Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Running on Empty

So this is a little srs for a post than I normally do but I came across this article in my latest issue of Runner's World Magazine and thought I'd put it out in the open. When I was reading it, I really identified with the stories and found so many things in common with how I lived my during my 3L yr of law school..

Running on Empty

What the article basically talks about is how runners who are aiming to reach a new PR or training for a race have this perception that a lower weight will automatically lead to a new PR or just running faster..  Basically, the man in the first story identified that in the end he made a PR after gaining a few lbs rather than when he basically starved himself thinking that weighing less will ultimately make him run faster.  I identified with this so much because in the fall of 2010 I started training for my first half marathon. I wasn't terribly overweight but just a little heavy (regardless I had already lost nearly 60lbs inthe previous yr).  I (along w some other influences) just had in my mind that I needed to lose more weight so I can run faster the next February in my race and have an amazing time in my first half.  I would religiously count calories (I used to keep a packet of notecards in my kitchen &start my daily calorie count w my coffee/breakfast) and rewarded myself if I had less than 1000 calories that day (not adding the runs I did everyday in order to lose weight).. this probably went on for 4/5 mos before it all came to head and I was completely worn out.  WELL, long story short (you can read some posts from spring 2011 if you want the whole story) I got terribly sick, weak, and out of sorts for nearly 4 months.  I went to so many doctors, had so many blood tests, went to the hospital even for xrays, etc.  It was a pretty scary time in life and it really diminished my mental state for the foreseeable future..I ended up doing my half marathon even though I was so sick.. I failed miserably in making my goal time by nearly 30+ mins.

When I was reading this article, I think it rang true to me in the end especially because it really does speak the truth.  The number on the scale and the number of calories is not the only factor in running fast or making a PR.  The main thing is to be strong and healthy.  This is so true and I realized it last fall when I ran my second half marathon.  I was nearly 20lbs heavier (so not a super great weight) BUT I was a lot healthier than I was the previous half marathon.  I even beat my previous half PR by 16 mins.  So yeah, it really is true that 'running on empty' is not a good idea/unhealthy for runners.

I hope people who read this article had their eyes opened like me because it really can get dangerous for runners.  I have been working for almost a year now to get back to a healthy place in life and not let the calorie counting take over my life again..It's so easy to get close to/cross the line from being healthy and barely eating anything in the name of running. It is a struggle and like everyone I have my good days and bad days when my mind thinks nothing but abt the calories ive consumed but its a work in progress.

Right now, I feel like I am in one of the best places in life, I literally havent been this happy in a longgggg time (well over a year) and even though Im not at the weight I would call ideal, I am happy and am taking a whole new approach to this weight loss while staying healthy in my habits.


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