Adios to Bethlehem

Two good days to wrap up the week here in Bethlehem.  Caught a break Wednesday night when once again the flight schedule changed.  I got cancelled before even leaving Allentown, so back to the hotel for a normal night’s sleep.  I figured I would move the intervals up from Friday to Thursday and take advantage of the extra rest.  Out to the Lehigh University track on what turned out to actually be a sunny morning.

Still don’t have much direction or plan regarding the style of workout that should be done.  I don’t think that I ever really did before, but back then I guess I went with the ‘ignorance is bliss’ program, and just tried to kill everything I did.  Now, with seeds of doubt planted, I am kind of in no-man’s land.  Long or short, fast or slow?  The thinking Thursday was that I felt a little tired from the run yesterday, and I did have the little hamstring ‘sensation’, so I went with long over short.  I’d done two slower workouts lately and felt that the pace just wasn’t quite enough, so I went with fast over slow.  So with Long and Fast as the winners, I found some common ground and went with……..

5×1000, was going to target 74 second quarters, 3:05 or less.  Active rest, start each one on the 6:00 so the recovery would be a little less than 3:00.  Warmed up for 1.5 miles with drills and some leg swings.  I couldn’t find my watch as I was heading out to the truck, thought I would have to use the Garmin which is not good for this sort of thing.  Luckily I had an old K-Mart special stopwatch in my truck so I ripped off the neck rope and went old school timing.  With watch literally in hand, got to it.

#1  3:04.11  Through the quarter way too fast (71), tried to adjust and relax and ended up pretty close to the target.  Pace felt pretty fair.  #2  3:04.44  Same start as the first one, had to adjust again and came through again right on target.  #3  3:03.50  First quarter in 72 just seemed to be the pace de jour, so instead of adjusting to hit the pace I just kept going.  Resulted in a little faster time, still felt pretty good though.   #4  3:00.26  Guess I had mentally adjusted the goal to reflect how I was feeling.  I kept telling myself that the second to last one is always the worst one, tried hard not to lose focus.  #5  2:57.97  Made a conscience effort to go through the quarter in 74, then the 600 in 1:51 – right on “original” pace.  Started easing into it gradually and finished pretty strong – 66 or so final quarter.  Cooled down for a mile, strength and stretching afterwards followed by a great lunch with MIA GPTC teammate Bob McGinty.  His talk of returning from some leg and foot injuries was good news, I’ve been anxious to get ‘the relay’ gang back together…

Pretty happy with the workout.  Again, I have to go back and see what I’d done in the past because 5×1000 was a pretty regular thing last year.  Think the times were about what they were on Thursday so that would be encouraging.  Like I had said before, getting this workout done while on a layover was huge – having wheels at the hotel makes all the difference in the world…

Picked the worst hour of the day (as usual) to get my run in today.  Back on the D&L Trail, 10 easy miles in the rain.  I didn’t mention it the other day (too shaken from all the ferocious goose run-ins), but the trail takes you right in front of the old (and I mean OLD) Bethlehem Steel Plant.  Not to sound dramatic or anything, but that building/plant/mill is about the most eerie structure I have ever seen.  It is absolutely

Picture doesn't do it justice. Make the Wicked Witch of the West's place look like Disneyworld...

huge, and looks like a page torn right out of an Industrial Revolution textbook.  It has obviously been shuttered, and is in the process of having the lot turned into a Sands hotel and casino, but when passing it you can’t help but just stare at it.  Pretty crazy.  10 miles, about 1:13:00.  Very comfortable, no lingering stiffness or soreness from yesterday.  Heart rate very low and steady, if I had any ability to interpret data I would take this as a good sign.

Long night tonite then home tomorrow afternoon.  Will be pressed to get anything in, maybe an easy 30-45 in the pool.  Sleep will be at a minimum (zero) so we’ll see.   Haven’t mapped out next week yet, I don’t have to go back to work until Wednesday night, and then just for 2 days…

Sad note – saw that Macho Man Randy Savage died of a heart attack/car accident today.  He was my man back in high school, back before professional wrestling was fake.  Ooooh yeahhh!  Still think he was robbed in his title bout with Hulk Hogan, but will save that for a later entry.  RIP Macho Man…..

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself - and the Macho Man!"


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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