|Club XC Nationals - Golden Gate Park|
photo by Erin Morin
- John D. Rockerfeller
Two months ago on a run the day after Seth and Shark Tank's wedding, Ben and I were talking about my plans for the season. I had wanted to break 40 minutes at the 2015 Club Nationals. We both figured I'd have to be able to run a 39 minute road 10K to do it. I had spent three months prepping for a 39 minute road race. I knew as I approached this year's race in Golden Gate Park, I'd be ready to go for it.
I spent September and October getting my Cross Country legs under me. And each race I improved - getting closer to my goal. And by the middle of November I was ready for my three week/three race "Holiday Season:
Somerville Road Runners' Gobble, Gobble, Gobble
Date: Thanksgiving, November 26, 2015
Location: Davis Square, Somerville
Distance: 4 miles
Goal Time: 24:00
Actual Time: 24:07 (PR)
|5 years of Somerville Road Runners' Gobble Gobble Gobble shirts|
From Bottom to Top - 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2015 RD shirt (there were extra XL)
Any plans quickly went off the rails when I ran the first mile with Tim and Rory at a blazing pace. Mile one crosses at Packard so there is a brief recovery as you run into Powderhouse Cir. But once that was done I had spent mile 2 fighting to keep up with Rory - losing him on the uphills; catching him on the downs. (Tim had blown away from us.)
So by the hills on the third mile, I was pretty wrecked and my stabilizer stiffness had me feeling like Frankenstein.
At the crest of the hill at St. Catherine's, I was prepared to bomb it down. I put in all the effort I could, bounding down hill. By the time I got to the flat part of Summer at the VFW, I was going full out and couldn't pick it up for the last bit, regardless of Victor's entreaties to catch up with Rory.
Took a full minute off last year and a new PR!
Mill Cities Relay
Date: December 6, 2015
Location: Nashua, NH to Lawrence, MA
Leg: Leg 5 - anchor
Distance: 4.75 miles
Goal Time: 29:45
Actual Time: 29:04
Tom Morrow Never Dies was the Coed Masters "Scoring Team" for SRR: Tom Bok, Nicole Tateosian, Florentien de Ruiter, Chris Smith and me. I was team Captain, which largely involves getting the driving directions down.
I ran the last leg. When Chris came in I took off like a bat outta hell; I almost got hit by a car... in the parking lot. But once I got to the road, I both slowed down a bit and was safe from cars since there were cones and whatnot.
I was rattling off a good pace, up until Mt. Abrams. That third mile I slipped 45 seconds. And at the top of the hill, a Greater Lowell Runner tried to pass me. I spent the next mile and a half trying to hold him off.
I rattled off a good mile and a half. But in the home stretch it wasn't enough. He and another guy passed me when I didn't have that last gear.
But, still Tom Morrow Never Dies, didn't die and took home the brick for first place Coed Masters!
USATF XC Club Nationals
Date: December 12, 2015
Location: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Goal Time: 40:00
Actual Time: 39:26 (XC PR, 2 seconds off my road PR)
|At the Start|
photo by Erin Morin
In 2014, 5 of us had gone to Pennsylvania for the Club Nationals. As the 5th person on a 5 man team, I had wanted to do the best I could without endangering a blow-up that would have dropped me (and the team); I had to run "good." Yet, in California, I was the only one. So when I got to the line I decided to follow what I thought had been the dictum of Pre (but turned out to be Rockefeller): "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great."
Originally my plan was to run 6:15/ miles. But as I was the only person in this race, I decided to go for it: 6 minute miles. The worst thing that could happen is I blow up and finish with a bad time.
The first mile was a swing on the horse track around the polo grounds. There were big puddles along it. Everyone was going sideways to avoid the puddles. I just went through them. However, that meant I passed EJ. Crap, I thought.
But I just kept up the pace as we finished up the Polo Grounds and headed back into the meadow. The second mile was around 6 also. Then you run into the squishy backside meadow and up the one bit of cut back narrow trail hill.
I was not able to continue 6 minute miles. The first half was 19:11. I slowed and battled the second half. It was a blow up but just slower. But even that would have been my fastest Cross Country 5k last year. Finished strong-ish, not as great as I imagined at the start, but still a minute and a half faster than at Lehigh last year!