The story of how Bob Law found running, used running to lose weight, and now uses running to help others who are less fortunate.
I am a late bloomer to running. I started running at age 42 after being overweight for most of my life.
This is my story.
I’m Bob Law, a runner with TrainwithMarc. Marc and I have been working together since May of 2019.
Bob’s story on #TrainwithMarc’s blog: from overweight to ultramarathon runner. How Bob uses running to impact others’ lives.Tweet
Background on Bob
15 years ago, I made some lifestyle changes, including adding running and I’ve lost 120 pounds and kept off the weight ever since. Since 2012, running has become my new healthy habit and I ran my first marathon in Philly in 2014. Since then, I have run over 20 marathons and ultramarathons, and I dedicate my miles to a little girl named Annie who is my “I Run for Buddy” (more info at the link provided). Annie and her family live in Ohio and Annie has brittle bone disease or OI (Osteogenesis Imperfecta). I have done some charity fundraising for Annie with my running, including 12 Marathons in 12 Months for Annie in 2016-2017. My current fundraiser is underway – I’m running my first long ultra-marathon – a 120-mile race in January 2020.
Bob’s Running Goals
How do you run 120 miles, do you ask? Well, I don’t quite have the answer to that one yet, as my longest run to date is 52 miles. But stay tuned, as I am running my first 24-hour event on November 9-10 with a goal of running through the night and surpassing the 52-mile distance.
Once I decided to sign up for the Wild Florida 120 miler, I knew something had to change with my training plan and that I needed help. That is where Marc Pelerin came in. I had seen Marc’s posts on Facebook and was quite impressed with the information he provided. I knew that a mix of online coaching and some face-to-face training would work for me. I started working with Marc at the end of May 2019 and immediately saw a change in my running style, thanks to Marc’s analysis of my gait.
Marc is very easy to work with and provides a customized training plan for me and works in my race schedule as well, which by my own admission has been a bit overzealous the past few months. Specifically, Marc is helping me strengthen my weak glute muscles and incorporate more cross-training and strength training than I have done on my own. Marc also provides great workout resources – links in your customized Google sheet made just for you. It is a great way to be accountable, and Marc also provides an email check-in to see how I am doing as well.
I am now deep into my racing schedule, as I was blessed to run both the Chicago Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon in the month of October. In November, I will run the NJ Trail Series One Day at the Fair, and then the Philly Marathon.
My race plan for Chicago was to go after my personal record (PR) of 3:46:04 which was at the Pittsburgh Marathon back in May 2016. I felt super-prepared thanks to Marc, and I had an incredible first 20 miles and felt like I was flying along very easily as the weather was perfect. Unfortunately, I started cramping and my last 10k was much slower than I had hoped, ending up with a 3:49:33. One thing I love about running is that I can learn from each experience and try something new next time. After discussing my Chicago race with Marc, I knew that I had gone out too fast for the first 20 miles, and needed to slow my pace to have more in the tank for the last 10k push – easier said than done, however.
Marine Corps Marathon
I started the Marine Corps Marathon with that plan in mind and was executing it very well for the first half marathon, slowing my pace by a full 5 minutes. Unfortunately, late in the race my legs were not happy with only 2 weeks rest from the Chicago Marathon and did not want to cooperate with my request to speed up at mile 20! I ended up with a time of 4:06:42 but was not disappointed in the least. The weather was pouring rain for most of the race. I was feeling like a kid playing in the puddles and sticking out my tongue and catching the rain as I ran! I was also present throughout the race and took in the fabulous sights of Washington DC.
My favorite parts of the race were the Blue Mile at mile 12, where placards are displayed of those Marines who died in action, as well as shaking hands with the Marines at the end of the race thanking them for their service. There is nothing like a Marine putting a medal around your neck at the finish line!
There will be future opportunities for time and distance PRs, but what is more important is for me to enjoy each run – both the training runs and races, as I do this for enjoyment and not for records. I can run for those who can’t race on their own, like Annie. I also run with a local chapter of Ainsley’s Angels, where I have had the privilege of pushing a disabled angel rider in various races. There is nothing that compares to this feeling of inclusion, and I welcome you to join us in that experience. While my goals include a 100 miler right now, my super-duper goal is to push my running buddy Annie in a race with Ainsley’s Angels. Please consider joining the Irun4 community and get matched with a running buddy (a disabled child or their sibling) and also join the Ainsley’s Angels community too, where Inclusion Wins! #IRun4Annie