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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Meet Tamara Aragon, Soon-to-be Marathoner

Imagine putting one foot in front of the other, then again until you're running. Then see yourself continuing to run for a total of 26.2 miles. Intimidating to think about, right?

Well, running those miles to complete a full marathon for Tamara Aragon is something she's about to make happen. And at one point, she says, it seemed daunting for her, too.

Aragon, a medical aesthetic technician from Phoenix, has prepared to run her first marathon on April 6. Over the last 2 1/2 years, she's been dedicated to running. In her quest to be healthier, she found that she really enjoyed the activity, and it was something she could do long-term.

She began with 5ks then moved her way up to doing half marathons.To date she has completed three half marathons.

As for her decision to run the marathon, she said it came up sort of spur of the moment. The fact that it's being held in beautiful Hawaii was one of the reasons she decided to do it. "I'm not sure if I'll do another marathon," she said. "And if I'm going to do it, I want to enjoy the scenery."

The fourth annual North Shore Marathon with sponsors such as Pepsi and Gatorade is being held in Haleiwa, on the island of Oahu. The community is known for surfing and being a popular tourist area. The race route starts in Haleiwa, then goes to Mokuleia where runners will see views of the beach and then back to Haleiwa.

When asked about feeling nervous, Aragon said, "I'm just ready to get it over with!"

By deciding to do the race at the spur of the moment, she's had a shorter than ideal training schedule of about two months. Even though she would've liked to have longer to train, she feels ready.

Her training schedule consisted of running three times per week and gradually increasing each run over the weeks up to 12 miles. The Saturday before the marathon was her last run, which turned out to be a half marathon.

Aragon's diet has been healthy during her training, though she's not following any particular meal plan. She makes sure she has a mix 80 to 100 ounces of water and electrolyte water daily. She has a specific carb-loading plan that she follows in the days leading up to the race, and for her last meal before the race, "I'm going to keep it light," she said.

Overall, she says she's ready. She wants to complete the run and is looking forward to relaxing in scenic Hawaii once it's over.

After the race, she and her boyfriend (who will be running with her), plan to celebrate their accomplishment by doing something that might seem as intimidating as the thought of completing a marathon -- they're going sky diving.

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