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Note from Editor: This is an amazing story about someone who completely transformed her body by losing 267 lbs. This was Sheila's 2nd attempt to complete a marathon. Her first attempt was the 2007 Chicago Marathon that was cancelled mid-run due to the heat. To learn more about Sheila and her amazing story, check out this story at ClarionLedger.com.

Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself a beginner runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run a marathon because I once weighed 444lbs. After losing 267 lbs I just wanted to see if I could do it. I heard about this group called Marathon Makeover and I decided to participate in their program. They train people like me to do a marathon/half-marathon. I joined the group in Jan. 2007 and the rest is history.

Training:

When I joined Marathon Makeover I had not run/walked anywhere. I did workout but I did no running at all. So I got all of my marathon training from Marathon Makeover. The training program lasted 11 months and I averaged about 20 miles per week.

I received a lot of good training advice, but the best advice I received was to make sure you drink a lot of fluids, and after your runs ice down or take a cold bath rather than a hot one.

Race Day:

I was very excited about the race. I wanted to finish so badly I started off very strong and ended pretty strong also. I was the last to come in but I finished. Some of the marathon people tried to get me to quit but I refused to give up. I had to quit in Chicago when they called it off, I was at the 16 mile mark then.

I was not going to be denied this time. In the Mississippi Blues Marathon I had police escort me all the rest of the way from mile 19 to the finish line -- that was great. They had taken down the finish line by the time I made it but I did not care. I finished and that is all that mattered to me!

Recovery:

My recovery was pretty rough. I iced down and took a cold bath after the race.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Jelly Belly Sport Beans
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Knee Braces
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Energy Gel
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Just start slow work your way up to your goal. And most of all, never quit!

Plans to Run Another:

I plan to run another marathon because I promised my sisters I would do the Twin Cities Marathon this year instead of going back to Chicago. I'm hoping to convince them to do it with me.

I'm not sure if I would do anything differently for my next marathon. I felt like I was well prepared for this one so I'm not sure what else I could do differently.

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