Fat Guys Running Marathons Year in Review

I know…how original…a “Year in Review” piece. Doesn’t everyone do this?

Yes…and do you know why?

Because people read them.

So without further ado…I give you the first annual Fat Guys Running Marathons Year in Review post. Below are a few areas of interest to recap from 2017.

Top 3 Things I Learned in 2017:

#1 Creativity in training is crucial to maintaining motivation. Mile after mile of the same route, pace, songs, etc. can be mind-numbing. Find a new place to run, check out a new podcast, or have some fun designing your own masterpiece with creative running.

#2 Hydrating en mass the night before a race just leads to long bathroom stops on the course. Start your hydration 2-3 before the race and limit the amount of fluids taken in the night before and morning of a race.

#3 We all should be “running” out of excuses. Human beings are excellent a few things in life, but making excuses must be toward the top of the list…especially when it comes to running. Here’s the thing…most of these excuses are bullshit. Check out Rob Jones’ story. One other thing I know about humans…we are capable of overcoming incredible obstacles when we push past these excuses.

I completed two races in 2017…both in North Carolina.

In July, I survived “America’s Toughest Marathon” at the Grandfather Mountain Marathon (see Post Race Report) in Boone, NC. This race tested my leg strength as it climbed 2,600 in elevation gain. I love a challenge and although this course provided a formidable opponent, it provided incredible motivation to get my ass up and down hilly training runs throughout the hot summer months.

In early November, I ran my fourth City of Oaks Marathon in Raleigh, NC (see Post Race Report). As I continue to train my body to qualify one day for the Boston Marathon, this race has been my measuring stick for improvement. I bested my marathon PR (personal record for those of you not used to the annoying runners lingo) by 13 minutes and ran the smoothest marathon by far of my nine such races.

If you’ve been reading the blog, or even just the title of the blog, you probably know nutrition has not been the primary focus of my training plan. I have traditionally taken the approach of outrunning my diet. Don’t I deserve to eat whatever the hell I want if I am training for a long race? Can you really expect me not to eat bacon cheese fries and drink many beers while watching my Vikings or Buckeyes play? I am a self-identified “fat guy” after all.

I have learned over the last few months that nutrition plays an incredibly large role in race training. I experimented with a new eating plan in October with the Whole30 plan. For 30 days, I consumed no foods with grains, added sugar, dairy, legumes, or anything else remotely delicious. After the first week of withdrawal cravings, my body began adapting to its new fuel sources and my running performance improved markedly. I could run longer, faster, and without any acid reflux symptoms. In the last few months since returning to my normal diet, I have noticed my stomach feeling bloated often after consuming typical fat guy foods that I eat far too regularly. Don’t worry…I’m not going full rabbit food any time soon, but I look forward to a better balance in my eating choices in 2018.

Fat Guys Running Marathons was born in March 2017. In the past nine months, this blog has provided an outlet for me to write about my running exploits. I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences in training, racing, and observations on the sport and a number of other topics.

In 2018, I plan to continue building Fat Guys Running Marathons to reach more and more people. I have many grand ideas for its future, but ultimately, Fat Guys Running Marathons is not just about me. It’s about inspiring people to overcome excuses and get their butts moving in the right direction (literally and figuratively) to reach their goals…running or otherwise. I look forward to sharing this journey with each of you in the new year!

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