Monday, August 2, 2010


I cut my long run short on Saturday. By the middle of last week I was feeling intense fatigue that I couldn’t seem to shake. Mr. Helen suggested that I skip all running/Thai Boxing until my long run on Saturday but the little perfectionist devil that stands on my shoulder would not let me. I compromised by going to the beginner Thai class on Thursday night and working out 4 options for my scheduled 12 miler on Saturday:

1. Go do it and not pay attention to time – which would basically require me to leave my Garmin at home.
2. Do a loop where I could cut it short if I started to feel desperate.
3. Split the run into 6 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday.
4. Skip it.

I figured with all those options I’d work something out.

Saturday morning I got up at 4:30 and spent an hour drinking coffee then drinking water. My stomach was not cooperative so I didn’t manage get anything to eat down. As I contemplated running or not I realized that if I missed this long run, it would be the only one I’ve missed during the entire 12 week training schedule and I just couldn’t get myself to quite let go. I decided to take off for the run with the idea that I would do “only” 6 miles if necessary. After warming up and getting my legs looser I felt like I could go longer. Since I had eliminated Option 1, I was wearing my Garmin and was able to adjust my route. When I finally got to the point where I could go straight and go home thereby cutting the run short, or take the left for a bit over 12 miles, I went straight. Though conditions were just about perfect (65 degrees, low humidity), I wasn’t “feeling” the run. So, I slogged out 11 miles in the end, instead of 12. Actually with my warmup and cooldown (not tracked on Garmin) I did around 11.5. From all my running experience, I know this was fine. So now, this week is the taper with much less running and my race on Saturday.


As I mentioned it was a gorgeous around here this weekend. After the long run and getting the house chores done, Mr. Helen and I decided to head for the beach. Just can’t pass up picture perfect conditions!

As we relaxed on the beach I got a text message from a friend. Cell service is funky at the beach - literally you might have service if you’re standing up, but not if you’re sitting down. Or if your phone is point west instead of east. Anyway, I wanted to answer the text and I had to stand up to do it. As I stood there typing, in my peripheral vision I could see Mr. Helen looking at me very intently. Huh, what’s up with that?

I sent the text off and lay back down on my blanket and he said, “Lanc (one of his nicknames for me), you’re looking pretty slim in that bathing suit.” Oh, so that’s why he was looking at me so hard. My brain is shooting off danger signals and telling me I need to tread lightly here, because my weight and dieting has resulted in quite intense conversations for us in the past. “Well thank you,” I replied. He says, “I think you’ve lost some weight but it doesn’t seem like you’re dieting lately.” That statement opened the door and led us into a discussion about my decision a few weeks ago to stop counting every calorie that went into my mouth. I said it loud and I said it proud: “I know this may not make you happy, or make you think I'm giving up trying to get my slimmer self back, but I cannot live like that any more. It was exhausting me. I had reached the stage where I was fighting everything: my thyroid, my food, my emotions. If this is the size my body is supposed to be, then so be it. I’m trying to make reasonable food choices and be healthy and eat when I’m hungry. If I happen to lose weight, great, if not I’m going to be OK with that too.”

His response?

“Good for you! You have no idea how happy I am to hear this. This is the best thing I think I’ve heard come out of your mouth. I am so glad you are letting go of all the years of dieting and feeling like you weren’t OK. You’re OK and I just want you to be happy.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

The really interesting thing about that whole conversation is this: In the past if he was eating something and offered it to me and I said no he wouldn’t let up until I took a bite. Since Saturday, all I’ve had to say is no thank you, I’m really not hungry, and he let it go.

So, my weekend was full of victories:  exercise, food, marital and emotional.  What more could I ask for, really?


  1. I got a lump in my throat when I read this. It feels so good to stop fighting, doesn't it? If you get a chance, read Michelle's "Eating Journey" post today.

  2. I love that you spoke "loud and proud" about what you have been doing - what a wonderful weekend - many victories indeed.

    My husband met me when I was 135, and this is the heaviest I've been in the 10 years we've been together - but he always tells me "if you diet its because you want to, I think you are beautiful!"

    I think you are right on the wine/alcohol - it has become a habit. I get home, give kisses to Hannah and Tony, change my clothes, start dinner. . . pour a glass of wine. Which of course then leads to another one at dinner, and maybe another one before bed - any calories I am burning on the bike machine are wasted on the alcohol.

    Hope you have a great Monday Helen!

  3. Aww. What a wonderful thing for Mr. Helen to say - he gets you, he really gets you. AND, you get it as well, as evidenced by the slim are feeding your body what it needs without the daily dose of angst that goes along with fighting everything else. Love this.

    So impressed that you did over 11 miles when you weren't feeling it. That is a real runner's commitment! Re your comment today, I wish Matt and I could run together - when we ran that one day, three miles FLEW by before I even considered taking a break. And while I know he slowed his pace, he didn't make it seem like it was a big deal to do that. Just so much fun; such a good thing to run with a partner like that.

  4. Thought you should know...I just got new running shoes! Guess I will be joining you out on the roads :)

  5. Helen, this post made me cry - in a very wonderful way.

  6. Good stuff from start to finish. Amazing how representing ourselves honestly can yield amazing results. I'll be thinking of you during this pre-race week as you mentally and physically prepare.

    And how nice that Mr. Helen was admiring your bod! (I laughed at you laughing at the picture of mine...can you believe I'm such a freak? I would have done another but didn't even realize it until several hours later when I uploaded it! I knew if I weighed again, it would be different (up) from breakfast and copious water drinking!)

  7. You are so amazing! You did that run, you conquered a huge personal/marital issue. I'm excited for your run. I think you were wise to be easy on yourself no matter how it turns out. That always helps me be able to do better and feel better.

  8. I am so touched by your conversation, Lanc (just kidding). Give Mr. H a hug for me (and you too!!)
    Tell me the race again that you are running.

  9. What a nice place to be in your weight loss journey!

  10. Wow that was a beautiful account of you and your hubbies conversation. It brought tears to my eyes and gave me goose bumps. I am so happy for the both of you, this is ground breaking news!

    Good job on the run too!

  11. How fantastic Helen! I'm so happy to hear about the calorie thing, I'm a week into the "freedom" as well and I'm glad he's being so supportive. It does sound like giving up until all people hear the reasons.

    So happy for you!

  12. I got a lump in my throat too. I am SO GLAD you had that conversation with Mr. Helen, and so happy he noticed and liked the change in you. I do too. :)

  13. Wow...someday, I'll be proud to say that running 11 miles was just cutting short my 12 mile run. Bravo Helen!

  14. What a great conversation with your hubby! So awesome! Hugs!

  15. I teared up at this Helen.