Illinois Marathon

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I started running my freshman year of high school. I had never run before, but I still remember that first 4 mile run and how amazing I felt. That started a 9 year stretch of my life where running was my everything. It dictated my eating schedule, travel schedule, my friends and my outlook on life.

Then I had a foot surgery in the fall of 2007, and my running never was the same. I tried for years to make it the same, but my body just wouldn’t be the same. I had always thought “sure I’ll run a few marathons, no big deal,” and thought running would always be a part of my life. But a few years after the surgery I stopped running.

Then in January 2014, my co-worker Dustin decided he was going to run a marathon. So I talked to Jen and she told me to do it and this was my chance to run a marathon. Dustin had picked out the Hal Higdon Novice 2 Training Plan, which worked really well for me. It kept us around 30 miles a week (if I do much more than that, my back and foot doesn’t like it).

We made it through a tough winter of training – with some nasty days of -20 wind chill. More days than I remember we’d finish with a beardsicle (frozen beard). In the middle of the training I had a slight calf strain, but took a few days off and made it back for our 20 miler.

The race went great, it was too hot (high of 80 on race day).

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First 10 miles were great (first 5 of them into the sun, was really hot). We passed the 4 hour pass group at about 5 mile. Saw Chap at the park at about 10 mile and saw Carmen and Vetter. Vetter had no idea I was running.

Then I started getting some nipple chaffing and felt l was getting a blister on my left foot.

At the 13 mile mark the race pack got really sparse, down to about 25% of what is was since the half-marathoners split off. Saw Jen at Mile 11 ish, then my parents at 15 and 17. Then Jen at 18 and Rooster started running with us a few minutes after that. Glad he joined us, he did good at keeping together with Whitey and keeping us at a good pace. Feeling good until mile 22.5, then I started hurting a bit. Whitey was really hurting, and we made the tough decision to split up. Didn’t want to leave him because I never would have made it through the training without him. But he wanted me to break 4 hours.

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But me and Rooster left him and really picked up the pace. Rooster left me just before mile 25. When I got to 25 I knew I could finish. Had some real bad calf cramps starting then though. They started off pretty rare, then by mile 26 my calf was almost constantly cramping. Almost had to start walking, but I was able to finish! My final time was 3:55:49.

Great to have family there and felt very accomplished. It was tougher than I thought it would. A hot day to race though. We took advantage of just about every hydration/GU stop.

I could have never completed a marathon without my training partner Dustin and my partner Jen. Jen always encouraged me and made time for my training. And she was there on race day as a full suporter!
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She also had me do some Marathon Selfies, because she’s hip
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And not only was Jen there, but my parents and brother came too. I’m very loved!
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And then to celebrate Jen brought in Jerry’s pizza, cake and chips & salsa to work on Monday! It was partially a celebration, and partially to thank my co-workers for putting up with all the training.