This is the title of one of my favourite prints by Patrick Caulfield. Based on a poem by Jules Laforgue, the cut out door just tempts the viewer with the clear blue sky… Just there, but inaccessible…
This longing to be outside is one of my key fitness motivations. It was one of the best parts of the walking marathon training I did in 2004, and a huge positive of triathlon. Even in the winter months, we get outside. We find the parks that have no ice, we take advantage of the sun when it shines, and we learn to appreciate warm weather and summer days…
Pictured: The London Fields Lido on 8 January 2010
On Saturday the 8th we cycled up to London Fields to our local lido – a 50m outdoor heated swimming pool. It was an incredible start to the day – even though we didn’t stay long, we felt the sunshine on our arms, we swam outside, we breathed fresh air – and we got to see frozen London.
The view of London Fields from the Lido entrance – a winter wonderland
But the rest of the week… Well, it was hard for me to stomach, quite literally. On Sunday the 9th I came down with the dreaded stomach virus. This rendered my entire week pretty useless. I didn’t eat much, and only started to feel somewhat normal again on Thursday.
Easing back into training is tough when you’ve been ill – how much is too much? I got on the spin bike for an easy 45 minutes on Thursday – inside. And then I felt completely exhausted on Friday. DH suggested to think about my coached track session on Saturday, but I JUST WANTED TO GET OUTSIDE.
The alarm rang on Saturday. It was pouring rain, and cold. But, I WANTED TO BE OUTSIDE. Like Laforgue, I felt like I’d continue to be sick if I stayed indoors. I slowly layered up, found my Goretex, and stepped out – we headed up to the Parliament Hill track.
No matter what the weather, there is just something deeply satisfying about OUTSIDE. Working hard, breathing deep, fresh air filling your lungs. It beats the heck out of the gym – any day. And, of course, since I don’t know how to run on the treadmill, it is the only way that I actually do my runs – another great reason for me.
At the track on Saturday, with Coach T
It was a good session. It’s not going to be easy for me to get to 10k. It’s a hard slog to build strength – and my left leg needs a lot of strength building. But, thankfully, we can always find things to laugh about along the way to make the hard sessions easier.
I feel better now than a week ago. I’m not sure how hard I will hit the training schedule this week – I guess I will keep on seeing how I’m reacting and feeling. But one thing is certain – I’m looking forward to the weekend, and GETTING OUTSIDE ONCE AGAIN.
Post Script: Slow Food Diet Update
Week one was about breathing, and awareness. I learned something about the way that I eat (sorry if this is a bit too much information) – I don’t always swallow before I take my next bite. That is just not right! I’m definitely not helping my body out. So I’m working on fixing that behaviour by breathing, swallowing, and being aware while I eat. Week one was also about Vitamin O – oxygen. It seems my love of breathing outdoor air fits in well with the week one teachings. I’m trying to go for a quick walk outside during lunchtime too – to have a break, breath and de-stress during the day. That is proving harder to do…
Week two is about quality. I am repeating week two, as last week, with the stomach virus, quality and eating were the last things I had on my mind. Stay tuned for next week’s report…