The Little Things . . . a Going the Distance newsletter Late-December 2014 || issue #30 Share on Facebook 15-Week Winter Program Begins January 5


The Little Things . . .

a Going the Distance newsletter

Late-December 2014 || issue #30
Share on Facebook

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15-Week Winter Program Begins January 5

Program begins on Monday, January 5. First onsite session is Tuesday, January 6.

The program provides a weekly training schedule that includes an onsite session with Coach Braz, plus secondary workouts and long runs.

You also may choose the "email-only" option to receive all of the training guidelines, based on your goal, level, and availability to train. You may execute the week's primary workout at a site convenient to you.

There also are limited openings available for the Personal Coaching model with Coach Braz. Go to this link for information about GTD coaching options.

Go to Sign-Up Steps for details about the Winter Program.
Go to Sign-Up Form to register.


Abby Walsh

Abby Walsh is only a sophomore at Beverly HS, which means that her competitors in the Northeast Conference have to run against her for two and a half more years. She already understands the goal of team running – let your best effort help your team win. Abby has many best efforts ahead of her.

GTD: Abby, you came into this past summer and xc season with some knee issues. How did Coach Braz customize your workouts?
Abby: At the beginning of the summer, Coach Braz gave me an outline of what to do on days I wasn’t attending the onsite camp. This included pool running a few days a week in place of running. If an onsite workout would harm my knees, he gave me alternate workouts like parachutes. The core and exercises he gave me to do every day helped strengthen my knee after a few weeks. As my knee felt stronger, we increased mileage weekly.

GTD: After a strong freshman year, how did this fall’s xc season develop?
Abby: My fall cross country season started off pretty well. I felt much more comfortable this year. As a freshman going up against everyone older than you is pretty intimidating. My workouts were much stronger, especially at the end where I used to fall apart last year. I was able to handle more mileage and harder workouts. The beginning of my season went well. At the first dual meet I was able to break the course record at Revere. My teammates and I were able to get 1-2-3 in every dual meet. Although, I was sick at the NEC meet I am happy I was able to help my team win the meet overall.

GTD: What the most important thing about running you learned this summer and fall?
Abby: During this summer and fall I learned that running is not just physical, but being mentally tough can be the difference between a good race and a great race. This helped me learn to be more confident as a runner. Unfortunately, I remained sick for the whole championship season. This was disappointing, but taught me the importance of listening to my body and resting when you need to.

GTD: Plans for the winter and spring?
Abby: My plans for the winter and spring are to hopefully get my mile time down. I would like to run different events such as the 600 and 1000 to increase my speed. I am hoping to have a strong season and help my team be successful.


Riley Dowd

Riley Dowd is a gifted athlete who came to running in the summer before his Junior year at Peabody HS. Riley made the transition through hard training. By his Senior year, and 2nd XC season, he also knew the mental toughness required to run with the lead pack and win as a key runner on his team.

GTD: Riley, what was your goal for this xc season?
Riley: My goal for this xc season was simply to compete. Last year had been my first cross country season and I felt I had spent a lot of that season adjusting and learning how to run a 5k. This season, I went in with some experience and wanted to use it to push myself harder than last season. I knew my team was strong and I wanted to help them as much as I could.

GTD: Tell us about your summer training program.
Riley: My summer was spent training with Coach Braz at his cross country program at Fenwick. On the off days of camp, I would be running with my team at captain's practice. The mileage increased a little from last summer and I was pushing myself harder than before. I really felt I built up a strong base heading into the season.

GTD: What was your best race this fall, and what was the one you’d like to forget? What was the difference?
Riley: In my opinion, my best race was the Easter Mass Division 1 meet. I ran 16:07, which was a 30 second PR, and placed 12th overall. The one race I would like to forget was the first race of the season, Clippers Relay. I ran a 2 mile leg of a 3x2 mile race and although my relay team finished 3rd, I was not happy at all with my performance. The difference between that race and Eastern Mass was my mentality. At Clippers I was very nervous and did not stay mentally sharp during the race. In the divisional meet, I went into the race with a clearer head, and stayed mentally sharp the entire race. Throughout the season, I had learned to not be intimated by fast paces or fast opponents and to just trust my training.

GTD: What are your running plans for this winter and spring?
Riley: This winter and spring I will be running track under Coach Braz's coaching. I hope to improve my mile and 800 meter times and qualify for states.

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Sarah Oliver

Sarah Oliver never lost her focus at the Northeast Conference championship, and she won the race. What makes it work for Sarah? (1) A good training program geared to getting her ready to compete in the big races. (2) Mental strength and desire, in Sarah’s words: “nothing hurts more than the pain of regret.” She’s only a Junior (at Marblehead HS), and she has more big races ahead of her.

GTD: Sarah, you came into this summer with some injury issues. How did Coach Braz customize your workouts in the summer program?
Sarah: He was very emphatic about “communication.” He always wanted me to tell him right away if anything hurt so he could adjust my training. He kept my mileage pretty low at first, and I started out with slower, easier runs. I noticed running the workouts barefoot on the grass didn’t hurt, yet long pavement-filled runs did. Also, I made sure to stretch and ice every day.

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GTD: Did you modify your workouts once the xc season started?
Sarah: I modified my workouts a lot! I was feeling pretty good at the end of summer training, but I think I came back too fast and made things worse. I ran in very few dual meets, and often biked or pool ran instead of running. Towards the second half of the season, I coupled pool running with land workouts and races. I was worried all season that I was losing my fitness, but my first race back (the Twilight Invitation) I got a PR! From there, the season only got better. It was pure luck that I won the NEC meet, but hard work and alternative training would have secured me at least second place.

GTD: What was the most important thing about running you learned this summer and fall?
Sarah: I’m not happy to be injured (obviously), but I can’t deny how much it has taught me. In years past, the hardest part of racing was having mental strength. I would shut down, then get upset at myself after for not pushing through the mental blocks. This injury, though hurtful physically, has really allowed me become stronger mentally. Pool running is boring, there’s no doubt about it. But I had goals for the season, so I wasn’t going to let the lack of supervision during my workouts, boredom, or negative thoughts prevent me from training hard. I could feel this reflected in my races.

GTD: You were able hold your focus very well in big races this season. Do you have a trick for this?
Sarah: If by focus you mean focusing on not thinking, then yes. Usually for me, the first mile of the race feels pretty good. I don't look at my watch, I just follow the pack, that way I don't have to think about whether or not I'm at a good pace. I focus on breathing and staying at the back of the front group. After two miles though, I often start to feel tired. I am a huge supporter of positive self talk. That's what gets me through the rest of the race. I tell myself, "you may be tired, but the girl in front of you is even more tired." I say "almost there, almost done, you're doing great, you can do it, come on..." and other encouragement like that. If I stay positive, and I don't let myself mentally shut down, I can finish strong. One time during a race, the coach for an opposing team yelled to one of his girls running behind me something I've never forgotten: nothing hurts more than the pain of regret. The race hurts, but I know it will hurt more after I finish if I don't give it my all. I focus on having no regrets.


Globe All-Scholastics

On December 14, the Boston Globe announced the Fall All-Scholastics, honoring the area’s best high school athletes. In addition to a dozen athletes honored as All-Scholastics for each sport, a small number of top performers in each conference were honored as All-Stars.

GTD athletes who were named as All-Scholastic:
Emily DeMarco, AJ Ernst, Mike Famiglietticross country
Caroline Colbert, Ben Manoogiansoccer

GTD athletes who were named All-Stars:
Julia Curtin, Emily DeMarco, Riley Dowd, AJ Ernst, Mike Famiglietti, Tia Foglietta, Abigail Harrington, Olivia Horgan, Matt Loehe, Sarah Oliver, Sydney Packard, Mary Pasquale, Tia Patterson, Tiffany Simione, Meghan Stone, Abby Walsh
Caroline Colbert, Joao Correia, Sarah Godschall, Christian Morales, Ben Manoogian
Field Hockey
Cayli Armstrong

To see the complete list of All-Scholastics and All-Stars, go to this link.


Race Results -- Philly and Indoor Track

At the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 23, Katrina Vassallo ran 2:53:52 (PR by 6:30) and Lory Colella 2:54:49.

The high school indoor track season has arrived.
On December 13th in a tri-meet on Ipswich's 100 meter track, Emily DeMarco won the 1000 meters in 3:20. Emily reports that "it felt good to be back to racing on the track." She followed this on December 21st at the Winter Festival Meet (Reggie Lewis Track, Boston) by winning the mile in 5;12.82, which set a new indoor mile mark for Ipswich HS. Also in the mile, Annie Zampitella ran 5:54. In the 2 miler, Tia Patterson was 4th in 11:51, Caitlyn Scola 7th in 12:26, and Lilly Kallman 21st in 14:29.


Previous Issues of The Little Things

Please go to this link for previous issues of The Little Things.

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