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Running Background:

marathon photoI decided to run a marathon because my buddy Randy and I were taking boot camp classes at our gym. We ran 1 mile in the class and slowly progressed to 3 miles. We decided to run a 5k, then an 8k, we have done 4 half marathons with our 5th being this March in Atlanta, and of course we progressed to the marathon. We did M. Beach last year and again this year. We are both big guys, Randy weighs 240 and I am 275. We run for fitness and the fun of it. I was once into every team sport, but I couldn't always rely on people to show up, or give the effort I was used to giving. Weight lifting and running gives me the satisfaction I am looking for now.

Training:

For our first experiences with running we had no clue on what we were doing. We would run in summer heat 5 to 8 miles with no water, the right shoes or proper nutrition. We read some books, looked on line and spoke to many experience runner to get to where we are today. The last marathon had us using the Jeff Galloway walk-run system. We still were not sure what one to follow, but eventually ended up doing a 3 minute run with a 1 minute walk. This helped me go from a 5hr 55 minute race in '08 to a 5hr 20 minute race this year!

The best training advice I received was to use GU packs and eat properly before, and during the long races. Drink lots of water, and find a pair of shoes that work for you and stay with them. The worst advice I received was to never walk during a race.

Race Day:

I love the Mrytle Beach Marathon. It is great for beginners because it is so flat. Both times it was easy to get into, easy to get out of. There are plenty of volunteers and water stations. The views are cool. Lots of people to talk to during the race, lots of friendly people, and when the weather is nice, lots of great sites. The only gripe I have is that there are not many people cheering you on throughout the race from the streets. Atlanta really has a great crowd in certain neighborhoods. Bands, stereo systems, high fivers, etc... but that couse is much hillier!

I got out of the marathon everything I could ask for and more. Being my first and second long run, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Recovery:

I didn't have any recovery problems. STRETCH OUT!!!! Drink lots of water, and walk it off.

Running Gear Recommendations:

BodyGlide
Use a lot of this...everywhere, even on your toes!
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GU Energy Gel
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Hydration Belt
Water/hydration belt, held 2 water bottles with GU pack pouches.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

If a guy my size can do it, anyone willing to put in the training can do it. Training SUCKS, but the race is awesome and sooo worth putting in the time. When I completed my first marathon my whole family was there to see it, and I cried. It was a very spiritual and meaningful moment in my life. You know you have accomplished something that so few of our population ever has, it is something to be proud of. When I tell people about it it amazes them.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to run more marathons. Got to train for life, got to have a goal, got to keep going. What other options are there? Atlanta ING March 2009 here I come...again!

For my next marathon, I'll keep asking for suggestions, want to break 5 hours, but mostly, just do it. Have a positive outlook on it, and enjoy each experience, it gives my life a goal to stay fit for my young son and baby on the way. Did I mention I am 40? Celebrated number 39 and 40 doing the M. Beach marathons, what a way to remember some great days in my life.

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