Sunday, September 27, 2009

Marathon Training

After a long time of neglecting this blog, I am going to try to turn it into a running blog again. This summer I've been getting more enthusiastic about running and have run in several events, including a 10 miler, 5k, and sprint triathlon. Then I became more ambitious and signed up for the Baltimore Marathon, hoping it would motivate me to step my running up to the next level. I only had about a month to train after I decided to sign up, so I immediately started doing long runs. The training has been pretty tiring.

Also, although I have been hoping to lose weight by running so much more, I have gained several pounds. I think it is because of the increased amount of carbs the training program requires. Also, trying to eat less was not working for me at all, because on days I did not eat enough I could barely make it through the runs and was forced to run very slow. So given the choice of running strong and gaining a few pounds or weighing less and possibly not doing well with the training plan, I chose to gain. Hopefully I will lose the weight after the marathon. From the reading I did online, the long runs change the way your body stores glycogen and often does result in weight gain.

My longest run was 23 miles, a week ago. Now I am starting the tapering period before the marathon so I did 15 miles today. The 23 miler was really hard. It took me 4 hours and 50 minutes and I had to force myself to run the last 7 miles by a sheer effort of will. The good thing is that I know I can do that for the marathon now. Running at that distance seems to be a mental thing as much as a physical thing.

The other thing is that I've been doing my runs alone as I usually do. It has been kind of nice to zone out and see what there is to see outside. I preferred running at night, especially in August, because it was much cooler and I didn't have to worry about the sun beating down. At night I felt like a wild animal running around, because after running an hour or two it cleared my mind and I really wasn't thinking of anything.

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