After a successful marathon at age 33 in 1995, I slipped back into the occasional runner lifestyle. I would run once or twice a week, or less. I would do a few local 5 and 10Ks every year. Nothing long. I logged almost 1,200 miles on the baby jogger before I had to retire it when the boy was five. I was happy to sell it to a pregnant runner at a garage sale - she was so excited to get one for $20!
he was too big to push, but too small to leave at home alone, I had less
time to run. The wife worked a lot of late nights, so I was home with
the boy most nights. It was great for bonding, but running had to take a
backseat for a while.
By the year 2000, my marriage was
in trouble. Without getting into too much detail, she moved out in
February of 2001 and divorce followed as soon as legally possible after
that. Now I was a half-time parent, single dad half the time, and lonely
bachelor the other days. Which meant more time to run! By the end of
April I had decided to sign up for another Twin Cities Marathon in
October, and started ramping up the mileage. I had some friends in
Minnesota also running it this time ,who encouraged me. They were
turning 40 just before the race, so it was a mid-life crisis kind of
thing. I was only 39 but what the heck.
The running was my
therapy as I worked through the divorce. As you all know, a good long
run is great to get time to think and let your emotions settle and get
one thinking positively. I was doing my usual 3 runs a week training
plan, allowing me to be Dad 3-4 times a week. Training went pretty well
and I got in two 18 milers and one 20-miler. I took my son with me back
to Minnesota and my parents were again my support crew. Also my brother
flew in to share in the fun and support me.
Race day was
cold! I was with three friends hanging out in the Metrodome as long as
we could before braving the 35 degree weather. But once we got going it
turned out perfect. I had a long sleeve T-shirt that I ditched after 5
miles. I ran with one of my friends for about 7 miles before he faded
back. I was feeling really good and accelerating. The crowds were again
fantastic. They really helped me keep the adrenaline going. Someone had
given me the idea to put my name on my shirt to get strangers to cheer
for me and it worked like a charm! For the whole race I was hearing "Go
Brad" from hundreds of people. Hearing attractive female strangers call
out my name with excitement in their voice really helps!! Nowadays they
often print your name on the bib, but back then I was a trendsetter!
this race went pretty much like the last one. I felt good most of the
way. Faded a little at the end, but not too bad. It was great to see my 7
year old cheer for me. My brother hopped in at mile 22 and did the
last 4 miles with me, which was a great help. Here is my little guy
handing me something.
had a few walk breaks, but was doing OK. The finish was again a great
feeling, although I don't think I cried this time. But I had a great
sense of accomplishment after a tough year. Final time: 3:33:38. Missed
Boston by 13 minutes. Again, not really the goal. I was quite happy with
the time, and my return to being a marathoner.
See how they made a "20" out of the shoe prints. Clever.
Next: Episode 5: Attack of the Bonk Clone (2003)