The title of this post may be misleading. What I mean is that one would think running is simple. If you're mobile all you really need are sneakers. Once you start training, it's another story.
When you're running almost 30 miles per week there's a lot to do (and eat). Carbs, carbs, carbs, calories, and protein are most important. Timing of your meals is important too. Don't forget iron, fiber, and anti-oxidants! I'm hungry all the time! The good news is I can eat things high in calories and carbs and recover with things like chocolate milk and french toast. The bad news is I can't get out of a grocery store for much less than $100. Not to mention the gels, goos, etc to eat while running (personally I like York Peppermint Patties to as my "fuel").
There is a certain way to run too. Run like the Kenyans (so my PT says) by swinging your hips in a way that makes you propel forward. Runners also should have a specific breathing cadence, running stride, foot strike, and hold their arms and fingers in a certain way.
Training yourself to drink water and gatorade is important too. However, watch out for hyponatremia (overhydrating and lowering your blood-sodium levels). To the what now?
Replace your sneakers once they have about 450 miles on them (how one keeps good track of that, I do not know). Did I mention how expensive good running sneakers are?
Oh, and keep track of your heart rate through a monitor to know if you're working too hard or taking it too easy. This should be do-able for me since I own a heart rate monitor - but the batteries are dying. Where the heck does one go to get them replaced? Beats me! (Get it?)
Then there is the pain management. Ice baths, ice rubs, massages, and massage sticks (huh?). Don't take too many meds, but when sore take acetaminophen instead of an NSAID... or is it the other way around?
Ay ay ay! There is sooo much to remember and do while training and I've only scratched the surface with everything I've listed!
This past Saturday I did 16 miles in 3 hours and 45 seconds, AND took on Heartbrake Hill (again). I was stoked! The split is 11m17s... which is faster for me! I ran with a new friend and we passed the time talking. SO much better than running alone (or on that stupid thing called a treadmill). I was sore towards the end but not nearly as bad as when I did 17 miles. Plus, I could walk normal the next day! Haha.
6 weeks to go, and the 21 mile run is in 3 (the longest training run before the actual race). Getting excited, nervous, panicked, and more excited!