I will run my third half-marathon on Sunday, almost one year after my first. My body is in drastically, almost frighteningly different shape this time; my mind and motivations are, too.
Running through a failed relationship and post-grad angst, I relished the psychological aspect of miles and miles and miles. I logged 60-70 miles in a single week sometimes, running 12 or 13 miles after a full workday, perceiving it as the pinnacle of dedication to my health. The folds in my clothes multiplied that summer and fall; the more miles I ran, the less of me existed. I weighed 105 pounds when I crossed the finish line Oct. 18.
I felt invincible; running was the closure I needed, the structure I needed while adjusting to my first big-kid job. It’s not what my body needed. Not then, anyway.
Running is a hobby, coping mechanism, lifestyle and obsession for me. That spring, summer and fall, it was also a trigger. Training triggered my then-dormant celiac disease, shocking my body into losing 20 pounds and into months of crippling exhaustion. Continue reading