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Making lemonade out of lemons

Posted by Staff  April 9, 2013 08:49 AM

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100chrisgarges.jpg Chris Garges is one of six Boston Marathon entrants testing Polar personal training gear and blogging about it for Boston.com
I can’t believe it’s almost here. One week away from the 117th Boston Marathon. After running twenty-five marathons I always consider the marathon to be the “easy” part. Inquisitive minds may, in turn, wonder what then is the “hard part” of a marathon? In my eyes, the hard part (and the reason I love marathoning) is the journey to the start line. The journey of each and every one of the previous marathons I’ve run may have some similarities, but each is very unique in its own right. Variables such as family, travel, health, weather, etc. all stand out in your mind and help carry you along your 26.2 mile “victory lap” and the circumstances of the journey motivate you to push to the finish. It’s not the variables that keep me coming back, but the circumstances. Things like new or different training partners that you get to know much better over the journey, workouts that you did which gave you confidence that you were headed in the right direction or training races that you’ve entered along the way all shape your perception of the journey and your motivation to cross that finish line.

My journey started on January 1, 2013 and at that point I was struggling to come back after a back injury. I was hoping to hit the starting line healthy, and that was more important than a lightning fast time. Along the way I had a couple of decent races and my injury began to fade away. There are always bumps in the road and the key is how you deal with them. You have some fun times along the way, meeting new people and seeing new places. You get that nagging pain or illness and fret over how you decided to handle them. In the end I think all of that stored up mental energy and memories are released throughout race day and ultimately they get stored into your race medal that will no doubt be hung on the wall in some prominent location. From that point forward, each time you look at that medal it brings back the story of your journey which led to that medal being draped around your neck.

Last week was one of those bumps in the road for me. I became ill and was unable to run or cross train for five days. Throw that into the mix of the typical taper anxiety things could get ugly. But when I was dealt the “lemons” I had two choices; to put on a sour face and sulk or make lemonade and trust in my training. I’ve learned the hard way that lemonade just tastes much better than sour lemons! Below is my Polar data from last week, as you can see, a few “blank” days.

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As of now, I’m sticking to my plan. If anything, a few days of rest were good for me. And, in an effort to stay away from obsessively looking at the weather all week, I’ve decided to focus on my goals for AFTER Boston. Those goals include an early June triathlon weekend called “The Revolution” which is held at the Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, CT. “The Revolution” consists of an Olympic distance triathlon on Saturday and a half iron distance triathlon on Sunday. The venue and the course have become my favorite, and keep me coming back year after year.

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I’ve got a few “tune up” workouts planned for this week then some packing planned for Friday night. I’ll be at the expo on Saturday afternoon to pick up my race packet and check out everything that is going on. I’m excited for race day and all the sights and sounds I’ll take in over the 26.2 miles of course. Thank you for reading and following my progress along the way. If you’re interested in finding out how it works out for me, check out my personal blog.

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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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