Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Race Report: Fatter, Slower, Weaker

I promise this won't be a totally, self-indulgent, whining post, I just couldn't resist using that as a title. Who needs to go higher, faster, stronger when fatter, slower, weaker is just oh, so much easier??
So, yes, I raced this week-end [ed: now last week-end because it has taken me this long to post this post] and it was oh... so.... slow. I seriously would have sworn the course was long had it not had a certification number. I thought, FOR SURE, I was in shape for a 38:30 and, though I didn't admit it to, well, me, I actually felt like I might surprise myself with my first sub-38 of 2011. Well the gun went off and my body sure felt like it was running goal pace, somewhere between 3:48-3:51 per km. Only problem was I would hit 3:48, look up, and the kilometer marker would still be many meters distant. Ugly, just ugly. One bright spot is that I scored high in my age category. Normally I don't care about placing but this race is part of a series that I would really like to win because the prize is - free entry into all of next year's races. Sweet. The other bright spot is that la cocotte totally NAILED the monkey bars in the minutes prior to the race.

So yes, I am getting slower - a 39:01 10 km is definitely worse than an 18:29 5 km. I am getting fatter - clothing does not fit well, numbers on the scale are marching ever upwards and I could literally feel that with every foot strike propels me less far as my beer belly drags me persistently to the ground (oh wait, I promised no self indulgent whining). I am getting weaker - I can feel everything wobbling every which way as my core strength dwindles away. Here's the part I don't get - why is all of this happening when I am slacking off on training, not doing intervals, overeating, drinking too much beer? Why am I NOT immune to the fundamental laws of physiology and, perhaps, physics? Ok, seriously, here's the part I REALLY don't get. WHY am I overeating, drinking too much beer, not training hard etc. THAT the is the part I need to figure out.

This week-end in desperation I browsed over to the Canadian We.ig.ht Wa.tche.r's site. I figured a program from them might provide the structure and discipline I am lacking. I also figured that actually paying money might incentivize me to stick to a plan. Their homepage asks for weight, height, gender and birth date. After plugging in my info, I was told that their online programs are not suitable for me because of my height and weight - read: I am not above their minimum healthy weight. I was told to eat some more ice cream, drink some more beer and get back to them. (no, not really).

What to do... only eat when I am hungry? Drink lots of water? Exercise? Eat high fibre foods, lots of vegetables and lean protein? That's just crazy talk! So, of course I instead, went BACK to the W.eigh.t Wat.cher's site and LIED about my height and presto bingo they took my money. I am now the proud owner of a fictitious 5'4" body. Ok, I realize this makes me sound absolutely a) crazy b) annoying to be whining about my weight when I am not even above the WW minimum c) annoying to be whining about ANYTHING related to my body when I have a happy, healthy body that generally lets me do whatever I want.... BUT... okay, I have no but (I have an ever widening butT but that's another story). No, wait, I DO have a but. BUT my goals require a lean, athletic body and this is something for whatever reason I am having a hard time maintaining. I feel like this is the beginning of a slippery slope. If I let these 7 pounds linger, 7 will become 10, 10 will become 15... It's a slippery slope I tell you! Not unlike using bad cliches like "slippery slope" in one's writing or words like "incentivize" that don't actually exist - eventually one's writing disintegrates into a jumble of incoherent, boring nonsense.

Bottom line - I am signed up with Wei.g.h.t Wat.che.r's. I am not crazy. I just want to get back to my fighting weight. A weight where my clothing fits. A weight where I feel strong and light while running.


  1. Just like me but I am not going to sign up for ww...that indeed sounds little crazy.

  2. am I allowed to say that I think the slippery slope is more, imo, to sign up for WW when one is absolutely NOT overweight by normal standards? :-) I would be careful in any case not to be on a diet which will weaken your body : I don't think WW programmes are designed with athletes in mind! I am in the same situation as you (having put on weight, not signing for WW!), and I have deciding that the best way to solve it is to run a bit more, and stop eating tons of chocolate. Right now, I lack the discipline to do that, so I just have to suck it up!

  3. Do whatever you need to feel happy! (your title was hilarious by the way. No, I'm not laughing AT you, but with you :).) The only way I have ever found to lose weight is eat lots of vegetables, eat basically the same thing every day and make sure you go to bed hungry. And exercise, of course. That being said, it's sure been a while since I lost weight!

    P.S. I still think it was an awesome 10k time and maybe the course was long or hard or something if you did place higher than you'd hoped!!??

  4. Getting support for weight loss is a good idea; lying to get that support is a terrible idea.

    About my quitting racing: I hit a new age class next year and have started thinking (again) about shooting for some fast times at 1500-5000 meters. Unfortunately, I have to run sub-16 (and sub 4:30) to be a factor at my age in races here. Why, oh why, do all the fast old guys live here? I cannot imagine getting back into that kind of shape, but it's not completely out of the question.

    The last time I was on monkey bars, I discovered they were spaced the same as between my knees and teeth. Ouch.

  5. Wait a minute?! Weren't you saying recently that you were trying to have another baby? That and weight loss don't go together very well.

  6. everyone - wow. thanks. i totally thought people would either ignore this post entirely or call me out for being a whiny brat.

    mmmonyka - i could never imagine you throwing away your money on ww - you are the QUEEN of frugality and self-discipline!

    mapp - i know well the slippery slope you are alluding to, i have slid down it several times in my teen years but this is not THAT. i swear. i want to get down to my racing weight and maintain. period. i will never go THERE again if for no other reason than i would be terrified to model that behaviour to my daughter.
    Re: WW, without wanting to prosthelytize, what appeals to me about ww is:
    1- points based rather than calorie based. one is allowed to eat a certain number of points per day. a food has inherently fewer points if it is high fibre and fruit (including bananas) and veg are zero points so in my view it encourages healthy eating.
    2 - i get more points because of the running i do. incicdentally when i enter my running into their software i am given the choice of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 minutes per mile. a software that goes down to 5 and 6 minute miles has been designed with some pretty serious athletes in mind!

    SLG - if I had to work that hard to lose weight and go to bed hungry, I wouldn't do it. I think the difference btwn my weight loss and yours is that I am starting from a BMI of close to 20. As I recall you were starting from a lower BMI. I think the higher the BMI, the easier to shed pounds. Once it gets too hard to lose weight, it's time for me to stop! (or once I reach my goal).
    Also the course was certified and pancake flat :(
    steveq - just so we're clear, i am doing this online so i am lying to a piece of software not to actual people. does that make it okay? re: pregnant, i am many, many pounds above where i got pregnant last time so i feel i can lose weight and not affect my fertility. obviously if i get pregnant i will have to go off ww.
    re: your goals... to quote you - you thinking of "shooting for fast times at 1500 - 5000 meters". this sounds like an exciting, motivating goal! why put it in terms of other people? pick a time you want to run and train for it and don't even consider where it may or may not place you among your peers.

  7. I don't know what frugality means, I need to look it up, but I would pretend it was a compliment.
    I thought you were supposed to send me a training plan...but I did a bad job keeping you updated on my itb issue so I that's probably a reason. But as you can tell I am not very keen on starting a real training yet because that itb is just messing with me and it has been feeling good on and off the whole week. Drives me crazy!!!

  8. Ha- I like what Mapp said; WW is not designed with athletes in mind, and sometimes there are periods you may not be happy with yourself but you kind of try to accept that willpower is not at it's strongest (rather than beat yourself up about it and make it all worse)...maybe it's age but I do find willpower harder to come by so I try and just do small things - no eating after 8pm (or make the last meal more veggies), reduce grain carbs (except for post-workout hour), a few more reps of weights...and maybe think if there isn't some sort of mental stress you're putting yourself under (more stress/less sleep/ similar can mean holding onto weight), esp with TTC, or even allowing yourself to get down on your physicality after one bad race...? Good luck with finding what works for you though, if WW can kick-start things for you then great!