Congressman trains 
for first marathon

Rep. Tim Ryan is hurting.

The Ohio Democrat is busy training for his first marathon, and while he says he’s enjoyed it, his body doesn’t sound too happy about it: “The sore back, and the sore knees and the sore ankles to prove it!”

But the months-long training and conditioning for this weekend’s 26.2-mile Cleveland Marathon is all being done for a good cause. The congressman is raising awareness and money for Project Welcome Home Troops, which teaches stress-relief techniques to returning military veterans.

Ryan, 38, told ITK in a phone interview, “I thought, ‘Well, if I’m going to do it,’ you know, ‘one of the issues I’ve really been working on is the vets coming home who are having all these issues with what they’ve seen and dealt with.’ ”

Besides wearing out his sneakers, Ryan says his training regimen also includes some sweat-inducing hot-yoga sessions, which help him with back pain and a bad knee that he hurt playing college football.

Ryan, who ran a half-marathon a few months ago, says he’s gained a lot of muscle and lost about 10 pounds. But it’s been a bit of a struggle fitting in runs while juggling his congressional duties: “It’s tough with the schedule just because the long runs, if you’re running 12 miles, you know that’s a two- or three-hour commitment there.”

He has yet to tell any of his colleagues in Congress about his marathon attempt, admitting, “I didn’t want to tell anybody until I was sure I was going to be able to make it.”

Now that he’s run 18 miles in his training, he’s confident he’ll be able to cross the finish line come Sunday. The early forecast is for a warm day, with a high temperature expected to surpass 80 degrees.

Ryan already has a plan in mind for once he reaches the end of the race, saying with a laugh, “I’ll probably drink a protein drink and then a beer. Maybe not in that order.”