Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Can Run A Marathon! [Over the Course of a Week, with Breaks]

So I read this snippet about a report in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, (which, incidentally, and interesting only to me, is owned by a publishing company I used to work for just out of college) that reported that you have to reach a certain mileage per week in order to lose weight by running. The mini paragraph didn’t offer many details, except this main fact: According to this study, you need to run about 30 miles a week in order to achieve weight loss. I can vouch for that as being true, because I am losing weight and I am running close to 30 miles a week. Running less than that can actually cause weight gain, due to muscle build up or from increased appetite causing increased eating.

Running was this sort of insurmountable thing that I never thought I could do, and doing makes me feel good about myself. I literally started running one minute at a time. Minute by minute I built it up. And now I can run a marathon. Over the course of a week. Four miles at a time. With breaks. But still, it is a marathon distance!

I love my mornings. My alarm goes off at five. Well, Nicole’s alarm goes off at five and she turns it off, nudges me and holds her hand up, fingers splayed, to indicate to me that it is five. She has it down to such a science that she doesn’t even need words. My gym clothes are in a basket in the bathroom, so I change in there, get my cup of coffee, which brews at 4:44 a.m. every day, pour in the French Vanilla fake crap, which I love, and repair to my chair in the living room, checking the weather and my email and a few blogs before I leave at 5:25 for the gym. This is my time, my me-time, and I love it.

Running is not just about weight loss. Going to the gym has ever been about just that for me. It is a reason, though, I am not going to pretend that it isn’t, but not the only one. I love my mornings in the gym. I love the energy I get from working out, and the way it makes me feel. If I don’t go to the gym, I am a slug in a bathrobe trying to keep up with the day. I’ve said before that I really think that I am the type of person who really feels the endorphins. After the first mile, I can literally feel a bounce in my step. It is my original antidepressant. I tend to not go to the gym when I am depressed, which begs the old chicken-or-the-egg thing: Is not going making me depressed? Or is depression keeping me from going.

So I run and listen to music and watch the little TV screen on the treadmill monitor and think think think. This is my time in the day, during which the girls and Nicole are usually still sleeping, and I cherish it.

If you are like me, then one of the things you might think about is “Why Can’t I just get married to my same-sex partner in Massachusetts, which is WAY closer than California?” Because, yes, I wish I could get married. And I think what would we tell our girls when they are older? When they want to know why we didn’t marry? But marriage is not about them entirely, it is also about me. This response from the incredibly smart and well read Psappho will clear it up for you. It is dripping in her trademark sardonic wit:

“Ok. So, first, it's not just a matter of residency. MA was the first state to allow blacks and whites to marry (1843), and, because MA was afraid of a backlash from other states, they passed a law saying that people could only get married in MA if their marriage would be legal in their home state (The exact text says: No marriage shall be contracted in this commonwealth by a party residing and intending to continue to reside in another jurisdiction if such marriage would be void if contracted in such other jurisdiction, and every marriage contracted in this commonwealth in violation hereof shall be null and void.) This way they didn't have to worry as much about other states being upset about lawsuits from interracial couples who married in MA and then went back to, say, Georgia, and wanted their marriages to be recognized (because black/white marriages were illegal in most states).

The law was passed in 1913. Then, for almost 100 years, no one really worried about the law. It was kind of like the one in Georgia that says that all cars driven by women must have a man running 100 feet in front of the car waving a white flag. Then, in 2004 when GLBTQWHATEVER couples wanted to go to MA and marry, Mitt Romney and his hideous fiends dug it back up. Only queer people from New Mexico, Rhode Island, California and MA can get married in MA right now, b/c those are the only states where there is no DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) no Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage and where the courts have not ruled that it is illegal in the state. Make sense?”

Is that man-waving-a-flag thing for real??!! Yes, Psappho, it makes sense. And it makes me angry. I am bitter that there is a whole lexicon of prohibitive words for (against?) me, making me feel so different. That I need to know things like DOMA. I know I lived on a boat and bought gifts for people outside of requested registry gifts and I know I live with a woman with whom I have two children, not exactly coloring in the lines here, but dammit I still want MY wedding. My parents eloped in a dusty park in the middle of a traffic triangle on Long Island; my brother and Mina went to City Hall, then had a traditional ceremony in Bali for fun. My family is not so much into the traditional wedding thing. And I am not really either. Although I did devour Bride’s magazines starting in grade 7.

The gaudiness levels waxed and waned but I always wanted mine. And now that I am older and wiser and richer than I was in my 20s for certain, I realize it wouldn’t be the same wedding I planned if I were younger. Its not just about little crab cakes and favors and all that. Or the new vocabulary that I get to use. And not even just about those thousand-plus rights I would inherit. It strikes an emotional chord, for me, for us, and for our family of four. Sigh.

Pictured above, Nicole tried teaching the girls how to snack and watch movies this weekend. Maddie was a champ, but Avery was a bit messy. Below that me and Maddie in elephant pajamas. Maddie, we think, has roseola. That explains the fevers and now the rash. Ugh. Avery just has a rash. From what, we have no idea. I guess I will be visiting the doctor tomorrow.


K J and the kids said...

Maybe lets cut it down to 15 miles a week...aye ? I think losing weight shouldn't be a concern looking at the last few pictures of you....maybe just endurance training.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Are you ok with the weight loss stuff? You look really thin. I hope the tone of this comes off as concern and not a troll 'lurker'. I know you've mentioned eating disorders. You looks super super thin.

Take care

rebecca said...

running is awesome. i love it, too. nothing makes me feel as good. however...

having said that, i am going to be totally intrusive and chime in with the others who are a wee tiny bit concerned about your weight. yes i know pictures can be deceptive but you look awfully thin in yours. by all means KEEP RUNNING as much as you like - just feel free to eat. you'll run faster, stronger and healthier if you aren't way too thin. (as a formerly way-too-thin person and a runner for 20 years i can vouch for the fact that being underweight will way up your chance of injury.)

i will quit now. i know i don't know you at all so i am totally butting in, but... my "advice" is coming out of a well-intentioned place i swear.

suz said...

I totally get it, running got me through infertility and miscarriage, it was therapy for me.

tracer123 said...

It all depends on whether you are 'running away' from or 'running towards.'