I had a strange sensation last night as I lay in bed with my stomach growling on my 3rd day of my diet (and 3rd day off from running). The hunger in my stomach was familiar in some way. Of course I have dieted before and my Lovely Wife and I had both lost 85 lbs. However I gained 10 lbs back over the past year and so I am doing the diet again over the next few weeks to try to get down a bit for running.
As I pondered the fact that the hunger pains were not only familiar, but I also didn’t seem to mind them, I tried to make sense of it all. Then it hit me. Of course this is just my aged mind thinking and pondering, but in running, I have had the same feeling. No, not massive hunger, but forcing my body to do what it did not want to do. As we trained for our first half marathon, TJ had me doing tempo runs, steady state runs, hill runs and so on. In doing these (especially tempo runs) I would feel horrible and my body would want me to quit. I wouldn’t go to the point of hurting myself, but I knew that if I didn’t push myself further than I wanted to go, I would give up almost immediately. This developed discipline in me that I credit, almost more than the training itself, to my success in my half marathon. I have written before that running has a lot to do with psychology and now I am adding that running creates discipline (something I have never had).
So last night, as I felt hunger sweep my body and smelled dinner (baked ziti) cooking downstairs, it wasn’t dread or anger I felt, it was almost like an old friend coming to visit. I understand that this diet won’t last forever and I won’t push myself too far. I also understand that the hunger is working to improve my running as does a good tempo run. It is all the same discipline working on my behalf.
This is all philosophical, but it really made sense to me last night. Of course, it could just have been that the hunger made me a bit delirious 🙂
I hate dieting, but I love running.
There is no doubt running helps develop mental stamina, not just physical. It makes you a stronger person in many ways!
I’m finding a lot of benefits from running that I never knew of. It is amazing!
I totally understand that feeling! I always tell my young runners that running and marathoning is about 75% mental and 25% physical. There is no way you can finish if you haven’t got the mind for it!
I totally agree. I learned that the hard way.