Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wings clipped - temporarily

It's really a gift to sprint competitively ... at age 50. On 3/26 I ran the 100 meter dash at Vanderbilt's Black and Gold Invitational. It was a bad day, I injured a hamstring during the race, my first race injury of the season. It wasn't a serious pull, I still managed to hobble across the line in 13.10 ... (0.2 faster than my age group was won at the Finals of the TN Senior Olympics last year). It could have been worse. Fortunately, it was only a "level 1 strain", no 'pop' or serious tear. It felt more like a cramp, and I kept running, albeit, with a shorter stride.

It was really disappointing. Suddenly not being able to run. I should have known I was pressing my luck, my fifth consecutive weekend track meet. I didn't warm up enough. I just ran 3 full speed bursts, no more than 6 steps full speed. It was a cold day and I stood around at the start for more than 10 minutes without doing much. I won't make that mistake again. I was even planning on running the next two upcoming weekends but now, I'm thinking I should wait until May. Also thinking about running the 400m instead of the 100m in my next race. Doing 400m training would be good for me and help strengthen my legs. I'll see how it goes, but there is another invitational at Vandy in 3 weeks, but that is probably too soon.

My ultimate goal is to break some or all of the TN state age group records in the July TN Senior Olympics. It would be a tall order: 12:32 100m, 25.70 200m, and 57.0 400m. The 200m would be the easiest to get.

Looking around at the other sprinters at last weekend's meet, I was the only one who was not wearing tights. After reading an interview with masters sprint champ Bill Collins, I emailed him and asked him about the CW-X tights he wears. He swears by them as being supportive and helpful in preventing injuries. He both trains and competes in them. So, I'm going to give them a try.

It's been 5 days since the injury and it's feeling good. No pain, I'm jogging at a good pace, doing light static stretches in the hot tub and doing a light rehab program. I can run up stairs with no pain. I hope to do one day of light speed work next week and then pick up the pace the week after, returning to full training by the 3rd week in April. I definitely want to run the 400m full speed at the Chattanooga District Senior Games on May 5th, and the 100m and 200m in Nashville on May 14. Unfortunately, these are hand timed events with little competition but participation is required to compete in the state finals.

The injury came really at an opportune time. I need to concentrate on guitar playing since I will be leaving in a week for a clinic and concert in NH. Anyway, this makes me want to train more carefully and intelligently because being injured is no fun. It's a gift to sprint and worth preserving.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two more Golds and faster still - Indiana Masters Indoor Track Championships

Since I had nothing better to do on spring break, I drove to Taylor University in Upland, IN for the Indiana Masters Indoor Track Championships on 3/12. I won my age group in the 55m with a 7.43 and ran the 200m for the first time ever. Surprisingly my 200m time won both my age group and the overall best time of the meet in all age groups: 26.30.

My 7.43 in the 55m is my best time so far, down more than 3 tenths of a sec from my first meet 6 weeks ago. That is 4 PRs in a row, a nice way to end my indoor season. My only regret is missing the USA Masters 'All American Standard' by just .03 seconds in the 55m.

The Indiana meet didn't offer much competition. I won both my heats and didn't see anyone during the race (although I ran the 55m in a heat of 8 sprinters). These masters meets are so different from running in college meets where I'm far behind the heat winners. In college meets, I feel accomplished to not finish last.

I worked out Tuesday with weights ... the squats and dead lifts have made me quite sore, but I hope to recover by Saturday to run my first 100 meter outdoor race at Governors Stadium in Clarksville on 3/19. I may scratch, I haven't run all week but I'd really like the opportunity to get a baseline time from which to improve upon. I can run the 100m three consecutive weekends: 3/26 at Vanderbilt and 4/2 at either Sewanee or Clarksville.

My goal for the first race is to just get below 13.00. BTW... the TN Senior Games was won last year at 13.28 in my age group. Ultimately, I'd love to get below 12.5. 12.28 was the slowest qualifying time in last year's USA Masters Nationals final heat. We'll see, I've not run a 100m race in 33 years!

I ran 12.56 in the 100m at APSU on 3/19. A good start.
Next Saturday 3/26: Black and Gold Invitational at Vanderbilt
I hope to run the 100m and 200m

The TN Senior Games state sprint records for the Men's 50 age group 100m and 200m are certainly within reach: 100m - 12.32 and 200m - 25.7

Monday, March 7, 2011

Getting Faster - Mason Dixon Indoor Track Meet

My 55m time is now down to 7.52 and I ran my first 400 meter race ever in 61.72. Good enough for 2 age group Gold Medals in the 51st Annual Mason Dixon Games in Louisville, KY on 3/4/11. The 400m was a surprise since I did not train for it, earned me a national rank of 22nd for that event. I really faded in the last 50m, in better shape, I could easily run under a minute. My splits were approximatley 26 and 35! Talk about languishing in the end.... I was flailing across the finish line, but in first.

My new Nike Superfly R3 shoes seemed to help, although the spike pad got a little chewed up on the antique wooden track. I love these shoes, a big improvement over my old 'UT orange' Adidas Demolishers. They are really light, about 5 or 6 oz.

My 55m time still ranks 8th nationally and will likely remain in the top 10 since the indoor season is wrapping up.

I just may run the outdoor season. 100m and maybe more.