Thursday Track Report: Back To School Already!

June 23, 2016

Turnout was really light today, despite having a nice outdoor track to run on. Andy Maguire, Mark Lee, Adam Ilgen, Joel Niemann, and Marty Mazur were the only ones who came to the track under partly sunny skies and warm and humid temperatures. Maybe it was the daunting task of negotiating the High School construction site? Hell! The University is more torn up every summer! Once we got there, we found that one of the curves of the track was covered with a tarp, except, thankfully, for lane 1. Such obstacles!

Bwana called for a low volume, but tough little workout, especially the second half: 4X200 at a hard pace (kick pace) with meters very slow rest. Nice long rest, right? Well as soon as you get done with that last 200, jog 100 meters to the 300 meter start line and do 4X300 at 5K pace with just 100 meter rest between. Those hard 200s really set you up. Like starting a 5K too fast to get ahead of the pack, then trying to find your pace.

Bwana will be away next week. Head to the HS track unless there’s thunderstorm weather, in which case go to the MSF. Have a great week and see you on July 7.

Thursday Track Report: Not Enough Sense To Come In Out Of The Rain

June 16, 2016

The skies were heavy and threatening as Judd Michael, Lance Bland, Rich Harter, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. Bwana met an athletic trainer at the track gate who said she was going to lock up the gate shortly. She also mentioned that she had information that the track would be torn up next week as the beginning of the replacement project. So, without even the State High track being available until at least the following week, it looks like we’ll be indoors at the MSF at least next week.

Indoors is where everyone else should have been. As Bwana was warming up, he heard the pelting sound of a strong shower on the metal roof of the MSF. Bwana peaked outside and saw several rather senseless individuals circuiting the track and several more just coming down the hill from Rec Hall. Bwana motioned for them to come in. Yes. He had to motion and yell. Bwana swears, the only reason he knew they weren’t a flock of turkeys is that they didn’t look up at the sky as rain began, open their mouths in confusion, and drown. Michael Goldfine and Jonathan Rice came inside, but Marty Klanchar stayed outside and may have drowned. The rest of the Rec Hallers hightailed it somewhere else.

Indoors, Bwana gave the old standby indoor NX3X300: N sets of 3X300 with very short rests between the 300s and a longer between sets. Bwana set N=3. As he proceeded through the workout, Bwana had to deal with the effects of rain-numbed brains, as a couple of the codgers in the group (not mentioning any names) had to be told to look alive and get the hell out of the running lane. Sheesh, it was like shopping at Wegmans on the afternoon of first of the month. Clear the aisle, geezer!

Vacation season is starting. Michael Goldfine is heading to Spain to do a wine-besotted pilgrimage to Santiago de Campostela. Bwana will be going to a family reunion camp out the week after next. And everyone else will no doubt have their turn. Bwana will try to keep you informed as best he can regarding the track venue as the summer progresses.

Thursday Track Report: Remedial Running

June 2, 2016

Today was the annual Special Olympics track workout. NVRC Special Agent Dave Eggler, who helps run the Track and Field part of the show, gives us the OK to do our workout as the athletes are arriving for opening ceremonies. It was drab, humid, and drizzly as Jim Myers, Lance Bland, Costas Maranas, Michael Goldfine, Alex Wouden, Rob Shaver, Dana Todd, Jonathan Rice, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur showed up at the track. Tom Cali, John Domico, CJ Wagner, Mike Zimmerman, Mike Martin, Dean Capone, and Seth Senior were also there, but just to check the track box. “We’re not training for anything that needs speedwork right now!” was how the’ve put it the last couple of weeks, which has to be the lamest excuse in Bwana’s Giant Book of Excuses for Missing Track. So, why don’t you just take completely off of running those times of year when you have no race on the horizon? To ask that question is to answer it, and the same goes for speedwork. But who ever said runners were smart?

Bwana had similar problems with those who stayed for the track workout. It’s like the first day of school when you have to explain everything twice, including where homeroom is. The workout was not too hard to get your head around, but “remedial common sense” was the order of the day. The workout was 4X600 with an interesting way of doing them. Each 600 is broken up into 3 200s, straight with no breaks. The first 200 is done at a slow, 10K-1/2 Marathon race pace. It almost feels too slow. The second 200 pick it up 5K+ race pace (a good 4-5 seconds faster for the 200). The last 200 is kick pace with a hard finish. See if you can gain another 3-5 seconds. You’re really feeling it at the end, but the whole experience makes repeat 600s go a little faster because you’re not dreading the start of each rep. Take a slow 400 jog between reps.

When Special Olympics packs up, we may be without the use of the PSU outdoor track again. I’ll try to find out and let you know. We may move to the High School track.

Thursday Track Report: Topsy-Turvy

June 9, 2016

What a topsy-turvy Spring! Just before astronomical Summer is supposed to officially arrive, we got a taste of late-Summer misery and humidity for last weekend’s races. And now, April weather has returned with cool breezy days interspersed with rain. Still, it was nice and sunny (though mild and windy) as Lance Bland, Judd Michael, Marty Klanchar, Costas Maranas, Charlie Vassey, Jonathan Rice, Rich Harter, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track.

Bwana took advantage of the cool weather by calling for long reps. A downward ladder with some high yardage reps that we usually avoid during the Summer swelter: 1200-1000-800. Start the 1200 at 10K race pace moving to 5K race pace by the last lap. Take a 600 meter jogging rest, then do a 1K at 5K pace. Then, after a lap’s rest, do the 800 with your 5K to race kick pace, if you can manage it.
The same Rec Hallers, including Tom Cali, Mike Martin, Mike Zimmerman, Bob Shafer, CJ Wagner, Alex Wouden, and a few others, who last week claimed they don’t need speed work at certain times of the year, dropped by for an obligatory lap and perfunctory howdy. I don’t know how that regimen is working out for them. It looked like a few of them have forgotten which direction to run, not only on the track, but in terms of body orientation. CJ needs a lesson in tying his shoes, almost going ass-over-tea-kettle on a 50 yard run as Bob Shafer beat him running backwards. Maybe they’ll get it together by the time they show up at the track again, though I have my doubts…

I’ll let you know if/when we move to the high school track as things develop at the PSU track.


Thursday Track Report: Total Consciousness

May 26, 2016

It was the first “hot” day of the year, appropriately occurring just before the Memorial Day weekend ushers in the start of Summer. Jim Myers, Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Michael Goldfine, Mike Casper, Alex Wouden, Mike Martin, Callie Burke, Joel Niemann, Rich Harter, David Lloyd, newcomer Jonathan Rice, and Marty Mazur headed to the track under hazy skies. Costas Maranas got his workout in early and was finishing just as Bwana pulled up. Some time Tracker Richard Weyer was doing his own workout in the outside lane, and Mike Zimmerman, Dean Capone, Meira Minard, and Bob Shafer made a perfunctory pass by the track, but could not be convinced that it was an ideal day for a workout, probably because it was an ideal day for Zimmerman’s birthday and that group was just trying to find a dunk tank for him. Bwana suggested the feed troughs at the pig farm across the street, but that just never washes out. Never.

Jonathan is a student from South Carolina who is taking summer classes at Penn State. He’s more than used to the heat, and the workout pace, since he’s on the track team at Wofford College. Bwana gave a pretty tough, but compact workout to start the season’s heat acclimation: the Mini-Frontloader - 2 X (800-200-200-200). Run the 800 at 5K race pace, then after just 100 m jogging rest hit 3X200 at 5K kick pace (if you can) with just 100 m rest between. It’s basically a couple of 1400 m runs with short rests breaking them up. You should be still recovering from the 800 as you work your way through the 200s. Not a bad way to start the Summer!

Who’s doing the Memorial Day Weekend Double? That is, running the Black Mo 10K (or 5K) on Saturday, then the Boalsburg 3.8 Miler on Monday? If you do, then "Gunga Lagunga": Bwana hereby grants you Total Conscious on your deathbed. So you’ll have that going for you. If not, run at least one of the races. And enjoy your burgers and beer. Stay safe in your travels. And we’ll get back to training for Arts Fest Weather when we resume.

By the way, we’ll definitely be on the outdoor track next week because we’ll be warming up the track for Special Olympics participants. After that, who knows? There may be bulldozers ripping up the old track right away to get ready for a new track. If so, we may move to the high school track, because by then the kids will be done.