Ashley Brasovan, Bobby Nicolls, Doug Smith and Jordan Hasay are four of the best cross country runners in the country this fall, and they've each signed up to share their journey throughout the fall in our seasonal feature, the MileSplit Cross Country Journals. In the first edition each athlete introduces themselves and talks about their summers. Keep checking back throughout the season as we have much more to come from each athlete.
MileSplit CC Journals
(Sr., Mission Prep, CA)
Entry #2 (September 30, 2008)
So now that it is almost October (where does the time go!) I’m starting to get a little anxious to race again and I’m getting really pumped up for November and December. My first race is going to be this coming weekend- October 4th- the Atascadero Invite. It’s a local meet and I’ll run it as more of a warm-up, just to get my legs back into racing mode. We decided that I should do either a race or a time trial before the Mt. SAC invite. So I decided to run this race with my team. Also, it will be extra special to be able to run so close to home, which is rare for me.
After this weekend, I will race again at Mt. SAC on October 25th. I’m really excited. The Mt. SAC Invite is always a great meet/atmosphere. It’s one of my favorite XC courses. It is definitely a very challenging course and I’ve killed my legs a few times while trying to keep up with Mel Lawerence on the down hills! But overall, I think all the hills make it exciting, and I like how the course is so spectator friendly.
As far as training, my workouts have been going extremely well. I’m running much faster than last time this year. This week I did some mile repeats. We do them on a grass field with the first loop up a hill, second loop skip the hill. I did four with 3 minutes rest in 5:18, 5:18, 5:20, 5:08, followed by some 30-second accelerations. Normally, I’m running these times, or even a little slower, in November when I am in peak form. So this gives me some confidence going into the season.
Well, that’s it for now… until next time, everyone keep running hard and putting in the miles…. so when it comes down to race time you’re ready to roll!
Hello MileSplit readers,
Hope everyoneís summer training went well and everyone is excited for the cross country season to get into full swing! This will be my first milesplit journal entry of the 2008 XC season. I am very excited for this and I thank milesplit for asking me to take part.
First off - a little bit about me. My full name is Jordan Melissa Hasay. I was born in Fontana, CA on September 21, 1991. I currently live in Arroyo Grande, CA and attend Mission College Prep High School. I am a Senior this year (although, I really wonít believe it until I see the word senior next to my xc results!) It still feels like yesterday when I would tell people, "well I still have 3 more years (of high school)".).î But I am excited as being a senior should bring me some extra motivation and some special experiences.
For those who might be interested in my background of running, I began running in the 4th grade. The PE coach at my elementary school noticed that I was beating all of the boys in PE class, so he let me join the Jr. High track team. I lost my first race to an eighth grader, but then never lost another race again until the Golden West Invite my eighth grade year. In fourth grade, though, I wasnít super serious about running. I really enjoyed it but I continued to play other sports- basketball, volleyball, swimming. It wasnít until the end of the seventh grade that I started to train year round. I joined the San Luis Distance Club and made it to the Junior Olympics in Eugene, OR where I won the 1500m and 3000m and set national youth records in both events. This was when my family and I actually started to believe that my talent could take me beyond the local level. After that my career just continued to take off and I came to love the sport more and more. I love to be a part of the running world and Iíd like to thank all of the people that have supported me along my journey.
Well, to bring us back to the present time, my summer training has been going extremely well. As I am typing this it is currently 3 months exactly until footlocker nationals- sounds pretty close on paper, but still plenty of time. After World Juniors (that ended mid-July) I took about 2 weeks off from training. I tried to do nothing- (key word tried!) although I ended up getting in a little bit of cross training and a few shorter runs. After that, I slowly upped my mileage. No particularly hard workouts- just some strides, long runs, and steady running. That was basically all of August. Two weeks ago I started some actual structured hard workouts. I do two hard workouts per week, plus a long run. Workouts consist of tempo runs, mile repeats, 400s, hills, fartleks- all the normal stuff. I also weight lift twice a week and do some swimming 2-3 times a week. Nothing special- like my coach always says- there are no ìspecialî workouts, it is the culmination of the workouts that brings true fitness. As time goes on Iíll describe some of my workouts in more detail.
For now – I think Iíll leave you with my 3 inspiration quotes for the 2008 XC season (I always pick 3 quotes for each new season, and post them above my bed, along with my goals)
So here they are...
"Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals" - Henry Ford
"You just have to keep believing that one day you will win" - Paula Radcliffe
"Training is principally an act of faith" - Franz Stampfl
(Sr., Wellington, FL)
Entry #2 (September 30, 2008)
It has been a very busy 2 weeks for me! On the 13th I flew out for my first official visit to Duke. I have to say that I had so much fun and wish I could do these every weekend. I actually had people to run with (I always run by myself) and got to run the amazing trails of the legendary Duke forest. We bowled, walked around the town, and got to see some of the nightlife on campus. Midnight salsa lessons anyone?
A mere 4 days later, I took my second official visit to Arizona State. This one was actually with Jordan Hasay. We had been talking about visiting this school together for a few weeks now, and then finally decided on this weekend. We got to go to the ASU vs. Georgia football game, but left during half time to get ice cream downtown because ASU was getting beat pretty bad. I also got to enjoy a team BBQ and an intense Ultimate Frisbee game where my team won 10-5!! I had some pretty bad jet lag Tuesday morning coming back to school because of the time difference and six-hour flight.
As far as running goes, I have been hitting about 50 miles the past 2 weeks. My week looks a little like this right now:
M- tempo 4-5 miles with a warm-up and cool down/ 4miles in afternoon
T- easy 50-60 min
W-easy 50-60 min
T-fartlek run 20 seconds hard, 40 seconds easy/ 4 miles in afternoon
F- easy 45 minutes
S- long run 80-90 min
I have a high school coach, but for the most part I make my own workouts and tell her what I am doing. I get help from a few of my friends’ coaches and put my own schedule together. My first big meet would be Flrunners on October 4th. It’s a big meet for Florida and is a really amazing experience because the organizer always makes it fun. Plus I get to see all my friends from across the stateJ
My name is Ashley Brasovan (pictured above by John Herzog). Running started as more of a cross training sport for me. I as a swimmer for several years and wanted to improve. Thus, running came into my life. I decided after myfirst couple meets freshman year that running came to me more easily than swimming, and that’s pretty much how I ended up where I am at today. I live in sunny West Palm Beach Florida where it never drops below 70 degrees most of the year. It does get pretty windy from all the hurricanes that pass by though.
I was injured through most of last track season but still decided to do NON. After that meet, I only took about 5 days off because I had already taken about 6 weeks off in March and February due to Piriformis syndrome. I started at about 40 miles per week and built up to about 60mpw. I went to Nike running camp with Brittany Koziara and Kayla Hale the last week of July. It was really a lot of fun, and my group named themselves “Death Squad.”
After that I went to Key West with my family and invited my friend Emilie Amaro to come along as well! She is running for Stanford next year, so I just did all the workouts her coach had sent her. We got to run along the ocean border and Duval street, and we caught some lobster from the Atlantic.
Right now, I am just doing mostly easy running with a few fartleks and tempos thrown in. My first bigger meet isn’t until the first weekend in October, so nothing really to look forward to right now.
(Sr., Regis, CO)
Entry #2 (September 30, 2008)
One of the things that I’ve been asked to write about this year is an official college visit. Earlier this summer there was always one thing that came to mind when I heard any talk about official visits, Footlocker. Last year I had the opportunity to run in San Diego and one of the best parts of the trip was listening to all the seniors’ stories about crazy visits they had been on. So far this year I’ve only been on one visit so I don’t have too much experience to talk about, but I’ve decided to dedicate this journal to my first ever visit at the University of Oklahoma.
The trip started on Friday night when my plane left DIA around 8:30. Fortunately, Denver is pretty close to OU and I was able to get into Norman before 11:00 after Coach Smith picked me up from the airport. I stayed in the Sooner Legends hotel and it was awesome. There was OU memorabilia all over the place; it was like spending the night in a sports bar.
Saturday was definitely the busiest day of the weekend for me. I woke up for 9 AM practice and ran 70 minutes with the team. I wasn’t feeling very good at all that morning, so it was great to have guys help me get through the run, and I also got a good boost from the elevation. The rest of the afternoon was spent in academic meetings, and then just hanging out with the team. It was a pretty relaxed afternoon, but necessary rest for the excitement of the football game that night. Kickoff was at 6:00, but the fun started a little bit early when my host, Kevin Williams, somehow got us onto the field for the opening ceremonies and introductions before the game. It was incredible to be so close to the action, and being a longtime Sooners fan it was incredible to cheer on the crimson and cream to a 35-10 victory. By the way, they’re #1 in the country. After the game, the craziness continued when we hitchhiked a golf cart ride from the softball players, who successfully packed 8 people into one cart, and nearly crashed it a few times. We survived the ride and went down to campus corner where the food was excellent, and the girls were very attractive. It was a busy night including a midnight volleyball game, and a bit of X-Box. The next morning was a long Sunday run on a great rolling country road, which can be very liberating for some. Then a breakfast at Coach Smiths’ house with the best cinnamon rolls ever. The end of the day was pretty relaxing, but for some reason I only got to the airport 40 minutes before my flight departed, apparently Oklahoma City has much shorter security lines than Denver. It was a fantastic weekend, and a great trip, and yes I left out a few small details, but there’s your basic rundown. Shoot me an Email at email@example.com to exchange stories or hear a little extra.
My name is Bobby Nicolls (pictured below by John Herzog), I’m a senior at Regis Jesuit in Aurora, Colorado. I’ll be doing a mini-journal to help keep everybody informed on what’s happening in the state of Colorado, and me personally. First of all I’d like to thank all of the guys at Milesplit, for giving me this opportunity to share with all of you during what should be a very exciting year in the new distance hotbed of Colorado.
It’s been a jam packed summer, and I couldn’t possibly fit it all into something short enough for people to really enjoy, so for my first journal entry I thought I’d give you five of the top things I did this summer to help stay in the running loop that we all love so much. Hopefully, it will let you all get an idea of what I’m all about and bring back some memories of your own.
Prospect High School
Earlier this year I was able to run in the 3200 at Mt. Prospects meet in Illinois, and they really made the trip special for me, despite getting rained out on Friday and running in the wind Saturday morning it was a great meet and I can’t thank them enough for letting me be a part of it. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t try, and this summer the Prospect varsity team came out to visit Colorado for a little bit of altitude training. It was an amazing week full of distance runs, Gatorade, and sugar highs. We couldn’t have asked for more from a week that included a freezing raft trip through the 1000 foot walls of the Royal Gorge to a 5 hour mountain bike trip that wasn’t nearly as downhill as all of us had hoped. I’m a terrible cook but one recipe I know is that Prospect + Regis Jesuit = awesome.
Wild West Relay
Over the years lots of people have called me crazy for running 5K until I almost have to keel over, but nothing gets the gawking response like a 200 mile relay race. WWR kept the fun going for me when our 12 member team (Derek Eidt, Kevin Williams, Bill Kogel, Curtis Pottle, Matt Bell, Danny Nicolls, Taylor Eidt, Alex Balsiger, Nelson Smith, Walter Schafer, Ethan Arthur, and I) lined up in Fort Collins we were all pretty excited for the next 20 hours. The race is made up of 36 legs going from Ft. Collins to Steamboat, each team member runs 3 times. The fun always culminates during the night runs, which for me was 8.8 miles up hill. We did have a little mishap in the beginning of the race when my friend Taylor went down with heatstroke, technically we were disqualified but it was still a ton of fun and Team America World Police will be back next year.
Deseret News 10K
Earlier this summer I got a call from Sam Wood one of the meet directors for the Deseret News 10K/ Marathon, asking if I would like an all expense paid trip out to Salt Lake City, Utah in June. I couldn’t turn down such an offer and I am really thankful they got me out there for what ended up being one of the most fun races I’ve ever been in. The race is on Pioneer day which is one of the biggest holidays in the state of Utah. The race is run through the streets of Salt Lake right before the giant parade. People camp out for the parade and since the race is run at 6 AM the last 5K is lined with people who are waking up for the parade and cheer you all the way to the finish. It was just an amazing race to be a part of, and 10Ks always help to make the 5K seem short in season.
Fort Collins Work Trip
One of the best parts of this summer was working. I was fortunate enough to work for my Dad and he hired plenty of my friends to help make working fun for is this year. We worked at apartment buildings throughout Colorado, painting, cleaning out gutters, and doing other maintenance work. The highlight had to be our trip to Fort Collins, for two weeks we were able to live in Fort Collins running and making lots of money. It was hard work, but we made sure to play as well. We all had a great time playing laser tag, getting our fair share of go carting in, which produced more spin outs than an angry Tony Stewart, and one can never forget the rope swings.
Wisconsin Camp of Champions
Out of all the trips and activities I got to do this summer Camp of Champions might take the top billing. I went to camp right as I was getting back into shape so it was a good catalyst for summer mileage. I went with my good friend Alex Balsiger with one goal, to represent the 303. We may have been pretty tired at the end, but I’d definitely say we met our objective. From the first day run with Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegenkamp, to checking out last the camp couldn’t have been better. There were mini- raves, late nights, an awesome campus, jumping over random pedestrians off the pier, great food, State Street, and of course the rope swing. I can’t say enough about all the people I met and my awesome counselors Ryan Gasper and Ryan Craven. Oh yeah, you also get to learn a lot.
It was a great summer, and I can only hope it continues into the school year. I look forward to sharing with all of you this year, and bringing Colorado XC to Milesplit. Hopefully you all had an awesome summer too, and I wish everyone the best of luck this year as we enjoy a new height in U.S.A. high school distance running (thanks class of 08). I also want to hear from you guys so feel free to send me an email to share stories or talk training at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Sr., Gill-St. Bernard's, NJ)
Entry #2 (September 30, 2008)
The college process is pretty exciting; I’m enjoying it a lot. It makes me feel good when coaches call that are very enthusiastic and try to get me to take a visit. I have trouble telling coaches “No I’m not interested” though because I feel bad since they are trying so hard to get me to take a visit. I am not looking at any Ivy League schools though. My parents are still amazed I got through private school alive with B’s. They don’t really want me to go to school on the west coast, so they limited my choices pretty much to 4-5 colleges. I have visits planned for Georgetown, Syracuse, and Arizona State. I’m trying to get to U of Kentucky also later in the season, if I have a chance. I was able to persuade my parents to let me take a visit to Arizona so that I could see a college out west. I like the four colleges that I narrowed it down to as of right now. I feel like each one of those places is a very good fit for me. They all have great coaches and are nice places to attend school. Through the college process, I have felt relieved because I feel like all the hard work I’ve put in since freshman year is really paying off since it’s helping me get into really good colleges that I most likely wouldn’t have been able to attend if it wasn’t for running.
(pictured below by PennTrackXC.com)
Shaking things up
After track season ended I was not the happiest person. So I talked it over with my coach and we decided that I needed to change some things. We felt that I needed to grow up a little and take more responsibility of myself, to tell people when I don’t feel good, if something is hurting me. For instance, if I’m having girl problems, instead of just keeping it inside and losing sleep over everything. We also decided that I needed to sleep more and not waste times going to parties and risk getting sick. I didn’t feel healthy at the end of the season in track and I’m almost positive my iron levels were low. When I went to my doctors they were giving me a hard time about taking a blood test. So to attempt to make sure my iron levels don’t get low again, I have been taking Floradix and have been feeling a lot better. My parents and my coach also suggested that maybe I should stop drinking as much soda and eating so much candy. I agreed with them because at times I would drink an excessive amount of soda and could feel the difference on my runs when I drank soda and when I didn’t. I couldn’t tell you if not drinking soda for the past 2 months is truly helping or not, but I’m feeling great so I’m going to stick with not drinking soda. I have also stopped drinking as much Gatorade. I’d use to almost finish the 62 oz. Gatorade bottles in one night and my mom felt that that was an excessive amount of sugar. She thought that could be one of the reasons why some days I felt sluggish and others I would be high energized. I have been drinking a lot more water each day. I think all of these little changes will help me stay healthy till the end of the season. Also, one of the major things my coach and I have changed is the amount of racing that I will be doing this fall. I have yet to run a race. My first race will be October 4th, Shore Coaches Invite at Holmdel park. I will only race 2 other times in October and then will hopefully enter November “the championship month” (in my mind) healthy and even fitter then I am right now. I have been running a lot more miles per week compared to last year also, and I feel that if I can keep this up injury free, I will be in a very good position to win a lot of races come the end of November.
Goals and expectations
My goals and expectations revolve around one number and that number is 1, uno and however else you can say the number one in any other language. To some people that might seem cocky that I only think of being number one, but I don’t think it is. I think it’s better than doubting whether or not I’m going to win. If I go into a race thinking I’m going to win, then I’m giving myself an advantage mentally. I really don’t have any goal times to run at courses, but I will say that if there isn’t a course record that I hold, then I will run as hard as I can to break that course record and win the race. My main goal is to stay healthy and be as fit I ever have been in my life come the last two weeks in November, and then will hopefully extend my season into December for once. I hope everyone is enjoying reading these journals as much as I enjoy writing them and reading everyone else’s. There is nothing I enjoy more than talking about running. I have tried to get my school to teach a class about running so that I can get an A+ in a class, but they refuse to. They laughed at me and said there was no chance. They don’t know what they’re missing!
My name is Doug Smith. I run for a very small school, Gill St. Bernards, in Gladstone, New Jersey.
I got into running in 6th grade. That was when I did my first 5k road race and I ran 18:45. My dad thought I would be a good distance running because I was never tired at soccer practice. Also because I’m a horrible sprinter. In middle school at Roxbury we had a cross country team and track team. I did both and had great success for not training at all and just going to soccer practice. At the end of my freshman year I decided to give up soccer all together and just focus on running.
I live in the township of Roxbury. I went to school in Roxbury until the end of my freshman year when I transferred to Gill St. Bernards for sophomore year. Roxbury is in Morris County in North Jersey. Roxbury doesn’t have any good places to run. It’d be pretty easy to get hit by a car running on the roads in Roxbury. The people driving their huge SUV’s aren’t very nice. I never run in Roxbury anymore. Always go to Lewis Morris park in Morristown or I run from my school.
My summer training went very well. After NON I took off an entire week since I went on vacation. When I got back I ran 3 times the next week then had to take another 5 days off because I got my wisdom teeth out. So in total I took off close to 3 weeks. It was a much needed rest. Since then I’ve been running a lot. For the past 6 weeks I’ve been running more than 82 mpw with one week of 90. I’ve been doubling twice a week. I’ve been feeling really good all summer and the training is continuing to go very well.