3 years ago this May Kate and I watched her college buddy from BGSU days run the Cleveland Marathon. When he crossed the finish line something hit me and at that moment I said I was going to run a marathon for my 40th birthday. I was 38 at the time. Of course all went way ahead of plan when I ran the 2011 Flying Pig Marathon when I was 39 and with less than a year of training. While it was an incredible experience I felt like I hit “the wall” too early and easily. I still managed to beat my estimate of 4:30 for a full marathon by 9 minutes.
Then 2012 happened. The year of my 40th birthday. The reason why I got into this running thing. To run a marathon for my 40th. With a full marathon under my belt, adding a running partner, a mild winter & an awesome training season tragedy struck three weeks before the Cleveland Marathon. An injury occurred on my left ankle/Achilles area. Total disappointment and frustration took hold. At times it felt like I wouldn’t run again, but I came roaring back. I’ve since ran a 10 miler, 10k (recorded another PR), two ½ marathons (and two more PRs) and a 5k at 21 minutes and change. While the 5k was not a PR which I achieved back in my Army days when I was 18 (18:15) I am getting so close to that 18 year old runner. I feel as though the injury was a great lesson that I needed to learn. It helped me to get more mentally tough than I was which is something totally needed for distance running.
Which brings me to today. I originally thought I was done with full marathons and was settling for ½ marathons or 25k for now on. Training for a full marathon is a huge time drain which asks a lot of a family and as my kids get older their involvement in activities increases as well. I refuse to miss their activities ever which is more important than my running, but I have an itch. The itch is to run 1 more marathon. I feel I need to settle the score with the Cincinnati Flying Pig. This is not about me being competitive because I’m really not into that at all. This just boils down to me sticking to that original commitment even though I’ve ran a full marathon already. I also want to set an example for my kids to see what can be accomplished through commitment & dedication. More importantly this is also to fulfill my commitment I made to a little boy living with cystic fibrosis who I dedicated my Cleveland Marathon run for.
The other great factor in all of this is that I’ve met many great runners on Twitter from all over including some in the great down under of Australia. I’ve learned a lot from them in a short time like #plankaday and other races to check out. I’ll be running a 25k race in Grand Rapids, MI this May with one of these Twitter friends. Some of these friends will also be running the Flying Pig 2014 which is going to be awesome. Now to start recruiting more to run in Cincinnati May of next year. Will you join me? Let me know. I think I’ll design a shirt for the group.