Interestingly the XT session on Thursday morning seemed to break the cycle of me feeling exhausted all the time and I was actually very alert throughout the day.
In yoga they say that it is the posture you dislike the most or completely avoid, that is the one you need the most. If I was to extend this principle outside the yoga studio I would have to acknowledge that I hate and avoid morning exercise, but seemingly when I do it, so long as it isn’t too intensive, it usually makes me feel good. Keep this thought in mind, I’ll come back to it.
I previously said that if I felt well enough I’d go to yoga on Thursday night, which I did and the class was good. Not amazing but certainly pretty much ok.
On Friday I was due to go to a vegan food festival in the evening which I was really excited about, and my plan was to run intervals at lunchtime and maybe go to yoga after if there was time. I held off the intervals in my usual avoidance pattern, but as I became low on time I decided to prioritise running over yoga and went to the gym.
I loved doing the interval training. I started with a 5 minute walk then I ran for 5 mins @ 9.2Km/h, 5 mins at 9.5, then did 9 sets of repeats with one minute on and 2 minutes off. These were as follows:
3 x 1 min @ 11.0 & 2 mins @ 9.2
3 x 1 @ 11.2 & 2 @ 9.2
1 x 1 @ 11.5, 2 @ 9.0
1 x 1 @ 11.2, 2 @ 9.2
1 x 1 @ 11.0 @ 9.2
Then 5 mins @ 9.5, 5 @ 9.2 and a 5 minute walk to cool down.
Overall I covered 8.35Km in 57 minutes, and 47 minutes of that was running a distance of 7.46Km. As I said I actually really enjoyed it and I found it challenging but not too hard.
Afterward I went to the Vegan food festival with Giles. After the run I was even more looking forward to it as I was so hungry. The premise was that we had paid £30 a head for entry, there were 8 vegan food vendors and you got a small portion of food at each one. At the end of the night you voted for your favourite and the overall winning vendor would get an award.
We arrived and it was packed, as we walked in I said something to Giles along the lines of ‘ah my people!’ as a room full of vegans just made me feel so happy. It’s hard to explain but the longer I have not eaten animal products, the greater my repulsion by it. I also find it quite remarkable how ignorant restaurants generally are about the vegan ‘diet’ and how it makes me feel like an outcast that I am always having to create my own meals at restaurants from the sides or by completely adjusting a meal by amending the ingredients so I can eat it. But you know, ultimately I would rather do that than allow animals to suffer and be slaughtered just so I can eat them.
Dairy is so regularly and entirely unnecessarily included in food, and although I choose to be vegan I don’t tolerate dairy. I am also unable to eat gluten at all, and I have not had dairy or gluten for well over a decade. It is so easy to make good vegan and gluten free food I feel like it is such a pity there isn’t more of it available.
It was a bit disappointing when we arrived that there were such long queues at the event, but we grabbed a drink and started queuing at the first one. After 10 minutes of queuing and chatting I went to the front of the queue to check that they had a GF option and they said they didn’t, the food they offered had gluten in it and could not be adjusted. Whilst I had this chat Giles had stayed in the queue and so by the time I went back there was only another few minutes to wait so we waited till we got to the front figuring that Giles could at least eat as he was also starving.
At the front the vendor said that actually the lentil sauce was GF but I’d have to have it without the wrap so I ate the lentil sauce which was about 2 small mouthfuls of food. We joined the next queue and which was really long for a Thai dish. Thai is normally pretty good for GF as it generally uses rice rather than wheat, the only concern would be if they used soy sauce, but the dish was for a Thai red curry which I don’t think would typically use soy sauce.
As we queued for this I noticed another stall randomly didn’t have a queue so Giles stayed in the Thai queue and I went to the other stall. They were providing jack fruit ‘chicken wings’ which were breadcrumbed.
Again no GF version or alternative available. Giles ate his and my portion. As we got closer to the front of the Thai stall I could read the ingredient list on display and could see that it was all good for me so I was really excited as by this point we had been queuing at this event for over 40 minutes in total and I had still not really eaten anything. I asked at the front if it was GF and was told it wasn’t as they had used soy sauce in it.
So again, no food for me. I was exhasperated.
I asked at the next stall and they had no GF options and so we decided to leave having been there just shy of an hour. I was so disappointed; for me but also for Giles who had booked tickets for me as a treat.
As we left I asked at the desk for a refund on my ticket due to the lack of GF options but they wouldn’t because apparently I should have gone online and looked at all the vendors and their ingredients in advance. Which is a little ridiculous baring in mind I later went onto the website myself and found no mention of the event being unsuitable for those unable to eat gluten and when I went into the individual vendors most said they had GF options.
I was also cross because Giles is incredibly mindful of my diet so I know he wouldn’t have booked it if there was any suggestion on the website that people who need a GF diet wouldn’t be accommodated. I was also upset that vendors, who are progressive enough to make vegan food weren’t accomodating of other dietary needs. And then I was just sad. Sad that I felt like a bloody outsider where I should feel most welcomed, and that made me cry and so we had to go home and when I got there I cried even more and went to bed, hungry.
We woke up on Saturday morning intending to go to Parkrun, but because we were tired we just went back to sleep for a bit. Giles has signed up to run a 10Km with one of his friends in October, so I had written him up a 4 week training plan and we were both due to do a 5Km on Saturday. So despite missing Parkrun we agreed to run later. I was going to head to yoga afterwards too.
Baring in mind I hadn’t eaten dinner on Friday, or lunch for that matter, I made a smoothie to help me get round the 5Km lap of the common but the run turned out to be a mess. I was too hungry and had no energy. Giles set the pace and he is naturally faster than me so we did the first 2Km too fast and by the third the lack of food and energy just made me feel wretched. With some walking breaks I finally stopped running at 4.5Km which I covered in 29:19. I felt gross when I got home. I needed food despserately so I ate, and cancelled my yoga class. Instead I pulled out my mat and did some sun salutations and remembered how much I enjoyed doing these every day in the past, so I am going to revisit that daily intention.
The rest of the weekend was mainly social; visiting friends and celebrating various things with them.
Today I went to yoga and although it was a 90 minute class I only stayed for 60 minutes due to a very painful stomach ache that hit suddenly. I haven’t really had any IBS symptoms since going vegan and so it came out the blue and I just had to leave: there was no getting through the class. I hate when people leave as it’s really bad practice but there was no way I could stay. I got home and have been sitting in the sofa under a blanket ever since.
You win some you lose some I guess.
Despite a few dodgy bits this week has been very productive for exercise. I’ve done 4 runs covering 24.46Km, 4 yoga classes (except that early departure today), 1 XT session and 1 x 3 rounds of sun salutations which makes up for leaving class early today. I also did 5:2 correctly as well.
I have now done 7 out of the new target of 14 classes this month and with a remaining 11 days I should be able to achieve this with a little prioritisation.
I’m finding the exercise manageable but am aware that this is largely due to working from home all week. This week I am mainly around again so there is hope for another decent week. So before I go to bed I’m going to plan ahead to make sure I can get all my exercise planned around work and travel.
I am also going to add sun salutations into my morning practice so will try that this week too. I’m hoping that the morning sun salutations will give me enough morning exercise to make me feel alert, without it being too challenging. I find the early morning Bikram classes just wipe me out for the day, so this is a good compromise and more acheiveable.
Over time perhaps I can build up to a place where I can face Bikram yoga in the morning or even running. For now sun salutations or cross training seems like an excellent step in the right direction.