Wednesday, August 21, 2013

An Experiment in Self-Exploration

Sunday ended my second week with an official training plan.  As I mentioned in a previous post, last week was emotionally, mentally, and physically draining.  I spoke about the anxiety I had before every work out. Some of this improved during week two.  The week was less emotional and there was less pre workout anxiety.  

The one thing that didn't get better this week was the physical EXHAUSTION.  It possibly got worse.  Monday was a glorious rest day but the feeling of well restedness was gone by Tuesday's track workout (my new favorite workout).

I bagged my three swims this week due to a nagging shoulder.  Nothing serious.  I went from barely stringing together a few lengths to swimming 2000 yards in three weeks.  Fairly certain Mr. Right Shoulder was having a WTF moment.

Wednesday was a solid 75 minutes of harder efforts on the bike trainer (which I LOVED) and strength training.  I feel like I am nailing (at a beginner level) the track workouts, trainer sessions and strength training.    

By Thursday, a run day, I had brain fog.  I snapped this picture of me at work around 2 pm.  It was becoming increasingly hard for me to concentrate on anything but the mundane and even then...
For the record, I don't sleep at my desk
and don't think sleeping at your desk is
a good idea.
Friday, long run day, was a total shitshow.  I just have to call it what it was.  Lead legs, mental exhaustion and a headache were my hurdles.  It was suppose to be a Zone 2 run but if I ran at Zone 2 pace my legs didn't want to move.  Picking up my pace taxed my heart rate, stressing out an already stressed out system.  I quit the run and felt miserable (emotionally and physically). I realize there is discomfort while running and part of our training is to learn how to embrace the pain and discomfort.  There is a fine line between pushing through discomfort and knowing when you are totally depleted.  My mental game just wasn't there.  I got into bed.  In the middle of the day.  On a weekday...and there I slept for 2.5 hours (No children were harmed in my napping, they were at camp). The only reason why I woke up was because I had to get my eyebrows waxed.  Priorities people! 

Saturday I had a 10-15 mile ride on the road scheduled.  I was really looking forward to this ride because I am eager to get comfortable with my bike on the road.  I was also meeting up with someone I met through social media and blogging.  It was fun to talk family, sport, life, and writing.  Jackie, who blogs over at Muscle Up Mom, is a much stronger rider than I am.  I greatly appreciated her patience while I crept along.  Together we rode 21 miles (more than my plan called out) on a really gorgeous morning.  After refueling and running around with the kids, I found myself in bed AGAIN! I honestly haven't been this tired since I was pregnant.  And NO I am NOT pregnant now.

I would say this was a low point but I was just too exhausted to care for more than a few moments.  I briefly thought of the athletes in my life and their accomplishments.  Then I looked at myself and thought of how I am struggling with a fraction of the training.  My Type A Personality started to flare with indignation.  Deep down I knew the truth.  These athletes have been at this a lot longer than me.  And some are naturally gifted athletes (not me!).  I know they have struggled, plateaued, got injured and still have bad days.  

In the midst of a hate spiral nothing seemed logical.  I took a few deep breaths and reframed my thoughts.  Let's have a moment of honesty, my goals and associated training are just a mechanism of self exploration.  There is no pro card, no prize money, and no front of the pack.  I am not in it to prove anything to anyone except MYSELF.  This is an opportunity to bond with my husband over something that we both find interesting and exciting.  This is an opportunity to expand on what defines me...something other than mother, wife, professional, or Ironwidow.  This is an opportunity to expand on my independence and explore fearlessness.  If my goals come at the expense of my personal happiness, create physical strain, or induce anxiety than the goals need to be reevaluated.

So in the great big world of self improvement and personal change this week was a tremendous success.  It created self awareness and acceptance, the cornerstones of personal growth.

"Above all; To thine own self be true" - William Shakespere

Can't remember where I found this...on Facebook
somewhere.  Truth!

What are your goals? What steps are you taking to achieve them? Any light bulb moments along the way?

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  1. Had so much fun riding with you, let's do it again soon.

    Have you gotten your iron, thyroid, B vitamins all that checked? Can't hurt to rule that out. But if I wake up as early as you I'd be sleeping at my desk too.

    Awesome job on the swimming, so jealous you took to that like to water? ha

    1. I have gotten those things checked. We think it was the speed work. Restructured the plan and feeling a lot better. Shoulder is feeling better too. Ready to rock. And yes, another ride soon...on the road!