Daily Diary Entries
Day 176 – 185 – Some Downtime & ChristmasDecember 26th, 2013 by David
I flew into London last Wednesday for a short break back home with my family, it has been 3 years since I have spent Christmas with them and I had been counting down the days until I got on the plane and left Kazakhstan. As always I pre-booked my meal on the plane which increases my chances of staying on track, this time I had grilled vegetables for starters and then fish with vegetables for main course. I thought that it was a good attempt by the airline to produce a healthy and low fat option however for desert they offered apple strudel which wasn’t really very healthy at all, I declined to eat it which wasn’t a difficult decision as it didn’t look that appetizing anyway!
For the next few days I was in London sightseeing with Raushana, it was her first trip to London so we had to make sure we got in all the sites. When you are out and about all day it is imperative that you manage your meals right so that your body is fueled throughout the day and that you don’t get hungry exposing yourself to risk of eating something that is not on plan.
I made sure that I got up in the morning early and went to the hotel gym for a training session, this meant that I was super hungry by the time I had finished so that when I went down for breakfast I ate and ate filling myself up for the day. I would take fruit from the breakfast buffet and put it in my rucksack so that I was able to snack throughout the day if I started to feel peckish. This enabled me to get through to an early dinner as we had tickets for the Opera and Shakespeare that started at 7 pm. I ordered a chicken salad on room service whilst I was getting ready; this was the best option on the menu as well as being fast so that we weren’t late for the theatre!
(Waiting for the performance of Carmen at the Royal Opera House)
(Posing at the interval – Richard II)
On Saturday I attended a charity Christmas event with my Raushana and my parents, traditionally this night would entail lots of alcohol, Christmas dinner, mince pies and singing of Christmas carols however this year it consisted of a light Christmas dinner and carols! It is easy to stay on track when presented with a Christmas dinner; I have turkey breast and steamed/boiled vegetables. I eliminate gravy, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets and Yorkshire pudding, yes my meal may be plain and bland but I remain focused and on track. For me it is important to continue to make sacrifices and work hard because it is easy to go off track in a big way if you slip even once, my personality is very addictive and once I have had the taste of one mince pie I find it difficult to restrain myself and at this point with time at a premium I cannot afford fall behind as the London Marathon is approaching fast!
I visited my grandparents with Raushana, my parents and my brothers. My mum helped me with staying on track by doing some planning and booking us in to a local pub restaurant for their Christmas carvery which meant that I was able to execute the same strategy as the charity event and eat a lean Christmas dinner which meant I remained on track as long as I refrained from the temptation of the amazing deserts that were on offer. I was strong and waited until we got home to eat some fruit to satisfy my craving for something sweet.
I had a fantastic Christmas day with Raushana and my family; it was a day full of fun and laughter. I received some fantastic presents to help me with my motivation and training however it seemed as though everyone received sweets and alcohol for presents! I am not bothered by this really, after 6 month of overcoming temptation 4 more months leading to the marathon will be easy, I am flying and nothing is going to prevent me from attaining the feeling of success. My mum cooked an amazing Christmas dinner and she made some exceptions for me so that I could join in with the family and not feel left out. She dry roasted the parsnips as they are my favorites and steamed the other vegetables instead of boiling them and smothering them with butter, additionally she made me a separate cranberry sauce with just cranberry and oranges without any sugar! It was plain and lean but perfect for me to remain on track. It would have been easy for me to have eaten a full Christmas dinner without making any sacrifices but I didn’t want to. I want to cross that finishing line much more than I want roast potatoes, pigs in blanket and gravy.
(Christmas Day Dinner)
Throughout my trip so far I have managed to keep up to date with my training however this has meant that I have needed to train outside as I haven’t a membership at the local gym. This has put additional strain on my body and increased my aches and pains as pounding the road is a lot more stressful than the treadmill on my muscles and joints. Of course the marathon is not run on the treadmill and I am going to have to get used to running on the road however I am hoping that as I continue to lose weight my body will find it easier to hit the road once the Kazakh winter has past.
I have been surrounded by temptation since I left Kazakhstan with amazing food and alcohol all around me but my determination and strength has seen me resist these temptations to remain on track and focused on achieving my goal of running the London marathon in April. It is not easy but nothing worth having is.