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26.2 mi


6:04 mi

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Honestly some of the highest highs I have ever experienced, followed by some of the lowest lows in a blink of an eye. It really puts what is important to us in perspective.

"Give us the strength to remember that life is so very fragile. We are all vulnerable and we will all at some point in our lives fall; we will all fall. We must carry this in our hearts…that what we have is special. That it can be taken from us and that when it is taken from us we will be tested…we will be tested to our very souls. We will now all be tested. It is these times…it is this pain that allows us to look inside ourselves."

The running part of the day was a great day that I was very happy about. I tend to think every training cycle has a theme to it, or maybe I want it to at least. Pocatello was where "The Kid" was born. Rehoboth was where I learned what it took to qualify. Steamtown was "absolutely no excuses" would come in my way of my quest to break 3 hours (until my ankle grew to the size of a watermellon) Tucson was where I learned to never give up. etc etc etc.

I could tell you this was some type of redemption tour. That I was getting back at mother nature for spoiling my sub 3 last year or because I got injured in the fall when I was in very good shape. It wasn't. I could tell you this was all about me breaking 2:40 this year and nothing would come in my way. But that wouldn't be true either.

After I got injured, I had a lot of time on the elliptical to think about if I ever got back to that shape I was in what I would do differently. I took a look at guys like Ruben, Jenkins, Schneider, Jeff, Reno to name a few but damn that list is much longer and said what if I took it as serious as them for just 3 and half months. Now I don't know much about how these guys train or what their "secrets" are but I know this. I saw first hand Ruben doing hurdle exercises to strengthen his hips after an EASY 17 mile run at 6:20 pace with me. I know Schneider did not finish a 12 pack before the start of monkey, and I'm fairly certain none of those guys have blown a summer of hard work on Yasso's 2 weeks before their big race. What if I took this running thing serious? What if I conceded to what Bash and EJ and everyone else had been telling me all along?

First thing I decided was I needed a plan to get there. I'm a BIG fan of winging your marathon training plan. Make sure you get X 20 milers in, do track once a week, recover and run Y miles a week, and the rest is just fillers. The problem for me is I would string a week where I would do hills on Tuesday, MP Tempo on Wednesday, Thursday track, Friday Marathon Tempo, and Saturday long and then wonder why my body was breaking down. So first thing I did was adopt a similar plan that I followed loosely to get to steamtown. I mapped it all and was ready to start the first of the new year. Then two things happened. First, Bash said there wasn't enough miles in the plan considering my current base mileage. Then EJ stuck his nose in which he never does and said if I was going to follow a plan, I needed to follow the plan to the T. I might as well not follow a plan if I was going to cookbook a plan as he said. So then I started to look around. I needed a plan that intimidated me enough that I would "respect" the easy days because I was concerned about the hard days. I quickly found Pfitzinger's 85+ and adopted that. It had a run every other week up to 7 miles at HMP that scared me enough. It had me running 90+ miles a week in January, doing doubles, all things I had only flirted with so certainly enough to keep me grounded.

Now I had a plan, but I needed some type of way to prevent myself from getting peroneal tendinitis again. Everytime I picked up the intensity and volume in the fall it came back. So for this, I tapped my PT resource Bash. He was concerned by hamstrings were way to tight for anything in my legs to properly function. Hips were weren't allowing my foot strike to correctly align, and my balance was out of wack (these are official PT Terms). He came up with some active stretching routines which would mitigate these problems if I kept up with them regardless of whether I felt like I needed it. He compared it to running 2 half marathons a week. I said okay, fine I'll do this stretching thing twice a week no problem. He said nope 3 times a week. Pain in the ass, but its only 3 months, whatever it takes.

Now that I had a plan, and a way to keep loose enough to complete it, the next question became was my nutrition plan strong enough to get me there on April 15th? Prior to this training cycle, my nutrition plan was similar to most runners I assume: Fuel the fire. And that's with whatever you wanted or had on hand. Ice cream? Sure. Beer? why not? Potato chips? you gotta get the salt back in somehow. But, what if I wasn't getting enough of certain nutrients. For this I did some research. I wanted my protein level to be around 120g a day. 45-65% of calories should be from carbs, mostly complex. whole wheat, get lots of fruit, only get good fats. So I started tracking what I was eating and seeing how close my "typical days" were to those guidelines. On a good day, I was fine. On a bad day, I wasn't even close. I started to make some changes to make sure I was getting the protein on a consistent basis. for 3 months I basically gave up snack food. My snack food was fruit and veggies. and pickles. and Gum. not eating my comfort foods as a way to deal with stress, made me crave gum like it was crack, but thats a story for another day.

I also stopped drinking for this cycle. Yes, someone who earned the name "Drunkass" stopped drinking for a training cycle.

The last change I made was to stop over racing. I admit I am an addrenilin junkie and I love a good race, but you can only handle so much. I knew this in December when I developed this plan, but it became real clear when Glenn gave a speech about me at the GLRR Award Dinner.It went something like this: one Tuesday The Kid ran a PR of X, he then followed it up with a win at on the following weekend at this race, only to follow it up with a 17:10 5k a few days later.He started listing a bunch of races I had run (39 total in 2012) and I thought hm, impressive, maybe but certainly no big surprise you broke down in October.

Once this was set into motion I stopped caring what other people were doing. I didn't care that so and so was going for a similar goal as me and they were doing this workout or ran this race. I took the "It is what is" approach. Live by the plan die by the plan.

Disclaimer; None of this was necessary to train for a marathon. Certainly, you could get similar results breaking all of these items, but this was how I was going to get there.

Based on current fitness in December I thought I could run 2:49 at Boston. In order to do that, I figured I needed to be able to get under 1:18 in the half or fairly close at least, so I trained all my workouts at about 6:00 min pace based on that idea.

I ran the First run 10k in January to test my fitness beforehand to see if I was improving. 36:11 (5:50 per), I knew things were going well when I ran the Log Cabin 6.04 miler 5:34 pace. Things definately seemed on track after Jones, but New Bedford was where I realized if I wanted to "go for it" I might just be able to run something special at Boston. I kind of went back and forth on what my plan would be for Boston. I don't like to talk about it as a kind of superstitious thing, but Colleen who I'm not sure is qualified to give pacing advise said "listen, if you are going to put all this training in, you need to go for it. 2:38 or bust" I looked at her and said ugh thats a 1:19 first half marathon, pretty aggressive. Coach said to go out at about 1:20 and I should have no problem getting under 2:40. The night before I decided I would run my five mile intervals at 30 mins to 30 mins 50 seconds based on how I was feeling.

The first five I knew the importance of keeping the emotions in check, keeping the pace on the slower side and not grinding the break pads early on. This was the slowest segment of the course for me, but not by much. Miles 1- 12 were fairly unexciting. Got a couple of side stitches (something that I'm not accustomed to) and just kind of tried to keep my breathing calm and relaxed and I was able to work through them. The first big moment of the race was the 10k. This was where I was showing my cards. Telling Colleen, my family, friends, etc that I was going for it. I told Dan to drink a beer every time I crossed check point. Not sure if he did or not, but at nothing else it made me chuckle. The next big lift was the Wellesley Girls. If there was one reason for someone to run Boston, that would be it for me. Just to experience that moment. It's pretty special. The guy next to me looked at me and said damn if only they would do that the whole way.Next was the half marathon check point. If seeing a 38 min 10k doesn't mean much I figured most of the people tracking me could double a half an realize what my goal time was. No turning back here folks. I saw Jill and Laura right after that. Most races I would recommend feeding off the crowd, but Boston is a little different, you have to keep yourself in check or your hand will get sore from high fiving so much. However, the moment I saw Jill and laura, I let myself go a bit and they probably took one of my top running pictures ever.

After that, I saw Scott C at 15. pretty jacked up. Gendron somewhere around there, absolutely losing his top. Shortly after that Seth went nuts. Pretty sure the guy i was running next to was scared for this life. 16 we hit the 128 overpass hill. and I thought of what Bash said to me before the race "How many times have you woke up at the crack of dawn in the cold and run those hills? Dont you forget it Sully. not for a second" I charged on. Going by Newton Wellesley Hospital was kind of surreal, because that is where Colleen will be delivering in June. Turned on to Commonwealth. This is always kind of a special moment because you know this is the section that will make or break or day. It's just a small part of the race, but if you leave this feeling strong you will have a good day. I got to the top of the first hill 1. Second one 2. I saw Frankie somewhere around there. He yelled "you know what to do." I'm still not sure what he wanted me to do. Somewhere on the 3rd hill I saw Coach. He said something along the lines of "Time to stop holding back and go for it." Not sure who told him I was holding back, but it was a huge lift to see him. I saw Amanda and Linda on Heartbreak and that was a nice lift. Chants of USA started throughout here because of the shorts I wore. Those people sure know how to make the runners feel like a rock star.I kept telling myself get over heartbreak and I would see Coll's parents. I crested heartbreak and saw EJ's realty company and started charging down towards BC. Deeply scanning the crowd for Mike and Donna I was pretty sure they did not make it out. At the last moment I heard Mike yell "Sully!". I pointed at him as to say "Hell ya. Just what I needed." Next up was Story and Kristin. He says I yelled something that was not PG rated for this blog. I'm sure I did. I was pretty excited to see him for sure.

This is where I learned the Boston Marathon Course. I've been out here countless time. Basically once a week since January, and I've been taking a wrong turn at Cleveland circle. I made up my own course. This became the toughest stretch of the course. I was at 22 and knew I would see Colleen at 25, but 3 miles felt like a hell of a long way to go. I was trying to balance potential hamstring cramping with potential GI issues and determining the optimum level of Gu to take to prevent the cramping. Closed in on Colleen and I knew that moment would never live up to seeing her at New Bedford, but I knew this moment was pretty special, but once I saw her I knew it was GO TIME.

I saw Kara shortly thereafter and lets just say Kara is as good a cheerleader as she is a runner, which is a pretty high standard to reach.Somewhere around there I saw the Farias. I saw the 1 mile to go sign and for a very long second the world stopped and I realized I was going to break 2:40. Keep in mind I don't have the running clock on my watch because I reset every 5 miles, so this was the first time I got a good look at the running clock and said hm add 6 to that... damnnn. This is really going to happen.

charged the dipsey do, down hereford and left on to Boylston. The finish line was there. at last. I lifted my hat off for one last adios and I finished. 2:38.41.

There is nothing like Boston. Can't wait for next year.

Training Plan Entry


26.2 mi

2013 Boston Marathon



awesome, congrats Kid, we need a new nickname


dude.... *said in a hushed awe*


Congrats!! Love the USA shorts, could spot you from so far away. I think I took CoCos arm off when I got your finishing update :)

PS- your wifes a rock star


nice work!.... and a great writeup - its gripping stuff





One of the best things I've ever read.


your first mile was a little slow, but otherwise, nice run ;)

Ntown Kevin

Wow. Great stuff. Thanks for putting it all out there.


Inspiring read, great run


Must have been the wednesday night runs :) Congrats KID!

L Train

Just seeing this now, great read and great race.


Great report - congratulations!