I had one of those moments this weekend. I met up with my marathon friend and we went for a walk along the Charles River in Boston chatting about our recent marathons. For me it was Chicago for her it was her hugely successful New York Marathon where she PRd by 23 minutes and got even closer to the elusive Boston Qualifying time.
Before I get started on my Duh moment, I have to say how impressed I am with her. She did incredible and I am so happy with her accomplishment. She worked so hard this summer through the crazy heat and lots and lots of miles under her feet.
As we discussed our races and things we did leading up to the races (well everything besides the running because we had already spent quite a bit of time talking about the running each week during the summer) we found ourselves spending a lot of time discussing nutrition. I started to have another one of my Aha moments but we will call this a “well Duh” as in you should have thought about this way before now moments.
My nutrition is pretty good, basically meaning I eat well and drink lots of water. I do overindulge in sweets but I always say that is why I run, “to eat desserts!” But really something I have never focused on in my 5 marathons and 10 half marathons is the pre race nutrition.
You know…. What to eat for the week or 3 days before the race, primarily the carbo loading. Shockingly (insert sarcasm here) one bowl of pasta the night before a marathon does not last you a whole marathon. I thought you could eat well, eat your pasta the night before the race and then fuel during the race. Well that works okay if you run a half but this is not enough food to fuel you through the marathon.
As I described the wall I hit during all my marathons and discussed my nutrition to my friend, it became glaringly obvious that I need to make some changes to my nutrition plan. But it also gave me hope that if I can finish a marathon like I eat right now, what could I do if I did the fueling part correctly. As my friend put it, “the wall is 3 things, mental strength, training, and nutrition.” I have the mental strength because I have done 5 of these crazy things. I have the training although, I will up my miles to a little more for my next marathon. But it was the nutrition that was what I was lacking. My body got so tired during my last race that I forced it to even drink and had no desire to eat during my last 6 miles. This will not happen again!
So instead of feeling defeated, I have found my new focus for my next training. I have even begun to start about running a spring marathon instead of just looking for a fall one. I’m not sure why I continue to push myself so hard other than I just want to do better and feel successful and I don’t feel like I have gotten anywhere close to what I can do for a marathon. Now it times to research nutrition a little more and create a plan for the next marathon and maybe even sign up for one….
Well Duh can be a moment of “I feel so stupid for not thinking of this” or a moment of “Wow, that was the thing that was missing. I can do so much better with this knowledge.” I have had both of these thoughts go through my head but I am going with the positive one and setting new goals.
Have you ever had one of these moments?
What did you do with it?