Monthly Archives: October 2012

Adventures as a Runner

Well folks, the final countdown has begun.  In just over 6 days, I’ll set out with about a thousand other runners (or crazy people – however you describe us) with one goal in mind: finish the race.  Next week is the Bass Pro Shops Conservation Marathon and I’m going to do it.  I’ve trained all year (since January 2, 2012) and I’m ready to complete the 26.2 miles of pure awesomeness.

Yep, I said awesomeness.  I cannot tell you just how excited I am about it!  It’s going to be nearly impossible for me to sleep this week.  My training is in its final week or the “taper,” and I’m 16 miles from the big day.

So, what have I learned from my adventures?  Here are a few things I’d like to share:

  1. Running releases stress.  It’s amazing how different I am today compared to who I was (and the stress level) before starting this journey.
  2. Despite what I think, Chinese food is NEVER a good idea two hours before a long run over 10 miles.  You really don’t want to know how I know this.
  3. Proper hydration makes all the difference.  When you’re thirsty, it’s too late in a race.  Learning when to hydrate and how much to drink is crucial.  Too little and you’re going to pass out, too much and you’ll slosh around like a giant water balloon. Oh, and sports drinks like Gatorade are great for hydration, but can cause some interesting digestion issues (see #2 for a reference – it’s similar.)
  4. Coffee or mocha flavored GU (energy gel) is absolutely disgusting – especially when you have to choke it down without water.  Yuck.  I can still taste it…
  5. I can do 20 miles on a treadmill or outside.  The difference?  When I’m done on the treadmill, I’m at home.  When I hit 20 miles in the great outdoors, there’s no telling where I’ll end up.  My calculations have been off a time or two.  🙂
  6. Never skip a tempo run or speed work.  No matter how much those workouts suck, they’re in the training plan for a reason.  They help build lung capacity, endurance, and increase speed.
  7. I run nearly twice as fast as I normally do when a dog (or cow) is chasing me.  It’s good cardio work, but geez, talk about FEAR!
  8. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my family and friends.  You’ve been my support network from the first day.  I can’t express just how much that means to me.  Thank you!!

I’m sure there are more, but eight seemed like a good number to wrap things up at this point.  I won’t be tweeting or posting to Facebook during the race (I did during my first half-marathon last year) but I’d really appreciate your support and words of encouragement.

If you want to come cheer me on in Springfield next week, the race starts and ends at Bass Pro Shops.  We start at 7:00am CDT.  My goal is simply to finish, but I’m pretty sure I can do that between 4.5 and 5 hours.  Here’s the route map:

If you can’t make it, watch Twitter (@kbaumann / @runbcuz) and Facebook for a few pictures from the event.

Tomorrow is my last long run of 8 miles.  I’m looking forward to testing out some of my gear and new clothes with this nice, crisp fall weather we’re having.

Thanks again for all your support.  I really appreciate it!   Have a great weekend!