Post number one. Numero uno! I don't even know where to begin or why, but it seems to be the next logical step in my evolution into a runner. I've run for a number of years, but most of those were sweating out two or three miles that felt more like six or seven a couple times a week. It was not until a few years ago that I dialed long distance running my first marathon (Austin '06) and not until after hitting 40 that I started taking it seriously.
Something about 40 made me start looking at life from a different perspective. I started to think about my own mortality and lack of personal accomplishments. Having already run one marathon just for the sake of running one, I decided running the Boston Marathon would be my next personal goal. I would need to knock of just over 21 minutes from my first marathon to qualify at under 3:20:59. Tough I thought, but doable. In April of 2008 I decided to pick up the running again and increase mileage for a while. Eventually I built a base of mileage and trained for the Rock-N-Roll Arizona marathon using the Pfitzinger 12/55 plan and ended up qulaifying on my 1st attempt in Phoenix in January '09 with a 3:19:04. Wow, what a feeling of emotion that came over me when my wife Gina joined me just beyond the finish line. To top it off, the Steelers won the AFC Championship that night by defeating the Ravens and we wathced it from the hotel room while recovering.
I had already decided before RNR AZ that if I qualified I would wait and run Boston in 2010. Well, within 24 hours I had changed my mind and 2009 was looking like my next race. So a couple weeks of recovery and I ramped up the training again for 12 weeks, the last month of which was horrible due to work, but I knew I could at least go and finish the race.
What an experience! For a guy that had run two marathons, a couple of 10k's and a 5k, Boston was larger than life. I knew it was big, but I didn't know how big. I ran it, pr'd with a 3:17:24 and became officially hooked on the race. Running down Boylston street towards the finish line was again an unbelievable feeling and sense of accomplishment. The fans all along the course were unreal and the screaming girls of Wellesley were amazing. The whole Boston exerience is just difficult for me to put into words.
So fast forward to today and this is were I am. I thought I would have moved on to my next goal, a 50 mile race and then eventually a 100 mile ultra, but Boston has got a hold of me and for the time being I want to keep going back to be part of this great tradition. I want to leave it all out on the course with the best race I can run. I want to have something that my kids talk about with their kids when I am gone. Something that their dad did that they can be proud to say they saw him do something he truly loved and took great pleasure in doing. And maybe, just maybe something we can someday do together?
I'm just a couple weeks out from starting my trianing plan for the Tucson Marathon which is on December 13th and then Boston is next on April 19th, 2010. My goal for Tucson is 3:10. If I hit that, then I'll shoot for 3:00 in Boston. Not sure it's possible for me to cut that much time in that short of a period, but I won't know I don't try.
That's enough for now. I'll post about my training plan, progress and whatever else happens to be on my mind over the next several months. In addition, I will introduce my fund raising attempt that I hope will benefit from my new-found love of running.