23 March- 5 April 2015
You may have noticed that last week I didn’t post a fitness update. That’s because I have no updates to give: I had barely moved for the sofa and since that’s nothing new, it wasn’t really worth a post! Instead, I posted about restarting my New Year’s Resolutions for the thirteenth time this year. At the end of the week, I am happy to report that I haven’t done awfully.
This week I went for my first runs in London, during my lunch breaks whilst working from home. My first was on Monday. The day had started bright and sunny with clear skies but I put off actually heading out and, typically, it clouded over. I was a bit nervous about running in public. The only things that really sees me run in Kent are the sheep and if they judge me then they keep it to themselves. Even in Nottingham, I could run in Wollaton Park which was next to my house so I wasn’t on the main road for long and, once I was in there, people were sparse.
I ended up skipping most of my warm up because I felt self conscious about walking instead of running- I realise that sounds daft. I started out back on Level 6 Day 1 (five-minute jog, eight-minute jog, five-minute jog with two three-minute walks in between) but decided to go back down to Level 5 Day 3, which involved a 20 minute straight run. That didn’t work and, as soon as the pain kicked in, I was more than happy to change levels and walk a bit more. I had planned to run down to Clapham Common but instead accidentally ended up running through a residential area and into Balham. On my way back, as I came out of the side street and back onto the main road, I almost felt the pollution hit me in the face. It wasn’t quite the same as running in Kent.
This was the first run where I tried tracking my distance. I found an app called Strava which not only tracks your distance but keeps a record of your runs and maps your route. It turned out that I managed to do 4km on that occasion. Okay, I may have been walking a bit but considering the fact I have until June to run 5km I thought I was making pretty decent progress.
On my next run, I wasn’t at all self-conscious about walking in my jogging gear. Not only had I skipped my warm up last time but I hadn’t done any stretches- as I never do- before I started out. As a result my leg had started to cramp on my way around and, by Wednesday, I was still aching. Despite that, I still went out, working on Level 6 Day 2 (two 10-minute runs with a three minute walk in between), I just did some stretches first.
Helpfully, actually doing my warm up walk meant that I started by walking downhill to some flatter ground. Now, whilst I have no problem with running downhill I figured that would mean that I’d be doing my warm down walk on the way back along the same road, so I’d be walking uphill instead of running it. Sadly, that didn’t work out. I had planned to run to Tooting Bec Common, which was closer than Clapham I found out, but didn’t really look at the best route there. By the time I reached the common it was time to turn around, which seemed a shame, so I used my Citymapper app to find the quickest route back. This suggested going along the edge of the common before looping back round. Instead of running along the actual path between the grass and the road, I ran on the common itself, on a faux-path created where people had been walking, just so that I could feel like I was on a more scenic route.
This route back was much quicker so I ended up missing most of my warm down walk and running back uphill. However, at least now I have a nice route down for next time. On that particular occasion, my distance only totalled 3.4km but now that I actually know where to go and have somewhere nice to run fingers crossed I be able to do longer again!
As for food, I haven’t been doing too badly either. My kitchen-purge last weekend left only one piece of carrot cake which I treated myself to when I had to pull a late night for work and needed the sugar but I feel that was justified. Other than that, I’ve been on my greek salad with falafel for my lunches, except when I’m working from home in which case I treat myself to pesto pasta with some grated cheddar. I know it’s less good but I need more energy if I’m going to be running. For breakfast, I have been very good. My flatmate made some granola with dried fruit which I have been having with blueberries, strawberries, Greek yoghurt and honey. At the weekend, I made up some french toast with cinnamon, which we had with banana, blueberries, Greek yoghurt and honey. I have not been doing too badly.
For my dinners, I have actually been learning to cook. I admit that my Grilled Cheese with a poached egg may not have been the epitome of healthy eating and did not exactly demand high level cooking skills but it was pretty darn tasty and totally worth the burn I acquire on my arm when I actually touched the wok I was using to fry it. On a better note, I actually made a curry from scratch and it was surprisingly tasty. I could not have been more surprised since I had even come up with a back-up plan if the likely scenario where I messed it up came to materialise. I have been boasting about this a lot.