Tuesday 23 April 2013

Something fishy has been going on....

I've been a bit lacking in energy lately and a QMA test last week revealed my iron stores are becoming
rather depleted. I should know after 80+ years that I can't live without meat. I know now, because I've just tried it. On the advice of well meaning friends I've been 'existing' on a daily diet of fish, salad, fruit - and yogurt - for my main meal over a number of weeks.  I don't dislike such things but no matter what quantities I stuff down my little throat I never seem full. They're just not satisfying enough and I'm forever yearning for snacks, especially at the end of the day before I go to bed. Some folk might be happy to go to bed hungry, but I'm not one of them. If I don't feel content there's no way I can get to sleep, which results in me sneaking downstairs in the wee small hours for a bowl of muesli or thick slice of bread plastered with peanut butter.
Uphill route to Castle Hill....
So today it was back to my butcher who greeted me as if I were the prodigal son returning to the fold feeling a bit sorry for himself. "I'd like ¾ lb of braising steak for tomorrow's casserole and a nice slice of sirloin to celebrate with tonight". And celebrate I did. The deep fryer hadn't been in use since goodness knows when, but it was soon bubbling away with proper chips and battered onion rings while the mouthwatering steak sizzled under the grill to medium rare perfection. Mushrooms and tomato helped to fill a fair sized plate whilst a large goblet of Australian Shiraz helped things along their way nicely. Scottish oatcakes spread thickly with a mature Saint Agur had me lingering at the table a wee while longer - putting off the washing-up.  I was happy again. I was me again. From henceforth salad will be relegated to a take it or leave it accompaniment on a side plate - should it ever grace my table again.
Much as I hate wasting food, I'm afraid an Iceberg lettuce and various other bits of rabbit food got thrown in the bin. For the present, at least, I just can't face any more. Fruit and, surprisingly, the yogurt survived. I've tried various yogurts over the years, well aware of their probiotic properties, but could never stomach more than a spoonful before I gipped. However, on the advice of a running acquaintance, I persevered and eventually found one I liked and there's been a tub in the fridge ever since. So "Thankyou Alex, I do take note of some of the things you say"!
Anyhow, between bouts of gardening (that necessary evil) last week I did occasionally manage to get my butt out of the
Trying to maintain speed by the Wharfe last Tuesday....
chair that links me to the computer and churn out a very slow 23 miles. My heart and mind were in it but my body just didn't want to know. So much so, and I hate to confess this, there were many times I was compelled to take short walk breaks, especially on lengths of tarmac leading to my off-road routes. I was OK through fields and along river banks, springing along nicely, but soon juddered to a jog on any harder, more jarring surfaces. I'd to abort a five mile tempo circuit on the road and make a diversion back through fields from the three mile point. When I'm dressed for running I feel quite embarrassed if anyone sees me walking. On another day when I'd planned 12 x 200m fast repetitions I ran out of energy after just seven and jog/walked back home. With Spring in the air I'd normally enjoy that exhilarating feeling of speed and easily accomplish what I set out to do.  Not so on that last occasion.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.....
I'm not certain what's gone wrong, though I strongly suspect that change of diet to be mainly responsible for lack of energy and reduced spring in my step. Today, I put aside my minimalist trail shoes and wore Asics DS trainers to see if they'd give me a bit more bounce. They didn't.  Quite the reverse, in fact my minutes per mile pace was so slow I'm not even going to mention it, hoping it was just a temporary blip rather than the onset of chronic old age, decrepitude and that final sunset. Dylan Thomas wrote:
"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light......" 
So long as I've a nice steak and a goblet of wine I'll be happy to live forever. As a sarcastic neighbour once said, "I reckon they'll have to put you down!"


  1. My body needs meat too - and quite a lot of it! Going without it definitely influences my running performance too. Hope that spring in your step returns quickly!

  2. Love a good steak, but I love food, so anything nice will do!!! Tonight is PIZZA night...

  3. Lack of energy is definitely down to diet... I've often felt jaded on a run when I've not been eating properly. Of course, what's getting me these days is lack of rest - thanks to wee Murty!

  4. You're making my mouth water! I'm a part time vegetarian and love treating myself to a nice juicy steak.
    Just keep enjoying yourself Old Fox, some days need to be slow & easy!

  5. I'm a meat-eater too, although I try not to have too much red meat.

    Interesting what you say about yoghurt - I can only manage about 1 spoonful too, and then I gag! perhaps I should keep trying...

    1. Liz, the yoghurt I eventually came to like is one called Onken - papaya, mango and passion fruit flavour. The other I like is papaya and apple (I think!). Both are nice with fruit salads.

  6. Hi Gordon
    Ignore the veggie nonsense and stick to food you enjoy! The smell of a fry-up is enough to put a spring back into your step!
    Good luck, Old Gregorlach!

  7. > When I'm dressed for running I feel quite embarrassed if
    > anyone sees me walking.

    Me too, especially if I'm lightly clad and it's raining or cold. I think anyone who sees me must think I'm nuts!

    Glad to see you saw such a quite return to form after changing your diet to what you need. My son manages to run huge distances and hills on a vegan diet, but I don't put enough effort into researching and preparing alternatives to the easier protein and micro-nutritional elements that I get from animal products.