Chicago Marathon Training Week 11

Sunday, August 16: Yoga.
I found another yoga practice on YouTube to do on Sunday. I wanted something a little challenging, and this is what I used:

Holy. Smokes. I don’t think my heart rate has ever gotten that high during yoga before. I was actually sore the following day from this practice. It’s no joke! The last 15 minutes are pretty calm, though, which was more of what I had in mind when I scheduled yoga for the day after a 15 miler.

Monday, August 17: Strength/HIIT
I did The Transformer from the NTC app (Get Lean: Advanced). NTC keeps a log of all your past workouts, and I was really surprised to see I hadn’t done The Transformer in its entirety since February 18 – almost six full months to the day! During the winter, I was all about the NTC app, and The Transformer was one of my go-to workouts. It beat me up a bit, but not as bad as I feared it would.

Tuesday, August 18: 5 miles (tempo) in 50:29 (9:56, 9:28, 9:38 tempo miles) for a 10:05 overall pace.
I once again started this run with lead legs like whoa, but as soon as I started my tempo miles things felt MUCH better. This was pre-Armageddon storm, so it was still pretty toasty and humid when I went out to run. I was quite surprised by my tempo times as a result, but I’m not complaining! I definitely felt it during the last half mile of my last tempo mile, but it felt really great to push myself.

I was so hot and tired when I got home that I never “officially” ended my session on my watch, so it ended it for me. When I was scrolling through my stats later (normally I do this as soon as I finish, but I was too concerned about drinking ALL OF THE WATER), I discovered that my watch not only gives me my mile splits, but my HR averages and average pace/mile for each mile as well. I had no idea! I’ve actually wanted this information and thought I had to upload everything to Polar Flow (like Garmin Connect) to get the info, but nope! I’ve just been pushing the wrong buttons all this time. Who knew!

m400hrstats

Wednesday, August 19: Climbing.
There’s a 5.9 upstairs that I have yet to conquer, so I decided to focus on that on Wednesday. I warmed up on a 5.8 (and the 5.7) upstairs and then got to the task at hand. I made several attempts but never made it quite to the top. I did get higher than I had gotten before, though, so that was something. This route has been up since early July, so I’ll be a little surprised if it sticks around much longer. I went downstairs to check out the scene and discovered a new 5.8 route. I gave it a couple half-hearted attempts, but my arms were so tired from the 5.9 upstairs that I didn’t get all that far (or expect to get all that far). Until I build up some more arm endurance (which I doubt will happen to the degree it needs to any time soon, since I’m not dedicating all that much time to climbing), I really can only concentrate on either an upstairs 5.9 or a downstairs 5.8, but not both in the same trip.

Crazy story: when I was upstairs, there was what appeared to be a family up there as well. A girl, maybe eight or nine years old, saw me and exclaimed to those with her, “She has a Hydro Flask!” I thought this was a pretty astute observation from an elementary school kid, but didn’t do anything. (Hydro Flask, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a water bottle brand. I blogged about mine ages ago). The family went downstairs, I did my 5.9 thang, and then while I was resting in between climbs, the family came back. At this point, the girl came up to me and said, “Do you have a Hydro Flask?” I said yes, and then she said, “My dad owns that company!” Well! I told her how much I loved the water bottle (which wasn’t a lie – out of the many [many] water bottles I’ve had in my day, this is FAR and away my favorite. It kept my water ice cold while it sat in the sun at gear check at Rock ‘n’ Roll, so yeah, it’s a pretty excellent water bottle in my opinion), and then her dad came over. She proceeded to tell him that I am the proud owner of a Hydro Flask, so I raved about the water bottle to him as well, and he was so excited that he made me repeat everything I said while he took a video on his iPhone. Here’s hoping my enthusiasm shows up at the company’s next board meeting, or whatever. Hahaha.

Thursday, August 20: 8 miles in 1:26:30 for a 10:48 pace.
This run was a little tougher than I expected. I had some shin pain, I think brought on by climbing (I had the exact same pain in the exact same location when I went climbing after a bit of a hiatus in March), but not enough to make me stop running. Some of my CARA group had run on the 606 the day before, so since I had a lot of ground to cover, i decided to check it out for myself. Oh MAN, you guys. The 606 is amazing! I loved, loved, loved the soft track surface along the sides, and compared to the Lakefront Trail, this was a dream. The crowds were comparable to winter on the Lakefront, and that is my kind of crowding – enough to not feel alone, but not so much that you feel you’re going to get run over. The trail has mile markers in the cement every tenth of a mile, which is awesome, and I bet in a few years when the trees grow taller, it’s going to be beautifully shaded. I was a big fan. Except no one warned me that there are HILLS. Well, not hills, exactly, but the trail certainly rolls, unlike, you know, everywhere else in Chicago. I was not prepared for that! I really felt like I was working towards the end of this run, and it was a bit tough, though I wouldn’t say I bonked, so at least that’s something.

Friday, August 21: Rest.
Shin was still a little touch and go, which, once again, is exactly what happened the last time I had this. Conclusion: I should go climbing more often :P

Saturday, August 22: 16.12 miles in 2:47:42 for a 10:24 (!!!) pace + dance.
THIS RUN YOU GUYS. I know, second week in a row of this?! What’s going on?? The weather was absolutely perfect on Saturday. Well, 95% perfect. It would’ve been absolutely perfect if it had been overcast, but whatever. I’m not complaining. It was cool, it was dry, there was an ever-so-slight breeze, and compared to a month ago or so, these conditions were ideal. This was actually only the second time I’ve done a 16 miler–last year I was sick the week of the 16 miler and only did eight miles instead of 16–and the first time I did a 16 miler in 2013, it did NOT go well. That was my first-ever bonk, and considering my inability to stay with the group this year, I was pretty nervous headed into Saturday’s run. I was running with one of my friends from last year and told her off the bat that I was going to stick with the group as long as I could, but would likely drop back sooner rather than later. Except I felt fine, and continued to feel fine, and then got all sorts of excited talking about this project I just wrapped up at work that has been super fun for me, and yammered on about that for a solid three miles and…yeah. We hit Castaways on the way back, and I was still feeling great, and I made it over the North Ave. bridge (which sometimes kills me) still feeling great. I even briefly ran into Lauren! I dropped back to the back of the group (but didn’t lose them – just brought up the rear) in the last mile, but that was it. I can’t remember another time when I’ve stuck with the group for a run that long. I was absolutely beside myself with happiness :D

In the afternoon I went to breakdance for the last time before the marathon (or at least the last time on a Saturday before the marathon). It’s getting too close to the marathon for me to feel like I can continue to double up on workouts on Saturdays without risking season-ending injury, and, let’s be real: no one needs to put in almost four hours of exercise in one day. It’s kind of a bummer, because I’ve really been liking my Saturday breakdance class lately. I’ve felt like I’ve had several breakthroughs with moves over the past couple of weeks, and I wish I could keep that momentum going. But the marathon, as always, has to take priority right now. Alas.

Since last week we talked about my weight, clearly no topics are off limits, so this week I want to solicit your opinions/advice on blister prevention. I started getting blisters on my toes when I began marathon training in 2013, and this year it has been out. of. control. I had the NASTIEST blister on my left big toe last week (which popped when I went climbing. That was attractive. Fortunately I was wearing a Band Aid, so it didn’t make a mess), and I’ve got a pretty disgusting one on my right big toe right now. Both of those blisters were so big that it was a bit painful to walk/bend my feet, which was an inconvenience to say the least. I have NO clue what to do to prevent them, however. I’ve worn every sock under the sun, and no matter how many brands or styles guarantee to keep my feet blister-free, none of them have come through in that department. I’m wearing different shoes now than I wore in 2013 and 2014 (same brand–Asics–but a different model), so I don’t think that’s necessarily the issue. I Body Glide the living daylights out of my big toes before I run, but nothing seems to make a difference. If anyone has ANY proven blister-prevention tricks, I am all ears. My feet are a sight to behold right now, and definitely not in a good way!

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Thursday Things

1. Well, Operation: Eat Healthfully for the Rest of Marathon Season has gotten off to a…rocky start. Haha. Oops.

When I was younger, my mom made fresh blueberry pies and fresh peach pies during the summer, and they are the bomb. Don’t get me wrong: baked blueberry pies and baked peach pies are delicious as well, but in my opinion, nothing can touch my mom’s fresh fruit pies (to clarify, a fresh fruit pie–whether blueberry or peach–is not baked. You bake the crust, and do some science on the stovetop to create the filling, but you never bake the pie itself. You chill it, thus making it ideal for summer.), except maybe my grandma’s (her mom’s) fresh fruit pies. These are the desserts I associate most strongly with summertime, and I love them.

I had a friend who planned to come over for dinner on Sunday (and then bailed. Another rant for another day. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for flaky friends.), and since August, in my mind, is meant for peaches, I asked my mom for her fresh peach pie recipe, which she kindly provided.

freshpeachpie

GAH. DELICIOUSNESS. I haven’t shared a recipe on here in years, but I just may post my mom’s peach pie recipe, because to keep something like that to myself is borderline sinful. My roommates have helped me eat this, but I’ve certainly had more than my fair share, too.

So, that was Sunday. On Monday, one of my coworkers came into the office bearing treats. As soon as I saw her walk in, I promised myself I wouldn’t eat anything in the name of the marathon (’tis the season of my favorite late summer/early fall refrain: “I’ll *insert verb and noun here: do this/go there/try that/etc.* after the marathon.”). And I really, truly wasn’t going to…riiiiiight up until the point where she announced that the pie came from Crane’s.

You guys. Crane’s was my childhood apple orchard. When we went apple picking, we went to Crane’s. (Actually, we went peach picking there, too, and where did those peaches end up? In my mom’s fresh peach pie.) It was a good halfway point for my entire family to meet, and their cafe is THE BEST. Well, the cafe is whatever. They’re probably not going to earn any Michelin stars anytime soon, but it’s delightfully eclectic and kitschy. But their PIE (and apple crisp). OMG. The. Best. But it’s not like you can go pick up a Crane’s pie at Jewel or whatever. If you want a Crane’s pie, you have to go to Michigan, and I don’t get there all that often. Slash ever, especially during marathon season. So, needless to say, I’ve helped myself to more than enough apple pie over the past few days.

Marathon diet starts tomorrow. Or whenever all these pies get eaten ;)

2. Earlier this summer, I was fortunate enough to receive a Sunshine VoxBox from Influenster. If you’re unfamiliar with Influenster, it’s a product review/testing website that you can join to speak your mind on all sorts of products and, occasionally, receive products for free to test for yourself with VoxBoxes. Yay free things!

barkthins

My favorite item from the Sunshine VoxBox would have to be the Bark Thins (#whatmarathondiet), though they are a bit $$$ for me. I have to say, though, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with everything I’ve tried this far. The Vaseline lotion has been my go-to moisturizer since I got it, the Sinful Colors nail polish has done a great job of hiding my disgusting runner’s toenails without chipping, and, to my biggest surprise, the Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher actually did what it said it would do! In my experience, most hair products that promise to leave my hair soft and frizz-free just leave me with a giant grease ball on top of my head, but this stuff legitimately worked for me. It even kept my hair under control earlier this week when it was oh-so humid. Color me impressed.

infusium23

3. A few days ago, I was with a group of friends when a person none of us knew came up to us, clearly distressed. She couldn’t find her boyfriend, assumed the worst and wanted to know if we could help. I’ve been in that panicked state enough to know anxiety when I see it, and man, did I see myself in how she reacted to the situation. A couple of my friends did what they could to help her out, and then she walked away, presumably to find her boyfriend.

There was that usual lull in conversation after she left, but once she was without of earshot, the claws came out. “She’s insane,” “She’s crazy,” “If I were her boyfriend, I’d break up with her,” “Do you ever wonder how people like that end up with boyfriends?”

WHOA BUDDY was that tough to hear.

I am not a confrontational person by any stretch of the imagination. I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve ever called anyone out on their behavior or actions was when I was a camp counselor chastising my charges for being irresponsible about their lunch scraps. I mean, good heavens, I don’t even like asking my boss if I can take vacation days, and I would hardly call that confrontational. I have to be firmly in my comfort zone (hello, Internet and writing) to have the confidence to take a stand on, you know, anything, so needless to say when my friends started making fun of the girl who had come up to our group, I retreated into my shell and said…absolutely nothing. Fail. (Though I did have a great imaginary conversation with all of them once I got home. Story of my life.)

This is arguably useless, but since I didn’t say it at the time, I want to say it now: anxiety is different than fear or concern. Anxiety is an an all-consuming beast that takes you from being a human being capable of rational thought into an endorphin-driven, flight-or-fight animal. You know your reaction is overblown. You know you’re mind is betraying you. But when you’re in that state, you’ve been reduced to basic instincts, and there’s nothing you can do about it until the anxiety has run its course, or the situation resolves. There are two of you–a rational you and an anxiety you–and when you’re in that anxious state, the anxiety you will win every. single. time. The rational you will throw up its hands and go sit in the corner judging you until anxiety you runs out of steam, at which point rational you will come over and attempt to clean up the mess anxiety you made. (If you’ve seen or at all familiar with Inside Out, when someone with anxiety gets into an anxious state, it’s like our Fear has gone totally off the deep end and insists on manning everything on the control board. Joy, Disgust, Sadness and Anger have all seen this before and know no matter what they do, they can’t wrestle Fear away from the control board until he tires himself out, so they go hang out elsewhere until Fear is too exhausted to go on.)

But the thing that sucks about mental health issues is that not everyone gets it. It’s not like a cold or the stomach flu — everyone knows what it feels like to be in that kind of state, because everyone has been in that kind of state. Not everyone has anxiety. Not everyone has depression. Not everyone has fill-in-the-blank-mental-health-concern. (Of course, we like to misuse these terms in a way that makes it easy for those who don’t have these things to trivialize them as being scared, or being sad, or being whatever, when they are in fact so much more that that.) And if you don’t have it–and thank God you don’t–or don’t have close experience with someone who does have it, you just. don’t. get it. There is no “snapping out of it.” There is no “just being happy.” It’s not that simple.

Additionally, anxiety, depression, etc. generally aren’t as obvious as a cold or the stomach flu. You can identify someone with a cold a mile away: the snotty nose, the coughing, the general look of illness. That means when you disparage people with these things, even jokingly, calling them crazy, calling them insane, saying they don’t deserve boyfriends–you could very easily be disparaging someone within earshot, because chances are, unless they’ve told you or you’ve seen them at their worst, you probably don’t know what they’re dealing with. And chances are, if you’re going to react like that to someone being anxious, they’re probably not going to be all that eager to tell you about their own struggles, based on your clear inability to be understanding. You’re perpetuating an unnecessary cycle of shame, and that’s not okay.

So. Before you start mocking people for acting in a way that you don’t understand, try to keep in mind that you have no idea what those around you are dealing with, and perhaps attempt to exercise a little more tact and empathy. What you say matters. The words you use, despite what the playground taught you, are important. Remember that.

And no one is less deserving of love because they have different demons than you.

/endPSA

Do you have any great family recipes? Let’s be real: basically everything my mom makes is the best. But if I *had* to pick favorites, I’d say her banket (a Dutch pastry), seven layer bars, and oatmeal & chocolate chip bars are my favorites. As for my dad, his aebelskivers (a Danish pancake-type pastry-ish delicious thing), homemade mac & cheese, and ham & macaroni casserole are to die for. Annnnnd now I want to go home and have my parents cook me ALL OF THE THINGS. Haha.

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Chicago Marathon Training Week 10

Sunday, August 9: Dance.
I was OUT OF IT at this dance rehearsal. This is the second time in a row when we’ve had our Sunday-before-graduation extra rehearsal and I proceeded to forget basically all the choreography for everything. The vibe at rehearsal was also less-than-enthusiastic, which put me in a lousy mood. This really could’ve been better all across the board. I wore my heart rate monitor to dance for the first time on Sunday (I normally don’t wear it because I think it’d be uncomfortable during breakdance, but this rehearsal was exclusively hip hop), and was surprised to find that in terms of calorie burn and how my heart rate fluctuates, dance is nearly identical to climbing for me.

Monday, August 10: 5 miles (intervals) in 51:37 for a 10:16 pace.
I don’t think I’ve ever done this long of an interval run before. Once again I warmed up and cooled down for half a mile, and in between that did quarter-mile repeats. I thought it was going to rain (it didn’t), so I mostly stuck to two-mile loop I have close to home, but deviated off it for the last 1.5 miles because it had become clear that the weather would cooperate. My Achilles tends to get the most achey/sore/tender when I do intervals, so I tried to be really careful on Monday, but it still got a little grumpy. I found gradually speeding up instead of going 0-10 on a dime helped alleviate that somewhat, though I’m a little worried that intervals may not be the wisest form of training to continue if they still bug my Achilles.

Tuesday, August 11: Dance.
Graduation for the eleventy billionth time. We ran our hip hop routine over and over and over again, and once again basically had a boot camp disguised as a breakdance class instead of breakdance. We have the next two weeks off of dance, and though I enjoy it, I’m looking forward to the break. Just having that day free gives my training schedule SO much more flexibility, and I love that.

Wednesday, August 12: 7.01 miles in 1:12:01 for a 10:16 pace.
THIS RUN, YOU GUYS. (insert heart-eyed emoji here) Originally, I planned to go climbing and do this run on Thursday, but the forecast for Thursday was hot and humid, while Wednesday was cool(ish) and dry (plus I plan to climb for the next four weeks straight [and then probably not climb anymore at all until after the marathon], so no love lost). OMG. This was HANDS DOWN the best run I’ve had during marathon training so far, and I’d argue one of the best runs I’ve had ever. The weather was absolutely perfect for summer running, and I felt so good by mile five that I decided to attempt a fast finish run, which I’ve never done before. My original goal was to run 10 seconds faster for mile 5 and 20 seconds faster than for mile 6, and then I ended up running 15 seconds faster for mile 5 and almost 40 seconds faster for mile 6–I was actually really close to tempo pace on mile 6, and though I was breathing kind of hard, I wasn’t struggling by any means. My Polar M400 assigns a “running index” number to each run, which takes into account your heart rate and speed and decides how well you’re performing based on those things. In general, I get somewhere between a 44 and 46 (fair to average, on their scale – anything about 65 counts as “excellent”). On Wednesday, for the first time ever, I got a 50.

runningindex

Woohoo!

This was the run I’ve been waiting for for weeks.

Thursday, August 13: Yoga.
I wanted to do yoga for 45 minutes, and I didn’t want to do Advanced Yoga from NTC, so I headed to YouTube and found this practice.

I really, really liked it! It was so different from any other yoga practice I normally do at home, and I really liked the teacher’s style. Plus, during savasana she kept talking about marathon training, which was oh-so appropriate for me!

On another note, my left TFL was really bothering me on Thursday. (This is the third time I’ve had TFL issues: once last year after the 20 miler on my right side–that was when I learned what a TFL is, since I mentioned it to my PT–around Rock ‘n’ Roll this year on my right side, and right now.) Both of my hips were sore last Friday and Saturday from the NTC workout I did last Thursday, but that cleared up on my right side entirely by Sunday. My left side had stopped aching, but when I did leg raises (like rose wall slides, but standing) as part of my during-the-workday PT regimen (which I’ve been following so well, you guys! Granted, it’s not a lot of PT, but it’s something, and I’m so proud of myself for doing at least two exercises every single day), I noticed my left side still hurt. That continued all week on my left side, though the ache was always in my TFL. It didn’t hurt running on Wednesday, but it was rock hard when I woke up Thursday morning, so I spent some time rolling it out (in addition to my usual daily foam rolling). When I went to do leg raises Thursday morning, I realized my TFL hurt a LOT, and also realized this probably means I’ve been doing my leg raises wrong for quite some time, because in theory, I should be feeling that all in my booty, not my TFL. When I focused really hard, I could do them with just my glute muscles, but by that point my TFL was in trouble. It got SO TIGHT sitting at my desk, so I made a point of getting up more often than usual and attacked it with a tennis ball once I got home. I probably attacked it too enthusiastically, to be honest, because after that it hurt to touch it.

Friday, August 14: Rest.
Still dealing with a tight TFL. I changed my timer on my work computer to tell me to get up every 35 minutes instead of every 58 like usual. Walking around doesn’t bother me at all, but sitting in my chair at work was a nightmare. I propped my leg up, too, to try to keep the muscle from tightening up.

Saturday, August 15: 15.33 miles in 2:40:17 for a 10:29 pace + dance.
THIS! RUN! YOU! GUYS!!! (insert a billion heart-eyed emojis here). I had exceedingly low expectations for Saturday’s long run. My group went out to dinner Saturday night, which meant I went to bed over an hour and a half later than usual on Fridays. It was hot. It was humid. It was sunny. It was Air & Water Show weekend. Everything, everything, everything about this run should’ve gone terribly. But I was, for reasons FAR beyond my comprehension, in a fantastic mood Saturday morning, and not a fake, trying-to-convince-myself-I’m-happy-when-I’m-actually-not fantastic mood: a real, genuine, honest to goodness good mood. My run reflected that. I hit mile four, and thought, “I’m feeling really great!” I hit mile six and thought, “I’m…still feeling really great?!” When we hit mile eightish, I fell off the main group and settled into my own 10:45 pace with a couple of other girls, but I didn’t beat myself up over it. If I can’t do a 10:30 (or “10:30”) right now, so be it. It’s hot. It’s humid. I clearly have the ability to run faster than that (see: Wednesday), but if I couldn’t do it on Saturday morning, so be it. I hung around the 10:45 area for a few miles, and then I felt like the girls I was running with were holding me back. When they had both told me to go ahead after my watched beeped at mile 12, I went for it. I did a 10:27 mile. Then I did a 10:13 mile. Then I did a 10:01 mile. A 10-freaking-01 mile. I have never, ever, EVER, in my entire running life, run a 15th mile of anything that fast–not even close. I have never, ever, EVER, in my entire running life, felt that solid at the end of a run that long. I have never, ever, EVER, in this entire marathon cycle, had a long run that went that well. This, just like Wednesday, was the run I have been waiting for.

postrunpicnic2

Celebrated with another post-run picnic. I hope this becomes a weekly thing for my group. I would be so down.

I went to breakdance in the afternoon as well and got to hang out with my dance friends! Hooray! I really like my Saturday breakdance class–SO much more than my Tuesday breakdance class–so even though jumping around for an hour after you already ran 15 miles is a bit tiring, it’s worth it to me.

On an entirely different note…

I want to talk about something I’m not supposed to mention, per my Good, Responsible, Socially Acceptable Blogger Handbook and my Guide to Being a Woman Handbook: my weight. I don’t have a scale, because I worry that a scale would lead to an even unhealthier attitude about my body than I already have. I weigh myself when I’m around scales, but I don’t make a habit of weighing myself every day, or week, or month. My apartment has two bathrooms, and in the second bathroom (not my bathroom), there’s a scale. Last Saturday (not a couple days ago: Saturday the 8th), I needed the bathroom RIGHT THAT SECOND, and “my” bathroom was occupied, so I used the other one. Since the scale was there, I stepped on it, and to say I was distressed by what I saw would be generous. I’m about 10 pounds up from where I was this time last year, and I am not pleased. (And no, it’s not all muscle, as much as I’d like to believe that’s the case. While I don’t weigh myself regularly, I do take measurements regularly, and my measurements do not reflect increased muscle, nor does the fit of a handful of my pants. Though, to be fair, it is probably time I stopped trying to squeeze into capris I bought in the Juniors department at JC Penney God only knows how many years ago.)

I know weight loss isn’t the key to happiness, but I am tired of hating how I look. I’m tired of finagling with everything I own to hide my stomach. I’m tired of staring down BMI and body fat percentage charts and watching myself steadily creep farther away from the middle of “healthy” and much closer to “overweight.” I’m tired of hiding in the back in group photos to keep my head in the sand about how I actually look. I’m tired of carrying around all this damn extra weight on every single run. And I don’t care about how beautiful I am on the inside or how looks don’t matter or about loving your body no matter what kind of lumps it has or whatever body-positive thing I’m supposed to be thinking about myself, because frankly, I don’t feel positive about my body in the slightest. I feel like I’m doing everything I’m “supposed” to be doing to, if NOTHING else, at least maintain my weight–exercising, moving around during the work day, going to bed on time, drinking enough water–and it still does nothing but go up, up, up.

The only conclusion I can come to is that it must be what I’m eating. I’d like to think I maintain a fairly healthy diet, but maybe I’m wrong. I know i have a bad snacking habit when I’m home, and that my snacks generally look like handfuls upon handfuls of pretzels and tortilla chips, and no number of salads I eat for lunch will counteract that. I’m not good about saying no to office treats, which come in maybe once every week and a half or so, and are never healthy. I get so nervous when it comes to changing my diet, though. Obviously during marathon season, I want to make sure I’m getting enough food to power me through everything. It’s not going to do me any favors to underfuel. I also don’t want to turn back into the person I was during my last couple of years of college: a person who would recoil at the thought of white bread or pasta, a person who wouldn’t consider eating anything that wasn’t “natural,” a person who never ordered what she really wanted at a restaurant because it didn’t seem healthy enough, a person who, when faced with a bowl full of candy in the student newspaper office, literally could not stop eating out of it, because she spent so much time depriving, depriving, depriving that when she’d eat something like that, she couldn’t stop bingeing, bingeing, bingeing. I’ve never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, but I have certainly felt like my eating habits have been disordered, and I really would rather not go back to that place.

I know I’m not going to lose 10 pounds before the marathon–healthfully, the most I could hope to lose between now and then would be eight. Any time I’ve tried to lose weight in the past, I’ve become discouraged at my complete lack of progress and gave up. I’ve felt like my body is physically incapable of actual weight loss, which doesn’t make me feel any better about my chances of losing one pound, let alone eight, between now and October 11, or between now and August 17, 2016, or ever. But I’m just so sick of this. Once again–this sure seems to be the refrain of my summer–I don’t know what to do, and I’m incredibly, incredibly frustrated.

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