100 Days left. That’s what popped up on my newsfeed from the London Marathon. If Excitement had a love child with Fear, that was what came over me. Under its veil I decided I would step up my training and give running gels a go. Another step on the ladder of running madness.
Usually on half marathons, whether it be training runs or actual races I carry 13 jelly babies (OCD seems to feed off my running rituals) which I will consume throughout the race. If I have spares I’ll regenerate into the Doctor and offer them to confused fellow runners, who occasionally look at me like I’m the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang while others greedily accept. They may not be of huge help but the sugar high and the familiar happy taste are both a boost and a comfort.
So I bought a trial pack of gels and planned a 10 miler to give it a proper chance at giving me the full effects. I got about 4 miles in and thought I would give it a go as my body was low on energy. While I felt no energy boost, the unpleasant taste and texture reminded me of school jelly, so I was lost in regression and a few more miles blurred past. It wasn’t until I got home that my stomach felt its effect, safe to say I’m glad I didn’t try these gels on race day as I would definitely not have wanted to purchase those race photographs.
The truth has been rammed home by this whole embarrassing scenario; I still don’t really know what I’m doing. All the gear, no idea is the name of the game. I’ve read anything about marathons I can get my hands on but unless I put foot to terra firma, I’ll never learn. One study tells you to drink coffee before a run and others tell you it’s worse than drinking cyanide. I have taken a trial and error approach so far; eating, drinking or wearing x and seeing if it helps or hinders, rinse and repeat. A plan is beginning to fall into place and yet seeing the days until the big day dwindle to just double figures heightens my haste. Last week was my last running 25 miles per week now it’s onwards and upwards to 30!