Saturday, August 11, 2007

Am I being stupid or irresponsible... is this wishful thinking?

I've been asked whether what I am aiming for is safe, or a good idea. I think it is a good idea, but it depends on how I go about getting there. I will take it very gradually. I listen to my body, when I need to rest I rest. I have no desire to push myself to the limit, I just want to finish a half marathon, no fancy time, I just want to cross the line, and in so doing keep fit and healthy. If I push myself too hard to the detriment of my health then it will all be in vain!

I haven't spoken to my cardiologist about this goal specifically, but perhaps I can relate it to some cycling I have done. When I told him a few years back that I had just completed a 79km cycle race and wanted to enter the Argus Cycle tour, he asked me how I had felt in the race. My response was, "not too good", towards the end of the race I had felt terrible, the wind was in my face and I was very tired, I had had to stop every 2km to rest for the last 10km! He looked at me unperturbed and having done a longer version of the same race himself, he said that I was probably hypoglycemic (my body had run out of fuel). In that particular race there was no juice given to participants, only water, and I had only brought 750ml of Energade, by the end of the race I was literally out of fuel. I probably shouldn't have driven home, I remember very little of the drive!

Anyway, he said I should go ahead with the Argus but that I must just make sure I take in enough fuel, a bite of an energy bar every 15 minutes, from the start of the race, not halfway through. It worked very well, I had to stop, as I knew I would, on all the big hills, but I never felt exhausted. I would stop for 1 or 2 minutes half way up the hills, when I felt I should rest. I recovered quickly and once I felt good again, it was no trouble for me to climb the rest of the hill.

The main points have always been: listen to your body, increase things gradually. So I think I will do my running in exactly the same way, no pushing myself too hard, I will do what I am comfortable with, make sure I am enjoying myself and if my body says stop, I will stop.

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