I have made my choice for the marathon I plan to enter and train for — The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on Nov. 2. I have about eight months to train. This would be my first marathon. I plan to follow Jeff Galloway’s run/walk method. It has served me well when I’ve trained well for half-marathons. I completed the 2010 and 2012 Fort4Fitness half-marathons with little difficulty, thanks to using Galloway’s method. I struggled through the 2011 Sunburst Races half-marathon. I completed the Sunburst race, but I hadn’t trained enough. I especially was unprepared for the heat. Minutes after I finished the race, the race was black flagged because of the heat and humidity.
I’d like to finish in under 5 hours. I am not going to be running with a goal of going to Boston, as much as I’d like to see the Boston Marathon, especially after reading Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley and America’s Greatest Marathon by John Brant. Two things stood out. One is that in 1982, 135 runners, virtually everyone of them an American, ran the Boston Marathon is 2 hours 30 minutes or faster. In 2003, only 12 runners, 3 Americans, ran that fast. Wow. The other thing that stood out is that Alberto Salazar and I are the same age. Salazar, for a short time, was America’s top distance runner, but the Boston Marathon in 1982 was the climax of his career. He never again came close to what he did that day. Neither did Dick Beardsley. The race took a lot of both runners, but I think it took more out of Salazar. But he ran a fast 10K race just nine days before the Boston Marathon, because he wanted to run both at the 1984 Olympics, and at the Olympics, the two races are nine days apart.
Beardsley, I’ve discovered, despite approaching 60 years of age, still runs sub-3-hour marathons. This despite a horrific farming accident that nearly killed him and tore up one of his legs. Wow. Beardsley did not go to the 1984 Olympics. He was hurt when the trials rolled around. Salazar went and finished 15th in the marathon. Years later, he was diagnosed with depression and exercise-induced asthma. He started taking Prozac and found his groove again, though he was never again a world-class marathoner.
I enjoyed the book and would love to see a second epilogue and find out what they’re doing these days. Thanks to the Internet, I discovered that Beardsley no longer lives in home state of Minnesota. He now lives in Austin, Texas. I think Salazar still lives in the Portland, Ore., area, but I don’t know that for sure.