Sunday, 28 October 2012

Blog #S

I’m back baby...

Ok so I went down to jolly old London town this morning for a 10k.  I was pretty pumped for this race as workouts/mileage/life had all been going quite well lately.  I didn’t really have a clue what to expect from the race but, when talking with Nick on Friday I was game to get after sub 31.30.  Lucky for us the rain held off,  Springbank Park down there in London must be some sort of parallel Universe or vortex or something.  The wind seemed to be hitting us in every direction.  So things went out very strong with Nick, Dekker and I rolling through 5k.  I thought that Brent Wow Smith had fallen off at about 3k.  There were so many lead changes, so many times I thought I was out and just kept sticking my nose in it.  Dekker made a move at 6k and I thought we had dropped Sunseri and that it was just him and me left. At 7k I felt him fall of just a step and I tried to put my foot down and make a gap.  And then Whammy Nick rolls by and on his ass is B-Wow.  I was rattled, I thought Smith was out 5k ago, but like the Duke of Plaza Toro he was leading from behind.   So Sunseri and B-Wow make a move and I missed hitching my wagon to them.  They gapped me by 10-15s quick and then I woke up and could never get back in it.  I was super pumped to Pb by 15seconds.  Sunseri Pb’d and I think we can say that was a break through run for B-wow.  Really happy with the effort. Have to thank all the boys for the lead changes the surges that went on to get me that PB today. High Fives all around. 

So on to the next one... not sure what that’s going to be.  I love cross country and I have only been getting stronger lately.  The ideas of National Cross Country Championships in Vancouver have been rolling around in my brain.  Sadly Vancouver is a very far way away, and it’s an expensive city I am told.  I have been offered a couple of couches, and was also offered a room at a house by a lovely young lady and her mother the other night.  But my butchering of a joke and line about babies ruining your life has probably rendered that offer void.  In my defence everyone was asking questions and I got rattled and lost the punch line.  And I didn’t mean babies ruin your life it just came out the wrong way.  Live and learn.  Any way we will see what comes next.

So what should we talk about tonight...Pat Robitaille?  You know him? Me neither. Heck I am not even sure how to say his name, I am guessing it sounds like “Row-bi-tai” and that the “le” are just for show or maybe it’s  “Ro-bi-tail” Help me out Pat!.    Well I kind of know him.  As far as my sober mind will recall I do not think I have ever met Pat Robitaille.  Pat if we have met and I forget now I feel like an ass.  Anyway, Pat is a heck of a guy; he is the number one fan of my blog here.   Also a big follower of mine on the twitter.  So all I really know about Pat is from what he has posted on twitter.  One he has a good sense of humour. He has a couple of kids two or three I believe.  Seems to be a heck of a dad, from a picture he posted one day on the twitter, he was doing some NASA training with the boys in their car seats.  So he’s got them strapped in and laying on their backs (as if blasting off into outer space) I thought it was hilarious.  It also was probably a cheap babysitter I figured so Pat could get some work done.  Good thinking Pat!  Pat also seems to enjoy a quality brew.  Someday I hope to buy Pat a beer.  Pat is also a huge running fan.  Always sending well wishes to runners across the twitterspace.  You’re a heck of a guy Pat Robitaille. Keep up the good work!

Not sure what else to tell you here folks. Oh huge shout out to Donna Lumani she is a gem.  She is the mother of my good friend Josh Lumani.  I think I mentioned her back a couple blogs ago.  Yeah she’s a gem.  Showed up to watch me race today, with her special banana bread.  Yeah best banana bread ever had by man, no need for butter.  This bread is so moist you could eat it with a straw. Ok not really but it is amazing.  I told myself I better run fast if Donna Lumani was coming to watch.   I figured Donna Lumani was going to tell me to shave my awful mustache and get my life together! But she was just all pep and smiles and banana bread!  Poor Josh gets a bit rattled that his Mom and sister talk to me, I don’t see why. 

My uncle from Winnipeg is here this week.  He attempted to carve a pumpkin in my honour.  It was supposed to be a runner.  I will not post a picture to save the internet evidence.  It was a good effort Jeffrey, but don’t quit your day job.  But Jeff’s another good guy. We both have a strange sense of humour so it has been a good couple of days. 

Dream big kids,

I had something profound to finish this blog with but I have forgotten it.

Oh well. 

Oh hey there is a lack of comments on this here blog, I don’t bite folks, if you have any questions, troubles you want help with, something you would like me to talk about here on this blog, drop me a line, we will see what we can do!


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Blog # R

Like Pirates of the Penzance....

So the other night in Guelph they held a little info session called “Lessons from London” it was a little session discussing the things learned qualifying athletes to London and athletes attempt to qualify.  It started with this movie...

So I try to be a real manly man.  I am all about working hard, toughness, beer, beards, mustaches, women, real manly stuff.  So when I sat down and they played that damn video, I am not going to lie folks, I thought I was going to cry.  Shit I love Milne and seeing that again was just heart breaking.  Milnes a great dude, love him to death.  So the first time I ever went to run up at Speed River DST introduced me to the group and told everyone to say hi and we headed out on a warm-up. Everyone grouped up and started chatting and took off, Milne waits for me and introduces himself “hi I’m Taylor”  (In my head I’m like no shit, I don’t live under a rock I know who Taylor Milne is) Any way Milne and I really hit it off over time.  We both are men that pride ourselves on toughness; we both have twisted senses of humour and never avoid that offside joke.  Milnes a great dude a super talented stud with a big heart.  He has run times faster than my PB’s, in workouts. Yet for some strange reason Milne believes in me, he motivates me he wants me to succeed when he could really not give a shit.  Funny story about Milne, we were once at a pool party and he looks over at me and says “Mason you have the second best body at Speed River” I sarcastically say “second best? Who’s better” and Milne comes back with “Me duh!”   So anyway, last summer was a tough one on my friend Milne and seeing it again hurt me in the heart.  See ladies I am not just that rough manly exterior there is a little heart in there somewhere.  You’re the best Milne thanks brother. 
So I was trying to drum up some good stories for you folks so I started to scan through some pictures on my computer.   One of the first things I see is this. 

So here’s where this story goes.  The group we have here are the guys in my program at college that I hung out with all the time.  From left to right we have Eric, he was from Tilsonburg.  I called him T-burg.  Then we had Darryl, he’s Dutch,  I didn’t like Darryl but Darryl liked Chris I’m pretty sure so that’s why he was in the group, I called Darryl Darrin because that made him mad and we’d all laugh.  Then we have Andrew Driver, Driver for short, a mathematical genius.  I blame Driver for my late graduation.  You see I had started at Fanshawe in a different program, and then switched to Construction Engineering.  Driver had done the same thing.  When it came time where we had to select General Arts credit courses Driver told me he had already taken one and since I had been in another program too that I wouldn’t have to take one either.  Horribly wrong Driver.  This led me to having to take an online distance ed. Class –Myths and Legends, not my cup of tea.  But that’s another story for another day.  Then there is yours truly, and finally Chris Peer, also went with the simple nickname of Peer.  From the Soo a heck of a good guy, sadly I don’t think he realized how much Darrin whoops Darryl liked him.  Anyway, so back to that picture, so one weekend Chris and Driver and T-burg are at a party and one of Chris’s roommates Mike gets pretty drunk.  Monday rolls around and we figure out this plan for Driver to text him pretending to be a lovely girl named Becca that Mike met but won’t remember.  So we start texting Mike and pretending to have a big crush on him, and this goes on and on, we then are setting up fake facebook and MSN messenger accounts in Becca’s name to make her seem more realistic. Does anyone even use MSN anymore? Anyway stay focused here.  This was a scam of all scams.   We let this go on for a couple weeks and set up a big date for April 1st.  Where we take this picture and send it to dear Mike.  Hahahah it was glorious.  Mike took it well and we all had a good laugh. 

So let’s get to the meat of the potato with my running, so things have been clicking quite well lately.  Since that whole shoe debacle.  Mileage is up, workouts have been jamming well.  I think I am getting what they call “fit.”  So Sunday we will be hitting up a 10k in London.  The Halloween haunt 10k, I am excited to get down there and roll.  Runners Choice always puts on good events so it should be great.  I have been trying to be more elite in my execution of my running as of late.  Blasting the core to get that beach body back, hitting up the recovery in the ice bath every night so far this week doing the little things well.  We will see what comes of Sunday. 

Shout out to the Fanshawe Boys that won a 4th consecutive Ontario College championship on Saturday.  First of that four was back in my era.  Also congrats to the lady Falcons on a strong showing in a rebuilding year! While maintaining best looking team in the CCAA.  The college running scene is getting better every year deeper fields with better runners at the front end.  Good work folks!

Noticing those boots I mentioned last blog more and more. They might be the yoga pant of footwear. Just saying.

I also notice there is a new magnet on the refrigerator.  One of my fine roommates must have picked it up.  It says “To Be or Not to Be” Gets me thinking every time I see it.  I have decided that I want –To be.  So it’s time to make the most of it.   

And like the Pirates of the Penzance, I am not really a pirate I’m just a good guy gone bad!


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Blog #Q

So the one Newfie is down at the local watering hole whooping it up celebrating.  One Newf says to the other Newf what are you celebrating there boy, and he says I just finished a jigsaw puzzle it only took me four months.  The other Newf says “four months? That doesn’t seem very fast!”  To which the other replies oh yes on the box it said 3-5 years. 

So we shall title this blog from that.

Things are coming together like a kid’s jigsaw puzzle!

So the last couple blogs I was going on about the upcoming Vic Matthews cross country meet in Guelph. We had been hyping up the Guelph City Championship/bragging rights.  I was fired up for this race, really fired up for it.  Workouts had been feeling great and confidence was coming back.  I was looking to get into this stacked field of runners, run smart, run fast, and boom the bonus would be our Speed River men might upset the alumni.  So, things were feeling good race morning I was ready to rock, So here we go, get down to the line, the field of athletes is huge and I know these kids are going to get out fast and I just need to race smart so I stay close to the back to the Guelph crew.  So the gun goes off and its chaos bodies, limbs, flying all over the place.  And WHAMMY 30m in everyone decides to move to the right and make a mass cluster-chaos and it happens, someone steps on my right heel, back of the shoe goes down and under my foot.  I didn’t know what to do, so I keep running, we get around the hair pin bend and everyone slows down. So this flip flop like shoe I now have is not going to work I pull to the side at 400m and try my damndest to pull the heel pack on quick. No dice and in the heat of the moment did not want to be out the back door anymore than I already was.  So I kept this flip flop thing on to get down the woodchips and kick it off just before the 1k marker.  I roll through the little loop and come around and see my shoe nicely sitting there just off to the side, Oh shit it has my timing chip on it.... So I continue on through the first big loop, by this point my foot is sore, calf is getting tight, not a good feeling. I spot Cody Murray and yell at him to find my spike by the K and get it to me.  Cody tracks down the shoe and I spot him as we are heading out to the back of the last loop. Cody! You didn’t untie the shoe, (which I later learn that he had and loosened it so I could slip it on) any way he quickly untied it and I stopped again and tried to get it on, thats not easy to do mid race, with cold hands,  shit tieing the  dam things was a struggle.  Any way I was happy to have both shoes for the last 2k on the gravel, but the legs were done my head was out of it and that results were written. 

Rolling shoeless

So I was pretty rattled and angry, it was a great day to run fast, a great course with an outstanding field of the best OUA teams and top notch south western Ontario club teams.  Any way I got over it. I let it go.  But like my old coach at Fanshawe told me a long time ago,  “at your elite level, you don’t just have off days, you need to figure out what went wrong and learn from it”  So I have learned from this event,  First thing is, there was nothing I could do to prevent it, my shoe was double knotted and tight ( hence why I couldn’t pull it on easy) But if it is to ever happen again I know now to just stop, fix it, boom back in it with the whole race to go.  My constant slowing surging stopping starting surging took its toll and if I  had just fixed it I would have been 25s back with the whole race still left.  Lesson learned

I loved that atmosphere last week when we were getting all pumped up for the big show down.  It got everyone on board and it reminded me of my college days running on a team.  Not that Speed River doesn’t have that team feeling but with people racing a range of distance all the time here and there it’s just not the same as the atmosphere of a collegiate cross country team and racing for a team.  I have also hit up the old stomping grounds of Fanshawe College to run a bit with the cross country team there,  They practice on days I am not up in Guelph so I just get the legs rolling with them on their warm up and then continue my run on the beautiful trails of the Fanshawe Conservation area.  The college and university kids are awesome, it’s such a fiery exciting atmosphere.  Everyone is on board for the team, not for a qualifying time or PB.  All they want to do is get better and run fast. It’s great!   And thats when I stumbled upon this gem and Lisa basically is saying what I am, the fire and excitement of the college and how she feeds off of it. 
And like my boy Josh Lumani said “I no longer watch Flotrack for the races, more just to search for wife prospects”   Yeah!

While we are on that topic of ladies, I have noticed what must be the new fashion trend for the fall while out driving. These leather “riding boots” Im going to call them?? Theyre like knee high leather boots, some have layers some are just straight.  But I like it, Ladies they look good!  Thats when I began to ponder why they look good and it quickly hit me,  these boots hide the worst part of the female body.  The Ankle.  I don’t care who you are, the ankle is just an awkward mess of joints and bones and muscle and tendons.  Even the sweetest legged distance runner girls have ankles and as slim as one can be its still an ankle.  And recent trends of skinny jeans has just brought everything tight and down to the ankle and boom there it is the ankle.  So now these boots kind of smooth everything out and flow over the ankle,  Lets say they’re doing good things.  Good work ladies!

Oh so I guess I should summarize this and take it back to the title of this blog, running has really been coming together nicely.  Really smooth and easy like a kids jigsaw puzzle.  I am in a good place and doing the little things right and that seems to be making a big difference.  I am sleeping well, getting my mileage back up, hitting the core work hard, taking my vitamins, stretching, rolling out the muscles and its working, Im back baby.  Looking forward to big things down the road.

Oh shoot yeah you might notice the advertisements over there to the right on this here blog now,  and I hope you don’t all start to hate on me.  As I have before called out runner who have blogs and just use them to beg for money and hand outs.  Well  you see they pay a little bit to allow advertisement on blogs, it is not a lot but it is based on the number of hits a blog gets.  And this here blog seems to be viewed by a lot of people. So, I wont be on here begging for a hand out, I am going to take the helping hand that has been provided.  I ran it by one of my top followers and best friends  and he was cool with the idea. Yeah there you have it. 

Keep it real folks


Friday, 12 October 2012

Blog #P

Lets get ready to RRRRRRRummmmmmble!

So tomorrow is the Vic Matthews Cross Country Race in Guelph! It’s more than likely going to be the most competitive cross country race in Canada this year.  It will also play host to the Guelph City Cross Country Championship, pitting the Guelph Gryphon Men against the Gryphon Alumni against the Speed River Men to see who reigns sumpreme.  It’s going to be a battle. There will be blood shed! So lets break it down, because it’s going to be tight


Enough has been said about these Boys, the entire team is fit, best team in the CIS, everyone knows it!  But thats it they are boys! And there are a lot of men in this race! How ballsy are these young lads? We will see, we will see!

Gryphon Alumni

Allan “Ugly Face” Brett- a true xc  grit runner, now ready to flex his alumni muscle!  Allan started the banter about this battle in the summer and his entire season, possibly life goals revolve around tomorrow outcome! If he gets into it and works that ugly face grit on watchout. How bad does he want it? He got a high efficiency hair,  He wants the first place team T-shirt more than any CIS team title or All Canadian plaque he has.  Watch out for that right arm flailing up that final hill ugly face in tow.  

Kyle “pretty boy” Boorsma- Kyle never gets the Brett “ugly face” hes always sporting and childish grin on his baby face.  Hes been rolling hard this fall, so hard I noticed he was sporting and new pair of trainers tonight, so hard that the last ones just blew up mid workout!  Hes been working up a nasty mustache, lets hope that hasn’t left him fatigued.  Contender here!

Derek “ape man” Snider-the working class hero of the alumni,  all we have to go on are rumours and speculations! He has probably been biking and climbing and running and such to the extreme.  A dark horse for the team. A scary dark horse!

Alex “technically not alumni” Genest – we had a debate tonight as to whether or not Alex is eligible to compete as an alumni as he is still a student at Guelph.  But as my google search has found the definition of alumni is -> plural of a·lum·nus

A graduate or former student, esp. male, of a particular school, college, or university.
 So I guess our protest will be overturned.  Alex is a baller.  There is no water pit or barriers or course so he might find himself wondering whats going on, that being said he might decide to run really fast and show the field how an Olympian rolls.

Matt “the champ” Brunsting.  The wild card! A make or break potentially for the team.  He is like two face or snoop dog or snoop or snoop lion or snoop-a-loop, you never know whose going to come at you!  If Matt shows up expect a strong run from a solid Veteran. If the Champ shows up hold on to your hats ladies and gents he could blaze a new trail. 

Cleve “caballo Cleve-o” Thorson – Cleve has come back from his shack in the mountains, living off the land training as an ultra runner.  Bouncing back from his big Run for the Toad Victory to drop down a full marathon to sprint for the Alumni.  Lets hope his vegan, living off the land, free lifestyle has him sharp.  If nothing else he is tough as iron balls and consistent as a cats meow.  Sadly ladies hes off the market now.

Speed River

Chris “wiseman” Winter – He thought he was coming back to Guelph for a training block, but really we just needed him for the Vic Team.  Hes been ripping up to the west coast and looking like a beast.  He used to be a duck, but now in Guelph he’s a hawk swooping with skill and speed and going straight for the jugular.  Serious Threat!

Matt “juice box” Jurysta – the new kid in town for the river, running like a man now.  He is longer than a Mexican mile, but I think he wears a size 18 shoe,  if he can keep those canoes rolling watch out for his wheels in the last K kids.  RELEASE THE JUICE BOX!!!

Taylor “the man” Milne- full of Northern Ontario rage this man might take your soul then bake you a cake the next day.  He is firing on all cylinders and is undefeated through the first turn.  He will get out fast and close hard.  If youre not 400m ahead of him in the last 500m consider yourself threatened, hes go wheels!   Milne Milne Milne!

Terence “the Turantula” Attema – another new power house to the team, mathematically inclined, he might be our new wild Bill.  If you know who wild Bill is youd be scared. If you don’t youre missing out.  He has been in it with the big dawgs in big meets and can throw down with the best of them.  Front Pack man!

Logan Chappell & Dan Waters  “the pups”  pups because they are young but theyre ready to fight with the big dogs.  Out to prove a point and flex the gung these boys are our dark horses!

And Myself.  John Mason – Im fired up. I love cross country and cant get enough of it.  I am ready to tear this up and show the boys how a working man does.  Just excited to make the cut.

So those are the teams.  Its going to be a dog fight.  Get yourself to Guelph its going to be great!

Also great weekend of running ahead with Sunday featuring Scotiabank Marathon.  Planning to get down there and see my good friend Rob Watson smash another good marathon.

I’m Fired Up


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Blog # O

First we were just making laundry, now we’re making progress!

So hey there folks thought I would get back on this blog thing here.  I realize our trust bond might have been shaken as it has been since the 4th of July since my last post.  But better late than never I guess.  So were here now lets blog.

So where have I been all this time?  Well I have been here, there really has just been nothing worth telling you about to be quite honest.  Lets recap the situation, so I had that stress fracture in my shin. I am going to go with I hope I never ever break a bone in my body because holy hell folks at the height of this stress fracture it hurt like no tomorrow. Wowser.  So that took 6 weeks.  I had a couple weeks of down time and then tried biking. Biking is fun....when your seven and you build a ramp out of some scrap wood and ride off the front porch.  Biking is also fun when you tour around and enjoy the scenery.  Biking to try to salvage running fitness, sucks, sucks like a V8 shop vac.  I hated it.  I was then allowed to start running again and slowly build things back up.  I was smart, shocking I know. But I took my time, stuck to the grass, slowly building the mileage back up.  Then September came around and it was time to try a workout.  So back to the River I go,  you see it’s also rookie time and all these kids are keyed up and want to show coach that they are fit.  Sweet grandmothers spatula those kids hammered me.  Blow to my already bruised ego.  September consisted of a lot of inconsistency.  I had a lot of rough workouts, I had a few decent workouts where I got slight glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel.   Then I raced the Fanshawe Cross Country 8k.  We strung together a team of rag tag alumni and entered a team.  It went over like a lead balloon.  Not what I had expected or wanted.  I was rolling pretty well, then apparently my  balls became introverted and I ran like a bit of a pussy.   That was a low.

So from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.  After the summer track season I had I was at an all time high, I had Pb’d at every distance I had raced, I had some confidence. I was rolling.  After that Fanshawe race I felt like a scrub.  Not a good place.  After the summer I was on the peak of my mountain of running and this injury had me slipping over the edge and I was barely hanging on.   And I guess there comes a time in all athletes lives where you fall off the edge and you don’t come back, that turning point, the point of no return.  Fanshawes race was almost that point.   I was saying all the running clichés you here “oh Im coming back”  “that was a good rust buster, got the feeling I needed”  but back in the mind there were doubts.  That mind it’s a powerful weapon, best if you don’t listen to your mind folks.  Anyway lucky for me I didn’t slip I pulled back up.  I am getting my footing again.  The week fallowing that race the workouts went great, that set me up great for the Run for the Toad 25k trail race.  Run for the Toad is one of Canadas Largest best know trail races. It is a course of pure sin and evil, you are forever going up and down steep hills, around corners and switchbacks.  It was awesome.  I took a beauty tumble with 500m to go that sucked but other than that is was a great race.  Confidence boost, since the Toad Ive got my balls back again, Im feeling better and stronger by the day.  Onward and Upward my friends.   So yeah, suck on that mind and injury trying to get me down.    Lesson for life folks, if you want it go get it, don’t sit and wait and don’t give up.

On a non running related topic, I was joking with my boy Josh Lumani on the twitter last night.  We were busting each others chops as usual. You see Josh comes from a good family, wait good is an understatement..these folks are beauties.  His sister is a gem, shes doing big things in the world bringing water to the folks in Kenya so they don’t have to drink out of those awful swill holes of disease.  Check out her good work here -> Josh’s  mom is also a sweet heart, always being all nice and kind asking how Im doing and such, telling me not to get tattoos and such like moms do, she also makes one hell of a banana bread.  And Josh is just a great dude, hard working runner with a similar mind set work ethic sense of humour as me.  So I tell him that I am going to either marry his sister or become his moms pool boy so we can hang out more.  Josh was not impressed.  His sister thought it was great idea seeing as Mom Lumani doesn’t have a pool.  So I tell sister Abbie that if we get married that I would suit up and maybe even pay for a haircut.  That lead me to think that I have not paid for a hair cut in over 4 years.  The last haircut I payed for was before Dean and Erin Sayles wedding that I was in.  4 years ago was also the last time I had any females seriously interested in me.  Coincidence? I think not. 

So now that we are talking about hair I should add that I have been growing a mustache for the past 2 and a half weeks.  Rob Jackson has been growing a stache since last movember and it has been noticeable the past few weeks and The Markus Vollmer has a great stache again and I was inspired.  I have now taken it upon myself to change the outlook of mens upper lip hair.  All I have heard is “getting started for Movember?” No duh, I grew a stache in a week why would I need to  prep for Movember  or the “pedafile jokes” about mustaches.  Cant a man have a mustache? Without strange looks and disrespectful comments.  Common people.

Where now,  heres another link -> my man Nathan Stirk is a true beauty to the core.  We always showed cattle against each other growing up and were cordial but never really got to know each other.  Until this year in Denver at the National Western Stock Show.  For the safety of mankind and sanity of the females of the world its for the best ol’ Roy and I don’t get out together very often.  Turns out when we are hanging out in Denver that we are Best friends, were basically the same people. Hard working athletic cattleman with careers that prevent us from showing cattle full time.  Stirk is a fierce squash player, and a chivalrous gentleman.  Ladies take note.  His blog is about crops.  I really suck at crops, I know cows, Roy knows Crops and cows, so read his blog and learn about crops like I have. 

Umm yeah so thats about it folks.  Oh yeah getting ready to rip up the Vic Matthews XC meet in Guelph on Saturday.  Hopefully crush the hopes and dreams of some university kids.  I will try and blog again in the next couple days to hype up the Guelph showdown...

Until then, stay classy


Wednesday, 4 July 2012


England and a Flat Tire

So where the hell have I been? Sorry folks for the delay, lets recap since the last post- I went to England, Raced a half marathon, came home, 1500 night, and a flat tire! 

So England, I went back to the old country! My father moved to Canada many moons ago and so I have a lot of family over there.  Grandpa was part of the sports committee 49 years ago in the village near where he lives.  He helped to organise a half marathon during the weekend festival known as club day! Turns out it’s the oldest half marathon in England.  And Grandpa wants me to win the damn thing.  And Last year after being second I had to head back for another try.  So I invite my best bud Kyle to come with me on this adventure, Kyle’s been with me to Texas twice and we have had many nights of ridiculousness.  So we arrive in England and my back and legs were tight as hell from the plane ride over, it was not a good scene.  It was also cool when we arrived and it was raining-typical England, it felt perfect for racing a half.  So for race day lets break out the sun and crank the thermostat up to 28 degrees.  It got rough.  Before 3 miles my back was tight but I was rolling pretty well then on 68.30 pace.  Oh did I mention it was windy too gah.  8-10 miles were rough and the pace slipped.  From then on I cruised in as my legs were cramping and hurting.  I knew I was not running fast so nor catching the leader so I whooped it up a bit as I passed the local pub crowd and enjoyed the atmosphere of “Club Day”  final time of 1.12.01.  So not really happy with that but satisfied with the effort with how I had felt leading up to the race and how rough I was feeling early on. 

While in England Kyle and I tried to take in the local culture.  Euro cup group play was on.  We hit up the Coach and Horses pub for the game against Sweden.  We were not prepared for what we walked into.  England in soccer crazy and from what we were told Freckleton is a soccer crazy village.  So the pub is packed standing room only.  And these fans are intense, all sipping away on gin and tonics and ales, swearing at the TV. Old ladies, sweet little old ladies are dropping F-bombs at the TV.  It was awesome.  Once the word got out who we were, everyone was talking to us.  Great friendly people in Freckleton!  So Grandpa rented Kyle and I a car while we were there so we could tour around,  lets set the scene 1-cars in England are smaller to begin with 2- I am 6’1” a broad shouldered 165 and Kyle is 6’5” a solid farmer 240 3-Were manly men. So the Rental car lady takes us out to our car WHAMMY it’s a Fiat.  Yeah a little Italian hatch back that would fit in the back of my truck.  We drove the shit out of that Fiat, poor poor  Fiat.  Other than race day basically all we drank was tea and beer.  But it was all quality dark ale, basically a food group.  It was a great time.

We had an exciting adventure on the way home, Watching the screen with the map and the little plane I noticed we were doing a circle somewhere close to Toronto, we continue this circle and as we start our second circle the Pilot comes over the mic and says “theyre having some trouble in Toronto, if we don’t get called to land in 5 min we are going to have to abandon because we are running out of fuel” and that was it.  I look over at Kyle, “did he just say we’re running out of fuel?”  Sure enough we had to land in Ottawa because Toronto was closed from a wild thunderstorm.  Do you know how much fun sitting in an airplane with the air off in 35 degree heat is? For two hours!  Lets just say it was not fun.   It made it so I didn’t get home until 1 am. Grrrr

So after arriving home at 1 am I slept until 7.30 I woke up feeling great, full of piss and vinegar as they say.  I did a little shake out run and decided I felt good enough to race that night in a 1500, seriously its only a 1500.  So anywho  I raced a 1500 feeling tired, it sucked, I felt like I was working hard the entire time. Ran 4.04, no fireworks,  no gas in the tank.   For all those out there I don’t recommend the Sunday-Friday Half Marathon-1500 double up, it’s a doozy.

After the 1500 this spot on my leg really hurt.  You see the thing was that spot had started hurting a couple weeks before.  It hadn’t gotten much worse and cold tubing seemed to be keeping it at bay.  But It was now really sore. Anyways let’s not beat around the bush here and get to the meat of the potato-I’ve got a stress fracture in my left shin.  But looking back maybe it was the 65 laps I raced on the track this summer that got me.  So I feel like a bit of an idiot for not taking care of it weeks ago.  I would like to think of myself as a sub-semi-elite runner and I thought I was getting mature and smart at listening to my body.  Damn you Track, you are an evil temptress luring me from the trails I love into lust after fast PB’s, Damn You!  And now you have had your fun so you kick me to the curb, bruised and damaged!

Who am I kidding the Spring track session was great, thanks to Eric Gillis for encouraging me to race on it last fall when I was down.  It was great, lots of fun.
So yeah where does that leave us....Oh so I am taking some time here to get this cleared up asap and then hopefully salvage a fall season. 

I made the most of the Long weekend, I caught up with a couple of great friends and had some drinks.  Josh Lumani turned 22, I love this kid, he is as suave and cool as anything.   He had a little shindig, it was great, Met his mom, she once made me banana bread-best banana bread in the world!  Josh writes a blog you should check it out  .  Josh pretends to be a bit of a badass gangsta but he’s got a heart of gold. Beauty of a dude if you asked me.  He is also a ridiculously talented runner.  Kids got fire and passion but he is just too damn humble.  More talent than me thats for sure.   Similar to me he made great improvements at Fanshawe College.  He tries to play it all cool, weekend warrior type but this dude is good, and he is just opening the can that is his ability! I hope he stick at this running thing. Hes gonna be good! Stay tuned!

Lumani’s mom made a slide show about his life, it was great but in it she had a quote, it said something like “I love running, I hate running, usually I am somewhere in the middle”  I thought that was very good.  Now for my Friend Wild Bill Petrcich I will admit that I would be found in the Bell curve of this data more to the “I love running side”. 

So I am going to be healing up my leg and trying to stay cool this week. 

Make the most of it Folks!


Monday, 11 June 2012


Raspberry Beret...

So where to begin, if you are not mechanically inclined I will let you know that rope is made for pulling, it is mighty hard to push something with a piece of rope. Remember this, it will help you later. Also if you have never let your dog chew on a golf ball or never fooled around in high school shop class and tried to cut a golf ball in half, you need to know that inside a golf ball is a big mess of elastic bands all twisted up.  You need to understand this.

So I raced again last night. A little 3000 down in London!  I am having a lot of fun doing this track thing this summer.  I was a bit tired from all the racing of the past few weeks with that 10k and followed closely by that 5k-1500 double up at the 401 series.  So we had a couple good weeks of mileage and workouts in again and this 3k seemed to fit.  So here we are, in London on a next to perfect evening, it’s a small field and there is a pack of guys going for sub 8.15 pace up front.  I know I want nothing to do with that pace.  So things go out fast, 64 seconds or so through 400, and so here I am, off the back of this lead pack trying to find my pace not going at their pace but not letting them drop me as there does not seem to be anyone else around me. Well, trying to push solo off the back of a pack, whilst not entirely losing touch with the pack but not going out too fast is about as easy as pushing a truck with a piece of rope. It’s not very easy.  The first lap was fast and then I sort of let the lead group go, then I decided that I needed to try to hang off the back of them a bit more and started to push on, in the middle section it go a bit tough as it always seems to do in these track races and then there was only 1km to go and I felt good and started to move pretty well again.  8.41 was a big 7 year pb. Henderson ran like a bawse up front hitting his world jr. Standard. 

So now on to the next one, actually jumping on a plane and heading to England on Wednesday night.  Going to visit my Grandpa and family over there all while taking in a half marathon.  And this is where you all are going “what the deuce?> I thought you were ripping up the track this summer John”  Well this is true.  But there is a bit of a story behind this half marathon.  It takes place in the Village of Freckleton, and it is the Oldest half marathon in England at 49 years. Also my grandfather who also bears the great name-John Mason was one of the original organizers of this race.  Needless to say he wants me to win the damn thing.  So I went last year and gave it my best but had some stomach issues and ended up second by 24seconds.  When  planning my summer season I told DST that i would really like to get into this again and he said it would fit into the schedule it just would not be any peak race with the main focus of drilling down my track times.  So yeah with all this fast track stuff I am excited to get over the England and roll through a half.  Its a flat course and I am fairly confident in my base so I would like to see a fast time aswell. #believinthebeard.  

Once back from England I will be hitting up the track again for a couple fast races before we wrap up the summer season.

So here this blog is going to take a bit of a hard left from my usual, lowbrow, ball joke humour and get a bit more deep, and believe me this is as deep as I get.  Some might say I am like an onion, with many layers that could make you cry,  but I am more like a golf ball, I have a hard rough exterior, take a good beating and come back for more, and inside I am just a big twisted mess of elastic bands that makes no sense. So....

First watch this video:

Now if you have watched this video and you do not want to go out for a two hour run, or don’t not want to try running for the first time, you better check your pulse.  I have watched this video many many times and it really speaks to me.  I am not of the real religious type, I don’t understand religions.  Religions are the reason for all the war and peace in the world.  Religion brings people peace and makes people want to fight for what they believe. Anyway what I do understand is running.  I love running, running for hours, running in the snow, in the rain. A day running is better than a day not running in my books.  Running is good for the soul, it picks you up when youre feeling down, it clears the mind and helps me think.   The roads and trails are my sanctuary.  A long solid effort, laboured breathing, my sermon.   I would give up all goals of fast times, race wins, national-world level competition if you told me I would be able to float along a rolling tree lined trail everyday from now until I die.    But nothing is certain and nothing can be set in stone, so I’ll live for what I have right now, and right now I want to go fast. 

Oh yeah so about the title Raspberry Beret. The last three times I have raced as I drive to the race that song has come on the radio. I don’t know I guess it’s lucky.  One, Two, One  Two three, Huh

For your viewing pleasure.--à

So yeah I will check back in After England.  Behave yourselves

Believe In the Beard!


Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Shots shot shot shot shot...

So a little subsection blog here that I thought up last night.  Last night at practice I was thrown in with the dogs. Usually my group of 5k+ runners hits the trails on a Monday night for longer fartlek-tempo type stuff.  Last night was not the case.  I was fed to the wolves, the wolves being the 800-1500m group.  These bastards like to get into it, they get all spiked up and tear the hell out of the track.  So going into this workout I was hoping to just stay within 100m of these guys in a 400.  The workout went well kind of surprised myself actually.  I would have been really pumped with it if I had not had a lactic acid headache like no tomorrow.  And let me tell you this headache stayed all night.  It felt like I was hungover, my head felt like I had been slamming back shots or something silly.  I hurt.  Thats when I got to thinking that going to the track is like going to the bar, and doing 1500m work is like doing shots.  So first if youre cool you go to the bar/track with your friends,  its never cool to go and hammer at the bar or track alone.  Apparently when youre a 1500m dude just like going out to the bar to impress the ladies you throw on your best clothes/spikes so that you look good/fast.  The intervals are like shots. The first one doesnt really go down to smooth, it burns a bit. But that first shot/interval opens the flood gates.  Now youre throwing them back fast and furious. I feel so cool! And then before you know it you do one more and thats it youre a staggering mess, delusional, puking is a potential.  And then you let it all soak in and you end up feeling like a dirtbag with a headache that feels as if one has an ax in their head.

 Shots or 1500m intervals always seem like a good idea at the time, damn you peer pressure.

Am I a 1500 runner now? Absolutely not.

Whether youre doing shots or intervals. Smash them hard and fast, you know no matter what tomorrow's going to be rough.  Oh and maybe have a water or two before bed


Sunday, 3 June 2012


Renew the Love and the 401

Sorry folks, I guess it has been a couple weeks since that last blog so here we go. Topics for this blog post; work,  post 10k, 401 recap, for the love of running. Hold on tight.  So the past few weeks have been super busy with work.  I have been doing some really nice work lately.  This past week I built a great deck and pergola.  It has to be one of the most impressive things I have built to date.   Check it out. 

I was super happy with it. Lots of attention to detail in the herringbone corners and the posts beams and trim.   The Homeowners loved it. All is good!

So back to the week after that 10 we talked about in the last blog. Holy hell folks that hurt.  I hurt for a full week.  The legs were just beat up, I was able to keep working out and keep the mileage up it just took longer into warm-ups to get the calves working.  I didn’t get back to feeling normal until the Saturday after, which was basically just in time for the 401 distance series to get started.

So onto the 401 distance series.  5000 on the Wednesday night down there in London.  High quality deep fields on a good night with only a little wind.  So I found myself in the second heat, with a great pack of guys.  One of the first times in my life folks I ran smart, hung out in the pack rolling 71...laps.  And as I felt myself naturally move up on a guy I went around and found myself right behind a guy in second with just over a 1k to go.  I was feeling great, I actually thought to perhaps make a bit bolder move and take the lead with 800 to go but hesitated and then the leader made a bit of a move and I was just trying to hang on.  I rigged up a bit in the last 500m, ok perhaps got a bit ugly.  I ended up running 14.54.07 just under a 6 second PB.  That last 100m hurt, I don’t really recall much thought I held it together better, but apparently I got to the line and just flopped over. Left some of my stomach on the Western Turf and called it night.  Check out the race here, Heat 3...

It still hasn’t sunk in to me that I am a sub 15 guy, that was my biggest fear going into that race that I would not break 15 again and everyone would say I was a one hit wonder like Aqua or Hanson.  Then when I was loading the video I saw it was 15.40 long. I said to myself “damn I wont even see myself finish”  I am excited.  In the words of Ricky Bobby “I wanna go fast”

Early this spring when the list of races came out and we were told to fill out when we would like to race I put in the Speed River Inferno column “if shit gets crazy John Mason 1500m”  Suggesting that if pig could fly or if it snowed in june that I John Mason would spike up for a 1500m.  You see folks I have not raced in a 1500 since grade 12 at the county meet.  My PB would be 4.29 with an unofficial PB coming in a 3000 later that summer in 4.25.  But after that 5k I was pumped to see what I could do in the 1500, knowing it would for sure be a PB.  I really had no idea how this 1500 would feel, nor did I have a clue how to run one, but I knew there was less than four laps so it couldn’t be that bad.  So boom the gun goes and I find myself in the mix of a 1500, there were a bunch of French guys, some high school lads.  Hey ever wonder why French people always look so fit? All of them, even if they are not, those Frenchmen looked 10x as fit as me on that line.  Anyway, were off first lap was good 63 and then things settled in a bit and we went through 800 in 2.11-2.12.  You see before my warmup I told Taylor Milne that if I broke 4 min I would do something to the track and that he would have to clean it up.  So through 400 knowing my lack of closing speed Milne yell “gotta go johhny you need some money bank” Through 800 Milne now getting worried by the slowing pace yells “really gotta go you need more money in the bank” Any who from there on I took the lead and started to push, I realized the was less than 2 laps left and I hadn’t started to hurt yet, so that was new.  I don’t know the rest of the splits but so hot shot high schooler had more wheels than me and I ended up second in 4.01.  It was good enough for a post race interview with DST, probably should have put a shirt on. Ladies eat your hearts out 

Full race is here

This racing a bunch has been fun, I like it, a lot.  I haven’t been taking it too seriously .  I think that has been good.  Last fall I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, you kind of have to do well when you only work part days so that you can be better.  If I wanted to be average or mediocre I would have a full time job and do this running on the side. But I want better.  So one night this spring having coffee with a friend,  I told said friend how I needed to get my shit together and be better.  Said friend told me to not stress over it so much, enjoy it, do it for the reason you do it because you love it.  This friend explained that I really was doing things right and that I had to get better.  So I have tried to apply that,  all races this spring I have showed up just in time to warm up and do my own thing. I haven’t thought about paces or time, or watched splits, I have just gone out and raced, and so far its going well.  I was thinking about this today on my long run.  I was in the Dundas Valley trail system.  This set of trails is incredible, some serious rolling hills that go on forever.  I could have easily run for hours there today, I was planning to go out for 90 + minutes and ended up getting back to the truck just under 2 hours.  I love it in those trails, just love it.

I got to thinking the other day that there are three type of people in the word.  There are wrench people, vise grip people, and people that don’t know what I’m talking about. You see wrenches are designed for nuts and bolts, they are cut to the correct size for a specific nut/bolt.  They are well crafted, take skill and knowledge to quickly grab the correct size from the tool box.  Vise Grips or Locking pliers are a handy man special, they are adjustable, they also do a half ass job, they can round off the corners of a bolt and make one heck of a mess.  Dont get me wrong vise grips have made many a field fix on the farm and can get the job done.

So in life you have three options you can be a wrench, you can be a set of vise grips, or you can be an average tool.  Either way stay safe out there folks


Sunday, 13 May 2012


The 10000 on the track is like trying to pick up girls at the bar,  When youre a man like me it frickin’ hard!

So last night I got down in the 10000m Ontario Championships down in London.  As I mentioned in the previous blog it was going to go down like a Nascar race and if all things went well there would be no blow ups or explosions!  Well if you tuned in last night you would have gotten to see a very entertaining exciting blow up of all explosions.  If you were not there you can watch the video here :

So here’s what I had in mind going down there..If I run smart I think a 31.20 or perhaps quicker was in the cards.  All I had to do was run smart. Smart would have meant running even paced so I was hoping to hit 73-74s laps.  It looked like there was a big group hoping to run in that 31 minute range. Lets get into it.

So heres how the evening goes from how I see it in my mind.  Warmup went well, I was feeling fresh and excited to go. The ponies were ready to rip it up and I had to reign them in on the warmup.  So were on the line gun goes off and I tuck into the group.  We it was a good little pack and we were moving but about a second per lap slower than I had in mind.  So I hang in the pack for about 6 laps and then I felt I needed to start to move a bit faster if I wanted to run 31 low.  I start clipping along and was feeling really good and smooth and then my boy Rob Watson is there screaming at me and he says that Sami Jabril and Kyle Dekker are coming back to me . So the first time I hear d this I said to myself “that Rob he’s so crazy I am not going to catch those guys theyre 150m ahead of me, silly Rob”.  So I keep moving along and then 400m later I notice that Dekker is only 125m ahead and as I work my way through the laps I am starting to close in on him.   At this point I was telling myself holy hell Dekker is a champ, am I legit?  You see back in high school Cory Currie and Kyle  Dekker used to hand me my ass on a paper plate on the track so I was freakin pumped to be closing on this guy.  As quickly as my glory came it faded.  If we had been racing 7600m last night I might have won the damn thing. But we weren’t we were racing 10k and with 6 laps to go all hell broke loose.  My arms got heavy as ever, I was throwing them trying to keep it rolling then one guy goes by me then another and then another, the last 800 I don’t really recall alot. Rob said my eyes were closed and I was just swimming.  Damn that hurt.  Finished up in 31.41. Ouch. 

I am just Ok with last nights race.  I wanted to go quicker but I also have little experience racing on the track and the 10000 is a long one.  That was my 4th track race in 7 years so I am trying to gain experience and learn every time out.   Heres what I learned last night,  the 10000m is like trying to pick up girls at the bar.  First you need to be patient, even if it seems a bit slow at the start you need to stick it out, it has to pick up.  The next thing you need to know is if an opportunity comes along early you need to stay calm.  Dont go getting yourself all excited.  If you get too fired up too early you, go and get yourself all aroused, something is going to blow, and when it does its game over, you cant come back from that tonight. So be calm be cool and then when the nights getting late and you can see the finish in sight, let it all hangout  go for it with all you have.   Yeah folks I realize I raced that 10k like a 16 year old at prom.  Lessons learned.   On the bright side Kyle Dekker used to beat me by that much in a 1500m in high school.   Beard Power!

Thanks to my cheering crew that all came out last night Clint, Lumani, Ashley, Loney, Coleshill, Deboer, a whole bunch of good old Fanshawe College folks, The London running community in general that was cheering for me, and Rob Watson,  man I love that guy, he was all over yelling at me and getting me all fired up.   Everybody that came out y’all are great.  Also I sincerely apologize to the man doing to lap counter, with about 4 laps to go I spit and it hit him in the leg, the next time I came around I noticed my big foamy spit on his pants, Sorry man.

Heres a few pictures that a Local Distance Running Legend Jimmy Burrows took last night, Thanks Jim

I was feeling so good here, farmers tan is coming in nicely too I see.

On the pain train, eyes closed starting to swim!

The legs felt pretty good this morning but as today has progressed they have slowly gotten heavier.  A mile into my long run this afternoon I was going to turn around and go home, Mail it in, screw it, but I rolled on.  Calling 13 miles a long run today.  Get back  into the groove of training and get fired up for the 401 series to start up and take another crack at the 5k. I figure a 5k should feel pretty short now, and if I can mature a little bit and keep my arousal level controlled we just might be able to pick up and run another good one.

Taker easy folks, Summers coming, life is good


Thursday, 10 May 2012


Boogity Boogity its time to shake ‘n bake

Ladies and gents its time again.  Going to get down on the track on Saturday night and race a 10k.  The 10000 is the Daytona 500 of track running.  The 100 is like drag racing all supped up cars and by the time it’s started it’s over.  The 10000 is the long haul, steam from the natural “stock cars” of distance running. The 10k is made for rednecks lots of time to take in a few pops and corndogs and soak in all the action.  Much like nascar theres a lot of laps 25 of them to be exact.  Lots of laps of not a lot going on, there will be some drafting, bumping, passing on the inside, swinging high through the turn to make a break. Awesome action. If youre really lucky you might get to see some blow ups and crashes. A few blown tires if you will.  Hopefully for me I will avoid pitstops on my trek to a good one.   So yeah folks if you are not up to anything get your coolers and snacks and get on out to TD Waterhouse Stadium on Saturday night.  It will for sure e some exciting action, and if you are lucky Paul Roberts will even be on the horn giving colour commentary. 

Ok who am I kidding I don’t really enjoy Nascar, but come on out to TD on Saturday and check out the races it should be pretty exciting stuff.  And once its all done were going to head out to a fine establishment in London to enjoy a few cold ones, it will be grand.  I am pumped!  Since that 5k a couple weeks ago the confidence has come back and workouts have been going really well.  Grip it and rip it is the plan. Cant wait

So  this is what I did the last 3 days...

Built that nice little deck for a friend of my good buddy Josh Lumani.  It turned out great! I was really happy with it, I am sure those boys will have some great summer nights out there.  I like building decks, they really seem to add to a home, and lucky for me I have another couple lined up for the summer! There was however a bit of a casualty, a stray finish nail from my nail gun managed to find my finger, right on the side of the first fingers knuckle. It hurts a bit, ok it hurts a lot.  Tonight it’s kind of swollen and bruised looking.  Ohwell, could be worse, could have been like that time I almost lost all my manly business to a drill!

So yeah, last summer I was putting a railing on a deck.  One of those fancy black metal spindled railings.  I was drilling all the holes for the spindles to sit in, and since there were so many holes I was using my Mixing drill.  You see a mixing drill is designed for high torque drilling and mixing , it does not have as high of rpm as some other drills but has more power.  It was ideal for the task of drill many holes as it would not suffer from the wear and tear.  Anyway back to drilling all of these holes,  So here I am drilling holes(the next bit happens in a matter of 2 seconds) and as I lift the drill out of a hole to clean it out some how the 2x4 rail wobbles and as I reach to grab it the drill bit somehow grabs my shorts. I mean grabs my shorts about an inch to the left of my manly parts.  And so this high speed high power drill with a new razor sharp forsner bit grabs my shorts and spins and spins up a big mess.  It hurts folks. Hurts really bad. It feels like it has been buried into my leg. Oh heck, so I try to pull and it hurts more, I think that the drill is so tangled up in my shorts and flesh that I can not pull it out.  So I do what any man would do , I switched the drill into reverse and spun it out of my leg.  I immediately fire my hand onto the spot thinking I will have a ¾ inch hole in my leg and that this is going to get messy.  To my suprise there is no blood.  I look again, no blood.  Turns out the shorts and boxer shorts I was wear filled up the cutter head of the drill bit.  The spinning cloth filled bit just gave me basically the worlds worst purple nurple!   It was sore and gross as heck.  One of the fancy multi colour bruises! I took a pic but you really don’t want to see it!  Any way so yeah be careful out there folks it is a wild world we live in.

In other news, my beard is still in full force! BEARD POWER!  I am growing quite attached to it.  I don’t know if or when it will ever go.  It seems to be a love-hate for the beard.  People are either huge fans or are completely disgusted.  Like the child the other night when I was doing my workout on the track in Guelph by myself.  This girl was playing in the park adjacent to the track, the saw me pointed and yelled “ewww disgusting, mom look at this”   Ohwell, what did you do today little girl, go to school? Whats that going to get you? I have a beard, I build stuff, and now Im busting my balls on the track, deal with it.

So yeah I learned a wise lesson when I was very young and realized I was not going to make it in life on my looks.  A quality Canadian TV star always said, “if the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy” so I took a good long look in the mirror and decided I better get damn handy and fast.  And here we are.

Taker easy folks, get out to the track on Saturday night and cause a ruckus during the 10k. It should be a beauty weekend here, get out there and enjoy it, drink it in, it always goes down smooth!

Peace and blessings


Friday, 27 April 2012

Blog #I

Sometimes you need to be in a bad relationship to know what a good one is when it comes along!

So I heard the title of this blog on the radio yesterday morning and it got me to thinking about a long 3 year relationship that I was in.  And “Sometimes you need to be in a bad relationship to know what a good one is when it comes along” really makes sense.  We all know how it is for a young boy you see that dream off over there and for some reason deep down inside your heart flutters and you’re in love. You can’t explain this stuff folks just the feeling of young love and dreams.  So you scope it out from a distance you try to make yourself look good to build your confidence then you start flirting and you can feel it now, its coming. You yurn for it deep down inside and then you go for it. Then boom it’s on and I mean on like donkey kong kind of on.  Then you’re doing it and that leads to more doing it, before you know it you are doing it all the time. It’s so wild, so exciting, you don’t know how but you’re there.  It’s great this relationship is meant to be. You love it. Youre so happy, people are happy for you, they tell you that it’s great, life is good.  Then it becomes comfortable, almost easy.  You start to think this is meant to be that this is the one for you, that you cannot do any better than this, that this, this right here folks , is forever.  And why would you want anything else?.....Then on a cold windy night out of the blue you look at it and tell it straight out “I don’t have any feelings for you anymore” What? Why? Why would you do this? You were so happy it was so good!

And now youre all thinking what-the, did John just call for all intensive purposes this 9.9 out of 10 babe he has been in a relationship with for years he didn’t have any feeling for her out of the blue?  Did he just call her an “it” in that last sentence? You must be thinking what an ass, this guy is a jerk!   Now hold the phone, I am not talking about a female folks I’m talking about my three year relationship with the 15 minute 5k.  You bet folks I’m done with that! Last night I got down on the track and rolled a 14.59 5000.  An 18 second PB. I’m Pumped.  Not that there is anything wrong with a 15 minute 5k, thats a great time if you are in your late teens, or a impressive weekend warrior, or are on the Ethiopian Woman’s C squad, but I have moved on.  So to the 14 min 5k I say,  as that top forty song goes “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but heres my number, call me maybe” So yeah stick around 14 min 5k’s I think we can make something beautiful together.

Let’s take this back a bit to three years ago when I fell in love with this old girl running again. After 3 years at college battling injury I was about ready to hang up the old shoes and quit but John Loney kept me going and BOOM we broke 16 minutes and then I started chipping away and got down to the 15.20 range and then last year was sub 15.20 and I didn’t think I could do any better.  Then fast forward to this spring three weeks ago I head down to a 5k road race thinking 15.0... was in the cards. I love the roads! It was a flat course, perfect day, time to get after it.  So on the Wednesday before this Saturday race we had done a Vo2max workout of 5x1mile and well we got out hard kids. I mean hard I wanted 15.0... so bad. At 3k the wheels came off, and I mean right off, this car was sitting on its frame!  I finished 15.33 and was pissed. Seemed the hard Vo2max session had left a little junk in the body.  The other thing is the were 7, turns on this 5km course! Seven 90 degree turns!  And well you see folks I am not built like most fly weight distance runners. I’m built more like a freight train, I’m tall, big shouldered, heavy. I really shouldn’t be a distance runner I should be a cage fighter, but my lack of ever punching another man in the face makes it highly unlikely that I would succeed in the octagon, alas we find ourselves here running.  Any who, back to the freight train idea, so you know how trains are really slow to get going, but once they do, look the heck out, theyre damn near unstoppable.  You see when my big broad manly build has to hang 7 tight 90degree turns I have to get this big brute up to speed again, unlike the typical little runner who has a much greater deal less weight to throw around. 

So how do we solve this situation? And now is not the time to switch to cage fighting! Boom we hit the track! Freight trains....tracks hahaha I didn’t even plan that but what a segue.  So yeah the track nice gradual curves, this is brilliant! Why didn’t I think of this years ago!

So we hash out a spring/summer track season. This is brilliant.  First race on the schedule or “opener” as all the trackies call it, is last night Hillsdale Michigan for the Gina Relays!  So Monday nights workout  is layed out for me (with all thoughts in the back of my head saying stay in control remember what happened last time you worked out 2 days before a race) and it’s 3x Vo2max miles with 12 mile cruise tempo after.  Oh great here we go again, let’s get the legs full of junk to blow another race.  But I then tell my old self that were still training through these first couple races so this will be better in the long run for the season and I get after it. Rolled up the workout with the boys! Done.  Boom. I am on my way to Hillsdale, the whole way down I tell myself, stay relaxed in the pack and start to move in the last mile if you’re feeling it. We don’t need a Fade from the Front type effort here tonight.  Just get this first one under the belt and we will go from there.  So I am on the line, a cold windy line at that, I go out smart tucked in feeling easy, rolling. This is good. I can’t tell you any splits, I didn’t see them, didn’t hear any of them, but who really cares about any of that junk any way.  I’m in the middle of the pack staying out of the wind as best I can, then the old John comes out! (Oh dear the Old John you see can’t count and run at the same time. I can do one or the other but never both, and when I start to try to do that one of these things doesn’t work)  So I am feeling good tucked in on the inside in 2nd or third as we head up on what I know realize is 6 laps  remaining.  Not my preplanned race strategy of moving with a mile to go. Oh dear. So I feel the pace slow and I take the lead.  As we head into the wind my big shoulders catch that wind like a $5 Wal-mart Kite in a Hurricane. I Say to self “I immediately regret this decision.”  But it’s too late now so I push on,  Let’s just say the last 800 got ugly.  All I can recall is coming into the last 100m seeing 14.42 and thinking sweet jumping this is going to be tight. Nailed it 14.59.72.   

Thats about it. I am very excited with that.  What else is going on? Works busy, spring fever  with everyone wanting to do reno’s and deck and such. Lifes good

Have a good weekend folks live it up a bit, you’ve earned it. Rumour has it you only live once, so you better get it right the first time!


Sunday, 15 April 2012


Believe in the Beard!

So in the last blog we basically skipped over the whole running deal.  Running has been going well for a while now, mileage is back up, workouts have been feeling good, I am fired up to race on the track this spring.  Huge day for Canadian Marathoners today Duchene and Marchant ran some smoking  womens  times.  My homeboy Watson jacks a huge PB and Wykes the Granddaddy of Canadian marathoning  rips the A standard.   You may say granddaddy of marathon in Canada, why do you say that John? Well it’s because Dylan basically started the marathon movement in Canada way back in 2008. Just the other week I found the Canadian Runner Mag with Wykes on the cover, he looked like a kid.  Well Done Man!

Oh yeah I have been growing my beard again.  Beards are a manly thing women don’t grow beards, therefore beards are for men.  Growing a beard is like wearing a Tshirt that says “100%man”.  Except anyone could buy a T-shirt, Im sure there are thousands of china made knockoff 100%man tshirts.  But a beard, you cant fake a beard.   Beards have a language all their own! Beards rock! Beards command respect!  That reminds me of one fall at the Royal Winter Fair I had a pretty decent beard growth on, so theres a guy that fits cattle, A big intimidating as hell looking man who is a incredible fitter, he also has been known to be goateed or bearded.  Lets call him Frenchy, based on his last name French not on where hes from.  So Frenchy is scary as hell and I have never had the balls to chat with the man. Frenchy and I are passing each other and he looks over to me and says “great beard”. It was a pretty awesome moment.  We parted ways and have never spoke again.  I also got to thinking that everytime Im running well I have been bearded.  All through college for the cross country season-bearded, the winter I had a break through with my mileage and training?-Bearded actually the biggest beard of my life (6 full months of untamed growth) .  Last summer when I thought up the idea of Acura-beards for the Acura 10 miler I was killing it! So yeah the beard is back and it might never leave, who knows.  Beards Rule!

So lets go back to the first weekend in March.  Its Oysterfest Time! Whats Oysterfest you ask? And how does one know of such an event?  Well Oysterfest takes shape in the lovely shoreline town of Fulton Texas!  Way back in college one of my best friends Josh and I were looking for something to do on spring break.  It went like this as we passed each other in the corridor at school
Me: Hey what are you doing next week
Josh: Lets do something, get some drinks
Me: Lets go for a drive
Josh: Where to?
Me: Texas
Josh: I have to go write a test.
Josh wrote his test and then texted me and as they say the rest is history.  We got in the truck of dreams and headed towards Texas.   We stumbled upon Oysterfest and the Boiling Pot Restaurant  by shear luck and have been In love.  I have now been back every year for 4 years.  The second year Josh couldn’t go so my other great friend Kyle went with me.  This year with the new bigger truck all three of us went.  We stayed longer and had one heck of a time.  The beer is cheap, the seafood is fresh,  suns hot. What more could one want?  They love us in Fulton.  Oysterfest is just a big street party and festival with live music and beer tents and such.  The Boiling Pot Restaurant is my all time favorite eatery ever.  We asked the lady at a gift shop at the hotel the first year where we should eat. She told us “across the street is the Charolette Plummer its pretty fancy, or you can go down to the Boiling Pot, it looks a bit scary  but just go on in youll be ok.”  So obviously we went to the Boiling Pot.  The place is a tin shack, homemade door closers and ceiling fans. Beer in a couple steel bath tubs.  Any way we get the Cajun special.  They boil up some shrimp, crab, sausage, sweet corn, and potatoes.  Bring it out to your table with some bowls of butter and dump it out for you to eat. Its glorious.  Texas is great! We will be back.

So yeah, great day for Canadian Marathoners, Beards rule, Texas is grand!  Oh yeah  over 3000 views on this blog here, good job internet!  

Saturday, 7 April 2012


Stubborn or Stupid?

Well folks it happened, I got cut from Reid Coolsaets  blog roll ( The little buggar didn’t even give me a final warning.   He has some pretty high standards apparently and seems to be a bit of a blog nazi.  “No blog roll for you” I suggest everyone of the internet boycott Reid’s blog for a month!

Yet I forge on! You see Im a stubborn son of a..

So I was cutting and splitting firewood today. You know real manly stuff.  There was a huge Oak tree on the farm that blew down in a storm a few weeks ago.  This  afternoon was lovely  sun shining ax swinging-chainsaw good fun.  So this tree was old, really old, there were some blocks from the base over 38 inches across.   These blocks are hard as hell and the kind of blocks one would usually split with a hydraulic log splitter.  Yet Im a stubborn son of a... So I decide to take on these feats of strength with the ax.  Now hold onto your hats folks this is where this blog is going to stray from my usual content...
You see I didn’t even believe it myself when I started to think like was deep meaningful thought-Rob Jackson type thought, thought that doesn’t usually come across a mans-man anchorman quoting humour man such as myself. Yet my mind went there.  So I begin to think that these massive blocks of oak are like running.  Yeah this is deep.  So these blocks of wood are like running, they are old, they are hard as shit, and not easily defeated.  And here I am with an ax, I could easily take the easy high road and get the log splitter, but no, Im a stubborn son of a... So I keep swinging and hitting and swinging and slowly but surely I have a pile of split firewood. Heck yes kids I split that wood like a man.  Much like running my stubborn son of a.. attitude kept me bashing away when others would deem it silly.

So yeah Im stubborn, all my life if someone said it couldn’t be done Id try to do it, and right now running is one of those damn things that Im going to be stubborn about.  Im going to be that ax and slowly but surely smash the heck out of running.  Im excited for the summer, I am hitting up the track with big plans to run fast, were going to rip up a bunch of 5k’s and possibly a 10k.  I have only run on the track twice since high school, but this spring Im pumped to get back there.  The kids at speed river have been handing me my ass in workouts, theyre speedy little bastards.  To quote Stevo “Ive got wheels”  as he blew by in a 300 the other night.  I also am very new to this serious track thing, You see when I run I put on regular training shoes and go run. To me it doesn’t matter if Im on the track or the trails or the road.  These kids these days all like to throw on the flats or spikes and really get after these track workouts.  Im sure there has to be some sort of training benefit from it but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  You see I like to keep my flats and my spikes and my singlet special. So when I slip those featherweight gifts from the running gods on I know it’s go time.  In my head wearing spikes or flats for a workout would be like wearing a condom to masturbate! Who does that?  You need to save the flats and spikes for the big show-the big dance if you will. So when you slip them on youre ready to rock it!
I have so much to learn!

So since the last blog let’s see:
-I went to Agribition to fit show cattle for Huberdale Shorthorns- yeah theyre a big deal
-My truck was stolen
-I got a new truck
-I went to NWSS in Denver
-I went on a weekend mission
-Went back to Texas for Oysterfest/Houston Stock show , Saw Enrique Iglesias  you know good fun
-Drove Sean Tilden back to Jasper
-And amongst all that ran and worked enough to pay the bills and survive.
Who noticed that there was never a Blog #E? Yeah thats right non of you. Tisk Tisk.
Any way I will try to keep this blog thing up and going a bit more.  Earn my way back on Reid’s “chosen“ list.  Seeing from the statistics 200+ people a month have read this blog since November!   Crazyness!  
So to summarize:
Do what makes you happy kids, be happy, be stubborn even when others think its stupid!
Wearing spikes for track workouts is like wearing condoms to masturbate? I have so much to learn about the track game!
Ive had many great adventures so I have many great stories to share again on here!

“Sometimes you just have to look yourself in the mirror and say ‘when in rome’”