Six readers have been chosen to receive Polar training computers and other gear, and they'll be blogging about their experiences here in our Marathon Blog. The posts will begin next week and continue through marathon week.
The bloggers/testers who have been chosen to give us a glimpse into their training are:
Chrissy Horan, Watertown, Mass.
This will be Chrissy's seventh Boston Marathon and her fifth running for the Alzheimer's Association, for whom she has raised more than $25,000. She writes a blog, Chrissy Runs Again and loves counting, tracking and analyzing her training.
Chris Garges, Bethlehem, Pa.
A self-proclaimed "gear geek," Chris is an engineer who has a passion for interpreting data. This will be his ninth Boston Marathon after qualifying with a 2:59:51 time at the Mad Marathon in Stowe, Vt. Chris says he loves social media and blogs at Motiv-8.
Stephen Pecevich, Quincy, Mass.
Stephen is a devoted and passionate father who made a promise to his daughter, Sydni, a spastic quadriplegic, when she was four months old, that he would be her legs until he can no longer run. Now training for his 16th marathon in her honor, Stephen's moving story is eight years in the making and benefits the Joe Andruzzi Foundation.
Katie Schroth, Westford, Mass.
An electrical engineer by day, Katie is the mother of two girls who loves technology and playing with electronic gadgets for a living. You can find her running endeavors on her blog, Experimental Runner. She qualified for Boston at the Bay State Marathon in Lowell, Mass. with a time of 3:11:54.
Allyson Manchester, Brighton, Mass.
A writing teacher at Boston College, Allyson brings her two passions together, running and writing, in her quest for 26.2 mile glory. She also produces visual and written content for Dunkin' Donuts and contributes to their blog, "Behind the Beans." Allyson is raising money for the Red Sox Foundation.
Jacqueline Palfy Klemond, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
After qualifying in 3:39:13 at the Twin Cities Marathon in October, this will be Jacqueline's first time running the Boston Marathon. She is a 38-year-old mother of two, a newspaper editor and columnist, and writes a blog called Jack and Viv. Jacqueline has overcome many injuries in the past, and trains in the bitter cold winters of South Dakota.
This time last year my long run had been 3 miles and I had just received the OK from my personal trainer, Jake, to up the distance of my runs.
Although my foot is 90 percent recovered from last year's surgery I still have to limit my outdoor runs to a couple days a week.
I finally was able to fit a long run between snow storms and I managed to get 16 in last Saturday.
Come April 15 I will be running my 20th consecutive Boston Marathon while raising money for innovative cancer research at Dana Farber.
In an effort to make this a special year for me, I have invited 20 or so of the young women that I have met during my last 20 years running to help me celebrate my run and to raise additional funds for the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge.
My plan is to have one of my former training partners to meet me at each mile along the course.
In addition to being a welcome distraction, each lovely lady has pledged $100 to my fundraising effort.
The response has been great, I have well over 20 companions signed up.
One of the joys of running the marathon over the last two decades has been meeting wonderful people from all walks of life. I'm truly honored that so many are going to join me for the big event.
As any marathoner knows the next few weeks are crucial to having a good day on Patriots Day. For me the key is a few more long runs and to stay healthy.
Eighteen on tap for this Saturday with the Quincy Half Marathon the following Sunday .
Now for my other vow, more sleep.
Once again, we're teaming up with Polar USA for a special feature leading up to this year's Boston Marathon.
Runners entered in this year's Boston Marathon are invited to throw their names in the hat to be chosen to test-run some cool gear from Polar, which makes personal fitness monitors and devices like GPS and heart-rate watches. Those chosen will be asked to blog about their training experiences as the marathon approaches.
Test team members will receive a selection of gear from Polar. A Polar expert will help match the right setup to the candidates based on their entry responses, but the gear we're talking about includes the RCX5, RCX3, and RC3 GPS training monitors.
The testers will be asked to blog once a week on Boston.com's Boston Marathon blog about their training experiences, their hopes and fears about the marathon, and other personal insights and observations as the race approaches.
Writing experience is certainly a plus, and you need to be tech-savvy enough to set up an account on Polar's web site and upload your data.
The test team participants will get to keep the Polar gear.
To register to be considered, submit your entry here. You must be entered in this year's Boston Marathon. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday (Feb. 22), and we'll reveal the test team on Feb. 25.
What a difference a year makes.
In 2012 between January and March, we had a grand total of 8.3 inches of snow in Boston. Needless to say, it made for a very unique 2012 Boston Marathon training season and in hindsight, the fact that temperatures rose into the upper 80’s on race day maybe should not have come as a complete surprise.
However, that was 2012 and 2013 is already shaping up to be a much different training season.
Yes folks, the snow is back and boy has it come back with a vengeance. Yes, just this past weekend our good friend Nemo graced us with a grand total of 24.9 inches of snow, which was good enough to rank as the 5th largest Boston-area snow storm of all time.
Call me crazy, but when the news of Nemo’s arrival started to circulate, one of the first things that popped into my head was its potential impact on my training schedule. While I could have technically hit the road for a run early Friday morning, I decided to pass, and by mid-day Friday it was clear that it would likely be a few more days until I would venture out for a run. As the weekend is my time for long runs, if I knew that if I didn’t get one by Sunday, my training schedule would be thrown off by a week. Not the end of the world, but certainly not ideal.
Well, once Sunday rolled around and it was clear that things had settled back to a relative state of normalcy, I decided that it was now or never. If I was going to get my long run in, today would need to be the day.
I have say that simply mustering up the motivation to do a long run less than 24 hours after the statewide driving ban had been lifted was a true exercise of “my heart” over “my mind”. What I mean here is that when I looked outside and saw the massive snowdrifts and knew that what likely awaited me were snow covered roads and slush, everything in my mind just told me to wait and stay home. Yes, it was certainly tempting. At the same time, my heart was telling me to put on my shoes, get outside and take on this challenge. Yes, I knew it would not be easy and likely not be a whole lot of fun, but this was also something I knew I could do. Well, in the end “my heart” overtook “my mind” and soon I was heading out the door for a 15 mile run.
As expected, most sidewalks still were not plowed so I was forced to run on the road. It was a bit perilous, but I was also being very careful. Needless to say within the first half-mile of my run I was greeted with what would be the first of many “slush showers” from passing motorists. While many roads were plowed, all that meant was that they were “passable”, not that the snow was gone. Therefore, the fact that snow still covered much of my running ground made it quite a bit more challenging, particularly on hills, as I was just not able to get as solid traction and it forced me to be very cognizant about maintaining my balance.
However, as I started to rack up the miles; and one turned into three and three into eight and then eight into 15, I started to feel very inspired by what I was doing. I realized that what I was doing was not normal, but what was driving me was my passion for running, my dedication to a goal and my love of the marathon. In the end what had motivated me to get out the door was not just the desire to rack up my desired number of weekly miles, it was more than that. While Nemo had made today’s conditions far less than ideal and I was completely soaked, what had been put forth was a challenge and I did not back down. In the end when I returned home, I had not only fulfilled my training goal, but I also returned with a much stronger sense of the will, dedication and passion that continue to motivate me to run and train day-in and day-out.
Ultimately, for me the run was in some ways a microcosm of the marathon experience. First off, you have no control over the conditions on race day so you need to be ready to run in whatever awaits you. Training is a journey and throughout it, you will encounter many highs and some lows, but to be successful, you need to keep focused and always be ready meet the challenge. You need to always stay motivated and focused on your goal, as this is what will keep you going and ensure that you not only get to the starting line, but also across the finish line. Most importantly Sunday taught me about the power of “running from the heart”, and importance of focusing on your passion, goals and sources of motivation.
While Sunday’s run was not easy, it’s now part of my story. I’d also like to think that Nemo taught me another an important lesson about the marathon experience. Simply stated, success is not defined by the miles or the clock, but more importantly in my ability to:
Love every moment.
Love every challenge.
Love each mile.
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes