Next Marathon: my training miles do not matter

So, It’s been a while and, well, yeah, I’ve been relatively under the weather regarding running since my second run of the Boston Marathon.  In clear, I haven’t ran much in the last 2 months and that is about the same pattern as the other marathon I’ve ran. And once again, with an upcoming marathon, I need to start training again and find better ways to make it through.
As I write this post, I’m about 12 weeks away from the next one; my second Montreal Rock’n Roll Marathon.  I now know a few traps I will not fall for.  I’ll have music in my ears all along.  People screaming and screeching were grinding my nerves during the 2 last ones.  I will not make that same mistake again.  I need to be in my little bubble as if I was running all by myself, just cruising, training calmly. What else is that I’ll have my water bottles with more flavors of Gatorade. I’ll also have experimented with salt as I’ve suffered from dehydration enough in the last few long runs.

Considering my last few cycle, I’ve came to a strange conclusion; my training doesn’t matter.  Okay, I understand this is counter intuitive but I’ve crunched my data.  I’ve looked into my marathons results when I trained and followed the schedule and didn’t diverge much and I’ve also looked at races when I barely trained as I procrastinated and started a training with less than 8 weeks.  Both times were relatively the same, and I felt as drained at the end of both.  So, the training is either incorrect or I’m missing a piece of the puzzle.  I know my core training is insufficient and that my diet isn’t champion-level.  Way too much sweets and white bread, and fried stuff.
One thing that will be starting in the upcoming days is cutting on Diet Coke.  I’ve been an avid drinker of it for way too many years and I’ve always told myself that since I don’t drink much alcohol, nor coffee, I don’t smoke, it was “ok” to have this one thing. But I know I need to cut it off and it’s coming.  The pack at home is getting low and I won’t buy another crate.  I’ll be switching to Iced Tea when it comes to fast food and we’ll see where that goes. I am actually on paternity leave until the end of July so the timing is good to make a change without affecting my workplace with me dealing with the cravings. Hopefully, my family won’t send me out of the house either.
I still have my membership at the gym and there are all the equipment there to improve on my core strength.  I’ll have to come up with a plan to train correctly and get that fixed.  I don’t have a trainer and I don’t want one. I’ll have to learn the basics and look like a noob for a while until I get that in check. The running training is relatively simple, I mean, it’s a variation of running, fast, slow, high intensity and hills and you’re about set.  I mean, it’s all running. But for core strength, I’ll have to research a bit more I guess.  Oh well, if it was easy, everybody would do it.
Then, the nutrition…  that..  ehm, I’ll have to give it more thoughts.  I have a hard time forcing my choices onto my family.  Changing the food habits will be hard.  I’ll see about that in the next short while.