July 6, 2017

It was warm, drab, misting, and humid as Jim Myers, Lance Bland, Tom Cali, John Domico, Costas Maranas, CJ Wagner, Kevin Becker, Bob Shafer, Doug Schunk, Mike Zimmerman, Seth Senior, last week’s newcomer Logan (I’ll get his last name next time), Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the State High track. The kind of day when summer, even if it’s mild, starts to work its attrition magic on you. 

Doug Schunk had earlier pointed Bwana to a video of a one mile elimination race on FloTrack. The races starts with 6 or 8 runners. The last person to finish each lap is eliminated, and those who remain chug it out on the last lap to see who wins. As you might expect, the race has some wild pace swings. Everybody is fresh on the first lap, and nobody wants to be the last guy, so its pretty fast, with a sprint start and sprint finish. These guys did it in 58 seconds, a low-3:50s mile pace. The second and third laps are a lot slower, though there’s always that sprint near the end. Average pace in the middle half-mile was about 4:30! Then, the last lap is when the guys pull it all out, whatever is left. This one finished in 4:09 with a 56 final lap (a high 3:40s mile pace), and it went down to the wire. Could we do that at the track? Or something that simulated it? It turns out that one of Bwana’s seldom used stand-by workouts does the job: Mad Minutes. Run 5 X 1 Minute. No breaks between the minutes. Inside each minute, jog slowly for 30 seconds, run at mile race pace for 20, and then sprint, with legs and arms lifting and working, for the last 10 seconds. Doesn’t sound too bad, and it feels easy on the first rep, but that 30 second jog after a 10 second sprint is NOT enough before you have to start picking up the pace. After each 5 Mad Minutes set, take a longer rest, then do it again for 2 or 3 cycles. 

Speaking of elimination, Jim Myers remarked that Bwana is the “Last Man Standing” among the Thursday Track “Original Originals”. (Anyone who joined the group in the last 25 years is a newbie.) What he meant was, the last one running regularly. Mike Dooris is in great shape, but hasn’t run in years due to a very old injury that came back to haunt him. Myers is also in great shape, but mostly bikes and swims and stays off his tricky knees. But when you get down to it, the running part is not as important as the “still standing” part. These guys will outlive Bwana. And all the “old newbies” like Domico, Lance, Judd, Costas, etc, are still going and helping to attract the “young newbies” that keep this thing going. As I say every week...Keep Running!