16-22 February 2015:
I mentioned back at the start of this series that although this is called ‘getting fit for travel’, I can’t actually afford to go travelling any time soon. I just wanted to be able to include my updates on my travel blog and, for those of you lucky people who are going travelling, getting fit before you go is a good idea- you’re probably going to be on your feet a lot after all, exploring various places, and doing activities like hiking.
Instead, I’m trying to get fit so that I can do a 5km with my friend. That may not sound a lot to many of you- let’s face it, a marathon is over 42km- but for me, it’s my Everest: you are talking to the girl who use to twist her ankles whenever she ran anywhere and who gets out of breath running for the bus.
Anyway- this week I officially signed up for the race! On 7 June, I will be taking part in the Colour Run at London Wembley. I’ve wanted to go to the Holi festival in India for years but, as I said, I can’t afford to go. In fact, I can’t really afford to stray too far from London. With that in mind, I tried to get some friends to come with me to one of the Holi festivals that gets put on over here but we were never able to coordinate dates. Then I found out about the Color Run. Basically, as far as my understanding goes, the organisers through paint over you after every 1km and then at the end you all throw some paint over each other. This way, I can get a taste of the Holi festival and get some motivation to workout- something I’ve lacked for the past twenty-something years. My friend has also been trying to get fit so I figured this would be something we could both aim for.
Having signed up, I realised I had nearly 16 weeks left to get up to scratch. That may seem like a lot but not only do I need to actually be able to do the distance but I need to bring up my speed, if I’m going to run with my friend, who has got way more into this than I have. That thought got me out of the house that day on my lunch break for a run. It didn’t start well. Experience has taught me to always check my shoes before putting them on, if I’ve left them by the door. That day, I threw my trainers on the floor and a spider ran out. Ew.
After that, things got a bit better. I used level 5 day 2 of my C25k app, which meant two eight-minute runs and a five-minute walk in between. I had been stuck on day 1 of the level- three five-minute runs- as I’d psyched myself out but I actually felt this was slightly easier.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, I had meetings and was working in the office so couldn’t manage a run. With that in mind, I planned to go swimming with a friend Tuesday night after dinner. It wasn’t long after I arrived that she asked me how much I really wanted to go for a swim. Well, y’know me, any excuse. It took me all of three seconds to say that I wasn’t that bothered. In the end, it turned out that we wouldn’t have made it anyway. After a heavy dinner of katsu curry, we made pancakes. After all, it was Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day) and we couldn’t miss that national holiday. Once we’d finished all that, we didn’t have time for a swim and we would have sank anyway.
On Thursday, I was back working from home and so managed a run on my lunch break. It was cold and windy outside so I chose a route that seemed to be less running into the direction of the wind. Unfortunately, I had forgotten the massive pile of what I can only imagine is chicken poop (judging from the smell- kind of like old brussels sprouts). I stayed on level 5 day 2, instead of moving to day 3 which consisted of a straight 20-minute run. That seemed to have escalated quickly. I thought I’d made the right choice, as my run got off to a hard start, but it seemed to get easier as I went. I even managed a 10-second or so sprint in order to get past the chicken poop.
I was working from home the next day as well but it literally rained all day. I know running in the rain is an option but I am certainly not that dedicated and I really cannot be bothered with a cold. That does mean I didn’t make it to three runs this week. On Saturday, I was out looking at flats in London and Sundays are not made for exercise- they are made for lie-ins (which I opted for whilst my friend was doing her exercises, instead of joining her) and I accidentally succumbed to a Netflix nap in the afternoon. I can’t say that I was upset with my choice.
Food-wise, I haven’t done particularly good. There was some falafel salad, my gourmet egg sandwich and a breakfast of granola, fruit, yoghurt and honey but there was also burger and chips and brownies (not to mention those pancakes with Nutella and lemon and sugar- and I did have Pancake Day twice). I have also eaten A LOT of Babybels.