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Lew’s First Marathon

by Meghann on December 1, 2010

No need to fear


Maddie the watch dog is here!


I don’t know about you guys but I feel A LOT safer with her patrolling the grounds. 😉

IMG_9316 IMG_9317

She was making sure now bad guys swooped up my lunch today.


Because – trust me – my left over pizza needed serious protecting.



As did my carrots. 😉


Don’t worry – the cherries were consumed at the office. No protection needed there. 😉



Lew’s First Marathon

I met Lew and Ashlee at the Foodbuzz Festival last month and instantly fell in love with their bubbly personalities. At the time Lew was tapering for his first marathon and I told him he had to send me his recap as soon as he crossed the finish line. You can check out his and Ashlee’s blog at

On March 25, 2005 I was sitting in a turn lane on my Harley Davidson Motorcycle in Nashville, TN when I was run over by a truck pulling out of a gas station. When I was taken to the hospital my family had been called and told I was going to lose my right leg. However, I am forever grateful for the surgeon who walked in the OR that day with all intentions of saving my leg. After numerous surgeries and months of rehab I was back on the mountain in Whistler, Canada in January 2006 with my snowboard in tow. Since then I have been able to resume all of my past activities snowboarding, kayaking, hiking, scuba diving and running. Last December I ran in the Saint Jude Half Marathon and decided I was going to run a full marathon in 2010. So, that is what I did. I finished a full marathon. It was not at all what I expected but I am glad I did it.

Here are the 10 things I remember most from my marathon running experience:

10 fun Facts

1. First 4 miles I couldn’t see because my glasses were fogged up.

2. At Mile 4 I had to use the porta potty. After waiting five minutes in line I used the restroom and as I started to run again my pants fell to my ankles

3. I was lapped by the first few marathon runners at mile 11

4. At Mile 14 I had a chocolate covered donut

5. After mile 14 I was never passed again

6. My donut hit me at mile 18, but had to wait till 20 for another porta Potty

7. I will never run another marathon until I weight 200 lbs or less

8. I was never out of breath the entire 26.2 miles:

9. My wife found me at mile 25.5 and went with me the rest of the way

10. Because I finished after the awards ceremony there was only one piece of Pizza left 🙁

photo 4 

I finished the Chickamauga Marathon in Fort Olgelthorpe,Ga, and I guess really that is all that matters. The race began at 7:30 in the morning. As I finished the first mile I felt great. Everything was going perfectly, except for the fact my sunglasses were foggy and I couldn’t see a thing. As the first mile came to an end I had to use the restroom but there was not stop until mile four. Although we were in a forest and there were many places I could have slipped off to relieve myself the rules clearly stated we couldn’t use the bathroom anywhere but the provided porta potties.

As I approached the fourth mile I could see the line of 15 women waiting at the porta potties. While I waited for over five minutes I cleaned my glasses, re-tied my shoes, and realized that I ran the first 4 miles a at a 9:30 min. mile pace. (Which is great for me.)

Once I was able to get to the restroom I was done quickly but within the first 5 yards my shorts fell because I forgot to tighten my belt, thankfully I was wearing compression shorts. After pulling my shorts up from my ankles I quickly resumed my steady pace. I was feeling great other than my glasses fogging back up. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad.

My pace felt great, I wasn’t passing anyone, but no one was passing me. As I continued my run the sun started to come out from behind the clouds, I was warming up and my glasses were unfogging but pain was starting to appear in my right leg. At mile 11 I looked up and saw that someone was running really fast past me and I thought “where have they been all day?” I then realized this was the first of the marathon runners lapping me. After watching them disappear into the distance and turn off to the right my right leg began to cramp. (I weigh 245 lb. and from my wreck I no longer have the entire muscle in my right calf. This definitely causes some discomfort.) At this point I decided to just push through the pain because surely it would go away but within the next couple hundred yards my right quad began to cramp up. When I looked down at my Garmin 305 I realized that I was going a lot faster than I ever anticipated. I was 1/2 mile ahead of my 5.5 hour pace I had set for myself. I decided since I was doing so well I should take the time to walk out the discomfort thinking it would not take that long.

Once I made it to the half point I was at 2 hr. 45 min. and my leg was feeling a little better. I thought I should walk until the 14 mile marker to make sure the pain was gone. At the 14 mile marker was a water station and I began to get excited because I saw a box of chocolate covered donuts and they were nice enough to let me have one. Someone commented to me “Are you really going to eat a donut while you run a marathon?” and my response was “Well, the carbs can’t be that bad.” Once I finished my donut I tried to run again but with every stride I felt my leg cramp up. I was so frustrated! I was not even out of breath but I had to quit running because of the pain in my leg. I continued walking and trying to jog every few minutes.

From mile marker 14 not one person passed me the rest of the race. I had many people running behind me but my walk was still faster than their run. Around mile 18 the donut hit me. I still had two miles to get the next porta potty. At mile 20 I used the restroom and then realized I was no longer going to be able to finish under my goal of 6 hours. At mile 23 I realized I only had a 5k to go so I tried to run again but was only able to run about 1/4 mile and my right leg was completely numb. It was a great moment around mile 25.5 to look up and see my wife.

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Ashlee walked with me until we passed the 26 mile marker and then took a short cut so she could get some photos of me crossing the finish line.

photo 2 

Photo 3

I felt very accomplished and proud of myself as I crossed that finish line.

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I might not run another marathon but I definitely will be going for a PR next time I run a half.

Photo 6 

People ask why I put myself through the pain, they ask why I chose to run this race. This is why I ran this race.

photo 7 

I want my twins, LB and Daisy, to know the importance of exercise and achieving something. I want them to appreciate pushing themselves to the next level in life. I want them to know that their mom and dad care about their bodies and their health and I feel that this is one way I am able to show them.

Way to go Lew!

1 Amanda (Eating Up) December 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Am I the only one who loves pizza MORE the day after? I don’t even like leftovers, but I make an exception for pizza!
Amanda (Eating Up) recently posted..Thanksgiving Recipes- The Appetizers

2 Jess@atasteofconfidence December 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I enjoyed reading the marathon story- and such cute babies!
Jess@atasteofconfidence recently posted..A trip to the mitten state

3 Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life December 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Thanks for sharing Lew’s amazing story! You pizza is making me hungry at work!
Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life recently posted..Christmas Time is Here

4 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I love this story!! Lew, your kiddies are adorable. Awesome job – you’re an inspiration! 🙂
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..A word about restaurant salads

5 Kelly December 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Haha I read this like last week and was cracking up about his pants falling down! Way to go Lew!
Kelly recently posted..Roommate Dinner

6 Christin@purplebirdblog December 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm

What an awesome recap!! You go boy!! And those sweet babies are the cutest!!
Christin@purplebirdblog recently posted..Roommate to the Rescue

7 sarah December 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Lew just made me cry with that pic of his kiddies!!! Congrats, Lew!!

8 grocery goddess jen December 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Yay for Lew!

And you just increased me craving for pizza for dinner ten-fold. 🙂
grocery goddess jen recently posted..Since We Last Spoke

9 Amanda December 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm

That’s a great, inspiring story! Made me tear up a little at my desk 🙂
Amanda recently posted..Thanks

10 Matt December 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I need some pizza stat 😉
Matt recently posted..You Know Your A Runner When…

11 Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous December 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Oh man that end got me! How cute are his twins?!

12 Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm

oh my – what a wonderful story!!!
Lisa (bakebikeblog) recently posted..Will run in the rain for tofu

13 Ashley December 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm

That story is so amazing, makes me want to run a marathon even more.
Ashley recently posted..Chocolate stops panicking

14 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) December 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Great story! I love this series.
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..On Not Counting Calories

15 Kiran December 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Way to go Lew! Such an inspirational and moving journey of your life 🙂
Kiran recently posted..Pumpkin Cupcakes

16 Lee December 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I love this story!
Lee recently posted..A Tale of Two Chilis

17 mindy @ just a one girl revolution. December 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Great job, Lew! You’re an inspiration!!
mindy @ just a one girl revolution. recently posted..opportunity

18 RED December 1, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Great recap of the race! Congrats on finishing your first marathon!!

19 Jessi December 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Which of the selections in the Garmin Forerunner line do you recommend? I know you have the 205 (or at least I’m hoping I’m remembering right), but do you suggest a different one? Just looking for things to add to my Christmas list :-).


20 Lacey @ Lake Life December 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Isn’t Maddie usually the “bad guy” trying to steal your food? 😉
Lacey @ Lake Life recently posted..Columbus was a pilgrim…I swear

21 Sana December 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Lew you are amazing! And your kids are so lucky to have parents that care about being healthy!
Sana recently posted..Lazy Girl’s Lunch

22 Michelle @ Taste As You Go December 2, 2010 at 10:10 am

What a great story, Lew! Congratulations on your major accomplishment!
Michelle @ Taste As You Go recently posted..Food Memories of the Jersey Shore and the Giveaway Winner

23 Hannah L. (Hannah Lives) December 3, 2010 at 3:03 am

I literally cried at the end of Lew’s recap. I know it wasn’t mean to be sad, and I’m not crying because it is. I am crying because it is so moving, and inspiring. It was the perfect mixture of laughter, love, and reality. Him and the babies?! Oh My. Tug at those heartstrings and harder, and they might break. Cheers Lew!

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