Note from Editor: Ryan is one of five runners featured in the soon to be released, feature-length film, Spirit of the Marathon. If you would like to learn more about this movie and Ryan's experience at the 2005 Chicago Marathon, check out the web site.
From the get go I was a Hal Higdon groupie. I followed his training plans to a T for my first 6 or 7 marathons. For the Austin Marathon, I followed his most advanced schedule during the 2002-03 Chicago Winter. Since Austin is a February marathon, I spent a lot of time running in sub-freezing weather. I remember on one 20 mile training run looking over at my buddy and he had one inch icicles coming off both sides of his hat it was so cold. I'll tell you it was not very fun at the time, but I think it made me faster on race day getting rid of all that extra clothing.
It is tough to pick just one marathon to write about. Do you pick your first one where you crossed the finish line holding your future wife's hand, or maybe the one that had only 43 runners and was in the middle of Norway. I just decided to pick the one that had pretty much everything a marathon could have.
I didn't have any problems with my recovery. First things first, we had to go to Z-Tejas on 6th Street in Austin for dinner. If you have never been, I highly recommend it, one of the best in Austin! Beyond that, I rested my legs for 2 or 3 days and then started shuffling/jogging just to get the blood moving again. Light stretching, the usual, nothing too unique. Recovery has never been my one of my strengths. I usually eat too much and drink too much the week after a race -- a little celebration never hurt anyone.
Running Gear Recommendations:
Tips/Words of Encouragement:
You have probably heard them all, but I love the quote by Dick Beardsley, "When you cross that finish line, it will change your life forever." How it changes your life, well, that is up to you, but I can tell you that it does.
Plans to Run Another:
I'm planning to continue to run marathons because I can't stop. I am totally addicted. I did 3 last year, so I'll probably take this year off and do some other events.