More Marathon Thoughts

The marathon I ran has been constantly in my mind.


Here are more thoughts I’ve had:

Healthier Food During – I’ve got to figure out how to eat more fruit during the marathon, and less of the chemical energy substances. I had a banana, and that felt pretty good. I understand that many athletes want to spare their gut from having to work to get calories from the food fast, but there must be some fruits that are so close to these chemical mixtures that I could substitute oranges and bananas for GU.

Be More Competitive – If I do this again, I’d like to beat more of these people. So Oprah is the obvious candidate (she beat me by 20 seconds) but George W. is way ahead of me. I ran a half-marathon in just under two hours, so I figure I should be able to do a full one in under four, with a lot more training. In many ways, while I was able to finish this, I really didn’t train as hard as I should have, and definitely not as hard as I could have.

Deal With the Nonsense – There were several categories of people who drove me nuts during this run.

Probably the biggest group was the iPod users. I’m all for iPods, and I use an iPod when I run, generally. But iPod users have a tendency to stop running, or to slow down dramatically, when adjusting their settings. If this is necessary, fine, just pick a good spot, see if anyone is behind you, and work your way toward the side.

Like the iPod users, the cell phone callers really didn’t pay attention to their fellow marathoners. Just like in cars, these people are oblivious to the world around them. I didn’t bring a cell phone on the run – and I never do for runs. I just don’t think it’s necessary. Call me old-fashioned.

Ah, the beepers! Not pagers, but beepers, like metronomes. At first, when I heard one, I thought a truck was backing up. These are used to set people on an even pace, and to keep them running at the right speed. I use my Garmin Forerunner for this (in a very different way, of course) so I understand the need to monitor your speed and progress. But the beeping is heard by everyone in a 25 foot radius. Have you ever tried to run at your own pace, while a beeper is rhythmically beeping at a different pace? Save these gizmos for practice runs, my friends. Don’t plague the rest of us with this!

And then the walkers. Again, I’m totally with you. Walking is better than stopping. I’m happy to say that I didn’t walk, but I was on the verge several times. But when you walk, you need to get out of the middle of the pack. Move over to the side, and let the runners through. Walking in the middle of the road just makes it harder for everyone else who is still running.

As I cut off one guy at around mile 24, I realized how hard it is to take other people’s needs into account. You are so focused on the punishment your body is going through, that’s all you can think about. But I did manage to apologize to this guy for cutting him off – and he was nice enough to say something like, “Yeah, it’s amazing how everything at this point can totally piss you off, right?” He read my mind.

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