Well, we’ve had a delightful two week holiday, and then a very fun time catching up with people now we’re back home. We’ve had dinner parties, I have sung karaoke (there is a video, but I would lose friends if I shared it). There have been pubs and all-you-can eat/drink brunches.
Enough now; I need a break. Time for some downtime.
I love going out and seeing friends, but too much of anything gets tedious – even fun. When I say “downtime”, there aren’t any particular rules. It’s not totally eliminating alcohol. It’s not going to bed at 9pm every night. It’s not avoiding all bad foods, or never going out and seeing friends. It’s more about moderation. Just having the odd glass of wine, not polishing off the bottle. Going to bed by 10.30pm, even on evenings where you have after-work plans. Spending our weekends at home, working through the task list. Sometimes saying “no” to an invitation, because you know it will be too much. We have three social things planned for the remainder October, and that is plenty for me. (To put this into context, I have had four in the first eight days of October).
On Thursday, I had dinner with a friend who is in a similar place. She has two small children, and was recently rushed to hospital with a fairly-serious stomach issue. This has really forced her to rein in her diet and to avoid alcohol, caffeine and certain foods and generally take it easy. This in turn has led her to look at all aspects of her health and to take advantage of this situation to really get everything on track. She seems so happy to be doing this, I think she must have been absolutely ready for some downtime.
Since I am not running any real distance this week, ahead of the half marathon, I decided to cycle to meet her. I wouldn’t normally cycle for dinner with a friend because a) I would rather drink wine, and b) I don’t love cycling late at night in London. Knowing it wouldn’t be a late one, and that she wouldn’t be drinking, I figured cycling could work on this occasion. We had sushi, I had a diet coke, and we were finished by 8.30pm. It was lovely to get some exercise cycling home after our meal. I trusted my general knowledge of London, and ended up cycling across Trafalgar Square, down The Mall, and past Buckingham Palace, which was so much nicer than getting the train. I was in bed by 10pm and I felt fantastic on Friday.
With the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday, and nothing else planned this weekend, this downtime is set to continue. It really flows into every aspect of my life: I drink less, which means I sleep better and eat less/better. Exercise is easier and I do more of it, and I get up and out of bed and get things done. If I choose to sleep in, or just stay in bed, it’s because it’s what my body needs rather than because I’m in a sleep deficit.
So besides the half marathon, this weekend I will spend some time reading The Economist, drink some of my international coffees (I have Turkey and Lituania still to try!), sort through huge piles of post (mostly bank statements), read my Runners World, maybe take a walk and grab some lunch somewhere and hopefully be fresh as a daisy for my 13.1 experience.