Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Marathon Training Week 7/ SUGAR!!! OMIGOD, SUGAR!!!!

7 weeks in! Ermagerd, shit's getting really, REALLY real! I'm actually going to have to do this thing, aren't I?  Without much further ado, please observe a glorious week in which I followed my training plan to.  The.  Letter.  Oh.  My. Gawd (lookat. Her. Butt*):

Mon    Restful day of resting (so restful)
Tues   5 miles
Weds  Who am I to resist a-rest (haw haw)?
Thurs 3 miles & Crossfit, during which I learned I can now fling 25kg onto my shoulders easily! Rejoicing!
Fri     4 miles
Sat  Stag do/dancing at an Irish bar induced hang over. Rest day
Sun   Penultimate Run Like a Ninja & 14 MILES!!!

Furthest I have ever-ever-ever-ever run!  And it was enjoyable!  Ninja lesson of the day was about getting cadence (the optimum number of steps to take per second while running = approx 3, or 180 beats per minute).  I learned that as long as my feet hit that ideal 1-2-3 rhythm, I could control my speed by either zipping my ankles higher up my legs to go faster, or by keeping my feet close to the floor for a low 'n' slow pace.  The way I run has completely changed over the last few weeks; for the better.  Zero injuries, and thanks to more frequent walk breaks (still getting used to not berating myself for having to do this and accepting that it's a better method of running long distance for me), I'm remembering to enjoy myself.  Plus, I'm still weirdly faster the more often I let myself have walk breaks.  Maybe if I walk the marathon, I'll win? Haz I dun a logick?

My epically tanned and muscular calves after 14 fun solo miles, 
because after 14 miles, my face wasn't prepared to be photographed.
Cameras have yet to have red-face reduction as well as red eye.

Aaand this week's plan is all going to go to shit because I've signed up to my first ever obstacle course, which falls on a rest day (Saturday).  It's the Margam Invncbl run.  6 miles, 20-something obstacles and a whole heap o' mud!  Have discovered that there are electric shocks at one point along the course.  I may or may not be sitting in soiled pants as I type.  I HATE electric shocks!!  I get pissy enough when I get static shocks off of shopping trollies.  Keep an eye out for a 5ft3 She-Hulk on the news.  I don't know how rage-y more than a little static is likely to make me.  If I even do that part of the course.  But there is a medal and a t-shirt, so no backing out now.  I have a pretty new shiny to collect, G-D it!

Runnin' done for this post.  Main topic I'm going to cover today was brought on by a conversation I had with the osteopath I met through Outcast CrossFit and who is doing a damn good job of making sure I don't make any of my own limbs fall off from over use during training (Swansea Body Kinetics - Rosie Jones).  Turns out we are both frequent sugar giver-uppers/binge consumers.  My attitude to sweets/cakes/other delicious things that make my brain light up like a Catherine wheel is well summed up by a Mark Twain quote I saw somewhere about his smoking habits:

 “To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I’ve done it a thousand times.”

I give up sugary treats every single day I when I wake up. Granted, it's not a habit akin to smoking in the eyes of most (especially if you are smoking in the eyes of most.  People don't like that, apparently), but I really believe that my addiction to the sweet stuff is just as intense, and can be just as damaging to our health in the long term.  I've read enough about it** to know why I shouldn't be eating Maoams at every meal.  Some examples of what excessive amounts of sugar can do to you:
  • Fatty liver
  • Fat and triglycerides in the blood
  • Visceral fat
  • All of the above can contribute to heart disease
  • Damages collagen (translates: makes you prematurely look like a well used handbag)
  • Over time makes you increasingly resistant to insulin, causing you to be at higher risk for diabetes.
 My logical Cleverbrain knows that if I keep eating nutritionally void party foods on the daily, I am likely to become a diabetic thirty year old who looks like she should have a bus pass and is one trifle away from an Elvis style heart attack on the bog.  No person wants that for themselves.  Nope.  No quick rush of "weeh, this is nice!" is worth it.  Cleverbrain also knows that nice things happen when I give up sugary snacks, because it's helped me try do it enough times.  When I'm off the Devil's granules,
  • I'm more awake because I'm not in a WEEEEE!...zzzz...AAAAGH!!!...zzzz....WEEEEH!! cycle of peaks and crashes in my alertness.
  • I'm a nicer person to be around because I'm less crazy from the merry-go-round of energy levels and spiking emotions.
  • My brain feels less foggy.  Probably because it's not filled with bits of Fruit Pastille.
  • I get physically leaner very quickly. I'm not too bothered about my weight, but it is easier to do my runs without little functionless almost-saddlebags that I can't even carry my loose change in.
 Of course I'm always going to want sugar.  Because frankly, it's fucking delicious. But it does bug me that all of my reasoning and good intentions to give myself a better chance at carving myself an independent and healthy old age is ruined by Cleverbrain's nemisis, the evil Professor Shitforbrains, who frequently turns up in my mind like an obese, grabby-handed child with chocolate on its face going 


I don't get it.  How have humans evolved to think for themselves, and at the same time be contantly overruled by destructive impulses "just because it's nice and I want it, I want it now!"?  I understand that in the grand scheme of things, my "problem" isn't a problem anywhere near the scale of those experienced by people suffering with genuinely life ruining habits, but it is something I've grappled with for years.

Rosie the Magical Osteopath (sorry, Rosie, I've made you sound like a character off Playdays!  Send Why Bird and Poppy the cat my regards) made the point that maybe the reason that sugar is so easy to binge on is exactly that.  There's no sudden danger or deterioration while you're "on" it, and no dramatic comedown to put you off having more.  The negative effects are more long term, silent and creeping, which is ominous enough, but nothing like the shock of seeing a picture of a burnt up lung on a packet of Lambert & Butler.

Maybe after the marathon, I'll set myself a project to ease my dependance on sugar out of my life.  For now, I just wanted to get the topic out of my head, because it's been bugging me for a while.

Apparently I have a comments doohicky on this thing that I seldom mention/use.  Let me know - is your consumption of sugar something that bugs you, too?  Or am I alone here under my pile of Drumsticks and Sherbert Dip Dabs?

Also phwoar.  Do Sherbert Dip Dabs still exist??

*Apologies if, like me, you now can't get Nicki Minaj's manic giggles out of your head from that surreal version of Baby Got Back she did either.  "EhhhhHAHAHAHAH!!!"

** Two really good reads to get you started if interested: That Sugar Book - Damon Gameau and Sweet Nothing - Nicole Mowbray


  1. Sugar and fat bug me a lot to the point that it's extremely rare that I go near chocolate, sweets, cakes and so on.
    If they were good for you and wouldn't make me more overweight then I'd probably happily binge eat them non stop lol, but as it is, in the interests of getting in better shape, I don't miss them.
    The only time I touch anything sugary or fatty is if I'm stressed/worried about something - I will munch my way through way too much ... which for a brief while makes me feel better ... followed by 'why the hell did I just do that?' And then feeling sorry for myself lol.

    1. The latter part of what you said is what I'm like on a daily basis around sweets. It's an emotional crutch thing, I think. Price of being highly strung! Wish I had your self control. Sounds like you've got a handle on eating well most of the time!


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