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Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for weight control/ loss. There really isn't one reason I decided to run a marathon. I've been sort of fascinated with the marathon ever since I saw Tegla Loroupe win the NYC marathon in 1994 having just heard of the death of her sister. I was impressed with the courage she showed.

In 2004, I lost 50 pounds and was able to start running again. I was so happy I could run I decided that I had to commit to running a marathon. I entered and ran the Green Bay Marathon in 2005. I'm a big Packer fan, so it was the perfect race for me. I finished in 4:20:56. I ran it again in 2007 hoping to do better. I really want to break a 4:00 marathon. This time I finished in 4:16. I'll break that 4:00 barrier yet! I plan on running the Johnstown Marathon in my hometown in October and the Sunburst Marathon in South Bend, IN next June.

The Green Bay Marathon is a great race. The organizers are top-notch, as is race support, and you can't beat the lap through Lambeau Field. It is a great first marathon.

Training:

I trained for 5 months following a marathon training program designed by a friend of mine who coaches track and cross country. When I first mentioned out loud that I wanted to run a marathon, he was the first person who said I could do it if I committed to training. At that point it became real.

The program my friend designed for me centers around a long run, some speed and threshold work, and intermediate runs. I was running up to 50 miles per week during the height of my training this year.

The best training advice I would share with others is that the days you don't run are just as important as the days you do.

Race Day:

The 2007 Cellcom Green Bay Marathon was better than expected. The first time I ran the Green Bay Marathon, my first ever, the weather was beautiful. Bright and sunny, little wind, with temperatures in the high 30's at the start and in the 50's by the finish. In 2005, the race was point-to-point. The organizers provide shuttles from local hotels and I had no trouble getting to the start line. Our hotel was right by Lambeau and I was able to walk a block from the finishing area to my hotel. This year they changed the course to a loop which is even better. The race now starts and finishes at Lambeau. I wasn't able to get into a nearby hotel, but again shuttles to the start and from the stadium to local hotels were plentiful.

This year the weather was cold--it didn't get out of the 30's for the entire race. It was cloudy, a little damp, and there was something of a headwind on the backside of the course. I started having some trouble with my hip at about mile 16, which slowed me down some. I soldiered on, managed to pull myself together at mile 20 after a very brief pit stop. I was very happy to see the stadium in the distance. The course runs you through the Lambeau field loading dock through the players' tunnel for a lap through the stadium. I joyfully slapped the plaque at the end of tunnel and on my way back out crossed the 26 mile point. The race finishes in the stadium parking lot. The finishing area is great. They do a tailgate theme that features brats and "26.2 Ale" brewed by Titletown Brewing Company. Even though it was 38 degrees, they went down smooth, believe me.

One of the great features of this race is that real time race updates can be sent to the Internet and to people's cell phones. My wife and my friends back in Pennsylvania were able to keep track of me through the entire race. When my wife went with me in 2005, the updates to her cell phone let her know in plenty of time when I was approaching Lambeau field. She was inside the stadium as I ran by.

I definitely will return to Green Bay someday. It's a great atmosphere. The people are great and the crowd support is enthusiastic (although sparse in some parts of the course).

Recovery:

My recovery wasn't bad. I took three days off to rest completely, and I was able to get lots of sleep. On the fourth day I did a lot of stretching and began to do some very light running. Pay attention to what your body tells you in the time right after a marathon. Spend some time enjoying not training for a marathon. The post-race massage helped me out a lot too.

Running Gear Recommendations:

ASICS GT-2120 Running Shoes
The shoes I ran in.
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Sof Sol Insoles
I have plantar fasciitis and these shoe inserts with my ASICS work very well for me.
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NipGuards
They work great!
Search on NipGuards.com

Tips/Words of Encouragement:

I don't know if these words are particularly encouraging but John Bingham said, "A marathon is 20 miles of hope followed by 6 miles of truth." I think this is the lesson I learned this year. To me, what this means is that even if you don't meet your immediate goals for time or otherwise, don't worry. Live to fight another day and always take joy in the fact that you ran and finished. A lot of things can happen in the course of 26 miles. Accept them and try again.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to continue to run marathons because I get so much out of running. If I don't have marathon training in my future, I don't know what would keep me interested. I guess I'm one of those people that needs a clear goal to strive for. It would be too easy to say, "Oh, I'll run tomorrow." The marathon keeps me heading out the door to run.

For my next marathon, I would be, and will be, more committed to greater consistency in my daily sleep and rest pattern.

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