Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rambling, Very Little Running

With apologies to Donald.

Cian (aged 6): “Daddy, what’s your job?” Me: “I work with computers” Cian (disgusted)”That’s not a job!!!” Lola (aged 8): “He keeps the Internet going”. Hmm. I’m afraid Cian might be closer to the truth than his big sister.

My no-sugar pledge is still going strong. There have been a few interesting things I noticed. The weighing scales are showing 3 pounds less than a week ago. I’m a bit sceptical about the alleged rapid weight loss, especially since I’m not actually dieting and sure haven’t gone hungry, but when I put on my trousers on Monday, they almost dropped down again and I had to dig in my cupboard for a belt, which supports the scales’ findings.

Since sugar in coffee is off the list as well I realised just how awful coffee tastes, at least the stuff they have here in the office. I must have used the sugar purely to drown out the taste. So, an unexpected side effect of my no-sugar diet has been a radical drop in my coffee intake, from 1-2 cups a day no nothing at all during the week, though Niamh’s coffee at home is still good to go.

Talking about Niamh, she didn’t seem to have grasped the concept of no sugar, which became apparent a few evenings ago when she created a big trifle with sinful amounts of custard on top. To my exasperated refusal (“I said I’m off sugar!!” Stop tempting me!!!”) she responded with “what? Not even a small portion?”, which means she’s turning into her mother.

Talking about her mother, I should create a new web page that lists her gems. That list would include the old classics like “make sure Thomas takes plenty of breaks when he’s running” and “tell him to run the marathon slower so that you can see him finish” as well as new ones like “make sure Thomas does not exert himself during the race; after all he’s 40 now”. I’m not entirely sure why I just wrote that paragraph for the world and his dog to see. It might get me into trouble. Real trouble, and with Niamh as well.

Talking about Niamh again, I know she reads this blog, because that’s how she finds out what I’m up to these days. Whoever said the Internet kills communication in the family?

Since my weight seems to be dropping all by itself I have set the target of weighing less than my good lady wife, a challenge she seems to have accepted, if not officially. Since she has now started sharing my no-sugar desserts, this might have become a moving target. And by the way, according to this website, my present body fat count is only 10.6%, though I’m rather sceptical about the accuracy of the calculator, especially for athletes.

If you're wondering why on earth I started rambling like that, maybe all that no-sugar business is playing havoc with my sanity, which was in short supply to start with, according to quite a few people (including the fella from Saturday’s race. “If you want to run 50 miles there MUST be something wrong with your head”. He did know that I was standing right beside him, too. He was looking at me at the time!)

My quads still don’t feel right, which makes me wonder if I’m just imagining things by now. To be on the safe side I have now done no less than 3 easy days in a row since Saturday’s race. Sunday’s 6 miles were followed by 8 miles on Monday and 5 miles this morning, all of them at very easy pace.

To help the healing process in my quads along, I decided to wear some compression shorts to work on Monday. I know some people who use recovery tights regularly (“I used to live in them”) and swear by them, but all I had were some half-tights, which should do for my quads, or so I thought. As I found out to my discomfort, if you sit around the office all day then the quads are not the only part of your body that get compressed, and the whole experience became rather uncomfortable. I guess they’re not meant to be worn for hours at a time, and certainly not by someone who’s worried about maintaining his fertility (which I’m not. I can’t handle the 4 kids we’ve got already!). There’s no need for you to try this out yourself. You can learn from my mistakes without doing them yourself. You’re welcome.

I better stop now before I embarrass myself even more.

22 Feb
8+ miles, 1:06:07, 8:14 pace, HR 137
23 Feb
5+ miles, 42:41, 8:27 pace, HR 134


  1. this may be your best post EVER!
    love niamh's mother, she's brilliant!
    please carry on saving the internets. :)

  2. I like the comments. You could make Niamh's mother into a celebrity running tweeter with comments like that.

    I'm off the drink for lent and last night, while filing random stuff, my wife suggested I have a glass of wine (on a Monday night) to calm down. She is currently bartering with me to drink when we go out as I am as dry as toast without a beer in me.

  3. That's beautiful writing, Thomas. And, yes, you probably will get in trouble for some of those comments.
    There's nothing wrong with a few easy days.

  4. I think it's time to start a Facebook page and exclude Niamh as a friend! I'm pretty sure saying she's turning into your mother-in-law isn't flattery.

    And if your pants keep falling down, don't try and get into hers, or I really will think you're crazy!

  5. I tried that body fat estimation tool and it gave me a reading of under 10 per cent! In short, it's definitely not accurate.

  6. No apologies necessary - this is a great post!

  7. You crack me up, I love it!

    I know I mentioned something a few weeks ago, but I'm really glad to see that you're taking the time to "recover" when needed, rather than push on through (particularly with the long runs x2). That's experience for you!

    Keep it up!

  8. Thomas while it was one of the best posts I've read in a while I can't beleive that you'd used the same women that took you away for your last birthday as the butt of a joke. And expose the same Mother in Law that looked after your kids while you went away?


    You're living dangerously but that is where true comedy is found ;)

  9. Great post Thomas.......we want more of the mother-in-law!!!

  10. The guy at the race was totally right - it isn't sane to run a 50 mile race. I'm quick to say the same thing to anyone who asks me about my Comrade's training. ;)

  11. The bit about running slow in a marathon so she can see you...priceless!!

    No sugar is tough stuff.. :)

  12. This was hilarious! I'm pretty sure the lack of sugar is affecting your cognitive skills. Great post Thomas!