Monday, July 15, 2013

From Here to There - Part II


So in my continued journey towards a full marathon I had mentioned that there are several areas I need to work on before I even begin the actual "training". Keep in mind that "training" means the actual training plan that is typically 18-weeks or so and prescribes the number of miles to be run on specific days. So far I am planning on using the Hal Higdon Marathon Novice 1. I'm still researching various plans, but after reading the book that kicked off this whole crazy adventure, I am good with going with that plan because, honestly, if it has worked for others why wouldn't it work for me, right?

Okay, so the second part of getting from here to there is my WEIGHT. Yeah, nobody really likes to talk about it all that much, but the reality is that I'm a heavier than average runner. I admit it. And I know that being a few pounds, okay 30-40, less would greatly benefit me as a runner. Granted, I'm nowhere near what I was at my heaviest. But it's still heavier than I should be.

I've struggled with my weight for pretty much my entire adult life. I've lost, I've gained, I've get the idea. The good part is that I at least seem to have leveled off somewhat as I have been in the same weight range for pretty much the past 3 years now. But it's still in the overweight range and there's still plenty of room for improvement. The less I weigh, the less impact my poor joints take and the faster I can run.

Now, my biggest problem is that when I am running a lot, or in training for an event, I tend to eat the calories that I'm burning and not always with quality food. I find that I really like using food as a reward for a hard run. Want that doughnut? Go ahead - you ran 10 miles today! Want that hamburger and fries - go ahead, you ran 5 miles! Want that smoothie, candy, bigger portion, __________ (fill in the blank) - go ahead, you're in training! So yeah, you get the idea; I could pretty much plug any item into a slot and come out with the same solution to the equation.

Yeah, I never was a math whiz, but even I can see that the equation above is a recipe for disaster. So not only do I need to LOSE some weight, I need to not add it back on once I do start to ramp up miles.

This is no easy feat, I tell ya! If there is one thing I've learned over the past several years it is that living a healthy lifestyle isn't that hard, but losing weight is! I can eat all the healthy foods in the world, but if I'm eating too much, or too little, or supplementing with junk foods then I'm not going to see the results I'm after. So what am I going to do to get me from here to there?

1. Re-read this guide. I read it a few years back, but I need the reminder.
Get it for yourself here
2. Start REALLY tracking my food intake again. I kind of do this already, but I seriously slack on the weekends which is my downfall.

3. Watch my portions. Again, one of my downfalls is that portions have been getting bigger and I've finished dinner totally stuffed too often lately.

4. Find an alternate reward system besides food for when those runs get progressively longer and harder. Food should not be my go-to reward. But I am absolutely horrible about actually giving myself a reward when it isn't food-based (how's that for jacked-up thinking?!?). I can tell myself that I'll buy a new nail polish, for example, but when push comes to shove I talk myself out of it. I need to do a mind-shift there so I recognize that I do deserve the rewards I earn

5. Talk to my friends about strategies for combating this. PLEASE, if you have any tips/tricks, pass them along. Lord knows I need all the help I can get!

So while I am still at a relatively slower pace and lower mileage my primary focus needs to be on losing weight. I'm not a fine-tuned athlete that needs to eat a gazillion extra calories because I'm such a well-running machine. I'm an overweight, forty-something average runner. I need to eat like a normal person that is trying to lose weight. The extra activity certainly HELPS but it does not give me a get out of jail free card. 

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As I continue my journey from here to there, I know that I am ensuring that, at the very least, I am putting the pieces together to allow me a successful journey to being a marathoner! Let's just hope that the mind, body and soul continue to cooperate.

Question for you: What is your biggest struggle right now and what is your plan of attack?


  1. I am at a complete stand still. I've tried cutting out high cal days, upping the exercise, lowering the exercise, changing up the type of exercise. On paper I should've lost 10 lbs by now and instead I've lost about zilch. I'm banging my proverbial head against the wall. I hope your plan works better than mine. (I will say though I'm sucking rump on the water. Need to fix that ASAP)

    1. Yeah - this whole weight loss thing just SUCKS sometimes!! So go drink your water, missy!! No excuses... :-)

  2. Forgive me if there are a million typos....the kindle is not very forgiving. I so totally feel you on all of these. Food is a great reward and we are well conditioned to see it as such. I love nail polish as a reward. Maybe we need sn organized wal-mart meet ul on reward days :). I think it is easier to give ourselves food rewards because we NEED food, reward or not. I need to work on all of these points!!

    1. I agree with you completely - food is easy to rationalize because it is a need; whereas nail polish...not so much! That's a GREAT idea though - at the end of each month we should have a reward stop following our weekend run. Super awesome idea!!