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Weight and Speed

Saturday, October 22, 2011

So, the conventional knowledge amongst runners is that you gain speed when you drop weight, up to a point. Once you start burning muscle due to very low body fat, your speed gains stop or reverse.

I'm about 5-10lbs heavier this racing season than last (I assume. I don't weigh myself anymore.) My measurements are roughly the same. My hips/butt gained two inches from the hill work, to a 35 from 33 inch measurement. Which I'm FINE with. It just makes my waist, which is pretty solidly at that 28-27 inch mark consistently, look smaller. My chest filled back out a little bit and I think I need to move from an A to a B. Again, YAY. I'm fine with this. If I gain weight and it's in my bootie in muscle and boobs, I'm a happy camper. Just leave the stomach and backs of my arms alone, new fat.

Still, I'm nowhere near my lowest healthy racing weight. I'm heavier this year than last. And my times have been blowing my MIND this season. This is so darn counterintuitive! I race better heavier. And no, not all of it is muscle. I'm probably less lean, too.

I just ran the Portland Marathon on October 9th.
I shaved TWELVE minutes off my old best time. TWELVE.
4:36:24. That's like a real serious marathon time! And I even blew the taper a bit by walking darn near 20 miles in Portland two days before the race and doing 8ish the day before.

I might actually manage to run a sub 4 one day!
My dream of Boston Qualifying before death might be less crazypants than previously assumed.

Other race distances have also been great. Two sub-2 hour half marathons. A sub 25 minute 5K (the first half of my Duathlon race in August - and that was after I biked 15ish miles the day before the race like a total dork!). Sub 90 10 miler.

I'm hitting my speed goals, I'm running faster with less effort.
I still want to be leaner, for vanity, but obviously I'm very fit and healthy at this weight. It's tough!

On the one hand I'd really like to get some body fat off but to do that I need to eat less. I'm doing higher mileage training and I'm farked ravenous(!) most days. As soon as my weekly miles hit the mid to upper 30s I'm hungry constantly. And I've been averaging 40-45.

This amount of fueling is good for my racing.
I'm just torn between vanity (thinner would be better looking!) and the knowledge that I don't really NEED to lose weight to improve my health or my performance. The second bit has been winning. The first feels too much like my old ED nemesis, for one. Additionally, option two means I get to EAT. Fun stuff. Lots of good stuff. It's hard to ignore that. I love me some food.

Just TOTALLY rambling.

Oh yeah, hi guys. Since I've last posted I did a Duathlon (5K, 18 miles bike, 5K), a 10 miler, a marathon and I'm doing a half next weekend. :D Disney Marathon in January. My first trail marathon in August (though I've got my eye on an early season trail Marathon, too, that fits my schedule well) and I'm flirting with the idea of running my first ultra (50K) in 2012.

New levels of crazy.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You're letting the healthy thinking win over the vanity thinking, so I applaud you! It's very cool that you're becoming a faster, smarter runner. emoticon
    3492 days ago
    You are in a GREAT place! YAY!!! Also, a lot of people focus on weight exclusively w/r/t running performance, but don't forget that the more you run, the better you get at it. I don't know how long you've running, but it took me about 7-8 years of running consistently before I started seeing real improvement on my speed. it's kind of a paradox, but the older you get (to a point), the faster you become!

    Congrats on your marathon PR!!!
    3492 days ago
    Wow, what an amazing race schedule, and what an amazing performance! That's so awesome!
    3493 days ago
    Conventional knowledge would say if you have the same measurements but weigh more, you have more muscle. Your running results would imply that the added muscle is in the right places.
    3493 days ago
    New levels of crazy...I love it! Congrats on all of your successes. You are doing terrific!!!
    3493 days ago
  • JLITT62
    New levels of crazy, indeed. But a good crazy. Obviously your training well. Color me green!
    3493 days ago
    Haha. Wow. Thanks guys!

    It's still so weird when anyone says I'm inspiring!
    I'm just chugging along, keeping those feet moving.
    Running is addicting and I'm hooked but good. Hah.

    Best of luck to everyone.
    When I started running, I could only do like 3 minutes at a time! My first 5k was like a 34 min one, I think. I started pretty darn slow and with regular running - not even intentional speedwork - I've moved my easy, coversational pace from 11:30-12 min miles to 9:30/10s. Just keep on keeping on! And listen to your bodies. :)
    3493 days ago
  • SWAN47
    Sounds like you've figured out what's best for you! Loved reading your blog and inspired by all you're doing. I'm a slow runner and running my first half in December. This week a horrible cold (in my chest) and unable to do my long run 8 miles. Disappointed but know it's best to listen to my body like you're doing with your weight. All I've got to say is emoticon and keep doing what feels good! Have a blessed weekend! Thanks for sharing. emoticon
    3493 days ago
    Me too!!!! I am a SLOW runner. I am careful to call it running, but it shows up as running when I log it, so that is what it is. You inspire me!
    3493 days ago
    I want to be like YOU when I grow up! Weigh to go!
    3493 days ago
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