Bob Halloran: Marathon Man (Part III)

(note: Bob is going to provide weekly diaries as he prepares for the Boston Marathon. We’ll provide links to all of the previous posts in each new one, or you can click on the Boston Marathon tag below.)

Read Part I here.

Read Part II here.

It’s not easy to sum up who or what you are in a word or two. I guess your response depends on your mood or your current position in life. A long time ago, I was single. Later, married. Then a father. All the while I was also a broadcaster or a writer. Someday when the last mortgage payment is finally made, I’ll be a homeowner. But right now, I’m a runner.

With apologies to my wife and kids, to Channel 5, and to the publisher of “Irish Thunder” and the soon to be released “Breakdown” about Chelsea kids playing high school football in a gang environment, I am not a husband, father, broadcaster or writer. These days I am a runner – a runner who is willing to shamelessly plug the August release of his next book. Did I mention it’s called “Breakdown”?

Anyway, I know the exact moment I became a runner. It wasn’t the first ten-miler, or the first time I ate a packet of GU. It wasn’t even the moment I set my alarm for 5 a.m. to get up and run with a small running club in my town. It was when the alarm went off and I got up. I didn’t have to get up, but I – wait for it – wanted to get up! Only a runner wants to get up and run at 5 a.m. on a 16 degree day in February. So, at least for now, I am a runner.

I’m still new to this whole thing. Still learning what to eat and when, how to hydrate and with what. Still learning which pains are safe and which ones might be a precursor to injury. And last week I learned what it’s like to run in a group. And I learned that I liked it very much.

They call themselves the Lower Mills Running Club, or something like that. It’s just a small group of friends who run every Saturday morning at 6:00. They run year round, but now is when they get serious about the Boston Marathon, which each of them has run multiple times.

“Everybody here?”

Boom! We’re off! Pretty good pace. Hope I’m ready. Are we really gonna talk the whole way? Yeah, kids are good. Job’s fine. Did you know I have a new book coming out? Wow, we must be five miles out by now, and I haven’t even felt like I’ve been running. Hills are still tough. Can’t talk now. Am I the only one who brought stuff to drink? Overzealous rookie, I guess. How far do you think we ran? 10.6? Not bad. Let’s shoot for at least 12 next Saturday. See you then!

I thought running with the group was much easier than running by myself, especially mentally. Four of us ran pretty tight most of the way, and in some strange way, I think we were all helping each other. It’s weird. And while it seemed easier DURING the run, recovery was just as hard as it usually is.

Still, after a decent week of training all alone, I’m starting to look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday morning. After all, we’ve got this common bond. We’re runners.

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