I Am Almost The Champion

On a whim last week, Kerith decided to run the Napa-to-Sonoma half marathon.  On Wednesday she procured a bib from an injured runner on Craigslist, and by Sunday we were on our way to the start of the race. The race started at Domaine Carneros (in the Carneros region that straddles the southern Napa and Sonoma valleys) and ended in the Sonoma town square – 13.1 miles in total.

From our place in Healdsburg it takes about an hour to drive to Domaine Carneros – without traffic.  So, for a 7am start time, we planned to leave the house by 5:30am.  Complicating this plan was our 5-year old, who has come to cheer on his mom at pretty much every race she’s entered, and on Saturday declared that he had no intention of missing this one. 

He wasn’t interested in my adult rationale that 5:30am was an awfully early time to wake up, that an hour drive in my car was basically going to stink (i.e. no DVD player), and that waiting around on the sidewalk for 2 hours to see Mommy fly by would only be followed by the excitement of another hour in the car on the drive home.  None of this concerned him.  All he knew was that if he gutted it out, he’d have first dibs on Mommy’s medal and would likely get a couple of free Clif bars.

So, I relented.  Well, not relented so much as took full advantage of him. 

You see, my secret plan from the first minute Kerith decided to run this race was to drop her at the start, hit Bouchon Bakery in Yountville for a glutonous breakfast of fresh pastries and sweets, and then circle back in time to meet her at the finish line.  For the uninitiated, Bouchon Bakery is an outgrowth of Thomas Keller’s French Laundry mini-empire.  The original is in Yountville, but there are now outposts in New York and Vegas.  If there is a heaven, Bouchon Bakery may be it.

And now the trump card in my developing plan was that our son had been weaned on Bouchon’s sinfully rich macarons (the French kind, not the kosher-for-Passover kind).  Starting when he was about 6-months old and could only suckle on their sugary goodness, our son has uniformly been drawn to the chocolate macarons in the glass case every time we’ve taken him to Bouchon.

So when our son became adamant about his desire to go, I stepped up to the plate.  “Don’t worry, I’ll take him to Bouchon after dropping you at the race and get him a macaron.  Then we’ll come cheer you on at the final stretch.”  Son gets what he wants, Mom gets what she wants, and Dad gets what he very much wants.

On Sunday morning everything went as planned.  We dropped Kerith at 6:40am and kept driving over to Yountville to hit Bouchon.  We were 4th in line for the 7am opening.  And, just as dependable as can be, our son walked in, took one look at the glass case and said, “Daddy, can I have one of those” – and pointed right at the chocolate macarons.  “Of course you can,” I said with a stifled laugh, “now why don’t you stand over there while Daddy orders a couple of things for himself….”

Twenty minutes later I was high on sugar and thoroughly disgusted with myself.  While my son was still waging war on his macaron, I had managed to scarf down a croissant, a blueberry muffin, and a TKO cookie (Thomas Keller’s adaptation of an Oreo – made with chocolate dough and a white chocolate ganache filling – unfreakin’ believable).  I washed it all down with a ridiculously large latte (non-fat, of course).

As I wiled away in self pity and the thought of how much gym time I’d have to put in during the coming week to make up for this bacchanalian experience, a really disturbing thought entered my mind:

Was it possible that I had just consumed more calories in my 20-minute breakfast orgy than Kerith would burn during her half marathon through the rolling hills of wine country?  That couldn’t be, could it? 

I become obsessed with this question – the burning intensity of my inquisitiveness thankfully taking the place of both my self loathing and my bubbling indigestion.  I hustled my son into the car, sped off to the finish line, took the perfunctory Bruliam picture, and then insisted on a quick departure to get home under the guise of being "really tired from all of the driving". 

The whole time, however, all I wanted to do was get home and jump on the internet to figure out who had won the real race of the day – my calorie consumption vs. Kerith’s calorie burn.  Which of us would reign supreme?

Calculating Kerith’s calorie burn was easy.  She wears one of those fancy running watches that tracks her progress against GPS satellites and provides data output like calorie burn.  Total burn = 1,505 calories.

Calculating my calorie intake was a little more difficult.  The Bouchon Bakery website wisely does not list nutritional information for its goodies.  So I turned to the Calorie Count website.

First up, the croissant.  One large croissant is estimated at 272 calories and 14 grams of fat.  I don’t know what “large” is on this database, but I know that Bouchon makes the largest, most buttery croissants I’ve ever seen.  But, I’m going to accept their standard “large” for the purposes of this exercise.

Next, the blueberry muffin.  One large blueberry muffin is estimated at 546 calories and 26.7 grams of fat.  That’s sufficiently disgusting to be a fair approximation of the one I ate.

The TKO cookie is a little tougher.  The only comparable I have to go on is a standard Oreo cookie.  It appears that every two Oreo cookies weigh in at 160 calories and 7 grams of fat.  Based on the size of the TKO cookie, I’m guestimating that one is about equivalent to 5 regular Oreos.  So total count is 400 calories and 17.5 grams of fat.

As for my large latte, a comparable drink from Starbucks has 170 calories and 0 grams of fat.

Total count for my breakfast:  1,388 calories and 58.2 grams of fat.

Yes, that’s right.  While Kerith was out burning through 1,505 calories over the course of 13.1 miles in under 2 hours, I managed to wolf down 1,388 calories and 58.2 grams of fat in twenty minutes.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!  Errrr, actually a loser – me!

But for one fleeting moment I have to admit to taking just a bit of pride in the accomplishment of coming so close to her calorie total, as disgusting as that may be. 

Especially since I didn’t bother to count the extra cookies I brought home from the bakery and ate later that day.

IFOCE, here I come.