Ramping Up To Slow Back Down

Day one of a short, weird week.  Coming off Saturday’s mile race, but heading into next Sunday’s 5k, I am left in what they refer to in the golfing world as “between clubs”.  By the time I recover from Saturday, I’ll be all but winding things down for Sunday.  If I was satisfied with my current physical state I would probably just ‘hold down the fort’ and not screw anything up for the upcoming Syracuse race – but since that is not the case I felt that I would try to squeeze in some extra miles if not for Sunday than for the half-marathon a couple of weeks down the road.

Got in the deep-water pool with the team for the usual Sunday evening workout last night.  They went through their usual litany of conditioning exercises, I wore the jog belt and just “ran” for 70 minutes.  Thought I might be able to get in a couple easy miles before practice, but between mass, family brunch, softball double-header, then week #2 of the local kid cross-country racing series (both girls showing promise, but nobody signing any scholarship paperwork just yet….) it never happened.  “Other” pool time was going to have to do….

Today I got out to the trail though and got in a good hour.  Forgot the Garmin leaving the house, figured I was probably better off without it today so I decided not to turn back to get it.  Beautiful afternoon, mountain still shedding a ton of water from all the late summer flooding so lots of streams and waterfalls were popping up where there are usually dry beds.  Ended up getting in a solid hour, started out easy and finished up at a comfortable pace.  Purposely avoided getting into a race with myself, without the “speedometer” on my wrist I think I did a half-decent job of keeping it under control.  Days like this make me anxious to get into a routine again which actually allows me to do this on a regular basis – something that I honestly haven’t done since probably the first week of July.

Might do a very easy threshold workout tomorrow, then probably back and forth between the pool and the trail the next couple days for some easy mileage.  Greater Philadelphia Track Club is fielding teams at the various age groups for Syracuse Festival of Races 5k, which serves as the USATF 5k National Championships.  Good thing about this race is since I have no chance of contending for any personal honors (at this distance I will be totally outclassed by a bunch of these guys – heck, I would probably be outclassed by most of them in social situations as well, who am I fooling…..), so I will be free to just try to run a good race and hopefully help out the team.  Shooting for a PR (16:15?), would love to break 16:00, and if the stars align and I once again prove to be in better shape than I anticipated maybe I can pop one and run 15:xx.  With great competition on what is always described as a great coarse who knows what’ll happen – sometimes strange things occur at unfamiliar distances….

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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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