Sunday, February 17, 2013

This Post is a Little Cheesy.

Here I am, precisely three weeks P.M. (Post-Marathon), at my parent's house in Plymouth, MA. We are snowed in for the morning while a little storm passes by.


I was planning to try for an 8-9 mile long run today, but instead have had to "settle" [read: eagerly get back in bed] for watching the HBO Beyonce documentary and hoping that the gym is open this afternoon for some treadmill action. If I feel like it.

I really don't.

You can print Beyonce motivational posters from to adorn your office or bedroom:

As I've mentioned, I signed up for the NY Half before I ran Miami and now have that coming in exactly one month. I've run only a few times total -- and never more than 6 miles -- since the race. Hmm.

I won't run the Half for time (last year I PR-ed at that race before doing so again at the Brooklyn Half in May. But I still would like to have a decent showing. I'm doing this race because I had such a blast last year and wanted a repeat showing. This is the race that shuts down Times Square and ends at the South Street Seaport. It's on St. Patty's Day (after party, anyone?) and I have a bunch of friends running it as well.

Also I truly thought I wouldn't get in the lottery when I signed up at the end of 2012, but of course this is when I get lucky. I NEVER WIN ANYTHING!

So now I'm still training. Kind of. I'm trying to work out at least a few days a week, but I'mma be honest. It's tough.

For the week immediately following the marathon, I didn't work out at all. This is not only okay, but is highly recommended by just about all sources. What I did do, however, was eat all of the foods.

For a couple of months leading up to the "big day" I was really good about my eating to ensure that my body -- that I had worked so hard to cultivate over 20+ miles of training -- was in tip-top shape for the big day. The choices I made were ones I learned were right for my body through trial and error from all those months of training. Trust me: You'll know an error when you feel it during a 3+ hour run.

We'll leave it at that.

But between the low amounts of alcohol, minimal oil and fried foods, and zero lactose consumed...I felt great. It truly was not about weight loss as my portions of many foods (carbs, vegetarian proteins, etc.) were high. But if that's the side-effect? I'll take it.

I feel like others would agree that often when you're IN a healthy mode it's easy to STAY in a healthy mode. And as soon as you embark on unhealthy activities, sometimes it can be a slippery slope. A treacherously slippery slope.

So, let me graphically demonstrate to you the type of lifestyle I have lived P.M.:


And I'm finding it hard to get back on the wagon.

Is three week a long time for a downward spiral? No, no it is not. Will I get the willpower to get back on? Absolutely. Is this why they, in all their wisdom, invented stretchy pants? You're damn right.

But it is a constant struggle. It's one that has plagued me my whole life. But through training I was somehow able to reach an equilibrium. A balance.

When I was in marathon mode, I truly and honestly didn't crave the cheese and the processed foods as much as when I wasn't training. And I got really used to the fact that in order to have a successful run of more than 4-5 miles I simply needed to eat healthy the day before and abstain from all alcohol.

And so I did.

I also truly loved the feeling that I could eat large portions of many foods I love (stir-fries, pastas, big ol' bread baskets) basically guilt-free. It made giving up the daily cheese snacks more than bearable. Because in my mind bread > cheese > all other foods.

What they don't tell you after you run a marathon is that you're still "Marathon Hungry." I'm not sure for how long, but I can tell you with confidence that it is at least 3 weeks. And meanwhile, no calorie burn.

So here I am, midway down the slope and lazier than ever. With a Half Marathon that I've paid $100+ for and genuinely do want to race in four weeks. And I know that to do that successfully I need to stop the binge and start the running again (all in moderation, of course).

... I also do know that I deserve a break.

And so I'm torn.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's never easy, this whole "being fit" thing. Even when you are feeling the best about yourself than you ever have (which is where I was from basically October - January with the NYC Miami training), and even when you accompish huge's a struggle.

All we can do is all we can do. And I have to remember that no one cares if I gain or lose weight. They really don't. And no one cares if I ran 20 miles this week or 4. They care if you're confident and they care if you're happy.

I know, I know. It can sound contrived and ridiculous. I just ran a marathon, so howcould I feel anything other than pure joy and positivity!?

This running / racing / working out "thing" is a lifestyle. And I'm still trying to figure out how that lifestyle fits in with how I want to live my life.

I'm never going to be the girl who prepares a week's worth of lentils and bok choy (both things I do genuinely like, by the way) and then do some meditative yoga and drift off to sleep in a Buddha-like state of calm. Rather, I'm the one who will cook one singular healthy meal, brag about it for 14 days, and then go out for Mexican and order the extra-large burrito and yes I would like the side of guacamole and the large margarita with that. And more chips, please.

You may be able to relate.

So now, if you'll excuse me, I have some lunch to eat. Watching Beyonce dance so much took a lot out of me.


  1. It is all about balance...which is why marathon training is so dang HARD. You went to one entirely OTHER extreme (nun-like existence) and are now going the other way, because you can. Things will settle, you'll find a way to make it all work, but just remember, give yourself time, balance out and remember to listen to and take care of yourself.

    You still get major kudos for, oh, the next year or so, for running and training for a marathon. MAJOR.

    1. Thanks, lady! Nearly a month later I'm FINALLY feeling back to somewhat normal and it feels much better!