I started running in earnest in March 2014. Previous to that, I had run a few 5Ks locally, and that was sporadic at best over the years. Running really wasn’t in my weekly fitness routine before last year. I do go to the gym 4x a week and have for 14+ years now to keep in shape.
I decided that I was going to run a half marathon and registered for the Our Towne Bethlehem Half Marathon, which was run on May 17th, 2014. I picked a half marathon training program that fit nearly exactly into the time between March and May. I finished that race in 1:42:28. Having no expectations of what is a “good” or “bad” time, I thought I ran well. My body felt fine during and after the race. During 2014, I’d also go on to run 3 other official half marathons as well: Saratoga Springs Half Marathon, Vermont Maple Leaf Half Marathon and the Melanie O’Donnell Half Marathon where I ran a half marathon PR of 1:39:00.
In April of last year, I had also registered for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon. This was going to be my first marathon, however as I was training during 2014 for that marathon, I decided to register for the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon to test the marathon waters, so to speak. This was maybe a good and a bad thing. I adjusted my training routine to account for the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon and I ran that race in 3:39:34. Again, having no expectations of what is a “good” or “bad” time, I thought I ran well. I was running with the 3:35:00 pace group, but had to back off the last 4 miles as I felt my IT band in my left leg acting up and I didn’t want to injure myself.
I took a couple of weeks off after the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon to then start training for the Walt Disney World Marathon. It was aggressive, but I felt good in all my training leading up to the Walt Disney World Marathon. Until the week before … I was going to do some runs on Monday and Tuesday, but I started to feel my calf muscle in my left leg really bothering me. I’m not sure what it was that aggravated it, but I made the mental adjustment to simply enjoy the Walt Disney World Marathon and to run at a slower pace. I ended up running the Walt Disney World Marathon in 4:32:00. Certainly a slower pace and well off the time from my first marathon, but the calf muscle in my left leg that I thought would be my downfall, turned out to not hurt for the entire race. It would be my IT band in my left leg and my left heel/arch that really caused me to back off around mile 22. In retrospect, I probably should not have gone to the parks Friday and Saturday, which turned out to be around 9 and 10 miles of walking on those days. And I’m sure I needed more recovery time after the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon before starting training for the Walt Disney World Marathon.
My running goals for 2015 are simple, but aggressive: I want to run a marathon a season. I’ve already got the winter marathon behind me having run the Walt Disney World Marathon in January. For my spring marathon, I registered for the Sugarloaf Marathon in Maine, which will be run on Sunday, May 17th, 2015. That will be exactly a year since running my first half marathon and will be my third full marathon. As for the summer marathon, I was looking at the Sweltering Summer Ultra & Marathon, which will be run on Saturday, August 8, 2015 in Pittsfield, MA. This can also be run as an ultra marathon, so I was thinking it might be “fun” to do the 50K. And finally for my fall marathon, I’m again running the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon, which will be run on Sunday, October 11, 2015.
Finally, I started working with a marathon coach in February of this year. I knew that if I were to go it alone, without a proper training plan that encompasses nutrition, running, cross training, and strength training, I might end up doing more harm than good. And I definitely do not want that to happen. I think my instincts with respect to training and nutrition are good, but I want to do it right and professional help is going to make the other 3 marathons happen this year without injury and without the flare ups that I’ve already experienced.