AH. Yesterday was my last hard training run before the Brooklyn Half Marathon and my last long run of my 20s. Sixteen slow miles in Prospect Park listening to Third Eye Blind and taking in the beauty of Brooklyn.
Since it was my last long run of my 20s, I took the run to think of how running has changed me... and how my relationship with running has changed.
When I started running as a 13 year old girl, it was to lose weight. Many of my classmates would tease me about my belly (which I now affectionately realize was merely pre-pubescent adiposity), call me names, and made me feel truly insecure in my budding body. I took to running in 8th grade. I hated it, and actually would hide in the bushes during our 1 mile warm up, and my event was actually DISCUS THROWING! How crazy is that?
I joined the leagues of the running community again my sophomore year of highschool after my freshman year lacrosse coach suggested I join the cross country team since I was fast and never tired during practice. I joined, mostly because I was awkward, didn't have many friends and because I was still obsessed with losing weight.
The Female Athlete Triad plagued me throughout highschool. I lost my period, was obsessed with being thinner and faster. But I also realized running was the most amazing way to connect with the world around me - long runs calmed me in a way I had never experienced. Running also created relationships with people who I still love to this day. Truly, three of my most loved friendships were created during highschool cross country.
Running gave me peace, it gave me community, but it also fed my body insecurities.
I lost touch with running during my freshman year of college, but quickly fell back in love with my sport upon transferring to Cornell. Ithaca is truly gorges. The gorges, the hills, the woods, the lakes... anyone who loves to run for the sake of appreciating the world's natural beauty would love Ithaca. I ran my first marathon training with Cornell's Running Club. But I also struggled with losing my period and fatigue as I counted calories and ran all the miles. I was not trying to engage in unhealthy behaviors, but running soothed my anxieties and helped me focus. I needed running, but I didn't realize I also needed MORE FOOD!
This damaged relationship continued until.... I had a huge, life changing moment during my Cornell years.
After my first marathon (where I ran a then-BQ-time of 1:38.43), I remember stepping on the scale. And I remember the shock, horror, and sadness of seeing a six pound gain from my usual weight. I realized in that moment that the obsession over weight had to stop. I had just run a marathon and I had run it quite well!! And yet, there I was, near tears that I was six pounds heavier than usual.
So this story is long... I want to finish it because I think its important. But for today - that's enough information. I'm still a runner, I have gone on to run 4 additional marathons and countless half marathons. I take my sport seriously, but the amount of self-love and self-respect I have gained since I ran my first marathon at 21 is astronomical.
A lot of the journey has to do with mindframe. A lot of it has to do with strength training. A lot of it has to do with diet. A lot of it has to do with life and its journey. Its been a massive evolution - one that I hope inspires you. Even if its just one person.
AH, so, I am exceptionally gushy this week in these final days of my 20s. The point of this post was supposed to be that I have been eating this delicious, super high protein, real food based breakfast and its made me feel like a rockstar.
Its low carb, but can easily be made higher-carb by adding oatmeal for days that I work out in the morning and need a post-workout-hit of carbs. And its freaking delicous. Like, I crave this for dessert yummy.
Eating real food. Eating high protein foods. This is part of my journey to self-love, to fostering a positive relationship with food. So while this brekkie is a low carb, nutrient rich option - its also a part of my story.
Food heals. <3
Banana Cacao Chia Seed Pudding
makes 1 serving
285 calories, 21 gm protein
6 oz non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 banana, preferebly frozen
1/2 ounce cacao nibs
4 ounces unsweeteend almond/coconut milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
*Optional - 2 droppers of vanilla stevia
1. In a mason jar, combine yogurt, banana, cacao nibs and unsweetened milk. Mix well.
2. Add chia seeds. Screw the lid on and shake vigorously to distribute the chia seeds.
3. Let gel overnight.
** I add 1/2 cup dried oatmeal in lieu of chia seeds when I need a higher carb breakfast option... also, then you don't need to let it gel overnight!!