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Jack Kerouac 5k – Raw Footage

Level was on the scene at the Kerouac 5k on Sunday and we’ve got plenty of coverage coming your way. Here’s a taste to get your work week started:

We met up with (L-R) Eric Ashe, Brielle Chabot, and Dan Hocking (all of the BAA) after the race. Brielle and Dan won their races, and Eric was second overall (hot on Dan’s heels). Just looking at those growlers is making me thirsty!

Raw footage…pretty self explanatory. We’ll have more thorough coverage coming real soon, so keep checking back here!

Level On Location

This weekend we’ll be at the Kerouac 5k in Lowell, MA. It’s hard to top the excitement of a Grand Prix race, and it’s safe to say there’ll be an even bigger buzz in the air for this one since conditions should be more runner friendly than the mid-summer Grand Prix sweat boxes. Sure, it looks like it may rain in Lowell on Sunday, but I’ll take (light) rain and temps in the 50′s or 60′s over a brightly sunny 80+ degree day.

Be on the lookout for us and maybe you’ll wind up in the race video.

Looking ahead, we’re excited about the 1st Annual WMDP XC Invitational. Word has it that the Level was granted prime real estate over the DJ (yep, DJ), and we’ll be knee deep in stuff to give away. We’re teaming up with Skechers for this one and will be presenting the top three men and women with a free pair of shoes. We may also have some Level t-shirts, bumper stickers and perhaps some other Skechers merch to hand out. Did I forget to mention that it’s part of the USATF-NE XC Grand Prix series as well?

If we get enough new subscriptions that day, Kev just may do the worm. He’s been practicing. Look for us, we’ll have the shiny new canopy tent and a big-ass banner. Check in with us there, then get your coverage here!

NE XC: Most Teams Quiet as “Big” Meets Loom

By: Dan Gordon

With preseasons having been wrapped up for a month, the low key meets will surely be the next things to go. The second half of the collegiate cross country season is steadily approaching, and the top guns of New England have followed a familiar path, either tempoing with their teammates at small invitations, or eschewing them all together, choosing to train through the latter part of September in preparation for the “big meets.”

Out of the teams that did choose to toe the line, Northeastern had arguably the greatest day. The Huskies dispatched a very strong University of Connecticut team at the Ted Owen Invite, hosted by Central Connecticut State University (results here).

They were led by freshman sensation Wesleyley Gallagher, who broke away in the final mile to secure his first collegiate win with a blazing fast 25:29.43.

Northeastern was the only team to put five in the top twenty, holding off UConn 43 to 51. This is the second meet in a row where UConn failed to finish it off, (losing to UMass Amherst & Stonehill College at last weekend’s Minuteman Invite). They are going to have to pick it up if they wish to defend their New England Championship title. [for more on performance of the Northeastern men’s team, click here.]

On the women’s side, one squad proved why New York teams have been infuriating New Englanders for years.

Hailing from Poughkeepsie, New York, Marist College repeated as champion of the Ted Owen Invitational (results here). The Red Foxes scored 35 points, trouncing an 11 team field that included CCSU, UConn, and University of Hartford.

Bentley sophomore Tara Dooley captured the individual title, covering the 5,000-meter course in 17:35.84. While this course has been known to produce fast times early, Dooley is no slouch. A former soccer player turned harrier, she finished second in the NCAA Division II East Regional women’s cross country championship last fall.

Elsewhere in New England, the Bowdoin men’s team showed everyone why they are ranked 26th in D3, capturing the Wesleyan University Invitational with ease (results here).

The Polar bears knew they had the meet in the bag after going one through four, their first and fourth runner being separated by only 1 second. It will be exciting to see what the quartet of Nicholas Saba, Gregory Talpey, Sam Seekins, and Coby Horowitz can do come later in the season.

This weekend was a quiet one, but the next few weeks should prove to produce some barn burners. Lehigh will host the 39th annual Paul Short Run on September 28th. Last year, more than 5,000 runners from 450 colleges and high schools took part in what is turning into an east coast affair.

Almost all the notable New England teams will be in attendance, so if you aren’t at Paul Short, you better have a good excuse. Check out the men’s assignments and the women’s assignments here.

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Gallagher Leads Northeastern at Ted Owen Inivational

By Paul Cina

“With about a mile left I realized I could get him, and slowly made up ground,” reflected Northeastern Freshman Wesleyley Gallagher, after winning his first collegiate race at the Ted Owen Invitational on Saturday.

After trailing nearly the entire race, Gallagher summoned a monstrous kick over the last 100 meters to edge unattached runner Antoine Gisore with a time of 25:29.43 to Gisore’s 25:29.72 over the 8-kilometer course.

Although some of those who don’t yet know Gallagher’s name may be surprised by his devastating late surge, those who are familiar with his racing tactics from high school pretty much expected it.

Running for Pembroke High School in Massachusetts, Gallagher is a two-time Massachusetts Gatorade Runner of the Year, four time All-State champion, and a 3 time All-American. At the Division two cross country all-state championships his junior year, he narrowly pulled off the victory with a come from behind win over the last 30 meters to defeat Old Rochester Regional’s Dana Dourdeville by three one-hundredths of a second. His senior year, Gallagher ran down Stephen Robinson of Wakefield to win the all-state title again by less than a second. On the track, he won the outdoor all-state mile his junior year in a tactical race, out-sprinting the field over the last 100 meters and winning by half a second.

Needless to say, Gallagher has some experience in hunting down the leaders for a narrow victory. In his second ever collegiate race, Wesley led the Northeastern men to an overall team victory with 43 points over University of Connecticut (58).

Teammate Stephen Sollowin finished fourth overall with a time of 25:58, while Sebastian Putzeys finished 13th in 26:30, Zachary Fraeilli 15th (26:38), and John Jantz 22nd (26:56) to round out Northeastern’s top five scorers.

In his second ever collegiate race, Gallagher’s initial plan was to be patient, and to try to stay in the mix with his teammates. He went out with the chase pack, running splits of 4:50 through the first mile, 9:50 through two miles, and 15-low at mile three.

“My original plan was to go out conservatively because this course has a decently sized hill which you go up twice, so I didn’t want to be dead after the first time up,” Gallagher said.

He did just that, staying in the chase pack while keeping the leader in his sights the whole race. With a little more than a mile to go, he saw his opportunity to catch the leader.

“Right as I saw the leader hit the hill the second time I could tell he was dying,” Gallagher said. “He looked like he was struggling up it and I realized I had a chance.”

At that moment, he put on a surge to close the gap on the leader. At the crest of the hill, Gallagher caught Gisore, however he ended up losing a lot of the ground he made up on the downhill section. Gallagher knew it was not over though, and (with one mile remaining after splitting 20:10 through four miles) he started inching closer again.

Wesley caught Gisore with 100 meters to go and did what he does best – kicked. Hard.

Although the course is listed as an 8k (4.98 miles), many coaches and athletes claim it is actually closer to 5.1 miles. If this is so, then Wesley closed in something close to a 4:50 last mile, showing he has exceptional strength, especially for a freshman.

“Wes has come in and already out-performed what we were expecting of him,” said sophomore and fellow teammate Steve Sollowin.

The Huskies are competing this cross country season without their top two returners, as Juniors Eric Jenkins and Brian Doyle are both declared red-shirts.

However, the Northeastern squad is still confident that they will have a successful season even without Jenkins and Doyle.

“We all believe that we have a lot of potential and that we can compete at a level similar, if not better than what we competed at last year,” Sollowin said.

“I am racing a lot better than I hoped for coming into the season, and the rest of the team is setting new pr’s for 8ks or are very close to their pr’s. We are all very confident heading into our championship portion of the season starting with New Englands.”

2012 GBTC Cross Country Invitational

Guest blog by Victoria Barnaby of the GBTC (originally published on 9/24).

Yesterday the Greater Boston Track Club put on their annual Cross-Country Invitational at Elm Bank Park in Wellesley, MA.  In years past the Invite has been traditionally held at Bradley Palmer in Topsfield but this year the Board of Directors seized the opportunity to hold the race in a new location on a new date.  GBTC spread the word to local clubs looking for a an opportunity to race during the weekend when normally the annual Codfish Bowl would be held at Franklin Park.  For those of you unfamiliar with the race it was unfortunately cancelled due to park construction.

Brennan BonnerMatt Haringa and John Raguin were the leads in racing planning and directed the day’s events.  They created the challenging 2k,5k and 8k courses that included trail terrain that was mostly flat with an occasional hill and stretch across a grassy field.

A successful new addition to the Invite was the Youth 2k race which kicked off just after 9 AM.  It was the largest race of the day which unleashed a wave of 100 young racers.  Daniel O’Donoghue of the Waltham Track Club was triumphant and finished with an overall time of 7:44.  This youthful start to the Invite set the tone for a positive and fun morning of competition.

A stacked Master’s Men field of 46 runners took to the 5k course shortly thereafter and Dmirtry Drozdov of NETT finished victorious with a time of 16:45.

Next up on line was the Open Men’s 8k.  Sean Duncan of the Western Mass Distance Project led for majority of the race and finished the course in 24:57 with a healthy lead over the next runner in.

And lastly the Women’s race combined both Open and Master’s Women in a 5k run.  The GBTC and BAA duked it out for almost all of the top ten finishing places.  In the end Allison McCabe completed the course in an impressive 17:59.

At the awards ceremony top teams received freshly baked pies with engraved forks and serving utensils.  The top three finisher’s in each race also received a gift certificate for a 1BandID, a customizable ID band that attaches to watches, GPS’, heart rate monitors and trainers.

In recent years the GBTC Invite has seen a diminishing number of participants in the club-sponsored race. However with this year’s event 230 runners came out to compete and a number of volunteers and spectators showed up to give their support.

You can find all race results on the club’s website as well as Cool Running.  GBTC tweeted throughout the event with their handle @GBTCrunning so make sure to follow them on Twitter and “Like” them on Facebook to get updates on next year’s events and this year’s happenings.  GBTC also holds an annual Indoor Track race in January at Harvard University so make sure to mark your calendars now.

This originally appeared on Victoria’s blog on 9/24/12 (click here).

USATF-NE Annual Meeting

We, along with some other passionate and vocal members, put out a call (a challenge even) for all card carrying members of USATF-NE to show up to the annual meeting and vote. From what I could see in the minutes from recent prior elections, the turn out this year was double (possibly even triple, depending on the point of comparison) what was normally on hand to cast votes. Congratulations, you answered the call. As I said up at the mic, the election results didn’t matter as much as the fact that so many people got involved. Whatever the outcome, it was important to see people showing an interest and becoming actively involved in the organization.

Without further ado, here are the election results with some play by play action mixed in.

First up was President. Before we got started, Joanie Bohlke was called up to help moderate/move things along. It was determined that each candidate would get five minutes to address the crowd, and then when both were done there was to be a ten minute general Q&A. In the Q&A, candidates were limited to one minute each to respond to the questions. Joanie had the watch running for each segment and was pretty strict about it.

On a side note, I must say that I think this is good to keep things moving along, but could’ve been implemented more effectively. If candidates were given something like a ‘one minute warning’, then they could’ve wrapped up and felt better about it. Instead, it left a couple of awkward endings hanging out there. You’re not really gonna win over a crowd if your closing thought is a sentence fragment. What if you were going to say “If elected, I will strip down the communication barriers and get more people involved”, but were only able to squeeze in “If elected, I will strip-”. See? Awkward!

On to the action:

The incumbent Steve Viegas went first, followed by the challenger Tom Derderian. They both had compelling statements and it was obvious that the vote would be close. The Q&A session to follow was quite…spirited, and I thought it would soon start raining chairs. Luckily, the chair clouds passed and things quieted down.

While the votes were being tallied for the President, the Vice Presidents were nominated and elected. There can be up to three VP’s and only two were going for another term (John Oleski and Jim Garcia), so who would step up to vie for the final slot? Victoria Barnaby ended up rising to the occasion, and since nobody else did, they all were elected without having to do a full vote.

Vice President (3 slots) – no vote necessary, everybody wins!

Incumbent: Jim Garcia (GLRR)
Incumbent: John Oleski (MassVelocity)
Candidate: Victoria Barnaby (GBTC)

Next, it was Secretary time. Gary Snyder (the incumbent) spoke first, donning a GBTC jacket to start things off. Now it was time for this guy, the challenger Eric Narcisi, to crutch his way up to the podium. I was only half joking when I asked aloud “does my time start now or when I make it to the podium?” Luckily for me the clock didn’t start until I got up there. I didn’t know what to expect of this meeting, so I didn’t prepare any statement. I just spoke from the heart and luckily didn’t run out of time. It’s all a blur to me, but I believe only one question was asked of us. After we both took a crack at answering it, it was time to vote!

While we were voting for secretary, the results of the presidential race were announced:

Incumbent: Steve Viegas (MassVelocity) – 69
Candidate: Tom Derderian (GBTC) – 83

It was a close one. Steve showed a lot of class in defeat and stayed on to continue overseeing the meeting and subsequent elections. The immediate former president also has a seat on the board, so he’ll still be involved.

It was now time to determine the new Treasurer. The new guy was the same as the old guy, as Stephen Peckiconis was unopposed. No vote was necessary here and he was pretty quickly named to another term as Treasurer.

I believe it was at this time that the results of the Secretary seat were announced:

Incumbent: Gary Snyder (MassVelocity) – 39
Candidate: Eric Narcisi (Whirlaway) – 106

I was (and still am) surprised by the results here. It’s never an easy battle going against an incumbent, so I figured if I did win, it would be a squeaker of a vote. I wasn’t even ruling out having to settle it with a run-off (that’s how we do in track!), but then my crutches would’ve been a huge disadvantage. Gary took off, and I then assumed responsibilities.

The rest was fairly simple. There wasn’t a need for voting for any of the chairs as each person, an incumbent in some cases and a candidate in others, ran unopposed. Some were completely open due to resignations during the year. The only surprise here was Skip Cleaver’s decision to not run for re-election. The Masters’ LDR was the only chair that looked like it would require a vote going in. Here are the Chairs:

Sports Chairs (1 year term)
Men’s LDR
Candidate: Gary Circosta (GBTC)
Women’s LDR
Incumbent: Lisa Doucett (CSU)
Masters’ LDR
Candidate: Joe Navas (Whirlaway)
Open T&F
Candidate: Yvonne Green (NBB)
Masters’ T&F
Incumbent: Mike Travers (MassVelocity)
Candidate: Jason Cakouros (HFC)
Mtn Running
Incumbent: Paul Kirsch (White Mtn Milers)
Incumbent: Jason Kuo (NEW)
Youth Athletics
Candidate: Leigh Petranoff (Turbojav AC)

The last election was for athlete reps. There were five candidates, all seemed like they would make for a solid representative. I don’t know about you, but I found it to be a tough decision. They all were granted three minutes to speak, then it was opened up to Q&A once all of them had spoken.

While we voted on the reps, we started gearing up for the last order of business: selecting who would go to the national conference in Florida. There was a predetermined slate (featuring all interested parties) and that was put up on the grease board while the votes were counted for the rep positions.

Final results for the reps:

Athlete Reps (3 slots; 1 year term)
Incumbent: Will Feldman (GBTC) – 63
Candidate: Jason Ayr (WMDP) – 74
Candidate: Jim Burgoyne (Twilight Throwers) – 62
Candidate: Reno Stirrat (Whirlaway) – 52
Candidate: Dan Kramer (NBB) – 35

It was a close one here too!

As far as the delegates for the national conference, we can send up to sixteen, and although we voted last night, there was a motion that passed to end the meeting with those results pending. A few newly elected people (myself included) entered into that race as well, so there were quite a few names up on the board (close to twenty). Results on this should be available any second now.

The USATF-NE website should be updated with all the details from this meeting (including winners in the delegate vote) soon.

Congrats to all the winners, and thank you to everyone who showed up and took part in the process!

Disclaimer: This in no way represents an official release from USATF-NE or the Secretary (specifically). These constitute my observations as EJN, writer for Level Renner, and not Eric Narcisi, USATF-NE Secretary. If this makes sense, nod in silence.

USATF NE Election Slate

USATF NE elections are tomorrow, Sunday, Sept 23.  If you are a USATF member, get out and vote.  The meeting starts at 4 pm.  Location: Hilton Garden Inn,  420 Totten Pond Rd, Waltham, MA, 02451.

Here is the full ballot for the 2012 USATF NE elections. Each position holds a two year term.  Bolded candidates posted position papers on our website.  Read them to learn about them.

Incumbent: Steve Viegas (MassVelocity)
Candidate: Tom Derderian (GBTC)

Vice President (3 slots)
Incumbent: Jim Garcia (GLRR)
Incumbent: John Oleski (MassVelocity)
Candidate: Victoria Barnaby (GBTC)

Incumbent: Gary Snyder (MassVelocity)
Candidate: Eric Narcisi (Whirlaway)

Incumbent: Stephen Peckiconis

Sports Chairs (1 year term)
Men’s LDR
Candidate: Gary Circosta (GBTC)
Women’s LDR
Incumbent: Lisa Doucett (CSU)
Masters’ LDR
Incumbent: Skip Cleaver (GCS)
Candidate: Joe Navas (Whirlaway)
Open T&F
Candidate: Yvonne Green (NBB)
Masters’ T&F
Incumbent: Mike Travers (MassVelocity)
Candidate: Jason Cakouros (HFC)
Mtn Running
Incumbent: Paul Kirsch (White Mtn Milers)
Incumbent: Jason Kuo (NEW)
Youth Athletics
Candidate: Leigh Petranoff (Turbojav AC)

Athlete Reps (3 slots; 1 year term)
Incumbent: Will Feldman (GBTC)
Candidate: Jason Ayr (WMDP)
Candidate: Jim Burgoyne (Twilight Throwers)
Candidate: Reno Stirrat (Whirlaway)

For more details and a list of position responsibilities go to http://www.usatfne.org/board/meetings/2012annualnotice.pdf

Joe Navas Is Running For Masters Long Distance Running Chair of USATF-NE

Joe Navas is running for Masters Long Distance Running Chair of USATF NE. Posted below is his position statement (he wrote it). USATF NE elections are Sunday, Sept 23, 4 pm, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 420 Totten Pond Rd, Waltham, MA. Members must be present to vote.

Joe Navas at the CVS 5k, courtesy of Scott Mason.

To the members of USA Track and Field – New England,

My name is Joe Navas and I am running for the USATF New England Masters Long Distance Running Chair for the upcoming 2012-2013 year.

While I have not served in an administrative capacity in the New England association, I have a good deal of experience in a similar role, having served as President of the Cape Cod Athletic Club, one of the association’s oldest standing clubs, for two years (2008-2009) and as Vice President in the year (2007) before that.

During that time, the number of members in the club grew substantially and I was very happy to see a palpable uptick in the competitiveness of our members and in the attendance of our races.

Additionally, I helped – with the invaluable aid of the club’s webmaster, Geof Newton – in leading a transition away from relying solely on print and mail into a greater utilization of social media and electronic communication.

I serve as a senior writer and photographer for Level Renner Magazine, which, as many of you know, is an up and coming publication that seeks to speak to and celebrate the very highest ethic of competitive running in this, the most storied running region in the country.

I am also currently a cross country coach at Dennis Yarmouth High School on Cape Cod. Needless to say, I have yet to tire of anything that has to do with my own or anyone else’s running experience.

I have been a USATF member continuously for my entire racing career of 10 years and have competed in the majority of Grand Prix races during the last 5 years as a member of the Whirlaway Racing Team.

It has been nothing short of an honor and a privilege to run for the team that I do in the region that I run in.

I approach every race I run here with reverence and respect as well as a fear that at times, I may be viewed as utterly kooky for the way I simply love to take it all in. Only in running would someone be as excited as I was two years ago to at last turn 40.

As Masters Long Distance Chair, I would like at the very least to serve as a highly approachable, accessible figure.

I feel I am a good choice for this position in part because I am and intend to be in the thick of competition – especially Grand Prix and National level competition – for years to come.

I also bring with me the support and collective acumen of the men and women of Whirlaway, a team that is virtually synonymous with New England Masters running.

I was never blessed with either great wisdom nor speed when I was a younger man, but that has left me, in the words of many fellow teammates with “fresh legs,” that allow me to rub shoulders and toe lines with Masters athletes I know full well I have little right being next to. It is, in part, because of this respect that I seek this position.

As passionate as I am about racing, that passion is equaled or surpassed by many, many Masters men and women in this region and they deserve the best racing experience they can have, which includes not only the best courses and amenities, but also an outlet to voice opinions, concerns and ideas to.

They also need their numbers to be continually replenished, which means, as many have expressed, a return to making sure racing is competitive for all, attractive to all and that what we offer to all athletes speaks to that desire for one level field for all to come to and test themselves against each other and history.

I thank you for your time and attention. I am very much looking forward to serving this organization in whatever capacity it requires.


Joe Navas

Level Renner is offering the opportunity for all candidates seeking USATF-NE office to use this outlet to post their platform.  If you would like to state your position, please contact us.

A Year In Reflection

Guest blog by Joanna Murphy (New Balance Boston)

After taking a few years off, I returned to competitive distance running about a year and a half ago. These last eighteen months have marked the longest stretch of injury free training in my life and these last six months have been particularly successful for me, resulting in PR’s in every distance from 1500 to 5K. I knocked twenty-two seconds off my 5K (16:50), ten seconds off my 3K (9:51), seven seconds off my mile (4:52), six seconds off my 1500 (4:31), and two seconds off my steeplechase (10:33).  As my racing calendar comes to a close, I reflect back on the four key lessons this last year has taught me:

1.     Train like an Animal, recover like a Carnivorous Zen Yogi

I spent a large portion of my early running career injured. When I returned to competitive running I struggled to really push myself in hard workouts for fear of creating injury. Overcoming this obstacle required a change in perspective, but I’ve discovered that my body adapts to strenuous training, becoming stronger, faster and capable of more when I take care of it. For me, the keys to achieving optimal adaptation have been:

1) A carnivorously plant-based diet: My diet revolves around vegetables and fruit. Lean protein (for me it’s animal protein), whole grains and healthy fats are equally important, but are supplements to the copious amounts of fruits and vegetables that I aim for at every meal. Likewise, I aim to minimize sugars, alcohol, and refined flours. That’s not to say that I don’t celebrate a long run with a gigantic dessert or opt for a (craft) IPA post workout, or have some candy as a snack (because I do) but I make sure I get a quality, clean meal first. Furthermore, eating often and eating enough keeps me properly fueled so I feel like an animal for my workouts.

2) Getting enough sleep: aiming to not be tired upon waking means aiming for 9-10hrs per night. This doesn’t happen every night, but aiming for as much as possible as often as possible makes a big difference in my recovery.

3) Getting my Zen on: Restructuring my life so that stress outside training is minimized means keeping my non-working/running time chilled-out (cat nap anyone?) This, coupled with treating my recovery runs as a Yogi would treat their meditation has enabled my body to be ready to tear it up on hard days.

2.     Your Body Determines Your Racing Weight, Not Your Ego

I’m no waif, so it’s not easy to stand on the line next to girls who are half my size and not feel like I should somehow emulate their physique. Plus, with a substantial amount of research indicating that lighter equals faster, it’s hard not to feel like losing weight is the key to running the times I want to run. But this is precisely why in my first point I stressed the importance of a proper recovery – because the best thing for getting lighter is training harder, and the best thing for training harder is fueling and recovering properly. During college I thought I had to consistently weigh 120 lbs. in order to achieve my goals. For my body type this meant not eating nearly enough. When I came back to competitive running after many years of injuries I decided I wouldn’t worry about my weight and focus instead on the variables that would directly affect my training – eating enough (good food), sleeping enough, hydrating enough, training enough. I surprised myself by PR-ing in every distance from 1500-5K weighing almost 130 lbs. By taking care of my body properly I’ve continued to get leaner and stronger and have been able to do workouts I never thought possible. This year I learned that my ideal racing weight is not an arbitrary number – it is that at which I am strongest.

3.     Be a Baller, Run Fast.

It’s hard for me not to be consumed with how I am feeling during a race – if my legs are heavy, if breathing is hard, if I’m behind, if I’m on pace, etc. This last year has been a lesson in remembering how to race again, from which I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how you feel – in the end it’ll hurt regardless of whether you feel good or bad. I’ve discovered that racing well and running fast are two different things. Running fast means racing the clock, but being a great racer means being a “Baller”. This means putting yourself in position to race even if you’re way above your head and seeded last. It means jumping in something you don’t feel ready for because it’ll be a good opportunity. It means making a move because it’ll make your competitor hurt more, even if you’re not sure you can hold it. This year I learned that feeling in control and being collective while racing wastes an opportunity – it means I ran a time trial. Racing, as a way to test what I’m capable of, means being uncomfortable, putting myself in position and not being afraid to fail. This year I learned that I’ll never surprise myself unless I put myself out there – and that the best racing strategy is: Be a Baller.

4.     One Step at a Time

Like most runners, I have very high goals that I want to achieve before I’m done competing. Sometimes it can feel like I’ll never get there, and running for a high level team like NBB means that there’s always someone faster than me (so far… J ). This year I’ve learned that reaping the rewards of training is best seen after paying due diligence to consistency – that the day in/day out of consistent workouts and mileage over the course of a year (or more) pays off. I’ve learned that the big goals give you something to aim for, but celebrating the small victories of getting faster, even if it’s only by a second, or a fraction of a second, is equally important. Each victory is one step, however small, towards the bigger goal. While I sometimes lament I’m not faster, enjoying my current fitness level and being grateful that I’m healthy has been a big part of my progress as an athlete.  And who am I kidding ? As soon as I achieve “that goal” I will have already moved on to another, bigger, more elusive goal and “that goal” will soon be merely a small step along the way…ah the curse of a distance runner!

Follow Joanna on Twitter (@JoannaMurphy8) and be sure to check out her blog: Running On Full.

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