Turns out training for a marathon is quite stressful. I find myself thinking about it pretty much all the time and even dreaming about it. When I think about how I will feel the morning of the race I feel a sickening panic rise within me and I have to quickly dismiss it from my mind. My friend suggested I think of something more stressful I have had to do and then the marathon won’t seem as daunting. I was trying to think of something when in steps my daughter Lily.
This is Lily, she is 11 and an aspiring model. Modelling wouldn’t be my choice of career for her and something I have tried to discourage her from. But Lily is a nagger on the grandest scale. When she wants something she will ask and ask in her broken record, drive you mad style until you give in! Anyway her first casting for a TV ad was last week. The catch was they needed a mother as well so I had to audition too. We drove to Sydney and lined up with all the other little girls (who looked a lot like Lily) and their very glamorous mums. I could feel the anxiety start and trickles of sweat running down my back. Eventually it was our turn. Lily got up and faced the camera doing everything she was told. I looked on and saw how shy and unsure she was compared to the other kids who had gone before her. Then it was my turn…. The anxiety I had been feeling escalated to a feeling of panic. I had to look at the camera, relax, smile, don’t smile, turn right, turn left, tilt my chin down, lift my head up, look happy, look sad, look cheeky … it went on and on. I tried to respond appropriately, smile when told to etc. But suddenly I realised I had lost voluntary control of my facial muscles! My mouth started quivering uncontrollably and my lips were bared back against my teeth. I can only imagine how horrifying the image was for the poor camera man! I just wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.
Lily calmly told me afterwards that it looked like I had tourettes, (we had watched a show the night before on tourettes and facial tics so she knew what she was talking about). It was seriously one of the most cringe worthy events of my life. Now, thanks to Lils, I had my perspective back. Face the starting line or face the camera, I will take the starting line any day!!
So perspective intact, back to the serious and complicated business of marathon training. Turns out you can’t just pull your trainers on and start running, oh no, there is a lot more to it than that. One thing me and my running buddies have to address is sports nutrition. Fuelling your body with electrolyte drinks and energy gels seems to be something you have to do to avoid hitting the dreaded wall and getting a decent finishing time. The whole gel thing is something I have been dreading as I know they can mess with your insides and give runners stomach cramps or worse. (Don’t get me started on the poo horror stories!)
According to Runners World “Guide to your First Marathon” we need to take in 45-60 grams of carbs each hour during the race. Carbs come in the form of energy gels, sports drinks or chews. These carbs should be taken every 20 minutes. So if an energy gel is typically 45g – should I take a third of it every 20 minutes? So, if that’s the case, I would need to take 4 or 5 gels to get me through a marathon, does that sound right? Then what should you drink, electrolytes or water or both. I have read that you need to drink water with the gels or they don’t absorb properly into your system. It all seems so complex!! The choice of gels seems endless as well. There are all different brands, different flavours, some with caffeine some without. I NEED HELP!!
CALLING ALL MARATHONERS PLEASE POST YOUR ADVICE ON WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND WHAT DOESN’T!!!