Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Backslide

Jerry in his self-named sitcom Seinfeld once said, "Never bet against the backslide."  While he was speaking to something quite a bit different than where I'm going with this, I think the idea that quitting anything you've been doing for long enough really is "like knocking over a Coke machine," and you do have to "rock it back and forth a few times" before it goes over.

I had just set a new 5K PR (again) up in Midland, while being sick, just a few weeks after finishing my first Half.  Not only that, the Tuesday after, I ran my home course that Jason and I always run in 29:34.  Getting this run under 30:00 was a goal we set for ourselves last summer when we were running it in 32-34s consistently.  Then, again on Thursday Jason and I both ran it under 30 again to seal the idea that it was a one-time fluke. 

Too much success can go to your head.  After Thursday, there was still that left-over Easter candy sitting around.  I had been nursing it slowly, and keeping within my goal calorie range, but screw it right?  I took down the rest of the basket.  Cadbury eggs...eliminated.  Reese's eggs...gone, sandwich baggies of squirrel nut zippers and mary janes...emptied, mallo cups....conquered (the spoils of which were the play money, cha-ching!).  So, yeah, I guess that tells you that I pretty much went on a tear, and also that when the older generation is gone, I, myself, may keep all the "old people candy" makers afloat.

With Lent being over there's also the ability to get back to eating fast food and pizza, swilling pop and beer, and not only negating runs in the caloric sense, but stopping them before they even happen by feeling like crap.  Let's do an honest run-down of shame, why don't we? 

Fast Food - I first broke the levee with the 16" Big John Steak and Onion on Tuesday, which I maybe ran off 1/3rd of on the same day. No other instances to report.

Pizza - I wanted to wait and get an actual good pizza and go out to eat, but I had a nice little frustration day Wednesday. Jessi wasn't feeling well and didn't want to go out so we caved to the call of Little Caesar's Hot-or-Ready Pizza special. We ended up buying two mediums, and two breads, and it seeped into two days of eating like crap. Really bad, I know.

Pop - On Easter I managed to find out about Mello Yello Zero coming out and one of my friends managed to find some. Unfortunately this is the same friend that, like me, has an obsession with MY, so she cleaned the place out of it completely. I vowed not to crack a soda until I crossed its path, and did so at a Speedway near work last Monday. They only had 4 bottles, but I took all of them. I've since finished those, had the Mexi-Coke that came with my Easter basket, and during the Pizza incident split a 2-liter of Wild Cherry Pepsi with Jessi (and by split I mean I probably drank 3/4 of it).  I had two Vernors at a wedding on Saturday.  Also, this Monday night I couldn't shake a headache and I fed it a Coke, which worked. Another piece of honest shame written in the book of truth.

Beer - The shocking thing is I didn't pop one open Easter Sunday as soon as possible. Out of the "Four Horsemen," this is my favorite and the one you'd usually see riding out first to end me. I didn't even feel like having beer that weekend, the next weekend, all during the week. It just didn't even seem appealing, and I was saying that I still think I will stick to the "weekend only" rule. I did actually pick up a six pack of Short's "The Curl" to save for when I did feel like it.

Monday night after the headache dissipated, a new one arose. My computer was giving me trouble, and blogger wasn't saving as I wrote my Half-Marathon entry, and I lost half of it. It was late, I was frustrated, and I wanted to finish the stupid thing that night before I went to bed, so I went Curling and had 4 of the 6 beers just finishing that thing up. Sadly, it was probably still better the way I had it the first time, because I was definitely less interested in the rewrite. It happens.

So there it is, the whole story of my success-driven complacency...wait what?  There's more?  Oh, shitake mushrooms (hey, I run a clean show now, people). 

Last Saturday I was planning on running another race.  This time there were 3 I was split between.  I could have went down to Detroit for yet another Belle Isle one, the "Spring Into Nature" race I missed last year.  I could have stayed local and do the Paul Webster Memorial run that  benefits both UM-Flint Students and local children with life threatening illnesses.  Then again, I could have went to Owosso really early and did the Humane Society run.  I even could have visited my step-grandma, who I haven't seen in almost a year, which is too long.  Whatever I did, I knew I should be back for a wedding at 6, but it wasn't a requirement (at least that's what she told me).

The alarm went off at 6, and I wasn't ready to get up, so scratch the Owosso plans.  I went back to sleep and I wake up again at 8 thinking to myself, "Well, I have an hour to get to Richfield park for the Webster Run and I still have time to get ready and get down to Belle Isle, what am I going to do?"  "I think I'm going back to sleep."  I didn't even get up until 10:30, and to compound things, Jessi, her dad, and I went out to Starlite for omelettes and blueberry pancakes.  Probably a nice 1500 calorie swing there. 

Once you start down this path, it kind of affects everything else.  There were a few things I wanted to accomplish Saturday, since I was going to be home anyway, and a lot of it just never happened.  Half the reason I forced myself to that wedding was because I failed so much at the rest of the day.  That only made me worse, because a shirt I haven't worn in 5 years suddenly fit.  Sunday, I meant to catch up on the run I skipped Saturday, but I just ate TV dinners (yes, plurar, as in like 3) instead and watched season 3 of The Wire.  It was just a total system failure of whopping proportions.  Of course with all the big news about Bin Laden Sunday night, it swept the whole day under the rug in my mind.

Since Sunday, though, I've started to turn things back around.  I ran Monday, and did the home route at a 30:32, which wasn't as bad as I hoped.  I needed to see a 32+ time after all this slacking off.  I shouldn't just be able to be almost completely counterproductive for nearly a week, not run for four days, and only gain a minute on a run where I'm not even pushing and my joints feel like rusted hinges.  I felt like I was almost being rewarded for my bad behavior by getting my 3rd or 4th best time on my own home route (that I've ran and timed for over a year now).  Yesterday, I put in another run, so at least I'm back to even on the exercise portion.  The Monday taco night, with the Tuesday taco left-overs put me in a deeper hole in the diet department, though.  Starting today I have to make up for all of this during the rest of the week, and over the weekend, though the other half of me is still screaming at me "Why?  The scale doesn't lie, bud, and you haven't gained a pound, enjoy yourself!"  Cue "The Munchies" ABC PSA from the 80s...


  1. Well, at least you're not in denial.

    Regarding running well after a week of goofing off and chowing, the rest can sometimes benefit you as long as you don't gain too much weight.

    So use that information to buckle down a little more. You might get a pleasant surprise in your next run or race.

  2. Well now that you saw my last post, you don't have to feel unmotivated anymore. I fall off the wagon of life in general, a lot, and running is no exception.

    As far as F5, I never really could get into the F&F movies. I think I've actually seen 3 of the 5, but they just don't excite me. I think other than that '87 Grand National in the 4th(?) movie the cars are just too neon and flashy for me. I do actually like "XXX" quite a bit, though. As usual, my tastes make no sense.

    Good luck with the upcoming races.


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