In this blog:
- Week 22 Weigh-In, Lowest Weight in a Decade!
- Starved Rock and Marathon Maniac Status
- The Mayflower Phenomenon
- The Courage to Start
- Two Future Full Marathons
The lowest weight I can remember with certainty (other than my high school football playing weight) happened back in the one year period of time prior to January 2002.
It was sometime during that year I was listed in Powerlifting USA magazine as having one of the top 100 Bench Presses in the nation, a 515lb bench at a body weight of 222 lbs. So, I’m guessing there may have been a month when my weight was in the 240s or maybe less but other than going back 14 years I don’t know of any other time when my average weight for the month has been in the 240s.
This month, I have an average weight of 248.2 lbs! 🙂 So, I am 4 lbs lighter this month then I was last month. The dynamics of this month’s weight change are kind of interesting. After my double run weekend with the Starved Rock marathon on Sat followed by the Chicago 13.1 on Sunday my weight steadily increased to a high of 251.8 however – after a memorial day weekend of eating BBQ, hamburgers and pizza, my weight kept dropping down to it’s current low of 245.8.
So, run a lot and gain 4.4 lbs then eat a lot and lose 6.0 lbs! 🙂
I don’t fully understand all the physiological mechanisms associated with running a marathon due to a lack of experience with that distance but ….and I don’t mean to offend anyone here and I’m not sure how to couch this topic but, when I was in clinic a standard part of every patient’s first visit was to do a simple dip stick check on their urine. We’d look for basics like nitrates, sugar and specific gravity of the samples. From visual inspection, I know I had a very low specific gravity (light colored urine) prior to my Moonlight full marathon as I was very well hydrated but, after the double run weekend that specific gravity went way up to maybe 1.2 to 1.3 (much darker color) so, I associate this with the physiological stress and extra waste products that the kidneys had to contend with after those runs. Various corticosteroids and creatinine kinase come to mind but, I’m sure there’s a whole host of other variables of which I’m unaware of.
Generally speaking, I associate the 4.4 lb gain with stress and the subsequent 6.0 lb loss with recovery and much less stress.
Starved Rock and Marathon Maniac Status
oh boy ….well, Starved Rock was supposed to be my 2nd full marathon in a week and thereby giving me Marathon Maniac (MM) eligibility but …There was a torrential downpour, thunderstorm and lightning strikes along the course which prompted race officials to send out school busses to pick up runners so, for me, that run ended around the 12 mile marker.
On a positive note, bright and early the next morning I knocked out a half marathon up in Chicago. The plus side here is when you compare this past weekend to a very similar situation I had last year. In April of last year I was signed up for a half marathon in St Louis which was to take place on a Sunday but then noticed the ultra cool medals given out for the Lincoln Presidential half marathon (50th anniversary) which was taking place the day before the St Louis run. I did the Lincoln half but was so physically decimated by that run I couldn’t walk right even the day after that run and ended up giving my bib for the Sunday run away. So, I’ve at least improved to the point where running back to back half marathons no longer intimidates me and is now within my ability level.
The full marathon – 26.2 miles – still intimidates the heck out of me. Having failed at completing two full marathons in 16 days my only other option for meeting the minimum requirements to become a MM are to complete three full marathons in a time period of 90 days…. good grief….
Personally – I’ve started to refer to my marathon aspirations as …..
The Mayflower Phenomenon
My thinking here is akin to when man first set foot on the moon back in 1969. Literally just years prior to that time we didn’t have the ability to accomplish such a task so, we really ended up accomplishing that feat with nearly the minimum amount of ability possible. I see this the same was as Columbus sailing across the ocean ….in a wooden boat ….virtually zero navigational acumen available other than a sexton and yet …he did it. When it comes to me and full marathons, I’m kind of like that wooden boat – sort of the minimum level of ability to cover the distance. Still, there’s been some improvement over last year when I believed my boat would flat out sink had I attempted the full marathon I was originally signed up for in October of 2014.
So….how many trips can this Mayflower boat of mine make over that 26.2 mile ocean? I have no idea. Mentally, I’m having to do a lot of work to help encourage myself to push my boat from the safety of it’s harbor. I’m listening to YouTube videos from Jana Stanfield, for example, with a really nice song called If I Were Brave. I’ve also found many more mentally nutritional supplements on YouTube from simple searches like “What would I do If I knew I could Not Fail” and, I’m relying a lot on poets like Henry David Thoreau who stated, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined.”
The Courage to Start
I believe the Courage to Start is the name of a book by John Bingham, affectionately known as “The Penguin” but, with my recent runs my thinking has changed to the point where I now believe that finishing a race is the easy part – relatively speaking, when compared to the courage displayed by everybody at the starting line who all had to overcome something in their personal lives in order to even sign up, show up at the race and begin.
You just don’t see a lot of 250 lb boats attempting to complete a full 26.2 mile marathon. Pretty much none. For the most part you have a ton of incredibly amazing athletes with stunning abilities. I know going into these races that the probability of finishing last is a bit north of 99%. It’s like that saying, “The miracle isn’t that I finished, The Miracle is that I had the courage to start.” So, I’ll continue to play a lot of mental ping-pong in which I am mainly working towards signing up and getting to that starting line. 🙂
Two Future Full Marathons
I’d like to make this MM endeavor as fun as possible and to that end I am considering two races, one for this coming June 13th and the other on July 18th.
On June 13th is the Hatfield and McCoy full marathon. This takes place in South Williamson, Kentucky right on the border with West Virginia. It’s about a 7.5 hour trip driving but, there’s no time limit and I’ve never been there before and I can count either Kentucky or West Virginia as one of my 50 states. Also, there is a bit of real life history associated with the run which I’m always up for and …did I mention – there’s no time limit? On the downside, this run is apparently one of the 15 hardest full marathons in the country but, I must do my best to ignore that portion of reality – there’s no time limit.
On July 18th, in Livingston, Tennessee there is a Looney Midnight Marathon! Yep – that’s right, the marathon STARTS at midnight. one Huge plus to this run is that I will not have to content with the sweltering heat of a daytime run – no sun ….except maybe for the sunrise which I’m sure I’ll have to contend with but really, how many times can you say you’ve jogged 26.2 miles BEFORE breakfast! 😀 😀 😀