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Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for fitness. In March my doctor informed me that after 10 years my cancer had returned and that I would be undergoing radiation therapy. I wanted to be in top physical condition to conquer the challenges that I would face.

Training:

I trained for 6 months with the Fleet Feet Training Team. During my training I only averaged 15-20 miles per week, because I was restricted due to side effects from radiation therapy.

The best training advice I would share with others is to keep a steady pace on long runs, slower than race pace to build endurance. Do speed training on another day.

Race Day:

The 2007 Chicago Marathon was worse than expected. The first 10 miles I ran at a pace for a 4 hour finish. Water and Gatorade ran out quickly and I was forced to slow my pace. At mile 17 it was announced that the race had been stopped. We were allowed to continue and I was determined to finish regardless of my time. At mile 21 the course was blocked and we were forced to board a bus to be taken back to the finish line. I summed up my feelings about the race to my teammates as follows:

2007 Chicago Marathon - My Thoughts

I have typed and retyped my thoughts on the Chicago Marathon but it boils down to a couple of words: Disappointed and Grateful.

Disappointed in the race organizers.
Disappointed that I could not make my own decision whether or not to finish.

Grateful to the wonderful training, preparation and advice that my coaches Kristen & Charles provided.
Grateful for the entire team encouraging and supporting me over this difficult summer as I recovered from cancer and radiation treatments.
Grateful for being able to accomplish as much as I did.
Grateful for the wonderful people of Chicago who came out of their homes and shops to help runners in desperate need.
Grateful for the spectators who stayed on the course cheering as we drove by in buses.
Grateful that I survived the 2007 Chicago Marathon.

The score is Grateful 6 to Disappointed 2. I guess it can't have been too bad a day with that score.

When faced with disappointments I have a favorite word: "NEXT!"

Recovery:

I didn't have any problems with my recovery. I made sure to do lots of hydration especially due to lack of fluids on the course. Otherwise 21 miles is just another training run.

Running Gear Recommendations:

GU Energy Gel
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Nuun Hydration Electrolytes
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Camelback 'Fanny' Hydration System (1.6 litres capacity)
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Join a training team, they can provide wonderful encouragement, support and expertise. If you are running your first long distance, don't worry about your time, run to finish and HAVE FUN!

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to run another marathon because I need to run one that doesn't quit before I do!

For my next marathon, I'll take extra electrolytes so I can add to plain water in case aid stations run out.

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