Sunday, May 2, 2010

First month of training a success!

96.5 miles later, and not one pound lighter, I have completed my first month of marathon training! Here is what hitting pavement has taught me:

  • The hardest part of training is motivating myself to run. There are a million excuses, good ones, not to get up and go. It i much harder to lift myself off the couch or out of a cozy warm bed than it is to haul my butt around town for 2 hours. Go figure.
  • Like any athlete, wearing your running uniform makes magic happen. New running clothes that fit well help with the motivation. When I know it is going to be tough to get outside for a run, I put on my running shorts and fancy sweat wicking shirt. Then my roommate asks me if I went for a run or if I am going for a run. Then I have to go.
  • When all else fails, have a lucky charm. Mine is my Boston Marathon windbreaker. It is never really cold enough for it, but I feel super cool wearing an official jacket that says Boston Marathon 2008 ( the grey one in the photo above). I tell myself that people think I ran a marathon and that I must be super cool. People can't think that unless I go outside with it on. And the jacket has magic powers. That make me run faster. And farther. Like a Kenyan.
  • You only wear cotton socks on the long run once. Then you realize why people spend so much money on fancy socks at the running store. Who's the sucker? I was.
I know I have caught the marathon virus because I look forward to running, and use it as a way to procrastinate from doing other things (research, grading papers, etc). Am I sick or what? In my state of mental illness, I have developed some goals for the next month of training (everyone needs goals!). First, I am going to build the long run up to 14 miles by the end of May. I will be running half marathons on a regular basis soon! Second, I need to start to cut the sweets out of my diet. No more hot fudge sunday rewards for a good run. Only fro-yo, a few times a week. Sugars, sadly, have got to go. And the final goals for the month is to get my 6 mile loop down to 1 hour flat. That will hopefully translate into a marathon finish time under 5 hours.

Last but not least, here is the report for the gel fuel field tests:

Jelly Belly Extreme Sportbeans, cherry: Eat them if you never liked jelly beans in the first place. Don't eat them if you want to ruin the taste of jelly belly forever. They just taste like salty little Jelly Belly. Like if buttered popcorn and cherry made high sodium Jelly Belly babies. Gross. At least they were free.
To make it up, the running gods finally delivered a fuel source that has NO gag factor. Hard to believe, right? Honey Stingers gold gel tastes like honey. No other yuckies. So if you like the task of honey, and don't mind taking down 36 grams of it at a time, your gel savior has come. Now, I just need to find a case of it on sale...

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