The ‘Perfect’ man…

So I am dabbling a little bit again on Ye Olde Dating Apps again (possibly not too seriously and wondering if that’s key?!). It’s not that I’m unhappy single – I love being single and the thought of being coupled up again at some point is a little unnerving – especially as I don’t fancy making same mistakes as before. This, coupled with being at a close friends wedding yesterday, had me thinking about ‘the perfect man’. Nowt quite like a wedding to trigger such thoughts I suppose!

It’s a thought process I’ve had before. I have a close bunch of mates I adore. They know it (or should) and are essentially my Tri wives/husbands. They are all quite different but I love them, even when we are doing each others heads in. Thinking more particularly about the menfolk (Tri husbands haha) in my life – the ‘perfect’ man is basically the best of each of them – like a bit of each them. I suppose the ‘right’ bloke for me is someone who would have an element of each to some extent maybe?

Or maybe I’ve just struck gold with my circle of friends?

Lost Mojo

It’s January since I last wrote anything. Simply because I have/had lost complete mojo for most things. It’s been a bit of an odd eight months really – and not in a good way. General lack of energy or enthusiasm for anything really and I am sure there are numerous factors, some symptoms of mild depression in there too I think but that’s by the by. Things feel marginally better than they did and I want to actually train and do stuff. I feel more like me than I have for a while. Somethings still aren’t right but it’s going in the right direction. I took the decision to try not to be too hard on myself and just ride it out but it has been frustrating.

Trying to train consistently or even wanting to train has been lacking. I managed to lighten some of my workload (partly) and lighter nights are definitely helping. The fact I am writing this now is a positive sign that things are possibly getting better. Hopefully… we will see.

I just have to stop procrastinating.

Apparently I am running tomorrow. Might even swim too.

Famous. Last. Words.

Starting as I mean to go

‘I might do parkrun in rhe morning’ is something I’m heard to say but rarely actually do . It was brought up earlier in the week and my friends were , quite rightly, disbelieving, however, this morning I did my first parkrun since May 2019.

I’d forgotten just how much of a good thing parkrun is but what was so good this morning was also how little has changed. I think my first park run was sometime in 2015 and I managed at some point to manage a sub 30 minute once upon time..

This morning though, just under 35 minutes, continuous and not horrible. I’ve a 10k this year and a half marathon in May. My usual attitude to running is dire but… with no long distance swims pencilled in for this year and less races, maybe I’ll actually get better at running and maybe even enjoy it…

I just might surprise myself! (and everyone else too)

Did Not Start

Burn out. Pure and simple.

I’ve had two DNS this year. That’s Did Not Start for those who don’t know. One was Coniston End to End (5.25 mile swim) and the other, a roll over place for Outlaw X (a 70.3 triathlon).

For various reasons I’ve completely lost all mojo. I am tired a lot and my HRV (heart rate variable) has been all over the place since June. I’m supposed to be part time at the day job but feel I’m working full time there and I’ve quite a few private pupils in my own business and trying to balance that with coaching. It’s just too much to be honest.

So I’m current say in my car having loaded the bike back in and sacking off my last planned event of the year. Typically the weather is glorious and I would love to be out riding my bike but there will be other days when I can just head out and ride for the joy of riding my bike. And swim for the joy of swimming. Or even potentially tun because I fancy going for a run (hmmmm).

Do I regret my DNS – well Coniston I don’t. And to be quite honest, at the moment I’m not regretting my choice this morning either. I think next year I’ll just keep to fun short stuff and not put the pressure on and try and find a way to cut down on stuff in general – well, I say this, I really mean find a way to cut down on work! Need to get some sort of balance sorted but first I think I just need to relax and not worry about things.

This is supposed to be fun. Not stress inducing.

Life getting in the way!

Not that I am complaining at all!

Twitter reminded me it was my 3 year anniversary for my Twitter account linked to this blog. I’ve been meaning to write for ages and I have really missed it.

The 3 years thing coincides with how this blog originated – dealing with a break up and concentrating on me. The problem now isn’t the heartbreak or even the issue of dating. It has almost gone to another extreme. I am so busy doing ‘stuff’ and working that things I enjoy have, to an extent, fallen by the wayside. With changes in lockdown rules and other bits and pieces, life has really kicked off at full pelt again meaning I am busier than ever and not all of it is fun!

Hopefully the summer holidays will see a temporary pause in the workload and a return to fun! Starting with a trip to Norfolk and the small matter of a 70.3 in relay! (and no – I am not doing the swim leg!).

‘Runner’ – back to basics…

I realised that I had started a blog post ages ago about getting ‘back in to running’ and it had been sat in drafts for ages so I decided to revisit it, only to wonder what I was thinking at the time of writing the two paragraphs that had been sat there. The only thing I’ve kept is the title of the blog post. Deleted the rest thinking ‘what a loada tosh!’

What I really hate about running is that I lose run fitness far quicker than I lose swim or bike fitness. Massively. I can also push myself swimming and cycling to the point of feeling sick, without feeling or thinking it’s beyond stupid. Running is a different entity for me. It also seems to take me a lot longer to gain run fitness again compared to swimming and cycling. Starting again feels like starting from scratch again.

Anyway, I have somehow started to find running marginally better. I started running with a friend on a weekend and it’s kept me somewhat accountable and I have started to feel my run fitness slowly improve and have slowly increased the number of times I run a week too. Small steps.

I have also realised I am my own worst enemy when it comes to running. I can happily swim train on my own, cycling I am somewhat similar but prefer training with people. Running – I really need to run with others to keep me on track and motivated to keep going. So running with one of my friends has really helped and because it is currently low stakes and we are both just heading out to get slowly better – I am enjoying it (and the chat!). It also massively helped my mood after a huge dip in January. I went out with another friend a week or two back post work. It was his slow run day – so we went out – well, his slow easy run was more like speed work for me to an extent but after several months running on trails – running on path felt easier than I expected and I ended up with the fastest 5km time I’ve done in ages. It also made me realise that actually  the slow running is good for me and gave me a bit of a boost in terms of achieving without setting out to do it.

The blog post title refers to going back to basics and I feel like I have – the lighter evenings (which, with the clock changes, will be even better), running with friends, running slow and just heading out really is going back to basics and it’s helping. I have also tried to be more time efficient and I am getting changed to run, at work, and parking up at local woods to go run trail so it’s done before I get home and sit down! Although note to self – carry inhaler!

Maybe I will actually start enjoying running more again. LOVE might be too strong an emotion but small steps – it’s definitely more tolerable than it was three months ago!

#RaphaFestive500

In the run up to Christmas, news and updates about this year’s Rapha Festive 500 started to appear, with the change that this year, virtual miles would be included. My ears pricked up and a thought started to go in my head. I’d pondered it in previous years but actually getting the distance in on the road just seemed unlikely – weather, riding solo, the absolute FAFF that comes with riding outside in winter etc. The inclusion, this year, of virtual miles though, made me wonder if I could actually give it a go.

Que several discussions with friends as I toyed with the idea.

I was working Christmas Eve, but despite early start and a busy morning, somehow managed to get on the turbo and get some miles in. Christmas Day came round and had some time, thought ‘sod it’ – did some more miles. Same thing Boxing Day… well, no I did two turbo sessions – by this time mates had joined in so there were a couple of us putting in some turbo mileage. Next day, I actually went outside on the bike, as well as doing some turbo mileage. Shock to the system to an extent and the company bailed on me. The rest of the week turned into a blur of long turbo sessions, with a bit of swimming and yoga thrown in for good measure but as of this morning, 500km ticked off!

What have I learnt though? Time to be reflective….

  • Group Zwfit rides, with Discord chat app running makes a huge difference to motivation and passing the time. Huge kudos to mates there for that. The ‘bunge’ also helped.
  • Zwift, my online platform of choice for this mission, is just plain strange – how the hell I was managing 45kph on 1.4w/kg is beyond me.
  • Sweat central – not unusual but still – had to make sure I replaced them.
  • Hydration/fluids/fuel – not to be underestimated.
  • 500km of riding in 8 days = increased quad definition – I have some definition that has been missing for the last 18 months.
  • The tiredness is real – but it would have been harder out on the road.
  • With little else to really do (I have made myself chill this week), I have lived the life of a pro – why stand when you can sit? Why sit when you can lie down? I have done some reading this week too.
  • Multiple pairs of bib shorts are incredibly useful – in general anyway – but I have found out quickly, which pairs are the best. Altura – is ain’t yours!
  • Two hour turbo sessions hurt your undercarriage MORE than two hours on the road – less changing of position isnt great.
  • My core strength must be good at the moment – I’ve a mirror positioned in such a way I can see my position – back and hips didn’t rock or move – no so sore shoulders either.
  • Low power/pace on the pedals kept me going without hurting myself.
  • I’ve managed not to over eat as a result….
  • I unlocked a few Zwift badges – always nice.
  • Turbo miles are dull.
  • The Mandalorian on Disney+ is awesome.
  • Decent headphones are worth the money.
  • Women are MORE SUPPORTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA GROUPS THAN men*

*I’m on several cycling Facebook pages – all the female only ones – everyone has been so supportive of each others achievements and there has been no judging on virtual/in real life achievements. LOTS of positivity. On the mixed sex groups – a bloke made the mistake of saying it was no longer a proper challenge now it included virtual miles. He has been very quickly called out on this by a lot of people. I’ve seen other scathing comments in the past on the mixed sex pages but do have to say – there are a lot of supportive blokes on those pages – but there is a distinctively different feel about them.

It has been an interesting challenge in that it has given me something to focus on and I’m glad I’ve finally done it but it pales into insignificance when one of my best friends Everested, on foot, for charity. Now that is a challenge and a half! After the crappy year events wise that has been 2020, it has been a nice way to finish of the year, and something I just did on a bit of a whim. Just need to aim to get out more next year!

Decision Made

Long time coming as I’ve been debating it for a while but when you realised you’ve screwed up, you know it’s time you did something about it so tonight I’ve emailed a local counsellor and going to actually seek some help.

I can’t carry on being a grumpy bitter cow bag. It’s not fair on anyone and the amount of time that’s gone by – I really should be in a better place. Covid certainly hasn’t helped. Normally my year would have been filled with mini adventures – I’d be out doing stuff and planning future mini adventures. Distractions perhaps but equally things that contributed to my happiness and well being. Working daft hours but then having more time at home to dwell on stuff too hasn’t helped and things have come to a head so seek help I must.

We were sat having tea the other night and I said that by looks of things, I was probably going to end up forever single – not unlikely to be honest. And probably childless too. The body clock will run out and even though I’m sat on the fence about having children – my fear is that I will decide one day that that’s what I really want.

The 18 year old me thought that by time she was my age, I’d have settled down, got married, had children – career etc etc. None of which has happened. To be honest – it’s probably not that uncommon that plans/thoughts at 18 don’t happen but still. There’s still a part of me that just wants to settle down and have babies but I don’t know if that in itself is actually what I want.

I do know though that I would like to stop feeling angry and pissed off. I’d also like to lose the fear of being hurt again. Hopefully – just hopefully – counselling/therapy might help. We shall see.

Fluctuating Mojo and Lockdown #2

I’d like to say that I have been as motivated during this ‘lockdown’ as I was the first, but that would be a lie.

I am definitely finding it harder this time, partly because I am working more hours than ever so with extra commitments and diminishing light, I can’t ride to work. I can’t really run safely at home during the week really either unless I am willing to bore myself silly running up and down the length of my village (which isn’t all that far). My mood in general isn’t as great as normal either – definitely not as positive or cheery.

So this week, my mojo has really taken a hit and I have had seven days off completely. No spin, no stretch, no pilates, no S&C work – nothing.

And I am refusing to feel guilty about it, like a Twitter follower said, we’re not pros and we aren’t being paid – it isn’t the end of the world (just frustrating). I have, however, managed to get work planned for next week, new work commitments starting so hopefully some more money coming in to start reflecting the hours I am putting in.

On the major plus side – with sales starting – I have invested in a new wetsuit – and when I say invest, it was a large chunk of money but it was money saved specifically for it, so with 40% off, spending £270 on a wetsuit doesn’t seem so bad – just hoping it fits! Nervous and excited! It’s a top end suit and I am hoping I will see a difference compared to my old entry level Huub – which has served me well and got me through some pretty epic swims.

I am going to aim to get some sessions in this week as I am feeling far more organised with work (working for someone else as well as having own business has it’s advantages but equally…. can be knackering!) and I am planning to start some better sleeping habits too. I am also being dragged out for a run on Thursday morning before work – so…. hopefully the dip in mojo is just that – a dip*

*remembered on my run that I want to go sub 6 and a half hours at a 70.3 next September – helped with the last km run home. The view helped too.

Feeling fitter

I am actually starting to feel genuinely fitter and less bloated than I have done for a while. I am not complaining but I think it’s worth considering why and how I am feeling fitter so that when I am feeling unfit I can go back and check!

My last post, I outlined some of the things I was planning on doing – and they appear to be helping/working.

Planning out my week ahead on a Sunday is helping – using Training Peaks alongside my diary. My focus at the moment is getting my run fitness back and developing my strength. So far so good. I am also trying to maintain my cycling fitness (though my endurance is probably a bit shot at the moment) and in terms of swim – I’m fairly happy with that as I am training with my friend and he’s training for an Ironman, he has also changed coach which has mixed things up so it’s all good.

Not putting the pressure on to do longer sessions but keeping things short and sweet as well as feeling the gains, has helped my feel fitter – and that in turn is motivation for keeping going on. I’m probably thinking more about my run sessions in particular and following a plan to an extent too.

I am also trying to cut down on sugar in my tea – I’m trying not eat two hours before bed and I am attempting to eat more ‘whole’ food/less processed food. Trying to eat better is helping, along with keeping well hydrated and trying to develop better sleep habits. Hopefully a combination of these will become more habit.

All the little things are helping I think – although might not be losing weight as such, I am definitely getting fitter! Even TP says so….