The adventures of an unlikely pair. Follow us if you dare....

Friday, June 28, 2013

The One Where Alex Is Fighting To Get Enough Time In The Gym

For the third week in a row, work is becoming a 60-80 hour week. I took a few hours Wed night to watch a movie with Lauren just so we got a few minutes together that didn’t involve driving to or from the gym. This is a physical and mental strain that is having effects on my gym work. Wed was a bit of a disaster (25 min cardio, and that was it), because I was mentally still working and not relaxed. I ended up jamming my knee while on the elliptical, and that was all the confirmation I needed that I wasn’t all there.

However, we have gotten into the gym Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so I’m really proud of the fact that we are keeping the gym at a high priority.

I’ve been eating fairly healthily, with a notable exception on Monday as we celebrated my birthday. This is the typical 2nd week weight gain that I’ve come to expect when getting into a new gym routine. If my body responds like it has in the past, I’ll be sub 250 by this time next week.

I’m finding that it’s difficult to do the cardio, but the resistance training is working great! I may try to add a little bit more of racquetball to the routine so that I don’t get bored with the cardio machines. I really struggle with boredom both in running and in cardio machines. I have music that I listen to, but that doesn’t always help (like Wednesday).

Lauren has been super supportive as we have gotten into this routine, and I’m extraordinarily grateful to her for that.

Next week’s goal is to get into the gym before work at least once. I’m absolutely NOT a morning person, so it’s hard to will myself up early enough to go to the gym.

What do you all do when you get bored on a cardio machine? How do you deal with getting up early and working out before work?

Thursday to Thursday weight change: +1.4 lbs.

Total weight change (from 253.8 lbs on June 13, 2013): +0.4 lbs.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The One About Running On A Budget

Thank you all for all of your comments (and text messages) on my last post about adjusting to marriage, I really appreciate knowing that I’m not just weird, high maintenance and rude. I realized after I started receiving comments and texts that I really should acknowledge just how hard this is on Alex as well; I mean the poor guy just had some girl essentially take over his apartment. I move in with all my stuff, take over his closet, over-fill the kitchen, cover the bed with too many decorative and unnecessary pillows (his opinion on that) bring my 2 dogs, wake him up every morning at 5:00am, drag him to the gym with me each night, and make him watch friends with me all.the.time! The guy is a saint. But all that aside, at the end of the day we are both very blessed to have the things that we do, to have jobs and our health, to have a full house and full kitchen and to most importantly have each other to spend our lives with. Everything else is just pieces of our lives that will always change and evolve as we continue our journey together but what won’t change is each other.

But to continue with the theme of adjusting to married life let’s talk about how marriage has affected my racing schedule; this is a running blog after all and we all know that I love to run my races but this racing season is going to be a little bit different.

In the past when it came to choosing and signing up for races I really had no method to my madness; it was simply, see a race I liked, checked the calendar to see if I had that weekend free and sign up. It didn’t really matter the cost or where is was so long as it was somewhat close and not a ridiculous amount of money. Now my marathons I obviously planned a little bit more meticulously but once I had my marathon picked out I would then just fill in my calendar with half marathons and other fun races to make training less boring.

BUT the price adds up, in both time and money. Just because a race cost $75 doesn’t mean that’s all you have to spend. You have to take some sort of transportation to get there, you might have to buy GU and other gear. Will there be a hotel stay involved? All of that adds up, the sign up fee is just the beginning. Then you have to factor in the time, while I usually run for fun I do a lot of times have a goal in mind and I like to put forth the best effort I can at each race, it did cost money after all so training for it only makes sense to me. So that means time to train and that means time away from something else. Obviously before dating these things were hardly an issue, I only had myself and my time and my finances to consider. Then once I was in a relationship this still wasn’t really an issue because we both respect each other’s hobbies and we wanted to encourage each other to be ourselves even while in a relationship.

Well now things ARE different. Now I have someone else’s thoughts, feelings and opinions to consider when it comes to how I spend money and how I spend my time. While this is not always easy this is something that I WANT to do out of love and respect for my husband. It is something that I knew was coming and have fully accepted (ok maybe not fully accepted but I’m working hard on that part) as a part of my life now because I chose a marriage with Alex over everything else.
So what does this actually mean for my running and racing? As far as running is concerned, not too much, I will still run a lot and I still have goals and things I want to achieve. But as far as racing is concerned it does mean that I probably won’t race quite as frequently as I have in the past. I keep telling myself that ultimately this is a good thing but I love my racing so much.

All of that being said I do in fact have several fun races planned and “not as much racing” doesn’t mean “no racing” I have just had to be more mindful of what I am signing up for and when.

After much (read: many, many) discussion about this I feel like Alex and I have come to the same page as far as racing and hobbies are concerned. For me running is important to me because it makes me feel good about myself the way nothing else has. It allows me to feel successful and accomplished, that’s worth something to me. But as a couple Alex and I also have financial goals, and other goals in mind for us, our marriage and our future and so those things have to be considered as well.

So here are a few tips that I have been using as I am learning to race on a budget:

1.   Plan Ahead! (and choose your races wisely)
This is something that I probably don’t necessarily need to tell a runner, if you run and have a race in mind then most likely you are a natural planner. But in this case I am talking about planning in regards to which race to sign up for and when. For example, Alex and I are on a monthly budget, he’s much better at than I am but I am very thankful for it. Each month we sit down and talk about the expenses we will need for that month, what bills need to be paid, what extra stuff we have coming up and so forth. (Even though we did not live together before we got married we actually started combining SOME of our finances and budgeting together this past winter when we were planning and paying for our wedding ourselves. This has been very helpful to already have established coming into marriage!) We usually each get a little bit of spending money that we can do whatever we want with and so with that in mind I know that over the next several months I will be signing up from one race at a time with a little bit of my spending money. I have to know ahead of time what races I would like to do and I have to know how much they are and when the best time to sign up for them is so I can budget accordingly, and I have to choose wisely since I only get to pick a few!
Another example: I knew a while back that I wanted to run an early December marathon (details next week!) I also knew that I wanted to “go away” for this race. So with that in mind I made sure to sign up early to take advantage of not only the time to save for said trip but also to take advantage of the early bird sign-up fee, which leads me to point 2…

2.   Take advantage of the early sign-up fees.
If you have already planned ahead there are some races that you can do this with, some you can’t though. A lot of races offer scaled pricing and if you sign up very early on you can save anywhere from $10-$40 on your entry fee.

3.   Run for a Cause.
There are a lot of races these days that have charity partners and there are so many to choose from. Sometimes if you agree to raise a certain amount of funds for the chosen charity you can either get a discounted entry fee or sometimes even have it waived. (a word of warning, some fund raising groups REQUIRE a certain fund raising goal and if that is not met then you are responsible for the difference, just be sure and double check before agree to raise a huge amount!) This is something that I actually just did for the previously mentioned December marathon (any guesses yet on what I’ll be running??). There are often perks to running for charity as well, not to mention the fact that you are helping a good cause, so take some time to find out about the charities you are interested in and see if there is a race you can run in their honor.

4.   Become a race ambassador.
I know that this one is often a long shot but it never hurts to at least try! I recently reached out to a couple of races and applied to be an ambassador, one I’m still waiting to hear from but I do know that I will be doing my very first Duathlon thanks to Espritde She! This is something that I have always wanted to do and this provided me with a great opportunity to work with a company that I support as well as do a fun race and try something different.

5.   Volunteer.
A lot of races don’t offer ambassador programs and even if they do you are not always guaranteed to be chosen, but one thing you can do is volunteer. It depends on the race and the company but in the past I have volunteered for races in exchange for entry fees into future races. I find this to be very rewarding! Not only are you giving back to a community that you spend a lot of time in and not only are you getting to enjoy being a spectator for the day but in the end it’s all for something that you really love doing.

6.   Be flexible, find a balance and make sacrifices
This one is one that really is hard for me but the one that I’m working the hardest on. I know that this fall my racing schedule will be very different than it has in the past, but I also know that it’s ok. When I got married I chose to take into account someone else’s desires and dreams along with my own and so making a sacrifice here and there is ok. If I don’t get to run a particular race this year then there is always next year. I plan to use my racing season this year to be more purposeful and focused. I won’t be running as many races and therefore that means the ones that I do get to run have got to count, no bummer races for me. Part of me is excited for that. I have my eye on possibly doing my first ultra early next year and so for that to happen cutting back on races and focusing on distance and back to back weekend runs is probably exactly what I need. I also really want that sub-5 marathon time so hopefully less racing means more time to focus on getting that marathon time down.

So there you have it, those are my tips on how to race on a budget. I will be using all of those this fall as I look forward to running and racing again. I gave myself all of May and June off to not race and just focus on the wedding and enjoy being married but July 1st I’m kicking back into gear and starting up my weekly workout posts again. I will also be making a few race announcements on Monday as well!!

Do you have any more tips for running and racing on a budget? I’d love for you to share them because I’d like to continually add to this list as time goes on. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The One Where I Feel Completely Out Of Sorts

I don’t adjust well to change; it’s something that I am aware of and therefore make every effort to improve that part of me but mostly I’m just a creature of habit and really struggle with any type of change. Even small changes like doing a different workout on a different day than I usually do or mixing up my morning routine can really throw me off for the whole day. I try hard not to let it control me and I try very hard to remain a flexible person but bottom line is I thrive on consistency.

Needless to say marriage has really disrupted my normal way of living; but don’t get me wrong, it’s for the better I am just having a much harder time than other’s settling into it. Adjusting not only to a new house and new bathroom and kitchen and new routine but also living WITH someone else is hard.

It’s hard to wake up at 5:00am when my husband gets to sleep for at least 2 more hours. It’s hard to try and be quiet as I shower and blow dry my hair (and let’s face it, that’s just not quiet at all!) and it’s hard getting dressed with very little light so as not to disturb him any more than I have to.

It’s hard to not have my doggies with me in the mornings since they now sleep in their kennel and it’s hard to adjust to a new kitchen and just my overall morning routine.

And all of this has really just left me feeling out of sorts during my whole day. I’ve been a mess and all over the place ever since we got back from our honeymoon and our trip to Indianapolis. I haven’t been able to settle into a new to me routine where I feel comfortable and productive and like I’m on top of my day. Instead I feel like most days I’m just dragging through my days trying to stay afloat so that I can try again tomorrow.

For example, I have the ability and convenience of riding public transportation to and from work, it generally takes about a half hour longer each way but its cheap and effective and I’m able to read and relax. But lately I’ve been opting to sleep the extra half hour and then hurry out the door and drive into work, barely making here on time each day, not a great way to start my day. It’s nice to have that little bit of extra sleep and it’s nice to have a little bit more flexibility than the train schedule allows but the gas adds up and I feel so much better when I stick with my normal routine of riding the train that I really need to not drive into work.

Subsequently when one part of my day is out of whack the rest seems to follow suit, for example my eating habits. While I have cleaned up my diet tremendously from what it was while on our honeymoon and Indy trip it still isn’t perfect. I find myself snacking a little more than normal for that extra pick-me-up that is required due to the way my day started. And I am definitely drinking way too many calories! I have been holding strong to my New Year’s Resolution of no soda for a whole year, it’s been 6 whole months and I haven’t had any at all! But the sweet tea has become my drug of choice to get me through my days and it has GOT to stop! Starting next week on July 1st I’m making a change there for sure.

And working out, well that’s getting better but it’s still not great. This past winter and spring I had a weekly schedule all nailed down that worked great for me. I had gym time, running, cross training and it all fit and I made it happen. But now that we have switched gyms I’m still feeling that out and trying to find a new normal at this gym. I am also trying to be flexible in my workouts to help Alex find a routine as well so that’s make it hard to find my own balance. I’m trying to take advantage of working out with Alex while we can (before he starts law school this fall) so I’m trying not to stress too much about it and enjoy our time to work out together but I am really craving my pre-wedding body and motivation. Thankfully on July 1st I start half marathon training again and that will also be the pre-training for my late fall marathon that I will tell you about later this week, so hopefully things will start falling into place.

Anyways, all this post really is, is me complaining about how my type-A personality doesn’t like the lack of control I seem to have on my new routine. I know that I will work through it and that I will find that new normal very soon but for the moment I am frustrated. I love being married and sharing my life, I really, really do; I could not ask for a better husband who affords me the time to work these things out and who is patient with me when I complain about how hard adjusting seems to be. He doesn’t take things personally and for that I am very grateful. Honestly part of my problem is I like spending so much time with him, I’d much rather do that than go to bed at a decent hour or go for a run or wake up an extra half hour earlier but life must go on and I know that eventually we will find the rhythm that works for us.

Are there any married people out there who had a hard time adjusting to their new life like me or am I the only one?

Any tips on how to make it easier?

Friday, June 21, 2013

The One Where Alex Is Sore

Surprisingly, my second weekly installment doesn’t include pictures of me dead, slumped on a piece of cardio equipment. I’ve survived a week of “getting into shape”, although barely.

This week was one of those unpredictable work weeks where I didn’t know whether I was gonna be able to leave the office at 6:15pm or 7:30pm, but it was guaranteed that I would have to log on again at 9:30 or 10pm to do even more work.

Therefore, Monday was a bit of a wash when it came to working out. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday involved trips to the gym for 45min of cardio and some resistance after.

You can tell that I haven’t been in the gym in a long time. First, I’m really sore. Second, you can see the “water retention” bump in my weight about mid week.

I absolutely can’t wait to get past the “Just started working out” phase, and get back to the “I know what I’m doing” phase.

Thursday to Thursday weight change: -1.0 lbs.

Total weight change (from 253.8 lbs on June 13, 2013): -1.0 lbs.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The One Where I’ve Been Cheating

I have a confession to make: I’ve been cheating on my 24Hour Fitness gym membership this past week with a new gym.

Yep that’s right, a new gym.

Now, before you go and judge me let me explain myself. And let me also reassure you that I am not actually giving up my 24Hour Fitness membership either, I would be stupid if I did that considering I only pay $50 a year for an all-club membership (yep, perks of being a previous employee).

Anyways, although I have a 24Hour membership that I use 2-3 times a week, and although Alex has a facility at his work where he could get in a decent workout it just wasn’t quite working out for the both of us, ok, it wasn’t totally working out for Alex. I was able to make my membership work for my needs but Alex has really been struggling. If you read his post last week when he hijacked my blog you will know that he has a few goals and is ready to focus on achieving them.

So that led us to this new gym that just opened right up the road from us. It’s called Fitness Connection. Apparently it’s a national chain but it’s new to our area. They have been running a special for $9.95 a month, no contract. We were skeptical at first thinking that maybe there were other fees involved or that you had to pay for classes or the amenities and such but we decided to check it out anyways.

We went this past Sunday and we were pretty much in shock over this gym. I have to say, I’ve seen my fair share of gyms and I’ve worked in quite a few gyms and for several different gym chains and this one is pretty nice. It does help that all the equipment is BRAND NEW but honestly there are some really nice perks about this new gym.

For example:

They have racquet ball – this is something that Alex loves to play and it’s what kept him in shape through college. It was a big draw for him and so having that available and at no extra cost was very exciting to him. I actually took a racquet ball class college so I do know how to play and I’m excited to give it a try with him.

Cardio Cinema – this is something that I saw a long time ago at Gold’s gym and I thought it was a brilliant idea. The cardio cinema is a room with a movie theater sized screen and a whole bunch of cardio in the dark. You get to watch a movie while doing your cardio. Brilliant I tell you! I haven’t been in this one yet but I’m really excited to try it out.

Women’s only workout – while the gym doesn’t necessarily scare me all that much I do think that for a lot of women the gym can be intimidating so this is also another really good idea. There is a room adjacent to the women’s locker room that has a full body circuit of machines, some free weights, mats and other equipment and it’s for women ONLY! The women also have their very own cardio cinema room as well!! I haven’t actually worked out in there either yet because it’s always packed but I really like the idea of it, especially the women’s only cardio cinema.

New Equipment – I mentioned this already but seriously, it’s so nice to workout at a gym and not see signs all over the equipment telling you that it’s out of service. On any given day at 24Hour there are usually at least 5-6 pieces of cardio that are being unused due to them not working. I like knowing that if I have speed work that needs to be done there is going to be a treadmill somewhere in the gym, either on the cardio floor, or in one of the cinema rooms that I can use. Another really cool thing is all of the cardio machines have IPod docks! I was able to listen to music from my phone by plugging into the treadmill and it charged it up for me while I was doing that! Free charging anyone?

Working out together – I would say that the best perk of all with our new gym membership is that we get to workout together. I really, really like this and while in the future our schedules might not always work for us to go together we still always have that option, especially on the weekends. It’s nice to be able to share an active lifestyle but still be able to enjoy the things we each like best.

I’m excited to go back tonight for the 3rd night in a row! And I think that my mom will be coming too and hopefully joining as well. I miss spending time with her now that I don’t live with her so this would be a great place for us to meet up in the evenings and take a class together or watch a movie together while working out! ßso freaking cool that you can actually do that!!

Do you have a gym membership? If so why do you like your gym?

Friday, June 14, 2013

The One Where Alex Takes Over (A Weekly {ish} Installment)

I’m not really much of a blogger. My blog sits there collecting dust, only to be used when I’m in a particularly fiery or bored mood. I’m also not much of a runner. I don’t put in the requisite miles, and I only finish the races through pure determination and willpower. However, I am big on feeling good, eating well, and having fun.

This is where my life intersects with running and blogging. With all that has gone on in the last 9 months or so, I’ve found that I wasn’t feeling as good, eating as well, or having as much fun. Most of that stems from work. I work a job that is consistently stressful, unpredictable, and draining. It’s very much a great job and one that I like, but it is laden with lots of responsibility, hard work, and unknown working hours.

After trying to devote a proper amount of time to a burgeoning relationship, maintaining a menagerie of pets, and keeping up with responsibilities to church, friends, and family, I was struggling to find enough time to devote to good food, good health, and having fun.

For a while, tennis was my physical outlet. I would force myself to play, even when I had many other responsibilities looming. It got cold, and work got busy, so that stopped. Then it was a packed racing schedule. Then it was nothing. I tried biking to work, working out after work, working out over lunch, and a variety of other things, but they wouldn’t stick. My schedule was unpredictable enough that I couldn’t get into a routine. Even when the lunch workout was sticking to an extent, the near-crisis tempo of work on the runup to the wedding (trying to tie up all loose ends before i left) ended up breaking that habit 2 weeks before my time off.

Thankfully, where the exercise was lacking, the food was going well. Lauren has documented some of the dietary changes we’ve tried, and we are eating well at this point. However, eating well without working out isn’t enough, as I found out. I found my weight creeping up very slowly, even despite eating well, and working out a little bit each week.

As I alluded to before, this all came to a head during the run-up to the wedding. I was sitting at a moderately overweight, but very manageable 231.2 lbs 3 weeks before the wedding. Coming out of the honeymoon and our trip to Indy, I’m currently sitting at 253.4 lbs, a gain of 22.2 lbs in 5 weeks. This is all of 5lbs lower than my maximum weight ever, which was in high school. Granted, I’m much healthier now than I was then, I’m still a solid 50 lbs over where I feel comfortable calling myself “a healthy weight”.

Here’s the plan. Throughout the summer I’m going to work hard to get to 200 lbs, getting to a healthier weight and establishing good habits which will be necessary when I start law school at the end of August.  I’ll also shoot to be in shape to set a PR of at least 8 minutes at a fall half marathon (My current PR is 2:18). I’ll also try to document my progress weekly (give or take), as I go through the journey of getting rid of all this extra weight and get into better shape. My goal date is August 31st.

I picked up running when I was not at my peak physical fitness. I’ve never run a race at less than 225 lbs, so I’m excited to see what my body can do at my college weight (195-205 lbs).

Get ready for all sorts of graphs, analysis, and detail, as I take a ton of data and process it when I work on my weight. I will likely weigh daily, and won’t hesitate to post all that data up here.

Also, and finally, I’m very much a fan of conversational blogging, and will try to monitor the comments section.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The One With A New Kind Of Race

A few weeks ago I was made aware of a race series called Esprit De She that is put on by Athleta and Lifetime. It is a series of races meant to make fitness a fun and social environment for women. As I searched the website I was excited to see all the different types of races they offer ranging from 5K to triathlon and even duathlons; I was even more excited to see that this October they will be hosting a duathlon in the DFW area. At that point I reached out to the racing series and contacted them for information about the race and how to help promote their great events and I am happy to announce that I will be working with Esprit De She as a race ambassador for the duathlon this coming October!

I am beyond stoked to not only represent a great idea and racing series but also to participate in my very first duathlon! My sister Rachel and I have recently taken to cycling and have both expressed interest in doing either a triathlon or duathlon and this provides us the perfect opportunity.

It’s no secret that I love racing and running and it’s pretty safe to say that I’m in my comfort zone when it comes to toeing the line of any road race, and even an occasional trail race. However, biking is still very new to me and even though I’ve had my bike for quite a while now I really am not all that comfortable on it. I also know that the only way I will become more and more comfortable is if I spent time on it, just like I did with running. This race gives me the perfect excuse to make biking a little bit more of a priority so that I can get to that point. If it were up to me I’d stick with my normal runs and weight-lifting at the gym but I know that I desire to do more therefore I need to challenge and grow myself in other areas.

I’m still in the process of researching the best way to train for a duathlon and I’m still learning a lot about how to train on the bike. This is all new territory for me but I’m excited to learn. I have one early fall half marathon on the books but otherwise this will be my main focus for a while. If you have any tips for training for a duathlon or know of any good resources I would love any input I can get.

I am very excited about this opportunity to work with Esprit De She as well as train for a new kind of race! I’m also really excited to share that journey with you all as well as Rachel and I prepare to DU Dallas! Anyone want to join us?

Click here to register!

*Please note that I have been given a free race entry by Esprit De She in exchange for helping to promote their race series. All training is done on my own without their supervision and any opinions I have of this race and the company are all my own.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The One About Getting Back On Track

As of today life is officially back to normal. Well, a new normal actually if we are being honest. But after a month of wedding preparations, the wedding weekend, our honeymoon, unpacking, organizing, cleaning, going to my brother-in-law’s graduation in Indianapolis and attempting to settle in to our new life we are finally staring normalcy in the face. We have had a whirlwind of a month and each turn reminded us just how truly blessed we are but now it’s time to find our rhythm as a married couple, and more importantly it’s time to get back to putting our health back on our priority list!

I have so many things to share with you guys, I really do. So much has happened, so many pictures to go through, so many fun things to share and it’s going to take me a while to get through everything, so you will have to bear with me as I edit pictures and write posts and share about the fabulous month we just had and all at the same time get back to regular updates on working out, eating healthy and daily life.

Here is a little sneak peak of all the things you can hope to see in the next coming weeks as I get the blog back up and rolling:

Our wedding weekend – we were blessed to have so many friends and family members come to McKinney for our big weekend and we in no way wanted to leave them wanting for things to do so our wedding weekend involved a Wedding Shower Brunch, our Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner, a Wedding Day 5K and then of course the wedding itself.

Our Vermont Honeymoon – we stayed in a wonderful little cabin in the town of Fairlee, VT and had the opportunity to rest, take lots of day trips, eat lots of great food and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Vermont. We also spent a day in Boston at the very beginning of our honeymoon.

Our new apartment

Our whirlwind trip to Indianapolis to see Alex’s brother graduate from high school this past weekend.

My training plans – My race schedule is going to look a little different this fall and while I’m still working through it and making plans I am excited to share what’s coming up next for me. The marathon distance has really intrigued me and you will probably start seeing more of those in my schedule for the future. I will also be trying some different distances and race types as well (more on that tomorrow with a fun announcement!) Add to that I will be back to cleaning up my eating starting today and I will also be talking more about that in the coming weeks.

So all of that to say you’ve got a lot of blog reading ahead of you and I’ve got a lot of writing and sharing to do!

And speaking of sharing… I do want to mention that I was contacted a week ago by Fathom Events in regards to the release of Spirit of the Marathon II. I unfortunately did not get to see Spirit of the Marathon when that came out and so there was no way I was going to miss this one. I have attached a portion of the email that was sent to me for you to read. If you are interested in finding a theater and getting tickets to you go here. This is only showing tomorrow night so don’t miss it! I will for sure be at my local theater tomorrow night! Let me know if you have any questions.

“Spirit of the Marathon II” Races Into Cinemas
Featuring Inspirational Stories From Seven Motivated Competitors Running The Rome Marathon 

NCM Fathom Events and Competitor Group Take Audiences
Through the Training and Challenges of Facing the Famed 26.2 Mile Race
In Select U.S. Theaters on Wednesday, June 12

The road to the finish line of a marathon is paved with individual stories of motivation, determination and triumph. Set against the sweeping backdrop of a 26.2 mile marathon race through the historic streets of Rome, Italy, “Spirit of the Marathon II focuses on seven inspiring individuals whose lives will forever be transformed by the experience. NCM Fathom Events and Competitor Group present this highly anticipated sequel to the 2008 award-winning documentary “Spirit of the Marathon” in select U.S. theaters on Wednesday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m. local time. Audiences will be transported to six countries for an intimate “up close and personal” look into the runners’ lives and the challenges they face – both physical and emotional – on an epic journey where finishing the Rome Marathon is anything but certain. The event also features inspirational interviews with marathon greats Stefano Baldini, Paula Radcliffe, Frank Shorter, Kathrine Switizer and others as they offer perspective and insight into this legendary race and its history. This one-night event will include behind-the-scenes interviews, deleted scenes and memorable outtakes from the filming of the documentary.

Tickets for “Spirit of the Marathon II are available at participating theater box offices and online  For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).  The event will be broadcast to more than 600 select movie theaters across the country through NCM’s exclusive Digital Broadcast Network.

Film producers, NCM Fathom Events and movie theater circuit partners AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group will donate a portion of the proceeds from the “Spirit of the Marathon II” event toThe One Fund Boston to assist those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during the 2013 Boston Marathon on April 15. The Competitor Group, along with organizations representing all facets of the running industry, has launched to raise money for The One Fund Boston and promote the sport of running.

“Spirit of the Marathon II” is a passion project made by marathon runners and accomplished filmmakers Jon Dunham (director) and Gwendolen Twist (producer), who led a team that includes three-time Academy Award® winner Mark Jonathan Harris (executive producer) and Academy Award® nominee Megan Williams (producer).

“In the sea of humanity at the start of every big city marathon, each individual has reasons to run that go beyond 26.2 miles,” said 25-time marathoner Dunham. 

“It is our intention to bring these stories into focus with the ‘Spirit of the Marathon’ documentaries,” said Twist, who recently qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon.
Filmed during the sweeping panorama of the 2012 Rome Marathon, the documentary brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon veterans, including:
  • Julie Weiss – Veteran Marathoner – At the Rome Marathon, Julie began a quest to run a marathon a week for a year to honor the memory of her father on an emotional journey to spread awareness and raise money for pancreatic cancer - the devastating disease that claimed his life.
  • Ylenia Anelli – First-time Marathoner – While struggling to keep her mom-and -pop running shoe store open in Milan and raising two children, Ylenia takes on the challenge of training to run her first marathon.
  • Vasyl Matviychuk  – Olympic Marathoner Hopeful – The elite marathoner trains with the pride of country in his heart in hopes that a fast time at the Rome Marathon will earn him the last spot on the Ukrainian National Olympic Team.
  • Mimmo Scipioni – Veteran Marathoner – The good-natured, hard-working owner of "Pizzeria Il Podista" (The Runner Pizzeria) in Rome, Mimmo has lined his pizzeria’s walls with photos and trophies from the more than 40 marathons he has run.  It is a pre-race tradition for runners to carbo load with Mimmo.  For Mimmo, the family tradition of running the Rome Marathon is in jeopardy due to a nagging injury.
  • Domenico Anzini – Veteran Marathoner – Prodded by his cousin Mimmo, it took a lot of convincing for Domenico to give running a try. Now, 18 years later, the 73-year-old has run in every Rome Marathon since its inception. The camaraderie and humor the cousins share during their training runs goes to the heart of family.
  • Cliff Scott – First-time Marathoner – Scott’s bucket list decision to run his first marathon in his 60’s is an inspiration unto itself. When faced with an unimaginable family tragedy he struggles to make peace with himself during training runs in the woods. It is painfully obvious that his loss has taken its toll and calls into question whether he will be able to finish the Rome Marathon.
  • Epiphanie Nyirabarame – Two-time Olympian – One of the few professional runners in Rwanda, Epiphanie proudly represents her country around the world to create change for women. Having been deeply affected by the genocide in 1994, Epiphanie uses her resources to invest in her community, advocating for progress and growth, especially for the future generation of runners.
NCM Fathom Events teamed with Dunham, Twist, Harris and Wasserman Media Group in 2008 to bring the documentary “Spirit of the Marathon,” which chronicled the journey of six runners in the 2007 Chicago Marathon, to hundreds of U.S. movie theaters, many of which sold out. The documentary has emerged as a cult favorite in the running community. 

“’Spirit of the Marathon II’ is more than a sports event – it’s an opportunity for runners and non-runners alike to come together as a community in their local movie theaters to experience seven different inspirational journeys with each of these runners,” said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of NCM Fathom Events. “The 2008 event featuring the first ‘Spirit of the Marathon’ drew tens of thousands of attendees. ‘Spirit of the Marathon II’ is a must-see for those who run and those who don’t. It’s an extraordinary experience for all.”