September 28, 2011

First World Problems

For those of you who aren’t (un)lucky enough to be on my IM list and constantly getting random links and quotes that I think are funny, you probably don’t know about two of my favorite humor websites. The first is called White Whine, and the second is actually a Twitter feed called First World Life. Both sites share kvetches and complaints that, when you really think about them, are only problems in our own spoiled first world minds… though I must admit, sometimes I’ve read a quote and realized that I once thought the same thing! A few funny examples:

Funny stuff, no? But speaking of first world problems…

Last night, I got out of work super early (6pm!) and needed to get a workout in. Since it was still light out and I’ve been meaning to go for a run in Charlottesville somewhere other than the 1/2 mile downtown mall I’ve explored to death, I threw on my gym clothes and sneakers and headed out in the opposite direction – toward UVA. I didn’t have any planned route, but I’ve always had a great sense of orientation in terms of being able to take a lot of turns and still know the general direction of my starting point; as a little non-jock kid, who would have thought I would put that to use with running?

But run I did, and about a mile in, I hit “The Corner,” an intersection right by UVA where lots of cheap restaurants and bars are located. I was about a mile into my run at this point, and I thought about turning back and going exactly the way I came, but instead, I kept exploring. Wanting to really get a good workout, I pretty much just picked the most uphill route every time I came to an intersection. The brutal combo of those hills, the surprisingly summer-like heat, and the heavy humidity in the air all made me sweat profusely – to the point where I noticed people giving me scared looks as I ran by. Ha! Love it. I arrived back at my hotel 4.7 miles later (way longer than the 2 mile run I had planned!) and in only 42 minutes – meaning I had kept up a 9:04 average pace. I couldn’t believe I had gone that fast with Triple H Hell combo (heat, hills, humidity) – that’s normally my flat and fast pace! I am definitely getting faster.

I headed home, had a pita sandwich for dinner (I used to wonder why I was less hungry after running, but a recent study found that exercise actually curbs appetite), and was sound asleep by 10pm. Early, but necessary, since I had to be up at 6am to do my Rachel Cosgrove weight lifting workout.

Despite getting a good 8 hours of sleep, I woke up and was exhausted. I got dressed and started going through my warmup, but I just felt so weak and tired. I was planning to have some Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal for breakfast, but I ended up scarfing it down mid-warmup for some extra energy. I got through my warmup and even my intense weight lifting (I’m now doing single arm single arm deadlifts with 40 pounds!), but I was just so pooped that it was hard to continue. When I got back up to my room and headed for the showers, it was then that I experienced an unfamiliar feeling: my stomach growled, and I was hungry.

It got me thinking – when was the last time I let myself get really hungry? I often get “mmm that dinner smells good”, or “I’m bored and eating would give me something to do,” or even “well, it’s 12pm and everyone else is going for lunch so I will tell myself I am hungry too.” But when was the last time I felt out of it, tired, and even a bit woozy because I hadn’t eaten? It was a strange feeling, but one that I should probably experiment with feeling more often.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to start starving myself! Food is important for workouts, and if anything, this was a wakeup call that showed me how I can’t perform at my best if I don’t adequately fuel up for the intense level of activity I’m starting to hit. But I think it’s good to feel actually hungry every now and again – it reminds you of what food is supposed to be for, and forces you to stop using it as an activity or reward. And after I kicked my butt in last night’s and this morning’s workout and got so hungry that my stomach was growling and I felt dizzy? Well, that leads me to my own first world problem:

“Man, I am working out so hard lately, I have to take the time to eat two breakfasts just to keep lifting as heavy!”

A nice problem to have 🙂


3 thoughts on “First World Problems”

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