Right, well. You can’t out-train a bad diet. Julie Creffied of Too Fat to Run said this in her recent blog post and I’ve been thinking about this since. It’s absolutely true and in my experience so far running actually isn’t that brilliant for weight loss. Of course when you go from not really doing very much to running regularly chances are you’ll drop a pound or two but after that I’ve found that it’s great for maintaining weight and also for changing shape but not for getting lighter. Particularly when the distances get longer, fuelling becomes so important as does rest. However being lighter makes running easier.
I am about a stone heavier than I was at Dopey. For my next Dopey attempt I’d like to be a stone lighter than I was then. Plenty of time but nonetheless worth thinking about my diet and whether it is actually bad. Well, no, overall it isn’t. We mostly cook from scratch and have very little processed food. We probably eat a little too much meat but overall our 3 meals a day are pretty balanced and generally healthy (without being saintly). I do have a sweet tooth though and I do eat quite mindlessly a lot of the time meaning that sometimes I’ll have something just because it’s lunchtime or tea time or I’ll eat more than I really need because it takes a while to realise I’m full. I do also snack. Mostly healthy snacks though – fruit, nuts… but then the sweet tooth kicks in.
We also eat out a fair bit and I’m not that good at making healthy choices or not having pudding when we go out. The other thing, and I suspect this might be a key thing, is that I don’t drink enough water so I suspect that sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I might actually just be thirsty. So just to focus the mind a little bit, I’m bringing the Sunday weigh-ins back. I’d given up getting on the scales – they’ve resolutely stayed exactly the same since January and I know that the number on there means far less than how I feel and other measurements but I think I need a bit of focus. So baseline set today. Next weigh-in will be next Sunday – we’re away Thurs-Sunday so we’ll see. The aim is to be consistently back to Dopey weight by the time we get to the Lakeland Trails runs in October. That weight is my sort of plateau weight so getting there and then staying there will be challenge. If I can maintain there for a while I can then push on to loose a little bit more.
As for running – I went yesterday on my own. I ran just under a mile to our sheep, fed them and then carried on to do just under 2.5 miles running and then the half mile walk back up the hill. It felt like hard going really but I was glad I got out. I’m not getting my fuelling quite right at the moment and my tummy isn’t settling well for running but I guess doing some is better than nothing.
Didn’t run Sunday because K had a niggly knee and I am not known for my willpower or desire to go running on my own. So it’s just as well we went on Saturday. For today the plan said 50 minutes slow. I do like a plan that says slow. I can do slow.
We had toyed with the idea of going this morning but I wanted Kath to have her knee checked out first which she did this morning and she is cleared to run. Our track record of going for a run after work is poor. Once I get in from work I really don’t like to be parted from the sofa! However, this moomin butt needs to keep moving! We arranged for Kath to pick me up from the station and then to park at Mum’s and run from there. I got changed there and then we set off. We ran along the road which had the advantage of street lighting and of being relatively flat. It has the disadvantage of being a relatively busy road and a boring out and back route.
We set the watch to 17 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals (51 minutes) and then the Garmin wouldn’t lock onto the satellite. Rather than messing with it we just set off. It felt fast but it also felt quite flowing. Well when I say fast, I mean fast for me – for the rest of the world I am really talking about marginally faster than a brisk dog walking pace. Running along the road is odd. We’ve never really done it before. There wasn’t much to look at and there was the traffic noise so my focus was different and I realised I was focusing on breathing – not in a ‘I can’t breathe’ sort of way but in a ‘oh I prefer to sound of breathing to the sound of traffic’ kind of a way. I was focused on me and that’s not something I am all that comfortable with but it did mean being more aware of form, breathing and when things tightened up and when things felt good.
Surprisingly, mostly it felt pretty good even if hard and on almost all runs I managed to keep the pace until the end of the 2 minutes, I just had one wobble as we were heading up a slope and I lost my stride pattern and everything felt out of sync. I kept thinking I was surprised at how ok it all felt. Ok is not something I usually feel when running.
As we don’t have the data from the Garmin we had to rely on Google Maps which reliably informs me that we ran 4 miles exactly. So that means that finally -for the first time in ages – we managed a decent length run at under 13 minute mile pace.
In other news – Sunday weigh in yesterday showed a 2 pound gain. Hmph but ok – readjusting after the few days of no food and I suppose I’ll have to admit to the chocolate biscuits and the 2 days of university sand which lunches…
In more other news – the Wanderlust TV yoga – we’ve done days 1-4 and it is helping although I was struggling to keep up a little on Day 4. It’s useful to get more guidance on technique and this morning we did the yoga Studio 20 minute beginner am sequence and goodness it is harder when you do it properly! Right I am off to have a bath and then try Day 5.
I stopped getting on the scales a while ago initially for positive reasons – I didn’t care at all what the number said, I knew I was getting fitter and stronger and healthier so the actual weight didn’t matter. Then the running got patchy and we fell off the food and booze wagon a bit – which is silly because when we were making the effort we were eating really yummy healthy food that we were both really enjoying. In the run up to Christmas I knew my weight was sneaking up again and just after I suddenly worried that it might even be getting as high as it was 2 years ago before I started running. Clothes don’t fit properly, running is so much harder than it needs to be. A good few pounds need to come off.
So on the 2nd January I set a new baseline – a stone lighter than the baseline I set 2 years ago but also over a stone and a half heavier than I was at my lightest during Dopey training. Hmph. I was determined to have a good food and exercise week but as I mentioned I was ill instead. I have lost 6 pounds but I’m not really celebrating that because it’s more due to being poorly than anything else.
We have a food plan for the week with lots of fresh, yummy things but also included comfort food to guard against the cold and grey ‘pass me the biscuits’ kind of feeling. We’re starting today with pancakes (a healthier version K once found a recipe for, possibly in a Runner’s World or from a Running Bug) – a lovely Sunday treat with yoghurt and raspberries. For lunch we’re having cottage pie with a mountain of veg and for tea a salad with a few nuts and seeds sprinkled in for crunch. This week is relatively conservative with food – familiar things to not upset my tummy which is still getting back to normal. Next week I think we will be more adventurous, we’ve seen some lovely recipes that look healthy and delicious. I’ll try and remember to share.
We’re also going to start running again this coming week. I’m not sure about starting the 10k programme – yesterday I was still quite wobbly after my 2 mile walk so I will see how I feel after a walk today and then see if I need a very easy, very short run week or whether I’m ready to have another go at week 1 of the 10k programme. The programme isn’t aligned with a race so it doesn’t really matter.