Everything's going well as I get ready for the USATF Masters 5K Nationals in Syracuse this coming Sunday. Ran 62 miles last week with a few key workouts, including 8 x 200 @ 34 w/200 jogs on Tuesday and a 10 miler with 2 x 10 minutes tempo w/2:00 rest on Friday. Yesterday I did 6 x 3:00 @ 5K effort in my racing flats and that felt really good, so I'm optimistic that I should have a good race on Sunday. The level of competition is going to be about as tough as any race I've ever run, so I need to watch myself early on and not get pulled into a pace that I can't handle. If all goes well, this should be one of those races where I pick off a lot of people who go out too fast early on. Fall is definitely here! Getting ready to head out the door for an easy run and it's cold, windy and rainy.
Originally released in 1985, Love was one of the best rock 'n' roll albums of the '80s and still sounds great today. The Cult began their career as The Southern Death Cult, but by the time of their 1984 debut Dreamtime they began to shed a lot of their early goth influences and were much more in tune with the likes of Led Zeppelin, who would become an even more obvious influence on Love. Like Jim Morrison, Vocalist Ian Astbury was a tad overly fascinated with Native American lyrical themes (no mistake that he was invited to sing for the reformed Doors a few years ago!), but The Cult rock much harder than the Doors ever did. Love (and Dreamtime) remain The Cult's finest moment. The singles "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Rain" sound as thunderous today as when I first heard them as a youngster and the re-mastering here gives them even more punch. Other highlights are the Stooges-like "Phoenix" and, of course, the anthemic opener "Nirvana." The expanded addition is well worth it for a bonus disc that includes all of the original 12" mixes of the singles, plus the B-sides, while the accompanying booklet has quite extensive liner notes and interviews.
Had another really good training week, which culminated with my second overall win in a road race this year at the Lorain Aids Task Force 10K. The race ended up being a good amount longer than 10K -- a quick survey of three people who wore GPS devices had it at more like 6.54 miles. This made much more sense as my finish time was 37:50, which would have been my 'tempo' pace for an actual 10K. At 6.5 and change my pace was 5:47 per mile, which converts to a 35:48 10K according to the always handy Team Oregon Pace Wizard. Despite the long course, I was very happy with my effort. I ran the same overall pace as I did for 5 miles two weeks ago on Labor Day Weekend, so the strength is definitely building. Also, as I won the race by about 4 minutes, I didn't have anyone pushing me in the crucial middle miles. Other workouts this past week included a tough session of 8 x 1000 meters on the track with 400m jogs for recovery and 8 x 150 on Wednesday for a little turnover. Next race will be the USATF Masters 5K championships in Syracuse on October 4. Really looking forward to that one. I'll be doing a couple of 5K specific workouts before that race to sharpen up.
Had a very good post-race week, hitting 68 miles without any issues. Mainly just easy stuff, other than hill repeats on Thursday and a 14 mile trail run today. Next week I'll be racing a 10K in Lorain on Saturday. Originally I was going to do the Cleveland Heroes 5 miler on Sunday, but Bella and I will be in Pittsburgh for the opening reception of a solo gallery show she is having there, so it will be a pretty late night. I'm looking forward to doing a 10K anyway as it's a bit of a rare race these days and I'd like to lower my masters personal best of 36:06, which I ran back in April. I don't know anything about the course next Saturday, but assuming it's reasonably flat and the weather is decent I think a sub-36 is in the cards. I won't really be tapering this week as I'll be doing 8 x 1000 meters with 400 jogs on Monday and some 150s for leg turnover on Wednesday, but Thursday and Friday will be short and easy so I should have some spring in my step on race day. The focus continues to be the masters 5K National Championships in Syracuse on October 4 and then the plan is to do some higher mileage for a month or so before coming back down and getting reading for the masters cross country National Championships in Louisville in December.
Ran my first race on Saturday after a nine-week base training hiatus and finished as the fourth master at the always competitive Northcoast Challenge in Westlake with a time of 28:50. I was really happy with the race for several reasons: (1) I was a little rusty from no racing in a while; (2) I had just kicked a pretty pesky cold; and (3) I was coming off my highest mileage block as a masters runner. Last week I ran 72 miles, which was the first time I had gone over 70 as an old guy. As for the race, the plan was to go out conservatively for the first two miles and take it from there, so after hitting 2 miles in 11:46 (5:54, 5:52), I went to work and ran 5:45, 5:45, and kicked it in with a very strong 5:34. I was really happy with the last two miles as mile four is pretty much all on a grass and dirt trail and to be able to roll off of that on to pavement and crush the last mile was a great feeling. This week it's back to my now usual 65-70 range and I plan on racing again on the weekend of Sept. 19/20 as final prep for the masters 5K national championship race in Syracuse on October 4 where I hope to lower my masters PR of 16:54.