The Blog Effect

I enjoy blogging.  I like writing a lot, and I also like being connected to a community of people with similar interests.  I find it cool that I can share experiences with someone I’ve never met in person, or keep in touch with people I don’t get to see or talk to that often, through an online journal.  As with many things, though, I have to be careful about both blogging and reading other peoples’ blogs because it’s so easy for me to develop distorted thoughts about the snippet of things that I read or see on the internet.  When I’m not careful, I get a little bit overwhelmed by other blogs–people my age seem so successful, and so happy, and their pictures are so beautiful, and they’re eating such healthy food, and they’re in such good shape, and…see what I mean?  I get a little bit carried away and I have to remind myself that in blogging, we have complete control over what we present to the outside world.  Depending on how much we want to reveal, we can give a pretty thorough image of what our day-to-day lives are like, or we can have transparency in some things and let people fill in the gaps with others.  For some, filling in the gaps can be a dangerous exercise.

I think, though, that the positive aspects of blogging outweigh the negative aspects.  For one thing, a community of readers can be a tremendous resource.  This is fortunate, because I’m kind of long on questions (well, relatively, anyway) short on resources right now!  I’ll start at the beginning.

I went running this morning before merrily (ha!) heading off to work.  Even though I’ve only done it twice recently I’ve found that running in the morning does me a ton of good during the day.  My mood is better, I’m not thinking all the time about having to run when I get home, and worrying that it might get too dark before I can get my running shoes on…in short, I enjoy it and I can see myself making a habit of it.  The problem is, I can’t really get out of bed early enough in the morning to eat much of anything and drink a whole lot (I do try to combat the dehydration that inevitably sets in overnight) and run the distance I have planned.  Some day I’ll be lightning fast and this won’t be a problem.  But that day is a way off.  As a result, I end up going running on an empty stomach and with a bit of a dry mouth.  What usually happens is I run along very comfortably for about three miles, and then I start to get thirsty and hungry.

These aren’t huge problems, and I know how to deal with them.  It won’t be too hard to grab a banana or something else that’s easy to digest (maybe a gu) while I’m changing out of my pajamas and into my running clothes, and I can carry a water bottle with me.  But this morning, I also noticed that my upper body just felt really heavy.  Not sore, not stiff, not tense, just very heavy.  As though I was sort of hauling dead weight.  I kept shaking my arms out a little bit as I was running, but since I wasn’t really tense, that didn’t really do anything except make me look funny.  I ran less than 5 miles, but by the time I hit my fourth mile I kind of wanted to crawl home.  My legs felt fine, my lungs felt fine, but man, my upper body was just wasted and it made me feel so lethargic (my fourth mile split, though, was on par with my previous miles).

I’ve realized while training for this marathon that I really should start doing core strengthening exercises.  Sometimes, after long runs especially, my lower back gets a bit sore or tired, and my abs feel the same way.  I’m wondering if maybe the fatigue I was feeling in my upper body was related to a lack of strength?  Or maybe it was connected to being dehydrated and running on an empty stomach?

I did a little bit of poking around on the internet and found a surprising dearth of information on anything that sounds like what I was experiencing this morning.  So I’d really like to know if anyone else has felt the same way?  Any theories or solutions?  Maybe this is punishment for letting my yoga practice fall by the wayside.

As a post-script to this post, I’d like to add that as I was looking through the images that Zemanta (or whatever it’s called) proposed to accompany this post, I found one of a naked woman blogging.  Um, thanks but no thanks.  This is a family blog.

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4 comments

  1. I find that running on an empty stomach in the morning is not nearly as disastrous as running the same way in the afternoon. I do feel hungry in the morning, and can’t wait to get home and get some breakfast, but in the afternoon, I feel headachy, tired, and totally wasted. I think you’re fresher in the a.m., since you are just coming off of a potentially “good” night’s sleep. In the afternoon, you are coming off from an 8-hour or more period of work. We are accustomed to “fasting” over night and I don’t feel that running before “breaking the fast” is harmful for me; in fact, it’s perfectly fine. Of course, I don’t run the distances that you do so it’s not quite the same. As for the tired, heavy feeling you had this morning, sometimes I feel that way. I chalk it up to just being tired.

  2. I have never really felt that feeling in my upper body without feeling it in my lower body at the same time. Sometimes, for no rhyme or reason, my body feels like it weighs 500 pounds. I’m sure dehydration has something to do with it.

    I think that core strength is definitely important. I have been guilty of letting mine go as well.

    I also agree with you that the blog world is a wonderful resource, for not only information but support as well.

  3. hmm. i cannot help with that one. i have had heavy, heavy legs before, but not upper body. :-/ have you done yoga recently? maybe that worked your upper body more than you thought?

    i know you’re not getting those thoughts reading my blog – pictures of my m&m diet, trials and tribulations about trying to lose a few pounds… nothing to envy here! lol. but i know what you mean, i used to get upset with myself for not doing as much as others. i’m better about it now. not perfect, but better.

  4. I have a hard time presenting my struggles on my blog, it’s an area that I choose to conceal. I guess I hide that not just on my blog, but in real life. I guess it’s that way with everyone, there is a whole story underneath that we may not be privvy to. But even with that, blogs are a great source of support and information, I love them.

    I’ve been bad at getting in strength training lately. I cut out a lot of fitness activities I used to do… simply out of fear that I was using them for my ED as opposed to for good. But I should do better with strength training, core especially. That is so essential!

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