Four years ago, on October 13, 2012, I ran my first-ever marathon. You can read through the recap here, but spoiler alert: it went pretty darn well all things considered.
Running in a pair of the timeless Vibram FiveFinger shoes, I finished in 3:55:59, reaching my super secret A-Goal of sub-4:00. It’s pretty crazy to think that four years later, I’ve run a total of eight marathons and I’m fast-approaching 26.2-miler No. 9: next month’s City of Oaks Marathon in Raleigh, NC.
In the seven marathons I’ve completed since Baltimore in 2012, I’ve moved my PR up by about 25 minutes. Looking back, I would’ve liked to see a better progression, but I’m confident that I can use what I learned through those race experiences to continue to finesse my marathon time closer and closer to that holy grail BQ time. I’m not saying I’ll PR and BQ in my next marathon– in fact I’m positive I won’t– but I like the downward pattern I’ve created in my marathons that weren’t hindered by injury (e.g. during Philadelphia and leading up to Disney) or circumstances (i.e. I wasn’t going to PR during Pikes Peak– which was up and down a mountain, and I also wasn’t going to PR during Cleveland– which I ran/walked with Mrs. Cereal Runner).
Of the remaining races, here are my finishing times:
- Oct. 13, 2012: Baltimore Marathon (3:55:59)
- Mar. 22, 2015: Shamrock Marathon (3:42:54)
- Jan. 16, 2016: Charleston Marathon (3:37:16)
- Apr. 23, 2016, Coastal Delaware Marathon (3:31:03)
I improved my PR by 13:05, then by 5:38, and most recently by 6:13.
My goal for the City of Oaks Marathon of sub-3:30 requires a PR of just one minute and 4 seconds. Looking back on where I started and the slow-but-steady progress I’ve made over four years, I think I have a shot.
Happy Baltimore Running Festival Weekend!