I am excited to feature a different runner each day as we count down to Boston. I love that each runner is unique, coming into Boston with a diverse background and goals. Their journeys all lead to the same place. You can read about my journey, Reflection and Countdown to the Boston Marathon.
I’m excited to introduce our featured, Mike Perrotti. If you enjoy reading about Mike’s journey, be sure to check out his blog
You can also follow “Marathon Mike” on twitter @sneakerseminal
- Can you first, give us your Boston Marathon “story”
I did not run cross country or track in school, and did not begin running until 5-6 years ago (I am currently 40). During my 20s, I battled weight issues, asthma, and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. Started to get enjoyment from running by running 1 mile on treadmill, leading me to seek out further races such as 5Ks and 10Ks. Ran my first marathon in 2013 (Steamtown Marathon-4:47:00 finish time). I knew nothing about the particular requirements for the Boston Marathon, but as I ran more marathons, it was clear to me that it was the goal race for anyone running marathons.
I am entering as a qualifier. This is my second year as a Boston Qualifier, but my first race. For the 2016 race, I qualified at the 2015 Pittsburgh Marathon with a 3:08:04 (-1:56 under cutoff, while the cutoff was 2:28) For the 2017 race, I BQd three times for the race: (2015 Steamtown Marathon (3:06:50, 2016 Myrtle Beach (PR) 3:03:43, and 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon 3:03:52.
- What does running the Boston Marathon mean to you?
The Boston Marathon means a great deal to me. It is the result of many hours and days of training and running in good conditions and bad. It is also a result of the support that I have from family and friends as I have sometimes had to turn down social events to make sure that my training was getting done.
- What do you look forward to most about running Boston Marathon?
I look forward to challenging myself on such a historic course. To compare my performance with all the greats that have run the course before me. I am also looking forward to taking my family to Boston. My wife, who was diagnosed with early breast cancer in 2015, which she has recovered from, loves Boston, and it will be amazing to take her there.
- How will you define success, on race day?
It is very difficult to gauge success this far out because so many things can change, like weather. My success will be based on my ability to take what the course gives me. I also want to make sure I honor the training that I have done, and all the sacrifices that I have made by giving it my best. I want to finish the race knowing mentally and physically that I had nothing left in the tank to give.
- Do you have a favorite piece of clothing or tech that you always use for training or racing?
I try to keep my clothing as minimal as possible. Ankle socks, tank top, and short shorts and I am good to go. I know others do not, but I always listen to music on my runs and my wireless headphones and ipod nano are always with me.
- How has your training gone, leading up to Boston Marathon? Any advice?
My training has gone well, so far. It has been a mild winter in Western PA, so I have only had to run inside twice all season. If I am to give any advice from someone who just recently started marathon running, it would be to sneak in naps whenever possible. I try to take a short nap every afternoon. Sleeping and recovery is often a part that I did not respect as much as I should have early in my marathoning.
- What part of the marathon do you find most challenging?
I am sure everyone is different, but I don’t love long runs. Living in a small town, cranking out 20 miles on a trail solo every week can get a little bit tiring. On a positive note, it has helped me develop skills (like mantras) that help me focus and bear down late in races.
- What has been your favorite race (any distance) up until this point?
I am absolutely in love with marathons. I have run shorter distances, but 26.2 is my favorite. It takes me a long time to feel warmed up, so 5 and 10Ks often finish before I have felt really comfortable. My favorite race so far is the Pittsburgh Marathon. A really challenging course, and the site of my first BQ. It is a course that will push you to the limits, but the atmosphere, medal, and post-race food are amazing.
- Do you have a pre-race routine, ritual or good luck charms?
The night before marathons, I always sit back and watch a few episodes of the classic show “Matlock” on DVD. It helps me relax, and not feel anxious. Something that provides some fun and humor that I do is having my wife paint my toenails crazy colors before a race. My feet are often pretty beat up going into races, and this is a fun way to just relax. Blue and Yellow nail polish will be packed for Boston.
- What inspires you as a runner?
I am inspired everyday by the fact that I can get out there and run. Having many health issues early in my life, such as asthma, I appreciate every day that I can log miles. You never know how long you will have your health. My wife’s cancer a few years ago was a reminder that you can’t count on your health long term. That was a big part in my signing up for my first 50 Mile race in July. I feel that I can run it, and I may not be able to (physically or mentally) in the years to come. Seize the opportunity.
- Anything else?
I would like to thank my running coach, Mr. Mark Hadley, who is the founder of Maximum Performance Running (MPR). He has been an amazing coach of mine since July of 2014. His focus is not just on running, but strength training, recovery, and being very supportive. I would not be in Boston without his help. http://mprunning.com
I also have a blog, https://runteachlearnlife.wordpress.com where I try to honestly share my running journey. I wish I updated it more, but try to write meaningful things when I do sit down to do it. I have shared a pretty lengthy 2-part series on my journey to Boston.