"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Monday, October 1, 2012

In the Name of Science

The big week is finally here and I have officially entered into the T-minus hourly countdown mode (exactly 144 to go as I type).  The final few tempo runs, the emphasis on diet, the packing checklist, the urgency of rest, and perhaps most notably, the influx of marathon related email hitting the inbox. 

Of course there are the necessary registration documents that have been printed off and packed safely away. But in addition, there are the sponsor flyers and the event reminders that are distributed to all 45,000+ runners.  I typically read them all, with varying levels of interest, as I don't want to miss anything that might add to the experience. Which led me to the Gatorade Sports Science Study that will be conducted in Chicago this weekend. Another great opportunity for the self proclaimed lab rat, yours truly, to be involved with a running related study.

In short, Gatorade solicited interest for a small sample group (150, first come - first serve) to participate in a study on the correlation between race week / race day nutrition and marathon performance, with an emphasis on GI related issues. A few surveys, pre and post-race, some saliva and blood samples, pre and post-race, and a short 1:1 interview at the race expo on Saturday.  In return, I will receive a personal copy of the study results for my late night leisure reading, some product swag and the satisfaction of participating in this study. Considering that I have yet to experience any GI problems during my marathons, I am hopeful to give them something really wild to ponder; "Hey, this guy eats donuts before he runs and never has issues, hmmmmmm."

As most of you recall from my recently completed year long study at Wake Forest, TRAILS Injury Prevention, I love this stuff.  I like the fact that we / I can continue to learn about the body and its response to running, and I really like the idea of knowing my own physical condition at that moment. So, as you might guess, I responded immediately and received confirmation that I was in. I have to think that the thought of samples, especially after the race, kept most away.  Not me, I want you to go ahead and poke, prod, x-ray, dilute, shock or do whatever is necessary for science ...... oh, and maybe for me to hit another PR! See you at the Expo.

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