Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wednesday Morning Run: Pushing Through a New Pain

My blog originally began as a place for me to document my workouts and talk about my struggles with weight, but the focus has evolved over time towards my running obsession.  A fact that has a lot to do with the rewards running provides are obtainable and feel less fleeting.  These rewards are not easily obtainable, but a new distance or a PR are things that are achievable through hard work and dedication.  Weight loss on the other hand is an unending struggle with few quick rewards.  Weeks of intense personal struggle often amount to only to minor changes that are easily wiped out by the most minor lapse in dedication.  I would have taken any of the worst challenges of running gladly rather than face the mind-numbing frustrations of this struggle with weight loss.  I shudder at the thought of how much time I've put into self loathing; honestly, . . . self loathing was pretty much my main hobby from 1999 until 2003 and then again for most of 2007-8.  And the worst thing is that I have no one to blame for this. I let myself get fat . . . it is that simple.  Now, I will spend the rest of my life struggling to overcome the damage that I've done to my body.  The Story above from NPR talks about how the challenges people face to maintain their new weight once they have shed a large number of pounds.   Basically, your body thinks that you are starving and tries to force you to conserve energy and increase your food intake.  This is why I have been resistant to all of the diet plans that people suggest to me.  And believe me, I wish that I had a dollar for each suggestion that I have gotten over the years.  If I had managed to save all that cash rather than blowing them on . . . well . . . most likely food . . . I wouldn't be driving 97' Mazda Protege!   Anyway,  I have resisted diets, and looked more towards life style changes, because I know that in order to maintain any weight loss goals that I achieve, the changes I make will need to be permanent.     

This blog is now a running blog and will never revert back to my earlier obsession with weight loss and workout details.  However, my goals as a runner are directly tied into my ability to manage my weight.  I understand the reality of what I face.  In a recent article written by Peter Sagal for Runner's World, he asks his doctor how he can avoid getting slower as he ages.  His doctor's advice is to lose weight and goes on to say that weight loss is better legal or illegal performance enhancing substance out there.  The moment I read it was like a wave of truth hitting me.  It wasn't even that I didn't already realize that weight loss was the key.  It was that I realized I needed to make the hard choices.  It was finally time.

Last Wednesday I ran 4 miles in 41:13 for 10:13 pace on a fairly chilly morning.  The last two miles were rough because my stomach was growling and rumbling for food.  I felt ill.  But, I kept running.  I put one leg in front of the other and told myself that I wasn't any more hungry than I had been the last morning that I got up and ran four miles.  I hadn't listen to the NPR story yet; I just knew that my mind and body were having issues with the way I am living now.  I told myself that I'll adjust, and I kept running.  Now that I have listened to the story and heard the science behind my stomachs yearning.  I know that the adjustments may not come from my body as quickly as I hoped if ever, so I'll need to make the adjustment in my mind and realize that the pains in my stomach are just something else to push through while I am on my run.

Mile 1 10:35
Mile 2 9:42
Mile 3 10:15
Mile 4 10:21


  1. I had to cover my eyes when I read about the self-loathing because I could relate all too well. Until I had the epiphany that really it could've been so much worse. I hate my flabby belly and my size 10 clothes (a dream size when I was a size 18, but now it's not good enough) but I know I need to appreciate that this size 10 body carries me for 13.1 miles and even carried me for 26.2 once.

    I vividly recall a time when BD and I would sit in front of the TV with a pile of pork rinds in front of us (the REAL ones, greasy and fatty, not the fake store bought ones that come in a potato chip bag) and a case of Corona's and consume the entire lot during a baseball game. Thankfully that is soo far behind us...both of us would rather go for a run now. Lifestyle changes, you bet.

    I have every confidence that you will reach your goals. And I hope you'll share your sucesses, failures and lessons learned along the way.

  2. Never been a Pork Rind guy but my hometown of Fairmont WV is the birthplace of the Pepperoni Roll, which was the main staple of my diet as a child. I know for a fact that I've eaten a dozen in under 12 hours.


  3. The words you write here speak to me and I am sure SO many others. I am so sorry that you have and continue at times to struggle. You are a beautiful person inside and out. Try every day to empower and better yourself, but always remember you are you, which to me is an amazing fellow.