Tuesday, January 29, 2008


It seems to be coming back. I had a really good day at work today (leading a negotiation all by myself, against the head of legal at a household name company - and coming out of it quite well), and I had a fab interval run this morning. I even got a smile from the new Runners World, when I saw tips from "one of the UK's top ultra runners", and realised that I've beaten her in two 5ks since Christmas. OK, so the ultra runner part of that probably indicates that 5k isn't her best distance, but I'll still feel a little smug about it for a day or two. And, finally, the back to basics approach to eating seems to be paying off, I was (finally) down a couple of pounds this morning. I just need remember not to start eating to celebrate...

But I still have moments where something makes me have a quick moment of remembering. My meeting was in Warrington, where we used to go a lot with my grandparents when I was little. And every time we went, they used to tell me that it was the first place I ever saw snow. Who do I have to tell me that now?

And then watching Blackpool Medics. It's not the sort of thing that I normally watch, but I had my reasons. We saw the film crews around the hospital a fair amount while she was being treated. And I'd heard that they were with the ambulance crew that came out when she had her first real dementia type episode while I was in New York. They refused to take her to A and E because it was a Saturday night, bonfire night, and the last night of the illuminations, and they said that A and E was possibly the worst place for her to be in the state she was in. And lo and behold, they showed footage of the other jobs the ambulance crew went out on that night (and the voiceover said pretty much the same thing, that it could be a busy night with drunkeness and injury). Even though we knew they wouldn't show her as they didn't actually film it, it was still odd to see the same crew, wondering whether that was just before, or just after.

The programme did wind me up though. It was all cheery, look at how the hospital is helping these people. All the positive, happy stories, the ones where things turn out in the end. That's not the whole picture, and the hospital isn't just this nice place where people get made better. Sometimes that just doesn't happen.

Friday, January 25, 2008

It never rains...

Sometimes it really does feel like we're lurching from crisis to crisis. My mother has managed to get herself banned from driving for a year. No, it's not for doing anything stupid behind the wheel, it's because she fainted earlier today, and my grandfather's doctor (who she's never seen before as a patient) decided it was an epileptic fit. To be fair, her medical records do mention epilepsy, but on the basis she hasn't suffered a fit for years (I can certainly never remember her having one), and she has drugs which manage it to be on the safe side, she's not convinced he's right. But she's flying back to Spain tomorrow and can't get a second opinion from her own doctor for another month. To be fair, he hasn't taken her licence off her officially, but clearly no insurance company would pay out if she drove against his advice so it's as good as a ban until she gets it checked out in more detail.

The ironic thing is that my grandfather has a history of strange seizures, and the same doctor has absolutely no problems with letting him keep his licence. Given that he also has cataracts, I know who I'd rather have driving me...

Meanwhile, I'm engaged in a running battle with the New York people about making up the shortfall in my sponsorship. I have no problem with doing so, but because of grandma's illness I'm a bit behind schedule and wanted to do a bit more chasing up of people who said they'd donate before making up any remaining shortfall. Having not heard a word from them since New York I went to them at the start of the month with a clear proposal of what I planned to do and the timescales involved.

They ignored me for a while. Then on Wednesday they demanded payment by the end of the month, which basically means paying it myself because I am seeing most of the people I planned to chase in February, and can't get money off them within a week. I didn't think that was a particularly reasonable attitude from them. If they wanted to impose a deadline they could have mentioned it the first time I contacted them, not a week before. In fact, they could have chased me in November or December rather than waiting for me to get in touch to sort things out.

I've come to the conclusion that it's not about the money any more, they still hold a grudge about what happened in New York, and they want to threaten and bully me into doing things their way rather than accepting my way of dealing with it. Their emails have got more and more stroppy, despite me taking every effort to keep emotion out of things. It's about power, not about money.

But they've picked the wrong person for a fight. I don't go out looking for fights, but I don't run away from them either if anyone is stupid enough to pick one. Particularly when the fight is on home turf as it were, involving threats of legal action. I've not worked in a law firm for six years and not picked up a trick or two.

Essentially I've worked out a way to get the timescales I want while leaving them almost no comeback. It is almost perfect in every detail, and will sort things out relatively quickly (because to be honest I don't want to spend any more time stressing about it, and I don't want to remember the argument more than the good things that happened while I was over there), while making it clear that I've got the upper hand this time.

Oh yes, two can play their little game...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

6 weeks on

Yesterday it was part 2 of the funeral. Having had the funeral service and cremation, it was time to bury the casket with grandma's ashes in, so it was back to Abram church for another service. (Incidentally, I realised that of my first 3 days holiday this year, two of them involve church services - not bad considering before December I hadn't been to a church service since a carol service in 1998!)
I hadn't actually realised how much the whole thing had hit me back in December until I was able to compare how much emotionally stronger I feel now than I did then. I managed to get through the service without crying, and I managed to get through lunch without attacking the buffet as though I'd never seen food before. I even managed conversation instead of just shovelling food into my mouth. I actually realised that I was coming out of that long dark tunnel at last. I'm not there yet, I still have moments where I feel down, but I'm getting there.
I think part of it is the fact that I've got my life back again. I've fallen back into a marathon training plan, which is going pretty well at the moment, and has given me some structure back again. I have free evenings and weekends which I have spent having days out and going to the cinema. I've met up with friends I haven't seen for months. I can make plans more than a day in advance without feeling like they might need to change at any minute. Even my evenings seem longer (and I've just realised why - it's because I don't spend them on the phone discussing the developments of the day).
I've even finally got round to one of the things I've been vaguely promising myself since I first hit goal. Admittedly it's only happening because it's part of Annette's hen do, but I'm finally going to a spa for some pampering. I always baulk slightly at the cost, it always seems a lot of money to be spending on myself without having anything tangible to take away, but my little sister is only (hopefully!) going to get married once so I don't want to be whingeing about money for her hen do.
The stupid thing is that I'm still worrying about my body and revealing a part of it for treatment, but it's not anything to do with stripping down to my undies for a massage. No, it's the fact that the hen party package includes a pedicure, and my feet are made for running not for tarting up. Not least because while I'm there I'm planning to use some of the relaxation/sitting around time to hop on a treadmill and get a run in, because it will be my only chance during the weekend, so either the pedicure will involve feet "fresh" from a run, or the run will involve wrecking the newly pampered feet!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Interesting developments at running club. There has been a revolt in the slow group because over recent months, more and more people have started going out with them. This means that as well as the genuinely slow, a lot of the people who are nearer the slow end of the medium group have started running with the slow group. Typically on a club run well over half the people there, maybe even two thirds will go out with the slow group, leaving not many to run with the other two groups.
So the slowest of the slow have asked for the slow group to be split into two, so that there are now 4 groups. As I tend to run in the medium group, that shouldn't affect me, but it got me thinking. Why weren't the faster end of the slow group moving up to the medium group, instead of annoying the slowest people? And then it hit me. The medium group is getting faster. The chairman of the club always used to lead the medium group, but now finds himself trailing behind, and has said that he might go out with the faster half of the slow group.
And then on Monday something else hit me. Mid way round the run, the faster runners normally end up doing a slightly longer route. As usual we split up, some of the medium group and most of the fast group. As we got near the leisure centre I realised something. One of the fast group was behind me. Is the problem with the slow group partly caused by the fact that I'm too scared to attempt to run with the fast group? (OK, it's not just me who runs at roughly my speed in the medium group, but should someone in that little group take the lead in trying to run with the fast lads?)

On Thursday I had a meeting followed by lunch with a client in the sports industry. Conversation turned to different approaches towards making people fitter, healthier and thinner, both in this country and abroad. At this point one of the clients started talking about his sister, who has just lost seven stone. Can you imagine, he said.
I struggle to know what to do in that situation. Socially, I'm more relaxed about coming clean about it, but in a professional environment I'm not always convined that it's appropriate to share details like that. I'm their lawyer, and I'd rather they didn't think about or discuss my body. I didn't want to come across as sounding like I was trying to go one better and turn it into a competition "seven stone, that's nothing, I lost eight". How do you say that yes, I can imagine perfectly well, without going into territory that doesn't fit the client-lawyer relationship?
The client was a long term client too, one of those where I know perfectly well that I've met them before, but they have no recollection of meeting me. I know that I sat in on meetings when I was a trainee and took notes, but I haven't seen them for a few years. They don't realise that was me, and they don't connect the two people.

I just went quiet, I still struggle to know what to say sometimes.


Another situation in which I struggle to know what to say. I had my appraisal and Joanne used the P word. Partner. Apparently the support for my associate application was unanimous among the partners in Leeds, which I hadn't realised (and I keep thinking of random partners who I hadn't realised had even noticed me, let alone supported me). But I don't know whether partnership is what I want, even if I did think I was capable of it. It's not a short term thing, but an interesting thought to ponder.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Revolting Runners

It seems as though the prospect of me running round the civic hall in lycra has proved enough to force Leeds City Council into a rethink. I don't blame them, it's not a pretty sight, particularly when I'm angry! OK, so it wasn't just me who was going to turn up, there was a planned protest tomorrow night with representatives from all the running clubs in Leeds, and I was going to be one of them. But it looks like we might not be needed after all. Which is a good thing, but in a strange way I was almost looking for it, it would have been good fun and a chance to meet some of the runners from other clubs I talk to on the internet but haven't actually met in person.

No firm details yet, but it looks like we have a half back - in September this year, but any time is better than nothing.


At work at the moment all the talk is of the impending office move. I unofficially know where we're going (having been told by a partner before that partner realised she wasn't meant to tell anyone), and at first it sounded good - it's literally next door to my gym, I was worried about the prospect of being the other side of the city.

But then I realised that this has downsides. The latest rumour is that they're negotiating a corporate rate at my gym. Again, this should be good. I get my gym membership cheaper. Buuuut... my gym is where I go to escape from work. A swim in the morning chills me out and lets me forget about the impending work day. It wouldn't have the same effect if I could see a partner in swimming trunks sitting in the sauna. That sight would more likely have me running for the exit. Except it wouldn't, because to escape I'd have to get out of the pool and reveal myself complete with swimwear. The same goes when I'm sweating it out in the gym. I don't want to be doing it in the company of anyone from work.

This isn't being a being ashamed of exercising, or thinking I look like an idiot when I'm on the treadmill thing. They know I run and work out, and I'll happily wander through the office in running kit if I get out of the office, change, then realise I've forgotten something. But when I'm exercising that's my space, my time, and I don't want anyone from work encroaching on it.

And if that wasn't a good enough reason, I'm trying to block the minefield of showers and changing rooms out of my head...

Realistically I know that the office move won't make anyone join a gym. They'll still have to pay, even if it's a bit cheaper than normal rate, so if they don't want to pay in the first place it won't change their minds. And if they're already a gym member, they might not think that mine is the sort of place they want to move to. The new office isn't far enough away from the old one to make that much difference, and mine doesn't offer all the classes and whizziness of the big gyms in town. But still I feel protective of it. It's my gym, and I like it just the way it is.

The other move related stress, which I'm trying to ignore for now, is the lack of microwaves in the new place. How will I live without porridge and soup?!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I had a surprisingly good time last night, although I'm still not converted to Thai food really. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it or anything like that, but if I was going to choose somewhere to go out to eat, or to get takeaway from, there would be lots of types of food that ranked higher on the wish list than Thai. I suppose at least it's one less thing to have cravings for! (btw it was Sukhothai in Chapel Allerton)

But, from a being chatty and nice to people I'd never met before point of view it was an unqualified success. I'd normally avoid putting myself in that sort of situation like the plague, but I actually got on with everyone really well, and didn't feel that I was out of place because I was the only running person there. I wasn't left sitting in a corner or having no-one to talk to, and I went on to the pub for a drink after the meal ended when, if it had been a disaster, I'd have been running at top speed to the bus stop.

It was another of those evenings though when you realise that people just don't know. Liz, whose birthday it was, must have missed the great coming out to running club moment a few months ago, and for some reason assumed that I'd always been a fast runner. And talking to one of her friends, he used the words skinny and (unless it was a drunken mishearing) tiny, then blinked with disbelief when I told him how much I'd lost. You could see his mind ticking over as he tried to visualise where it used to be.

So I must remember next time I go out with people I don't know, it's one way to make sure I'm the centre of a conversation...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Save the Leeds Half

I remember a day in May 2005 when I was getting to the stage where I was nearly ready to run my first 5k (Race for Life). I'd just about managed 5k on the treadmill for the first time.
I made a weekend trip to the gym and saw all the preparations for the Leeds Half. That put a thought in my head that changed my life. It was the first time I ever really considered taking my running further and building up from being a treadmill jogger and charity event participant to being a Runner. With a capital R.
My mind started ticking over, and I came up with a vague plan to build up to a 10k then a half. As it turned out, I did run a half (or three) in 2006, although not Leeds because I was on holiday, but I finally lined up at the start for the 2007 race as I'd planned two years earlier. It isn't the most scenic half I've ever done, and it wasn't my fastest, but it was significant for me to have achieved that aim.
But, it seems, it's a good job I managed to fit the race into my Edinburgh training schedule last year, because the council have scrapped it for this year and, once a race is scrapped, who knows if it will ever be revived. I'm gutted, and more than a little annoyed about it. They've already tried to kill my club 10k race by refusing to let us run it on the roads, and now they're taking away the Leeds Half too.
They claim that they are still committed to running, because they've got the new Jane Tomlinson 10k and the Abbey Dash. I'm sorry, but those are both 10ks, and they're both overtly charity focussed. They're not the same type of event by any means, and if anyone thinks that a charity 10k is a suitable replacement for a half marathon they're clearly not a runner. To use the Jane Tomlinson race as a way of killing off a long running half seems like an appalling "tribute" to someone who was far better known for running endurance events than 10ks.
A campaign is afoot to save the race, with emails flying all over the place, a facebook group, and there's talk of doing a protest "unofficial" Leeds half on the date it would have taken place. Which led me to wonder whether I've turned into not just a runner, but a militant runner...
Meanwhile, my quest for sociability continues with a shameful confession. I am going for my first ever proper thai meal tomorrow for someone's birthday. It's something that I've never really fancied, but the time has come to take the plunge and see what I've been missing.
When I've tried thai inspired things in pubs or as ready meals (back in the day when I did ready meals) I was never that impressed, so never really gave it a go. If I'm going out for a meal in Leeds I have so many places that I absolutely love that I never take the risk of trying this place, even though everyone says it's really good. But as someone else has chosen, it's time to take the plunge.
Tips and suggestions of what to try would be more than welcome!
Apart from the food side of it, I'm a little concerned that I'm only going to know one other person there (ie the person whose birthday it is), but I'm working on the assumptions that conversation round a table is an easier way to get to know people than mingling in a bar, and if they're people who are friends of one of my friends, they should be the sort of people I'd like. You never know, I might even have a really good time.
Operation clean up my eating continues, with a week in which I have made no trips to Starbucks (not even for camomile tea, which was last week's half way house), a mere one trip to the vending machine, and drunk precisely 0 units of alcohol between Monday morning and 5pm on Friday. I'm still eating up my christmas goodies, but not bingeing on them, and I'm craving fresh fruit and veg more than I am chocolate.

I wish I'd taken a photo of my shopping before I put it away too, I'm even tempted to scan the receipt for posterity. Even by my standards it was a remarkably clean shop and very colourful!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Colour Control

I seem to be getting slowly but surely back on track. I'm steering my snack choices away from chocolate and flapjack, towards fruit and veg, and my drinks away from hot chocolate and wine towards camomile and fruit teas. I even managed to persuade myself to cycle into work yesterday for what seems like the first time in months, and my gym going is fitting back into more of a routine.
I've come up with a new little challenge for myself. I always respond far better to aiming to do good things, rather than aiming not to do bad ones. One thing I always make sure I do is get my 5 a day, the problem recently has been the other stuff I supplement them with, and the little cheats I use to get them. Simple solution - raise the target, meaning that there's less room in the eating plan for anything else. So I now have a little table to fill in every week with the days of the week in columns, and rows for eight different colours (red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, white, brown/black), and the aim is to fill as many of them with fruit and veg as I can without always having the same thing for each colour.
Which then leads to me pondering whether beetroot is red or purple, and what colour a pink lady apple is. Some colours are harder than others, and I appreciate that I can't always get them all, but at least I can identify gaps and try to fill them. It's not scientific, but I quite like the structure as a way of making sure that I don't eat the same five fruit and veg every day. It turns my post lunch snack attack into a treasure hunt for something that's a different colour, rather than a furtive trip to the vending machine.
I'm actually surprised by how much difference I'm noticing. My energy levels do seem much more steady, my snack cravings are fading, and my skin does seem to be improving. I'm not sure that my weight has moved very far (if at all), and my mood still goes up and down, but if I'm feeling even just a bit better about myself, which I am then that's a start.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Ilklely Moor baht shoes

Today I decided to make the most of my new found spare time, and the fact that the weather was relatively decent, to have a day out. For the first time in ages I felt like I had the energy to spend a free day actually doing something rather than just curling up and trying to get some rest.

So today, it was time to have some adventures with a metrocard. One of the things I like about public transport is the ability to do point to point walks rather than having to get back to your car at the end, so I got myself a day train/bus card, and I headed off. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but I knew that the ticket gave me the flexibility to change my plans if something else took my fancy.

After getting the bus into town I got the train to Shipley. I had a bit of a wander along the canal, keeping an eye out for any signs of old lock keepers cottages, and made my way to Saltaire. I had a bit of a wander round, although it was pretty quiet at 10am on a Sunday morning.

From there I walked up Shipley Glen, up to Dick Hudson's (a pub) at High Eldwick. I'd heard that this was a popular stopping off point for walkers, so decided to indulge myself with lunch.

From there, it was a trek over Bingley Moor and Ilkley Moor, via the Twelve Apostles, down into Ilkley. I was starting to get a bit more confident in my footing, and in the waterproofing of my trainers, when a muddy patch was rather deeper than I expected, and sucked my shoe right off. By the time I had turned round to retrieve it, having just about found somewhere dryish for my other foot, it was sinking and filling with mud. I had to rummage around in the gloop to find it! Yuk.

So the rest of the walk was a bit of a muddy squelch, and the state of my trouser legs and shoes meant that I decided not to venture into Betty's for a well earned cake at the end. So I just ended up getting the train and bus back home.

I can always tell when I've had a good day out in the fresh air, if I start falling asleep on the train home. Today definitely met that criteria, even though it wasn't even 4pm I was definitely drifting off. I think I'll have a nice hot bath later to try to de-mud my foot a bit, and then I think I'll sleep like a baby!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Never to early to start planning

And on a different subject. This, being 2008, I need to decide what the hell I'm doing for my 30th birthday. OK, so it's not in the next month or so, but I like to plan ahead...

At the moment I'm trying to be more sociable. I went to a friend's birthday party last night and I'm going to another one on Saturday. Usually I'd have whinged about the cost of having a car to go up there last night, or the cost of a meal that I don't really fancy, but if nothing else, what happened over the past few months has taught me that this whole life thing is all about people, the connections you make, showing people you care, rather than counting every single penny. I can afford it, so why not do it?

So, I'm currently weighing up two "themes". There's either the traditional piss up, or there's the "I'm a sad fitness freak and I'm going to do something stupidly challenging" option. There haven't been any moves towards sorting something out for the Stockholm mara (which is on my birthday), so I've been pondering other options.

Option 1 is easy. Food in Leeds, drink in Leeds, collapse in a heap somewhere.

Option 2 looks like, if it happens, it will probably be this: it gets fantastic reviews, and can be combined, being a saturday, with a night in a hotel and a few drinks afterwards - except I don't know how many of my Leeds friends I'd be able to persuade to head up there with me, and I might be in the horribly scary position of needing to find people on the running message boards who are running it, and bullying complete strangers into celebrating my 30th.

Decisions, decisions...


In other "fitness challenge" type news, I almost signed up for a triathlon the other day. It looked perfect, then I checked the date and I'm already committed that weekend. back to the drawing board then.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Moving On

A month on, and I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time in months I have clear weekends in my diary, a bit of time, a bit of space, and a bit of energy to put into the parts of my life that I put on hold in August and never really managed to pick up again. I've already been to running club as many times in January as I did in December, and I'm planning a day out at the weekend doing something fun. It's been a while since I've done that. As I pick the pieces up and put them together again, I feel like it's time to go back to basics.
So this morning I had an encounter I wasn't looking forward to. The post-Christmas date with the scale. Since November I've been slowly but surely gaining weight through parties and comfort eating and drinking lots of wine. I've still been running a fair amount, but some of my other exercise has been a bit erratic - so although my running miles have been similar, I haven't been swimming or cycling anywhere near as much as I used to. Before Christmas I'd made it up to 155, and was a little concerned as to the effect christmas might have had. My clothes are tighter than they should be, and I know that I'm eating too much.
To be fair, it wasn't actually too bad. 156, so only a pound gained from the festive pig-out, even if I am about 8lb up from where I was before Amsterdam. 8lb isn't a disaster. I could still gain a stone or so and be a healthy weight, and it's a mere drop in the ocean compared to the 104lb I'm still down from my heaviest. At my lowest I was wondering whether I'd be better off carrying a few more pounds to fill me out a bit. But I don't want it to turn into 10, or 12, or 14, or 104. I know that what I'm eating now is too much, and not good enough quality, and that if I carry on doing it the regain won't stop here.
I also feel like I should be able to run faster if I'm lighter. There are studies on this, apparently. I don't necessarily want to go much below my Amsterdam weight, but I don't want to be slowed down by being too far above it. Every second counts if I want to get under 3:45. (Although having said that, I won a 5k in a new PB time on Saturday, so I'm hardly slow at the moment).
I know that this sounds remarkably like a new year resolution type thing. This year I want to lose weight, and all that sort of stuff, but it's more about getting back to doing what I used to do, and what I know I should be doing, rather than starting anything new. I know how I need to live to maintain my weight and train properly, I just need to lose a few bad habits that crept in while I was distracted. If I lose the habits and stay this weight, that's OK, but I don't want to keep the habits and carry on edging upwards on the scale.
So I declare war on...
1. Snacking. It keeps my hands busy, and keeps my mind off other things, but it isn't good. Half the time I'm not even hungry, but I want to do something. A bit of fruit, fine, but I must not raid the chocolate machine at work every afternoon, and I must remember that when people bring sweet goodies in for the office to share, there should be some sharing going on rather than me hoovering it all up, picking up a bit more everytime I go past. In the evenings I may need to reinstate my "shut the kitchen door, go upstairs and put the burglar alarm on downstairs" routine, or simply make sure there isn't quite so much rubbish to snack on in the first place.
2. Starbucks. The espresso machine at work was broken for ages so I started going to Starbucks for my caffeine fix. But once I was there instead of getting the nice, low calorie, espresso I'd have had at work, it somehow turned into toffee nut hot chocolate. Full fat. Huge. With cream. And a cake. And I know that doesn't have caffeine in it anyway, but it didn't stop me ordering it. My objection to this one is financial as much as it is weight related, as all those drinks and cakes make a dent in the budget. Now the free machine at work is working again, I should be able to kick the calorie and fat filled drink habit.
3. Alcohol. My comforter of choice. I'm sure I'm not alone in having had rather too few alcohol free days in December, I'm sure, but I can't carry on like that. If I get thirsty in the evenings I need to remember that herbal tea can be as warming as mulled wine, and that I don't need to put a slug of brandy in my (low calorie) hot chocolate (without cream). I'm not going to give it up entirely. I half considered an alcohol ban until London, but with Annette's hen do and wedding as well as various parties sandwiched in there I'm not sure that's realistic. I will, however, aim for moderation and reinstate my "not during the week" ban. And I will try to control the tendency to eat everything in sight once I get a bit tipsy.
4. Pizza. The pizza shop at the end of my road opened a few years ago, and I never set foot through its door until December. That was a big, big, mistake. I discovered that their pizzas are very nice indeed, and lost sight of the fact that even pizza with virtuous sounding aubergine, rocket and sun-dried tomatoes is still pizza. It should not be something I eat every week. Ahem. Now I have more time to shop and cook for myself I will not allow myself to stop in there on my way home from work on a regular basis.
It's not rocket science, and certainly it's not the sort of calorie controlled, points counting hell that half the office seem to have thrown themselves into for the New Year. I'll still finish off my christmas treats, just take a bit more care about doing it slowly. It's just exercising a bit of common sense, and realising that while real life was suspended for a while as more important things took over, there's no reason for that to become my way of life on a permanent basis.
It's also the start of my focus on serious training for London. I know from past experience that it helps during marathon training if I'm eating the right stuff, and not feeling sluggish from eating rubbish. I know that if I drink too much and eat rubbish the night before a run, I'll get to three or four miles and have a sudden, desperate and uncontrollable urge to go to the loo. Which isn't nice. My body complains like hell, and yet I still do it. No more, it's time to take my training seriously. If I want to achieve my goals, I need a nutrition plan as well as a running training plan. It's not just about the miles I run, it's about how I feed my body, and what I've been doing recently doesn't cut it for marathon training.
I'm not going to set myself any targets, any deadlines for losing a certain amount of weight. I don't want that. All I want to do is to start feeling good about what I'm eating again. I hate that feeling when I look at the empty flajack wrapper, or pizza box, or wine bottle, and try to work out what possessed me to eat it. I hate the feeling of being out of control, of not being able to take charge of what my hands are reaching for and what my mouth is ordering. I hate looking at my cooking blog and realising that I haven't tried a new recipe worth posting for months (recipe for mashed potato, quorn sausages, peas and gravy, anyone?).
I want my old clean eating life back. I miss it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

So, as usually happens when I'm not in Spain, I stayed in with the tv remote and some wine, but that was fine by me. I'm out for a friend's birthday on Friday, so thought I'd save the hardcore partying for that.

New year is a bit of a non-event to me. It's a date, that's all. I'm not into making big life changing decisions just because it's January. When it came for me, it was July, and because it was right, not because the date changed.

I sometimes make vague resolutions, and witter on about what I want to do in the year ahead. This year, I've narrowed it down to one. I've learned a lot about myself, what makes me tick, what training I need, what food I need, what my goals are, and what I need to work on over the past year. Not just from the high points, like maintaining my weight for another year, running two sub-4 marathons, winning two 5k time trials, but also from the lows. Realising what family and friends do mean to me, even when I don't let them know it. Realising what my priorities in life are - which things stay when time gets short and which can be sacrificed for something more important.

So in 2008, my only aim is to trust my instinct. I know what's best for me now, but there are times when I still struggle to listen to myself. I know that the extra glass of wine won't make me happy, but I drink it anyway. I know what I should do, but I'm too proud or stubborn to do it.

Although, if you want something more concrete, I'm also going to train my arse off to go under 3:45 at FLM...