This is the last of my "Seattle Series" posts, and I just kind of wanted to wrap up this chapter, because it definitely feels like a different chapter of my life going forward.
Did the Half Help or Hurt Me?
Overall, Seattle felt like a bit of a reset button on a really, really crappy year. I went into the experience depressed, nervous and without much hope. I left with a PR, a lot of confidence, pride and a ton of wonderful memories between the race and the fantastic time spent with family. I also left with the realization that I don't think a second marathon is in the cards for me. When I was passing all of the mile markers for the marathon runners, at EVERY single one of them I mentally felt so grateful that I dropped to the half. I felt just as much pride and happiness finishing the half marathon as I did the full. I think the act of doing this half despite everything this year threw at me was the equivalent of running a marathon, and I'm okay with that.
It's hard to explain, but I'm such a different person after the whole deal with my family earlier this year. Whatever part of me had the need and drive to "prove" my worth by doing a full marathon in under 7 hours seemed to die in August. A marathon doesn't seem appealing at all, not because of the work it takes, but because I don't think it will fulfill my needs. I know I'm not explaining it in a way that makes sense, but that's how I feel.
I fully admit that despite having such a great time and feeling so proud of my accomplishment, I'm relieved to not really have a race looming over me that I HAVE to do. I had so much money wrapped up in Seattle that I really didn't have a choice in doing it, and it was a lot of pressure. I find it interesting that a lot of the depression and anxiety I was feeling even two weeks ago has definitely improved once I crossed the finish line, it was almost like it released me to do other things with my life. It's very hard to explain. I got to the point towards the end of training where I felt guilty doing any kind of activity that wasn't running, even when I was hurt, since I was "supposed" to be training for the race. Now I feel like I can focus on other things than running and not feel guilty about it. I know that sounds insane, it's not like someone is going to cane me in an alleyway for not running and it's all self imposed guilt, but nevertheless!
So what's next for me? Running wise, not a whole lot. I am participating in a virtual race called the 12ks of Christmas, where starting on December 12th you run or walk 1k (0.62 miles) every day until the 24th. You report your times to the race company and they send you a cute medal, easy as pie! I will definitely be walking this one, I really and truly need a break from running since I'm kind of soured on it right now.
My main focus for awhile is going to be getting back into healthy weight loss habits, which is something that really got tossed to the side during all this training stuff. My weight has mostly stayed the same and while that's great, I have a lot more that I need to lose and I really want to be near goal by the summer. I'm not happy with my body shape right now, and there's just really only one thing to do about that!
Getting back into the habit of being religious about My Fitness Pal is going to be a big focus for me, as well as eating within my calorie goals and going back to moderate 80/20 eating instead of the full blown apeshit diet that I've currently been living. It will be an adjustment since running lets you get away with calorie murder basically, but I'm ready for the challenge! I am still on the fence about what "goal" looks like. I found myself not hating my body in the pictures we took in Seattle, and I'm in the 190s. I honestly wonder if I'll be just as happy in the 160-170 pound range as I would be working toward the 140s. I guess I won't know until I get there.
From a fitness standpoint, I intend to go back to what I was doing at the beginning of the year, which basically is whatever sounds good at the moment. Again, I felt like I was most successful and happy when I just kind of rolled with whatever sounded good that day just as long as I was being active. I already feel enthusiasm towards working on some fitness goals, and I can tell you, it's definitely different than how I've felt. Right now I am challenging myself to do several of the 30 Day Fitness Challenges at once: the wall sit, the plank, the arm and butt challenges specifically. I really liked how my body looked when I was focusing on these types of challenges earlier in the year, and I feel like I really need some muscle tone and some help to shape my body, so it will be a nice change of pace. That 30DFC site is great because the exercises are so fast and you can basically do them whenever and split them throughout the day if you're doing a couple of the challenges. And it's free, so who doesn't love that? I've been doing those challenges as of December 1st, and while they're tough, I'm enjoying them!
Overall, I'm ready to be happy and have fun again with my weight loss. I know that sounds crazy and that weight loss couldn't possibly be fun, but it totally was at the beginning of the year! I'm happy to now be in a position to get back to that place and continue making strides with my body. I miss hitting milestones and feeling like I reached the goals I set out for myself. I definitely need a more worthy goal than "hopefully I can survive this race." I just honestly feel like I'm going through yet another "who am I" reinvention. I'm just hoping I can get back the fire I had at the beginning of the year.