Posted by: Staff | 04.17.2009

Paulauskas Running the Marathon

TYLER STARR ’10

This upcoming Monday is Patriots day. No school! But that also means that the Boston Marathon is on Monday as well. It is always fun to cheer on strangers, teachers, friends, and even the occasional runner dressed as a clown. This year Ms. Paulauskas, Mr. Wilkins, and Ms. Winston are running the Boston Marathon. Other faculty members who have ran the Marathon in the past are Mr. Hutton, Ms. Beaudouin, Ms. Connolly, and Ms. Kaplan who ran it seven times. This will be Ms. Paulauskas’s third Boston Marathon; To learn more about her experience, here is an interview detailing her Marathon experience:

TS: What inspired you to run the marathon?

Ms. Paulauskas with good friend Conor at mile 16 last year.

Ms. Paulauskas with good friend Conor at mile 16 last year.

TP: I remember the first Boston Marathon I went to watch. I lived in New Hampshire and my parents took me and my sister out of school in fourth grade to drive down to see the Boston Marathon. We parked the car and found our way to the top of Heartbreak Hill, and we were watching one of my dad’s coaches who was running. We sat up there all day looking for him and some of my dad’s other colleagues. We cheered all day. I had the best day; I loved it. I remember on the way home, I said, “I am going to do that one day before I get old. Before I turn thirty.” I remember saying that to my dad, as foggy as a memory can be. When I was twenty nine, I said that this was my last chance and I’m going to do it. So I committed and I ran the Boston Marathon for the first time when I was twenty-nine just a couple of months before my thirtieth birthday.

TS: When did you start preparing for the marathon?

TP: The program I have been using for the past three years, this will be my third Boston Marathon, starts right after Thanksgiving and I have trained for five months.

TS: What sports did you play as a child?

TP: Growing up I started swimming at a really young age. I started at seven years old. By the time I was eleven years old I was swimming six days a week. Throughout high school, I swam six days a week as well as having some morning workouts. Swimming really consumed my life. That was all I did. Though I did not swim, I ended up coaching swimming in college.

TS: Growing up, did you know that you would or even could run a marathon?

TP: Never. We would do some cross training for swimming which we would call “dry lands.” We would do some running, sit-ups, and push-ups. We only ran short distances. Three miles was a lot for us. I never imagined I could run as far as I could now.

TS: How has preparing for the marathon changed your daily life?

TP: It is a huge commitment. It is certainly a huge commitment for me since I am not naturally a long distance runner and not a very fast runner. It is about motivating myself on those days when it is the coldest and the darkest when there is nothing I would rather do after a long day of work than go home and couch the whole night. There were a lot of days were I would have to go out around eight thirty for a two hour run. It was tough. It has changed my life because there is a huge comradery in regard to running. People love to tell stories and get really excited hearing about someone else’s involvement in the Boston Marathon. As hard as the training is, it is always exciting thinking about race day.

TS: How do you prepare yourself the day before the marathon?

TP: That is a big family day for me. I have a lot of family who live in the area, so we get together and sit around a big table and have pasta together. It helps me calm my nerves; I am very nervous. It will be a very mellow weekend with a lot of love and laughs.

TS: How do you stay hydrated on the big day?

TP: The Boston Marathon and any road race in general do a great job having aid stations along the way. When I train with my group, we do water breaks here and there, but on race day it is much more structured. It seems like a luxury to have water at every mile. We take a few sips of water every mile and have never had any problems with dehydration.

TS: What is the hardest part of running the marathon?

TP: The hardest part I think is really getting to that place where my body is so tired and my body wants to quit, but my mind and my heart certainly don’t want to do that. The hardest part is conquering that physical fatigue and digging deep and finding the will to keep going. It is the hardest part, but in some ways maybe the best and easiest part to conquer that because the reward is so great and to know that I have pushed my body to the point where my body can go. And it is a day where you are a part of something so big, but it can really be about your own personal achievements which are truly worth the effort for me.

TS: What has been your favorite part of running a marathon?

TP: My favorite part is being able to challenge myself in such a way that is different than the challenges I face in my professional life. This is totally about me, my body, and trying to achieve the accomplishment of finishing and finishing well. Also, I think that the Boston Marathon is the race that people really strive to be a part of. We are so lucky that it is here in our city. It is so amazing to be a part of it and be number 27000th in line. I really love being a part of something so big with so much positive energy around it.

TS: Do you plan on going a constant speed the whole race?

TP: Yes. I am really good at pacing. I’m slow and steady. There are so many people that are at such different levels of athletism. There are the sprinters and the walkers. In my running group, I am in charge of the pacing. Hopefully, our training has gone well enough that we can start and end at the same pace.

TS: I know it is a long ways away, but do you plan on running the marathon again?

TP: Every year about a month before race day I come home at night and I say, “I am so sick of running. My body is so tired. I am never doing this again.” Then the race comes and happens, and I fall asleep that night thinking about next year. So if history has anything to do with repeating itself, than I will definitely think about it. Two weeks ago I was so sick of running, and I am sure on Monday I’ll fall asleep thinking about next year.

TS: What do you think your finishing time will be?

TP: Anything can happen. From my first year to last year I dropped over half an hour. My hope is, since I trained a little harder this year, that I will run faster than last year. I will be so happy if I run a four hour thirty minute marathon.

TS: Are there any funny stories you have had from running the marathon in the past?

TP: I can’t think of anything super funny, but I have definitely heard a bunch of funny stories from other people. I remember watching my sister race a couple years ago, and she was right behind these two men dressed like Elvis pushing a baby carriage that had a boom-box in it playing Elvis music. I always look for things like that in our race. I can’t think of anything funny beyond some of the reactions we have with some of the fans. The fans of Boston are amazing. We put our names on our T-shirts, and they cheer and it carries you for miles. I will definitely look this year and report back.

TS: Do you know what number you will be so we can follow your progress online, if you are registered?

TP: 22529

Be sure to cheer her on and make a sign for her on Monday. Best of luck!

You can track Ms. Paulauskas and everyone else running the marathon at

http://www.baa.org/2009/cf/Public/EntryLists.cfm

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Responses

  1. Congratulations to Ms. Paulauskas, Mr. Wilkins, and Ms. Winston who all finished in great time. Mr. Wilkins finished in 3 hours 27 minutes. Ms. Paulauskas finished in 4 hours 19 minutes. Ms. Winston finished in 4 hours 40 minutes


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