Pat O'Connor from Cornwall, NY (Male)
Occupation: College Student/U.S. Air Force
Age on race day: 20
2006 Stowe Marathon - Stowe, VT
This was my 1st marathon and I finished in 4:29:11.
I consider myself a beginner runner and I primarily run as a hobby. I decided to run a marathon because I never ran cross-country in high school or college. I was a heavy kid in high school and was a lineman for the school's football team. I never ran long distances until the summer before I went to a senior military college, when I decided to get in shape. I had a specific route that I ran at least 5 days a week. Every day I would run past this man's house until one day he stopped me and asked if I was training for a marathon. I said "No, just getting ready for the military." He then told me that he ran the NYC Marathon and suggested that I run one. Since then, running a marathon was in the back of my mind, I just never was in shape or had the time to train for it. Two summers later I decided to give it a shot and I signed up for one near my school.
I didn't follow a specific training plan because I had a lot of other things to do besides prepare for a marathon. During my "training months" I worked landscaping for 60 hours a week. The only time I had to run was in the evenings and into the night. After a long day's work it was pretty grueling. In addition, I wasn't able to "train" when I went to boot camp in the middle of the summer. During my "training months" I was able to average about 50 miles per week. One of the things I did during this time was never ask for advice. I wanted to do this on my own.
The 2006 Stowe Marathon was better than expected. I did much better than I thought I would. If I was to give any first-timers advice, it would be not to run your first marathon in Vermont because of all the hills. For some reason, I ran it with a pack on too, not the smartest of ideas. However, I did finish and that was my primary goal as a first-time marathoner.
The course was really peaceful. There weren't many spectators at all. From miles 9-10.5 it was all uphill. Once I got to the top it was a nice view right before a steep downhill. I hit the wall at mile 21. From that point on I ran a mile, then walked and stretched for a minute or so. From this point on it felt like someone stuck a knife in both my legs and twisted it around. The last 2 miles I ran 100 yards, then walked 100 yards, but I did finish.
My recovery was pretty rough. Unfortunately, because of the nature of my school, I couldn't really recover properly. I had to walk up and down the stairs backwards for 3 days.
1/10 of 1% of the population can finish a marathon. Expect challenge. Achieve distinction.
Plans to Run Another:
I'm planning to run another marathon because all in all, I had a great time. I plan to run Boston as a bandit, just to say I did it. Also, I want to run the Disney World Marathon just for fun. For my next marathon, I'll train, train, train, ...