Looking back April
35 years ago - 1979 – I ran 127 miles and took 7 days off during the first full month of outdoor track during my freshman year at Billerica High School. I raced six times, mostly in dual-meet races. I started the month with a third place 2 mile versus Central Catholic (11:47). Five days later I lowered my PR by nearly a minute running a 10:50.4 and placing fourth in a meet against Dracut on our home track at the Marshall Middle school. Two days later I ran a 11:00 2 mile against Tewksbury and followed that up a week later with a 10:58 versus Wilmington. After that I ran a 2:25 for a half-mile leg in the Class Relays. I closed out the month with an uninspired 11:18 2 mile in a dual meet against Andover. In all I scored 14 points towards my letter. I’m not sure how many points you needed but I ended up getting the outdoor track letter (a large green “B”).
30 years ago – 1984 – I only ran 255 miles with five days off due to a badly sprained ankle during the start of my sophomore outdoor track season at the University of Lowell. I opened the month with the Fitchburg relays 5,000 meters. We used to call it the “iceberg relays” because it seemed to always be cold and rainy at this early season meet. Dennis Simoniatis and I planned to tie, doing the race as a hard workout. We ran splits of 4:41, 4:48, and 4:38 for a 5k of 14:32. Twelve days later I ran my first 10,000 meter track race at the BC relays. My goal was to break 30:30 which was the qualifying standard for the NCAA National championships (D2). I ran splits of 4:44, 4:50, 4:49, 4:50, 4:52, 4:56, and 70 for a 30:12. That put me over a minute behind the winner (Sapienza 28:55).
25 years ago – 1989 – I lowered my mileage down to 328 for the month, mostly because I was aiming for a good run at the Boston marathon. This was my first shot at the marathon and I trained very hard with a goal of breaking 2:15. The week prior to the marathon I headed to New York City for the second annual Ekiden Relay. This was a big money race that had teams from each of the 50 states and some international teams. Somehow I ended up running the shortest leg of the relay a 7.5km (4.41 miles) dash through Central Park. I ended up running the 2nd fastest time of the day 20:44 (4:42 pace), our team took 4th place and I came home with $3,000. The others on the team were Tim Gannon (14:10 5k), Paul Gorman (10.1k = 9th pl), Dennis Simoniatis (9.3k = 2nd pl), Wally Collins (10k 30:12, 10th pl). Nice days later I lined up at the start of the Boston Marathon. This was my first and only Boston and my first Marathon, although I’ve done 46 races of the marathon and beyond since then. I joined 5,122 others on a 67 degree day. I felt great through 20k, and still pretty good through 30k, but the last 10k was just brutal. My splits were 31:10, 32:10, 33:10, for the first 30km. The last 12.2k took me 45:32 (5:59) pace but it was a lot worse than it sounds. I staggered across the line and was promptly escorted to the medical tent and from there to the hospital. Over 10 pounds of IV fluid later I was released. Ouch! I ended up finishing in 2:22:03 for 17th place.
20 years ago – 1994 – I only raced twice during April although I managed 368 miles with no days off. I was recovering from a sprained ankle and back woes which kept my racing limited. I supported U-Lowell at the Alamo Alumni race in Boston. It was sunny but windy and a chilly 40 degrees. I ran an uninspired 24:37 to take 10th place. I stayed away from running until the 23rd when I went to the Mount Misery trail race in Lincoln MA. The trails were in great shape, but the field was very small (26 finishers). I ran with Petey until the last quarter mile then took off to win in 43:22 for the 7 miles race.