Another week down and the miles are stacking up now. I’ve now covered over 300 miles this year which is quite satisfying. You may remember from a previous post that I covered 450 miles throughout all of 2013 and I was hoping to make 600 miles for 2014. Whilst I might only have just gone over halfway to that target (with almost two thirds of the year gone), I think I’ll make 600 comfortably by New Year’s Eve.
It’d been a slightly mixed week with my first “long” run of the training now behind me. It probably went about as well as I’d expected – a quick first 6 miles followed by a slower return home giving me an average pace of10:22 per mile. It’s easy to pick out the negatives (the return was a lot slower than I would have liked) and the positives (that overall pace would get me a 4:30 marathon time) but I think I’m just content to have managed 12 miles without injury. I’ve got some longer distances ahead of me over the next 8 weeks, including 16, 18, 20 and 22 miles before the race so drawing on the positives is going to be key over the next couple of months.
This week’s training began yesterday with (a little over) 4 miles. It felt quite slow and broken as I couldn’t seemed to find a rhythm or any power in my legs (despite 3 days off from running) but actually it was actually better than I thought. Perhaps I’ve been setting some higher (and slightly unrealistic) expectations of myself recently and I need to look at setting a reasonable pace and trying to stick to it for longer distances. Saturday will be a 14 mile run – my longest of 2014 so that will be a good opportunity to get some proper race practice.
In more exciting news, my weekly dual with the bathroom scales showed I’d dropped to my lowest weight of 2014 which is really encouraging. Again, 188lbs is possibly not something you’d want to shout from the rooftops (just an internet blog…) it’s good to see that there’s another payoff to dieting and running. A quick check of a BMI calculator says I’m still overweight which I knew and that really to have a “healthy” BMI score, I’d need to lose over another stone. I’m fairly sure that’s ambitious and really unsustainable in the long term but I’m quite happy to see where my reduced calorie diet and exercise program will take me.
A word on food and nutrition before I finish. Having Type 1 diabetes means I fixate on food a lot more than a lot of other people I know. My daily life is a series of maths problems regarding carbohydrate content, insulin doses and blood glucose levels. I suppose in some ways, that makes dieting easier as I’m always looking at food labels before I eat anyway – now I’m just checking calorie content as well as carbs. I’m currently on a diet of 1200 net calories a day which is about as fun and restrictive as it sounds. But it does mean I’m losing some weight and I’m making more healthy decisions around what I eat.
Work days are all fairly similar – salad for lunch with some oatcakes for low GI carbs to keep me going. My evening meal is usually grilled fish or white meat with some green vegetables and either wholemeal bread on rest days (to keep a slow release of energy) or some pasta after running (to quickly replenish the energy I’ve used from exercising). I know as I start really picking up the distance that 1200 calories a day just isn’t going to be practical, but by then I’m hoping I’ll be at a lower weight that I can sustain with more food on a daily basis. But for the time being, this diet focuses me on making sensible, healthy choices with what I eat and it seems to be working well for my overall health and wellbeing.
As usual, a final mention of my fundraising page. I’ve raised £160 so far against a target of £1,000 for the year. I’m incredibly grateful to all those who have generously parted with their hard earned money to donate to Diabetes UK. Raising £1,000 would mean that Diabetes UK could train 20 risk-assessment volunteers who work at Lifestyle roadshows, connecting with some of the 7 million people at risk of Type 2 diabetes and helping them to make sensible diet and lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of getting diabetes in the future. Prescribing is the second highest area of spend in the NHS (after staffing costs) and in 2013-4, diabetes prescribing accounted for almost 10% of that cost (up from 6.6% in 2005-6). Helping to educate people at risk will not only make their lives better in the long run, but will go some way to reducing the huge strain that diabetes places on the NHS.
If you can spare anything at all, please click on the link to the fundraising page and donate, or test BROO81 £5 to 70070 to donate via text.