Leadoff Leg, No Pressure

I’m writing this as I chug on down the tracks on the Amtrak Keystoner as it makes its way towards New York City.  The train ended up costing the same as the trip’s gas, tolls, and parking, so I decided to avoid the hassle (and latest batch of winter weather) and let the conductor do all the work.  Plus onboard wifi, what could be better?!?

I feel good about today’s race – the anxiety now is more due to the unfamiliar distance and the relay dynamic than my lack of recent race experience, which plagued me earlier this year.  I still lack speed work, but I’ve felt pretty strong lately so I’m banking on that to keep me in it.  Goal is 2:06 – 2:08 at the half, then hope for the best.  3:10 would be nice I think, but have to admit I am going into this pretty blind – not much would surprise me.  If I can feel my legs entering the final turn I’ll like my chances.  Even though we ran and won a Millrose race two years ago (masters 4×4), that was in the old house (Madison Square Garden), over a familiar distance, against my own age group.  This time around all that will be the same is the event name on the marquee and maybe the officials in tuxedoes.  I’ve run at the Armory before so I don’t expect any surprises, and I’ve run against young guys before so I’m guessing they still put on their pants on leg at a time just like me.  My ace the hole that I haven’t disclosed is that I actually ran a DMR 1200 leg in 1987 at the Cedar Cliff Relays – the longest race I ever ran in high school.  Drawing on that experience I “pity the fools” (keeping with the 1987 theme) that think I don’t know what I’m doing out there this afternoon…..

The week in review…

Wednesday:  (AM)  basement elliptical, 40 mins.  (PM) HydroWorx – 25 min warmup, 20 x 60 sec w/ 30 sec active recovery, 25 min cool down.

Thursday:  5 mile easy, local roads

Friday:  rest

Great day on Wednesday following Tuesday’s tempo run.  Still outdoor interval free, but I felt good about these two quality workouts.  Set out to repeat last week’s 16 x :60, but the water level in the pool was a tad low so the resistance was a little less than normal.  I had just gotten to the “good ones” (“good” being a runner’s term for “burning tough”) at number 14-15-16, so I pressed on and knocked out 20 instead.  80 mins total with nice long warmup and cool down, just what the doctor ordered.

Easy on Thursday, nothing on Friday.  Should be ready to go this afternoon at 4:15pm when the gun sounds.  If all goes well I’ll probably enter the Masters Invitational 800m at the USATF National Championships in Albuquerque in two weeks (on my birthday – my M43 debut!).  It’ll be a lot of travel, but even though it isn’t Heyward Field it was such a blast last year to get to run in the “big boy” meet I think I’d like to take advantage of these opportunities while I still can.  One thing at a time, will see how things go in about 5 hours.  “Next stop, Penn Station!  Penn Station!” (insert your conductor voice here….)

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, Competitive Races, HydroWorx Exercise Pool, Interval Training, Running, Tempo Run, Training for Runs, Uncategorized, USATF Indoor Nationals, USATF Outdoor Nationals and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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