Finishing What I Started – St. George Marathon Here I Come!

About three and half weeks ago, I wrote a post about needing a change of pace when it came to how I approached my fitness. After years of focusing solely on running marathons, I decided to diversify my training to include more cross training; things like lifting weights and yoga. I called off the two marathons I was scheduled to run in October in an effort to begin this change right away. I decided to make this change in an effort to rekindle my passion for running, to become a more well rounded athlete, and most importantly to spend more time with my two year old girl.

For the first week or so, I felt like a huge burden had been lifted because I no longer had to worry about how many miles I ran each day. If I felt like running, I ran. If I felt like going to lunch with my co-workers, I went and went without feeling guilty that I was skipping out on running miles that would help me prepare for my October marathons. Then the Facebook posts started.

The posts started out slow and have increased with frequency over the past week. Runners talking about completing their last long runs before the St. George Marathon and being excited to start their taper. First time marathoners asking questions about the best tapering and race plans for the St. George Marathon. Seasoned runners sharing how many St. George Marathon finishes they will have after this year. The St. George Marathon marks the end of the season for a lot of runners in Utah. In fact, for myself and many members of the running clubs I belong to, the race expo and pre-race dinner has felt like a large family reunion for the past few years. Reading everyone’s posts on Facebook got the memories of my own St. George Marathon experiences flowing.

In October 1995, when I was 15, my grandfather took me to watch the finish of the St. George Marathon. I made the decision that day that I wanted to run the marathon the next year. I don’t think my declaration to run the marathon in 1996 at the age of 16 was taken seriously by most people. After all, I had just lost 80 pounds and was only running three to four miles a day at the time. True to my word, I took the suggested Runner’s World marathon training schedule, doubled the size of every workout on it, and returned to the St. George Marathon in 1996 as a participant, finishing in 3:07 (still my best marathon time).

“st George 1996

It was at the 2010 St. George Marathon that I qualified for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:08

“st george 2010

In 2012, my brother Matt (an amazing athlete himself) and my six week old daughter were both there there to cheer for me and to experience their first marathon finish line. Fueled by the knowledge that they were both waiting for me at the finish, I ran a 3:14.


Last year, I met marathon running legend Dick Beardsley. I was over weight and undertrained, but I still managed to run 3:34.

As I have relived all of these wonderful memories, my resolve to follow through with starting to diversify my workouts immediately began to fade. I started thinking about what I would be missing by not running St. George this year. I felt like Don Corleone in the Godfather 3…


After continuously reading everyone’s posts about how excited they are and going back and forth about whether I should change my mind about skipping the race, I have decided that diversifying my training can wait a couple more weeks. Now, without further rambling, I formally announce that…


When you tell anyone that you are running a marathon, the inevitable question is “what time are you shooting for?” or “What’s your prediction?” Most people’s response to this question when you are as undertrained as I am is usually, “my only goal is to finish.” The only words that come to mind to answer this question right now are the immortal words of Clubber Lang in Rocky III


This is probably one of my worst decisions ever, but I want my daughter to know that I finish what I start. I signed up for the race and I am going to run it dang it! I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge, no matter how daunting the prospects of success look. So, I declare, just like Barney Stinson, when he was challenged to run a marathon without training…


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