Friends, I am so very, very stoked. This is the very best part of my running season–those weeks when it’s just a wee bit too early to start training for real, but close enough to spend large parts of my day just thinking about how great it’s going to be. You know, before any hot weather, painful long runs, dismal failures or side-lining injuries make their appearance.
Normally I go from this heady sense of joy and optimism straight to despair when reality smacks me upside the head with how far I am from the runner I’ve imagined myself to be. In my head? Awesome, strong warrior woman. In real life? Painfully slow, middle-ish aged runner propelled forward not by talent and speed but good intentions and too frequent slices of chocolate cake.
But this year shows good signs for improvement. (See? “Improvement” not “Impossible time goals”–Better, right?) You know how sometimes you can not take in information until somebody says it in the exact, correct way? I have never understood “fueling” during long runs. Never. Blah, blah, blah X number of grams of carbs per pound at 60 minutes or at 40 minutes if runs exceed…. zzzzzzzzzzz…..
Zzzz…What? Did I nod off there for a minute? Perfectly understandable considering that Algebra is not part of my running plan. But recently, I read Run Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. (Awesome title. Somebody should totally put that on a tee shirt. I would buy one in a heartbeat.) Their section on refueling magically sunk into my brain because they laid out their suggestions in calories as well as grams. HALLELUIA! I got it! Since I, like many women have been on a diet since I was in elementary school (sad, but true) calories I understand.
So, apparently, if you are not a total doofus, when you are running long, say during a marathon, women should take in about 240 calories an hour. The twelve lifesavers I consumed during the entire race equals right around 120. Doofus. So, despite my reluctance to eat during a run (don’t know why, it’s my favorite pastime every other waking minute of the day) I will be ingesting something other than my standard circular mints this year.
Also, while listening to a recent Marathon Training Academy podcast I heard the magic words that glycogen is stored in your muscles. Well, duh. But wait! If you, like some I could mention, eschew all forms of strength/cross training to the extent that your gym’s hateful body-fat reading device calculates your physical make-up as being akin to a garbage bag filled with tapioca pudding, you will not have any sort of energy storehouse to draw upon.
The long and short of it is, I feel much better about last year’s marathon. It’s a freaking wonder I managed to stumble across the finish at all. THIS year is bound to be better. Look at how smart I am! PLUS I haven’t even told you about my secret weapon…
I am faster already.