Editor’s Note: Framingham Source is profiling runners participating in the 2018 Boston Marathon.
Team Framingham Member: Yes, I am
Is this your first marathon? If not how many? This will be my 4th marathon, and 5th race of marathon distance or longer (I ran a 50k trail race this past fall)
Is this your first Boston Marathon? Yes, this is my first Boston Marathon.
Why run Boston? It has been a dream since before I even really started to enjoy running (and I really didn’t enjoy it until a few years ago). Growing up in Massachusetts I couldn’t help but feel the excitement each year in the build up and actual running of the event, even though I did not run (any distance) myself. I always viewed it as a pinnacle of athletic achievement. A few years ago I found my passion for running, and realized that the Boston Marathon is the most famous, exciting, and historic of all marathons, and it is a dream to be able to participate in my “home” marathon after getting my feet wet (pardon the pun) with a few others.
Which charity are you raising money for? Why? I’m proud to be raising money for Resiliency for Life. I worked for 10 years in the education industry for a company that provides tutoring and test preparation services to high school students, both 1-1 and in groups. Through this role, as both a leader of the company and as a tutor, I saw firsthand that some students experienced challenges unlike their classmates. I chose this charity because it provides essential support to local high school students who need it the most, who are facing an uphill battle in their education and in life. Resiliency for Life gives these students a home away from home and helps them succeed in school where otherwise they may not.
Here is my fundraising link: https://www.crowdrise.co
m/o/en/campaign/steve-elefson- resiliency-for-life/steveelefs on
How did you first get into running? I resisted running for a long time as I had a negative association with it from back in high school when we were forced to run a mile or more in gym class. In fact, up until a few years ago I used to go around saying that I hated running! To keep fit I would most often do in-home workout videos with a focus on upper-body conditioning. A few summers ago we were having some work done on our house and we were without a TV for a month and a half. This forced me to find a way to stay in shape outdoors, and that, coupled with the urgings from a number of my friends who had taken up running in the past couple years, led me to give it another chance. After a week or two of running short distances every other day, and not worrying about how fast I could do it, I started to actually enjoy it. I also realized that by tacking on an extra mile or two to my longer runs every other week I could keep building up my body’s tolerance to running longer distances, and I found I generally preferred running slower for longer distances than running faster for shorter distances.
Why do you like to run? It feels great, at least at the end if not all the way through! It’s a great way to stay in shape, be outdoors, and put my body to the test to see what it’s really capable of. I find I can exceed my expectations of myself the more I train. When I run I listen to music or to audio books. With young children at home and a (fortunately) short commute to a job also in Framingham, I have precious little time to keep up on music and reading. Listening while running is just the thing, and it’s maybe the one example of multi-tasking that actually can work.
What is your goal for the 2018 Boston Marathon? First and foremost I want to finish and enjoy myself as much as I can (at least until mile 18 or so when the going gets tougher for me). I’d love to finish in under 4 hours, but if not this time around it’ll provide incentive to keep trying in the future.
Tell me something about your training for the marathon: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? I find that thinking about the health benefits is a big help, as well as knowing I will have the opportunity to listen to a good book or good tunes while I do it. I’m also a big believer in following a strict training plan. If I know exactly how long and what type of run I’m supposed to do each day, it takes the thinking out of it and I can just go on autopilot – that’s particularly helpful on those days when I’m not eager to get out of bed, especially in the winter when it’s cold and dark.
What is your favorite pre-running meal? Depends on the distance, but in general something that’s easy on my stomach is key.
What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? A pair of Asics.
Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2018 Boston Marathon? I often like to wear a t-shirt that says “Run Fastah!” on it, and I know it would be a hit here in Boston, but this year I will be proud to wear my bright orange Team Framingham shirt to let everyone know I’m representing the ‘ham!