Boston Marathon Roll Call: Michael Cavaliere


What does running your first Boston mean to you?
It's awesome because I really pushed hard to get this BQ. My closest attempt was a 3:17 at the Harrisburg marathon in 2012, the year that Sandy stormed in and cancelled NYC. Despite my PR in that race, I still fell several minutes short of my 3:15 QT.

What race did you achieve your BQ time at? How many attempts did you make before you achieved your BQ?
Philadelphia, 2016. That was my 6th or 7th marathon. I thought I'd get my BQ at Grandma's Marathon in Minnesota earlier that spring, but the temp got up to the 70s, I started out fast, and fell apart by mile 16. I'd never run two marathons in one year, but I had to sign up for a Fall race to get that BQ. 

Is your preparation for Boston different than the race your BQ race? Overall how would you rate your training? Was there a single workout or tuneup race where you thought, “Bring on Boston!” or conversely, “Oh my god I’m not ready for this!”
I ran NYC in 2017 and did most of my runs on the mostly flat Hudson River Greenway because it's easy for me to get to. For this training cycle, I did most of my runs in Central Park to get more time on the hills. I'd rate my training as sub-optimal because work got busy in February and I haven't been logging enough miles. I did an 18-mile long run on the Palisades which felt good until it felt horrible. But the Boston Blue Line Run felt really good, even though that was my only 20 miler before the race.

Did you do any specific workouts to prepare you for downhill start or the Newton hills in the second half?

Love it or hate it: Are you buying the jacket?
Ugh! Hate those colors. No way in hell I'm wearing that! 

What are you looking forward to the most about the race?
I'm just excited that I qualified. This is one of the marathon majors, so I'm sure it will be exciting just to be there.

Michael during the 2017 NYC Marathon. Your eyes do not deceive you. Photo by  Bob Smyth .

Michael during the 2017 NYC Marathon. Your eyes do not deceive you. Photo by Bob Smyth.

What are you dreading the most about the race?
NYC was tough for me last year. I started cramping on the Queensboro and basically limped to the finish. For Boston, I'm afraid that I'm undertrained, but I'm going to focus on keeping a conservative pace for the first half at least.

Is this going to be a PR attempt?

Boston is a notoriously tricky course due to the placement of the hills. Not having run the full course, do you plan on banking time on the downhills in the first half knowing that you’ll slow on the hills? Or do you bank energy in the first half to try and attack the hills?
I'll try to save energy so I don't crash and burn in the second half. I'm planning to walk through a few water stations to take little rest breaks.

Hypothetically, you struggle up the Newton hills and know the FRNY cheer section is going to be at the base of the toughest one: Heartbreak Hill. Do you avoid them in shame and jump on the sidewalk to disguise yourself as a power-walking spectator, or do you make a bee-line straight toward them to throw high-fives and feed off their energy to get you up the hill?

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a runner, and how do you think that will factor into the Boston course?
I'm not really a born marathoner. I'm 6'2 and 160 lb. at race weight, which feels too big for that distance. On the flip side, I'm really good at maintaining an even pace, I have mental toughness to push through when my brain tells me to slow down, and I have a pretty good running form.

I double dare you: predict your time!

What’s the first beer you’ll have after the race?
Whatever Waldon's buying.

I apologize for ripping this off from the NBR blog, but in your head what celebrity do you think you resemble most when you’re running?
Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in House of Cards.

Steven Waldon