So here we go again. Back on the roads, slogging through the wonderful NHS Couch to 5k series of podcasts. After many false starts last year I have finally managed to get to week three of the series and rather than bore you with tales of aborted attempts to get into this running lark I wanted to be firmly ‘in the programme’ before I reignited this blog.
There’s an added bonus this time. Having seen two work colleagues return from last year’s summer holidays looking a very different shape from when they departed six weeks previously I realised that they must have done something drastic in order to fight their way out of the marshlands that occupy the 17 to 18 stone man. Throughout the year, I have marveled that these two, who were both close to my size and shape but a year ago, have lost even more weight and look spruce and healthy, as I’ve never seen them before.
Finally putting aside my masculine pride I ventured to ask one of them how he had achieved such a remarkable transformation. “Paleo!” he replied. Now, only being exposed to such language in the more extreme episodes of Time Team I didn’t quite know what he meant. “The Paleo, or caveman, diet,” my colleague offered, furthermore pointing out the omission of grain and dairy from his diet. He’d undertaken no exercise, due to a longstanding knee injury, and had simply let the weight slip away from a balanced diet of fruit, nuts and meat. He was happy to report that the diet had revolutionised his life, not only in terms of fat loss but most importantly in terms of allowing him reserves of energy that he thought had been lost to his youth.
Inspired by his abundant enthusiasm I have been busily researching various forms of the Paleo diet and for the past week I’ve been finding my inner caveman. I have always been a bugger for the bread, from cheeses sarnies to bread and scrape to pitta breads and all forms of naans and flatbreads inbetween. Well, no more will I be bound by the grain. Luckily I’ve never been a big drinker, preferring wine and rum to grain or hops based beers. So far, so good. I’ve been enjoying the delights of pork chops with peaches (and the obligatory sweet potato). I thought I might fall off the Paleo wagon at the weekend when I was invited to a BBQ at a friend’s house. Even this precarious obstacle was easily overcome; I simply didn’t have burger buns, the burger and a plain salad sufficed.
As for the running, I have overcome two hurdles that got in the way of progression last year: firstly I have learned that I can run in the rain without ending up like a drowned rat but most importantly I’ve been consistent in keeping up with the runs. Once I got out of the pattern last year it was back to square one and not once did I get past week 2 of Couch to 5k. Today, on day one of week three, I completed two 90 second runs interspersed with two three minute runs. Yes, that’s three of your GMT minutes. And I did it. I ran for three minutes. It was a strain but more than that it was an achievement.
So, the next target is to say goodbye to 17st and move into the realms of sixteen stone land. Alongside this I will be looking forward to more delicious caveman food and anticipating a time in the not too distant future when I will feel the same renewed energy levels that my inspirational colleagues are benefiting from at the moment.