A New Outlook on Running

Hey everyone! How’s your Tuesday going so far? Mine is pretty awesome because I’m proud to announce I finally got to back to this point…

run

Over 6 miles in 47 minutes! Finally under 8-minute pace for the first time since taking time off from running back in February. In my first half marathon back in the dark days of my eating disorder, I ended up running at a 7:44 pace, but completely died in the last 2 miles of the race (because that’s what happens when you don’t fuel properly!!). My goal over the next few months is to continue staying healthy while pushing my pace to get back to that 7:44 average or faster before my next half marathon. My runs have felt so good lately, but my health is still my number one concern, so if things start going south, I’ll definitely lay off the mileage and make sure to take care of myself.

I think one of the greatest things I’ve taken away from having an exercise-induced eating disorder is the new respect I have for my body. Our bodies are such incredible things and enable us to do so much in our lives. Our legs give us the power to dance an entire night away. Our stomachs allow us to digest yummy foods. Our arms let us give big hugs. There is no part of our bodies that doesn’t have some significant purpose and doesn’t contribute to our enjoyment of life in one way or another. Therefore when we start to criticize our bodies for being shaped in a certain way, we’re not respecting or appreciating the way God built us to exist.

During my first half marathon, I’ll be the first to admit I signed up just to give myself a reason to make myself run an insane amount every week. I wanted to control my body and make sure I stayed stick-thin after retiring from swimming. I wasn’t ready to regain my natural curves, so I picked the one activity I knew would prevent me from gaining any weight back–long distance running. I restricted myself from eating just as I had throughout the tail end of my swimming career and made myself run at least 8 miles 4-5 times a week, no matter how crummy I felt. My runs were typically incredibly painful, but because I ran so often, my pace started getting pretty quick. I told my family, my friends, and myself I was just working to achieve a new goal, but I was truly just working to control my body.

halfmarathon

At the end of my first half marathon, I collapsed at the finish line. My body was completely exhausted and clearly under-fueled. Bart and I had plans to get a big breakfast at a yummy pancake place after the race, but after running, I only let myself eat half of a veggie omelette and a piece of toast.

After 13.2 miles and almost 2 hours of work, I still wanted to restrict my carbs!!!

As disgusting as I find this to be now, I can vividly remember being this person and how much differently I felt being in my skin. I’ve come so far over the past year and am so happy I’ve been able to find a true passion for running rather than looking at it as a daily obligation. As I continue getting back into running-mode and seeing my pace get faster each week, I’m excited to be approaching things in a positive way and respecting my limitations. I’m excited to see myself get faster without causing myself any pain. I’m pumped to eat huge protein-packed pancake breakfasts after long runs and take days off whenever I feel like it.

And most of all, I’m pumped to kick my old, eating-disordered butt in my next half and prove just how much better a healthy body is! 🙂

Have a fabulous Tuesday!

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2 thoughts on “A New Outlook on Running

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