Now be honest…How many times this summer have you looked outside at the utterly disappointing UK weather and complained about it? Is it in the double digits? Or the triple?? It is very telling that the topic I discuss most often these days with friends, family and random strangers while queuing is whether we are having a typical British summer or if this is ‘something else’. With the cold temperatures, fluctuating winds and unexpected outbursts of rain that make the weather forecasts about as reliable as a horoscope, the results of my straw poll weigh heavily in favour of the ‘something else’.
But many of us in the UK are relatively lucky to only be whinging about the lack of BBQ opportunities and getting rained on again during a run. It may have been easier in the past to ignore the ‘something else’ weather when it seemed to be happening somewhere else. But seriously, when the weather is producing catastrophic demonstrations of severe floods and wildfires in such sheer frequency in places that are increasingly more familiar, it is impossible to ignore the absolutely devastating effects that the climate crisis is having on communities. I have to hope that there aren’t many people left on this planet who still doubt that a fundamentally radical change to how the world is tackling the climate crisis is now essential. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone agrees on the solution…Especially when it comes to food and diet.
With life comes risks and that is never so true as when it comes to running. Because being a runner means that you have to accept the risk that one day, you may injure yourself. But all runners know that the benefits of running far outweigh any risk of injury. Otherwise they’d never lace up. However, that does not mean that being injured is any easier. In fact, as someone who has been forced to take a break from running due to a badly injured knee I feel like a grizzly with a sore paw. Impossible to reason with while equally despondent and impatient by not recovering soon enough. Who wants to RICE all the time when they feel in every bone in their body (apart from their sore paw) that they really should be running? Not this grizzly!
As we reach the end of this year’s Food Waste Action Week I thought I would add my two pence on the importance of reducing our food waste. Even the basic statistics sound pretty shocking and it can be difficult to get your head around the scale of the problem. According to the sustainability charity WRAP, around one third of food produced worldwide is unnecessarily wasted when it is unsold, unused or thrown out by supermarkets, restaurants and the public. That is simply mind blowing, but it gets worse. The natural resources that go into growing the food together with the production and transportation of it for sale are also contributing to climate change. Food production is now responsible for close to 10% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions, globally.
But as someone who cares about the planet and loves to cook I didn’t think I had a problem with food waste in my own home. After all, my family happily hoovered up any leftovers they could get their hands on. However, I also knew that I was far from perfect even if food waste was a particular bugbear of mine. Which is why in trying to cut down further on my own food waste I wanted to help others avoid it in Spoiler alert and shared some more tips for using up neglected and forgotten foods in Waste not, want more. Although I have to come clean…I made a glaring oversight when it came to reducing my food waste which I only discovered once all of my children had left home for university.
We may have started the New Year with a sense of deja-vu as we entered another lockdown but at least there is still one thing that we can count on. Running outdoors! Although…this may be of little solace to those who are more keen on working out in their closed gyms while catching up on Netflix rather than facing the prospect of running in the freezing winter weather. It also hardly seems something to celebrate if your main motivation to lace up your trainers and hit the pavement comes from the camaraderie and weekly catch-ups with mates from running groups and parkruns which are sadly, suspended. Not to mention that it can be difficult to carry on training in such uninviting weather when you’re feeling slightly demoralised because every race and event you signed up for the foreseeable future has been cancelled or gone virtual.
Now that the clocks have gone back marking the end of daylight savings time, the earlier darker nights make it all too tempting to skip a late workout rather than venture outside. Especially when the autumn weather brings with it cold, wet and windy days. It is hardly inviting to any slightly reluctant runner. The choice between staying in and relaxing with a cosy cuppa and a purring cat or leaving your warm house behind and running out into the unknown darkness can be an easy one to make. However, if you can get yourself out there you may be surprised by what you discover. Running in the dark can not only be an exhilarating experience but it is an easy way to revive a routine workout. But there are some simple things you can do when running at nighttime to help you stay safe.