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Little Fish, Big Pond

Little Fish, Big Pond

Little fish, big pond. That about sums up where I am with my racing right now. Nothing in my life has been as humbling as my racing results since moving away from Rochester. In western NY, I could expect to finish top 5 in nearly every race and certainly top 3 in my age-group even in the biggest races. At the most competitive races like the Lilac 10k or Bergen 5k which served as the USATF Niagara Championships I never finished worst than 4th in my age-group and that was running my second slowest 10k time of 36:14 at Lilac in 2010 30-39 age-group.

Since moving to New England I’ve been handed one ass whooping after another. And while I have lost a bit of time (OK more than just a bit) even if i was running my master’s PRs I’d still be looking up at the finishers on the podium at many races. For the past 2 years I’ve been using that as an excuse for not running my best, and not training as I should.

The New England USATF 5 Mile Championship (AKA Ribfest 5 Miler) was my wake-up call. I allowed myself to start 6 or 7 rows from the front. I tried to shuffle around people for the first half mile which I ran in 3:11. It was right then and there that I decided I had to get serious about my training and my racing. I may not be in peak shape anymore but I am not yet resigned to shuffling along in the middle of the pack. If I had merely started closer to the front and run the first half mile in 2:50 (a very reasonable 5:40 pace) I could have finished 3rd in the 40-49 age-group. My gun time/chip time difference of 7 seconds was double that of everyone that finished ahead of me. I’d convinced myself I didn’t deserve to start with the leaders, so I didn’t finished with them.

I managed to close the last mile in 5:32 feeling great on a very hot and humid day. I need to take that feeling with me into each workout and race. Maybe I’m not as fast as I was 2 years ago, but I’m not ready to be an also ran just yet. I’m stuck right in the middle of my age-group with no good excuse for poor performances. So as the other Dylan said…

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Ribfest Results here.

 

There and back again (a runner’s tale)

There and back again (a runner’s tale)

I’m sure a great many of you have been holding your breath in eager anticipation. Desperate for news about your departed leader. Your long wait is finally over.

I’ve been watching the kids, running and occasionally racing since I left Rochester back in July. This is shocking news I know. Who would have guessed that is how I would spend my retirement. The kid watching is going great but the running and racing have been… uneven.

IMG_20150825_092102
The children have grown a bit wild in my care.

Since I last updated the blog I’ve raced three xc 5k’s, one road 5k and one road half marathon. In order they went: ok, good, terrible, worse, good. I won the 5k road race by about a minute but didn’t break 17 minutes. The first xc 5k I won and felt good doing it. The half marathon was the worst race I’ve run in 10 years. The second xc race wasn’t much better, although, I did get to race with the Roadkill masters team and we won beer & glory which made it worth the 7 hour drive. Finally I raced the USATF National 5k XC Championships with my new team the Central Mass Striders.

Here is me winning the Greater Boston Track Club XC Festival masters race in my new gear.

Racing with a new team is strange. I’m not used to just being another cog in the wheel. I’m the 3rd or 4th fastest masters runner on the team. In many ways it is nice to just show up and race without the pressures of being in charge. After years of stressing over rosters and recruiting, worrying only about myself should be freeing, but in many ways I miss rallying the troops and leading them into battle.

CMS Masters Team
CMS Masters Team

The CMS team is 2 for 2 this fall winning the GBTC Masters Championship and the USATF Masters National Championship. Next up for us is the New England Masters Championship.

Next up for Roadkill Racing is the 4th race in the Upstate XC Series and a chance for the masters men to pull ahead in the series scoring. Run Tuff you crusty sea dogs.