Saturday, January 16, 2016

Remembering to be kind to myself - week minus 23


Given that I raced the national champs on Saturday and spent all day Sunday recovering, I figured it would do me no harm to start my training on a Monday.  If you have a good day in front of you, you might as well make use of it... and that I did.

I used the opportunity to swim in the morning, come out of the pool into sunrise, ride in the sunshine and home under clear, dark skies.  That went down very well and I got a good speed on, regardless of being on Lovely with a bag of still-soggy swim kit in my bag.

The swim was rough and tumble.  My first morning swim of the training season.  It was busy and choppy and I even resorted to the middle lane to avoid the washing machine status of the fast lane.  I didn't fancy resting because it was too much confrontation so I did 16 lengths then 14 before bailing out for the day.  It was slow but it was done.  Another tick in the box.


Like Monday, Tuesday dawned fine but I had promised myself a run and also yoga.  The yoga was blissful in the morning.  I feel well and very flexible and after the rush of Christmas, my brain is finally starting to calm down.

My promised run happened at lunchtime.

On account of my lack of running motivation I have been running with my heaphones and tunes on.  I rarely do this in the hills but, making my way through magna in Rotherham, headphones really help.  This time I ran the whole time - stopping only for one photo and not stretching when I got to the mid point.  I also didn't overshoot the turn of for my run back to the office.  It's no wonder I took 10 minutes off my last time for this run but I'm still not very fast with a 10:41 mile. It's a bit shit when wearing headphones usually makes me run faster.

... although I managed a yoga set and some very satisfying rides to work, it wasn't until today that my brain woke up again. I can look at this swan and remember back to the serenity of Tuesday.

I was half way through booking a ski holiday when my boss asked for a word. Well that's going to wake a girl up.

It turns out we have a very important presentation to deliver and I have been allocated a section of it.  Over time, the work was handed over. Descriptions, file locations.  I got up to leave as a message came through from B.  "Have you decided who to allocate that project in Cheshire to?"  My boss looked at me and said my name.  The phone on my desk rang and I picked it up remotely.  It was B.  Someone has to be in Cheshire before 12 tomorrow.  The first thing I did was finish booking my ski holiday before some bastard stole it from me then I gathered my things and headed over to Cheshire.

I booked into a nice hotel and enjoyed my evening immensely.  Catching up on this rush project then wiling the night away, restless, frustrated and excited.  It stopped being fun about 1am then I didn't sleep until about 3am when I ate some food.  I resolved a few things in my head... then followed up with porridge at 5am.  Running low on phone battery isn't good for sleep patterns.  Nor is a half-arsed curtain in some ex-travelodge.   I snoozed until I was woken for real breakfast.


Wednesday's site visit flew past in a flash of brainstorming and productivity.  Most enjoyable.  It would have made the drive home dreamy except I was stuck in traffic for way too long.  I hadn't even packed running gear to enjoy myself on the way home.  Although, by the time I got to Rushup Edge it was not only dark but also sleeting.

The day came to an abrupt end back outside the offices.  I felt like I'd been in a bubble all day.  Time to face the old life, the real world - although cuddles from my husband helped... immensely.  That's real world stuff.


Thursday felt like a hangover day.  I rode to work extremely quickly to get up for an 8:30 meeting this time. 

At lunchtime I disappeared from the office into the space under the stairs.  It's a secret hidey hole where I go to find myself - or more specifically my yoga mat.  Talk about flexible.  I am reaching parts of my body I haven't wrapped my fingers around for years and holding some good poses.  I stopped short of attempting another hand stand and instead attempted the wheel.  Successfully executed although one side of my body is more adept than the other so I need to work on that.  I find it weird that through my twisted mind, right now, the yoga is gradually unravelling my body.  

Back to work with a takeaway salad box.

It's a good job I'm enjoying this project... but by the time 4pm came around I was ready to go... specifically go for a haircut that I am desperately in need of and has been booked for some time.  I asked people to help me with things.  People made me late  As Mel ran her skillful hands through my hair I fell asleep right there and then in the bloody sink.  

One last hill climb.  One last bloody hill climb to the house.  I was knackered.  With a busy day to follow.


Despite packing everything I needed for the day's exercise - swim kit and run kit - I did none of it.  I was feeling ill so I drove to work - early, discovered things that I'd asked to be done hadn't been done.  A shitty start to the day.  It got worse with the dissolution of the project and effort.  My team of one and I ended on a low note.  We tried our best to start planning for next week but it disintegrated into him leaving early and me doing half the work before next week, just to get ahead of the game.

I decided the game wasn't fair and left it at work.

I tried to find the motivation to swim on the way home but it just wasn't there.


Saturday started slowwwwly.  One of those days where you can't feel your arms because they were over your face keeping the sunrise out.

We had planned to walk into town.  It's amazing how booking an expensive ski holiday suddenly makes you relish the idea of walking into town to obtain refunds on un-given and poorly chosen Christmas gifts.  When you get a credit card refund for an item you only bought to bolster the order so you didn't pay delivery and you used a voucher, so really, you're like, £18 better off from a £20 voucher when you only bought a £12 pair of knickers - that.  Paid for lunch anyway. 

On the way home we noticed the snow on the hills.  

There's no way I couldn't go out for a run - was there?  Back at the house I couldn't feel it.  I couldn't feel the will.  I am still feeling ill.  I knew my lungs would hurt when I tried to use them but, after a brief sit down to recover from the walk in town I felt able to go out.  I had to at least try to make this week pass without me missing out on (not just one but) two of my training days.  I vowed to try one exercise and I will give the other two a go tomorrow.

I went for my run.  I slothed down to the valley bottom then trundled along the river bank.  I tried alternate paths which were interesting.  Places I've not been before... places which looked like trespass but didn't seem to bother anyone.  

At the top of the valley I turned around and headed home on the flat - as much as possible.  The rivers were still flowing strong and I love this little overflow on my way home.  I listened to the river, the birds, the trees.  I wasn't missing the music, the bustle of work, the banter, my bed, I felt alive.  

Then I stopped.  In fact I stopped for every hill climb on the way home.  The lungs just weren't playing and there was a lot of coughing.  I resigned myself to a trip to the docs on Monday and slothed my way back to the house.  12:20 minute miles now.

Still, not to worry, the easy day of the week comes tomorrow - Swimming and cycling - and I felt good that I'd done today's run.  

I can't be hard on myself for missing Wednesday's sessions.  It was, after all, a day of walking around all day wearing heavy boots.  I can't be hard on myself all of the time - especially not with 22 weeks to go.

So tomorrow I will cycle and swim in the comfort of the indoors because I am a soft shite.  My lungs have no patience for the cold right now but I am happier today in the knowledge that this week has helped me to find some balance in life.  As things got tougher at work, things were figured out.  I am ready to start next week anew.  Perhaps my new year has come late.  Business left over from last year was slow to finish.  

Maybe there is a new year for me under this scab... if I just pick it a little.

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