This profile of Rob Gomez first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2013 magazine issue.
Name: Rob Gomez
Height: 5’10” (I once claimed I was 5’11” on an online dating site)
Weight: 151 lbs. during carb depletion, 160+lbs during the holiday binge
Nickname: “Worm” (college nickname… long story)
Residence: Windham, ME
What pays the bills?: Senior Manufacturing Engineer at General Dynamics OTS, Inc.
High School: Maine School of Science and Mathematics, 2001
College: Bates College, 2005(BS); University of Maine, 2012 (MS)
Club: Dirigo R.C.
Half marathon: 1:07:13
Fast Food Challenge: 18:15 (still trying to master the BK onion rings stop)
Average Miles per Week
80 to 90 mpw when in cycle, ~50 mpw when in off-season
Cabot Trail Relay
Beach to Beacon 10k
1. 10 x mile at tempo pace with 1 minute jog rest
- 1 minute on/off (hard) during a Back Cove Series 5k
- 12 mile fartlek with no agenda whatsoever
Places to Run:
Biddeford Pool, ME
Long run loop through Portsmouth/New Market/Rye, NH
River Trail, Orono/Old Town, ME
Any AM run through a downtown that smells like doughnuts
Nike Vaporfly 4%
“Mountain Sound” Of Monsters and Men
“Heart of a Lion” Kid Cudi
“Dead and Gone” The Black Keys
“September”, St Lucia
“Animal” Pearl Jam
“Hearts on Fire” Rocky IV Soundtrack (don’t scoff; you love it too)
Currently reading “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand
Spending time with my wife Breagh and daughter Juliette (13 years old), fantasy football, gardening, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, grilling, and hitting the slopes (just started skiing last year)
I try to find a happy balance between running and the rest of my life. I know that sounds like something out of the latest issue of Runner’s World, but I really find it makes everything more enjoyable. In the second half of 2010 I set my sights on one thing and one thing only: getting to the Olympic Trials in 2012. I chose Houston 2011 as my qualifying race and spent all of six months devoted to the task. What I learned, along with the fact that six months is too long of a training cycle, is that focusing too much on running alone just sucks the fun out of everything, even running itself. I lost contact with a lot of friends and didn’t enjoy the things I love. I ended up running a decent time (2:23:02) but the PMD (post-marathon depression) really set in later that night when I was sitting alone at a Cheesecake Factory in some nondescript suburb. I came to the conclusion that night that completely selling out for a particular race is just not my thing. I’ll never be able to find out what happens if I do everything perfectly right with my training, nutrition, and recovery, but that’s okay by me.
I know some folks use the last few minutes before the gun goes off to focus on the race ahead and channel their nerves and energy productively. I used to do that in college and I puked my guts out before each XC race because of it. Nowadays I’m hamming it up with everyone during that time. I usually know many of the guys (and girls) toeing the start line, especially in local races, so I use it as a chance to catch up, laugh, and appreciate how awesome it is to be a part of such an incredible community of folks.
Back in December 2006, when I was 210lbs and several years removed from competitive running, my best friend Jeff Sprague urged me to go on a run with him. 4 miles and 32 minutes later I was completely gassed, and over a Chinese buffet dinner we decided to train for the 2007 Chicago Marathon. Despite the heat that year I was able to piece together a 3:04, and then the running bug set in.
Short-term: Philadelphia Marathon 2017
Long term: I’d like to give ultramarathoning a try before my legs start to quit on me. A trail marathon would be pretty cool too.
Your Proudest Moment:
Again, this might sound corny, but any time I help someone else achieve his or her running goals is when I’m the proudest. Getting Cam Nadeau into running for the first time in the fall of 2010 while I was the Biddeford High School XC coach and then seeing him become Class A state champion in 2012 was awesome; watching my friends I regularly run with and talk training with set PR’s is a cool feeling; and seeing the huge smile on my daughter’s face when she finishes a fun run is by far the best feeling of all.
Best Distance Runner of All Time:
I’m not the biggest running history junkie so I don’t have a strong opinion on the matter, but for my money it’s gotta be Pheidippides. I mean, the guy died because he ran so hard, and they went and essentially named a specific race distance after him.
Local Running Hero:
Sheri Piers, Dan Vassallo, and of course Joan Benoit Samuelson
Oddest Thing That’s Ever Happened to You on a Run:
On a trail run in Mt. Blue State Park nearly a dozen years ago I almost faceplanted into the ass of a bull moose.
I’d just like to add that Level Renner is doing New England running a huge favor with its publications. I’d love to see Dirigo R.C. become much more involved with the greater New England running scene and I believe Level Renner will help everyone in New England, including Dirigo R.C. members, become a more cohesive running community for the foreseeable future. Thanks for keeping New England running #OnTheLevel.
To read more from our Jan/Feb 2013 issue, click here.
To read from our current issue, click here.