Common “healthy lifestyle” and/or running habits I fail at. (Alternatively: why I’ll never be a health-blogger or a good runner).
Normal people emerge from their yoga experiences cloaked in a self-actualized cocoon of serenity and clarity, feeling enlightened and empowered. I rage out with smoke pouring from my ears ready to punt kittens off of a cliff because I just wasted 60 minutes feeling outrageously uncomfortable and stretching. Which reminds me:
Nothing to see here folks, ‘cause I don’t do it nearly as much as I should. Moving along.
Who wants to run 22 miles with a water bottle in your hand or a freaking fuel belt around your waist? I’ve had enough awful dehydrated long runs that I should really address this issue, and some good advice in the comments on the horsefly post has renewed my enthusiasm for giving it a shot, but for some reason, I just keep banging my head against the proverbial wall with the whole adequate hydration thing. (Of all the things on the list, this shortcoming really does need to change.)
Amount of cross-training (Hint: it severely reduces my running mileage).
Contrary to my world-record marathon delusions, I cross-train too much to ever be a good runner. Namely? I row (or, well, erg). A lot. I’m convinced that, physically, rowing has absolutely nothing to do with running. This infuriated me in my college rowing days because I could find no rhyme or reason to successful erg scores – I could beat these girls by 10 minutes in a 5K run, and yet they’d be pummeling my ego into the ground on our erg tests . Now that I don’t care what scores I pull anymore, I relish the reality that erging a lot doesn’t seem to tire me out for my runs at all, allowing me to get in lots of extra sweatiness without the joints-hatin’ I’d get from too much running. But the rowing is a contributor to my next “good runner” faux pas.
Rowing is not conducive to being a slim, twiggy runner. I’m carrying around a lot of weight in my shoulders and hamstrings that I probably don’t need for running. I’m also carrying around a less desirable type of weight in my midsection that I probably don’t need for much of anything, unless a famine hits. But this probably won’t change, because I like rowing. And I like chocolate. And peanut butter. And cookies. And chocolate peanut butter cookies. Speaking of which:
I’d hazard a guess that oatmeal with peanut butter is not the ideal dinner. But toss in a mushy banana and a hefty handful of chocolate chips, and you’ve got my evening meal of champions. As my mom says, I basically turn it into cookie dough and then pretend it’s a perfectly reasonable and balanced meal. This faux-healthy oatmeal dish (in various forms) comprises a good 30-40% of my daily food consumption.
There are other things I should add to this list:
Speed work. As in, I don’t do it enough.
Strength training. Ditto the above. I like to pretend that rowing is kind of a mix of strength training and core work, but this is sort of a lie.
Running footwear. Are racing flats worth investing in? Or at the least, some kind of running shoe with a heel that isn’t quite so large? Ever since I read Born to Run, I’ve felt increasingly guilty about my weak, Nike Air Pegasus-spoiled feet, and I get little spasms of worry over whether I’m setting myself up for reduced running longevity by wearing huge ol’ trainers that keep my feet wimpy. I have no aspirations of jumping on the barefoot running train, but do you guys have any thoughts on more minimalist-type footwear?
Racing. I don’t race nearly as much as I want to, which probably impedes my running gains. Why not? Because racing is freaking expensive. I can’t justify spending $25 to run five kilometers. How do you decide which races to spend money on? Do you have any strategies for racing on a budget?
Truthfully, this list could go on and on and on, but I’m late for lunch. I’m interested to hear if others have any habits that might be counter to their running or their healthy lifestyles.