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Learn : Marathon Story  

Running Background:

I consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run a marathon because if Oprah could run a marathon, then I figured that I could too. Seriously, I work in a Wellness Center and how could I convince my members to reach out of their comfort zone towards a goal, if I didn't do it myself. I also just had my second child in October of 2003 and I needed something to get me back in shape and keep my head on straight (stress relief).

Training:

I pretty much followed Hal Higdon's marathon training plan with more cross-training. During my training I averaged 20 miles per week.

I was told that the most important part of training for a marathon is not to miss your long runs (it's true). I cross-trained 2-3 times a week by Spinning and teaching water aerobics, so that helped with the boredom of running. I also practiced using GU and dropping water bottles on my route to prepare myself for race day.

Race Day:

It was an amazing day! When I was waiting for the race to start, I just couldn't stop watching all of the different runners walking around preparing for the race. I had a goal to finish in 3:59:59, so I wanted to get in the pack of runners with a 9 minute pace. I followed the pacer through mile 20 and felt pretty good through mile 22 and then I hit the wall. I ran and walked most of the last 4 miles. I was so disappointed with myself, but there were still hundreds of runners around me and one older man saw me walking and knew I was struggling and told me that I need to keep going and that this happens to "all" of us. I crossed the line at 4:07:15. I was disappointed, yet so overwhelmed with the feeling of accomplishment! I ended up finishing right in the middle of 9,000 runners.

Recovery:

My recovery was terrible. I got in the car about 2 hours after I was finished and drove 7 hours home. It felt like someone smashed my legs with a baseball bat. I even had to go down my stairs backwards the next day because my legs were so sore. I took very cold baths a few times a day and just rested.

Running Gear Recommendations:

ASICS Gel Kayano Running Shoes
The shoes I run in.
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Shorts & Tops
Don't be afraid to spend some money on nice running shorts and tops. I find when I feel good in my clothes, I run better too.
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Skittles
I used these instead of GU.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

A marathon can definitely be completed by anyone. It is such a great feeling to say that I have run 26.2 miles. The most difficult part of training for a marathon is the time that it takes. The only thing you need is commitment. Once you have that, you can accomplish anything!

Plans to Run Another:

I will run a marathon under 4 hours, someday. I am going to put these plans on hold for a while because I have three little kids and a husband that I have committed my time to.

For my next marathon, I think that I would have a better base of running before I would start training, not 12 weeks postpartum.

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