7 Days Until Boston: Paula Takes Over

Posted on Apr 12, 2016 | 0 comments

In order to get the very best out of today, I have turned over the controls of this countdown to fellow Boston Marathon competitor Paula Harkin.

Here are her thoughts:


7 Days Until Boston: Blue Sky


Watching my husband train both physically and mentally for the rigors of a marathon is very interesting to me. I can only look from the outside at the mental gymnastics an experienced elite athlete like my husband must go through.

The pressure to perform at the highest level is both motivating and paralyzing. My husband trains hard and is relentlessness in his pursuit of a strong performance on April 18, and I see no chink in his armor; no calf strain, no need for one compression sock, no huge “what if’s” regarding training.

Especially, there is no self-inflicted pressure to perform for some other reason than the pursuit of giving your best to your sport.

My husband and I have two different approaches that combine to create a great living and working relationship. Mine is based in reality and true bonafide results, and his based in a little blue sky covered with rainbows and unicorns.

Dave’s approach has delivered both DNF’s and PR’s. Mine? Nothing too surprising. During this cycle, Dave gets to use both worlds because his training is so true and yet he gets to sprinkle it with hearts and ribbons and live in his sport.

Dave is motivating and supportive, and although he sometimes gets a lift from angels or shooting stars, he has earned his place in the elite starting corral and will fly along the course probably supporting others along the way.

Dave has won many marathons and has been the star attraction many times, but I know, whether he accomplishes his goals this year at Boston or not, he will be at the finish line waiting for his older, slower wife making sure that I feel like the superstar in the family.

We all know Dave is the man, and I am proud of him for returning to this race. He is facing a collection of historical benchmarks ranging from from a 53rd-place finish from a few years ago to the turbulence surrounding the year of the Boston Bombings.

Perseverance with love and hearts and ribbons and rainbows. That’s my husband. Ribbons and rainbows.

7 Days. 7 Ways.





Paula Harkin and her husband, Dave, own Portland Running Company. She lives in West Linn.

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