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Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run a marathon because I love marathon running and had heard so many great things about Chicago, namely that it was a flat, fast course. I also assumed that the temperatures would be cool in October.

Training:

I trained for 5 months following The Running Room marathon training program; run 5 days per week, including one day for hills and one day for long runs. During my training I averaged 50 miles per week.

The best training advice I received was is to listen to your body, and take your rest days seriously.

Race Day:

The 2007 Chicago Marathon was worse than expected. This would have been a phenomenal race, if not for the weather. Within the first 5K I seriously considered dropping out because it was just so hot. By 10K my legs were very sore (which is totally unusual for me.) I didn't have any problems getting water or Gatorade. I also wore a water belt which I wish I wouldn't have; my water became very warm quickly and my belt just ended up scraping my back because all of my clothes were so wet from having been dumping water on myself at every aid station.

After the half-way point, I noticed many runners passed out at the side, and others vomiting. I hit the wall many times and physically could not run at several different points, which has never happened to me in a marathon before.

With only 5K left, police were trying to create bottlenecks in order to stop us from running, and telling us that the race was canceled. I was in disbelief, and asked one officer what was going on. He said they had to call the race because there were too many people dropping like flies. He told me I would get a medal, but not an official time. I totally freaked out and ran the rest of the way in.

I was aiming to finish in 3:50 but BARELY scraped in at 4:33. Even at the finish area, which was a scene of chaos and confusion by this point, runners were still dropping and passing out from heat exhaustion. It was surreal.

I would like to point out that the spectators along the course were amazing. Many of them were spraying runners with their garden hose, or passing out ice, or even passing out water that they had bought with their own money. They were wonderful!

Recovery:

I didn't have any recovery problems. I recovered from this race faster than ever before. I had no soreness within 2 days after the race.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Adidas Supernova Cushion Running Shoes
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Powerbar Power Gel (Chocolate Flavor)
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

A person has to respect this distance. You MUST be willing to make the time commitment to train for at least 16 weeks, and be able to run 4-5 times per week (unless you have a cross training program like F.I.R.S.T.) Once you've put in your time, the event itself is ALL mental.

Plans to Run Another:

I plan to run Chicago next year; there is NO WAY the weather can be as hot 2 years in a row! (Knock on wood). I believe that this race will someday be my Boston Qualifier.

For my next marathon, I'm not going to wear a water belt. And, if I know it's going to be THAT HOT again on race day, I might choose not to run, like 10,000 runners in Chicago who didn't even show up to the start line.

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