Has it really been four days since I ran a marathon? It really doesn’t feel it. I could run another marathon this weekend. The human body’s ability to adapt is amazing.
I’ve been feeling stir-crazy, tapering for the past four weeks. I’ve been eager to jump on a new project or goal pretty much since I crossed the finish line on Sunday.
I ran again on Tuesday: 3 miles. I felt strong but I took it easy. And it shows, the pace was about a minute to 1:30 slower per mile than my average short run during training.
My next goal is to lose 17 pounds by the beginning of February, which around the time I would start training for my next spring marathon (TBD).
When I stepped to the start line of the Maine Marathon last year, I weighed 148 pounds.
Last year, I was doing Weight Watchers and in weight-loss mode, even as I started marathon training. I realized late in the training cycle that I could eat a lot more than I used to because of the volume of my training and still lose weight. And then I kept eating after the marathon was over. And I told myself, “It’s OK, with the next marathon it will come off.” But it didn’t. I weighed 153 pounds at the end of my next marathon training cycle, in May.
I had actually gone up to about 158 in January of last year and came down in time for Sugarloaf … but it did not stay down after that race.
So I want to lose the 9 pounds I gained back and then an additional 8 pounds to go down to 140. This time it’s not because I think I’ll look so much better if I’m an extra 8 pounds lighter. And it’s not because I think I’ll be healthier if I were lighter, because I know that I’m comfortably in the BMI guidelines for my height, even with the weight I’ve gained.
Partly it’s a reminder that I need to stay conscientious of what I eat because statistically it’s very likely I’ll gain back all the weight I lost. And partly because it’s one of the things I need to/can do to be a better runner.
So. You’ve been waiting for it. The Plan:
I’m tracking everything I eat with My Fitness Pal. I found this site/app through the very highly scientific method of googling “best free calorie tracker app.” I had used The Daily Plate in the past, but since Livestrong bought it, it’s really gone downhill. The last straw was that they had deleted the app I paid for once off my phone, and I was going to have to buy the app again to use it.
I’m happy with My Fitness Pal so far. It has a cool feature where you can scan barcode of the food you’re eating with your phone and it finds it right away. Both the site and the app are fast and easy to figure out. The only downside is that, like with any user-generated-calorie-tracker website, you have to be careful to pick the accurate foods from the list.
I put in “lose 1 pound per week” and a sedentary activity level, which 1,370 calories per day. I track all my exercise separately, and yesterday and the day before I’ve been able to earn 500-1,000 calories back.
Which is good, because I totally ate those calories.
Whenever I’ve used calorie tracking to lose weight, I try to focus on being as COMPLETE and HONEST as possible. I only hold myself accountable for being accurate. If I go over the limit, I don’t beat myself up. Seriously, I went several hundred calories over the first two days. I think the act of just quantifying my food is enough to get me to eat less.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into the type of blogger that posts pictures of everything she eats and obsesses about food. But expect in the next few weeks to read more about what is and isn’t working with the new diet approach.