Thursday, 26 May 2011

"That's a really fast runner!"

I wasn't sure what to title this post as. Initially it was going to be 'Good News & Bad News' but I decided that was missing the point. More on that later. More on the eventual title later too.

I think I've been living in denial for a few weeks. I could tell by reflection and the feel of clothes that I'd put on weight, and knew from my last weigh in a few weeks ago that I was close to a stone heavier than I was in the week before the Paris marathon, but I hadn't faced the scales since.

Generally this was more a case of not thinking to weigh first thing than consciously avoiding it but there was also a feeling that knowing my weight would impact my morale and prevent me from doing something about it.

Noble sentiment but flawed in one small way.

It was bollocks.

I wasn't weighing but nor was I doing anything about it. My food intake was certainly better from Friday of last week but I was still going through chocolate and biscuits at an alarming rate.

Yesterday I confronted the scales and it wasn't pretty.

  • I weighed 13st 0.4lbs (compared with 11st 9.6 pre Paris and 11st 12.6 in late April).
  • My bodyfat had gone up to 20% (from 15.4% pre Paris)
  • The visceral fat had gone to 9lbs (from 6lbs pre Paris)

When I got off the scales I was quite shocked. The amount and rate of gain were frightening and the visceral fat alarming. Equally, it was sad to think that little over a month ago I was looking at being 11st by early June.

However, there was also a sense of relief at knowing where I am and I immediately recognised that this would form the end of a chapter; that it would establish both a limit and a start point.

I suppose that looking at the numbers on the scales was rather like giving fear a name. In fact, having just typed that I think that is exactly what it was: it quantified and named the fear and reduced it to a manageable problem.

For the first time in around 8 weeks I logged my entire food intake yesterday, and stayed within my limits. In itself that was good, but what was even better was that to accomplish that I had to make rational choices over quantity and type of foods and feel comfortable with them i.e. it's the process rather than the result that pleases me most.

On a similar theme I was pleased to get out and run yesterday. My Achilles was still a little sore and I did toy with the idea of having another rest day but got changed and headed out of the door. Within a few yards I was limping and again the idea of canceling the run crossed my mind but I chose to carry on and as with most tendon injuries the pain eased off (only to come back since).

The run though, felt tough. I ran only 5 miles and was barely under 9 minute mile pace with even that only being accomplished thanks to three short stops.

At around halfway I was feeling quite sorry for myself - tired and lamenting that just a few weeks ago running twice the distance at a minute a mile faster would still only feel like a warm up - as I passed a lady and her daughter of about three years.

As I passed them I heard the little girl say "That's a really fast runner" to her mam. Actually, she may not have said 'really' but that's how I'm remembering it. I'd love to say everything felt easy after that but it didn't. However, her comment certainly made it easier to accept the situation. Bless her.


~Jessica~ said...

'Fast' running is all relative.

Actually this entire post could have summed up my feelings about my weight and my 'running' (it's more like waddling) at the moment. I missed my marathon through injury and some life-threatening cellulitis which was going the way of septicimia (how fun. I also cannot spell) and binge ate my way to the point where I'm 17lbs heavier than last September and I gained 7 of those pounds in one week. Plus, I have bursitis in both hips which means that I'm struggling to maintain the same pace as you at the moment even on short runs. Unlike you, however, I cannot get out of the cycle of overeating and depression.

Good for you for making positive changes and I'll keep sending healing thoughts towards your achilles.


Running Rob said...

Cheers Jess - you could also send me an invite to your blog ;)

Hope things begin to pick up for you soon!

Maria said...

You are a fast runner. Although as Jess says, it is relative anyway. I run faster than most people walk!
At least you know the starting point now and can start to take steps to lose weight etc.