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Fox Valley Marathon ... in their words

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 5:32 a.m. CDT

After Sunday’s Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon, the Kane County Chronicle asked numerous marathon runners how they put their mind at ease the night before the race. Here are some of their responses:

“Eat a big pasta dinner, sit on the couch and relax. Meditate and visualize my time.”

Nancy Blum, 43, Elmhurst

“I watched TV. ‘Oh, good. Notre Dame’s up, [the St. Louis Cardinals are] doing good, I’m going to go to bed.’ But Notre Dame won and St. Louis lost.”

Justin Gillette, 29, Goshen, Ind. (Sunday’s marathon winner lives outside South Bend, Ind., and is a Missouri native)

“Went out with my friends. We had pasta. You try to do as much as you can and not think about what you’re supposed to be doing the next day.”

Jeff Grant, 32, Batavia

“My boyfriend (Stephen Cortes) gets very worked up in his head. Other runners would understand that intensity on his face, so I do the complete opposite. I just try to stay calm and not think about the race.”

Chenae Jackson, 36, Stuart, Fla.

“Read. I read a lot. My thing is not really running. I don’t think of myself as a runner. It’s not about running. It’s about just zoning out and thinking about nothing. So to relax myself to get ready for it, I just zone out and think about nothing. I read, you know, but I’m not really critically analyzing it, just breezing through it.”

Marvin Jones, 26, York, Pa.

“As the Bill Bowerman quote goes, ‘The hay is in the barn.’ All the training that you’ve done has gotten you here, there’s nothing else you really can do, so there’s no sense in worrying.”

Michael Kranz, 31, Milwaukee

“Just hang out with family and friends. Relax. You do get stressed, but you’ve got to kind of get to the place where you’re not stressed out.”

Angela Meltzer, 28, Manhattan (Ill.)

“I actually was an usher in a wedding last night in Grand Rapids. I feel like that was a good thing because I was so distracted with that. But it was in the back of my head knowing that I was going to have to drive out here late at night, not get a lot of sleep.”

Dustin Mier, 28, Grand Rapids, Mich.

“I train with my brother, so it means a lot to us. We’re independent runners. It’s no Olympics or anything, but to us it means so much. People don’t understand why we go out on the weekends and do this day in and day out for long-run training, so the way I try to mentally prepare myself is to think about what I’m running for, who I’m running for and all the hard work my brother and I have done together. We’ve come a long way. It’s really emotional.”

Billie Rodriguez, 28, Chicago

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