It was my 8th marathon in just over 2 years. I had been a pack-a-day smoker for just over 30 years when I couldn't stand it anymore & started trying to run in July of 2004. It took another 9 months before I would completely give up the cigarettes, and another 6 months before I would be able to complete the 2 mile loop in my neighborhood. I started trying a few short races, then going to trails and gradually getting longer distances in my running.
Memorial day of 2006 was the first time I ran 5 miles and it turned out not to be so hard! I kept going, and found out that distance running is what I really liked. Running my first half marathon in October of 2006 just under 1:51 and my second in February of 2007 in 1:45, I decided on doing a marathon 4 weeks later, winning my age group (45-49) in a time of 3:49:48.
I did several others before going to Boston in 2008 where I ran a 3:41:21, using my qualifier from my hometown marathon (2008 Tallahassee- 3:38:28) for good positioning in the start.
I loved it so much, I decided I had to go back the next year! So did my best friend, Jay Silvanima, the director of the Tallahassee Marathon. He and running are the best things that have ever happened to me, and we got married in Boston on April 21, 2009, the day after we both ran in the marathon. I got a new PR and a wonderful husband at this year's Boston Marathon!
I am now going into my third season as the co-director of the Tallahassee Marathon, and am so incredibly blessed. I can only hope others (especially smokers!) can see that there is so much one can do if they want it enough and work hard enough for it.
If I can do it, so can you!
New Balance Running Shoes
I have run all of my marathons in New Balance 850 series shoes and love them!!!!
I am a certified instructor & lead 3 classes a week. I started doing Spinning soon after I had given up smoking (became an instructor a year later)...it really has hastened my running results and my overall fitness level incredibly.
GU Energy Gel is what I use.