Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas from some of our Track Family down in Scottsdale, Arizona!!
Have a Safe and Happy Holidays!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

    - Linc

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blame Canada

I know I promised an actual running update, but my computer completely crashed last week and I wasn’t able to do it. I was able to recover the data and then miraculously, I got it to come back to life on Friday. So, a running update is coming, but this couldn’t wait…

The CBC Athlete of the Year was announced this weekend (here), and I have to say, I’m ashamed to be Canadian right now.

With all the great athletes this country has, Canadians decided to pick a dead horse as the Athlete of the Year; along with his rider, Eric Lamaze, who has previously served a 4 year suspension for testing positive for cocaine before the 1996 summer games. He then tested positive for a banned substance again, as well as cocaine, before the Sydney Games and was removed from the team.

A Horse is not even Human!! This is who we picked for our Athlete of the Year.

Others up for Nomination included Corey Perry (NHL – great finish to the season reaching 50 goals), Joey Votto (MLB – MVP caliber season), Patrick Chan (Figure Skater – World Camp), a slew of others, and Track and Field’s own, Dylan Armstrong. 

Track and Field is probably the most widely contested sport in the world. Dylan was the #1 ranked shot putter in the world in 2011, finished 2nd at the World Championships, Won the IAAF Diamond League, Won the Pan Am Games, Broke the Canadian Record (more than once), and Won the World Athletics Final. It was sad to see how few votes were cast in his direction; in the direction of all the other REAL athletes, for that matter.

The Horse (Hickstead), received 56.9 percent of the votes. Patrick Chan was 2nd with 11.6 percent and Dylan was 3rd with 9.6 percent. 

Really, Canada!?! That is pathetic.

Those who voted for a dead horse and its coked out rider as our National Athlete of the Year should be ashamed of themselves.

I know I am.

  - Linc

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pop Champagne

Well, exactly one year ago today, I had a 2.5 inch incision cut into my lower abdomen, had my inguinal nerve removed and a square piece of gortex mesh stitched into my fascia to repair what’s known as a sports hernia.

Everything feels great and I’m just thankful that all has gone well and I’ve been able to return to training at a high level!

Since my season ended in August, I’ve been pretty bad/lazy about updating my blog, so a lot has happened since then. Stick with me and I’ll try to keep it brief!

At the end of August I went up to Midland, Ontario (a couple of hours North of Toronto) to do some archaeology work with my brother. The first week or so wasn’t too bad, as I was still in downtime after the season. After that, things weren’t too much fun. I was working 10 hr shifts, which had me leaving the apartment at about 7am and returning at 6pm, depending on how far we had to drive (one day it was Windsor and back, 15hr day!). The work itself wasn’t exactly easy either; hauling a 40lb awkward wooden screen through vines, thorn bushes, poison ivy and dense forest while getting attacked by mosquitoes and digging holes every 10 meters to screen the dirt for artifacts.
Some days definitely sucked.
When I got home, it was time to kick off the work boots, throw on some running shoes and get out the door for 7 or 8 miles before it got too dark. I wouldn’t exactly call it ideal for training. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

It wasn’t all bad though. The snowmobile trails up north are great for doing mileage runs in the summer/fall and it was certainly nicer running than being in Scarborough. We also found a few cool artifacts along the way and a previously undiscovered Huron Indian village.

I worked there until the end of October when I finally got to head south. Perfect timing. Just as the weather was getting cold in Ontario, it had cooled off to ideal running weather in Arizona…I arrived in Scottsdale for the start of our first structured training cycle of the upcoming year. Without all the work, it was certainly easier to train harder and recover properly.

My first weekend down here, Mel and I made the trip up to the Grand Canyon for the first time. I proposed while we were up there (in case she said no, then I could throw her off) and she said “Yes”. Well, actually, she said “Are you serious?” a couple of times before saying yes! Haha. So, I’m engaged.
We went back to celebrate in Flagstaff for the night with my teammates Ellerton and Lisa. Instead of drinking champagne, we played flip cup and quarters. Keepin it classy.

I’ve settled in to a good routine down here now and we’re halfway through our second 3 week training cycle and things are going great. Workouts have been solid and the mileage is building.
I’ll hopefully have a more in depth “running” update in the next few days…

     - Linc

Thursday, November 10, 2011

For The Glory Of Old State

It’s a sad day in Happy Valley.

It’s hard to describe the emotions that I’m sure many Penn Staters are feeling today. Disheartened, confused, sadness, disbelief, anger, shock, bewilderment, grief…

I was a Varsity athlete at Penn State for 5 years. I was also a teacher and coach in the State College community. The crimes that were committed by Jerry Sandusky were repulsive and disgusting acts of humanity; the most heinous of crimes that you can commit. It’s upsetting to know that there are people in the world like this, let alone to find out they are a part of the Penn State family. The fact that it was able to go on for so long makes it even worse…

Success With Honor.

This has long been the motto of Penn State Athletics and the Penn State community as a whole. Joe Paterno is the person who started this. He has always preached doing things the right way; that being successful in the classroom and as a human being were more important than winning. He has one of the best football graduation rates in the country and the second most academic All-Americans in FBS history. He has given back his own money and dedicated his life to making Penn State and its community a better place.

Could he/should he have done more? The answer is most definitely yes.
However, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy for us to say that. Had his superiors done what they were supposed to at the time, it would have been enough.

The lack of action throughout the entire athletic department/university is shameful. Why Mike McQueary didn’t act immediately is something I will never understand. To see what he saw and walk away from it to make a phone call is absurd. You are about 6’3 and 220. Go knock Sandusky’s ass out…Do something! He should not be on the sidelines Saturday while JoePa sits at home.

It really is upsetting to see how poorly Penn State is being portrayed through all this because of the acts of several brainless/disturbed individuals. That is not who We Are…

For all those who aren’t Penn Staters, it might be difficult to understand the passion, dedication and pride with which we speak about our Institution. It’s difficult to express in words how Penn State becomes ingrained as part of you…I’m saddened that this is how you will come to know and speak about the place we are so fond of.

Penn State is so much more than Joe Paterno, Tim Curley or the football team.
We Are…ranked among the top 15 public universities. We Are…the largest student-run philanthropy in the world (raising 78 million for the kids). We Are...over 8,500 top-ranked faculty. We Are…Olympians. We Are…Nobel prize winners. We Are…one of the top research universities in the country. We Are…44,000 other employees. We are 570,000 alumni.
We Are….Penn State.
I’m not defending the tragedy or actions/in-actions that took place, but, I will always be Penn State proud.
We’re ever true to you, dear old white and blue. Onward, State…
  - Linc

Monday, August 22, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane

This morning, I find myself in yet another airport, Newark this time, as I prepare for what is hopefully my last flight for a while! Finally, back to Toronto.

I actually don’t mind airports, people watching can be quite entertaining sometimes; airports are perfect for that. You don’t often have to look very hard to find someone doing something that will make you laugh…either because of their mannerisms, stupidity or just the sheer bewilderment at what they’re trying to attempt. Or maybe just the way they look. There is plenty to observe.

It’s amusing to watch people try and rush past the line onto the plane, like they need to get on as soon as possible and are more important than everyone else. Really? They’re going to wait for everyone to board anyways; rushing past people onto the plane is not going to move up your departure time. Calm down…Then there’s the wide variety of characters getting off the plane. A couple who are obviously coming back from vacation, a string of people on a business trip, the guy who’s visibly nervous about the big meeting he’s heading to (and not dressed properly for) and the new acquaintances who are awkwardly saying goodbye after talking on the flight for the past hour.

Then there’s the non-stop stream of people constantly parading by you for inspection. Some crying babies in a stroller drooling on themselves, a person on the back of the golf cart who doesn’t actually need a ride, a 300lb dude who should have to buy two seats on the plane, the occasional hot chick, the occasional chick who thinks she’s hot, a family wearing matching souvenir t-shirts from their vacation, an old couple that should be on the golf cart and on and on it goes…

 "Can you come to the airport? I forgot my pants."        Legolas wants his boots back.

People watching is fun.
You know where else is good for people watching? The bars on a Friday or Saturday night when you’re sober and nearly everyone else is drunk. That, is entertaining. But, we’ll leave that for when I’m in season.

- Linc

Friday, August 19, 2011

I've Been Everywhere

I’ve been living out of a suitcase, basically, since May 19th now. It’s a bit strange to have your entire life packed into one bag for that long, but it seems almost normal now…I’m relaxing with Mel in Philadelphia this week before finally heading back home to Toronto on Monday.

Seeing as I’m not running right now, and Mel works all day, I have some free time on my hands (actually, a lot of free time). I’ve looked back at everywhere I’ve traveled these last few months. See if you can follow along!

Scottsdale --> Flagstaff --> Los Angeles --> Philadelphia --> Vancouver --> Phoenix --> Flagstaff --> Calgary --> Vancouver --> Victoria --> Vancouver --> Toronto --> Frankfurt --> Brussels --> Kamen (Germany) --> Leeds --> Manchester --> Bradford --> Kamen --> Turnhout (Belgium) --> London --> Turnhout --> Leuven (Belgium) --> Brussels --> Montreal --> Philadelphia.

Along with a bunch of small stops in between along the way…You might be saying to yourself, “that’s a lot of places, I wonder how many miles that is?” Well, I just happen to have added them all up….I told you, a lotttt of free time on my hands. It was 32,208.7 km or 20,023.6 miles to be exact; enough to get me my “Prestige” status in the Star Alliance for next year. No more bag fees. Sweet.

To go off topic completely, what the hell is with this new trend/fad/craze called “planking”. Honestly, it might be the stupidest thing I have ever seen to actually get given a name. Why is this even recognized as being something real. Here’s a link so that you can check out the absurdity of it for yourself:

While I’m on the subject, I also hate the use of the word epic. Yeah, I said it. It’s annoying and completely overused. Epic should be used to describe something like the ocean (literally epic) or a book such as The Iliad and The Odyssey. Your haircut is not epic, neither was your shot in beer pong, the picture you took, your new shoes, or the fact that you got out of work early on a Friday. Nor was something someone did, an “Epic Fail”. It makes no sense. Fail is a verb, failure is a noun. Fail CAN’T be epic.  It is not epic, to say epic. Please stop saying it.

    - Linc

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ain't No Sunshine

I almost wrote this Saturday night after hitting up the Beer/Music/Food festival in Leuven after the race. It would have been my first slightly intoxicated entry on here, so I thought that, maybe, I should hold off. Although, it probably would have been a bit more entertaining to read…

The last few races didn’t quite go according to plan. It’s tough to hit some fast times when the weather is such garbage. I think the past 12 days in Belgium has been filled with some form of rain every single day. I’ve never seen a summer so cold and rainy in my life. Basically, the weather has sucked… I knew I was ready for a good race after the pacing job in Oordegem, so I was hoping the meet in Ninove would be the place to do it. The guys were going after the A standard again, so all I’d need to do was hang on for as long as I could. Unfortunately, I was put in the B race and ended up leading through about 1000m. It was also pouring rain and about 14/55 degrees. Other than getting introduced on the line to the Monday Night Football theme song, it was pretty forgettable.

After that, I decided to head off to England again for another 800m in the BMC series. I arrived in the UK on the 9th, amidst all of the rioting; not the best timing for my first trip to London. Luckily, I didn’t get raped or robbed. The 13 year olds were too busy pilfering the shops and fire bombing police cars...I stayed with my roommate from Scottsdale, Darren St. Clair, who showed me how real driving is done on the wrong side of the road. The race itself was mediocre. After a beautiful day, it decided to get cold and windy in the evening (again!). I ended up 3rd with a 1:49.68. Only .27 behind 1:43 man Chepkirwok! Ha. I had agreed on doing some more pace work here, little did I know what I had gotten myself into. After I crossed the line, I spoke to the meet director about my duties and found out that I had 6 minutes recovery before pacing the women’s 800m in 62. I then had 12 minutes recovery before pacing the men’s 1500m in 2:02. Surprisingly, I was bang on. But, the 2:02 hurt more than 1:49. A painful experience, to say the least. I’m not sure it was worth the money!

The race Saturday night in Leuven was the last one of the season. I was excited for another chance to finally run something fast. It was raining all day, but by the time the race rolled around it wasn’t actually too bad. The first 200m was fine, but then it felt like we came to a crawl as I chopped my stride and had to slow up several times over the next 600m. The leaders were through in 2:00 and I was about 2:01. Way too slow. It seems like I have no finish right now, regardless of the pace. So, it would have been much better for me to come through 2-3 seconds faster and just hang on. I don’t think it would have made me close any slower. I ended up 7th, I think, in 3:45.18. The pacing Wednesday night probably didn’t help matters…Oh well, I guess.

And so ends a very frustrating season.

I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off before easing back into things again. Can’t wait to have a proper, healthy fall under me for once! Looking forward to it…

    - Linc

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Field Of Dreams

We were surrounded by farm fields in the middle of nowhere, Belgium. It seemed as if we were driving in the wrong direction. I can’t recall even seeing a sign for Oordegem. We were lost... Then, poking up just beyond the tops of the trees ahead to our left were some light standards. Really? This is where the track is? This is where we’re going to try and run some 3:34’s for 1500m?
It was hard to believe.
The track itself was actually really nice. There was a small stadium, a bar, a short woodchip trail for warm up and a very fast surface.

It reminded me of Field of Dreams.

The temperature was perfect and it was dead calm. Other than a couple of random raindrops, you couldn’t ask for a more ideal setting to run a race. Kyle Smith and I were meant to set the pace. He was going through 800-900m and I was going to 1000-1100m depending on how we felt. The agent who set up the race gave everyone a specific order to run in. I’ve never heard of anything like that before. It seemed a little weird. When Nate mentioned that he didn’t want to be right behind me in 3rd, he almost got tossed to the B heat. That was that, everyone had their positions.

We went through the first 400m in 56 high, 57. We put in a bit of a surge there after getting yelled at to pick it up and my legs didn’t feel too good. I was worried I might not make it. Then, by 600m, they felt fine again. We came through the 800m mark in 1:54.0 and I felt great. Kyle swung out at about 850m and I took over from there. I hit the 1000m mark in 2:21 low (a new pb! Ha) and felt fine. I kept it going up the home straight and hit the bell in 2:36.0. The race was on.

Nate continued to push the pace up the back straight until the Ethiopian athlete took over at maybe 200-150m to go. Ciaran O Lionaird (Irishman) came flying up out of nowhere around the turn and battled the Ethiopian all the way to the line. Nate was hanging on and Taylor was making a late push…
1st and 2nd were both 3:34!? I couldn’t believe it. There was certainly some magic in the air on this night. Now we just had to hope Nate and Taylor weren’t too far back…Unfortunately, they came up just shy of the standard with a 3:35.80 and 3:36.71, respectively.
Nonetheless, a great race for everyone involved.

I know some people have been skeptical about the times, but I saw it happen and had 3:35 low on my watch for Nate. It was legit.

Time for the Canadian boys to take another crack at it Saturday in Ninove. This time, I’ll actually be racing. Hopefully, I didn’t leave my best effort of the season on the track as a rabbit!!

   - Linc

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Da Dip

The last race in Gent didn’t really go as well as I had hoped for. It was cold and windy and you didn’t know what heat you’d be in until they called you to the line. I didn’t feel very good after about 800m and never felt relaxed. I think I struggled home in about 3:48.1. Hopefully, it was just the travel catching up to me. Writing about a race when it was crap is no fun, so I’ll leave it at that.

Our group was living in a little town called Kamen-Methler (about an hour north of Dusseldorf), Germany for a little while; it’s not exactly an exciting place. Aside from the Sport School where we were staying, there were about 2 restaurants, 1 grocery store, a train station, some soccer fields and a couple of Pharmacies. With boredom setting in quickly, Ellerton and I took to whooping up on some local German kids at their National pastime: Foosball. It was very satisfying, even if they were only 13.

With all the downtime we had, Wynn came up with a little routine that he’d lead us through to help with our flexibility. I think it turned out pretty well. Check it out below (I'd recommend full screening that bad boy):

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

I’ve returned to good ole Turnhout, Belgium for the next couple of weeks. It feels good to be back, some familiarity over here is always nice! We’re heading off to Oordegem tonight so that Kyle and I can pace Nate and Taylor in a small local meet to hopefully hit the A standard! Best of Luck to them!!

    - Linc

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Here, There And Everywhere

My apologies, it’s been a while since I last ventured into the world of online blogging. I’m sure all my faithful readers have been on the edge of their seats for weeks now, waiting for an update…Well, here it is!

I’m not really sure where to begin. There’s been a lot that’s happened in the last little while and I can’t even remember what I wrote about last! Ha. Quin just reminded me that our Sushi meal was in the last one. I guess that puts me back on the West Coast…

My second race out there wasn’t as good as the first one, but still my 2nd best of the season. 3:45.90. Along with a solid first race, it was also great to see many familiar faces. We had a bunch of Penn Staters make the trip, with fellow Nittany Lions Ryan Foster, Cas Loxsom and Fawn Dorr all competing. As well Lisa Hopey who made the trip up to spectate with Mel!

The Toronto International Track and Field Games were up next, so I hopped on a plane to Toronto where I was able to spend about 10 days at home; my first time back since March. I had another mediocre performance at Toronto finishing 7th in a time of 3:44.53. The results are still moving consistently in the right direction, but they’re still frustrating as well. The times are just not up to the level that I expect of myself. This was the final meet in the National Track League (NTL) which saw 10 different event Champions crowned. I thought it was a great idea and definitely hope that it continues in the future…If things such as running clocks, announcers giving splits/projected times, music, small entertainment between events, and a beer garden could be added to all the meets, then we’d really have something!!

Off to the Nations Capital. The Athletics Ontario Championships were held July 16-17 and I decided to delay my trip to Europe by a couple of days in order to compete. The 1500m was on Saturday, followed by the 800m on Sunday. The weather was scorching hot with temperatures reaching (without the humidity) 34/94 and 37/99 degrees, respectively, when I raced in the early afternoon each day. The 1500m on Saturday went well. I sat in second place for most of the race and had a strong last 100m to claim the victory. The 800m went much the same way. I ran the first 700m in second place before swinging wide in the home straight and powering home to another “W”. It had been far too long since my last win on the track and it felt really good to do it again. It also gave me some renewed confidence and an entirely new mindset in approaching the upcoming races.

I went straight to the airport in Ottawa after the meet and flew across the pond to Brussels after a connection in Frankfurt. I took the train up to a little town called Kamen-Methler where I settled in with the rest of our group that was already there. Tuesday consisted of a couple of easy 20 minutes runs to help shake off the travel. I think I found out Wednesday, that I would be heading to Manchester to race the Trafford Grand Prix, part of the British Milers Club(BMC) series. So, I had to book another flight and jump back on the train/plane Friday to head over to England; you know: Fish, chips, cup o’ tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary Freakin poppins… I was traveling with Lemlem and Ellerton and we decided we’d rent a car in Leeds/Bradford instead of taking the train. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. I’ve never been a passenger on the wrong side of the road, let alone driven there. Getting used to being on the left hand side, as well as shifting with my left hand, took some getting used to. I also found myself looking up and out the window for the rear view mirror on several occasions. We had written down some directions off the computer and somehow managed the 70 minute trip each way without one wrong turn. Somewhat of a miracle; and I only almost killed us twice.

I was racing an 800m in Manchester and I wasn’t sure what to expect with all the travel and being my first race off the plane. When all was said and done, I had another first place finish and a new PB of 1:48.73! Definitely feels good to win again…Even if it was the “B” race. I led from about 250m to go, so there’s still more in the tank! Hopefully, I can keep this win streak rolling…

The day following the race, Ellerton and I got in an easy 50 minutes before heading off for some Manchester sight seeing. I was pretty pumped to be able to head up United Road to Old Trafford for a first hand view of the Theatre of Dreams...Then we drove into central Manchester to take in the sights and sounds of the city. After walking around the city, taking some pictures, watching a fight and some little kids get smoked by the water fountains we settled in at an old English pub for some dinner. I figured I had to try Ye Olde Fish ‘n Chips with some local cask ale. It hit the spot.
Here’s a few pictures form our journey along with my race video:

I’m back in Germany for a couple of days before heading to Belgium for a 1500m on Saturday night!
Until next time, Cheers mate!

    - Linc

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Walk Like A Champion

Alright, so writing this thing is a bit harder than I thought it would be amidst all this traveling around. You’d think there would be all this time, but it just seems to disappear…probably because I just sit here reading about sports; accumulating a bunch of completely useless, arbitrary sports knowledge and stats that aren’t actually very good for anything; except maybe wasting brain space…

On to the Finals at Nationals.
I’m not really sure what to say about it, other than I’m disappointed. 8th place really isn’t where I wanted to be when I crossed the line. I was up at the front and allowed myself to get swallowed up and spit out the back of the pack in last place. I should know better than that by now. The pace was slow, which is what I wanted, considering my lack of fitness at the moment. The problem with a slow pace is that if you’re not towards the front when the kick starts, you just won’t make up enough ground on the people in front of you at this level.
I’m frustrated with myself for allowing that to happen, but I guess it can partially be attributed to my serious lack of racing over the past 2 years. It takes some getting used to again. It’s no real consolation, but if you told me in mid-January that I’d finish 8th place at Nationals in 5 months time, I don’t think I would have believed it (considering where I was coming from)!
There are no real excuses for the way I ran, but I have to try and find the positives for now and hope to build on them moving forward.

We left Nationals Sunday morning and arrived in what seems to be a permanently overcast Vancouver. Nate, Ellerton, Quin and I settled in at the Hilton (yeah, that’s how we roll) for 5 days to get ready for Harry Jerome. It was a pretty quiet week where many hours were spent in restaurants and the hotel lobby for wifi(which was awful). Quin and I decided to try an all you can eat sushi place on Tuesday night. We went to town. There is no doubt they lost money on us. It will be difficult to accurately recap the enormous amount and vast array of fish and rice that we consumed. But, I’ll give it a try:
Miso soup, Gomae salad(x2), beef tataki, spicy tuna sashimi, tobiko sushi(flying fish roe), spicy tuna cone, yam tempura roll, California roll, spicy tuna roll, beef teriyaki roll, dynamite roll(w/ shrimp tempura), chopped scallop roll, BBQ Eel roll, Alaska roll, House roll(x2), gold sand roll, beef teriyaki, deep fried scallops(x2), Gyoza, BBQ short ribs, chicken skewer, breaded lemon chicken, Octopus w/garlic & butter, Salmon tempura, white yam tempura, and topped off with some mango pudding for dessert.
The High Points: Salmon Tempura, House roll
The Low points: The Octopus, Flying fish roe
A very satisfying meal.

The Harry Jerome 1500m was Friday night and I was hoping for a much better result than my previous encounters with this distance thus far in the season. It didn’t disappoint. My confidence has been a bit MIA lately, so I again found myself at the back of the pack. The pace was meant to be fast, so I was content with being there for the first couple of laps. I came through in about 59, 1:58 and then finished with a 3:42.21. Over a 5 second seasonal best. I’ll take it. It’s a Big step in the right direction and goes a long way towards restoring that ever so important confidence required when toeing the line. Next time I’m there, my mind will be in a much different state. Its time to start racing.

Victoria is on Sunday and I’ll be running a 15 again. Hopefully, I’ll be able to comeback off short rest to knock a few more ticks off my time.
Giddy Up!

   - Linc
p.s. Huge shout out to Ellerton for busting a 1:45.04 on Friday night!! A well deserved A standard and World Championships qualifier. “Very Nice”

Friday, June 24, 2011

On The Eve of War

Well, the heats are over. I think it was probably the most nervous I’ve been for a race in a long time. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had to go through this process and my confidence isn’t quite where it should be right now! Time to turn the swag on… I was in the first heat of three and Milne set an honest pace from the start; I just went along for the ride. It didn’t feel as easy as I would have liked, but it also wasn’t too bad. The important thing is that I got an auto qualifier with a 3rd place finish in 3:48.95.

Our group had a good couple of days with everyone making it through to the 800m finals and then all five of us qualifying for the 1500m finals today! Why the 800m guys get a day off in between their heats/finals while the 1500m is on back-to-back days is beyond me?!

The meet will be airing LIVE on CBC from 4-6pm EST. You might be able to find it streaming as well: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/ My race will go off at 5:20, so make sure you tune in!

It’s going to be a battle tomorrow…Feet fail me not.

    - Linc

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Show Goes On

Alright, so I’ve been M.I.A. these last couple of weeks. I guess I’ll blame it on the fact that I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and I’m back in Flagstaff now; where, yes, the internet still sucks. The fact that I’ve been lazy has nothing to do with it!

I guess I’ll rewind to almost two weeks ago when I was in Vancouver for an eight day stay. The Marpole-Bird family was kind enough to host myself and Ellerton for a week while we raced a couple of times in the Vancouver area. Their hospitality was much appreciated, as was the view:

J-Bird, Ellerton and I went downtown Vancouver to watch Game 2 of the Stanley Cup in a bar and it was a great experience. The place was crazy. The dance floor even got packed with people sitting on the ground just to watch. Very cool atmosphere…It was quite unfortunate to see the reaction of people when they lost game 7. The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me…At least good ole Kaberle got to hoist the Cup!

Race number 1:  800m at Simon Fraser University. I knew I was in better shape than 6 weeks earlier at ASU, so anything over 1:50 was going to be a disappointment. I stayed off the pace a little bit through the first 200m, as the rabbit took it out a bit too hard. Then the pace slowed coming through the bell (in about 53 sec.) and I found myself chopping my stride a few times until the 500m mark. I was running even with G-Mart going into the last 100m in a tie for 4th. I felt pretty good coming home and was able to finish up in 3rd place with a 1:49.30. I would have been ecstatic with a 1:48 in that race, so I was pretty satisfied with the result!

Race number 2: 1500m at Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford. The plan was to run significantly faster than the last time I raced this distance. I wanted to go out hard to get used to a faster pace and if I died, so be it. It was actually quite windy out, but we stuck to the plan and Kyle set the pace at 57-58 through 400m. I came through the 800m mark in about 1:58, the 1000m in 2:28 and then had to fight the wind up the homestretch. Ellerton went by me at the bell and I knew I was in trouble. He started gapping me and I had virtually no response. It was going to be a long last 350m. I started to fade pretty badly in the last 150m and Justin moved past me into 2nd and that’s where we stayed. A 3rd place finish in 3:47.74. I was pretty frustrated and embarrassed with the time, but it’s only one race. No sense dwelling on it…

After the race last Wednesday, we came back to Flagstaff and will be staying here right up until leaving for Nationals. With Calgary being a little over 3000ft, living at 7000ft leading into it will certainly have its advantages. The weather is significantly better up here this time, although still extremely windy. Did I mention how much I hate the wind? Well, I do.

As for training, it’s been very solid lately and while my confidence isn’t quite where it should be, it’s coming around. As is my speed. Now it’s just a matter of resting up for the 1500m heats next Friday.

Hopefully, I’ll get another update out in the next few days with a few more details on training!

   - Linc

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rolling In The Deep

So, I’ve decided to try something new for this post, hopefully it’s entertaining! Enjoy the old school cartoon theme song!

Also, I’ve updated my Schedule/Results page and added a Media page where I’ll include any news I happen to be in…

- Linc

Monday, May 30, 2011

On To The Next One

I apologize for the delay in my post race recap, but I was a bit busy with travel and training…Who am I kidding, I was pissed off at how I ran and didn’t feel like writing about it. Now that a few days have passed, I can’t say that I’m any happier with the race, but I’ve put it behind me and I’m looking forward to the next one. (I was legitimately without the internet the last 4 days though...)

The Race:
We were told that the pacemakers would be taking us through 400m in 57 seconds and the 800m mark in 1:55. This being my first 1500m in what seemed like forever, that pace was a little quick for what we thought I was ready for. I decided to tuck in at the back of the pack and go along for the ride; hopefully coming through 800m in about 1:58. I’m not sure what happened, but the rabbits were 61!? How you’re 4 seconds off, I’m not really sure. They picked it up quite a bit after 400m, but for some reason, the leaders didn’t even go with them!? I blame myself a bit for not making a move here, but it was a big field to move past and I couldn’t expect them not to go with the rabbits when the sole purpose of the meet was to run fast! I ended up being 63 through 400m and then 2:05-2:06 at 800m. Great. I can’t even remember the last time I was that slow at the 800m mark, other than a championship race! We got it going on the next lap and I made a hard move with about 500m to go. In retrospect, it was probably too early for me to go, but I didn’t have much choice if I wanted to run fast. I faded pretty badly in the last 100m and finished in 3:47.42. Needless to say, it was not was I was hoping for. On the positive side, it felt easy, my last 600m was in about 1:26 and I got the first one out of the way!
The weather that night was absolutely perfect for racing, so I’m frustrated by the fact that it seems like a wasted effort.
It was great to see some old friends at the meet and go out for a couple of wobbly pops after wards. I got an easy run in through the streets of Pasadena at 6am the next morning before heading off to the airport with Darren and Peter. Had a final goodbye with the roomies (several tears were shed) before heading off to my gate to board the plane bound for Philadelphia. I’ll be spending about 9 days here with Mel before heading back to the West coast for a couple of races in Vancouver.

The humidity is unbelievable here. I knew it was going to be a bit of a change from the dry heat in Arizona, but this is brutal! After living my whole life in the east, I thought I’d be fine coming back. Nope. I definitely forgot how oppressive it can be! I’ll take the 100 degrees in Scottsdale over the 85-90 degrees and 75-80% humidity here any day!

Below is a video of the race…

    - Linc

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Going Back To Cali

Flagstaff ended in the same way it started; in cold, crappy, windy weather. Wednesday’s final race tune up was done in sleet at about 1/33 degrees. It was no fun at all. I felt sluggish and never really warmed up…I was again cursing the fact that I was in Flagstaff and not sunny Scottsdale! Here are two pictures of the weather, which doesn’t quite do justice to the full on snow storm.

Thursday morning I packed everything in the car and headed down to Phoenix to catch my flight out to Burbank, CA in the afternoon. The flight was uneventful, other than the fact that I almost didn’t make it through security on time. Once in California, I rejoiced in the fact that I was no longer in Flagstaff and we headed to our hotel in Pasadena where there’s about 8 of us staying. We got in a short shake out run before heading to Daisy Mint restaurant for dinner. It was actually really good Thai food. Darren and I split some chicken panang and chicken pad thai. Both were outstanding.

Friday we headed into Hollywood to do the touristy thing. We saw the walk of fame, Hollywood sign, Kodak theatre, Chinese Grauman theatre, took some pictures etc. before having lunch at Hollywood & Highland. We lost Lemlem a few times and although she could have been added as a new blvd. attraction, we managed to get her back.

We went back to the Thai place again for dinner Friday. I’m not sure if it was quite that good, but it hit the spot again anyways…

Today is race day. The top heats in all the events tonight are STACKED. We requested to have me bumped down to the second section because I’m not ready for what the top heat would throw at me! As it is, I’ll have my hands full in the 2nd heat. It’s my first 1500m since 2009 and with the new training, I’m not really sure what to expect. But, it’ll be nice to get back out there and mix things up again!
The races will be live on Flotrack starting at 10:00pm EST, 7:00 PST so make sure you tune in!

     - Linc

Monday, May 16, 2011

Feel It In The Air

It’s weird, even though there isn’t really anything to do up here in Flagstaff, time has flown by! There has been some movie watching, pool playing, mini-golf and a lot of FIFA and NHL on the PS3 as Ellerton and I conduct our own Stanley Cup playoffs. I’ve actually felt kind of busy!
A few of us went to a local restaurant/bar for a couple of the hockey games last week since the playoffs aren’t on basic cable here in the good ole US of A. We met up with some of the Sun Elite and McMillan Elite girls for that. It was nice to socialize with people outside the group again. Don’t get me wrong, we have a great group, but it seemed like there wasn’t anyone else that really existed for a while.
It’s been a little while since my last update, so I’ll just give a review of my workouts for the past week or so…
Saturday, May 7:
200, 1000, 300 w/ 1 min rec., 20 min break, 500, 800, 200 w/ 2 min and 1 min rec.
This workout was brutal, especially at just over 4,000ft in Sedona with some nasty wind.  The 1000 was the farthest I’ve gone at race pace in a long time! I ran 29, 2:29.0, and died to a 48 in the 3. The next set was 73, 2:07, 27.5. I died in the 8 as well!

Tuesday, May 10:
2x (4x400 w/ 90 sec rec.) 7 minutes between sets @7000ft
We started off conservative, worked our way down and then started the 2nd set where we finished the first with plans of working down again.
63, 63, 60, 60 – 60, 60, 64, 64
Unfortunately, I worked my way back up. I was dead! The altitude was killing me by about 200m into those last few intervals. I wasn’t too happy with the workout and it definitely messed with my confidence in terms of where I’m at with my fitness.

Thursday, May 12:
2 x 1 mile w/ 5 min recovery. Steady state the corners and stride the straights.
We headed down to Camp Verde (a little over 3000ft), which is a pretty small town that I’d never want to live in. The track was cinder and flooded in most of lane one. I got thrown in with the 800 group for the workout, so it was a nice boost of confidence doing mile repeats with them!
4:42, 4:47
It felt really comfortable and smooth, so it was a nice change from the last couple workouts where I was having visits from the bear.

Saturday, May 14:
600, 500, 400 w/ 2 min rec., 12 min break, 8x200 w/ 30 sec rec. @4000ft in Sedona
This was supposed to be a rhythm workout @1500m pace, but people got a bit excited in the first set.
1:26.7, 74.4, 57.5 – 30, 30, 30, 30, 29, 29, 29, 27.5
The air is so dry in Sedona, but I was really happy with how the workout went, especially in flats. I guess I’m a little fitter than I thought after last week.

Sedona was amazing. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I would definitely recommend a small vacation there; the scenery is beautiful. Breakfast after the workout was also amazing; some French toast stuffed with whipped cream cheese and topped with a blueberry compote and maple syrup along with a side of home fries. Delicious. I’ve included a short video of the view from breakfast as well as a few other pictures of Sedona and the track in Flagstaff: (click for larger images)

-  Linc

p.s. We had a full on snow flurry here on Tuesday. In Arizona. In May. Great.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Take Me Higher

Upon arrival in Flagstaff on Saturday, I immediately wanted to drive back down to Phoenix. The weather was a rude awakening. Leaving Scottsdale, the temperature was 35/95 degrees and stepping out of the car a mere 2 hours later, it was a chilly 8/46 degrees with gusting winds making it feel just above freezing. I cursed a few times before declaring, “Flagstaff sucks” as Justin laughed at me. I really hate the wind.

The weather has improved significantly over the past few days, but I’ve still been heard declaring “Flagstaff sucks” a few more times, due to things such as the wind, lack of NHL playoffs on T.V. and our horrible internet connection; about the speed of dial up 15-20 years ago. It was a busy few days trying to pack everything up in Scottsdale, cleaning the apartment and moving up here; so it’s good to finally be settled in and getting adjusted to the altitude of 7,000 feet. (my appetite is even bigger than normal up here and I have a difficult time sleeping).

Training is continuing to progress as everything moves steadily in the right direction. I’m holding a somewhat acceptable total for my weekly mileage now and have been doing numerous double days and handling them well. Although there continues to be soreness around the surgery site, it’s responding well and the aches and pains are just part of the process. One of the last workouts I did down in Scottsdale was 2 sets of 400, 800, 400 with 2 minutes recovery. I ran 61, 2:04, 60 – 58, 2:03, 63. It was a solid workout, but I rigged up pretty bad on the last one. I didn’t think I was going to break 70! We did our first workout up at altitude on Wednesday and it went really well. It was 2 sets of 5x300m with 90 sec recovery. Being the first workout up here, we started out conservatively and worked our way down as we went:
46, 46, 45, 44.1, 43.8 – 43.8, 44.1, 43.5, 42.4, 40.7.
I was pretty happy with how easy it felt and closing out the workout fast instead of  tying up like I’ve grown accustomed to was a welcomed change!
Looks like we have a tough one on Saturday down in Sedona, so we’ll see how that goes…

There’s really not much to do up here in Flag, so it’s lucky the resort we’re staying at is pretty nice. It has an “activities center” with a pool, hot tub, basketball court, ping pong, pool tables, and mini-golf to help keep us entertained. With ice water in my veins, I stepped up and fired a hole in one on the final hole yesterday to become the mini golf champ. I’m sure I will be defending my title soon…
I’ll leave you with a view from our condo balcony as I sit outside to eat some lunch:

  - Linc

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hello, Goodbye

Here's an interview that I did at the beginning of the week with RunnersFeed:

Its my last full day in Scottsdale; it's going to be a bit sad leaving this place. Although, the weather has been getting a little too hot lately! A few of us have a light workout in the morning before heading up to Flagstaff for 3 weeks in the afternoon. I'll try to put up more of an update when we get there...
Good Luck to everyone in the group racing @Stanford this weekend!!

   - Linc

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thunder Road

The athletes were called to the start line with the hot Arizona sun beating down on their slim, wiry frames. They would have 2 laps of the oval to complete in the dry desert air, breathing would be difficult. As they took their positions, you could already see the sweat beading down their bodies. At first glance, most of them looked calm and collected as they stood in their lanes, awaiting the familiar commands. But, it was inside, just below the surface, where the anxiety and excitement was coming to its climax. For most of them, it was a feeling they knew all too well; the anticipation and uncertainty of what lies ahead. But, for the curly haired competitor in lane 3, it was a feeling that had been absent for a very long time. It was an emotion he had looked forward to feeling again since the last time he felt its presence.
This was the moment he had been waiting for. It was finally here; he was ready.
 “Runners take your marks, BANG!”
And in an instant, it was gone…

It had been exactly 365 days since my last race, so it was definitely nice to get out there and mix it up again. Aerobically, I’m probably not quite ready for a 1500m yet, so we decided to start off with an 800m. I was through the first 200m in 25 high – 26 flat, a little faster than I wanted to be, but there was a strong wind at our back. I was sitting in 4th place as we moved into the home straight and I came through the 400m in about 53.5. Ellerton moved past me on the backstretch and I, in turn, moved past an ASU runner who was starting to fade, hitting the 600m in 1:21 low. I passed another ASU kid in the final 80m and found myself watching the battle between Ellerton and Geoff Harris as they sprinted to the line. I ended up 3rd in 1:50.89. I would have been really happy with a 1:49, so 1:50 isn’t too bad for the first time out; especially considering that I’m less than 5 months out from surgery and I was still walk-jogging at the beginning of February!
I don't feel like I tied up too badly, but when I went to kick, there just wasn't that next gear or two there yet. I wasn't even that tired at the end, I just couldn't respond. My fitness isn't where I’d like it to be right now and it would have been nice to win. But, realistically, it’s probably a pretty good start.

After the race I got in 7 miles and a lift, so the Sunday run felt a bit sluggish. A crew from the University of Victoria is here for 10 days, so it was nice to have some fresh faces to hit the trails at ASU with.

The NHL playoffs, as always, have been great so far. Nashville actually won a series and the Vancouver/Luongo Implosion is almost complete. Can the Sabres really knock off the Broad St. Bullies?(hopefully!). And if only there was a way for the Habs and Bruins to both lose their series…

The site has over 5,000 views in less than 3 months, so thanks to everyone for the continued interest!

   - Linc

Friday, April 22, 2011

Let's Go To The Hop

Happy Easter from some of the guys in the training group! This is what happens when I have too much time on my hands during relaxed pre-meet days!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Time to take a nap and get ready to roll tomorrow.

- Linc

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Breathe In, Breathe Out

It was a fairly uneventful week other than my trip to the East Coast. It was definitely nice to escape the desolate drab of the desert in favor of some green! However, bringing some of the heat with me would have made for a better trip. A couple of the days were okay, but the day I had to workout was 8/46 degrees with 20 mph winds and rain. Awesome. Especially for fast stuff like 600, 300 and 2x400 @ 800 pace.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do the second set of the workout. I’ve had a small foot issue that got quite a bit worse towards the end of the week. It was too painful to finish the session and after my run the next day, I thought I had broken my foot (specifically, my 5th metatarsal). Grabbing that bone and moving it was excruciating. Not good news; everything had been progressing so well. Monday was my day off though and I had treatment scheduled with Wynn for Tuesday. It was tough to stay upbeat until then… Luckily, it turned out to be nothing more than peroneus brevis tendinitis. The peroneus brevis tendon runs down the lower fibula, behind the ankle, and then attaches on the base of the 5th metatarsal (the boney projection at the outside-middle of your foot). Apparently, it can be very painful. I briefly saw my season flash before me, so the diagnosis was a huge relief and I was able to breathe again… Hopefully some treatment and anti-inflammatory will take care of things! 

Another weekend, another meet. The majority of the group will be racing again at ASU this weekend in something other than their focus event. I’m planning on squaring off with Ellerton, Justin Marpole-Bird and Geoff Harris in the 800m. I can’t remember the last time I actually raced an 800m, so it should be interesting! I don’t really have much in terms of expectations, but it would be nice not to get smoked. Pride is on the line.

Game 4 of the Coyotes vs. Red Wings series is tonight and we have tickets. It’s a White Out in the desert…Probably won’t compare to the White Out at the best College Football stadium in the country,
 But, it will have to do.

   - Linc

Monday, April 11, 2011

Eat It

The weather on Saturday wasn’t as bad as predicted; but, there was certainly some rain, wind and cold. By the time the Men’s 1500m rolled around the worst of the weather had passed and the conditions weren’t actually all that bad. I’ve never used our new warm up/dynamic stretching routine in competition before, so it was nice to give it a try without having any real pressure. Even though I was just the pacemaker, I still had some nerves coming up to the line. “Runners, take your mark…Bang” I started my watch and we were off. I had to go pretty hard to get to the front of the pack and when I hit the 100m mark I glanced at my watch and saw 12 point; a little too fast. I settled it down in the next hundred and when I looked at my watch at 200m, I saw 12 point again. Great, broken watch. Who knows what pace this is!? I had run a couple of 14.7’s as strides, so I just trusted that I still had the rhythm down. I checked the clock at the 300 for 43 point and then hit the 400m mark in 57 low. Probably a bit fast, but the field was right on me. I checked the scoreboard at 600m to see 1:27 and then came through 800m in 1:57.0, right on. I took them up the straight away into the wind and then stepped off. I could have made the 1000, but my calves were getting pretty tight, so there was no need to push it.
All things considered, a good debut on the track. It was definitely a nice feeling to be out there in the mix again!

This week is our recovery week. I’ll be doing a workout on Wednesday with the group before heading back to the east coast on Thursday to visit Mel in Philthadelphia. I’ll have one workout there on Saturday before coming back here on Monday. Then on the 23rd I think I’ll be racing an 800m at ASU.

Now the important stuff.
The Masters this weekend was amazing. I’m not always a huge fan of watching golf, but the final round yesterday was about as exciting and entertaining as it gets! The ratings must have been through the roof. I’m sure the PGA is glad Tiger is back.

To get the morning started today, I took a trip up to the Talking Stick Casino with Geoff and Quin for breakfast. After hearing about a $10 buffet, the fat kid in me had to check it out…Wow. It more than exceeded expectations. I’m quite positive that I’ve never put $10 dollars to better use buying food. The selection was outstanding; from Mexican, Asian, American, and Italian to salmon, stir fry, fresh fruit and gelato. The options were limited only to the size of your stomach. Pictured below is my first of 3 plates (all of them this full). The meal included: Thickly sliced cured pepper cracked bacon, salmon, sirloin steak(x3), banana bread, spring roll(x2), egg and prosciutto on baguette, french toast, pork chorizo potatoes, chicken chow mein, beef with broccoli, crab ragoon, fresh fruit with vanilla yogurt and a donut. Then I finished it off with some mango and chocolate peanut butter gelato. In the words of AP, "Culinary Heaven". Yes, this was breakfast, and yes, I’m a fat ass.

Leaving the Casino I put $5 dollars on black and won. It’s going to be a good week.

    - Linc