Making The Most Out Of Nothing

It’s been about 2.5 weeks now since the 800m at Drake, I’ve kind of enjoyed not having another race on the schedule.  In past years I’ve almost tried to raced myself into shape if that was possible, but in the end I think it wore me out.  With a couple extra years under my belt and on my legs I don’t think I could ever handle 2-3 races a month for a 9 month season that I did when I was 41 and 42.  Last year I took things very casual and probably only raced 5 times or so, but this year I seemed to have been invigorated a little bit by my new training routine at Elite Athletic Performance.  I had said that I was going to take this year off and get ramped up for my big “45” birthday, that is not really turning out to be the case….

That being said, having a solid month between events has allowed me to get in some good work – both quality and quantity.  I have made it over to the track once or twice a week, and if work has kept me on the road I’ve been able to get in a couple hard tempo runs in lieu of intervals.  Last Sunday I ran 1×1000, 2×600, then a couple 400’s, 300’s, and even a 200 with the spikes on trying to get 60 second quarter pace to feel comfortable after having the edge taken off.  I wouldn’t say I was just casually cruising that pace, but was happy with the lack of hamstring drama while hanging out at or under the target pace.

I had this week off work so I got in three good lifting sessions, three runs in the pool, a workout on the dry-land treadmill, and 9 easy miles this afternoon on the rolling roads of Enola.  Two straight weeks of 40+ miles, with about half of it coming underwater and half of it on the roads.  I also instituted ‘Operation Biggest Loser’ this week, getting up a little early and hitting the basement elliptical for 30 minutes before starting the day after my Drake celebrating seemed to last a little longer than the dietitian would have recommended.  It’s amazing how fast you can pack it on if you follow the lead of your taste buds – the tide seems to have turned a little bit as I have attempted to resist the cookie jar though and the scale has started to head in the opposite (right) direction once again.  Yo-Yo dieting for runners….

Home this weekend, then over to Allentown Monday afternoon to start a 5-day trip.  Due to its proximity to Harrisburg, I will be able to drive over there to start the trip.  Having my truck for the week means not only will I be able to get on the canal trail to get my miles, but I can also venture over to Lehigh University and get on the track once or twice.  Allentown certainly isn’t as sexy-sounding as Miami or Venice Beach, but as far as keeping the momentum going it will definitely serve the purpose.

Plan now is to run at either the West Chester Distance Festival or the Ridgewood Mile on Memorial Day weekend.  The West Chester meet is Friday evening, and would allow me to get another shot at 800m prior to the USATF Invitational 800 in June.  I ran there last year and arguably ran my best race of the year (4:24 mile), so I am definitely going to give that one a serious look.  The Ridgewood Mile on Memorial Day is logistically difficult (requires a hotel the night before and gobbles up a chunk of the holiday weekend), but I really enjoy road miles and this one offers some prize money that makes it very enticing.  I haven’t decided what to do, maybe I’ll just enter both and make it a racing holiday – sure the family would love that.  We’ll see – until then hopefully I can stay healthy, keep up the good training, and make the rest of this ‘unexpected’ outdoor season worth the effort.

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 Competitive Races, Drake Relays, HydroWorx Exercise Pool, Running, Tempo Run, Uncategorized, Underwater Treadmill and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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