E-J Hrynowski made the trek down to Baltimore back on October 13th and won his age group in the marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival. E-J not only topped all the seniors, but he also beat any masters and placed 7th overall with his 2:49:23. Impressive. Here are some thoughts from E-J on the accomplishment:
“Since I’m on the wrong side of the half century mark, I decided to run marathons in different states in case I really lose touch with reality and try to join the 50 state club. I’ve run all of New England, New York and Pennsylvania so I decided to move down the East coast. Since I beat the Boston qualifier by (way) more than twenty minutes at Boston this year, I didn’t have to rule out a challenging course. Original goal was to go to the Charm City and finish ahead of all the Senior Ravens fans as revenge for the AFC defeat, but after the bombings I decided that revenge of any kind would not be an appropriate goal. Looking for a more positive alternative, I settled on a revised motivator of running Boston Strong. I hadn’t bothered to check previous year results, because you never know who is going to toe the line. I couldn’t come up with a time goal because the course profile looks like a rollercoaster with a net down in the first half and a net up in the second. Because I couldn’t come up with a time, I decided that placing in my AG would be the goal and posted it in a group forum on RunningAHEAD.com. Even if it’s known only to a small corner of the interwebz, I find that posting a goal can create a bit of additional accountability.”
To help the Legion get to know E-J a bit better, here’s a profile of his that was published in the mag:
Day in the Life
E-J Hrynowksi had tried running a handful of times throughout his life, but it never stuck. He repeatedly fell prey to the neophyte’s mistake of “too much too soon” and couldn’t keep with it. Then something happened: “My marriage came crashing to an end in early 2000, and as I crawled from its wreckage I started walking almost every day.” In time, the walking became running and Hrynowski has been with it ever since. He attributes the steps at the Wachusett Reservoir Dam for his (re)birth. 10 sets a day. 2000 up. 2000 down.
Late to the game, he ran his first race at the age of 39. His selection: The 2002 Carson 2-miler in Chelmsford. He debuted in a modest 14:44. After that, he started surfing the web for running advice and his training elevated to something a bit more serious. Before long, he adopted a philosophy that has served him well: “Run lots, mostly easy, sometimes hard.”
Moving into 2005, the infamous Applefest was Hrynowski’s first half marathon in which he ran 1:48.10. He jokingly states that he learned in an invaluable lesson in that virginal trot: “Check the course elevation profile before submitting a registration.”
By the time 2007 rolled around, E-J was a fixture at the Tuesday Night Good Times 5k series in Lowell, MA. He’s run 107 of them since then and that number would be higher if his foot did not have an unfortunate encounter with a lawnmower blade. Despite the mishap with the grass cutter, he ran his first marathon later that year. Still relatively untrained (only 664 miles from January to November), he ran 3:36.26 at the inaugural Manchester City Marathon. He was hooked.
The Greater Lowell Road Runners entered Hrynowski’s life in 2008. It was the conclusion of the Tuesday Night Good Times 5k series and Glenn Stewart was offering up a free membership to the club. “Accepting the invitation,” says E-J, “was one of the better decisions I’ve made because it led to great runs, Grand Prix races, and great friendships. It’s an awful lot of fun trying to chase the young guns at Angry Chicken track workouts.”
Among his favorite workouts is a midweek half marathon with hill repeats in the middle of it. He usually does this workout with teammates. Must be some good camaraderie among them because he’s done the workout 114 times since 2010. As you can tell from the specificity of the numbers herein, Hrynowski displays the obsessive numbers geek precision common to runners. So much so that he ran 120 miles in the final week of 2011 to make it an even 3000 for the year.
His favorite races are 1) Stu’s 30k and 2) New Bedford Half Marathon. His favorite rehydration beverage is Pabst Blue Ribbon. His defense: “Nate Jenkins keeps it real with PBR, so I’m in good company.”
E-J Hrynowski achieved all his PR’s in 2012. Here they are:
5k – 17:02
5 miles – 28:58
13.1 – 79:18
30k – 2:00.24
26.2 – 2:50.04
0545 breakfast (bagel, yogurt, cereal, coffee)
0700 arrive at work (black coffee and dark chocolate)
1000 eat lunch at desk (cold cut sandwich, nacho chips, granola bar or cookie, dark chocolate)
1200 actual lunch break, often nap in car for 30 minutes
1300 snack time (applesauce or snack size fruit cup)
1600 home from work, gear up and run
1900 dinner (pasta and meatballs, casseroles, etc)
2000 go online; check the wonders of Facebook
Weekend usually consists of a day off or short easy run on Saturday and a long easy run or race on Sunday. For races, I have a frosted poptart about 45 minutes before the gun and will usually do a couple easy miles with some strides. No warmup for marathons, I just walk to the start and let adrenaline do its thing.
This article originally appeared in Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Level Renner. Because of that, E-J’s PR’s are probably a little quicker by now. Anyway, get your free subscription today (box in upper right portion of screen).