My Penchant For Overdoing It

It has been one month since The Greatest Day Ever.

I can't believe it's been a month... That makes me feel sad.

One month ago I ran the Hamptons Marathon. It was, without a doubt, my favorite thing I have ever done and I think about it (and, as you know, post photos of it) every single day.

As if I needed further reminders of that great day — beyond the medal hanging in my apartment, the signs from my friends and family that are plastered everywhere and the giant smile I haven’t wiped off my face yet — I arrived home on Friday evening to an incredibly thoughtful present from an incredibly talented friend.

My own marathon necklace!

Erica Sara, you have, yet again, outdone yourself. I haven’t taken this necklace off since I opened it.

That’s a lie. I have taken it off to shower, run and sleep. But other than that, it’s been permanently on display.

I Heart Sweat? Why yes, I sure do.

(Plug for Erica Sara: She makes gorgeous jewelry. Go to her website. Check it out. Buy things. She’s really nice and very pretty. Her stuff is great. I’m a big fan.)

Clearly running and marathoning have been on my mind nonstop for most of 2011.

But since the marathon, I’ve been a little all over the place. I gave myself one rest day after the marathon. One.

Am I stupid? Probably a little bit. Maybe a lot.

I ran the race on Saturday, rested on Sunday and then I was back at the gym on Monday for a spinning class.

I’ve taken more rest days since then, but it’s been hard for me to adjust to a non-marathon training schedule. This weekend I realized just how much I tend to overdo things — not just running-related things — and I don’t think this is one of my best qualities.

I will never half-ass anything. Not a work task, not a training regimen and not anything that will affect my loved ones. I like to go full out all the time.

There are parts of life where I don’t think this is bad. As much as I can drive myself crazy, I don’t hate myself for being a perfectionist.

Last night I went to bed feeling a bit annoyed with myself, though.

I had a great run on Saturday morning. The miles flew by, I was pumped about my pace and the return of fall running is giving me an extra kick in my step.

But that added kick has left me with a painful foot. As soon as I finished the run, my right foot — the outside part, opposite the arch — started to hurt pretty badly. And it still hurts. This morning I looked at my fancy little workout log (fancy = mileage scribbled in a notebook) and saw that I ran eight days in a row, which is something I never did during marathon training.

Oops. Probably should have taken a day off in there somewhere.

I limped around most of the weekend, which was a pain since there was lots to do.

I went to Mrs. Coach Cane’s baby shower on Saturday afternoon.

Lions and giraffes and babies HOLY CRAP.
This was everyone's favorite gift. Hehe.

I ran errands on Saturday evening and then spent Saturday night out on the town with the Sweat Squad (Kelly, Lindsay, Susan, Megan and Meggie), stuffing my face with pizza and ice cream.

I don't really know what this pizza had on it, but it was so dang good
Sure. Crohn's disease LOVES ice cream. Totally.

I got home Saturday night and felt terrible. Weird.

Perhaps that’s because I’ve been sick, and because I know I can’t tolerate pizza when my stomach is in shambles, and I definitely know I shouldn’t chase that pizza with a double scoop of delicious ice cream. I also know that the high dose of Steroids I’m on right now isn’t doing me any favors in the “everything you eat is going to make you super bloated and nasty” department.

But I have a hard time turning down a good meal. So that’s the price I pay.

Yesterday I woke up hoping my foot would feel better, so I took myself for a slow spin around the Bridle Path.

My foot did not, in fact, feel better. I logged 3.5 miles and then attempted to ice my foot while simultaneously doing laundry, cleaning my bathroom and finding out why Brandon cheated on Kelly on “Beverly Hills 90210.” (Because Kelly is kind of a rude whore and she deserved it a little bit, in my opinion. Donna disagrees though. She thinks Kelly is a saint. Drama.)

I spent the rest of Sunday with Brian on a walking food tour of Greenwich Village! It was a blast. My mom gave this to me as a Christmas gift last year and yesterday I finally cashed in.

First stop on the tour: Joe's Pizza

We felt weird being touristy with a big group in the city we live in, sampling food from the little markets throughout the Village, but it was a great time! We ate pizza, rice balls, warm chocolate chip cookies (my favorite), artichokes, fried zucchini things and tons of cheese.

My favorite corner
Mmmmm rice balls
Name that building. Hint: Monica and Rachel lived there on a certain TV show.

We stuffed our faces, we drank and we learned a lot about the neighborhood. Perfect, right?

Yeah. Except that I was kind of limping the whole time, and my stomach probably did not appreciate the fact that I kept stuffing more and more into it.

See where I’m going with this whole “overdoing it” thing?

Since the marathon, I’ve been off a training plan. I haven’t followed a smart running schedule. I didn’t take enough rest days from running, and now my foot hurts.

When I “go with the flow” I mostly just get lost.

I have been dealing with the Crohn’s flare-up for a few weeks now, and this weekend, at the first sign of the Steroids starting to work, I went a little crazy with the food and drink.

I know that my foot will be fine. It needs some rest, it needs some ice and it needs to not run today. Fair enough.

And I know that my stomach will be fine. As much as the ‘roids are getting me all puffy-faced and grossed-out, my stomach hurts less, which is the ultimate goal.

So I am writing this as my documented proof that it’s time to reel it all in a bit and re-focus.

I got all up on my high horse Saturday, telling Las Vegas that I’m so much more badass than the city expects.

But I know that if I’m not smart over the next few weeks, Las Vegas will be writing me a letter back that’ll be like a slap in the face.

Here’s my new plan as I gear up for the Las Vegas Half Marathon:

  • I run five days a week, just like during marathon training. Mondays and Fridays are cross-training only. Friday should be a rest day. If something hurts, I don’t “see how much more it can take.” I stop.
  • I start to taper off the Steroids soon. My Crohn’s disease goes away for a while. Life is happy in Stomach Land.
  • I attempt to control my chocolate addiction. I know that it’s easy to look at my situation and say, “Of course you’re sick, dumbass. You have Crohn’s disease and you’ve been eating crap since you started feeling just a little better.” That’s fair and it’s true. I fully accept some of the blame for many of the stomachaches I’ve brought on recently. But I will probably never be able to completely turn away a chocolate-infused anything, so I just need to maybe not eat chocolate for all three meals a day, and I’ll be good to go.
  • I don’t be a crazy psycho.
  • I go easier on myself. It’s fall. Fall makes me want to be even more hyperactive than usual. I want to get more done, see more things, be more productive and go go go go go go go go. But I also need to take time to really enjoy the season, or else it’ll be over before I can step into a pile of crunchy leaves.

I think I can manage these things pretty easily. Run a bit less, stretch a bit more, eat less crap, eat more good stuff, stress less, sleep more, run my little heart out in Vegas.

This was my morning commute today thanks to there being no downtown trains. Taking a cab is not ideal, but riding through Central Park at 8 am sure is lovely.

Game on.



0 Responses

  1. Re: the chocolate. What if you add just plain unsweetened cocoa powder to otherwise healthy things? I do that with smoothies and oatmeal to get a chocolate fix without being totally indulgent. Ginger + pear + cocoa powder + banana + almond milk = the best smoothie ever.

    (I will confess to not paying attention to exactly what causes Crohn’s to flare up, so maybe this advice is useless).

  2. That necklace is awesome and all the stuff in her site is gorgeous!! I like your plan- it is good to re-evaluate everything and I hope that makes kicking crohn’s and crushing vegas much easier!

  3. Samsies! I think I’m a “go big or go home” kind of person too, and that can both really benefit me and screw me royally. I think your new plan sounds very doable! And I hope the foot calms down a bit this week with some rest. We should have another sweat squad date at the Little Owl so we can hang out “in” the Friends building.

  4. Woohoo FRIENDS building!! And I love your necklace. I hinted to Dustin a few weeks ago that I wanted one waiting for me when I crossed my first marathon finish line in April. Fingers crossed!

  5. Hahah 🙂 I think you will do what is best for you and it’s ok if you make a few mistakes along the way. Eventually it will all work out.

  6. I’m sorry that your stomach isn’t feeling great but I’m glad to know you’re still having fun. I have the same problem with overdoing things. If I get involved with anything, I do it full steam ahead til it takes over my life. (Read: 40 to 50 hours a week working on the newspaper.) I love it, but I forget that the things I do are just part of who I am, not the whole person. If you can’t enjoy the things you love because you’re too busy worrying about doing them perfectly, then what’s the point?
    On a lighter note, Amys Bread = the most delicious place ever. Their chocolate bread twists are my favorite things in the entire world.

  7. I was totally about to scold you for the whole lack of rest days thing until I got to the end of this post. SO glad you’re being smart (again) about training, running no more than five days a week and taking at least one FULL rest day is huge. Your body will thank you, I PROMISE! Just let your mind accept that it’s ok and GOOD to take rest days and you’ll be just fine. I pinky swear!

  8. I like to go all out. I definitely have an all or nothing attitude, which can serve me well or be my biggest detriment. I am trying to work on it too…

    rest is good. 🙂 so is moderation.

  9. That necklace is divine! I love it!!!
    I’m all about eating/doing what you love, but I also tend to overdo it a lot of the time. Moderation is hard, but we can do it! You have a good plan now, so there is no doubt the you’ll kill Las Vegas!

  10. Sorry to hear your stomach was not feeling stellar this weekend, butttt you got to eat more rice balls, so I’m jealous of that.

    Take it easy on yourself, Lady! I know it’s hard, but a little rest can go a long way in feeling refreshed. Also, we need to find a fancy friend with a hot tub to soak our cranky feet….

  11. There are a couple tendons that loop around your foot and attach there. Id get a tennis ball and roll the bottom of your foot along with the arch, ankle and calf. I’d also take “inventory” by foam rolling the crap out of your calf, quad, hip, it band, glute…(etc.) to see if there are any trigger points 🙂 loosing those points up will prob affect that tightness in your foot.

  12. Kelly is miserable! She is never happy, ever. I don’t understand why Brandon would want her at all, much less why Brandon AND Dylan would want her. She stopped being hot when she cut off all her hair anyway, which is around the same time she became miserable all the time.

    I am the same way as you…. can’t turn down a good meal even if it means pain. Sigh.

  13. the little owl is across the street from my elementary school. hollerrr. looks like a fun tour! i totally eat things that i know will give me a stomach ache from time to time. it’s usually worth the pain. right? right.

    PS where my sweat shirt at… yo? kiddinggggg. see you soon?

  14. I not only love the original 90210, I am currently addicted to the newest cast. Although it is not the same and not as good.

    Love the necklace!!

    Don’t worry about the overdoing it, you are not alone. I was there after my first marathon as well. Went right into training for another marathon and during taper for the 2nd marathon the pains I had ignored flared up to the point of not being able to run… for three months! Listen to your body, you’ll get SO much further that way but you must be patient. 🙂

  15. That necklace is really pretty. That’s a great motivator to look at.

    I agree with taking some more rest days. Planning seems to work well for you, so scheduling in consistent rest days would be helpful. Maybe you can reward yourself with something when you do take time off to rest?

  16. Ran a half in Rhinebeck yesterday and saw someonw wearing your Love to Sweat tee-shirt. That was the highlight of a crappy race.

  17. I am a Gemini and tend to only live in extremes. I either working really hard or being lazy…there’s no “balance for me”.

    I think it’s great that your going to take the LV Half easy. I just ran the Det Half for fun and I really enjoyed it. It was still hard and satisfyingly so but not the way that my other races where I ran for time was.

  18. Hope you feel better and you have a good week this week! Yes, rest/recovery is so important. I always take a day off after a race, and plan on doing so for Marine Corps (6 days away!) Be good to your body and you will do awesome in Vegas!

  19. you look so cute with your ice-cream cone!

    Since your marathon, you’ve had me thinking about what my next one to conquer will be. And since I now feel like I have “something to prove” to myself because I’ve never run one ALONE. Meanwhile I’m like ok Melissa you have your own two legs so clearly he did not run the race FOR YOU… but you get my point… I think. So since you’re such an all-star… any requests for what a great April or May marathon should be?!?!

  20. WTF the 4,5,6 is DOWN?!? HOW AM I GOING TO GET TO BLOOMINGDALES?!? Good think I don’t have any money to buy anything anyway.

    So good to see you Saturday night! That pizza was effin good, too, as was the ice cream and you reinactment of me tweeting on a plane (“I’m 20,000 ft guys and right now its OK, we are not dead yet!)

    Feel better. Jan is really upset. He spent all weekend crying. He told me.

  21. Oh my goodness – I just started watching Beverly Hills 90210 too! Too funny 🙂

    It’s okay – I’m not good at moderation either. After my first half marathon last Sunday, I took 2 days of rest, then my body decided to revolt against me by letting in a nasty cold (of which I’m STILL recovering from). Clearly my body said – take a rest. I can’t say I’m happy about it – but I’m going to do my best to listen.

  22. I need moderation too, I am not very good at it.

    I am going to join you in the “I don’t be a crazy psycho” goal.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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