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  Bobcat Blog
This section contains the "Bobcat Blog," where team members post accounts of their day to day lives at Bates. Blog posts cover a variety of topics such as academic life, dorm life, and of course running. If you're looking for an "inside" look at Bates Cross Country, this is it.
Week Starting 9-24-2012

Chris Shaw (DQ) -The blog is back!

It is seven o’clock on a Monday morning, which can only mean one thing: pool workout! With the
relaxation of the weekend behind me, I venture forth into the chill Maine morning, eager to improve my
flailing front crawl. The water isn’t so cold after “big twenties” (a descending ladder warm-up of push-
ups and sit-ups) and soon I am into a groove.

Next is a trip to Commons (the place where you get food). This realm of deliciousness served as a
research facility this Saturday in the study of extreme gluttony in cross country runners, during a fabled
yearly event known as “Big Breakfast.” The challenge: consume as many plates of food as possible. The
results: chicken patties + multiple Belgian waffles = nausea. This hilarious event has done nothing to dull
my appetite for the delectable Commons fare, and I eat heartily in preparation for a big day.

  My first class is Environment and Culture, where we are examining Chinese populations displaced by
the Three Gorges Dam project. The class is based around discussion, and always results in interesting
debates. Other timely topics we will explore include hydrofracking and urban farming.

In Cultural Anthropology we are studying “The Trobrianders of Papua New Guinea” and their distinctive
customs, including mourning rituals for the dead that span months, as well as a unique practice that
involves extended canoe voyages in order to strategically trade valuable shell necklaces.

My next class is Language and Politics, my first year writing seminar, where we finish our viewing of
Michael Moore’s documentary “Roger and Me.” This darkly comical examination of Flint Michigan
following the closing of General Motors’ factories is compelling and entertaining. It does however; suffer
from Moore’s signature bias, which leads to a discussion on his credibility. We engage in a lively forty
minute debate concerning corporate America, free trade, and the welfare system. My takeaway? Down
with Walmart!

Today’s run is an easy seven mile recovery. Instead of running along one of our traditional routes,
Bryant (Ford), Alex (Taco), Emmanuel and I decide to go on an “adventure run” and explore the streets
of Lewiston-Auburn. We encounter a friendly group of kids who run with us for a block, a castle-like
stone church, and an imposing hill that leads to a series of shopping areas. It feels good to explore the
community and liberate ourselves temporarily from the inevitable campus bubble.

After an eclectically delicious meal of Mexican egg frittata, pork lo mein, lima beans, yogurt, and berry
cobbler, I make the trek over to Frye Street to attend a meeting of BAG (Bates Author’s Guild). The
meeting takes place at Le Ronj, Bate’s own student-run coffee shop. Mike Creedon (Duke) is also at the
meeting. Some people read their poetry and we listen intently, as well as make plans for our Friday
poetry reading event.

Next I head over to the library to do homework for a couple of hours, and meet up with some of the
Cross Country runners at a table. We do work, socialize, and argue about the true shape of cheese puffs
(supplemented by research from internet sources). After finishing sufficient readings, I return to the
Rand first floor common room to unwind with my dorm-mates, and write this post.

We have some big events this week, including a difficult workout tomorrow at our beautiful home
course of Pineland, and an invitational Saturday. After a week off from racing, I feel energized to
improve again and contribute to an awesome team spirit.

A note on nicknames: It is a Cross Country tradition at Bates College to bestow incoming freshmen and
new xc runners with unique nicknames. These each have an origin story based upon observed events
and personality traits witnessed by upperclassmen. The challenge arises from attempting to guess
the often complicated chains of logic that are used to arrive at nicknames. A few of us have unraveled
ours, but there are still many mysteries to solve. Why is Masticore Dizzy? Why is Boomer Boomer? The
revelations must be revealed guess by fruitless guess!


The Pineland workout dominates my thoughts as we make the journey by Van at 4:15. Every major
Cross Country Workout has three goals, requiring an expert combination of smart pacing, steadfast
endurance, and explosive strength to execute. A “star” is earned for each objective achieved. The last
Pineland workout I earned one star. I hope to best this effort.

Pineland encapsulates pastoral Americana, with a landscape many runners have described as “like a
painting.” This romantic scene is counterbalanced by the dark world of the trails within, which Coach
Fresh says is the place “where champions are made.” One Pineland workout would make anyone believe
it! Today’s workout will consist of one short loop (1.4 miles), one long loop (2.4 miles), and another
short loop. After a fifteen minute warm-up, we are ready to go!

The trail itself is like a twisting serpent, whipping and pulling our pack of runners along its rocky scales.
What was once a disjointed netherworld of greens and browns the first time I ran here has finally come
together, and I can neatly place its puzzle-piece hills and turns into a coherently structured course. The
first loop is fast—too fast—and I am forced to contend once again with my most commonly repeated
strategic error. The second loop is difficult but salvageable. After the second mile I am truly struggling,
but I still manage to beat my previous best long loop from the first workout. The third loop is truly
challenging. I am barely under the time for the workout, and slower than my first loop (room for future
improvement). Two stars are earned, which I am quite pleased with.

After this grueling effort we commence with a two mile cool-down jaunt and return to Bates Commons
to feast. This was definitely a rewarding day!

Week Starting 11-7-2010

Peter Gurney (Sweetums) - Blog #15

Sitting here on the van down to Williams, I'm starting to think it would be a shame if nobody wrote a blog the week of regionals, and as all my attempts at doing school work on the ride have failed, I figure I might as well reprise my blog from two years ago. We've all been quite anxious about regionals all week, and while I'm not sure that I can capture the mounting anticipation in my blog, I will at least chronologue my various procrastinatory exploits.

Monday morning I woke up and went over to the gym to get an elliptical session in, after which I tried to do work, but admittedly spent most of my time playing tetris until lunch. After an uneventful class, I spent the remainder of the afternoon wallowing in my unproductivity. Unfortunately, thanks to the end of daylight saving time, it was quite dark by the time practice rolled around, but Fudge, who was up visiting for the week, and I capitalized on the darkness by taking certain liberties with our wardrobes on the river trails.

  Once I had given up accomplishing anything for the evening, I met up with Tristan to watch the somewhat thrilling, yet bizarre conclusion of season 3 of Battlestar Galactica, though I did some stability/core/general strength exercises while watching, so the time was not wholly unproductive.

Tuesday morning, after getting a little food I hopped on over to the weight room, and from there went for a swim, which proved to be quite enjoyable for various reasons. On Tuesdays commons has organic seven grain hot cereal, so after my swim I downed a salad bowl full of the delectably bland mush, and was good to go for the day. Nothing of much interest transpired between then and my class at 2:40, aside from a couple solid games of tetris and a few not so solid events of another nature. We did a workout on the track that evening, running relaxed, progressive 600 repeats, which left us feeling energized and confident. I had one of the unusual Tuesday night classes afterward, in which at one point our professor, frustrated with our lack of energy, played Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" and made us do laps around the room before resuming discussion. It was quite the uncomfortable experience.

Wednesday morning I occupied myself with the standard stationary biking, breakfast, work, tetris, lunch, and class, but that afternoon I went shopping with Fudge. We picked up some essentials, like vaseline and mixed nuts, but I also found some nice wool shirts at Goodwill. Fudge demonstrated his gambling expertise by using a five dollar winning lottery ticked to buy another two tickets, with which he won three dollars, only to buy another ticket, with which he won nothing. Wednesday's run was uneventful, aside from doing some strides and plyometrics. That evening, after the onset of mental exhaustion, Tristan and I resumed the ever exciting Battlestar Galactica.

Thursday morning, like Wednesday, was occupied with the usual pursuits, but I was pleased to find that commons had my favorite lunch, with Asian BBQ chicken, tuna melts, and an array of tasty treats at the vegan bar. I planned to come back for a second lunch to make a sandwich with the Asian chicken, but upon my return was shocked to find that there was none left! While it nearly makes me cringe to use an exclamation point, believe me, its use is warranted. I tried to rectify the situation by spicing up my otherwise bland turkey sandwich with some cayenne and cumin, but it just wasn't the same.

Thursday evening those not running at regionals, myself excluded, as I'm the alternate, ran the Ray Buker Two Mile Time Trial on the indoor track. Elmo took the race out, and seemed uncontested at first, but Tristan pulled the chase pack up and took the lead at the mile, stripping his shirt off and eliciting squeals of glee from the onlooking women. He dropped off soon thereafter, but the race was on at that point. Big Red rode Elmo's shoulder until the bell lap, when he put the hammer down and cruised to a convincing 9:45 victory, with Elmo second in 9:48.

We left for Williams bright and early Friday morning. While eating lunch a man from the nearby Tennessee Barbeque restaurant, who evidently was from Kent Hills, came out to wish us good luck and give us a free platter of barbequed meats, much to our delight. We thanked him, assured him we'd be back, and went on our way. As we neared Williams, I could not help but listen to the all too appropriate song "Cowtown" a few times over. Nobody else was keen on listening to it, for what reason I'm not sure. We were greeted at Willams with unseasonably warm temperatures, and went for a pleasant stroll around the course, with a few strides over the last mile. Back in the hotel, we had a nice dinner, after which we went to Double D's room for some humorous conversation interspersed with the occaisional gas attack. Tully was careful to check for bedbugs, overturning our fearless leader's mattress in his attempt to ensure Devin's hygiene.

Before laying down my pen for the night , I'll leave you with this pathetic excuse for an intermissive poem:

The shot fires through the mountains.

We advance beyond the line;

steadfast and relentless,

floating through the human sea.

Stride by stride, we feel the breeze,

flying past the maple trees.


I apoligize for that. Clearly I am not an English major. It being Sunday evening, now writing with the unfortunate knowledge that we did not advance to nationals, it may be somewhat difficult to reflect entirely optomistically on the meet, but I frankly think we can be proud of what we accomplished. It was frustrating watching from the side, unable to run, but the rest of the guys kept it exciting, with Devin soldiering away up front, and Wortham and Iceman moving up throughout the race. Despite the assortment of stresses, I still managed to enjoy myself, and will certainly look back fondly on the experience, at least possesing the satisfaction of having put in the work toward a common goal with an uncomparably fine group of guys. On the way back we stopped for a meal of all sorts of barbequed delicacies, unwinding from the emotionally tumultous day.

Week Starting 10-4-2010

Joe Musso (Squeak) - Blog #14

Hump day! Wednesday is most arguably my busiest day of the week. I was up at 7:30 and at breakfast by 8:00. After eating quickly, I went to my first class at 8:25; Native American History with Joe Hall. Joe Hall is probably the greatest professor at Bates College. This is the third or fourth class I’ve taken with him at Bates, and he will hopefully be my advisor for thesis in the winter. He knows an immense amount about Native Americans and early American history, which is the area I’d like to concentrate most in when I write my thesis. We talked about William Apess, a Wampanoag Indian writing in the nineteenth century about the atrocities committed by whites against them over the years. It was especially interesting to me because Apess was virtually unheard of to most American history students until recently. 

After class I permitted myself a short nap from 9:30 until about 11:30. Then it was off to lunch, followed by more class! At 1 o’clock I had Reading and Writing Poetry with Lavina Dhingra. We read several poems by Emily Dickinson and listened to a presentation on one of them by some students in our class. This is the second English course I’ve taken at Bates and I’m really happy I’m in it. Last year, I took Modern Short Stories with the same professor and realized how much I loved English. If I could go back, I would probably try to fit more English electives into my schedule. At 2:30, I made the arduous journey up one flight of stairs to my final class of the day, Origins of the New Nation with (surprise!) Joe Hall. In this class we discussed the Stono Rebellion of 1739, and the probability that the slaves who revolted were Kongolese in origin and therefore probably possessed military training before they were taken captive. I met with Professor Hall briefly after class to discuss a research paper I’ll be writing for his Native American class. I decided to write the paper based on research I will do in the Muskie Archives on the Maine Indian Land Claims. It is a topic I don’t know much about, but I’m excited to do archival research for the first time.

After my meeting I went to Merrill to get ready for practice. Wednesday was workout day this week, and we ran five 1600 meter repeats with about two minutes of rest. To simulate the race on Saturday, we ran our first and last miles faster than the middle three. In my group were Jamey, Kevin, Ticket and Elmo. It was a miserable day outside. It poured buckets and there was mild wind on the back stretch. The entirety of lane one flooded, so for most of the workout I ran in ankle deep freezing water. We ran our first mile in 5:15. After that we were supposed to only slow down to 5:20s. My second mile was 5:19, and after that things started to get harder. Kevin’s shins, which had been bothering him the week before, acted up again. He pulled out the start of the third mile, leaving only four of us in the group. Ticket and Elmo were compelled to speed the third mile up, while Jamey and I struggled in the rain. We came through at 5:23. The fourth mile was no different; I clocked a 5:24. My legs were feeling horribly tired and tight in the cold rain, but I was determined to finish the workout. What made this last interval especially difficult was that a group of guys who had been running with us, including Scout and his brother, were only doing four intervals. While they were finished, the rest of us had to battle through another mile. I managed to close out in 5:28, which was much better than I felt. Had the workout gone ideally it would have been something like a 5:10, but given the conditions and how crappy my legs felt, I was satisfied with the effort. My average pace for the workout was 5:24 for five miles, therefore being my best track flow of the season thus far. Afterword I cooled down three miles inside and iced my aching calves. I’m pretty confident that if we run into any rainy weather in a race this season, we’ll be able to deal with it now.

Saturday was the Open New England meet at Franklin Park in Boston. I’ve been looking forward to this meet all season, and it is usually the highlight of my season alongside the ECAC meet. Running against the best D1, D2, and D3 teams in New England is always exhilarating.
We boarded the bus at 8:00 AM and made the three hour trek to Bean Town. Kevin and I switched off sleeping on each other’s shoulders the entire way down. When we arrived we found the weather to be very agreeable. It was around 60 degrees and sunny; the ideal weather for a cross country race.
Open New England’s is a great not only because of the competition, but also because there is plenty to do when you are not racing. There were four races of the day, a Varsity and Sub-Varsity for women and the same for men. The Sub-Varsity race was the last race of the day, so I got o watch everyone else run before I did. I was especially excited after watching our men’s team race. All of our top seven set lifetime PRs during the race. We finished 15th overall, which is fantastic at a meet like this that is dominated by top D1 and D2 schools. We were fourth among D3 schools, beating nationally ranked MIT, Brandeis and Tufts.

The sub-varsity race went off at 2:15. We were all inspired by our top seven’s performance, and the effect was clear on our squad. Espo had his first break-out race of the season, crushing his best time this year by over three minutes. Grimball was close behind, and they both broke 27 minutes. Elmo turned heads when he booked it past Amherst’s first JV runner, dropping a 27:04 for a huge PR. As for me, I was a bit disappointed with my race. I ran 28:35, which was good for 15th on the team. In either of the two past years, that time would have placed me solidly inside the top 12 or so runners on the team. However, with the depth and talent on our team this year, it’s clear I’ll need to step up some more to make the ECAC or NESCAC squad. I was especially unpleased that a Bowdoin runner nipped me at the line. Coming down Bear Cage Hill the final time, two Bowdoin runners passed me. I responded by going with them both until we finished the descent, and then began my kick from about 400m out. I passed both of them for what I assumed was the last time, however one caught me literally as we crossed the line. We shook hands after the race and I congratulated him on a great effort, however I’m anxious for the race next weekend so I can get him back.
Saturday night came and went relatively uneventfully. Most guys got to bed early in preparation for the big meet next weekend. All in all it was a great day for Bates Cross Country, and what I think is a huge turning point for our team this year. Hopefully this was the first step in securing a spot at nationals come November.

Sunday was a great day. However it began with a rocky start. I was supposed to meet my girlfriend and her family at commons at 9:30 AM, but I did not wake up until 11:30 AM! Imagine my shock when I woke up late! This incident however would not hold me back. The (well deserved) extra sleep I got gave me the energy to scuttle over to commons, wolf down some pancakes, and get to Merrill Gym in the course of less than thirty minutes. It was my responsibility to drive a group of guys on the team out to Pineland for a long run. We set out for Gray/New Gloucester at about 12:30 after a brief mix up with the vans.
The van ride down to Pineland was as joyous as ever. Sweetums indulged us with some of his favorite songs, mostly by the band They Might Be Giants. Some of the unforgettable tracks sang about the gaseous properties of the sun, the Napoleonic Wars, anatomy, and “going down to Cow Town.” If I had forgotten any of my fifth grade education, the van ride down certainly filled the gaps.

Once we got to Pineland, the group and I began our Sunday long run. It consisted of the Grimballs (Eric and Graham), Sweetums, Dilts and me. I really love doing long runs at Pineland because there are so many trails to run on (over 18 miles I believe), and the soft surface is very forgiving on the legs after a race. It’s also just a beautiful campus. Somebody on the run remarked that years back, Bates had the option of buying the place and moving its campus there. While I love Bates’ campus, if I had to imagine it anywhere else, Pineland would be the place. I ran for one hour and twenty minutes, while the other guys went for an hour thirty and an hour forty-five. As I stretched by the pond afterward, my heart was filled with joy on this beautiful, crisp autumn day.

We got back to Bates around 3:30, and I spent the next few hours getting to know the 8 or 9 pre-froshes who came up to visit. At 8:00, another group of us on the team went over to the field hockey field to play a game of IM ultimate Frisbee. The team consisted of all XC runners, with the addition of two of the pre-froshes. Kevin, Buck, Dufresne, Elmo, Mogilvie and her pre-frosh, Big Red and I rounded out our team. We had to give the other team Buck and Big Red because they didn’t have enough people. The game was a blast. It was a chilly night, and under the lights I could see my breath. Perfect conditions for a fast-paced game of ultimate Frisbee. We won the game 11-10, Mogilvie making the game-winning catch in a frantic last minute play.
After the game we had everyone over to our room in village so the pre-froshes could socialize with each other and the team. It was a lot of fun. Jag played us some songs on Sweetums’ keyboard, and the entire thing culminated with a trip to Milts. This was a great way to end a great week.

Week Starting 9-27-2010

Ben Taska (The Big Ticket) - Blog #13

Thank you Buck for passing the blog on to me: I hope that by writing about a week in the life of The Big Ticket I will be able to impede the circulation of rumors and give people insight into what it really is like for me living here in Lewiston, Maine.

Monday.  The week started out not unlike other Mondays in the cross country season: with the much looked forward to Monday morning pool session, preceded this time by Big 20’s by 2, which was quite the rude awakening.  Since my swimming capabilities are somewhat lacking relative to other members of the team, I followed that with my “alternative session”, which was this time 40 minutes of deep water running, which was rather boring, but also relaxing on my body.  I had Elementary Russian class at noon, which consisted primarily of review for our first exam in the form of practicing the very few phrases that we now know.  I spent the rest of the time till practice doing preparatory work for my music composition thesis, which will be a film score to a pretty crazy Czech movie called Little Otik, in which a stump becomes alive and has a huge appetite (not unlike me) and starts eating people (unlike me).  Practice consisted of an easy-paced recovery run.  We were chased by a 12 year-old kid in a 4-wheeler/buggy on the river trail, which gave me incentive to practice my storied kick to accelerate to the front of the pack.  Dinner wasn’t bad today, since they had both pork stir-fry and frittatas.  Now it is time that I have a fun-filled evening of homework. 

Tuesday.  Today started off bright and early with my Energy and Environment class at 8am, which Myles is also in.  We learned about Bates’ plan to convert the steam plant into being primarily  biomass-operated, which was interesting.  Lots of the day was spent in Olin working on more thesis preparations, including a little bit of composing, which was satisfying.  I will be spending a lot of time in Olin 302 (the computer music studio) this semester!  We had another recovery run today, and I did River out and back, accompanied some of the time by others.  Afterwards, Tristan almost had me believe that he did Cemetery in 48:00, which clearly was not the case.  Tristan also drew undesirable pictures of me in the shower room mirror.  I have to head to my night class soon, so that’s it for today.

Wednesday.  I had the written part of my Russian exam today, and it went well – the main thing I was worried about was screwing up on spelling.  Today felt strangely warm and humid, but it didn’t really end up making much difference, since I spent the day inside doing more thesis work.  I didn’t get that much done, and my cold made me feel draggy in general.  Today we had Pineland #2, which was 4x short Oak Hill.  It was hard and the pacing didn’t go well for me, meaning I slowed down through the course of the workout.  We did have an enjoyable van ride back though, which included a railroad track acceleration.  Unfortunately, Tristan “won” the overall trip, though, because he took a shortcut at the very end.  Dinner was much appreciated, and there were many delicious (albeit fatty) entrées.  Now I need to try to wake up and motivate myself for Physics homework.

Thursday.  There was physics class this morning, in which we learned about solar energy.  My cold wasn’t so bad today, so I felt less draggy and was more productive in general than yesterday.  In Russian class, we learned words for different articles of clothing, which was pretty legit (by the way, the Russian word for flip-flops is pretty racist: Vietnamkii or something to that effect).  I spent the early part of the afternoon working on thesis composing before meeting with my advisor Hiroya, after which I felt more confident and motivated for the work ahead.  Elmo, Ritz, Goat and I were the only ones who made the trip to Buckfield, but we had a very pleasant run there along an old railroad bed, enjoying scents of raspberry (?) along the way.  Partway through our team shower, the fire alarm went off, and we were forced to rush out of the building to escape the terrible sound.  Dinner wasn’t bad today, especially since it was capped off with a banana, 7 Saltines, and 3 glasses of water, all consumed very rapidly.  After some pool with John (aka Grimball), I headed to my room to write today’s blog.   

Friday.  I just went for a short run in the morning (practice was unofficial today), so as to be ready for speed-work tomorrow.  In Russian today, we learned some about gender, and one guy in the class didn’t like the fact that California is a feminine noun.  In the mid-afternoon, I met with a Czech student (actually the only native speaker on campus), who has kindly agreed to help me with my thesis by means of speaking Czech.  He also plays clarinet, so he may end up being helpful in more ways than one.  The late afternoon till dinner was spent in Olin.  I will probably try (and most likely fail) to be somewhat productive in the remaining part of the evening before my early bedtime.

Saturday.  Today began with 8 8’s at 8, which is a tradition each year.  The weather was sunny and cool, which was a nice change from all the damp humid weather we’ve had this week.  I felt good right off when I got up, so I knew the workout would go well.  My group was the 2:32 group and we were very consistent through the workout, progressed a little on reps 6 and 7 and then went for it on the last one.  I managed to run the last one pretty fast, which is not my standard practice.  After enjoying a lengthy breakfast in the fishbowl room of Commons, and doing some reading for my Junior Senior seminar, it was time for a much appreciated nap.  I finished off the afternoon by working on my thesis in Olin.  I had a good time at dinner in commons scanning the selection of Bates biddies with Grimball, Grimball, Keenie, and Sweetums.  We didn’t draw many conclusions, but I did agree with Grimball on many points.

Sunday.  The morning was relatively uneventful and unproductive homework-wise.  Today we did the run to coach’s house, starting in the early afternoon.  For the 12-milers (which included me) it wasn’t actually literally a run to coach’s, since we finished 3 miles away, and rode the rest in the van.  I heard from those doing 15 that the last three were brutal, so riding in the van was a good alternative.  I ran with Graham and LePage for the whole thing, joined by others in various sections.  The pace was pretty relaxed – we didn’t kill it like some of the others who finished about ten minutes ahead of us.  I was pleased that my legs didn’t feel too sore.  The time at coach’s was enjoyable.  There was plenty of food, including apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, and there were plenty of animals, some of whom made it into our team picture.  Back at Bates, I had a pretty unexciting evening in my room, the highpoint of which was looking at Grimball’s new profile picture, the face of which seems strangely at odds with the body.  As that is the conclusion of The Big Ticket’s first (and last) blog, now is the time to announce that I have decided to now pass the baton to Mr. Squeak, who like me, is about to finish his time at Bates and move on to the local nursing home. 

Week Starting 9-20-2010

Sean Keller (Buck) - Blog #12

Just for clarification, I don’t know who Eric Kimball or Graham Pearsall is. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are no members of the team who have those names. However, there are two members of the team who are identical twins and each just go by the name Grimball, like Cher or Prince.

More importantly, my week started off with an 8 AM pool workout. Big Red and I, who are swimming partners, busted out some big 20s and then did our workout in the pool which happened to be ridiculously hot for some odd reason. At first I thought this was sweet because I didn’t want to jump into cold water, but as I started to sweat it just got downright uncomfortable. Commons and Chemistry with Big Red, Goat, Tweet and a prefrosh followed. At practice we ran bridges, which was a good time as Dufresne and I were belting tunes along the way. I fell asleep dreaming up all the reasons my nickname might be Buck.

Tuesday’s intensive track workout was legit. We ran 1600-2400-2400-1600. The whole team ran very well and  Nandito aka Eight-ball and I ran together the whole time and got 3 stars but no candy. =( I did the workout in spikes though which led to extreme soreness well into the week. Tweet and I ice-bathed together, talking about DG and other deep topics of conversation.

Wednesday I did an easy 5 and played some volleyball which was a good time to be had by all. I attended a food party held by the girls one floor below mine and was treated to homemade pumpkin bread made by one of the girl’s moms which was fantastic. I also showed up to Milts 5 minutes after the grill closed but was delighted to find that they had left over chicken fingers for me to devour. I watched an episode or two of Weeds (which I’m pretty much addicted to, having watched 3 seasons in about 2 weeks) and fell asleep in my wonderful Smith quad.
Thursdays are easily my worst scheduled days. I have class straight from 11 to 2 30, which means I miss lunch. No worries though, because my dinosaur sandwich box held chips, roast beef and ham for me to eat after my last class. I then had French tutoring with Alex Alberto, the captain of the girl’s team, and she helped me learn how to conjugate aller for my quiz tomorrow. I then ate some goldfish, ran a steady state with Tweet and went to a BEAM meeting where I threw out some great ideas regarding 10/10/10, a national “green” day. Following that I studied for my chemistry exam in Pgill with a female member of the team. My roomie got three huge care packages in the mail from his mamma so I spent the rest of the night hanging with some broskis and eating snacks.

A chemistry exam immediately followed by a French quiz made my Friday morning eventful. I do think both went well (fingers crossed), so my studying the night before seems to have paid off. We didn’t have official practice, so Gucc and I met up around 2 30 to go for a nice run and then do a 1000 meter breakdown. I spent the rest of the time until dinner playing Mafia in my room and attempting to find someone to come see Toy Story 3 in Olin with me, which I was not successful in doing. So I spent a ridiculously long time in commons, listening to stories of elder bobcats, then headed over to village for some halo reach with Espo and Nomes, which I’m really awful at. I’m really pumped for the race tomorrow; not as pumped for the 6 30 wake up but its all good baby baby.

I woke up early Saturday morning and dragged my legs over to commons for an early breakfast. About 2 and a half hours later, I woke up to embarrassing pictures taken by Alicia and Hilary of me sleeping with my mouth open. Boston was so freakin hot, measured at about 85 degrees at race time. I raced pretty poorly so I’m looking forward to going back to Franklin Park in two weeks at Open New Englands to “tear it up.” Big ups to our guys up front for taking second overall though, as they were able to battle through the heat. Yeaaa buddy. Also, my parents seriously hooked me up with massive amounts of swedish fish, cheezits and starburst so my room is totally stacked right now. The nighttime presented a compilation of an unfinished cribbage game with Sweetums*, the Dr.Dog concert which was sick and some lovely chill time with the team.

Sunday was a pretty fun day, or as fun as one can be when you have a 5 page size 10 font paper due the next day. I ran Bridges+DumpChump early with the team, then had a phenomenal Sunday brunch complete with Bates Poptarts which are the bomb. Pickup Frisbee was followed by Toy Story 3 (great movie) with Espo, Gucc, Musso, Claire and a prefrosh in Olin. I went to dinner and met the2 other prefroshes we have up this weekend, then worked on my paper. My night ended with some Mario kart in village and a thrilling Jets win.

I say goodbye and leave with you all this question: What do tigers dream of when they take their little tiger snooze?


*The author fails to mention the crippling defeat he suffered at the hand of the almighty Sweetums.

Week Starting 9-13-2010

Graham Pearsall (Ritz) - Blog #11

Many members of the team consider Eric Kimball and myself to be the same person. But we are not. We are falsely referred to as the same person under the pseudonym Grimball. Much discussion was had on the correct combination of names to derive our nickname. Pearball, Kimsall, Grizzitz, and Gritz were all considered but Grimball won in the end. The following blog is a testament to our opposing characters.

Monday began with a pool workout as it routinely does during cross-country season. I swam at eight. Eric swam at twelve. The swim workout began with Big 20’s (an ab and pushup workout). Eric did his Big 20’s by five. I did mine by five. Following my pool workout I ate breakfast with some members of the team. Following Eric’s pool workout he ate lunch with some members of the team. (Can’t you see the differences beginning to develop already). My day continued when I attended my only class. Professor Danforth gave a riveting lecture on the roles of Barbie dolls in society. (Are they models of society or models for society?) The rest of the day was very exciting in that it was the first day of my new job (that Sweetums so generously set up for me) as a dog walker. I get paid twenty bucks for 1.5 hours of dog walking a week. I didn’t get to meet Gracie but Stuart started to warm up to me towards the end of our walk. Eric doesn’t get paid to walk dogs. Our afternoon workout consisted of a steady state in which I was originally slated to run in group B but at the last minute was moved to group A. Eric was originally in Group B and got moved to A at last minute also. I ran 5.52 pace. Eric ran 5.52 pace.

On Tuesday I was overburdened with work because three of my classes meet on Tuesdays. My schedule is unintentionally imbalanced so that I have three classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays but only one on the remaining days of the school week. I’m sure Eric’s schedule is faultlessly balanced. I learned about Post-Impressionism at eight, Euthyphro at nine thirty, and the fictional Leather Stockings of James Fenimore Cooper’s novel at two forty. At four the team met for practice and we all loaded into vans for a surprise off campus recovery run around a lake in nearby Auburn. I ran seven miles. Eric ran seven miles.

I spent much of Wednesday filling all my free time with extracurricular activities for I had only eighty minutes of class. I checked my mail and was elated to find that my Snoop Dogg poster had come. I immediately taped it to the wall in Myles and my room. The occasion was only tainted by Myles hanging up yet another U2 poster (who is U2 anyways?). I spent the rest of the afternoon prior to practice teaching myself guitar and watching Entourage. Practice was a workout at Pineland. We ran loops of 2.4, 1.8, and 1.4 miles in length. Our goal as a team was to be strong and progressive throughout the workout and many of us did just that. It was a great effort by the team and many of us crushed the workout. On the last repeat those who were finished cheered in the remaining guys and it was a great feeling. Many of us earned all three elusive stars on the workout and got to sample some of Coach Fresh’s authentic Appalachian candy. There were many flavors including orange, lemon, lime, and watermelon. I tried watermelon. Eric also chose watermelon.

The schedule for this week of training allowed for the rare but much appreciated treat of two recovery days in a row before our race on Saturday. Eric and I spent much of our time together during these two days of practice learning about each other. I learned that we both like pizza, want to end world hunger, prefer the smell of daisies to manure, and think that Brad Pitt is much better off with Angelina than he ever was with Jen.

Saturday was race day and we all ate breakfast together in commons before we headed out to get on the bus to travel to Pineland to race against Colby, Bowdoin, and Tufts. To our surprise in the place of our usual Trailways bus, with first class like accommodations, was a yellow school bus. Seating was cramped but we didn’t let it dampen the excitement of race day. Both Bowdoin and Tufts were seeded ahead of us in the weekly New England Poll so we had a challenging task ahead of us if we wanted to beat them in the race. The Bates cross-country team rose to the challenge taking places 1,2,and 3 followed by strong efforts from our 4th and 5th men and backed by a strong pack of Bates runners filling the 6th through 10th slots on our team. Eric and I were both in this pack. Our strong showing up front and our tremendous depth led to a six point win over Bowdoin and victory overall. It was a great achievement but we all knew we could do it. After returning to Bates many members of the team got together to go to the 80’s dance in the library arcade, where most Bates students were and a live band was playing.

This week ended as it traditionally does on a Sunday. Every Sunday at ten O’clock we have a captain’s practice (or as it is now referred: fun time with Jag). This week’s fun time with Jag consisted of a long run on which most of the team ran between ten and fifteen miles. It was the second day of a pre-frosh’s visit and he came on the run with us. Pre-frosh visits are strongly recommended by myself and the other members of the team. I unfortunately didn’t visit on a pre-frosh visit. Eric didn’t come on a pre-frosh visit either but I’m sure its safe to say that he would have had loved to have been on one. It offers a great chance to get to know the school and the members of the team in a way that this insightful yet bland blog does not.

Looking back on this blog it should now be clear to you that Eric and myself are two unique members of the cross-country team. We may run the same, dress the same, and act the same but that does not make us one entity. Or are you telling me that if someone looks, acts, and runs the same they are the same person? Well I guess if that is so: then Grimball is Grimball and Grimball is Grimball.

Week Starting 10-26-2009

Eric Kimball (Grizz) - Blog #10

Being given the opportunity to write a blog for the Bobcat Blog is an amazing honor. If someone were to ask me whether I would rather receive the Honor Baton or permission to write this blog, I would probably choose the Honor Baton. But since that is not going to happen anytime soon, I will gladly write this blog.

[Note: This blog was written during our April break, during which much of the team went down to Boston to watch the marathon.]

Marathon Monday was a blast. There is nothing like donuts and bagels to start a beautiful day. The weather could not have been better for the runners or the spectators. We set up camp halfway up Heartbreak Hill and then proceeded to clap and cheer for the next couple of hours as swarms or great runners, good runners, decent runners, and bleeding runners fought their way up the hill. The highlight of the marathon was seeing Watson, who graduated from Bates last year, run past us en route to completing the marathon. A number of us ran with him for a few miles to help get him through the challenge. After the marathon, I came back to Bates so as not to miss practice on Tuesday. While stuffing my face at dinner, I was informed by Devin that we had to do a steady state that day. Not having run yet, Wortham, Sweetums and I embarked on an exciting but grueling steady state in the dark. Not only did we have to fight through the lack of light, blinding oncoming traffic, and gargantuan potholes, but we all had to deal with the huge blocks of food still left in our stomachs. Luckily, we capped off the run and the night with a few exciting games of pool.

Tuesday morning started with a team meeting, in which we were given our weekly schedule. After a short run to get the blood flowing, and brunch at Commons, Wortham, Sweetums, Graham and I went to Adams to play even more pool. Sweetums and I dominated, winning all three games. At our 3 pm practice, we got in some more recovery miles. Following dinner, the rest of the night was spent playing incredibly frustrating N64 games and attempting to throw a Frisbee into a box.

Wednesday started with a short breakfast followed by my first pool workout since cross country season. This workout turned out to be nothing more than 25 minutes of aqua-jogging, but it was still a new experience to be back in that water. After showering and eating lunch, I came back to my dorm to relax until our workout at 3. In my workout, I did not think it was possible to hit my goal pace. And it wasn’t. However, even though I was a little bit off pace, I cannot say I was completely disappointed with the end result. After dinner, Sweetums, Wortham, Graham and I went to a room in Pettigrew, where we watched one of the best hockey games I have ever seen; game 4 of the first round series between the Bruins and the Sabres. The night ended with an incredibly satisfying 3-2 win in 2OT, giving the Bruins a 3-1 series lead.

On Thursday I had a morning run followed by a big breakfast. A group of us then drove to Goodwill, where we found some awesome items, and then to Walmart, where Sweetums got a pair of water shoes and Graham got a potentially deadly Nerf gun. We came back for a small lunch and then a pool workout to help the legs recover. After our team meeting and dinner, we ended the night by going back to Pettigrew, where our activities included watching Survivor, playing cribbage, and working on puzzles.

Friday was exciting because my friend was coming up to visit. The day started with a morning run followed by a team meeting and team breakfast. The next couple of hours were spent playing pool and various GameCube games in the Adams common room. Finally my friend arrived and I gave him a brief tour of the campus. He has already been accepted and he will indeed be coming here next year. We went to our team dinner where we said farewell to the athletes who were departing that night for our NESCAC Championship meet on Saturday. My friend left a little bit later and the Bruins and Celtics playoff games ended the week.

I awoke at 7:30 for breakfast before the rest of the team departed for the meet at Tufts. We arrived at 10:45, just in time to watch the women’s and men’s steeplechase. Our team had high expectations going into this meet. After coming in second last year, we believed that we had a chance to win the whole meet. This would be quite an accomplishment, because Williams has only lost once in the last 20 years in this meet. I ran the 5k, which was one of the last events. The field was much stronger than it has been recently. My legs did not feel great going into the race, but my strategy was still to stay with the lead group as long as I could to try to grab a point. Unfortunately, that would have involved me running a huge PR, which ended up not working out. The day ended as somewhat of a disappointment, as we finished third behind Tufts and Williams, but there were still several high points for us.

Unfortunately, it is now the end of the week, and therefore the end of my blog. I should be very excited about this week ending, because that means it is time for short term! However, I am taking math camp, so I am not really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Oh well, I am at Bates so it will be a blast anyways. Thanks you Sweetums for the chance to share my life to the world.

Week Starting 10-26-2009

Andrew Wortham (Grace) - Blog #9

Monday was crazy.  I had my first pineland workout of the year.  Having never worked out at pineland before, I was very unsure of what to expect.  It ended up being just as anyone else who has done a pineland workout knows, inexplicable.  It was something that has to be experienced for one’s self.  It was hard yet fun and was a real bonding experience.  I felt like a member of a true team.  Emotion was high, feet flew and I left pineland a changed man.   

Tuesday rolled along and I amused myself in the usual way by just sitting around.  A simple run sufficed for the day.  Wednesday was like an upgraded Tuesday.  I went on a run and then lifted for the final time this season.  It was sweet. 

Thursday, however, broke the routine.  We had a progressive tempo run.  The first two miles were nice, relaxed and easy.  The third mile was where the work started.  I felt great so I surged up the hill to the end of the third mile.  I did not feel so great during the last mile though.  We ran a 5:05, and it actually turned out to be quite hard.  My arms felt like lead, my legs filled with acid, and my breath hit the air like heavy mallets on a drum.  I finished the workout in stride with the others in the top pack.  It was hard.  I had to poop.  But I wanted more.  It was the first time I felt like myself again after the long, slow process of recovering from my injury.

Friday was an amazing day, the highlight being the time trial.  Beforehand, I ran 8 miles with Devin at the usual 6:50 pace and showered and prepared to watch the spectacle.  Showering took a while, as usual, and I didn’t get out to the track until a lap into the 5k.  When I arrived the pack was still moving as a unit, no one ready to give up any ground.  Predictions had been published earlier in the week, so we were anxious to see how things played out relative to their expectations.  Now we were finally watching it unfold.  Everyone was gathered at the start line taking splits so when the pack ran by they were warmly welcomed by a raucous crowd, cheering and yelling.

The Big Ticket and Eeyore were the two favorites according to the predictions, and as the pack started to thin those two were the trail blazers.  They had company however: mainly Stitch, Elmo and Stagnetti.  Elmo looked impatient throughout the race, taking the lead on several occasions.  Elmo had been angered by his position in the rankings, having been said to have no chance of winning because he simply was not in shape.  With a mile to go Stitch realized he could not win a kicker’s race and attempted a move.  He surged to the lead but fell back quickly and was engulfed by the front runners.

Eeyore and Ticket remained in charge through 4000, but neither was ready for the increase in pace Elmo initiated with 1000 to go.  Elmo however did not win as with 600 to go Stagnetti, who had stuck with Elmo, took the lead with a decisive move and in one giant surge and a bunch of giant bounds, ended the race with a great win and a solid 5k time.  Stagnetti was well aware of all the hype and had shown up wearing T-roy’s Halloween costume.  He was a self-proclaimed dark horse, calling the predictions harsh but laughing about them, hungry for a win.

After the time trial, the team went to Espo’s house for dinner.  We gathered as a team for a delicious pasta dinner, and a meeting.  While we devoured the non-commons pasta which was scrumptious but had to be cut with scissors, we watched the world free-running championships, which was good for a laugh.  When I got back to my room I still had plenty of time before I had to sleep.*  I decided to go to the Ronj to play pool with some friends.  While there however I started to feel sick.  My body got sore and achy and I had to sit down after every shot.  I made it back to my room and went to sleep after taking some Aleve, realizing the poor timing of my sickness but also realizing that I am an iron-man and would be unaffected. 

Saturday morning I woke up just before my alarm, and I instantly analyzed how I felt.  I told myself I felt much better.  I no longer felt feverish.  I did however still feel achy, and it hurt to swallow.  I packed my belongings in the dark trying not to awaken my roommate and once ready embarked for Merrill.  Very unsure of what would be open and who would be there I walked through the dim lit, desolate campus.  9:00 on a Saturday felt real early.  It was eerie, and I had a stuffed backpack on with my race bag slung over my shoulder.  I felt like an explorer of some sort.  But then I got to Merrill and saw that it was open.  I was able to run with Tom and Graham who both conveniently were ready at the same time as me.  It was a nice leisurely 3 mile run.  I went to breakfast and forced some food down, but I felt well enough that there was no way I was missing the race. 

I went on the 4 hour drive to the course.  Coach Fresh sent us on a 3 mile run over the first 3 miles of the course but no one had any idea where to go.  A bunch of guys with two maps and no sense of direction, we ended up doing a 22 minute scattered run/ walk around the trails we would run over at some point during the race.  Then we finished and went to the hotel.  Once there we sucked on honey while our stomachs growled as we waited for dinner.  When it arrived we ate.  Pumped and satisfied, at 8:00 we had a meeting in coach’s room in which we talked about our need to do better than we have previously this season and how much the race was going to hurt.  Then the traditional glove giving occurred and we scattered.  I went to my room and watched Ocean’s Eleven.  The bed was really soft and sleep came soon after Doug, my roommate, turned off the TV. 

Sunday I woke up and went for a run with Doug.  4 minutes out followed by 4 minutes back made our blood start flowing.  I ate a bagel with peanut butter and jelly on it followed by a very dry scone.  Then I checked out and joined the team in piling onto the bus.  We got to the meet and the race was finally going to happen.  I was so excited.
The gun went off and we ran like mad.  Jag slipped right on the line.  The course was muddy, slimy and full of hills.  This rugged sport of spikes and adrenaline is exactly what we had signed up for at the beginning of the season, and we were finally letting ourselves loose.  I battled along with teammates, as I passed some and get passed by others.  The fight for each spot was fierce.  Duel by duel, I fought my way to finish line. 
The race was the climax of the weekend.  I had fun and on the way back to Bates I watched a movie, stopped for dinner and napped.*  Sunday came to an end and I had to go prepare for another exciting week of Bates XC.

*On both these occaisions, Grace neglects to mention that he played a few thrilling games of cribbage with Sweetums, who is unquestionably the coolest member of the team. Sweetums was victorious in the majority of the games due to his unparalleled cribbage playing ability.

Week Starting 9-21-2009

Ryan Rice (Noodles) - Blog #8

I woke up to the buzzing of my alarm at 6:45 in the morning, telling me that I had just 15 minutes until our Monday morning swim practice. In a haze, I rolled out of bed, dressed myself and slumbered over to the gym. After a 45 minute long swim practice, which included the tiresome 20 by 2s, I headed over to Commons, where I enjoyed for the first time in my life ‘pumpkin pancakes.’ Classes went by quickly, especially my Inorganic Chemistry class, where we built models of different molecules to see a representation of their structural shapes and holes. At 4, I headed over to the gym, and headed to Pineland with the team, where I enjoyed the most scenic 15 mile run of my life. Running with Devin, Troy, Swayze, Conor, and Todd was quite entertaining (especially when the guys explained to Todd their weekend adventures). I returned back to campus at 7:30pm, showered, and ate a scrumptious meal at Commons. After dinner, I headed back over to my dorm and began homework. At about 11:30pm I began to procrastinate with Ellen, my lady friend on the girls cross country team (aka Shnoodle), by watching the infamous ‘Warcraft Freakout’ and ‘Denis at the Dentist’ YouTube videos. At about 12:15 I decided to call it a day and let my weary eyes drift off into sleep.

I did not sleep well last night. My roommate has been very sick, and I awoke constantly to the sounds of what sounded like a dying farm animal as he snored violently due to this cold. Nevertheless, I rolled out of bed, had a delicious breakfast at commons, and headed to class. My first class was a Physics lab. I partnered with Swayze from the team and we completed the lab 30 minutes ahead of time, because we’re just that cool. No big deal. I then had a Calculus II lab, lunch, and then my first year seminar. I received my first graded college paper back, and was happy to see an A+. Very nice.

Practice was great. Doug, Conor, Devin, Griff and I went on a nine and half mile run through pretty much all of Auburn. From running through trails, through Auburn, crop fields, and then across a train track bridge, the run pretty much had it all. To my dismay though, I developed a throbbing pain in my heel during the run. After the run and talking to the guys, I fear it may be early signs of Plantar Fascitiis, but I think if I am smart, take care of myself, and take it easy for the next two or three days, I can avoid injury.

Like every other morning, I woke up, showered, headed to commons, ate a ridiculously tasty breakfast, and then headed off to class. I started today’s classes off with my first college exam ever. It was Physics and it was tolerable. I felt confident throughout the entire exam, but there always seem to be those little mistakes we all make that add up. I checked my work about three hundred and seventy nine times, give or take two, before handing it in, so hopefully that’s not the case. After Physics, I had my Calculus II class, lunch, and then did some homework with Ellen. At 2:40 I headed to Inorganic Chemistry. Although I have an A in that class, due solely to grunt mule work with homework and quizzes, I have very little idea of what is actually going on, and that scares me as much as possibly seeing Sweetums with short hair or some other haircut or something. After class, I went to practice, to which I grudgingly cross trained on the elliptical for an hour, due to the pain in my heel. I was able to walk without much pain today, so that is a good sign. Hopefully the precaution I am putting into preventing a full blown injury pays off. Anyways, after an hour on the elliptical, some weights, and enough stretching to make even a completely bed ridden grandpa flexible, I headed off to commons for some din-din with Stitch. I ate quickly as I had a math review session at 7 – which was a good review, and I feel pretty confident about the material. After the review session, I headed back to Smith, and continued to do homework in Ellen’s room. At about midnight, I went to sleep.

There is a god. I woke up this morning to the glee that the shooting pain in my heel has subsided. The fact that it was not throbbing upon waking up is a very good sign. Celebrating my happiness, I sang ‘Hakuna Matata’ obnoxiously loud while showering at 7am in the morning, had a delicious breakfast, and headed off to a 9:30am doctor’s appointment.  The doctor’s appointment went well as did my classes. At practice I was delighted to hear that I would be running today, but only easy 3-5 depending on how I felt. Well, I felt great, and so did the 5 @ a 6min avg, closing with a 5:40, just to make up a little bit for the Pineland workout I missed yesterday. After practice, a great dinner, I worked in the library from 7-11:30pm, making sure to start one of my thesis research papers for Inorganic Chemistry, as well as study for my math exam. I came back to Smith, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.

Well today was a great day. I received my first graded Physics exam (aka my first college exam ever) and was delighted to see that I got a 100%. As Borat would say – very nice. I felt alright during my math exam. So hopefully I can keep these good grades coming. Classes went smoothly, practice was good, as I ran again and felt strong, and I went to dinner.  It being parents’ weekend, after dinner I had the pleasure of meeting Shnoodle’s parents. They seemed very nice.  After that, my father arrived, and we went out to Ruby Tuesday’s for a second dinner, where I enjoyed a very nice piece of salmon with rice.  Muy Delicioso. After dinner, I came back, hung out with Shnoodle a bit, played some Mario Kart with my roommates and fellow smithsonians, and went to bed at around midnight.

I awoke bright and early at 7:40am for the infamous eight eights at eight workout. The 8 800’s at 8am morning were awesome. I felt strong the entire way through, was consistent, and my heel pain has improved a lot; so I was in a good mood the entire day. My mom arrived on campus at 11am for Parents’ Weekend. I showed her around campus, went to the bookstore and bought my little brother a Bates hat for his birthday, and then went to the football game. At 6:30 I went out to dinner with my dad, and again had salmon and rice, which was pure ecstasy in my mouth to say the least. Returning to campus I went to JB where I had a good time with the rest of the team. It ended up being a really late night, but it was worth it.

As like any other Sunday, the day was pretty uneventful. I woke up at 8am to do laundry, some homework, and clean my room. At 10:30 I went to brunch with my friend Liz and then proceeded to do some homework in the library until 3pm where I headed over to the gym to go for a run with Ken on the team. We ran 12, and it felt awesome. It was perfect weather out and there were times when we both would just comment on how perfect it was outside. The leaves are beautiful, the temperature is just right for running, and the sun isn’t too strong. After our run we headed to commons and enjoyed dinner with the rest of the team. The rest of the night consisted of homework, editing my paper for my first year seminar and hanging out with Ellen and her roommates. Tomorrow starts a new week and I am very hopeful for our race this Saturday at Franklin Park. I’m hungry.



Week Starting 9-14-2009

Jeff Roeser (Doogie) - Blog #7

          I reach out my hand to hit the snooze button. It’s 6:30 on a Monday morning and way too early for a pool workout. Strangely enough I volunteered for this time, can you think of a better way to start the week? I mean 20 x 2’s and 100 meter repeats in Merrill Pool--can’t think of a place I’d rather be! Next, I take that first painful step away from the cozy warm bed and toward the frigid Maine air and icy pool water. This reminds of one of Bates’ oldest traditions---The Puddle Jump, where much of the campus gathers around lake Andrews and leaps through a hole in the ice into the water, chilled by the mid-January wind and sub-zero temperatures. Oh Bobcats are tough. Some may say we’re crazy, but I say we’re just having fun. On the way over to Merrill, I meet up with Eight-ball and a freshman girl on the team, we discuss last weekend’s race, Ace’s heroic finish (this will be important later), and mutually agree that we are all very battered from Colby’s hilly, windy, rocky course. We also talked about how most of the guy’s team got lost on our Sunday long run.  It was just a typical Sunday run and we were following our captain, on what looked like a faint animal trail through the woods. But soon enough the friendly familiar woods of Thorn Crag Bird Sanctuary surrounded us looking like something out of Jurassic Park. As we ran deeper into the woods on a long, muddy trial, past piles of junk and enormous bushes and swamps, Joe asked if anyone saw the pterodactyl swoop down and get Ace with its talons.  Some of us may have believed him.  It was all we needed to keep our spirits up while covered up to our necks in mud and trudging through swamps in the jungle. An hour and a half later…. we sighted a manufacturing plant in the distance and an off-roading vehicle nearby. We were saved. Next, I’m jumping into that cold pool water in the same lane as Silver and starting the dreaded pool workout. As soon as that’s through, I’ll fast forward through classes and get straight to the weekly episode of Gossip Girl that evening. Although this is the first time that I have seen gossip girl, the show has a large following on the team. My immediate reaction is that there is way too much random hooking up for one episode of a sitcom going on. I have never seen a women subpoena a guy with a restraining order only to fall like a domino to his charms hours later. Nonetheless, I am now addicted to the show and in the process of watching season 1 to catch up on what’s going on now. I mean as in Gossip girl, when you invite a Christian youth group to someone else’s party to embarrass them in front of their guests, how much more subversive can you get? Alison brought snacks and the first episode of Gossip girl is a major success. That’s it just another day in the Bobcat Nation.


Week Starting 9-21-2009

Ken Whitney (Elmo) - Blog #6

    So as a freshman entering the first week of classes and the regular schedule I had no clue what to expect, but I can safely say it exceeded my expectations. Starting off Monday morning with a pool workout was annoying, especially since I am far from a good swimmer, but the workout will definitely help my running. Classes were great, and it is amazing how much of a difference it makes to be around people who actually want to learn. My first year seminar seems like it will be an awesome class, and, in an icebreaking activity, we learned that the professor’s favorite food is beer. Continuing the discussion of professors, my calc II teacher is insane, and literally had a story for every single place the students were from. The only disappointing class was econ, as I am considering being an econ major but the first class basically put me to sleep, so I might be changing what I major in… but that’s the beauty of going to a liberal arts school.
                Now on to running. The Alumni race was okay, I ran a decent race and it felt good to get one under my belt. From there the week was a lot of speed and maybe slightly low on the mileage side. Tuesday was a Twin Brook workout, repeat 800s, and it went well. Coach had the great idea to run us in groups, which helped everyone get into a good rhythm and complete it effectively. Then Saturday we had the Colby wave race, so an early 8 am departure got us to Colby in plenty of time. After watching Doug and Devin run great and win easily, the freshman sophomore race began. The team ran well, placing 8 runners in front of Colby’s first, and props to Graham who ran almost a minute pr on a very difficult course. Unfortunately I did not run as well as I wanted to, I would have liked to have been 20-30 seconds faster, but the poor performance will motivate me to work harder and train to ensure I make the NESCAC team, since that race is ten minutes from my house.
                As I finish writing this I am sitting in the Parker common room watching football with Eric and Graham, two freshmen on the team, and several other people.  I am attempting to recover from the crazy long run this morning, as Devin lead us through ATV trails that were swamped with several feet of mud and water, bushwhacking through what once may have been trails.  Once we finally got back to the road, the whole team got freaked out by the friendly bark of a dog trying to attack us. Thus ends my blog, and now I need to go do all my actual homework. First week of school and I am already swamped…



Peter Gurney
Week Starting 10-20-2008
Peter "Sweetums" Gurney - Blog #5

I have been graced with the opportunity to depict the juicy details of a week in the life of Sweetums.  Never before has one written such a blunt account of the true lifestyle of a Bates runner.  The week began when I woke up on Monday morning, as is my custom.  Unfortunately, the past night’s disappointing Sox game left me with less sleep than usual, which made me a bit less enthusiastic than I typically am about trudging over to our last swim workout of the season.  It was a good workout though, and left me feeling enlivened for the day of studies.  Little of mention transpired in either of my classes, but my weekly dog walking job was pleasurable, as always.  The team went out to Pineland for a long run that evening, which was notable for the eerie wailing of cows that was present throughout.  The day culminated with a viewing of Gossip Girl, which Kevin and Jag got me hooked on over break.  This week’s episode was especially riveting, as it shed light on some of the intricacies of Chuck’s character.  Serena, of course, was a foxy as it gets, and single handedly kept me glued to the screen with her oh so attractive calm but confident voice.
Most of Tuesday was spent in class or doing homework, interspersed with highly relished trips to commons.  Scout, Jag and I went on a relaxed run, on which manly discussion was had by all.  Topics of conversation included weight lifting, girl trouble, and manual labor.  That night we had a couple of prospective runners, D and G, up, so a few of us put off our duties as students to make them feel welcome.  The evening seemed quite successful to me, as D and G were shown most of the campus, and experienced the joys of late night Milt’s, the marvels of the fourth floor of Pettengill, and large amounts of Mario Kart.
Composition class was fairly interesting on Wednesday, as we continued to look at the kinetic form in Sibelius’s Symphony #5.  The class was also privileged  enough to be given my explanation of the compound lines in the song “Teddy Bears’ Picnic.”   After class, I went to the Coram computer lab for the first time and accidentally got the keyboard all messy after applying too much force to pull the skin back on my banana.  Other highlights from Wednesday included my psychotherapy appointment, a letter from my grandma, and crispitos at commons.  We had a daunting workout that afternoon, but most all of us surprised ourselves and had performances that bode well for the upcoming postseason meets.  That night on South Park I was informed of the benefits of Peruvian flute bands in staving off giant furry man eating guinea pigs.
I woke up on Thursday determined to look super fly, so I zipped up my purple cords and strutted on over to commons.  I’m not sure I achieved the desired look, but I felt mad confident as I ate my oatmeal.  The rest of the day was fairly uneventful.  I went on an easy run and coaxed some bawdy remarks from a few townies with my slender, yet muscular physique.  The evening broke the day’s monotony with a blessing from commons in the form of Bavarian apple squares.  While a relatively new item, they have quickly become perhaps my favorite dessert at commons, rivaling the likes of glazed almond cookies, carrot cake, and oreo brownies.  The evening continued to please with a new episode of the office and the rare opportunity to see up Daisy’s skirt in Mario Kart.
Friday morning I went to theory class with satisfaction of the fact that it was my last of the week.  With the entire weekend to do homework, I was left with the remainder of the day to catch up on reading Lord of the Rings.  Unfortunately, I also had to meet with coach about misdeeds of the previous weekend, but it was to my benefit anyway so I didn’t let it put a hamper on the day.  I took it fairly easy during practice in anticipation of Saturday’s workout, and afterward got some much needed work on my throwing arm with some tennis balls that were lying around.  After dinner, I went to the ceramics room and ended up working on my sculpting skills with Swayze while Silver, Ace, Jag, and Catnip threw some bowls.  Afterward, a bunch of us went to watch the South Park movie in V3.
We had a workout Saturday morning at Pineland, which went fairly well.  It was especially beneficial since we ran mile repeats along the course that we’re running next week at NESCACs.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing and watching TV, with some uncharacteristic intermittent watching of the Bates football game, in which we actually pulled off a victory.   I was ecstatic when I found out that commons had corned beef at dinner, it being one of my favorite foods and the first time they had it this year.  A bunch of guys hung out at Howard house after dinner, where song and dance was enjoyed by all, and as if we hadn’t played enough earlier in the week, some Mario Kart was thrown in for good measure.  While trekking across the quad later that night, the leaves on the ground were unusually thick, so we stopped to roll around for a while.  Before turning it in for the night, I made sure to polish my chess set so as to unwind from the exciting day.
I began my Sunday with an easy run, followed by a leisurely brunch.  My afternoon was spent doing work in Pettengill with Ace, Jag, and Silver.  At dinner, commons delivered its first negative blow of the week by shocking us all with the absence of Sunday’s usual ice cream novelties.  While equally unexpected, the lack of chicken parmesan was not grieved at all on my part.  We had another prefrosh up that night, Tully, who did some work with a few of us after dinner, after which we went to V3 and watched Poltergeist while playing Mario Kart.  I turned in a little early so I could read some Lord of the Rings, and thus concluded a reasonably good week.


Devin Dilts
Week Starting 10-13-2008
Devin "Bogs" Dilts - Blog #4

Since the torch of the Bobcat blog has been passed to me, I guess I’ll give it my best shot.

This week was a little different than most since we were on October recess and didn’t have classes Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.  Of course, most of us had midterms the week before and Monday and Tuesday so the break was well deserved.

Monday I had my only real midterm, most of my other classes were papers and such.  I thought it went pretty well, all things considered, so I’m not too worried.  We did a run over the NESCAC course at Pineland on Monday, not really a long run, just a little longer than usual, which was good because I had a paper due Tuesday which I hadn’t exactly started yet, so I needed to get back ASAP.

Tuesday I dragged myself out of bed in the morning after a late night paper writing session and got a couple miles in before class.  I went through the day in a zombie like trance because of lack of sleep and almost broke down in tears when Coach Fresh said that Tuesday’s run was a steady state.  The run turned out not to be too bad, I went with Sean and Troy and Doug and we somehow managed to keep our spirits up.

Wednesday was the day I had been dreading for weeks in advance because we had an intense Pineland workout (two medium loops-1.81 miles I think, and one short loop 1.4 miles I think).  The only saving grace was that it was the first day of vacation so I got to sleep in a little and get lots of rest before the big day.  The workout went well, I ran with Doug and we missed our first two loops pace by 2 seconds, so right about perfect, and then closed the last short loop significantly under pace.  Props to Catnip on the last loop, he led it about halfway before Doug and I took over, and we all ran under pace.

Thursday was just a recovery day because we were pretty beat up from the Pineland workout.  Team practice in the morning where we did an easy 5 and then I ran again that night.  Felt terrible in the morning but pretty good on the afternoon run. 

Friday was the day before the State of Maine meet, so the anticipation was starting to build.  I ran an easy couple miles by myself in the morning so I wouldn’t be tempted to run faster with someone.  I rounded out the rest of the day by playing Mario Kart with Doug, Sauce, Jag, and Silver I think, and then Meat showed up with crackers and Nutella, which was pretty epic.  We had a pasta dinner at Espo’s house right in Auburn, which was fun and it got everyone psyched up about the meet the next day.

Saturday was the big day, the one we’d all been waiting for:  the State of Maine meet, about an hour away at our old home course at Twinbrook.  The team ran really well and really stepped it up from last week.  It was also nice to have Doug back for a race so that I wasn’t surrounded by angry Polar Bears the whole time.  We ended up placing 3rd out of 10 teams I think.  Didn’t do much the rest of the day, just hung out with the team that night, it was really nice not having homework because of break.


CJ Murray
Week Starting 10-6-2008
CJ "Flim" Murray - Blog #3

So, here I am, CJ Murray, slightly injured but recovering co-captain, kicking off Bobcat-Blog number three. I think all and all it was a good week. Monday was pretty standard with a pool workout in the morning and a recovery run at our beautiful home course, Pineland Farms, in New Gloucester. In the pool I enjoyed the distinct pleasure of deep-water-running with NESCAC champion javelin thrower, and all-around stud Chris Murtagh who is recovering from knee surgery he had over the summer. As anyone who has done it knows, pool running isn’t even a little bit fun when you’re doing it alone, so it was really nice to have Murtagh there with me.
Tuesday we were on the track. The workout was designed to simulate the Open New England race at Franklin Park: it was 5 x 1 mile, with the first mile fast, the middle three steady, and the last hard. I was planning on running with three of our freshman phenoms, Catnip, Jag, and Swayze, but coach decided to hold me out because of my knee. While I would have much rather been running than watching, it was exciting to see everyone do well out there. Our front-runners Doug and Devin looked strong, both Swayze and Naoki, as usual, shined on the track, and a lot of the other guys looked great too.
After the workout, we had two recovery runs on Wednesday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, a steady-state run on Thursday, and another recovery run on Friday.
Saturday we were down in Boston at the Open New England Meet at Franklin Park. I love this race for a number of reasons. First of all, its at Franklin Park, which is a gorgeous course and somewhere I’ve been running since high school. I know all the other bay-staters on the team were equally psyched to be there. Second of all, its Open New England’s, which means that teams from all divisions from all across New England compete. The races are huge, there are millions of spectators (exaggeration) – it’s just an exciting meet to be in. I was particularly excited to be there this year, since it was my first meet back after being out due to injury for about a year.
Despite  being without Doug, the team did well. A lot of guys had big PR’s out there, which is exactly what we were hoping to see. Some highlights that come to mind are the step-up performances had by sophomore Joe Musso in the open race, and classmate Tom Esponette in the varsity race. Probably the most exciting performance of the day though came from freshman Catnip “Troy” Calandra, who was the third freshman finisher for Division III. Catnip ran 26:11, which I think is the third best time ever posted by a Bates freshman at Franklin Park – way to go big guy!
I ran in the open race and was really happy with the way things went, not so much because of my time, but because I didn’t feel held back by my knee at all. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to run without hindrance again.
Today is Sunday which means football (let go Pats!), a long recovery run, and a whole lot of schoolwork. Also, we’ve got a number of recruits up, some xc runners and some track guys, who are spending the night. I’m looking forward to meeting them all.
Everyone on the team is looking forward to next weekend, where we’ll get the chance to run against all our in-state rivals at the State of Maine Championships. I’m going to pass the Bobcat-Blog torch off to sophomore Devin Dilts. Devin has been running  great for us all season, and I’m excited to hear his perspective on his first State of Maine meet, which, in my opinion, is one of the best meets of the season.


Luke Harmeling
Week Starting 9-29-2008
Luke "Silver" Harmeling - Blog #2

Since Sean picked me to write this week’s Bobcat Blog, here goes.  My week started out early Monday morning with a tough swim workout.  I was pressed on every interval because I wasn’t left with much resting time.  My classes throughout the day went well although I was very tired all day.  The whole team headed out to Pineland, where our home course is, for a long run.  I ran for 60 minutes and I felt pretty good except for my ankle that hurt a bit.  It was perfect weather even though it was a little wet from the weekend’s rain.

                On Tuesday, I got to sleep in and catch up on some much needed rest.  In my Intro to Psychology  class, we finished up the material and got in any final questions before our first exam on Thursday.  I went for an easy run over the Bridges loop with Tom and Sam.  We lifted and did an agility set which went really well.  I had to stay up pretty late again to study for my two exams later in the week.

                Wednesday was one of the hardest days of running that we’ve had all season.  Out at Pineland, the whole team ran 4 x 1.4 mile loops in a driving rain storm.  The trails began to deteriorate with every interval and people almost fell with just about every step.  Despite the poor weather almost everybody had a very good work out.  Because we had to run in spikes, many people’s calves were bothering them for the rest of the week, especially on Thursday’s steady state run.  For the steady state run we warmed up with a mile easy followed by 5 miles at pace (6:30 per mile for me) and then another mile easy.  This run was exceptional tough because my legs were so sore, but, nevertheless I was able to run right on pace with Al’s help. 

                Sean and I take the same psych class and our test on Thursday afternoon went well.  I had another test in Macroeconomics on Friday.  This test was considerably harder, but it still went okay.  For another easy run on Friday we ran Bridges again as a team.  This run was slow and easy but my legs were still extremely sore from the two tough runs the days before.  After this run I went and at dinner with my parents who were up for parent’s weekend.  It was nice to see them for the weekend and it was hard to say good-bye again on Saturday. 

Saturday morning we had our classic 8 8s at 8 workout, which means that we run 8 x 800m at 8 am.  For me this was a very hard workout.  I was very sore and wasn’t able to run at the times I was supposed to.  Late Saturday afternoon I took a nap that helped me recover a little bit from the weeks work.  On Sunday I had a relaxing day, getting some homework done and getting an easy bike ride and lift in during the middle of the day.  Sean, Fudge, and I went for a recovery run after dinner which felt great.  To close out the tough week of running and exams, I’m sitting in V3 watching the Red Sox game with Watson, Sauce, Sean, Al, and Sweetums.

C.J. will be running in his first meet of the season so I’m handing off the baton to him to write the blog for next week.

Luke “Silver” Harmeling


Sean Colligan
Week Starting 9-22-2008
Sean "Jag" Colligan - Blog #1

            So I’m kicking off our weekly “Bobcat Blog” for this tricked out website Joe just made.  I think the goal is to sum up the week’s events (running, academic, social) of the XC team so that’s what I’m going to try to do.  My week started with an 8am pool workout which was tough, but they are really helpful for our training.  I got out of class at noon which is wonderful since I have four hours until practice starts.  I spent the free time doing my first load of laundry since I got to Bates.  It was a pretty difficult process… Anyway, Monday’s run was an extremely slow 7 miles with Bogs, Fudge, Ceej, and Watson on the river trails. It was possibly the most enjoyable run of the season because it came the day after a rough 15 miler to coach’s house in Turner. We discussed the complex entity that is the mind of Bogs.  We also saw the entire women’s team go flying by us on the same trail at a speed unfathomable to us in our exhaustion.  Monday nights are Gossip Girl nights for me, but Kevin blew me off for our weekly date.  I watched in V1 with Katie, Jessie, and Allison.  It was a fantastically riveting episode, as Dan and Serena’s breakup turned into an all out war.  I feel like the show really gives a realistic portrayal of high school life.
            Tuesday I had class from one to four, and then our run was a track flow workout for us, consisting of 1600/2400/2400/1600 at race pace.  I ran with Catnip, Swayze, and Prof. Danahy, and we hit our times pretty much right on which was awesome. I spent Tuesday night studying in a random classroom in Olin with Kevin while Fudge designed the shirts for NESCAC’s.  I don’t want to give away the design, but it is pretty fantastic.  We also made a Milt’s stop at night for some delicious Bates burgers.
            Wednesday I again got out of class at noon. Our run was supposed to be a short recovery, but I made the mistake of letting Fudge pick where we ran.  He told me it would be a seven miler, but then halfway through he revealed that it was actually 9.5, and of course he pushed the pace too.  I think his goal is to make me spontaneously combust on a run this season.  I also had a meeting with coach to discuss the weekend’s meet and my training plan.  I spent that night writing a lab report for chem and my first paper for my seminar.
            Thursday’s run was 9 miles including 6 at a good steady state pace, from Greene back to campus.  That night, a bunch of us watched the first episode of the new season of the office in V3 (Watson, CJ, Sauce and Fudge’s room).  Then I spent the rest of the night studying for my chem exam with Silver in a classroom and Pgill.  We made Meat rap for us to break up the monotony of studying.  I destroyed the exam on Friday, which is my roughest day with 5 and a half hours of class including a three hour chem lab.  I ran bridges in the rain after I got out of class, and then ate dinner with the team before heading out for Wesleyan.
            It was a four and a half hour bus ride, which was spent watching Ratatouille instead of Muppet Treasure Island because the girls are lame.  I got to room with Bogs in the hotel and we had a crazy good time reading and sleeping.  The meet was pretty awesome even in monsoon-like weather and muddy trails.  Our team did pretty well considering the elements.  On the ride back home, we compromised with the girls and watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, a classic flick.  Saturday night was the Girl Talk concert, which was an incredible show.
            Sunday started with a captains run at 10.  We ran through the knee-deep puddles of spill.  Our spill total was a very respectable 8 for the run.  I spent the rest of the day studying/watching movies in Pgill with Silver, Sweetums, and Meat.  I will end this rambling now at 9:39 on Sunday night as I’m sitting here in V3 watching Donnie Darko with Sauce, Kevin, Silver, and Watson.  I’m pretty sure the deal is that I get to pick who writes next week’s blog entry, so I’m picking Silver.
            Love, Sean “Jag” Colligan



This website is the unofficial team run page for the Bates College Men's Cross Country team. It is maintained by Peter Gurney '11, if you have any questions or complaints, please e-mail them to pgurney@bates.edu.