Over the weekend I lived it up in the Four Seasons Hotel in Ballsbridge. We were greeted with champagne, strawberries and chocolates in our room and ordered room service while we chilled out. New Year’s Eve we ate in Roly Saul’s Bistro and rang in the new year back in the bar of the hotel with a bunch of strangers and were in bed before 1am. The hotel was packed the first night and breakfast the next morning was veritable feast with buffet options as well as an extensive menu. I paid a visit to the gym and did 25 mins on the cross trainer and 25mins on the threadmill. Each machine has its own TV attached to it too which made the session fly by while looking at the football. I made use of the spa facilities which were brilliant and there is something great about being able to walk around in a luxury bathrobe and slippers provided to each guest. A jacuzzi, swim and a spell in the steam room and sauna had me sorted and I tucked into the free fresh fruit, nuts and spiced tea in the chill out area while reading the newspaper for an hour. Unfortunately my mystery knee problem really acted up again that evening and was quite painful. We saw Colin Farrell in the bar that day and he actually looked quite small and skinny, that’s just from the brief glance I had so as not to be too obvious unlike another guy who was sitting across from him and just staring plainly at his every move. I suppose they say the camera does put on 10lbs.
Weight a minute!
Speaking of which, I have been very naughty over Christmas. I weighed myself in the spa and found I put on 7kg in the space of 16 days! I was at 71kg up from 64kg, I confirmed this on my scales at home. My weight does seem to fluctuate wildly when I binge during breaks but I’m confident I can shift the majority of this within a few weeks back training. I had my last splurge on Monday evening polishing off a bottle and a bit of wine and a pizza. Oh dear when you start to write it down it’s really quite shocking, but I convince myself that I deserved it so I won’t dwell too much.
Building a plan – nutrition
I couldn’t run since the weekend (no not because I’m so fat now) because of my knee and not being sure if I would cause extra damage or not, so the only things I could really focus my attention on is my running plans and my nutrition. I will be visiting a nutritionist in the next month so I revisited my food log which I first started when I took up running.
I started a new one detailing everything that passes my lips broken down into columns of ‘Wakeup’, ‘Breakfast’, ‘Snack1′, ‘Lunch’, ‘Snack2′, ‘Post Session’, ‘Dinner’, ‘Snack3′. I plan on showing this to the nutritionist and also compiling a list of foods I regularly buy, this will make the nutritionist’s job much easier and it has already brought my attention to a few areas I have been slacking on.
First thing I noticed was that my water intake has been very low during the week but mind you I haven’t been running so not a huge faux pas at this stage but it will have to resume back to normal levels. Last thing at night I bring a pint of water with me to for my bedside table, I usually tank up with this as soon as I wake followed by tea/coffee when I get to work and about 700ml 30mins before lunch and again in the afternoon about 2 hours before a run and again straight after a run giving my body at least four hours to pass it before I sleep so I don’t wake up in the middle of the night.
Another habit I am resolving to keep is to do a more regular ‘personal’ shop and pre-prepare food and snacks. I went into Aldi after work beside the office and picked up all the snacks I like to keep stashed in my desk drawer. Dried fruit, lots of different types of nuts (Aldi seriously cheap for this!), lots of manuka honey for my porridge and bread, regular honey to use for my coffee sweetener and lots of bottles of water to keep in the car. I keep at least 12 litres in the car so I have no excuse to tank up after a run or if I forget to drink it first thing when I wake up.
I’m pretty good with eating fresh food and rarely eat processed food but as a result I need to watch my sodium levels as I was once diagnosed with low salt and high protein from my blood tests due to excessive perspiration during exercise and low salt diet. I now get some shocked looks when people see me douse my food in salt before even tasting it, “It’s OK really, I’m a a really sweaty runner, this is good for me” I usually quib.
From my food log I could also see that my vegetable levels are really slacking and I think this is due to the amount of time it takes to prepare them for cooking, when feeling lazy I mostly just prepare carbs and protein. So I bought enough veg to last the week and pre-prepared it all, spending the guts of an hour peeling and slicing and dicing. So now I just have to stick it in a pot or pan to cook it, lets see if it works.
Not being able to run for the week had me feeling quite tetchy and the envy raged within even when I saw runners out in the shocking wind and rain we’ve been experiencing over the last week. I went to John Murphy in Carysfort clinic a.k.a. ’Mr Diagnosis’ to see what he could see, see, see, but all that he could see, see, see, was bursitis at the top of my knee, knee, knee!
Bursitis (ber-SEYE-tis) is swelling and pain of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion or shock absorber between a tendon and a bone.
I soon realised that close to where the pain was I had a scrape from where I fell during during a brawl with the keeper during the hockey match on Christmas morning. “Not to worry, run through it” John said. He gave the quad above a loosening out and some exercises similar to what I did when I smashed my knee running off Carrauntoohil last summer, straight leg raises and large vertical step ups. If no improvement I just need to give him a call for further advice, probably consisting of easing up on rehab exercises and continued training before stepping it up again. The symptoms have alleviated already after seeing John today. I find it’s great having such a knowledgeable physio and having them keep a concise history of all your problems over the years as well as one that doesn’t insist on seeing you every week. We ended the session with him telling me that two things will keep me out of his office, foam rolling and regular sports massage. This leads to another habit to keep up, continuing both of these which I usually do anyway. Now if Eva would just stop “hiding my foam roller” (my words not hers) because she says it makes the living room look untidy!
I just submitted my first draught of 2012′s goals to the coach which my new schedule will be built around and we will refine it before settling. I’m in maintenance mode until then and I missed the first group fartlek session last night but hoping to make the first of the January dune running sessions on Saturday which should be awesome! Maintenance mode comprises of aerobic running and easy fartlek to keep the base going and speed alive before I delve head first into base training again.
I’ll be doing my first run of the new year tonight so will stick with an easy aerobic effort of 4:50 min/km getting slightly faster if there are no knee complications. Looking forward to it.