Post-Race Weight Gain?

ONE last picture from the Tucson Marathon.  Elizabeth sent me this picture of us at the starting line (the smile was because I got to meet her… not for what my stomach was doing at the moment;)  She was so sweet and I love talking to people before the race because it helps to calm my nerves big time!

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I get emails about the post-race weight gain thing a lot so I thought… why not make a blog post about it?!  

Some people stay the same weight all year round.  Some people gain weight while marathon training and some lose it.  Some gain weight after their big race and some do not.  We are all different but I’ll just share what tends to happen to me.  

I always gain weight after the marathon.  I don’t know how much weight I gain but my clothes get tighter and I lose some muscle tone.  What do I do about it?  Well, I know myself a little bit too well and I know that the best option for me is to not do anything about it.  I know that if I start obsessing/worrying/thinking about weight or if I try to prevent the post marathon weight gain from ever happening that I will probably go overboard.  

I avoid triggers like the plague that could take me back to my old disordered eating ways and so I don’t go crazy trying to prevent it from happening after I finish the marathon.  I let it happen.  My mileage and intensity goes way down and I love food whether or not I am training for a marathon so some weight gain is bound to happen for me.  SO… when I do get frustrated with my clothes fitting tighter I just remind myself (3465 times) that this happens every single time.  I gain some weight during recovery and then go right back to where I was when I start training again and running more miles.  Recovery takes calories and I want my body to recover the best it possibly can after the marathon so cutting back on calories is not going to happen and really, I just hate thinking about calories after obsessing over them for so many years.  A few weeks after the marathon my body adjusts to the lower mileage and I am not as hungry as I am during marathon training so I naturally eat less than when I am throwing down 20 milers but overall, I just try to eat normally and avoid stressing about it.  My mom always told me when I really struggled with body image issues to focus on somebody else (aka service) when I start to feel bad about my body and it always magically helps me to feel better about myself.  She always taught me that when our problems/worries/stressors seem too big to handle to go and help somebody else out with their problems to help them to feel better and then our problems don’t seem so bad anymore.  

I think Tina’s article about this whole subject is my absolute favorite. 

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Last night we hit up the movie theatre to watch Elf!

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My parents’ neighbors were having a big Christmas party and they rented out a theatre for everyone.  They even had free popcorn, hot chocolate and candy canes in the theater which made us feel pretty special.

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Our love for going to the movies together will be a lifelong thing. 

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My sister and her family came too.  

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Then the guy and I went and grabbed a late dinner at Wild Zucchini.  A marinera pasta bowl with lots of veggies hit the spot.

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And the owner randomly brought out this dessert for us.  It was some sort of gingerbread and caramel heaven.  I know I say a lot of things are good but this was ridiculously good.

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How we all feel when we get into bed at night and cuddle up in the blankets:

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Does your weight fluctuate throughout the year much?  Do you gain or lose during training?  What about during recovery?

Last movie that you saw in the theatre?  How was it?

Favorite type of pasta and sauce?

-Pesto and Marinera are my favorite sauces for sure. 

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74 comments

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My weight fluctuate by about 3 or 4 brownies, oops, I mean pounds during the year.

I love Tina, she has the best advice and she’s such a sweetheart.

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Haha – I love this!! :)

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Since eating paleo at least my weight is pretty stable throughout the year no matter how much or little I run. The only time I lose weight is when I’m sick, sometimes it surprisingly takes a while to come back.

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I do usually gain when I’m not in training mode. I try not to stress about it and just remember that when I’m back into higher mileage it will even itself out. And you’re absolutely right about helping others, it makes our own issues seem so small and insignificant.

I love marinara sauce. I can’t do alfredo, it does a number on my stomach.

I love Elf! We are planning to watch it this weekend!

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In the past year, my weight has really not fluctuated much. In college it was a lot higher, then I lost all of it when I graduated and started running longer distances. Now it’s pretty steady! I think it’s because when I’m not training for a race, I don’t have much of an appetite. I definitely lose some muscle tone though!

I just saw Mockingjay Part 2 last weekend and it was ehhh. I’m going to see Star Wars on Saturday and I can’t WAIT!

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My weight generally stays the same, but the half marathon is my longest race, so I don’t know what it would do with marathon training and the post-marathon time. I’ve been trying to gain a little weight and have been lifting weights more, so hopefully that will happen soon!

I love angel hair pasta and Ragu Alfredo sauce!! (It has to be Ragu–all of the others are too rich.)

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My weight fluctuates like crazy and I’m absolutely okay with it! I gain a lb or two at the end of marathon training probably because I start worrying about if I’m going to have enough fuel in me for 26 miles. It might not be the best strategy, but it always makes me feel a little more sound. I’m sure I gain weight post marathon, but I just don’t think about it as much because wanting running faster is usually the only time I think about my weight, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I want to lose any!

You’re mom is so wise and I got chills at her advise of helping others when you’re feeling down about yourself. That makes me think of my sister’s heart because she does that constantly and it makes me want to do that better!

Thanks for shedding light on this important topic.

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last movie was the final Hunger Games and i loved it! Favorite sauce is vodka sauce, and my weight doesn’t fluctuate more than 2-5 lbs (not much for anyone to notice). Lots of strength training helps keep my weight on, and when I get deep into half or full training I do tend to lean out and drop the weight a bit. Just like you, i don’t worry about the slight gain after i’m not running as much. My body needs the excess weight for recovery..and happiness…and cookies

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What a sweet idea to rent out a theatre! I love that. My weight fluctuates a lot during training, so afterwards it isn’t too extreme either way. It can be annoying, however, to see the scale moving all around while I’m busting butt, but it’s hard work!

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My weight seems to remain pretty stable, although My body composition definitely changes during training and after a race. If I stop weight lifting during training I can see it by the race!
My favorite pasta sauce is olive oil and garlic. My stomach does not respond well to tomato or cream sauce!

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Good morning, Janae! I need to know, what booties are you wearing? Love them!

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HEY HOLLI!! They are so ridiculously comfy and warm! I am obsessed:

https://www.fraushoes.com/collections/womens-fw-footwear/products/donna-40b1-sabbiaow

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I always gain at the end of a training/race cycle. Not much, but enough to make my clothes fit differently. At about that time, I tell myself, okay, party is over and back so some self-discipline (more running, less eating!). I’m back to my old self in no time. I don’t stress about it.

Martian was my last theater movie. I loved it mostly because my husband took me and he usually doesn’t like to go out (he’s a happy homebody). I love going out and doing things, so it was a nice treat!

I love a good Puttanesca sauce (with only a teeny bit of fresh anchovies). The capers and olives make my heart sing!! :)

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My weight seems to top off during peak marathon training. I m always hungry and it feels like my muscles are torn and taking in everything to heal. If I weigh more during any other time I know I m overtraining and need to back off cause I m not recovering.

Saw the latest Hunger games. Always good!
Not a sauce girl.

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I always gain a few pounds during winter and lose it when summer comes (this also coincides with my training schedule). I welcome it! I get appetite issues when I’m stressed, so it can be a real struggle for me to keep my weight *up* when I’m training and stressed and burning so many calories. Often, after a race, I’m less stressed and working out less, so I have more of an appetite and it’s always amazing to eat because I want to and not because I need the calories.

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My weight goes up or down within a 4 pound range. I do gain near the beginning of training cycles (must eat all the carbs, sooooo hungry) but always seems to go down near race time, and if I’m lucky, at my lowest before race day.
Renting the theater for Elf – wow, what a super fun thing to do for Christmas! I can’t remember the last movie I saw… maybe Minions? Guess I’m overdue for one soon!

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I don’t see much difference in my weight, I try to adjust my HUGE marathon training portion size post race to accommodate my more sedentary lifestyle!
I took a few weeks off last winter in between training cycles and while I didn’t have much of a weight change I absolutely noticed a difference in my muscle tone. I kept saying that I felt “flabby” hahah! Luckily, that feeling went away as soon as I was a couple weeks back into training. Rest is so important that I try not to worry about little changes.

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I actually have gained weight during marathon training due to muscle buildup in my legs, so I lose weight when I stop training. I agree that it takes a while for the hunger to go down, but I really try to listen to my body and do what it tells me to in terms of how much to eat/what I am in the mood for. I avoid scales and calorie counting because it is such a waste of time/energy:) I run to feel good about myself and weight is such a small part of it now.

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I LOOOOOVE your moms advice!!!! Doing something for someone else is the best advice! I also try to continually remind myself to think of what is really important. When I look back on my life my weight is not going to matter at all. I am never going to look back and think man I wish I weighed 5 pounds less then. Your mom is a smart lady :)

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I tend to gain weight after any big race as well. I find that I relax and just don’t care. Like you, the best option for me is not to worry about it. I don’t weigh myself too often unless my clothes feel remarkably tight or loose.

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My weight goes up and down through the year depending on training. I just roll with it. I stopped weighing myself a few years ago because it was too triggering. I now just base it off how I feel and how my clothes fit. If I’m hitting workouts and feel good then I just go with it.

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I lost a lot of weight in my run up to my October marathon. but that was by design. I’m fortunate to have kept most of it off, even while I am seriously slacking off on both diet and exercise. Bad me.

Last movie I saw in the theater was The Martian. I love movies but with a full house of kids and a tired wife not much time for that. I’d like to see Creed and I will definitely see Star Wars soon. On Sunday, I introduced my daughter to the original SW movie on DVD. We have to watch the rest of them before I can take her to The Force Awakens. For the nerds among us, try watching in Machete order. That’s what we will be doing.

http://www.nomachetejuggling.com/2011/11/11/the-star-wars-saga-suggested-viewing-order/

I like Manicotti…or Rigatoni with a spicy Arriabiata sauce or Vodka sauce.

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Your parents may have the COOLEST neighbors ever. Who needs to mingle when you can watch ELF!!?

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Last movie I saw in the theaters was Hunger Games a couple weeks ago. It was great end to a story but now, I think they are probably going to make a prequel or find some way to keep the story going.
I love pesto. I put it one everything. But I love a good pasta bowl with marinara sauce mixed in, with chicken, feta cheese and pesto sauce. Yum!

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I don’t fluctuate all that much during training season or off season. The only real struggle I have with that is when I’m working to gain muscle weight it doesn’t happen easy. My body image issues come when I’m pregnant though, and I have to remind myself the whole pregnancy that it’s normal and good for my to gain weight and that it will all come off when the baby is here.

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Thank you so much for posting about this! I ran an Ultra in September and obviously have gained some weight back since and it’s been bugging me but this makes me feel way better about it. :)

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CONGRATS on your ultra anna! That is incredible!!! Way to let your body recover too and you’ll be back to training when you are ready to! I hope you are having a fabulous evening!

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I always gain weight after training but am very similar to you. I work with Eating disordered and disordered eating in athletes and have seen the joy of training sucked out of athletes because of the focus being on controlling their weight instead of listening to their bodies needs and eating when they are hungry. Sometimes, our bodies want to be 5 to 10 pounds heavier and that is okay! We are okay! What a great example you are being for Brooke.

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Your mom’s advice sounds pretty great. I know the feeling though.

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I think regardless of training everyone’s weight fluctuates with the seasons. You’re bound to pack on a few pounds in the winter when it’s cold and in the summer lose when it’s cooler. I’ve just come to accept this is the cycle and in the end everything balances out.

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I tend to lose weight during training or when I ramp up my running and then gain a bit in the winter when I’m not running as many miles. It could also be because I’m doing more strength training too. I don’t weight myself either for the same reasons. I like what you said about being aware of triggers; so important!
Last movie I saw was Love the Cooper’s. It was a cute Christmas movie. I am seeing Hunger Games this weekend and can’t wait!
I like pesto and red sauce.

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Can I just say – I love your Mom (and I have never met her) :) That is really beautiful advice. Think she would like to adopt a middle-aged Upstate New Yorker?!!

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Just asked her and she said YES!!! Come on over to Utah now:)

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Saw Mockingjay over Thanksgiving weekend. I thought it was really good, but the movie really misses out because half the books take place in Katniss’ head.

I gained some weight over the summer (for many reasons), but I’ve been working really hard to lose that and then some.

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Your advice is certainly reassuring! It’s really great how you turned your perspective around. Did you ever have an unhealthy relationship with running as you once did with food?

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Happy Wednesday Janae (and Brooke)! My weight definitely fluctuates based on mileage. I love food as much as you, and really struggle with getting off the “you’re not training for a marathon right now, so stop eating all the carbs like you are” train. But also like you, I know I am going to drop the pounds come training again, so why fret?

My husband requested homemade fettuccine alfredo this week (woof, talk about unhealthy), the only reason I obliged was because Boston training starts in 1.5 weeks. :) My favorite pasta dish is definitely lasagna though!

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I always gain a couple of pounds during high mileage weeks (80-100 miles/week). I asked my ultra running friend about this and he thinks it has something to do with inflammation and also just a heftier appetite to keep up with the energy output.

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Thank you for sharing this!!
I don’t own a scale but I feel like I always gain weight during marathon training cause my legs get stronger/bulk up and I’m consuming a ton more. You’re absolutely right about trying not obsess about it … Doesn’t get you anywhere and just makes you crazy!

Favorite type of pasta and sauce: My mom make and I make this awesome pesto pasta together that’s full of veggies and so delicious. Very light but full of flavor!

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Elf is one of my favorite Christmas movies. My other favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life. It makes me cry every single time I watch it.

My dad makes the most amazing pasta sauce and meatballs. They taste just how my grandma used to make them.

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Well, I used to say that I gained weight during training, and that held true for my last marathon in the Spring. But this fall, while training for a half I lost a few pounds. Not sure how it happened as it wasn’t the goal, but it just seemed to. Now that I’m not running much it’s creeped back on. Though I am also focusing on gaining strength right now, so I wonder if some of this fluff is due to muscle gain.

I am excited to get some of it off in the coming months though. :)

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I always gain a bit of weight post marathon and I think it’s a great thing. Racing weight is not and should not be sustainable year round. This is an awesome post.

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First of all – I’M SO PUMPED FOR YOU AND YOUR GUYYYYY!!! yes! Exciting!!!!

Right now I’m totally gaining weight after running the marathon in November… I’ve been so busy with other things that I just haven’t had time to get back into running, but the weight thing is always in the back of my mind. After Christmas I’ll be back to really running again!

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My weight fluctuates throughout the year… usually a little higher in the cold months. But not too much…. even when I am running more than usual, it still stays around the same number.
Over Thanksgiving, I saw Mockingjay Part 2 in theaters… it was soo good!!
Elf is definitely my favorite Christmas movie ever… it makes me laugh every.single.time.
I love Brooke’s smile with her blanket… that is definitely how I feel when I get under my covers at night!! the best feeling ever!

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I do feel like I lose weight- or at least can feel a bit better in my clothes- when I am marathon training. I definitely run to eat!! Love all kinds of pastas and sauces, hard to decide! Eat a lot of carbs during training as well. Have a great week!

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My weight doesn’t change too much but my body definitely does. I become much more toned during marathon training, and things just “loosen” up a bit when it’s over. I without a doubt feel 1000x more confidence in my appearance when I’m training versus when I’m not. I definitely think twice about that extra slice of pizza when I’m not running as much.

Last movie I saw was Mockingjay. It was alright. I wasn’t terribly impressed.

Favorite type of pasta is probably gnocchi or just good ol’ fashioned spaghetti with marinara and meat.

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The batteries in my scale haven’t been functional for at least a year, which is probably a good thing. I’m pretty sure I gained some weight training for my marathon this year, but I could never actually quantify it. I also developed an awesome tan and great muscle tone, so any extra pounds didn’t really bother me. Now that I’m not in serious training mode, I can feel the extra pounds a little more and I’m trying to be more conscientious about how much food I’m putting in my body. Weight is a hard thing.

I’m pretty sure the last movie I saw in theatres was Hunger Games. The first one. I’m bad at going to movies.

There’s a place in Portland that serves a linguine with peso sauce and shrimp and it’s incredible and now I’m hungry.

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I love Alfredo sauce but I only eat it once a year (Valentines Day) because its so rich and full of fatty goodness!

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I am a big-time stress eater! I gained more weight than I should have during training for my first marathon, but I was skinny to begin with. If I could really learn to focus on strength training, I could lose these few extra pounds. But, strength training just isn’t fun to me. ;)

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I gain weight very easily. If I take a break from running the weight very easily creeps up. So I constantly have to stay active especially now that I am getting g older. My metabolism is a lot slower.

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My weight fluctuates more seasonal than post race. I lose a couple when the weather is hot. Pretty normal. Cold weather = comfort food, comfort cocoa…
My favorite sauce is a meat sauce. That is what I grew up on from my Italian grandmother.

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I completely resonate with just not even wanting to worry about calories and weight. Too much stress over something that really isn’t important.

In the past year, I believe I’ve only seen two movies in the theater: Inside Out in July (which was great), and Spectre on Thanksgiving (which I found very lackluster and predictable).

I’m actually not a big pasta fan, but that gingerbread caramel heaven thing… good heavens. Looks incredible.

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My weight fluctuates about five lbs here or there. I’m the odd duck that puts on weight while training. Once my mileage gets above 50 mpw, I have very little self control and not enough time to pack healthy meals. Definite downside of a job that is never less than 50 hrs per week. I’d agree, though. I don’t worry about it and just give myself a few weeks to have the weight drop down again once my mileage decreases.

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This was such a great article, I am always so thankful when runners share their honest perspective. We’re all learning, sharing, and growing. The last movie I saw in a theater was “The Bridge of Spies” it was so good! But what movie with Tom Hanks isn’t good? Okay, maybe “Joe Verses the Volcano” but everyone has to have one bomb. Happy running!

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My weight tends to stay in the same five pound range. I actually lose weight during periods of recovery because I’m not taxing my hormonal system and taking better care of my body. The important thing that I think athletes should realize is that drastically reducing calories during recovery will cause weight gain….and that weight gain will be harder to battle later than the gain associated with a weekend binge on doughnuts and pizza.

Last movie that I saw was Krampus, I took my older sons to see it….it was “eh” but they seemed to like it.

I’m a big fan of white sauce but avoid it because it hurts my stomach big time.

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Your mom is a genius…

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i love your booties!! what brand are they if you don’t mind!

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Hey Martha! I am obsessed with them and they are SO warm and comfy:

https://www.fraushoes.com/collections/womens-fw-footwear/products/donna-40b1-sabbiaow

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I love what your mom says about focusing on someone else in need when you are obsessing over yourself/your own problems. This is something I try to do because it really does work!

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I have definitely gained a few pounds since my marathon 3 weeks ago, but I know it’s all part of the process. I know when I get back to my normal running routine I’ll lose those pounds again, and right now it’s better to take a break from running and enjoy eating what I want- especially since it’s the holiday season:)

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Thank you for posting this!! I get frustrated when so many of my teammates just talk about is weight gain and loss…sometimes I feel as though they only run to lose weight…sigh. I don’t pay any attention to it, I eat based on my hunger and run because I like the challenge. Your mom, as per usual, is the wisest person around!! :)

Brooke is just too cute!!

Last movie I saw was the Steve Jobs movie…it was ok.

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I love your Mom’s advice to focus on others and service in order to get out of your own head about body issues. That’s VERY good advice!

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I’ve done 2 marathons and I lost weight training for one and gained weight training for the other. After any training I try to keep in mind that my body is capable of completing a marathon and that is amazing – whether or not I pack on a couple of pounds when I’m done.

Great post. :)

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I am not sure if you have answered this or not, so I apologize if you have. How do you know when its the right time to introduce your daughter to a guy your dating? Or have you not introduced her?

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That is a great question! I really don’t have a time amount and most of the guys I have dated never did meet her. It just depends on the relationship and most of the time when they meet her it is in a group setting and they are my good ‘friend’… such a tricky thing because I don’t want to get Brooke’s feelings involved too but she is my world and so I want them to meet her!?!? So hard!

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I gained about 5lbs during my taper and recently read an article that says that is normal. It also reminded me to fill up on the good stuff not the junk when in marathon training. Just because you ran 20 miles today doesn’t mean you can binge on junk!

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Elf is my favorite movie everrr!!!
If anybody gets the chance it would be amazing if you could check out my blog:
https://sweetpotatoesrunner.wordpress.com

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The actual scale number fluctuates all year really. I’m anywhere from 141 to 145. But after a marathon I am bloated and tend to crave salty carbs and sugar so I get the tight clothes thing. But as you say eventually it works itself out. And the thing is that you can’t outrun a bad diet so even the difference in mileage doesn’t do much to my overall weight.

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That gingerbread creation looks amazing – wow!

I actually tend to weigh a bit less (though really only 2-3 lbs) when I am NOT training, because I think I suffer from the mentality of “Oh, I ran x amount of miles today so I can afford to eat (fill in the treat)!” Unfortunately, since turning 40, no amount of running seems to properly burn off my post-run indulgences they way it used to. Ah, well. I do love food and still eat chocolate on a daily basis, but when I’m not training I cut way back on the carbs and sadly, the peanut butter (sigh).

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How does Curly already look like a teenager???
Last movie I saw was the latest James Bond movie-it was so-so.
My weight fluctuates ALL the time. Ugh.
#1 favorite pasta was my grandmother’s homemade ravioli but I’m afraid neither her daughter nor granddaughters learned how to make them. #2 is just a good ol bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.

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A movie night for just friends and family, such a cute idea!!

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After my Ragnar Ultra I was so swollen I was absolutely uncomfortable. And unrecognizable. The most important thing to remember is swelling and edema is the bodies reaction to some sort of stress or trauma. Just let it be and if you have great kidneys you’ll pee it all off before you know it. Yeah!

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THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting this! Counting calories took over my life in the past and I want to get it out of my life. Body image, weight gain, and proper eating can be really really hard for me. Thank you for giving me good reminders, applicable tips, and a good model!!

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Cudos to you for being honest and a good role model. Sure we all have niggly thoughts and it is a balance we need to find (seems to be much harder for is ladies) but really appreciate you sharing and talking about these sorts of issues. I find your blog really inspiring, just how you approach everything so positively.

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I’m a HUGE pesto fan. Check out this link for, seriously, the BEST pesto! (It’s named appropriately). It’s vegan, but don’t let that keep you from trying it. Seriously SO good! http://www.theppk.com/2011/12/bestest-pesto/

p.s. Brooke’s little coat is so cute, and I wish I had one just like it!

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