My sweet friend Kathy asked me in a comment how my marathon training is going. Well, would you like to know?
My training schedule involves 3 short runs during the week--usually I do those Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday--and 1 long run on the weekend--which I usually do Friday or Saturday. The training schedule I use is really gentle; it's quite gradual. (Oh--here it is, in case you're wondering. Scroll down; I'm Novice 1.) For instance, my long runs tend to progress like this: 6-7-5...9-10-7...12-13-10. So before my long runs increase, my body gets a little break. (And oddly enough, 7 miles feels awesome when the last weekend's run was 10.)
I'm almost halfway through my training! I have 18 weeks of training, and this weekend will close my eighth week. Very exciting. My body is finally starting to complain--that is to say, it has started complaining more even when I'm not running. My hip hurts, my knees are not much better, and sometimes my shins take a beating, too. (I need new shoes.) I sometimes feel like an old lady! But on the flip side, I'm feeling good, fitting in my clothes a little better, and sleeping like a champ. And I'm proud of myself! Every time I do a long run, I surprise myself. I start to realize what I am capable of, and it's at once exciting and overwhelming. Sometimes after a long run I don't really process what I've done. And then 45 minutes go by and I call Phill just to shout, "I just ran X miles!!"
I had ambitions of losing a couple extra pounds through all of this, and for the first few weeks I was weighing myself vigilantly. Well, way too much, actually. Phill let me know he was worried, and that if I continued at that rate that he would throw away the scale. I didn't improve; he threw away the scale. When I realized what he had done, I had a moment of panic....and then realized that it was good he had thrown it away--because I was panicking. Who panics when they can't weigh themselves all the time? People who have a strained relationship with food and weight, that's who! I'm so glad he did that. Now I am able to focus on my effort and my fuel. My view of food has changed--I see it as something healing, something restorative. And I don't feel guilty when I indulge in a comfort-food-craving. (Chocolate chip cookie dough.) I know this sounds strange, but....I respect food now. I'm grateful for food.
On that note....I am constantly hungry! CONSTANTLY. My stomach seems to be a bottomless pit, and most days I can't even tally up what I've eaten; it's too much. I'm in love with Horizon organic chocolate milk. I'm crazy about Great Value all natural Vanilla Bean & Chocolate ice cream. I could eat two cantaloupes a day, although today I've only eaten one. I keep making whole wheat bread so that I can slather it with apricot jam and devour five pieces in one sitting.
But wait, folks, that's not all! Apparently, I'm even hungry while I sleep, or at least my subconscious is. Last night, I dreamt I had a huge ball (9 inches in diameter) of coconut chicken on a stick. In my dream, I said, "I don't know WHERE this delicious coconut chicken came from, but I don't care! I'm going to eat it all!" (Someone in the background, some Voice of Reason, said, "But what if it's poisoned?" My answer? "Oh, it's not.") Then I pause mid-chomping and say, "Phill! You've really got to try this!" He takes one bite and says, "Rae....this is just a cantaloupe on a stick. This is gross. And weird." I take it from him, shrug, and continue to eat voraciously. When I woke up, all I could think was, "What?! A chicken ball on a stick? Cantaloupe on a stick?" And my stomach was growling.
So that's how my training is going. :D Tomorrow I run 13 miles. Wish me luck and a tempered appetite!