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updated: 11/3/2013 10:18 AM

Pelkowski: 'I tell my children regularly that you can do anything if you try'

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  • Carolyn Pelkowski

      Carolyn Pelkowski
    Courtesy of Carolyn Pelkowski

 
Carolyn Pelkowski,
Aurora

Amazing. Insane. Crazy. Awesome. Those are just a few of the responses I've heard when I tell people I am running a marathon this fall. True words? Potentially, but this journey is one I've wanted to take for many, many years, and nothing's stopping me now.

Why do I run? I never really thought about why I run, but I suppose my answer is because I can. I tell my children regularly that you can do anything if you try. Words I live by. In the more than 10 years I have been running, I have finished many 5Ks and 7Ks, two triathlons, four half marathons and a 20-mile race; now I'm ready to tackle the full marathon.

What inspires me to run? Running is my "me" time and an opportunity for me to mentally challenge myself to be the best I can. I have some good days and some bad days in running, but the great thing about running is that tomorrow's a new day to do it all over again.

Why I am running Naperville as my first marathon? It is actually a funny story. I have a good friend who had run only a half marathon and was looking for another challenge. I've always wanted to run a full marathon and I told him that if he signed up, so would I. He actually signed up! So here we are, 10 months later, training together, sharing words of advice and passing along encouragement. Thank you Dan!

How have I trained for my first marathon? I joined Naperville Running Company's marathon training program and run with a group on Saturday mornings for my long runs. I have a friend and running buddy who, while not training for a race, meets me at 5 a.m. for our weekday runs. Her daily support has been a pivotal part of my training thus far. Thank you Suzanne!

What are my expectations heading into race day? As with any race I tackle, my ultimate goal is to cross the finish line, but ideally, I would like to finish in 4:45.

Who inspires you to run? I have three amazing and incredibly supportive people in my life who inspire me and encourage me to be the best I can be -- my husband, daughter and son. They are my No. 1 fans. They have been there for me at the end of almost every finish line and their proud faces remind me that as much as they inspire me, I am inspiring to each of them.

As I head into race day, I know I'm not going to qualify for Boston or set any records, but I know I will complete the race and be my own personal hero. I've wanted to complete a marathon for many years and while this will be a long and tiresome 26.2-mile journey, it will be one I'll never forget!

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