I know I haven’t posted much the last few weeks. Truth be told, I haven’t felt like writing. It’s been a mix of things, really- work, training (or lack there of), and feeling like I’ve been in a rut. At times I pull back from people or things, and keep to myself. Sometimes I try to take things on all by myself. Which is the exact opposite of what I’ve done these last 2-1/2 years.
I’ve been settling into my new role at work, which has required some extra time, after hours to get things done. There’s a lot to learn, and I’m sort of picking things up as I go. I’ll admit I was overwhelmed my first week and a half, had a moment or two thinking about what I had gotten myself into- but that’s fading. The job is a good fit, and I think I’ll excel at it. It will take time. I like my routines, and I am finding one again.
Training wise, I’m back at full speed! Coach Jen has eased me back into things after Austin, and it’s been OK. I needed the rest. But I’m glad to be back into things as I’ve been in a funk of sorts. I think it was a combination of work stress, post race blues, and some self defeating and negative thinking. I’ve found the routine of training has become a bit of a comfort zone for me. It also gives me a chance to drop kick stress in the face by providing a healthy outlet.
I get why I need downtime- to rest, recuperate, and heal. I get stir crazy though. I also let my mind wander, dwelling on the inactivity, and found myself this time turning it into a negative. Yes, I was blaming myself for it and was beating myself up over it. Ridiculousness! I also found myself floating back towards bad habits of the past.
Over indulgence, making poor food choices, sleeping odd hours, upping the coffee intake…all things I know don’t help me. But like a bug to a light, I’m drawn to them. And then find myself acting surprised when they don’t help! Of course that gives me another chance to take shots at myself, and beat myself up even more. It becomes a bad cycle.
Take birthday week, for example. An OK idea in theory, but I gained 5lbs. Yep, I ate like crap and it showed. That’s part of the reason I didn’t post weigh-in Wednesday results. I was bummed. Honestly, I knew I would be up and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge deal. I splurged, it happened. I made the poor choices and shouldn’t have been surprised at the results. I also shouldn’t have gotten down on myself. It’s not the end of the world.
Going off course every once in a while doesn’t negate the success I’ve had. Yeah, I gained 5 lbs last week, yeah I gained weight on vacation. A vacation which I ran my third marathon, and set a huge PR! I’ve still lost over 115lbs and lost 18″ from around my waist. Yeah, I’m up 10lbs since race day…duh, I’ve been fairly in active.
Over all though, I think I was more disappointed that I seem to be falling into a new pattern. Since Austin I have found opportunities to give myself and excuse to go off course. First it was because I ran another marathon. Then it was because I was on vacation. Then it was the new job, and then my birthday.
I’ve come to realize I may be addicted to food. Not so much what I’m eating, but using it to cope or to fill an emotional void. Growing up, eating became a way to deal with being abused. At the time, it helped get me through. Now as an adult, it’s not healthy. When I’m stressed, I eat. When I’m bummed, I eat. When I’m anxious…yeah, you guessed it, I eat.
Through training to run a marathon, I found a new, more healthy way to cope with stress and negative feelings. Instead of stuffing my face I can tackle my workout and go for a hard run, to push myself. I’m doing good by my body and get the benefit of a confidence boost after finishing a tough run. It’s a double win! (I have a draft started written to my self confidence, I may finish it, I may not.) I suppose it’s good I am catching myself; I’m not as oblivious to it now. I’m learning to see the signs, react sooner, and pull myself out of a spiral. I did my best to weather this emotional funk after the race. Was it perfect? No but while I gained a little weight, over all I’m in a good place.
These last two weeks of training, the first two of this next training cycle, have been tough but fun. It’s been a mix of hills, speed work, and strength training. Sure I started to panic that I was destroying my base, and that I had no stamina at all. It was there, just needed to shake the rust off. I also started to wonder if I wanted to still run. After some thinking and chatting with a couple of folks, I realize I do. I have big goals. My next one is the half marathon in Champaign. I’m looking for a solid race. And then there’s the Chicago Marathon. Running well at Austin didn’t dull my intentions for the year. If anything it intensified my drive.
My goal for the year is about redemption. In Champaign, this summer, and at Chicago, I will make it happen!
This blog isn’t just about the good stuff- it’s about the good and the bad. With that, I’m sorry I pulled back. I’m back to posting a bit more regularly.