December 5th was the night of the WMDP Woman’s Annual Party celebrating the amazing races of all the team mates. It got me thinking that didn’t race as much as past years, but then… I listed what I had accomplished and was pretty proud and realized I was quite busy out there on the racing scene.
Here is my Facebook post from that night: Tonight I celebrate with my amazing Western Mass Distance Project team mates another amazing year! My races this year included, the Jones 10 miler, the Boston Marathon, Mt Washington Road Race, The Montague Mug Race, run stanley , 2 USTAF Cross Country races including the Championship race at Franklin Park, the Wilbraham Turkey Trot 5 miler and today the Hot Chocolate Race. Not as many races as in the past but strong finishes each time and an incredible year!
February 22, 1015 1:17:46 was my official time. 9th in age, 299 of 565 overall and 81 of 221 females Happy with that result knowing that my skiing every weekend and vacations and holidays gets in the way of training in the winter! 🙂 We had some amazing training runs on the course and it is a very well run race with our friend MacKenzie Gray as the race director 🙂
April 13, 2015 – 3:57:34 was my official finish time. It was a tough season of training for me. My knee got tweaked somehow and fluid built up on it during ski season. I put off getting the Dr appointment in denial while training until I couldn’t walk or even ride our spin bike. Finally realizing it wasn’t going to just heal itself, I went to Dr. Deb who sent me to an MRI — now with a month before the marathon I was on crutches, but still hopeful. When I went to see her to get the results she viewed the MRI and said “that is the healthiest 50 year old knee I have seen in a long time!”. Then she told me it was an accumulation of fluid, and right there with a long syringe she sucked about 20 cc of fluid and gave me a hydrocortisone shot and I was good to go. I wasn’t sure how I would run, but I had paid the $200 plus entry fee, so I was determined that I would get out there and finish. We had just recently put Oakley to sleep and I was very sad about losing him. 14 and a half years with my loyal yellow lab, he ran with me every training run with his unconditional love and I was so incredibly sad. This was my post on Facebook as I was getting ready to race: “Oakley’s dog tag my Nike women’s Marathon medal and my run happy black pearl charm from Katherine Swtzer 🌟 what I will be wearing around my neck tomorrow on my 11th Boston Marathon.”
What I wore around my neck: Oakley’s dog tag, my charm from Nike Women’s Marathon and my Kathryn Switzer black pearl charm
It was a cold and rainy day and I felt a little overweight but gave it a go…. It was tough. At the half way mark I was freezing and soaking wet, stopped at most of the first aid tents to see if I could warm up and get a bite to eat. I will never forget seeing the plate of pastry at Mile 21 and asking the lady for the croissant. She said “of course you can have it” and I grabbed the treat and ran the course eating a croissant. My son Schuyler came to watch me with Steve in the marathon this year in the rain wearing his shorts. He thought I was crazy at mile 18, when I really wanted to quit. But I am not a quitter and I could still pull off that “BQ”. So off I went pushing for the finish line. At the end it was a rough situation too, as I had given my warm clothes to my friend Patrick on the SMAC bus. I wandered the streets of Boston looking for that bus and couldn’t find it… I was shivering and all alone, obviously sent in the wrong direction. A little hypothermic this foreign lady (I want to say she spoke with a German accent) insisted on helping me, ordered this bus driver to allow me on this random bus to warm up. I didn’t have my phone, so she let me use hers to call Steve to come pick me up. He was stuck in traffic so I found my way to the Park Plaza which is our usual meeting spot with Charlie & Jacques and Charlie’s mom Marilyn and sister Lily. The German lady walked me there and I connected with Steve. What a wonderful person to make sure that I was ok. Once with the rest of the group I felt much better, took a hot shower and got a quick bite to eat before hitting the road home. The tough part of this story is that my qualifying time didn’t get me into Boston the following year, and I missed by :02 seconds. I wrote an appeal with no response. SO I didn’t get in my 7th consecutive Boston — I will have to start all over again. But our annual family ski trip to Snowbird was worth the sacrifice — as it is never an easy task to fit in marathon training all winter in the Northeast as a ski coach & teacher.
Jackie and I at the airport for our finish pose!
The cool thing I figured out on the Boston Marathon site is that they have all the past results to 2002. There are 2 Boston races of mine that is not included in this list but I thought it pretty cool to look back on all my past results to be inspired to keep it up and get back to training and get that BQ for the 2017 marathon! 2015 was my 11th Boston (one race in the 1990s not listed here) and it was my 6th consecutive.
1;42:54 was my official time. This is a favorite race of mine that has a lot of history and amazing famous racers gunning for the fastest time up the highest mountain in the East Coast! This is my third time running this amazing mountain race. The first time was in 2009 when I ran all the USTAF Mountain races to win the Mountain Goat title and get a chance to run Mt. Washington. I ended up running for White Mtn Milers because I missed the deadline. Typical Nancy move… but it was amazing and I ended up 4th in my age!
In 2014 our WMDP team had an opportunity to represent so I jumped at the chance to run. It was almost a PR 5 years later – I was pretty stoked! My favorite all time photo is from that race and it was 1 day before my birthday.
In 2015 I was a little heavier than my race weight, not as well trained and pushed hard, but didn’t quite get to that PR. It is pretty motivating for me to see all these times stacked up against each other getting ready to run again in 2016! Time to kick it in, train appropriately and get excited. Mountain racing is my favorite — there is nothing like reaching the top of the mountain for that finish line! AND there is nothing like being a part of a team that cheers you on from the top rocks saying “GO, GO, GO — you GOT this!” In 2014 our Masters women were 1st place! Such an honor to run with these fast ladies and get such incredible results against the best of the best in mountain running! Gotta love Dawn & Vanessa teaming up for the win both years! Looking forward to 2016!
2015 at the top of Mt Washington after my finish!
2009 results 189 4/50 Nancy Cook 44 F Belchertown MA WMM W85 1:35:38 12:35 min/mile
2014 results: 188 Nancy Cook F4549 3/51 1:35:54 12:38 W82 49 F Belchertown MA WMDP
FEMALE MASTERS TEAM RESULTS 2014 1st. WMDP 1:28:46 1:35:54 1:41:43 = 4:46:23 Dawn Roberts, Nancy Cook, Vanessa Diana
2015 results: 340 Nancy Cook F5054 6/40 1:42:34 13:30 W50 50 F Belchertown MA WMDP
FEMALE MASTERS TEAM RESULTS 2015 3rd. WESTERN MASS DISTANCE PROJECT 1:29:53 1:42:34 1:44:24 = 4:56:51 Dawn Roberts, Nancy Cook, Vanessa Diana
My official time was 36:40 —- What do I love about living in Western Mass? Because of this 5 college community the name “The Happy Valley” where everyone has a smile on their face living the life of organic farming, and community minded friends all around, college students everywhere to keep you feeling young has this incredible running community! Personally I have connected with a couple of running clubs and am a part of the WMDP (Western Mass Distance Project. The other is SMAC a regional club that has a wonderful race series of local races where everyone can join in, feel welcome, cheered on by friends and neighbors and celebrate at the end with local flavor. This was my first “Mug Race” that was a part of their series and I heard it was hilly. Yes indeed, it was hilly! But I kicked it in and lead most of the way to succumb to another female who took it away and won the pewter mug. My glass mug was pretty great too and I truly enjoyed this race, seeing my fellow runners like Patrick Pezzati run some great miles on some beautiful roads in Montague!
Results: 2nd woman by less than 2 minutes!
Our official time was 28:48 -and placing 57th overall- We are not sure how much extra mileage we got in going off course, but it was so fun to be in the canine category! Dodging in and out and around people was a challenge, but Maverick was so excited and going so fast – starting at the end of the pack was how they managed the dogs. It was fun as Karen & Karin (my master’s team mates) were also running with their dogs! Maverick loved seeing all the other dogs, checking them out and being a part of the action.
Finish line photo booth with Maverick after today’s 5K is my all time favorite and a classic — This was Maverick’s first race & we had a blast. He is very competitive and ran very well from the back weaving in and out of runners. He stopped for water at the water stop and was not too upset when we got off course and found our way back to the race. We ran 8:24 min/mile — faster than ever on the trails (I kept telling him to slow down….) So much fun! And Maverick was quite the eye catching pup on the Run Stanley Facebook page —
Don’t make us beg…..
don’t make us beg….. register for the K9 division today! http://runstanley.com/
Continue with this link to Part 2 — because YES there was more! My “Challenge” and my “Milestone” Race came later in the season —–> Read on….