Boston Marathon Runner Profile: Sarah Pawluczonek
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 2022 Boston marathon to be held in April this year. If you would like to submit a profile contact email@example.com.
Marathon Team: Team Framingham
Is this your first marathon? No, this is my 2nd marathon. I ran for the Metrowest YMCA completing the virtual Boston Marathon in 2020 in my hometown of Framingham, with my close friend and teammate Jackie.
What is your personal best marathon time? 5:24:06 and proud of it!
Why run Boston? I have grown up in MA as a spectator in awe of the amazing runners and wheelchair racers for so long. I never before believed I could be one of those inspiring people until a friend inspired me to go on my first marathon journey with her. The Boston Marathon is known for being one of the toughest courses so we thought “go big or go home”. I wanted to show my children that you can achieve your dreams while simultaneously giving some of yourself to serve others. Accomplishing it as a charity runner also meant that I would be among some of the hardest working runners. People who were not
just training, but that were dedicating their time to support great causes and make a difference in so many lives. When you are running for a purpose, it feels exponentially more rewarding.
Which charity are you raising money for? I am thrilled to be raising money for the wonderful local Framingham organization, Hoops and Homework! The founder, Herb Chasan, is one of the most supportive, hardworking and genuinely caring people I have ever met and I am so thankful to be working with him and his great staff to help out the deserving kids of Framingham.
Why did you pick that charity? While the other charities we could choose from are all important and worthy causes, I chose Hoops and Homework because I am a strong believer in supporting local organizations and I love missions that involve the growth and support of children. As a girl scout leader I feel that supporting young minds so that children can reach their full potential is a worthy cause. The minute I met with Herb, I knew I had made the right choice.
Link to your charity fundraising page:
How did you first get into running? I have always been into running the occasional 5k or a mile or 2 around my neighborhood but I was what you would call a couch to 5k type of runner. I would run for a month but then not again for a year. Not the best way to train at all. When I started training for Boston 2020 I fell in love with running completely.
Why do you like to run? Over the past 4 years I have truly developed a love of fitness (Barre) classes, being outdoors, and being involved in the community around me. Running is the perfect way to have it all. I can stay healthy, get some fresh air, and wave or chat with a friend. Even better, I can run with a
friend, which during the pandemic, aided in maintaining my social and emotional well-being. I loved seeing all my friends and neighbors out on the streets when we all felt so separate otherwise.
Tell me something about your training for the marathon: I run a 3 day training schedule, meaning that I remove the shortest run from the typical 4 day schedule. I do this because I know what my body can handle having trained twice for my previous marathon. I also do not like to run consecutive days as I
believe I need the rest from running in between. I run with different friends when I can and I chart different courses to keep the scenery interesting.
How has the pandemic changed your running habits? When the pandemic started, I was already training for the 2020 Boston Marathon which ended up being canceled and then rescheduled as a virtual in September 2020. I was pretty injury ridden at that point (IT Band and shin splint issues), so I reduced my mileage greatly, and eventually started the whole training process over again. I will say that running became even more joyful for me because it was one of the few things that I could do during quarantine, that felt normal. It cleared my head and gave me all that remained of my social life at that time by
running with others.
What is your favorite cross-training activity? I love Barre workouts (shout out to Barre3 Sudbury), yoga and leg strength training exercises.
How does the snow and the cold impact your training? I try to plan out my week based on the weather so that I can run outdoors as much as possible. I am not a fan of the treadmill at all. When I think of how cold its going to feel somedays, I remind myself of how much I prefer it to hot summer runs. And of course, I take it slow and steady when the road conditions are rough.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why? I definitely prefer to run with others! I can’t tell you how much faster the miles fly by when you have a friend to talk to on a run. I have met so many amazing and inspiring people being a part of training groups. Team Framingham is a wonderful group of people. During my first marathon I was lucky to become connected to the Marathon Coalition, and I received the best gift of being coached by one of my all time most inspiring friends, Coach Rick Muhr.
Are you an early morning runner or evening runner? Midday actually! I have a very flexible schedule fortunately.
How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? Once I have a goal, I tend to stay motivated. But in those brief moments when I just feel like I do not have the time or energy to run, I remind myself that “I run for those who can’t”- author unknown.
Music or no music when running? If music, favorite song? When I am running alone, I prefer music. I love Alternative/Indie folk music, or Classic Rock. I have no favorite song but my favorite band right now is the Lumineers.
What is your favorite pre-running meal? Peanut butter toast and a banana.
What is your favorite post-run snack? Chocolate milk or a Ucan Chocolate Protein shake.
Tell SOURCE readers something about you that has nothing to do with running: I am really passionate about gardening and cooking. I love playing in the kitchen and challenging myself to use every single thing we have so that we throw very little out. I enjoy including my 3 awesome girls in this process to,
especially if it gets them eating more diverse foods! Now I need to work on getting them to start running with me.
What shoes will you wear on Marathon Day? I am a creature of habit with my running shoes and because my Saucony Triumph 17’s have never let me down, I will definitely be sticking with those.
What is your goal for the 2022 Boston Marathon? To achieve and exceed my fundraising goals so that I can feel like I have earned my bib. It is a privilege to be able to run Boston. I also lost my chance to run on the actual course in 2020 when it became a virtual event so I am very excited to finally run on the actual course so that I can take that momentous right on Hereford and left on Boylston!
Will you wear anything personal or symbolic the day of the 2022 Boston Marathon? Why? Yes, I plan to offer my donors the opportunity to dedicate a mile in honor of someone of their choosing and I will wear each and every one of those names on my shirt. I will also wear a purple ribbon in honor of my dear friend Jaime who lost her battle to pancreatic cancer in March 2020. My memories of her always carry me through the toughest miles.