Sub-4 Marathon Group


Personal Introductions (Read 498 times)


    Hey everyone! Welcome to the Donuts. We started as strangers in search of community for support while pursuing the goal of a Sub-4 hour marathon. Many of us achieved that goal, some of us are still on the path, but we all quickly became friends, so we decided to stick together whatever our goals. So, join us!  


    Let's get to know one another, shall we? The purpose of this thread is to introduce yourself to the group, as well as to learn about other members. 

    PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)


      I'll go first! 

      I'm Daniel. I was never a runner, and the extent of my athleticism growing up was playing playground basketball in the 'burbs of LA. I wore sport goggles, seriously (I know: fear me!). 

      I ran on and off, but everything changed when DW and I had our first son. I didn't find the time to keep in shape, and eventually, I gained too much weight, and became unhealthy. 

      After a few years (circa 2010), my doctor confronted me, and told me that if I did not do something, then I would have start taking Lipitor at the tender age of 30 something. Got it, doc. So, I started running. 

      At first, I could only run 1 mile, and I took a bottle of water with me (which I finished every time). Eventually, 1 mile became 2, and 2 became 3... 

      Then, my friend convinced me to sign up for a race. My first race was the 2011 Columbus Half-Marathon. I was running around 16-24 miles a week. I finished in 1:52:27. But more importantly: I was hooked. (In hindsight, I think Columbus would be a great first race for anyone.) 

      I then signed up for my first marathon, 2012 Twin Cities Marathon. In the meantime, I ran 4 more half-marathons, and PRed twice--I love racing that distance, by the way. I finished TCM in 4:30:46. It was not what I wanted, and I felt totally demoralized. But my great friends in the Donuts thread picked me right up, and even kicked my butt a little. So, here I am, trying to get ready for some kind of race...I'm hoping for a redemption full.

      Oh yeah, other than running itself, I'm a total running gear and running shoe junkie.  

      PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)


        I'm Jodi.  I used to be known as Jodirunsforautism.  I started running in 10th grade when I was doing the mile for the Presidential Fitness Test, and was the first girl who finished.  The gym teacher took me to meet the track coach.  That was nearly 22 years ago.  I ran both in college and high school.  I did my first marathon in 1995 (Grandma's).  I would say trained for, but that is emphatically not the case.  I ended up tearing my meniscus in both knees and with a mal-aligned patella.  I had arthoscopic knee surgery to fix the knees and was told I could probably run marathons again, but was scared.  When I was in the military I ran 5Ks, 10Ks, and a half marathon.  I was on my Air Force's team to run the Air Force Marathon Relay when 9/11 happened and needless to say it was cancelled for all involved.  I got out of the Air Force the next year, and got pregnant.  I ran for the first 7 months, then had to stop due to a complicated pregnancy.  I ended up with severe pre-eclampsia, and my child was born with developmental delays.  I started to run again, then got pregnant again.  Because of my son's delays, I was nervous about running, I also was kind of depressed, so I ate my way through my second pregnancy and gained over 100 pounds.  Shortly after my daughter was born, my son was diagnosed with moderate autism spectrum disorder.  I was also pre-diabetic and had high blood pressure.  About five years ago (in April), I got a wake up call.  My dad has diabetes that's not controlled by insulin.  He had a heart attack and needed a triple bypass plus a valve replacement.  I was just put on pill form insulin.  Needless to say it was scary.  I had been starting to run again, and lost around 70-80 pounds of my initial weight gain.  I was running a few half marathons here and there.  I decided to train for a marathon.  I trained for and ran OBX Marathon.  I thought it would be my only marathon besides Grandma's.  I'm now training for marathon #7.  I have gone from running long runs around 12:00-13:00 min/mile to running them just under 10:00 min/mile.  My first marathon whose time I remember (not counting Grandma's because I can't find my time) was 5:12 hours.  My current PR is 4:16.  My next marathon is Disney's Goofy Challenge (which my goal is to finish standing up).  After that, I'm running my hometown marathon in Minneapolis, MN.  My goal is if my training stays good, I would love to get 3:40-3:50 (this is an ultimate goal), but I would be happy to finish under 4:00 hours.




        Half: 1:48 (March 3rd, 2013)

        Full: 4:05:40 (March 17th, 2013)


        2013/2014 Goals:

        Sub-4:00 hour Marathon

        Sub- 125 pounds
        Sub- 1:45 hour half.


          My real name is Ena (screen name is a combo of the names of my cats, Zoe and Katie), I'm 37, a lawyer and live in beautiful Vancouver, BC.  I started running regularly 3 years ago - in September of 2009.  Being the kind of person who loves have a goal, I almost immediately signed up for the Vancouver Marathon the following May and started a marathon training clinic with the Running Room that January.  Set my goal at 4:15 and ended up coming in at 4:25.  Despite the painful last 10K (I trained very low mileage, probably about 25 a week with a few weeks in the 30s), I was hooked and immediately signed up for Portland in October where I ran a 4:18 off of similar training.


          2011 was not the best year for running.  I wanted to increase my mileage for the Copenhagen marathon in May (my father lives there) and just as I started running regularly in the 30s, I got a nasty case of shin splints.  Wasn't due to too much too soon as I was quite careful, but rather tied to my ridiculously tight calf muscles - my PT actually laughed at me!  I've always had calf issues (still do, although only if I slack with my stretching and foam rolling), so that training cycle was sporadic.  I was still able to run 2:00 in a hilly half about a month before the race, so I though I might be able to get small PR in Copenhagen.  However, my left calf gave up the ghost at mile 12 and I had to run walk the rest for a 5:01.  Not enjoyable at all.  Took several months off of running after that and started building back up in November.


          2012 was a much better year.  I was able to have a healthy marathon training cycle (avg 38 MPW, peak 60) and set multiple PRs at various distances.  My HM PR went down from 2:00 in May 2011 to 1:46:36 in June 2012.  Also lowered my 10K PR from 54 to sub 48 and marathon to 3:50.  Was planning to try for a BQ in Portland in October, but had a terrible training cycle (I realized I hate summer running as I'm an evening runner), including some runner's knee in September and so half-assed Portland with a 4:29.  I did start working with a personal trainer in June though, so I've really improved my strength this year, which will hopefully pay dividends in the upcoming cycle.


          My goal this cycle is to increase my mileage again and BQ (3:40) in Vancouver in May.  If I do BQ, I will probably only run one marathon in 2013, as I don't want to have to do marathon training in the summer again, I'd prefer to do some maintenance running with lots of hiking and biking instead.

          PRs: 47:54 (10K); 1:46:36 (HM); 3:50:52 (FM)

          Recovering from injured knee (PCL/Lateral Meniscus)


            I'm Jenny, 33 years old, SAHM of 4 girls.  I currently live in Belgium.  My DH is in the Army, so we move around a bit and are about 1/2 through a 3 year tour here but considering extending.  I ran cross country and track in HS and then didn't do much running through most of college and early married years, but started up again after my 2nd daughter was born 10 years ago.  Since then, I've considered myself a runner, but I mostly ran 3-4 miles maybe 3 times a week.  I did run one marathon, Air Force, in 2004 off very low miles, in 4:43.  I was never able to run very far into my pregnancies, so I had substantial layoffs during my next 2 pregnancies, but always started back up again.  I ran several 1/2 during this time, lots clustered around 2:05 with one sub 2 at 1:59.  I also ran some 5 and 10Ks.  


            Last fall, my youngest daughter started preschool and I suddenly had lots of time to run.  So I started upping my mileage last fall, with the goal of the ING Luxembourg marathon in May.  I ran Lux in 4:09.  My average leading up was I think around 35mpw, so not super high.  I was on pace for sub-4 until the 20 mile point, but that race ends with a 6 mile long 1% uphill grade and I just couldn't maintain the pace on the long, long uphill.  I had planned to run Dublin in October, but my dh had surgery in July and then again in September for lung cancer and it through a wrench in my plans, with him being home from work for about 12 weeks.  I did manage to get to Budapest and run a 1/2 there 2 days before his second surgery.  I was hoping for sub 1:50, but it was a hot day and I only managed 1:56.  Redemption was about 6 weeks later when I ran a small local 1/2 in 1:49.  


            I saw great improvement in 2012 from increasing my mileage from about 10-15mpw to the 27mpw I've averaged for the year so far.  I've dropped my 5K PR from 24:15 to 23:08, my 10K from 51:57 to 48:15, my 1/2 from 1:59 to 1:56 to 1:49, and my full from 4:43 to 4:09.  Now I'm hoping that with the gains from this year and a committed Pfitz 18/55 cycle, I can break 4 hours in Rotterdam in April.  


            PRs: 5K-23:08 (10/12), 10K-48:15 (4/12), 13.1-1:49:33 (10/12), 26.2-4:09:21 (5/12)


              Hi all,


              My name is Steve, I was known as NC_runningboy on RW forums.  I've been mostly MIA from the forums since running Marine Corps back in late Oct.  I've had a hard time getting motivated to get back out and run consistently.  Anyway, I ran competitively in High School and was a pretty good runner in XC and track.  Having run some reasonably fast races back in the day, it's been tough accepting that I'll never see those kind of times again, but ultimately I love running so I keep coming back for more.  Well after a 20+ year layoff after HS, I started running again in 2007.  20 years and many pounds made me have to start with a run a minute, walk a minute.  But I gradually built back up and ran my first race back, a 10K in Oct of 2007.  It was pathetically slow, 66Tight lippedx, but I was bitten by the bug again.  I had a great couple of years slowly building up and steadily improving.  I ran my current HM PR in Dec of 2009 (1:45:33), but plantar fasciitis struck and 2010 was a wash.  I slowly built back up in 2011 and ran my first marathon with a stomach bug, and finished a disappointing 4:49:59.  I ran MCM this year in 4:47:53, but I had a serious quad injury that caused me to miss all but one of my 20 milers, so I went in severely undertrained.   Anyway I'm trying to get back into the groove, and after several visits with a PT, I think I'm finally on the right track to staying healthy.  I suppose if I have to I'll drop back to just running HM, but like I said, I can't see myself giving it up completely.

              Rusk Runner

                Greetings Donuts.

                My name is Marciano or Mar for short.  I started running in June of 2011 in deperate need to get myself back together.  In January of 2011 I was 50 pounds heavier, smoking a pack a day, drinking 1.75L of whiskey a week (or more), and diagnosed with a defective gall bladder.  A far cry from the man who had retired from 20 years Naval service in 2003.

                I ran a local 5K two weeks after my first run in June.  A second 5K in September.  My first Half in November.  Marathon in April of 2012.

                I barely broke the 4 hour barrier on my first marathon in less than graceful fashion.  With the help of the Donuts crew here I have managed a significant marathon PR since then and am currently training to attempt a BQ in 2014.  Although I have already achieved the sub-4 mark, I have gained what I consider friendship and comraderie with the Donuts that is too valuable to give up.  So I have decided to stick around, continue to gather good advice, take the occasional good ribbing, and hope to also impart some of the wisdom I have gained during my own training and races.

                PRs...5K - 20:36, 4mile - 26:15, 13.1 - 1:32, 26.2 - 3:42

                Just Run!!!



                  Hi there!  


                  I'm Jen, I'm 29 and a lawyer in NYC.  I got married a few months ago and have a small fuzzy mutt named Harry to keep me entertained.  I used to be a competitive figure skater and have done some type of athletics my entire life except for my senior year of HS and freshman year of college. My running story isn't really that interesting.  I just decided one day that I was going to start running because it seemed like a challenge.


                   I couldn't run more than 3 miles in 2008 and gradually worked myself up to 6 but then quit. In November 2010 I committed to trying to actually get good at running.  i did a walk/run 10k plan until I had surgery in March, then again in April/May.  I ran my first race on July 4, 2010 at a 10:20 pace for 8 miles.  My second races were two 10ks that were around the 9:30-9:50 mark- can't quite remember. 


                  I got serious about running in December 2011 and tried for my first half marathon despite severe ITBS in both legs.  I finished in 2:10 on Christmas day.  I caught the half marathon bug bad.  In January I ran a snowy half in 2:20 (literally a blizzard).  


                  In March - May I improved my times a lot running about 25-35 mpw.  I finally got past ITBS as well. 

                  March 17, 2012 - DC Half Marathon - 2:07 (9:45 pace)

                  March 21, 2012- Queens 13.1 - 2:02 (9:18 pace) 

                  April, 2012- Verazzano Half Marathon - 1:57 w/ a migraine (8:55 ish pace)

                  May, 2012- NJ Half Marathon - 1;56 (8:50 pace)

                  May, 2012- Brooklyn Half Marathon - 1:53 (8:35 pace)


                  Then I thought I had a stress fracture and took some time off...turned out that my feet just hate orthotics and I need neutral shoes. 

                  I ran a half on my honeymoon in Hawaii in 1:57 in 90 degree heat with no water stops. Oops.  no Gu either.


                  September 2012- Wineglass Half marathon: 1:49 (8:16 pace)


                  Then I decided to abort my Hal Higdon plan at an 18 mile run and run some marathons: 


                  October 2012- Hartford Marathon in 4:07 (9:20 pace) 

                  November 2012- Philadelphia Marathon in 3:56 (9:00 pace) 


                  So all in all i would deem 2012 to be a crazy year, albeit one in which I improved my times a lot.  

                  One year ago, my 10k pace was slower than my marathon pace!!!


                  My goals are to run a marathon in sub 3:50 now.  Hopefully with the help of the Donuts i can do it!

                  13.1: 1:45 | 26.2: 3:55

                    I missed this earlier- my name is Simon, I lived in  Zimbabwe, Africa until the age of 20, and now live in Ontario, Canada, near Toronto.


                    With the encouragement of my son I started running in 2006  after about 35 years of inactivity, and ran my first race, a 10k the following spring.

                    I enjoyed the competitive aspect, and entered a few more races, finally managing a 1:38 half marathon at the age of 58. This was an exceptional time for me, and a performance I will not likely match, even with the miracle of age grading!


                    Hoping now to run a decent marathon before it is too late.....

                    PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                        10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.


                    White Lightning

                      I’m Josh, 33 years old living in Calgary Canada.  I’m a chef who loves to eat which all of a sudden, I went from 155 pounds to 245.  Butter, Cream, Salt, Steak, mmmm…….  Two years ago it seemed I was at the Doc’s office every other week for this or that.  All of a sudden I had 4 doctors and 8 prescriptions for High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Ulcer and type II Diabetes.  Every Doc said eat right, exercise, and lose 80 pounds and everything will go away, or takes these meds.  The changing moment was when I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and I was prescribed my first insulin shots.  I said no way, tossed  ALL meds in the trash that night, emptied my kitchen of junk, became vegetarian, went to, please don’t laugh, “Kohl’s” and bought my first pair of running shoes.  Had no idea there were different kinds.  Heck, $39.95, can’t beat that.


                      October 1st, 2011 I took my first “jog” around the block, thought I was going to die.  Then all of a sudden it was 2, then 3, then paces get to a blazing 12:00 min/mile, I’m flying now, I’m a runner.  Signed up for my first 5k two weeks later and ran a blazingly fast 38:03.  Realized it was time for proper shoes.  A few 10k’s after, I ran my first half in December 2011 in 2:10.  Again, I’m a runner.  February 2013 I ran another half, this time with much better mileage and was pacing 9:15’s until mile 11 ½ when my first bout of ITB flared up.  I was scared to death, thought I broke my knee or something.  Finished hoping across the finish line in 2:04.  Took 6 weeks to recover from ITBS.  Discovered Runner’s World forums searching for knee pain and learned about all of the things I was doing wrong.


                      On and off running through the summer, 6 pairs of shoes later I found something I could get more miles without being hurt.  Was going to sign up for another half and said screw it, you can’t fake training for a full so let’s go all out.  Signed up to run Vegas only 14 months of ever running anything, found the donuts and it’s been great ever since.  I’m down 70 pounds, 20 to go, all health issues are gone, even the diabetes.  Still fight with ITBS but it gets better every week as I get stronger.


                      My Goal, I will BQ……. but for the time being, time to tackle the sub-4 and 2000 miles for 2013.

                      Play the Game Hard!

                      Bad Ass

                        My turn.


                        Contrary to popular belief, my name is not Bad Ass but Damaris.  I am 37 and have been running for close to 14 years.  However, I've never run as much as I've run in the last 5 years.  I've had asthma since I was a kid, so most of my after school activities involved piano and dancing lessons.  At one time I was a child prodigy and could've made classical musician as my career but never really wanted to.


                        Although I've always had asthma, it was not until last year that I was officially diagnosed.  The more I ran, the more the asthma came out and at one point in time, I could no longer believed that my lack of breathing was due to me being out of shape (I could run marathons, damn it).


                        I love racing for fun and might never BQ, but I love running and how it makes me feel afterwards.  Sometimes I hate running while I am doing it, but it always depends on how my asthma feels then, LOL.


                        I'm an attorney and worked with the federal government in the bankruptcy area.  I have been married for 13 years and have 5 kitties.  I'm also a huge animal lovers and those that are friends with me in FB know that I could share a running related post followed by an animal in need.



                        "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

                        It's always fucking hot in Miami!

                        Ball of Fury

                          Just found this thread! I am Ami and I'm a 35-year old CRNA (Nurse Anesthetist) and mother of 2 beautiful children. Labor Day 2010, our family was at Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend and I had taken my then 1 1/2 year-old daughter back to the room for a nap. When she woke up, she was begging me to take her back to the water park. I found myself trying to think of every excuse in the world not to have to go back....because I didn't want to put on a bathing suit! I decided right then and there, my family deserved better from me and vowed to change my life. The next day, I started the South Beach diet and exercising every day to various Jillian Michael's videos. At first, I was so out of shape, I couldn't complete a 20 minute video without a break! I had always been athletic growing up (gymnast, cheerleader, softball player), but I was just completely out of shape. But, I kept at it and lost almost 70 lbs. In the process, DH and I completed the Insanity program, Asylum, and most of P90X. Somewhere in there, he sent me an e-mail with a link to the Warrior Dash and I said we should try it! I figured that because we had completed Insanity multiple times, a 5K with obstacles would be a! The obstacles were a breeze but the 5K part...not so much! It was a blast though!


                          So, we decided we needed to start running more and chose the Walt Disney World 1/2 marathon in 2012 as our first race to train for. Along the way, we have also done many more obstacle course races, and I am actually on the "competitive" team for an obstacle course team "Corn Fed Spartans." We do a mixture of OCRs, trail races, and road races and have really come to enjoy training and racing together. We are currently training for our first marathon, which is Disney in January! I am "hoping" for right around 4 and then my ultimate goal is to run a BQ next fall, but we will see how the first one goes first! I look forward to being a part of this group so we can support each other in reaching our various goals!

                          PRs:  5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15




                            I'm Virginia. I just ran my first marathon this past Saturday with a goal of sub-4. My finish time was a 3:51:37. I have another one in 10 weeks and I hope to drop it a few more minutes. This one felt fairly easy and I finished the last 10K with all sub 8:30 miles, so I know I have more in me. I am hoping to get down to a 3:45 at least. I need a 3:40 to BQ for 2014. I was planning to get a BQ at Chicago in October 2013, but if I'm having a great race this just never know!!! Smile


                            Hope hearing your stories and tips will help keep me motivated and that I can learn from those of you with more marathon experience Smile



                            Amik: All your race times are super close to mine! I bet you will definitely break 4 in January!!!




                              I'm Virginia. I just ran my first marathon this past Saturday with a goal of sub-4. My finish time was a 3:51:37. I have another one in 10 weeks and I hope to drop it a few more minutes. This one felt fairly easy and I finished the last 10K with all sub 8:30 miles, so I know I have more in me. I am hoping to get down to a 3:45 at least. I need a 3:40 to BQ for 2014. I was planning to get a BQ at Chicago in October 2013, but if I'm having a great race this just never know!!! Smile


                              Hope hearing your stories and tips will help keep me motivated and that I can learn from those of you with more marathon experience Smile



                              Amik: All your race times are super close to mine! I bet you will definitely break 4 in January!!!

                               Welcome Vegefrog! And congrats (or as we say around here: donuts) on your sub-4. Come join us in December Donuts thread. 

                              PRs: 21:35 (5K); 1:46:46 (HM); 4:30:46 (FM)


                                Hi everyone,


                                I'm Wing, yes, that's my real name. I'm in my late 30's, in my 2nd year of running (my log is public). Never played any sports, skinny as a stick, but with a history of cholesterol numbers creeping up on me in recent years (which I'm putting a stop to with my running). I ran my first marathon in Feb '12 and ended up 4:07Tight lippedx. I wasn't really trained for it, but since I was so close to sub-4, I took another shot at it in Oct and barely made it in 3:59Tight lippedx. I still am not fit enough to run the marathon though I think. I have no planned race for 2013 yet. I'll try to train better and get to a more adequate fitness level where I can at least run within reasonable prediction range of running calculators before I make another attempt at the marathon. I've been "grinding" slow easy miles for the past year (I've never liked fast running - easily out of breath), another user group here was mainly responsible for that, it helped me keeping myself accountable. I look forward to this group giving me grief if I start slipping my training Smile