If you’re a runner, today was one of those runs that you would like to throw in the back of your mind and wish it didn’t happen, but for me, I’m going to remember it, remind myself of it and use it for motivation (well, parts of it!). I’m not going to lie…. I was on the struggle bus…. In fact, there were parts when I was on the back of the struggle bus and the door was swinging open, and I was about to fall off. Had I fallen off, surely the bus would have backed up and rolled over me without noticing! That’s how bad parts of this run were!!!!!
I was hoping to be able to run the marathon today, but I couldn’t. I knew I wasn’t able to based on my food intake (one time Beth showed me an example of what marathoners eat and I thought “holy shit”), but my legs have not been as cooperative as I’d like them to be lately. I went back and forth with how long to run, and I decided on going for the half marathon – 13.1 – although, 8-10 might have been better. So, I mapped out where to get on the route and got on at the wrong place and ended up running 15 miles. Ooops. Okay, I can deal with it.
I started running and hitting some water stations and my legs were doing okay. It was hot, so I was rehydrating like you read about! Heck yea! I was not going down for dehydration. See my super cool fanny pack water belt! 🙂
[Side comment – Katie, my friend, definitely said to me, “I never thought you would be the one to wear a fanny pack, running belt or not…. I’m judging”…. and that’s why we’re friends… because I’d judge her too! But this fanny pack will come in handy later!]
I get to the 3rd water station and I have to pee – like whoa! As I’m struggling to get my belt off (literally, I had to look like an idiot, it wouldn’t come off!) I was dancing to stop the pee from coming. I run to the porta-potty (ew) and it was in use. LET DOWN. I was about to pee my pants. Problem solving skills kicked in. I see woods…. I have tissues… I look around and think “Will these people see me dart into the woods? But wait, there is an old guy sitting in a lawn chair. Rachel, you’re not darting anywhere, you aren’t running at warp speed!” (I’m not above that, people! I will pee in the woods if I have to! Don’t judge) I decided to keep my composure and concentrate for 1 minute and if the person didn’t exit the potty I was sprinting to the woods and I didn’t care who saw me. I won’t see these people again in my life!!!! [actually, yes I would because one was my dietitian and I would totally tell the truth because at this point she doesn’t know what will come out of my mouth and I almost think she would expect that].I filled up one of my fanny bottles with Gatorade and went on my way. A few miles down the road my legs started getting tight and I decided, when I need to, I will stop, power walk and stretch and run again. That was my deal. Through all of this I was winning over every Ed thought (more on that soon).
I stopped to stretch and got started again and ran into a friend (she ran the full marathon). She was on track for an awesome time so I traded my delicious chocolate/espresso gel packs for her nasty strawberry and banana gel pack (so she could get a good time) because I wasn’t running for time here. As I was running my legs started to cramp – Hello dehydration! I was drinking like a camel (do they drink a lot? well… they do now! It’s my blog; my metaphor). So I started walking a little more and it wasn’t feeling great! [Truthfully, the traded strawberry and banana gel was nasty. I almost gagged eating it and it felt like silly putty in my mouth! She did end up getting a super amazing time so I don’t feel so bad giving up my yummy gel packs] In my many pauses, I battled every ED thought and won! Ed said keep running and I said “STFU Ed, I’m trying to finish, not die” (STFU = shut the fuck up). So, I decided that as my legs started to tire I would give them a tiny break and drink water to stay hydrated. Each time I power walked, Ed reared his ugly head screaming that I should be running to burn more calories and I was so proud that I did a damn good job of screaming “STFU Ed” right back! Ed has taken a lot from me, but he will not take running from me.
Here are some photos of the parts of my legs that were cramping and are so sore….. oh wait…. ALL PARTS!
In this deal I made on the race (to go slower if I had to and drink), I found a girl struggling (Nicole – she’s my new friend who I’ll now never see again… haha). She was massively dehydrated so I offered her one of my fanny pack water bottles (ha, Katie! I saved a life). She took it, but soon after looked as if she began dry heaving…. Welp…. monkey see, monkey do….. damn it, I threw up! I was trying to help her (as I would hope somebody would do for me) and I had to pause and lose my liquids (how do moms out there do it!!!???). [I should have known, I always had to run out of the room in college when my friends were getting sick….you couldn’t always count on me to hold your hair back! It was hit or miss with this kid! I was trying to be helpful!] This is kind of funny because I wasn’t upset about getting sick, but I was upset because of all the water I lost! It’s hard to put that much water in your body on a hot day and run without it sloshing! I knew it was bad from there on! I couldn’t leave her, she said she was okay, but she wasn’t looking so good, so I stuck with her like a mamma bear!
Mamma Bear Rachel I ran behind her for a while (keeping an eye on her – although she didn’t know it) and then when she was really struggling I stuck next to her and we walked and talked for a while. She fought childhood obesity and is healthy now! Good for her!
From the time I helped her, to the time I finished was about 8 miles. Those were 8 miles of grueling hell because I was so dehydrated and I felt like I couldn’t get enough water in my body (And this woman kept popping up everywhere with a sign that said “Call a Cab, it’s faster!”… I know it is… and I kind of wanted to). I was drinking bottle after bottle and it didn’t matter. I was still so thirsty. To any runner, this is an awful run! But the good thing that came out of this… each time I gave my legs a break, or I walked behind Nicole (to make sure she was okay), Ed screamed that I had to run and burn more calories, and I simply dismissed him and said, “STFU Ed, this is not about you, this is for me! This race is mine!”
I’ve been struggling with my legs tiring out and a hip injury for a while, and through my medical appointments I have found that most of my issues are stemming from my nutrition choices 3 months ago. In the shower, I couldn’t understand why my hair was falling out again…. Well, our body is telling us today, where our nutrition was 3 months ago…. my muscles and my hair are sending me a message of the choices I was making 3 months ago and now I’m mad. I’m mad that when I’m working so hard on following my meal plan NOW, I’m still fighting through the choices that I made in the past. So, after all the struggles of the meal plan, and struggling through that run, I’m glad it happened. It showed me that I can fight Ed. I can do it when I want something bad enough, I just have to remember that I’m strong enough to fight the thoughts. I can scream back and win!
Side note – I have NO IDEA how I ran when I was so sick!!! When my weight was so low and I was over-exercising and not eating for days, I have no idea how I did it. Simple malnutrition now is a killer on my body!!! I guess I was so numb to everything I just didn’t notice.
Ed has taken enough from me, and he will not take running from me. I wanted to run this full marathon and I couldn’t do it, so I was determined to run the half! I’m almost thankful that I had moments of struggles because as my legs were cramping up and feeling like they would explode (mile 12 of 15) I was stretching and thinking, “I want to remember how awful my legs feel right now because they feel this way because of my eating disorder. My legs have never felt so terrible and I don’t want them to ever feel this way again. I WANT running more than I NEED the ED!” Anybody, please remind me of this the next time I say I’m skipping any part of any meal!!!!!
So, when I finished, I felt like I’d die from dehydration….. fast forward …. I drove home thinking about how I had just kicked Ed’s ass and I decided to continue doing it….. I got my glass of chocolate milk recovery drink! With REAL chocolate syrup… not the sugar free crap that Ed always made me drink (ew that tastes like cardboard!) and I had it with my banana and animal crackers!
I found some of those grapes that Beth suggested….. OH NO SHE DIDN’T………
OH YES SHE DID…..
………and I ate them! HOLLA!
So, to wrap up this SUPER LONG post….. I’ll remind you that you can do what you want….. I’m not saying it’s easy – hell, it’s hard! I won’t even pretend it’s easy! It’s worth it. I am finding it really is a lot easier when I give up control to the professionals because there are less worries! Last year at this time I was a mess. I was worried about food and my weight EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY and now, I have moments of relief. I never thought I would be at this point. What this tells me is that the things we want the most are worth waiting for, and working the hardest for. I won’t lie – in running and recovery there are times when I want to throw in the towel because it is THAT hard…. but where does that get me? I want both of those things so much that I won’t stop until I get it. Not every day will be filled with a fight like this…. but I can remember that I am capable of this level of a fight! Nobody ever said it would be easy, but it will be worth it. 🙂
Do you have something that is worth waiting for? It might be hard, and you might want to throw in the towel (on a regular basis), but what keeps you going?
Hellz yea for earning this magnet…. each time I see this magnet I’ll know I kicked Ed’s ass for 2 more miles than that! 🙂