Because I’m going to talk about weight. And running. And how they interplay and what I’m doing about it. It’s no secret that the lighter you are, the faster you run. Everyone from Runner’s World, to my running hero Jaymee (hi, stalker checking in! what’s up!) have talked about how losing pounds translates to faster times. To a point. And, it’s true. Being a girl, I generally range from feeling like “wow I’m small today” to “ugh, I feel giant and like a cow and super puffy.” For a long time I haven’t had a scale in my house– I tend to get obsessive about things and I figured that by having one I’d descend into the depths of disordered eating but I’ve actually found the opposite to be true. If I wake up feeling icky I restrict and freak out and that’s not good. It doesn’t help that I’m naturally dense– my bones and muscle just weigh a lot which means I’m hauling around quite a bit of body mass based on my genetics. Which is probably why I can run high mileage and feel good– plenty of muscle protecting me.
So, last night I bought a scale. I want empirical evidence to tell me where I’m at. I’m not going to be able to freak out if the numbers tell me I’m ok. (Let’s be clear for a second– I think I look fine. I don’t want to be thinner to look better– just to run faster. I plan on eating a lot of cookies and steak in December and probably drinking a lot of wine, too) My scale measures body fat, body water, bone mass index and one other thing I can’t remember. I don’t really know what to do with the last 2 numbers but I do care about body fat and water.
So, I hopped on this morning. I was at 22% body fat which is thin for a human, but not so much for a runner. With some quick calculations I realized my frame was carring 37 pounds of fat. I’d like to get that down before CIM. I’ve been using an app called Lose It! on my iphone to track my intake each day. It accounts for exercise and breaks down your nutrients. I quickly realized that although I’m a really healthy eater (I am. I eat veggies and no white flour anything– it’s totally annoying) I was just eating too much food during the day. Too much snacking. And, if we’re being honest, not enough saying no to dessert trips and some beer.
I’m not insane and life is too short to not enjoy things with your friends, but I’m in training and I need to act like it. So, the new rules are: a beer or glass of wine is fine, but 3 max per week. One “treat” meal or snack per week where I eat something delicious I wouldn’t normally. On my long or medium long run day. ONE trip to Big Spoon for frozen yogurt a week and keep the whole thing under 6 ounces (if you live here, you know what I’m talking about. It’s sooooo good). More veggies, more brown rice and no mindless snacking just because I’m hungry. Oh and less peanut butter. I have a tendency to eat it out of the jar while I’m cooking and that adds up quick! Oh and a final rule: weigh in twice per week– Monday morning and Thursday morning only. No getting obsessed. I’ve also found I need to up my carbs and down my protein, so I’m working on that, too. Less meat, more beans. And most importantly, listen to my body. If I’m hungry, I’m going to eat. It knows what it needs, and sometimes that’s a snack!
Also, as Rachel pointed out, I’m not on the Biggest Loser. Getting lighter isn’t easy when you’re already reasonably lean. So I have realistic expectations for myself.
Hopefully this is a piece of the puzzle that helps me reach my goal in December. I’m training too hard and giving up too much to throw it away by eating crap. Garbage in, garbage out. Time to fuel this body and get to fighting weight!
That’s how I feel this week. My legs, brain, feet, knees, hips, back, mental capacity to run fast and even my shoulders feel fried. I have heavy legs, little motivation to run faster than my easy pace and I don’t know if I’m going to hit my mileage this week (ok of course I will. I’m Type A, I follow rules. It’s what I do). I just have zero get up and go. Everything hurts. Everything.
This isn’t good. I run well when I’m confident and plan to “run the hell out of” races. So I’m trying to visualize running faster and tell my negative self to can it. I’m going to rock some speed workout tomorrow and hopefully that helps.
In the meantime, I’ll just keep putting hay in the barn. I haven’t felt badly running in quite a few weeks, so I’m due. It happens. Every training cycle. My legs will come back. They always do.