Self-Reflection: age-group runner style.

As I mentioned on Friday, although I’ve lost the weight I gained last fall, I’ve now stopped making progress. I am at the exact weight I was for Boston last year, and would like to get down at least 5 more pounds before my next attempt at the mythical course.


Yes, don’t worry, I realize that this goal may be unreasonable with only five weeks until race day. Or at least, to expect to take off only unneeded body fat and not compromise my fitness or training, is most likely unreasonable. So I decided to stop drinking for a while, thinking my nightly cider or wine probably equates to a pound or two. Twitter decided I should replace those calories a.s.a.p.

What's crazy is that Original Lay's Chips are my all time favorite junk-snack food. Another point for "team internet marketing".

What’s crazy is that Original Lay’s Chips are my all time favorite junk-snack food. Another point for “team internet marketing”. SCORE: TIM 250:AB (-) 4,789

Also, because I think the world and Rodale Publishing revolve around me, the newest issue (April 2013) of Runner’s World has a weight loss article that is your standard, count-your-calories piece, which annoys me to a standard degree….calorie counting sounds great in theory, but it annoys me for two reasons: 1) it just doesn’t work for me. Mainly because it is near impossible to be accurate, and that drives me insane, and 2) to my mind, from what I understand of the human body, training, and nutrition, I don’t think the calories-in, calories-out formula is valid for endurance athletes…maybe for any athlete.

Apologies...I couldn't find an image of the cover you get my cropped and crappy phone shot.

Apologies…I couldn’t find an image of the cover online…so you get my cropped and crappy phone shot.

In an act of redemption however, this issue does have a succinct and directive article on running specific HIIT training (as in: high intensity intervals of running), that I was really impressed with. Mainly because it addressed the cautions for beginners and the exceptions for veterans that are often overlooked. I was thrilled to, after I read it, realize it was written by one of my running buddies, Cindy Kuzma! So go read it!

Before you start thinking that I am anti-Rodale publishing, I’m not, I swear. Huge fan, I troll the forums like a pro. But it might be time I switch my subscription from Runner’s World to Running Times, because this article , was a pumice stone to my stressed-out and overcrowded little runner’s soul.

The article touches on many of the ridiculous habits of ego that runners get stuck in. I am always shocked and amazed when elite and sub-elite runners so effortlessly invite us mid-pack age-groupers into their ranks and celebrate our PR’s and progress, and field our naive and repetitive questions with enthusiasm.  As I read and pondered my own experiences I realized that these behaviors are totally embodied by the group of running friends, no REAL friends, that I have found myself with over this past year. And I felt overwhelmed. And positive. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.


Exhibit A: Meredith (left) and Erin (right) have seen me PR races, DNF long runs, bitch and moan through workouts, and every other scenario you can think of. But their PR’s and disappointments feel like my own, and they take all my quirks in stride.

But then I thought about my own behavior lately.

For example how I am filled with rage when someone asks me how long my next marathon will be. It’s stupid (the rage, not everyone has to know running trivia). And then,  I recently publicly displayed the worst of the ego-tics discussed in this article when a small race to benefit a school running program off all things (yes, I’m a jackass, I’m entering rehab) posted an error in last years race results.



Nobody cares! And the point of the race is the high school kids, and it’s a few weeks before Boston so it’s a great fitness test. In my defense, I was self-aware of the idiocy of my correction right when I posted it. But I was on my phone and couldn’t figure out how to delete it. So, of course, I just kept digging the hole deeper.


Happy Monday.

I’ll strive to get my mindfulness on. It’s very good medicine.


11 responses to “Self-Reflection: age-group runner style.

  1. I would be annoyed too! And the problem with Facebook is that it’s so easy to display your annoyance for the world to see.

  2. Aw, thanks for the shout-out! And I agree with you on calorie-counting; I think it can be helpful to try it for a little while if you are just starting to lose weight and have no idea how your intake and output match up, but I recently wrapped up another article about how really incredibly difficult it is to do it accurately (food labels can often be wrong, and so can our on-the-fly calculations and measurements about both how much we’re eating and how much we’re burning, and there is a lot of metabolic craziness that happens when you start meddling with things).

    ALSO I read that RT article before one of our last long runs and had a similar reaction, along with a sense of profound gratitude that although I love New York too, I live in Chicago where I think that sort of attitude is both less common and less severe. (Seriously, your personal example is both understandable and nothing compared to the assholery he cites.)

    • Please let me know when your new article goes to press, it sounds right on the mark. (hehe I’m SO your biggest fan!)

      I can’t get over how amazing this Chicago running community is! And I hope to represent it well.

  3. I have also decided to cut out the nightly drinking in weight preparation for Boston.

    And, you should read Running Times. I liked all the articles in this last issue. But, don’t feel too bad for correcting them on the time. I think most people would have. (And even those who wouldn’t, would want to and stew about it.)

  4. It’s a fine line between being rightly proud of your accomplishments and being that person that only talks about running. I’ve struggled with walking that fine line and have ended up keeping quiet about the sport unless I’m asked to comment. I would have done the same thing though – had I won a race outright and they had said someone else did, dude, what the hell, get it right!

    Also, thanks for repping Chicago runners 🙂

    • I’m working on that “not talking about running and related everything else back to running” skill…I think I’m making progress. Thank goodness for blogs and forums!

  5. I don’t really lose any weight until I hit those 60+ mile training weeks. Since I won’t likely get any of those weeks until Boston, I guess I am stuck at my current weight and will have to lug every glorious extra pound up Heartbreak Hill! 🙂

    • ahh haha! I love your attitude! I had to (much to my chagrin) take a step-back in my mileage last week…so let’s hope I can stick to this liquor limitation!

  6. such good stuff here! so many things to say, but just a couple come to mind: a) you’re not crazy for correcting the race for your time, especially.. *especially* since you did as well as you did. b) RT is a much better read than RW, IMHO. RT is way more technical, whereas RW is just… less so. You’ve pry gotten that impression from your reads of it as well (though, truth be told, I haven’t subscribed to either in years; I just get all the articles via email. Go figure). ANYWAY! Gettin excited for your Boston redux! You’re gonna rock it!!


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