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Retiring Marathoner

Friday, January 11, 2013

I, Lynette Miller, am retiring from Marathon Running and All Triathlons

With a very, very heavy emoticon I am announcing my retirement from ALL Marathon Running and ALL triathlons.

To some... this may seem extreme. Why all and aren't these healthy activities?

In a Nut-Shell:
As I reflected on what "triggers" my E-D Long-Distance Training came to mind.
Why? When I train, my food intake HAS to change from my normal every day eating.

1. I feel out-of-control and I feel the "starving" feeling after. I don't know if I am eating too much or too little. I come home from a long run and even though I hydrate and eat along the way I am STARVING. I used to think this was great I just "earned" my large meal. But, I still had the guilty feelings after I ate that I shouldn't have eaten THAT much etc..

2. I can't control my larger meals when having increased exercise and needing more calories.. I keep saying for ME because I know I am an ADDICT. I am BULIMIC. If you are an athlete and do not suffer from and ED then this does not apply to you. I am so worried my long - distance athlete friends will think I am judging them on this too, but I am not. NOT everyone is an alcoholic. So they can drink in moderation and an alcoholic can drink... NOTHING... that's me in this situation.

3. The training plans are too self-obsessive for me. I obsess over my own times and how I am going to improve and I am always thinking of Me, Me, ME....

SO... I was heart-broken... SOBBING. I did not want to give this up. So the alternative is to stay in and fear that my Eating Disorder will go away for a little while but re-surface at any time. My brother and I were planning on Qualifying for Boston TOGETHER. I put off going to Boston this year after I qualified last year to have my brother and I go together.

I had to call my brother and let him know. It was the most TENDER conversation I have had with him in my entire life. I cry writing about this. I told him I was so sorry and heart-broken and that I was not going to be able to do the marathon with him. I told him I am bulimic and that the training triggers me. I told him I was embarrassed and ashamed and have been trying to fix it for 10 years. It comes and goes. I always think I am recovered but I am NOT. SERIOUS changes had to be made. I told him I was sorry to let him down.

He said, "sister, you did not let me down. I am so proud of you no matter what. I love you and this changes NOTHING." He went on to just say how he supports me and loves me and will help me and immediately offered to NOT do the Ogden Marathon himself. I said NO, please, please, do it because this brings me into how I am okay with all of this.

I want to be the CHEERLEADER and a coach. I will reflect on YOUR plans and tell you what I think about YOUR plans and what YOU are doing. I will give you my advice and you are welcome to take it or leave it, but I WANT to be involved helping YOU reach your goal. Just as you are going to help me reach MY GOAL of OVERCOMING This terrible Disease of Bulimia.

It was the most wonderful feeling. My cause now: TO HELP OTHERS reach THEIR GOALS athletically.

If you are on a training day that is moderate, I would LOVE to go out and run with you and support you. If you need swimming tips. ME, ME, ME... I am the swimmer chick that is FIRST out of the water on the swim. Did I tell you? Since I can brag now that I am retired. I beat former Olympian Summer Sanders on the swim portion of the Jordanelle Triathlon. It was one of my finest swimming moments.

But... NOW it is NOT about me it's about YOU. I WANT TO HELP YOU!!! It helps ME. I can feel like my new goals as an athlete are just as important as winning the RACE. Helping YOU cross that finish line and be happy with yourself makes me feel happy about me...

Lastly, what are my new fitness goals?
For me, they are harder than training for a marathon or triathlon.
I must control my exercise and exercise moderately (I know poor me that I have to moderate exercise) It's like a skinny girl saying it's hard to eat my minimum calories. But... it IS hard, I love pushing my body to its limits.

Goal - Daily Moderate Cardio and Strength Training


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm catching up on all of your blogs now... I think this is AMAZINGLY positive! It's so important to identify triggers - in fact, I remember reading one of your earlier blogs and thinking that it seems like long distance exercise causes you some issues with your ED. You cannot start truly recovering until you explore the root cause - otherwise you are just putting a band aid on the issue.

    I like the way you compared it to an alcoholic, too. It's true... for people who do not have an ED, running is just running, just like a beer is a beer to someone who is not an alcoholic. Very astute!

    I'm glad your brother is being so supportive and I know you will be just as supportive to HIM in his training!

    OK, on to your next update!
    1776 days ago
    I'm glad you have decided to least for now! You have a fantastic brother...and a great husband....and sweet co-workers....(noticing a trend here?). With an AWESOME support system in place, I know you can do this! Not to mention you have us (Sparkfriends) here too! You retiring from races shows that you are fully focused on getting better! You have made a great sacrifice by setting aside a sport you love, in exchange for getting rid of a trigger! Way to go! YOU DESERVE TO BE THE BEST YOU YOU CAN BE NETTY!

    1776 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/12/2013 6:43:00 PM

    How about coaching others?
    1777 days ago
    emoticon For all the LOVE and SUPPORT!

    1777 days ago
    emoticon (I learned how to do these emoticons!)

    Interesting fact: long-distance running, ironmans, etc, are actually not healthy. Research has proven that while it takes INCREDIBLY fitness to be able to do them, they do more damage to the body in the long run (haha, long run... get it? I'm so punny!). But seriously. Totally great accomplishments, but devoting your life to doing something so hard on your body removes the balance that we need. Once or twice, that's fine, but "giving them up," especially in your case, is the healthiest, best decision for you right now.

    I totally understand how hard it is to limit yourself from extremes. When I was working on upping intake, I'd ask advice for less filling foods, how to eat more, etc, and I got soooo much negativity from people! Not always intentionally, but people saying, "I wish I had your problem!" NO! NO YOU DO NOT!

    Stay strong Lynette.
    1777 days ago
  • DEB9021
    Great blog, Nettie! I have never been a marathoner, but have had the same issue with working too hard. I lost weight while I was working into running (doing walking/running intervals), but once I got to running 5 miles without stopping, I stopped losing weight and started gaining. I tried going back to intervals and that didn't work. I think I ate too much when I exercised hard, and then fell down afterward and didn't move for too long. I have since focused on moving more often, not harder, and it definitely works better for me. I don't get headaches, have more consistent energy levels rather than peaking and slumping in my motivation to move and get things done, and am more able to set and meet goals in a variety of areas instead of exercising but then feeling "done" and not coping well with other life challenges. I did it at a much lower level (no marathons for me!) but I think it's possible to be an exercise binger just as you can binge on food. I am now working on being steady and consistent, so that I am not a yo-yo with weight, food or exercise. You are really listening to your body, so I'm sure you will eventually find that right place with exercise that makes you feel happy and heathy, but not obsessed. Keep sharing!
    1777 days ago
    As long as I've known you, I've known you are ridiculously strong, not just physically, but in spirit, character, drive, and determination. I had no idea that you had to be even stronger than I thought, just to deal with the formidable invisible challenges that you were carrying with you. I say "were carrying" because as you let people see them, it will help you to put them down. (Although it is a little frightening to consider all you will accomplish without this burden slowing you down. Look out world! ) I am so sad that you are having to deal with this, but I know you can do it! You have made positive changes before and stuck to them. Your track record is better than you think it is, and you have people in your life who have grown and changed their lives too. They are in better places now, to be there for you, than they might have been in the past. I think this might be the marathon you've been training for all's a long distance run and you're in it for the long's going to take to get up if you trip... You know how to do this. You've already started! Please know that I am here for you!!
    1777 days ago
    It took a lot of courage and strength to make this difficult decision I am sure - but I trust that you know what is best for you and if changing the cycle hellps you with this disorder then this is the RIGHT decision.

    I wish you much success with your new goals this year.

    1778 days ago
    Although I am a compulsive marathoner, I understand and respect your decision. That takes a lot of strength and courage. The fact that you have come to this conclusion, is a great sign that you are making positive progress towards coming to terms with managing your ED. Keep up the good work and stay positive.

    1778 days ago
    very well thought out- OUT in the open too. Good for you! This is a great plan.
    1778 days ago
    You are a wonderful person. It seems just from what little i have read that you have a huge heart and lots of good things to pass on to others. Sometimes with being a great person you may not take your needs in to consideration. I think that if you need to step back from marathons and triathlons to make yourself better then that's what you should do...FOR YOU. Keep your head is a new day.
    1778 days ago
  • DRB13_1
    yes, applause for knowing yourself and taking steps to be and stay healthy.
    life is full of changes, and this is a season
    never rule out what may be - as you find what works for you, all things will become clearer
    1778 days ago
  • DARJR50
    What a difficult choice this must be for you. I applaud you for being able to make the healthy choice for YOU. There are other things you can do to remain healthy without triggering your E-D.
    You are blessed to have a brother who understands your reasons and supports you in them. I predict that you will find healthier ways of doing things in the future. Good luck to you.
    1778 days ago
    You're story is very interesting to me. I find that when I am training for marathons I don't lose weight like most people. I reasoned that it was because I thought I could eat more than I could because I am expending so many calories. My fix was to train and track my food. I am always wondering, if I train for marathons like this and I still weigh 200lbs, what if I did not train for marathons, I'd not be able to get out of my way. But interestingly for me, when I am not consumed with training, I seem to lose weight. I reasoned that it was because I had time to plan my menus and control my eating. Enjoy your accomplishments, sometime we need a change in life and you have to continue to explore new horizons. emoticon
    1778 days ago
    You need to do what you feel is right for your body. Kudos to you for having that type of of running career. I did one marathon and after crossing the finish line swore them off. I do still do halfs. Hoping you find peace with your decision.
    1778 days ago
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