What makes this turtle run?
The race I have run, this journey’s done
But my friends, we’re just beginning!
T’is but step one, and it was great fun
Now life goes on so let’s keep rolling
New goals in sight, new battles to fight
Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Hold on hang tight, we’re doing all right
So long as we don’t stop believing.
Three Lessons I’ve Learnt
Dreams do come true, so dream BIG.
Share your vision; journeys are more fun when you’ve got company.
Tick tock. (Make of this one what you will, all I’m saying is, everything has a deadline.)
This blog has served its purpose, and as such, this will be the final post. Another adventure warrants another blog, so as I fade into the digital stream as a phantom into the mist, we may just cross paths again in time. Thank you, all my readers and followers for sharing this once-in-a-lifetime experience with me. I would never have done it without you.
It’s 1 day 11 hours to Paris 2013.
I have eaten my final home cooked meal (once I hit the road tomorrow I shall be at the mercy of whatever I can find in Paris). I have packed my bags. I have trimmed my toenails, even the black ones. I have to calm down and try to sleep.
A big thank you to everyone who’s been sending me all their encouragements and show of support. Believe me, I’ll be thinking of every one of you while I deliriously stumble along. If you have a moment, please direct some of your love towards Rachel and Marc. Marc is a first-time marathoner like myself, and he’ll be running in the Blackpool (Paris of the north) Marathon on the same day I’ll be running the Paris (Blackpool of the south) Marathon. Rachel will be in Paris, running in the same event as myself. Every one of us are FREAKING OUT.
The next entry will come in from The City of Lights. Have a smashing Friday evening, y’all.
For many years I believe this was common practice for runners prior to a marathon. The gist of it is to count back six days before a race, and for three days, to eat a lower-carbohydrate diet, followed by another three days of eating low-residue carbohydrate-rich foods (i.e. refined carbohydrates). This wisdom dictated that glycogen would be stored in the muscles and liver, ready for use during the big run.
In more recent times, this has fallen out of favour. I don’t know if this trend coincided with the low-carb lifestyle, or that athletes simply found the entire routine unnecessary.
Personally, I had been giving the matter some thought for a couple of weeks, from the beginning of my taper. On the one hand, it seemed deceptively like a free pass to eat all the pasta, muffins, [insert favourite carbohydrate] one can possibly handle. Then I realized I already do eat all the pasta, muffins and whatever carbohydrate I fancy that I want.
Upon closer inspection, carb-loading seemed to be rather precision-oriented, and unless one is a professional sportsman trying to set a PB or win a division, it seemed like more trouble than it was worth. In the end, I concluded that my regular diet has served me well for my months of training, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
They do say to not introduce anything new last-minute, but I could not resist trying a little packet I found loitering in the back of my pantry (I must have bought it a while ago and completely forgotten about it in my quest to bake good bread.)
The thing about food is this – separately favouring one macronutrient on its own just doesn’t create as pleasant a dining experience. That’s why cheese alone is good but cheese on bread is better, and cheese on a seeded bread topped with sweet onion confit is the closest thing to gastronomic perfection I can think of (except a unicorn sandwich). Likewise, a plain green salad is deprivation, but salad with a good vinaigrette is a delight. A balanced meal is a tasty meal.
Ultimately, I guess one could say that I am indeed carb-loading, but I’m also protein-and-fat-loading. If one thing is definite, it’s that I’ll be running with a full tank on Sunday.
Post-script for my fellow runners: After taking just about all of last week off running, I managed 3 miles today. The niggle is still there but manageable. I just needed a final run to loosen up the body and feel my body at several different paces. I had a bittersweet moment of reflecting that this was my final pre-race training. The next time I find myself awkwardly propelling my body forward in a continuous motion, it will be down the Champs-Elysees.
So I was told by a friend, when I found myself suddenly overwhelmed by nerves. Note to self: it’s not a good idea spending hours trawling the net for race day preparation tips. Sooner or later one is swimming in a sea of conflicting advice, and the confusion clouds one’s initial better judgement.
I reckon I’m just going to wing it pre-race as I will during the run itself. It’s not that I haven’t given any thought to planning, it’s that I have concluded The Plan is to have no plan. No special fixed plan, that is.
All the months of training has given me an idea of what effort I should be running at. I’ve long decided to let my body dictate how events unfold on the day. Also, my body should be conditioned to just run regardless of the food I eat (within reason, I’m not talking about inflicting last-minute nutritional abuse upon it), and wouldn’t really care if it’s sushi, sandwiches or steak. As for clothes and the weather, I’ll just have to toughen up.
We can only have one “first-time experience” for everything we do, and I’d rather choose to remember my first marathon as a big party rather than an examination. Running, like life, is what we choose to make of it.
Happy April Fool’s!
I wasn’t joking about the bad weather, I wasn’t joking about the injuries, and I wasn’t joking about the fatigue. But if you think I was going to let these inconveniences stop me now, you’ve got to be joking.
I’m going to drag my sorry ass across the finish line no matter what it takes. I’ve seen Run Fatboy Run and I’ve told myself “if that’s what it comes down to…” Of course, I haven’t got a hypothetical fiancée and a son waiting for me at the finish line, but I’ve got mates armed with bottles of beer, whom I fear have no compunctions about starting a drink-fest without me, so that in itself is enough a reason for me to run as fast as my legs can carry me.
Anyway, it came to my attention that some people fell for my little prank, and I must apologise. It was all done in good humour, and I did not expect the displays of solidarity in response to a “fallen comrade”. Thank you for the encouragements and sympathy. I have no doubt they will give me the kick up the arse to survive the last 2 miles, which is far more than I deserve out of a joke.
In return I’m posting a little eye-candy and healthy-eating motivation since beach weather will soon be upon us, right? (Now please excuse me while I turn and shake my fist at the sky).
That fruit plate was part of my breakfast prior to the Easter binge-fest. It took all of two minutes to chop the fruit, which is the time it takes to microwave oatmeal porridge. That is, if I had a microwave (I’ve given up waiting for one to magically appear in the kitchen.)
The one thing that struck me about pastries and cakes in France, is just how beautiful they look. They are literally works of art, that people are willing to pay good money for. I concluded that the same could be achieved with healthy foods; if we just make them “call our names” we’d be much more inclined to eat them.
So you see, Grandma was wrong after all. Sometimes, playing with your food is for the best.
I give up.
I know I’ve built up a lot of excitement over these last few months and gained unprecedented support for my quest to run 42.195km. For that I thank you all.
But between the impossible weather, the injuries, the fatigue, it’s just… too much.
We gotta know where our limits lie sometimes.