Sorry I’ve not posted for a while, a combination of being sidelined with a heavy cold and being up to my eyeballs in writing some book about triathlon. Busy, busy, busy.
Well after the Outlaw I decided that I’d take a month off from running to go my poor battered legs a bit of time to recover. It was quite difficult as I love running, if I was only allowed to do one sport from tomorrow onwards that would be the one I’d chose. As much as I love the bike, it comes a close second.
So on Tuesday this week I gingerly stepped out in my lunch hour to run a couple of laps of campus. I was surprised at how strong I felt despite the enforced rest, maybe I felt strong because of it? I completed the 2.6 mile circuit in 22.16 at an average pace of 8.30 min miling.
This is encouraging and gives me something to build on, I’ve set myself the goal that by my 40th birthday in November I’ll be going sub 20 minutes for the two loops. You’ve got to have small goals as well as the big ones.
Yesterday also saw me out running at lunchtime with my mate Simon. He is getting pretty quick lately and running strong as he prepares for a 10 mile race this Sunday. We’d agreed on a gentle run but it didn’t quite work out that way. Chatting away easily and running without what seemed like much effort we did the first mile in 7.57. We decided to slow down as we hit the narrow path along the A6 for the next mile. I tucked in behind Simon and followed his heels. Again it felt fast but not “throw up fast”, which was surprising as we banged out an even quicker mile in 7.38.
I had no idea I was capable of running that fast. The final mile we really slowed down as there was a bit of a hill and we forced ourselves to be sensible. We ended up covering the 3 miles in 24.55, an average of 8.18 a mile. Again really encouraging as I want to get my short speed back up to scratch for the Fleetwood sprint triathlon at the end of September.
Unfortunately last night I went swimming at the COLT coached session and swam awful. I just couldn’t get my breath at all, my cold still lingering. Maybe should have stayed at home and done some writing.
In other news I’ve lost 11 pounds in two weeks after radically changing the way I eat. Now I know some of that will be retained water, but hopefully some of it will be excess fat. I’m hoping that I’ve minimised muscle loss by adding in strength training to my weekly training.
There’s no magic formula, just sensible, natural eating. I’m not eating any processed food, no grains, dairy, sugars etc.. So bread, yoghurt, pasta, rice, cereal have all been eliminated. I’m only eating lean meat, fish, eggs, fruit, nuts and loads of veggies. When I first saw the plan I thought it would be awful but I’m loving it, I’m eating veggies that I would have turned my nose up like a toddler a few weeks ago.
I’ve never felt fuller, stronger or more alert, and I’ve never eaten so much in all my life. Now I’m realistic, I know that things will slow down, I’m going to have weeks where I don’t lose anything. Those weeks will be tough, as I’ll have to stay mentally strong. I’m so determined to make this work, that I’ve not cheated or even been tempted to cheat, and trust me we have a house full of all the things I can’t eat. I think the key for once is that I don’t actually feel deprived as I’m constantly full. The other thing is I’m drinking loads where as in the past I didn’t. Apparently our brains send the same signal for hunger and dehydration, and so in the past after a weekend long ride I’d come back and have cereal and loads of toast and maybe a coffee, and mistake the lack of fluid for hunger. Now if I feel hungry I have a large glass of water and wait ten minutes, usually the feeling has gone, if it remains a handful of nuts does the job.
So it’s a great start on the road to a new me, it’s going to be a long road with a few nasty corners and some potentially damaging potholes but the finish line at the end of it will be as rewarding as any featuring the words “You are an Ironman.”