As I start down the many miles of path that will hopefully eventually lead me to the starting line of the Kansas City Marathon, I am trying to take some of the lessons learned from my only other marathon experience and apply them to my new experience. I think the two most notable lessons are the need to hydrate better during any run over 3 miles and focusing more on my weight.
I think my experience in the LA Marathon would have been made much better if I had trained to drink more and really TRIED to lose more weight instead of just relying on the extra miles to burn it off. I think the pain I experienced was mostly due dehydration and the failure to eat properly. I also think I should have been lighter at the start of the race. I was at about 175. I think about 165 would have been much better.
I am going to really try to encorporate drinking practice into my runs. I know this sounds silly, but I found it to be one of the more difficult things to do. The first several times I tried to drink at aid stations in practice races I either choked on the water and spit it out or I spilled it all over myself. Either way, I didn’t get enough and I think it hurt me. I tried drinking out of a Camelback, which worked better but the technology of the time at Camelback was really focused on mountain biking, not the bouncing of running. I found my Camelback kept me hydrated but the thin straps nearly sawed my arms off, leaving very painful abrasions on my chest and armpits. I have a new generation Camelback with softer, wider straps and a chest clip now, so I might try it, but I may also have to try one of the new belts with the smaller bottles. Either way, I have to find SOMETHING that works for hydration otherwise I’m wasting my time.
As for losing weight and getting down below that magic 170 mark… I’ve got a long way to go. I drank my last beer on Saturday night and said goodbye to a dear old friend, brownies, last night as well. Given my track record of only losing about 30 pounds a year so far, I’m not convinced I can make it. But I’m gonna give it one heckuva try. It’s funny that I would be more worried about being able to get to my target weight than I would be about running the mileage but it’s true. I definitely believe I can run marathon distance… I just don’t know if I can get to marathon weight in time. And this all complicates slightly the fact that I have to pre-register by the end of June. If I haven’t lost AT LEAST half of the weight I need to by then, I will have to seriously consider backing off on the marathon until the weight is gone.
Maybe this sounds weird and like I am obsessing on the wrong thing, but I just feel that if I am going to set such a lofty goal as running a marathon, I need to do it right and do it SAFELY. I don’t think my 40 year old body needs the stress of trying to run marathon distance with so much extra weight. It will be great when that day comes and I blog about how wonderful my marathon experience was. I just don’t want to do it from a hospital bed because I overtaxed my body and did serious damage needlessly. It’s not like there is only one marathon a year. And, who knows, if I do it right, maybe I can run another one. If I’m stupid about it, that will never happen.
Anyway, lots of veggies and carbs, a little protein and an ocean of water will be consumed in the next 6 months in a desperate attempt to make all this happen. Whether I ever actually run a marathon or not, increased exercise and improved eating habits can’t do anything but help, so I win either way!