Thursday, 16 August 2018

When I get back on my feet I'll blow this open wide

One can learn a lot from Mark Manson and Nick Falk.

Manson wrote the book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck", and Nick Falk does not give a f*ck about writing a book. Manson is an award-winning novelist, and Falk winning an award would be novel (just kidding - brilliant dude). The two, however, share a similarity: they choose their problems wisely.

Manson's book is crude, messy, awesome, clever, insightful, and an international best seller. The book's message: learn where to give your f*cks. Translation for the (growing) PC crowd (and yeah, it's growing - the fact that this book is a bestseller in 2018 really speaks to its awesome content): choose your struggles wisely; choose what you are willing to fight for in life. Spend your time and energy on improving values and qualities that will be worth your while and bring you happiness, and let other uncontrollable and frivolous concepts go. It is essentially a self-help book exploring the question of how to find happiness, presented in a cool and funny way.

Nick Falk is a training partner of mine, co-author of Four Sheets (look it up) and one of the cardinal reasons for the breakout season I enjoyed in the spring (along with coach Gary, physiotherapist Mary, our AT's at the university, the whole UWAC crew, and Vector cereal, among other things). Falky was a body to chase in workouts, a positive presence at every weight and core session, and an excellent Pad Thai date. On top of that, Nick Falk is a living and breathing reminder of what I am running towards and what I have to do to get there.

One day, I was complaining to him about my aches and pains following an easy run. I could not remember the last time I had completed an easy ten-miler without any ache or niggle. Our exchange went something like this:

**Paraphrasing, of course. It's not like I report everything my friends say and write about it (who would do that?)

Cyr: I wish I was Mike Tate.
Falk: Why?
Cyr: He can run a whole lot, and rarely gets hurt. I can run a decent amount, but am always dealing with stuff.
Falk: Well, you could always just run less.
Cyr: But, then I will feel like I will not reach my potential.
Falk: Well then you have to pick what you care about more. Running fast, or never getting injured.
Cyr: Well... running fast.
Falk: Then I guess you just have to accept that there will be injuries to fight through. It's part of the reality you chose.
Josh Zilles and Josh Martin: Hey look, a turtle! (story for another time)

What Falk meant was this: either you live further away from your potential, or you live being close to injury more often. Pick your problem.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, in Manson's unique style, communicates Falk's point of view (while making WAY more money from it than Falk makes): everybody wants to be happy. Everybody wants to get rid of all their problems so that they can be at peace. But, what we do not realize is that happiness does not come from the absence of problems - it is impossible to be free of problems - it comes from having problems that are less shitty to deal with. Manson eloquently says it this way:

No matter where you go, there's a five-hundred-pound load of shit waiting for you. And that's perfectly fine. The point isn't to get away from the shit. The point is to find the shit you enjoy dealing with. 

Personal example: I could (hypothetically) get rid of my injury bug by cutting my mileage in half and doing less workouts. Injuries would no longer be my problem, but I would be slower. THAT would be my problem. To me, that is a shittier problem. By running more and pushing closer to my limit, I can solve the problem of being slower, but then I create a new problem: my body hurts and my running career becomes more erratic. When it's up to me to choose which problem I want, right now, I choose the latter one. The problem still sucks, but it's better than not testing my limits (in my young, 23-year-old 1500m times and Jakob Ingebrigtsen-obsessed opinion).

That means I must take responsibility for my current problem: I have not run a meaningful step in six weeks and counting. It is a problem I made myself vulnerable to by giving enough f*cks to push my body to the results I wanted, despite putting much work to avoid injury. Essentially, this is the problem I chose. This is the problem I get to fight through, and it is the problem I must now solve.


My book Runners of the Nish: A Season in the Sun, Rain, Hail and Hell, is available on my website

Friday, 27 July 2018

Introducing Runners of the Nish: A Season in the Sun, Rain, Hail and Hell

I have not shared the news that I have published a book with many people yet, but I usually get this response:

A book? Like, a novel? Cool! ...why?

It all started with a blog. When my coach Bernie Chisholm suggested I keep writing about my experiences with the X-Men and write a chronicle of our last cross-country season together in 2016, I took the idea and ran with it. It was a story I wanted to share.

To my delight, as the XC season grew older and I advanced in this project, I realized that, indeed, we were living a story worth being told. Our time at St. FX was special. The team, the coach, the culture, the synergy... hell (Ferg voice), the Zeitgeist. I don't know if it could ever be perfectly replicated. I don't know if it can be perfectly captured. But, I tried my very best.

Runners of the Nish: A Season in the Sun, Rain, Hail and Hell is about a few things. Most prominently, it is about the 2016 edition of the St. FX X-Men and our quest for national success at the CIS championship. It is also the story of how a team of contrasting characters came together and worked to put their differences and individual aspirations aside to function as a team. As well, it is about our coach Bernie Chisholm's last appearance at the CIS championship with a full team of men. It's about running, it's about facing adversity, it's about St. FX, it's about the odds game, it's about how we got lost during a long run in the states, it's about secret dates, rookie parties and possible eventualities... it's about some of our best memories wearing the blue and white.

This project was never about business or sales, but I have taken steps to endorse and advertise it. I want to make it fully visible, so that it can be shared with anybody who is interested in reading it because, obviously, I think our story is great. Obviously, I am biased as hell.

I plan to make regular posts on a blog on about the adventures I live as a new author. Some of the content may be informative, some of it may make you laugh with me, and some of it may make you laugh at me. The truth is that I am learning as I go, but I am enjoying and embracing the role of rookie in this industry.

I started writing about our journey to the CIS championship with no clear destination in mind, so I suppose it is appropriate to release this work into the world with no other set goals than to enjoy the ride and to share this story with all you running nerds. You are the best kind of people.

Thanks for reading, 

Check it out here 

Website -
Instagram: @runnersofthenish

Monday, 21 May 2018

While I'm High

A year ago, I finished my career as an X-Man.

A few days after that, I moved to Halifax for a summer of running. I was tired and broken from seasons passed, and became injured shortly after moving.

Three months later, and now nine months ago, I moved to Windsor with the hopes of recreating the momentum I had found in the blue and white singlet.

It took nine months.

On May 20th 2018, an appropriate full month late, I am high. I am training, racing, and running personal bests with our great crew at UWAC. I have finally reached a good level of fitness at a location and time of year that allows me to jump into strong fields and challenge PBs on a weekly (or at least, bi-weekly) basis. I think I will be ready to reach my season's goals in the upcoming block of racing, as I feel that this fitness is still coming along.

More importantly, I am mentally dialled in and fully enjoying the process of the season.

Most importantly, I am friggin healthy (he says, as he reaches down to knock on his wooden desk).

I used to think it a bad omen to write in such an optimistic tone, because it could, like, get me jinxed or whatever. But, even though I do not like to rest on laurels and/or yannys (sorry I had to) - undergrad Wall of Narcissism notwithstanding - I see the value in taking a moment to appreciate a good string of training. It's ok to acknowledge the high, for it will serve as a reminder of how good it feels when we fight to get high again. 

In other words, I think it's healthy to quickly stop and cherish the distance already travelled every now and then, as long as it does not distract one from the work ahead. It's healthy to recognize a high. Take it as a snapshot of the journey - a token of the grind.

So, without further ado, below is my latest snapshot:

Race 1- April 20th - Jesse Owens Invitational 5000m - Ohio State University - 14:36.88 (PB)

Season opener. Had a good field to race with. I set out to click off 70 second laps, and more or less did so. I was excited about that one, as we had barely touched speed yet. 
At Ohio State University

Race 2- May 4th - Oregon Twilight - Hayward Field - 3:51.65 (PB)

We had an excellent training camp down in Beaverton, Oregon, during the first week of May. With the help of Coach Gary, strong and flexible pianist Nick Falk, and cat-loving, selfie-taking fellow blogger Steph Aldea, I got through a few big workouts and many stunning nature-filled runs. Song parodies were made, ankles were rolled, and I ate my first ever Chipotle burrito on the Monday, and then my second ever on the Tuesday. Delicious. 

The race at Hayward Field was surreal. I hopped on the back of a fast section and let the venue work its magic. This meet was one of the last ones to be run on this version of the historic site, as the stadium is getting renovated for the 2019 World Champs. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to race here before they take it down. A few pictures of our trip:

What an ass.

This pic would be better with a Cut by Nate
Chills walking onto that track

Race 3- May 19th - Johnny Loaring Classic - Windsor - 3:52.25

All day, I tried to hype myself up to run sub-3:50. By the time my positive self-talk took on a Shia Laboeuf-esque quality, I figured it was time to leave the house and head over to the track. The technique got me through a few quick first laps, dragged on by some quick Speed River-ers and Old Reliable (Falky - seriously, he's like a Honda Civic), but I faded in the last 300m. I was a bit disappointed, because I really think the fitness for sub 3:50 is there. It will be for next time.

So that is the first half of my summer season, and I am happy with it. I needed a tangible reminder of why I cared for the sport so much, and these training days - this high - have given me that. I really enjoy writing about running, and watching it, but I was yearning to experience it all first-hand again: the agony of speed workouts, the thrill of running a personal best, the highs and lows of a full season. These past few months reintroduced me to the competitive side of running, and made me hope that there is still plenty of room to grow as an athlete. Obviously, I could walk away from the sport right now cherishing the friends made, the rap videos created, and the collection of mentions of my name on Not Trackie's Twitter account, but I would remain sorely unsatisfied with my competitive career. Just that thought makes me realize that I want to stay in it for a while.

To keep running well and improving, I need to uphold this level of consistency. I want this high to be no high at all, but rather a state of equilibrium that can be more or less maintained for following seasons. I have been dedicating more time than ever to injury prevention and body maintenance (no, not shaving my legs, @AlexNeuffer /@AndrewNebel/ @NicholasDalessandro); lots of rolling and activation exercises before every run have been key.

Upcoming Races - Though subject to change, there are a few races in which I hope to compete over the next month:

May 27th - Hamilton Open - 5000m
June 13th - Speed River Inferno - 1500m
June 16th - RCLDS 1500m night - 1500m
June 22-23 - Athletics Ontario Championship - 1500m/5000m

I will be making an announcement in the next few weeks, and I'm excited to share this news with the readers of this blog. It involves running, writing, and Antigonish. Three of my favourite things. Stay tuned!

Sending you all four sheets,

Wednesday, 31 January 2018


Let's not pretend that this initiative and campaign only affects the people appearing in mental health videos and the people expressing suicidal thoughts. Let's not pretend that when we post pictures and tweets today on social media that we are fully sympathizing rather than self-healing. Though I value and believe in the #BellLetsTalk initiative's power to talk people off the ledge, I want to bring attention to everyone else.

We must not dismiss the impact of real conversation on those who feel slightly better after sharing a thought with others - those who do not yet identify with mental illness because of the unfortunate stigma still festering in our society. We can all benefit from a community more open to listening. Though I appreciate that mental illness is inherent to an individual more than it is circumstantial, I recognize that circumstance can be the culprit behind many (though, again, not all) mental difficulties, and nobody is immune. In my message, I do not try to rob the attention away from those who are severely suffering, but I want to bring light to the fluid, often ignored mental challenges most of us experience every day.

I lost my grandmother yesterday. My legs went a bit wonky as I heard a choked up message from my dad on my voicemail asking me to call him back. Immediately, you expect the worst. I knew there was a death - my dad doesn't cry for nothing. She was relatively healthy; it was a moderate shock. Though she was 82, we had gotten her technologically savvy, so that she could communicate with us through FaceTime, since we lived far away. She was also on Facebook, and commented "Bravo, Alex" on any picture I posted, no matter what I was doing. I liked teasing her about it. Losing her, obviously, is tough.

In these times, I call upon my support system. First and foremost, there is my family at home, going through the same struggle. Then, there are my friends and teammates in Windsor, from St. FX, from PEI, Bern's Boys and Gilly's Girls, my 18 Greening group chat, the Floaters, the Flying Frenchmen, my friends from the running community, my coaches, my classmates, and my professors. They are there to talk, to listen, and to get my mind off the bad stuff. They encourage me to run, to write, and to think positively. Awareness from others goes a long way, and to make others aware, one must talk. For one to talk, one must feel comfortable - no matter the severity or nature of the problem.

The #BellLetsTalk hashtag can be bastardized for self-validation in terms of likes and retweets. As well, it can be wrongly publicized when the user dissociates him or herself from their own mental health, and solely project the issue on others. I think we all fight our own version of a mental battle, and whether it originates from inheritance, circumstance, or both, the healing methods are similar. Fundamentally, we are the same - we want to be heard. Therefore, it might simply be the magnitude - and not the presence - of struggle that separates individuals. So, instead of labeling our peers as mental illness haves or have nots, I think it is important to recognize that everyone can use a support system; everyone can use an available ear. People lent me ears today, and for that, I am grateful.

Rest in Peace, Anna Cyr - 1935-2018


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Tales of a crippled Lancer

I'm injured. It sucks.

I hate it. All of it. I hate it with a fervent passion. I don't like pool running, stationary biking, ellipticalating. I don't know if it really helps; I think it preserves my sanity more than my fitness.  I hate having to answer questions about my injury, because I can't give people the answer I want to give them. I'm an inadequate, crippled, vicarious liver. I'm living a lite version of the life I'm used to living, like a drug addict in his darkest days of rehab. I hate watching races and trying to figure out where I would stack up in the field. I hate seeing meets and competitions become missed opportunities.  I hate feeling bad for myself when I'm well aware that some people have had it worse. Being injured is the single thing I loathe about my sport.

Ok I'm done complaining.

The guys, ahem, gals of 832 Sunset have heard enough of that already between my wailings of Need the Sun to Break by James Bay (if you replace the person he sings about with running, it works perfectly).

I'm not sure what happened. I was working out on the Monday after the Western International (yeah I've linked the results... holding on to this race HARD). I felt a weakness in my tibialis posterior. It felt like a strained muscle, so I cut the workout with one rep to go. I cooled down home and felt sore, but when do we not? The next morning, I had trouble walking. My anterior/lateral ankle has since been giving me trouble.

Five weeks later, I still feel pain when I walk. When I get my hopes up, I try a little shuffle, and then get booted back down to square one. I've since realized that it only heals with total rest. So I'm not really fit anymore, because I can't even consistently kill it on the bike and pool. It's a bitch, and I still don't have a clear diagnosis. As of now, based on a few professionals' opinions, it kind of sounds like an anterolateral ankle impingement, but it's not completely confirmed. So, my chances of running at CIS or even cross nationals are slimmer than Ullman's quads.  Meanwhile, I'm itching to go. I need to explore more courses than just Western. I catch myself thinking irrationally, wondering if I ever will get better, and what I'm going to do with myself if I don't. Sport psychology student, heal thyself!

So for now, it's MRIs, bone scans and sporadic calls to my parents. A support system is important when times like these come, and I'm fortunate to have a pretty good one. My family and my 18 Greening group iMessage have always kept me afloat. On top of these devices, I'm lucky to have come into such a stellar team here in Windsor. I haven't met anybody I dislike (even Paully's alright when he's not trouncing me at NHL 17). This weekend, not only did we host the OUA championships, but we also held a cross-country alumni weekend. Hundreds of former runners were back in town. I got to meet many past Lancers, and it made me realize even further how tight knit this group is. Coming from a little school, that's what I am used to - it makes me feel at home. So from coach Gary's support, all the way down to my bonding with my roommates around the fact that our house is falling apart, I recognize that I'm in a good place (disregarding the house thing... it's a sewage problem, in case you were interested). The people and environment of Windsor put me in a good head space to put in work and get fast here, provided I get healthy.

Some of our boys at the OUA champs. I opted for a warm jacket instead.

But for now, it's a waiting game. It looks like this year will be the first since 2013 that I will be missing CIS XC. I've gotten into the habit of sending off a list of shoutouts following the championship. Unfortunately, they will have to be good luck wishes this year. Think of them as a poor poor man's Not Trackie.

First, good luck to my Lancer boys. The Nibbler, Joey-K, Sparkling Shawn, Senior Pesce Michael, D'Alessandflow, Donkey Rothera, Miniature Horse and Mantis. Windsor isn't coming. Windsor is here - Andrew Nebel

Good luck to Stef Smith. I knew she was the real deal ever since she started dropping 4:15s in the middle of an easy run in Point Pleasant on a hot day of August in Halifax. AFTER an adventure at the Lower Deck. Imagine.

Good luck to the X-Men and X-Women who will be in Victoria. A part of me is always cheering Hail and Hell. Remember the CIS song.

Good luck to my fellow 18 Greeninger Alex Neuffer, and same to Matt Noseworthy of U Vic. Those two have had enough injuries for all of PEI and Newfoundland combined. As far as I know, they are both healthy and racing this weekend. It's like an eclipse or something.

Good luck to the Halifasters racing in Victoria. Shiloh's parents really set the bar high with the BBQ they had in Winnipeg during our last reunion outside of Nova Scotia. I'll be shocked if Tim Longley can replicate it. Good guy, nice hair, doesn't know the first thing about a Broil King.

Good luck to newest UPEI Panther, Lee Wesselius #RedDirtRenaissance

Good luck to Nick MacMackin. He's not racing, but he's slowly getting off the IR with the help of Madden football, Sidekick teriyaki noodles and Eden's latest album on Apple Music. He also won a medal for being smart lately. Nice

Good luck to Angus Rawling. All he's been doing is showing people that he's good enough to be a 14:16 guy. No, they didn't miscount the laps at Senior nationals. Stunts like those only happen once a year (looking at you, Edmonton officials). SO BELIEVE IT ALREADY! THE KID IS GOOD.

Good luck to everyone's favourite Benedict Arnold, Cal Dewolfe. Heard people are concerned for his health in Halifax, because of the way he looks. Get used to it guys, he's just that skinny. Frig, they should see Ullman (two references... too much?).

Good luck to those fighting for that individual title: Yves, Black, Pennock, Daniel, Grieco, James, Justinen (who knows), Yarmuch, and Lutz. Ok yeah I think that's everybody.

Good luck to AP at the AP. Pace yourself, you rookie.

Good luck to Speedgoggles. You're getting usurped by younger trolls, and they can't fill the void you've left. I even grew a stashie in the hopes of a resurgence.

Good luck to Eric Wynands. I had no answer to his kick at Western, and I'm still trying to come up with one.

Good luck to Alex Wilkie. It's nice to see him back. He was guzzling down chocolate covered almonds faster than Wach after OUA's... he'll be good to go.

Good luck to Mike Rogers. Because he is future, and because he likes to see his name mentioned. Same goes for my man Willy Russ.

Who did I forget? Oh right. Good luck to Taylor Milne.


Monday, 7 August 2017

Icarus - My Canada Games Nightmare

In Greek mythology, it is thought that a talented craftsman named Daedalus patented two pairs of wings out of feathers and wax. He made one for himself, and he gifted the other pair to his son, Icarus. Due to a dispute with King Minos, Daedalus feared his life on the island of Crete. The wings were his and his son's only way of escaping the island and finding safety elsewhere. Before handing the wings to his zealous son, however, Daedalus warned him to use the wings with caution. Flying too close to the sun would cause the wings to burn. Icarus, thrilled about the idea of flying high, ignored his father's warnings and fell victim to the hands of hubris. He flew near the sun, his wings got burned, and he harrowed to the ground.


"Hey Cyr, what are the odds you actually medal today?" asked Damon MacDonald, sitting at a table in the lounge of floor 11 of Pembina Hall, University of Manitoba's tallest student residence. I looked up from my phone. Eight guys were looking back at me, awaiting my answer. "Uhh, well that's my goal, I guess." I had been caught off guard with his question. I was in the middle of reading the electronic version of The Guardian and The Journal Pioneer's front page sports story of the day: "Alex Cyr Ready to Run at Canada Games", well written by Jason Malloy. He had asked to write a feature on me, so we had spoken for the better part of an hour, two days prior to the article's release. I seemed to be the headliner for our track team at these games.

I remembered reading a similar feature on Connor McGuire in 2013. At the time, he was the one: the saviour, the medal hopeful, the athlete slated to place Athletics PEI on the map. Whether or not he initially believed it to be possible, the idea of medalling at the Canada Games for PEI had been pounded in his brain by coaches and supporters so hard that anything less than a podium finish would come as failure. He was an AUS champion, a PEI record holder, and the face of distance running in our province. There was only one problem: Connor had been injured. His training regime had been strained over the summer, but the expectations remained the same. He had told no one; his supporters found out the hard way. In front of a sea of fans draped in green and white, collectively ignorant to his recent struggles, Connor crossed the line in 10th place, devastated.

I was 17 and mesmerized. From the stands, I wondered if I would ever be the one to bring the entire PEI delegation to the track, in the hopes of witnessing a medal-winning performance. I wondered if I would ever be the subject of an article on the front page of the sports section.

The time was now. I had waited four years, and was now racing in two hours. I had worked on my credentials. I, too, now had provincial records. I, too, had become an AUS champion at St. FX. My times had become similar to Connor's. That was enough for me to confidently believe in my chance at a medal. Rich had told me: "You have beaten many of these guys before, and you can beat anyone in this race on a given day. So why can't you just beat all of them today?" There was the mindset. I was not a favourite to win a medal, but I had a chance at a medal. That's all I needed. That's all PEI needed. A chance. It was enough to get people excited. Enough to get me excited. I had one shot to race well and go down in history with Connaughton and few others as a Canada Games medallist. "Cyr, we're painting your name on our chests, just so you know," continued Damon. I couldn't tell whether he was joking or not. "Can't wait," I said. I was nervous, but confident. With that, I said goodbye to the guys, took the elevator down from our high floor, and as Connor McGuire had done exactly four years ago, I marched on to my death.


"2:50, 2:51!" someone called out as I ran through the first kilometre. I was in the lead group, running comfortably. The pace was hot, but it was what it took to make it to the podium. I refused to step off the gas pedal. The second kilometre was, despite my increasing effort level, slower. "5:46, 5:47!" I had run a 2:56. Quick mental math told me that I was still under 14:30 pace. I kept grinding. By the third kilometre, I had slowed to a 3:04. Russell Pennock and company were out of sight. Soon, Brady Graves passed me. Then, Andrew Peverill. The fourth and fifth kilometres were painful. I blew up. I stepped off the gas pedal and pitifully heaved around the track for a few more laps. I crossed the finish line in 15 minutes and 11 seconds: my worst time in years. My placing? 10th. Never had I been so distraught and angry after a race. The only word I could utter: "F*ck." I left the premises. I could not stand people telling me that I had done a great job. I don't know if some people complimented me out of pity or ignorance, and I could not decide which possibility was worse. Disgusted with my performance, the reactions, and myself, I retreated to my residence.


I wondered why I had raced so poorly, and why I was so pissed off. Without question, I had an off-day physically. But, I then realized that I had also set myself up for a mental disaster. I had spent four years working on my wings, trying to get closer to my sun of glory. I had become Icarus, and I had flown much too high in a few ways.

-I had abruptly jumped into 3 hard track sessions per week in May, while ignoring the little pains until they became big pains. Rich had no idea I was hurting, because I had not told him. Just like that, I missed a month of training.

-I then came back fast, trying to fit in a whole season of running in the 7 weeks I had left before the games. My body had grown weary.

- I split 2:50 for my first kilometre, having never run close to 14:10 before, because I thought I was fit enough - no, I forced myself to believe I was fit enough.

- Then, I flew too close to the sun in my mental preparation. I stopped feeling hopeful for a medal, and began feeling entitled. I'm not sure how this thought manifested, but it may have had something to do with people's expectations. I consider myself good at blocking out those thoughts, but sometimes they still creep in.

I think my problem stemmed from the fact that I got too caught up in the glamour of winning a medal, and refused to go with the flow in my training. I never modified my expectations for what my body was telling me, or for the time frame I was given after my injury. Then, when I first noticed that my race was not going as planned, and I was slowing down after 2 kilometres, I considered my master plan foiled. One small hiccup and my perfect vision was ruined, and my mindset plummeted. I thought of my chances too good, the possible triumphant moment too great, to miss out on. In the end, I found out that my mental preparation for high-pressure events needs a bit of work.

No better time for a master's thesis in sport psych. I could do it on that's flying a bit too close.


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Winnipeg Bound!

Keeping this one short. I promise. Gabe Quenneville has been complaining about the length of these posts. As if he even reads them.

I am leaving the Charlottetown airport tomorrow at 8:00 am en route to Winnipeg, Manitoba for the 2017 Canada Games. After some thought, I will only be racing the 5000m on Friday night, August 4th. I was originally slated to race the 1500m as well, but given the feedback I received from my workouts, I am much more 5000m ready than I am 1500m ready.

After taking three weeks off to heal a hip injury in late May/early June, followed by two weeks of minimal mileage and no workouts, I did not feel very fast. I was able to hold on to a solid aerobic base thanks to the Dalplex's crappy bikes and precarious pool schedule. Coming back to the track, a few workouts helped me find my stride again. I felt fit within two weeks. I still don't feel fast.

That likely has something to do with the way we decided to tackle the training block. With the guidance of Rich I decided that, given the timeframe, it would be best to focus on the 5000m until the games to make the transition into cross country racing more fluid.

During this training block, I hit a few high points, all things considered. I won the Highland Games 5 mile road race, one of my favourite racing events, against a field of strong (albeit banged up) runners. I consistently logged 90-100km without re-injury, and began enjoying it again. The good thing that came out of this injury was the rekindling of my love for the sport. I had been healthy for a long time, and had forgotten what it was like to not be physically able to run. Now, I feel fortunate every time I get out the door, and this feeling makes the workload much more bearable.

Highland Games 5 miler

Another high point within this training block was my run of last Thursday: 22 km in the back roads of Antigonish with some good company. Fragile Scotty D made it to 50 and looked good. Mr. Jathan Neffs went for 60 sporting the classic blue and white striped shorts, and this Eric Gillis guy joined me for most of my run. Talking to him about the future of our program at X is exciting, and makes me wish I'd be around to witness the changing of the guard. I can't wait to see how Eric and Bernie whip the guys into shape this year. Along with Angus' amazing performance at Senior Nats, things are looking good on all fronts.

But, back to the Games. I think I'm ready for a good race, and I'm looking forward to catching up with friends from all over.  Catch my race on Friday night at 6:20 pm CDT (8:20 Atlantic). Here is the link :