Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Listen, this isn't going to work...

I've made some mention in passing that after Easter I took a few steps backward, or at least I meant to.  The Parcel for the Park said otherwise, so I decided to keep doing what I was doing.  "I can have beer during the week, no problem."  Yeah, no problem except for that extra 30 seconds on my short run.  "Oh, it was hot out, and you're still not used to it, you'll be better next time out."  Yeah, no problem, because on a very mild day I added another 30 on top of that.  So much for the idea that I used to be skinny and faster and drink more, so it can work.  My early and late 20s were really nice, but that's over.  I gained a full minute on my short runs in two weeks.  No matter what my 10K said, I had a problem.  On top of that, that scale needle traveled east a little bit.  Nothing major, but enough to make me have to think about it. 

So, I'm re-instituting the weekday beer ban, at least temporarily.  It's not completely the beer itself, it's more the reflex of eating after it drops the blood sugar.  It's not like I was going too nuts and hitting Taco Bell or anything at night, but even the fairly reasonable late night consumption was killing me.  At least now, I catch these things in time to recover and turn things back.

This Saturday was World Expo of Beer, and I took a measured approach to that, only having about 44 total sampling ounces.  There were some pretty good brews there, but the clear winner for me was Saugatuck Brewing's Neapolitan Milk Stout.  I'm not a stout person during the summer, but it was refreshing and thin enough to work for the summer.  The Neapolitan mix was perfect too.  You could taste the chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla hints really well.  The only thing that may rival it would be an actual beer float.  Maybe if you dropped some Neapolitan in a Guinness, but then again, that could be disgusting.  I'm willing to find out.  I'll let you know.

The last few days, I've been really focused on eating healthy, drinking the water, and exercising.  Yesterday, when there was almost nothing in the house to eat, we were tempted to cave to Applebee's for half-off (except for the pounds) appetizers and a Brewtus.  The starving, work late, nothing here combo always ends badly, but I made some rice, spinach, and tomato soup based concoction with a ton of weird other stuff and spices that somehow ended up really tasty (and pretty healthy).  Don't ask me for the recipe, because it was just random spicing to taste that reminded me of a Greek and Thai love child.  I tend to do this a lot while me fiance makes fun of me and my "bogan orphan food."  I must say that the leftovers today were even better. 

I'm dealing with a nice sunburn peel after being out from 9:30am-2:00pm Saturday in a Tyvek suit volunteering for household hazardous waste day.  I had races I could have went to instead, but it has been almost 2 years since I've showed up for one.  It's always good to have more people there that (mostly) know what they're doing, and this was the first time in a while that I didn't have somewhere I absolutely had to be.  I'd like to be a little better as classifying things and doing unknowns, but that's what the experts are there for.  It went pretty smooth all-in-all, and we even got on the news for a split second.

I skipped the planned bike ride Sunday with my friends Mike and Ken to avoid any more sun.  I ended up doing an un-timed run that day after the sun went down.  It was supposed to be my "fun run."  I did not enjoy it.  It took about 3 tries just to get off the couch and force myself to do it.  I was coming from a family cook out, I had a mini-headache, and just wanted to relax inside where it was cool (maybe pop a tall boy of Genny Cream Ale once the headache subsided), but I ran instead.  I felt like cutting it off early, but I wanted to at least finish my "short route."  There would be no long enjoyable jog that day, but I did it, and that Cream Ale is still in the fridge.

I guess everything paid off, though.  Today, the extra pounds were gone, and Jason and I ran 30 seconds faster than our best time on the home course.  There was some pretty major heat out there, too.  I don't know how much longer I'm going to slide back and forth on being healthy and still somewhat make way to becoming a better runner/healthier person, but I seem to have something figured out.  I'm not letting things get out of hand, and even the slip-ups are a lot less major.  I seem to at least be aware of my issues, and, while I'm not always nipping them in the bud, I eventually confront myself when I need it.  I'm not perfect, and I'm sure there's a Big Mac in my future somewhere (though my fast food consumption is still way down from before).

Speaking of Big Mac, I am running the Mackinac Bridge this Saturday.  The last time I was there was before all this running business.  There's a photo of Jessi and I about 2 months before my first 5K at the Crim, and long before she joined her gym.  I'm thinking we should replicate the photo this year and see how different we look.  I'm bringing the same shirt with me to wear after I finish the bridge run, just in case.  I think I'm just going to enjoy this one.  There's not going to be another 5.6 mile race out there for me to time-compare with, and who knows when or if I get to do this again.  I'm going to enjoy the view, and try not to be scared when I can see the water through the grating far below.  I'm hoping for clear skies and low wind.  See you Saturday, Mac.

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