West Coast Swing

Two days out west, like last week’s visit to Los Angeles it was nice to be able to lose the tights and don the sunglasses for a couple of long runs.  Made my way to Memphis Monday night, then worked the trip out to San Diego.  A great layover city – a lot of good food you can’t always get back east and 364 days of year you can count on sunny skies.  Tuesday did not disappoint – probably 72 degrees so I took advantage of it.

After an unplanned day off on Monday, thought I would take it up a notch on Tuesday.  Once I got going, settled into a tempo pace and started banging out the miles at a comfortably aggressive pace.  Miles 3-8 all around 5:50-5:55, finished up 10 in around 60:30.  The warm weather definitely helped, made me want to start counting the days until spring hits Pennsylvania.

Ball-buster of a night out of San Diego – up to Ontario CA (LA), then Oakland, then finally down to Phoenix.  Became obvious why this trip was available – nobody stupid enough to fly it except for me.  After checking into the hotel in a zombie-like trance, got some good sleep then hit the streets of Tempe (layover location).  Started out with a brisk run up “A” Mountain – an almost vertical climb to the top of a big hill that overlooks Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium.  Assuming the name comes from the big ‘A’ painted on the side of it – just a guess.  It definitely got the blood flowing.  After coming back down (felt great on the already tired legs – not), made a big loop around the downtown river/lake.  Very casual pace, legs feeling yesterday’s intensity.  Ended up with getting in 8 total, had hoped to crash by the pool afterwards but it seemed like right as I was finishing up the clouds rolled in and the temp dropped.  Figures.

Back to Memphis (via LA – straight back would be way too easy) tonite, then catching a ride home.  Had hoped to get some intervals in tomorrow, but guessing I am still going to be a little shot.  Will either do them in the pool, or wait until Friday.  Signed up for a race on Sunday down in the DC area – had gone back and forth about what to enter, decided on 3000m.  I didn’t want to interrupt these last couple weeks of training, and figured that an 800m would be more disruptive than a 3000m – this 2 miler will be more of a workout, and will be able to train right through it and pick it back up right after.  If I don’t get a track session in tomorrow I will just do it on Friday – Sunday’s event isn’t important enough to take any time off in preparation.

Booked my wife’s flight to Albuquerque yesterday, so I guess that means I am going as well.  No more waffling.  Entered both the mile and the 800m, planning on giving both of them a try but until check-in anything is possible.  Altitude thing still on the back of my mind, maybe I’ll let the cabin pressure creep up a little bit tonite during the flight and go back and run in place for a while – I can’t afford an altitude chamber to train in so you have to do what you have to do….

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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