Friday, August 19, 2011

Bismarck ND Marathon... 28 days and counting.

I'm pleased with my training for the Bismarck Marathon.  I've pretty well followed my schedule to a tee minus a couple of dropouts due to fatigue.  I skipped one speed workout a few weeks back because it just didn't feel right and I cut this week's hill workout in half because of full-body fatigue.  The heat's made things tough, but not unbearably so.  I've also decided to take two consecutive rest days prior to the long run on Sunday.  As I mentioned to a friend the other day, it's all fun and games until the training dips into the 20+ mile zone.  This is when the body becomes weary and the potential for injury rises significantly.  This coming Sunday calls for 22 miles.  Last Sunday was 20.  Funny, 22 is still daunting even after all these years of running.  I still get a little anxious; go figure?

Interesting that I haven't had a GU or any other gell for many months.  I've almost entirely switched over to Fig Newtons for my long run energy food.  They're loaded with potassium, quick-burn carbohydrates, and they taste like real food (unlike the Frankenfood I used to consume on long runs).  I pack a half-dozen in a baggy and down them with a slug of Power Aid every 30 minutes or so.  Past symptoms of nausea have disappeared.  In talking to an elite athlete friend of mine she tells me she packs sandwiches, gummy bears, chips, but no gels, on her 50 to 100 mile runs.

Back to the business of Bismarck....

The course has been reconfigured due to flooding in the area.  Full marathoners runs the half-marathon course twice giving a whole new meaning to "twice the distance, half the fun."  This requires the full marathoners to run the hill leading to University of Mary twice, at mile 5 and again at mile 18.  Ouch.  The hill is one mile in length with a 4% - 5% average grade.  A couple of questions...Why is the spike higher in the second hill?  Why is the profile of the two hills different?  I thought it was the same hill.  Not sure what's up here... or down for that matter.  I hear that the view at the crest is amazing.

It's the same hill so why are the profiles different?

The fact that Bismarck is even holding this marathon in light of all that water is a testament to the spirt of the American mid-West.   Kudos to the race director and the team for their courage, dedication, and especially their Joie de vivre.  This will be a race to remember!

This is what your friends are really thinking when their eyes glaze over as you discuss your pace, your resting heart rate, your personal best, your personal worst, protein shakes, your blood pressure, minimalism vs traditional vs barefoot, tempo runs, lsd's, speed, intervals, Garmins, benefits of running, and all that other jargon that keeps us uptight and anxious.  No wonder their eyes glaze.  Non-runners just don't get do they? They don't understand, how could they?

No one understands an injury like the sidelined runner. To all you injured, I understand your frustration.  I know how it hurts.  I appreciate the ache inside that permeates.  Been there.  I get it.

I'll be seeing some of you on Sunday for a slow dance.  Until then, it's a good day to be alive.