Boston Marathon Roll Call: Paul Schleuse

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What does running your first Boston mean to you?
I guess it means I’m “really” a runner now—or at least that I aged into my qualifying time!

What race did you achieve your BQ time at? How many attempts did you make before you achieved your BQ?
I BQ’d at the NJ Marathon in 2017. That was my fourth marathon ever, but they were all in a 12-month period.

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 had a back spasm in December that really messed up my training. I’m still not at the weekly mileage I’d like for marathon training, but I did the FRNY Blue Line Run last weekend and it felt great.

Did you do any specific workouts to prepare you for downhill start or the Newton hills in the second half?
Umm, no. But the Blue Line helped a lot. I’ve got a local course that’s similar to Heartbreak Hill, so I can kind of mentally approach it as another training run.

Love it or hate it: Are you buying the jacket?
I’ve already worn mine twice. That’s probably bad luck, right?

What are you looking forward to the most about the race?
There’s an overpass near the end with “Boston Strong” painted on it. I’m going to ugly-cry from there to the finish.

What are you dreading the most about the race?
Waiting and worrying before the start.

Is this going to be a PR attempt?
No way. It’s a hard course, and my training hasn’t been ideal. But I’ve already qualified for 2019, so maybe then...

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?
Definitely bank energy. Find a pace that’s easy on the first half, and try to stick to it on the second.

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?
I’ll be wearing the singlet, so there’s no hiding. I’ll take all the energy I can get from FRNY!

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a runner, and how do you think that will factor into the Boston course?
I think once I get going I know how to find a pace I can stick to, so I usually don’t have disasters late in a race, and long races are definitely my strength. For the Boston course I just need to be really conservative in the first half.

I double dare you: predict your time!
I already wore the jacket in public—announcing my goal time would be extra bad luck at this point.

What’s the first beer you’ll have after the race?
Bourbon.

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?
Michelle Kwan

See you in Hopkinton!

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Steven Waldon