I haven’t been feeling 100% for some time now. Mental health issues, physical health issues, stress at work etc have all contributed to me becoming sedentary and somewhat resembling “the Blerch” (and please do read that Oatmeal strip because it pretty much sums up my reasons for running too).
I haven’t gone running since the BUPA 10,000 in May 2013. And aside from the odd bike ride here and there, until the start of June I wasn’t really doing anything that remotely resembled serious exercise. To get out of that, I signed up for the London West Tough Mudder in April of this year. But then the injuries started, and the pain, and the sickness, and the stress, and the Ofsted inspection and the arthritis and in the end I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. As much as anything, I was in too much pain.
My arthritis is not at the stage where drugs will do any good. But what will do me good is to lose weight. And my GP is strongly encouraging that. So I’m making changes. An array of technological devices monitor my daily steps, distances, calorific intake, activities undertaken, amount of sleep I have, volume of water consumed. I take part in the NHS Exercise Prescription scheme, visiting a local gym twice a week for personal training. I’m cycling more, walking more, and trying to be good.
When I ran regularly, my depressive moods were easier to control. I had an outlet. But I don’t run any more, so the depression gets worse. And one thing I feel bad about is my weight, the way I look and feel. Being unhappy with that makes me further depressed, less likely to exercise and more likely to binge on junk. I have photos, and they aren’t pretty. They were taken as a spur to me so that I can see what I honestly look like now in order to motivate me to change. They are embarrassing and a little upsetting if I’m honest, and I certainly don’t have the confidence to show them to anyone.
I didn’t do the Tough Mudder in April because I wasn’t ready for it. But I did postpone it to October. 96 days from now. I intend to be ready. As of today I’m starting a half-marathon training plan to get me back to a level of fitness where I can run a half-marathon again. At the gym I’ll focus on improving strength so I can tackle the obstacles along the course. Provided of course I stay fit and healthy. This didn’t get off to an auspicious start when I tripped over my own feet on Saturday and wound up scraping my left hand, left knee and left toes into a bloody mess.
I’m writing this at 1.25am so it’s likely a bit disjointed and confused. This is part confessional, part motivational. Keeping myself honest be publicly saying “yes, this is a problem and I’m trying to do something about it”. In 14 weeks I’m running this thing and I need to be fitter, faster and stronger in order to do it.
So I’m going to put the information out there so that people can help me stay on track, encourage me when I’m feeling low, and keep me moving forward. Here’s where I am at the moment. Over the next 14 weeks I hope to see this all change…
Figures correct as of 4 August 2014
Body Fat Percentage: 39.5%