I often say the best way to start the weekend is with a 10k run, although this weekend I may be forced to disagree with that. It was one thing that the rain was hammering down, it was the wettest run I’d done in a long time, but there comes a point where you are so wet that you just don’t care any more. That point had been and gone, but I had other problems, my stomach was not feeling good. The previous nights spicy pizza and a belly full of beer was not helping, I knew I wouldn’t make the normal running distance feeling like this. I was running with my old school friend Rob again today, who I have been running with for some time, up until this summer when he took a few months off from running and Eve happened to need some training for the half marathon. Eve couldn’t make it today, although I have now promised to train her up for the upcoming Birmingham 10K in May next year, thankfully though Rob was back on the running scene and will also be doing the 10k with me, which I am really pleased about as his pace will push me to improve mine. He’ll need a few weeks to get back into it, but his pace is faster than mine, so when he gets there I’ll be pushing to improve my time too! Today was our first run together for a while, but we failed to make the full 6 miles we normally aim for, and only made 3 laps of the reservoir, a 4.5 mile run. It wasn’t a bad effort I guess, but I feel cheated when I don’t make the 6 miles. Still, days like this will happen. There is no point in trying to force it, I just have to accept defeat and save it for next weekend. Hopefully the weather will be better, and I’ll be a bit more mindful of my diet on the Friday night!
After the run we had a spot of lunch and then headed over to see my mother, so she could spend a bit of time with Olivia. Its a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and I wish we could do it more often, but its not always possible as the weekends can tend to be a bit busy sometimes. I guess the benefit for my mom is that she really gets to notice all the changes in Olivia if she hasn’t seen her for a couple of weeks. Suddenly I noticed that time was against us, as I’d planned to go to the Christmas lights switch on and Christmas parade in the city centre. I was hoping to get there early to get a good spot, but that wasn’t going to happen now. Being unprepared meant that we had to go all the way home first to pick up hats and coats that we’d need before heading back out into the city to find a parking space. Olivia hadn’t shown any signs of being tired at my moms house, but still managed to get a good 20 minute nap in the car. Not quite a long enough nap normally, but it kept her going for long enough to see the parade and Father Christmas! We stopped in at McDonalds on the way from the car to the parade, as we didn’t have any time to stop and give Olivia any dinner at home. I felt like a bit of a bad parent giving Olivia this kind of food, but I figured that it was a one-off and a bit of a christmas treat for her. She didn’t eat a huge amount of it anyway, but I know that it was still far too salty for her. It’s not something we’ll be repeating until she is much, much older. I was a little disappointed that even though we actually asked for a childrens meal, the fries still had far too much salt on, surely somebody somewhere must have thought that its worth keeping salt off the kids food? I don’t know, maybe they’re of the opinion that if the salt makes the kids thirsty then the parents will end up buying more drinks for them, which they clearly make a huge profit on. Its certainly a marketing ploy that would work on the adults. Well, the end result for us, is that we won’t be taking Olivia back to anywhere like that again for a long time. I don’t want to think that we consider ourselves the food police, and we haven’t totally sheltered her from all the nice treats such as sugar, she will have a bit of chocolate now and again, or maybe a biscuit, but only a bit here and there. Everything in moderation is the key. There is absolutely no moderation on the salt served on McDondalds food however, and for me too much salt is a massive no-no! Her body is too small to cope with that just yet, and while the fish fingers didn’t seem too bad, she was clearly showing a preference for the fries.
I have never before really considered the health implications of fast food outlets, its never really bothered me. I am a healthy adult and don’t eat a bad diet, a treat now and again is fine, but this visit has really given me something to think about. Its just so tempting and accessible for children, and they make themselves appear so child friendly, but still so much salt on everything. Even as adults we’re told to watch our salt intake, so what chance do the kids stand with this apparently delicious food in its oh so colourful boxes and the toys that frequently come with it? Next time a bit more preparation before we leave the house is going to be our priority!
The parade was nice, and I am glad we saw it, it wasn’t even as cold as I thought it might be, although we had bought Olivia a nice new jumpsuit style coat. She was going to be perfectly warm enough. The very short afternoon nap soon started to become apparent as Olivia was starting to run out of steam, and so it was time to head for home. Not your average Saturday night, I had in mind a bottle of red wine and a film, but it turned out that Clare spent the evening in the kitchen baking a cake for her parents wedding anniversary while I caught up on the F1 qualifying in Brazil that had been on earlier in the day. After a bad nights sleep, running and being on the go all day, I was even feeling too lazy to walk into the kitchen and pour myself a glass of wine! Still, an alcohol free evening and a reasonably early night for once couldn’t be a bad thing, the body needs chance to catch up and recover sometimes. I ain’t 21 any more… although I do have my wife to constantly remind me about this fact! Lucky me!