June 2, 2011
This Week’s Weigh-in: 191 lbs
Weight loss to date: 45 lbs
To goal: 21 lbs
What an incredible weekend! I completed my first 5K in 32:35. A lot of people helped get me to that finish line, too many single out individually without sounding like a really bad Oscar acceptance speech (are there any good ones?). I hope I’ve showed the appropriate amount of gratitude in person. If I haven’t, I will.
It was a great weekend filled with fun and surprises. The first one was that my friend Clements came up for the run. Not cheer us on, but to run himself. It was a total surprise for me. Unbeknownst to me, Clem and Christian had been planning this since March. They even had a goofy codename for the whole affair, Operation: Capital Strike. Why the whole cloak and dagger routine was beyond me, but the surprise was certainly appreciated.
Clements has been going through his own weight loss routine and it was great to see the results. It’s always encouraging to see others succeed. It powers you on to achieve your own results.
The run itself was an amazing experience. The 5K for Ottawa Race Weekend had a little over 9000 registered. You can train all you want, but until you coral with that many people, you have no idea what you’re getting into. It was a relatively cool yet humid afternoon, having rained in the morning. When the sun came out shortly before the start time, the temperature instantly rose 10 degrees (Celsius for my friends stuck in imperial weights and measures). I spent more time dodging and weaving the slower runners ahead of me and the folks that thought walking in the middle of the road was somehow acceptable. A pedestrian trying to cut across the street early on the course almost got knocked on his arse. No apologies to that idiot. You run with the bulls, you get gored.
Just two gripes: people who registered for the shorter time corals who had no intention of actually running the course and the polers. Each is a hazard in its own way. Back of the pack, folks.
What a rush. I stuck to my gameplan and kept to my 10/1 run/walk intervals. Kept my pace around 6:20/km for the first two intervals and then hard charged it for that last one. Even with picking up the pace, I had to be especially cautious in the last 250m. As my clinic instructor warned us, there are some runners who leave everything on the course, including their last meal. That’s something you can give warnings about, but it doesn’t compute until you see it. One fellow doubled over in front of me just a mere 50m short of the finish. As I made it through the recovery area, there were many such puddles to dodge.
As I crossed the finish line, the horn section from Ray LaMontagne’s “You are the best thing” blared. I knew from my practice runs that meant a time between 32 and 33 minutes. When they posted the time, I was over the moon.
After the run, it was time to engage in a post run ritual: gin and tonic. This started when Christian began his running career. His wife, Ramona, and I are both big fans of Gordon Ramsey’s shows. Ramsey is also a marathon runner. He was being interviewed on George Strombolopolous (sp?) at some point that winter and was asked in the rapid-fire segment, “What’s the best thing to drink after a marathon?” His answer, “gin and tonic”. So at Christian’s first half marathon, I became the keeper of the post-run gin. This year it was three of us partaking in the ritual.
The Running Bandits enjoying the spoils of victory.
Now for some lessons learned: carb up before the run, do not replace carbs after the run. Christian and Ramona hosted a wonderful post-run barbecue. I indulged. I didn’t have that much beer. Just two, but that was two more than I had since March. I figured I could have a burger with a bun, and then proceeded to have a few burgers with a bun … and a hotdog … and pasta salad. A couple of beers the next day and some garlic bread at brunch with the gang before Clements hit the road didn’t help either. The end result was despite the run of my life, I put on three pounds by Monday. Thankfully, I shed that plus some throughout the week to still end on with a net reduction.
Frankly, I needed a cheat weekend at some point and this was as good as any. Every now and then, you have to be reminded of what you’re sacrificing so you can strive forward.
On a side note, with summer weather here, I thought it would be a good idea to try on the summer suits I haven’t worn since August. It was a pretty quick run through. In short, they’re too big. Every suit I’ve owned since before December is now too big. I’m afraid to try on the two three piece suits I bought at the end of the year for fear of sending them to the charity pile. Between what I bought at Zara here in Ottawa and Macy’s in DC, I should be good for the spring sitting of Parliament. I even bought at nice light summer tan suit. Believe it or not, the waist of the pants on the first two Zara suits I bought are getting a little big on me. The slim fit throughout is keeping them from looking big on me, though.
If I behave, I will get below 190 by the first of next week. That means the next stage of the meal plan. Looking forward to it. Haven’t had problems sticking to the current one, so I’m curious what’s next in store for me.