Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wittering on Wednesday - obesity

The Food Programme on BBC Radio4 this week presented the debate around changing / stemming the progression of obesity across the 'Developed' world, and I can recommend a listen...

Given what I have seen on my travels through day to day life whatever tack they take we are facing an uphill challenge. The people that I rather rudely snapped with my mobile phone camera in a local cafe were essentially a super-sized family. They sat down across from us and tucked into lunch followed by an excited round of cakes.
As a group I have a feeling these people were contributing to their own weight issues - "Oh , go have that half of the cake with me!"

To me the changes have to come from simple non-judgemental education starting in schools and spreading out through adult groups. Education about menus, meal times, food options, food flavours, essential nutrition, exercise, movement, lifestyle, not simply pushing the message of ill-health and disease as if a big scary stick will have long term benefits. The strategies that rely on companies and industry to help drive change present such a monumental conflict of interest (they need to sell product to justify their existence, shareholder dividends, company bonuses and so forth).

Sure the education approach will take time to achieve, but it could be one of the few ways that could create appropriate obesity avoiding life long habits.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday art works

Sunny walks with the dog are a real pleasure, even more so for him as I took the grooming brush with me (if dogs could purr he would have, stretched out in the sun and I could have sworn he tried to say "you missed a spot!"). Around our neighbourhood their are some talented wall artists and they have an 'avenue' to vent their work upon that makes for a really colourful stroll on a bright day.
Almost the first work you see at the start of the avenue

An eclectic mix of images and tags fight for wall space

Perhaps not the most stunning work in the world but I kind of liked the 'self' portrait

Sunday, July 22, 2012


A simple title for a seemingly simple thing - run. I ran today for the first time in I've almost forgotten how long and the best part is that I made it back in one piece (although oddly two different dogs took time out of their evening strolls to try and take lumps out of me - weird! - must be my aftershave?!?!). The main thing is I ran a run, a short 3.9 mile run at basically 10 minutes per mile pace, but a run without a cough or a wheeze - okay except the tired laboured breathing thing - like I said long time no run. I muscled my way round there was no rhythm, no form, no breathing pattern, really just a rusty blow the cobwebs away run.

I am rambling and I know it... I have less than 12weeks until the half-marathon that I wanted to get a huge PR in, and need a lot more good runs like that one. All I can do is form a plan from here, watch for any hint of a symptom, and hope that the bronchitis / pneumonia bug does not return or reemerge.

I hope your run/s or sporting effort/s this weekend were as good for your soul.

Hot, sunny, blue skies, very light breeze.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Situation update: A story summed up with toys

It finally seems as though my lungs are getting to a point where I might consider training, though as I mentioned in my last post it will be a long road...

Partly because my weight increased to:
A gain of 9kg!, whoops, 6kg (I did my conversion wrong)
Mostly through eating more than just my five-a-day:
It is possible to eat too much of a good thing even if it doesn't really taste wooden
All whilst feeling bad that I would see other runners out on the road and in parks working hard, so I felt like I was stuck behind a barrier as train after train went by:
Another delay for a speeding train ;-)
Hopefully now I will be able to get all my sports toys out of their toybox and start new adventures.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The beginning of the long long road back

This morning I placed myself at the beginning of the long long road back to running fitness. It has not taken very long at all to feel so ridiculously unfit through the course of my lung infection and illness, it seems not so long ago that I was getting round 26.2 miles and now I feel about as strong as a newborn kitten! In almost two and a half months of virtual sporting inactivity my weight has increased about as fast as my fitness has decreased. I have runs I want to do, targets I want to meet, and ambitions I want a shot at, so this morning feeling that my lungs are just about okay I set out.... for a swift walk.

As frustrating as walking was, it was where I started my running 'career' in a Cardiff park back in 2003/4 so I know that progress can be amazing. In all likelihood I could have run today but I am determined not to over cook this recovery and end up a coughing frustrated sick person again. The biggest thing on my mind is how to mark out the curve  of progression so that I don't end up back at this square one again.

SportTracks pace plot for my 2.37 mile 'power' walk
From my pace plot for the route from the SportTracks package showed that by some arbitrary measure I was jogging (yes, I wore my GPS to keep my mind on the fact that this wasn't a gentle stroll). This is probably only because at over six foot tall my power walking stride is a fair bit longer than the average, but it made me smile to think I could pretend I was out jogging :-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Globally fat?

These things come around with increasing regularity in the mass press, and are in fact more worrying each time I see them. All the time the waistlines of the world (specifically particular subsets / nations) seem to be on the inexorable rise. Today Mrs Taffi showed me a link to a global BMI calculator...

Where do you come out?

A little sadly (though not unexpectedly), I came out above average globally, but happily I know that I am fitter than my BMI might imply [in fact if I'd done the calculator back before I ran the marathon I would have been all but globally 'average']. The truth remains that this is one statistic where I would really rather prefer to be below average(!)... within my country of origin (the U.K.) it turned out I am below average, whoop whoop!

More on weight challenges in the next few days... I am aiming to get this blog rolling again after a quiet patch. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

On the road again?

Today I managed to ride 12.5 miles on my bike and swim for 45 mins, neither of which were energetically as I was taking my daughter for a splash in the local pool basically. It was really very good to be on the move a little today, apart from being a little tired from the effort there didn't appear to be any ill effects for my lungs. One day does not a recovery make but the only way is up from here, I will be trying to do a little each day so that I can think about running in about 10 days time... fingers-crossed!