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 clich├ęs 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