Well it was tough and long but once again I finished the Walt Disney World Full Marathon! In case your new to the site I also ran the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon you can read about that here http://www.averagejakefirefighter.com/2013/01/17/im-a-marathoner/
This has been another trek on my fitness journey that started about 5 years ago, and I was very proud that my hard work paid off! In my first marathon I was just able to finish and came across the finish line at 5 hours and 43 minuets, an accomplishment yes but I felt I could do better. Now even feeling like I could do better when my wife brought up doing it again I was not exactly thrilled, but I did want to try again.
Training went well as I was able to mix running with Cross Fit and keep motivated throughout the process. The biggest thing this time is I was not injured during the training as I was last time and had to take several weeks off from working out at all and went into the race feeling out of shape. This time I knew any short comings in this race would be me beating me and not due to lack of training.
I started the race and stuck with the Cliff Bar4:45 pace team which was a huge help. I had never run with a pace team before and it was a huge help. The pace teams are all experienced runners the 4:45 pacer had run more marathons than I have ever done races! The biggest asset was that she was able to keep me at a steady pace which is something I have always struggled with. Even to this day with all of the races I have run I still cant keep a consistent pace or feel the pace I am running, so a lot of times I go out to fast too early and gas at the end hurting my finish time.
I was able to hang with the pacer for 17 miles but then in the crowd and due to fatigue I lost them, however It was ok because I was able to keep the same pacing plan in place but just a little slower as my muscles began to cramp a it and I had to stop at the medical tent for some biofreeze. At one point in the race it even started raining so again my pace slowed a bit for fear of falling. If you do not know the course it is mostly flat but toward the end you have to run up and down some interstate clover leafs with a significant incline so the rain coupled with my fatigue had me worried about falling so I slowed a bit.
All in all I finished the marathon in 5 hours and 7 minuets! A significant improvement over last time!
One thing I forgot to mention is that this was not my first race of the week as I ran the Disney Family 5k with my wife and kids the Thursday of marathon week. As always I was super proud of my wife Karen and my two boys for running.
Some people ask why write about this because it has nothing to do with firefighting. I hope it shows all firefighters and people out there that you can accomplish things that you put your effort toward. I was a 216lb fat guy who made fun of people for working out. It also made me suffer in attitude, and on the fire ground. Now I am a 175lb 2 time marathon finisher, who does cross fit, is a peer fitness trainer for his department and has changed performance where it counts, on the fire ground.
I don’t just do it for me, I do it for my family, the family of the guys I work with, and the citizens we serve. I want to be in shape and healthy to thrive on the fire ground and to show that fitness is not an option on this job.
You do not have to run marathons to be in shape, you do not have to run races at all! Just get up and get moving and push away from the bad fatty foods and soda.
As for what my next goal is, I do not know. What I do know is that fitness is a lifestyle for me and I will always struggle with food and motivation but I will keep fighting in order to be as healthy as I can in order to be ready for the fire service and life after.
Thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!