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A different focus this time around

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  March 6, 2013 08:07 AM

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100chrissyhoran.jpg Chrissy Horan is one of six Boston Marathon entrants testing Polar personal training gear and blogging about it for Boston.com
I ran my first timed mile during phys ed class in the third grade. Twelve minutes and change, I hated every minute. Not much changed over the next 14 years. Put me on a field or court and I could play soccer, softball, tennis, basketball or volleyball for hours. I ran when my sport, or coach, required it. Running was torture.

In 2000, I moved to Boston. I was a poor grad student still unfamiliar with my new city, and desperate to find a way to keep in shape. I learned my apartment was a pretty short distance from the Charles, so I forced myself to run there and along its paths. Running still was not my favorite thing to do, but being the competitive athlete I am, I kept at it as I tried to get to new bridges to run new distances or run the loops I was familiar with faster. I entered a few 5Ks, then a half marathon and in 2002, I ran my first marathon. The exhilarating feeling of crossing the finish line meant I knew it would not be my last.

In 2004, I ran my second marathon and my first Boston Marathon as a charity runner. I ran again in 2005 and in 2006 began what has become an amazing ride running for the Alzheimerís Association. I have since run a total of six Boston Marathons, four for the Alzheimerís Associationís Run Tri Ride to End Alzheimerís program. Iíve also raised over $25,000 for the organization in that time. On April 15, I will run my 11th marathon and my seventh Boston Marathon.

Training for my last four marathons, I dedicated myself to a schedule that prepared me to run a qualifying time. Each race day something went wrong and I missed my goal. After months of early morning alarms, bruised toenails and ice baths, I crossed the finish line and felt Ö disappointed. As a result, my training for the 2013 Boston marathon has had a different focus. A Boston-qualifying time is not the goal this race. I want to run well and my training still reflects that. But this year, I want to cross the finish line and feel proud, whatever the clock says.

Iím thrilled to have been selected to test the Polar RC3 GPS and blog about it. I look forward to using my new gear to train for the Boston Marathon and share my experiences here each week!

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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