Boston Marathon

Anyone know anyone who ran this year? 85 degrees. That had to be miserable.

There is ALWAYS one chick in the office who starts “training” in January to run a 4:45 hr marathon. You know the type, puts on an enormous show for four months. Can’t do anything social. Has to get up early on the weekends to “train” yet finishes 4:45 hours later. And that is when it is cool out.

Any Academy Award nominees in your office this year? Did they finish?

I hear the top 3 winners were all Kenyan… they sure can run fast

Running 26 miles in 4:45 hours in 85 heat is not easy, especially for a girl.

85’s not terrible. Although it’ll definitely push your times up.

Anyway, it would be a mistake to focus on the time of completion. That’s not what running a marathon is for most people.

This reminds me of this Bruce Lee story:


Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-tow minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a-half minutes per mile].

So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.”

I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.”

He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.”

I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.”

So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out.

I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” — and we’re still running — “if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles.

Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”


Does it matter that the older guy was not as fit as Bruce Lee? Of course not. The point is that the old guy managed to improve himself through effort.

(Though, I’m not so sure about the part that you should work until it “kills you”.)

As a kid I would go camping in Western Mass over patriots day weekend (Boston Marathon). There were times we got snowed on, but never sun burned.

Trail running is my personal favorite because the mentality is running to challenge yourself and because it’s fun. But I totally disagree about not worrying about your time at the Boston Marathon. Boston is one of the most competitive distance races in the world and one of the few marathons with relatively tough standards. People show up there to RACE, not just to run 26.2 miles or work out. It’s like telling an olympic skier that skiing should be fun so don’t worry about your time / score.

I also have a Pearl Izumi ad on my desk that I like:

"The Marathon is a race to be run, not a box to be checked.

The early mornings. The screaming muscles. The countless miles. When you add them up, the sacrifices made by the marathoners who came before us are humbling. And yet look at how we’ve tarnished their legacy. Somewhere along the line, the marathon became less of a competitive sport and more of a line item on a bucket list. Now don’t get us wrong. Running in a marathon is a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. But we can all dig a little deeper and honor the marathon by treating it more like a race and less like a checkbox. So next time you’re toeing the line, respect the marathon. Run like an animal."

It doesn’t reflect my personal approach, I’m a trail runner, I like challenging terrain and the meditative aspect of running, I don’t run with a stopwatch, but I still think it’s an interesting.

I also don’t think that the Bruce Lee story should be interpereted as “time isn’t important, only that you improve”, in fact, I’d take it as meaning times and remaining competitive are in fact very important. Just my take though.

I can understand the bruce Lee story, but that guy could really have got a heart attack and died. If so, then it would not have been worth it

I think for Bruce, based on what I’ve read, he really believed his philosophy and it would have been worth it. I respect him for that. Different philosophies for different folks. I run into it with kayaking a lot. Some guys won’t kayak with me because I’ve moved to running potentially lethal stuff, and I accept that risk. If I get pinned and drown I really won’t view it as a mistake. I had a very near drowning incident about a month ago in a hydraulic and remember just thinking, “yeah, this might be the end of the road” while I was being held under, but I definitely didn’t regret being there. Of course I don’t have kids, etc. For many of my friends though, they would view it as stupid and not worth it. I respect their approach to the sport, and I have mine, different strokes for different folks. For Bruce, I think it really was about more than just that specific run he was on, it was a broader driving philosophy. So to him it wouldn’t have been dying for that run, it would have been dying for that ideal had someone had a heart attack. I would say, maybe it was wrong of him to push that ideal on his running partner, but hey, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know.

I actually just reread the thread, and yes, 4:45 in 85 is slow. I don’t care what you say, girl or not. Secondly, 85 is not that hot. When it gets above 95 or 100, then we can talk about running in heat.

My dad ran it this year, and he only started running maybe like 6 months or so ago? This was his first distance race of any kind - not so much as a 5k previously. He finished around the 5hr mark, just under a 12 minute pace. He trained with his running partners to do more like a 10 min pace, but they decided to go slow given the heat and see how they felt. They all finished, but were slower than they’d have liked.

I consider myself a runner, but have never done longer than a 16 mile run (though I run like an 8min pace), so I’m extremely impressed with his finish. Now I gotta up my game, as Dad is going on 70…

Wow, your dad sounds pretty tough. He is 70 years old but suddenly took up running?

See, this shows context is pretty important. 5 hours would be slow for a random young person, but for an older guy, that’s pretty admirably.

How did he get around qualifying?

Yeah, he’s been retired since he was like early sixties, he’s late sixties now. He consulted for his old firm for another 2 yrs or so and now is fully retired. To my knowledge, other than handball and boxing in his youth a little bit and playing tennis maybe a few times a month during his career, he was never a big athlete. As I said, he never ran at all. He was never overweight, either, but never athletic build or great health, really.

I think he took it up to prove that he could, as well as out of a bit of boredom. He was incredibly focused on following a training regimen, though - once he decided to do it, he did it pretty by-the-book. He was explaining that even if he didn’t finish the race, he’d still be proud, as he ran a little over 350 miles in training runs, over the prior months. I am fairly certain that once he decided to “be a runner”, he devoted serious thought and time to doing it ‘right’.

I am about 85% sure that he wasrunning on behalf of a charity, but I’ll check with him next time we speak.


I’ve run 30-50 miles in 90-105 (and I’m not even that legit), the Badwater Ultra is 135 miles in up to 140 degree heat. I can’t help it these guys are weak. Sh*t, my 20 mile training runs used to be in 90 degree high humidity weather in the summer. The Vermont 100 which is considered an entry level centenial ultra is typically over 90. So yeah, there will always be undertrained or too old of people that get pushed over the edge by 85 degrees, but typically they just didn’t prepare correctly. Iteracom’s 70 year old Dad ran that same race on 6 months training with no prior running experience. So yeah, seriously.

FTFY. And yeah, I’ve done serious training in the 90’s. I hate doing it, but if you’ve trained and hydrate properly, you should be OK. For any race, train and mentally prepare so that, if needed, you could run it in the worst conditions imaginable.

I was just happy not to have to deal with it this year. I’d worked in Copley Square for the past several years so it was nice to be back downtown.