April 14, 2013
Today was the Massachusetts Association for the Blind’s Volunteer Appreciation Brunch. Marathon runners and fundraisers were recognized, along with the volunteers who help MAB support the visually impaired on a regular basis throughout the year.
I finally got to meet Mike Merino, the runner I’ll be guiding in the Boston marathon tomorrow. Mike is the tall one.
Like any other event, there’s a certain amount of milling about and waiting:
But we finally took a group photo.
Then it was off to the expo to pick up our numbers. Mike is #21076, if you’re following along at home.
April 12, 2013
If you missed Hassan Haydar and I talking about the Boston Marathon with the Diehards on NBC Sports Radio Boston this afternoon (or you loved the interview so much that you want to hear it again), you can listen to it here.
Boston will be Hassan’s 71st and final marathon. He’s quitting while he’s ahead – his goal for Patriot’s Day is to run under 3:30.
April 10, 2013
I’ll be appearing on NBC Sports Radio Boston (AM 1510) this Friday, April 12, along with Hassan Haydar. We’ll be talking marathons, running books, and whatever else comes to mind with the Diehards at 1PM. If you’re in the Boston area, tune in to AM 1510, or you can listen online at the station’s web site.
April 8, 2013
If you want to track me in the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, use the AT&T Athlete Alert to follow the runner I’m guiding, #21076 (Mike Merino). And there’s still time to buy a book and help support the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.
For now, we’re tapering and tracking the weather forecast for next Monday. The latest report looks good; it splits the difference – a little warm for the locals, and a little cool for Mike, who lives in Texas. Let’s hope it doesn’t change too much in the next seven days.
March 29, 2013
The scene on Boylston Street today:
March 28, 2013
Two items popped up on the Intertubes today:
First, Boston.com published “Weather a key variable for Boston marathon runners,” my article on the effect that variations in weather, in particular temperature and wind, can have on marathon times. I use Boston as an example, but the facts in the article apply to all marathons. And I get in some fun, referencing Mark Twain, Zeus, and Feng Po (among others).
Second, Martin Doellinger from Soft Star Shoes (makers of RunAmocs) posted his review of Overthinking the Marathon on the company blog. Martin says, “Unlike running stories in which the main character has all the time in the world to train and do nothing else, Charbonneau’s tale shows what marathon preparation looks like for an average person who actually does more in life than run around the clock. The story also includes its lighthearted quirks, which make the story fun and interesting.” You can read the rest of Martin’s review here.
And just a reminder – 50% of the proceeds from sales of Overthinking the Marathon before the Boston Marathon go to support the Massachusetts Association for the Blind. There’s less than three weeks to go before Marathon Monday. If you could buy a copy, or share this link with your friends, that would be great!
March 15, 2013
I’m thinking about making 2014 the “Year of the Marathon-a-Month” (aka “Marathon Book Tour 2014″). That would be a nice little challenge; not much, maybe, compared to the recent spate of marathon-a-week runners, but enough for my tastes. I might even get around to registering as a Marathon Maniac.
It’s NEVER too soon to start planning these things, so today I put together a spreadsheet with some possible races. The criteria:
- One marathon in each month
- Keep travel expenses low by picking marathons near where we live (eastern Massachusetts) when possible
- In April, running Boston is a given
- Avoid mega-marathons wherever possible
Travel expenses are the biggest potential hurdle. The preliminary list I came up with doesn’t have many options for March, August, or December. I’d love to get your suggestions for those months in the comments!
March 11, 2013
My hill repeats on Packard Ave. this morning went much better than they did last week, averaging about 5 seconds faster for each one, even the extra one tacked on at the end of the workout. The cold from heck must be finally fading away.
After I finished running, I dropped off books at some of the local independent bookstores. If you need an instant Overthinking the Marathon fix in paperback, you can now visit these stores to pick up a copy:
And if you love ebooks (like I do), but hate how they cut the local store out of the loop (libraries are another problem, for another day), you now have an option. Lately, I’ve seen displays in bookstores offering Kobo e-readers for sale, so today I asked a clerk how the partnership works. Apparently if you buy books through Kobo, you get the chance to name a local bookstore as your “home store” when you set up your account. Then every time you buy a book through the Kobo store, your local store gets a cut (tiny, but much better than nothing). So you can buy a Kobo reader or load a Kobo app onto your existing smartphone, computer, or tablet (even a jailbroken Kindle Fire) and read e-books relatively guilt-free.
All the cool authors are available at the Kobo store, including everyone I publish through Y42K Book Production Services.
March 7, 2013
On this morning’s run:
I was approaching the West Medford commuter rail crossing when the lights started flashing and the bells started ringing because a train was coming. A woman put her head down and ran through the alarms, hoping to catch a bus. She ran head-first into the descending barrier, her feet came out from under her, and she crashed.
No blood, and after a minute she got up and walked off. She said that would teach her not to run with a hat on. I figured she wasn’t likely to have learned anything.
February 4, 2013
Even though registration closed out before my fall marathon, I’m running the 2013 Boston Marathon. I’ll be running for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind’s Team With a Vision as the sighted guide for Mike Merino.
Mike Merino training for Houston
Mike qualified for Boston’s Visually-Impaired Division with a 4:38 at the Chevron Houston Marathon. His training was limited due to an injury. He’s hoping that with better luck, he’ll be able to run a 4:15 at Boston.
Mike has a narrow field of limited vision directly in front of him. He has less than 20 degrees of peripheral vision, while most people have about 110 degrees, and he can’t see contrast. He also has limited hearing. In a race, he runs tethered to his guide by a short rope.
This promises to be a challenge for both of us, especially since we’ll meet for the first time on the day before the marathon. Running with a guide, especially a brand-new one, requires a tremendous leap of faith on Mike’s part. I hope able to keep him safe and help him meet his goal.
As a qualified runner, Mike doesn’t have to meet any fundraising goals, but later this month we will be doing something to help support Team With a Vision. If you want to donate now, click here.