Monday, 12 March 2012

The Hunger

So the miles are racking up and last week I managed to do 35 miles (in total, not all in one go I hasten to add). This included my longest run so far of 17 long and arduous miles. I have to say I am not sure I am a fan of the long run. Plodding on for hour after hour around the drab streets of North London is just not that inspiring.

Plotting my routes used to revolve around finding the most scenic loops that would lead me from and to my front door. A few fields, trees and a bit of high end real estate was enough to keep me amused on a run. Now it is all about wending my way ever further from home to add on more and more miles. This is so dispiriting as I might find myself running towards home, only to have to switch back away from it again in order to tack on an extra mile or so.

I did consider another epic run into town, but on discovering that to cover 17 miles I would have to run from home to Tower Bridge I simply couldn't face it. The crowds of normal people in normal clothes are too much for me to navigate after sweating my way through a long run.

When I am fresh and full of energy I feel a certain smugness as I power past mere pedestrians, when I am tired and have had enough I don't want to have to push my way through crowded pavements, so I am stuck with the relatively empty streets that fan ever outwards from my house.

It is true that I have discovered a lot of new areas that I never knew existed like the bucolic common and chocolate box pretty village that lie sandwiched like a decadent and indulgent filling between two bland slices of suburbia. Or the gigantic footballers' palaces that turn an otherwise unexciting stretch of road into a mini Beverly Hills, complete with French chateau style residences kitted out with indoor pools and movie rooms, ranks of shimmering sports cars parked outside.

This strange form of sightseeing is fun for a bit, but not diverting enough to keep me amused for the many hours it takes me to run multiple miles.

But boredom isn't the the only disappointing side effect of marathon training - there is also the all encompassing HUNGER it seems to bring on. I have spent over a year trimming my body down by six stone. This was achieved by that tried and tested formula of exercise twinned with a keeping a careful watch over what I ate.

Now with all these miles I am covering I am simply starving. I feel as if I am slipping fast back into my old ways of scoffing until my stomach groans in protest. Despite the fact that I am burning off thousands of calories this pigging out is seeing me putting on weight again. Everyone assures me it's muscle, but I will admit it is pretty dispiriting to step on the scales after a mammoth run, only to discover I am literally piling on the pounds.

The trouble is that when 10K seemed like a long way subsisting on brown rice, grilled chicken and salads was doable. I could tame my appetite and keep a strict control over the calories going in. Now I fear I might gnaw my own arm off should I try to live on my old healthy diet. I am just scared that once I stop marathon training my appetite won't slow down as much as my running.

While most people might be counting down the days until the marathon because they can't wait for the big day, what I am looking forward to most is going back to a more varied diet of exercise and a more pared down diet of food.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe marathons are just a bit extreme. Were human bodies really designed to run 26 miles? I think the combination of eating healthily and running 10 miles is probably preferable....

    Know what you mean about the sightseeing, I now take a route that allows me to look up close at all the ridiculous millionaire houses round us!