Um... so I have a small hip flexor strain from running. Left one. Why? Because apparently this is a common injury when one has little 'core strength'. This translates in English to that I am too fat in the gut still, and the lower half of my body is working over-hard to compensate for it.
Ugh. Anyway, this is what has lead to me deciding to take a 7-week pilates class starting November 1st. Yeah, I hate stuff like pilates and yoga, but it is probably less bad for me than high impact things like boot camp (which I kind of struggle with due to my lack of core strength). I want to do this to avoid serious injury, because right now that sort of thing would really set me back on my goal of running a half marathon by the end of next summer, and then a full marathon the spring or summer after that. A lot of people have said it's not a realistic goal, since it's taken most of them 3 or 4 years to train to run a half (I have only been running seriously for around 5 months... really), but I'm pretty optimistic I can do it. After all, I just finished running a 10k race with barely any experience. That's right. I ran a couple of 10k flat-land runs before, and before that the farthest I'd ever gone on a run was 8.6k. I did no hill training at all (and the race was one with a huge hill right at the beginning). But I still managed.
This winter is my 10k training, then pretty much right after that I will start my half marathon training. I will stagger all of the running with core strength classes, and other things I feel will be useful to keep me in top shape like resistance training (possibly Crossfit... but I may still have a ways until I can stomach something that intense), spin class (potentially), and swimming.
I have already begun to alter my diet to fit these demands... so far, it's not as terrible as I thought. It mostly involves reversing the traditional way of thinking about dinner being the largest meal of the day. On weekday mornings, I eat a fairly decent-sized breakfast usually consisting of oatmeal with some nuts and fruit, sometimes a banana, a glass or two of water, half a protein-powder beverage (other half is for before a run) and sometimes toast and yogurt too. On weekends I will usually consume stuff like sausages, eggs, and hashbrowns (made at home, not of the fast food variety). I try to keep lunch pretty simple; soup and salad, or if I am eating at a restaurant I will eat either an entree OR and appetizer (never both), and I try to keep side dishes limited to salad or veg (I will have the fries only if I plan on some sort of physical activity in the near future). My dinners are primarily now a sort of pseudo-extension of lunch, and I try to limit them to being protein and vegetables, with some carbs (and the other half of the protein beverage) if I'm going for an evening run. My after-run refuel is usually yogurt, an apple, and on occasion a piece of whole grain toast. I stay away from soft drinks as a general rule, and limit sweets and snacking to maybe a couple of times per week (unless the snacks are something healthy... and I never overindulge anymore).
Whoa. Sorry if that's a lot of info to process. It is what it is. After all, no one ever got into prime shape by lying in bed watching TV and eating extra-large bags of potato chips.