Monday, September 16, 2013

Oops. My Bad.

I'm going to confess to a mistake I've made this year. It's one I've made before.

I got fat.
On purpose.

If you've tolerated, er, followed this blog for a while, you'll know that I have a tendency to go 180° away from running when I suffer a long-term injury. I guess it's a coping mechanism. I love running so much that I need to get away from that world when I'm unable to actively participate.

My "athletic" history includes both endurance activities (primarily running) and strength training; sometimes simultaneously, often not. When I shut down my running earlier this year (March 11th), I once again thought, "screw it. I'm going to 'bulk up' and get strong again." Well, I did. And now that I'm trying to get my endurance mojo back (cycling plus a little running), that decision has once again come back to bite me in the glutes.

Like most men (and many active people in general), I don't venture into things half way. I'm usually all-in. So, once I decided I was done with endurance activities, I hit the weights & food HARD. I put on 15 lbs. in no time flat. I pounded protein shakes mixed with whole milk, often a few per day. Sure, some of the weight gain was muscle, but some was also fat.

By most standards, I would STILL be considered a small-ish guy. At nearly 5' 11", I don't have a big frame. But as a distance runner, I'm a good 12-15 lbs. above my comfortable running weight. And my once prized abs are currently in hibernation (that will change.)

So I'm on a mission to reverse the damage. I haven't stopped the weight training, but I have refocused it to assist running and cycling rather than to merely see how much weight I can move and how big I can get my guns.

I've always been able to fairly easily manipulate my body weight & composition. I'm blessed with a high metabolism. However, at my current age (46), I'm noticing it's not quite as easy as it used to be. The next time I'm off the endurance bandwagon and get the bug to "get swole," remind me to go easy on the bulking up. Or, remind me to get on the bike or trainer & keep the cardio going instead.

And, misguided or not, I'm still hopeful about returning to running regularly—at least to the level I was at before my hamstring injury took me out. It'll be a long, slow process. It usually is. But there's always a little excitement and anticipation when I "start over." I just wish I didn't have to do it quite as often!

But I'm game. Let's do this.

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