The questions: Why do you run? Why do you run marathons?
Meet Pete Greaves, age 52, marathon runner
I ran my first marathon (Austin 1995) because I had always wanted to run just one. I typically spend January burning off the excesses of the holiday season and running had always been the best way to do that. So, in January of 1995 I started running 3-4 days per week and built up to 8-10 mile runs. I didn’t have any major aches and pains so I started to toy with the idea of running a marathon. I continued to run and decided to attempt the 1/2 marathon in February (I think) and see how it felt. I had a very good experience in the 1/2 and decided to take a shot at a full marathon. I had been told to take my time in the half and multiply it by two and add 10 minutes to get an estimate of what my time might be in a full marathon (I don’t recall my time in the 1/2).
By any expert’s standards I was very under-prepared or trained to run a full when the race day rolled around (3/5/1995). My longest training run had been 16 miles. I had planned a 20 but the weather turned cold and rainy that day and I cut it off at 16. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try. The race day conditions were clear but warm (a runner’s nightmare). I felt great through about the first 16 miles then started to hurt. At mile 18 I was in considerable pain and the temperatures had really gotten warm. By mile 20 I felt like my feet had been cut off and I was running on stumps. I plodded on for the final 6.2 miles doing a combination of running and walking. With 2 miles to go, If I could have averaged a 12 minute mile I would have broken 4 hours. But I didn’t. I crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 3 minutes and 40 seconds. It was a great feeling to cross the finish line but I was in major pain and told myself “I will never do this again as long as I live.”
Famous last words!
I ran six more beginning in 2002 and ending in 2006. I did NYC twice and Boston once.
This is the last installment from my marathoner friends. Special thanks to Pete, Hilary, Ray, and Roger for their generosity.
In case you missed them, here are the links to the previous entries: