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Life experiences and interests from abroad

Putting on my Marathon Training Shoes November 11, 2007

Filed under: Running — emccan2 @ 5:30 pm
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I’ve decided to do another marathon, but which one is still in question.  The timing for the next 26.2 needs to be around April or May since I’ll be out of the country most of March with trips to China, Australia and New Zealand.  I’ve heard the Stockholm marathon is a great one to do and it’s at the end of May, so right now that’s where I’m leaning.  November is too early to do any serious training, but I thought I should remind my legs that they can run double digit miles.  I’m hoping that by doing some long runs over the winter, I’ll be in better shape when I really need focus on my training.  I also hope to do some local races around Ireland if I can ever find out when and where they are. 

In the spirit of getting back into training, I set out to complete between 8 and 10 miles today.  I ended up doing 7.5, then stretched and lifted at the UCD gym, and finished off my workout with another 3 miles running home.  I’ve mapped my run through the website and have included the route below  (  My favorite part of this run is a dual loop around Deer Park, where you can see the skyline of Dublin and the sea.  Despite the 50 degree temps, gusty winds and lack of sunshine, there were many families and kids in the park playing all kinds of sports.  Though my legs are killing me for completing this vigorous run after taking so much time off distance training, I was positively glowing after having completed the task.  I love the Runner’s High rush I get each time a complete a great run and will try to explore more of Dublin with my long weekend runs.   

mapmyrun routemapmyrun routeMapmyrun siteMapmyrun siterunning-route-1.jpg


Days of Fame – Chicago Marathon 2006 August 26, 2007

Filed under: Running — emccan2 @ 8:25 am


Shortly after moving to Chicago in 2004 picked up more of an interest for running and decided to formally train with the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) for the Chicago Half Marathon in October, 2005. finalstartlg.jpg After successfully completing that race with a time of 1:29, I set my sites on running the Chicago Marathon the following year.  I decided to train with CARA again, since I had so much fun with my training program the previous year. 

I wavered between joining the 7:30 and 8 minute pace group, thinking that I might be able to run a little faster, but am glad that I chose the 8 minute group because I met the most wonderful people who I reconnected with to run the GMR (see post on the most amazing race). 

After months of training, multiple injuries, physical therapy, and great massages, the big day finally arrived.  Though it was around 40 degrees and snowing, my loving family and friends still trekked it out and stood strategically along the 26.2 miles to try to locate me and cheer me on.  The enthusiasm and excitement of having 40,000 runners and thousands of fans along the course kept me energized and on pace.  Once mile 22 came along, I used the power of positive thinking to push through to the end. 

I was running as a charity runner for the American Cancer Society and I couldn’t stop or slow down because I did not want to disappoint those who had so strongly supported me.  As I trecked it up Chicago’s heartbreak hill, and rounded the corner to the finish, I was elated with pure enthusiasm that I was almost done.  I finished with a time of 3:17 – which surpassed my expectations and was warmly welcomed with high fives from family and friends in the cool down tents at the finish. 


elizabethmural1.jpgIn addition to running the marathon, I had a great opportunity to be photographed for the Annual LaSalle Bank Marathon Mural which is painted on the side of a building on the Kennedy Expressway by the Armitage exit.  There were about 9 people photographed and included in the 2006 mural, and I was so lucky to be one of them.  The theme was “Breaking through the Wall”, which you can see in the pictures.  



The Most Amazing Racing Adventure: The Great Midwest Relay August 22, 2007

Filed under: Running — emccan2 @ 7:21 pm


JUNE 8-9: GREAT MIDWEST RELAY:  Our team – The 12 Angry Men and Women ran 190 miles from Madison, WI to Chicago IL in an amazing time of 22 hours and 20 minutes.  With 8 men and 4 women, 2 vans, multiple coolers of water, food, and plenty of gu, we made quite a team of dedicated and fast athletes.  We finished 9th out of 115 teams with a 6:59 pace for 190 miles.  I ran at an average pace under 7:30 and completed 3 segments of about 6 miles each.  Thanks to an incredibly supportive friend, I pushed through my fears and made it through my 3am run in the middle of who knows where.  Here are some additional photos from the race.

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