Woohoo, I made it. The Perth 1/2 Marathon that is. There was actually never any doubt in my own mind that I would finish it, although I did have to give myself the toughen up talk a few times along the way. I learnt a few things today.
1. Cramps Hurt
2. Too much carbohydrate gives you a stomach ache
3. Cramps Hurt
I did enjoy the carbo load yesterday until about 4pm when I felt doubtful that I could fit another wafer in without exploding. 10 grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight is a tough gig. I was ready for my favourite pre-race snack though, which is 2 crumpets with peanut butter and banana. Don’t screw your nose up until you try it, its really good.
A good fluid goal while running is around 750ml per hour and I smashed it, easily drinking that amount. The problem is I think I drank too much sports drink in my quest to stay hydrated. Sports drink is best used when you are exercising for longer than an hour (which I was) with water being the best choice for anything up to an hour. The amount of carbohydrate required for each hour of exercise is 30-60 grams per hour or in some long distance events 1 gram per kg of bodyweight per hour works well.
I decided to have a carbohydrate gel too, my favourite being Carbo-Shotz and given that a 750ml bottle of sports drink gives you around 50 grams of carbohydrate and I weigh 60kg, I was a little overzealous. Too much carbohydrate can result in stomach cramp and lead to dehydration as your body tries to dilute it. Hindsight is so useful don’t you think?
However, it was a stunning Perth day, the sun was shining and I watched an 81 year old man cross the finish line in 2 hours 20 minutes in great shape and checking the clock for his time. Inspiration, we all need it.