"There’s also going to be an increase in the number of runners. We have 9,000 more runners that are going to be in the field," Davis said Friday morning on New England Cable News."

"Then Bauman saw a flash and heard a bang. Suddenly, he was lying on the sidewalk, dazed and a bit numb. He smelled sulfur. Or was it burning metal? What a firework, he thought. He sat up and saw bodies strewn and a lot of blood. Mahoney was a few feet away. She tried to scoot toward him, but her left leg would not budge. She looked at Bauman, then at his legs, and then back at him. He looked down, then back at her, horrified."

 It’s a lifetime activity. It has a powerful impact on us—on how we feel, how we change ourselves physically and mentally. And then to go to a race and have people cheer for you, and run with your friends and family? We’re explorers. We see the country and then we go out and see the world. I really feel that running is a celebration of life.”

"What’s so wonderful about the Boston Marathon? It’s simple: it’s the oldest race of its kind; the course is beautiful; and—here’s the most important point—everything about the race is natural, free. The Boston Marathon is not a top-down but a bottom-up kind of event; it was steadily, thoughtfully crafted by the citizens of Boston themselves, over a considerable period of time."

"More importantly, you have to earn your right to even show up to the starting line of this prestigious race. And this year, the marathon’s governing body, the Boston Athletic Association, made it even more exclusive by tightening qualifying standards by five minutes and 59 seconds across the board."

"Joan Benoit Samuelson, 55, is arguably the greatest woman marathoner of all time. She won the first Olympic Marathon for women in 1984, and the next year, in a super-competitive Chicago Marathon, ran a winning 2:21:21, her personal best. Prior to the ‘84 Olympics, she won two Boston Marathons, in 1979 and 1983."

“Everyone talks about those four miles of hills from 17-21 miles and they get scared by it. They for sure are something you want to be ready for but I would be way more concerned and scared about the downhills than the uphills!”

Beardsley’s advice is to be sure to include downhill running, just as runners are mindful of uphill repeats. “Most runners, when they train for a hilly course like Boston, they run hard up the hills and then jog down, and repeat a certain amount of times,” he said. “If I can stress more then anything else, get your body used to the pounding it will take and practice running downhill at a good effort.”

As ready as I can be

Mother nature wasn’t kind to me. I caught some of the bug that went around over the weekend. Although I never had it bad, it was enough to have me take it very easy over the past couple of days. I made a conscious choice to rest rather than use up my strength to get in a run that may or may not be worth it. I did run Tuesday but that was only for pacing purposes and it wasn’t that far either, a little over 3 miles. Last night I contemplated going to Bridge, but the windy conditions and the below 40 degree temps made me reconsider. So I decided to see what I can do for the rest of the week. Definitely running tonight. Friday and Saturday will be toss in the air in terms of how far I go. Not that I am wedded to any mileage number. Just want to start feeling like myself again. 

So I guess I am fortunate I am feeling this way right now as opposed to say, Monday the 15th. But the focus has always been and continues to be to complete the marathon. What ever happens out there happens out there as long as I hit the mat, that is all I care about. As I have told other runners who are thinking about entering a marathon or are disappointed about their marathon times; no one can ever take away from you that you entered a marathon and if you finish a marathon you are a marathon finisher and that you can hang your hat on for the rest of your life, whether you ran it in 2:20 or 12 hours. 

This running life began modestly with nary a thought to the idea of 26.2. I told this story some of the new runners at Nike Run Club. When I first started coming to Run Club I was maybe a year or two into the running life. My max distance at the time was about 6-8 miles with an occasional 9 throw in. It may have been my first or second time at Run Club and they were making announcements by Sherman’s statue (for those who are familiar with Niketown NY Run Club you know this). One of the pacers was singled out for just running a marathon. He ran it in 3 hours 20 minutes or so. My reaction at the time was; (a): Wow (b): Marathon? (c):  No way could I ever do that

As time passed, things changed along with what could be done. A marathon became a reality. Really, I completed a marathon? Learning more and more, having the unbelievable support and push from friends, I became a better runner much better than I ever thought I could be. A couple of years back while talking Bruno, a pacer at the time with Nike,  he said something to me that floored my whole notion of what I was capable of doing, he said I was capable of running at least a 3:10 marathon. That got my head spinning. That would put me in Boston qualifying range. Me a Boston qualifier? Is that even possible? 

After miles and miles, more than a few buckets of sweat, and the faith of the friends who have been there for me through it all, here I am about 11 days away from running Boston. 

"Build Up To Boston
Shalane & Kara discuss the olympics, training together, and the Boston Marathon.”

“You turn onto Hereford [Street] before you turn onto Boylston, and it’s like maybe two blocks of running, but it feels like a mountain,” Goucher said about the race’s final stretch in a Google+ interview yesterday with Runner’s World editor-in-chief David Willey. “I remember the first time I ran there I could not believe it. I was like, ‘Where did this hill come from?’”