Sunday, 23 December 2012

Why I've been walking like Roy Rogers

It has been a very long time since I last posted here, doesn’t mean I’ve dropped off the face of the earth, or given up my marathon goal, or become lazy it’s a simple case of being a very busy time of year. Busiest being my 50th birthday itself in early December – so now the “Can a 50 year old” header of this blog is now true.

Here’s a tip for you, if you’re planning on running your first marathon think of the 60 odd kilometres of training you’ll be doing about a seven weeks to three weeks out and see if that coincides with a major event, like a 50th, or Christmas or major work events. Don’t drop your goal because of that, just be aware of the time pressures.

Onto more amusing anecdotes though. A couple of months ago I posted about the time I ran my t1ts off (chaffing on the nipples), well a few weeks ago I was walking around like Roy Rogers for a few days after a 25km long run. This was due to the large sized 2XU skins becoming too big for me. All this running has caused me to drop 13 kilos since July and naturally I’m down quite a few clothes sizes to boot, but the wardrobe is not going to be replaced just yet, may as well wait until I’ve run the marathon in Hobart, the post Xmas sales and then restock. Having said that, baggy skins are not recommended, unless you want everyone in the office thinking you’ve been on a horse riding trail for a couple of days on the weekend. Watch them smile as you wince every step you take!!!

As training has been upped to 50-60kms per week, it has also been necessary to book in for a weekly myotherapy massage (as I told you before the practitioners tell you it’s Latin for “deep tissue” whereas it is Latin for “watch me f*ck you right over”). The process is where my masseur rubs heavily on my calves, until he finds a pea sized lump and he then proceeds to push, prod, rub and stretch it in every possible way with the most force he can possibly use, until I am beyond tears, am about to put a flailing foot into his solar plexus and then he stops and finds another spot. Or he may rip the thigh muscles apart using his palms at either end, or maybe your neck or shoulders. Once I’ve decided enough pain is enough, I pay the receptionist a healthy sum, stagger back to the office and wait for the bruises to appear. Experience tells me they look best two days later, more purple than black.

All up it’s becoming an expensive exercise, this running caper is not as simple as find a pair of runners some shorts and away you go. I have special socks, compression bandages (which were a gift I must admit) for post recovery, ointments to stop certain parts rubbing, skins (which aren’t cheap), proper shoes, drink belts, recovery powders, during run powders and gels, a watch that costs a fortune (but did help me from becoming lost one day in some wetlands I’d never run before), hats and goodness knows what else. So an $80 entry fee, $2000 or so in accessories, probably $1500 in chiro and massage bills and I’m just about ready to run a marathon.

I won’t go into a lot of the training runs that I’ve recently done, other than to thank a wonderful array of friends who have been more than supportive, joining me for 5 or 10kms to keep me motivated and on track, push me when I’m going from kilometre 20 onwards or even just the fact that they are going to be there so I can’t renege. I’ve now put in a couple of 30km training runs and although not at a great pace, they have taught me quite a few things about the marathon itself:
  • I’ll hurt
  • I’ll be grumpy when done
  • I’ll hurt some more afterwards
  • I need to get my hydration and fuelling spot on (which I think I’ve done)
  • I need to stretch more
  • I need to pack my compression gear, pre-race, during race and post-race powders and gels (I wonder if I’ll have to explain the bag of white powders and Vaseline?)
  • The last 12 kms will be the toughest, but my head is around that so I will do it, it could well be at almost walking pace but I’ll do it

So only 20 days to go until the marathon itself, and therefore I’m onto the “taper” time, whereby the 30km run I did yesterday was my last long-long run and I slowly reduce the distances so my body can store energy or some such scientific thing.

I’ll post again here before the run itself together with an update on my next big challenge (for charity) which will take place in April 2013.

Links on right hand side take you to my fund raising pages.