Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter's Last Hurrah (remember Harrier's Last Hurrah)

Couldn't resist and took my wife to a nice county park cross country skiing today. Although not a hard workout, it was 35 degrees, plenty of snow on the ground, and very nice scenery.

Did some hard skiing the last two days, so maybe the break was ok. Also did weights and ab work when i returned from skiing.

Rain tomorrow, so this may be it for serious snow. Back to running!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Long weekend training update


I had a 3-day weekend (off work today), but did not train as much as I was hoping. I came down with a cold Friday. In summary, Friday night: nothing; Saturday:35 minutes on the exercise bike plus some weights; Sunday: 4 miles running at a good clip, about 7:58/mile; and today: 3.1 miles XC skiing, averaging about 12:15 per mile.

The weather turned bitterly cold again today, with highs only about 20 plus a good wind chill. Still cold for tomorrow, 40 expected by Thursday (balmy).


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter Thaw!

Finally, a winter thaw! Now, actually, i'm a bit disappointed, because I just bought new XC skis, and would have liked to try them out in the woods this weekend. Although the weather is supposed to cool back down over the weekend, I don't see any significant snow coming, so trail conditions will be marginal.

However, I couldn't resist a run Wednesday night in the dark, so I went out for 4 miles on the roads. I purposely did not take a watch, but felt like I was moving along at a decent clip. I was, however, starting to wish the run was over with about a mile to go, indicating either a lack of fitness, or muscles just not used to running.

Yesterday, the winter thaw increased its intensity, with temperatures nearly tropical, approaching 50 degrees. Again, I couldn't resist running, and did another 4 miles, averaging about 8:29 per mile.

I just signed up for the clay court tennis club again this year, so once again, I'll have a dilemma regarding running vs. tennis starting in May, and ending in early October.


Monday, February 14, 2011

More winter training

I bought new cross skis this past weekend and already did two 3-mile sessions at the local park (somewhat open, a bit of woods, rolling hills). Yesterday I averaged 12:43/mile for the 3 miles. The new skis are shorter, wider (better for breaking trails), but subsequently slower than my touring skis. However, they are better for working out.

As you can see from the photo, winter still has it's grip up here. I ran 4.4 miles last Friday night, which was my first run in over a week. In the interim, i've been indoor biking and XC skiing for cross training. Hope i'm maintaining a decent level of fitness for the warmer weather.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter Training Update

This probably sounds repetitive of every other winter. Currently not running much, taking a bit of a winter break. However, I'm supplementing with some XC skiing (for example, did 3 miles Saturday at 11:59 per mile (hilly). Also doing indoor biking, weights, push-ups and working on strength. My plan is to get back into running as soon as it warms up a bit, then see if I can squeeze in the time and energy to work towards initially, the 5:10 All American standard in the mile for my age group first, and IF that happens, then once again look at the possibility of that elusive sub-5 mile.


National Ranking in the Mile

I found something rather humorous the other day. The USA track and field association (USATF) formally tracks each season's results for masters runners in various age groups for each event, and then keeps an updated national ranking list. Somewhat humorously, I am ranked 9th in the nation in the mile (with my 5:17 from December 30, 2010) year to date for the 2011 indoor track season. (click on the title to link to the web page, then go to men 50 and over in the mile).

What you'll notice right away is the lack of entries from many states, so this list is not really reflective of a true ranking. In fact, I know there are 3 or 4 guys right here in Buffalo in my age group that could (and have) beat me in the mile. However, the fact remains that you can self enter your time (although you have to select from a dropdown list of official meets), so it is open to anyone.

Another interesting fact is that they give an All American standard for each age group. I don't know how they derive these standards. For the mile in my age group (50 to 54), it is 5:10, so I'm only 7 seconds away. The odd thing is that I think I can get there, with just moderate training this year (maybe a few 30 mile weeks and some speed workouts). In college, even in Division III, I would have had to be running 60 to 70 miles per week, serious speed workouts, lots of racing, and still at best might have just qualified for nationals, not been All American. In fact, I never qualified for nationals in track in college. Nonetheless, if the USATF has set an All American standard, I guess it's official, so I'll shoot for it. Why not?