Thursday, July 11, 2013

Looking Forward To Melbourne

I don't like the week after a big event. Before the event there's all the anticipation. The excitement. The nervousness. The preparation. And then there's all the fun of the event itself. Spending time with friends. Getting away from the hum-drum of everyday life. Eating out (and eating stuff you normally wouldn't). And then it's all over.

Ughh! Back down to earth with a bump. Washing to do. Dinners to be made. Groceries to be bought. Bikinis to be cut out.

And there's the post-race fatigue - totally normal after giving it your all and being on a high for a couple of days. So it's important to have a bit of time off to recover but not running makes me feel a bit blah anyway so it's a catch 22 situation. And add to that my breakfast buddies have been away this week. Well let's just say that it's been a long week.

So I've been trying to relax and enjoy a couple of sleep ins this week. I've done some strength work (still working on my weak left hip which was pretty obvious in this photo - thanks for pointing that out Sam when all I wanted you to notice was the new-found muscle definition in my quads)  and lots of stretching and I'm feeling ready and raring to jump into marathon training.

Melbourne marathon is only 13 weeks away! 

I'm a little bit scared. Not by the training. I'm looking forward to that in a weird, masochistic kind of way. I like spending hours on Saturdays slogging away. And I really like the re-fuelling afterwards and the well-earnt afternoon naps and wearing compression gear all day to remind you of your big achievement (as if the tight, sore muscles and the stiff walk don't do that). 

No, my fear comes from not being able to totally forget the last 7 kilometres of my only other marathon. You'd think that three years would be long enough to forget something considering that I often have problems remembering where I put my keys or people's names or where I parked my car. Getting lost in the Arts Centre trying to find a toilet is not something you easily forget. But the lesson learnt here is that if you need a toilet try to find one on the course. And the nausea that made me go searching for the toilet in the first place is something that I want to avoid this time round.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it was the gels that I was using that made me feel so awful. Yes, I'd used them in training but they were filled with a lot of chemical things that were unpronounceable and I've had the same reaction in other races after taking them. So I've switched to just plain honey and I'm hoping that will do the trick. 

I also suspect that my stomach got to the point that it just wasn't digesting anything any more and all that gel and water was just swooshing around every time I took a step. So my plan is to practice my fuelling strategies in training and make sure I have them right. I may even go see a sports nutritionist and get some good advice. Anything to avoid feeling that bad again. 

And I'm also asking for advice from any of my weak-stomached readers. If you've had issues on long runs or in long races what's helped you? 


  1. I think it's good to have a healthy dose of fear when it comes to marathons..they are hard. I think we tend to forget that in the blogosphere where people are running one/week sometimes! But anyhow, I have used peppermint oil tablets to calm my GI system during long runs/races. I just pop one before heading out and it does the trick.

  2. When you find out, I would love to know, too. I'm pretty sure the whole not being able to digest or stomach things has contributed to a couple of my marathon meltdowns. This training cycle I've done fine on Shot Bloks and Honey Stinger gels, though.

    Enjoy the whole training process! And here's hoping this marathon erases all memories of the last.

  3. I feel like water is very have to pee a lot but otherwise I'd puke I always carry my own :)

    Also YAY!!!!!! another marathon. I love how much running you're doing now. I think back to last year when you were just starting to run again now look at you! Amazing!!!!

    and also.....skitties and other small candies make my tummy feel ok on a long run. Avoid gatorade and sports drinks at all costs

  4. I can eat just about anything but that GU stuff. That stuff kills my insides!! How do you eat honey while running and not make a sticky mess??

    Melbourne will here before you know it!.... then it will be gone. Enjoy the training leading up to it!

  5. There is always that downer post race but if you are prepared for it I think its easier ... good to keep busy.

  6. I only take in water when I run and even then I have issues - usually not during the run but after (often for hours!!!). Any time I do a mega run (like today!!) I'm usually pretty miserable for the rest of the day - Oh, well - I guess it's part of it!!!
    I hope you get your fueling figured out!!

  7. I also need the advice. I may need to try the peppermint oil tablets.

  8. I'm not necessarily "weak stomached" - but I've always had to keep the sugar at a minimum in long races or I get a little weird down there. If I see someone with bananas during a race, I try to eat those, but they would be hard to carry.

  9. I love reading your blog and getting my weekly exercise fix via reading-osmosis.

    keep up 'our' good work, and do 'us' proud with 'our' Melbourne marathon ;-)

    Go team!

  10. If you switch to honey make certain you are keeping up with your electrolyte intake! Nutrition is the hardest thing to get sorted out......... Find some sort of ginger lozenge to help with stomach issues.

    I'm not sure if you have organic Gravol (made with ginger and is meant to settle your stomach without the drowsiness associated with other anti-nausea meds.

    You will do great Char!!!

  11. A big posting!

    RE: post race letdown.....I don't have this at all after a race where I have hit my goals or bested them. I just kind of walk around in a satisfied funk 8)

    And by the way, your 10k time is fast! Those quads probable did the trick 8}

    Re Marathon training; practice makes perfect. I would make every medium to long run a practice for eating and drinking as you intend to.

    I drink only water and eat GU roctanes They seem to go down better than regular GU. I find that at slow paces (like trail marathons) I can eat anything and my pace is slow enough I'm not bothered.

    In PR pacing attempts I can only do the GUs and I can get bloated if it gets too hot.

    If you tend toward the 'runners trots' be sure you do NOT eat a lot of dried fruits (esp cherries) before your long runs and races..that will bring it on for sure!

    Here's to marathon training! I love both the training and the race equally.

    A friend and I have a goal to run the Melbourne marathon someday...

  12. I remember the letdown after a great event. You have to really find your footing again!

  13. I am sure you will do great on the marathon.
    Wonderful picture!

  14. Gosh, I SO hope you can figure out the fueling thing. After 12 marathons, I STILL don't have it down. I feel like every single marathon is different and it's so frustrating. I am hoping you get it down during training and have it mastered! I hope your training continues to go well!

  15. Hi Char,
    Apologies for my absence! Congratulations on the GC race - so excited for you.
    One of my mates, Karen R is a marathon runner in Brisbane - she saw Sharon Rochester and I'm a keen fan of Sally Garrard at QSMC.


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