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I Really Wanted to Give Up, I Have Before

As the London Marathon draws closer, it has become a bit of a stress. I broke my leg in October and missed 9 weeks of training during prime running weather. I gained 12 pounds. By the time I got running again, it seemed that we have had snow storm after snow storm. I never liked the treadmill, and being forced to use it has changed me.

Not for the better.

The good news is that I get to run. Running is a gift. I condensed my training. usually when you train for a marathon, you ramp up slowly. When you start marathon training you would normally be up to a half marathon (13.1 miles or 21-something KM). Then you add the other half marathon over the next 18 weeks. Actually, you just run 20 miles as your long run. There are a few cutback weeks, and you really end up adding about 7 miles over those 18 weeks.

I missed nine weeks. Nine long runs never happened. 

My training was basically starting nine weeks late from zero miles. I ran lots of short runs to build up my stamina, but the long runs were knocking at the door. I went from 8 miles, to 11 miles, and then I jumped up to 17 miles. That was two weeks ago. Sunday, I ran 20 miles in 4 hours. Six of that i did with Ruth. <3 I basically skipped my 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18 and 19 mile long runs.

Not my best move, but I pulled it off. 20 miles if about 76% of the total 26.2 miles.

In fact, overall it was a good run. I didn't fall down and bang up anything. The sun was out. I didn't poop my running shorts. I didn't even choke on my Gatorade. I was a minute faster per mile than I was on my 17-miler a few weeks prior.

It's like it wasn't me.

All the time I was out there in sub-freezing weather (in my shorts and Boston Marathon finishers shirt), my pathetic runner friends raised about $1,000 for my charity. I can't tell you how grateful I am for that. I am over $4,000 of the $6,000 I agreed to raise. That's about 66% of my goal.

I am also grateful for those of you who have contributed!

Here I am about to run my 9th full marathon, which is my 5th world major. The 20-miler is a is the pinnacle of training. It is sort of a slide to the starting line from here. I am sore, but satisfied. I know I can do it despite the odds against it.

It may not be my best race, but I will finish.

For me - the old fat guy who almost died from heart failure seven years ago - finishing is a win. Raising money for charity makes me feel good about what I am doing. Your prayers, thoughts and comments are the wind in my sails.

Having the support of my wife is also precious commodity.

Marathoning is a strange blend of support, faith, hard work, and for me, a lot of grace. I didn't just wake up one day and decide to run a marathon. The desire to try, to work hard, and find a way to finish what I started, was the miracle.

When I began running, it was going to be a miracle that I could complete a 5K. I finished my first on March 25, 2011.

I remember crying at the end of the first race. Me in my dorky red basketball shorts. I did it. I also remember the day I hit the 20 mile mark in my first marathon in 2013. I cried then, too. That was back when I was feeling great. The last few years have been rough, but marathoning taught me that by putting one foot in front of the other, I could get to the finish line.

I will be doing that on April 22nd. Thanks for your support and encouragement. It means a lot.

60 votes + -


barneshall wrote 10 months ago:
just fabulous..20 miles, I could not even dream of doing that! Keep strong and have a great marathon.

BexB42 wrote 10 months ago:
I want you to send me the link to your fundraiser. I'd like to donate a bit, because I read your blogs and you inspire me and I want you closer to your goal financially. EMail should work here. :)
marlown wrote 10 months ago:
I'm having a bad day all around, filled with stress, hating my job, and subconsciously probably trying to use stress and exhaustion as an excuse to not exercise and to not finish the day eating properly. Then I logged on to MFP and read your blog. Again, you're inspiring me to keep putting one foot in front of the other and to "never give up", which is what my motto is supposed to be. Well, still is. I just needed to be reminded. Thanks for sharing and reminding... And I will search for the Crohn's & Colitis site to donate on your behalf.
dsjohndrow wrote 10 months ago:
debk0718 wrote 10 months ago:
You're amazing! I can't believe you condensed your training like that. You can and will finish this marathon and inspire many others to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
kdbulger wrote 10 months ago:
I'm speechless for how amazing your tenacity is. Currently I'm training for my first (all-running) 5km. This week I am to run 20 minutes straight for the first time in my life. When I read, " putting one foot in front of the other, I could get to the finish line," just tells me that I'm going to do this. Many, like you, and others, started out with challenges and have done it. I will too! Thanks for blogging about your journey so that the rest of us can make it, too.

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