I can’t believe this will be Roadkill Racing’s 5th cross country season. I had look back in the archives to double check, but we did indeed start racing as a team in the fall of 2010. Over the past 4 years we have had some big successes, such as winning the whole series in 2011 and some failures, such as having to run as a combined team with High Noon last year. I think we are heading into the 2014 season with one of our strongest teams ever. We also head into the season with a women’s team for the first time which is a testament to how far Roadkill has come since Mike Insler and I first dreamed up the team.
Below is the schedule for this years series, renamed from the Pete Glavin Upstate New York Cross Country Series to simply Pete Glavin Cross Country (PGXC). Please plan your fall accordingly!
9/14 Syracuse – Jamesville Beach 5K 11 am
9/27 Rochester – McQuaid Invite 3 miles 5 pm (incl. USATF Niagra Masters)
10/12 Buffalo – TBD 6K 11 am
11/02 Ithaca – TBD 6k 11 am women 8k 12 pm men (incl. USATF Niagara Championship)
11/23 Rochester – Mendon Park 6k 11 am women10k 12 pm men(PGXC Championship)
Right from the start I want to acknowledge that I have plenty of “hey look at me!” in me. I have a blog after all, the one you are currently reading, which is for the most part about me. Who doesn’t want to standout from the crowd in their own way? No one longs to be one of the shuffling masses.
With that in mind, I pose this question. Does any other sport/activity have the equivalent of the car mileage sticker?
Are there people in beer softball leagues with “.348 avg” stickers? What about “14.2 ppg” stickers for guys who play pickup basketball? Do avid fisherman have “6 LBS Large Mouth” stickers?
What is it about running in particular that makes us want to scream out “HEY LOOK WHAT I DID!!!”?
I ran the Charlie’s Old Goat Trail Run on Saturday. It was my second year doing the race, and the my second time finishing second. This time I was at least close enough to see the other person cross the finish line. Last year I was almost 4 minutes behind the leader, this year I managed to finish just under a minute back.
After the race I was talking with a few of the #TrailsRoc folks and I mentioned how this would be last race as an open runner and I couldn’t wait to not be competing against 24 year old kids anymore. That’s when Eric Egan said “well you used to be one of those kids.” That got me thinking… no, I never was.
Certainly I was 24 years old once, but as regular readers of this blog will know I wasn’t doing any running when I was 24. When I was 24 I was living in Portland, smoking a pack of camel lights a day and subsisting off cold pizza and BridgePort IPA. I hadn’t run a step in 6+ years and it would be another 4 before I would quit smoking and start running again. I try not to dwell on what might have been (no: shoulda, coulda, woulda’s for me). I’m of the mindset that everything I’ve done has lead me to where I am now. I very much like where I am now, so why would I want to change anything I had done to get here.
Still, that one off the cuff comment from Eric combined with my rapidly approaching 40th birthday got me thinking. What if? What if I never picked up all those “bad habits.” What if I kept running in high school, in college and beyond. What if my 20 year old self took running as seriously as my 39 year old self? What did I miss out on during those 10 years that should have been my running prime?
The best I can figure using a combination of age-grading and completely made up numbers stemming from long term smoking effects on performance is this.
What Josh would have run as a healthy training 24 year old
1 mile 4:18
half marathon 1:09
marathon still would have gotten hurt and only run 1
So would I trade my life now to be able to have run those times in my prime? Hell no. Running fast is fun and all, but it is no replacement for a wonderful family that brings you joy everyday.
The Medved 5k To Cure ALS was this past Sunday, and the annual Father’s Day race lived up to its history as one of the more competitive 5k’s in Rochester. It was great to see Kenny and Brett out on the roads again. For Kenny it had been just a brief 1 month absence while he did some teaching in Ghana, but Brett had been missing in action for over 6 months. The race also marked Mark’s first Roadkill road race, and aside from a bit of mix-up during the prerace cheer he did quite well.
For future reference, the Roadkill prerace cheer goes thusly.
Roadkill overall had a solid day, but I know Brett and Kenny are itching to get back into race shape. I would guess their Bergen 5k times will be close to a minute faster for each of them.
McMullen Mile has been my favorite race of the year since moving to Rochester in 2008, and this year it became even more my favorite because the Perks family has a new miler.
Most years after the McMullen Mile I give a long break down of my race. This year I’d rather talk about my family and friends who did the race, starting with my daughter Hazel. Hazel has done several races over the years, including 2 different mile races. Normally during the mile runs she takes lots of breaks and likes to look around a bit. The track however, really seemed to suit her, she didn’t stop once. As some of the other young kids bowed out after 2 or 3 laps she insisted on doing all 4. She may have finished last, but she was undeterred. She told her teachers on Monday “I didn’t win, but I’m getting faster.” Her tiny little legs managed to run each lap in under 3 minutes for a time of 11:49!
The next Roadkill Racer up was Drew in the men’s under 8 minute heat (actually there were several heats of this but Drew’s was the fastest under 8 heat.)
Drew ran a solid race with even pacing, showing his marathon running strength. He led for much of the race doing all the hard work before a few sand-baggers threw down a sub 70 second last lap. We are going to get Drew on the track for some rep work, and those guys will be in for a nasty surprise next year. I’m predicting we can take his 5:16 down to sub 5.
Erin M. and Lisa ran in the women’s sub-elite race. Before the race Lisa was writing out her goal splits and I thought she was being a bit too conservative. Luckily she figured that out for herself shortly into the race and took the early lead.
2 laps in, the Roadkill Ladies had blow their heat open taking a commanding lead. You can see them above hitting the half way mark with no one else on the straightaway. They would hold their positions through the finish with Lisa running 6:16 and Erin 6:22. I fully expect both of them to be ready to move up to the elite women’s sub 6 field by next summer.
I don’t know why, but Joe always seems to end up with blurry race photos. He’s like Woody Allen in Deconstructing Harry. Blurriness aside, Joe ran a a great race in the Master’s Elite heat. I don’t know the last time Joe raced a mile, but he ran this one like an old pro, putting down a 5:24 good for 6th out of 18 elite masters.
The men’s elite heat was the last race of the night. Despite my constant pestering, year in and year out we once again only had 2 runners from Roadkill in the heat. This year I was joined by new member Mark Streb, who like me is a miler at heart (the big difference is he is a miler at legs too owning a 3:52 1500m PR). Mark showed his speed and closed with a 65 in the thick of 5 runners who finished between 4:22-4:27.
I’ve run the McMullen mile 6 times (every year I’ve lived in Rochester) and this was my worst finish to-date but not near my worst time. Not only was it my worst finish at McMullen, it was the only time I can remember finishing last in a race. I’d like to think that is a testament to how fast the field was this year and not an indictment of my 4:38.
This is the last year I’ll be running the McMullen Mile Elite race. Next year I get to run against runners my own age in the masters race. I can’t wait to go up against some other old men and let these kids have their own fun. That of course means that some other Roadkill Racers are going to have to step up and run the elite race… I’m looking at you George-Dave-Rob-Kenny-Brett-Drew-et al.
And yes I did just call Matthew Roberts “George.” Now that we have another Matt on the team we have to join the rest of the world in calling him George.
And here is a bonus picture of Joe and Roo playing catch.
I’ve been hoping to make some changes to the content on this blog. For the most part it has been race reports and other Roadkill goings on. Occasionally I’ll write about something completely random like Disney buying Lucas Films, or I’ll rail on a running related topic like the “Born to Run” craze. Not only are the latter types of posts more fun to write, they also seem to get a better response. The problem is, my moments of inspiration are few and far between. Luckily I know many interesting people, and today one of them (Mike Reinhardt) handed me a newspaper clipping as I was leaving his office and said “this is for you, fodder for your blog.”
I can’t tell you the last time someone gave me an actual newspaper clipping, right off the bat I was excited to read it.
The article as well as the study are pretty straight forward. Put a wheel outside and see if mice will run on it without any extrinsic reward. The answer is yes, yes they will. Like Johanna, this makes me extremely happy. It proves that running just for the enjoyment is a cross species phenomenon.
I have always said, to the disbelief of all nonrunners I know, that even if there were no health benefits to running I would still do it. I don’t care about the laundry list of positive mental and physical outcomes related to running, I run because I love it and even if the net result of running was less health rather than more I would still do it. The mice clearly back me up on this. I’m fairly certain they aren’t concerned about lowering their blood pressure or getting rid of those post baby grams.
So why do you run? Is it because you are chasing a piece of cheese dangling on a string or because running is wonderfully fun?