Welcome to the 

Meche Family Website!



  Our Story  


Contact:  Mark Meche



Hit Counter 




   Isn't New England a charming place to train in winter? 


Note: This is definitely not required reading, its here just in case you are interested.


Training Blog Boston Marathon 2009


Also follow Mark and other Salem residents who are running the Boston Marathon at Boston Bound, the Salem Evening News marathon blog!



March 24 2009 -

OK so I have definitely been a slacker on the training blog this year, so there is some catching up to do. After the last marathon, I eased off on the purposeful training regimen but continued to run throughout the year. Once again I kicked off the formal training in the fall with the local Wicked Half Marathon that goes from Salem to Marblehead and back.

 Things have been going well as I approach the final month before the race and the last long run coming up this Sunday.  This years training was enhanced, if not complicated, by a fair bit of business travel that took me to some new routes and adventures.

Quebec City

The round about started in October with a crisp cold trip to Quebec City for an interesting new project and a few laps around the old city and fort. Itís a beautiful place.


Columbus Ohio

I also paid my first visit to Columbus Ohio to meet the good folks at Emerson/Liebert. Unfortunately, a pre-dawn run and a quick trip back to Boston did not reveal much about the city.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The next running adventure had me off to Kuala Lumpur for a full schedule of client meetings punctuated by early morning site seeing runs. In Malaysia, its best to get the runs in early anyhow.


Seoul, South Korea

As part of city redevelopment, Seoul recently restored the Han river flow through downtown.  It's a great place to run alongside and features small and large waterfalls, rock crossings and winding pathways. The only problem was the strange Korean magic that kept me from turning around and heading back to the hotel.



Las Vegas, NV



We traveled to Las Vegas for a client conference where I did my fair share of Elvis spotting on my morning runs.  By this time, the jet lag had kicked in and it was harder than normal to get up for those 5am sessions...but the novelty of running along the strip was worth it.



Broomfield, CO



A meeting and presentation in Broomfield leads me to some runs in sky country.  It was brisk but sunny.



Santa Clara, CA



Santa Clara was a nice break from the cold New England training sessions.  Warm and sunny.




March 6 2009 - Closing the gap between training and the real thing, but I still have some stories to share.  Balancing the ever evolving changes in work/life, this year was filled with interesting training sessions from  riverside runs in Malaysia,  scorching heat in Las Vegas and mountain skies in Boulder.  This year I've practically run around the world in order to stay in shape!





Training Blog Boston Marathon 2008

April 30 - Post Race


Ok- sorry I have been slacking a bit on the blog. I could try to blame it on the intense training schedule but I actually spent most of the month tapering. Well, the race is over and from point of view, getting to the start is the hardest part. Once I was in the corral, there was no question about finishing. I ran a very flat race with my pace staying about the same from beginning to end. I had hoped to actually speed up at the midpoint but that never happened. I finished in 4:28. It was a great experience and I will probably do it again.


Sunday March 30

The longest run yet. The team's plan was to run from Hopkinton to mile 20 (Howard's house). My training schedule called for 26-28 so my plan was to run the entire course. My whole family drove to Howard's house to get on the bus but then decided to drive me out to the start, hit a few museums and then meet me at Copley. Things were going fine until I followed two runners off course in Wellesley. About a mile later I turned around and headed back to the course. By the time I got to mile 20, I was a mess. Unfortunately (or from a training point of view) my family and my ride home were at Copley. By the time I finished, the running computer said 28.7 miles.  Serious soreness ensued.


 Friday March 14

This morning's schedule called for a 1:15 duration with a handful of paced miles. I started before dark heading toward Marblehead and returned home in the sunlight,  spot on at 1:15 duration and just shy of 8 miles. The best part is that I felt great and was reminded of the "stress and rest" aspects of the training cycle. After Sunday's big run, Tuesday's brief recovery run was grueling and Wednesday's was only marginally better. But with one day off and a little bit of time since the big run, running was once again gratifying.

Week 6 - Sunday March 10, 2008

Yup, thats me!

I am thinking of today's run as a proof-of-concept. The training calendar called for 25 to 26, I ended up running the 26 and then a tiny bit more, an unofficial personal marathon. Most of the run was on the course of the Northshore 30K. I made up the other 7 1/2 miles by running from home to the race start for registration and then running around the neighborhood until the start.

The outing was very instructive. While I have established my ability to go the distance, I also learned (again) that I will run out of gas if I run too fast early (duh!). My plan was to run at least the first 2/3s of the day at 10-11 minutes per mile. This is actually very hard to do once warmed up and feeling good. 9:20 felt great and my heart rate was right on target. Once I got past the 20 mile mark my pace started to deteriorate and the last few miles were very slow.  My ambition is to slow the start and finish strong at the next outing.

I can highly recommend this race, the course is very nice and well supported, especially for such a small race. Those "Wicked Salem" guys were out in force, Rachel Hunt, Colin McClay, Chip Bott and Bill Shea to name a few.

Week 7

One thing about winter training is you really get to appreciate spring. Yesterday was so warm, I was tempted to get rid of the tights and dare to show some glow-in-the-dark white legs. I switched my run from early morning to after work because Tom Dalton, a news reported wanted interview and photograph me in running garb. Once I had all the gadgets and gear in place, why not go for a run. The training program called for 60 minutes. I ran out for 30 minutes turned around and made it back in 55 or so. According to my trusty Polar running computer, I ran for about 6.1 miles. I was supposed to be doing some paced miles but it was too dark to see my watch and monitor my pace so I just had fun. The hard part this week is psyching up for a "25 to 26 Easy" on Sunday. I know what Coach means by easy but it just doesn't seem like a good way to describe a 25 mile run. After Sunday, one more long training run before the race.

Week 9

Ouch! This week really hurt. The schedule called for a 23 miler on Sunday and I made plans to run with Rachel Hunt and Colin McClay, a couple fast youngsters (a thirty something athlete and a 40 year old). I managed to finish the run but it was a struggle. The long runs are spaced out three weeks at this point. Only two longs ones left.

Week 10

This week was pretty much a non-event.  I actually traded a bit of running for some skiing. Skiing clearly does not qualify as training but it is good for the attitude. In any case there was too much snow on the ground to run safely and I have not yet been able to coax myself onto a treadmill for an extended period.


Week 11 (countdown)

The long runs are getting pretty long. This week it was a 20 miler. I was accompanied by two veteran ultra-marathoners Drs. Ray Mount and John Matthews. The good thing about running with psychologists is that the persistent psycho-probing is very distracting. While running with these two guys, I was concerned that my neuroses were showing and I completely disregarded the twitch in my left knee... and the miles melted away. This run was planned to be 1-2 minutes slower than race pace. I felt very strong and managed to turn in the last few miles comfortably at race pace.

Race Day

On race day, I will be joining the team at MGH for a ride to Hopkinton. I know quite a few folks who are running the race and we are planning to hook up. I have relaxed a bit on my time goal but believe I should be able to do the course in 4 1/2 hours or so, or so, or so.... Of course that is assuming that the conditions are perfect and no one else is on the course to interfere with  me and I run my race perfectly. Realistically, I intend to run negative splits and believe my key to success will be running the first half of the race slow enough. If anyone sees me cross the halfway point before 2:10 into the race, please tackle me.

The beginning

I started training in the spring of 2007 after attending the MGH team spaghetti dinner and seeing my son walk up on stage to get his medal with his partner, someone other than me (who also happened to be an altogether wonderful person). Thinking I could do this, I bought some new shoes, a new running calculator (gotta have gadgets) and quietly began training. My first target was the BAA half marathon in October. I bumped into Beth O'Grady and Chip Bott at the start line and with their help ran a 2:04 half marathon.

Success at the BAA Half-Mar was my planned trigger to commit and announce my plan to run Boston if I could get a spot on the team. I was assured that my status as a patient parent made me a likely candidate. I restarted my training cycle and have been quite consistent ever since. I started my program targeting a very ambitious 4 hour finish despite the fact that my half-marathon performance is predictive of a 4 1/2 hour time.  A four hour finish calculates to an average pace of about 9:20 per mile.  My runs are going well but I have relaxed a bit and am primarily focused on finishing which should not be too much trouble if I manage to stay healthy and uninjured (I have 7 weeks and 25 training runs to go).

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. Have you ever run the Boston Marathon before?  A. No.


  • Q. Have you ever run a marathon before?  A. Yes, back in 1993 I ran the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC. You might remember that was the year Oprah Winfrey ran. I can recall passing her on the course, or was it her passing me?


  • Q. What are you doing to train?  A. I am actually following a fairly detailed training program developed by Jeff Galloway. It has me running 4 days a week with one weekly long run. I will be peaking in late March at about 48 miles for the week. It also calls for periodic walking breaks in the early part of the race so if you see me walking, don't assume that I am in trouble. If you see me laying down, call the number of my dog tags.


  • Q. What is the worst  part?  A. I would have to say winter training is the most persistent pain. The cold short days get old. I now have dreams of running in the warm sunshine with shorts on.


  • Q. Are you crazy?  A. Yes, a bit. I have been running on and off for my whole life and I generally enjoy it but marathon training is a bit grueling.



Copyright 2009 platypusandsalamander.com. All Rights Reserved.