My first marathon was New York City in 2002. I didn’t know what I was doing training-wise (although I did follow a training program), I was in the completely wrong shoes, I had undiagnosed biomechanical issues (my right leg is 1/2″ shorter than my left!), and I didn’t respect the distance. A marathon is a really long way to run. I finished the race, triumphant at just finishing, in 4 hours, 45 minutes, and 11 seconds.
Since that day, I’ve my goal has been to break 4 hours in the marathon. (My ultimate goal is to qualify for Boston, but let’s just worry about that later.) Through a string of running- and non-running-related injures, knee and foot surgery, and finally figuring out and compensating for my biomechanics, breaking that 4-hour barrier has been my long-standing goal. Last October I got back to the start line of the marathon. I finished in 4:51:04, which wasn’t even good enough for a PR. Sure, I was happy enough to finish the race, but I was hoping for a much better time.
I’m done hoping. This fall, at the Richmond Marathon, I will finish with a time that starts with a 3. I am committed to my training. I am committed to my workout schedule, to food as fuel, and to doing everything in my power to reach this goal. I am absolutely committed. 4 hours or bust.