I like that, and I like Ms. Swan. She’s cool, confident, kicks ass, and agreed to do a Q&A with me before her first marathon. So WISH HER LUCK!!
–You live in Chicago, so Chicago Marathon seems like a perfectly reasonable choice for your first marathon. Do you have any other special reasons for choosing Chicago as your first marathon location?
I wanted a flat, fast course that was easily accessible to family and friends who wanted to support and cheer me on. Also, on a more personal level, I lost my baby brother in January of 2010 to a heroin overdose. We had talked many times about running the Chicago Marathon together. I was pregnant when he passed away, but determined to follow through on those plans. So, in a lot of ways this race is for him. I’ll carry him in my heart to the finish line! (Okay, I actually cried typing that)
– The Madison Mini Marathon was your third half marathon and you finished in an incredible 1:47:42, which was a 16 minute PR—WaHOO!! What was going on in your mind during the hour and a half race delay?
Initially I was terrified of the delay because of my pre-race fueling habits. My mind was reeling with thoughts like “If they wait too long I’ll have to refuel and then what if I have to poop in the middle of the race?” Okay, that might be TMI, but you get the gist—LOL! But my Mom and 18 month old son had accompanied me to the race and I ended up spending the time chasing him through the crowded, people filled hallways. He had a blast, it kept my mind off the delay and I actually helped keep me all warmed up for when the race finally started.
–Your fourth half marathon was another incredible race that you finished in 1:46. With two successful half marathons this year, do you have a goal for Chicago Marathon?
Even with the experience of 4 half marathons behind me, my only goal for the full is to finish. Someone once told me that the first goal, for a race of any distance, should be to finish. After you’ve completed one then you work on improvement for the next one. Being that I’ve never run this distance before, I think that’s the most realistic goal for me. I don’t have a clue what the mental challenge of running those last 6 miles will be like. So my focus is just on getting to the finish line. With my experience in the half marathons, I know that if I choose to run another full I’m fully capable of improving my time in subsequent races. I went from a 2:05 half in April to a 1:46 in September, so I’m pretty confident in that area.
–Having completed your first marathon training, what will you change if anything in future marathon training?
I will complete an advanced training program my next time around. I’ll also be more aggressive with speed, hill and interval training. Because I’m interested in training for a sprint tri next year, I believe cycling and swimming will play a large role in my cross training for future races too. I’m interested introducing brick workouts regularly will improve my performance overall.
–How would you interrupt a person saying this sentence, “I want to train for a marathon but_____”
Excuses are tools of the incompetent. No one HAS the time to train for a marathon, you make the time. Where there’s a will there’s a way. That may sound cliché’ but it’s my reality!
Thank you Ms. Swan! Good luck in Chicago!