Mike F and the Boston Marathon!!!
Time & Location
About the Event
My name is Mike Fedotowsky, born and breed in Northern Berkshire Country, MA, I was always athletic, in shape, and playing basketball at almost any moment I could when I was young. I was the child always out running around the neighborhood with friends and coming home after dark. No slowing me down! Then College happened. Out on my own in the world, it was abundantly clear that I was not capable of consuming a healthy meal when being provided options. The Freshman 15 was more like 25, and I unfortunately have not gotten back in shape in the 15 or so years that have passed.
Enter Monday, July 15th, 2019. I had just wrapped up a wonderful vacation in Maine with my family, which included a lot of lounging, food and tasty beer. I was feeling hefty to say the least. My girlfriend messaged me about a group run she was doing at a brewery in Marlborough, MA, where after a 1, 3 or 5 mile run, everyone has a beer together and socialized. I thought “well, that’s one way to rope people into running!”. I had hated running. I thought it was pointless when there were so many other options for exercise like hiking or kayaking or playing a sport. I flat out made fun of runners, and still sort of do! ha ha!
I decided I would tag along with my girlfriend the following Monday for the group run, not having the slightest clue where this journey would lead me. The Friday before the group run, I decided I should get out, dust off the cobwebs and get a 2 mile jog in. Piece of cake. That following Monday, I ran the 3 mile group run in just over 28 minutes. Not only was I blown away by my time, but I felt GREAT!
I started reflecting back on what the longest measured run of my life might have been when I was younger? I believe it was only 5 miles. I thought, let’s go for it. Let’s build up for a week or so and beat my lifetime distance record. On Aug 4th, I ran my first 6 mile run ever at a 9 minute and 15 second pace, only 3 weeks after I started running! I couldn’t believe how well I was doing on my pace and how natural running had come to me.
Throughout the first month of running, I noticed my health improving. I had more energy, I had dropped 6 pounds, and I had a hunger for more. I got thinking about life and health, and how delicate that can all be. With a history of familial heart diseases, I knew I had to start making changes to my life to improve my health. In the days after my record shattering 6 mile run, I set a goal for myself; Run a half marathon in under 2 hours.
I googled some 8 week half marathon training plans and found one that worked for me. I entered every scheduled training workout into my phone, telling myself I had no option but to do this. I found this to be very helpful in holding myself accountable. Half of the battle is just putting the running attire on and getting outside. Once you start the run and get a half mile into it, you’ll be happy you made yourself get out there. Not only that, but the rewarding feeling of accomplishment that you get when you finish is an incredible high. Especially when you're setting a personal distance record every week.
On Sunday, October 6th, I completed my first half marathon! It was a brisk, beautiful, sunny fall day in Portland, ME, and I was prepared for this race. I set a goal, held myself accountable, put in the time and put in the work. And it paid off! I completed the race in 1 hour 56 minutes and 05 seconds (8:50/mile pace)! The sense of pride and accomplishment was such an incredible high.
I needed more. It was the best shape I had been in High School and I knew if there was one opportunity to run a marathon in my life, it was now. Having lived in Boston for more than a decade now, I had always thought of the Boston Marathon as a nuisance. I didn’t like running, there were too many people in the city and I just tried to leave town for the weekend. On April 15th, 2013, that all changed. The senseless act of terror that took place that day was an attack on my home. The resilience the Boston community showed was inspiring and forever connected me to this city. I knew if I was going to run a marathon, it needed to be Boston.
I am incredibly fortunate and honored to say that I will be running the 2020 Boston Marathon with the Massachusetts General Hospital Marathon team raising money for Pediatric Oncology! I will be going from couch to most prestigious marathon in 9 short months and doing it for an incredible cause! It is a true testament to setting goals, working hard, and accomplishing things you never thought possible. One saying that has resonated with me on this unexpected journey is “don’t let your past dictate your future”. If you are unhappy and need a change, make the change! Set a realistic, measurable goal and then hold yourself accountable.
More importantly, step outside of your comfort zone! Go try something fun and see if you like it! For me, it all started with one small run with a frosty beer and my beautiful girlfriend at the finish line.
I still have a lot of work ahead me before April 20, 2020 gets here, but I hope to be updating this story with a sub 4 hour Boston Marathon!