Yesterday, after a four-month break, I started running again. I took a break for a number of reasons. So first, why did I stop?
Running made me fat. I really wanted to make this the title of this blog post, but my inner hatred towards click bait prevented me from doing so. But really, it did. I’m not measuring “fat” as gaining weight, although the number on the scale did rise. I just felt a lot bigger. My clothes didn’t fit the same and I noticed extra weight in areas one does not want extra weight. I’m sure a lot of this had to do with gaining muscle from making my legs stronger, but I will have to attribute the large majority of my gain to the way I ate.
Ran three miles? Extra beer for me. Ran twelve miles? Whole pizza for me. I was hungry all. the. time. And I didn’t watch what I ate at all…not even a little bit. If I wanted to eat a pint of ice cream immediately after finishing a dinner full of carbs and fat, I ate it. I figured I was burning off all it off, but I was consuming way more than I was burning.
So after the half marathon, and after indulging in Disney World food for a week, I was ready to get my body back to my “normal.”
Another reason why I wanted to take a break was because running took over my life. My Friday nights were controlled by my long runs the next morning, and my evening plans revolved around maintenance runs. I felt like I ate (a lot), drank and slept running.
Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I knew I not only needed a physical break, but a mental one as well.
So in that four-month break, I paid better attention to what I ate and slowly but surely, my clothes started to fit better and I felt like my old, pre-running self. It was surprising, because I thought training for this half marathon and becoming a “runner” would get me super skinny and energized. For me, that was not exactly the case.
Gracie, Kevin and I went on tons of long walks around the block as exercise vs. serious training sessions and my body definitely appreciated the break.
But after those four months, I miss it. I really do! Kevin and I had so much fun training for this past half and even though he’s still hurt from our race (IT Band issues. Ouch!), I know he has the itch as well.
I miss the feeling after a long run. Maybe it’s because I’m full of pride (I get the pride thing from my grandpa. The man, who had ALS, was determined to cut up his fruit on his own every morning. And damnit, if you tried to change the channel for him…well, that was just not allowed. Anyways. I digress.). Where was I? Oh yes, pride. On my drive to or from work, I’d see people running – probably training for their next race – and I’d get a pang of jealously because I know I could run right there with them, but I was choosing not to. It sounds silly, but it’s the truth.
I also missed feeling in shape. I know that probably sounds odd because I was just complaining about the muscle and extra weight I was carrying, but the fact that I could run 13.1 miles without dying is seriously a feat you guys. And those who think otherwise? Well, we’re not friends.
The feeling after a long run was indescribable. It was a combination between shock (did I really just do that?), pride (again with the pride) and pure joy. And I miss it. A lot!
So, running? I’m back.
Now, I know I’m the type of person that needs to set a goal in order to be seriously motivated to do something, so I’m searching for my next race! Any suggestions?