Sunday, March 25, 2012

Run This Town

Another race, another W.

It was a pretty low key week leading up to the race yesterday with only a tune up workout on Wednesday which consisted of a 500m and some 200's. Other than that, training was fairly light and it was probably my lowest volume week since October or November. I mostly sat around watching NCAA basketball non-stop. I probably saw a little bit of every game that got played in the first couple of rounds. Thank you Internet streaming and split screen technology!

Saturday was race day. Unfortunately, it was also Elite 8 day in PHX. I've always wanted to attend the March Madness tournament (one of the best in all of sport!) and when I was lucky enough to get a hold of some tickets for the game courtesy a former teammate at Penn State, I couldn't resist. Ellerton and I packed our bags for the meet and headed to the US Airways center to take in the action. It was a great game and an incredible come back by Louisville. Rick Pitino is awesome to watch on their sideline...We headed straight from the game to the track and arrived with a few minutes to spare before warming up. I don't think Wynn would have been too pleased if we missed the race for a basketball game. It wasn't exactly ideal race prep, but being 10 rows from the court definitely made it worthwhile!

As for the race, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The time was a little slower than I had hoped, but you can't complain too much about a win. It's just nice to have some confidence back and be in the hunt to win races again. I don't care what anyone says, losing sucks. That's what made last year so frustrating. I know I'm not going to win every race I run this year, so I'll enjoy my modest winning streak while it lasts. We went out a little slower than we had hoped for and that cost us a second or so in the overall result. My splits were 27.8, 56.6(28.8), 1:25.2(28.5), 1:52.8(27.6), 2:21.0(28.2). Official time of 2:21.08 for a PB. Good to see that my last 400m was my fastest. When Ellerton pulled out a little before the 800m mark I definitely eased up a bit with no one to go after. I think had we been a second faster from about 300-500m and if I had someone to chase I would have dipped under 2:20 which is what I was hoping for. It was a solid effort though. I've included the race footage below... (Thanks to Lisa and Nate for the colour commentary)



We also ran a 4x400m at the end of the night. Kyle to Darren to Ellerton to Me. I think the last time I anchored a 4x4 was back in the good old high school days. I didn't exactly light the world on fire with my speed, but I went out easily in 23.3 without having done any speed work yet;  so at least that's a good sign. We ran 3:15.61 all alone for an easy victory.


   - Linc

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ca M'√Čnerve

Race recap.

Well, the first one is out of the way. It didn't quite go as well as I was hoping, but it wasn't a bad result. I wanted to run 1:48 and thought I was ready to do it. But, annoyingly, the weather and Texas A&M didn't co-operate.

We had planned on having Ellerton take us through in 53.0 at 400m and hopefully 1:20 point at 600m. However, the Texas A&M guys had other ideas. Suddenly, they all thought they were David Rudisha getting ready for a WR attempt. Or maybe thought they signed up for the 400m...In any case, they left us standing in the first 100m and went through the 200 in 23 point. I hit the 200m mark in 5th place at 24.6 (probably the fastest 200m I've run post surgery haha!). They slowed coming through 400 in 51 point and I hit the bell in about 52 flat. I got a bit boxed in through the turn as the pace started to slow significantly. I was able to get out on the back straight around the 550m mark and closed the gap on the first place runner. He started rigging on the turn, so I had to pull out and go by about half way through. I hit the home straight in the lead and immediately felt like I ran into a brick wall. I tried to tell myself beforehand that the wind wasn't too bad, that it would be fine. But, it was brutal. I couldn't even hear anything as I came down the track; it felt and sounded like I was trying to run towards a jet turbine. I just tried to keep my legs moving, finish strong and hoped no one was coming. Luckily, they weren't.

Although 1:50.43 wasn't the time I was looking for, it was nice to open the season with a W; and considering the wind readings of 4.9 and the amazing A&M pacing job, it was a solid result. I'm not exactly happy with it, but it's a start.

I've included the race footage below. Enjoy!



       - Linc

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ready Steady Go

It's that time of the year again: Racing Season.

I'm only 2 days away from toeing the line for the first time in 2012. I honestly don't remember the last time I was this excited to race...I'm not putting too much pressure on myself for this first one. Just looking forward to going out there and having some fun; hopefully, less than one minute and fifty seconds of fun!

The weather in Scottsdale has been fantastic! Seemingly sunshine and 80 degrees everyday with rarely a cloud in the sky. It couldn't be better for training and racing. The snow birds are out in full force down here as traffic has noticeably picked up with the start of MLB spring training. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays are in the grapefruit league and not the cactus league, or I'd be watching their impressive 11-2 start in person everyday! At least one of the Toronto sports teams has some hope...

As for training, I've had a couple of workouts in the past week that I was really happy with. Last Thursday, we had 500, 300 with 2 min recovery. Then 400, 200, 200 with 2 min  and 1 min recovery, respectively. My times were 64.9 and 40.9 in the first set and 51.6, 26.6, and 28.2 in the 2nd set. I died a little in the last 200m, but otherwise, it was a solid workout. Then came back on Saturday with 400, 800, 400 off one minute. Had 10 minutes recovery and then a second set of 300, 500, 200. It was very similar to the workout from a few weeks ago, but this time we had to do it on the Scottsdale Community College track instead of the brand new mondo at ASU. My first set was 58.3, 1:57.2, 57.9. Second set, 40.8, 69.7, 26.4. Despite being at the tail end of a difficult week, it turned out pretty well. I'm definitely happy with how easy 1:57 is feeling right now.
Consistent Progression.

Now it's all about relaxing and enjoying the March Madness for the next few days. 
Go Tarheels!

   - Linc


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Memories

I’m Back in State College again. For some reason I can’t recall the last time I was here; but, it doesn’t seem like long ago. Even though I’ve raced here more recently, it’s probably going on 5 years now since I’ve run some of the trails here. Nevertheless, I still remember them like the back of my hand; every side path, every turn, each hill, the exact spots the mud patches form after some precipitation. And I still get winded on the same hill, no matter how fit I am. It’s good to be back. There’s something comforting about it, sort of like that feeling you get coming home after you’ve been traveling for a while. I have lots of fond memories of this place I called home for 6 years of my life…

I can’t say that I was entirely happy to be leaving the warm confines of Scottsdale to travel to central Pennsylvania at the beginning of March though. I don’t find running in cold weather to be at all enjoyable. I really don’t know how I trained in it for the majority of the winter before joining the group down in Arizona. Running in this type of weather the entire winter is awful. Sure, you can bundle up. But, the intensity and quality of your runs suffer, as well as having a lack of motivation to get out the door on numerous occasions. Then there is the safety issue of slipping on the snow/ice. I can recall several instances where I tweaked something because of poor footing. It’s safe to say that I don’t miss training North of the border during the winter. Not even a little.

The reason for my trip to State College wasn't running, it was wedding planning. It was a busy weekend as Mel and I found a florist, baker, and officiant. We also did our food tasting (which was excellent!) and met with our photographer for a short engagement photo session. Everyone we chose seems to be great and very easy to work with, so that should make things easier; especially planning from afar. 

In between all of that, I had to fit in some runs and a workout while I was there. I forgot how unforgiving and incessant the wind is on that stupid Penn State outdoor track. It’s seriously just a wind tunnel. I was doing 500’s and it was pretty miserable. The effort was good, but my 200 splits were ridiculous. 30 point for the first 200 followed by 35 for the second 200; thanks to the 35 mph wind that felt like hitting a wall as you came around the corner. Now I remember why I pretty much never had a good workout outdoors the entire 5 years I was there…

Despite the cold, it was a very productive weekend and it was nice to see my whole family again. However, I certainly wasn’t upset boarding the plane knowing I’d be stepping off into 70 degrees!

We have a pretty intense week of training, so I should have some good workout updates next week. Stay tuned…

   - Linc