Diet Survival..

Well I managed to resist the beer and pizza after tennis opting for a banana and coconut water as planned!  It was no where near as good 😦

pizza

But, I managed to stick to the plan and felt pretty pleased with myself.

During tennis I was curious to see if my energy levels would be down.  It wasn’t a huge night but a reasonable time out on the court and I didn’t feel fatigued at any point.  My tennis was rubbish, but I could hardly blame that on my diet!

Sleep came relatively easy after a night playing tennis in the cold.

The morning came and I woke up feeling a little hungry, but again not famished.  On the down side, I was feeling a little flat with a bit of a headache and generally irritable.   Jumping on the scales I had dropped half a kg so a total of 1.5kgs in 2 days – not too bad.

Being almost halfway though my program, I  figured I could ride out any ill effects as my body adjusted to the reduced nutrition.  Maybe breakfast would make me feel better?

  • Cup of Early Grey Tea ( no milk or sugar)
  • 500ml Water
  • Morning Juice
    • I hadn’t finished the juice from the night before so started with that as the base of my juice – around 200ml worth – and added extra.
    • 1 x Carrot
    • 1/4 Cucumber
    • 1 x stick Celery sliced
    • 1 x small handful frozen organic Blueberries
    • 1 x Orange peeled
    • 1 x small handful baby Spinach
    • 1 x slice Pineapple
    • filtered water
  • Espresso coffee

After breakfast I got ready for work and well…. I just didn’t feel like I was firing on all cylinders.  My headache wasn’t as bad and I didn’t feel hungry, so I just blamed the blues on residual effects of the cold I have just had and moved on.  But I suspected that my body was rebelling a little at the strictness of the diet.  Tomorrow could be interesting….

With a few meetings planned for the day I grabbed a coffee and reminded myself to try and drink more water.

  • Espresso coffee
  • 500 ml water

I cheated again for lunch and brought a pre-packaged vegetable soup that I could heat up where I was working.

  • 400g Pumpkin and Lentil soup

Getting back home I had some of my trusty soup ready to heat up.  Feeling some hunger pangs I allowed myself a snack as a treat before dinner.

  • 50 gm combination of peanuts, cashews & wasabi peas
  • 250g  Vegetable Soup for dinner
  • 500ml filtered water

Dinner satisfied my hunger and with my headache all but gone, I was feeling good about my diet again.  Post dinner while watching the State of Origin game I settled down to a cup of tea and some fruit.

earl grey tea

  • Cup Earl Grey Tea (no milk or sugar)
  • 2 x Imperial Mandarins

The plan for the morning is a gym session and maybe a light run later in the day.  I’m expecting the gym session to be tough – but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised 😉

Wondering what the morning’s weigh in will present..

 

All information on this website including recipes, diet plans and other advice are provided to explain my own dieting approach.  The information is not intended as a substitute for consultation, evaluation or treatment by a medical professional and/or registered dietitian or nutritionist.  Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor.  You must not rely on the information on this website (or any other website for that matter) as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
Posted in diet, Fitness, Health, Marathon Training, Running, Wellbeing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Surviving the Diet – Day 2

Woohoo!  Day 2 of the diet and I’ve dropped just over 1 kg since yesterday!

I’m guessing this is mainly water, but I’m banking it anyway 🙂

Surprisingly, I didn’t wake feeling overly hungry and slept ok.  I was imagining a restless night with reruns of Masterchef going through my head dreaming about food – but not the case.

Given I am in training I needed to head out for a morning run to get some kms in the legs and increase my cardio fitness.  Only a 5km outing as I am playing tennis with the boys from “C’mon” (our tennis team) tonight as part of the winter competition.

Part of me was thinking that keeping to a strict diet and training would be a great way to accelerate weight loss, but the sensible side of me knows the importance of nutrition in training.  So the morning juice needed to be a little higher in energy as did my total intake for the day which guided my plan.

Day Two

As with any of my juices I aim to use fresh produce but supplement with prepackaged frozen produce when fresh isn’t available.

I would recommend to reduce the work of preparing the juice, and make it as palatable as possible, storing fruit in the fridge.   Prepare some fruit and freeze it for convenience – especially fruit like bananas, pineapple and berries.

With some of the vegetables that require preparation (carrots, celery, cucumber and the like) I’ll chop them in advance and store a few days worth in the fridge so they can be slammed into the Nutri-bullet for quick juicing.

  • IMG_7508

    my morning juice 🙂

    500 ml water

  • Morning Juice
    • 1 x Banana
    • 1 x handful frozen organic Blueberries
    • 1 x handful sliced Celery
    • 1 x Orange peeled
    • 1 x handful baby Spinach
    • 3-5 Basil leaves
    • 1 x slice of Pineapple
    • filtered water

I had two thirds of the juice pre-run and then headed out.  It was a very chilly winter morning and quite dark (see my picture taken at the start of the run at the top of this post). Whist I wasn’t pushing hard on the run, I did feel a little flat and suspected that the diet was having a negative impact on my energy levels – something to watch as I build to a bigger run on the weekend.

Back in the house with a nice little run behind me I rehydrated with water, finished off my juice and had a coffee – ready to tackle the day ahead!

  • Espresso coffee
  • 500 ml water

After a shower, I did a little self analysis.  How was I feeling? Am I hungry? Am I tired?

Hungry?  A little, bit – but not famished, so I figured that was a good sign.

Feeling?  Generally pretty good, although maybe a little light headed or like I needed a nap.  Coming off a bad cold, I suspected that was a contributing factor.

My concentration levels were good and I wasn’t having any food cravings. Yay!  🙂

By late morning I was starting to get a bit peckish.  So morning tea I decided to add a little more to my nutrition to get me through to lunch.

  • Espresso coffee
  • 500 ml water
  • 200g of white grapes

The snack did the job!  I had already decided I needed to have something substantial for lunch with a reasonably active day planned and decided that soup and maybe a juice before tennis would be the plan.  For my soup, I cheated by buying a pre-packaged Corn with Split Peas soup – which was around 135 calories.

  • 250g Soupespresso
  • 500 ml water
  • Espresso coffee (it’s the last one for the day … really)

As the day wore on I did notice that I was hungrier than normal.  Not to the point of distraction or discomfort, but definitely noticing the impact of less nutrition.  In the afternoon I had another small snack with my Matcha tea.

  • 1 x Celery stick
  • Cup of Matcha tea

If you haven’t discovered Matcha tea – check it out.  Not only is it high in antioxidants, it is reported to contain a compound that has been studied by the scientific community as a potential fighter of obesity by regulating and sustaining hunger levels.  Add to this claimed benefits of potentially regulating cancerous cell growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis.  AND it is purported to aid in focus and clarity, increase alpha wave activity in the brain, as well as show improvements in episodic and working memory.

matcha

Matcha Power!

Before dinner we took the dogs for a short 20 minute walk in the glorious winter sunshine which they loved!  Nice to get away from the work desk for a while too 😉

For dinner – more of my ready made soup followed by a small Juice for a little bit of extra energy to get me through a night of tennis.  I know it’s not Wimbledon or Roland Garos – but I still need to head out with the right prep!

  • 250g Vegetable Soup
  • Dinner Juice
    • 1 x Pear
    • 1 x slice of Pineapple
    • 1 x slice of Cantaloupe / Rock Melon
    • 1/4 Lime
    • 1/4 Lemon
    • 1 x small handful frozen organic Blueberries
    • 1 x small handful of Kale (stems removed)
    • 1 x small handful of white Grapes
  • 500 ml filtered water

While playing tennis I consume around 600ml to a litre or water depending on how hot it is.  Normally after a night of tennis we relax and socialise over a couple of beers and pizza.  I’ll be missing out tonight – my post game supper will be more about recovery and rehydration as my shown below.

  • 510ml can of organic pure Coconut Water
  • 1 x Banana

The big question is, “Will I be able to resist pizza and beer?!?!?!!?”

It’s going to be tough. 😦

Happy running!

 

All information on this website including recipes, diet plans and other advice are provided to explain my own dieting approach.  The information is not intended as a substitute for consultation, evaluation or treatment by a medical professional and/or registered dietitian or nutritionist.  Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor.  You must not rely on the information on this website (or any other website for that matter) as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
Posted in diet, Fitness, Health, Marathon Training, Recipes, Running, Trail Running, Wellbeing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Has it really been that long?!?!

There’s no point me apologising for being slack – I’ve said it all before.  But here is it some 18 months or so since my last post – Sheesh!  How did that happen????

Well I’m back!  And man, how much has happened since then…. I’m not even sure where to start.  So I’m guessing you are wondering why the absence… Hmmm… in bullet point form here’s what has passed (much of these I’ll be expanding on in upcoming posts).

  • Running – well that’s obvious I guess, but I’ve managed to knock over a few events that include:
    • 400km multi stage ultra marathon through the Scottish highlands being the inaugural Cape Wrath Ultra.
    • Outback Australia marathon in central Australia near Uluru (actually one my age category!)
    • Hobart Cadbury marathon in stunning Tasmania, Australia.
    • Rollercoaster ultra marathon (44km) in the extremely hilly Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, Australia (never doing that event again!)
    • Disneyworld Marathon Fesitval in Orland completing the multi stage Dopey Challenge of 5km, 10km, half marathon and marathon on consecutive days.
    • Maui Oceanfront marathon – how good is Hawaii???
    • Completed my 7th Puffing Billy race racing an old steam train (bastard beat me again!)
    • Ultra trail Australia 100km in the magnificent Blue Mountains.
    • Plus a huge amount of training runs – pre and post op.
  • Went for a little trek in Nepal this year and hiked to Everest Base Camp and back (can’t wait to share that adventure with you – simply awesome!!!).
  • Did a special for a tv show on the benefits of healthy living and running for reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Had another lot of hip surgery to even up my body – now I’m totally balanced 😉
  • Travelled a fair bit including South Africa, United Kingdom, Middle East, United States and loads of places in Australia – especially our favourite place on earth Port Douglas in Far North Queensland.
  • Completed my Certificate III in Personal Training (still have Certificate IV to go!!)
  • Balanced training, events, busy lifestyle and work (including some new business ideas) – all poorly.

So… I’ve been busy is the short answer.  And all fine excuses for being a slack blogger I hope you will agree 🙂

But, I’m back.   I have missed it terribly and failing to spend time on what you love because you are too busy is a stupid excuse.   So here I am.

So what’s news??  Glad you asked.

Since completing the Ultra Trail ultra following my trek in Nepal, I was pretty tired – like really tired.  My hip has been hurting again (a visit to the doc is planned), so I pretty much stopped training – and ate and drank whatever I felt like (although still not eating meat or dairy, so not quite “whatever”).  Cause and effect – I’ve put on some weight!

With a marathon less than 4 weeks away I decided I needed to get some control over my diet and training, and stop grazing through the fridge and pantry like a malnourished labrador.  But what diet to try???

There are SOOOOO many to choose from,and I have no idea what is best.  Deciding that doing anything was better than nothing, I grabbed a bit of what I liked from a few diets and today embarked on my own GPONTHERUN Diet 🙂  You can join my journey (and suffering) as I work through the days on this blog.

As while I’m getting back into my writing groove, I figured I’d share what I am doing, the results, how it makes me feel and (hopefully) some successful outcomes at the end.

The diet

I’ve decided all or nothing is not for me.  So I’ve set myself a target of 5 days of very strict dieting and giving myself some latitude on the weekend – but not getting totally off the leash.

Soup and juices are the foundation block of my diet – borrowing a little from the juice and soup diets, plus allowing a couple of additions to keep me sane.  Each day I’ll post up my food and fluid consumption and a little report on how I’m tracking towards my goal.

Goal?  My aim is to drop between 5 and 10 kilograms before race day on the 16th of July. I’m currently sitting at 81kg which is about 6kg over what I think is my optimum weight.

scale-diet-fat-health-53404

With a marathon looming, I will be training – both gym work and running and will provide my training regime as a reference.  Diet and exercise are the key to weightloss.

Day One

As I had a busy training weekend – today (Monday was a rest day).

  • Juice of half a lemon in hot water to start the day.
  • Espresso coffee (I’m not giving up on coffee!!!!)
  • Morning Juice made in a Nutri-bullet.  All ingredients are fresh unless stated otherwise.
    • 1 x Granny Smith Apple
    • 1 x Orange peeled
    • 1 x slice of Pineapple
    • 1/4 Cucumber
    • 1 x handful of baby Spinach
    • 1 x handful of Kale (stems removed)
    • 1/4 of lemon
    • filtered water

And that kicked off the day.

  • 500 ml water consumed in the morning
  • Espresso coffee for morning tea

Well I got through to early afternoon without feeling hungry, or killing anyone.  Bonus!

  • Lunch Juice made in Nutri-bullet
    • 1 x Beet sliced

      IMG_7506

      Mmm…. my lunch juice

    • 1 x Granny Smith Apple
    • 1 x Carrot
    • 1/4 Cucumber
    • 1 x handful of baby Spinach
    • 1 x handful of Kale (stems removed)
    • 1/4 of lemon
    • 1/4 of lime
    • filtered water

Lunch was done and I wasn’t feeling hungry still – although I can’t say I was feeling sated.

  • 500 ml water while working
  • Espresso coffee for afternoon tea

For Dinner, I had made up some vegetable soup on the weekend to give me something a little more substantial (and a little more chewable).

  • 250ml – 300ml Vegetable soup
  • 500 ml mineral water

The Soup recipe is linked here.

Post dinner can be a challenge as I don’t mind indulging in a snack with a cup of tea – but not this week baby!

  • 2 x cups of Early Grey Tea (no milk or sugar)
  • 2 x imperial Mandarins
  • 500 ml water

The only addition to the items above was sugar free chewing gum as I felt I needed to be chewing something, and I find it a useful hunger suppressant.

I head to bed feeling a little flat and undernourished but all in all, not too bad.  Hopefully I don’t wake in the middle of the night with a grumbling stomach and voracious need for chocolate!

Weigh in tomorrow!

 

All information on this website including recipes, diet plans and other advice are provided to explain my own dieting approach.  The information is not intended as a substitute for consultation, evaluation or treatment by a medical professional and/or registered dietitian or nutritionist.  Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor.  You must not rely on the information on this website (or any other website for that matter) as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
Posted in Fight Dementia, Fitness, Health, Recipes, Running, Trail Running, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quinoa & Red Rice Salad Recipe

Over the past 12 months or so I’ve been becoming more and more vegetarian oriented in my diet and choice of foods.  I’ve all but cut out  dairy, but will have small amounts either in cooking or desserts when taking it out is just too difficult for those preparing the meal.  I’m not really vegetarian, more pescatarian, as I still eat seafood.

All in all, I think I feel better for it and I find it easier to keep my weight in check.  One thing I have found difficult at times, is creating meals that are both filling, tasty and provide the level of energy necessary to support training and help my body recover.

So, from time to time I’ll share recipes I either discover, or create, that are healthy and tasty, just in case you are facing the same dilemma.  Would love to hear some of your favourites too – please feel free to share on the this post or email me at gpontherun@gmail.com.

Today I noticed we had some really nice salad ingredients in the fridge which inspired the following recipe.

Quinoa & Red Rice Salad Recipe

IMG_3208A word of warning, don’t take my measurements too literally as I tend to “make it up” a little as I go  😉

Ingredients
8-10 vine ripened cherry tomatoes halved
1 lebanese cucumber (or half a large continental cucumber) halved then sliced
1 small carrot peeled, halved and sliced
3-4 medium button cup mushrooms halved and sliced
1/3 cup of red rice cooked to directions then allowed to cool
1/3 cup of white quinoa cooked as per directions then allowed to cool
4-5 mini peppers/capsicums (mix up the colours if you can) deseeded, halved and sliced
small handful of continental parsley coarsely chopped
Generous squeeze of lime juice
Good slug of quality olive oil
4-5 Grinds of black pepper

What to Do
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix to combine to ensure the dressing touches all ingredients.  Serve and devour – either as a light meal or as a side for a main meal.

Want to add some protein?  I’d suggest smoked salmon strips or chunks of quality tuna.

So why red rice you ask?  Well, red rice looks good for starters, also, it’s really good for you.  According to sources brown rice and red rice are quite similar when we talk about them on the nutritional front.   They are both  great sources of fibre, B vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, manganese, selenium, magnesium and other nutrients.

Another benefit that sets the red variety apart from its brown counterpart is it being enriched with antioxidants that can help fight damaging free radicals in your body.  Red rice apparently gets its colour from an antioxidant called anthocyanins. This compound is believed to have properties that can reduce inflammation (good for runners), allergy, prevent risks of cancer and help in weight management.  Along with calcium, magnesium helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and prevents risks of arthritis and osteoporosis (both of which are life buddies of mine).

I’m guessing you already know about the benefits of quinoa.  As a naturally gluten-free grain it  contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber.  It is also one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein and comprised of all pernine essential amino acids.  When you are more veggie than carnivore, quinoa is a great addition to the diet.

You’ll note that the vegetables are all raw and therefore retain all their natural goodness.  I’m sure you could a lot more to this recipe than I have and hope you do.  I’m thinking some garlic, spinach and cashews…. Hmmm – will let you know how it turns out.

Bon appetit.

Oh, and Happy Running 🙂

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Moments in time…

I heard the news today, Oh Boy…. lyrics from the Beatles “A Day in the The Life” sung hauntingly by John Lennon have been on repeat in my mind for many days now.

There are moments in time when you are stopped in your tracks and find yourself questioning life, the universe and everything – which is what that song means to me.  I had one of those moments occur last week.

A friend of mine, not a close friend, but someone I liked and I knew fairly well – but not as well I as wish I had, made a momentous decision. He was someone whose company I enjoyed and a person I respected.   And just over a week ago he decided that this world was no longer the place for him.

Why? I wish I knew… Everyone I have spoken to who knew him has asked the same question – and there are no answers.

I could say without embellishment that he was one of the smartest people I have ever met. Add to that his lust for life, enthusiasm, gregarious personality, caring and friendly disposition – he was someone who was genuinely interested in everyone and everything.  A man who enjoyed life and, from the eulogies and stories recounted over the past week, made everyone else’s life better for being a part of it.

Standing in the foyer of the funeral house where his friends, family and colleagues came together to say farewell, I looked at his beaming smile from the presentation screen and asked myself (and him) again “Why?”

It was only a few months ago I was on a training run along my usual track when a cyclist rode past me at speed, only to slam on the brakes and scream out my name. Scared the hell out of me! It also snapped me out of meditative running state and when I turned around there he was, that same beaming smile I saw at the funeral house lighting up his face.

We quickly worked out we were living close by now and frequented the same trails, as he was a health and fitness enthusiast.  He was, as always, excitedly talking about all the things happening in his life whilst taking particular joy in hearing about my own adventures that he kept abreast of via Facebook. His wife (who he adored), their dog and their regular hiking adventures were obviously his passion.

As is the normal practice when you see an old friend who you haven’t been in touch with for a while, I said we had to arrange a time to hit the trails together and that we would now keep in touch, considering we were living close by.  Sadly, that opportunity is one that I will never be able to realise and will always regret.

His passing has caused me to reflect again on the fragility of life and what is important.

I am as guilty as anyone at taking things for granted. I try not to, but I’m not perfect. I wish I spent more time living in the moment and less thinking about what could have been, or what could be. Or just taking time to embrace every moment as something special, not just a path to the next job or activity.

Having seen the devastation that his passing has had on all those close to him, I wondered if he fully appreciated the impact of his decision and the pain that it would cause to those he would never want to hurt.  Surely not…. I have no doubt that in his mind he was doing what he truly believed was best for everyone.  On this occasion he was so terribly wrong.

The value of life and how special it is was reinforced to me as I looked around the room at the faces of sorrow surrounding his devastated and inconsolable wife (who is also a friend), each trying to process the unimaginable.

Life is fragile – here today, then gone in the blink of an eye.

I wish I had made contact months ago after we had crossed paths and gone on that run.

I wish that he had reached out to someone and got help.

I wish that someone had spotted signs that no one else could see and prevented the tragedy that occurred.

I wish that he had known how much his friends, family and colleagues valued him and how much pain his actions would cause.

I’m sad that the world will no longer see that beaming smile and so very sad for those who were much closer to him than I for their loss.

The only thing I can take from this tragedy is the reinforcement that we all need to be grateful for life and live true to our values.  We should all take time out from the trappings of a material world that seems dominated by work matters, politics and possessions and devote more to the things that really matter – looking out for those we love and our own well being.

Following the funeral I went home and tried to work – not altogether that successfully to be honest.  As I worked I set Pandora to play classical guitar music having just learned that he was also an accomplished classical guitarist and that this genre of music was another of his passions.  I think I’ll listen to it more often from now on.

Noted author Haruki Murakami once said:

“People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It’s too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.”

My request to you is a simple one.  Always remember that your family and friends love you and would miss you terribly if you were gone. If the days get dark and your world feels hopeless reach out to someone, anyone (you can even contact me via this blog) and get help.  You deserve it, and so do those that care about you.

(not so) Happy running….

If you need help – the following sites may also be helpful:
https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
https://www.lifeline.org.au/
https://ruok.org.au/

Note: I have not mentioned the names of my friend and his family out of respect.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Reflection, Running, Trail Running, Wellbeing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Morning Run

Originally posted at http://www.thememoryjogger.com.au/the-morning-run/ on December 4 2014.

The 5am morning conference call, which I thought would go for 30 minutes, actually went for quite a bit longer than I thought it would. Nevertheless, I still had enough time to squeeze in a 5km run before heading into work. With a 9am international flight the next day there was not going to be any running tomorrow.

I thought about looking for a new circuit, but I enjoyed the run from the day before so much I just made my way down to The Greens again and trotted around the track. Not quite as nice a day, but still a good little outing.

Running in the morning is one of life’s joys that makes me feel alive and sets the tone for the whole day. Skip a run – and be ready for a day of regret and lethargy.

If you’re not a runner, this might sound a little weird and even somewhat masochistic. An alarm clock screaming out at 5am (or earlier) saying it’s time to get up. Heading out into darkness in your running kit when most people are snuggled down in bed. Btw, the earliest I have risen for a run is 2:30am – the Great Barrier Reef Ultra marathon – that was a long day!

clock

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still tired at that hour of the morning. My body and mind both work against my best intentions with a host of excuses as to why skipping a run would be ok. Little aches and pains appear from nowhere and my eyelids feel like they are being dragged down by lead weights.

BUT – once I get up and start moving – the muscles start to warm up, my arthritic joints move more freely and before I know it I’m in the kitchen making an energy smoothie and thinking about where I will run. By the time I’m out the door I’ve got my running route planned and even wondering if I have enough time to increase the distance of my planned run and chastising myself for not getting up earlier!

It doesn’t mean my legs don’t hurt when I start running and that I’m not gasping for air as I tackle the first few kilometres and/or hills. It doesn’t mean that I don’t shiver uncontrollably when the cold air hits me or that being drenched by rain doesn’t make feel uncomfortable, or the combination of the two doesn’t make my nose run and my fingers and toes numb. It doesn’t mean that I don’t sweat buckets when it is hot and/or humid and I most certainly get fatigued.

The first couple of kilometres in my run are always tough – but I know I will feel better as I go, my body will warm up, my joints will loosen, endorphins will be released into my body and my senses will be charged. That’s why I do it.

Of course, there’s a certain event coming up in April called the Marathon Des Sables too, which is keeping me very focused. I know if I don’t do the training – there is no way I’ll complete the event. So you know what that means? Many more early rises between now and departing for Morocco 😉

Happy Running!

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Running off the jetlag

Originally posted at http://www.thememoryjogger.com.au/running-off-the-jetlag/ on 3 Dec 2014.

A very long flight with delays during the flight and the short stop over in Kuala Lumpur – perfect way to top off a flight delayed by a good hour at takeoff.  If it was something I could control I would be annoyed – as it’s not, all I could do was try and catch some sleep between the occasional movie.

Landing in Dubai the weather was a perfect 26 degrees.  I arrived mid afternoon and caught a cab to the hotel.  After a slow check-in, I was able to finally drop my bags in my room and call home before grabbing a shower. There’s not a lot that beats a hot shower after traveling for what seemed an eternity.

IMG_1674

A room with a view – from my hotel room.

A quick trip to the nearest supermarket for some essentials, bananas, water, juice and electrolyte drinks then back to the hotel.

I had organised to catch up with a colleague of a friend of mine who works in a similar industry.  Having only been in Dubai for five or so weeks, Kevin was the perfect person to get some advice for a new businessperson in town.

We went to an English style pub for some fish and chips and a couple of pints.  Despite the good company, the long flight and lack of sleep were starting to take their toll and I was ready to call it a night before too far into the evening.

By 9pm Dubai time I was in bed and pushing zzzz’s.

A slept solid and woke around 5:30am Dubai time. A quick call home, then I scoffed down a banana followed by a big drink of juice – on with the Hoka’s and out for a run to go exploring Dubai. Prior to heading over to Dubai I had conducted a few searches on-line to see if I could find any running circuits or routes that would be suitable for training.  Most were pretty short, but as I was tapering for a marathon that wasn’t too big a problem – finding them, well that might be a challenge.

One problem I quickly found was that the majority of roads in Dubai are not easy to cross by foot, except via designated overpasses or underpasses. Heading off along a major road I deviated a block away and before long I found myself in an area called The Greens that was a residential area with a fantastic footpath/track around a canal.  One of the few footpaths that wasn’t sand.

The view was fantastic and I quickly found myself with other runners trotting around a tree-lined path as the sun came up projecting reflections of the buildings on the glistening water (see the pic above).  A couple of circuits added to my run to the track were enough to cover 5kms or so and work up a sweat as I blew away the jetlag cobwebs. What a lucky find.

IMG_1675

The best way to get the body back on track after a long journey, is to get out for a run!

Running back to the hotel I reflected back on the last day or so.  Only yesterday I was having dinner with Diane in Carlton, and this morning I’m running in the streets of Dubai.  No matter how many times I travel (and I’m a pretty seasoned traveller) it always amazes me how, in less than a day, a person can be transported to the other side of the world into new cultures, languages and a way of life and be going about things as normal.  It was only two generations or so ago that this would have been unimaginable.  I remind myself again (and not for the first time) to take time out to appreciate the “now” and be thankful for the opportunities that have come my way #luckyboy .

Even though the MDS is still many months away, being a little closer to Morocco got me thinking about the run and my training program. Sure the Singapore Marathon would be good for my conditioning, but there is a long way to go before I’ll be physically equipped to tackle the toughest footrace in the world. Today I enjoyed the run, but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking about what is ahead.

Back at the hotel I was able to stretch in the gym before rehydrating and then grabbing a shower.  Breakfast was pretty good and I was able to load up to compensate from substandard nutrition in transit – although the coffee in Dubai was seriously ordinary.  It was staggering to see that they had the equivalent of Krispy Kreme donuts out for the breakfast buffet – needless to say, I didn’t have any 😉

Not exactly the breakfast of champions I'm sure!

Not exactly the breakfast of champions I’m sure!

My work colleague Brendon offered to pick me up at 9am and head into the office for a full day of meetings and workshops.  Given I had plenty of work to do, I went straight back to the hotel after work.

A few calls back home and sort out some emails before trying to work out what to eat for dinner.  By sheer chance I stumbled across a health food chain called Kcal and hopped into a Quinoa Veggie Burger, Steamed Veggies, a side salad and Sweet Banana Sushi.  Delicious – wish they had one near home!

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Kcal Dinner in Dubai – yumm!

http://www.kcalhealthyfastfood.com/

@KcalWorld

Well it’s been a long day and tomorrow will be just as long. I have a 5am conference call that I need to be online for so a good night’s sleep is important.  Then maybe another run 😉

Happy Running!

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