Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tyranny of the Treadmill

Despite lots of ideas and lots of drafts I haven't been posting much. Things have been pretty busy at work and I just got notified that my contract has been extended to the end of the year so I have at least another 6 months of 50+ hour weeks.

It's been a while since I've post about running so I'll catch you up really quickly on how that's going.

By the end of the the marathon season I was a train wreck. I was run down and tired. While I was training I thought it was just the long miles and wear and tear. But even with a break I felt like I was living in a fog. It was so bad I actually bit the bullet and went to the doctor. As much as I avoid doctors, that means I really thought something was wrong. He didn't find anything physically wrong but diagnosed me with depression and gave me a script.

That greatly improved my mood and made me feel much better, but after some experimenting I discovered that the non-sedating Zyrtec, whose listed side effects include fatigue, was sedating for me and I was much less tired when I stopped taking it.

Anyway, I didn't feel much like training through the spring so I ran occasionally and ran my normal spring races with no expectations and no significant results.

Between depression and lack of training my weight starting creeping up so a week before Memorial Day I started a new diet in Dietpower diet. Over Memorial Day I gorged at my parents 50th celebration and my weight hit 236 which is about 12 pounds more than I had weighed a year before. My goal was 205 by August.

I also decided to run the Kansas City marathon in October so I started training again three weeks ago. Running and dieting sucks. My energy levels are so low that it is tough just to move. I have to be careful standing up too quickly or I get light headed and I've already passed out once when I got out of bed too quickly first thing in the morning.

It's a constant battle, but I've gotten used to feeling hungry and tired from lack of calories and my weight is aroung 222 right now and steadily, although slowly, dropping.

The last couple of days I've eaten a bit more and today I did a 14 mile run that I was really dreading. You see last weeks run was shit. I felt crappier than crap. My legs felt like lead and it was just agony to try to move. But today, with some fuel in my system I felt freaking awesome. I churned out 14 miles at 10:00 mile pace on the treadmill and it was effortless. I dropped to 8:57 pace for the last mile and my heart rate stayed in the low 150s.

This is very encouraging because the same pace would have been much harder a year ago so I seem to be rounding in to shape well and my body really likes having less weight to lug around. It makes me really look forward to being 205 and I hope that it will translate into a speed.

Oh yeah. The treadmill. The sucky part about an October marathon is that I have to train through the Texas summer and it just isn't going to happen outside so I'm doing a lot of running on the treadmill. I'm discovering that the treadmill enforces a discipline that is difficult to attain when running on the streets. I punch in the pace and I either have to keep up or hit the wall behind me. Treadmills are normally boring, but with a good audio book I'm finding that I really like it.

Well, I'll post before and after pictures when I hit my goal. I can already see a difference and I'm looking forward to releasing the skinny person that I've been hiding in a fat-old-man suit.