I did not intend to take three weeks off after the half-marathon, but things sort of happened that way.
The first week was a planned week off. I knew my body needed the rest in order to fully recover. I also fell prey to the mindset of, “I just ran a half-marathon! I can eat whatever I want!” Yeah… That was not so bright. The hard thing is I was fully aware of what I was doing. I just felt absolutely incapable of making the healthier decisions. I think part of that was because I really was planning to start running again that next week. That was going to be my “out”.
The second week off was not planned. I got sick. As in spending-days-in-bed sick, thanks to a nasty cold that I picked up from a professor. (Seriously. If you’re sick, STAY HOME INSTEAD OF INFECTING THE REST OF US. Thank you.) Of course, being sick meant I just wanted foods that were quickly prepared and that I wouldn’t have to worry about contaminating other portions of. This meant lots of canned and boxed highly processed foods – the things I’ve mostly been avoiding for the last year and a half.
The third week off was because I just kind of said, “Screw it.” I was going to be spending a week with family for Christmas which meant traveling, eating out a few times, and having those holiday treats that we love so much. I also didn’t want to be potentially dealing with ice and snow during my first week back to running, so I didn’t bother to take any of my running gear with me.
By the end of that third week, I could tell that some of my new smaller clothes which I had been so thrilled to acquire were now starting to feel just a touch snug. They didn’t look as good on me as they had just a few weeks ago. Also, I was really beginning to feel the effects of not eating the way I’ve become accustomed to over the last year and a half, and very much looking forward to getting back into those habits.
So now I’m back home and mostly recovered from that cold, and sure enough – I’m about 10 pounds heavier than I was on race day. I know some of that will be water weight due to the increased levels of sodium I’d taken in over the last few weeks. That part should drop off pretty quickly. But I’m also pretty sure that some of that was simply me undoing some of my hard work. I know the choices I made, and now I am experiencing the result of them.
Monday morning was my first run since the race and it felt awful. By Monday night, I had some pretty serious DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) starting up in my thighs. They were incredibly sore yesterday. Not quite as bad today, but still very uncomfortable. But I made myself get out the door and run again this morning. It felt better than Monday’s run. I’m hoping I’ll experience a similar improvement when I run on Friday.
I’m still struggling with some food behaviors that I’d let back into my lifestyle. Craving lots of sweets (and they’re all on sale!) and just wanting to snack in general. I’m being careful to keep snack foods out of the house, though I have fallen prey to a couple pieces of clearance Christmas candy. But I did only buy one at a time on separate shopping trips instead of bringing home bags of the stuff.
Also, I was gathering some numbers from the past year and came up with these figures:
- 990.3 miles logged for 2014
- 698 running
- 286.6 walking
- 5.7 hiking
The first thought that occurs to me is HOLY CRAP. The second is that I need to get more hiking in this spring.
So, yeah. I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things and back on the road to being better. As always, thanks for reading.