Interview 7 with Alex Moore, December 2005

An email exchange between Boga and Alex

This is the seventh in a series of interviews conducted by the staff of the ECCP. With us is Alex Moore, in his fifth and final year of competition. The author would like to thank the inventor of the "internet" and "email", because transcribing an interview from a tape sucks balls.

What highschool did you attend?

McCallum High School, home of the Mighty Knights and the Winged M Jerseys.
(Note: Picture taken after high school)

Your high schol PRs?

9:33 two mile
4:25 one mile
2:00.25 half mile

And your collegiate PRs?

9:30.01 steeple, 15:18 5K, and 31:42 10K. You can take your jaw off the ground now.

When did you start running? What/who influenced you to run? Did you play any other sports in HS?

In 8th grade I wanted to do canoe races (the long kind). My canoe mentor told me to run cross country to get in shape. I got 10th at varsity district with a blazing 19:00 3 miles that gave me a sweet trophy and a free ride to San Antonio, with lunch at Schlotzkyís included. Thatís when canoeing was thrown out.

Lets go over some favorites. What is your favorite beer/sporting event to watch/class taken at A&M/cross country course raced on?

Shiner/any NCAA championship meet, especially where I know people in the race/History 105 with Dr. Canup. He was an awesome guy who would make a lot of dirty jokes, but ones that the girls never got, which made it even better/I really liked running at Willis. The hills kind of sucked, but just being completely surrounded by trees and manicured grass, along with the occasional trail with really my ideal course. The Florida State course this year was similar, but I liked the feel of the Willis course better.

What is your most memorial race in track season?

Track would have to go back to regionals senior year of high school when I was ranked 5th or 6th and had a big PR and a big win. For college track it would have to be Junior Nationals. I havenít had any great track races, but being there running at Stanford around all the big time people was a cool experience.

Which athletes inspire you to get up and run every morning every day, if any?

The ones who canít train because of injury, but would give anything to be out there, and then the ones who are out there, but donít want to train hard (so that I can hopefully beat them badly enough to make them quit). (Kidding.) (Kind of.)

You could probably get real close if not exact of every aggie and major competition runner's HS PR in the last 5 years from memory. That is dedication. I guess this isn't a question.


So you are from Austin, how did you end up in College Station?

Well, I didnít get a good vibe from Vig, so I wanted to go somewhere else. Candice Kolb told me she was going to A&M, and that I should talk to Hartman. I did, I visited, I enrolled. She did not . . . at first.

Do you remember your recruiting trip? What did you do?

I was hosted by Taylor Tehan. We showed up to Kyle Field and met Coach Hartman along with Kitty, Heavy, and Ginger. I thought they were playing a joke on me, because none of those are real names.We checked out Taylor and Jayme Dís room at Cain, then Taylor dropped me off with Tom so he could go to church. I then hung out in Tomís room for a while with him and Rick Goza. Eventually, it was time to go to the picnic, which Tom at first took me to the wrong park (Lemon Tree instead of Bee Creek). The picnic was fun, I was amazed that it was all just for us 2 recruits. I remember meeting Samera, because she was on crutches and in a knee brace. I remember meeting Kelly Zander and Brooke, because they were hot. And I remember playing some game where we were all trying to throw / catch a frisbee and a football at the same time. I remember this, because I was playing with Tommy Bonn, who was the original distance runner idol for me when I was a sophomore and he ran a 4:08 at district (not mine), then ran a 9:06 at regionals (mine Ė I got lapped). We then went to Gingerís apartment, where I met her roommates, and we watched Office Space. Kitty fell asleep, so we all got quiet, and yelled at her and threw pillows. She gave us all a very weird smile. In the morning, we went to practice, and we ran Brotherís Pond Loop. We saw the A&M Consolidated girls running by, and I put a surge on to get in front for that little bit. After practice we ate breakfast at Cain (pancake day), I had a lot to eat, but not pancakes because they were pretty crappy. I then went back to Taylorís room where I showered and then hung out with Franky G because Taylor had an early class. Frank then walked me to class to meet Taylor (on the way we saw Andrea Bookout who introduced herself to me). I then sat through American History with Dr. Terry Anderson. He talked about the Vietnam War. I think it was the last day of regular class. After that, we walked back to Cain, ate lunch, then kitty, my mom, and myself, went with Hartman to his office where he gave us the spiel that sealed the deal My mom asked a lot of questions. Kitty asked none. We went to the bookstore, I got a Texas A&M Track shirt, and we left.

Freshman year of cross country, what memory stands out when you think back?

How doing a bunch of speed work before the season (Vince del Rio filming) is good for the first time trial, even the first few workouts, but not the last. And damn we ran a lot. We ran through the Bryan Muni Golf Course over to the Travis baseball fields and then back, and it was over an hour! For a regular run! I remember that I never knew there was a statue on statue loop until the spring, because we were running the Sosa Statue loop. I also remember the first Sunday run doing Menze Loop, feeling good at 10 miles then dying a horrible death at 10.1, getting lost, and finding my way from glade to holleman to wellborn to the track.

What led you to steeplechasing?

The really easy qualifying mark for Junior Nationals. I got Junior All American because, out of 10 people, 3 of us fell and 2 people fell worse than me.

What are your goals for track season this year?

All conference in the 10, regionals in the steeple, who knows after that.

Any plans after graduating in August?

My major (Spanish) requires a semester of studying abroad, which Iíve put off so as to not interfere with running, so Iím doing that in the summer than graduating, then doing grad school for a year until I can enter the A&M alternate teacher certification program the next summer. Once certified, I hope to teach in Austin, either at McCallum (no coach) or Austin High (right on Town Lake and coach is about to retire).

Who is going to be course master when you leave?

Since Iím going to be in grad school next year, so I might have to keep it another year. If not, well, I know who it should be but itís up to him to earn it first.

Youíve had a lot of injuries in the past (or at least the same again and again), what were they?

tendinitis knee winter 02, tendinitis everywhere winter 03, IT fall 03, IT and foot tendinitis winter and spring 04, and then injury free since.

Yes, its been great seeing you healthy. Any ideas on what lead to you throwing off the injury bug?

I think it was several things. I was never willing to settle for lower level mileage training, and it took my body a while to get used to that. I also think my shoes were too big. I started out at 11.5 for a while, and now I run in 10.5 with Lydiard lacing. I think a lot of people wear their shoes too big, and donít know it. Also, I spent a summer running barefoot on the grass for 3-4 miles 3-4 times a week, which I think helped strengthen everything. Waters and I have talked about (and probably will be) implementing some barefoot running in the spring to help combat injuries.

Any explanation for the bulk of the ladies eating the injury bug this year?

Chandler, who had been the most injury prone, was not injured, and she did the necessary mileage over the summer. I think the people who were smart this summer and showed up prepared did alright. Sarah T also did very well with the running this summer, and except for a minor bout of tendinitis did fine. But girls are kind of wussy like that.

What does it feel like to be the 5th year on the team? Do you consider yourself in a leadership role?

It feels damn good. I do consider myself a leader, and Iím glad to. The freshmen this year are awesome, a lot of fun to hang out with and run and train with, and while Iím sad I only got one cross season to run as a team with them, Iím glad to know Iíll be able to train with them next year too.

This summer you, matt and jesse ran up at flagstaff. What lead to this idea, and how was it?

Last fall we had a meet in Albuquerque, where several Sauvageaus reside. We thought we were going to be able to get free rooms there for the summer, and when that deal fell through, we started looking for other places in Albuquerque, then realized we didnít have to stay there since it wasnít free. I went with the team to Flagstaff over spring break and loved it. The summer was a lot of fun. An incredible environment, limitless trails and hills and wildlife, really cool and fun people, 2 trips to Vegas, and 25 cent drinks at 80s night every Wednesday.

What type of milage did you hit over the summer?

I had 6 weeks at 102-107, and probably 3-4 weeks on each end of that in the 90s

Did you end up ahead at Vegas?

The first time, no, but almost. The 2nd time, yes, but only because I didnít gamble as much. Back in Flagstaff, while I was hanging out with friends on the NAU team, Matt and Jesse and our other roommate Eric went down to Cliff Castle Casino several times, which was about a 45 min drive. The last 3 nights we were in town, Matt ended up making almost as much as I did working at hastings for 5 weeks. Awesome.

This milage lead to one of you best CC races, Districts this year where you finished 24th. What were your thoughts going into this race?

First and foremost, I wanted our team to get 3rd. We knew we didnít have much of a shot at 2nd, but we also knew that Rice had a really good team, and yet another thing we knew was that we needed to get 3rd to be where the program needed to be in order to get where the program should be going. Yeah. I also wanted to get All-District, so I could at least have some honor or recognition during my college cross country career.

Well during the race our guys gave it all we had, and anytime we saw an owl on the jersey in front of us, we did what we could to compete with them. I know David Axel passed me somewhere in the 2nd mile and got up to about 100 meters in front of me, and I just kept an eye on him for the next 3 miles, no matter who we were passing between the two of us, and then when we got to the top of the hill around 5 miles, I started to finally reel him in, which is also where I passed McKinstry. He showed some major balls by really going after it, not settling for just trying to be our #1 runner, but instead by putting himself in a position to get to nationals. In the end it didnít work out for him, but he showed that heís got his fire back. After coming up by the finish area with 1K to go, I saw Jesse Parker, who I talked to a lot in high school and now coaches at Sam Houston. All he said was ď25th place, Alex.Ē That woke me up, as I had no idea where I was in the race, so I worked it up to pass 2 more people in the last K (including Jackson Langat, all-american 800 runner from TCU) and get passed by another to finish in 24th. I was glad to see JP had finished in 20th place, and that our whole team finished very tightly, just as we had all year but this time over 10K, especially with a team so young. As for Rice, they ended up only finishing 4 Ė if they had finished their top 2 guys where they should have, they probably wouldíve beaten us, which at first bothered me, but then you think about it, we had our own share of troubles, as does every team, so we beat em fair and square.

The nickname that trackshack dubbed for you followed the lines of Alpo or Dogfood. Heavy even wrote a song titled, ĎI hate you Alex Moore.í Umm, sorry if we hurt your feelings.

Also not a question, but no hard feelings.

How the luck been with the lady friends? Any hot prospects?

The prospects are aplenty. Unfortunately, thatís all they are. When the springtime comes, and the snow melts, then . . . yeah Iím done with this answer.

Youíve lived with your roommates your entire college career. This is generally not typical. What made yíalls relationship work out?

Uh, that is a common misconception. Matt, Jesse, and myself all lived with different people freshman year, and then sophomore year I didnít actually live in the estates. I have a varied and diverse list of roommates besides Matt and Jesse including Jason Ballard, Mario Reyna, Jacob Klinger, Doug Green, Paul Carpenter, and Brian Kelley.

However yes for the last 2.5 years we have shared the same residence. Honestly, I couldnít tell you why we have never had problems, but for one reason or another itís just always worked out. I think weíve all gotten to where we spend just enough time with each other and not too much.

Most of the readers here are Hartman disciples. So here comes the expected barrage of questions about the new program. We aren't here to say what's/who's better, but there was a change, so lets talk about that.

What would say was the hardest facet(s) of the new program to adjust to?

The different schedule, probably. With hartman, it was like there were two parts to each week. The real week was Monday through Thursday, then after the Thursday morning workout things started to unwind to where, by the end of Thursday afternoon practice, it felt like the weekend. Then Friday was the day off, followed by another hard workout, and then the Sunday run. Now, we have to stay focused Monday through Saturday morning, but only in the mornings. I like only meeting once a day.

What do you do with all this free time in the afternoon now?

It gives me a chance to watch Yes, Dear on TBS at 3pm.

With less hard workouts during the week, would you say y'all run y'all's distance runs harder than before?

Harder than freshman / sophomore year, but probably similar to Junior year when we were being pushed all the time by Cook.

Give us an example of a typical CC week, mid season, no race that week.

Here is the week right after the Florida State meet, and the week before the OSU Jamboree, as copied and pasted from the Log of the Week thread:

Was a pretty good week for me after a rough start. We left the hotel in Florida sunday morning at 5:30 am eastern time, got back to College Station at about 10:30 am, which was just past an acceptable time to do the long run, so we waited til 6pm to do that. I felt good, and went the whole 2 hours, probably at a faster pace than I should have, and paid for it monday.

Monday I felt like shit. We ran brothers pond, and it was hard for me to make it any longer than 10 miles.

Tuesday I felt less shitty, went 16.

Wednesday we had a workout. 3-4 x 10 minutes hard on the home meet course, with 3 min recovery in between. Everyone went 3, then on the 4th everyone stopped at 5, except for me who was feeling even less shitty. Mitch Bible outkicked me 5 minutes into the last one when he stopped, but I didn't care because he's cool. I'm hoping to get a chance to wheel the course to see how far we were going, which I meant to do today after the run, but then for some reason it got really hot.

Thursday we ran out at dowling out on some of the roads we would do double f-ers on.

Friday we went to the Dogwood hill and did 5-6 loops going from where we ussed to stop up to the end of the dirt road at the top around the corner, going steady the whole time with surges in between cones. My times were 5:10, 5:04, 5:06, 4:54, 4:56, 4:44, with about a 200 jog recovery between each loop. I would also like to measure that loop, and may do that next time we head out there.

Saturday we were on a hurricane watch. Which meant practice was optional. Which meant 7 guys showed up. We did a bastardized version of Smigel loop, which was a bastardized version of Fire Loop (I was just informed this is a bastardized version of Pipe Run). Ran through some woods and on some far away roads and ended up on Dowling, so we ran Rock Prairie loop, which was awesome because on the way back it was into the hurricane winds (about 30 mph). We ran into a couple of guys running, one of whom used to run for BYU and then for Club Austin (menze, do you remember John Hedengren? I ran next to him at last year's turkey trot for a little, he was pushing a stroller), and they ran back to the track with us. got in 17 miles. This morning I was planning on doing 80, but ened up doing 68, and decided 93 for the week was as good as 95 because it was hot and I was tired.

Is the weight program any different?

Yes. We usually only have 3 things actually involving weights, with dead lifts, arm curls and presses, tib/fib raise (to prevent shin splints), and the occasional walking lunges among the mix. We do more hurdle work and dynamic exercises than in the past also.

You help out with a website called trackshark. Anything neat we should know about it?

That I used to help out with it.

My bad, three days. So what did you use to do for that site?

I took photographs, wrote articles, and did rankings, which we accidentally called a Poll, because everyone else who does that did the same, but my rankings ended up being listed on some schoolís (Texasís included) athletics websites as actual rankings, which is when we changed the name. I also got into NCAA / USATF meets free, met interesting and fast people, and ate a lot of free food.

Any animosity between trackshark and letsrun (or some other running website)? Heated email exchanges? Threats to families?

Not anymore. Kidding. Trackshark has its niche, which is college track with (though it does a good job on distance coverage) a lot of coverage of sprinting and field events. Letsrun covers everything, and while a few rumors and interesting tidbits have been leaked on the trackshark forum, nothing will ever compare to the letsrun forum. EVER.

Well, that wraps up another interview. Look for more coming in the spring