Running Update

While for the most part I've managed to push past my fear of failing, I've recently been struggling with other obstacles to my running the Marathon in January. One such obstacle has been the dark. We live in a "city of stars", which is to say that street lights have been all but outlawed in order to cut back on light pollution. This makes for a very, very dark run at 5:30 a.m. So dark that I can't see my feet, let alone the trail in front of me. 

When it was warmer, this caused me to fear that I'd step on a snake that had slithered onto the asphalt to warm himself. Now that it's too cold for snakes, I worry about other things. Strangers. Dogs. Being hit by a car. Breaking my leg. Running too slowly because I have to pick my way cautiously. I'm considering a headlamp. Anyone else dealing with this?

My other major obstacle has been my long weekend run. For almost a month, I've been stuck at the 14 mile mark. I keep hitting a wall, ending up walking the last portion feeling dehydrated, sick, and discouraged. Then, last week I read an article about refueling during the marathon. Runners were talking about eating candies, sports drinks, or energy gels whenever they ran longer than 75 minutes. This perfectly displays my newbie-ignorance. I had known that I'd use energy gels during the marathon, but hadn't even considered it for training runs!

Thus, on Saturday, I tucked an extra stick of gum and a few Hershey's Kisses into my pocket and set out. At the 60 minute mark, I ate a chocolate. {which, by the way, tastes like wax after you've been running for an hour.} Then I continued to drink water and chew gum. I couldn't believe the effect such a small thing had! After so many frustrating attempts, I finally finished 14 miles easily, even managing to push strong on the last mile. Suddenly, the Marathon seems infinitely more attainable.

Now, if only I could get my hands on some night vision goggles.

{image via Flickr}


Lauren said...

I ran in a 197 mile relay with a team of 12 people that went overnight. All night runners were required to wear headlamps and a reflective vest. The headlamps were very helpful. After a while it got a little itchy, so then I just wore it like a necklace, and that worked out great. I definitely recommend it.

By the way, I don't know you but saw your video about NieNie and have been following your blog ever since. Don't worry. I'm not a psycho. :)

allie said...

Hey I am not a psycho either, I started reading after the nienie video and have really enjoyed your blog.
For running I would recommend eating and drinking as close as possible during training to what you will do in the actual marathon. I have done 2 marathons and a handful of 1/2's and this has worked well for me. I also highly recommend shot blocks and luna moons.

Good luck!

MelancholySmile said...

Thanks for the great advice! I'll be buying a headlamp and some Luna Moons this weekend for sure. :)

Em said...

I will probably never (purposely) run a marathon in this lifetime, and think it's awesome that you will.

Good luck!

Erin said...

When I did a marathon several years ago, I drank a little every mile (water belt) and ate a vanilla Gu every other mile--I think the eating of Gu started a little ways in, not right at the beginning. My running partner and I taste-tested many kinds of gels and that was our favorite! It really does help for long distances--anytime we ran over an hour (and being that we are slow runners, that was frequently), we had Gu.

Best of luck to you! It's a wonderful accomplishment to move through the training, and you'll be glad that you did it.


Melissa said...

Also not a psycho and never comment on blogs that I don't know the person, but I happened upon yours from a friends and have enjoyed reading some of your entries.
I read this one and thought I'd give my advice. My husband and I ran a marathon a few years back and I have to agree with the Gu recommendation. It comes in a small enough package to easily store while running and it was by far easiest energy gel to stomach (I wasn't a fun of some of the other brands). Good luck!

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