Week 32 – two out of three ain’t bad

This week’s weigh-in:  179 lbs

Weight loss to date: 57 lbs

To Goal: 9 lbs

I want to thank everyone for their support and kind remarks.  Despite the disappointing overall result this week, it’s been pretty eventful since my last entry.  There’s been some good, some bad.  I have you to thank for the former and only myself to blame for the latter.

First, the race report.  I ran my second 5K race last Sunday, the Fresenius Alive to Strive.  It was a different course than the Ottawa Race Weekend 5K and a much smaller event.  I would be surprised if there were a hundred people registered for the three events (1k, 5K, 10K).  In some ways, I enjoyed it a bit more because it wasn’t such a crowded event and I could concentrate on running forward instead of dodging pokey people who positioned themselves closer to the start line than they had any business being.  No backpackers or urban polers at this one!

I started my day with my 5K clinic practice run.  The 1o minute run, 1 minute walk x 2 intervals gave me a good 3.5K warm up with several hours to recover before my 2 pm start.  Plenty of time to have a nice, healthy brunch with a friend before heading out to the Terry Fox Athletic Facility.  I got there around 1 pm, did some stretching, a warm up, and even the athletic cliche of visualizing my race while listening to my playlist before heading to the start line on Hogs Back Rd.  It was scheduled to start at 2, but we were a few minutes behind.  Technical difficulties or something.

Gun goes off and so do I.  My iPod was set to my “Run 2” playlist.   I kept to my game plan of running a little under 6 minutes per kilometre with 10 and 1 intervals.  As I entered the stadium for the last 300m, the Green Hornet theme came on the iPod.  This is the last fast song on the playlist, so I knew it was time to hard charge to the finish line.  And hard charge it, I did.  According to my iPod, my pace was under 5 min/km the last few measurements it took.  My friends Chris and Brittany met me at the finish line and we enjoyed some free food while we waited for my results.  I also ran into another Chris, this one was in the 5k/10K combined clinic I just finished as a group leader.  He ran the 10k and seemed a little disappointed in his result, around 63 minutes, but admitted he slacked off on training since the clinic ended two weeks.  I also ran into a neighbour from my building, Sabrina, who I met just Wednesday.  I told her about the event when we met in the elevator.  She registered a result 2 minutes longer than mine.  Not bad for someone who didn’t even know about the event until 5 days before.

My result?  I clocked in at 28 minutes  and 44.5 seconds.  Ranked 43rd out of 121 participants and 11th out of 19 in my category (Male 30-39).  It was ten seconds short of beating my personal best (32:35 in the Ottawa 5K) by four whole minutes.  Placing at the edge of the upper third of all participants was pretty exciting, too.  If you read earlier posts, you’ll know the goal I set for myself was to be just over 30 minutes. Goal set, goal crushed.

Second, the weigh-in.  As I mentioned, there was some free food at the run. As the beneficiaries of the fundraising for the race included the Kidney Society and the Diabetics Association, it was all healthy food and quite tasty.  I indulged in some of the healthy food that wasn’t on the nutrition plan, some pasta salad and a pita wrap.  They were delicious.  There was also a beer stop at Quinn’s.  And this was before dinner (which was all nutrition plan compliant).  Eating at odd times Friday, again after a run, and Saturday probably didn’t help.  No one to blame but me on that those.  The result was three pounds added between Friday and Monday mornings.

I should have behaved through the week, but Tuesday was the Prime Minister’s Garden Party. I mostly watched what I ate (probably should have passed on that one piece of beer-battered cod, though), but not what I drank.  I started with white wine but then had a couple of beer.  The PM likes to have a different local microbrew each year.  Last year it was Beau’s.  This year it was Hog’s Back.

The beer at 24 Sussex was followed by a keg master split amongst friends at the Highlander. Another pound on Wednesday. Doom on me.

I ate properly on the rest of the week, but I only managed to shed two pounds in 48 hours to get the results above.  Granted, it’s probably not healthy to lose any more than that in a given week, so my misbehaviour in the first half of the week set me up for failure. 

Goal set. Goal … not so crushed.  My penance will be abstinence:  no booze until I reach 176lbs.

Third,  ending the week on a positive note, I bought a suit.  I was going to wait until September when I finished my training, but it was from the new Mad Men collection at Banana Republic.  It’s a limited edition collection, so once it’s gone from the store, it’s gone.  It’s been out a little more than a week and already the BR at the Rideau Centre is down to just a few suits remaining.  In fact, they only had three suit jackets remaining.  The overcoat is sold out in all sizes but XL nationwide.   This suit just isn’tt going to be there in September.  I’ll probably go down one more size by the time this is done, so I went with a tight fitting size 40.  That’s six sizes smaller than I was one year ago (dutiful readers will note that its a size up from the rented wedding tux, but the style of this suit is a slim fit like the suits of the era the show is set in).

Luckily, the smaller I get the more proportionate my chest and waist get with my arms and legs.  I can now buy off the rack without having to get the legs and arms tailored.  This means if I somehow fall short of my goal and don’t shrink into that suit in 60 days, I can take it back for a refund.

Down six sizes in seven months?  I think we can call that:  Goal set.  Goal crushed.

Some lessons from the past week:

Training matters.  If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a 33 year old recovering fatty mcfat fat.  My neighbour Sabrina is almost the exact opposite. She’s 19, petite, and athletic.  According to conventional wisdom, she should have crossed the line a hell of a lot sooner than I did.  The difference was I trained and she ran a few times on the treadmill.  Lest you think I’m picking on a girl, Chris should have known better, too.  He was the fastest 10K runners in the 5K/10K clinic.  In fact, he started in the 5K clinic and moved into the 10K after a few weeks for a greater challenge.  Same lectures, different runs.  In the downtime between the end of the clinic and the race, he went on his summer vacation and didn’t run once in two weeks.  He also ignored the ten weeks of training he paid for by running flat out instead of sticking to 10 and 1 intervals.  His time was much longer than he anticipated because he didn’t keep up with his training and didn’t stick with his plan.  By not taking his one minute breaks, he didn’t allow his body to recover mid-run and his pace continually deteriorated.  He can take solace in the fact that since it was his first race it was by definition his personal best.

Behave on the weekend.  This lesson never seems to stick.  I like to have at least one cheat meal on the weekend.  Besides rewarding myself for good behaviour, there’s a body of science that says a cheat every now and then helps keep the metabolism going fast because the cheat meal tricks the body into thinking it needs to burn more calories than it is actually going to get.  I figure Friday is safe because it’s the end of the day that starts with a personal training workout and ends with a run.  I ate dinner so late Saturday, it might as well have been a cheat.  Frankly, I should have just had some almonds to settle my stomach and then went to bed.  Pasta, sandwich and beer, however small in quantity, on Sunday was not helpful, either.  Again, I should have remembered the lesson from May:  carbs are for before the race, not after.  I could have survived the beer on Tuesday had I behaved on the weekend.

I did a lot of things right this weekend when it came to nutrition this weekend, but the few things I did wrong obviously outweighed the good.  I would be a lot closer to my goal weight if I didn’t have to spend the first half of a week shedding the weekend excess.  In fact, I would likely be crossing the proverbial finish line next week had I not been such an idiot these past two weekends.

Like the unfortunately named Meatloaf sang, don’t be sad because two out of three ain’t bad.



4 responses

  1. Love this post Michael! I’m continually impressed about your new-ish and extensive knowledge of food and running. It’s really impressive, you talk like an old pro. Also, I’m amazed at the fashionista that is being uncovered as you shed the pounds. Maybe you always were, but I never knew it until your blog and references to Beyond the Rack, Zara, and the new Mad Men collection at BR (awesome)! Your new Mad Men suit is well deserved and I’m sure you look great in it! Chat soon…..likely in CB!

    1. Thanks. I always managed to find decent suits brand name suits at Moores that were my size when I was a big boy, but once you get into the 50s in sizes there’s no such thing as “short” sizes anymore so they looked good, but not great. Now I can find suits that fit really well. I also have far more shopping options now than Moores. I’ll stay a loyal customer because they have pretty good deals, but I’ll buy some really nice suits at other places when they’re on special.

  2. Nice to have all the options!

  3. Absolutely right. The Mad Men suit is winter weight, so it might be too warm at Freddy’s wedding for it to make it’s debut, so I’ll have to go with one of the Calvin Kleins I bought in DC. I just hope they still fit by the end of the month. They’re getting kind of big on me. 🙂

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