Learn : Marathon Story  

Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for stress relief. Having played soccer in high school and college, I had always done some level of distance running. After college, I met some friends that did longer races and realized that if added a couple miles here and there throughout, I could run with them. Over the years, my training has gotten me through many good and bad times in life. I don't listen to music when I run, but instead use the time to think about my wife and kids, solve work problems, or just relax. Hopefully this has made me a better person, employee, and most importantly, father and husband.


In the spring of '07, Runner's World surveyed a number of "experts" and published a training program based on their feedback. This was the first time I have followed a set schedule and it was very beneficial for me. Many days, the program was my motivator to get out of bed. I trained for 4 months, and I averaged 70 miles per week.

The best advice I heard while training this time around was to rest up before the hard workouts so I could get more out of them. Early on, I would try to squeeze in a couple slow miles the night before a morning speed session, but that only reduced the quality of the miles that I ran the following day.

Race Day:

The 2007 Twin Cities Marathon was worse than expected. Race day was very warm, with some people commenting that they were sweating on the walk to the Metrodome. I knew my training had gone well and I felt good so I decided to stick with my race day goal, rather than slow the pace. I was exactly on pace when I hit the halfway point and a little ahead of pace at mile 19. Somewhere between mile 19 and mile 20, my body just stopped. I didn't really hurt and my breathing was fine, I just couldn't run. I ran-walked the rest of the race, but was able to pick up some people that were also struggling.


I didn't have any recovery problems. I stretched for a while once I arrived at the finishing area. Following the 4 hour drive home, I stretched again that night and a couple a times a day for the next few days. I also rode bike for 45-50 each day that week. My quads were still a little sore, so I would massage them by rolling a golf ball on the tender spots.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Adidas Supernova Shoes
I have been going with Nike shoes lately, and they work fine. As I thought back to some of my favorite races, they were all run in older version of the Supernova. I got a new pair about a month out from the race and they were great.
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Race Belt
This is an elastic belt that goes around your waist and allows you to clip your race number there rather than pinning it on your shirt/shorts. This eliminates any chance of getting rust stains on the shirt from the sweat/cheap safety pin combination and also allows you to move the number to the side or back when facing windy conditions.
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Clif Shot Bloks
I tried gels one time and the result was not pretty. Clif makes these gummi squares that sit much better with me, and really do not need water to be eaten. I split a pouch in half and put each half in a sandwich bag so they are more manageable to access on race day. Cola and cherry make a tasty combination.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

A hot, disappointing day running is still better than sitting on the couch eating bon bons. Sorry to all you bon bon lovers out there!

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to continue to run marathons because I can.

I like what I did this time and know that I would have reached my goal if not for a very fluke stretch of hot weather. I will focus more on the things that I can control and not worry about the things that are out of my domain.

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