Seven weeks ago I started training for a half marathon. There was no really good reason to do this. I guess I have always been a bit envious of the runner lifestyle, for starters. I desperately want to get my winter 10 pounds off. I like a good challenge. Do any of those sound like good reasons?
Let's discuss my weight issues first. You'll remember last year when I worked my butt off to shed 20 pounds in three months. I reached my goal, just in time for my 30th birthday and the beginning of summer. But then in the fall real life returned and I gained back 10 pounds. Since October those pounds won't budge. They're driving me crazy.
For the amount of time I spend at the gym I should really be the buffest person in the world. The fact that I am not tells me something: 1) I am not working out effectively or efficiently 2) I don't work out as hard as I think I do 3) My calorie intake is too high.
In light of this, the half marathon training seemed like a great solution because it would force change in my workout habits.
Well it did change my workout habits...just not how I expected.
The first thing I realized was that running is a mental battle. Don't get me wrong, it is physically taxing, but the real work is in not quitting. That, and maintaining consistency in the training plan. I would spend all day pumping myself up just to be able to knock out five miles.
The running is not what I call enjoyable. It's the feeling afterward that is addicting. It's the walking into work the next morning and nonchalantly mentioning to your co-workers how you ran five miles the night before. That makes you feel good.
A few weeks ago a horrible burning pain started in my right shin. So I iced it and rested for a day or two. Then I bought new purple, professionally fitted shoes in hopes they would solve the problem.
Then the shin splints came back with a vengeance last week. About that time I was also having pretty gnarly pain in my rear left hip. I also had a sore ankle. Throw in a constantly sore knee and it seemed like it was time to give my body a break. Clearly all the running wasn't appreciated by my joints.
Since last Monday I haven't worked out, haven't even thought about the gym or my running shoes until yesterday.
So I went for a test run - an easy two miles with Maple. Right at the half mile mark my shin pain came back.
Now the conundrum - I'm signed up to run my first 10k this weekend. What to do? What to do?
I'll feel like a weenie if I don't do it. But I be really mad if I cause more damage to my poor leg.
Might I add that this is my right leg, or what I like to refer to as my 'bad' leg. When I was a freshman in high school I had a minor collision with an opponent in a soccer game. She was fine and I cracked my leg in half. Both my tibia and fibula cleanly cracked in two pieces. It was a lovely six months in a purple cast, then a red cast, a blue cast and finally a series of removable casts. Since then I've tried to take pity on my poor leg and be extra nice to it.
But this whole shin splints thing has nothing to do with that broken leg. I'm just making excuses and telling you a story.
Anyway, I don't really know what to do. Do I run on Saturday? Do I keep trying to train for the half marathon? Maybe I just not meant to be a runner....and that is okay. This isn't something I'm stressing over. I have bigger fish to fry.
Here's my point. I quit drinking coffee. Again.
Seriously, I haven't had one single drop of the caffinated elixir in two days.
This is my solution to getting off those ten pounds that are driving me INSANE.
A quick count of my average daily calories showed me that I'm doing an excellent job of drinking almost half of my daily calories. HALF! By the time I load up two large coffees with cream and sugar we're talking about 500 calories a day. Add in a glass of wine, half a gatorade, and the occasional chocolate milk at school (don't laugh) and we're talking serious caloric intake.
The other part of my solution is to get back to my regular workouts. No more using running for 30-40 minutes every other day as an excuse not to lift weights. No more evil homework consuming my life. No more coffee or other junk.
It's time to get in shape and, more importantly, get back to feeling good.
No more excuses.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Well, for the next couple of months at least.