V Cars Diary of a Novice Triathlete
The Weak End
The training has been going quite well. A bit of swimming, a bit of running, Thursday night football, Friday night squash, I should be feeling pretty good right now, right?
Well, yes and no. I know I’m putting down the type of ground work that will probably get me over the 750m line in three weeks’ time, but I can’t help feeling the good food and good drink I enjoyed over the weekend (at the amazing Stones Restaurant at Matlock, Derbyshire if you’re in the area) is undermining my training regime.
I had mushroom risotto with truffle foams, lambs with the most amazing crushed peas and the cheese board. Nine, count ‘em, nine cheese. I’m a firm believer in cheeses (as an atheist, I think that’s my favourite pun. Then again, I wonder who I’m going to be asking for help if I’m struggling after 500 metres or so?).
So the pendulum toward indulgence and away from training swung once again at the weekend. For me, it’s the weak end. I just don’t have the resolve to abstain from good living at the end of a working week. It might have something to do with working for oneself. If you’ve never worked for yourself, it’s a strong person who can leave their work at work. Instead of the solace I know can be found at the end of a long run, I’m finding it too often at the bottom of a bag of a long drink.
I think so much of life is about momentum. The momentum toward the swim allows me to have a reason to train. The momentum of a glass of wine allows me to have another glass, and some nachos, and some toast (and peanut butter – protein right?).
My current trajectory is definitely toward self-harming through the language of food. At lunchtime today, I PROMISED myself I was going to eat fruit only and lose a few pounds for my father-in-laws’ 80th birthday on Saturday night (another minefield where the mines will be vol au vent shaped). But the overhanging momentum from the weekend prompted be to grab a sandwich, cheese and onion crisp and bottle of water. Not terrible, but less than an hour before I reached out for the meal deal, I’d signed a deal with myself to go fruit only.
Perhaps, and I think this might well be true, my complacency with weight might me just getting older. Maybe I’m a month or two into ‘letting myself go’. A learned friend of mine often assures me that the thirties are about working on the body and forties about working on the mind. It’s that sort of glib maxim that I cling on to when I’m not being ‘good’ whatever that it. I know I shouldn’t and I don’t like it when I see my increasingly overweight face staring back from the mirror, but seriously what‘s the point of looking after yourself? Married, two kids, it’s unlikely I’m ever going to be back on the market.
Oh god, I always get like this on Mondays. On that subject, I played my daughter I Don’t Like Mondays from Spotify the other day (if you have never used Spotify, oh my God – get it) she looked at me blankly. That’s what you get when you send your children to a lovely middle class school – they have no comprehension of what it’s like to be an articulate, confident young boy growing up in Eighties Middlesbrough and going to a comprehensive that was anything but. My kids love Mondays. Good for them, I suppose.
This bad mood is perfect for training. Back in the pool tonight. I have a new target: 1,000 metres.
The plan is to take it slow, take it easy, go as late as possible, so there’s no-one else in the pool, and try and get in a nice rhythm. A lot is going to depend on what I have for dinner. I plan to have a chicken salad – momentum and all that. Let’s just hope I’m able to catch the pendulum before it swings the other way and I breakout the port, cheese and deep fried mars bars, eh?
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