Are these my thoughts or ED thoughts?

I am chasing a sub4 marathon. I’m just a few minutes off- so close and yet so far.  I’m toying with the idea of signing up for an event in September but I’m having trouble figuring out if it’s a good idea or not. 

Some back story first.. I ran two marathons last year, one in Spring which I entered as a group of us were doing it and one in Autumn as it was an international race which coincided with a holiday abroad. 

The training for the Spring Marathon went fine until I descended into anorexia relapse and then (kind of) fainted during the race. I finished it though and once I realised I wasn’t going to PB actually had a really fun time. I worked my socks off for the Autumn race and came agonising close to my PB, but I didn’t fuel enough and ran out of steam at mile 23. My other race times (including a 10k pb set today!) suggest I have a sub4 within me, I just need to be disciplined enough to make it happen. I also need to stay well enough to make it happen- and this is where the confusion of my ED comes in.

The Autumn race last year was really good motivation to stop/reduce purging, I was sick and tired of regretting every purge as soon as I started to run. Running and purging do not mix. However, the purging is back with quite a frequency so perhaps signing up for another marathon would be good in that respect?

I also find I’m more motivated to run when I’m training for something specific, and a specific time. Regular running is incredible for my mood (hello endorphins!) so maybe signing up would get me out more?

My body image is always better when I’m running regularly, and it makes eating an awful lot easier.

Plus  I really want to run sub4 so that sways me towards entering too!
However, this is the rub….

I’m afraid another marathon is too much pressure and I don’t need that now

I need to learn to eat and cope with stress without running marathons

The training will be a big commitment, will that replace recovery as my priority?
I’ll be really frustrated if I don’t get sub4.

It’s hard to do what is best to do, and to figure out what are my thoughts and what is an ED trap. 

I’m leaning towards doing it but just hoping it’s not a terrible idea! Argh! 

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8 thoughts on “Are these my thoughts or ED thoughts?

    1. Thanks for commenting 🙂 I met my half marathon time goal last year- marathon is the only distance I haven’t met the goal I set! I’m signed up for a couple of half marathons already but don’t have any set time in mind. I’m way too goal oriented aren’t I?! I try to be all easy-breezy but it’s just not me! Classic ED personality!

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  1. I agree with taking small steps as I can completely relate to you and your situation! Although I am not a marathon runner, I do love long distance running (10-15km) and had to give it up for six months to focus on my recovery from orthorexia. When I first began again I made sure I took it slow by only entering the 5km, this weekend I will compete in my first 10km again however I am making sure that I am running for the right reasons. I have to come to terms with the fact that my body isn’t fully recovered and neither is my mind; therefore, I cannot push for a personal best or train as much as I would like. I know how difficult it is to ‘take it easy’ with those certain personality traits but I promise it is possible to find a healthy balance 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the comment. You make a good point about starting slow- I was thinking maybe I could make my training plan and then do the first month of it and see how I feel after that. The race won’t sell out so perhaps I’d be in a better position to decide finally after a month of proper training rather than now when I don’t really know if I am doing it for the right reasons or not :/
      Good luck at your race this weekend!

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  2. I wish I could run again. I love how I feel when I’m running but it’s so triggering I know it’s not a good idea yet. Just being aware of that shows how far I’ve come in recovery, use that as a guide – if you can rationally question your motives you doing ok. All the best with your recovery and running

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    1. You’re right- a while ago I never would have stopped to question it and I wouldn’t have really cared if they were ED thoughts or not. I hadn’t counted that as progress in recovery but it’s a really good point- thank you!

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  3. I haven’t done a half or full yet – just a 5k and a few small tris. I really wanted to sign up for some races this summer – or even do a 1/2 century bike – but I’m not in a healthy enough space right now. Recognizing that is important. It’s not just that I’m restricting. It’s that taking on “one more thing” could be the thing that puts me over the edge. I’m over committed as it is. Yes, I tend to purge less when I’m running, but I can run without having a race.

    I’d give it some serious thought – you have some doubts, and they sound reasonable to me. What does your team think?

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    1. My nurse would prefer me to stick to shorter distances but she did see how motivated I was by the last race to stay healthy that she can see the positives too.
      I completely understand about the ‘one more thing’ – I have quite a light summer in terms of workload so I do think I can fit in in but I’ve thought this before and then been completely overwhelmed so it’s good for me to be reminded! Well done to you for recognising you’re over committed- the races will all be there next year, health (physical and mental) comes first. That should be my new mantra!

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