Sunday, July 09, 2006

Find a Marathon where you live.

Looking for a marathon where you live? I found this great site that has links to marathons all over the country and world for that matter. Check this one out. If you actually sign up for one and get yourself a deadline...your training will be much more effective!

Therapy, one step at a time

--Here is a great inspirational story to help you on your journey to running your first marathon.

A weakness for alcohol and cocaine led Jeff Turner to the doorstep of Boonville’s Valley Hope rehabilitation center on April Fool’s Day 2003. It was his second visit.

He was, as the saying goes, sick and tired of being sick and tired. The 1991 Hickman graduate was also 20 pounds overweight, and it had been ages since he had done anything more strenuous than work as a golf pro in Arizona.

Believing that he had a better chance of beating his addiction if he could show the willpower to get into better shape, Turner decided to go jogging on the nearby Katy Trail. He made it about 500 yards before he had to stop, gasping for breath.

He went back the next day and made it about a half-mile before stopping. He returned the next day, and the next, going a little farther each day, one step at a time. Running was therapy, his improvement proof that he could change for the better. By the time his month-long stint at Valley Hope was over, he was doing 3 miles. "I felt, and still feel, my chance for relapse would be much greater if I didn’t run," Turner said. "It’s the way I get my buzz now."

He returned to his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and continued to run. He got up at dawn to get in his miles before the heat became oppressive. He felt energized the rest of the day.
Turner even mentioned the idea of running a marathon. When a friend laughed at the notion, Turner became determined to complete the 2004 Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix. He had to walk in a few spots, but nine months after checking out of rehab, he finished the race in 3 hours, 49 minutes.

That was supposed to be the end of it. Point proven. But distance running was addictive.
He got more savvy about training, and by his third marathon, he shaved almost 30 minutes off his original time. Turner registered for this year’s Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego with the goal of qualifying for the prestigious Boston Marathon, which would require him to finish in 3:10.
Everything was progressing nicely toward that goal until three weeks before the June 4 race. Then he received a call that made running seem meaningless. His father, Tom Turner, had gone to the doctor to figure out the source of persistent leg and back pain. The news was devastating. Tom, the 57-year-old publisher of the Lake Sun Leader newspaper in Camdenton, had terminal cancer. It started in his lungs and spread to his brain and elsewhere. Jeff’s first thought was to forget about the marathon. His father disagreed. When Jeff visited his dad in Houston, where he sought treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, talking about Jeff’s goal of qualifying for Boston brightened Tom’s mood. Jeff decided he would run the race in his father’s honor. On two week’s notice, he raised $600 for cancer research through the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Turner began the race in good form. He averaged 6:55 per mile, and at the 18-mile mark he was on pace for a 3-hour finish. At that point, he knew he could play it safe and easily make the Boston qualifying mark. Or he could continue to push the pace and try to finish in less than 3 hours. The latter strategy carried the risk that he might flame out and fail to qualify for Boston.
He remembered how competitive his father was at everything he did, never wanting to lose at basketball, golf or even a game of pool. "I thought, ‘I can’t keep this pace up,’ " Turner said. "But in the back of my mind, I thought, ‘Well, what would he do? I’m in Boston safely. Would he back off or keep coming at you?’ " Turner powered through the final miles, finishing in 2:59. He was the 90th person to cross the finish line in a race that began with more than 21,000 runners.

Turner has since returned to Missouri to be with his father. Every marathon he runs in the future will be a fund-raiser for cancer research, especially the Boston Marathon.
Turner believes running saved him, and he would love for his steps to help save another life.

By JOE WALLJASPER Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor

Make Your Marathon Dream A Reality

If you’re planning to run a marathon this fall, now is the time to start training. Here are some tips to stay on track and cross that finish line.

The BasicsProper shoes are one of the most important parts of training. Experts say not to choose sneakers simply because you like the color or the style. Go to a specialty running shop and get help finding a pair that’s right for you. The right shoes will help prevent injuries, but they’re also just the beginning.

The TrainingRunning a marathon can be an experience like none other, especially in New York.“It’s sort of the closest any of us will get to playing in Yankee Stadium,” said David Willey of Runner’s World Magazine. “You have 2 million people on the streets on New York cheering for you, essentially.”But getting ready for the big day takes discipline, dedication and months of training.Willey said you should train for at least 16 weeks, especially if it’s your first time. Shoot for running five days a week and build up for a really long weekend run.

He also suggested joining a group.“It sort of distracts you from the discomfort that goes along with any kind of serious training,” Willey said. “And it gets you with people who are at the same level as you are so you can feel like you’re in it together, which makes it more fun.”There are charity training groups so you can raise money for a cause as you train for your goal. There are also groups with professional trainers like “The Running Center” with Coach Mindy.“I have been coaching for 14 years and it’s been my dream to open up a facility where runners can come to congregate to learn how to run properly,” Coach Mindy said. “Proper running form is important to me so a lot of what we do at the center is about good form.”If you’re planning to go it alone, experts strongly recommend building a program. Remember, the goal is 26.2 miles, but not farther. You need a plan to get just there.

Marathon has a link called “Smart Coach” where you can customize your own training program. You can also check out the New York Road Runner’s Club Web site which offers a personalized plan for various levels.“The key is just to know each week what you’re going to do over the course of the week,” said Willey.“[Know] what your long run is going to be on the weekend so you have some structure in place to get you there.”While there’s no secret to crossing the finish line, with the right gear, the right program and the right amount of heart, it can be in your sight. “It’s the challenge. It’s knowing that no one else can do this but yourself,” said Willey. “This is all about yourself and your challenge to reach that pinnacle.”

Thanks to Ducis Rodgers for this great article!