I started running so I could stop smoking. I did not even think about possibly EVER running a marathon!!!
I didn't follow a specific training program. I used a mix of everything I have learned. I do some long runs, have a few peak mileage weeks, and gradually taper a few weeks. My peak weeks have gradually increased in mileage as I have run more marathons. My peak are now 50 (I just ran my 10th marathon).
The best training advice I have received is don't overtrain.
It was my 8th marathon in just over 2 years. I had been a pack-a-day smoker for just over 30 years when I couldn't stand it anymore & started trying to run in July of 2004. It took another 9 months before I would completely give up the cigarettes, and another 6 months before I would be able to complete the 2 mile loop in my neighborhood. I started trying a few short races, then going to trails and gradually getting longer distances in my running.
Memorial day of 2006 was the first time I ran 5 miles and it turned out not to be so hard! I kept going, and found out that distance running is what I really liked. Running my first half marathon in October of 2006 just under 1:51 and my second in February of 2007 in 1:45, I decided on doing a marathon 4 weeks later, winning my age group (45-49) in a time of 3:49:48.
I did several others before going to Boston in 2008 where I ran a 3:41:21, using my qualifier from my hometown marathon (2008 Tallahassee- 3:38:28) for good positioning in the start.
I loved it so much, I decided I had to go back the next year! So did my best friend, Jay Silvanima, the director of the Tallahassee Marathon. He and running are the best things that have ever happened to me, and we got married in Boston on April 21, 2009, the day after we both ran in the marathon. I got a new PR and a wonderful husband at this year's Boston Marathon!
I am now going into my third season as the co-director of the Tallahassee Marathon, and am so incredibly blessed. I can only hope others (especially smokers!) can see that there is so much one can do if they want it enough and work hard enough for it.
If I can do it, so can you!
My recovery wasn't bad. Ice!! Yoga!! Boston is a rough course, all things considered, I recovered well. Well enough to do a hilly trail 50k five weeks later.
Running Gear Recommendations:
New Balance Running Shoes
I have run all of my marathons in New Balance 850 series shoes and love them!!!!
I am a certified instructor & lead 3 classes a week. I started doing Spinning soon after I had given up smoking (became an instructor a year later)...it really has hastened my running results and my overall fitness level incredibly.
GU Energy Gel is what I use.
Tips/Words of Encouragement:
If you have the desire and discipline, you can do it. Just build up slowly and be patient with yourself. Don't expect to run a marathon or a half marathon soon after you start running, but have it as a long term goal.
Plans to Run Another:
Yes, I'm planning to run more marathons. It is just an integral part of my life. I am doing the Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon soon, and Tallahassee in February.
For my next marathon, I am going to eat a small amount of dry fruit the afternoon before so I can hopefully avoid having to go during the race. That was recommended to me. I did the Outer Banks Marathon recently and had to stop twice!!
From: Tallahassee, FL (Female)
Occupation: Real Estate Broker
Age on race day: 47
2009 Boston Marathon
This was my 8th marathon
and I finished in 3:38:26.