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I'll attempt to clean this up sometime, but I just wanted to get the content out here for now.

My Background

I began my interest in running purely for health, and worked up to running about 16 miles per week, off and on. In 2007 a friend qualified for The Boston Marathon. I had no idea whether I could do that, but have wanted to run a marathon for quite some time anyway, so....

In January of 2008, I committed to running the Nashville's Country Music Marathon on April 26. I was 47. I crossed the finish line at 3 hours, 29 minutes and 54 seconds... a qualifying time for The Boston Marathon. I was hooked. I then began training for Boston, what would be my second marathon.

My Annual Miles

Here is a log of my annual miles. I'm using SportTracks which is a fantastic piece of software.

Year Miles

2007

539
2008 1,568
2009 1,000
2010 1,313
2011 2,209
2012 2,415
2013 2,576

Definitions / Terms

Notes for Beginners

For those who are not familiar with marathon running, here are a few notes that may help.

  • Marathons are always 26.2 miles (to be more accurate, 26 miles and 385 yards)
  • Marathon popularity has risen such that entrance is more difficult than in the past. Races tend to fill up much faster than they did around 2008 and before.
  • PR (or PB) refers Personal Record (or Personal Best)
  • PW is sometimes used for Personal Worst (usually a bad run in which a runner "hit the wall")
  • Hitting the wall: This refers to running fast and far enough to use up all stored energy and the runner has no choice but to slow down. The feeling is difficult to describe but includes feeling absolutely and utterly wasted (very low energy doesn't seem to describe it enough). Some say things like "a truck ran over me".
  • Sizes of marathons: To date, the largest can have around 40,000 runners, and some have fewer than 100. I've raced with ~120 (Drake Well) and ~27,000 (Boston). One might define a mid-sized race to be in the few thousands.
  • BQ refers to a Boston Qualification. A runner might say "I did a BQ at that race".
  • The Boston Marathon has become a goal of many marathoners because:
    • It's the oldest marathon so has a long history
    • To qualify, one must run a prior marathon fast enough, making it somewhat of a standard of performance. (The age and gender qualification times are available on the Boston Athletic Associations web page. Some will run using a charity or by invitation, etc., but most runners must qualify.)
    • Acceptance is now performance based, adding to the difficulty of entry
    • It can be a difficult race for those who don't execute it correctly (which included me several times). It encourages one to start way too quickly, then hit the wall near or after Heart Break Hill. The strategy to perform well in Boston attracts many runners, sometimes year after year.

 

Marathon Races

A link in the race name indicates a race report (for anyone who wants to know more).

Mark's Marathons (present and near future)
Date Name Time Place
4/26/2008 Country Music Marathon (1st marathon) 3:29:54 Nashville, TN
BQ. Very tough... sore for a long time. Under trained.
 
4/20/2009 Boston Marathon (2nd Marathon, 1st Boston) 3:30:12 Boston, MA
BQ, PR. Tough, but not as tough as my first marathon. Fairly sore. Reasonable training.
 
4/19/2010 Boston Marathon (3rd Marathon, 2nd Boston) 3:28:11 Boston, MA
BQ, PR. A little sore, but not bad. Training not quite as good. Ran smarter (went out slower).
 
4/18/2011 Boston Marathon (4th Marathon, 3rd Boston) 3:36:50 Boston, MA
Personal worst. Good conditions. Reasonable training. I hit the wall... went out way too fast.
 
8/21/2011 Drake Well Marathon (5th Marathon) 3:26:06 Titusville, PA
BQ, PR. Fairly sore. Reasonable training. Fairly tough run. 1100 feet of ascent/decent.
 
4/16/2012 Boston Marathon (6th Marathon, 4th Boston) 3:35:32 Boston, MA
Slower.. given 85F+ heat, GREAT. Only ~9 minutes off PR. Not too sore. Strong training.
 
9/2/2012 Tupelo Marathon (7th Marathon) 3:24:03 Tupelo, MS
BQ, PR. 75F with 97% humidity (at 5AM). First HR paced race. Not very sore. Strong training.
 
11/11/2012 Pensacola Marathon '12 (8th Marathon) 3:15:38 Pensacola, FL
BQ, PR. Good temps. Bad wind. Great cloud cover. HR paced. Not too sore. Strong training.
 
4/15/2013 Boston Marathon (9th Marathon, 5th Boston) 3:12:24 Boston, MA

BQ, PR. Great temps. Some headwind. Strong training. Great race. HR Paced. Sad, Sad Day

 
11/10/2013 Pensacola Marathon '13 (10th Marathon) Pacing 3:47:18 Pensacola, FL
This was my friend's first marathon and I paced him. He came in 3rd in AG! AWESOME!
 
COMING UP
 
1/18/2014 Museum of Aviation Marathon   Warner Robins, GA
Thoughts: Since I paced my friend for Pensacola, this one is for a PR.
 
4/21/2014 Boston Marathon (will be 6th Boston)   Boston, MA

Thoughts: Accepted! I registered on 9/11/2013 and was accepted the same day. 2014 was especially competitive to enter because runners are very supportive of Boston and so many of us are resolved to return after the bombings. If anyone is trying to make a group of people give up... they picked the wrong crowd. (The cutoff time was 1:38 or faster relative to ones BQ time.)

 

 

 

 

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