In the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about running a marathon.
Not my idea, but a friend’s. After vehemently exclaiming it a terrible idea, followed by a period of reading up on the subject and thinking it over, I changed my mind. I downloaded an 18 week training program, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through it. I can now honestly say, what was I thinking?
In the last post, I mentioned I was 48. What was I thinking? A girl I run with in the neighborhood who is a seasoned marathon runner, (and in her late 20’s or so) had commented that when you start doing longer runs, you end up laying in bed the night before thinking, why am I doing this? I now wonder why I wasn’t listening to this sage statement.
Before I reached this point (which was only four days ago), I thought I might waiver so I actually found a marathon that sounded good–and by this I mean, small (less than 5000 participants), flat course, and great temperatures. This translated to an inaugural marathon in Baton Rouge in January. I bought plane tickets, booked a hotel, and registered for the marathon so I couldn’t back out. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
I’ve become obsessed. I scour the internet looking for tips. I don’t want to look like an idiot. Too late–did I mention I’m 48? I began to feel fatigued (not surprising, since I’m running so much), and realized that diet as well as training is an important part of the process. So I started cataloguing what I was eating, thinking that it was pretty healthy. The experts recommended 60% of calories coming from carbs, 25% from fats, and 15% from protein. I thought no problem! First day, I had 39% from carbs and 41% from fats. This was going to be harder than I thought. Carbs and fats just seem to go together, and trying to break that habit? Seriously, I’ve never been the sort to think butter buds are just as good as butter on a baked potato and I’m not likely to change my mind now.
I read an article that said a lot of what you want to get out of the training is to teach your body to perform when it is fatigued. No problem there, I’m certainly fatigued. Actually I’d consider it more like dog tired. Dragging, plug pulled, absolutely exhausted.
Miami does a huge marathon called the Ing Marathon. Their web site is amazing. One of the things that is amazing is they have a car that drives the route while recording it, so you can actually see the course before making your decision. It was absolutely a breathtaking course, through all the waterways. But even in a car, 26.2 miles is a LONG WAY! I got tired just watching the video!
I was telling another friend I run with about the video, and she in turn told me about a marathon where the guy that won third place got on a bus somewhere after the 20th mile. You can read the short article here.
Some of the comments were quite funny, and while I think the guy is a loser for accepting the third place medal, the visual imagery of a guy getting on a spectator bus at the end of a marathon and then getting off to finish third is actually a little comical to me. I quite agree with HowardD who commented:
If he was knackered, I have plenty of sympathy. He only needed to tell the organisers he caught the bus, decline the medal, and he’d have become a folk hero instead of a fraudster.
So now I’m committed. It may be horrible. I may have to crawl on hands and knees to the finish. Heck, maybe I will hit the dreaded wall and not finish. I promise however, not to use any other form of transportation other than my own two feet while trying to complete the race.