May Diet and Exercise Update

Let’s start this entry with the bad news. My 30 day trendline is going up.

2012 May 30 days weight graph

This isn’t the first time this has happened (it also happened [before the 2010 holidays][1]), but it was a little bit frustrating this time, because I have gone a long time without a contraindication. Granted, it’s pretty low, because the blue trend line is still down over the thirty day period, but for a week or so there, it was not fun to get on the scale. I can usually handle a set of three or four days with numbers that are higher than I expect, because it all corrects itself in the end, but I was starting to see a trend.

2012 May YTD weight graph

The yearly graph shows it as the largest chunk of red so far this year. Hopefully it will be the biggest chunk in the whole year. I’m getting kindof close to my yearly (modest) goal of hitting 212 in the year. I might be reporting in the next diet post about making it. It won’t mean that I will be stopping, but I will at least have a nice mid-year accomplishment.

In last month’s report I reported that I was signing up for Goldy’s Run 5K, with a goal of completing it in less than half an hour. I am happy to report that I ran it without any problems. It being my first race, I was a bit nervous about going into it and making sure that I had everything in order, so I elected to pick up my race packet the night before. There wasn’t really anything of note in the packet except for the bib, and some coupons that I don’t think I’ll be using anytime soon - also a bunch of ads for other races. I guess it makes sense, but I was hoping for some more information about the race in the packet. It would have been useful to have a course map to look at or something.

The day of the race, I parked the car in a spot and filled the meter. I had arrived before the 10-mile race that was being run in the same day had started, so I got to watch the 10 milers start, and a couple of stragglers too. The 10 mile was chip timed so I guess it didn’t matter if they crossed the start line a little late. Then the mass of people who were running the 5K lined up. I found a spot near the back and snapped a picture.

There were certainly a lot of people there. The start line is up there somewhere. I made some really small talk with some of the people around me, and then they started the race. The crowd started to shuffle kindof slow. I made sure to start my personal timer (RunKeeper on my Android phone) as I crossed the start line to make sure that I had as close to an actual race time as I could get.

In the first stretch down University Ave, there were a lot of people. I mean, most of the people in front of me at the start were still in front of me. They were going slower than I wanted to, so I ended up bobbing and weaving through a bunch of people, and started to find some lines where other runners were also trying to forge a way through the people. I don’t really blame anyone but myself for not lining up a bit closer to the front where the “faster” runners like myself were though. It wasn’t so bad, and it started thinning out as we progressed along the first long straight part.

When I hit the first corner, it was not too much traffic at all, but more than I had ever run with before. Of course, that would be a given – since I started running last year, I had never really run anywhere with another person before the race. My runs are a kind of alone time, even if I am usually listening to my podcasts while I am doing it. It was strange to have to worry about other people’s feet, and working out how I was going to pass this person or that person, which side to run on, and whether I should just fall in line at the same pace or go a little bit faster.

The course winded through the campus, in between both of the labs that I have worked at for countless hours and taking a nice run around the mall. There were water stations, but I didn’t really need any. I am sure that the 10-milers were happy to see them about 2 miles from the end of the course. It ended up curling around the new TCF stadium and crossing the 50 yard line was the finish. I had never been in the stadium at all before, to watch a game or for anything else.
When I stopped my timer right after I crossed the finish, it showed 26:49. I was pretty happy. Goal achieved, 5K under 30 minutes.

After the race, I was happy to go home and have breakfast with Diana. I think it was a good race to run, not really impacting anything and a lot of people around who were more casual runners like me. I was not completely tired at the end of it, which means that I could have probably run it a bit faster than I did. I should have run faster when I saw the 2 mile sign, or started with a faster pace once the pack started to thin. I really just wanted to make sure that I finished though, and didn’t start too fast and end up being slow at the end. It would have been a real failure for me if I had to stop and walk part of it, because in my training I was running longer than this distance without stopping regularly. It was a great experience for a first race though!

Speaking of training, the training for running the Red, White and Boom has been going basically according to plan. Moving the rest days that I was previously doing to different days has worked out quite well, and while I wasn’t happy with turning down the total mileage at the start, the addition of a long run to my week really gives me a great feeling of accomplishment every time. So far my farthest run has been just over 9 miles, but I have a scheduled double-digit coming up in a couple days which I see as a big milestone. I’m going to have to start carrying some water soon, I think.

Adding the race report to the middle of this has made this entry a bit long. I’ve got some more interesting running tidbits to share, so maybe I’ll make some more posts in between the regular updates. Until then, wish me good training - and thanks to everyone who is motivating me. It’s surprising how much a “Like” means.