I continued running in the months following my first marathon. I joined the swim team my freshmen year of high school as a mode of cross training, and found that nothing really satisfies the way running does.

I knew from the second we crossed the finish line during the first marathon that there would be plenty more to follow. In fact, I made it a goal of mine to qualify for the Boston Marathon by the time I was 18. Yes, that would mean running 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 35 minutes, but for some reason I thought it be an attainable goal.

I began training the La Crosse Fitness Festival marathon after swim season was over. I had lost a significant amount of weight during swimming, and was told that unless I could gain some of it back I wouldn’t be able to train. I worked at it, and got back to what I thought was a healthy enough weight (even though just under 100lbs for a 15-year-old girl standing at 5’6” isn’t exactly healthy).

Instead of training with the twins, I trained with a group of my parents’ friends from church. There were several major differences between training with them and training with the twins:

  • They woke up super early. Like pre-5am.
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were 5-8 mile runs, while Saturdays were usually reserved for longer distances.
  • They ran in the country and did hills, lots of hills.
  • They practiced the, “Galloway Method” where they would run one mile, then walk for 30 or so seconds, and then repeat.

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Although it was an adjustment, it was still an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience. I always feel 100x better after a run. Whether it’s the endorphin’s, or just the way my body’s made up, I’ll never know.

The La Crosse marathon was significantly warmer than Green Bay. It had quite a bit more hills, and although I was much more familiar with the route, it was still a much more difficult race than Green Bay.

We finished about 7 minutes slower than my Green Bay time, but I wouldn’t change anything about it. I ran with the most wonderful couple from my church and truly loved every mile of the run.

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3 weeks after the La Crosse marathon, my own mother ran her first 1/2 marathon in Green Bay. I was so unbelievably proud of her for dedicating herself to this race, even though she suffered from deep-bone bruises on her feet.

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So now what?

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