That point in marathon training

I’ve reached that point in marathon training.

That point could be many things…like incredible amounts of soreness (my roommates could tell you I’m always complaining about it), or when runs start to take up not one but many hours of your day, or when you go to bed at 9pm on a Friday night because you decide waking up at 4:50am to run is a good idea, or when you have to do laundry twice a week because your running clothes smell that bad (god bless owning a washing machine this time around), or when you drink your weight in water everyday and then have to dash off to the bathroom way more often than previously…

But none of those are that point for me.

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Legs post 18 miles, I never feel more thankful for them than at times like this. Also featured, my $5 hot pink spandex from Walmart that has come on more long runs with me than anything else I own.

That point is when suddenly, all of you is desperately craving ice cream (even the part that remembers you’re lactose intolerant).

When I was home last summer (2016) my dad was a big supporter of this phase.

At 9:45 p.m. (15 minutes before the last supermarket closed) he jumped in the car with me to buy ice cream, jimmies, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. It was the day after a 19-miler…I needed it. Or at least that’s what it felt like anyway.

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Product of last year’s that point.

Throughout last fall, I would reach that point and find myself taking a 15 minute break from work to bike to the nearby grocery store, purchase a half gallon of ice cream, bike to my apartment, fill a tupperware container, dump in some chocolate sauce (and jimmies for good measure) and speed back to work arriving just in time to eat it at my desk before it turned to soup.

This training season, however, the lactose intolerance has crept back up on me and I’ve tried my best (not always successfully) to stay away from my favorite post-long-run snack.

I tried everything.

Smoothies (even a chocolate-peanut butter one), tortillas filled with hummus, wheat thins, apples, granola bars, ample amounts of pasta and meatballs, almond yogurt, cherry tomatoes (a complete last resort)…

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Zucchini pasta and meatballs (meal pre 18 miles). 

For a while it seemed to work. Until yesterday that is.

Last night, after having run a total of 24 miles this weekend, and walked another 5 or 6, I couldn’t stop thinking about ice cream, but I was determined not to give in. I ate dinner at 5:30pm (hours earlier than normal), I drank A LOT of water, I talked to people on the phone for hours (thanks mom for letting me call twice).

At the start of my fourth conversation, however, my dad asked me, “how are you?” and “I’m so hungry,” slipped out. I had already told my mom this and she had replied, “EAT!”

My dad’s response was remarkably similar. They both suggested my old favorite.

So…10 minutes after hanging up the phone I went for it (thanks you parental encouragement).

Moose tracks, chocolate syrup, caramel chips and (of course) jimmies.

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Yesterday’s masterpiece. Note, do not try to melt “caramel-flavored” chips in the microwave, they don’t melt. My roommates thought it smelled like our neighbors had a camp fire…

Maybe I would end up with a stomach ache (thank the lord I didn’t), maybe I felt a little guilty (I’m supposed to be a dietetics intern…what am I doing?), maybe I just hadn’t tried hard enough to find a good post-run alternative, but maybe reaching that point in marathon training is (at least for me) purely inevitable, and purely delicious.

 

 

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