First Time Marathoner Worries

I found a video somebody made of the entire Marathon route, and it's helping me a little bit. There's no fear quite like the fear of the unknown, so being able to visualize the route is nice. I will definitely be biking the route a couple of times with my husband when the weather is warmer and when I'm in better shape, so A) I can train properly for the 35 miler 4 Star Neighborhood Tour in August and B) get an idea of the distances we're talking about.

Now. I'm going to share with you some of my worries.

Runner's diarrhea. Seriously. I don't want to shit my pants like in that iconic picture of some poor soul grimacing, with liquid brown shit running out of his shorts. Running is fantastic for massaging my intestines, but I haven't had much trouble. Yet. Would it be unreasonable to take Immodium before the run?

Water. I know they have regular water pit stops along the way. If I don't have enough water, I'm a dehydrated cranky mess. Too much water, my stomach gets full and it sloshes around when I trot along on the treadmill. The aid stations seem to be pretty regular--but what if I want a sip along the way? I don't want to weigh myself down unnecessarily, though. Perhaps I can carry one of my small Nalgene bottles and fill it up along the way as necessary.

Bathroom. At least they have regular toilets along the way. I don't want to pee myself though--but on the other hand, I'd rather pee than poo myself. Still, that would make my uniform rather wet and uncomfortable and I'd smell like a hobo. What I may do is have my husband pack a few wet wipes and a change of undies, in case I need it along the way. And socks.

Food. I'm also a cranky mess if I don't eat enough. Even just one hour of running makes me feel like I'm running on empty, and I feel the need to gorge immediately after. So, SIX hours of running (at my current pace)....I'm going to be emaciated. Or at least I'll feel it. Those gel shots might be good, though. And bananas. But they don't have any food until toward the end of the race, it seems according to the map. Which sucks. On the other hand, I don't blame them for not wanting to clean up too much barf.

Finishing. They say we need to run at least a 15 minute mile in order to finish the race within the allotted time. Which is quite doable for me. Currently my pacing is about a 14 minute mile. Now, maintaining that pace for six hours...that'll be the trick. I have 9 months to get to that point, at least.

So, I don't know how reasonable or unreasonable my worries are, but there they are. Putting it out there is the first step toward beating back those worries. The next step is the planning. I will definitely be wanting to meet up with my husband (and anyone else who wants to cheer me on) at various points along the way, and that way he can carry the Vaseline for the thigh chafing, an extra pair of socks to prevent blistering, Advil for the pain, and maybe he can even give me a bottle of Vanilla Coke for liquid energy.

Yes, I'm going to be planning the hell out of this race, to make sure I can finish it. I want to earn the money I'm raising for PAWS Chicago. (So far, $195 toward my goal of $590!). And I want to reach this goal so I can cross it off my bucket list.

Edited to add--if you have at least $10 to spare (that's the minimum donation, apparently) and would like to help me toward my goal of helping PAWS, just follow this link: http://teampaws.hollythelibrarian.com

My husband used his infinite geeky skills give me an easy-to-remember URL that immediately redirects to my Team PAWS fundraising page.

Many many thanks in advance from me and my kittehs.

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