I love food.
And I eat a lot of it.
So why is it that I just can’t get enough food to sustain a long run for marathon training, or for a marathon race? I used to be able to run long without fueling and be just fine. So why do I have to now? It is so frustrating. I think I was just lucky (and dumb) before and I really need to concentrate on doing things the right way. This mental thing that “it will never happen to me” is long gone and reality has woken me up. (see this blog entry to know why) Which is a good thing.
During my last marathon I hit a wall at mile 14. I had nothing left…. and I was barely halfway through the thing. The frustrating part was that I felt like a million bucks during the first part of the race.
And then a switch was flipped.
I tried eating the powerbar. Nope. Yuck! Then I tried the almonds. Gagged them back up. Then I tried the fruit bar. BLAH! It was disgusting. (I apologize to the person who had to clean up my mess.) I was struggling and there was nothing I could eat.
Then I spotted the most glorious thing… a banana! I gobbled it down… then another. And another. I spotted pretzels. I nibbled on those for the rest of the run, trying my best to keep something in my stomach. The wall was an ugly one and there was nothing but bananas that was palatable.
As I ran, my tummy growled. It sloshed around with all the water in there with nothing to absorb it. It was a huge mistake and I needed to learn from it.
So I have realized that once I hit that wall of “I ain’t got nothing left”, food just isn’t palatable anymore. I just can’t stomach eating anything. So what do I do about that? My friend, and running coach for ForWord Running, suggested eating something every four miles, before I even feel like I need food. GENIUS. Why didn’t I think of that? It makes sense to eat before you are starving and your body doesn’t have anything left. Why play catch up? Why make your body work harder than it has to?
I guess I am going to be one of those runners who carries the kitchen sink with then when they run, but ya know… you gotta do what your body needs. If you don’t have fuel to run, you won’t get far anyhow. So, I can’t wait for my next long run (which will be soon because I am training for another marathon) so I can practice my four-mile snack. Wonder what I will bring with me….