Aiming High

As I sit here in the great white Canadian north, I realize that by being too lazy to change the channel on the TV I have just watched/witnessed/endured the same episode of “Toddlers and Tiaras” twice.  Can you say “rock bottom”?  I’d consider myself the world’s biggest loser if I didn’t catch a couple glimpses of these beauty pageant moms – omg as my daughter would say…

Three more days off the roads.  After Sunday’s run, definitely felt it in my legs on Monday (and every day since).  No doubt about the fact that I over the last 6 weeks I may not have lost my conditioning, but the body is definitely not “road hardened” like it should be.  When I do get back out there (hopefully soon) I will have to take it slow and easy at first or I’ll be taking 3 days off in between every run massaging the quads.

Went out to the HydroWorx center on Monday to get in some speed/strength work.  45 minutes with warmup and cool down, in between a lot of short, fast intervals with very little rest.  3 sets, with the last one being a bounding set.  These workouts are welcome change from the long ones on the ellipticals.  Speaking of which, back to work Tuesday afternoon – 70 minutes on the Indianapolis Omni elliptical and 75 minutes this evening in Ottawa.  Would have gone out for some mileage today if it hadn’t been 7 degrees and snowing here – forecasted to get up to 24 tomorrow so unless the snow accumulates overnight I plan on running the canal trail in the morning.  Should then be home on Friday for a pool run before (drumroll please…….)…..

The Penn State Mile Series!  With the deadline for the Hartshorne Mile upon me, I need to know where I stand and put a couple of laps on the legs.  The Nittany Valley Running Club puts on a great 4-race series for runners of all ages and abilities, and the best part about it is they have access to Penn State University’s sweet banked track and FAT timing system.  I figure there’s no better place to jump in a casual indoor mile and see whether it’s worth the time and effort to head up to Cornell in a couple of weeks.  I think it’ll be a fun time, even though some of the “stats” are not really working in my favor.  By my calculations, I think I have only done one track workout (4×400) since early August, and have only run about 24 miles in the last 7 weeks.  Not awe-inspiring by any stretch of the imagination.  Last year by this point I had been in race-shape for over a month, and had been targeting Hartshorne before the season ever began.  I guess after Saturday I’ll know how good the pool and the elliptical are as primary base-training devices.

Two background episodes of “Sons of Guns” have restored order in my world of reality TV. A couple of episodes of “Swamp People” then a “Storage Wars” or two will hopefully eradicate the dreadful memories of those little divas and their psycho mothers.  Maybe I could one day star in “Underachievers” on the A&E…


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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