Am I alone in not wearing much makeup? When I was a teenager I did, because there was this sense that if you didn't, you somehow weren't taking proper care of yourself. I suspect that idea came straight out of the horrible fifties and I sincerely hope it isn't being shoved on to young women today in the way it was thirty years ago. Since I hit my forties I just can't be bothered. Perhaps with Age comes Confidence.
I am constantly appalled by the huge multi-billion pound industry that exists to promote lotions and potions and instruct women that what they really need is toners, sun protection cream, cleansers and moisturisers before they've put on foundation, blusher, mascara, eyeliner, lip liner, lip gloss etc etc etc every single day. The function of skin is to breath and expel toxins. It can't do that if it's clogged up with products.
Years ago I was asked by a lady what products I used because my skin was clear and healthy-looking. I told her I drank copious quantities of water, ate a good diet and steered clear of any skincare products that contained parabens, sodium laureth sulphate, parfum and colours. I'm not sure she believed me, so much has our faith in a simple approach to things been eroded.
I am very dubious about the ethics and politics of the skincare and makeup industries and the impact it all has on women's lives. Have we really reached a point where we're so used to seeing female faces painted that we don't think they are beautiful without it? Would we not be better off empowering women to feel beautiful without artificial decoration so the pressure is off for those who'd rather not? I personally feel Feminism will have done it's job when women can make informed choices without being sneered at either way.
It's now ten weeks since I started focusing seriously on my running. During that time, an interesting side-effect has taken place: we've drastically reduced the amount of meat we eat and have moved to fish, vegetables and rice, and we eat earlier in the evening. The result is my digestion is working properly for the first time in ages; I feel lighter, cleaner and more energised as a result, as well as properly hungry the following morning.
The knock-on benefits are interesting, too. When we took Uncle Charles out for Afternoon Tea on Saturday, I found I didn't want the cakes. I gobbled down the sandwiches because we'd not long been back from Parkrun, and then found I was looking round in vain for some fresh green stuff to go with it. Don't get me wrong, I still make cakes and eat them, and a packet of crisps in the evening is a treat, I just don't reach for these things in the same way I did. The heavy after-taste of sugar has become too overwhelming and I'd rather have raw fruit and veg. I've also stopped drinking which has been easier than anticipated, especially when the headaches that have been there the majority of the time for many months now have disappeared as a result, taking with them matching sore and cramped neck, shoulder and back muscles. I know it may all sound rather boring, but I feel so well on this new regime there's no way I'd go back.
Training-wise last week I ran a little over 24 miles which breaks down as: 1.79 miles on Monday; 8.74 miles Tuesday; rest Wednesday; 3.3 miles Thursday; rest Friday; 3 miles Sat and 7.5 miles Sunday (please note the Rest Days and that I am being Sensible).
At Parkrun I shaved off another 40 seconds and am now coming in in under 24 minutes. I'm very chuffed about this, although I was completely out of breath by the time I crossed the finishing line and doubtless unbecomingly beaded in sweat and glowing purple too, but who cares about that, eh? Especially when everyone else is beetroot-coloured too and we're all smiling and cheerfully clapping one another on the back :o)
My focus is now on reaching under 23 minutes, something I really didn't think was remotely realistic a few weeks ago. It just shows what practice, focus, perseverance and determination can do for you.
Yesterday's 7 mile run was fun. I managed the first 5 miles without walking, then we did interval training over the remaining 2 which included a few hills, and got back to the car in 1.08 hours. It wasn't as hard as the off-road run we did on Tuesday, but I did find the relentless tarmac a bit boring, so on balance I think a mix of off-road and lanes is probably a good compromise. We're planning to head back out to the Giant Mousse Hill Run next weekend because I want to know if I can run it faster second time round. I have a feeling my improved Parkrun time is due to the extra miles and the speed work I've put in recently.
That's pretty much it from here for now. Ted has tried out his new
bra harness and although he likes it, has decided road running isn't for him anymore (too sore on his paws I suspect, either that or there aren't enough squirrels about to tempt him) so he's going to stick to cross country running instead from now on. Oh, and I've just heard that #2 son passed his driving test this morning, first time. Go, F!
Hope all are well?