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