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