It’s been 2 years and six days since my total gastrectomy due to CDH1 gene mutation and Hereditary Diffused Gastric Cancer Syndrome. During the first few months after surgery, I would have thought I would be finishing the Charleston Marathon in 4:11:45 in two years.
It was a warm day (low 70’s) and the race was hard. Knee pain started at mile 4, and only got worse. By mile 20, and after drinking over 115 ounces of liquids to keep from cramping, my legs were extremely sore and tight. I felt worse when I walked through the aid stations, so I picked up the pace and just suffered through the finish line. My goal was to finish under 4:30:00 so I was thrilled!
I went by a pop-up IV place and got a bag of fluid after the race. It didn’t help too much as I had a headache for around 48 hours following the race. I suspect due to dehydration. My legs are super sore, and the mental fog is intense. Recovering from the marathon is much more involved than I thought. With all the pain and difficulty, it was worth it.
I have no idea if my method will work for others, but I did a lot of things differently:
3 runs a week. Short, internals one day. Tempo runs the other day. Then, lastly, a long and slow run on the weekends. I choose this unorthodox approach because I would be very sore after my long runs and I needed extra rest to recover. I forget where I found this plan but I had to edit it to 3 days and make some changes. I also didn’t follow it 100%. *Disclosure: I didn’t make it myself.
I took a 51 oz water backpack with me on all my long training runs and decided to use it for the race as well. On top of that, I had two 16 oz bottles on me that had 1.5 scoops of Hammer Nutrition – Perpeturm with a Nuun electrolyte tablet in each bottle. After I drank those, I added another electrolyte tablet in each bottle, with two GU Tri-Berry Gel’s and filled with water. Finally, after all of those, I had one last Gel with water to finish the race. PLUS, I would sip a cup of water at each aid station. Perhaps this is way too much, but I didn’t cramp, and it was a hot day so I consider it a victory to me.
The marathon was a big test for me. I’m not sure what I will do next but I think I’ll take a break from the long races for a bit. They are a big commitment and I’m looking forward to relaxing with the family more than racing long races.
Thanks for reading!