Running fast – Day 2, a guide to understanding obsession

In addition to cleaning out my system, this insane ten day fast might be a new way to test the limits of my obsessive behavior and the limits of the human body at the same time. Today’s weather at the start of my run; cloudy, thirty-six degrees with a steady wind speed approaching thirty miles per hour and gusts much higher.

Yesterday, I didn’t consume any calories. Today, the plan was to eat one medium banana and my vitamin, one hour before my run. At 9 a.m. I had my banana sitting by desk, ready to go. Mind you, at that time water was the only thing that had passed my lips for almost thirty-six hours; I  was hungry, ravenous; the first two days of a fast are when hunger really consumes you, it rarely leaves your mind. But that banana sat on my desk for ten minutes as the obsessive part of me tried to convince the rational me that eating it was cheating, that I had stopped eating and I should just continue not eating. This is the same part of my brain that convinces me to down a whole bag of Crunchy Cheetos once I’ve started in on it. This same part of my brain puts me inside the head of one of my character’s and insists I keep writing until their story is told. Finally, the rational me won out and I ate the banana.

When you are fasting, your body starts to ignore some duties, like keeping your body warm. Overdressing wasn’t a concern; I had been chilly all morning and I was not looking forward to getting out in that weather. But as it got closer to time to go, my body responded to both the banana and the challenge. I had more energy and actually felt good as I stepped out the door. I’ll probably rant about the wind some other day, but for now I’ll just say it was brutal. That 105 calorie banana lasted almost two and a half miles of the three mile run. Of course, I was only supposed to run two, but you can count on the obsessive me to keep going, regardless of plans. In fact, if it wasn’t for that ridiculous wind, I’m certain I would have gone five miles, at least.

I’m not a psychiatrist, but I think there must be levels of obsessive behavior. Mine is, to my everlasting joy, something that I have been able to control to the point that it rarely has a negative effect on my life, only positive ones. After all, it makes it a lot easier to get the wood chopped, or a ditch dug. My rational side maintains the upper hand… most of the time.

One interesting effect of fasting that seems more acute for me, is the change in my vision; everything looks so much sharper and clearer. Out on the prairie, where the wind was whipping the tall grass stalks around my feet, it added a diverting element to the run. The mountains look so defined and majestic. I noticed this effect when I fasted before and it is one of the things I’ve been anticipating.  If you are interested, here is a site that talks about it more-

Thankfully, I think I am already getting to the point where the hunger pains are receding, as well as the headache, although I know both will return now and then.

Feel free to leave comments and ask questions, whether you are considering a fast, or just curious. I’ll answer them either in the comment section or in my next post. If, for some strange reason you are interested, I happily permit re-posting, as long you link back to this site.





Filed under Fasting and Health, Running

8 responses to “Running fast – Day 2, a guide to understanding obsession

  1. Is there a reason why you chose 10 days?

  2. Yes! When I reached ten days in March, it was the 5-9 days that felt the best, Day 10 I started to notice more fatigue and mood swings. But it is possible that circumstances affected me more than the fast, so I wanted to get that far again.

  3. william tallent

    Wow! 10 days, that’s the longest I’ve seen. Looking forward to seeing how it goes. The most I’ve done in a row is 72hrs. It’s amazing during that 2nd day how the hunger actually decreases. Happy Fasting!

  4. Holy cow.
    That’s definitely something I could not do. Especially if I was keeping up with running. Kudos to you. You’re a bit crazy!

  5. 10 Days seems appropriate. About as long as it takes for a virtual book club…ha! Great to be following you. Definitely like the banner. Glad that you’re writing. Maybe one day you’ll go through our process. It should be comfortable…at least the 10 Day part.

  6. 10 days is long. My longest fast is 3 – 4 days. A day to get past the “hunger out of habit” response, day two to deal with real hunger and finally the third day to have those feelings leave me so that my mind is no longer distracted by the feeding of my physical body.
    I’ll be interested to read your thoughts on how you feel going 10 days has helped your physically and mentally.

  7. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Re your fast, I’m really impressed. I’m also a runner–a much slowed-down one, I’m afraid age is catching up–and always, always on a strict diet, but a six-day juice fast is the most I’ve ever been able to manage and I haven’t done that for years.
    I also enjoyed the rest of your blog. Contrary to so much stuff out there, it is truly the work of a writer. Bloggers generally don’t bother much about anything except getting their “thought of the day” posted. It’s good to see commitment (pretty much the subject of my last post, come to think of it.)

  8. Fascinating experiment. Can’t wait to hear more.
    Hubz and I always joke that we’d be the worst ever hostages/spies because we’d give up all our secrets after 3 hours of not eating.

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