Happy Birthday to U(SA)!

Three days closer to lacing up the spikes again, I wrapped up the ‘heavy lifting’  phase and have begun to start the fine tuning.  Not that I am taking the trials lightly, but I’m trying to avoid shutting things down 4-5 days before the quarterfinals, which would put me 8 days out to the finals.  Granted, I am in uncharted waters here, but I think that just shuffling around for a week+ is probably a little excessive and ultimately counterproductive.   I am trying to be fresh for the trials, but peaked for the finals.  Is there a difference?  I don’t know for sure, but it sounds like something someone who knew what was going on would say.  I’ve said many time before that for the most part I’m just winging it out here – hopefully this blind squirrel can find another nut or two before wandering out into the busy intersection…
With all that being said, I got in one more quality run on Sunday afternoon.  In the heat of the day I ventured out to Stoney Creek Trail for a tempo run – I thought I read somewhere you should train in the heat to race in the heat.  It was pretty steamy out (probably 90+ with a healthy dose of east coast humidity), but not hot enough to slow things down.  I planned on 2 mile warmup, 2 miles at 5:30-5:40 pace, then 2 mile cool down.  The rain softened surface coupled with my soft pair of trainers made the ride very easy on the legs. Knocked out the warmup than eased into the pace work.  First mile was very comfortable at 5:43, mile #2 slightly quicker at 5:25 after the turn around and slight downhill grade.  Was feeling good so I stretched it for another half-mile at about the same pace, then 1.5 mile cool down due to the extended tempo phase.  Kept it right at 6.0 miles total.  As has been the case lately, I felt very smooth and strong – couldn’t help but to feel good knowing that the “hay was in the barn”, and all that was really left to do was to go hammer a couple of laps in California and see what happens.
Back in the pool on Monday for an easy 45 minutes.  Like I think I wrote last week, easy miles on the pool almost feels better than taking the day off.  Got in a massage afterwards as usual – all in all nothing fancy as the taper is officially underway.  Hit the early spin class this morning, then a ride up to my favorite concrete jungle (Elizabeth NJ) to fly a quick work trip before heading west.  I end up in Omaha tomorrow, planning on a day of rest.   Once in Sacramento I’ll do some shuffling and drills out at the track on Thursday, then it’s ‘game on’ Friday morning.
I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and flew your flags with pride.  I had forgotten what it was like to wear the USA garb until I laid it all out while packing for the trip – got the blood pumping like our old hunting dog who would go bananas whenever he saw you lay out the shotguns and shells because he knew what was coming next.  Hopefully I can help deliver the good ole’ USA a belated birthday gift on Monday evening!

“We will not go quietly into the night!                                                                                       We will not vanish, without a fight!                                                                                       We’re going to live on, we’re going to survive                                                                                Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!”

– President Bill Pullman, just before he and Randy Quaid (formerly Cousin Eddie) fly their F/A-18 Hornets off to destroy the aliens.   Could happen…..


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, Deep Tissue Massage, HydroWorx Exercise Pool, Masters Running, Masters Track, Running, Tempo Run, Track Sprints, Training for Runs, Water Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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