Hard work and consistency and some patience will pay off!

15 Oct

That title is what I tell all the athletes I coach; they are words I have lived by throughout my endurance sport and even professional career.

I’ll talk a bit about my story to hopefully give you all some hope if you’re struggling to show you that those words in the title are true.

I fell in love with running back in high school my at the time basketball coach was the cross country coach and since I was a skinny little dude who did not play football he made me run cross country to get in shape for basketball. So I did and I quickly found out I had some talent and so did coach. But my high school career was actually quite a mess and I have many regrets from that time in my life. I did have talent but I never truly used that talent. I would come to practice and typically goof off and not always run the workouts as hard as I should etc… I mean sometimes I did but more times than not I was just a goof off. Then the meets would come around and I was very competitive so I would want to race hard and could. I found myself as a young runner always floating between JV and Varsity. If I ran the JV meet I would either win the race or finish in the top 5 overall always. If I ran the Varsity race I would do well and could score for my time but never be that front runner like in a JV race. This would frustrate my coach because he knew I had so much talent but I was not applying myself in practice. I never raced scared or nervous I always had confidence and was quite lose during and before meets but my lack of performance in the Varsity races was from my lack of focused training. During high school I also ran track and to this day I’m part of my high school 4 x800 meter relay team that owns the school record. As you can see I had some talent and passion for running at a young age I just did not use it properly.


Years went by and my commitment to running floated away as I played music in a rock band, and then started working in the music industry and promoting concerts touring with bands etc…

I would still run but just the 5k-10k distance and race the fun races of that distance occasionally. But during this time I had gained a lot of weight and was not so healthy.

Now let’s speed things up to about 2005/2006. I’m working as a Realtor and I meet this amazing couple moving here from Colorado. Dave was into cycling and his fiancé Shannon was into running. Dave got me going on cycling and then began my quest to do a Triathlon and start make changes in my diet to get healthier and start competing in sport again. Shannon was training for a marathon and one day said she was going for a 12 mile training run around the lakes. I said hey can I join you? Sounds fun! That was the turning point of my life.  (Dave and Shannon to this day are still my very dear close friends and I love them to pieces) So off Shannon and I went for this 12 mile run we were cruising along chatting clicking off miles and not at a fast pace by any means but as we could maybe 9-10 miles in I struggled to keep up and she took off ahead we got back to their house and I realized I just got my ass kicked on this 12 mile run! That was the day I said I need to get serious and make some changes. (Thank you Shannon for being my inspiration to start running marathon)

Next sign up for the Twin cities marathon (2007) I have this race posted, medal, my bib and the card with my finish time on it framed and in my home office staring me in the face everyday as a reminder of where I came from. As motivation to always believe in myself and stay consistent and focused.

I started training for this marathon all by myself and just self coaching myself study books and websites etc… I would meet some running groups along the way to do some runs with but mostly I was solo. Now Twin cities marathon 2007 was a wicked hot and humid year a year they almost cancelled the race because of heat index so that was a struggle but none the less I was not so fast and I learned that day you have to respect 26.2 miles!  I ran that day in 3:53 that’s an 8:55 per mile pace. I was hooked on the marathon and after that race my goal was qualify for the Boston marathon!

2008 became a year of more consistency in my training, more focus and dedication and a lot more learning. I continued to slim down and now have gone from my heaviest before 2007 TCM of around 185-190 to now 145 pounds. From waist 34 to a 28inch waist; Becoming leaner certainly helped me run faster paces. I also became a more efficient runner and started to get my stride and form back from when I was in high school. My second marathon ever 2008 TCM I ran a 3:03 and qualified for Boston! In one year I had just taken 50 minutes off my marathon time! Because of dedication, passion, commitment, and consistency!

Boston marathon 2009 my first Boston! I was so excited! This was also the first time I broke 3 hours in the marathon! I believe I ran 2:58 that day in Boston and ever since that day have never looked back stringing together lots of marathons and all sub 3 hour times. (except for two marathons… one where I paced a runner and dear friend I coach NYC 2014, and then Boston 2016 when I blew up with heart issues and other stuff but still finished) other than those two races every marathon I have run since 2009 has been a sub 3 hour. I have now run 8 Boston marathons in a row and 2017 will be Boston 2017. I have done two Ironman distance Triathlon’s with my debut 140.6 in AZ 2012 in time of 10:05, 2016 I won a National title at USA Triathlon Duathlon National championships, I finished the 2016 Duathlon race series ranked #1 in points for male 40-44, in 2013 I raced Duathlon World championships in Canada and won the bronze medal.  My marathon PR was 2012 Chicago marathon in a time of 2:39 and my half marathon PR is a 1:16.  I have many other accolades along the way but this highlights some of my most proud moments.

So the point to all of this gets back to the title of this blog. And how if you are consistent, if you are passionate and focused, dedicated and goal driven with a little bit of competitive fire in you. Anything is possible you just have to believe and you have to be willing to work hard! You have to be willing to put yourself out there make sacrifices and push limits. And most of all you just have to be consistent in what you do! Follow you’re training plan, listen to your coach etc…

Because I have been that way for years, because I respect “sport” respect these distances and races and I stay training and fit 365 days a year I continue to grow as an athlete and now as a very successful coach! Since that 2007 Twin cities marathon I have studied and become certified with USA Track and Field and other organizations as a coach and have built a great and positive coaching business Gotta Have Heart Training that coaches athletes all over the world.

So if you are struggling and running 4 hour marathon time and have a goal of running a 3:30 or the Boston marathon whatever it might be. Stop and think about your training, think about how consistent are you? What is your commitment, passion, and how bad do you want it.

Then go make it happen! You can do it and make all the changes within yourself you want, you can go from that 3:53 marathon time to a 2:39 marathon time just like I have done. You just have to remember a few key words.

Consistency! Believe! Passion! Commitment! Heart! Hard work pays off!


Best of Luck

Coach MB




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