So, as I wrote yesterday, I looked closely at the six questions Runner's World asked of the new marathoner, and the first three questions, which I addressed in yesterday's post, yielded fine results, but the second three made me think closely about what it means to train for a marathon.
4. Are you eating for performance or are you just eating?
Crap. My achilles heel. My eating has never been like I imagine an athlete's eating is supposed to be. I eat healthy erratically and often eat all the foods and drink all the drinks I shouldn't. But the running is supposed to make up for those errors, right? After keeping a food journal for the assigned three days, I can see three things: 1. The night time is not the right time: Generally I seem to consume roughly two-thirds of my calories after 3 pm. I am good in the morning -- fruit, salad for lunch, but something changes in the afternoon and suddenly there are handfuls of chips, a big dinner, an evening with some ice cream. 2. I have a weakness for Chewy granola bars with chocolate chips, and an unnatural love of chips before meals (I get hungry while I'm cooking!). 3. I need to skim the portions down. I try to stick to smaller plates to eat my dinner, but sometimes I know I could take half a scoop less of something, but it just tastes so damn good. Like risotto. I made risotto with our Chicken Marasala (yummy) last night, and I L-O-V-E risotto, so even when I was full I went back for just half a serving more. Couldn't have done without it.
I guess I need to learn to balance out some of my meals, and definitely work on incorporating healthier food into my diet. Also, the RW article advises cutting "excessive" caffeine. How would one define "excessive"? Is a cup or two of coffee and a soda excessive? I can't live without my caffeine.
5. Why are you training?
For this, I was supposed to write five reasons why I want to run this marathon. Okay, beyond getting in shape, losing weight, and accomplishing a lifelong goal, I couldn't think of two more reasons. To prove I can? Is that a legitimate reason?
6. Do you have the right gear?
I bought new running shoes last fall, and in some ways they still feel like my "new" shoes, but I know it is time to trade them up. However, running shoes are expensive, and I can't just drop a hundred dollars on shoes every few months. Still, I know if I am to avoid injury and the loss of another toe nail, I should get over to the running store soon and purchase a new pair. Also, I still haven't been completely satisfied with my short situation, and I keep reading about this running skirt; I have to say that I'm skeptical, but thinking about giving it a try. Just worried about the chub rub. And lastly, gearwise, there is my MP3 player, which is wonderful, but which rubs my arm on longer runs. Does everyone else just lose the tunes, or do you grease up around that arm strap? Perhaps I should purchase a newer, lighter model. But again, money doesn't grow on trees, even in South Florida where many things are growing on trees.
In the end, I feel as though I tested pretty well, and even if I can't find five solid reasons to run, I think three is good. And new gear is probably needed, but not yet a dire emergency. But I do know that my diet will have to change over the next few months. If I shed a few pounds, think how much lighter my load would be as I run!