Taking the Monster for a Run

When Weight Watchers rolled out their new Momentum plan, they did it with the help of a fuzzy orange monster named “Hungry.” He looks remarkably like Gossamer, Bugs Bunny’s nemesis in some of the Looney Tunes cartoons. See?

The timing is appropriate for me because in my imagination, my Monster looks like Gossamer — and he’s been following me around lately, whispering lies in my ear.

It’s been a while since I spent time with the Monster, but as y’all know, when I first started CrossFit and running, he was an almost constant companion. I’ve mentioned him before (here and here and here).

He says things like,
“You’re never going to be able to do an unassisted pullup.”
“All that work and you still look like a fat girl.”
“You’ve been running for a year; you should be able to go faster than this.”
“You’re too old to wear your hair in two ponytails.”
“Pullups and pushups?! Why bother? You’re 41, and you have a desk job.”

He’s cute and fuzzy, but man! he is not nice. And now he’s coming around again.

It’s no surprise, really. I did great this week with my nutrition and training, but since the half marathon, I’ve been slacking: half-heartedly food logging, working out 3X per week instead of 5-6. That’s just an open invitation for the Monster to show up.

This morning, the Monster accompanied me to my Weight Watchers meeting and snickered when I was a few pounds above my goal weight. Then he tried to convince me that I shouldn’t go running today. “You can run tomorrow. Just lie in bed and watch TV, then go out to breakfast like a normal person. What are you trying to prove, anyway?”

Luckily Dave was here to get me into my running clothes and out the door.

Trying to run away from the Monster is an exercise in futility, so today, I made him run with me — and I gave him an earful. We had a very valuable conversation, and if I stick to my guns, I shouldn’t be hearing from him for a while.

These are the things I realized on my run around the lake:

1. Eating right is way, way easier than dogging myself for not eating right.
It’s a lot simpler and happier to just eat healthy food than it is to be hard on myself when I make a bad choice. I’m totally in favor of the occasional, planned indulgence. But on a day-to-day basis, if I want the best performance from my body — and the most peace of mind — it’s just easier to right. It’s exhausting to be criticizing myself all the time. And it can be avoided by just making the right, simple choices.

2. I need my solo runs to keep my head on right.
Working out with friends is both motivating and fun — Bootcamp and CrossFit workouts are always better for me when I’m surrounded by my training pals. But I really need solo runs 2-3 times a week to spend time working through stuff, or just zoning out and listening to music. Dave and I always start and end together, but the middle is MY time. I’ve not had it for a few weeks, and I can feel the difference. I worked out a lot of crap today simply because I turned inside my noggin while putting one foot in front of the other.

3. Working out 5-6 times a week is HARD — but feels Good.
With a capital G. Our run this morning was not easy, and that felt right. Since sometime in March, I don’t feel like I’ve been pushing myself as hard as I should. There is value in being uncomfortable during a workout — discomfort is where strength and improvement live. Train hard and rest well is what I need to do.

4. Achieving my non-training goals is dependent on my physical training.
I have some stuff I want to do, y’all. And the first step in all of it is to become as fit as I can. That means eating right and training smart. During my run, I thought about the people whose lives depend on them being as fit as possible: firemen, law enforcement, military… and then I thought, Don’t all of our lives depend on being as fit as possible?

5. I need to believe.
The difference between my ability to jump on the 20-inch box and not jump on the 20-inch box was my belief that I could do it. And that applies to anything that’s important enough to try. Call it what you want: Faith. Determination. Focus. Pigheadedness. Grit. Whatever. I’ve gotta commit in my heart and believe in my mind… and then everything falls into place.

I’ve been beating myself up pretty good lately. I would never let any of you be so hard on yourselves, but it’s been open season on me, by me. HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT?!

Today it stops. Monster is banished. Negative thinking is going to follow.

Now: let’s celebrate, ’cause in the midst of all that thinking and talking to the Monster, I had a great workout.

I ran 4.7 miles, and I finished in 43:46, which is 9:18 per mile. Right on track.

Then while I was waiting for Dave in Eilers Park, I did some practice vaults over the little fence and 25 box jumps. And then we finally tackled the Week 2/Day 1 pushup workout: 9-11-8-8-max

I did 18 chest-to-the-ground pushups on my max round. The monster did, like, one. He’s so weak.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Check out this totally cute Weight Watchers commercial. The new Momentum program is so much like the Zone; I’ll be writing about that some time this week. It’s pretty cool!

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  • Bonnie says:

    girl, you speak the truth and I love it. Hate that little monster! I love my solo runs too and can't wait for the weather to get above lung freezing temps to get out there again. The "dreadmill" is killing me.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Bonnie –> Glad you liked this post! I never heard "dreadmill" before. That's funny!