5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

OK, nevermind.

Remember how I’d been going to the gym and using the elliptical 4 mornings during the week? Well, according to the above article that may have fucked up my metabolism and have a part in screwing up my weight. 

BUTbut… I ran 5k twice last week and I almost enjoyed it and I’d like to keep doing it at least once a week. I ran for 31-33 minutes at a time so I’m thinking that might not be overdoing it too much. 

This above article really drove home the need to do more weight training. I went to an Ashtanga/Iyengar-heavy yoga class last night and aside from my Saturday morning class, I’m going to do my best to stay away from Vinyasa/Power/Fire/Body Assault yoga classes. 

And then, this morning, I used my arm weights and did a couple free weight exercises and then put on my Barre DVD and worked on the arm module and about half of the core module. I’m going to use the shit out of that DVD.

This morning I also noticed that eating cold foods in the morning don’t sit well in my stomach. Back to oatmeal for me! #protein 

5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

Working out too much or just the wrong way?

I’ve been thinking lately that there’s a possibility that I’ve been working out too much. Or working out the wrong way. When I lost a whole bunch of weight from 2011-2012, I was mainly doing yoga and running (a mile here, a mile there). 

Now I’ve added the elliptical and weights. Then I did shit ton of sit ups for a while. My torso looked great.

With primarily yoga (half vinyasa, half ashtanga/iyengar), very minimal hand weights, and the elliptical, I’m not sure I’m such a fan of how I’m looking, or rather, how I’m feeling.

I decided to run on the treadmill on Friday night instead of doing the elliptical because I wanted to run and it was too hot to run outside. I ran for about 24 minutes; a little over 2 miles. I felt great afterward. Running on the treadmill is the worst but I watched a very old episode of SVU, so I was kept entertained. On Saturday morning I went to my hardest vinyasa class and lost half my body weight in sweat. It was awesome.

Which brings me now to the topic of yoga: I used to do primarily vinyasa classes, which I only do once a week now. I could do them more but they seem so boring (save for my Saturday morning class with one of my favorite teachers). I’m rediscovering my love for ashtanga and iyengar, and not just going for updog as fast as possible, and as many times as possible.

And lastly, I’ve read about working out too much and how important rest days are. As far as I’ve been concerned, at least in the past, rest days are for the weak. But maybe now I’m coming to terms with the cold hard fact that they aren’t. I need a rest day, or two. I’m thinking this could be my potential schedule:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga
Tuesday: Running + sit ups
Wednesday: Running + sit ups + Ashtanga/Iyengar yoga
Thursday: Running + sit ups
Friday: Rest?
Saturday: Vinyasa 
Sunday: Rest or Run?

I’ll try it out this week and see how it works. 

Running Shoes

Dear fellow runners: How do you know when to replace your running shows? I’ve had the same pair for the past two or three years because I don’t run all that often. I bought a new pair (basically the same as my current pair but with a different color scheme) last summer when Paragon Sports was having a huge sale (so they cost about $30). 

My current shoes have a tiny hole on one side but that’s basically the only thing I can see as being wrong with them. For all I know though, the bottoms are completely flattened out and not ideal for running (I’m making this up but it sounds like something that could be a thing). Here’s a photo of the bottoms:

To all the educated, experienced runners out there, how do my sneakers look? Do I need to toss them? 

A Run in Riverside

You know how I always say running sucks? Well, it’s still true: running sucks. It sucks even more in the freezing cold. It was hard to get out of bed on Saturday morning, but my boyfriend and I had signed up for the Hot Cocoa 5k a month or so ago and since it was starting just two blocks away from my apartment, so why not. But the morning of: he was not happy. To be quite honest, I’d have loved to stay in bed, too. 

The course was rough: lots of hills. But we did it. We both finished in 32 minutes. They were giving out free hot chocolate (hence the name) and bagels after at the race, but we didn’t want to wait on line, so I ordered hot chocolate at the local diner instead.

I’m glad we did it but eff running outside in the winter from now on. 

Sunday’s Run

Even though the 4-mile race that my dude and I signed up for is over, we’re going to keep up running because it’s a good burn and it’s fun to do together. I think we’re going to aim to do a bunch of 5k’s in the spring and just try to get faster. We’re both not distance runners, by any means, and also it’s been proven time and again that distance running is not good for your body. So, why would we ever wreck our bodies? 

I mistakenly paused my app from 98th Street until 88th Street and then realized it and hit go again. So, we did more like 2.5 miles. We ran down Riverside Drive, then in Riverside Park, and ended near Lincoln Center, so we went to get brunch at The Smith afterwards. I tried the banana french toast – so good, but such a huge portion. 

I had once toyed with the idea of running a 10k (I have, on my own, once) but I’m not married to the idea and if it never happens, I’ll be okay with that. 

“Race to Deliver,” 11.22.15 aka #runningsucks

Yesterday Justin and I awoke at an unusually early hour (for a Sunday morning) of 6:30am for the “Race to Deliver” in Central Park, benefitting God’s Love We Deliver. I think it’s a great organization and the timing worked out perfectly. We’d had several weeks to prepare (aka running a couple of times per week) and I knew it wouldn’t be warm out anymore – yessss. 

We grabbed bananas and made our way to Central Park. We’d stayed up way-too-late watching the first episodes of The Man in the High Castle so we were running on about 5 hours of sleep – not the greatest idea to be honest. And it was chilly! My long-sleeved shirt was definitely not enough warmth when standing still. 

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We took our place among the 6,000 people running the race and just went for it. We ended up running the race in 40:52, which equates to 10:13 miles. Not too bad. I absolutely detest running hills so my quads felt like they were on fire every time we went up a hill. We just ran and ran and didn’t stop and it felt like shit most of the time (for me, at least) but we did it.

My reward was seeing a couple of corgis in the park as we were exiting. I almost died.

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Afterwards we treated ourselves to brunch at Jacob’s Pickles on the UWS. We arrived a little after 9:30 and we were shocked to still see a mass of people waiting outside for a table. Luckily we grabbed seats at the bar. Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches on biscuits with coffee, fruit, and hash browns. 

We might consider doing a 5 mile race next time – in the spring – but who knows. Running is pretty damn boring, but it’s a good way to burn calories and it’s not too bad when you’re running with a partner when you push each other to going farther than you thought you originally could.

an unremarkable, too-short, but awesome couple of days

This weekend was way too short. It felt like it went by in a day and a half despite the fact that we gained an hour. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary for Halloween so I didn’t lose time being hung over. I just woke up on Sunday and the weekend has vanished behind me.

I was able to get to a 6pm yoga class on Friday with one of my favorite yoga teachers. Then I proceeded to buy a purple sweater at TJ Maxx in an attempt to create a half-asses “Hipster Ariel” costume. It’s a really cozy sweater and I will continue to (over)wear it through the winter. I spent the rest of Friday eating whatever was left in my fridge (spoiler alert: not much) and watched the next episode of The Leftovers (still the weirdest, nonsensical show on TV).

I watched Real Time with Bill Maher on Saturday morning and then went for a way-too-hard 2.10 mile run. It should not have been as difficult as it was. I was just running too fast, I guess. Later in the evening I joined my friend Selena and at the “Girls Pint Out” booth at the NYC Craft Beer Fest for a couple of hours. I sampled too many beers. 

The rest of the night included a drink with my dude at my friend’s bar in midtown, and after his friend and her man showed up, we migrated to an Irish pub a few blocks away hoping to see some shameless costumes (and oh my goodness, we did). 

Sunday was lazy. Very lazy. Justin and I watched a few more episodes of The Walking Dead (we’re still on season 5) and enjoyed some caffeine from The Hungarian Pastry Shop before I met up for a long overdue brunch with @endotique at Melba’s in Harlem. We split the eggnog waffles and fried chicken which was delicious, to say the least. It was lovely. We watched some people running the marathon at 110th and 5th for a while, noting that they’re all insane (seriously, people who run marathons are insane – it’s unhealthy). 

The rest of the evening was filled with the rest of season 5 of The Walking Dead with Justin and later (much later) some Italian food to get us through the final episode. I read, went to bed early, and kissed inexplicably short and unremarkable weekend goodbye. 

I plan buying this t-shirt at some point. Because it’s true. It’s really, really true. I went for a run (a quick-ish 2.something miles) this morning because I didn’t think I’d have a chance to go to a yoga class. I also stopped running what feels like forever ago (but was probably only a month ago), because I got bored, and I also hated distance running. 

The 2.something miles were fine. I finished them in under 20 minutes. But I was sweaty after (duh) and sore. And I decided that running, does indeed, suck. Running is good for your heart and your metabolism and that’s about it. I know people run marathons and half-marathons to prove to themselves that they can do it. That’s fine. But really, there are so many other activities that are good for your whole body and probably don’t destroy your knees.

Also: The first man in Greece who ran 26 miles died right after. I think that says something. Mainly: Humans are not made to run 26 miles at a time.

I also find running for extended periods of time to be incredibly boring. Doing the same thing for an hour just to get your heart rate up or prove something to your own ego? Meh. 

Give me yoga any day. At least it’s good for my entire body (and mind) and it won’t destroy my knees. I’ll continue to run mainly to burn calories, but I won’t attempt crazy distances because like the t-shirt says, running sucks

But hey, to each their own. If you enjoy running, go for it. 

The Key is Breathing

I started running again semi-regularly about a month ago. And by “semi-regularly,” I mean I ran about once a week. The thing was I started running longer distances than I ever had before. I used to run 2-2.5 miles at once and be done. Occasionally I’d slip in a 5k, but not normally.

Then I had my heart set on completing the loop in Central Park. Which is, like, six (6!) miles. I tried once, and cut out some, and then walked about ¼ of the way so it was four miles and some change. Then I tried to run the perimeter of the park and gave up after about 3 miles, cut across the park, and went home. 

You know what I did every time I wanted to stop? I breathed. Whenever my yoga teachers have told me in the past to breathe into where ever you feel discomfort: they’re totally right. Just breathe. But finally today I was able to do it. I took a couple of 20 second walking breaks, but I did it (at a pretty good pace of 10:22/mile) and I felt great. 

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And then I started to not feel so great anymore. I ate a ½ cup of oatmeal before I went out but with probably no more than a ½ cup of water, so I think I was pretty dehydrated. I ate a grilled cheese and avocado sandwich and a lot of water after.

After I showered and started running errands, with plans to go to two super easy yoga classes tonight, I started feeling really shitty. Like really, really shitty. 

I came home and laid down (and watched a really random, sort of okay but probably not movie called “Waiting For Forever” and now I’m taking it easy for the rest of the evening. I really want to order Chinese (since grocery shopping obviously didn’t happen today) but most of me thinks this is a pretty terrible idea.

So, a question to all the (maybe 2?) runners who happen to stumble upon this entry: Was I feel shitty because I ran the longest distance I’ve ever run? I’m attributing my being run down to the fact that I was dehydrated and the weather was super warm last week and now it’s finally acting like it’s fall out.

Yeah. That sounds about right. But I did it! I ran all six miles. Do I ever want to increase my miles again? Nah, not really. Marathons, half-marathons, and basically anything longer than what I ran seem really silly to me.

And I’m pretty sure I’d feel incredibly… shitty after running one.

I know people say that when you simply run, you ARE a runner. Well, allow me to disagree but I run a few times a week and I don’t consider myself a runner.

At all.

I don’t dislike runners – some of my friends are runners. But to me runners are people who train for stupidly long distances for races that are WAY too long. I’ve run a couple of races (above is a picture of some friends and i at The Color Run last August) and I might run another in early February, but they’re not races I train for. I can’t see myself ever running over 10k. Quite honestly: I’d get bored. I get bored after two miles or gives miles at the very most. I don’t actually see the point in running races with ridiculously long distances. I guess it’s an ego thing for people (and I don’t mean ego in a necessarily bad way).

I run to stay fit and burn calories. That’s it.

Who knows, maybe I’ll run a 10k or half-marathon one day. But if I do it’ll probably just be on a dare, I won’t train for it, and I’ll see a puppy around mile 7 and get totally distracted.

For now I’m very happy running to stay fit and considering myself a yogi instead.