This profile of Rob Bond first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2016 issue.
Name: Rob Bond
Residence: Brighton, MA
Day Job: Software Project Manager and Consultant at Mendix, Inc.
High School: Lexington High School, 2007
College: Oberlin College, 2011
Club: Greater Boston Track Club
Average Miles per Week: Over the peaks and valleys of the year, about 100
Marathon – 2:29:50
13.1 – 1:11:27
50 Mile trail – 5:58:17
Races: 1. Vermont City Marathon: I’ve run it twice now and have enjoyed the experience both times.
TARC fall classic: I’ve only done it once, but that was a great course and an instant favorite.
Workouts: I love long marathon specific workouts. I like the level of body and pace awareness they bring. Minor tweaks in effort and pace have big consequences for the last 5 minutes of a 50 minute workout, and it’s a fun puzzle to solve. Some of my favorites include:
1. 6 mile tempo @ marathon goal pace, 4×1 mile @ 10 mile pace
2. 4x(2.5 mile 105% marathon goal pace, half mile 90% marathon pace)
Places to Run: My go-to daily routes usually involve the Chestnut Hill and Brookline Reservoirs. I really like the way the gravel crunches. A more exotic favorite is the Maas River Jogging Path in Rotterdam. Those Dutch sidewalks are so wide.
Running Shoe: New Balance 1400s for race day; Adidas Boston Boost for training and trail races; New Balance Zante as these shoes have been on sale recently, so I’ve been doing a lot of miles in them.
Workout Songs: When I am working out in the gym, I like my songs to have a bit of attitude. As a pretty easygoing person, I have to try and extract some edge from the tunes. The harder the workout the more pumped up the jams have to be. “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” by Judas Priest and “Kickstart my Heart” by Motley Crue are personal favorites. If the workout is really spicy, maybe some Exodus, Lamb of God, or Missy Elliot will do the trick. If I am running with music, it’s most likely because I am on a treadmill. That means I am trying to space out and forget where I am for a while. Steady, hypnotic, electronic beats by Blond:ish, Calippo, Orkestrated, and others is what I go for. I also have a soft spot for Christmas Carols, so the last treadmill run I did was powered by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I probably won’t be doing that much after December, though.
Books: These days, my reading is mostly done for pleasure and relaxation after work. So as much as I want to pretend I am studying Proust or Dostoevsky, I mostly read escapist science fiction and high fantasy adventure. Recently I’ve liked Cyptonomicon by Neil Stepherson, Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfus, The Martian by Andy Weir.
Hobbies: 1. Cooking: Maybe that is better stated as bringing my level of cooking skill ‘from absolute zero’ to ‘functional adult.’ 2. Backpacking trips: I love to get out of the city and set up camp. I’ve been on a few multi-day hikes in interesting places like Maine and Iceland and I hope to tackle the Long Trail someday soon.
Training Philosophy: ‘If you wake up 10 minutes earlier, you can run 10 minutes more.’ You’ve got to get your miles in, and when working a full time job, this has to happen in the mornings. I find myself drawn to the longer distance races where a good aerobic base is key. To get where I want to go, I’ve got to consistently run lots of miles. Most of these miles are done on the way to/from work, so getting in an extra mile and a half is simply a matter of getting up earlier. I try to think of this whenever I reach for the snooze. Sometimes it works.
Prerace Ritual: I’m not too picky about my pre-race meal or race clothes. I don’t get too adventurous on race morning; I just eat and wear what I have around. No matter what, however, I always get myself a big mug of hot black coffee. A few minutes with the headphones and a mug of coffee is all I need to get my mind right before a race.
Career High/Lowlights: Winning the 2015 Baystate Marathon was a big highlight for me. I was training all summer to try and win that race. The training cycle went pretty well and I went into the race feeling confident. When you’re like me and your marathon time is high 2:20s at best, winning a race depends mostly on who shows up. Fortunately the speedy guys stayed home! A lowlight for me was getting my butt handed to me by the Seasons 20K. I wasn’t ready for the hills and realized I was toast 4k into the 20K race. To finish on a high note, I recently finished 3rd at the JFK 50 mile race. I signed up more to try a new experience than to be competitive, but I was able to run a smart race and run a time that surpassed even my A goal. I really enjoyed the experience and challenge and look forward to more races at that distance and beyond in the future.
Goals: Short term, I am hoping to run a fast spring marathon at Boston or VCM. A half-marathon PR at New Bedford would be lovely as well. My long-term competitive goal is to compete at the 100K road national championships. My dream goal is run well and make team USA for the 100K world championships. My super long term goal is to enjoy the whole running process as long as I can. My mom is still crushing 10+ mile runs and has a half marathon on the calendar. If I still can and want to run like her at her age, I will be a happy guy.
Best Distance Runner of All Time: I am not sure I am qualified to settle the debate on the ‘best’ distance runner of all time, but I really admire Joan Benoit Samuelson. Her fast times, incredible longevity, and continued presence in the running community make her the kind of runner we should all strive to emulate.
Local Running Role Model: Although I heard she recently moved, I really respect what Sarah Bard has done in the Marathon and beyond. Her casual jump from fast marathons to ultramarathons (outlined in this LVL article) is something I am trying to do myself.
Oddest Thing That’s Ever Happened to You on a Run: Last winter I was running in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam when a storm rolled in. Apparently it ended up being one of the windiest days of the year in that city. As I came around a bend, a massive tree cracked at the base, fell across the path, took out some powerlines, and smashed into this little kiosk and destroyed the roof. Fortunately no one was inside, but it was like a scene from a Hollywood disaster movie.
Advice for The Legion: My favorite advice: Pay attention to the details and the big picture will paint itself. I think an old lacrosse coach first said this to me. Thinking about a whole season’s worth of training at once can be intimidating and overwhelming. All you can do in the moment is take care of that one run, that one gym session, that one day of rest. By taking your training one day at a time and being disciplined in your approach you will find yourself on the starting line fit and ready to go.
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