Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Five Squared

I spent Saturday morning in Belmar, New Jersey as one of the 2,500 or so hearty souls who ran in the Belmar 5 Mile Race.  It is a race that has been run (I think) for more than the past thirty years although my participation in it has been limited to the '10 and '11 editions.  This year it was a bit less uncomfortable than it was last July.  Last year, it rained heavily until about fifteen minutes prior to start time and when it stopped raining, the sun came out.  Happiness is not running five miles feeling as if you are trying to inhale and exhale through a sweaty sock.  Last year's edition was certainly not fun.

This year's was considerably more enjoyable.  While it was hot - it is July in Jersey after all - the weather was not brutal by any means.  I credit the generally more hospitable weather - and the fact that there is a quite a bit less of me this July than there was last July - with the fact that it took me approximately ten fewer minutes to complete the course this year than it did last year.  It was the day after this race last year - having been running regularly for close to a year and having actually gained close to ten pounds - that I told Margaret that I actually wanted to make an appointment with a doctor.  I was convinced that I was either sick or quite possibly that I had something foreign growing inside of me.  How else does one explain a person significantly increasing his physical activity level, being neither a big eater nor a big drinker and still gaining weight?  I had questions aplenty and no answers. 

And then - given how much I hate going to the doctor - I never quite got around to making an appointment.  By the time a week had passed - again while maintaining both my activity level and my food/alcohol consumption - I had lost about four or five pounds.  As the summer continued to sizzle, I kept dropping weight.  As the summer turned to autumn, I had dropped about twenty-five pounds.  I am pleased to report that twelve months later, the weight I started losing almost immediately after the 2010 Belmar 5 Mile Race has remained lost. 

Apropos of nothing I suppose is the fact that my luggage that Continental Airlines lost in 2010 has remained lost as well.  Some good.  Some bad.  Such is the way of the world.


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