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June 27, 2017

Runcoach Success Story: Don Craig

Written by Jennifer Van Allen
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Don Craig didn't even start running until he was in his late 30s, and ran his first marathon when he was 45.  In just five years, he's finished four marathons and qualified for Boston twice, including at the 2017 Houston Marathon. Now, he's headed for the 2018 Boston Marathon, which falls on his 50th birthday. He's also aiming for a sub-3:20 finish at the New York City Marathon in December.

 "There have been times I've looked at my Runcoach plan for the week, especially in the last third of the marathon training, and told my family 'I have no idea how I will do that,'" he says. "But when I do, it is an amazing feeling of validation of the work put in to that point."

Don Craig
Sport: Running

What is the secret to your success? The most important has been finding a plan and sticking to it, almost religiously.  The Runcoach program has given me the variety and challenge needed to get me to not be stagnant.  But also, there is not enough said about visualizing your success on race day.  For my first BQ in Fargo (my 2nd full marathon) I had visualized the clock reading 3:22 as I came down the last block. I thought of that for weeks.  Sure enough, I turned the corner that day and saw the clock ahead and it said 3:22.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Life is the biggest obstacle.  With a family, a demanding job, travel, and spouse, just like all of us, getting in the hours is tough.  I've learned I do best if I get up at crazy hours (like 4:30 am) so I can get 'er done before the rest of my life has to begin. When I travel, the first thing I check is what running gear I will need, even before the work clothes.  And I hold myself accountable.  If I decide to sleep in when I was supposed to run, then I fit it in later that day.  Sometimes that means I am now running in hot humid conditions or it’s snowing (it's Boston), but that is my self-imposed punishment.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Set high goals.  Everyone thought I was nuts setting a goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon, since I was 45 years old, and had only run one full marathon.  Now my goal is a sub 3:20 marathon in NYC in November and to BQ in Boston on my 50th birthday.  Set the goal, set the plan and execute. Anything is possible.

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Last modified on June 27, 2017
Jennifer Van Allen

Jennifer Van Allen

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