30 years ago: (January 1987) This was my final indoor track season at U-Lowell, I only raced twice during January but added six track workouts while covering 322 miles with one day off. On 01/10/87 we set the still standing (!!!!) U-Mass Lowell (then U-Lowell) record for the 4x1 mile at the Dartmouth Relays in Hanover NH. Jason Cakouras started us with a 4:28, followed by Rick Dawe running a 4:20, John Cotter (having a fantastic indoor season) ran 4:14, and I took the anchor leg in 4:10 for a 17:13.14. My only other race that month was on 01/25/87. I didn’t race much indoors my final year at U-Lowell, mostly my aim was to finish in the top 6 at the NCAA national championships. As such I did a few “shorter” races along the way. On this date my goal was to take a shot at the then school record for 2 miles which was held by Mike Hurton (8:48). I was on a fast track (Harvard) and had a good fast field to work with but could not muster the turnover needed to run that fast. After a slow first quarter (69) the tempo upped with splits of 63, 66, and 65 getting me through the mile in 4:23 and still having a shot at the record. A 67, 67, and 68 put the record out of reach and I settled for a personal best of 8:52.1. It was a bit disappointing as I had run as fast as 8:55 as a freshman five years before this. I’d never run faster and indoor track races (with the exception of the mile) are now held in metric distances so the 2 mile record isn’t even listed anymore. I did some quick turnover workouts including a 4x400 & 4x200 with short rest on the Harvard track (63/65/65/65/30/30/29/29). My final workout of the month was also short (and fast), an800 in 210 followed by 5x300 in 46/46/48/45/48.
25 years ago: (January 1992) I was training pretty hard this month as the USA Olympic trials marathon was fast approaching (April). Mostly I was putting in mileage (456 miles with zero days off) and workouts at Fresh pond. I started the New Year with a new team. I jumped ship from the Greater Lowell Road Runners to the Central Mass Striders. Team manager Don Drewniak wore me down over the course of a couple of years. I recall him sending me CMS newsletters and writing on them “You should be on this team”. Eventually I realized he was right and signed on. I started the year at the CMS organized “Freezer Five” in Sterling, MA. New teammate Larry Sayers and I decided to tie, but not without running it pretty hard. We cruised along at sub-4:50 pace dodging some icy patches (despite 40 degree temps). We topped the field of 258 with a 24:00 effort. The time has stood up as the course record since then. Next up was a workout/race at Fresh Pond. I went here figuring I could get in my workout and not have to run alone. I ended up taking 3rd place in the 5 mile in 25:29 (see below who I tied with). My goal was 8 miles in 5:10 pace (my marathon stretch goal pace). I ran loops of 12:40, 12:50, and 12:53 on a 22 degree breezy day for a 40:56 over 8 miles. A week later (01/18/92) I was in Bermuda thanks to Marathon Travel which gave the trip as a prize for winning the NEAC grand prix the previous year. I didn’t have a particularly good race taking 7th in 31:10. My tempo runs were nearly as fast but maybe I was slowed by the 70 degree temps and wind? My final race/workout of the month was back at Fresh Pond, this time running 25:38 for first place over the double-loop 5 miles on a cold 15 degree day.
Fresh Pond 01-11-92
1 Keiron Tumbleton 24:14
2 P. Martini 25:01
3 Cathy O’Brien 25:29
3 Dave Dunham 25:29
5 Jeff Mello 28:24
A Runner’s World article from 2003 notes: The fastest known women’s times, are held by Lynn Jennings (2.5M) and Cathy O’Brien (5M). Their times, 12:04 and 25:29.