From Couch to Marathon in 40 weeks!  
Welcome to my personal site on running!  It includes the experiences that I have encountered, some of the gear that I use or recommend, and some of the races that I am focused on.  One day I was sitting back on the couch at home and was trying to figure out why I was not working out so I wrote down every reason that I could think about.  Up to this point I had not done any real working in 10+ years for more than 2 weeks at best after the New Years resolution.  Some of those reasons included: not enough time, too tired after working all day, feel like crap, don't want to drive to a gym, don't have workout gear, don't want to look foolish, too hot outside, too cold, too dark, too much pollen, too much snow, or bad knees due to previous skiing accidents.  After I got to #39 I laughed and said, "just run man!" 


I needed something that was so low-tech and simple to commit to.  I figured, I put my shoes on every day and I am pretty good at it!  Heck I even move my legs so I am half way there.  I chose running on the treadmill exclusively at the gym because the treadmill is easy on the knees since it flexes, has a TV and a place to hold my water and my cell phone.  Plus, it's temp is always the same.  No excuses!  I wanted to lose some weight, but more importantly I wanted something that I could do lifelong no matter where I am and what the weather is like.  I also like push-ups because you only have to fall over a few times each week.


The first week that I ran, I walked 1/4 mile and then ran 3/4 to complete my first mile!  I was so excited.  Each time I ran after that I kept a log and added up my total mileage from the day I started.  Within one week I was now running a few miles and walking another.  I allowed myself to count the mileage walked into my overall total vs. feeling down that I had to walk any of it in the first place.  Each week I would post what I had done on Facebook because it recorded when I ran and committed me to post each week else someone would say, "WTF man, where is your post?"  I took it one mile at a time.  After 7 weeks I had not lost (1) pound, but I was not discouraged because I am now a "lifelong runner."  The next week I lost 5 pounds like dropping off a cliff.  I was shocked!  I did not try to lose 5 pounds a week, but rather focused on what I set out to do, run.  After week 14 I was now down 14 pounds from 174 to 160 (5'8" tall).  I lost all of the back fat that I had accumulated over the years. So, I kept running!  Work was crazy and there were all kinds of things going on that were completely out of my control.  What I like about running was that I had complete control, plus, I started to look pretty good!  After 30 weeks of training and now running as high as 10 miles with the luck of the draw I won an opportunity at work to run the Boston Marathon!  Can you believe it, I will have gone from the couch to finishing one of the most prestigious marathons in the world within 40 weeks! 

I ran 16 miles (upto 20 mi now) the other day with a smile even though I almost puked at mile 13 when my body said, "Hey man how about taking a nap?  Sounds good right now doesn't it."  I stopped for a second, regained my composure, and finished one step at a time.  Now, I know what you are thinking this guy is doing too much to fast!  Truth is, I am not that fast, but rather consider myself the tortoise.  Whether I am running 3 or 26.2 miles, I run it the same way.  I run a bit and walk a bit and do it over and over until I reach my goal.  I do my best to focus on form to prevent injury and listen to what my body is telling me.  My 3 minute walk gives me the post-check that I need to see where my body is at for that day.  Each day is slightly different.  I now also focus heavily on my fueling to ensure I do not get dehydrated or boink.  I am not one of those people who are too proud to say, "I dont need water!"  Don't be silly because you will get hurt. 


At the end of the day you can do it too!  Get up, add it up, and do something lifelong.  Don't focus on just physical results, but rather the mental aspect and set a goal that you will never reach!  My (39) reasons to not workout was because I was fooling myself.  Be honest, get pissed off and then run baby run!!!
Justin_Davidson@yahoo.com (Email me what you think)
@JustinDavidson (Twitter)
PS: Thank you Earthlink Business (formerly One Communications) for the opportunity to run the 2011 Boston Marathon (Bib #26333).  All opinions expressed on this blog are my own personal opinions and have nothing to do with my employer Earthlink Business.

My 2011 Boston Marathon - after thoughts

This was my first marathon and I ran the Boston Marathon in 4 hrs 57 mins to meet my goal of under 5 hrs.  After running 21 miles I had to dig down deep to shave off those 3 mins.  The race was so fun I didn’t want it to end.  The first 6 mi you are giving high-fives to hundreds of people.  Everyone was screaming supportive phrases.  The water stops were congested as expected and slippery.  Since I carried my own water in a small CamelBak backpack I was able to coast past most of them.  People say that there are lots of water stops and bathrooms, but honestly I did not see that many.  The girls at Wellesley College were screaming holding up signs “kiss me” at the ½ way point.  Having friends and family at various checkpoints really made me smile.  It was kinda funny getting passed by the guy in a Tux, the juggler, and the one in the Hotdog uniform along with the 80 yr old grandmothers.  I ran next to Celtics Ray Allen’s mother for a bit until I kicked on the jets.  Haha..kinda.  I burned off almost 3200 calories and lost 4 lbs during the race.

It was perfectly sunny with a tailwind.  At mile 16 the hills started and you could see it on the others faces that they knew something was coming that could make or break their race.  Everyone got pretty quiet.  The first few hills were not that bad until the dreaded heartbreak hill.  It was then, half way up I had to kick into a power walk to stretch out my hips.  They were completely tight.  Most non-elite runners saved their gas until they reach the top of the hills at mile 21.  That’s when I had to make my choice to either finish slightly above 5 hrs or just below.  The lifelong feeling of saying, “I finished in 4 hrs and something” vs. 5 yrs really meant something to me.  I chose the latter and ran down the backside of heartbreak at my best Kenyan speed pushing grandmothers out of the way as fast as I could.  At mile 24 my hips were almost locked-up after taking the beating that my cooked quads that could not support anymore.  Again, I kicked into the silly looking long strided power walk teeth clenched.  At mile 25 I gave it whatever was left in the tank.  We had to go under one last underpass below Mass Ave and that felt like the largest hill coming back out of it.  When I crossed the finish line it was the exact feeling that you could imagine.  I was thrilled that I finished with my family right there at the finish line smiling and cheering.  You could see on my kids faces that a role model was set for their lives.  Once the race was over they handed you a bottle of water, your tin foil coat, and bless you with your medal after a long walk.  It’s then that you realize that you survived.  After 40 weeks of intense training and after years of just sitting on the coach I had run one of the most prestigious marathon on the planet.  Ouch, but I would do it again in a minute!

Lessons learned:
- Wear a black disposable trashbag to retain heat and reduce wind while waiting for the starting lineup (it was very cold at the start)
- Wear sunblock (oops)
2011 Boston Marathon (04/18/11)

WOULD I RUN MORE..... YES AND I DID (click here to see my track record)


This is a marathon that I just ran for fun one Sunday by myself. :)  No medal, no t-shirt, no water stops, no cheering fans..just sore legs and a smile.  I beat my goal of 4:45 and smoked my Boston Marathon 4:57 coming in this time at 4:40!!