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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thousand meter repeats w/ Caitlin Chrisman & Lat Purser

First time training with Lat...and what a pleasure!

Training with Caitlin...that always works!

We met up at the intersection of Dilworth Road West and East Blvd. for a workout consisting of 8 X 1,000 meters around the speed loop with a 1:59 recovery. After a nice and easy 40 minute warm up and very few procrastinations...we were off!

It became evident early that Lat would be our fearless leader as he quickly took the lead and set the tempo. Caitlin and I were squirrels just tryin' to get a nut! All rap aside, this was going to be a heck of a workout. I tucked in behind Caitlin and was barely able to stay within 6 inches of her which is what I did for numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4. At that point Lat let it be known that he would be dropping out after #5. He simply looked relaxed and effortless. Having said that, you can get a tiny bit of confidence when someone else is cutting a workout short. I took the advantage I could!

On #5, I was able to pull up along side Caitlin (we train so well together) and at the 400 meter mark, I was able to get the slightest of gap as I could hear her breathing was labored...mine was as well! I tried to maintain good form and finish strong no matter that there were still 3 more to go. Lat parted ways as Caitlin (sporting lululemon...who happens to be sponsoring Saturday's Big Wedding!) and I pressed on with #6. Same thing, between the 400 meter and 500 meter mark, I was able to get the slightest of gaps and ride it to the finish as I tried to pull both of us along. By the time we had reached the line, we were shoulder to shoulder. Upon completion of the workout, we were both spent! I got right in my car and pulled a Spada...Ha!

When I was driving away I could hear Red say..."I can't believe you don't get injured!"...Squeeze me?

Lat appreciated the workout as he asked to do it again... 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gettin' Beat up at Beatty!

For last Sunday's long run, it was decided by the powers that be that we would meet up at Colonel Francis J. Beatty Park on Weddington Road in south Charlotte. Not too far for me. Since I hadn't been on the trails in a while and I needed to exercise some demons from the day before's debacle, I decided to show up...and it's a good thing I did!

Charlotte's finest were out in all things neon and Lululemon...no complaints here! So we set out for some easy running yet you have to be on your toes for the many roots that litter this single track trail. Note: it is way better to lead than to follow!

3 miles into the run I took a nasty fall! What do I do? The same thing Finland's Lasse Viren did in the '72 Olympic 10,000m final...I got up within 2 seconds and got back into the rhythm of the run! 2 miles later Jason Martin goes down real hard AND gets right back on the train. 1 mile after that, Meagan Nedlo trips and somehow maintains her balance and gets back into her groove...Nice! Next it's Megan Hovis's turn and what happens to her...a nasty bee sting! The stinger decides to stay in to keep the pain constant. After a brief respite to assess the situation, Megan gets back on the train! So now I'm leading and a large male flies by me on his mountain bike, yet I didn't let my pursuers know and he proceeds to take Megan out...not good! Yet like a true trooper, she gets back up (what Mohammad Gammoudi did not do in '72 during the early stages of the 10,000m) and Ben gives some encouraging words and she proceeded to nail her long run!

One side note, I also stepped on a notted root, which forced me to dorsi-flex my foot and I strained ligaments and muscle tendons that connect my soleus muscle to my calcaneus and tarsel bones...I'll get over it AND I will go back to Beatty for some more trail miles...thanks guys!  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Greekfest Flop!

On the down side...the race was a disaster! I never got going and had nothing to give. Still gave what I had which wasn't much...

On the up side...it was a great morning. Got to the race early enough and picked up my bib and saw Billy and Chad hanging out. I dropped my stuff off in my car and then as I was heading back to the start I caught up with Billy Shires! We got to run our warm up together and got caught up with all things running (training, book reviews, injuries, etc.) As we were warming up, 3 young, fit, Olympic Trials qualifiers streamed past us and I made the comment that that was pretty cool. He didn't get it at first until I explained that those 3 gazelles are going to Houston in January (Houston will have a problem with those 3...Ha!)

Went up to the starting line in plenty of time and saw Mo Campbell and the Boy...very nice! I went and wished Richard Harris good luck (that would prove invaluable) and waited for the start. Tim Rhodes let us go and we were off. It was muggy out there as I ended up 3rd Master and 15th overall finishing 1 place behind my perennial nemesis Mr. Bill Shires. He pulled away from me at about the 1 mile mark and never looked back.

When I got home, I mentioned to my wife that I didn't have it this morning and she asked me why I thought that was. I said that I don't question when I have a good day, so I don't question when I don't...just move on!

Looking forward to a nice run in the trails of Beatty Park... 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kickin' it Old School!

The following post has nothing to do with running...just thought I'd share!

The other night my wife and I were getting the night before the first day of school dinner ready. My daughter was with us as well. My son was at football practice at the middle school and he was being driven home by friends of ours. She was carpooling a bunch of boys (no...my son is not doing cross country!) So I had hamburgers and chicken on the grill, french fries in the oven and broccoli in the microwave...Oh and sweet tea coming out of my gills!)

The car pulls up and my wife goes outside to chat with the mom. For whatever reason, I decided to bring the french fries outside to the boys! Call it old school or whatever, it just felt like the right thing to do. Obviously, the boys loved it and Dad got to feel cool even if it was just for a minute!

This incident harped me back to the days before air conditioning, listening to the Walkman, yelling out the window, and most of all, playing outside until it was too dark to see...

On a side note to show my age and with the recent Kardashian wedding, I was 11 years old when Bruce Jenner (our hero) was competing and winning the Olympic decathlon in '76 in Montreal. My dad, and my brothers and I went right to the back yard and made a long jump pit...great, great stuff!

Thanks for reading... 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Billy Shue out...Michael Kahn in!

I had a workout date with Billy Shue scheduled for this morning, yet with Jason G. Holder's bachelor gig this weekend up in the Big Apple (the city never sleeps!), I had a feeling that he wouldn't show...

When I pulled into McAlpine there was no Billy Shue...no worries! The posse was in effect and I knew I would find one brave soul to workout with me. Enter Sandman (aka Mikey Kahn!) Mike was gracious enough to help me with my workout. It consisted of: 2000 meters, 1600 meters, 1200 meters, 800 meters, and 400 meters all with a 400 meter recovery. I felt good throughout and I felt myself getting stronger as the workout went along. I didn't realize how compatible Mike and I are for training...it just worked! The only segment that I timed was the mile which was a tick under 5 and a half minutes...

My plan for the rest of the week is to run a 10 mile recovery run tomorrow, possibly take Thursday off, easy 8-10 miler on Friday and then break 17 on Saturday. If I'm feeling fresh (which is a rare occurrence), I have a shot! Some type of long run on Sunday...

Monday, August 22, 2011

7 times 1000 meters @ UNCC with Billy & Joe!

Billy Shue was nice enough to reach out to me for a workout last Friday at UNCC's campus track. He even offered to pick me up at my house at 5:30am...I was ready!

We would be meeting up with Joe Nicolini (another Piasan!) at Jack in the Box for a track workout consisting of 7 by 1000 meters with a 400 meter recovery.

When we got to our meeting spot, there was no Joe! After waiting around for 15 minutes...he finally shows up! Oh to be 24...Ha! He still had to put on his socks and shoes and finally we started our 2 mile warm up on the path that would lead us to our execution (workout!) I was concerned because I know how strong Billy is right now and Joe looked fit. I'm not exactly chicken shoot! I was trying to remain calm yet getting worked up at the same time.

#1 takes takes us through all together in 3:23, #2 has us together in 3:17, For #3, Joe has a meeting in the men's room and I hit 3:17 again with Billy seconds up. #4 has Joe and I in lock step at 3:17 along with #5 (3:17), #6 brought another bathroom break for triathlete Joe as I hit 5:15 (I was working). For #7, we decided to run it on the way back as Joe and I were lock step as we hit 3:15 with Billy looking spritely at around 3:10...great stuff!

Cool down and we were good to go... 

Friday, August 19, 2011

When Birds Attack!

Absolute bizarreness!

Wednesday morning, I'm 7 miles into a 10 mile easy run just chillin'! I'm on Sedley Road in Foxcroft on the shoulder when I run under the over hang of a tree and I felt what seemed to be a branch scrape the back of my head. I didn't think that I was that close to the tree. No sooner did I think that when I look to my right and see this HUGE bird (Hawk, Owl, whatever...) fly off in a rage! I FREAKED! So now I'm goosed-bumped out of my mind, dropping F-bombs in front of the tennis courts, and it took me about a mile to calm down. At this point I feel violated (I love that term...it's for all of my liberal friends!)

I told my kids what happened and they told me not to tell Mom (I did anyway...)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gettin' after it with the Big Boyz!

I'm sorry Megan Hepp Hovis but that was awesome!

So the e-mail circulated last week for a workout this morning of: 3 miles followed by 4 by 400 meters. Fair enough.

And then I heard who was going to show up and I started to drool (for their running abilities...certainly not their looks!) the group included Paul Mainwaring, Aaron Linz, Ben Hovis, Billy Bob Shue...and Me! I knew I had to bring my A-game...

We ran our 2 mile warm up out to the 1 mile mark at McAlpine and back at a solid clip. After a little circle jerkin'...we were off!

Since we started at 5:30am and it was really dark, my concentration level was at an all time high (I didn't not want to trip and fall on a rock, divit or root.) Aaron got us out well and I was working early. Paul seemed content to let Aaron lead, as Ben, Billy and I followed close behind. At about a half mile, Paul pulled up to Aaron, and I pulled up to Ben as Billy followed close behind. At the 1 mile mark, I got my legs under me and decided to lead and do some of the work, as Ben responded and got next to me and we worked together to toe the field through the 1 and a half mile mark. Approaching Monroe, Paul had enough of this Jersey Boyz' antics and shot to the front with Aaron and the rest of us in close tow. We got to the 2 mile mark (which was the start of the Footlocker cross country course for those of you reading from out of town/state) all together and at that point Aaron was helping Paul and Ben was helping Billy and me as I was at my limit! My goal for the next mile was to stay on Ben and Billy as I did as they were only able to put 1 second on me by the time we hit the 3 mile mark (it must be noted that Ben is 1 week into his training which is a scary thought!)

Here are the numbers: 5:35, 5:41, 5:35= 16:51

We followed that up with 4 times 400 meters around the lake with a 200 meter recovery and my guess is that I ran them in 75 seconds. On these, I was merely a spectator...I simply have no speed which is okay!

A long cool down followed as we ran Paul back to his house and discussed who we thought in the running community was hot!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Long Run with Various & Sundries...

These 2 a days have me oversleeping every morning!

I was at the Panther game (don't worry...I'm still a Viking fan!) Saturday night when I noticed on my Crackberry that a large contingent of runners would be meeting up at McAlpine for a long run...I'm in!

So we're supposed to meet up at 6am yet when I look at my watch on Sunday morning, it already shows 6:06...that doesn't work?! Without hesitation, I get up and brush my teeth, bathroom, shorts on and head out the door. As I'm driving over to Old Bell, I'm trying to figure out which way the group went. Low and behold but who do I see on Sardis...Paul Mainwaring! So I park and head back up to run with him and as we're running back down, he said that he was done and that he knew where the group was. So after leaving Paul, I head up to Alexander and as the pack see's me I hear..."SPADA!" which is always very cool...

This pack included: Nathan, Aaron, Jason, Mike, Alex, Josh, plus a new guy named Tyler (there were more). So we head back to the park and pick up the Hadley's and run to the 4 mile mark at which point I see Ben, Jordan and Justin. So what do I do since I'm a running snob, I go with that group. That was fun as we were rolling 6:20's. Nothing spectacular, however, it felt like a Sunday jog...very cool. Of course, Jordan was doing 90 second pick ups at which Aaron couldn't resist jumping in on a few...Ha!

Ben Hovis was just happy to be running and Justin, who I just met, was gearing up for the Detroit Free Press Marathon...

I went an easy 8 this morning because we're gonna get after it tomorrow morning (me, Paul and the Shue!).

I am just starting to feel like things are coming together with my running. That is a good sign with the weather being as stifling as it has been. This should bode well when the weather does break. One thing that I am doing is really trying to let the workouts and the paces come to me. What I mean by that is that I initially had a much more ambitious schedule on tap yet my body was telling me that I needed more sleep and to run less that what I had planned. I'm sure Caitlin for one would agree that this seems to be working.

Can I run a 16:59 in 2 weeks at Greekfest? We'll see..

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Being flexible...tempo gets moved up!

Yesterday, my original plan was to do a medium long run, and then go easy on Thursday and tempo on Friday. I think what happened was that Caitlin was heading out of town on Friday so the tempo got moved up a day. No problem. Instead of running a 14-16 miler on Wednesday after running mile repeats on Tuesday and having the tempo run this morning, I decided to go 8 miles easy on Wednesday (8:30 pace) to be somewhat ready for the uptempo progression run.

Starting August 1st, the difficult thing for me is that 2-a-days started with football so needless to say, work (which I love) has been hectic. Which brings me to this morning. When I opened my eyes and looked at my "old school" Timex Ironman watch I saw 5:50am...eeck! I was supposed to meet Eric, Billy and Caitlin (and any other knucklehead) at 6am at the tennis courts by Freedom Park. What do I do? I casually got up, weed, got my stuff, got in the car and took off. My only hope was that they waited for me. I got on QRW at 6:02 and at the courts at 6:05. I heard, "that's Spada!" They f*****g waited!...I couldn't believe it!

I get out of my car, lace up my shoes and get over to the group which included Carolyn Maye! Short warm up means get ready mentally quick! I'm ready...

So it's a 5 mile tempo making loops around the booty loop which is a fair course. Good topography. I go with Carolyn for the first half mile, then I dart behind Caitlin, then get frisky and throw in an early surge, they come up to me, I throw in another surge and Billy catches up to me, then we run together for a while until he gets 2 meters on me, then I work to close the gap and we finish together for a total time of 30:25. Great stuff! Without a Garmin, my guess is: 6:10, 6:00, 5:50, 5:40 and 5:35. Cooled down back to the tennis courts, and then the group asked me if I could cool down more and I did. We ran the path that runs parallel to Kings Drive and then I turned around at Tarjaye and we said our goodbyes...

Easy 8 miler in the morning as well as Saturday and then long on Sunday. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mile Repeats with 2 Live Crew!

So I started my marathon training on Sunday with the twenty miler. Yesterday I just ran an easy 8 miler as a recovery run.I averaged over 8 minute pace which was just fine by me!

On Monday night, Miss Caitlin Chrisman reached out to me to see if I would be interested in running mile repeats with her. You have to understand, Caitlin is a strong and confident runner so if she wants to run with me, I'm usually in! We have developed a strong working relationship where if she ever wavers, I'll have none of it. Conversely, if I'm struggling, she doesn't let up (Paul M. is like that!)

We, along with Billy Shue, decided to meet up at McAlpine and got a nice and easy 30 minute warm up in before we started the first mile. Our goal was to do 5 repeats with a quarter mile recovery. We had no takers from the rest of the Miner's...too bad!

Because of the early start, we ran the first mile repeat on the first mile of the cross country course. After opening with a 96 second (6:24 pace) first quarter we ended up running 5:47...good start. We followed that up with a 5:34, 5:33, 5:31 and finished with a shot of adrenaline for a 5:28...I think we were all pleased!

2 mile cool down followed with the company of Megan Hepp Hovis (in the middle of a down week). So there we were, 2 Olympic Trials qualifiers, one PR setter race after race, and me...

This workout worked out well for me because I had interval day on my schedule (anywhere from quarters to 2 mile repeats).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Journey Begins...

This past Sunday I started my New York City Marathon build up with a 20 miler in 2 hours and 26 minutes. Nothing fancy yet it was a start. I got out the door at 5:45am by myself (I would have loved to have gone up to Davidson) and ran the sidewalks the whole way with a steady tempo while stopping at every water fountain (there were 4) and taking a Shot Block every 5 miles to work on my caloric intake. This loop takes me up to Colony Road, to Sharon, to Queens, to Morehead, to Euclid, to East, to Queens Road West, to Selwyn, to Park, to GlenEagles, to Quail Hollow, back to Sharon, to Fairview and back home.

I was junk the rest of the day yet I did not fall asleep at church! I continued to eat the rest of the day and chilled for the most part. I took the kids to the pool at night and just read Best Efforts by Kenny Moore for the umpteenth time. I am excited about my training block for this marathon.

My 7 day cycle will include the following: M- 8-12 miles easy, T.- Interval/repeat day (mile repeats, 800 meter repeats, 2 mile repeats, etc.), W.- Medium Long Run day of 14-16 miles, Th.- 8-12 miles easy, F.- Tempo day of 5 to 15 milers, Sa.- 8-12 miles easy, Su.- Long Run of Easy, Firm, or steady with a firm/ up tempo finish. I know it's aggresive and I know that my body will tell me if I can or cannot do a workout that day. This is just an outline. As I was telling Mark Hadley, while I would love to do a 10 day cycle, a 7 day one fits my schedule better.

2 comments: If anyone is interested in any one of these workouts (like I had company just this morning on my mile repeats) please feel free to join in. Conversely, if I see a tempting workout somewhere on Facebook or e-mail, I may show up...I'm easy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blue Points 5k Race Recap

Warmed up with Brian, Billy and Mike Moran. Also picked up Bill Shires en route which was a bonus! My plan was to be competitive with the usual suspects which only happened for the first mile. Clearly, I was working too hard. After an opening 5:25, I followed that with a 5:35 on the rolling portion and then a 5:45 on the uphill portion. I pride myself on being a negative splitter and that did not happen on Saturday morning. 2nd Master and 17th overall. Back to the drawing board (or in my case, the cement sidewalks!) 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey!"

Who says you can't go home?

I just combined  Springsteen with Bongiovi...I know, they're both Liberal!

All right, so I just got back from my annual pilgrimage to New Jersey to visit my family and we had a blast. My parents are awesome to host me and the kids and my 5 siblings do a wonderful job of spoiling them...Love it!

Since this is my running blog I won't bore you with the details of the Jersey shore and all the calzones I had...

I will tell you about all of my runs:

After a solo 7 miler early Friday morning, my wife got up early to make us breakfast and then we were on the road by 6:45am...good start!


I met my good friend Gary Rosenberg who reps for Garmin at 8am @ Madison High School for a track workout. Since it is so close to my parents, I just ran there. It was good to see him. Since it was so hot, we decided to do 8 quarters with a 200meter recovery. A short and sweet workout that we did in 74 seconds for each lap. Gary is 40 years old and he ran for Morris Hills back in the proverbial day!


I met a group of guys at River Run Park off of 287 and I bonked on this run last year! I was determined not to have that happen again. This group consisted of former all-state cross country champions from New Jersey. One runner, Brian Harris, was a teammate of Brendon Heffernan who was the national champion in 1992. That was a really good year for New Jersey running as you had Heffernan, Ryan Grote, Chris and Tim Lear, Bob Keino, Brian Walsh and a host of others.

The run started off at 7 minute pace and since I was feeling good I didn't mind being aggressive even though the weather was oppressive as we STARTED running at 8am...these guys like to sleep in! I was on vacation so whatever...The course took us on Black River Road, Lamington Road, and through Donald Trump's new golf course...good stuff! I ended up finishing the run about 10 seconds behind Brian. I was both pleased and spent at the same time...


At the Kitchell Road entrance to Loantaka Park, I met up with a friend of my father's named Philippo Polcara who is from England, Italian descent, and has been living in the States from about 20 years or so. We enjoyed a nice and easy 8 mile run chatting about all things in general. "Phil" is 55 and he was lucking enough to run a half marathon in San Antonio recently where he received a VIP pass from his cousin to have  dinner with the likes of Frank Shorter and Mebraton Keflezighi to name just a few...


Over the past weekend, I had received an e-mail from a guy who's wife is friends with 2 of my sisters. He was wanting to run with me. First of all, I think that's awesome when someone reaches out in that way. His name is Brian Bill who ran for Ocean Twp. and who now resides in Florham Park...my hometown! (yet another Springsteen reference) Anyway, we decided to meet up on the roads that Tuesday and he had mapped out a 14 mile run that would take us into the Great Swamp. And you thought I was kidding with my swamp reference! When I tell you that it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to run with Brian and to hear about his desire to break 3 hours in this years NYC Marathon, it was a treat!


Wednesday had me back on the track. This time at Morristown High School with Gary Rosenberg. We actually saw Nick Vena, National Shot Put champion, walking into the school.

Gary is a lot faster than me yet since he is coming back from over training and I am relatively fit, we are currently very compatible. We decided on 7 x 800's. Our times were: 2:43, 2:42, 2:41, 2:39, 2:41, 2:37, 2:34...nice! A cool down and we said our goodbyes...


Since we were down the Jersey Shore in Spring Lake, I had set up a run with my cousin's cousin TJ Langella for our annual 8 miler that takes us through Belmar, Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Brielle and Manasquan...all nice shore towns! TJ was planning on competing in that Saturday's River to Sea relay race. He asked me to be on his team yet we were leaving on Saturday so I had to decline...next year for sure!


Back to Loantaka Park for another easy 8 miler with Phil and Gary. Gary, who reps for Garmin, was very helpful to Phil in helping him set up his GPS as well as letting him know the benefits of upgrading. Sweet tea all around.


Since we were leaving to head back to Charlotte this morning, I didn't want the run to take a long time. What I decided to do was run an 8 mile progression run from my parents house. I felt relatively strong the whole way but that was probably because I didn't run that fast. Still enjoyed it.

I was very fortunate to have the company of great runners and quality people...thanks guys!