Thursday Track Report: Drafting and Grafting

January 19, 2017

Let’s not jinx this January. Another mild day, though not as tropical as last week. Temperatures were in the 40s with clouds and sun as Tom Cali, Marty Klanchar, Judd Michael, Meira Minard, Jaimie Wright, Bob Shafer, Dan Coughlin, Seth Senior, Josh Litofsky, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, newcomers Monica and Elsa (Hat Tip: Jo Ohm, for encouraging (bribing?) them to come!), and Marty Mazur headed for the track. A nice mix of runners. The fast guys and gals, a couple who were trying to keep up with that lead group, and the pokey group.

The larger, younger (except for Tom and Judd), and faster group ran 3 sets of 3X400 at a very fast pick-up pace with very little recover between reps, essentially the 40 yards or so from the finish line to the 400 meter hash mark in Lane 5. A longer recovery between sets made that workout bearable. The pokies and newbies actually did longer reps, and about the same volume. Three sets of 2 Laps - 3 Laps in Lane 5. One lap rest between reps and between each set made the reps blend together. The 2-3 oscillation bracketed 500 meters, and the aim was to keep the same pace on the longer reps as on the shorter ones The whole group, including the newbies, hung together pretty well, drafting in Bwana’s ample wake.

Bwana keeps getting questions about when/if we’ll be able to use the outdoor track. He still doesn’t know, but it’ll be at least till Spring. Judd suggested we organize a bribe, er… “Booster Club Donation” to get us enhanced privileges. Let’s bring that up at the next Club meeting.

Thursday Track Report: January Thaw

January 12, 2017

Three days ago it was brutally cold. Two days ago, we were in the midst of warming that brought a nasty ice storm. But today it was nearly tropical, with temperatures approaching 60 and off-and-on rain. John Domico, Judd Michael, Marty Klanchar, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Dan Coughlin, newcomer Jackie Luong, Rob Peterson, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, Joel Niemann, and Marty Mazur headed for the track for the first workout in the MSF this year. Half the group did a couple of indoor laps, then headed back out to take advantage of the rare January warmth.

The Multi-Sport Facility seems to have chilled toward us since the break. You need to buzz in to the place, and non-PSU people need a chaperone. Yuck. Despite the new protocols, Bwana thaw to it that everyone who stayed got a good workout. It was the traditional year-starting benchmark workout: NX3X300. Run 3 reps of 300 meters at mile race pace or faster with a short 100 m rest. Then take a longer rest and gird yourself for another set of 3. And another. Bwana gave gold stars to everyone who did N=3.

This weekend begins the Indoor Mile Series with the first of three meets on Saturday morning. It’s too late to get into the first meet, but the next two, which will be on Friday 1/20 and Friday, 2/3, should get you moving. Time to thaw out those fast-twitch muscles and set some goals! Information here:

Thursday Track Report: Songs In The Key Of Pain

December 15, 2016

It was COLD out, and windy on top of that. NOW people are appreciating the Indoor Track. Tom Cali, John Domico, Judd Michael, Marty Klanchar, Costas Maranas, Meira Minard, CJ Wagner, Andy Maguire, Mike Zimmerman, Bob Shafer, Mike Martin, Dan Coughlin, newcomer John Williams, Josh Litofsky, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, newcomer Rob Krankel, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track for a symphony of pain.

Today’s serenade was in the key of pain, A-sharp minor. It’s a key with 7 sharps, all of them sharply painful. Not many musical pieces have been written in A-sharp minor. Those few are somber, grating, and richly annoying to the ears. The fast crew certainly felt every one of those musical hashtags. Their workout was 4800 meters of unresolved harmonic distemper: 3X400 - 3X800 - 3X400. Even the slower group did not escape. You music theory buffs should know that the key of A-sharp minor is enharmonically equivalent to B-flat minor. There are 5 flats in that key, whose music is brooding, ulcerous, and funereal. And the group was nearly flattened by the dolorous intonations. The slowpokes’ workout was a nocturne of nastiness: 3X300 - 3X400 - 3X300.

The Jingle Bell Track Workout has been moved to next Thursday. It’s the last run of the season, and hopefully the weather will be milder and the music will be in a jollier key.

Thursday Track Report: Jingle Bell Running Late

December 22, 2016

Everything has been different this year. What do you expect after the weirdest political campaign in living memory? Well, NOBODY expected NOT to have a track on which to do the last track workout of the year. But with the workout postponed last week due to bitter weather, and moved to a week late in the season when State College is almost a ghost town, we should have known. Most of the Crew met at Rec Hall ready for the usual run to one of the tracks on the east side of campus. But word came down that not only was the outdoor track still locked up, but the MSF Indoor Track building was closed for the Holidays. So, improvising, the group did our usual “Look Back / Look Forward” on the jogging track above the stands in Rec Hall. The banking on the curves, and the presence of a press platform, made the backward running part of the workout especially treacherous. Then, John Domico, Tom Cali, Jim Moore, Costas Maranas, Michael Goldfine, Mark Fedkin, George Lesieutre, John Sheakoski, Esther Prins, Torrie Raisch, Mike Renz, Andy Maguire, Mike Zimmerman, Dan Coughlin, Mike Martin, CJ Wagner, Bob Shafer, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed out into the elements. Well, all except Costas, who was in earnest about actually doing a workout today!

Heading across campus, the Crew nearly ran over Vicky Mazur, who was spreading Holiday Cheer and ringing some golden bells at the group as they ran by. The group decided to head past the tracks on the east side anyway to pick up any strays. There they found Joel Niemann, Jaimie Wright, and Jim Myers and headed downtown. First stop, as usual, the South Halls steps, a trail-runners workout. After that, up W. College to Rapid Transit Sports to pay a visit to Terry and the gang. And then, like bulls in a china shop, we went to Kitchen Kaboodle, to say “Hi!”. The Beaver Avenue parking structure afforded another hill workout, as well as a view of Mt. Nittany on the blustery top deck. The group then broke up, some heading back to Rec Hall, and some going on to a downtown mid-day happy hour.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Healthy New Year to all! We start again next year on January 5 AT REC HALL (due to a Penn State all day practice at the MSF). Workouts at the MSF will resume on January 12, just in time for the first Indoor Mile Series races on January 14.

Continue on for a few photos from today's run:

Read more: Thursday Track Report: Jingle Bell Running Late

Thursday Track Report: Haulin' Ass

December 8, 2016

Today it *felt* like winter. Cold, windy, a good day to be inside. At least there was no snow, though that’s coming. Soon we’ll be flexing our glutes and lifting with our legs just to haul the snow off of our driveways. But for now, a different kind of glute flexing and leg lifting was in order. Tom Cali, John Domico, Michael Goldfine, Meira Minard, John Iceland, Mike Renz, Dan Coughlin, Mike Zimmerman, Bob Shafer, Mike Martin, Seth Senior, Josh Litofsky, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed to the Indoor Track for the regular workout. George Lesieutre, Bob Cornwall, and Esther Prins came indoors just to do a ceremonial lap so they could be counted as “present”.

Bwana and David Lloyd were still in recovery mode from Sunday’s Nittany Half, so they just did a few miles at an easy pace. Ditto Tom Cali, who’s still working on his ailing ass. It’s coming along and will soon be propelling to more age group wins. The rest of the “fast crowd” did a long metric pyramid: 200-400-600-800-1000-800-600-400-200. That’s 5K, almost double our normal workout. And they weren’t messing around. Haulin’ ass was more like it! Whatever they’re training for had better watch out.

This was the last regular workout of the year. Next Thursday, we’ll do our annual Jingle Bell track workout. Meet at Rec Hall decked out in whatever Christmassy running attire you can get together. We’ll head to the track and do our traditional 2X400: one backward look at 2016 and one forward look at 2017. Then terrorize shoppers downtown as we visit some of our favorite spots along the away: the Meira Steps, Rapid Transit, Kitchen Kaboodle, and the Beaver parking garage. Then back to Rec Hall. Distance is a bit over 4 miles and the pace will be easy.