But today, I want to talk about something else that will be added to my training radar now that it's not the White Witch's Narnia outside in Chicago.
|It would almost be worth it if I ever got Turkish Delight.|
So this past Thursday, I dug out the silently judgmental companion that will accompany me throughout my spring and summer training: the scale.
|"Hello judgment my old friend..."|
And at first, it was great! I suspect the same held true for many first-time runners. As you force your body to run larger and larger distances and incorporate exercise into your daily life, the weight tends to drop off when coupled with a healthier diet. That first spring and summer, I lost nearly sixty pounds!
|And I did it all no thanks to Subway, whose food isn't actually that good for you!|
So I ran harder. Planned my meals more carefully. Counted calories of the crumbs left on my plate. Then next week, I stepped on the scale, and...nothing. No change.
Then winter arrived and dumped snow and ice on every surface in the Midwest for four months. This disrupted my running plans, since I had to focus more on not falling on my ass than my pace. Plus, the holidays arrived, and suddenly food became AMAZING.
|Stuffing: never has a food been more appropriately named|
But then I took a mental step back from my intense focus on weight. I asked myself: am I happy with my running? Do I feel stronger? The answer to both was yes! My clothes continued to get looser, my breathing steadier, and my sweating less obtrusive.
|Pictured: me, prior to running, doing any exercise|
This is not all to say don't use a scale or track your weight! I wouldn't trade the feeling I got seeing the numbers go down initially for anything. Just be prepared for those numbers to slow down, and remember that validation of this sport should not stem purely from those numbers, like it did for me then. It's a facet of being healthy, but if a scale's importance is over-inflated, it can become detrimental to your running motivation.
I know I'm going to keep that in mind as I try to shed these last twenty pounds. And if they stick around? Fine! I'll still end this summer able to run longer, and I'll have made a plan and stuck to it! So while I'll check it every week, I have this message for my scale: