Archive for the ‘Diet’ Category

It was that 10k on Sunday last week. You know… the one I’ve been tapering for six months for… laying down the adipose tissue for added insulation from the cold.

I wasn’t feeling all that great beforehand as you might know if you read my last post.  Basically I’d managed to do something to my back in the process of getting out of a car last week.  I really wasn’t sure if it would be possible so on Saturday night, I managed a little 3k run/walk to ‘test it out’ and I figured – ‘if I can get out of bed in the morning then I’ll do the run’.

Well, I could get out of bed in the morning and so I did indeed head off for the run.

It was busy. Well over 600 runners and the usual mad scramble at the start with people trying to beat their 400m record in the first minute of a 10k race. Silly.

At least one person took a dive in those initial stages. I didn’t see it but I heard a ‘…*slip*…*splat*…’ and then a collective… ‘OooOoooooo’ from somewhere behind me and to my left.

It soon thinned out and I got into a nice rhythm. The back wasn’t giving me any pain but I was aware that I am heavier now than I have been in a long while.

This was one of those races that I entered about six months ago as an incentive to lose some weight… and then did absolutely nothing about it.

Not wanting to be too negative here, I shall say that it’s a new training method…

THE THEORY: My access to altitude training is somewhat limited, so if I run whilst overweight, the additional stresses placed on my heart and lungs will simulate the increased oxygen requirement achieved by the much more expensive option of running in the Andes… or Nepal… or wherever it is that altitude training is done (can you tell I’ve really researched the science?!).
To be honest I don’t know why more athletes don’t use this method. Oh wait…maybe they do… Cue Steve Redgrave and a packet of Crunchy Nut…

Sorry Steve. But I do notice you have 5 gold medals there. 

(Not sure if he used this training method at the time of winning those. Perhaps not.)

THE OUTCOME: A slightly chubby bloke, making it look like very hard work sprinting for the line to get sub 50 minutes for this 10k… but missing out by 9 seconds.


If only I’d ran that first 400m a bit quicker! 😉


Here is a picture of a boot…

(Well, my tag line isn’t “random thoughts and running shorts” for nothing, you know!)

There is a link, though. I gave blogging the boot after June. I kind of just stopped enjoying writing it. So I stopped.

The same was true with running, to be honest. I knew I wouldn’t stop for good, but it was good to have a break.

In hindsight, I could have turned the blog into an interesting, “how I found my mojo” story, but given that I didn’t know how long it would take, it could have got very boring indeed.

Certain stresses have come and gone, but some remain.  Most are self-imposed, hence leaving the blog dormant for a while.

I’ve been running when I feel like it. I’ve done the odd parkrun, played a fair amount of tennis, taken the kids out on bike rides.  

The mojo isn’t fully back. But I am running again, which is a start.

Here’s that picture of the boot again…

  You could say this is a re-boot. A small reboot, at least.

What is new since I last wrote? 

Well we now only have one rabbit since ‘Colin’ (classic rabbit name #1) was found as stiff as a board in his litter tray a few weeks ago. ‘Hoppity’ (classic rabbit name #2) seems to be coping well without him mind you, and my children have very much taken it in their stride too. I later overheard appropriate questions between them like, “do rabbits cry?” and, “I’m a bit sad Colin is dead, are you?” so at least they aren’t sociopaths.image

Child2 is now at school full-time, but at a different one to her brother, so I am ‘enjoying’ the logistical delights of school runs, pick-ups, after-school clubs, sports coaching, and general communications.

I have, as yet, failed to invent some new business and make my millions from home in the past couple of weeks…but equally, I have resisted spending millions to try to artificially fill the gap left by my children abandoning me during the day… so I reckon that evens out.

I had got a bit sloppy with my eating habits recently, as demonstrated by my complete inability to lose enough weight to reward myself with a half marathon entry recently. But I’ve made progress here too and have entered for a brilliant 20 miler (the Ashby20) in March next year.  That is the total extent of my race calendar for the future.

Oh, and off the back of an additional 3kg weight loss, I got a parkrun PB a couple of weeks ago 22:28 (which was probably due to the psychological boost of feeling lighter as much as the actual physiology – I nearly threw up on the finish line).

I’m not exactly wasting away yet, mind you so my longer runs still have the potential to be a fire hazard due to the amount of upper-thigh friction. Thankfully, the lovely people at Chaffree got in touch recently to say, “Hey Notmuchofarunner, do you still pose a risk to woodland areas when you do a trail run, due to the high probability of starting an illegal chub-rub fire? If so, would you like some more of our rather wonderful, seamless, anti-chafe merchandise? (Especially since you wrote that random lovely blog post about the last lot we sent you)”

…or something like that. 

Anyway, I said, “yes please, thank you very much”, and so I have some more most excellent running undercrackers. They are seriously brilliant for running in, but I’ll say no more now for fear of coming across as some kind of underwear fetishist. Read the link for more info (about ‘Chaffree’, not underwear fetishism).

I was even motivated enough to for a quick 5 miles in before breakfast this morning, though due to clicking the wrong button it got recorded as ‘5 miles of alpine skiing’ on Strava. Now edited.

That’ll do for now. Just to show intent. I’ve not given up. It’s just a run/walk, blog/don’t blog strategy.

You know how some people, having gone for a run (or having gone to the gym to ‘do some weights’ but actually just spend the majority of time chatting), then say to themselves,
“Great! I can now eat a load of rubbish – I deserve it”
Well it worked the other way round for me this evening.
I had polished off the last couple of mince pies (of that box…only one box left now) and whilst I very much enjoyed them, it cemented my plans to go for a run this evening, even though I didn’t actually leave the house til gone 10pm.

It was cold and wet this evening and there would have been very little chance of me going for a run normally* had it not been for:
1) Janathon
2) Jantastic
3) A free, 30-day Strava premium upgrade
4) A new iPod (on which to play classic ‘Soul II Soul’ album ‘Keep on Movin’)

*That is not to say that I ran it abnormally. I think my run was of the fairly normal variety.

I managed to get a Strava segment PB and really felt that my 40 minute workout really had purpose and direction. I’m getting there. I feel like I’m getting better.

At 91.6 kg and a height of 170cm I’m still officially obese though, with a BMI of 31.6 (we have some new scales, by the way).
I normally don’t pay much attention to BMI as it doesn’t take muscle:body fat ratio into account…
…unfortunately, these scales also tell me my body fat percentage is 30.5 (above 24% is ‘high’ for men of my age).
Oh well.

I genuinely feel well motivated at the moment though and I feel that positive change is on the way…

…as soon as I finish off that other box of mince pies 😉

Janathon (day 13) – involving Strava segment PBs, motivation and mince pies – Done.

It’s ok. I’m not going to write a blog post telling you stuff you already know.

Nothing about health. Nothing about lungs. Nothing about cost. Actually I will mention the last one, just not the others.
(Nothing, that is, apart from mentioning them just there.)

No. This is about how the fact that I don’t smoke has been responsible for all sorts of occasional luxury spending in lieu of the massive cost-savings we have made by never smoking. You know, like buying the posh stuff rather than ‘own brand’ cereal, upgrading our car to one with parking sensors, and recently, buying centre court Wimbledon tickets, all of which genuinely sometimes make me feel bad at the cost but allayed slightly, as I say, by being offset by non-smokingness and the phrase “It’s ok. We don’t smoke”.

Well, now I don’t take sugar in my drinks either…

… So apparently that means I can buy and eat two danish pastries for lunch (!) and then eat a discount takeaway Chinindian dinner.

Discount Chinindian: definition: n. a mixture of take-home reheatable dinners, curries, starters and side dishes of various types purchased solely on the basis of proportional discount from yellow-stickered crowded bit occupied mostly by students next to the cold meats section in the supermarket

Oh yes, people. It is a good job that last night I did a late night 10-miler, the last mile of which was actually run after midnight and thus counts as a run TODAY.

I am still a runner.

I’m Not Much Of a Runner but I’m a runner.
Parts of me still cause far too much friction when I run because there is perhaps too much of the rest of me.
But I’m a runner. I know about using Vaseline. So it’s ok… I don’t smoke.

Hello. Welcome. Take a seat.

Oh and leave the door open, someone else may be along in a minute or two.
If you’ve not been here before then chances are you are connected to the juneathon challenge…if so, an extra welcome to you.
I hope you stick around.
If you do then you’re either in for a random treat of running randomness… Or…
…actually…no…. there is no ‘or’… A treat of running randomness is what this is.

Here is a picture of a bridge on this morning’s run…

See. Random.

And here is a photo of me doing some wide-arm press-ups on it…

Sorry… it’s a bit small… What can I say?… I’m shy.

I also took photos of a deer and some rabbits on my run in the early hours if this morning, but here’s how they turned out…

Sorry about that. Wild animals have a habit of not waiting around for the two minutes required for the shutter on my phone’s camera to operate!

There will be a lot of apologies and excuses this month.

So I might as well start with a few more now.

It’s June.
Which means it’s Juneathon.
Which means I am supposed to do exercise and blog everday.
Which means sometimes interesting stuff happens…
…but sometimes it won’t…and I will still have to write something… so for that I also apologise

You may get fed up of random posts.

That’s fine.

It’s ok.

You are free to leave.

However, I hope that by writing and exercising everyday in June. I will be looking out for the interesting, embracing the random and accepting that not all my postings will be the… ahem…literary masterpieces I have come to expect from myself.

My ‘theme’, if any, this year, will be All Or Nothing … I will either be exercising and posting everyday, or it will come to a complete stop. At which point, I will wear sackcloth, eat chocolate and cry into my cup of coffee for the rest of the month.

Tomorrow = a full length picture of me without any clothes on…

(Let’s see how many of you that scares off)

Today’s exercise (so far): 2.2 mile run & press-UPS

Oh dear!
It has happened again.

I’ve gone all “ALL OR NOTHING” again.

Which is ok when I’m on one side of it. But when I slip down the other side, it’s not.

Since my last post I have made a concerted effort. That is not to say I have stood on a dias and waved a baton around energetically at an orchestra… No, I mean I have been doing things differently.

I run some groups at work in which I am emphasising to people trying to manage chronic conditions that if they change nothing about their current management, nothing will change. Kind of obvious, but strangely hard to embrace. For them. For me too.

Despite my campaign to arrange it so that by merely entering a marathon or some other sporting event there should be some sort of immediate weight loss, nothing has been forthcoming.
So…I ran on Saturday, did a long walk on Sunday, biked 12 miles to work on Monday, biked home again, played tennis for 2 hours, did the same on Tuesday (bike to work and back) but went swimming in the evening instead of tennis…
… I ate well too – I took lunch to work so not tempted to buy naughtiness at the volunteer shop, and I’ve avoided stealing chocolate from my Children’s Easter egg collection over this past week too and I’m due to run 7km on Friday (2k fun run with notmuchofasitstiller followed by a 5k race of my own)…

My reward…

* drum roll *

…1kg weight loss.

Whoop de bleeding do.

Now I know all this stuff about muscle weighing more than fat. I’ve been using that excuse for at least 5 years or so. And I know fitness is still being developed, but this time around I do really want to carry less weight around a marathon.

So I still need to do something different.

What I do NOT need to do is sit down with a coffee before I go to bed and scoff 2 creme eggs.



Like this one... But two of them!


P.S as it’s past midnight, it’s now officially my birthday (that is to say it is just my birthday. I don’t have a real birthday and then a separate ‘official’ birthday. I’m not like the queen or anything. Although I used to live near Sandringham. Which was nice.)

Thigh will be done

Posted: August 9, 2012 in Diet, running
Tags: ,

Apologies if you were wondering if my prolonged blogging absence meant I may have been kidnapped.

No such luck for you I’m afraid.

I’ve actually been running.

Fed up with my legs rubbing together still. I think running and cycling has been counter-productive on the leg size thing…

… so I decided to make the best of it and tape sandpaper to my inner thighs and run whilst bracing a large piece of wood there (cue the inappropriate comments).

Over the past couple of weeks, my thighs have managed to create this rather attractive dolls house and accessories…


Turning point

Posted: May 23, 2012 in Diet, Triathlon
Tags: , ,

3 things happened this week:

Well, to be fair, probably a lot more than three things happened this week and none of the things I’m about to mention made it to the news at 10 or anything but they were big to me…

1) I swam, continuously, front crawl, for the duration of my swimming session on Tuesday (just under 40 mins). It’s a 20m pool and I timed my lengths at the end to be 25 seconds so that’s a total of we’ll say 35 mins x 60 = 2100 seconds … 2100/25 = 84 lengths
84 x 20 = 1.68km which is fractionally over a mile…. And I haven’t done that since I was in primary school…

… Which makes the whole thing now sound much less impressive. Moving on…

2) I stepped on the scales and I now weigh (well I did until I had dinner) under 90kg… Which was my personal target to achieve prior to this weekend’s triathlon.

3) It’s late… I can’t remember what the third thing was!


… No… It’s gone.

Ok… So it happened…
… Everyone told me it would…
… And it did.

I had started thinking it wouldn’t.
I was organised. Thinking ahead. Anticipating the conditions…. But then… Boom!

I am, of course referring to the inevitable embarrassing fall that follows purchase of the evil that is the confusingly titled ‘clipless pedals’. These are the sort of bike pedals which you clip into with a special sort of shoe (I won’t go into the various different types here).
From what I can gather, they are called clipless pedals simply because they don’t have straps (clips) attached to them into which a person would put their standard shoe. The point is, with clipless systems, your shoe is attached securely to the bike pedal and can only be removed by rotating your heel away from the bike. This is fairly simply done…

… But you need to remember to do it.

…I had remembered… Sort of… as I was following a couple of cars, I was aware of them slowing, indicating (yes actually indicating – I nearly fainted on the spot) and waiting to turn right. The car closest to me must have seen in his rear view mirror that I was slowly approaching speeding towards them like a well-oiled triathlon machine in the making, and adjusted their road position accordingly to allow me to pass on the left hand side.

… The other car did not.
…I didn’t expect either car to, to be honest and so had prepared for the unclipping manoeuvre, but as I slowed to 1mph just before the critical moment, they began to pull away, so I started up again..
…But then they stopped suddenly…

… And so did I …

… But no unclipping this time…

Followed by…

… A graceful… sideways… Flop! Onto the pavement…
….At 0 mph. Nice. Classy

To call it a fall would give it more credit than it deserves.

Thankfully nothing but pride damaged.
Nobody needs to know…