Monday, March 30, 2009

On weightloss

Running has been the only thing that has ever worked for me on loosing weight. I discovered it after I got married and had not have any babies yet. So, after I had my first baby I knew exactly what would work for me, and running it was. The weight would literally melt off my body. Not having to diet, but eating healthy was my favorite part. I have two babies. My youngest is 20 months now, and I stopped breastfeeding when she turned one last summer. My weight went down to what it was pre-pregnancy, and I was happy. Then the winter and the holiday season arrived. I took a 3 months break from running and the inevitable happened, I gained 8 lbs. Yes, guilty! No worries, I thought, I'll loose it all easily once I get back to training. I started running again at the end of January. I am training for my first half marathon coming up in three weeks. I have worked my way up to running 5 miles twice a week and a short 3 miler once a week and my last long run was that of 10.5 miles and all have lost in the last two months of running have been 2 lbs! I am running more miles per week that I ever had before. The only two things that I'm doing different is that I'm not pushing a stroller (I'm running in the early morning while my babies sleep) and I am not breastfeeding. I know the breastfeeding is probably the most significant change, but I still think I should be able to loose the weight running the miles that I'm running. I'm frustrated. I am not on a diet, instead I try to eat healthy. I don't do fast food. I am huge on fruits and vegetables. I mainly use chicken, and tofu, sometimes fish. I buy whole wheat pasta and bread. I have a major sweet tooth, so I avoid bringing any temptations home. I consider myself a healthy eater. I hate dieting. I even started taking a cleansing treatment about a week and a half ago, I think I have another week and half to go through it. So what is the deal? Anyone out there sharing the same frustration? Any advise on how to loose 6 lbs!

On a different note. Like I said, I ran 10.5 miles on Saturdays, that being my longest run ever. I was not doing very good by about mile 8, I felt pretty sluggish and tempted to walk. I think I might have been a combination of being dehydrated, running low on energy and that I was doing crazy hills (if you've ever run the Sugarhouse area, you know what I mean). My question is: When should you start carrying a water belt or something to help along the way. I've hear about those gels too, but I don't know if running 10 miles is already enough to use them. And should I think about getting some for my half-marathon?

I know you guys always come throught with great advise. Thanks in advance!


Cal said...

I don't really have any great advice on your weight loss question...sometimes I think that the body will hold on to what it has when we are exercising alot.
I really wanted to comment on your second question though. I went into my first Half-marathon thinking that I didn't need any extra sugars to make it through the race..I was so nervous that I didn't even eat anything at all before it either. I did great for the first 10 miles of the race and then suffered through a VERY miserable 3 miles to the end because my body just ran out of everything! I have since learned to use the gels (I like GU) for about every 50-60 minutes that I run. For a Half-marathon I will usually take one around mile 5 and mile 10. They really help me. I also have a hydration belt with water and gatorade that I usually wear for runs longer than 6 miles. Some people don't like the belts-but I'm so used to mine-I don't notice! Hope this helps a little :) Good luck with your race!!

Stephanie and Co. said...

I am pretty much just going to ditto Cal.
I am having the same frustration with my weightloss right now. I am going to chalk it up to my metabolism slowing down.
I wish I had some great advice for you. I'm just trying to be happy with my new weight.

I carry water or make a water drop if I'm going longer than 6 miles as well. I haven't found a belt that I love, I just deal with it for the sake of water.
I do a gel if I'm going to be running longer then 1 hour. I take the gel 40 minutes in to a longer run. I think Cal's protocol of one at mile 5 and one at mile 10 sounds right for a half marathon. Good luck!

Tall Girl Running said...

It's frustrating that we as hardcore long-distance runners have trouble losing a few extra pounds, but you're not alone! I found the same problem to be true myself after the holiday season. I came to believe my body had simply stopped recognizing running as an efficient calorie burner. It still worked at maintaining my weight, but not for losing it. It wasn't until I decided to cut back on my mileage and pick up with different cross-training that I finally started shedding the extra pounds again. It forced my body to work in ways it wasn't used to and it was just the spark my metabolism needed. If you're not cross-training already, I'd suggest you make it part of your weekly routine along with your running. Swimming, weight-lifting, spinning, elliptical, cycling, yoga... anything else besides running. You might need to sacrifice a little bit of your mileage for your race training but if you keep your weekly long runs honest, you should be okay.

As for using fuel belts and energy gels... I'm all for anything that keeps me from bonking! I don't typically run anything longer than six miles without access to water and I've found anything longer than ten miles requires some kind of fuel, whether it's an energy gel, a banana or granola bar. You're putting your body through a lot of stress by running long-distance. Do yourself a favor and make it a little easier by staying well fueled and hydrated. Just be sure you practice doing it in training well before race day.

Giggles said...

If you want to use gels or anything for the race, practice with them on your training run. Do not change anything for a race from your training runs, especially a race of that distance.

Myself, I don't like the gels, they make me gag. So I mix some Gatorade that's a bit extra stiff and use that instead.

I'm running in Arizona, so I usually have some water with me for anything over four miles in the summer, over five the rest of the year.

Jenny said...

I agree with the others...10 miles is too long to run without extra fuel. I use gels, I got used to them and can feel them "kick in" they are pretty gross, drink plenty of water after you take one(like 4-6 oz). I don't carry a waterbelt but I run in loops around my house.

As for the weight loss...sorry no advice. I think Tall Girl Running is onto something with the cross training idea. Good luck and way to go with the 10+ Miles

chicklet said...

Running is the only thing that's ever worked for weight loss for me too, so recently when I got my running back on track and then started training for my first half but didnt lose the weight quickly, I got really frustrated - because like you, I'd upped my mileage a LOT and there was no reason I shouldn't lose it. But, being older, I'm assuming my metabolism needed a boost, so I started eating the same amount of calories daily but in smaller doses (5x a day rather than 3 meals), and I really watched the carb/fat intake of my meals. To me this wasn't dieting as I still ate lots, but I was more careful in my choices during the week (weekends I was more free with it). My last 6lbs (my goal was 10) came flying off. Hope it works for you too!

Re energy levels during running, I'm finding the little electrolyte gummy bears fun (although chewing and running and breathing all at once is hard). I'll eat 3 (total 90 calories) over a 16km run but spread out every 20-25min or so. I don't need them on short runs (10km or less) but on the long runs I find they really help maintain my energy so there's no real lulls.

Roblynn and Rebekah said...

I would definately agree with chicklet, just based on personal experience. There is this law, when we burn more calories than we take in we lose weight. Pretty simple, but not all calories are created equal, and the metabolism does not always handle them the same. It sounds like you may even need more calories, especially when running to keep your body from thinking you are starving it and holding on to extra calories. I wish you luck with figuring out the whole metabolism thing. About the time you get it figured out you will age, or quit having kids, or enter some other "phase" and you will have a whole new body to figure out, keeps you guessing :)

Sarai said...

You guys are great! Thanks for all the awesome advice. I like all of it, so I will keep all in mind. Once again, the marathon mommies came through!

jenX67 said...

I have struggled with the last 15 or 20 pounds my entire life and I am absolutely convinced that until I "learn" to run, it will never come off. You inspire me. Are you the same Jenny who has been visiting my blog and commenting about Oklahoma. I never knew you had a blog! or five kids!!!

Polliwog said...

There is lots of super advice here and I'm glad you posted the question b/c I am still trying to lose my baby weight (Baby's 8 months and I've got 15 pounds).

I just wanted to add that I have recently turned to the Jelly Belly Sport Beans for fuel. I've used GU and Clif bloks but both make me gaggy. Some runners don't find them as effective, or so I've heard, but I really like them.

danezeife said...

Hi Sarai!

Jogging a few miles in the mornings helps in weight loss. It not only loosens the stiff joints and muscles but also keeps one active throughout the day.