Tuesday, May 14, 2019

I feel normal.

Yes. I. feel. normal.

You might remember that back in Nov, I decided to take time off. I was at rock bottom. I couldn't take one more thing on, for fear of absolutely losing my shit....which BTW, would be a full blown emotional breakdown.

I took off for 4 months and did what I want. 

I set some rules in place.

My plan, if you could call it a plan, was to be active....that was it.

1: I wouldn't do anything that I didn't want to do.

2: If I wanted to take a day off, for any reason, I'd take a day off. 

I had no idea I would go like that. I had zero motivation for anything (except riding my bike which I did alot).  I didn't want to think about training at any level. I wanted to be as far away from anything related to triathlon. 

When Liz and I talked, I told her, "I'll be back".

But really, in my heart, I did not feel like I would be.

It was the greatest thing I've ever done. I went through the entire holiday season without any stress of trying to get everything done. I threw myself into work. I love what I do, so this was something that gave me a lot of purpose and feeling of success.

The New Year rolled around, and I started feeling better. In February, I changed up my work schedule a lot. During this time, I was able to figure out what "training" would look like with my new work schedule.

At the end of Feb, I decided I needed help creating a training plan, except that I wasn't calling it a training plan. 

As I told Liz, "I need a plan for someone with no goals, no desire to race. Oh, and I absolutely do not want to swim. And I might skip workouts a lot, but really my goal is prevent me from doing anything stupid and hurting myself".

She was totally with the idea. 

She set me up with about 5-7 hours a week of exercise.


Until it wasn't. I realized that I was skipping fewer and fewer workouts. I wanted more.

I still didn't want to call it "training", and I absolutely did NOT want to race. Of course, there was the whole NO SWIMMING thing.

Even though I wasn't doing much, it was probably the best quality work that I've done in a long time. 

I put myself 100% into doing all the things that I usually don't focus on, because I wasn't planning on racing. I was always focused on heart rate or pace. I wouldn't give real focus to the dirty work.

As much as I was enjoying this, I still wanted to be as far away from triathlon as possible.

As the months went by, my volume was increasing (in small amounts). 

One day, I woke up excited to SWIM.  After 7 months of no swimming, I wanted to swim again.

I told Liz: "Hey, let's try a short swim to see how it goes". I'm thinking 20 minutes with a noodle sounds pretty spectacular.

Liz being Liz, gave me 2300m including 100's.

Then, I realized she gave me 2 swims.

Ok. That's ok.

But I enjoyed the swims. After the 2nd one, I felt more like myself than I have in 1.5 years. 

I felt normal. 

(No. Still not interested in triathlon).

NORMAL. I felt normal. It felt so good to feel that way.

Then, it happened again, this week. I started getting back into the swing of things. I'm back to figuring out how to get my workouts versus finding a way to get out of doing them.

I'm now at almost 8 months of this. 

It feels good to feel normal again.

For those of you who have asked another athlete, "How did you know you needed time off"?


You've asked yourself, "I wonder if I should take time off"?

The answer is YES. If those questions are even popping in your head, the answer is YES.

I know. Because there have been times when my motivation has been high, and I never even considered taking time off. I didn't want or need it. 

Trust me. Take all the time you need. Even when you think you'll NEVER go back to sport, you will. It will come back to you. 

And you will be more refreshed and motivated than before.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy

I've been called "crazy", "irrational/emotional", "off my meds"... and many more. And I'm still here proud to be doing my crazy.

"Show them what crazy can do".

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

This might be it.

Things are always changing.

I've held on to this blog for a really long time. I don't think I have it in me to keep it up anymore.

I've found that being able to write one post and share it across different media works better for me.

Blogger doesn't really give a good option for that.

I can't say that I will never blog again, but I've found that I enjoy being able to write up quick summaries (about various topics) works better for me.

I don't have time....er....I don't want to take the time to write blog posts anymore.

Thanks for reading for all those years.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Heading in the right direction

This was not a sunrise run, but it WAS the earliest I've been running in a very long time. 

Today, this week, however you want to look at it, is the beginning of my next phase. I didn't plan it that way. It just happened, which means, I am ready to move on. I don't really like calling it "the next phase". For lack of a better word, that's what it is.

The first phase (Nov and Dec) was all about emotional recovery. I did what I wanted when I wanted. I slept more, skipped days and ate my share of baked goods. I realized that I had no desire to swim, so I didn't. I ran a little bit. I found myself riding more than I ever have, sometimes just easy and sometimes using harder effort Trainerroad workouts. I started strength training a lot. 

Now that the holiday season is over, and I feel like I'm in a good place mentally, I'm committed to adding more veggies back into my diet and running a bit more (3x per week). I'm signed up for the NCC through USA Triathlon, so any running mileage helps the team. 

The holiday is season is a blur of chaos, probably more for us small business owners who are also in retail. 

NONE of this has been planned. None of this is intentional. But, taking time off Nov and Dec was the best thing for me. 

I have never believed in forcing things. I do things on my own time. 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

My positive influences

With this being a gap year for me, I was thinking how cool it would be for me to talk about the people in my life who had positive influences on me. These aren't in order of importance.

I got this idea when I was cleaning out my closet of riding gear. I came across this cap.

It's only appropriate that I start with the Ranch Riders. 

Many years ago, there was a group of riders based in London. But, they were known to 

ride around the world. They would write up ride/race reports that were so entertaining. 

These were back in the good ole days of MySpace and blogs. I have no idea how we came 

to know each other. I can tell you that the Ranch Riders are one of the reasons I put so 

much work into the bike. When I first started riding, I knew NOTHING about riding. I 

knew a bike had 2 wheels and a chain.... but that was the extent of my knowledge. Being

a new cyclist and seeing the way those guys and gal could ride, blew me away. They

always seemed like they were having so much fun. I wanted that too. I watched YouTube 

video after video learning how to care for my bike. I remember when Jman and I spent 

HOURS and probably 5 tubes, learning how to fix a flat. I went to empty parking lots, so I 

could learn how to corner. Over the years, I lost contact with all of them, except 

one. They probably never realized the positive influence they had over this dork, 

newbie rider. I'm still a dork, but at least I can change a flat now. #windbeneathmywings