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MUSINGS Running on empty



Running on empty

Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

I’m having food hallucinations. You know the ones, giant cartoon-like chips walking around inviting you to eat them, and perhaps dip them in some delicious curry. Yep, that’s my life these days.
Every January, I usually adopt some far-fetched resolutions for more often than not, the first 24 hours of the new year and then it’s ‘business as usual’. This year however, I took a leaf out of Pat Divilly’s book. Pat is a gym owner, author and entrepreneur, and at the moment, the bane of my existence. I, in my wisdom, decided to buy his fitness and healthy eating books as a Christmas present for the Boyf (secretly a present to myself) and now I must actually follow it’s instructions.
The ‘21 day jumpstart’ is what it is called. Twenty one days of sweat, tears, kale, broccoli and more kale.  
I will admit that I did feel smug for all of 40 minutes as I went for my first bit of exercise of the new year on the Monday the whole country was back to reality after the Christmas period.
Running, and admittedly panting past traffic in Ballinrobe, I thought ‘look at me, out on a dark January morning for a run’. My smugness didn’t last. Two days later, after squats, lunges and the dreaded burpees, I could barely walk, much to the amusement of family, friends and indeed colleagues.
But hey, ‘a little exercise can’t be that bad’, I hear you say. And in fairness it isn’t, what’s bad is the lack of comfort food. It’s a complete shock to the system.
The female roomie thinks it’s great, no more need for texts most days informing me of that evening’s menu. No more big pots of delicious homely stew. No, just good old kale.
The male roomie couldn’t see what all the fuss was about when I informed him I’ve signed up to the Great Lakes Challenge, five running events around south Mayo between now and April. ‘Sure they’re only 10ks,’ he said. In fairness, if there’s anyone with the authority to say that it is the male roomie, a man that completed his fair share of marathons back in the day.
My training regime is progressing probably at the same pace I run, rather slowly. In my defence it isn’t usually me slowing down, but Betty the Boxer. I suppose if I was her and I had a choice, I wouldn’t be out running in the rain either. On these wintery mornings she’s progressively questioning my sanity as I do ‘step ups’ in the back garden at 7am. And yes, these past two weeks I’m beginning to question it also.
But back to the food. In the past two weeks I’ve become a cross between a college student and a domestic goddess. Nights are spent busily preparing the next day’s offerings, usually veg and some sort of fish or poultry. And when I say I feel like a college student, I am of course referring to having family members on speed dial for all my culinary questions.
Last week I rang three family members and consulted Jamie and Nevin’s cookbooks in an attempt to gain some much-needed knowledge of how to roast a side of beef.
It was somewhat a success, albeit a little dry (Pat doesn’t allow gravy).
So, if you see me in a Supermac’s anywhere between Ballinrobe and Belmullet, call me aside, please.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.