Ready to Run

Marathon training is challenging

Local runners, walkers
to compete in Indy’s November race


(November 2011)
Heather Foy

Ask first-time mara-thon runners their goal for race day and they will tell you, “Simply to cross the finish line.” Stepping over the 26.2-mile mark is the ultimate indicator that weeks, often months of sweat, pain and countless training days will be worth it when that finisher medal is draped around a runner’s neck.
Consider the distance of a marathon – 26.2 miles. Driving 26.2 miles for a local resident might require a trip from Madison, Ind., to Versailles, Ind. Can you imagine running this distance?
Four area women will tackle this challenge for the first time in their lives on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the fourth annual Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Last year, more than 9,000 participants embarked on an adventure to run this mini (13.1 mile) or full marathon (26.2 mile) through the streets of Indianapolis. It is a flat and fast course that for some might earn their running shoes a coveted entry for the Boston Marathon. These are the elite – the runners at the start of the pack with goals much different than the average first time marathon-goer hoping to simply finish the race.

Madison area Mini Marathon Runners
and Walkers:

Kathy Finke, Erica Bentz, Pat Rady, Kim Bennett, Kathy Napier (formerly of Madison), Bob Hicks, Burton Chambers, Bill Tereshko, Kathy Crafton, Cari Morrison-Bear, Melissa Ommen, Jessica King, Anne Fisse, Julie Schmitt, Susan Graham, Kim Bockover, Tami Watson, Lisa Forner, Julie Williams, Stephanie Stalcup
Madison area Full Marathon Runners:
Tonya Schmidt, Toni Huff, Angela Caswell, Cori Morris, Stacy Crawley

For the individual who claims that he is not a runner, the thought of lacing up for 26.2 miles might seem like torture. The expense alone makes marathon training a commitment. On top of supportive and often stylish running shoes and attire, fancy Garmin pace watches, carbohydrate replacements, and overnight travel costs for a big race – marathon hopefuls will pay a hefty $65 to $100 for this year’s Monumental Marathon entry fee. All of this to be called a marathoner?
The finish line medal and free post-race snacks don’t compare to the feeling that comes from finishing. Experiencing a “runner’s high” doesn’t have to come only on race day. Local runner and first time marathon hopeful Tonya Schmidt, claims her passion from running comes from how she feels when finishing a run.
Cori Morris is also registered for the full marathon and hopes to accomplish a once-in-a-lifetime goal of finishing. After originally training for a full 26.2 mile race in 2006, an injury limited Morris to running a half-marathon instead. She admits being very nervous this time around, due to not putting in the amount of training that she hoped. Luckily, she has been consistent with cross-training to keep her body in great shape.
Morris has decided to adopt a popular marathon trick to provide inspiration and dedicate each mile to someone who has influenced her deeply. “I will have 26 different people that I will be reflecting on that day when I run” says Morris.
As an added bonus, Morris will have an experienced marathon runner jogging next to her on race day. Friend and fellow Madison runner Stacy Crawley has decided to support Morris during her first marathon in a big way. Most would consider this a greater sacrifice than the average friend would provide.

Toni Huff and Angela Caswell

Photo by Heather Foy

Local runners Toni Huff (left) and
Angela Caswell look forward
to their first marathon adventure.

“As many know, I love to help people discover themselves. Pushing through ones unknown potential, (including my own), is one of the many things I enjoy,” says Crawley.
For her, this marathon will be her fourth full 26.2-mile distance race. She ultimately hopes that her children, friends, colleagues and swimmers she coaches see that nothing is impossible. “If you tell yourself you can and follow through, you discover many of the unknowns and potential while proving to yourself and others that nothing is impossible.”
Future marathon hopeful and Milton, Ky., resident Toni Huff decided to begin running at age 41. The quest to run a full marathon started only with the hope for finishing a 5K race.
“I decided to run a full marathon because I didn’t want to look back and wish I had challenged myself,” Huff says.
After countless miles, hours, and aches and pains, Huff still doesn’t consider herself a runner. “I have to work for every mile I run. It does not come natural or easy. I think for me, the biggest obstacle to overcome is the confidence in my ability.”
Huff claims appreciation for her family’s sacrifice during her marathon training but feels most appreciative of the great friend and training partner who has been by her side every step of the way. Huff and her running buddy Angela Caswell followed a marathon training program for first timers from www.marathonrookie.com. Throughout the process, they incorporated cross training and learned that elliptical machines and bikes helped give the body a break from injuries. Like many other runners, Huff and Caswell also researched and put much effort into finding the perfect mix of hydration and food to prepare their bodies to endure long training runs.
Experienced Madison mini-marathoner Kim Bennett will be among the thousands looking to cross the 13.1-mile finish line in November. Bennett says one of her reasons for running is to “just be me – no one’s mom, wife or boss.” Bill Tereshko of Madison is also registered for 13.1 miles. But for him, this distance will be a first-time experience. As a long-time runner, he has always had the desire to prove to himself that he could run a mini marathon.
Pre-race rituals, such as pasta meals, packet pickup and race expo exploration, might seem like foreign language to a non-runner. These activities leading up to the big morning are an important part of the total race package. A first-time marathoner might not know exactly what to expect during the weeks, days and hours leading up to race morning – but one thing they most likely anticipate is nerves.
Concerns of how to attach your timing chip or when to show up at the starting corals create worries. Questions for marathon runners include when and how much to drink at each hydration station, what should I have for breakfast on race morning, or will there be port-a-pots on the race course when I need one? So many questions… Never the same perfect answer for every runner. Most runners claim that a little research will provide answers and tips to their important questions. Runner’s World magazine or a friend with race experience can give advice for training preparation and common race day questions. Most runners will ultimately admit that answers come from experience. Just like there is no such thing as a running shoe that is right for all feet – there is no perfect race routine that is right for every runner. Figuring things out on your own is part of the process.
The Madison area will be well represented and proud on Nov. 5 at the Monumental Marathon when a strong showing of local runners will be among the thousands anxious to accomplish 13.1 or double-the-distance 26.2 miles. Good luck to all race-day runners. Each step you take most likely inspires others to literally follow in your footsteps.

• Heather Foy is a 20-year coach and group exercise instructor in Madison, Ind., who has been in the Wellness field for nearly 20 years. Email her at hnfoy@yahoo.com.


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