Ms. DiIorio, Marathon Runner: Catch Her Positive Spirit – – If You Can!


A photo of Ms. DiIorio running in a 25-K race up Killington Mountain in Vermont, which she used to train for her Chicago marathon.

Ms. DiIorio has been a tutor at Rectory School for about seven years. She lives in nearby Pomfret, CT with her three sons, Ben, Jacob, and Isaac.

Ms. DiIorio started running when she was in college at UMass, Amherst. About five years ago, she started running “Tackle the Trail,” a twenty-mile trail race on the Airline Trail, which starts in Pomfret and ends in Willimantic. Just two years ago, she started running marathons because she needed a new challenge in her life. She found that running long distances could give her the challenge she craved because she had to continually train and keep her body fit.

There are many different preparations that Ms. DiIorio must do to get ready to run a marathon, such as eating a lot of lean protein. She increases the amount of protein in her diet because she burns lots and lots of calories when she runs during the weeks leading up to a marathon.

So far, Ms. DiIorio has run two marathons, one in Niagara Falls in October, 2017, which started in Buffalo, New York and ended in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Before running this marathon, Ms. DiIorio trained in an 18-week online training program created by a former marathon runner named Hal Higdon. She found that this training program focused mainly on getting the miles in to increase her stamina for the actual marathon. For this, her first ever marathon, Ms. DiIorio’s race time was three hours and fifty-three minutes; she finished 8th in her age group. This is quite an achievement considering that professional women marathon runners finish the 26.2-mile race in about two hours and twenty minutes.

Her second marathon was in Chicago, Illinois in October, 2018. Before this marathon, she also did an 18-week online training program; this program was from Nike, and she liked it much more than the previous one because they did a lot of speed training. She really enjoyed this second training program because she learned a lot of new exercises and training techniques that she can do on her own. In her second marathon, Ms. DiIorio improved her race time to three hours and forty-five minutes. Wow! That’s incredible!

Ms. DiIorio, just minutes after finishing the Chicago marathon last October, 2018.

Before running a marathon Ms. DiIorio likes to stretch a lot and keep her legs and body loose, so she won’t get any cramps while she is running. She often uses a foam roller to stretch her muscles. She also likes to get a massage whenever she can to help loosen and relax all the tight spots in her body.

While Ms. DiIorio is running a marathon, she keeps a solid mindset. At the beginning of the race she wants to keep her pace slow and steady, so she doesn’t tire too quickly; towards the end of the race, it is all about keeping her legs going when they want to give out. There is a lot of mental toughness involved when running for such a long distance.

After she runs a marathon, Ms. DiIorio continues to use the roller on her muscles, and she gets plenty of rest because running that distance is a lot of stress on her body. She also stays away from strenuous physical activity for at least a week or two after the marathon. This is necessary to give her muscles time to repair and renew themselves.

Ms. Diorio plans to run more marathons in the future and continues to have fun while she is training for them. She credits her running success to the power of believing in yourself. She told us, “You can train your muscles to do the work, but, in the end, it’s all about training your mind to believe that you can accomplish your goals.”

We are all very proud of Ms. DiIorio’s running success and the goals she has set and achieved for herself. She is a great role model for all Rectory students and faculty. We thank her for sharing her training regimen and her positive philosophy with us; we can all benefit from her example!