Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Totals

Busy month here but I'm hoping to post more regularly soon. First day of proper training starts tomorrow, and I am quite nervous as I've just looked at the schedule and it looks quite brutal, actually.

A quick post to record monthly totals:

9 miles swimming (not much this past couple of weeks but I was happy with this)
73 miles running (again, would have preferred 80 but happy with this, too)
255 miles cycling outside (and maybe some additional inside time but I can't remember).

And a pic of our first open water swim, which included Raf! We had a nice run down to the pond, swam for 15 minutes or so, and then a little cool-down run to the car. Very nice summer evening.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A woman cannot live on Cliff bars alone.

I took an impromptu day off today. I had a long department retreat, which went very well (considering I was leading the retreat) but I am tired and the weather is just miserable. Just miserable, miserable, miserable. I don't think it is helping things.

I'm in a state of ambivalence.

Term has ended, reports need to be written, the summer is ahead of us, the weather is awful, my bike is brilliant, my swimming sucks, raf is wonderful, our nanny quit, a dear friend is pregnant, a little unknown boy was found dead.

I suppose this is life, with all its seeming untenable paradoxes of good and bad, of hope and hopelessness.

I am likely not alone in having to work at staying on top of this ambivalence, and training is one way I do this. It keeps me in motion when I might otherwise be paralyzed, it provides me with some space and time where I get lost in the physical aspect of it all, and yet today I skipped my bike ride (it was raining and I could not cope with the trainer in May) and I find when I do this that I lose traction straight away, I turn inward and irritable.

Why did I miss that ride, I'm asking myself.

Alas, I did. but one thing that I wanted to blog about is my terrible, terrible eating habits. I have been living on cliff bars and fruit and sandwiches. I can't remember the last time I had three square meals a day. My Dr. thinks that my body might be run down - thus the nausea and sickness. My Vit D was very, very low, my cholesterol was very low, too, which of course isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but it might suggest that my nutritional needs are not being met.

So I;m going to make an effort to really get serious about nutrition, of making the time to eat real food, of thinking carefully about what I need to support my training. I'm also nursing still, and I think that this inevitably places more demands on my body. So I am going to get serious, seriously. I may even post some plans here in an attempt to keep me on track.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

excellent week, you were much needed.

This week I was lucky enough to buy my new ride - a Cervelo P2. It's beautiful. Part of me is feeling a little bit guilty as it's a pretty spendy purchase. As soon as I took it out today, though, I concluded that it was a very good buy. My old bike - Ray of Sunshine - is long past her prime, and while I won't be parting with her it is nice to have this little beauty:

I bought the bike (I need to name her) from Cyclemania and I cannot say enough about how great and helpful they were. I had been tempted to just buy the bike online since the LBS didn;t have my frame size in but i'm glad I waited as they helped so much with fit and accessories, and the guys, David, even gave Raf a Cliff bar to chew on. Very sweet. Today i went out for my first proper ride. 41 miles of sheer pleasure, even with the upper back discomfort (I need to tweak the set-up) I felt super out there. My longest and speediest ride of the new year.

In work news we had the final day of classes this past week. I have a mountain of grading ahead of me as well as many meetings and a retreat I have to organize, but I can honestly say that I feel incredibly free and unburdened - at least for now. I am summer teaching online, but this is nothing like in the classroom teaching. Oh yes, I do have many reports to write for the first time, but even the idea of those isn't discouraging my pleasure.

And then there is the little one. He's so comical and fun. How can he get even more delightful? Well, he does. He is growing evermore demonstrative when I return home, and I find myself daydreaming about that welcome when I'm in the midst of the working day. What a lovely little fellow we have.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Round up

A simply hectic week here - somehow even more busy that usual. First we spent a lot of the week negotiating and finally putting on an offer on a house/building plot. We're now under contract! Whilst we're under contract to sell our house to the town, we have to wait until its ratified by a referendum in June. Everything is resting on this vote... which is nerve wracking to say the least.

Unfortunately I was sick all of last week, which didn't help things along, and as soon as I remotely felt better Raf came down with something, poor boy, just a bad tummy, but he vomited for the first time as a toddler and he didn't seem to know what was going on.

As for training.. what a couple of weeks. it happened in March, too, where I had a super first half in terms of training and then a terrible final couple of weeks due to illnesses of various types. And so it was this past month, too. A rest week the week before last and then last week just plain sick. I've managed a bit of running this week but no swimming or cycling. My goals for the month have largely been unmet, as is seemingly usual, with 73 miles run (goal was 80), 7 miles swam (goal 10, but I swam almost all of these miles the first two weeks of the month so I was for sure on target), and only 12 hours of cycling (goal was 20).

There is always May.

The sun has been shining, the semester is almost at an end, and the summer is stretching out before me, yet I am feeling incredibly homesick. I just did a search for jobs in the UK but it's a terrible time to look for something, and the reality is that it would be very difficult for us to make the move back any time soon. Yet I feel so melancholy about it at the moment, and perhaps it was the crowds and European styling I've been seeing on the telly this past week, or maybe it's something else, but I am missing home today. I miss running across fields and cycling down narrow lanes, I miss sarnies from Marks and Spencers and shandy on the river front, I miss walking around busy high-streets and walking to Grantchester and having tea in the Orchard, I miss getting in the car and visiting one of my sisters, and I miss church bells on a Sunday morning. I miss words like queue and mum and lift and petrol and mate and bloke...

And then maybe I don't miss these things ... well, not all of them. Sometimes, when i feel this homesick and full of longing, I wonder if what I really miss is my younger life, so carefree and self-absorbed: of researching and writing and running. And of course so miserable in many ways because, really, the pressure and the intensity of a place like Cambridge Uni means that no one there is really happy or carefree, but everyday is focused on the same thing, with few interruptions.

That's not the life I want, and I think this wistful thinking is more that i currently have too much on my plate, that I feel stretched thin by having too many roles to fulfill and there is a sense that in being stretched this much that you can't possibly be doing a good job in any sphere.

It does have me rethinking my goals for the summer, too, though. I don't know that i can really expect myself to train for a 70.3. I have more time in the summer, for sure, yet I have yet to have a month of training go even remotely right - largely because of illness. I will have to give it some thought over the next month or so...

In exciting news, though, a Cervelo P2 in my size has arrived at my LBS and I'm checking it out Tuesday afternoon! Very exciting, indeed.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sick Again

I am once again dealing with nausea. I don't know what's causing it. I saw my PCP last week and I have to get some bloodwork done (it's fasting bloodwork and I have not had the time to get it done... Monday, for sure). But it's such a nuisance. I don't know what is happening and it's not helped by the fact that I am also very fatigued. I wonder if I am getting in enough nutrition, and whilst i am for sure not wasting away I have not been taking care of myself in basic ways.

My appetite is all over the place.. mostly down. I have awful aversions and so I don't think I am eating enough, or, in the very least, eating enough of the right food. Any ideas on quick, easy snacks/meals? We're vegan so it's not easy to grab food on the go but I am just stuck for ideas.

and sleep.. oh sleep. Yes, it's the perennial issue. I haven't slept through the night for over two years and sometimes I feel as though I will never feel rested again.

And... stress. Lots of work, which is mounting up, and lots of stress for Rich, too... I don't think I am dealing well with the current stressors. Between work, Raf, selling/buying a house, Rich's work and school, and more - well, there is a lot of stuff to provoke that stress response. I know that good nutrition, rest, and exercise would help - and of course I am only really good at getting in exercise as of late. Oh yes, and Raf has been sick again. Not an earache, I don't think, but a cold which must has started with a painful sore throat. He's feeling much better, I think.

I'd love to know about how other people manage all of these things, and manage to practice excellent self-care, too. I am definitely not a martyr but it is just the case that as a mother you do seem to come near the back of the queue when rest and other things are being divided up.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I'm sat here trying to work out my race schedule for the upcoming season and, at the same time, I'm seeing pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement from friends/FB friends who had babies the same time as me. I am feeling pangs - deep pangs - of envy. Of course life is already a little crazed with work, Raf, and also trying to sell our house and build another one, with Rich in school and working, too.

So I'll plan my races and see what happens and I suppose the Pumpkinman 70.3 will be my consolation prize. I mean, it'll be a great accomplishment and I really am so excited to train for it and finish it (hopefully), but the truth is I'd prefer to have another little one on the way. It's not likely to happen so I will keep planning my races.


This is Raf during his mile run/walk this late afternoon. He just loves to wiggle as he runs.. such a funny boy!