food, running, training, weight loss

Eat to Run

After my most recent weigh-in, I’ve been thinking about food and running.

Trying to balance calories and navigating weigh gain (or loss) while training is a serious pain in the ass. Like for real. You are working out for days and hours on end and it’s easy to overestimate how much exercise you think you are getting (and, therefore, overestimate how many calories you’ve burned).

But I like to think I’m doing okay. For instance, these are the shrimp tacos I made for dinner this week:

Shrimp + avocado + Greek yogurt + shredded Gouda on corn tortillas. Served with a small side of Spanish rice. Lean protein, healthy fats. Oh yeah, AND REALLY REALLY DELISH. Why the hell I don’t eat like this all the time?

Because I still don’t think of myself as a “real” runner.

Which is, like, just about the stupidest thing ever. I mean, hello. Look at all the races I’ve completed. Good goddess, I’m writing a fucking book about being a runner (officially available to pre-order on Amazon!)

Because I still don’t think of myself as a real runner, I don’t eat like a runner should eat. At least, the way a runner concerned about performance would eat.

Nutrition, with regard to my running, has honestly never ever really entered my thought process. Because why would it? I’m not a real runner and only real runners need to be concerned about such things.

I don’t eat to run. I run to eat.

Yesterday we had a big St. Patrick’s Day lunch at work, including hot corned beef sandwiches and some potato salad, cookies, etc. I had a sandwich, a small helping of potato salad, and a single cookie. Life is all about balance and I did well — enjoyed myself without going overboard. So my team and I are sitting there and talking and this whole discussion started about going to the gym in order to eat ice cream.

Now, my first reaction was to think What? No, you should go to the gym because working out is good for you. 

But then I had that moment where I realized I totally do that. I totally work out in order to justify ice cream after dinner or chips for a snack. I go for a three mile run and think that gives me a pass to pig out after.

Life is about balance and sometimes that does mean having those splurges after a run or after a spin class. The disconnect comes when you only run or spin in order to splurge. That’s what I do. That’s what I’ve always been doing. Just thinking about some of the choices I make and have made with regards to eating during training or eating the night before and it’s surprising this is all just dawning on me now, four years after I started running.

But I am a real runner. Regardless of pace, performance, whatever, I’m a runner and, as such, I need to start treating my body like it’s the amazing, awesome, running machine that it is.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

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