Sunday, December 23, 2012

All Gone Downhill - Day 20 - 32 The Edited Version of Demons Inside

Saturday 8th December said that I was looking forwards to the North of England Cross champs the day after and indeed it was good.

Day 20 - A race which started with me feeling sluggish left me feeling like I'd put the "E" in endurance when I started riding up the steepest of climbs on the penultimate lap and ended the race riding up it.  I put a sizeable gap and two other riders between me and the girl I'm usually doing battle with.

Still, it's amazing how much a small set back can rock the boat.

On 10th something went wrong at work.  There's a host of stuff going on in my life but I don't take criticism well and I heard a lot of "nobody loves you" and felt a bit same old same old.

I was so angry I told my boss about my depression and anxiety, that the only way I cope sometimes is to go swimming at 5:30 am so the reason I sometimes get in late is that I've already been swimming and, Oh! that breakfast I'm eating... yeah, that's the second one of they day and BTW I eat it whilst I work.

Nothing seems to have come back on it.  So that was Day 21.  I racked up some impressive hours on Monday but after that I worked to rule a bit.  If I have to be in at 9, that's me, out of there at 5.  It was refreshing.  Actually declaring the day done and over with.  Actually doing a day's work and leaving on time?  I should do this more often.

So for a week the depression loomed large on the radar.  I lost all will to live for a while but in true Trepid style, instead of contemplating suicide, I just took some incredible risks.  I cycled to work in the ice (Tuesday - Day 22).  On Wednesday after another icy ride to work and back in the evening I managed to swim 1km (Day 23) and on Thursday (Day 24) I ran the 8 mile to work, getting a lift back to the city.

On the day we had freezing fog, when I stepped out the front door and fell on my ass, I drove to work (Day 25).  Some people decided they couldn't get to work!

On Day 26 I did a 200 km ride from Stockport out to Malpas, Market Drayton and back.  I hadn't done more than 40 miles since Monsal Hill climb so 126 miles was an achievement.  My legs were fine but my neck felt it.  I didn't really care if I finished the ride or got run over by a bus but I met some lovely people whilst we were out there.  The pouring rain from Goostrey (nothing good happens there) back to Stockport and the potholed roads gradually disappeared in the company of strangers, the communal joy of Christmas lights and the love shared in pointing out Jodrel Bank to people who otherwise wouldn't have known where to look for it. (it's where LBHN used to work).

At least living life on the edge (even if it was for the wrong reasons) was making me feel better.  Little bits of self-treats - no matter how insane - were turning my mood around.

Facing the final full week of work in the office was too much so on Day 27 and my birthday I went to do a site visit and then worked from home in the afternoon.

Day 28, Tuesday 18th I travelled to Wolverhampton in the car to look at an installation so I didn't do any training until 19th when I travelled to East Anglia on the train with a very heavy bike and managed another run in my shoes along the beach and the cliff tops.

Thankfully my depressive thoughts evaporated with the sea air and the only thing drawing me to the top of the cliffs was the beam of my head torch.  I resisted and ran up until the time when it looked like three potato harvesters were coming to kill me.  Fearing the confrontation of angry farmers more than the death throes of a potato harvester, I decided I'd run far enough and headed back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 29 saw me on site again in Bacton.  This time a productive day followed by a few hours of working on the train again.  The exercise for the day was the 10 mile ride to site into a roaring headwind with 20kg in my panniers at least.  Exactly 40 minutes - perfect cyclo-cross strength training for the nationals in Bradford in a month's time.

The day didn't end too soon though.  Once the computer battery ran out on the train (with 3 hours of journey time remaining) I finished off some paperwork.  Having promised the client his drawings on Friday, I worked on them till 3:30 am once I'd got home. Bless TSK for making me dinner and putting up with me coming to bed at 3:30.

Not surprisingly, Day 30, I drove to work - 4 hours later.  Ready to slam anyone that accused me of being late - I only had to work 1 hour to make up my 40 for the week but I stayed till 5 pm.  Got my work done, avoided the Christmas shoppers - all that jazz.  I had to face up to the grim fact that Friday was D-Day for selling my house at Woot Bass before Christmas.  I had to accept defeat first thing in the morning when I discovered that £8000 was still outstanding on the cash payment by my pathetic buyer and that the £8000 could only be paid by cheque.

Incredibly I wasn't phased.  I wasn't really surprised.

By 16:30, my house was sold.  I had the weekend to look forwards to looking forwards.

By this point, I felt like my training was truly shot, though reading back on this, it isn't really.  I managed to squeeze quite a lot into a very stressful time.

It was a crabby day on day 31.  I could've gone swimming - indoors or outdoors to be fair but I had to make a Christmassy effort with the house.  In the afternoon I went out with my friends and it's always good to go out with friends.  I have some really good ones and I had a great meal with the Norton Wheelers.  I *will* ride with you again boys and girls.

Day 32 today.  I've done no training for three days.  Today was a nice day and I could've done the chip butty ride with Sheff Tri but no, I got some important finance stuff done and made my house look vaguely like a home - for us and for our Christmas day friends and anyone else who happens to come by.

With Woot Bass gone and the new house to do nothing with but look forwards, I suddenly feel incredibly light and happy.  I watched Strictly tonight.  Lewis enthused me about getting a bit more value out of my gym membership.

Only next week will tell whether this rest has been as good as a change.  I've been sensible.  I've listened to my body and I have regenerated.  I've done what The Counsel would have advised and it seems to have worked.

Anyway, I have all of Christmas week to train whilst TSK is at work.  I have survived the last week and in a difficult financial climate, I have sold a house.  All in all I feel like quite a clever and lucky person right now.

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