As I came through the hills in Newton at approximately mile 21, I crested the famous Heart Break Hill. Quietly I had hoped I might break 4 hours and as I looked at my watch with 5 miles to go..... it was in site. I tried to push harder but quickly realized it was going to take everything I had to maintain my pace and simply finish the race. I finished with a time of 4:08:08.
Before the race I had told myself I did not want to run for a time, but instead wanted to soak up this amazing experience. I looked for little kids on the side of the road to give them high fives, I high fived all the girls at Wesley College, I took time to hug my kids and Heather at mile 17. And just before the finish line, I saw my Mom in the stands and I ran over to give her a big hug before ultimately completing the 119th running of the Boston Marathon. Such an amazing experience! (Even though it was 7 degrees (felt like 3) with 20 km winds in our face and rain for most of the race!)
It was on that final push that I told myself to keep enjoying the experience and leave the 4 hour goal for next time.
I am not sure how or why I got the thought of breaking for 4 hours in my mind. Similar to breaking 100 in golf, it seems like some kind of measuring stick between those who are just out playing or hoping to finish and those who have some skill and ability. So I decided I would put my name in again for the lottery to run the 120th Boston Marathon. And in early October I learned I had been chosen.
I have studied everything I did last year and find myself constantly looking for things I can do different. With the knowledge and experience of completing the Boston Marathon I am even more determined this time. With less than 100 days to go to Boston we are about to start week 12 of the 24 week training program. This time, I started in the gym in October compared to December last year. I have a personal trainer I meet at 5:30 am at least once a week. Above and beyond last year, I have also added a cycling routine once a week and have ridden more than 120 km. I have been out running 4 to 5 times a week and have already run over 500 km, 90 km more than I ran at this time last year. I continue to work on my diet and plan to drop down below 200 lbs - 10 pounds less than last year. All is on track….
Update #2- March 2016
21 weeks of training done and 21 days to go......The final countdown! .
Since I last wrote it has not all been a bed of roses.......
The month of March started off excellent! I ran in the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington March 6th. Coming off the heals of my best run ever in Grimsby three weeks earlier I was poised to try and do better. The week earlier I had actually started to feel some pain in my lower right leg. But, like any real athlete I was not about to let that slow me down. Prior to the race I rested a few days and felt little to no pain as the race approached. It turned out to be another amazing weather day with little wind. As the race started, I lined up just behind the 1:40 min Pace Bunny knowing I ran a 1:43 in my last race. I started well and managed to keep pace up until about the 11k mark. I kept pushing. At the 15k mark my Garmen watch died. I knew I had been running a really good pace but was now going to have to finish the race by feel (couldn't help but feel like Luke Skywalker!). As we came back in to downtown and rounded the final corner I let it all out.
1:41:30!! Another personal best! I was thrilled again.
Unfortunately, the next day the pain in my leg made it very hard to walk. I had clearly pushed things and came to the realization - I now have a problem! After the race I took a full 10 days off running. In fact, in the month of March I have only been able to run 6 times. It would appear that I may have done something to my ankle which has put tremendous stress on the muscles and tendons in my leg. On the positive side, I have a number of new people who have joined our team - I have now been for physio, massage therapy, and most recently added acupuncture to my routine. On days I am unable to run I have been in the gym to cycle to keep up my cardio and my weight down.
Yesterday was my last big test. I needed to get out and do my longest training run - 22 miles. With my trusty running buddy Matt Austin at my side, I am pleased to let you know I was able to finish the 22 Miles. It took the first 10k before my leg loosened up and I felt like I could really run. When it was all done I still felt strong and know that I could have run a full marathon.
Today, it was back for more acupuncture and massage therapy.
Did I say 21 days to go......I have not given up on my goal of running sub 4 hours. All I need to is find the right amount of running, rest, and recovery!
As we approach the final push we are so close to surpassing our fundraising efforts from last year! I continue to be incredibly grateful for everyone's support and I am very proud that we are the top fundraising team. I hope all of our efforts will inspire others to contribute as well.
I will be sure to update you one more time and share race details so you can follow the day on line. I learned this past week we will begin our race at 11:15 again and my bib number is 30,050.
Lots of people to pass!!
Please feel free to share my story with others you think would be interested.
Please visit my fundraising page to learn about the amazing work of Pathways to Education and sponsor my run.
Cornwall Wealth is happy to share this piece written by Matt Andrews, Managing Director for Manulife Financial