Posts Tagged ‘heartbreak hill


Boston 2017: Time to look back

Constant, forward, motion. Or, confortion, as I like to call it.

The process of running a marathon is all about looking ahead. All the training goes “into the bank” for the big day. When that comes, plans are made for travel to the start, when to get there, when to start hydrating .. all with a nod to the future.

For this year’s Boston Marathon, one of my goals was to look back. It would take some time to get that point, but you never know when you’ll be back. Continue reading ‘Boston 2017: Time to look back’


Marathon No. 3: Rookie mistakes

My first Boston was overwhelming.

It was such a big deal to be running in a race I’d watched as a kid, growing up in Natick. Or on TV. It was THE race. One that dominated the headlines in the weeks leading up to the start. Continue reading ‘Marathon No. 3: Rookie mistakes’


One week to go: Glad it’s not THIS Monday

This year’s Boston is an event I have looked forward to since last April. The anticipation rivals a youngster’s desire for Christmas. The months can not go by fast enough. But I’m actually glad the race isn’t happening this Monday.

It’s not as if I’m not ready. The weather forecast is the problem.

The weather powers that be are calling for 77 degrees. Granted, a strong tail wind is expected, but I want nothing to do with anything over or near 70. I prefer next Monday’s day-of-race forecast for Boston: 59 and mostly cloudy. Clouds are huge this time of year. The less sun the better.

I’m sure the forecast will change about 10 times between now and then, and I’ll be checking every few hours just to see, but if it stays anywhere near 60, I’ll be happy.

Then again, I could use another week to get prepared. Not that I have anything strenuous planned, but I had a minor setback a few weeks ago. Fortunately, it happened the day after my 20-mile run.

It was March 29, a Saturday, and I started to feel ill. My family spent the day at the Museum of Science and later walked in the rain to the North End for dinner. On the way home, I had to pull over on Route 2 near Concord to dispatch the lasagna I had eaten a few hours before.

What seemed like a stomach bug lasted for about four days. I did not run on any of them and was relieved that I had gotten my Ashland-to-Heartbreak Hill run in. I would have never had the energy to do it the following weekend, which was three weeks before Boston. And three weeks prior is when I usually do a 20-miler to prep for a marathon.

After the bug subsided, I started feeling better, but not quite “normal.” I felt light-headed, which was very disconcerting.

I began to question everything about the marathon. Should I scale back my goal time? Should just take it slow during the race? Should I even run?

Eventually I went to see my doctor (last Wednesday). He checked me out and had a nurse take some blood and said he’d call later in the week. When I didn’t hear anything, I figured there was nothing conclusive with my blood work. I was a bit disappointed. I just didn’t feel right. When there’s a big event such as Boston approaching, that’s not a good feeling.

But on Friday night, he called and said I had an iron deficiency and prescribed some pills. I was relieved.

I’ve been taking the pills for just a few days, but I’m starting to feel normal again. You don’t realize how good normal feels until … you don’t feel normal.

I know this is taper time, but on the days I don’t run, I feel stale. It’s a common feeling leading up to a marathon, but I just need to run just about every day. It makes me feel whole, normal.

I joined my local running club (Squannacook River Runners – Groton, Mass.) on Sunday for a run in the rain. I ended up going 13 wet miles. And I felt good. I certainly didn’t need to run for an hour and 42 minutes, but what I did need was a confidence boost.

I’m starting to feel positive about the marathon again, although I’m going to run by “feel” instead of going all out for a sub-3:05 finish.

I’ll certainly run this Monday in the heat. It’ll be good practice when it comes to staying hydrated. I’m just glad I don’t need to go the full 26.2 until next week. Just wish that 59 and cloudy could be locked in with a guarantee. Not just for me, but especially those who aren’t starting until 11:25 a.m.

Whatever the weather, 36,000 of us will be ready.



Ashland to Heartbreak: A dry run

One door closes, another opens.

My training plan for this year’s Boston Marathon included the usual long distances, but I had/have a few specific workouts that I wanted to get in: 10 repeats up (and down) on a long, steep hill; two road races; and a trial run along most of the Boston course itself. Continue reading ‘Ashland to Heartbreak: A dry run’


Long run: all done; to do: 26.2

I received an email this morning from adidas Running. The subject line reads: “Are you ready for Boston?”

I haven’t opened it yet, but I already know my answer.

Hell yeah! Continue reading ‘Long run: all done; to do: 26.2’