You've heard me sing Jillian Michael's praises before, right? I have the book, the DVD, have watched approximately 5 seasons of Biggest Loser...yeah, the whole 9 yards. Even though she sometimes takes things to the extreme (i.e. yelling at people who are barfing and falling off treadmills with exhaustion.), I've always had a great deal of respect for her and her methods.
Until last night.
Last night, they aired the "Biggest Loser Marathon." They've done this for a few seasons now and in fact one of my marathon goals last October was to beat Tara's 4:55 finish from last spring. Each time, I've wondered how much actual marathon training the contestants have done. Most runners (like myself) devote months to preparing for their first marathon- building up to longer runs, trying out different fuels, drinking massive amounts of water, and rearranging their eating habits. They don't show any of this on the show. In fact, they don't show any of this (aid stations, water, GUs, etc.) along the run either. They completely downplay all the preparation that goes into an event like that. Bob and Jillian only seem concerned about the weight loss and don't question the contestants at all about their marathon training.
I know this season's winner, Daris, was taking his training seriously though. He smashed the previous Biggest Loser record by crossing the finish line at 4:02 last night. (Anybody want to guess what my new marathon goal time is?) It was clear that he had crossed over from "reality show contestant" to "runner" and I was happy to welcome him into our fold.
A few hours (or maybe a day, I'm not quite sure about the timeline) later, however, it was time for Daris to defend his title as a "weight loss contestant" and step on the scale. I cringed a little. I lost about 6 pounds training for my marathon and I thought that was pretty lucky. Many marathoners gain weight from all that necessary carb loading. The week of the race, however, as I geared up for the big day, I ended up gaining back a few pounds. The day after, the scale showed all 6 of those pounds back on. It was just a temporary increase from all that extra water and food, but that water and food got me through 26.2 miles!
So, I was not surprised at all when Daris had a 2 pound weight gain. He said (without really any regret or apology) that he had been more focused on the marathon than on weight loss. "Hurrah!" replied me and runners around the globe. Obviously, this guy has found a healthy activity that he's passionate about and will continue with in the future. He's already under 200 pounds and in great shape.
Bob and Jillian did not share our enthusiasm. Bob was livid and Jillian dropped something that had to be bleeped. "What do you mean it's hard to lose weight while marathon training?" "Don't tell me about how you are just running and gain weight. That doesn't add up. It doesn't make sense."
Beneath all their accusations, Daris' pride quickly morphed to shame and backpedaling. I was h.o.r.r.i.f.i.e.d. Bob and Jillian know that gym backwards and forward; they know all there is to know about weight training and cardio pump and "last chance workouts" but apparently they don't know _____ about running a marathon.
I've been lurking around the internet (obviously, this has been irking me!) and discovered that Bob has, in fact, run 3 marathons, but I'd be real interested in seeing his times. I cannot find any evidence that Jillian has completed a marathon. I did however find a lot more people irked by all this! Like Jamie, Tall Mom on the Run, Run, Momma, Run, J at Kissing Frogs, Amy, and Laura.
So, Jillian, let's see you lace up for 26.2.