So the heat has abated, last night (or even early morning) it seems as if most of the UK had thunder storms to clear the air. After a period of prolonged sunshine it is still dry & warm & beautiful outside, OK with more clouds. But for us Brits who seem no good at coping with any form of extreme weather, snow or heat, yet moan relentlessly about grey, dull, uneventful weather, does this mean our lives return to pre-heatwave form?
To me it feels as if we have come out of a dream, emerged out of a blissful (but warm) cocoon, reinvigorated by the experience, ready to take on the world. I will readily admit that as well as the huge joy that comes from waking up to the most fantastic blue skies and knowing (any certainty about good weather is rare in UK) that it was here to stay more than 6 hours, has impacted on my day to day:
- more time in the garden, less time on-line blogging and visiting blogs but the deepest tan I’ve had in years
- I can now sleep through the dawn chorus with the windows open. Or are the birds affected by the heat too?
- My lower legs & feet swell as if I’m preggers! On a daily basis! Maybe I am sitting down too much at work…
- Life’s pace has to slow down- the walk home uphill is now a stroll and not a power walk, it ends with an iced drink in the garden. This has to be good for us, right?
- But I have had some dreadful running experiences. I am not good running in the heat at the best of times, but have been demotivated and disheartened how I’ve missed runs “because it’s too hot”, or suffered dreadfully trying to maintain our usual type and timing of runs & ended up performing badly, struggling to run full stop. I will not tell you any more about the nadir except it was a 14.5 mile hilly run with little shade ending just before midday. Mad dogs indeed. But when you’re training for your first marathon this gets in your head & I have been forever berating myself for still not feeling “on track” & it’s my commitment at fault that I’ve not completed all of my weekly planned runs. So although workarounds were needed (eg getting up earlier for the weekend long run) I kind of knew that this particular issue would be short term. It’s UK, right. Our usual summer will return – & I feel as though it has today. I can enjoy the rest I’ve had & look forward to a fresh start.
Check out this running skirt (Jalie 2796) – too hot yet to wear as it is lycra that is in no way technically cooling or wicking.
The shorts are organic bamboo & quite thick too. So not worn or tested yet. Don’t ask about the main fabric except that it is wild, man.
So anyone who’s interested in general healthy stuff you might have some views to offer on this bit: my healthy eating approach to support my training, my running diet has had a review. Now I don’t eat meat (but fish, sometimes, yes) and I’m careful about what I eat with the weekend being for treats: a few beers, crisps, bombay mix (my weakness), & post long run extras as required. But whilst I am careful I was suspecting that I might need to revisit the fab & informative book, “Go Faster Food” by Kate Percy. This contains a load of advice & information about nutrition for running & heaps of wonderful tasty recipes for all meals of the day, plus juices, cakes & even some example meal plans to support training & pre race nutrition. The recipes all give a breakdown of the nutritional value and are also identified as suitable for recovery, pre exercise or for general training diet.
I have frequently made the Melon rescue remedy (so simple- Melon blended with ginger & ice) to hydrate & refuel after long runs. This weekend I made a batch up of slow roasted tomato sauce for pasta, as well as some awesome spiced sweet potato, chick pea & spinach soup – it’s divine. Oh and some date & walnut muffins (:-) )
So OK, I have gone through & got a load of recipes to try from this book. But I have been saving the best for last. My latest enthusiasm is juicing folks.
I’ve had spells of trying this in the past, but am hooked again, thanks to a running friend who has been sharing her experiences and sources of great inspiration. Juicing’s a bit popular at the moment, isn’t it? Did anyone see “Fat, sick & nearly dead” ? Worth a look – I am always inspired by people who turn their life around by changing their lifestyle & eating habits. I do believe in the healing power of so much of what we eat. My friend pointed out the “Juicemaster” website by Jason Vale. There are a number of free e-books of recipes to download. I have been excited to combine a whole load of veg: beetroot, cucumber, celery, spinach leaves with apples and lemon over ice to make the most palatable & excellent red juice that your body just knows is good for it. You know there are some delicious juices containing veg, they might be green or even separate a bit, but they can actually taste good – promise! You don’t have to go full freak to get some amazing health benefits – you can drink veg juice without it tasting obnoxious or reminding you of pondweed. But even more exciting – Jason has been using juicing to support his marathon training & there is also an e-book called “Running on Juice” that not only has a bit of training advice, but also some recipes for training & hydrating juices. I have put these to the test & they are very good. The process of chopping & juicing fruit & veg standing at the juicer with post run muscle throb is weirdly rewarding! Another site which tells you loads about the health benefits of each piece of fruit & veg, providing recipes for juices as well is Juicerecipes. The website’s a useful place to find out what to try if you have specific health conditions too – the healing power of food indeed. At the moment I am still fixed on recipes as it seems that when you follow a recipe you can be assured that it will taste OK. I find that going off piste, off recipe is at your own peril.
Luckily for me I have a market on a Saturday morning that sells cheaper fruit & veg – some only good for juicing to be honest, but worth a weekly trip. Supermarket prices would be restrictive I think.
So there, my latest thoughts on training and what I’m trying to do. It’s not only the domain of runners though, maybe you are a juicing addict? Any resources to share? And any marathon vets out there, any training nutritional resources that you’ve used in the past that you would recommend? I feel I need all the help I can get!