The Way Running Makes me Feel about Food

I experience cravings more often than I experience hunger. I’m aware that living in the United States with a good steady supply of food, I generally can get to sustenance if I really need it. Instead, I experience the desire for something specific: a crunch, a sweetness, a richness, or a watery juiciness.

When I’m running, I am usually so focused on not stopping that I don’t experience hunger or cravings. I’m focused on so many parts of my body: knees that are reminding me how many times I’ve already ran this week, a stitch in my side, showing the outlines of all those inner organs I rarely think about, feet that absorb the shock of the hard ground for me. I’m focused on moving forward, and I’m focused on how disgustingly sweaty I am, and once in a while I focus on how much I’d like a cool drink of water. It’s after the run, when I feel like I’ve either quit a little early or I’ve totally used every ounce of energy, when I start to feel like I need some food.

I’ll drink water for a while (there is no worse headache than a post-run headache where you didn’t replenish with water) but then I usually want something fresh and wholesome: a salad, a hearty soup, a sandwich on good, chewy bread. It’s the time when it feels like my body takes over the static of my brain (which wants candy, junk food, soda, quick jolts of good feelings) and really demands nutrition.Running hurts, but it does make me feel pretty alive, and it’s now finally the right temperature outside that one would reasonably want to run outdoors. It’s a nice side benefit that running makes me excited for my butternut squash soup or a good salad prepared by Husband (never with mushrooms though).