Continued from Fitness Ups and Downs (Part 1)
After Great Illini, I considered doing another half ironman right away, but ended up taking it easy for a while and then deciding to commit to running consistently over the winter by signing up for the New Orleans Marathon in February. The training went pretty well, and managed to learn to love (well, like okay) running outdoors in the cold. The Yeti Challenge provided a good opportunity for one of my long training runs (combination mile, half marathon, and 5K in January in Chicago), and I thought I should be ready for my marathon, but below the surface things weren’t great at all and — without being ready to get into it here — the self-sabotage was back in full.
Despite some self-imposed obstacles, I did complete New Orleans, although nowhere near my hoped-for time, and would thoroughly recommend it as an enjoyable marathon experience.
After New Orleans I was doing some triathlon training with plans to really hit the ground running (and biking and swimming) in 2016, instead of all the dithering that had marked 2015. But for some reason — and more on that later, I suppose — I did not. I continued running and biking (was in a tri training group with Computrainers over the winter/early spring), but hated swimming in a tri training group (same with last time I did it years ago, just not my thing), and mostly couldn’t get my diet under control so stayed to heavy for optimal training (even on my level) and even was gaining weight.
There’s more to this that I might get more into later, but it was a stressful, bad year in a number of ways and by mid year I crashed and burned and started working on some personal stuff and basically stopped working out other than really just for fun/relaxation. I also fell back into my old emotional eating habits full bore ahead. This led to occasional “I’ll just do this new way of eating” attempts, usually intended to be super healthy (a couple of half-hearted tries at whole-foods-plant-based which I’d found easy and enjoyable during Lent one year, listening to lots of nutrition podcasts) until I finally just decided I wasn’t caring about fitness/watching what I ate for whatever reason and stopped (or took a break, I guess).
I don’t quite understand why I do this. Or I do and I don’t, as I’m back to eating well and a sensible amount again, and not using food to self-sooth. Again, that’s something to devote a whole post to. But by early fall 2016, my emotional health was better, my life was back on track in a lot of ways, but my fitness was on decline again and I’d lost all motivation to eat right or work out more than sporadically. Yes, it’s discipline, not motivation, but how do you make yourself care? How do you move from knowing something makes you happier and feel better to actually acting on that regularly? The questions that I ask and ask sometimes.
On that note, time to end this post and take it up again later!