Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Patiently Waiting

Well, it was a relatively quiet week here in the desert just outside Phoenix. It was our scheduled recovery week and while some of us went about business as usual, others had race prep to do. GMart and Ashley were traveling to Stanford, while Quin, Peter, Kyle, Leanna and Lemlem were opening with a small meet here at ASU.

It was nice to get down to the track and watch some racing again. There is something about the sunshine, atmosphere, booty shorts, and competition that is thoroughly enjoyable.
After reading comments by Jeremy Wariner saying he could possibly break Michael Johnson’s 400m World Record this year, we had the privilege of watching him race the 200m here at ASU. He ran 21.05 for 3rd place; he has some work to do… Texas A&M was very impressive in the 4x400m. They had two separate teams run 3:04.92 and 3:05.56 in the same race! (avg. of 46.23 and 46.39 per man!?!) Plus, the anchor leg on the winning team made a ridiculous pass on the inside to get by two teams in the last 250m.

As far as my training goes, things continue to progress. Since it was a recovery week, I only had two sessions to do. Wednesday was a surge session off the track and Saturday was some speed endurance which provided a significant amount of pain and rigging. I hadn’t broken 60 seconds for the quarter yet and my first interval was 54.0. With only 2 minutes of recovery, the 600 after that was not an enjoyable experience. We finished off the workout with some 2’s, my last one being 26.2. All things considered, I was actually really pleased with how things went. My weekly mileage continues to climb and I’m finally able to get in some solid off day runs now without being completely spent.
The itch to race is slowly creeping up, but all in good time…

The AC development camp is in town this week, so the track is going to be busy!

A shout out to GMart for his awesome 5km(13:43) at Stanford over the weekend and also to Dylan Wykes and Reid Coolsaet for great half-marathons in New York (62:14 and 62:42, respectively).

   - Linc

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rusted From the Rain

Another week has come and gone here in sunny Scottsdale. I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 months of living here already. The time has really flown by. It seems like just the other day I was jogging 30 seconds then walking 4 minutes and 30 seconds(x4). Progressing to alternating a jogging lap and walking lap of the track(x5) and felt like I was dying by the end of the jog…

Yesterday I hit 77 minutes for my long run and closed with a 6:15 mile; a time I couldn’t have fathomed doing for one all out mile at the beginning of January… Saturday saw me do a session on the track of 2x(3x500m w/ 2 min recovery). There was a slight decay with each rep, as I slowed by about a second on every one. I guess it’s to be expected with how little work I’ve done with that energy system in the past 11 months though. GMart and Peter only had one set and I got sucked along on the first one which probably cost me a little at the end. We also had a 200m before the start of the workout which I put my spikes on for; my first time wearing them since stepping off the track at Penn Relays last year, so I had to shake the rust off. I have to admit; I got a little excited and even had a bit of adrenaline going. I didn’t drive off the line too hard, but I accelerated out of the turn and ran a hard but relaxed straight focusing on feeling easy and staying tall. 25.5. I couldn’t believe it. In the back of my mind, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to go that fast again. At least I know my speed hasn’t abandoned me; and most importantly, it didn’t rip me open!

Today is a welcomed day off after 2 hard weeks of training and I’ve found myself looking over some of the horrible calls in the NCAA March Madness. I honestly can’t believe how bad some of them have been that actually decided the outcome of a game. There was Texas vs Arizona (the 5 second inbound violation and no call on the final shot attempt), Washington vs UNC (the goal tend and time on the clock), Pitt vs. Butler (2 calls in the final 2 seconds), and Arizona vs. Memphis (no call in the waning moments on the Memphis blocked shot). They need to let the players decide the games!!
But, maybe I’m just bitter because my brackets are in shambles.

I also went out for dinner last week to a place called Lucille’s. After cutting my weight significantly over the past month (and no longer being the fat kid), I rewarded myself by indulging in some amazing Southwest BBQ. It might be the best BBQ I’ve ever had. I had a nice platter of Beef Brisket, Sausage Link, Chicken, Roasted-peanut coleslaw, garlic mashed potatoes and watermelon. It was Delicious.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fight On, State

Well, I “graduated” from the women’s group and was thrown to the Wolves this past week for training. Doing the sessions with the guys (Nate Brannen, Andrew Ellerton, Geoff Martinson, Justin Marpole-Bird and Peter Corrigan) was a rude awakening. I mean, I knew I wasn’t in shape, but it got ugly when it came to doing 4x1200 off 2 minutes. It really showed how far I still have left to go…Ah well, the next month is going to be rough!

We had 5x600m yesterday and it went significantly better than the week before. I still died a slow and painful death on the last one, but I thought it would happen earlier, so I was pretty happy with it. There is still some soreness in the surgery area after lifting and doing workouts, but for the most part, its feeling pretty good. Plus, my mileage is slowly climbing back to a place of respectability and I can consistently run 6 days a week now. I’m finally feeling like a real runner again!

Had a nice little trip to the Phoenix Zoo on Monday with Martinson(G-Mart) and Mel. It was a pretty good zoo, but Toronto’s definitely puts it to shame. Even so, we had a good time soaking in the 30/86 degree weather and checking out some monkeys up close and personal!

It’s that time of year where it’s great to be a sports fan; there might not be a better time. March Madness is in full swing. After my Nittany Lions made a strong run in the BigTen tournament, they’ll be making their first appearance at the Big Dance in 10 years! The NHL season is winding down, bringing the Stanley Cup playoffs (maybe the best in all of sport?) even closer. The Boys in Blue are making another late season push, but will probably come up short once again to leave us poor Leaf fans in misery and disbeleaf for yet another summer. MLB spring training is well underway and the Jays have a stockpile of young talent in the system which should make them interesting/exciting to watch for the next few years. With several teams from the Cactus League right in Scottsdale, a trip to the ballpark is in the near future for me.

I was hoping to be in Tucson tomorrow morning to catch PSU in their first round game of the tournament, but we have a workout which I probably need to attend…

   - Linc

Monday, March 7, 2011

Under Pressure

Well, with the snowstorm that hit on Saturday night, I was back in the graveyard again for my run yesterday; as I was for a workout earlier in the week as well. It’s about a 2 mile loop with a couple of hills, so it isn’t horrible...Although, weaving through a mass of people who have just buried a loved one can feel a bit awkward...

I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting some fitness back. I did successive days of continuous 63 and 54 minute runs this week; the longest runs (sans walking break in the middle) that I’ve done since embarking on the comeback trail. 63 minutes was a little longer than I was planning, but I was hitting the lakeshore with a couple of the Brooks Marathon guys (Matt Loiselle and Rejean Chiasson) and despite the cold and rain, everything felt good…It’s nice to have some spring back in my stride and feel like I’m actually doing some real running again!

The CFL combine took place from Friday-Sunday in Toronto and I’d have to say it was the highlight of my weekend. I was working for the CCES as a “Doping Control Chaperone”. When I found out I’d have the chance to check out a bunch of football players junk, and get paid for it, I was pretty excited! Ha. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that part of the process. My job was basically to notify a certain athlete that they were being tested and then not let them out of my sight. For once, I was on the other side of things and got to be the one doing the notifying, following and watching. It was a pretty cool experience to be part of though. Seeing all the coaches, media attention, spotlights, and cameras rolling for things like the broad jump and bench press was pretty entertaining. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the NFL combine. One mammoth offensive lineman put up 225lbs in the bench 47 times! Ridiculous. I can remember some of the guys on the Penn State XC team with me struggle to put up the bar that many times when we had our own competitions! Haha.

It’s been nice to be home and see some friends and family, but I’m looking forward to stepping off the plane into the 25/80 degree sunshine in Phoenix!
Time to board the plane…

   - Linc