Archive for November, 2010

And We’re Off!

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

I just returned from an amazing kick-off with the 100+ runners that I will be coaching for Boston.  I’m so excited to begin training on Saturday.  We will focus on running efficiency and the importance of incorporating walking into our running in an effort to sustain our form throughout training.

This is just an amazing group of runners.  I enjoyed so many conversations with them throughout the evening.  They seem so selfless when they talk about doing all they possibly can to provide educational opportunities to those that have only dreamed about them.  I’m always inspired by those committed to serving others.  One of my greatest regrets is that I learned the value and importance of serving others so late in life.

It’s nice to have several Team In Training runners on the Marathon Coalition TEAM.  Lori and I coached Mike Thomas for 12 Boston Marathons and Beth Bonacci was on our 1999 Dublin Marathon TEAM.  I also have several runners returning from last year and that is always wonderful.  I don’t want them to experience just another repeat of last year so I welcome the challenge of making this year different and more meaningful.

I loved sharing the Olympic Torch with them as well as some of my favorite stories related to that unique and life-altering experience.  Yes, I feel entirely blessed to be their coach and will never take such a unique opportunity for granted.  How many people are afforded an opportunity to impact just one life and I’ve been given this opportunity thousands of times?  I am eternally grateful for these rare opportunities.

I am also going to be working with an extremely dedicated staff for each charity.  Tonight was the perfect beginning to what I am confident will be an amazing experience for all of us.I know that we can go well beyond the $500,000.00 mark with our collective fundraising.  I just imagine the impact that will have on the lives of so many!

On April 18th we will all be Kenyans!

A New Journey

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

That is one of my favorite quotes because it captures the spirit of the Boston Marathon Charity Training Program!  I will meet most of the runners tonight on the 7 education-based charities that I will be coaching for the 2011 Boston Marathon TEAM.

After 15 years of coaching runners for the Boston Marathon I know that I am about to embark on an amazing journey with this incredible group.  I have always felt entirely honored and privileged to be given the opportunity to impact someone’s life in my role as their coach.

I am fully committed to giving all that I possibly can to support and encourage them to achieve far more than they have ever imagined in 5 brief months.  It is 3:15 a.m. and, like a child before Christmas, I am wide-eyed with excitement over the beginning of this journey.  I will spend the next several hours completing a spinning workout and running,  followed by yoga in an effort to gather my thoughts for tonight’s presentation and to also be the best possible role model for them.

I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize a lesson that I learned when my running transformed from being about fast times and signficant distances to serving others; that nothing significant in life is accomplished without the help of others.  I was drawn to running in the beginning because, whatever the outcome, the responsibility and credit were entirely mine.  Ironically, as I view my running today, I feel transformed into the ultimate TEAM player.  Most of what I have accomplished in running and life has resulted from the support, encouragement and inspiration of others.

The charity runners that I have coached comprise the largest portion of that thoughtful and amazing group.  The thousands of runners that Lori and I coached at Team In Training raised tens of millions of dollars so that blood-related cancer patients were given hope and the gift of life.  The current runner’s fundraising efforts will make an incredilbe difference in the lives of everyone that will benefit from these funds; people whose lives will be enriched by having the opportunity to enhance their education.

But at the top of the list of people that have supported, encouraged and inspired me is my wife!  Lori has shown me that you can quietly go through life and make such a signifcant difference in the lives of others.  I have no doubt that I continue to love coaching because of her and the encouragement and support she’s provided me.  And everyday I’m inspired by her commitment to her health/wellness and our family as she slips out the door each morning regardless of the weather and how tired she is for her daily run.  That commitment and hard work makes her better and inspires me to be as dedicated and compassionate as she is.  I know all the first place finishes and trophies she has collected mean absolutely nothing to her; it’s the ability to inspire and serve others that is her greatest ambition.

And that is the spirit that inspires me to be the best possible coach and person that I can be!  I will try to bring that same commitment and dedication to coaching the Marathon Coalition TEAM for the 2011 Boston Marathon!

I celebrate you and all that you stand for, Lori!

Another amazing finish...divisional winner of the ING Hartford half-marathon!

Dreaming of Boston

Posted: November 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ran 10 miles this morning on an extremely hilly course.  Average pace was 7:30 with an average heart rate of 143 bpm.  Running in North Grafton is so amazing with all the open space and stone walls.

I thought a lot about the new training season and the upcoming Boston Marathon.  We have our kick-off on Tuesday evening at the Museum of Science and our training starts next Saturday.  I am looking forward to meeting all the new runners and learning about their aspirations.  I also have my own aspirations for the upcoming marathon.

It is hard to believe that 2011 represents the 5th consecutive decade that I will have run Boston!  Running marathons is so much more than simply running for a time or ‘just to finish.’ I am inspired by so many people and things that I want the 2011 Boston Marathon to be so special.  I thought about one individual in particular during my run that I would like to dedicate my Boston effort to.  He is a survivor in the truest sense.  Someone that has been deprived of so much but continues to be such a positive and powerful force.  I plan to write him a letter to express my interest in running for him.

Another aspiration I have is to make the Boston Marathon experience so meaningful for the 100+ runners I’ll have on the Marathon Coalition TEAM.  I feel honored to be coaching for 7 education-based charities.  Imagining all the great work that will result from all the fundraising efforts of our collective TEAM will provide more than ample motivation and inspiration to make this marathon traning season the best ever!

Staying relaxed and focused in the latter miles!

The Museum of Science did a great job with their profile of my running and coaching experience:

Check it out:

This is my second year coaching the Museum of Science TEAM.   I really believe in their mission and last year’s TEAM raised enough money to purchase two vans to support the Museum’s Traveling Programs, which brings science programs to over 81,000 students annually in schools, community centers, and libraries.

For over 15 years, Traveling Programs has helped the Museum forge strong connections with community organizations and leaders in an effort to broaden the availability of the Museum’s resources. These programs provide a special opportunity for schools that simply do not have the financial resources for a field trip to the Museum. The funds raised by the marathon runners will go toward purchasing a new van fleet and expanding programming to new communities.

The Museum of Science will be hosting the kick-off on Tuesday evening for all 7 charities that I will be coaching for the 2011 Boston Marathon.

The Finish

Posted: November 26, 2010 in Uncategorized


For months you prepare for the journey, a mere 26.2 miles.  All downhill at the start, at a drop of over 300 feet.   But the hills near the end define the race.  The hills of Newton dictate the training.  Training to replicate race conditions, the wise runner mixes long runs with interval repeats on grades to strengthen the legs for the steep climb and steel them for the rugged descent.

Run, diet, rest; everything works together.  Long range goals and short term plans evolve into a race day strategy, culminating in achievement, sastisfaction, and the realization of a dream.

We pay tribute to all who run the race! 


Hello Marathon Coalition Runners!

Posted: November 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

I am looking forward to meeting you at the Museum of Science on Tuesday evening!  This will be our first step in a 5 month journey of motivation and inspiration!  I will utilize my 35 years of running experience as well as 15 years of Boston Marathon coaching experience to not only get you to the finish line in relative comfort, but also to inspire you to believe you can accomplish far more than you ever imagined in the marathon… and beyond!