We’re closing in on 2014 and as I start the training cycle that will end with the 2014 Boston Marathon I am also going to start working harder on securing pledges. The Boston Marathon is on April 21, 2014 and on that day I’ll be running 26.2 miles from the race finish to the start, arriving just minutes prior to the official start, and then running the race. My goal is to run each marathon under 3 hours and complete the double in less than 6 hours. I’m doing this to raise awareness and collect money for the Be Strong Stay Strong Fund, a charity that was created to assist Boston Marathon bombing victims Nicole and Michael Gross and Erica Brannock. You can pledge money at this link, and remember I won’t be collecting until after the race.
I ended the previous training cycle on a bit of a down note as my goal marathon, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon, was cancelled due to cold and potentially icy conditions. The people at the Rocket City Marathon were kind enough to give me an elite entry to their race the following weekend but I never felt good during the race and dropped out at 17 miles. It was 50 degrees and humid, and I think I got dehydrated. But even in the early miles I didn’t feel good, so who knows. However, during the buildup I ran a personal record of 1:08:12 in the half marathon at the American Family Fitness Half Marathon in Richmond. I was hoping that additional speed would help me in the marathon but it didn’t work out that way this time. The experience at the marathon was just another reminder that everybody has bad days sometimes and all you can do is try not to dwell on it, learn something, and refocus on your goals. Despite the disappointment of the marathon, overall I think I can call 2013 a success. I will have run 3,500 miles in a year for the first time, and I ran personal records at 5K, 8K, 10K, 15K, 13.1, 26.2, and 50K.
Moving forward, I have a pretty heavy schedule leading up to the Boston Marathon. If you want to track my progress, here’s the plan. I’m going to run a 50K at The Pistol Ultra on January 4. Then I’m going to run the Charleston Marathon on January 18. I’m also planning on running the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham on February 16 and the USATF Road 50K Championship in New York on March 2. Then, finally the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon on March 30 and the double Boston Marathon on April 21. I was thinking of trying to do back-to-back marathons one weekend in February or March to prepare for the double Boston but I’m not sure that’ll be possible.
Hopefully all this will prepare me for the 52.4 mile challenge in Boston. My goal is under 6 hours for both marathons, including whatever time I have to stop at the start before the official race start. You can pledge money here; I won’t be collecting until after the race. You can either pledge a set amount or you can pledge based on how fast I run the double. I will be updating this site with my training and racing, as well as pledge numbers. Remember that although there was a huge outpouring of support immediately after the Boston Marathon last year, many of the victims are still struggling with rehab and medical bills.
Thanks to everybody who has already pledged! So far you have pledged $967.20, plus $10.25 for every minute I complete the double marathon under 7 hours. Remember, every cent goes to the Be Strong Stay Strong Fund, which all goes to the victims.