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Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for weight/control loss. I was 260 pounds 5 years ago. I was giving a presentation when I passed out. My blood pressure and cholesterol was sky high and I was on the path to destruction. I needed to change my life. I am still on the road of change and health. I am down to 200 pounds and off all meds. I know that I need to be a role model for others. I was such a hypocrite as a physical therapist telling a person to exercise when I couldn't even do it. I know that society judges others based on their body type, that's just the way it is. I need to be an example of a person working to improve their health. I am thankful that during all of the races I have participated in, there are so many different body types. I enjoy all of the diversity because I know that I don't look like a runner, but inside, I feel like one.

Training:

I trained for 6 months following Jeff Galloway's program in his marathon book and various ultra marathon training guides. During my training I averaged 30-40 miles per week.

The best training tip that I picked up was to plan back to back runs. This really helped with getting my body ready for the half marathon on Saturday followed by the full marathon on Sunday.

The worst training advice had to do with pre-run meals. For me, eggs was the worst thing to try to digest before a run.

Race Day:

The 2007 Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge was better than expected. The race is a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday. The challenge is to be able to bounce back on Sunday after a 13.1 mile run the day before. The back to back training was what really helped me mentally and physically. Mentally, I just broke it down into 3 half marathons, and physically, being able to recover was key. Like any training, the ability to recover allows us to move on to the next step or level in our training. The back to back runs were taken from some of the ultramarathon training guides. The walk/run technique that I used was from Galloway.

Running at Disney World was great! They really know how to manage crowds and I had a wonderful experience. This is a run for fun, not for PRs. You need to bring a camera during the run because of all the characters along the way, so there were a lot of stop and starts.

The race is in January so you think the weather would be mild but it was 85 degrees. Training in South Dakota in the months leading up to the race was definitely not the same conditions. The race directors really pushed hydration and if you were on the course more than 4 hours, they wanted runners to drink Powerade first then water. The course was flat and easy and running through all the parks was a great distraction.

This was a great run and a great challenge. It will give you a new goal and it is a way to bring your running to a new level. I am going to run this again in 2008!

Recovery:

I didn't have any problems with my recovery. Following the race I ATE!!!! Low fat, proteins and carbs work good for me. I started my recovery right at the finish line with rehydration.

Running Gear Recommendations:

iPod
I like to listen to a mix of electronic music. (Chemical Brothers is my favorite!)
The Chemical Brothers
Search for iPods on Amazon

Nike Dri-Fit Tee
It has a red stripe down the back and for some reason, mentally made me feel fast.
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Power Gel (Apple Flavor)
I like the taste.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

"Do or not do, there is no try." - Yoda

You can do it. Within each of us is so much potential. The pain and time it takes to run is nothing compared to the joy and awakening that you will feel when you run. Also, marathons bring out the best in runners, fans, and support staff. It really is a joy to see some good in this world.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to continue to run marathons because I love running and the physical benefits it has given me. The races are so positive. It is a chance to see the best in humanity. People coming together and cheering each other on. I take such joy from running and hope that others feel it as well.

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