Saturday, October 29, 2016

Running Update - Marathon in One Week!

The high point of my running year is the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. This race, which is by far our city's largest, is one massive event. Over 20,000 runners take part (about 3/4 in the half marathon, 1/4 in the full). It all concludes with a free concert in Forsyth Park. Tourists/runners from all over flock to Savannah for this race.

I've been training for this for almost a year. My personal journey began in February 2015 when I decided it was time to lose weight and get in shape. With much help from my wonderful wife Alice, I changed the way I eat and began running seriously. My weight is down from 225 to 175 and holding. My running goal was to complete the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in November 2015 in under four hours.

Everything progressed well until race day. That's when the weather decided to be abnormally hot and humid for that time of year. As I approached the 21 mile mark of the 26.2 mile race, I was informed that race organizers and city officials had decided to cut the race short due to the heat (two runners actually died). It was extremely disappointing. In the end I ran about 24 miles in 3 hours, 35 minutes. Therefore, I likely would have finished solidly under four hours. But I didn't get to complete the 26.2! Aarrgh!

Since that debacle I've been looking forward one year. However, this time it's going to be different (and I'm not referring to the weather). I have no idea how hot or not it will be. The difference this year is that I'm trying to run a time fast enough to qualify for the granddaddy of them all - the Boston Marathon. In order to do that, I've got to finish in under 3 hours, 25 minutes. That's a 7:40 mile pace for 26.2 miles.

Next Saturday I make my attempt. The distance will not be the problem; it's the time that is the challenge.

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