Last week I ran my first marathon and it was an amazing experience!
I woke up at 4.30am to eat a bowl of gluten free and carb filled Polenta with a couple of pinches of salt. I never add salt to meals but today I was going to need it considering the amount of salt my body was going to lose through sweat. I drank a glass of gatorade (all flavours are gluten free) and set off for the start of the race.
The marathon was to start at 7.30 so arriving at 6.20 I had plenty of time to psyche myself up. Half an hour before the start I ate a gluten free cereal bar to give me some extra energy. I had a few more sips of Gatorade and I was ready to run….
From the starting line right through to mile 26.2, it was an amazing run. Trying to communicate with a Brazilian in broken Spanish when he is speaking Portuguese and you are both approaching mile 18 of your first marathon is an interesting experience.
I stuck with Gatorade for the entirety of the run. It would prevent me from becoming dehydrated just as well as water and it would also give me at least some of the electrolytes I was losing. I had read a lot about slower athletes being susceptible to overhydration during the length of a marathon so I hoped that keeping to Gatorade would lessen my risk. I also ate a couple of salt packets (from McDonalds) at miles 16 and 20 to avoid allowing my salt levels to get too low. At 5 occasions they handed us orange slices and their sugary deliciousness gave me that much needed extra energy to get me to the end.
I ran my first marathon in 5 hours on the dot. Not exactly Olympic running but I was very proud of myself for running the whole way without resting. The huge chuck of chocolate cake filled with dulce de leche and covered in cream was the perfect after marathon treat!