Monday, 31 October 2011


The Fat Lady Sings, the truck of dreams, caffeine, oh and I revolutionize the running world!

The Fat Lady Sang this weekend folks, but what a glorious hymn she cascaded over me with, almost as if it was Jesus singing lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Yes it was Glorious! And yes it is over  folks! Sunday was a great way to end off my summer/fall racing season.  I headed down to Rob Watson’s (checkout Robs blog ) home court to take in the London Runners Choice Halloween Haunt 10k.  It was as perfect of a day as anyone could ask for in late October.   After my poor experience in the STWM Half I had the itch to take advantage of my summer fitness.  The race was great! Speed River Teammate Matty “the champ” Brunsting and I were rolling up front and it was an epic duel from my account.  We swapped the lead many times back and forth over the first 5k loop, around 6k I felt the champ slightly off my back at this point. As we headed into the small hill up to 7k I made my move to try and drop the Champ but that dirty old son-of-a-brunsting reeled me back in at the turn around with about 1.5k to go and I was cooked.  It was a great feeling to be battling and racing again and not just out there surviving.  So I am very happy with the effort and how I felt.  It put a bit of fire back in my belly. A wise fire to not keep beating the dead horse of a season we have here and to take some time to get healthy, and reload the legs. Oh Yeah I am on DOWNTIME!  I’m going to rock the shit out of this downtime. I am going to go the store tomorrow and get me a bunch of sugary cereals, corn pops and cinnamon toast crunch, and some Captain Crunch, and Fruity Loops, oh man I don’t even know.   It’s going to be sweet.  You know what else I am going to do folks?  I am going to get waist deep into a new big project at JWM Quality Construction and put in a good 40+ hour week to get a jump on progress for next week when I get back on the running grind and working 40+ hours a week.  I love it!  So here’s the thing folks some people were asking me about improving at running, and how I got better.   So I’m going to let the cat out of the bag here and revolutionize the running world! You want to be better at running?  Don’t order a $250 12 week training plan from some nobody on the internet, don’t go buy a fuel belt (your going running not climbing everest), you don’t need some silly finger toe shoes, or a mountain man magical diet, or some wonder pill, You want to be better at running?  Wait for it, here it comes, you might want to sit down as the world is going to go for a flip here folks, You want to be better at running? Go outside and go…………..RUNNING! Yeah I know, as crazy as it sounds just go and run, and when you get used to it, RUN a bit more!  It’s that effing simple. Yeah it’s good to have that off my chest!
So back in Blog#C I mentioned the Truck-of-Dreams and a trip to Texas.  The Truck of Dreams was 1998 GMC 1500 V8 SingleCab Bench seat teal coloured beauty.   My Dad bought it when I was in gr 9 and I remember test driving it with him and I knew it was love.  The truck of dreams was like riding on a cloud.  I often explained it as an experience like the “magic carpet ride” in the Disney film Alladdin. The TOD made three trips to Texas, a trip to PEI, and a Solo mission with me to Mount Rushmore and back through Wyoming.  She never failed me!  Then one early April day this spring a freak snow storm and a poorly placed snow bank got us into a spot we couldn’t get out of.  The transmission was cooked. The Truck of Dreams was layed to rest!  There were many memories made in there, many nights slept on that couch like seat, countless hours and litres of gas, hundreds of vanillorama air fresheners. It brings a tear to my eye.   One great moment comes from our last trip to Texas, Josh Ackworth and I have made this trip twice together.  I will tell you more stories another time. Any way it’s a straight shot, 25 hours, drive, gas, subway, pee, drive, gas, subway, redbull… get the idea.  Any way we were deep into the drive home a little after Nine pm, in the heart of Arkansas, we stopped for gas, subway and redbull. Usually we would just get subs and drink bottled water, but this time being in the Heart of the South I got a hankering for some Mountain Dew.  And I don’t mean a can of soda, I mean a 32 fl.oz. Super big gulp. Funny thing is Josh gets the same hankering and he gets the same jug of the DEW.  So we are back on the road, eat our subs, driving, Josh has eaten a big sub and just finished a solid 6-7 hour driving stint and he quickly drifts off to sleep.  So here I am up late, a big belly full of subway, driving the highway in the Truck of Dreams.  So I start to get a bit thirsty and I work my way through a bunch of my Dew, and then I start to get sleepy so I smash a red bull. I’m driving and driving, feeling thirsty so I finish my Dew.  Driving. Sleepy, Red bull, thirsty, Oh look Josh didn’t drink his Dew, I drink Josh’s Dew. Driving. Then Whammy, I am in a rave, lights are flying at me, the radio is cranked with all the good songs, Journey, Waylon, Top 40, I’m scanning the tunes, Windows down, Josh wakes up!  Josh “hey man, you ok” Me “ yeah man Im awesome” I was flying  for the next two hours I don’t remember a thing. I was hammer down driving, singing to the radio, window open, pounding on the ceiling, Josh laughing until he hurt, then as quickly as this rush came, it fleeted.  I pulled over crawled into the passenger seat and crashed into a two hour sleep with the most outrageous dreams I have ever had in my entire life! Get this folks, Mountain Dew has caffeine, one of the highest of all sodas at that! Oh the Truck of Dreams, take me back!

Nice coyote!


Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Economy, Whiners, and Getting Serious.

Oh here we go again, another blog.  Response has been great, many people asking for more.  So we will continue.  Shout out to my readers in Slovakia, Sweden, and Ireland.  Yeah this internet thing is global.  So here we are more lessons from John coming at you.  Remember Blog#A when I explained my serious dislike for whiners and pansies in this sport of running? If not go back and read it.  Keep that there in your mind we will circle back to it here today.  Do you know what sucks? The state of the American economy, do you know why that sucks, it hurts our Canadian economy! See where this is going? Hold on, whiners and pansies, oh and the American dream-More is better, bigger, faster, more more, more.  Dont get me wrong, I am all for having a dream and achieving big things, but not all things can be measured by the almighty $$.  Why do you need a 5000sq.ft spec home when a 900sq.ft one would do? Three SUV’s and a boat, and parties for your kids 12th birthday that cost thousands. Rediculous overspending! Be happy with less!  I am not saying don’t have nice things, but seriously people less is sometimes more.  More money spent does not equal more happiness.  Everyone doesn’t have to be a middle management-six figure earner.  You can live a happy life on $60,000 a year.   But no, we will overspend, max out credit cards, and then when it comes down to doing some hard work, wait for it, wait, wait, here we go, we want to be a bunch of whiners and pansies and claim to be too good to swing a hammer or put a car together.  And don’t even think about going on strike to ask for more money and less hours, suck it up, maybe cut out a few drive-thru meals and an SUV and be happy with what you have.  If I owned an auto maker and had a bunch of people that didn’t want to work for what I could afford to pay them, sure as can be, I’m packing up my auto plant and moving it somewhere where the people will get down to work and be grateful for it.  I read a great quote the other day that said something to the effect of “the US economy will never be stable until we learn to stop over spending and be satisfied with what we have.”For some reason here Im taken back to last March on My drive home from Texas in the Truck-of-Dreams with my good friend and Former teammate at Fanshawe Josh Ackworth. We were talking about my new training and future plans and Josh asks me “but what are you going to do about the Kenyans”  I proceeded to explain how People of the western world have just been a bunch of pansies and not wanted to get down to work. I told him that the guys are getting there and that you need to actually work hard to get there. There is no easy way, it’s just going to take some hard work. Oh did that catch you off guard-Yes I was driving from Texas in my truck of dreams we might get to those beauty stories another day! But yeah there is no easy way folks.  Hey did you hear about the 100 yeah that tore up the STWM yeah and then did you read his quote after? Boom here you go, he said something about “has anything worth doing ever been easy?” This dude is one hundred and he has the stones to get after a World record.  I’m sad to be a part of a generation of people that have little drive, they all just want the next hand out and the easy pay cheque.  Grrr.  Kids today “shake fists”.  Here we go kids if you have been reading this over and going blah blah blah economy, blah, whiners blah, Wake up and pay attention.  YOU NEED TO GET FIRED UP! Make the most of whatever it is you want to do with your life! Here is a shocker, you might have to actually get a job someday and do real work(I don’t consider sitting at your computer making youtube videos of yourself a legitimate business).  So here is the deal , start making the most of whatever you want to do, If you want to be a garbage-man, be the best god damn garbage man, Doctor- be the best damn doctor, Sister-Student-Athlete-Musician-Concrete Truck Driver-whatever, go ahead and do it, but do it with all your heart! No more of this “meh maybe tomorrow-bullshit attitude”, do something about it!  I learned a lot from Reid and Gillis during the STWM build up, know why these guys are the best? They take care of every detail, Fueling, stretching, drills, nutrition, goals etc. They have it nailed. These guys have emerced themselves in being the best they can be.  Some days I can’t even tell you what I am doing the next day, and when Eric and Reid were asked what day the marathon will take place at the Olympics, without a stutter or a second to pause and think they both Rolled August 12 off the tongue as if it were their own name.  I realized something then and there. These guys are on top of everything!  So yeah we have been over a lot here today folks so to recap- be happy, be satisfied, make to most of what you have and don’t be afraid of a little work. There are no handouts in life! If you want it go get it, with all your heart and every soul of your body, and stop maxing out your damn credit cards!     
Oh yeah I mentioned the Truck-of-Dreams and a drive home from Texas, another day fair internet, another day!

When in Rome


Tuesday, 18 October 2011


The good The bad and The Ugly

So here we go again with this blogging adventure, there was zero negative feedback from the first one, so we forge on!  I have discovered you can put damn near anything on this interweb and people will believe it!   Anything!   Im sure my blog is attracting the most intellectual crowd and you folks all know better than to believe all you read on the net.  There are some serious snake oil salesmen out there!  So this weekend was the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon weekend!  It was hyped up pretty big this year, Reid gunning for the Canadian Record, Eric and Dylan being realistic hopefuls to run the Olympic Standard.  Cleve and Myself fired up to crush the Half.  The events of this weekend can be summed up by “the good, the bad, and the ugly”

The Good
-Taper was over, Summing up the last incredible 15 weeks out on Cooks and Carter and the N-way with the boys!
- Another road trip with the stunningly good looking-wise beyond his years Cleve Thorson.  Years ago Cleve became my idol when he was on Flotrack drinking a beer while getting interviewed after qualifying for World Cross Country Championships.  Cleve is tougher than Sylvester Stallone in the First three Rocky movies.  He has been my go-to guy over the past 10 months, as I learn the ways of the river!  So I was fired up to be rooming with him again!
-Reid crushed the marathon “rolling the dice” as he called it going out with the leaders. Eric is Olympic bound again after an epic kick for the ages!  Someone out there that has tech skills should put that last 100m into a video with either that epic chariots of fire beach run song, or the Baywatch running song to it.  That would be beautiful, that would be beautiful!

The Bad
This weekend could be called adventures with Cleveland, my god an adventure it was!  It starts as when we were never emailed about our elite status for the race, We didn’t know the whereabouts of the technical meeting.  So being Wise as he is, Cleve looked up the meet hotel and we headed there by foot.  Turns out the elites were at a different hotel, a hotel that was a $25 cab ride away. We missed the meeting!  As we went to ask the Race official (lets call him Cliff) for our bib #s and kit, Cliff told us they were at the expo because we were not staying at that hotel.  Luckily Gillis lends us his hot whip to save us a Cab ride and we race over to the expo.  At the expo we were told that because we were elites that our bibs and kits were at the elite hotel, with thats right you guessed it- Cliff-the man who told us they were not there!  So this lovely Sportstat supervisor tells us she will give us new numbers and chips.  Whilst waiting at the chip activation tent I decide to take-a-load-off. And rest my ass on the edge of the table, as I put my weight down-BOOM! Table collapses, the Sportstat Laptop and a collection of other things crash on top of me. No harm no foul.  We then return the Gilly mobile and take a $34 Cab back to our hotel.  Avoiding the protest and a handful of fellows that were chanting about their beliefs and how they didn’t seem to be fans of “the white man for stealing their souls.”  Scary yes, but we forged on.  Warm up went well the next morning but then at 18min to the gun we were trapped on the third floor of our hotel!  The emergency stairs led to an alarmed door and for the past ten minutes no elevator would stop on our floor.  I was dialing the front desk to tell them we were going to blast through the emergency door and that they needed to deal with it, when I hear Cleve yell from the hall “its hear” We were free. And that folks was about where my luck ran out!

The Ugly
7-21.1K  yeah Sunday was not my day.  I was fired up and feeling great when the gun went off I felt comfortable.  Settled into pace and was cruising. Then around 6.25k the shit winds were a blowing, I struggled, 6.37k I was dropping off the back of my pack, even as I tried to fight to stay in touch with them. 6.5k Rob Watson looks back to me and Yells “Mason get your effing ass right here” I knew i need to be there.  So this 20m gap had formed,  I decide it would be in my best interest to sprint up to this pack.  This is when things get real ugly. I start to  sprint or so I thought, and you know what?  That pack got further and further away.  Then things start to get really really ugly, I start to get rolled by the 2.18-2.20 marathoners and then it went from bad to worse,  I hear a pack rolling on me, I say to myself ok hook  up with these guys and I check my shoulder “oh shit”  yeah folks these were not guys.  We had the Womens marathon leaders rolling my ass.  I had got chicked.  Granted these women did go through the half in 67.something but none the less I was chicked.  I grabbed my bottle at the 11.5k table to get a little C2MAX boost to maybe fire up the engines.  I got a shot of it alright- a shot straight up my damn nose! So I opened my mouth further and tried for another shot and again straight shot to the nose. I think powerbar should research snorting options for fueling protocol as!  Any way I smashed the bottle on the ground and yelled a few profane words, by that time Im pretty sure I had checked out of racing.

In Conclusion
So yeah!  Needless to say I was pretty down Sunday, running 3and a half minutes slower than planned.  And then just to throw the emotions for a spin I get to see my training partners crush Olympic qualifiers. The highs the lows, so we had a chat with the Man DST, we had a good cry and hug, and I had surpassed the Hour time limit Cleveland had given me to be mad! Life goes on.
I have survived and we forge on today.  Im fired up again and ready to find another race.  This would be a good time to thank the folks that got me ready to Run a sub 67 Half.  Family and friends-all the support was felt and makes it worth it, my wonderful ladyfriend-putting up with me , DST-the man puts his heart into coaching us and getting out our best, Moults-has the energy of a hummingbird and fires me up to no end with his passion for the run, Reid and Eric- the masters-teaching me from your wisdom and getting me excited, Rob-Love this dude, toughest man in the league he wanted me there and I owe him some pacer work for his next one, Cleve- master of consistent quality and great looks(except for you goose hawk). Paul the video man, CBL, Wild Bill our fallen soldier! Get it together man!  And all the people that support us in Guelph.  Seriously the people of Guelph are effed, this must be average conversation around the dinner table Guelph resident#1 “hey what are you doing tomorrow” Guelph Resident#2 “Its Saturday” GR#1 “lets get up early and go drive around watching some guys long run” GR#2 “thats a great idea”.  There is a reason Guelph is killing it on the running scene, DST said it “running is not an individual sport” and In my head if you can get a group of people together with the same goals and ideas, heck  folks we can damn near do anything!  So yeah the Guelph residence that showed up at 7 am to drive around watching us long run or came over to watch and support during workouts.  You folks are great, John Marsden, Cal Staples, Volmer, Scotty, Maloney,   a hand full of people I cant remember your names, Thanks. 
So yeah thats it, the end of this blog got a little sappy and my tough as balls persona is going down the tubes, it seems fitting as I finish this here the credits are rolling for the Littlest Hobo, one of my favourite TV shows and as it says “maybe tomorrow Ill want to settle down, until tomorrow Ill just keep moving on”insert  whistling sound now!

Roll on


Thursday, 13 October 2011


So here we are, I have reached an entire new low of self loathing douche baggery.  I tell you folks this taper  thing changes a man.  Yesterday I twitted today I blog, whats next?   Hopefully my life rebounds.  If youre new to me here’s the scoop, I live on a farm, own some cows,  have my own construction business and I run.  This is probably going be the most interesting eclectic blog on the market you better take a seat. So I started this and I thought it would be easy, damn blogging is hard.  Lets go with a running blog today.  Running is pretty much one of my favourite things to do, Why you ask? Well running makes me happy, when Im not running Im not really happy and when Johns not happy its not nice.  Why else do I like running? Running is tough as hell, most people hate running because it is tough as hell.  I always wanted to be a tough guy, but my lacking muscle tone at an early age led me away from Cage fighting and rugby the “cool” tough guy sports and put me into short shorts and running shoes.   Gosh I love running!  You know what I don’t like?  People that wine about running, people that want to be good at running and wine about it!  This internet place has a collection of blogs and articles from people claiming to be good at running and complaining about it, “I have to work a part time job and then run,” oh the tragedy, seriously? you have a part time job, you poor poor soul. “I need sponsors, free stuff etc...” You need sponsors? Do your sponsors tie your shoes and move your feet up and down? What you need is to suck it up and get your ass out the door and go running!  Hey folks if you are training at a semi elite level living like a college student, YOU HAVE IT MADE!  This is my dream life, you work a bit, run a lot, live the simple life!  But thats not the way society is today, we all want the, get rich quick, lose weight fast, more is better lifestyle.  Be happy with what you have, you have more than most!   Speaking of losing weight fast, I tried this program this summer it worked great its called RYBO, stands for Run Your Bag Off, apparently I lost 14lbs in 14weeks.  All you need to do is run 100-125 miles a week. Its that simple!  So that puts me here tonight, in full on Taper mode, for the big dance on Sunday-the SWT1/2M.  We had a 15week buildu that was great, Reid, Gillis, Rob, Cleve, they are like the master and I am the grasshopper. Some day young grasshopper you will snatch the pebble! I learned a lot from these guys and I am the fittest I have ever been.  I am fired up for this weekend, its going to be a big day for Canadian distance running!  Get some beers, some friends and watch Marathon Day In Canada on CBC starts at 830 Sunday morning I believe, Oh no there are going to be some seriously pissed people if they put a marathon on over the Sunday morning Coronation Street episodes. Oh Dear someone at CBC is going to get it.  So yeah don’t taper folks it makes you crazy I may never blog again if I can rebound my life after this!
Peace and Blessings