Thursday Track Report: Bwana Needs A Hearing Aid

It was warm and humid as Jim Myers, John Domico, Judd Michael, Jim Moore, Bob Cornwall, Costas Maranas, Andrew Webb, Tara Murray, Tim Aydin, Rich Harter, Jonathan Thurley, Michael Goldfine, Rob Shaver, Dana Todd, Jim Laudermilch, Matt Soccio, Mark Traband, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. There was a definite dearth of girls today, so some of the guys were engaging in locker room talk at the head of the pack. Bwana, a few steps ahead, and hard of hearing, thought they were talking about him, given his reputation as a clever and "cunning linguist". But, no, that's not what they were talking about. Seriously, guys, not so loud, especially when we're running past the Creamery where there's a bunch of school kids on a field trip!

At the track, the conversation switched focus to something one of the gals in the Crew is really good at: librarianship. The Crew had just gotten the word that Hill Queen Tara Murray would soon no longer be doing Thursday Track workouts, or any other lunch time runs. Tara has taken a job as the head librarian at the American Philatelic Society in Bellefonte. She starts in mid-July. Now, you may ask, what is philately? Well, one of our famous Democratic Presidents benefited deeply from it, and he probably engaged the help of an aide or two. When Tara quizzed Bwana on philately, he immediately thought of Bill Clinton. No! Not 'philandering'! And not that other word that starts with 'ph' or 'f' or something! Time to get the ears checked, Bwana. No, instead of licking us old guys at the track and on the hills, Tara is moving on and will be helping even older guys lick their hinges at the HQ of the national organization for stamp collectors. Soft-spoken Tara will have to get used to speaking much louder than she does in our group. I think the average stamp collector these days is an 83 year-old male. (The POTUS stamp collector, by the way, was FDR)

Bwana gave Tara her Thursday Track Crew exit debriefing. (It's OK. Tara's mOUnTaiNBACK experience has made her an expert at debriefings.) Of course, girl trackers are always required to recruit at least one more female before they can leave. And of course, Tara's move up will mean a promotion as well for Meira Minard to Tuesday Hill Queen. And we'll have to organize a Creamery Run for both Tara and for Greg Fredericks, who will be retiring soon. Just, guys, when you get to the Creamery, keep it clean!

Bwana had the Crew do the Fortitude workout, 4X(400-200) with only 100m rest between the 4 and the 2. It took a while to get in the groove because of the heat, and we were licked after that one.

Enough roasting Ms. T. It's not like she's moving to the moon. We'll see her on weekend runs, at races, and of course, at the mOUnTaiNBACK. So who gets cyber-slammed today? Well, Bwana may need a hearing aid, but John Sheakoski needs an email aid. He read an email wrong and stayed at work for a noon phone-con (who schedules a noon phone con?), sucking in his minion Rob Peterson as well. It turned out it was a phone-con at noon Pacific time. (Still, who schedules a noon phone-con?) And ultra-blond ultra Kathy Koetje-Simins beeped at Bwana as he lumbered back to Rec Hall and gave her lame excuse about having done a slow run instead. Instead? What do you think we were doing at the track?

Thursday Track Report: A Blessing And A Curse

We've been blessed with a pretty mild spring after a hot start, but it seems that summer wants to get a head start now. It was hot and humid as Jim Myers, John Domico, Judd Michael, Ken Davis, Greg Luna, Andrew Webb, Costas Maranas, George Lesieutre, Michael Goldfine, Tim Aydin, Mike Weyendt, Dana Todd, Meira Minard, Ann Marie Oldani, Rob Shaver, newcomer Dave Mengle, Rob Peterson, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. It's best to think of this weather as a chance to rehearse for the days in July and August when we are cursed with high humidity day after day.

Being Bwana is a both a blessing and a curse. Let's say it's a blurse. He wants to work his Crew hard, but neither wants to drive them away nor kill them in the process. Today was one of those days when Bwana had to choose to be "Good Cop". The workout was 6X400, but to be done slowly. And 5X400 was OK. Even 4X400. Didn't want anyone to need a nurse (or worse, a hearse) due to heat stroke. But remember, working hard will reimburse your effort many times over. Who knows? You could end up with the purse at your next race!

Well, 4X400 is a pretty light workout. Let's call it "terse". Several of Bwana's fold couldn't be bothered to immerse themselves in even 1X400. It only means that they won't be finishing first in any of this weekend's races!

Thursday Track Report: Time For A Friendly Intervention

Spring continued to regress back toward winter. (Did anyone else see snowflakes on Tuesday?) It was drab and cool (low 50s) as Jim Myers, John Domico, Tom Cali, Costas Maranas, John Sheakoski, Jim Moore, Bob Cornwall, Randy Jepson, Mike Casper, Mark Fedkin, Ron Cunfer, Jonathan Thurley, Esther Prins, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Chris Cook, Michael Goldfine, Mark Traband, Rob Peterson, Matt Soccio and Marty Mazur headed for the track.

Today was basically a support group day for several of our beloved nutcases. John Sheakoski, LDC, Jonathan Thurley, Michael Goldfine, and Bob Cornwall are running the Pocono Marathon this weekend. Sheakoski is the sanest in the bunch. He's been there (and to Boston), and done that. Nothing to prove. He's going in order to support Bob Conrwall, who will be trying to qualify for Boston. Bob's gotten back into running competitively since last year's mOUnTainBACK and now Mr. Midlife wants to run Boston (and other goals) when he turns 50 next year. Jonathan Thurley is a babe in the woods, marathon-wise, but seems to have been beguiled by the other nutcases in the group. Michael Goldfine was severely punished at the New Jersey Marathon a couple of weeks ago. He bonked at 10 miles due to the high heat, winds, and humidity and dropped out at the half-way point. He'll be looking for redemption. But the biggest nutcase has to be Kathy "LDC", "BM" Koetje-Simin. She's seriously auditioning for Marathon Maniacs, having done Boston in near PR time, then generously (and successfully) paced a 4:15 group at New Jersey's inferno a couple weeks later. And now she's doing Pocono. There's some scariness in this woman's psyche. Maybe what's needed is not a support group but an intervention!

The Crew did two-person 6X400 relays. Not our hardest workout, but plenty challenging if you end up in synch with another duo!

The Crew could have used a little more support today. Dana Todd, John Ake, Kirk Rager, and Jim Laudermilch were out doing loops of the Creamery instead of the track. They tried to make it look like they were running, but the Peachy Paterno stains were a dead give-away. Tara Murray was trying, for some reason, to learn French in one morning. Meira Minard was resting her Hyner for the next big trail race. But the biggest nutcase in the Club, Jeff Smucker, was stashing pairs of shoes in the woods so he'd have something fresh to change into during his 12 hour training run on Sunday!

Thursday Track Crew: Complimentary Workout

After last week's near return of winter, the weather seems to have settled into a nice late Spring pattern, which can only mean that Rob Shaver, our summertime visitor from Manitoba, is back in town. It was sunny and warm as John Domico, Tom Cali, Jim Moore, Bob Cornwall, George Lesieutre, John Sheakoski, Costas Maranas, Tom Hilands, Ken Davis, Randy Jepson, Mike Weyendt, Mark Traband, Dana Todd, Kirk Rager, Jim Laudermilch, Jonathan Thurley, Rob Shaver, Chris Cook, Rob Peterson, Ryan Booz, Jessica Wekke, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Tara Murray, Meira Minard, Mark Lee, Matt Soccio, and Marty Mazur headed for the track.Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK ultra veteran Jeremy Frank was already there doing a workout.

The track was full of recent marathoners: John Sheakoski, Bob Cornwall, Kathy Koetje-Simin, Jonathan Thurley, Dana Todd, and Jim Laudermilch had all just run the Pocono Marathon 4 days ago. Bwana decided that the perfect workout for the return of warmer weather would be one that complemented a little bit of longer running with some speed work in a low-recovery mode. That meant the mini-front loader: 2X(800-200-200-200) with 100 meter rest between runs and recovery from the 800 occurring during the 200s due to the short rests. Bwana gets more compliments about that least that's what he thinks they are...

Bwana has nothing but compliments for some of his Crew. Janet Jonson does an absolutely wonderful job at keeping her trim figure on 2 track workouts a year. Michael Goldfine is nicely contrarian, being the only local Pocono runner not to show up at the track today. Lee Culver and Ron Cunfer have done a great job staying in tip-top shape for summer slow pitch softball with their 4 mile, 10 minute mile evening jogs. Judd Michael has probably been spending more time at the shooting range than the track lately to improve his already impressive ability to hit the broad side of a barn 3 times out of 5 in a biathlon. And Greg Dillon has been studiously reviewing his grade school grammar over several pints of Guinness.

Thursday Track Report: Retrogression

It was cool, partly cloudy, and very breezy as Jim Myers, John Domico, Tom Cali, Judd Michael, Jim Moore, Greg Dillon, Ken Davis, John Sheakoski, Tom Hilands, Meira Minard, Tara Murray, Tim Aydin, Matt Soccio, Joel Niemann, Kirk Rager, John Ake, Michael Goldfine, Rob Peterson, Dana Todd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. It seems Spring started out as Summer, with near 90 degree weather in early April, and has been slowy moving backward toward early April weather since then.

A lot of people were retrogressing at the track today. Artie Gilkes, whose Harry Groves team won the 20K Team Race at the Penn Relays, was there with a workout partner. Thursday Track is definitely a step back for these guys. Meira Minard, Tom Cali, John Domico, and assorted other recent long race participants were back at and almost in full stride. Bwana had the Crew do a two-person ladder relay: 200-400-600-800-1K-1K-800-600-400-200, with the two runners alternating. The wind on the backstretch had several participants running retrograde.

The Crew has its share of backsliders. For every Tom Hilands and Kirk Rager who find their way back to the track, there's a Lee Culver and Marv Hall who seem to be lost in a different county. Jonathan Thurley went from following an ultramarathoner around campus last week to ogling sunbathers in Central Parklet this week. Tim Aydin was at the Kentucky Derby last weekend and still managed to get to the track. Mark Traband, on the other hand seems to get lost sweeping out the stables at his pony palace. Ann Marie Oldani and Janet Jonson were back to their schedule of one week on, several weeks off. And Kathy Koetje-Simin was practicing her breast-stroke at the Nat. Kathy: You run marathons with your legs. If you're really gonna run three of those within a month, you've got to work on your legs.