This is the first of a series of profiles on runners training for one of the Illinois Marathon races.
Name: Melissa Raguet-Schofield
Occupation: Just completed Ph.D in biological anthropology.
Melissa Raguet-Schofield thought she’d be running the Boston Marathon this spring. She qualified for Boston in Indianapolis in the fall of 2008. Then she became pregnant shortly after the marathon, so Boston was put on hold for a year.
She hoped to be running the race this spring, but it filled up more quickly than in the past, and she didn’t put in her entry in time. She’s now training for the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon on May 1.
“In many ways, running the Illinois Marathon would be more meaningful to me than running Boston, just because it will be a really great experience to run a marathon here in my hometown,” Raguet-Schofield said. “I’m disappointed about Boston, but the Illinois Marathon is keeping my spirits up.”
It hasn’t been easy to train, though.
Raguet-Schofield ran for the first time — just around the block — eight days after giving birth to son Will last August. She tried to keep it up for several weeks, but it was too painful for her.
And it was hard to find the time to get away for a run.
“(Will) had a rough start. He just cried and cried and cried all the time,” Raguet-Schofield.
As if that wasn’t enough, she was also finishing her dissertation in the months after his birth.
Getting back into marathon shape has been a struggle. She squeezes in her runs around her husband’s work schedule.
“It’s really tough. Really tough. (One day last week) I was just like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I can do this,’” Raguet-Schofield said. “I’m really, really slow. It takes me forever to run.”
It takes more out of her, and she needs more water, she said, probably because she is nursing Will.
Still, she’s looking forward to the race, and she completed a 15-mile run last weekend.
“It lifts my spirits to have the marathon and be training for it,” Raguet-Schofield said. “In many ways, I think it’s a blessing in disguise that Boston filled up. In the condition I’m in right now, I can’t imagine going to Boston and running it.
“I’m not doing this marathon for time. I just want to do it because it’s my hometown. It’s a unique experience,” she continued. “It doesn’t matter to me if I take all day to do it.”