Feeling Broken

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This week has been draining in every possible way. Grades for progress reports were due yesterday, and I unfortunately got behind on a few other things at work so I had to play catch-up. Not only that, but I had a meeting after school yesterday and one today (as well as a hair appt after work tomorrow) which cuts into the two hours of daylight that I have for usually reserved for training.

I feel like a zombie.

I look good.

After a great workout on Sunday I’ve been really tight, my right hip flexor is sore, my feet ache. I had to switch my Monday and Tuesday workout so I ended up doing 10 miles on Monday and it didn’t feel good. Yesterday felt pretty awful as well. I think I might just take the day off today beacuse that did the trick last time I felt like this. I scheduled a down week this week anyway.

Why do I struggle so much with taking a day off? The “old” me would never, ever take a day off. That’s how I wound up with a stress fracture in my foot before the Olympic Trials in 2004, on top of anemia that wouldn’t go away for months. I didn’t listen to my body. I learned my lesson, but I still feel guilty when I miss a day.

I do have a piece of good news to end this pathetic post. Even though I gained 8 lbs after the marathon, I’ve been able to lose 6 of them in 6 weeks of training. I can almost see my ab muscles again! Also, I’ve overcome my fear of stepping on the scale. I weighed my self every day for a week (including before and after runs) because my weight fluctuates like crazy and I just wanted to figure out what the hell was going on. I did a few science experiments on myself and now that I have it figured out I feel a lot better. I think most of my fluctuations are due to hydration in combination with my “time of the month”. Probably TMI… anyway, in a few weeks I should be back down to my weight from the marathon (125) and then hopefully a few pounds lighter by Shamrock marathon and track season (120). I plan to weigh myself twice per week just to keep things in check.

Just FYI- I do not subscribe to the whole thinner = faster thing (been down that road before). 120 is a healthy weight for my height (5’4″) and I’m not trying to lose weight at this point, just keeping track of how my training is affecting my weight (and logging in in my BIA journal of course).

Dear scale: I win

Working List

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Of upcoming races..

1/1/12 Hair of the Dog 5k (Virginia Beach)

1/20/12 CNU Captain’s Invitational 5000 meters (indoor)

2/4/12 CNU Vince Brown Invitational 3000 meters (indoor)

2/25/12 Crystal Coast Half Marathon (North Carolina)

3/18/12 Shamrock Marathon (Virginia Beach)

3/30/12 Raleigh Relays 5000m

4/7/12 Duke Invitational 3000m steeplechase

4/26/12 Penn Relays 3000m steeplechase

I’m just brainstorming ideas right now… I’m looking for some fun shorter road races to run so if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them! I’m so ready to get back on the track and almost wish I didn’t commit to running Shamrock. I have my first 20 miler tomorrow and am not looking forward to it. Most of my long runs did not go well last summer due to my iron problems so I kinda have post-traumatic stress about them.

Also, I stepped on the scale this morning and it wasn’t pretty, but I’m not totally worried about it right now. I’m going to start tracking my weight before and after long runs, something I haven’t ever done before. My Believe I Am training journal has a neat feature in the middle for tracking a bunch of variables like weight, shoes, sleep, heart rate, etc. I’ve been meaning to track my heart rate but I almost never wake up without an alarm so that sucks. Anyway, today was just a test.. I lost 2.2 lbs on a 6 mile run today. Is that abnormal? It seems like a lot to me and also I’m wondering if that will equate to like 8 lbs or more tomorrow… so stay tuned for those exciting results. <—-That was sarcasm there.

Pete is busy working on our coaching website (almost finished!!) and Bella is asleep next to me. We tired her out with a run and over an hour at the dog park. Okie that’s all for now!

I Have a Confession

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I used to be a fat kid.

My Grandmother brought us these mumus back from Hawaii.

Luckily my parents fed us healthy foods and took us to dance classes every week, so it didn’t get too out of control. But it was constantly on my brain, even at this age. I remember seeing this picture and thinking I looked fat. I was probably ten years old. That’s not a normal thing to worry about when you’re ten.

When I got really into running during my sophomore year I had already dropped a lot of weight (not in a healthy way, in an extreme dieting way). Running came pretty easy for me at times, but I also struggled with my weight and with stress fractures. My potential was severely stifled by my eating habits. I had three stress factures in the span of two years, and suffered from the familiar “female athlete triad”.

Of course, it gets much more complicated than that. I was able to get myself healthy for most of college, but I still had times where I just felt awful about myself. It’s tough to be a female distance runner in the NCAA, and I definitely caved to the pressure of “thinner is faster”.

Freihofer's 5k National Championship 2003. I entered on a whim (hence the 1601 bib number) and finished 16th in 16:58.

Now that I am a coach I make it a point to set a good example for my athletes. One of my proudest moments was this year, after a cross country race in Richmond, when we stopped at Wendy’s at some of the girls were lamenting about their bodies and pretending they weren’t hungry. I ordered my food, sat down, and ate my chicken sandwich, fries, and a frosty. They kept commenting about how much I ate and how “skinny” I was (if they only knew how long it took me to get this point). They started to ask me questions about nutrition and eating disorders, and I got a little nervous because it’s such a touchy subject. But this is what you sign up for when you become a coach.. they will literally ask you for advice and information on everything. I did my best to answer their questions, but I know it was extremely important that I set a positive example with my actions. Yes, a lot of skinny people are fast runners, but that doesn’t mean that starving yourself= running faster.. that’s why I’m sitting here eating french fries! There are sooo many other factors. On that particular day (and most other days) I was extremely exhausted but felt very fulfilled because I knew I had helped. Just a little.

A healthier, happier version of myself, from our honeymoon in Arizona in 2009.