Well, the UK has had an unexpectedly cold start to winter, and whilst the tropics of Lancashire escaped the worst, there was more than enough ice and sub-zero temperatures to make training a real chore.  Mileage and frequency have certainly dropped for a couple of weeks.

Its not all doom and gloom though, as I’ve hit a couple of milestones.  My first 3 mile run in less than 30 mins, and my first 6 miles in less than 1 hour.  Yes I had to go to the flatlands of Cheshire to achieve it, and yes any moderately fit jogger will look scornfully at these ‘achievements’, but they are milestones nonetheless.

There is however a a blot on the horizon, an elephant in the room.  And it’s me.  The Fat Jogger has a millstone around hit neck, except its slipped and now sits mockingly around his waist, and its just not shifting.  A frankly disappointing 4 lbs lost.

My training log tells me I ran 13 times in November, covering 67 miles, and yet my weight is barely moving.  Middle age is no doubt a factor, but perhaps chocolate and curry are bigger factors.

I’m not sure I can face the discipline of WeightWatchers and the like, so I will just have to impose a more ascetic lifestyle.  But not just yet – it’s nearly Christmas after all.

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I bet Seb Coe never had this trouble

Today, gentle reader, I have to take this blog into sensitive areas.  Those of a nervous disposition may wish to look away now.

I’ve alluded previously to the comparison between marathon running and childbirth and their effect on memory. There is a further, mildly surprising similarity that is at the forefront of my mind today.  And the forefront of my training top.

The joggers curse

Now let me explain, I am not a naive jogger, I know the risks and I take precautions.  I promise you I leave the house appropriately lubricated and vaselined, but today as I finished my run I glanced down to see the frankly terrifying sight of blood on my top. After a few moments hyperventilating, I understood the reason, and panic gave way to confusion, because not only had I applied the standard prophylatctic, but I hadn’t felt a thing whilst I was running. How is it possible to chafe to such an extent that you bleed from the nipples, and yet not notice it ?  This happy state could not last of course, and I certainly noticed it when I went into the shower.

So like a new mother, I am seeking potions and lotions to ease the discomfort. Calendular ointment is recommended by those who know, and my Best Beloved tells me there are things called nipple shields.  I think they have to be held in place by a bra though, and that really seems a step too far. Neither am I persuaded by the suggestion of The Eldest Boy that I should be covering up with Elastoplast.  I’m really not ready to wax my chest.

So of there are any breastfeeding mums who have a practical solution, please let me know.  In exchange I will share a handy tip for surviving the early months of parenthood. Try a splash of vodka in the gripe-water.

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Fat, Fit & Fortysomething

Well I signed up with the gym at work today (oh how I hate gym sessions), and they did the full Health & safety check to make sure I’m not going to drop dead on the cross trainer.

Surprise surprise, they discovered I’m fat.  Officially fat that is, which of course has to have a suitably official sounding name, so now I’m obese.  The young bloke then set about finding my other weaknesses, confidently predicting heart disease, diabetes and a myriad related unpleasantnesses.

He duly measured and scored and then revealed the results, a little to his own surprise. BP 123/80, resting heart rate 51, cholesterol 4.8, glucose 4.3.  All in the green zone.

Who’d have thought it – a fat middle aged bloke with a BMI of 33, and yet not about to be embraced by the angelic hosts at the pearly gates.  I should celebrate with a 6 mile run, but have you seen the weather ?

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On the Road Again

My name is Mark and I’m a jogger.  Specifically I’m a nearly 46 year old, fat jogger.  I haven’t always been fat, but I have always been prone to being fat.  There are times when I fight it and times that I don’t, and so the weight comes & goes, if not with the seasons, then certainly with the cake & chocolate intake. In the space of 3 years my weight has varied between 12 stone 6lbs & 16st 12 lbs.  Impressive huh ?

Women tell me that child birth is the most painful thing imaginable, yet most women have more than one child.  We must therefore deduce that pain is not easily remembered. And so that is my excuse for the fact that I find myself training for the London Marathon once again.

In my head I know its going to hurt.  I remember the long painful training runs.  I remember having to walk half a mile, and desperately taking a handful of jelly babies from a generous soul in the crowd.  I remember not being able to walk the next day.  And yet….

So here I am, 14 years after my finest hour, and forcing my fat middle aged carcass out into the dark autumn nights once again.  Where I once used to run at a healthy clip, I now plod.  There’s no other word for it, as jogging implies a degree a speed and fluency.  I now plod.  Whilst my 14 year old thinks nothing of a sub 6 minute mile, I dream of breaking 10 minutes.

On a positive note I can plod for a long time, and so an hour goes by without significant discomfort.  Unfortunately at my current pace I’m going to be running alongside the 70 year olds at the tail end of the field.  So the challenge is not simply to build up the mileage, but also to lose enough weight to bring my speed up to something resembling a jog.

So, to keep me on the straight and narrow, I will post my progress as the weeks go by.  It promises to be a hard winter.

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