The start of the journey: Cox Providence Marathon 2011

This is the first post of my blog! This blog so far will be about traveling around the world to run marathons and getting status with AA while doing so. It seems to go well together.

 

I got started with running marathons when I wanted to lose 10 pounds about two years ago. Most people take a more modest approach with exercise and dieting. I focused on just exercising.

I was riding a mountain bike about 6 miles round-trip everyday to/from work for about three months. In the rain, in the dark, and even in the snow.

Yes I rode in the snow

Yes I rode in the snow

Yes my workplace gave people the option to stay home. I did not.

Yes my workplace gave people the option to stay home. I did not.

This is what i rode to work. Yes those are studded tires for my bike.

This is what i rode to work. Yes those are studded tires for my bike.

I bought more bike stuff than I care to admit for a $200 mountain bike that was worth not much more than a months worth of cable TV. And how much weight did i lose? None. Something didn’t add up. I didn’t realize what it was until after my first marathon.

In February 2011, I started running 3 miles three times a week. Most days, 3 miles was a real stretch. This was pretty depressing as i used to run track in high school. After a few weeks, I started to run better and further. There was one day I broke out and ran for 2 hours or about 10 miles. Then a few days later, I ran for three hours and made it to 14.5 miles, most of them in the dark as it was the middle of winter in Boston. I spoke to a few people at work and they suggested training for a marathon as the training program wasn’t much more than what i was doing. They also suggested getting better shoes.

I thought about it for a week until there was a Groupon for the Cox Providence Marathon. I took it as a sign and i bought it and signed up. I then focused on training for it, which was only about 3 months away and my longest run at the time was 14.5 miles. My IT band was acting up at the time so I read up on it and focused on fixing how my foot landed during my runs and with the shoes, my IT band issues went away.

Since the marathon was in May, i had to adjust the training schedule and cut out a few weeks. Eventually i finished the marathon training and i felt ready for the Providence Marathon.

It was a cold start to the race. It was early May in New England so it was only about 40F at the start. Unfortunately, the high was around 60F so dressing too much was a problem. I just wore a short T-shirt and sucked it up. The view was very nice as you were looking out on the bay for parts of the race.

Start of the race

Start of the race

Start of the race

Start of the race

5 mile mark

5 mile mark

Golf Course

Golf Course

15 mile mark

15 mile mark

15 mile mark

20 mile mark

The view of the bay with Providence at a distance

The view of the bay with Providence at a distance

Mile 24. Almost there!

Mile 24. Almost there!

The Finish!

The Finish!

The wrap and medal

The wrap and medal

The race was amazing. There were tons of people near me all the time and many were very encouraging. The atmosphere is something I’ve never experience before and definitely got me hooked. The volunteers were fantastic and always cheering us on as well.

I finished my first marathon well below my projected time of 6 hours at about 5.5 hours. It wouldn’t be my last 5.5hr finish unfortunately.

Thinking back on it, I essentially did a couch to marathon program in about 12 weeks. Most marathon training programs expect you to go into week 1 being able to run 6 miles without stopping. Well i was nowhere near that even in week 4 and it took until week 8 to get to that point.

At this time, I hadn’t planned on running another marathon. I was definitely thinking about another marathon to help with the post-marathon blues.

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2 thoughts on “The start of the journey: Cox Providence Marathon 2011

  1. Welcome to the blogosphere! Writing about your experiences can be cathartic and keep you motivated to stay on task — do you have any upcoming races to reach your eponymous status?

  2. Hi. Thanks for the quick feedback! I didn’t think anyone would find my blog this fast.

    I have just two in the fall, Chicago and Dublin. Still on the fence about the Philly Marathon.

    This post was way back when i started running about two years ago. I’ll get to how i got into running multiple marathons a year and even a month. My highest was 3 in a month.

    Any large gaps without a marathon is enough motivation to get me to sign up for some. I’m already planning to run a marathon in March and two in may. If i can register in time, I’ll run one in February. Hopefully i can blog about it before i register for it in Sept.

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