Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fort Collins in January: Thoughts on Running, Eating, and Drinking

Geese, ice, and wind. That's what you'll find in Fort Collins this time of year.

I love running in January. Yesterday it was super cold and windy, in the morning it snowed and then stopped. It was warm enough that the snow melted off the streets and didn't affect the footing. The trail was dry, no mud sticking to my shoes.

Today the paper had an article that said Fort Collins is ranked as number 4 in the heaviest drinking cities in the U.S. It ranks up there with several other university towns or places that are mostly in the northern or midwest part of the U.S., with long, cold winters. with all our breweries and a university it's not surprising. But Fort Collins is also known for it's active outdoor lifestyle. It would be interesting to compare the most popular activities of the other towns listed.

Speaking of drinking, I have not had a single sip of beer or any alcohol in two weeks. I've been able to make it for fourteen days so far on this strict eating plan to get myself back on track with healthy eating, and that means no sugars, no alcohol, I haven't had any grains except oatmeal, fruit, or any carbohydrates other than from vegetables. I've been eating lean protein and veggies, with some yogurt and cottage cheese, is about it.

After this I am going to slowly add variety back to what I'm eating, but watch my portion sizes and stick mostly to what I've been doing, going back to the salads and fish and vegetable-dominated meals that I used to eat before I got stressed. what I find so amazing is that I've had a relatively easy time of it, I haven't been hungry, and I've had lots of energy.

I haven't been brave enough to step on the scale but I can tell that my mountain bike tire around my midsection has shrunk a good bit, and I still have a ways to go. I don't know if I'll ever get rid of all of it, but running lighter will certainly help me feel better and run better.

I don't want to focus on the numbers but I am curious to see what I've dropped. I'm a little afraid of seeing it in case it hasn't moved very much, I don't want to be frustrated or disappointed. So I'll wait until the right moment. Whenever I think that is.

Looking back, it really was the emotional eating component of the stress of my old lifestyle, the nursing lifestyle I would now call it. The cortisol circulating in my body all the time from stress, feeling hungry all the time, developing some insulin resistance, and sitting on my butt because I felt so crappy, when I should have been up and moving. And not watching how much I was eating.

And then the drinking beer. I was often drinking two beers a day, which is a lot more than I ever consumed in the past. I used to be able to only drink about half a beer. I love beer, but I always wish the breweries would make half-size bottles, like 6 ounces, for people who want to taste it but don't want to drink a lot.

It's been taking me a while to recover, seems like the 30 miler I did last weekend has stuck with me a while. I needed naps over the past few days. But yesterday I did feel a little better on my easy run and it wasn't hard to pick up the pace.

This week appears to be shaping up nicely as far as the weather goes. It looks like we might get into the 50s again and sunny, but the wind will hang around, which is normal. I plan to run the Prairie Dog Half Marathon in Louisville, close to Boulder, on Sunday, to get a timed, solid workout just to see where I am. A reality check.

Not so bad when this is your reality!

2 comments:

Ultra Monk said...

You asked how my training is coming? Well enough that I'm signed up for 2 half marathons and a full in June. But I am amazed how drastic your body can change when not actually running. I have been doing cross training, but you really feel it when you go back to running. Longest run yet was last Saturday (7.3 miles) and then on Sunday (5 miles) I could tell when I started that my knees weren't used to it.

Alene Gone Bad said...

You'll get there, it sounds like you're doing great!