If Running Were My Bread & Butter, Last Month I Would Have Starved

Running may have to be added to my “enjoyed in moderation” list—right under refined carbs and saturated fats.

I missed several days of running last month, making a huge mess of my beautifully laid out NYC marathon training plan. 45 percent of the blame lies in a seriously tough work schedule the first two weeks of September (those of you who have anything to do with NY Fashion Week can offer a knowing nod here) and the other 65 percent goes to an angry left hip. (Noticing my math skills? I’m sure I’m not the only person who gives 110% when training for a marathon…)

I had some incredibly positive long runs heading into September. My pacing was great, my body felt sound, and mentally I was flying high. Then a nagging little popping sensation showed up in my left hip and put a wrench in the whole thing. I had hoped the crazy work schedule—which prevented me from hitting my (almost) daily runs and forced me to skip a long run altogether, would give my hip a much needed break. But now that I’m attempting to build back up and finish out my long runs before the taper, I’m realizing a slow September didn’t offer much relief. My hip still hurts.

I’ve officially gone OTP (off the plan), and I don’t know if this new run-until-it hurts-then-stop  routine will get me to the start line on Staten Island on 4 November. At this point, I think I have two options:

  1. Forget my time goal and just run the marathon slow—walking if necessary to be kind to my hip. (And set my sights on next season.)
  2. Cancel my marathon plans altogether, so I don’t risk any more damage—physical or mental, because not finishing would be really depressing. (And set my sights on next season.)

What would you do if you were in my sneakers?

I Feel So Empty Inside

This week has been an easy one for me when it comes to running. The mileage is low and I’m not stressing out about hitting times, I’m just making sure my legs feel good. But even though I’m not burning as many calories as I usually do, I’m craving them like a maniac.

Seriously, I’ve been hungrier than ever this week. It’s like my stomach just won’t feel full. And I’m definitely giving in to the urges. Yesterday at my desk I snacked on a banana, peanut butter cookies, butter toffee almonds, string cheese, and applesauce—and that was on top of lunch (ham, cheese, sprouts, and cucumbers on a whole wheat roll), second breakfast (grapes and a croissant), and breakfast (oatmeal with frozen peaches). I had dinner with a friend last night and I was so hungry by the time I got there, I thought I was going to gnaw my arm off.

Scientists have found that exercise increases the production of a protein that curbs appetite, so it makes sense that my body would be craving more food now that I’m not running as much. But it’s gotten so bad I’m afraid to open the work fridge for fear that I might eat someone else’s leftovers. (Whoever brought in the humus and grilled chicken, consider yourself warned.)

Countdown to the Boston Marathon: 5 days!

Is anyone else hungry right now? Do you feel the urge to eat more when you’re exercising less, too?

Originally posted in Running With It on Shape.com.

Tapering: For Running And Fashion, It’s Best Not To Over Think It

The taper portion of marathon training is a lot like a pair of pants that get skinny at the ankles—you think it’s going to be great, but then you wonder if it’s making your butt look big. Tapering requires you to drop the intensity of your workouts down to about 60% of the load you’ve built up to over the course of training. It can make you feel a little lazy.

This week, miCoach has me scaling back both my mileage and my speed, and next week I’ll barely be breaking a sweat—nothing on my schedule is longer than 40 minutes. After weeks of two to three hour runs, seeing a 25-minute session on my calendar seems ridiculous. I’ll practically be stopping before I get started—what’s the point of tying my shoes? Still, all those easy runs will be great for my body. My muscles will have plenty of recovery time and I’ll restock my fuel stores, which will help my legs feel fresh for the ultimate workout on April 18.

Shorter runs also mean I have more time on my hands for sleeping, eating, worrying about whether or not I trained enough, and online shopping. My legs are going to do well, but I’m not sure if my brain and my bank account will make it through the next two weeks without feeling drained.

Countdown to the Boston Marathon: 13 days!

Do you feel lazy when you dial back your workouts? More importantly, should I buy these pants?

Originally posted in Running With It on Shape.com.