A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post in which I whinged on about my spiralling fitness levels and my rapidly-inflating tummy. Well, since then I’ve had a bit of an epiphany; it’s a bit far-fetched, but get this: I reckon the two things might be linked.
Shortly after posting it, I stepped onto the scales. I then stepped off of them and had a little cry. It turns out that, since around this time last year, I’ve become the proud owner of nearly 10kg and a not-insignificant amount of body fat. After seeing these results, my first thought was “maybe I accidentally left a few kilos of gravel in my pockets, or perhaps an anvil”, but after a slow methodical check, I realised that I was wearing just my boxer shorts, so this was unlikely. My second thought was “stepping all the way up onto those scales was hard work. I deserve cake”.
Now, I’m not the sort of person who obsesses about nutrition, feverishly calculating how many sit-ups l need to do if I accidentally breathe in while walking past a chip shop. But at the same time, I have to face facts: 10kg is quite a lot, and I’d quite like to shift it. I’m not too fussed about body shape, and it’s unlikely that I’ll ever appear on the cover of Men’s Health (unless it’s the back cover, featuring an advert for the Royal Society for the Protection of the Albino Walrus). What I am fussed about, however, is how it impacts on my health and my running. I’ve done some calculations, and worked out that “2015 Me” running while weighing this extra 10kg is the equivalent of “2014 Me” running while carrying a 10kg weight. I’m like a professor or something.
That was just numbers though, until I realised that it’s about the same weight as my 2 year old son, and the thought of running ten miles with him on my back is absolutely terrifying1.
A lightbulb suddenly flicked on in the damp shed of my mind, chasing away the shadows of bloody ignorance and making me realise that I’d been looking at this all wrong. I’ve been watching my weight steadily increase and lamenting the fact that my runs have been feeling harder and harder, but for some unknown reason2 it never truly occurred to me just how closely the two were linked. I knew I was putting on weight due to snacking and godawful portion control, but I assumed that my plummeting fitness was just a sign that I’m not cut out to be a runner. I suppose blaming spiteful genetics is easier than saying no to cheesecake.
And now to the silver lining. Although I’m finding running much harder than I did a year ago, I am at least still running; and although my pace has dipped quite a bit, I’m still a lot quicker than when I first started (and getting faster now that I’m building up volume again). Rather than brooding about my cuddly belly and heavy legs, I’m instead fizzing with excitement, imagining how it’ll feel to run when I shed this weight. I’ve been there before, and I know I can get back to that place where the pavements and trails seem to flow beneath my feet.
But first, the hard work starts. Wish me luck!
1 Only terrifying in the physical sense of course. In all other respects it’d be ace. There’d be lots of shouting “wheeeeeee”, and constant babbling about diggers.
…So pretty much the same as when I run on my own then.
2 Okay, it wasn’t really for “some unknown reason”. It was because I’m a bloody idiot.
Want more? Umm… you’re weird. But if you insist, you can find me on facebook here or chase me around twitter:(@borntoplodblog). Also, I’m on some sort of shortlist for the 2015 running awards. If you’re feeling extra clicky, why not head over there now and vote for me. I’ll put up a swanky sidebar button link thingy at some point, but for now, it’s therunningawards.com