Running Towards Boston

Running Towards Boston and Other Goals has been going well. Somehow I’m still injury free and enjoying the run. Winter running can be brutal, but it’s what we do!

Training for Boston and Other Goals

It’s hard to believe that February is finally over. It may be the shortest month on the calendar, but it is also the coldest and usually the snowiest. 

I’m counting down the days of March all ready and waiting for Spring!

I’m also counting down the days to The Boston Marathon on April 15th. We are basically down to six weeks to Boston.

My training has been going well. I’m not putting in crazy miles, but I am being more diligent with my running.

I run every Sunday morning and Tuesday night. Several times I’ve run twice on Tuesdays. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m also running more from my house.

Last week I ran in an area of my town that I’ve only driven by before. It was cool to see the parks, a church and many old homes I’ve never taken much note of before. I even discovered a street with original brick paving! 

Over the holiday months of November and December I managed to keep my base miles above 60 miles per month. That’s a rather pathetic 15+ miles per week! I ran 18 miles last Sunday.

But having that base to build on allowed me to bump my miles more than 30% in January and another 22% above January in February.

I should be able to get more than 100 miles in March. Then two weeks of taper time insanity!

Boston Marathon Training, Winter Running, Running Towards Boston The 2019 Grand Goal

Besides the joy of running races at will, feeling good and remaining injury free, I have a grand goal for 2019.

It’s a simple yet challenging goal that I’ve mentioned before.

My 2019 Grand Goal is to average 3 running miles per day all year. If I do that I’ll get to 1,095 miles for 2019.

Mathematically it’s a simple goal. 3 is an easy number to remember.

Falling Behind and coming Back

January is a long month and not just because it’s the dead of winter! I only managed to run 79.99 miles and that comes out to only 2.58 miles per day.

Most people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions by the second week of January. I managed to stick to my pursuit throughout the month, but I came up short.

Increasing my miles by 30% is pretty good, but not good enough.

February is a short month but it still has four Sundays. I managed to run three of the Sunday Long Runs. I missed one Sunday for the Super Sunday 5 Miler. I’ll count that as a speed work out. It was.

Then I spent a week in Orlando for the HIMSS19 conference. I managed a 16.2 mile Sunday Long Run on February 10th and hopped on a plane to Florida. 

During the conference I managed one four-mile treadmill run one evening. It wasn’t much but I felt great afterwards. It’s so hard to get in any exercise while travelling for work.

Throughout February I was behind my 3 mile per day goal. Each Sunday Long run got me closer, but I was still behind.

Running Towards Boston , Marathon Training

Tuesday night I ran 6.25 miles and was within 3 miles of my goal. I didn’t get in a run on Wednesday but I did manage to run 3.44 miles on the treadmill today, February 28th.

That brought my miles for the year to 177.73. Adding January (31 Days) and February (28 Days) my denominator was 59. 177.73/59 = 3.0123 miles per day!

I’m just so slightly ahead of the curve! 0.73 miles to be exact.

March has 31 brightening days so I need to run at least 93 miles to stay on target.

With any luck I’ll get on the treadmill March 1st and bang out four or five miles to get March off to a good start.

How are your 2019 goals going? Are you training for a major spring race? 

Run Well my Friends and don’t give up!

Andy

Sunday Long Run Seven

Boston Marathon training continues through the coldest days of the year with Sunday Long Run Seven. As I run towards my April goal, my 2019 goal remains in focus.

Boston Marathon 2019 training continues with Sunday Long Run Seven.

This week we ran 14.3 miles and had 546 feet of elevation gain. Somehow this seemed harder than last week’s 16.2 mile run with 616 feet of elevation. And my pace was slower  this week by 13 seconds per  mile.

It was a little colder than last week, but it was still below freezing last week.

In any event, I got in my miles and ran some good hills. All of this will serve me well on April 15th when I make my 9th official run to Boston.

The Sunday Long Run

I got up in plenty of time and had my coffee and toast. So I was properly fueled and hydrated. I managed to dilly dally enough to get to Melrose only 15 minutes before the run. I’m usually one of the first to arrive.

Maybe I’m still recovering from a four day conference? I thought standing was better for you than sitting? I stood for almost three days.

My watch took a bit to lock onto the satellites, so I was the last person to take off for the run. Before we hit one mile I caught up to a bunch of people and began to look for people running the full distance.

There were probably 20 people going full, but I could only keep up with some of them!

I knew I had to keep the person in front of me in view so I wouldn’t miss a turn. That meant I had to keep my water stops brief so I wouldn’t loose any one.

Last week I ran with someone most of the run. This week I spent most of my time alone. I think that made a big difference in my run. When I run with someone I tend to talk a lot and that makes the miles just melt away.

When I run by my self, I don’t have anyone to push me or distract me from my watch!

This week’s run was similar to last week’s run and I pretty much knew where I was going. But not all the time!

Melrose Running Club, Sunday Long Run SevenSince I didn’t have a plane to catch, I hung around at Bruegger’s for a while and enjoyed the company of my fellow runners.

My go to drink is iced coffee with milk or cream. After my DEXA scan, I’m paying more attention to my calcium intake.

The little bit of fat and protein in the milk doesn’t hurt the post run recovery either.

We take over about half of the restaurant after our run. A nice cup of coffee, a bagel or sandwich really hit’s the spot after a long run.

We don’t just talk about running, but it’s a very popular topic!

The Year So Far

I know that a lot of people have a running streak goal, Even if they only run a mile in a day, the streak continues. For me, running every day is way too ambitious.

For 2019 I set a more attainable though still challenging goal of averaging 3 miles per day. That will get me beyond my year goal of running 1,000 miles.

I often run around  800 miles per year, sometimes close to 900. But I’ve never run 1,000 miles in a year.

In 2018 I ran just over 802 miles for an average of 2.2 miles per day.

So far this year I’ve run 134 miles over 48 days for an average of 2.79 miles per day. In January my average was 2.58 miles and for February, so far, my average is 3.19 miles per day.

Averaging 2.79 miles will get me to 1,018 miles and reaching 3 miles per day will get me to 1,095 miles.

Next week’s long run is 18.1 and I have two more Tuesday night runs that will be over 6 miles each. If I manage to get in another 4 or 5 miles on the treadmill at work I’ll hit my goal for February.

The March is on!

For March I have 3 half marathons, a 5K, four Tuesday Night Club Runs and at least one Sunday Long Run of 14.8 miles.

With a few additional runs I should be able to hit my goal of 3 miles per day. Since March is the last full month before the Boston Marathon I’d like to kick my mileage to over 100 miles, possibly to 120 miles.

It is well within reach.

You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned much about marathon training. While I’m doing the long runs, keeping my mileage up and watching my diet, I’m not following any particular plan. I’m certainly not running 100 mile weeks. I rarely do.

How is your marathon training going? Do you follow a plan or do you just increase your miles and spend more time thinking about running than usual?

Run well my Friends,

Andy

Melrose Sunday Long Run Four

Sunday Long Runs continue in the heat of summer!

Sunday Long Run Number Four

This Sunday we had Sunday Long Run number four for 2018. It is August and the weather did not disappoint! While it was officially 75 degrees, it felt much warmer in the sun. 

With all of the rain that we’ve had over the past few days the humidity must have been 100%.

We had about forty runners show up for the run. A few new faces and a few familiar faces from other local clubs. There are some regulars who I only see on Sundays.

When I left my house in the morning I had planned to run the full 14.1 miles. Due to a lot of travelling for business and a major airport delay, I haven’t been running much. Part of me wanted to get in some my missing miles and part of me worried that going the distance may be too much.

Decisions in the Heat of the Run

Early in any run it can be difficult to make the legs move. Sunday morning was no different. I was tired, it was hot and I tried not to complain. We complain about the cold all fall, winter and spring. Sometimes you just have to go with what you have been wishing for!

cambridge Summer Classic 5K

We ran down Main Street in Melrose and up West Wyoming towards the Lynn Fells Parkway. After we crossed The Fellsway we hit the hill on Pond Street. There is a paved path just under the tree canopy so I headed to the shade. My buddy Dave and I were surprised that we were already past the 1.5 mile mark. In a way it seemed quick.

As we ran down Pond Street towards The Stone Zoo we were completely exposed to the sun. It was getting hot. As we passed the zoo I saw one of our runners grabbing a drink at a fountain that is slightly hidden and not known to many. I thought about stopping.

Water Stop U-Turn

At the water stop I decided to turn around. Dave was running short and many runners who were running long had already left. 

I’ve run this route several times and had a pretty good idea where I was going but lacked the certainty I needed. It was really hot and if I took a wrong turn I could be out here for hours. 

Since I wasn’t sure that I’d have someone to follow, I decided to head back with Dave and call seven miles good.

As we ran back the running seemed easier. Part of it was the fact that we were heading home, part of it was that we were now warmed up. Our pace was still pretty slow but we were past the half-way mark!

For the short run there was only the one water stop. While we missed a cold drink and a chance to refuel, we just kept on trucking to the finish!

Run well my Friends,

Andy

When 15 feels like 22 miles

It’s now taper time for Boston Marathon runners. Our Sunday Long Run program is in it’s last few weeks and the miles are dropping off rapidly.

Last week for Long Run Twelve, we ran 22 miles from Hopkinton to Boston College in Newton. This week we dropped down to 14.8 miles which at this point in time seemed like it was going to be easy.

When 15 feels like 22 miles

When we started our run last week in Hopkinton, I knew it was our longest run of the year. It was my longest run since The Honolulu Marathon on December 10th, 2017. 22 miles may not be a marathon but I have a healthy respect for that many miles.

Boston Marathon training, Hopkinton MA
Melrose Running Club SLR 12 Hopkinton

If you run them foolishly and without a plan, you are likely to run into problems. With my disaster of a run in Hawai’i fresh in my mind, I approached the 22 miler cautiously. The day before I ran the Malden Rotary 10K, but I took it easy. A 10K the day before a 22 miler is not the best idea, but I ran smart.

It’s one thing to know that your going to run 22 miles, it’s another to KNOW your going to run 22 miles.

My goal last week was to run a 9:30 to 9:45 pace. If I can manage this pace for Boston I’ll come in between 4:09 and 4:15. I’ve run much better, but I’ve also been younger and healthier.

The entire run in from Hopkinton was a test drive. I’ve run the Marathon seven times and done this long run three times at least. I’m pretty familiar with the course and there seem to be fewer new hills each year!

I ended up with an average pace of 9:46. Not too bad. I managed to run all of the hills including Heart Break Hill. Running those hills and managing the Rt. 95 overpass hill was a big confidence booster.

Running deliberately and with a plan makes a huge difference in how things turn out. Feeling my plan work was really cool!

The big difference between a training run and the race is that I wont be stopping every few miles to re-fuel and hydrate. Those little breaks make a big difference late in the run.

Over the week since that run I’ve done a lot of thinking. Can I maintain a 9:45 pace for 26.2 miles with only one stop at the most? I don’t know.

The 22 miler helped me dial in a few details that will be important on Marathon Monday, but I just don’t know. Anything can happen.

Running 15 miles feels like running 22 miles

The goal this week was to embrace the taper and try the 9:30 to 9:45 pace again.

Well, that didn’t work out too well!

The temperature was about 10° warmer than last week so I dressed a bit lighter. But it was windier, so I was cold a few times. Not a big deal and it won’t effect my marathon.

None of the guys I usually run with were here this week, so I ran on my own for the most part. I started with the lead group and ended up keeping up with them for most of the run. A big mistake that I should know better than to make.

I kept trying to lose them, but I couldn’t make my self slow down enough to get them out striking distance. The few times they did get ahead, we ended up at the next water stop together.

Running successfully requires control and running your plan. My goal was to dial in my pace this week and embrace the taper, but it just didn’t work out. I’m like a dog chasing a squirrel.

Early in the run I fueled and hydrated properly, so energy was never a problem. But around mile 9 I began to notice my thighs.

We were heading up Main Street in Saugus towards Wakefield High. Over the distance of a mile we gained about 70 ft in elevation. It’s not a steep climb, but it is a slow burn. And I ran the hill in 9:06. Way too fast for a hill nine miles into a run like this.

Mile 10 to 11 gave back the elevation, but the damage had been done. My thighs were now tired. Even with the downhill, mile 11 came in at 8:58. Still way too fast. But if I was going to kill it, if I was capable of killing it, that mile should have been more like 8:30. It was just all wrong.

I kept telling my self that this was building muscle and hill climbing capability for The Marathon. I also told my self that I had no more than four miles to go. I knew I had four miles in me.

Running it in from Wakefield

At the last water stop my left knee was acting up. Probably from attempting to run the down hills like a fool. I topped off one of my water bottles with water and had three Snickers minis. My gut was doing okay. So, maybe I have a handle on that problem. We’ll find out in two weeks!

My last four miles were 9:29, 9:01, 9:13 and 9:41.

My legs were exhausted and both knees were saying hello.

The official distance for Sunday Long Run 13 was 14.8, but I just had to round it off and ended up running 15.07.

I’ve got two weeks of taper time to rest. My thighs will recover and be stronger and my knees should be in good shape as long as I continue to give them lots of TLC.

Next week’s run is 12.5 miles. If I can dial that run in I’ll feel much more confident in my ability to dial it in when it really counts. It’s easy to blast out a short run, especially at the end of a marathon training program. I’ll be in as good of shape as I’ve been in since December.

The real test on the 12.5 mile run will be self control. It’s crucial.

March Miles Tally

Because Easter is early this year, we ran on Saturday, March 31st instead of Sunday. Not only did these miles count towards my March total they also added to last week’s 22 miler.

My last week of March totaled 46.87 which is a pretty respectable week even for a good runner. My total miles for March came in at 117.20 which is also a pretty respectable number.

I thought it was an all time monthly high for me, but in March 2016 I ran 122.8 miles. That year I ran Boston in 4:09.

4:09 is my stretch goal for 2018. I’m not sure that I’m in better shape or smarter than I was two years ago. I’m definitely two years older.

Run well my Friends and we’ll see you out there!

Andy

Boston Marathon Training 2018 5 Weeks to go

The Boston Marathon is rapidly approaching! How is your training going?

I was away for business last week and only managed two treadmill runs. One was 6.61 and the other was two miles. Not much but better than nothing.

Boston Marathon Training on the Road

Training while traveling can be a challenge. Running shoes take up a lot of space and can force you to check a bag that’s just too big for the overhead bin. You also have to remember to bring everything you need. Who wants to go for a five mile run in black dress socks!

Running Shoes, Surviving a Conference, Boston Marathon TrainingI’ve gotten to a hotel and realized I didn’t pack running shorts. All that effort and extra weight and I still couldn’t even go to the gym. Yes, you can always buy a pair of shorts. But when you have as much gear as I do, it’s painful to spend $30 to $50 for a pair of running shorts or yet another running shirt.

Most of my conferences have a packed schedule that has me leaving my room before 8 AM and often not returning until after 8 PM. This doesn’t leave much time for running.

I usually arrive the day before and try to run in the gym that night. It helps me relax after a long flight. The next morning I might go out for a short run around the neighborhood. This is more of a recon mission than a training run.

If you don’t know the area it’s best to go out during the day and see what the neighborhood looks like. I’ve been hemmed in by highways. Other times I couldn’t run more than a few hundred feet before stopping at a corner. Many towns don’t consider J-walking a sport like Bostonians do.

If I’m lucky and get to bed at a decent time I run in the mornings before the conference begins. A few miles in the clear morning air is a great way to start a long day.

If I can’t get to the gym or outside, I have yoga and body weight exercises that I can do.

Cross training is important in any training plan. A strong core and hip muscles will take you far. Simple things like planks, squats and stretching can give you a pretty good workout. I avoid anything that involves jumping, like burpees or jumping jacks.

I also avoid working my legs too much. It’s easy to knock about 100 squats and lunges when you’re bored and there’s nothing else to do. But then you have to walk and stand on those beat up legs the next day.

Eating on The Road

Surviving a Conference, TapasAt most conferences and meetings there is more food than you should eat. Sometimes the food is really good and it’s difficult not to go back for seconds or take an extra pastry.

The best thing to do is load up on fruit and yogurt and go lightly on bacon, sausage, fried potatoes and those delectable pastries!

Drinking a lot of water will also help. Often, conference halls are dry so you naturally dehydrate faster than you would at home. Keeping your belly full of water also helps you avoid the many high calorie temptations. Skip the soda and juice and go light on the sugar and cream in your coffee. Water is best.

If you go out for dinner you may be able to make good food choices. If not, just be careful how much you eat.

Paella, surviving a conferenceAvoiding cocktails, beer, wine etc is also a good idea. They are full of calories and lower your defenses to foods you should avoid. I hardly ever order desert and when I do it always feels like a mistake about half-way through!

Even if you can’t maintain a regular training schedule, keeping your weight under control can pay big dividends when you get back home.

Boston Marathon Training 2018 5 Weeks to go

Holy smokes! Only five weeks to go!

Like most plans, my training plan went off the rails a few times. In January I pulled my left calf muscle on the day I got confirmation I was running Boston. That took me out for about two weeks. When I started back I kept my runs short and many were on the treadmill.

Then my Dad got sick and I spent two weeks in Florida and ran once. January came in at 82 miles and February came in at 60 miles. I was hoping to run 100 miles for both of these months.

My Dad is okay and back home.

The first week of March I was away for business and missed a 20 mile Sunday Long Run. That was an important run that I really regret missing. But I had to fly on a Saturday and I’m glad I did.

Due to weather my flight out of Boston was delayed two and a half hours and I missed my connecting flight out of JFK. The last JetBlue flight out of JFK was 9 PM and I got into Las Vegas around 4 AM Eastern time.

If I did the 20 miler, my Sunday flight may have been cancelled and I would have had to fly on Monday.

As I mentioned above, my training in Las Vegas was minimal. But, now I’m back to the frozen North. Winter is still here.

Boston Marathon Training Sunday Long Run

Sunday Long Run week 10 2018, Boston marathon trainingThe official distance for this week’s run was 16 miles. Due to snow we could not run in Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, so adjustments were made. We have an awesome SLR crew!

Since I only ran 8.6 miles the previous week, I wasn’t to excited about a 16 miler for my first run back.

My weather app said it was 30° and would go up to 37° so I wore Kraft shorts and running shorts. I wore hat, gloves and two long-sleeved shirts. While most of me was okay, my legs were freezing for the first two miles. Garmin says it was 23° and I’m sure it was at times!

We started at Bruegger’s on Main Street in Melrose and headed north. Our first water stop was at Nick’s Pizza in Wakefield. I had my own Hammer Head mix, so I just took a tiny Snickers bar.

From Nick’s we headed to Lake Quannapowitt for a loop or two around the lake. It’s a 5K loop so it works out well.

The plan was to do one loop, head back to Melrose, pass Brueggers and do another loop in Melrose. As I ran towards the lake I decided to run around the lake twice if the wind wasn’t too bad.

I went one way and everyone else went the other way around the lake. As I ran around the lake I got to see everyone. The wind wasn’t bad at all, so I did a second loop and saw more of our crew along the way.

At the bottom of the lake on my second loop I was around 10 miles. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t hit 16 miles if I headed strait back to Melrose, but I had planned to cut the run short anyway.

I stopped at Nick’s for one last stop and had two little Snickers bars and added some water to one of my bottles. This was about mile eleven.

I knew it was only about three miles back to Brueggers, but that was okay.

My knees were starting to hurt and I didn’t want to push it. My last three miles were all under my marathon goal pace of 9:30 and my overall pace for the run was 8:56.

For my first long run in two weeks, 14.1 miles isn’t bad. Next week the run is 17.8 miles and I’ll need to start working on my pace.

I’m pretty good at running even splits. Now I just need to get the splits around 9:30.

Looking Ahead to the Boston Marathon

Being realistic, I will not be in shape to run 9:00 splits for Boston. In Honolulu I only managed a 10:34 pace. This was due to my knee and making four porta potty stops.

When I ran Boston in 2016 I ran a 9:30 pace and finished at 4:09. When I did that I had different knee issues than Honolulu. The Honolulu knee issues persist.

I’ve been working on my stomach issues. I woke up early for today’s SLR and had breakfast an hour and a half before the run. It may be a one-off, but my gut never bothered me for the entire run. I usually eat within a half-hour of a run and that may be a bad idea for me.

It also seems like my recent time off from running has helped my knee recover somewhat. I was bumming about missing the 20 miler, but while running today I was glad when I realized how well my knee was doing.

I’m always looking for the upside in any situation. The “rest” in Las Vegas was good for my knee and I may have a handle on my stomach issues.

If things go my way I should be able to run between 9:30 and 10:00 minute splits for the Boston Marathon 2018!

The Boston Marathon 2018 winners will be showered and doing interviews by the time I head down Boylston Street.

This will be my Eight Running of The Boston Marathon and it still has a special place in my heart. I get excited just thinking about it! I know it will be difficult and painful, but the joy is in the challenge and over coming.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate running with 32,500 other runners on Marathon Monday!

Run well my Friends and let me know how your training is coming along.

Andy

18 Mile Sunday Long Run

Boston Marathon 2018 training continues. This week we an 18 mile Sunday Long run in the cold and rain. Welcome to New England in February!

18 Mile Sunday Long Run

Last week the official long run was 14.3 miles, but I cut it to 10 miles since it was my first long run in weeks. This week we stepped up to 18 miles and I had to give it a go.

On Marathon Monday it’s these long runs that will make or break my day. Shorter runs can help with speed and getting your mileage count up. But it’s these long runs that build cardio-vascular fitness and help carry you to the finish line.

As painful as an 18 or 20 mile long run often is, it’s the price you have to pay to run marathons. I think most people who read this blog understand that you don’t just show up for a marathon and go for a jog.

There’s a lot of hard work and time that goes into getting to the start line and then the finish line.

It was a cold and blustery day

When I woke up I could hear the rain coming down. It was in the forecast, I just didn’t know how heavy the rain was or how low the temperature was.

After I got most of my running gear on I went to the front door to see what things looked like. As soon as I opened the door I could see that it was a light rain and that it was cold and raw out. Nice!

I opted to run in tights and shorts, figuring pants would just soak through and get heavy.

Sunday Long Run 8, February 25 2018My phone said it was 37° out, but the rain and breeze made it feel much cooler. Garmin said the reel feel temp was 29° and I believe it.

I decided to wear a wool hat instead of a running hat. A  running hat brim would keep some rain off of my glasses, but I was more interested in staying warm!

Traffic was light and I got to Bruegger’s in time for a coffee and bagel. I wasn’t hungry at home, but knew I needed to eat something.

The 18 Mile Sunday Long Run

marathon training, sunday long run, Boston Marathon 2018Like a dummy I never looked at the map for today’s run. As Jim Carson explained it to the crowd, I realized I knew this course by heart.

We had about 35 runners even on a cold and blustery February day. Usually the combination of long distance and shitty weather keeps people home. Not today.

My buddy Don Keren and I ran the first 9 miles together. Don ran The Everglades 50K last weekend and was still in his recovery phase.

My knees are still bothering me so I was more than happy to run a reasonable pace with Don.

We ran up Main Street Melrose to The Fellsway up to Breakheart Reservation in Saugus for the first water stop.

After a slow first mile we did 9:11 for miles two and three. Miles four and five were in Breakheart and we had to deal with all of those hills. Both miles were around 10:20.

The next three miles back down the Fellsway to Main Street Saugus were all around 9:45. The Nine-mile water stop was at Wakefield High. At this point Don peeled off to head home and I headed out for the second half of my soggy slog.

The 9 miles home

I knew exactly where I was going so I didn’t have any concerns about getting lost. I knew there were some rolling hills but nothing like we had in Breakheart. At the water stop I took a gel and that helped re-energize me. Mile 9 came in at 9:09 and the next two miles were both under 9:00.

Sunday Long Run water stop, Jackie Ecker
MRC Water Stop – Courtesy: Jackie Ecker

Miles 12 through 17 were under 9:47. Not great but my knee was acting up and I was beyond the range of any run in the past few months. It was to be expected.

At mile 18 I had to walk. This was a training run and there wasn’t a gold medal waiting for me or anyone else at the end. I was exhausted, sore and cold and wet. A splendid combination.

Probably around mile 16 I started bargaining with my self. I kept thinking of UMaine’s Coach John Winkin. In addition to being a very successful baseball coach at Maine he was also an avid runner.

Many times I would see him jogging on the roads near the UMaine campus. He often wore what looked like a cotton warm-up suit and never looked like he was running. When I was at Maine he was in his late 60s and looked trimmer than most students.

I kept telling myself to run like Coach Winkin, slow and steady. If he could do it at 65+, it would get a youngster like me home!

When my knee hurt I thought about Lindsey Vonn. I’ve been watching the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics for the past two weeks. It’s easy to get inspired by many of these athlete’s stories.  No one gets to The Olympics by being born rich or pretty. No one gets to The Olympics without hard work, sacrifice and enduring a lot of pain at times.

Lindsey seems to have endured more pain than many, but she still gets out there and lays it all on the line for every run down those slopes.

I don’t have Team USA, a slew of medical professionals behind me or Lindsey’s level of motivation.

But I do have my level of motivation. A level of motivation that has gotten me to the finish line on Boylston Street seven times. I’m not a World Class athlete, but I know what needs to be done to succeed at my level.

So with Coach Winkin and Lindsey Vonn to inspire me, I bargained with my self to get to the next intersection. There were a few times when I had to walk. There were times when I jogged like Winkin.

With all of that, mile 17 came in at 9:47 and mile 18 came in at 12:10. It took me 2:55 to run 18 miles for an average pace of 9:43. If this were a marathon I have no doubt that the last 8.2 miles would all have been 12 minute miles.

Fortunately this was a training run and I have six more weeks of training.

Run well my Friends!

Andy