Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Struggle is Real

So I had a great week 1 and it was nice to be moving again. I am saying I am on a comeback and I am sure people are wondering why.  I had a great winter and spring of training, or so it seemed but I was struggling.  I own 2 businesses and the spring is busy for both of them so I work during the day at one and the evenings and weekends for the other (taxes).  Add to that the training plan I was on and my lack of sleep due to hormone issues and I was a mess.  I am not sure everyone really noticed as I am really really good at hiding it but my close friends did.

I had finally waived the white flag and asked my Dr. for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) hoping I could get some help for my sleeping, I knew if I could get a decent night sleep, I could at least function better.  I started taking it after my June 70.3, a race that did not go as planned and left me feeling frustrated.  Well instead of the HRT helping it had the opposite effect, it gave me leg cramps, my muscles unable to recover and it made me depressed.  At the same time I was trying to wrap up busy season with my tax business, hold down the fort at my main job as my business partner was on a much needed vacation and try to process what went wrong with my race.  I am very hard on myself and am always trying to fix my mistakes, no matter how small they are.  Being me, I did not tell anyone I was struggling, not my coach, not my friends, not even Neale, I just carried on. As a result, my training was non existent, I did not feel like doing anything. 

Eventually I decided that this was not good for me, yes I was sleeping better but I was not willing to pay the price required for that sleep, there had to be other ways.  I stopped the HRT, made an appointment with a Naturopath and I am currently trying to find the right combo of natural products to help me.  As of now, we are still tinkering but I have more energy, I feel better and I am able to handle the stress better.  Yes, my life is busy but I am carving out some me time and enjoyed some time in my hammock on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.  Yes, I did think I should really be doing something else but I let that thought go and was nice.

So why am I sharing this now?  A friend posted something on FaceBook yesterday, 17 Reasons why Modern Women are Struggling so Much and I answered honestly that I related to most of that and she was surprised...see reason #7.  Not all apply, not sure if #4 or #5 apply to me and I don't have kids at home (#9) but I do have a full life with lots of things to do each day.  I guess why I am posting this is because while I looked like I had it together, I did not. I have the ability to encourage and support others but not myself and I speak to myself in a way that I would never let a friend do to themselves (another person pointed this out to me recently as well).  Being a goal orientated, critical thinker who loves to learn and improve is great for my business life but not always in other areas.  I am sure I am not alone in this and we need to be honest and ask for help or advice from others and share our struggles so other know they are not alone.  I felt so alone and did not want anyone to know I was burnt out and depressed, I did not want to ask for help because I am always the one offering help and I did not want to burden anyone else with my problems.

I am back on the right track now, I have a goal I am working towards, I feel more like myself and I am ready to tackle a new plan, a plan that has some time to relax, to do breathing exercises, closest I will get to mediating, I am still Type A after all and being kinder to myself.  This will be interesting!

Friday, 31 August 2018

Installing Goals

Well, lets face it, I have ghosted on everyone, disappeared without a blog post and vanished.  I have been struggling for the last few years, I had accomplished some amazing goals and then struggled to find my "Why" and to stick to anything.  I went through the motions, I tried to get motivated but stuff was going on and it was taking my attention away from training.  In the span of 6 months, I had lost 2 business partners, had to refocus my business with my remaining partner, figure out whats next and work harder than I had in years.  I am also going through that wonderful time in every women's life...menopause.  For the last 17 months, I have been lucky to get 4-5 hours sleep a night, have suffered from phantom smells, night sweats, weight gain and loss of sucks!  All in all, it's been a challenge and to be honest I have had enough.  Into every life there comes a moment, that lightening bolt from the sky, that moment you say things have got to!

This past year, some running friends trained to do Ironman Mont Tremblant (IMMT), 2 couples in fact and I enjoyed watching them train thinking better them than me.  I offered some advice and encouragement and spent a lot of time answering questions when I was asked.  They all did amazing and I loved tracking them on race day, it made me think about my Ironman and how badly I wanted it.  I did finish in 2015 but I always felt unsettled abut my's hard to explain but to me it is a bit of a failure, I did not execute it the way I had wanted and my finishing was a close thing. At one point I was going to give up...that fact has always haunted me... I need a re-do.  I had started to think about it, not really seriously but a small maybe someday.  

A few days after IMMT I got a message from Danielle who, in a high after IMMT, signed up for IM Lake Placid in 2019 with her husband and asked if I wanted to join them.  She ended her message, Food for thought...😃.  Well I have to tell you that message was my lightening bolt, food for was a buffet.  I went out and told Neale I had just received an offer that I would need to refuse and told him about Danielle's message.  That quickly changed to well maybe I could...or could I.  After thinking about everything, talking to Neale and others I trust I messaged her back saying thanks but it was not something I could commit too...but I was still not 100% convinced...and I am still not if I am being honest.  My rational mind is saying to wait for 2020 and spend 2019 working on my cycling, which is still my weakest part, my monkey brain says YOLO, go for it and make it happen.  Thank you Danielle for being the lightening bolt and lighting the fire in me again, it is now burning bright!

I have thought about a lot of things over the last week...has it only been a week?   I can't say I have all the answers yet but I am making some plans and sorting out some new goals, some short term and some longer term.  I have decided that I am doing another Ironman and for now I am looking at 2020 and probably IMMT but I reserve the right to change my mind.  I am climbing Kilimanjaro in 2019 with Neale and I am spending the next 4 months losing body fat and trying to sort out the hormone stuff .  Lets face it sleep is important in training and as of today, I am about 15lbs heavier than when I did my Ironman in 2015.  I also want to get back to consistent training and feeling like I am back in control of my life. I have other goals as well, that sub 2 hour half marathon, a 10km open water swim and to finish my book and now I have added an Ironman to the list, something I was never sure would happen again. 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Deep Freeze

Welcome to the deep freeze!  Its been really cold in Ottawa this week, the last few weeks actually and I for one have had enough of it.  There is no way to enjoy yourself outside when it is -40C and cabin fever is setting in.  I do have to go out everyday to walk the dog but even his walks have been cut short due to the weather. 

I got my new training plan this week and I did a few of the workouts and all I can say is I have my work cut out for me.  I am trying to be more consistent with my workouts this year so I  have all my key workouts in the morning before work and the evening workouts are flexible so if I have to miss them, it is OK.  On Sunday my workouts is outdoor, either a snowshoe run or skiing so I hope the temperatures get a little more reasonable. I have swimming Monday and Wednesday and a bike session on Tuesday and Thursday but those bike sessions will be tough.  On Saturday I have a long trainer ride and a 10k run.  Right now the 10k run is not happening, I need to focus on getting my time on the bike up because this week I could not even do the minimum time never mind the maximum time.  Today's snowshoe run did not happen due to a non-functioning furnace and to be honest a lack of desire to go out in the -40 temps.  I need to acknowledge that sometimes the motivation is not there but I can try again tomorrow and make it a better day. 

I am excited to have a new training schedule but it also means my first big race of the year is closer, less than 6 months away and I need to do a lot of work to be ready for it.  I really need to work on my cycling, I am slow and it takes a lot out of me so my goal over the next few months is to hit those bike workouts and be more consistent with them so I see the dividends when the snow melts and I get back outside.  Another area for improvement is my weight.  Like most of us, I put on a few extra pounds over the holidays and I hate how my clothes fit.  I know if I work on it now, I will feel better in the spring and it will help my training.  I am doing a nutrition course for athletes and am learning a lot and my son Stephen helped me figure out my macros and built me a spreadsheet to use.  I know that this year slow consistent effort will bring me the results I want so I am not worrying about a missed workout today, I am worrying about getting ready for the next one and the one after that. One day at a time, I will get there!