Very early on in this blog I wrote about how shocked I was to realize that I hadn’t lost a single ounce after running 90 miles in one week.
That was hardly an anomaly. I’ve since learned that I’ve got to be really careful to avoid weight gain while training for a marathon. And if I don’t pay close attention to my diet on long-run day — when I’m likely to burn up to 2,000 calories in exercise alone — I will almost always weigh 2-3 pounds more the following day.
It’s not just that I can’t outrun my diet, as that absolutely dead-on saying goes. We’re not even in the same league. When it comes to ingesting calories, my inner pig really ought to be nominated for the Hall of Fame.
So the last couple of weeks, when my running was pretty light coming off a marathon, I finally lost the 5 pounds I’d been trying without success to shed the whole time I was training. It’s so much easier for me to cut back on my diet when I’m not training that the thought actually entered my head: Would I be better off, healthwise, not running?
Maybe. There are lots of other ways I could exercise to stay fit. And there’s definitely something in my psychological makeup that causes me to nearly panic if I head out for a run without having something in my fuel tank. (In fact, I still fret WAY too much about what I do or don’t eat in the hours before a run, or even worse, what I have the night before a race.)
If I were a logical person, I might say: You know what? Time to switch to a form of exercise that I don’t associate with food.
But my love of running isn’t logical. As long as my legs still work, I don’t think I could ever give it up. So I’ll keep working on figuring out the eating thing.