Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fundraising update, incredible support, and first weekend with Dreamfar!

I’ve reached 6% of my fundraising goal so far! Thank you to those who have generously donated. This is so exciting to start with such strong financial support so early in the training/fundraising process. But I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the other types of support I’ve felt over the past few weeks. So many friends, family, and colleagues have told me how important it is to them that I’m running for NSF – and have vowed to be there cheering me on along the course in April. Those friendly words and promises are what will get me through this training process.

One thing that I think is important to note is the financial support so far from teachers in Newton Public Schools. When I reached out to my NPS colleagues about running for NSF, a number of them contributed immediately. I think this says a lot about how much Newton teachers care for the place they work, as well as what NSF’s support means to them. So thank you to everyone who has helped me with fundraising so far – but especially to those of you in NPS who know the myriad ways that our educational community can be supported.

Also this week was my first official “long” run of the season with Dreamfar High School Marathon. So many of the North and South students (40+) and their teachers represented Newton well as we ran around Jamaica Pond with students from other Greater Boston schools. Several other mentors running with Dreamfar are also training for Boston to support charities. Before the run, Dreamfar’s director shouted out each of them and the organizations they’re supporting; I was extremely touched by the applause I received, especially from Newton students, when they heard my name called out. It’s an awesome feeling to know that the students I train and train with are rooting for me! It will also be great to make connections with the other folks training for Boston as we share this training process together and with students.

Too many birthdays to count

Over the past year my birthday has been celebrated on several occasions. Of course, none of those times was it actually my birthday – until today! It all started last year at a Dreamfar team dinner at Bertucci’s, when one of my students thought it would be funny to have the waitress bring me a cake with lit candle and sing happy birthday. To be honest, I was pretty confused and didn’t understand what was going on; in fact, there’s a video that shows the expressions of shock and confusion on my face! In any case, it became an ongoing inside joke and my birthday was thereafter celebrated at random times throughout the year.

Given how pervasive this joke had become on Dreamfar, I did wonder this morning whether my true birthday might be acknowledged at practice this afternoon. And while I certainly wasn’t looking for acknowledgment, the potential irony of this day passing by without mention while it was indiscriminately celebrated at other times did cross my mind. Well, I entered practice today to the sound of “Happy Birthday” being sung by my team, which I much appreciated – though I did have to explain this story to some of our new team members for them to fully appreciate it!

Birthdays and inside jokes aside, I realized something important today from this experience. These Newton South students – much like their counterparts throughout the city – are thoughtful, creative, and caring. What important qualities to have! And I’d like to think that it’s no coincidence that so many of our students in Newton are like this; the Newton schools shape students not only in academics, but also as people, citizens, productive members of our community. These are the type of students that I’m proud to have on my team and proud to say that they’re products of the Newton Public Schools.

This is one of the things I’ll be thinking about when my training for Boston gets tough. These students and many more like them are who will be benefitting from my efforts to support Newton Schools Foundation through my marathon training. NSF helps to provide a deserving student body with fantastic opportunities to grow as thoughtful, creative, and caring individuals. To me, that’s an amazing way to complement the extraordinary academic accomplishments that students are making as well.

And, of course, when the going gets tough with this training, I’ll also remember that I’m lucky to work directly – together – with such a great group of students on the marathon team at South.

You can’t fake a marathon (or half)!

Tomorrow morning is the Chilly Half Marathon, an event that takes place annually in Newton. I’m signed up for it, but not running. I’m getting over a mild case of shin splints and, honestly, I just haven’t trained enough to run 13.1 miles safely tomorrow. I had been thinking about running it anyhow, but realized that it’s more important to think about the long-term goal – the Boston Marathon – and that any injury now could set back my training, which obviously wouldn’t be good.

I feel strongly that you learn lessons through marathon training that aren’t necessarily related to running. The lesson here is a cliché – that it’s better to be safe than sorry. But it’s true, since I would rather take it slowly now and feel great in April. It would also probably look horrible to my Dreamfar students if I was unprepared for a half marathon but ran it anyway; my colleagues and I are always telling them that you “can’t fake a marathon,” and I think that goes for half the distance too!

But even without running the Chilly Half tomorrow, I still feel the excitement surrounding it. It’s hard to describe, but once you’re part of the marathon community, distance races – even ones you aren’t participating in – serve as a reminder to why we put ourselves through the sometimes arduous training process; the events embody the idea of community, shared struggle through the course fosters a bond among runners, and making it through the finish line feels pretty awesome.

Good luck to my friends who are running tomorrow! I’ll hit the road tomorrow too, but probably only for 5 miles…

My first post – Welcome!

Welcome to my blog about training for the 2014 Boston Marathon and fundraising for Newton Schools Foundation (NSF)! When I accepted the opportunity to run Boston for NSF, I thought it would be interesting to chronicle my training experiences online to share with others. You’ll likely be reading about several different things on here…

  • My plans, goals, and experiences training – physically and mentally – to run 26.2 miles
  • Why I believe in NSF’s mission and why you should help me support them
  • My experiences with coaching my own team of marathoners on Dreamfar at Newton South
  • And perhaps some other tidbits, including my work in Newton Public Schools, which certainly influenced my decision to run for NSF.