I always wanted to run a full marathon. I first attempted it back in 2016. Ambitiously, I signed up for the Disney marathon, which I was supposed to run on January 8th, 2017. However, 2016 was a crazy year. We had a baby, which turns out to be quite time consuming, and I also decided to start a new job and move back to Colorado. Long story short, I didn’t end up running the marathon (goodbye $180 non-refundable registration fee). Another major flaw in my attempt was that I didn’t really enjoy running. Every run was a chore and I didn’t like any of it. I had great excuses why not to run, so throwing in the towel came easily. I was about half way into the training with my longest run being at 15 miles, which still included a lot of walking. Back then, I followed one of Hal Higdon’s novice plans.
Fast forward to 2022. I was overweight, was drinking way too much, and only exercised sporadically. I wasn’t happy! I think it was some day in January where I thought “Enough is enough, it’s time to turn this ship around!”. In my quest to be a better me, a better husband, a better dad, a better everything (insert the “The Six Million Dollar Man” theme here), I had to do some drastic changes to my lifestyle. My first step was signing up Real Appeal, a weight loss program offered by United Healthcare. This was really what kicked things off. I began to eat better, counted calories, and shortly after I started to run more regularly. And something incredible happened. I started to like running! At first I did 3 to 4-milers four times a week and it escalated quickly to 6 miles six times a week. Being obsessed with Strava I joined monthly distance challenges. First 100km per month, then 200km, and I finished the year with my highest monthly total of 196 miles (316km), bringing the total to over 1000 miles in 2022.
At that point I was kicking the idea around to attempt the Disney marathon again in 2024. But after just having been there this January (a trip to Disney & Universal and visiting family and friends) I didn’t want to do the same thing again next year. I also didn’t want to wait a whole year to get started. I was ready now! After a quick search of local marathon races in the spring and summer I chose the Colfax marathon in Denver. It’s close, it’s flat, it’s big, and it goes through the Broncos stadium! What’s not to like? While I am writing this I am already in week 3 of my marathon training plan. Instead of going with a Hal Higdon plan again, I picked the 16 week plan I found on marathonhandbook.com. I liked that the long runs are on Sundays with a non running day before and after.
Here is my color coded version (Nerd Alert!):
Anywho, I am super excited and I can’t wait for May 21st!