Last night’s post got some reactions (even though no one actually commented on it). A couple friends replied to it on my Tumblr, where I posted a link. One said, “Quit being ridiculously hard on yourself. You exercise every day and you don’t eat Big Macs for every meal.” Another left the delightful note: “There’s a chance I might actually punch you in the stomach for this tomorrow.”
Friends: You are missing the point. The post was not about weight-loss for appearance. I do not think I look bad, or fat, or “big.” But, I know I would be faster if I could lose some weight. It is science. Read this Runner’s World story by Amby Burfoot. The deck sums it up: “Dropping five pounds will make you healthier and faster – as long as you have them to lose.” And I know that I do, because I was running well when I was five pounds lighter last spring.
With a five-pound weight loss, I’d be able to run a marathon over four minutes faster than I could if I were toting that weight around. I will need to beat my best time by over eight minutes in order to qualify for Boston. It’s only sensible to try to drop a little weight if doing so will help me achieve my goals.
These commenting friends aren’t competitive runners. They both run, at least some of the time, and one has run some races. But, she and I talked about racing yesterday, and she said that she completely lacks competitive spirit, even when she’s only competing with herself. I don’t. I want to beat 2010 marathon me. I want to earn a trip to Boston. I want one of those freakin’ blue and yellow jackets.
I did get some feedback from people who understood where I was coming from. A running buddy of mine said, “Someday, if I attempt to qualify for Boston, I am going to be on a majorly strict eating plan. It matters.” And the former co-worker I referred to in the post retweeted my Tweet of it (leading to record-high traffic for this blog…so thanks!) and added, “if I haven’t seen my mom in awhile & she says, ‘Have you been sick?’ I’m fast. ‘You look good’ means I’m slow.”
I don’t really want to look sick. If I dropped 10 pounds, which is probably technically possible, I’d look sick, resemble a bobblehead, and be completely miserable. I’ll stop short of that. Five seems like a reasonable goal. Here we go, vegetables, here we go.