Thursday Track Report: A Lot To Swallow

November 17, 2016

The beautiful Fall weather continues with sunshine and 50 degree temps in mid-November. Great time to run outside. Nonetheless, the turnout at the indoor track has been growing! John Domico, Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Meira Minard, CJ Wagner, Mike Martin, Dan Coughlin, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Josh Litofsky, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David, Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the cozy confines of the Multi-Sport Facility.

The runners broke up into workout groups, some doing repeat 800s and some alternating 2 and 3 lappers in Lane 5, thus bracketing 500 meters. Depending on the volume (and the more you do, the better as the Nittany Half approaches), that can be a tough workout to get down! The swirling vortex that was generated on the infield indicated a successful workout.

We may have to do our annual Jingle Bell Track Workout in a few weeks not only with no snow, but without an outdoor track. I’ve been advised that we won’t be able to use it until Spring (and hopefully then: they’re still working out “rules of engagement” on the new track for non-PSU clubs like ours). So, for now, we’re outdoors until the swallows return to Capistrano.

Thursday Track Report: Seeing Orange

November 10, 2016

America woke up in the middle of this week to find that the orange is still with us.The mild Fall has kept the leaves from leaving their summer homes to join the earth. The unruly, Cheetoh-topped hills are obnoxious in their obstinacy. Despite the beautiful day and the unavailability of an outdoor track, Tom Cali, John Domico, Bob Cornwall, Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Michael Goldfine, Joel Niemann, Meira Minard, Mike Zimmerman, Bob Shafer, Mike Martin, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the indoor track.

The Crew was oddly eager to get things done. (Odd indeed, since Meirkat is not usually a fan of the flat oval). A good portion of them ran repeat 1Ks. The rest did a mix of 3 and 4 lap tempo runs in the outer lanes, bracketing the 800 meter distance. Adding volume at these distances is the ideal half-marathon tempo workout.

That Half-Marathon, the Nittany Valley Half, is coming sooner than usual since the mOUnTaiNBACK was later than usual this year. But, it’s always been the case that if you’re trained up for mOUnTaiNBACK, all you need to do is top it off with a few long runs to keep your edge until the first week of December. Maybe by then the leaves will be down. So keep it up!

Thursday Track Report: Trackbirds

October 27, 2016

The Snowbirds always make their way to Florida and Arizona when the weather turns cold up north. Likewise, the Trackbirds, largely absent when the weather was good, are coming indoors to the MSF now that Fall is getting more “autumnal”. When it was too nice out through late Summer and early Fall, runners skipped the indoor workout. (Our outdoor track venue, as you know, has been under construction). We’d get maybe 4 or 5 show up. Today, with temperatures in the 40s and a steady rain, there were 13 at the track: Tom Cali, Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Mike Martin, Andy Maguire, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Dan Coughlin, Ron Cunfer, Adam Ilgen, Joel Niemann, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur.

Most people were there for a pre-mOUnTaiNBACK tune-up. The faster bunch did sets of 3X300 to get their leg turnover going. Some others did a few longer reps, but not too many.

The weekend looks a little better: 70s on Saturday, but we may get a warm little rain on Sunday. Hopefully not too much. The outdoor track really looks “done” now. Lines painted. Construction guys looking over their handiwork. But it’s not open yet, and there are still No Trespassing signs all around the fencing. Hopefully we can use it soon. There were a few real Trackbirds sitting on the fence. A bunch of crows just waiting to christen the perfect new surface...

Thursday Track Report: Multi-Track Editing

November 3, 2016

The outdoor track is still not open, but no matter: the weather was off and on rainy, so Tom Cali, John Domico, Costas Maranas, Judd Michael, CJ Wagner, Andy Maguire, Torrie Raisch, Mike Martin, Bob Shafer, Dan Coughlin, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the welcome (though humid) shelter of the Multi-Sport Facility Indoor Track.

Everybody had ladders and pyramids in mind, but wanted to do different things. So we made a mix tape. The “fast group” did an up-and-down pyramid of 200-400-600-800-600-400-200 in lane 4. (Maybe there was another 800 in there at the pinnacle, Bwana doesn’t know. He doesn’t run with those horses.) They looked to be going about middle-distance race pace. The slow-pokes, including Bwana, challenged each other again on a downward ladder in lap-land: 5-4-3-2-1 laps in lane 2, getting successively faster. Out in lane 5, Brett Gravatt was doing reps in his racing wheelchair. Brett has been mastering the technical aspects since he tried the Indoor Miles last Winter. He’s controlling himself on the turns much more easily without any noticeable slowdown, having “edited out” the glitches and stammers. And he starts from a dead stop getting pretty quickly up to speed.

Bwana hopes to do a few higher volume long-rep workouts in the next few weeks in preparation for the Nittany Half. Stop by for all or part!

Thursday Track Report: The End of Indian Summer

October 20, 2016

As I sit here, I am experiencing the end of Indian Summer,…excuse me, Autochthonous American Summer. Wind. lightning, and a falling barometer all portend the major cool down coming over the weekend. Earlier, those portents were not present. It was warm, sunny, and humid. Since the outdoor track is not yet open, the Rec Hall Crew, for the most part, decided to do some outdoor running somewhere else rather than head to the stuffy MSF for an indoor workout. Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Joel Niemann, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur workout out inside. Sam Thompson was there, too, prepping for his big 73rd birthday run.

Bwana gave a new workout today: 2X(2X400-2X200). With a 1+ lap rest between each rep, the reps should be run hard, and indeed they were.

Still no word on the “done date” for the outdoor track. Teri Jordan says the "rumored schedule" has been slipping all summer. The track itself looks done, though no lines are painted. Some of the construction trucks are no longer there. But the track is definitely not open yet. Indian Summer is over, but the snow has yet to fly, so there’s time for hope.