Tag Archive: Diet


This morning saw my old mucker Nigel and I head out on the bikes.  Now to be fair I have been putting in the miles in training (or so I thought) and was expecting a decent wee performance from myself.  As we pulled up at our starting point, the Scarva tea rooms, the fog was present and the temperature cold – 1 degree cold!

Nigel looking like a pro in his new HTC top hit the first mile like a bullet from a gun and naively I thought this was going to be short lived but after mile 5 I began to fear it wasn’t.  Using the scenery to distract myself I pushed on.  The sun was rising and the mist off the canal made for a very beautiful set of surroundings.  The dew covered the many spider webs surrounding us making the ground look like a patchwork quilt. The beauty was outstanding!

Portadown fast approached and I was delighted to hear Nigel agree to my suggestion of a wee break. I jumped of the bike and beat the magic beans into me hoping for something miraculous.  Meantime a solitary rower passed us on the canal and I was wondered if I could swap activity with her.  Nigel took a photo (above) and back on the bikes we climbed.  As we approached the footbridge a half a mile out of Portadown Nigel was talking faster than my wheels were turning and he took his eye off the ball. He took the corner too tight and the handrail of the bridge clipped his hip.  Off came Nigel still talking and thankful to say no damage was done. 14 miles came up and we were roughly at the half way point. I beat a banana down me and was praying the coffee shop which was showing signs of opening would draw Nigel’s attention but no we moved on.

By this stage my legs were showing the first signs of weakening and yet my ears reported hearing Nigel come off with the idea of doing a bit of interval training.  In denial I watched as he put his bike in a top gear and took off like bat out of hell. My legs choked and a response was not given.  Here was my first lesson of the morning.  Solo training is ok but really only if you discipline yourself to push hard.  No surprise then given my previous post on discipline that my month of solo riding was not delivering for me; on reflection it lacked the ingredients of challenge, speed and strength.

The last 4 miles my legs were close to absent and as we returned to Scarva I was grinding to all but a halt.  I’ve done 30 miles recently so why was this one so hard? On reflection this week has been half term with the kids off school and my diet has been ropey underlining yet another lesson from a previous post.  I need to eat better if I want to ride better.

When we stopped and packed the bikes away it was music to my ears to hear Nigel’s suggestion of getting some coffee.  It was an excellent morning which has left me hungry for more.  I need to address my fitness urgently and more importantly not because I feel I have to but because this morning has left me with the feeling that I want to. There is a night and day difference between the two and with that as my motivation I’m on the winning side of the equation.

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I took my bike out for a quick 15 miles this morning.  The weather was bright, dry and without wind, so ok it was 4 degrees but it was as close to perfect as you are likely to get given the time of year.  The first mile was slow and as I climbed the hill out of my village I was struggling.  Why so slow & why is this so hard?  I hit the top of the hill and unusually stopped to catch my breath.  I hadn’t trained in 5 days so it wasn’t fatigue that was affecting me.

Three miles later and I felt like my muscles were still cold and my lungs reluctant.  Surely this was going to get easier soon I thought. Over the next hill and a few miles further down the road there was still no sign of the new legs I was hoping for.  It hit me that over the past week I hadn’t been sleeping well and with work, stress levels were unusually high.  To a certain extent stress levels are always reasonable high but this past week has been tough.  Were these two factors having a bigger effect than I had budgeted for?

I hit mile 10 and I was starting to get cross with myself!  What on earth is going on I demanded to know, I have been training for the past 5 weeks and this should be a heck of a lot easier.  Then it struck me for the past week my diet has been so poor its been close to a dung fly’s.  With stress come anxiety and with anxiety comes comfort eating.  If I’m honest the last week has been nothing short of a disgrace.  An old saying about computers says “crap in- crap out” why should my body be any different, crap food = crap performance.  Then in my anger and frustration I heard the bike say to me, it’s the junk food or me…  Cheeky git I thought, but you know something? Cheeky or not, the bike or just a thought, whatever it was it is right!  Things need to change if I want to experience results, its time not just to train but to commit to a balanced diet.  It is time to start prioritising decent sleep and to stop running from stress and instead to work through it.  It’s time to take control and give myself a chance of progress.

Of course this is nothing new; this has been a three year journey that has looked more like the hokey cokey than a journey towards weight loss and health.  I’m tired of the one step forward two steps back approach. I’ve been huffing with myself for ages about this issue.  What is the point of losing weight if you are just going to put it back on?  Three times now I’ve moved from 19 and a half stone to 17 stone and three times I’ve put it back on.  I need to grow up and move on, crap or get off the pot so to speak.  Here’s to movement into new ground and thinking never to return to the old pastures of the hokey cokey.