Don’t get me wrong, I was never “fast”. But I was faster than I am currently.
Running has been a struggle lately, both physically and mentally. I know why, and I know how to fix it, but I didn’t get to be 260lbs by being dedicated and sane.
Last fall, I broke 2 hours in the half marathon (1:58:28 I think?). It was one of my big running dreams. The other was to run a 25:XX 5k, which I did this spring. Then it all started to fall apart.
The more I ran, the more hungry I was, and the more I ate. I was having a hard time eating as much as I felt like I needed, so I had my lapband unfilled. I figured I’d eat more meat (protein) and feel better/more full. Maybe even lose weight. But one minor problem:
Bread. I clearly can not be trusted with it. With my lapband more filled, I could barely eat it. Small amounts only, and it took so long that most of the time I decided it wasn’t even worth the effort. That went on for 4 years. Suddenly being able to eat bread made me want ALL OF IT. Even though I am trying to make reasonable choices, I am eating too much bread. And I have an extra 15lbs to show for it.
Gaining 15 pounds has had a horrible impact on my running. I feel heavy, and it’s hard, and I’m slow. I go run and it feels hard even though the pace SHOULD be easy, and then I feel like crap about myself, which makes me not want to run, so I don’t do it as much, and instead I eat more bread. I’m basically in a death spiral over here.
Recognizing this, and doing something about it, however, are 2 very different things. I tried to just say “no big deal, just lose the weight and the speed will come back”, but it’s hard to lose weight when I’m not running as much, and especially when I’m depressed about things and just want to eat. I know that I need to just embrace the speed I’m at currently and everything else will fall into place, but man is that ever easier said than done.
My “tempo” pace is currently the pace at which I was doing my long runs at this time last year. The last 5k I ran was a full 2 minutes slower than the one I ran in the spring (same course). And my last real “long” run was the Columbus Marathon in October.
This week, I ran one day without my Garmin. Just my Timex. I just ran for 45 minutes. I have no idea how far I went. Might have been 5 miles, or 3 miles, I didn’t really care. I ran for comfort, and for fun. I gave myself permission to stop and walk if the mood struck (it didn’t). It helped. Today I ran 8 miles, with my watch. My average pace was 11:05. I used to do it in 1:21, every single time. Today, 1:28. It stings a little, but I’m trying to be ok with it. The important thing is that I got out there and ran and tried not to hate it, which I didn’t. I didn’t look at my watch much, mostly because I didn’t want to know. It vibrates every mile, so I knew how far I’d gone, which was really all I needed to know.
So, I’m working on it. It’s a struggle. I still need to lose 10lbs to get back to where I was running comfortably (and to be able to fit back into my pants!), or 15lbs to get back to my lowest running weight. I still feel slow and fat, but I’m doing my best out there. The Goofy challenge is in a month, and to say I’m not ready for that would be a gross understatement. We’ll see what happens. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself. All I can do is run the best I can, cross train the best I can, and eat the best I can, and hope it all falls into place. If it doesn’t, then we move on to the next race.
I am going to start working on my training plans and goals for 2013. Maybe try the 100 miles a month goal again, since I fell off the wagon this year? In the meantime, if you see me out there, tell me I look fast and thin. I’ll know you’re lying, but maybe it will help. I miss my pants.