Day 8, mile 8

Today is the mid point of my diet.  It is not easy for many reasons.  I am hungry, tired and can’t run because I decided to take time off to recover and to lose weight. It seems to be almost impossible for me to lose weight while running.  I can cut back on what I eat or eat better foods, but eventually someone shoves a pizza in my face and the carbs are more than I can handle.

Yesterday was the roughest.  I have been on a physician weight loss diet for a week now and we had a presentation in our conference room at work with 10 large pizzas!  Ugh.  I sat and eat my apple and 4 oz of chicken and tried to ignore the aroma of pizza and the happy faces of coworkers as they devoured them.

If you consider my diet to be like a half marathon (funny how I now see everything in that light), I am at mile 8.  At the half marathon we just ran, mile 8 was my slowest.  It was the end of a long set of hills and the beginning of the decline.  It was the hardest part and it was also the point at which I stopped feeling my legs running and had the sensation of almost floating.  It wasn’t a fun “floating” either.  I was tired and running slower than at any other point in the race.

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As I mentioned, I am at mile eight in my diet/running hiatus.  It is rough.  I want to eat and I want to run.  But, as in the race, I have to keep my perspective.  I need to use this time to the full potential of the reason I began it.  I wanted to let my body recover from the workouts and the race and I wanted to loose enough weight to be a more efficient runner.  It is hard to run and keep good times in races at 5’9″ 195 lbs.  All the charts say I should weigh about 165 to be in the “normal range”.  I’m not stuck on that figure, but I also realize this is the best chance to get to a more reasonable weight.

Life is a race, whether we are running, dieting or just living day by day.

Running has taught me more than I thought I could ever learn from an “activity”.  It is truly amazing.

I love running.

Tempo runs and hunger pains

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.

I digress.

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.