XC Sessions: Patrick Sheehan

MileSplit - How is your fitness now that you are in the middle of the 2013 season. What excites you the most about the rest of the season and what you want to accomplish?

Patrick - I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life right now and I only plan on improving my fitness from here. I'm most excited about my regional meet. My team has never qualified for state's before so that's our goal this year. All the guys are really excited because we have an excellent chance at doing it, so look for Lake Norman at the starting line of the NC State Championships! As an individual I'm really excited for the post season. I'm not sure if I'm gonna run Nike or Foot Locker, but I'm starting to lean towards Foot Locker. Either way I want to advance to the a National level XC and see how I do with that level of competition.

MileSplit - You have been competing well this year, but your race at the Wendy's Invitational was truly something special.  What are your initial thoughts on your race and how went head to head with Aaron Templeton and pushed it to the end of the race.

Patrick - The race went out extremely fast, but I was ready for it. Our first mile was in 4:35 and our second was done in 9:35. Coming out around the lake for the final stretch was just completely mind numbing. At that point I was just telling myself "Hold on to Aaron until that tree, or until the turn, or until the bridge." I think that taking the race in little segments rather than all at once helped me to preform as well as I did. On the final straightaway I saw the clock counting up from 14:43 and I knew that it was gonna be close to 15:00 so I just sprinted as hard as I could til the finish. Going under 15 for the first time meant a lot to me and I plan on using this as motivation for further training.

MileSplit - Where do you go from here and continue to focus for your upcoming races?

Patrick - My next races are Confrence (NPC), Regionals (4A West), States (4A), and then either Footlocker South or NXR. 

MileSplit - When & how did you get started in cross country?

Patrick - My dad has been doing triathlons from what seems like ages. When I was a little kid I used to go with him and watch him compete. I got interested in triathlons at young age because of this. We quickly realized that I am not exactly a good swimmer and an average biker. However I kind of had a knack for running. I did local 5k's here and there until in 7th grade I joined my middle school cross country team (Go Brawley Braves!!!). I've just kinda progressed from there. 

MileSplit - Person/people most influential to your success in cross country and why?

Patrick - Without a doubt, my coaches. Ever since the summer leading up into my freshman year Coach Scott has been there making sure I give it my all in my workouts. Both her and Coach Carpentier have always been there for me and it helps having a coach that you can trust.

MileSplit - Who has influenced you the most so far in your life and what they mean to you and your success?

Patrick - I know this sounds cliche, but it has to be my dad. He's always been there supporting me and challenging me to push myself to be the best that I can be. Ever since 7th grade he's made a point to try to come to all my races. I can probably count on one hand how many races he hasn't been to. Having someone that's always there to support and motivate me is a vital part to the success that I've had.

MileSplit - What are the keys to your successful cross country training program and what work did you put in to start off so well this year?

Patrick - I started to do summer workouts back in June and I just built up my miles from there. In July I went to the All American Cross Country Camp that NC State hosts at Christ School. That was a load of fun and I really got a great week of training in there. At the end of my summer I had ran just shy of 700 miles. A lot of the workouts that I did this summer were hill workouts so they've really started to prove their worth to me in these past few weeks. 

MileSplit - What are the keys to your team's unity and how you train to reach your goals?

Patrick - As I said before my team has never been to states before and this year were hoping to be the first team in the history of my school to go. At almost every practice our coach will ask us "How many days til regionals?" and we'll respond "45, or 32, or, in last Friday's case, 22" Our state championship is set up so that the top 4 teams per region go, along with the top 5 individuals in the region without an advancing team. We use this to motivate ourselves at every practice. I know that the rest of the team wants it as bad as I do so having a common goal brings us much closer.

MileSplit - Your favorite past performance in a cross country race and why?

Patrick - When I was a sophomore I ran a 16:41 at Regional's and qualified with my teammate, Michael Rupinski, as individuals to go to state's. It was a PR for me and the first time I had ever really qualified for anything. I can still get excited when I look at the results and see the "ADVANCE" next to my name.

MileSplit - Who are the cross country competitors you most enjoy competing against and why?

Patrick - I have a great group of guys that I have the privilege of racing against here in NC. Wyatt Maxey, Ian Milder, Philip Hall, Will Roberson, Nik Kreiling, and Tim Coffey are all guys that I've been racing against for years now. Whenever I race against any of them I know that I'm in for an exciting race no matter what the distance.

MileSplit - What is your greatest non-running experience in cross country so far and why?

Patrick - I always have a great time riding the bus back home from meets with my team. It's a good way to relax after a long day. When I was a sophomore after the Ashbrook Luminary Run a senior on my team brought over 30 dollars worth of glow sticks, a portable speaker, his ipod, and a ton of Gatorade. This basically turned into a mini rave party in our bus on the drive back home. It was awesome.

MileSplit - Do you have any long-term goals in running?

Patrick - I want to be a successful runner in college. I'm hoping my times will allow me the possibility to do so. I'm not sure what college I'm going to attend, but whatever one I attend I really want to be able to help the team. Outside of college I want to make in to make it to a national level XC meet in either NXN or Foot Locker. Also I think it'd be really cool if I could beat my dad's mile time. I have beaten all his times but his mile time so I'm gunning for his 4:16.

MileSplit - What was your favorite performance from the 2013 World Champs?

Patrick - Watching Mary Cain. It's so cool to see that someone my age competing in the world championships.

The Fun Run

What music do you rock while working out…

Patrick - Hmmm, that varies a lot, however lately I've been listening to a lot of electronic stuff.

Do you like to run in the mud or the grass…

Patrick - Definitely mud, its more fun/challenging.

Do you hang out on Facebook or Twitter...

Patrick - More Facebook than twitter, however I'm on both and my fledgling twitter account is growing!

Do you like going out or chilling at home...

Patrick - I prefer to go out with my friends.

What gear is your favorite while running...

Patrick - Recently I've fallen in love with brooks running shoes, but the rest of my stuff varies. I usually have Nike running shorts and some type of wicking shirt.

Check out Patrick's MileSplit Athlete Profile...