Packing on the Miles…and Pounds

Every time I start training for a marathon, one side of my brain tells my body it’s party time and eat, eat, eat and the other side is telling my body to holdt up!  It’s a constant struggle for me to balance my brain and my body’s needs and wants.

Just a few years ago, training for my first marathon, I could eat what I wanted and I kept at my same weight comfortably and maybe lost just a bit right before marathon day.  Fast forward to 40 and my 6th marathon training, my body laughs at me.  It’s way more used to running higher miles and weeks were I could run 25 miles to maintain my weight have now jumped to 30-35 miles. With a slowing metabolism and a body that’s really used to running, the pounds are slowly packing on.

I was super excited with our Gasparilla training.  I was adding back to back long runs and I was certain that would be the thing I needed to keep me in check and add in doing MAF training, which helps my body burn fat for fuel vs relying on sugar, I thought I’d found the magic formula.  Insert loud annoying sound here: UNNNNTTTT! 

So what did I have to do??

I started logging my food using My Fitness Pal, tracking my calories and started being even more active.  I had to do something else to “confuse” by body which by now is really proficient at running.  It’s not a shock to my body any more to run.  I started the PiYo videos, walking 10,000 steps on days I was only running a mile, and upped my protein and lowered my carbs just a bit.

Did it work?

Heck no!!  The lbs went up not by one but by 3, then by 7?!  So I looked at other ways to change things, I watched my portions and only enjoyed adult beverages on the weekends and only when we went out to dinner. I was seriously not having any fun now.  Everything I ate was being tracked.  I stopped snacking.  I was sticking to my 1,550 calories per day, a bit more when I ran. Running 30+ miles a week and all this too and still gaining?!

Did all that finally do the trick?

Um, no.  It didn’t.  So I said forget it, it is what it is.  My weight generally goes up in the winter time.  Once I’m finished with marathon training, I’ll be able to add in other classes at the Y.  Go back to BodyPumping.  Start following the PiYo plan more strictly.  I’ll continue to log my food and track my activities, but that’s it.  Life is way to short to not just live. A few pounds are just that…a few pounds. The crazy thing in all of this, my clothes still fit the entire time.  You’d think after 40 years of being in this body, I’d understand it better.

I go back in July for part two of the Great Weigh In.  I’ll use that as my target date to see change.

What do you do to help with weight gain or maintenance?  Is it tricky for you too?

Looking for more, check out Tuesdays on the Run posts here.  See what other runner’s are sharing!

Happy Week!


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27 thoughts on “Packing on the Miles…and Pounds

  1. Hey Melanie!! I love your attitude! Sometimes living life to the fullest is the best solution. If you’re happy, that’s all that matters. By the way, you look amazing!! 🙂 You’re fit and fabulous!! XOXO

  2. OMG! I so hear you – 44 + marathon training + normal winter + a particularly bad winter? I don’t think I have any shorts that fit for this coming spring. Ugh. I need to lift weights, but when I’m running for so many hours each week, it’s so hard to find time.

    • I don’t think so. I’m pretty easy going when it comes to handling that kind of thing. I’m not a worrier about races much either. I really think it’s all portion and activity. Not doing weight training for 15 weeks too doesn’t help. I’ll look into your suggestion! Thanks!

  3. I could see this being so frustrating. It seems like the running population is so split down the middle of those who run for weight loss and those that have been running for years yet haven’t lost a pound. As long as you are healthy and happy!

  4. I hear from a lot of marathoners that they gained weight during marathon training. I personally don’t keep track of my weight much although I do notice when my clothes aren’t fitting the way I would like them to and then I asses what is going on. I also tend to gain weight in the Winter so I try not to stress about it too much.

  5. I’ve never counted calories. I’m pretty sure I’d hate it.
    I love food. I love the smells, the tastes, the textures. I love healthy foods and I love unhealthy foods. As long as I get more of the former than the latter, I call it a win.
    When my mileage is super high (ultra marathon training) I’m starving all.the.time. If I stay ahead of the hunger with frequent snacks, I can curb the hunger with healthy (ish) snacks before the IMustEatEverythingRightNow kicks in and I just start shoveling.

  6. I haven’t actually weighed myself in ages, so I have no idea how much I weigh anymore, but I’m pretty sure I gained several pounds over the winter! 😡 See how it goes in the spring! Maybe it was just your body’s way of trying to keep you warm during the winter! :O

  7. I had this same epiphany. I had to get through my season, and now that it’s over until NOVEMBER it’s game on! It’s super hard to find the right sweet spot when training.

  8. Definitely don’t be too hard on yourself! 🙂 It is quite common to gain a few pounds. I have been able to trick my body, in the past, by increasing my protein ratio versus carbs, but it’s a balancing act. 😛 The part that kills me are the 2-4 days AFTER the marathon! 2-4 pounds gained instantly! BAM! >< They drop off though. 🙂

  9. Great attitude. I’ve gained some weight following my marathon (less mileage, eating the same). I am packing my lunch this week and logging my food. I remind myself to be patient.

  10. You are sooooo not alone on this train Melanie. This definitely must come with age and bodies that have grown accustomed to distance running. I to have not found the silver bullet yet to conquer this. I will say though for me personally, when I limit the sugar I tend to drop the pounds or at least maintain where I’m at

    • I’m still in search of the right combo of everything!! It makes it tough. I limited sweets for a while but didn’t notice much. I think ultimately mine is snacking and portion size. I’m on it though once this marathon is done. Weight training and mixing things up will help. Glad to know I’m in good company!! 🙂

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