Cold comforts

I wasn’t sure quite how the walk might go today, given I have had a few days detoxing – since Tuesday. No chocolate, no coffee, no crisps, no cakes, no white bread, very little processed food, lots of fruit, a few vegetables, lots of water, green tea and a host of high fibre foods. I’ve felt a lot better for it, eaten meals when I’m hungry and slept pretty well, also shaking off what was promising to be a bit of a cold.

But I was worried. I remember when I went on a low carb food diet a number of years ago, that I had little or no strength in my legs when it came to the dads’ race at Matt’s school sports day. At least I didn’t come last but I was well down the field, having almost won the previous year (it was only that the bloke next to me tripped and nudged me that prevented me from doing better than third place). So I was very conscious of my legs today and I have to say that they did feel tired and achy, but only after about 15 miles. The final hour and a bit was quite tough and a total of 19 miles today was very good on a really cold afternoon, the gloves and woolly hat worn throughout, while I was outside, anyway.

The weather reminded me of Matt’s childhood and many a Sunday watching him play football. There was a cold, slightly smoky feel to the air but at least today I could feel my feet, thanks to walking, while years ago I had many a drive home with numb feet on the pedals. I could almost hear the excited squeals of the kids being drowned out by shouts of the parents at anyone and anything in their vicinity. It is fair to say that the kids behaviour often put that of their parents to shame! I did see some appalling behaviour – parents swearing at their own kids while losing an Under 11 representative match probably the worst. Referees being threatened – which was why I didn’t carry on with the whistle after a couple of seasons. I’m not saying that I was a great ref and never made a wrong decision, but to be called “a f***ing cheat” by two blokes who didn’t know the laws of the game was just too much. Whilst being unforgivable, they were isolated incidents and I always loved going to watch.

I have never flinched from walking in the cold. Wind and rain are far worse to deal with, as is very hot weather. I had neglected to put on a scarf today so it was less comfortable than it should have been, but the steam was rising and the sweat was pouring off my head when I removed my hat at my break. I did have my first coffee for six days and I am determined to cut down on all those things I mentioned earlier, in particular restricting coffee to the breaks during walking.

The reaction tonight has been as hard as I’ve had for a while, with plenty of aches and stiffness already. I need to get used to being healthy again. Monday morning will be interesting – I may well not be moving too freely.

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Boooooooooooooo

Never felt like going out for a walk today, never enjoyed it when I did, but still did 19 miles. There are just some days when it is so difficult, but you just have to force yourself. In terms of feeling good, decluttering my mind and making things easy for myself, it was probably one of my worst. But – I still did 19 miles. I have so much on my mind at the moment that I never achieved the goal I wanted. I was wearing my Pompey hoodie today on a chilly afternoon and, after what I heard yesterday, I was half surprised that there weren’t people booing me. Because that would really build up my confidence and really make me look forward to going walking again next week.

Nothing I tried could make that much difference. Even meeting some friends from work just at the time of my coffee stop. Even taking one of my favourite routes – along Lee on Solent sea front. Even nipping into a shop and buying my very favourite chocolate. Ok, that is normally Maltesers, but instead I picked up some Hersheys Cookies and Cream. Perhaps that was seen as too much a like-for-like substitution. Maybe I should have gone with both, which would have solved everything.

Only one thing for it. Boooooooooooooooooooo.

Binary solution

Totally fed up with the world at times lately, in particular the appalling standard of discussion and debate on just about any issue, whatever the level of importance. It is depressing how many people cannot reason in terms of pros and cons, but see everything as absolutely black and white with no grey areas.

Of course, the EU Referendum was a prime example and this continues through the appropriate course of process even this week. And after each and every Pompey match (which many might argue is not quite so important), social media provides a platform for those at absolutely opposite ends of the spectrum to bicker, insult and threaten in equal measure, the binary subject matter almost always whether the manager should be sacked, even after the team has won.

I am sick of it. Perhaps I need to sort out the groups for which I am a member, but I dread going on Facebook at times. Not that it is restricted to there – the mainstream media treats serious subjects of debate as some sort of game, out-toughing each other and inticing all sorts of direct action against anyone who dares to hold a different opinion. Hard to avoid sight of all this and is dreadfully depressing, whether or not one agrees with that opinion.

Not good for one’s blood pressure, but what is is exercise. In fact, there appear to be three main non-medication ways of treating anxiety, depression and related issues. One is exercise, another is talking to someone, the other is helping others. All give a feeling of worth, which is tremendously important to one’s mental health. It’s that one feels a sense of achievement, or a sense that you are important to others. I felt the benefit of all three a few years back.

As in most weekends now, a long walk was called for. The route was planned, home to Fareham, up past Wickham and across to Botley. A less than direct way home led to a total of 20 miles. A mark of an improved fitness was that it felt the most comfortable 20 miles I’ve done in a long long time. The world appeared to be conspiring against me at times, with a number of public toilets either closed or out of order at times when I needed them, and two cash points out of order as I had very little money for a snack, once I had had my coffee break in Fareham. Even that was frustrating as a long queue in my normal outlet led to me leaving to find another, only to find there were no newspapers. But there was coffee, at least.

The cold weather undoubtedly helps. I don’t become tired so quickly and I have not any significant problem sweating and chafing. This was the first time that I have worn both gloves and a woolly hat, though not for the whole distance today. The major problem now with walking 20 miles is that it takes so bloomin’ long. Setting out today at 11:30 and finishing at around 6pm. That is pretty much the whole day gone. No matter, it was better than getting steamed up on Facebook……