Countdown to the Boston Marathon!

April 16, 2010

First of all, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has supported our cause – whether by donation or encouragement, it means a lot.  This year, we celebrated Alexander’s last day of chemotherapy and his first major year of recovery thanks to MGH Cancer Care for Kids.  As the day of the race looms closer, I get a little more nervous.

I invite you to follow me online through’s Athlete Tracking which will be up and running on Monday April 19th.  Search for me and follow my progress at every 5K marker: bib number 25881. It might not be pretty or a personal best, but my mission is greater than all of us.  For those of you didn’t see it, here is my “Countdown to Raceday” email blast as well….and once again, my sincerest thanks!


Wristbands in Unique Places

April 5, 2010

Wristbands love the Irish - thanks Conleth

Our good Irish friend Conleth O’Flynn sent this picture in last week.  Needless to say this is the most unique place we’ve seen our wristbands to date.

Can you do better? Send us your pictures or post them to my facebook page!

(to email your unique wristband photos, send to mmeche[at]

On Enlightenment

April 2, 2010

(By Kristin Rowe-Meche)

I used to think enlightenment was like illumination – rays of clear reason showering down on the cold dark ages of ignorance. I was raised on depictions of god descending from heaven on beams of blinding golden sunshine, heralded by angels, while man cowers in awe. In that Christian worldview, faith and redemption are the gifts of enlightenment, bestowed on us from above. But leukemia gave me a more personal, empowering outlook on enlightenment – one that brought me comfort during my son’s illness and treatment. I believe it will also help me to find meaning and purpose in the future, when our lives are not so clearly and inevitable defined by the roles of patient, caregiver, survivor, healer.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Weeks to Go!

March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 29th

For those of you not familiar with Marathon training, most programs call for regularly increasing weekly mileage peaking about 3 weeks before the race and then what is known as race tapering. One variation of conventional wisdom suggests the peak training run of 20 miles.  We are now about  3-weeks before race day and today was the traditional MGH marathon team’s 20-miler. We were all invited to Howard’s (Dr. Weinstein) house which is about a block off of Commonwealth Ave in Newton near to mile 20. We all hop on a bus and motor out to Hopkinton and then run back to Howard’s house, right at the foot of Heartbreak Hump, how convenient! This is also when we pick up our t-shirts and racing singlet.

Speaking of racing singlet, here is my collection. Guess what they have in common? Guess correctly and I will send you a MMT wristband.  If you guess wrong, I will still send you a MMT wristband.

Back to the training run. I had an awful time with it and ended up walking a fair bit of the last four or five miles, everything hurt. Two years ago, I had actually trained out to a 30 mile run on this day; last year I did about 24 miles. One additional complication is that my stride sensor needs recalibration because I think it is not reporting distance very accurately. That 14 mile run the other day was probably just a 13 miler.  With just 3 weeks left I really don’t have much chance to train for additional endurance; I will try to put in a 10-miler tomorrow or Tuesday before fully recovering from today but after that, it is time to start consolidation and rest.

I need a strategy (that does not involve the Green Line) to ensure I can cross the finish line before the BAA closes down the course. At this point, I am not at all optimistic about time or pace. I plan to run a very conservative race, probably keeping my pace well into the 10 minute per mile zone for the first half, maybe even through heartbreak hill. Before my knee problems, I hoped to be breaking into the threes this time, as in 3:59:50, which calls for a 9:20ish pace. One common mistakes for Boston runners is an over fast start, the first 5 miles is a comfortable downhill that leads runner to assume that they are faster than they thought. Many coaches suggest running a reverse split where the last half of the race is faster than the first. I tend to run a flat race staying fairly consistent throughout the course. I am reminded of the Greater New Orleans Runners Association. Back about 1984, while still living in the Crescent City, I was attracted to join this running club by their motto “Start slow then ease off”. I wonder what happened to that racing singlet.


Fighting Kids Cancer…One Step at a Time

February 8, 2010

My youngest son, Alexander and me (Dad) after 2008 Marathon

My youngest son Alexander was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June of 2006. I am extremely happy to report that he is on the road to recovery.

MassGeneral Hospital has helped my family over the past four years and in gratitude I am running my third Boston Marathon in support of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, raising money to help fund childhood cancer research and clinical services. You can check out the MassGeneral Marathon team here!

We invite you to visit our donation page here – remember, any amount helps and goes toward research, treatment and a cure for childhood cancer.  To read more about our family’s story you can check our family website here and stay tuned for more information on the blog about this year’s unique journey.

We appreciate all of your support and look forward to sharing Boston Marathon news, my training runs, pictures and our family updates!

-Mark Meche