Tagged: Boston Marathon


I have tried my best not to talk about the weather in our blog.  Last year I seemed to be commenting on the cold, snowy, icy, foggy weather conditions in every other entry.  This year, Mother Nature made it easy on me, giving us beautiful training weather all season long.  I guess she is getting the last laugh.  Monday’s weather forecast is in the mid 80’s according to the weather channel.  Some of the local weathermen are calling for even higher temperatures.  I know there is plenty of time for that to change for the better and we all know they get it wrong for time to time, but I’m starting to feed into the hysteria that started early this week with other marathon runners.

I don’t mind running in the heat but never this distance .  In 2010, I participated in a ½ ironman with the temperatures approaching 90, and I don’t remember liking the run too much.  However, part of the reason was because I rode the bike leg too fast for me and didn’t have much left for the run.   Needless to say my energy level was shot and I was a wee bit thirsty.

I have planned for this marathon like no other before.  I knew what pace I would be running at what point in the marathon (at least in theory).  I knew when I would be hydrating and when I would be fueling.  Now it’s back to the drawing board.  One good thing for us DFMC runners is we have Jack Fultz as our coach.  He is the winner of the hottest Boston Marathon on record (I wrote about it in last year’s blog http://dfmc2011.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/jack-fultz/).    I’m sure he will be giving us some last minute tips during Sunday’s pasta dinner.  I’m also hoping maybe Kelly’s cheering team will be on Heartbreak Hill with a big scoop of some Blue Bell ice cream 🙂 (check out Kelly’s fun and insightful blog and story behind Blue Bell http://rightonhereford.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/carb-loading-and-fun-loading/)

So bring your beach balls and sunglasses, and don’t forget the sunscreen.  It’s summertime!

(queue music…Will Smith’s Summertime….)


The Positive of Negative Splits

For years, my marathon training plan seemed to have no real purpose except to make sure I ran a certain amount of miles each week.  So this year I bought a plan from Runner’s World with a little bit of skepticism.  I could not understand how it could be dramatically different than what I have been doing, which was running, but to my surprise, it was different.

Every day over the 16 weeks had a purpose.  The plan had easy runs, tempo runs, long slow runs, Yasso’s, strides, fast finishes, hills and more.  It also had set paces during these runs.  Many of the runs were slower than I would have expected, especially when the goal was to get faster, but I decided to trust the training plan.  I found out later that I would have plenty of speed workouts to make up the difference.

One of my new techniques that the plan taught me was the negative split.  This method of running is where you run the first half of the race slower than the second half.  I have been using it in many of my training runs.  I also have tested this technique during the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler and Hyannis ½ marathon with good results.

I plan to run Boston using a negative split.  It seems a little overwhelming based on previous marathons.  The second half of the marathon has been where I traditionally get tired, and a couple of times have hit the wall.  I will have to trust my training and listen to what my body is telling me throughout the run.

It looks like many of you who have been supporting me in my efforts to raise money for Dana-Farber and the Claudia Adams Barr Cancer Research program has also embraced the negative split.  This year’s fundraising started slow.  I was getting a little concerned around the half-way point that I might not even reach my minimum required amount.  Well, we have had a monstrous negative split and during the past 7 days, you have donated almost $2,000.  This has pushed me over my goal of $6,000 and looks like I may have over $7,000 if the Company Matching Gifts come in by the marathon.

Thank you!!

Spencer to Boston

Hi Brendan,

How are you feeling?  Hopefully that appetite of yours is starting to kick in finally.  Thank you for the email about Nicole Jacobs.  She said to tell Brendan thanks for remembering!  Nicole will be contacting your mom in the next week or so.

Is Your Heart Breaking?

I am excited that this past week is over.  It was the toughest week of the training season.  I ran 60 miles during the week, something  I’ve never done before.  Except for finding the time to do all that running, it wasn’t too bad.  My muscles, joints, and bones are ready for some tapering but I have one more week before I can easy up.  I think I’ll have 250 miles recorded for the end of this month.  I didn’t think I’d ever run that much.  You are a good inspiration!

I wanted to see how far 60 miles is from Boston, so I Goggled it.   I found and article about a mile marker in Spencer Massachusetts.  This marker is is along the Boston Post road which was laid out by Ben Franklin in 1753 when he was Deputy Post Master General for the Northern Colonies.  He ordered the that the stones be placed to regulate postal rates.  This milestone is inscribed “60 Miles From Boston”  The stone is located just to the west of one of the entry roads to a cemetery.  The stone is a contributing object in the 1767 Milestones Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Sunday, Nikki and I ran with the L Street Running Club.  The bussed us out the Natick and we ran back to South Boston.  It was a scheduled 20 mile run but Nikki’s plan was to run 22 and I needed 23 miles.  The weather forecast was for the low 40’s with off and on rain showers.  We prepared for the worst.  A few years back, I ran the same course with the same weather conditions (there was a little stronger headwind).  Many of the runners, including myself were close to hyperthermia.  That was something I did not want to repeat.  This time the running gods were kind to us.  The first drops did not fall until the last runner finished.

Both of us had a good run.  It is a real confidence builder, especially for novice runners.  You get to feel the distance, figure out your fueling plan, and practice managing your pace.   Nikki brought her phone with her because she knew with the extra miles added on, she would be one of the last runners on the course.  She did great!  She even took some pictures all the way.

We are all signed up for the Pasta Party.  I can’t wait.  It is so much fun!  The deadline is coming up soon, so in case you haven’t gotten yours yet, remind your mom.

Take care, and I’ll see you in a week or two!


My First Infographic

Are You Ready to Laugh?

Hi Brendan,

I’m sorry you had to had to head back to the Jimmy Fund Clinic today.  I know you are tired of the doctor appointments, medicine, and the side effects that go with it.  I know you want it to be over.  I can never truly understand what you have gone through, and are still going through, but I know in my heart someday this will be a distant memory.

I know something that will make you laugh.  I have been running in Asics’  GT-2110 running shoes  for 6 years.  I’ve own at least 10 pairs.  I was able to buy them on the internet for years.  I even saved a few dollars because they were an older model.  I loved them.  I tried the new version of the shoe but the changes didn’t work for me.  The toe box seem to be smaller and the top of the shoe would rub against my ankle.  I needed to find my new running shoe.

As I walked into Marathon Sports on Tuesday, it was my third time trying to decide what would be my new running shoe.  I wasn’t going to leave without a pair.  I was ready this time because I did my homework.  I picked three different models I felt matched my foot, mechanics and running style.

First up was the Asics Gel-Noosa Tri.  I knew they had a different look, but from what I read, I had a guess I would like them.  From the moment I put them on, they reminded me of my Asics GT-2110s.  I went outside and did a test drive.  They felt really good.  They could be the one.  I liked them a lot but then I looked down at my feet and shook my head.

Next on my list was Saucony’s Progrid Guide 5.  I didn’t have them on for 2 minutes before I knew I couldn’t run in them.  There was a plastic piece going across my small toe and I knew it would bother me.  I looked over at the Asics and thought I better try the other pair.

The last running shoe on my list was the Mizuno Wave Elixir 7.  I really liked how they felt but it was different.  I went for a quick run outside to see how they performed.  I thought they could be a possibility, but I really liked the Noosa more.  They would be an easy choice if it wasn’t for its …uniqueness. Maybe i could like the Mizunos?

I decided to let the sales person recommend some similar options.  We tried Adidas, Nike, and New Balance and two more Asics; seven in all.  I had different shoes on each foot.  I wore my old shoe to get a comparison.  I re-tried shoes.  I was expecting them to ask me to just pick one, any one, please!  The whole time I am thinking, the very first pair I tried on were meant for my feet.  If I could only understand what Asics was thinking (or drinking) when they made them.

I finally realized if I’m looking at my feet while I run, I have bigger problems.  I thank the sales person for his patience and understanding.  I pick my marathon shoes and bring them to the counter.  I know I’ve made the right choice.  To my surprise,  I got 10% off my purchase which makes me feel better on my decision.

I’m sure you want to see which shoes I bought.  Try not to laugh to loud, I might hear you!

Take a Look!

I knew you would find them funny.  Keep your chin up.  You are doing great.  It’s going keep getting easier.

– Patrick

Day After

Hi Brendan,

How are you today?  I bet you are a little wiped out after this busy weekend.  Thank you so much for being there for me yesterday.   You were at a perfect spot, Mile 25.  I was pretty wiped by that point.  When I stopped to see you, it re-energized me for the last mile.  I was just what I needed.  I glad that you were able to head over the marriott after the marathon.  It was nice that we got to hang out for bit.

Today my legs were pretty sore.   The only thing I dreaded more than going up stairs was going down stairs.  I was going to hop a few trains heading home tonight so I wouldn’t have to walk far, but then I though the walk might do me good.   So I walked my usual mile walk to South Station.  I wasn’t alone.  I noticed two other day-after runners have some trouble walking too.  We gave each other a sympathy wave as we passed.

Good luck with all your appointments this week and I’ll see you later this week at Kiku Yama for our celebration dinner.


Happy Marathon Monday

Good Morning Brendan,

Well this is it, are you ready?  It should be an exciting day for the both of us.  It’s around 4:30 a.m. now.  No alarm needed this moring.  I’ve been up for a while.  I guess that’s why I make sure I get a good night sleep the night before – the night before the marathon. 🙂

I just checked the weather and it looks great.  It should be between 47°F and 62°F with a 17 mph tail wind from the WSW during my run.   That sounds pretty perfect to me.  If you are there early enough to see the lead runners, there is a good chance you can watch them set a new course record.

I’ll try to give you a couple of updates from now until I have to pack my phone away in Hopkinton.  After that, I’ll see on the bridge entering Kenmore Square.