Author: rachel

New Year’s Resolutions: 2017

New Year’s Resolutions: 2017

Cliché or not, a new year is beginning, and that means it’s time for resolutions. After looking back on 2016 and analyzing my training (the good, the bad, and the ugly!), I have come up with my four running-related New Year’s resolutions for 2017: Make […]

ShinTekk: Small Device, Big Impact

ShinTekk: Small Device, Big Impact

Throughout most of high school and college, I was invincible. The only real injuries I ever sustained were two minor overuse injuries – bursitis in my hip my senior year of high school and tendinitis in my left knee my senior year of college. Both […]

Interview: Rosa Moriello, Newly Minted Team USA Member

Interview: Rosa Moriello, Newly Minted Team USA Member

Bio

Name: Rosa Moriello
Age: 24
Current Residence: Brighton, MA
High School: Naugatuck (CT) High School, 2010
College: Boston University, 2015
Club: The Heartbreakers

Personal Records:

  • 1500m – 4:25
  • 3000m – 9:19
  • 5000m – 16:03
  • 5k road – 16:20
  • 6k XC – 20:00
  • 4 mile – 21:34
  • 10k road – 34:11

Career highlights:

  • 2014 NCAA DI Outdoor Track and Field Championships 5000m – 18th
  • 2014 NCAA DI XC Championships  – 87th
  • 2016 USATF-NE XC Championships – 3rd
  • 2016 USATF Club XC Championships – 10th

 

First off, congratulations on your awesome performance at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships! Top 10 at that meet is no joke. Tell us how the race played out for you.

This was an interesting race. I knew we would be out fast and that I needed to settle in soon after the first mile. I went out in about 5:10, which is about 15 seconds faster than usual. From the start, I tried to hang onto the top group. I made it almost 2 miles before they really started to pull away. There was a smaller group of us trying our best to keep up. A bit over 2 miles in, I found myself alone. There were girls close behind but the top group was just far enough that I wasn’t sure I could catch up. Not too long before we hit the 5k mark, 2 of the girls dropped off the front pack and I knew that was my opportunity to go. I pushed hard for that last .6mi to catch them. Right when I did, it was time for the kick. I didn’t have it that day but was excited and shocked at my time and placement. It was one of those rare times as a runner where you finish and think “I’m 100% satisfied with my race”. (Full results here)

Rosa pictured (far right) with the other Top 10 finishers at the award ceremony.

 

A few hours after the race, you found out you had been selected to represent Team USA at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country Run in Scotland on January 7, 2017. Can you tell us a bit about that race and how it feels to be representing the United States in international competition for the first time?

The Great Edinburgh Cross Country Run is a small international competition between the USA, UK, and Europe. The race is hosted at the same park in Scotland each year. There are 9 women on Team USA’s senior team who will complete a 6k course.

I still can’t really wrap my head around this. I was so shocked to have even finished 10th, so you can imagine how crazy it seemed to be selected for this team. From the start of my running career, I always imagined that maybe one day I would be fast enough to earn a USA kit. I quickly learned that there are some seriously fast people out there and I was not quite one of them. Over time, that hope quieted down to a small thought in the very back of my mind. As we got closer to this race, though, the idea of making the team kept coming back to the top of my mind. I knew that this race could be that one chance I would get to compete in the kit. For it to have actually happened…there are no words.

 

Of the 9 women who have been selected to represent Team USA in the Senior Women’s 6k race, 5 are from the New England area, and 4 are based right here in Boston (yourself, 3 BAA, and 1 NE Distance Project). How excited are you to compete with your fellow New Englanders, and how does it feel to be at the forefront of the recent emergence of Boston as a distance-running powerhouse?

I think a lot of us associate high performance distance running with the west: Portland, Seattle, Flagstaff, anywhere in California. To see that most of this team is from New England is really cool! New England is a pretty small area compared to the other powerhouses of running. To be able to have this many New Englanders compete in a USA kit says a lot about how much this sport is growing in the area. We always joke that Brighton is the new Flagstaff and I think that’s becoming less of a joke and more of a reality – maybe less “new” and more “the east coast Flagstaff”. It’s really exciting to be part of this growing love for competitive running. Being from New England, it’s nice to know that I don’t have to be too far from home to compete at the level I want to. We have world class athletes an hour drive in every direction!

Official 6k Senior Women roster selections as posted on the USATF website.

 

As Americans, we’ve often been told by our international teammates and competitors that our version of cross country is ‘fake’ (i.e. done on pancake-flat and pristinely manicured courses). What are your expectations for running a true European style cross country race on a course that is hilly, typically very muddy, and historically has required runners to leap over creeks and log barriers?

For this race, I’m expecting the exact opposite of the Club Nationals race. I think this race will be more about mental strength than anything else. Everyone out there will be a top runner. These types of races, with all different course challenges, not only get to test fitness but mental strength as well – who can push themselves the best to finish well in these tough conditions. I think it will be one of those “don’t look at your watch, just focus on your position and finish tough” types of races. I won’t expect anything fast, just a really good challenge.

 

Aside from the race, what are you most looking forward to about your trip?

This will be my first time out of the country, so I’m just really excited to explore a new culture!

 

Once you are stateside again, what are your plans for the upcoming winter/spring season and 2017 as a whole?

My 2017 plan so far only goes up to March. My big goal race will be over St. Patrick’s Day weekend – my very first half marathon. I don’t have too many expectations for this as of right now aside from just finishing. I will most likely run a track 5k as a tune up before the half in hopes of finally cracking that 16:00 barrier. After the half, I plan on taking some down time before turning my focus back to the 5k/10k on the track and roads. I’m excited to see what this year will bring!

 

To follow Rosa as she takes on Edinburgh and beyond, check her out on Strava (Rosa Moriello) and Instagram (@rosamoriello)!

Non-Runners Guide to Gifts for Runners

Non-Runners Guide to Gifts for Runners

When you have a runner in the family, you know it. Whether you see their post-race, medal-centric pictures flooding their Facebook or Instagram feeds, or they can’t help but blurt out at the holiday dinner table that they recently set a personal best, you are […]

Fall 2016: The Leaves Changed, And So Did I

Fall 2016: The Leaves Changed, And So Did I

Well, I did it again. I dropped off the face of the Earth for an absurd amount of time. My bad. It’s not that I didn’t want to write or even that I didn’t remember to write. There were several times in the last few […]

New Hampshire 10 Miler

New Hampshire 10 Miler

There’s always something in a race. Blisters. Wind. Digestive issues. Chaffing. Someone sitting on you. Your shoe coming untied. Taking a wrong turn.

Two weeks ago at the Bobby Doyle 5 Miler it was the sweltering heat and high humidity.

Today at the New Hampshire 10 Miler, it was the hills.

The featured image for this post is a graph displaying the elevation profile as a function of distance and my inner thoughts at each mile marker, as told by emojis.

I would not be the least bit surprised if every single one of the above pictured facial expressions can legitimately be seen on my face on the photos taken by the plethora of photographers that were located throughout the race.


In the Race Day Info email that was sent out to all the competitors yesterday, the following line was included:

“Be advised there are some challenging hills en route!”

Now, I am no wimp when it comes to hills. In high school, it was on the hills where I usually broke my competitors (something I would often reminiscence about during college races on pancake-flat courses). Heck, after living in Ithaca for 4.5 years, I basically minored in hill-running. So when I saw that warning in the email, I wasn’t too concerned.

The 15K I ran back in April had a lot of rolling-hills, and I actually really enjoyed running over them. For this race, one of almost equal distance (10 miles vs. 9.32 miles), I was looking forward to once again having some hills dispersed throughout to help keep me in the moment and to break up the race.


The first hill that came at the 2 mile mark was the type of hill I was expecting. Sure, it took a bit of extra effort to get over, but by the time I was cresting it, I was back in my rhythm running smooth.

It was the hill that began at the 4 mile mark where I first thought I might be in trouble. It just kept going up and up and up. I was definitely starting to tire, as evident by the first mile split over 6:00, but I was able to stay relatively calm. The fact that I had John running by my side and that we were closing in hard on the 2nd female overall helped keep me focused.

But at the 6 mile mark, John began his 4 mile tempo and left me. And, even though we then had a big downhill, it was too steep to allow me to relax. Before I knew it, I was once again climbing another mammoth hill in the 8th mile. Thankfully the downhill that followed was more gradual, and I was able to gather myself and actually get rolling again in the 9th mile.

The last hill that came in the final mile was tough – there was definitely a moment just before I reached the top where I was barely moving – but the scent of the finish line got me through. I must admit, as much as I disliked having a significant hill in the last mile of the race, the downhill it provided right after made for a fast and fun finish 🙂


My plan going into this race was to run a nice and even steady state pace for the first 6 miles, and then pick it up for the remaining 4. Although the hills threw a bit of a wrench into this plan, I still consider my overall effort to be a success. I negative split my two 5 mile segments – 29:56 to 29:34 – and I was once again able to be controlled early on.

All in all, it was a great race and a great day. Huge thanks to John for helping me stay relaxed and composed those first 6 miles – I couldn’t have done it without you 🙂

Tonight we will be chilling, eating good food and drinking cold beer. Tomorrow we’ll probably be doing the dead man’s crawl. But come Monday morning, we’ll be back on our grind.

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Race Recap: Bobby Doyle 5 Miler

Race Recap: Bobby Doyle 5 Miler

Considering that I’ve been running now for over 8 years, you’d think I’d have developed the ability to judge where my fitness is at at any given point of a season, but this past Sunday proved otherwise. The Bobby Doyle 5 Miler, held in Narragansett, […]

Marshal Your Ambition

Marshal Your Ambition

“He wanted to impart some of the truths Bruce Denton had taught him, that you don’t become a runner by winning a morning workout. The only true way is to marshal the ferocity of your ambition over the course of many days, weeks, months, and […]

Rabbit Running Apparel: Born to Run Free

Rabbit Running Apparel: Born to Run Free

In a race, the rabbit is the one who sets the pace. The rabbit is the one who leads the way, the one that all other runners rely on and key off of. On the surface, it seems that the rabbit’s job is simple: run the correct splits and bring the race through in the agreed upon time. But in reality, there is so much more going on, so much more that the rabbit needs to consider.

The rabbit needs to be comfortable. If they aren’t smooth and relaxed, the runners behind them won’t be either. The rabbit needs to be efficient. They need to be in complete control, on the rail wasting as little energy as possible. And, they need to be confident. They need to trust that they are strong and fit. They need to know that they are capable of the task that’s been appointed to them.

Comfort. Efficiency. Confidence.

These are the things that a rabbit needs.

And these are the things rabbit provides.

(more…)

Handwritten Running Logs

Handwritten Running Logs

Handwritten running logs are quickly becoming obsolete. With computer programs like Microsoft Word and Excel and online websites and platforms such as Strava and Running2Win, there are an increasing number of options available to runners of all levels. And, in this technological age where convenience […]