Marathon Training Thoughts And Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today’s Happy Note: My hair.  Even though it annoys me sometimes, I’m really in love with it.  It’s dark, wavy, and mysterious, and I like how it looks sexy down or up.

Marathon Training: I was super tired after work yesterday (which is sad considering I didn’t start until 11) and fell asleep afterwards.  One of the things I despise most about fall and winter is the loss of daylight in the evenings.  I mourn that loss.  As a runner — and a lover of evenings in general — I need that space.  I’m not asking for full-blown light after 6:00 or so, just a sort of twilight.  It is pretty tricky for me to run safely after 6:00 or 6:30.  Blech.

So, when I woke up from my nap at 6:45 I thought all was lost and started getting mad at myself for missing a run.

But then I realized that a run was still possible if I stayed on the main streets, rather than going into any parks.  I try not to do this too often, but my legs were itching and I really needed to clear my head.  I promised myself a trip to Whole Foods afterwards too. 🙂  I ended up getting in 7.5 miles. “The plan” called for 8 hilly miles, so it might not have been perfect, but it was the best I could do and I’m proud of myself for getting out there.

I did 5.5 miles this morning. They were not pleasant.  I was sllooooowwwww.  I hope that means my body is saving up lots of energy for tomorrow morning’s early 22 miler!  Wish me luck!

Sometimes I get tired of talking about running.  Of thinking about it, even.  When you start training for a marathon, you know (or at least you should know) that running is going to take up a hell of a lot of time.  But no one tells you that it will somehow manage to take up all your non-running time too: when I am not running, I am thinking about when I will squeeze my next run in, that I need to stretch, that X body part really hurts because of running, how many miles I have run this week, what the running plan for next week is, and, most importantly, when will my next meal be.  And how I will ever make it big enough to fill my constantly-hungry belly.

Now that we’re on the subject of food…

These, my friends, are chocolate chip pumpkin cookies.  Tasty, tasty cookies.  I haven’t baked in a while and was feeling in the mood.  Sometimes ya just have to bake, ya know?  I made this recipe from Tasty Kitchen.  Momma2Girls, you rock!

I will always have a soft spot for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  My freshman year of college, I turned 18 in November.  I had made two really good friends by that point and had some more acquaintances.  I am not great at making new friends or adjusting to new circumstances.  I was feeling lonely and sad on my birthday.  A week or so beforehand my mom had asked me if I wanted her to send me a birthday treat and I gloomily acquiesced.  A few days before my birthday, it arrived.  I can’t remember if I opened it then or waited until my birthday. But it was pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They were soft and fresh and made me so happy.  I ended up crying myself to sleep that night; those cookies felt like the only bright spot of the day.

Time to go night night.  I have a very early wake up call for my 22 miler!  I’m doing it with a friend so hopefully that helps.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie?  Do you like pumpkin or do you think it’s just a silly blogger obsession?

Goodnight friends!

Thoughts On Running Long And Strong

Today’s Happy Note: I’m officially in love with my creative writing class — the people, the teacher, and the materials are all great.  It’s about Lyric Essays.  Today we reviewed one of my pieces.  It is a piece I am tremendously proud of — it sort of encapsulates the last three or four months of my life.  I feel like a lot of times with writing, my best work comes out of nowhere.  I start putting words on the page without knowing where I’m going and then all of the sudden there are pages full of words and ideas and I have no idea where they came from.

I will always be writing. Always always always.

Marathon Training: I was supposed to get in my second 20 miler (read the recap of the first 20 miler here) on Sunday, then do a rest day yesterday, then a speed work day today.  Unfortunately, the LSAT sucked the life force out of me on Saturday.  I didn’t wake up until 3:00 on Sunday.  Yeah, long run wasn’t gonna happen.  Especially since I needed to see USB. 🙂

I took Sunday as a complete and total rest day. Yesterday I had yoga class (it’s not really vinyasa-style so we always just hold a bunch of random poses for a long time; this is actually kind of nice because it increases the stretching factor) and did 6 miles.

I was determined to get in my 20 miles today and I did! It meant getting up at 6:00 which is insanely early for me.  But I did it.  I wanted to run it at about an 11:00 minutes/mile pace.  I was almost exactly on target!  I finished just over 3:40,  which would put me just over 11:00 minute miles.   BUT I stopped for water bottle refills several times, along with some stretch/walk breaks.  I used some leftover pear cider mixed with water for some sugars instead of plain water.  I liked the idea in theory, but cider does not taste good while running.  You would think that would be obvious, but my groggy self thought it was a great idea.  I think for future long runs and the marathon I will do watered-down gatorade.  I also took about ten small dates along with me to eat (they’re really mini).  They tasted really dry and I had to force them on.  I find it so hard to establish an effective fueling plan for long runs.

Anyone have any ideas?

I am also torn about walk breaks.  I can’t decide if they make me faster or slow me down.  I don’t have any kind of ethical problem with them — I think they can be a great tool for runners — but I just can’t seem to figure out if they work for me.  I took maybe four or five today, one every four-ish miles.  They felt good, but I also felt like it would have been less disruptive to just run continuously?

I had a lot of joint pain on the run.  Grrrrr.  Especially afterwards — I actually found it pretty difficult to walk today.  My muscles feel great — worn out but still strong — but the damn joints hurt.  I notice it in my hips and sacrum a lot during longer runs and I honestly don’t know what it means.  Sometimes it is worse than others.  It isn’t bad enough to necessitate stopping training, but I know that I will take a break from running after the big day.  I feel like a good anti-inflammatory would help, but you can never take anti-inflammatories with blood-thinners.  Also grrrr.

That was a lot of running talk!  Phew.

Today’s eats:

After many long-runs worth of experimentation, I am quite confident that the only thing I can safely eat before one is a banana.  Many other runners eat full on breakfasts beforehand, but that would never work for me.  So bananas it is.

I got back and had 20 minutes to shower, edit a paper, and get to class.  Crap.  Not to mention eating.  I felt a little queasy so just decided to sip on gatorade during class.  Afterwards it was noon and I was ready to eat!

I had the weirdest craving for Chinese noodle soup.  So that’s what I had.  Long runs have taught me to always listen to my body!

The salty broth was perfect.  I had all the soup (minus some of the chicken, which I am saving for later) and about half the noodles.

About an hour later I had a cinnamon raisin bagel with walnut raisin cream cheese.

Late afternoon snack of pb pretzels and trail mix.

Dinner was light and refreshing — I don’t have a huge appetite on long run days much of the time.  Don’t worry, my hunger will be back tomorrow! 🙂  This was a smoothie with vanilla soy milk, lots of ice, vanilla hemp/whey protein, a banana, and half an avocado.  Topped with a crumbled granola bar and sesame almonds.  I had another serving or so of the almonds while “cooking.”

The marathon is officially less than a month away!  I am getting a bit nervous, but also very excited.  New York is supposed to be a very fun course with tons of spectators/cheerleaders.   Any readers/bloggers running and want to meetup?  I’ll probably plan something closer to race day!

Alright, time to go call my mom and USB.  Separately, though.  That would be weird if I was calling them at the same time…

Goodnight dearies!

Update: I just had the most delicious, satisfying snack I have ever had in my entire life.  Two eggs scrambled in earth balance with babybel light cheese (x2) and maple turkey and salt.  I was craving salt, fat, and protein like nothing else — I literally felt like I would collapse if I didn’t have some!  I am now munching a big apple. 🙂

An Exhausted Pumpkin Seed

Today’s Happy Note: My new string of fake pearls!  My cousin recently moved from NYC and gave me some things she wasn’t taking:

I am NOT normally a take-my-picture in the mirror girl, but I made an exception for this necklace. 🙂

A few notes…

I’m getting to a point in the school year where I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed.  I have a lot of schoolwork and reading.  I’m a history major which means that I spend a lot of time, well, reading history.  History is long. Historians are verbose.  School has to be a big priority in my life.  It’s feeling like I have a million priorities right now.  I certainly like being busy, but I also know that I do need to devote myself fully and passionately to the things that I do.  All this is the long-winded explanation for why blog posts will be inconsistent for the next two to three or so months.

Inconsistency upsets me, so I might like to have an actual schedule of inconsistency.  That makes no sense, but whatever.  Perhaps every other night?  I’ll see what works.  But, especially during the school week, I need evenings to focus on schoolwork.  Last night I went to the library for the first time all semester.  That needs to happen more often.

Another note: Marathon Training. It’s getting annoying.  I’m exhausted.  I originally was planning on rearranging my runs for the week, but I quickly realized that I’m just too tired.  I have some weeks where I am more tired than others (both sleepy-tired and physically-tired) and this is a very tired week.  I took a four hour nap this afternoon.

I’m coming to understand that I need to be flexible with the plan and be gentle with myself.  My body is not some sort of crazy marathon-running-automoton. It has aches and pains, wants and needs, tired moments, lively moments.  I need to listen.  I ran 57 miles last week and so far, this week, I have done four (last night — an easy four with 6×100 strides in the last mile and 20 minutes yoga).  I skipped out on 14 miles worth of speedwork.  I am really struggling with feelings of guilt.

Any other marathoners out there who can relate?

I want to not feel guilty, but it’s there. I know that, at this point, I have a solid enough running ability and cardio-base built up and that I need to take a break when I need to.  So this week I’m taking it easy.  So there.

Onto some fun eats from the past few days!  Many of which have involved pumpkin, hence the title of this post.

Guess what?  Tonight, I do not want to run.  I just don’t have it in me.  So I’m going to do what I do want to do, which is swim!

I really want to be in the pool again.  I miss it!  I used to swim hardcore in high school.

I refuse to let marathon training get in the way of what my body really wants to do. I have a history of over-exercising and I will not get into that cycle again.  I will not do what my body does not want to do.  I have a feeling that this will pass and, in a day or two, I will be ready to run.

Until then, I shall be a little fishy.

Grete’s Great Gallop/Mental Health Update

Today’s Happy Note: The sunshine on my skin in the afternoon.

Mental Health Note: I have been struggling a bit lately, I must admit.  I don’t necessarily feel sadder than usual — in fact, I feel more in control of my depression than I have since, well, before I was depressed (which was long, long ago — like middle school long ago).  It’s the body image stuff.  It’s miserable.  It’s painful.  It makes me want to die, in certain ways. I feel like I’m being taken back to a dark place in my life — say 2-4 years ago — where my body was never good enough.  Every single day was spent hating myself, because of my body.  Everyday.  I thought of so many ways to say “I hate you” that it isn’t even funny.  It wouldn’t even make a bad comedy routine.  It’s too sad.

So this moment finds me facing difficulties with my body and my weight, and, as a consequence, my mental well being.  The most frustrating thing about this anxiety and weight gain and hatred and queasiness — whatever you want to call it — is the fact that I know better than this. I know not to do this.  Not to work myself up into this state.

I guess that admitting how much I am struggling is a good first step.  Better than outright saying “alright, I’m a failure, I’ll just give up and let it all get worse.”

Also, I surprised myself and opened up to USB about it.  That was a big step for me, I think.  A really big step that I’m proud of.  And L, as always, has been there for me.  I think I sent her an email late last night and she responded today, a Saturday, with a long comforting response.  I guess I haven’t talked a lot about therapy/L lately, as things have become more and more private, I guess.  It’s a really beautiful feeling to know that someone is there for you 24/7, no matter what, when, where, why.  She’s there.  And I need her, very much, at this moment in my life.

Grete’s Great Gallop Race Report!

This morning was my third official half-marathon! Unlike my first two (read my recap of the NYC half here), I was not going into this one with the goal of running fast or PRing.  I had two goals:

1. Get into a “race mentality” — early wake-up, race breakfast, getting ready to run fast.

2. Run slightly under Marathon Goal Pace.

That’s it.  Plain and simple.  And I satisfied those two goals, which means that I am happy with the experience.

A few notes:

~I probably should have slept for more than 4.5 hours last night.  USB is such a wonderful, wonderful distraction though…I’ll be sure to get 8-10 hours of sleep before the marathon.

~I went out at a solid 10:00 pace and worked my way down to a 9:00 (overall average pace was 9:36).  This is good.  I would like to replicate this slower-to-faster strategy on marathon day (although probably being a bit slower overall).

~I think GU Shot Blox are my favorite mid-run fuel.  I had to take a clif mojo bar today which wasn’t ideal.  I also need to figure out my ideal method of carrying fuel or water.

~It’s time to get new shoes!

~If I can run a half marathon in 2:05:50 at the end of a 57-mile week, with relative ease, I most definitely can run a marathon, while tapered and well-rested and properly-fueled, under my goal pace of 4:30!

So today was an experiment of sorts.  A happy, succesful experiment.  I’m pleased.

Oh, and USB took me to get a foot massage afterwards.  I can’t really explain what I feel for him.  But just know that it’s a lot.  I feel a lot.

Tell me about your weekends thus far?!?!  Any races? Long runs?  Non-running related exciting happenings?

What do you do when you feel like you’re in a mental health rut — like you’re slipping and you want to be able to get a better hold of things but you don’t know how?

Goodnight friends!

Long Run Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Fall weather.  I may have already said this.  But it’s that awesome that I get to say it again.  I love the colors, the temperatures, the wind, and the leaves.

Hello friends!  Happy Sunday evening!  I should be reading for school.  Confession: I have not done one single ounce of schoolwork all weekend.  Nada.  I only have yoga and one “real” class tomorrow, but it’s in the evening, so I have all afternoon to study, right?  Right? 😉

I just finished watching a very moving video of HLS session on the impact of reading food/fitness blogs, led by Caitlin (of Healthy Tipping Point) and Gena (of Choosing Raw).  You can watch it here. I highly recommend it.  It made me think about what I get out of blogging and reading blogs and existing in this little sphere we call the healthy living blogging community.  It sort of cemented some thoughts that have already been floating around in my head:

  • The way that I eat and the way that I move is something unique to me.  I cannot compare myself to other bloggers (or celebrities or friends or whoever) in this regard because eating and exercising are endeavors that will be the same for no two people.  I will not be ashamed if I eat more than another blogger (or less).  If I eat more protein or more carbs.  If I eat more scones and muffins (I’m pretty sure I could trump almost any blogger on this one).  I will not be ashamed if I practice yoga less.  I will not be ashamed that I have struggled with depression for many years, or that I go to therapy.  In fact, I freely admit that I really enjoy therapy.  Basically, I will not be ashamed for being me in the only way I know how.
  • I have decided that I really enjoy having a “smaller” blog.  Less pressure, more fun and games and friends.
  • I have always been a little bit unsure of my blog’s content.  Sometimes I share stories/memories or other forms of writing.  Sometimes recipes.  Sometimes food pictures or running tales.  And sometimes I talk about a moment in which I really struggled with my mental health — in which my anxiety or depression or sadness took over.  This happened just last night, in fact.  I almost allowed the loneliness to take over, but I stopped it in its tracks by going for a run.  My point is, I have a lot of content.  I understand that the point of a blog is supposed to be focused, but I think that, in its own way, my blog is very focused.  I have come to realize that when I talk about my social life or share thoughts on therapy or describe what is working in my diet — all of this is related.  All of this comes together to form the bigger picture of “Caronae’s Health.”

Onto today’s long run!

It was twelve miles and took me a little over two hours.  It was decent, certainly better than the runs of weeks past.  I am still having the nagging pain in my back left hip, which is slightly worrisome.  It actually feels worse when I try to stretch it out?  I definitely had stretches in the run where I was able to speed up to a 9:00 mile pace or so, which was nice.  I did not feel nearly as dead as usual.  Overall, a success.

I signed up for a half-marathon next weekend on a whim a few days ago.  It’s called Grete’s Great Gallop and is entirely in Central Park.  That was a nice way of saying the course is going to be really boring, and hilly too.  My long runs are normally on Sundays, and next weekend was supposed to be 18 miles, so I’ll have to add in a few miles before or after.  But on the whole, I think it will be nice to have a “race” in this training cycle.  I say “race” because I will not be going all out.  My goal is actually going to be to maintain just under Marathon Goal Pace (which means that I would like to run the race at a 9:30-10:00 mile pace).

Enough running talk!  Onto food.  This is everything I have had thus far today, minus about two unpictured spoonfuls of crunchy PB.  I am doing this not for anyone else to compare but because it’s useful for me to keep track of what I have had on a long run day and see if it is enough and see if there are things that aren’t working. 🙂

Bad picture, but it’s a banana smothered in PB, eaten pre-run.

This was one of the best post-long run brunches I have ever had, because it was exactly what I wanted.  A glass of icy pear cider (amazing!!!!), pile of green grapes, and a warm chocolate chip scone with more PB.  Can you tell that PB and I are friends?

Gabriela and I went to Levain in the late afternoon.  We had delicious cookies and a lovely chat session!  We both agreed that these were the softest, thickest, most satisfying cookies we had ever eaten.  I bought one for USB for later.  It’s a surprise! 🙂

Thank you for the lovely afternoon Gabriela!

Dinner was a tasty sir-fry of onion, sweet potato, broccoli, tofu, salt and pepper, ginger, and TJ’s spicy peanut vinaigrette.  This was a really good combo!  I had some carrot ginger soup with a dollop of plain 2% greek yogurt on the side.  I have decided that I officially like stir-fries more than salads, fyi.

Might have some dark chocolate or cocoa or tea or an apple later on.  We shall see. 🙂

I actually don’t tend to eat a massive amount on long run days just because I often don’t have an appetite or don’t have the time.  I’ll probably eat more tomorrow, I suspect.

Fun blog announcement: I bought the domain name caronae.com yesterday!  You won’t find much of anything there just yet, but I am anticipating a switch-over to my own domain soon!  I’ll still be wordpress-hosted (it’s very convenient), but will have an easier URL.  I was rpetty excited that I could get my first name as my site.  How many other people can say that?  Hehe.

Goodnight friends!  I hope you all have a most wonderful week!

Worst 20 Miles Ever. And USB!

Today’s Happy Note: Udon noodles!  Much more fun than spaghetti. 🙂

Marathon Training: Today was, to put it nicely, a run from hell. It was absolutely horrendous.  Not horrendous in the sense that I couldn’t finish or didn’t want to do it.  Horrendous because I literally felt dead for about 3/4 of the time.  Literally dead.  Ghostly.  I couldn’t feel some parts of my body and other parts hurt so much that all I could do was tell myself to put one foot in front of the other.

Did I mention that it was 20 miles? Miles 8-15 felt pretty good, but before and after that…ugh.  I almost don’t want to write about it because it is bringing back terrible memories.  Oh, and you want to know something really fun?

When you’re on blood thinners you can’t take ibuprofen.  Awesome.

And I’m allergic to narcotics.  Yes, I think this situation requires the strong stuff.  If I could take it.

The worst parts were my hamstrings, stomach, and bladder.  Yes, my bladder hurt.  The whole thing took about four hours, but I stopped to pee and/or refill my water bottle and/or stretch at least five times.  My pace really went downhill only for the last five miles.

And you know what was even worse than the run?

How I felt afterwards.  I literally started feeling sick as soon as I finished — like I have the flu or something.  I couldn’t eat for hours afterwards and felt like I was going to pass out.  Now my lower eyelids are all sunken in, which is a major sign of dehydration.  I’m trying really hard to drink, but even water seems nauseating right now.  I just had some brothy soup, so hopefully that helps.

I would rank this in my top three worst runs of all times. And the only reason I say top three instead of number one worst is because…well, there is no reason.  This actually might be the worst.

Reading this over, it sounds really negative.  But that’s the truth: sometimes marathon training is not pretty. Sometimes you feel like you’re half-dead.  Sometimes it takes you an hour to run four miles.  There is chafing and blood and pain.  And the sweat, oh the sweat — I was more soaked today when I finished than after last weekend’s 16 miles in the pouring rain.

And I almost peed my pants.  Multiple times.

My life is so glamorous.

The only good thing about this run is that it’s over. And even that isn’t so good considering how drained it left me. Thank God next week is a cutback week — my long run will only be 10 miles!  Hallelujah!

Okay.  Rant over.  Onto happier things.  Things like USB.

I figured that I should introduce you guys!  I told him about the blog but he doesn’t read it, at this point.  Anyways, here’s the need-to-know on USB!

  • USB stands for Union Square Boy!  We met there at the Saturday farmer’s market about a month ago.  I was eating a chocolate chip coconut scone next to a monument.  He was drinking some sort of smoothie thing from Whole Foods.  He came around the corner and  I thought he was cute.  We started talking about the monument and history and life.  We talked for over an hour.  I was so unbelievably nervous but I also felt like it was clear that we both liked each other.
  • Our first date was super epic: we started at one coffee shop then moved onto another and met some of his friends, then we saw a movie, then we had dinner and danced at a Cuban restaurant and then we walked.
  • He is Kenyan.  He likes running, but not very long distances, and not all the time.
  • He has nine siblings.
  • He is 29 years old, a little over eight years older than me.
  • He loves good film, especially independent movies.  He does not like romantic movies at all but he knows that I do and brought us some to watch the other night.
  • He likes non-fiction and reads a lot more of it than fiction.
  • He is very romantic and gentlemanly — he always offers me his coat or his umbrella or his arm.
  • He is super cuddly.
  • One of his fingers is bent out to the side at the tip, and I think this is perfectly beautiful.
  • He loves doing volunteer and charity work.  He is a generous soul.
  • He likes outdoor adventures almost as much as I do.
  • He is not in New York from Monday through Friday, sadly. 😦
  • He doesn’t notice the ten billion imperfections in my body that I obsess over.  He makes me feel good about myself the way I am.

That’s all for now.  Goodnight, friends.  Have a most excellent week!

Medical Stuff, Part II, Or “A Slightly Happier Post”

Today’s Happy Note: Perfect fall temperatures!  I’m in love.  The air is warm but also crisp, snappy but gentle.

Marathon Training: We had our first actual “class” of yoga today (I am taking Iyengar Yoga as a P.E. class).  We did not do much at all — it is very, very basic.  We spent the whole hour practicing standing with our feet spread apart and then doing Warrior II, Triangle, and Extended Side Angle.  We finished with some easy bridges.  I wouldn’t call it a workout, but it was a decent stretch that got my hips opening up.  I did about 15 more minutes of stretching and abs afterwards, followed by an easy four mile run.

I didn’t feel awful on the run, but my left hip and hamstring were hurting.  Again.  I really don’t know what to do since it is so inconsistent.  I think that stretching it out a lot helps a bit.  I am praying that it is not present tomorrow for my hill run — running up hills with a hip/hamstring issue is especially hard.  I was supposed to do 6×100 strides at the end of today’s run but I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  I made a lame attempt at doing two of them before realizing that my body just was not having any sort of speediness.  It was probably the slowest run I have done in a long time; maybe 12-ish minute miles?  The funny thing about this is that I didn’t judge myself for it.  I just acknowledged that I was tired, my body/mind were a little off-kilter, and I was slowly but steadily ambling along.  Just like that, I didn’t care.  I’m proud of myself for that!

In other running-related news: I am ravenous. I am trying really hard to photograph everything because it is VERY useful for me to mentally keep track.  I did well today minus several handfuls (about two servings) of TJs cat cookies, aka animal crackers for grown-ups.

I made an awesome fall feast for dinner!

We have half of a steamed delicata squash smothered in cinnamon, a pile of baked tofu (coated in TJ’s peanut vinaigrette, maple syrup, and ginger) and roasted carrots and okra (coated in EVOO, salt, and pepper).  This is pretty much fall seasonal eating perfection. It was a pretty tasty (and easy!) meal.  Yum.

Medical Stuff, Part II

So.  Yesterday I talked about science and medicine and my body and how the intersections thereof can be a little bit inexplicable.  Read that here. Thank you for all of your kind comments/emails!  It is heartening to know I am not the only person in the world who has these subtle-but-also-overwhelming problems.

Today I kind of want to look at the issue(s) from a psychological/mental health standpoint.

I have always equated being overweight with moral failure.  I never accepted the fact that, for some individuals, there might be other factors at play.  Until it happened to me.

Here I am, 10-15 pounds too heavy.  For me, losing a pound is an uphill battle.  Fought with medieval instruments.  While blindfolded.  And standing on my head.  Okay, you get the picture — it is harder than it should be.  Once my body acquires a pound, that pound is not going to leave without a serious fight. Usually, I just end up psychically wounded and the pound(s) stay(s).

I am so tremendously tired of this.  But here’s the thing: I accept that there are processes happening in my body right now that are beyond my control. Even if there were factors totally within my control (for example, if I were doing serious emotional eating — I’m not, but you get the point), it doesn’t matter: the point is that this emotional battle with my body, at this moment in time, needs to end.

I think that within a few months, possibly after I get things sorted out with endocrinology and gynecology, or after the marathon, my body just might settle back into its natural happy weight on its own (for me this happens to be between 145-155 pounds; I have a medium-sized frame and a fair amount of muscle).

The most important thing for me, in this moment, has nothing to do with science or medicine or numbers of pounds or calories.  It has to do with stopping the judgement and the self-hatred.  Being overweight (ever so slightly) is not a moral failure for me, or for anyone else.  I believe that different people actually have different sizes at which they are healthy.  For me, this size happens to be at the upper end of “normal.”  For some, this might be a bit above “normal.” L was telling me last week how the BMI scale isn’t necessarily considered perfectly accurate or all-encompasing anymore anyways.  I would venture to guess that I am more healthy than a woman who eats mostly processed foods and sits on the couch all day but is at a “normal” weight.  I run ultramarathons, for Christ’s sake.

Kate wrote a lovely post today that really resonated with me, about disordered eating and body-consciousness.  Unfortunately, for many women, these are all-consuming things.  That has certainly been the case for me.  I am not sure I understand why.  Do I think that I will be a more perfect woman if I weigh 145 pounds versus 165 pounds?  Will I become more caring, compassionate, creative, prolific, loving?  I would hazard to guess that the answer is an emphatic “no.”  I am Caronae, no matter what I weigh.  I have an essence beyond my body.  Kate said the following, in describing the hatred, the disordered eating, the obsession that happens to so many women in our society:

“If you don’t understand, it can’t be explained to you.”

So perfect.  So true.  It’s like a club — a club that, sadly, most women are members of.

That was so hard for me to say.  That there is something about me that has nothing to do with my body.  Think about all the things I could be accomplishing if all my physical concerns went away.  I’m going to say it again.

There is something about me, something uniquely Caronae-ish, that has nothing to do with my body, whatever my weight may be. I accept the chaos that is happening inside and outside of me right now.  I accept the stress, the confusing medication regimen, the grueling running schedule, my way of eating, my fucked-up homrones.  I accept all of that.  I accept it because I know that I am something more than that. I might not be exactly sure what this “essence of Caronae” is, but I know, in my heart that it exists.  That she exists.

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