Friday, 5 August 2011


The last time I ran was July 30th. The time before that was on July 13th. I’m supposed to be training for a half marathon in October. My training plan is not going so well.

There’s always an excuse why I can’t go for my planned run.
  • I went to bed super late the night before and need more sleep so can’t run in the morning.
  • I’m in the office during the day, so can’t run then.
  • It’s raining or it looks like it’s going to rain.
  • If I went for a run when I got home I’d have to wait ages to cook dinner and then eat it and I’m already pretty hungry when I get home.
  • I can’t run after I eat because that’s just painful.
  • And now it’s too dark to run.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

No matter how much I’d like to deny it, I know what’s at the root of all these excuses. Let me explain.

I’ve been avoiding stepping on the scale for a while. The last time I weighed myself was in April. The number was not great—I was only five pounds away from my highest recorded weight ever. But somehow I was able to ignore this threat and continued to live a life of sloth and gluttony. I’ve hardly done anything remotely athletic and I’ve been eating everything in sight, particularly anything made of bread and/or sugar.

I continued to ignore the sight of my bloated face in the mirror and the ‘shrinking’ of my clothes. But on Wednesday of last week I bit the bullet and stepped on the scale and saw what I should have expected to see. I’d reached my maximum weight again. Fuck.

All the work I did almost four years ago to shed 35 pounds has been wasted. I’m a lard-ass again. I’m seriously disappointed in myself.

But on that same day I managed to make myself proud. After a few minutes of self-flagellation and berating the scale for being such a know-it-all, I got off my butt and cleaned out my kitchen. All the junk food went in the rubbish bin. Then I went to the grocery store and stocked up on real food. I dusted off my old food journal and began recording what and when I ate. I concentrated on the positives—drink plenty of water, eat five fruit and vegetables each day and make sure I’m actually hungry before I put food in my mouth.

I weighed myself again this week and I was down three pounds. Well done, me!

But still no running.

The re-accumulated weight has made running an arduous chore rather than the joy it used to be. Running with the extra weight takes A LOT more effort and I feel it dragging me down every single step of the way. I haven’t run with a watch in ages, so I’m not bothered by my time. I was slow before so it doesn’t matter. What bothers me is that running isn’t comfortable anymore. I feel like Jabba the Hut with my fat rolls flapping as I huff and puff, red-faced, down the road.

The half marathon is in just over nine weeks. I have three options.
  • Option #1: I can take a loss on the £45 ($73) registration fee and not run the race.
  • Option #2: I can stop being such a self-conscious ninny, get back on my training plan of three measly runs a week and run that damn half marathon.
  • Option #3: Vodka and Chaka Khan.
So, Peanut Gallery, what say you?


Viper said...

I always vote for not being a ninny, but a little vodka and Chaka Khan wouldn't hurt. Setbacks are an unfortunate part of the journey. I've trained for a half in six weeks, so nine weeks are plenty. Just lower your goals. Cheers!

BrianFlash said...

Go for the half! Look at it this way. It is easy to lose weight week one by improving the diet, but after that exercise is a required part of dropping weight. And running is exercise. So get out there three or four days a week and get it done!

The half marathon is just a bonus.

The Merry said...

Um... do you have to commit to running the whole damn thing? Would it be the end of the world if you find yourself walking part of it? You'd still be in better shape.

Though option #3 is pretty tempting too.

Keith said...

Hi X.
I did not want to know that it's only 9 weeks to oct. In fact it's 8 weeks till my proposed half marathon. I'm only running 3x a week, at best. I too, have gained weight. So let's both get with the program, shall we?
I'll inspire you, if you inspire me? Or something like that. And no, G, that is not some clever euphemism for, I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

K said...

After my latest experience with running and my new mantra of "shut up and run" or HTFU, I say, go for Option #2. C'mon you can do it and you'll feel so good about yourself to get back on the wagon (so to speak). Buy yourself a cute funny running shirt to help with motivation. I want to read a euro-based-race report in October.

Mark said...

You better effing choose #2. I really don't want to see any Chaka Khan videos on here.

JojaJogger said...

#3 tonight, then #2 tomorrow morning.

Deb said...

Option #4: Commit to running the FULL marathon, run 5 -6 times per week, eat a healthy diet and watch the weight drop off. Then, on the big day, just run the half and astonish yourself and your readers with your crazy fast PR.

Seriously, you HAVE to run the half. Nine weeks is more than enough time. You don't have to win the thing - just get out there and give it all you've got.

Keith said...

Wow! Another loose moose! They are everywhere. Almost everywhere, I should say.

And X, ran my 1.75 hrs today in the hot sun. I feel no guilt about the peanut butter and Nutella sandwich I just inhaled.

Nitmos said...

Whatever happens, it oughta make an interesting post. So, there's that!