Ruben Sança came in second at the Yankee Homecoming 10 miler in Newburyport last week. Ruben ran a 50:30, which was just off the pace of eventual winner Tekeste Nurelign, who came up from NY and ran a 49:54.
We caught up with Ruben and everything was on the table: the ten miler, his blossoming modeling career, and whether or not he was to defend his Level Renner 10k title.
What When did Nurelign start opening up a lead on you?
Nurelign had the lead from the gun. I wasn’t sure whether or not he would hold up, as I took a gamble to go with him. He was 9:24 at 2 miles and I was 9:27. With nothing to lose, I decided I was going to go for the win and match his pace. Unfortunately, my legs were heavy and he proved to be a stronger runner. Sometimes I think we get too scared when we see these New Yorkers come up out of nowhere. I think risking a few seconds off from my overall time was worth it.
Saw a couple of tweets from you recently, one of them stating that you’re finally back to ’11 shape. Just how good has training been going? To what do you attribute this turnaround?
Good first test today at Newburyport 10 miler. 60 sec course PR and 20 sec season improvement from February’s 10 miler.#tcmarathon
— Ruben Sança (@Sanca617) July 30, 2014
Training has been much better. It’s a combination of being injury free now and finding a good work, life and training balance. I don’t have as much time to dedicate to training as most other elite runners, therefore, I have to be smart about very aspect of my training. I don’t think there are many people who are currently working 40+ hours per week on top of 120 miles. I’m in a unique situation, but I truly enjoy the challenge.
You’re gearing up for Twin Cities, right? Did you set out just to run 5’s for this one as training run?
Yes, my main focus in for this fall is the Twin Cities Marathon on October 5th. I wanted to run a bit faster than I did at Amherst 10 mile when I was getting ready for Boston. At the same time, this being a local race, I also wanted to win. I don’t do much “tempo” runs in races. If I have to schedule time to race, I want to run as hard as I possibly can. However, I may be tired from training, which might result in slower times. With the way things have gone in the past, I’m not afraid to step up to the line tired knowing where my expectations are. Learning to race tired is part of the mental and physical aspect to marathon training.
How did your Whirlaway team do overall?
Initial results had us as the first place team. Later that night, we found out that one of the New York runners found a new team and we were moved to second place. It was pretty disappointing to learn that. However, I’m confident my teammates and I will rise up in the next Grand Prix races as we try to contend for the over title this year.
Are you finding it difficult to stay focused as an athlete now that your modeling career is taking off?
Not really. I wouldn’t really call what I did with Tracksmith modeling. It was pure running at a training camp, which is what is so fascinating about this new brand. There was no make up, no fake sweats and no re-dos. We went to a training camp, put on the Tracksmith apparel and tested them out. I did all my workouts, from hills to long runs, intervals, core strength etc and the material proved to be above expectations.
Is it a concern that people will only see you for your looks after getting an eyeful of you on the Tracksmith website?
I hope they see much of the racing and training too.
Are you planning on defending your crown at the Level Renner 10k in a couple of weeks?
We shall see. As of now, my primary goal is training for Twin Cities. Depending on how I am feeling around that time, it may come down to a last minute decision. With the volume and intensity of my scheduled workouts I have to be careful on race planning.