Like a fool, I have grand plans to run a marathon in just 5 short weeks.
Running a marathon is not the problem. I crossed that one off my bucket list last year. The folly is that, like many 2nd time marathon runners, I have certainly shirked my training responsibilities.
Two weeks ago I ran the Cincinnati Heart Mini Half Marathon, having not run more than 9 miles in training this season. I kind of died. Not really. I actually did better than last year, even factoring in the fact that I got a bit–pukey–at around mile 11. I chalk it up to a combination of poor choices in food (Gu I had never eaten before), salt (something I have to take or I stop sweating) and lack of water. Together that did not make for a fantastic metabolic combination in my belly. So I put on a show for the viewers at the Purple People Bridge until a kind cyclist race assistant offered me his water bottle. That watered down the contents of my stomach enough to continue.
Lesson learned: at this stage in the game, it is not so much the physical limitations as it is the psychological and nutritional ones that will stand in my way.
My struggle at this stage has unfortunately been a marriage of the two, specifically my psychological control of my nutrition. I have been “maintaining” my weight loss for almost 2 years now. I’m not sure if the success is so much about what I eat as it is about how much I exercise to counteract how much I eat.
A case in point: This past weekend I went to yet another conference with my co-workers. My self-control on these trips is deplorable.
I started my day at home with a 11.5 mile run. I felt great. But it plummeted as my day progressed. We had a lacrosse game for the kids that ended with a White Castle sliders lunch. Then I had to head to Columbus. I had a monster steak (probably the equivalent of 3 servings) and mashed potatoes for dinner. And maybe three glasses of wine. Then maybe I had a Yuengling–or 5– after dinner. The next day, in a fit of I-blew-it-anyway-ness, I gorged on a McDonald’s breakfast, all-out Mexican lunch, and La Rosa’s Baked Buddy dinner. I probably consumed 4000 calories in that 24 hour period.
Then I wonder why my run that night I got back felt like there was lead in my feet. It was the hardest 5 miles I had run in a long, long time.
Now, I know there is a direct correlation between what I eat and how I feel when I run. I read Men’s Health. More importantly, I have learned to read my body. I know that processed food makes me drag. I know that starchy carbs and empty-calorie sugar make me tired, grumpy, and ineffective. I know that these nutritional mistakes are destroying my running.
So why did I have 3 servings of pretzels at school today? And a bag of candy? And 4 slices of Little Caesar’s Pizza (and maybe 2 pieces of Crazy Bread) for dinner? It’s like I want to psychologically and nutritionally sabotage myself.
All I know is this: I need to eek out a 15-18 miler tomorrow, but have nutritionally racked up a crappy foundation for it.
It’s like I am intentionally trying to set myself up for failure.
At least writing this prevented me from eating yet another slice of pizza for an evening snack…right?
I sure hope so…