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Running Background:

I consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for competition (against the clock). I decided to run a marathon because as is always the case, I ran this marathon to attempt to qualify for Boston. I am now 0 for 6 in my attempts. This one blows...I trained really hard and arrived at mile 20 at 2:30:08, left myself 50 minutes to get home in the final 10k and once again the wheels fell off and I couldn't get it done.

Training:

I followed the book, Daniels' Running Formula by Jack Daniels, and took a lot of tips from Greg McMillan's web site, such as fast finish long runs. I trained for 9 months, and I averaged 50+ miles per week.

In terms of advice, I would tell people to make sure they don't overtrain. I overtrained for this one. I have run faster marathons on a lot less mileage. I am a masters runner now and I do not need to run speed workouts as fast as most of the charts suggest, because they leave me to beat up.

I would also tell others to pick a flat course if you're looking for a BQ or PR. Chicago is flat, I just ran out of gas. The cold weather and wind were not good however.

Race Day:

The 2006 Chicago Marathon was worse than expected. I was bummed out about the weather. It was really cold and damp, but what are you gonna do? That is the really hard thing about the marathon, you train for months and months and can end up with a bad weather day. The wind was rough also.

I fully expected to run a sub 3:20 and qualify for Boston. I ran 7 long runs, tons of speed work, intervals, tempo's you name it. My time in the half marathon 3 weeks before was 1:29:25 at Maine. I went out maybe a little quick, I was averaging about a 7:30 pace for the first 20 miles. I needed to run 7:37's to qualify. I went for a little bit of a cushion and went for the 3:15 hoping that that would give me enough cushion to get over the top, plus all of my times in the 5k, 10k and half suggested that I would run a sub 3:10.

So discouraged. I started to lose it at mile 21. Went from a 7:30 to an 8:00. Mile 22 went from 8:00 to 8:30.... it never went below 8:30 the rest of the way and I missed it by 3 min. and 45 seconds after giving myself 50 minutes to make it home in the final 10k. Anyone else out there having this problem in the final 10k? It gets me every time.

Recovery:

My recovery wasn't too bad. I stopped running for 3 months after the race. I was spent, depressed, and I had enough.

Running Gear Recommendations:

The Stick
I have chronic calf problems, and the stick kept me off the disabled list all season.
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Prefontaine Movies
I always watch the Prefontaine movies to get fired up.
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Sportenine
Sportenine is a whole foods type product. It is a white, chalky wafer that helps with fatigue and stamina. I liked it a lot for long runs and races during training.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Pay close attention to your body. Don't be afraid to take time off if feeling really fatigued. Run lots of races -- they toughen you up.

Plans to Run Another:

I'll definitely run a half marathon this year, but I'm not sure about the marathon.

For my next marathon, I'll cut back on my "hard training". I had some of my best runs on my long runs, not on marathon Sunday, like I hoped and prayed for.

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