Back in 2004 I wrote an “about me” when I entered the Steamtown Marathon, months before I started training, on my general physical shape and running experience. I’m just a few weeks out from my (very minimal) 16-week training period, and I’ve already covered why I’m running the NYCM, my current PR, and why I’m rebooting this blog. Current weight etc. numbers are in the weekly summary posts. But there have been some major physical lifestyle changes since then:
- Soon after Vibram FiveFingers were introduced (2005), I got my first pair. It took years, but eventually I completely changed my running style and by about 2010 had switched to strike mid/fore-foot (rather than the typical mid-foot/heel strike I used to have). The change was difficult—lots of calf pain when I went too far/fast—but now even in regular running-shoes-with-socks that’s how I run. FiveFingers have been problematic for me in terms of fit and comfort; I’ve bought pairs that felt OK initially and turned out to be wrong, and one pair where the toes were just too short and they always hurt. But overall, my impression is that it’s been super worth it. My running feels much more natural and comfortable. When training for the Rochester Marathon in 2015, I did develop top-of-foot-pain and had to focus on letting my heel touch down, which eventually fixed it, and I ran that race in FiveFingers. I’ll probably do a whole post on shoes. I think I run faster this way; I’m not sure, but it is a big change.
- Around 2014? I started a daily cold shower routine (2 minutes, or rather counting to 60 twice, which probably happens a little faster in the winter!, after the hot water/soap stuff). AWESOME!!! cannot recommend highly enough for life-changing effects, mostly mood but also motivation and health.
- Around 2015? I added an “eating window” thingy where I typically skip breakfast (aside from black coffee), and ingest food only between about noon and 9pm. I’m loose about it—I have breakfast while we’re traveling, eat soon after my long Sunday runs, etc—but it’s really helped keep my diet healthier and it’s now totally routine to run 5-8 miles on an empty stomach without any trouble. I relish my food more, don’t feel the need to control my eating as much, and in general my blood sugar is more stable. Not for everyone, but it’s been good for me.
- Aging has still slowed me some! I’ve mostly let go of the dream of qualifying for Boston by continuing to run just as fast into my 70s (you now need to break 5:10 as a 75-year-old woman to qualify… yeah, not gonna happen), and accepted that despite my Westfield 5K PR, my fastest times are probably behind me. That’s fine, but it does mean that the number of marathons I’m willing to take the time to train for is going to be small. So focusing on enjoying the process and the day makes a lot of sense. I’m so lucky to get to do it!