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:

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 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



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.