6 April 2013

An attempt to run a marathon using SCIENCE: part XI

The important business of the day: WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR? Currently, it could be either of the following two outfits...


It's April and due to the Great British Weather there's no telling whether we'll have sunshine or snow next weekend, but if like me you're marathoning for the first time this month, I have one piece of advice: DO NOT run in something you haven't tested out beforehand. Don't even think about it. I made that mistake in a race once before, so this time I've tested two new pairs of shorts in near-freezing conditions, just in case we have warm weather on the day. Since we've had few opportunities for warm weather training, temperature will unfortunately be a worry if it heats up in the next week... but at least I won't get caught out by chafing or embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions.

As far as the SCIENCE goes, I'll leave my results and conclusions till after the marathon. For now, here are some quite staggering statistics courtesy of my Garmin watch.

Since the start of the year...
  • I've run 585 km (not including warm up/down)! That's the distance from Torino, Italy to Aix-en-Provence, France. I know, I have NO IDEA where that is either.
  • I've run 6.10 km per day, or 9.29 km on each run if you discount rest days. WHAT? I am NUTS!
  • I've spent a total of 66 hours 35 minutes and 17 seconds exercising, not even including all the nasty hurty stretches the physio prescribed. That is nearly three whole DAYS! And I bet I've spent twice as long analysing my Garmin stats...
  • I've used up 28,069 calories just on running. Man, I could have eaten a LOT more cake if I'd thought about it.
I am never doing a marathon again.

Anyway, there's one more thing I want to share with you before I do this thing...

15 years ago, my dad made a bet with me. A bet worth one thousand English pounds. Next Sunday, my dad will lose that bet - albeit a few years later than I intended - when I complete my first marathon. Sadly, he won't be well enough to watch me run and I won't be claiming my winnings. Actually, I'm sure he hasn't given that bet much thought since the day he made it. I asked him a couple of times if he had any recollection of it and he told me he didn't. But no matter. What he said provoked in me a fierce desire to show that I was stronger and more determined than even he knew. That's why when I'm running I'm often thinking of my dad - not in defiance but with a sly smile that says, "I told you so." I hope he'll be proud that I proved him wrong.

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