About me... Douglas R. Cross

Height: 5 feet 9 inches                                

Weight: 145 lbs.

Age: Old

My PRs

800 meters 2:00.25 04/20/91
1500 meters 3:53.9 05/12/89
5K Road 14:46 05/02/92
5000 meters 14:49 04/18/92
8K Road 24:40 09/28/91
10000 meters 30:32 05/08/92
10K Road 30:58 10/13/91
15K Road 47:17 03/09/02
20K Road 1:04:36 09/03/01
Half-Marathon 1:08:26 09/16/01
Marathon 2:26:38 10/21/01

I began running in 8th grade after an unsuccessful attempts at soccer and baseball excellence. Although I enjoyed both sports, especially baseball, my dad and I decided that I should pursue another athletic activity (especially when I tried to hit my first curveball). I started running 2.5 miles with my dad riding next to me on a bike. As best as I can remember, I ran about once a week during the summer before 8th grade. That fall, I began the cross-country season on the junior high team, but ended it on varsity. I was quite small (4'11" in 9th grade) and as I grew, I continued to improve each year until I graduated from high school with PRs of 4:25 (1600m) and 9:52 (3200m). My parents did not miss a single track or cross-country meet during my 4 years in high school. My mom wrote a newsletter for the cross-country team and my dad cheered and videotaped many of my races. They were very supportive of my running even though I didn't show a high level of talent. I continued running at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. Highlights of my collegiate career are few, but included qualifying for Division III nationals once in cross country and once in track (in 20 degree weather, my dad taped my effort at the 1989 cross country nationals where I finished 29th). Also in 1989, our cross country team ended the year ranked 25th in Division III by the NCAA Coaches Poll. Evidenced by my PRs above, I was in my best shape in 1991 and 1992. I completed my collegiate eligibility in 1991, continued training seriously, and improved over 30 seconds in the 10000m and over 20 seconds in the 8000m. During the spring of '92, my hamstring began to "tighten up" on me. Then during a track workout in April, I felt a pop while running a 400m repeat. Not the big pull that sprinters get, but a slight pop that I was able to run through. The next few weeks my hamstring felt very tight. I was not able to open up my stride and it was pretty frustrating. I ran my 10000m PR with my hamstring this way. After that race in May of '92 I decided that I needed some time off to heal the ham, because nothing else worked (ice, heat, massage, ultrasound, etc). It turns out that the hamstring never did heal and would tighten up anytime I began running consistently. In retrospect, I probably should have continued training with the injury (which I now believe to be a chronic strained ham) so that I wouldn't lose my level of fitness. In 1999, I had success treating the hamstring with a procedure called Active Release Technique (ART). It is a type of deep tissue massage performed while moving the muscle through a natural range of motion. It is interesting that no other deep massage (including lots of very painful ones) have worked as well as ART. I completed the Columbus Marathon in 2:34:33 in October of 2000. It was my first marathon and quite an experience.  I currently run for the Princeton/Ridgewood Running Company.  Good guys - if you ever visit Princeton or are in northern New Jersey check out the store.   2001 was a year of more consistent mileage which was reflected in better long distance performances.  I finished 17th at the USATF 20K Champs in 1:04:36, ran a 1:08:26 half-marathon and notched a 2:26:38 at the Columbus Marathon on October 21, 2001.   I have incorporated the exercises that Peter Egoscue recommends in his book, Pain Free.  In addition to ART massage and consistent icing, this has enabled me to remain relatively healthy this year.  If I stay healthy, I feel I can run several minutes faster in the marathon and I hope to do so in 2002.  As it turned out, I did not run faster in the marathon in 2002... I dropped out of my only attempt with a hamstring problem.  I did run one good race, a 47:17 15K at the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, FL.  I had surgery to repair a "split tendon" in my abdomen in November 2002.  I had been struggling with the injury since March 2002. That is my first surgery and it took a good 5 weeks before I could run again.   12/2007 UPDATE:   Injured my SI joint in 2002 and really haven't trained seriously since.