1,470 days. That’s how long it will have been between my last marathon and the Atlantic City marathon, which is on October 22nd. Ashlie and I ventured out to Connecticut in October 2019 to run the Hartford marathon four years ago. I don’t think either of us had any idea it would take almost 1,500 days before either of us ran another, but life, as they say, has its own plans. The following spring, the world shut down as COVID-19 reared its ugly head, and then neither of us were able to get any sort of training in with the gestation and birth of our son Samuel in 2021. Parallel to that, I was suffering through a long and frustrating string of injuries, and seemed doomed to never return to my marathoning days.
Last year, however, Ashlie returned my favor of signing her up for marathons by registering both of us for Atlantic City. That, coupled with a hip that finally seemed able to tolerate running, led me to complete a pretty good training block this summer and fall. I was able to string together several months’ worth of 40-50 mile weeks, which I have not been able to do since 2019. And while my fitness definitely took a pretty significant hit during those four years of my unplanned hiatus, I can see it slowly creeping back.
I don’t have super-high goals for this marathon, for two main reasons. The first is the obvious one: my fitness is just not where it used to be. The second is that I’m not sure I remember how to race a marathon well. But I think, if all goes well, that I should be able to sneak under three hours, which would be a huge accomplishment right now. But even if I don’t, I would only need a 3:10 to qualify for Boston in 2025 (when I will be 40), which I think is very attainable.
It’s a little strange knowing that I will be running 26.2 miles in just a few days, after having gone so long without. If this race goes well, though, then it will bode well for us to resume our quest to run a marathon in each of the 50 states. The four years off definitely hampered our progress, but with any luck, we can take some more trips and start checking off more states in the upcoming years!