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Learn : Marathon Story  

Note from Editor: Lori is one of five runners featured in the feature-length film, Spirit of the Marathon. If you would like to learn more about this movie and Lori's experience at the 2005 Chicago Marathon, check out the web site.

Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for hobby. I decided to run a marathon because I had been running shorter distances (10k and half marathon) for a few years and felt like "my time" had come to do a marathon. When my husband and I moved to Chicago, I felt inspired to train for the marathon after seeing all the runner's along the lake.

Training:

I trained for 5 months following Hal Higdon's marathon training program, in particular the one focused on the Chicago Marathon. During my training I averaged 25-30 miles per week.

The best advice I received was not to worry about my pace while training, but to enjoy myself and celebrate all of the milestones as I trained (the first 15 miler, 20 miler, etc).

Race Day:

Wow! It was an amazing day. I really enjoyed the sights and sounds along the course. I remember at one point dancing to a band playing "Sweet Home Alabama" (because it was a song that I often had in my head during training). Stopping to high-five my mom at around mile 21 was a great memory, as well. I finished feeling great and with enough gas in my tank to enjoy the rest of the day with my family.

I also had the great fortune of being one of the athletes in the documentary Spirit of the Marathon, so I had a film crew following me during the whole race--not a bad way to do a first marathon!

Recovery:

I didn't have any problems with my recovery. I slept a lot the week after the race and kept my calorie intake a little higher than usual. The main thing was really listening to my body and not pushing any exercise too hard.

Running Gear Recommendations:

ASICS Running Socks
I loved these and they were great on my feet from day one--no blisters!
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Search on Amazon

Sports Bra
I really like the Hind Motion Sensor Sports Bra. Really great, comfortable, no chafing.
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Energy Gel
It helped to keep my energy up during long runs. (I like GU Energy Gel -- Chocolate!)
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Search on Amazon.com

Tips/Words of Encouragement:

You can do it if you set out a realistic plan and stick to it. It helps to find a good source of motivation to keep you focused. For example, I chose to fundraise for an organization that was very near to my heart. On the days I felt a little tired, I just thought of them and the people that donated and it helped me to get out and run. Also, running with a group can be a fun way to make long runs go by quickly!

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to run another marathon because racing has become part of who I am. I had such a great experience that I feel like I have to do it again. Besides, now that I know I can finish, I want to try to go faster! :)

Next time I think I will be a little less conservative with pace and see what I can do.

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