Monday, July 14, 2014

Too Hot To Handle and why I write about running...

So, Trevor and I ran the Too Hot To Handle on Sunday, and lived to tell about it.  He did the 5k, and I did the 15k because the 5k finishers didn't get a medal.  The Too Hot medals complete the Too Cold To Hold medals we got back in February, which is a stupid reason to run a nine mile race in July in Texas.  But then again, I've never claimed to be smart and have always been a little superstitious about finishing things I've started.

Plus, since I'm already missing a toenail (thanks to that half back in May), it isn't like like my feet can look much worse than they already do.

See?  It is like a giant BFF necklace.  Except I'm keeping both halves.
Because I earned them!

Anyway, I finished.  It was a lot easier than the Too Cold To Hold, which surprised me because yesterday was toasty.  I was hoping to finish in ninety minutes, but it took me closer to an hour and forty-five minutes.  At first this really disappointed me, but then I remembered that I forced myself to stop at every single water stop along the way.  Because even though the race started at 7:30 AM, it wasn't like it was getting any cooler.  In fact, yesterday ended up being our first triple digit day of the season.  Not that it was 100 degrees when I was running, mind you.  But it was in the 80s, and stopping to hydrate seemed like a necessary evil because OMG, THE SUN.

In other news, I always kind of feel weird about blogging about the races I run, because it feels very boastful.  Like, look at me!  I ran all the miles!  But that's not really my point at all.  I write about running because I like to document things.  Especially, things that challenge me, or things that I said I would never do (like running a race in the middle of summer).  But I also do so as a reminder that my body almost always does what I ask.  

See, I'm a big girl.  I've always been a big girl.  Part of it is because I'm 5'10.  Part of it involves my bones and genetics.  And part of it is because I have the metabolism of a turtle.  I don't lose weight.  I'm lucky if I can maintain my current weight, and well...since the miscarriage I've actually gained weight.  Which sucks because I've been eating well (as in "healthy" not "a lot"), running and circuit training in addition to every thing else (like chasing a two year old, gardening and three dogs).  I'm also very competitive and have a tendency to overdo the training, which - on occasion - has lead to weird injuries (my foot) and even illness.

Granted, there is probably a hormonal component to the weight gain.  I retain water like a sponge, especially in recent months.  But I can't tell you how emotionally devastating it is to run a race and actually GAIN WEIGHT.  Especially when your calorie burn is this:

And the thing is, I know that the number on the scale is just a number.  People keep telling me that it looks like I've lost weight, and I can't help but beat myself up because I know it isn't true.  
I'm healthy.  My blood work (except for a Vitamin D deficiency), blood pressure and cholesterol is perfect.  I take no medication except vitamins, and Nasonex (if I remember) for seasonal allergies. That should be enough.

I can run for hours, and leg and bench press more than most women (and even some men).  That should be enough.

My body has given me a healthy son.  That should be enough.

Trevor loves me the way I am, and that should be enough.

And, yet, I look at the image below and all I see is FAT.

Lining up moments before the race began. Trevor loves this photo.  I hate it.
Because arm flab and tan lines! And OMG, is that a fat roll under my boobs?!

Trevor also took a video of me finishing the race yesterday.  I finished strong; picked up the pace for the last mile and even sprinted the last stretch.  But all I could see was my wide hips, big a$$ and thunder thighs jiggling in overworked spandex as I ran past the camera.

Why?  Why do I do this?  Why do I think these things about myself?

I know it has something to do with the media, and wishing I weighed 125 (or even 150.  Hell, I'd take 175).  I'm guessing it also has something to do with losing 80 pounds in high school and being ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of being that big again.  It may even have something to do with the miscarriage and wanting my body to be in good shape if/when we attempt to have another baby.

Whatever it is, no matter what I do, I cannot seem to muster a positive self image.  Which probably explains why we don't have a single full length mirror in our house.

Anyway, these blog posts about the races I've run?  They are the only place I give my body the credit it deserves.  Because it is far from perfect, but it gets the job done.  I'm not running marathons by any means, but I'm getting across my own finish lines with energy to spare.  Regardless of what the (effing) scale says.

That's something, right?

And while I'm confessing the true meaning behind some of my posts.  THIS ONE?  I wasn't really ready to donate my hair, but I started to shed about a month after the D&C and simply couldn't take it any more.  Like I hadn't already lost enough and now my hair was falling out.  For reasons I don't understand, I've felt guilty about not explaining that since April.  Maybe because my reasons for donating my hair weren't as simple as not getting a hair cut for eighteen months?  Maybe because I was forcing the smile in those stupid selfies?  I don't know, but there you go.  

But running with shorter hair?  Much better.


Denise said...

I know all about struggles with self-image. I've never been satisfied with my appearance, no matter what other people said. But I just have to say - that picture of you after your race? I didn't see fat, I saw thin and glorious. I think you look amazing, and I wish my abdomen were that small. :)

Just2Claireify said...

Love this. And you. And I might steal your medals, so please lock them up when I visit.