While I have known Sherry McGraw for some time now, it is only recently that we have worked together. I also work with Sherry's husband Bill and I've seen her running all over town in all sorts of weather conditions. We'd exchanged running stories here and there, but it was Sherry's desire to complete a marathon that brought us together professionally.
Sherry was targeting the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis, so I put together a 13 week training plan that included running and strength training workouts. We checked in fairly regularly and the training went remarkably well.
It is a credit to Sherry's discipline, open-mind and positive attitude that she was able to adjust and thrive on the plan she was given, even with the arrival of a new grandchild right in the middle of training.
Sherry adjusted her diet and lost 18 pounds during training! She also ran a personal best at the half-marathon distance covering the Iron Horse course in 2:11:40. This was nearly 8 minutes faster than her previous best and nearly 10 minutes faster than she ran on the same course last year.
Sherry was very well prepared to conquer her first marathon. However, as any veteran marathoner can tell you things don't usually go as planned in the 26.2 mile race. An untimely weather change and a crowded starting line left Sherry unable to warm-up properly, which left her vulnerable to a groin pull at mile 5 or 6. Being the tough and determined lady she is, Sherry fought the remaining hours and still managed to finish in 5:46:44 (chip time), six full hours after the gun. That takes a lot of grit.
I'm very proud to have helped Sherry reach her goals in these past weeks, and very much look forward to helping her tackle the next obstacle.