Yesterday, I participated in my third half-marathon in 12 months. It was never a goal of mine to do three of these in a year and I certainly wasn’t trained up the way I should have been. Last week, I bounced back and forth on whether I should run it or not. I had a horrible blister issue and my plantar faciitis was aggravated in the race two weeks ago. But, in the end, I decided to run the CNO Monumental because running three half-marathons in a year was something I’ve never done before.
I ran the Monumental last year, so I had some recollection of the course. My plan was to run/walk the first six miles, and then either run/walk more or just walk the rest of the way. I wasn’t worried about finish time or pace. I just didn’t want to be the last one in or injured. How did I do? Let’s just say that I had a great 5k.
The blister thing reared its ugly head in Mile 3. I thought I had prepared enough to prevent that from happening again. I bought new socks and blister shield, I re-laced my shoes and drank plenty of water. Yet, there I was blistering up. I didn’t anticipate blistering so early in race. And it all went to the sewer after that.
I did cross the finish line, but crossed it missing two miles. A group that I was with (which included an 82-year old woman) got lost at mile 8. When we reconnected with the race, it was at mile 10. We missed a two-mile loop. I made the decision to cross the finish line because a) trying to make up two miles with blistered feet was a bad idea and b) walking 11 miles with blistered feet surely was equivalent to running 13.1 blister-free. But it was truly a “walk of shame” trying to figure out how I was going to face my co-workers at the finish line.
This was definitely not the race I thought I was going to have. I felt (still feel) humiliated. I began thinking this running thing just isn’t for me. I won’t be successful at this. In fact, I’m not successful at anything. The feeling of defeat drifted in to every other aspect of my life so that by 7:00 this morning, I was having a mid-life crisis of self-doubt and despair.
Worst race experience of my life. 33 pounds heavier than last year. Tired all the time. Life just sucks.
A setback is a setup for a comeback–T.D. Jakes
I’m attributing all of this to my weight gain over the last year. I’ve tried exercise, medication, and calorie reduction. Nothing has stopped the gain. In fact, I’ve gained seven pounds in the last two months. It’s time to look at nutrition.
I picked up a book at the library last week called “Diet-Free for Life”. I started reading it on the way to Indy and finished the book this afternoon. Robert Ferguson’s plan is not rocket science. Combine protein, fast carbs and slow carbs in a way that your body metabolizes faster and keep your blood sugar levels even by snacking in between meals. Oh, and if you feel like exercising, that’s a bonus. Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that. His plan mirrors a Weight Watchers type program, so it involves counting, measuring, recording, affirmation and goal setting. The goal setting was hard, because I looked at what I want to accomplish or change in a very vulnerable state. Maybe that’s best. Here’s my list:
- I want to successfully finish a half marathon in 3:30.
- I want to fit in to a size 14 again.
- I want my legs to be thin enough to wear regular size boots (not “wide calf”).
- I want to stop feeling so lethargic all the time.
- I want to manage my time more efficiently.
- I want to show others more grace and gratitude.
- I want to feel that I am accomplishing things, achieving results and meeting goals.
- I want to feel accepted where I work.
Does all of that have to do with weight loss? One way or another, yes. Once I begin feeling better (more energy, accomplished), I will be able to focus my attention on the ancillary non-weight loss goals. And I can tackle new goals as old goals are reached. Believe me, there’s plenty to work on.
Tomorrow, I will implement small changes from the book and then after we make menus and go grocery shopping, it’s all in.
Live. Laugh. Love.