Tomorrow we are heading to Pittsburgh for a very special reason.
Kevin is running the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday! It will be his third marathon and his first time running the distance without me. To say I am proud is an understatement. I actually get emotional when I think about how far he has come. I’ve written about Kevin’s journey to running before, but some things have changed since then so I’ll do a little update.
In a nutshell- at the beginning of our relationship Kevin agreed to run a 5K without really training, then stopped running for 6 months until he finally starting coming along with me again. We started slow with a quarter mile, and built up slowly from there. One year after that in April 2011 we ran the Country Music Marathon. He finished in 4:10:05.
That is where my original post about Kevin’s journey ended. After this race we trained for another one, and ran the Air Force Marathon that September in 4:00:04. We ran the entire race together and finished hand-in-hand!
We ran together the whole time and I really struggled at the end. Kevin pulled me along to get me my PR and (almost) sub 4-hour marathon. I was completely empty and he still had tons of energy to burn. I felt like I really held him back and that he was capable of doing much more. That’s how we came to the decision that we would run separate races next time so we could push ourselves at our own paces. I decided to do the HAT 50K (which I later dropped out of when I got pregnant) and he wanted to run the Pittsburgh Marathon. I was fine with not running the Pittsburgh race, because I had already done a marathon in Pennsylvania and I knew Pittsburgh was his favorite city (he loves the Steelers!). I was excited to be a spectator for once, and support him in his first solo race!
Shortly after we signed up for those races and started training, I realized how strong I felt and wanted to see what I could do in a road race, since the HAT 50K was on trails. I had my eye on another race: The Delaware Marathon. It was a week after Pittsburgh and I really wanted to run it and try to PR. I told Kevin and he shocked me when he told me that he wanted to run it too. When I asked him if he realized it was a week after Pittsburgh he said, “yeah, so what?” Well… okay then! He wanted to run back-to-back marathons and become part of the Marathon Maniacs club, a.k.a. a group of crazy people that run multiple marathons! I want to join someday too 🙂
Fast forward to the present day, and I am no longer running the full Delaware marathon and will be doing the half instead. So Kevin will be running his two back-t0-back marathons alone. I still can’t believe it. He is the guy that couldn’t run a quarter mile without needing to walk two years ago! His training has had its ups and downs. He struggles with knee pain occasionally but he is naturally fast and has great endurance.
(I promise he does have more than one running shirt!)
Since running two marathons in the span of one week is very tough on the body, Kevin says he doesn’t have any time goals for these races. His primary goal is to complete them both. However, his plan is to take it easier in Pittsburgh because of the hills and because he doesn’t want to burn out to the point where he wouldn’t be able to run Delaware. He will probably do one or two short and easy runs in between the races to shake out his legs, and then if he feels good he’ll push it harder in Delaware where it is much flatter.
I’m proud of Kevin for his journey into running and for making it his OWN journey. I can’t wait to see my husband become a Marathon Maniac! I’ll have a recap up as soon as I can after race #1!