April 25, 2015
The spectators might not agree, but Marathon Monday’s weather was perfect.
We became accustomed to running in terrible weather while training this winter, so it was actually pretty fitting that it was 46°, rainy and windy on Monday.
Team BWH in Hopkinton pre-race
Staring down the final stretch on Boylston Street
Showing off the hardware post-race
I was able to break the 4-hour mark on Monday with a final time of 3:56:36 (a PR for me)! My goal was to break 4—something I failed to do by over 17 minutes last year—so I really couldn’t be happier with this result.
As always, I had incredible support on the course. Thank you so much to everyone who braved the rain and met me along the way. You guys were awesome! There were plenty of cameras out that day, so check out my Facebook page to see more photos.
To cap off the accomplishment, we had a post-race meal at our team gathering area at the BSC in the Prudential Center, then post-race drinks and a second post-race meal at Clery’s.
At the Pru with friends and family (Shane, Dad, Murph, Me, Dev, Bri)
… And we kept the party going on Tuesday—some teammates and I met at Marathon Sports to get our medals engraved (something they offered for free on Marathon Tuesday), grabbed lunch, then took a private runners-only tour of the Sam Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain (you had to be wearing your medal or bib to get in). It was the perfect way to spend the day after running the Boston Marathon. We limped up and down Boylston Street together, we shared stories from the race, we compared muscle soreness and we generally just bonded over our shared experience.
Team BWH at the Sam Adams Brewery (Scott, Greg, Me, Anne, Wendy)
It's been an amazing experience running for BWH. I've met some great people and made some great friends. It's a wonderful organization and I couldn't be happier fundraising money for them and wearing their logo on my chest.
My fundraising total stands at $7,280, but when another batch of offline donations is processed, it should be well over $10,000! So thank you again to everyone who contributed! It means a great deal to my family and me. I literally could not have run this race without you and your support, so I hope you share my sense of accomplishment! My fundraising deadline is June 1, so there’s still plenty of time to contribute if you haven't had a chance.
Team BWH dinner at the Sheraton Boston Hotel on Sunday night (Wendy, Greg, Tracey, Scott, Me, Anne, Kathryn, Amy)
Again, I just want to thank everyone who helped me get to this point—my family, friends, teammates, those who donated money, those who donated raffle prizes, those who sent me supportive texts and emails, those who wished me good luck on social media. I could not have imagined a better experience than the one I had on Monday and over the past five months, so thank you all for being a part of it!
Now that this is over, it's time to start planning the next big run ... Chicago, anyone?
April 18, 2015
Training for the Boston Marathon is always a special experience. And this year, it's been another incredible journey.
The journey started with filling out applications for charity teams back in September. It's a long, long process to get to this point, and sometimes it feels like you're never actually going to make it to race day. (Remember how you felt back in February?!) But that all changes when you pick up your bib at the Expo, and the race becomes tangible. I picked mine up this morning.
Team BWH showing off bibs at the Sports & Fitness Expo (Kathryn, Anne, Greg, Wendy, Scott, Me)
The last few weeks have been pretty busy with marathon activities: Our 21-mile team run from Framingham to Boston, my fundraiser at Lansdowne Pub, our final team meetings and training runs, tapering, work parties, etc.
The 21-mile run went really well, despite getting more snow (of course) and nearly being hit by a car in Natick. The run did have some highlights though: I met Tedy Bruschi at a water stop, I finished in just under 3 hours and I didn't get hit by that car.
Team BWH in Framingham before the long run home back in late March
My fundraiser was a big success too. We had some great raffle prizes, including a Dustin Pedroia autographed baseball, a Chris Kelley autographed hockey puck, 5 pairs of concert tickets, gym memberships, restaurant gift cards and more. (Sorry if you missed it!) We were able to raise enough money at my fundraiser to put me over my $8,000 goal! Once all the offline donations (cash and checks) are processed, the total on my fundraiser page will be accurate. Thanks again to everyone who was able to make it out, and to everyone who donated prizes!
Monday's weather forecast is looking pretty good for runners so far—high 40s and a good chance of rain. Sorry, spectators! My start time is 11:15 a.m., and you can follow my progress by searching my name with the BAA Marathon app or by texting my bib # (25854) to 234-567 for mobile updates. And let me know if you'll be on the course so I can look for you!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter over the next couple days for last-minute updates, photos and race-day tweets!
Thanks again for all of your support during this journey. It's much appreciated! I'll see you on the course!
March 23, 2015
It’s hard to believe, but Marathon Monday is less than a month away now! (28 days to be exact, but who’s counting?) Spring arrived this weekend, but it still managed to snow during our team-run on Saturday—and that’s no surprise considering the winter we’ve had.
For those of you who aren’t in Boston, here are some fun facts to help illustrate just how tough of a winter it was to train in:
• With over 110 inches, this was Boston’s snowiest winter since they started keeping record in 1872!
• The half marathon I planned on running as part of my training was postponed from February to March, then canceled all together due to too much snow on the course.
• I’ve only run in shorts once, and that was a questionable decision.
• My street in February:
But despite how nasty the winter was, I did all of my running outdoors, and training has really flown by for me.
This coming Saturday will be our final long training run before the 3-week taper period begins. As a team, we’ll be taking buses from Boston to Framingham, getting dropped off on the course, then running 21 miles back to Kenmore Square. Finger’s crossed for some nice weather!
Some members of the 2015 Brigham and Women’s Marathon Team after a team meeting
To sure up my fundraising and to make sure I hit my $8,000 goal, I’m having a fundraiser on Friday, April 3 at The Lansdowne Pub in Boston from 6-8:30pm. If you’re interested in coming, please check out the details and RSVP here. It should be a blast! If you can’t make it, you can still support BWH and help me hit my goal by visiting my fundraiser page. Or shoot me an email to find out how to donate offline if you’d rather do it that way.
And don’t forget, you can keep tabs on my training and fundraising by following me on Twitter.
Thank you all for your continued support! See you on the road!
February 10, 2015
The MBTA isn’t running today, but I am.
Today was my second straight snow day—I've had 5 in the last 3 weeks! Back-to-back-to-back snowstorms dropped 70+ inches on us over the last 18 days. Boston’s covered in so much snow right now, the city is considering dumping it into the harbor.
Despite all that, training is going great! The snow has obviously made running outdoors a challenge, but it hasn’t stopped my team and me from getting in our long team runs on the weekends. And despite the fresh 20+ inches of powder we have on the ground right now, I'll be running hills in the Boston Common tonight.
Training is definitely starting to ramp-up. Over the next 3 weekends, I have a 16-mile team run, the Half at the Hamptons half marathon, and an 18-mile team run—and of course—there’s more snow in the forecast. My biggest goals right now are to stay healthy and not get injured.
Some members of the 2015 Brigham and Women’s Marathon Team during one of our team runs (pre-snow)
Fundraising is going pretty well. I’ve raised about $3,500 so far (the offline donations I’ve received aren’t reflected on my fundraising page). The 50/50 Super Bowl Squares pool I did this year was a huge success. I was able to fundraise $1,000 from that alone. Congrats again to the winners: Kevin Scott, Cliff Mason and Mallory Sanzari! And those who didn’t win money got a pretty good consolation prize—the Patriots’ first Super Bowl victory in 10 years!
If you missed the Super Bowl Squares, but would still like to support BWH and my marathon journey, please visit my fundraiser page or shoot me an email to find out how you can donate offline. And be sure to keep tabs on my training and fundraising progress by following me on Twitter!
Only 69 days 'til Marathon Monday! I know the weather is New England nasty right now, but don't forget to share the road with runners.
Life. Giving. Breakthroughs.
December 13, 2014
With my Boston Marathon training officially starting at 8 AM this morning, I'm excited to announce that I'll be running in April for the 2015 Brigham and Women’s Hospital Marathon Team, in support of life-giving breakthroughs.
My family and I have many deep connections with BWH. My mother has worked there as a nurse for 40 years, my father has had neck surgery and 2 knee replacements there, and my brother, nephew and I were all born there. It's an honor to represent the hospital that has given so much to my family over the years.
I've committed to fundraising $8,000 for BWH. The money our team fundraises will go towards finding better ways to predict, prevent and treat the world's most challenging medical issues. I hope I can count on you for a donation!
Over the next 4 months, I'll be working very hard and running a ton of miles through the nastiest weather New England has to offer—but I can't do it alone. I'll be counting on the support of my family and friends to help me achieve my fundraising goal and help this special cause.
If you'd like to support BWH and my marathon journey, please check out my fundraiser page or shoot me an email to find out how you can donate offline. And you can check back here or my Twitter page to follow my training and fundraising progress.
Only 18 weeks 'til Marathon Monday! I'm looking forward to the journey. See you on the road!
Owned the Finish Line
May 3, 2014
Almost 2 weeks have passed, all the barricades have been removed from Boston's streets, my legs are finally functioning normally again and I’ve had plenty of time to absorb it all.
Everything about the 2014 Boston Marathon was amazing. From the 5 AM team meet-up in Copley Square, to the 5 hours of pre-race lounging at the Hopkinton Senior Center, to the 4 hour and 17 minute jog through 8 towns and cities, to seeing my family and friends along the course, to limping the final stretch down Boylston Street, to crossing the finish line at 3:45 PM — it was a perfect day.
First post-marathon photo
With some of "Team Payack" (Kevin, Bri, me, Devin, Naomi, Karina)
I finished in 4:17:15. I wanted to break 4 hours, but I'm very happy with my time. The warm weather was a huge factor. The sun and heat (which were rare to train in this year) seemed to slow most runners' paces pretty significantly. I was also battling calf and quad cramps for nearly the entire second half of the race, despite my tireless hydrating.
No matter how much pain I had to overcome though, I enjoyed every moment of the 26.2-mile journey (despite what I may have told Bri in the immediate aftermath of the race ... that was the endorphins talking).
Crossing the finish line on CBS' Boston Marathon coverage
I can't thank my family and friends who were on the course enough. Their presence gave me a huge physical and mental boost. To everyone at miles 11, 15, 17.5, 22.5, 24.5 and 26, THANK YOU! You, the Gatorade, GU Chomps, bananas and Icey Hot made all the difference!
After the race, our team met at the Marriott Copley Place for dinner, showers and R&R. It was a great chance to congratulate teammates, share stories and compare injuries. It was also a great chance for our team coaches, Dan and Spencer from Marathon Sports, and Adidas to hook us up with a pair of new running shoes and custom 2014 Boston Marathon jackets (just a couple of the endless perks of being on the One Fund Boston team):
After everything that happened during and after last year's race, the 2014 Boston Marathon really was a dream come true. The experience I've had over the past 4 months has been more than I could have imagined and I can honesty say I'll never forget it … Also, this medal might never leave my neck.
I really appreciate everyone’s overwhelming support and generosity throughout this journey. It's been very humbling and one of the best experiences I've ever had. I'll never be able to thank you all enough! And if you're still interested in making a donation to the One Fund, you can do so here through the end of May.
And now that it's all over, I'm thinking about commemorating the past 4 months with a tattoo ... Silhouetted Boston skyline with a red Citgo sign on my inner bicep? Thoughts?!
Happy Marathon Monday Eve!
April 20, 2014
Marathon Monday is (just about) here! I’ve run my last run, braved the Expo, picked up my bib number and laid out my race day uniform. There’s nothing left for me to do but to kick back, hydrate, carbo-load and rest.
Picking up my bib number at the Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday
I could not be more excited or feel more prepared! Thanks to all of my donors, I’ve been able to personally raise $10,480 for the One Fund. And my team has raised over $755,000 combined … Amazing. You can continue to donate through the end of May.
This past week has been truly special. It started off with a Sports Illustrated cover shoot at the Boston Marathon finish line. My team and I jumped in the photo, in uniform, right before our team-run last Saturday. We’re pretty far back, but some of those orange pixels are us!
Our entire team was invited to the Tribute on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the 4/15/13 bombings. It was a very moving ceremony and such an honor to be invited. Among the speakers were 4 survivors, former Mayor Thomas Menino, Mayor Marty Walsh, Governor Deval Patrick and Vice President Joe Biden. The ceremony ended with a procession down Boylston Street and a moment of silence at the finish line.
Former Mayor Menino, Mayor Walsh, Vice President Biden and Governor Patrick during the ceremony on Boylston Street on Tuesday
We had our final team meeting/dinner on Friday night at the Old South Church in Copley Square. It was great to all come together one final time before meeting up at 5:00 AM (yes, 5:00 AM) on Marathon Monday morning.
This week also brought me some really cool work opportunities. ESPN reached out to me a few weeks back to create a “Boston Strong” image for them to use on their social media channels. They sent it on Tuesday morning and it got A TON of attention online.
I also used this week’s Life on the Left Bank cartoon as a way to pay tribute to the victims of last year’s bombings. The Cambridge Chronicle also asked if I’d write a guest column about my experience with not getting to finish the marathon last year and running this year’s for the One Fund.
Needless to say, it’s been a BUSY week … A busy week at the end of a busy few months. And there’s nothing left to do now but run.
You can follow my progress on Monday with the BAA Marathon app or by texting my bib number (31932) to 345678 for mobile updates. My start time is 11:25 AM.
I can’t thank you guys enough for all the support you’ve given me along this journey! This has been a once in a lifetime experience, and Monday is a day I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time.
It’s going to be a special day. See you on the course!
March 2, 2014
The Boston Marathon is 50 days away ... I can’t decide if that feels close or far away.
Training and fundraising, while working full-time and freelance, is tough, but the One Fund Boston team has truly made it easy (or tolerable at least). I’ve been meeting interesting, motivated people with a wide range of running experience. Teammates and coaches have been sharing helpful running and fundraising tips through our Facebook group. Team runs and meetings are always a good time. And everyone has a unique story to tell about last year’s race. Our team was even recently featured on CBS Boston (click here if video doesn't appear):
Despite the rough winter we’ve been having in Boston, my training has been going well. I’ve found it pretty easy to motivate myself this year, knowing what and who I’m running for. Any time I feel tired or weak on the running paths, I think of the innocent people who lost their lives at the finish line last year. I think of those who lost limbs and would do anything to be running in my place. I think of the strength of the families that were torn apart, and the resilience of our entire city and community.
With only 7 weeks left until the marathon, training is really ramping up now. I ran the Hyannis Half Marathon last weekend with my buddy Dev, who’s also training for the marathon, and I did an 18-mile run along the Boston Marathon course this morning (my longest training run so far).
Dev and Me running in the Hyannis Half Marathon on February 23, 2014
My fundraising is going well too. I've raised over $3,600 so far, 45% of my $8,000 goal. And our team has raised over $292,000 combined!
At a recent team fundraiser/auction hosted by One Fund Boston and Marathon Sports, I fundraised $600 towards my personal goal with the help of an autographed Dustin Pedroia photo donated by the Boston Red Sox and a signed copy of Jeff Bauman’s new book, Stronger, donated by Jeff and his publicist, Katlyn Townsend. (THANK YOU, GUYS!)
This has been an amazing, surreal experience so far. And with every week and training run that passes, it becomes more amazing and more real.
I'll be hosting a fundraising event on Sunday, March 23 at Fenway Park's Bleacher Bar. Everyone's invited! If you’re interested, please check out the Facebook page and Eventbrite page for more info and ticket sales. If you need additional info, just shoot me a Facebook message, email, text, call, tweet, etc. And of course, if you can't make it to the event, but would still like to donate, you can do so here.
Thank you for all the support! See you on the running paths!
Running 26.2 for One Fund Boston!
January 13, 2014
Happy New Year, everyone! I’m so excited to announce that I’ve been selected to join the 2014 One Fund Boston Marathon Charity Team!
As you’re probably already aware, One Fund Boston was formed to assist the victims and families affected by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the events in the days that followed. This is a great charity and I’m truly honored to be part of their team.
I ran last year’s Boston Marathon as a bandit, meaning I didn’t have an official race bib number. Like many others, I didn't get to finish the race.
The pack of runners in front of me came to a sudden halt as I approached mile 25.5. At first, I assumed there was just a traffic jam in the underpass we were approaching, but as seconds of waiting turned into minutes, I began to realize something was wrong.
Runners pulled out cell phones and began checking news websites and calling friends and loved ones. Those who had phones shared with those who didn’t. Teary, exhausted faces were everywhere. There was confusion as to what exactly was going on, but whispers of explosions, bombs and people losing limbs and being killed began to circulate.
I was able to get a hold of my girlfriend and father who were meeting me at the finish line—We were all just moments away from Boylston Street when the bombs went off. They were able to locate me, and we decided it was best to flee the area and walk home to Cambridge over the Mass Ave Bridge.
An emotional and chaotic week followed Marathon Monday. I was angry I wasn’t able to finish the race, but so relieved that my family, friends and I weren’t closer to the bombings. I visited Boylston Street on my first run after the Marathon, and ran the final 0.7 miles of the Marathon route the first day the street was reopened.
I knew right away after last year's race that I’d run the Boston Marathon again this year, but never thought I’d be running for One Fund Boston. This is really a dream come true—I'm honored to be able to give back to the city in this way. I plan to share my experiences training for the race and working with One Fund Boston this winter/spring on my Twitter feed and right here on my blog, so stay tuned!
My official fundraiser page, where you can learn more about One Fund Boston, read about our team and donate money, is up now! If you can afford it, I’d really appreciate your donation—Every little bit helps. Remember, your donation goes directly to the victims and families affected by last year's bombings and the events in the days that followed.
Thank you so much in advance! #BostonStrong
Me at the 2013 Boston Marathon Sports & Fitness Expo at the Hynes Convention Center last April
My new cartooning gig.
March 6, 2013
So, I got a new cartooning gig at Boston's Banker & Tradesman. Fancy huh? My cartoon will be appearing weekly (print edition comes out Mondays) and focusing mostly on Boston/Massachusetts financial and real estate news ... Not at the top of my list of interests, but who knows, maybe I'll learn a thing or two! I don't have a name for this cartoon yet, but I'm sure something financial-ly will come to me after I'm a few weeks in. Suggestions are welcome!
I have to send a big THANK YOU to my buddy David Harris (former Cambridge Chronicle editor and current editorial director at The Warren Group) for giving me this opportunity. My first cartoon is in this week's print edition and online for subscribers at http://bankerandtradesman.com/news154049.html. Check it out if you get a chance! I haven't picked up a copy yet, but here's a screenshot of my cartoon looking all awesome on their website:
I have a blog.
February 15, 2013
Yo! I'm just writing to give people a heads-up that I created this page on my website as a place for me to write (without having to set up a more traditional blog at a separate URL). Besides tweets and status updates, if those count, I haven't written much since my days of editing for my college newspaper and post-college freelance copywriting. And although I love to tweet, I've realized that sometimes I have more to say than 140 characters at a time allows. #Blog.
I'm not sure how often I'll actually write, but I'm happy to have the option to ramble online if I need to. Please check back here for updates on my work, upcoming events or art shows and, of course, the occasional online rambling.
Don't be a stranger! Thanks for stopping by,