By Amanda Pellegrino
“You trained longer for this marathon than Kim Kardashian’s marriage lasted,” senior Kayleigh Migaleddi read on a sign along the path of the Marine Corps Marathon. You know how it feels to cross the finish line, she thought to herself. You know that feeling. So let’s do it again.
Migaleddi, 21, ran her second Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, clocking in at 4 hours and 15 minutes, a whopping 50 minutes faster than the time of her first race.
“My goal was 4:45,” she said. “But once I reached the 4:45 pacer, I knew I could go faster. I caught up to the 4:30 pacer, and before I knew it I was running with the 4:15 marker and there was no way I was going to stop.”
She ran for The Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides local housing to the family members of veterans who are in the hospital.
The nursing major, who hopes to eventually be a military nurse, comes from a long line of military family members, one of the reasons the Marine Corps Marathon and The Fisher House Foundation attracted her. Her father is in active duty in the army, which forced her family to move around a lot when she was a kid. She attended 11 schools in 11 cities over 21 years.
“I’ve lived in Colorado, Georgia, Germany, Virginia, Kansas, New York, Maryland, Hawaii, Oklahoma, another city in Maryland, and then back to New York,” she said quickly, as if she had recited this list hundreds of times before.
Her frequent moving prompted her next goal: run a race in every state.
“Right now I have the east coast kind of covered,” she said. So far, she has run races in Hawaii, Colorado, DC, Virginia, New York, Maryland, Florida and Pennsylvania.
But before her first Marine Corps Marathon, the only race she had ever run competitively was the Army 10-Miler. After her first marathon, though, she was bit by the running bug. She ran three half-marathons, and two 10-milers in between running the Marine Corps Marathon a second time.
Her training schedules vary depending on each approaching marathon. For her first marathon, she focused on endurance, following the “walk/run” method which slowly increases the amount of miles she runs each week. For the second marathon, once she knew she could finish a full 26.2 miles, she concentrated on pace, keeping herself between 9:15 and 9:30 minutes per mile, and creating a schedule that she knew would work best for her.
“I run four to five times a week,” Migaleddi said. She considers a light run to be anything between six and ten miles, while a long run is between 10 and 23 miles. She changes her Asics sneakers every three to four months because of the amount of miles she runs per week.
“I’ve never been a runner,” she said. “I’ve always swam and did field hockey and tennis and then I came here and didn’t want to play any varsity sports. One of the nursing majors mentioned that she had run a marathon and that seemed cool.”
Even though Migaleddi hasn’t been running for very long, she has been hooked by the sport and she hopes to continue running for as long as she can.
“I saw old men and women in their 60s running the marathon next to me and I thought ‘That’s what I want to do’.”
Migaleddi’s next plan is to run the Nike Women’s Marathon next fall in San Francisco, California, where finishers are greeted by firefighters in tuxedos who hand them an official Tiffany & Co. necklace.
“What more could you ask for?” she said.
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