Runner Hunger

On Friday February 28th, the Fit Fluencial Burpee Challenge officially ended. My total count for the month was 715 which, according to my fantastic math calculations, means I was only short by 18 burpees ;). While I did not meet the assigned goal of 1000, that doesn’t discount the fact that I did 715 more burpees than I likely would have done otherwise. But in the final week, burpees became the afterthought‒I lacked motivation as I found myself exhausted by the rapid increase in weekly kilometres; as well, hill training was added to the regimen. Although I am no longer craving “the burps”, I’ve decided to uphold my commitment until I’ve successfully reached 1000. I’ve noticed how much stronger I’ve become‒particularly when I do a vinyasa during my ashtanga practice‒as such, I figure a few more burpees won’t hurt, and just because the month is over doesn’t mean I can’t complete the goal!

So I suppose you’re wondering if I wasn’t craving burpees what did I crave? The answer to that is EVERYTHING ELSE! I’ve reached that point in training where I suddenly find myself not just hungry, but wickedly famished all the time! My grocery bill has doubled, I wake up during the night to stuff dates in my mouth and the second I finish breakfast I’m already licking my lips about lunch! I’m 98% sure that if someone offered me a chocolate covered ant or a rock rolled in hummus I wouldn’t pass it up! You know runner hunger is here when you open your fridge almost as often as you exhale CO2 from your body.

I vividly recall the “always hungry” phase from my 2013 training season. Then again, it’s not easy to forget a phase where one gets months of guilt free eating! During training, I lived by the statement “I will eat whatever, whenever I want because I’m going to ‘run it off’ anyway”. This didn’t mean that I was consuming pounds of chips or cans of soda because those have never been appealing to me. I’ve always considered myself to be a “health conscious” individual‒one who is mindful of their food choices‒but having a beer, a burger and a big plate of fries from Five Guys was very much in the picture during training.

Oddly enough, the runner-hunger mentality very much related to the mindset of 13-17 year old Laska. Those five years of my youth were the glory days of life because as we all know, most of us got away with consuming whatever we wanted thanks to our developing metabolisms. Yet, I remember that sad day when reality kicked in. I was seventeen and out shopping for a summer bikini with my girlfriends. I recall shamefully walking out of the change room and in disbelief whaling “what are these”?! Apparently, Mother Nature decided it was time to prep my body for when Laska would be carrying children down the road. As such, those “things” I was referring to were called “hips” and once they surfaced, I realized teenager food now had a place to comfortably nestle upon consumption. From that experience I realized the importance and significance of food choice and life, as I knew it, took on a whole new level of responsibility.

So I guess last year was the first time since my teen years that I got to re-live that “eat anything you want” mentality. As a result, I fell into that category of runners who managed to gain weight during marathon training. While I’m aware that muscle weighs more than fat, the inches spoke for themselves and ultimately the hips don’t lie! With that said, training is a time to build muscle and endurance, not lose weight. Yet, I definitely learned a lot since last season about nutrition and have taken active steps to change my lifestyle as a whole. Although, like last year, I am hungry ALL THE TIME I am  doing my best to monitor everything that I consume. Of most importance, I want to ensure that what goes in has a valued purpose in my body because I am someone who values and appreciates the great health I’ve been given. Moreover, I am no longer living by the “I’ll run it off later” mentality since my health matters now, not just later.

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