Six Days To Marathon

Tonight, let me talk about food.

One of the reasons I was compelled to run was to get back in shape. I'm slightly obsessed with staving off the aging process to prove I still "got it." My metabolism ain't what it used to be, so I thought: run far, stay in shape. My personal health philosophy is that I'd prefer to exercise more in exchange for eating whatever I want. I know the clock is ticking, and I won't be able to eat what I want forever, but I'm gonna live it up.

There are tons of articles and websites that describe stringent diets you should adopt while prepping for the marathon, but I haven't altered mine much at all. After eating Kaelyn's birthday cake in February I've basically sworn off desserts, only giving in a handful of times (I mean, they were Girl Scout cookies).

What I found interesting was, in those first few months, I really wasn't losing weight. I figured running 25 miles a week would knock off a few pounds, but nothing really happened. It wasn't until the past few weeks that I noticed I was slimming down. The weekend after my 20-mile run, I felt like I was in my college playing shape. Again, this was while I ate whatever I wanted, except sweets.

Now things get really interesting: the last week before the race, your diet is all about the carbo-loading. For someone who doesn't really think about what I'm eating until I'm hungry, this is a little much. I'm going to have to load up, perhaps even gain some weight as I reduce my running, so my body has enough to get through the marathon. Towards the end of this week, I'll be eating like a guy on death-row.

When I wake up early next Sunday, I'll eat a bagel. During the race, I'll drown myself in Gatorade and eat a couple of energy bars on the course.* Even though many people I know [and trust] have urged me to eat the GU (an energy gel high in carbs designed for endurance athletes), I've read too many people who say the texture is like phlegm. No thanks, I'll stick to carb intake plan.

And Sunday after the race? I'm getting some ice cream.


*One of the most bizarre things I've done during training is learning to eat on the run. I though it would be worse than it was. In fact, I'm able to eat an energy bar and run another couple of miles before needing a drink to wash it down.