When I had my annual medical check-up yesterday, I told my doctor of my plan to run the full marathon.
This is what he told me:
1. Be careful. There are not that many 68 year olds running their first marathon.
2. Drink lots of fluids and stay hydrated!
3. Since there are many staff/volunteers and other runners around, make sure you notify someone if you are feeling bad.
Comment #3 got me thinking. Is my doctor hiding something from me? He told me that I am in good health and all the lab work results are good...so how come he made the comment? On my way home, I realized that my doctor was correct. At my age and with some medical issues, strenuous activities like running, can be risky and there is no better place to have an episode such as a crowded organized event. People/spectators/race marshals/medical aides are around in abundance at events like a marathon in case someone needs attention!
But what about those long runs and trail runs during training. I always run alone and as a precaution:
1. I always tell my wife my route and time I will be back.
2. Run close to my house and if I have to train at the event route, my wife goes with me.
3. Always have my hydration belt regardless of the distance.
4. Always have my driver license, medical insurance card & road ID bracelet.
5. I dont carry a cell phone now but I plan to carry one just in case!
Moving up a next level in running, such as my first marathon, is a big step...no pun intended! It takes careful thought, dedicated training and planning for any and all circumstances such as a medical emergency. Taking care of the little things will ease my mind and give me confidence and motivation at the start and cross the finish line arms raised 26.2 miles later!