Thursday Track Report: Ghostly Apparitions!

August 4, 2016

It was hot, but backing off from the heat wave, with sun, clouds, and breezes as John Domico, Randy Jepson, Costas Maranas, Mike Renz, Mike Martin, Mike Weyandt, Seth Senior, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, Dana Todd, and Marty Mazur headed to the State High track. It’s at about this time that the weather starts its long cycle down to the ideal running weather of Fall. And what comes with Fall? Besides football, I mean. Students! We’ll be having to move from the high school track in the next few weeks. Where will we go? Right now the Penn State outdoor track is still under reconstruction. We’ll always have the indoor track as an option, one we’ll appreciate in January, but not one many people like to use in September and October. We’ll save worrying about that until we need to.

Bwana has been getting a lot of blasts from the past, ghosts from long ago. He got an email from Kirk Rager whose path may take him back to our group again. And Kirk’s buddy Dana, not exactly a ghost but someone who’s been too busy with other things this summer for a regular track presence, showed up today. But it may be one his last appearances. Dana is headed to more humid climes (and even more intense football culture, if you can believe that) within the next couple of months. More on that later. And as Bwana was trying to dredge up a workout, and meanwhile regaling runners on a legendary Randy Jepson workout, who should appear as if summoned from beyond? Randy himself, a rarity in recent years! Today’s workout did not summon any ghosts of our younger capabilities. It was an easy one: 2  X 1 mile of Autochthonous Americans. Indians, for the Politically Incorrect. Form a line of 5 or 6 like-paced runners. Start running at about a 5K race pace. Last person in line picks up his pace to move to the front. When he gets there, the new last person continues the progression. A nice way to mess with your pace and breathing.

As I said above, we’ll soon be seeing the new last-in-lines, and their crazed parents, moving in. You may appreciate the above workout when you have to high-tail it across the street to avoid a minivan going the wrong way down a one-way street!

Thursday Track Report: The Summertime Drama

July 28, 2016

Summer vacations must be winding up. More of the regulars are showing up at the track. Lance Bland, Mike Weyandt, Dean Capone, Mike Martin, CJ Wagner, Michael Goldfine, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur were at there this sultry, cloudy noon hour. Mark Lee also showed up after the workout to do his own thing.

The 100 meter drama continues. This time it was Mike Weyandt saying he can run a 100 *yard* dash (Who does that anymore? Where is the 100 yard start mark on that metric track?) in 14 seconds. OK. That might be doable by a man under 50. We’re going to have to settle this at some point. In the meantime, the workout: With the temps down a bit, Bwana gave a bit more volume, both per rep and total: 4X600 at 1 hard 5K pace with 100 meter rests between reps. The Bwana bonus, awarded on the honor system is to those who tacked on another rep as good as the first 4.

As summer winds down, Bwana will be checking up on the status of the PSU track. We’d sure like to be outdoors when the State High kids take their track back. Enjoy the rest of the summer swelter.

Thursday Track Report: Hot Cross Buns

July 14, 2016

The title says it all. It was hot, Bwana was cross because of the light attendance, and those who came (Andy Cunningham, Eric and Megan Marshall, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur) moved their buns around the track: 4X500 @ 5K+ race pace. Not a huge volume or long reps, due to the heat. For those who are running one of the Arts Fest Races, it was a nice tune-up. Good luck to all those running races this weekend!

Thursday Track Report: Hard Hat Area

July 21, 2016

It was hot and sunny, but thankfully with a nice breeze and low humidity (for this time of year) as John Domico, CJ Wagner, Mike Martin, Mike Casper, Jo Ohm, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. It seems that every week we run at the High School, there’s a new route past all the construction. But people find their way back to the track without getting run over by hard hats driving front-loaders.

Speaking of front-loaders, that’s NOT the workout we did today. Due to the heat, the reps were short and fast and the volume was light, but Bwana did mess with the pace and recovery. The workout was 3X200 - 2X300 - 3X200. The first set of 200s were at a slowish 5K race pace. Yes, 5K race pace feels really slow when you’re only running 200 meters, especially if Bwana gives you a full 200 slow recovery between each one. Then, the 2X300 would be run slightly faster even with the longer distance and a meager 100 meter rest between the two. Finish up with 3X200, this time with the same long recovery but at a hard kick pace. This is an easy workout to scale up (say, to 4 sets of each) when the weather is cooler.

Today’s thinking cap question, courtesy of CJ, was how fast can one of us older, "middle to long distance specialists” run a 100 meter dash? CJ said he didn’t know but thought he could do it in 13 seconds. He needed a hard hat after Bwana’s “Are you kidding me???”. 13 seconds is a pretty good girls’ high school time. Yes, you could beat the girls back then, but you’re “over 40” now. We decided not to truly test that question (a 100 meter all out sprint is a good way to hurt yourself at our age unless you have a stunt double), but after the workout, where CJ did his best 200 in 39 (pretty good!), Bwana asked “OK. Divide that time in two. 19.5 seconds. I know you weren’t sprinting, but could you really take 6 seconds off that?” Revised estimate: 15 seconds. Maybe we will test that one. Anyone else want to risk blowing a gasket?

Thursday Track Report: Working Up To The Wading Pool

July 7, 2016

Hot, hazy, and humid. Take away the nice breeze and there you’d have it, Arts Fest weather.For those running one of the Arts Fest races just 10 days away, perfect weather (and perfect timing) for a high volume, medium intensity, heat acclimation workout. But while Tom Cali, Bob Cornwall, John Domico, Mike Weyandt, Mike Martin, Mike Renz, CJ Wagner, Dean Capone, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur all headed for the State High track, the Rec Hall group (everyone on the list up to and including Capone) seemed to only want to dip their toes in the kiddie pool. They’re working their way up slowly to doing workouts again, but at the rate they’re going the pools will close before they do their first real lap.

Bwana, just back from vacation and recovering from one of his brother-in-law’s incomparable martinis (and about 40 too many beers), set the bar low (for himself anyway), but encouraged Adam, David, and Joel to double up if they saw fit. Adam was already doing a slew of 800s. Bwana’s prescription was NX(800-600-400-200) with a generous, heat-recovery rest of 400 m after the 800 and the 600, and a 200 m recovery after the 400. Bwana could only count up to N=1 today, but he’s sure that Joel at least did more.

While we were there, Eric and Megan Marshall, the dual winners of Monday’s 4th Fest 4K getting ready to dual-win some more summer races, including the Harrisburg Mile in two weeks from yesterday, and maybe one of the Arts Fest races the Sunday before that. That’s how it’s done, ladies and gentlemen! At the track!