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any runners who STILL run? when can i run again?

Blog Forums Exercise any runners who STILL run? when can i run again?

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    Hey Guys,

    I’ve got another thread in the ED forum but I guess I’m just needy at the moment.

    In a nutshell I’m a 33yo female with a 10-yr history of anorexia. I am currently eating a bit more but still restrictive. I put the running shoes away 2 weeks ago and am now just doing walks with the dog. To be honest the treatment team suggested no activity because I have exercise compulsions and my BMI is about 16.3ish right now, so they compromised with me on a 45 min max daily walk on flat terrain. I have of course managed to make this compulsory regardless of how I feel or what the weather is and sometimes even the dog gives me the “are you effing crazy it’s HOT out there in Tennosea in August!” look. But anyway…

    My question: I love running. Before hanging up the shoes two weeks ago I was logging 2-3 weekday runs of about 7-8 miles plus a good 12-16 miler on weekends. But I got to the point where I really was envisioning my dead lonely body on the trail, discovered by some teens one Saturday like an episode of Law and Order or something, and I still couldn’t seem to make myself stop, so I got myself back into heavy therapy and counseling with a dietitian and agreed, in return for not being forced back into inpatient treatment, to stop. Now I am in a slightly better place and working with the RD to up calories slowly rather than trying to jump in head first (which I’ve tried before; it freaked me out too much and backfired). And my team is urging me to stay off the running for a while but also asking me, how will I know when or if I should start again? Truly it is my hobby and passion and when I’m not in crazy-starved headspace it is a motivation to be well and eat the food, as you say here. And I’m missing it and the sense of purpose and identity it gives me.

    To me a big reason for really getting past this is being able to enjoy this sport and hobby, which was part of my life before the ED started and represents joy and freedom to me. So how do I know when I can do it again?

    • This topic was modified 10 years, 10 months ago by tennosea.

    Okay, so no one has responded here, but I did cave and go for a run yesterday and I must confess that it was glorious. But I also took it past glorious and into “my body might wanna stop but I’m not going to until the GPS hits a pre-conceived number.” All in all, though, afterwards I felt really good for having done it….until later that night, when I got a headache and just felt really sluggish overall. This was a weird experience for me as I used to be a machine, before I started with this rest business. Though I’ve not really been resting; just doing a bit less.

    Oh, and even though it’s been just under a month off of running, my lungs were burning and I felt horribly out of shape-already! Is this normal? How am I totally unfit so quickly when before I quit running a month ago I could pack away double digit mileage most days?


    I get it. I really do. I wasn’t putting in as many miles as you were, but I was somewhat addicted to my training. Something you have to resolve in yourself is long term health. Living the rest of your life in a healthy state is a big deal, and is worth potentially months of habit and diet adjustment. Sounds like you need to find another hobby that will occupy the running part of your mind. Learn an instrument, learn a second language, take some art classes, take up competitive chess… anything. Above all you need to rest and eat the food. Seriously rest, like 10 hours of sleep per 24hour cycle + naps. Eat the food, eat all the food. You don’t have to go fast food and junk food crazy. Just make sure your plate has all the S’s (salt, sugar, saturated fat) and eat till you’re full. Have easy snacks readily available. If you’re hungry, eat. if you’re thirsty, drink. Otherwise, do your new hobby so you’re not obsessing over the fact that you’re not running. When your metrics are good (sleep quality, constipation, body temp, menstruation intensity, blah blah blah) then consider bringing running back into the picture. Keep in mind this process could take months, that’s why it’s important to keep the long term goal of health at the forefront of your mind.

    When I finally started running again it was training for a Tough Mudder. I was probably a bit overly cautious when I started, but whatever. I only ran twice a week. I limited myself to twenty minutes per run. My goal was to get faster, not to run farther. So I tracked my distance each run so I could extrapolate average mile time/pace. Over a ten week period my average pace went from 11:30 per mile to just under 9 minutes per mile. As a result I ended up running farther. It ended up being plenty of training for the Tough Mudder. I was able to complete the entire course without getting winded or really slowing down. I wish I had done more pullups, but that’s another matter entirely. I’m not saying you have to do the same thing, but just keep in mind it’s better for your training goals to be faster and stronger as opposed to farther and longer.

    Rest, eat all the food, fill your free time with fun and rewarding hobbies. You can run again after some time of healing. Good luck!


    I say run if you want to and if you get a kick out of it. Why shouldn’t you?

    If you also have issues around food then it will be hard to resolve them whilst also denying yourself your passion, as you say. It sounds as though restricting is your problem, so I can’t see (from a logical POV which may not actually be the best approach….) how restricting something you enjoy will help your state of mind at all, or help you stop restricting food.


    but do it intuitively, like when you said you felt like stopping, then aim to do so, not aim for a number- have fun!

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