Member Profile: Nick Spector

Question: Hi Nick, congrats on your recent win at Golden Gate 8K Double on August 2nd ! I don’t think many Empire club members have run a double before…..what is it like running a 5K all out, taking a break, then running a 3K? How long is the break? How would you compare it psychologically to a regular race? Do you change your tactics?

Answer: Thanks! To be honest, it’s a lot like doubling in a high school/college track meet so it’s not that new to me (or other runners my age) I’d say. Though the break is around an hour, so maybe a little less than what I’m used to. I think the best strategy for me is to approach the first half like that’s the only part of the race and then figure out the 2nd half when I get there. In the ones I’ve done I liked to have the lead after the 5k because I everyone has felt how hard it is to come back after falling back in a race and with a break in between that gives me the extra confidence because everyone has extra time to think about how they are going to try to come back.

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It also seems not many of our members are familiar with the Ujena Fit Club – what are the advantages of joining and do you log your training and races online there?

At first I just made the account because you need to have one in order to accept prize money from them, but after a while I noticed that’s its sort of a neat way to keep up on what’s happening in other races around the Bay Area since that’s where it’s based out of.

What’s the Bob Anderson connection? Bathing suits?

Bob founded the magazine Runners World and apparently he got bored with only being successful with that so he created this whole new Double Race series. I think he also founded a swimwear company but I don’t know too much about that. He’s a nice guy and have been inviting me to do more doubles since I’ve had success and I can’t really say no since I’m a broke grad student but they’ve been fun.

What did you major in at SOKA University in Aliso Viejo? Was that a good experience for you? Did they have a cross country and track team?

I majored in Social and Behavioral Science. My experience there was unforgettable and I would have made the same college decision again in a heartbeat. Soka is in the NAIA and has both XC and track and I made it to nationals 7 times (between xc, indoor & outdoor) and was a 5k all American on the track my senior year in 2014.

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Are you currently studying Kinesiology at Chico State? What are your career aspirations?

Yea I’m currently on my way to a M.A. in Kinesiology grad at Chico and am using my psychology background to emphasize in sport psychology. Right now I’m thinking about maybe going into sport psychology consulting or going on to more school, but honestly I change my mind every day. I ran for the XC team last fall here because I had one season of eligibility left from when I studied abroad in Ecuador while I was at Soka and now I’m an assistant and still get to train with the team.

How would you compare your high school running state of mind with your current competitive state of mind? What have you learned since then?

For a long time in high school I was just doing it because it was fun and my friends where doing it so I didn’t take it super seriously until my senior year. Once I started taking it seriously I saw my PR’s drop significantly (from running 4:49 pace in my 2-mile PR in high school to running 4:38 pace in my 5k PR in college). Going through college I definitely had to sacrifice a lot to achieve my goals and sometimes that wasn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when I was lining up for my 5k final at nationals in Alabama while my class was graduating in California, but seeing what comes out of it made being a collegiate athlete totally worth it. Overall I just learned that patience and persistence will get you want in this sport.

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What’s your mental preference – track, XC, or road racing? Or all three?

At this point I’m definitely most comfortable on the track but I’ve always liked to say that XC is my favorite, I mean you can’t really be from Sonoma County and not say XC was your favorite right? As a post collegiate I’m trying to become more comfortable on the roads but I’m still getting used to that.

What races do you have coming up? What are your running goals in the future?

I’m planning on doing the Empire Open at the end of August and some more of the PA cross country series races around Nor Cal this fall and Rock n Roll San Jose this September. I guess my biggest running goals right now are to do well at Club Nationals in SF this winter and try to run 1:05 in a half by January since that’s the cutoff for the trials. I’m not really sure how running 1:05 will turn out, but that’s sort of where I’m at with my running at this point.

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