Thursday Track Report: Back At It!

January 11, 2018

An early January thaw made the trip to the MSF Indoor Track pleasant for John Domico, Judd Michael, Mike Weyandt, Andy Maguire, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Mike Martin, Seth Senior, Josh Litofsky, Nikita Fedkin, Logan Madill, Harriet Smith, Keith Henderson, Rich Harter, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur. It would have been warm enough to hit the IM Fields, but they were probably going to by muddy. That won’t last too long. Winter will be back at it by Saturday.

The break flew by, hopefully without too much damage to our individual training programs. Many of today’s trackers are going to run this weekend’s first Indoor Mile. Bwana suggested an easy tune up for all those doing that, but Adam (who isn’t running this week’s mile) wanted to do 3X1K to honor the memory of Horace Ashenfelter III, for whom the MSF is named. Ashenfelter, a Penn State graduate, was one of America’s top middle distance runners in the late 40s and early 50s and won the Gold Medal in the 3000 meter steeplechase in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, Bwana thought that volume was too high for those running on Saturday, but quite a few of the “fast guys” threw the throttle forward and did a high volume pyramid (400-600-800-1000-800-600-400) even though many of them will run the mile. Bwana and a few others ran 400s as a pre-mile tune-up. We had one newcomer show up today, who hopped in with the fast guys. For now he will be known as Red Beard Guy until Bwana gets his name.

Next week, we’ll all do a harder workout since there’s a week’s break before the second Indoor Mile. Until then, keep it up!

Thursday Track Report: The Whole Enchilada

December 21, 2017

The first day of winter was cold and sunny with no snow on the ground. John Domico, Bob Cornwall, Tom Cali, CJ Wagner, Esther Prins, Marty Klanchar, Mark and Nikita Fedkin, John Sheakoski, Andy Maguire, Mike Martin, Mike Zimmerman, Doug Schunk, Rich Harter, Andrew Tatusko, David Lloyd, Amy Blake, and Marty Mazur, dressed festively, headed out on the annual Jingle Bell Track Workout.

This year was hard on the old Crew. We’ve essentially been kicked off the PSU outdoor track due to Penn State’s new policy of closing down the University to all but paying customers. Maybe we can bribe the right people in 2018, but for now we can still use the MSF Indoor Track when the weather outside is frightful. But, back to the run, our first stop was our make-due “outdoor track”, the IM Fields on Park Avenue. There we did the “look-back/look-forward” on one of the squares there. After a photo-op, we headed past the tracks and ran down to College Avenue. The Eastview Terrace steps provided some entertainment to the Rothrock trail runners in the group. Too bad Meira was absent today. She’d have shown the rest of us how not to trop over our own feet. After the staircase, it was off to terrorize some downtown merchants, who were expecting our call. Terry and the gang at Rapid Transit safely escorted the Trackers through the store without too much loss of merchandise. And Kitchen Kaboodle was no worse for wear than if a bull had gone through their china shop. The last stop was the Beaver St. garage, where everyone climbed to the top for a picture with Mt. Nittany as the backdrop. In the course of a 4-and-a-half mile run, the Crew got in hills, trails speedwork, and agility. Not bad for the last Thursday Track of the year.

The MSF will be closed for the next couple of weeks. We’ll be back there again on January 11, just in time to get ready for the first Indoor Mile. Bwana wishes all a Merry Christmas, and a very happy, healthy, and speedy New Year!

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Thursday Track Report: On The Inside Track

December 7, 2017

It was cold, cloudy and windy as John Domico, Judd Michael, Michael Goldfine, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Mike Martin, Seth Senior, Ryan Burke, Doug Schunk, Harriet Smith, newcomer Keith Henderson, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed to the MSF. It was our first trip the the indoor track in a while, having been ensconced at the IM Fields for the last couple of months. The availability of the track was welcome due to the early December bluster.
 
Everybody knows the drill. As soon as we go indoors for the first time in a while, Bwana calls the NX3X300. Run a 300 (about a lap and a half on the indoor track) at a mile race pace or faster (but not a sprint). Take 100 meters rest, then do another 300. Then one more. After a set of three, take a lap or two slow rest, then do another set. And another, until you’re done. Most of us ran N=3 today. In the coming weeks we’ll be doing some more running to prep for the Indoor Mile Series.
 
Speaking of the coming weeks, next week we’ll have our regular workout. Then, on the 21st, it’s our Jingle Bell Track Workout, more of a quick jog around town dressed as a bunch of Christmas elves. Then we’re off for at least a week (I’ll check the availability of the MSF on 1/4). We might get one more good workout in on 1/11 before the first Indoor Mile on 1/13. But we’ll be working on improving our Miles through early February.

Thursday Track Report: Winding Down The Year

December 14, 2017

The year is winding down. Only time for one more real track workout before the Christmas festivities, campus closure, etc, keep us away from the painted lanes for the next couple of weeks. John Domico, Meira Minard, Costas Maranas, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Dan Coughlin, Mike Martin, Andy Maguire, Rich Harter, Logan Madill, Keith Henderson, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track on a cold, windy day.

Just because the year is winding down doesn’t mean we shouldn’t cap it off with a hard workout. At least one that starts out hard, but gets easier: A downward ladder, 5-4-3-2 laps in Lane 6. Do the 5 lapper (over 1150 meters in Lane 6) at between your 5K and mile race paces. Then, after 2 laps easy rest, do the 4 lapper (just over 925 meters) a bit faster. Two laps rest, then hit the 3 lapper (around 700 meters) at a pace at least as fast as your mile race pace. Then take just one lap rest this time and finish hard with a 2 lapper (over 450 meters) with the kick you have left. If your body can remember this workout through the haze of egg nog in 4 weeks, you’ll be just about ready for your first Indoor Mile race.

Next week is the Jingle Bell Track Workout. We meet outside Rec Hall at noon in Holiday running attire for a 4-5 mile jaunt past our workout haunts and through downtown. After that, we’re off until January 11. Have a great Christmas break and we’ll see you in the New Year!

Thursday Track Report: Closing In On Closing Things Out

November 30, 2017

The last day of a very mild November brought Tom Cali, CJ Wagner, Andy Maguire, Bob Shafer, Dan Coughlin, Logan Madill, Mike Zimmerman, Mike Martin, Jamie Wright, Ryan Burke, Harriet Smith, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur to the IM Fields under partly sunny skies with a crisp breeze blowing.

Bwana took a poll of those at the workout to see who was running in Sunday’s Nittany Valley Half-Marathon. It turned out that everyone, except Bwana, will be there! A prior commitment has called Bwana away from one of his favorite local races, one he’s run at least a dozen times in the last 20 year! So, to go easy on the half-marathoners (many of whom just ran a marathon a few weeks ago!), Bwana gave out an easy workout of a few long stride-outs, just enough to unwrap everyone’s legs. The Crew did 6 or 8 straightaways on the IM Fields, about 270 meters each, at kick pace.

Good luck to all who are running in Sunday’s Half. We’re winding down the year’s racing, but we’ll keep the training up to get us through the First Night 5K and keep us in a holding pattern until the Indoor Mile Series starts (in about 6 weeks!). Before the Christmas break, you can join us in the annual Jingle Bell Track Workout, which will be held in three weeks on December 21. Details on that coming soon!