We’ve already determined that running long distances regularly turns your mental state a bit freakish. And today I’m going to share with you a few more freak-tastic things that marathon training has done to me. I figure it’s not good to keep these “idiosyncrasies”secret, right? (And I have a feeling I’m not alone…)
Weirdness #1: Food
I have never spent more time thinking about what I’m eating—not because I’m obsessed with gaining weight or eating perfectly—but because I’m so attuned to how that food will affect my run. And now that my “short” runs are now no shorter than 5 miles, a bad run isn’t a quick workout to fight through; it’s a full-out hour-long torture session to endure. And life is too short to suffer through, so I like to eat healthy foods that are easy for me to digest and don’t weigh me down. I used to be a pretty regular breakfast-lunch-dinner kinda gal, maybe with a snack or two here and there, but now I am a mini-meal queen. Five to six times a day, I’m noshing on some fruit or veggies with protein. It keeps me full, energized, and makes the next run that much better.Sadly for Yellow Tail, I’ve also cut down on my wine consumption, limiting myself to a glass or two only one or two nights a week. I am a changed woman, I say. (If you’re reading, I still love you Yellow Tail chardonnay! You are my favorite deliciously cheap wine, and we will reunite in 2010!)
Weirdness #2: Getting Ready
Going to a party? I can get ready in 10 minutes flat. With a shower? Thirty minutes, tops. I am VERY proud of my get-ready speediness. How long does it take me to get ready for a run? Well, ahem, that’s a different story. I timed it last week. From getting up on a Saturday morning to eating breakfast, loading up my ipod with podcasts, Aquaphor-ing my feet to prevent blisters, filling up my water bottle with Gatorade/water, packing my hydration pack with my cellie (you know, for texting muscle-buildup purposes) and ID, strapping on the heart-rate monitor and GPS watch, digesting food, checking this awesome what-to-wear tool and FINALLY kissing the hubby and pup goodbye before I leave the house for 3+ hours, it takes me an hour minimum to get ready to run. Wait, isn’t there a Dixie Chicks song about that? I really should add that to my getting-ready-to-run playlist…
Weirdness #3: Thinking Everyone Is As Obsessed As You Are
I have been CONSUMED with training for this marathon. Everything I decide to do or not do (see weirdness #1 above) relates to running. Do I want to go to happy hour? No, I have to run. Do I want free wine at lunch? No, I have to run. Do I want to meet Brad Pitt? Um, can I do it after I run? Seriously. And every morning when I go into work, I give everyone not only the mileage on how far I ran but also how it felt. You know…because they care. Or they just like to watch the crazy. Yes, a lot of people in my life are right there in the obsession with me: my husband, my best friend who’s virtually training with me, FBG Erin and my parents (albeit in a “Don’t kill yourself, we love you” kinda way) are all interested. But others? I forget that they’re not. I drag them along for the ride anyways. If you’re within six feet of me, I WILL discuss my training with you. You’ve been warned.
Weirdness #4: Sleep/Rearranging of Schedules
I have always loved my sleep. Like even in grade school, I’d put myself to bed and tell my parents if I was ever up past my bedtime. I was weird, still am. And now that little I-heart-my-sleep grade schooler is even MORE obsessed with getting her ZZZs. It’s not uncommon for me to be in bed by 9 p.m. or even 8:30 p.m. Heck, when you have to run 9 miles at 6 a.m. the next morning, you start seeing your night differently (and you’re really tired if you already got up that morning at 5 a.m. to run 6 miles). Sure, leaving a warm bed is tough in the wee hours, but it’s the best time of day for me to get it done. And seriously, how bad-ass is it to have run 10 miles by the time you get to work at 9 a.m.? Again, see weirdness #3.
I’m really hoping you other runners or endurance-event participants can commiserate! Please do so in the comments! —Jenn