Weight Watches Wednesday: Weight Loss and Marathon Training

One thing I’ve discovered, though it doesn’t really come as a surprise at all, is that weight loss and marathon training don’t play well with each other.  When I started training, I had delusions  of continued weight loss, and my stellar losses in February probably didn’t help eliminate said delusions.  However, reality has set in in the form of being hungry almost all the time.  I try to keep it under control, but sometimes, particularly on long run days, the hunger wins and I pretty much don’t stop sticking food in my face.  Since my long runs are usually on Sunday, that face-stuffing does have lingering effects on my Tuesday weigh in.  Plus, I haven’t been choosing the most quality foods  to be stuffing into my face.  I’m quite certain recent food choices have a lot to do with the  (slight) increases I’ve been seeing on the scale and the bloating I’ve been feeling over all.

So a decision has been made.  For the duration of training I am, more or less, going into maintenance mode.  I will still be attending meetings.  I will still be weighing in weekly there.  However, I won’t be posting my weigh-ins here unless things take a drastic turn toward weight gain.  As long as I’m staying between 150 (my lowest low) and 155, I am okay with it.

I’ll still be counting my points, and I’ll still be focusing on eating all of my activity points.  My goal is to fuel myself properly and well.  The “well” part of that equation is really my focus for this week: choosing quality foods, loading up on fruits and veggies, and making sure I’m getting enough protein.  So far it’s going well,  I bought a bunch of produce  – strawberries, bananas, pre-sliced apples, mushrooms, carrots, grapefruits (though I’m still not sold on grapefruit), salad greens, etc – over the weekend, and they are all prepped and ready to be eaten in meal and as snacks.  I’m also making sure to include some protein in every meal and snack – eggs, nuts, peanut butter, cheese, and, despite my intents of a meatless March, some meat.

So, since I’m not weighing in here weekly, I might not be posting Weight Watchers Wednesday weekly, but I will definitely be starting it up again come May when it comes time to really lose those dreaded last 10 pounds!

Marathon Musings: All By Myself…

Yes, you should be singing that subject to the tune of the Celine Dion song because you’d better believe I am.

Yesterday Kira, my marathon partner in crime, asked if I could give her a call when I got a moment. I had a sneaking suspicion about where the phone call was going to go, but then again as soon as someone tells me they need to talk to me, I always assume the worse. Yes, I am That Girl; the one who is certain her boyfriend is going to break-up with her/ her friend doesn’t really like her/ someone she cares about has died/ she’s going to get fired every someone “needs to talk” to her. It happens.

So I called Kira, and she broke the news. She’s decided to drop out of the marathon. I wasn’t really surprised by her decision; that’s her story to tell if she wants to though. What I was surprised by (and maybe it shouldn’t have based on yesterday’s post) was my own response: I was okay with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely bummed she won’t be running the whole thing with me. I was looking forward to bonding with her over the torture of running 26.2 mile together. But I wasn’t devastated by her decision. I wasn’t panicked or terrified. I didn’t freak out or cry or immediately think “Well I’ll just drop down to the half marathon.” I still felt confident in myself and my ability to finish my training and this race.

It’s hard to explain, but in a lot of ways, that phone call was a defining moment for me. It really solidified all of the things I said yesterday. The fact that I didn’t run (pun intended?) screaming for the hills is a huge indication of the confidence I’ve found in myself not just in running, but in life. I’ve never been a big fan of doing things on my own. I remember driving to and arriving at the expo for my first half marathon in tears. I was panicking about a lot of things but one of them the idea of going it all alone. I remember texting with Laura and the encouragement she gave me. Now I’m staring down running 26.2 miles (and the last half that by myself,) and I’m ready to take it on (emotionally speaking anyway. I’m not quite there physically, but I will be when the time comes.)

Yes, those last 14 miles will be a little lonely, but I know I’ll make it. We’re still going to get together for a couple more weekend runs. We’re still going to run together for as long as we can during the race. I’ll have family and friends there cheering me on. And as I learned during my first half, runners are amazing people and the support of a total stranger can make all the difference in the world.

And truth be told, I’m really proud of Kira’s decision. It takes a lot to make a decision like that especially when you’ve committed yourself to another person as well as the event. 26.2 is no joke though, and it’s definitely not something that should be forced. I don’t think any distance should be forced, really, because what’s the point if you’re not enjoying yourself. I could see myself making the same decision, and if my training wasn’t going as incredibly well as it is, I would happily drop down right along with her.

I’m also really grateful.  I can guarantee you I would have never signed up for this marathon on my own. Sure, I had kicked around the idea, but I never would have pulled the trigger if it wasn’t for her. (See above, re: not doing things on my own) One of the things I was thinking about but didn’t include in my post yesterday was the idea that maybe this marathon was supposed to happen. Maybe this was the time for me to step it up and run a marathon. It was time for me to do something I never knew I always wanted. I really believe everything happens for a reason, but I guess sometimes you just need a reminder.

Marathon Musings: 40 More Days

I probably should have written this immediately after my run on Saturday, but it’s too late for that.

Saturday was my first 18 miler.  I ended up cutting it mile short.  I had volunteered to drive my parents to the airport so I was already working on a timetable, and I overslept so I got out the door about a half an hour later than intended.  The run itself didn’t get off to a great start.  Aside from oversleeping, I managed to shut my car door on my practically brand new headphones smashing on of the earbuds.  Thankfully it still worked because 18 miles alone, without music when I was already stiff and cranky about oversleeping was not high on my list of things to do.

Despite the rough start, I had a really solid run, and I finished really strong.  There was no doubt in my mind about my ability to finish that last mile if I’d had the time.  I was feeling a little sluggish around mile 12 and 13 but at mile 14 I got a burst of energy that I finished with.  My last couple miles were really quick (relatively speaking)

I spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting during the run.  (Let’s be honest, even at a 12 minute mile pace, 17 miles gives you A LOT of time to think.) I started my run with the plan of running my usual 9.4 mile loop twice.

As I started out, I was thinking about training for my first half marathon, and how my longest run prior to that race was 6 miles.  The first time I ran double-digit mileage was during that race, and I finished.  I thought about the first time I ran the entire 9.4 mile loop and the fact that I was about to run it twice…in a row.  I thought a lot about how far I’ve come and how strong I’ve gotten along the way.

The other day I mentioned that I still don’t think I’ve fully accepted the fact that I’m running a full marathon in what is now 40 days.  As I was running on Saturday I was thinking about this too.  I know it’s coming.  I’m training for it.  But honestly, I’m not excited about the marathon. I’m not nervous or scared either though.  Honestly, the best way to describe my feelings toward the impending marathon is confident.  I’m not overly confident to the point of bravado; after all, pride cometh before the fall.  I know it will be hard and exhausting.  I’m sure there will be moments somewhere between mile 16 and mile 26 that I want to quit.  I know those feelings of excitement and nervousness will come.  However, I’m confident I will finish.  I’m confident in my training.  I’ve  worked hard, and I will keep working hard for the next 40 days.