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Kathie’s Marathon Training Blog: Light Feet, Open Heart

Kathie Bergquist
Written by Kathie Bergquist

Last night I had a marathon anxiety dream. Nikki and I arrived at the start up site, (which was inside some kind of dry walled warehouse place), and were brought to our starting corral. The race start lines were single file, and we were led to the way way way back. Our corral was the very last one and, in addition to Nikki and me, it consisted of about five or six white-haired grannies.

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Our starting corral. Not that any of these women couldn’t totally outrun me.

Nikki and I grumbled a little bit. “We’re for sure going to be able to run faster than these people,” we agreed. But before we could try to change our position, people started moving: the race had begun.

Nikki took off fast, but when I tried to move, I found my legs weren’t working properly. I couldn’t get them to do what I wanted them to do. I clung to the wall and tried to get them to work. Well ahead of me, Nikki looked behind and shot me a look of “What the hell? Start running!”

Finally, my legs started working again, but by now Nikki was nowhere in sight. I followed a few women who were in front of me, assuming they knew where they were going. Suddenly we were upon some kind of ravine, with a stream flowing next to us. The “run” had turned into a rigorous hike.

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The marathon course.

“This isn’t right,” I thought. I said to the women ahead of me, “don’t you think we’re supposed to be up there?” I pointed to our left, above the side of the ravine. Behind the treeline we could see people running. “I think we turned off at the wrong place.” The other women agreed that we were supposed to be up there, not down, clambering along in the ravine.

Unfortunately, the only way we could get to where we needed to go was by swimming across a small lake, and then cutting through the house of a nice lady.

At this point, my dream morphed into something entirely different.

This dream left me wondering what my subconscious knows that I don’t, because right now, at least on a conscious level, I am feeling pretty good about this Sunday’s 26.2 mile fun run.

For one thing, after that completely hellacious, confidence crushing 20-mile training run, we actually finished our run training with a couple rather pleasurable runs – a 13 miler and then, yesterday, a fast three mile run that reconnected me with the freedom and joy of running.

So, now, two days out, here is what my training regimen entails: carbo loading, clean living, yoga, and positive visualization. As for the carbo-loading, most people are familiar with the concept in a cursory way. In this blog from my Prague marathon training, I take a stab at explaining the science of it.

For Nikki and me, the clean living is going hand-in-hand with our carb-heavy diet. That is, we are avoiding heavy meats and things difficult to digest, as well as toxins that could cloud up and muddy our body systems and prevent them from working as best they can.

http://kathieontherun.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/grinding-out-20-miles-and-the-reemergence-of-qualms/What this looks like is a small amount of lean meat, and lots of legumes, veggies (especially root veggies and fibrous veggies like broccoli), rice, pasta, and bread (with as many whole grains as possible). We are also into fiber and roughage – we want our systems to be clean and mean — and lots of water.

As for the yoga, certainly this is helpful to keep muscles loose and limber. Yoga practice also helps me keep grounded and centered; it reminds me to be fully connected to and engaged with my body. I am going to be asking a whole helluva lot from it on Sunday. Appreciating it and treating it well seems like the respectful thing to do.

And, our yoga practice concludes with positive visualization, which I will try to carry with me throughout my day. My visualizations focus on my marathon ideal: light feet and legs, joyful, open heart; and free-spirit. If I can keep this vision ever present over 26.2 miles then it’s going to be a great day.

Forecast for Sunday: high of 66 degrees and sunny, wind at 7 mph.


About the author

Kathie Bergquist

Kathie Bergquist

Kathie Bergquist is publisher and editor-in-chief of Ms. Fit Mag. She teaches writing at Columbia College Chicago and edited of the anthology. "Windy City Queer: LGBTQ Dispatches from the Third Coast" and is co-author of "A Field Guide to Gay and Lesbian Chicago." Pulled reluctantly into a fitness lifestyle by her wife and partner of many years, Bergquist is now a runner, a boot camper, and a yogini.

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