Coach Margaret Dublo was born and raised in Grafton, IL where she currently resides with her husband, Chad and son, Samuel. Margaret is a graduate of Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville and works full-time as a Project Manager at a software development and telecom auditing company.
Margaret has always been athletic and played many sports throughout junior high and high school. She currently competes in many races throughout the year and recently ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in Orlando, FL. She was a participant in Team Challenge for the 2012 Half Marathon in Napa,CA and then went on to coach Team Challenge St. Louis for the 2012 & 2013 Las Vegas Half Marathons and 2013 Chicago 13.1 Marathon. Besides running, Margaret also enjoys cycling, traveling, rafting and hiking.
I am a St. Louis native who had never been an active participant in sports or, really, any athletic activity prior to becoming a runner last year. I began running in RunWell’s Recliner to Runner training program in 2012 and ran my first 5K that fall. Not only did I run the whole race (first time running 3.1 miles ever!) I also placed first in my age group! Feeling the “runners high”, it was time to find a new challenge.
Last year I ran my first half marathon - the Chicago All State 13.1 half marathon with Team Challenge. I can honestly say that the race was the most challenging, and most rewarding, experience of my life. I became a part of a warm, fun group of people that now includes some of my closest friends. The amount of support throughout training and during race weekend was invaluable. And crossing the finish line was something I will never forget.
I’ve now run three half marathons, I was a mentor last season for TC-Vegas 2013, and my newest challenge is becoming a coach! With my experiences over the last year, I know that I can support YOU in your training, fundraising, and growth. The program is more than just training, more than just raising money, it’s an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. I can promise you that – because I’ve done it. And you can too.
If you're planning on running or walking a summer half-marathon, the time to start training is NOW! The most important thing you'll need to get started is a good pair of training shoes, and the most important feature of a running or walking shoe is how it fits YOUR foot. Don't worry what the Olympic Champion wears, and don't think about what color the shoe is; the only things that matter are how the shoes fit on your feet and how they fit your personal biomechanics. (Of course if the shoes fit your personal biomechanical needs AND come in Team Challenge orange and blue, well that wouldn't be a bad thing!)
Happy feet = happy training!
Q: I’m not currently running or walking more than a mile or two at a time a few days per week. How will I be able to finish a half-marathon?
A: Your coach will design a program for you based on your current level of fitness, whatever it may be. You’ll gradually build your mileage over the course of the coming months until you can walk or run (or with a combination of walking and running) a ten-mile workout. From there, well over 99% of our participants complete their half-marathons.
Q: What kind of shoes do I need?
A: Everyone has different feet and biomechanics. The staff at your local running/walking specialty store will be able to fit you for these needs, as well as your mileage level, and the surfaces on which you train. To find a local specialty store, head to www.runnersworld.com/store-finder
Q: What’s a “GU”?!
A: “Gu” and other sports gels (PowerGels, Cliff Shots, Hammer Gels, etc.) are concentrated forms of carbohydrate about the consistency of honey. They are an alternative to sports drinks and are designed to provide athletes with energy for endurance activities. Each gel contains about 100- 110 of concentrated carbohydrate. Many half-marathons will provide gels in the later stages (around mile 10) to give runners and walkers an energy boost for the last few miles. Although they are generally pretty easy on the stomach, especially when taken with water, it’s always a good idea to try gels several times in training first before using them on race day.
Q: I had to miss three days of training. How do I make up the lost days?
A: You don’t! If you’ve missed anything less than a full week of training, just jump right back into the schedule. If you missed more than a week, talk to your coach about modifying your schedule to get you back on track.
Q: My fingers swell during my training walks. What’s going on?
A: Your heart beats harder and faster when you train, so blood is sent more forcefully to the extremities. Muscle action helps to return blood back to the heart, but many walkers don’t pump their arms very much when they walk (they should!), so blood pools in the fingers. Swollen fingers are more common with changes in temperature, during pregnancy, and when electrolytes are out of whack. Clenching and unclenching your hands, or shaking them over your head will help to pump the blood out of your swollen fingers.