Friday, July 24, 2009


I've gotten myself into quite a situation with this and I'm not sure what to do about it. Pretty much life as usual with me includes a lot of self-discipline and then often sliding to the extreme.

I started running a year ago. At that time I couldn't even run a mile without taking a break. But I was determined to become a RUNNER. I didn't want to just run for exercise, I wanted to be a runner. Up until that point I had done some running on the treadmill as exercise, but I always did intervals because I couldn't stand the boredom and pain of endurance running. Around this time last year, though, I began to run outside and it changed me dramatically.

My 3 mile route became a challenge that I just couldn't beat - and began to feel like a puzzle I couldn't figure out. My brain was working overtime analyzing anything and everything about how I ran and how I could do better. Ultimately my problem was that my heart was beating too fast - my body could handle things, but my heart rate was getting too high and I'd have to stop. I didn't know how to change that, but I continued to work on running a little further every time before I stopped to walk.

In the meantime I was able to drop the last 5 pounds of pregnancy weight and my body was changing to become more athletic, fit and healthy. Soon I added more mileage and was running 5 miles at a time. Somehow I had it in my head that truly fit people ran 5 miles - not 3 - so this was fantastic.

I am a weather wimp, though, so as it got colder I started running on the treadmill more and more. Until finally that was all I was doing. But I was running 5 miles 3 times each week and then adding a mile each Saturday morning until I had gotten up to 7.75 miles without a break and 9 miles total. In April, Dave and I ran a 5k at Calvin. It was my first and I sucked - I didn't run even 1 mile straight. I finished and found a corner in the field house and cried for 15 minutes - I had worked SO hard at becoming a RUNNER and was unable to string together even 1 mile.

From that point on I have been running outside again - time to stop being wimpy and get over it. First 4 miles on a hilly route. Then turning that into 5 pretty comfortably. Pretty soon I was running 8 miles on Saturday and if I had to run on the treadmill due too weather it was 10 miles. I have to say, I was quite proud of myself not to mention I could basically eat anything I wanted to eat.

I had an awesome 8-10 mile run in Lake Geneva at the end of June and then took a week off to rest. Since then I have had nagging injuries to my shins and my ankles and I'm not sure what to do about them. Basically I've been a mental case about running... I don't want to gain weight, so I'm reluctant to stop or back down my mileage (I now have it in my head that 20 miles per week is best).

I'm worried, though, that I'm in a cycle that is only going to get worse - if I can do this many, well then I should be able to do this many and pretty soon I'm doing a ridiculous number of miles every week that are completely unnecessary to achieve good health. I have no notion of doing a marathon - I have a goal of running 15 miles by next April, but am beginning to wonder why I want to do that:)

Somehow, I need to get back to focusing on being healthy. I would like to lose 5 pounds, but don't think I can do that while I'm running so many miles (because I get so hungry and know I can eat whatever I want). I suspect that I might not be eating enough calories to maintain this amount of activity, which probably also contibutes to injuries and fatigue. I think that I'm going to need to rejoin Weight Watchers and retrain myself on how to eat and exercise. I need to remember that I AM a runner now, I don't need to go to this extreme... running 3 miles is just fine.


Amy 11:11 PM  

I know I am kind of a running geek and I look at race calendars for next spring when I won't be pregnant anymore and can actually run in them. :) I do get bored with it and have gone months...even a full year without doing it. I only feel motivated when I putting on mileage yet I don't want to be training all the time either. One of workers at the gym I go to said to try something else for awhile to keep your motivation up while still getting a good cardio workout--swimming, biking, hiking, rollerblading, aerobics, dance, cross country skiing. This is one of the reasons when I am not pregnant anymore, I want to get into doing some lap swimming before I get back into hard core running.

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