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Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for competition. I decided to run a marathon because I like running marathons. I want to get up to 10 and then call it good. I also would very much like to qualify for Boston, that however has yet to happen. I was very close a few times but no cigar as of yet. My time in this marathon will get me in next year, so i hope to stay in decent shape and get in, in 2009 and run Boston in 2010 to wrap up this marathon odyssey.

Training:

I trained for 4+ months. I followed a combination of Bob Glover, Hal Higdon, Greg McMillian, and Jack Daniels training strategies. During my training I averaged 44 miles per week.

The best training advice I received was to run long runs on hilly courses, it strengthens your legs, and get massages.

The worst training advice was to try to qualify at Sugarloaf the weekend before and do Vermont as a fun run. I dropped out at mile 15 at the loaf, I wasn't feeling it, legs were toast from running/climbing a hill/mountain from mile 6-10.5. I was told it was a super fast course, I did not find that to be the case.

Race Day:

The 2008 Vermont City Marathon was a blast. It was a gorgeous day, a little too hot, but Lake Champlain was beautiful and the Adirondack Mountains as a backdrop were gorgeous. The crowd support was terrific, the start and finish were outstanding.

Vermont has a big relay component in their marathon and I thought that might bother me, but it really didn't. I wanted to qualify with a 3:20 but I knew deep down I was not in 3:20 shape, plus with 70 degree weather I knew it wasn't very realistic. I ran it pretty conservatively and as a result I ran an 8:10 on mile 26 to make sure I didn't go over 3:30 and run a 3:31. That was the fastest mile 26 I've ever had, so that was very satisfying.

Recovery:

My recovery wasn't bad. I took an ice bath when i got back to the hotel and it was by far the best thing I've ever done after a marathon. I was walking around that evening and felt pretty good considering.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Nike Vomero Running Shoes
They have great cushion. I am 185lbs and they are terrific. I would recommend them to any runner of any size. I have made mistakes in the past of trying to run a marathon in light weight trainers and have paid a painful price for it with very sore feet from lack of cushioning.
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iPod Shuffle
This was the first marathon that I have ever run using any music. I know it is considered blasphemy in some circles and outlawed at certain races, but I thoroughly enjoyed turning it on at different time throughout the race, especially during the final 10k.
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Balega Socks
Nice!
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Get into it, embrace it, have FUN with it, and do not take it or yourself to seriously. Chances are you are not attempting to qualify for the Olympics, so why get so nuts about it? The calmer approach is better, I've done both and the more relaxed approach is far more enjoyable both before and during the race.

Plans to Run Another:

I want to get to 10 and hit the BQ time. 3 more to go. For my next marathon, I'll focus a little more on some weight loss. Every pound makes a difference over 26.2 miles.

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