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Running Background:

As a hobby runner, I had talked about running a marathon for years, but never made the commitment. However, when my sister approached me about training for a marathon in November of 2005 after just having a baby in August, I couldn't come up with an excuse not to.

Training:

I used Hal Higdon's beginner marathon training program for my first two marathons, and Foreman Institute of Running's FIRST Marathon training program for my third (2007 Twin Cities).

The FIRST program is excellent. You run less and cross-train more, which rounds out your athleticism, and allows you to heal between runs. The running that you do in the program is very targeted to a goal, as opposed to simply 'putting in the miles.'.

During my training I averaged 25 miles per week.

In terms of training advice for others, the best would be to spend money on good shoes that fit, and get rid of them when they're worn out.

The worst thing I did was to wear a pair of shoes that was past its prime on a 15 mile run. Plantar Fasciitis set in and it was a long recovery process.

Race Day:

The 2007 Twin Cities Marathon was worse than expected. It was hot! We woke up at 5:00 am and the temperature was 75 degrees F. I knew it was not going to be a typical Minnesota Fall morning.

The race started out warm, and only got hotter,...and hotter.

At about mile 9 I decided to dedicate that run to my good buddy who was serving his country in Iraq at the time.

My time was slow, but I stayed hydrated and kept right on plugging along. I had run the Twin Cities Marathon once before and knew what to expect after crossing the bridge.

A little experience, a few friendly faces and a couple little glasses of beer made the last 7 miles fly by. All in all, it was a good day.

Recovery:

My recovery wasn't bad.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Fuel Belt
Fuel Belt holding Qty 6, 8 oz bottles. I fill 3 with water, and three with watered down Gatorade. I also have two pouches for gel packs and bars. I trained with this belt on all my 14+ mile runs and it helped a ton. The day of the race was particularly hot and I was able to stay hydrated as well as keep my clothing wet to help evaporative cooling when my sweat was not keeping up. Plus, sometimes the water stops don't come often enough. I can't say enough good things about that belt.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Dedicate your run to someone, and let them know how they've inspired you. Also, walk through the water stops. 26.2 is a lot of miles. Even 30 seconds of walking helps me rest my joints and take in the sights, sounds and smells of race day.

Plans to Run Another:

I plan to run another marathon because I enjoy challenge. I enjoy running. I enjoy fitness. The decision to run a marathon brings me all three.

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