Le Dragon



Folks, I gotta say, coming back from a runner’s paradise is one of the most difficult things a runner can do. Two months of no work, no worries mixed with training hard doesn’t jive well with full time work, moving to a new city and piecing in the training like a jigsaw puzzle. Its a struggle, but I’m still truckin’.

After Kenya I had a rough indoor 5000m in Ottawa. I had big expectations, but believe it or not, in retrospect, I wasn’t prepared to get on the track and bang out a fast 5k, I hadn’t touched a hard mondo track, and the turns were hard on me. I had to drop out.

After that I made my way down here to London, Ontario. A few weeks of frustrating solo training, had me looking for a group. Luckily there’s a pretty solid distance crew here, including guys from Western University, Fanshaw College and LRDC. I now mostly do my workouts with LRDC and easy runs with whoever is down.

Finding work was tough at first. There seemed to be a policy against hiring restaurant floor staff without boobs. That was also frustrating. In the end I took what I got, which was a temporary hire with a labor agency to go to some greenhouse and do some factory line type work. After three days the owner of the greenhouse offered to hire me full time for the summer, so I jumped on it. Throughout my stay I had been hearing that unemployment here in London is quite high, so I grabbed it.

I mostly move flowers and trays of young plants around the greenhouse. I package orders, bag pots and clean. And once in awhile I get to drive stuff that no one else can. I have to get up at 6 to be at work for 7. I haven’t tried doubles yet, even now I’ve only barely been able to squeeze in enough sleep. I’ll probably be able to bump up training a bit after Canadian Champs, outside of racing season. Work is supposed to end at 4:30, but Mother’s Day rolled around, then what Ontario’ans like to call ‘May 2-4 weekend’ too, I was working consecutive 12hr days, with acouple 14 hr days thrown in.

The first bit of ‘money’ I made here was from a 5k road race. It was 100$ gift card to a local runner store. Foreshadowing for sure.

So, after my last two races, the Ontario 10,000m Championships and the 5,000m last night, all my PBs save 3000m are now from Western’s TD Waterhouse Stadium Track. Kinda neat. I guess I like it here. It’s ok. Traffic can get annoying for no reason, but runners are welcome here, so that’s nice.

I moved into a newly renovated house, I’ll have 4 other roommates by the time September rolls around. The house is cozy, and at the end of a street, so it isn’t loud. Right across the street is Thames River which as a network of footpaths and trails, so I can easily log in 60min without touching much pave.

I’m doing what I have to do.

Then I’m turning around and kicking ass.

My last two races were solid for me; the 10,000 and the 5000. I’m quite proud of the decisions I made in the 5000m. You can watch the race here. I was pretty relaxed going into it, and I had very low expectations. Work runs me down, so I never feel that amazing. I felt awake and aware the whole race, and I can remember thinking clearly and making decisions along the way. Its a good sign when what you’re focusing on isn’t all about the pain and how much it hurts. I got it done, and mixed it up with guys who have made world xc teams. I’m pumped about that.

I remember being quite inspired when I was in Kenya. I felt poetic. I can’t say I feel that way right now.

My life is about work and squeezing in the runs. My creativity as of late has been manifesting itself in my cooking. That is, how can I cook this without any of the necessary tools/appliances. Pots are frying pans, spoons are knives, bowls are jugs and my roommate is a hamster.

Its pretty cool having a dishwasher though. The first couple loads of dishes that I did were not full loads. It was a plate, a bowl and maybe a spoon. Just cuz I could.

Be sure to check out my Coach’s blogs . He’s out west enlightening himself about running, community and culture here and here. They make for a good read.

Next up is Guelph Inferno. We’ll see how she rolls!