Three more decent days since last post.  I’ve almost forgotten what it is like to have an entire week off – it’s been kind of nice to be able to work a plan around interval sessions instead of trying to cram them in the couple of days I am home and have a track available.  It’s also been nice having 75 degree days with light breezes – all in all a great week to make some hay…

After Saturday’s water-intervals, was looking at coming back for a track session on either Monday or Tuesday.  Decided to go with Tuesday intervals, but forewent a recovery day on Sunday and instead opted for back-to-back days with some intensity.  Got out Sunday afternoon for a tempo run around the local loop.  1 mile warmup, then 4 miles at threshold pace.  5:45/5:51/5:39/5:37.  1 mile cooldown, 6 miles total.  Pace similar to what I ran in Seattle a couple of weeks ago, felt much more controlled this time around.

Spin class Monday morning, then 5 easy that evening.  As the day wore on and I couldn’t find an hour to get out and run it looked like it was going to become a day off, but I was finally able to squeeze it in as it was getting dark.  Nothing crazy, but felt good to avoid getting shut out.

Tuesday was interval day – another warm and sunny one.  Originally planned on heading out to the high school around lunch time, but found myself knee-deep in yard work so I shifted on the fly and decided to just make it an evening session like last Thursday.  Worked out well since I had swim practice duty at the high school anyway, perfect “kill two birds with one stone”.  Warmed up for 1.5 miles, then down to business.   Today’s distance of choice was to be 1200m at roughly 5k pace.  Slightly slower than last week’s 1000m pace, was going to try to shrink the rest just a hair.  Targeting 77.5 at the quarter, 3:52 each with 400 jog in between.

#1 started out strong, but I ended up having to dodge a couple of walkers/kids on bikes right around the split marks so I got a little lazy.  3:56.07, not real impressive.  #2 – #4 were all very even, very controlled, very consistent – always a good thing.   3:52.78 – 3:52.04 – 3:51.17.  #5 3:44.65 – didn’t try to do anything different, but for some reason the body always seems to know where the finish line is so I obviously picked it up a little bit whether I realized it or not.  Was a little surprised at the time, leads me to believe that if push came to shove I could probably hit these around 3:45 or so, even with the roughly 2:45 jogging rest….

Going easy tomorrow morning before heading up to the Big Apple for a New York Yankee game with the neighborhood gang.  Should be a great evening of baseball, guessing there will be some dogs and suds thrown back so a little run beforehand will probably help keep the day from being a total gut bomb.  I got confirmation from the meet director at Swarthmore that I was accepted for the meet Saturday evening – will be a good test to see where I stand.  It’ll be a no pressure event – winning and losing won’t mean a thing, so I hopefully will be able to attack things a little bit without the fear of making a tactical error.  Probably a bunch of easy between now and then, will have my crash helmet ready for Round IV with the young guns on Saturday…


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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