Some of you may wonder what I’ve been up to since my performance at Grandma’s Marathon.  Now that I am not focusing on the marathon distance anymore, I have turned my attention to cross country.  My team, Roadkill Racing, fields a team every year in the Pete Glavin Upstate New York Cross Country Series, which consists of several races located throughout central and western New York, with the prize for the winning team being one of our favorite things in the world, namely beer.

Beer good!
I was also hoping to be able to sneak under 16 minutes in a 5K this fall, as well, and to that end enlisted the assistance of my friend Dave Rappleyea.  I have coached myself since graduating college in 2006, and while this has worked well for me, I wanted to see what effect a different training philosophy would have.  Rather than doing the same training plan that I’ve been doing over the years, I asked Dave to draft up some workouts, knowing that his style of training differed greatly from mine.

My first race back was the Sodus Point 5K on July 4th.  It was hot and humid, and I had only just started running again after taking a week off following Grandma’s.  It did not go so well.  Next, I ran the 0 SPF trail half marathon, put on by the great folks over at Trails Roc. I knew that trail races are often very hilly and technical, so instead of racing it, I figured I would just try to run it at 8:00 pace or so.  Boy, was I in for a surprise!  Even though I just “jogged” it, I still was exhausted 8 miles in, and found myself walking a number of hills.  I averaged right around 9-minute miles, but still finished 2nd overall somehow!

Frolicking through the woods

After a few more weeks of hard training, I made the journey out to Bergen for the Jenny Kuzma Memorial Bergen 5K, one of the fastest and most competitive 5Ks in the state.  After going out a bit too hard (5:08 and 5:06 for the first two miles), I faded hard but still managed to run a 16:33.  It must be noted that this time landed me squarely in 44th place.  The winner ran 14:27 and the first woman ran 16:22.  Yowza!  I was well on my way to 16:00 though!

Feeling the burn

Just a week later, I sprained my ankle while running on some trails, and was forced to take two weeks off.  I spent the next two weeks jogging slowly and trying to get my mileage back up.  All in all, I lost four weeks of training.  How much fitness did I lose?  I would find out on September 22nd, for the Falling Leaves 5K in Utica, NY.  Apparently, I lost a fair amount.  Despite finishing second, I only ran a 17:14, a disappointing setback.  The week after, I ran the Hats Off to Health 5K, which starts and ends at the building where I work.  Being the returning champion, I was hoping to be able to repeat my performance from last year, and hoped to run under 17 minutes.  However, my legs did not agree with that plan.  While I did win, I only ran a 17:18.

Disappointed but not discouraged, I resumed training hard with the intention of representing Roadkill Racing at the remainder of the PGUNY races.  I finally feel as though I am getting back into shape, and while I don’t think a sub-16:00 is in the cards for this fall, I have high hopes of winning both glory and beer, which we all know solves all of life’s problems.  After that, I hope to run well in the Freezeroo series and maybe run some indoor track races.  Woohoo!

As always, a huge thank you to the guys at Rochester Runner Pics for the photos!

Categories: Matt's Blog


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