This week has kind of flown by but just to update the training, I've had a couple of solid long runs in the metro park this week, 11 on Monday and another 11 today. Weather is definitely starting to get cold and windy, but it shouldn't be too bad for the 5K on Saturday. Probably around 40F at guntime. The race will be my last hard effort before club nationals so it feels a little weird to see a season wind down when I feel like it only just started with all my ups and downs this year. Right now I'm thinking I'll train for a few weeks post-nationals and race on New Year's before taking down time in January. My usual pattern had been to take a break in December post-XC and then get a bit too overzealous in January and February when the weather was at it's worst.
It's been over five years since we've released something on Elephant Stone, but we have a reissue planned for early next year. The Lucid Dream -- not to be confused with the current UK band of the same name -- were a psych/rock band from Gloucester, England who garnered a buzz touring with Echo and The Bunnymen (their 12" "Dippy" EP was recorded by Bunnymen guitar legend Will Sergeant and keyboard player Jake Brockman and released on their Euphoric Records imprint). Sadly, like many buzzed about bands, fame wasn't in the cards for The Lucid Dream. As a new blog devoted to the band points out, "by 1992 it had all gone to pot after a series of set-backs and not long after the bands last gig in London at The Robey they decided to call it a day in June 1992. Luckily the band recorded a whole host of eight track demos (including some released on cassette only label Acid Tapes) and these along with the 'Dippy' EP make up the new release 'Object Of Reality'. The Lucid Dream were Dave Battersby (vocals), Ant Walker (Guitar), Craig 'Spadge' Sparey (Keyboards) Andrew 'Smurf' Mirfin (Drums) and Andrew Watkins (Bass). Later on in the bands career John Page played live on rhythm guitar."
Battersby and Walker would go on to play in the fantastic Reverb, whose entire studio out put was compiled on the Elephant Stone release Swirl and later the two would form the highly-acclaimed instrumental group The Land of Nod (Elephant Stone released a U.S. compilation entitled Reality Channel).
I'll keep you posted here, and on the recently tweaked Elephant Stone website. Fans of groups such as Echo and The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes and early Inspiral Carpets will not want to miss this! Object of Reality will be pressed in a limited edition of 200 CDs with an 8-page booklet featured many photos and extensive liner notes.
11 miles at the metro park before work. Good run. Enjoying this weather. Hope it stays decent at least until I fly to Seattle for Club Nationals on December 8. Looking forward to a good strength workout this weekend and then it's time to make sure I'm sharp and fit for nationals. This year my prep has been a little different as I usually do a Thanksgiving race as my last race before nationals. This year I feel like a good 5K a week before will suit me better as I'm doing less intervals now so it will be a nice V02 blast at the right time.
Ran 11 miles in the park before work and felt great. Maybe it was the extra coffee as I got up early for a doctor's appointment and didn't run until noon so I had time for a second cup post-doc. That's the one thing I love about working second shift, you can get so much done before going in to the office. The downside is adjusting your body clock to early morning weekend races when you're used to working out mid to late morning. Again, coffee seems to do the trick. Anyway, the weather was perfect for my workout and though the legs were still a bit beat from Saturday's tempo, the run felt pretty easy just like it was supposed to. 85-90 minute runs are feeling like second nature now and I feel like I have more in the tank in my hard workouts as a result of that.
Dusted off the XC spikes and ran a 20 minute tempo on the grass perimeter alongside the Lakewood Park paved mile loop. Workout went really well with me going 6:25, 6:19 (12:44), 6:12 (18:56) enroute to the full 20 minutes. The effort felt about the same as when I ran 6:10 pace a few weeks ago for my road tempo though the legs definitely got worked more due to the uneven grass surface. Some spots where a little mushy and others rock hard. Felt good though and I feel strong. Normally my differential from track/roads to grass is more like 15-20 seconds per mile so keeping it just under 10 seconds today has me feeling good about club nationals. I've been training 5 weeks on the one hard workout a week system now and it definitely seems to be clicking with me. The longer runs in the week are getting me stronger and the days off in between are allowing me to really recover. If you're in a rut, read the Rich Stiller article I linked a while back. Next week I think I'll do my 6-5-4-3-2-1 fartlek on grass in spikes again. That workout always works really well for me but I've never done it off road.
Hit the metro park this morning and did my now-standard second 11-miler of the week. It was upper 30's when I started so I brought out a hat for the first time this fall and opted for track pants and a long sleeve. Still not cold enough for the windbreaker yet! Pretty windy so I kept it nice and easy and didn't push at all. I ended up about two minutes slower than Tuesday's run, but it felt right for the day. The current schedule I'm on is all about getting in the easy miles with a key stress workout or race on the weekend, so now easy run heroics! I'm tentatively planning on a 20 minute tempo in spikes on the grass perimeter loop at Lakewood Park Saturday. This will get me into an XC frame of mind without trashing me. I'm learning that I don't need to kill myself in workouts to stay fit. Right now I'm think of racing one more time before Club Nationals, most likely a 5K on the fast Lakewood Park neighborhood course on Dec. 4. It will be a good reference point for me too as I ran 17:32 there at the beginning of October.
I've never been a massive fan of Manic Street Preachers but I've loved a good number of their singles and their epic mid-Nineties albums Everything Must Go and This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours. While the Welsh group is probably most famous for the disappearance, presumed suicide of guitarist Richey Edwards who was last seen on February 1, 1995, this two-CD collection vividly shows that the band deserves props for their storied career more than anything else. The early material comes across as classic punk rock meets Gun 'n' Roses, especially on the debut full length Generation Terrorists, but the two follow ups before Edwards' disappearance showed a darker, more melancholic side. The aforementioned post-Edwards material found the band at full stride on beautiful orchestrated masterpieces, such as "A Design For Life." I had lost track of the band c. Y2K, but the newer stuff holds its own, including a riveting cover of The The's "This Is The Day."
Did my standard Wednesday 11 miler at Rocky River metro park and everything went smooth other than getting hit with more rain than I would have liked. I thought about running 47 laps on the track (11.75 miles) as a weird birthday stunt (one lap for each year!), but I wasn't planning on running as much as I did today. In retrospect, maybe I should have. There's always next year. Anyway, the park was nice and peaceful and my second shift schedule is ideal for long weekday runs, so I rolled with it. Now it's time to make sure I'm rested up for Saturday's race. I'm hoping to be able to make it to Oberlin post-race to catch the D3 College XC districts. An old high school buddy coaches Kalamazoo College's team.
I'll post a few music things soon. Listened to the new Noel Gallagher solo album before my workout and it's pretty good. Maybe a tad on the bombastic side production-wise but some of the tunes are really good. There's a new Manic Street Preachers compilation available on spotify.com too. I have been an on/off fan of the Welsh rockers over the years but their best stuff is excellent, especially a few of their mid-Nineties albums.
Drove out to Mastick Woods this morning and ran 90 minutes (45:00 out, 44:40 back) on the bridle paths. I'll call it 11 -- close enough. Felt surprisingly good for two days after a hard interval session. I think the dirt trails helped. Need to get in a few more of these trail runs before club nationals. Feeling really good and enjoying the fact that my running definitely seems to be on an upswing. Weather was really nice. Right around 60F. Won't be like this for long.
Mile repeats are a staple of competitive runners in races ranging from the 5K all the way up to the marathon. I've found that it's one workout where you can't fake your fitness. It's not that hard to run faster than race pace with ample recovery when you're doing 400s on the track, but when you crank the distance up to one mile with minimal recovery, you're in a whole new world. Today I drove to Lakewood Park to do 4 x mile on the marked bike path with 440 recovery jogs (I allowed myself 3:00 between reps) and I had my best workout of the fall. After an easy 3 mile warm up I ran the first one in 5:55 (trying to be pretty conservative) and it felt super easy. After that I got into a perfect groove and hit the next three in 5:46, 5:46, 5:45. The effort was @ 8K race pace give or take (I wasn't redlining like I would in a 5K race but it was definitely more aggressive than a threshold run). The last two weeks have really rejuvenated me. I wasn't 100% happy with my Youngstown race but I felt like I've turned a corner since then. My stomach issues have completely vanished -- I think it's a combination of finally finding the proper intensity/recovery ratio in my training and improved diet (gluten-free plus probiotics). Next up is the Twinsburg Turkey Trot 5 miler a week from today. Later this week I'll post the PDF of the course map, which includes an elevation chart. Basically a huge climb in the first two miles followed by some rollercoaster rolling hills the rest of the way!
The Lost Rivers may hail from Germany but this is no cheesy Euro techno trip. Their debut seven-song EP My Beatific Vision (Northern Star Records), is a no-holds-barred noise rock masterpiece. The ten-minute opener "Death of Eve" (see above) is a statement in itself with its mesmerizing wall of sound that touches on bands such as The Stooges, Jesus and Mary Chain, The Telescopes, and A Place To Bury Strangers. The Lost Rivers are already at work on a full-length album. Can't wait to hear more.
The Lost Rivers – My Beatific Vision
Nice easy run at Lakewood Park today just to get the kinks out before tomorrow's mile repeat session. Felt really good. First 4 miles were easy recovery pace before throwing 4 x 40 seconds with 1:20 off in the last mile for a little turnover. Felt really good and the weather was perfect. Could do with a little less wind, but I guess that's what you get for running in a park just off of Lake Erie.
Masters runner Rich Stiller recently published an excellent article on how he came back from the dead in his mid-forties and managed to run some very impressive races on half the mileage he had been previously training at. Entitled "How Jeff Galloway and a Heart Rate Monitor Saved a Runner," this piece pretty much sums up what I have been going through this year first with constant quad issues in the Winter/Spring and until recently, various stomach ailments. If your running is in a rut, I highly recommended this article!
Had a really nice run in the metro park this morning before work. Ran on my usual out and back segment along the river and through the woods and felt a lot better than I did on Monday. I feel fully recovered from Saturday's tempo as evidenced by the quicker pace (not too much quicker though -- just north of 7:50ish -- trying hard to keep the easy days easy). My next hard workout will be on Saturday, most likely 4 x mile with 400 meter jogs for recovery. I'll do this on the marked path in Lakewood Park. Depending on how I feel, I may spike up and run them on the grass perimeter.