I believe that “diet” is a bad word. I believe that there’s a lot of evil happening at the hands of the diet industry and their co-conspirators (looking at you, women’s mags). I believe that our society has done a shamefully good job of teaching girls and women that they should always be “trying to lose weight” and should never be happy with their bodies. I believe that men need to speak about women differently. I believe that women need to speak about themselves and each other differently. I believe that girls need to be raised differently — including but not limited to changes to shape of their toys and the appearance of their Disney characters. I hope my kids never go on diets, and I don’t plan to use that word in front of them.
I set this all up to say — I’m going on a diet. A real one. With rules. And Excel charts. It’s not touchy-feely. It’s not “eating by intuition.” It’s actually the opposite of how I’ve been peacefully but unsuccessfully “trying to lose weight” for the past several years. Which is exactly why I chose it.
Given a crazy summer schedule, I am not planning on doing weekly training recaps for my Mesa Falls Marathon training. HOWEVER, I had a shockingly spectacular — dare I say, breakthrough — training week last week, and so I wanted to share some of the changes I made to my training that worked for me.
Yikes… How did that happen?… Now only three weeks until the Asheville Marathon??? Maybe that honeymoon break was a bad idea, especially given my goals for this race? Well I had my wakeup this week and jumped back into it with both feet…
I’ve previously documented my struggle (mental and physical) to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The closest I got was 3:45:47, about 10 minutes slower than the Boston application cutoff (but more like 15 minutes from what I’d actually need to get in). I’m several years older and wiser… although unfortunately still in the same age bracket for BQ qualifying times. And in the intervening years, I backed off the pressure, refocused my goals (hello, 50 states!), gained some weight, lost some weight, explored new workouts,changed jobs, gotten married, bought a home, and ultimately ended up with my marathon times back in the same range as they were in 2011.
So naturally, my mind wanders back to the BQ. Am I finally ready to tackle this challenge? At 30 years old, healthy, and childless, is this potentially my last, best chance? Or would I just be setting myself up for frustration and disappointment, and worst of all, would I be taking the joy out of running? So I have a plan.
So two Saturdays ago I ran the Mississippi Blues Marathon. I asked a fellow runner there — who had run like 136 marathons or something absurd — what he recommended for the spring. His first suggestion was the Asheville Marathon. I haven’t run a marathon in North Carolina, so that sounded good to me. Last Monday I registered and mapped out my training plan. This first week was a recovery week, of course, with lots of rest and extra protein in my smoothies (I used the usual Vega All in One plus Wild Foods whey protein). But I didn’t want to completely let myself go and become one with the couch because there’s another race around the corner. I’ll spend these first few weeks getting back to fighting weight, strength training, and doing shorter long runs. Here’s a recap of this past week.
My husband is obsessed with podcasts – not just Serial and This American Life but lots and lots of other podcasts about tech and business and food and farming and health and medicine and relationships. He listens to them on the way to work, walking the dog, in the car, who knows when else. I enjoy them – especially Radiolab – in the car with him on road trips (especially because we have different musical preferences), but I haven’t made them part of my daily life like he has.
However, on my last few long runs, I’ve been feeling… well, lonely. Bored. Eager to get home and get on with whatever else the day holds.