Editor’s Note: SOURCE invited runners from Team Framingham and a couple of other Framingham-based charity teams to participate in a series of Q&As about their training for the 2021 Boston marathon to be held in October this year, due to the pandemic. If you would like to submit a profile contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, October 11.
Marathon Team: Team Framingham
Is this your first marathon? (if no, what number will Boston 2021 be?): Assuming I make it to the start line, this will be my first marathon!
Did you participate in the 2020 virtual marathon? If yes, what was your experience like? I did not participate in the virtual marathon–I wanted to save my first marathon experience for the real thing.
Why run Boston? I have always wanted to run Boston. I love the atmosphere of achievement, celebration, and support. It is thrilling to take part in a global event in your own backyard. As a spectator, I’ve always hoped for the opportunity to be on the other side of the rope.
Which charity are you raising money for? Call2Talk.
Why did you pick that charity? I lost a close friend to suicide when I was in college, so mental health is an issue that is very close to me. I value what Call2Talk does. I teach English at Framingham High School, and it is important to me that I choose a charity that provides services for my students and their peers. I want them to have somewhere to go for help outside of school, and I am so glad that Call2Talk is so good at what they do.
Link to your charity fundraising page: https://www.givengain.com/ap/alex-mitchell-raising-funds-for-united-way-of-tri-country/#timeline
How did you first get into running? I started running for fun and sports training in middle and high school. I have a lot of runners in my family, so it was in our culture.
Why do you like to run? I like to run because of the benefits–everything is easier when you are in good cardio shape! I also enjoy having time alone to do something challenging, improve, and take a mental break from other stressors.
Tell me something about your training for the marathon: I am running four times per week (with the longest run on Saturdays) and I am lifting weights three days per week. Hydration is a challenge (especially in this heat!)
How has the pandemic changed your running habits? Without access to a gym for much of the past 16 months, I ran more than I normally would. I feel a lot better at the beginning of this training cycle because of it. I feel like more of a “runner” now.
What is your favorite cross-training activity? I love the barbell. I lift weights and do kettlebell work for cross-training. I can see myself not running one day, but I can’t see myself not lifting weights.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? I prefer to do shorter runs alone so I can enjoy some time listening to music or a podcast. I also like to work on my pace and mileage goals, and I get up really early to run, so that poses some challenges in finding suitable partners. For the weekly long runs, though, I much prefer to run with others for the camaraderie and to break up the monotony. I love the long runs with Team Framingham.
Are you an early morning runner or evening runner? If I can, I much prefer to run early in the morning! During the school year, I can’t wake up as early as a morning run requires without compromising my sleep.
How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? I stay motivated by trusting the program. I know if I skip a run, that will come back to bite me when I go for a more challenging run, and it could even result in injury. That’s enough motivation for me. I also love training in all fitness pursuits, so the discipline comes easy. It sure has been hot recently, though..,
Music or no music when running? If music, favorite song? Music or a podcast, unless I’m with running partners. Then it’s conversation! If I had to choose one song that can get me through a tough sprint, Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones seems to do it. I usually listen to hip hop, though.
What is your favorite pre-running meal? Overnight oats with raisins, chia seeds, and cinnamon.
What is your favorite post-run snack? Banana and a protein shake.
Tell SOURCE readers something about you that has nothing to do with running: I can wiggle my ears.
What shoes will you wear on Marathon day? Altra Provision 5. I am a big fan of this shoe, and they aren’t even paying me to say that!
What is your goal for the 2021 Boston Marathon? I just want to finish without injury and with a good experience behind me. I’ll leave the time goals to the elite runners.
Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2021 Boston Marathon? Why? I will rep Team Framingham! By the time the race comes around, I will have been training with Team Framingham for almost two years, and I’m lucky for that. I am excited to outwardly represent Framingham during the race