In my dreams, I am a tall, svelte, cheetah-like runner who could easily be mistaken for Paula Radcliffe if it was a little overcast. In reality I’m not tall, I am not at all svelte, and I would say I was less cheetah like and more…well, as my boyfriend says, more like a lion – and a well fed one at that (I would add). Actually, after my hiatus, I think I most resemble my black and white cat, who has had to go on a diet as she was getting too large to get through the cat door.
No, I don’t say I am fat – it would be tough to say that after running a sub 4 hour marathon. But I am certainly heavier than I was before. And goodness me, can I feel it! Every time I get out to run, it is just that little bit harder. I can’t help but think that the extra kilograms I am carrying with me are like picking up a bag of potatoes at the supermarket and nipping out for a 5 miler whilst carrying them in my arms. It just makes things that little bit harder.
I am sure I have mentioned here before that an article I found a while back suggested that dropping a stone could improve your marathon time by a minimum of 8 minutes. Wow! That would get me down near the 3.50 mark or less! But losing a stone…what a miserable thought. That would mean…
That would mean I might have to eat less!!!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t overeat by any stretch of the imagination. I eat a very normal and usually pretty healthy diet (if you don’t count my favourite and very necessary glass of Pinot Grigio that I just have to partake in after getting home from the office). But I like food. I really like to eat. I get enormous satisfaction from eating out and trying new restaurants. I am not much of a cook, but I do thoroughly enjoy every bite I have. And I am known to nibble on chocolate in the evening – never very much, but enough to satisfy.
One of the reasons I run, I am quite comfortable admitting, is so I can enjoy my glass of white and my bit of chocolate. It is only because I haven’t been running that I have put on the weight. Normally it all balances out quite nicely. But I am also aware that if I want to come close to challenging any of my personal bests while I still can, I probably should try to discard a couple of potatoes at least. That way I will be far more ready to launch into my race schedule and will be far more likely to really finish the four marathons I want to do before the close of 2008.
So, on that note, I am going to get my running gear ready for the morning, and I think I will just have a salad for dinner. And perhaps another splash of the Pinot Grigio…