Staying Mindful

I’m thinking of you all in these final days before the Boston Marathon.  I’m excited, ready to go, and can’t wait for the crowds of people to pull me from Hopkinton to Boston.  Admittedly, I have a daunting task ahead of me, but I’m lucky I get to do this – and incredibly lucky to a part of the Dana Farber team.

When I head to Hopkinton on Monday for the start, I will be mindful that there are thousands of people in this country and all over the world who will be sitting in infusion rooms. They can’t decide not to have cancer because it’s snowing out; they can’t go home because their legs are spent. Their strength will propel me over the course.

My goals for Monday begin with the basics: arriving at Copley Square upright- and on the same calendar day- preferably.  Anything can happen over the course of a marathon, but I’m shooting for just under four hours.  With the names of those you’ve given me to honor -and also those of you who are cancer survivors, I WILL complete this course.

Because of the wonderful generosity from so many of you, I am thrilled to report that WE have now raised over $4,700. for cancer research at Dana Farber!  A huge thank you goes out to those who have contributed so kindly and provided me with such nice words of encouragement and support over the past four months!  We are nearing our goal of raising $8,200.  And because so many of you have already contributed, I’m asking if you’ll forward this link on- to anyone you know that would want to be a part of this wonderful experience!

For anyone who would still like to contribute you may do so on-line at:

Here are some rough numbers and how they relate to my 4 month marathon training program!

551………training miles completed!
26.2……..miles to go!
90……… runs completed!
5:45……..average run start time in the morning!
21………..miles, longest run completed to date!
3:15……..time it took to run 21 miles!
-2………..degrees, coldest temperature I have run outside in!
20………..hours spent inside training on the treadmill!
10………..miles, the longest distance I can complete before Hayden and Catharine get up for school!
19…………times told to stop drifting out into traffic!
12…………pounds lost during training period!
8…………..advil per day to help alleviate inflammation in left ankle sprain!
2…………..pair of running shoes!
6…………..cups of Brazilian coffee after Sunday long runs!
4,706…….dollars we have raised for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute!
70+……….number of donors who have made this possible!
80+……….names I honor and carry with me!
3,494……..dollars needed to reach our goal!
22225……my bib number!
3…………..days until the 2011 Boston Marathon!

Team Dean on three!

Finally, for anyone who plans to be in town on Marathon Monday, I hope you’ll come cheer me and my Dana Farber teammates on.  Please let me know so I can look for you as I make my way to the finish line.  We will also be meeting up at the bar in the Charlesmark hotel on Boylston St. I should be there around 3:00.

If you want to follow me during the race, here’s the info on how to do it:

If you want texts sent to your phone with updates on my progress, you can sign up via AT&T Athlete Alert. Just text the word “RUNNER” to 345678 and you’ll get updates at the 10km, halfway, 30km and finish line.

My bib number is 22225

I’ll be in the final wave and corral since a time is not required for a charity runner.  I told Hayden that I needed to give Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher a head start;).  Catharine will try her best to post updates and pictures of my experience along the way  – and I will definitely post a follow up reflection and play-by-play after race day!

Again, I am just so filled with gratitude for the tremendous amount of support I’ve received along the way and the encouraging words I’m hearing from my friends and colleagues as the day draws near.  I even got a letter (with a donation) from a distant relative that has family that has been directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I mean really, man… I feel so much love.

On a final note, I would like to say one last thank you to my wife Catharine and my son Hayden.  I am truly the luckiest man in the world!  When you’re training for a marathon, not only are you gone for hours on end – but you’re exhausted when you get home.  They have been great sports, supporters, and we really make a great team! My determination and training has been grounded in something my son Hayden says to me on days I don’t feel like running: “Never give up, dad’.

So, off I go to have the experience of a lifetime-  its success is already defined by your generosity, for which I am very, very grateful.

Peace IN.

– Andy

Hayden proudly displaying The Boston Globe from the morning of the 2008 Boston Marathon, where magically Andy's picture made it on the front page next to Dustin Pedroia and Ray Allen
Andy on the cover of the Boston Globe alongside Dustin Pedroia and Ray Allen – the morning of the 2008 Boston Marathon

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