Sunday, June 30, 2013

So, this “training” for the St. Jude Chilren's Research Hospital half-marathon is quite a challenge in more ways than one. Sure, physically, I probably over-reached my abilities a bit, but, I figure I can at least always walk which, again, I will share, that I am liking this 12/3 minute run/walk attack. But, in addition to the purely physical aspect of it, I am struggling, I guess, mentally, and intelligently. This is a patience game knowing that at some point my body is going to have to be able to run 13 miles and me not die minutes or hours after I’m done. I’m up now at 300 hours b/c I have resurrected from an 8.4 mile run/walk at 1630 hours. And, really, I’m not sure that I’m not a little half-dead. I still don’t feel right. This is not something that you can just power through; it requires that you actually change your body biologically or chemically and to do that it’s all in your brain. (Sigh) I’ve never been good at brain games; there is rarely a ball involved. At the level of tennis I play – which is just a rung or two up from the bottom – I improve my skill to get better, the way I hit the ball. Sure, it helps to improve my overall fitness to endure the length of a game, but that is secondary to getting better at tennis. Something about this is different. It would certainly help for me to improve my “skill” at running because stride is important, breathing a certain way important, but that is secondary to changing my body’s makeup to endure the race. I don’t have to get better at running the race; I have to get better at enduring the race. To change your body takes patience and knowledge and time – I have NONE of those. I was going to throw in “youth,” but then to be consistent I’d have to say I don’t have that, and that would not be true… right? This afternoon I set out to do the 8 and left early enough to stick mostly to the trail for shade and was only in the sun for about 2+ miles of that and mostly at the end. I did my 12/3 split for the first 5 miles then I have this little issue that I can’t figure out (if I actually figure out why, I will share, but until then, let’s leave it at “uncomfortable”) that caused me to walk for almost 2 of the rest. I did actually stop at the restroom quickly once, and a couple of times I had the “chills” of heat exhaustion and walked a little. Stacey has been talking to me about “refueling” which is suggested you do after an hour and every hour of a run. And, usually, I just wait for water until I’m finished except my last two “long” runs I have hid a water bottle under a leaf to have on part of my return (I will explain here that I will be out of town on Tuesday, which is my usual “long” run day, and since Sunday is a rest day for me and Vic was home this afternoon, I thought it best I get it in today). But, I was afraid with the heat and the distance, that I would require more, so I hid a Gatorade and drank about less than a quarter of it after mile 4+. During the last mile I walked and finished the Gatorade and about 18 ounces of water. So, I thought I was functioning pretty well when I was done, just kind of a buzz and a yucky feeling in my tummy – not like throwing up, but just weighted or something. I quickly got a shower when I got home to warm up; yes, I was freezing I guess from my clothes being so wet from sweat. I sat down to attempt monopoly with Abbey and Vic until bedtime and ate a JIF Natural PB To-Go snack thing and drank water. When bedtime came, I had to lie down and didn’t get up until 300 hours when I was stiff from the bed and the workout I guess. I should also mention that I mowed the yard Saturday morning, but it didn’t feel strenuous. I am helping the kids learn so it wasn’t like I ever even got out of breath and I used the riding mower for a third of it. Still, I guess I was in the sun a lot. Anyway, so I think being patient to chip away at the mileage is tough on my personality because I want to be able to do it now, but learning the nutrition of it – what is going to shape my body’s ability to endure – is really going to be more tough because mentally it is a willpower thing and intelligently I’ve got to be smart enough to understand it. Because of this Insulin Resistance “diagnosis” which has me on metformin, a diabetes medication, I am basically Carb Intolerant, which is what it used to be called.  But, the carbs are so important for the energy to burn to endure. And, I’m still trying to lose weight, I’ve got 25 more pounds to go, maybe more, and loading up on carbs won’t get me there even if I’m running. So, does the metformin “normalize” me so that I can eat more carbs and my body use the insulin it is producing from that consumption. Can I safely eat carbs? And, there are actually studies with mice that prove that running specifically for Insulin Resistant improves the body’s muscular system’s ability to use insulin. So, by running have I “normalized” my body’s production of insulin and use of carbs, or at what point does that even happen. Do you need to be running a half-marathon once a week for five years for that to be true, or did it happen as soon as I started regularly running any distance? I am overwhelmed by this understanding, but I think it is the key to life after the finish line.

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