I was surfing around, seeing if I can soak up any running advice or motivation, when I ran across A) this helpful list of "Top Ten Marathon Newbie Mistakes." I want to add my own comments to the hydration point--yes, it's good to be hydrated. But for me, I think I run the risk of being OVERhydrated. I've done it before during even short runs on the treadmill. I get thirsty fast, because breathing through my mouth dries it out fast. So I drink more, but the sloshing sound in my stomach makes it rather uncomfortable, and makes me stop running sooner. I once used chapstick to alleviate the feeling of dryness--so I should remember to bring that along with me to the exercise room tonight.
So, I'm starting to wonder if my thought of buying a Camelback is a bad idea. It's extra weight with water I don't really need. There are water stops like every two miles, and surely I can train to go that long without water or Gatorade. I'll wait and see how training goes before I decide.
Then, I ran across this article about newbies ruining someone's precious marathon experiences. Yes, I do think there are more and more people signing up for marathons lately--I think that's why the Chicago Marathon sold out in only 6 days, when the previous record, set last year, was 31 days. (glad I joined up just in time!) I think the can-do and "just do it" culture is helping people realize that they CAN reach their goals. The times may not be the best, but the distance can be done in the time allotted.
I think this empowerment is helping. There is an increased focus on general fitness, and for some, their motivation comes from completing races. Like the Chicago Marathon. Some people want to do it as a bucket list item. I'm one of them. I want to prove to myself that I can run. And running is kind of a "fuck you," to my dad, to depression, to PTSD...to prove to them that I can't be held back. I'm going to try, and I'm going to make it one of these days. So, it might as well be this year.
There's a myriad of reasons why people want to run marathons. It's not left for the serious runners anymore, as the poor, poor article writer pointed out. Perhaps we newbies aren't "good enough" for your marathons. No, we haven't been training for years like you. But we have to start somewhere. No, we're not as dedicated as you, but we have to find our own motivations. No, we're not as fast as you, but we will finish.
So, suck it up, experienced runners. You guys are at the head of the line anyway, sorted by pace. Some of you are even in special start corrals. The rest of us newbies are wayyyy in the back, toward where the finish line is, meaning we have to cross greater distances in order to finish the marathon. We're not in your way, and we finish well after you--so why would that be a problem for you?
If it is a problem--go ahead and take up bridge as you threatened. Keep in mind that us newbies will eventually be experienced runners. And eventually, us experienced runners will want to join you at bridge. What then? Will you protest that we're not experienced bridge players?
Even if you don't welcome us, we welcome you. We look to you for inspiration and motivation, we will wish you best of luck, endurance, and swift feet. See you on October 7th.
(And as always, donations are welcome. I'm running for PAWS Chicago, and my donation page is here: http://teampaws.hollythelibrarian.com)
Filed under: Marathon