Tuesday, November 06, 2007


A year after the marathon

I have been meaning for some time to provide an update. Not that anyone reads this (if the Site Meter is to be believed) but just because it will make me feel a little better to assess where I am now. I'm also contemplating reviving this blog and focusing on the weight maintenance side of things.

On the one hand, I feel like I'm a far cry from where I was last year at marathon time. On the other hand, I think I've done pretty well considering three major events, two very good and one not so good, that have happened since the marathon. The two good things are the new baby in February, and the new job back last November. The baby has obviously cut into my sleep supply, which makes it harder to get up early enough for long pre-work runs.

The new job came with a longer, more stressful commute and a busier workload. With the baby and the longer drive time I usually get here early enough for a 3 mile run at most. However, one very good thing about the job is that there is a strong fitness culture here, and there is a gym and locker room on the premises.

But the just plain bad thing (not too bad as health problems go) is that I came down with plantar facitis last January. This is a kind of foot pain that takes a long time to heal. I tried light running on and off in the early spring, but it was not getting better. I saw a doctor and he told me not to run for at least two months. That really broke whatever momentum I had built up from last year.

Well, to make a long story short, I worked out on the elliptical machine as much as I could stand, and then gradually started running again. I have done as much as 4.5 miles, but I still feel a ghost of a hint of the plantar facitis, so I'm being very conservative. I ran the CVS Downtown Providence 5K in September, and finished under 24 minutes, which pleased me very much. On average, I do about 5-10 miles a week.

So I am encouraged that my foot is getting better, and that I am still very motivated to keep running. Honestly, the only thing keeping me from doing more running at this point is lack of time (or sleep, the two being interchangable these days).

What is somewhat discouraging is that my eating habits are not so great. I've put on maybe 10 or 15 lbs since the marathon. That's not awful, given how much I have cut back on exercise. I still wear the same pants and have not conceded a belt hole yet. But, I really feel like I have to reverse the trend now or else. This is a tough time because the weather and the holiday busy-ness are really going to cut into workout time, and of course the holiday food will be plentiful.

But I look at this from another perspective and see it as encouraging. If, given my poor discipline with eating, I've not outgrown my clothes, and been able to keep fit enough to run 4 miles, then, if I just toe the line a little better I should be able to reverse the weight gain. In other words, if I were living on skim milk and lettuce and still gaining, that would be discouraging. But what I am seeing now is that the equation (weight change = calories in - calories spent)is working perfectly fine. So the solution is clear, and doable. I have all the ingredients ready.

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