Melissa Hanks from Livonia, MI (Female)
Age on race day: 29
2009 DWD Green Swamp - Dade City, FL
This was my 2nd marathon and I finished in 5:57:12.
I planned to go to DWD Green Swamp to run the 1/2 marathon while my husband ran the 50 mile ultramarathon. He could not make the trip, but I went to the race with my friends. I was encouraged to run the marathon by my friends, and after a bit of consideration, I decided that it would be an adventure.... and it was!
Normally, when I run a marathon, I try to follow a training program. I had trained for the Detroit Marathon, which occurred in October '08. Although I kept up my running, I did not specifically train for this marathon.
The best advice I can give to any runner is to follow your training program, ask lots of questions, and listen to your body.
Once I changed my race from the 1/2 marathon to the marathon (my 2nd marathon) I was scared. I did not sleep at all the night before the race. I did not know what to expect on the trails. My friends were all running the 50 mile ultramarathon, and there was a big possibility that I would be on my own out on the course. I thought I would certainly get lost.
But, I was amazed by how easy it was to stay on course. It was really well marked. It was definitely an adventure! The aid stations were well stocked and the volunteers were amazing!
When I finished this race, I felt a real sense of accomplishment. It was a great day!
My quads were very sore the day after the race. But after a couple of days, I felt like new again.
Tips/Words of Encouragement:
If you want to run a half-marathon or marathon remember that if you train for it you will do well. It's not about how fast you can do it, but about the sense of accomplishment you get after you complete it.
Plans to Run Another:
After DWD Green Swamp I ran 6 more marathons this year. I am now getting ready to run my ninth marathon in January. I really enjoy this distance, and will probably run my first 50k in 2010.
For my next marathon I plan to better incorporate cross training and core work to help improve my running experience and overall health as well as reduce the potential for injury.