Tuesday, 25 May 2010

2 weeks on: everything changes yet stays the same

Lets start with the running. That's been going pretty well - aside from a few aches and pains.

Club runs on each of the last two Tuesdays have been good. We're just getting into the longest days of the year meaning 10 weeks or so of being able to run off road, usually around Eccup Reservoir. That's been good - far more pleasant than pounding the busy streets of north Leeds.

On the two Thursdays I've attended club speed training sessions. First one was on the fields at 'Bedquilts' and was 4 x 1.1 mile intervals. I was surprised and pleased by that. Firstly that I ran at what was easily at 7:15 a mile (despite weight) and secondly because it caused no pain groin wise. Last Thursday was on the athletics track at Carnegie, and consisted of some drills and then 15 x 0.25m intervals done at 5k pace (6:15 - 6:50 pace for the inervals). That was tough but enjoyable. Only downside was that the faster I go the more prone I am to run on the forefoot, and repeatedly going the same way round a curved track like that led to quite deep blistering around the ball joint, especially on the right foot.

Besides that I've done a run with Bethan, a couple of runs from home on a mix of public footpaths and pavements and two longer runs of 9.3 miles and 10.1 miles heading on trails and road around Adel, Harewood, Alwoodley and Bramhope. The poor old canal just hasn't had a look in! 25 and 30 miles in each of the last 2 weeks and looks like it'll be about 30 again this week.

All pretty much pain free. Last week's trip to the physio confirmed that my core stability is good
now. Whilst I can't neglect that, the focus now is to build up my left glute - which is far weaker than the right one (and as such an underlying injury risk with regards to groin injuries). A couple of weeks ago I was doing 20 - 30 exercises a day to strengthen glutes and core but the last week that's slipped a lot, initially through DOMS in my core and then through inertia.

The weight has been up and down. I've weighed as little as 12st 4lb and as much as 12st 10lb during the last 14 days, as I've struggled to maintain focus for more than a few days at a time. I've set myself an ambitious target of getting down to 11st by the weekend of 24/25 July when there is a family get together on the Saturday and the Pudsey 10k on the Sunday. At my lowest point that looked perfectly achievable but with a fortninght of not really getting anywhere it'll now be a challenge. Still, I do love a challenge!

Putting a date to the target will help. Previously I've only done consistently well when there's been a time limit - without one there's no great imperative to stick to limits. The other thing that I hope will help is having a few days off bread. Its always been an achilles heel for me - I can go into the kitchen and easily eat 5/6 slices of bread or toast, and when I do I tend to move onto something else for a mini binge. A week without should give a decent start.

Club run tonight and hopefully speed training Thursday but the next 4 days sees meetings in Barnsley, Poole, Bridgend and Nottingham as well as an overnight stay in Somerset, with Thursday's session being dependant on the traffic heading back from Bridgend.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

I am your weight loss God: praise me

When I weighed in on Monday I knew that I hadn't really put on nearly 11lb of fat and that the scales would probably show a marked decrease quickly.

By the same token I know that after 2 days I haven't really lost over half a stone of fat but the scales do say that's the weight lost, and I'm having that!

Pretty good really as I got in a 6 mile run yesterday but nothing Monday and on neither day did I really log properly - mainly because of the homemade vegetable/bean/tofu soup I'd made where I had no idea of calorific value or quantity consumed - but I knew it was clean eating and pretty much on track.

Also managed the physio's exercises again and worked out a programme of supplementary exercises from the two Matt Fitzgerald books, so very happy with that too.

Another hurdle today - back down that there London so no chance of a trip to the gym - but feeling positive all the same.

I'm feeling like one mean Martha far car.

Monday, 10 May 2010

I am the walrus

The last couple of weeks have been difficult.

First problem was that I had far, far more DOMS after the walk up Ingleborough & Whernside than I'd realised. Monday started with slight soreness but by the afternoon, calves, quads, glutes and hips were all very sore - almost to post marathon levels. That meant no exercise on the Monday and working away on Tuesday ruled that day out too. Wednesday was still a little sore so I limited myself to a 2 mile jog with Bethan. By this time I'd started to feel frustrated and sorry for myself at the lack of exercise opportunities. Inevitably that led to overeating a little - though still largely cleanly.

Thursday I did an unenthusiastic 4 miles but continued to overeat. Friday became a 'rest' day as work was pretty solid through the day and I didn't want to go to the gym in the evening as I was going to do a rowing half marathon the following morning.

The row itself was pretty good. I'd rushed to the gym having had no breakfast and forgot my gloves but settled into a decent rhythm and finished in 1:28 which I was quite pleased with.
That was decent calories burned but I probably ate all those during a trip to a Thai restaurant in the evening.

Sunday started well enough too with a 7.5 mile tempo run along the canal. With hindsight, it felt marginally tougher than I'd expected but I was still happy with it at the time.

Late morning we set off to do a walk in Swaledale but by the time we were driving through Ilkley I was feeling a bit queasy, tired, shivery and aching. I felt sure I'd feel better with fresh air so we stopped for a few minutes then carried on to the village of Keld in upper Swaledale. As soon as I got out of the car I felt ropey - I couldn't get warm and my teeth were chattering, and as we completed a 5.5 mile circuit I really struggled to keep up even with the kids. Funnily enough, I felt far better after we'd finished and agreed to go to the pub for tea on the way home. I actually ate voraciously when we were there, and not at all cleanly!

I woke bank holiday Monday morning and felt fine but once I'd had a shower I felt exhausted and weak so went straight back to bed, eating little through the day then 'grazing aggressively' through the evening. I woke in the early hours of Tuesday morning desperate for the loo - and spent much of the next 24 hours there, and quite a few visits in the days that followed too. I won't go into detail but I'm sure you get the idea!

You'd think that would help with weight loss but far from it. I called NHS direct on Wednesday morning and was told it sounded like food poisoning. I'd felt ambivalent about eating the previous couple of days but the nurse advised I should eat lots of carbs to help get the bacteria through my system. Not feeling particularly hungry I placed my order for all the things that might conceivably tempt me, mainly unhealthy comfort foods from childhood: pikelets, Danish pastries, bread, white chocolate cookies, crisps, biscuits and even a Pot Noodle (something I hadn't had in well over 20 years). Probably not what the nurse had in mind but it became a bit of a frenzy with new supplies on each of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and unsurprisingly no exercise.

Saturday things improved at first. I felt pretty much back to normal and, conscious that I hadn't been taking Bethan for runs, took her to do a 4.5 mile run round Eccup reservoir. I wanted to get her to do something new and challenging and she didn't walk a step of it - not bad for an 11 year old!

That evening we went to a vegetarian restaurant called the Cheerful Chili. Sue had booked it before I'd been ill, and I felt fine to go. It was very good but not necessarily healthy, especially as having eaten my cheese laden main course I felt obliged to eat some of Beth's leftover curry and Charlotte's leftover pizza. On the way out we ordered desserts to take away, swimming in double cream, and later in the evening the binge mood continued as I ate 2 choc ices!

Similar pattern yesterday. I went for an 8 mile run first thing, again loosely round the reservoir, but starting a mile or so further away and including some wider loops on trails. About a minute a mile slower than the previous week's tempo run but it was almost exclusively off road, and featured several hills and numerous stiles and gates so I was happy with the time, besides which I'd made a point of not looking at the pace or time until I'd finished.

In the afternoon we headed for Malham and did a 5 mile loop round Malham cove. My legs felt a bit achy by the end but we, once again, detoured to a pub for a huge meal on the way home. As a last hurrah for gluttony I had 3 pieces of toasted white bread thickly smothered in butter before heading to bed.

So, 2 weeks of disruption to exercise, carte blanche to eat whatever I wanted, 4 big meals out, clean eating principles out of the window and not a single item logged on WLR. I'd expected a reasonable weight gain and could feel and see it in my body but I wasn't expecting today's weigh in numbers: nearly 11lb on in 17 days!

Now, I don't for a moment think that's 11lb of fat gained and hope for a big fall off this week as a result, but even so!

Back to logging from today and back to the gym after work. Back to clean eating and back to some focus.

As a final aside, when the routine was disrupted the physio exercises were disrupted too - first by aching limbs and then by illness. I've probably done the equivalent of 3 days of exercises in the last 2 weeks, so that has to start with a vengeance once more.

Wish me luck.