Less than 24 hours now until the Vermont City Marathon and we have time to get in one more elite athlete preview here. We never got a chance to interview Adrian MacDonald after he won the Eastern States 20 Miler back in March (running 1:53:23), so this helps to make up for that. Check out Adrian’s highlights:
- Greater Boston Track Club
- Marathon Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine
Recent Race Highlights:
- Won the 2015 Eastern States 20 Miler in 1:53:23
- Won my debut marathon at the 2014 Gettysburg North-South Marathon in a course record time of 2:30:42
- Finished second at the 2014 Eastern States 20 Miler in 1:49:45
Marathon PR: 2:30:42 in 2014 at Gettysburg North-South Marathon
Half Marathon PR: 1:11:24 in 2014 at New Bedford Half Marathon
- 200m: 24.97
- 800m: 1:55.45
- 1500m: 3:54.23
- Mile: 4:12.78
Here’s our Q&A with Adrian, one of the GBTC’s open runners that is looking to help bring the team marathon title home for the club.
Congrats on the Eastern States win. Did that go about as you expected to?
Thanks! Winning Eastern States was one of my goals going into the year after finishing second last year. I ran slower but we had a bit of a headwind this year as opposed to a 30 mph tailwind. I knew I would probably be running solo the whole way when the race director asked me if I knew the course at the start. I’m glad I didn’t make a wrong turn and end up in the ocean!
How has training been since then?
The past couple months since Eastern States have been great. While I was able to avoid the treadmill for all but 5 miles this winter, it has been nice to run on some trails instead of the icy roads. March and April were my two highest mileage months, back to back, ever and thanks to my frequent visits to Alex at Marathon Physical Therapy, I’ve been injury free.
Have raced much since then?
I raced the Broad Street Run Ten Miler in Philadelphia three weeks ago. I ran 53:13 and finished 25th. My goal there was to run 5:20 pace and finish in the top 25 so it was a successful trip.
Have you ever done VCM before?
This is my first VCM. The Gettysburg North-South Marathon last year was my first and only marathon.
What drew you to it?
I wanted to race a marathon where I would feel like I was racing as opposed to just shooting for a fast time. Gettysburg was a small race where I was lucky to have someone to chase down and pass in the last few miles after running alone for 20 miles. VCM will be a nice step up from that while still allowing me to race. The Grand Prix competition is an added bonus.
What is your favorite race distance?
I was just talking about this on my last long run on Sunday. In high school and college I was an 800/1500 runner and loved stepping down to run the 4×400. It was fun to run with teammates and everyone would get excited about it at the end of a long track meet. One of my most favorite experiences was running the 4×4 at the Penn Relays in college.
In terms of your training philosophy, would you describe your mileage and intensity as high/moderate or low/high?
I would say high/moderate. I think you have to put in a lot of miles to run a marathon. I ran 400+ miles in both March and April. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing much less than that. As far as intensity, I like to see most days as being kind of hard. When I was training for the 800/1500 I would have days where I was too dizzy after a workout to cool down or have sore hamstrings for days after a tough speed workout. After those workouts I would need to take it easy for a couple of days. I like to feel uncomfortable 5 or 6 days a week in training for a marathon without going over the edge.
What’s your biggest strength as a runner?
This is a tough one. My biggest strength as a runner is my addiction to that feeling I get when I accomplish something I never thought I would be able to do. There have been times when all I could do was laugh after a race where I performed far beyond my own goals. It’s an amazing feeling that I have only experienced though running. I’m not sure when or if it will happen again but I’m dedicated to chasing that feeling.
Do you have a nickname?
This is another question that came up on Sunday. Were you hiding in the woods along Battle Road on Sunday afternoon, a la the Minutemen back in the day? Anyways, I’ve had a few nicknames over the years. Aid, Age, Ace, A-Mac, A-Macker, and A-Train. A-Train evolved into simply Train which I thought was a cool nickname. Most people these days call me Adrian. One friend calls me Macdonald and it always catches me off guard.
What’s the main goal on Sunday?
The main goal on Sunday is to finish in the top 10 and run under 2:30.
How do you like GBTC’s chances as a team in the race?
I think we have a great shot at the team title. We have 5 guys racing who are all capable of running under 2:40. I don’t know if GBTC has won a Grand Prix race since I joined back in 2011. This will definitely provide me with some extra motivation.
Go-to pre marathon meal?
The morning of the race I will have a mango, an English muffin with butter, and a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. I have that for breakfast nearly every day and don’t like to change too much before a race.
Go-to post marathon meal (celebration mode)?
I will be eating a whole large pizza sometime on Sunday. Including the crust.
Dammit…can’t we have one interview go by where someone doesn’t question if we were hiding in the bushes?! Was tempted to work his line about that into some sort of copy for social media or even the title but quickly realized that it would probably give the wrong idea to anyone who didn’t read it. Yikes. Anyway, enough bush talk. Adrian certainly has momentum on his side and sounds very ready to run under 2:30, especially with some people pushing him for this one.