Sunday, April 3, 2011

Disaster Averted

When I re-read my last post, I realized it was pretty thanks for not calling me out on that! Apparently, the whining worked though!

Since then, the scale has moved! I weighed 159.0 this morning!! Woot, Woot! I haven't seen 150-something in a LONG time, my friends (Just for the record, I actually saw 158.4 three of the 17 times I weighed - I couldn't believe my eyes and just wanted to stare at the number!!). While I can't attribute it completely to healthy eating and working out because I participated in the 30-Hour Famine with our youth group Friday and Saturday, I'll take it! This brings my total weight loss in just over a year to around 74 pounds!

And second, and probably most importantly, I've had a major break-thru with my running this weekend. 

When running causes more stress than it's relieving,
something's out of balance and needs to be changed. 

To understand this, I need to go back in my journey a little. Last March, I started running. My overall goal for running was to lose weight and get my health back. Knowing how my brain operates, I set a long-term goal to run the St. Jude's 1/2 Marathon in December. This was my motivation to keep running (and justify all the money I was spending on gear, but I digress...). I did St. Jude's in December and in the delirium of my runner's high, I signed up for the Frostbite 1/2 marathon in January (five weeks later!)...and I did that, too. I was really ready for some time off - as in no-pressure-running-just-to-run time off. 

Instead of listening to my body (and my mind!), I began training for the Country Music 1/2 Marathon (April 30) and invited my sister-in-law to join me (it would be her first 1/2!). As the semester picked up speed (no pun intended, runners!), I fell behind in my training and even struggled to get my shorter runs in during the week; then, I began to struggle making time for long runs. All the struggling was stressing me out and stealing the joy of my running. It felt like one of the other million things I HAD to do in the day/week. It was causing more stress than it was relieving!

My sister-in-law (who I swear wears an "S" for Super Woman under her clothes) also had trouble getting in her training runs. In our womanly wisdom, we decided this weekend to nix the 1/2 and just plan a fun visit! We'll have a wonderful weekend with them and will go for a long run, just the two of us, for a distance of our own choosing without battling 30,000+ other runners Since we made this decision, I can't even begin to explain how relieved I've felt!

So relieved, in fact, that I went for a run tonight (on my rest day!) - JUST BECAUSE I WANTED TO! It felt amazing to run without worrying about distance or pace or anything - I just ran to run! I didn't HAVE to - I really WANTED to!

Some of you will read this and think I'm copping out and that's ok. I know hard-core runners will criticize, but what I think I did was avoid the fast-track to burnout. One of the purposes for my continued running is to relieve (some) stress in my life. It's relaxing and provides me some alone time to decompress. Because the other obligations in my life creating obstacles for my training plan, running was actually causing me stress. Defeats the purpose a little...

So, what's my plan now?

Three to four runs per week of varying distances (3-5 miles) with one mid to long run (6-8 miles) on the weekend depending on time and weather. May also try three runs and a kettle bell workout some weeks.

And my advice to others (new or old runners): Listen to your body! If you need a break from race training, take it. There's always another race to train for and no one's going to take your "runner card" just because you're not "in training" for something.


  1. I think it's so so so very important to keep running fun. One thing that helps me is altering my training throughout the year. For instance, in the spring, I transition to shorter races (5ks) and the training is a little different. Mid summer, I start getting ready for a fall marathon. I love the variety of the fall/winter training vs. the spring/summer training. It keeps it fresh and I stay motivated. In fact, today, I'm heading to the track for some 200s this evening (unless we are rained out) I LOVE 200s! It's so different from long race training, and I love that.

  2. CONFESSION: i, myself, have backed out of the country music half this time too. have been planning on it since the beginning of the year. so much going on right now that i cant fully commit to a training schedule. im still running during the week but short distances and im also doing kettlebells, yoga and pilates just to change it up a little ;)