Hakuna Tabata

Hakuna Matata, Hakuna Tabata. It’s all good...

Just got back from the All-American pilgrimage to that cartoon mecca where “all your dreams come true” – Disney World.  Six sun-splashed days with the ‘Berra party of 13’, touched all the bases throughout the week and we managed to do it without ever even coming close to killing one another.  Nieces and nephews all over the place, luckily our 5 children blended in with the 57,000 other youngsters inundating the resort – I have to say after seeing many of the others there that ours weren’t that bad after all – think I’ll keep them.  Our whole gang kept it between the lines and had a great time, you don’t know when or if you’ll ever get to do something like that again so it was great to get everyone together for a week like that.  My only regret is that I wished Disney would publicize their product a little more down there – I mean why stop at having channels 1-13 on the room televisions be Disney related channels?  You haven’t come up with the Disney Business Channel yet?  Donald Duck can’t read tomorrow forecast for the Disney Weather Channel?  You don’t feel like there is a need for Cinderella to whip us up a hearty stew for the Disney Cooking Network?  How do you ever expect to attain world domination with this slacker attitude?….

I left home for this trip 3 days early, then met my family in Orlando.  I first hit Los Angeles last Wednesday, got out that day in the normal (perfect) weather for 9 miles at a decent (6:30) pace on the boardwalk.  I was scheduled to leave Thursday morning at 4:55 am for Indianapolis, but got up at 3:45 (kept telling myself that it was really 6:45 back home..) and hustled down to the gym for a quick Tabata set on the recumbent bicycle.  15 minute warmup, 8×20 secs max effort w/10 secs rest, then 10 minute cool down.  30 minutes total, made my show time with seconds to spare.  I knew I wouldn’t have time for anything else during the day so it was good to get a little workout in and good to get the heart rate up a bit every now and then….

Landed in Indianapolis, then made my way over to the commercial terminal to catch a flight down to West Palm Beach, FL.  My 93 year-old grandfather lives in a condo just south of there (Delray Beach), and I was going to kill the day-and-a-half between my trip and the family vacation by hanging out with him.  Got down there in time for a late dinner, then was able to spend all day Friday catching up with him.  Managed to get in an hour run up and back the Delray boardwalk, hadn’t had a dose of the Atlantic heat (a.k.a. humidity) in quite some time.  On Saturday I took the local train down to Fort Lauderdale Int’l to catch a hop over to Orlando.  The visit to Delray Beach was good despite being short – hopefully I can get back down there soon.

Everyone made their way down to Orlando from PA and Raleigh on Saturday without any problems.  Between all the parks and meals it was pretty easy to find the time to get to the gym or out around a perimeter loop to burn some calories and avoid losing whatever kind of fitness I had built up the last 2 months.  I got in at least an hour every day, more on the elliptical than the roads simply because the road mileage wasn’t “flowing” like it had the previous couple weeks.  ‘Forcing’ things isn’t fun and probably not real smart, so during the 7 days we were down there I think I logged a 3 miler (recon mission), then maybe an 8.0, 6.0, and 6.0.  I also got in 2 more good Tabata sessions, and as I said before a bunch of elliptical work, sometimes even doubling up with the runs or recumbent intervals.  I think that maybe the earlier higher mileages caught up with me a little bit, so I tried at times to avoid additional pounding when I could.  I have this week off from work, so with nationals starting Friday evening and with the possibility of running one, two, or even three races, I will definitely make this week an easy one to ensure that I get fully recovered and ready to go.  Pool, pool, and more pool….

I am planning on leaving Thursday night to head over to Indiana, and am entered in the 3000m Friday evening.  I also entered the 1500m on Saturday, and then the 800m on Sunday.  Right now I am approaching it with a very relaxed attitude – I doubt I would be favored in any of the events, so for the first time in a long time I am just hoping to get out there and see what I can do.  I have wanted to run a 3000m for a long time, so I figured that this would be the meet to give it a try – since it’s the first event I’ll be fresh, and I am not nearly as concerned about how it will affect the 1500 and 800m as I would have been in years past.  That, and since it feels like I’ve been sick for every other indoor national meet I have ever run if I can stay healthy hopefully I can get in more than one good race.  Either way, like I said before I will be taking it pretty easy this week to get fresh again and see how I can do on a hopefully fast track against assuredly good competition.  After my extensive training at “Camp Mickey”, what could go wrong?…


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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