Okay, it happened. 10 weeks left and I've entered the "25-Meals-A-Day" phase of marathon training.
Maybe it's only 17 meals, maybe 29. I don't even count anymore. All I know is that my mileage and my appetite are directly correlated, and it is soon to be at the expense of my waistline.
When I ran my first marathon last year with a friend, we'd joke about the absurd number of calories we were consuming. Co-workers would comment that every time they saw us we had a different food in our hands. We ran races for the bagels at the finish line. "Bacon" became my mantra for the really tough hills. Somehow, though, it all evened out and, if anything, I lost a few pounds.
On November 8th my feet understood that the 2010 marathon was over but my stomach did not. "What do you mean I can't have pancakes for breakfast and pasta for dinner multiple nights a week?!" I decided it would be easier to actually train for another marathon than to stop eating as if I was training for one.
This year feels a bit different. I'm running a decent number of miles per week but I don't think I'm training hard enough to warrant all the food I'm eating. (Of course, it's likely don't remember last year's training accurately since I was probably in a food coma for most of it.) Maybe it's all in my head. I mean, when all is said and done, it could be worse. At least my extra snacks fall somewhere on the spectrum of healthy to moderately healthy. It's not like I'm satisfying those hunger pangs with Cheetos and Ben & Jerry's and McDonald's. More like granola bars and fibrous cereals. And the occasional giant sandwich.
Still, I should probably remind myself that just because I'm training for a long-ass run, it doesn't mean I need to make a long-ass grocery list.
Now, can someone please pass me the syrup?