body image and a long run

13 Apr

I have always had a lot of body image issues.  A super lot.  I mean, what woman hasn’t?  Or maybe what person hasn’t?


I have been on 9 months of meds that have “weight gain” as a side effect.  It’s been a challenge for me to say the least…


So I’ve been struggling through my body image issues a lot in the past few months.


Yesterday, we had a 12+ hour day of race set-up, management and clean-up for Mess the Dress.  It was fantastic–my heart was bursting with joy and pride that this idea–my idea–had gone off so well.  #TrailsRoc is the shit for pulling off these amazing races.  So I rode the happy high for the whole 12 hours we were there, but when we got home, I crashed.  I felt like I’d ran 20 miles–but no, the 20-miler was today.  I still kind of question the wisdom of registering for a 50k with 11 weeks to train, but on the plus side it means that there is NO wiggle room.  You had a busy Saturday?  Tough luck–looks like you’ll have to get your long run in on Sunday on tired legs.  So we met up with a group of people around 8 am to do some running…20+ miles of running, to be exact.


By mile 5, my legs were tired.  Not sore, just tired.  We soldiered on.  There were points where I was pretty miserable, but for the most part, I felt kind of numb–like I was having some weird out-of-body experience where I was running but didn’t really feel like I was running but was so tired of running.  I don’t really know how to explain it.  I looked at my watch around mile 16 and was like, hmmm only 4 to go, that wasn’t even so bad, and 4 is nothing.  This is not a “normal” Shme thought.  I am normally much more pessimistic and cranky by this point in the run, especially in my own head.


So we finished our long run, and I ended up doing about 21 miles (due to some poor communication with Eric about where we were going to meet up).  I’m very tired now, but not too tired to do laundry (the stairs aren’t even that bad!), sweep the floor, and figure out a menu for the week and write my shopping list, so I can hit the store shortly.


So back to all this body image bs.  At some point during this run, I got to thinking about what I look like.  I don’t know why I care so much–I mean, seriously, how vain of me.  When I’m running, I rarely think about how I look anymore (except when there are photographers involved, which sends me into panic mode).  It’s probably the most carefree I am about my body, just running along like a little kid or something.  So my initial thought was that I need to get over this vanity business because it’s obnoxious and it’s not what I’m all about.  My next thoughts were that my body might not be perfect, it might be giving us a really hard time right now in a lot of ways, and it might be something that I’d much rather conceal than flaunt.  BUT it also is enabling me to go on amazing adventures with awesome people.  It allows me to run 20 miles in the beautiful sunshine; to “swim” in mud puddles at a mud prom with my handsome date; to go to the gym and lift some pretty heavy weights; to camp and hike mountains like a boss;  to paddle our canoe full of gear a mile out to an island and then paddle it back and forth all week for hikes.  For all of its flaws, it’s still pretty amazing what it can do.  So the next time I’m feeling fat and bloaty and miserable, I hope I can remember all these thoughts and get over myself and go back to running and adventuring.






One Response to “body image and a long run”

  1. Jen April 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    I struggle with this too. And then I get annoyed at myself for wasting time being upset over what I look like when there are so many better things to think about and do. I don’t know that I will ever stop having those thoughts, but it does seem to be getting better as I get older. And running definitely helps. You are beautiful and strong inside and out! And you busted out that 20+ miler like it was nothing!

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