mundane adventures in running
My world has been turned upside down. This is a first world problem. My work is busy, my wife’s work is busy, my children are especially demanding and we have decided to refit our flat whilst still living in it. The flat is the worst bit of this. We’re doing a kitchen, doing a bathroom, doing the floor. We’re currently living in ours and the kids’ bedroom. There’s no space, no cooker. It’s entirely self imposed, and I can’t complain too much. Oh my god though, I am complaining a lot.
I’ve managed to do a reasonable amount of training. I’ve had to take a few days out for travel or jet lag, but I’m keeping the miles up. But. The cradle of activities and habits I use to support my running have gone to pot, and I’m starting to suffer.
Crap food. No kitchen means more take away food, no properly prepared stuff. I’ve always cooked microwave food, take away and easy to prepare everyday is a real shock. Tonight I ate kimchi and brie sandwiches. Kimchi and brie sandwiches. Just to avoid too much preparation in my dust ridden husk of a kitchen or having to transport the washing up to a neighbour’s flat. Eating out/ takeaway more means i eat more meat, fewer vegetables, more processed carbs than I would normally. I know this is all avoidable, but it is a trap I have fallen into. My insides are dying. Dying. I crave kale salads, stir fried cabbage, home made sour dough rye bread, spinach and pine nut smoothies.
No strength training, not stretching. We’ve no space. I can still warm down and stretch after a run, but we have very little floor space. I literally don’t have room to plank. Not even down facing dog. The hip openers i did all through February/ March/ April are starting to seem like a distant memory. My body is creaking some. My back aching again. I can feel my calves and thighs getting harder and knottier. My back’s aching. My achilles feels like it’s about to tear from my heal.
Too much booze. I’ve found myself putting the kids to bed, hiding in the bedroom and drinking more wine than I usually would. It’s an easy escape, nice, but bad. I feel dehydrated the next day, sluggish, and weirdly less able to run longer distances, especially without water.
Rubbish sleep. The kids are a bit discombobulated by the whole experience, and it’s midsummer. As a family, we’re not sleeping so well. I’m knackered. I want to sleep more. Please let me sleep more.
So. I’ve learned something. I’ve learned that the things I do to support my body and to support my functional fitness really work. It seems silly to say, but cutting out these supportive habits (sleeping well, eating well, not drinking to excess, doing more than just running) has been a real blow to my health and running ability. Despite a couple of really good times at the start of this period, my pace is slackening off. I’m finding it hard to run much over 20k, and long runs are gruelling and uncomfortable. The worst thing though is recovery times. This is weird, and I can’t account for it. It’s especially gruelling after long interval sessions. I did a 10 X 1k set of intervals a couple of weeks ago. Killer. Utterly killer. Two days later I could barely walk, and I’d normally expect to be able at least to do a nice, gentle 5k singing along to Spotify playlists and looking at the view. Fucked I tell you.
I’m taking a bit more care, particularly around diet and booze. It’s helping. I’ve learned my lesson. Keep up the good habits.