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!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


A week in bullet points:

1) I am out of grading prison.. until next week.

2) I had a bit of a meltdown on Sunday after I got a flat tire a few minutes into a planned 2 hour ride/2 mile run brick. I have to confess that while I initially reacted in a 'c'est la vie' manner, my mood steadily declined as it became ever more apparent that I would not get in any sort of workout. With perspective I am sort of embarrassed for myself, but it's so very clear to me that staying on my training plan is like preventative medicine. I managed to get up super early on Monday and ended up doing the session, and it felt wonderful to get it in...

3) We had a marvelous family run last night, which involved running in shorts and t-shirts.

4) I at last went to see a couple of Drs about both my weird breathing and nausea and also my hip and foot issues. Last week I went to OA and it was really helpful to get another perspective on the possible causes of my many injuries. I've been referred to the infamous Jared for PT, and it starts next week. But I also got to see my primary care Dr. Last year I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma after my first triathlon. As soon as I finished the swim I started to breathe in a very laboured and LOUD way. It didn't feel like asthma as the noise felt as though it was more emanating from my throat and I also made the noise on the inhale. But I tried an inhaler with no success and this past Monday I returned to my Dr. Well, it seems that I have Inspiratory Stridor, which is not that easy to treat. It's made worse by anxiety and a lack of confidence (ha!) in athletes who suffer with it. I need to write more about it because I am honestly nervous about it... Every time I try to run fast and I hear the beginnings of the breathing I become very anxious... after all, it's basically my airway closing over a little, reducing the oxygen I can take in. I don't know how I managed to complete the tri breathing like this for almost the entire time.

5) In real estate news, we are one step closer to selling our house... think positive real estate thoughts for us!

6) I had an AWFUL swim yesterday. Honestly I just really suck at swimming. I am slow, bumbling, and I am not getting faster. I am really nervous about my next swim as I think, if it's possible, that I am actually getting more awful. 10 years ago I was a pretty good runner and now I am a pretty slow runner, an okay cyclist, and a TERRIBLE swimmer! I'm also happier and more balanced, of course, but I'll admit that sometimes I find it a little demoralizing. Yes, right now I feel a little demoralized about all things sporty.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hill Run

I am feeling pretty pleased with myself since I have stayed on my training schedule for an entire 10 days! This is something of a miracle given how crazy things are at work and home, but I've forced myself out of bed, I have dragged myself off the couch in the evening, and somehow I've managed to fit it all in. Of course these are famous last words... and I am betting that my swim and row may not happen tomorrow. For now I shall pat myself on the back and be pleased that I just got off the bike after doing a disastrous hill run this morning.

My hill run is actually why I'm writing this post. Yes, it was a disaster in that I could not have predicted how slow I would be on the hill repeats, and yes, I am sort of embarrassed by that, but I did indeed do the run, and then came home to a crazy, mad house as Raf and Rich were up by the time I walked in the door.

What was most troubling about the run, though, was not my times (yes, they did kind of suck), but the running commentary that I have in my head as I run. It's not kind commentary, such as 'Al, you can do this, you are a super star, you are going to crush this hill', it's closer to 'OhmyGod I am dying and I want to stop, I'm going to stop, I can't carry on, I want to die, why am I out here, I suck, I wanttostopIwanttostopIwanttostop....' I have to admit that it's not effective, and this morning I actually tried to compel an image of myself floating up the hill, but I have to say that that was a complete failure, too. The loudness of 'I cannot do this, I want to stop' was so overwhelming that a cacophony of positive voices does very little to help.

My tendency is to set the bar very low for myself. I do think that this is sometimes a good idea, yet I do have less-conscious and amorphous desires to do better, to be much better. I don't just do it when I do sports, i do it in many areas of my life. I think it can be quite paralyzing, though, because I run away from 'tests'. So I avoid races, I don't work on my book manuscript, I don't put myself in risky situations too much. I really want to change this about myself, but I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon with that commentary.

I do wish that my thoughts about myself were a little more kind and forgiving, and that I could take risks without worrying about failing or making a fool of myself. I don't really fear what others think, but I do worry about giving my sub-consciousness even more fodder.

Friday, April 1, 2011

March's Stats.

March's stats:

So a little off... but I was down and out from swimming and running for more than 10 days so I was on track to meet my month;s goals.

Swimming: 9 miles
Running: 57 miles
Cycling: 13 hours 26 minutes
Rowing: 12 miles
Total time: 30 hours 17 minutes

I'd hoped to do 40 hours of training, 8 miles of swimming, 80 miles of running, and 15-20 hours of cycling. I was very pleased to have managed 9 miles of swimming, far surpassing my other months' training. Disappointed with my run, but once again I was on track to meet the 80 mile goal...


Swimming: 10 miles
Running: 80 miles
Cycling: 20 hours
I'm also hoping to hit the weights.... let's hope!
Total: 40 hours