Warrior Week

Since last writing, I have put in pretty decent time/miles every day.  I never really know how to count pool miles (as wear and tear on the body, or time spent on my feet), but any way I added them up last week I definitely came in over 50 miles, maybe even closer to 60.  Pretty high numbers for me – still definitely a different approach than in the past couple years, but then again I think my interest is changing a little bit from being strictly a track guy to maybe something longer on the open roads…

I wrote last Monday about going 12 miles out in the Stoney Creek forest.  I got in the pool on Tuesday for some high intensity intervals, with 20 minutes of warmup and cool down taking the entire workout almost 80 minutes.  On Wednesday I rousted my daughter for a dawn-patrol run (easy 2.5 miles) before school – not totally voluntary on her part, but she put in a solid effort so I have to give her credit.  I think the next time she is tasked with going out after school and getting some exercise she will think twice about going into delay mode to dodge her duties.  I got 9.5 more that evening (on my own) on the local loop.  Three days, probably over 4 hours of beating feet…

Back in the pool on Thursday.  Had every intention (as usual) of getting out to the high school track, but it never happened.  Got pressed for time with an afternoon departure on the schedule, so I jumped in the pool and hit it as hard as I could.  Three tabata sessions, followed by an interval ladder – 1:00, 2:00, 2:00, 5:00, 2:00.  Warm up and cool downs again took it well over an hour, it was good to get in something solid as I knew the next couple days might be light.

Spent Thursday evening and Friday in eastern North Carolina – specifically US Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.  Anson Flake of HydroWorx fame and I went down to visit my old USNA roommate, now a LtCol in the USMC.  A lot of acronyms, but that is pretty much the way it works in the military.  HydroWorx is holding an underwater marathon this fall to benefit wounded members of the US Special Forces, so we used our connection to visit the Marine Corps Special Operations Command.  We talked to a bunch of great folks down there, and hopefully a few of the relationships that Anson made will help some of the guys down there get up to Hershey PA in September and log some underwater miles while enjoying a little well deserved R&R.  The event is shaping up to be pretty cool, more info here.  Would have been a perfect visit if Anson wouldn’t have kept calling the marines ‘soldiers’.  If they told him once they told him a hundred times – “We prefer to be called Marines…..”

Needless to say, “work hard play hard” was the visit’s secondary theme, so the 4 miles we got in on Friday were not of the best quality after the abuse we inflicted upon ourselves Thursday night.  Ugh.  The legs probably enjoyed the break, however, so no big deal.  We flew home early Saturday, and so since I still had not fully recovered I got in the pool that afternoon for 75 easy minutes.  I went to bed very early that night – I’m definitely not 29 anymore…

Got out for 8 on the streets on Sunday afternoon, then 75 minutes yesterday in the pool.  Today I should have gone back outside, but even with the pool run yesterday the legs hadn’t quite recovered.  Got back in there this afternoon for an hour, should be good to go tomorrow.  The weather has sucked the past two days, so the pool was a nice fallback plan – tomorrow the wind and rain is supposed to break so I AM GOING TO THE TRACK NO MATTER WHAT.

So, essentially in the last 9 days I’ve put in 36 miles on the roads, and almost 6 hours in the pool.  I feel pretty fit, but still don’t have much direction in terms of a specific distance, let alone a specific race.  I’d still like to give the 800 (need to break 2:00 for crying out loud) and the mile (sub 4:20 still possible?) at least one more shot each in a competitive environment, then try go see “how low can you go” in the standard road distances, which I have never really paid much attention to.  The base is there, need to work on the speed.  STARTING TOMORROW.  No backing out now that I have written it in all caps….

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About Nick Berra

I am a 45 year old masters runner from Central Pennsylvania. I have been participating primarily in track events since turning 40 in 2009. This season has produced marks that I have not run in several years, I believe primarily due to starting a strength and flexibility program here at Elite Athletic Performance - I've felt stronger and faster than I have in a long time. That, coupled with lots of underwater running, has kept me healthy and fit - at this age those are things I no longer take for granted... I run USATF events with a team out of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. They are a great group who have played a big part in making the sport enjoyable for me again. I also run local races for HydroWorx Track Club, supported by HydroWorx here in Harrisburg PA. Their underwater treadmills and training center has proved to be a crucial part of my training, rehabilitation, and recovery programs. I set personal records in the 800m (1:56.06) in 2010 and in the 1500m (4:02:63) and mile (4:23.48) in 2011. Despite the fact that I am not getting any younger, I nearly PR'ed recently and set the M45 indoor world record in the 800 meters at the New Balance Armory in New York City. I ran 1:56.10, besting the 9 year old record by less than a second. I feel like there are still more big things to come... I am married and have two daughters. I am an assistant XC coach at my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School here in Mechanicsburg PA. I am also a 1991 graduate of the US Naval Academy, currently working as a pilot for FedEx after serving 10 years on active duty flying in the Navy. Beat Army! Beat Army!
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