3)    Last year a made a big change in training that has helped a lot, both physically and mentally.  I was sick and tired of going out and slogging through four miles at an ever slowing pace.  It was just too depressing.  I decided that hence forth my normal workout would be shorter and faster.  I live very close to a high school track so I started driving to the track and running no more than two miles, but always using my watch to drive me to keep the time “fast”.  So, instead of four miles at an eight to nine minute pace I was running one to two miles at anywhere from a 7:00 to 7:30 pace.  Some days I didn’t even run a continuous mile.  I might do some 220s (yes, I run on a track that is 440 yards), or quarters, or a half and couple of 220s.  Of course I’d throw in the occasional time trial and run a mile “all out”.

 

I don’t have the endurance that I used to have, but I feel just as fit knowing that my “speed” is respectable (for a 51-year old).  I haven’t been injury-free but I believe that I’m healthier overall than if I hadn’t changed.  When I travel and a track isn’t close by, I still do the same kind of workout, but I just use the sidewalk and my Garmin GPS watch to ensure the appropriate distance and pace.

 

What Lengths Do You Go To?

As in what do you do to keep running. I was pondering this as my knee was too sore to run the past few days. So far I'm:

1. Wearing ortheodics
2. To redue swelling taking:
a. Omega 3 pills
b. Just started trying glucosamine chondroitin

Which doesn't even take into account lots of stretching and pilates.

I'd say worth it, but seems like a long trip down hill.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This Morning's Mile Time Trial

My assignment from Mark was to run a mile time trial AND he had advised me recently that I should be able to break 7 minutes.

I could tell you that the yellow jacket stings I got last evening while mowing the lawn (one in each leg, just above the ankles) played a role in the outcome. But, I'm not going to do that. The truth is that, and I've made secret of this, I'm old, overweight, and out of shape.

My splits were 100, 109, 110, and 103 for a total of 422 which is 7:02. I'm glad I tried. I think within a few weeks I should be under 7:00.

Mark, thanks for the assignment, the encouragement, and for being an inspiration to all of us.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Update

Injuries: None. The foot that felt like it was broken last year no longer is a source of pain. The hamstring that was so was tight it felt it could snap at anytime is no longer a major source of discomfort.

Weight: Too much of it. My weight now fluctuates between 150 and 155 and show no signs of going down.

Best mile time in 2009: 7:20.

I run almost everyday. Until recently my typical workout was about 1.5 miles on the track at anywhere between a 7:30 and 8:00 pace. For the first two weeks of August, when I was away and not near a track, I ran double workouts. Mornings I ran between 3 and 4 miles at whatever pace was convenient, but usually around 8:30/mile. Evenings I ran quasi-fartlek, barefoot on the beach. What made it quasi was that I walked between "spints". The sprints were random distances, probably between 100 and 200 yards and were untimed. I did about 10 to 12 sprints each afternoon.

For the last two weeks, I'm back on the track, running between 1 and 1.5 miles at a pace of between 7:30 and 8:00 but have started running 220s. Hopefully, I'll be assauting the 7:00 mile barrier within the next month.

Mile Race Results!


Note: click on title of post for link to results (then click on Results, then Mueller Mile).

(See number 350 in black)

I finally entered a mile race, and in the pouring rain, was able to lower my season's best time by about 4 seconds, to 5:24. It helped to have some competition, including some fellow 50 to 54 year olds, who were right with me until the final meters (I managed to sneak by them). I guess I could say I'm now 4 seconds closer to a sub-5, but it still seems remote!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Special Mid-Week Time Trial!

As a special bonus to the many followerers of this blog (all 3 of them?), I conducted a rare mid-week time trial tonight. With a potential mile race looming on Saturday, I felt that a mid-week time trial (a 2-mile), might just simulate the feeling of a track season, similar to high school and college days. The results were mixed. With a goal of sub-12 minutes, I managed a very tough 12:04.9, and had to really grind it out. Splits were 86, 3, 4:32, 6:04, 7:37, 9:07, 10:37, and then an 88 or so for a final 12:04.85. I'm not sure what this means for predicting Saturday's performance. I think it was a very good mental exercise. I ran a hard speed workout on Monday, so there wasn't much recovery time. Tomorrow I'll probably try to run 4 miles, then no running on Friday, but lots of driving, taking Kaila back to Binghamton. The mile race is Saturday morning. I'm keeping my options open and won't decide for sure until Friday night. Stay tuned!

Oh, and by the way, this is 50 year plus PR in the 2-mile for me!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Speed Workout!

Yesterday, I felt like I had to get to the track, with a potential mile race this coming Saturday, and no speed workout since the Friday before last. After a mile warmup, I ran an 800 in 2:57, then 5 400s in 82, 81, 81, 81, 80 (90 seconds rest between each), then 2 200s at 36 and 37 seconds, respectively.

Winded, but felt fairly good and relaxed. Not 100% sure about the mile race yet, but tentatively planning on it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Phase 2 Resumes after "Break"

I had to take a 5-day break from training due to illness followed by a business trip, but resumed last Thursday. This weekend saw a great rebound in training with a 5-miler Friday evening at 8:20 pace, 7.27 miles Saturday at 8:47/mile, and a brisk 4.65 miler today at a nice clip of 8:01 per mile, and feeling good.

This Saturday, there is actually a 1-mile certified road race in town, so if all goes well, I may enter and make another mile attempt, this time with approximately 30 to 50 other runners. Should be a bit different atmosphere than going to the track by myself, saying "Boom!" out loud, and running 4 laps (plus 9 meters) by myself.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Not so ultimate frisbee...

I've been making good progress coming back from being clobbered by a car in March. The doctor released me to bike again in July, and I've been building up slowly since then. I did my first few rides solo, and I thought that I was doing well. That was until I did a 36 mile ride with my wife, Kim, and she dusted me on all the hills.

The first week of August, Kim had a week long business meeting in the tourist magnet of upstate New York, Syracuse. So, of course I joined her and played while she went to meetings. I did some fairly long rides in the hills south of the city, and got my longest post accident ride up to 49.7 miles.

This past Friday I ran out of excuses not to bike commute to work, so I suited up and rode in on Friday morning. I intentionally rode the route I was riding when hit in March. With the exception of one adrenaline rush when it looked like a car was going to try and zip out from a stop sign in front of me, it went well, and I felt good.

Coincidentally Friday was the group picnic for my new group at work. After some pizza, frisbees were broken out, and I tried my hand at tossing them around. Throwing a frisbee is like riding a bicycle, and the skills gained playing Ultimate Frisbee at Binghamton were right there. Regular throws, back hand, and underhand. Yes I was wowing the crowd, and demonstrating the benefits of a liberal arts education. That was until another guy and I, going after the same high thrown frisbee collided in mid-air. I came down hard, and hurt my knee. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrghh! A trip to the medical office: sprained knee. Ice, ibuprofen, and six weeks to get back.

I'm ready for 2009 to be over....

Speedo

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tennis Ranking Re-instated

Raybuck lost a tough match to his usual 4.0-ranked playing partner Tuesday night under the lights at the Buffalo Racquet Club. After leading the 1st set 5-2, Raybuck's opponent cranked up the heat, and battled to 6-6, then took the 7-point tie breaker 7-4 to claim the set. The second set was much of the same, with Raybuck coming out on top this time, 7-5. However, Raybuck lost steam in the 3rd set, losing 6-0. However, it was getting late, and he started thinking that he could get home earlier if the 3rd set, which didn't start until 9:45 pm, was over more quickly.

Although this is his 3rd straight loss to a 4.0 player, 2 of the three were 3 setters (note that in the 1st match they opted for a tie-breaker instead of a full 3rd set), so the USATF has reluctanctly allowed Raybuck to retain his 4.0 ranking. However, officials warned him that one more loss, no matter the score, woud again threaten a potential downgrade to 3.5.

At the end of the match, Raybuck's opponent stated "You're a worthy opponent. You're like a backboard....I was giving you my best shots, but they kept coming back!" Raybuck is most known for his running ability, having run a 4:19.9 mile in college, and more recently, a 5:28.39 at Age 51. On the courts, this translates into significant running, diving and dinking to stay in the point long after the average player would have given up the ghost.

Friday, August 7, 2009

First Phase 2 Mile Attempt!


With the World Track and Field Championships just around the corner, Mark Raybuck got into the spirit of the season by running his first mile time trial of the Phase 2 program. "It was ok..........not great, but ok" said Raybuck to reporters and camera crews following his first "Phase 2" mile run attempt on a cool, pleasant Friday night at the Casey Middle School track.

Raybuck decided just prior to his training run to abort the training and conduct another mile attempt. "It's been 5 weeks since the last attempt, and I need to stay sharp!" he said. "For whaaaaaat?" Asked the reporters. "For Phase 2" Raybuck replied.

The good news: the time was 5:28.39, the fastest this season, the fastest since Raybuck has turned 50, and the fastest mile since his last serious sub-5 assault in late 2001. The bad news: He only shaved 0.1 seconds off the last attempt. The good news: this was a last minute decision, and I did not feel up to it. I counted this more as a mental exercise than anything else.

Stay tuned for more Phase 2 action!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Is Tennis Valuable Cross Training?

I am soliciting the readers' input on whether tennis (singles, not doubles) is valuable cross training for a runner. My observations indicate that playing a full match of singles tennis with an equally ranked player can be a tremendous workout. However, after a week like this one, in which I played tennis three times, and only ran three times, leaves me with questions, and a feeling like I didn't train properly. The day immediately following tennis, in particular, seems difficult, and the first mile of my run was slow and awkward. Usually by the 3rd mile my legs felt better, but I can't help thinking that the muscle use is so different from running (side to side vs. straight ahead) that tennis could actually be detrimental to running. A typical tennis match for me consists of about 1 to 1.5 hours of play, with many small sprints, which can't be more than 5 or 10 meters, maybe 20 meters when chasing a lob shot from the net to the baseline. At the end of a long rally, I am quite winded, but short rallies don't accomplish much aerobically. Overall, it seems like a good workout, including the arms, but I'm wondering it really helps with running and racing. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Raybuck's Tennis Ranking Questioned

Following a second straight loss to a USATF 4.0-ranked player last night under the lights (6-3, 7-5), the USATF contacted Mark Raybuck and threatened to downgrade last year's 4.0 ranking. Raybuck was upgraded from a 3.5 after forcing some 3-setters and finally winning two matches against a 4.0-level player last summer. However, this season has not been so fortunate, with two straight losses prompting the call from the USATF. Raybuck had his chances last night, leading the second set 5-3, but then losing 4 straight games, including several double faults. He is scheduled to play against the same player next Monday night. If Raybuck wins that match, the USATF has informed him that they will re-consider the downgraded ranking. As usual, Raybuck's running ability was prominently displayed throughout the match, literally shocking his opponent by running down what would be for others impossible drop and lob shots. His final comment to the reporters after the match was "I may not be able to hit the ball, but I sure can run!" (now this post can legitimately appear under Mark and Eric's Running).

And one last mention regarding this post - I did have the only ace of the night, a solid 1st serve down the center line on the ad side of the court. Wish I had a radar gun on it, as my opponent really didn't even have a chance to move towards the ball. It surprised me as well!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Phase 2 Training Continues!

My phase 2 training was very successful this weekend, including a Phase 2 track workout Friday, 5 miles at an 8:30/mile pace on Saturday, and 7.14 miles at an 8:45/mile pace yesterday. The Phase 2 speed workout differed from Phase 1 by including one 800 meter interval at the beginning of the workout (2:58), followed by 6 400s, rather than just 8 400s. Phase 2 includes more endurance work: hence, the 800. The 400s were all between 80 and 81 seconds, with one stray 81.3, and a final 79.3. This workout was encouraging, as quite often, I am the only one at the track foolish enough to be doing speed workouts. Friday, I encountered 3 other people doing some semblance of speed. The first was an older guy with gray hair, running laps, but throwing in 200 meter intervals at a good clip. When I told him it was tough getting old, he said "yes, but we're fighting it!" Then, later, a young couple showed up and without any warmup, started doing 400 meter intervals. The interesting part is that the husband (or boyfriend), gave the woman a "head start" each lap, then started his watch and took off, but timed it perfectly so that he "won." I think he was running about 75 -second intervals, by the looks of it. Does this remind you of anything? I wonder if he lost one of the intervals to his wife, if her handicap would have been suddenly and severely slashed?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mile Time Reaches Plateau as Phase 2 Begins


Before a vacation to Key Largo, I made one last stab at a mile, running 5:28.5, about 0.7 seconds better than the previous 5:29.2. At least it was an improvement, but the curve (see graph above) indicates that I have potentially maximized my performance in the Phase 1 Training Program. Phase 2 has now begun! Let's define Phase 1 as Sub 5:30, and Phase 2 will target sub 5:20.


Monday, July 20, 2009

8K Race Results!


As a "kickoff" to his "Phase 2" sub-5 mile training, Raybuck completed a hilly, 8K road race last Saturday, finishing in an acceptable 32:42 (6:35/mile), with a sub-6 minute final mile (although downhill). He finished 15th overall out of 141 runners and 2nd in the 50 to 54 year old codger division (see photo). Click on the title to link to the complete results (Laurel Run 8k).
"I'm still not where I want to be" said Raybuck to the clamoring reporters after the race, "but Phase 2 is definitely underway!" When asked why his current training is referred to as "Phase 2" Raybuck replied "Because Phase 1 is complete."


Note: Raybuck's Parsons colleague Eric Felter also ran in this event, and finished in a very respectable time of 34:16 (6:54 per mile), 19th overall, and 5th in a very competitive 40 to 44 year old age group. When questioned by reporters, Felter stated that he was rather pleased with his time, having lowered his time from 2 years ago, thus defying age.
(Course with mile markers shown above)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mile Time Drops Again!


Last Saturday I jogged to the track, put on the Lunarlite racing flats, and ran a "low-key" time trial with noone around. Tough to get psyched up for it, with no fans, especially after the May 6 "race" environment, but I don't want to let long intervals pass by without a trial.


I was targeting sub-5:30, or 82.5 seconds per lap, but the first lap was 84. I was afraid I would end up around 5:40, but told myself it was a mental exercise, and I would finish no matter what. I tried picking up the pace for lap 2, but went through in 2:48, another 84. Again, I tried pushing, and managed 82 seconds for the 3rd lap, or around 4:10. I applied a lot of pressure the final lap, especially the last 200 meters, and managed a 79.3, ro 5:29.3.


The bad news? 30 seconds to go for sub-5. The good news? I have only done one formal track speed workout so far, and am starting weekly track workouts. I hope to see the times drop a little faster once those workouts start kicking in!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tour Journals

In our mini reunion, Eric confessed to a desire to hike the Appalachian Trail. For those of you not familiar with the concept, hiking the Appalachian Trail (or AT as it is known to its fans) involves hiking about 2200 miles over some very rugged terrain, and doing it in the course of about six months.

Now, hiking the AT is a worthy goal, but I suggested to Eric that such a goal is better suited to the young, or at least those young enough to consider running a sub-5 minute mile. Anyway, I encouraged him to consider something like my goal: riding a bike across the U.S.A. Biking across the U.S.A. only takes about three months, it can be done (if one so desires) while staying each night in comfy hotels, and is regularly accomplished by geezers such as ourselves. (The average age of Adventure Cycling Trans Am rides is something in the neighborhood of 60!) To inspire him, and increase my hit count, I pointed him to my recently completed tour journals of two bike trips that Kim and I took in the Finger Lakes region. They were week long tours that we did in 2007 and 2008. If you are interested, you can find them at:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/fingerlakes2007

and

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/FingerLakes2008

Enjoy.

Chris

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mile Quest Continues!

I ran in a mile "race" last night. My old alma mater, Fillmore High, held an open masters mile at the beginning of the Fillmore High School Invitational track meet. Thus, it had all the bells and whistles of a typical track meet, with electronic timing, officials, 1st, 2nd, 3rd call for the mile, announcements from the press box, some high schoolers and spectators cheering, etc. In fact, my name was mentioned as a former Fillmore athlete, along with my "former" 4:19 mile time.

I did not get any photos, although my wife videotaped the race. Once I have managed to digitize the tape, I'll post at least part of it here.

In summary, I ran a 5:33 (a true mile, as we backed up about 9 meters from the 1600 start line), and came in 3rd out of 6 runners, with the winning time by a Houghton College track athlete at 5:00.3, 2nd place at 5:24 (40 year old, also former Fillmore graduate, with the Fillmore 3200 meter record at 9:26). My splits were a bit erratic, with 81 for the first lap, then 2:49 at the half (88 seconds), 4:15 at the 3/4 (86 seconds), then close to 78 seconds for the final lap! I'm still awaiting the official electronic time, which I am hoping is under 5:33.

The good news is that I chopped 10 seconds off of last week's 5:43. The bad news is that I have 34 seconds to go to break 5 minutes, and that is a very long 34 seconds! But the good news is that I have not really done any track speed workouts yet, and plan to start those next week (quarters, halves, 200s, the works). I will also continue to add distance to my weekly long run, which should be about 7 miles this weekend. The bad news is that everything hurts now (knees, hips, etc.).

Mark

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dr. K. Strider mini-Reunion


Eric and I had a mini reunion at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem Massachusetts. The Hawthorne Hotel is conveniently located across the street from the Salem Witch Museum, and is near the House of Seven Gables.

Also in attendance was Eric's wife Harriet, and my wife Kim. Kim, an honorary Strider for her participation under the team name in the Kwaj Rust Man, was anxious to meet the "father" of the team.

We had a great time catching up, and I remembered to bring along the camera to document the event!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

T-44 seconds and counting!


Finally, I made it out to the track again last night and ran a mile time trial, this time with the new 5.5-ounce high-tech Nike Lunarlite racing flats! Thanks to Nike (and some training), I managed a 5:43.3, bettering my 5:57 from a month ago. The encouraging news was a fast last lap of 82 seconds, and then within 5 minutes of the time trial, I was able to run 3 400-meter intervals at 81, 81, and 79.8, with 90 seconds rest in between. Still 44 seconds from a sub-5, though, which is a Long way to go! Next Wednesday I'll be running an open mile race to be held at the start of a high school track meet (my old alma mater, Fillmore High). Two other former Fillmore track athletes will be participating, as well as various other runners. It appears that there may be a "bell curve" of runners around the 5:30's, which would be perfect for me right now. My brother is the assistant coach at Fillmore, and has "seeded" me 4th so far! Should be interesting!






Sunday, April 12, 2009

Unique Cross Training



Mark Raybuck was spotted Saturday employing an unusual cross training method on the streets of suburban Buffalo, NY. "It helps keep me feeling young, which is what I need most while trying to crack 5 in the mile" Raybuck told reporters.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Raybuck Takes Giant Step Towards Sub-5


Yesterday, Mark Raybuck made great strides towards accomplishing what to some seems like a nearly insurmountable goal.....cracking a 5-minute mile at Age 51. Yesterday, he purchased a pair of 5.5-ounce Nike Lunarlite high-tech racing flats. "Now that I've spent nearly $100 on racing shoes, the sub-5 is nearly in the bag" Raybuck told reporters who were waiting in the Fleet Feet parking lot in Buffalo, NY.

"It would be a shame to spend this much money at my age for racing shoes, and not crack 5." Raybuck has always gone by the common convention that you save 1 second per mile per ounce of shoe weight. Thus, assuming the old racing shoes were about 8 ounces (and the rubber was completely dead), these shoes alone will gain about 3 seconds in a mile attempt. So in reality, he only needs to run about a 5:03 equivalent in the old shoes.

Goofy Garmin

My Garmin Forerunner 205 was acting goofy (again).  It was shutting itself off during workouts.  I've just updated the firmware on the unit itself and also updated the firmware in the GPS chip.  The later was an option offered by the Forerunner firmware update program after it finished updating the Forerunner firmware.
 
Some Google searches reveal that lots of people have a variety of problems with these devices.  The firmware revision history lists many, many bug fixes, quite a few related to the unit turning itself off.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

First Mile of the Spring!

Finally, I stopped thinking about it and simply went to the track and conducted a mile time trial today. Actually, I put on my racing flats yesterday and jogged over to the track after work, but there was a full-fledged varsity lacrosse game underway, so I had to abort.

The good news is that I met my traditional goal of breaking 6 the first time out, although it was close. I ran 5:57 flat, with rather erratic splits of 88, 3:02, 4:33, and then an 84-second final lap. The 84-second lap was encouraging, likely indicating that I had some reserve, and could have managed a little bit faster time overall. However, I'm fairly satisfied with the result. The next goal, within 2 weeks or so, will be breaking 5:50, and as long as I'm that close to it, I might as well shoot for the Norton Barrier of 5:48 (search on the words "Norton Barrier" within this blog for detailed explanation of the Norton Barrier, and its significance).

Is sub-5 still in the plans? Well, after knocking myself out to run a 5:57, I thought about what it would take to peel off another 57 or 58 seconds, and it's not a pleasant thought. However, I have not started any serious running or speed workouts yet this spring, my longest run of the year has only been 5 miles, and it's not even April, so I guess I'll hang onto the dream for a while longer..............

Mark

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Binghamton Makes the NCAA Basketball Big Dance!


(Note: click on the title of this post to see details about the game).
It's true! Today for the first time, the Binghamton Colonials (oops, Bearcats) earned an automatic berth to the NCAA basketball playoffs by winning the America East Conference game at home (61-51 win over UMBC). My daughter Kaila texted me to let me know the game was on TV. This is a relatively big deal!

(by the way, is that Oliver and Basil in that photo?)

What does this have to do with Mark and Eric's Running and Dave's wisdom, you might ask. Everything! Mark and Eric ran Division III track and cross country for Binghamton many years ago. In fact, the cross team likely had one of the longest running winning records of any sports team of that era (70s). This type of heritage laid the foundation for Binghamton's later transition to Division I sports, and now, finally, a spot in the Big Dance. Well, maybe this is a stretch, but so what?

Mark

Thursday, March 12, 2009

2009 Biking Season nipped in the bud...

I was blanked in January; too much snow. I put in a decent 128 miles and 50% of my commute days in February. In March, exactly three miles from home to the intersection where a 25 year old woman "failed to yield" at the stop at a T and T-boned me.

Broken collar bone. Four broken ribs. Four days in the hospital. At least three months of healing.

Be careful out there...

Chris

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mid-week update

Skipped Monday, then ran Tuesday (4 miles) and Wednesday (4 miles). May run tomorrow, but will plan on at least 5 days of running this week. If all goes well, I would like to run a mile time trial this weekend..........stay tuned!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekend Training Update

Although I missed running on Friday, I ran Saturday and Sunday, fairly easy both days. 4.2 miles Saturday, averaging 8:26 per mile, and 4.5 miles Sunday, averaging 8:44 per mile. Both days I ran on the track, just to get used to being on the track again, and I ran a few very short (100 meter) farteks during each run.

If all goes well, I still hope to do a mile time trial this coming weekend.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spring Training Starts!

Wow! It was a tough few weeks. I was sick for two weeks in late February and couldn't run. Then, my nephew passed away and I was in NYC for the funeral this past weekend. Last week, prior to leaving for the funeral, I did manage to go for 2 or 3 short runs (a couple 2 milers, and I think a 3 miler, maybe a 4-miler). Then, 3 days off for the weekend, another couple days off due to cold weather (worried about aggravating my lungs after the bad cold I had) and finally a return to running last night, with about 3.2 miles at a moderate pace. Tonight the temperatures should be in the mid-40s, and I plan to run 4 miles, then keep right on going through the weekend. I need about a week straight of running, then I'll attempt my first spring mile on the track. I'm not expecting too much, due to nearly a month of not running or not running consistently. On the positive side, the illness gave my legs and body a forced rest and recovery period. Maybe this will turn out well, as I'll need some real stamina to attempt the sub-5 mile this spring or early summer.

I hope I have a mile time to report within about 9 days!

Mark

Monday, February 16, 2009

Illness Break

My legs were forced into a one-week break due to a severe cold. I have not run since last Tuesday, and actually went to the doctor today (although all I have is a bad cold and "pink eye." What this means is that I will probably walk some tomorrow, then do an easy run Wednesday, before returning to normal training. A mile time trial is now at least a week off, unless I recoop faster than expected. Hope to have good news soon!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Track was clear, but I couldn't run!

The snow melted off the track sometime in the last few days, but I have been hammered with a bad cold, and have not run since Tuesday night. Today I felt good enough to go for a walk, so I walked over to the track, walked a couple laps around, then walked home (total of about 2 miles walking). If I feel better tomorrow, I may run a little, but a track time trial will be postponed at least until Wednesday or Thursday, the way I feel now. It was difficult to be on the track without running.

:)

Hope to have more positive updates soon!

Mark

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Winter Mile Attempt Aborted

With the February thaw, I had every intention of attempting an informal mile time trial (that wouldn't really count) on Tuesday night in the dark, but upon arrival at the track, there was still a partial snow cover, thus thwarting my attempt. I ended up doing a 4.6 mile run instead, with a few farteks. Today we are supposed to see a few inches of snow, so any additional attempts may be postponed. My logic in attempting a time trial this early is that if I am to have any hope of cracking 5 this spring, I can't be waiting around until mid-or late March for my first mile. I need to get out there soon and at least break 6 with training shoes on, then start approaching the 5:30s by early April, sub 5:20 by May, and then we'll see what happens in June/July, when I could potentially enter some races in Rochester.

Friday, February 6, 2009

X-treme Winter Training


Winter has continued here, with Extreme XC skiing yesterday, and then more moderate XC skiing in a local park today. Yesterday's outing included hilly, heavily wooded terrain, spectacular scenery (including deer), and a few dangerous downhills (see video of a colleague crashing).



Today's 5K ski at Bassett Park averaged about 13:20 per mile, which wasn't too bad, considering I had to break trails, sometimes breaking through a hard upper crust, before sinking into several inches of snow.

We're expecting a "heat wave" this weekend and for the next few days, with temperatures near or above 40, so I expect I'll be doing mainly running over the next several days. I'm a little anxious to get out onto the track, but unless someone shoveled it, even with these few days of warmup, I suspect there will still be a layer of snow or ice on it. If it does clear out, I may just do an "informal" mile time trial, that of course, won't count for anything.
video


That's it for now....

Mark

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Getting My Running Legs Back

I ran two days in a row this week, Monday and Tuesday, 4 miles each run. Monday I averaged 8:17 per mile, but included about 3 fartleks or surges, probably at a 7-minute pace. I felt pretty good the whole way. Then I ran Tuesday, with the intention of running easy.....so I did. I averaged about 8:38 per mile, with no fartleks. Today I took off, then tomorrow I'll be cross country skiing with a co-worker, then back to running Friday, and hopefully Saturday and Sunday. With warmer temps and rain in the forecast, I don't plan to ski over the weekend.

This may seem like a small step, but every workout brings me closer to a sub-5 mile........I think..........

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Felt Good to Run Again!

Due to a week-long cold, and prior to that, cross country skiing, I haven't really run much in the last couple of weeks. Last night, however, conditions were perfect (for winter), with temperatures in the low 20s, no wind, and although a foot of snow on the ground, the roads were clear. I felt good, and average 8:19 per mile for a 4-mile run (per my Garmin). Now, this would be classified as a rather "brisk" training run, in which I pushed slightly, and if I had a running partner, it might have been difficult to carry on a conversation. The pace was not close, however, to a tempo run.

With over 6 inches of snow last night and tonight, it may be back to cross country skiing for a while again!

Mark

Monday, January 26, 2009

More Striders Moments in the Sun News

Dr. K Striders Mark and Mike Raybuck finished in the elite pack in the 1978 Hershey Chocolate Chase 10k, with times just under 34 minutes, and placement in the top 10 or 15 out of at least 200 runners (this is from memory, so don't quote me). Times were a bit slower than for some road races, due to extreme hills in the course. The other unique point concerning this race, is that it was Michael Raybuck's sole head-to-head road race victory over Mark Raybuck. Mark sprinted furiously the last 1/2-mile, with Michael feeling good, and mildly amused by Mark's spirited effort to avoid defeat at the hands of his younger sibling. The separation at the end of the race was a mere 2 to 3 seconds, but Michael stated that he had yet another gear, if it was needed (he typically saved something in all his races, just in case).

In fairness to Mark, he had run 3 marathons between December (Maryland Marathon) and mid-April (Boston Marathon), and understandably, was slightly fatigued less than 2 weeks after completing the Boston Marathon in 2:49.

The young Striders are shown here relaxing after the race.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dr. K. Striders Biggest Moment in the Sun

In the Summer of 1976, our 24-hour relay team was truly impressive. Spoon ran some legs so fast that he was actually accused of cheating, the suggestion being made that he had only run 3 laps instead of 4 on one of his legs. The team was a bit of patchwork quilt, since we didn't arrive with ten runners. I was on the team and so was Sheldon. I don't remember who else ran who was a SUNY-B runner. We ran through some rain, at one point switching from a normal baton to a Drake's Devil Dog because Spoon was concerned about lightening strikes.
In a 24-hour relay, teams are comprised of between two and ten runners. Each team member runs a mile and then hands off the baton to the next teammate in the rotation. If a team members drops out they can't come back in. It might not sound all that hard, but I remember being really tired at the end having stayed up for more than 24 hours in a row and each hour having run a mile in about 6 minutes.
In 1976 we were in a dog fight for what seemed to be a long time. Spoon's ridiculously fast legs (some were under 4:45) were his attempt to let our competition know that we weren't fooling around. I'd say by the time we were 10 or 12 hours into the event we had made our point and it was clear that if we could keep cranking out 6 minute miles we would win.
This was a really fun event. I highly recommend it. Perhaps Dave can convince his charges to participate in one after Spring track is over...
Am I making this up? Certainly not...





Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Training Break

I usually take at least a week during each winter to allow my legs and body to recuperate from many months of running and pounding. This year, I took off a couple days in the cold last week, but had planned to get right back at it. However, I came down with a bad cold on Sunday, so after Sunday's tennis with Kaila (indoors), I have not run or cross country skiid a stitch since then. I hope to be out of the woods, so to speak, with this cold, and start running and skiing by tomorrow, or Friday at the latest. I'll keep "everyone" posted.

Mark

Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Strikes Again!


Winter is now in full force in Buffalo. I went cross country skiing with a co-worker on Friday, and enjoyed some spectacular scenery. The topography was varied, with steep embankments, and the 8 to 10 inches of fresh powder with snow continuing to fall made for a spectacular outing. The good thing is that this all counts as training.



I skiid again at a local park near my house on Sunday, averaging about 12:59 per mile for 3.25 miles. Once again, I remind the readers that cross country skiing, especially when blazing your own trails, or when there are any hills, is much slower than running.

I am pondering, though, how running and skiing work together. I've noticed that since I've been skiing more, it seems my running is a bit slower. Today I averaged only 8:29 per mile for a 4-mile run. I felt ok, but I feel like I'm working different muscles. I hope over the course of the winter that the cross training will ultimately have value, and when I start running full-time in the spring, I will have either gained ground or not lost any during the winter.

Regardless of the training benefits, I really enjoy the change of pace, and cross country skiing has always been one of my favorite workouts, especially with scenery as shown in this post.

Mark

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Winter Training in the Frozen North


Winter training is continuing here in the frozen tundra, but it's not all bad. Although tonight's 4-mile run occurred in the dark, cold, and icey-pellet type snow hitting my face, last week I cross country skii 4 times, including two times in the scenic woods surrounding my home town of Houghton, NY.

In fact, I was joined by fellow Dr. K Strider, Michael K. Raybuck, during one of those sessions.

I actually used my Garmin and conducted a 5-K time trial in the woods, and averaged about 10:58 per mile. Seems slow, but skiing is slower than running.

Enjoy the video clip below of Michael K. Raybuck skiing in the scenic forest surrounding Houghton.

Mark

video