My Boston Marathon Training Blog: Chapter 1

Hey everyone. First of all, if you don’t know who I am by now and aren’t a loyal reader to Couch Guy Sports — which is WEAK — my name is Nick Quaglia and I am the owner of CouchGuySports.com. As you can probably tell by the title, I’m running the Boston Marathon this April and let me tell you, training has been a wild ride.

Let’s back track since this is the first training blog that I’m doing. It’s going to be lengthy because there’s a lot to recap so buckle up. This entire adventure started back in I’d say, mid-November when I decided that I was going to actually follow through this year and register for the Boston Marathon.

Doing the Boston Marathon has been something that’s always been on my bucket list and every single year when I’m watching it on TV or on the side, I get so mad at myself for not being in the race itself. And let’s stop there for a second. I almost feel funny calling it a race because I mean, I’m not racing anyone. I’m doing this so I can finish the race and fulfill something that I’ve always wanted to do.

I thought about doing the 2019 Marathon a lot through 2018, and by mid-November, I had no idea that most teams would already be filled. But, because I didn’t think anything of it and April seemed so far away, I just started training and figured I’d take care of the “team” aspect later.

Actually, so what, or who pushed me over the edge to decide to do this thing is my uncle Michael. My uncle isn’t just running the Boston Marathon. He’s doing something that people should see as extraordinary because he has Parkinson’s disease and has for a while now. Don’t quote me on this, or do because these are literally my words, but I’m pretty sure it’s been a little more than 10 years since his diagnosis.

He’s battled through it, brought an amazing thing up to New England for people with Parkinson’s disease called, “Rock Steady Boxing” and has been incredible for the Parkinson’s community in the area.

Seeing that he was doing it got me to finally take that next step into pushing myself into committing. But that’s where the tricky part came in.

I wanted to run for and with my uncle. He’s running for Parkinson’s so that’s what I wanted to do too. Unfortunately — and this is where my inability to understand that signups began in September came back to bite me — there were no more bibs left for his team. So that left me having to find another team to run for.

I started doing some research and found some team’s that I thought did great work. I applied to them all hoping that I could somehow squeak onto a team last minute. The rejection emails started piling in just like when I was applying to college (just kidding, I rocked that), so I started telling my girlfriend that I think I lost my chance on running this year. Humble brag, I have a girlfriend.

BUT THEN, I received two phone calls. One of those came from Team Eye and Ear for Mass. Eye and Ear. After a lengthy conversation and an agreement on how much money I would have to raise, I decided to join their team and officially make myself apart of the 2019 Boston Marathon community.

The reason I even got connected to Mass. Eye and Ear is because initially, my friend from college, Kayla, had run for them last year and she recommended them to me. She talked them up so much that it made me feel good about this decision.

Running’s been tough, I’m not going to lie about that. I’ve worked out consistently for years, about six times a week. And I’m not talking about just like, lifting weights and getting jacked. I would run about three miles a day every time I would work out. Now, that was all done on a treadmill so I could distract myself with the TV, but nonetheless, it was three miles.

Let me tell you something. There’s a HUGE difference between three miles on the treadmill, and five outside on the pavement and I learned that quick.

My first day of training was a small four mile run so I decided to go out into the neighborhood. About two miles in and I was GASSED. I had to stop and walk a few times and it was absolutely brutal.

But, since then it’s gotten easier and easier. My long runs were taking place on Sundays and I ran 12 miles for my first time two weeks ago. About mile nine is where I started regretting my decision to run the Marathon.

I started to find my runs a little hard over the past two weeks though, even the short ones which was disheartening. I’d been training so hard that I felt like everything should be getting easier. I decided to adjust my diet and my pace — because I forgot I’m not Usain Bolt — and things have gotten dramatically easier again.

If you’re still reading this, I’ll bring it back to today.

Today I went out and did my first run with my team. Well, kind of. They started a Facebook page for the runners and I found out that a lot of them were going to join the run that one of the charity marathon coaches was putting on starting at the Riverside train station in Newton, Massachusetts. It went along the route of the Marathon itself and included Heart Break Hill so I figured I’d go and try to meet some people on my team and see what the route’s about. It was also cold, wet, and gross.

Well, I didn’t meet a single person on my team and come to find out, there were a lot of different teams who were all doing this run so I met a lot of them today instead. Still really fun and I got to meet some cool people.

We did some team Yoga afterwards with a great teacher — who’s name I’ll throw in the next blog because I can’t remember it at the moment — and it was a really successful morning there.

It was a 10.7 mile run today and the fact that I would say it wasn’t devastatingly difficult is huge. I felt great through eight miles and the last 2.7 were basically just my legs telling me that it’s time for a nap. There was also a time where I got lost but luckily I saw someone wearing a marathon coat in the distance so I just started following them in the least creepy way possible.

It says 9.88 because I forgot to start the app at the beginning of the run. Oops.

Improvement every single day is the goal and by April, I’ll be checking something off of my bucket list without a doubt in my mind.

I’ll end it with this too. I have been told over and over since the last marathon when telling some people that I was thinking about doing it that I couldn’t. Says who? Being told that I can’t do something only makes me want to do it more and prove that I can do whatever I want to do. Don’t let those people tear you down just because they haven’t done things that they’ve wanted in their lives. Do what you know you can do. All anything takes is the dedication and hard work. It’s a cliche, but it’s real. Set your mind to what you want to do, and get to work. Nothing is stopping you but you.

I mean hell, my main dream in life is to host the number one rated Boston sports talk radio show and I’m grinding towards that goal by working hard, writing, being on camera for CLNS Media and just trying getting my foot in the door/on air at one of the two main stations in the city, WEEI or The Sports Hub.

The Boston Marathon is something that I’ve always wanted to do and now I’m doing it. I think we’re 99 days away? Let’s make 2019 one hell of a year.

If you guys could, please spread the word about donating to my amazing cause. Mass. Eye and Ear does amazing work and 100% of the money I raise will be going straight to them. If you could help support, donate by following this link and let’s hit $10,000.

I’ll be back with more Boston Marathon training blogs!

-Nick Quaglia (@NickQuag)

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