30 Days and 100 Miles to go

Training week: 14 of 18
Money raised: $4,798 of $8,000
Today’s run: 12 miles, sunny and 25 degrees
Cumulative training miles: 350

I’m less than a month out from the Boston Marathon, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Next week is my toughest training week of the entire season. I’m scheduled to complete 41 miles in the next 7 days, including 2 strength-training workouts, a hill run (twelve 90-second repeats), a 10-miler on Wednesday, and, the crowning jewel of training season: a 21-mile long run on Saturday. It’s going to be a busy week.

Luckily, I’m in a groove now, and even this grueling schedule seems feasible. I’ve come to look forward to my midweek “sorta-long runs,” which I usually complete after work with my colleagues Amy or Chris, and they push me to a much faster pace than I’m comfortable with on my own. And the Saturday long runs with the Furey 26.2 team are a lot of fun, especially now that I’ve made some friends and see familiar faces during cool-down. Coach John makes the training schedule sound really simple, and he’s given me great advice about when to push harder and when to pull back. I honestly can’t imagine doing these weekend runs without running alongside (or behind) the Furey team and the hundreds of other Boston trainees who are out practicing on the marathon course.

It’s not that I haven’t had tough runs. My 18-miler, last Saturday, was one of the hardest runs of the season. I was totally prepared for it, but the conditions were awful. We’d gotten a couple of inches of snow in the early morning hours, and the temperature was hovering around 15 degrees. More than half the run was on snowy, icy slush, which made every step treacherous. Plus, winds were gusting up to 25 mph, and they were blowing right in our faces for the first 8 miles, and again for the last 3. It was my slowest run to date, by almost a minute per mile. When I finally finished, I felt like I’d been running for days.

Still, I’m excited for the “dress rehearsal” this coming Saturday: running 80% of the Boston Marathon course, starting at the 6-mile-mark in Framingham, and ending on Boylston Street near the finish line. Almost 5,000 runners take on this trial run, so it’s highly organized, with lanes blocked off and a police detail at the intersections. It will help me get my head in the game for Marathon Monday.

On top of the running, I’m entering into the most intensive phase of my fundraising. I’ve made direct asks to just about every human I know, and I still have about $3,200 to go. So I’m planning a 30th birthday party fundraiser for April 1, held at The Greatest Bar in Boston, where I hope to hang out with every friend I’ve ever made! Plus, I’ve got a silent auction in the works, and so far I’ve received over $800 in donated goods and gift cards to local Boston businesses. I’m planning to run that auction in the first week of April, once I’ve begun the glorious tapering period of marathon training, where I significantly decrease the weekly mileage goals in preparation for race day.

Speaking of fundraising, I’m weeks behind on thank-you notes, so I’d better get crackin’. See you on the other side of 21 miles!


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