No Shoes and Mean Geese

Plan for the week was to get in an interval workout in the pool on Monday, then hopefully find a track in Allentown sometime later this week while on my layover.  Since Allentown/Bethlehem is only about 90 miles from home, I drove there to start my trip – having wheels will be a layover luxury and will hopefully help me get to a track.

The pool enabled me to get in an interval session less than two days after racing.   Still no soreness from Swarthmore, so I warmed up and set the treadmill and resistance jets to maximum.  I had been doing “800’s” (2:00) a lot lately, so in keeping with the recent ‘longer interval’ theme I planned on 3:00 intervals at the same speed.  6×3:00 w/ 1:00 active rest.  Turned out to be an awesome set – I hadn’t felt this good in a while.  What should have been pretty tough was very comfortable, had it been on land I would have felt like I was up on my toes to finish each one.  Maybe it was something I had for breakfast or the extra hour of sleep but whatever it was I should bottle it.  Long (20 mins) easy cool down afterwards, almost didn’t want to get out of the water (but of course I was late for school pick-up as usual….).

Drove to Allentown Monday evening to begin a week of nightly flights to Indy and back.  Or so I thought.  Got to Indianapolis and was told they didn’t need me to go back until Wednesday morning – no problem, I’ve never complained about getting paid to do nothing so I went to the hotel for a day off.  Only problem was that I broke the cardinal rule of piloting – never separate yourself from your luggage.  In an attempt to minimize my gear, I left my suitcase in my truck (at the Allentown hotel) and only brought a gym bag of hastily packed essentials with me to Indy.  Three pair of running shorts but no shoes in the bag – I considered buying a pair in order to get a run in but ended up just calling it a rest day out of necessity (and fiscal responsibility).  Live and learn (although I have been doing this for too long to have not been prepared for the worst….).

Back to Allentown Wednesday morning as planned, weather here hadn’t changed since I left Monday night.  Gloom.  Got a nap, then checked the weather radar to see if any time to go was better than another.  Had my choice between bad and worse so I just went.  Got some info about a local trail here in Allentown/Bethlehem – The D&L (Delaware and Lehigh Valley) Trail follows the Lehigh River and was great.  A little soggy due to all the rain they have gotten this week (and today), but a crushed stone trail that follows the river for miles – no traffic, no curbs, but lots of aggressive geese.  Something about a hissing goose seems to send me off the trail and through the high grass every time – I know in the whole food chain thing I am probably many, many rungs above him, and I don’t even know if they can actually back up that hiss (can geese bite?), but you would have thought on this day that they were friggin’ tigers the way they owned the trail.  Maybe tomorrow I will dress in that stuff that guard dog trainers wear and not back down – I’d be curious to see what they are prepared to do next…

Bring it on, hissing goose. Nothing above the neck or on my hands though please.....

8 miles in a steady rain at old cruise pace (6:30).  Felt good until about the 7.5 mile mark, then got a weird twitching sensation in my left hamstring so I immediately shut it down.  Walked for a minute then jogged it in without any problems, don’t know if it is just me being gun-shy about hamstrings or whether there was actually something going on back there.  Guess I will find out tomorrow – has felt fine ever since so I’m guessing maybe it was a little cramp or something meaningless.  Plan will probably be to longer and easier tomorrow, then maybe go over to Lehigh University on Friday and hit the track.  Maybe the other way around, will see how I feel when (and where) I wake up tomorrow.  All I do know is that I will have my shoes at my side no matter where I end up…


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!
This entry was posted in Aquatic Fitness, Hydrotherapy, HydroWorx Exercise Pool, Interval Training, Resistance Therapy Jets, Running, Underwater Treadmill, Water Running and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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