Road to the Boston Marathon- Entry #2

Entry #2: An Uphill Battle
By: Noah Mark Bitney

“How long should you try? Until.”

Jim Rohn

Excuses are the killers of dreams, and I have no excuses for my training (or should I say lack thereof) this past month and a half! Marathon Training is more than just running day in and day out. There is a lot to it, not only physically but mentally as well. Sometimes when you are running, and you get to that BIG HILL and you think can I do this? Then you start running and it gets to be too steep annnnddd . . . you lose all your energy and focus. You quit running and just walk the rest of the way. That’s what happened to me over these past few weeks. I quit, the hill was too steep, and it defeated me. Simply put I failed myself.

Over the past month, month, and a half I’ve run pretty inconsistently and not followed my training program whatsoever. I’m not afraid to admit it, even though I was so confident and full of energy a couple of months ago. I hit the hill so to speak. We all lose focus sometimes. We get caught up with many different things (hills) that prevent us from doing what we need or want to do. It’s getting past those hills that make us a stronger runner, and now is my time to get past those hills.

Between my full-time (45+ hours a week) job and my 11-month-old son, Mason, life has kind of taken over my running. I’m not making excuses, however, because there have been many opportunities for me to run and get after it, but my commitment, drive, and focus haven’t been there. Basically, I’ve been downright lazy.

However, these past few weeks I’ve done some soul searching and some real hard thinking, and remembered why I love to run so much, and why I’m chasing after that Boston Qualification! There is this famous quote from Dwayne Johnson that I’ve always found inspiring, and I came across it again recently and it helped me find that commitment and passion for running again.

“Don’t work 8 hours for a company then go home and not work on your own goals. You’re not tired, you’re uninspired.” -Dwayne Johnson

And that’s it, I’ve been uninspired! It’s been a real “Uphill Battle” these past several weeks mentally and physically, but I’ve taken the time to find some inspiration, and remember why I’m chasing that Boston Qualification next June. So now it’s time to push past this steep hill in my training.  So, to do that I need to push harder, breathe deeper, and focus on what comes after running the steepest of hills!

Mason and my work are unmovable hills in my training. Both are an important part of my life but running is also very important. It is a part of who I am. So, how do I fit my marathon training in between these two big hills? I learn to adapt and change my thought process about my training program. I use these hills as a training opportunity to grow as not only a runner but as a husband and father.

Most people who know me, know that I’m not a morning person. Luckily, I’m already up at 4:00 A.M. every day to be at work by 5-6, so why not get up a little earlier and take some time to focus on my goals! Yeah, that means 2:00 A.M. or maybe earlier, but if I can do it for a job . . . why can’t I do it for something that means more to me than a job? Then after my 9-Hour Shift at work, I can focus on being a father to Mason and on being a husband to my amazing wife. This is most definitely going to be a learning curve and a change for me, but I really think if I commit to this and make it a part of my daily training, I can succeed with all three hills that I’m facing and win the “Uphill Battle” I’m fighting. If I succeed then the rest of my training (the Five Key Miles & more) will just fall into place.

Now that I’ve found that inspiration and passion again, it is time to apply consistency and commitment to this program. Then and only then will I be on the right track, and those hills will be an easy climb and the battle will be won!

With this new mindset, and a plan for those tough hills . . . let’s reset the miles back to the beginning! Starting December 6th, I will be in a 26-Week Marathon Training program towards Grandma’s Marathon! As I run towards June 18th, I’m going to be building my weekly mileage slowly and consistently towards 90 Miles a Week! Along the way, I’m going to follow my Five Key Mile Strategy and focus each day on being better than the previous day!

Sure, we’re heading into one of the hardest times to start a new training program, but if you really think about it there is never a good time. You will always find an excuse, and I’m done looking or making excuses, I’m ready to commit and I don’t think I’ve ever felt as excited or ready as I do right now about where my running career is headed!

Before I leave you today, there is a quote I want to leave you with. It is something I’m going to tell myself each and every day during this training program. Before I do, I would like to know, what has been your biggest hurdle in a training program before? Have you ever lost inspiration while training for a big goal? Let me know what you’ve faced in the past in the comments below.

Alright, so each day and every day I will simply tell myself: “I COMMIT, I WON’T QUIT!”

Happy Holidays Grandma’s Runners, to you and your family!

Noah Bitney

Noah is one of our Offical Grambassadors for the 2022 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend. Meet the rest of the ambassadors here.

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Favorite Grandma’s Marathon Memory: Running this past summer, where I was able to redeem myself on the Grandma’s Marathon course after an injury in my first Marathon here. Not only did I outperform my previous 4:09:52 Course Record, but I smashed my PR by 18 minutes at Grandma’s this year! It was my first real race post-Covid, and it was such a great experience to get back out there racing again!

Favorite Non-Grandma’s Event: Eau Claire Marathon #RunEC! I’m also an ambassador, and now a committee member for that race organization.

Go to post-race beverage: CHOCOLATE MILK!!!

2022 Running Goal: To FINALLY qualify for the Boston Marathon. I’ve got a long winter ahead, and it’s time to get myself into shape!