Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Backsliding into November

In hashing, "backsliding" is when you fail to show up to a hash for an extended period of time. In my hash one can expect to flirt with backsliderdom after four consecutive no-shows on Sunday afternoons. I am happy to say that in the year and a half I have been hashing I have never been slapped with a down-down1 for backsliding.

The same cannot be said of my weight loss. When it comes to that, I am backsliding. Badly.

This is difficult for me to admit, but laying it out here will make me accountable. I went to the doctor on Monday morning and SOP there is to hop on a scale before anything else happens. The resulting number was one I have not seen since early 2007. I knew it was going to be bad, but I was not prepared for just how bad.

Three and a half years. Three and a half years of weight loss essentially down the drain. I wanted to cry.

182. That's what it said. 182. One hundred and eighty two pounds. There. I said it. Do you know how fucking crushed I feel at writing that number? (On the bright side, this is still 40 pounds less than I was at my heaviest.)

Now I know why my pace has been falling into the basement. I'm carting around 25 pounds (that's one economy-sized box of cat litter) more than I was when I was training for Cleveland and New York in 2009.

I can point fingers every which way in an attempt to lay the blame for this debacle (injury! nasty weather! beer!) but in the end, all the fingers point directly at me. It's my fault. I became lenient with my diet and I wasn't exercising enough. I let things slide. Backslide.

A few rays of hope, though: one, I've been through this before and I know what I have to do to reverse this unfortunate trend. Two, the last time I weighed this much I was in the nascent stages of Phase II of my running career and thought that anything over four miles was impossibly far.

Last Saturday I ran 15.5 miles and felt fresh as a daisy throughout. Yeah, I went slo-o-o-o-w-ly (average pace was 11:06, but that includes a fair bit of walking), but I ran fifteen miles at once. And that's while weighing 180 pounds.

It's time to dust off my Weight Watchers cookbooks and start doing weekly meal plans again. That worked wonders the first time around. Having ingredients on hand for five or six preplanned meals does tend to thwart the temptation to eat poorly. The rest of it is willpower and determination.

Additionally, I have kicked what's left of my training for Thunder Road into high gear. Fifteen miles last weekend will segue into 20 this coming weekend (to be run on the Towpath Trail through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, one of my favorite places to do 20-milers) and I'm back to doing all of my midweek runs, including my Thursday runs with my peeps at the Running Fit store. The aggravation and frustration of August and September have receded and I am happy to report that my hamstring has ceased to be an issue. That is not to say I will be sprinting through the closing meters of any Beer Miles (or anything, for that matter) anytime soon.

One little bit at a time. I can't think "I have to lose 25 POUNDS?" or I will be defeated before I even begin. My first task is to just get below 180 again. Three pounds.

On a lighter note, the last weekend of October was an eventful one. Here are some pictures. Let me show you them.

 This was during my 12-mile saunter2 around Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with the Engineer on October 30. We found a bowling ball in the middle of a soccer field. This is the most incongruous object I've ever seen on a run. After we finally got back to the car we visited the Trion Tavern in New Haven for some well-earned brews.

The Redhead and I FINALLY run a race together! This was the Run Thru Hell on Halloween. We are rocking some awesome Salvation Army-supplied Scooby Doo-inspired costumes. For the record it was about 32 degrees and I was freezing, but not as freezing as poor Redhead who is used to Florida temperatures and was wearing a sleeveless dress.

Spike as a socially awkward parental-basement-dwelling World of Warcraft player. He stayed in character the whole morning. The persona was inspired by "the greatest shirt in the world." His mom told him he had to get out and do something physical with people IRL. So he did. He also met an awesome girl who doesn't care about the weird satiny yellow shorts and crazy T-shirt and glasses wrapped with tape3. Oh, he also set a new 10K personal best. Not bad for a guy who hasn't seen sunlight in about two weeks.

The sign kind of says it all, doesn't it? For more riffs on the "Pure Michigan" tourism ad campaign, go here. You might not get it if you don't live in Michigan, but they're still funny. I laughed the hardest at "Royal Oak," "Downriver," and "U of M Football."

After all the excitement, what better way to relax than with a four-pack of Dark Horse Brewing's Scotty Karate Scotch Ale while I dole out candy to 200+ ungrateful brats?

And there went October. I have a little more than four weeks before Thunder Road...onward!

1: A "down-down" is when one is made to chug a small amount of beer as punishment for an infraction real or imagined. I have done many, many down-downs.
2: It took three hours, but in my defense, there was awesome fossiliferous limestone used as a building material that I had to look at and get all carbonate sedimentologically nostalgic about.
3: By the way that chick went home with him. Daphne, what a ho. Velma would never do that.


Xenia said...

I totally feel your pain. I pretty much backslid all of 2010. Shitetastic, that. Here's to a better & lighter time ahead for the both of us!

jill said...

Kudos to you for putting it out there! I'm in a similar situation. I lost 35 pounds 6 years ago, and have gained it all back. Ugh. Good luck with your weight loss journey!

grapevinerunner said...

"...I can't think 'I have to lose 25 POUNDS?' or I will be defeated before I even begin. My first task is to just get below 180 again. Three pounds..."
Sounds a lot like running a marathon, doesn't it? And you know you are good at that! Good luck!

MCM Mama said...

Isn't amazing how fast and easy it is to put the weight on? Good luck with getting back on track and kudos to you for putting it out there.

Carolina John said...

Hang in there, lighter days are ahead.

Kristin said...

I know your pain. Right now I am just 5 pounds over where I should be (and 15 over where I'd like to be), but a couple years ago I succumbed to the creeping weight gain that added about 20 pounds (from 155 to 175--or so) and I couldn't understand how I could be running and still gain weight! :( It's a bitch. Good luck. You can do it.

SSB said...

Hang in there. I dropped 40 lbs a couple years ago and when I started the process I never thought i'd get there, but i did. It takes work and a little attention to what you do daily, but you did it before, so you'll get back there.

FWIW, you're not at an unhealthy weight right now, it just feels that way because it's hard to run w/ extra pounds. In the end you'll be stronger because of it.

LJ O'Shanahan said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I'm in exactly the same space. By writing about it you're making me man up to what I've been dodging admitting. All the best shaving it off and you've inspired me to do the same!

Viper said...

Hey, that's how I gave out candy. How many times did parents ask you if they could have a beer?

I drove through Hell during a cross-country road trip in 1998. I got a sweet T-shirt from the store there and proceeded to lose it a few days later while rafting down the Rogue River in Oregon.

Watch out for crazy mating deer on the Towpath. They're running wild out there. Cheers!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Hey, now I get the Scooby Doo theme! I have definitely been a backslider with hashing...........

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm a Fort Wayne runner! That's cool you were here. I've never been to the tavern though.

The Enthusiast said...

I completely understand about the weight gain. I had gone on WW and lost near 17 pounds and have gained it all back. You are one of many that will help keep me motivated!