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Free & Fit NYC - Atlantic City Marathon 2018 - 26.2 Miles ran by Tim Cheux

Free & Fit NYC - Atlantic City Marathon 2018 - 26.2 Miles ran by Tim Cheux

Start of the Atlantic City Marathon, 2018

It is over two years ago, on Sunday May 2nd 2016 in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK, since I last ran twenty six point two miles (a full marathon). In preparation for this Marathon, in 2016, I had ran the Cambridge off road Marathon in March and had trained up to, and including, the distance of a half marathon, thirteen point one miles, in late April of that year. However, having trained for five previous marathons I had been more prepared with up to, and including, twenty one miles of training, previously and with just a half marathon this was clearly insufficient training and led to my finishing time and my body both not being in the position I wanted to be in at the end of it. Suffice to say that it truly is a marathon and not a sprint.

Finishing Line in the MK Stadium

Unfortunately, as I said before, this simply was not enough training and I vouched that I would not run another marathon without training properly. The recovery from the Milton Keynes marathon took me over six months due to my limited training in preparation. It is essential, I have learnt, to complete up to twenty one miles in distance before running a marathon. No further and no less. In context I was nineteen minutes off my personal best of three hours and fifteen minutes when I ran Milton Keynes. My previous personal best was three hours and fifteen minutes at Liverpool Marathon in 2015. The Milton Keynes marathon was both a huge disappointment to me personally and it was also very irresponsible of me to not prepare correctly. As a result my time reflected my lack of training and lack of effort to apply myself properly.

Finishing Time at the Milton Keynes Marathon 2016 3 hours 34 minutes.

This October in 2018 I knew I was entering the Atlantic City Marathon with enough notice and time to prepare accordingly. Despite a busy schedule I prepared up to twenty one miles in my training plan and even managed to run a competitive eighteen mile run before the Atlantic City Marathon. In fact, through the rigorous Lenten meditations and workouts I had completed earlier in the year I had lost 16 pounds in the Spring through an increased strength and conditioning program. This preparation, in line with an intense steady pyramid running training plan, I was able to be much fitter than I had been in preparation for the Marathon of May 2016 when I was preparing for the Milton Keynes full marathon.

In the midst of the Atlantic City Marathon 2018

Accompanied by my beautiful wife Liza Cucco, we were both able to get to Atlantic City Marathon on time and with confidence that I had completed a successful training program. On the build up to the Marathon I had also been using the Free & Fit curriculum to help me prepare and train as I meditated and recited scripture whilst working out, running and preparing on the build up to the race. This also hugely benefited me as I sang worship songs, recited scripture and rejoiced in the Lord on my way around the route of the twenty six point two miles.

With a renewed belief and the Free & Fit curriculum's methods instilled in my mind, I was confident that I could improve on my 3 hours and 34 minutes time from the Milton Keynes Marathon in 2016. In fact, I got off to a great start with my first half marathon time beating my planned targeted time and unbelievably my personal best for a half marathon of one hours and twenty nine minutes.

Finishing time Atlantic City Marathon 2018 3 hours 7 minutes and fifty seconds.

At this pace I was one minute ahead of my personal best half marathon time of one hour and twenty nine minutes. I was very optimistic and hopeful that I could perform equal splits and even potentially achieve a sub three hour Marathon! This is every distant marathoners dream.

Realistically, I personally was being somewhat unrealistic with this target, of a sub three hour marathon. Plus my energy sports gels, the energy boost that you take on towards the end of the marathon, were not going down easily. I was starting to vomit whilst running. This reduced my time from seven minute miles to eight minute miles as I was sick at mile twenty, mile twenty one and mile twenty two on my way around.

However, as I had been on an average of around seven minutes and five second miles for the first twenty miles I was able, with the help of reciting scripture, singing worship songs and being cheered on by my wonderful wife on the sidelines, I was able to record a good time and take an amazing eight minutes off my personal best from the Liverpool Marathon in 2015.

After the marathon celebrating with the wonderful Liza Cucco.

My completed recorded chip time at Atlantic City Marathon was three hours and seven minutes and fifty seconds. This was much better than I could ever hope or imagine and provided great impetus for me to believe that my next full marathon could be under three hours if I complete even more intense training, with the correct gels and of course the correct training regime in preparation for my next race.

The process and training for the Marathon reminded me of the Scripture Galatians 5:6 (b)-8 "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you".

It reminded me of running a bad race like the Milton Keynes Marathon in contrast to the first twenty miles of the Atlantic City Marathon. I knew that I would face trials and tribulations along the way, but I needed to be stronger so I wouldn't get stuck. Failing to prepare for the Milton Keynes Marathon, failing to get the right gels for the Atlantic City Marathon and realising that I had not been fully focused on Jesus meant that I needed to fully immerse myself in the Word and Worship when approaching my next running race.

Instead I needed to fix my eyes on Jesus as noted in Hebrews 12. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-3.)"

Regardless of the distance I need to be more self disciplined and love Jesus, not my training, as part of my faith journey. It is imperative that I am not just running, without faith, as this is a purely flesh and human response. Instead I need to think about my thoughts, training and meditate on this passage from Hebrews 12:1-3.

With the word on my lips, the meditation of my heart on scripture and support from friends and family in prayer I need to ask Jesus to help me use my running, training and preparation for my next marathon as a way to honour God in all that I do.

Post Marathon celebration in my General Theological Seminary Shirt.

As a result, in my next Marathon I will make sure that both my training and my preparation in every part of my faith are excellent reflecting the love, hope and faith of Christ by being a good steward of the gifts I have received. Not by works, but by my faith in Christ I would be able to achieve a bigger goal than me and in preparation of doing things not on my own, but in faith and with Christ alone, my Cornerstone, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Love and Blessings F&F Team. Join Tim at Free and Fit events by signing up to our events online at our website below. Free & Fit Website: Free & Fit Youtube: Facebook: Twitter&Instagram: @freeandfitnyc Email: Freedom // Fitness // Fellowship Free & Fit Challenge © Copyright 2017 Free & Fit NYC/NJ © Copyright 2017 Free & Fit London © Copyright 2017

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