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Running Background:

I consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for competition. I used to swim in high school and college, but hadn't trained for anything until I decided to do a 15k in March '06 with a friend. She and I then trained for a half marathon in July '06, and set our sights on a full marathon for 2007.

Training:

I trained for 4 months but I didn't follow one specific training program. I tried to run 4 days a week, and had seen a few sample programs online that I referred to.

The worst training advice I received was that you only need to run 20 miles to be prepared for a full marathon. Yeah, right...

Race Day:

The 2007 Vancouver Marathon was about what I expected. I really enjoyed getting to see Vancouver, BC for the first time. The city is beautiful, and the course went through a wide range of areas. I felt really solid for the first 16 miles or so, and the light rain kept me cool. The last 8 miles, however, were really rough for me. My quads tightened really badly, and I had cramping above my knees off and on for over an hour. The bridge was actually really hard, especially on the way back. I finished under my goal time, but was definitely humbled by the scores of runners passing me over the last 8 miles.

Recovery:

My recovery was pretty rough. I walked a lot immediately after the race, then walked a mile to get to the car. The next day I had a lower leg and foot massage. I also took a bath with Epsom salts.

Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Run 2-3 long runs of 20-23 miles during your training if you want to be fully prepared for the distance.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to run another marathon because I now know what it really takes to run a faster marathon. I'd love to drop at least 5 minutes next time, but am primarily motivated to run just because I enjoy it.

For my next marathon, I'll complete 2 or 3 training runs of 20-23 miles, instead of just 1 at 20 miles.

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