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Hi fellow Marathon Dynamics Runners et all:
Just a quick (well, as quick as I ever send..ha, ha!) message out to those in our coaching groups and using our customized training plans this season, and a number of others near and dear to my running heart to say...THANK YOU!!!!...for all the well-wishes (in person, by phone and by email), prior to my meeting with marathon destiny this past weekend, and an even bigger thank you to all those of you who have flooded my inbox, and phone line with messages since! (an those I met up with there at the Missy Marathon apres race too!)
Though I've been a runner for over 25 years, a nationally competitive track, road and x-country racer, a provincially competitive half marathoner, studied marathoning for over 15 years, coached marathoners for almost 10 years, and at some point in each of the PREVIOUS 17 CONSECUTIVE RUNNING SEASONS (dating back to the fall of '97) declared myself "in training" for a marathon--every single one of those seasons was at some point, derailed by injury (most poignantly the fall of 98 season's attempt, which ended at the 30km mark of the Canadian Int'l Marathon itself, my first and only attempt, till this past weekend, at the marathon distance).
In the process of course, I've learned a great deal about marathoning (ie. we always learn more from failure than success), and have, I truly feel and hope you feel similarly, become a pretty competent coach for those who aspire to conquer the marathon distance, so this journey has been a fruitful one, and a very personally rewarding and enriching one to be sure.  I've had the opportunity to work/run/play with and train/coach some terrific runners such as yourselves to more than one thousand successful marathons.   But every season, every year that went by, the yearning, the ache, the fierce desire to do one myself burned and boiled.
And so it is with great pride and satisfaction (and no small amount of relief!) that I can finally, incredibly, claim to be a marathoner! I can't tell you how tumultuous a ride it was...or maybe I can--over a beer at the Marathon Dynamics season end party in a couple weeks, eh? 
I've been overcome (both emotionally and logistically) by the deluge flood of congrats that I've received in recognition of what has been a truly lifelong odyssey I can't possibly get back to over 100 of you in person right away, so I'm sending this email out for now...and will do my best in the coming days and/or week to do so individually!'s the "just the facts, ma'am" version:

Finishing Time - 2:52
Finishing Place - 11th
Age Category Place - 1st
Top Mississauga finisher at the Mississauga Marathon to boot!
Feeling at the finish line of the marathon after 8 1/2 years of trying to get there....priceless!

It is said that a picture says a thousand instead of writing another 7000 words (amen!), I thought I'd include 7 choice pics in GIF (lo res) format (hopefully didn't clog up your inbox too long!) which form a kind of "photo journal" at the culmination of my journey.  Take a look...pretty accurate "storyboard" of the hour after I crossed the finish line!

Most of us have heard the expression "you never truly fail until you give up"...and I suppose that my journey here reflects that, and is a testament to my character (or my stupidity, eh?)
A long time ago, I was told by very highly esteemed sports medicine professionals (and then retold/reconfirmed by others since then) that not only should I give up running in the future due to the hopeless state of my biomechanics and physiology, not only that I should have stopped a long time ago, but that I should never have even started!   Now, as those of you who are "wired" similarly to me, that's just about the worst thing you can say to someone who loves running with all their heart, especially if you want them to stop!
And so began my extraordinary battle to "find a way to win", to achieve what many very learned pundits within the sport deemed near impossible, or at least pure madness.
The result - a very strong marathon performance (if I may say so myself) despite some rather inauspicious numbers/facts going in:
# of miles per week (avg over 19 weeks) - 23
# of miles/week over final 6 weeks -  <20
# of runs per week (over 19 weeks) - less than 2 1/2
# of speed workouts - 0
# of hill workouts - 1
# of injury set backs through season - 6
# of days before marathon of last injury onset - 9
So for any of you who have experienced marathon set backs and difficulty, and began to wonder if the marathon is for you, and if all the struggle, disappointment and frustration along the way is worth it...I'm hear to proclaim, loudly, proudly, emphatically....YES IT IS!  If the desire to run a marathon, or simply to run any distance, stay with resourceful, flexible, adaptable, humble, optimistic and determined as hell....Together, we can find a way to make it happen!
I'll save the race day play by play for my individual chats/discussions/email follow up with any of you who are interested (it's a doozy of a tale, rest assured!),  but let's just say it was one heck of an emotional ride!
I spent yesterday and most of today following up with and catching up on the absolutely incredible results that our Marathon Dynamics clients had this past weekend--mainly at the Missisauga 5K/10K/Half and Full, but also in the London (Ontario) races too, and I'll have a detailed report out soon, but for now, just a quick, very heartfelt and richly deserved

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S    T O    Y O U    A L L !

We did great!  (though it was a touch breezy down there at the Missy Marathon Sunday morn, wouldn't you say?....ha!)
We'll have an e-newsletter or bulletin out very, very soon with the deets on our upcoming MDI Summer Fall 2006 Campaign - Customized Plans, Coaching Groups, etc, so watch for that...we start up formally the first week of June (with an early bird "1 mile trial date" or two thrown in in the last week of May for you "keeners"!)
And a reminder about the season end/season start running parties we're hosting on Thursday June 1st in Oakville (7pm at O'Finns) and Friday June 2nd (7pm at the Granite Brewery...we'll put a dedicated email invite out shortly, but feel free to confirm your attendance is limited at both affairs (25 at Oakville, 50 at Toronto)
Cheers for now, gotta run (well, hobble!)
Coach Kev (aka "Marathon Man"...ha, ha)
PS - thanks big time to Laura McIntyre, my "physiotherapist sent from above"  of Urban Athlete (and herself the owner of a 2:52 marathon PB...kindred spirits we are now!) for managing against all odds to get me back on track time and time again, by working her magic on my "Ferrari engine clamped on a Chevette chassis" of a body (as it's been described) 
PSS - also big thanks to Darren Weldrick, MD Coach extraordinaire, for his help in joining me at the 32km mark and running me in against that already legendary 35-40kph headwind we had to face for the final 17+km, while getting "inside my head" to keep me on task and on track to to help "bring me home".  Withouth his help I think I might still be out there on the course. Man, if anyone ever doubted the value of "race day coaching" over the close of a marathon--please take my word for it--it is indispensible!
Kevin Smith
Marathon Dynamics Inc.
(905) 891-3197      fx: (905) 271-7311     
"The Mind Leads The Body"