I used to run. Yep. I ran 3 – 5 miles every other day. I loved running. Well, most of me loved running. My back didn’t appreciate the fact that I was running so it decided to retaliate with two herniated discs.
My running days are over. Oh, and let’s not forget that small issue I have with my balance. If I were to run fifty yards right now the inside of my head would be spinning as fast as the Road Runner playing cat and mouse with Wile E. Coyote after he pecked some Acme speed pills.
My 3 – 5 miles were enough for me. I didn’t have to run 26.2 miles to prove I was super human. I just wanted to feel good and stay in shape. However, on Sunday the 13th, thousands of dedicated, endorphin rushing, insane people will be putting on their racing bibs and running the course in the Bank of America’s Chicago Marathon.
Water was good enough for me for my meager mileage. I didn’t need those gooey packs or 8 bottles of water strapped to my waist like hand grenades to get me through. The lighter, the better. If anything, the music (when I could hear through my iPod at the time), was what got me through the miles. You kind of forget the monotonous motion and cadence, and really start getting into the music. I ran with the beat.
Running 26.2 miles with an iPod is not a good idea. I don’t think iPod’s have enough battery life for the average, non-Kenyan person to last the entire trek. That’s why you see marathoners without any ear buds. How do they do it? My mind would constantly say, “Are you F&*KING CRAZY! STOP! YOU’RE KILLING ME!!!”
Where does a runner’s mind go when they have to run for that long? What do they think about? The errands they need to run later on? Your kid’s crappy grades in 4th grade and how he keeps tossing pencils into the ceiling to see if they would stick? Are they thinking about a big, juicy steak after they run, or are they thinking about throwing up after they run?
Whatever their mindset (and, I’d like to hear from you marathoners out there as to what you really do think about while you run that long distance), one thing is for sure: You had better be prepared for your 26.2 cadence along the pavement of Chicago’s wondrous city.
I found an article for last minute training tips that perhaps would be beneficial to you crazy people out there for Sunday’s race:
1. Eat smart. Well, this is a no brainer. I’m sure the night before you don’t plan to booze it up with your buds. Experts suggest eating a high protein meal the night before, as well as high protein breakfast with a balance of carbs and fat so you can throw it up right before and/or after the race. They say to avoid alcohol and sugar. Whatever.
2. Get some sleep. Sleep is over rated. At least that’s what people tell me all the time. However, if I don’t get my twelve hours of sleep a night, I can guarantee a sick day the following morning. Anyhoo, they say to maintain a consistent sleep schedule this week and make sure you’re getting plenty of rest each night.
3. Check the weather. Dress in layers. Unless it’s going to be 90 degrees like it was a few years back, then just run naked with the exception of colorful running shoes. Cover up your privates with your racing bib.
4. Stick with what you know. Don’t go all ape shit crazy and decide to get creative and do something different on race day. Wear your same shoes you trained in, the same clothes you usually run in, and for the love of God, don’t start eating strange foods like blow fish or shark fin.
5. Pace yourself. Don’t get too excited. Have you ever seen a runner at the starting line get all pumped up and start jumping up and down and screaming he’s gonna win this one and beat those Kenyans?
I know. I haven’t either.
However, the experts say to run at a consistent pace, but also be prepared to adjust to weather conditions. I’m not exactly sure what the last part means. I think being prepared for weather conditions doesn’t mean running with an umbrella. I’ll let you insane runners figure that out.
6. Hydrate Regularly. Dehydration and over-hydration are both dangerous. Runners could experience a condition called hyponatermia if their fluid intake is greater than their rate of fluid loss from sweating. How you can maintain that is beyond me without an I.V. and I don’t see many runners on the street with an I.V. stand wheeling behind them.
7. Post race routine. Stretch and ice sore muscles immediately and then eat a meal high in protein. I say, go to the nearest ice cream place and order a banana split because you earned that sucker!
NO. That wasn’t right. I mean, Go Get ‘Em! Win Big! Just Finish the damn thing!