Jeff from Chatham, NJ (Male)
Age on race day: 33
2007 Inaugural ING Georgia Marathon - Atlanta, GA
This was my 1st marathon and I finished in 3:45:17.
I consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run a marathon because my mind needed a challenge and I wanted to see if my mind and body could go the distance.
I was a heavy smoker for 15 years before quitting in October 2005. Running became my replacement obsession after packing on the pounds. Initially my desire to run was to lose weight. After that, my fitness was revealing a whole new lifestyle that made it impossible to go back! Now my young kids think running is cool and is a part of life. I am very proud that they volunteer these thoughts at a young age so they can grow into strong and healthy adults.
I was lucky enough to have a good friend that is a very experienced marathon runner. He was running this marathon and I had a really strong fitness base with 35+ miles a week. Given that, I joined the long runs each week (15,20,20,20,13,20,18,22,23,15) which gave me the base to complete the distance.
My training lasted 3 months and I averaged 55-58 miles per week.
The best advice I received was to take the long runs slow, not to push hard as it is the time that is key to condition the body and mind, not the pace. Race day will set it's own pace so you have to be ready to find ways to accept the time and discomfort when it starts. The long runs do this and are most important mentally.
The 2007 Inaugural ING Georgia Marathon wasn't quite what I expected. It was much warmer than expected. Forecast was 66 at race start (7am) and it climbed to 77 when I crossed the finish. I did all my training in the cold NJ winter (20's and 30's) so the heat did take a toll on my pacing.
I went out faster than my goal pace of 8:15/m and averaged 7:45 up to mile 18 where I ran out of steam an had to walk up a hill. I maintained a walk run combination after that as the course was very hilly and my mistake of starting too fast took the wind out of me.
The race was poorly organized and there was no sports drink at any station, only water which was hard to get and they ran out at some stations late in the race!
I felt great up until mile 18 where the heat and hills really hit. It was not the "wall", I have experienced that before, just genuine fatigue from my mistakes.
The first sight of the finish line was exhilarating/relieving and completing the distance was one of the proudest sporting achievements I have ever experienced.
The crowd was passive and bunched at the finish line rather than spread out. Some parts of the course had great crowds with plenty of support. One sign was terriffic, a lady had written "you are all Kenyans" which got a laugh from many of us as we went by.
My recovery was pretty rough. Lots of rest. NO RUNNING! My legs were stiff and painful for 3-4 days which was surprising as my long runs did not render any painful recoveries at all.
Running Gear Recommendations:
Nike Air Max Vomero Light, well-cushioned shoes that were the best possible asset on race day. Search »
Powerbar Power Gels A must for the tough times. Search »