This morning, I weighed in at 121 pounds. Usually when I weigh in, I look back on the last week. Did I gain or lose weight? Why? This week, I’m looking forward. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so this is my “before” weight. I’m hoping my “after” weight will be about the same. I’ll be surprised if I lose weight.
Most people gain weight during the holidays. In the case of Thanksgiving, the obvious culprit is a large Thanksgiving dinner. One meal doesn’t really do that much long-term damage, even if it’s an over-the-top feast. The real damage is done by the leftovers, the extra desserts, and the snacks.
For the second straight year, I’m going to be away from home over the entire four-day weekend. Instead of spending Thanksgiving weekend with family, I’ll be in Seattle having an epic running adventure with my running “family.” I won’t have a Thanksgiving feast, but I still may gain weight. I say that from experience. I did the same thing last year, and I gained a pound.
Over the next four days, I’ll run four marathons. One is actually a bit longer than a standard marathon, so the total mileage will be more than 105 miles. I’ll burn somewhere close to 9,000 calories over and above what I burn at rest. That’s almost enough calories to lose three pounds, but I won’t lose weight. Here’s why.
To run marathons on four consecutive days, you need to focus on quick recovery. One of the things you need to do to bounce back quickly is eat enough. It’s especially important to eat as much as you can right after the race. The glycogen stored by your muscles needs to be replaced. You need protein to repair the damage to your muscles. Finally, you need to rehydrate. I tend to err on the side of eating too much. I’ll worry about my weight later, but I want to make sure I’m ready to race again the next day.
Besides eating right after the race, I'll have full dinners, and I'll eat breakfast before each race. Eat. Eat. Eat. To race well, you need to have fuel in the tank.
If I have an over-the-top meal that isn’t really necessary, It’ll be a celebratory dinner after the last race. Before that, I’ll be more worried about eating enough than eating too much.
Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your dinners. Enjoy your time with family and friends. If you’re like me, enjoy your marathon(s).