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

Friday, April 8, 2011

White Rabbit

The Sun Angel Track Classic is taking place this weekend at ASU and most of our group will be toeing the line to find out where they’re at. It’s probably rained a total of 3 times since I got here in January and, of course, tomorrow there are predictions for scattered thunderstorms. Hopefully it will hold off. It’s not like the weatherman is always the most accurate person…Maybe I should have been a weatherman; what other job can you be wrong all the time and not get fired?

Although I won’t be racing tomorrow, I will be on the start line for the Men’s 1500m. It will be my first time hearing those 2 familiar commands in almost a year. Since I’m not ready to race yet, we figured I could get my feet wet as a rabbit. I’ll be setting the pace of 1:56-7 through 800m (weather permitting). Hopefully, I don’t die!

The workouts the past few days were tough. The last couple weeks of training have caught up to me and I’ve definitely been feeling fatigued. It’s worth suffering a bit now though in order to reap the benefits later this summer; when it really matters…

I’ll be heading to arena tonight with Ellerton and Peter to see if the Coyotes can secure a playoff berth against San Jose. Gotta love heading to NHL games when its 25/78 outside!

Off to do pre-meet…

   - Linc

Monday, April 4, 2011

Canned Heat

Scottsdale has been scorching this week. I don’t think a day passed that the high didn’t reach at least 29/84 degrees. We even hit 37/98 on Friday when there were reports of snow back home! Suckers... We’ve been getting our tan on a couple of times per week at the pool here, but with the tough week of training and smoldering heat, we spent most of our time indoors to make sure we were recovering properly between sessions. I think it’s safe to say that I don’t ever want to spend another winter in Canada while I’m still training competitively!

Wynn was also bringing the heat with our workouts this week! It was another intensity week, which meant three sessions on the track. We had two sets of 5x300m on Tuesday, some faster 400’s on Thursday, and then finished off with 200, 600, 4x200m on Saturday. After breaking 60 in the 400m for the first time last Saturday, I was eager/anxious to see how I’d handle things this week; especially the 600. The 300’s on Tuesday were very solid, I averaged 58.2 for the 400’s, and then ran a 1:21.5 for the 600 on Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised. Things are definitely heading in the right direction!

With the weather down here, it feels like we’re already in the middle of summer, but the MLB opening weekend was a stark reminder of just how early it still is! Even the Pirates fans can still have hope right now…I had my fantasy draft over the weekend and made sure I picked up a couple of Jays for bargains in the late rounds. With a lot of young talent on the team and on the farm, the Blue Jays may not make the playoffs this year, but they’ll be exciting to watch and should be perennial contenders within the next couple of years…

With a Beantown collapse in the 3rd period against the Rangers tonight, it pretty much sealed the fate of the Leafs. 44 years and counting. How they prolonged their season this long, I’m not sure. But, I hope they’ve polished their clubs. There are plenty of courses down here in AZ…

     - Linc