Sunday, August 30, 2009


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....


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?