Finances & Money

A disappointing decision, but a relief

Last year we ran the Marine Corp Marathon. I’m a fat guy (relatively), and definitely not a runner, ever. We finished ahead of about 1500 other finishers, but I was unhappy with my time and performance. I seemed to have forgotten the horrible experience of running 3 days a week, up to 23 miles at one time during our 5 months of training. We signed up to run again. Last year was for Stacie, but this year was going to be MY year.

Last year, I finished in 6:05 (hours); just behind an 84-year-old man (the oldest finisher). I wanted to finish in 5:30 or better this year. We’ve been training for 2.5 months now, and I’ve been pushing really hard. We’ve been training at 10-11 minute miles, which is much better than the 12-14 minute miles from last year, but we had to make a decision.

Last year, we put everything we had planned on the back-burner so we could focus on our training. We only swam in our pool about 5 times because we were so tired, and we didn’t get to see our families and friends nearly as much as we wanted. This year we have so much to accomplish including:

  • starting my Masters degree in early September (the marathon is at the end of October)
  • furthering the adoption process
  • renovating our second floor (it’s an old Cape Cod home)
  • renovating “my” bathroom
  • reflooring the kitchen and dining room
  • installing a retaining wall around the pool
  • finding Stacie a different day-job
  • seeing our friends and family more (including my two young nieces and our brand new nephew)

This weekend, we have a 14 mile run scheduled. But we also plan to go to PA to see our nephew for the first time. We also have a 16 mile run scheduled on the weekend we’re driving to NY for a wedding. And we have a 21 mile run scheduled on the Saturday of my first week of classes, AND the same day as the Penn State vs Notre Dame football game!

It’s just getting to be too much, and we’ve decided that we want that time to accomplish some other goals. So, we won’t be running this year’s marathon. HOWEVER, we do have some other running goals in mind. Instead, we’ll be training for and running some 5k and 10k races, including a few with our priest! Turns out our priest really admired our marathon accomplishment, and being a recreational runner, asked if we could help him train for a short race (he’s in his mid-60s, but he’s right at our pace).

I’ve already set myself a goal. In 3 months, I want to be able to run 3 miles in 24 minutes. My current best is an 8:51 mile on the treadmill Monday, but I wasted about 20-30 seconds getting up to speed. First, I want an 8 minute mile, then 2, then finally all 3 miles.

Another of my goals is to lose 21 lbs. It might take me the rest of the year, but I want to do it safely (1-2lbs per week). I’m at 220lbs now, and I want to be 199lbs. Why 199? Cause I have no idea when I was under 200 last. It seriously may have been in grade school. I was at exactly 200 about 5 years ago, but couldn’t touch 199. I just haven’t had the discipline until now (I hope).

In closing, we’re disappointed that we’re quitting the race, but we know we needed the break. We did already find a couple (via the Marines office) willing to buy our registrations and pay the transfer fee. We’ll be following them on race day, along with the other 30,000 or so other runners, and I invite you to attend race day on October 28th to cheer on the runners, especially the slow ones. You seriously have NO idea how much that cheering helped push me through those 26.2 miles. It makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it, knowing that those fans stuck around over 6 hours to cheer on the fat guy.

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Clever Dude


  • keep up the good work! sounds like you are doing well. over about 5 years, i’ve gone from 220 to 145. and i’ve started running too!
    i’ve thought about doing the honolulu marathon in december, but i’m hoping i’ll be pregnant. 🙂
    have you tried any high intensity interval training to increase your speed? i’ve been doing a lot of that recently and it kicks my a**

  • Shannon, I haven’t researched any specific methods of running since we just made the decision. Right now, things are hectic, so I’m working on just getting to the gym (our outside, but it’s hot!). I’ll keep you all updated on major milestones though.

    Good luck with either the marathon OR the pregnancy!

  • […] ago, I told you that we were backing out of this year’s Marine Corp Marathon (MCM). It was a disappointing decision, but a relief, although we will be training for a 5k or 10k run starting next […]

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