Reflect. Refocus.


Well a PB isn’t a bad place to start the New Year.  It’s a PB by one single, solitary second but a PB nonetheless.

I set out this morning for my first long, slow run of the programme.  The target was 60 minutes – not a stretch, by any means.  I’m comfortable running for an hour.  So I set out to do it well.  Slowly, with good pace, good form, and comfortably.  For me, this means about 50% effort, at a pace I could comfortably sustain a conversation.  I chose a familiar route from home to Sainsburys, where Mr P meets me in the car on his way home, on a Saturday morning.

I’m coming to the denouement of my current audible book, so I was looking forward to maybe getting to the end (hint: should’ve looked at the book stats.  There’s still 3 hours to go!).  I chose my clothes last night – Under Armour leggings, a new long sleeved base and my Gore windshell cycling jacket.  The forecast was for light rain and 30mph winds and, given that I’m nursing a head cold, I wanted to make sure I kept warm.  I set out and kept it slow.

I was reflecting, as I ran, on the New Year.  We had an abstemious night in – not entirely by design.  Both the teenagers were out at a party, and we’d intended to spend the night by the fire, with movies and a nice bottle of red.  However, at about 8pm one of the teens was delivered home, and we spent the rest of the evening sobering him up and making sure he was safely sleeping and not choking on his own vomit or any such nonsense.  Oh well.  It’s a learning point!

I was also thinking about food.  My habit, carefully nurtured over the last twelve months, is to eat as little processed food as possible.  To that end I have pretty much religiously eliminated flour, sugar, any kind of ‘ready’ food (the occasional pizza blowout, but you know.  I’m only human!).  However, Christmas is not a time for avoiding cakes and pastries, and so of course the last couple of weeks have looked very different.  So this week, I intend to refocus, to get back to my version of eating ‘clean’.  I know this means different things to different people, but for me it means eating food in as close to its natural form as possible – as little elaborate preparation as possible, and none of my ingredients should have ingredients.  Oh, and no booze.  None at all until Burns Night, and then none during the week!

It’s an easy diet, but quite an extreme one and the transition from eating ‘normally’ back to clean eating will mean that on about the third day I will probably get the mother of all headaches, and crave every junk item that floats before my gaze.  We’re prepared.  We’ve emptied the cupboards of dangerous things, made a meal plan and shopped to it.  There is only good stuff in the house.

So I was thinking about all this as I ran through the quiet, wet country lanes around my house.  There was little to see; the wildlife was all taking shelter.  I passed a field of fairly sorry looking horses, looking out morosely from under a low-branched tree, and a small handful of dog walkers, but otherwise I had the village pretty much to myself.  Me, my book and the gentle rhythm of my feet.  Running slowly to a new PB.

Which led me to reflect some more. What’s that old saying? It doesn’t get easier. You just go faster.