Monday, June 13, 2011

Experimenting with Dates

We received our officially official marathon training schedule for the Niagara Falls Marathon. 

It's a tricky thing, balancing all the runners in our group.  You see, the Chicago marathon is the race of choice this fall at Runners' Edge.  There is a rather large collection (a gaggle?) of runners heading to Chicago this fall for the marathon.  Many are first timers. 

And yet, several of us have opted out of that race and decided instead to run Niagara Falls.  Many of us are first timers too. 

The races are two weeks apart. 

Since marathon training is all about timing (building up, resting, tapering) it became a challenge to come up with a schedule for Niagara Falls.  Option one was to just take the Chicago schedule and move it ahead by two weeks.  But that would mean that the Chicago and Niagara Falls groups would be on different rest weeks, doing intervals on different weeks, running their longest runs on different Saturdays. Supporting the different schedules would take a lot of coordination and people power. 

So the official plan is that we are going to follow the Chicago training schedule and just add two weeks at the end.  For the most part, I'm ok with that.  We all get to train together which is great. The only thing I might switch is the timing of the longest run (35k).  It's five weeks out from race day which feels a little far for my comfort. The Chicago gang are doing their 35k run three weeks out which makes more sense to me.

Which means that I will, once again, be doing the longest run of my life on my own. 

This happened during my first half marathon training (I ran my first ever 18k down a lonely highway while camping in Killarney), my third half marathon (when we ran 22k on one of the hottest days of the summer), Around the Bay (when I ran 27k with Doug driving a support vehicle during the last 10k) and now Niagara Falls (where I will run 35k on my own). 

This pattern that I'm developing certainly helps me learn how to run long distances on my own but it's no easy feat planning out a run that long when you're a lone diabetic.  One option is that I can map out a short loop (10k or so) that I run several times.  It keeps me close to home and lets me restock supplies.  Or I can ask a loving partner to be my support vehicle so that I can run through the country rather than on city streets. 

I have a few months to figure out the details for that particular run.  In the meantime, I'm going to be spending the first two months of this training figuring out what food/energy works best for my tummy and my blood sugar.  Right now, I"m leaning towards dates.  Easy, portable, tasty and high in carbs. They're going to get their first test run next weekend.  My plan? Check my blood sugar every 10k (no more, no less) and eat a date every 10k (unless my sugar is really high) to keep my energy up and my blood sugars stable. 

Stay tuned for updates on the great date experiment.

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