Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April Looking back:

30 years ago
April of 1981 was a busy month for me.  I started my junior year outdoor track season with nice races.  I set a personal best of 9:35 to win the Wilmington invitational.  The following week I ran an “easy” mile (4:37) saving something for the relay (440 in 57.4) in a dual meet against Andover.  I also ran the two mile at the Haverhill invitations taking third in a PR of 9:34.  I set a PR in the 440 in the relay against Lowell running 53.9.  Earlier in the meet I won the 2 mile in 10:17 running as easy as possible to save something for the relay.  That weekend our team took third in the Distance Medley Relay at the State Relays, I ran the ¾ mile leg in 3:20.  I finished the month with a win at 2 miles (9:36) against Chelmsford where I also ran the relay (58.0).
20 years ago
I was all over the charts in April of 1991 racing from 1 mile on the track to 12 miles on the trails and race sizes from a field of five to over 2,300.
I started the month with a win at the “Wang run”, no it wasn’t a naked race, it was run from the Wang offices in Lowell.  I ran 25:31 for the win on a hot (85 degree) day for that early in the spring.  A week later I went down to Washington DC for the Sallie Mae 10k.  I’m not sure why I went but I ran 30:21 for 10th place.  The next week I ran the always interesting Leatherman’s 10k trail race in NY.  I ended up losing by one second to British Fell runner Andy Moffat.  The next weekend I battled Scott Clark over a mile at the Granite state mile during a track meet at Londonderry High School.  I took first in 4:20.9 with Scott a little over 2 seconds back.  The following day I really changed speeds doing the Seven Sisters trail race in Amherst.  I went off course twice losing over four minutes and ended up losing to Moffat again, this time by a little over 2 minutes.  I found the course to be way too rough for me and vowed to never run it again (15 years later I ran it again and it is still too dangerous for me).

The final stream crossing at Leatherman's

10 years ago
April was both a high and a low for me.  I had been training hard going after the American record for 50km and at the Chicago Lakefront 50k in Chicago, IL I crossed the finish line in 2:57:36 to break the record.  Conditions were not idea (a little warm for me – 75 degrees) and windy  (20-40mph) but I had company through the first 25k and ran comfortably alone through the marathon in 2:30:04.  I was later upset to learn that although the race had been certified and all the paperwork was in place, the course came up just under 50 meters short of certified.  That was definitely an unwelcome surprise as I had really dogged the race director about having the proper measurement and all of the paperwork in line.  In the end they neglected to add the 1% of “extra” distance on at the end which is required for a certified course.  I didn’t race again for three weeks but made the most of the final weekend of the month by running three races within 24 hours.  I took third at the Les Pawson 5m (27:37) on Saturday, running as easy as possible in anticipation of a hard Sunday.  Early in the day I took 11th (30:45) at the James Joyce Ramble 10k, which served as the USATF NE championship.  I didn’t warm-down, just jumped in the car and drove to Groton where I took fourth in the 10km in 34:31.  I like to say that this was the day I went from being a 30 minute 10k runner to a 34 minute 10k runner.  Funny, but that really was about the end of my “fast” racing.  I’d have some glimmers of past glory but a combination of health issues and just plain getting older lead to the inevitable slow down that we all have if we stay at it long enough.

No comments: